Monday, November 18, 2013

Remain Calm! All is Well!

so much depends




working quite


getting people

 --Jason Linkins
A poem is worth a thousand pictures.

NTodd explains it like so:

As I said the other day, it took 16 months to hammer this thing out, and another 3.5 years to ratify.  In the meantime, Congress muddled through running the war, negotiating the peace, and unifying the new nation.  It was a bumpy road, with military failures and political fights through the whole process.

Now imagine what would've happened had everybody just thrown up their hands and said, "fuck it, I told you this shit would never work!"
 Jonathan Chait explains it this way:

The keep-your-plan waiver President Obama announced yesterday was, likewise, an exercise in optics. Numerous news reports have pointed out that his proposal is unworkable and substantively meaningless. This, paradoxically, is good news for Obamacare. Obama's waiver to keep unregulated, cherry-picked insurance plans going can't work because insurers have already adjusted their plans to accommodate the new Obamacare regulations. It is too late to go back to a pre-Obamacare world.
And Jason Linkins puts the cherry on the sundae:

 SUPER FUN FACT: Between January 2008 and December 2010, over 44,000 Americans were notified each week that they'd be losing their health insurance. Sunday Morning television programs, speaking as one, said, "We don't give a tinned s#!t." Why? Because this widespread economic devastation had not yet impacted the poll numbers of any wealthy political celebrities.
How did we ever accomplish anything before websites?  And how do we accomplish anything now without them?  I'm quite sure this, too, shall pass, and Obamacare will not only not be an issue in November 2014, it will be a shining example of how government works (kinda like Social Security and Medicare and the interstate highway system and national defense); and works despite the best efforts of a majority of states to exclude as many people as possible from any help whatsoever because...well, I don't know why.  And frankly, that situation is much worse than you think. But no wealthy political celebrities are involved in that story, so never mind.....

As Brian Beutler points out, in accord with Mr. Chait, we are not going back, and this is not the disaster the GOP is looking for. But more galling is that this situation can be discussed without any concern for concepts like helping the poor, or even providing a decent level of consumer protection.  Rather than listen to people whine that they can't keep their cheap insurance policy which probably would cover nothing and would be cancelled the moment they made a claim on it, we could focus on what the new law has done that the states wouldn't.  (State's rights?  To screw over their own citizens?  Didn't we fight that fight in the '60's?)  And to the next person who wants to complain they lost coverage they can't afford to replace, or that might be more expensive, I would ask:  if your coverage was worth less than the paper it was printed on (and most aren't printed anymore), which would your prefer for hospitalization:  bankruptcy, or putting that bill off on the public?  And the only difference between the two is that the former puts the bill on the rest of us who pay insurance premiums and medical bills, because we pick up your losses, your inability to pay because the policy you were paying for was a rathole, not insurance.

I can do that righteous indignation thing, too.  And frankly, everyone one of these sob stories (COBRA?  Really?  What civilized nation with so much money relies on something as onerous and expensive as COBRA?  What is wrong with us?) convinces me the solution is not a website that runs like Amazon, but Medicare for Everybody!

But until that is the only solution that drives up the poll numbers of wealth political celebrities.....

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