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The Fear of Change

I'm not sure how right Paul Krugman is about this. But I think the answer is at least fairly right:

There was a telling incident at a town hall held by Representative Gene Green, D-Tex. An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands.

Now, people who don’t know that Medicare is a government program probably aren’t reacting to what President Obama is actually proposing. They may believe some of the disinformation opponents of health care reform are spreading, like the claim that the Obama plan will lead to euthanasia for the elderly. (That particular claim is coming straight from House Republican leaders.) But they’re probably reacting less to what Mr. Obama is doing, or even to what they’ve heard about what he’s doing, than to who he is.

That is, the driving force behind the town hall mobs is probably the same cultural and racial anxiety that’s behind the “birther” movement, which denies Mr. Obama’s citizenship. Senator Dick Durbin has suggested that the birthers and the health care protesters are one and the same; we don’t know how many of the protesters are birthers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s a substantial fraction.

You can overstate the role of race in this. The rejection of Bill Clinton was no saner in its particulars. He ran drugs through Arkansas and helped murder Vince Foster. His health-care plan inspired protests that were so threatening that a bus tour had to be canceled because the participants feared for their safety. Hillary Clinton had to don a bulletproof vest at appearances in support of the bill.

This level of fury is not, in other words, unique to Obama's effort. In fact, it's stayed relatively constant even though Obama's bill is far more modest than Clinton's bill. This is something broader then a reaction to particular provisions in particular pieces of legislation. This is about how the conservative movement reacts to progressive change. My colleague Steve Pearlstein got it right this morning. "Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society," he wrote. "Whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off."

That doesn't mean Obama's bill. It could mean a compromise like Wyden-Bennett, or something else. But what's going on out there isn't about a specific bill. It's about the fear of change. It doesn't really allow for negotiations and counter-offers. And it is very, very ugly.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 7, 2009; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

EK: "But what's going on out there isn't about a specific bill. It's about the fear of change."

While I suspect a certain amount of the oppopsition to the Dems' plans derives from an incohate fear of change, there is also opposition to specific elements in the plans themselves and a lack of trust in their architects. For example, I don't trust the Dem leadership to be straight about their current and future intentions with respect to health care reform and I'm not enamored with the performance of the existing public health insurance programs as many Dems clearly are. However great a deal Medicare and Medicaid may be for the current beneficiaries, the programs are not on an actuarially sound footings.

EZ: "It doesn't really allow for negotiations and counter-offers. And it is very, very ugly."

During the run up to the Iraq invasion progressives reminded us that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism". Principled progressives should now walk the talk. Don't be so quick to impugn the motives of the opposition.

Opponents of the bills need to work to maintain a civil tone.

Posted by: tbass1 | August 7, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's a reaction to progressive changes. There wasn't anything like this when Medicare Part D went through. It really does seem like simple obstructionism.

Posted by: kcc3 | August 7, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm with kcc3 -- at the highest levels, this isn't about a fear of change, it is about the urge to "break" Obama, to make this "his Waterloo." The head Republicans are using lies and fear to manipulate the mouth-breathers (and seriously, anyone who rages about birth certificates and honestly believes the government wants to kill Grannie -- mouth breather), but they just want to crush the Dems. Period.

Posted by: AZProgressive | August 7, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

How does anyone not know that Medicare is a government programme? Where do they think it comes from? The magic funding pixies?

Posted by: albamus | August 7, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I think it's less a reaction to "progressive change" than reaction to "change by progressives." This is just another manifestation of the manichean mindset that was the hallmark of the GWB administration. Essentially, the world is divided into Good People and Bad People. What a Good Person does is Good, and what a Bad Person does is Bad, simply by definition.

This mindset reached its nadir in the Bush foreign policy, where bombing civilians could be Good if we (as Good People) were doing it, while free elections could be Bad if Bad People like Hamas were benefiting from it. GWB was pretty blunt on occasion about how this moral logic worked.

Under this framing, the right wing talking points make a lot more sense to me. That is, the particulars of the policy really don't matter that much. What matters is that it's a policy put forward by Bad People. Like all Bad things, it is fundamentally animated by a core of Pure Evil, whose ultimate expression is wholesale slaughter and moral perversion and assorted wickedness, however attractively packaged it might be. And though it can be weakened or diluted it will always be Bad in its essence, and cannot be made Good, and thus must always be opposed and allowed no ground.

