You could sell tee-shirts and bumper stickers with this one: I SURVIVED THE HEALTHCARE DEBATE.
I know, I know, you are weary and maybe wary of it by now. No one could blame you.
You have suffered through, listened to, put up with, come to blows over, read opinion gripes, been pelted with pros and cons and accusations.
But hasnít it been a grand national debate?
You have witnessed brawls over how to sneak this bill through the House. And how to bludgeon it through the Senate. And how to bribe the fence-sitters. And how to sack the dissenters by giving flesh to skeletons in their closets.
You have had your fill of lies from both sides. Exaggerations have become the norm. If you sat on K-Street you could probably watch lobbyists from both sides wheel-barrow cash to the politicians.
You have seen more deals cut than slices in all of Italy. You have watched more dung piled up than in the largest feedlots.
The people have debated the particulars. The public option, or no. Tort reform or not. Portability or none. Rates will soar, theyíll drop. Bureaucrats will decide how long youíll qualify for care. No, they wonít.
You have seen tea parties galore. You have seen them praised and belittled by politicians. You have read about or seen town hall meetings and stump speeches. You have dozed off during the Presidentís umpteenth address.
You have heard Madame Pelosi say that if only the politicians will pass the bills they can find out what is in them. You know none of them have read them.
You have read of stuff that has nada to do with healthcare furtively tucked into the bills. Stuff such as loans to college kids.
You have heard the philosophical debate. In a nutshell, it is that government should make decisions about your healthcare. Or it should not. That government should control the playing field. Or it should simply make sensible rules for the players. That government should drastically interfere with the free-market in healthcare. Or it should make a few rules that would create a truly free-market. (Such as a rule that you could buy any insurance policy across state lines. And you could pick what you do and donít want covered.)
The American people have made clear what they prefer on these issues. Thus far the politicians have ignored the wishes of the majority. Whether that attitude comes back to harm them in November only November knows.
Meanwhile, this has been a donnybrook of a debate. It is what a question this large deserves in a country of free people. In Europe these days, unelected Eurocrats impose a blizzard of rules on their people without a vote. Even a constitution, no less. And, of course, dictators inflict their will on millions elsewhere.
We are fortunate to have the freedom, the means, the will and the opportunity to thrash this subject about as we have.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.††††††††††††††††††
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