Archive for August 16th, 2009

Reality vs. fantasy

Aug 16, 2009 in Health Care

People’s lives are absolutely at stake.

My father´s obesity related illnesses and time spent on disability have cost taxpayers an incredible amount of money. All of this could have been avoided if my father´s insurer 10 years ago would have been required to provide him the care he needed. But private insurers realize that the average patient only stays with them for 2-3 years, so they aren´t interested in reducing long-term healthcare costs because it´s the next company that sees the benefits. Hopefully, we can pass real healthcare reform that puts reducing healthcare costs above maximizing insurance company profits.

It’s important to remember that these real people matter more and deserve more than this horrendous “debate.” They deserve better than “death panels!” and “socialism is bad cuz i said so!” Or Reaganites telling us, “How could you possibly expect private markets to compete with a public option!?!?”

-jb

Barack Obama signaling weakness at the worst time.

Aug 16, 2009 in Barack Obama, Health Care

The good thing about Democratic politicians is their timing. They wait until the perfect moment, where the opposition is in the wrong and public opinion is leaving several wide open advantages, to give up.

Kathleen Sebelius hopefully made a misstatement when she said the public option isn’t essential.

Whatever the political calculations of the cowardly Democrats who are trembling BECAUSE THERE ARE DEATH PANELLS AND THEY WILL KILL YOUR GRANDMA, AND THEN YOUR BABY BECAUSE ITS A CONSERVATIVE “BIRTH DEFECT!!!”-

-I’m sorry. Whatever the political math, when it comes to actually solving the problem, public care as an option is essential. It is the only way we will get quality care to every American.

Who on earth truly believes that every American can be insured fully by private companies? Most people who are insured now have monstrous deductibles. They’re only protected from a smattering of catastrophic injuries. They aren’t healthy. They aren’t getting better. Their premium is still rising…

It’s going to take a lot more than nationwide competition (which will lead to a few giants who undercut everybody else) to get every American into a doctor’s office. That’s merely one step. You let the private market compete with the public just like with postal service, or like…our current healthcare system.

Obama is just now starting to get traction with his arguments. People are just now getting to have debates without being shouted down. People are starting to listen. They’re realizing the plan is already extremely compromised to preserve most private interests. That it will help small businesses. That it will help people move between jobs. And that private companies will have to expand their coverage in order to compete. The system will streamline.

Perhaps private insurers will one day again offer the best work for the best price. If that happens, then indeed, a public option would be used less. You’d get health care insurance with Geico that’s cheaper than the public plan.

The downside is?

Republicans calling us Nazis?

-jb

Cornered Republican.

Aug 16, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Here in the comments thread at Iowa Liberal, we see this stuff all the time. Hell, this guy is exactly who Brian Pickrell wants to be when he grows up.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you get them dead to rights. The guy only screams because O’Donnell has him caught red-handed. But the GOP diehards just don’t stop. They keep blathering until time runs out, then they skedaddle so they can talk big to their friends. This guy whines about being interrupted when he gives long-winded spin instead of answering questions. He couldn’t challenge O’Donnell on the fact that we already employ socialized health care in America. He couldn’t say he’d vote against Social Security or Medicare. None of them can do so and expect to ever hold the mainstream. But it also means none of their fear-mongering about “teh socialization” is honest.

The truth is we’re talking about an incremental evolution of the government health care we already have for the sickest. The promise is for the rest of us: you will be able to rest assured that an ambulance trip won’t put you in debt for years. You’ll be able to see a doctor, instead of staying at home. You’ll have affordable meds. You’ll get that operation. You’ll be able to quit your job and start a business.

This is all about more coverage, not less.

This is another bill that no politician will dare speak out against twenty years from now. Private insurance companies will still round out health care packages and provide coverage for the premium care. The thought of going back to the system we have now, where we deliberately choose to cut off the poor and send people into bankruptcy, will sound like insanity.

-jb

Decency.

Aug 16, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Supposedly, Barack Hussein Obama had a grandma.

At a town hall meeting in Colorado yesterday, Obama recalled his grandmother’s death as he struck back at allegations that his proposals would create “death panels” to withdraw life-saving treatments from elderly patients.

“We can have an honest disagreement,” Obama said in Grand Junction, Colorado. “What you can’t do — or you can, but you shouldn’t do — is start saying things like, we want to set up death panels to pull the plug on grandma.”

Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who helped raise him, died last November on the eve of her grandson’s election victory.

“I know what it’s like to watch somebody you love, who is aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that,” Obama said. “We’ve got enough stuff to deal with without having these kinds of arguments.”

All the “Kill grandma!” talk is that classic blend of ignorant/crazy/dishonest, for which we really need a new word besides “Republican” to describe. There simply is nothing in the bill that can be construed that way. It is convenient paranoia at best, but for Senators to pass it off as a reasonable bone of contention with the health care bill is pure old-fashioned lying.

-jb

Flailing intellectual Republicans, vol. 908273

Aug 16, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Ross Douthat tried being the sensible, polite, upright stick in the mud on Bill Maher last night. He’s just an honest, down-to-earth intellectual conservative.

About twenty five minutes in, he responds to Ashton Kutcher saying “You should get a tax break if you go to the gym,” with THAT IS WHAT THE DEATH PANEL PEOPLE FEAR.

This simply is not true. There is no comparison there. Whatsoever. A tax credit, a bonus for good healthy behavior, does not translate into, “Gotta kill Grandma cuz socialism is bad!”

I appreciate that you’re a nice fellow, Douthat. But intellectual honesty requires more thank a wink and a smile.

-jb