Healthcare reform smackdowns

September 3, 2009

Strap on your mitts, it's time to go to the healthcare forum!

Strap on your mitts, it's time to go to the healthcare forum!

Why would someone inflict injury onto another person just to show that we need better ways to ensure health for each other if we get injured?

It sounds like some kind of riddled Chinese proverb, or maybe even a lot like the anti-death penalty button sitting on my desk: “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?”

All over the country, we’re hearing about makeshift town hall-styled meetings to discuss national healthcare policy reform degenerating into brawls, fistfights and verbal spats. Violence for the sake of relaying a peaceful message.

What’s ironic is that in Thousand Oaks — by and large Ventura County’s safest town — these town brawls are getting out of hand, courtesy of the people you’d least expect it from.

Last month I attended a forum at the library when a man, shirt torn from a heated scuffle, was carted away by police after an attempt at attacking a doctor who didn’t agree with the man’s views on health insurance.

And last night, things got worse at the Thousand Oaks mall, where, at a healthcare forum, one older man was in real need of healthcare after getting his finger bitten during an argument over right vs. left views on government policies.

It’s hypocrisy of a very bad sort.

People always get worked up over things important to them, and perhaps it’s human nature that there will never be rational behavior when trying to dissect really complex issues like the American healthcare problem.

But like our current economy, if we don’t have some kind of organization or rationale behind these town hall meetings, we’re never going to solve anything. In Ventura County, more heathcare meetings are planned through this month, and it’s likely more heated disputes, or worse, could break out.

Let’s hope none of them turn into anything serious, or else someone’s strong stance on healthcare reform could come at the expense of a police record.

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