Troll concern

I live in a pleasant little place. Forgotten or unknown, perhaps…after all, the rest of you have a nasty habit of leaving us off the map…but as pleasant as you’ll ever find. In many ways, i’m ok with being left off the map if it means things like Walgreen’s not finding us until last year. So i never imagined that my little corner of the world would be a topic of national, political conversation. But there it is and here we are. All because my Democratic Representative has made a name for himself after just 18 years in Congress. So now many of you have decided that it’s in our best interest that you involve yourself in our local politics. What, did you follow Walgreen’s?

Don’t look to me for a defense of Stupak’s horrendous abortion amendment to the House bill on health care reform. I know the Congressman. And while i like the Congressman, he and i have opposing points of view on more than one issue. I figure that’s to be expected in a free country. On the other hand, i deeply resent his attempt to legislate his religious morality. A morality, i might add, that has no Biblical basis but is a product of his church. Silly me for thinking that Church and State were separate in my nation.

I won’t threaten to not vote for him, if only because i’ve already vowed to never vote for another Democrat for the rest of my life. Try and fool me once (Clinton), shame on me…even if i didn’t vote for the guy. Try and fool me twice (Obama) and you can fuck right off.

Stupak, however, might gain an exemption this time around if he does vote against that monstrosity of a “health care reform” bill. He may be doing it for all the wrong reasons, but each and every politician who votes for that hideous affront to all that is hopeful in America will actually surpass Jimmy Buffet on my “If i ever see him/her in public i’ll kick ’em in the groin” list.

Oh, i’m for reforming America’s dysfunctional health care system, but i’m against preemptive bailouts of monopoly industries that don’t add value. And i’m certainly against the federal government acting as a collections agency for corporations. I’d be all for socialized medicine or mandated universal coverage provided by private insurance at no profit. Other than that, the Democrats can stick Truman’s dream where the buck stops.

But let’s get back to the progressive blogosphere’s new found interest in Michigan’s first congressional district. You’ve found a primary challenger willing to run well to Stupak’s left. Congratulations.

Here are the logistics. It covers 25,000 square miles and boasts a population of just 662,563 people. (that would be 26.5 people/sq mile) Let’s just call it rural, shall we? The biggest city in the district is where i live; our population is just shy of 20,000 plus students. Developing name recognition in this district is no easy task, and the wonders of teh internetz will only help you so much in a place where not everyone has it and a great many people still access it via dial-up modems.

Should i mention that the district is pretty conservative? Collect five dollars from everyone up here who says on election day, “I would have voted straight ticket Republican, but I vote for Bart,” and you’ll have a hefty war chest. He doesn’t win those votes because he’s so conservative (he endorsed Edwards). Many of his constituents don’t agree with his political party or his stands outside the abortion issue, but they know him and they like him and they trust him.

So the great plan is to run an unknown to the left of him in a district that leans conservative. A district that the GOP has been hoping to pick off for years but can’t find a candidate capable of unseating Stupak. And if all that wasn’t enough, you’re all backing a Troll.*

Good luck, but remember, if you were a real progressive you’d want this bill dead many times over…no matter how it gets killed. And if it dies then the Stupak-Pitts amendment dies with it. Get the picture? Instead it sounds like you’ve got your marching orders from the Party and you’re ready to crush whoever gets in your way, even if it means coming into my house and trashing the place to make yourself feel better.

You won’t give a shit about my pleasant little place after we end up with a nutjob Republican representing us. I was frothing mad at Bart for this, but frankly the progressive response to his actions make me want to defend the guy. Maybe the rest of the Democrat Party and its supporters could learn something here. This is what a spine looks like. These are convictions. And while i disagree vehemently with Bart on this, i can at least respect him.

I wish i could say the same for all the people working for a Pyrrhic, political victory because they refuse to stand for anything.

*A Troll is any Michigander who lives south of the Mackinac Bridge. Yoopers live north of the bridge, but one can only be born a Yooper, never become a Yooper. A Troll who moves to the U.P. is a Trooper. But a Yooper that leaves is, and always will be, a Yooper.

9 replies »

  1. Lex, do you happen to know of a link to a summary of the proposed bill? I’ve lost track of the provisions. If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d publish it. Thanks.

  2. I don’t have one handy, JS, sorry. I do know that the biggest supporters can only say what a great foundation it will it be to build actual health care reform on someday. I know that it doesn’t bother to end the monopoly status of the insurance companies. Free markets, ha! And from what i’ve read recently, the excise tax on people with plans already is back. Let’s tax the middle class a little more, because there’s still some middle class left.

    I’ve not read anything about it that looks even vaguely like “reform” or that it might be good for the majority of people in the United States. But apparently it absolutely must pass for the sake of the President’s legislative agenda…whatever that might be. And as they’ve whipped Kucinich until he cried, “Uncle” to get his vote it’s gotta be bad from front to back.

    If it was good they could pass it with a real vote and wouldn’t have to convince us how good it is…or try and hide the fact that Obama was cutting deals with segments of the industry he’s proposing to “reform” before the process even got started.

    I guess there’s probably a good reason why he decided against the public debate on health care that he promised during the campaign.

    And i’m looking at this whole thing through the eyes of one of those uninsured Americans that this is supposed to help, so i’ve got plenty of skin in the game.

