October 31st, 2009

Conclusion: the Democratic Party does not want to make private health care insurance work

I find it difficult to believe that the Democrats (with the possible exception of the Blue Dogs) have any interest in reforming the health care insurance business so that private insurance works better.

It would be relatively easy to pass a bipartisan bill that actually made a bona fide attempt to do this. No, it wouldn’t get all the Republican votes, and it might lose some of the most stubbornly ultra-liberal Democrats who want to make a pro-public-option protest. But if Obama (and Pelosi and Reid) were to push a bill that focused on the private sector and actually tried to improve it, I have little doubt that most Democrats and Republicans would work together and it would be passed.

But if—after all the problems they’ve had with the public option so far—the Democratic leadership in Congress has not abandoned it and embraced reform of the private system, and if Obama has not offered leadership in that direction, it is because they are uninterested in doing so. After all, if they were to actually improve the system of private health care insurance, make it more affordable and transportable, and even extend coverage to the poverty-stricken citizens who need it and can’t afford it, America might find it works fairly well.

What would be wrong with that? Nothing, in my book. Quite a lot, in the Pelosi/Reid/Obama one. It would annoy their Left wing (the one they belong to). And it would vindicate the idea of private sector (albeit government-guided) solutions over public ones.

That would mean abandoning the real dream, which is not to make private health insurance more affordable and reasonable (crossing state lines, for example, and catastrophic insurance being available), but to create a government-run system with greater and greater government control over our lives, as well as one that spreads the wealth.

[NOTE: Michael C. Burgess, MD, member of the House from Texas, has this to say about the process by which the present bill came to be:

Furthermore, the process leading up to today in the House of Representatives has been the most secretive and opaque since I was elected to Congress in 2002. House Republicans, including the thirteen of us who are medical professionals, were denied the opportunity to participate in the legislative process from the beginning, despite our continued efforts to provide real ideas for meaningful reform based on our years of experience. Democrats have completely ignored the millions of Americans who voiced their strong opposition to a government takeover of America’s health care system by pushing ahead with a ‘public option’ and a drastic expansion of Medicaid.

“I will continue my efforts to help enact pro-patient reforms to America’s health care system that will increase choice and access to health insurance and health care, lower costs, encourage patient involvement, and ensure that the world’s best health care system remains intact. House Republicans, including myself, have introduced no fewer than 100 bills that would accomplish these goals, fixing what is broken in our health care system without allowing the federal government to completely take over. I look forward to reading all 1,990 pages of this bill over the next few days and doing the work North Texans sent me to Washington to do. I will continue to fight on behalf of responsible health care solutions Americans support.”

Anybody listening?]

19 Responses to “Conclusion: the Democratic Party does not want to make private health care insurance work”

  1. Steve G Says:

    The health care bill is not about health care. It’s about power and control. Liberals will use any artifice to sell their latest power grab. If they get away with this one there will be no going back. And, if we later come to understand that the public option doesn’t work, the Democrats will claim that it is the fault of the Republicans. They will just come up with another big lie, like “Bush lied. People died”. We have such a short collective memory, even with YouTube and other readily archived sources. And, because the MSM will lie down for the Democrats, it is not too hard to rewrite history to come to the new “truths”.

    I used to naively think that both parties had the interests of the country at heart. No longer. The Republicans act to preserve the safety of the country against other nations that might cause us harm. The Democrats preserve their multiple power bases by treating each as victims of some perceived form of discrimination and act to blame the Republicans for all of their woes. Today, it would not be too outlandish to assert that the Democrats only enemy is the Republican party. After all, it is all that stands between them and the power they so earnestly seek and assume that they are competent to wield.

