Right in the Craw!
So here we go again, oooh, amazing. Gerald Shields and our fine Advocate do bring me joyful news of finally the — “President’s health-care plan unveiled.” What? I thought we had been talking about the president’s plan all along? For he said it was his plan. I know so for the Advocate repeatedly said it was the president’s plan. They incessantly bleated in article after article that not only was the president’s plan under careful consideration, even though no one who supported it seemed to have bothered to read the legislation (and in fact, much of the legislation to be passed, or else, was not even written, so urgent was it – except of course, it was read by the Republicans, who were and are in some sort of opposition to the president’s plan that needed to be passed by August, then November, then on Christmas Eve. And now, NOW, or else. Or something.
“Unveiled”? What a word, like a blushing bride before church assembled, does come the PLAN, man Why look, it’s so new and improved it’s hyphenated, which is improvement indeed. For the rest of it is, well, the same.
How do we know the same? Well, G of A (Gerald of the Advocate) does write, in “a glance,” that the president’s plan “builds on legislation passed by the Senate, and …” Well, if you can build on your own plan, which was approved by the president in Democratic Caucus (or small portions of them, there being so many) at our White House itself just before the NEEDED NOW OR PERISH Christmas Eve vote, which legislation did pass — you are indeed, well, presenting the same thing. Renumbering the provisions, and moving about the sections, and jiggling the parts and subparts ad infinitum, does not a new plan make. It’s like a casserole. Once it’s all together does it make a difference in which order you eat the ingredients? Nope, but hmm hmm good, no? Yep, right in our craws.
The second part of the sentence is “and makes some changes to placate Democrats in the House.” Ah, so! There was, wasn’t there, more than a handful of Democrats who were opposed to the president’s plan. Which means that support for it was partisan, and opposition was bipartisan – however weak the number of Democratic opposers. So now, to finally get his own party to agree to a real partisan vote he placates those who were opposed.
What was the problem with recalcitrant Democrats? Seemed to be the “public option” which stuck in their craws. Which the Advocate seems to think is so toxic that it must always be presented in quotes, separated from other fine words, lest it bespoil them, perhaps. And set off further still with “so-called.” Let’s not call it what is what it is. Says G of A “the so-called ‘public option’ – insurance provided by the government – wouldn’t be included, which some Democrats said would be a problem for them” Such a “problem,” indeed, for they voted in opposition to it.
Then, some four inches over to the right side of the front page there is this, at a glance, “Americans … get the option of signing up for national plans overseen by the federal office that manages the government health plan available to members of Congress.” Uh huh. So – There is to be no “Public Option” in the New & Improved version except that if they want to, people can sign up for the, um, public, “national” option given to the public servants. And when a so-called “public option” is not for the public, but for Americans in a “national plan” for public servants at the very same time, well, then, this is indeed New & Improved. Perhaps they should just call it the “private plan” and rid us of the troublesome “so-called ‘public option’ “?
Now too, let us not forget that Medicare and Medicaid, well established programs for some four decades, are also, um, public options. Well, then we shall have, let’s count – 1) Medicare, 2) Medicaid, 3) Congressional plan 4) National plan 5) Veterans plan 6) Children’s plan (CHIP) and oh, I don’t know, oh yes, 7) Current Military plan, did I forget any? Maybe so, who knows, who cares – for we have, at last count, Seven (un)Public Options – more options than you can shake a fist at, truthfully, but still, some of the president’s own party must be “placated” by the removal of the “public option” and the insertion of the “national option just like Congress gets.”
And as pointed out yesterday, some commentators do proclaim that the public is confused about the health care “debate.” How can one not be? Look, when a “public option” is not for the public, but the public can choose an option that some members of the public already get, well, then, frankly, yes, that is confusing.
Not only that, if Medicare and Medicaid, and the Mini-Meds of all sorts and kinds exist, well, then it would seem that it shouldn’t be so hard to get the “47 Million uninsured” — oh no, wait, this just in – this latest and bestest plan would cover only some 31 Million “who lack insurance.” So what of the other 16,000,000 souls? Are they to flounder in the evil world of medical commerce? Or will we be picking up their bodies in the morning and then to argue over if we should have a public option for burial? Not only that – what of “Lack”? It’s a word that means somehow something is in shortage. “We have a lack of forage for the winter,” said knights of old, during the Medieval Warming Period (different debate) – any way – couldn’t one say just as truthfully that “47 Million people choose not to purchase health insurance, and now the president is going to force 31 Million to buy or else.” Sure you could.
In fact, the president, being such a nice guy, (and at least 39% of the people like him, which is nice indeed,) is going to, get this — “requires almost everyone to be insured or pay a fine.” Buy, you heathens, buy! Help the economy!(?) Lower the costs for everyone else! Except you – you 16,000,000 – you need not! You are absolved from serfdom – you don’t have to tithe to the government so that your fellow man be helped! You are free to brave the wilderness of evil insurance companies. Companies whom the president is going to tell to whom to sell their services to, and how much to charge, and how to define those services, and which and what they are to be, because insurance companies are so evil they must be constrained in the free market that is raking the people over the mush pits. But, (and a big but it is) the people, if left with their own money to do with as they pleased are dodos, children, like teens, confused, or too stupid, or however the president and his supporters define us at the moment – but not yet recalcitrant or worse, incorrigible, and even more horrendously – Contumacious!
