Friday, December 25, 2009

Bernie Sanders to Fund $10 Billion in Community Health Centers

Folks should really think about this press release, from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, "$10 Billion More for Community Health Centers will Revolutionize Care." It notes that:

A $10 billion investment in community health centers, expected to go to $14 billion when Congress completes work on health care reform legislation, was included in a final series of changes to the Senate bill unveiled today.

The provision, which would provide primary care for 25 million more Americans, was requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The program is distasteful as a matter of pork barreling, but it points to something that I've shown at this blog: Achieving universal health coverage is entirely feasible through state-level intitatives. State-federal grant programs are used routinely to fund everything from community development to education. And so it is with health care. In September, I investigated the left's outrage at the swine flu death of a college student in Ohio. As I showed at the time, Ohio has acheived virtually universal health coverage through an aggressive system of community health networks. No one is to be denied treatment under network policy, and Ohio launched the "Health Care Coverage Reform Initiative" which pledged to provide 100 percent coverage to Ohioans by 2011. Whatever the merits of the programs, the case demonstrates that universal health availability is entirely possible without the creation of new federal programs.

So, it's especially important to note that Senator Sanders is perfectly willing to cut loose the ObamaCare "public option" in exchange for earmarked healthcare for the states. Why? Why would a declared socialist forego the expansion of the federal Leviathan in exchange for a few billion dollars for the states? It's obvious -- especially from the language of the press release, which hails "the revolution" in primary health care -- that citizens could be fully and competently served at the state and local level. That's how federalism works. It's always better to seek local solutions to policy questions, and especially in this case when the U.S. is on the verge of destroying the last protections for private health provision in the nation.

The example also provides a window into the communist mindset of the most hardline leftists. At Firedoglake,
Brian Sonenstein has announced the threat of a primary challenge against Senator Sanders. Think about that. Leftists want to out the socialist Bernie Sanders! Previously it was Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut who was within the FDL crosshairs. Now we're talking about a self-proclaimed Marxist who's being targeted by Hamsher's Henchmen. Even Nate Silver's taking issue. He notes:
There have ... been people who have been arguing the bill in what I believe to be bad faith ... I mean in particular two or three of the writers at the blog FireDogLake. I don't exactly know what's going on over there; as a group, they're whip-smart, and they also reflect a diversity of voices, some of which I have had a problem with and others of which I haven't. But some of the initiatives they've launched over the past week, particularly teaming with Grover Norquist to pursue a conspiracy theory about Rahm Emanuel, threatening to primary Bernie Sanders, and attacking Joe Lieberman's wife, are a little bizarre and not reflective, in my view, of a website that is in the frame of mind right now to have a fact-based debate about the merits of the health care bill.
Actually, I don't think FDL is in "the frame of mind" to have a fact-based debate on healthcare. Jane Hamsher's been in the news for appearing on Fox News in an attempt to create a bipartisan consensus in opposition to the bill. But no one on either side wants to cooperate. Hamsher wants a federlized state socialist health bureaucracy. The only difference between Hamsher and her fellow travellers, like those at Daily Kos, is patience. She wants the Stalinist solution now. Kos is looking in terms of the five-year plans.

Either way, with Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders selling out the public option for the local health clinic option, it's perfectly clear that the ObamaCare legislation to totally unnecessary, and that the hordes at FDL are pushing the most extreme leftist program imaginable. This is a debate over the scope and speed of the socialist takeover. Witnessin this debate -- this internecine battle among socialists -- is perhaps the most informative element of all the recent wrangling over passage of the bill.

UPDATE: The post is revised.

3 comments:

shoprat said...

Don't let the left ruin the season. Merry Christmas.

Donald Douglas said...

Just blogging, Shoprat! Just blogging!

Merry Christmas!

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