Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A HELPFUL GUIDE. Here, gentle reader, is how you can tell people are talking bullshit about health care reform. Today's example is from neo-neocon:
The report states that up to half of Americans under 65 have pre-existing conditions that might serve to disqualify them from health insurance under the old system. That ignores the reality that most such people have insurance and will always have it, because group insurance bought through an employer takes all comers.

I don’t know what percentage of those people will actually ever be forced into the individual market, but it certainly would be a far smaller group than half of all Americans under 65. Even people who lose jobs temporarily are eligible to be covered through Cobra for quite some time (usually 18 months), and although Cobra is expensive, nevertheless some people manage to use it. What’s more...
First, she describes a situation as eternal -- "most such people have insurance and will always have it" -- that, in an era of increasing job insecurity and correspondingly decreasing worker power, anyone can see is about to join the one-earner middle-class family in the shadows of history.

Second, listen to her describing COBRA! "Although Cobra is expensive, nevertheless some people manage to use it." Can you imagine anyone who lost their job and suddenly started paying a thousand bucks a month out of terror of cancer bankruptcy talking about it that way?

By the time neo-neocon gets around to parsing the true meaning of "high" cholesterol, any attentive reader who is not actively looking to be gulled will see what's going on. The "tell" in all these cases is that the bullshit artists inevitably end up doing PR for the current, universally-despised system.

They kind of have to. I notice that damn few of them -- certainly not neo-neocon -- can summon the added nerve to argue for the superiority of the GOP health care plan.

That's also why HCR is a prime target for their Tea Party crap (e.g., as neo-neocon helpfully puts it, "the effect [Obamacare] is likely to have on the budget and the deficit, and whether it is constitutional") -- they have no meaningful argument against the utility of the thing, so they conjure up Gouverneur Morris lifting his flintlock and snarling, "Universal health care? Not on my watch!"

There's plenty about the plan Obama managed to muscle through Congress that you can reasonably debate. (Ahem.) But conservatives are not so much participants in said reasonable-debate as hooligans trying to disrupt it -- you know, like they were back in 2009. This time they're doing their yelling in the Op-Eds rather than the Town Halls. If they can't move repeal through Congress, though (and with so many Blue Dogs defenestrated, I rather doubt they can), we may expect the bellowing and fistfights -- and, who knows, maybe a little totally-unrelated-to-politics gunfire -- to recommence.

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