But seriously, I didn't realize we had confirmed the gainful employment of all the protestors this weekend. My point is, there was definitely a mix of folks out there--and it did appear to be mostly libertarians and conservatives. But let's not make assumptions about their employment.
Glen Beck (and maybe others) have portrayed it as an "American" movement where people from all political beliefs got together to protest big government. Maybe that's what he wanted. But that's not what happened. A truly American popular movement would have to include a broad and equal representation of Americans united and focused.
Also, those hippies in the 60s were not the only ones who wanted the war in Vietnam to end. Mothers, fathers, wives and children of servicemen. My point here is that the conservatives are not he only ones who don't like new taxes. And libertarians are not the only ones concerned about the expansion of the federal government. But right-of-center folks, moderates, and centrists want nothing to do with birhers, Hitler signs, racists, and anyone shouting into our face. Fair enough?
I think it's right to question and discuss every policy, especially a major bill on health care reform. But it has been difficult to find 'common ground' if you will, with people on the far right in terms a basic understanding of what's being purposed. Death Panels, pulling the plug, socialism, etc. Can't have a discussion when we're not on the same reasonable and level-headed page.
I have questions and concerns about the Public Option, but I don't see it as a trojan horse to single payer.
The Obama Administration's reaching out to Big Pharma over the Insurance companies raises eyebrows, but the drug companies produce a necessary product (for a profit) and develop new products and technology. Health care providers provide a service--the actual care. But what do insurance companies do? Their business model is based on something that is counter-intuitive. Insure as many people as possible, but pay out as few claims as possible. It would be a like a restaurant getting customers to pay at the door, then feeding them as little as possible at the buffet. Not that they are an evil, greedy industry that should be eliminated--I'm not saying that at all. However, if they could be made to be more competitive with pricing and providing service--I see that as a good thing. And if they could be made to do this without too much new government regulation/oversight. Better.
My problem with the Public Option is that it will be run from the Federal level which means too many layers of bureaucracy, waste, and corruption, which all result in bad PR. And, eventually, a well-meaning program being labeled a failure.
I would rather see the Federal government offer incentives to co-ops or non-profit health insurance companies at the state and local levels. Or offering incentives to non-profit/co-op health care providers. Merge the insurance companies into the provider. Like a health club. You pay your membership feel, you pay your dues, and then you can use any machine, go to any class you want. I would like to see health insurance/health care merge into a health club business model. An new kind of HMO with competitive pricing and service.
Sure, some health clubs are nicer than others and what do you do if you're out of town? Okay, I haven't worked it all out, but that's the direction I think would provide better care at a lower cost.
Local government can be very pragmatic and efficient when it comes to providing services to communities. If they don't, they have to answer for it in an immediate and personal way. Medium and small states can also run their own programs a lot better than the feds.
California?? We're screwed. We are like a small country in civil disorder. If only Arnie were a super hero.
Anyway. Just my opinion on the issue of health care reform.