Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kafka and Healthcare Reform

I finally really understand what "Kafkaesque" means after reading The Trial. While K's tribulations are a bit unrealistic, they are not that far off the mark in some circumstances. Many government (especially pseudogovernment) agencies seem to revel in a similar type of obfuscation, deliberately muddying the waters so that nobody really knows what goes on there. Arbitrariness is the order of the day, with a side order of capriciousness. Accountability is thrown out the window, and consequently, responsibility.

How do we really know what is happening at huge government bureaucracies like the Treasury Department? They can't even account for how billions of dollars of stimulus funds given to banks was spent, let alone the effects of the spending. This kind of lack of accountability is what makes me nervous about rushing through healthcare reform: If this ends up being a huge government boondoggle, who will be the watchdog? Medicaid is rife with fraud, and unless a new public option for those without health insurance is built carefully, we'll see more of the same.