That Will Be Disregarded by People Consumed With Tweets and Facebook
Perusing the opinion page of the NYT Sunday one is struck by how important the columns are, and how irrelevant they will be to most people. Start with so-called conservative Ross Douthat who wants to advise the Republicans on health care. Now his ideas are not all bad, but consider this.
First, the smaller bill would repeal the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. It would replace it, as the Senate bill does, with a continuous-coverage requirement — a waiting period to purchase insurance if you go without it for more than two months.
Second, the bill would repeal some of the taxes on health care spending, saving and services imposed by Obamacare — including the taxes on medical devices and prescription medications, the higher threshold for deducting spending on chronic care, and the limits on contributions to health spending accounts.
So he keeps a part of the GOP plan to slash taxes of the very rich. But the killer is his repeal of the individual (and presumably employer) mandate. This is a recipe for disaster. Anyone knows anything about insurance (no, that does not include Douthat) knows that requiring individuals to maintain coverage is the key. It spreads the risk so that health insurance with subsidies is affordable. Mitt Romney, when he had principles, discovered this in
Massachusetts. Douthat is an insurance idiot.
Frank Bruni writes about infrastructure, focusing on
New York city. He
bemoans the breakdown of the transportation system and identifies the
problem of cowardly politicians.
I’m losing faith in
. I’m losing patience. Last week we
got an especially vivid reminder of what an overwhelmed, creaky menace the
city’s infrastructure has become: Two cars on an A train in Upper
Manhattan derailed, injuring about three dozen people. New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo subsequently declared a state of emergency for the subway system, pledged $1 billion for improvements and demanded a detailed action plan. I have just one question. What took him so long? Actually, I have another. How much of his sudden zest reflects a possible presidential bid and the need to pretty up an ugly blot on his record?
But the American people have been lead to think they get something for nothing, that government services are free and that everyone can have free health care, free college and free transportation. Bernie Sanders is the poster child for this nonsense.
Maureen Dowd writes about Trump the Cruel. And that is what people need to know about the orange headed President. His basic trait is inflicting cruelty.
But as some women anchoring cable shows call for the women in the Trump administration to rise up in protest, I say: Let’s not narrow it to sexism.
It’s even more troubling than that. It’s cruelty on a Grand Guignol scale, both in Trump’s heartless tweets and in his mindless salesmanship of the Republicans’ heartless budget. When Trump called the House health care bill mean, he knows whereof he speaks. He’s the King of Mean. Pathetically, Trump mistakes cruelty for strength.
And that is what his supporters need to understand. It is what religious conservatives need to understand. It is what decent and compassionate and caring people need to oppose.
So there it is, editorial opinion on Independence Day weekend. Read ‘em and weep, not for yourselves but for the nation.