Friday, January 19, 2007

The Rendell Rx

It's hard to blog about "Prescription Pennsylvania." Not even Rauterkus has tried yet, and that guy's a machine.

Randy Bish, Tribune-Review

Our analysis may be colored by yesterday's P-G Perspectives piece by Ryan Talbot on the 2003 Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative, with the goal "to enhance the visitor experiences in this region, while protecting and conserving these treasured natural resources."

Talbot went on to criticize the extensive oil and gas drilling in the Allegheny National Forest, and the 800 mile ATV trail loop through protected lands, enabled by that initiative.

We are reminded of a clip from the great documentary Who Killed The Electric Car. Paraphrased: "It's an old story. Play public-interest the music. Give industry the action."

Of the 47 separate provisions of Governor Rendell's package, very few (just one?) deal with providing more, or lower-cost, health insurance. A lot will hinge on when, how, and where the Governor flexes his political muscle.

KDKA's Larry Reichart cited a Trib story by Brad Bumsted and Debra Erdley that tells us 7 of the 16 contributors to Rendell's inaugural were from corporate health or insurance lobbies. Even Sen. Jane Orie (R-North Hills) had to tell Larry, "It concerns me ... it does put up a red flag."

No doubt some aspects of the plan are worthwhile; we are especially stoked about the smoking ban. Yet the Comet fears this may be a way for business and politicians to "settle" the health issue only in the minds of Pennsylvanians, kicking the can down the road, until the federal government gets serious about a modern, single-payer health care system.

1 comment:

  1. Bait seen and eaten.

    My reply at my blog.

    Feel free to go nuts on the wiki and we'll all get our heads around this in a more timeless conversation.