Mindless Dateline Dept.: For his piece on the State of Obamacare, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein travels to San Antonio to visit a “local coalition working to enroll this city’s legion of uninsured,” in particular its lower-income population. But if you want to assess Obamacare’s survival prospects, isn’t that pretty much exactly the wrong place to look? The government can’t be so incompetent that it will fail to eventually sign up the previously uninsured for what are in effect freebie or heavily subsidized policies. If Obamacare collapses, it will be because the unsubsidized–those unlucky enough to be in the individual market but whose income is greater than 400% of the Federal Poverty Line–are unhappy with the quality and terms of the coverage that Obamacare makes available to them, no? Brownstein doesn’t talk to those people. Here’s one of ’em. ….
Don’t Tell Harry: Former President George H.W. Bush has been named winner of a Profile in Courage Award from the JFK Library Foundation for breaking with his party’s orthodoxy and agreeing to raise taxes (as part of the 1990 budget deal). …. We already have next year’s winner! …
“The technique involves replacing all of a patient’s blood with a cold saline solution, which rapidly cools the body and stops almost all cellular activity. “If a patient comes to us two hours after dying you can’t bring them back to life. But if they’re dying and you suspend them, you have a chance to bring them back after their structural problems have been fixed,” says surgeon Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who helped develop the technique.”
Why can’t they bring someone back to life two hours after dying? Apparently because “[w]ithout oxygen the brain can only survive for about 5 minutes before the damage is irreversible.” OK. Fair enough. But I still suspect some significant sci-fi-ish questions are lurking beneath the surface here. What if you save the brain but can’t repair the “structural problems” with the body? What if you happen to have another perfectly adequate body from a recently brain-dead patient handy? Hmm. Is that covered under my Bronze plan? … It’s not hard to come up with highly inconvenient implications for the health technocrats who think they can “bend the curve” of medical costs. Crazy, expensive and desirable new technologies will always defeat them, no? [Plus Obama will only want to re-animate Democrats-ed If they know English and pay back taxes]