Wednesday, March 10, 2010

She's So Excited

You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

That last line of Pelosi's has come in for some well deserved ridicule. But what she said that was even sillier, I thought, was the business about the "very, very exciting" prospect of preventive care being covered in full. Maybe my experience is unusual but I've never had an insurance plan that didn't fully cover (except for a nominal co-pay) routine physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies and the like. Insurance companies are well aware that such coverage is an effective way to reduce medical costs. Compared to the big ticket items of surgeries, hospital stays and emergency treatment, preventive care is cheap. This is not a new or revolutionary concept. Imagine Pelosi hawking a new government program to provide big screen TVs to every family in America - "It comes with a special device which allows you to change the volume...even the channel! without getting up from your chair. Very, very exciting!"

And just what is meant by "diet, not diabetes"? (aside from allowing Pelosi to display her alliterative skills). Yet another federally funded education program? Or something more insidious - Government control of grocery shopping? Prohibition of fast food? No excuse for getting diabetes once you're diet is arranged? (And therefore no treatment)? Don't worry, it's all explained, in code, in the health care bill to be deciphered after enactment. As in the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man".

Pelosi's latest asininities bring to mind her remarks made shortly after the Scott Brown victory. Attempting to explain that it wasn't a referendum on the Democrats' health care proposals she said,
"Massachusetts has health care. ... The rest of the country would like to have that too. So we don't say a state that already has health care should determine whether the rest of the country should."

Massachusetts has health care. The rest of the country doesn't. Anyone who talks like this should not be in a position to help redirect one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

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