Skip to main content

Health Care and the Madness of Political Rhetoric

Political Rhetoric – Civil Service – Psychotic Assassin – What Has Health Care Reform Come To?

I have to say I just despise when patients ask me what I think of Obamacare. As though the only reason we have or need improvement to our healthcare system is our president. That sort of talk is just an example of political rhetoric. 

The name of the health care reform bill is a good example of political rhetoric, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, but not nearly as blatent as the name of the new Republican house bill which is called, “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act.” When we had a Republican administration and congress with a prior president the rhetoric was only slightly more civil and less violence oriented.

This past week a congressperson was shot and others died. Almost immediately thereafter our elected congress people seemed to realize, probably just temporarily, that the partisan slander and mud-slinging might be dangerous to more than their opponents reelection chances. Is the only thing that can get an elected official to act like a truly civil servant is fear for their life?

It’s not unrealistic to think that psychotic young man in Phoenix was influenced by the heated political rhetoric to attempt to kill a democratic congresswoman.

Image placeholder title

Gosh, maybe there is even a liberal psycho who might try to murder a Tea Party leader. Do all our congress people feel like they are painting targets on each other’s backs? Maybe fear will be enough to force both sides to tone down the political rhetoric and be civil and actually listen to each other. Is it unrealistic to ask our leaders to find common ground in the real issues we face in health care? Cynically and realistically it probably is too much to expect. I suspect all will return to normal all too soon, with the partisan sniping with words if not with bullets flying.

There are some parts of the health care bill that seem like they should cross party lines.  Is there a majority of either party that believes that insurance companies should be allowed to restrict policies based on preexisting conditions, should have lifetime maximums on policies, or that Medicare should not cover preventative care services? I seriously doubt it. 

I don’t argue that the act as passed is perfect. It doesn’t go far enough in many regards, and probably goes in wrong directions in others. Still the only purpose of the house of representatives passing a bill to repeal the entire act, knowing fully that it will never pass both a democratic senate and a presidential veto, is political. Does the congress have no more important work for the country than spending weeks debating a bill with zero chance of becoming law? It’s just disgusting.

If you want more on this topic the Washington Post had an excellent review that you can read here:

House GOP to resume health-care repeal effort, but with more civil tone

By Shailagh Murrayand Paul Kane

Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, January 13, 2011; 9:28 PM

House Republican leaders said Thursday that they will begin their effort to repeal the new health-care law next week, a return to normal legislative business after the shootings in Arizona suspended activity on Capitol Hill.

But no one quite knows what normal will look like, following a wrenching week in which members confronted concerns about their own safety and whether their heated rhetoric played any role in last Saturday’s shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 18 others.   read more

I look forward to a lively debate in the comments section of this medical blog.  Let us hear your thoughts.


Popular Video