They -- those insidious, shape-shifting, ubiquitous "they" -- are back, rested up, freshly boodled, and rearin' to go.
One would think they'd be too embarrassed; that some communal, perhaps even atavistic strain of human decency would, by now, have bubbled up from within and throttled their antisocial urges. But shame, and shamelessness, seem immune to their peculiar form of genetic drift.
Who else could I mean but America's shallowest couple, Harry and Louise -- or in today's case, their extended family, already appearing on radios and televisions dangerously proximate to their fellow citizenry.
This time around the heath-care anti-universalists have hatched themselves as "Conservatives for Patients Rights." That may be an admirable improvement over "Harry and Louise" in self-identification, but, at the rate conservatism's image is nose-diving, they may need to wage an emergency follow-up campaign entitled, "Patience for Conservatives' Rights."
America has just about had its fill of these yahoos, although the latter do get points for perseverance. And yesterday that perseverance began anew, with CPR (cute, huh?) launching a three-week, $20 million propaganda blitzkrieg aimed at agitating the terminally bamboozleable "in opposition to" -- here it comes -- "government-run coverage," as the Politico reports.
Ah, if only all health care in America indeed worked as a plodding, socialistic monster, such as Medicare, which operates at a mere 10 percent of the administrative cost of private insurers. But, says the palpitating CPR family, let's do remain mired instead in that fictitious model of efficiency, the private system, where winners earn regular bodily maintenance if not resuscitation and Rick Santelli's "losers" are just S.O.L.
Richard Scott -- CPR's Big Daddy, obscenely wealthy investor, GOP bankroller and disgraced former "head of what became known as Columbia/HCA after fraud charges against the massive healthcare company in 1997" (oops, there's some of that private efficiency, to the tune of an $880 million settlement with Justice) -- intones that "If we have more government involvement we're going to have dramatically worse health care."
For about 50 million Americans, even dramatically worse health care would of course be a dramatic improvement over no health care. But let's go beyond the too-familiar mumbo-jumbo scare tactics and take a peek at how Mr. Scott proposes to improve what, as a fluent system of private care, should not, according to any Hoyle of an Adam Smithian bent, require any improvement:
"[He] is pushing for four principles to any health care reform package: individual choice, competition between carriers, giving patients' ownership over their own coverage and rewarding those who make healthy lifestyle choices."
Do I hear a yawn -- a massive, nationwide yawn of, Same old, same old? Of, What about the nearly 50 million uninsured? Of, What about the (Hobson's) choice and (laughably ineffective) competition and (increasingly unaffordable) ownership that already exist? Of, Healthy lifestyles my butt, for people who can no longer afford even a brief health consultation? And what -- no tax credits? You know, for maybe the unemployed, who live for nothing but clever accounting advantages?
Sorry, Mr. Scott, your proposal is making me sick -- and I can't afford to get sick, because I'm one of the 50 million.