The Preamble to the US Constitution states, among other things, that the people of the United States set up the Constitution in order to "promote the General Welfare."
If that isn't a ringing endorsement for the idea of health care reform, I'm not sure what is.
Now, to be certain, the health care reform bill before the Congress - either version - isn't perfect. It's more insurance reform than any attempt to create an actual health care plan along the lines of, say, Australia/Costa Rica/Germany/Canada/etc. But with insurance companies causing a lot of the ruckus with our health care system it's at least a start.
That doesn't sit well with Certain Serious People - and you can tell they're Serious because they have The Serious Look on their faces.
The Look that says "We're so sorry that you had to see this."
Surprisingly, most of the people having the Serious Look regarding health care reform are Republicans. Imagine that. These wonderful conservatives, who currently enjoy majorities in the Congress (at least, if you listen to Fox News they do) are complaining that the Nasty Evil (EVIL!) Democrats are trying to "ram" the bill "down our throats."
The bill - in both incarnations - has been hanging fire for months now, so long that the alternatives of reconciliation or 'deem and pass' have been bruited about in order to get the bugger to the President before Easter. 'Deem and pass' - sounds like a small defile in the Old West: "We'll head 'em off at Demon Pass, old geezer."
'Deem and pass' is a perfectly legal maneuver, by the way. It's been used a lot in the past 30 years, and a lot of those times the GOP's been in charge of the process.
Another point you keep hearing is that the USA has the best health care system in the world, extolling the quality of care while at the same time bemoaning the skyrocketing costs and massive disparity between those who have medical care and those who have to haunt emergency rooms. Cognitive dissonance used to be painful - guess you can get used to anything.
So the Party of Screw You (which used to be the Party of No, a/k/a the Republican Party) will not be any help, not that that's a great surprise. The GOP has voted largely en bloc in the negative since Obama was sworn in. Of course, that hasn't stopped Congresscritters (both Seniles and Reprehensibles) from boasting to their constituents about bringing them stimulus money that they voted against. Gotta love that bitter tang of hypocrisy.
In fact, the chief GOP Reprehensible, Rep. John "I'm An Orange Smurf!" Boehner and the top leadership of the Republican caucus managed to stand up on their hind legs and stop masturbating furiously to Sarah Palin / Michelle Bachmann slash fiction long enough to swear that they'll repeal the health care legislation if they regain control of the Congress.
That's why I'm calling the GOP - my Party, by the way - the Party of Screw You. That's what they want to do, you know. Bend you over and screw you, so long as they continue to line their pockets and those of the Upper One Percent of the economy. Rep. Patrick Ryan's GOP budget proposal (sort of a "Contract On America" redux) actually spells that out: if you make less than $20,000 a year, you get a tax break, and if you make more than $200,000 a year you make out like a thief. For those of you in the middle, myself included - we'd better get used to spending lots more on Preparation H.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter (Otter? So THAT'S where he went after Animal House!) has weighed in, saying that his state will sue the Federal Government if the bill passes, and the Mafia Don masquerading as Virginia's Attorney General is also making noises about it. Naturally, guess which Party these fools belong to?
Of course, we've seen this before, with Medicare and with Social Security way back in the 30s. But once people get over the shock of the new (and we iron out the bugs in the bill; like I said earlier, it ain't perfect) things will settle down. According to the CBO, the program actually lowers costs and decreases the deficit.
Which brings me to the death panels, use of which term has reared its misshapen head again this week. The GOP started this crap, as usual - that there'll be a shadowy cabal of faceless bureaucrats who will arbitrarily decide who gets medical care and who doesn't.
News flash, people.
There already are death panels.
But they aren't faceless government bureaucrats.
They're faceless insurance company bureaucrats.
That's why we have to reform the system.
Meet the real Government Death Panel, folks (partial list only):
Senator Mitch McConnell
Senator Lindsay Graham
Senator Ben Nelson (token Democrat)
Senator Jim DeMint
Rep. John Boehner
Rep. Eric Cantor
Rep. Mike Pence
Rep. Michelle Bachmann
Gov. Butch Otter