The Weiner Component #85 – Health Care & the American Public

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tea Party rally to stop the 2010 health care r...

Tea Party rally to stop the 2010 health care reform bill in St. Paul, Minnesota The Tea Party people held a rally calling for the health care reform bill currently being considered in congress to be stopped. Republican U.S. representative Michele Bachmann was the guest speaker. The crowd was filled with signs and stickers for Bachmann and other Republican candidates. Signs read: Abort healthcare Abort Obama Save Our Country Republicans Weed Out Your Progressives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most industrial nations in the world today have some form of universal health care sponsored by their government and paid for by taxes. One of the few exceptions is the United States where it is and has been strongly opposed by the Republicans in Congress and in some state legislatures.

Today, in most nations, virtually everyone needs some form of health care. Those who are employed by reasonably sized companies and up generally have some form of medical insurance. The members of Congress and the state governments have some of the best plans available. The employed middle and upper classes are generally nicely covered. The poor and those working for low wages do not generally have medical coverage. Therefore those throughout the United States with no health insurance would be most of the bottom 20% of the population, around 18 to 20 million people.

Today everyone needs at least yearly checkups by the medical profession. There are too many people walking around with coughs and with what they consider minor problems. These people cannot afford medical treatment until their malady reaches a critical stage and they are forced to go to emergency care at a local hospital. Many of these emergencies could have been avoided with proper medical treatment. A number of these emergencies will end up with unnecessary deaths; treatment was too late.

How do we know this? Twenty percent of the people living in the poverty group will die ten years sooner than those living in middle or upper class groups.

I have a malady which is not uncommon and come to many in the older population. Without constant monitoring and treatment I would have died several years ago. With treatment I will live for another ten to twenty years.

William Jefferson Clinton was elected to the presidency of the United States in 1992. He served as 42 President from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton led a group of Congressmen in the development of a National Health Care Reform Bill. Even though the Democrats were the majority party in both Houses of Congress for the first two years of the Clinton Administration the Republican Party was able to defeat the bill. Their slogan, which was eminently successful, was: “There has to be a better way.” The “Better Way” was no health reform. We seem to be in a similar position today except that the bill was passed into law four years ago and is more or less in operation today with the Republicans still demanding its extraction.

The Republicans are claiming that they will have a better and more comprehensible bill. But they have presented nothing so far. The irony of the situation is that the basic medical plan was developed by a far-right Republican think tank and first put into operation in Massachusetts by its then Republican governor, Mitt Romney.

The system is run by private business with the government setting the rules and supplying much of the money. Unlike what exists in other countries this system is largely run by private enterprise. Why, then, are the Republicans so against it? Could it be because it was inaugurated by a black president

The major problem which is being faced in a number of Republican run states is that, because of a Supreme Court decision, the governor of each state can accept or reject total medical coverage for all his citizens within his borders. The Federal Government will pay the total cost of this plan for the first three years. This is money that these states have already paid in taxes that they will be getting back. A number of Republican governors have refused to accept this expansion of Medicare for their poor citizens who have no medical coverage.

Why are they doing this? Are they standing on principle? These governors and their Republican legislators have very comprehensive coverage for themselves. Yet they are refusing it to the poor within their respective states. Rick Perry, the governor of Texas is doing this as well as a number of others. An argument can be made as to how this refusal will be hurting not only the people who will still have no medical coverage but also the economics of the respective states.

I understand that many if not most of these men are religious, good white, fundamentalist Christians. They believe in Judgment Day and the world to come. If they’re right, then they’ll have to explain why they breached the Holy Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill,” and take the punishment for that action.

 

 

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - 3D Icons

 

The Weiner Component #70 – Intentions of the Framers of the Constitution

English: First page of Constitution of the Uni...

One of the major objects, if not the major object, of the framers of the Constitution was to create a government of the majority with protections for the minorities.  A true Democracy is supposed to express the will of the majority.  The major reason for education in our society was to create a population capable of reasoning and therefore able to elect the best people capable of representing them.

Today instead the object of government as applied by the far right and the evangelicals is to create a government where they, the minority, rule and set the standards for the majority.  Through the use of seemingly endless amounts of money in advertising, gerrymandering, and outright prefabrication they have been able sway elections to give themselves the power to impede necessary reforms and cause untold misery in the nation.

The Republican Party has been vociferously attacking Affordable Health Care (Obama Care) since they were able to gain control of the House of Representatives in 2011.  With the upcoming Midterm Election in November of 2014 the leadership of the Party has promised to make that a major issue, destroying Obama Care.

In a March Special Election in Florida, in an overwhelmingly Republican District, the Republican candidate just barely won the election.  Interestingly he treated his victory as one in which he totally trashed the Democratic candidate and the overall bulk of the population in his District voted to get rid of Obama Care.  The reasoning by the candidate and the party seems to be fallacious.  Presumably the new basis of the November Election in 2014 will be to elect Republicans so they can do away with Obama Care.

This seems to be in the opinion of many of that group a way to regain control of Congress.  The concept is fascinating since the entire concept of Obama Care was originally developed by the Heritage Foundation, a Republican Think Tank, and initially set up in Massachusetts under Republican Governor Mitt Romney.  It would seem that the reason for attacking Obama Care is to gain political power In Washington, D.C.

Interestingly, if we take the different parts of Obama Care and discuss them with the general public we find that they like the parts.  For example, keeping a child on their parents medical plan until he or she is 26 if the youngster is going to college, insurance companies not being able to reject people because of a prior condition, overall lower insurance rates for most people, no maximum limit in terms of what the insurance company has to spend on any condition, etc., etc.  But then if you ask them what they think about Obama Care the answer is that they don’t like it.

