The GOP bets the farm… and loses.


The plan would be a diabolical one had it been planned this way all along: destroy the GOP by allowing it to destroy itself in a fit of self-destructive, ideological pique. With health care costs in these United States spiraling out of control, something clearly has to be done to protect average Americans who are coming face to face with the sad reality that, in America, losing your job means losing your health insurance, and that, in turn, often means losing everything you’ve work so hard your entire life to build.

The most rational solution to the crisis, would be to implement a European or Canadian style single payer system. But failing that, a regulatory scheme boasting an individual mandate and  a strong public option is a worthy second choice. There are indeed, things the government can do better than private industry, and the rest of the industrialized world has clearly demonstrated that health insurance is one of them. Which is probably why the GOP and its legion of Zombie teabaggers  is so adamantly opposed to health care reform along these lines. Their entire ideology depends on promoting the fiction that the government can do no right, whereas the heroic John Galts of swashbuckling laissez-faire capitalism, by contrast, can do no wrong.

So enter Harry Reid, the soft-spoken, rather dull, Democratic Senate Majority leader who has just announced that a Health Care reform bill including a public option will come to the floor before too long. But there’s a twist… ah yes, and this is the diabolical part: to help assuage the uncontrollable ire of an insanely ideological GOP, health care reform will include a GOP colored cyanide capsule in the form of an opt-out clause, allowing any state that so decrees, to forego the manifold benefits of a public insurance plan.

Like moths drawn to the flame of free-market fundamentalism, the GOP will surely succumb to the temptation of opting out. And yet, how long will it take before the good citizens of the Red America realize just how raw a deal they’ve been dealt by their elected representatives? When real health insurance can be had at an affordable price north of the Mason Dixon, but not down South? When medical bankruptcies all but disappear in Massachusetts but continue to flourish in Mississippi?  When entrepreneurship again flourishes in New Hampshire but is completely snuffed out in North Carolina?

Folks, if the Democrats manage to pull this off, we may be witnessing the events that led to the GOP losing not just the Northeast, West and Midwest… but the South and indeed, all of America.

Pass the popcorn.


As seen from the *gasp* US America Census, the Red States for the most part don’t hate gubbiment handouts and in fact welcome it.

Also considering that the % of uninsured is highest in Red States, this could be a disaster for the GOP.

What makes me laugh is that Wall St assumed that the Public Option was good as gone in July when HI “providers” stock jumped. So much for the predictive power of the market place.

I’d like to thank Serolf for taking the responsibility to have an opinion, since I gave up on it. Harry sent umpteen versions to the CBO for scoring, and I just can’t decide whether this is a foot in the door or a poker in the arse. It’s easier to make sense of Transformers 2. Or the Venture Bros. season debut.

Thanks for the article about entrepreneurship. As someone who works almost exclusively for and with small businesses, I have been thinking a lot about how having a viable public option (preferably single-payer, but you know how it goes for us crazy types) would free up entrepreneurs to explore new business ventures because they wouldn’t have to worry about health care, which is quite frankly their #1 concern. Since, you know, small businesses have an enormous potential to get us out of the financial disaster we are in right now. It is amazing how much sense this makes in my head, and yet that just doesn’t seem to translate anywhere.

Unfortunately, I can’t see this having much effect on some of the Redder states. The average uninsured Republican voter there has been shit on by his own party (by farm subsides going to megacorps, by anti-union regulations, etc) for so long that I’m not clear why this would make an impact.

I almost considered taking a job in Alabama – yes, I know – for the sole purpose of getting my health insurance paid for a year. But in the end I couldn’t face it.

In my own line of work I know that for every actor you see polluting the stage just about two-thirds of his or her salary has to be paid again in the form of health insurance and retirement. If the union could take advantage of a government run plan it would take an enormous burden off theatres around the country when they are really struggling to pay their bills. So yay.

I like Comic Sans. In its place. And I really cannot find it in my heart to give a good god damn about what goes on in the South. Sorry to those who hale and such as but that’s how it is.

I am working here pretty much exclusively for health care. having high BP and high COL (both controlled by medication so no biggy) I basically could not get insurance. so I had to stop working project to project and find a full time job.
its insane.

I completely agree about the public realizing what has been done to them by the GOP. even the most ignorant will eventually start to realize that the states with a public option are getting better care at lower costs.
and the are now talking about making some of the benefits happen now instead of later.

I agree. pass the popcorn.

