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No Soup for You! Democrats take “Universal” Health Care Off the Table

As half a million Americans a month lose their jobs and employee-based health insurance, it would be some comfort if our Democratic leaders could at least pretend some concern about the issue:

Top Dem: No comprehensive health reform this year

A prominent House Democrat said he doesn’t expect a comprehensive healthcare reform bill to pass Congress in 2009, saying an incremental approach to covering the uninsured would be better “than to go out and just bite something you can’t chew.”

House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s (D-S.C.) timeline on tackling healthcare is at odds with the timetable proposed by Senate Democrats and could represent a major shift in the House Democrats’ strategy of dealing with the uninsured.

During an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program that aired on Sunday, Clyburn said he doesn’t anticipate that comprehensive healthcare legislation will be approved in 2009.

While noting he does not know exactly when President Obama want to move forward with a universal healthcare measure, Clyburn said, “If you take what we’ve done with [the State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill] and then you follow with [more spending] on community health centers, you would have gone a long way to building a foundation upon which to build a universal access healthcare program.

“I would much rather see it done that way, incrementally, than to go out and just bite something you can’t chew. We’ve been down that road. I still remember 1994.”

Never mind that people don’t lose their jobs “incrementally” — that it happens from one moment to the next.  And forget the fact that Obama doesn’t think anyone should be required to pay for health care. It seems that compared to bailing out the bankers our health is just a luxury:

Schumer’s $3-4 Trillion Horror Story

While questioning Treasury nominee Tim Geithner at his confirmation hearing this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer said he spent some time calling around Wall Street this weekend, and what he heard was that if the government wants to clean out all the toxic assets from the financial system, it will cost some three to four trillion dollars. Which is to say, an order of magnitude larger than the second $350 billion in TARP money the Senate just approved.

That’s pretty daunting stuff when you consider that the banking system probably won’t recover until most of this bad debt gets cleaned up. And that the economy won’t recover till the banking system does. Alas, the only thing worse than spending $3 trillion to clean up the banks may be not doing it.

–Noam Scheiber

Clyburn’s opinion is in direct contradiction to Politico’s story last Friday:

Obama Says No to “Quick Fix”
The health care meeting, which would bring together members of Congress and other stakeholders, could come as early as March.

It means Obama, following passage of an economic stimulus package in February, will turn his attention to two seemingly intractable issues: health care and entitlements.

I’ve got to say, that I don’t take much comfort in that good-old “entitlement” label. But, it’s unclear if that language comes from an actual Democrat or if it’s Politico’s own interpretation.

It sounds to me like Democrats have no intention of passing Universal Health Care but, feel sort of icky about saying it straight out.

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218 Responses

  1. Evidently we have trillions of dollars to bail out financial institutions no strings attached but not enough to cover the unemployed with health care. Gotta love our new Democratically controlled banana republic.

  2. Is anyone surprised?

  3. Neo-Democrats = Republicans with Donkey Breath

    I knew this would happen if Obama were to become President.

  4. That’s okay though. We will be connecting the dots for voters in 2010. It seems that alot of these politicians have a sense of “entitlement” when it comes to their seat. “Entitlement” is a two way street.

  5. they don’t have to pretend anymore. the election is over.

  6. The continued Democrat Approved bailouts for Wall Street is the equivalent to the NeoCons shoving federal money to Halliburton & Iraq War.

  7. Jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today.

  8. The GOP got away with lying to the constituency for about a decade. Anyone want to place bets on how long Democrats can get away with it? I believe it will be less than a decade particularly if we implement pushback.

  9. All I know is this:

    WE GOTTA FIGHT LIKE HELL for Social Security.

    If Social Security goes like Medicare did, Obama might as well call himself Reagan’s bastard love child with Clarence Thomas.

  10. mmmm-the republicans roared into office in 1994 with their”Contract for America…the democrats will roar out of office in 2010 with their “Contract on America”!

    Ironty Katiebird? and it did not have to be this way!

  11. I wonder if Kuchinich is going to take this lying down or if he will continue with his push for universal single payer? Anyone know?

  12. In working on this I read about 100 stories about the $825 Billion stimulus trying to get the details of the COBRA aspect. I could swear that I read a pdf of the entire plan sometime last week but, I couldn’t find it now. Not linked from any newspaper or on the White House site itself.

    I’m not saying it isn’t there someplace but, I sure couldn’t find it today.

    Transparency anyone?

  13. Clyburn said, ““I would much rather see it done that way, incrementally, than to go out and just bite something you can’t chew. We’ve been down that road. I still remember 1994.” Please — Clyburn’s attempt to fall back on 1994 is pathetic. Of course, they don’t want to give us UHC. If they did, they would have supported Hillary.

  14. Take another hit of hopium and go back to sleep ObamaNation.

    Oh, and thanks … FOR NOTHING!

  15. First Impeachment…..

    Now it’s Universal Healthcare….

    WHAT ELSE is going to be off the table?

    Habeus Corpus?

    Social Security?

    Freedom of Speech?

  16. Hope is the new health care plan…

    Not covered? Need Health Care?

    Just keep saying the word “Hope” over and over again till in like magic appears….Or you drop dead from your illiness because you never got access…

    Ok uninsured…lets start “HOPE Hope hope….you can do better say it like you believe it…”

    “Hope Hope Hope…..more feeling now…Hope Hope Hope”

  17. oh the above sounds better if you say it using richard simmons voice!

  18. WHAT ELSE is going to be off the table?

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner

  19. On the bright side, we’ll all lose those excess pounds we’ve been trying to get rid of!

  20. Terrific post, Katiebird! I’m surprised they’re even talking about health care. As for Clyburn, he lost me after the race baiting of the Clintons he took charge of before the SC primary. If they are going to mess with social security, why should they bother providing any health care?

    Let them eat arugula!

  21. You should ask scrubs to do a post on UHC. She said she was willing-and knows a lot about it.

    Here where I live in Italy, we have wonderful health care. Everyone is covered whether or not they have made contributions-that includes illegal aliens.

