HCToday: Democracy Is Sick, Woops, A New Anti-Public Option Poll

Ezra Klein is seemingly all over the map with his latest post It Is Democracy, Not Health-Care Reform, That Is Sick. Too start with

As Josh Marshall says, we’ve reached a point in the health-care reform discussion where logic has fallen apart. Consider, for instance, Danielle Allen’s op-ed this morning. Discussing the insistence of some that health-care reform will result in rationing and death panels, Allen chides those who respond with an accurate description of the legislation. “One can’t answer them by saying: ‘These policies won’t ration; there will be no death panels,'” she writes. Instead, reformers must detail the “institutional checks that will prevent the emergence” of death panels and rationing.

See, the problem that he and the other Democrats who support the government option miss is that the details are never offered. Lots of empty promises, lots of political platitudes (such as “this will save money” and “it won’t add to the deficit”) are bandied about, but, no supporter actually can say HOW these bills will save money. So, what are people to think other than rationing and denial of service? Oh, and the so-called death panels, which, yes, is an exaggeration, are in teh House bill, section 1233, which puts the discussions on end of life care into the hands of doctors, and incentivizes them to discuss it. Read the bill, Ezra et all!

The fact that an idea as loony as death panels has found even the slightest purchase in the public consciousness shows how distant the minority feels from our democracy. Members of Congress are terrified of voter backlash and industry opposition……

It’s not just the minority, Ezra, but, most Americans that feel divorced from our democracy, or, to be more precise, from the government that is supposed to be responsive to the People, rather than their own special interests and the people who make big donations. So, yes, Members of Congress should be terrified of voter backlash.

….Similarly, the relationship between the protesters and the government is not healthy. The protesters believe the government capable of madness. There is no evidence for that claim, which means that there is no answer for it, either. That claim is not about what is in this bill, or what government has done in Medicare and Medicaid and the VA. It is about what a certain slice of Americans think their government — and by extension, their fellow citizens — capable of.

If the government was responsive to the People, and listened, instead of trying to ramrod the 4th massively unpopular piece of legislation in less that a year (TARP, Stimulus, Waxman-Markey) through without reading it nor allowing real debate, there wouldn’t be this problem with town halls and *GASP* average Americans raising their voices in exercise of their 1st Amendment Rights of Free Speech and redress of grievance.

We do not trust our government. Name one thing the government does well? Other than money, that is kinda tough, eh? Think about a government that set up a system where you are presumed guilty till you are proven innocent (IRS.) Are you thrilled with the postal service? Just today, Obama said Fedex and UPS are better than the USPS. Welfare? Please. Medicaid and Medicare? Not even close. Sure, some of the federal agencies do well, such as the FBI, NSA, Forestry Service, the military, but, they still spend enormous amounts of money. Oh, and the military is actually in the Constitution. Health care isn’t.

And, since most of us have read actual parts of the legislation, we do know what is in it, hence

Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan. That’s down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that opposition to the plan has increased to 53%, up nine points since late June.

More significantly, 44% of voters strongly oppose the health care reform effort versus 26% who strongly favor it. Intensity has been stronger among opponents of the plan since the debate began.

Must be because Democracy is sick, eh? Hmm, sounds more like the Democrats plans to impose a means to single payer is moving from a regular hospital room to life support.

Marc Ambinder also seems to be blow smoke with his post How Conservatives Are Blowing Their Chance. Polls and public anger say otherwise.

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5 Responses to “HCToday: Democracy Is Sick, Woops, A New Anti-Public Option Poll”

  1. RD Weaver says:

    My first visit to this site. Don’t you edit what you write before posting it to make sure you haven’t played fast and loose with the facts and unsupported opinions?

    For example- you repeat something I have heard going around lately- that members of Congress are trying to ramrod a law through without reading it first. Or maybe you are saying that supporters of health care reform have not read it because it is over 1,000 pages. Don’t know where you went to school but reading large, complex documents is a fact of life for many of us. So stop the flim flam about no one reading the bills that will be voted on for a start.

    Am I thrilled with the Post Office? I just wrote a letter to Aunt Minnie who lives in a tiny hamlet in a far off rural state and I took it to the US Post Office and told them to deliver this letter to her within a few days-doesn’t matter that she lives 500 miles from anywhere- doesn’t matter if it’s raining, sleeting, or hailing- I expect my letter to get there. Oh yeah, I gave them 44 cents to perform this service. I don’t know of any privately run business that will do that for Auntie and me…do you? Also, I can use Post Office services and, if I want, I can go to my nearest privately run FedEx and use their services as well. I have a choice and to my knowledge no one from the Post Office is trying to run Fed Ex, et al out of business. The fact is, our government has done a lot of things well and I will be glad to match example for example with you.

