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Repeal of health care reform will fail

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By Rick Howell

    Shame on all the conservative Republicans, including Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt, who voted in the House to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law.

    Let all Americans know what this means: House Republicans care more about the profits of the insurance industry than they do about 50 million Americans without health insurance.
    Don’t believe any of the nonsense about a “government takeover.” This health care law will eventually grant coverage to 30 million people. It’s the least we can do, and, surely, it is just a beginning. But it does not require the federal government to “take over” anything.
    When you hear that phrase, simply say to yourself: there go the conservatives again….lying and distorting. They have a pronounced talent for that.
    Remember, too, that every Congressman who voted for that repeal is protected by a health insurance plan that uninsured Americans would love to have. Isn’t that ironic? They refuse to grant to others what their job guarantees for them. Remember that.
    The United States of America is supposedly the most advanced and enlightened country in the world. Yet, we’re just about the last nation that still allows corporate hacks to decide who can and who cannot receive health care coverage. Why?
    Our brothers and sisters across the pond, in Great Britain, adopted universal health care immediately after suffering the deprivations of World War II. They thought it was just and decent to make health care a right, regardless of a citizen’s ability to pay money.
    In the 1980s, conservative Margaret Thatcher came to power in that country, just as fellow conservative Ronald Reagan came to power here. Thatcher privatized many industries that had been nationalized (a real “government takeover”).
    But she didn’t lift a finger to change health care policy in that country, because she knew it worked and she knew it was popular. She famously said, “The NHS (national health service) is safe in our hands.”
    Why didn’t American conservatives learn a lesson from that? What does it take for them to figure this out?
    What we truly need in America is a single-payer plan, similar to the systems in Britain, Canada and France. You pay the taxes up front for the system you create, and then the care you need is there when you must have it.
    You never leave a doctor’s office or a hospital owing any money, and you certainly don’t go bankrupt or deeply in debt because of “health care costs.” It simply doesn’t happen. And the quality of care is not compromised in the least.
    If President Obama’s plan was going to receive all the attacks about “a government takeover,” and “socialism,” maybe that’s exactly what he should have offered. But in this country, money is God. And nobody has more of it than the insurance companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
    The Obama bill - far from being a “government takeover” - is just a start. But as that, those of us who believe in justice and decency, should fight to preserve it, knowing that one day we’ll get the whole pie, not just a slice of it.
    The Senate will reject the House repeal, and the president certainly won’t sign any bill that repeals a law he fought hard to create. The right-wing ideologues in the House have shown us what they’re about.
    Universal health care should be the right of every American citizen. The conservatives must be defeated on this issue. Simply because they’re wrong. And in the long run, they will be defeated.

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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com.