    I take Olmesartan for high blood pressure. It costs about 24euro a pack ($35). This evening I phoned my doctor’s assistant to get a prescrition renewed. I walked down there, and picked it up-it was waiting ready in a little cubby hole they have. Then I walked over to the pharmacy to get two packs completely free.(2 months supply)

    You pay more taxes over here -but you get a lot better service.
    Too many politicians, all the way up the health-care chain get kick backs in the States. Not to say that they don’t get them here too, but not quite as bad. (MO would have been a scandal)

  22. Obama’s solution to the energy crisis =

    “Fill your tires more & wear a sweater.”

    Obama’s solution to the healthcare crisis=

    “Let them eat arugula (thanks BB!)”

    Obama’s solution to the economic crisis =

    “Get a job”

    Obama’s solution to the unemployment crisis =

    “Uh….uh…. hey look over there, it’s my beautiful daughters Malia & Sasha! Aren’t they cute???”

  23. Fuzzy:

    There’s a reason why Hope rhymes with Dope & Nope.

  24. katiebird, I read the other day that as part of Obama’s “stimulus” package, he’s considering how to lessen the blow of losing health insurance for all the people now losing their jobs. In other words, the 45 million of us who don’t have health insurance anyway are going to remain roadkill. Obama has always had a Republican outlook towards health insurance–let the corporations pay for it. That’s one reason we’re losing so many jobs right now in this country.

  25. Clyburn is one of those that I would dearly love to see fall down a flight of stairs.

    Ever since he played his well scripted roll in the Obama race-baiting during the SC primary, I have been on the lookout for articles written about him.

    Did anyone see the one in late spring that showed he had requested more earmarks than all of the SC house reps combined? Also, about half of them were for businesses and projects that were either wholly owned or controlled by someone from his family.

    The one I really got a kick out of was an African American history museum run by his son.

    price tag? $6,000,000

  26. Why am I not suprised?? Hillary’s the only one I had confidence in to fight tooth and nail for this. Obama and his cronies don’t place “universal” healthcare as a top priority despite all the lip-service during the campaign. This is just only the beginning of putting things on the shelf indefinitely. (sigh)

  27. Obama was never on board for universal health care.

    Let them eat arugula.

  28. I have often wondered if it would work to just allow anyone who wanted to (individual or company) to buy into Medicare at the goverments’ cost (total cost of Medicare divided by total participants). Since the seniors currently using Medicare are more costly than the average citizen, this would make money for the government I believe (although I have not done the math) that with the low overhead it would still be cheaper than most private policies. This would not be required, but would be an option for all.

  29. Here is Clyburn explaining that earmarks are “constitutional”.

    If only he had as much passion for UHC as he does for pork-barrel spending that enriches him and his family.

  30. Oh-and little things like getting your tonsils out, a hysterectomy, or a kidney transplant-all FREE over here.

  31. Here is Clyburn explaining that earmarks are “Constitutional”.

    If only he had as much passion for UHC as he does for pork-barrel spending on himself and his family.

  32. This year and next year are going to be the best chance for UHC to pass. History says the Dems will lose seats in Congress in 2010, and 2012 is a crapshoot.

  33. Can someone fish me out of Spam Lake. I think the link I posted put me there.

  34. MAWM!!!!!!!!

    HUGS TO YOU & GARY!!!!!!!

    I have to stop by Electric Blues in a few.

    Those “earmarks” were definitely a quid pro quo deal for driving the racial accusations against Big Dawg.

    Meanwhile, Bill Clinton has done SO MUCH MORE for black people here and across the globe than Clyburn or Obama would/could ever do in 10 lifetimes.

  35. Mawm, that’s fascinating about Clyburn. One of those who’s only interrested in making sure that he gets his.

  36. You know what Obot meme really makes the least amount of sense (and, thus, is the one they’ve been singing the loudest)? The one that Obama is going to need time, maybe even a second term, to get all he promised done because “things are worse” then we thought. This meme (that everyone seems to be swallowing hook, line & sinker) actually shows how inept Obama is. Who on God’s green earth wasn’t aware of how bad things were? Joe Blow, maybe, but the guy running for f*cking President of the United States SHOULD have known.

  37. Laurie:

    I WANNA GO TO ITALY!!!!!!!!

    Waaaaah!

  38. I was reading a health article today, (in Italian), on the costs of the health service here. If you like tomorrow I can do it better for you. Anyway what I remember is that the cost of pharmaceuticals per head was roughly 165euro a year ($250).

  39. AngieNC, whenever I hear that I just want to whack em across the head.

    Because we had the chance to elect that person, SHE had the Solutions For America.

  40. Oh, yeah, and Clyburn – you r@ce-baiting a$$hat — I forgot a big F*CK YOU for your little dig at Hillary with the “I remember 1994” comment — was that the 1994 were the DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED CONGRESS VOTED NO ON UHC? ‘Cause I remember the way it REALLY happened.

  41. “things are worse” then we thought.

    UHC would help make things better. And it could be passed but set to take effect in a couple years.

  42. Hey, I’m in moderation?

  43. angienc, first we have to give all our money to the banks.

  44. I wasn’t able to find a good synopsis/analysis of the stimulus package over the weekend, but came across some information that makes it look like the plan is being used to pay back some of the organizations that helped Obama get elected, such as planned parenthood and ACORN. I can’t help but feel like we’re replaying the run up to the war in Iraq, the talking heads are saying we need this stimulus to get the economy going, while many economists are saying its the wrong thing to do.

  45. myiq — no need to tell me — #1 reason people file bks is outrageous medical bills — UHC would help with that, dontcha think?

  46. Democrats don’t want to “make things better”, they want you dependent on them.

  47. Sam:

    This was my comment from above which matches your feeling:

    sm77, on January 26th, 2009 at 1:37 pm Said:

    The continued Democrat Approved bailouts for Wall Street is the equivalent to the NeoCons shoving federal money to Halliburton & Iraq War.

  48. I know everyone knows this, but if a Senator earmarks 1million dollars to a hospital, and that hospital then has to pay his wife a salary of over $300,000 dollars-its obvious that health costs are going to soar.

  49. sm, LOL! Republicans with donkey breath!

    But — I know some very good-hearted Republicans. Party label doesn’t automatically mean R=bad, D=good.

    Now D=devious, IMNSHO.

  50. Mawm — this election has made me realize that — which is why the went b@lls to the walls to get that Ronnie with a tan & Caesar hair cut (tm SM) the nomination instead of Hillary.

