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The Health Care Reform Battle and the Neocon Alternatives


On Saturday, November 7, 2009, the members in the House of Representatives of the Neoconservative Obstructionist Party spent an entire day doing their best to obstruct and prevent legislation. But the Affordable Health Care for America Act passed by 220 to 215.

It was bi-partisan. One Republican voted with the Democrats. And 39 petty, cowardly Democrats crawled on their bellies over to the Neocon Obstructionist side, hoping to save their miserable, pathetic careers…if they can be called that….from the handbag full of tea party protesters who have them frightened silly.

The Neocon Obstructionists spent hour after hour repeating the same, tired old lies. Why lies and not arguments? But these are not legitimate arguments, simply false statements. Rather than being constructive, they are obstructive.

They tried to equate the current unemployment rate with the new legislation. They did so despite the fact that they know that the effect of HR 3962 will not interfere with employment of any workers in the U.S. but will, in fact, enable workers to have health insurance anywhere in the country.

(This is happening all over by the Neocon Obstructionists. The Republicans have simply walked out of the Senate Energy Committee. They apparently want to stall the process until they can have a bill that has more drilling and more nuclear power, but the American people will not stand for it.) .

The next claim that the Neocons constantly make is that Medicare quality will go down and costs will go up. This is of course not true. The fact is that Medicare quality will improve and costs will be less overall for senior citizens. The whole point of health care reform is to reduce costs. The only reason for undertaking health care reform was that in the last several years the American People have said that they are not going to take it any longer. No more double-digit increases in private health insurance premiums, with apparently much larger increases due next year. No more denied care. No more canceled plans. No more failure to pay legitimate claims.

Many people say that the Republicans voted in a bloc many years ago when Medicare was established. But we need not turn back the clock 40 or 50 years. The Neocon Obstructionists voted against the SCHIPS program in recent years, and even after it was passed, voted against its renewal. As a reminder, SCHIPS was designed to bring some kind of basic health care services to children of poor working families who could not afford today’s high health insurance premiums.

Consequently, it becomes less than believable that the Neocon Obstructionists are concerned about higher premiums for our citizens when we know that they are taking tens of millions of dollars from the health insurance industry for attempting to short circuit the new health care reforms. It is the Neocons who sent out the instructions to Fox News and to the Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks on what to say and how to attack health care legislation with the tea parties. Knowing that health care reform was very popular, they began a program of broad generalizations. Not against health care of course, but rants about taxes (we pay the lowest in the world.) And freedom (ten different versions of “loss of freedoms” having to do with abortion and prayer in school and gay-marriage—all “freedoms” they want by denying others their rights.) And whatever combination of racism and fears of big government they could come up with, which led to signs of President Obama with a Hitler mustache, calling him a “Dictator.”

They are so concerned about huge deficits suddenly, but they weren’t concerned about them when George W. Bush rolled up another $5 trillion in debt. But suddenly, after a failed administration, one that did nothing about health care for 8 years and 25 years before that, suddenly now the Neocons and their Tea Bagger followers are concerned about debt. They object to health care reform by coming to town halls and complaining about all of the lies that they are told, but none of the real measures that are in the plan.

They follow a group of Neocon leaders who have, since Ronald Reagan was President, believed in de-regulating the mortgage and the finance and the banking and the health care industries all of which has created the real frustration of that group of tea baggers who really are protesting and not simply earning a paycheck.

It seems strange to think that people would protest an administration that has been in power for less than a year, has spent $800 million to stimulate an economy ruined by the lack of interest of the previous administration. The Bush Administration had the power to start two wars, cut taxes by huge amounts for the wealthy, look the other way while Wall Street looted the mortgage business, and cost these very same tea baggers years and years of reduced income and assets, or even loss of a job. But none of these mob members even mentions the names of Dick Cheney or George Bush or John Boehner. They don’t want reform. They merely want to find any excuse to vent racist attitudes.

The first constant drumbeat of the Neocons is that this is a national takeover of health care. Of course, that is not true, nor is it even close. It is meaningless in a society where 80% of health care delivery is controlled by private health insurance firms, with no legislation even contemplated to change that situation.

That 80% of people who have health insurance now will keep it or if they don’t like it, they will look into a different private health insurance. While it is true that in some cases, where people do not have insurance, public backed health insurance programs will be available, this is hardly a “government takeover of health care.” People on Medicare or in VA will see the same service they have now with a couple of small improvements. Everyone who is happy can stay right where they are. So there is no government takeover of anything.

Here is where the Neocons create the confusion about Medicare. Medicare Advantage is Medicare run by private firms. This was set up by the Bush Administration and it gives health insurance companies an extra 17% to run the programs. There is no reason for it except to create 17% of a LOT of money to go to Bush campaign contributors. That will be gone and people will now have the “new and improved” version of Medicare that everyone else will have. One improvement for everyone is that the “donut hole” that amount of money that senior citizens must pay for prescription drugs will be reduced from $2500 down to only $500 and Medicare will be able to negotiate prices for pharmaceutical drugs so many drugs will even be less expensive.

The Neoconservative Obstructionist program is simple. Make sure that medical liability (now less than 1% of health care costs) insures that individuals who are harmed or killed by medical neglect can collect no more than $250,000. New biological drugs, very expensive and very effective drugs, should be controlled so that pharmaceutical companies and biogenetics companies are protected in their astonishingly high prices for years to come. Finally, make sure that every person must have valid proof of citizenship when showing up to get health insurance. Those are the principles of the Neocon health care program. No public fall back option. No removal of pre-existing condition requirements. No new laws against canceling or denying coverage. Just more programs for the health insurance industry. This is what the Neocons do, what they have always done, since they began, under Ronald Reagan.

The most dangerous words in the world are: “I am a Neoconservative Republican and I am here to give you choice and freedom!” You will have the choice of being lower-middle class or lower-lower class, while the corporate world gets richer. And you will have the freedom to figure out how to pay for health care, just as did a million bankrupt Americans, who at one time thought just as you do now, before their health care savings accounts ran out after the first 30 days and they were denied care by their health insurance provider.

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