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What's Up With Healthcare Reform?

Updated on January 24, 2014
Alanis Morissette is a naturalized American who maintains her Canadian citizenship.
Alanis Morissette is a naturalized American who maintains her Canadian citizenship.

Sleight Of Hand Arithmetic

Alanis Morisette is a singer-songwriter who weds catchy tunes to consequential words.

In the appropriately entitled song Ironic, she makes many wry observations, but the following one really does say it all: “Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you…When you think everything's okay and everything's going right…”

It certainly is ironic that with the healthcare reform package before us, many seem compelled to tell us that everything’s okay and everything’s going right.

Pundits and administration spokespeople appear to be reading the same talking points.

Perhaps it is simply my strong libertarian leanings coupled with an X Files distrust of government, but at the risk of being an alarmist, I wonder what might be sneaking up on us.

A line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth is fine commentary on the jigsaw puzzle of healthcare reform: “Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!”

The package has been pieced together to fit imaginary numbers with a sleight of hand that is astonishing in its brash disregard for common sense arithmetic.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the point person leading the partisan charge on healthcare reform.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the point person leading the partisan charge on healthcare reform.

Everything's Going Right?

There is nothing noble or altruistic here; watching the scripted intrigues of Nancy Pelosi and company makes me believe that the observation about football attributed to Vince Lombardi truly does apply to partisan politics: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

What chicanery will be employed for victory to be declared?  I am no prophet and do not have a crystal ball, but given the litigious age in which we live, there are surely teams of lawyers ready to charge in and jam up the court system in an effort to overturn the rules of engagement.

Is that a crazy idea or actually a distinct possibility? In the present adversarial atmosphere where activist judges routinely create legislation in their own image, it is no nut-job idea.

Law has been placed in a blender and mulched into a gooey mess, then poured out to be interpreted like the ink-spots of a Rorschach test. One by one all the objective standards have been eliminated, then replaced by the shouts of special interest groups empowered by talking head celebrities. In all the confusion and chaos we are far closer to the shifting tyranny of mobocracy than we are to rule of law.

The battlelines are clearly drawn.
The battlelines are clearly drawn.

Polarized Camps

It is a tragedy that something as complex and crucial as healthcare has been transformed into a back-alley punch-out complete with nasty threats and language, but should we be surprised? Isn't it just the continuing downward spiral of the not very appealing slash and burn politics of personal destruction?

We have been on this track for awhile, so the grotesque three-ring circus should not be a surprise. Outright lies, name-calling, misrepresentations and manipulating the reasonable definition of words is how politics is practiced nowadays.

Each side contributes to the discord by deploying a plethora of linguistically skilled spin-doctors who parse phrases while lapdog litigators search for precedent to circumnavigate the law. War-rooms that devise strategies to divide and demonize opposition are now the norm, so the polarized camps are merely conforming to the established model.

President Obama on a charm offensive.
President Obama on a charm offensive.

Nobel Prize Winner

President Obama ought to be involved in round the clock negotiating sessions with those who oppose his agenda.  Instead, he is making speeches, talking nice and playing well with others as he engages all those who agree with him, which is kind of funny given the honor recently bestowed upon him.

On October 9, 2009 he received a Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”, which caught many by surprise but likely boosted his self-esteem and ego.

Not sure which particular hotspot in the world has been cooled off because of his leadership; not sure if justification for the choice can ever be legitimatized when one glances at history:  Mohandas Ghandi was never awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and he merely dismantled the British Empire’s rule in India using a remarkably well organized and disciplined program of peaceful nonresistance.

Will President Obama be a voice of peace in the healthcare debate?
Will President Obama be a voice of peace in the healthcare debate?

What Do I Know?

Maybe President Obama can now go out and earn the prestigious prize by applying his gifts and extraordinary efforts to bring cooperation between the peoples who make law in this country; maybe he can calm or placate the extreme voices in both parties that are clogging up the airwaves; maybe he can strengthen internal diplomacy by demonstrating genuine bipartisanship.

