Monday, March 22, 2010

They Finally Did It. . .

I actually had no real plans to write anything tonight, but one of my neighbors held control over the laundry room until late, and I am drying my sheets now. But since I am up, I figured I should comment on the passage of health care reform. So without further ado, here are my thoughts:

1) I actually have little idea what's in the bill. I do know that insurers can't fuck people over preexisting conditions, can't pull the recission bullshit, and nonprofit co-ops can be set up in all fifty states. Outside of that, I am not sure of everything in the bill. Oh, wait, no aid for immigrants, and no publicly funded abortions.

2) The Democrats finally showed some spine. What's amazing here is that this is probably the first bill that was passed without a single Republican vote. In the face of truly ridiculous Republican opposition (to the point the Republicans were just making shit up, i.e. "Death Panels"), and so-so polling, and the fact that every Democratic Administration since Truman tried to pass some kind of health care reform, the Democrats sacked up. To be honest, I didn't think they had it in them.

3) The Republicans overplayed their hand. On a purely political note, the GOP strategy for defeating health care was brilliant, and they masterfully played the Democrats against each other. HCR was even polling badly (of course, if you told people what's actually in the bill, it polls a lot better). They, by all rights, should have won this one, but suddenly, the Democrats showed spine they didn't know they had. That said, the Republicans overplayed their hand yesterday. Calling John Lewis, a civil rights activist from the 50's, the "n-word," and calling Bart Stupak a "babykiller" only got the Democrats mad. The townhall storm of the summer was also ridiculous.

4) The Public Option is dead-ish. Its too bad that the public option didn't make it. That said, not having the public option in the final bill means it can come back later, and much cleaner.

5) I have no idea what the political ramifications of this bill will be, and neither does anyone else. For the first time, the Democrats can point to doing something unpopular for the good of the country - this couldn't be further from the Clinton days. Plus, the measures within the health care reform bill will be popular. At the same time, the opposition is totally and completely nuts. Anything is on the table here.

So what are the lessons to be learned? Having a spine is a good thing, and let's hope for the good of the country, these reforms will work.


  1. Once again, all we are left with is hope...hope that someone will come to their senses and come up with a real way to pay for this...hope that the economy does not finally break due to over spending...hope that people realize that while basic medical treatment is available, and has always been, to all, the idea that everyone should be entitled to every test they can think of is stupid.

    Here's hoping that I am wrong, but looking at this bill, as much as we have been allowed to see, we are headed down a path that is economically unstable.

  2. Okay, here are the problems with what you just said:

    1) The problem with the economy is not overspending, its a lack of growth.
    2) people may have access to basic medical care (at increased cost), but anything more than that, and they are fucked. That's why 35,000 people die every year because they don't have health insurance.

    But I have another post in me on health care reform.

  3. It is a problem of growth, not overspending? Do you really believe that?

    I guess that is a fundamental difference between you and me. I see the guy who bought his house in PB, on the beach and on a teacher's wages, who is losing his home b/c he can't afford the payments and I see his bad spending. You see someone who just needs to get a raise.

    We can't keep spending what we don't have. It works that way for me and it works that way for the governme
    nt as well.

  4. Well, you're looking at the micro and I'm looking at the macro. When the guy in PB loses his house because his loan is worth more than the value of the house, the end result is the difference between the value of the loan and the value of the house is sucked out of the economy. If there's nothing to replace that money, the economy shrinks.

  5. But, the value of production in the US is not a static thing and can very easily be lost. I will tell you that as taxes go up, I am looking for more and more ways to avoid them...even going so far as to chose the state that I live in b/c of the tax policy.

    The Federal Government can only rely so much on the top 10% or so carrying the load...soon, they will leave or find other ways to avoid taxes. As that happens, the government will have to adjust their spending habits or we will go bankrupt...don't think so? Look at CA or NJ for examples.