And life goes on
President Obama signed the health-care reform legislation into law yesterday, and today the sun came out as usual and the United States was not sucked into a huge black hole. To hear some people talk, you might have thought the country would have disappeared from the face of the Earth the moment Obama's pen touched paper. Is the health-care legislation perfect? Far from it. Is it better than doing nothing? Almost certainly. Is it better than what the Republicans were proposing? It has to be, because they really weren't proposing much of anything, other than to squawk “TORT REFORM" in unison at almost every turn. I believe I read somewhere that tort reform might actually cut health-care costs ... by 1 percent. Not really the big-picture answer. The past few days saw teabaggers using racial epithets against black lawmakers, another black lawmaker being spat upon, more teabaggers mocking a crippled man and a Republican congressman calling Rep. Bart Stupak a "baby killer." Stupak, some of you might recall, is staunchly anti-abortion but agreed to vote for the health-care bill based on Obama's pledge to reaffirm a ban on use of federal funds for abortions. The funniest comment came from Sen. John McCain, who, upset over the procedures used to pass the health-care bill, vowed that “there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year.” To quote Joe Biden, BIG #@$%^&! DEAL. There hasn't been any significant cooperation by Republicans since Obama took office. More and more, McCain is starting to sound like a nursing home resident miffed that his daily dose of Metamucil wasn't delivered fast enough. That said, I'm not overly impressed with the new law. I have my doubts that it will result in any real savings. The best that can probably be said for it is that it should provide coverage to more people and might - might - restrain increases in health-care costs. I'm also not thrilled about the mandate that people buy coverage, but mainly because I favored a system that would render that unnecessary. It's called single-payer. Essentially, you just extend Medicare to cover everybody in the country. Would it be expensive? Of course. But should it be a priority for a country of our wealth and power to make sure everyone has equal access to quality health care? I think so. I hear a lot of crying about government-mandated insurance. It's funny how many of those doing the crying never utter a peep about paying for government-mandated car insurance and government-mandated license plates for their vehicles. And the worst of this crowd were the senior citizens at the town hall meetings who shrieked, “Keep the gubmint outta my health care.” Never mind that their health care is provided through a government program. Those people, and the other ones mentioned above, make me think that death panels might actually be a good idea. The health-care bill might not be the greatest piece of legislation passed by an American Congress, but I have to admit it was enjoyable watching horse’s behinds like Mitch McConnell, Joe Wilson and John Boehner lose and cry like little girls.
On another topic that never gets old to me, there’s a new poll out about beliefs held by Republicans in our country. The national Harris poll finds that 57 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim, and 45 percent are still clinging to the stupid notion that the president was not born in this country and is ineligible to be our leader. That's nearly half of the Republicans polled who are ignoring facts and common sense in order to side with the "birthers." But here's the best part: Nearly one in four Republicans surveyed agree that Obama “may be the Antichrist.” I'm sorry, but that’s beyond dumb. It's imbecilic. Responsible Republican leaders should call a major news conference and denounce this lunacy. They should outline their policy differences with the president but make it clear that if someone believes Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who just might be the Antichrist, they’re not welcome in the Grand Old Party. But on the other hand, brain-dead sheep like those folks are pretty easily manipulated by lies and scare tactics, so they might come in handy this November.