Why the hell are we even talking about this “Death Panel” nonsense? Sarah Palin made something up out of thin air (on Facebook, for Christ’s sake), and everyone went organismic! Who in their right mind believe that the United States government is conspiring to kill your ailing grandparents?
The sad part is, almost every US citizen over 65 enrolls in Medicare, exactly the same kind of single-payer government-run health plan that they are being told to be scared of.
However, this is the “keep your government hands off my Medicare” crowd. Fear is paramount, and facts are relegated to mere annoyances.
It is the same fear-mongering, “slippery-slope” tactic we have seen in all left vs right bickering. Let the gays marry, and we will become a nation of incestuous sodomites. Kill Saddam or the “smoking gun” will be a “mushroom cloud”. So, you better watch out, because deadly bureaucrats are coming to “pull the plug on grandma”!
Look at this woman who confronted Senator Spector in his town hall meeting:
ABRAM: I don't believe this is just about health care. It's not about TARP. It's not about left and right. This is about the systematic dismantling of this country. I'm only 35 years old. I've never been interested in politics. You have awakened the sleeping giant. We are tired of this. This is why everybody in this room is so ticked off! I don't want this country turning into Russia, turning into a socialized country. My question for you is...
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
ABRAM: What are you going to do to restore this country back to what our founders created according to the Constitution?
Founding fathers! The Constitution! You have awakened the sleeping giant! Such righteous, eloquent indignation! But when probed by the interviewer later, it became clear that she had no clue what she was talking about. Will Obama’s plan raise your tax? “I don't even know.” Do you want to repeal Medicare? ”I hate to have words put in my mouth.”
“I don't believe this is just about health care. It's not about TARP. It's not about left and right. This is about the systematic dismantling of this country.” Translation: it doesn’t matter it’s good for me. It doesn’t matter it’s good for the country. I just don’t like what you are doing because I don’t like you. I’d rather rot in my anarchic jungle than live in your socialist paradise.
Notice a trend? Yes, “socialist” is the new code word. Liberal is so 2008.
It’s sad to hear so many people re-cycling anecdotal horror stories from supposedly single-payer dystopias like......UK and Canada. I went to hospital in Canada (twice), and have nothing but praise for the quality of its care. But my testimonial is not important. What’s important is that Canadians don’t worry about their health premium going up, don’t worry about being dumped by the insurance company, and don’t worry about going bankrupt if they get sick. Granted, tax is higher in Canada, but health insurance isn’t exactly cheap in US either.
Then, of course, none of these matters, because single-payer is Satan in disguise. And, by the way, had he lived in UK, Stephen Hawking wouldn’t stand a chance in the eugenic NHS hellhole. Or so they imagine.
It’s sad to see people act out of primal instinct against their own interest. It’s sad to see uninformed citizens blindsided by media demagogue.
Health care reform is a wonky subject. We should be asking questions like “can I keep my high-deductible plan and tax-free HSA”, “what protection I will have if I get fired and my COBRA runs out”, or ”will there be enough doctors to take care of the 40 million newly-insured”. Instead, we got “Death Panel” ,“Russia”, “I am the mob”. Pathetic.
The Obama administration has done a superbly poor job in explaining the details to the public. Some say he’s too hell-bent to maintain an appearance of bi-partisanship. Some say he still hasn’t made up his mind on what to push for. Is the President floundering? I don’t know, but I wish him the best of luck. He needs it. We all need it.