My college photography instructor Ed Wheeler was fond of saying “KISS – keep it simple, stupid!” Henry David Thoreau’s repetitious admonition works as well as Wheeler’s.

Theirs would have been good advice to anyone hoping to ensure passage of legitimate healthcare reform.

DemWit has featured a number of posts aimed at dispelling the unending myths surrounding a seemingly unattainable dream of quality healthcare for every man, woman and child in America. It is incomprehensible to me that such lies can waylay the goals of a legitimate president and a citizenry majority.

After reading reams of information on the issue, it dawned on me (I’m slow) that the whole campaign is misnamed. Although polls show Americans are primarily concerned about costs imposed by the medical community, this is not healthcare reform, it’s health insurance reform. OK, whatever works, I told myself.

Back during the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary’s plan was highly criticized for imposing a penalty on persons failing to purchase health insurance. Now that Obama has endorsed the same penalty, where is the outrage? I understood all along the reason for such a penalty. I understand about cost shifts. The question is: does Congress understand there are middle-class families out here who cannot spare another dime from their already impossible household budgets?

Let’s keep it simple: you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.

I’m reading on my better informed friends’ blogs that the Senate bill produced in committee by Max Baucus (D-MT) is “the plan from hell.” Then Tuesday, the headline on my Progress Report read, “Obama defends Baucus bill” - which he apparently did on a round of Sunday morning talk shows.

Then, there are the cutesy catchphrases guaranteed to confuse even the most astute observer; phrases like “trigger” (one silly report referred to it as “Roy Rogers’ horse”) and “Cadillac healthcare plans.” All these dollops of doublespeak seem contrived to complicate and confuse and send you searching for a glossary of terms!

Frankly, I am limited visually in reading all the lengthy articles promoting or panning this proposed legislation. I have better things to do with my life than spend six, seven, eight hours a day online fighting battles for people who are too ignorant to give a damn about their own welfare.

From the blogosphere to talk shows, this issue has eclipsed every other. The G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. A friend writes that the “Fair Elections Now Act” – calling for public financing of congressional campaigns - has been introduced in the House (H.R.1826) and Senate (S.752) and needs our support. The top general is making dire predictions about Afghanistan. Live Earth emailed me that I have three more days to enter the “Love, the Climate” giveaway!

I recently asked a friend who emails me daily articles on healthcare reform, “Aren’t you tired of all this?”

I am.

To “keep it simple, stupid:” I recall the old adage, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Advise me if I’m wrong, but I believe Obama made a mistake in throwing the issue over to Congress in hopes of a bipartisan solution. What we are ending up with, at this point, is a watered-down broth of a bill which seems to benefit the insurance industry by bringing millions of new policyholders to its rolls.

“Ranch Chimp” had a blog post not too long ago asserting these newly insured persons will get minimal coverage. Will the final legislation prevent insurers from stiffing policyholders? Who knows? I don’t have time to read these neverending, ever-changing versions. Do you?

Once more Thomas Jefferson’s words are going through my mind. Obama should have produced a bill and presented it to the American people thusly:

“To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”

In other words, KISS.

And bipartisanship - along with Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and all their ilk - be damned!

In every argument I’ve read, in every discussion I’ve had with others on healthcare reform, the line is drawn, the gauntlet thrown down. Clearly, the case before us is Individual Greed vs. Altrusim. If a certain political party falls on one side of this line, it is misanthropy of its own making.

With one side perpetuating lies and the other claiming racism (with Obama himself denying it’s a factor), there is a cancer growing in this nation that can hardly be, well, healthy.

Let me know how all this turns out, will ya?


by Michael Boh said...

The Max Baucus bill is one huge pile of bought-and-paid-for crap! It shows us that some Democrats need to be watched just as closely as the corrupt Republicans. Thanks BJ!

Sue said...

BJ I feel the same way, enough is enough! Get on with it Congress and Mr. president! Tommorrow will be a good day to stay home and watch C-Span, they'll be talking PUBLIC OPTION, YEA, (I think!)
Stop all the reading BJ, give your eyes some much needed rest! Hugs!

Tiny said...

Tiny agrees with the person who said to send Bill Clinton on a round of speaking tours because he has the ability to condense the public option on health care into a comprehensible nut shell. After hearing Pres. Clinton on Larry King, he makes it very clear. Let's hope that Pres. Obama puts Clinton on the trail.

Max Baucus is a joke. Even he doesn't understand what he's written up, other than the part that enriches the already rich insurance companies. Time for a whole bunch of them to pack their bags and go home. Vote them out of office if they don't vote for the people!

Frodo, Pie Are Square said...

Algebra made Frodo's head hurt. To this day, he proudly proclaims that he has never made any use of that torment forced upon him by the Sadists of the High School of the Shire. Sometimes he feels exactly the same way about the healthcare/insurance/single payer/public option/death panel/town hall/obfuscations that mirror his frustrations with the true value of X + Y.

If they would merely promise to restrict the use of the alphabet in Mathematics, then Frodo will do his best to keep the numbers out of English Composition. The value of 2 + 5 is not confused by inanimate objects. The same may be said of public policy that is dictated by compassion, rather than by numbers.