be able to fight back quite effectively through surrogates. (That includes us, DUers.)
Sorry for the length of the rant that follows, but:
Let the right-wing arguments sink in and become old hat. In August, some Americans will begin to receive rebate checks from their insurance companies and honest folks will begin to ask intelligent questions.
Fact is, Americans are paying the equivalent of this "tax" for health care insurance now. We pay it to the health care insurance company and doctors of our choice. We will continue to pay for our health care insurance "tax," and continue to pay it TO THE HEALTH CARE INSURANCE COMPANY AND DOCTORS OF OUR CHOICE.
Most Americans will not pay this "tax" to the government. And those who do will pay a relatively small amount to Uncle Sam because they have figured out that they can get their health care cheaper that way. If you earn very little and can't afford health care, you do not have to pay either the insurance company or the government. Nothing changes for you either.
The things that will change are those that Papantonio mentioned -- more accountability as to how our insurance dollars, our "taxes," are spent, rebates of a certain percentage of our premiums -- of the part that the company does not spend on healthcare, coverage for pre-existing conditions, no denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, affordable coverage for most Americans, coverage for children under age 26 by the parents' insurance, more free coverage for preventive care, more cooperation and coordination among your doctors and between your hospital's doctors and surgeons and your family doctor (especially for seniors), less waste and fewer gimmicks like offering some seniors memberships in health clubs and charging that to the Medicare Advantage bill. (Which regular Medicare does not pay for.)
The bill will have its failings. They will have to be corrected. That's the way legislation works. The glitches get amended. But it's a great start.
And while I agree with Roberts that the plan is an exercise of Congress' tax and spend authority and not of its authority to regulate commerce, this is not a new tax. This is a "tax" that we have been paying, or at least most of us have been paying, for a long time -- at least since we became adults and started working. And if you are a woman or have a pre-existing condition (which nearly everyone over 55 has) and have been honest with your insurance company, chances are you have been paying a very high, trumped-up "tax," an unfair "tax" that will now be made fairer.
This bill will mean life itself for many, many children (and adults) whose pre-existing conditions have served as an excuse for exclusion from health insurance coverage.
This bill will mean that our emergency rooms are not filled with poor people who cannot afford health care insurance and who sit endless hours in the emergency room to get treatments a primary care doctor could render in his office more efficiently and economically.
It is human nature to be afraid of change. But this bill is not going to bring about threatening change. It will bring about positive change.
Remember when you were a child. You heard scary stories from other children and read frightening fairy tales and got terrified of the dark. You woke up, saw shadows and thought there might be monsters in the room. At camp, you huddled with your friends in a tent and tried to see who could tell the scariest story. Well, that's what Republicans do.
"The sky is falling. The sky is falling."
Don't believe it. The Republicans will, once again, be proved wrong by the facts. Let's just calmly inform ourselves of the facts and prepare to discuss them gently and intelligently. That is the best strategy.
We are going to have to be strong and unmoved by the Republicans' fear on this.
We are, as usual, going to have to hold a lot of Republican hands because they are going to work themselves into a frenzy over this. That's their high. They rev up the adrenalin and then they "feel good." Marijuana may be illegal, but working yourself into an adrenalin frenzy is not -- and that is what Republicans enjoy.
Reason and calm are the best remedies for Republican fear.
I have three large avocado trees in my back yard. Every spring each of them sprouts thousands of blossoms. Literally thousands of tiny blossoms show up on each tree. Then the sorrel flowers beneath the trees bloom, and, drawn by the bright yellow sorrel flowers, the bees show up -- always on schedule around 10:00 a.m. every morning -- and pollinate the avocado blossoms.
Thousands of tiny blossoms, each created to become an avocado and so many bees. I begin to dream of trees sagging from the weight of avocados. This year, I think. This year we will have more than enough avocados to feed us, all our neighbors and our friends with some left over. Hmmm. Guacamole, I can taste it in my mouth.
The baby avocados form, tiny, plump green balls on the branches of the trees where the blossoms were. And then, just as sure as the blossoms sprouted and the sorrel bloomed and the bees arrived, most of the baby avocados fall to the ground within days and weeks of their creation.
The avocado "embryos" cover my yard. Only a few survive on the limbs of my trees. I'm sure there is some way to increase the numbers of avocados that survive, but I don't know what it is.
Nature promises; nature pollinates; nature creates thousands of avocado embryos. And then, nature kills most of its promises, most of the baby avocados.
The avocados that do survive are strong and healthy and in the right number to mature into large avocados in our back yard. Let me assure you, our avocados are the best you can find, far better than any you buy in the market, even at the farmers' market.
Limiting the quantity of our avocados in order to assure quality is an example of nature's wisdom.
We humans have invented all kinds of ways to foil nature and its natural killer instinct. We try to trick it, to prevent it from limiting the numbers of its creations that it permits to survive. But nature is much smarter than we are.
We love our children and our babies and we want each of them to live. But, by interfering with the nature's processes, we are overpopulating the earth, demanding too much of its limited resources. If we don't find a way to limit the numbers of our species, nature will. That is nature's way. Birth control and the morning after pill do not contravene nature. They imitate it.