Yummy. My first bowl of shit.Yggie really ought to go into politics fer rizzle, because he seems to have distinct coprophiliac tendencies. "Health reform." What is that? To this imponderable the Donk answer is: anything and everything. Quite literally. So long as it comes out of a Donk congress. Now Yglesias is the sort of blurgher who's fond of hectoring far lefties and libertarianische types for their habit of speaking in generalities and idealities, ignoring the ol' salt-mine of practical politics. So one wonders how he can persist in being so blithely unconcerned with the actual content of the bill before him. Is it a cake, or is it a turd? Well, it's on a plate, isn't it? Are we gonna split hairs?
-Baltimore Mayor Carcetti, The Wire
For those of us who like Barack Obama on some level think single-payer health care would be best but impractical, then hoped for a system with a public option, but who are still enthusiastic about health reform that doesn’t include it, I think we’ve really reached a moment when it would be good to have Ted Kennedy around.
Universal, tax-funded health coverage has been transmogrified through the usual Washingtonian alchemy into an insane mandate that uninsured individuals purchase, at great personal expense, extremely shitty insurance plans. There you have it. The federal government is going to force poor, underemployed people to spend thousands of dollars that they can ill afford to spend on consumer products offered by private corporations. I am sure that Yglesias et al. will have some very clever arguments about how this is ultimately good policy because it forces the irrational lower orders to invest in plans that will at least hedge against future catastrophe, you know, the sort of rational future-planning that poor morons don't usually make because fortuity failed to commend a Harvard education upon their beer-drinking souls. So it is worth reiterating: poor wage-earners cannot afford health insurance. That's why they don't buy it! Although it seems to us comfortable salarymen far more rational to pay a couple hundred bucks a month for minimal coverage just in case we get Ted Kennedy's brain cancer, it isn't an option for some people.
Point being, what you have here is a partisan hack endorsing a plan that does nearly the exact opposite of that which he claims to preferentially support, because his party, sort of, produced it. Instead of using public funds to provide direct subsidies of medical treatment, you have private wealth confiscated through the threat of legal sanction for the purpose of increasing the market penetration of private companies. You've replaced a program of individual welfare with a system of corporate welfare paid for by the very individuals whose economic status would make them the recipients of the individual welfare you claim to seek. Fuck the poor, so long as it reflects well on Barack Obama, his coattails, and our chances in 2010.
Meanwhile, all these kiddos flipped their buzzed heads when John Mackey wrote a one-off op-ed suggesting some half-assed private solutions to the lack of broad, national health coverage, even as they came to support not merely a privatized insurance provision, but a system of obligatory national consumption.