Take On Life

Brian Koonz on life in Greater Danbury

Murphy’s announcement good for health care reform

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Hi everyone,

It didn’t take long for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy to look Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District in the eye Thursday and announce plans to run for U.S. Senate.

The declaration came exactly one day after U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman said he would not seek re-election in 2012 and exactly two days after former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz revealed her plans to seek the job.

Murphy’s decision to seek a higher position in public service is a welcome one, especially in light of his record on health care reform.

Last year, Murphy was one of those rare Democrats who staunchly defended President Obama’s health care reform package. Unlike so many of his colleagues who distanced themselves from this historic legislation, Murphy stood his ground because it was the right thing to do.

He didn’t stick his index finger in the air to see which way the political winds were blowing. Instead, Murphy stuck out his chin and took Sam Caligiuri’s best shot.

Murphy’s reward: A resounding victory and a third term in Congress.

On Monday, the national holiday recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Murphy posted one of King’s most enduring quotes on his Twitter account: “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

The quote is as relevant and as poignant in 2011 as it was in 1963, only now, health care is the debate of the day, not the Cold War.

There was nothing to be gained from the House vote on health care Wednesday in Washington, D.C. What did it accomplish, after all, without enough votes to repeal anything?

Instead of working toward a consensus, instead of meeting the Senate halfway, this vote was only another dose of poisonous politics.

From the start, this bill — “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act” — was an affront to civility. How about simply calling the bill, “Repealing the Health Care Law Act?”

Nah, that’s not nasty enough.

In truth, Wednesday’s health care vote was nothing more than bad theater on a big stage, an ideological Band-Aid for the Republican base.

Really John Boehner?

And folks criticized Nancy Pelosi for her divisive leadership?

So much for all those sweeping promises of civility in the days following the shooting rampage in Tucson. Sadly, it remains business as usual in the Beltway.

This isn’t to say the Democrats are blameless in this debate. But I don’t know how Congress can possibly hope to address any of the nation’s problems — the economy, health care, education — while skidding down this angry track.

To read more about Chris Murphy and health care reform, check out my “Take on Life” column Friday.

Exclusively in the print edition of The News-Times.

Categories: General
Brian Koonz

6 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    I guess I just don’t understand what health care reform is. I thought it meant pre-existing conditions couldn’t be used against me. I thought if I want to get insurance from a private company I could. I thought I could keep my kids on my plan until they’re 26. I actually thought reform was good for businesses to include the insurance industry because that many more people are getting insurance which should be good for insurance companies because they get more premiums. What did I miss and why are poor people and old people regardless of party against it? They actually want to be refused service for when they get sick?

  2. Ms Madcow says:

    I strongly agree with Michael …. Mr. Murphy won because he ran on his leftist views that are supported by the majority of left leaning voters in the 5th district. The vast majority of Democrats up for election during the last race avoided the Obamacare issue because it is unpopular. My speculation … Murphy stuck with it because he believes in Obamacare AND because he knew he would win in the 5th doing so. Are you saying he would have stayed with Obamacare if he knew he would loose doing so? Ha Ha Ha. Connecticut Democrat Machine showed Liberman what would happen if you stuck with your beliefs.

  3. Michael McDonold says:

    I strongly agree with you Brian. As a person who spent some time working for Chris as a volunteer, I am biased. But it is Chris Murphy’s beliefs, and willingness to stand on his record that got him re-elected. I must disagree with Mr. (Far) Right and Ms. Madcow that Chris’s stands were based on what he thought would get him back to Washington. The 5th Congressional District is hardly a bastion of “leftist” politics, and to imply such is an example of the cynicism that pervades to political dialogue in our country. We need and deserve a healthcare system that works for all of us.

  4. charley says:

    Right on Brian. You know who’s government health care Boehner didn’t vote against? His own very liberal congressman’s government health coverage.

  5. Rachel Madcow says:

    Murphy was one of those very few Democrats who defended Obamacare in the last election because he knew this was one of the very few states where he could get away with that position.

    Mr. Koonz thinks Murphy defended Obamacare “because it was the right thing to do”. I think, you see, Murphy defended it because he didn’t want to run for the Senate as an Independent …. like Liberman.

    If Koonz thinks only the Republicans are “nasty” then he only hears with his LEFT ear and thinks with his LEFT brain.

  6. Mr Right says:

    Again Koonz reveals his socialist orientation, thinking Murphy is good for “healthcare”, ie Health insurance that is funded by the federal government for all. Talk about putting your finger in the air, and assuming the majority of people want the government to take over healthcare services, his article reveals an idiot who luckily is in the minority, unless you consider the inner-city riff raff in this entitlement-hungry state who are only accelerating the flight of reasonable people from CT, and all that will be left will be unaccomplished losers with their hands out.