Sure, Alan Grayson has a spine. But does he have a brain and a heart?
[Cross-posted to OpenLeft. Feel free to add comments over there, too. --lambert]
The blogosphere is all atwitter over Alan Grayson's powerful rhetoric on health
care insurance reform -- and don't get me wrong, I'm all for effective rhetoric.* Grayson said:
44,789 Americans die every year according to the Harvard study. and you can see it by going to our website at grayson.house.gov. That is 10 times more than the number of Americans who have died in Iraq and who died in 9/11. but that was just once. this is every single year. That's right. every single year.
Take a look at this. Read it and weep. And I mean that, read it and weep, because of all these Americans who are dying because they don't have health insurance. Now, I think we should do something about that and the democratic health care plan does do something about that. It makes health care affordable for those who can't afford insurance and it saves these peoples' lives.
Leave aside the fact that co-authors of Harvard study Grayson cites are single payer advocates; we're used to the public option crowd stealing the good stuff. The more the merrier!
What really gets me is that Grayson's wrong on one very obvious and important fact:
Nobody ever died for lack of health insurance. Not one single person. Not one. People die for lack of health care. Did Grayson really have his brain engaged when he made that claim?
Single payer is designed to deliver health care, as a right. Health insurance companies are designed to deny care, because it's their fiduciary responsibility to do so; it's always going to be more profitable to collect the premiums, and deny care, than to pay out. (And that's before we even get to information asymmetry and market failure.) Grayson wants to take the rhetoric of rights-based single payer advocacy, and marry it to a market-based milk-and-water fix for health insurance, but that circle can't be squared. Na ga happen.
Underneath the fearsome rhetoric on the Holocaust, Grayson -- just like the Dem leadership -- refuses to even consider draining the moral cesspool of health care for profit. In fact, he wants to keep the cesspool brim full by guaranteeing the insurance companies a market: forever. That's what the mandate does, and that's why the mandate is a bailout. Did Grayson really have his heart on-line when he advocated for that policy?
Can Grayson really imagine that he can end the Holocaust -- his word -- by regulating the guards and lowering the temperatures in the furnace?
* * *
So, forgive my failure to even think about the need to still my racing pulse on this one. There's no evidence whatever that HR3200, HELP, the Senate Finance Plan, or the Obama "plan" (wev) will save any money, or any lives. That's because they are, one and all, unproven Rube Goldberg-esque devices that are untried on the national scale. And there's plenty of evidence that single payer will do both -- which is precisely why Versailles took it off the table.
Roaring like a lion and delivering like a mouse is par for the course with career liberals, and has been for years. I'd like to think Grayson's different, but the evidence isn't on offer in this speech.
NOTE I cleaned up the transcript, which was a little light on capitals.
NOTE * I just happen to think that the truth is the best rhetoric. Doesn't take any highly paid strategerists to advocate for it, either. It's really the only way forward.
NOTE ** Leave aside the fact that co-authors of Harvard study Grayson cites are single payer advocates. None of the other public option advocates do, so why should Grayson?