Healthcare - The Empire Strikes Back

As was to be expected, the forces of the Evil Empire have massed a counterattack on President Obama's Health Care Plan. No surprise there. What's surprising is the tactic they're currently employing---right out of the Nationalist Socialist playbook: drown out the opposition with goon squads at public forums, megaphone in hand. Apparently this is the conservatives' counterpart to the old brown shirt bully boys stifling opposition whenever possible. Even though a majority (70%) of all Americans welcome a change in our current health care system, and two-thirds of all doctors would prefer a national health care plan, these yahoos, by shouting down and intimidating their local representatives want to make it seem like there is a groundswell movement opposing revamping health care.

Their argument is thus: we like our current health care plan. We don't want socialized government run health care with, heaven forbid, rationing of supplies. Hey, kiddies, we already have a nationally run health care plan, two, in fact. One is the VA (Veterans Administration); an entity of hospitals and doctors. Let me tell you, as a Vietnam era veteran, I've never had any complaints with the service I've gotten from them, and most vets would agree. The other is Medicare/Medicaid. Seniors love this plan, so much so that President Obama himself commented on one lady who, in a letter, railed against the prospect of socialized medicine, but warned him not to touch her Medicare. Wow. Talk about misguided assumptions.

It's not rocket science. It very simple. On one side you have the American public, who are being drowned in a health care system with ever increasing premiums for less and, yes, rationed service. On the other side, the forces of evil: the private health insurers (whose livelihood depends on obliterating a national, competitive health plan), the pharmaceuticals, their lobbyists in Congress, and dubious politicians beholden to them. Be aware that the insurance industry, alone, is spending $1.4 million a day to defeat the health care plan. They want to maintain what they've always had---to enroll healthy people in their plans and not pay for treatment.

One of the most visible counterattacks on TV has been ads proferred by the so-called Conservatives for Patients' Rights organization (CPR). So, let's have a look. CPR, whose stated goal is opposition to Obama's health care policy goals, was founded by one Richard L. Scott. Mr. Scott founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1987, but was ousted by the company's board of directors in 1997 in the midst of the nation's biggest health care fraud scandal which involved allegations of Medicaid and Medicare fraud. It all had to do with improper billing practices and procedures. Not only that, Mr. Scott left with a $10 million severance package, when he was forced out, and $10 million shares of stock, most of which were from his initial investment before the company went public.

Mr. Scott, who is the most visible spokesman on the CPR ads, states that he "wants to enact health care legislation based on free-market principals." Read that: kill the public health option so that he and his fellow weasels can continue to make millions out the present broken system, and the public be damned.

This is what we are up against. A well-coordinated, well-financed campaign of smears, lies and innuendo. Admittedly, at this point, it seems like an uphill battle.
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