Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heartbreaking Bait and Switch on Health Care Reform

I was too angry to comment on the newest incarnation of the "Harry and Louise" ads rolled out earlier this year in a stealth attack on real health care reform. You know the ones- where a now-elderly Harry and Louise gripe about how FINALLY, with a LITTLE LESS PARTISANSHIP, Congress may get to REAL health care reform. The one that made me scream FUCK YOU YOU SLIMY BASTARDS at the TV screen, as the two actors playing Harry and Louise played a rather important role in killing Health Care reform in 1993-- and how many people have gone bankrupt, lost their homes, and DIED due to the cost of medical care which has only continued to increase since then, you vicious cretins, may you burn in hell?

This new commercial makes me even angrier, but I just have to comment on it, anyway. Here's a sad-looking, middle-aged man sitting in a virtually empty house, packing up the last of his boxes of memories. He looks fondly at a framed photograph of a middle-aged woman, no doubt his wife and, once upon a time, his High School sweetheart and still the love of his life.

Then we see the sad man walk out of his house carrying a cardboard box. A "Sold" sign is on the lawn- ah, we are starting to get the message. This man has sold his house. Has the woman in the picture passed away, making living in this house too painful to endure?

Then we see the sad man walking through an apartment building, a rather confused look on his face, looking for the door with the right number. There it is- and he enters. Here's his new home, a rather shabby apartment with those cheap venetian blinds they all seem to come with. He sits on his box, and looks at the framed photo of his wife again.

Now he's in his car, and he's driving into a hospital parking lot. And now we see that the woman in the framed photograph is not dead- she's alive, and in a hospital bed, and so happy to see her husband and love of her life, though through her smile we can see her pain. At last, we get the point of the commercial- this couple has lost everything because one of them got sick, and her medical care has eaten away their savings. To pay for her surgery and her medication, they've sold the house they probably bought as newlyweds, raised their kids in, and hoped to grow old together playing gin rummy and watching movies on TCM in.

We are given what ought to be an obvious caption: "No One Should Lose Their Home Paying for Medical Care."

Very effective ad- for Single Payer Health Care, or at the very least, the Public Option. But what are we urged to do at the end? "Support Consensus Health Care Reform." Consensus Health Care Reform?? CONSENSUS HEALTH CARE REFORM?? What the hell does "Consensus Health Care Reform" mean? Why, it means Health Care Reform that can be supported by both Democrats and Republicans, of course. Which means no Single Payer plan, and never you damn mind that Single Payer works wonderfully in most of the civilized world. Which means no public option. Which means no caps on health insurance premiums. Which means no laws banning denial of care, no measures to allow the government to negotiate the price of medication, and no requirements that insurance companies provide affordable policies for people with pre-existing conditions.

In short, "Consensus Health Care Reform" means no reform at all.

So if your heart strings are tugged by the plight of sad man and the woman in the framed photo, you should support a bipartisan bill which will do NOTHING to help people who find themselves in the exact same situation? Come on. What kind of soulless ghouls could make a commercial which very honestly portrays a very real crisis, and then calls on viewers to support a "solution" that does ZERO to meet it?

I really hope this commercial backfires on the inhuman slugs who made it. "No One Should Lose Their Home Paying for Medical Care." I agree- so let's join pretty much every other Democracy on the planet and adopt single-payer. And actually solve the problem. Even if we have to "settle" for a Partisan (gasp, horrors!) bill which passes 51-50 with Joe Biden casting the tie-breaking vote. Because the proper role of Government is to solve problems, not seek some mirage of "Consensus" that leaves us no better off than when we started.

12 comments:

  1. At least they've stopped trying to scare people with their crazy-ass nightmare fantasy "death panels". That's always impressed me as being fairly hypocritical of them given that they deny coverage at a whim; they just don't to give the Government their power of life and death because the G would use it responsibly.

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  2. It really is infuriating. Oh noes, single-payer is "socialist." ITA about joining the rest of the civilized world.

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  3. Who do you want between you and your doctor- a government employee whose job it is to make sure you get the coverage you are entitled to under the law, or an insurance company rep. whose job depends on denying payment of benefits whenever humanly and legally possible?

    I'll take the government bureaucrat every time and twice on Sundays. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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  4. Who do you want between you and your doctor- a government employee whose job it is to make sure you get the coverage you are entitled to under the law, or an insurance company rep. whose job depends on denying payment of benefits whenever humanly and legally possible?

    Seriously. I don't understand how this eludes so many people.

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  5. April- there are a lot of people in this country who get medical attention at the VA, count on Social Security to supplement their retirement income, and would be impoverished if not for Medicare-- and who claim that Government can't run anything and hate the idea of "Government run Health Care."

    In other words, there are a lot of really, really stupid people in this country.

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  6. What kind of ghouls devoid of souls would come up with something like this? The same ones that spread lies about 'death panels' and pretty much every other load of crap intended to derail reform and protect the interests of the rich and corporations.

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  7. As evidenced by the recent plotline in Doonesbury; Mike's mom would, it seems, prefer that a corporate drone whose impulse is to reduce costs ration her care than deal with a government employee who doesn't give a rat's ass about the cost so long as she gets better.

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  8. April- there are a lot of people in this country who get medical attention at the VA, count on Social Security to supplement their retirement income, and would be impoverished if not for Medicare-- and who claim that Government can't run anything and hate the idea of "Government run Health Care."

    Oh, I know! People who love those programs and shout at the top of their lungs about keeping "gubment" out of health care... it's really stunning.

    In other words, there are a lot of really, really stupid people in this country.

    And lately they all show up at "tea party" rallies with illiterate signs. 0_o

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  9. Dreaded- and Mike's mom owns- or owned- a farm in which she grew absolutely nothing, because she received massive subsidies from the Agriculture department to let it lie fallow. Because it's an "endangered family farm." Or something.

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  10. I know that; trying to reconcile her living her whole life as a beneficiary of federal largesse with a sudden dread of the teat she's been suckling on because some hack who works for the insurance industry that wants to impoverish her is something that's difficult for me to do. That's because I have the moronic belief in a silly, obsolete thing called gratitude.

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  11. Anyone who thinks Jesus would have been a capitalist is a moron!

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  12. You don't think Jesus asked Lazarus for a Co-Pay? ;>)

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