Posted by: bjrubble | August 7, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

one of the people i think about alot when i see these events unfolding, is marion robinson....president obama's mother-in-law.
i wonder what she thinks when she watches the angry mobs drowning out health care reform. when she listens to the news about the birthers, questioning the legitimacy of her son-in-law's presidency.
i wonder what she thinks about when she opens the door where her granddaughters are sleeping in the white house...and strolls down the corridor, looking up at paintings of presidents before the civil war.
i wonder what she thinks when she hears people say that her son-in-law is somehow emotionally detached from the health care battle, even though his mother died of cervical cancer and he watched his father-in-law go to work everyday, though he struggled with his walking.
i wonder what her private thoughts are.
i am quite sure that her thoughts will always remain very private, too precious and deeply personal to be splashed in a book or in a public forum.
i am sure she sees the whole panorama unfolding more clearly than anyone.
i am very glad for barack and michelle obama, and their daughters, that marion robinson is with them in the white house. i am glad for all of us that she in the white house.

Posted by: jkaren | August 7, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I don't see the point in worrying about it anymore. Obama already sold us out. Big Pharma, Insurance Company's they get to keep feeding off the system, we'll keep paying. Makes no damn difference anymore.

Posted by: justinhinkle1 | August 7, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

AZprogressive,

while there is a small segment of the group against this type of reform that want to break Obama most just want to ensure that the coverage that we have, that covers 175+ million americans doesn't get destroyed or further harmed by such a drastic difference in medicare rates compared to private insurance within a public plan setting.

If someone can get an artifically low cost (at the expense of the US Taxpayer) of $700 a month for family coverage wheras a private plan can only offer it at $1000 then obviously most every person out there would opt for the government plan.

oh and those that wouldn't would be those that are sick and afraid of change.

that would continue the death spiral of employer sponsored plans that started with the advent of medicare and the "medicare cost shift" and hesitated during the 90's era of cost containment.

The problem with insurers was that they took it personal when they were "hated" by people and started covering most everything.

Then costs went up and they had to raise prices and still denied somethings and were hated for 2 reasons, denials and cost.

I miss the 90's

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 8, 2009 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Imho commenter Bruce Webb at Kevin Drum's blog explained the paradoxon of Medicare recipients being against "socialized medicine" in the best way:

"Most people are not looking at this question organizationally, that a particular service is being supplied by a government employee is not what makes it 'socialism'. Socialism for them is any service supplied by over-paid inefficient bureaucrats to lazy poor (read 'brown') people.

If you are ex-military your coverage under Tri-Care/VA is not socialized medicine. It is something you earned via service.

If you are on Medicare your coverage is not socialized medicine. It is something you paid taxes for your whole working life and are still paying premiums for

On the other hand tax-payer funded subsidies are socialism. And no they don't want to see the org chart."
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/08/hoisted-comments#comments

See?They "deserve" it, so it's not socialism! It only becomes socialism if the government helps OTHERS to get the same privilege. That sure is a very ugly way of thinking, but imho that's really what's driving the health care mob.

(also posted at Krugman's blog)

Posted by: Gray62 | August 8, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Gray62 is right on it. There is simply no way that the majority of this opposition is in any way based on the substance of the bill or what any informed, rational and honest human being suggests it might do.

It's also not based on any ideology that's related to healthcare or government spending or anything like that. The tell is that there was zero protest of the Medicare drug bill. Certainly nothing like this.

This really is an incohate attack on the whole idea of change and progress. It's reactionaries run amok. At the first of these town halls, in Philadelphia, they yelled at a former Philly commissioner of health to "go back to your country." He's Asian--but born in the US. That's the mentality we're dealing with, the empowerment of people who are not just uncomfortable, but afraid of a world where a guy named Barack Hussein Obama is president of the United States. Of COURSE he's going to keep them from getting healthcare. He's out to get them. This is the face of the current Republican party.

