Archive for March, 2010

GOP health care reform efforts

March 3, 2010

A standard line these days is that the GOP doesn’t care about the problems with health care, and the prime evidence is that they didn’t do anything about it during their 12 years in control of Congress or 6 years with both Congress and the Presidency. I’ve had that thought and regret.

Ramesh Ponneru at the Corner noted a couple of problems with that notion. First, with the GOP in charge of Congress came the institution of HSA’s, the CHIP program, and new rules for insurance portability. These are pretty important items. The drug benefit has to go here as well. Granted, these are not necessarily things conservatives are excited about, but they fundamentally dismantle the claim that the GOP has done nothing to address the issues related to health care accessibility.

The second problem is that GOP proposals were blocked by Democrats when they didn’t support them. Which is fine. What needs to be accepted is that this is what a political caucus is designed to do, even the GOP caucus, and the story needs to be on the substance, not on rhetoric that falsely distorts how normal political opposition is portrayed.

Health care rope-a-dope?

March 3, 2010

Apparently today the latest iteration of comprehensive health care reform will be advanced by President Obama. It reportedly will have GOP ideas included, such as expanding HSA’s. The plan to study tort reform doesn’t seem like a GOP idea, of course, since the conservative idea is to protect medical providers from unjust legal liability lawsuits, which would lower their costs both by the reduction in malpractice insurance premiums and the reduction of protective medical procedures.

Chances are the effort will be to say that this is the essence of bipartisan cooperation on the part of the President and the leaders in Congress. When the GOP doesn’t go along (assuming they don’t), it will go immediately into the narrative that they won’t support even their own ideas when proposed by this President.

The point should be that from a conservative POV he’s just put window dressing on the government takeover of health care financing and delivery bill. But there may well be some who value the appearance of working together over the substance of the bill, and that group may be enough to push this thing over.

what is wrong with our culture?

March 1, 2010

The fact that a show like “The Bachelor” continues to be broadcast is not a sign of good health of a culture.