  3. Lex, I found a sort of outline of the proposals that seem as though they’ll go forward, and I admit that I’m at a bit of a loss to understand your strong objections. Here’s a link to it, BTW: http://www.aolnews.com/healthcare/article/health-reform-whats-in-whats-out-and-whats-changed/19402011?icid=main|main|dl1|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fhealthcare%2Farticle%2Fhealth-reform-whats-in-whats-out-and-whats-changed%2F19402011

    It appears that all Americans would be required to have insurance, there would be subsidies for families making $88k or less, insurance companies would be required to accept purchasers regardless of medical history and could not cancel insurance because of medical history, very rich plans would be taxed for the value in which they exceed a certain value (a separate website said that would be around 24k per year, which is very, very rich, indeed), high income individuals will see Medicare taxes increase, and there might be new taxes on unearned income.

    Do I think this will solve the problem of out-of-control costs? I think it’s unlikely. The taxes on very rich plans may force those plans into a death spiral that may eliminate them from the marketplace, and that might save some money. Adding the sick to insurance roles will cost more money — sort of. Or maybe not. Those having insurance are already paying at least part of the cost for the inadequate treatment the uninsured can scavenge, and it’s possible that better medical care early for these people might even reduce costs. No one knows, that I can tell.

    I know that the real issue is overutilization and the fact that the bulk of most people’s medical costs occur in the last six weeks of life, which is the same as saying that we, as a group, are paying huge bucks to keep people alive for a few extra weeks, often when they are suffering mightily and/or not really “there” any more. We won’t solve the health care cost crisis until we come to terms with these things. Still, I do think that the bill is s step forward.

  4. If it was good they could pass it with a real vote and wouldn’t have to convince us how good it is…

    This is the most starry-eyed piece of idealism I’ve ever heard from you.

  5. I seem to remember from Civics class that it is easier to pass good legislation than fix bad legislation.

    The kicker will be after we have mandated coverage and no denials/lifetime caps, will there be rate regulation?

    My strong objection to this is that A, the president was in secret negotiations with the very industries he’s talking about “reforming” before the process started; B, there seems to be nothing in the bill to keep rates down, just force everyone to buy the insurance; C, they managed to choose the most convoluted, and quite possibly worst, way to fix this problem out of all the options that could have worked; D, the Democratic Party has made sure to quash any ideas that differed from what leadership had already decided to do (remember the promise about public debate?); and…oh hell, i’ll stop there.

    In the end, it comes down to simply not trusting Obama or the Congressional Dems to actually be looking out for the interests of the majority of Americans and the knowledge that whatever is good about the bill probably will not be improved in the future…again, back to the trust issue.

  6. Lex, I’m not at all sure the bill will keep costs in check, but I can see how it could do so, theoretically. Apparently, Americans will be able to obtain coverage through an employer or buy from an exchange of a number of plans. Supposedly, those plans will be competing on price and the number of services and procedures covered. i believe the current bill does have some price oversight built in, but I’m not sure. Anyway, the thing is a helluva lot better than what we have now, which is a system in which many cannot afford coverage, many who can cannot get coverage, and those who think they’re healthy don’t buy it and, consequently, drive up everyone else’s rates when they have emergency treatment and can’t pay for it. Not to mention all the bankruptcies that come from all this and the ripple effect those have on interest rates.

    Do I think it’s a perfect bill or the best option. No, I don’t. But I also recognize that politics is the art of the possible, and if this bill passes, it occurs to me that Obama has pushed the limits of the possible farther than I ever thought he could. And many, many Americans will benefit from that.

    Now, if all this does is cause health care providers to jack up prices, we’ve got a bigger problem, but if they do that, we now have a Congress that has precedent for legislating in the health care arena.

    I think this is a big and positive step, Lex. I really do.

  7. But it’s even easier to pass bad legislation, isn’t it? Going by the percentages…

  8. It may be a step in the right direction. It may be slightly better than what we have now. And while politics is the art of the possible, it’s also the art of the possible.

    My point with that strange statement is that this administration and Congress did the equivalent of walking into a used car dealership and telling the salesman what they were willing to spend. What kind of negotiator proposes what he thinks he can get as his initial offer? We’re being told that this is the best we can get, but nobody even bothered trying to get anything better and then bargained down…unless we count whatever deal Obama cooked up in his secret meetings.

    I was told by someone who had just won his 9th reelection bid to the House that the priorities would be 1. stabilizing the economy and 2. health care reform. This is what we’re getting out of the top, chosen priority of the Democratic Party? The majority of people want reform, and the Dems are planning on giving them warmed over gruel. Please, sir, may i have some more?

    Saying this is better than what we have now is like saying that Obama is better than Bush. If the Democratic Party set the bar for itself any lower they’d trip over it. The Dems have a fantastic orator, capable of convincing people who came into office with a metric shit-ton of support and what did Obama do to push this debate? Where was his taking on insurance industry interests for the benefit of his constituents?

    He/they crafted a bill that insurance companies would tolerate and then proceeded to cram it down everyone else’s throat. Why was the arm twisting and knee capping all directed at people who said we can do better?

    Sure crumbs are better than starving…but not by much.