In a must-read, Camille Paglia goes after ObamaCare (“this rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive bill”) with hammer and tongs:
Why can’t my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators? Massively expanding the number of healthcare consumers without making due provision for the production of more healthcare providers means that we’re hurtling toward a staggering logjam of de facto rationing. Steel yourself for the deafening screams from the careerist professional class of limousine liberals when they get stranded for hours in the jammed, jostling anterooms of doctors’ offices.
And on it goes. But amid the rollicking putdowns are some very serious indictments of the Democrats.
First, they really don’t understand the whole supply-and-demand thing. They respond to arguments about rationing by decrying the terminology (“death panels”) but without addressing the underlying reality: they are squeezing payments, which in turn will reduce care and access to doctors and thereby limit care. This isn’t a prediction; it’s the reality of government-run health-care schemes. Along the same lines, Paglia rightly takes the Democrats to task for ignoring an easy means of expanding competition and thereby reducing costs: “What covert business interests is the Democratic leadership protecting by stopping consumers from shopping for policies nationwide?” Well, again, if you don’t really understand or want to rely on free markets, you aren’t going to make an effort to expand them.
Moreover, Paglia doesn’t understand why we are doing this at all:
And why are we even considering so gargantuan a social experiment when the nation is struggling to emerge from a severe recession? It’s as if liberals are starry-eyed dreamers lacking the elementary ability to project or predict the chaotic and destabilizing practical consequences of their utopian fantasies.
Well yes, they are in the business of passing a liberal fantasy that’s been rattling around for years — government-run health care. They aren’t in the business of making it work or picking up the pieces after its disruptive impact ripples through the economy and the health-care system.
And finally, Paglia lambasts the Democrats for slashing Medicare:
How dare anyone claim humane aims for this bill anyhow when its funding is based on a slashing of Medicare by over $400 billion? The brutal abandonment of the elderly here is unconscionable. One would have expected a Democratic proposal to include an expansion of Medicare, certainly not its gutting.
Well, there you have it: an economically illiterate, ill-timed, anti-senior health-care plan. Who could resist? The Democrats and the mainstream media have become obsessed with making the deal and figuring out how to eliminate opposition. But the public is still back on the substance. And like Paglia, it is likely to conclude that this is the worst of all possible worlds. Never has the status quo looked so good.