Trigger for dummies

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.

Tags: author ignorance, Blue Dogs, progressives, trigger (all tags)



Tip jar

For writing an entire diary about the trigger without using a single gun metaphor.

by the mollusk 2009-09-08 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

 Actually, I don't completely agree with your analysis, but I could be wrong. I hope we never find out.

by QTG 2009-09-08 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

There certainly could be some upsides to the trigger.  But I think the chances that it actually ends with a public option are slim to none.  Look at the dark places a five-week August recess took us.  Just imagine five years of that claptrap.  One strictly political upside to it is that it would solidify the GOP as the party of unhinged wackos.

by the mollusk 2009-09-08 11:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

You mentioned it, and I think we should have a link to Bruce Webb's excellent work: /59417

by QTG 2009-09-08 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

Thanks, right you are.  Will update.

by the mollusk 2009-09-08 11:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

Well, I heard a proposal for a trigger based on a certain number of complaints per state - once say 1000 legit complaints are made the public option is triggered in that state.

I've got mine with a stamp.  Waiting.

by Drummond 2009-09-08 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Trigger for dummies

You have a good sense of humor, or, at least, I assume you are making a joke. It is funny to think about how people are coming up with their own version of the trigger. None of them bare any relationship to the actual one that the Senate will propose. Over at Open Left several posters wrote "I do not think a trigger is a bad thing because I can envision them coming up with one that works." I chuckled at the naivette. The whole point of the trigger is to set up one that does not work to get the industry beyond this period of reform until we hit what will be the next moment- that is when premiums reach 22,000 a year.

by bruh3 2009-09-08 07:41PM | 0 recs


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