24 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 21 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Question: is this ethically-challenged Congress selling out the American people?

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   2 comments
Message Michael Payne

Reforming America's broken health care system is not an insurmountable task. Unfortunately, a significant barrier stands in the way of enacting appropriate legislation; a clear conflict of interest that faces our elected representatives in Congress. In addressing this issue, this Congress must decide whether it will stand up for the interests of the American people or bend to the influences of the lobbyists and special interest groups.

More than 70% of Americans want some type of public option that will provide competition for the privatized medical insurance industry to bring rapidly escalating costs under control. President Obama has made health care reform his #1 objective and he strongly supports a public option. The Republicans, except for a handful, will fight against such an outcome with all their might to protect corporate interests as they always do. Business as usual for the health care industry has now become unsustainable. Therefore, we must have a revolutionary breakthrough that will provide health care for all Americans.

At the center of the ongoing debate and discussion is the Senate Finance Committee, led by the Chairman, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, of Montana with Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa as the ranking GOP committee member both are major recipients of health care industry campaign contributions. Baucus wasted no time in taking a single payer option off the table and refusing to spend any time even discussing it. He also refuses to support any kind of public option. This is quite troubling.

Right now it appears that appropriate legislation could be enacted if only the Congressional Democrats would show their loyalty to their president, and the American people who elected them. But, as is often the case with Democrats, they are not standing together on this critical issue. A small group of about ten conservatives Democrats remain less than supportive.

Ed Tubbs, in an article dated June 27, 2009, entitled "My letter to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Exec", identifies these Democrats who are either against a public option or seem to be leaning in that direction: Max Baucus (D-MT), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Arlen Specter (D-PA). It's noteworthy that almost all of them, with the exception of Specter and Bayh, are from Southern or Western states that have relatively small populations.

This is one of the problems with our democracy and the Senate. The large majority of people that have problems relating to health care coverage live in America's most populous states. The question is; will a handful of states with small populations and their senators determine the fate of one of America's most critical issues? If they do then that will be a travesty of immense proportions.

Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) made an astounding statement recently. Conrad, who is proposing a compromise proposal to establish member-owned "co-ops" instead of a government-sponsored public option, stated that it doesn't matter which option is right or wrong but, rather, which one has the votes. Since this debate process is in its early stages, it most certainly does matter which option is right and which is wrong. Does he not understand that His job and the job of his fellow congressional representatives is to determine through honest and thoughtful discussion which one is right for the interests of the American people, not which can merely get the votes?

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Michael Payne Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Orwell's "1984" becoming a reality in modern-day America

Heed the Warning Signs; America is Edging Ever Closer to a Societal Implosion

Ethics and Morals in America; an Endangered Species

How Do You Spell Sociopath? G-O-P

The Beginning of the End for the U.S. Dollar as the World Reserve Currency

A U.S. President Defies Congress, the Constitution and the Will of the People; Will Impeachment Follow?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend