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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, should always be the social norm

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Published on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 by BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR

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Ask anyone you know how they feel about healthcare reform and chances are you’ll get a passionate and well thought out response.

Most Americans have a strong opinion regarding healthcare reform. Town Hall meetings all over the country this summer have proven time and again how fanatical some of us are regarding this major, up-and-coming transformation in our healthcare system.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree that something needs to be done regarding skyrocketing healthcare costs, out-of-control malpractice suits and the ever growing number of insured Americans, (currently over 46 million Americans are presumed without healthcare coverage).

But, in last Wednesday’s nationally broadcast speech by President Obama in a joint session of Congress, Obama made it clear that the bickering needs to stop and something has to be done, now. Both parties need to work together, compromise and find neutral ground when it comes to healthcare reform.

The gloves need to come off and people need to learn to respect each other’s opinions. Nothing has made that more apparent than the outburst at last week’s speech.

When Congressman Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) yelled out, “You lie!” in the middle of Obama’s speech, all codes of social conduct went out the window.

While Wilson may not agree with what Obama said regarding illegal immigrants not being covered under his healthcare plan, he is the President of the United States and as such he deserves the respect that comes with the office and title.

Later that night, Wilson did apologize to the President for his remarks and admitted he should never have been so disrespectful; however, this is not good enough for some in Congress.

Since then, several Democrats have demanded that he apologize on the House floor and they may even take up a reprimand resolution.

It seems that instead of getting to the core of healthcare reform, some in Congress want to continue to waste time chastising Wilson – who, yes, should have controlled his heckling but has since given what he feels is a sufficient apology. They should respect his opinion of what he thinks is right for him and the President has accepted his apology.

Many have forgotten 2005, when Bush, too, was heckled by Democrats when he was speaking regarding war on terror policies. Again, another show of disrespect to the office of President.

Emotions are running high in the midst of reform, but until there is a mutual respect for others nothing much will get accomplished.

 There will never be a healthcare plan that everyone in this country will agree on wholeheartedly, but Congress needs to listen to the people they get an exorbitant amount of money to represent.

It is their turn to respect us and to do what we want them to do regarding healthcare. This is an extremely important policy and the people are watching. Who knows, if things don’t go well with healthcare reform, many of those in office right now may not be there after the next election.

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