Friday, August 14, 2009
Health Care is a matter of life and death for Americans. Whether you are underinsured, uninsured, or the proud owner of the best health care plan available, the issue of healthcare reform affects you and everyone around you. The truth is that every one of us is one illness or one job loss away from losing our healthcare coverage. Currently, the fact that President Obama’s plan seeks to rectify this situation is being lost beneath a bunch of hostile behavior from opponents of healthcare reform.
The most ridiculous rumors I’ve ever heard have been running rampant around the blogosphere, on Facebook, and from the mouths of the usual suspects. Stories of mandatory abortions, “death panels,” and mandatory sex-change operations are stealing the limelight, making it impossible to have a real conversation about the true aim of the legislation.
In order to dubunk these myths senators and representatives have been setting up town-hall-style meetings . Instead of providing a forum for serious conversation around health care reform however, they’ve turned into full-on shouting matches. As columnist Paul Krugman reports “congressmen (are being) shouted down, hanged in effigy, surrounded and followed by taunting crowds.” Both opponents and proponents of reform are accusing the other side of using “plants” at the town hall meetings to further their agenda.
This is the question I keep asking myself: When, how, and why did we return to grade school tactics? Health care is too important for these shenanigans! Whether you’re for or against Obama’s health care plan, or even health care reform itself, we must all agree to create a dialog that brings us toward a better understanding of both sides of the issue. That’s what democracy is about, isn’t it?