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Stay Focused

stoopidshirtI would like to mention a small point that is often overlooked in the heated debate over the new health care bill. There is no bill people! Not a single proposal has passed the House or the Senate! I sat down to write a piece about the crazy-as-a-bedbug, ultra-conservative billionaire Koch brothers and how their creations, like the Cato Institute and their bought-and-paid-for 527 groups like Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, and Patients First are driving the discussion about health care reform.

Then it struck me that I was playing by their rules. What these groups want most is to turn the discussion on reforming our health care system into a non-discussion about crazy fantasies. While you and I argue with an insane minority about whether the bill includes abortion funding for seniors, or committees to put handicapped children in gas chambers, lobbyists for the health care and insurance industries are merrily proceeding with writing actual language that will show up in some forthcoming bill. The White House is negotiating about provisions with drug companies. Congressmen are making deals with conservatives. Every member of any congressional committee that even mentions the term “health care” and all of the Blue Dog, pseudo-opponents are plumping up their campaign warchests with money from the health care industry.

There will be a health care bill. It won’t include “Death Panels” or funding for faith healing clinics or aromatherapy. The problem is that the longer we make the discussion seem like a hollering match between crazy people, the more we drive reasonable and moderate people out of the debate. Those are the very people that we will need to pass a bill once one exists and that is exactly what people like FreedomWorks and the Koch brothers would like to see. While we are screaming at each other, calling each other Nazis and arguing with a vocal minority that won’t be convinced anyway, there are people working behind the scenes who will do their best to remove prudent alternatives to the current system from any eventual legislation. The debate needs to remain about things like whether or not any bill will include a reasonable public insurance option and an employer insurance mandate.

Don’t join the ranks of the demented and let stupid ideas drive the debate. The people that need to be convinced are not standing up red-faced at town hall meetings, or blathering on Fakes News. The people you need to talk to are your representatives in Congress. They need to know that there is a very large majority of folks out here who are paying attention to any deals they make and any money they accept.

Senator Jon Tester:
email contact website
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594
Contact one of his Montana offices

Senator Max Baucus:
email contact website
Phone: (202) 224-2651
Fax: (202) 224-9412
Contact one of his Montana offices


One Response

  1. great post.

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