“If anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors and stop insurance company abuses, let me know,” Mr. Obama said. “Let me know.”
From The Daily Howler:
Total spending on health care, per person, 2007:
United States: $7290
United Kingdom: $2992
Average of OECD developed nations: $2964
To anyone with an ounce of sense, it’s obvious what those data mean. A real progressive would scream and yell about those remarkable data. But in the career liberal world, all is silent. We’ve been silent for the past fifteen years—since the last time we failed.
(Note: Paul Krugman discussed similar data in a series of columns in 2006. Michael Moore discussed this situation in 2007, in Sicko. But go ahead: Name the liberal journal, or the career liberal journalist, who used the work of Krugman or Moore as a springboard to a long, shrill discussion. Which of our liberals did that?)
People are happy with their current insurance for a fairly obvious reason: They don’t know how badly they’re being looted! In part, they don’t know that basic fact because our career liberals simply won’t tell them. “We’re not Europe,” Serious People write. And that has largely been that.
Canada spends half of what we do per capita on healthcare and they do have some waiting lists, but they’re really not as bad as the right wing portrays them. The waiting lists are a result of their level of spending. Our problem in the US is we spend a lot of money but we have a bad system. In Canada they have a good system but they just don’t spend enough money on it. We have great hospitals and great nurses and well-trained doctors and lots of fancy technology. We have what we need, and yet we still can’t take care of patients because the financing system doesn’t work.
— Steffie Woolhandler, M.D.
From The New York Times, no comment required:
The president [today] announced the appointment of Nancy-Ann DeParle, who worked in the Clinton White House and has a wide background in health care issues, to be director of the White House Office for Health Reform.
Ms. DeParle has extensive experience in the business world that has prompted questions from some liberals and from some of the people who vet appointments for Mr. Obama. Ms DeParle is now or has been a director of huge health care companies including Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager; Cerner, a supplier of health information technology; Boston Scientific, a medical device company; DaVita, which runs kidney dialysis centers; and Triad Hospitals.
Ne’er were truer words unwittingly spoke.
In explaining his take on the ongoing sacrifice of millions of lives to market totalitarianism’s insistence on preserving private-sector “health insurance” as the only game in town, the creepy coward Tom Daschle told his former US Senate colleagues today that:
“We start at the top of the pyramid and work our way down until the money runs out.”
Daschle was speaking about the provision of medical services, not the wider ranking of political access and socio-economic priorities. Nevertheless, his complaint is precisely accurate as an observation of the basic workings of our market-totalitarian, profits-über-alles society. “We” [read: the leadership stratum] do indeed start at the top of the pyramid, and (very) occasionally work “our” way down one or two steps before announcing that the monies and possibilities have run out.
If you need proof that Daschle by no means acknowledges this larger reality, consider his amazingly stupid purported antidote to “our” problem of top-down medical provision: Daschle thinks “we” can MARKET “our” way out of it:
Mr. Daschle offered a commercial version of how he wanted to market “wellness” in order to emphasize preventative care and to drive down costs.
Toward the end of his short stump speech, Mr. Daschle stressed the value of nutrition and his hopes of emphasizing it to curb obesity and other ailments. He was urged to keep repeating those words.
Sure, yep, right, uh-huh, that’ll work well: In a society where automobiles are the all-but-mandatory means of achieving every task of human mobility longer than 100 feet, and in a nation where commercial media-viewing is the mildly addictive, gargantuanly sponsored, capitalist-preferred runaway #1 leisure-time activity, watching some new TV ads is going to reverse it all! Yes, and there’s cold fusion happening in my coffee cup, too…
Politics and marketing make Satanic bedfellows.
Witness the remarkably dishonest and harmful “Divided We Fail” advertising campaign being pushed by the hateful and corrupting American Association of Retired Persons.
In the ad-episode presently running on CNN, the voice-over claims AARP favors “financial security for all Americans.”
Balderdash, in the ultimate extreme.
Take a look at the “platform” page for this evil rearguard lobbying scam. There, you see that the AARP’s definition of “financial security for all Americans” means not income and wealth redistribution and/or repeal of our notoriously pro-business labor laws, but merely “financial incentives to save,” plus this lovely gem:
Americans of all ages should have access to tools to help manage their finances, and save for the future and better, easy to understand information to help them increase their financial literacy and manage their money wisely.
See? It’s like Steve Martin’s old self-help advice on “How to Make a Million Dollars” — Step 1. Get a million dollars…
And health care “for all”? You guessed it: By that, the AARP simply means the “opportunity” to purchase “affordable” insurance. How either end of that will ever materialize without single-payer public health insurance, the AARP, remaining squarely opposed to the “partisan” (as it would serve the masses not the overclasses) idea of single-payer, does not say.
In reality, the four main “partners” in this AARP assault on the window of opportunity we now have (with the “bipartisan” status quo of using high office to obstruct popular reforms being even less popular than ever) include not just the addlepated SEIU, but the Business Roundtable and the super-reactionary National Federation of Independent Businesses!
No wonder “Divided We Fail” lists in its core principles the counterfactual, dogshit insistence on “finding bipartisan solutions.”
No genuine and serious proponent of ordinary people’s interests should come with a mile of this steaming pile of worse-than-hopeless political trickery. Why rescue the Republicans and the business Democrats right at the moment when they stand utterly discredited? Why imagine that increased “bipartisanship” would solve any problem, to say nothing of health insurance and economic security for all?