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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

It's Time for Some Leadership

The second (or third, fourth...) health care war is on full speed ahead with incredible noise, disruption and knee jerk reaction. Would a fair and

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The second (or third, fourth...) health care war is on full speed ahead with incredible noise, disruption and knee jerk reaction. Would a fair and equitable health care plan for all Americans that want a plan sound like common sense? Noooo, say the loud minority that insists that they "want to have their country back," that Obama's plan "is driving America toward socialism" and that they do not want "bureaucrats between me and my doctor."

Newsflash: so-called bureaucrats are already and have been for a long time, between patients and health care professionals. They determine time spent with patients, medication allowed for treatment and, in worse case, deny treatment for the so-called "preexisting condition." Folks that claim that they love their insurance companies often did not have to use them.

The claim of socialism is so disingenuous. Folks fail to consider that some American institutions such as Social Security, Medicare, the post office, the armed forces, etc. are all "government run" and the majority of Americans can't imagine life without them. The loudest of loud mouths when questioned if they are on Medicare respond affirmatively without even considering the absurdity of their positions.

Now then, how shall reasonable voters (who by a large majority elected Barack Obama) proceed? Using similar tactics of name-calling is not acceptable to most. Ultimately it's the tactic of the desperate and the hopeless. Democrats (especially Obama and members of Congress), Independents and progressives in general must devise a clear and concise message that explains the health care proposal to rational voters.

Republicans that insist on saying 'no' have not advanced any alternatives aside from claiming that what we have is "the best in the world" thereby continuing the myth that anything American is always "number one." Well, it seems that in the delivery of health services to the greatest number of our citizens we are not number one at all; we lag way back despite paying through the nose with our premiums.

We need some common sense leadership and that quality comes from different sides. But bold decision-making must come now and no one can afford to sit on the sidelines. Democrats have the ultimate hammer, that of their majority in both houses of Congress. I keep hearing that they don't want to follow that route, but one thing I remember from the Bush years: he drove his policies however destructive they have proven to have been, by applying pressure from all sides to his Republican majority. They passed their administration policies (often, with the regretful nod of many Democrats) and ignored any opposition that may have been voiced. They authorized a march to war under false pretense at a cost of over one trillion dollars. Not a peep from the current noise crowd that such an undertaking was "too costly and we could not afford," arguments that they so freely now use to denounce the health care initiative.

Democrats may have to go it alone on this one. Courageous presidents have done it before: TR in establishing the National Park systems was demonized for 'giving away land that could be explored', FDR was ridiculed for Social Security and so many social programs Americans now take for granted, LBJ for signing the Civil Rights Act, etc. Most Americans now agree that most of those decisions were good for the country. The US needs a national health care program. It is incomprehensible to have close to 50 million of our citizens without the ability to see a health care professional.

Let's stop the noise and begin to use common sense.

-Charlie Wysling, Bend


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