Monday, August 17, 2009

What I've been doing today

Mostly work, though I did cruise some liberal blogs, where the sentiment is strongly negative about the Obama Administration potentially signing a health bill without a public option.

I'm not so concerned about this. My sense is that most liberals, like myself, essentially prefer a single-payer system for health insurance. I realize that this is not popular at this time and is unlikely to happen soon. But I get the sense that a lot of liberals will consider health care reform a defeat if it doesn't move us toward single-payer, and I think this is very, very wrong. I guess it depends on how you see the public option. If you see it as a strategy toward achieving Medicare-for-All, then it's understandable to fight for it. But if you see it as a tactic toward lowering costs and ensuring universal coverage, it's not the only way of achieving those goals. A good one, most likely. But it's not the only way to do it, and it's not the whole ballgame. The rest is just symbolism, really.

I will admit that the way the legislative process has worked out bothers me, and the new 60 vote requirement on all legislation is annoying. It is, of course, unConstutional, since the Framers gave the VP a tie-breaking vote and therefore envisioned legislation enacted by majority vote, not by an arbitrary supermajority. But this is all another discussion. I have no problem with people not being happy about the way the process has turned out, but the legislation as is will improve the lives of many Americans, and that's the point. I just think we all could stand to think about what it is we're trying to accomplish here. Passing reform without a public option doesn't necessarily preclude a more robust approach in the future, and it could help out a lot of people right now. For the time being, I still support reform, and I hope that the final bill does what it needs to. Since we don't have a final bill, it's difficult to tell right now.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.