Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stupidity as a Pre-Existing Condition

The rowdiness will no doubt subside, but could civility save the "debate" over health care? The signs are not encouraging.

Today the President devotes part of his weekly address to "dispelling the outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid, or bring about a government takeover of health care.

"That’s simply not true. This isn’t about putting government in charge of your health insurance; it’s about putting you in charge of your health insurance."

A Republican rebuttal comes from the newly liberated Sarah Palin on her Facebook page:

"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of 'their level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

As Obama and Democratic Congress members spend time and energy treating such stupidity as a pre-existing condition, the real issues in health care reform may be quietly being bartered away behind the usual closed doors.

A perfect example surfaces with news that the Administration had assured lobbyists that "any health care overhaul would not include allowing direct government negotiation of drug prices or require certain additional price rebates."

Now that this deal has gone public, the Obama White House is backpedaling away from it, but it raises questions about what else is being aborted there as well as in the Baucus-Grassley operating room on Capitol Hill in the name of bipartisanship.

When the hecklers are gone from TV screens next month, what will remain of real health care reform?

1 comment:

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Another question is: What will be left, if anything, of American democracy? Let me elaborate:

"Manipulating public opinion is easy … when you are the CEO of a corporation with lots of money and lobbyists and crooked politicians in your pocket ... and you can always count on an ignorant rabble all too willing to sell themselves short, sell-out their own interests, and serve as sycophants on behalf of their corporate masters.

Corporations need not dirty themselves when they can hire proxies like Dick Armey and FreedomWorks to do their dirty work, when their proxies can recruit goons, malcontents, and nut jobs to stifle public debate. This is how corporations assert their interests, nullify the popular will, and derail democracy