"[T]he game was to just find something about everything to be glad about -- no matter what 'twas," rejoined Pollyanna, earnestly. "And we began right then -- on the crutches."It looks like Pollyanna has joined the PNJ's editorial board. There's no other way to explain today's editorial urging Northwest Florida congressman Jeff Miller (R-Ineffectual) to 'break ranks' and "Lead, Not Follow":
"Well, goodness me! I can't see anythin' ter be glad about -- gettin' a pair of crutches when you wanted a doll!"
Pollyanna clapped her hands.
"There is -- there is," she crowed. "But I couldn't see it, either, Nancy, at first," she added, with quick honesty. "Father had to tell it to me."
* * *
"Oh, but it isn't queer -- it's lovely," maintained Pollyanna enthusiastically. "And we've played it ever since. And the harder 'tis, the more fun 'tis to get 'em out; only -- only -- sometimes it's almost too hard -- like when your father goes to Heaven, and there isn't anybody but a Ladies' Aid left."-- Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna (1915)
[W]e believe that Rep. Miller can listen to his conscience without looking over his shoulder.Alas, long ago Miller showed he has no conscience. For that matter, he has no spine, no vision, no influence even within the Republican caucus, and no respect for facts. To expect him to vote for any effective solution to the medical care crisis is to expect him to be something Jeff Miller is incapable of becoming: an independent man of civic virtue who cares less about his own future than that of his constituents.
In both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, one in five citizens does not have health insurance. A recent study shows Escambia County, the largest county in Rep. Miller's district, is one of the state's sickest.
In Florida, health care gobbles up one-third of the budget; the state had to rely on nearly $2 billion in stimulus money, 34 percent of Florida's stimulus dollars, to avoid having Medicaid cripple the state's checkbook. The problem of the uninsured in Florida is massive; nearly 60 percent of births, for example, are paid for by Medicaid, according to Florida House staff reports.As President Obama calls for an up-down vote on his health care bill, we urge Miller to take a second look at breaking from ranks, if just for this vote, and do the right thing: vote for the plan.
The exceptionally long and detailed lead editorial in Sunday's New York Times ["If Reform Fails"] identifies and refutes almost every objection to health care reform. The bottom line is there will be with just the next decade between 54 and 57 million Americans who cannot afford health insurance.
It should be no surprise that people without insurance often postpone needed care, and many get much sicker as a result. That is morally unsustainable. It is also fiscally unsustainable for safety net hospitals — which foist much of the cost on the American taxpayer when the uninsured end up in the emergency room. As the number of uninsured rises, that bill will rise.The editorial makes a powerful case of necessity for congressmen of conscience to pass the compromise-of-a-compromise Senate version of health care reform. Literally tens of thousands of Americans will die if they don't.
Will Jeff Miller bother to read it? Not likely. Even if he does, will he marshal anything more than tired, fictional G.O.P. talking points to refute the facts and logic?
Regretfully, no. Jeff Miller would as soon send us all to heaven or the Ladies Aid society -- and tell us to be glad about it.