I had to put a moratorium on posts about the healthcare reform effort, because after awhile, as noted in the comments, the sheer mountain of hypocrisy begins to crush one’s soul. These asshole senators criticize government-run health insurance on the grounds that it is too expensive, even though every reputable study shows that it dramatically lowers the overall cost of healthcare. Last week it seemed like the public option got pushed down a flight of stairs in the senate negotiations, only to land on its feet in the form of Medicare buy-in for people aged 55-64. Not the greatest, but not too shabby either! It’s basically the middle of the road proposal Ted Kennedy was working on a few years ago. I’m especially partial to this particular compromise, because I know for a fact it would provide direct relief to my in-laws, who, as members of the 55-64 demographic, are stuck in medical insurance hell purgatory (not to be confused with the poor bankrupted individuals who really are in medical insurance hell).
My father-in-law retired a few years ago from his job at, of all places, an insurance company, because the stress of working for those fiends was affecting his health. So he took another job in order to keep some health benefits, this time at a health clinic. He’s a network engineer, and he was tasked with bringing their woeful computer system into the 21st century. Right after he finished the upgrade, the fuckers cut his health benefits. Curious timing, that!
Thus began the quest for a 55-year old couple to find private health insurance. And guess what? It’s damn near impossible. All plans were prohibitively expensive. Finally they got hooked up with AARP, which got them a plan that they could afford, but really only protects against catastrophic illness. All other costs (doctors visits, etc) are basically paid out of pocket. And they are still 10 years away from qualifying for Medicare.
So the Medicare buy-in compromise has resonance with me, and I hope they pull it off. Naturally Lieberman has to come shit on everything. As Ezra Klein put it:
Lieberman was invited to participate in the process that led to the Medicare buy-in. His opposition would have killed it before liberals invested in the idea. Instead, he skipped the meetings and is forcing liberals to give up yet another compromise. Each time he does that, he increases the chances of the bill’s failure that much more. And if there’s a policy rationale here, it’s not apparent to me, or to others who’ve interviewed him. At this point, Lieberman seems primarily motivated by torturing liberals. That is to say, he seems willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.
God damn right! Apparently, this post hit a nerve, because Ezra is now under attack from the various spineless suckling creatures affixed to the underside of Lieberman’s droopy balls for rudely bringing up the subject of needless deaths. it’s bad form, you see. Even though, you know, it’s the moral imperative for this whole god awful initiative.
But I’m not posting this to focus on blogger wars. What kills me is this (h/t Greg Sargent):
If you’re like me and can’t stand to listen to that punk speak for the full two minutes, let me paraphrase for you. He voices his support for Medicare buy-in. This was taken from an interview THREE MONTHS AGO.
Fucking. Swine. At what point does Lieberman get reviled by polite society? I’m thinking one last job for Blackwater before they go… I’m sure there’s an old Yoo memo still kicking around somewhere that ought to cover it.
Nearly 15 years ago, two Democratic senators — Joe Lieberman and Tom Harkin — decided that the filibuster had become an institutional menace. They called the parliamentary maneuver a “dinosaur” that had become “a symbol of a lot that ails Washington today,” and presented a plan to kill the filibuster once and for all…
Ironically, Lieberman is now a “dinosaur” that has become “a symbol of a lot that ails Washington today”.
We’re all probably too pissed off to write about the bailout bait and switch right now, but its our job folks, we have to expose these things. Allow me to oversimplify Friday’s hearings like this: the Bush Administration does whatever the hell it wants. Plain and simple. In hindsight I’m surprised they even went through the trouble of getting congress to pass the bailout bill, except for the politics of it. But now that the Democrats went through the painful process of attaching strings, its nice to know that the Administration can just simply ignore them. Nobody’s surprised by these tactics, at least no one that’s been awake for the last 8 years. But this has to get filed away with the many other things that makes every American citizen who cares about, and has even a limited understanding of, our constitutional democracy want to puke their guts out. These people are scum. In the attached link, you’ll read a polite and eloquent rebuttal about buying mortgages. If you were paying attention you would have said, 55 million? That sounds like every mortgage in the entire country. Well, you’d be right, it is. So what kind of evil jackass would twist things around like that? Yes the question was rhetorical…and no there aren’t 55 million foreclosed homes in America. He was actually saying, ‘what do you want us to do, buy every mortgage in America?’. After that statement I’m thinking his balls on a platter would be an appropriate response…well worth the ~$2,500 a person the bailout is costing.
So this Thanksgiving, when my grandmother or uncle start talking about how the bailout is socialism and we’re turning into commies, I’m going off the rails, despite my great love for my unfortunately misguided relatives. I’m sure you have a few yourself. Future posts will add to this list, but for those of us concerned with totalitarianism, please add this to the category ‘ignore the laws passed by congress’. Was there a signing statement I missed?