Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cash For Clunking Insurance Plans


So, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn says that Obamacare is forcing everyone to buy a Ferrari even if they only want fords. 


Oh, was I supposed to surround that with "*cough*" to make it more subtle? Yeah, we'll, I'm tired of subtle. These idiots are about as subtle as a chainsaw so I'm just playing their game. 

To continue with their goofy analogy Obamacare isn't taking Fords off the road, they're making sure Ford and all of the other manufacturers can't sell you a car with cheesecloth seat belts, smog-belching engines and airbags full of confetti. It's no different than when the government mandated seat belts in the 60s, pollution controls in the 70s, airbags in the 80s and increased efficiency every so often since.  Every time that happened the auto companies swore it was the end of cars as we knew them, freedom, sunshine and chubby baby cheeks.  Of course it never played out that way and now is no different except that this time the insurance companies *want* Obamacare. It's just the GOP standing in the way, screaming of doom and gloom and death to Grandma. 

Don't get me wrong, the insurance companies are far from upstanding citizens here: They're sending out misleading (to put it mildly) letters to their members. Going back to cars for a moment it's as if Ford notified their customers that "we can't sell you the Pinto any more but wouldn't you look good in this lovely Lincoln Continental?" entirely ignoring the Focus that costs the same as (or less than) the Pinto but doesn't blow up when looked at cross-eyed.   It's Cash For Clunkers 2.0. 

If Oscar Meyer were selling selling hot dogs full of poison you'd want the government to stop them, right?  And if Oscar Mayer agreed but then sent letters to all of their customers saying "sorry, no more Arsenic dogs, so you should buy some delicious filet mignon" that would be absurd, wouldn't it? So why do we let the insurance companies pull the same racket while somehow becoming the victims?? 

Once again the GOP is completely full of crap and, as usual, they're hurting the very people they've convinced to elect them. It would be an impressive bit of salesmanship if it weren't, literally, a matter of life and death.  I know people who were denied insurance coverage or treatment and died because of it. How anyone in their right mind could stand in the way of broader medical care utterly befuddles me.  

But that's just it.  They're not in their right minds.  They're completely insane. Fortunately Obamacare covers that. Think they'll take advantage of it?  

Don't be absurd.

Monday, October 7, 2013

What takeover?

This is a post I wrote over three years ago but never published.  Not surprisingly it rings as true now as it did then, especially now with President Obama in the White House for another four years and Obamacare actually up and running as of a few days ago.  Obamacare is our generation's social security: Reviled by the right at passage but a sacred cow a generation later.  So with no further ado I give you Abundant Absurdity circa November 2009.


The right-wing keeps going on about how health insurance reform is a government take-over of 1/6th of the economy.  If the reform were to institute a nationalized health care system, akin to the UK's, or our Veterans Administration I could see their point, (though I wouldn't agree with it).  If the reform were to be a single-payer system akin to Canada's or Medicare they would have a shred of credibility to stand on, though only a shred.

But it's neither, so I can't and they don't.  This is nothing more than strengthened regulation of an industry run amok and which provides no real value: health insurance.  Some of the regulations, like monitoring premium increases, match what is already done for the energy, cable, telephone and internet industries. Were those government take-overs too?

Neither is this.  Frankly, I wish it were because I don't think that profit has any place in deciding who gets medical care and who doesn't.  Doctors add value. Pharmaceutical companies create value. Nurses add value. Hospitals add value. Insurance companies move money around and nothing more.  They incur no risk, cure no ills, treat no wounds, reduce no pain, comfort no aching hearts.  They are leeches who make profit only by keeping money that would otherwise be used for care.  Parasites.  Pain merchants.  Death panels.

So GOP and other righties, your ranting is nothing more than scare tactics and, to the Democrats' credit, it didn't work. Who knew the Dems had a spine?  I hope they keep hold of it for the coming battles including climate change, gay marriage, and immigration reform.

2010 is going to be a good year after all.  Perhaps absurdly so.