Sunday, December 19, 2010

Want to die?

Jack Kelly would like you to risk death so that he can keep some tiny measure of freedom that he doesn't need anyway. Today in his column, Kelly tells us a federal judge in Virginia struck a blow for freedom; also the often partisan Rasmussen polling organization found that when they ask the questions, Americans don't like "Obamacare".

The thing is (and I can't believe I have to say this again), health care reform is good for everyone in almost every way you look at it. When the uninsured poor go to the emergency room (as George Bush obliviously suggested they do), they literally face bankruptcy, and since hospitals don't have to admit people without insurance, they simply have to stabilize them, going to the emergency room does not necessarily solve health problems. But of course past that, there is that bankruptcy (whatever loans and credit card debt being swept into the un-payable healthcare debt), the higher costs hospitals charge to address unpaid bills, the absenteeism, the loss of potential productive labor to untreated illness and possible death. By the way, as a PG employee, I suspect Kelly has perfectly good health care benefits, which I am strongly suspect he would be unwilling to give up as a matter of principle (Go ahead, Mr Kelly, prove me wrong).

Now I will grant you that the wealthy enjoy a great health care system, possibly the best in the world. If adding health-care insurance for those without it and adding new regulations about whose coverage can be canceled and also limiting lifetime maximums mean that the health care of the wealthy would suffer, I can understand why they (and thus the Republicans) would object. But as far as I can see, the only way the wealthy suffer is if the small (or large) business they own has to buy health insurance for their (low level) employees (which they could make those employees pay a huge portion of). I assume these are low paid employees like cleaning or clerical staff in law firms or medical practices, employees who see how much the professionals are making in profits. If it is suffering to provide employees with a benefit that you yourself enjoy, and would help keep them at work and not bankrupt, then I think a little suffering is in order.

So (noted constitutional scholar) Kelly spends time giving us his (actually the Tea Party's) view of the commerce clause of the constitution. Of course, the Supreme's have shown the ability to accommodate the modern world in their rulings (Scalia: handguns are constitutional because you can hold a handgun in your other hand); so I think the idea of balancing economic needs with the constitution is not beyond them (unless they start getting death threats from Tea Party members).

Kelly also whines about costs (ignoring the cost of no health care reform to the country in terms of both dollars and lives), and Kelly emphasizes that 222 waivers from health care provisions have been granted to various entities including "many to labor unions that fought for passage of the bill". Kelly states that more than a million workers have been exempted, says this a lot, but tellingly he doesn't say what the waivers are for. Are they for minor provisions? Is Kelly saying that the only good laws are ones with no flexibility (the kind of laws republicans like are the ones they can force down everyone's throats)?

At least smart Republicans are talking about alternatives, though not Tea Party types. Again tellingly, Kelly offers not a word about alternatives to Obamacare, he only cackled about what he thinks is momentum against it. Of course, the Republicans/Tea Party have been fairly successful in turning their stories (which sometimes could be characterized as out and out lies) into some people's view of reality (see Two Political Junkies).


Dayvoe said...

Ok, ok - so you post faster than me.

Whaddya want a medal??? (posted 12:49 pm sunday)


CSI w/o Dead Bodies said...

Jack Kelly should read my post on health care polling and how questions are worded.
One question Ed, is the Paper Chase your favorite movie?

CSI w/o Dead Bodies said...

I have a new post on Rasmussen's polling. Check it out.