"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Senate Offers 23 Million Lumps of Coal

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From Huffington Post by Jason Linkins:

. . . .And the fact is, if the Senate language survives to be signed into law, America will still be in the throes of a massive health care crisis that will need to be reformed with all immediate haste. This is evident in this portion of a graphic created by Igor Volsky, promoting the virtues of the Senate bill:

[The word "reform" sort of belongs in scare-quotes, frankly.]

As you can see, by treading right up to the line set by Joe Lieberman, the Senate leaves 23 million Americans without insurance. No one is hallucinating this! And unless Volsky is saying that the 23 million who will remain uninsured represent an acceptable number of needless deaths, I'm sure he'd agree that this means that America will still be in dire need of health care reform on the very next day after "health care reform" is signed into law.

But the problem is, after the health care bill is signed, all of the momentum to reform the system is going to drain away. Legislators will have come through what will be regarded as a grueling fight that they won't be too keen on taking up again. The president is likely to celebrate the event as a momentous historical accomplishment instead of doing the right thing -- offering the correct and sober assessment that his efforts led to a bill that is sorely lacking.

And the media, embodied by simps like John Harwood, will declare the matter settled and get on with the process of writing the stories they are good at writing -- who won and who lost politically in the health care fight. The historical achievement of politicians will outweigh the matter of how that supposed achievement falls on those 23 million uninsured.

If you want to know who is really drug-addled, it's anyone who seriously believes that the John Harwoods, Chris Matthewses, Jon Meachams and Fred Hiatts of the world give a tinned shit about how this legislation actually affects real Americans. If you don't stand to gain or lose political capital, you just don't show up in their reporting.

And so, all the "bill-killers" hope to achieve here is the maintenance of the very real urgent needs of their fellow citizens, before everyone rushes to drown themselves in the waters of Lethe.

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