Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reason on Life-Support

I've been listening to the health care bill "shake and shouts" this month and I've come away concerned about the status of "education" in the United States. Yes, I said education. Apparently the ability to think, to reason, and then to debate differences of opinion in a civil manner has been lost.

I would blame it on the past eight years of teaching to the "test," but the individuals I see parroting conflicting statements in a loud and uncompromising manner at these town hall meetings can in no way be considered a product of the last ten years of the public education system. They are too old. Some of them are our elected representatives. Some are special interest group shills. Many are retired seniors who have been frightened into spouting gibberish.

No matter what your political leanings, reason shouldn't be the first victim when times get tough. I think we can all agree that times are tough.

Death Panels? Nazis? How did end of life counseling done at the patient's request become akin to forced euthanasia? Come on people! Think!

I don't know if the "public option" insurance is a good thing or a bad thing. At this rate I never will. I get very suspicious when people don't want me to hear what others have to say. I begin wonder if the people shouting down the others have a financial interest in things remaining the same.

I know that we already have government run health care – it's called Medicare and Medicaid.

I know that we already pay for those who don't have health insurance – it's called Emergency Room treatment (much more expensive than any other kind of medical treatment) paid for with our tax dollars.

I know many people, through no fault of their own, can't afford any health care insurance or are severely under-insured.

I know many businesses can't afford to offer health care insurance to their employees. Even state governments, the provider of my health insurance benefits, find each year that they can afford less and less coverage for the funds available. When the costs of health benefits increases between 20% & 30% in a twelve-month period, we all have a problem. It's easy to say, "Leave me alone, I'm happy with my insurance." But if things continue as they have, you won't be happy for much longer.

I know we have a problem that needs fixing. Regardless of your politics, you know we have one too. We just disagree on how to solve the problem.

A lot of people are involved in the "noise," but I don't know if there are any smart, well-informed people being heard.

I haven't "heard" any. How about you?

Evelyn David


  1. The problem is neither side is behaving reasonably.

    Yes, we do already have government health as you pointed out. Not only am I on Medicare because I'm old, and I worked so put into Social Security, but hubby and I both have Tri-Care which is Champus and because my husband served 20 plus years in the Seabees.

    What irritates me is that the legislators themselves have wonderful government paid health care--but that's not what they are proposing--they can be as wasteful as they want flying around in government paid for private jets and know that forever they'll have a wonderful retirement. (This includes both sides.)

    In California where they've cut everything, schools, care to the elderly and disabled and on and on, the legislators just gave themselves a raise.

    There's something wrong with our whole system. No wonder people have gone nuts.


  2. You're a genius and have written yet another great blog, ED.

    I think there is some intelligent talk out there on our failing system and how to repair and enhance it, but you are right to say that they are drowned out and pushed off-screen by mostly those against reform, but even by some who are for it.

    To make things worse, we're now careening off to the tangent story of people bringing loaded fire-arms to these crowded and heated political events. YIKES on that one.

    I do in part blame a lazy and inept news media. A lot of this has traction because of the time and space given in reporting on it, with particular malpractice in the KIND of reporting done on it. I could understand news outlets not wanting to hide, ignore or pre-judge things that are happening around the nation. But, when these bombastic and fairly biased networks (for each side, depending on the network being watched) rush out and grab for a live interview the NUT CASE WHITE SUPREMISIST who toted a loaded gun to a large presidential speaking event and let him spout crazy-talk as if this guy’s opinion and actions are worth our scrutiny, THAT is just cheap sensationalism.

    And I would only disagree with Marilyn’s very good comment to add that no matter what failures we have in our system, it’s never right or understandable for citizens to just lose their minds and inflict harm—via violence or even just shortchanging our right to speak and to hear. We are a nation ruled by law and reason and that should remain paramount.

  3. No, I don't think we should inflict harm or violence either.

    What I do think is the media on both sides fan the flames for ratings.

    We should be a nation ruled by law and reason, but I'm not sure that is what is happening today.

    I hate to discuss politics.


  4. What a well-written commentary. Thank you. You've given me some more food for thought, and you've managed to articulate some of my thoughts. Well done!