Dave DeMars, Sauk Rapids
True to form your guest columnist, Ron Scarbro takes up the Republican/Tea Party drum beat to denounce the efforts by the Obama administration to do something about our messy health care system. “. . . this whole deal is an unmitigated disaster,” according to Scarboro. Maybe – maybe not.
I trust Scarboro would not defend the status quo of five years ago as an ideal health care system. Granted we have some of the premier hospitals and researchers in the world – and some of the most excellent care found anywhere on earth – but a poor man can’t access it because, as Woody Guthrie put it in 1930, “You ain’t got the do re mi, boys.”
Should we regress to 1984 when hospitals played “poor-patient dumping roulette?” Oh, I’m sorry I forgot the landmark legislation the sainted Ronald Reagan signed – the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which contained the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, passed in 1986. The law requires hospitals to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay, citizenship or even legal status.
In 2013, the Democrats in Congress went further and passed the Affordable Health Care Act and the president signed it. It isn’t what everyone wanted, especially the Republicans. True to code, not one Republican voted for the Affordable Health Care Act, and 34 Democrats even joined them, but it wasn’t enough. The AHCA became the law of the land. Challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, the court upheld the AHCA by a 5-4 margin. Since its passage, the House Republicans in Congress have tried on 50 different occasions to repeal the AHCA, nicknamed Obamacare. Just imagine if they had worked with the president and tried to fix some of the problems. But no – modern day Republicans are so filled with enmity and hatred of President Obama they dare not bring themselves to support a health-care act which they themselves proposed as far back as 1974. Just do a Google search on “Nixon’s Plan For Health Reform, In His Own Words.” See if his proposal doesn’t largely provide an outline for the AHCA. Or check on the success of Romneycare in Massachusetts.
“You won’t hear many Republicans say it, but Mitt Romney’s health-care insurance program in Massachusetts, seen as a model for the Affordable Care Act, has been largely successful and popular,” wrote Brad Knickerbocker in the Sept. 29, 2013 issue of Christian Science Monitor.
Scarboro writes, “Granted, the medical industry in this country needs reform. Obamacare isn’t the answer.” OK, Scarboro. Obamacare may not be the answer, but going back as far as 1974, Republicans have had their thumb in their bum and done nothing and still continue to do nothing. It’s time the Republicans stood for something other than simply being the “nattering nabobs of negativism.” (thank you, Spiro Agnew).
“It’s not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt “Citizenship in a Republic,” speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910)
Roosevelt was still a Republican then, but by 1912 he saw the need to be progressive and be more than a member in the Party of NO!