As soon as the speech ended, my phone went all crazy bananas. I had calls, calls waiting, text messages, and voice-mails. It seemed people were watching. The most satisfying call came from a good friend, a guy I love very much, but who has a very hard time accepting Obama as POTUS. He regularly calls me and parrots what he hears on talk radio. Now, most of the time, he is just stirring the pot, because he enjoys getting a rise out of folks, and particularly, me. I’ve learned not to take the bait, or, I frame my response in a way that actually sounds as if I agree, until I lower the boom. One thing I have to say, he has been willing to accept some Liberal arguments.
So, this guy has a young son, who I met when he was around 3 yrs old. He needs daily medications or he risks having seizures. He requires MRIs at least yearly. It has been 3 yrs since his last one. His dad cannot afford to keep him covered, and what little coverage the State offers does not allow for MRIs. There is a spot on his brain, and it needs to be carefully monitored, and that isn’t happening at the moment.
My friend has the rare ability to boil things down to their most basic elements. I often accuse him of being cynical, and jaded, but that doesn’t mean his analysis is always wrong. His entire support group is Republican, rabidly so, in fact. It is always an uphill battle for me to move him from his default Red-State positions. But tonight, he calls, and says “well, you could really see how much the insurance companies are leaning on certain politicians to kill reform.” Ok, I’m paraphrasing. You want the quote? Fine:
“Boy, I bet the insurance companies were all, motherfucker, stop this reform shit now.”
So I’m thinking maybe, just maybe, the full court press tipped their hand, and even this pretty conservative guy sees the core problem.
I liked the speech. Sure, I still have questions. I don’t like mandated coverage. I hated it when the Govt required everyone to purchase auto insurance, and I’m skeptical of any plan that makes a guy earning 22k a year and trying to save for a house or retirement buy health insurance. When hard times come, generally, its a roof, food, gas for the car, and heating or cooling, probably in that order. If he defaults, will he be penalized when he can afford to resume coverage?
I also liked that he opened the door to tort reform. I’m supposed to oppose this, being a Democrat and all, but the fact remains that young doctors are facing mounting debt from school, and often exorbitant rates for malpractice insurance. It makes them see too many patients a day, and care gets missed. It makes them order tests that are redundant or unnecessary, and that is wasteful. We need to hold bad doctors accountable, but we need to give doctors and nurses some protection from frivolous suits.
More later, but I’ll close with this:
Joe Wilson(R) of South Carolina, you are an asshole.