Friday, February 26, 2010

The People's Healthcare

I listened to the Healthcare Summit as long as I could, until I became nauseous. As far as I'm concerned, Republicans were not there to solve the problem. They were there to obstruct. The main difference, and the reason Republicans will obstruct any healthcare bill in Congress, was stated by (I think he said it – I could be wrong) Republican Senator Lemar Alexander (Tenn) when he said, “The People don't want government-run healthcare. The People want to run healthcare,” or words to that effect. What? That statement struck me as one of those typically dumb statements I hear from Republicans everyday. It isn't intended to clear up ambiguity. It is intended to fog up the issue. But, Lemar has a specific idea in mind when he says “The People:” privatization. Think about it. His idea of who “The People” are are those CEOs and corporate boards of insurance companies who are now running healthcare. It's a perversion of language where the meanings of words are turned on their heads. (That's a common theme I preach – turning things on their heads – whenever I rant about Republicans.)

I'm sure that when he said it, Tea Partiers and Palin-ites said, “yea, yea. The People want to run it!” Then they all joined arms and danced a jig. Believe me, there was not one ounce of thought between the ears of any of them. It was all air.

Our government is a representative republic where “The People” is Congress and that IS government. The Executive Branch “executes” the “Will” of the “The People,” i.e., Congress, and it's Congress' duty to watch the Executive Branch do it – and give it a slap if it missteps. That's called “oversight.” That's “The People” running the show. We, you and I, “The Real People” get into the act when we vote and call (or pester) Congress to do what we want. That's as simple as my meager vocabulary and knowledge can make it. That's it!

If you haven't seen the Republican's “The People” idea in action, take a look at the student loan program. Sallie May (speak SLM Corporation) was the privatization of the student loan program back in the Reagan, Bush-I and Gingrich years. Ha! Students are gouged with high interest rates, go deeply in debt and student (and parent) bankruptcies sky-rocketed all the while SLM Corp's CEOs and board members went home with multimillion dollar bonuses... or was that our tax dollars? How'd you like those apples? The Congressional Budget Office now says that we can save about $80 billion if the government takes the student loan program back. That means that privatizing that program was less efficient and more costly than a government-run program. Oops. That didn't work out too well, did it President Reagan?

Republicans are like Greeks. Have to be careful of the gifts they're bringing to “The People.” They are not what they appear to be. They'll “The People” you to the poor house, in a perverse way.


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