Column - Same old myths muddy debate over healthcareDoes anybody remember “Harry and Louise?” Let me refresh your minds. Harry, the old man, and Louise, his middle-aged daughter (actors both), were the ones who creased their worried brows in oft-repeated commercials in 1993-94.
By: Dennis Dalman, Alexandria Echo Press
Does anybody remember “Harry and Louise?”
Let me refresh your minds. Harry, the old man, and Louise, his middle-aged daughter (actors both), were the ones who creased their worried brows in oft-repeated commercials in 1993-94. The target of the commercials? The “horrors” of universal health care with government involvement, as proposed by First Lady Hillary Clinton (and many others) at that time.
Harry and Louise wrung their hands, they rolled their eyes, they sweated. The sky is falling. Government will rob us of all health-care options. We won’t be able to choose our own doctors; we’ll wait in long lines for urgent care; we’ll all just have to lie down and die. Such were the dire predictions of Harry and Louise.
Of course, most of us understood that nonsense for what it was: a scare tactic cooked up by special-interest groups fearful of losing their greedy grip on health care, American-style.
Beware. Harry and Louise are about to pop up again, like gangbusters, in one form or another. The scare-tactic machine is at full throttle, with mainly Republican senators and representatives acting like attack dogs. They abhor President Barack Obama’s suggestions that the federal government become involved in health care, even though their own health care is a form of a governmental single-payer system, as is Medicare.
They’re screaming, “Socialism! Socialism!” the way Paul Revere cried out, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
You would think, by this time, these naysayers would tire of trotting out the same old myths, the same old lies, such as the following:
Government involvement will lead to socialism, and we’ll lose all freedom of choice. (Fact: Government plays a big role in Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance and so many other facets of American life. So far, we’ve managed to avoid “Socialistic Doomsday.”)
They’re all ailing or dying as they wait in long lines in Canada and other countries that have one-payer health-care systems. (Fact: Study after study shows widespread satisfaction with health care among residents of those countries.)
The people who have health insurance will be paying for those who don’t. (Fact: we already are, one way or another. Costs for treating those without insurance get passed on, and premiums – thus – go higher and higher.)
Those are just three myths (lies) perpetrated by special-interest fear-mongers.
Here are some more facts to consider: Forty-five million Americans have no health insurance; many more will have to drop the insurance they have now because they won’t be able to afford it; companies are increasingly dropping or cutting insurance for their employees (with spiraling costs, who can blame them?); previous attempts to solve the health-care mess proved to be nothing but slapping Band-Aids on a massive hemorrhage; a failure to achieve some form of universal American health care this year will bring doom all right in the not-too-distant future – not as a socialist nightmare but as a massive financial collapse.
There will be no solution whatsoever without a way to decrease or cap health-care costs. Unless government gets involved (carrying a big stick), that is not going to happen. And things will go from bad to worse, as they have for the last two or three decades.
Harry and Louise? You’re full of bunk!