Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bright Lights

There's a never-ending supply of disturbing tactics being uncovered every day in the health-care process. Remember, the original plan was to get a health-care bill passed by congress and signed by the president in only a few short weeks. There was considerable concern within the administration and the democratic party that if congress went into recess that they wouldn't be able to pass a bill.

Why? Because the American people would read the bill, unlike members of congress, see what the bill contained and rebel.

There was one particularly egregious action taken by members of congress and a news summary that shows what's been going on for the past two years. Both actions should give one pause and cause great consternation as to how these massive government programs get passed.

The first is coercion, pure and simple. Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak have sent a "demand" letter to the health insurance companies asking for two types of information. One type has already been provided to the government through regulatory filings. The other type of requested information is internal and is related to how the companies compensate and reward employees. The health insurance companies aren't against reform but have publicly opposed certain components of the proposed legislation. It is clear that this is an intimidation tactic designed to silence opposition. Silencing opposition is about as "un-American" as one can get. Our republic is based on honest, open debate. It should concern every one of us deeply whenever one side attempts to silence the other.

The other issue, outlined quite well in an article talks about the many proposals made by both democrats and republicans regarding health care going back two years. These are proposals that will never see the light of day because an individual chairperson has the power to prevent the proposals from ever being discussed in committee.

It's disturbing enough that two individuals control what gets discussed regarding health-care reform but it's beyond the pale that those same individuals claim that no other proposals have been made.

I, like most Americans, am not opposed to health-care reform. However, we deserve full disclosure and an open, honest debate of the merits. The folks wielding the power today are afraid of the bright light and don't want to have an honest debate. They wonder from where the anger originates. It is the process. We don't want to be told what's going to happen to us and that's it's going to be for our own good. We want to be part of the process and we want to have a say in how it happens.

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