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Posted by on Feb 9, 2010 in Health, Politics | 23 comments

Before the Health-Care Summit

In a pre-Super Bowl interview, President Obama told Katie Couric about a televised bipartisan health-care meeting on February 25th to go through “all the best ideas…and move it forward.”

If he hadn’t been absorbed in the game, watching Bill Moyers Journal would have given him a more productive idea than meeting with members of Congress who have been bargaining and bastardizing reform into a monstrosity that few Americans understand and the majority disapproves.

Moyers interviewed Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician, who gave up her practice to advocate a single-payer system, Medicare for All, of which the President as a candidate called himself a “proponent” and which polls at the time showed approval by most Americans.

For her pains, Dr. Flowers, representing thousands of physicians, has been patronized, ignored and arrested three times for trying to get a letter into the President’s hands, reminding him where he started in the debate that has devastated his Administration by disgusting millions, Right and Left, with the political system.

“I was so surprised,” Barack Obama said two years ago about Congressional deliberations, “when the voices of those who support a national single-payer plan/Medicare for All were excluded in place of the voices of the very health insurance and pharmaceutical industries which profit off the current health care situation.”

The President’s surprise has certainly subsided by now and, before he subjects Americans to another dog-and-pony show with those who wrecked his attempts at reform, he would do well to precede it with a televised conversation with Dr. Flowers, who is no politician but has earned a stake in the debate beyond her career as a physician.

It may not move Congress much, but such an encounter would remind Americans of where he started in all this and how distorted debate over the issue has become.

Invite her to the White House and tell security to skip the handcuffs.

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Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • JSpencer

    Another plea for common sense and rational thought. Sure would be nice to see those heeded and converted into action… once in awhile.

  • New Cat

    Good article.

    One question though, and my memory might be slipping on this, I though it was Hillary who was the single payer proponent of health care; while Obama advocated if you like yours keep it and didn’t really support a single payer.

  • Silhouette

    Nevermind the moral implications of failing at providing meaningful healthcare reform, there are political implications.

    It boils down to this: If the democrats want to look whimpy, compromising and subservient to the GOP, the Bill will be their swansong. I’ve returned to this point again and again. We [generic voters] don’t want “right” or “wrong” we want “might” and “strong”. Especially during a time of conflict and uncertainty. If dems cannot wrap their heads around the visceral NEED of a populace to have decisive, bold and fierce leadership in time of conflict and uncertainty, then they need to go back to college and study Anthropology 101 until they pass it this time.

    The paramount BEST political strategy the dems could use is to pass aggressive and total reform and beat back what the public now overwhelmingly identifies as the enemy: corporate greed in the medical insurance industry. Will they piss off a bunch of wealthy people and lose election $upport this Fall? Yep. Will they need that $upport come Fall? Nope. The people will rally around their newly fledged bold and decisive leadership like no other.

    Mark my words.

    • JSpencer

      If the democrats want to look whimpy, compromising and subservient to the GOP, the Bill will be their swansong.

      Megadittos.

  • Leonidas

    The GOP must be doing something right, their margin over democrats among likely voters has increased on the healthcare issue

    Trust on Issues
    Republicans Still Trusted More on Most Key Issues
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_ … _on_issues

  • Silhouette

    Leonidas points out an important fact: GOP is trusted more. What he hasn’t pointed out is why. And my reasons still stand. When people are nervous and running scared, with the world collapsing around them, they could give a fig about integrity and lofty ideals. What they want is strong, stalwart and stubborn leadership.

    So Leonidas has inadvertently lended the bold-highlighting and underscore to my original post.

  • DLS

    “What they want is strong, stalwart and stubborn leadership.”

    Not everyone is a member of the Herd, Sil.

    Not to mention — the Dems had their “crisis” to exploit — and they failed.

    That’s the real problem the Dems and you are facing currently.

  • DLS

    “The people will rally around their newly fledged bold and decisive leadership like no other. ”

    In Massachusetts they rejected too much bold and decisive leadership.

    You’re not alone, though — a minority do believe the solution to the problem is More.

    We’ll see what they do.

  • TheFrequentPoster

    I don’t blame the Republicans for refusing. They have learned through experience that there are no consequences for disrespecting Obama. He, his administration, and the Democratic Party have no self respect, and will allow the Republicans to do anything with impunity,

    • JSpencer

      They have learned through experience that there are no consequences for disrespecting Obama.

