Friday, August 28, 2009

Kennedy's Death and the Health Care Debate: Part 2 of 2


By Ellipses

It's my responsibility, in part two of this two-part piece on health care reform post-Kennedy, to provide a positive spin on what Ted Kennedy's death means to health care reform legislation. There is speculation that Kennedy's death would serve as a wake-up call to those engaging in petty bickering over non-issues and erase, or at least smudge, partisan lines drawn in the sand over wildly inaccurate arguments against reform.

While I can't get behind the idea that the death of the lion will induce some sort of broad mea culpa from the death panel party, I am not of the opinion that health care reform dies with Kennedy. Taking up the cause of a New England liberal is not politically beneficial to the likes of Chuck Grassley or John Boehner, but then again, it's not from the midwest that hope springs eternal.

Prior to Kennedy's death, we had a situation where the senatorial vote appeared split absolutely along party lines, with a few blue dog democrats sitting opposite the majority. If one is to argue that Ted Kennedy dying is going to cauterize that partisan cleft, I think they should be specific as to which senators are apt to jump ship and vote in favor of a reform bill. I haven't seen definitive predictions on that front.

However, I was not convinced, prior to Tuesday, that the senate vote would be an even 60-40 split, assuming sufficient pressure were applied to blue dogs by the democratic leadership. Let me rephrase that... I wasn't convinced that the vote would be 59 democrats (plus Bernie Sanders) to 40 republicans.

The wild cards are, as they were earlier this year on the stimulus vote, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine.

Olympia Snowe is on the senate finance committee; one of the "gang of 6." Susan Collins is in the unique position of having sponsored an "end of life" initiative this spring, a bit before it became a plot to euthanize grandparents. Both are from New England, where the effect of Kennedy's death would be most pronounced. Both are seen as being moderate Republicans. Both are from Maine, where, according to an August 8th CNN poll, 56% favor congress passing a health care reform bill this year.

There is hope amongst liberals that Kennedy's death will cause a sea-change of opinion among our elected leaders on the issue of health care reform. I don't believe that his death will have the effect of catalyzing broad concensus on the issue, but his one vote could be replaced by two votes from Maine; a net gain that could be just enough. Sphere: Related Content

6 comments:

Cylinsier said...

Excellent analysis! I feel better already.

Wesley said...

Blogitards...just when you thought it was asfe to go back to 69ing again...LMFAO

When it comes to the health care, why not pass a health care bill the American people want and do it for Teddy? A liberal's liberal, from the bluest of states. You've got to be shitting me, how elitist can you get? Do it for the swimmer? Taxachusetts. got a health care bill that's screwing up their health care. It's screwing up their budget. Now they want to get rid of it and we don't want it. Polls show we don't want this bill.

They need to stick a fork in BOcare. The 1,000-page dingle berry that fell from the fat ass of Congress in various stinking piles was DOA because of widespread national loathing. Not just because we were spending more money we don’t have, but because of its invasiveness and the deception with which its being crammed down our throats. You don't need a college degree to see that the promise to expand coverage and reduce costs is a vulgar obfuscation, or that cutting $500 billion from Medicare without affecting care is a fucking fairy tale.

You Dems need to forget the public option. Whatever the plusses, and they’re not that many, it is political seppuku because of the incontrovertible observation of NPR's Mara Liasson that there are no liberal Dems who will lose their seats if the public option is left out, while there are many moderate Dems who could lose their seats if the public option is included.

They need to fucking get rid of any reference to end-of-life counseling. People see Medicare-paid advice like that, as not-so-subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment. Folks don't want government involvement in a process they consider the private bailiwick of patient, family and doctor. The Senate is already dropping it and the House needs to pull their head out and follow suit.

Tone down the language about government committees determining "best practices." BO’s Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was sold as simply government helping doctors pick the best treatments. But there are reams of medical journal articles that already do just that. The real purpose of FUCKERS (FCCCERs) is ultimately to establish official criteria for denying reimbursement to less favored treatments -- exactly the triage done by the NICE death panel in UK, the Orwellian body that used to block access to an expensive anti-blindness drug until you went blind in one eye.

And cut the crap about BOcare being cost-cutting BO's original rationale for creating a whole new entitlement at a time of a crashing economy and a skyrocketing deficits. That cat is out of the bag so people know better.

Ellipses said...

"They need to fucking get rid of any reference to end-of-life counseling."

Why? Every American should have a living will... You don't remove important bits just because some retards threw up on themselves.

"Tone down the language about government committees determining "best practices.""

Why? The most efficient and most effective hospitals already use comparative studies panels to determine procedures and treatments that are most effective...

When someone lies and makes shit up about something, you don't cave to them... you push through and prove them wrong.

Wesley said...

They need to get rid of end of life counseling that is administered on a government schedule with payment going to the doctor when he gives it etc. It's none on the government's fucking business. I agree that every American should have a living will but they should also have the choice to not have one. It's called freedom.

That government death panel shit will result in rationing to the old and infirmed. How ironic that the medical treatment that Ted Kennedy received in the last year of his life will not be available to the citizens in this plan. Typical liberal hypocrisy. Death panels would never let a guy that old get that surgery and chemo to prolong his life just 6 months to a year. He would have to take an Obama pain pill a zone out while he died.

You are a typical zealot. You are not winning any arguments. Zealots are people who once they are proven wrong redouble their efforts. Libs like you are the last bastion of useful idiots that are not violently opposed to government health care.

But I will say this much for you...you can put together a wonderfully coherent albeit douchebag argument for your positions. I respect that. Unlike Cylengirlyman who has to delete postings that don't agree with his lunacy or better still go and block their IP address. Classy move...NOT.

MJ said...

The health care debate will descend into mudslinging the minute Kennedy goes into the ground.

scott said...

Well, stick a fork in the myth that Wesley has even a modicum of intelligence. Sure, he has a gift for using language, but if he's even slightly serious in his opinions on "death panels" he's forfeited any claim to intelligent, truthful discourse.