Sunday, June 7, 2009

There it is again, The Republican Mantra

The big, bad “government is taking over healthcare.” There it is again; the Republican mantra. Don’t they ever get tired of saying it? I certainly get tired of hearing it. I’ve been thinking that what makes the government so bad in many cases is the fact that Republicans who spout the mantra are part of it. I’ve come to the point where I don’t care anymore whether the health insurers make money or not. Usually, I’m in favor of corporations making a self-sustaining profit, but I’m fed up with the insurance companies. It is clear to me that patients, their customers, are not going to get a fair shake until they are beaten down until they say, “uncle.”

It used to be, at least so I thought, that companies were constantly striving for efficiency to keep costs down, for both profit and the competitive edge to lower costs to the customer. That’s no longer true with regard to insurance companies. They don’t have to be efficient. All they have to do is pay lobbyist to keep taxes and regulation to a minimum, deny insurance coverage to costly customers when their health problems become too expensive, and conspire with government and industry personalities to keep drug, equipment and medical procedures costs high for the good of their own pocket.

I have a bad feeling about the coming, so-called healthcare reform. I have a feeling that it won’t be reform at all, but just more watered down, industry favoring duplicity that sucks the people of this country dry; just more transferring wealth from the poorest to the richest. The rich, it seems, are determined not to support their own country, and I think I can stereotype the rich when I say that. They whine, to a man and woman, constantly about how they are being mistreated or controlled, and about the so-called deliberately poor and homeless who, they say, choose to be that way to get welfare relief. It’s the Reagan myth perpetuated specifically to pull the wool over our eyes. It isn’t true; it has never been true.

Less government does not mean more freedom. Freedom is not dependent on more or less government. Good governance should be the goal we seek, not more or less government. If there is anything to be learned from the collapse of the economy and the huge transfer of wealth to the wealthiest people it is that less government regulation has been more oppressive on the general public than any form of oppressive government. Opportunity has diminished to a point where only a few who chose to play unethical games make it to the top of industry. There rest of us, who chose not to play popularity games and who only wanted a reasonably good life, were disposed of along the way. The depressed were disadvantaged or used for the benefit of those willing to use others, whether it is using our labor, our retirement accounts, our bank deposits or our health condition; it never the less lead to the benefit of those who would take advantage of others.

Attention to “the public good” is long overdue. The next time you hear a Republican say “no government,” “less government” or “the government is taking over,” take a good look at who is saying it. You can bet your last dollar that what’s really happening is that he or she is a person raising a flag to industry special interests that says, “Here I am. I’m waiting for you to offer me high paying position in industry after my political career. I’m waiting for your huge donation to my campaign. I’m waiting for a ride in your corporate jet to a tropical get-a-way. I do favors for money.” That’s what the real message is, and nothing more. It is certainly not for the good of the public.

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