The problem, though, is that there is almost nothing in it to celebrate. I followed the house link and read what was there, and then posted a point-for-point response I pointed out how much of the proposal is feel-good stuff (including some of which is actually claiming the opposite of the nonpartisan reality), and other parts don't belong there at all. Ultimately I showed that it won't solve the problems we had before or after 2010 and why.
Now, if someone wanted to actually discuss the situation, this would be a good starting point. I wrote that comment this morning, and so far
front page submission here.
First, way back in 2009 someone figured out that I am indeed Dick Shatto. That's right, I played Canadian Football, and died some time ago. But as I was in Canada, the excellent health care system was able to cure me of my death, and I went on (this was quite a feat considering I was cremated, but my ashes were scattered in a football stadium in Canada and they have really, really, good grounds crews up there). With plenty of time on my hands I thought I'd hang out here on slashdot where I should be able to blend right in with other brain eating types.
However, being undead (or formerly dead if you prefer) has its downsides. Flesh falls off, things rot away, etc. Even worse though is that the world progresses and you do not; you always stay the same age you were when you died. If I wanted to really live again I needed a new body to take over. Somewhat like a ghost, but not really; the details aren't important. I figured I should pick someone in good health so I could stick around for a while, but someone not too important so I could ensure my second visit is longer. Someone with good health coverage would of course be a must!
There really is only one good candidate for this. I had to choose President Lawnchair. He has no real power to speak of (or at least, he has never used any). He has great health care and takes care of his body. He doesn't do anything, so nobody should notice if I move in for a few decades.
Thankfully, since nobody reads this lousy website I shouldn't have to worry about my secret getting out.
I don't often write JEs for this anymore (indeed I did fairly often in past years), but this was a particularly good example.
Naturally, the GOP had a shit fit. They spread all kinds of lies around about what this would or would not do, and the "mainstream media" dutifully reported those as the truth. The GOP furthermore has made it a point to vote on at least one bill in the house (on average) every 4-5 weeks to cripple or overturn the Bailout Act.
Now, a few of the same GOP critters have claimed to have finally written a proposal of their own to "reform" health care. Slashdot member smitty_one_each mentioned this in a recent JE that he wrote, with a link to a highly biased comment on this "alternative". The problem, of course, is that it largely isn't an alternative to the current situation.
Here's my blow-by-blow on the summary:
I clicked the link to your GOP alternative proposal. Color me unimpressed.
First of all, I will point out that the Health Insurance Bailout Act of 2010 was passed in 2010. The republicans have had more than 3 years for a do-over and this is all they can come up with?
That said, it doesn't really do much. Much of what is in this is already in the bill that they so desperately want to kill.
- Article 1 - just kills the Bailout Act, and does nothing else.
- Article 2 - is a tax cut for buying health insurance, which we already have in the Bailout Act. It adjusts a few other things like HSAs but that isn't anything that rocks the earth.
- Article 3 - Only removes a COBRA requirement for people who are high-risk and currently unemployed. Being as the coverage is - to be kind - extremely biased, I'm not convinced that such a requirement actually exists but we'll let them claim it to be so for now.
- Article 4 - Is about "purchasing across state lines". This is at best massive window dressing, and at worst could make health care far more expensive. First of all, in the majority of situations nothing currently prevents people from purchasing health insurance from other states whcih makes this window dressing. However, if they want to make it law then they will force health care providers to accepts any number of crazy plans and train their staff to work on this, which will massively increase the cost of running a health care office.
- Article 5 - is about medical liability law. Sounds great, except in reality it has little to do with the cost of health care beyond what providers pay for malpractice insurance; which is a cost that is only minimally passed on to the consumer. In particular this targets the attorney's part of the take (while placing no limit on the patient's award) whch should tell you enough of what this proposal's author is after.
- Article 6 - an anti-abortion statement. This really doesn't have shit to do with this and doesn't belong here.
In other words, the parts of this that are not obviously partisan attacks on conservative boogeymen are taken from the Health Insurance Company Bailout Act of 2010. I will love to see what they say when the CBO evaluates the cost of this proposal.
That's right. Since the conservatives can't defeat it any other way (in spite of the fact that it was their own fucking insistence that made a mandate a pivotal part of the bill) they are now encouraging people to break the law in order to (hopefully) make it insolvent.
It is really sad that the republicans are so desperate to prevent a democrat from being remembered as a successful president that they are willing to encourage unlawful behavior in youngsters in order to further their aim. The irony here though is that the republicans set themselves up for this failure; this bill has this structure because of their actions and became law because of the same. If they spent half as much time trying to do meaningful politics as they do trying to discredit 1600 Pennsylvania Ave they wound't be consistently rated as one of the worst congresses of all time.
The thing that keeps congress going on this path, of course, is obvious. While most voters believe congress to be deeply dysfunctional, very few voters believe their own congressperson to be part of the problem.
Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating after an Idaho woman reported her 3-year-old daughter shot herself with a handgun in a campground.
So which backwoods state did these shithead gun owners come from?
He said he didn't know how many family members were camping or where they are from in Idaho. Names haven't been released.
Apparently they weren't far from home, then. Most likely they will receive no punishment whatsoever for their wanton irresponsibility. In a sane country we would be asking whether they would face more or less prosecution for leaving a loaded unlocked weapon sitting around in a public campground.
A federal law went into effect Feb. 22, 2010, allowing visitors to possess firearms in the park.
That doesn't mean that people have the right to be so utterly careless with them.
But here, he can place the blame for the outcome on congress. With nearly everyone in congress who has said anything to the media opposing action, he can follow their vote (which will likely be against action) and then say "congress said so" when the world is mad at us for not doing anything.
Well played, sir. Well played.
For the record, I think Assad is scum who shouldn't be in power. That said, I don't think we should be attacking the regime, either as that only opens up a different can of worms. The conflict in Syria doesn't really reflect American interests at this point and as terrible as it is I don't see a good reason for us to commit resources to someone else's war. I really can't imagine a scenario where attacking Syria - even if we send just a small number of cruise missiles to kill Assad and his top brass - would work out in our favor.