cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
John Kenneth Galbraith once wrote, in a letter to President Kennedy, that "Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."
That quotation could have as easily been written to our President Obama by one of his advisors in the matter of health care reform. There is this huge politically-driven "need" to reform health care.
"Health care reform" is about politics and about power. It isn't about health care. It isn't really about the mythical 47 million without health insurance. It is about who will wield the power of health care and why they wish to wield that power. Our health care is excellent. Ask the majority who say that it is.
The issue seems to be more about the financing of health care, about the cost of health care. And, our ire is directed toward insurance premiums because that is the thing we see that reminds us of the cost of health care. Politicians knowingly trot out the "straw dogs" and work to focus our disgust at things they've wanted to attack for a long time. Insurance agents are vilified, but they are the people who understand health care and health care insurance, and are the ones who advise employers and employees.
Politicians don't, in general, like the idea that there is anything they do not or cannot control. They have hankered after the ability to control health care since the advent of Medicare. The more us citizens are made to come to depend upon our politicians for the things we need, the more control we've given to our politicians.
The so-called "health care reform" process now underway is the brainchild of President Obama and his aides. It involves the customary players such as Tom Daschle. It involves David Axelrod. It involves Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. It involves Ted Kennedy and Max Baucus. If Hillary Clinton hadn't so artfully been run off the national stage by her appointment to be Secretary of State, it would involve her, too.
Health care reform doesn't seem to involve those in health care nearly as it should. It involves the American Medical Association, which seems to have been bought off by promises that its doctor members will get higher Medicare reimbursements. The American Hospital Association apparently was similarly reassured recently since it has become a supporter. It obviously has the approval of unions since that what unions do. Of course, the union members will not be subject to taxes on health benefits for at least five years, so we understand what it took to buy their support.
Our health care is great. There are relatively easy ways to assure that all have access to it but it is difficult to make any horse drink even after you've led it to water. We can see, already, what is happening in Massachusetts after Mitt Romney "solved" their problem. They have a greater problem now than before and it is costing them far more than was projected to have worse care.
The control of health care by our government is a very, very bad thing. That is precisely what this is all about. That is why we never get to see what is going to be in and what is going to be out of health care.
For example, did you know that if you are on Medicare, there is a feature in the Senate's plan that forbids you from buying a Medicare Supplement policy to help fill in the holes in that coverage? Why would they do that? So they have even tighter control over all senior citizens, and so they can decide who will live and who will die based on financially rationing the care that will be available. That is happening in Oregon today. Although the politicians in Oregon were much more thoughtful; they will give you assistance in committing suicide even if they won't pay for cancer treatment or necessary surgery.
"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "Who Or What Got Stimulated?"