BY WILLIAM C. HENRY This just in: Realizing that their Presidential candidate in fact championed government mandated health insurance during a previous incarnation, and recognizing that they have no worthwhile ideas of their own regarding national healthcare policy, the Republican party has decided to declare a moratorium on illness. In fact, so sure are they of the long term benefits and effectiveness of such a moratorium, they are now setting their sites on dismantling all vestiges of ObamaCare and anything else for that matter that smacks of non-preferential access to healthcare. Too cynical? Too sarcastic? I think not. Blame this administration and the Democrats in Congress for their woefully negligent job of explaining the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) thoroughly and completely, but their incompetence in that area pales in comparison to the outright lies and senseless invective that have been hurled at them by an opposition with zero apparent alternatives of their own.
Of course ObamaCare isn’t the be-all and end-all solution to America’s healthcare plight, but I assure you it’s a damned sight closer to it than any of the fellows on the other side of the isle appear willing or able to offer up. Incidentally, doing nothing other than spouting simplistic negative criticism of the other guy’s bold actions is a dead giveaway of not having a clue as to what to do yourself. With that in mind, but remaining ever the optimist (and pigs will learn to fly), I feel compelled to ask the Right Wing the following: What the hell do you propose be done about the situation? For starters how about telling us precisely what it is you suggest we do about the 40 million Americans who simply can’t afford the cost of health insurance. Push them off a cliff? Provide free coca leaf chews to ward off the pain? Or simply continue to have them overwhelm emergency rooms until the last one is forced to close its doors?
And then there’s that pesky little matter of healthcare costs rising at double the rate of inflation with no end in sight. That 6% annual increase is also double the most optimistic annual wage increase projections for even the most fortunate among us. And, by the way anti-ObamaCare-ites, you might want to take special note of the fact that that 6% figure does not apply to the rate of climb for government provided healthcare. Those costs are rising about 3% annually. Private health insurance costs, however, — costs for those businesses and private individuals who, God knows how, apparently still can afford health insurance — are rising nearly 8% annually! And it’s that little factoid in particular that ought to be raising the heart rates of many of you hands-off-our-healthcare deficit hawks, because unless that rapidly spreading infirmity is admitted to intensive care soon, your prognosis will be dipping into the terminal zone as well. Trust me, the healthcare cost epidemic is a decidedly non-partisan contagion. Got ideas?
Well, without so much as a simplistic alternative from the Right to rebut, permit me to direct a few suggestions of my own to the American people: First, stop allowing yourselves to be continually buffaloed by an archaic, unconscionably wasteful, and inherently corrupt military/industrial behemoth that’s been stealing you blind for over fifty years. Yeah, I know I’ve ranted about this for ages, but I also vowed to continue doing so ’till I croaked. 1000+ military bases overseas (even the Pentagon still doesn’t know for sure how many we’ve actually got, nobody does!), plus WE’RE STILL SPENDING MORE ON DEFENSE THAN THE NEXT 15 NATIONS COMBINED! Imagine if we spent “only” three times as much as our next nearest imagined adversary (it’s China and we’re currently spending more than 6 times as much as they are) how many billions upon billions of dollars could be freed up to protect every American from the financial devastation of catastrophic illness, let alone pay for immensely beneficial everyday wellness and prevention programs for everyone. Gullibility isn’t mandatory.
Second, if you’re eligible and not registered to vote, get off your sofas and go do so, now! And, if you don’t get registered and/or you don’t bother to vote, shut up afterwards! You had your chance and you blew it. It takes maybe a total of one hour out of one or two days out of 365 to exercise your most solemn duty and obligation as an American citizen. And, yeah, state and local elections are just as important — maybe even more so. And you need to get informed. That’s part of the deal. If you don’t care enough to learn about and put voice to how you want your tax money spent when you have the chance, you have little right to bitch about it later. When it comes to elections, Americans, for the most part, get pretty much what they deserve. You want change? Then get out rain or shine and make your feelings known in the voting booth. Yes, folks, we can afford comprehensive government-mandated health insurance, even the single-payer universal kind. It’s simply a matter of getting our priorities straight.
I want to close by offering up a classic example of the hypocrisy, disingenuousness, and sometimes even blatant criminality of Republican party partisans when it comes to the healthcare dilemma. It’s well worth noting that from the get go one of President Obama’s most vehement and vocal opponents on government mandated health insurance has been none other than America’s all-time leading Medicare fraud artist, AKA the governor of the great state of Florida, the truly dishonorable Mr. Rick Scott. Good old American plutocracy working like a well-oiled machine! Ya gotta love it! Incidentally, Mitt, just why do you maintain those secret offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
2021 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
15, 687 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan
0 = The number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.