  51. Now now Angie

    The sad thing is that when I was reading the numbers on the BKs due to medical of that over 50%, 75% actually had insurance. The coverage just wasn’t good enough. It’s pretty damning when you are paying hundreds a month for coverage and you are still rolling the dice financially. The health insurance industry has to be laughing its backside off.

  52. Laurie:

    They didn’t “have” to pay her $300K, they tripled her salary out of the goodness of their greedy hearts when her husband became a Senator.

  53. PumainSeattle — D could also stand for Demented or Delusional, depending on which Obot you happen to be talking to.

  54. Laurie,

    It doesn’t count unless the politician’s name is Blago. You gotta love the hypocrisy of pols.

  55. laughing its backside off

    All the way to the offshore bank

  56. plural, yeah, I always liked that arrogant “vote for me & you’ll get jam tomorrow; just not today!” line. Heheheheh they’ll never figure out that tomorrow always turns into today — and today you don’t get any jam you poor fool.

  57. Cwaltz — that is true — very many have insurance that just wasn’t good enough — however, I always thought UHC would = better coverage for all.

  58. You know, I think I heard that the hospital never replaced Michelle after she went on leave. Doesn’t it seem odd that a position important enough to pay $300,000 wouldn’t need to be refilled (I guess they would argue that no one else was good enough for the position).

  59. Definitely Delusional, Deranged, Demented — no, then they’d have an excuse: cognitive Decline — oh wait, they do have cognitive Deficits!

  60. In London, the private health care industries are already faltering … it won’t take long ’til it starts happening here …

  61. sam — I read that too about her job — they can argue whatever they want and those nitwit Obots can believe it — it shows ME that the job was a made up one for “friends & family.”

  62. sam-they’re probably keeping her post open for her…

  63. Michael Moore’s “Sicko” was about people who had medical insurance but got f*cked anyway.

  64. Well, Michael Moore can kiss my a$$.

  65. as in, if he cared so much about UHC in this country he wouldn’t have been behind that empty suit.

  66. lahana — Yes, that exact plan, to have people get the same coverage as do Obama, Clyburn, etc., has been proposed by more than a few forward-thinking Dems. None of whom got elected to any position of enough power.

  67. One of the reasons I like UHC is that it opens the industry to some regulation.

    Stuff like this should never have happened to begin with. It wouldn’t either if the industry wasn’t profit based and bottom line valued more than actual health care.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/la-fi-insure11may11,0,4811772.story

  68. PumainS-wonder how the Party machine fixed their elections…

  69. sm77,

    Over the weekend I read an article by, I believe John Stossel, that claimed more than 100 prominent economists signed a petition against the stimulus package, and more than 200 signed a petition against the financial bailout …. Not exactly sure who those “economists” were, but it does make you wonder if we’re being provided with selective information again.

    Personally, I think some type of bailout was necessary for the banks to allow credit to flow, but the way they went about it doesn’t seem to have been that effective.

  70. “bite something you can’t chew.”

    Whatsamatter, Senator, you don’t have dental coverage? Go get a new set of choppers. And a set of b*lls would help you, too. No, make that a set of ov*ries.

  71. Puma

    I was wondering about that myself. If people don’t have coverage alot of times it means an increase in ER visits. Those ER visits then go unpaid, not to mention clog up the ER and make it more difficult to deal with actual emergencies.

    I was shocked this year because they changed our copays. An ER visit dropped from $50 to $25 and a doctor visit increased from $15 to $20. It seemed counterproductive to steer people to the ER.

  72. Moore is good as a muckraker, but his judgment sucks when it comes to candidates.

    Gore – no

    Obama – yes

    WTF?

  73. CWaltz –

    Insurance runs on the Law of Large Numbers.

    Universal Healthcare would certainly curb the profits for Insurance Comps – but just by sheer volumes alone would be very profitable for them.

  74. sm, Habeus Corpus is still off the table. Guess it’s an entitlement in B0’s view.

  75. CWaltz — but the in$urance co will now get more from all those non-ER visits, which are the majority of patient visits.

  76. Sam:

    Of course it’s not effective – it’s only guaranteeing profits, bonuses & salary for CEOs while they hold back on opening more credit.

    What about HOLC/HOME? That would help people keep their homes & pay down the debt little by little.

  77. but the way they went about it doesn’t seem to have been that effective.

    It’s like the gave them a debt consolidation loan without making sure they used it to pay their debts.

  78. I suppose this means that Obama and Dems idea of health care is WebMD.

  79. Home Depot Layoffs: 7,000

    Catepillar: 20,000

    Nextel: 4,000

    Pfizer/Wyeth: 8,000

    And that was just today

  80. ITA agree about Moore, myiq. The guy is easily misled. And he beat women up with the abortion stick in 2008 even though, according to him, Roe v. Wade didn’t matter in 2000. Personally, I think he’s a bit of an a$$.

  81. O/T — anybody see this?

    from Huffpo (and file under: “I can’t believe God didn’t smite Twitty with a bolt of lightening for trying to pretend to be a journalist now”):

    Appearing on the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, Bob Woodward offered a rather cryptic prediction of scandal that will plague the Obama White House. “Tantalizing but vague,” said the Washington Post scribe. “I don’t think the nanny or household tax problems and so forth are over for the Obama administration…”

    Matthews pressed ever so slightly for more information, but Woodward did not oblige: “I say it’s not over.”

    It was the type of gossip ginning, insider reporting that makes D.C. journalism what it is. But it wasn’t without a glimmer of irony. Earlier in the week, Matthews had shut down similar banter on Hardball when the New York Daily News’ Liz Benjamin noted that the unconfirmed rumor mill was saying that Caroline Kennedy had an “affair issue.”

    “Well, how about let’s stick to journalism,” Matthews said, over her. “I don’t do that here, Liz. Liz, if it’s just blogging, let’s drop it, OK?”

    It was a somewhat controversial segment. But Matthews had his share of defenders. On CNN’s Reliable Sources this Sunday, Sally Quinn said that such unsubstantiated gossip had no place in journalism and complimented the MSNBC host for “cutting it off.”

