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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Will Health Care Matter In 2008?

by capper

Anyone who dabbles in politics has heard of John Zogby and his firm, Zogby International. Some people like his work, some don't. Either way, it is hard to deny that his polls can and do have some influence on elections and political matters across the country.

One would also have to presume that he has a sense of what way the country trends in regards to political opinions and social issues. That is why I found myself reading an article he wrote, which appeared in the Waupaca County Post. His article starts out with a very brief study of the situation the country was in when Franklin Delano Roosevelt won his first election as the President. He also compares this to when Ronald Reagan first became President. His point was that the people felt that the country "had gone haywire" and needed a change.

Zogby then goes on about the situation the country finds itself in today and what it might import (emphasis mine):

When Americans identify the issues they consider most important, they talk about Iraq, but that may be less of an issue next year than the combination of the economy and health care. Health care is the number one economic issue in the country today and health insurance is what separates many Americans between middle-class status and near poverty. In the past, Americans have not voted with a sense of urgency about health care. In 2008, with one in three voters who presently have employer-based insurance afraid of losing some or all of it, they will vote for universal health coverage.

There are other issues. Immigration is very intense. So is science -- in the form of global warming and stem cell research. But overriding all of these issues will be the question of whether government can restore confidence. Can it get people to believe that it’s up to the task of insuring safety and security and meeting human needs?

This flies in the face of what many conservative pundits and bloggers would have you believe. The current health care system is not working, no matter how much they would have us believe otherwise. If nothing is done, and status quo is maintained, there will be an economic impact greater than anything felt recently. And there is the obvious personal impact. What extremes will people be willing to go to, if it means the life and health of themselves and/or their loved ones?

It would seem so obvious that the writing is on the wall, but instead of accepting the inevitable and trying to influence to be result to have the greatest impact for all, the conservatives continue to shut their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and scream, "This isn't happening." As if this would make the problem go away. That plan stopped working in 2006. It sure isn't going to work any better in 2008.

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