I traitorously posted my take on opt out on brand w yesterday:

1. The opt-out will be the funnest thing ever, for years! First of all, the pigfucking states all have the highest obesity levels, VD rates, “Hey ya’ll, watch this” drunken paraplegics, and smoking rates, the health of teh stupid is generally poor, so if the pigfucking states (you know who you are, you’re the ones that fuck pigs) all “opt out,” then the premiums for coverage in the liberal states will be lower because we won’t have to be subsidizing your pigfucking cracker asses the way we do now with general revenue taxes.
And secondlymost, the pigfucking politicians are now going to have to opt out. Those pigfucking state legislators are going to have to actually stand up and vote against health care for their citizens. Kinda interesting thing that is, just like when all the pigfuckers railed against the stimulus, but then, umm, well, OK, give it to me.
Its a win win.

@ManchuCandidate: The Red States have absolutely nothing against “socialism” or “big government,” they love it to death and have benefitted enormously. What they hate the very thought of is the benefits of either socialism or big gubmint going to the blacks (my word, not theirs). “Big government” is a dog whistle word, as is “activist judge,” and the newest dog whistle word is “socialism.” “Crime,” “Welfare,” and “Drugs” are all also dog whistle words, in the red states. Its like a silent letter, in a word, there is a silent “nigger” in all these words. What they mean is “Big government giving money to the blacks,” “Activist judges integrating schools,” “socialism giving money to balcks,” “Black crime,” “blacks on welfare,” and “blacks seducing our daughters by giving them drugs.” I heard someone actually say, soon after the election last year “but he’s black, he’s just going to give everything to the blacks.”

@Prommie: This is why they will opt out — because their black residents are the poorest and least able to afford decent health care. It will be like Katrina, but slower.

@Dodgerblue: I wonder if we’ll be seeing mass migration to participating states, which if the Rcubs of the world leave Red US America will result in some significant brain drain in favor of BluAmerica, with some exporting of the huddled masses that would be just fine with the shitheads running the place.

@redmanlaw: They’d better watch “A Day Without Mexicans” first.

@Dodgerblue: Air America recently ran an interview with a black reporter who attended a Klan retreat in Idaho. Although they were somewhat surprised to see him there, he found that they believed that they could find common ground with blacks on the immigration issue. As an interesting aside, the reporter also found that the white enclaves were themselves segregated along class lines – no mixing of the trailer parks and the gated communities.

@Dodgerblue: I knocked over my coffee cup, thanks to that one!

@redmanlaw: So the white trash are cleaning the toilets in the gated communities? Wait, I’ve read than novel. Faulkner, no?

@redmanlaw: We saw mass migration upon mechanization, when the sharecroppers were turned off the farms and the lynch mobs drove them to the northern cities, and maybe again after WWII when generous welfare programs in northern cities drew some people, but I am not sure that health coverage will work. This is a society with low life expectancy and diseases precisely because they don’t seek medical care.

I use comic sans all the time- for Winnie The Pooh back of package. It is a nice, fun, readable kid font…but helps to use it in small doses.

I cannot wait for a Democratic challenger in a Repug state gets to use the fact that a Repug Official or Legislature opted out as a beatstick. We’ve all seen the polls… imagine the electorate in Louisiana, with its 70% approval of a public option, when they are denied their will.

Oh the win! Makes you feel bad about calling Harry spineless.


I note with interest that Andrew Sullivan has just noticed the same thing I wrote about in this post. WARNING, WARNING: LINK TO ANDREW SULLIVAN.

@Serolf Divad:

Very cute, Serolf, but there’s no way you’re going to trick me into clicking that link.


Hitchens would argue that heath care reform is synonymous with the defeat of “Islamofacism.”

There’s really no need to read anything Hitchens writes any more. All you need to know is the topic –let’s call it “X”– and fill in the blank:

The first step in fixing the country’s X problem is defeating Islamofascism.

Here: I give you a summary of 5 Hitchens articles on 5 different subjects:

1) The first step in fixing the country’s obesity epidemic is defeating Islamofascism.

2) The first step in fixing the country’s health care crisis is defeating Islamofascism.

3) The first step in fixing the country’s mortgage crisis is defeating Islamofascism.

4) The first step in fixing the country’s pollution problems is defeating Islamofascism.

5) The first step in fixing the country’s day care centers is defeating Islamofascism.

The problem with this argument is that it relies upon people in the red states to look beyond the tip of their noses and apply facts and logic to reach the obvious conclusion. As a nearly lifelong resident of red states, I can tell you with some authority that this will never happen.

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