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Coverage requirement wrangles

America is in a confused uproar over health care, and most of it puts Republicans in the perfect position to capitalize on midterm elections in November.
The comments from Joe Barton on Monday at the Common Sense Conservative Coalition’s meeting showed that — the turnout and attitude of the crowd, by all accounts, were strongly in support of Barton’s positions on the matter.

This is the Republican Party’s Iraq.

Democrats trounced Republicans in 2006 as President George Bush thrashed with a public image of incompetence in a war thousands of miles from his country where young Americans were dying. The current climate in many states, if you believe what you read, is much the opposite. People are upset around here, and they’re going to take it to Democrats in the polls come Election Day. It’s as if the cycle of party power is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Barton is certainly not slow to capitalize on the sentiment, and he has been on the issue as a hot button opponent since it got under way. He wasn’t against the idea — he stood with Bart Stupak in a grilling of insurance company CEOs last summer that brought a smile to this reporter’s face — but the cost and methods were counter to his idea of fair and appropriate.

That’s largely the argument many individuals in the country have, too. You can’t really refute the idea in and of itself — people deserve health insurance and access to health care. It boils down to the concept that people are created equal.

If health care is a necessity for human quality of life and longevity (and it is in many cases), then it’s part of “created equal.”

That little if-then statement is hard to go against in the public sphere without sounding narcissistic, elitist or even racist.

If somebody figures out a way to say “this group of people doesn’t deserve coverage” (and we’re excluding undocumented illegal immigrants here), then they’ve got a more silver tongue than anyone we’ve seen recently in politics or in the national news coverage related to the health care debate.

The irksome parts of the mandates are going to be about requiring coverage and the costs therein.

It’s an amusing problem, really. People are supposed to have access to health care — our system requires they have health insurance to do it because costs are so exorbitantly high everyday people couldn’t afford care otherwise.

Making sure people can get health care means making sure they have insurance. Making sure people have insurance means finding a level of cost and support that individuals should bear and making them bear it.

That just goes too far into personal liberty for many Americans, and that’s where Republicans have such an incredibly strong upper hand.

If you’re a smart Democrat, you’re going to try to explain that concept to your constituents — there’s no other way to meet the ideological goal of ensuring health care for Americans without making insurance a mandate, and doing that means some distasteful costs.

You have to eat your vegetables, so to speak.

The other part of the cost dilemma comes from the promises that the law will not break the American bank.

Looking at it doesn’t prove it.

We have to see it in action to really determine whether it can sustain itself or whether our budget will start leaking like a submarine with a screen door.

Democrats watch out. If you want to stay in office, you’d better start working on the public’s perception of the issue at its most fundamental grievances.

Nick Todaro hopes the back and forth on health care creates a system he can afford. He can be reached at nick@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on Mar 31 2010. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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