Matt Taibbi on Healthcare Bills: “Preposterously expensive and contain almost nothing meaningful”

by Ben Cohen

Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article on the healthcare debacle is another must read. Taibbi points out that the entire process has been handled so badly, that no one really understands what will be in the final healthcare bill, even the President. Attempting to cut through the mountains of disinformation, political doublespeak and shocking ineptness of those responsible for drafting the bill(s), Taibbi uncovers the horrifying truth: That whatever is left after the various plans are cut and pasted together will make no difference whatsoever:

All that’s left of health care reform is a collection of

piece-of-shit, weakling proposals that are preposterously expensive

and contain almost nothing meaningful — and that set

of proposals, meanwhile, is being negotiated down even further by

the endlessly negating Group of Six. It is a fight to the finish

now between Really Bad and Even Worse. And it’s virtually

guaranteed to sour the public on reform efforts for years to


It’s a joke, the whole thing, a parody of Solomonic governance.

By the time all the various bills are combined, health care will be

a baby not split in half but in fourths and eighths and fractions

of eighths. It’s what happens when a government accustomed to

dealing on the level of perception tries to take on a profound

emergency that exists in reality. No matter how hard Congress may

try, though, it simply is not possible to paper over a crisis this


Taibbi’s main point echoes his sentiments about the financial crisis. The U.S government might want to enact serious change, but it can’t. Powerful corporate interests are so deeply embedded in Washington that real reform simply cannot happen. When the people drafting the legislation have been bought by the special interests that will be affected by the legislation, you can bet nothing will happen. To use the analogy of the fox guarding the hen house would be underselling it – it’s more like the fox designing the hen house. Guaranteed to fail, and guaranteed to keep the fox fat and happy.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.