Monday, October 5, 2009

Dumb, Dumb, and Dumber Wheelers and Dealers

I have always maintained that politics is a very dirty game. Even the good guys learn how to play it.

Frank Rich has an excellent op-ed piece that shows great insight into what really goes on in the back rooms of Washington.  Neither party is spared in the outing of the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes of C-span and your local TV news channel.  If you care about politics and if you want to become an enlightened voter I recommend that you read this article.  The link is below.

Do you think we will ever get reform of the banking industry, the health care mess, or clean energy as long as the inhabitants of K Street (where the lobblyists ply their trade) are in the picture?  Perhaps all informed citizens should combine their energy on efforts to rid our government of this pernicious influence.  Bloggers unite!

If you have read the article cited above, here is more food for thought.;  Our dumb, dumb members of Congress.


Socialism" and Sham in the Senate

by: Joe Conason, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Some members of Congress do not understand the health care system they are trying to reform.
Listening closely to the politicians with the most clout in the debate over health care, it is startling to discover how little they actually seem to know about the subject.

Ignorance rules, even among the bipartisan group of senators known as the "Gang of Six," who supposedly have immersed themselves in the details of this life-and-death issue for many months. If they understood even the most basic facts about how the United States and other advanced countries provide and finance medical care, they simply could not utter the stupid comments that regularly emanate from their lips.

Not so long ago, Grassley alleged he had been told that "government-run" systems in other countries would have denied treatment to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy for the brain tumor that ended his life in August because he was 77 years old. That statement drew outraged attention from British doctors,

Sen. Mike Enzi, the Wyoming Republican who has connived in the Gang of Six farce, has made similar ominous comments about the medical rationing and reductions in care that would ensue from a "government-run option." He often says something like this while making speeches in which he also claims to be defending Medicare for seniors - which indicates that he doesn't understand Medicare is, in fact, a "government-run" program.

 It is hard to believe that any United States senator could truly be so obtuse about our own government-run system, having voted on Medicare finances and regulations annually for years. Yet these same geniuses don't seem to realize that they have also authorized and financed one of the most thoroughly socialized medical systems in the world - the highly successful, respected and innovative Veterans Health Administration.

Yes, the VA system is even more "socialist" than Medicare, because the VA runs the hospitals and hires the doctors directly (like the British system), while Medicare simply pays fees to hospitals and doctors (like the Canadian or French systems). Which brings us to the topic of health care regimes in other countries, and yet another amazing display of ignorance by a member of the Gang of Six.

Just the other day, Sen. Kent Conrad tried to explain his fervent opposition to a "public option" by mentioning the way they do things abroad. The Democrat from North Dakota wanted to tell his "progressive friends" that we can achieve universal coverage and reduce costs - like all of the industrial nations that pay far less than we do - care for all their people and get better results. Referring to systems in France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan, he said, "All of them contain costs, have universal coverage, have very high-quality care and yet are not government-run systems."

It is true that the countries named by Conrad achieve all those benchmarks, but it is false and misleading to claim that none of them have government-run health care.

France, which probably has the best system in the world, is essentially a single-payer plan that operates under their Social Security system. Germany prohibits insurance companies from making any profit on basic coverage.

Japan provides insurance at a very low cost to families and individuals, with private coverage is used only for a narrow range of services. Switzerland runs insurance plans that are so highly regulated, with prices of services and drugs set by the government, that they would be denounced as communist if anyone tried to impose them here.

Can they really be that dumb? Or do they just assume that we are?



Xtreme English said...

loved frank rich yesterday, and joe conason has a great new post, also. it's really wonderful to see what you post for your readers. it's always the best of the best.

Rain said...

I also really liked Rich's column as it spelled out our problem and we are just seeing it exposed with health care because it impacts us more directly but it's in everything in our government. Very very disillusioning. They stay dumb because they profit from being ignorant. They profit from saying what those like Rush Limbaugh love to hear. It's disappointing and the rot goes so deep that I wonder if it can be fixed. Right now it looks like they will get some more people onto health care, demand they pay whatever premium the corporations want, and carry their profits to the bank for the politicians and the corporations. Someone should force them to not have health insurance provided and see how they like the current system that is running families a thousand dollars a month and even if someone thinks their boss pays it, they pay it through lost wages.

Looking to the Stars said...

They really think that we are that stupid and they have believed it for a long time. They think they can lead us around by the nose like sheep while they blast us with B.S.

The only job place for an idiot is congress. Its our job to vote the idiots out and vote people with brains in :)

Darlene said...

*Xtreme English - Thank you so much.

*Rain - It really is hard not to become disillusioned, isnt it?

*Looking to the Stars - Unfortunately, too many voters have proven them right.

Maria said...

This is the first time I have read your blog. I came by way of Ramana's Musing.

What a fantastic post on the wheelers and dealers. I think all of us are disillusioned with the inability of both parties to come to some agreement on Healt Care.

I, too am a Desert Rat. Different desert. I am in California and in the center of the Mojave Desert.

Darlene said...

*Maria - Thank you so very much for your visit. As one desert rat to another - Welcome!!! I do hope you will return.

joared said...

Answering your question re the depth of those senator's intelligence on the subject of health care, in my humble opinion, I think they really are unable to comprehend and process the issues accurately -- so have to say they're poorly informed, thus even less able to effectively communicate the true facts.