    One reason why we conservatives have a growing contempt for RINOs is that, while they are all nice people, they haven’t the slightest idea how much they are taken for fools by the Democrats. They insist on trying to work with the other side and, like idiots, never learn that when they cede their own positions they get only lip service in return. And, a hearty “Well Done (fool)”

    If the Republican party insists on nominating RINOs, they will end up debasing their message and their principles. As a resident of NJ, I am being bombarded by calls from the Republican party to vote for Christy on Tuesday. But, while I know that Corzine is a tax and spend Democrat, I have no idea what Christy stands for. Should I vote for Christy just because he is not a Democrat? If so, I will most likely be getting Democrat-lite, and lot’s of frustration while he acts as a “smarter” Democrat than the Democrats.

  2. Engineer Bob Says:

    I think Megan McArdle’s recent post “Random thoughts on health care” made very similar points.

    I think POR know that their bill is broken, and want it passed anyway. By randomly mixing in fantasy, they think they can get enough sound bites to pass it. What they want is a handle to get in; once in, they believe they can steer the government to get the outcomes they want.

    They would have to believe that, I think, since they sincerely believe that big government is the best solver of all major problems.

  3. betsybounds Says:

    I live in the mid-South and don’t know much at all about Christie, but if I lived in Jersey I’d vote for him for no other reason than that he is a Republican. At this point, that will have a big impact on the national scene–if even people in Jersey are voting Dems out, everyone will notice. I think that’s one place where such a vote would send a fairly astonishing message.

  4. Lucius Says:

    I say let us split the country into two systems. Anyone Democrat or leftest must be forced into a Marxest system. Let them eat the fruits of their philosophy…confiscate 90% of their wealth and redistribute it, force them into goverment rationed care, make them buy only only the gangster UAW automobiles, stick their children in failing public schools. I want to make life so burdensome, so politically, socially, economically and spiritually deadening to them that they will howl in despair at the slavery they imposed upon themselves. The rest of us can live as productive free men and women.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve G: There is one BIG reason to vote for Christie, and it has nothing to do with New Jersey. If Christie were to win in such a blue state (or even come close), it would send waves of fear through Obama, because it would represent a huge backlash (at least, I believe he would interpret it that way). What’s more, it would make the Blue Dogs in Congress realize they will be out on their ears if they vote for the health care reform bill. It would be very likely to give them a little more courage to defy Pelosi and Reid. Therefore it could be very important to vote for Christie.

  6. Andrew_M_Garland Says:

    A post of mine from a year ago directly applies as a comment here. An excerpt:

    Brad said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn’t agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn’t agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.

    Brad’s Friends want to be elected, then use that power to make your life better, and you better, whether you agree or not. Brad’s Friends are not motivated by respect for their fellow citizens or a regard for the truth. They want to produce a grand experiment to make a better world. Eventually, they will make you agree with them.

    Some people are willing to devote their entire life in order to lead us to nirvanna.
    Leading The People

  7. jon baker Says:

    NEO, if you have not already read it, you might find this piece by Ben Shapiro intersting: “….Modern liberalism is now impoverished by its own simplicity. Government is always the solution, and individualism is always the problem. As President Obama so succinctly put it in 2008, “our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.” Steinbeck’s liberalism put it differently: “It believe that man is a double thing — a group animal and at the same time an individual. And it occurs to me that he cannot successfully be the second until he has fulfilled the first.” The founders would have agreed with Steinbeck. Today’s liberals agree with Frank and Obama. The day authentic liberalism died, so did the possibility of bridging the gap between modern liberalism and the founding principles of our country.”

    http://www.creators.com/opinion/ben-shapiro.html?columnsName=bsh

  8. jon baker Says:

    Phooey, first I misspelled “interesting”, and now I note that the web page that I copied Shapiro from has “It…” in the quote from Steinbeck when both context and the hard copy that was in our local paper suggest “I…” was the correct thing.

  9. ahem Says:

    Of course it’s not about healthcare; it’s about seizing control of the United States and making it a socialist country, as Soros and the radical Left wishes. If ‘healthcare reform’ passes, Obama will have successfully seized control of 48% of the private business in the US (!!!). He’s a communist.

