Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bill Kristol Admits that the Government Can Run a Quality Health Care System

If could only watch one interview from The Daily Show from the first half of 2009, I would recommend that you watch what happened last night between host Jon Stewart and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard.

Yes, Stewart's interview with Jim Cramer from back in March was a pretty thorough skewering, but we almost saw that one coming in the weeks leading up to their climactic interview. This segment with Kristol came out of nowhere and resulted in a very revealing interview. Take a look:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol Extended Interview
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The conversation about health care is the most revealing aspect of this interview as the first section is typical Kristol supporting Sarah Palin and other (neo)Conservatives and their talking points. It is interesting to look at what happens when we get into the discussion on health-care and Kristol's Republican talking points begin to run into each other and end up (once again) revealing him as an ideologue who refuses to view the world from outside of his politicized fantasy-land.

Besides Kristol's ludicrous claims that insurance companies don't get in the way of the decisions of health-care providers, that health care costs are going up primarily because of current government-run programs and the insistence that health-care reform needs to be killed (while offering no alternative solutions), I found the following exchange interesting:

STEWART: So, no public option - even though that's good enough for the military, not good enough for the people of America.

KRISTOL: Well, the military has a different system than the rest of Americans...

STEWART: It's a public system though, no?

KRISTOL: Yeah, they don't have an option, they are all enrolled in military health care.

STEWART: Why don't we go with that?

KRISTOL: I don't know, is military health care really what you...well first of all it's expensive and they deserve it, the military...I'm not sure...

STEWART: but the American public do not

KRISTOL: No, the American public do not deserve the same quality of health care as soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve, and they need all sorts of things that the rest of us don't need.

STEWART: Well, no they can have that level of care, but are you saying that the American public shouldn't have access to the same quality health care that we give to our better citizens

KRISTOL: Yes. To our soldiers? Absolutely. American public...

STEWART: Really?

[...]

STEWART: So you just said, I just want to get this on the record, Bill Kristol just said that the government can run a first-class health care system...

KRISTOL: Sure it can

STEWART: ...and that a government-run health care system is better than the private health care system.

KRISTOL: I don't, I don't know if it's better...

STEWART: You just said that

KRISTOL: I don't know if it is better

STEWART: You just said it was better, you said it was the best that it's a little more expensive but it's better.



Whoops! Kristol's rampant support for the military and his "support the troops at all costs" line of thought just ran smack into his "government-run health care is bad for us all" talking point. The result? Kristol gets backed into a corner where he admits that the troops have a superior health-care system than do Americans and cannot justify why all Americans shouldn't be under such care except to say that normal Americans "don't deserve" as good of care as the military (and even this still acknowledges that the government-run system is better than one of private insurance). Stewart even pushes him and says that the military has the "best health care system money can buy" and Kristol responds by saying, "That could be, I hope they do...". "They are not going to let you back at the Weekly Standard" Stewart quips, "I feel like this is a way for people to bring down the Presidency than to do what is right for the American people."

Bingo! Stewart hits the nail on the head with that point toward the end of the interview. Kristol made obvious that this isn't about what is good for the American people, he is simply out to gain political points and oppose anything and everything that President Obama suggests without offering constructive revisions or criticism of the plan. Earlier in the interview Stewart even encourages Kristol to go to Washington and offer some ideas and suggestions instead of just killing the bill, but Kristol is insistent that you have to just "kill the bad idea" and then come up with something else. Translation: kill what is proposed by Obama, run on that opposition in 2010 and 2012, and then reform nothing so that the private insurance companies will keep funding the candidates that oppose limiting their profit-making capabilities.

1 comment:

Andrew Hiben said...

"That could be fantastic!"