Monday, August 31, 2009


I have been getting a lot of flack from some of my conservative friends for posting two New York Times op-ed columns on health care by Nicholas Kristof. Kristof, not to be confused with conservative columnist William Kristol, is an unabashed liberal. I strongly differ with him on many of his positions.

Near the end of his "Until Medical Bills Do Us Part" Times column, Kristof wrote: So, for those of you inclined to believe the worst about President Obama, think it through. Suppose he is indeed a secret, foreign-born Muslim agent who is scheming to undermine American family values while killing off as many grandmothers as possible.

I took considerable offense to that paragraph. To me it sounds like Kristof thinks all of us who oppose Obama’s health care reform package, or parts of it, belong to the genre of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other far-right pundits who have spread a bunch of out and out lies about Obamacare that were started by those who hate the president no matter what.

Kristof did not need to insert those comments in an otherwise excellent column. The Republican opposition keeps emphasizing that 90% of Americans are happy with their health insurance. Those happy Americans haven’t yet experienced a catastrophic illness within their families, one in which the insurance industry limits how much and what kind of treatment they will pay for. Those happy Americans haven't yet been denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

I am not going to apologize to my conservative friends for posting Kristof’s columns. His comments about the shortfalls of health insurance hit the nail right on the head! For years, I have maintained that our health care system needs to be overhauled. There is something terribly wrong with a system in which a catastrophic illness can wipe out a family’s life savings even if they were insured.

So, just because someone is an unabashed liberal, like Kristof and the just departed Ted Kennedy, I am not going to disregard his views if he appears to be right.  

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