Saturday, October 17, 2009

GOP deals death blow by blocking public option

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By Dr. Eugene T. Paslov

The “just say no” Congressional Republicans are probably feeling smug and self-righteous. They, and a few Blue Dog Democrats, defeated the public option provision of the insurance reform bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

But as the old saying goes, “It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.” Sen. Reid is a master politician and will be working behind the scenes with the Obama administration to find a way to make affordable health care available to all. Heath care for all is what the majority of Americans want; and it is what we need to be internationally competitive and healthy.

If the Congressional Republicans succeed in blocking health care reform (they claim to be interested in denying Americans health care in an effort to deliver a political defeat to the president), they will literally deal death sentences to citizens and will themselves, as a national party, fall into the depths of obscurity from which they may never return.

Our current system of health care is unsustainable; it is obscenely costly and wasteful. By most international health care measures our system of care is not very effective, except for the few who can afford the very best. We rank with Third World countries in terms of infant mortality and longevity. The only ones who really benefit from our current system are the insurance companies, and they're looking to increase their profits and reduce their risks.

Our morally challenged junior senator, John Ensign, testified at a recent appropriations committee hearing that universal medical care was too costly. He claimed that if such a system were put in place, Congress wouldn't be able to control it. I doubt that. And why wouldn't he want the best health care possible for his constituents?

The League of Women Voters tells us that the House and the administration have health care bills that will (1) provide universal health care for all Americans, and include a public option, (2) control health care costs, (3) improve safety and quality of care, (4) include transparency in plans and coverage, and (5) provide adequate financing.

These bills will not hurt seniors or end Medicare; they will not ration coverage and care; and they will not impose long delays on cancer treatment and vital surgeries.

If the Congressional Republicans will not support universal health care for all Americans, including a public option, I'd say let them rot in Hades, and Blue Dog Democrats as well. Vote them out of office at the first opportunity.

Let's support the administration and the men and women who will help make us a healthy and internationally competitive nation.

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