Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Health Care Endgame

"Yay, yay, happy happy joy joy!" I say, whether my ultimate reaction to the outcome is "ding, dong, the bitch is dead," or "Stick a fork in us, we're done."  Because this has been the longest fight I can remember over one bill which will ultimately transform out country into something that I fear we will not be able to recover from.

Now I'm not going to try to argue for whatever solutions should be, versus the dangers of what the opposition would argue for.  This is not about a free market or a "single-payer" system.  It's about the unholy piece of shit that may get the up-or-down vote this weekend.

(One note on nomenclature:  "Single payer" is a bullshit term.  If there is a "single payer", that payer will be the government, and if they have control over the purse strings, then it's government controlled.  So I expect any use of the term to have quotes to denote this.)

I issue a challenge to anyone who's trying to promote this disease to explain how we're going to benefit from the bill.  I'm going to list below the major problems as best as I can tell (because the final bill isn't even put up yet (as of the typing of this sentence).  And unless you are in favor of empowering government at the expense of EVERYONE, you can't.

1. Funding abortions... eventually - I don't care what language gets inserted to ban taxpayer abortions.   Because any language is, in essence, bullshit.  The reason for this is found in an argument (false of course) that proponents have used to say that health care is a "right":  Everyone has a right to life, and health care is part of that.  But without the ability to afford it, they don't have access, therefore don't have the "right."  Substitute the word "abortion" for "health care" and get ready to argue against it. Because once paid health care is a "right," women's health care (i.e. abortion) is a de facto "right."

And to clarify, this is not about a woman's right to control over her body (or anything about regulation of women sucking their babies into sinks).  While I may not be with the more fanatical anti-abortion people on many things, I absolutely have a problem with them being forced to fund said baby-sucking.  And no candidate who opposes government paying for the practice can vote for this bill.  Ever.

2. Fuck the old - As we stand on the verge of creating another entitlement, like past "triumphs" like Social Security and Medicare, we need only look at them to see the future of government-run health care under this bill.  Social Security is getting closer to collapse (a lifetime of paying into it, and I'm getting nothing when I get there) with each baby boomer that retires with a couple decades of life still in front of them.

And Medicare?  If there was one thing that, more than anything else, has led to doctors running revolving door practice (come back next week and I'll see you for 5 more minutes) and price increases across the board (due to command fees), it's government-run health care for the old.  And the current bastard bill is going to cut Medicare more!  And yet, I see more commercials for The Scooter Store than ever (their shtick is Mediscare-funded gimp machines).  At least capitalism isn't dead, yet.

I'll refrain from getting into the whole "death panels" thing, other than wondering how else you cut costs when there will be more senile citizens sucking benefits.  In other words, there are no "death panels," but when you have the resources to treat 9 out of 10 people if you let the sickest die, or may lose 2-3 if you try to treat them all, someone's getting thrown under the bus (maybe even Obama's if he gets reelected).

So if you give a rats ass about the senile members of your family and they rely on government to take care of them (because FDR was a hell of a salesman), then you need to stop them from adding to a system that is already getting shorted.

3. I'm just a bill.... -  First, to refresh your memory on the subtitle:

I learned a new, Constitution-raping term last week in this regard: deem and pass.  It's not a bad thing when it involves moving non-controversial bits and pieces through Congress without the need to vote on them.  When used to adjust significant rules and laws, it's bad.  But when it's used to cram through a major bill that will significantly change the current law, add an entitlement, and cost trillions, it's damned unconstitutional as all get out.  Thankfully, due to coverage as to what kind of parliamentary bullshit it is, no decent congressman (no matter their vote on the beast itself, could justify passing the bill without an actual vote, lest they get a serious spanking in November.   And after the spanking, the oral sex (crossed out for total inappropriateness, but funny enough to leave in (and we need a laugh)).

That Nancy Pelosi and gang are considering such things to avoid a vote should tell you all you need to know about trusting them to get the bill right in the first place.

4. This is not about "reform," it's about government-run health care - This plan was designed in theory to use the private insurance system, in conjunction with a government "option" to ensure everyone is insured.  This is done by penalizing people and companies who don't buy insurance, and forcing insurance companies to insure people despite preexisting conditions (i.e. no matter what).  However, the penalties are cheaper than insurance, and if you get sick, the insurance companies have to insure you when you try to buy "insurance" to cover your illness, because it's preexisting.  That makes no sense, unless your goal is to gather money for the government while making sure the only people who get insurance cost more than what you charge for the insurance.  Eventually, since their margins are so damned small to begin with, then the options are either to become bitches of the government or get out of the health insurance business altogether.

