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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Raise your hand if you're an American citizen who wants universal healthcare. 
4th-Feb-2008 12:49 am
Accordion
Well, I won't speak for the rest of the country, but I sure as hell do! In fact, I care about it more than any other single issue. And of the two viable Democratic presidential candidates left in the running, Hillary Clinton has the stronger policy proposal. More importantly, those who crunch way more numbers than I do say that the difference is significant--and might possibly mean getting what I want versus not getting it at all. Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman puts it most succinctly:
If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.
So. Guess who's rooting for Clinton?

If heathcare matters to you, too, and you're still undecided heading into Super Tuesday, I suggest reading Krugman's column...and taking what he argues seriously. (BTW, the supporting material he mentions in the column, such as the MIT study and anti-mandate attack ad, is detailed at his blog.)
Comments 
4th-Feb-2008 09:39 am (UTC)
Ah! Thanks for pointing that out, I don't regularly read Krugman's column but I really trust his judgment on economic issues, so that's very helpful. There's a part of me wishing for more aggressive industry reform (cutting off insurance when people actually want to use it, that pre-existing condition nonsense) but I then remind myself that universal healthcare, if done right, is just a matter of opening the gates... help the uninsured first, then get to the underinsured.

(Sadly, I'm not voting this time in the primaries since I just moved to another state and totally forgot to re-register in time.)
4th-Feb-2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
From what I understand of all of the Democrats' proposals is that they also attempt to reform the private insurance industry--forcing them to cover everyone at the same price, etc. And they'd be forced to compete with the government, which would certainly change the tone, if nothing else.

I'm really liking Krugman's blog these days. He's the only NY Times columnist who's taking stock of the numbers and not the zeitgeist. *cringes*
4th-Feb-2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
Good point about the government competition... hm, that seems surprising to say after years of "Yeah, right, we're going to expect the government to do a better job?" I guess that says something about how badly private companies have done in healthcare and with the utilities. (I remember how when San Francisco considered public power, the idea that you could vote out the people in charge, unlike at a private company, was a more compelling argument than 'They'll have to answer to their shareholders.')

I'm thrilled you pointed Krugman's blog out, as well. I've become so dependent on RSS these days, I seem to lose track of anything not supported with a feed.
5th-Feb-2008 12:45 am (UTC)
"Yeah, right, we're going to expect the government to do a better job?"

Funny you mention that; one thing Krugman loves blogging about is how in fact universal healthcare is critical to the progressive agenda as a whole because the government actually DOES do healthcare very well, and if that efficiency is realized, it will debunk the libertarian argument all together and pave the way for even more of the progressive agenda.
4th-Feb-2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
And of course if you got Romney in there everyone would have less actual coverage at higher costs, free market! >_< I think it was Krugman I heard recently point out the most obvious flaw of non-socialized market based health insurance, you can’t make money by covering people who actually need it ^^;

I don’t get a primary vote ^^
4th-Feb-2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
We were talking about this last night while we were watching the game and everyone came to the same conclusion. We like Obama’s charisma and what he’d bring us in world respect but not only does he never state his positions, he doesn’t seem to have ones that we agree with once we do research them. I know his plans for DOS are completely unrealistic and demonstrate how little experience he has on that level. Whereas Hillary has the most important positions covered. We agree with them and her plans are realistic.

She really needs to stop with the politicking and start focusing on the issues. Because on the issues, she wins.
4th-Feb-2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
*nodnod* I'm so afraid that we're going to vote with our guts and not with our heads, as it were, and we're again going to get the president that we "deserve."

As far as international respect goes, I'm not too worried about that. The Clintons are quite beloved abroad; in fact, it seemed like the only people who ever cared where Bill puts his penis are Americans. ^^;
4th-Feb-2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
Dear. Sweet. Jebus.

You mean your voting based on *gasp* policy!?! I'm starting to think that the percentage of people doing so are roughly the same in number as white tigers. Yeeesh.
4th-Feb-2008 05:15 pm (UTC)
*groans* As I said to Darth Kittius above, I'm so afraid that we're going to vote with our guts and not with our heads, as it were, and we're again going to get the president that we "deserve."

People are so busy inscribing all of their hopes on Obama and all of their hatreds on Clinton that they don't bother to check what's on the other side of the mirror.
6th-Feb-2008 12:14 am (UTC)
This is the only area where I prefer her plan, though, and I wonder how easy it will be for her to pass it.
6th-Feb-2008 12:51 am (UTC)
I wonder how easy it will be for her to pass it.

You make it sound like she'll definitely have the opportunity to try. I can only wish upon a star. T_T

If she *is* elected, I imagine it will be a fight to the death to get anything even approaching "universal" enacted. But at least she's starting from a really good position, and she's not on record saying anything that explicitly undermines the political economic realities of her proposal's enactment. As Krugman said, it's easy to see how her plan to could be ripped apart; but it's not so easy to see how Obama's could be patched.
6th-Feb-2008 02:55 am (UTC)
It depends on what angle you look at it, though. Either of them need work, I think. But I think with the growing frustrations at the war and how much of our money is being wasted, universal healthcare is gaining a wider acceptance. Tonight at our caucus I was chosen as a delegate for my district and one of the speeches I gave was for a resolution to get our party to back universal coverage. I was able to get everyone to vote yes on it save one person. So that's not too bad. The times they are a-changing.
6th-Feb-2008 03:18 am (UTC)
It depends on what angle you look at it, though.

And what angle are you referring to, exactly? Find me a health care expert who has modeled an outcome which says that Obama's plan is better. Everyone I've seen has been saying that mandates are important if "universal" is important.

Of course, if you don't believe in socialist principles, then of course you don't believe in universal healthcare. The system really is about "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." All of the arguments against mandates I've seen misunderstand this principle. You're not setting money for yourself aside when you pay your premiums. Rather, you're paying the medical bills of others'--and when you need care (and let's face it, we all will in some form or another someday), they're paying yours.
6th-Feb-2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
I'm not talking about it from any of my own angles. I'm trying to see the arguments other people are using. Personally I like her plan better. I don't understand folks who oppose it. But I think he is just sort of playing the fence a little here because so many people don't understand the costs or how it would even work. The one person I couldn't convince last night was under some weird impression that it would be all government controlled and we couldn't go where we wanted, etc. Completely blind to the fact that even those of us with health care now can not go wherever we want or always seek the treatment we want or need. But I think right now Obama's touting this as not being required because he knows all about the "Hitlery" meme the Republicans and Libertarians like to use. "Oh they will force this, they will force that." Right now he is emphasizing that the coverage will be available to everyone with ties to the work force and that employers will either have to provide coverage as good or else contribute to the public plan. People just love "personal accountability" and every other day there is some myspace meme about how people who can work should, etc. So he's going to appeal to a whole lot of voters that way. I think he has had slightly better luck getting people to listen to the plan because of this. The right loves invoking the big Socialist government fear factor. And this is why I'm not using health care as a reason to vote for either of them. I think with a Democratic Congress there is a very good chance Hilary could get us universal health care. And once it is in effect, people will see it works. But I am not holding my breath right now about it until they can hammer out the PR and really get the people behind it. There is still so much misinformation and fear out there that it is ridiculous.
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