The Politics of Health System Reform: Obstruction or Hypocrisy
From Richard Cohen of the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-obama-the-ineffable...):
I wrote last year that Obama had lost the Hamptons. Nothing has changed. He is roundly denounced for not doing a Heimlich on the economy, for his allegedly socialist ways, for Obamacare, for low employment, for high unemployment, for not returning phone calls, for not asking advice — for being cold, distant and, increasingly, just for being president of the United States. The man, it seems, has to go.
I share some of these sentiments. The economy remains in the doldrums, the occasional good month followed by two or three bad ones. Obama is something of a cold fish, which may be something he cannot help, but he is also a lazy politician, unwilling — not unable — to do the telephoning and backslapping that his job requires.
As for Obamacare, it is both a legal and programmatic mess not because it is even modestly socialist but because it is not socialistenough. A government-run health-care system such as the ones used in virtually all the industrialized world — the so-called single-payer system — would have been the way to go. Instead, we have a system in which private insurance companies will abuse doctors and patients alike in the cause of profit. This, alas, truly is the American Way.
Dr. Don McCanne's comment:
Although, in this opinion article, Richard Cohen blasts President Obama for his, shall we say, inaction, he doesn't include here the difficulties Obama faced from the obstructionism by the opposition party, nor from the inaction of the electorate which suffers from a combination of being uninformed and misinformed, thus unable to advocate effectively for policies that would benefit us all. Of course, the candidate of the opposition party spent the weekend in the Hamptons hauling in millions in campaign donations from the "terrified rich," thus offering little hope that the November elections would bring us any relief from our political quagmire.
My friend Dr. McCanne reveals his political bias here. It's easy to call Republicans obstructionists, nay-sayers, and panderers to the rich. Democrat leaning people, like Dr. McCanne, need to ask themselves which is the worse political problem when it comes to health system reform--the obstructions posed by Republicans or the hypocrisy of Democrats? We have a health system mess because of bipartisan failure to care first about patients. Both parties are equally guilty of accepting both money and talking points from health care corporations, and liberally dishing out corporate welfare. Dr. McCanne goes on to ask for citizen activism. I concur. Leave the political nonsense behind. We won't get health system reform from our political leaders. Join the Utah Healthcare Initiative and place health system reform on the ballot. The only thing we need from Congress is legislation allowing state-based comprehensive health system reform, without interference from the federal government.
Dr. Joe Jarvis