The Neocon Republicans, when they are not playing doctor with their aides, are relentless in their pursuit of happiness for the rich and for big corporations. To prevent anything good from happening to the average American citizen they have drawn up and submitted something like 400 amendments to the health care legislation now plodding through Congress. This is the culmination of many years of intolerable Republican cynicism.
The fault lies with the first George Bush President. He allowed people like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove to do whatever was necessary to win elections. He was later rejected by his own party when he sensibly changed his mind on a promise he made not to cut taxes, when he faced an economic crisis. But whether he won again or not, or was popular with his party or not, the tenor of campaigning that he allowed became the norm: do whatever you have to do to win.
So what does that do to a candidate? To George Bush the First, with his pedigree, he probably threw up the first time he stiffed the country he almost died for. But he got used to it. Now he is just another ex-hero who sold out to the highest bidder. He’s not as bad as Duke Cunningham, but in the same general vicinity, only without bars on the window. And the Neocons saw his hot-shot campaign managers as wonderful role models. Lie, cheat, steal, slander, fabricate and insinuate…say anything to win. Get the money. Win the election. Be in a position to offer deals on legislation to banks, credit card companies, hospital groups, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, coal companies, health care insurers, food companies….anyone who needs to cheat a little to get by.
It is difficult to be a Neocon Republican. For example, not only did they have to come up with 400 amendments to this health care bill to help stall it and to satisfy their constituents…hospitals, doctors, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies…all those getting rich on your pain…but then they had to sit down and come up with a good rationale for all these objections. They have come up with such grand old themes as: ” we offer choice” (except between high-priced insurance and a public option that would lower costs), then “bureaucrats will get between you and your doctor” which is not only not true, but not too scary. Most people think…how is that going to work? I just call my doctor? I don’t get where the bureaucrat comes in. Then the the Neocons have, let’s see, “costs will go out of control” “it is unaffordable” ” it will bankrupt the country.” The fact is that this plan could cost up to $100 billion a year, if everyone else is wrong and the highly-motivated-to-fail Neocons are right. The truth is, if there is any cost at all, we could easily pick up half from the military budget and the rest from a fraction of the second Bush tax breaks that we should retire anyway.
Of course the protestations of fiscal irresponsibility ring a little hollow from the same people who brought you the Iraq war, tax cuts for the rich, $12 billion to Halliburton (which allowed them to electrocute 9 American boys in their SHOWERS!), and untold millions to the pharmaceutical companies by giving them Medicare Part D, the most expensive and perhaps least effective government program in history.
We don’t know how much the pharmaceutical companies got on Medicare Part D; some say $26 billion. But Billy Tauzin who saw to it that they did get huge business without negotiating prices…Billy got a $2 million a year contract with the people he was supposed to be keeping an eye on. It turned out that Billy was keeping an eye “out” for an even better deal for Billy, better even than those that Billy usually got. Billy is wealthy and your elderly relatives are cutting pills in half to make sure they last through the month.
That is the kind of “concern” for “choice” that your current Neocon Republican legislators have packed into those 400 amendments designed to stall any health care legislation that would help the Middle Class. These are “rich white men” who diddle their aides and spend your money to get campaign contributions to make legislation for rich corporations. Rich corporations, by the way, who send your jobs overseas to make more money to give to Neocon Republican Senators who spend their time diddling their aides or trying to set up perverted rendezvous with other homosexuals in Minneapolis airport men’s rooms.
Don’t forget Bumpkin Bush Jr, and Vice President Cheney who showed a map of Iraq in the first energy meeting within days of taking office (a meeting that was classified secret?) and then said we have to go to war with that country. Of course we already had forces in the ares and the authority to bomb at will as well as the authority to shoot down their planes any time we decided that they showed any sign of aggression. These are the Neocon Republicans, who gave every guy who makes at least a million a year, a $43,000 rebate on his taxes for that million and every million thereafter. The average American got $600. But the average American also got an additional $5 trillion in debt too. Which means that we have a “problem” with Social Security. What?
Social Security has had a surplus since 1984, which is the good news. The bad news is that every year but maybe one since 1984, your Neocon Republican Congress and Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton (though he came close to balancing the budget and putting some of your money back into Social Security) and Bushy Jr. spent it ALL! But their very wealthy pals got that $43,000 extra per million dollars of earned income from their oil wells or their health insurance companies, or from hospital groups, like that of Rick Scott. His hospital company cheated the government out of so much money that they were fined a billion dollars. How badly do you have to cheat the government before they will fine you a billion dollars? A lot!
You spend money on health care, one way or another. With a public option you will have the choice to spend the money just the way you do now…same doctor, same clinics, hospitals, etc. But it will cost less money and it will be guaranteed. So why do they say it will cost the government something like $100 billion or maybe even $200 billion the first couple of years? Because you have to set it up and get it going and get people enrolled and get the details out to the medical community and get lines of communication and billing set up.
It will take a little time to get all the 45 million uninsured enrolled and time for the system to absorb all the participants. Eventually, however it is paid for, by premiums, special taxes, sales taxes, or simply eventually the 20% reduction in administrative costs from moving a lot of it to the public sector. It will definitely be less than we are paying now as a country. Individuals will pay less immediately. Even private sector plans should come down relatively quickly. If the private sector does not compete, you will go to the public option and have the same doctors, the same hospitals that you do on the private sector insurance…only you will pay less for the same or better service. Simple.
You need to tell your Congress person that you want this option. You want to have it positvely, absolutely. You need to have it as a backup even if you decide that your current health care plan is really good, as a lot of ours are. Even the best private plans, remember, are there to make money for the stockholders, as they should. But you need protection too. You need a plan you can count on as a back-up and that is why you need the public option in this legislation.