My, my. Here's a surprise. The health care industry has turned on Obama like a mean dog and has taken a piece out of his leg. And it is standing there with the hair up on its back, teeth bared, and growling. Don't come a foot closer. Just in time for tomorrow's vote in the Senate finance committee on its health care bill, the health insurance industry has issued a report claiming that costs of health insurance for the typical American family will rise hundreds or thousands of dollars under proposed legislation. Although the Max Baucus's committee bill leaves much to be desired from any progressive standpoint, it has reportedly been gaining momentum, whatever that means, among the legislators. Indeed, the Baucus bill has been hammered out over the past few weeks with substantial input from the health insurance industry. In other words, the administration continued its disastrous policy of playing footsie with the enemy in the name of bipartisanship, whatever that means when not a single Republican has supported anything the Democrats have proposed to reform the healthcare system that's eating us all alive.
The administration has blasted the industry report, of course, but shame on them for ever thinking or believing that the healthcare insurance industry (along with Big Pharm the biggest set of scumbags involved in this mess--even bigger than their tools in the Congress, I'd argue, although differentiating among the various tribes of scumbags involved in fighting reform is a formidable task) was trustworthy in the first place. The timing of the report's release could not have been any clearer. It's a slap across the jowls of the president, his administration, all of the Democrats on the committee and especially the so-called "moderates" who voted against the public option and who generally supported the milquetoast approach to the industry.
I was about to end with a question about when will Obama and his people recognize what they're dealing with and stop playing nice. But I quickly realized that this White House doesn't have the cojones to play the game just as nastily as their implacable opponents, and it is not about to sprout a serviceable pair anytime soon. They've had innumerable chances to this point and have not seized one of them. Which means, of course, that what we the people are going to get is healthcare "reform" that the insurance industry approves of. And if you think that's going to be to your benefit, come see me. I have some oceanfront property in Kansas for sale.