Health care thoughts for the Congressional recess and beyond

A few quick thoughts for this lazy weekend about health care "reform":

1) As the WSJ notes, "Every Democrat cast the deciding health-care vote."  Particularly in moderate states, voters must not let their Democratic senators off the hook for their ObamaCare votes even if their names are not Nelson, Landrieu, or Lieberman.  Evan Bayh should be particularly targeted in Indiana, but so should every other Democrat, particularly those who have any chance of losing their next elections.  And Republicans must be put on notice that they'd better not "compromise" on this disastrous legislation, as certain of them often seem so eager to do.

2) The rest of the Senate Democrats will, after initially being upset that Nelson and Landrieu got special deals for Nebraska and Louisiana, figure out the real implication:  The solution to the inequity (possibly unconstitutional inequity) in forcing taxpayers in other states to pay for those states' Medicaid expansion will not be to repeal the special favors but rather to extend them to every state.  Thus, the Nelson and Landrieu deals will be the camel's nose under the tent for a massive expansion of government-run health care.  They have gotten much closer to the "public option" than the public realizes.  It must be made clear to all members of Congress that the proper response to the bribing of Nelson and Landrieu is not for other senators to go push for bribes for their own states.

3) For the next 11 months, until the 2010 elections, we will see a continuous battle of messaging between the Democrats trying to show what the bill "gives" people and Republicans (and others) trying to show what it takes from people (money, liberty, quality of health care.)  It is absolutely critical that the Democrats be soundly beaten back every time they try to offer a positive jmessage about their horrendous legislation.  Except among company where you know it will be effective, stay away from technical details such as how "free" preventative care is unlikely to lower the overall cost of health care spending.  Instead focus on the facts that

  • the bill will bankrupt the country without even covering everyone,
  • has 4 years of massive tax hikes before beginning its "benefits",
  • that its cost when all provisions are in force will be triple what the Democrats are claiming because they were able to manipulate the system that estimates cost with their up-front tax hikes,
  • and, probably most importantly, will and must lead to government telling doctors what they can and can't do for their patients.

There are plenty of examples in the US and overseas where this sort of rationing is already happening.  I would also note that rationing will tend to be to the great detriment of senior citizens, a CRITICAL voting block for Democrats, not least because they tend to vote in higher percentages than do young people.  Retirees must be shown how ObamaCare will lead to their being denied tests and to cutbacks in Medicare, not least to the parts of Medicare (like Advantage) which are most effective

The bill which passed the Senate is understood by everyone, including its supporters, to be a terrible bill.  The goal of its supporters is to pass anything which can then be modified into just what the left wants it to be.  We cannot let that happen.  This is not just, indeed not primarily, about politics.  It is literally about the health of the nation, and the Senate bill will destroy it.

Finally, people across the nation should encourage candidates for Congress (whether sitting Congressmen or potential challengers) to run on an explicit platform of repealing this bill.  I realize there will be no repeal while Obama is president.  But if the GOP could get back a majority in either side of Congress and force a vote each year on repealing the bill, it will be of great benefit to the nation, to the resurgent interest in liberty and limited government being created by seeing what fascism really is, and to the possibility of making Obama a one-term president with a legacy even worse than Jimmy Carter's.  No doubt he's already earned it.

  • lurker9876
    Comment from: lurker9876
    12/26/09 @ 09:15:45 am

    Right now the youth still stand by Obama. So the youth need to be shown what Obama has done for them...by putting them in chains. There needs to be an alternate education to teach Americans the history of the American Founding. Glenn Beck has been doing this but more conservative bloggers need to do more. Matt Spalding's new book is a good example. Whenever I mention the FFs, I get questions like what about the 3/5's clause, who wants to live in the 18th century, what about limiting the voting rights to white rich men, lack of women suffrage, creation of earth in six days, why the FFs don't want to help unwanted babies, country not founded on Christian beliefs, and so on. More needs to counter the philosophy of progressive thinking.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    12/26/09 @ 09:48:01 am

