Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why we will never have universal health care, Part Six

This chapter is subtitled "The effects of self-interest and stupidity."

That same Washington Post article I cited in the previous post also referred to the interest in Congress in a public option with an "opt out" provision that would allow states to choose to not participate in the program, generally after it has been up and running for a few years.

I think that's overall a bad idea but I don't know that I'd consider it a deal-breaker because I'm confident that any state that did try to opt out would find significant pushback from within its own borders and frankly it's hard to see what the benefit would be to the state to not participate.

The point here is that the article said that Harry "The Dynamo" Reid
pitched the opt-out idea to Obama at a White House meeting Thursday night and received a noncommittal response. Several senior Democratic sources said Obama is wary about alienating [Olympia] Snowe - the only Republican so far to support a Democratic health-care measure - and had already concluded that her plan for a "trigger" that would create a public option if private insurers don't offer affordable rates represented a satisfactory compromise.
Just how stupid is the White House? Just how many IQ points are subtracted by this inane obsession with having a "bipartisan" bill? Just how moronic, how pointless, how useless does a proposal have to be before Barack "Just gimme a goddam bill, any bill" Obama will say "Fer-get it?"

What Snowe's measure does is, essentially no make that literally, nothing. Nothing at all. It just kicks the whole business several years down the road even as tens of millions continue to be unable to obtain adequate health care, millions more go bankrupt trying, and the rest struggle with rising premiums, co-pays, and deductibles as corporate CEOs continue to live in their $15 million houses. And at the end of that time, however long it is and however large is the number of ruined lives that have marked the path, we would have to argue the issue all over again as industry lobbyists proclaim how oh, they've come so very far and how their rates really are as affordable as possible and the Olympia Snowes of Congress insist that it just needs a little more time and how we don't want to interfere and the right-wingers and the corporate flacks and flakes rant yet again against the looming specter of "a government take over."

It is nothing but the ultimate delaying tactic. It is trash. It is bogus. It is useless.

And Obama likes it because he thinks it will make Snowe vote for a Senate bill.

I repeat: Just how stupid is the White House? Consider this: We start with a national health care system, take a step down to single-payer. Then it's go to the compromise of a strong public option. Then it's compromise on the compromise and have a weak public option, one that's "just another insurance plan." Now it's compromise on the compromise on the compromise and have a weak public option that won't even see the light of day for several years - if then.

And for what? For one single fucking GOPper vote. Maybe.

Just how stupid is the White House?

Abandon everything that makes for anything that could even be called reform, do absolutely nothing that will significantly increase access to health care or cut costs, essentially throw the entire idea down the sewer, and for what?

For one single fucking GOPper vote. Maybe.

And if they get it, they will have a bill that will pass the Senate even though it's no longer worth passing. And they will say "heath care reform accomplished." And they will say "bipartisanship achieved." And maybe they are not so stupid - maybe it's just that they value Barack Obama's political status and personal ego above what's right and what's good for the people.

It's truly odd when "stupid" seems the preferable response.

Footnote: And after having done that, they will turn to the House and tell all the liberals and progressives there to eat it and keep their mouths shut about real reform - because, as always, it is the left that must compromise and the right which must be placated.

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