Warning: define() expects at least 2 parameters, 1 given in /home/rrejr/public_html/wp-config.php on line 38
Health Care Hypocrisy | REnotated

Health Care Hypocrisy

  • The single factor that seemed to contribute the most to the Democrats defeat in Congress, the one thing that animated the highest animosity and energized the vote in opposition, was Health Care Reform.  Now members of the Tea Party and many Republicans in Congress are vowing to “gut it”.  If this is how conservatives plan to use their recently gained political capital, they will fall into the same trap as Democrats.  After spending so much time and so many resources debating health care, not just recently, but over decades, Congress is poised to again squander their opportunities debating its undoing.  The fundamental issue doesn’t even have anything to do with closely held beliefs, but with the most base of all things – political power.

    Like much of the current political dialogue, the health care debate is rife with hypocrisy.  When George W. Bush instituted prescription drug coverage under the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, a costly social health program we can ill afford then, now, and in the future, there not only wasn’t much criticism from Republicans – many of them actually voted for it.  A recent estimate has projected the tab for prescription drug coverage to be over $500 billion for the period 2006 to 2015, some of which isn’t a projection, but actual money American taxpayers have already paid out in benefits.  This isn’t as much as Health Care Reform has been estimated to cost, which recently was projected to be in excess of $850 Billion over ten years.  In fact, like most things, it’s very likely Health Care Reform is going to eventually cost more, probably over a trillion dollars.  There’s no doubt it will be expensive; but to say that it is an “outrageous, socialist experiment”, while rolling over and accepting prescription drug coverage as perfectly reasonable, is simply not credible.  Even though one was put in place by the Republicans and the other by the Democrats, neither program can make a claim of fiscally responsibility.

    Why did the likes of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove whose conservative street cred is unassailable by many, go along with the kind of “socialism” exemplified by adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare?  Because paying for grandma’s meds not only seems like a nice thing to do, it also just happens to grease the voting leaver and is a nice windfall for pharmaceutical companies.  Always in the minority on the right, left, and center, the few who are truly fiscally responsible stand dumbfounded – wondering how it all gets paid.  Prescription drug coverage under Medicare is now almost impossible to control with an aging population and ever more drugs being prescribed for ever more things.  What politician is ever going to be able to even discuss potentially reducing or eliminating this benefit, which is now fully entrenched?  Certainly nobody who wants to get reelected – and in politics that’s everything.  If conservatives are convinced that repealing Health Care Reform is the right thing to do, then they should at least show some ideological consistency and also set about repealing the Medicare Modernization Act.  This would take integrity and courage; but it would also be “politically unwise” to eliminate a benefit already in place, so we can be sure it will not happen.

Leave a Reply!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.