Since former Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin quit Alaska, we are seeing more of the woman who might have been our president. She confuses self-promotion with doing the work of God, just like any other cheap evangelist. She has no regard for the truth. She has no concern for handicapped children whose families didn’t have the gumption to get rich. She’ll spread lies to scare people away from constructing a health plan that will cover everyone, because the frenzy of hate she can whip up is her natural element.
“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care,” the former Republican vice presidential candidate wrote.
“Such a system is downright evil,” Palin wrote on her page, which has nearly 700,000 supporters. She encouraged her supporters to be engaged in the debate.
There is no such system. There is no such system in consideration. The health care reform being debated is a complicated compromise because so many interests are afraid of being cut out. If we’re lucky, we’ll come out with something that covers more people–that seems the best we can hope for now. This mundane truth is less politically advantageous than an inflammatory lie, and Palin has opted to debate the Nazis, rather than the Americans. She only looks good in black and white.
The America we live in now is one where insurance companies deny care to the sick and the old, based on a subjective judgement of their level of profitability to the corporation. Boosted by our tax dollars, using our emergency rooms as a catastrophic insurance plan, insurance companies make billions from rationing out care.
There is not, and will never be, a health care system that does not have to allocate resources. Our current state of confusion encourages unnecessary tests and treatments to maximize profit, while denying basic preventive care to prevent illness and promote health. This is immoral and a national shame.
I never thought Sarah Palin wasn’t smart. She’ll be rich enough to build a compound on some island in Alaska, or more likely a warmer, more comfortable place. She can put away a good size trust fund for Trig, and he will have all the private doctors he needs. Meanwhile there are millions of American families who are supporting children with disabilities.
Remember Ladd School and the isolation of the kids in ‘special ed’? Remember the good old days when families were told to just put their baby away and try for another one? Change didn’t come from conservatives and the churches. It was not one-sided, but liberals and feminists, social workers and community organizers deserve a lot of credit for a more humane and accountable system for people in need.
The safety net of Medicaid is shredding. We need a national effort to insure everyone. Sarah Palin, who did not stick around as Governor to advocate for needy children in Alaska, is leading the attack against health care reform. Since the truth doesn’t serve her purpose, lies and scare tactics will do.
Meanwhile, families of disabled children are holding fundraisers and seeking grants to buy much-needed equipment, like wheelchairs and handicap showers. They see the bills come in, they have to worry about continued coverage for the daily necessities. They see costs that are far beyond their ability to cover on their own paycheck.
Pious words about ‘self sufficiency’ are not helpful. No one who isn’t close can understand the 24/7 needs of a sick child or a dying parent. Yes, it takes a village. It’s beyond what a family can do alone. In the ‘good old days’ people just died. God took them. Maybe that’s Palin’s health care proposal.
Listening to some politician on the radio ranting about ‘government health care’ I wondered why he chose to work in government and not some pure public service like the insurance industry. We don’t elect insurance. We don’t usually even choose it. We are lucky to get it through our jobs. Insurance exists to make money by rationing health care so that collectively we pay for more than we get. That’s profits.
But we should trust them. Because after someone dies we can sue. And we should be terribly afraid of our government, that we elect, that we can petition in the courts. We are still citizens, not consumers. But some people are sour on this democracy thing because their candidate didn’t win.
And Sarah Palin doesn’t trust the truth. She’d rather try to whip up panic and stampede her followers into running away from the government we elected and into the waiting arms of the corporations. She’ll make out just fine. If other families of Down syndrome children don’t do so well, they can always stop by the church on grocery night.
It is truly frightening that this woman who covered up her real life in the vetting process, who stirred up hate in the campaign, who ditched her supporters in Alaska, who is now telling outrageous lies–this woman could have been our president. If our country gives in to hate and ignorance, instead of rational debate and dedication to the welfare of our citizens, there will be no America left to save. We don’t have time for this.
UPDATE- Reckless speech has consequences. Police are investigating a death threat to Congressman Brad Miller who supports health care reform.