What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 28, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

This week, unsurprisingly, Jack Kelly toes the republican line on health care. Surprise, surprise, Jack's solution in this column?


But first let's start with some Shakespeare:
I hope this isn't just political theater, where we're just playing to the cameras," President Barack Obama said as he opened his health care summit Thursday.

But of course that's all it was. When he said it was "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," Shakespeare's Macbeth might have been anticipating this event.
And let me commend Jack on the literary reference.

As Jack points out, it's from Macbeth (Act V scene v, to be precise). Macbeth has just learned that Lady Macbeth is dead and says:
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
And kudos to Jack for peppering his text with Shakespeare/theatre references:
Mr. Obama performed well, as he is wont to do at staged events...
The fury came mostly from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi...
...the Republicans, who were to be cast as the villains.
And so on. But let's move beyond the literary analysis. Here's Jack's next paragraph:
The purpose of the exercise was to portray the president as a reasonable man open to compromise and the Republicans as abominable "no" men. But that purpose was undermined by the leaks beforehand that the Democrats plan to try to ram through Obamacare 2.0 (which combines the worst features of the House and Senate bills) through the budget reconciliation process.
Of course that's that pesky "majority rule" that sometimes doesn't seem to apply in the US Senate.

In the end Jack proposes three solutions (all echoes of the same concept - deregulation):
  • Remove legal restrictions on the importation of foreign drugs.
  • Allow the purchase of non-controlled medications without prescriptions.
  • Repeal the Kefauver Amendment of 1962.
Luckily, Jon Stewart has already dealt with this argument:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bipartisan Health Care Reform Summit 2010
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorVancouverage 2010

Check out what happens at about seven minutes in (keeping in mind Jack's deregulation suggestions). Here it is. The president says:
We could set up a system where food was probably cheaper than it is right now, if we just eliminated meat inspectors.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

I have to say I had a different take on at least the first proposal Kelly makes. That came up during the Medicare Part D debate. I know people who still get prescription drugs from Canada, at substantially lower cost. The funny thing to me is that Kelly seems to have a grudge against the pharmaceuticals for not complaining (or maybe complaining more) about health care/insurance reform. So Kelly wants to throw them under the bus.

But regardless of the motivation of Kelly, Democrats should say yes to that, if offered by the Republicans.

Honestly, I don't know enough to say about Kelly's other two proposals. I'm not sure people should act as their own doctor, in the sense of choosing prescription drugs that would now be made OTC. I mean, it would save money, but ...