I have a very simple question for many of these so-called conservatives who are currently protesting President Obama and the choices he has made to help get this economy back on the right track: Where have you people been?
Where were you during the last eight years of the Bush administration when the Republicans controlled Congress and passed many unfunded initiatives such as Medicare part D and tax cuts for the top 1 percent of income earners in America?
We did not see conservatives traveling across America to protest President Bush and his huge spending policies, which brought us into the situation we are now in. It’s almost like there’s a double standard when it comes to president Obama and congressional Democrats.
Now let’s get one thing straight – silly episodes taking place during town hall meetings in August were the work of far right conservative groups who wish to see health care reform defeated. Some conservatives think they will have an opportunity to repeat what happened with President Clinton. The attacks we see today are the same tactics we saw then.
Republicans want a repeat of what happened and they want this issue to blow up in Obama’s face and cause his party to lose control of Congress. That’s why the Republicans continue to say “no” on health care reform.
In this country, we have been fighting about health care reform since 1913. Every other major industrialized country has some form of health care that cuts costs and provides excellent quality of care for all of their citizens. Our health care system is controlled by big conglomerates that boost profits by refusing to cover the sick.
Health care costs continually make up a large portion of the federal budget. Reforming health care would be a large step in reducing the federal deficit and getting the federal books back into the black.
But we all know these are facts which have been known for many years. We’ve heard many stories and seen what a lack of coverage can do to families who are middle-class or poor. Some of the same conservatives who helped organize the so-called tax tea parties have made a career out of fighting against health care reform. They see Barack Obama as enemy No. 1.
This is primarily because he is coming closer than any other president to actually passing meaningful reform.
One thing that amazes me is that many of the conservatives who are speaking at these tax tea parties are benefiting or will benefit from government health care. If you are over the age of 65, you qualify for Medicare. Many older members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, use this program. I’m sure some in their own family have used or likely will use government health care.
Medicare has done an excellent job of covering the elderly. Medicaid has done a good job of covering those who have some sort of disability.
So, why not expand our system so everyone can be covered?
Now, instead of Republicans attempting to actually have a debate, they resort to foolish activities and outbursts during important speeches. The president put forth his proposal, but we have not seen one serious proposal from Republicans. When Obama walked into office, many Republicans said they would offer better ideas, a promise they have failed to fulfill.
Instead of offering better ideas, they have voted against every initiative the president has put forth. The Republican Party is bankrupt in terms of ideas. It is resorting to political theater to try to score political points. The fact is in 2008 the American people voted for change, and then-Sen. Obama said change is not easy. But he understood if things are going to change, Americans cannot be afraid of how difficult the process will be.
We do not need to let another year go by without fixing our health care system. And the same conservatives who are leading the tax tea parties should really think about being more consistent.
If you’re going to get mad at Democrats wanting to spend too much, you should get mad at Republicans doing the same.