Health Care Rally November 5, 2009
Wayne and I arrived in Washington for an extended weekend visit to the Smithsonian Museums arranged months ago. As God would have it this happened to be the day of the Citizen’s Rally against the House Bill on health care. Of course, as a writer and an American, who would be impacted, I wanted to check it out, and there was no holding back my husband.
As I walked among the crowd of thousands upon thousands while listening to the speakers on the steps of the Capitol, I wondered why had these men and women dropped everything to come on short notice of less than a week? Why the sacrifice of time and money by many who, according to their own admission, had never before been involved in politics?
I studied their faces, heard their comments and read the signs they carried to get my answer. Then I understood. They came to see if the concept that made America the greatest country on earth still works. These people had hope written all over them that the voices of “We the people” still meant something in Washington.
All ages were represented. A woman in front of me with green streaks in her hair and tattoos up one arm tended lovingly to a baby in a stroller while cheering loudly for the health care bill to be halted. One voice, one mission: legislators use common sense; do not abuse our trust. She eagerly accepted a bumper sticker being passed out, which I didn't understand at first - a yellow coiled snake with the saying "Don't Tread On Me." Later, I learned that was symbolic of the American Revolution when people told England to stop imposing impossible, unjust taxes.
Reliable polls had determined that the majority of Americans want the health care system improved but the majority do not want a government run system. These hard-working people feared receiving inferior and limited health care. Most doctors and other medical professionals have said this would follow as surely as the sun rises and sets and point to government systems in Canada and England as examples.
The House Health Care Bill is far reaching and proposes a system of gatekeepers to see if medical procedures and prescriptions doctors recommend are necessary. These gatekeepers may be government controlled doctors or lay people who will decide -how no one knows for sure - perhaps simply by quotas, or “quality of life” issues. Rally-goers wondered how adding another layer of bureaucracy could do anything but add more costs and inefficiency to health care and increase taxes for all.
In fact, the people we spoke with feared their backs would be broken with the total cost of government run health care and other new government programs being proposed. The people are scared by a financial burden beyond their ability to bear. Is this an exaggeration? Hardly. Our country has never in its history seen such runaway deficit spending. In the final bill passed late Saturday night a travesty would be executed against them - they will be responsible for more new debt of one to two trillion dollars. These people, like most, live by core financial principles. It would never in a thousand years occur to them that they should pledge to buy something they couldn’t pay for.
It shocked me to learn that in the bill citizens may be threatened with fines and jail if they do not buy the government plan. What an incredible violation of liberty that I MUST buy something – I can imagine our patriotic founders laughing at the thought!
But the worst aspect of all is the concern that we might have to participate in funding the murder of unborn children and speed up the demise of the elderly. Abortion is unacceptaable to the majority of Americans at every level. I believe it is the worst abuse ever foisted on women who suffer horrible physical and emotional complications from believing the lie that abortion is okay.
We encountered rally goers who also visited their own Congressional representatives in groups and individually beseeching them to rethink what they were about to do. Outside Nancy Pelozzi’s office a group gathered to crumple and toss to the floor pages of the 2000 page bill as they peacefully protested against abortion. Inside a little old priest lay on the floor in silent prayer and protest until he was carried out by three police officers.
On Saturday evening “We the people” watched as many of the men and women we’d elected broke every principle of sound financial management. I’m sure many who stayed through the vote gasped with dejection as the government passed a bill placing their families in a nightmare of debt. Fortunately Stupak's amendment stopped the abortion clause but only for a time. Watch out for what comes through in the end from the Senate!!!
No one has greater compassion for the poor than Wayne and I. However the poor are not served by creating more poor among us.
Other options for health care reform were totally ignored in this bill. Setting up state funds to help those who are unable to purchase insurance, as some states already have for those denied coverage wasn’t mentioned. No effort was made to curb excessive costs of medical malpractice. In fact, states that already had reforms in this area must eliminate them.
Some attenders believe that the reason for the Democratic government’s free health plan is a power play. If most people are dependent on the Democrats, they will also have control of their vote. Might this be true? However, it’s not the politics that concerns me as much as the lack of common sense in coming to a solution to this problem.
One thing is certain: The American people should not be subjected to the hypocrisy of legislators who create a health program that they refuse to personally participate in!
It’s as if the enemy has infiltrated our government and the enemy is within. People are scared by the direction our country is taking. Is America being destroyed by the actions of those who were supposed to guard it? Sad, but true, “We the people” seem to have lost our voice as we’re being changed into “We the government.”
But not yet. And we must continue to express our concerns and do all we can to keep this country fiscally sound and socially responsible for the needs of ALL AMERICANS.
Just a few thoughts, dear ones.