The problem with polls is that they often do not tell you reasons. They tabulate and give you numbers. But you must understand what the numbers mean. President Obama and most of the progressive and liberal citizens of this country are happy to be identified with health care reform. Unlike Republicans, who offered a small tax break, health savings accounts that would pay for a couple of doctor’s visits, and a “promise” to talk to health care insurance companies to, maybe, probably, possibly, maybe get health care costs down. Yeah, sure. And I’ve got some land in the 9th Ward of New Orleans that Bush promises to…oh…oops…what’s that? He left office without contacting me?
Here’s how you get health care reform…lets call it Obamacare. You get elected with enough votes so that the House puts forth a very strong bill. You elect enough Senators and scare another one into a 60 seat majority. Then you let three other Senators know that if they don’t support health care, any slim possibility that they might be re-elected just went out the window. Now you’ve got 63 and even if all 63 don’t vote with you, you say…too important…we go with reconciliation. It can be done. It will be done. The legislation will pass. Why would the Democrats be so dogmatic? I guess the question is: why would the Republicans be so obstructive, if it is not for the campaign money?
When the leader of the minority in the House says, before seeing legislation, that the Republicans will not support it, and then they all–100% do not support it—that tells you that you are dealing with obstructionists. When a Senator says in open session on the floor of the Senate that his colleagues should not vote for health care having nothing to do with the bill, but because it will “break” the President and destroy his programs for the People, that is obstructionist. But it is also incredibly callous, considering that many people are counting on the stimulus, the health care bill and other legislation, to pay bills, to plan for the future. In a time like this, it shows the utmost neglect of responsibility. The Neocon Republicans proved that they don’t care, so why involve them at all?
Will it cost a trillion dollars as the very bright but empathetically challenged Mr. Krauthammer suggests? Maybe. So we have to take back from the millionaires…annual millionaires we are talking about now…about nine grand of that roughly thirty grand a year that George Bush and Dick Cheney gave to them in 2003. So they’ve made, if they are only a one-million-a-year millionaire, about a hundred and fifty grand so far. The tax break doesn’t expire until next year, so they will get another thirty grand. So instead of paying something like $220,000 in taxes and keeping $780,000, they will now keep only $771,000. Per million.
Before you say: “ooh, poor baby…” remember that this $220,000 in taxes every year is normally not paid by somebody sitting in a lounge chair. It is someone who, normally, either risked everything at some point, or worked and maybe still works his or her head off 7 days a week. Or knocked himself out to get grades and money to get through med school, spent years in residency for almost no money and spent 20 years building a high quality specialty that is valuable enough that he makes a million a year…again usually working 80 hours a week. And remember that the tax that those people pay in one year, just statistically, is greater than the taxes paid by some middle class workers in their entire lives. So, we owe high achievers a debt of gratitude, particularly those who have the public consciousness to care what happens to their fellow citizens. And there are a lot of those people in the medical profession…most of them.
So, the expiring Bush high-end tax cuts are one way this will be paid for. Just the top bracket will pay for half of the new costs…which are basically start-up costs. Eventually, our $6,000 per year costs, what we pay right now, will go down to $3,000 as everyone is in the system, as the doctors take control of the system and as all the technological efficiencies are worked into the system. So, will we be paid back the $1 trillion? No. We’ll spend it in order to get to where all the other civilized and economically advantaged countries in the world are already. But after that, we will have the best, absolutely, unquestionably best health care system in the world. We have the advantage of learning from every other country that now looks at us and says: “What?” When Taiwan was developing its universal health care system, they did not come to the U.S., their sort-of patron, to review our health care. Why not? The head physician of the group who traveled the world studying systems, simply said, “Well, actually, the U.S. does not have what we would consider a system.”
The rest of the money could come from a roughly 7% reduction in military spending. Very small taxes on alcohol and soft drinks or burgers…all the good stuff. It isn’t that we can’t find easy ways to pay for it. The problem is two-fold. The first is simply which things do we choose. And the second is which ones will the Republicans use and demagogue as a phony issue to delay the passage of the legislation. You have to understand that the Republicans are the spear-carriers for the health insurance lobby. They will not support anything. They do not want any change in the status quo, no matter what they say. What can they say? “No. We’re sorry but our friends in the American Hospital Association, in the America’s Health Insurance Plans group or in the pharmaceutical industry don’t want any changes and of course we get a very large amount of money from them, so we cannot help you, our constituents.”
Gingrich and his new group, sponsored, by the way, by all the big medical power groups that do not want change…so that should tell you something…is on the stump again. That should tell you even more. He wants to come in and once again, as he did in 1993, kill heath care and thereby also short-circuit the Democratic popularity.
He starts by lying about what the American Medical Association wants, what the Mayo Clinic wants, and his part in preventing Americans from getting health care when it was just Clinton versus Gingrich and Hillary lost. So did the American people. What happened to those cost reductions that we would get from HMOs, Newt?
Costs have doubled since Newt kept us out of health care in the 90s and in some places health insurance will go up over 20% this year even in a deflated economy. Newt mentions that he helped people who were laid off get health care. Yes. It’s called COBRA and it says that if your employer was paying $8,000 and you were paying $8,000 you now only pay $16,000 a year. After you’ve just been laid off. That’s what Newt did for you. His logic would be that it is better than nothing at all. Which means that if you are already sick, you can’t get another health care program, so this is better than dying. We all owe Newt a vote of thanks for letting literally tens of thousands a month go broke instead of dying. What is his current brilliant plan? Health care savings accounts. Americans don’t even have personal savings, let alone a health care savings account. The truth: He has no plan. He’s an obstructionist. Period.
Look at the people who support Obamacare and those who are against it. If you would trust your children’s health care to the drug addicted pedophile, Rush Limbaugh, then don’t support Obamacare. If you would entrust your life and savings and the concern for your family to a man like Bernie Sanders who always puts the American citizen first, then support Obamacare. In the long run, it’s about: whom do you trust. Our trust goes to President Obama.