    interesting comment, lurker. Regarding the youth, two things: First, I think their support for him will steadily drop, especially if Obama comes in for criticism from liberal politicians, blogs, etc., which is already happening. More importantly, although 2008 showed a very large number of young voters casting ballots, as a % of the electorate it was not substantially higher than prior recent elections. In other words, the whole electorate was more motivated, not just the youth. Going forward, I believe the naive idealistic youth will not be so motivated to vote. Whatever they write on their Facebook pages is irrelevant if they don't vote. (This is one reason that I oppose allowing so much of voting to be done by mail. It allows people who barely care and barely think about issues to influence elections that they don't even understand.) Regarding the Founding Fathers, you raise a lot of points, the answers to which will take a longer note, but here are a few bullet points: Regarding the Three-Fifths clause, here's a bit from another of my blog posts: Apologists look particularly at the “three-fifths” clause in the Constitution, in which each slave was counted as three-fifths of a person, as demonstrative that blacks were considered sub-human. But the truth is that because the count was used to determine a state’s representation in Congress, it was the slave owners – who may have indeed held that view – who wanted slaves counted as whole people and anti-slavery Northerners who wanted slaves counted as zero. Counting slaves as less than whole people was a clever and sensible step toward eliminating slavery, not a method of prolonging it. Regarding the 18th century, that's not the point: The point is that there are truths about government and human nature which do not change over time, including the fact that if men were angels, we would not need government. Any reading of the TEXT of the constitution would be hard-pressed to find more than one or two examples of items which are not timeless. Regarding voting rights, of course that stuff wasn't perfect, but the end result of the issues was presaged in the nation's founding thesis that "all men are created equal". Nothing in our founding documents talks about the earth being created in 6 days. Nor is there talk about "unwanted babies", in large part because the federal government is supposed to be extremely limited in scope, with things that it isn't explicitly allowed to regulate to instead by regulated by the states (where regulation is permitted and desired). You need to remind people that just because you don't support FEDERAL intervention into an issue does not mean you're an anarchist. Finally, like it or not, the country was broadly founded on Judaeo-Christian values. There's no other way to look at it. But they were very careful to say that the Federal government could not prefer one religion to another. That is, however, NOT the same as saying that the Founding Fathers wanted a society without religion!

  • lurker9876
    Comment from: lurker9876
    12/26/09 @ 01:11:19 pm

    Thanks for the response. You mention regulation...deals with the free market enterprise and its advantages versus government regulation, such as regulating the standards for airlines, clean water act, EPA, etc.? If there is to be a balance as opposed to anarchy, how much of a limited government would the Founding Fathers envision with today's airline industry, advanced technology, especially with guns, EPA, Cap n Trade, and so on?

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    12/26/09 @ 01:17:45 pm

    The founding fathers would say that airlines should be regulated privately, the government should have nothing to do with the "technology industry", not that there is such a monolithic thing, that guns should be unregulated apart from keeping criminals from having them, that the EPA is an unconstitutional delegation of authority, that cap-and-trade is insane...and so on. That said, you have to pick your fights carefully. If someone wants to bring up the airlines, just say that while you believe private industry could do a better job than the government with air traffic control, safety regulations, etc., that's hardly what's really important right now.

  • Tripwire
    Comment from: Tripwire
    12/26/09 @ 03:55:25 pm

    One of my friends mentioned a recall campaign for Senator Udall to be run concurrently with the campaign against Senator Bennett. Not sure how fesable that would be, or even what the rules would look like.

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    12/26/09 @ 04:18:26 pm

    i think it would be a distraction to try to recall Udall. Also, it would probably lose, thereby causing substantial damage to our cause and a huge waste of resources. Let's just beat Bennet for now! (Yes, Bennet has one "t")

  • lurker9876
    Comment from: lurker9876
    12/27/09 @ 05:51:47 pm

    A slight change of topic... DeMint and Ensign and about 7 AGs for their own states are looking into the constitutionality of some provisions of the Health Care bill. David Frum wrote today that because Medicare and Social Security had been around for over 70 years, they don't have a constitutional ground for a lawsuit. What do you think?

  • Comment from: Rossputin
    12/27/09 @ 06:41:26 pm

    Putting aside for the moment the fact that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional, I would argue that the issues here are different. The primary unconstitutional part of the bill is the federal government forcing citizens to buy something as a condition of citizenship. Related is a penalty for not buying something the government says you must buy. Also unconstitutional. You can read a little bit about DeMint and Ensign's points here, in this piece by Connie Hair who has been, if you'll pardon the pun, on fire lately: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34977