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Friday, April 18, 2014

Gail Collins, "And the Race Is Off": Revisiting "The Wizard of Oz"

Dorothy Gale: How do you talk if you don't have a brain?

Scarecrow: Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don't they?

- "Wizard of Oz" (1939)

Just how daft is Gail Collins?

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "And the Race Is Off" (, Gail Collins wonders how much "fun" (her word) it would have been if Kathleen Sebelius has decided to run for senator in Kansas. The rationale underlying her opinion is that incumbent Senator Pat Roberts's "voting address is actually a house on a country club golf course that belongs to two longtime supporters" and that Roberts has joked that he has "full access to the recliner."

This is almost as funny as how Hillary Clinton established residency in order to run for the Senate from New York (see:

But most remarkable is Collins's declaration (my emphasis in red):

"But about Kathleen Sebelius. Running a hopeless race for the Senate would be better than, say, spending the next year working on a memoir entitled 'It Wasn’t Really My Fault.' And we have to keep stressing that, despite its awful start, the Affordable Care Act is working out fine."

Excuse me but who the hell is this "we"?

Obamacare is "working out fine"? Oh really? Have a look at Michael Gerson's recent Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obamacare has spawned a misguided debate" ( Gerson writes:

"[N]ever mind that the actual goal was not 7 million exchange sign-ups; it was health insurance enrollments, which are likely to be significantly fewer. And never mind that the number of the previously uninsured seems a remarkably small portion of these sign-ups — well under half. (Health wonk Bob Laszewski estimates that only about 27 percent of Americans eligible for Obamacare subsidies have enrolled in the system.) And never mind that, even including the Medicaid expansion, the most optimistic estimates of reductions in the number of the uninsured are much less than what the Congressional Budget Office projected before the rollout began. And never mind that all these decreases in the uninsured seem small in comparison to the amount of money spent, displacement caused and political capital expended.

And never mind that the proportion of younger and healthier enrollees to those with preexisting conditions is still being determined and that many analysts expect double-digit insurance premium increases in many state exchanges (particularly those with limited insurance competition). And never mind that health-care cost inflation has suddenly spiked to a 10-year high."

You want some "fun"? Have a gander at the following video featuring Dr. Barbara Bellar:

But the real "fun" has yet to come. As observed by Jonathan Tobin in a Commentary opinion piece entitled "Obama’s Boasts Won’t End OCare Debate" (

"But the assumption that the government’s successful efforts to pressure or persuade several million people to sign up for ObamaCare means that it is 'working' is completely unwarranted. It’s not just that the figures put forward by the administration are unreliable for a number of reasons. Even if we assumed that there really were eight million ObamaCare policyholders, the real test of this law’s viability and its ability to endure has yet to come. Not until we see just how many of those signed up are young and healthy enough to help pay for the vast number of sick and elderly covered by it will we know if it can pay for itself. And it won’t be until next year when the employer mandate and many other more painful provisions of the law are finally implemented that it will be clear whether the entire scheme can survive and how much damage it will inflict on the economy.

. . . .

Moreover, it won’t be until next year when the politically motivated delays of the implementation of many of the law’s mandates and provisions are put in place that we will know just how serious that damage will be. Nor will we know until then just how massive the cost increases for insurance will be though even the president acknowledged they will go up. With most of the young and healthy uninsured not signing up, rates will skyrocket as companies are forced to pass on the costs of covering those with pre-existing conditions. The president’s claims that the rate of increases are going down won’t convince many who will be paying more in the coming years that the president’s boasts are justified."

Although I favor universal health care, the writing is on the wall: You can't keep your health care plan, you can't keep your doctor, and Obamacare is going to send US national debt spiraling.

And perhaps sometime in 2015, a bewildered Gail Collins will finally acknowledge, as did Dorothy Gale in "The Wizard of Oz" (my emphasis in red):

"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."


  1. WHO ARE YOU, Jeffrey Grossman? I stumbled into you, here just now, Googling Gail's column that you make a valiant effort to pick apart here. Am I a simpleton? I must be; I thoroughly enjoy Gail's antics in her columns, feel informed and entertained. Are you in the pocket of the Greens, Kochs, Sheldon. Heritage-type foundations?

    1. Thank you, Cornelia, for your message.

      I am pleased that you enjoy Gail's "antics" and feel "entertained." This is indeed your privilege.

      Who am I? This is an interesting philosophical question with which I contend almost every day.

      Greens, Kochs, Sheldon Adelson, Heritage-type foundations? I have never met with any of them.

      As noted in my blog entry, I favor universal health care; however, Obamacare was botched.

      I was once a registered Democrat and even voted for George McGovern (probably before your time). I favor gay marriage, I am pro-choice, I opposed the Second Gulf War, I opposed American ground intervention in Afghanistan.

      Fortunately or unfortunately, I am in no one's pocket.

    2. Because NYT's sets a limit on the number of columns you can read free per month, I too Googled the column and landed here. Although I am a Gail Collins fan, I have to be honest and say I think she phoned this one in.

  2. Cornelia Binkley,
    I am intrigued. Who are you? Are you in the pocket of BBC/Al Jazeera, Soros, oil money?
    BTW, I am most certainly not a simpleton and I stopped reading Der Neue Stuermer sometime ago. I am still a Democrat (the only party I've known) for a simple reason that it is difficult in New York to leave this charming party of hypocritical bigots. Yes, I suggest corruption.
    dr anna