Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two sides on health care reform: reformists vs. obstructionists

When you get right down to it, it's clear that the Republican Party is an uncaring, obstructionist party bent on keeping the status quo intact. They care not for the welfare of the people, but rather for the welfare of corporate America -- and themselves. And if millions of Americans must suffer so that insurance companies can make an obscene profit, so be it -- all the better for the country, conservatives argue, while Republican lawmakers' wallets fill up with contributions from influential lobbyists.

To be fair, some Democrats are just as guilty -- they, too, have received sizable "donations" from the insurance lobby, which is spending $1.4 million a day to maintain a system of health care in this country that benefits their profit margins, not their customers. But Republicans in particular have had a stance of "politics first, citizens last" -- a far cry from their rallying point and slogan of "Country First" during the failed campaign to elect John McCain president.

Sen. Jim DeMint of of South Carolina, a Republican, has verbally expressed his desire to make health care reform Barack Obama's "Waterloo," rendering images of a battle between the GOP and Democrats rather than an important piece of legislation that would better the lives of millions of Americans. Republicans like DeMint don't see defeating health care reform as an important issue in itself -- the defeat of the reforms being proposed is more personal, aimed at Obama himself as a means toward his demise in 2012.

While the Republicans play politics, hundreds if not thousands of people will die because they lack the adequate coverage they need. This isn't limited to people without health care -- this includes people who are paying for coverage but whose providers refuse to pay for medical procedures necessary to their survival. During the August recess alone, over 1,800 people will die, if current trends continue. Another 400,000 will lose the coverage they do have during this month-long vacation.

The time for health care reform is now. Don't support Republicans that play games with the lives of decent Americans, who look to Congress and the president to help the nation in this time of crisis.

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