Lack of Content Warning

This site is not for children. It contains coarse language and humor and complex social and political analysis. If your child reads this blog, then you have a weird kid. Congratulations. We need more weird kids, our Nation's future depends upon them.

Seriously, do some parenting. It's not my job.

.....................................................................................................Lack of Content Warning.............................................................................................................. I have been tasked with pointing out the blindingly obvious to those readers who have never heard of hyperbole or encountered humor in their day to day lives. The Angry Redneck Liberal is a character. A literary device by which I share my sincere policy views through the persona of a (usually, but not always) loud, profane, extreme and often-times offensive character. No one in their right mind takes his outrageous comments at face value. Rational, intelligent adults accept his schtick as an integral part of what makes him an (occasionally) entertaining read. Sometimes, a shocking statement is necessary to make a point, focus the reader's attention on a preceding point or (more often than not) just to get a cheap laugh. I made the Angry Redneck Liberal for that reason, and he performs his task admirably. I stand by every position I have put forth here. I hope you find it to be both a source of humor and food for thought.

Friday, May 6, 2011

March: Repeal and Replace! April: Repeal! May: Modify! June: ???

          Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said today that plans to repeal the Patient Affordability and Protection Act of 2010 are "dead".  Admitting that the Senate will not bring the Repeal to a vote, he concedes that it is not going to happen.  He now says that Republicans will put their efforts into repealing the so-called "Individual Mandate", which stipulates that all Americans be covered by Health Insurance.

          I heard the phrase "Repeal and Replace" a lot last year, but it hasn't come up in a while.  In fact, since Republicans took control of the House in January, the "Replace" part of their campaign platform hasn't gotten too much in the way of coverage.  It's possible that the "Replace" part of their plan was to replace Medicare and Medicaid with the steaming pile of shit outlined in the budget proposal they passed last month, but I'm not buying it.  They never had a fuckin' clue as how to make good on their promises and I bet they thank God every day that the Democratic-controlled Senate is there to keep them from actually having to admit that fact.

          The last time Republicans actually offered up a plan to reform Health Care in this country was during Clinton's first term.  Their staunch opposition to "HillaryCare" led them to offer an acceptable, though rejected, plan of their own.  That plan is basically the one that Democrats passed last year.  Both offer vouchers for lower-income Americans, both set up a National Purchasing Exchange, and , oh yeah, BOTH HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

          The Individual Mandate is the lynch pin upon which near-universal and guaranteed coverage hinges.  Insurance is pretty much a near-zero sum game.  In any insurance plan, you need around an 80/20 split between healthy policy holders and policy holders who need treatment in order for the plan to remain solvent.  The propensity of young, healthy individuals to forego insurance makes insuring everyone, regardless of their health, a dangerous business model.  You would think that any group of legislators as firmly in bed with corporate America as the Republicans would recognize this.  Hell, they used to.  Now, all they can come up with is "Individual Liberties", "Tort Reform", "Inter-State Competition" (Do the words Delaware Banking Regulations and Race-To-The-Bottom ring any bells?) and, of course, "Tax Cuts".

          Hell, the nearest thing they currently have to a Presidential front-runner (it's still early, I know) achieved near-universal coverage in Massachusetts during his tenure as that state's Governor by championing and signing an Individual Mandate-including Health Care Bill into law.  The mandates in Gingrich/Romney/Obamacare are a sound fiscal part of a necessary national policy.  Don't believe me? (It's OK, I don't blame you, I'm just some asshole with a blog.)  In 2009, when they thought Health Care Reform was being pushed by ideologically-driven, not-in-the-least-bit-a-bunch-of-pussies Democratic Senators, Health Insurance companies came out and stated that they would be thrilled, THRILLED, I SAY!!, to accept everyone, regardless of pre-existing condition, into their fold if only Congress would pass a law "mandating" that everyone purchase coverage.  They looked at their business model and saw the way through.  Luckily for them, they still got it and I am glad that they did.  If our government doesn't see fit to compete with private insurers by offering a Public Option, they shouldn't intentionally fuck them out of business by making them cover every sick person without a healthy pool of paying customers to back it up.

          Oh my God, I just figured it out!  In order to make themselves out to be the Champions of the Citizenry, Republicans are intentionally sabotaging Health Care Reform in its current state to ultimately bring down the entire Private Insurance Industry!  They are willing to let the Public think that they are just a bunch of brainless assholes whose only legislative agenda is to somehow deny the President a "win" while, in actuality, they are gunning for the Holy Grail of Public Policy itself:  SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!  They don't want a "Strong Public Option", they want to dismantle the entire industry itself and offer cradle-to-the-grave coverage for every American!  It's a bold gamble, I'll admit, but it could work!  If it does, they will be venerated for generations to come.  I stand in awe of their bold vision and wish them luck.

Oh, wait.  I'm pretty sure they're just Assholes.
Tim

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