December 20th, 2009

So, what to think of the health care bill? Perhaps it could best be summed up by the word, “meh.” Having been disgusted with the bill’s progress, and, like so many other liberals, in contempt of the Democrats’ weakness and ineptitude in getting the bill passed, I have stopped paying close attention to it all. It should have been much stronger to start with. It should have been “Medicare for all” and the negotiations should have started from there. Obama should have put forth two versions, one for “bipartisanship” and the other in case Republicans didn’t want bipartisanship, and when Republicans of course showed no interest, Obama could have switched to the stronger bill, declaring that the GOP had rebuffed his bipartisan outreach. Democrats should have strong-armed the Blue Dogs more instead of begging at their feet. Democrats should have began with reconciliation instead of dumping it.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. So how about now? As far as I can tell, the bill stinks. However, compared to the fetid, steaming pile of insurance the country now has, it stinks somewhat less. But I see no way to really keep down costs for the consumer, something even more important now that coverage will be more or less mandatory.

A big question will be, if and when it is passed, then what? Politically, I mean. Will Democrats reap the rewards? Well, they pretty much shot themselves in their collective feet on that one: everyone, including (especially!) Democratic voters, now see them as weak and ineffective. The only thing keeping Democratic voters on their side is that the alternative is to go with the batshit insane people who spent the last eight years destroying the country. I can imagine centrist voters being like Bugs Bunny in that cartoon where he opened one of two exits and sees a monster; screeching in horror, he runs for the other exit, opens it and sees another monster; screaming again, he closes that and runs to the first exit; when he opens it and sees the first monster, he rubs his chin and say, “Oh, yeah…”

The real problem here is that while Democrats have spent the last several months disheartening their own voters, the Republicans have spent the same time firing up theirs. There is that Kos poll from a few week s back which showed that while Democratic voters were not interested in voting in the midterms, right-wing voters couldn’t wait to do so. Not a good sign.

The irony is, if Dem voters got their act together and came out just as strong and voted aven more Dems into office, that would probably break the barrier needed to bypass even the Blue Dogs and get stuff done. But the way things are, Republicans will probably gain seats, and things will just go straight to hell from there. Which is frightening, as this pretty much looks like hell now.

Sometimes I am glad I live in Japan. Makes it a bit easier to ignore this stuff. Just a bit.

Categories: Health Issues, Political Ranting Tags: by
  1. Tim Kane
    December 20th, 2009 at 11:51 | #1

    I too have been turned off from observing politics because of the ugly turn of events.

    Baring an unforeseen miracle, I see nothing but a bleak future in store for the United States.

    Economically, This is part of a larger problem going back to Nixon, and politically going back to Carter. Since Nixon, the median wage hasn’t gone up and a result wealth has concentrated to Banana Republic levels. Since Carter the United States has shown and increasing inability to solve its chronic problems through its political/governing apparatus.

    I wonder if Obama sees this. Admittedly Obama sees many things that we can’t see.

    I wonder if the more thoughtful saw this back in the late 1850s? I guess many saw it much earlier than that – with all the concessions made to slavery. Think of what liberals must of thought of the concession that gave the south 5/8ths representation based upon the number of slaves in a state. It meant the south got more political power the more slaves they imported/created (after Virginia’s soil wore out from over farming Tobacco, the farmers specialized in exporting slaves to the new slave states).

    Now, on to the present: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    I predict, that if the bill passes, it will actually be worse for the Democrats.

    Lots of things could happen and we don’t know how people will react, or when. Americans have tollerated a lot of things from their political and economic ruling classes in the last 30 years.

    The big problem is that the bill forces Americans (and through subsidies – America) to buy over priced under serviced products from basically corrupt fat cats (either corporate or plutocratic).

    Republicans can choose to shift emphasis onto a libertarian stance and promise working class Americans liberation from the yoke of health care reform.

    We are talking about people having to buy insurance premiums that I pay $45 a month for in Korea (my employer pays $45 on my behalf as well) that will run in the $500 a month range in the United States. This is a huge tax upon our economy and upon our citizenry to the benefit of very very very few people who are vested in insurance companies.

    Americans will increasingly find a way to avoid this. They’ll work for cash or on a piece meal basis off the books – much like the extensive underground economy that exist for illegal alliens. In fact this will push many Americans into that status. Like the illegals, they’ll lose bargaining power in the process because employers willing to pay cash under the table can always threaten to go legit with their employees forcing a substantial cut in pay towards

    It’s the same kind of dysfunction placed upon our society as the compromise that tolerated slavery.

    I’m about to go vulgar here, so brace yourself if you read on.

    The civil war was supposed to be about emancipation – allowing slaves to have the same legal status as all other Americans: free and sovereign. But look at this bill. It forces Americans to buy over price carbon fiber (avoided vulgarity there) from a corrupt over class of fat cats (avoided it again). In essence this bill is a reverse of the civil war’s intent – American’s force to pass a fee to an over class just for the right to live. It is the niggarization of America’s working class – to paraphrase John McCain from the 2008 election: “We are all niggars now” (the vulgarization had to come eventually – in fact this is part of a very long term slide and I have been predicting that the ‘n’ word would come back into general usage again as more and more people slide into a status that that word once implied).

    The bill provides health care insurance for 30 million. But no check on the insurance companies from charging more.

    Liberals for passing the bill now are saying take half a loaf now, grab the other half later. But might the greedy insurance companies who own the politicians be saying the same thing?

    I’m not sure – but I think this bill is going to do to health care issue what Dredd Scott did to the slavery issue: in Dredd Scott the chief of the Supreme Court, Tanney, attempted to write an opinion that he thought would avoid the worsening situation – by writing a very racist opinion (using originalism that Scalia likes to use) saying blacks were never considered by the framers of the constitution as men – else why would they say all men are created equal and then leave blacks in bondage?).

    Just like Dredd Scott, though an attempt to resolve the situation, this is going to worsen the situation, by far. They are attempting to split the atom and yet not suffer from it’s toxicity. You can’t have slavery and be a free democracy and you can’t have a just society and have private for profit insurance.

    So I’m leaning towards the “kill the bill” right now, which is very hard to do because 30 million people would probably benefit in the short run from the bill.

    If the bill dies, it might create a situation where the public is forced to lean farther to the left to get what it wants and select more liberal representatives.

    If it doesn’t, I predict it will be seen as a black mark on the Democrats, triggering a new libertarian move to the right which will bring the Republicans back from the dead. They in turn will push America the rest of the way into the Banana Republic abyss and a post-modernism dystopia echoing a mad max kind of world.

    One of my loony right wing brothers tells me that the Soviet Union employed psychics to try to get an edge on the United States. They predicted that it would fall apart in… 2012 (what other year would be better).

    I think over an extended period of time this will be solved, like slavery was solved. But the price is going to be very very very high. If and when America comes out of this, it will be in a much reduced status for us individually (we’ll all be poorer) and for the country.

    This sickens me no end. I really don’t want to stay in Korea but America is imploding – how can I find a place in it for myself?

Comments are closed.