Do you want a bureaucrat to get between you and your doctor?” It’s the mantra of Republicans and other conservatives and it is effective.
It is the chant that can whip up a crowd against any sort of health care public option or any change for that matter. Never mind the reality that bureaucrats already get between you and your doctor…insurance company bureaucrats, that war cry is a blood boiling banality.
There is no cure for knee jerk which is the condition that reflexively kicks away at anything that can be called “Socialism”… a threat to free enterprise and the market system. Even so, let’s take the extremists to their logical extreme. Here are a few other slogans for the frenzied to shout at the next Tea Party.
How about “Do you want a bureaucratic dispatcher to get between you and your police or fireman?” What about your garbage collector? That’s appropriate because this distortion of free enterprise is pure garbage.
Of course we want the government to handle these services. All but the fringiest libertarian wants everyone’s trash picked up and is willing to pay a tax for that, if for no other reason than someone else’s uncollected slop can contaminate his or her preciously private property.
So the question really is do we consider everyone’s health as important to us as safety protection, and garbage collection. If so, what do we create as an alternative to the corporations in control of the medical system that fail so badly doing the job largely because quarterly reports are their real priority?
Shouldn’t the slogan be “Do you want an insurance executive to put his bonus and pay incentives between you and your doctor”?
Or maybe the bank executives getting between you and your money? Or jobs? Same issue, different fat cats. Their rallying cry is similar: Regulation to try and limit their ability to engorge on the stolen lifeblood of everyone else would really harm the ones they’ve victimized.
No matter how Orwellian that seems, it’s the public argument they make as they swarm over Senate side of Capitol Hill. They attack any meaningful reform by spraying campaign money to buy influence and by threatening to shower it on the next opponent of any elected official who steps out of line.
In spite of that, a new set of protections has merged from the House, albeit a diluted one. The financial industry will be trying to water it down even more, or even drown it, in the procedural quicksand of the Senate. President Obama can vilify the bankers and their accomplices all he wants, they make a lot more than he does and intend to keep it that way.
Maybe one idea for the President is a new catch phrase. “Do you want a lobbyists to get between you and your money”. Otherwise the inspiring “Yes We Did” from Inauguration Day, just a disappointing year later, will have become “No We Couldn’t”.