Obamacare is a death sentence!
The government will kill all old people!
I don’t want a socialist system that my kids will have to pay for!
Government needs to practice the Constitution as intended by the Forefathers!
Really? Is this what the debate on healthcare has morphed into? In fact, can we even call baseless, fact-shirking rants shouted by professionally trained agitators who crash town hall meetings simply to hurl scripted talking points, with the goal being to shut down civil communication rather than engage in it, a “debate?”
My beef isn’t even with the “professional” Right wingers. They have an agenda, they’re supported by big business (aka “The Man”), and they’ve been doing the same thing they’re doing now for years.
My disdain is for the working-class and middle-class soccer moms, and Joe the Plumber’s, and Bob the Butcher’s, who wouldn’t pay one cent for “Obamacare” because they make far less than the $250K tax thresh hold, but still indignantly believe that Barack is coming after their “riches” by putting lawless insurance companies in check and helping America’s impoverished have access to a doctor before their condition becomes an emergency.
Somehow, they’ve been duped into believing that they have more in common with the Republican CEO’s who’d happily steal their pensions than with the bank security guard who lives check to check but puts his life on the line daily to protect their money (it’s probably FDIC insured, but that’s not the point).
They continue to call in to radio programs, and leave messages on message boards, and flank picket lines, so they can protest Obama’s efforts to destroy America by making everyone pay taxes for legalized abortions and gay marriages and socialized medicine that will kill their grandma’s, because his dad was a Muslim extremist, and he doesn’t love America because he’s not a citizen, plus he went to school in a madrassa.
Or something like that.
It’s their propensity for and complete comfort with spewing the most ridiculous, inane, non-truths as if they were truths, and at decibels so loud that they eventually become true–in the Fox news court of public perception at least–that gets me.
I would love to debate any one of them! In fact, I’ll provide a script of my talking points up front (yes, I stole this from Eminem in 8 Mile, but that too is beside the point).
Talking Point 1: Neither you or your kids will likely pay for jack.
The Prez has said several times that most of his health care overhaul will be paid for by already existing revenues. During his June 15th American Medical Association speech, Obama reported that his office had already earmarked $635 billion from the federal budget over the next 10 years for health care. Much of that money will come from eliminating tax loopholes exploited by the wealthy (like certain allowances for charitable giving, where money is often given to “fake” charities and ends up coming back to the donor), and by cutting programs that waste money (like no-bid contracts to insurance companies, which allows them to price gouge and charge several times more than what’s reasonable).
In addition, Obama has been saying that the only Americans who will likely see a tax increase are those earning over $250K a year–and that increase will only be to the pre-Bush levels of taxation, not a reparations-for-Black-peop le and free-mansions-for-the-poor amount.
The bottom line is, if you’re a rank-and-file Republican who works in a factory while your wife stays home with the kids, Obama aint even talking to you! And frankly, you probably need what he’s pushing more than I do.
Talking Point 2: This aint nowhere near Socialism, and since when have you been against it?
Neither Obama or Congress is pushing a single-payer healthcare plan (Socialism). They’re pushing a plan with a public option (not Socialism).
The government would have to front the entire cost of a single-payer plan, and there would be no healthcare alternatives, whereas the cost of a public option would be spread around by employers and the gov, and citizens would still be able to keep their current insurance company’s plan.
Since the government will not be paying for healthcare entirely, like the systems they have in Germany, Canada, and Britain, this doesn’t qualify as Socialism.
(**Sidebar: I’ll tell you right now, if this passes, I’m throwing the 2 fingers up to my HMO provider with the quickness! “Hi. My name is Earpiece, and I’d like the public option please.”)
But the question here is why isn’t anyone mad at the multitude of “socialized” services we’ve had for a century or more? Where are the tea party protesters and town hall meeting crashers who can’t stand the fact that their town has a public library, school, park, fire department, and police department? I’ve asked Republicans who frequent this very site that very question and have yet to receive a response (I’m lookin’ at you “Kerry Gosey”!).
And why aren’t conservatives and Republicans threatening secession over the fact that their 65+ year-old parents receive Medicare for free, or their military enlisted sons and daughters receive free “socialized” medical care? Is it because those forms of Socialism were instituted by presidents who weren’t Black, and before there were Latinas on the Supreme Court? I hate to play the proverbial race card, but that damn sure looks like the Ace to me.
Talking Point 3: Is this what Jesus would do?
My third comment here is really a point about American “goodness”, “patriotism”, and “Christian values”. My wife and I don’t make close to $250K a year, in fact, only about 2% of all U.S. households do. Still, I wouldn’t mind at all if some of my existing taxed income were used to ensure better health coverage for more Americans, or if even more of my earnings were taxed to create a better, more far-reaching healthcare system.
And that’s not because I think I’m “patriotic”, I’d do that because I’d want someone to do it for me if I didn’t have the means. I’d like to live in a society where people actually looked out for each other, and lifted each other up, and promoted the “common good”. I’m not a Christian, but I think this is what Jesus would do.
It’s therefore ironic to me that here we have yet another instance where the people who claim to be the most Christian, or the most religious, are likewise being the least tolerant.
So what if your existing taxes that you’ve already paid on a million occasions are going to be used for healthcare. Would Christ not want health care for all? And if some (in this case, about 47 million) couldn’t afford healthcare, would he turn his back on them because of their indigence?
For me, the question isn’t whether or not you agree with Obama’s particular version of health care, the question is whether or not you’d want for your fellow citizen as you’d want for yourself, regardless of whether that person was poor, of a different race, or of a different ideology. If the answer is no, then I’d conclude you’re not much of an American.