Friday, June 29, 2012

Perplexed, You Bet!

To say that I am perplexed is an gross understatement, I am also confused, mystified, puzzled, befuddled, stupefied, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, stunned, disconcerted, and completely at a loss to explain the behavior of Republicans when it comes to the subject of health care. From the recent Supreme Court decision upholding what has become known as “Obamacare, if you listen to conservatives, you would think the end of the world had come, the skies were falling, Supreme Court Justice Roberts was the devil incarnate, we should embark on armed rebellion, Progressives must have captured his wife and children and threatened to kill them of he did not vote for Obama, the constitution itself has been destroyed, floods and pestilence will destroy the earth, we are all doomed to have to pay another penny for health care, and this is the worst thing to have happened since the Dred Scott decision (excepting, of course, Citizens United, the worst Supreme Court decision ever).

Come on Republicans, get a grip on yourselves, this is health care we are talking about. So what’s wrong with health care? What’s wrong with trying to fix our obviously dysfunctional health care system? What’s wrong with universal health care? What’s wrong with wanting to have a citizen population that enjoys good health? Why would anyone want millions and millions of citizens to not have decent health care? Is it really in the national interest to have a population of sick, obese, and otherwise handicapped citizens? What do you gain by not having health care for all? If it is just saving money Republicans want why not just change the laws and allow emergency care facilities to just refuse to treat anyone, let them die, right there, on the sidewalks?

As Republican objections to Obamacare admittedly offer nothing to replace it, one can only conclude it is not just Obamacare they object to, but health care in general. If not, why are they unconcerned with having a plan of their own? I guess maybe they think our current health care system is sufficient, in that if you can afford it, you can have it. Indeed, at least one of their candidates for President has indicated that if you don’t have it you deserve to die (similar to another candidate who announced that if you don’t work you shouldn’t eat). Their major objection seems to be their fear of socialism, a concept with which they are apparently totally unfamiliar, except to believe it is something worse than death. But why should we not have universal health care? Who cares what kind of “ism” it is, or is not. Universal health care is universal health care wherever found. Universal health care is “good.” All industrialized nations offer their citizens universal care, the U.S. is the lone exception. So Obamacare is not perfect, why not except it and try to make it better? So Canadian or European health care is not perfect, why not adopt it and try to make it better? The answer seems to be obvious, Republicans do not care about health care for others, they have it themselves and they do not think everyone else should have it as it might cost too much. Actually, universal health care under a single payer plan would be far less expensive than what we have now, but this wouldn’t much affect them, and insurance companies would no longer be able to make their obscene profits on misery and death as they presently do.

Trying to comprehend Republican attitudes towards the vital subject of health care has led me to believe that (1) they are basically unconcerned with the terror that ordinary citizens feel about having to lose everything they have and go bankrupt if unfortunate enough to have a serious health problem in the family, (2) much of their objection to Obamacare is precisely because it is Obamacare rather than their own ideas on the subject (the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea and Romneycare was the model for Obamacare {although he dare not admit it}, and (3) Republican ideas about health care are something you would ordinarily associate with ghouls, goblins, ghosts, and other assorted evil spirits rather than with human beings.

Cynics will say Roberts voted the way he did because he was concerned about the reputation of the Court because of too many 5-4 decisions. Doubtful, you note that this was itself a 5-4 decision. Some might say he was trying to make up for Citizens United, a terrible decision he must recognize was an unmitigated disaster. Maybe he just did what he believed was the right thing to do. Who knows, but much to his credit he did do the right thing in this particular case.

Rachel Maddow has brought a wonderful breath of fresh air into what was otherwise a stagnant desert of hot air, I hope she will never let up on the “bullshitery” that threatens to engulf us on a daily basis. And if she had anything to do with bringing us Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Hayes, and others, I say “good on ya.”

“Old news” has to be an oxymoron.


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