Thursday, March 4, 2010

Two Parties One Failure

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for March 4th, 2010


1) I remember where I was when Mark Foley helped the Democratic party seem like they possessed the high ground, and oh how I long for those days. The entire institution has deteriorated from every angle and amongst all participants precipitously so since then. Today, I thought the fear based cartoons were the least bad of the day’s clown parade. I thought it was actually a worse day for Democrats, as they have ceded morality entirely in this news cycle.

I also found it ironic that it was an appearance day for Tim Kaines. This guy is in charge of the boiled down message for the Democratic party. What is a guy to do? Tell the truth? It certainly seems like his leadership is meant to evoke doublespeak as a mantra. A mantra that flows through the White House. And that’s a problem.

It’s a problem because another simultaneous act was another Obama speech with that forcefulness that used to mean uniting lucidity. Now it seems like it is a tool with an on-off switch. I still feel like the Obama speech made logical single truth based sense, but combined with all of the stuff above, the recipe is for dilution and doublespeak.

2) On health care, I don’t see the hypocritical equivalence of the Obama speech and the McConnell reaction. It seems that McConnell is in fact just plain saying two different things out of convenience, because his point isn’t progress it’s status quo that he has no intention of replacing with any other issue specific progress, new day, new way of saying no.

Conversely, you could make the point that Obama is guilty of nothing more than strategic correction in the name of progress, knowing his product is the only hope for a move forward on the issue in our lifetime. This is a correction the American people would hope he would make, rather than accept failure at the brink citing parliamentary design flaws as his excuse.

My great hope isn’t to parade around this health bill as a final solution to our need for reform, but that once in place it will be the province of the Al Franken’s and Howard Dean’s of the world as the carrier they can improve over time. There is a laundry list of improvements that can occur with the bill. Those improvements can’t exist without something to ride on.

3) Tort reform is also part of the bill. It isn’t the meaningful tort reform that Joe Scarborough is asking for, but it’s a starting point. I fail to see the cost justification of all the air time devoted to tort reform, which gets really spirited questioning from panelist after panelist, but continues to be JS’s Sally Struthers moment.

When it doesn’t have any equitable merit in the argument, it must be an obstruction or delay tactic. Remember, the Republicans aren’t going to vote for the bill, but the starting point for tort reform was in there anyway. Any further conversation on the matter as it pertains to this bill needs to come with some level of voting participation, otherwise wait until your cycle, and thank the Democrats for getting you started.

That’s right, the Republicans would never initiate health care reform. And, they will never repeal the reform. But if the legislature of the United States becomes Republican this fall, thanks to this bill, the Republicans can employ all of their improvements to the cause. Tort reform, medicare fraud enforcement, repeal the anti trust exemption, state lines, portability, and any other encumbrances to a free open market for national private health coverage.

I sincerely wish that 90% of all money paid to a health care insurer went to health care as opposed to a debatable 70% currently. It’s debatable because it’s a cat and mouse figure with enforcement tantamount to mortgage fraud enforcement in 2005. There are two paths to achieve 90% flow through. One is by government mandate, opening up an enforcement branch of government that would not be self-sustaining and result in inferior results towards the 90% goal.

The other is competition. If you want the last laugh against insurers, make them look at the airline industry, or the cell phone industry. Tell them in a hyper competitive market with multiple producers, and information they cannot collude to adjust, profit (the bellwether of flow through) moves to zero.

The airline industry really has an envy issue with the credit card industry. Man those contract tricks that let the credit card firms bilk customers for fees and fines, if bag charges could be that way, they might get some guaranteed money above the competitive wasteland. But they can’t, because in their business, smart consumers simply boil fees into their ticket price, with some travel sites doing it for you, the result, competition on final price wins.

We now possess the level of information technology to create a personal health profile for our family, to possess our medical records digitally and to shop our health needs to the penny competitively. We can even enforce emergency room and ambulance pricing, by having an alternative ready beforehand as opposed to an unnegotiated bill afterwards.

The Republicans can get a lot of this done, if my party can’t, in their 2 or so years in power starting this fall, if the Democrats continue to Carter themselves like they did today.

That’s all for today, see you Monday.

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