Does this woman scare you?

Does this woman scare you? Lone Times Square Tea Party protester (photo Chris Zacchia)

She’s a lone protester we passed in Times Square the other week while we were in town. She didn’t look all that intimidating. She was wearing all the trappings of the Tea Party folk you see on the news, except there was no one in similar garb hanging around.

When we asked if we could take her picture, she gladly accepted, saying that no one had paid attention to her for hours. She was a little less excited when she found out we were Canadian. Maybe the fact that we have free universal healthcare (way more than what is being offered by the Obama plan) and didn’t have to go the dictatorship route to get it isn’t exactly in keeping with her narrative.

While she might not be all that intimidating, the specter of others like her rising up in November has some US democratic congress members wary of pushing through health care reform with a procedure called reconciliation. This comes after months of backpedaling and sapping the bill of anything that may offend insurance companies looking to preserve their bottom line and throwing in stuff that really has no business being there.

Now, finally, it looks like the Democrats may actually do it, or sort of do it and pass something that changes something in the world of healthcare. Unfortunately, the worry is starting to set in.

I normally don’t comment on US domestic matters, as I am a Canadian (foreign policy’s a different story), but this issue begs saying something. So, here’s some advice to the American Democratic Party from someone living in the industrialized world like you, but not in the only country that for some ridiculous reason doesn’t see the health of its citizens as an essential public service like the fire department is:

Just pass the damn thing, do what your opponents are accusing you of doing and “ram healthcare down everyone’s throats.” Better yet, strip it of all the concessions you made to the insurance companies first and then push it through. This will only work and not turn around and bite you in the ass if you give everyone free universal healthcare.

It’s not a dictatorship, it’s politicians who are supposed to pass laws and make rules doing their jobs by passing laws and making rules. You have the majority now, use it.

Don’t worry about losing elections over this. The people that are against it aren’t the ones who vote for you and they’re not the majority. They’re a minority, just like the lady in Times Square was compared to the rest of the people around her. In many cases, they are also the ones that could benefit from free healthcare the most, but they’re being led by an even smaller profit-driven minority

Imagine you clean the bill up and push the bill through. What will happen now when a poor person living in a “red state” and staunchly opposed to health care reform gets sick or has an accident? Now, instead of going broke to reattach their finger, that operation will be free for them.

Who do you think they’ll vote for now? Those who would have left them lose their life savings or the people who gave them a necessary operation for free? Who do you think their friends will vote for when they hear what happened?

All it takes is a little confidence to make the boldest move you could and bring your country close to where most of the rest of the world was over fifty years ago. And now, folks, you don’t really have a choice.

If you don’t do it, you’ll surely lose in November and this whole healthcare attempt and pretty much your whole administration will be more futile than that Tea Party lady in Times Square trying to convince a bunch of Canadian tourists that Obama is Hitler.

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