Wednesday, September 23, 2009

sometimes they tell the truth 

I forgot to post this priceless anecdote when it came out:

In three days of hearings last May, [Baucus] invited no fewer than 41 people to speak. The list featured all the usual industry hacks, including big insurers like America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Blue Cross and Aetna. It's worth noting that several of the organizations invited — including AHIP and Amgen — employ several former Baucus staffers as lobbyists, including two of his ex-chiefs of staff.

Not one of the 41 witnesses, however, was in favor of single-payer — even though eliminating the insurance companies enjoys broad public support. Leading advocates of single-payer, including doctors from the Physicians for a National Health Program, implored Baucus to allow them to testify. When he refused, a group of eight single-payer activists, including three doctors, stood up during the hearings and asked to be included in the discussion. One of the all-time classic moments in the health care reform movement came when the second protester to stand up, Katie Robbins of Health Care Now, declared, "We need single-payer health care!"

To which Baucus, who looked genuinely frightened, replied, "We need more police!"

That just about says it all for class relations in this country: We need healthcare vs. we need police. Needs vs. control.

The whole article is worth reading by the way. A good primer on substance vs. bullshit as regards the healthcare bill.

And speaking of just coming out and saying it, here's Joe Biden:

"It's not that Republicans are bad guys. This is just the bet they've made. They're going to put their chips on movement in the 35 seats in the House that have been traditionally Republican districts and trying to take them back. If they take them back, this is the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do. This is their one shot. If they don't break the back of our effort in this upcoming election, you're going to see the things we said we're for happen."

Yep. Get us Congress. No wait! Get us Congress and the Presidency. No wait! Just one more election and I swear we'll start giving you something. I got $100 that says if Barack wins 2012, we'll hear Biden in 2015..."You need to elect me to continue the work that we started. I know you haven't seen results yet, but it took us eight years to lay the groundwork. But once I'm in we can finally start pulling the trigger on some changes." Of course, he'll be talking to a pile of corpses, but whatever.

You see they have to stay in power to change things, but they can't change anything when they're in power because that would risk losing power and then you wouldn't have the power to not do things.


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