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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Pawns for Profit

By Keith R. Schmitz

My ex-wife, God-bless her, came up with a term that is very applicable with what's going on lately.

Bold ignorance.

Here's a good example of this. Recently one of the raucous anti-health care reform protesters proclaimed to a member of Congress at a town hall meeting "keep your government hands off my Medicare?"

Or the crowds that chant "read the bill" when there is really no bill to read?

Or claiming falsely that the government is going to force the elderly into making end of life decisions when the health insurance companies have been making these every day for years, and further based on a lie put out by the rad right.

Of course to really conjure up bold ignorance, think Sarah Palin.

But nothing is bolder, or more ignorant than these protesters loudly and rudely claiming they are protecting "freedom" when they defend the right of health insurance companies to control our health care.

Stop me when you see something that resembles freedom.
  • Not being able to change jobs or face losing health insurance.
  • Not being able to start a business out of fear of losing health insurance coverage.
  • (Most pitiful yet true) Having a small business and having to marry someone for their insurance.
  • Being a small business and not being able to attract and retain talent when up against a large company that can afford employee health insurance.
  • Having your economic wings clipped because of skyrocketing insurance costs.
  • Having your economic wings clipped because your policy failed to live up to its bargain of covering you after years of you paying above mentioned high premiums or your company paying them and having to cut your wages as a result.
  • Having to chose between food and paying for health insurance premiums or covering a sky-high deductible.
In this and any country, your freedom to have access to health care is based on who finances it. Access to health care is essential to life itself, and no doubt studies would reveal that those who are covered by health insurance on average have a higher life expectancy than those who don't.

But as we should know, this is still not a guarantee because the company could come up with a reason not to provide coverage or a medical condition based on a flimsy technicality.

So those who control access to health care control our lives. This poses the question of who would most of us trust to be stewards of that public trust? A for profit company, whose executives are elected by nobody, or a government that has popularly elected leaders?

The health insurance companies literally own us, and that's why they are not looking to lose this control. That's why through right wing media and astro-turf groups, these companies are working to whip these people up over ginned up lies. Ironically, the money that could be spent on covering medical procedures is being laid out to pay for these campaigns and buy members of Congress.

They have turned those people who are packing the town hall meetings and who hoot and hollar at elected officials into pawns for profit.

Face it. What do these crowds get out of taking the time to disrupt these interchanges of information? The only thing I can think of is being wrapped in the security blanket of succumbing to baseless fears.

What we are seeing today could be compared to slave owners sending out their chattel to break up abolition meetings because, after all, they are well taken care of.

They may think they are doing this on their own accord, since most of these folks plug into to right wing media there really is no rational through process going on.

We of course are going to hear the choruses of, "you are wrong because we have the freedom to either have health insurance or not have health insurance."

What kind of naive/clueless/boldly ignorant people could believe in this day and age that if they or a member of their families contracted cancer, got involved in a smash up or was shot by the many guns we love having in this society that they could come up with the money to pay for the procedures on their own without the help of an insurance company?

Then that bogus exercise in freedom would be replaced by the slavery of having a life-long bill to pay off.

But hey. I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

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