Saturday, December 02, 2006

What the --- uh, Heck? Who said What Now?

Mos DougGood Gracious, I just read Friday's Freyne , did you? It seems that the recent edition of AARP gives Jim Douglas mostly ALL the credit for having gotten the Catamount Healthcare Program through against the impossible odds of Montpelier Partisan Gridlock.

The title of the Article is "Jim Douglas: Putting Health Care Before Politics". He has been recognized with an Impact Award from the Magazine, which puts him in the company of such luminaries as Robert DeNiro, David Hyde-Pierce, and Marlo Thomas *(god...I thought she was dead.)

Now, like Freyne, like many, I had only one reaction to this bit of news: You have GOT to be kidding me!

It was my recollection that Douglas fought very hard to KEEP the law from being one of "the most progressive in the country" and that the running battle for health care reform took more than one session of the Legislature ...thanks to the Governor's resistance.

On Freyne's post there is a comment from a reader, Liane Allen. She writes:

I got a phone call today around 4:30. My husband was in a car accident - in a tiny Acura Integra, which encountered an SUV...

The front of the car went under the SUV.

Think about how you would react as these images run through your mind, if you had no health insurance.

Did you catch your breath?


Every day, that's the tension felt by families all over this state and this country...

...In one damp moment on a dark road, we came 12 inches from losing everything. We came 12 inches from facing a life of new and terrible choices: food or physical therapy, homelessness or hounding by bill collectors?

And, as Ms. Allen goes on to correctly point out, we have not emerged from the woods yet. The other day, I was talking with a small business owner: "I used to to look at people who had no health insurance and wonder how they did it." [I am paraphrasing, but this is close to exactly what he said.] "Now, I've had to drop my health insurance due to prohibitive payments. Sooner or later, those who are voting to keep their precious tax cuts will feel the bite of this issue too."

We agreed that this is a rising toxic tide: before you know it the ground you thought was high and dry is flooded, and you, too, are swept away...along with the rest of the so-called middle class.

Now, I have to admit a certain affection for "Mos Doug" . When you put him up against the kind of right-wing vipers that infested the halls of Congress until last November, he is exactly the kind of Republican I wish there were more of. ..Someone you can respect on a personal level while vehemently disagreeing with most everything else they put forward. A worthy opponent.

Still, giving Douglas an award for the work that was so clearly done by Gaye Symington, John Tracy and other Democrats is laying it on a BIT thick, don't you think?

A visit to the ARRP site is worth the trip...there's a picture of Jim Douglas sitting in the middle of a heard of cows. I can only assume that the deep, deep piles of bullshit have been photo-shopped out.

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