Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kill Obamacare! Republicans with Pitchforks and Torches

Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times yesterday, observed, with some amusement, the frantic efforts of the Republicans in the House to scuttle, amend, kill by a thousand cuts, Obamacare.

In the end, he concluded what is going on is more than simple pique, but a sort of panic.  Panic, that Obamacare may just yet work. It may, eventually, be as popular as the same program is in Massachusetts, as popular as Medicare and Social Security, the two other Democratic programs which people love and which the Republicans hate and have been trying to kill under the guise of saving them year after year.

Watching, "Prime Minister's Questions," the British version of CNN where the Prime Minister must answer questions from the opposition and from his own party in open, unrehearsed session, Mad Dog has long been struck by how many of the questions pertain to the operation of the National Health Care system. It is clear that once health care becomes a government program, a great deal of what government officials do gets devoted to health care.

Obamacare is not a single payor system, not government health care and Congressmen need not fear that they will be answering constitutents questions the way their British counterparts have to do.  But that might be part of the the reason for the hysteria on the part of Repbulicans:  Suppose, some day, we actually have to do something for the people who elected us! There would be no time for hob nobbing with the rich people, the Koch brothers, if we have to investigate why the clinic promised for our districts has been delayed or is looking threadbare.

President Obama got all he could out the the Congress he had when it came to Obamacare. But what he did is nothing close to what Medicare became. It simply corrected some of the most egregious violations of humankind by our current system:  It forbids excluding people because they are or might someday need medical care.  It may well reduce health insurance premiums.  But American medicine will remain a business, not a program.

The best we can hope for is, if the Republicans come to power in 2014 winning the Senate, and they repeal Obamacare, what will rise, eventually, to replace it, will be Medicare from cradle to grave.


  1. Oh for goodness sake Mad Dog, of course Obamacare is responsible for all the ills(intended) befalling our poor healthcare system. Long waits,high costs, rushed doctor visits-all the fault of Obamacare. Luckily for the insurance companies, they got a heads up long ago from a Ouija board that actually spelled out O-B-A-M-A-C-A-R-E so they knew decades ago to start raising their rates..Perhaps our Healthcare system needed a few tweaks, but otherwise worked well for all-oh except for the poor, the middle class and the already sick- but c'mon Mad Dog you can't please everyone...

    As for your blog regarding the modern physician, it does appear quantity is fast replacing quality as the order of the day.But I agree, this has been in the making long before anyone ever heard of Obama. At least 15 years ago I went to the "new" office of my doctor where I used to live. The waiting room was huge with many different seating areas and lots of chairs with lots of bodies in them, and I remember thinking "what a racket"--not exactly what one wants running through their head as they wait to see the Doc. Somewhere between Marcus Welby, solver of ALL problems, and the deli style, blink and you'll miss the doctor model,there seems there was, briefly, a happy medium but it would appear those days are gone...
    What did you think of the NYTimes travel piece on Portsmouth last week-I liked their suggestions and their calling Portsmouth "cultured and scrappy"....

    1. Maud,

      Mad Dog was apparently the only person on the East Coast who missed that NY Times article. But the trash has not yet been collected, so he is in hot pursuit.
      "Blink and you'll miss the doctor," Mad Dog likes that! Will use it at the first opportunity.
      Mad Dog has not yet figured out how he would systematize judgments of quality and quantity in the current state of medical practice. But what is happening now is chaos.

      Mad Dog