With blunt pragmatism, Sen. John Sununu came to Concord last week and told economic development leaders not to waste time worrying about the cost of health care.
“This may be the most bizarre recommendation, but I am sincere,” Sununu said. “I’m not saying it’s not an issue or it’s not important, but proportionally speaking, stop complaining about health care.”
Sununu said business leaders would be better off putting their energy elsewhere. For starters, “if there was something that we could do about it that were quick or easy, it would be done,” he said, predicting only marginal policy changes. “There is no solution” anytime soon, he said.
He cited the “opportunity cost” of business types squandering time debating health care issues instead of working on issues they could control.
If there’s a glimmer of hope, it will come from open markets, said Sununu, who broke with the White House in 2003 to vote against the Medicare prescription drug bill because it restricted price competition.
Health care “is so darn expensive,” he said, “because it’s worth it.”
Am I laughing or choking on my own bile? Even I don’t know anymore. Writers for the Onion, hang your heads in shame: John Sununu is your daddy.
“Proportionally speaking”? “Opportunity cost”? Health care takes up 16% of our GDP (as of 2004), and we don’t even have universal coverage; compare that to 10.9 in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France. Everyone from automaking behemoths to municipalities are being held hostage by this one segment of our economy. Health care grows, everything else contracts.
Gosh Senator, I’d say proportionally speaking this was a pretty big deal.
I hope this can be treated as a warm and fuzzy “teachable moment”, as well as a “kick me” sign on the GOP that the Dems will avail themselves of. And I hope and expect the line will be long to replace the feckless (i.e. he has absolutely no fecking clue) Mr. Sununu in 2008.