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Sunday, July 26, 2009

GOP Health Care "Strategy"

Hunter writes:

The GOP goal is to kill healthcare reform outright; their strategists are saying as much. Not to kill single payer or a public option, but to kill the whole notion of reform. The legislators tasked with coming up with alternative plans declared, this last week, that none were needed; Senator Inhofe muses out loud about how much his party might be helped if they can manage to stop reform outright.

I suppose it is worth pondering the how and the why of such things. Do they earnestly believe that there's absolutely nothing that needs to be done about health care in this country? Are they so transparently in the pockets of the lobbyists that they are willing make a bold stand on "everything is fine", when a mere look out the window says it's not?

It's puzzling that such a stance could even be remotely effective. Everybody in America seems to hate their insurance provider, at least everyone who has ever had to use it because they actually got sick. Everybody knows how bad getting actual healthcare has become in this country; everybody has stories of being screwed roundly by their insurance, or not being able to get insurance in the first place, or knows someone else who has had worse experiences.

And yet even in something with such widespread support, all you have to do to foul up the works is (1) invoke partisan pride, so that all the other conservatives or Republicans will simply oppose whatever-it-is out of reflex, and (2) make up a bunch of scary-sounding bullcrap, much of it provided by the insurance companies themselves, and hork it up on television via friendly hosts and anchors. (And again -- transparently. The very same scary-sounding phrases or made-up statistics make it into twenty or fifty or a hundred different political and pundit mouths in a single day, with not even an attempt to disguise the obvious commonality of the source.)

Consider it: this is all it takes to possibly stop something that has, what, 80 or 85% of the public behind it. And it's yet another example of how a single industry, spending not all that much money in the grand scheme of things, can very, very easily counter the collective will of the entire population. And how entrenched the notion is, among the majority of politicians, and pundits, and anchors, and political hangers-on, that that's not only fine but the way things should work.

link: Daily Kos: The System At Work


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