>Decatur Daily on Parker Griffith – precisely correct

>This editorial appeared in yesterday’s Decatur Daily. Of course, they don’t want people to read it, otherwise they would allow it to be seen without subscribing to the paper on the web site. For your benefit, I have typed it out. I hope they don’t mind.

Often I change key points to bold type, but if I did it here, the entire column would be bold. So just read it with that in mind.

Sunday, December 27, 2009 The Decatur Daily

Rep. Griffith joins the party of ‘no’

We like our representatives in Congress to have their fingers on the pulse of their constituents. Maybe U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith has been watching too much Fox News Channel.

It didn’t take long for Griffith, R-Huntsville, to pick up the GOP talking points.

“We’re watching (Democrats) pass a health care bill that basically two-thirds of Americans are saying, ‘Don’t pass it; leave it alone,’ and they’re completely ignoring the American people at their own risk,” Griffith said Tuesday at a press conference announcing his jump to the Republican Party.

In fact, Fox News – the channel where news producers were caught on camera cheerleading at a Washington, D.C., “tea party” rally opposing health care reform – is about the only place where one hears that kind of rhetoric recited as fact and sees hourly loops of House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin saying that many Americans oppose health care reform.

Yet, a majority of Americans voted for Barack Obama for president – in large part because he promised to reform health care. Just because a minority of Americans took to the streets, hijacked town hall meetings and received disproportionate media attention during Congress’ August recess does not mean the national mood has changed.

By now, the GOP talking points are all too familiar: The bills comprise too many pages; nobody has read them; the program is too expensive; Medicare will suffer; government bureaucrats, not doctors and patients, will be making medical decisions; “death panels.”

Griffith says health care reform will take America down “the wrong track.” Yet the Huntsville physician, of all people, does not tell us specifically what is wrong with the proposed legislation.

No Republican has presented a serious alternative to the unacceptable status quo, where those who have insurance subsidize health care for 30 million Americans who do not.

Here is what we do know about the proposed legislation: It would end the insurance company practice of denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. It would slow the rate of health care inflation. It would prohibit the use of federal funds for abortions.

Most important: It would extend health insurance coverage to at least 30 million Americans who now have none.

According to the rhetoric, not a single Republican believes those changes are good for the American people.

The truth is that Republicans cannot politically afford for President Barack Obama’s No. 1 domestic priority to succeed – even if that means trying to kill a measure that would benefit everyone.

Rep. Griffith: Welcome to the party of “no.”

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