I’d like your take on [American] health care reform
Right now a lot of the kerfuffle is essentially a tempest in a teapot, because all of the kerfuffle is essentially about the public option. But here is the thing: if the public option could be measured in terms of flavourful condiments, flavorless oil being “most capitalistic” and a bottle of hot sauce labeled SUPER SUICIDE DEATH GENOCIDE SAUCE XXXXX DO NOT USE EVER WE HAVE WARNED YOU BECAUSE OUR LAWYERS MADE US WARN YOU being “most socialistic,” the public option would be, I dunno, mayonnaise. Or possibly Miracle Whip Lite.
This is because the public option has gotten so watered down at this point it is beyond stupid. To sum up: at present, it will be a government-run corporation which cannot draw on government funds to remain solvent and cannot charge artificially lower rates to be convenient to the populace at large. All it really promises to do that other insurance companies will not do is this: they promise to not screw over policy-holders. And that, that alone, has insurance companies terrified. This should tell you something.
And because of the kerfuffle over the public option and stupid Palin bullshit about death panels, the actual meat of the proposed legislation isn’t really getting discussed. These come in two flavours: the new rules forcing insurance companies to be a little less fuckersome (but not nearly so tightly regulated as in, say, Germany or the Netherlands) and the insurance subsidies for low-income families. The former are necessary and probably aren’t strict enough. The latter are necessary as a short-term means to increase coverage, but don’t address the real problem of American care, which is basically that America spends too much money on goddamn everything in health care for reasons that are almost entirely artificial, and it is bankrupting the country.
But it’s a first step, and I think a lot people boosting these policies regard it as a first step. (Not the more conservative Democrats, of course, but conservative Democrats aren’t entirely sure about whether or not we should use fire, let alone governmental answers to insurance costs.) Of course, that’s exactly why Republicans are screaming bloody murder: they know it’s a first step too. Which leads Democrats to say things like “there’s nothing inherent about these acts that will create government-run healthcare.” Which is true, but not really, you know?