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11/8/2009
THOUGHTS ON THE PASSAGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM

Interesting reactions from left and right to the passage in the House of health care reform.

A bill nobody has read, that contains nobody knows what, that no one has a clue of what kind of impact it will have on the current health care system, with a cost known only to God, has been passed with no formal hearings, extraordinarily limited debate, and in a totally partisan manner (minus one Republican who doesn’t have a prayer in 2010).

That’s the “reality” I would say to my friends in the reality based community. Can you argue with any of those points above? Only if you spin so hard you are in danger of flying off into orbit.

If we had a rational government, any one of those realities would have derailed health care reform long ago. But rationality has left the building, as has common sense, proportionality, wisdom, and that fine old conservative virtue, prudence.

National Health Care Reform represents a new way of governing; the blind, leading the deaf and dumb, toward an unknowable future - driving the engine of government at full speed, and without any brakes. Can’t see that break in the tracks up ahead? Ooops! My bad. We’ll pick up the pieces later.

Of course, this is only the first step. Something approximating the House bill is going to have to pass the senate - by no means a foregone conclusion, but made more likely by last night’s vote. And the conference committee to reconcile the two versions while hanging on to enough votes in both houses for passage will be something akin to trying to put a round peg in a fractal hole.

But the momentum appears to favor getting something passed before the end of the year. If the House vote proved anything, it is that the Democrats are fully capable of coming up with solutions that will allow their huge majorities to win the day regardless of the issues. They have proven adept at papering over their differences, finessing the insoluble, and coming up with imaginative gimmicks to make national health care reform a reality.

The question then arises; where to, conservatism?

There has been more than one liberal pundit who has speculated that the passage of national health care reform would mean the death of conservatism. Holy Jesus! If communism couldn’t be killed by it’s massive internal contradictions, I hardly think conservatism is in any danger of going the way of the Dodo bird because national health insurance has become a reality.

But perhaps the chocks will be pulled out from underneath the kind of “small government” conservatism that believes rolling back the Great Society, the New Deal, and taking America back to a fiercely literal interpretation of the Constitution, is the path that conservatism should follow.

I put “small government” in quotes because the reality is that most who adhere to that brand of conservatism are actually proponents of “no government” conservatism. All conservatives look in askance at the welfare state. But there is a difference in seeking to destroy it willy nilly and substitute a pre-Constitutional environment more in keeping with the Articles of Confederation, than in drastically reforming both the programs and ideology that undergirds the culture of dependency that has taken control of government. But the “no government” conservatives will become even more irrelevant now that we are on the road to nationalized health care. Government as the “enemy” may still be a potent call to arms for these conservatives, but their impact on actual public policy will be close to zero.

If national health care becomes a reality, history tells us that it will never be repealed, that one sixth of the American economy will be permanently controlled by Washington. There will be successful efforts to play around at the margins, bringing efficiencies and changing some of the more odorous aspects of what is to come. But politicians have never taken away an entitlement in history, and I am extremely skeptical that it can be done in this case.

Once the independent health insurance industry is gone, how to you get it back? How do you reconstitute a private health care system? The answer is you can’t. Once national health care has had its way with the system and we see single payer insurance, and a health care bureaucracy that dictates treatments, costs, eligibility, as well as rationing what care is left, it will be impossible to ditch that system in favor of a market based, private entity. It is much easier for government to destroy private industry than it is for government to actually create a free market for health care. The very act of government creation would, by definition, not allow the market to determine the parameters of its operation.

So, do conservatives deal with this reality and work to affect it, or do they cling to the irrational belief that they can turn the world upside down, repeal a middle class entitlement, and resurrect an entire industry? I believe that, along with other entitlements, conservative principles can be applied to governance so that it’s costs are kept from rising too quickly, while choices can be broadened. In short, if there must be national health care, conservatives can run it far better than liberals.

Not very satisfactory but real world options are rarely as palatable as those we imagine when clinging to dreams of Jeffersonian (or Randian) utopias. John Galt may be a folk hero, but even he is going to need to see a doctor at some point. So, from where I’m sitting, (given the strong probability that national health care will be a reality by the end of the year) you can either work to radically improve what the Democrats have so carelessly tossed into the people’s laps, or you can continue thinking that it is possible to create a government that doesn’t do much except kill terrorists and give out tax break like pieces of candy corn on Halloween night.

That’s an exaggeration, of course. But my purpose - groping, feeling my way in the dark though it seems - is to think about what conservatism means facing this new reality. Those who wish to continue living in a fantasy world where “no government” or “small government” (rather than “smaller government”) dominates, I congratulate you on your efforts. It is more than the rest of us who wish to advance the cause of conservatism in the real world are capable.

By: Rick Moran at 7:26 am
48 Responses to “THOUGHTS ON THE PASSAGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM”
  1. 1
    mannning Said:
    8:26 am 

    The Nancycare version of Obamacare

    This was posted here last week, but disappeared for some reason. This is the bureaucracy we may get if the senate goes along.

    The House Republican Conference has gone to the Herculean effort of tabulating the new federal boards, bureaucracies, commissions, and programs that would be established by the House bill–all in the name of cutting costs, of course! They add up to 111:

