Thursday, September 10, 2009

"You lie"

In all likelihood, you have seen or heard about the outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, during President Obama's speech on Healthcare Reform last night. For readers outside the United States, know that our joint sessions of Congress with a Presidential address usually feature enthusiastic, or tepid, applause, occasional laughter, and overall, civil behavior.

Rep. Wilson's shout of "You lie!" from the chamber, therefore, was shocking. Had this been a session of the House of Representatives, and a constituent from the gallery shouted something at lawmakers on the floor, that person would have been hustled out of the room pronto... and fined for the disruption.
The President's speech laid out his plan for reform, a plan that aims to get a handle on the rising costs of health care in this country and give some means for people like myself to finally be able to afford insurance again. The President is not advocating for the demise of private insurance companies. I'm sorry to hear that because I would like to see the CEO of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida out of his job and facing the peril of how to pay basic living expenses. But that's just me.
The President is proposing to keep some kind of a public option in the reform plan as a means of letting those with the least have some kind of access to the system... if private insurance companies refuse to lower their ridiculously high premiums.
Much of the rest of what he said sounds familiar to those of us who remember the late-Governor Lawton Chiles in Florida, and his desire to see small businesses coming together in "purchasing pools" in what he called Community Health Partnerships (or CHiPAs) to shop for the best, affordable, health insurance. It's a good idea... if we can make it work.
President Obama quoted from a letter written by the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy in which the Senator talked about the character of our country. I would like to believe that the character of our country is such that we would strive to make health care something ALL of us can afford to have.
But then, there is Rep. Joe Wilson. And there are those folks in Wakulla County, FL. And there are the "tea parties".
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.


frdougal said...

Now, in our House of Commons he'd have been out on his ear and suspended. You may accuse a member of the House of being "economical with the truth" or of uttering a "terminological inexactitude", but must never call them a liar!

SCG said...

Ha! Clearly, you Brits demand a little more facility and skill with the English language!

Anonymous said...

Our young and able President handled himself very well, and I am glad to hear Fr. Dougal's explanation because we watch the Brit's exchanges on American TV and enjoy the bantering back and forth. It is rather fun.

I think we may finally be getting close to getting some help for everyone in this country. And we don't need the Congressman from S. Carolina. Hope he is not reelected.