Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

An Open Letter to Senator Mitch McConnell

Health Care is not a Gambit

Honorable Senator McConnell:

Health Care is absolutely the wrong issue for Republicans to stand against. The cynicism shown by Republican leadership–to frame the issue of health care as an opportunity to hurt President Obama, is both unpatriotic and a cruel attitude to take toward the thousands of honest working Americans losing their jobs and losing their benefits.

From your own press release you state:

‘Americans certainly don’t want us to throw together some patchwork plan that nobody’s had a chance to look at, and then rush it out the door the way the stimulus bill was—just so politicians in Washington can say they accomplished something’

This is disingenuous. The stimulus package did accomplish something. Thousands upon thousands of jobs were saved and not cut from state budgets because of the stimulus package. Numerous public institutions, like the University of Louisville, were able to avoid laying off hundreds of individuals because of money from the stimulus package. I have also seen new contracts surfacing in the private sector as well; friends that are contractors and architects who are finding new work because of money from the stimulus package. And finally, any reasonable economist has pointed out that the real effects of the plan will not be seen for still some time yet. It was good that the government acted quickly and avoided delay arising from nit-picking over idealistic nonsense.

Government is never 100% efficient, but it is often necessary that it be the lender of last resort. When the country is in dire straits, we need the government to act, not wait. Delaying a bill on Health Care does far more harm than good right now. Let’s not pretend that the plan cannot be amended or reformed in the future. Let’s not pretend that a perfect plan is going to come out of Congress (they never do). Instead, let’s get started on some work, some progress, knowing all the while that we can revisit the issue while refraining from letting people suffer without medical care in the meantime. Delay at this point is apathetic at best, sadistic at worst.

Russell Warner
Louisville, Kentucky Citizen (with Health Care, thanks to the state of Kentucky!)

If you agree with the sentiments in this letter, I would ask you to do a couple of things. One, write your own senator. Two, sign the petition at barackobama.com. We need to put an initial plan in place. Fiddling with details (as we have been doing for the last twenty years) is not acceptable while so many are losing medical care for themselves and their family.

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