obama may need that ‘reset’ button again – for healthcare

The "Reset Button" given by U.S. Secretary of State Hiullary Clinton to Russian Foreign Minister Dmitri Larov to symbolize the "resetting" of U.S.-Russian relations. The Russian word "Peregruzka" printed on the button actually means "overcharged" or "overload," not "reset."

The "Reset Button" given by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Larov to symbolize the "resetting" of U.S.-Russian relations. The Russian word "peregruzka" printed on the button actually means "overcharged" or "overload," not "reset."

president obama waved the white flag yesterday, basically signaling the end of the ‘public option’ for healthcare. this is precisely why he wanted the vote to take place in congress before the august recess: he can’t control congress when they’re back in their districts listening to the people (and the lobbyists). so while the bush administration was often heavy-handed with its handling of congress, president obama has the opposite problem: he can’t get even his most important ideas through a house and senate that his own party controls.

first, president obama pulled the plug on the flag@whitehouse.gov website, where citizens could report instances of individuals and websites making claims that the white house thought were ‘fishy’ (essentially anything that criticized the president’s healthcare overhaul). this was seen by many as the beginnings of an ‘enemies list,’ which wouldn’t have been the first, but would have been the first such white house sponsored, publicly nominated list.

now, with the president’s own administration (in the person of health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius)  conceding that the ‘public option’ is not a necessary part of the healthcare overhaul, and with blue dog democrats quickly responding, ‘now, that’s not a bad idea,’ the entire healthcare ‘overhaul’ appears to becoming little more than shuffling the deck by adding some new regulations and oversight rather than re-dealing from a fresh deck.

so maybe it’s time that obama recalled that ‘reset’ button that secretary of state clinton infamously gave to russian foreign minister sergei lavrov, and allowed the button to realize its full, denotative potential. indeed, given the estimated cost of the proposed healthcare public option, there would be no better word to describe it than ‘peregruzka‘- overcharged.

5 Responses

  1. I must admit that as a British expat, I’ve been really disappointed by the quality of the debate over here, especially from those who have unfairly denigrated systems abroad in a bid to make the status quo in the US appear better. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming months and years, though.

  2. if you spent $30 MILLION a day every single day for 2000 years it would still not equal to obama’s $23.7 TRILLLION in financial bailouts

    … the main reasons why people get poorer are because of higher taxes and inflation.

  3. mark,

    i think every american should have health coverage/care. that said, it shouldn’t be a gov’t run program. there should be several privately-run co-ops, similar to hmos, that americans can join. if some want better healthcare, there is what we’ve got: blue cross and hospitals. but for the bulk of americans (especially we not-so-wealthy folk), there is kaiser. i go there when i get sick, i pay a $10 co-pay, and i get excellent healthcare. if i need shots or blood work, i go to the lab right there. if i need a prescription, i go to the pharmacy right there. if i don’t like my doctor, i can pick another (but i won’t, b/c my dr. merjanian is incredible and a ucla grad). best of all, it is inexpensive because it is a co-op hmo. i pay almost nothing for the care, but since i’m relatively healthy, all is good. perhaps someday dr. merjanian leaves, and i want to pick some other doctor. ok. and if i want a private doctor outside of kaiser, i can pay that doctor what that doctor charges.

    i guess my point is that healthcare is like any other service: you get what you pay for, and i don’t want to pay for a lot. so i choose kaiser, a private company, which has got health care down to a science (all pun intended). my daughter was born there, i’m happy with what they provide, and it’s inexpensive.

    why can’t the gov’t pay the enrollment fees in kaiser for those that are unable to afford the minimal enrollment fees? kaiser is a private company, and we could shift medicare dollars to kaiser and other hmos like them to cover all americans. if americans want better, they they can pay for it. but if they want coverage when they get sick, kaiser is a great option.

    and let me say that i despise it when americans make fun of british or canadian health care programs. at least they cover their people. and who are we, the fattest-ass nation on the planet to criticize anyone else’s health?

  4. Thanks for your interesting comments, Bob. Fascinating to hear about Kaiser, which I had not heard of before. Laughed out loud at your last paragraph.

    One thing that may not be helpful in the debate is the phrase “government run” because it gives the impression of politicians actually running the health service, which would be absurd. What happened when the National Health Service came in in the UK in 1945 is that the same people were running it, but the funding model changed dramatically. It’s just a small element in the debate, but I reckon that discussion of how to “fund” health care can actually be more helpful than discussion of who runs the system.

  5. mark, again, agreed. this is about funding, not healthcare. who gets coverage, who gets the money, and who pays for it? those have nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with funding models.

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