The fact that the media is putting cynical political operatives on TV who pose as "experts" and flat-out lie about provisions of the bill, that's a problem. It feeds into these inchoate fears and legitimizes them. Polifact lists a whole pile of "pants-on-fire" lies that are being told about this bill. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/

But at it core, this isn't a "the media is reporting badly" problem. It's a "the Republican party has totally collapsed and embraced its worst elements" problem.

At this point, we have a Republican party that has been taken over by its most base elements--a reactionary and unhinged fringe, and a profoundly cynical and amoral leadership that actively feeds and inflames these fears in the hope that they can ride this tiger to power and money. The rest of the country be damned.

The question really is whether our two-party political system can function, given the state of the Republican party. It's a dangerous and epic collapse.

Posted by: theorajones1 | August 8, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

gray62
"If you are on Medicare your coverage is not socialized medicine. It is something you paid taxes for your whole working life and are still paying premiums for"

i agree with you very much on this.
i think, in many ways, the elderly have gone from being a sacrificing generation to a selfish generation.
there is a real sense of entitlement, and not gratitude, that motivates this...
i see this attitude a lot, particularly in the elderly in their eighties.
there is a sense that they were the last "normal" generation. they worked hard, paid taxes, served their country, and that everyone that came of age in the sixties, were either hippies or social activists, and were responsible for the ruination of the country they loved.
for many of them, i believe they think the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, and they had nothing to do with that....and so they will take what is rightfully theirs, and are the truly deserving.
i know that seems to be a generalization, but i do see this attitude quite a bit.

Posted by: jkaren | August 8, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thx for the flowers, folks, but pls don't forget I'm only citing Bruce Webb, who explained this so eloquently. OK, I wrote something similar before reading his comment, but it wasn't as good as this. Read that comment section I linked, it's a good example of the power of the commentosphere: Bringing up good points in discussion, and refining them into a compelling argument!

Posted by: Gray62 | August 8, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"An activist turned to his fellow attendees and asked if they 'oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.' Nearly all did. Then Representative Green asked how many of those present were on Medicare. Almost half raised their hands."

Ezra, I'm baffled as to what you think the point of this anecdote is? People over 65 CANNOT opt out of Medicare. They don't have a choice, regardless of their political beliefs.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

And the fact that you're reduced to arguing that opponents of your health-insurance plans are all racist lunatics suggests that you've decided that you're going to lose. Instead of trying to persuade people to your view, you're just deciding on which excuses are going to be comforting after this is over.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 8, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

tomtildrum

i dont think anyone here is calling anyone a racist lunatic.
i think commenters are trying to identify the mindset of those who benefit from government programs, but dont feel a conviction to help others in need to receive them.
i have two friends who are staunchly republican.
just a few weeks ago, one of them told me that they couldnt stand obama and his "socialized medicine." that they werent going to help a bunch of "illegal immigrants" and other people who wouldnt work for a living, get" free stuff" and bankrupt the country.
unfortunately, one of these people just was diagnosed with a near fatal illness and is requiring extensive and immediate treatment. they spent the whole week with health care advocates, arranging for disability, and thanking their lucky stars that they are three months away from turning 65,and getting health care.
of course, i hope they get all of the immediate and best care that they need, but i wonder what they think of "obama's socialized medicine now?"
i know two other people who have required continuous, exhaustive care for the past six months in icu units, convalescent facilities and emergency rooms with triage care and extensive therapy. and they absolutely believe that this could not have cost over a hundred thousand dollars.
it is hard to affect the mindset of people who take from the system, but turn a blind eye to the sufferings of others.

Posted by: jkaren | August 8, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The fact that you're reduced to propping up strawmen, tomtildrum, suggests that you've realized that lies, threats and BS are the only things you've got left. Now you're just trying to rationalize your jerking knee. How sad.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | August 8, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"i dont think anyone here is calling anyone a racist lunatic."


Well, I guess you didn't read Krugman's column of Ezra's post above agreeing with him.

It is surprising to me that liberals are surprised that people disagree with progressive ideas. It's almost as if they literally cannot believe that anyone but a Nazi would disagree with Obama the Good.

