Massachusetts = Idiocracy

I wish I were clever enough to come up with the above equation, but someone else beat me to it, and their article is bitchen, dude.

The issue of the election was Obamacare, piled on a base of economic discontent.

The LAT added their fuel to the fire by putting up a set of op-eds: anti-Obamacare, and pro-Obamacare

The anti side is a lot of bluster, and a heap of bunk, but that's what people fall for now. Times are tough, and they'll believe anything that points a finger and accuses the incumbents of screwing up.

The Left are not helping any, with their condemnation of the Senate healthcare reform bill. Yes, the excise tax sucks. Yes, the mandatory purchase of insurance sucks. But what's the alternative? Single payer is a no-go - not enough support - so you have the individual mandate. There's strong opposition to using a tax that's more like an income tax, so you have this excise tax.

Not enough people are explaining the real problem, which is that costs are rising quickly, and it's people who are bearing the pain, through bankruptcy, poor health, and death. The problem will compound over time, if we stick with the status quo -- it's only going to get worse, because the current insurance system is shedding members who are healthy, and kicking out people who are sick. The insurance system is shrinking, and the idea of comprehensive coverage is shrinking.

A social insurance system that shrinks is in decline. Its decline is also likely to accelerate.

The current reform bills address these problems, partially. It's a first step.

It forces healthy and poor people into the system.

It forces insurance companies to keep the ill insured.

It transfers some money from the "rich" to the "poor" - though with great pain to the so-called "rich" - so the "poor" can be insured.

That's the sweeping reform, and while it won't fix the price inflation part, it'll stop one major problem of a shrinking system.

Once that's dealt with, we can deal with these obscene 20% year-over-year rises in cost. Maybe that can be passed before 2013.