By John M. Williams
The pressâ€™s coverage of the health care battle has been so devoid of thoughtful questions when it comes to politicians that I wonder whether reporters and moderators are thinking or whether they are afraid to ask tough questions.
Making healthcare affordable, portable and universal are absolutely necessary goals to containing escalating medical costs and strengthening our economy. And raising our standard of living. Most of the press recognizes these dire conditions challenging the country.
For months and months, I have heard Republican politicians tear down the health care systems in Canada, Britain and Germany. The medical systems in these countries have been crucified by Republicans for rationing healthcare. And yet, I have never heard a reporter or moderator ask a politician: â€œSenator or Congressman, have you had any experience or have you ever received any medical care from any of these countries?â€
If the answer is yes then you have to ask, â€œWhat was your experience? What was it a good experience? Was it unpleasant?â€
I am guessing they will say, â€œI have never had any experience with medical care in those countries?â€
If they have not had any experience then how can they call it awful? They are making negative comments on an area they do not know anything about. They should be questioned about their knowledge of the healthcare delivery systems in these countries.
A follow up question to the politician is, â€œWould you say that the Canadians, English and Germans love freedom and Democracy and despise tyranny?â€
If the answer is the Canadians, English and Germans love freedom and Democracy and oppose tyranny, â€œThen why arenâ€™t they uprising against their socialized medicine programs?â€
Why arenâ€™t they upset because a government bureaucrat is working with them and their doctor? Where is the proof from politicians that the private sector offers better medical services than the public sector?
I know people from Canada, England, Germany, Italy and Germany and they do not want the American style healthcare system in their countries. In their countries, people arenâ€™t denied healthcare based on a pre-existing condition. In their countries, people do not have to make a choice between medicine and other life essentials. In their countries, the price of medical care is not capped. In their countries, while you have to wait to see a specialist, we have to wait here to see a specialist. While medical services in their countries may be rationed, we ration medical care hourly here.
Research has shown that 45,000 people die annually in this country because they lack health insurance. If this callousness is not rationing, cruel and murder, then what is?
Reporters and moderators should be grilling CEOs of health insurance companies on why they allow people to die because of lack of insurance, while they have theirs?
Governments should be investigating whether harmful decisions not to insure people who die because of lack of medical treatment constitute murder. If I knowingly hit someone while driving my car and drive away and that person dies, I can be charged with causing that personâ€™s death. On the other hand, if I work for an insurance company and I refuse to cover the medical treatment of a person, or persons, whose life depends on it and the person dies, my company and I profit, and I am not culpable. I am rewarded. Why?
Republicans are excellent at following the party line. They say they do not want socialized medicine, and so I am waiting to hear a reporter ask, â€œThen why not do away with Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA healthcare?â€
A follow up question is, â€œWhat would you replace these programs with?â€
When I hear politicians say a government bureaucrat should not get between a patient and his doctor, I am waiting to hear this question, â€œA private sector bureaucrat gets between a doctor and his patient now, and the bureaucrat is concerned not with the health of the patient but with saving money. Why do you want to perpetuate a system of rationing that often denies people medical care and maybe even kills them? A government bureaucrat would probably be more concerned about care then money. Therefore, who is providing the better service?â€
Republicans are crying because the Democrats may use the 51 vote majority to pass healthcare reform. They need to be asked, â€œWhy was it okay for Republicans to use 51 votes (reconciliation) to pass tax breaks for the rich and Medicare but not okay for Democrats to use the same process to pass healthcare reform.
When reporters and moderators fail to probe for answers they are not doing their jobs. They are not serving their communities. Rather, they are serving the politicians who are serving the private sector whose only goal is to make all the money they can, even when their policies maim, disabled and kill people.