I’m Just A Bill or, Things About Which I Have No Authority to Speak, Part II.
December 20, 2009 § Leave a comment
I really recommend reading this New York Times comprehensive comparison of the differences between the original House health care bill & the second draft the Senate recently shat out. (Proof that workshop isn’t at all a productive environment? Perhaps.) The article helped me make some brain-thoughts in my brain-tank. Please forgive, if you can, the difficult-to-ignore-but-hopefully-still-charming fact that I’m kind of an idiot when it comes to these things. By “these things,” I mean “most things.” Still, someone somewhere’s entrusted me with the right to vote. Man, I sure did pull the wool over democracy’s eyes.
(I invite responses to this post, particularly if I’m doing a disservice to liberals everywhere by woefully misunderstanding whole chunks of these issues. Ok, </self-consciousness>.)
The Public Option: When Harry Met Ben
Meet Harry Reid, Democrat majority leader from Nevada. Meet Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat from Nebraska. Despite their post-collegiate roadtrip & timeless sexually-charged banter, they can never be friends. Everyone knows Democrats from two different N-states can never be friends. Until one fateful night when, feeling jilted by Senator Joe Lieberman, Harry uses box after box of tissues while contemplating his biological clock & only Ben is there to hold his hand. Then, on New Years Eve, Ben tells Harry he wants the rest of his life to start as soon as possible. & the public option, as they say, is history.
Vouching Tiger, Hidden Classism
I’m completely stymied by things that make me think our government wants to be run like an arcade. While the bill contains an individual mandate for coverage, that seems to be as far as we’re willing to go; past this point, it seems as if we’re encouraging employers to hand their workers a handful of tickets & tell them to get whatever prize they can afford from behind the counter. What this looks like: a cornucopia of choices! Multicolored plush toys! Benevolence on the part of the employer! What this is (as far as I can tell): a way to marginalize the less-informed choice-maker; a hassle; a shirking of responsibility on the part of the employer; an illusion of consumer choice that results in consumer confusion. Thanks for playing.
Go & Get A Schmaschmortion at the Schmaschmortion Clinic (But Have A Bake Sale First)
Abortion-block (v.): The means by which uncontroversial &/or unreligious issues are made controversial &/or religious.
Not only will abortions not be covered by federal funds, but states are granted the explicit right to refuse to cover abortions through their insurance exchanges. Last time I checked, abortion was a legal procedure. Constitutionally ruling that abortion is legal & then refusing to acknowledge it financially is a little bit like having a kid & refusing to buy it diapers (or pay for its college). At this point, I’d be willing to bet that America gives more money to its other, more explicitly illegitimate child—religion—than it does to abortion. That’s probably because abortion skipped class to huff gasoline with its friends & religion did its homework & ate all its vegetables. Plus, it’s just so gosh darn adorable.
Maybe it’s insensitive to say, but it seems to me that if tonsillectomies are covered by medical insurance, abortion (within its existing legal limits) should be too, to the same degree that certain “elective” procedures are still partially covered. Instead, if you’re lucky enough to go with a plan that has ignored every last shred of its good Christian morality & chosen to cover abortion, you’ll make two separate premium payments a month. This sounds suspiciously like adding collision coverage to your car insurance. Where does paying for health insurance stop & playing the odds begin?
The bill now also features a big middle finger to illegal immigrants, who aren’t allowed to purchase insurance even if they can afford it (not even with sweet, sweet vouchers). Evidently, my conviction that Signs would have been better if M. Night Shyamalan had left out the aliens is one that operates on a federal level.
In the Business (Of Giving You the Business)
Who wins in all of this? Small businesses, who get a tax credit for contributing to their employers’ health care, as they should be doing. & insurance companies, who will continue to be exempt from antitrust laws.
We Put the “Fun” in “Face Lift” (But Not in “Funding”)
Getting down to brass Benjamins, where’s the money coming from? Not the House-proposed 5.4% tax on the ridiculously wealthy (folks worth $500,000/year or more), but, among other money-cullings, a 10% tax on indoor tanning. Evidently, they chose this over the originally proposed 5% tax on plastic surgery. I’ve always thought that the elective cosmetic procedures industry could fund America’s future; look what it’s done for Bruce Jenner.