Toe-may-toe … toe-mah-toe …

Republicans say "Let's call the whole thing off"

Throughout the health care debate, it’s been fascinating to watch opposition responses to each bit of reform-related news. The complete inability of opponents of Democratic reform proposals to see anything positive in the legislation has been simply stunning.

How determined were opponents of reform?

Determined enough to threaten that legislation promising free assistance to those who might need counseling on hospice and other end-of-life issues was – in reality – a plot to kill off our weakest Americans?

Determined enough to charge that the President’s desire for reform is nothing more than an attempt to hijack democracy (Destination: socialism)?

Determined enough to refute every economic forecast that illustrated proponents’ determined attempt to enact reform without further ballooning the deficit (a deficit left as a pillow mint by the previous administration)?

Determined enough to claim that legislative maneuvers to counter the no-holds-barred obstructionism of health reform opponents was unconstitutional – despite the fact that the same tactic had been used repeatedly in the previous administration?

Determined enough to continue promising that the free market will solve our health care problems – even as insurance premiums increase by 10, 20, 30 or 40 percent?

Opponents were determined, no doubt. But despite it all, reform proponents now have the goal line in sight.

By now, we know that despite imminent passage of this legislation, the howling and the threats and the fear mongering will only intensify. Nothing proponents can say will appease opponents. The sides will simply not agree to disagree.

And that will be OK for the millions of Americans who want reform. The noise will be tolerable – tolerable compared to the fear of increasing premiums, or the fear of medical bankruptcy or fears of an increased likelihood of medical disaster or death now faced by the uninsured.

As proponents say “toe-may-toe,” their detractors can say “toe-mah-toe” all they want.

Health reformers are still not calling the whole thing off.

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