Stop the Pres-----I mean Senate!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005
When Harry Reid closed the Senate to the public yesterday my first thought was "I guess they're going to put Libby on double secret probation." After all, invocation of Senate Rule 21 is generally done with the consent of both parties and Frist might theoretically have offered Reid the opportunity to grab one more closing headline. Instead, showing the Dems almost comical ability to continue to drill holes in the hull of their sinking ship in order to let the water out more quickly, Reid desperately tried to call attention to a report that would already be in the public record but for his own party's intransigence. Senator Pat Roberts has to be more than a little miffed at Reid's stunt and will hopefully shove the Phase II report down the Dem's throat in the very near future.

So, how did Reid's ploy turn out? Did he give another day's existence to a story that's been on life support for months? If we take a look at Max Boot's article in the LAT or Jonah Goldberg's piece at Town Hall we might reach the conclusion that Reid's action did not have precisely the desired result. For some reason, every time the Dems drill another hole, even more water rushes into boat. Given that the gunwhales are within an inch of the waterline today, that will soon change. Drilling holes in the hull will soon have no effect on the water level within the Democratic ship whatsoever.

14 comments:

David Thomson said...

The near certainty of Samuel Alito’s confirmation is the last straw. The Democratic Party’s radical leftists, its core supporters, are extremely upset. They are not so gently demanding action from their elected officials. Harry Reid is a desperate man---and such individuals often do stupid things. It is idiotic for Reid to focus attention on the reasons behind our invasion of Iraq. He’s counting on the Republican hating MSM to help him, but their own power and influence is rapidly declining. Reid will severely regret this decision before the month is over.

David Thomson said...

I also should mention that I believe the “Gang of 14” is beneficial to the Republicans. It was helpful to allow the red state Democratic senators to save face. Samuel Alito’s smooth and easy confirmation process seems to support my theory. Might I still be proven wrong? Oh yes, we will not for sure until the next Supreme Court nominee is picked. That’s when the proverbial bovine excrement will really hit the fan!

Rick Ballard said...

David,

What other cards do they have in their hand? I didn't like the prescription drug giveaway, I don't think it was necessary at all but I understand the politics involved. The Reps just took that card out of the Dems hand.

What other "social problem" is laying around and subject to a proposed statist cure? The media is preternaturally silent about the economy, which means it's humming like a well tuned Ferrari, what's left? Underfunding of NCLB? Going after that will reopen the voucher issue and the Dems can't stand that debate.

They don't have any "winning" cards and are stuck with "we're not them" as a rallying cry. That ain't a product that I would be eager to bring to market.

Syl said...

Well, one issue I'd like to see some movement on is the cost of health insurance.

Mine is almost as much as my rent.

When the end of the month comes and I don't have money left for food, sometimes I just want to chuck the whole policy and let someone else worry about it.

I'm not kidding.

Rick Ballard said...

Syl,

Are you willing to give up your choice of doctors and accept a lower level of care in order to save money? Are you prepared to "wait in line" for tratments that may be rationed?

If not, why is the additional cost of your preferences better born by your fellow citizens rather than you? Are you willing to accept the responsibility for the cost of lifestyle choices made by you at an early age which have an impact on the cost of your medical treatment? (That's a pure hypothetical and not to be taken personally.) Because at some point in the rationing system required to provide fewer services at lower costs bureaucrats will decide that society should not bear the burdensome cost of your early poor choices and you will be moved down the list of those approved for treatment.

Every disadvantage I've listed occurrs today under "state managed" health care systems in other countries and will occurr here in one form or another if "free" health care is provided.

Syl said...

Well, your boilerplate answer won't help me. There's nothing wrong with me that has anything to do with 'early lifestyle choices' so get off that talking point.

First I didn't say anything about free health care as anything I think the government should provide. I said my premiums are so high that I'm in danger of not being able to pay them. You're assuming way too much.

My coverage chose the slate of doctors I could go to. That was changed recently by the insurer in VA. I've researched this a bit because I've become almost desparate. I only have found I could save $50/month by much reducing coverage in areas that because of my age and family history I do not wish to ignore.

There certainly must be things the government can do to help, such as restrict frivolous suits on doctors. I didn't say I wanted a Democrat sponsored solution, I meant that there could be discussion so that the Rep's would get off their butts and do something that helps, yet fits their philosophy.

ex-democrat said...

is not the problem here (once again) down to bad faith and a biased MSM? after all, on the surface, it would seem to be reasonable to ask the question "Once they received the intelligence, did members of the administration accurately and honestly portray it to the American people?"

Fresh Air said...

Rick--

The entirety of the Democrat leadership is waiting for Her Royal Highness to emerge and lead them. I would give them about another six months before she starts making postion-paper-sounding speeches and pontificating on subjects she knows little about--like health care, for example.

