Obama To Republican Governors: Put Up Or Shut Up
President Barack Obama is a smart man; Monday he made a speech to governors that if they could come up with their own plan instead of the federal government’s Affordable Care Act by 2014 that would cover as many people with protections in place to protect people from being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions; give the same level of coverage and didn’t raise the federal deficit; he would make it possible to allow them to offer their own health care.
This is what the President and Democrats in Washington have been trying to tell the Republicans all along; if you can come up with a better plan; one that takes care of most of those who have no insurance in this country, lowers cost; (which unfortunately the current health care law does not do enough of); and provides the same level of coverage as the current law; then show us what you got.
What we got from the Republicans is a plan that would only cover a fraction of the uninsured in this country; 3 million. Sorry my conservative friends; that’s just not enough.
What the Republicans don’t seem to want to face up to is that if we were to go back to the way it was before, and this health care law gets repealed or found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court; we will see health care cost spiraling out of control to the point that; to have health care in this country, you must be very privileged and wealthy. The rest of us will be waiting in the emergency rooms across the country to get emergency care when we absolutely need it or we’ll die.
Of course, the conservative point of view is to let market forces take care of health care in this country. Well, I’m sorry to inform you but that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time and market forces didn’t stop it from getting to where it is now. What is important to realize is that there are some things that we can’t leave to affordability for those who need it; and that one thing is health care. As a responsible civil society that has vast amounts of wealth, we need to take care of everyone when it comes to health care. To simply allow the system to get so bad that people die from not being able to get access, is immoral, to put it bluntly.
Within my blogs I have consistently supported a balanced system in this country; one that provides an environment to encourages growth of business through capitalism, yet also provide a safety net through certain social programs that sees to the needs of those who may fall through the cracks and needs assistance. I am not one who supports the welfare state, at least as a long-term answer to out-of-work, able-bodied people. Our welfare system should only be general relief for a short period of time, and should also provide a work program that allows those who are using the relief, to pay for their assistance by working at community projects.
But health care is a completely different matter. It doesn’t matter if someone is the lowliest, and the laziest; we still can’t sit by and allow them to suffer and die because they have no health care coverage. That is why it is absolutely important that we provide universal care for every single citizen of this country.
As far as the current health care law; I for one don’t like the idea of being mandated to buy insurance, but if that’s the only way that we can pay for it; then so be it. What I’d really prefer is a single-payer system that covers everyone. It would be worth the extra tax from our paychecks to have that kind of health care security in this country; that if bad things happen to your health; you’re covered. That kind of system may not be perfect, but it would lower cost by a large margin than what health care cost right now. As far as the imperfections; that’s why we have an elected government in Washington; to continue improving our laws, including our health care laws so that we can live a better life.
What President Obama has done by opening the door for states to come up with their own plan, is to finally make it loud and clear for them to either “Put up or shut up”. The Republicans spent 12 years in control of Congress and not once tried to tackle the big issues like health care. Then when they finally lost control of both houses, they do nothing but oppose whatever the Democrats do.
Health care is an important issue and it is something we need to deal with now; not again kick the can down the road. We should be able to count on our elected officials to be willing to take on the big issues that faces us, and not only the politically safe issues. I commend the President and the Democrats for finally taking on this issue, in the face of strong political opposition and the risk they took by tackling an issue that could cost them their seats in Congress and a second term for our President. This is the kind of leadership we need in Washington and in all of our state houses across the country.
So Republicans governors; bring it on, including my own; Governor Mary Fallon of Oklahoma; If you can provide your state with just as good of coverage and all the important aspects of the current law, without the mandate to buy insurance; I’m all for it, and you can sign me up.