Friday, October 11, 2013


A few observations on the healthcare debate-

I really should read the ACA legislation, because it seems that an awful lot of people are still accusing others of not having done so. Its three thousand pages long, which seems like a lot until I look at the Robert Jordan books that line my library shelves- 16 books totalling (by my estimate) about 10,000 pages of voluntary reading. I'm pretty certain I could get through it, given enough determination. Anyone else done this yet?

Lacking that, I have to rely on what politicians are saying about it, which is not a good way to get at the truth. However, using my best judgement, logic, and powers of observation, I have filtered a few key points. The ACA does NOT provide free healthcare for the American people, despite the protestations that it does. So all those people who are insisting that it does would seem to be A) mistaken or B) lying. In the spirit of fairness, it is apparent to me that a few people are lying to the populace and a large number of people are, unfortunately, believing them. What the ACA does do, on the other hand, is channel an incredible amount of money into the capacious pockets of a very small group of people who, incidentally, are frequently cast as the villains in this theatre. The ACA isn't busting the stranglehold of greedy and capricious insurance executives- it is REINFORCING IT.

The next observation is that the people in opposition to the ACA seem to be objecting to all the wrong aspects of it, and those in support seem to be using all the wrong reasons to support it. Quite honestly, the Republican Party should be lauding its efforts to encourage people to work with the private insurance industry, while the Democratic Party should be furious that it forces (and I mean that, the act REQUIRES, under a huge tax penalty) one to give money to billionaires. Welcome to topsy turvy world.

Now an observation in the hyperbole. First, its not the President's personal playground. Yes, he supported it, but the man wasn't a legislator when it was passed, so BY DEFINITION its not his legislation. Calling it Obamacare gives him far too much credit while simultaneously cheapening efforts to alter or end it, by short-circuiting any logic and turning the entire argument into an ad hominem attack. Its called the Affordable Care Act- it really doesn't matter if it does what its name says, for the sake of accuracy, use its real name. Second, its not going to be the single most devastating thing thats ever happened, and to say so makes one sound shrill and alarmist. If a person makes a dozen good, solid arguments and then ends with, "This will cause the dead to rise from the grave hungering for brains at midnight tonight!" And that last part never happens, they just shot ALL their arguments in the foot. Now, on the other side, everyone out there that gets all dreamy eyed over the ACA- I really do think you are being lied to, and when you parrot back those lies with your breathy voice, it makes us pragmatists feel like we're living in Brave New World. Its creepy, and does not help your cause. This is not the vast humanitarian effort you seem to think it is.

Now, I may just a wild-eyed optimist, but I still thnk there is room for truth and logic in debate, and compromise, but that faith is fading day by day. So, if we could all step up and get a few facts in order, we could still hammer out a useful result from this furnace of disaster. It may be we are out of time for that, but I really hope not.


  1. I haven't read it, and not sure if I really want to try. I'm not very fluent in lawyerese, I look forward to what you have to say about it, after you do all the hard reading. Thanks for another good post that gets us thinking.

  2. While the legislation has a purdy name attached to it it was still Obummer's baby and had plenty of his own staff working on it along with others hand picked by him with his own pocket legislators that brought it to the floor under his orders. He told him he would sign it and directed them in it's major points. Like many bits of legislation before it it can carry the main supporters name as well. I believe the Clinton's attempt in 96 was called Hillarycare as well.

    I would also be interested in just what legislation you feel has been more devastating to date. Maybe a war bill in number of lives lost but I cannot think of any legislation passed previously that has cost so many jobs, lost economic activity, divisive rhetoric or ill will. I would say that even being only 11 days old it is already the single most devastating piece of Legislation ever.

    I have seen comments from several already that indeed claim Obummer care does provide free health care to an extent through subsidies and other breaks for the poor classes. Also, and this is important, I have seen it reported the actual premiums can be taken directly out of income tax money and with the other added subsidies with earned income and child credits will result in no out of pocket costs for most welfare recipients. End result of that is not really an expense for one group but will still lay the burden of the cost on the other groups. More hidden tax. The only way to confirm this is to get on the exchange web site and apply reading the bill will not help.

  3. K- I'm going to chase it down, but with schedule, it may not get read for quite a while.

    PP- whether or not it was his idea aside (I personally give the man barely credit to tie his own shoes) I continue to object to the less official sobriquet. Part of that is because refuse to put credit on him, part because I find it juvenile. Part of my insistence is due to the fact I will continue to insist on using proper arguments, and here is why. It is true that a large portion of the population falls for the lefty pathos bs arguments, but many of those people would never be swayed to our side anyway. There are, however, large portions of the population that are still adults and want to be treated as such. By using real arguments and terminology, we can appeal to those adults, and present real and viable arguments. At the same time, we deny the left a supply of destructive sound bites, and let them continue to play themselves for fools, grasping for threats and dick jokes while the adults talk.

    It may be that the services provided will appear to be free to some, people still know how to read the bottom line. They'll notice in their takehome pay, and they'll notice in the reduced taxtime refunds.

    As to the most destructive x- I won't say that this isn't manipulative, unjust, and divisive, but even if it IS the worst thing to happen to the US, its too easy of an argument to defend against. People will point to slavery, WWII, Jim Crow, etc. even on our side, there are some that will say LBJ amd FDR were more egregious intheir offenses. By linking our argument to a subjective description (ie, Worst Thing) our entire argument is damaged by a retort as juvenile as 'nuh-uh, its not worse than 'X'.' For the record, I think we will be able to get this thing fixed in the future, especially if the administration keeps playing its politics as hard as they've pushed during the openin salvo of the sequester cuts and this shutdown. People will see how expensive it is, and we'll get leverage from that, provided the Repubs don't totally blow it, which they probably will.

    And I still think the PATRIOT Act (and the associated NSA spying) are the worst things that have happened to this country. The ACA is wasteful insider trading bs, lashing us to the oars and making us pay to buy votes against us- the NSA, FBI, and Homeland Security are actual standing armies arrayed against the citizens of the United States, and have already shown a willingness to fire upon us unprovoked.

  4. Heck, that should have just been another post. Maybe it will be later.

    1. Heh.

      I agree the patriot act is bad but overall it actually effects less people daily and Obummercare hires just as many new IRS officials if not more. After 12 years Obummercare will cost more overall than the patriot act I think.

      A good example of bills having different popular names are things like the Brady bill and others that had one name but were also given a name of a person that initiated them.