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Happy Healthcare Day

March 21st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

So they’re finally going to pass the bill today. I just had some fun on the Huffington Post’s live update page in the comments section getting blasted from both the right and the left. The lefties think I’m too pessimistic about the bill. The righties are ranting about the encroachment of socialism and the death of freedom…also illegal immigrants.

Luckily I have this blog where I can state my opinion without anyone responding at all! So here’s what I think:

I’m glad they’re passing the bill. I’d rather see something get passed than nothing at all. It will help a handful of people out there. Some might live who would otherwise die, particularly some children with pre-existing conditions.

And that’s about all the positivity I can muster over this legislation. I can’t even be too happy about the ban on excluding people for pre-existing conditions, because the fine for violating that ban is a paltry $100 a day. Obviously, in most cases it’ll be less expensive to pay the fine than to pay for the sick person’s treatment. Just as polluters find it cheaper to pay fines for polluting than to spend money actually improving emissions standards, the private health insurance companies will do whatever is best for the bottom line no matter how many children they let die.

On the opposite end, you now have a mandate for individuals to buy health insurance. So individual people too will have to decide between paying the fine and paying for insurance. Obviously, in most cases it’ll be less expensive to pay the fine than to pay for coverage. The government is telling you to buy something and charging you a fee if you can’t afford it. It’s a little insane if you ask me.

And let’s not forget about the icing on the cake—the rolling back of a woman’s right to choose. Luckily Stupak won’t have his way, but even the current language makes it harder for women to get health insurance that covers abortion. As far as I understand, anyone who will get their insurance through the exchange would have to buy a separate plan if they want coverage for abortion because none of the providers listed in the exchange will be able to provide that service. And who the hell is going to buy a separate plan for abortion? The very nature of unplanned pregnancy is that it’s unplanned. And the people participating in the exchange will probably be those less well-off financially anyway, so of course they’re not going to buy a separate plan. There will be children born in America who will owe their entire existence to a few lines of legislation that made it impossible for their mothers to abort them. Crazy.

So that’s all I have to say to those liberals who want to celebrate this as some kind of major achievement of the Obama administration. I hope you like watered-down industry-friendly legislation cloaked in the guise of reform and celebrated as a victory when the corporations allow it to pass, because we’re in for another three to seven years of the same.

As for the Tea Party crowd who are up in arms about how this socialist government takeover is being rammed down our throats, I have some choice words for you:

Wake the fuck up already! What kind of alternate reality are you living in? Is there some kind of parallel dimension where Obama is actually a liberal, where the government has more power than Big Finance, where a 35% income tax is brutal oppression even though that’s among the lowest tax rates of the last hundred years and among the lowest among all industrialized nations? Did I miss something?

These people are ranting and raving about this imaginary socialist takeover as though armies of ACORN employees are marching through the streets holding up signs of the “Dear Leader” (one of these wingnuts actually referred to Obama as the “Dear Leader”) and personally redistributing wealth from hard-working white men to black welfare queens and Mexican immigrants. They somehow believe that Obama is actively trying to shred the constitution and take away their rights to own a gun, to go to church, to watch Fox News, even to go fishing! Seriously—fishing.

If they would just change the channel from Fox News for one instant, they might get momentarily exposed to an actual fact or two. They might see that Obama is actually not some All-Powerful dictator who would have succeeded in mandating abortions and raising the tax-rate to 100% had Glenn Beck not been standing in his way. It boggles my mind how these people perceive our current president as some kind of demagogue who is slashing and burning his way to impose freedom-killing policies on all of us.

Did they miss the entire debate last year? Do they not remember all those months spent trying to compromise and continuously water down the bill in the hopes of picking up a handful of Republican votes that never materialized?

Or in their history books did all the bloodthirsty fascist dictators behave the same way? How much time did Hitler spend trying to gain opposition support for concentration camps? Did he water it down from the original intent of simply throwing all of the Jews on a pile and burning them? Was allowing them to live for a short time in labor camps a compromise he made with the liberals? How many compromises did Stalin and Mao make to their own socialist agendas? I’m sure Pol Pot was constantly trying to reach out to his rivals and build a consensus that everyone could live with.

Seriously, it’s enough to make me throw up my arms in despair. After today, you’re going to see democrats patting themselves on the back and congratulating themselves as though they are Champions of the People, and republicans decrying this as the End of America as we know it. Both sides are full of shit, and the people will just go on eating it.

Happy Healthcare Day, America.

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