Sheldon Whitehouse, yesterday:
The bad behavior you see on the Senate floor is the last, thrashing throes of the health insurance industry as it watches its business model die. You who are watching and listening know this business model if you or a loved one have been sick – the business model that won’t insure you if they think you’ll get sick, or you have a pre-existing condition. The business model that if they insure you and you do get sick, Job One is to find loopholes to throw you off your coverage and abandon you alone to your illness. The business model, when they can’t find that loophole, that they’ll try to interfere with or deny you the care your doctor has ordered. And the business model that, when all else fails and they can’t avoid you or abandon you or deny you, they just stiff the doctor and the hospital, and deny and delay their payments for as long as possible – or perhaps tell the hospital to collect from you first – and maybe they’ll reimburse you. Good riddance to that business model. We know it all too well. It deserves a stake through its cold and greedy heart, but some of our colleagues here are fighting to the death to keep it alive.
The main thrust of the speech is about Republican behavior rather than the substance of the bill, but this is the best capsule description I’ve seen yet of the system currently in need of reform.
The speech as a whole is worth reading; the theme is the adoption of Hofstadter’s “paranoid style in politics” as official Republican dogma. Had I been giving it, I probably would have omitted the references to the Reign of Terror and Kristallnacht and lynching, but it fully justifies the buzz about Whitehouse’s eloquence.