Endgame. It is going to become the sound of inevitability. As our senators and congressmen thunder back from summer recess to D. C. for the start of the second session, that sound will be that Health Care is absolutely THE number one top priority. Period. Not only that, their jobs depend on it. Even the far right should realize that health care/health insurance and Medicaid/Medicare reform is coming. Whether they like it or not. The question has always been in what shape or form. I again suggest not as a lion, but as a lamb. A lamb with a big fucking hammer.
Let's review my previous predictions: The main bill is bloated and perhaps destined to fail. Except through the reconciliation process. Which would be a juicy process. BOOM goes the Hammer! Ferreting out all the hidden beneficiaries of the built in graft and loopholes of h.r.3200. It the only hope of saving this bill. I've suggested alternatives, a political bait-and-switch to more progressive bills as well. I've suggested that bipartisanship is dead, as if it was ever even alive in the first place. The GOP seems to have left the asylum to be run by the 'patients' and Nurse Michael "Ratchet" Steele. I've also suggested that since a simple majority won't be available because of circumstances on the part of BOTH sides of the aisle, whichever bill they choose will have to be put under the budget reconciliation hammer. BOOM goes the Hammer!
In short, our elected representatives, with their own good as gold private insurance will be 'earning' what we the people, the American taxpayer pay them to do, which is: work. Work for what the majority want. A Public Option. Singlepayer. Expand and reform Medicare if it's too much effort for you to re-invent the wheel again. Which is precisely what is happening at the moment... oh look, let's reinvent the wheel! Hey that wheel sure looks a lot like Medicare/Medicaid, doesn't it? If it was a snake, the idea would have bit them all on the ass by now.
If Medicaid/Medicare expansion and reform proves to be the wrong idea then at least by using the reconciliation model at the budget level you can go through everything with a fine toothed comb, dropping unnecessary or obstructive amendments like just so many nits. Then you squish them with the hammer. BOOM! Ultimately, in my opinion, it needs to go there. Imagine wave after wave of stimulus dollar funded flat panel screens everywhere, tuned to C-SPAN as they show the grueling blow-by-blow details of a budgetary fight. In both chambers! Senators having to teabag for themselves! Live from the house and senate... whew! It is not Watergate, but we have better modern production values, better visual effects. Plus, it would put all this recess nonsense to bed once and for all because the naysayers and obstructionists to the health care reform debate will have to declare themselves officially and on the record, not via shovel ready mass media soundbites and clown-like antics for the 'rubes' back home.
This fall it's either that or the live feed of the Iraq War Crimes trials from The Hague on C-SPAN3. Or that "Truth Commission" thing on C-SPAN2... hmm. Those can wait until January 2010, in my opinion. Get out the hammer, President Obama. Because it's hammer time. Time to hammer out some health care / health insurance reform.
With all that in mind and because originally I claimed I couldn't have said it better, because I can't -- I share Matt Taibbi and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) taking Maria Bartiromo to task for her debating on the "have" side of the column that reads "Do you have private insurance?" -- why yes you do, Maria. Congratulations! You're a full 5/5 of a human being. You get premium health care! At premium cost of course. While your co-workers rail about "the biggest re-distribution of wealth EVER" concerning Obama's plans for the future, none of you can even see that it already happened during the Bush/Cheney years with Paulson as the bagman? Amazing. Oh no, that's right -- you and some of your former hedge fund managing co-workers are now reaping the benefits of the financial raping of America, aren't you? Often even aiding and abetting, if I do say. Because I do. Say.
Those of us working poor -- without benefits, without insurance and without pensions politely applaud your stunning achievement, Maria Bartiromo. Now we would like to be able to buy some insurance, too. Something more pedestrian and five-figure-ish, please. Make it a public option, single payer, with no exclusions and no limitations. Then use it as an even BIGGER HAMMER as it becomes the largest private insurer in the nation and proves itself worthy enough to drive the profit motivated weasels out of the health care insurance business forever as it pounds, pounds away, straightening their bottom lines.