"Let Them Eat Cake": As 22k Die Annually, Elites Ask "What's the Rush on Health Care?"

by: David Sirota

Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 09:30


22,000 Americans die every year because they lack adequate health care coverage. That's a basic, verifiable fact. That's about 60 Americans every day, or six 9/11's every year. Broken down to a local Colorado estimate, that's about 365 Coloradoans every year, or one Coloradoan every day - a rate of death that's double the Colorado murder rate. And yet, the Denver Post editorial board has the nerve to ask with a dead-straight face yesterday morning "What's the rush on health care?" I shit you not.

I'm guessing the writers of the editorial all have great health care coverage. And I'm also guessing that dot-com millionaire Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who the Post touts for opposing Obama's health care bill, also has pretty good health care coverage. So, I guess it's not that hard to understand how both the Post editorialists and Polis might wonder "what the rush" is. Shit, there's no rush for them at all! Out of their individual sight, out of their minds, right?

For the Rest of Us, though, there's clearly a rush. In fact, the reason for a rush is so obvious that anyone asking the question ends up making themselves look like Marie Antoinette happily saying, "Let Them Eat Cake."

But then, here's my question: Are we really "rushing?" It's a talking point we're hearing far and wide, from editorial boards to Republican senators like Olympia Snowe and Democratic senators like Ben Nelson. The forces of the status quo keep saying that President Obama is trying to "rush" health care reform.

And yet, health care has quite literally been debated and discussed as a matter of public policy since Harry Truman in 1945. You can look it up right here - again, it's a matter of verifiable public record. That's right, we've been debating this for 64 fucking years, and it's not like any of the proposals currently being considered are brand new - they've been thrown around Washington for decades.

So my question again: How is debating something for more than six decades a "rush?"

David Sirota :: "Let Them Eat Cake": As 22k Die Annually, Elites Ask "What's the Rush on Health Care?"

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The issue is not speed but direction (4.00 / 2)
In pragmatic terms, there's little to choose between doing nothing and finally doing something wrong. Somthing is not always better than nothing, and Black Agenda Report makes a perfectly reasonable case that Obama's complex, unproven, and Rube Goldberg-esque plan is worse than nothing.  

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

The "rush" seems to be mostly political (4.00 / 2)
"Get it done before we have to campaign for 2010."

One could posit that the concept of the US becoming a military empire has been "debated" for close to 40 years, too. But we still "rushed" into Iraq, no?

When I ask, "What's the rush?", I want to know why it might be considered a better option to move quickly to pass a shoddy bill, than to take the time needed to find the political will to actually solve some problems - like getting the insurance companies' profit motives out of the system.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


while your urgency is ligitmate, (4.00 / 1)
from my perspective I believe the claim of this being rushed through comes from more and more proponents of the bill admitting the fact that they have not read ALL of the bill.  everyone is just getting bits and pieces, highlights if you will, of this bill.  while some portions are really good and will definately have an immediate impact, some of the between the lines language just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  There is a lot of pork in here and while I understand that pork is just a by-product of a bill of this magnitude, we have to ask ourselves how the heck are our kids going to pay for this.  

The fact that most of the impactful portions of this bill doesn't really kick in until 2013 also makes us wonder the false urgency the administration is placing on this.  The post election timing is too coincidental.  

your also right that while we have been debating this for 64 years, you have to admit this is the closest we have ever gotten to something workable.  I for one would want to make sure we get it right.  If not, the smell of change will be in the air.


"What's the rush?" questions last night (4.00 / 3)
At least three questioners at the press conference mentioned the "rush" meme. As I listened, I thought about all Obama's speaking engagements that I have seen clips of over the last couple of weeks, and it seemed like the MSM was his most hostile audience yet on health care. Of course this is directly tied to why most of those reporters get paid. The are no better incentivised defenders of the status quo than the MSM. The health insurance protection racket, that many of us pay into, compensates the MSM even better than they compensate the legislative branch for their complicity.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

delay (0.00 / 0)
as I have said before, I don't think delay is a good strategy for opponents of health care reform. This isn't 1993.

I love the angry Sirota (4.00 / 1)
Your posts with the angrier tone get me going nice and early in the am :)

"Why The Rush?" (4.00 / 1)
Cuz "thePrez" desperately needs some kind--any kind, on anything--of "VICTORAY!"

So he'll sign any piece of shit that gets to his desk and which can bear the label "Health Care Reform," no matter how shoddy, slipshod, shitty, and corrupt the final bill will be. Whatsoever else any final 'compromise' does, it 1) will preserve the profits, perqs, and privileges of the Health Insurance Parasites and  2) will NOT materially assist the millions of un-, under- and marginally insured people needing help.

