Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dean Tells the Truth

DNC chairman Howard Dean gives an honest answer to a question at a town hall meeting and it doesn't make his fellow Democrats look good. In fact, it amounts to calling them cowards:

The gentleman who raised the original question is absolutely correct. Calling any legislation that ignores malpractice a "comprehensive reform" is like calling prisons institutions for behavioral reform.

The Democrats don't want to offend a major contributor - The Trial Lawyers Association - so instead they try to reduce the cost of health care by demonizing insurance companies and instituting policies that are almost guaranteed to raise costs, ration care, and result in fewer people wanting to go into the medical profession. And then they want us to believe that they're doing this to benefit the American people. No wonder people are angry.


<i>1984</i> in 2009

Victor Davis Hanson looks at the pages of George Orwell's 1984 and sees a lot that reminds him of 2009. For instance, in 1984:

Perceived enemies are everywhere - supposedly plotting to undo the benevolent egalitarianism of Big Brother. Citizens assemble each morning to scream hatred for two minutes at pictures of the supposed public traitor Emmanuel Goldstein. The "Ministry of Truth" swears that the former official Goldstein is responsible for everything that goes wrong in Oceania.

Former president George W. Bush - our new Emmanuel Goldstein - remains a daily target of criticism. Diplomats continue to discuss the need to hit a "reset" button that will erase the past. Last week, the president said those in the past administration caused our present problems - and so should keep quiet and get out of his way. Bush is somehow culpable for the newly projected $2 trillion annual deficits. Bush caused the new unemployment levels to soar to nearly 10 percent. Bush's war on terrorism failed. Bush is responsible for the most recent trouble abroad with Iran, the Middle East, North Korea, and Russia.

Doublethink is common. Presidential sermons on fiscal responsibility tip us off that deficits will soar. Borrowing an additional trillion dollars to manage health care is sold as a cost-saving measure. Racial transcendence translates into more racial-identity politics, reflected both in rhetoric and in presidential appointments.

Despite the absence of another 9/11-like attack, we are still told by the new terrorism czar, John Brennan, that the old war was largely a Bush failure. Administration officials keep inventing euphemisms. Some have dubbed the war on terror "an overseas contingency operation." [And acts of terrorism are labelled "man-caused disasters"].

We were once told that military tribunals, renditions, the Patriot Act, and Predator drone attacks in Pakistan were George Bush's assault on the Constitution rather than necessary tools to fight radical Islamic terrorists.

Not now. These policies are no longer criticized - even though they still operate more or less as they did under Bush. Guantanamo is still open, but no longer considered a gulag. The once-terrible war in Iraq disappeared off the front pages around late January of this year.

If you've read Orwell's 1984 you'll enjoy Hanson's application of its themes to what we see happening in our current politics.

Thanks to Sarah for passing along the link.


Do Illegals Qualify?

President Obama has been very much put out by what he calls the distortions and myths perpetrated and perpetuated by critics of his health care reform proposals (or at least those of the House Democrats). One such set of "misrepresentations" devolves around whether illegal immigrants would be eligible for tax-payer funded health care. Defenders of the Democrats' plan insist that of course, they wouldn't, but as this piece by Mark Krikorian at NRO explains, the correct answer is that, indeed, they would. The following is taken from a press release by Rep. Lamar Smith whom Krikorian cites:

HR 3200 contains no provisions preventing illegal immigrants from participating in the Health Insurance Exchange that is to be created, including the government-run "public plan" that will be available through the federally-run and federally-subsidized Exchange.

According to CRS [Congressional Research Service]: "Under H.R. 3200, a 'Health Insurance Exchange' would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option...H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitzens-whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently-participating in the Exchange."

Democrats point to language in the House bill that says illegal immigrants cannot get benefits. While that may be technically accurate, it is far from the truth.

The fact is that the statement is meaningless because the bill contains no verification mechanism to ensure that illegal immigrants do not receive benefits. Democrats defeated amendments in two congressional committees to close this loophole, including amendments that would use the very same verification mechanism that already exists in statute for other federal programs. Why not include the same verification mechanisms in this bill as already exist for other federal benefits programs? Without the requirement that there be a verification mechanism, or a specific verification mechanism provided in statute, the Commissioner could determine that the eligibility requirements could be met either without verification or with as little as a signed attestation.

Moreover, as Smith's release goes on to explain, if one member of a family is eligible for benefits the entire family is eligible. There are millions of illegals in this country whose children or spouses are citizens and who would thus be eligible for tax-payer subsidized health care even though they are here illegally.

The piece is pretty informative. Check it out.