    Woodward’s tip may end up being correct. But it didn’t seem to meet the standard of reporting that Matthews set for Benjamin and Quinn seconded. Quinn, it should be noted, is married to Woodward’s longtime editor, Ben Bradlee.

  82. Hey! I went straight to spammy!!

    I had something good!

  83. Watch this:

  84. sm77,

    My brother works for a huge company that has offices here in South Florida, throughout the US and in many places throughout the world (I don’t know if I should say the name because I do not believe the info has been made public yet) but in two weeks they will be announcing a large amount of layoffs and those that still have a job will get their salaries cut by 25%.

  85. PumasInSeatlle:

    OF COURSE it’s entitlement, that was part of the liberal excess in the millenia of the 1000s.

  86. Hmmmnnn…so universal health care is bad, but bailing out banks is good?

  87. Ok, spammy isn’t letting me post the you tube link. Here is the story on huffpo (to be filed under the “I can’t believe God didn’t smite Tweety with a lightening bolt for pretending to have journalistic integrity now”):

    Appearing on the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, Bob Woodward offered a rather cryptic prediction of scandal that will plague the Obama White House.

    “This may be tantalizing but vague,” said the Washington Post scribe. “I don’t think the nanny or household tax problems and so forth are over for the Obama administration…”

    Matthews pressed ever so slightly for more information, but Woodward did not oblige: “I say it’s not over.”

    It was the type of gossip ginning, insider reporting that makes D.C. journalism what it is. But it wasn’t without a glimmer of irony. Earlier in the week, Matthews had shut down similar banter on Hardball when the New York Daily News’ Liz Benjamin noted that the unconfirmed rumor mill was saying that Caroline Kennedy had an “affair issue.”

    “Well, how about let’s stick to journalism,” Matthews said, over her. “I don’t do that here, Liz. Liz, if it’s just blogging, let’s drop it, OK?”

    It was a somewhat controversial segment. But Matthews had his share of defenders. On CNN’s Reliable Sources this Sunday, Sally Quinn said that such unsubstantiated gossip had no place in journalism and complimented the MSNBC host for “cutting it off.”

    Woodward’s tip may end up being correct. But it didn’t seem to meet the standard of reporting that Matthews set for Benjamin and Quinn seconded. Quinn, it should be noted, is married to Woodward’s longtime editor, Ben Bradlee.

    The last 2 paragraphs positively SLAY me.

  88. Now they are all here! WTF?

  89. I just heard about those layoffs. 43,000? just today. Yikes. COBRA coverage for health care — last time I had to use that it was just a few bucks under $500/mo for 1 person. Plus all the deductibles & co-pays.

    How many can afford that for very long? Or cover their family members?

  90. FL Voter:

    That is awful! WTF is going to happen? We need to do some type of protest – Bailouts were supposed to HELP alleviate this, not make it worse!

  91. PumaInSeattle — they can’t.

  92. Angie,

    Are you still here? Can you look at my post down below this one and see if you can answer any of my questions? I’d really appreciate it!!

  93. sm — I know I LOVE to say I told you so, but I remember when a certain a$$hat who shall not be named was running around here like chicken little demanding that we all fall in line & support Obama & the bail out — I said then: all the bailout would do is save the fat cats’ $ as the banks would STILL not lend.
    Please, tell me — who was right?

  94. Sally Quinn doesn’t want to discuss sex scandals.

    lol

  95. PumasInSeattle –

    What they are probably going to “hope for” is that all the laid off workers apply for MedicAid and let the states deal with that mess.

    That’s what it seems like to me.

  96. sm77,

    I think it is too late for that. Obama and the Dems have turned a blind eye to the America People that are suffering job losses. If our elected officials thought the subprime mortgage problems were bad, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Next foreclosure rounds will be from all those that have lost their jobs.

  97. angienc – – isn’t tweety’s whole career based on salacious unsupported gossip mongering interspersed with periodic bouts of hopium induced hallucinations?

  98. Insurance as a business really only works when you have a lot of people paying premiums who never need to file claims. These people offset the others who need their claims paid.

    This is why I have believed for a long time that health insurance should be mandatory, just like car insurance. Right now, many people who could afford it do not buy into the system because they are young and healthy, or at least marginally healthy.

    When Obama used the old harry and louise mailers to discredit Clinton’s UHC plan, it was just another factoid to add to the long list of reasons why he was not an acceptable Democrat to me.

    Everyone knows even if they don’t want to admit it that if we want to have a stable health care system in this country, everyone has to be covered. Whether its by private insurance or single payer, having uninsured people will only continue to add to the cost of everyone’s care.

  99. Those f*cking b*stards! That entitled scumbag! The mail dropped in just now, and there is Teh One’s smirking face and a “2009 membership card” from the DCCC. Ugh, double ugh.

    Back that return env goes stuffed full of heavy stuff. And written in big red letters: I’ll contribute after you get us UHC. And habeus corpus back.

    For a while I wasn’t getting any junkmail from them. Probably because I kept sending their reply envelopes back with swear words all over the reply form.

  100. a certain a$$hat who shall not be named

    Can you narrow it down a little more?

  101. AngieNC:

    YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All the bailout did was paybakc buying the election for Obama & guarantee golden parachutes to the upper crust while we got golden showers (sorry for the crassness, but I’m mad as hell about this).

  102. bb — I read that post earlier but was too busy to post — I’ve read reports that Axlerod & Rham were served with subpoenas — getting served with a subpoena doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, just that the prosecutor believes that you have information about the thing. People who VOLUNTEER to talk to the prosecutor don’t need to be served with a subpoena, btw. The problem I have will the whole thing is that high-level peeps on DAY 5! of the Obama White House have been served with subpoenas & the press is pretending like it isn’t happening. To me, that says more than the subpoenas.

    Does that answer your question?

  103. sm — thank you!!

    myiq — you’re just a little f*cking ray of sunshine, aren’t you?

  104. The wait at my Mds office is often absurd. An appointment takes over a week and urgent care takes about the same as what it would take for an ER visit. I could easily see people who have the coverage I have deciding to go ahead and pay the extra $5 and have the convenience of a doctor’s office that is open 24/7.

    SM77

    Not as profitable as it is now though. Right now they can get away with dropping people when they start to cost them. They have caps that basically allow the individual to get stuck with the cost when they have a major medical malady.

