A Dodged Bullet last November

John McCain on one of the Sunday shows:

“I think that a fundamental difference we have is whether we think government does a good job at administering health care in America or providing health insurance for the American people,” he said. “I don’t think they do.”

Sure, Mr. McCain, whatever you say—this is why Republicans are trying to scare senior citizens into thinking that Democrats want to take their government-administered health insurance plan away, right? The fact is that people on Medicare are significantly more satisfied with their health care than people in private plans, and the VA system produces significantly better care for patients than private plans while managing to control costs impressively, in comparison to skyrocketing costs everywhere else. McCain’s comment is especially rich—which is to say, infuriating—because he has been the beneficiary of government-administered health plans for literally his entire life, first as the child of a naval officer, then as a naval officer himself (who tragically needed extensive medical care after the torture he received from his Vietnamese captors), then as a veteran, and then as a member of congress, and then as a person over 65.

Of course, as the husband of an heiress, he can afford whatever health care he wants without any government involvement, but unless he has a plan for enabling the 46 million uninsured Americans to marry heirs and heiresses, it would be nice if he at least allowed them to buy into a government-administered health plan similar to the ones that he has relied upon throughout his life. Chutzpah is often defined as killing one’s parents, then suing for the inheritance, but if anyone is seeking an alternative definition, I can think of one.

I know it’s not a shock to hear this sort of knee-jerk nonsense from politicians and pundits, but it’s especially galling when it comes from someone with McCain’s biography and health history. Whatever Barack Obama’s faults are, and whatever inadequacies the final health care bill will inevitably contain (assuming that a bill does get passed this year—knock on wood), just think about what the terms of the health care debate would have been if John McCain had been elected instead.

6 Responses to “A Dodged Bullet last November”

  1. wordnerd says:

    The guy who scares me is Lieberman.

  2. unique distance from isolation says:

    That is even more galling than the usual news from DC.

    Now they’re going to extend and expand the 8k housebuying rebate… Why not give away the money to poor people? Our country is crazy…

  3. dc says:

    If Lieberman wants to regain a shred of his dignity for posterity, supporting a bill with a public option might be his best bet, but it looks like pleasing the Hartford-based insurance companies is more important to him—they will be delighted if the government forces everyone to buy health insurance, as long as people’s only option is to buy it from them. Lieberman should be beholden to Obama too, since Obama supported him against Ned Lamont in 2006 and told Reid to let Lieberman keep his committee chairmanship even after Lierberman supported the other Republican candidate last year. You would think Lieberman would owe it to Obama not to support a filibuster, even if he can’t bring himself to vote for the bill, but I’m not counting on it. At the moment he seems eager to go down in history as the guy who blocked health care reform because it threatened the profits of his pet industry.

    As for the homebuying subsidy: If only there was an 8k subsidy for buying a houseboat instead…

  4. ruth gutmann says:

    Alfred says, rightly I think, “I am not scared of Lieberman, I am disgusted with him.”

  5. jabel says:

    McCain should be ashamed for promoting this tripe.What amuses and scares me is what I saw on C-Span today with some Georgia Repub who was an MD trying to put his Doctor spin on health care like those of us who aren’t right wing ex Doctors

  6. m says:

    “But unless he has a plan for enabling the 46 million uninsured Americans to marry heirs and heiresses.”
    Not a bad idea, Dave. I think McCain should get on that. For those of us already married he can just arrange to have our spouses become heirs/heriesses. Until then, I vote for some decent, affordable healthcare for the un- and under-insured.

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