This is a big reason, in my opinion, that many progressive policies are not going to pass, even with huge democrat majorities in both house. Liberals don't even try to persuade. If you don't agree with Ezra, then you are a racist lunatic.

Good luck with the race card on health care and deficits. If polls are to be believed, you are losing. Actual arguments might have been more successful if you'd tried them.

Posted by: Chris_40 | August 8, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The folks who are demanding to keep the govt out of medicare are unsophisticated and easy to mock, for sure, but the anger of these seniors is real and congress had better pay attention to them if they don't want to get sent home in the next election. After all, don't you think that their concern is really that Medicare funding, and therefore their access to the healthcare system, is going to be radically cut in order to extend coverage to the uninsured. Obama himself has talked about $300 billion in cuts from medicare over ten years. These seniors are not the wonks that can cite chapter and verse from each competing plan, but they sure know when the numbers don't add up. Endless debate about a millionaires tax doesn't get them mad, but cutting their second-favorite entitlement program most assuredly does

Posted by: drdaveh | August 8, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The right is certainly incapable of being civilized. They are incapable of having on honest debate. On issue after issue, they resort to lies, spin and propaganda provided by the right wing echo chamber and Rush Limbaugh.

Posted by: tgoglia | August 8, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

There is no fear of change. We fear Liberals with their hand on our wallets. If you want to insure 20 Million Illegal aliens please feel free to set up a fund and donate. Perhaps Huffington or DailyKos can manage it for you.

Posted by: dencal26 | August 8, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Same fools who actually believe Michael Moores SICKO where he tries to portray Cuban healthcare as being on a par or better with the US system. Go ask a CUBAN like my Aunt and learn the truth

Posted by: dencal26 | August 8, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Ezra is decended from Eastern European or Russian Jewish Marxists. Nuff Said

Posted by: dencal26 | August 8, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

more like a fear of having something rammed down your throat before any debate took place. This was to be passed before the August recess...we wouldn't even be having this conversation except for the actions of those a bit concerned that nearly no politician could admit to reading it let alone understanding it. If it's considered "progressive" to haphazardly make large changes to such a large part of our economy you can take that label with you all you want.

Posted by: zenpig | August 8, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing irrational about opposition to what is in these bills, especially the House bill. First of all, most Americans have good health insurance. If what I have isn't broke, I certainly don't want it "fixed". The elderly have a pretty good deal right now, and it would still be a good deal if they had to pay twice the current premiums. Democratic health care reform is really all about wealth redistribution. It is about taking away from those of us that have good insurance to provide to a fairly vast minority who are without. And few people (other than fools) are under the illusion that they will get to keep what they currently have, no matter what Obama says. First of all ther are a limited number of specialist doctors, and these bills aren't going to provide incentives to make more. If 50 million more people get access to those same specialists, my current access will be dramatically lessened. While the vast majority of US citizens have good insurance, a much lesser number of core Obama supporters do. 35% of 25 year olds are without insurance, and that is the peak age for both lack of insurance and Obama support. Most younger voters would be OK with severe rationing and even euthanasia of the elderly, especially since most of them know that they will never have the wealth and pensions that the 55+ crowd has right now. The only way to cover the have nots here is to take away from those who have. There simply aren't enough resources to go around. The younger crowd knows that teh wealth accumulated by the older generation was an abberation made posible by cheap energy, and they will not have the same for themselves. Distribution of a shrinking pie is always an ugly business, and as the rate of shrinkage increases, the disputes will get even uglier.

Posted by: andrewp111 | August 8, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

We conservatives are VERY open to negotiation.

We're willing to consider anything EXCEPT a public option whose reimbursement rates are deliberately set to drive the private insurers out of business, resulting in a single-payer system by stealth.

Obama could have had a bill by now--if it weren't for liberals who REFUSE to give up on their dream of single-payer. They see the public option as structured in such a way as to be the first steppingstone to single-payer.

And for us conservatives, that's unacceptable. If Obama insists on a roadmap to single-payer, then he'll walk that road alone. Not with us.