Will President Obama wield real influence to hammer out the differences between the far-left and far-right; will he forge a common ground centrist solution? Or will this high priority and much hyped initiative become a legislated masterpiece of confusion?

What’s up with healthcare reform is this: A slick sell-job, shouting voices and the arm-twisting politics of one-upmanship will triumph, and then according to some everything will be going right.

However, the irony is exquisitely frightful: When everything’s okay, who can guess what long-term debacle will sneak up on us?

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    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      wba108@yahoo.com - Thanks for your positive words & insights. Much appreciated.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 

      7 years ago from upstate, NY

      Great insights! You certainly are a master of words! Your points are right on, today style trumps substance and clever word play has replaced true wisdom. Also their is ample reason for the distrust of government in this day when politicians and judges disregard the rule of law and replace it with their own ideas.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Ken,

      Not actually the least qualified. In the old days, some didn't go to college. Still they did a better job.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, Harvey. I agree. He is by far the least qualified man to ever sit in the Oval Office.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Ken,

      Most won't say it, but I will B.O. is a complete fraud! He has always been the way he is today. He never had the credentials, or accomplishments to win an election.

      Illinois Senate: Opponnent caught in scandal, Obama wins.

      Congress: Obama loses to Bobby Rush, community organizer 2-1.

      U.S. Senate: Once again his opposition goes down in scandal.

      What did he accomplish in those offices, basically nothing.

      Runs for President: Says hope and Change! Voters do not know what he stands for, and he will not let his past be known (birth certificate and grades).

      We didn't know what we were getting, but we got it. Looking at his past (what is allowed) America didn't stand a chance with him.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks for your good words, Wayne. Yeah, it's crazy. Loved that cockroach metaphor. So true.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I found myself wondering why the politicians and the media were using the word 'reform' with reference to this healthcare bill. Then it dawned on me that our previous approach to it had been rather democratic in nature...but we will reform that approach. America is a house with a big cockroach infestation and no one is willing to pay the exterminator to rid us of it. I fear this is only the leading edge of a socialistic slide that knows no bounds. Thanks for having the guts to attack this issue, Ken.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Mickey Dee - Thanks. Unfortunately politics is too ingrained for it not to be a factor. And yes, both sides are bought & paid for by the same special interests.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Nice hub. No politics involved for me. I certainly trust neither side. Both sides are bought- mostly by the same folks. My irrevocable stance is on heath-care for everyone. Jesus was very into socialized medicine. He healed. He never charged. Every sister and brother needs to be "treated". Love your brother and sister as "ourselves". I have no idea if "the plan" at present is good or not. I do know that there is too much "dragging of the feet" and denying of basic "rights of God". Thanks

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Ralph - Where's the bipartisanship?

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I suspect that Rahm Emmanuel is the President's liaison and messenger to Congress. They could have had significantly more votes if they hadn't let some Dem Congressmen off the hook to vote no to help them get re-elected next year. They got all the votes they needed.

    • profile image

      opinion duck 

      8 years ago

      Ken

      Look forward to your next hubs.

      Cheers

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Great idea, Opinion Duck. If some monstrosity gets rammed through, the Congress & government should have exactly what is pedaled to the public.

    • profile image

      Opinion Duck 

      8 years ago

      Ken

      Great hub.

      The solution to this healtcare hand grenade is to mandate that whatever healtcare system is to be nationalized, will be the exclusive system for the Congress and the government as well as the private sector.

      If it is good enough for the people than it should be good enough for them.

      my opinion... the Opinion Duck.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      opinion duck - Thanks for stopping by & giving it a read. I can't think of any either.

    • profile image

      opinion duck 

      8 years ago

      The Obama gov and his Congress have put us in debt in the trillions in less than two years. For that money, what benefits have the people received, I say little to nothing.

      Now with the economy still messed up, especially after the government's intervention, the gov, now wants to mess up healthcare.

      All you supporters of this notion of Obama, Pelosi and the Democrats, please cite all the successes of gov run systems.

      I myself can't think of any.

      No mucking please, just the facts and figures.

      my opinion.....

