As a Jew, it is a sad day. It is sadder still to be an American.
Just now, Rahm Emanuel caved to Joe Lieberman on health care reform. Now both of them will declare victory, applying their own spin to each of their positions. The fact is that all Americans are the big losers. How ironic that these two deeply pious Jews who identify themselves by their religious fervor, pride themselves on their dedication to a caring Diety, and according to their religious teachings, supposedly encompass compassion for others and a sense of working for the greater good, have made this all-important battle for basic human rights into a pissing contest between just them.
By doing so they gave away any semblance of health care reform. Without a public option or an expansion of Medicare, there will be no viable competition for the private insurers. Forget about affordable insurance and cost containment. Even worse, these for-profit businesses will be the gatekeepers and administrators of their own policies. Doing away with pre-existing conditions and denial of coverage, even though mandated by legislative decree, will be meaningless because the insurance industry will be its own policeman. Talk about the ultimate conflict of interest.
President Obama calls our democracy complicated and messy. Yes, how true, but this is not an acceptable excuse for ignoring the help our people need. Emanuel was clearly working on instructions from his boss and as much as the President wants a health plan to pass, it becomes moot if all the salient points are traded away just for the sake of passing something, anything.
Yes indeed: a sad day for Americans. Our elected and appointed officials have traded us all down the river so that each side can claim personal victory. Funny thing about these two pious men, Lieberman and Emanuel: they are not trading away their basic rights of health care. Is this the biggest crock of hubris and hypocrisy?
For President Obama to abide this auction of Americans’ rights is tantamount to a total reversal of all that he has said he represents. Actions speak louder that words, Mr. President. For you to allow one man, Joe Lieberman, to hijack a national health policy for 250 million people is unforgivable. Additionally, over 70% of the American population favor the public option. Are our elected officials and our President really working for us, or only for themselves? This phony, watered-down health proposal is a sad defeat for you, Mr. President, and sadder still, for the people who believed in you, trusted you and elected you. A totally empty “victory”.