One of the things I really appreciate about this little town is the way that people tend to get along well, despite their differences. Some of the nicest folks I've met have political statements emblazoned across the sides of their quad-cab, 4WD pick-up trucks that make me want to vomit through the open window on to the generous front seat of the aforementioned vehicle. Except that the person driving the truck, advertising the ignorant, homophobic, xenophobic, selfish, disingenuous attitude seems like a really decent human being. I don't get it.
I didn't get it yesterday, watching the Health Care Summit from Blair House. I mostly listened, without actually looking at the CNN screen; and without looking at the captions, it was ever-so-easy to tell the Repos. They sounded smirky, smarmy, and supremely selfish and dishonest.(claiming the American people are wholly against the health care proposal...but failing to mention that when read the provisions it covers, the majority of Americans support it!) But then, with the exception of President Obama, a whole bunch of Demos sounded like wienies. I'm so sick of the whole mess I wish we could find some kind of Constitutional provision that would allow for taking health coverage away from every member of the House and Senate (and their families, to add some real pressure) until they can sit down and work this out. It's difficult and complicated. So is being an American. Those tea-bagging idiots who march around with misspelled signage should be strongly encouraged to spend as much time actually reading the Constitution and attempting to understand it as they do flapping their lips and scrawling angry messages on pieces of cardboard. I understand their anger- but what I don't understand, and find intolerable is where they direct their anger. Where was this anger during the eight years that the Bush administration worked quietly to weaken regulations? Dick Cheney, who can't seem to keep his mouth shut now, certainly found it necessary to keep energy policy mum...nary a word escaped his loose lips when he actually had an opportunity to serve the American people. Digression...back to health care; I keep hearing this anger about 'government run health care' and fear about the 'government' making health care decisions. What I want is for one of these opposition Repo brain trusts to explain to me like I'm a six year old..."How is government-run health care going to be worse for me than a for-profit company that makes decisions for me? Here's my reality: Both my husband and I receive our health care through government run entities. It wasn't always this way. I used to have private health insurance, provided from a major for-profit company. It went from a cost of $700.00 per month to $1657.00 per month for a family of four- over the course of five years. In addition, they placed increasing restrictions on what procedures I could receive, the deductible I would pay, when I could have procedures done, and where I could have treatment. It was impossible to speak with a human being, unless, of course it was about a payment that was due. When they dropped my coverage, (because I actually needed it) they didn't bother to send a notification. I found out when I went to pick up a prescription and it wasn't covered. Fast forward to 2010. Since we moved, since I signed up for the dreaded 'government run' health coverage, my costs have been reasonable, the care I receive has been superior, and the system has been amazingly efficient. (FYI: Medicare runs with administrative costs of approx. 2-3%. The last report I read, Aetna came in at 22%) My husband gets his medical through the VA- another example of personal experience running counter to public opinion. We'd always heard that care through the VA would be inferior to what we would receive privately. The reality we've experienced is the exact opposite. The VA facility in Grand Junction CO could be held as an example of how to do things- if you want a system that runs efficiently, treats patients kindly, with respect, and most of all, addresses their needs.
Over the past 15 years, all the time we had private insurance (that we paid dearly for) it became glaringly apparent that the quality of the medical care we'd been receiving was slipping badly. Through no fault of their own, our doctors were spending less time gathering information, being less attentive, prescribing more medication, rushing through office visits. At the same time the costs to patients are rising out of control, insurance company profits and pharmaceutical company profits continue to rise. No reasonable person is against profits- but this is so out of proportion it's insanity. The Repos would have you believe that most people who have no health insurance have chosen not to be covered. Seriously? How stupid to they think we are? Wait, let me read some of those protest signs about offing Grandma again. Yeah, pretty stupid. If the tea-baggers want to be pissed at the government, they should be pissed at the past administrations (both Demos & Repos) who refused to regulate, hold people accountable, and make some tough decisions. We see what happens when you leave corporations to their own devices. It's why we are where we are. But right now, I just want the Demos to grow a pair, stand up to the old white men who only know no, and start acting like Demos. I want the Republicans to remove the insurance lobbyist's lips from their big white asses, and put their money where their big fat negative self-serving mouths are. If they are so against government run health care, they should give theirs up. Shut up, stop being hypocrites, and stop using government run health care if you are going to bad mouth it. And if you're that nice guy in town with all the anti Obama crap all over your truck, I'm the one who yakked on your front seat.