Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Permanent Floating Professional Dems

Members of the party out of power gotta eat, and more importantly they gotta keep in the game. There isn't a lot of money to support lefty causes, but there is a lot of money to support fighting lefty causes. So we get astro-turf groups like the "United States of Care." It's only supported by nonprofits, they are quick to say! Cool. Of course these days in the health care industry the profit/nonprofit distinction is meaningless. The non-profit hospital chain funding the non-profit organization which is the primary funder of this advocacy group is in talks to merge with another non-profit hospital chain to become the largest hospital chain in the country. Take the profit out of big hospital chains and you're left with massive executive compensation.

It has Obama people on board, supporting this noble cause.

The organization is trying to prepare for an eventual opening for bipartisan policy making, while heading off increasingly volatile swings in health policy when political fortunes shift in Washington. Already, potential Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential election are signing on to Senator Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for All’ bill, which has more than a dozen co-sponsors in the Senate.

Oh no! Volatile swings in health policy! Fortunately these guys are going to try what has never been tried before - bipartisan policy making. The commitment by one of our major parties to this noble cause has never been in question. All we need is the right group to move us beyond politics. Once the politics goes away, then Mitch and Paul will be on board!

But, hey, they're going to "change the conversation" because, as Stephen Hawking said in that Pink Floyd song, all we really need to do is keep talking. There has been no talking about health care for the past 10 years, so if we talk about it a little bit more, maybe with some skype diagnoses from Bill Frist (his specialty), we can get beyond the politics, and... Oh, did I mention Bill Frist is on board? Of course he is. The obligatory pablum:

Affordable Source of Care: Every American should have an affordable regular source of care for themselves and their families
Protection from Financial Devastation: All Americans should be protected from financial devastation because of illness or injury
Political and Economic Viability: Policies to achieve these aims must be fiscally responsible and win the political support needed to ensure long-term stability

We have the most fiscally irresponsible health care system in the world. We already spent as much public money, as % of GDP, as most "comparable" (Europe, etc.) countries and then we spend that much again with private money. The only fiscally responsible health care choice, unless this is code for "keep the government out of it" (which it is), is to emulate the roughly 3-4 successful models which are out there and which we are determined not to emulate. Because America.

The support of dedicated Medicare privatizer Bill Frist will ensure it's fiscally responsible! More grifting! The family business got rich off of Medicare fraud, so he knows just how troubling Medicare is.

The goal of these organizations is a) provide respectable employment for people waiting to get back into power and b) become the "respectable" face of health care advocacy, marginalizing anything else.

Mock them and anyone who gets near them. Radioactivity is good.

Sometimes the dirtbag left overstates the case, but endeavors like this, explicitly designed to blur the distinctions between the parties, don't do much to undermine the potato-potahto view of politics.