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Good dog

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday September 20, 2007 09:18 AM

Clinton: You can't cut insurers out of health debate

The influence of the health insurance industry can’t be removed from the health care reform process, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said today.

“They are incredibly powerful. You can’t just try to wish them away,” Clinton said.... Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, wants to require all Americans to carry health insurance. She unveiled her plan Monday in Des Moines, one of the biggest insurance capitals in the country....

Clinton declined today to speculate on ideas for penalties for Americans who fail to obtain insurance. Congress should decide the specifics, she said....

Asked if she would give health industry lobbyists a seat at the table when it’s time to hash out details, Clinton said, with a laugh: “This is a metaphorical table. This is the dinner table. This is the table everybody talks about.... It’s going to be my job and the job of the allies I have — in the business community, the labor community, the health care community — to really make the case that what we’ve proposed makes sense.”

What was all that blather about a "metaphorical table"? Is Hillary channeling Donald Rumsfeld? Or is there just a kind of brain-rot caused by chronic dishonesty -- it seeps so deeply into your system that your neurons can't even talk straight to each other any more? Vergil's characterization of Hell in the Commedia might equally well apply to Washington:
Noi siam venuti al loco ov' i' t'ho detto
Che tu vedrai le genti dolorose
C'hanno perduto il ben de l'intelletto.*
Oh, and another thing. I'm really starting to hate the way Americans use this word "community". It started with "Black community" -- a euphemism for ghetto -- which at least made a kind of sense. But now every category is a "community". The "health care community," fer Chrissake, the "business community". The shipwrecked sailor community, the shark community -- some tensions there.

Quite apart from the nauseating cuddlesomeness it attempts to confer on a pack of scavengers and opportunistic predators, the word has been drained of all real meaning. Appropriately enough, I guess, for a nation that no longer has or apparently wants the thing that the word used to mean.

* We have come to the place I told you of,
Where you shall see the miserable wretches
Who have lost the faculty of understanding.

Comments (4)


" The shipwrecked sailor community, the shark community -- some tensions there "


death to the "community" community


"this is the dinner table "...indeed
and we the weebles
we who must have extracted from our back sides
---and by
any state means necessary ----
much additional "health money"
(read "extortion money ")
we we are to supply the roasts
about to get carved served and eaten at
this metaphorical dinner table by the various elite "interested parties"


b4 we let st hill
play nanny state dominatrix
and force millions now on the outside
thru the hydra tubed
health insurance syphon-plex

yes force em ...
force em to make
compulsory payments
and feed
additional tens of billions of dollars
into this wildly inelastic medical sector
of ours
just to create
nothing much new in the way of health services but producing
lots bigger piles of windfall rents .....

instead of rushing to that spurious salvation
that horse shit rip off
why not clamp on a few price controls
here and there on drugs and tests and medical equipment etc etc etc

channel choke the cash flows
if need be till supply increases
set up a temporary most needed
rationing system

simple market dynamics would suggest
such a sequence
if health max at cost min
is the aim


Single-Payer Healthcare NOW.

Current chronic underfunding of NHS notwithstanding, the UK health system has both a public and a private component. Don't hear St. Hill saying much about that, nor Obama.

The UK's politics, though, are just as much a charade as the GOP v Dems here...New Labour, Old Tory...can anyone explain the difference to me...?
Try as I might, I just don't see one.

In Germany, Schröder's (SPD) policies enabled Merkel's (CDU). Neoliberalismus über Alles.

Sort of an international trend, not unique to US politics.

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