Anyone who knows me, knows I have never cared for Obama. I have always been suspicious about his motives for being President, suspecting that he prefers being a celebrity rather than being President of the United States. I was never impressed with his speechifying -- his words are like pretty bubbles that float up into the air and have no substance. As a Canadian, I am not invested in what he has to say, and his promises of "hope" and "change" do not affect me. Unfortunately my opinions of Obama have caused me some difficulty with the Obamamaniacs on both sides of the border, but whether it is a blessing or a curse, I am often able to see people as they really are. I was right about the disengenuous John Edwards, when he was still the front runner for the Democratic nomination, and I feel very strongly that I am right about Obama too. Obama is fiddling while Rome burns.
I sometimes feel like the small child in Hans Christian Anderson's story about yet another legendary emperor; as his procession passes by the child yells, "The emperor is naked!" No one wants to hear it, because it does not admit failure on the part of Obama, but rather on the people who elected him in good faith. (And no, I am not a Republican, or the Canadian equivalent...)
One of Obama's campaign promises was, "I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year." The main part of that promise was the public option, which was shot down yesterday, and so far it looks as if Obama is missing in action. He seems to be more interested in campaigning for the 2016 Chicago Olympics rather than being a strong President and fighting for something for which the American people elected him. It looks as if the health care reform in the U.S. will end up being more like insurance company reform, with the insurance companies monitoring themselves. It's all about business and profits, and nothing to do with health care.
I read the following on a blog the other day, "There are other insufficiently addressed problems with unionized government workers providing healthcare. Some of it has been quite forcefully said: chances of survival of cancers and other life-threatening diseases are much greater in the U.S., than, say, in England or Canada, where rationing plays the main role in holding down costs. That is to say, some of healthcare savings may be paid for with higher mortality." That is complete bullsh*t -- pardonnez mon français. I work in the health care system, and there is no rationing in Canada. Ever. Is that that sort of nonsense upon which people have based their decisions?
Everyone loves Americans, and it's really sad to see them being jerked around this way. They elected a President to represent their interests, and that is not happening. Polls have suggested that anywhere from 65% to 76% of Americans want the public option in their health care reform. Canada has a population of 33.7 million people, all with universal health care. France has a population of 65 million, all with universal health care. America has a population of over 305 million, and a huge percentage of them -- larger than the whole population of Canada -- have no health care coverage at all. Another large percentage, greater than the population of France, have less than substantial health care coverage.
American folks need to hold Obama's feet to the fire. The first thing they need to do is to get a large bowl of popcorn, sit down for an hour and a half and watch Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko". Love him or hate him, Moore's movie on health care in other countries will be a real eye-opener. Health care should be about helping people who are ill, not about making a profit from them.
The rest of the world all hopes the best for the American people, and at the very least they deserve an effective President. Obama needs to show some leadership, and have a "stern chat" with the five of his fellow-Democrats who voted down the public option. I do hope Obama will prove me wrong, but I have my doubts...