Tuesday, July 21, 2009

With friends like these…

President Obama would have been better off if the Republicans had been able to hold on to a few more seats. Unfortunately, instead of having a real enemy to fight he is stuck with a super majority of his own party; with friends like these, who needs enemies?

As always, David Brooks says it so much than me today, but I’ve been concerned from the very earliest days of this administration that Obama is just not tough enough for the job that needs to be done. I believe him to be a smart, sincere, pragmatic person, but he is a captive of a political party that isn’t any of those things, and he is letting them call the shots.

If you gave me 100-1 odds I would not bet five dollars that we’ll get a health care bill enacted that does a damn thing to curb the rise in health care costs. To do so would mean challenging the health care establishment like big pharma and insurance companies, and the gravy train they’ve been riding for 50 years. The Dems are not one bit more likely to do that than the Republicans were. In fact, the only difference between the two parties that I can see is for which business interest they principally whore.

The only hope is if the President stands up and says “enough!” and it doesn’t look to me like Obama is going to do it. The media is all a twitter over the Republican’s “stop Obama’s health care plan” initiative. Why? Who cares? The Republicans aren’t going to be a factor. They are just background noise. The bloated, blubbery, self-serving slab of pork the Democrats are creating has clogged most American’s arteries before it even gets out of the kitchen.

That pig is already dead. They may still force us to eat it, but they’ll pay for it in ’10.


Birdman said...

I couldn't agree more. The Democrats, as they have always been, a bunch of feckless cowards and self serving weasels. Just look at who gets the most campaign contributions from the health "industry" (meaning health insurance and pharma). It's the chairman of the committees that oversee them. These companies don't care if they're democrat of republican. They're equal opportunity bribers.

We'll see what Obama does in the next few days but I'm not hopeful.

Anonymous said...

What gets me is, for years we were told there wouldn't be enough medicare. Then this guy comes along and spends billions.

AY said...

The stimulus bill was around 1,073 pages. Cap and Trade energy tax bill was hit with a 300+ page addendum at the eleventh hour before a vote was held. Now the healthcare reform plan is around 1,000 pages. You tell me who reads this stuff -- other than the lobbyists for their own greedy purposes!

Obama is allowing Pelosi and Reid to slowly bring us all to our knees while those GOP fools are covering their pathetic asses for the next election.

Whatta mess!!!

Hankster said...

"The Democrats, as they have always been, a bunch of feckless cowards and self serving weasels."

And I just friended you? Well, you're right. A pox on both houses.

On another tack regarding national health. A classmate of mine wrote a letter to the Times this past week condemning the legislation for not addressing Macdonalds and Coke. We have some deep moral issues to deal with in any attempt at legislation. How do we spend huge resources for terminal care? How do we continue to allow antibiotics be feed to livestock and enter our food supply as well as ground water. What about the use of pesticides and fertilizers on lawns leaking into aquifers? As reprehensible as our lawmakers are, health is about more than money alone.

MikeyLikesIt said...

OMG - now the health bill has to wag fingers and change how we eat and grow food and grow lawns?
Talk about bracket creep.

Being smarter about how we live is of course the best way to cut health care costs, but people suck and have always sucked and always will suck at self-improvement. It's an inherently glacial process.

Better to just focus now on how to cap costs and give some basic care to the indigent.

I'm hoping that the current bill with all the folly Dennis pointed out is simply a stalking horse for something for sensible that emerges out of the wreckage. I don't think the Dems will be able to pass what they have now -- as the Times pointed out on the front page today, 90% of people have some health insurance and are asking, so what's in this for me?

The real problem is the Dems accepting that the only realistic thing budget wise is to extend crappy health coverage to those who don't have it. With limits on costs and visits and etc. Which may not be fair in the great scheme of things but when you've got nothing, something is better, even if your neighbor gets a lot more from employer-provided health care.

jb said...

what is going to happen when you add 50 million people to the health care system but you do not add any more doctors and nurses?

Hankster said...

Look at it from the extremes.

Take an IV drug user who blows out their kidneys and has HIV and hepatitis B & C. This person is always in and out of acute and chronic care. How many of these types does it take to make a dozen?

Look at another person who is careful of their diet, exercises, and has a good family health pedigree.

How about the unfortunate middle of America? Overweight eating saturated animal fats, no exercise and smokes?

Should the careful and lucky person be carrying the burden of the system for those who contribute so many red flags? Where is the incentive to improve other than personal health, which obviously doesn't work. Money seems to motivate. Isn't that what tax laws are all about?

kgwhit said...

Birdman is exactly right. Both sides of the aisle vote with whichever side gives them the most money.
We are like all the third world governments we look down our self indulgent noses at. Our elected officials make the laws to help those who give them money.
There is too much money involved for our government to step in and try to control health care costs.
Obama is a pragmatic compromiser, he wants to accomplish things through the power of pursuasion. Congress will eat him alive if he continues that way.
Capitol Hill is like Wall Street, where the big folks play to win and hope by winning they can destroy the other guy.

carolina said...

I also think it's fundamentally wrong for the whole program to be paid for by a few. The "rich." If you're living in NYC on $350,000, you're fortunate than a lot of people, but not exactly "rich" if you're more than one person.....

Birdman said...

I think Hank has put his finger on the indelicate truth. The lion's share of health care costs reside in two basic areas. Terminal care for the elderly (my 92 year old father went to hospital last week with bronchitis. I think the only tests they didn't do was a mammogram and a pap smear.) and care for self inflicted health problems like smoking and chronic obesity. not to mention the uninsured using emergency rooms like Marcus Welby's office.

We need to stop making our businesses foot the bill for health insurance. They'll never be able to compete with that anchor tied to their ankles. there must be a single payer system. No other way makes sense.

Hankster said...

Bird, we hone in on the "entitlements" which must be addressed.

Although just a few short years ago when we considered the concept of limited resources, we were drawn to oil. Now the deck has been shuffled and we are holding a hand with low cards.

Is chronic poor health being enabled by our system? Should tax its elements to pay for care?

Is end of life care an entitlement we can't afford? When I consider how many people believe in heaven, I shake my head that we can even bring this one to the table.

Are we looking at drug abuse incorrectly? Instead of interception, should we focus on education and waivers of responsibility? Consider the expense of locking up someone for a year vs educating a contributing member of our society. Should we register drug use and compartmentalize our issues?

Gaga said...

Once again. Free health care, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless & sending every kid to school is in the military budget.Does your government care for you? Hell no. BO's health care package costs one trillion over 10 yrs. Wall st. got nearly that in three days.

warrenout said...

Will someone please help the man out. Our health care system is not in shambles,nor is it broken.It doesn't need overhauled. I agree it does need a major tune up.1catastophic care.This holds true for all of the people who did the right things in thier lives or at least tried.2. pre existing condition.FIX It..3 Tort reform. If you back down the limits, liabilty tail insurance is cheaper and the Dr treats the patients symptoms instead of the treatment from the defendents seat. Fix/adjust these three issues and it will fuel more effciencies. oh and as far as children.In my state OH. I do remember the last unisured child. It was about 2 years ago and his parents Enoch and Sara paid in cash.I think Congress is the one acting stupidly.

kgwhit said...

There should be tort reform but I heard an interesting news report. I believe they said 17 states have passed a version of tort reform that limits liability. The not surprising part is that Physician insurance premiums have not gone down in those states.
My source is a talking head on TV, so this is probably wrong.

Gaga said...

Thank someone we live in America & are more advanced than the rest of the world.


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