Monday, August 17, 2009

The Void of Leadership: Health Care Gets The "Death Panel"

Our Gal Rachel sums up the mess we've seen healthcare reform become in this short clip. Check it out:



I am disheartened, no, I am disgusted with the way the healthcare reform issue has been handled from the beginning. I have been impatient and wanting to see some serious change. My friends cautioned me to give it time. I have spoken of President Obama doing some old-fashioned arm-twisting to push through a strong Democratic agenda. People told me to let the system work. I wanted to see Obama, (who I know ran as a centrist, and I should not be surprised at all about this...), I wanted to see this President actually stand up for the middle class, and listen to the folks who told him all their health care worries on the road. But I was told, "He's working on it, he's working on it..." I wanted to see him show party leadership, as head of the DNC, let these dumb-ass Blue Dogs know that they would not be given party support (read: money!) if they don't get in line and support our agenda. But it didn't happen. And now, not only has the President given up on single-payer, but is abandoning the public option, supposedly to support cooperatives which are notorious for not being able to gather enough members to receive a suitable cost-savings. My God.

While health care was our agenda, apparently it is not the agenda of the Obama Administration. I am truly beginning to wonder if the concept of true reform was ever the intention of this administration. Have we been conned all along? I'd like to believe that it is his young staff that has misdirected the battle, but I doubt that's the whole story. The agreement with the pharmaceutical companies disproves that. Where was the aggressive fight against the swiftboating of this campaign? Was the GOP attack on several fronts not expected???

I supported the Democratic candidate because I am a Loyal Democrat. My grandmother taught me from a very young age, as she taught me to read from the newspaper, that "the worst Democrat is better than the best Republican." So, when my candidate didn't win the primaries (let's not go there...), I backed our guy. Because, I assumed, he actually would look out for our best interests, that he would support the Democratic Party platform. I have been sorely disappointed thus far. And the loss of any kind of true healthcare reform, I believe, may be the nail in the 2010 midterm coffin, and possibly the 2012 as well.

The Hubby is ready to register as an Independent, and write off politics altogether. My friends at work are disheartened, and worried that their own hubby's health conditions may get them kicked off their insurance. I have family and friends that won't change jobs because they are afraid to lose their insurance. And still, 14 million folks a day lose their insurance. God knows how many people have gone bankrupt, lost their homes and worse, because of catastrophic health costs. This may be the Democrat's Waterloo. The mid-terms will not be pretty, and it's gonna take some pretty remarkable footwork to get folks to forget this one, even party loyalists...and especially the President's young, more liberal base. There is more at stake here than just the health care reform policy. The control of power in this country is in the balance, and through President Obama's own doing - he made health care "the issue of our time." And then he dropped the ball. Deliberate fixing of the game or just a fumble on the five yard line, either way, it's due to a lack of leadership. And that's the most devastating of all.