Monday, July 20, 2009

Band-Aids, Placebos, And Snake-Oil Politicians

Sure, something has to be done about health care. Agreed, it is a national problem, and indeed a disgrace. The question remains, what and how-and of course at what cost.

I find it interesting that, forty years after the Chappaquiddick Incident that derailed the presidential aspirations of Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Kennedy penned a rather long and thoughtful, though arduous and yet somewhat simplistic article in the latest edition of Newsweek.

It is rather telling to peruse the comments section of the article. I know it can not be considered a scientific sampling of American public opinion on the issue, but at the same time, it bears mention that you practically need a divining rod to ferret out those who actually support the current proposal making its way through Congress. At last check, it was probably going about ten-to-one AGAINST.

I was very surprised at this, because I assumed Newsweek's readers to make up close to an accurate measurement of the political landscape in terms of percentages. If anything, I would guess their readership would be skewered more toward left-of-center. Nor is it very likely that this is a case of a concerted effort by far-right wingers to purposely skewer the discussion to their favor. Out of all the many comments that I perused-and they were a considerable number-only one mentioned the Kopechne case. That in itself is amazing seeing as to the timing of Kennedy's article, in which he waxes somewhat eloquently about the health problems of himself and various family members, and how this supposedly inspired him to work tirelessly on behalf of poorer families who could not afford the health care or insurance he himself enjoyed.

He goes out of his way to paint himself as a man willing to work with both sides of the debate to come to an accord, while admitting that no one will get everything they want.

Well, evidently not too many people want what Kennedy is selling, and they are getting more and more vocal about it. Will it be enough to derail the legislation? Probably not entirely. I am almost sure there will be some kind of bill, though it will undoubtedly be pared down considerably.

Note I said almost sure. When the governors of the states balk at your plan, you have the makings of a serious potential states rights revolt, with not a few Democrats joining in the fray opposed to any possibility of any more unfunded mandates, such as No Child Left Behind, another signature Teddy Kennedy "achievement".