2/28/2008

So Evil I Was Momentarily Struck Blind

So I was writing a post to dismantle Hillary and Obama's health insurance schemememabobs.

And then I go over to read La Chola and find out that I had made one rather huge and ungainly mistake in my reading of the two bastard's health plans:

You see, everytime either candidate's policy talked about penalties for people who don't opt into the scheme I assumed they were talking about imposing penalties on insurance companies for not opting in to what I assumed was a sort of federal insurance scheme which would do all the stuff that the medical insurers are each currently paying a small army of skilled papyrus engineers to finagle, and by centralising the system it would cut the costs of isurance back down to the level before Middle Class people started having their monocles knocked off by the ridiculous admin creep afflicting the current system.

It'd still leave businesses in the position of having to outsource all those middle class positions that are making outsourcing a bad thing (now that it's affected the lives of people outside the working class manufacturing industries of course, nevermind the issue of the people who the outsourcing companies treat like honest to god slaves*) because the places those jobs are getting outsourced too tend to either have socialised medicine, and so avoid the issue of the companies having to spend money paying for their worker's healthcare, or the regulations are so lax and "business friendly" that it's a moot point anyway, and what the fuck is medicine anyway?

Centralising the admin side of medical insurance doesn't do much for getting the uninsured covered in any real way, though undoubtably some of the lower middle class will find themselves more easily covered, but it would completly changes the cost effect of outsourcing all monocle displacing middle class jobs, and so likely stem that to a certain amount.

The slight problem that socialised medicine would do the same thing (in fact, most places that could be outsourced to will probably require the business to pay somehting akin to insurance, if not bribes for local official to be exempt from such things, making it cheaper to operate locally on all levels) AND AT THE SAME TIME ensure that every american who can actually reach a doctor is covered for it, all of which kinda makes the centralised insurance thing seem silly because it's a net win only for some businesses, and even then only in some situations.

Which is why, in my theoretical presidential run, I would have fought like a claymore wielding scotsman for socialised medicine, but kept the centralised insurance thing as my final, ultimate fall back point.

Because when haggling (and I say this as someone who's a terrible haggler btw, econcomics requires understanding that money has a purely subjective value and the metaphysics involved makes such htings problematic), the person selling something should always throw out the highest price they think it's possible to get as though the person they're haggling with is a complete idiot - generally by doubling or tripling the usual break even price of whatever is being offered.

This is then followed by the person buying the thing halving the initial price, and leads to the final price that gets agreed on being somewhere between the two points.

Which is a partial win, and in the case of political policies gives you grounds on which you can build future successes on.

This was how the civil rights movement operated btw, the partial freedoms won by civil rights groups came about as a side effect of them shouting "We want freedom, we want ice cream, and we want it now!" and the regressive countered with "you can have some fake freedom and you no icecream!" which eventually ended up with partial, but actual, freedom, and a flavor of ice cream of the regressive's choosing (chocolate chip).

This worked because is does the thing that any winning strategy should do; it puts you in a win-win situation, becuase even if you don't win precisely what you're asking for, it will at the least make things a bit better, while also putting you in the position of being A) able to rally the troops around a single, consistent goal and B) having the huge syphistian rock stop falling just a little bit nearer the top than it would have otherwise, makiing the climb back up short each time it does slip out of your hands.

Plus you get icecream.

This principle has been corrupted into the modern "pragmatic" approach of many liberals and the laissez faire repugs (those who began defecting a while ago, like Avarosis and the rest fo the log cabin sort), where you aim you sights at a small and achievable thing, and just hope your opponents don't fight too hard.

Which is stupid, because the regressives always aim for the most difficult target they can get (becuase guess who the civil rights groups learnt their strategy from? And was not Strom Thurmond's campaign speech "no ice-cream for the darkies"?**) which means that if you don't pull as hard you can in the opposite direction, you're gonna lose ground and you're gonna lose ground hard.

