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.