I think we can agree that demographics show that Aiken County is affluent, white and Republican. However, in a recent University of South Carolina Aiken survey of 400 Aiken County residents, 63 percent favored prohibiting insurance companies from denying medical insurance coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Further, 62 percent of those surveyed favored having the government offer a public health care option. But only 39 percent supported President Obama's plan to reform health care.
Is there really a massive opposition to health-care reform as some would have us believe, or is most of this opposition simply a conservative Republican attempt to deny Obama from achieving one of the major goals of his administration? If a Republican were sitting in the White House, would we be hearing Tea Party attendees scream, "Keep the government out of my health care"? Would there even be Tea Parties?
The current health-care reform bills before Congress need a lot of work. There is too much in them that benefits insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry rather than citizens. However, we need to tell our elected representatives that we do want health-care reform, and they need to stop playing political games.
We don't need Republicans or Democrats in Congress who simply refuse to vote for something because they think it will favor the other party. We need our elected representatives to vote for or against health-care reform or any other legislation based only on how they feel it will benefit or not benefit the vast majority of Americans.
No doubt, The Chronicle will continue to give front-page and editorial support to those who oppose reform while relegating announcements of pro-reform forums to the middle of the Metro section (Dec. 1). Nonetheless, there will be health-care reform.
It is time to stop the useless opposition and take steps to assure that health-care reform provides quality, affordable health care to all citizens, and is not simply a conduit to provide additional profits to insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and other private, for-profit health agencies.