Archive for December 8th, 2011

Santorum needs a hug.

Dec 08, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Gosh, won’t someone just give him a chance? He’s trying so hard, and he really really super conservative and he’s against anything Obama-ish or Democrat-esque, he is a mighty rightwing warrior waiting to take off! He’s very much against Obamacare, for instance. Check out this withering attack:

If you don’t have to have insurance until you’re sick, why buy insurance? … How much would insurance be if only people who needed insurance bought it? The whole point of insurance is: healthy people buy it, sick people buy it, and those who are healthy support those who are sick…. But if insurance is only sick people buy it, well guess what’s going to be the cost of insurance. That’s why there’s a preexisting-condition clause.

Whoops, Rick Santorum just explained why either one has a mandate or else insurance companies just get to weed out anybody unprofitable. But he doesn’t seem to be aware, much like the other Republican candidates, just what the ACA is or what it’s already done for him.

Recently, Santorum has been openly discussing his three-year-old daughter’s illness, a rare and very serious chromosomal condition called Trisomy 18. “I had insurance under my employer,” Santorum told the students. “And when I decided to run for president, I left my job, I lost my insurance, I had to go out and buy insurance on the open market. We have a child who has a preexisting condition. We went out and we said, we left this plan, and we want to join your plan. Fine, we have to pay more because she has a preexisting condition. We should pay more. She’s going to be very expensive to the insurance company. That cost, while not the whole cost, is passed along to us…. I’m OK with that.”

You know what else the Affordable Care Act does? It bars insurers from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Right now. Before the bill was signed into law last year, a parent in Santorum’s position could find his child denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Is he OK with that too? Because if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, that’s precisely the situation parents like him — though mostly not former U.S. senators — would find themselves in.

I’m not sure how wealthy Santorum is, so perhaps he could have afforded any level of insurance, but the fact is that for 98% of Americans, having a little girl with Trisomy 18 could mean being denied healthcare under Republican rule.

Nearly everything about the Affordable Care Act is popular among voters, and the one snag that gave Republicans hope, the individual mandate, has steadily increased in popularity as people come to understand what no mandate means.

Weed out the sick, break the insurance companies, or have an individual mandate, what’s your choice? Although breaking the insurance companies could deliver us into the sanctuary of a single payer program, I don’t think many people would agree with such an outright attack on private insurance, so what’ll it be?

For Republicans, the answer is just keep hating Obama, but that won’t heal a sick child, will it?

-hw

Hat tip to Sullivan here.

The Republican trip on the Moebius strip.

Dec 08, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People

All the way around to socialism, only redistributing wealth upwards instead of for the general welfare.

The whole “socialism” charge is usually an indication that somebody doesn’t understand what socialism is or that the USA is already a capitalist-socialist hybrid. But they had to think of something to say about Obama, and so policies that should have been largely uncontroversial suddenly became hot-button issues, and now Republicans are so swept up in their cries for unfettered lassez-faire capitalist destruction derby that they’re opposing absolutely anything Obama proposes for the middle class and even coming up with new attacks on social fortifications we thought untouchable (e.g. child labor laws). Their anti-Obama mania has resulted in a group of utterly self-interested Galtians completely useless to anybody else, especially most voters and anybody un- or underemployed.

-hw

The Drug War hurting us more than drugs, vol. 627274

Dec 08, 2011 in Drug War Insanity, Politics

Back on the subject of asset forfeiture, financial incentives for police departments to go after drug arrests, even casual pot smokers, are skewing justice (as money is wont to do, not being merely “speech”):

The drug war’s financial incentives appear to be having an effect. A drug offender is much more likely to be arrested in Chicago than he was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. But kill someone in Chicago, and you’re only about half as likely to be caught as you were in the early 1990s.
Last July, more than a year after her attack, Shaver’s assailant “Sonny” was finally convicted. He was sentenced to six months of probation. Reflecting back on the last tumultuous two years, Shaver says, “It just doesn’t make sense. Repeat violent offenders get to walk while casual pot smokers get terrorized by SWAT teams. I’m pretty disappointed in the justice system.”

It would be nice if our police officers were out there actually enforcing justice fairly and equally. Instead, they’re morphing into highwaymen, out to collect booty. It’s not their fault, ultimately, but the fault of those who create the drug war incentives that are intrinsically corrupt via actually being a war on Americans. Police officers, like any other human beings, will pursue the monetary incentives placed before them in their line of work.

-hw