As I have mentioned before, the health care reform debate baffles and angers me. I feel strongly about the issue, but the opposition (Republicans, wouldn't you know?) is so uninformed and short-sighted (not to mention selfish and evil, which I'll get to in a bit) that I can't even comprehend joining in any kind of reasonable dialogue. From what I can tell - and this is just my opinion - the opposition to health care is opposed to Obama. They don't like him and so they don't like anything he says or does.
"You Lie" has become a mantra for the anti-health care crowd, which is funny to everyone else because, whatever your stance on Obama or health care reform is, the current bill does not make any concessions to illegal immigrants. But it makes sense that they would seize on this issue, no matter how true or false it may be. Because Republicans hate immigrants. They should put that on their logo, right next to a cross and a middle finger. I have a theory (untested, unscientific) that conservatives hate immigrants in general, but even they know that they can't use that. So they instead turn their focus to illegal immigrants. I think that this fascination with illegal immigrants is very revealing. I understand that illegal immigration is a real problem and it needs to be dealt with. I understand that illegal immigration can be harmful to the host country as well as for the immigrants themselves (I have yet to see a Republican talking point mention their concern of the safety of the immigrants, however). Illegal immigration is a real concern that requires a real solution.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the conservative position - that wouldn't really surprise me, since I'm not able to see it very clearly - but it seems like their opposition to this aspect of the health care plan is that it would be too awesome. But I would be proud of our country if our new single payer health care system covered anyone who came through the hospital doors. I would consider it a point of pride that we cared enough about the citizens of the world that we as a nation were willing to spend a few extra dollars apiece to provide medical care to anyone who needed it. That is simply a dream, of course. Liberals like me dream of a society where anyone can walk into a hospital and get health care. Conservatives dream of a world where everyone stays in their own country and watches with glee as the other countries scramble to feed and distribute band-aids (but not condoms) to their AIDS and malaria infested populations. Also conservatives like war.
That last line was meant to be a joke, but there is some element of truth to it. I'm not going to repeat party-line rhetoric about how conservatives pushed an unnecessary, expensive and damaging war and liberals are pushing a health care reform bill and the differences that exposes. The truth is that, as with the presidential race, this health care reform conversation is reducing people to ugly stereotypes. I don't like to listen to it, because it fills me with loathing for the other side. I also don't like it because there is another side and I detest the people on the other side of the fence. I imagine that they detest me: atheist, liberal, anti-death penalty, pro-choice, vegetarian because of animal-cruelty concerns (which means that I place a higher value on living animals than human embryos) and they are right. I do want to end our wars and spend the money to provide health care to our citizens and visitors. I do want to help the world provide safe drinking water to the most impoverished citizens. I do want to make abortion safe and legal. I do want to end religious interference in political issues. I do want the Catholic church to stop spreading lies about how condoms are useless to prevent the spreading of AIDS. I do want the commercial meat industry to be shut down completely. I know it won't happen. None of that will happen. We'll continue to kill humans, humiliate women, neglect the sick and the poor, torture animals and do it all in the name of an evil god. Can't we just have universal health care?