DF's picture

    Mitt: Down With The Sickness

    So, I'm doing my typical morning thing, which includes staples such as black coffee and Google News.  I like Google News for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the sort of "smart" aggregation that can sometimes lead to interesting or amusing juxtapositions.  It would be fun if someone did a more Burroughs-Gysin style news presentation.  The technology is there.  I'm just sayin'.

    One of the things that Google's news aggregation does is to group articles by story.  So, if you've got a story that's gripping the nation, say a missing white girl, then Google will give you one of these headlines and the lede and provide you with a link that will take you to a list of all related stories from all other listed sources, which includes Dagblog.  Bonus!

    What did mine eyes see today?  A small, but burgeoning list of articles revolving around Mitt Romney as a replacement for the fallen Tom Daschle!  This editoral from the CSM was particularly fun.

    Of course, the only reason that anyone would even begin to consider such a proposition is that Romney presided over Massachusetts health care reform.  Well, this takes me right back to the Democratic primary, with all of the back and forth over mandates, what is and is not universal health care and the like.  You know, back when Barack and Hillary were both struggling to out-do John Edwards without getting too close to Dennis Kucinich.  Remember when people cared about John Edwards?  Ah, those were the salad days.

    But seriously, the Massachusetts reform is as relevant now as it was then.  Why?  Because it very closely mirrors what Obama has proposed in terms of reform at the national level.  As I've noted elsewhere, Obama's proposals are right in line with current American views on health care reform - namely that Americans generally favor a government guarantee of health care, but generally don't favor a system that would mandate it.  America is kind of bi-polar like that.  Whether or not that makes sense in terms of constructing an ideal system out of whole cloth, that's where the public will to reform is at present.

    Doesn't that make Romney an ideal candidate for the job?  Who else, within the United States political class, can be said to have actually implemented the type of health care reform that Obama proposes?  Even if the MA system isn't the ultimate goal, what if that's really all of the reform that Americans will get behind at present?

    I recently watched this episode of Frontline that details some of the workings of national health care systems in other free-market democracies around the world.  It's nearly a year old, with some Election '08 flashbacks intact, but I'd recommend it.  If you watch it through the end, you'll hear a brief list of qualities shared by these very different plans:

    1. Insurance companies must accept everyone and can't make a profit on basic care
    2. Everybody is mandated to buy insurance and the government pays the premium for the poor
    3. Doctors and hospitals have to accept one standard set of fixed prices

    The MA system does accomplish some of these goals.  MA governor Deval Patrick said last year that his state's system gets them about half-way there.  I guess "there" a real universal system.  If Americans really only want half-way right now, then perhaps that should be the near-term goal.

    And if that's the game plan, then who better than Mitt Romney?

    I can't believe I just typed that.

    Note: This piece is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney for Secretary of HHS, but it sure reads like one.



    I watched that Frontline episode too, and I thought it was very good!  I particularly liked Taiwan's very pragmatic approach:  a combination of the most efficient policies from every nation.

    Fantasy:  I wish Obama would, on live T.V., take the same exact tour that T.R. Reid takes.  Then maybe we could have a healthcare system with less Mittmentum.

    Yeah, I thought it was sort of like a practical Sicko without Michael Moore's ego getting in the way.

    I have a feeling that Obama would like more reform than the public will really allow, but I'm not sure how hard he'll push it.  I'm still waiting to see how bold he's willing to be.  There are certain issues, most of them being incredibly important issues like health care and energy, that the public just isn't ready to treat seriously.  They need someone to lead them there.

    Kill me now. This is inhumane. Ok, wait. Better idea. Let's get Romney & Edwards into the ring - battle of the helmets! (Neutral referee to check for illegal use of hair product.) Winner gets rehabilitated politically. Loser has their life (or hair) extinguished.

    He should appoint Elizabeth Edwards. Pisses off the conservatives and the cheaters. Smile


    Almost as good as the frontline video is an article about Mitt Romney and his healthcare knowledge and experiences: "Mr. Powerpoint goes to Washington". It surprised me the first time I read it!

    Latest Comments