Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Health Careless

Of course Obama’s health care plan, as originally conceived, won’t work. Everyone knows it now, and it looks as if momentum is shifting toward a less radical plan (whether the alternative will be a sensible plan is still in doubt).

My own belief is that Obama is not so much interested in the details of health care reform – he pretty much proved that in his disastrous press conference last week – as he is in having legislation of any kind that will serve as a memorial to his presidency (I used a photo of a pyramid yesterday in illustrating how he views the significance of a health care bill: it is intended to be a lasting tribute to his personal awesomeness). If congress were to pass an amendment to a health care bill that required virgins to be thrown off the Washington Monument in order to placate the Dreaded Pox God, or a Shirley-Jackson-type lottery for citizens over the age of 65, Obama would probably sign on the dotted line without giving the matter a second thought (if he even noticed the provisions at all).

Therein resides the opportunity – and the danger – facing Republicans and so-called moderate Democrats. Since UK-style, single-payer health care is off the table (for now), there is a chance for elected officials who actually have some reasonable ideas on the subject to create a sound piece of legislation that the President may be willing to support (although perhaps it would be more accurate to say, that the president will be forced to support, if he wants to avoid looking like a Carteresque loser). The temptation, I’m afraid, is that Republicans and their temporary Democratic allies will be so relieved to have avoided the worst possible outcome that they’ll settle for something that’s still fairly awful. No bill is still better than a bad one.


RebeccaH said...

This is why the American public has to keep up the vigilance and the pressure. Now is not the time to slack off.

TimT said...

Obama appears to be specialising in this type of negotiating. 'Here's a vast and terribly thought out plan that would utterly devastate the economy. Oh, you don't like that? Well, here's an almost-as-vast and just-as-badly thought out plan that will only partially devastate the economy. And you'll take it and like it!'

He's done it with GM, and by heavens, he'll do it again!

JeffS said...

My own belief is that Obama is not so much interested in the details of health care reform ...... as he is in having legislation of any kind that will serve as a memorial to his presidency...

That fits in nicely with Obama's obvious narcissism. More so, if you consider that one of Bill Clinton's (implied but not stated) regrets over his lack of a positive defining moment from his own turn in the White House.

Virtually every President has one, usually good. But what was Bills? Getting a hummer in the Oval Office. His narcissism is barely exceeded by Obama's, so that's gotta hurt.

I recall some speculation during the 2008 Presidential election that he was eager to get back into the White House, even as "First Bubba", where he had a chance at claiming that glory.

Mayhaps Obama took that as a lesson, and has to rush this legislation through, regardless of what it said (or didn't say), so that he could claim victory early on, and cover up some of the mistakes that he knew would happen. Rather like painting over a bad paint job.

Of course, all of this assumes that Obama ran for President in order to tickle his own ego, and the country be damned.

Of course.