Yesterday we mentioned the warning that Sarah Palin issued, via Twitter, on the eve of the House health care vote: “Shocking new questions re:whether military healthcare plans r protected under Obamacare. How will underpaid troops afford their own purchase?” First of all, never was a medium so suited to an author as Twitter is to Sarah Palin. With its forced mangling of syntax, its elision of subjects and verbs, and the impossibility of backing statements with evidence built into its form, Twitter is to Palin was the aphorism was to Friederich Nietzsche. Second, the “shocking new question” to which Palin was referring was whether the TRICARE health benefits program for members of the military and their dependents would satisfy the insurance mandate that passed as part of Sunday night’s vote. The answer is: yes, obviously. TRICARE is health insurance—really good health care insurance, issued by the federal government as part of a single-payer system that stands as an argument for the public option Palin so vehemently opposes. The House bill specifically states that TRICARE will satisfy the mandate, and the White House issued a statement in August assuring us that TRICARE benefits would not be affected in any way by proposed legislation. The Senate version of the health care bill, however, does not specifically exempt TRICARE recipients from the mandate—just as it does not specifically exempt congressmen—and that’s what Sarah Palin is so terrified about. Won’t you allow her to terrify you?
Senator Max Baucus (D-MT, go Griz) unveiled his long-awaited health care reform proposal this morning, after a year of personal reflection and more than three months of wrangling with a small group of Democratic and Republican Senators. If you’ve got twenty or so hours to spare, you can read the full text of the bill here. The Finance Committee chairman’s plan is bipartisan in the sense that it is the product of his discussions with Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi and Olympia Snowe, and not so bipartisan in the sense that they’ve all refused to endorse it. For his part, Grassley is still concerned about the two most important issues facing elderly white men who live in central Iowa: abortion and immigrants. “There are still some serious outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved,” Grassley said in a public statement. “Like preventing taxpayer funding of abortion services and the enforcement against subsidies for illegal aliens.” While Baucus’s legislation, like all other proposed health reform bills, expressly forbids federal funding of coverage for illegal aliens, Grassley does not feel that the wording is strong enough. He also wants to include a five-year waiting period before legal immigrants can be eligible for federal subsidies, as part of America’s longstanding Mow My Lawn and Then Get the Hell Off My Property policy.
First of all, whoever Photoshopped the popular web meme on the left to create the much-more-popular-with-me web meme on the right is a genius—in that he has repurposed a brutally stupid image in order to indict brutality—and less than a genius in that he seems to have been unable to match one of the world’s most common fonts. Good work anyway, dude. Second of all, “socialism” is rapidly overtaking “love” on the list of words most terribly abused by contemporary discourse. Accusations of socialism have dogged the Obama administration, whose decisions to take ownership stakes in GM, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have outraged Republicans, who believe the federal government should only have ownership stakes in, um, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The GOP isn’t the only powerful voting bloc that’s concerned. Among retards, socialism has become synonymous with totalitarian government, as one attendee at congressman Brian Baird’s health care town hall reminds us. “The Nazis were the National Socialist Party,” he says. “They were leftists.”