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GOP Hypocrisy on Health Care

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President Obama has nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.

In addition to the other challenges that Sebelius will face in this new role, I hope she will be able to implement the affordable health care for all which Obama has promised us. To that end, Sebelius will be working closely with Nancy-Ann Deparle, who will direct the White House Office for Health Reform.

Hopefully Obama's team will have better luck than the Clinton administration did in getting us universal health care, like people have in the rest of the industrialized world.

But it will be an uphill fight. With things like this, which provide for the public welfare, the Republicans always love to cry "socialism". And, in the case of nationalized health care, they like to warn the sheep that such a program would result in bureaucrats deciding what kinds of treatment you can and cannot have.

But that is exactly what we're dealing with today! Today it's the insurance company bureaucrats who are making the decisions on what kinds of treatment you can and cannot have. The insurance companies are in business to make money, so the less treatment they spring for -- at the expense of your health -- the richer the insurance executives become. In his movie "Sicko", Michael Moore brought us statements by former insurance company employees who were paid bonuses for denying claims that could save people's lives.

I hope that Obama, Sebelius, and Deparle will find a way to take those third parties out of the mix and leave health care decisions to the people and our doctors. However, my research suggests that the Obama administration will leave the insurance companies in the mix. Fingers crossed in hopes that we at least clip their wings.

But, to do that, they will need to get some Republican buy-in.

And, as the New York Times recently observed, "Despite a record of working with Republicans in some areas, health care was one where [Sebelius] often had trouble forging bipartisan agreement. She tried raising cigarette taxes to pay for health care for the poor but was rebuffed by a Republican Legislature. She promoted universal health care but never reached that goal. And she proposed consolidating health care programs, but lawmakers made sure she could not control the new independent authority."

Those "Christian" Republicans would rather support the cigarette industry that kills than support the health of the American people.

So this won't be an easy battle to win.

But we have to try, and hopefully our side will win. After all, it's one of the things that the American people voted for in November. And many of those Republicans will be up for reelection very soon.

 

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
 

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Mary, I don't know what the answer is to this ... by Bob Trowbridge on Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009 at 2:23:29 PM
to complete my subject just add "nation."... by emily horswill on Thursday, Mar 5, 2009 at 2:08:58 AM