Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Act Now Tri-Cities for Health Care Reform

Please spread the word on this one:

First:

Tomorrow (Monday, August 24th), there will be a town hall meeting with Rep. Phil Roe.
  • 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Science Hill Campus Auditorium (old Liberty Bell campus)
  • 131 Pactolas Road
  • Johnson City, Tennessee
We need people in a polite yet assertive way to go "John the Baptist" on Dr. Roe.

On his web page he parrots the insurance corporations' talking points and scare words:

One proposal I am opposed to is a takeover of our healthcare system by Washington bureaucrats. Whether you call it a “public plan” or a “government-run option,” the long-term result is a system where care is dictated not based on need but based on a budget.
Rep. Roe needs to know that he was elected to represent people not corporate interests. Please make it, Monday. If you cannot, give him a call:

Washington D.C. Office
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6356
Fax: (202) 225-5714

Second:

The Johnson City Press published a request for your personal stories regarding health care.

A national debate on health care reform has taken center stage this summer. Members of Congress are holding town hall meetings during their recess to hear from their constituents Many are getting an earful from Americans who are either unhappy with President Obama’s health care proposals, or who are unhappy with the current status of health care in this country.

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, is scheduled to hold a public meeting Monday to hear from residents of the 1st District.

The meeting will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at Science Hill High School’s 8-9 Campus, 131 Pactolas Road.

Health care reform is an important issue and one that deserves a serious discussion by all Americans. That’s why we want to hear from you. We invite readers to send us their personal anecdotes concerning their experiences — good or bad — with the health care system.

Don t have health insurance and face a medical crisis? Then we want to hear from you. Unhappy with your Medicare coverage? Let us know what l you’d like to see done , to improve it. We also want to hear from you who are pleased w with your current private health care plan and want to keep it. You can “Sound off” on health care by sending your comments to

Mailbag,
P.O. Box 1717
Johnson City, TN 37605-1717

or mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com. You can also e-mail comments to rhouk@johnsoncitypress.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification.

We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks.
So the two action items are the town hall meeting Monday and your personal stories.

Also in the JC Press today, I found an opinion by Gene Lyons. He nailed it:

Fear is, of course, largely a confidence issue among human beings, too. Anybody who’s watched flash mobs shouting down senators and congressmen over the Obama administration’s health insurance reforms ought to see that. For every dogmatic tough-guy channeling some talk-radio blowhard, there are many citizens who give every outward indication of being scared witless.

Video of a “Town Hall” meeting with Democratic congressmen at Arkansas Children’s Hospital showed protestors trembling with emotion. Writing in the Washington Post, historian Rick Pearlstein (“Nixonland”) noticed the same thing: “The quiver on the lips of the man pushing the wheelchair, the crazed risk of carrying a pistol around a president — too heartfelt to be an act.”

Stage-managed? Absolutely. Somebody like Betsy McCaughey doesn’t invent a lie as brazen as the so-called “death panels” out of nowhere. She’s a professional; a paid propagandist for the rightwing Hudson Institute. Back in 1993, her article “No Exit” in the allegedly liberal (but incompetently edited) New Republic magazine helped sink President Clinton’s health care initiative.

Then McCaughey claimed the Clinton bill made it a crime to buy supplemental insurance or pay your doctor out-of-pocket. The bill itself said, “Nothing in this act shall be construed as prohibiting ... an individual from purchasing health-care services.”

But McCaughey’s a poised and superficially attractive woman who performs capably on television. So why wouldn’t low-information voters get taken in all over again? Particularly after her “death panel” falsehoods got amplified by figures like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and the supposedly “moderate” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Pearlstein: “If you don’t understand that any moment of genuine political change always produces both [mad lies and heartfelt fear], you can’t understand America, where the crazy tree blooms in every moment of liberal ascendancy, and where elites exploit the crazy for their own narrow interests.”

And yet the Obama White House got caught napping as the paranoid train left the station. Once again, presidential aides told reporters that the barrage of falsehoods and insane comparisons to Nazi Germany “had caught them off guard and forced them to begin an August counteroffensive.”

So where were these geniuses back when President Clinton was being called a drug smuggler and mass murderer? When militiamen spotted U.N. “black helicopters” over western skies? When thousands hoarded canned food and bottled water in advance of the imaginary “Y2K” catastrophe?

Conservatives determined to prevent Obama from succeeding understand that their best chance is to frighten poorly informed voters historically susceptible to conspiracy theories — particularly in rural states far from centers of power.
East Tennessee is most certainly rural and far from the center of power. Apparently, there are not enough people in our area who have an opinion regarding health care so the Johnson City Press needs to publish a letter filled with typical corporate fear-mongering from someone in Florida. The editors give the letter top billing with the headline "European-Style Health Care System Will Damage Everything."

Come on, JC Press. A phony letter from Florida? You know better than that.

Time for a push, ladies and gentlemen. We have some fight left in us, don't we?
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