Drama on the Hill: Health Care and Dachau

Fresh with backing from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the AARP, the House health care bill was set for a rare Saturday vote, but not without plenty of drama.

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that “House Democrats acknowledged they don’t yet have the votes to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, and signaled they may push back the vote until Sunday or early next week.”

Earlier in the week, the CEO of AARP, Barry Rand, made this statement: “We started this debate more than two years ago with the twin goals of making coverage affordable to our younger members and protecting Medicare for seniors. We can say with confidence that the House bill meets those goals with improved benefits for people in Medicare and needed health insurance market reforms to help ensure every American can purchase affordable health coverage.” You can view the AARP announcement HERE.

Dr. J. James Rohack, President of the AMA, is reported as saying, that the legislation is “not a perfect representation of our views,” but is close enough to warrant his group’s support and keep the reform process moving forward.

On Tuesday, the Tea Party protesters rallied on the hill, shouting, “Kill the bill!” and “Waterboard Congress!” and warning of a government takeover of the entire health care system. House Republican leader John Boehner called the bill “the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen.” Throughout this summer and fall, opponents have been comparing health care reform to Nazi Germany and Obama to Hitler. Now they’ve got the posters to prove it. In a stunning display of ignorance and insensitivity, protesters carried posters depicting the Dachau death camps, featuring piles of murdered and discarded human beings. 

Here is Keith Olbermann’s take on this week’s events:

The Democratic House bill in question includes a public option and provisions to subsidize poor Americans, create health insurance exchanges, and cap out-of-pocket expenses. It also prevents insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. An increase in taxes would apply to families earning more than $1 million or individuals earning more than $500,000, and insurers would be stripped of their anti-trust exemption.

Still to be hammered out is the language on funding for abortion and illegals’ access to private insurance.

Republicans also came up with their own plan this week, one that is woefully inadequate and would leave tens of millions of Americans without health care coverage. It hasn’t got a chance.

Meanwhile in the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backs a public option, but would allow states to opt out.

President Obama plans to go to Capitol Hill on Saturday in an effort to make good on his plan to have a bill on his desk in 2009. 

Healthy debate over policy is one thing. But comparing health care for Americans to Dachau?… The bar can hardly get lower.

And the drama continues.

Connect with Ann on Twitter: @AnnPietrangelo

Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/841687


Janet B
Janet Babout a year ago


Sandra V
Sandra Vitoabout a year ago


Cynthia Y8 years ago

A few weeks ago I contacted AARP, regarding their continued ads on FOX. Since their service is geared toward senior citizens, I found it strange that they would back a network that has used fear mongering, (ie, death panels for seniors),directed toward the group that uses their services. Please contact AARP and let them know how you feel about this subject. Thank you

Shailja M.
Shailja Mukhtyar8 years ago

I share your sentiments. So elegently you said it all, it deserves repetition.

"When are the citizens of the world going to wake up?...This is for the people, the sick and non-wealthy people...Who could possibly believe this Republican nonsense?....Please pass this health care reform..PLEASE!"

As a physician in NY, I see many benefits to Obamas Health reform. Dont refuse/ deny the public, b/c of lack of awareness of his plan.

This initiative will improve things for physicians and patients, & likely cut costs & improve care overall.

More & more we see medical tourism, heart surgeries in India, and breast implants in Brazil... Either successful or butchery, we lose in USA.

Accepting the plan on the table, is much better than doing nothing, (as congress has for the past decade. It is easy to condemn & criticize, & get brain-washed by insurance agencies.

Please pass this health care reform, good for docs & patients. Embrace this progress.

Rhonda B.
Rhonda B8 years ago

There is a comparison, not to Dachau, but to the SS, not in the Obama administration, but in the protestors against health care. Essentially, if you are not like me, meaning white and middle class, you are not worth providing health care. This is typical of selfish conservatives---Support the rich and forget the poor. Some even think people are poor by choice. (Yeah, I know some are, but not the majority.)

I went to one of the early meetings of the Tea Parties and have seen others on TV. The anti-health care politicians remind me of George Wallace and Bull Conner in Birmingham in the early 1960s. The protestors remind me of the racists who threw rocks and beat the demonstrators. I watched this all on TV as a child. The hate was palpable among the Tea Partiers even to the point of shouting down disabled people and parents of disabled adult children. They pretend that they are concerned with "illegals" getting benefits, but the real issue is minorities and the poor getting them. They even suggested that the disabled people were parasites who should go on and die if they cannot work. I heard this with my own ears! I wanted to hit! They shouted to the parents, "You support her"---as though families can care for a disabled child without assistance.

The first people Hitler killed were the disabled in institutions. Then they got the frail elderly. The worked the Jewish men to death, but often killed women and children promptly as useless.

Mary Grace D.
Mary Grace D8 years ago

Be afraid! Be VERY afraid. Here's what Andy Borowitz has to say about the Health Reform Bill:

"Glenn Beck says: "Run For Your Lives"

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - With the establishment of government-mandated death panels just days away, grandmothers began fleeing the United States in record numbers today, reports Fox News.

"I am never one to yell ‘Fire' in a crowded theater," said Fox News host Glenn Beck. "But run for your lives!"

Across the country, slow-moving caravans of 1980s-era Cadillacs with turn signals blinking were making the torturous journey to the Canadian border, their back seats laden with cats, knitting projects, and bottles of Ensure.

Fox News may have set off the mass exodus by warning grannies that if they did not flee quickly enough they would face government-mandated organ harvesting.

Elsewhere, anti-healthcare protesters objected to the language of the House bill, saying there were too many polysyllabic words."

I love Borowitz's takes on politics in general, and on the Health Reform Bill in particular. He seems to take on a pseudo Palinistic/Bachmanniacal view here.

Hmmm. Maybe ANDY should run for president in 2012? May depend on what view of Russia HE can see from his front door?


.8 years ago


Elizabeth S.
Elizabeth S8 years ago

Deborah W. I couldn't understand why your comments seemed so diametrically opposed to each other, then finally figured out you were quoting someone else's post and responding to them. It would make it easier to read your comment if you first put that person's name such as: so and so writes: 'quote' and then put your own response afterwards. You had me worried for a bit ;)
BTW - the House just passed the Bill!

Sir Walk F.
Sir Walk F8 years ago

Deborah makes some good points. Too many people want to defend this "Health Care" without even analyzing what it will actually do.

I suspect much of this hoopla over the past 6 months in regards o health care has been to obfuscate the issue into Right and Left, so that people who support Obama will support whatever is passed int eh name of health care, and anyone opposed to Obama will reject it out of hand.

Anything less than Single Payer is just a waste of time.

Deborah W.
.8 years ago

If this bill passes as written now, it is worse than no health care reform at all and would be disastrous. It will do nothing to help people afford health care. It will do everything to force many more Americans into bankruptcy and homelessness

Makes you wonder whose side Obama is actually on, and if he is getting any under the table money from the big health insurance companies to keep things the way they are and require all Americans to have health insurance and fairly drastic measures against them if they don't, up to and including, removal of children from their homes and putting them in foster care, insisting that not having health insurance is "child endangerment."