A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

Aug 17, 2009

Cry “Havoc” and let slip the Dogs of War By Ira Schwartz

Who would have ever thought Healthcare reform would be the catalyst to ignite a firestorm like the one that is now raging across our country. Certainly not the Democrats who have spent more time back peddling this week then the whole Egyptian army did in its numerous wars with Israel. Even though some Republicans are happily shouting as loud as they can, “I told you so”, they had no real clue either. By trying to force HR 3200 down our throats, the administration unwittingly opened Pandora’s Box. Decades of frustration and anger over issues that have nothing to do with healthcare came pouring out. The people are speaking loud and clear and miraculously somebody seems to be listening. AARP has begun serious damage control and retracted its support from The Presidents Healthcare Plan. Rumors have it that close to half a million of their subscribers cancelled their membership because of AARP’s earlier support of the bill. In an attempt to deflect some of the anger away from the administration and towards the Healthcare Industry, the Healthcare Reform Bill is now being called the Health Insurance Reform Bill. While it is obvious someone is listening, it is equally obvious from the confused looks on our representative’s faces at town hall meetings, that they are still not getting it.

Lately several representatives were asked if this Healthcare Reform Bill was so good for the American people would they join it too. The answer to a man (or woman) was, “Uhhh. I’ll get back to you.” The reason for the hesitation is Congress has the Rolls Royce of all medical plans and only the president has a better one. The federal plan includes the legislator and his family and covers everything from brain surgery to a hang nail. Best Hospitals, best doctors, state of the art equipment; anytime, anywhere. Do you know what this coverage costs: Between $35.00 and $100.00 a month. Do you know what we would get for that? “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.”

But let us take this one step further. The standard salary for our representatives is $174,000 per year. The speaker makes $223,500, the majority and minority leaders make $193,400. That is just salary. To list all the perks they receive would take several pages so let us just say they pretty much equal the base salary. This does not include travel expenses which is a whole other section. Now, when a representative retires or is voted out of office he retires with his healthcare intact and at least a $15,000 a month pension…FOR LIFE. Most retire with at least twice to three times that much; sweet deal huh? Is it any wonder they spend so much money to stay in office? Is it any wonder that three quarters of our representatives are millionaires? Is it any wonder that when asked if they would be willing to join in the public’s healthcare plan they stutter and side step the question? Is it any wonder the American people are angry?

Non violent dissent in a democratic society is a good thing. It keeps the government honest and reminds them who actually hold the nations power. It also, for better or worse, allows our government to read the pulse of their constituents. This public outcry against the Healthcare Reform Bill…Health Insurance Reform Bill…whatever it is called today, is a good and healthy expression of democracy at its best. This is what America is all about…open dialogue among its citizens and government. Sure screaming matches occur but that just indicates the passion and desire of our citizens to be heard. And in the end, we will be heard either at Town Hall meetings or at the ballot box. It will be our representative’s choice as to where the showdown occurs. They have unwittingly released “The dogs of war” on themselves. The only question left is will they listen and understand all the barking or swat them on the nose with a newspaper.

I cannot in good conscience end this article here. Earlier in the week a section of the government’s website whitehouse.com was brought to my attention. I went there and this was what I found...

“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

So now it appears our government is adopting Soviet cold war tactics when dealing with its citizens. While stating my opinions on several blogs numerous misguided and mentally challenged individual actually threatened to turn me over to “flag”. Little did they know I had already turned myself in with the following email:
"When I was told of this link my first reaction was disbelief. My country was asking Americans to turn other Americans in for posting opinions different than the current administrations. My disbelief turned to horror when I actually went to this site. It’s a sad day for democracy and even a sadder day for the present administration. If spreading unsubstantiated rumors and lies were a crime all the politicians on Capitol Hill would be in jail. When did it become acceptable for this government to resort to Russian style tactics to suppress the right of free speech? How dare you trample on our liberties this way? How dare you drag through the mud the memories of every man, woman and child who gave their lives in the name of liberty. It is not those who disagree with the government that need to be singled out and brought to everyone’s attention but those who, under the guise of patriotism, try to suppress it. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Said by a great American. It’s obvious all of you on Capitol Hill have forgotten what that means."
Everyone needs to go to this link and express their outrage that any American administration would have the gall to do this. Besides being embarrassing it’s unpatriotic, undemocratic and thoroughly un-American.
© 2009 By Ira Schwartz

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was pretty much right on!!!

