HERE’S TO YOUR HEALTH
By Andy Weddington
Friday, 07 August 2009
Outrage is growing across the country in reaction to Obama’s rush to reform healthcare. And it’s only going to get worse for members of Congress when they adjourn for the August break and head for home turf. It will be interesting to see how many actually have the guts to return home and show their face in public—much less host their constituents in public forums for what will surely prove to be spirited discourse. In short, Americans are agitated and sounding off to the President and Congress, “You are not going to screw up healthcare.”
What’s the beef? It’s simple. Obama can’t explain his plan. He can’t—or won’t—explain program delivery and he can’t explain why his fairy dust cost predictions are completely out of line with sobering projections released by the Congressional Budget Office. Nor can his acolytes. For example, Senator Arlen Specter (D, PA) received an earful during a recent Town Hall meeting when, referring to the legislative approval process, he told a gathering of concerned citizens, “We have to make judgments very fast.” His remark was in reference to how he and his staff divide voluminous Bills up into chapters for team review. He all but said a healthcare Bill would be handled accordingly--hastily. Comforting, is it not? With that bedside manner Specter should have pursued medicine instead of politics. Ironically, Specter, a cancer survivor, would most likely already be dead if required to be cared for under an Obama system.
Obama says nothing will change if you are satisfied with your current healthcare plan. He merely wants to field a government-managed public option to insure all those “entitled” to healthcare. Yeah, right.
The fear bubbling amongst the people is that all healthcare—for everyone (except the lawmakers)—will quickly become mediocre, delayed, rationed, downright denied, and purposively bungled by bureaucratic decision-makers whose “Hippocratic Oath” will include the following closing dictum: “End a life, save a dollar.” Obama says quite to the contrary but why should we believe him—he’s trying to rush shoddy headwork and paperwork into law? Think about it, the man took six months to decide what damn breed of dog was best for the First Family.
A little perspective from an average household in America…
According to the American Cancer Society…
Every three minutes in the United States a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. That's more than 80 diagnosed during the time it took me to craft this commentary.
In 2009 invasive breast cancer will strike nearly 193,000 American women. More than forty thousand will die from the disease; 109 today.
In America one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime during their life. One in thirty-five will die from the disease. Take a look around, folks. Odds are someone close to you e.g. mother, grandmother, sister, wife, aunt, daughter, cousin or a close friend will face the nightmare of a breast cancer diagnosis. If, at the moment, you do not personally know a woman fighting breast cancer not to worry—odds are good your time will come. Expect a knot in your stomach and a queasy feeling unlike anything you have ever known.
Late on Friday afternoon, 07 March 2008 my wife’s life (and mine) was turned upside down with a diagnosis of an aggressive type of invasive breast cancer. After the doctor delivered the shocking news to us, his next words were, “Though distressing to have a cancer diagnosis I am relieved that it is breast cancer. It’s treatable. We can cure this. Some of the other cancer diagnoses I have to deliver I am not able to provide such hope.”
The doctor was right. Thanks to remarkable technological tools e.g. mammograms, ultra-sounds, MRIs, needle biopsies, PET Scans, etc. for testing and evaluation, superb doctors—oncologists and surgeons merit special recognition, wondrous drugs, finely tuned treatment protocols derived from clinical trials, and, most importantly, a responsive process, this past Tuesday, 04 August, marked the one year anniversary of my wife being cancer-free. It was a sweet day.
Today there are approximately 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. My wife and I know more than a handful of them. And, we know more than a handful diagnosed during the past year now fighting for their life. We offer whatever experience and comfort we can.
The good news is breast cancer survival rates in the United States are going up. Why? It is simple—early detection and better treatment. Not to mention the talented researchers, doctors, nurses, and sundry specialists who deliver rapidly improving, cutting-edge care.
Enter Obama’s drive to “reform” healthcare. It scares the hell out of me. And it should scare the hell out of you. Why? Because, contrary to what comes out of the President’s mouth, his initiatives will destroy healthcare that is the envy of the world. That he says otherwise is disingenuous. To believe otherwise is naïve. How many in Congress have you seen travel to Canada or Great Britian to address a life-threatening illness? That’s right—none; nada; zippo; zero!
Obama has made several comments publicly—off teleprompter—not even subtly insinuating he has little regard for the sick and elderly; that they are a drain on national resources—money and healthcare delivery. His words sent chills through me—to think that under “Obamacare” my wife would not have received the prompt care and full scope of services that ensured her survival.
Make no mistake, if Obama has it his way, not only will cutting-edge healthcare quickly disappear there will be no incentives for the best and brightest in America to enter medicine—whether as practitioners or researchers. The dire consequences as to the health—or lack thereof—of our country are predictable.
Thirty years ago a Marine officer, Captain Florence, who was recruiting Marine officers told me, “Andy, serve for 20 years or more on active duty and your country will take care of you—among other benefits, free healthcare for you and your family for life.” As a representative of the United States government, I took him at his word and faithfully served more than 20 years. In fact, between me and my wife (soon to be a Navy Captain) we have over 50 years of honorable military service to America. Is our healthcare free? No. And we are not alone. Millions of other veterans (and their families) promised the same benefit from their country have to routinely fight for an ever-eroding benefit. It is wrong.
These days I (and I am not alone) am particularly troubled by the thoughts of our wounded returning from combat. Of all Americans, they should not have a healthcare worry in the world. Absolutely free should be a non-debatable benefit. It’s the least America can do for her warriors.
Understand that the healthcare that saved the life of my wife, and has saved millions and millions of lives—young, ill, injured, and elderly, is in jeopardy.
Wake up, America. This is not complicated. Seek out your elected representatives—state and national—and remind them, "You work for us. Not only 'No' to Obamacare but 'Hell No.' Speak and vote our voice or we will replace you."