Cry for Reason

This is a letter to all of you out there letting me know just how outraged you are at the passage of the health care bill via facebooks and twitter updates … and I suppose this is really to anyone that’s outraged by its passing that isn’t letting me know about it. This is a cry for reason – or at least some rational argument.

Dear Outraged Conservatives,

I understand that you’re unhappy about the health care bill being passed and that you want to vent your frustration into the world of cyberspace or at rallies or whathaveyou. With all the energy you’re pouring into letting me know just how pissed off you are, though, I can’t really figure out just what in the bill, exactly, you’re pissed about. Let’s put it another way: what would you take out?

Would you remove the part that would fine companies with more than 50 people for not providing health care to their employees?

What about allowing children to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26? That can’t be a good thing, right?

Oh. Or how about the provision that makes it illegal for insurance companies to cancel your policy if you fall ill.

OH. This one should definitely go, right? The bill will help folks that have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition actually get insurance!

Here’s another blood-boiler: the bill immediately makes it illegal for insurance companies to deny children coverage because of a pre-existing condition. And by 2014 it’ll be illegal to deny anyone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. This is outright communism!

Oh oh. I know. You want to get rid of the death panels and the baby-killing doctors and whatever else you’ve been told to believe by crazy conservative entertainers who profit from your anger. Guess what. You were lied to. There are no death panels and abortion will only be paid for by private insurance funds, not taxpayer dollars.

My guess, though, is that you’ll tell me that you don’t like the idea of taxing high-income families on their insurance to pay for expansions to Medicaid. Know what I say to that? Tough shit. We live in a society and we have to look out for each other, otherwise civilization as we know it will fail. And, really, my guess is that you probably don’t make enough money for this to even affect you, so quit complaining.

And hey pissed-off conservatives? Many of the ideas in this health care reform came from Mitt Romney and are mighty similar to republican ideals.

So it’s up to you, now, Angry Mob: tell me what you’d change in the bill. I’d gladly have a civilized conversation with you about it, but only if you can come up with some kind of rational argument and coherent thought.


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7 Comments on “Cry for Reason”

  1. Diane Says:


    It’s amazing how the conservatives don’t balk at spending trillions of dollars to bomb people and blow up bridges, just to rebuild them again. But the thought at helping our own people just drives them crazy!

  2. Graham Says:

    Good post buddy…

  3. Russ Simmons Says:

    I think what you’re failing to recognize is that the outrage expressed by many “conservatives” has very little to do with what the bill does do, but more so what it doesn’t do.

    The health care bill is like placing a band aid on an a gaping wound. What started out as a procedure in cost reform has turned into health insurance reform. The reasons that insurance premiums have increased over time are an increase in the costs that insurance companies have to pay out and what health care providers must charge to stay afloat. This health care bill doesn’t change any of that.

    You are correct in your assertion that this is not socialized medicine and it doesn’t provide “free” coverage to anyone. There is still a cost to the insurance that will partly be picked up by all tax payers (I understand that some of the taxes have income floors on them, but there already is an excise tax (tanning tax) in place to help with the costs and if the governments record of being able to properly fund a program is any indication more taxes will need to be created to keep up).

    What the bill does do is cause issues for the infrastructure of the American health care industry. While people applaud the fact that this bill will give the disenfranchised a better chance at health care it doesn’t address who will be able to provide them with care. I have seen it often brought up that this bill closely mimics Mitt Romney’s bill in Massachusetts. Yet they seem to fail to mention that Massachusetts now has the longest wait time of any state to when a patient is able to see a doctor and since its inception the average wait time has increased by 10 days. We currently have an overworked health care industry as it is, yet how are they going to cope with the introduction of the supposed millions of Americans who can now afford medical coverage?

    During the campaign for reform, Obama brought to light the plight of Natoma Canfield. what Obama failed to do was mention the fact that the estimated cost of insurance for Ms. Canfield remains the same today as it did prior to the health care bill being passed. The tax that you mention above to employers who do not provide benefits to their employees is also a sham. The cost of $2,000 per employee pales in comparison to the estimated $10-15k a year per employee it costs for an employer to provide health care benefits so i doubt it will entice many employers to change their ways. Also there is a difference between not being denied coverage and getting paid on a claim against your insurance so do not think that not being denied coverage means all the costs will be covered.