The only thing I want people to remember is that even if this health care thing goes down the smoke stack it will be in many ways a hollow victory. When the smoke clears and people of both parties or should I say all three counting my independent party claim some sort of victory we will still have a health care system that is not only broken but more corrupt than Al Capone himself once was and I don't see anyone coming up with a better idea...only complaints and warnings!
I feel just the fact that an effort was made in some ways is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for that blog Ira and Franky

Bruce Carson

August 17, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Ira said...

Thanks Bruce...unfortunately it would be a hollow victory but it is a start and we need to do better.


August 17, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are right on! Not only are we being monitored on what we say, but we're not even being HEARD.

I received the following today and after talking with other people, realized we all got the same message back from Senator Boxer's office.

It would be an interesting experiment to see how many other people got the same message--an example of government efficiency at work. Hmmm... 1,000 requests for information come in, send same message to everybody. Is this a glimpse of what we can expect from our government health care system?

Maybe that's what she means when she says "And health care reform must not add a single dollar to the Federal deficit." Same level of care, same response for everybody.

To quote a great line from a movie.... "Show me the money!"

From: senator@boxer.senate.gov
Sent: 8/17/2009 5:18:02 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
Subj: Responding to your message

Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing to me about pending health care reform legislation. I am committed to working with President Obama to ensure that Americans have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare that they can rely on. With the right legislation, I believe we can greatly improve care for our families, while containing the growing costs of health care.

The status quo is unsustainable- Americans will spend more than $2.5 trillion on health care this year, more than one in every six dollars in the U.S. economy. In all, we spend twice as much per person on health care than other advanced nations, yet the United States ranks near the bottom of the 30 leading industrialized nations in basic measures of health such as infant mortality and life expectancy.

The situation is even worse for individual families, who are struggling to afford skyrocketing premiums and increased co-pays and deductibles. Health care premiums have more than doubled in the last nine years, and one respected study shows that, if we fail to act, the average California family will have to spend 41 percent of its income for health insurance premiums by 2016.

The growing number of uninsured is also contributing to higher costs- 46 million Americans do not have health insurance, and every day, another 14,000 Americans lose their coverage when they become seriously ill or lose or change their jobs. To make up for the coverage gap, families pay on average an extra $1,100 a year in premium costs.

Moreover, poor regulation of insurance companies means that even those with health insurance coverage are not always guaranteed to get the benefits they are promised. Every day I hear from Californians who can't get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or who are denied the medical treatment prescribed by a doctor because of insurance company bureaucrats. This is wrong, and we have to do better for our families.

That is why I have joined President Obama and many of my colleagues in support of some basic principles for action. Any health care reform must allow every American who likes their current health coverage to keep it. Health coverage must be made accessible and affordable, and insurance companies must no longer be allowed to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions or drop you if you become seriously ill. We must increase investments in prevention and wellness as that will save billions of dollars. And health care reform must not add a single dollar to the Federal deficit.

As we move to enact health care reform, I will fight for a bill that meets these principals. As a U.S. Senator, I can choose from a wide array of health care plans, and I believe that all Americans deserve this opportunity.

Again, thank you for writing to me. Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this message. If you would like to comment on legislation, please visit my website and use the correspondence form at https://boxer.senate.gov/contact/email/policy.cfm

--end quote--

August 17, 2009 at 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Ira said...

To let you all know flag@whitehouse.gov has been disabled. That's one for our side.


August 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Frank T. DeMartini said...

And, I betcha you had something to do with it!

August 18, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

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