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The One Paragraph that Sums it all up

This is the blurb on the frontpage of the NYTimes about the Romney-Ryan plan vs the Obama administration on the issue of Medicare:

President Obama and his campaign are arguing that the Romney-Ryan approach to Medicare would leave older Americans vulnerable to rising health care costs.

I’ll bet that when the writer wrote that paragraph he or she had no real insight about what they were talking about.  It’s just the zeitgeist. There doesn’t seem to be an epiphany here.  Why are health care costs continuing to rise?  How is it that our elected representatives have allowed these costs to rise without restraint? And it fails to put the blame where it belongs, especially when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. The biggest failure here is Obama’s because he and the Democrats have been unwilling or unable to prevent health care costs from rising to unsustainable levels.

And let us be clear about this, we have known that the rise in health care costs would be unsustainable, a deficit hog and a drag on the economy since the Clinton administration.  But the Republicans flooded the airwaves with Harry and Louise and the Democrats were too craven to stand their ground.

It doesn’t matter whether the Republicans restructure or eliminate Medicare or not.  The costs will keep on rising because we have done absolutely nothing to stop them from rising. The costs related to Medicare must be addressed.  There are painful ways of doing it, like the Romney-Ryan plan that would boot old people back into the private insurance market when they can least afford it, or there are less painful ways but expanding the insurance pool and putting a firm cap on the cost and types of procedures that will be covered, just like every other developed country in the world with good health care systems do.

What we have here is a failure of leadership.  We do not have a president or Congress who is willing or able to make a case for sensible reforms or is willing to say that Americans have to get over their ego and misinformed sense of superiority problem.  A good doctor can be found in many places including hospitals that serve the poor and the military, higher costs do not necessarily equal better care, you don’t need to go to a swanky hospital for good treatment, some alternative medicine is crap and we shouldn’t be paying for it, and the hospitals and other providers are not entitled to every last penny in the Treasury just because they send us an invoice.

But whatever.  Neither party has any intention of taking on the real problems associated with healthcare.  Neither wants to tell the public like it is or get the providers’ hands out of what they perceive to be bottomless pockets.

Your politicians at work.  Wake me in 2014.

The Cerebral Team

I wonder how Obama (IQ off the charts) and his administration (super smart) would have dealt with Health Care if they hadn’t learned from the terrible, horrible, rookie mistakes from the not-ready-for prime time, bumbling Clinton team.

Any thoughts? This is an open thread



UPDATE

Commenter Edgeoforever just went into her treasure trove and came out with this gem:

Daschle: Anything but Clinton

They might sit side-by-side in Barack Obama’s Cabinet room someday, but Tom Daschle didn’t much like Hillary Clinton’s tactics for fixing health care 15 years ago – so much so that he wrote a book critiquing them.

Now as Obama’s point-person on health care, Daschle’s approach is a simple philosophy of ABC – Anything But Clinton – that he’ll start to lay out at his confirmation hearing Thursday for secretary of health and human services.

Daschle wants an overhaul plan moving on Capitol Hill by spring. Clinton waited almost a full year. Daschle wants lawmakers to take the lead in drafting it. Clinton kept the job inside the White House.

Perhaps the biggest change: Daschle is planning a major grassroots push to build public support for his plan outside Washington, possibly with spokesman-in-chief Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN at the helm as surgeon general. Clinton let opponents carry the day with their famed “Harry and Louise” TV spots.

“It is just a world of difference in so many ways,” said Sheila Burke, the chief of staff to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) from 1986 to 1996, who followed Clinton’s process. “You’ve got people paying close attention to what those lessons were, and they have already avoided some of the missteps.”

Some lessons these guys have learned!