Eric Cantor: SS/DD

28 February 2007

Just for the record, I don’t think the numbers being used by either
side in the health care has the value of a bucket of warm spit. The
fact that they, Presidents, Senators, Representatives and their
various proxy, more or less universally dismiss single-payer for
reasons-du-jour has more to do with the fact that they want to end the
argument using the same old ideological perspectives that has led to
the current economic malaise. Senator Menendez, Kyl and Rep. Ryan
were on FOX News Sunday to make exactly the point: within the market
place of ideas, the vast right wing conspiracy has been able to
confine the debate to the arena defined by the Fascist conceits
generally characteristic of the laissez-faire, gold-based, Free Market
principles of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s conservatism, also called
Supply Side economics. Both sides, liberal and conservatives, are just
arguing from different sides of the same lame ideological constructs.
My problem with the Republican side of the argument is that it
continues to bring forward the same tired fallacy of states rights
based on the defense of the prerogatives of entitlement for a venal
hereditary oligarchy arising from a theory of government based on
white supremacy and the virtue of selfishness.

The fact that both sides envision an operating system that separates
jobs and health care pretty well defines the issue. I mean, the fact
that nobody has ever questioned the viability of an economic dynamic
which successfully separates Supply from Demand for any other purpose
than purely academic illustration since 1981 pretty well defines the
lack of critical thinking in the public sphere. The fact that the
American liberal arts academe have never challenged the economic
assumptions underlying Supply Side economics reveals the essential
ideological conformity of American culture across the board. Liberals
and conservatives unconsciously not only believe Supply Side economics
actually works, but have essentially invested the core structures of
their self-esteem in its metaphysical certainty.

I happen to agree with Howard Dean: the current health care bill
should be abandoned in its current structure, because the only things
holding the various elements of the bill together are the paper it is
printed on and the binders holding the paper together.

At this moment, the health care legislation is organized around
executive compensation, a characteristic of Supply Side economics. A
Republican talking point against a single payer system is that they
don’t want to get Washington between the patient and his doctor: they
prefer the current system which allows any ambitious accounting clerk
working for the insurance companies to get between the patient and the
doctor, because the cost avoidance they can create by denying paid-for
underwriting converts pretty immediately to executive compensation,
which may trickle down to the ambitious clerk as a paycheck. Health
insurance companies like Wall Street insurance products like Credit
Default Swaps where you collect big buck$ in premiums and never have
to cover claims.

Well, as a practical matter, they can’t throw out the current bill
but Obama can veto it, which sends the particulars of the legislation
back into the Congressional community and provides the a level playing
field for any majority containing at least 67% of the voting body.
Congress can deliver the bill with reconciliation, which establishes
their willingness to employ brute force as necessary, but a veto puts
the Republicans on record for the fate of any subsequent bill before
the November elections. This veto will do for Republicans on health
care what the Republicans did for Democrats on use of force.

But the only way that any legislation can begin to approach a single-
payer system is to shift from the current operational paradigm
organized around executive compensation to the operational paradigm
organized around the patient as revealed by Adam Smith in the Gospels
(cf: Mark 9:37) and reflected in US Constitution.

And that’s the truth.

Just for the record, Rep. Eric Kantor is on Meet the Press. It is
useful to remember that everything people who think like him have been
running America based on thinking like him. Everything these people
touch turns to shit.

Katty Kay interjected the reality of our current circumstances by
observing that America is 37th in terms of delivered care relative to
costs. The prejudice against single-payer ignores the relationship
between economies of scale and actuarial mass in order to allow
underwriters to cherry pick their coverage to minimize their exposure
and maximize their executive compensation. Theoretically, if we cut
costs in half, we will still only be 17th in the world in terms of
delivered care relative to costs. What will really happen is that
actual delivered care will decline proportionate to “cost
effectiveness” rising from the transfer of delivered services to
executive compensation characteristic of people who think like Eric
Kantor and run organizations on the basis of the laissez-faire, gold-
based, Free Market principles of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s
conservatism/Supply Side Economics.

The Republican goal is to cover 3 million new insured, the Democrat
goal is to cover 30 million new insured. Single-payer covers 330
million. Republicans want to control costs by rationing health
coverage. Democrats see the risks becoming greater by adding 30
million instead of diluting risks. Single-payer dilutes risk
universally and derives leverage over unit cost by the same economies
of scale from which Walmart derives its vitality.

And that, too, is the truth.