Daily Archives: November 24, 2009

Well that was the 60’s. Things are quite different now — at least according to Our Miss Brooks

“It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when talking about health care reform. But, like all great public issues, the health care debate is fundamentally a debate about values. It’s a debate about what kind of country we want America to be.”

Who’s this “we” kimo sabe ?

“During the first many decades of this nation’s existence, the United States was a wide-open, dynamic country with a rapidly expanding economy. It was also a country that tolerated a large amount of cruelty and pain — poor people living in misery, workers suffering from exploitation.”

Well that’s certainly putting a festive spin on it.


“Over the years, Americans decided they wanted a little more safety and security. This is what happens as nations grow wealthier; they use money to buy civilization.”

They use money to buy weapons.

“Occasionally, our ancestors found themselves in a sweet spot. They could pass legislation that brought security but without a cost to vitality.”

“Vitality” is such a nice name for Mass Murder.

“But adults know that this situation is rare. In the real world, there’s usually a trade-off. The unregulated market wants to direct capital to the productive and the young. Welfare policies usually direct resources to the vulnerable and the elderly. Most social welfare legislation, even successful legislation, siphons money from the former to the latter.”

IOW to “rob from the rich and give to the poor” — which is why Robin Hood is a figure of popular fantasy. The “unregulated market” is thus the Sheriff of Nottingham writ large.

“Early in this health care reform process, many of us thought we were in that magical sweet spot. We could extend coverage to the uninsured but also improve the system overall to lower costs. That is, we thought it would be possible to reduce the suffering of the vulnerable while simultaneously squeezing money out of the wasteful system and freeing it up for more productive uses.
That’s what the management gurus call a win-win.”

And the rest of us call a Three-Card Monte game.

“It hasn’t worked out that way. The bills before Congress would almost certainly ease the anxiety of the uninsured, those who watch with terror as their child or spouse grows ill, who face bankruptcy and ruin.”

See? Health Care is just “anxiety.” Give the peasant a pill, won’t you?

“And the bills would probably do it without damaging the care the rest of us receive.”

“The rest of us” being the upper 2% — the only ones that count in our famously “classless society.”

“In every place where reforms have been tried — from Massachusetts to Switzerland — people come to cherish their new benefits. The new plans become politically untouchable.
But, alas, there would be trade-offs. Instead of reducing costs, the bills in Congress would probably raise them. They would mean that more of the nation’s wealth would be siphoned off from productive uses and shifted into a still wasteful health care system.”

Quel horreur — the rich would have to pay taxes!


“The authors of these bills have tried to foster efficiencies. The Senate bill would initiate several interesting experiments designed to make the system more effective — giving doctors incentives to collaborate, rewarding hospitals that provide quality care at lower cost. It’s possible that some of these experiments will bloom into potent systemic reforms.”

Health Care available in every other western democracy is “an experiment” in the “land of the free.”

“But the general view among independent health care economists is that these changes will not fundamentally bend the cost curve. The system after reform will look as it does today, only bigger and more expensive.”

Expense is always a problem when dealing with the lives of the lower classes. It’s scarcely mentioned at all when dealing with war.

“As Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the Harvard Medical School, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, “In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it.”
Rather than pushing all of the new costs onto future generations, as past governments have done, the Democrats have admirably agreed to raise taxes. Over the next generation, the tax increases in the various bills could funnel trillions of dollars from the general economy into the medical system.”

“Moreover, the current estimates almost certainly understate the share of the nation’s wealth that will have to be shifted. In these bills, the present Congress pledges that future Congresses will impose painful measures to cut Medicare payments and impose efficiencies. Future Congresses rarely live up to these pledges. Somebody screams “Rationing!” and there is a bipartisan rush to kill even the most tepid cost-saving measure. After all, if the current Congress, with pride of authorship, couldn’t reduce costs, why should we expect that future Congresses will?
The bottom line is that we face a brutal choice. “


“Reform would make us a more decent society, but also a less vibrant one.”

Translation: Disease, misery and death are just so vibrant!

“It would ease the anxiety of millions at the cost of future growth.”

Translation: The rich would suffer!

“It would heal a wound in the social fabric while piling another expensive and untouchable promise on top of the many such promises we’ve already made.”

And were those promises ever kept Brooksie?

Of coruse not. So what’s your problem?

” America would be a less youthful, ragged and unforgiving nation, and a more middle-aged, civilized and sedate one.”

Hey, you’re not getting any younger Brooksie. Live with it.

“We all have to decide what we want at this moment in history, vitality or security. We can debate this or that provision, but where we come down will depend on that moral preference. Don’t get stupefied by technical details. This debate is about values. “

No it’s not.

It’s all about power.

And you? You’re here for our entertainment.


Originally I linked in Adam Lambert’s performance at the American Music Awards. But Dick Clark Productions has yanked it from the net. Has it been offically “disappeared”? Nous nous voyons.

And so in Adam’s honor — Cher