Friday, October 2, 2009

Congressman 'Bullies Up' at Town Hall Meeting

Congressman McClintock bullied up at town hall

Whenever a minority party in any government finds itself at the short end of a losing stick on important issues, they tend to ‘bully up.’ They rally their troops to fight dirty, to throw superfluous arguments at the majority, and to obstruct all reasonable argumentation. That is precisely what went on at town hall meetings across the US during this recent long, hot summer of Republican discontent.

Town halls on healthcare reform quickly depreciated into shouting rallies for the dissemination of disinformation spread by big money from the medical-industrial complex. The message read: “I’ve got mine. The rest of you can go [Fill in your own blank].” For this reason, reasonable people failed to attend the town halls in great numbers. Why would people go where they were not wanted to share their thoughts or knowledge, even if they knew the negative medical outcomes of our present dysfunctional, market-driven non-system?

Faux town hall meetings in District 4 of Northern California displayed how truthful dialog could be grossly perverted. Congressman Tom McClintock, a freshman this term, presented several sham town halls this summer. Reports from progressive thinkers who have begged for health care reform for two generations described a horrendous display of McClintock’s political manipulations.

This career politician, who termed out of his state legislative seat after 27 years as California’s most obstructionist law-blocker in modern politics, promised equal participation for both sides of healthcare reform. Then he didn’t enforce the alternating of opinions as he promised, like a teacher who lets the jocks mow over the skaters in a classroom. The ‘nay’ crowd outnumbered the ’yea’ crowd, so the Good Congressman likely rationalized his false promise as he rationalized his pitiful bill-sponsoring record when he claimed to be a Southern California lawmaker.

The September 1, 2009 town hall meeting was attended by very confused people. McClintock did very little to explain the legislation. Perhaps the Congressman himself understands little about the extremely complex medical delivery non-system that is made up of complicated jargon which only medical industry employees and bureaucrats might clearly understand. At this meeting there were about 175 pro-reform people and about 350 anti-reform people. (Notice that pro-reformers stayed home, lest they be screamed at by hate-radio mongers.)

One progressive, who did catch an open microphone to speak, reminded McClintock that “…the tax credit he continued to tout was in fact for $2,000 a year and the average cost of a health care premium is $1,086 a month. He [McClintock] conceded the credit was not enough.” Did the opponents of reform bother to listen or begin to understand, if they even tried to hear this important point?

But when this same pro-reformer delivered to the Congressman the 3,000 signatures of supporters for Obama’s health care principals, she was ignored, “I got a bit flustered and didn't want to get into McClintock's personal space - so I dropped the bag on the floor near the front row... it was awkward... and then to compound it, McClintock later characterized this as "having a suitcase thrown at him."

Mr. McClintock needs to be reminded how he won his seat with a very narrow margin of a few more than 1500 votes. He perhaps missed the redistricting initiative for California while learning political ropes in DC. Many of the people who voted for McClintock have since lost their jobs and therefore their health care too. Ahh, oh!

Other of his voters are already on government-sponsored Medicare but have adult children in their 20’s. The 20’s is the decade when most young people haven’t secured healthcare-paying careers. Perhaps those lucky Medicare voters now have children in their 30’s with chronically ill children of their own. Maybe their kids are in their 40’s when daughters so often get divorced, losing a husband’s benefits. Maybe their sons are in their 50’s and suffer being bullied off the job so they won’t cost an employer should they become ill and therefore expensive.

All Americans, regardless of politics, get sick and start to die. We will all need doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, and insurance corporations to make possibly bullying, investor-focused medical decisions. Then, those who voted for McClintock will join the rest of us who can only pray for an ever-fading Golden Rule with its universal ethic to do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves…or our children.

Workers Bullied off the Job for Being Sick -

Healthy Workplace Advocates are hearing from targets of work abuse who were indeed bullied off their jobs because they or their family members became seriously ill. In our present non-system of employer-sponsored health care, an employer’s “experience rating” is based on the number of claims the employees make through the insurance company that carries the policy. Like car insurance: If you make a claim, your rates go up! The same thing happens with medical insurance.

Employers, especially small business owners, can ill afford to keep ill employees on the job. For reasons involving the American with Disabilities Act, the employer is then better off to bully sick employees out the door (constructive discharge) than to honestly tell them that they are costing the company too much money. Because employees or theirs family member are sick and might make too many medical claims, they would drive up the medical insurance experience rating and the costs to the entire workforce employed. Small businesses have been known to shut down for this reason.

The United States’ market-driven, medical non-system is sick!

While Tom McClintock has helped his party bully up to the majority people, he needs to know the “law of reciprocity.” He needs to understand, “what goes around, comes around.” He is hurting real Americans, both liberal and conservative. What may be a Republican party game to him is a life-and-death game for the rest of us.

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