Friday, September 4, 2009

In It To Win It

I had a chance to speak with U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick (R D, ID-1) a couple of weeks ago at a house-party fundraiser. While it was a relatively small group and an informal atmosphere, I knew that I wouldn’t have much time to converse, so I weighed my options with regard to topics carefully. The viability of wind turbines in Idaho? Nah, that’s more of a 2nd District issue. Construction of a new nuclear plant in SW Idaho? Nope … I occasionally lean toward the “nucular” after a beer or two, and, well, this wasn’t exactly a dry fundraiser.

“Hey!” I said to myself. “What about this whole ‘health care reform’ thingy? Seems like I’ve seen something on the news about that!”

At this point, the goings on were in the back yard, and I was in the front yard talking to the EMDAMOTLA and another friend who happens to be doing a bit of work for Minnick. Well, he came walking out front, chatting amicably with some folks, and I asked if he had a moment for a question. I’m telling you, Marion Jones had NOTHING on the speed at which those two sprinted to the backyard.

Anyway, the conversation went something like this*:

Dead Acorn: I was wondering if you could explain your opposition to a public option for health insurance, when it would provide some much needed competition to the private health care industry, which, by its very profit-driven nature, finds it advantageous to deny as many claims as possible?

Walt Minnick: (obviously noting that I was wearing cycling cleats and standing a few feet away from my bike) Well, it’s something like a bike shop, where there is healthy competition between private businesses …

At this point, my thoughts were “What the FUCK? Am I talking to Pat Paulson here, with his 'two cows' theories?"**

DA: I find that a bit insulting and condescending for you to compare the health care industry to a bike shop. I agree that it’s great that when I need a new tire I can shop around. But health care is something that deals in large part with extremely low probability, yet extremely catastrophic incidents. This is exactly the type of thing that should be treated as a society. Plus, in many, if not most, areas, the health insurance industry is essentially monopolistic.

Walt Minnick: Well, I disagree with that …

At this point, his aide/driver/handler had, with remarkable deftness, even for a young healthy-looking guy, approached and informed me that the Congressman needed to leave.

I did ask Minnick about where he stood on portability, denial based on preexisting conditions, and recission, and he did answer favorably, to his credit. (“Favorably” in this case means you’re not a total dick and want to deny someone cancer treatment because they went to a dermatologist for acne once and didn’t report it.)

His a/d/h took my email address and told me that he’d send me a message explaining Minnick’s stance. I haven’t received anything, so I guess that makes him … disingenuous. Yeah, I’ll go with disingenuous.

To the point:

It is with a “meh – no one else is going to step up” attitude great pleasure that I announce my candidacy for the Democratic Party Nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives (ID-1).

There is the obvious issue that I don’t actually live in District 1, but I think I’ve heard that that is not actually a requirement in Idaho. If it is, I may to crash on someone’s couch on the west side of Boise for a bit. In any case, I’ll need someone with election law experience on the campaign. I’ll also certainly need additional attorneys as well, including at least one trial-experienced defense attorney. And if someone knows about all the rules for getting on the ballot, let me know in comments. Do I have to legally change my name to get The Dead Acorn on the ballot, like Pro Life did? The Dead Acorn isn’t really a political statement, so maybe it’ll fly. Also, I should probably actually register as a Democrat.

On the issues:

Fiscal/Budget: I believe in Fiscally Appropriate and Responsible Taxation and Spending. Yes, I’ll be running on FARTS. Minnick, like all others who preach that “when you personally are low on money, you stop spending, right?”, does not understand macroeconomics. Neither do I, but I do know that there’s a difference between that and the microeconomics that affect our day-to-day lives. I will not say “I will not raise taxes,” because I want to see the marginal tax rate bumped back up to the levels of the 1950s, that wonderful time to which conservatives yearn to return. Oh, I’ll take ‘em back, alright. 70% on anything over 10 million, minimum. Plus, I’ll try to explain what “marginal tax rate” means, and why a progressive income tax is a good and moral thing.

Health Care: Single payer, bitches. I will never say that The United States Has The Best Health Care System In The World until it does. I look forward to the debates, during which I will get to say “ummm … by what metrics, Walt?”

Environment: I kind of dig the environment. Well, I occasionally dig the environment in front of my house to get rid of weeds (okay, rarely). But I like having a coolo place like Idaho to hunt/fish/camp/bike and all that. That’s fairly non-controversial, I imagine. But no gold-mining up above the Boise River, ‘kay? I would also like to encourage people to do stupid things that could lead to bodily harm to express their views:

Above: Obviously over-served at Alive After Five. Thanks to The Beanery for having a spare sheet of blank paper and some tape.

Let’s see, what else?

Oh yeah … beer in all the drinking fountains!

* Subject matter is pretty accurate, but this ain't no transcript. I'm pretty sure I used the words "condescending", "insulting", and "catastrophic", though. Without slurring.

** If you get this reference, you're too old to be reading this stupid blog. You should be out enjoying the twilight of your life.


Pick-a-lilly said...

Below is a direct quote from my father (screamed at the top of his lungs) on this very issue:

"It's Communisim! It's going to put the insurance companies OUT OF BUSINESS!!! They are going to put all the old folks out to pasture!! PEOPLE WILL DIE! NO one will be able to get healthcare until it's TOO LATE!! People in the UK and Europe DIE while they are on waiting lists for YEARS!! They give up their life's savings to come here to America and get THE BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD!!"

My response:

(Rolled eyes)

"GOOD! Insurance companies are CORRUPT!! And who cares if a few of you old grumps get put out to pasture anyway!"

According to my dad, however, I don't know anything. He doesn't care if I deal with insurance companies for a living and know all their tricks and schemes and unethical policies. He doesn't care if it's all about the bottome line with them. He doesn't care if I've been to Europe and experienced better healthcare there, as a foreigner, than I have in this country. I don't know ANYTHING about insurance companies, or government run programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

I'm just a young liberal who's been seduced by Obama's LIES!!

You've got my vote, Acorn!

Pick-a-lilly said...

Good grief sorry I didn't realize I ranted on so long in that comment!

The Dead Acorn said...

"GOOD! Insurance companies are CORRUPT!! And who cares if a few of you old grumps get put out to pasture anyway!"

Ok, I never met your dad, but you told me about him, and still ... that's mean! MEANY!

I especially like the video clips on them interwebs where the older folks are screaming "don't let the government mess with my medicare!"

And we'll need folks on the Socialist Saunter when we hit Canyon County.

Pick-a-lilly said...

He said I was stubborn and that I was just like him. Now, that was simply going TOO far! I had no choice but to mouth off. Besides, he said it, not me. I simply said, "Who cares?" Besides, I was joking. Mostly. Heh, heh!

It is astounding to me that the same people who whine that if the government has anything to do with health care it will be a nightmare are the same ones that shout about how wonderful Medicare is and how health care reform will ruin it. can you NOT see the flaw in that logic??

Sisyphus said...

Bunch a damn pinkos.

DA, I think I was at the same house party. Damned if Foster wouldn't let me anywhere near Walter. Since I'm not shy with my opinions, Foster asked what Walt could do to get in the good graces of the blogging Ds. I told what I've always told him, pick one issue important to your base and champion it. I thought health care would be it. He says: "the public option will never pass". I says "yes it will" and before I can expound on how popular it is in poll after poll he turns away and ignores me the rest of the night. He paid the price for it and so's I get this nasty fricking expletive laced voicemail when the blog post goes up.

Keep drinking heavily and keep us posted.

Pick-a-lilly, I was born a libra. It ain't all its cracked up to be.