And not even get any ice cream to show for what little fighting you actually did bother to do.

But I digress slightly.

Because of this weird multi-layered idea of what needs to be done, what can be done and finally what it's reasonable to expect Democrats to try and do, I ended up suffering from severe pessimism failure - and after calling Obama supporters ridiculously cupid as well! Oh the irony...

You see, because those penalties are not aimed at the insurance companies, as one might expect, but at people who are uninsured!

Because you see, in fear of Rush throwing the word "socialised medicine" around (Come on dems! Sticks and stones won't... oh ffs, don't capitaluting to things until they happen dammit!), Hillary and Obama have adopted the motherfucking, what the fuck is wrong with the world, Strawman version of socialised medicine

Yes folks, because this plan achieves both things that have been thrown at the very idea of an actual national healthcare system, you know, the kind with the huge NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM NOT TO BE TREATED LIKE A PROFITABLE BUSINESS out front to stop the silliness of the Freemarketeers and their belief that the great depression never happened breaking the system in their usual way, and then go on to add the kicker of it not actually being a form of universal medical covereage either - just being called one, so that the people who flail against the strawman can be "champions of The People" in opposing actual universal healthcare.

You see, the neat thing is how tax money goes to the insurance companies who have done such a good job providing ever cheaper forms of insurance, because what those tax breaks mean is that if you earn less than a certain amount, you still get as much as you normally would taken out of your paycheck for income tax, but part of that "tax" actually doesn't go to pay for public services (and the military and shit of course, but let's focus on the things people care about tax being spent on), but is instead siphoned off to your insurance company.

which means that the tax breaks for the rich, which would be repealed to pay for hte admin side of things (which of course adds another cost the insurance companies will use to justify yet more increases to premium rates, woohoo) then get pushed back into the hands of... the rich people who own the insurance companies.

F'king A.

But the mandatory aspect means that if you don't get yourself insured - because, say, you're happier with your income tax going to things other than the many chinned caviar eating LoliCon attendees that your insurance premiums are mostly paying for at the moment, and also you like doing things like paying the rent and eating and similar frivolous shenanigans the poor insist on throwing money after - you actually end up paying more than you currently do and (drum roll please) YOU STILL DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICAL COVERAGE.

but what I'm loving was the justification for it, the rationalisation for what is basically a bare naked strip show by the dem candidates who are basically trying to get the backing of the business community with this bullshit, yes folks, because guess who's fault the current healthcare crisis turns out to be.

You'll never guess.

It's NOT the insurance companies of course, who due to the vast meritocracy of hte freemarket are forced, FORCED I say! to raise premium prices to ridiculous levels for even the most basic coverage, nor is it even the drug and medical equipment companies for using copyright lawyers to keep prices high on their products.

Of course not, don't be silly. Many Chinned CEOs are never at fault of course.

It's the uninsured's own fault of course! (oh don't be shocked) For this is the age of randomised and inconsistent personal responsibility, and don't you just know it; it turns out the reason people are limiting their life expectancy is because they're just silly little dunderheads who thiink they can get by with untreated painful stomach ulcers and leave those pesky long term progressive conditions without treatment.

Yeah, Hillary and Obama have actually gone to the level of declaring "stop hitting yourself *punch* stop hitting yourself *punch*".

Man those fuckers are "eloquent", really well spoken there Hillary.

I shouldn't be shocked. I shouldn't even be surprised. This is SOP for everyone in the government, and has been for the past 50 years or so. basically, the government has been run in a way that requires it to constantly point out that it is in fact powerless to actually do anything useful, about anything on any issue, irregardless of which party is in power, all to justify, to rationalize and apologise for its aggressively proactive hands-off, non-interventionist policy towards the predation of the rich upon poor, man against woman, and white against brown.

