Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strategy Shift

You know, ever since the healthcare debate heated up this summer, I wondered why no one noticed the elephant in the room: mandatory insurance. I believed the whole "hands off my Medicare!" and "no public option" arguments were weak, and that perhaps there was an unfolding strategy to buy time for the GOP.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) described the health care legislation being considered by the Senate Finance Committee as a "stunning assault on liberty" due to a provision that would require individuals to buy insurance.

Earlier in the week, the individual mandate also came under attack when Tim Phillips, who heads Americans for Prosperity, described it as an assault on individual liberty.

"When you have health care, that's a choice that impacts yourself," Phillips told MSNBC's Hardball. "Drivers' insurance impacts other drivers you may have accidents with."

Utter bullshit, that last. Obviously, Phillips doesn't understand how insurance works: even car insurance, your insurance company pays YOU, and then recaptures the money from the other driver's company.
Sort of like how medical insurances are forced to raise rates because hospitals and doctors have to charge more for un- and underinsured individuals seeking medical coverage, usually for catastrophic and very expensive emergency or urgent care!
But it's no surprise to me that the Fright Wing of this nation would suddenly, after eight years of putting up with phone taps and email sifts and surveillance tactics...because it's OK if you're a Republican...suddenly find their balls with respect to individual liberty.
But this isn't about individual liberty. This is about my liberty not to have to worry that my health insurance company has to pay for a bunch of morons who aren't smart enough to buy their own insurance to cover their catastropic healthcare needs, much less any taking any preventative steps to ensure they don't impact me or the rest of the country economically OR medically.
In other words, what my neighbor does, or more, doesn't do impacts me directly, and affects my well-being.
Hm. Maybe this is more a sign that the Fright Wing is fighting a rear-guard action, and that they're previous tropes have proven so ineffective that they've decided to gamble on painting in primary colours now.