Thursday, January 21, 2010

Late night health care musings

The professional practice of politics to me is a putrid affair best left to those gifted examples of humanity who can do something even more fantastic that walk and chew bubble gum at the same time and that is to kiss someone’s ass while stabbing them in the back. Has politics in general and American politics specifically always been such inherently diabolical statement on human nature?

I honestly feel it has except that for most of our history the federal government was never was such a direct influence on our lives as it is today. While I’m no expert on history I have read enough that back in the day the federal government was at best some far away place that was spoken along the same lines as some mythical kingdom full of fantastic and strange people and incredible places. In this long ago and lost time the main concerns of most Americans were of working to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads to a far higher degree than we do in this time of relative plenty. I can imagine the greatest concern most people had about the federal government since its creation until say the early 1930’s was that the mail would be delivered in a timely fashion.

No matter how much many, including myself to a certain extent, might want to go back to a simpler time it just isn’t going to happened. The United States is a far more complex place requiring the government to expand its scope of operation and regulation of many activities or entities that the framers of the Constitution just never could have imagined. The ideas of many Libertarians and conservative Republicans that our complex society could be handled strictly through the free market or through self regulation of these evolving entities is as delusional and wrong as the Communists who thought the almighty state could control everything.

This battle between the forces of free market anarchy and stifling control in the complex times we find ourselves living in has made American politics a far more polarizing affair. Various minions scramble to shape and spin complex issues into convenient sound bites so the masses whose attention span has been whittled away by such highlights of American culture like reality television and journalism that dwells on the latest antics of narcissistic celebrities can be carefully herded into the right direction. Not only lost in this shuffle but blatantly ridiculed by the polarizing forces is the truth about our society, its failings, and the understanding of what it will take to fix the things that need attention.

The point in my extremely long winded and rambling post is that after the debacle of the recent Massachusetts vote to fill the seat long held by Teddy Kennedy a completely different approach to health care reform will have to be taken. In my ever humble opinion the Democratic sausage makers residing the halls of congress have painted themselves into a corner. The loss of the 60 seat majority will allow the Republicans an orgasmic opportunity to filibuster the current complex and greatly deficient bill to death.

Not to sound partisan but fear monger acolytes of various special interest and business groups have twisted and turned the facts about the undeniable need to restructure our health care system. Many who would benefit from a fair reorganization are now willing to live with possible denial of coverage because of preexisting conditions and ever skyrocketing premiums over fears of the devil they don’t know as compared to the devil they do.

Long story short the tidal wave of the 2008 election that elected Barrack Obama president has been spent. And to be honest while he is doing his best the dynamic campaigner seems to have been replaced with an aloof and unemotional “Spock” who leaves far too much to the sausage making denizens on Capitol Hill. Joe Scarborough irritates the Hell out of me at times but on Wednesday morning while glowing in the victory of the Tea Bagger who won the Massachusetts senate seat he did say something I had to agree with despite how much it pissed me off. He said the president’s leadership in the health care debate has been extremely lacking and that previous presidents, he mentioned Johnson, would have long since forced an agreement.

The advantages the Democrats gained with the seats they gained in both 2006 and 2008 has been pissed away like a drunken sailor drinks away his paycheck with him waking up the next morning wondering where it all went. During this time the Republicans have reorganized and frankly ju-jitsu our asses. Whining and self defeating in-fighting by the Democrats will only keep us boxed and our options restricted. So what are we suppose to do now?

A Democratic "rope-a-dope" strategy is needed and I heard Mike Barnicle say something Wednesday morning that needs to be thought about.

While Joe Scarborough was smugly sitting across the table talking trash about the Democrats, some rightly so, Mike said that the Democrats need to drop the current bill and bring one up that only eliminates preexisting conditions and makes health insurance portable. Then defy the Republicans to vote against it.

Yes, it wouldn't have a public option but after this election disaster I say again I don't believe the current bill will pass. And using the senate nuclear option will, in my opinion, only blow up in the Democrats faces.

