Op/Ed - SOTU 2019 and American Medicine

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While President Trump called for unity and cooperation in his 2019 State of the Union address, the views of the audience showed a sharp and bitter divide, especially on issues affecting the health and medical care of Americans.

Most striking was the solid bloc of Democrat "suffragettes" clad in white like Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

When the President congratulated women for their increased representation in Congress, this bloc rose to its feet to applaud uproariously, as if the home team had scored the winning touchdown in the high-school championship game.


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Otherwise, the women mostly sat sullenly with arms crossed, or even displayed overt and in-your-face derision. They sat, as did Speaker Pelosi, while Sen. Bernie Sanders scowled eloquently, during the standing ovation for the President's promise that America would never become a socialist country.

The President had just observed that Venezuela, once the richest country in South America, had become a pit of abject poverty and despair under socialist rule. No sign of compassion have Democratic Socialists shown for women rooting through trash seeking food for their children, and no trace of concern about the refugees fleeing into Colombia and other neighboring countries.

These congresswomen in white are blind to the White Ladies of Havana, Cuba, who march in silence every Sunday after church to protest the communist regime on behalf of their fathers, brothers, and sons who were jailed and tortured by the Castro brothers' totalitarian regime for their anti-communist beliefs.


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A naturalized American citizen (a legal immigrant) who grew up in Communist Romania, Ileana Johnson, is dismayed that Americans have elected socialists to rule over our lives. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez's mentor, has praised Fidel Castro for educating and bringing healthcare to Cuban children, and "totally transforming" society.

Hostility from one side was palpable as the President excoriated Gov. Cuomo of New York and Gov. Northam of Virginia for their support of bills depriving infants who survive an attempted late-term abortion of a chance at life. The unrestricted right to abortion for any reason up to birth and even after is apparently the only "right" the white-clad Democrats care about.

Twitter commenters raged about the right for women to do whatever they want with their bodies, but like the "suffragettes" were apparently unmoved by the plight of migrant women being raped or sold into sex slavery by traffickers crossing the unsecured southern border. Or the grief of families whose loved ones had been murdered by illegal aliens. (Yes, the President said those words.)


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Freedom to choose your own medical care or means of payment is not on the agenda of the phalanx of supporters of "Medicare for All." The President's reference to repealing the individual mandate got no applause from this contingent. Under their proposed plans, everything would evidently be either mandated or forbidden.

The prospects for bipartisan congressional work on making medical care more available and affordable seem dim. Socialism is an all-or-none affair, which rejects "fragmented" systems, "piecemeal" changes, or "reformist reforms"—the type meant to repair problems instead of overthrowing the system.

The President spoke about protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, neither he nor congressional Republicans seem to understand how ObamaCare created a lot more of these by forcing people to change plans because their ObamaCare-noncompliant plan had been cancelled. Nor do they understand how ObamaCare's guaranteed issue/community rating makes plans unaffordable and creates incentives to decline insurance when healthy.

The President called for "vision versus vengeance," and a culture of forgiveness. However, we are faced with incompatible visions, which SOTU placed in sharp relief: freedom versus socialism, free enterprise versus government controls, self-reliance versus dependency, respect for law versus open borders, reverence for life versus unrestricted abortion.

The President boldly confronted the elite who hide behind walls, gates, and armed security guards, while subjecting ordinary Americans to the consequences of the government policy they promote.

There is clearly a lust for vengeance. For those who threaten the elite's special privileges and the agenda of endless war, dependency, redistribution, identity politics, class warfare, erosion of constitutional rights, and tight governmental control, there will be no forgiveness.


A Vest to Breathe Better


President Trump took his stand on the side of ordinary Americans, who love God, their families, and their country, without distinction by race, sex, or ethnicity. He praised the soldiers and law enforcers who protect us and defend the nation, and the people who build, create, innovate, explore, and produce the things that sustain us.

But after this inspiring call to greatness, the Democrat opposition and its allies in the media have virtually declared war on the President and all who support him or his principles.

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974.

She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital.


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She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fifth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Wolters Kluwer. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf's Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf's Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine

More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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