Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beating a Dead Donkey - Healthcare III circa 10/30/2009

Many legislators are consummate politicians that make a career of saying one thing and then, if faced with negative coverage, retract or condemn the statement. The Democrats especially seem to lack the simple solidarity that the Republicans seem to have when it comes to their more outrageous statements. Still, freshman Florida Democratic Representative Alan Grayson has some big balls. On the floor of the of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, while debating their version of the healthcare reform bill, Grayson said that the current Republican alternative is to “not get sick,” or if one does fall ill, to “die quickly.”

Hyperbolic though it may be, exaggeration is not strictly the purview of the Republican Party. It would be more accurate to say that their position is to continue to allow our economy to profit from the sick. Republicans are, of course, outraged and prompting Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) to say that it was, “the most mean-spirited partisan statement that I've ever heard made on this floor.” To Duncan’s credit, he is far more libertarian-minded than the majority of the Republicans in congress, but seems to have turned a deaf ear to the more ignorant and counterproductive statements that have come from his party on the floors of the Senate, the House and in the media.

When an apology was demanded of Rep. Grayson, he proceeded to grab his crotch and show that not only did he have balls, but that they were made of solid brass (metaphorically speaking). The apology he delivered was not directed to the members of the GOP, but instead he apologized to the families of some 44,000 Americans whom, according to a study at Harvard University, die each year because of inability to obtain health insurance. He continued to defend his position to various talking heads on various news programs.

Grayson’s point is that since the GOP has offered up no realistic alternative plan and seems to be merely stonewalling this effort to hurt the President and improve their chances in the mid-term elections, it’s tantamount to allowing a “holocaust” of American citizens. One has to wonder, are the GOP upset because they feel insulted or because a Democrat has the nerve to be just as good at the outrageous soundbite as they have been?

Ken Spain, the spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee went on the record saying, "This is an individual who has established a pathological pattern of unstable behavior. He is derailing the national debate on health care reform and embarrassing his constituents as a result." Again, one wonders is Spain angry or jealous? Simply put, there has been no national “debate” on healthcare reform. No one questioned by NWP in an informal survey is happy with their insurance, save for those taking advantage of TRICARE, the publicly-funded insurance offered to the active military and their families.

Yet, the public option or any sort of single-payer system is practically guaranteed to not be included in reform, thereby mandating coverage for Americans with no actionable reform. Employers are practically encouraged to not offer coverage. The health insurance industry will be gaining some 40 million new customers; one can practically see the pupils of the CEO’s of these companies turning into dollar signs.

The Bill introduced by the Senate Finance Committee makes one ask just what is Grayson even fighting for? The Baucus Bill, named after Max Baucas (D-MT), the insurance company comare responsible for it, loses all of the real reform, e.g. the public option, the employer mandate, et. al. In fact, other Democrats submitted two amendments for a public option, that weren’t even really up to the standard that most Americans want but would have been something, and were voted down 8-5 by the finance committee. The Democrats can’t even be effective even with overwhelming majority. It begs the question that is it better to have morally corrupt morons that can actually accomplish what they set out to do or well-intentioned nitwits that can’t go to the bathroom without tripping over each others’ dicks.

Nonsense from Politicians is actually expected on cable news shows and in the press, but in an actual Senate hearing? The most current New York Times poll shows that 65% of Americans and three-fourths of doctors all support a public option. In response to this Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) cited an unnamed, unidentified poll that showed this was false because it asked if they would support a, “public option that weakens private health strategies?” A NWP Poll also found that Americans wouldn’t support a public option that drowned babies. Yet, since neither amendment submitted to the committee did either one of those things, one has to ask what the hell is Grassley talking about?

Embattled philanderer Senator John Ensign (R-NV) was asked that if what we have works so well, why do we rank 19th in world when it comes to saving our citizens from preventable deaths. His answer was that if we removed the number of victims of car accidents and gun deaths – apparently the GOP plan for these victims is the ol’ Kentucky-Derby-Shotgun-On-The-Racetrack approach – we would “do better.” The Wall Street Journal, not known as a bastion of left-leaning press, reported that even using Ensign’s formula, we still fall in at a respectable 17th.

So sit back America, and dig into a GOP Bullshit sandwich. Served up piping hot and with no guarantees that anyone will even remember who said what. It’s a fine meal we could all enjoy if only Alan Grayson would stop being such a crass prick.

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