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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daschle Not the Story: Health Insurance Still Needs Fixing

The Right has had its fun jubilating over Tom Daschle's defeat, but the need for health care remains. One of Daschle's Aberdonians, David Newquist, offers this appropriately pointed explanation of what really matters:

The focus on Tom Daschle's belated tax payments and his choice to utilize a car and driver has trivialized the job he was nominated to do. His tax problems were a serious issue, but he addressed them and paid his bill. The inference promoted by opponents of health care reform that his lapses were deliberate fraud is a convenient way to block that reform by shifting the focus from the state of U.S. health care to tabloid gossip and speculation. Just as his house in D.C. was made a campaign issue in 2004 as an appeal to the sullen jealousies of voters who resent anyone's success, his use of a car and driver was inflated into a betrayal of South Dakota values. The puling petulance on the blogosphere defines what those values are in fact.

Daschle's withdrawal from the nomination occasioned great bipartisan elation on the blogosphere, but it leaves 50 million people who cannot afford health care with greatly diminished prospects for ever having it available to them. No one possesses the combination of knowledge of health care issues and the skill to guide real reform through Congress more than Tom Daschle [David Newquist, "When Political Games Displace Work," Northern Valley Beacon, 2009.02.07].

Let's get our eyes back on the ball. Love him or hate him, the Tom Daschle story doesn't amount to a hill of beans next to the impact spiraling health insurance costs are having on the economy and our fellow Americans.

While I'm thinking of it, Assurant just jacked up my premium at a 17% annual rate. That means my family will spend a thousand dollars more this year on health insurance, money on which, if we stay healthy, we will get no direct return. That also means we will spend a thousand dollars less at the lumberyard, the bookstore, and Dairy Queen (sorry, DeLon!).

If you're worried about the economy, you should be worried about health care. High premiums and inefficient for-profit health insurance is a huge drag on the economy. We don't have time for political games; we need health care reform now.


  1. Tom needs to get his old 1970 Chevy Nova out of moth balls, the one he used in his TV commercials when he first ran for Congress, and get reconnected. Hopefully, he can still be involved in health care reform, even if from arms length.

  2. The most "interesting" thing is that you even don't have "private" health care system - your government spendings (per capita) are almost the same as in Canada PLUS you have private payments. It's really strange where all the money goes. Wish you effective system soon. Our system has many holes too, but your is really special...
    Take care

  3. I know many staunch Democrats and boy are they disappointed in Daschle. I don't blame him for wanting to make a good living after leaving so many years of public service, but this thing would have been tainted with his leading it. He diverted the story.

  4. It's sad to see what happened to Tom Daschle. He should be so thankful to South Dakotans for not reelecting him.
    He did so much better financially out of Congress. In just two years he made $5 million. That's quite a bit better than a senator can do.

    No wonder he didn't move back to South Dakota to enjoy our clean water and clean air. He couldn't make $5 million back here.

    Oh and look on youtube and see his statement he made years ago about how despicable people are that don't pay their taxes. But that was before he was making $5 million.
    Republicans didn't bring him down, Democrats did.

  5. At least you have the ability to pay that additional $1000 per year. Next year, the increase will get you again. Don't be surprised that the premium is rising. Insurance companies have to recoup from their losses in the stock market.


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