Health Care Reform Protesters Gather In Danville Friday Night
Original post made
by Mark Curtis, Danville,
on Aug 14, 2009
The health care reform debate has finally come to my town. Tonight Senator Barbara Boxer, (D-CA), held a book discussion and signing at Rakestraw Books in downtown Danville. It was not supposed to be about health care.
But, a crowd I would estimate at 200, gathered outside and around back of the book store. Most were chanting loudly against the current health care reform legislation before Congress, which is being backed by President Obama. There was a smattering of supporters, who also carried signs. Some of them engaged in heated, but civil debate with some of the protesters.
I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, since so many people know me here. I also left my video camera at home, because I think some of the ugliness on both sides of this debate has come from people grandstading to the TV cameras present. I also decided not to interview anyone, but just to mingle in the crowd and write down what was on some of the protest signs. I was trying to be the "fly on the wall" if you can at such an event.
Here is what some of the signs FOR health care reform said:
"We Support Boxer and We Live Here!"
"60% of bankruptcies in the U.S. are Due to Medical Costs."
"14,000 Americans Lose Their Health Insurance Every Day: Shame on You if That's Acceptable"
Here is what some of the signs AGAINST health care reform said:
"Read the Bill!"
"Let Me Be Clear: No Obama Care"
"I am an 'Authentic Grass Roots' Protester Against Government Health Care"
Protesters outnumbered supporters by about 3-to-1. Plenty of Danville Police were on hand to keep things orderly.
I was glad to see this. For all the criticism against the protesters nationwide, at least they are out there exercising their rights and are engaged in the process. Too often, apathy is the attitude towards most political issues, and why we see voter turnout rates of forty percent, or much less.
Mind you, I don't favor some of the protesters who have completely shouted down and shut down some of the Congressional health care town hall meetings, as that is just rude. You can't on one hand insist on a Member of Congress reading the entire bill (and I fully agree they should read it cover to cover), and then react by shouting him down, while he tries to explain it. We can't have an educated discussion, unless we actually have a discussion!
As I said, I think the First Amendment is the big winner here. People are assembling and speaking out and making their voices heard on all side of this debate. Yes, it's ugly at times, but who said democracy was a pretty process. We are, after all, a nation founded by protest!
(This article reprinted with permission from www.MarkCurtisMedia.com)
Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2009 at 9:29 am
Oh my God, what a bunch of wrong-thinking. Like I said before, I'm on the fence about health care reform, but those who try to pull on our heartstrings in such an overdramatic way have gotta look outside the situation for a moment. Listen, we can not always sell our core ideals downriver everytime someone scares us with notions of death. For instance, when the Bush administration and many Republicans argued for torture, their argument often focused on "what if we don't torture and some innocent Americans, even children, are murderered in a terrorist attack? Isn't it okay to give up some fundamental freedoms and change our core system to save the lives of children?"
The answer is - NO!
Our country was founded by people who said "give me liberty or give me death!" Those people understood that some ideals are worth risking one's life for.
Concerning torture, we as a whole felt that selling out one of our core ideals was not worth saving American lives. We'll find another way, hopefully and probably. But, even if we don't, we still can't use torture. And not just because waterboarding's so horrible to use against hardened mass murderers, but because of the precedent it sets and what it could lead to. If they waterboard Muslim terrorists now, what's to stop them from one day loosening the guidelines of what is a terrorist. Is any person who hates the government a terrorist? And, if waterboarding's okay, how come punching them a few times isn't? If punching them is then okay, can't we pull out a few fingernails? After all, it's all for the greater good, to stop the murders of innocent people.
Thus, we must remember that sob stories suck, but they don't automatically change our views. The problem with Teresa's story is that it just focuses on the sob story, and not the overall ramifications. This country has fought a war against communism since the beginning of the last century for a reason. Not because we don't like the warm and fuzzy ideals of communism, such as everyone being happy and having stuff, but because the ideals of communism have never and will never be implemented in reality. Communism has always resulted in government dictatorships, not the will of the people. Communism results in a lack of competition, for there is little incentive. Why work hard when you can work poorly and still have the same quality of life? And so you get lazy societies on the whole, who live off the backs of those who choose to keep working hard and contributing, even without incentive. Those people are worked like slaves while the irresponsible and decadent overbreed and fritter away their government-provided funds. How's that fair?
The thing is, if we pay for everyone's healthcare, because of the sob stories, why don't we pay for all their food. After all, food is just as necessary for survival, if not more so. And why doesn't the government pay for everyone to have a car? After all, there are many sob stories about parents who don't have cars and don't feel they have good enough access to their jobs, which effects their ability to feed their children. And their children have to ride the bus in dangerous areas, walking home in the dark and possibly getting raped or killed. You see, there's a story to make us cry about anything. But, we actually just don't have the money to pay for everyone to have everything. This nation was never founded on the principle "Come to America! We'll give you everything!" It was "Come to America, and the government ain't gonna stand in any of your way of trying to make it for yourself."
John's case is particularly indicative. His drugs cost $10,000 a month! That's $120,000 a year! Where do you think the money to pay for his treatment is gonna come from?! I don't know if you've been made aware, but money doesn't grow on trees. Really, it doesn't. There are countless people who don't have enough money on their own who supposedly "need" such medical help. Try to think about how much that must cost on the whole. What if less than one percent of America "requires" such healthcare and can't pay for it? This is not implausible considering the ramifications of illegal immigration. It would take just ten million people a year, out of this country of more than 300 million, to have similar issues and all of a sudden we're all forking out a trillion dollars a year. That's almost a tenth of our GDP. And it could be far, far more. Who pays for it? It's called OPM - Other Peoples' Money. And those people are not often rich. They're average, hardworking folks who can't now spend all their money on their children, on their families, on whatever they feel to be important to their well-being.
Here's the thing. I actually like some parts of the European healthcare system, which directly contradict your way of looking at things Teresa. Part of most universal healthcare systems is to be more preventative and holistic, rather than thinking everything must be fixed with exorbidantly expensive pharmaceuticals. Does your friend really need $10,000 worth of meds a month? A European doctor might have a vitamin supplement that could do the same thing for a fraction of the price. The one thing we Americans are extremely naive on is the concept of holistic medicine. We turn up our noses at vitamins, thinking it often to be "hooey," while thinking these petroleum-based pharmaceuticals are mana from God. Most diseases are caused by one of two things. One: some sort of poison, such as radiation, or arsenic, or whatever. Two: malnutrition. We scoff at vitamins and the like, but what the hell do we think our bodies are made of?! Pharmaceuticals?! We are made of protein, calcium, iron and all the minerals and vitamins! If you don't get enough of said nutrients, you will get ill! Countless major illnesses have been shown to have been cured by vitamin supplements, but these vitamins are not patentable like pharmaceuticals, so Big Pharma fights hard to keep such research from coming to light. They can only make a fortune off of their patents after all. I should say, they can only make a killing. I bet most people would be surprised to find out that most research doctors rely on comes from the pharmaceutical companies. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse! Most people are sick because of nutrtitional deficiency, and we do not have petroleum-byproduct deficiencies! Our fruits and vegetables are often sallow, sucked dry of their natural goodness by overproduction, articifical fertilizers and the like. We scoff at organic and are not willing to pay a few cents extra, when organic food is infinitely healthier and ABSOLUTELY MAKES YOU HEALTHIER, resulting in less medical care. Anyway, I could go on, but I believe I've gotten the core points across. If anyone would like more info, just ask.