Rush the Wall Street Bailout, But Don't "Rush" Health Care?

by: David Sirota

Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 14:10


I just want to make one really quick follow-up point to my last post. Anyone remember when Wall Street started melting down? Anyone remember how the entire Washington Establishment said we had to immediately hand about $12 trillion over to the financial industry no questions asked - and how that same Washington Establishment attacked progressives for trying to slow things down just a wee bit?

Today, many of those Washington Establishment voices are precisely the same people who now insist we cannot "rush" a $1 trillion health care reform package through Congress. After pushing a $12 trillion no-strings-attached handout to Wall Street, they actually insist that they don't want to "rush" health care because of it's price tag.

And so, I'm wondering - has anyone bothered to ask those same bailout backers why they said we had to rush $12 trillion out to Wall Street, but we shouldn't "rush" health care reform for the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, and the 22,000 who die every year because of that reality?

I mean, even if you subscribe to the empirically absurd notion that debating health care for 64 years is a "rush," this is a pretty simple line of questioning: How was handing $12 trillion to Wall Street over the course of 10 days of legislative debate the right kind of thing to rush, but spending $1 trillion on universal health care after a 64-year debate the wrong kind of thing to "rush?"

David Sirota :: Rush the Wall Street Bailout, But Don't "Rush" Health Care?

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We need to smoke the powers out (0.00 / 0)
We need more people to support Bernie Sanders S.604 and Ron Paul's HR.1207 so that we can do a real audit of the Fed and see what the hell they are doing with our money.

well (0.00 / 0)
Though I agree with you about the "rush" argument being specious, there's an obvious difference between the two cases:

Health care in the country isn't going to get appreciably worse if we delay a month or six months or a year.  It sucks now, it will suck roughly the same amount then.

The same could not be said for Wall Street.  The argument there was that there was a substantial chance of catastrophic, systemic failure in the coming weeks if something wasn't done quickly.  Whether you agree with that view or not, it was the prevailing opinion in Washington (and one held by many economists as well).

No one is arguing that health care is on the brink of collapse, so there's not the same sense of urgency.  


Tell that to 22,000 people who will die (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
you missed my point (0.00 / 0)
Yes, if we don't do anything those 22,000 will die.  Last year those 22,000 people died.  Same with the year before.  And so on.

My point isn't that what we have now is fine.  Like I said, it sucks, and needs to be fixed.  The issue is that it's not getting substantially worse, so there's little urgency to changing the status quo.

If there was a chance that 10x the number of people would become uninsured in the next couple weeks -- a similar catastrophic-style failure to what we thought was possible in the banking industry last fall -- you'd see a lot more urgency on the matter.

It's urgent on the individual basis, yes.  But there's not systemic risk the way there was with Wall Street.  That's the difference.


[ Parent ]
most will perish at that rate at least another 3 years anyway under the Obama plan (0.00 / 0)
cause it doesn't cover even a fraction of the uninsured till 2013, remember?  After the next presidential election?  that's just inexcusable.  LBJ implemented Medicare for forty million seniors from scratch in 11 months back in 1965, before they even had computers.  the president of change and his party could do better, but have decided not to.  that's it and that's all.

so it's not like we are choosing between inaction and a lifesaving Democratic plan.  our real-world choice is between a Democratic sham, and something else we are trying to discern here.

why shouldn't we let this thing die for the year, shoot for next year while running a combination of primary challenges and third party races against Dems and Repubs who stand in the way of single payer (or some imaginary scheme, if you can come up with one) that actually everybody from day one and saves those lives, holds the costs down, create jobs and lifts this terrible burden of insecurity off our necks.


"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 ]
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