Iron County Democrats

Fear and negativism surround current health care debate

Republished From: Utah Democratic Party

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If there is any question that has been answered during the recent political discourse on health care, it is that fear and negativism rule the day. Former Gov. Sarah Palin contributed heavily to the problem when she abhorred the Obama "death panels" in health reform legislation, even though it has been thoroughly discredited that such panels would exist.

To her credit, Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska came out strongly against such tactics, but she is a strong minority of her party. Even Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said there was reason to be concerned.

Strangely enough there was a similar provision regarding living wills in the legislation providing for prescription drugs in the Medicare program passed during the Bush administration, and 43 Republican senators voted for it.

Now it is bad!

On a recent television show, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was asked who was right, Palin or Murkowski. He refused to answer the question. Does the good senator actually believe there would be death panels?

On Chris Matthews' show "Hardball," Sen. Hatch made the statement in opposing the health care bill in the Senate Finance Committee, of which he is a senior member, that Medicare was a failure. If this is so, I believe the senator has a moral and ethical responsibility to introduce legislation to deauthorize this failed program. I'm not going to hold my breath until he does so.

To illustrate further the lengths to which misinformation and fear have gripped the present "dialogue," it is reported that at one town hall meeting, a senior citizen arose to say he was opposed to "socialized medicine, but don't touch my Medicare." At the local meeting held at the library on health care, a number of people rose to ask where Rep. Matheson was and, secondly, what was the rush on this legislation.

The first question was answered by another - where are Sens. Hatch and Bennett? There were no further questions on the congressional representation. The second question to be answered was that there is a crisis in this country concerning health needs. Even Sen. Hatch states that health reform is needed, but to my knowledge has not come out with a plan. He could be a positive factor because he is the senior Republican in the Senate.

One last point for those Republican members in Congress that abhor government and state it can never get anything done. Perhaps you are right! A little civics lesson: You are a one-third part of the government and as such have as much responsibility as anyone to solve problems. Read the Constitution, which you so loudly revere. You may get some answers.

Ira Whitlock is a resident of St. George and a member of The Spectrum & Daily News Writers Group.



Taylor, T. (2009). Fear and negativism surround current health care debate. Retrieved from


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