January 18, 2014
I subscribe to numerous newspapers. I regularly respond to letters to editors which are not just critical, but insultingly critical of our nation’s current president. Such letters usually include repeated propaganda from talk-radio “sound bites,” which taken out of context, support erroneous beliefs.
In a recent letter accusing President Obama of lying, the writer stated, “If you are an intelligent, open-minded reader, and you recognize what constitutes a lie, you will probably agree with me.” I realize that not many people would consider me intelligent, and I realize that I am not always open-minded.
For example, when open-minded people questioned the weapons of mass destruction excuse for invading Iraq, I assumed President George W. Bush’s administration was telling the truth. It took insurmountable evidence that those weapons never existed to convince me that a president of our great nation would allow a vice-president to funnel billions of out tax dollars into the coffers of his private companies by sacrificing American troops on the altar of war profiteering.
However, I can proudly state that by the time Colon Powell resigned from that administration due to the “yellow-cake” lie, I had learned enough and become open-minded enough to realize that special interest influence can trump the common good, even with a president.
Concerning people who respect our current president, the accuser wrote: “In their world, the sun rises in the West and sets in the East.” This phrase indicates how society can ignore revealed truth, even for centuries. The sun does not rise and set in the East or the West; as human knowledge progressed, science eventually revealed that the earth rotates toward the sun on a 24-hour basis. By the same token, so many people ignore the facts proving that our nation’s current economic dilemma is due to an unnecessary war fought on credit, with that tremendous debt plus the compounded interest passed on to the current administration.
So many ignore the fact that the administration that awarded no-bid contracts that were never completed, if even started, to the former vice-president’s personal companies, came into office when our federal government had a balanced budget. So many ignore the obvious fact that the borrowed billions paid in advance for incomplete no-bid contracts are still in the coffers of the military industrial complex, while our current president is blamed for the federal deficit the last administration created, and current tax receipts are applied to the debt for which our nation received nothing, save over 4,600 casualties, and some 40,000 troops maimed for life.
The critic wrote: “Healthcare has always been available. My concern is that the federal government is not the proper venue.” He is right, healthcare has always been available, for the privileged. Limited healthcare has always been available in my blue-collar world. But has healthcare always been available to low-wage no-benefit workers, the most vulnerable victims of special interest exploitation? Do limited hour minimum-wage workers enjoy adequate healthcare? He is right, the federal government should not provide healthcare.
But the public option our current president proposed would have been federally regulated, not federally funded. It would have applied to and affected no one but the uninsured. It would have been affordable because it would have been based on human need rather than corporate profit. A public option would have been affordable because it would have been void of exorbitant executive salaries and bonuses,
and stockholder dividends. But the politically powerful for-profit insurance industry bullied their way in, changing the Affordable Care Act into “Obamacare,” now didn’t it?
The critic wrote: “Massive numbers are losing their current healthcare plans or are realizing that the great costs of their new plans under Obamacare are no longer affordable.” This is true, because those plans were just that, plans, that did not provide coverage. Once claims were filed that indicated long-term expensive coverage, plans were legally cancelled with no reimbursement of premiums paid. New plans under Obamacare will cost more because the insurance industry will be legally required to pay claims rather than cancel policies, at least as long as the policy holders are able to pay their premiums.
Unfortunately, if poor health eliminates the ability to pay the premiums, coverage can still be denied in spite of Obamacare.
Obamacare is a far cry from the original proposal, a simple attempt to provide self-funded affordable healthcare for America’s uninsured, but it has survived unparalleled opposition, including apparent sabotage of the sign-up web-site. Still, as the critic predicted, will it mark Barak Obama as a failed president?
History reminds us that the president who proposed Social Security on which so many of us could not survive without today, faced similar criticism and opposition. Do we consider Franklin Delano Roosevelt a failed president, when we purchase food and meet our monthly financial obligations thanks to our Social Security checks?
Think about it, please.
— Robert C. Currie Jr. is a Laurinburg resident who regular contributes his commentary to the Bladen Journal concerning regional, state and national issues. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.