To the Editor:
Here’s the thing about lies: If you tell them loudly enough and often enough, people will believe them. Especially the vulnerable, the powerless, and those who get their “news” from blowhard talk radio.
Here’s the truth about Obama’s health care reform:
Seniors will not lose Medicare. You will not be assigned government doctors, or be forced into an early death because you are old and “useless.” You will not be forced to give up your private insurance or have health care rationed by a bureaucrat.
Everyone will have access to health care using their current health care professionals. Those who cannot afford the $5000 to $15,000 a year it currently costs for private health insurance will be given assistance under the public option. It is a reform that looks out for “the least of my brothers,” not the billionaire insurance company CEOs.
Here’s the truth about what we have now:
Forty-eight million Americans have no health insurance. Many of those who do have insurance currently have rationing and lack of choice imposed by insurance companies which deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, deny covered claims for frivolous reasons, and tell you which doctors and health facilities you must use. More than half the bankruptcies today are due to medical bills that Americans cannot pay.
Just from personal experience, I spent 12 hours in a Delray, Fla. emergency room with a 72-year-old woman who had broken both ankles. The ER was packed with people who probably had no health insurance at all and this was the only way they could obtain medical care.
We arrived 6 p.m. and didn’t leave until nearly 6 a.m. My sister-in-law in Texas has a $10,000 medical bill because the life-saving treatment she received for meningitis was “out of plan.” Her husband worked for a company making equipment for the U. S. military and had a “good” insurance policy.
Rationing? We have it. Socialism? It’s called Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. (Note the root word “social.”) Deficits? Thanks to hands-off “oversight” of financial institutions and Bush’s wars and tax bailouts for the rich, Obama inherited a whopper deficit.
Health care reform aims to pay for itself without adding to the deficit. What we really need is a true single-payer universal system like that of the rest of the industrialized world, but Obama’s plan is the best compromise possible considering the entrenched status quo.
I would encourage everyone to tune into real journalism, such as stories on National Public Radio and TV, instead of the blowhard opinion-mongers who want Obama to fail no matter what the real cost to Americans. Shouting down town meetings where the reform plan is being presented is not only undemocratic, it’s downright frightening, because the only “truth” these people want us to hear is the lie, shouted loudly and repeatedly.
Any revolutionary change in the way society works – abolishing slavery, civil rights protections for people of color, granting women the right to vote, the New Deal, etc. has faced a barrage of hostility from people who felt their “way of life” would be forever ruined.
We need bold, visionary people who have the courage to do the right thing. Health care for all is a civil rights issue. It’s what we do for the least of our brothers.
Cindy McIntyre, Waldoboro