Why Start There?


Separately, the White House proposal strengthens the employer
responsibility requirement in the Senate bill. Like the Senate bill, it
does not specificallyrequire employers to provide insurance to
their workers, but would require them to pitch in more money for each
employee who ends up on federal assistance to buy their own health
insurance. That money will be used to help cover the cost of subsidies,
which are slightly higher on average in the White House bill than in
the Senate bill.

Using the Senate bill as a baseline, White House proposal preserves
the Senate bill’s abortion language, and state-based exchanges, while
scrapping the Nebraska Medicaid deal. It does not include a public

From a political perspective, I love this summit thing. I love that they’re finally proposing their own plan, I love that Republicans are flapping around knowing they’re gonna look bad because screaming about death panels only works for people like Glenn Beck and looks shabby on a U.S. senator, I love that they’re going to be forced to put all their nasty, racist shit on display, I love “up or down vote,” and I love the implicit fuck-you to Ben Nelson.

What I don’t love is that the opening salvo in this is such a weakass, half-a-loaf thing that we can’t possibly go down from here, but something tells me we will, becausethis is the entirety of the argument:

American politics is haunted by the specter of undeserving poor and
working class Americans living beyond their means on someone else’s
dime. It’s not just strapping young bucks buying t-bone steaks with
food stamps, it’s strapping young bucks buying flat-screen tvs with
credit cards they can’t pay off, strapping young bucks gorging
themselves at the Applebee’s salad bar with their inflated union wages,
strapping young bucks buying houses withCRA-mandated
subprime loans, strapping young bucks suing doctors with lawyers on
retainer, strapping young bucks getting elective surgery with their
taxpayer-subsidized health care.

And, as the Crack Den has been pointing out for some time, when you propose something that doesn’t automatically benefit everybody — the way a Medicare buy-in or a public option would — people then go straight to the paranoid/selfish/racist place of assuming it’s going to benefit the wrong people, ie people who are not them. So why begin with something like that? Why not end up there and at least be able to say that you tried to do better?


4 thoughts on “Why Start There?

  1. Why don’t we face the problem that Health Care reform poses? The reason health care costs are so high is because health care costs so much. (Isn’t that profound?) But, the reason it costs so much is because so many people make so much money off of health care, from specialist doctors, to private hospitals, to medical schools, to pharmaceutical workers, to insurance salesmen, etc. When we cut the cost of health care, we cut their incomes. And, there are thousands and thousands of them that will be affected. That makes it a political minefield.

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