By Rick Saunders
No one should revel in the death of a U.S. Senator, whoever they were and whatever their past may have been. But now, with the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and the Democrats’ hopes for the resuscitation of a moribund HB 3200 fading in the glare of just exactly what the words and vague verbiage of the proposal really portend–from rationed care to increased taxation on everyone without “approved insurance” to end-of-life counseling panels–Kennedy’s death provides to the more strident Democrats just the elixir they were looking for.
Likely even before the body of the Liberal Lion of the Senate cooled to room temperature in Hyannisport, those who would capitalize on his demise from brain cancer had informally re-dubbed the legislation “Kennedycare.” President Barack Obama called him a “defender of a dream” and a “singular figure in history,” adding that “even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as president from his encouragement and wisdom.” Former Vice President Al Gore claimed that “Ted would want nothing more than for his colleagues to continue his life’s work and to make real his dream of quality health care for all Americans.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “Ted Kennedy’s dream of quality health care for all Americans will be made real this year because of his leadership and his inspiration.” Senator Robert Byrd, the only senator to have served longer than Kennedy, went even further and offered the following statement:
In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.
Picking up where Byrd left off, Ralph G. Neas, the CEO of the liberal National Coalition on Health Care, urged that Congress “win one for Teddy” by passing the bill.
No offense intended, but Earth to Obots: after all of the accolades and praises pass and rational thought returns to the process, people should acknowledge that the very bill that the Democrats want to force upon the rest of us–the one they want to and will inevitably re-brand “Kennedycare” but to which they wish to remain not subject–would have virtually ensured Kennedy’s death a lot sooner than otherwise occurred. For no other reasons than his age and the nature of his disease, his demise would have been substantially accelerated under the bill being peddled by the Democrats as “reform we can believe in.” Reality check, please.
Had Kennedy not been the beneficiary of the most advanced and sophisticated private medical system the world has ever known and had unfettered access to that system through the preferential treatment accorded to members of Congress, Kennedy would likely have died from his brain cancer shortly after it had been diagnosed in 2008. And the surgery to remove the brain tumor in 2008 would never have happened under HB 3200.
Ted Kennedy was the beneficiary of the best treatment known to man, treatment only a free market system could produce, treatment which substantially extended his life. Yet now the Democrats would want to put his name on a bill which would preclude the middle and lower classes from having access to that same quality care, that would eventually transmogrify the current system into something like that being seen in Britain, where government-run treatment has been described as “neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel,” where bed shortages have forced nearly 4,000 expectant mothers to deliver their babies in ambulances, elevators and hospital restrooms and corridors. If Congress truly wanted “reform” in the health care system, it would lead by example and abandon the preferred treatment its members get under its own separate, private health care-based system.
Interestingly, under some of the “versions” of HB 3200 still slithering through the corridors and back rooms of the House, there had been amendments proposed by Republicans which would have mandated that members of Congress enroll in the same plan mere commoners like ourselves would be required to join. Those amendments were ruled “out of order” and not even allowed to be offered. In one version, however, such an amendment was allowed and actually passed in committee. However, when these several versions finally make it to the Rules Committee for “blending” and ultimately land on Speaker Pelosi’s desk, you can bet the ranch that the provision will be stripped and will never see the light of day again on the floor of the House. Under the so-called “leadership” of folks like Nancy “Do as I say” Pelosi (and, for that matter, Harry “Not as I do” Reid), such “good for the goose, good for the gander” reasoning is as foreign to our elected officials as is Swahili to a Klingon.
Quality health care for all Americans will come not by way of the destruction of the private medical health systems of the nation through mandated imposition of a “public
option” (is it just me, or is there something oxymoronic about a mandated “option”?). Rather, it will come as a result of addressing the problematic elements of the existing private system in this nation–a system which, by the way, is the envy of the world–according to the principles of the free market.
Kennedy’s “valiant struggle with a mortal illness,” to quote Mr. Obama, would have been truncated and terminated a lot sooner–repeat, a lot sooner–under the Democrats’ prescription for the rest of us. In short, the “solution” now being hawked by the Democrats is being properly rejected by the American people as being the functional equivalent of 1000+ pages of snake oil. To his credit, Kennedy often had the downtrodden in America on his mind — therefore, it is doubtful that he would have wanted his name associated with snake oil.
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008.