Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Language Games

Parsing the Plan! The foregoing link takes you to a page on which the House Democrats have helpfully arranged a list of 10 "benefits" which will kick in IMMEDIATELY when the Senate plan is shoved up our wistfully willing, waiting rectae. I shall leave it to the clever reader to view the page. I'll wait. We have all day.

The list is compact, and at first glance it does seem to offer good reasons to be glad, even happy, possibly even joyous for the apparent changes it claims. Here is the top-most "benefit":
"Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans..."
Makes you feel all warm and wonderful, innit? No exclusions for CHILDREN. Balloons! Cake!!! PONIES!

But what if we "parse" this one?

Go bac to the linked page; look at the typography: The HouseDim page highlights (bf) everything up to "children," then reverts to normal face type for the phrase "in all new plans."

Now, you gotta know these folks aren't paid by the word. They're mostly all lawyers of one kind or another. They don't include words they do not need. So that last phrase should suggest something to careful readers. To me, an inveterate "between/behind the lines" reader, it suggests that something might be being elided; kinda slurred, so you might not notice it.

For example, from the typographical trickery, might one/we surmise that while such exclusions are indeed forbidden in NEW programs, they may be allowed to persist in EXISTING (i.e., not "new') plans? They don't say, one way or the other, but it is the Health Insurance Parasites we're talking about here. You cannot be too careful.

Let's look at another proud bullet point: "Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans..."

Again, examine the typography. The phrase included but not bolded is "in all individual plans." This, it seems to me, suggests that while, indeed, INDIVIDUAL plans might be protected, perhaps corporate/group plans would NOT be?

For your homework, review the WhiteHouse boilerplate and parse the remaining eight "benefits" for their unstated possibilities.

This is good experience for living in an authoritarian or a totalitarian regime...My friend from the former Soviet Union tell me you get VERY good at it with enough practice. And we're gonna get enough practice, I can assure you...

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