Posted by: sinz52 | August 8, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The outrage has nothing to do with a fear of change. Our 401ks are wiped out, many of us are unemployed or in fear of losing our jobs, and the president is gampling all his chips on bulldozing his government controlled health care plan while doing nothing to add jobs to the private sector, unless you count government owned auto companies. Now we have a president asking citizens to turn in those who publicly disagree with his plan and has mobilized union goons to "hit back twice as hard". Those on the right are a crazed mob of astroturfers, while those dispatched by the president himself are part of a "grass roots" effort to implement needed change. Protesters have signs comparing democrats to nazis, so Pelosi says they are nazis. Boxer says we dress too well, and everyone on the left thinks we are simply stupid. The level of disrespect for citizens and taxpayers displayed by our elected representatives makes me want to puke. Obama ran as a centrist and assured everyone he wasn't as radical as his enemies made him out to be. He lied through his teeth, and now compiles enemies lists of opponents and pours hundreds of billions of my tax dollars into dem constituencies for the sole purpose of extending his party's hold on power. I think Boxer even said "they're trying to hurt our president" Well our president is an elected servant of the people, not the dear leader of a subservient populace under a dictatorship.

Posted by: hdc77494 | August 9, 2009 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's the change that will happen:

Obamacare will cost ten times the highest estimate given. Multiple TRILLIONS of tax dollars.

It will bankrupt the treasury beyond all hope.

1001 new taxes will be imposed to help pay for it while existing taxes will explode.

Even with all that, it will not be enough and Obamacare will be tightly rationed. Bureaucrats will rule our lives outright, overnight.

The federal bureaucracy will expand exponentially. Most new jobs will be highly UNproductive, party hack jobs.

It will suck the life out of American enterprise, sending ever more of our productive, tax producing inustries out of country.

Places like China and India will rise to superpower status while America becomes more "third world" as our militay dwindles to Canada status.

Yeah! OBAMOCARE is change America's enemies can believe in.

Posted by: battleground51 | August 9, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Changing a fixed system without explaining how it will benefit people or how it will be paid for seems to be the liberal section of the Democrat Party. We know best and to hell with anyone who Questions our Decisions. Sorry my friends I think for my self and read the entire HR3200 and it leads to a Single Payer status in 5 years, provides the government total control over my health, my finances, property and definitely it will have Rationing at the top of the list as 47 million are added to the already existing people insured by choice without addressing the requirement for more doctors, hospitals, nurses or medical administration staff. Trust me we know best when the Final Version is NOT EVEN WRITTEN TO VOTE ON - NO WAY!!!!

Posted by: GeneGuffey | August 9, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

"Health reform is a test of whether this country can function once again as a civil society," he wrote...Whether we can trust ourselves to embrace the big, important changes that require everyone to give up something in order to make everyone better off."

This is exactly what I believe. It's been at the back of my mind for over two years and as health care has been moved to the top of the public agenda, it's become even truer.

Dependence on employer-paid, for-profit health insurance has blinded most people to the realities of US health care. No one who actually pays all his or her own bills thinks that there is anything okay about it. The only thing "fixed" about the current situation is the way it is rigged in favor of people who have deluded themselves into believing that somehow they deserve for someone -- anyone -- else to pay for their coverage.

Posted by: Athena_news | August 9, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Fear feeds on fear, creates chaos, paralyzes progress and prevents change. We have a lot of problems that need solving. Our future depends on it.

There are a lot of changes taking place that are no fault of 1 specific thing, but a multitude of events that led to where we are now. Those events have been in the making for decades, but were exponentially exacerbated by policies the Bush administration enacted.

By the time Bush left office everything had already imploded leaving Obama the task of cleaning-up after the fact. No president in history has entered office with as many crisis taking place simultaneously.

Americans accepted the fact drastic measures had to be taken immediately and overwhelmingly supported Obama's plans and wanted change. No one screamed socialism, Marxism or any of the other ludicrous nonsense at the time -- then on inauguration day they began.

After 6 months of listening repeatedly ad naseum, day-in and day-out, 24/7, to propaganda, scary fabricated scenarios, fear mongering, lies, factless claims is it any wonder why some feel anxious and fearful.


Millions are hanging-on by a thread. They are worried about job security and feel vulnerable in an uncertain future. The only thing that stands between them and bankruptcy is their income. If they lose their jobs they lose their health insurance benefits.

