Friday, December 25, 2009

Health Care Reform: It's The Same Old Song -- Different Singers

The health care debate is slowly coming to an end and what do we really have to show for it? The way that I see it – not a whole lot. What could have been a shining moment for our country only produced a lot of heated noise and rhetoric; and the end result is a reinforced feeling of powerlessness mixed and the knowledge that the “change we could believe in” promise is never going to come true.

I have to admit that on the night that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States – I got sucked into that whirlwind of belief that we were finally going to see some change in this country. I jumped onboard the Obama Change Train and was beginning to feel positive about this country after eight years of the politics of George W. Bush. I was looking forward to seeing policies made in Washington that would benefit the working class man and woman and not just the corporate fat cats and Wall Street manipulators. With Obama in our corner and a Democratic majority in both the house and the senate – there should not have been anything to stop our elected representatives from turning this country around and changing things for the better. Or so we thought.

Looking back at the past twelve months – Who won this health care battle? It wasn’t the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” bunch from the Republican Party. The Republicans idea of leadership was to make up things like “death panels” or to try and convince people that there was nothing wrong with the health care system as our nation’s health care costs continued to rise and the people’s ability to pay for it increased.

The health care debate felt like a replay of the McCain presidential campaign – full of lies and fear mongering. People who wanted change to our health care system were branded as socialists. The opposition to health care reform could only equate change with big government, which in turn gave birth to the tea bag protest movement that fueled the health care debate with images of Obama as Hitler and comparisons of “Obama Care” to Nazi death camps.

The Democrats are not walking away from the health care debate looking much better than their Republican counterparts. In January – we were to believe that with the Obama’s change team in office things were finally going to be different only to find out in December that it’s politics as usual in Washington. It’s hard for me to look at the Democrats passing the health care bill in the Senate as a victory when two Democratic Senators were given a sweetheart deal for their states that has the other 48 states shouldering the cost of health care reform. That’s not a victory – it’s the same kind of old backroom politics that got us into this health care miss to begin with.

Now that we have seen how the Obama team has handled health care reform – what do you think the odds are for them to reform the banking system that will prevent another economic meltdown from happening again? I’ll be honest with you – it doesn’t look good – but he wanted to job – but don’t try to sell us on “Change we can believe in”, Mr. President – because we know that that’s one promise you can't deliver on.

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