Dicks, Inslee visit county to peddle bad medicine

The whirlwind series of cross-country townhall meetings that blew through Silverdale this week is generating considerably more heat than light with respect to healthcare.

Then again, isn’t that the general idea?

His assurances notwithstanding, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks wasn’t here on Monday night soliciting suggestions about how to improve healthcare from the standing-room-only crowd that packed the Harborside Conference Center in Bremerton.

Dicks, like fellow Rep. Jay Inslee in Poulsbo a week earlier, was peddling a plan that’s already been decided. More or less.

Although Dicks himself insists he’s more interested in getting it right than getting it done now, it’s clear the whole point of the traveling sideshow is to drum up support for a hastily cobbled-together measure no one seems to have bothered read.

Which is probably why they can’t even agree on what it will do.

Nonetheless, we’re told it has to be passed with unseemly haste before the problem gets worse.

You know, like the stimulus package we were stampeded into paying for.

By the way, how’s that one working out?

In point of fact, the only urgency about passing healthcare reform this fall is recognition the president’s approval numbers are plummeting so rapidly he’ll soon have to battle for even modest “reforms,” let alone a power grab that would, in effect, nationalize one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

Meanwhile, by the time November rolls around we’ll be less than a year away from the 2010 mid-term elections. And if you think the vitriol expressed in Bremerton and Poulsbo was impressive, imagine what lawmakers with constituencies even more evenly split will be facing in their re-election bids.

Make no mistake about it — not every Democratic representative is as firmly entrenched or as eager to defend this proposition as Dicks and Inslee.

For them, it’s a much tougher sell. But snake oil always is.

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