So if you work for a health insurance company, or in the medical profession, or anyone who derives an income from medical services and don't want to become a government employee (drone), then here's your motivation to fight this.

5. Tax me now, insure me later - Proponents of this obscenity are trying to point to this as a way to reduce the budget (by adding an entitlement!?!?!?!?!?!) and pointing to the cost of it being under $1 trillion over 10 years.  Except that the benefits don't come for 4 years.  And since the bill "depends" on private insurance (it doesn't but I already covered that) to insure everyone, there's no reason we should wait.  Because if Social Security has one last lesson, it's what happens when government gets money it doesn't have to spend immediately:  it becomes a slush fund.

If you have any problem with the insane amount of spending in Washington, this bill needs to die.

6. Last plea for common sense - Even if you're in favor of the government-run system, even if you know in your bitter heart that America doesn't want this and the only way you're going to get it by is to bullshit people into it, the vomit that is on the verge of being dumped on America is the worst, most disingenuous, and most foolish way to achieve your end.  Because it's going to raise taxes on people who are just keeping their heads above water, leave more people uninsured over the coming years, cause thousands of people to become unemployed (not everyone at an insurance company has a golden parachute), and pile up assloads of debt long before we get to the point that the semi-private system collapses enough that your "single-payer" government nightmare comes true.  In other words, don't support this because it's simply a means to an end.  Because genocide is a means to an end of making something "pure."  And I can't think of any good reason to break out the genocide.

The vote may come on Sunday (while March Madness distracts the dumb masses).  So it's time to crush Washington with calls to stop it. If you're near Washington, go with a sign and protest. Start sending emails to your congressman.  Continue the (Rush-inspired) shutdown of the Capitol switchboard (toll free: 877-762-8762, or if you don't have an ancient (landline) phone: 202-224-3121.  And if you have a Democrat rep that might be swayed and his or her office is close enough, a visit would not be unwarranted.

At this point, we are beyond all theoretical discussions as to what should be done to fix health care and health insurance.  It's time to stop the March OF Madness in its tracks.


Satyavati devi dasi said...

I am so over fighting this with you.

You're absolutely, irretrievably fucking deluded.

And you don't have the first fucking clue what you're talking about.

The ANA isn't supporting this for no reason at all.

We're supporting it because we KNOW what the problems are now and we KNOW what needs to be done to fix it.

Everything else is so much Republican Beck Limbaugh and that dumb fuck Palin paranoia-du-jour spin on shit.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"I absolutely have a problem with them being forced to fund said baby-sucking."

Really? What do you say to Quakers and other conscientious objectors [because of religion] who are forced to fund wars, which, BTW, slaughter babies and pregnant women--collateral damage, you know?

Abortion is a legal medical procedure.

Beth said...

As usual Saty and Shaw have totally missed the actual point which is that it isn't even about health care but it is about how they are jamming something down our throats and not just bending the rules but flushing them down the damn toilet to do so. I guarantee, if it was the Republicans or Conservatives doing the shit that the Democrats are doing now to get this bill passed, the likes of Saty and Shaw would be having a fucking cow.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I guarantee, Beth, that if you ever had to go without serious, important, emergent care because you had no insurance, you'd be singing a different song.

I hope you never have to go through that. It's a horrible thing to have to bear.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

And let me tell you what I told Patrick: I am concerned about RESULTS. About getting people the care they need.

I'm not worried about partisan bullshit, I'm not worried about any of that. I'm worried about the people who die every single day from lack of care, and the people who lose their homes and go bankrupt because of medical bills they can't pay, and the people who have paid into insurance plans for years only to find they are rescinded the moment they get sick and actually need the coverage. Those are the people and the things I'm concerned about. Everything else is so much rhetorical, ridiculous, paranoiac bullshit, engineered by people who work to create a culture of fear in this country.

Patrick M said...

Saty: I note all you can do is say the ANA supports this without citing their justification for their sellout of principles to cram shit onto people because they "know better" than everyone else (Marxism, if you want me to bleat out a thoughtless catch-phrase for you to bleat back at).

Wait, never mind, you can't defend the bill, just say everyone on the right is full of shit.

I am concerned about RESULTS. About getting people the care they need.

