Dear President Obama,
I've always believed that through informed satire, excellent points can be made very clearly. Two of my favorite comedians recently said:
"No matter what you do, the Republicans are not going to let you into the station wagon."
- Jon Stewart, 28 January, 2010 [re - 'The Wonder Years', where Fred Savage keeps trying to get into the car driven by his douche-bag older brother who will never let him in]
"Obama’s like a guy in college who spends a whole year, wasting it, trying to hit on Ellen DeGeneres." - Bill Maher, 26 February, 2010.
You held the cordial seven hour health care summit last Thursday. That's very nice of you. Now, stop being nice, stop trying to "win over" any Republican votes, and (as Andrew Sullivan says frequently) Pass The Damn Bill. Summon up your best Lydon Johnson, and get 51 senators to vote for it. Make sure it is a Democratic Bill, and not some awful gift to corporate America. If you gift the plutocrats, corporate titans, and self-serving for-profit companies, the Republicans will be laughing behind your back, and kicking your party's sorry ass in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
One American dies every 12 minutes from not being insured, 45,000 a year (123 a day). One in 3 bankruptcies are health care related. A large percentage of home foreclosures are a result of health care costs. It's a growing cancer, and a cure needs to be implemented, stat.
Remember, my dear President - the first winning candidate for federal office I ever voted for - that the majority of Americans DO NOT HAVE a health care system. The majority of Americans have private insurance through their employers that are for-profit companies. The poorest of the poor have Medicaid, sure. And those over 65 have Medicare, yes. And all the Federal Employees (one of the largest employers in America), yourself included, have an awesome array of insurance choices from which to select coverage for themselves and their families. But this is NOT a "health care system". This is a patch work of limited safety nets for those employed in small companies - at least until they are dropped. It's an under-funded mandate that is loathed by Republicans for the Medicaid patients who are only lacking bootstraps by which to pull themselves up. It's an under-funded mandate that senior citizens LOVE on Medicare, but in which the providers have found all sorts of loop-holes to exploit, and which is NOT available to anyone under 65. And then, there's some 30 to 50 million tax paying Americans, who have no insurance whatsoever, and no "health care system" that can, or that will, step up to assist those people in their time of need.
The United States is unique in this selfish, uncaring, go phuck-yourself social perspective. Every other industrialized, democratic nation in the world has a health care system, a medical social safety net, that cares for its sickest citizens. Yes, some of them are better than others but the UN ranks America at # 37. Thirty seven, really... something to be proud of? No, not at all.
So please, stop trying to placate the obstinate party of "No". Put some tort reform in the bill so that the one half of one percent of health care costs that the CBO projects can be saved will be saved, and the John Edwards of the world will have a little less income from chasing ambulances - sad that as a nation, we graduate more lawyers every year than we do engineers, or scientists, or doctors. Include the tort reform, and ability to 'buy across state lines' with good regulation, AND a freakin public option that everyone can buy across state lines, and have it voted on and passed and signed by you in the rose garden before Easter. Then, only 4182 Americans will be dead this month, for lack of insurance between now and then. Yep, more than were killed by fundamentalist fanatics on 9-11 - but you can do it. You need to do it. Please, get it done.
If you don't, you're done, and your "brand" is done. November 3rd will be the beginning of your "lame duck" term. 2010 will be the start of the slide, and 2012 will hasten your party's irrelevance and impotence. Yes, you HAVE raised America's image globally, and fewer people hate us abroad now... but they don't vote in America. You have helped to avert a 2nd global financial depression, but 18 million Americans are still unemployed and your secretary of the treasury has on speed dial on his cell phone a dozen financial dirt bags from every incompetent and evil large bank who drove us into this mess. Why is he still around?
I'm still rooting for you, and hope you don't let Nancy and Harry drag their feet through the summer on this one. Get it done now. Get it done before many more 9-11 worth of Americans die for lack of being able to pay their corporate Masters.
1 year ago