Oh my goodness. Sean Bielat pulled a Sarah Palin this morning in fluffing his way through an interview with WBUR’s Bob Oakes:
Lets talk about some issues. How do you hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the challenge to the national health care overhaul? What would you like to see the court do?
I believe that the mandate to purchase insurance is not constitutional.
Do you hope that the law is struck down completely or do you just want the individual mandate in the law struck down?
I think I’d like to see it struck down completely. I think that there are a lot of troubling aspects of the law. There’s enough problems with the legislation that we ought to start from scratch again.
To be replaced by what then?
I think the more you can return to basic economic forces, and then where you need to add on top of that. We need a social safety net, obviously. The question is how we provide that and the question is what the repercussions are if we extend it too widely.
If the national law is struck down, would you want Massachusetts to reconsider the state health law [that is] viewed as, of course, the blueprint for the national plan now under dispute?
No, I agree with the argument that states should be able to come up with the solutions that are best for states.
Ah, “basic economic forces”. NIce one. Like, the kinds of forces that led 40 million some Americans to go without health care? Like insurers being able to cut off people with pre-existing conditions? The kinds of forces that lead to double-digit premium inflation?
Let’s walk through this very slowly with Mr. Bielat — and our junior Senator, for that matter. Any journo can ask them these questions. They’re pretty simple.
- Who deserves to go to the doctor when they’re sick? Who doesn’t?
- Should insurers be able to exclude people who have “pre-existing conditions”?
- Should insurers be able to jack up the rates of those folks?
- Do you believe hospitals should be required to take in all comers, regardless of insurance status? (or put it another way: Should we allow the bodies of the uninsured to be piled up outside ERs?)
- If hospitals can be thus required, why can’t individuals be required to have insurance?
- Should the rest of us be forced to pay for the expensive catastrophic care of those who could buy, but do not have insurance, as we do now?
- Isn’t it smarter, cheaper, and more humane to make sure that people have continuous, regular health care, so that they go to the ER less frequently in the first place?
- Of course you have objections to the law — we all do. Are your specific objections worth depriving 32 million people of health insurance?
Anyone want to actually talk about health care, and not talk about talking-about-health-care?