Archive for the ‘charles rangel’ tag
If you want to spend an unenlightening and sickening few minutes, go listen to members of the U.S. Congress debate health care reform on C-SPAN, in which Republican and Blue Dog Democrats summon every possible cliché, from freedom to the founders, to try to convince folks that the health care Democrat-sponsored reform bill is bankrupt. That doesn’t mention the dozens and dozens of uncited claims about the bill.
Particularly sickening were comments from Mike Pence of Indiana’s fightin’ 6th, in which he made a peculiar analogy between World War II veterans and those who might vote “Nay” on H.R. 3962. “When freedom hung in the balance, you did freedom’s work,” he said of those potentially in opposition to the bill.
The argument goes that passage of the Democrats’ health care bill will mean a loss of freedom for some in America, claiming that some residents will be forced to take policies whether they want to or not, that the private insurance agency’s freedom to persist unimpeded in denying coverage for those who need it and finally, that some sort of collective freedom will be lost if we go down the road toward “nationalized” medicine, a system in which every single developed and modern country operates under. And, every single modernized country has a higher life expectancy than people in the United States.
Jim McDermott of Washington State’s fightin’ 7th tonight made the simple and salient point that the Republicans would prefer the status quo, in which insurance companies are allowed to run roughshod, as they have for decades and that “most (people) can’t take care of their health care problems on their own.”
And Charles Rangel of New York fightin’ 15th requested that members of the House choose that “morality (would) go beyond party loyalty.”
Regardless, it is expected that the House will get the necessary 218 votes to pass the bill, but it’s not certain whether it will pass the Senate, much less some negotiated final bill to make the president’s desk.
As for my personal thoughts, the Republican plan does not ban the denial of insurance to those with pre-existing conditions, and H.R. 3962 does, and to me, that reason alone is enough to stymie the former approach. Returning to Rangel’s thoughts, the moral necessity of helping those who need it most should supercede party lines. I’ve written at length on this topic, so I haven’t put a full, rhetorical thrust behind this post. I’ve done that already here and elsewhere, but I want to include one of the more colorful remarks from George Miller from California, who had this to say:
If the Republican’s plan was a plan for a fire department, they would rush into a burning building and they would rush out and leave everybody behind. … They say their plan is inexpensive. They say their plan saves somebody money. But 10 years from now, there’s as many uninsured as now. At the end of their watch, after 12 years of control of this Congress, eight years of control of the White House at the same time, they left behind 37 million Americans without health insurance. That’s what they left behind on their watch. And now they come forth with a plan for the future, and over the next decade, they’re going to leave behind 50 million Americans! Wanna buy it? Wanna try it? Wanna sell it? Come on, America, buy this one. You’re guaranteed to be left behind if you’re left behind today. What a plan! Hah! God. … [Unintelligible exit, but it sounds like he said, "See ya."]
I’ve heard many Republicans, some of which I heard during the debate today, say that, “Well it’s not really 40 million uninsured. If we take out the illegals and the young people who don’t want (I would add, can’t afford) insurance, we are left with 5 million or more uninsured. So, I would ask, what of those 5 million? That’s still a big number. Those 5 million aren’t worth helping? What if it was 500,000? Or 100,000? Or 10,000?