Dems Pull the Heathcare Football, Again
Not that it surprises anyone here, but health care is off the table for 2009. Sayeth the Democratic Whip:
A prominent House Democrat said he doesn't expect a comprehensive
healthcare reform bill to pass Congress in 2009, saying an incremental
approach to covering the uninsured would be better "than to go out and
just bite something you can't chew."
House Majority Whip James Clyburn's (D-S.C.) timeline on tackling
healthcare is at odds with the timetable proposed by Senate Democrats
and could represent a major shift in the House Democrats' strategy of
dealing with the uninsured.
During an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that aired on
Sunday, Clyburn said he doesn't anticipate that comprehensive
healthcare legislation will be approved in 2009.
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.
Here's the part that annoys me most:
While noting he does not know exactly when President Obama want to
move forward with a universal healthcare measure, Clyburn said, "If
you take what we've done with [the State Children's Health Insurance
Program bill] and then you follow with [more spending] on community
health centers, you would have gone a long way to building a
foundation upon which to build a universal access healthcare program.
"I would much rather see it done that way, incrementally, than to go
out and just bite something you can't chew. We've been down that road.
I still remember 1994."
It's just so insulting. Clyburn really expects us to believe that he hasn't had (many) a discussion with the Obama administration about such an important issue like health care yet? Give me a break. After the ending the war, and perhaps some civil liberties issues, health care is only the most important pillar of supposedly Democratic aims and policy goals there is. Really, I'd respect Clyburn and the Obama Administration a lot more if they'd just come out and say, "Who do you think writes our campaign checks? We're not going to get reelected with ActBlue money, you twits. So long as insurance companies give lots and lots of money to us, you can forget anything approaching Universal Single Payer." But don't hand me a rotten tomato and tell me it's a it's a cup of gazpacho. It's ridiculous to think that the Leadership of the Party and our President haven't had long, serious, time-specific discussions and planning sessions on many health care related topics. Next time, Clyburn, be a man, and pass the buck, like a good Democrat. Just say, "Ask him, he's the President and Leader of the party, and he told me not to say shit."
It's funny how many Dems are stuck in the 90s, in so many ways. Hell, I don't blame them. I miss the 90s a lot; the fashion, the music, the parties, and the money I made. I even had health care back then, at a crappy working class job, no less. But it's pathetic, isn't it? As I'm fond of saying, the Superpowerful Insurance Company "Harry and Louise" ads, which clearly were some form of irresistable mind control that warped public opinion and brought about Republican majorities, and made lots of Dems pee in their panties, probably wouldn't have the same effect today as they supposedly did back then. If I recall correctly, the reasons that media blitz "worked" was because it emphasized things like "not being able to see your doctor" and "long waits" and "confusing government paperwork." Hello! Is there anyone, even rich people, who don't have to suffer that today, when dealing with private insurers? Last time I checked, only Congresscritters enjoyed total freedom of doctor choice, quick visits with actual doctors, and the convienience of quckly signing a simple form, knowing that all the required health care related paperwork was completed. The rest of us have been living in the insurance company mandated nightmare of "deny by frustration" for some fucking time now. I defy anyone to find a large group of people who are "really happy and satisfied" with their private health care company. Even rich people who can afford exorbitant rates complain about those rates, or the confusing limitations, or ridiculous beauracratic bullshit that they at the very least have to sign that their inferiors prepare for them.
I'm told that many staffers, of both parties even, are completely at odds with their bosses on the issue of health care. If you've ever worked for a campaign, you know why- health care for junior politicos is almost as much of a joke as health care for poor people. For trustifarian staffers with access to mummy and daddy's accounts, it's not so much of an issue. But plenty of younger Dems don't have such, or don't have acess to real money, and the stress of a campaign and working on the Hill can be devastating, even for a young, healthy A-type. But it's still a top down, money-oriented system on the Hill, and no matter how popular universal single payer may be with constituents, money is still king. And insurance companies know this. Today's Dem Congresscritters are damn cheap, as I was recently reminded in "Sicko," which I had to restart several times before finding the backbone to view completely. A few tens of thousands here and there, and insurance companies are confident knowing that a solid wall of heartless Republicans, nattering Blue Dogs, and cowed "progressives" will continue to kick the health care can down the road, leaving future generations to figure out how to deal with the myraid problems ~60m uninsured or underinsured Americans create for our economy, productivity, and nation in general.
Anyway, it's getting harder and harder to believe that we have a "liberal" majority party and President. Cowards, liars, thieves, and moderate Republicans a la the Reagan era? Sure. But representatives of the poor, working class, and majority in this country? Nope. I guess it's time for me to get back on my soapbox. Campaign finance reform (grassroots up) and primary challenges. Nothing less will dislodge those who serve the interests of the powerful above the interests of the people. Well, there is one other thing...