    1. Retiree Reserve Trust Fund (Section 111(d), p. 61)
    2. Grant program for wellness programs to small employers (Section 112, p. 62)
    3. Grant program for State health access programs (Section 114, p. 72)
    4. Program of administrative simplification (Section 115, p. 76)
    5. Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)
    6. Health Choices Administration (Section 241, p. 131)
    7. Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)
    8. Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)
    9. Program for technical assistance to employees of small businesses buying Exchange coverage (Section 305(h), p. 191)
    10. Mechanism for insurance risk pooling to be established by Health Choices Commissioner (Section 306(b), p. 194)
    11. Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund (Section 307, p. 195)
    12. State-based Health Insurance Exchanges (Section 308, p. 197)
    13. Grant program for health insurance cooperatives (Section 310, p. 206)
    14. “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321, p. 211)
    15. Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321(d), p. 213)
    16. Account for receipts and disbursements for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 322(b), p. 215)
    17. Telehealth Advisory Committee (Section 1191 (b), p. 589)
    18. Demonstration program providing reimbursement for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Section 1222, p. 617)
    19. Demonstration program for shared decision making using patient decision aids (Section 1236, p. 648)
    20. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicare (Section 1301, p. 653)
    21. Independent patient-centered medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302, p. 672)
    22. Community-based medical home pilot program under Medicare (Section 1302(d), p. 681)
    23. Independence at home demonstration program (Section 1312, p. 718)
    24. Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)
    25. Comparative Effectiveness Research Commission (Section 1401(a), p. 738)
    26. Patient ombudsman for comparative effectiveness research (Section 1401(a), p. 753)
    27. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1412(b)(1), p. 784)
    28. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for nursing facilities (Section 1412 (b)(2), p. 786)
    29. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 1413(a)(3), p. 796)
    30. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 1413(b)(3), p. 804)
    31. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 1422, p. 859)
    32. Demonstration program for approved teaching health centers with respect to Medicare GME (Section 1502(d), p. 933)
    33. Pilot program to develop anti-fraud compliance systems for Medicare providers (Section 1635, p. 978)
    34. Special Inspector General for the Health Insurance Exchange (Section 1647, p. 1000)
    35. Medical home pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1722, p. 1058)
    36. Accountable Care Organization pilot program under Medicaid (Section 1730A, p. 1073)
    37. Nursing facility supplemental payment program (Section 1745, p. 1106)
    38. Demonstration program for Medicaid coverage to stabilize emergency medical conditions in institutions for mental diseases (Section 1787, p. 1149)
    39. Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund (Section 1802, p. 1162)
    40. “Identifiable office or program” within CMS to “provide for improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid in the case of dual eligibles” (Section 1905, p. 1191)
    41. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)
    42. Public Health Investment Fund (Section 2002, p. 1214)
    43. Scholarships for service in health professional needs areas (Section 2211, p. 1224)
    44. Program for training medical residents in community-based settings (Section 2214, p. 1236)
    45. Grant program for training in dentistry programs (Section 2215, p. 1240)
    46. Public Health Workforce Corps (Section 2231, p. 1253)
    47. Public health workforce scholarship program (Section 2231, p. 1254)
    48. Public health workforce loan forgiveness program (Section 2231, p. 1258)
    49. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)
    50. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)
    51. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)
    52. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)
    53. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)
    54. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)
    55. Grant program for research and demonstration projects related to wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)
    56. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)
    57. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)
    58. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)
    59. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)
    60. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)
    61. Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)
    62. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)
    63. Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)
    64. “No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza” demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)
    65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)
    66. Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for individuals with autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)
    67. University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)
    68. Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)
    69. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)
    70. Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)
    71. Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)
    72. Grant program to prepare secondary school students for careers in health professions (Section 2533, p. 1437)
    73. Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)
    74. Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)
    75. Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio in primary and secondary schools (Section 2536, p. 1462)
    76. Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)
    77. Center for Emergency Care under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Section 2552, p. 1478)
    78. Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)
    79. Grant program to support demonstration programs that design and implement regionalized emergency care systems (Section 2553, p. 1480)
    80. Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become emergency medical technicians upon discharge (Section 2554, p. 1487)
    81. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)
    82. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)
    83. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)
    84. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)
    85. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)
    86. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)
    87. National Women’s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)
    88. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)
    89. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)
    90. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)
    91. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)
    92. Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)
    93. Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)
    94. Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce investment programs (Section 2591, p. 1632)
    95. Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)
    96. Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)49. Grant program for innovations in interdisciplinary care (Section 2252, p. 1272)
    50. Advisory Committee on Health Workforce Evaluation and Assessment (Section 2261, p. 1275)
    51. Prevention and Wellness Trust (Section 2301, p. 1286)
    52. Clinical Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1295)
    53. Community Prevention Stakeholders Board (Section 2301, p. 1301)
    54. Grant program for community prevention and wellness research (Section 2301, p. 1305)
    55. Grant program for research and demonstration projects related to wellness incentives (Section 2301, p. 1305)
    56. Grant program for community prevention and wellness services (Section 2301, p. 1308)
    57. Grant program for public health infrastructure (Section 2301, p. 1313)
    58. Center for Quality Improvement (Section 2401, p. 1322)
    59. Assistant Secretary for Health Information (Section 2402, p. 1330)
    60. Grant program to support the operation of school-based health clinics (Section 2511, p. 1352)
    61. Grant program for nurse-managed health centers (Section 2512, p. 1361)
    62. Grants for labor-management programs for nursing training (Section 2521, p. 1372)
    63. Grant program for interdisciplinary mental and behavioral health training (Section 2522, p. 1382)
    64. “No Child Left Unimmunized Against Influenza” demonstration grant program (Section 2524, p. 1391)
    65. Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)
    66. Grant program for interdisciplinary training, education, and services for individuals with autism (Section 2527(a), p. 1402)
    67. University centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education (Section 2527(b), p. 1410)
    68. Grant program to implement medication therapy management services (Section 2528, p. 1412)
    69. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors in underserved communities (Section 2530, p. 1422)
    70. Grant program for State alternative medical liability laws (Section 2531, p. 1431)
    71. Grant program to develop infant mortality programs (Section 2532, p. 1433)
    72. Grant program to prepare secondary school students for careers in health professions (Section 2533, p. 1437)
    73. Grant program for community-based collaborative care (Section 2534, p. 1440)
    74. Grant program for community-based overweight and obesity prevention (Section 2535, p. 1457)
    75. Grant program for reducing the student-to-school nurse ratio in primary and secondary schools (Section 2536, p. 1462)
    76. Demonstration project of grants to medical-legal partnerships (Section 2537, p. 1464)
    77. Center for Emergency Care under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Section 2552, p. 1478)
    78. Council for Emergency Care (Section 2552, p 1479)
    79. Grant program to support demonstration programs that design and implement regionalized emergency care systems (Section 2553, p. 1480)
    80. Grant program to assist veterans who wish to become emergency medical technicians upon discharge (Section 2554, p. 1487)
    81. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 2562, p. 1494)
    82. National Medical Device Registry (Section 2571, p. 1501)
    83. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 2581, p. 1597)
    84. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 2581, p. 1598)
    85. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 2581, p. 1602)
    86. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1610)
    87. National Women’s Health Information Center (Section 2588, p. 1611)
    88. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1614)
    89. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women’s Health and Gender-Based Research (Section 2588, p. 1617)
    90. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1618)
    91. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health (Section 2588, p. 1621)
    92. Personal Care Attendant Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 2589(a)(2), p. 1624)
    93. Grant program for national health workforce online training (Section 2591, p. 1629)
    94. Grant program to disseminate best practices on implementing health workforce investment programs (Section 2591, p. 1632)
    95. Demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (Section 3101, p. 1717)
    96. Demonstration program for substance abuse counselor educational curricula (Section 3101, p. 1719)
    97. Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)
    98. Intergovernmental Task Force on Indian environmental and nuclear hazards (Section 3101, p. 1754)
    99. Office of Indian Men’s Health (Section 3101, p. 1765)
    100. Indian Health facilities appropriation advisory board (Section 3101, p. 1774)
    101. Indian Health facilities needs assessment workgroup (Section 3101, p. 1775)
    102. Indian Health Service tribal facilities joint venture demonstration projects (Section 3101, p. 1809)
    103. Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)
    104. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for diabetes prevention (Section 3101, p. 1874)
    105. Grants to Urban Indian Organizations for health IT adoption (Section 3101, p. 1877)
    106. Mental health technician training program (Section 3101, p. 1898)
    107. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1909)
    108. Program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims and perpetrators (Section 3101, p. 1925)
    109. Program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (Section 3101, p. 1927)
    110. Native American Health and Wellness Foundation (Section 3103, p. 1966)
    111. Committee for the Establishment of the Native American H

