Posted by: Rick | Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ten Truths About Health Care That Obama Can’t Tell You

Joe Biden is famous for his gaffes, but what’s the stupidest thing he’s ever said? I nominate the following:

I walked through the floor on my way to my meeting with Senator Mansfield. I walked in and sat down on the other side of his desk. Some of you remember he smoked a pipe a lot of times when he was in his office. He had the pipe in his mouth and looked at me and said: Joe, looks like something is bothering you.

I said: Mr. Leader, I can’t believe what I just heard on the floor of the Senate. I can’t believe that anyone could be so heartless and care so little about people with disabilities. I tell you, it makes me angry, Mr. Leader.

He said: Joe, what would you say if I told you that 4 years ago, maybe 5, Dot Helms and Jesse Helms were reading, I think the Charlotte Observer, the local newspaper, and they saw a piece in the paper about a young man in braces who was handicapped at an orphanage. He was in his early teens. All the caption said was the young man wanted nothing more for Christmas than to be part of a family.

He said: What would you say if I told you Dot Helms and Jesse Helms adopted that young man as their own child?

I said: I would feel like a fool, an absolute fool.

He said: Well, they did.

He said: Joe, every man and woman sent here is sent here because their State recognizes something decent about them. It is easy to find the part you don’t like. I think your job, Joe, is to find out that part that caused him to be sent here.

He said: Joe, never question another man’s motive. Question his judgment but never his motive.  [Emphasis added]

I almost spit up my oatmeal when I heard Biden spout this Washington drivel on C-SPAN during his farewell address to the Senate. I hope he wasn’t serious, because in the real world we question people’s motives all the time. I don’t really care how many high school kids Jesse Helms takes to his bosom. That’s his business. I want to know why Senator Jesse Helms votes the way he does, and who – if anyone – is calling his shots.

With that as an introduction, here are ten things you need to know about the health care debate:

  • 1. The American Medical Association is far more concerned with the wealth of its membership than the health of its customers.
  • 2. The insurance companies care only about their profits. So do the drug companies and most hospitals. That doesn’t mean they’re evil. Corporations are beyond good and evil. They simply have two – and only two — modes of behavior: first survive, then plunder.
  • 3. For most insurance executives, sick people are bad for the bottom line and are to be swindled whenever possible.
  • 4. Very few Republicans – and zero Republican leaders – ever want to see the headline “Obama Health Care Plan Succeeds.”
  • 5. Following from (4): The Obama Administration must not seriously attempt to negotiate a “bipartisan” solution to the health care crisis. The resulting plan will be designed to fail.
  • 6. Following from (5): The ideal endgame for Republicans would be for health care reform to fail so spectacularly that they would be free to wage a full-scale war on both Medicare and Social Security. Their ultimate goal is to create a Hobbesian society where the corporate oligarchs and their well-compensated political errand boys are free to live in comfort.
  • 7. Following from (6): How would the oligarchs control the mob? With a little bit of bread and lots and lots of circuses. Calling Rupert Murdoch!
  • 8. Republicans are correct when they warn that a government option will ultimately mean the end of private health insurance in America. And that’s a good thing. Obama just can’t say so right now.
  • 9. Smart people in other countries laugh at us behind our backs for our insane and expensive health care system.
  • 10. Hillary Clinton is more deeply involved in this issue than you know.

Now forward into battle!

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