cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
There is a great debate taking place about your health care. It is taking place in the hallowed halls of Congress and in the various meeting rooms in the White House. It is of potentially critical importance to you and you are not being very well informed about what could happen to your health care, and to your health and well being.
Peggy Noonan has an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal and I have clipped a snippet. She wrote:
"Do members of the administration speak obscurely because they can't help themselves, or do they speak the way they speak because they really aren't all that keen to have people understand them? Maybe they calculate that lack of clarity ensures maximum ability to maneuver. But maybe they should think less about maneuvering. They're not helping the prevailing sense of national anxiety by speaking in a special lingo all their own. After all, it's not their health care system they're reforming, it is America's. It would be nice if America were allowed to know what exactly the plan is, and how it would work, and who would pay, and how."
I can tell you that I have been a student of the health care industry and the health care financing industry for more than thirty-five years. I can also tell you that I have tremendous difficulty making sense of all that I am reading and hearing today. The reasons are the tremendous rate of speed with which this is all unfolding, coupled with the typical government-speak obfuscation. A summary of just one Senate Finance Committee hearing runs more than sixty pages and the language is designed to confuse rather than to inform.
This "debate" is not about some obscure health care program; this debate is about your health care and you really ought to be able to find out just what it is likely to look like, and you ought to be able to express your opinions if you choose.
Unfortunately, you and me are being buried under an avalanche of press releases, and interviews and intentionally truth-deflecting comments from elected officials in intentionally-confusing government-ese, and there is a reason for that.
They do not want us in on the "sausage-making" going on behind closed doors. And there can be but one reason: we're not going to be happy with the outcome, and they know it, and they don't care.
If you are already engaged, great! If you are not engaged, you'd better get engaged and very quickly. Once whatever is going to be done gets done, it'll be nearly impossible to unravel the cloth and revise down the road. This "reform" has the potential to deny you the ability to get the care you need on a timely basis. This "reform" has the ability to kill off the hopes of young medical students to become primary care physicians. This "reform" has the potential to result in government-directed and government-run delivery of services to those whom the government decides are worthy using techniques and medicines the government decides are appropriate.
Please become engaged and please let your President know what you think. Let your Wisconsin Senators Kohl and Feingold know what you think. Let Congressman Dave Obey know what you think. Let the press know what you think. Please get your friends engaged. It is only through a significant grass roots effort that you will be able to have an impact on the process. You may very well believe that "health care reform" is necessary, but your definition of that term and the government's definition are very likely to end up miles apart...and you will be the one to suffer, along with those you love. It is your health care, after all.
There are politicians and there are statesmen; too many politicians are making the decisions about your health care, and the few statesmen that exist currently are forced to the sidelines because their messages are contrary to the political furor that has been created. There ought to be a politicians' Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm.
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "An Albatross Named Nancy"