Wednesday, March 3, 2010
We can't all get along
As President Obama pushes forward with some type of health care reform, most Americans cannot be blamed for not knowing what it all entails.
But Republicans can be blamed for having no interest in any bipartisanship, whatsoever. To the GOP's base, talking to, let alone compromising with, Democrats is worthy of being voted out of office. (Note that when Mike Huckabee interviewed Michelle Obama about her anti-obesity campaign, Huckabee said callers were irate. "They wanted me to hit her," he said.)
The Democrats have ceded many of the Republicans demands on health care reform. Obama is considering more concessions. There is no public option, no single payer and no banning of for-profit insurance companies. Those elements would be true reform, because we have a health insurance crisis in this country.
Still, outlawing insurance companies' practices of canceling policies or rejecting applicants on pre-existing conditions have been long overdue and are welcome.
A private, for-profit insurer has 30 percent overhead, with much of that in bonuses to executives based on how much coverage was denied. Medicare's overhead is 3 percent. The math is simple. A government run health plan is more efficient than what the private sector offers. And yes, teabaggers, Medicare and Medicaid are government-run health care programs.
Republicans don't care about health care. They just don't want Obama to pass any meaningful legislation, no matter what it is.
So, Obama and the Democrats will use reconciliation, as the Republicans have done on a number of occasions, to pass health care reform. Some, including the hysterical Wall Street Journal's editorial page, have called reconciliation by Obama an abuse of power. Please. Shove it.
And Democrats, shove this health care reform down the throats of congressional Republicans. Some elephants may even need their government health coverage to dislodge the bill from their throats. Wouldn't that be ironic. Beautiful, too.