Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Left is revolting (over Obamacare, that is).

The Left has awoken to the fact that the Senate's health care bill is a wet dream for "Big Insurance". Howard Dean got the ball rolling and it's been downhill ever since:
The frictions reflect the tortured state of negotiations over Obama's top domestic legislative priority as the White House and Democratic leadership in the U.S. Congress seek to piece together enough supporters to approve a healthcare plan that Republicans oppose.

Leading the grousing from the left has been Howard Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who ran unsuccessfully for his party's presidential nomination in 2004.

Dean, a medical doctor and former governor of Vermont, in recent days has said a Senate healthcare bill that Obama supports and which is lurching toward a possible vote in coming days should be killed.

Dean and others on the left argue that the Senate legislation does not permit competition with medical insurance companies, would expand private insurers' grip on healthcare and does not really amount to reform.

His complaint came because Senate leaders have ditched a plan for a government-run insurance plan and a measure that would allow people under 65 to buy into the Medicare government insurance plan for the elderly.
To be honest, Dean has a point. The original plan of the Democratic health care reformers was to make the private health care system hell for consumers. This would cause the public to shift into the government option en masse and bingo, single-payer would be achieved. The problem is that the government option can't pass the congress, which means that only that nasty hell part is left in the bill.

Or think about it this way: the wet dream of every evil Big Insurance CEO is to (1) force everyone to buy insurance; (2) at arbitrarily high prices; (3) and get nothing in return; (4) with no competition. So what does the Senate health care bill do:
  1. It includes an individual mandate to buy insurance and no public option, so the private insurance companies can force you (or your employer) to buy insurance, or people are going to go to prison.

  2. It lets private insurance companies raise premiums as much as they want. In fact, the federal government will be paying insurance companies to raise premiums in the form of massive new health care subsidies

  3. Even if your premium is 100% paid in full, the insurance companies will still be able to deny you care by claiming "government rationing". Of course, the insurance companies will be controlling the government rationing boards through their paid lobbyists.

  4. The existing health care monopolies will remain intact, and most likely get even worse since the massive new federal taxes and regulations will present a formidable barrier to market entry.
So how did the Left end up getting so royally screwed by their own party in Congress? Face it, the average Democratic congressman is a Know-Nothing who would vote for a ham sandwich if Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid told him that it was a health care bill. This is great for the Left when the health care bill contains things that the Left wants. This bites the Left on the ass when the health care bill is antithetical to everything that the Left stands for.


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