I usually don’t mind waiting to get my hair cut. But today was a little out of the ordinary.
The fellow ahead of me, who I’ll call Randy, felt called upon to deliver a lecture on Obamacare and how the President is directing the government to take over our lives. It was quite a rant, and Randy clearly seemed to think the rest of us gave a sh*t about his opinion.
Unfortunately there are a lot of folks like Randy. I won’t say they are un-informed, because they must be spending some time listening to Rush Limbaugh, or someone like him, deliver a stream of lies squeezed in between commercials for impotence remedies and weight loss products. Instead I think that Randy is just mis-informed.
What Randy is too stupid (sorry) to get is that Republicans have done a head fake and set up proxy arguments that appeal to voters just like him, scoring political points instead of solving the problem. So we wind up in an echo chamber filled with mindless slogans, like the Tea Partiers parading in front of the Supreme Court holding up signs saying “Don’t Tread On Me”.
Give me a break, 60% of these people don’t think that Medicare is a Government Program.
The media have played the part of enablers, because the truth is very complicated (as in boring), and they don’t want to lose their audience.
So here are the simple facts:
- The health care system in the USA is broken. Everyone agrees with that, the debate comes down to how we fix it.
- Conservatives want to get the government completely out, running it like a free market letting supply meet demand.
- Liberals want a single-payer system, with everyone guaranteed access to quality care.
For lots of reasons the Affordable Health Care Act, aka ‘Obamacare’ has given neither side what they want.
Conservatives lost the legislative battle in the Congress two years ago, but now they have chosen to challenge the law by attacking the ‘mandate’ that everyone purchase health insurance. They picked that part of the legislation to attack, because they felt that would get them the greatest chance of success at the Supreme Court. They have expanded the argument in the media ad nauseum, claiming that for Obama this is only the beginning of a government takeover.
What really gets to me is the staggering hypocracy of the Republican attack on the insurance ‘mandate’. In fact the ‘mandate’ was created by those very same Conservatives years ago in their attempts to reform the system. Its stated goal was to force everyone to purchase health insurance and stop the ‘freeloaders’ from making the rest of us pay for their medical expenses.
And folks like Randy buy into this crap, because it’s spoon-fed to them every day and they just don’t know any better. Which wouldn’t be so bad, if they would just keep their mis-informed opinions to themselves.
Especially when I’m waiting to get my hair cut, and can’t escape.