Killing Americans With Fear

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by James J. Devine

fearIn the land of the brave, Americans seem unable to talk in an honest and rational way about the inevitable decline of old age.

Unless we get used to talking about this inevitable fact, millions of seniors will be killed by the insurance industry’s marketing department and Republican politicians who have no clue or concern about the truth, such as Sarah Palin and Rudy Guiliani.

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Republican politicians and the insurance industry are trying to kill Americans by scaring the richest and most powerful nation on earth away from common sense, cost efficiency and compassion.

“These ‘patriots’ are fearful of the reality of an ever-changing composition of our society, reject the reality that government plays a large and constructive role in both the economy and the health care system already, and have no realistic conception of the fact that there are better models of health care already in operation in many places around the globe,” wrote Lance Simmens, describing health reform foes as “the lunatic fringe.”

“Let’s hope that the current lunacy that has captured this debate will streak across the sky like a comet and burn itself out quickly, and that upon sober reflection cooler heads will prevail among the conservative opposition so that meaningful progress can be made on the health care front,” concludes Simmens.

Politicians say the idea of a public health plan will die if it is defeated by powerful political opposition, but in reality the issue will fade and die of neglect, much like the people these reforms are intended to help.
Buried under a load of pure nonsense and lies, no legislation can move forward.

The best way to deal with fear is to confront it.  That’s just what we need to do with long-term health care because frailty, old age and death are terrifying.
Nobody is advocating euthanasia for the elderly despite the false claims, or lies, used by people like Palin and Guiliani.

It is easy enough to say this opposition is built on ignorance or political demagoguery but it resonates with much of the public because Americans are reluctant to confront frail old age and inevitable death.

What is overlooked are the obvious consequences of inaction.

“Yet I believe today we face one of the most important decisions in our nation’s history—how to address the insolvency of our health care system that threatens to decimate our country’s budget, stability, and overall well-being,” said Rep. John D. Dingell, the longest serving Member in the history of the US House of Representatives.

“For 19,420 days, it has been my goal to ensure access to quality, affordable health care for every American… The resolve to achieve universal health care is just as noble as it was when I first entered Congress, but the urgency is far greater.”

“Americans must change the content of health care, not just access to it, or we’ll remain among the unhealthiest people in the developed world, and the costs will sink us,” said Dr. Andrew Weil, of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Nobody has a plan better than the United States National Health Care Act, also known as the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676 proposed by Rep. John Conyers, which currently has 86 cosponsors and provides for a universal single-payer public health-insurance plan.

If the idea of a public health plan dies, then so will millions of Americans who do not have to.


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