Health care reform has become a signature issue for President Obama and therefore, the Republicans (and the powerful insurance and pharma lobby) are doing all they can to make sure he fails. This includes lying, exaggerating and fear-mongering. So let's go through some of these arguments.
First, there is the line about putting a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. Um, hello? That is already taking place today in the form of the insurance company bureaucrats! And does anyone really believe the insurance companies are looking out for the best interest of patients? No, they are working to make a profit -- hence their for-profit status. This is why you hear horror stories about people being stripped of coverage just when they need it the most, and why medical care and benefits are denied and appeals processes are a futile effort. So, would I rather have a government bureaucrat or an insurance company bureaucrat between me and my doctor? This is not really a hard decision!
Second, there is the portrayal of the government as a bunch of nincompoops who can't get anything right, let alone your health care. And yet, somehow we entrust the government to manage our military, our postal service, our fire and police departments, and any other number of services. Why is it only health care at which the government will be totally incompetent? And in fact, Congress and Veterans and retirees are all on government health care and seem to do just fine!
Then, there is the argument that having a public option is anti-free market and will crush the private insurance industry. If the government is so incompetent (see above), how will they be able to crush the insurance companies so easily? And shouldn't free marketers be for all competition? Isn't that the whole argument for a free market? Competition makes everyone better?
Finally, there is the constant drumming of how our health care system is the best in the world, and this is going to screw it all up. Is it the best in the world for those who can't get health insurance or quality medical care? Is it the best in the world for those who are forced into bankruptcy due to the overwhelming medical bills that can come from a serious illness?
Bottom line, I am not willing to say that health care should only be there for those who are able to afford it. I am not willing to say that someone should die if they don't have the money for a life-saving treatment.
Health care reform has to happen, and the sixty Democratic Senators had better grow a pair and make it happen.