nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Health Care Reform:  73% Say Start Over or Do Nothing

You can find a poll to tell you most anything you want, but reviewing the major sources (Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen) and the media-driven groups (CNN, WaPo, Fox), disaffection for the current bills in Congress remains pretty constant with about a 10% (8-15) advantage to those who are opposed and about twice as many people who are "strongly opposed" compared to those who are "strongly for."  A recent internal poll by a Democrat from Oklahoma showed only 17% constituent support for the bills.

The hypothesis of those who say we just need to pass the current legislation, and support will surface, doesn't hold water for me.  The implication is that people don't understand the elements of the bills, and are being confused by scare tactics.  I'm pretty sure that this is one issue that has seen more attention from the American people than almost any other in my lifetime (I have to grant that the 60's were pretty intense).  So, I think the public is as informed as they can get, and their beliefs are established on solid principles, whether for or against.

To persist in the notion that people don't know what's good for them undermines our theory of government.  It's pretty sad if we come to believe the notion that only the highly educated experts can decide for us how we should be governed. And it's tragic if we come to rely on the talking heads.

So, how did we come to this impasse?  The task was pretty simple:  a costly, inefficient system of healthcare didn't give coverage to all and disadvantaged people who changed jobs and had pre-existing illness.  It needed a fix.  Seven out of 8 people were happy with what they had, and only wanted others to have that same opportunity.  Nobody disagrees with this.

Looking back, it would have sufficed to re-coup savings and apply them to those in need.  Instead, we got a plan to do that (which is good), along with 117 new agencies, task forces, commissions, committees, etc, and deceptive accounting to make it sound like there were savings (10 years of taxes to fund 6 years of health spending).  We also got mechanisms to set standards for what care can be paid for, placed a lot of authority in the hands of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (instead of patients), and a number of corrupt special deals for some Americans over others.

We're left with the original goals, but no sustainable way to make it happen.  And no fix for the other social programs that are becoming insolvent.

You can put the blame on whatever best suits your assumptions and beliefs, but I think demonizing the Left, the Right, the insurance industry, doctors, lawyers, pharmaceutical companies, and others, is not productive.  Doing so is the last refuge of those who have no substantive arguments left.

Whatever your opinion is, I recommend you make it known.  Our government has been paralyzed for a year by this one topic when there are other critical issues to address.  But it will come to an end...with a result:  nothing done, or something done for better or worse.

My years working in DC convince me that our representatives and leaders DO respond to your inputs.  But not through emails or Facebook.  If you write out a handwritten snail mail letter you will be heard--especially if a bunch of you do it.  They know that an email is a toss-away; you didn't put much effort into it, and just relieved your feelings for the moment.  Even a phone call is a half-measure.  If you take the time to write out and mail your urging, put it on paper--you mean it, and they listen.

But do it now.

Doc D

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