Democrats & Liberals Archives

We Help Our Heroes, We Don't Cheap Out On Them

Tom Coburn and other Republicans in the Senate need to stop the foot-dragging on this bill.

We have fought two wars at the cost of trillions of dollars, and I doubt most Republicans would take back a cent of spending. But here they are saying it’s too expensive to take care of the healthcare of those who they long praised as heroes. Please, folks, tell me why this is a difficult choice?

When it comes to those who have been wounded, maimed, and made amputees by the wars themselves, I've always been of the mind that we have an obligation to these folks. What's the point of asking people to sacrifice, if you don't reward that sacrifice? It's a simple social contract: put yourself in harm's way for the sake of your country, and we will honor that courage by taking care of what it costs you personally to have taken that risk.

It's a risk, in the case of Ground Zero Workers, that was greater than they knew.

Sometime today, as I write this, some members of the GOP may come to their senses and do what is right. Even if they do, though, it's a real question as to why they would do this. The answer is somewhat sordid.

I mean, speaking as friend (or a somewhat nonhostile concern troll), I would think this would be the last thing you wanted to tell people, that you valued tax breaks for foreign corporations over the health and welfare of the folks you called heroes, whose aura you borrowed to push your foreign policy.

Having a sense of shame, sometimes, is a useful thing. It lets you avoid alienating people. It gets you to stop taking dumb risks, to inhibit impulses that would otherwise get you into trouble.

The impulse in politics , sometimes, is to be as shameless as possible, to just spin relentless, to do what's politically expedient without tripping yourself up by admitting to things like mistakes and scandals. The trouble, really, is that sooner or later reality catches up to you. You cannot count on people to be oblivious forever. Just because somebody hasn't figured it out yet, doesn't mean they can't. Just because they haven't sworn you off yet, doesn't mean they won't, sooner or later.

Democrats learned this lesson this year. Some of the Senate and house Democrats acted like it was business as usual. It didn't go over well. But I don't see much better going on for the Republicans, if they follow the last two year's performance in their next two years. The effect of being out of the majority was being able to point fingers at the Democrats for not getting things done. Now they are accountable, too, and I think if they don't watch out, they'll quickly discover that America's patience for political BS is at an all time low.

Having left this draft alone for a little while to attend to some work, I've seen reports that indicate that the bill has been passed.

Unfortunately, as a condition of its passage, Tom Coburn decided that the period of the coverage and had to be cut in half, and the money for it cut by a third. I would say that it would have been better for him to find a face-saving way of answering his stated objections, rather than force a concession that still ended up being at the expense of those who did not deserve to be so shortchanged. Better this than nothing, but better what was originally proposed than what he demanded.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 22, 2010 1:58 PM
Comment #315685

Welcome back Mr. Daugherty. While we mostly disagree on politics, I do enjoy reading your posts. A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2010 6:21 PM
Comment #315689

Stephen, bottom line, for now, is that the bill has passed, and is “in the system”. Hopefully, those who have found their voices and where their strengths lie, the fight can be carried on to get some more teeth into the action.
It’s just reprehensible to believe some people fought so hard against this bill ! Bunch of narrow-minded, self-centered, egotistical S.O. B.s !!

Posted by: jane doe at December 22, 2010 6:57 PM
Comment #315692

Royal Flush-
Same back to you.

Jane Doe-
The trouble, I think, is that logic is much more malleable than reality is. People can convince themselves and others of some absurd things, and if they don’t come up for air and get perspectives from other people, they can really head off into strange and disturbing territory, as far as what they support and what they do. Man is a social animal, but man is also an animal that should, and must, think for itself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 22, 2010 7:37 PM
Comment #315696

Moot Point…

Posted by: Beretta9 at December 22, 2010 11:28 PM
Comment #315704

Moot Point? Well, considering the 911 Respomders were assured by President Bush that the area was safe I do believe the first responders could have sued the government and got more money than the $4 Billion offered. Than there is the broken promise of the Republicans who said they would take care of the first responders. However, the greatest problem which could of happen if Congress did not pass the bill is future fire fighters and police could refuse to answer the next call of emergency.

For I wonder what Senator Coburn would do if his state fire fighters and police refused to answer the call when the federal building was bombed. Yes, providing them health care fot the rest of their lifes might not set well for those who believe no body deserves help, yet knowing one could make the argument the Senators Home is full of toxics which could harm a fire fighter or police officier. I do believe the property would be in trouble if the Senator had to agree to pay first for any and all health problems which may arise.

No, Americans may not like the idea that this group of people are getting their health care paid by the Taxpayer. Nonetheless, to say it is a moot point to insure our fire fighters and police officiers will be taken care of when the run to while others run away IMHO shows how limited one is in responding to a Local or National Emergency.For what would you do when you called 911 and no one responded?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 23, 2010 7:46 AM
Comment #315727

b9, if it doesn’t hurt too bad, could you expound on what your comment means?

Posted by: jane doe at December 23, 2010 3:30 PM
Comment #315728

Was there really 4.2 billion dollars in need here? How many millionaires did we create for happening to be in the right spot? It’s not like these people didn’t already have top notch health care. Total scam.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 23, 2010 3:37 PM
Comment #315730

What is your opinion of the value of a human life, Schwamp?
Your comment is absolutely disgusting!!

Posted by: jane doe at December 23, 2010 3:42 PM
Comment #315733

Jane doe,
You are the one that monetizes this, not me.
Who are we paying that lost their life anyway?

Posted by: Schwamp at December 23, 2010 4:15 PM
Comment #315751

I didn’t convert anything into money, Schwamp! what you said..
“Was there really 4.2 billion dollars in need here? How many millionaires did we create for happening to be in the right spot?”
Many of the first responders have already succumbed to the illness they ended up with by being exposed to all of the elements in their efforts to uncover those still buried.
They did what they had been trained to do, and then some. What they’ve tried to show is that they deserve the same consideration as our military, for being exposed to the results of war, waged on us by foreign militants.

Posted by: jane doe at December 23, 2010 5:45 PM
Comment #315758

Lets see, When I was in the military you get killed in action your spouce or who ever got $20,000.00. If you got wounded you got disibility and life time care at the VA. I wouldn’t compare what the first responders will get to what the military gets because it does not compare.

Posted by: KAP at December 23, 2010 7:13 PM
Comment #315895
Please, folks, tell me why this is a difficult choice?

That’s an easy answer…we can’t afford it.

Right, wrong, or indifferent—we simply can’t afford to let our hearts set national policy any longer. At some point you just have to come to the realization that we are broke.

And yes Stephen, you are right. We also shouldn’t be paying for the wars. We can not afford them either. Nor can we afford to Social Security, Medicaid, welfare, or subsidies for every industry known to man.

Irrelevant of how much people deserve it, and irrelevant of how “patriotic” it is, we can no longer afford to be the nanny state that everyone seems to expect.

So, I will continue to hope that Coburn continues to fight against new spending and spending increases everytime. And when his hypocracy creeps up (and it will) I hope someone else is there to hold his pet project to the same standard. Then, maybe the government will stop spending more and more borrowed money and actually begin taking steps to reduce the deficit and national debt…

And before you jump in with “its deficit neutral” (becuase we found another way to tax someone else to cover it)…That still doesn’t mean we can afford it. How about just closing the loophole like the plan entails, and NOT spending the money. Like I said—actually reducing the deficit. Deficit neutral does not, and will not get us where we need to be!

Posted by: adam at December 27, 2010 4:25 PM
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