Monday, March 26, 2012

The Healthcare Holy Hand Grenade

In an op-ed at Politico, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle argues against the repeal of Obamacare and to that end, offers what may be the mother of all false dichotomies:
The only real question, in fact, is whether we have an individual mandate — one that requires individual responsibility, which I always thought was claimed as a conservative value — or we have a community mandate.
According to Daschle, these are the only two choices: what we had before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or what we have after its passage. It's mind-boggling, how someone could earnestly make such a stupid argument. Of course, let's not forget that since leaving the Senate, Daschle has been working as a lobbyist for--yes, you guessed it--the healthcare industry. And the number one concern of that industry and its lobbyists is keeping as much money in the industry as is possible.

Thus, Daschle's false dichotomy is not only silly, it's also self-serving. For either option will keep his clients in the black, so to speak, and thus keep his own pockets full.

As to his lame attempt to "zing" conservatives with the "individual responsibility" bit, Daschle forgets his own past. Remember when Daschle--as a sitting Senator--interjected his mother into the healthcare debate? He actually suggested that his mother had to choose between buying food and paying for medication. That was during the Bush-era debate over an ill-conceived and costly prescription drug benefit program. Daschle--already a millionaire, thanks to his wife's lobbying business--needed the government to pay for his mother's drugs.

Apparently, personal responsibility--in Daschle's world--doesn't extend to helping one's family. Yet, he now has the gall to use the concept in advocating for Obamacare?

Regardless, the chief point here is that the either-or choice Daschle envisions does not actually exist. Repeal Obamacare, yes. But leave things as they were prior to that? No. The chief way to provide more and better healthcare is to lower the costs of that care, to minimize the role of insurance companies in the process, not maximize it by forcing people to participate in such programs.

And the reality is that much of the left knows Obamacare is a bad deal, knows that it doesn't make things better. They were against it initially, and only came to support it after the right attacked it. Now, they cling to it as if it were the Holy Grail, when it's much more of a Holy Hand Grenade, set to destroy the nation in the not-so-distant future, via exploding costs for taxpayers and businesses.
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...
Cheers, all.


  1. "Thus, Daschle's false dichotomy is not only silly, it's also self-serving. For either option will keep his clients in the black, so to speak, and thus keep his own pockets full."

    That reminds me of "vote for the Wall-Street-approved Democrat or the Wall-Street-approved Republican." If it works for the Republicrats, it should work for healthcare.

    Your recommendations make perfect sense and would greatly reduce the benefits accruing to a critical subset of cocktail party compatriots and campaign financiers, and therefore have no possibility of serious consideration.

    "Holy Hand Grenade, Batman! We're screwed!"

  2. Our Republican Senator here in Missouri keeps saying he wants to get rid of Obamacare so that they can put into law "something better", and I keep typing to him that he is half right. But the second step needs to be in the direction of less government between my and my doctor, lowering the total cost, and requiring less insurance into the bargain.

    I begin to believe the man does not listen much better than Claire.

  3. oops. edit twice, post once.
    actually, the government DOES try to get between my doctor, and my doctor, and in part they have success.

    but it was not what I meant to say at this time.