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Careless on the Capitol?

Here at ABJ, we’ve been closely following the healthcare overhaul story as it evolved, covering the implications it may have on physician-owned hospitals to up-to-date news on our website. After several months of committee work and heated debates, the measure was given the final approval by the House of Representatives, expanding insurance coverage to nearly all Americans and handing President Barack Obama a landmark victory.

But on the heels of the Democrats’ victory in making health care more accessible to Americans this week, some 12 state attorneys announced plans to challenge the new law on the grounds it is “unconstitutional.” Believe or not, Virginia has already passed a law that protects its citizens from a government mandate to buy health coverage, which is one of the provisions.

While some angered citizens and Republicans expressed dismay, how could anyone with a sense of social responsibility really believe U.S. representatives who voted for this new law are that careless in the Capitol? It’s called looking out for your neighbors, my friends. While tough economic times, often means having to look out for one’s own to avoid total financial despair, it certainly isn’t a reason for selfishness. Granted that the Americans’ sense of security has gone through the rigger after the Great Recession, it is still no excuse for pundits to play on such vulnerable emotions just so they are against something that is completely for their own good—health-wise, that is.

As a Canadian neighbor to our readers, it is always interesting to gain some insight on the American psyche. Over the past year, in speaking with hundreds of business owners, I’ve gained an appreciation for the Americans’ overall drive for success. But what baffles me is the general public’s lack of knowledge of what the healthcare measure would really mean. The Conservative-influenced TV networks do a good job at keeping the public at the edge of their seat, worried about the next big scary thing. So I turned to a group of politico friends—both Conservative and Liberal-leaning for their thoughts. It turns out despite our different political tendencies, as Canadians, we still had a hard time understanding what all the fuss was about.

One liberal leaning colleague pointed out: “And they are the ones complaining that the health care bill would cost too much. Newsflash: lawyers cost money!  Finally, the States are on the road to a true health care system. Believe me, Obama knows better than Palin on this one.”

A Conservative politico blogger admitted: “I’m quite taken aback by the extremism of some Republicans on this issue. I’m really curious what they proposed to make people without insurance (maybe they are middle class, in case they cared),” tells the West Coast native. And, I’d have to agree with him on that.

After all, he says, dogmatic people with extreme ideas (to the left or right) shut off the valve for an open discussion in the public domain. “If there is anything American needs, it’s more lawyers,” jokes the Conservative politico blogger.

Personally, I think the media should do a better job in informing the public, as they play a critical role in this discussion. Even though the healthcare measure does not extend to all Americans, just the uninsured, it is still a step forward, my Liberal-leaning politico friend adds.


“Baby steps will make it in that direction eventually. Anyways, with their large deficit, they couldn’t implement everything at once. Still, Obama succeeded where 4 presidents before him failed.”


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