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Tea party voices are loud, but message is ill and weak

Big Insurance has a lot to lose if we get a public option in health reform. And Big Insurance has a lot of new customers' premiums to gain if we get health reform that mandates participation without the public option. The Republican party-of-"no" is lock-step with Big Insurance, trying to stifle civil discourse while spewing falsehoods and fear.

Tea party followers say they want freedom back, but can they even identify the freedoms they lost under Bush? The Associated Press reports the following freedoms expunged by Bush and Republicans: Freedom of Association, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Right to Legal Representation, Freedom from Unreasonable Searches, Right to a Speedy and Public Trial, and Right to Liberty.

They are now marching about loss of freedom if government gets involved in health care reform. I'm guessing they don't recognize that their "noble" cause of "freedom" is actually a cover for supporting the big profits of insurance companies and maintaining that status quo.

Where were these Republican tea party followers when government (the Bush White House) interfered in the Terry Schiavo case? Why are they now so worried about government getting in the way of rightful medical decision-making between a patient and his/her doctor? Again, they are only protecting the real culprit, Big Insurance, whose profits depend on denying coverage to their paying customers.

If our lawmakers lack the political will to a) regulate obscene profits in this industry, b) require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and c) require insurance companies to pay when we fall ill to a disease, then a competitive public option may be the only solution outside of a single-payer plan, to begin reform of our system.

Wake up, tea party people. Your "freedom" message is hollow and your fear-mongering rhetoric cannot stifle our nation's need for real reform of our health care system. The American public voted for change and your voices may be loud but your message is ill and weak.

Carolyn Jacobs