What seems to have happened is that the Republican prefabrications, like death panels and other nonsensical statements, which the Republicans have repeated over and over again, have, more or less, taken hold.  A good percentage of the people do not associate Affordable Health Care with the benefits it’s so far provided.  It can also be stated that the Democrats have not provided enough positive information to the public compared to the Republicans who have given redundantly endless negative statements.

In addition to using Obama Care as a means of gaining political power the wealthy Republicans like the billionaire Libertarian Koch Brothers have begun, through groups they fund, utilizing television and other forms of advertising as early as March for the oncoming November Election.  The probability is that billions will be spent on the Midterm Election.  And most of this money will be spent by the Republicans attempting to buy power by trying to gain control of the Senate and keeping control of the House of Representatives.  This is also true for state elections.

Will they gain control?  An interesting question!  We’ll have to wait and see.  Can the American voter be bought by propaganda and go against his/her own economic interests?

If the Republicans are successful the country will have total gridlock for 2015 and 2016.  They will not have a supermajority in the Senate and the Democrats will do what they, the Republicans, have done from 2009 on, filibuster the bills they are against and the President will veto the bills he is against.  They might try to impeach him as they did President Clinton; but, I suspect, they will have a problem doing so.  Of course they might be able to push through some strange laws, that the President would consider unconstitutional and break, as they did in 1868 with President Andrew Johnson.  But that did not effectively work then even with supermajorities in both Houses of Congress.

If the Republicans were to gain control of Congress in 2015 they would have to find positive reasons for running the country and they would also have to be able to work with the President.  At this point none of this seems possible.  All they have done since 2011 has been to impede all programs for which Obama could claim credit.  They haven’t been for anything except lowering taxes for corporations and the upper 1%.  The Republicans have done an outstanding job of keeping the country in a recession, attacking woman’s rights, and limiting benefits in entitlement programs for the poor and needy.  Paul Ryan, for example, has defined sloth as a racial thing.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Weiner Component #41 – Obama Care, Socialism, & the Free Market

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal, which stated that a larger and larger percentage of the National Income is going to the top one percent of the population.  Consequently there is less and less available yearly for anyone else and standards of living keep going further and further downhill.  This is the Free Market in action, giving more and more to the top and less and less to everyone else.

Meanwhile the Republicans in Congress are keeping taxes relatively low for the top percentile and vigorously denouncing Obama Care, the Affordable Health Care Bill that largely comes into being in October of 2013.  They are, among other things, threatening to shut down the Federal Government by stopping all spending, rather than let Obama Care come into being.  There have been about forty separate votes over two different sessions of the House of Representatives defeating this law.  The Senate, which has a Democratic majority, will not even bring this bill up for a vote and the President, if it were to come before him for his signature, would veto it.

Looking over statements by prominent Republicans and others I find that there are only two reasons for discarding this law.  The first, which seems minor, is that it will bankrupt the government.  That is nonsense; the law, in the long run, will actually lower medical costs for everyone.

The second reason, which seems to be major, is that it is socialistic.  They are offering no alternatives for the millions who have no medical care; they just want to do away with the law, presumably because it is evil in their estimations.  Why is it evil?  It is so because it takes choice away from individuals by giving them medical insurance, something every member of Congress has. The Republicans are afraid that people will lose their self-reliance.

Actually, to paraphrase one of their more verbal proponents, Ted Nugent, it takes free choice away from many Americans by requiring them to have medical coverage.  It is therefore rampant socialism, which everyone knows is a bad thing because it makes him or her dependent upon the Federal Government.  Therefore it is bad.  While the Republicans in Congress do not tend to be as dramatic or as loud this is still their basic attitude.

My problem with all this postulating is that it overlooks the fact that socialistic practices already exist in our society.  For example there are Social Security and Medicare.  Shouldn’t these programs also be done away with to make people less dependent upon the Federal Government?  In addition aren’t subsidies and tax-breaks for wealthy individuals and some major corporations like oil another form of socialism since the government allows these industries to pay less or no income taxes and in some cases gives them subsidies for running their highly profitable businesses.

Aren’t people like Michelle Bachmann, whose families have received subsidies from the government for their farms and business, also accepting socialistic practices that, in turn, limit their competitive free choice and make them dependent up the government? 

It’s an interesting conundrum.  Basically if one looks at government activity across this nation, that activity is rife with socialistic practices, both on state and Federal levels.  If a state offers a particular corporation tax benefits to locate in their area, isn’t that a form of socialism?  That would make Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, guilty of spreading this ism.

Of course, if we look at the assorted Republican statements we find that one can draw a line across what they consider socialism and what it is all right to do.  When it comes to individuals, the working class, then that is socialism and those programs should be cut or done away with; but when it comes to the earning classes, the businesses, corporations, and high earning people, the activity is perfectly okay.  It is a view that could best be defined as “Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.”

I could respect the Republicans in Congress if they were at least consistent and actually stood for their principles but they are essentially hypocrites.  If they want to do away with the Affordable Health Care Law then they should also propose to do away with their own health care coverage and, for that matter, also everyone else’s.  That would significantly lower the price of most employment in the United States and make all those workers competitive with those in other countries.  Of course it would also sustancially lower standards of living.  If they did away with all tax breaks and bonuses that would significantly increase the amount collected in taxes.  It might even make the free market honest! 

But they do none of this.  The Republicans in Congress are largely dependent upon the large corporations and wealthy individuals for the contributions they need to run their political campaigns.  In a manner of speaking they have sold their principles, if they have any, for the financing needed to remain in office.

What is being asked of the people who support them, particularly those individuals who have no medical insurance, is to object to a law that will protect them by giving them medical coverage that they do not have.  They want to give the poor the right to die sooner than they might with Oboma Care.

Enhanced by Zemanta