    What also irks me personally about this bill is how it appears to be an example of how the American public was betrayed by President Obama. For the years of his campaign we were told his administration would be outwardly bi-partisan (not a single republican voted for the bill and numerous Democrats went against he party line to vote no) and would avoid the games of American politics (the stories amount of back room deals that the democrats put in place to help insure their simple majority). The passing of this bill is not democracy in action, its the same old Washington.

    And before you try to label me as an “outraged conservative”, please note that I am a registered Democrat, I did in fact vote for Obama and I do in fact work in the health care sector (and no not for an insurance company).

    • Hi Russ,

      Thanks for your comment. I actually completely agree with you that this bill is flawed. Your band-aid metaphor is an apt one, and this bill absolutely falls short in a great many ways.

      When I’m calling out the “outraged conservatives,” I think that you’re well clear of that group because it seems that you, like me, actually want this bill to do MORE, not less. I’ve been seeing a lot of backlash towards the bill calling it socialist, saying that our freedoms are being taken away, and I just flat out disagree with those thoughts. I’m calling out folks that get their information from the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and that don’t seem to understand what they’re protesting, just that their rights are being violated. You don’t seem to think that the passing of this bill is in some way assaulting your personal rights or infringing on your freedom.

      You’re also right about Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan more or less failing to provide better health care for the state’s citizens, and while this bill is similar, it’s not identical. What irks me personally about the way that this bill went through wasn’t that President Obama got the bill passed without any Republican votes, but that the Republicans, instead of trying to negotiate and find a compromise on the bill, steadfastly opposed it without providing any real alternative suggestions. I understand that you’re unhappy with the passing of the bill without bipartisanship, but I think your anger at the administration may be misplaced. Instead of being angry at Democrats for getting this bill passed, why not get angry at Republicans in Congress for voting down party lines instead of actually governing?

      American government is not broken. Governing was never supposed to be easy. And the passage of this bill, even without Republican votes, actually IS democracy in action (well, a republic in action, anyway. America isn’t actually a democracy) because the majority of the country was represented in the vote. We voted for Congressmen and women to represent us as citizens, and they did just that. Yes, there’s a dissenting minority, and their voice was heard, but the bill passed. Democracy isn’t about unanimous decision making, it’s about majority, and this bill was supported by the majority.

      This bill does seem to be a bit more about insurance reform than health care reform, as you pointed out, and this is one of the great many ways that the bill isn’t perfect. Of course it’s not perfect. There’s plenty more it could (and should) do. But it is a first step – an important and necessary first step – toward the more sweeping reform that you, and many other like-minded citizens hope will one day occur. If this reform was rejected, health care reform wouldn’t have been revisited any time in the near future, and, as you pointed out, the system needs to change. I’m hoping that this bill’s passage marks the beginning of real reform. It certainly offers a glimmer of hope to that end.

  4. Art Says:

    great post, paul. one thing to remember- amendments posed by republicans in congress were in fact folded into the bill and those portions were signed into law by president obama. the republicans were not shut out of the process, in fact they participated wholeheartedly. they also tacitly supported some of the most virulent opposition to a legislative concept without addressing legitmate concerns to the substance of the legislation.

    okay, that’s more than just ONE thing, but another thing is, NO REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR THIS BILL. Out of all the good things that are in this bill, NO REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR THE BILL. they were a part of the process: they submitted their ideas- some were accepted, most were rejected- they hit the trail and the bully pulpit; and we’ve been debating this for quite some time (especially if you include the ’08 campaign trail). ALL REPUBLICANS VOTED NO.

    at the end of the day, the thing i see out of this process is that republicans voted against this bill not because of legitmate concerns with the substance of the legislation, but because of a partisan calculation which involved scaring the general public and scaring conservative democrats because this bill will be politically popular in addition to being actually useful.

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