    Could go on and on but the real travesty going on here is this “death panel/euthanasia” bit. Having lost a parent recently, I can tell you that end of life counseling services are valuable beyond measure to the person who is dying and to his family. As you know, from having read the legislation, the only item that is new here is a proposed provision that Medicare would cover the expense of such counseling once in any five year period. Why don’t you anti-reform guys have the decency to just leave this alone? After all, this death panel garbage may just kill the idea that is in the bill and deprive many who may need help paying for these services. You took a baby step by saying that the death panel stuff is an exaggeration before you got all snarky about doctors being incentivized to provide the services (maybe plumbers should provide the services? Or maybe doctors should NOT get paid for their services?) Take a grown-ups step now and repudiate the euthanasia talk – please. I might need those services some day.

  2. RD, members of Congress have as much as said they do not read the legislation. No one had time to read the Stimulus, nor Waxman-Markey, nor the 300 page 3am addendum to W-M. Conyers laughed at the notion of reading what he votes for. Don’t you think there is a problem with voting for something you haven’t read? You read the contracts you sign, right? Yes, we read it. I have gone through most of the House bill. They don’t.

    As far as the Post Office goes, hey, Obama said it, not me.

    There is nothing wrong with end of life counseling. It is fine. BUT, the House bill MANDATES that doctors discuss it with patients, and are incentivezed to do so. Nowhere did I mention that they would push patients into euthanasia. Did you read what I wrote?

    • RD Weaver says:

      William, if Congressmen are not reading this particular bill it’s logical to conclude that they don’t read any of them so the point becomes moot. This should not be a reason to oppose health care reform unless you oppose anything Congress pass.

      Sounds like you agree that the Post Office ain’t such a bad deal after all and I would suggest that the “government does nothing right” canard be retired in the interests of clear thinking.

      There is nothing wrong with end of life counseling and from what I have seen in the legislation, the only thing that’s mandated is for Medicare to pay for these services no more than once in any five year period. You will have to show me where it is made mandatory for a patient to participate in end of life counseling if he or she does not wish to.

      I really like your site layout and design by the way. Arghh!

  3. I most vehemently must disagree, RD. If Congress Critters on both sides of the aisle are not reading the legislation that they vote on and affects peoples lives, there is a major problem. What in the heck are we electing them for? Heck, Henry Waxman didn’t even know most of what was in his own climate change bill. That should worry you. Worries the hell out of me.

    And ask yourself, if this was being done by the Republicans, would you be pissed off? I can say with 100% assurance that I would be.

    The government is not completely incompetent. They do do some good work, and there is a need for government. Personally, I am not too enamoured with the post office, but, with a little tweaking, it could be great again. Same with other offices.

    End of life couseling is fine, but, it should not involve the government, and certainly not with government mandates. It is between a doctor and his/her patient.

    Thanks for the kind words on the layout. Usually by this time, I am looking to change up, but, kinda like the way this one works, though, it is not perfect in Opera and older IE. Oh, well.

  4. RD Weaver says:

    William, please take another look at the first paragraph of my last comment. I am not saying that it’s OK for legislators to not read legislation upon which they will vote. I have no idea whether they read the bills or not- I hope they do. I also made no reference to Republicans or Democrats. I am saying that this problem- if it exists- (and I know what some Members have said. I also remember the kids in school with 4.0 averages who swore they never studied)…this problem has nothing to do with health care reform per se. If it’s a problem then it applies to every piece of legislation they pass so it does not make sense for health care reform to be criticized on this basis- it’s a totally different issue that would affect the bills you may like (Estate Tax repeal maybe) and the bills you may not like. In the context of the public “debate” over health care reform, it’s just more noise and the noise is a real problem in my opinion.

    End of life counseling- please show me where it is mandated for someone covered under Medicare to accept these types of services or where the services would be conducted by “government.” Only thing I have seen is a mandate for Medicare to cover the cost of the counseling- just like they would a broken hip- for any individual once in any five year period. My reading is that the doctors or other practitioners who provide this service would be paid but I thought they got paid for any of the services they provide.

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