  2. 2
    Dee Said:
    8:51 am 

    You cannot turn back the tide…health care reform has been coming, and conservatives have blown a golden opportunity to influence the debate (and perhaps lessen the damage)by standing still and refusing to budge. You fight the fights you can win, but you never abdicate your seat at the table.

    I am sympathetic to this argument on a philosophical level, but practically speaking, I think it was too much to ask the GOP to have anything to do with this bill. They are just too small a minority to have had any impact at all in “lessening the damage.”

    ed.

  3. 3
    Richard bottoms Said:
    9:23 am 

    They are just too small a minority to have had any impact at all in “lessening the damage.”

    What??? No, really. If the GOP had a plan other than hope Obama fails they could have acted like statesmen (and women) and had rel input from day one.

    Their one and only strategy, if ou can call it that was to try to scare the public into clamoring for the status quo.

    Except that the quo came right around time for Open Enrollment where everyone got to see the premium increases of 10-20%, recisions, and more horror stories from the current system.

    Obama isn’t Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin as some suggested and the GOP missed an opportunity to be part of the solution.

    We’ll lose seats next year no matter what. Better to have a win and take Limbaugh’s shots which are coming no matter what the Democrats do.

  4. 4
    busboy33 Said:
    9:28 am 

    “A bill nobody has read”

    No . . . YOU haven’t read it. I haven’t read it. That doesn’t mean NOBODY has has read it.

    “that contains nobody knows what”

    See above.

    “that no one has a clue of what kind of impact it will have on the current health care system”

    NO. There are many people that have an informed opinion as to what impact it may/will have on the health care system. Are any of them guaranteed accurate? No guarantees about anything. But to say that there are no ideas whatsoever is nonsense.

    “with a cost known only to God”

    . . . and the CBO, who published their report for all the world to read. Is their assessment a guarantee? Of course not. But “nobody has a clue what it will cost” is, again, pure unadulterated hysterical nonsense.

    “has been passed with no formal hearings, extraordinarily limited debate”

    Define “formal hearings”. This has been debated, in Congress and in the public arena, since at least March.
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=54&extmode=cat&cat_id=5
    Here’s the schedule for the House committee on Energy and Comerce, Subcommittee on Health, from this year.
    http://www.cprights.org/2009/03/rick-scotts-congressional-testimony-on-health-care-reform.php
    Here’s the text of testimony from Rick Scott with Conservatives for Patient’s Rights submitted to the March 24th meeting.

    Was that a “formal hearing”? If not . . . what’s the substantive difference?
    “extraordinarily limited” debate? Are you high? Name something that the federal government and the general public of America have debated MORE in the last decade than health care reform? They have been working non-stop on this topic for months and months and months . . . and months . . . and months . . . and ITS STILL GOING ON.

    I asked you before in your “Stop. Go Back” post how much debate will satisfy you. It seems like the problem isn’t the length of time and the quantity of the debate. Rather, the problem for you seems to be that you don’t like the outcome. That’s fine . . . but to call what has been happening this year “extraordinarily limited debate” is demonstrably false.

    “and in a totally partisan manner”

    If you mean that Republicans have declared that this will be Obama’s Waterloo, and that they promise they will vote “no” on it . . . then you appear to be right. Republicans acting like petulant children is certainly partisan, and you lay that as an indictment of health care reform?

    (btw, how do you like the “Republican health care reform plan” they released last week? You know, the one they wern’t going to release because they already submitted one back in March?)

    If it makes you feel any better, my bet is we don’t get down to a final bill (House and Senate pass bills, then reconciliation) until late spring. Frankly I’ll be stunned if they pass something before the end of the year. Happy . . . but stunned.

  5. 5
    Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove Pinged With:
    9:53 am 

    [...] Right Wing Nut House has thoughts on the passage of the health system monstrosity [...]

  6. 6
    michael reynolds Said:
    9:59 am 

    Busboy just pwned you, as they say on the internets, Rick.

    You don’t know anything about this issue. All you have on offer are ideological platitudes. You don’t really like to engage on the specifics because you sense that if you did you’d be with us and not with the GOP.

    What’s your solution to pre-existing coverage Rick? Is it, “screw kids with CP?” Is it, “to hell with a battered woman who now can’t get care?”

    I doubt it. That’s your party’s position, but you’re not enough of a douche to express actual indifference to real people who may suffer or die because of your party’s devotion to destroying Obama.

    So you never engage on the issues, you offer blah, blah, blah GOP talking points brought to you by the Insurance industry and the usual crap about how large a bill is.

    We’re right. You’re wrong. And that’s why we’re winning.

  7. 7
    busboy33 Said:
    10:20 am 

    @manning:

    That’s impossible. After all, nobody has read the bill, and nobody knows what’s in the bill, so there can’t be a list of agencies created.

    Seriously, I take it your point is that this is massive.

    Yup.

    This is a massive problem. If you want to say that a full 111 divisions/agencies/bureaus/whatever-the-hell-they-are isn’t completely necessary, I’d be willing to bet that you’re right. Is there bloat? No doubt . . . we’re talking about the Federal Government here.
    Taking it as an assumption that everything the Federal Government does will have some ammount of waste, bloat, and unnecessary bull$h!t, does that automatically invalidate (a) the problem and (b) the solution? If it doesn’t, then the fact that those whatevers will be created doesn’t carry any weight in and of themselves.

