Who would have ever thought Healthcare reform would be the catalyst to ignite a firestorm like the one that is now raging across our country. Certainly not the Democrats who have spent more time back peddling this week then the whole Egyptian army did in its numerous wars with Israel. Even though some Republicans are happily shouting as loud as they can, “I told you so”, they had no real clue either. By trying to force HR 3200 down our throats, the administration unwittingly opened Pandora’s Box. Decades of frustration and anger over issues that have nothing to do with healthcare came pouring out. The people are speaking loud and clear and miraculously somebody seems to be listening. AARP has begun serious damage control and retracted its support from The Presidents Healthcare Plan. Rumors have it that close to half a million of their subscribers cancelled their membership because of AARP’s earlier support of the bill. In an attempt to deflect some of the anger away from the administration and towards the Healthcare Industry, the Healthcare Reform Bill is now being called the Health Insurance Reform Bill. While it is obvious someone is listening, it is equally obvious from the confused looks on our representative’s faces at town hall meetings, that they are still not getting it.
Lately several representatives were asked if this Healthcare Reform Bill was so good for the American people would they join it too. The answer to a man (or woman) was, “Uhhh. I’ll get back to you.” The reason for the hesitation is Congress has the Rolls Royce of all medical plans and only the president has a better one. The federal plan includes the legislator and his family and covers everything from brain surgery to a hang nail. Best Hospitals, best doctors, state of the art equipment; anytime, anywhere. Do you know what this coverage costs: Between $35.00 and $100.00 a month. Do you know what we would get for that? “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”
But let us take this one step further. The standard salary for our representatives is $174,000 per year. The speaker makes $223,500, the majority and minority leaders make $193,400. That is just salary. To list all the perks they receive would take several pages so let us just say they pretty much equal the base salary. This does not include travel expenses which is a whole other section. Now, when a representative retires or is voted out of office he retires with his healthcare intact and at least a $15,000 a month pension…FOR LIFE. Most retire with at least twice to three times that much; sweet deal huh? Is it any wonder they spend so much money to stay in office? Is it any wonder that three quarters of our representatives are millionaires? Is it any wonder that when asked if they would be willing to join in the public’s healthcare plan they stutter and side step the question? Is it any wonder the American people are angry?
Non violent dissent in a democratic society is a good thing. It keeps the government honest and reminds them who actually hold the nations power. It also, for better or worse, allows our government to read the pulse of their constituents. This public outcry against the Healthcare Reform Bill…Health Insurance Reform Bill…whatever it is called today, is a good and healthy expression of democracy at its best. This is what America is all about…open dialogue among its citizens and government. Sure screaming matches occur but that just indicates the passion and desire of our citizens to be heard. And in the end, we will be heard either at Town Hall meetings or at the ballot box. It will be our representative’s choice as to where the showdown occurs. They have unwittingly released “The dogs of war” on themselves. The only question left is will they listen and understand all the barking or swat them on the nose with a newspaper.
I cannot in good conscience end this article here. Earlier in the week a section of the government’s website whitehouse.com was brought to my attention. I went there and this was what I found…
“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
So now it appears our government is adopting Soviet cold war tactics when dealing with its citizens. While stating my opinions on several blogs numerous misguided and mentally challenged individual actually threatened to turn me over to “flag”. Little did they know I had already turned myself in with the following email:
“When I was told of this link my first reaction was disbelief. My country was asking Americans to turn other Americans in for posting opinions different than the current administrations. My disbelief turned to horror when I actually went to this site. It’s a sad day for democracy and even a sadder day for the present administration. If spreading unsubstantiated rumors and lies were a crime all the politicians on Capitol Hill would be in jail. When did it become acceptable for this government to resort to Russian style tactics to suppress the right of free speech? How dare you trample on our liberties this way? How dare you drag through the mud the memories of every man, woman and child who gave their lives in the name of liberty. It is not those who disagree with the government that need to be singled out and brought to everyone’s attention but those who, under the guise of patriotism, try to suppress it. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Said by a great American. It’s obvious all of you on Capitol Hill have forgotten what that means.”
Everyone needs to go to this link and express their outrage that any American administration would have the gall to do this. Besides being embarrassing it’s unpatriotic, undemocratic and thoroughly un-American.
© 2009 By Ira Schwartz