    I was just looking for a link. There is one HSA proponent that is in the insurance industry(I can not for the life of me remeber his name). What he does is he charges people for high deductible insurance. Then when they have a major illness what he does is he undercuts what the hospital asks for(he compared it to not offering the sticker price on a car). They defer, of course, since they do not take partial amounts without an agreement with the insurance company beforehand. The individual is then stuck with collections coming after them. The state he operates in has numerous complaints against him and his firm.

    The industry is dying to be regulated better IMO.

  105. Ouch on two fronts: no UHC and all those layoffs – every one of them a struggling human being, like some of our own right here at The C.

    Oz has UHC and it works pretty damned well but the Aussies are CLEARLY taxed at a much higher rate than we Americans.

    Hillary really did have a great plan, if one read it in all its’ details. In a way, her plan was incremental as well but not in the way that Clyburn proposes. The problem is that he is partially right in that we need infrastructure in place to suddenly go universal. His “rightness” stops there since that is as far as he is willing to go and creating new buildings will NEVER be enough.

  106. sm77- if “golden showers” is anything like the “fisting” discussion from the other night, then i don’t want to know what that is….

    Still trying to erase image from my mind

  107. brb

  108. Medicaid is funded by each state, unlike the federally funded Medicare.

    My state has a big budget deficit, surprise. I work in a specialty clinic in one of our state university’s medical centers. We are looking at budget cuts of 7% to 13% — don’t know for sure yet. We already have some patients waiting months to get in for some things. And we’ll take Medicare and Medicaid patients when a lot of other clinics won’t.

    The future does not look good.

  109. frenly,

    It is and you don’t. Might I say, ewwwwwwwwwww.

  110. Mawn

    I’m of the same position. It needs to be madatory but I think that before mandating it there need to be some ground rules for the industry. I think that if you don’t have a public entity in place for private to compete with you end up with a mess like they have in Mass.

  111. No real surprise. Cuz it wud mean that there wud have to be real planning. Not just reversing current orders. They aren’t gonna let Hill in on it even though she has a solid plan. They have already made that clear. What a goat screw.

    As far as their plan to stimulate the economy, there is no way to do that w/o first addressing the housing crisis. It is a mess. Bailing out the industry rather than the homeowner is a HUGE mistake. Idiots.

  112. I was listening to NPR on the way home, and they were doing a show on health care. The call-ins were heartbreaking. The “expert” said that the stimulus package includes legislation to help unemployed people by paying 65% of their COBRA bills. Some people said that would still mean they had to pay close to $300/month. Of course there is no effort to deal with people who have no health care already. And if you don’t keep health insurance while you are out of a job, you may not get covered for any preexisting conditions when you do get insurance, according to this expert.

  113. CWaltz, you are right. I don’t think simply mandating coverage would solve the problem. There would have to be new rules for insurance companies. Something like they can’t refuse to cover someone. I am obviously not an expert on this, but when you look at what happened with car insurance, I think there are a lot of parallels. Before CA mandated car insurance, premiums were very high. Once everyone had to buy in, the rates dropped.

  114. sm77

    Yahoo has an article which by my count details about 40,000 cut from the employment rolls.

    It is downright ugly.

  115. “Well, how about let’s stick to journalism,” Matthews said, over her. “I don’t do that here, Liz. Liz, if it’s just blogging, let’s drop it, OK?”

    I admit that I don’t watch Twitty Bird. But am I to presume that he didn’t “report” any of the Palin rumors… ?

  116. BB

    It seems it would be smarter to put that money into community “free clinics” then tell people they are going to have to take one of their small unemployment checks to continue coverage.

  117. BB, the stimulus COBRA provisions are a whole post of their own. It was actually what I was planning to write about. But, I can’t find the Text of the Stimulus Proposal (I read it last week but, I didn’t save the link in a place where I can find it today) and I don’t want to rely on the interpretation of some Newspaper.

    (From memory) It proposes covering 65% of a COBRA for people who’ve lost their jobs since Mid-September — presumably people who signed up for COBRA. It does not (that I remember) extend the sign up period for those who let 2 months go by without signing up (and we know that MOST people can’t afford to sign up.)

    I could go on and on…. But, I really want to do it right as a full blow post.

  118. Angie,

    No, that doesn’t answer my questions.

    1. My main question is whether is is really no big deal and doesn’t deserve media attention.

    2. I also wondered if you thought subpoenas were issued for Obama’s staff members as well as Blago. The story is just about subpoenas that Blago got, but we do know that Obama and his staff members met with Fitzgerald in his office.

    3. In your opinion, what does it mean that Axelrod was not mentioned in the report that Obama released saying everyone was free and clear? Does that mean they aren’t sure about Axelrod?

  119. Katiebird: That’s another disaster – how can someone who was laid off afford that?

    I’m telling you – the Feds will push the Healthcare issue onto the states via MedicAid (for those that can’t afford COBRA coverage).

    Then it becomes the state’s problem and voila, no UHC.

  120. KB,

    On NPR, the woman said that the coverage in the stimulus plan would be retroactive for a few months. I don’t know if that would help those people or not.

  121. gxm

    Heh, you’re funny

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_01/016591.php

    it isn’t a rumor when you make the comment that the Alska governor can’t read or write and someone else will be writing her book for her.

    Matthews is a hypocrite but I imagine you already knew that.

  122. BostonB, If they mean that, it would only be retroactive for those who qualify. And in the Full Text of the plan that I read, that starts with people who have been laid off since mid September. LOTS of people were laid off due to the economy before that. AND lots of the people laid off in Sept, Oct & Nov declined COBRA coverage because there was simply no way for them to make the payments.

    In the text of the plan that I read, there was no provision that COBRA be re-opened for those people — only that the Fed Gov begin to cover 65% of the payment of the people who signed up.

    ALSO that if you’re over 55 and have worked at your most recent job for over 10 years, that you can stay in COBRA until Medicare age.

    Sweet Jesus, THAT’s incrementalism for you!

    * I didn’t mean my rage to be directed at BostonBoomer. I’m just REALLY frustrated with Clyburn’s stupid idea.

