It takes a daredevil will to go against the status quo — attributes President Barack Obama and House Democrats possessed when they passed the health care reform legislation after a 14-month hustle.
It was a grand finale to what was a less-than-amicable debate. We saw both the worst and the best of American democracy.
But just like after any landmark event, it’s imperative we look at the lessons learned and sweeping misperceptions Americans have about the health care bill.
Of a large majority of people who opposed the reform, many don’t even know why. And even if they claim to have a coherent reason, it falls along the lines of crap.
Rather than take out time to educate themselves on what the bill actually entails, many Americans are comfortable with fallacies, letting Sarah Palin do all the thinking for them.
Here are some of the common misconceptions that the gullible hearts of many Americans have been led to believe: Health care reform will increase deficits, people will lose their private insurance, health care reform will raise taxes for all, and the most nonsensical, the government will create death panels.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, health care reform would expand insurance to 30 million Americans at a cost of $940 billion over 10 years. But, the reform would cut America’s budget deficit by $143 billion in the same period and $1 trillion in the second 10 years.
Time and time again, it has been noted that health care reform wasn’t designed to replace existing private insurance. If you like your current insurance plan as it is, then you can keep it. But I guess natural obstructionists never listen and only hear what they want to hear.
As for tax increases, most people won’t see them. Only those earning more than $200,000 individually ($250,000 as a married couple) and those with high premium insurance plans will see tax increases. And that isn’t wealth redistribution. It’s just fair.
The whole issue of tax increases also exposes a part of American hypocrisy that pisses me off: It’s so easy to draw up sympathy or a buck for a homeless person on the street, but when it comes to making a commitment to alleviate the burdens of the poor (like higher taxes), the rich grumble and murmur.
And as for death panels, it’s a myth not even worth debunking.
I just find it really amusing to know people actually bought into that. Palin and her followers never cease to amaze me — especially the Tea Partiers, who’ve bashed people over the health care bill instead of respecting others.
This was evidenced when civil rights leaders were called the n-word; openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (D–Mass) was called a faggot. These are all unacceptable behaviors. But what do you expect from a flock shepherded by America’s favorite madman, Glenn Beck?
Finally, people may find it hard to assimilate to change, but when change is needed, it shouldn’t be denied.
The health care reform bill might not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.
It’s going to take time to see the outcome of this legislation, but while we wait let’s not sit around complaining about it. Americans across the board should give health care reform a chance.
Food For Thought: It’s easy to sit on the side and criticize those bold enough to helm the mantle of change without asking yourself, what have I done for a change?