Let’s move on, please!

Published 8:18 pm Friday, March 26, 2010

In light of the rhetoric debating the recently passed national health care bill, have you heard this one and who might have said it?

“This law is unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed.”

The person who uttered that observation will be revealed further along, but in the meantime, I was struck by the symbolism of 11-year-old Marcelas Owens as he witnessed the president sign into law the health care reform bill earlier this week.

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Symbolic because if the health bill had been enacted earlier, the youngster’s mother would be alive today. He represents how many others would have been helped too if this legislation had been law earlier.

In all this acrimonious often salacious debate toward the adoption of health care reforms, the absence of true statesmanship was apparent.

But statesmanship has occurred, and reading over reasons why our own Congressional Representative Sanford Bishop voted for the bill, restores my belief that “yes” statesmanship, against all odds, can raise its reasonable head.

If you missed Mr. Bishop’s reasons for voting for the bill, it bears repeating:

Mr. Bishop said:

“I was not thinking about political considerations.

“I was thinking about those Georgia residents who are denied health insurance because of preexisting conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

“I was thinking about those Georgia residents who cannot afford to pay their health insurance premiums because their premiums have risen 6.4 times faster than their median wages over the last decade.

“I was thinking about more than one in three Georgia residents under the age of 65 (or 34 percent) who were uninsured for one month or more during 2007-2008.

“I was thinking about those Georgia senior citizens who cannot afford their prescription drugs because they fall into the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole.’

“and, I was thinking about the fact that Georgia continues to rank near the bottom in terms of the health of its citizens.

“For these people and for millions of Americans like them, I decided to support the health reform legislation.”

Certainly Mr. Bishop will catch a great deal of political flak concerning his vote, especially since his opponent in the next election has already stated his opposition to health care reform, now law. No doubt, opposition will continue from an extremely loud, vocal minority spreading falsehoods, innuendo, defamations, character assassinations and disinformation.

It might be helpful too if Gov. Sonny Perdue and members of the Georgia Legislature review Mr. Bishop’s statesmanship.

But let’s move on.

Let’s get this country moving again, let’s get people back to work, let’s get financial houses in order, let’s get the gears of commerce turning again, let’s halt budget slashing and job cutting. Let’s move forward, not backward, or be taken in by the hoopla of “Taking Back America,” which secretly means doing away with all forms of human-aid programs that enhance the public welfare and improve the lives of millions of Americans.

Are you willing to give up Social Security, Medicare, health care, civil rights and other programs that benefit all of us?

This campaign toward health reform has been vicious and divisive, fomented by political gasbags and so-called TV experts. My prediction is that those who opposed health care reform, those whose voices lead us into believing trumped-up falsehoods and innuendo, it will be those people who will be defeated at the polls come election time.


Go back and read Mr. Bishop’s reasons for voting for the bill.

And, oh yes, the above quote at the beginning of this column.

It was uttered by Kansas Gov. Aif Landon, candidate for president in 1936, in a speech in opposition to the Social Security bill being considered in Congress and promoted by President Roosevelt. After the election results came in placing FDR back into the White House for four more years, Gov. Landon was dubbed “Landslide Landon,” carrying only two states, Maine and Vermont, in the general election.

Landon opposed Social Security throughout the presidential campaign. And we all know what happened to that program, and now you know what happened to Gov. Landon.

Social Security became law in 1937. Gov. Landon became 65 in 1962. He died at the age of 100 in 1987. I wonder, for the last 25 years of his life, did he cash in his Social Security checks?

That was then, this is now.

Can we move on in the most positives of manners—please?