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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/27/11

The Republicans and the Representative

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Americans have been heartened by the continuing recovery of United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords from the horrid brain injury inflicted on her by a deranged gun-toting Jared Loughner.  We were all moved by her empty chair in the Hall of the House when President Barack Obama gave his recent State of the Union Address.  But, are we aware that, were Gaby Giffords not a participant in the Congressional Health Care Plan, she might not even have survived her traumatic brain injury?  Are we aware that if last year's improved health care legislation were to be repealed, as the Republicans are trying so diligently to achieve, millions of their fellow Americans would be deprived of even a modicum of the decent health care which saved Gaby Giffords?


Most of us, learning of the Herculean steps taken by the medical system to first save, and now rehabilitate, Gaby Giffords, have been impressed with the well-deserved (and very costly) level of care she has received.  After her valiant intern helped to staunch  her loss of blood immediately after she was shot, no effort or expense has been spared to save her life and restore her to health and full functioning.  And that is as it should be in a compassionate county with modern health facilities and outstanding medical care -- care available only to some of us, however.


Even when the new health care legislation is fully in place, millions of Americans will still be under-covered or not covered at all with health insurance.  That, in itself, is a violation of the principles of Equal Treatment and Equal Opportunity under the Law on which this nation was founded.  But, that violation pales in the face of the endless Republican efforts to undercut and, indeed, repeal this vital legislation.  Their falsehoods, half truths, and use of such sloganeering as "job destroying health bill" and "Obamacare", as well as their misrepresentation that this legislation, which will save trillions of dollars in the longer term, will actually cost tax money and raise the deficit, are shameful.


President Obama held out the opportunity to modify our new health care legislation in his State of the Union Address.  He made a good-faith offer to the Republicans to consider any concrete improvements they could propose -- an offer which has been available to them since the new law was first proposed, but which they mostly rejected out of hand.


The contrast between our two major political parties has never been clearer: Democrats want what is best for America and Americans, so that some semblance of Gaby Giffords' health care can be available to all.  Republicans want only what they think is best for them, namely the continuation of second-or-third-rate health care for so many Americans, in hopes that it will lead to total Republican control of our Federal government.  America needs to prove them wrong!


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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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