  123. My main question is whether is is really no big deal and doesn’t deserve media attention.

    The answer to the first part is “it depends”

    The answer to the second part is IOKIYO

  124. myiq,

    Depends on what? You’re always so cryptic. I hope Angie gives me her opinion. If not, I’m going to e-mail Heidi Li directly.

  125. CWaltz, on January 26th, 2009 at 3:50 pm Said:
    gxm
    Heh, you’re funny

    I know… but looks aren’t everything. (sigh) 😀

    IMO, Twitty is the furthest thing removed from a journalist. He’s a paid gossip who knowingly lies to the public. AND he has a face for radio. How the hell he ever got a TV gig is beyond me.

  126. It depends on what the witnesses have to say.

    If they don’t know anything then it’s no big deal. If they testify that Blago asked for a bribe then it is a big deal.

    If they get caught lying to the FBI or commit perjury then it’s a huge deal.

  127. Unless retroactive goes back to 2007 when we started hemorhagging I don’t see it as overly helpful to ALOT of folks.

  128. The other day on Liberal Rapture there was a link Ghost Malls
    that talked about how stores will close and the layoffs in the retail industry that are happening with a lot more to come.
    It will be ugly. More ugly than it already is.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE , MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  129. Unemployments payments were only something like $325 a week 3 years ago(or $1300 a month). So basically the government is going to say pay a little over 1/4 your income to pay for healthcare. Are these people aware of how far $1300 goes in today’s economy?

  130. I vividly recall the use of the descriptive word “Liar” throughout the primaries. He took the nomination like a thief in the night.

    This just doesn’t surprise me one bit. Obama didn’t understand what UHC was, anyway.

  131. The word “Universal” is one of those words that Prez-nit Bop doesn’t understand.

  132. CWaltz, considering that up until a week ago, Obama was paying something like $3,000 a night for his hotel room — you’d think he’d ….

    Oh, f^ck — who could tell what someone who does that thinks about anything. Nevermind.

  133. The unemployment fund in TX is going bankrupt. How many other places is this happening and what are they going to do about it? This damned economy got them in office. Now they should fix it.

  134. I read an excellent article in the latest New Yorker about universal health care systems. A big take away for me was that the most successful systems are those that build on the basic pathways of what already is. It was interesting to note that health care systems in Britain and Europe are all very different even tho’ they all produce the same end product—universal access. Britain’s grew out of the system it patched together during WWII as it moved much of its population out of the London area to the countryside and had to build health care for these displaced families and for civilian war injuries. When the war was over the people liked the government system that had served them during the war and did not want to return to the private system existing before the war. France is rated with the best health care system in the world but their system is very different from Britain/Canada but it also grows out of the nation’s needs following WWII. This story is repeated throughout Europe and some Asian countries. What has not worked is to build a system on some ideology.

    In the US today the dominant role of employer paid health care grew out of our situation in WWII when the government controlled civilian wages but allowed companies to attract workers through benefit programs. (Today it is still true that the best health care and pension systems are in the aerospace and defense contractor industries—one of the first being Henry Kaiser’s).

    Despite the theoretical “common sense” notion of building a system from the ground up around some theoretical model, it seems that the really best systems are those that build on existing roots in a kind of patchwork way. They tend to look messy and jerry rigged but they tend to work best because they fit in with people’s cultural expectations and practices. So perhaps Clyburn has a point. that adding pieces to secure universal access for all children, all seniors and all low-income is at least a pathway that can keep us moving in the right direction. If you remember, Hillary’s health care proposals were focused upon meshing with existing systems and she moved away from “single payer” to thinking through what it would look like to build universal coverage but preserve at the center the kinds of employer and private coverage that is working for a lot of Americans. There are after all some 300 million Americans and I think about 50 million are without health care. Probably another 50 million have health care that is inadequate and just about everybody is paying too much. As she pointed out, the costs will not come down until everyone is required to have health insurance. It might be very hard to force everyone to buy insurance when a lot of people are only working part time or in marginal employment.

    The best example we have of the wrong way to go about reform systems is the Bush prescription drug program. That program started as a disaster and probably killed some Americans as it was implemented in chaos. It was an ideologically driven program that ignored what actually was working in medicaid, medicare and the verterans health care system in favor of an approach that pushed the pharmaceutical company perspective.

    I really want universal health care. Perhaps congress could think out of the box and think about how universal health care could become its own giant economic stimulus package.

  135. My daughter moved to Panama City, Florida 4 years ago. I first noticed the “ghost malls” when we’d go to visit her and the grandkids. Now I’m seeing it in my area, empty stores with lease signs are sprouting up all over. And I live in the supposedly “recession proof” DC metro area.

  136. About Blago subpoenas; the newspaper reports are clear that subpoenas were issued to Blagojevich for any and all of his records re: Jarrett and Axelrod. It was the blogs that extrapolated that to mean that Axelrod and Jarrett were themselves subpoenaed. The CQTimes article seems to be the source. The 43 subpoenas came out after a lawsuit

  137. Once we asked “where is our pony?”

    But now we know Obama is the pony. That’s it. That’s all there is. We’ve got our pony and now we get to muck its stall.

  138. I just looked Virginia has a max payment of $385 for 2009 or 1540 per month. Is it any wonder that anyone who has a mortgage and lost their job is so screwed. A $200,000 house (below median price in Roanoke, I don’r even want to think of those poor saps in Northern Va) would carry a mortgage of over $1000 a month even with a fairly low fixed rate.

  139. Regency, it is your employer who pays into the state unemployment fund. When employers go out of business, the money for unemployment begins to dry up really fast. Business carries a huge burden in this country–social security, unemployment compensation, workers compensation, and, if they can afford it, health insurance. It’s no wonder that so many companies are just deciding to close their doors or layoff massive numbers of employees.

  140. Evidently the folks in Virginia will be able to choose between their Housing(rent) and health care with the new Obama plan. Ironic isn’t it?

  141. subpoenas were issued to Blagojevich for any and all of his records re: Jarrett and Axelrod.

    That’s one way to ensure that Blago didn’t destroy any records. Once they are subpoenaed if would be obstruction of justice to destroy anything.

