Posts Tagged ‘health care reform’

Let the death panels commence

March 23, 2010

While the Senate was voting on the bill to kill all old people, I went to see Shutter Island. It had been spoiled for me, so I’m going to go ahead and spoil it for those of you who hadn’t seen it yet.

The main character (Andrew) is portrayed throughout the movie as a federal marshal investigating an escaped patient on a mental institution on some island off the coast of Massachusetts. But as it turns out, he’s really an inmate and the entire staff is role-playing this “investigation” in order to snap the “marshal” out of his delusion.

A part of Andrew’s delusion is that he chose to investigate this particular escaped prisoner because he had been looking into the mental institution for unethical practices. He thought they were performing some kind of Nazi mind control experiments in order to fight the communists. HUAC was supposed to be funding it, even.

At the end of the movie, he’s confronted by his psychiatrists with the truth about his situation. At first he accepts it, but the next morning he’s gone right back into his delusion and it’s implied that the staff will be forced to lobotomize him since their last-ditch effort to snap him out of it had clearly failed.

So here’s where it’s kind of appropriate inre: health care reform. Now that Generalissimo Nancy Pelosi has banged her magical Medicare gavel of death and the bill has been passed, the inbred morons who’ve been screaming about death panels and government takeovers will have to somehow reconcile the reality of the legislation with their delusions about it. How are they going to deal with there not being any death panels? Are they just going to insist that they exist even though they don’t? Or will they refocus their crazy on something else?

Reasonable people, normal people, would just admit to being wrong on the facts. But we’re obviously not talking about reasonable, normal people here. They’re more like the main character in Scorcese’s new movie. So it will be interesting to see if they interact with reality in some way.

Idiotic quote of the day

March 8, 2010

Noted media personality and Facebook user Sarah Palin on the Canadian tyrannical government run single payer health care system of total socialist government Nazi death panel oppression (by the government):

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said. “And I think now, isn’t that ironic.”

There are two different ways to look at this. Either

  1. She knows what irony is, or
  2. She doesn’t.

If #1 is true, then she’s basically telling her supporters that it’s ironic that socialized medicine is great when it’s for her, but that it’s supposedly horrible for the rest of the country. And that implies that she’s just basically admitting here that her opposition to health care reform is a self-conscious fraud meant to persuade idiots.

But that is less likely to be true than #2 because it would mean assuming that she understands what any word with more than two syllables actually means, and the evidence supporting that is very slim. So it’s probably a safe bet to file this as yet another Palin word salad which turns out to be unintentionally hilarious to those of us who are literate and not foaming-at-the-mouth ideologues.

Why there will be no real health care reform

December 15, 2009

Taibbi wrote recently about “Obamania” and made some good points, referencing another great post by Glenn Greenwald (Yes, I realize this is a blog post about a blog post by someone else which was in turn about a blog post by someone else. It’s very meta).

Basically, you have people like President Lieberman (I-CT) and President Snowe (R-ME) saying that they won’t vote for the bill unless it’s stripped of anything vaguely resembling real reform, like a public option or a Medicare buy-in. But there’s almost no counterpart to that kind of pressure coming from the left, except for possibly Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

So if the goal of the Obama administration and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership is to simply pass any legislation which they can label as “health care reform” regardless of how neutered it may be – and that seems to be the case – then they have no incentive to cater to progressives who are actually representing the interests of the majority of Americans.  There are no votes in Congress to be lost on that end. There are only votes to be lost on the far right.

Guys named Al

October 25, 2009

Here are some political videos from last week of guys named Al getting all up in the right wing’s grill on ACORN and health care costs.

Here is Al Franken going after someone from the Hudson Institute:

And here’s Allan Grayson raising some questions about the de-funding of ACORN. It starts out a little boring, but he gets all WHAT DOES MARCELLUS WALLACE LOOK LIKE? towards the end.

Outlaw the Medical Profession

October 8, 2009

The medical profession is a huge socialist conspiracy. Being a doctor should be outlawed.

When someone does what some call “practicing medicine” or “being a medical doctor,” what they are doing for a living is a means of redistribution of wealth. A health care professional must redistribute wealth away from those who are sick or injured and to people who can treat the sick and injured people.

This is SOCIALISM.

Those Ivory Tower types might tell you that this is crazy, and that all exchanges actually redistribute wealth and that there really is no way around that.

Those people are all COMMUNISTS.

If we didn’t have so many of these damn doctors and nurses running around treating people and providing them with health care, we wouldn’t have such a health care crisis on our hands – because there would be no actual health care at all for anyone to worry about! Check and mate!

Did you know that the Russian anarcho-feminist Emma Goldman trained to be a midwife while in prison? That’s a FOREIGNER and a JEW and a RADICAL and a WOMAN who wanted to “spread the weatlh around” by trying to force other people to pay them just for the privilege of having their children kept alive.

Do you really want to let these smarmy know-it-alls forcibly redistribute our wealth just because they might’ve read a few anatomy textbooks? No thanks, comrade! I’ll keep my money!

Health care reform

September 30, 2009

There are a couple of aspects of health care reform I don’t think I’ve heard much about in the ongoing debate. Actually there are probably a lot more than just a couple, but two in particular I just wanted to briefly mention.

One would be the words “signing statement.” Remember those laws passed by Congress during the Bush administration which did things like restrict things like warantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition, and then Bush would sign it attached to a statement which clarified the legislation as being interpreted to mean the exact opposite of what it actually said? Bush set a record with the sheer number of those signing statements. It was big news for a while back then.

So I’m not saying that Obama should do that as a way to force in a viable public option. But has anyone even mentioned it? All I’m finding is that he claimed to want to weaken the executive power involved in signing statements, but then used exactly that power to weaken whistle-blower protection, among a few others. But nothing about health care reform in regards to signing statements.

The other issue is that if we actually do get a public option, viable or not, there is a danger that the “alternative medicine” industry will try to capitalize on that and get even more subsidies for their quackery than they already have. The Center for Inquiry has released a report (PDF) warning of the dangers of funding “alternative medicine” alternatives to medicine garbage.

On the one hand, lots of other government-funded scientific organizations successfully avoid woo in their studies. NASA doesn’t have to study astrology. The US Geological Survey doesn’t have to entertain flat Earth or expanding Earth “theories.” The American Institute of Physics doesn’t have to invest in alleged perpetual motion machines.

But on the other hand, the “alternative medicine” industry has something that flat Earthers and perpetual motion machine scammers and astrologers don’t – lots and lots of money and political influence. So there really needs to be some stipulation in whatever health care reform gets passed – if it even does – where methods of treatment will need to be tested and will need to pass those tests. And they’ll need to be double-blinded with proper controls. Anecdotes and testimonials can not be good enough.

Sure, people like Bill Maher and Jenny McCarthy and Kevin Trudeau will claim this is all part of a conspiracy to outlaw their useless “medicine,” but so what? Fuck them. There is real danger in allowing that into a government supported health care system. One is that obviously we’re going to be forced to pay for treatments that don’t work, and the other is that it will make true all the conservatives’ claims that government can’t run health care. Because in that case, they’ll be right.

Talkin ’bout yo momma!

September 25, 2009