President’s health summit illustrates the disconnect some in Congress have with the poor

LatinaLista — For some reason, the United Kingdom newspaper, the Guardian, is running a two-day poll on their online site asking their readers to vote on who gave the “best performance” in President Obama’s healthcare summit today.

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So far, Democrats are outpacing Republicans. Last I checked, and the poll counts the results every 60 seconds, it was Democrats 60.6% vs. Republicans 39.4%.

President Obama convenes bipartisan healthcare summit.

It’s not surprising that the newspaper used the terminology “best performance” because, as most anyone knows, politicians are at heart nothing more than hams for the camera.

Yet, there was a distinction between the two sides’ presentations that permeated the event and made the Republicans emerge with egg all over their faces — to go along with that ham, I guess.

Contrary to using this opportunity to present to the American people — the very ones that most of them claimed didn’t want the current healthcare bill — a serious debate on the components of the bill and actually work with their Democratic colleagues, they chose to act in a way that illustrates why there is gridlock in Congress.

it’s no wonder so many congressmen are leaving The Hill. With call after call from Republicans for Obama to just totally scrap his bill and start over, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that “starting over” is double-speak for “I only vote for the Republican-authored bill.”

Unfortunately, the big impression I am left with after this bipartisan show of divide is that most Republicans have no sincere wish to help Main Street USA. I say this because as each Republican criticized and was negative about the bill, with the exception of only a couple, there was a distinct lack of empathy for those constituents who lack healthcare or who are paying exorbitant premiums due to a pre-existing condition, if they can get health insurance.

Do Republicans really only represent the wealthy and Big Business – the same businesses that award their employees with big bonuses?

Obama told the men and women in attendance at the summit, and I’m paraphrasing, that each of them were part of the wealthy class with the benefits of having health insurance because of the federal pool they belong to.

What if they didn’t have it?

Though it was rhetorical, it seemed to be a question no one was willing to answer.

How lucky they are that they live in a financial bubble shielded from the hard decisions too many Americans have to answer every day — because they have no choice.

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12 Comments

  1. Candy said:

    Let me know when the people of the UK vote for the president of the US and Congress. I can’t see how their opinions are relevant.
    The Republicans are right, this health care bill is just a government imposed transfer of wealth from the haves to the have nots. My health care plan involves permitting tax payers check off a block on their federal income tax form that says that they want their refund to go to health insurance for those who don’t have it. Those who do can then put their money where their mouth is and not bother the rest of us. Then we’ll see how generous the proponents of government sponsored health care are with their OWN money.

  2. Jolly Roger said:

    The Rushpubliscums are, first and foremost, elitists. they think that they are ENTITLED to all the bennies that the unwashed brown hordes must never be allowed to have. Just like Michele Bachmann’s family was ENTITLED to rake in hundreds of thousands of farm subsidy dollars while she moaned about Social Security and little Tripp Johnston is ENTITLED to that GUBMINT healthcare that would lead to those “death panels” if any of the rest of us had it.
    All you have to remember is this: IOKITAR. Not for anyone else, though.

  3. Karen said:

    My problem with the health care plan is that there is no public option. If I am compelled to buy private health insurance under IRS penalty, what happens if they raise my rates higher than I can afford?
    And I agree that the people in Washington who are blocking the public option (that group includes Obama) actually have government insurance themselves.

  4. maryelizabeth said:

    Those Republican’s have access to the best insurance that you can have. That insurance happen’s to be the plan they get from the US government for being in public office. They are hypocrite’s to try to deny US citizen’s the same right to have the same coverage that they have. We pay our taxes, and we should be able to have access to the same plan they have. My sister worked for the State, and she said that insurance was the best insurance that she ever had. She didn’t even have a co-pay. These Republican’s are really ticking off the citizen’s of our country.