But back to Barnicle's suggestion, I would also add a segment removing the anti-trust protection from the health insurance companies. I’d like to see Republicans try to explain why the big boys making billions on the back of people while denying coverage and raising premiums need to be protected.

I figure we can continue or current fighting for something that will never pass or we can put the Republicans into a position that will force them to show where their loyalties really lay, the people or big corporations.

That's it I'm done with politics for awhile.


MRMacrum said...

That's it I'm done with politics for awhile

Yeah right. You can't help yourself. I am the same way. So far I have been able to keep my mouth shut. But the pressure building.

What you suggest as a new approach by Democrats on Healthcare is what they should have done in the first place. Take Healthcare on a piece at a time. But well, the Democratic Leadership are as numb as the Republican Leadership. We don't desevre better because we don't insist on better.

Beach Bum said...

MRMacrum: I have often thought a pox should fall on both their houses. Now in relative terms I am a liberal. Here in South Carolina I'm damn near a communist but in say San Francisco they would probably look at me as a lowlife conservative.

Either way I feel the politicians and pundits have made governing damn near impossible with their insistence that its their way or the highway.

While I often think the Democratic leadership needs to be sold a pair of cement shoes and dumped in the Potomac the republican opposition is largely racists and clearly slaves to their corporate masters.

But like you said until we insist they behave and act like adults it won't get any better. But like I mentioned our attention span is so short and we are so pliable with the propaganda spewed out by all the fucktards we will never pull our heads out our asses.

Holte Ender said...

The old saying: We get the government we deserve makes me think "what we have done to deserve this?" Politics has been really exposed in the past 10 years as being super corrupt, more than it ever was, the Health Care Bill really highlights the worst of Congressional wheeling and dealing. Chopping the Bill up into pieces and pushing it through bite size, may well gather support, Obama has still got a few years left to get it done.

Stimpson said...

That's a great idea, just eliminate the "pre-existing condition" out that insurance companies have and do a couple of other things. It's a far cry from getting the sort of civilized systems that all the rest of the industrialized world enjoys, but U.S. political culture clearly won't let that kind of system arise all at once.

I'll be watching with interest, and all the while enjoying the hell out of living in a country with a system that allowed me to leave a job that was killing me and not have to worry about whether I'd still be insured for health care.

sunshine said...

You should move to Canada! :D

I'm not sure why but, American politics makes me tired. :P


Randal Graves said...

The only thing that'll fix this long term is torches n' pitchforks and everyone knows it, including all you "don't give up" and/or pragmatic types out there. With money involved? Good fucking luck. Oh, if only I had typed one more email today! Yawn.

Beach Bum said...

Holte and Stimpson: After the decision the Supremes sent down today I am very pessimistic about anything getting done.

Sunshine: Given the political situation I may need a sponsor so I can immigrant so keep your ears open. But truthfully I could see myself really digging British Columbia or the Maritime provinces.

Randal: I've been ready to hang some of those bastards from lamp posts even before Bush left office.

Rhiannon said...

Well, Beach Bum, now that the supreme court has made their horrible decision today, it looks like the tea baggers won't get much of anywhere along with many other "fellow human beings", unless they become a "corporation". The same thing the tea baggers and GOP gripes about will now never happen if big money will be controlling everything..which of course in my humble opinion is why I never understood the GOP. They always get more "Big money" from corporations and lobbyists. Yet, soon all will see the huge "Change" in how they are controlled also. Including the GOP. Money talks talks talks and we are going to have to have the courage to "SPEAK" very loudly with our own individual voices and picketing and maybe even a revolution who knows? Or the Corporations and wall street and the banks will be controlling more than they ever have before..Scary!

Thing of it is that the GOP is now very happy about the Supreme courts decision, but down the road in due time..they will not be. Corporations will soon be running everything even more than the GOP has an understanding about "yet" and soon they will try to pry their feet out of their mouths..but it might just be too late...lessons learned often happened in huge huge ways...and I guess we can let the GOP smile and gloat and be all happy and think they "Got back at Obama" by stopping anything he wanted to do or try "New". They are obstructionist and never have a "new plan" they just want no government in their life..figure just leave poor people and middle class people on their own hanging. ...except when it comes to abortions or their religion or their guns, etc...ha ha ha..

