Health Care Critters

I watered the olive trees yesterday.  My ritual includes turning on the water, grabbing drip system replacement parts, and checking the 1/2 inch line and emitters for leaks.  It’s been a really dry year.  Even drier for the critters who amuse themselves by chewing into the lines looking for water.  Can’t blame them, but that doesn’t stop me from screaming epithets as I struggle with the repairs.  On the other hand, it’s a little cathartic standing alone in the middle of the trees and saying whatever I like.

Sort of like the opponents of health care reform.  The only difference between them and me is that somebody can hear them.

After flooding my shirt and shoes with irrigation water, I plunked myself in front of the TV and watched Senator Chuck Grassley’s interview with the News Hour’s Judy Woodruff.  The senior senator and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee appeared to be wrestling with hemorrhoids as he grimaced while Judy stared at him with a “you don’t really mean that” look.

Senator Chuck has an admirable record of protecting the health of us Americans.  For example, in 2005, he received a 7 percent rating on the Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) scorecard. He voted against 14 of 15 issues considered environmentally critical by the REP.  Showing that he is a man to be relied upon, in 2006 Grassley received a zero percent rating from the REP.  To be fair, he did co-sponsor a 2009 constitutional amendment to prohibit flag burning, undoubtedly intended to reduce air pollution.

But I digress.  So what did Senator Chuck say about the current effort at health care reform?

JUDY: Senator, you made it pretty clear you’re against the public option, the government plan to provide insurance to those people who don’t have it. Now, how strongly do you feel?

SEN. CHUCK: Well, first of all, the public plan you’re talking about is just one step towards a government takeover of our health care system, and I’m not going to go along with anything that rations health care. What we’ve got to do is make sure that people that don’t have health care have health care…And we’re going to provide this through the private health insurance system so that people have choices. People don’t want one plan. They want choices. And they ought to have choice. And that’s where we’re headed, and that’s why we don’t want a government takeover of health care.

JUDY: So do you think President Obama is — when he says he doesn’t believe that a public plan would lead to a government takeover, do you think he’s being deliberately misleading? Do you think he’s naive? I mean, how do you explain that?

SEN. CHUCK: Well, he hasn’t studied the reports and the think-tank papers that are out there that says, when you have a government-run plan — because the government is not a fair competitor. It’s not a competitor. The government is a predator.

JUDY: Senator, you said a minute ago you didn’t want to see something that would lead to rationing of health care. Some would argue — many would argue — we already have rationing, in that insurance companies make decisions about the care people can receive, the care people receive is based on what kind of coverage their employer provides them.

SEN. CHUCK: Well, OK. Well, let’s see — at least today, if you don’t like the insurance company you have, you can go get another insurance company. You’re not stuck like they are in England.

JUDY: One other thing, Senator. We are seeing a number of reports lately about citizens and some organized groups showing up in different congressional districts angry, accusatory, raising the temperature, and, in some cases, some ugly scenes out there around the country, and the expectation is this may get worse over the month of August. Do you worry that that sort of thing could make agreement here in Washington impossible?

SEN. CHUCK: No, not at all. Listen, what we’re doing here in Washington to redirect the health care system so more people get served, so we don’t have a government takeover, so that we cut costs, and not have more deficit spending, those are good principles. And if we do those things and they don’t meet the test of grassroots public opinion in America — remember, this is a democracy — we shouldn’t be doing them anyway. So I’m going to have 20 of these meetings throughout the state of Iowa. I invite Iowans to come in, and I want to listen to their opinions. I want to answer their questions.  And if what we’re talking about doing — and I’m against the Pelosi bill. I’m against the Kennedy bill. I hope I can be for a bipartisan bill. I won’t know until we get it developed. But if I can’t defend that, then we shouldn’t be doing it, or any plan, the Pelosi plan or the Kennedy plan or the Obama plan.

JUDY: Senator Charles Grassley, we appreciate your answering our questions. Thank you so much.

SEN. CHUCK: Thank you.


9 Responses to “Health Care Critters”

  1. 1 leo August 6, 2009 at 10:46 am

    In Sen Chuck’s answers I hear Gov Palin’s voice.

    I look forward to your posts. Thank you Freila.


  2. 2 Trevor Brawn August 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Typical Republican response:

    SEN. CHUCK: Well, OK. Well, let’s see — at least today, if you don’t like the insurance company you have, you can go get another insurance company. You’re not stuck like they are in England.

    All of these money hungry Insurance Companies will do their best to railroad the patient, so switching to another insurer will do nothing. My wife’s Insurance just denied her claim for a five night stay in the hospital for 2 blood clots in her lungs. They won’t pay the 12000.00 bill because her symptoms didn’t meet their ambiguous guidelines. Who cares if blood clots can kill.

    As usual the Republicans are looking out for Big Business. God forbid if Insurance Companies had some controls set on deciding whose claims are valid and who’s are not.


  3. 3 sidney cohn August 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Good stuff. Keep up the good work!


  4. 4 Sally August 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks Fred, for exposing Grassley. At least Iowa also has Tom Harkin… But I’m with the other commenter who hears in Chuckles the wacko notions of ex-gov Palin. Have you seen her Facebook post? She thinks Obama’s going to have “Death Panels” — I kid you not.


  5. 8 Noonum August 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Senator Grassley’s comment about lack of choice in England was interesting and uninformed. If you are are terminally ill, as my niece was with a brain tumor last year, you can expect under the National Health plan to get the kind of treatment and support that only a multi millionair could possibly afford in this country. If, on the other hand you are suspicious of the quality of the Nationla Health doctors, as my sister, her mother is, you can have private health care as we do here.

    The private doctors cater to my sister’s hypochondria, and as far as I can tell that’s the only difference.


  6. 9 Mark August 10, 2009 at 8:47 am

    During my most recent hospitalization (5 this year alone) a “social worker” was sent into my room to “interview” me.
    Yes I am a Medical patient as the insurance companies refuse to underwrite any health care coverage for me due to my “pre-existing condition”.
    This worker (and I never found out just who she works for) commended me for my courage in pursuing my continuing treatment. I pursue this treatment at the recommendations of my medical team who offer me hope in that a cure may be just around the corner.
    The worker continued the “interview with questions that seemed designed to determine if I was a suicide risk. The session was wrapped-up with a discussion of hospice care as opposed to continued medical treatment. Of course this left me in my hospital bed with a most positive outlook toward my future.
    Funny thing is, that the social worked didn’t appear to have a Brittish accent.


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