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Commentary: Healthcare Reform and a Nonpartisan Congress

Commentary: Healthcare Reform and a Nonpartisan Congress

Picture of Yvonne LaRose

Tonight the State of the Union Address will be delivered by President Obama. An interesting request has been made of the members of Congress (for both Senators and Assembly Representatives). It is that a member of each opposing party sit next to their opposite - to dare to cross the aisle and party lines - in order to hear the message not as a Party member. Instead, the incentive is to hear the message as a plea and directive to the Representatives of their constituencies in order to understand where our nation stands as the partisan dust swirls above our heads and the ransackled landscape of impoverished and dismayed people struggle to merely survive each day.

It seems the greatest and most recent of events to stir this request was the year of partisan politics aimed at discrediting the Presidential office and thereby rendering it ineffective. Next was discrediting as many of the most recognized and longest-sitting Black legislators in order to discourage constituencies and favorable alliances to back away from them. Thus, they were also left ineffective for a time. And finally, the highest goal was to repeal the newly-born Heathcare Reform Bill, aimed at providing afforadable healthcare insurance for the masses. That thrust was aimed at creating a healthy citizenry that is capable of fending for theirselves, healthy enough to go to work and earn a reasonable, livable wage in order to buy goods and services and ultimately keep this nation healthy.

Party politics got in the way. Coupled with discrediting the opposing party was brainwashing the constituency with arguments about how the President has gotten this nation into dire straits with his fumbling. Adding fuel to the rantings was the additional charge that the President has failed in his candidacy promises to have his administration be a time of change and overall remaking of the destruction we've suffered from the ineptitude of the last eight years, preceded by more partisan politics that pulled down increasing amounts of empowerment to turn citizens and constituents into infantile slaves of the system.

Obama is a history scholar. Undoubtedly, he sees the parallels between the last and this Congress compared with the Reconstruction 41st. Perhaps this is why he has made the compromise to put jobs creation at the fore, followed by healthcare reform, and to ask Congressional representatives to put political alliances aside in order to be representatives of their constituencies (as they have vowed to do).

So many who are legislators and who are not argued against the Healthcare Reform Bill. Part of the rhetoric was it was more of the people looking for a handout rather than making their own way and paying their own costs. Others saw it as detracting from helping Americans gain the security of a job so that they can earn a living and the necessities of life. The Healthcare bill was vilified. Few took the time to hear counter arguments or the concerns of those who have paid into insurance programs of varying types that promised coverage. Now that those programs are weakened or gone, those consumers are again left with nothing and searching for a lower tier resources. There are others now left in the lurch who had been scheduled for some type of costly medical procedure or examination that now must be put off until healthcare comes to the front burner again or else when some miracle happens that will allow the surgery, the procedure, the experiment to go forward and save life or limb.

Few opponents express awareness of how one who is not healthy creates a greater financial impact on the infrastructure because of efforts to make the individual well. The less costly approach is to have a nation of healthy, educated people who are able to function and grow in their work while being useful to their community in many ways, unique to their particular talents and interests. Those who are not well resent being pushed aside by society and government. They crave being completely involved in the development of a better environment from many aspects. They resent being pitied while also reach for that promised freedom of competing for the seen and unsceen opportunities that exist. They yearn to be part of the constructive mix and viewed with esteem because of their input and participation.

Who wants a handout? Those who have been conditioned to rely on them. Those who want handouts are those who have not been taught how to think through the issues. They have not been empowered with knowledge about the most fundamental of things. They have been bludgeoned with institutionalism until they emerge compliant and nearly incapable of creative thought. Instead, they wait to be told what to do and where to go and what to think. The most obvious of matters can be at their very fingers yet they don't have the ability to grasp it because they have been trained not to do so unless given permission after having it put under their noses.

So here we stand. We're in the afternoon of the evening of a new session of Congress being addressed by the Great Healer President. The one striving to help us look at our diversity and the strength of why this country came to prominence with its branch of the Great American Promise. Part of the Promise is the freedom to work and the liberty that flows from having income to afford even the simplest of comforts and pleasures. But the Promise holds something even greater - Life. Living in a world where there is freedom to have quality healthcare at an affordable cost. That Life and health will then be managed in order to remain well and viable, competitive as we strive to live the American Dream.

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