My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Watch Your Flank 

Up to now, the decided advantage in the health care debate has gone to the side that DOES NOT want Barack Obama's appointed panel of "experts" to decide behind closed doors who gets treatment and who does not.

There. I think I framed that fairly balanced. Almost as good as a "professional journalist" would do it.

Seriously though, the general mood of the public is against the federal government moving in to take control over ANYTHING, especially their health care. The passion, the logic, and--so far--the public relations have been on our side. And now that the President has gone on vacation, the battle should be over, right?

Don't believe it.

In the first place, you have a number of liberals starting to come out and say that they will vote for this bill regardless of what the people or even their constituents say about it. And, of course, thanks to the ineffectiveness of the GOP for the last four years, the liberals can pass this any time and place that they want to. They have the votes.

But, more importantly, they still have a PR tool to play, and you started to see the President weild it last week. That is the line, which the media are so happy to replay, that the opponents of this bill simply want to "do nothing and maintain the status quo." Being protrayed as a "do-nothing obstructionist" has never been a launching pad for a successful political campaign.

So our side has to be ready to counter. In fact, we should go on the offensive from a policy perspective (now there's a novel idea!). Every single Republican/Independent (or Independence Party member : ) ) who goes in front of a camera should say ten times "tort reform" and "interstate competition." They should be armed with facts, like how many cents out of every dollar spent on health care ends up in the pocket of a lawyer. They should have anecdotal evidence of how stupid the system is right now: for instance, when we took my son to the doctor to have his "nursemaid's elbow" (dislocation) fixed, it cost our insurance company over $400 for the doctor to pull on his arm and give it a little twist. It took all of 25 seconds. If we hadn't had insurance, that might have only cost $115 (which is still too much, but . . . ) but the doctor had to bill the insurance so much to get the right amount on repayment. And if we had been illegal immigrants, that same tug would have only cost medicair about $60 (I'm just guessing--somebody who actually does this for a living should look that up . . . .LIKE A CONGRESSIONAL STAFF MEMBER or something). The point is that the system is stupid, and that's what's costing so much. They are a number of ways to bring down costs while leaving everybody with exactly the same coverage that they have now. And then we can begin to talk about how to cover the other CITIZENS of this country in a way that doesn't destroy our way of life or our budget.

The point is that we need now to have solutions, not just opposition. Let's see just how willing the President is to "change the tone." Let's make him actually come to the table with more than just platitudes.

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