  142. I hit “enter” by mistake. Anyway, the FOI request Blago fought was filed by the Better Government Assoc.

    “Those subpoenas asked for records relating to Patti Blagojevich; her business, River Realty; the governor’s brother, Robert Blagojevich; the governor’s campaign fund, and 30 other people and companies, including Axelrod and Jarrett. Jarrett was alluded to in the Dec. 9 criminal complaint against the governor as a potential Senate candidate Blagojevich was considering. Axelrod did not surface in the complaint. Neither is charged with any wrongdoing.”
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1395678,CST-NWS-blago25.article

  143. Grays: I have to wonder if the people in Washington really understand the magnitude of what’s going on in America today? It can’t be sinking in while they’re settling for half-assed stimulus packages.

  144. grayslady

    From what I understand the burden on a small business is huge. I had a neighbor who owned a carpeting business. It just didn’t pay for him to stay in business with all the expenditures.

    On the other hand the Walmarts of the world seem to get enormous perks.

    It’s pretty sad because small business accounts for about 80% of businesses but only about 20% of the revenue sales. Corporations seem to have huge advantages.

  145. Help, myiq, I’m in moderation.

  146. Okay I jumped from reading a comment at 2:20 to here.

    KB, last week there was something about Obie expanding tax credits for those laid off to be able to pay for COBRA coverage. It goes w/out saying you have to have some income to put those credits against. We discussed some of it last week. It’s probably down somewhere in the old threads.

    Now I”m going back up to catch up on posts. This may have already been discussed.

  147. Peries

    Don’t you mean trojan horse? I’ve always felt this way about him.

  148. Excuse me, but clyburn..traitor..can bite my ______.

    “I remember 1994”

    Well, old geezer, I remember 2008 and your disgusting behavior and intonations towards Hillary.

  149. You know, with all BO’s “responsibility” talk you’d think he’d tell all these companies that, for the good of the country, it is their “responsibility” to not lay off their employees. He should demand that they not go out of business! Buck up corporate America. We’re all in this together.

  150. Regency, they are clueless. Most have never operated a company or worked for a company, other than a law firm. I still maintain that if ever citizen over 18 had received $25,000 each (basically equivalent to what the bailout package is providing), we would have seen the economy settle down long enough to find some workable solutions. For example, is the Congress planning to place any penalties on companies that offshore their labor pool? I haven’t heard anything about any attempts to save jobs.

  151. grayslady,

    In what way do employers pay for social security? All they do is deduct the tax from our paychecks.

    Jangles,

    The only rational way to go to universal health care is to expand the Medicare system to everyone. It’s a program that is already in place and has very low administrative costs. Did the New Yorker happened ot mention that?

  152. Lobbyists need to collect unemployment before we’ll get any relief.

  153. bb — sorry — had to go back to work for a bit (heh). As to your questions:

    1. My main question is whether is is really no big deal and doesn’t deserve media attention. Myiq is right to a point — it does depend on what the witnesses have to say. Nonetheless, considering this involved HIGH LEVEL STAFF of the President of the United States, I do believe that REGARDLESS of what these Team O people have to say the press should be covering it. Five days into to a new administration & already embroiled in subpoenas, yeah, THIS is a story, which is why I said in my previous post the fact that the press is NOT covering it leads me to believe the worse: i.e, they are being told to ignore it & they are obeying!

    2. I also wondered if you thought subpoenas were issued for Obama’s staff members as well as Blago. The story is just about subpoenas that Blago got, but we do know that Obama and his staff members met with Fitzgerald in his office.

    I read an article that subpoenas had been issued to Obama staff members. I can’t find that article anymore either.

    3. In your opinion, what does it mean that Axelrod was not mentioned in the report that Obama released saying everyone was free and clear? Does that mean they aren’t sure about Axelrod?

    It doesn’t mean anything other than he isn’t in the clear. Doesn’t mean he is guilty, just that he isn’t “in the clear.” Personally, however, I don’t trust anything Obama says. NO ONE has been “cleared” in this thing so for them to say so is just b.s.

  154. The federal government has a program called Tricare plus(Military are inrolled in Tricare and their dependants in plus). I don’t know why they couldn’t expand that program.

  155. bb
    They match what you pay in.

  156. PumaInSeattle, on January 26th, 2009 at 3:13 pm Said:

    I just heard about those layoffs. 43,000? just today. Yikes. COBRA ?
    **********
    “Bloody Monday: Over 68,000 jobs lost
    Six companies announce massive job cuts in a scary start to the week.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/26/news/economy/job_cuts/index.htm

    This is just the beginning..if we are luck, the economy will hit bottom in 2011.

  157. bb–What you see is *your* portion of the contribution to Social Security. The company has to match that (actually, I think today’s computation has the company paying in slightly more than the individual).

  158. Thanks so much Angie! I really appreciate your taking the time to respond. On the Axelrod thing, I find it suspicious. It seems to me that if they knew for sure Axelrod hadn’t talked on the phone on tape, they would have cleared him too. To me, that is the most surprising news of all.

    There were a couple of blog stories that claimed subpoenas went to Obama’s staff, but it didn’t say that in any of the news stories. These subpoenas were issued about a week before Blago was arrested. They were released because of a Freedom of Information act request from an ethics advocate.

  159. What is happening is a tremendous centralisation of everything. Big banks are now fewer in number and larger in size, having bought their (failing) rivals out for a song.
    RD gave us the example of pharmaceutical giants.

    An article someone referred to upthread shows bankrupt States ever more dependant on Washington D.C.

    At the same time, the notion of decentralized political power – the linchpin of federalism – is unraveling. Today, once proudly independent – even defiant – states, counties and cities sit on the verge of insolvency. New York and California, two megastates, face record deficits. From California to the Carolinas, local potentates with no power to print their own money will be forced to kiss Washington’s ring.

    http://tinyurl.com/cfath5

  160. lol CWaltz, he is our trojan pony with a special Augean stable add-on.

  161. PumaInSeattle, on January 26th, 2009 at 3:18 pm Said:

    Those f*cking b*stards! That entitled scumbag! The mail dropped in just now, and there is Teh One’s smirking face and a “2009 membership card” from the DCCC. Ugh, double ugh.

    You got one too? I looked at it and went Arrgghhh! I put it on the floor and stomped on it like a cockroach. Actually, I wanted to leave it on the floor and p*ss all over it and then maybe send something back.