No nation is worth much of a shit which exploits the disease and illness of its people to enrich its elites.


Twitter mistake (0.00 / 0)
I changed your title in a Twitter update, decided it was wrong to do that, and then changed it back wrong.  Sorry.

Really, what is the rush for? (4.00 / 1)
Right question, wrong reasons.  I'll explain.  Anyone who is honest and has taken the time to evaluate single-payer versus the weak public option knows that single-payer is far superior.  Even those who are dishonest, yet have done similar comparisons, know that single-payer is superior.  That's why Congress is rushing to pass a horrendously bad bill that won't solve the health care problem, mostly heedless of the fact that its passage will effectively kill all hope for passing single-payer later on down the road - by which time its urgency will have increased a thousandfold.  The mantras against single-payer then will be: "We passed something already.  Give it a chance!  Don't ask us for more!  Shut the f*** up."

What's the rush?  Yes, there is a legitimate reason for taking the time to pass an effective bill and get it signed into law.  Yes, there is a narrow window of opportunity that is closing fast.  And yes, we have wasted key opportunities for forcing Democrats to represent the public instead of corporations, thus losing ourselves time better spent pushing single-payer.  But it's not too late to stop our push for a weak public option and force Democrats to support single-payer.  We need ideas for doing it.  What have you got?



OK. How about let's scuttle it for this year.... (4.00 / 1)
and do primary challenges next year in which the one issue will be single payer.  that might help focus their attention.

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding..."
Zora Neale Hurston


[ Parent ]
Good idea. (0.00 / 0)
And if primaries fail, what then?  The logical course would be to go with genuinely progressive independents, but far too many Democrats are content to shut up and support their party's candidate against the Republican.  We have to have strong third party candidates ready to go as a fall-back if primaries fail.  And for primaries to work, we must first fully vet our candidates.  This means ensuring that their political records match their lofty rhetoric.  I submit the following criteria:

1.) Does the candidate unequivocally take progressive positions on issues such as single-payer, prosecuting high-ranking criminals, ending the wars, cleaning up the environment, strengthening laws and regulations to curb the excesses of big businesses, and so forth?

2.) Does the candidate give definitive answers to questions, such as yes or no, or does he or she dodge answers?

3.) Does the candidate's record reflect his or her campaign rhetoric?

4.) What is the candidate's reason for running?  Is it about power, or is it about stepping up to fulfill a duty the major party candidates haven't?

There may be more criteria that must be met, but these are a good start.  The main thing is that we judge candidates by how well they stack up when their records are compared to a progressive platform (see my previous two entries regarding that topic) and base support or denial thereof on that.  If a primary challenge fails to convince a right-wing incumbent to get with the program, we have to be willing to embrace a third party candidate with the aim of forcing the Democrat to the left.



[ Parent ]
since candidates, under our system, tend to run for 'their own' reasons (4.00 / 1)
or because they feel like they're next in line, and can self-finance, at least partially, and can afford to take a few months off to campaign... it makes sense to find wholly new faces, both for primary and general campaigns, and begin doing it right now.

people who are 'next in line' are the ones you generally don't want.  they will often already be club members in the sense that they feel privileged to tell you what they think you want, and when elected, take the big money and do as they're told.

to know that you've properly vetted some of these people you really need to make sure they are your own people, like you said, from the beginning, not folks who have already been initiated into the privileged fraternity/sorority of the elect before you talk to them.

but still, this is something you just about have to start on right now.

"If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other people, then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding..."
Zora Neale Hurston


[ Parent ]
Exactly. (0.00 / 0)
I don't trust politicians who won't answer simple yes-or-no questions with yes-or-no answers, and I absolutely do not trust any candidate who WANTS to run for office.  No one who wants power is to be trusted.  If I ever run for public office beyond precinct committeeman (I've been one since 2006), I'll do it because I don't see anyone else up to the job running for it.  I wouldn't hold any illusions about my chances, but at least I'd be out there saying what needs to be said.

I live in Cuyahoga County in Ohio.  It's a strong Democratic Party base, and its bosses are very powerful (though Jimmy Dimora is under investigation by the FBI and may end up being forced out as party chairman).  Nevertheless, it's very difficult to find disillusioned people to go against the party machine here.  They are fed up with the Democrats, but they fear going against them.  Even talking about third parties causes them to revert to their brainwash-induced hatred of Ralph Nader in particular and third parties in general.  I'm not running for re-election as a precinct committeeman next year as a Democrat.  I'd love to form a local chapter of the Progressive Party here, but I don't know anyone willing to make the leap.  Any ideas?



[ Parent ]
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