Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This just in

Looks like the Democrats may sort of be thinking about closing that barn door. California's Senator Boxer says:

"I think we can do better on the messaging and I think we will do better once we have a final (Senate) bill," Boxer, D-Calif., told reporters at a news conference in Kaiser Permanente's new medical office building, soon after watching an electronic medical record demonstration and holding a round-table meeting with Kaiser doctors, nurses and administrators.

"There's no question we're being out-shouted" by Republicans, she said, adding "all this hullabaloo" about public funding for abortions or government "death panels" deciding who'll live or die "is made up." She said she's especially offended by the "chutzpah" of Republicans who claim Democratic health care proposals would gut Medicare coverage for seniors; she's appalled by "the nerve of folks who were against Medicare, who said it should die on the vine, who now say Democrats are against Medicare."

Being outshouted? Where'd she get that crazy idea?

The puzzling thing here is that if you want horror stories about healthcare as it's practiced now--rather than some dystopian future where Obamanazis shove grandma into the gas chamber--they're out there. Take the opportunity of the townhall meetings to wheel out some people who have been there, and the game would go differently. If protesters want to shout down nurses, patients, ER doctors, they'd lose much of their PR advantage. Yelling at Senators and Representatives, by contrast, is fairly risk-free. We all know that if people in suspenders flip out at a guy in a suit, they must have a good reason for it.

For a while now I've had serious doubts about whether the liberal side is at all serious about passing substantive reform. I know conservatives are quite serious about blocking it. That tends to make the difference.


susan said...

The thing that makes the most sense to me right now is the idea of reducing the age limit for Medicare so people who could afford the rent and food part of retirement were able to just get on with it. I was really sad when the hospital let go so many young computer savvy people because of the seniority issue.

The whole thing has been turned into a circus.

Ben said...

Layoffs like that are extremely frustrating, and they seem to be happening everywhere. I'd like to think your idea will catch on, but it probably makes too much sense.