DNC Slogan: “Progressives” Against Progress!

forward fall

George Will makes a great point in his latest column about the odd position so-called “progressives” have taken regarding progress. Every time you hear someone at the DNC this week moan “They want to end Medicare as we know it,” remember this:

When did peculiarly named progressives decide they must hunker down in a defensive crouch to fend off an unfamiliar future? Hoover Dam ended the lower Colorado River as we knew it. Rockefeller Center ended midtown Manhattan as we knew it. Desegregation ended the South as we knew it. The Internet ended . . . you get the point. In their baleful resistance to any policy not “as we know it,” progressives resemble a crotchety 19th-century vicar in a remote English village banging his cane on the floor to express irritation about rumors of a newfangled, noisy and smoky something called a railroad.

If someone invented a pill tomorrow that cured cancer, would anyone complain that “They’re ending cancer care as we know it?” Of course not. Because chemo/radiation suck.

The US welfare system in the mid-1990s sucked. The Republicans in Congress wanted to “end welfare as we know it.” They were met with anger, screams of racism, and two vetoes by Bill Clinton. Clinton finally caved, welfare “as we knew it” ended…and the results were amazing! Welfare rolls dropped, employment rolls surged, and it was one of the most successful reforms of the past 25 years.

Right how, Medicare sucks. It’s going broke either in 12 years or four years, depending on the source. The “throw more money at it” solution proposed by Pelosi won’t work because we’re out of money. The “put everyone on Medicare through ObamaCare” approach of the president’s is the same thing, only worse.

Keeping Medicare “as we know it” when we “know it” to be collapsing before our very eyes is stupid. Who cares about “keeping Medicare?”  All I care about is getting people the health care they need. If free tokens to Chuck E. Cheese would get seniors the best medical care, I’d support that.

That’s the difference between the Left and the Right.  The Left is trying to save institutions: Medicare, government unions, the current government-run school system, etc., regardless of performance. 

People like Paul Ryan are trying to save actual people: Save them from not having healthcare when Medicare goes bust. Save them from crappy schools where the lousiest teachers can’t be fired. And most of all, save them from a Greek/California like collapse that will screw their families economically for decades.

End “Medicare as we know it?”  I sure freakin’ hope so. Before it’s too late.

Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

Natural Truth of the Day

For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I've been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don't know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population... I stand corrected: These data won't be available at all. Ever.-- Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View.