Tag Archives: glibness

Buffalo News’ Glibertorial Can F Off

20 Nov
Presidential Arrival
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

The Buffalo News’ weekly Saturday editorial glibfest:

IT’S THE PRODUCT: Perhaps the most ludicrous argument being advanced by the president and Democrats is that the country’s rejection of policies like Obamacare is due to his failure to properly describe the programs and their benefits. Well . . . no.

If ever there was a failed concept to try to sell to the American people, this was it. Obama is as skilled a communicator as any president we’ve had. His presentations, in content and delivery, are unsurpassed. The truth is that the policies themselves have backfired. It isn’t how he said it; it’s what he did.

First of all, if it is the product, that must explain the ongoing, precipitous decline of the daily broadsheet in a one-paper town.

Secondly, what policies have “backfired”, precisely? “Policies like Obamacare” is what’s cited, but there’s no specificity here. Are we suggesting that the stimulus didn’t work? Perhaps it wasn’t as effective as sold, but there’s no doubt that governmental pump-priming of the economy helped bring about the last several quarters’ worth of economic growth, thus de jure ending the recession, if not in spirit.

The stimulus which, among other things, subsidized COBRA so that the unemployed could at least make an attempt at affording to keep their health care coverage? The extension of unemployment benefits so that people looking for work can continue to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families in a jobless recovery? And what of this jobless recovery, eh? By Republican arguments, it ought not exist, since the rich have their much-beloved Bush tax cuts. And as we all know, a reduction in the highest marginal tax rate from 39% to 35% is the difference between socialism and capitalism; it is the difference between Stalin and Reagan; it is the very mechanism by which all jobs are created by the superwealthy. Odd that this hasn’t materialized.

And “Obamacare” – perhaps the Buffalo News is so flush with cash that the medical insurance-middleman status quo was working alright for them, but the system is unnecessarily expensive, comparatively inefficient, produces poor statistical results, and involves the enrichment of completely unnecessary middlemen who add nothing to the health care equation whatsoever. So, what President Obama implemented didn’t go as far as Hillarycare would have in the 90s, instead opting for what is, in essence, a Republican plan initiated in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney.

But because it was Obama pushing it, the Republicans derided everything as a communard takeover of the entire healthcare industry by the federal government – a damned and contemptible lie. They blocked it every step of the way in keeping with their “we hope Obama fails, and our singular purpose is to make it so” obstructionism.

In the meantime, rescission is illegal, lifetime maximums are abolished, copays for well visits will be nil, and mechanisms will be put in place to make health insurance more affordable.

Unfortunately for everyone, the United States remains alone in the industrialized world by not guaranteeing health care as a right for all its citizens. Every other country had this civic discussion, and formulated a wide variety of solutions to make sure that health care is provided well and affordably. They all do it better and more effectively than we. The product? The product is that we picked a half-assed semi-solution to the health care issue, avoiding bringing about real change. This is thanks to the reactionary right wing of the Republican Party, which more or less opted out of governmental participating altogether over the past couple of years and is quite satisfied with the status quo.

To me, national Republicans are embodied in, and reflected by, incoming Congressman Andy Harris from Maryland – a physician who ran on a “repeal Obamacare” platform.

He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.

“Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap,” added the aide, who was struck by the similarity to Harris’s request and the public option he denounced as a gateway to socialized medicine.

Harris, a Maryland state senator who works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and several hospitals on the Eastern Shore, also told the audience, “This is the only employer I’ve ever worked for where you don’t get coverage the first day you are employed,” his spokeswoman Anna Nix told POLITICO.

Exactly. Have a great weekend.