You would think we were in the middle of an election, judging by the
lying television ads attacking Earl Pomeroy for his vote in favor of
the House bill on so-called health care "reform." The ads are
probably being run by front organizations funded by the health
insurance industry, which is fearful of being thrown off its gravy
The ads run by The 60 Plus Association make
outlandish statements to scare people. The lying ads claim that care
will be rationed, that government will choose your doctor and that
Medicare benefits will be cut. FactCheck.org says all these
statements are false.
The Associated Press reports that small businesses
and middle class families will pay no new taxes. Only one percent of
the nation's richest, those making more than $500,000, would pay any
Gullible people will believe these lying ads.
Don't be one of them.
The attack ads on TV are always, without
exception, lies and distortions. Don't pay any attention to them.
The Senate took a vote Saturday night which will
allow debate to go forward on health care reform. The vote was 60 to
39 with all Democrats in favor of debating the issue and all
Republicans opposed to letting the issue be debated and voted on.
So now the Senate will pass a health care reform
bill. It's hard to say what the final bill will look like. After it
passes, a conference committee will try to put the House bill and
the Senate bill into one bill that both houses will have to pass
There's a lot of discussion on the so-called
public option, a government-run insurance company that would provide
competition to the insurance companies. Conservatives are dead set
against any such organization being formed.
Writing in the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof
points out how shortsighted and silly the conservatives are. Back in
the 1930's conservatives stormed that Social Security was a
socialist program that would compete with private insurers and add
to Americans' tax burden so as to kill jobs.
Republican Rep. Daniel Reed of New York predicted
that with Social Security Americans would come to feel "the lash of
Sen. Daniel Hastings, a Delaware Republican,
declared that Social Security would "end the progress of a great
Rep. John Taber, a Republican from New York said
of Social Security:
"Never in the history of the world has any measure
been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business
recovery, to enslave workers."
Fortunately, the Party of No lost that fight when
President Roosevelt managed to get Social Security instituted into
the fabric of America.
When Medicare was being debated in the 1960s
critics claimed that health care reform (Medicare) is "a cruel hoax
and a delusion." Ads in 100 newspapers thundered that reform would
mean "The beginning of socialized medicine."
The Wall Street Journal's editorial page predicted
that the legislation would lead to "deteriorating service." Business
groups warned that Washington bureaucrats will invade "the privacy
of the examination room" and that we are on the road to rationed
care and that patients will lose the "freedom to choose their own
Conservatives bitterly denounced Medicare as
socialism, as a plan for bureaucrats to make medical decisions, as a
means to ration health care.
Such nonsense! Fortunately the Party of No was
again defeated in its efforts and Medicare became a part of the
The conservatives were wrong 70 years ago and they
were wrong 50 years ago. They are wrong about the health care reform
we so desperately need today.
I don't know if the bill which finally gets to
President Obama's desk is what we need, but at least it will be a
start. It may have to be modified as we go along. After all, Social
Security has been modified several times, most recently in the 1980s
when President Reagan presided over an increase in the Social
Security tax and increasing the ages at which full Social Security
benefits will be granted. This will probably have to happen again.
The public option would provide competition for
the insurance companies. Boy are they against that! But in my
opinion, a health care reform bill without the public option merely
validates the ticket for the health insurance companies to continue
riding on the gravy train.
If the government isn't going to provide the
competition, who is? The health insurance companies? Don't make me
laugh! The government is the ONLY entity that can possibly bring
Conservatives whine that government involvement in
the health insurance business guarantees the demise of the insurance
Really? Has the US Postal Service put FedEx and
UPS out of business?
They also claim that government will make a mess
of the health care system. They can't have it both ways. Either the
government will be successful or it will not be successful. It can't
make a mess out of providing health care benefits and still put the
insurance companies out of business.
Actually, putting the health insurance companies
out of business would be a good thing. The health insurance
companies don't provide any health care whatsoever. They are merely
middlemen inserting themselves between patients and doctors for the
purpose of extracting profits. The health insurance industry profits
and outrageous compensation for its executives are part of the total
health care bill we're all paying. We don't need them.
We don't need 2,000 page health care reform bills,
either. But apparently that's what we're going to get. A one page
bill putting everyone in the nation under Medicare would do the