Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Health Care for All? Dream On. . . .

This Thursday, in the health care showdown. . . .

Republican leader John Boehner
and President Obama
will both show us what they have. ;)

Is it too much to hope that the American public will get the health care system that it needs and deserves? Well, probably not, because I think President Barack Obama made a rookie mistake in his first year of office in wishing for health care and handed the idea over to the Democratic leadership in Congress, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California on the House side and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada on the Senate side.

Obama should have led from the beginning instead of letting the Congressional Democrats do it because it led to all the sweetheart deals and wrangling that has characterized the health care debate over the past year and led to the mess we are in today.

Obama and the Democrats, moreover, did not do enough to defuse the charges of the vested interests that passage of health care would be bad for the country, would put us further in debt and lead to such things as "death panels" for Grandma.

Now in a televised meeting between the Democrats and Republicans at the Blair House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Obama will try to fix the impasse that his earlier lack of leadership has created.

As has been widely reported among the pundits, the Republicans have largely become the "Party of No" with some right wing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and even certain conservative politicians as well openly saying they wish Obama will fail.

This is hardly a recipe for passage of health care that will provide coverage to the some 45 million Americans who are not covered, that will help lower skyrocketing premiums or ensure health care for those with pre-existing conditions. It does not look good, Playmates.

There was a Prez named Obama
who couldn't be dumber
to wish for health care
while foes yell "Don't you dare!
We would rather be sick Plumbers!"

When Obama took office, a few commentators predicted that he could be the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt, getting us out of a recession almost as bad as the Depression of the 1930's and finally passing landmark health care in a long-awaited and much-needed reform that could be likened to President Roosevelt's passage of Social Security or President Lyndon B. Johnson's passage of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960's. A new New Deal like the one FDR gave the American people or a new Great Society similar to the one insituted by LBJ.

I do believe that with the Recovery Program instituted a year ago, Obama and his team saved this country from a worse recession, although Republican critics have carped at the cost and some Republican lawmakers have even refused "stimulus money" for their states or districts. As with the health care discussion, the wimpy Democrats lost the debate and let the Republican charges stick.

As far as I can see, the only PR victory was the "Cash for Clunkers" program that helped the U.S. automobile industry by allowing the public to trade in their old cars for new ones. "Cash for Clunkers" got good publicity and was widely reported to have been successful.

"Cash for Clunkers"--a great and nifty slogan that captured the public imagination. Obama and the Democrats need to come up with similar ideas for slogans that will help them win over the American people to the idea of health care reform. Americans need to be persuaded that such reform is good for them, as of course it is. Don't let the special interests and the rich cats win. They already have their health care. What do they care about the majority of American?

Go for it, guys. For the nation's sake, for the sake of all of us. Please!!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Postscript written Friday morning, February 26:

President Obama's attempt to get Republicans on board to finalize health care has apparently failed. As reported on the Hill blog (see link through title), Republicans "continued to assail Obama's proposal for its cost and size, repeatedly asking the president to 'scrap the bill' and start over."

Democrats meanwhile seem prepared to pursue health care alone, through the so-called "Reconciliation Process" by which they will try to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills and pass it in the Senate for Obama to sign.

Donna's Purple flamingoes on our apartment balcony during the big Baltimore snow, February 10, 2010!

Purple Flamingo Out in the Baltimore Snow

It's a hard hard winter in Bawlmer
we ain't used to the white stuff
but we got our purple flamingoes
out on the balcony to memorialize
the Ravens who didn't go all the way
oh Poe save us do a flip in your grave
under the big marble hunk at the corner
of Greene and Fayette, city under feets
of the white stuff and s'more on the way
hey hey hey, wail the sax, thrum the bass
purple flamingo out in the Baltimore snow
purple flamingo out in the Baltimore snow
purple flamingo out in the Baltimore snow
oooo-wee purp flamingo in Bawlmer snow

Christopher T. George

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