Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Um, I'm still here sometimes

I'm pretty sure we already have "death panels" but we call them shitty insurance providers. It's like the idea of someone withholding care because they don't want to pay for it is some completely foreign idea. I heard a piece on "This American Life" several weeks ago playing coverage of insurance executives testifying before congress on the practice of going through a patient's medical records to find a reason to kick them off as soon as they contract an expensive condition. Some of the more egregious examples were delaying a woman's chemotherapy for months because she forgot to mention a dermatologist once treated her for acne and booting a man because the insurance agent wrote down the wrong weight and the man failed to notice. Yeah, this is a system we need to protect at all costs.

There's been a lot of talk about whether a "public option" is necessary or not. Personally it's not even close to what I'd like to see but it's infinitely better than a plan that would require people to buy shitty insurance from the same shitty insurance companies that are already out there. What exactly are we reforming here? If that's the best we can get Obama will have a ton of work to do to convince me he's not a major disappointment so far.

In the interest of "looking forward" he wants to avoid investigating any sort of torture at all while Eric Holder just wants to go after the interrogators that went beyond whatever was in John Yoo's ridiculous memos. All that will do is essentially agree that any flunkie Justice Department lawyer can write his or her own laws no matter how much they flaunt the Constitution.

Then there are people like Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (nice tan, btw) who said, "Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope." Uhh, what? As the article points out, you mean like a white boxer who could knock out the black champion Jack Johnson? Nice imagery.

Their spin on this was pretty amazing:
Mary Geiger, a spokeswoman for Jenkins, said the reference to a great white hope wasn't meant to denote a preference by Jenkins for politicians of a particular "race, creed or any background."
...as long as they're white.
"There may be some misunderstanding there when she talked about the great white hope," Geiger said. "What she meant by it is they have a bright future. They're bright lights within the party."
Ah, gotcha, that really clears things up.

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