« Michael Steele: Policy wonk | Main | Grover Norquist on Sanford and Ensign »

June 24, 2009


Rather than parse the op-ed column to tell us which claims he believes are misleading and why, Brendan takes the easy road of simply saying Betsy McCaughey shouldn't be published. Question for the historically minded: is this more akin to shunning or blacklisting? I'd say it was vaguely un-American, but I leave that inflammatory adjective to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Teresa Heinz.

There are a number of uncertainties about how the health care plan will actually work. Brendan seems to feel that a critic is obliged to give the benefit of the doubt to the plan. OTOH I think a critic is entitled to assume the worst. The authors of the plan can avoid this problem by presenting a plan without ambiguities.

Brendan: that's ok, the New York Daily News has never been accused of being a bastion of journalism, either. I mean, it's no New York Post, but still.

Rob: Did you miss the "previously outlined" link? And it's cute how you make sure we know about about Pelosi's and Heinz's use of "un-American". Way to cherrypick.

rone, if you're willing to parse the op-ed, can you please explain this apparent contradiction pointed out by McCaughey:

the bill...states, "No individual shall be compelled to enroll in a 'qualified' health plan" (sec. 3101).

But if you file a tax return and fail to attach proof of your qualifying health plan, the IRS, in coordination with the expanded federal office on electronic medical records and a new state bureaucracy called a Gateway, will find you, notify you of your default and fine you (sec. 59).

How big a fine? That's left up to the secretary of health and human services, but it will be big enough to ". . . accomplish the goal of enhancing participation."

Rone, the "previously outlined" link addresses only one of the points raised in the Daily News op-ed to which Brendan objects here, and McCaughey in the new op-ed does mention the provision that Brendan criticized her for failing to mention.

But Brendan doesn't want to deal with her issues, he wants her not to be published. After all, "she is not an expert and has no credibility."

V.I. Lenin knew how to play this game: "Why should we bother to reply to Kautsky? He would reply to us, and we would have to reply to his reply. There's no end to that. It would be quite enough for us to announce that Kautsky is a traitor to the working class, and everyone will understand everything."

Dave: i'd have to read the bill to explain the contradiction, but i admit that it doesn't look good at all.

Rob: You know, you can raise these objections without implying Brendan's only goal is to censor McCaughey. Try not to be so childish.

The specifics of some particular proposal are not as indicitive as the federal government's past behavior with health coverage. Philip K. Howard writes:

"In healthcare, the labyrinthian requirements of Medicare, Medicaid, HIPAA, plus the equally dense, and often conflicting requirements of 50 states, plus the insurance company red tape, make it impossible for people to deliver care efficiently. Add to that bureaucratic nightmare the ever-present fear of being hauled into court whenever a sick person gets sicker, and you have a system that looks like it was designed for frustration and waste....

"The inertial forces that make it hard to achieve change in Washington, in the best of circumstances, become a kind of invincible fortress when reinforced by thousands upon thousands of pages of binding law. Each of those provisions is zealously guarded by special interest groups, and changing any word of a statute requires the votes of 218 members of the House and (generally) 60 senators.

"Faced with legions of special interests, Congress is trying to fix healthcare by piling new requirements on top of the old ones. But this won't address the underlying problems of efficiency, any more than it could in Detroit. To restore focus and efficiency, Congress must first clean out what's there--not to eliminate the goals of existing regulation but to put them in a coherent framework that real people can understand and internalize.

"Dealing with the sclerosis of accumulated regulation, however, is not something our leaders have any experience with...."

In short, we are unfortunately guaranteed that the new federal health plan will be incoherent, inefficient, ineffective, and expensive.

Well, that's nice, but i was hoping you'd address the specifics of the proposal. It's facile to expect the worst out of the federal government, and yet it could still be better than what we have now.

The comments to this entry are closed.