|January 25, 2011|
|Healthcare Debate Goes On and On and On...|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Congressional Republicans voted yesterday to repeal the new federal healthcare law. The GOP today decided to establish various committees to pick apart various aspects of the “Affordable Care Act.” Now what? |
Do Republicans really want to waste the next two years, knocking their heads against the wall over healthcare? If they possess such a death wish, Democrats say “bring it on.”
There is no way Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ever going to schedule a vote on dismantling healthcare. Reid, in fact, was often criticized by now-former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for failing to follow up on votes that were passed with big Democratic majorities in the House.
If Speaker John Boehner plans a never-ending debate on healthcare, Pelosi will soon get her old gavel back. As for President Obama, the veto pen is the ultimate protection for his signature achievement.
The White House is demonstrating PR savvy these days. It has trotted out an impressive collection of third-party newspaper editorial endorsements in support of the healthcare law. The White House website has links to papers located in “red” states (Kansas City Star, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Charlotte Observer and Palm Beach Post), “blue” ones (New York Times, Poughkeepsie Journal, Baltimore Sun, Sacramento Bee and Spokane Spokesman-Review) and “purple” states (Aurora (Colorado) Sentinel and Las Vegas Sun).
The Charlotte Observer published my favorite editorial. It bashes Republicans for spreading “misinformation.” Depiction of the law as a “government takeover of healthcare” is a flat out lie, the Observer says, noting that the system will still rely on private insurers and employer-provided coverage.
Uncle Sam is not going to seize hospitals and nationalize doctors. To those worried about more regulation of health, the Observer points that though the Federal Aviation Administration sets rules for airlines, nobody in their right mind believes the government controls the nation’s carriers. That begs the question: Are Republicans in their right minds?
From the Observer:
“Despite what the Republicans say, returning to the pre-reform system is unacceptable. Are they so out of touch with the lives of regular Americans? It's abominable for our nation to accept a situation in which millions of people - including many employed by small businesses or part-time - can't get decent care for lack of insurance and money. That's where repeal would take us. It's not where we need to go.”
Sarah Palin may belittle the mainstream media as “lamestream,” but newspapers can play a vital role in outing bogus GOP attacks on healthcare. They also should encourage the Republican Congress to concentrate on matters where it can make a difference.
How about job-creation and war-ending?
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