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Scrutiny
  
I’ll pay you to be sick
McCain versus Obama – choose Obama if you’re planning to be sick
26/06/2008

1975: Toeing Nixon’s philosophy, the Vietnam war bitten Gerald Ford realises an urgent need to overhaul the military to raise public confidence. Any other social issue is bombed away, including health investments. 1980: Ronald Reagan becomes the first American male mother. Of the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), of course. Imbecile, it might not have been, but the very fact that SDI was based on Star Wars – defence systems were stationed in outer space, thus allowing US to escape its Anti-Ballistic Treaty – was enough to make Reagan the most visible out-of-this-world butt of innumerable talk show jokes. To make matters worse, during Reagan’s term, military expenditure touched new heights and led to massive budget deficits. Ignoring health was a no-brainer. And Reagan’s benevolence also ensured that the next Presidential incumbents had no other option than choosing ‘deficit’ as the election plank.

George Herbert Walker Bush – popularly know as Bush Sr. – was welcomed amidst huge ‘leftover national deficits’. At $220 billion in 1990, Bush Sr. was under stringent pressure to curb the deficit. However, foreign policy interested him more, and foreign policy it was; well, till the time his popularity ratings started falling, and the spin doctors knew what was required, and urgently. Iraq! In 1990, Bush’s government started its opposition to Iraq.

However, his dream of destroying Iraq and gaining full control on oil-rich countries remained half-baked. By the time Bush Sr.’s term ended, US was already in a bigger financial crisis than ever. And social health investments were as far from the administration’s mind as the bullet from Saddam’s head...or nose...or whatever!

Bill Clinton shot from the hip and bit the bullet while promising a dream of a financially strong society during his nomination. His ‘belt tightening’ measures (no no, we mean, economically) in reality worked: the US finally had a surplus of $559 billion; but again, had a huge deficit in health spending. Post Clinton, George Bush II finally invested in health. The only problem was, the investments were all for the US soldiers in Iraq. Churning out a mindless logic of WMDs, Bush spent billions of dollars for the Iraq war ignoring many critical issues, including the long pending health investment demands.

The most respected Harris Interactive survey now shows that more than 4 in 5 Americans believe that their health system needs a complete overhaul. The question is, would this survey, clubbed with the long pending health issue, make it a major election gimmick for the forthcoming elections? Surprisingly, while Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has positively kept stressing upon the issue, and Barack Obama but obviously is singing the same tune (perhaps louder), we have the hero of gang, John McCain, shouting loud about, hold your horses, global warming, limiting Presidential power, and of all the things, the anti-abortion bill! Interestingly, McCain is the first Republican President to be promoting the anti-abortion bill! And health finds no sweat...

So where does this leave the US electorate? Amusingly, if you’re getting ready to be sick, better choose Obama. If not, you could even choose Paris Hilton :)

By:- Sray Agarwal
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