Very, very few in this country can afford to pay tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical procedures. But for the rest of the country health insurance is a life-line. However, private insurers' bottom line is profit -- last year's profits: $15 billion. They make money by dropping the sick and old, canceling policies, denying coverage to unhealthy people, turning-down claims even those previously approved, raising premium rates, etc... As a consequence personal bankruptcies in this country are soaring.

The two top ranking fears are fear of the unknown and fear of change. Obama is doing his best to ease those fears by fixing what is broken. Those who do not want things fixed are stoking people's fears.

We have very serious and exponentially growing problems in this country that must be solved. If we succumb to fear and the status quo that won't happen. Everything stays the same. Or we can accept the fact there are no solutions without change. Then progress begins.

No one knows what the future holds, but what we choose today will determine its outcome. Fear should have no part of it.

Posted by: serena1313 | August 9, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

To those conservatives here saying "The outrage has nothing to do with a fear of change" and "If Obama insists on a roadmap to single-payer, then he'll walk that road alone": Insisting on a reform that still is based on private insurers alone is no change at all. The system, as it is right now,m is funadmentally wrong. In many states, people don't have any real choice, because one insurers is dominating the market. Without a public option, nothing will change. And conservatives have always claimed that private enterprises do a superior job compared to state run agency. Well, then there should be nothing to fear from a Medicare-like alternative to private insurances, right? If you want to argue against that, you firstly have to admit that you have been wrong with your ideologically based hate of governement run services!

And some here have been honest about a main reason of concern for them: "47 million are added to the already existing people insured by choice without addressing the requirement for more doctors, hospitals, nurses or medical administration staff" Here's news for you: Those 47 millions all already using the emergency rooms for free, and this keeps more doctors and nurses busy than would be needed if those people would regularly see their doctor and thus avoid most of the emergencies. And it's YOU who is already paying the bills for those emergency room visits, because the hospitals simply pass the buck to their paying customers, the patients with insurance. So, the reform won't add 47 million more people to pay for, but quite to the contrary result in a system where more people will be able to pay for their insurance. It will be fairer and more transparent than the current chaos, which has been never designed as a system and is only the result of decades of half baked compromises and greed of gain.

No other nation in the world has such a screwed up "system" like the US, in no other nation the average citizen has to pay so much for healthcare, but there are lots of nations that can show better results. That is not reason for staying the course, but for change. Other nations, like France, have shown that such change will bring positive results for the people. Why are Americans so afraid of it?

Posted by: Gray62 | August 10, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,
First, how much of it is the fear that they are NOT being listened to?
The chant I hear is "Hear our voice" and yet what happens is the progressives say they do not WANT to hear it. Nor that there should be any further compromise.

You do KNOW there never was a dialogue as to whether or not Universal Healthcare IS the ONLY possible solution?
Only dialogue allowed is what FORM Universal Healthcare would take and how it would be implemented.
Sorry, no voices allowed.

And even in that dialogue -- no voices allowed for methods that do not allow TOTAL government control.

Honestly Ezra, would you have a problem with a booklet of vouchers for every name on a tax return.
Vouchers of ( just throwing a number -- no validity of it ) 12 separate $130 tickets.

Insurers required to offer a boilerplate basic plan with no pre-existing conditions for that $130/mo.

What does washington have against that? Too simple. And the one with the power to affect the market place is ... well ... the voucher HOLDERS, not congress or a small group of people.

Yet ... insurance company tell me that XXX is not covered though I thought it would be?
End of month I take my vouchers, those of my family, and possibly of my friends and relatives and go to another carrier.

I want a better insurance policy? One that costs $220/mo? I cough up $90.

Want to know why that idea gets no coverage?
It will never lead to single payer plan. It will not drive the evil insurance companies out of business.
And finally, it allows the PEOPLE who hold the vouchers all the power, and ya know people don't know how to vote their best interests, otherwise the Democrats and progressive would have 100 Senate seats.

Sadly?
You are a progressive, and you would accept vouchers.
It really IS the politicians in Washington who want to control where the money goes.

Posted by: chromenhawk | August 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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