Monday wisdom and learnin' from the pundits.
Besides being vile and stupid, however, the editorial was beside the point. Investor’s Business Daily would like you to believe that Obamacare would turn America into Britain — or, rather, a dystopian fantasy version of Britain. The screamers on talk radio and Fox News would have you believe that the plan is to turn America into the Soviet Union. But the truth is that the plans on the table would, roughly speaking, turn America into Switzerland — which may be occupied by lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters, but wasn’t a socialist hellhole the last time I looked.
Let’s talk about health care around the advanced world.
If the Democratic Party’s attempt at health care reform perishes, senior citizens will have done it in, not talk-radio listeners and Glenn Beck acolytes. It’s the skepticism of over-65 Americans that’s dragging support for reform southward. And it’s their opposition to cost-cutting that makes finding the money to pay for it so difficult.
That’s because they’re the ones whose benefits are on the chopping block. At present, Medicare gives its recipients all the benefits of socialized medicine, with few of the drawbacks. Once you hit 65, the system pays and pays, without regard for efficiency or cost-effectiveness.
Ah, a substantive article from the new guy! More...
You can understand why Republicans, after decades of being demagogued for proposing even modest entitlement reforms, would relish the chance to turn the tables. But this is a perilous strategy for the right.
Sigh. Well, among the wins for the Democrats will be Republicans championing single payer socialized, government-run medicine. We could actually have a discussion about this if they only meant it.
Forget politics for a moment -- what about from a policy standpoint? The fundamental accomplishments of a public option-less bill would be to (1) ensure that no American could be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or because they became sick; (2) subsidize health insurance coverage for millions of poor and middle-class Americans.
These are major, major accomplishments. Arguably, they are accomplished at too great a cost. But let's look at it like this. The CBO estimates that the public option would save about $150 billion over the next ten years -- that's roughly $1,100 for every taxpayer. I'm certainly not thrilled to have to pay an additional $1,100 in taxes because some Blue Dog Democrats want to placate their friends in the insurance industry. But I think the good in this health care bill -- the move toward universal-ish coverage, the cost-control provisions -- is worth a heck of a lot more than $1,100.
Nate makes the case the votes were never there in the Senate. He's right. Hence, ‘Public Option’ in Health Plan May Be Dropped.
Update [2009-8-17 9:56:30 by DemFromCT]: More from Nate, same topic.
If America doesn't face impending disaster, we dont fix our problems.
Joe Sestak on health reform:
More Netroots Nation video at Sum of Change
Bill Scher embarrasses Digby with effusive and well-deserved praise.
More Netroots Nation pictures at Multi Medium.