Out of Touch Every Which Way

Something’s curious about Mark Barabak and Faye Fiore’s presentation of the lack of street creds in Congress when it comes to healthcare:

Too much, too fast, too expensive. Those are some of the objections lawmakers have voiced against the healthcare overhaul Democrats are attempting on Capitol Hill.
But many Americans think Congress is out of touch. How, they wonder, can lawmakers empathize with the underinsured or those lacking insurance when they receive a benefits package — heavily subsidized by taxpayers — that most of us can only envy?

It isn’t the editorializing that’s striking; at this point, that’s expected. What’s odd is the one-sided insinuation that comfy legislators can’t empathize with a public that lacks a “public option.” Put aside the reality that there isn’t anything fundamentally more secure about Congress’s benefits than those of Americans in the private sector. They can lose their jobs, and sufficient pressure from the public would ultimately succeed in decreasing the benefit.
Most peculiar is the implicit notion that, even as legislators cannot empathize with the healthcare realities of their countrymen, they ought to take upon themselves the responsibility of rewriting those realities.

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OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

You have put aside the reality that members of congress are far better off financially than the average U.S. voter. You have ignored the reality that they are well connected and that losing their benefits as representatives means very little or nothing in their circumstance. It is you who ignores the reality of the situation. I challenge you to find an ex-congressperson who is collecting unemployment or visiting a neighborhood health clinic for treatment. You know damned well that you cannot identify one. This debunks your entire argument and lays you bare as an aristocratic sycophant.
OldTimeLefty

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Actually, you bolster my point. How insane is it to permit those out-of-touch aristocrats in Congress to create and operate a healthcare system for multiple classes of people whose plight they can’t possibly comprehend?

EMT
EMT
11 years ago

Most of these blue-bloods haven’t run so much as a lemonade stand in their entire lives.
Yet they know EXACTLY what a middle-class small business owner needs- and can afford- for health insurance for himself and his employees.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Justin,
You are playing dodge ball again. You asked your readers to, “Put aside the reality that there isn’t anything fundamentally more secure about Congress’s benefits than those of Americans in the private sector. They can lose their jobs, and sufficient pressure from the public would ultimately succeed in decreasing the benefit.” I posted that “You have ignored the reality that they are well connected and that losing their benefits as representatives means very little or nothing in their circumstance.” Your analogy holds no water and thereby your argument refutes itself. But you are a clever fellow and pulled a bait and switch, one of your favorite tactics.
Your response is a non-sequitur.
EMT
you know nothing and say less. Your comments are unworthy of refutation.
OldTimeLefty

msteven
msteven
11 years ago

You are arguing that Congress is too out-of-touch with the typical American person to legislate a health care system? Come on, that’s lame. Sounds like an argument from a liberal on social policy issues. Or from a libertarian on foreign policy. Ever heard ‘how can a majority of white males make laws for people whose plight they cannot comprehend’? It’s partisan and totally hypocritical as it can be used by anyone for any policy in which they disagree.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

msteven,
I know you delight in building me up as some sort of right-wing partisan so as to bask in “moderate” light that thereby reflects off my back, but the context matters.
This post is in response to a news “report” implying that Congresspeople encouraging a bit more reflection on healthcare policy should back off because they can’t “empathize with the underinsured.” I’m suggesting that the same logic ought to suggest that they not attempt to design a healthcare system at all.
Alackaday, perhaps I’m even farther right than you suppose, because I honestly believe that no single group, whatever their demographic qualities, can be trusted to contrive and manage universal healthcare.

msteven
msteven
11 years ago

Justin,
In fairness, I now see that your post shows the hypocrisy of “the one-sided insinuation that comfy legislators can’t empathize with a public that lacks a “public option.” But my response was in the context of your response to OTL. “how insane is it to permit those out-of-touch aristocrats in Congress to create and operate a healthcare system for multiple classes of people whose plight they can’t possibly comprehend?”. Maybe my mistake was taking it as a serious response instead of tongue-in-cheek.
Regardless, I do not delight in it anymore than you delight in building up OTL as some sort of left-wing partisan. I also am not ‘basking in a moderate light. If I bask in anything it is being not tied to the success of the Republican Party at the same time tied to the failure of the Democratic Party – despite being ideologically conservative.

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Justin, you said “no single group, whatever their demographic qualities, can be trusted to contrive and manage universal health-care.” But a wacko writing in this blog can advise the ill advised group? That’s the very definition of Chutzpah. Is your middle name Benito?
OldTimeLefty

OldTimeLefty
11 years ago

Let’s follow J Benito K’s logic.
Major Premise = People are fallible
Minor Premise = Groups that attempt to solve problems are made up of people
Conclusion = We cannot trust group solutions because people are fallible.
On further examination we can use J Benito K’s argument thus,
Major premise = People are fallible
Minor premise = J Benito K is a person
Conclusion = We cannot trust what he says because he is a fallible person
Poor J Benito K, hoisted on his own petard!
OldTimeLefty

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