Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday's Vote Shouldn't Be About Partisan Politics


By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network

It's become a partisan battle - this fight over health care reform, And it shouldn't be.

There are those in the Republican Party who are praying that the health reform bill fails on Sunday. Not necessarily because they oppose it. But because failure would weaken President Obama politically. And make it more likely that they can wrestle more seats away from the Democrats during the mid-term elections. And maybe re-take control of the House.

And there are those Democrats who are blindly following their party's leadership and voting for the bill over fears that the Republicans will succeed.

Meanwhile, people who are uninsured - or underinsured - suffer.

How can I say this with any degree of certainty? The current bill, as it stands, is really akin to a Republican proposal. And many Democrats - who favored a singled payer system - are accepting less and will vote for the legislation.

Half a cup - I guess - is better than none.

The president tried to shame the Republicans over this point during a health reform rally at George Mason University yesterday. (We carried the rally in its entirety on the Paltalk News Network - and viewers had opportunity to comment in the chat as the president spoke.)

In doing so, he pointed a finger at the news media. Saying this story is being covered like a sports event. Who wins and who loses politically. While ignoring the fundamental problems over the way we fund health care in the United States today.

Then he did what the conservative pundits consider his second most serious cardinal sin (the first being the use [gasp] of a teleprompter). He gave examples of real people who are suffering for a lack of health care.

I know this is something conservative talk show hosts jump on because of their recent vilification of an 11-year-old boy who has spoken out about the need for health reform because his uninsured mother died from lack of health care. This tells me that partisans will stoop to any level to bring down the other side.

The entire political process has been exposed and magnified during this debate. And what I've seen has made me sick. But it's the kind of sickness that no amount of health insurance or reform can cure.

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Talk to Gary 5 PM weekdays on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network at www.joinchatnow.com. There is no charge.

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Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3664385777/

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