web statisticsRealtime Web Statistics

We Are Not A Divided Nation

Anyone that tells you that we are, probably has an agenda that ultimately isn’t going to serve you well.

Indiana University just completed a survey on health reform and came up with results that some may find surprising. You can see the study here.

Most democrats are going cite this study to point out that republican representatives are liars because republican representatives are going to point to one finding that, when taken out of context means exactly the opposite of what it actually means.

Let me break it down to show you what I read into the results.

Let’s start with the broad question of, “Do you support efforts to repeal the health reform legislation that was passed?” Here’s a graph that maps out the responses:



This graph tells me one very important thing; democrats are just as emotionally invested in the bullshit that their party feeds them as republicans are. This is a broad question that allows the subject to give an ideologically based response. In my opinion, the independents have it right. This bill is a mixed bag. On one hand, it does absolutely nothing to control the cost of purchasing insurance. On the other hand, it does eliminate waste in the medicare system and incentivizes more people to get insurance.

Something interesting happens when subjects were asked if they wanted congress to stay focused on health reform.



Virtually everybody agrees, regardless of party affiliation. This tells me that republicans don’t really want a repeal since they want to keep working on it, and that democrats aren’t as happy with the bill as they appeared to be in the first question. This is where Bitchy’s sunny optimism starts to come out. We AGREE!

Something even more interesting happens when respondents are asked, “ how important they thought it was for Congress to work on “establishment of a public option that would give individuals a choice between government provided health insurance or private health insurance?”. 67% of respondents rated this an important topic to address. 59% of those that favor repeal feel that this is an important topic to pursue. The majority of Americans want repeal because this bill doesn’t go far enough.



Once again, we basically agree regardless of party affiliation. When it comes down to it, Americans know what’s not working for them and they know how they want to fix the problem.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if republicans had joined in on the fight for a public option? I don’t know if it would have changed anything, given the fact that our representatives are clearly all serving their corporate masters first and foremost . But damned it, I wish we could have found out.

And while I’m on the topic of putting self interest ahead of ideology, let me make a point to democrats. You’re going down the same slippery slope of accepting any crap that your party puts in front of you. This is how things went horribly wrong for republicans. If you keep going down this road, your party will start to serve up nothing but crap. Republicans have been happy to accept the village idiot (Dan Quayle, George W Bush, and Sarah Palin) for three elections in a row now, happy to accept the idea that this is the best that republicans have to offer. How much kool aid drinking do you think you have to do before this guy becomes your democratic nominee for president?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNZczIgVXjg[/youtube]


Share

Bitchy’s Strategy For The GOP

Not surprisingly, my advice centers around health reform. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this strategy of promising to repeal is going to be a disaster for republicans.

Let me first qualify what I mean by “disaster”. Historically speaking, the party that wins the white house loses 27.8 seats in congress in the following midterm election. Republicans could pick up as many as 50 seats this time around. I believe that they’re going to pick up around 20 seats. While that’s enough seats to declare “victory” and claim a “mandate”, it would in actuality be a disaster because it keeps them well in the minority.

Republicans are fighting a losing battle if their strategy is to run on repealing health reform during this election cycle. During the course of the next seven months, everything that is good about this bill will have kicked in. Closing the medicare prescription donut hole ensures that republicans will have lost the senior vote, which is their largest voting block. Allowing parents to keep their college students on their insurance plans wipes out that voting block. Losing those two demographics leaves the republican party crippled.

There’s not much they can do about the 2010 elections, but they can salvage 2012. By 2012, some of the ugly realities of this “reform” will have surfaced.  Republicans should instead change their tone to promise to fix the problems with the bill, while predicting massive premium increases. We are definitely going to see massive premium increases over the next four years. In the past week, both the CEOs of Aetna and Cigna have already promised that they’re coming. This bill does absolutely nothing to keep premiums down. My guess, based on my experience with corporate premium increases, is that 2012 premiums are going to be 40% – 60% higher than they are today. I’m not trying to be doom and gloom Bitchy, but that’s what I believe is going to happen. If republicans focus in on the problems with the bill, they can clean up in the elections after those problems materialize.

I want to say up front that I don’t believe there’s a snow balls chance in hell that republicans are actually going to fix the cost control problems with this bill. The only means of controlling cost is to force the insurance companies to compete with medicare. Nothing short of that will do anything to chip away at exorbitant premiums. If democrats ran away from a public option with 68% of democrats and 54% of republicans supporting it, there’s zero chance that republicans will make it happen. There is absolutely NO way to bring down costs while still maintaining a for-profit health insurance system. Trust me I’ve looked closely at health insurance systems all around the world. It can’t be done.

I have no idea what republicans can do, within the constraints of what they have become, to fix the problem. But actual solutions are meaningless in terms of winning elections. Republicans haven’t actually solved any problems for our country in decades. This is a fact that inexplicably hasn’t stopped republicans from controlling our government for the majority of the past 100 years.

Getting elected in this country isn’t about what you’ve done. It’s about what you say you’re going to do.  If republicans say they’re going to repeal health reform, they’re done. If they point out real problems with this health reform bill, they have a good shot at gaining power again.

On the other side, democrats have until 2012 to get a public option through. They definitely won’t touch the issue before November. I’m not very optimistic that they’re going to move in the direction of a public option at all, but if they do, it won’t be before the midterm election. They backed themselves into a corner with this bill. While they significantly strengthened their position for the midterm election, they insured that 2012 is going to be an unmitigated disaster unless they can fix this bill.

In the meantime, we need to keep the pressure up to get a public option through. Not because I give a damned if democrats keep control of congress, but because we desperately need meaningful health insurance reform. We haven’t gotten it yet. We need to keep the pressure on democrats because we have no chance of getting it under republican control. Trust me, if I though there was a chance of getting something that would help the average American out of the republican party, I’d be out there campaigning for them day and night. Our only hope is to come out en masse to let the democrats know that they’re in big trouble unless they fix the bill. And because democrats are historically obtuse, we need to spell out what those fixes need to be for them.

Share