What took place at the "town hall meeting" last Monday night in Evans and is taking place all over the country this month is not democracy at work. It is exploitation by health care lobbyists and mob-pandering and hatefulness by our elected representatives, and it's shameful.
The current health care debate has been needed for a long time. I don't know what kind of universal health care plan is good for all Americans. I'm not that smart. But we are the richest country in the history of the world. We seem to have endless resources on short notice to wage war and bail out failing financial institutions and write checks to people who really just need to get a job. We have the highest standard of living of any nation on earth.
How is it, then, that we can deny life-saving health care to people who truly can't afford to pay its high cost? How is it that we can allow a system that drives desperate people to bankruptcy to get medical care? How is it that we can allow private, for-profit, insurance companies who have never even met us to decide who gets what treatment and what drugs they should take?
Something is systemically and terribly wrong with health care in America and it needs to be fixed. Surely something can be done.
The health plan currently proposed does not include a "death panel"; it does not include federal funding for abortion; it is not a socialist takeover of our health-care system; it would not force families to see doctors and receive care dictated by the government. People are confused and concerned about all this, and powerful interests are preying on this misunderstanding for their own financial benefit.
Why can't we just have an intelligent public debate on the merits of the current health care proposal, or any universal health care proposal, instead of angry mobs of misinformed people egged on by their elected representatives? Why don't we, and Congress for that matter, just read the bills and try to understand them?
And if Congress doesn't like the present proposals, then just keep working on it until they come up with something that works for as many people as possible - especially the most vulnerable.
I urge anyone who cares deeply about this issue to learn these things for themselves, without relying on rants by self-absorbed politicians and television commercials paid for by health care lobbyists. Decide for yourself about health care reform on the basis of real facts, not as victims of misinformation or "grass fires" from either side of the debate.
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