Will The Real Government Please Stand Up?


Okay, this one cracked me up yesterday. Anyone that gets just a bit of my commentary on politics is sure to think I’m a “bleeding heart liberal” and it’d be pretty sad to jump to that conclusion because the facts just wouldn’t bear you out on it. However, I fully admit that I find the Republican party to be one totally screwed up group. If I had to pick one of the two major parties theirs would not be the one I’d pick simply because of the way they handle themselves and the type of message they put out. Theirs is a party message of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). FUD is something I’ve been fighting in the consumer industry my entire vocational life and if there’s anything the Right parallels it’s the ethics of corporate America.

Yesterday’s was a classic case in point. In response to President Obama‘s plan for health care—most notably the public plan portion of it—the Republican response was entirely contradictory and they didn’t seem to have a clue how conflicted it was. I believe they just go with the old “throw anything at the wall and something is bound to stick” plan. It doesn’t really matter to them that they’re making no sense.

On one hand you had a message from them about how absolutely horrible a government-run plan would be. Pundits were going on about how poorly the government runs anything (these are the same people who seem to think they’re just great at organizing and running wars). They keep saying things like, “The last thing we want is a failed system like the Canadians have”, or “nothing should come between a doctor and a patient.” Both are ludicrous. The Canadian system is nothing like the Right portrays. You keep hearing about long waits and lines for service. I’ve got news for you, a close family member of mine was just given a very scary set of test results (the worst kind) and even after many calls to countless doctors the soonest they could see this family member was in 9 days. Before that the closest appointment was late July. Imagine being told you may have cancer and then being told that the follow-up is in 6-8 weeks. This happens all the time in our glorious system. Also, this notion that no one should come between me and my doctor? That sounds great but frankly I’d rather risk the government coming between me and my doctor instead of the insurance companies doing it now.

Then you had other pundits (and in several cases, the same pundits) saying that it wouldn’t be fair for the government to offer a public plan because that would be unfair competition.

Er….. you can’t have it both ways Republicans. Either the government sucks at running things or they don’t. It can’t be both. If they’re that bad then the private sector should have no trouble running circles around them. One of the best analogies here is the post office. It’s government run and does a solid job. Meanwhile UPS and FedEx are competing just fine. Both were born and prospered along side the far more established post office. If anything, their creation forced the post office to reinvent itself to keep up. Maybe it’s time for the government to get the insurance companies off their backsides for a change.

What is it about our health care providers that they’re so scared of government competition? Sounds to me like an industry that doesn’t want to invite anyone else to their party for fear that they newcomer might be more popular.

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