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Robert A. Mills

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HEALTH CARE, ANYONE?
9/11/2009 7:07:06 AM
I love surveys and polls, although I’ve yet to see either accurately indicate, or even predict, the true pulse of America’s choices and desires. Throughout the elections in 2008 the numbers fluctuated all over the spectrum: 62% wanted Obama; 59% wanted McCain (who made up the phantom 21% was anybody’s guess—-or was it just a lesson from Sarah Palin’s math book?

Before the college football season got underway in early September this year, the University of Georgia’s Bulldawgs were ranked No. 13. After their dismal outing against Oklahoma State (a non-conference fiasco,) my wife—-even a more fanatic aficionado of the raccoon-coat-pork-pie-gridiron than I—-asked what ranking I supposed the darlings of red and black would achieve now?

I had no clue. And what possible difference would it make?

A year before, we started out No. 1 in the nation. Before it was all over, we had won 10 and lost three. We even got whupped by archrival Georgia Tech. It hardly mattered. Our platinum quarterback, Matthew Stafford, graduated in one piece and was promptly the first draft pick in the NFL, where he’ll be paid six hundred million dollars a minute for throwing 812 touchdown passes for a former 0-16 team who will probably win the next five Super Bowls. Am I certain of this? No, but I saw a poll that said it was a sure thing. Must be true.

On September 9 two things caught my eye: one was a Comcast Poll by someone named Vito Forlenza showing UGA was regarded the No. 17 team, having dropped four places because their starting quarterback, Joe Cox, played 2/3rds of the game like a high school walk-on. But it was the other poll that really made me sit up and take notice.

According to AP’s Alan Fram, “Public disapproval of President Barack Obama's handling of health care has jumped to 52 percent . . . released hours before he makes his case for overhaul in a prime-time address to Congress.”

Does that mean that 48% of Americans are saying “No way, Jose!”?

Not necessarily. If you read further (which no one does—-the Whiners and Maligners say “I told you so!” and the filthy liberals say “Hold your horses!--) the poll goes on to say, “Forty-nine percent say they oppose the health overhaul plans being considered by Congress, compared to just 34 percent who favor them.”

But wait. As the guy on TV says, There’s more! “Significantly, though, only about two in 10 say the health care system should be left as is.”

Say what? 8 out of 10 say the thing is busted? Yeah, but the majority, on the other hand, says the President and the Congress are not the guys to fix it. Okay. Who then is?

Another poll says the health care industry should be left alone to remedy itself. Let the insurance and the pharmaceutical companies revamp their corporate structures and keep government out of it. Be a good idea. At the same time we should let the inmates redo the doo-doo we call our prison system.

Let’s be honest. If the Democrats were not in power and the Republicans wanted to bite the hand that feeds them and come up with health care reform, would they have any better chance for success? Of course not. Health care reform—-no matter who claims to have a plan—will never be a slam-dunk for either party. The losers will always be the American people; the winners will always be the Money Players—-the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their sundry lobbyists.

Ironically, the government—-like the teams ranked 25 and higher—-really has nothing to lose, not even the next election. If Congress passes a watered-down version, nothing much will change, and those legislators fearing obscurity after the next elections will claim they won because the polls say nobody really wanted health care reform in the first place.

No matter what happens, the only congressman who should be tossed out is Joe Wilson of South Carolina. His “apology” for unconscionable conduct during the President’s speech notwithstanding, this “fool,” as conservative talk show host Neal Boortz calls him, is too typical of the Whiners and Maligners to hold public office. See you, Joe.

After the speech, we watched the complete telecast (via TiVo and sans commercials, odd-game breaks and other distractions) of Melanie Oudin’s ignominious defeat at the hands of Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open. The pollsters got this one all wrong, too. Although 9th seeded Wozniacki was destined to win (52% said so) the score of 6-2, 6-2 gave her a tally of 66.6% supremacy. Be that as it may, a “fan” poll at Arthur Ashe Stadium had Oudin the favorite by 86%!

Apparently, tennis is not much different from GOP politics. Except in GOP politics there is no “love.”
********
Not so incidentally, eight years ago I was en route to Vancouver, British Columbia when the peace-loving Islamic terrorists struck the World Trade Center in NYC. I had made it as far as St. Louis, MO, and before renting a car to return to Atlanta, I spent the night with Nancy and Clif Scrivener, old friends from the halcyon days of broadcasting. The Scriveners are the parents of Rev. Patty Roberts, the Episcopal priest who married our daughter Alex to Phillip Faucette (son of Rev. Chip Faucette at Sts. Peter & Paul’s here in Marietta.) Small world, eh? But—-tempus fugit!


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