Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Know How to Guarantee Passage of a Worthwhile Health Care Reform Bill: A BogsBlog Special Edition

Pete Bogs here, with a new post about the ongoing health care reform debate in the United States.

In case you don’t remember, this all began with the suggestion of making health care available and affordable for all Americans. Unassailable, on the face of it. But the response by many of our citizens could cause an unobservant observer to believe that President Obama had announced his intention to give every man, woman and child a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 on the taxpayers’ dime. In other words, something extravagant and unnecessary, rather than, say, a matter of life and death.

Even some of Jesus’ most ardent followers, who bemoan the disappearance of prayer from public institutions, are making a racket at the suggestion of extending healthcare to all. Apparently healing the sick and helping the poor were not among JC’s lessons in their version of the Good Book. Apparently these folks are also very choosy about which Christian values should be incorporated into government policy: Prayer, yes; aiding those in need, no.

I know how to get real health care reform to pass in Congress. And by that I don’t mean this watered-down disappointment that some are still insisting gives away too much to the deadbeats, single moms and minorities. I am talking about a full-on health care overhaul that includes a socialist-public-option-universal-coverage-single-payer-system that also enables people to get cheap drugs from Canada and allows Medicare to be extended. How do we do it?

Insert it as an earmark into the next defense appropriations bill, which few Democrats or Republicants would dare fail to support, lest they be labeled as "weak on defense," anti-American or pro-terrorist.

Generally, I oppose the practice of stuffing provisions – especially non-germane ones – into bills. You know, like when an education funding bill inexplicably also contains funds for new highways. Sometimes these are “poison pills” inserted by lawmakers who wish to kill the whole bill using unpopular amendments. Often they are snuck in in the hope that no one will notice (a tactic which could be useful here). But health care is germane to national defense. As I asked non-rhetorically in an earlier BogsBlog post:

Isn’t keeping Americans alive and healthy the common goal of both our defense system and our health care system? How can you say you want to prevent an anthrax attack from terrorists upon your neighbor, yet not be concerned about preventing or treating a naturally occurring cancer or infection in that same neighbor? How can you want to stop bullets and bombs from raining down upon someone, but be completely indifferent were they to be injured in another context?

Health care is part and parcel of keeping Americans safe and in one piece. So some principled politician – I think Russ Feingold is one of the last ones left – should jam it into a defense bill. And Russ, do me a favor: Jam it in there hard, and without using lubricant.

We need to end the health care reform debate and force the dirty hands of corrupt, greedy, misguided, pitiless (yet pitiful) politicians who use fear, distortions and outright lies to keep America sick. It’s perhaps fortunate that those lawmakers enjoy free, top-of-line, government-run, socialistic health care, because they are perhaps the sickest people of all. Cough Joe Lieberman cough.

Well, that’s about it from Pete Bogs for 2009. Maybe we’ll see each other in the blogosphere next year. I wish you all happy holidays; especially you, Bill O’Reilly, and the war-on-Christmas crowd.

PS: See recent BogsBlog posts for more on sick people and health care.