If Americans wondered about the depths to which Republicans would sink to stop debate, the events surrounding health care reform settled the question. Irresponsible Republicans in Congress have done the bidding of their masters — health insurers intent on protecting their thievish profits.

When the use of secretive Washington firms that specialize in manufacturing “grass roots” rebellion among the Republican “base” was revealed, Republicans accused the Obama administration of seeking to silence voices of dissent.

They cannot stand on the merits of a health care debate regarding the cost of health care, profits of health care companies, or the particulars of a public option.

Republicans took a provision within the bill that was inserted by one of their own, allowing patients to discuss hospice and related arrangements, and turned it into “death panels” to euthanize the elderly. The sad fact is that such absurd attacks manage to cloud issues.

Why aren’t Republicans being taken to task for doing nothing to reform health care when they held Congress from 1995 until 2006, and the presidency from 2000 to 2008?

The fact is that Republicans do not want real health care reform.

Their frothing followers disrupting open debate at town hall meetings across the country speak as if the proposed bill would dictate their health care options.

A public option has been proposed, not a universal system. Anyone who wants to keep their health care insurance has the right to do so. It is really all about access and choice.

Mark Tardif, Waterville

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