Shut Up, Hurry Up, Pay Up, Drop Dead

Gosh, things are all, like, fast and furious on the Obamacare front.

  • In a conference call to lefty bloggers last night, President Obama revealed his "shut up" strategy:
    While [Obama] refused to insist that lawmakers stay in Washington during the August recess, he declared definitively that, "the time for talk is through."
    Of course, he wasn't asking the lefties to shut up. What he means is that the time for deliberation and careful consideration is over. (That time was from 3-5pm on Friday, April 17. Sorry if you missed it.)

  • But—wait a minute—the White House also floated a different "shut up" argument the day before:
    President Barack Obama's advisers are urging critics of their health care overhaul to wait for Congress to finish writing legislation before issuing verdicts.
    So either the "time for is talk through" or it's not here yet. Either way, the message is clear: shut up.

  • Rich Lowry points out the "hurry up" prong of the Obamacare strategy:
    Do it now, before anyone can grasp what exactly it is that Congress is passing. Do it now, before the overpromising and the dishonest justifications can be exposed. Do it now, before Obama's poll numbers return to Earth and make it impossible to slam through ramshackle government programs concocted on the run. Do it now, because simply growing government is more important than the practicalities of any new program.
    It makes a perfect complement to the "shut up" demand.

  • The "pay up" part is also being handwaved around. The main idea here is to obfuscate the winners and losers, but math says that if you have to come up with a trillion (and probably more) over the next ten years, there are gonna be a lot of losers. Nancy Pelosi, in a meeting with USA Today's editorial board used revealing language:
    "Many members think there's more to be squeezed from hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and docs out of this bill," Pelosi said. "I believe there's more to be squeezed."
    Squeezed, huh? All together now, folks: Moooooo

    The same article also quotes a Senator:

    Finance chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., emerged from a meeting late Monday to say members are considering several new ideas to pay for health care legislation proposed by Obama's budget chief, Peter Orszag.

    "They're interesting, they're creative," Baucus said. "Some of them are kinda fun. But I don't go farther... who knows which ones we're going to agree to or not."

    Fun! Well, kinda fun. The main point: he's the one having fun. Good luck on finding out how much fun you're going to have until it's too late to do anything about it.

  • Finally, one item that might benefit from additional scrutiny and deliberation is section 1233 of the House bill, which is currently titled "ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION", but probably could be renamed to something like "WOULD YOU FOR CHRISSAKE JUST DIE ALREADY TO SAVE US SOME MONEY". It requires seniors to get a tutorial from a "practitioner" on end-of-life issues. No word on whether the "practitioner" would need to wear a hooded black cloak and carry a scythe.

    At Q&O, Dale Franks makes pithy observations on the topic:

    Forget all the kind rhetoric about "dignity". Let's call it what it is: Geriatric Euthanasia. And let's be very clear about why we want the old people to die: We've sucked all the economic productivity we're going to get out of them, and it's more convenient to kill them than it is to assume the financial burden of their care. You can pretty it up with all the flowery language you want, but at the end of the day, it comes down to, "You cost too much to keep alive. Just die."
    In other words: When your troika is headed down the Road to Serfdom, you need to toss the occasional poor sap to the wolves in pursuit.