    Certainly ALL of them are probably unnecessary, but is the reverse true — are NONE of them necessary? That’s probably not true. So the question comes down to which are necessary and which are not? That’s where the Repub legislators should have been — trimming the fat. By refusing to engage with the bill (or wasting their time offering nonsense amendments like “all States that begin with the letter ‘U’ can opt-out”), we the people end up with something that has more fat than necessary.

    That sucks — no two ways about it. Would I rather there be less fat? Absolutely. But if the choice I’m given is Solution-With-Excess-Fat and No-Solution-at-all . . . then unfortunately I have to side with the imperfect solution.

  8. 8
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:32 am 

    Again, Busboy makes excellent points. Trimming the fat is exactly what the GOP could have done. But that would have required them to act like adults.

    Instead they turned the party over to Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachman, Rush Limbaugh and turned the laughable leaders of the House and Senate into acolytes of certifiable loons.

    Are you an adult living with muscular dystrophy who can’t get nursing care because the CEO of your health insurer needs a private jet? Well too damned bad, pal, the GOP does not give a damn. The GOP is focused on destroying the president and doesn’t really have time for you and your so-called need not to die helpless in your own filth.

  9. 9
    That Deaf, Dumb And Blind Kid Sure Plays A Mean Pinball « QC Examiner Pinged With:
    10:54 am 

    [...] Deaf, Dumb And Blind Kid Sure Plays A Mean Pinball Rick Moran on the passage of the Pelosicare bill which “nobody has read, that contains nobody knows [...]

  10. 10
    Russell Miller Said:
    11:39 am 

    I think everyone has a point here, but I have to side with busboy and Michael (I’m not a liberal) on one important point. It’s true that the Republicans are a minority - but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t influence what the bill contains. The problem is, they would have to do it by coming up with actual solutions that their (and other) constituents would say “hey, that’s a pretty good idea”. As long as the Democrats got the core of what they wanted, I’m sure they’d have been happy to “play around at the fringes” a little so they could get bipartisan support.

    Instead, the Republicans turned themselves into a roadblock and got crushed.

    One thing I learned many years ago. When a large, hundred ton boulder is rolling at you, stopping it is going to be impossible, but changing its course is much easier. The Republicans have not learned this lesson, or choose not to take it to heart.

  11. 11
    JerryS Said:
    11:55 am 

    Rick -

    The GOP has no one to blame but themselves.

    1. It’s hard to be credible, as a Representative or Senator, when claiming that you’re against government run health care when all congresspersons are covered by government run health care.

    2. It’s hard to be credible, as a party (the GOP) to claim that you have a better Health Care plan, only to have your plan completely demolished by the CBO when you finally reveal the plan only days before a vote.

    3. It’s hard to be credible, as a party, to claim that you’re against government run health care, then refuse to call for the dismantling of the VA and Medicare, the two largest examples of government run health care.

    4. It’s hard to be credible, as a party, to claim that you have the answers for health care yet you didn’t propose ANY plans during the six years you controlled the White House, House, and Senate.

  12. 12
    Joe Said:
    11:57 am 

    I realize the bill is imperfect and will get changed in committee, but my point is the gop controlled the White House, senate, and the house from 2000-2006, and did nothing about the runaway train that was healthcare costs. Now when the Dems want to do something, they throw a hissy fit with their astroturf protests.Americans for Prosperity paid for 40 buses to bring protesters to the capitol on Thursday, some of who equated Obamacare with the deathcamps at Dachau! We do need serious adult discourse on healthcare,not Nazi comparisons.Either lead, follow, or get out of the way republicans.

  13. 13
    mannning Said:
    12:11 pm 

    If anyone had paid attention, they would have discovered that the Republicans in the House offered many, many amendments to the various bills, none of which were accepted by the committees, but were voted out one by one by the Democratic majority.

    So, the idea that they didn’t try is false. The idea that they could have influenced the bills is also false. Any comments to the contrary are simply false as well. In a totally dominated Democratic House there was nothing to be done to get Republican ideas or modifications to the bills accepted. The entire operation became a Democratic railroad process. What we the public get, besides the 111-element bureaucracy posted above, is massive spending on top of our current 12 Trillion dollar national debt.

    The only hope is that the Senate can stop this nonsense, and come up with something feasible and practical considering our fiscal situation.

  14. 14
    KEC Said:
    12:12 pm 

    @michael reynolds

    When the debate is on the size of and food to be served in the extremination camps, there is no basis for honorable barter.

    The health bill as passed by the house is unconstitutional on several points, unfunded mandates against individuals, expansion of IRS power far beyond the income tax amendment to the Constitution, and so on. The debate was so manifestly dishonest that it reeks of fraud. A public option that, by CBO’s own scoring, would have premiums higher than the private options.

    But, first and foremost, this bill seeks to radically change the relationship of the government and the governed, overturning “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” in favor of a purer, more European kleptocracy that no one dare challenge.

    No presidential candidate in the last 20 years has challenged the Federal government’s unbounded growth and relentless subjugation of the people. And this farcical bill has spat that into the face of the American electorate.

    See you in 2010.

  15. 15
    mannning Said:
    12:21 pm 

    @ busboy

    Rather than attempting to justify each line item of the bureaucracy in the bill, or modifying it, it is more practical to attack the basic premises of the bill, the lack of spending reductions, the lack of effective tort reforms, and the multiple sneak taxes included. Then to do a full rewrite along conservative lines, with a final bill down in the few tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, with significant corrections to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well.

    I hope that is the direction the Senate takes.

  16. 16
    Bluto Said:
    12:39 pm 

    Do you really think that making helpful suggestions to the crew running up the scaffold is worthwhile?

  17. 17
    MochaLite Said:
    1:07 pm 

    “National Health Care Reform represents a new way of governing; the blind, leading the deaf and dumb, toward an unknowable future - driving the engine of government at full speed, and without any brakes.”

    Agree! The only thing I would change is “toward a predictable future (like all federally-mandated entitlements - higher costs, higher debt, higher taxes)”

  18. 18
    Reason60 Said:
    1:18 pm 

    Busboy and Michael Reynolds make the points better than I could, but just to add for emphasis-
    This bill however flawed, is the only serious one on the table; the GOP had control for decades, and not once made any serious attempt to fix the problem.

