May 6, 2014

Why Both Sides Are Losing the Health Care Debate

Robert Graboyes

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

Our Great and Eternal National Health Care Debate calls to mind H.L. Mencken’s description of the prose stylings of Warren G. Harding, America’s much-maligned 29th president: “It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash. … But I grow lyrical.”

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Our Great and Eternal National Health Care Debate calls to mind H.L. Mencken’s description of the prose stylings of Warren G. Harding, America’s much-maligned 29th president: “It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash. … But I grow lyrical.”

The Great Debate, you see, is not a debate but, rather, dueling monologues, spoken in mutually unintelligible languages that use the same words, grammar and syntax.

If the issue were transportation, rather than health care, we would have the AffordableCar Act: “Every American will have access to a car that is astonishingly quiet, comfortable, stylish, fuel-efficient, low-maintenance and nonpolluting. AffordableCar will save every family $2,500 per year. But if you like your old car, you can keep your old car … period. Best of all, AffordableCar also flies effortlessly up to an altitude of 20,000 feet.” Crowds across America cheer, the applause growing louder with each sentence.

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