Contrary to what was reported here, I’d say there were about 500 people at the Evergreen Commons Senior Center in Holland, Michigan on Monday night to hear from their Representative, Pete Hoekstra. About 5/6 of them were conservative Republicans. Maybe 1/3 of them were seniors. About 7/8 of them were against HR 3200, or what they think it is. And about ¼ of them were crazy-assed, government-hating nutjobs.
First: props are due Pete Hoekstra. He continually kept the crowd from becoming a mob. It was interesting that the rabble was most roused when the pro-health care reformers spoke; not the other way around.
My favorite: early on in the proceedings, a gentleman said, "We should look out for each other; we should all have health care", his touchy-feelyness was met with a "Shut up and sit down!" from a fellow near me. Awww. Adorable.
[One speaker said]: I fear government control of health care. Nothing the government runs -- except the military -- works well or is cost-effective.
This was the prevailing sentiment. These people forget about fire, police, roads and water, and every other damn thing they depend on during the course of a day, not to mention Social Security and Medicare.
Oh, and this just in: The feds, they lie; the liberal media, they keep the truth from us; those late-night comedians are just plain mean to the Republicans. Thank God for FOX.
Hoekstra believes a health care bill likely won't pass as one bill in the current session, but suspects a series of bills that focus on specific issues have a chance.
Like, let’s do tort reform and just get that one out of the way. Good suggestion, Pete.
Essentially, Pete seems to believe that dealing with the entirety of health care is just too cumbersome and confusing to do all at once. Why rush into this? Why not break it down and pass legislation in digestible chunks?
Well, that sounds practical. Except when you factor in that we’ve been waiting since flippin’ Truman for this. And keeping the status quo is bankrupting us. And splintering health care reform has the double-your-pleasure benefit of "Waterlooing" the Obama Administration and stalling until the GOP has more seats in Congress to do what they want – which is apparently nothing.
One speaker asked Pete to point to the Republican efforts to reform health care during our lifetimes. Pete cited health savings accounts. So there’s that.
But then, and Pete got pissed.
While the meeting was almost entirely civil, one speaker appeared to rile the congressman, accusing Republicans of being obstructionists on the issue.
He claimed we shouldn’t be making this a partisan issue. But he just couldn’t resist ending his little hissy fit with "Republicans believe in freedom!" He probably didn’t mean "as opposed to Democrats", but that’s sure the way he left it. [Props to Muskegon Democratic Party Chair Steve Keglovitz for demanding an apology here].
By and large, Pete did not clearly refute the crazy shit people are reading into the bill i.e., illegal aliens will be covered, abortions will be paid for by the taxpayers, the Health Commissioner will have absolute power over everything, seniors and children will be tossed, screaming, into the gaping maw of the federal government, etc. He just kept intoning, "The bill is silent on that, so we just don’t know." I believe the bill is also silent on voodoo and virgin sacrifice, so those may be part of the plan as well.
Pete did, however, cover one Democratic talking point, for which I am grateful. After one speaker said, "I am not going to pay for somebody else’s health care", Pete replied, "You already do," and cited statistics on what ER visits cost the rest of us.
A classic bit of irony: An unemployed, uninsured gentleman from Fruitport (who was adamant about not giving his name) stated that he didn’t want everybody to pay for him. He didn’t want the federal government messing around in his life. Then he turned around and expressed his disdain for Roe v. Wade – not getting that it’s about individual choice, and that criminalizing abortion would be a big, fat, government intrusion into the lives of everybody. Plainly, he wasn’t listening to himself.