Monday, June 15, 2009

This Week's Nutshell

WSJ's James Taranto provides this week's "In a Nutshell" on the Obama administration's plans for health care:

The Associated Press reports on what it gently calls a "quirk" in the
so-called stimulus law:

When President Barack Obama increased unemployment benefits as part of his economic stimulus, he also made some Americans ineligible for hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps.

Under the economic recovery plan, laid-off workers have seen a $25 weekly bump in their unemployment checks as part of a broad expansion of benefits for the poor. But the law did not raise the income cap for food stamp eligibility, so the extra money has pushed some people over the limit. Laid-off workers and state officials are only now realizing the quirk, a consequence of pushing a $787 billion, 400-page bill through Congress and into law in three weeks.

And for people hurt by the change, there's no way around it.

This is why it's so important to give these genuises control over our health care right this second!

In this example, the government promises help, delivers that help, then promises more help, delivers that help and in the process makes those people worse off.

So the question is posed: will a gigantic government bureaucracy forcing the provision of health care insurance on an alleged 40-50 million uninsured Americans (more likely ruin the health care insurance now provided by scores of corporate bureaucracies held to the other 255 million Americans?

Another question is posed: given that the government already controls almost half of America's health care spending, and costs are declared to be out of control, then why is giving more power to Washington to set costs going to reduce costs when they already can't control a huge portion of the health care landscape?

And a third question is posed: What will Americans . . . ah, fuck it! Americans elected this Ice Cream Man and there's not a damn thing to be done to stop him. We are a nation of children screaming with delight at hearing the sprightly jingle and pling plong bell and running to the curb to pay three times as much for a frozen treat paid for by mom and dad, and if we don't get out there right away the Ice Cream Man will pass by our house and he might never come back!

Wait, Mr. Ice Cream Man, wait!