Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Woundup About Healthcare

As I've said numerous times on the Woundup, I'm no legal expert. I could no more sing you the more salient parts of the House health care overhaul plan than you could recite dialogue from Mozart's "Die Zauberflöt" to me from memory. (No, sorry; I haven't worked that one out in my own head yet.)

But I love watching the general reactions to this proposed legislation, just as I've watched the reactions to the misnamed "stimulus" plan with fascination. Even if this bill is voted into law and signed by the President in some carefully choreographed signing ceremony, possibly involving the Arc de Triomphe, it is doomed to fail. Judging, that is, by some of the signs I've been seeing lately:

1. Obama has hauled out the tired "fear mongering" canard again. If you can't convince 'em, accuse 'em of scaring the heck out of people. And yet, is not his statement that "[d]oing nothing means that you’re going to lose what you have... Because on the current trajectory, your premiums are going to double again over the next five to 10 years" just as much a scare tactic as our contention that nationalized health care will take us inexorably down the road to socialism?

Just asking.

2. Obama himself seems to have no clue as to what the legislation contains. The man campaigned on this issue for a solid year and a half. He made it the top priority of his domestic agenda as soon as he booted Bush's booty out of the Oval Office. Do you honestly mean to say he has no idea whether we'll be able to keep buying private insurance because of this bill? (Answer: Yes and no. Yes, he has no idea. No, insurance companies will soon be regulated out of business.)

3. Obama is seriously deluded about how much this legislation is going to end up costing. It certainly comes as no surprise. This is the same man who assumes that millionaires will willingly bear the brunt of the economic recovery by paying even more taxes than they do now. Would that motivate you to become a millionaire? No? Then why should we assume that bright young people will be willing to jump into an industry where there is little or no incentive to devote eight to twelve years of their lives in graduate and post-graduate schooling only to find that there is no money to be made? And that includes the supporting industries such as pharmacology. Brilliant plan, that.

4. So as not to pick exclusively on the President, let's not forget that Congress still has to sell this plan as well. After all, when it comes crashing down around our ears, they need to be able to make loud speeches from the floor of the House and Senate that this was a plan that the American people were BEGGING for; that we wanted it so much we were writing ELOQUENT letters (often in CRAYON with MISSPELLED WORDS) to our elected MORONS every week so that we could have them pass this legislation and get themselves RE-ELECTED so that they, themselves (and their families and cronies) did not have to PARTICIPATE in their own stupidly conceived SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE.

Most unfortunately for Congress, the peasants voters AREN'T BUYING IT, as Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) found to his dismay.

5. Ditto Kathleen Sibelius, who could not believe the temerity of the peasants, 'scuse me, voters who appeared to disagree with her statement of (questionable) fact that employers will be allowed to continue their plans (failing to mention at the same time that this only lasts until their plans go out of business in favor of the new matrix). There appears to be just a smidgen of disbelief among the audience.

6. Or there's the other end of the scale where the servant class, sorry, voters can only laugh at Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-St. Louis) as he expounds the "efficiencies" and "surplus" projected to come from the plan. He apparently elects to completely ignore the rather pointed question from the floor: "If it's so great, how come Congress doesn't have to be on it? (see point 4. above)" accompanied by much clapping and cheering from the audience.

(Questioning the timing: the fellow who posed that pointed question, Kevin Jackson, wrote about his experiences at the townhall meeting, only to have that blog account suspended by the hosting service. I'm sure it's just an accounting thing.)

7. Finally, even Obama's team in the House of Representatives seem to be hemming and hawing over this legislation. Can anyone really blame them? Given the overall reaction to this bill by Republicans and Democrats (both electing and elected), it seems that no one is really all that crazy about having this ill-conceived, badly written, and completely irresponsible legislation ram-rodded down our collective throats. Even Mitt Romney, who appears to be going out of his way not to criticize President Obama directly, is telling the man to "for heaven's sake, SLOW DOWN." And, let's face it, whether or not you agree with what Romney accomplished in Massachusetts, he did have buy-in from just about all the stakeholders in that process.

Something that Obama is not even close to achieving.

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