We have all got our feet pried in our mouths...because it's always about 'getting even" "Getting back" "Anger" big business, Fox news celebrities making politics and big big money..and of course like I said "corporations" what a concept...we are all in deep do do now and the GOP will soon feel the burn too. They will be "controlled" also...

Too bad people are so divided..was so hoping that we as "mature" Americans might be willing to work together to solve this countries problems. I am beginning to think that cutting this country in half into two different countries actually might sound like a good idea about now.

Sorry I'm a bit down about all this also...but in the long run being obstructionist will destroy the GOP. It's as if so many people have lost any compassion, understanding or heart for others period...selfish "Bastards" that's all we are..

Oh, and don't forget that the state of Mass. already has medical coverage for over 90% of everyone in that state, so why should they give a hoot about anyone else getting this also? They want it state regulated and if the public option happened then it wouldn't be...if that makes any sense. Oh and Brown winning? It was all just people pissed and not understanding that Brown is not who they think he is...mark my words. He's a fool and very inexperienced. They will only find this out the hard way...fools


Beach Bum said...

Thing of it is that the GOP is now very happy about the Supreme courts decision, but down the road in due time..they will not be.

All I can say is good point and that Dr. Frankenstein was ultimately killed by the monster he created.

I am beginning to think that cutting this country in half into two different countries actually might sound like a good idea about now.

I agree as well cause I have felt for a long time that the country I was born in and served for 21 years does not exist anymore. You will not like most of what he says but on my blogroll is a link to a gut named Fred Reed and one of his first columns I read years ago siad that he didn't think America was actually all that stable. I have come to agree with him on that idea on several different levels.

The world and the underlying nature of our very society had altered to the point that the long time benefactors of the status quo here in America feel their power slipping away. Hell, half of what Pat Bucannan writes these days is about scaried white people and the how non-whites are taking over.

So dividing the country might be the best way a certain section and groups in it to feel comfortable and safe and while the other section is able to adapt to the changing world of the 21st century.


Time Obama became tough. He's compromising his presidency and to a great extent, the people, by continuing to seem weak.



Don't despair.

I think that was a battle lost but Obama is probably stepping back to win the war.

He's already started!

Finally, the US president we all are waiting for!

Just as we here were all getting desperate for a tough US president who had promised to tackle head-on the 8-year mess left by Bush and cronies, i.e., change, President Obama declares war on Wall Street:

“We should no longer allow banks to stray too far from their central mission of serving their customers,” he said. “My resolve to reform the system is only strengthened when I see record profits at some of the very firms claiming that they cannot lend more to small business, cannot keep credit card rates low and cannot refund taxpayers for the bailout. If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have. Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by a bank that is too big to fail.”

That banks should have the nerve to reward themselves fat salaries and bonuses after they were bailed out by taxpayers is downright obscene.

So, perhaps, he's getting armed to the teeth to battle with the enemies of health care: insurance giants?

TRUTH 101 said...

I agree with you Beach Bum. A real reform isn't in the cards on health care so put just a few good ideas on the table and dare the republicans. You have to put these jokers on the money.

MadMike said...

I don't agree that the president or his administration are doomed to failure because of the loss of Massachusetts. Lets face it. We couldn't do anything with our so-called "super-majority" when we had it. Remember Jumpin' Joe Lieberman? I don't think for one minute that the president is weak either. I think he is feeling his way around, trying to fix all of the many, many things George Bush and his republicans had broken. As to taking HCR one step at a time, apparently that can't be done either, except in theory but not in practice. Machiavelli once said that a "prince should rather act slowly so that he does not come to fear his own shadow." In this case "the prince" could easily become "the president." Now before anyone goes nuts I am not referring to the pres as royalty. I am just using an interesting Machiavellian quote to make a point. Peace out....

TRUTH 101 said...

