Friday, February 19, 2010

Krauthammer's Turd Sandwich

Krauthammer on why Obama has so far failed to get health care reform:

He failed because the utter implausibility of its central promise -- expanded coverage at lower cost -- led voters to conclude that it would lead ultimately to more government, more taxes and more debt.

There are two huge and glaringly obvious lies in this single sentence.

The first is that expanded coverage at lower cost is impossible. This is simply not true, as virtually every single advanced nation in the world has achieved universal coverage at sometimes half of the cost of our system. This is well documented, and not even controversial. Unless Krauthammer thinks that Americans are inferior breed of people, there is absolutely no reason why we cannot do the same. 

The second lie is that voters have rejected health care reform. Voters have rejected the massive insurance company giveaway that people like Krauthammer insisted upon. But that doesn't mean that they don't want health care reform. Here's an October poll from Krauthammer's own newspaper, the Washington Post:
On the issue that has been perhaps the most pronounced flash point in the national debate, 57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it.
And that's not all. From HealthCare-Now:

A New York Times/CBS News poll released last week shows, yet again, that the majority of Americans support national health insurance.
The poll, which compares answers to the same questions from 30 years ago, finds that, “59% [of Americans] say the government should provide national health insurance, including 49% who say such insurance should cover all medical problems.”
Only 32% think that insurance should be left to private enterprise.

The Krauthammer strategy is to do everything possible to turn what could have been good health care reform legislation into a big steaming pile of shit, and use the predictable lack of support for it to claim that people don't want health care reform.

I have this little image of Krauthammer at home with the little Krauthammers:

Krauthammer Children:      Daddy, we want sandwiches!
Krauthammer:      No, you don't. Sandwiches are bad.
Krauthammer Children:      But we we're hungry! We want sandwiches!
Krauthammer:      Fine. (Hands them each a turd sandwich)
Krauthammer Children:      (Crying) We don't like it!
Krauthammer:      See? I told you sandwiches were bad!


  1. Every other advanced nation in the world is not as nearly as unhealthy as the US, so there is no equivalence, and hence, the argument about costs fails miserably. The fact of the matter is unhealthy populations are the primary reason for health care costs in the US, and that's why a socialized system has no place here: it doesn't give people any incentive---heck, even death labels on cigarettes don't work!---to actually take responsibility for their own health.

    All the current health care "reform" proposals do is expand the revenue base for the insurance industry through unconstitutional mandates in order to take money from the young, the healthy, and the utterly jobless in order to help pay for the costs of the unhealthy. That is really the overwhelming "change" that's in the bill. So I don't know about you, but I don't call that reform, I call it double-speak.

  2. We spend more than twice what other countries spend. We are not twice as unhealthy.

    And to the extent that we are not the healthiest of countries, what does that say about our health care system? We are obviously failing at public health policy, but then the government has no real incentive to address the issue, since it doesn't pay all of the costs.

    What's more, when people have to choose between paying the rent and getting that colonoscopy, do you think the colonoscopy gets done? Incentive? Seriously? People aren't lacking incentive-they're lacking ability.

    Yes, I know the bill has mandates that may be unconstitutional and that suck politically. But as this post indicates, this bill is a pile of shit. True reform of the health care system begins with single payer. Period.