Monday, June 22, 2009

Left Behind

In the fable of the boy who cried wolf, the lesson is taught that if you tell lies too many times, no one will believe you anymore, even if you have a real problem. It seems the wingers never learned that lesson of childhood. They keep flogging a dead horse they took to slaughter over eight years of dominance, and it no longer will pull their cart.

The public has learned that theirs is not the best health care system in the world, and cutting taxes won't solve our economic ills. The vote should have shown wingers those facts during the last election, but it seems it escaped their tightly closed minds.

Yesterday's poll numbers show that the public has barreled ahead of the right wing, and knows that it is poorly served in our existing health care system. It wants the government involved in giving them a fair return on their tax dollars. What works for the medicare crowd can work for the public at large, and the public is ready for a public program to bring health care into accessibility for us all.

Dr. Paul Krugman marvels in today's column in the NYT that legislators charged with giving the public protections are fighting against the tide.

The Republicans, with a few possible exceptions, have decided to do all they can to make the Obama administration a failure. Their role in the health care debate is purely that of spoilers who keep shouting the old slogans — Government-run health care! Socialism! Europe! — hoping that someone still cares.

The polls suggest that hardly anyone does. Voters, it seems, strongly favor a universal guarantee of coverage, and they mostly accept the idea that higher taxes may be needed to achieve that guarantee. What’s more, they overwhelmingly favor precisely the feature of Democratic plans that Republicans denounce most fiercely as “socialized medicine” — the creation of a public health insurance option that competes with private insurers.

Or to put it another way, in effect voters support the health care plan jointly released by three House committees last week, which relies on a combination of subsidies and regulation to achieve universal coverage, and introduces a public plan to compete with insurers and hold down costs.

Yet it remains all too possible that health care reform will fail, as it has so many times before...the fundamental fact is that we can afford universal health insurance — even those high estimates were less than the $1.8 trillion cost of the Bush tax cuts.

He speculates about motivations, but points out that "they don’t seem able to explain their reasons in public."

There has been much credit given to the now disproven concept that the voters don't want to make the large investment it will take to bring real health care to this country. The public doesn't believe it anymore.

The election made more difference than an ingrained element of recidivists seems able to realize. The voters are moving into a better world, and a better frame of receptivity. The legislators refusing to move onwards with them are being left behind. That can't happen soon enough for all of our best interests.

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