Where Healthcare Meets Wine Shipping

I admit to being entirely curfuddled (sp?) by what we’ve come to call the "healthcare crisis" here in America. Basically, all I know is that I’m probably going to die because I don’t have healthcare coverage that will pay to have my head removed from my ass or pay to have the correct procedure administered when I need to be treated for Emuthropopolititus – aliabosisalia…or something like that.

But, folks are working on the problem. Those folks are usually presidential candidates.

Today I read Senator John McCain’s approach to fixing healthcare. What was startling about his approach was that it happened to include one element that would also work to correct what I like to call "The Wine Shipping Crisis" here in America.

Among McCain’s proposals was:

"Allowing people to buy health insurance nationwide instead of limiting
them to in-state companies, and permitting people to buy insurance
through any organization or association they choose as well as through
their employers or directly from an insurance company."

Applied to the the wine shipping crisis you’d only need to change a small portion of this part of McCain’s healthcare proposal:

"Allowing people to buy
wine nationwide instead of limiting
them to in-state companies, and permitting people to buy
through any
means they choose as well as through wineries or directly from a retailer."

Read how the Associated Press (and hence McCain) characterizes his healthcare plan:

"John McCain proposed an overhaul of the nation’s health care system
Thursday, aiming to give people more control, encourage greater
competition and lower costs."

Let’s try this again:

"Tom Wark proposed an overhaul of the wine shipping laws
Thursday, aiming to give people more control, encourage greater
competition and lower costs."

Now, I’m not trying belittle the importance of healthcare, nor suggest that consumers being able to get the wine they want without special interest, monopolists getting in their way for profit’s sake is more important than people being able to have heads removed from asses without going into bankruptcy.

I’m only suggesting that some folk’s plans for fixing other industries might apply well to fixing the wine shipping business.

11 Responses

  1. swirlingnotions - October 12, 2007

    Brilliant post Tom . . . can we put it on the ballot in CA?

  2. Amy - October 12, 2007

    this is hilarious. Now that’s something that would get me into this next election. How bizarre is it that commerce law somehow does not apply to wine and healthcare. Heck with the possible health benefits of red wine, its the same issue!

  3. Dan Cochran - October 13, 2007

    When it comes to wine shipping laws, Headupassitis is most common where there are large amounts of money entering state legislators’ campaign coffers. Unfortunately, this disease is also all-too-common among taxpayers who choose to ignore what their government is doing.

  4. Tish - October 14, 2007

    This analogy is pitch-perfect, Tom. Do you think the mass media are ready to pick up on the direct-shipping fiasco. They seemed to jump on it when the Supremes first tossed the potato back to the states. But the fragmentation of diverse situations, and general comploiexity of the three-tier system seems to not having much traction at all. From yur perspective as a PR guy, why are the wholesalers and the politicians they cavort with getting off so easily in their efforts to keep wine out of the hands of law-abiding adults who simply want wider access to a favorite everage?

  5. Tom Wark - October 14, 2007

    I think the wholesaler’s strangle hold on most legislatures is simply par for the course. Money buys access. This isn’t really a story as much as it is a fact. Telling this story outside the context of some “event” simply brings blank stares of “yea, tell me something I don’t know.” The pay to play culture is so ingrained and commonplace it just seems natural.

  6. Tom - October 14, 2007

    McCain’s proposal is exactly what’s wrong with healthcare today, and you can’t apply the same stupidity to wine shipping. Millions can’t afford healthcare because there’s no money in selling insurance to poor people and the insurance and healthcare companies are in business to make money, not healthy people. Throwing the population to even more wolves will not help anything, just hasten the total collapse of our healthcare system, such as it is.
    The same applies to wine shipping. As much as some people want totally unfettered wine shipping, it is alcohol, and therefore has to be regulated. Regulation is the job of the states. Unless you want to change the constitution and two centuries of legal history, this is the way it will stay. Or do you really want the Federal Government regulating where you ship your vino?

  7. Tom Wark - October 14, 2007

    You’ve moved swiftly from an “is” to an “ought”. That’s generally a no no. That said, I’m unaware of anyone looking for an unregulated market in wine shipping. As for the feds regulating wine shipping? Hmmmm?

  8. Mike - October 16, 2007

    Mr Wark,
    It is impressive to fit so many logical fallacies into one paragraph.
    First, there is no need to bifurcate the possibilities into “totally unfettered” and the current cabal of wholesaler interests. Many are looking for a middle ground that places some weight on consumers.
    Second, “it is alcohol and therefore has to be regulated.” As do toys, vacuum cleaners, and spaghetti. The question, again, is “how?” Appeal to tradition is, well, not progressive and fitting for religion, but not public policy. As for changing the constitution, I have heard of it being done, even as it relates to alcohol, but that isn’t the point. Instead, the Supreme Court has stipulated that State interest does not negate interstate commerce (another constitutional provision steeped in history). Where policies are furthered to benefit in-state companies, rather than social interest, the correct constitutional interpretation would be lowering barriers, not erecting new ones.
    And yeah, as a resident of Tennessee, I often trust the federal government more than my local legislature. That isn’t a compliment to the Feds, by the way…

  9. Douglas Trapasso - October 16, 2007

    I am kind of surprised it’s taken more than 24 hours to respond to these comments:
    >>The same applies to wine shipping. As much as >>some people want totally unfettered wine >>shipping, it is alcohol, and therefore has to >>be regulated.
    >>That said, I’m unaware of anyone looking for >>an unregulated market in wine shipping.
    This is my minimally acceptable standard, folks; ideally, we work all off of this ideal:
    Any wine
    Any time
    Any reason
    Any location
    Anything else is a compromise which I will fight you over.

  10. Jasmine - October 17, 2007

    Really good blog..generally i buy my health care fresh food and products from Medifast, Peapod and and Nutrisystem stores at couponalbum.com..

  11. cheap soma online - July 22, 2009

    What a crap, we need to inform the government about it. We need a major reform on our healthcare system.

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