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Health Care Kabuki February 26, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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President Obama had his health care summit yesterday, inviting Senators and Congress persons from both parties to put their ideas on the table; and the results were predictable.

The Dems and Obama explained why our health care system is broken, why individual mandates and subsidies are necessary to fix it, and why banning pre-existing conditions without mandates will not work.

The Republicans prattled on about interstate insurance, health care accounts and high-risk pools. And the Democrats explained why none of those will do anything to reform the system and will cause insurance costs to sky-rocket.

The good news was that there was very little nonsense about “death panels” or socialism, although Republicans stuck to their goal of misleading the public by bleating about government take over of health care, abortion subsidies, and strong arm Democratic tactics.

If we had a rational public discourse in this country, the debate about health care would be over and we could expect overwhelming public support for the Democratic plan.

But we don’t have a rational public discourse, in part, because the press will not report what is actually happening.

Although the Democrats rightly emphasized how many Republican ideas were in their proposal, anyone who listened closely or who has been following this year-long debate knows that Republican demands to start over are a thinly disguised attempt to derail any reform. They have one goal, which they have stated explicitly, and that is to make sure the Democrats don’t get credit for another policy that will help people.

But you will not hear the Washington Press corps tell it like it is. And 30 second clips on the nightly news are likely to show the “reasonable” Republicans pleading for bi-partisanship, giving the casual viewer the impression that the mean Democrats are up to their old arrogant tricks.

I suppose we have made some progress. Opponents can no longer claim their ideas have not had a fair hearing, and the Democrats have put health-care reform back on the agenda.

Democrats need to stop timidly worrying about Senate decorum, use the reconciliation process, and pass the damn bill.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

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