The royal ‘we’ in healthcare, USA

February 26, 2010

[Update 10/5/10Bob Herbert follows the money for would-be Mr. Speaker.]

Republican troglodytes in Congress, like their fearless leader, John Boehner, often say things like this:

Here in the United States, we have the best healthcare system in the world.”

Perhaps what they mean is “I have the best healthcare..,” because they certainly do.  They get it for life, whether  in or out of the U.S. Congress.

And those 30,000,000 of you who have no health insurance because of pre-existing conditions or premiums you can’t afford, too bad.  And the rest of you, say 265,000,000 who can loose your insurance anytime you lose, or just change your job, too bad for you.  That leaves the congressmen, the millionaires, and a few lucky folks with a secure footing in the best healthcare in the world.


August 23, 2009


While on vacation in San Francisco, I watched cable TV that I don’t get at home, where I don’t watch TV anyway.  On Larry King Live, Elizabeth Edwards and Tommy Thompson, looking like a turtle, were sharing a split-screen while King’s voice asked the questions.  A nicely balanced image.

They were discussing the overheated rhetoric of the healthcare debate.  Thompson opined that it had gotten too extreme, “on both sides.”  As an example, he cited Representative Barney Frank (D) asking a constituent of his “What planet are you on?”  That’s way over the top for Tommy.

Even when your constituent is calling the president a Nazi?” asked King.  Thompson was momentarily discomfited.  “Uh, yes, like I said, the rhetoric is way too extreme..,” but debate is the American Way, blah, blah, blah…

Love it.

The face of America today

August 13, 2009


Senator Arlen Spector faces off against a dissenting constituent, a member of one of the posses of crazies who say Obama is “making our country like Russia.”  We don’t need no stinkin’ health care!!

Meanwhile, in southern California, thousands line up to get free dental care, general exams, and other medical attention.  Thousands, with families, some employed, some insured! But they can’t afford this care that is being offered free by a philanthropic organization.  I guess they don’t have time to harass and shout down their congressmen what with having to stand in line all day to get a tooth pulled.

And finally, a hard-hitting story on NPR about the California prison system.  You know, where the inmates were rioting.  And judges are ordering men released because of the inhuman crowding they are enduring on the inside.  And why are the prisons so crowded..?  Filled to the brim with rapists and murderers?  No…the population on the inside has exploded by a factor of eight over the last 20 years because of unbelievably harsh “three strikes and you’re out” laws.  If you are convicted of a third felony, like shoplifting more than $500 worth of stuff, you are in for life.  INSANE!

What sort of magical thinking led people to believe this would solve the social problem of crack addiction?  Lock them up, and throw away the key.  Fortunately, we are still more civilized than that, and now the people are having to pay the piper.  Who is that piper?  According to this report, it is the Corrections Officers Union, which benefits mightily from the growth of the prison population.