    And I don’t believe he intends to run any fair elections afterward, either. Unless the populace wakes up, we’ve had our last free election. No, I’m not overreacting.

  10. Thomass Says:

    ahem Says:

    “seizing control of the United States and making it a socialist country, as Soros”

    I’m not a big fan of always following the money but its worth noting how Soros made his money. Currency speculation… specifically again the British Pound.

    I wonder if he is really a socialist or just going set up to profit when the dollar declines…..

    A stock broker friend was really into studying Soros before he became known for politics. He was always going on about what a strategist he was and if only he could be like him it would be easy to become wealthy… Well, electing a leftist in the US… any strategist could see that considering our pre Obama budget problems (ie, they were already a big problem)… that a leftist’s spending would probably be enough to start the currency crisis that was going to happen sometime down the road… sooner / now.

  11. Tom Says:

    Neo:
    It will take a great deal more than Christy in NJ for Baraq to feel waves of fear. One of the many ways he differs from our run-of-the-mill politicos. What’s for him to fear? He’s the Prez, he’s fixed for life. He knows we’ll never put his severed head on a spear.

    That he has no fear of us, thus no responsibility toward us, is actually the heart of the problem.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    Tom: I wondered about Barack and those waves as well, even as I wrote that. However, I think the empowerment of the Blue Dogs is more likely, and very important as well.

  13. Tom Says:

    As B Franklin said, the Blue Dogs must all hang together, or Baraq and Rahm will hang them separately.

  14. Lucius Says:

    What Blue Dogs? Every Democrat save 7 have voted for this Marxism. Out with them all.

  15. Bookworm Room » Wonderful stuff from all over the blogosphere Says:

    [...] In my polite facebook battles with liberals who see salvation in ObamaCare, I often ask that they explain why the Democrats don’t fix the breaks in our current system, rather than breaking it entirely.  None answer.  Neo-Neocon explains why. [...]

  16. Obloodyhell Says:

    Neo, think about what government run health care represents:

    A fresh new slushpile of money.

    The existing slushpiles are all in trouble — Social Security, Medicare, etc. — they are all in danger of becoming insolvent.

    What better way to “fix” that than to guarantee a huge new influx of money into the “general revenue” stream that they can misappropriate at will?

    You want to understand why they are so fixated on the “single payer option”, I contend that provides all the answers.

  17. Dan @ israeli Uncensored News Says:

    I don’t understand the discussion on making health care affordable. Repeal the AMA’s monopoly, that’s it. No amount of legislation would preclude a monopoly from jacking the prices.

  18. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    I very much like what Congressman Burgess has to say, so I’m reluctant to call him a liar. But does he really intend to read 1990 pages “over the next few days”? I hope he’s a speedreader, that he doesn’t sleep, and that he has plenty of highlighters.

    Of course, given that he said “I look forward to reading all 1,990 pages of this bill over the next few days”, perhaps I should call him a liar. It is certainly his job to read it, but only a masochist could enjoy it.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  19. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    You know what would be interesting?

    Let’s stipulate for a moment that our Elected Leaders in Washington (ELiW) actually do have our best interests at heart, and want us to have the best possible health-care at the lowest reasonable prices. In that case, they ought to be willing to try an experiment, just to see what works best.

    Pick the reddest of Red States. (Texas, perhaps?) Remove all Federal obligations vis-a-vis health care for them, with a fixed expiration date of one year. During that time, let the market decide: doctors who charge too much will go out of business, insurance companies with ridiculous premiums will lose customers similarly, and the market will stabilize on a workable solution.

    If it doesn’t work, the ELiW can say “I told you so”, and keep on doing what they’re doing. (If it really is a miserable failure, well, the ELiW didn’t get many votes from said Red State, did they? Live and learn.)

    Of course, this fails on the first premise. If improved health-care was really what they wanted, they would not be trying to ram an unreadable bill down our throats with no time for second thoughts.

    Just saying…

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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