Monday, November 24, 2014
Mugged By Reality
It was the respected political commentator, the late Irving Kristol who made the observation that "A neo-conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality." This statement is true, but unfortunately, it does not follow that all liberals who have been mugged by reality have the intelligence and open-mindedness to become neo-conservatives. A case in point --
On November 14, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by a long time Democrat, Burke Beu.
I voted for President Obama again in 2012, then received a cancellation notice for my health insurance. This was due to ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act. However, I couldn’t afford anything else.
Beu goes on to say all sorts of bad things about Obamacare (And he throws in some invective about the failed 2009 economic "stimulus" bill as well. Exactly why did he vote for Obama in 2012?). Myopically, Beu attacks Obamacare from his vantage point on the left.
ObamaCare is a failure. For anyone who thinks this is a misprint because no Democratic activist would make such a comment, let me add that it is too big, too complicated and too expensive. Without a public option within its network of exchanges, ObamaCare is a giant blank check to the insurance companies that pushed it through Congress. It punishes responsible consumers like me and treats younger individuals as fools who are expected to pay the bills while not paying attention.
"public option..." The pathway to "single payer". (see below).
For most Democrats in Congress, Medicare was originally a model for health-care reform. Single-payer, universal coverage was the favored approach. Then Republicans let loose the “socialized medicine” boogeyman and Democrats panicked.
"Single-payer, universal coverage..." That doesn't describe Medicare (why the need for multiple payers to "supplement" universality?). How ever you call it, Medicare is fiscally insolvent, a scammers delight, (tens of billions per year lost to fraud) and the bane of doctors and providers who increasingly are refusing to accept its below market payments.
The fully contained, socialized, universal health care system of Mr. Beu's fantasies would be based on the VA model. Ah yes. That's the fix we need.
Monopolies are bad. Government monopolies are much worse.
Fearful that doing nothing was worse than doing the wrong thing, Democrats gave up on Medicare for the masses and opted for a drastic alternative. ObamaCare is an outrageous combination of private-market inflation, government bureaucracy, excessive mandates and a ridiculously delayed implementation schedule. When the thing finally kicked in, it hit hard—and there is plenty more pain on the way.
"Excessive mandates..." Definition - Mandates that force Burke Beu to purchase that which he doesn't need and/or can't afford.
We Democrats need to get over ourselves, start anew on a national health-care policy, and return to our progressive principles. We claim to be the party of the underdogs, but on ObamaCare we simply catered to a different set of fat cats.
As Jonah Goldberg might say, these views are like a piñata, yielding rewards whenever they're hit. Today's WSJ posted three letters from writers taking swings.
Robert M. Sussman --
My only response to Burke Beu’s "This Democrat Is Giving Up On Obamacare" (op-ed, Nov. 14) is to inquire where he has been for the last four years. From the start, the Affordable Care Act was poorly written and conceived and not supported by Republicans, who saw through the lies made by the Obama administration.
...The point is it’s been obvious for years that the law is a failure and needs to be completely redrafted. The fact that Mr. Beu just realized these things means he is part of the problem, not the solution. Unless voters deal with reality rather than clinging to their ideological beliefs, more bad laws will remain in place well beyond their time.
David Gayvert --
What Mr. Beu fails to see is that “progressive principles” will always, everywhere produce failure because they are based on a flawed premise: that human nature is infinitely malleable, and only in need of the “right” policy, program or enlightened leadership to lead it to perfection. Thus, even while acknowledging ObamaCare’s increasingly manifest failures—perhaps because this time, the policy in question impacted him personally—Mr. Beu cannot allow his abiding faith in Democrats’ ability to design and effect the ideal society to be shaken. Pity—plenty more epiphanies await.
Matthew Thompson --
For whom does Jonathan Gruber’s “too stupid” bell toll, Mr. Beu? It tolls for thee.
My thanks to the editors for publishing Mr. Beu’s pitiable lament. Nothing gives me quite so much pleasure as a “progressive” hoist on his own petard.
For the record, let me state that I absolutely reject the mean spirited Schadenfreude expressed by Mr. Thompson.
(hee hee hee hee)