    To cry crocodile tears now and wail that “we wudda fixed it better” is just a sham.

  19. 19
    busboy33 Said:
    1:33 pm 

    @manning:

    I’ll agree that trying to kneecap the bill would be overall more effective than nips and tucks. Heck simply by dictionary definition alone completely killing the bill would be more “effective” than shaving bits off here and there (assuming “effective” is defined as “stoping it”).

    And even though it didn’t come up, I’ll agree that if you’re putting your bets on a knockout blow, it damn well better be thrown with everything you have, so “Health care reform is teh debil!!” actually has some strategic value over “let’s discuss this like grownups”. Make the debate one about Good vs. Evil, life vs. death, liberty vs. death camps — make that one knockout blow the absolute strongest you can by putting as much emotional force behind it as you can.

    (I’m giving the Reds the benefit of the doubt here, that all this was calculated, which I think is debateable to put it charitably)

    There is a positive to this strategy. But there is an inherent weakness to the knockout blow strategy — if you don’t knock your opponent out, you’re screwed. You’ve got nothing else.

    When my dad and I would watch boxing together, we always rooted for different fights. I always wanted the fighters to throw knockout blows, land one right on the button, and he always yelled at them to focus on body blows. Why should they, I asked? Hit the bastard in the midsection and he keeps coming!

    “Chop down the trunk, and the tree will fall” he said.

    Strategic hindsight is always 20/20. Given the hystrionics of the campaign, and given the timing of how soon this all started after Obama took office, I understand how the first criticism was “Demonspawn!”. Unfortunately, that locked the GOP into a Hail Mary strategy of stopping the issue dead when (as Rick noted) they didn’t possess the votes to stop it. They DID posses the votes to shape the bill, as evidenced by the negotiations that have (and will continue to) occur(ed) . . . but they didn’t have the ammo to stop it dead. They needed an act of God. They threw a Hail Mary, and it didn’t work.

    Now, they’ve lost alot of those critical moderate Reds and Independents who were alienated by the strategy. Focusing on chipping away at the bill not only would help them “limit its damage” but it would have burnished their “fiscal responsibility” bona fides for the 2010 election cycle (and after their sterling budget watch performance 2000-06 they sure as hell need it).

    (Again, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they planned all this out, and didn’t simply surf along with the partisan rancor in the air because it was the easiest path to media airtime).

    Kill the bill, then do a full re-write along Conservative ideological lines isn’t more practical in this scenario . . . because they’re not in charge. That’s a “best possible outcome” strategy, where even though they don’t have majority control of either Legislative Branch (when this started they were at the absolute bare minimum to even filibuster) they were going to not only dictate what legislation went forward, but they were going to write it too. That’s a “best case” outcome . . . but objectively looking at the votes on the Hill suggested that was staggeringly unlikely. If this WAS all planned out, then they severely under-estimated their opponents and their own power (and under-estimating Democrats on the Hill is pretty tough to do — that bar is set reeeeeeeeal low).

    If that was the plan, I admire their moxie, but IMHO they should have looked at this fight in the long-term. They didn’t, and now they are weaker (loss of votes and respect among the non-fanatical public), with even less ability to have influence on future bills. After how much sycophantic pandering the Blues did on this and got sneered at, how much effort do you think the Blues will put toward bi-partanship during the next three years?

    (Pathetically, the Blues will probably be just as weak and mousy next year too)

    If the Hill Reds truly believed that this bill signals the destruction of America, the equivalent of genocide, then do what you must. But I don’t believe they really think that. They don’t like it surely, but they don’t really believe that if they don’t hold the line then America is doomed. They got greedy, and I think its going to bite them in the ass. Hard.

  20. 20
    busboy33 Said:
    1:45 pm 

    Utterly, totally, and completely off-topic . . .

    Why doesn’t the NFL recruit sumo wrestlers for offensive lines? I would think that somebody who has trained their entire lives to do nothing but push 400+ pound monstrosities back 8 feet would shred defenseive lines.

    I can’t be the first person to think this — what am I missing?

  21. 21
    JustIce Said:
    1:53 pm 

    What a sad day for America.

  22. 22
    MooseH Said:
    3:17 pm 

    A fatal flaw

    “A key feature of the House and Senate health bills would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions. The new coverage would start immediately, and the premium could not reflect the individual’s health condition.

    This well-intentioned feature would provide a strong incentive for someone who is healthy to drop his or her health insurance, saving the substantial premium costs. After all, if serious illness hit this person or a family member, he could immediately obtain coverage. As healthy individuals decline coverage in this way, insurance companies would come to have a sicker population. The higher cost of insuring that group would force insurers to raise their premiums. (Separate accident policies might develop to deal with the risk of high-cost care after accidents when there is insufficient time to buy insurance.)

    In an attempt to prevent this, the draft legislation provides penalties for individuals who choose not to buy insurance and for employers that do not offer health insurance. But the levels of these fines are generally too low to cause a rational individual to insure.

    Consider: 27 million people are covered by health insurance purchased directly, i.e. outside employer-based plans. The average cost of an insurance policy with family coverage in 2009 is $13,375. A married couple with a median family income of $75,000 who choose not to insure would be subject to a fine of 2.5 percent of that $75,000, or $1,875. So the family would save a net $11,500 by not insuring. If a serious illness occurs–a chronic condition or a condition that requires surgery–they could then buy insurance. Since fewer than one family in four has annual health-care costs that exceed $10,000, the decision to drop coverage looks like a good bet. For a lower-income family, the fine is smaller, and the incentive to be uninsured is even greater.

    The story is similar for single people. The average cost of an individual policy is $4,800. An individual with earnings of $50,000 would face a fine of $1,250 and would therefore save $3,550 by not insuring.

    In short, for those who are now privately insured through employers or by direct purchase, there would be substantial incentives to become uninsured until they become sick. The resulting rise in the cost to insurance companies as the insured population becomes sicker would raise the average premium, strengthening that incentive.

    MP: What would make this choice to drop insurance and pay the penalty even more rational is the convenient, low-cost availability of basic health care from 1,200 retail clinics around the country, or through pre-paid plans like the No Insurance Club, or concierge medicine.”

    This what happens when nobody reads the bill and it is rammed home by our liberal establishment.
    A sad day indeed.

