12 September, 2009

What's in a Name?

Listening off and on to the US health insurance debate (if 'debate' can be an appropriate word to describe some of the rubbish that has been said) has made me wonder how they are ever going to get anything passed without it being compromised to death. One chant that has been coming from the disproportionately vocal lunatic fringe has been "read the bill." Of course, they haven't read it either, they're just repeating what they've been told by others who also haven't read the bill, or have and are lying about it. And when I hear this, I think to myself, Geez, where were these people when the Patriot Act was voted on? They didn't seem to have a problem with their representatives not reading that one.

Then it occurred to me: to get things moving on health insurance, they need to do what they did with the Patriot Act and give it a name that no-one would dare vote against. To vote against the Patriot Act would imply that one is not patriotic, or does not support patriotism. Had it been called the "We Get to Listen to Your Telephone Calls" act, then people might have scrutinized it a bit more. The war in Iraq is called Operation Iraqi Freedom. That sounds like a great idea. Had it been given the more accurate name of "Operation Kick-out-the-bad-guys-then-hope-that-everything-else-will-fix-itself," then perhaps approval would have been lower.

So if they want health insurance reform, don't call it something boring like America's Affordable Health Choices Act. Call it the Puppies Are Cute Act and everyone will be on board. Bush's education policy was called 'No child left behind,' so why not call health cover reform, 'No child left uninsured'?

No, I have it: call it the Life Act. Who could possibly vote against life?

As rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but if it were called a vomit flower, most wouldn't bother to sniff it at all.


  1. I thought the Patient's Bill of Rights sounded important, but that never passed either.

    I think it is about "Power" and "Money" and the people who make money on insurance and medicine want us to keep standing in line, waiting for approval and paying for insurance + paying for medical bills (and praying insurance will pay us back) and the really don't want to listen to doctors and paitents and health care workers about fixing the healthcare system.

    Sure call it puppes are cute
    vote for this to save the lives of the people you represent
    free beer

    call it whatever works!

  2. Once again politicians proving that they are only in politics for self gain, not to make their country a better place!

  3. I think there are plenty of representatives that do genuinely want to help people - it's just that so many are beholden to vested interests (ie: donors) and also to constituents who have been duped into voting against their own interests.

    This is the great paradox of democracy - when should elected officials follow the will of the people (even when the will is misguided), and when should they show leadership?

  4. We give most of our measures grandiose religious names. It doesn't help.