July
29th 2009
Someone even more cynical than Historiann?

Posted under: American history, unhappy endings, wankers

If you liked Historiann’s little vade mecum last night on the 3/5 Compromise, the Connecticut Compromise, and how they have nothing to do with our currently dysfunctional congress, you’ll love Matt Taibbi’s analysis.  (Via Corrente–thanks, a little night musing for your link!)  Here’s the part that connects to my argument below:

The reason a real health-care bill is not going to get passed is simple: because nobody in Washington really wants it. There is insufficient political will to get it done. It doesn’t matter that it’s an urgent national calamity, that it is plainly obvious to anyone with an IQ over 8 that our system could not possibly be worse and needs to be fixed very soon, and that, moreover, the only people opposing a real reform bill are a pitifully small number of executives in the insurance industry who stand to lose the chance for a fifth summer house if this thing passes.

It won’t get done, because that’s not the way our government works. Our government doesn’t exist to protect voters from interests, it exists to protect interests from voters. The situation we have here is an angry and desperate population that at long last has voted in a majority that it believes should be able to pass a health care bill. It expects something to be done. The task of the lawmakers on the Hill, at least as they see things, is to create the appearance of having done something. And that’s what they’re doing. Personally, I think they’re doing a lousy job even of that. . . . [T]hese Democrats aren’t even pretending to give a shit, not really. I mean, they’re not even willing to give up their vacations.

(Emphasis mine.)  But but but–they’ll lose their deposits on those $6,000/wk rentals on Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Cape!  Priorities, people–priorities.

11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Someone even more cynical than Historiann?”

  1. Fratguy on 29 Jul 2009 at 1:32 pm #

    A rally yesterday in front of the statehouse against “socialized” medicine featured this quote from a telegenically lobotomized member of the electorate. “I don’t want to pay for the heaqlthcare of some guy who is not working” Leaving aside for one second the fact that he was the recipient of a liver and pancreas transplant (I guarangoddamtee you he did not pay cash for those organs and their upkeep) the simple and obvious response to this is “hey sh!t for brains, you are ALREADY subsidizing the uninsured, and because our “system” is such a mess, you are subsidizing it at two to three times the rate you would have to if we had a single payer system.” But hey, when the members of the MSM are also cruising around the Vineyard in August why would you expect anyone to have a grasp on such a simple plain and obvious fact.

  2. Historiann on 29 Jul 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Fratguy, someone should point out that we’re already paying for all of the “some guy[s and gals] who [are] not working,” who also consume more and more expensive health care: people 65 and older who are on Medicare, most of whom are retired.

    Honestly: that guy’s transplant was incomplete. He needs a new heart and a new brain, too (compassionate versions of both, that is.)

    And, p.s.: I found a link to the story I think you’re referencing.

  3. Paul on 29 Jul 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Well, I hope that Matt Taibi realizes that not literally everyone who opposes national health care is an insurance industry executive. That kind of sweeping smear is one of the reasons why I’ve gotten sick of following the debate on most political issues.

  4. Historiann on 29 Jul 2009 at 6:03 pm #

    But, Paul–that’s whose interests are served by blocking substantial reform. (I get where you’re coming from more broadly. There are people who honestly will oppose this Frankenstein Monster of a bill from both the Right and the Left. For the record, I’m unlikely to support any Dem/Obama/compromise “reform” bill, and I am not an insurance executive.)

    Don’t insurance companies have other things to insure, like cars, houses, and other material goods? Can’t a large number of people who work for insurance companies shift into working for Medicare for All? There is too much evidence from around the world that shows that single-payer systems that cover everyone are the most cost-effective and the best for patients, too.

    I’m just dispirited (to say the least) about the lack of real creativity in solving our problems, which leads me to suspect that Taibbi is correct in saying that Congress doesn’t really think that there is a problem. (Or, at least not one for which they’re willing to put their butts on the line.)

  5. Rad Readr on 29 Jul 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Word to Fratguy. That guy could well have been in California, where the governor just did a line-item veto that cuts health benefits for poor children. Oh yes, and the governator also cut the UC budget more.

  6. Historiann on 30 Jul 2009 at 6:31 am #

    Happy Days Are Here Again!, Rad.

    To all of my friends and readers in Cali: I’m sorry. But, if it’s any consolation: as California goes, so goes the Nation?

  7. Historiann on 30 Jul 2009 at 10:07 am #

    Here’s another grim analysis:

    Ian Welsh, “What’s More Important Than Saving American Lives? Almost Everything.”

  8. cgeye on 31 Jul 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Once that welfare king (’cause let’s face it, the entire organ donation system’s a cock-up between charity and Queen for a Day) said that even though he’d got his organs we should screw anyone else who needs ‘em, especially if they’re poor?

    He lost my vote as someone worthy of the Darwin Award — altruism keeps him alive, right down to the subsidy he still gets for anti-rejection drugs, but simply refuses to see that an extension of that altruism not tied to jobs or insurance companies could result in treatments and innovations that could make even his miserable life better.

    I’m halfway to the conspiracy theory that this fucked-up legislation process has emerged in time for the next rearing of swine flu’s mucousy head. If people can’t go to work, they lose their jobs and health insurance, and the poor don’t have anything else to lose. Thus, a pandemic spreads that much faster. And if people finally lose faith in government to do anything big, then there’s goes attempting to enforce herd immunity through vaccinations — that’s already damaged due to the quacks on that issue.

    This is a die-off in process. The only saving grace is that the Villlage idiots fostering this collapse could die first. They congregate in a Washington swamp, the airports will ground everyone if it gets bad enough, and they’ll be stuck with the people whose lives they endangered, just because they could stand one more year of record profits for the financiers behind the insurers.

  9. cgeye on 31 Jul 2009 at 1:41 am #

    (He got my vote….)

  10. Paul on 31 Jul 2009 at 9:05 am #

    But, Paul–that’s whose interests are served by blocking substantial reform. (I get where you’re coming from more broadly. There are people who honestly will oppose this Frankenstein Monster of a bill from both the Right and the Left. For the record, I’m unlikely to support any Dem/Obama/compromise “reform” bill, and I am not an insurance executive.)

    My comment was partly an expression of my old libertarian tendencies. I’m not really a libertarian anymore, but I still tend to be automatically skeptical of the government handling anything beyond national defense and law enforcement, even though I’ve seen a lot of evidence that this can be beneficial.

  11. Historiann on 31 Jul 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Paul–I hear you. I had a deep and meaningful flirtation with libertarianism before George W. Bush became President.

    The thing is that single payer is the worst of all possible health care schemes, except for all of the others. Only if we offer a “Medicare for All” kind of plan will the risk be spread evenly. My fear is that the “public option” likely to pass–if any–will become a dumping ground for all of the highest-cost, unhealthiest people, which will effectively be a subsidized giveaway to for-profit insurance companies who will be able to skim the cream and leave the dregs to the public dole.

    I think it’s wrong that corporations make money off of denying people care when they need it. That’s inherent in the model of “managed care” brought to you by for-profit insurance companies. They’re happy to take my money when I and my family are healthy, but I live in fear that poor health might strike and I’ll learn that I might as well have stuffed all of the money I paid in insurance premiums in a mattress in my basement. At least then I’d have a wad of cash to start paying my bills.

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