Let's just forget about all these dog and pony health care "forums" and face some facts. First and foremost, the main (and, perhaps, only) debate is this: Do you believe that health should be subject to the marketplace? If, like P&J, you believe that health is in the same realm as "education" and "public safety," then you should also agree that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FOR-PROFIT WORLD OF THE MARKETPLACE!
Maybe you don't believe this and, that's okay. We might add that the rest of the developed world believes in health as a non-profit notion and a guaranteed universal right.
We regularly hear American ignoramuses beating their chests about how we have "the greatest health care in the world," which is undoubtedly true, if you happen to be incredibly wealthy. For the rest of us, it blows. Because the health care "system" we have is way down the list of achievement in almost any regard, except for the fact that we pay a whole lot more for it than any country in the world.
We say that it should be single-payer (yeah, right-wing morons, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!) and universal and that if the rest of the world can craft viable systems, certainly we can. Don't for a second think that there are a substantial number of Canadian or British or Danish citizens who would like to switch to an American-style market health-care system.
The health care "forums" have far more to do with hating President Obama than anything else. Just give a listen to the misogyny fest that is talk radio if you want to know what's going on. We do hope the President knows that he has to ram this through, kissing goodbye any hope of non-existent "bipartisanship" and imposing some serious discipline on the "Blue Dog" wimps. And "the public option" must stay.
Just look at how over-the-top things get when even a modest change in health care is proposed. This is what happens when the wealth and privilege of huge special interests (insurance giants, Big Pharma) are challenged. You can tell it's a good thing because all the assholes are against it.
SHOT ACROSS THE BOW?
Our good buddy J.R. Pagliarini appears to have fallen victim to budget cuts being made at government entities statewide. He was recently let go from his position on the Board of Governors for Higher Education, where he was serving in the not-insignificant roles of associate commissioner and interim executive director of the Rhode Island College Foundation. It's not too often you see the chop coming down that close to the top.
P+J believe that only the delusional would see any personal issues being involved in this decision, despite the fact that J.R. was previously a top aide and remains a close personal friend of former US Senator Linc Chafee. Drawing the conclusion that this is a bit of political hardball, since the chairman of the Board of Governors is Judge Frank Caprio — whose son, General Treasurer Frank T. Caprio, may be running for governor in 2010 against independent Linc should he win the Democratic gubernatorial primary — would be preposterous here in the highly ethical, scandal-free political world of the Biggest Little. Wouldn't you agree?
WOODSTOCK VS. LIVESTOCK