Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reform Rx - Snowe Weary

Good morning, happy Halloween, and just in case you did not have a nightmare, read the morning papers:

Snowe reaffirms her opposition to public option
- Portland Press Herald
Snowe on health care legislation: 'I will try to make it better'
- Morning Sentinel, Waterville
Senator hopes to improve health care measure, even if she votes against it
- Kennebec Journal, Augusta

In a story by Matt Wickenheiser, Maine Today Media has decided to become a part of the the legendary Snowe-making machinery equating her serious style with wisdom. Giving Senator Snowe occasional good marks for diligence and even level-headiness may be appropriate. However, just being earnest does necessarily yield wise statecraft. Senator Snowe is fallible, subject to misdirection, can be close-minded, and simply be dead wrong. That's the case with health care reform, Snowe has a nice bedside manner but her diagnosis is inaccurate and her prescription is full of complications for the patient.

Here's a few outtakes from the Maine Today Media piece that cause pauses:

Sen. Olympia Snowe reiterated one of her key positions Friday, saying she won't support a Senate bill that contains a public option.

The most vital tool to control costs effectively to cover the most individuals, supported by a majority of both houses of Congress, the President, the American people, and constituents in Maine continues to earn a complete dismissal.

She again suggested her alternative to a full government-backed plan: a fallback, safety-net plan that would be triggered in states where insurance companies fail to offer affordable plans.

Senator Snowe continues to tout her plan for a triggered public option fashioned for failure despite compromise after compromise and concession after concession that have brought us to the present "opt-out" public option version.

"I just think it's going to be very difficult to get it done by Christmas," she said.

A procrastinator's persistent petulance prevails.

"Introducing a government approach in an already dysfunctional market would truly threaten the ability to create a competitive market," Snowe said.

Oozing gravitas apparently can obliterate a lack of logic in any utterance. Faith-based market worship blinds her.

Snowe said that what has happened in the insurance industry has been "unconscionable."

Those are fighting words! Run up the white flag!

Let's put Senator Snowe's dalliance with health care reform in some sort of perspective. She has diagnosed a dysfunctional market. The dysfunction comes about from an insurance industry engaged in activity that is "unconscionable". Majorities of her colleagues, Americans, and Maine constituents see the value of a public option as the corrective solution. And, she seems to agree that a public option can fix things too. Senator Snowe has thus concluded that threatening an industry engaged in "unconscionable" practices in a dysfunctional market they brought about ought to be threatened with the fix for a few years. Maybe they will the play nice.

Senator Snowe: We're weary of your delaying tactics and continual preference for corporate entities over critical individual needs; please get with the program or at the very least stop obstructing the process by seeking concessions that hurt us.

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