August 12, 2009

CAMILLE PAGLIA: Obama’s healthcare horror: Heads should roll — beginning with Nancy Pelosi’s!

Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and hope it’s a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

Case in point: the administration’s grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. . . . Who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Ouch. Plus this: “You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing. I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way?” Why, indeed?

Plus, from Mickey Kaus:

I still don’t quite understand why Obama can’t bring hmself to say some variation of a) “There won’t be rationing” or b) there won’t be rationing under the Kinsley definition–“Any treatment that I, the President, would get you will get,” or c) “Medicare doesn’t ration now and won’t ration in the future, period. There will be no change in how Medicare decides what treatments to pay for. The goal is to get it to pay for more, not less.” Read My Lipitor!** No New Rationing. . . .

**–Obama’s answer to a questioner who had to “go through two different trials of other kinds of drugs” before being allowed by Medicaid to go back on brand name Lipitor (which he’d been taking for years) was basically that the outcome was good because “once it was determined that, in fact, you needed the brand name, you were able to get the brand name.” Spoken like a lawyer! (So you had to fight for a few months or years? You won didn’t you? Process costs don’t count.)

Read the whole thing.

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