To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, October 22, 2020

New Observercast

Oklahoma’s Elected Tools

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BY KAREN WEBB

An open letter to the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation:

First to the entire delegation, including our own little blue dog – too little, too late.

I didn’t listen to the speech or what was one of the shortest responses in history because I am familiar with the president’s plan. Although I am sure he wasn’t as strong on a public option as I would like, his plan hasn’t changed that much and, of course, I am familiar with the latest effort of the GOP to make a train wreck out of health care unless unlimited profits and complete control by big insurance remain.

How long does it take for a doctor to say the same thing our congressman/doctor repeated, “Lets just start over with the president’s plan as a guide?” Bull-sugar! They could have done that before they started all the lying crap about Canadians flooding to the U.S. for health care and calling anyone who wants everyone to have health care socialists or communists. The president’s guide has been there to work on since the campaign and the GOP keeps saying they are about to come up with something, but so far it is a goose egg.

My hubby says one of ours was on TV Sunday suggesting caps on malpractice suits. That will be OK just as soon as there is a cap on health care costs and big HMO and Pharma profits. The idea that doctors in Congress or anywhere else think it is alright to make obscene profits from the suffering of others should be a violation of the Hippocratic oath to “do no harm.”

I am just out of the hospital and rehab and I have good insurance. On Monday, a holiday, I called my state rep at home because he has his home number on his website. He wasn’t there, but I talked to his wife and she was very nice. Oklahoma’s Legislature is controlled by the GOP and they say and do some really crazy stuff.

I told her that I was tired of the GOP efforts at just saying “no” to any health-care reform. I told her that I have excellent health care, but my daughter has none. I told her that I want everyone to have health care and she said that everyone does have some because they have to treat everyone. I commented that they don’t have to treat everyone the same and after they treat you they send you a bill that is outrageous.

Just this past summer my daughter, who lives in a state with better health care than Oklahoma, had a problem with her eye that was getting worse after trying everything and having everyone check to see if they could see anything. She finally went to the ER because we said we could pay for it. It turned out that it took a special procedure for even the ER doctor to see anything and there was a foreign object in her eye and it had already done some damage. She was there a couple of hours and between the doctor bill and the ER it was over $300. That is cheap. The last time she was in an ER here after a seizure, with one night stay, it was nearly $18,000 so please do not say everyone is treated the same.

My representative’s wife said they have good health care because her husband is retired military and still in the reserves. Oh, no, not government-controlled health care. Why would they want socialized [according to the GOP] health care and why would they want it for our military? There are a lot of things I am not fond of about military health care because the GOP has been holding the purse strings and do their bureaucratic best to shortchange our military, but it is better than the underinsured and uninsured have.

Of course, no one wants to change Medicare, except the GOP, and they just love capping stuff. Capping anything except obscene profits.

Now for our little blue doggy, Dan Boren, the guy with no pictures of the president in his new office, but pictures of himself and the guy whose butt his lips are still attached to, George W. Bush. By the way, until he gets pictures of the president in his office there should be zero pictures of him in the Oklahoma Democratic Party office.

Boren was talking about how to pay for health care. We are in a huge economic slump, to put it in the kindest context, and who put us here? I think it had to do with allowing banks, insurance companies and Wall Street to police themselves hoping that at least one or two of them actually gives a rat’s patootie about any of the rest of us. And then we bailed them out and they responded by continuing to give huge rewards to CEOs, like they did something. We bailed them out and they should be giving back to us anyway. Now they want to let the insurance companies and big pharma police themselves. We have been there and done that and they are not trustworthy.

Wall Street and the big wigs created this mess because they can’t control their urge to rob all of us blind. We tried tax cuts for the wealthy and they didn’t create jobs – they created this mess we are in. The GOP says you don’t want Washington bureaucrats controlling your health care. Who the hell do they think is controlling it now? Big pharma and insurance bureaucrats are controlling it and we can’t even vote them out of office, but they can pay our congressmen to do their bidding.

Here blue doggies, sit up and beg, roll over and play dead, please.

Tax the hell out of them, because they don’t pay their fair share anyway. We don’t make even close to $250,000 a year and I wouldn’t mind paying more if everyone had health care. The wife of my rep came out with one of the talking points of the GOP; she said that Canadians are coming here for good health care. First, they can’t prove that even if they polled every Canadian. And even if some do, every Canadian has health care and they don’t pay through the teeth for medications that are advertised on TV here. Take all ads for prescription drugs off TV and just send a pamphlet to the doctors and get the prices down.

If I hear “death panel” one more time, it will be way too many. That is a complete fabrication and there isn’t a congressman in DC that doesn’t know it. I just saw the clip of Sen. Tom Coburn, a doctor, telling someone at a Town Hall that he should be responsible for his own health care. Really, Tom, the man should have said, “Fine, Tom, you find me a job with benefits or you reduce your fees or you stop your HMO buddies from treating the wealthy on the backs of the people who can’t afford to pay outrageous premiums or fees.”

I just got a bill from my surgeon and I like him charging us $11,000, but we only owe $20 a visit and zero on this bill and my insurance is paying $1,000 and everything is fine. If I didn’t have insurance I would be paying $11,000, so where did the other $10,000 go after my insurance paid.

Hells Bells, we need competition somewhere in there. I don’t care if you call it single-payer, public option or Tinkerbell, every U.S. citizen deserves health care and not one insurance, bank or oil CEO is worth the money they are paid and neither are the congressmen who think people with more money deserve more access when they don’t get more votes.

Making obscene profits off the backs of the sick is beyond criminal. Blue Dogs, get the hell out of the way, ignore every Republican on the planet and do what is right. Not one Republican has come up with a thing, except to say, “What will big insurance, big pharma and I make from all of this?”

Do not let these robber barons set any terms. They had their chance and they blew it by trying to scare the daylights out of the elderly and everyone else. My mother pays over $300 month for the supplemental insurance she didn’t have to pay for before my dad died. It is used almost exclusively for medications and that is outrageous on a fixed income.

Just to give Tom Coburn a little extra – allowing people armed to the teeth within shooting distance of the President is outrageous, especially when people were getting arrested and thrown out of the presence of George W. Bush for wearing uncomplimentary shirts. I did a lot of protesting and it was considered a danger to Bush if I was allowed within a quarter mile of him with an anti-Bush sign. Obama gets a lot of death threats and ministers pray for his death, so you need to leave your guns at home because I have never seen a “lefty” at a protest with gun or any other kind of weapon. I was spit on by an Austin, TX mounted police officer, not allowed within hearing distance of Bush before 9/11 and the only weapon I had was my unruly mouth and it has only become more unruly.

If the GOP is that paranoid without a gun, then you are just too paranoid. By the way, birth records from Texas and Oklahoma look pretty much like the ones from Hawaii so give that a rest. I do genealogy and I know.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. She has been on Injured Reserve since her recent surgery, but says, “I am back and mad as hell and am not going to put up with it from R’s, D’s, I’s, MD’s or CEO’s.

1 COMMENT

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.