  5. Alonzo said:

    “They are hypocrite’s to try to deny US citizen’s the same right to have the same coverage that they have. We pay our taxes, and we should be able to have access to the same plan they have.”
    This is typical tripe I hear from left wingers who think that the government owes them something. The relationship between the government and its employees and the government and its privately employed citizens is obviously not the same. It’s like saying that you buy automobiles from General Motors and for some outlandish reason you should be entitled to receive the same health insurance as GM’s unionized workers even though you don’t work for GM. Insurance is a form of worker compensation, just not in cash, and not a charitable contribution. ME, if you received health insurance from your employer, one that say built widgets, would you agree that the public customers of the widgets be entitled to your same plan? I’ve heard this same confused rhetoric before. It’s become commonplace over the internet, among the least educated of the public.
    There is no tradition or obligation under the Constitution for the federal government to provide health care for its citizens. Amend the constitution if you want this changed, because as its stands, it isn’t right.

  6. Alonzo said:

    “My problem with the health care plan is that there is no public option. If I am compelled to buy private health insurance under IRS penalty, what happens if they raise my rates higher than I can afford?”
    Ultimately, the insurance rates of a public option could exceed your ability to pay anyway. If the costs of doctors and hospitals go high enough, it won’t matter whether you have a public or private payer.
    Although they’ll deny it, the Democrats do not have a handle on costs. Their plan is to limit payments to providers, an idea that might involve closing hospitals and driving doctors out of their profession. Many doctors already refuse to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients because of these price controls. Reimbursements are laughably low. No doubt this would occur under the public option or government control on private policies. This is what Republicans and anyone else with common sense understands.

  7. cookie said:

    Our Republican politicans have access to the best insurance but the Democrats don’t?
    We never will as regular Americans have the same good coverage that our politicians do. It would be great but isn’t going to happen.
    In case one has forgotten, the majority of the American public are opposed to the Obama healthcare plan and they are comprised of both Republicans and Democrats.

  8. Evelyn said:

    Alonzo:
    There is no tradition or obligation under the Constitution for the federal government to provide health care for its citizens. Amend the constitution if you want this changed, because as its stands, it isn’t right.
    Are you willing to sign the Anti-Socialism Purity Pledge?
    There is no tradition or obligation under the constitution for the federal government to provide any of the following socialist programs either.
    “Sign the Anti-Socialism Purity Pledge!”
    I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

  9. Alonzo said:

    “Do Republicans really only represent the wealthy and Big Business – the same businesses that award their employees with big bonuses?”
    No, they represent the 85 percent of Americans that recognize that Obamacare is a gamble with their current insurance and don’t want government screwing with it. The federal government has no constitutional charter to provide everyone in the country with health insurance. Over 200 years have passed since the founding of this country, but between then and now no one saw this as to be a mission of federalism. It’s only since we’ve had tens of millions living off the public dole that the federal government has been looked upon as the cow with the limitless udder.
    The Republicans have demonstrated that Obamacare isn’t funded, except thru smoke and mirror accounting, and like Social Security, Medicare and Medicade, its bound to fail. The idea of passing such a obamanation is frightening to anyone except the nanny state progressives that are all emotion and without rational thought.

