Sunday, September 6, 2009

A reasonable discussion - on Healthcare?

I found this video today on a political site I love and reference often, the DailyKos. I've been following the HealthCare debate and discussion and I don't profess to getting it all. More than the technicalities of any sort of plan, what has baffled me more is the objections that have surfaced along the way - I dont get how healthcare for all is a choice people would choose not to have and I dont understand the comparisons to Hitler. There is much more that I dont get but coming back to this video, I posted it here because of the way Sen Franken handles and turns around a hostle crowd through reasonable discussion and dialog. Its masterful to watch. What rankled me was this comment that one person in the audience made about McAllen which Sen Franken quotes as having high healthcare costs. "isn't that where the immigrants are?" the man in the audience says. Of course, I object to the insinuation that immigrants are responsible for all that is wrong, everywhere that it is wrong. Over the past few months, this disturbing trend of racism going overt rather than covert has made me cringe and think hard about my place in this nation.

Al Franken counters that by saying that McAllen has a similar demographic makeup as El Paso where healthcare costs are half what they are in McAllen. This whole discussion is based on an article written by Atul Gawande for the New Yorker. I read that artcle too and like anything written by Atul Gawande, it is an excellent piece - well researched and thoughtfully documented. Here is a link to the article

Off topic again - but I am a fan of Atul's writing and have enjoyed everything that he has written. His book Better is a great look at the healthcare system - its challenges and wins - in America and other place around the world. If you are looking for an intelligent, abosrbing read, get this book.

Finally, here is a less nuanced and more straightforward pitch for President Obama to address the issues and objections around healthcare - this is from Bill Moyer's journal

Sometimes you have to call it like you see it - a crackpot is a crackpot - diplomacy be damned!!

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