But what I love is that we have a health insurance system being posited - by both dem candidates no less - that actually makes it debatable whether the age old "lesser of two evils" line still applies to the dems, because for McCain to really gain the lead in the age ol' "screw the poor, I got mine" battle between the Masonic Lodge of The Blessed Reach-Around Donkey and the Elephantine Knights of Selffellatio, he would actually have to adopt this system for his own... while also instituting slave labor camps for welfare recipients and immigrants (legal or otherwise).

becuase it's got everything a centrist could want to screw the poor unwashed masses - it's got the meritocracy handwave at it's prow, while also being quantitively better off for the rich while fucking over the poor using a system of taxation that in turn supports the idea that any universal health care system MUST use taxation to the detriment of the many, and to the gain of the few, even as the people denouncing such things are making money from it and who's politics are based around screw the poor policies.

It basically would kill not just the immediate application of universal healthcare, by being a sort of crappy saw-dust based hotdog that business interests and politicians can put forth to block actual universal healthcare plans - none of which are going to be allowed to be defined as "reasonable" or "practical" compared to this hideously unreasonable and massively impractical (even across the board deregulation of insurance companies would be better than this, ffs, versus the **cking freemarket this plan loses, and I swear that takes actively intentional effort usually***) - while also killing any future hope of the damn thing becuase, like with reinvigorating southern industry, when people start talking about universal healthcare the business interests and hteir puppets will just point to the inevitable collapse of this vile system of out and out prole-bashing as fudging proof that universal healthcare cannot work - what foreign countries? are you a communist francomuslim pussy?

the real kicker of course is that there is nothing stopping an actual working system of universal healthcare except this inexplicable fear of provoking the unimpressive wrath of hte insurance companies, because if they instituted a full blown system of socialized medicine, not only would it not break the fucking bank as repugs and some of the Obama fanboys seem to be all too happy to imply, it would actually be a win-win situation for both Bourgious (who can save a shit load of money by no longer having to pay the insurance companies, and are therefore able to compete with european and asian businesses on an even footing) and Proletariat (who would finally be able to actually get that thing on their scrotum looked at without going broke while not even being able to afford it being treated).

And if the dems are too stupid, and surround be other people who even more stupid than they themselves are, to think up actual universal care plans, well shucks, they could have asked! I Coulda provided a f***ing sliding scale of working systems, as could anyone with even a passing claim to f***ing sentience who put their mind to becuase it's not that fucking hard a thing to do, and you can even copy the system from, say germany or something. After all, they felt free to use jim crow as a basis for the nurembuerg laws, so I don't see why we can't recipricate the favor and copy something not actually out and out evil off of them. Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery after all.

A ssytem no better than the current one would have been one thing, a system actively worse smacks of full blown malevolence.

But I guess this is what I get for not paying to much attention to what the muffclowns are up to...

* The problem isn't even the outsourcing really as far as I'm concerned, but the military industrial complex that maintains tyrranical regimes in the countries who provide outsourceable labor - who in turn only make economic sense to outsource jobs to as long as they are exceptionally cheaper to "employ" than local workers.

And due to the fact that the man/hour doesn't just magically cost less if the hour belongs to a man who has a different skin tone (though don't think there ain't more than a few genteel middle class marxist racists who truly do think that the White Man/Hour is worth more than the Brown's, and that it's suddenly a meritocracy when capitalism happens to other people), you need a mechanism to explain the difference, and that folks is where the international web of state violence called globalisation comes in. and yes, it involves a lot of work done, and which has to happen to keep the entire system upright, and wages for do-nothing CEOs and insurers high and the working classes' wages low.

** Well no. But the point is that it could have been.

*** the freemarket is ridiculously unoptimized for doing the things Adam Smith said it should do, and that's if we ignore the small problem that if it's in the best interest of a group of economic agents to form a national governement to protect their best interests against competition, they will. So you have a system that is built so that it almost immediately collapses into a World Bank or NAFTA type creature, leading eventually from that to a kleptocratic totalitarian state, and Hillary and Obama's Healthcare plan still loses.

And that's terrible.

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