Thursday, December 31, 2009

Health care Reforms and Senator Joe Lieberman

Health care Reforms and Senator Joe Lieberman
By Saeed Qureshi
Senator Joe Lieberman the independent Democrat from Connecticut, has arrogated to himself the exclusive mission of thwarting the health care on which the prestige of the Democratic government depends. At the same time health care reforms are the need of the hour. The main spanner thrown into the whole scheme of things is Lieberman whose role ever since has been dubious and shady. He is safeguarding and protecting the business interests and huge profits of the super duper pharmaceutical mega companies and enterprises. He is known to be a kind of front man for the insurance companies that deal with the health care.
It would be in order if he is checked from pursuing his seditious role in scuttling the advancement of the express interests of the American people. The health care bill is stuck up at a stage where it is neither here nor there. It is relegated to an impasse. The rebellious detractors within Democrats and those on the other side of the isle are determined to stall its passage before the Christmas and advent of the New Year. The Obama administration has been thrown into a state of limbo and looks to be seemingly caught unaware.
If the reforms are watered down to suite the ambitions and intentions of antagonists within the party in power and those who are committed to torpedo it, then these will lose the very pristine purpose for which these have been devised. If the democrats’ proposed health care reform package loses its main thirst and luster of lowering the cost on treatment and medicines, make the health insurance companies to become competitive with the public owned health care providers such a Medicaid and extend the coverage to other several million Americans; then it would be better to defer it till the administration clears the way for its smooth passage with the original version.
The Republicans don’t view the bill from the standpoint of its being beneficial for the people but as a handy tool to browbeat and embarrass the Obama administration. This brinkmanship is rooted in the historical rivalry between the two poltical antagonists and there have been very few instances when they joined hand willingly to move forward on national issues. One such instance was the initiation of the Iraq war and fight against terrorism after 9/11 incident. There was no reason for any one or courage on both sides of the divide to go against that prodigiously wrong decision. The national sentiments had reached such a high pitch that it stultified even the most pragmatic minds and stunned their tongues not to question that decision.
Invariably, all the bills and amendments that had gone through the House and the Senate were always subjected mostly to partisan divisions and discord. The health care bill is patently in the larger interest of the people particularly those who are poor and come under the category of have-nots in America. If the heath care facilities are extended to another 40 million so far deprived citizens, what harm will come to either party. But as we all know the lobbies and pressure groups and business cartels are very strong actors that operate behind the scenes and enormously influence the decision making that favors their business interests. Senators and Congressmen are human beings too and they are prone to falling prey to various temptations to tacitly or openly support such interests that even may be at variance with the people’s welfare. This is the dilemma at the very core of the health care debate now going nowhere.
As to how Obama administration would be able to cope with this road block in order to clear the way for the passage of the health care bill would be too risky a guess to make. But if the bill is defeated and placed on back burners then the slogan for change of the Obama administration would look hollow, much to the vicarious joy of the Republicans. If it is modified to accommodate the critics’ conditions, the people would be disappointed.
So Obama administration is gripped by a tangle that cannot be unraveled or resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties. One vote of Joe Lieberman can make the whole difference but he is hanging it on democrats’ heads like a “Sword of Damocles” and a bargaining chip in an overly audacious manner. He doesn’t seem to care how history will judge him: a leader more driven by his opportunism and clan interests than those of the people of the United States.

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