Monday, November 18, 2013

Is Carl Hulse DeMinted?

Protest as schmatte marketing. Found art by HurricaneVanessa.
Carl Hulse at the New York Times seems intent on demonstrating that if it was a Republican president they'd just pull the Affordable Care Act, apologies all round, what-what:
Angry Americans voice outrage at being asked to pay more for health coverage. Lawmakers and the White House say the public just doesn’t appreciate the benefits of the new health law. Opponents clamor for repeal before the program fully kicks in.

The year was 1989, and the law was the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, which was supposed to protect older Americans from bankruptcy due to medical bills. Instead it became a catastrophe for Democratic and Republican lawmakers, who learned the hard way that many older Americans did not want to be helped in that particular way.
Although he also acknowledges that it's not going to happen and nobody actually wants it to:
[Families USA director Ron] Pollack and others dismiss the notion that President Obama’s health care law could be similarly repealed if the backlash becomes overwhelming, arguing that the costs are spread among many people and that the benefits flow to too many for it to be reversed. Many aspects of the law are already being widely taken advantage of, such as the ability to keep dependents on a family’s health plan until age 26.
So it's kind of hard to figure out what the point of this article is supposed to be. It might have been mentioned that the number of "angry Americans" being asked to "pay more for health coverage" in this case is a lot smaller than the other one and its benefits are a lot more appreciable—
  • the 1989 Medicare expansion was paid for entirely by Medicare recipients, raising premiums by a pretty substantial amount for some 40%, for a benefit that turned out to be a lot less than advertised (for which many of the 40% were covered already, by employer pension plans, including virtually all retired union members
  • while the new law provides its beneficiaries with something they really need and haven't previously been able to afford, except for a tiny number who have been as it were four-flushing at the health care casino and are pissed off because they're being asked to pay a fair share that they can easily manage.
The really startling thing about Hulse's "Congressional Memo" (it's not a story, analysis, or commentary, but a "memo", which means what exactly?) is its appearance at exactly the same time as a Heritage Foundation diatribe on the subject by Jim Weidman, and one that is far less concern-trollish and more outright incitement-to-rebellion:

The American People Rose Up to Repeal a Health Care Law Once Before. They Can Do It Again.

I really really hate conspiracy theories, but this looks a whole lot like coordination: like there was one person who knew Hulse was writing his piece, knew when it was going to be published, and scheduled the Heritage piece accordingly. Is this possible?
Hulse plays drums with a DC band called The Native Makers, but this from FishbowlDC is the only image of him in that connection I can find, and it doesn't look right. Maybe that's the answer! He's under a dreadful spell from which wicked wizard DeMint will release him only if he—ah—cooperates.

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