About that "historic moment" in health insurance reform
Charlie Pierce calls his shot:
My new favorite futile argument for passing the current [Piece Of Shit] is that, in our politics, simply by passing the aforementioned POS, we forever will have established, banners aloft, the notion that healthcare is a right or, at least, an affirmative obligation of the national government. As a result, we will be freer to move forward as the years go by. This is a fine argument, provided that you were cryogenically frozen in 1958.
Let me explain to everyone holding this particular view what is going to happen. The POS is going to pass. The Republicans are going to oppose it and run against it. The Democrats are going to look ridiculous for a year defending it, and the Democrats who most opposed it are going to look the most ridiculous, because it is going to be politically impossible for a Democrat to run against this bill. The prevailing media narrative will prevent it. Millions more American will have health insurance, but millions of Americans will be forced by law to fork over their money, during a grisly recession, to the greediest and least popular industry the country has seen since the railroads were running amok in the 1890's.* These people will go broke a little more slowly, depending on how sick they get. The industry will jack up its rates until we all have to put in new attics. The subsidies will fail to keep up. And then the industry will lie about doing any of it, and the White House will send out a sternly worded letter. The industry will be stopped by the new "consumer protections" approximately as effectively as a butterfly stops a freight train. By the end of 2009 [sic; 2010?], these "reforms" will be thoroughly despised by a healthy portion of the electorate. The Republicans will then use the weaknesses of the reforms to assume control of the Congress, whereupon they will leave the mandates in place, gut the regulations, and laugh their way to the bank doing it. And that is what's going to happen. ...
Pass the POS. Don't pass the POS. But don't tell me we're all moving forward together through a historic moment. Y'all sound like idiots.
NOTE And at least the railroads did something, like transport goods to market. The insurance companies, in Anthony Weiner's words, bring no value to the transaction whatever.