Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Taylor Marsh, after discussing the first anniversary of the health care "reform" law, known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with its effect on health care, and Sarah Palin's effect on the effort to pass it:
The only thing more unpopular and polarizing than Obama’s Affordability Care Act is the woman who helped scuttle Democratic efforts to make it successful.

One Year Later, People Still Hate the Affordability Care Act
While Palin's nonsensical criticisms of the ACA had little to do with what the bill turned out to be, her effect on it certainly does point out how stupid our national discourse has become. The woman isn't qualified to judge the merits of anything, as near as I can tell. She certainly never came up with a legitimate reason to object to the ACA. There were no death panels in the bill. It wasn't more expensive than what we had before, according to the most thorough estimates. It just shifted the burden of who pays for it. It didn't limit anyone's choices in health care any more than they were limited already. Yet this woman had a profound effect on the debate, for no more reason than that she seemed to share the same prejudices as the people who believed her.

The effort to pass this bill, though, shows something even more depressing than Palin's effect on America's vast reservoir of stupid people - it showed that progressives, as a group, can be just as stupid. Read that last paragraph. Notice how I keep saying how the ACA had no effect on this and that? That's the real problem here. The ACA had no effect on the cost of health care. It had no real effect on the choices that many of us have in that area, which are far too few. It expanded Medicaid eligibility, which is almost certainly going to be contracted again, thanks to the government's current "austerity" fetish. It fixed some problems with Medicare, including making a pass at fixing the drug benefits issue. Those changes might actually last, who knows.

On the whole then, it didn't fix much of anything, and it made us even more dependent on the component of our private health care that is its biggest failing - health insurance. It also effectively eliminated coverage for family planning services, thanks to the Stupak Amendment.

This is why progressive proved themselves to be stupid - this law didn't fix anything, if one takes it in total. The bad, at best, balances out the good, and I think I'm being very generous to put it that way. It is not, to quote the damn fools who said this, a step in the right direction. It's another step in the direction we were already headed. Yet far too many progressives supported it, because they were afraid they wouldn't get anything. Instead, what they got is something that will be undone eventually, and for which many in this country will be glad when that finally happens.

Progressives settled for something that wouldn't work, and they called themselves realists for doing so. A lot of people, including me, explained why it wouldn't work, yet they chose to believe otherwise. People who can believe something that stupid are just as foolish as the people who believed there were death panels in the bill. They'll continue to do things that are equally foolish, because the root cause of such stupidity is not wanting to face facts.

If the health care reform debacle showed anything, it's that we may be too stupid to govern ourselves. Sarah Palin isn't the reason for that. She's just one of the many symptoms.

Afterword: In contrast to my usual practice, I didn't provide links supporting many of the assertions in this article. I included links I could remember easily, and left it at that. Frankly, the rest wasn't worth finding, because, despite my assertions to the contrary, I really don't enjoy belaboring the obvious. I also don't enjoy saying "I told you so", because to me that's one of the saddest phrases in the English language. Sometimes the reasons I predicted something are interesting or informative, but in this case, as I said, people just don't want to know.

For anyone who is interested, I'd suggest going to the health care keyword, and then following links from there. A particularly succinct link is this one that FireDogLake did on the myths of health care reform.

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