Rocky Top Boy wanted me to blog about healthcare the other day, but I wasn't moved to do so until I saw this column in the WSJ arguing that Barack and the Democrats are "stealthily" nationalizing health care. Just a couple of quick thoughts.
First off, if the Democrats have been the ones pushing for nationalizing health care, would at least one person at the WSJ explain to me why President W pushed through a new prescription drug benefit that represented a 1.3 trillion dollar increase in the cost of Medicare, which is GOVERNMENT PROVIDED, TAX PAYER FUNDED health insurance for the elderly, who are, by the way, the richest age-group in America. I guess that means that the biggest complaint that Republicans have (other than flat out hypocrisy) is that they expanded socialized medicine in the bold light of day, and threw the benefit at an electorally appealing group - old folks like Grandpa Simpson walking into the Social Security Office.
Secondly, would someone, SOMEONE on the right explain to me in less than 45,000 words what exactly your plan is for health care? I mean, the left at least has a catchy phrase "universal care," but you guys have about 46 different parts to a plan that is going to be "consumer directed", deregulatory, de-SCHIPified, or something or other. Take my word for it, y'all are getting killed by the Dems on this issue because no one on your side has figured out how to sell your ideas cleanly.
Hell even McCain got murdered for proposing the government "raise taxes" on people's health care benefits during the election, which was supposed to help be more "free market." Republicans claimed that was untrue, but folks who have jobs, lives, families, and such do not have time to work through all of the details of the 34 different market based solutions to health care the right is suggesting.
In 1993 the Republicans killed off health care reform by saying "OMG, spending hundreds of billion of dollars on health care will bankrupt us!" And "do you really want to give up the right to see your doctor?" That stuff just doesn't work anymore because we are going to spend like 2 trillion on banks, stimulation, and other questionable activities. At the same time more people are losing health care coverage and no longer can see their "family doctor." Proposing to spend a measly 200 billion and "give" people "free" health care sounds pretty good to many folks right now.
So while the right can't get its act together, the left continues to quietly trumpet a simple plan that won't be linked to your job. To middle class folks without health insurance it sure looks good. To the left-wing elites who went to Middlebury, Wellesley, Swathmore, or Bowdoin, did a year in France of foreign study, broke an arm while drunk one night in Paris, and spent a week in a French hospital "for free" with attractive young nurses, the idea of spreading this blessing of European style health care sounds great as well. Of course the fact that Europe will be broke in about eleven years paying for its universal health care, retirement at 50, and the other perks of living in Europe is beside the point.
Before you know it we'll be wearing berets, burning cars, and complaining about Americans right here, in America.