s skippy the bush kangaroo: health care q & a - holes

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, December 17, 2009

health care q & a - holes

in response to your question, jim, no, we can't just pass the stupid damn bill now and work on its f&%k@#g flaws later already.

and smarter, more erudite bloggers than we have explained why:

firstly, nate silver @ 538 expressed much the same feelings as you did, jim, only with less keyboard symbology substituting for profanity. he asked 20 questions for bill killers.

jon walker @ firedoglake gave him 20 answers, as did markos moulitsas. our own alumnus, rj eskow, mulled over the same ground @ huffpo.

to his credit, nate responded to the jon and markos. but sometimes he still actively misses the point:

2. would a bill that contained $50 billion in additional subsidies for people making less than 250% of poverty be acceptable?

mm: this betrays a simplistic view of liberals, as if our answer is to merely shovel money at a problem. what we're looking for is good policy, which in this case, would also be good politics. so no, throwing money at the insurance companies doesn't change a thing. the insurance industry would simply absorb the new subsidies just like universities have raised tuition to shovel up any increases in financial aid.

jw: that money will help a few people in the short term, but, in the long run, our system built on private insurance companies is unsustainable, and will ruin our entire economy. i have zero confidence that the subsidies promised today will remain the same in the future. they might be increased by future democrats or reduced in 2016 by a republican congress. without cost controls, that money will quickly be eaten up by the ever-growing cost of health care. this reform is about trying to fix the system, not patch it with more money.
here's one of the bits that i find disingenuous. "that money will help a few people in the short term"? that framing doesn't seem proportionate to the good that this bill would do. as i wrote earlier tonight the bill is and always was "a big bleeping social welfare program". indeed, it's almost without doubt the biggest bleeping social welfare program that liberals have had an opportunity to pass in a generation. i don't know how you can just brush off providing $900 billion in subsidies, or helping 30 million people to become insured. that's not some side effect of the bill; it's the whole point of the bill.

markos' point that this represents a "simplistic view of liberals" is intriguing -- certainly, it is interesting to me how some of the liberal and conservative critiques against the bill have started to coalesce -- but we'll address this at another time.
here nate completely ignores the main point jon makes, by objecting to jon's qualifying of the time frame that the subsidies would be relevant to. jon basically says yes, the money will be good, but without major overhaul of the system, the system will collapse. nate counters with "oh, the money will only be 'good?' why not 'great?' huh? not great enough for you? geez, you liberals are so whiny! and i'll address markos's point some other time, too!'

and as to nate's counter that he doesn't "know you can just brush off...helping 30 million people to become insured":

howard dean's democracy for america points out:

what they are actually talking about is something called the "individual mandate." that's a section of the law that requires every single american buy health insurance or break the law and face penalties and fines. so, the bill doesn't actually "cover" 30 million more americans - instead it makes them criminals if they don't buy insurance from the same companies that got us into this mess.
there are more flaws in nate's response to other's response to his response to the health care bill, but we don't have time to innumerate all of them.

basically we are of the opinion that without a public option (or, at the very least, a medicare buy-in), this bill is simply another bail out of yet another multi-billion dollar industry, with no help for the middle class, let alone poverty level americans.

does that answer your question, jim?
posted by skippy at 1:48 PM |


I'm witcha, skip!
commented by Blogger moderate, 11:41 AM PST  
I understand your position with crystal clarity, skippy. I happen to share it. The problem is, your argument is moot. This was never about health care reform -- that's just what we all got tricked into calling it, myself included.

This was about the White House catering to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries in order to secure more campaign money for the Democratic party in the future. It was the power and the money at work, as always. Well, it looks like they pulled it off.

And I know you noticed this in the post I wrote, but I'll say it anyway: I detest this bill. But I detest it less than the system we currently have. As the bill stands now, you can't opt out of buying insurance, but you can't be dropped for having a pre-existing condition, either. I think the good the latter does outweighs the bad the former does. It's a step in the right direction -- a baby step, but a step nonetheless.

And I have a question for you, skippy. When it comes to politics, and in light of the twelve or thirteen years between us that we've spent following politics as left-leaning bloggers, don't you think you and I ought to be accustomed to losing by now?

I'm not saying we should throw our hands up -- believe me, I've tried repeatedly, that doesn't work. I'm just wondering if maybe we're the ones who should be re-examining how we do what we do, rather than the Dem politicians who keep letting us down again and again. We do seem to be making the same mistakes over and over, hoping for a desired outcome. Some would call that a hallmark of insanity. Heaven knows it has a way of driving me crazy.

Just a thought...
commented by Blogger Jim Yeager, 11:48 AM PST  
lol! point taken, jim.
commented by Blogger skippy, 12:16 PM PST  
Skippy, I'm 100% with you on this. I read the whole exchange with Nate and he is beyond missing the point, he's clueless and perhaps willfully.

An individual mandate to buy private RomneyCare insurance will not be a solution to any problem. It isn't a half step forward. It isn't a step forward at all.

And Jim, why the hell should you give up? Why? Stand up, man.
commented by Blogger mahakal, 12:23 PM PST  
Mahakal: As I said, this was never about health care reform. This was about the White House making sure the insurance and pharmaceutical industries would keep shoveling campaign money to the Democrats down the road. The public option never had a prayer -- we wanted to believe it did, they led us to believe it had a prayer, and we foolishly believed them. P. T. Barnum would be proud.

Our disagreement when it comes to this fiasco reminds me of the one we have concerning voting/not voting for Democrats -- we're standing on the same planet, but you're at one pole and I'm at the other. "Stand up, man," you say. And why wouldn't you say that? I get the impression that you have your set of standards, and you would rather lose an important battle than compromise your standards for a victory. That's one of the things I love about you. However, that's not how I operate.

Tell me, where is there to stand when you're in territory that has nothing solid whatsoever to stand upon, the non-existent public option being Exhibit "A"? Maybe you have your moral grounds to stand on, but a hell of a lot of good that's doing for genuine health care reform.

So, how do I operate? you may be wondering. Pretty much the way I operate when dealing with the printing press I'm assigned to at work: it's got its kinks and quirks and personality disorders, and the tasks I'm expected to perform on it often do not line up with what is humanly capable of being done, but I take what I have been given and do the best I can to produce the best possible results anyway, all the while carping about the lousy way the owners have of running the place. It's like voting a straight Democratic ticket again and again, except I actually do profit from it...
commented by Blogger Jim Yeager, 1:15 PM PST  
A) Given that insurance companies love them there mortgages like I like chocolate, why hasn't anyone audited their exposure to the "bad" mortgages. Quite possible that they are all technically bankrupt if they "mark to market."

B) Now I'm seeing where the banksters are going to repay their "loans" early so their thugs can get their bonuses from the shareholders holdings without the nuisance of having to account to the federal government where the money came from.

C) Audit the insurance companies. Use the TARP funds that were not needed because the banksters went right back to gambling on the stock market and buy the fucking insurance companies for the american people.

This is not rocket science.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:43 PM PST  
The public option is not dead, Jim. It passed the House of Representatives, and it can still be done in reconciliation.

OF COURSE this is about health care reform. But if you want to give up, give up. It's up to you.
commented by Blogger mahakal, 8:41 PM PST  

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