Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Actually, I'm a bit surprised

Actually, now, when I think about it, I’m a bit surprised that the Rude Pundit, being a teacher of drama at the College of Staten Island, did not recognize that Bernie Sanders was abusively employing an abusively fallacious form of argument for the purpose of abusing citizens’ passions. This is the stuff upon which tragedies are constructed. This is what the Rude One called ‘liberal’ speech:

"Why is it that we need an entirely new approach for health care in this country? The answer is pretty obvious. [An obvious falsehood -- Barry] Our current system, dominated by profit-making insurance companies [the Strawman -- Barry], simply does not work. Yes, we have to confess, it does work for the insurance companies that make huge profits and provide their CEOs with extravagant compensation packages. Yes, it does work--and we saw how well it worked right here on the floor yesterday--for the pharmaceutical industry which year after year leads almost every other industry in profit while charging the American people by far--not even close--the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

"So it works for the insurance companies. It works for the drug companies. It works for the medical equipment suppliers and the many other companies who are making billions of dollars off of our health care system. But it is not working for--in fact, it is a disaster for--ordinary Americans."

At this point I’d like to interject that a medical equipment supplier fed, clothed, and housed me for years, and helped put me through college, and when my mother, their employee, was dying of tobacco, it provided her with disability insurance and some of that medical equipment. It paid for half of my wristwatch, and I still belong to the employee credit union. I’d also like to note that there are health insurance companies that have good reputations and whose services would be worth retaining, in the absence of a great need otherwise.

"This country is in the midst of a horrendous health care crisis. We all know that. We can tinker with the system. We can come up with a 2,000-page bill which does this, that, and the other thing. But at the end of the day, if we are going to do what virtually every other country on Earth does--provide comprehensive, universal health care in a cost-effective way, one that does not bankrupt our government or bankrupt individuals--if we are going to do that, we are going to have to take on the private insurance companies and tell them very clearly that they are no longer needed. Thanks for your service. We don't need you anymore. [The Strawman is to be deported or liquidated, solving all our major problems -- Barry]

"A Medicare-for-all program is the way to go. I know it is not going to pass today. I know we do not have the votes. I know the insurance company and the drug lobbyists will fight us to the death. But, mark my words, Madam President, the day will come when this country will do the right thing. On that day, we will pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system."

That last bit was eery, and my guess is that it won’t be true – that what we will get is a regulated private medical industry that remains more expensive than elsewhere, but which is productive of new inventions and somehow manages to provide coverage for most of the people in the world’s third most populous nation.

Medicare for all might be better, but good enough is good enough, and which is the best way to go is, contrary to Bernie Sanders’s rhetorically convenient lie, not at all obvious. (Sanders’s surely knows that the what he described as obvious is not obvious; so it was a lie, not an error. That Sanders is well intentioned doesn’t make it not a lie.)

It seems worth noting, also, that Rude Pundit quoted Sanders saying nothing whatsoever about life and death, except to refer to them as ‘this, that, and the other thing’.

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