My friend Mitch Henck was all wound up on his WIBA-AM radio show yesterday morning. Anyone – and I speak from three decades of experience – who does a talk show quickly learns how shallow and downright ignorant (not stupid; ignorant) some people are. Mitch must have hit his breaking point yesterday. For a few minutes, he sounded like Sly does, when Sly works up a lather about Wal-Mart or union-busting. I could visualize Mitch’s face turning red and the veins popping out in his neck.
Mitch had just had it with people calling and saying they voted for Obama, but this health care thing, well, that’s just not what they expected. And, as Mitch kept saying to them, “what the hell DID you expect? What DID you vote for?” Until the very last few weeks of the campaign, health insurance reform was a huge part of every speech Obama gave. Then the economy went bankrupt and the focus shifted.
Of course, the politicians called it “health care reform”, as if there was something wrong with the way our health care professionals deliver their services, but that’s the result of the sloganeers who have so much power in political campaigns. Anyone who listened to candidate Obama, even if only for the tiny, 20-second video clips they run on network TV news, knew that his signature issue would be reforming the way health care is PAID FOR in America.
Health INSURANCE was the crux of every talking-point from both political parties. Candidate Obama supported a so-called “single-payer” system of paying for the cost of health care. That’s what I wanted, too. I wanted it because I have had seven very significant operations in the past decade, most of them requiring several days of hospitalization and in two cases, several weeks of re-hab, and the worst part of each of them was the hours and hours I spent arguing with my insurance carrier about paying for what THEY agreed to pay for in our contract.
So, I am among the many who are disappointed with what passed for “health care reform” in Washington. I got some of what I wanted, but far from all that was “promised” in the campaign. And I am one of those fence-sitters who’s really not sure forcing everyone to BUY health insurance is going to pass muster with the legal eagles. We’ll see.
Our Attorney General, Republican J B VanHollen, made his predictable attempt to get permission to sue the feds over the new law, and was, predictably, told “no”.
I think the point Mitch was trying to make is that far too few people vote in the first place, and far too many of those who do vote don’t spend enough time finding out very much about the candidate.
Implicit in all this, is my belief that far too many candidates tell us what they think we want to hear, and have no compunction about doing things that will maximize their re-election chances by making their contributors happy. Don’t get me started on my favorite topic, term limits. That’s a rant for another day.