      The consequences indeed exist, but they are detrimental to the country as a whole. Balance in parties, just like balance in govt. is a good thing, but when a division is created that becomes too deep to cross, that isn’t balance, it’s something out of control.

  • DaMav

    Why are we supposed to be impressed by a pediatrician who went into politics and is now a lobbyist? She has every right to quit her practice and advocate for whatever causes she wants, whether it is that we should bomb Iran or exterminate the whales or bring socialized medicine to the country but why would a physician becoming a lobbyist be especially compelling?

    And she has been arrested three times for trying to get a letter to the President? Does anyone with two brain cells to rub together believe that allegation? What’s the point of tossing out these kinds of half-truths and lies?

  • JSpencer

    Well DaMav, since you’re making a big stink about it how about backing up your insinuations with something concrete? I mean it isn’t like you’ve been a paragon of objectivity here in your own right. Just saying…

    • DaMav

      What insinuations? Read the main post. She quit being a pediatrician to become a lobbyist for single payer and we’re supposed to be in awe of that. And it says she was arrested 3 times for trying to get a letter to the President.

      Straightforward, obvious nonsense staring you right in the face and waving its hands at you. No insinuation necessary.

      • JSpencer

        And she has been arrested three times for trying to get a letter to the President? Does anyone with two brain cells to rub together believe that allegation? What’s the point of tossing out these kinds of half-truths and lies?

        It’s pretty simple, you are calling them lies, so prove they are lies. Wha’dya got?

      • JSpencer

        Here, let me help you out. As you can see, they were indeed arrested:

        http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=897218&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=2/5/2010

        Next time you’re tempted to use the word, “lie”, try checking your facts first.

        • DaMav

          Was she “arrested three times for trying to get a letter into the President’s hands”???

          Something was wrong with the Post Office? The mailbox was guarded by police, taking anyone into custody who tried to mail a letter to the President?

          I’m sure she was not charged with ‘trying to get a letter to the President’.

          Falling for the propaganda hook, line, and sinker doesn’t mean everyone has to do so. Frankly I’m stunned that anyone would be so gullible as to accept this at face value. That’s like claiming a bank robber was arrested ‘just for walking up to the teller’s window’ after the bank had closed.

          You can NOT just walk into Mordor. However if you want to send a letter, you just call Fedex.

          • JSpencer

            Not capable of admitting when you’re wrong eh? That, my friend, is a test of character.

          • DaMav

            I would be happy to admit fault when you produce evidence that the charges on her three arrests were ‘trying to get a letter to the President’. The fault, dear JSpencer, lies not in the stars, nor in ourselves, but in the false and misleading narrative offered in the original post.

            Once she was arrested for disrupting Congress. Another time she was arrested for trespassing. The fact that she said she had a letter had nothing to do with it. Claiming you want to deliver a letter does not grant you immunity from following the law. I’m guessing you actually realize that the statement was deliberately misleading. I give you that much credit, even if you don’t want to claim it publicly.

  • DLS

    “Why are we supposed to be impressed by a pediatrician who went into politics and is now a lobbyist?”

    We aren’t. In addition to doctors advocating Medicare-style “single-payer” in the USA, or using the Canadian or other models, as Drs. Steffie Woolhandler, Marcia Angell, and others at Physicians for a National Health Program have been doing for years (I’ve posted links about her and her organization’s efforts on numerous occasions; the main link is provided again, below), and other organizations and parties such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and the more notorious leftist examples of pediatricians acting as gun control advocates, as well as Helen Caldicott with her silliness since at least the 1980s, politics has openly been pursued by others — there were doctors specifically organized and active last year trying to get “single-payer” health care made the law and the reality in this country, they were on talk shows such as Ed Schultz’s, and were touring the country (see link below). When the media, who is as sloppy as it is often liberally biased, reported last year that Obama “met with doctors seeking health reform,” it was probably these doctors that managed to meet him.

    http://www.pnhp.org/

    http://madashelldoctors.com/

  • DLS

    “I’m sure she was not charged with ‘trying to get a letter to the President’.”

    It’s reasonable to assume that this is another example of deliberate “benign neglect” of details, or euphemistic rewording of what happened, similar to “demonstrated against capitalism” neglects fine details and is a euphemistic description of anti-G-8 “demonstrating” consisting of breaking windows and setting structures afire.

  • JSpencer

    I can see my work is done here. Next thread. 🙂

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