Trigger for dummies
by the mollusk, Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 02:59:23 PM EDT
For those of you not familiar with the trigger or not caffeinated enough to wade through Bruce Webb's excellent and informed diary on the topic, I offer the cynic's thirty-second guide to the trigger.
The trigger is a way to allow people to vote for Healthcare Reform without making any difficult choices. It will unite the Bluest Dogs and the Reddest progressives under the umbrella of ducking an issue head-on.
The trigger is also a terrific way to ensure that literally hundreds of millions of dollars continue to be spent buying Congress and the agencies in charge of implementing the trigger.
Thirdly, the trigger will automatically give the Republicans a platform to run on in 2010 (i.e. please don't implement the public option). This will make us all wish it were still August 2009 when you could hear sane things like unabashed comparisons between Hitler and Obama.
Fourthly, it will cause mandates to be handed down on people who cannot afford, or feel that they don't need health insurance. These are people (the young and the low-income) that vote reliably Democratic when they decide to vote, as they did in 2008. What, exactly, would make these people want to vote for Barack Obama in 2012 or Democrats in 2010. I can see the bumper sticker now: "More mandates! Less options!".
Finally, it will cause an enormous transfer of wealth from the Federal government to the private insurance industry as subsidies will be provided for people who cannot, or can marginally, afford to buy expensive, crappy, health insurance plans. But, some of this money will be returned to the federal government in the form of campaign contributions to make sure that this system remains in place for the foreseeable future. So, if your livelihood is in producing campaign commercials in scarely-populated districts, this is in effect a very large subsidy to your industry as well.
BONUS - What the trigger is NOT.
The trigger is NOT politics as usual. It is politics +20% or so. Think of it as politics with multivitamins and a good night's sleep.
You can direct all of your tut-tutting to me, the mollusk. Cynical and uninformed since 2001.