Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What if We Could Drop Healthcare for Dick Cheney and the Palins

After all we’re paying their medical bills with our tax dollars while their party steadfastly refuses to provide healthcare for more than 50 million Americans who are either uninsured or underinsured, or prevent outrageous rate hikes for the rest of us clinging to our healthcare by our fingernails. Americans are now being dropped from health insurance rolls at a record pace so that company CEOs can maintain their lavish lifestyles on the backs of the sickest of the sick, as they’re cast away to die in the gutter of neglect. But not Dick Cheney. The Dark Lord has had five heart attacks, and if not for his government-run healthcare he’d be dead by now. As Ed Schultz said, we wish Mr. Cheney a speedy recovery since he has just become the evil posterchild for universal healthcare in America.

So what do the Palins and Cheneys have in common? Nope, not only that. Surprise, surprise . . . (not really) Tripp Palin Johnston and the “death panels” Queen herself have federally funded healthcare; what the clueless Teabaggers carrying signs that say, Hands off my Medicare!, call “socialized medicine.” On Thursday the President will hold a bipartisan confab in which he presents the White House tweaks to the healthcare bills passed by the two chambers of Congress, and challenge Republicants to submit their plans. They have none. They are constitutionally and ideologically incapable of providing health insurance for all Americans. The party of NO will bellow the Frank Luntz talking points “government takeover” and “setup” to mischaracterize a right-centrist, market and employer based healthcare reform package that pays for itself, reduces the deficit by at least $100 billion, and was first proposed (in concept) by Richard Nixon.

In the end, the Democrats must act. Failure to pass a healthcare bill is not an option after the President went out of his way to include Republicant proposals. Harry Reed warned Republicants to “stop crying” about reconciliation. Republicants, unlike Democrats, are not in Congress to legislate and pass laws. They are there to obstruct and gum up the works of government. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn summed up the Republicant philosophy perfectly: “I love gridlock. I think we’re better off when we’re gridlocked because we’re not passing things.”

Well, Ronald Reagan isn’t president and President Obama isn’t the enemy. If the Republicants refuse to play a constructive role putting country first ahead of party and ideology and refuse to compromise, then they should stand down, step aside, and allow the Democrats to govern. As President Obama said eons ago, it seems: “The time has come to set aside childish things.”

Realistically, the time has come for Democrats and our President to act boldly and decisively; their political health depends on it.

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