  10. Evelyn said:

    “If Gun Ownership is a Right! What Is Health Care?”
    Chopped Liver?
    On March 2, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in, McDonald v. City of Chicago. This case pertains to a Second Amendment challenge to Chicago’s ban on handguns. From media reports, it appears the high court may be paving the way for gun rights on a national basis. A Chicago Tribune article had Justice Kennedy saying, ” ‘the individual right to bear arms’ is a ‘fundamental’ right, like the other protections in the Bill of Rights.” This got me to thinking about health care and how we should view it. Now, if at least one justice of our Supreme Court believes that owning firearms falls within the Bill of Rights, shouldn’t being healthy be given (at least) the same pedestal as gun ownership?
    Is health care simply a product to be bought and sold? Is it a right for a citizen like so many other industrialized nations view it? Is it a privilege attainable for only those who can afford it? Or, is it partially a responsibility of the government to ensure, like providing gas or oil for heat, or electricity to light up one’s residence? Obama was asked about health care when he debated McCain in Nashville back in the Fall 2008. At the time, he said it was a right, and not a privilege or responsibility. Teddy Kennedy said it was a right at the last Democratic convention; so have many other–including this blogger a couple of months before Teddy spoke.
    I’m not saying that health care is a right in a constitutional sense, for it is not specifically identified in the Constitution. We do know the Declaration of Independence declares that we are “endowed with un(in)alienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, but issues of accessibility and affordability to health care were not in the forefront of the minds of the Founding Fathers–health care was generally available to all citizens back then, and was not as integral a part of the 1700s as it is of today’s society–so it is doubtful that the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence intended health care within the scope of its words (although with Justice Kennedy saying owning guns should be a right, who knows?) We also know that the Supreme Court has previously interpreted the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment clause to include guaranteeing health care to prisoners. Even the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 provides, “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.”
    Health care affects every single American, like no other area of human existence and comprehension. Everyone knows what it is to be healthy and to be sick or infirm. Stated differently, but for being healthy, we cannot be productive to ourselves, our families, our employers, our communities, and, indeed in the end, to the nation’s economy.
    Perhaps if President Obama realizes that his opposition views health care as a commodity to be bought and sold, and not as he said many months ago now in Nashville, the road to enacting health care reform will be shorter. If owning a gun can become a right, at least in the view of Justice Kennedy, and prisoners who include those using those very guns to commit crimes are entitled to treatment, then isn’t it about time to view the ability to afford and access health care more than just chopped liver?

  11. liquidmicro said:

    We also know that the Supreme Court has previously interpreted the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment clause to include guaranteeing health care to prisoners.
    To put it in laymen’s terms, prisoners are wards of the State and have no ability to earn an income to be able to purchase health care, therefor, due to being a ward of the State, it is then the states responsibility to provide basic health care to the prisoner. The State has basically deprived the ward his basic Liberty due to a crime that was committed under Civil Law.
    Even the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 provides, “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one’s family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care.”
    Which goes to the USA’s rule, NO hospital can turn away a patient with emergency medical needs, whether they have insurance or not, whether they can afford it or not.
    If owning a gun can become a right,
    The Constitution does not “grant” rights, it is a negative document which our government must refrain from doing, not to any positive duty of the government to act.
    “A negative right is a right, either moral or decreed by law (US Constitution), to not be subject to any action or abuse from our Government.” To use Justice Brandeis’ famous phrase more broadly than he used it, negative rights are “rights to be left alone.” All civilized legal systems beyond the village or tribal level have been systems of negative rights. For example, Anglo-American common law defines spheres of personal space which other persons (i.e. Government) must not invade — especially spheres involving the body, residence, possessions, and property. The only way to create positive rights in traditional common law is to personally agree to them (i.e. to make a contract).

  12. Alonzo said:

    “I’m not saying that health care is a right in a constitutional sense, for it is not specifically identified in the Constitution.”
    You’re right on this one Evelyn. Health insurance would just be another one of those ever growing expensive entitlements paid for mainly by the 50 percent of citizens who pay taxes. It would soon become a nightmare of a tax burden for the productive in this country.
    “We do know the Declaration of Independence declares that we are “endowed with un(in)alienable rights, among them are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
    I could just as easily interpret this to mean that Uncle Sam owes me a Mercedes Benz or a mansion in the Hamptons. A Mercedes Benz and a mansion would sure go far in helping me pursue happiness.
    The Founding Fathers and their successor statesmen have never found health care to something they would include in the Bill of Rights. Inalienable rights are rights that cannot be revoked. Congress could easily cut off health care support from the budget, so how could one call such entitlements inalienable? What Congress giveth, Congress can take away. No, I’ll limit inalienable rights to the First Ten Amendments, thank you! And since the health of a person is somewhat their own responsibility, very much dependent upon diet, exercise and other personally controllable factors, why should I be subsidize those who abuse themselves? I’m voting no to government controlled health care.

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