Monday, March 22, 2010

My take on the health care bill.

Here's Tom Tomorrow's take on the situation back in 1994. The Republicans threw everything they had into defeating the bill and they got the job done. They tried again in 2010, doubling down on the anger and the crazy, and they came up craps.

Just like HillaryCare '94 and HillaryCare '08, the bill that passed is not made to punish the health insurance industry for their many past misdeeds. I have blog buddies who are very happy, like Oliver Willis, and others who are not, like Tengrain. Both are on the left side of the spectrum.

I'm glad some progress was made, because our system is the worst of both worlds. The grotesquely expensive stuff helps keep people who can afford it alive, but even people with insurance can run into astronomical bills that spell either death or bankruptcy. And then there's the emergency room care for people who can't afford anything. I've had it and it sucks.

If more young people have health insurance, we might start seeing some improvement in infant mortality rates. It would be nice to be competing with Canada and the United Kingdom in the number of babies we keep alive, instead of being stuck somewhere between Cuba and Croatia.

I don't like the idea of making everyone buy in to the private system. Time will tell if the help for low income people will be enough. I didn't like it when California made it a crime to drive without car insurance, and I don't like this either. I think health insurance is a better deal by far than car insurance, because it gives you the chance to see a doctor when you are well. If car insurance paid for oil changes and tune-ups, it would be a far more valuable commodity.

The Republicans are counting on keeping the hate and anger up for another seven months or so and do well in the midterm elections. I don't know if that works. You have to give your electorate hope, and the idea that they will "repeal" the health care bill makes no sense when Obama is still the president. The Tea Party movement is a double edged sword for them, and many of the newly energized people in that movement distrust the Republican establishment as much as they distrust the Democrats. Lots of bitter primary fights could lead to less attractive Republican candidates, unable to sway moderate voters.

2001 to 2008 was a very dark time in our history, and people who voted Democratic in 2008 want things to be fixed faster than they currently being fixed. I understand that. But this Monday, I want to thank a pragmatic president named Barack Obama for pulling off the biggest legislative victory any Democratic president has achieved since the master horse trader and arm twister Lyndon Baines Johnson was sitting in the Oval Office.

Good on ya, sir. Sorry your basketball brackets have gone to crap, but I think you'll be remembered in the history books for something else that happened this weekend instead.


Anonymous said...

I think the legislation has forced the U.S. to join other civilized countries. . . it's about time! Good post Matty Boy.

namastenancy said...

Given the opposition against him, I didn't think he could pull this off. It's not what I want but it's a good start. I was getting a bit cynical about what Obama could accomplish but I now have renewed hope. I'm still an old lefty but for him to do this and continue on course is pretty amazing - maybe he can pull the country back to the center and isolate the crazies by the end of his term in office. So, by gum - Yes He can.

Tengrain said...

Hey Matty -

While it was a proposal I didn't like it because it didn't go far enough.

But now that it is passed, let's make it better, let's make it the legislation that we want. I'm a pragmatist at heart.

Now the real challenge is to get the vested interests to actually make amendments to improve it.