Though Janet Napolitano, over at Homeland Security is going to step up surveillance and investigations of the contumacious among us. For she doth believe we are on the verge of terrorism against the state every time someone picks up a tea bag and perhaps petulantly throws it to the ground like a gauntlet against the king’s men.
No, the people shall be forced to deal with insurance companies who are so bad that they dare to raise their rates to cover the costs they are forced to bear by government diktat and edict. Such munificence of the president in saving us from rapacious insurance companies by forcing us to buy product from them after they are corralled by a bevy of bureaucrats is not to be sneezed at (and who knows, maybe that too will earn a fine.) So easy is this to be enacted by getting the votes of members of his own party — by merely preventing a public option unless the public wants to take the option offered.
Being professorial, by the way, the president is doing a typical debate team process of old. I don’t think they do these sorts of debating societies as they used to do, where people would actually civilly sit about and listen to the speaker’s points, and then the next guy would state his case. These took the format of “Be it resolved that the question is to do this or that …” So the president is going to meet the Republicans on – and you have to appreciate the hood-like “neutral ground” of Blair House – it’s not on the President’s turf, nor is it on the Republican’s turf – to get his plan resolved. Oooh, such a spat, that neutral grounds are required, lest one side or the other think they have advantage unfair. Maybe we need a commission, like for debt, since both president and congress are loathe to do their jobs, except to spend with drunken oblivion.
Then G of A says this is the president’s “most detailed statement on health care to date …” Oh yeah, like the millions of words that man has spoken were not detailed enough. Like the thousands of pages published to date were not detailed enough. The details have so thick and heavy fell that they had a hard time to keep up with the global warming blizzards of a week or two ago. I dare say, that if the pages in the 2000+ pages of the House Bill, and the 2500+ page of the Senate Bill, and the thousand or two other pages of health care provisions not-to-be-included in the health care bills under discussion, and now the 3000+ pages of the president’s combination bill (only the very best parts need apply) would surely reach as high as a drift of warm snow. In fact, about the only details missing thus far is the exact ratio of innies to outies in the bellybutton brigades screaming NO to this whole confabulation.
Oh yeh, heh heh – also missing is the costs – indeed the Congressional Budget Offices says — “still not enough details(!) to make a cost determination.” How many details does it take to say “too much”? ‘Tis not to be pondered, I guess. But what does G of A say? One Trillion Bucks! He knows. How? The president says so. Only, no, the president says “only” $900,000,000,000. (I think Obama likes big numbers, for the “0’s” are so reminiscent of his logo) For One Trillion is the line he will not cross. Where did G of A get the other $100,000,000,000 I’m not sure. He does not say. Though, still, if the public, optioned or not, wants and / or needs One point One Trillion in Health-care hyphenated? Well, then – perhaps rationing? No, not to be done. Death panels? Heaven forfend! Raise taxes? Nope, not one thin dime. Cut spending elsewhere? Nope — well, yes and no, for they say yes in speech to Medicare cuts but say no in vote to them when the time comes. Plus, he says cut Medicare for the middle class, but include all of them in Medicaid’s new and exciting eligibility level of 133% of the poverty level. Sure, make more poor people, so that they can get in on the public option of >Caid instead of that nasty middle class entitlement, corrupt as admitted, of >Care. Brilliant move I say. Just move the eligibility to 500%, no, 1000% of poverty, so all are eligible for >Caid and you can eliminate >Care for all! What a cost savings! It is to be marveled at.
Better still, “I know! I know! Oooh, Oooh” I feel like Horshack in Welcome Back Kotter >> Manufacture fantasy billions in the big lottery of socialist mush math? Ah, yes, that’s the thicket (Sic, intended). But G of A seemingly cannot fathom that this must be thus. He’s not alone. Why he’s right up there with the president himself, which is exhalted company indeed, for he is the one of Nobel Prize hold back the rising seas and bring peace and good will to all men and women, and even to Iranians building nuclear missiles to kill Jews with.
Meanwhile, back at home, in the very beginning of G of A’s mush is the very crux of the issue, so ably stated by Louisiana Health & Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine, though most probably completely unintended, and surely not as comprehensively, opining on this all >> “retaining the Louisiana money is proof that the federal formula that caused the state the problem should be fixed.” Quoth the Secretary “That’s an absolute acknowledgement of the credibility of our argument. Why don’t they just fix it?”
Indeed, sir, indeed. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a confused childish dodo to be swept up into the new global socialist craw of tax everything that moves and doesn’t so that government of the government, by the government, for the government does not perish from this earth. Translated into the ugly American English – NO!
By the way, what is a craw? Oh yes, “the stomach of a lower animal, such as bird or insect.” Maybe even a sea slug. Oh well, let the contumaciousness begin!
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