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Gary Horton: McKeon: SCV's Marie Antoinette of health care

Full Speed to Port!

Posted: September 15, 2009 11:01 p.m.
Updated: September 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Regarding her starving subjects, Marie Antoinette is popularly reported as having said, "Let them eat cake."

Politically detached, she soon became physically severed, as revolting subjects replaced, "Let them eat cake" with "Off with her head."

The moral is that leaders shouldn't be too aloof of their constituents.

Congressman Buck McKeon earns an electoral "Off with his head!" for his self-deceiving, detached comments regarding President Obama's work to improve our health care.

From what walled castle do you hail, Mr. McKeon? Castle "Head in the Sand?" Or Castle "Bought and Paid for by Big Med?"

Responding to Obama's plan, McKeon is quoted in The Signal saying, "We're talking about ripping out the roots of the best health care system in the world for something we're not sure of."

Marie Antoinette had plenty of cake for herself and she thought that just fine. "French cake is the best in the world," said she.

But she was so secluded and ensconced with fellow royals in Versailles, she had little sense that the rest of France was starving on crumbs.

McKeon says we have "the best health care system in the world."

For whom? Congressmen and Senators locked up in their own Washington Versailles? For McKeon's corporate masters and armies of lobbyists?

For the few remaining unions he'd love to shut down and the public servants he'd drown in a bathtub with all of government, given a chance?

What's "the world's best health care" if ordinary citizens don't have it and can't get it?

Marie Antoinette enjoyed the best cake in her cupboards, but that was cold comfort for the locked-out peasants.

Buck, the bigger part of "best health care" is access, and that's why America has some of the worst health care in the industrialized world.

From your office in Castle Republican Make Believe, you are as clueless as any Marie Antoinette.

You, sir, are Buck Antoinette. You would blithely have us eat "cake" when many constituents have only crumbs for health care.

In Los Angeles, we have entire streets covered with homeless, living in cardboard shelters.

Do these Americans have the best health care in the world?

Something plainly ails them, Buck Antoinette.

They're physically and mentally ill. You say, "world's best health care," but they languish and die on the street, lacking medical intervention because of incurious detachment from leaders like you.

Buck Antoinette, what of your working-class constituents? They work at non-union shops, fast food joints and supermarkets that just cut back benefits.

They're gardeners, janitors and construction workers. They work for little more than minimum wage. Have you tried life at $10 or $12 an hour, Congressman Antoinette?

No. You live lavishly on $170,000-plus of taxpayers' dollars and get your gilded health care for free.

By contrast, many of your constituents live near poverty and there's no way they're paying $800 a month for even Third World HMO care.

These are the emergency room crashers you're ignoring. "Cake, to them!" you say, as they suffer long in waiting rooms, only to be given a handful of generic pills and told to "get lost in the system."

Buck Antoinette muses, "Don't these street urchins understand we have the best medical system in the world?"

What about your struggling middle classes here in your hometown Santa Clarita Valley, Buck Antoinette?

The guys who just lost their jobs from your Bush economic implosion and now can't afford COBRA coverage.

They're dropping through the safety net, after having paid in for decades. One rough illness and "the best health care in the world" has them losing their homes and going broke.

Or what about all those rank and file stuck with HMOs?

"HMO" should stand for "health maintenance organization," but really they're PMOs - "profit maintenance organizations."

You spread false fears of rationing in your bullet-point yapping. Yet have you ever dealt with an HMO drone who's sole job, it seems, is to postpone needed, but costly treatment until hopefully you die first?

HMO rationing is notorious - but with your own fluffy-cake medical plan you never see such atrocities.

Buck Antoinette, the "root ripping" you fear is Obama reforming the dysfunction, over-charging and variability of coverage under which your constituents suffer.

While man-of-the-people President Obama understands our medical starvation, you mumble with mouth full of cake, "Why change the best system in the world? It sure tastes good to me!"

Buck Antoinette, you're severed from reality.

Off with your detached political head!

Gary Horton lives in Valencia. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. "Full Speed to Port!" appears Wednesdays in The Signal.


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