Thursday, January 21, 2010

Safe on First

Tip O Neill, former Democratic Speaker of the House in the 80's when things were slightly more civil, tells a story on compromise in his biography. Its about a baseball game where the Umpire calls a runner safe on Second base. The managers both run over to argue with the Ump. There is a lot of back and forth and fighting until the Ump calls over all the players and asks:

“How many people think the runner was safe on 2nd base?"
The runner’s team raises their hands.

“How may people thought he runner was out at 2nd?”
The opposing team raises their hands, not one hand is raised from the other team.

He then asks:

“How many people thought he was safe when he rounded first base?”
Every one raises their hands so the ump sends the runner back to first

I am against the health Care BILL not health care reform. Everyone should have access to health care. I am against the current bill which just adds more people to a bad system and was negotiated with a series of bad back room deals.

Obama said it himself yesterday – and for the 1st time this is the guy who sounds like the one who campaigned on bipartisanship.

"I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements in the package that people agree on," Obama told ABC.

"We know that we need insurance reform ... We know that we have to have some form of cost containment," he said. "And we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance for their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of this bill."

On both side there is agreement on certain issue like insuring preexisting conditions and cutting costs (which allows more access) etc.

Let’s go back to first base and re-write the bill - it wouldn’t be failure, it would be victory for everyone.

If the President can’t explain the next version of the health care reform bill to us in less than 3 bulleted PowerPoint slides, then start over again. And again. Let’s get it right, not get it fast.

And just in case you think I have gone soft – the fact that we have an employer based health care system is due to the meddling of the Federal government in the private sector during WWII. See everything has a consequence. SO therefore let’s be careful what we let the government do now for fear of the unintended consequences later.

"How we got our Health Care system (or 'a cautionary tale on why the government shouldn’t tell companies what to pay their employees...')":

In 1942, the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering "fringe benefits" - notably, health insurance. The fringe benefits created a huge tax subsidy; they were treated as tax-deductible expenses for corporations, but not as taxable income for workers. The result was revolutionary. Companies and unions quickly negotiated new health insurance plans....And we ended up in the mess we are in now...

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