Missing Richard Nixon . . .

paul-krugman[2]Paul Krugman seldom misses a non-breaking curve ball, but he really slams the 08-30-09 editoral by the same name as this post into the upper decks.  Nixon a saint?  Well not exactly, but he did govern at a time when seeking biparisan support was not a capital offense.

As Krugman points out Nixon proposed “health care reform that looks a lot like Democratic proposals today.”  Nixon recommended tighter regulation of insurers.  As Krugman states “no illusions there about the magic of the marketplace solves all problems.”

Krugman misses the day when insane right wing factions had less control over the GOP and national debate.  Ultimately Krugman believes the massive control corporate interests now exert on Washington makes reasonable change in policy nearly impossible.  Surprise, surpise — it’s all about the money.

As a parting note, Krugman says “turning this country around is going to take years of siege warfare against deeply entrenched interests, defending a deeply dysfunctional political system.”

Is it as bad as he says?  Read more here.

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9 Comments

Filed under Healthcare

9 responses to “Missing Richard Nixon . . .

  1. lilacluvr

    Hate to admit it, but I do think it is as bad as he says. Common sense will tell a person that when corporate interests have been the dominating factor for the past few decades, then the average American has and will continue to suffer until a balanced level of corporate and labor is attained.

    Fat chance of that happening if the current Republican leadership gets back into power.

  2. Krugman does nail the two areas opposing reform accurately!

    “Part of the answer is that the right-wing fringe, which has always been around — as an article by the historian Rick Perlstein puts it, “crazy is a pre-existing condition” — has now, in effect, taken over one of our two major parties. Moderate Republicans, the sort of people with whom one might have been able to negotiate a health care deal, have either been driven out of the party or intimidated into silence. Whom are Democrats supposed to reach out to, when Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was supposed to be the linchpin of any deal, helped feed the “death panel” lies?

    But there’s another reason health care reform is much harder now than it would have been under Nixon: the vast expansion of corporate influence.

    We tend to think of the way things are now, with a huge army of lobbyists permanently camped in the corridors of power, with corporations prepared to unleash misleading ads and organize fake grass-roots protests against any legislation that threatens their bottom line, as the way it always was. But our corporate-cash-dominated system is a relatively recent creation, dating mainly from the late 1970s.”

    Add to that the many who pay too little attention and we’re where we are today. For those who don’t dig, all that is available are the sound bites, and whether it’s someone trying to spread them or debunk them, those sound bites are repeated often. Even people capable of understanding the truth think if every news outlet is saying the say things — that must be the truth.

    People are hurried with life’s demands, their personal interests, families, jobs, and they stopped listening or reading before they found the debunking, they didn’t hear anything but the sound bite. We all know the sound bites on health-care reform are the lies, exaggerations, the misinformation, but most people don’t know that.

    • lilacluvr

      People not paying attention is one thing but then we have uneducated people who listen to anything Jabba the Rush says and runs with it.

      The problem, as I see it, the wrong people are paying attention to the wrong leaders.

      The uneducated people maybe cannot help themselves by being stupid but Rush and his ilk know exactly what they are doing and they are laughing all the way to the bank (Swiss bank, that is).

  3. Krugman is absolutely right and I believe that if we are ever to overcome our problems in this country, we all have to acknowledge what he is saying here. Simply electing any one candidate or one party is not going to fix any problem. We have to realize what we are all up against and how far these entrenched interests will go to maintain their power.

    For anyone that is studying the healthcare reform issue and trying to analyze for themselves where the answers might lie, there is one sentence in Krugman’s article that offers a large hint:

    “The health insurance industry…is currently spending $1.4 million a day lobbying Congress.”

    Add to that the fact that the health insurance industry has seen their profits rise 428% in the past seven years, and it becomes obvious where we have to begin if we want to cut costs. I just don’t know how we can pull the idiocracy out of their fear-induced hysteria long enough to force them to see reality.

    • lilacluvr

      Just think how much $1.4 million a day could go towards providing health care for people that really need it.

      And we dare to label our country a ‘Christian’ nation?

      Jesus wept.

  4. 6176746f6c6c65

    The above is why real “reform” will not occur so long as it is not a break from our current system. Single payer is, to me, the only rational approach. The payer may be private or public (governmental). If private, the entity must be a not-for-profit organization, one without shareholders (a mutual form of company), with any income (not-for-profits are allowed to “make money”, just that the income is not to inure to the benefit of any member, such as dividends) used to reduce premium costs. There would be a mandated basic coverage at the federal level, with the states free to require additional coverage at a higher premium for residents of that state. Any person who wished to do so could acquire supplemental insurance, such as Medicare supplemental coverage, to cover the deductibles, etc., but which would not provide coverage for those items covered by the basic plan.

    • lilacluvr

      I think the majority of Americans want a basic health care plan with the option to buy supplemental policies.

      This would solve the dilemma of people putting off seeing the doctor and having something simple to treat turn into a major catastrophe later on.

      But, 6176, your plan makes too much sense and it would do too good of a job. And where would the wedge issue be for the political theatre?

      Republicans have used health care, abortion, gay marriage, equal pay for women, minimum wage as wedge issues for years. If they didn’t have these things to whip their base into a voting fury, they might just lose more seats in Congress than they already have?

      And, you would be amazed at how many people really do believe that non-profits are charity groups and are not allowed to make money.

      Again, is the average American being dumbed down or is it something in the water?

    • 6,

      I fear the GOP may be asking for their card back. Single payer?