  23. 23
    David Ross Said:
    5:22 pm 

    Michael Reynolds said, “Are you an adult living with muscular dystrophy who can’t get nursing care because the CEO of your health insurer needs a private jet? Well too damned bad, pal, the GOP does not give a damn.”

    Or, we could say “Are you an adult living with muscular dystrophy who can’t get nursing care because ‘budgets are tight for everyone’, and Sheila Jackson-Lee needs a private jet?”

    Well too damned bad, pal, Michael Reynolds does not give a damn.

    I know the difference between righteous anger and calculated bluster. Reynolds has nothing to add to this debate.

  24. 24
    David Ross Said:
    5:23 pm 

    Reason60, nice use of the “tu quoque”.

  25. 25
    David Ross Said:
    5:57 pm 

    That said, I agree that busboy33 does offer a good set of arguments.

    Just to pick on Reynolds and Reason60 some more - I think they’re bad for their own case.

    It’s just easier to argue with a blustering windbag like Reynolds and a but-the-GOP-sucks-too whiner like Reason60. This gives the impression that the anti-Pelosi case is stronger than it would seem otherwise, say if I was arguing with busboy33.

    Reynolds and Reason60 should have restrained themselves to a “wat busboy sed, me 2″

  26. 26
    michael reynolds Said:
    6:13 pm 

    And here comes #14 above with the Republican response:

    When the debate is on the size of and food to be served in the extremination camps, there is no basis for honorable barter.

    And then we have #23:

    Or, we could say “Are you an adult living with muscular dystrophy who can’t get nursing care because ‘budgets are tight for everyone’, and Sheila Jackson-Lee needs a private jet?”

    Um, what?

    Want to know why Democrats are running the government? Can you guess why Obama is still polling in the mid-50’s and the GOP is running about even with used car dealers?

  27. 27
    JustIce Said:
    6:32 pm 

    It is easy to look prosperity in the face a laugh at those who are on the other side. This is temporary political prosperity for the Dems and liberals. Technology is the enemy because it doesn’t adhere to political protocol. The emergence of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and even this blog are all results of technological advances. These communication media didn’t exist 10 years ago. Watch as more people become disillusioned with the hyperbole that is Democrats and the scare tactics of the left are exposed. I can only hope it comes swiftly.

  28. 28
    michael reynolds Said:
    7:27 pm 

    The emergence of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and even this blog are all results of technological advances.

    I don’t really have a comment, I just enjoy savoring the stupid.

  29. 29
    cedarhill Said:
    7:37 pm 

    Interesting view but how does one ever win if your purpose is help the other side succeed? I’m sure most of us just can’t wait for Rick to tell us the winning slogans that will swing the 2010 elections to conservatives. How about:

    “Vote for me and I pledge to reduce the jail time you’ll get for violating the Health Care Act from the current five years to only 18 months! And you’ll be eligible for parole in only 6 months! Please hold your applause to the end.”

    A definite winning formula. Stirs the mind and warms the heart.

  30. 30
    David Ross Said:
    7:58 pm 

    Justice 27, the “emergence” of Fox and Limbaugh was the result of loosening the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”, which was a political decision and not a technological one. The technologies of AM non-stereo radio and, later, of television were already in existence for many decades. (But then the Progressives took ‘em over.)

    The blogs and the internet in general, though, have made a difference; they have overturned the Progressive consensus more than anything else. And they’ve helped Rush too, while we’re on that topic…

    Back in the early 1990s if Rush said something, the networks could clip the inflammatory part they wanted you to hear, and Rush couldn’t get his message easily to the wider public. Now, Rush can post his stuff to the ‘Web and we can tell immediately if he’s right or not.

    If we’re talking health technology, I expect it’ll be still available for the upper-middle classes and higher. Just hop on a plane to Thailand - if you can get tickets, because half this nation’s doctors might be filling up available seats in the next few months.

  31. 31
    sota Said:
    8:29 pm 

    Why doesn’t the NFL recruit sumo wrestlers for offensive lines? I would think that somebody who has trained their entire lives to do nothing but push 400+ pound monstrosities back 8 feet would shred defenseive lines.

    My first guess would be the lack of lateral agility/speed. My second guess would be the overall lack of endurance and stamina.

    It’s hard to be credible, as a party, to claim that you’re against government run health care, then refuse to call for the dismantling of the VA and Medicare, the two largest examples of government run health care.

    This argument is silly. It’s as logical as saying, “Since democrats opposed the Bush tax cuts, they’re required to call for the repeal of all tax cuts.” The federal government has already made a commitment that it should follow through on, but it does not then necessarily follow that all activities under the same umbrella are a foregone conclusion.

    Want to know why Democrats are running the government?

    Is that what they’re doing?

    Can you guess why Obama is still polling in the mid-50’s…

    Don’t fall into the trap that the ideologues on the right did in defending Bush to the last drop. “He’s still polling in the upper 40’s…he’s still polling in the 40’s…he’s still polling higher than the Democrats in Congress…” It’s a losing strategy. Personal approval does not a President make.

  32. 32
    michael reynolds Said:
    8:46 pm 

    What makes a president is rescuing the economy from what even the previous administration admits was the brink of absolute disaster.

    And then rushing troops to Afghanistan to rescue that war from what the generals admit was the brink of disaster. And continuing the anti-terror Predator strikes in Pakistan that — you have probably forgotten — earned the scorn of Mr. McCain.

    And then without giving up anything of value turning world opinion on a dime so that the US is once again the most admired nation on Earth.

    And redeeming the moral standing of the US by ending torture and forbidding its use.

    And then, I expect, passing the first comprehensive health care reform since the 60’s.

    Now, I wish he’d also managed to end DADT. But President Obama is off to a good, B+ or A- start. Infinitely preferable to the alternative. And it’s a vote I am very happy to have cast.

  33. 33
    Travis Monitor Said:
    9:39 pm 

    “What makes a president is rescuing the economy from what even the previous administration admits was the brink of absolute disaster.”

    MORE JOBS LOST IN 9 MONTHS UNDER OBAMA THAN 8 YEARS UNDER BUSH.

    Obama is a complete and total FAIL on the economic front. We now have more than tripled the projected job losses and the ‘jobs saved’ is a cruel joke. Meanwhile, hie supports job-killing bill after job-killing bill. He has harmed the economic futures of me, my children, close friends who just this month lost jobs, and harmed millions of other Americans. And they/we are starting to get ticked off about it.

