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Friday, August 14, 2009

Health Care Histrionics: What's Behind the Angry Folks at Town Hall Meetings?

Some members of Congress holding town hall meetings on health care this month have been met with unruly, rude, and occasionally armed constituents. If this wasn't such an ugly scene, it could be a Monty Python sketch: An angry mob of Americans literally up in arms over . . . access to affordable health care.

A deeply disturbing part of watching hand-gun toting people shout angry words (and presumably some spittle) into the face of a member of Congress has been the racism on display during these theatrics. It is deplorable, intolerable and must be condemned on the spot by everyone, and particularly by any elected official in the room.

As to those who say they are motivated solely by displeasure with government policy, I understand deep dissatisfaction with government after spending eight years being very angry about the actions of George Bush and Dick Cheney. Among many nightmarish decisions, Bush and Cheney took our country to war - war, for gosh sakes - and the rationale given to Americans for doing so was a lie. In contrast, President Obama wants to provide Americans with health care; folks, health care reform is not a reason for mass public insanity.

What is the same between the two situations is that lies are coming from right-wing extremists, many of whom earn their living spinning fabrications and calling it truth.

Here is the truth people: There is no proposal for the creation of so-called death panels. There is no proposal to end the care of the critically ill to cut costs. Anyone who tells you a different story is promoting their own agenda, looking to line their own pocket, and using you as a tool to their own ends.

It's time to end the histrionics. This discussion about health care reform is important. Asking questions is good. But don't let the people motivated by racism, or their own ego and economic interest, derail something as important as making sure all Americans get the medical care they need.

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