Get a load of the hard-right Taliban Republican congresscritter Roy Blunt telling a Missouri radio audience why he thinks we should just let our veterans rot in the streets (and grandma, too):
BLUNT: Well, you could certainly argue that government should have never have gotten in the health care business, and that might have been the best argument of all, to figure out how people could have had more access to a competitive marketplace.
Government did get into the health care business in a big way in 1965 with Medicare, and later with Medicaid, and government already distorts the marketplace.
A government competitor would drive all the other competitors away. What we should be doing is creating more competition. One of the reasons the marketplace doesn’t work the way it should work right now is we really don’t have the competitive marketplace that I’d like to see put in place.
I’d like to see people have many more options, instead of fewer options. The option, for instance, to continue to get insurance at work, but also take that same tax benefit and use it on their own and use it in the new marketplace that Republicans advocate…
Let’s address this glurge in reverse order.
First off, "more choices" is a joke when you can’t afford any of them. As Christy points out, Republican and insurance-lobby whinings about "rationing" sound particularly silly when you realize that health care already is being rationed by a system that makes it impossible for anyone but the rich to take full advantage of the choices it provides.
Second off, notice that Blunt — or rather, the insurance-industry lobbyists who put the words in his mouth — fears Adam Smith’s legendary "invisible hand". If the whole point of the Ayn-Rand-fetish "government is bad" capitalism he and his patrons publicly tout is that the strong and good succeed over the weak and not so good, then why fear testing a government health plan? (President Obama made that very point a few weeks ago, by the way.) Why should Blunt fear testing the idea that the government can do a better overall job with health care than can the corporate entities that fund his campaigns?
Because Blunt knows that we’ve already tested this idea — and it works. The Veterans Health Administration, one of the government health care agencies he wishes never existed, now runs the best hospital network in the country — and at far less overall expense than its private-industry competition. (Notice that Blunt’s main attack on these entities has nothing to do with the quality of care that they give — it’s all about their picking on poor widdle private industry. Bleargh.)
Blunt isn’t alone in his hatred for the Veterans Health Adminstration — in fact, his position is the default one among Republicans on Capitol Hill, which is why John Boehner picked him to chair the House GOP Task Force on Health Care. And the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2008, Arizona’s own Senator John McCain, sold out the vets he claims to love so much by doing his damndest to kill the VA — which is doubly ironic, considering how much VA doctors and staff helped him during the years following his return from the POW camp.
I think these guys need some vets and grandmas camping out in front of their offices, don’t you?