It's a good thing that I have (outrageously expensive) private health insurance. Because I suffered through frequent bouts of Nauseated by Bullshit Political Posturing Syndrome while watching -- off and on -- Obama's health care summit today.
Of course, if I sought care for my affliction, Blue Cross likely would find some way to deny coverage. After all, everyone knows that the main goal of health insurance companies is to provide as little health care to their subscribers as possible in order to maximize profits.
This is why I have a lot of sympathy for Jack Bogdanski's take on the current Democratic health care reform legislation. He's right. The proposals discussed at the summit basically supply the health insurance industry with tens of millions of new customers, who they can proceed to screw over just as they do with their current victims.
But Obama also is right: doing nothing is worse than doing something imperfect. I'm not wild about the President's health care reform proposal. It doesn't go far enough toward freeing Americans from the wasteful, inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare of private insurance plans.
However, watching bits and pieces of the health care summit today convinced me that following Republicans over the cliff of Do Nothing would be much worse for our country. As Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post business columnist, said today, "At summit, Republicans prove they aren't putting America's health first."
The most important thing Republicans think is that if there are Americans who can't afford the insurance policies that private insurers are willing to offer, then that's their problem -- there's nothing the government or the rest of us should do about it.
...That was their clear message Thursday. It was their message during all those years when their party controlled Congress and the White House and they did nothing and said nothing about the plight of the uninsured. And it is clear that they would continue to do nothing if, by some miracle, Democrats were to drop their plan or embark on a more modest approach. For Republicans, the uninsured remain invisible Americans, out of sight and out of mind.
For me, the most sickening part of the summit was Republican Rep. John Boehner's purely political grandstanding. Listening to him tell lie after lie, spewing out every bullet point in the Republicant's do nothing playbook, solidified my support for Obama's plan -- because whatever the hugely irritating Boehner is against, I'm for it.
Pleasingly, Obama nailed him.
I'm glad that I was only able to watch an hour or so of the day-long health care summit. Any more, and I might have gone over the edge and given in to an urge to contribute to the Organizing for America health insurance reform effort.
I've been fighting that urge, because I figure that it is up to Obama and the large Democratic majority in Congress to carry out what they were elected to do last November: fight for the average American against special interests.
[Update: Organizing for America now has a good review of summit highlights, or lowlights, if you're a fervent Republican't.]