So where does that leave them? Beats me. They could move to the right of the Republicans on immigration, though that boat will be sailing soon (witness Bush's evident change of heart last week). They could push the eco-green line, but again, with gas prices going through the roof that doesn't show much promise. Raise taxes? Forget about it. Affirmative action? Now hard anodized by Sandra Day--nothing left to do for 25 years.

Truly what is left? What is available that unites their disparate collection of rent-seeking malcontents? Opposition to the war may be the most common denominator, but it's not going to win them any converts and it looks sillier the more time passes and things improve on the ground in Iraq--not to mention pointless.

I'm guessing they'll try something really off the wall, like resurrecting the ERA.

Knucklehead said...

I don't know exactly how this side thread of "health care" got started but it's a topic I enjoy. We're not going to even begin to solve the issues involved in the "high cost of health care" or the "high cost of health care insurance" until we start recognizing it as a supply and demand problem that has both personal and national implications.

If we are going to demand ever increasing levels of "health" and commensurate "health care" we're going to have to increase the supply of "health care providers". To do that we'll need to recognize that we cannot relentlessly choke down on the potential income from "providing health care" as a career while at the same time relentlessly ratcheting up the cost of entering the "career" and the cost of liability once it is entered.

Furthermore we need to recognize that we don't treat the payment of health care services like any other service provisioning we (or at least me) can think of. We want to treat "health care insurance" as a form of "payment plan" rather than as insurance which is, in almost all other cases, a financial protection plan for dealing with unusual and "catastrophic" conditions.

Furthermore we need to recognize (IMHO anyway) that some of the plant involved in the delivery of health care may need to be treated as "national infrastructure" and funded from the treasury. If we view highways, bridges, ports, and such as infrastructure it isn't evident to me why we don't treat the plant normally associated with hospitals as such.

Furthermore we need to recognize that, as with "retirement", we all have increasing expectations of what constitutes "acceptable" levels of welfare (I don't mean welfare in the statist payments sense here) and, therefore, we each need to provision for it to meet, at least to some reasonable degree, or own expectations. We need "health care savings accounts" similar to retirement accounts so that we can stash and grow financial resources while we're younger to finance our demands when we're older.

I hate to use the term "holistic" but that's the approach we need to take to begin to unravel the systemic issues surrounding "health care". Single payer systems yield rationing (artificial demand reduction) and price controls. Price controls reduce supply. What we need, instead, is increased supply to reduce prices. To get increased supply we need reduced barriers to entry as well as reduced costs once entered. To reduce those costs we need to accept that "health care" is not a precision science and cannot have unlimited liability and we cannot view every screwup (or even perceived screwup) in service delivery as some sort of winning lottery ticket for the "victim".

All JMO, of course ;)

David Thomson said...

"They could move to the right of the Republicans on immigration."

That will never happen. Democrats may be in an even more awkward predicament than the Republicans. Both parties risk displeasing the hard core leftist Hispanics. When push comes to shove, however, only the GOP will bite the bullet. Hispanics who favor control of the border are already likely to vote Republican.

Rick Ballard said...

Syl,

"(That's a pure hypothetical and not to be taken personally.)" meant what it says. I've smoked for forty years and will be denied a lung transplant on that basis should the need ever arise. Your assertion of "boilerplate" is unfounded as I've never written on healthcare before. What I wrote was what I thought of as I contemplated what government "provision" of health care has meant in countries where it is "provided".

I watch premiums increase as the services provided decrease the same as you do. While restricting law suits may provide some help (and I would certainly support loser pays costs for our tort system) I don't think that it will have the type of impact necessary to lower costs by more than five percent.

I wouldn't care which side proposed a solution - if it involves the state, the questions I raised would have to be answered before I would consider supporting it.

RogerA said...

Maybe its time for yet another health care in the US thread! When I went back for my PhD 10 years ago, my secondary field area was health care administration. after taking the requisite 24 hours of course work, I realized just what an impossible system we have in the US. The hardest job going has to be hospital administator--In fact, in Grant County WA our four local hospitals have gone through 4 CEOs in the past year. Has to be the hardest job in the US right now.

Syl, I am sympathetic on the issue of health care insurance--at the risk of incurring your ever lasting hatred, I will tell you that my health care through TRICARE/CHAMPUS (military/retired mil) costs me 215.00 A YEAR, with a 12 dollar copay, and no deductible. I add my long suffering spouse for an additional 215.00 a year.
That is one hell of a disparity between a government program and those on private programs.
The downside is, that in 10 short months, I have to go on medicare.

Peter UK said...

A bit like Wile E.Coyote,without the charm.

terrye said...

re health care.

I see this every day and I know people who spend hundreds of dollars each month on medicine and some of those people are living on less than a thousand a month.

So I guess whether or not you view it as necessary depends on whether you are making choices between dinner and your blood thinner.

My health insurance has doubled in the past year. I know people who have given it up because they can not afford the premiums.

This is an area in which Republicans are vulnerable and Bush knows that. That is what the drug plan was all about.