    This healthcare deform bill harms us more. For me, their gutting of health savings account is a kick in the groin. Of course, there are literally hundreds of such kicks to the groin that the Democrats engineered, along with billions in corrupt payoffs (eg for AARP) in this bill. The tax hikes are a socialist scheme sure to backfire, harming both the treasury *and* the economy.

    It’s almost as if BHO wants so hard to be another FDR he is personally engineering another depression … or maybe he’s just plain ignorant about economics. (I’d argue the latter, since he was so clueless he didnt even know what “PE ratio” meant! that’s mind-boggling ignorant!)

  34. 34
    Travis Monitor Said:
    9:53 pm 

    “Again, Busboy makes excellent points. Trimming the fat is exactly what the GOP could have done. But that would have required them to act like adults.”

    Nope, you are both shallow FUD-spreading maroons. The Republicans had a solid alternative to the faux ’stimulus’ boondoggle, it would have cost half as much and been earmark free and was real stimulus, not just a spending spree … it was shot down. Republicans had amendments on cap-and-trade in boxer’s committee - she shut them out of the process so completely they boycotted her charade.

    The Republicans put alternatives to healthcare forward. Multiple bills, lots of interesting ideas that could lower healthcare costs (somethings the Dems did nothing about) - Democrats ignored them. In Senate and House committees, they were shut down, cut off, ignored, and in rules committee, they simply squashed GOP amendments like so many bugs.

    It’s an absolute and utter farce to speak of GOP ‘engagement’ with Democrats when the most partisan Speaker in our lifetimes Pelosi runs the House like a prison warden, stripping away Gingrich-era rules that had opened up the House. Obama himself wont really listen, with his “I won” attitude.

    This is Democrat ‘bipartisanship’: voting for the left liberal Democrat bill.

    When Democrats offer up a crap sandwich, dont be surprised that the choice of what garnish to put on it is not enough inducement to eat it. You Democrats will have to eat the crap sandwiches all by yourselves.

  35. 35
    Dee Said:
    9:58 pm 

    “I think it was too much to ask the GOP to have anything to do with this bill. They are just too small a minority to have had any impact at all in “lessening the damage.”
    Unfortunatly, we’ll never know what impact the GOP could have had on the debate and the bill itself. Another reason their strategy (if indeed there was one) may backfire on them is, unless the entire economy collapses under the weight of the cost of health care reform, most of the country will see it as a success. Conservatives promised such a doomsday scenario that anything less will make them look foolish and alarmist. I suspect that while the Dems may take a hit in 2010, by 2012 Obama will be running as the guy who brought back the economy and finally fixed health care. Dee

  36. 36
    Travis Monitor Said:
    10:00 pm 

    #19: “Now, they’ve lost alot of those critical moderate Reds and Independents who were alienated by the strategy.”

    Here on planet earth, independents went 2 for 1 for the Republican candidate in Virginia this week.

    #22: “This what happens when nobody reads the bill and it is rammed home by our liberal establishment. A sad day indeed.”
    The ‘free rider’ issue is exactly what was observed in Massachusetts. People not getting insurance, and then, thanks to mistaken-intended regs forbidding exclusion for pre-existing conditions, people sign up at least minute. A system where everyone tries to game it to get something for nothing is a system that breaks down quickly.

    Not only are insurance mandates a vile intrusion against personal liberty, they apparently DONT WORK. The Mass. lab experiment should have been observed a few more years before taking it national.

  37. 37
    Reason60 Said:
    10:22 pm 

    @David Ross #25;
    OK, you are right. Saying Tu Quoque, that the Republicans are just as bad isn’t the best argument. It is true, but still not the best defense of this bill.

    But it is a valid point that this is by far the best health care reform bill extant. The GOP version was laughably bad, and insincerely done. Or at least I hope it was insincere- if that really is the bet they can do, they are in worse shape than we previously thought.

    As for bipartisanship, it is incredible to argue that the very same people who promised that this would be the President’s “Waterloo” and who fanned the flames of the most hyperbolic claims of death panels were somehow unfairly shut out of the process; the Republicans did not want to modify the bill, they openly said they only wanted to kill it. Not work with, but destroy. Didn’t they think the mic was on when they said those things? Or that we would think they were joking?

  38. 38
    TMLutas Said:
    11:01 pm 

    “where to, conservatism?”

    Small government Conservatism is dead. But don’t worry, it’s going to get better.

    What most don’t seem to consider much is that american conservatism is the impulse to conserve the liberal revolution of 1776. When that revolution dies in legislation, in government scope, the impulse to conserve dies with it. There is something left, the underlying revolutionary liberalism. I think that small government liberalism is likely to end up being a more potent force than small government conservatism ever was.

  39. 39
    Anonymous Said:
    11:29 pm 

    @Justice:

    “This is temporary political prosperity for the Dems and liberals.”

    Political prosperity is ALWAYS temporary.

    @Travis Monitor:

    “Multiple bills, lots of interesting ideas that could lower healthcare costs (somethings the Dems did nothing about) - Democrats ignored them. In Senate and House committees, they were shut down, cut off, ignored, and in rules committee, they simply squashed GOP amendments like so many bugs.”

    Yes — that’s something called the political process. They proffered ideas, the ideas were voted down.
    Multiple bills? There was the renegade GOP bill offered back in the Spring by, what? 5 or 6 GOPers? Even the party didn’t back it. And they just offered another last week — as has been pointed out, the bill looks to most people like a steaming pile of crap. I know you love it . . . but that doesn’t change the fact that most people are laughing at it.

    What else?

    “It’s an absolute and utter farce to speak of GOP ‘engagement’ with Democrats when the most partisan Speaker in our lifetimes Pelosi runs the House like a prison warden, stripping away Gingrich-era rules that had opened up the House. Obama himself wont really listen, with his ‘I won’ attitude.”

    Yes . . . the GOP controlled House was a model of seeking out and promoting Democratic ideas. I remember Gingrich giving that press conference, where he begged the Dems to help write legislation, and castigated GOP members for exercising their majority control to implement the Contract with America without asking Dem leaders if they approved.

    Ah . . . memories. Or hallucinations.

    “This is Democrat ‘bipartisanship’: voting for the left liberal Democrat bill.”

    So . . . the Democrats SHOULDN’t vote for their own Bill? They should only vote for Republican sponsored Bills? I guess that for the GOP, ‘bi-partisan’ means being able to make the Dems vote for the GOP Bills. That’s why the voters elected a Democratic majority — to vote Republican. After all, you couldn’t trust the GOP to do that, right? The voter’s will be done . . . if you define “voter’s will” as “Travis Monitor’s ‘Happy Ending’ fantasy.

