Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Mandate without a Public Option

There have a couple of posts to this regard at the Great Orange Satan in recent days but it bears repeating that forcing people to buy insurance (the Mandate)--which was the Hilary position in the campaign and which Obama at the time opposed and which I'm not crazy about for a variety of reasons--without providing a low-cost public option is illogical, blatantly unfair, and maybe even unconstitutional.

That there today (a) exists a private market for individual insurance and that (b) few people go for this private sector, free-market "option", should give policymakers pause about requiring people to buy into it without a low-cost, regulated public option.

The Rationing We Have

Steven Pearlstein rips Michael Steele's face off:

Indeed, Republicans seem determined to preserve the uniquely American system under which health care is rationed today -- on the basis of employment status and ability to pay. According to the respected Institute of Medicine, this market-based approach to rationing has held the number of untimely deaths each year to a mere 18,000 uninsured souls. Thanks to Medicare, all of those victims are younger than 65, but apparently that is the kind of age-based rationing that real Republicans can embrace.

After reading his broadside, one is left wondering exactly what health reform plan Steele thought he was attacking. At one point, Steele claims that Democrats would prevent Americans from keeping their doctors or an insurance plan they like. Later, he warns that government will soon be setting caps on how many heart surgeries could be performed in the United States each year. Where is he getting this stuff? Has the chairman of the Republican Party somehow gotten hold of a top-secret plan for a government takeover of the health-care system that GOP operatives snatched during a break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters?

If all that sounds spurious and unsubstantiated, it is. And like many of the overstated claims in this column, its purpose is to highlight the lies, distortions and political scare tactics that Steele and other Republicans have used to poison the national debate over health reform.

Have you no shame, sir? Have you no shame?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stuff I Wish I'd Written

If we make 9/11 a national day of service, that means the terrorists will have won.

This private-public, civilian army of phone-bankers and envelope-stuffers sounds pretty teh awesome, though.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What Booman Said

Vote for cloture or lose your Chairs.

Now, this isn't so hard to understand, is it?

If it's Monday...

It must be anti-Chavez day at the Washington Post.

But I'm confused, or maybe I'm just missing something.

Isn't the very pro American Colombian president--or at least his honchos in his rubber-stamp legislature--trying to ram through a constitutional amendment to allow him to run again, for a third consecutive term, which is unconstitutional?

Shouldn't we be supporting a military coup in Colombia to prevent such an undemocratic and unconstitutional thing from happening, like we did in Hondurus?

How could The Post not have thought to mention this to us?