I Give Up


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Francis says:

    “No, it is instead clear that they’ve decided that the American health care system as it exists is already a paragon of free market economics in action and that what is important is continuing to drum up fear amongst seniors.”

    Close but not quite. What they’ve really decided is that allowing a Democrat to prevail on a major change to the health care system is inconsistent with their revenue streams from various interest groups.

    I’ll have you voting Democrat yet.Report

    • Well, if that was their only motivation, I’d actually be ok with it – it would just be politics as usual. But Wyden-Bennett was probably going nowhere to begin with, Bennett’s been an outspoken opponent of the public option, and Wyden-Bennett was at the very least capable of providing some Republicans political cover to say that they’re not against reform per se. Point being, I could understand if the Club refused to support the bill or even actively sought to discourage Republicans from supporting it behind the scenes. But unless the Club is now taking it’s own BS about the existing system being a meaningfully free market seriously, actively campaigning to unseat Bennett makes no sense even under the most cynical view of their motivations.

      FWIW: I’m not categorically opposed to voting Dem. In fact, I even (reluctantly) voted for Kerry in 2004 and (not at all reluctantly) for Kaine in 2005. Hell, I’ve never once voted for a Republican for any office higher than Senator, unless you count primary voting (voting third-party is another story). This may change this year, though, now that I’m back in NJ.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Edward Moore Kennedy, February 22, 1932 – August 25 2009. RIP.Report

  3. Avatar James says:

    “It is now clear that supposedly free market leadership types really don’t give a damn about free markets or about the ways government interventon already distorts health care. No, it is instead clear that they’ve decided that the American health care system as it exists is already a paragon of free market economics in action and that what is important is continuing to drum up fear amongst seniors. ”

    (That was clear a while back.)Report

    • Avatar Ryan says:

      Indeed. It’s funny to see this post just a few weeks after we were all chastised for assuming the worst about the Republicans on the other side, but better late than never.Report

  4. Avatar mike farmer says:

    From what I can tell, this excerpt from Matt Kibbe explains what many CFG members are for:

    “A true reform of the health care system would return power back to the patients, lessening our dependence on expensive third party payment systems that obscure the true value of medical services.

    President Obama could achieve such reform by championing a bill to legalize the purchase of health insurance across state lines. This concept is already a component in several of the health care plans before Congress, and the president himself has expressed no formal opposition to it. Companies that currently dominate the insurance market in certain states would be forced to compete with those offering cheaper coverage from other parts of the country, pushing prices down everywhere.

    Additionally, the expansion of Health Savings Accounts through income tax incentives would also increase patient power. Those accounts could be coupled with wider access to low-premium, high-deductible insurance plans, allowing consumers an opportunity to save and spend their own money for routine medical expenses like annual checkups or elective surgery; leaving costly insurance claims for genuine catastrophes.

    Rather than waiting for a slow moving bureaucracy in Washington to artificially push down one price while five more go up, 300 million Americans would be putting downward pressure on health care providers everyday, demanding more for less like we have done to great effect with so many other services we receive.

    The key to controlling costs is reform based on price discovery. When government gets between providers and consumers, as it has for decades, marginal costs are obscured and prices inevitably rise. Policy makers should stop trying to control the market and instead embrace reform that lessens the role of government and actually lowers the cost of care.”

    To be fair, it doesn’t seem they are for keeping the status quo or against any reform at all — they just don’t like the reforms offered so far. I also think you need to be careful associating libertarians with conservatives — this is an unfair attack on libertarians, since many critical differences exist. I don’t know of any libertarians who want to keep the healthcare arrangements government has set up so far — it’s just that since government has screwed up healthcare, most libertarians don’t want government doing more damage. If you can show me one true libertarian who wants to keep what we have, then I will say that libertarian is wrong, but I don’t think you can name even one.Report

  5. Avatar North says:

    Discouraging. Of course this makes it look even more like Wyden-Bennett was only a political tool to kill the Democrat plan and now that there’s been some glimmers and tremors of interest in it from some quarters they’re now taking it out behind the woodshed. Sausage and politics I suppose. Don’t feel bad though, I could pull my hair out by the roots for some of the things the Dems have and have not been doing.Report

  6. I read the article in the Hill and was literally enraged. Here is a guy who is hardly a moderate and he’s getting nailed by these so-called champions of the free market.

    Club for Growth is really the best thing to happen to the Democrats in a long time.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The Club for Growth represents fiscal conservativism/economic libertarianism in the same way that the California Teacher’s Union represents ensuring that our children get a quality education.Report

  8. Indeed.

    I should clarify – this post is not a criticism of conservatism or libertarianism as political philosophies, nor is it a criticism of conservatives as a group or libertarians as a group (I hope to be done with libertarian self-flagellation for a little while). Instead, it’s a criticism of the Club for Growth and the GOP “base” that supports it.

    Also, I should add that my analyses from the last few weeks remain unchanged – the incentive structures for individual GOP legislators continue to vary. But the Club For Growth’s actions have realigned those structures for at least some legislators, and in a very negative way.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’m almost to the point where I’m going to start calling the Democrats the “Not Republicans” and the Republicans the “Not Democrats”. That seems to encapsulate their political platform and ethical foundation.

      On the upside, it also puts their number one selling point right into their names.Report

  9. Avatar mw says:

    “I Give Up” – Mark

    Well. That’s really annoying. I know I am late to the Health Care Reform debate, but your and E.D.’s posts helped shape my thinking, and I am just now enthusiastic about Wyden-Bennett. In fact I am just getting ready to do a joint post with Justin at Donklephant on the bill.

    Look, its not like this was ever anything more than an exercise at windmill tilting. The fix is in, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and Big Unions have bought and paid for the bill they want. It is still a worthwhile endeavor to mount up and take a run at those brutes.

    Buck up man! I want you dig out your Man of La Mancha CD and play “Impossible Dream” a few time before you come back here and post anything else.Report

    • Yeah, I know. Sorry about that. I’m actually wondering if maybe the reason the Club for Growth is taking this route because Wyden-Bennett was starting to pick up a little bit of steam and, for political reasons, it became imperative for them to try to stop it in its tracks. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.Report

      • Avatar mw says:

        I’m good with that. It might even be true.

        Just thought I would circle back and close the loop on this –

        “Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said…Report