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks for stopping by & giving it a read. Your comments are right on. Love this: "It's not about health care. It's about getting re-elected period."

      Some would say that is cynical. Not me, but some would. I'd say that is a fair & realistic observation.

    • ginosblog profile image

      DESPICABLE VOTER 

      8 years ago from USA

      Very good blog.

      That being said, these people (our government) mainly Pelosi and Obama, think they are celebrities now and they are making millions from movies when in fact they are spending trillions of our tax dollars that they don't have and they have the balls to tell us to save and cut spending.

      It's not about health care. It's about getting re-elected period. Pelosi will make deals with the devil to get it passed and Obama said he would not allow the plan to pay for illegals. There both liars. Illegals already have free health care so where is the problem. The problem is he does not have enough votes and when or if the health care passes the first thing he is going to do is give amnesty to all illegals in this country so the health care program will not be "paying for illegals". That's over 30 million. That's a hell of a shortage of Drs., nurses, and Care Facilities, wouldn't you say. He does not care if we ever see a Dr.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      TheSablirab - Thanks for your encouragement. And yes, it is amazing. The transparency is blinding. :>)

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Ralph Deeds - Thanks for your comments. I see this morning that a vote has taken place. It passed 220 - 215. So even with Mrs. Pelosi's self-serving praise of the President's involvment, it does not appear that he brought any amazing bipartisanship to the deal. Looks like a partisan deal.

      And who knows what's in the bill or what it's longterm effects will be?

    • profile image

      TheSablirab 

      8 years ago

      Great Hub! You are absolutly right. It's amazing, isn't it? Everything that is going on in politics today; amazing, amazing. I think that's all I can say right now to be honest.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Pelosi: 'We Will Pass Health Care Reform'

      Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders just emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting that included a personal appearance by President Obama confident the House will pass a sweeping health care reform bill today.

      Addressing reporters outside the caucus meeting room just now, Pelosi looked back briefly before announcing what seemed like a deal to pass reform.

      It was three years ago today that Pelosi led Democrats to retake the House after more than a decade of Republican control. She said the date was "appropriate."

      "It is appropriate that the promise we made [to voters] ... will be manifest today," she said. "We will pass health care reform."

      Obama came to the Hill today as Democrats were in the midst of eleventh-hour negotiations to secure passage of the bill in a vote expected to come this eventing.

      Pelosi didn't give many details on the closed-door session with Obama, but said that the president's continued push for reform was instrumental to getting the process to this point.

      "Without President Obama, we would not be in the position to get this done today," she said.

      A final House vote is expected to come late this evening.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thank you, mtsi1098.

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 

      8 years ago

      Nicely said Ken R. Abell and I agree - something is certainly sneaking up on us...I did enjoy the X-files association

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thank you, habee. And you're likely right about the ego thing.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Excellent hub, Ken. I'm not sure BO's ego needed a boost, however. lol!

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      PinanShodan - Thanks for stopping by & sharing your good comments. Blessings to you.

    • profile image

      PinanShodan 

      8 years ago

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for such a great article. My thought about the issues being concocted in Obama's world is about wanting Control, Power, Notoriety, which is really about selfishness and self-centeredness.

      There is a saying, " Doing the same behavior over and over expecting different results." It nevers works, it always fails. This is what the corruption in Washington and the Obama Worshipers remind me of.

      The only answer I have to stand up for the truth and pray for all of the people involved in the corruption and then leave the result where it belongs, in the hands of God.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thank you, Brenda

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 

      8 years ago

      Another great article!

      "Sleight of hand arithmetic"; so true.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      James - Thank you for stopping by & sharing your kind comments. They are certainly appreciated.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      "Confusion now hath made his masterpiece." Now there's a line. Just a month ago I watched the Roman Polanski film "MacBeth" from 1971. It is pretty good.

      "Nothing noble here." I like your use of the English language. Your work should be widely read for its wit and vitality. I also appreciate your layout.

      Great article that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

    • Ken R. Abell profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Thanks, HammerJammer. Much appreciated.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 

      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Well Said Ken, Good Hub!

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