Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let It Snow

Perhaps we as citizens should be grateful for the massive snowstorms that have paralyzed our government.  It's Mother Nature's way of telling the Republicans: "Obstruction?  You want obstruction?  I'll show you obstruction!"

The good news is that until the snow melts or is cleared away, the dolts and corporate-owned cretins inside the Beltway can't commit any official acts to further harm us or the country.  The bad news is that -- like the Republican congressman who camped out in his office -- they will have had time to engage in the process  they call "thinking."

One trembles at the possibilities!  What might emerge next in the feeble brains that gave us killing Grandma and the deficit good/deficit bad dichotomy?  (Wherein the enormous deficits run up by George Bush are good but the enormous deficits run up by Barack Obama are bad.)

Republicans recently sent out a fund-raising appeal thinly disguised as a "poll."  The questions were cleverly phrased by Frank Luntz or an acolyte to encourage replies that favored GOP positions on various issues.  Hence, respondents were encouraged to call for "more jobs" but only by providing massive tax cuts for the very corporations that have shipped millions of American jobs overseas.  They were encouraged to call for reducing the federal deficit as a matter of extreme urgency, but also to oppose federal action in the one area that could most immediately reduce the deficit: control of health care costs.

In the most conservative areas of the country (like mine) the brain-numbed parrots of the Republican line warn us that health care reform would drive small businesses to fail.  But Manfred Chemek, who runs a real estate investment and consulting firm with offices in the United States and Europe, disputes this propaganda.

"I have been a small business owner in the USA and in Germany for over 25 years," he says. "I cannot afford the same medical benefits to my USA employees that my employees get in Germany.

"In the US as a small business owner I am always at a disadvantage when hiring employees vs. a large company or hospital that can offer benefits. So I am forced to hire less qualified workers or pay more to get the same level of expertise."

His conclusion: "Single Payer Health Care (along the lines of the German and French systems) is the way to go. It should be marketed to the US voters as best for small businesses, which it is."

When the snow has melted and life returns to normal in Washington, President Obama will meet with a gaggle of Democratic and Republican pols to solicit the very best ideas  to resolve the health care crisis in the United States.

What are the odds that any of these geniuses will suggest the one best and easiest solution to both health care and deficit reduction: Medicare for all?

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