If Lynch Votes No I Will Say No To Lynch

Congressman Lynch of Massachusetts, my representative, has vowed to vote no on health care reform after voting to support the first bill in November. He made his announcement Friday morning, giving his constituents little time to respond. I called his Washington office on Friday a number of times, but the phone lines were busy, or perhaps off the hook. I finally got through to his Boston office and spoke to a legislative aide to voice my concerns. The aide said that the Senate had stripped down the bill and that it looked nothing like the original House bill. Lynch himself said in an early morning interview on the local news that the bill didn’t go far enough. He said in the Boston Globe that this “is a very good bill for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. It might be good for Nebraska, I don’t know. Or Florida residents…But it’s not good for the average American, and it’s not good for my district. Or for Massachusetts.” He went on to say that the bill will not drive down costs. I disagree. The purpose of the health insurance exchange system is to provide some competition. The Washington Post reported that the CBO estimate was that the bill would cut the deficit by 130 billion over the next ten years. Hey, I live in Congressman Lynch’s district and I say that deficit reduction is good for me and my family and for all of us in MA and the rest of the country. I told the aide I was calling on behalf of the average American who worries about rising premiums and for the millions who have no health insurance coverage at all. The alternative to the bill is nothing. To say that the bill falls short, is to say that nothing is better than a start. This is it. This is the last shot. The Republicans have no interest in health care reform. If they win back the Senate and House in the midterm elections, you can bet that health care reform will not be on their agenda at all. It’s not their issue.

I’m deeply disappointed in Congressman Lynch. I would be horrified if my congressman were responsible for defeating health care reform. But Republican Senator Scott Brown was pleased to hear of Lynch’s opposition. The two may even get the chance to work together in the Senate if Lynch runs for the Senate in 2012, as is rumored he may. Whether he runs for the U.S. Senate or for re-election in the House, one thing is certain, if he votes no on health care reform, even if it passes, he will not get my vote.

FreedomWorks Against Democracy

FreedomWorks is a conservative non-profit organization that recruits activists to agitate for less government, lower taxes and “more freedom”, according to its website.  Led by former House Majority Leader turned lobbyist Republican Dick Armey, whose firm represents major pharmaceutical companies, FreedomWorks is responsible for recruiting the wild-eyed agitators who have prevented the exchange of information and ideas at numerous town hall meetings across the country on health care reform. The crazed and confused riffraff have become increasingly belligerent in approach like the French revolutionaries who stormed the Bastille.  Highly susceptible to propaganda from rabble rousing talk show hosts, the angry mob, who undoubtedly campaigned fiercely against President Obama, and who worship at the alter of Fox news, have more on their mind than defeating health care reform; they hope to bring President Obama down with it.  I would not be the least bit surprised if a significant number of these anti-democratic Jacobin rebels also identified themselves as  “birthers” who refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Obama Presidency, on the grounds that he is not an American citizen, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary.

Far from creating more freedoms, the mob has been working to reduce them by interfering with our constitutional rights as citizens to free speech and peaceful assembly.

Why do so many fear health care reform?  Who stands to benefit most if there is no reform?  Certainly not those of you who can’t afford health care, or the many millions whose premiums continue to rise year after year while the drug companies Dick Armey’s firm represents continue to profit.   The “public option”  is nothing to fear and it will not be the only option.  Keep your own plan if you want.  Buy into the public plan if you don’t have insurance at all.  What’s so awful about that?  And don’t forget that medicare is a government run program and it works.  Would you like to eliminate that?  If you are on it, I doubt you would.

Down with the angry mobs.  Let the democratic process decide the fate of health care reform.  Democracy requires dissent, but dissent that is strong, passionate and respectful, not disruptive; peaceful, not violent.   The days of Robespierre are long gone.  Reform, not revolution.

Why Should I Care About Health Care?

Health Care, what do I care?  My wife and I work.  Our family has a good insurance plan.  Our premium is reasonable,  meds cheap. We like our doctors.  We live in a city with some of the best medical care facilities in the country, if not the world.  Life is good.  Who needs reform?

The above scenario may be true for the many employed and insured Americans.  It’s a me first mentality.  Survival of the fittest.  Social Darwinism. Screw the social contract.  Rousseau was a liberal fraud, even a communist, or so the argument might go.

Don’t insured Americans care at all about the 49 million who don’t have health insurance?  Do they advocate the theories of Thomas Malthus who called for the elimination of social programs that benefit the poor as a means to curb population growth?  Malthus believed national health care initiatives and social safety net programs only bring about short term relief, but ultimately promote more suffering as the earth’s resources are stressed to the breaking point.

How many pro-lifers support health care reform?  If the right to life is so sacred, then what about the right to a decent life with affordable health care for all, not just for the “fittest”.   I am not saying that all opponents of health care reform view the uninsured as unimportant, though I do think that people unconsciously blame the victims; thinking perhaps that the uninsured might be lazy or “not enough like me” or of bad moral fiber.  And there is also the anti-immigrant sentiment – don’t help “them”, forgetting the fact that we are them.

There are those who simply object on political grounds, who oppose and will oppose any idea coming from the Obama administration, even if they believe it to be a good one.

I hear people say that they don’t trust the government to run a public health care option, but are not medicare, medicaid and social security government run?  Do the naysayers advocate eliminating these programs?  No, because they work.

Affordable health care is a basic human right, as sacred as any found in the U.S. Constitution.  No one living in America should be without decent health care.  It is unconscionable that 49 million people do not have health insurance in a wealthy, technologically advanced, stable democracy.  Shame on the U.S.; shame on us.