Afraid to ask: What is the point of HCR without a public option?

September 10, 2009

in imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway,this i believe

I don’t set a lot of rules in the house for my boys.  The Golden Rule, of course.  The “Be true to yourself”, remnants from reading Hermann Hesse in my youth.  And then there is my very own:

Whatever you do, don’t do a half-ass job.

(I know. I am all brevity…)

So here I am, 2:17 am 2:58 am 3:14 am on the Thursday morning after the POTUS’ address to a joint session of Congress, the one where he laid out the general principles of the Health Care Reform plan that both sides have been fighting on for months, wishing I were a better writer, because I am about to explode, wordlessly.

This headline sums up what everyone, on either side, has figured out, probably has even anticipated, at least subconsciously,

Obama avoids the details on divisive issues to keep his healthcare goals on track

The point of contention is the so-called “Public Plan”.

With all due respect to the freedom of speech, blah blah blah, I sincerely don’t see how anyone who opposes the option of a government-backed insurance plan for ALL can look at themselves in the eyes, be 100% honest, and say, “I oppose this because I don’t feel like paying more taxes for people who do not earn it.  If they cannot afford health insurance now, it is their own damn fault.  I work hard, and I pay taxes ONLY because I have to.  It has nothing to do with being selfish.  In fact, I am NOT.  I donate to charities.  I am good.”

Actually, scratch that.  I think that’s how most people justify their opposition to the Public option.  I can see it, I just cannot understand it.  Richard Dawkins must have regretted that somehow his seminal book got it so right, literally.

Not wanting to count on the innate selfishness that we were born with, GOP has augmented the horror story of a Public Option by playing up to people’s fear for an invasion by illegal immigrants.  “Their kids will get accepted into colleges before your kids are.  Now your hard-earned money is going towards to paying for their health care too!  Where is the free handout for YOU?!”   So much so that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled, “You lie!” after POTUS countered the fear mongering that the health care legislature as proposed will provide free health care to illegal immigrants.

Here you can witness the historical moment that turned Professional Heckler Joe “You Lie” Wilson into a GOP “Atta boy!” Martyr:

I appreciate that POTUS is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. 

L.A. Times:

“And so, though some liberal Democrats have threatened to revolt if Obama does not insist on a new government insurance option — the so-called public plan — the president told the joint session of Congress that he would consider other approaches to making coverage affordable for the uninsured…  At this point, Obama seeks to remain flexible because the House will not pass a healthcare bill that does not include the public plan, and the Senate will not pass a bill that does.”

I pity the fool that covets Obama’s job after last night…

I know somewhere I must be over-simplifying things.  I must have missed something.  Even though I do understand that POTUS has to be the Über diplomat in order to push this thing through, to help it see the light of day, I cannot help but wonder, screaming aloud inside my head, at the same time feeling guilty for not being supportive, being a sort of “backseat driver”, or worse, like one of those parents that never volunteer yet always the first ones to complain…  I just have to ask out loud:

Really.  What is the point of a health care reform without a public option? (That is not Medicare, thank you very much.)

Whatever you do, don’t do a half-ass job.

Apparently, in politics, this laughably simple rule I set for my children, is difficult to follow.

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Jane September 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Unfortunately, as long as there are lobbyists and politicians looking out for self-interests; a “half-assed” job is about all we can expect. The amount of junk that gets tacked on to any bill is outrageously ridiculous, in my opinion.
.-= Jane´s last blog ..Making an Ass of U and Me =-.

Absence Alternatives September 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Well put. My fear exactly. *sigh* At least my kids are still required to uphold that rule. 😉

Cheryl of September 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm

So well said. I just need someone to explain to me who exactly is making all these alleged demands to “reach across the aisle” when we need real change!
.-= Cheryl of´s last blog ..Three Things To Do With … Butternut Squash =-.

Absence Alternatives September 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

@ Cheryl of
Thank you! It is very nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way. :-)

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