Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Obama and health care

As I write this, Barack Obama is scheduled to sign the new U.S. health care reform bill into law. As a Canadian with free access to high-quality, single-payer public health care, this makes me really happy. The barbarism of the system that is about to be replaced makes my head spin. ANYTHING would be better than what they have now.

But a lot of people, especially on the progressive/left end of things, are unhappy with the bill because it leaves out a lot of things they felt were important. I confess I agree, up to a point.

However, I would (grudgingly) suggest that the fact that the bill passed by such a narrow margin means it included exactly as much compromise as it needed and no more. In other words, whatever's in this bill is the absolute best thing that could have passed.

A lot of other people, especially in the mainstream media, are punditting around about how the cost of the bill (in money and in political capital) mean Obama won't be able to get much else done.

Let's leave aside the laughable notion that somehow his insistence on going ahead despite Republican opposition lowers his chances in the future of brokering bipartisan compromise (laughable because you can't go lower than zero.) What's striking, to me, is how time and again people have predicted Obama's failure at this and that, and how those predictions--once they were proven absurdly unfounded--were completely forgotten.

In early 2008 he was either not black enough or too black to win the nomination, depending on who you asked.

In late 2008 the Obama-Clinton primary fight had caused irreparable damage to the Democratic Party.

Now turning health care from something that was utterly intolerable into something that merely disappoints is going to be his political swan song.

We shall see.

1 comment:

  1. This bill is a dangerous abortion that should die a very rapid death in the courts.

    It was forced in with a process that is only ever meant to be used to balance the books in dire emergency, not to vote in a giant entitlement program.

    Instead of removing HMOs and insurances as a do-nothing middle man, this entrenches them in law, and makes it mandatory for a private citizen to enter into a contract with a private company. Don't use cars as an analogy - you aren't required to drive a car, and driving is a privilege, not a right.

    Of course, the kicker is, if you're broke, you're exempt from the law, so this literally makes it business as usual. Poor? No health insurance for you. Same as before. Middle class? Prepare for a captive-audience assrailing.

    The ugly truth is that Obama's credit cards have been cancelled by the Chinese, and he's got nowhere to go. So he's proposed/rammed through HEALTH CARE - the taxes start NOW, the benefits, four to ten years from now. Four years of taxation with no expenses. Hmmmmm.

    The real horror is cost, and yet Obama wants to put taxes on all medicine, and refuses tort reform, eliminating people who were given the wrong baby to nurse once are entitled to a Lexus sized payout, regardless of actual harm. However, the Democrats' biggest contributors are the legal profession, who have said in NO uncertain terms DO NOT CUT OFF OUR GRAVY TRAIN.

    This things's a fustercluck and there's direct impacts. I had great difficulty finding a doctor because NOBODY's taking on new patients, just as how NOBODY's hiring because they're unsure how much Obama's new taxes are going to COST.

    Oh, and if you did have insurance, it's now taxable. Your taxes went up $2-3K. No taxing the middle class my ASS. Lying bastard.

    "They won't be able to deny you insurance". No, they'll just jack up the cost. There's nothing in the law preventing such gouging. This doesn't mean get cancer and get treatment for free. This means get cancer and your premiums go up to what your treatments cost, + their profit. What a joke.