Sunday, August 9, 2009

Devastating Political Victory

Discalimer: I think it's crazy that the US - the richest large country in history - doesn't have health insurance for all. I also have not the slightest opinion on how this ought to be achieved, nor why it hasn't, nor which plan is the right one and how the other one is all wrong. I live very far away, am not impacted by the issue, and honestly haven't tried to educate myself about it.

The Guardian, on the other hand: now that's a topic I know something about. I read them every day to stay informed about their profound malaise (which health insurance can't cure). I don't read only what they write about Israel, since their malaise is much broader and I try to see it all.

Tooday they've got an article about how Obama seems to be in trouble selling his plan. Since they like Obama a lot, they need to spin this story. As a result, they've got all sorts of amusing lingual contortions, such as the one in the caption above. The meetings Democratic politicians are holding have been redifined by the Guardian: they're no longer town hall meetings, they're now "town hall" meetings. The worn trope of unidentified "commentators say" is trotted out:
The tactics of Republicans, conservative protest groups and healthcare lobbyist-linked organisations have been decried by many commentators.

And so it goes on. Yet another case where the Guardian drops any attempt to understand what reality is, and prefers to inform us what it ought to be.


Meryl Yourish said...

They are also wrong. The Tea Party movment is truly a grassroots movement, which some Republican leaders have tried to latch onto, and failed. But the people who organized the anti-tax rallies in the last year took the list of names, email addresses, and volunteers, and morphed them into the next logical step. Protests are only useful as noise. Showing up at town hall meetings and your congresscritters' speaking engagements gets the message across.

Don't believe the lies that these are organized by the Republican party. These are citizen groups, some of whom work with the Republicans, but most of whom work with only their fellow ordinary citizens.

Anonymous said...

This health care debate, here, is so complicated, and I wish I had the time to read more and understand both sides better. All I know is this:

The smart people I read, such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, appear to be in favor of it.

The "don't let the government touch my Medicare" meme makes no sense. (Medicare is government run health insurance - for those who don't know).

The private health insurance companies make huge profits at the expense of providing services to the subscribers.

It always seems in any debate that the side that is able to make short, pithy slogans, whether they are accurate or not, seems to win out over the more nuanced position


Victor said...

"The smart people I read, such as Paul Krugman and Robert Reich, appear to be in favor of it."

That just says it all, doesn't it... Yes, Nycerbarb, the NYTimes editorial board is 100% for socialism. You need to get out a little, read some WaPo, Bloomberg or, *gasp*, check out

Live a little, man! LIVE A LITTLE!

Splashman said...

Mr. Lozowick, you appear to have not considered the possibility that "richest large country" and "no universal health insurance" are connected. If so, that is a mistake. European economies are sinking under the weight of their so-called universal health insurance, while in truth their health care is severely rationed, especially for the elderly.

Regarding the horrifying (gasp!) fact that some Americans do not have health insurance, you ought to do some research and consider the arguments against universal health insurance. For starters, here, here, here, here, and here.

And who are all these poor uninsured Americans? Answer here. (The long-winded version is here.)

Anonymous said...

unfortunately you do not provide information in which way and how my health care in Germany is severely rationed. I am especially interested in this information because I am elderly

maybe you have information of some horrible changes that have happened and been hidden from me.

for some weeks now I have been reading up on Americans of all convictions debating health care. The stories about the horrors my German system holds in store for me are all canards and the stories on how flawlessly wonderful it is are highly exaggerated. Reminds me of the pontificating about Israel - lots of chatter based on very little knowledge. If at least probability checks would be used before throwing another killer argument around.

my apology to the majority of very sane and reasonable people who comment on the site which slowly evolves as my favourite.

Splashman said...


Perhaps you have never experienced another health care system, and don't recognize what is right under your nose. I was born and raised in the USA, and spent 10 of my adult years in Canada, so I experienced firsthand what socialized ("universal") health care is like.

The fact is, health care is always limited (rationed). Either it is limited by an individual's ability to pay (USA) or it is limited by the government's budget (Canada, Germany, France, UK, etc.). If you believe your health care is not rationed, your head is planted firmly in the sand.

I cannot speak specifically of health care in Germany. But in Canada and the UK, access to many critical medical procedures are limited by long wait times (2-3 years), and some aren't available to the elderly at all. That is only one form that rationing takes. Access to certain drugs are limited to so budgets can be controlled. Because of government policies, there is a shortage of doctors and nurses in Canada and the UK, so many people have to wait a long time just to see a doctor. Hospitals in cities along the northern US border get a lot of business from Canadians who want an operation or a drug NOW, not in years. You would know all this if you had done any research, or paid attention to the news.