A post by Maynard
By now you’ve heard Nancy Pelosi’s speech announcing the latest 1990-page $1.055 trillion health bill. From her opening remarks:
“Here’s what our health insurance reform legislation will mean to American families, workers, and the economy. [To heckler:] Thank you, insurance companies of America. [Laughter and applause.]
“This is why this legislation is important: affordability for our middle-class that lowers costs for every patient, reins in premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, limits out of pocket costs, and lifts the cap on what insurance companies cover each year. Affordability for the middle-class and security for our seniors. By strengthening Medicare, it secures the financial stability and solvency of Medicare for years to come, provides seniors with better benefits and guaranteed access to their doctors. And in this legislation, we will immediately begin to close the donut hole.
“Affordability for the middle-class, security for our seniors, and responsibility to our children. It reduces the deficit, meets President Obama’s call to keep the cost under $900 billion over 10 years, and it insures 36 million more Americans. [Applause.]
“That said, the bill is fiscally sound. It will not add one dime to the deficit as it expands coverage, implements key insurance reforms, and promotes prevention and wellness across the health system. The bill will expand coverage, including a public option to boost choice and competition in the health insurance reform. [Applause.]
“It covers 96 percent of all Americans and it puts affordable coverage in reach for millions of uninsured and underinsured families — lowering health care costs for all of us.
“One other very important feature is that it ends discrimination for pre-existing medical conditions. [Applause.] It opens doors to quality medical care to those who were shut out of the system for far too long. And because of the work of our Members and our meetings across the country, we know that prevention and wellness are important part of this legislation and it puts a major new emphasis on preventive care, expands access to screenings and other treatments to keep Americans healthy, and promotes workplace wellness.
“The drive for health care reform is moving forward. The Affordable Health Care Act will ensure, again, affordability for the middle-class, security for our seniors, and responsibility to our children…”
Seems to cover everything. More for everyone. Cheaper for everyone. Better for everyone. Security for everyone. Fully inclusive. Everything budgeted; no deficit. Big savings. Maybe a small “millionaires’ tax”.
No reasonable person could object. No reasonable person could want to criticize. It’s done. It’s perfect. As a time-saving measure, Pelosi has already done all the necessary compromising on behalf of the political opposition. So there will be no changes. Just rubberstamp it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that there’s been plenty of time for amendments already, so neither her caucus nor members of the minority party should expect a chance to amend the health care bill when it gets to the House floor. “I’ve considered all of that input as our amendment process,” Pelosi said on a conference call with bloggers, citing “probably 78 caucuses on this subject where we’ve listened to members [and] 2,000 town meeting on this subject.”
What do you say in times like these? The problems here are so glaring and obvious that it shouldn’t be necessary to respond. But I guess I have to say something.
I’m just wondering…is there anyone out there, on either side of the issue, that actually believes Pelosi’s words have any connection with the truth? If you heard Pelosi’s delivery, it doesn’t even sound like she believes what she’s saying. I mean, yeah, we know some people want the government to run the system. But you can’t repeal the law of gravity. Governments are notoriously inefficient. That a government program will deliver more goods of a higher quality at a lower cost to a greater number of people, all the while avoiding further debt, is a ludicrous claim. Already the existing Medicare program is on course to bankrupt the country. Yet they say they’re going to pay for this plan by making Medicare more efficient.
The man on the street understands: Of course the plan will cost more. Of course it will increase the deficit. Of course there will be taxes, fees, shortages, delays, bureaucratic micromanagement, etc. etc. Obviously anybody who is happy with their current health care (which is a large majority of us) are likely to see our situations deteriorate.
And we who are philosophically opposed to the plan understand the danger of a government that controls access to health care. Because once government becomes that powerful, then government alone decides who lives and who dies. And a government that holds the power of life and death over every one of us individually is an anathema to Americans. Because we understand that government always services its elites and its cronies first. We see it in every dollar the government spends and in every contract the government awards. The government that controls health care will likewise pick its favorites. In the long run, the politically favored will live, and the out-of-favor will die.
People, open your eyes to the horror that is to be our fate. This is assuming we avoid national bankruptcy, which is looking less and less likely.
Some people will think I’m being too extreme in my warning. I think it’s obvious enough, but set it aside if you must. One way or another, nobody believes what the Washington leadership is saying. Everybody knows we’re being railroaded. So we’re not really seeing a debate, are we? Washington is just going through the motions. This is an exercise in power. It’s like those sham elections in the various hellholes of the world, where democracy is merely a façade.
Outside of Washington, I think a majority of us are deeply frustrated because we mostly believe that a sensible government really could have played a constructive role in refereeing the playing field and helping the nation get to a better place. Some topics where we could find much common ground would be, for example, tort reform, or more portable insurance, or allocated risks, or premiums based on lifestyle choices. And most people also understand that illegal immigrants are a significant drain on public services.
Why is government incapable of working on the commonsense issues on which there is so much public consensus? Wouldn’t a targeted approach go a long way towards defusing and perhaps even solving the endless “crisis”?
And then there are sensitive topics, such as abortion funding and what is politely referred to as “end of life counseling”. I don’t even want to go there.
It’s obvious that whatever is happening makes no sense whatsoever. Obama has pledged to pass a big bill, and now we’ve got a Frankenstein monster that serves only cronies and special interests. Everyone sees what’s happening, everyone knows it’s a catastrophe, nobody can stop it. What are we supposed to do now?