Friday, August 7, 2009

links of the day

Food for thought on this lovely, hot summer Friday...

"You are terrifying us"...and no Peggy Noonan isn't talking about Republicans.

My favorite part re: the town hall meetings that have gotten "out of control":

"But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion. And what tends to agitate people most is the idea of loss—loss of money hard earned, loss of autonomy, loss of the few things that work in a great sweeping away of those that don’t.

People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.

What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack."

Speaking of town hall meetings...check out these recent Rasmussen polls.

- "Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans and the plurality (48%) of voters not affiliated with either party view the protesters favorably." So what I'm getting is first the obvious - Republicans think the town halls are good & view them as genuine grassroots events. But what's even more interesting to me is that half of unaffiliated voters - independents - also view these events favorably. Makes you go hmmm right?

Second - Going back to the issue at hand, universal healthcare. Turns out a whopping 68% of Americans are actually happy with their insurance coverage (rating it good or excellent)! So...if I were Obama, I would look at that number and say, uhoh. As the old adage says, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Especially when our economy is crumbling as it is.

So there's the bad news - the Democrats & the policy of fear (Obama is cool with you turning in your neighbors if they tell you anything bad about his plan...scary). And there's the good news - most Americans don't want the monstrosity of healthcare. But I would be remiss if I didn't offer an alternative solution, and what do you know? Charles Krauthammer has one today!

The very best part echoes a conversation I had last year around election time, where we asked ourselves, why do employers provide healthcare benefits? Wouldn't it make more sense if healthcare was bought on a free market type basis just like auto, homeowners, life etc?

Take it away Charles!

"There is no logical reason to get health insurance through your employer. This entire system is an accident of World War II wage and price controls. It's economically senseless. It makes people stay in jobs they hate, decreasing labor mobility and therefore overall productivity. And it needlessly increases the anxiety of losing your job by raising the additional specter of going bankrupt through illness.

The health-care benefit exemption is the largest tax break in the entire U.S. budget, costing the government a quarter-trillion dollars annually. It hinders health-insurance security and portability as well as personal independence. If we additionally eliminated the prohibition on buying personal health insurance across state lines, that would inject new and powerful competition that would lower costs for everyone.

Repealing the exemption has one fatal flaw, however. It was advocated by candidate John McCain. Obama so demagogued it last year that he cannot bring it up now without being accused of the most extreme hypocrisy and without being mercilessly attacked with his own 2008 ads."

Daaaaaang. I read "McCain" and laughed. Because I remember that one of the biggest reasons I liked McCain was his healthcare plan. It just made sense! And it still does. I think I'm going to tweet him or's not too late to try a better, more progressive plan rather than the convoluted mess that is being pushed through Congress now.