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Posted by on Jun 22, 2009 in Economy, Health, Society | 6 comments

Health Care Horror Show

After eight years in a Bush coma, Congress is busy “working” again and proving it doesn’t work. The health care debate is a classic of evasions, non-sequiturs, empty rhetoric and lobbyist lies to patch together reform that will look like a Frankenstein monster with a Dr. Strangelove deception at the heart.

Despite public support for a government insurance plan, House and Senate members are going through contortions to craft something to look like one but guaranteed to fail.

Even Tom Daschle, the President’s derailed first choice for health czar, has had an opinion transplant. Last year, he wrote a book arguing that a single-payer health care system would be fair, effective and save billions of dollars. Now he has joined has-been Republicans Bob Dole and Howard Baker to oppose a federal insurance plan.

“We’ve come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreement on one single issue,” Daschle now says.

This recalls the classic response of a general in “Dr. Strangelove” who, being asked how a system designed to avoid nuclear devastation has allowed a failure that is about to blow up the world, “Well, I don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.”

The military metaphor seems apt in the circumstances.

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  • pontesisto

    If you would like to help pressure Congress to pass single payer health care please join our voting bloc at:
    http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

  • Silhouette

    They want the bribe money and to get re-elected next cycle.

    Elected officials need to stay in touch with the majority of those they represent, not based on income or financial status. Lobbying is a blight on our political system. And we wonder why we’re sold out time and again to favor a small group of the rich. Wonder no more. Mystery solved.

  • GerSan

    70% of insured Americans rate their coverage as good to excellent. That’s 70% of 172 million people. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the single-payer crowd reinterprets that into saying the majority want government control. The majority do not want the government to screw up what we have and make us pay more in the process.
    Another Canadian statistic: in 2007, over half of the income tax paid by Canadians went to the government health care system… and all the while, the wait times for appointments get longer and longer.

  • DLS

    I’ve already posted several better remarks about this health care issue and about the current poor bill (600+ pages, 388 amendments and counting, “Countrywide” Dodd also having ties to the health care industry [a decent term to use, as it is of an industrial nature, certainly]) … nothing new here about it.

    “Single-payer” remains weasel language. WHO’S THE PAYER? You never want a private company.

    Now, what was interesting was what “GerSan” had to say. Many people currently would support expanding the safety net, but we’re also wary of the openly transparent “public option” and loss of our choices (no matter what the people tell us who believe we’re all as gullible as their favored audience) and rights. It’s no different than the conflict we’re seeing now because of Obama’s overreach already. Many would be willing to pay for an expansion of government health care. But 69% (in the poll reported by a liberal network, of all things) report they are concerned already with the excessive intervention by the federal government into the economy and people’s lives.

    As far as the most up-to-date, “serious” (partially) effort for federal government health care, here is the Conyers “Medicare For All” legislation. (So many lefties seem so ignorant, I bet they’ve never read it.)

    http://conyers.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Issues.Home&Issue_id=063b74a4-19b9-b4b1-126b-f67f60e05f8c

    http://www.johnconyers.com/hr676text

    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc109/h676_ih.xml

    [same as on Govtrack, etc.]

  • DLS

    “over half of the income tax paid by Canadians went to the government health care system… and all the while, the wait times for appointments get longer and longer”

    Some (and this is somewhat done by Conyers in his bill) here in the USA, the “magic wand” crowd, want to “solve” this by making spending on government health care “mandatory.” (Often they have nothing at all to say about taxes and how this spending otherwise would be paid for! Go ahead, wave that magic wand and feel nice and smug about your “solution.”)

    Note that Social Security and Medicare already are not only unsustainable ([sigh] people who know have warned everyone else for years about this), and consume so much of the federal (true) budget already, but they will, once the demographics strike in earnest, in the state they’re already in (without extending Medicare to more people, much less expanding Social Security into a more broad approach to a guaranteed income, a beloved goal even now, not just in the 1960s, of the far Left*) grow the federal government’s share of the GDP to unheard-of, unnatural proportions. (That’s how most people will feel about it, even if the Europe-loving democratic socialists believe otherwise.) By later this century, Social Security and Medicare in their current form already stand to consume all of the federal budget and a huge part of the GDP.

    Rather than breathlessly and childishly rushing to want to expand the scope of these programs (with or without lies about this or that “crisis”), more forethought about how this would all be paid for is in order.

    * I like reading the older literature with pink-cloud sky-castle philosophizing about how wonderfully “liberating” as well as uplifting a guaranteed income would be, as well as the far of all the employees (assuming everyone’s vocational model is the Industrial Belt factory floor) made unemployed by computers and robots. Not much even then was said about how this would all be paid for somehow.

  • DLS

    “pressure Congress to pass single payer health care”

    I’d recommend providing details that argue that the alternatives (all of them) are inferior and that the simplicity about the federal government alternative (for that’s what you want, not fifty different state programs overseen and “coordinated” [gag] by Washington) is a positive thing (in addition to showing where your plan doesn’t have the defects or problems or at least the extent of them that enables you to argue the others are inferior) makes it a more effective alternative (the cost-savings claim always has been weak and is at best only temporary, anyway).

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