Today, RealClearPolitics.com ran another tired old warhorse that appeared on the front page of Yahoo News:
"You Will Lose Your Private Health Insurance" the headline breathlessly cries.
What followed was 15 or so paragraphs bylined by one Robert Tracinski that would have made teabaggers and Sara Palin proud., replete with longshot assumptions, shaky logic and some plain old bullshit.
Some of those gems include...
In decrying the attempt to ban exclusion for preexisting conditions, Mr. Tracinski says:
"But why spend years paying these inflated premiums for insurance you're not using, when you can get exactly the same benefits by waiting until you actually fall ill? The obvious result is that million (sic) of people, especially healthy young people, will quickly realize that there is no reason to buy health insurance until they get sick."
Apparently, ol’ Robert thinks it’s OK to pay for a policy for years, only to be kicked off of it when you need it. So much better!
Mr. T adds:
"It is an attempt to turn health insurance into what the left really wants: another welfare program in which everyone is entitled to free benefits, mandated by the government. But this would wreck private health insurance, making the whole industrial (sic) financially unsustainable."
Kind of like how making booze legal again after Prohibition made rumrunning financially unsustainable. The 'industry', as it exists now, adds no value and is parasitic in nature. Who cries over the death of an industry whose profit margins are padded by allowing people to die?
So, having competition will wreck the industry. These kinds of ‘industries’ shouldn’t be for profit in the first place then. It’s uncanny how many ‘free-marketeers’ use this argument. Government-protected monopolies used to be called ‘utilities’ and had been regulated tightly to avoid the abuses their customers are now regularly exposed to. Todays healthcare insurance providers would wither and die quickly in an actual 'free market', and they know it.
Mr. Tracinski then offers up some advice to those wishing to save a few bucks:
"Right now, your best option for reducing the cost of your health insurance is to buy a policy with a high deductible, which leaves you to pay for routine checkups and minor injuries (preferably from savings held in a tax-free Health Savings Account) but which covers your needs in catastrophic circumstances-a bad car accident, say, or expensive treatment for cancer. This is the kind of coverage I have."
Clearly written by someone with no children, or perhaps someone who wraps each kid in bubble wrap before being sent outside to play. I had 5 brothers and sisters, 4 boys, 2 girls. The boys played football with the neighborhood kids, climbed trees, and generally were healthy and active. We all rode our bicycles when we wanted to go somewhere. Telling someone to field all the bills for x-rayed ankles and stitches for a half-dozen rugrats is what we would call "financially unsustainable", if we wanted to address the guy without swear words. Maybe he isn’t aware that smaller humans require daily feeding, sometimes up to three times a day!
We were far from rich. I’d say we were ‘lower middle class’. We also knew when someone was yanking our chain. I couldn’t imagine my Mom or Dad worrying about socialism while wondering how to pay for my sprained wrist and groceries in the same month. Sadly, many in the ‘red states’ still defend big corporations and the ultrarich, fearing some monster called ‘big government’ because someone in a 10 million dollar mansion told them capitalism is more important than their dialysis. Don’t they know that if they all were covered by health insurance, the elites would be forced to smoke Dominican cigars instead of Cubans? Ai Caramba!
He finishes with a flourish:
"That is the final and perhaps most compelling reason to kill this bill: the sheer arrogance of the whole enterprise. It is the arrogance of stampeding an unwilling public toward a monstrous 2,000-page piece of legislation while admitting that it still has huge problems, but promising that it will all somehow be fixed later on."
Oh, the sheer arrogance! 45,000 peons can die every year! We need to dither away at public options, opt-ins or outs, and so forth. But give away habeas corpus? Patriot Act? Nao Problemo! Tax cuts for the wealthy? Bam! Done! Endless war? Signed and delivered! That stuff sure helped the country, didn’t it?
I admit, RealCreepyPolitics is a target-rich environment. I don’t expect anything other than corporatist propaganda there. But this kind of stuff keeps jumping out at me EVERY DAY because Yahoo News is my home page. I need to know what others are thinking, in order to have an actual debate. But all I ever see is this stuff. And every time I see this stuff, I’m reminded of Jon Lovitz playing Mike Dukakis on SNL:
"I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!"