HEALTH CARE FOL­LIES

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

Health care re­form Se­nate-style is more than 2,300 pages long and might be bet­ter suited as a pro­jec­tile, to be stowed aboard a drone and cat­a­pulted down upon the hide-out of, oh, some ter­ror­ist some­where. That’ll teach ’em. The sky’s rain­ing heath care re­form. Run for the hills.

And that Christ­mas Eve vote. Some Amer­i­cans have taken of­fense at this odd phe­nom­e­non, deem­ing it “of­fen­sive” and even “sac­ri­le­gious” that law­mak­ers will be holed up on a sa­cred night, say­ing “yea” or “nay” rather than “amen” or “al­leluia.” Six out of 10 likely vot­ers, in fact, say the Se­nate should have waited on its vote, ac­cord­ing to Ras­mussen Re­ports.

Maybe the se­na­tors should just go ahead and stage a Christ­mas pageant, though there would be fisticuffs over who gets to play the Wise Men. An­other idea: “Health Care Re­form, the Mu­si­cal.”

The press may have failed in its obli­ga­tion to in­form the pub­lic and ex­plain the facts, mean­while. “Oba­macare” cov­er­age seems like elec­tion cov­er­age: long on spec­u­la­tion, horse race and mean­ing­less par­ti­san de­tails — short on is­sues, red meat and clar­ity.

In­deed. Where is “Health Care for Dum­mies” when you need it?

“What is in the health care bill? The Se­nate ver­sion? The House ver­sion?” asks Michael Wolff, founder of Newser.com. “I have been looking through the cov­er­age — the vast sturm und drang about it — and can´t find any news or­ga­ni­za­tion that has in any ac­ces­si­ble way sum­ma­rized the damn thing and made it easy read­ing.”

“In essence, we have a rag­ing ar­gu­ment about a bill that no one, ex­cept maybe peo­ple with very pe­cu­liar in­ter­ests, ac­tu­ally un­der­stands. On top of that, no fi­nal bill yet ex­ists,” Mr. Wolff con­tin­ues.

“Even for the hot-but­ton is­sues — like the pub­lic op­tion and abor­tion fund­ing and opt­ing into Medi­care (what­ever that is) — you´d be hard-pressed to find a neigh­bor or col­league or fam­ily mem­ber who could tell you just what the res­o­lu­tion has been,” he adds. “The coun­try is deeply po­lar­ized by a leg­isla­tive over­haul, the de­tails of which re­main opaque to al­most ev­ery­body. I’ll bet even most mem­bers of Congress haven’t the fog­gi­est.” than cli­matic.

“Copen­hagen failed, no sur­prise there. The big win­ner is the global econ­omy, which was spared an in­ter­na­tional pact to ra­tion en­ergy. By any sen­si­ble cal­cu­la­tion, the dan­gers of eco­nom­i­cally ru­inous global-warm­ing poli­cies far out­weigh the dan­gers of the warm­ing it­self,” William Yeat­man tells In­side the Belt­way.

The Com­pet­i­tive En­ter­prise In­sti­tute an­a­lyst ac­tu­ally at­tended the sum­mit.

“The big loser is the United Na­tions. U.N.-spon­sored cli­mate con­fabs long have been fo­rums for klep­to­crats from poor coun­tries to brow­beat rich coun­tries for aid, but the pan­der­ing got out of hand in Copen­hagen. Worse still, the U.N. demon­strated awe­some in­com­pe­tence in its han­dling of the event,” Mr. Yeat­man con­tin­ues.

“It gave out more in­vi­ta­tions than the event site could ac­com­mo­date so thou­sands of peo­ple were out in the cold, lit­er­ally. I can’t imag­ine ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tin­u­ing un­der the aus­pices of this inane or­ga­ni­za­tion. Ex­pect fu­ture dis­cus­sions to shift to an­other fo­rum, most likely the ma­jor economies’ meet­ings, which are run by the White

House.” heavy­weight and long­time buddy of Pres­ley — mod­er­ated by Ti­mothy Naf­tali, di­rec­tor of the Nixon Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary, and in­tro­duced by David S. Fer­riero, ar­chiv­ist of the United States.

Con­sult www.archives.gov for in­for­ma­tion. The event is free.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Still the King: Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon, left, meets with Elvis Pres­ley on Dec. 21, 1970, in Wash­ing­ton. The meet­ing be­tween two of the most im­prob­a­ble cul­tural icons of the 1970’s lasted all of 30 min­utes, but it has fas­ci­nated the na­tion for years.

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