I stand with Howard Dean on the health care issue: the fight must continue. We must fight fallacy with fact and broken promises with accountability. Americans, especially the Democratic ones, are very angry at their elected officials for negotiating their health care rights right out the window. The two largest unions, the AFL-CIO and SEIU, are livid at our President for his abstinence from his strong campaign promises and hot under the collar at our Congressmen for turning their backs on their promises for working people, even after these two unions spent millions of dollars in advertising in support for the Democrats’ reform proposals. Lies and deception produce some ugly results. You thought democracy was messy. Just wait: the country’s response to our supposed “democracy” can get a hell of a lot more messier.
Keith Olbermann said it perfectly in his little speech:
Olbermann’s use of the term “cartel” is apt for describing the role ascribed to the private insurers by our President’s silent nod of approval and Congress’s sacrificing the real reform in the most recent incarnation of health care reform. It is stunningly ironic that every individual American who does not buy coverage will face a hefty fine for “going naked”. However, since the private insurers will be their own policemen, who will monitor them for their lack of adherence to the new rules? I guarantee you that the fines imposed on Americans who refuse to buy a product offered by a monopoly with premiums having no cost controls will clearly outpace the fines imposed on the for-profit health cartel. The for-profit insurers must cover all pre-existing conditions, but they will still be allowed to increase premiums hundreds of times over to cover those conditions, making affordable health coverage, and thus any kind of coverage, a mere fantasy. Then, with no other option available, those Americans will also be fined for opting out of any insurance. The taxpayer, the voter, are still at the mercy of private corporations. How is this reform different from what we already have?
I received an email from Senator John Kerry today requesting a donation in support of global climate control. Is he out of his mind? His timing could not have been worse. The text of the letter follows, and is subtitled “Fight Back For The Truth”:
I took a quick break from the Senate debate over health care to spend a day at the Global Climate Change meetings in Copenhagen. It was worth the jet lag to help convey the message that the United States is back in the game and ready to act.
And yet, I see the news back home, and there’s still this ridiculous debate over the reality of climate change.
Talk about the tale of two cities: Copenhagen vs. Washington, DC.
In Copenhagen, island nations plead with the world to act before their homes are destroyed by rising sea levels, developing nations talk about their farms turning into deserts because of a changing climate, and scientists give their latest assessments of the incalculable damage that awaits us if we don’t act. But in Washington, DC the forces of the status quo are putting enormous resources into warping the conversation, pushing polluter-funded discredited junk science and faux controversies.
It’s a little preview of the bare knuckled debate we’ll have this spring 2010 when the Senate debates the issue. And it’s time to fight back with everything we’ve got. That’s why today, I’m launching TruthFightsBack to help give everyone a voice to fight back against the distortions and lies, but it won’t work without you.
It was no small irony that this week as I finished my speech for Copenhagen, spoke by phone with Al Gore, and checked in with the Obama Administration officials in Copenhagen, over on my tv screen I could see more ads paid for by Big Oil, using scare tactics to try to stop reform. They’re using all the usual tricks – the ad I saw made outlandish claims about gas prices, I’ve seen others lie about taxes (the legislation I introduced doesn’t raise taxes) or the deficit (it won’t add a penny to the deficit, either).
And on the science, there’s distortion after distortion — from bizarre theories about medieval warming, to heat in the troposphere. Literally anything they can think of to try to distract people, create confusion about the science, and delay action.
TruthFightsBack can cut through all of that, give you the truth and the tools to spread it.
We need you to report the distortions you hear, fight back with the truth, and drown out the distortions. And we need your help to put the resources behind it that it needs to succeed. Because – believe me – if you don’t put resources behind the truth, the lies can win.
Please give what you can to help.
Thanks for all your help.
Sincerely, John Kerry
Being the polite person that I am, here is my email back to him in response:
I just received an email from you requesting a donation to “fight back for the truth” to benefit climate control.
Is the “truth” you are talking about the same “truth” we have seen exemplified by our Democratic President and Congressmen on the health reform issue? How long can our elected officials squeeze their electorate and then completely ignore our needs and why we voted for them in the first place?
The American taxpayers are not only unable to afford their own decent health coverage, but they are also paying for the gem of a policy each and every elected official receives.
When I get the same health care access and delivery that you get, at the same price, then you can get back to me on any sort of donation to one of your “causes”.
Unless you are willing to address my specific issues, do not respond with one of your canned letters. I am too busy trying to earn a living to pay for my health care and the ongoing annual premium increases of over 30%.
Finally, such a sensible person wrote a blog to TPM accusing the furious American public of being cop-outs. He wrote that the process we are now going through is just “politics as usual” and that it is an acceptable form of government. Man, did this writer ever get it wrong:
This author accepts the “it’s just politics” salvo as a valid excuse for ignoring the needs of our population while fulfilling the hedonistic goals of each politician. He calls our reaction, our outrage and anger, perhaps refusing to vote, perhaps total disillusionment, as a cop-out. The call for pragmatism is a sham in accepting the status quo. The only cop-out is the squeeze play the President and Congress are conducting on the electorate.
For every one American who chooses not to fight for a fair piece of legislation, there is at least another one who is fighting the good fight. Watch newbie Senator Al Franken shut down Joe Lieberman in the Senate. Even though this oh-so-cordial repartee was more symbolic that effective, I like the retaliatory message Franken is sending, which magnifies the absurd shenanigans of Lieberman’s recent behavior:
So I stand with Howard Dean. I will continue to hammer and hammer away at our elected officials who are selling me down the river, from the empty notions, outright lies, of covering all pre-existing conditions to premium cost controls to not violating my gender rights to denying my children the same health benefits that they get to decent, affordable, timely and equal care.
Please go back to my post of December 16, 2009, “Nothing Equal or Right About It”, to gain more insight on these issues from the thought-inspiring comments left by some readers: