My sometime debating partner Ed Garvey frets that failing to enact health insurance reform "would ... let thousands of people not covered by health insurance die."
I must admit, I had not encountered any death toll numbers from the proponents of Washington-izing our health care. One would think that the President would have beaten the drums with scary numbers, amplified by the mainstream liberal news media and film at 6.
I do see where U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, a medical doctor, writes in the December 17 Wall Street Journal:
"Every American, not just seniors, should know that the rationing provisions in the [Sen. Harry] Reid bill will not only reduce their quality of life, but their life span as well. ... If I had been practicing under the Reid bill, the government would likely have told me I could not have done the test that discovered Sheila's cancer because it wasn't approved ..." [Wall Street Journal: The Health Bill Is Scary].
Notice that I called it "health insurance reform." Because it is not health care reform. The 2,000+ page bill now being debated discovers no new vaccine. Nor does it devise a single new procedure. It is a national insurance program. The uninsured do receive health care -- usually through hospital emergency rooms. That is not ideal and yes, the very wealthy will always get better health care than the poor, nationalized or not. Only Fidel Castro could receive treatment in Spain when he was seriously ill a few years ago despite Cuba's vaunted "free" health care.
I reproduce above a poster put out by an outfit called Public Option Please. I admire its artistry but wonder at its sangfroid about socialism. Apparently, it bothers no one that the heart beats in Washington D.C., not in the "heartland." Here is how conservatives view it:
When I look at this in the context of the Democrat's socialized health care schemes, I don't see blood vessels, I see the tentacles of the Federal bureaucracy. [Moonbattery: Another stupid commie poster]
Conservatives just do not trust Washington D.C., or Madison WI to be the font of all goodness. After all, how did that snow plowing thing work out for the City of Madison? You would fire the snowplow contractor who left your driveway, or employee or retail parking lot in such terrible condition.
The genius of the American experiment is to let a thousand flowers blossom. Top down does not work.
Ned Lamont, anyone?
If health insurance "reform" is enacted, it seems a safe bet it will not cover abortion nor offer a "public option," two of the favorite passions of the Left.
That grinding noise you hear is the Left sharpening its knives for the ritual slaughter. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, is the betting favorite to play the fatted calf.
Ed is uncharacteristically ungenial:
This egomaniac, this so-called Democrat ... parades his religious beliefs apparently to camouflage his incredible desire to be the center of attention, while acting pained and explaining that he is "torn" by his convictions. Well, time for action. Relieve his angst. Show him the door of the Democratic caucus now.
Rachel Maddow is promoting a Joe Must Go petition.
One House Democrat from Connecticut asks for a recall.
"No individual should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) told POLITICO.
Here's a class act: Joe Lieberman putting the "Jew" in the name Judas at a website called "Traitor Joe Lieberman." Paul Begala educates Daily Beast readers on "Lieberman's latest and most shameless betrayal." Or perhaps he's Just Misguided? Something called the "Democratic Underground" answers its own question. "I don't understand why people in the know are afraid to call Lieberman for what he is, IMO, a traitor to the United States of America."
"Benedict Arnold came to my mind. Judas seemed appropriate as well," concludes Shoes to Porn.
Capitalist pig Michael Moore is threatening to boycott Connecticut. (How does one boycott an entire state?)
Blogger Madeleine Kane scores " A Limerick For Traitor Joe:"
Joe Lieberman's meanness runs deep.
He's a back-stabbing, Dem-screwing creep,
Who's determined to kill
The health reform bill.
But at least he will never be VEEP.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) similarly suggested that blaming Lieberman was ignoring the real culprit -- Obama.
"This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don't think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth," said Feingold. "I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect." [Huffington Post: Dems lash out at Obama]
But Democrats should heed Lieberman, not vilify him, argues this essayist.
Want to argue that city government is not broken? The vote on the Common Council early Wednesday morning was 12-5 to overturn the Landmarks Commission and approve the expansion of the Edgewater Hotel - and the measure was still defeated!
Why, because it requires a super-majority 14 of the 20 council members - elected by the people of Madison - to overturn the appointed Landmarks Commission that anywhere else would be purely advisory. Is that screwy, or what? (Compton, Pham-Remmele and Schumacher were absent, Rummel, Verveer, Solomon, Cnare, Rhodes-Conway voted no to uphold the Commission.)
Paul Soglin gets it right:
An appointed commission carries more weight than 13 out of 20 members of the elected representatives.
In fact, if we look at the matter through the lens of last night's council vote, only five council members, representing 25% of the city, voted to sustain the Landmarks Commission and kill the project. [Edgewater Vote Troubling for Democracy]
Once again, folks, the essence of democracy is accountability to the people. Kings who rule by divine right are not accountable, neither are unelected commissions, whether the Regional Transit Authority, the DNR board, or the Landmarks Commission.
You can like the decision but still hate the process. (And boo for any meeting that goes until 5:15 in the morning. I had one on county board that lasted as long.)
Defenders of the status quo, listen up!
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute shows that the Milwaukee Public Schools have accrued $2.6 billion of unfunded health insurance liabilities.
This study not only paints a troubling picture of the financial viability of the district, it shows how a series of elected school boards have known about the growing unfunded liability and have chosen to ignore the problem.
Study author Don Bezruki "details how the health care liability is eating a hole in the MPS budget, every day diverting money from MPS classrooms. He found that the MPS school board has known about the pending catastrophe for 20 years, yet not once has lifted a finger to address this fiscal time bomb. ... The board ignored the problem in 1989, when it was first brought to light, and the board continues to ignore the problem today."
... We must surmise that the board is fine with paying $1,882/month per retired teacher for family health insurance coverage for the rest of their lives ... We must assume that the board is fine with a fringe benefit rate that now equals 68% of salaries. Most tellingly, we see that the board has elected to take care of its employee benefits rather than the children of Milwaukee. ... In the final analysis, this study is all about governance. [WPRI: A Critical Element of Reform of Milwaukee Public Schools: The Escalating Cost of Retiree Health Insurance]
Platinum subscriber bonus material:
- Someone is practicing real journalism: "Therefore there is no other option left for me than to come to the conclusion that AIDS Network needs to be defunded by the State of Wisconsin." [Caffeinated Politics: Why Do I Think AIDS Network Needs To Be Defunded By State Of Wisconsin?]
- Doyle: Wisconsin needs 15-year grace period on cap and trade Ho, ho, ho!
- Guns Don't Kill people, Angry Conservatives with Guns Do.
A letter to the editor of a Nevada newspaper writes:
I don't understand why the White House is so upset about the two party crashers at Barack Obama's steak dinner the other night. ... I would suggest it is more appropriate to call them 'undocumented guests.' Just because they weren't officially invited doesn't mean they should be treated as criminals. Maybe they should get free health care, free housing, free legal services ... and they should be able to bring their relatives, too.