Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

This is just political theatre–is C-Span getting my angle right?

Mitch McConnell complains that the health care summit is merely political theatre.

Friends, Romans, Republicans, lend me your ears, I come to bury health care, not to phrase it...

I love drawing Mitch McConnell, he has such IN-teresting LIE-ins. I was saying to my friend Sadie the other day, I said, Sadie, you know Sadie, she works in the parlour down the street, Sadie, I said, I hope Mitch McConnell comes in today, he has such IN-teresting LIE-ins, and Sadie says to me, I know, I KNOW, such IN-teresting LIE-ins, and now here he comes in because of this health care thingie and how it’s going to be on C-Span and EV-erything and how I have to make him just as PRETTY as possible because he’s going to be the star of the show and just make a fool of that Obama person. Oh, Mr. McConnell, I said, you have nothing to worry about, you have such IN-teresting LIE-ins. If I had my way, I’d just be listening to your LYin’s all day!

Of course, the damn thing IS just political theatre, but not for the reasons the Republicans are saying–so much of what could be called REAL Health Care Reform has already been bartered away. As Miles Mogulescu noticed in the Huffington Post:

“On August 13, The Times reported that while President Obama had presented himself as ‘aloof from the legislative fray,’ particularly in connection with the public option, ‘Behind the scenes, however, Mr. Obama and advisors have been…negotiating deals with a degree of cold-eyed political realism potentially at odds with the president’s rhetoric.’ One of the deals reported in The Times article was the Pharma deal. The other was a deal with the for-profit hospital lobby to limit its cost reductions to $155 billion over 10 years in exchange for a White House promise that there would be no meaningful public option.”

Wonder WHY Obama has been so pessimistic on the public option he promised during the campaign but almost immediately reneged on and why everyone keeps saying we don’t have 60 votes when it should take only 51? It’s because they don’t want a public option at all. What do the Republicans have to scuttle? The Democrats have already stove a hole in the hull.

Have your day in the spotlight, Mitch, at least the public will get the chance to see you baling water in instead of baling it out. But the ship’s already sinking without you.

ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS! CONFOUND YOUR ENEMIES! PRESS ONE OF THESE BUTTONS--OR ELSE!
[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Mixx] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Buzz] [Email]

Health Care Reform–Anorexic Shock?

While the insurance companies moan about their non-existent lost profits, health care reformers start to ask if they have bargained away more than they have gained.

Is this what we bargained for?

Let’s start off by saying that Joe Liebermann is such a jackass. There, that feels good, doesn’t it? Practically on the very day that the Congressional Budget Office projects that not only will Health Care Reform with the public option not increase the deficit, it will lower it, Joe Liebermann says he will join the filibuster because of his concern that it will increase the deficit. This is the same Joe Liebermann who as a young senator supported abolishing the filibuster, but now that he is older and wiser, realizes that it’s the only way a dedicated minority can tie the federal government in knots. I say “dedicated minority” since that excludes the Democratic Party, which is constitutionally incapable of agreeing with itself. And since Joe caucuses with the Democrats but votes with the Republicans–he calls it independence, other call it “being a quisling”–he wants the dedicated minority to be able to screw things up as much as possible.
Suffice it to say, however, that since Joe Liebermann has been flirting with the Republican Party, he probably can’t read anymore–otherwise, he’d never have made such an asinine criticism. But, you know, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Is the “public option” something worth all the effort that’s been put into it? According to that same CBO report, the public option is only going to affect 2% of all Americans…by 2019, up to 6 million people will make use of that long and hard fought for provision. Now 6 million people is nothing to sneeze at–except when you compare it to the most probable 2020 population of just over 300 million people. And that’s 10 years down the road. The public option won’t even kick in until 2013. Hell, most of the baby boomers with be on Medicare by then. *I* will be on Medicare by then! Moreover, the public option isn’t going to be free–it will have a price sticker roughly equivalent to private health insurance. I say roughly because it’s going to be a little bit higher–we don’t want it to actually compete with private health insurance! We want that industry to stay healthy, even if it starves the middle class! That’s kind of like eating nutritious meals so our tapeworm doesn’t get malnutrition. And furthermore–everyone will have to have health insurance or pay a fine! The poor will get a subsidy so they can afford to buy it, but we’re talking about an enforced expansion of the health insurance customer base. You would think the health insurance companies will be pleased by this. Nosireebob! They’re too busy griping about not being able to drop customers because they have expensive conditions. If that profit margin goes down, they’ll have to raise rates to protect their executive bonuses! About the only good thing about the public option as it now stands is that it has backdoored a tax on the top 1%. But not to worry–they’ll soon find a way out of THAT!
The question is, with all the stuff negotiated away to achieve this public option goal, is the final result what we bargained for? I mean, we gave away our ace-in-the-hole, single payer health care, what the people of this country both need and deserve, even before negotiations started. Since then, it’s been like Chico and Groucho negotiating a contract, stripping aways clauses until all we have left is the sanity clause–and as we all know, there ain’t no such thing as a Sanity Clause! In the efforts to get something that could be called a “public option”, have the various committees thrown away so much substance that all that is left is skimpier than a stripper’s bikini? Kucinich’s state-by-state single payer option got tossed because it was too meaty and might have jeopardized passage of the program, but it’s altogether possible the program is going to die of anorexic shock all on its own. Some people say that something is better than nothing, but we really have to ask ourselves if we are not actually condemning ourselves to another ten or more years of slow strangulation by the parasitical health insurance industry just so we can say that we achieved “something”?
I don’t know–as they say on cable innuendo news, I’m just asking–but I’ve reached the end of my column, so let’s end up with something we can all agree on… Joe Liebermann is such a jackass!

ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS! CONFOUND YOUR ENEMIES! PRESS ONE OF THESE BUTTONS--OR ELSE!
[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Mixx] [Reddit] [StumbleUpon] [Technorati] [Twitter] [Buzz] [Email]

© 2009-2017 Gregory Uchrin, Intravenous Caffeine All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright