Posted by: Lazy Jack | April 6, 2010

Are There Any Adults in the Room? Healthcare and Race… and Schoolyard Rules.


I had a conversation with an absolute supporter of the Left and the healthcare legislation two weeks ago. As I described the legislation’s potential risks to our company and the probabilities of unintended consequences and the near certainty that the mandate is unconstitutional and the provable fact that the cost spiral really started when Medicare and Medicaid were enacted I was met first with silence and then the statement: All those Republicans are racist. I assume she felt that I was not a tobacco chewing, wife-beating, war-mongering, insensitive, uneducated Republican. I leave it to you to guess my politics.

I should not have been surprised, but the words uttered from a rational person with whom I have had a long relationship were startling. In other words, if you oppose anything the President does, you are a racist. I suppose if you picked Duke to win the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament, you are a racist. If you do not like the White Sox, read the previous sentence. I expected this from Jesse, and Al, and Eleanor Clift, and Keith Olbermann. That is politics (race baiting, but politics). But, from an average citizen? And that is why we got here.

Perhaps in this there is some hope. The left, so apparently devoid of originality, has devolved to schoolyard arguments to defend obviously awful policy. I especially like their argument in favor of healthcare. Other countries nationalized healthcare, so we should too!! And if you do not agree, you are a Klansperson. Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah… Nyah. That appears to be the best the Left has left, now that we are getting to know the bill.

How much longer will the citizenry swallow this infantile logic before retiring the current ruling elite, now in power since 1932? Tragically, it appears we have been willing to swallow an ocean full of it. In previous generations our own petty socialists appeared to be adults, and their false veneer of dogoodisms seemed marginally more sincere. But now that the Left’s rhetorical argument in support of their agenda is reduced to calling everyone who disagree a bigot, perhaps the socialist tide can be pushed back. More to the point, it, and they, deserve to be.

Here’s hoping for some real change this time around.

Lazy Jack

© Edward Hunter and Thanks for the Laughs, 2010


Responses

  1. “the near certainty that the mandate is unconstitutional” If it is, will it not be defeated in the courts? Your comment: “Left’s rhetorical argument in support of their agenda is reduced to calling everyone who disagree a bigot”. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Did you not refer to them as infantile? I have heard garbage from both sides of this argument. There are plenty of people, as I do, who want hcr and who are not interested in name calling or the politics. The fact that Obama was voted into office on the promise of hc demonstrates that it was the desire of the American public. Is it the package that the public wanted? Probably not, but the republicans failed to bring about change during their time.

    • Mary,

      Thanks for the comment. I stand by those statements, but I should give you more context. First, the Democrat(s) have had majorities in one or the other chambers of congress for about 80% of the time since 1932, so blaming Republicans that had control of both houses for four years during the recent Bush administation ignores the fact that decades of effort went into creating the problems we have today. Since 1932 we have seen government increase its presence in our lives to nearly 45% of GDP. Government today already pays 47% of the total heathcare expenses in this country through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP etc. If government is the solution, why do we pay 3.5 times more as a percent of GDP for healtcare than in the years before medicare and medicaid were enacted? In other words, the well intended government intervention increased our costs and actually reduced the growth in the American life expectancy. Embeded in one of my posts here is the source data that shows the decline in life expectancy growth rate since 1966. We pay more and get less, frankly. The only thing that kept us feeling like we were advancing was technology innovation. Unfortunately, this bill appears to put the brakes on innovation though taxation.

      I apologize if I use words like infantile to describe the logic used by the advocates of this legislation, but I really do believe that little critical thinking has gone on in its creation. It is a shame, frankly, because people like you and me put our faith in their judgement and I believe if more had really done the math, this bill would never have passed.

      As for my characterization of the arguments leveled against the Republicans who resisted this legislation, it is clearly true that the stones are being cast. Interesting to note that no one is calling the dozens of Democrat(s) that voted against the bill in the House racists. Isn’t it ironinc that the only bi-partisan position on this bill was against it?

      There have been ample examples in our history where the courts have upheld unconstituional legislation, and often those decisions have been overtuned by later, less political courts. So in this case your constitutional rights do hang in the balance. All you have to do is read Article 1, Section 8, Amendment 10, and Federalist 41 to get a sense of why it is a clear violation of the rights bequeathed to you by our founders.

      Anyway, it is all moot anyway. You have been granted a healthcare package. Some believe it is free. Some believe the benefits accrue starting today. Some believe it will reduce the deficit. Some believe it will increase care and reduce costs. Some believe the mandate to enter into a private insurance contract is not a violation of their rights. I do hope they all get their wish, because we own it now. I think history teaches us that none of the above will actually occur. And, with Social Security and Medicare already projecting $60 trillion dollars in shortfalls in the next 40 years, not even the rich will be able to pay for it, even if we confiscate all their wealth with the old method using torches and pitchforks.

      Best,

      Lazy Jack

  2. “First, the Democrat(s) have had majorities in one or the other chambers of congress for about 80% of the time since 1932, so blaming Republicans that had control of both houses for four years during the recent Bush administration ignores the fact that decades of effort went into creating the problems we have today.” It seems to matter hardly at this point who caused the mistakes but who is trying to change the direction. You may not agree to hcr but you can’t argue the Republicans didn’t have the time. President Obama was sworn in January 20th, 2009 and managed to force through this legislation in little over a year.

    “Government today already pays 47% of the total healthcare expenses in this country through Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP etc” . In Hawaii, Medicare costs are only 63% of the national average. I am for the reduction of costs but neither party has been willing to meet this challenge. Do I think Obama does not have an ‘in’ with pharma and the insurance? Of course not, but I can’t help perceive any change will lead to a better use of resources. I often hear the argument that his HCR will end innovation. It has not been a factor in other counties and research though universities and NIH will continue. I don’t understand your comment: “this bill appears to put the brakes on innovation though taxation.” I know, we have not seen an honest accounting of costs to this health care bill and the debt is a huge concern. Would the bill have failed or would more consideration in the aspects of it had taken place? It is obvious, that too many fingers got into this pie, with special considerations to states and unwarranted guarantees for some medical procedure, including drugs, with respect to felons.

    The racist name calling is idiotic but I find the irony is in the fact, that some of the democrats voted Yes on Stupak and then no on HCR.

    I was educated outside the US and I am not versed on the constitution but I am aware of political wrangling (every country has it!).

    I have mixed feelings about the healthcare package. I would prefer that some libertarian reform ideas were implemented but we can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. I absolutely wanted coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, consumer protection, and reasonable hc access for the working poor but it would have been great to disband the AMA and no state restriction of insurance purchase. I have always thought that medical costs should require posting and that shifting of uninsured expenses should be illegal. In any case, you are right that it is here now and we all get to see what this baby is going to look like.


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