I do need to point out an oversite on my part and a good job to Beach Bum for seeing this.

He is correct that nothing will get done with this Supreme Court. Even if legislation passes through Congress, this court will over rule it after the republicans file their suits.

I'm getting ready to correct the oversite of not having you linked yet also Beach Bum. Get a little lazy from time to time.

Marja said...

Oh politics. Are that the people who promise you everything and do the opposite. In Hollland they always had a good health system. Everybody is compulsary insured for health. It gets taken of your salary or benefit.
I never had to pay for dentist, doctor etc. Because the system is becoming too expensive, lots gets taken out and the people have to pay for more and more.

William Dunigan said...

Greetings to one and all: In that most precious name. That name which is above every name, the name: "Jesus" ____There's tremendous power in that name. I'd suppose we'll never fully realize all that can truly be accomplished, by us simply calling out that name in true faith.____There's an old, old, gospel song that goes like this: Faith in the Father, faith in the Son, faith in the Holy Spirit, great victories are won. Demons will tremble and sinners will awake, faith in Jehovah will anything shake.____For you who have never come into this realization, if you're reading this, just give him a welcome into your heart and life. You will both feel and see an awesome difference. You will have also purchased the ticket to heaven (by accepting, therefore making him welcome to come into your life. You will also sup from His cup that contains living water. (As did the woman at the well of Bethesda.) John 4:10____Much love, ____Your brother in Christ Jesus, who is both our Lord, and "" ...

MadMike said...

Amen brother! I wonder if he really knows where he is. Then again I don't know if there are quite as many atheists over here as there are at my place:-)

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The thing is, double b, if we simply elimiate the pre-existing clauses and not have a mandate, too, people will simply wait until they get sick to buy insurance. I'm not sure how the Democrats OR the Republicans are going to be able negitiate around that. Portability would be a heck of a lot easier.

Beach Bum said...

Hill: I do hope Obama has found his fighting spirit. While I can appreciate his Spock-like demeanor being president often requires that all holding that office have the ability to bully and charm congress and the people.

But given the recent Supreme court decision about unrestrained campaign money from corporations I'm afraid the return of Obama's fight spirit might be too little too late.

Truth101: That was my point exactly; we need to put them on the defensive. Being hit with talk of death panels and all the other scare tactics through Democrats of the game, plus they simply got lazy.

Madmike: I agree with you but Virgil once said: "Fortune favors the bold." And maybe the better organized as well but I would be digressing.

Truth 101: No worries, I get caught up in mounds of stinky poop all the time here at the house which throws me off stuff I should do.

Marja: Especially here in the States I figure Americans are going to have to take far better care of themselves. We can't go on eating bad food that makes us fat and endangers our bodies. That’s part of the reason our health care system is about to fail.

William Dunigan: ****Everyone please excuse Billy and his spamming. I think I irritated the old fart and this is pay back.******

Madmike: I think that guy is someone I jumped on at a friend's site. I'm going to report him if it happens again.

Will: I understand your point about preexisting conditions but I have heard far too many stories of coverage denied for people who have had health insurance for years only for it to be canceled when they needed it the most.

On the surface I have no problem with insurance companies covering their ass by requiring physicals and interviews of new customers. And some sort of insurance pool for those who have conditions the insurance companies will not cover.

Now I have to go on the record that I am ultimately a supporter of a single-payer, government run insurance system. While I have no direct contact with patiences I do work in a hospital and I would have to be deaf not to hear some of the background chatter by nurses and doctors over people who are dying but have no, and can't get any insurance. For insurance CEO's to be making tens of millions in salary while a child with cancer can't get the needed treatments is not only insane but inhuman.

Hill said...

Congress might as well start wearing corporate logos on their clothes, a la NASCAR drivers.

They're bought and paid for. Might as well wear their endorsements.


Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Don't get me wrong, double b, I'm totally against these pre-existing condition clauses. My only point is that they (the abolitions of these clauses) can't exist alone. They have to be part of a much bigger reform package; yours, mine, whosever.