    “Here on planet earth, independents went 2 for 1 for the Republican candidate in Virginia this week.”

    Well, that settles it — the Nationwide Republican tsunami has been confirmed. I mean, if the Republican Party can win the Governorship of Virginia then nothing can stop them. Since 1970, Reds have held the seat 6 times, Dems 5.
    I’m going to throw a wild idea out there. Maybe . . . just maybe . . . voters know the difference between National and State-level elections? Maybe they liked McDonnell more than Deeds?
    No, you’re right. It was certainly a stunning rebuke of the National Democratic Agenda. I mean, why else would someone vote except to declare unswerving allegience to a National Party? How silly of me. That’s why the GOP picked up -2 National seats in the elections. At this rate they’ll be running the Federal government in less than negative 3 decades! Roll on, brave soldiers for truth!

    @Reason60:

    “But it is a valid point that this is by far the best health care reform bill extant.”

    That can’t be true. It was written by Democrats, so by definition it must be a bad Bill. If the Reds had written “Durrr Tax Cuts Poopie” on a napkin, the sublime righteousness of their lapel pins would mean it was better than anything written by a Democrat, automatically.
    This debate started over 6 months ago. The House Reds got their version out last week. If that doesn’t demonstrate how important fixing this is for them to you . . . I guess you’re just blinded by partisanship. After all, they have been trying really hard to fix health care all year, in between their rallies, “Waterloo” strategy meetings, death panel press conferences, and urging people to flood town halls over the summer recess to stop the Blues from killing Grandma. I don’t know about you, but that screams “we are serious about reforming health care” to me.
    Well, it screams that to Travis, and he knows what’s what. That’s good enough for me.

  40. 40
    busboy33 Said:
    12:35 am 

    Wasn’t logged in — I’d hate for Travis not to know it was me mocking him in comment #38 above.

    Ah, the simple pleasures . . .

  41. 41
    Maggie's Farm Trackbacked With:
    5:59 am 

    Monday morning links…

    The contortions people are going through to avoid the obvious reality that Major Hasan was a one-man Jihad are remarkable. Scott at Powerline identified his disorder: PISS. Why do Moslems get a pass on violence? Wizbang: Hasan worshipped with 9-11…

  42. 42
    TMLutas Said:
    8:58 am 

    busboy33 - Surely you mean comment 39. We are not the same. You can count to 39, right? Or didn’t you know that you really ought to reload your browser right before you post a comment referring to a recent comment number?

  43. 43
    JustIce Said:
    9:28 am 

    Michael Reynolds…you are just so clever. Your wit and wisdom, are truly those of a superior intellect. In fact, you sir are a fine example of an Left-wing Ass (it’s a Biblical word)…err….I mean elitist.

    My original point was and still is that the power of the “left-wing” to censor political discussion has been altered by the abundance of communications media. It is true that repeal of the “Fairness Doctrine” enabled TV and radio to finally become “fair”. However, computer and information technology has accellerated the discussion far beyond the control of government. But, of course someone with your intellect already knew this. You’re just toying with me. That’s why you pull quotes out of context.

    And by the way no response, is a response.

  44. 44
    Tweets that mention Right Wing Nut House » THOUGHTS ON THE PASSAGE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM -- Topsy.com Pinged With:
    10:10 am 

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by boldartist, Tim Jones. Tim Jones said: Thoughts On The Passage Of Health Care Reform: http://bit.ly/1RMSqF via @addthis #tcot #fb [...]

  45. 45
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:08 am 

    Justice:

    Radio’s been around quite a while as a technology. And as a platform for loud-mouthed bigots it’s been around for at least 75 years, since the days of Father Coughlin, the hate-mongering progenitor of Limbaugh and Beck.

    Cable TV news has been around since CNN was founded in 1980. Blogs have been around for about a decade, give or take.

    So nothing technological has changed. And since Democrats now run the White House and both houses of Congress one would have to guess that any such new technology aided our side not yours. (The biggest political blogs by far are liberal and not conservative.) So if your theory is that the internet is helping people to learn The Truth that’s fine by me: Obama’s at 55% and the GOP is at less than half that.

    You somehow conflate liberals with government censorship of political media. Not quite sure what that’s even supposed to mean. Can you point to a single example of government censorship of media because of the political content?

    To the extent broadcast media are censored it’s usually to do with language and sex — for example the vendetta against Howard Stern. And that almost always comes from your side of the spectrum.

  46. 46
    Gayle Miller Said:
    11:25 am 

    When this despicable intrusion into the private lives of all Americans was foisted upon us (at least in part - thank God for the perhaps more sensible Senate who can and should kill it altogether), it was in violation of all the rules of the House of Representatives AND against the clearly expressed wishes of the people of the United States of America who are the EMPLOYERS of these clowns in the House, all of whom should be unemployed (most particularly that rampaging lunatic called Nancy Pelosi) come November 2010. Let’s get on that if we really want to make a difference.

    And to those conservative clowns who decided to “teach the Republicans a lesson” in 2006 and 2008 - nice going you lacklustre morons!

  47. 47
    busboy33 Said:
    3:36 pm 

    @TMLutas:

    “Or didn’t you know that you really ought to reload your browser right before you post a comment referring to a recent comment number?”

    Well . . . no. No I didn’t.

    Oddly though, that didn’t appear to be the cause of the “I can count to potato!” gaffe. I posted the big one (I’ll just avoid numbers from now on), then came back about an hour later, saw the “Anonymous” tag and posted the little one. Came back a few hours later and there was nothing new. THEN came back about an hour later and your comment had popped in ahead of mine. There were at least two full PC shutdowns (including temp file wipes) in between the first and last step, so my cache would have been clear regardless I think. Although I’m probably wrong about that too.

    Regardless, no I didn’t know that, and yes I meant #39, not #38.

    On the plus side, it looks like my “learn something new everyday” goal got hit pretty early today, so after finishing some final drafts for work I can start to enjoy MW2 guilt-free (thanks steet-date breaking vendors!).

  48. 48
    barbara flax Said:
    1:51 pm 

    malcomb you are an idiot. Its okay for Nixon Reagan, Bush and clinton to bow but not obama. You are a freaking racist.

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