In other words, you don't give a shit how you get government-run health care. If you have to put thousands of people out of work to do it in a bad economy because the insurance companies would rather quit and let the people end up on the government rolls, fine. If you want more people on the Medicaid rolls, more people losing their insurance at work and having to get in line to wait for the government, because the employers would rather pay the penalty that put up with higher prices, no problem. And if it bankrupts the government because the costs were based on the bullshit number of 50 million and not 250 million (I don't have a verifiable number, but it will be much bigger than the current number of uninsured), then it's all for the greater good.

Because you want government run health care and will get it by any means necessary. And if that means every deceitful trick of political wrangling and parliamentary maneuver, demonizing industries and people, ignoring facts, buying off politicians with whatever will get them to sell out, or flat-out fucking lying to people, I think you might just be ok with it.

And all you can say is that it's all paranoia? You can't address a single damned specific? I haven't even gotten into the paranoia stuff yet, because that's something I won't quite have to face. My kids are another story.

Shaw: First of all, thanks for confirming my statement about why language banning funding of abortion doesn't mean shit:

Abortion is a legal medical procedure.

Now I may agree that it should remain a legal medical procedure, but it crosses the line when you confiscate the money of one person to give to another AND use it to fund something that is morally repugnant to a vast majority (and that does include me in this case).

And you know there's a difference between government entitlements and a Constitutionally mandated duty of the government (agree or disagree wit the specifics of any war). For those that oppose the war, they can feel free to work to change the government or move to a country that isn't a superpower, or doesn't have an army for that matter.

Because there is always someone that has some moral objection to even the necessary functions of government (like the courts, the police, government schools, etc). That's why there has to be a line drawn. This is clearly one of those that keeps moving. That happens to also be a part of a larger problem that requires another post (after the health care creature is slain).

Beth: I'm actually surprised I didn't hear a sentence that begins "When the Republicans were in power...."

Although give credit where credit is due, Shaw at least made a valid point which deserved a respectful response.

Anonymous said...

Beth said...

As usual Saty and Shaw have totally missed the actual point which is that it isn't even about health care but it is about how they are jamming something down our throats and not just bending the rules but flushing them down the damn toilet to do so.

And I agree with Beth
These 2 could /would never find anything wrong with Barack Obama.
But we must call it as we see it.
I for one have become very disillusioned with Mr. Obama although I did vote for him.
However the voters are pissed, and will give him and all of the rest of Obama's cronies a one way ticket out of Washington and the capitals of every state if we want to save ourselves from the results of their ongoing treason. Send them to Venezuela, since they like communism so well.

They are NOT really Americans, but living on the scraps of the cats that they have trained to beg for votes by promising them goodies to keep their support. It's time to quit feeding them, democrat and republican alike , when they treat us like mushroom with wallets. Send the FED away with them, as they are the true problem.
What we need is to get this government out of office. There is a bill all ready with bi-partison support that will make the government money in its second year and not cost Americans extra money its called the HEALTH AMERICAN ACT. This is the solution to helping Health Care. Those idiots know this. Pelosi should be road out of town on a rail. She is an idiot.
These Blue Dog Democrats have sold us out. We need to make sure they have the same insurance as they want us to have. America needs to STAND UP, PAY ATTENTION AND YELL AT YOUR REPRESENATIVES. Tell them what we don't want. Make sure they understand there jobs are on the line. We will vote them out come next election, even if we have to put a Jackass in office. This Jackass couldn't do a worse job for America.
Seniors your Medicare will be gone, they need to take the money dedicated for Medicare to pay for this Huge Health Care Plan of Obama's and Pelosi. Stand up and say NO NO NO!

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Send them to Venezuela, since they like communism so well.

Can you explain to me exactly what it is about the current administration that defines them as communist?

Any selfrespecting Communist will tell you that it ain't so.

The only people who call Obama and his administration Communists are people who have not the first idea what Communism is, stands for, aspires for and believes.

Because they're a bunch of ignorant assholes.

BB-Idaho said...

"The vote may come on Sunday (while March Madness distracts the dumb masses)." Huh, what vote, been checking my bracket choices....


"Because this has been the longest fight I can remember over one bill which will ultimately transform out country into something that I fear we will not be able to recover from."

---Yeah, a fight...considering the last thing that transformed this country that WE WILL NOT RECOVER FROM was an administration...

Considering that those who are fighting so hard against this bill so wholeheartedly VOTED for the last administration it should come to NO surprise when most of us really don't pay your criticisms much attention...

It is kind of absurd don't you think?