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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Extension of remarks: The sausage works inside Obamacare ...

A lot of Obamacare chatter among the pundits over the weekend.

I said it’s a mess because of what Obama couldn’t do.

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In Obamacare battle, it’s dogma vs data — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

"... What doesn’t get a lot of attention — certainly from the side of the argument that is absolutely petrified at the thought of the working poor having the same access to health care that every civilized nation on the planet has long taken for granted — is why the horrid complexity of the health insurance exchanges exists.

"It is because neither [Kathleen] Sebelius, nor President Obama, nor then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is probably the person most responsible for what’s actually in the law, had the power to do the right thing.

"The right thing would have been to kill off the whole awful, money-sucking insurance system and replace it with single-payer Medicare for all and funded with a progressive payroll tax. And, while we are dreaming, a carbon tax.

"There are two reasons why that didn’t happen. One was the power of the health insurance industry, an interest group that Democrats had to buy off this time rather than risk another round of the Harry and Louise commercials that torpedoed Hillarycare 20 (!) years ago.

"The other is the widespread belief, the founding cry of the whole tea party movement, that civilization is a bad idea. ..."

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Another columnist said it’s a mess because of what Obama could have done, but didn’t.:

Obamacare noise carries a single-payer signal — David Sirota | via The Oregonian

"... It didn’t have to be this way. Back when Obamacare was being negotiated, Congress could have circumvented the private insurance industry by simply expanding Medicare to cover everybody. Medicare isn’t perfect, of course, but it remains one of the most popular institutions in America because its single-payer model guarantees access to decent, cost-effective health care rather than just meager health insurance. It also does a good job of preventing profit-taking middlemen from getting between patients and their physicians. ..."

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Robert Bennett, former U.S. senator from Utah, has another view:

Obamacare: the glitches will be fixed, the lies will not — Robert Bennett | For the Deseret News

"... In Washington, there were many Republicans willing to work with the Obama administration in an effort to get the same kind of result for the nation. I know because I was one of them. However, we were soon told that our inputs and insights were not welcome and Obamacare, with all of its glitches and surprises, emerged as an entirely Democratic product. It’s not selling very well. ..."

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Also:

KanCare savings result in hardship for some — Steve Rose | For The Kansas City Star

How The Sabotage Of Obamacare Worked — Andrew Sullivan | The Dish

Why we need Obamacare — Nicholas D. Kristof | The New York Times via sltrib.com

The noise around Obamacare — E.J. Dionne | The Washington Post via sltrib.com



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