  162. Angie:

    IOKIYO

    It’s Okay If You’re Obama

  163. The big pharma merger that RD wrote about this morning will mean 20,000 jobs are eliminated, even though the company execs say cost cutting isn’t really needed.

    http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jan2009/db20090126_540552.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_top+story

    Just look at those two arrogant a-holes!!

  164. PumaInSeattle, on January 26th, 2009 at 3:18 pm Said:

    Those f*cking b*stards! That entitled scumbag! The mail dropped in just now, and there is Teh One’s smirking face and a “2009 membership card” from the DCCC. Ugh, double ugh.

    You got one too? I threw mine on the floor and stomped on it like a bug. I really wanted to leave it on the floor and pee on it and send it back.

  165. myiq — exactly. IOKIYO Can you imagine the msm ignoring a story involving subpoenas & Bill’s high level staffers? BWAHAHAHAHA!!

  166. Bill thinks O can get health care:

    “The former president, ever protective of his own legacy and mindful that it not be eclipsed by a new Democratic president accomplishing things he couldn’t, also told the audience that the reason his administration couldn’t get universal health care was because was because he had an uncooperative Congress AND a deficit.

    Obama, however, Clinton pointed out, has so much love on the Hill and plenty of money to borrow, health care for all should be a piece of cake. ”

    ——except Obama doesn’t want it——–

  167. bb — they really do look like a$$holes, don’t they?

  168. “should” be a piece of cake, but only if he’s willing to bake it.

  169. bb
    I’d say that at least one of them wil get the axe. However, we know that the one axed will get a golden parachute just like every other incompetent CEO before him.

  170. CWaltz, on January 26th, 2009 at 4:48 pm Said:

    The federal government has a program called Tricare plus(Military are inrolled in Tricare and their dependants in plus). I don’t know why they couldn’t expand that program.

    My deceased father and my mother have it. It’s’ heavily subsidized by DOD. They have Tricare for Life which is actually like a medi-gap plan.

  171. “Cram Down” Dies by Our Leader’s Cowardly Hands”

    (Obama kills bankruptcy relief in the stim bill)

    http://www.correntewire.com/cram_down_dies_our_leaders_cowardly_hands

  172. Not Alaska

    Sarah has been working hard to ween her state off federal money.

  173. Let me clairfy, Dad’s enrollment ended, uh, when he did.

  174. yeah, Sarah is a thorn in the side-isn’t she 😉

  175. Wish I lived in Alaska right about now.

  176. CWaltz, on January 26th, 2009 at 4:59 pm Said:

    bb
    I’d say that at least one of them wil get the axe. However, we know that the one axed will get a golden parachute just like every other incompetent CEO before him.
    *************
    $100 million of the last bail-out went for parachutes for 10 Wachovia execs.

  177. OT and nonseq for sec. Is generalized misogyny the reason why gay men love women more than gay women love men? That is all.

  178. I’m waiting to see who is first to answer 3’s question above.

  179. Gay women aren’t big fans of men because every time a woman says she doesn’t want them, they want to change her mind.

  180. Generally speaking.

    No, dude, I do not want you and your penis of doom.

    Unless you look like Bill Clinton, then I could probably force myself.

  181. Jeez SHV, that lady who thought Obama would pay her mortgage is in for quite a shock.

  182. SHV,

    Nice to know about Obama’s removal of the “Cram Down” bankruptcy provision. To all BKC attorneys, cram down still a tool for Chapter 11?

  183. good one Regency! 😆

    Now: do gay men love gay women and vice versa, in a friendly kinda way?

    In response to your question 3, I could have said gay men and straight women have in common affection for the same sexual object. 😉

  184. The DoD had over 9.2 million people and managed to cover them with less than 64 billion(since that is the projection for 2015). If I remember correctly the out of pocket cost for retirees and their families and military members that choose an out of network plan is something like $250 per member per year plus copays.

    http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RS22402_20080506.pdf

    64 billion is less than a tenth for what was spent on bailing out financial institutes.

  185. For those looking to 2010 to make a difference when it comes to UHC, look again.

    Neither party has the inclination to provide UHC. Each is quietly committed to privatization, make no mistake about it. As far as the rest of us are concerned, we are f*cked. We had one chance at this, Hillary Clinton. They pushed her out of the way. Do not think for one minute that the Repub side is going to make any changes in our favor. They have demonstrated that they are against it by using the word “socialism” anytime it is brought up.

    We are already used to the idea that there is little difference in the positions of either party regarding UHC. There is too much money to be made from lobbyists working on behalf of special interests to believe that anyone out there has us in mind.

    As it stands, we are heading for a welfare state if the economy continues to slide downward as it surely is. But to look at the GOP to correct the fall is bordering on the ridiculous. They had their chance and blew it. UHC is dead for all intents and purposes.

    We are seriously f*cked! But let’s take the blinders off and realize that both sides gain from shooting down UHC. As far as it is concerned, it is over.

  186. CWaltz: I don’t know or have figures for Tricare for Life because with it, Medicare is primary and TfL picks up on the deductibles and stuff.

  187. Oh sure, they’ve got billions and billions of dollars to bail out their buddies, but who gives a damn about a bunch of regular folks? Let ’em eat cake.

  188. grayslady,

    If we had UHC, it would take a big burden off the companies, wouldn’t it? Health care is what is killing them.

  189. Pat Johnson, on January 26th, 2009 at 5:27 pm Said:
    We are seriously f*cked! But let’s take the blinders off and realize that both sides gain from shooting down UHC. As far as it is concerned, it is over.
    ************
    Here is the Obama Health care plan..it’s a joke:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/health_care/

  190. Since the Dems twisted Obama into office, they obviously never really planned on challenging the insurance companies over health care. I am around people who are suffering right now and who cannot come up with the enormous amounts of money to pay for needed health care.

    Meanwhile, I wonder how the tele-callers are doing with pulling in money for the Dems and associated groups ? Certainly anyone expecting to need major health care should not. Speaking of the associated groups, I had successfully avoided calls until this afternoon when one of the major national women’s groups caught me to “thank” me for having supported them, obviously planning to ask me for more. I told the caller that indeed I had donated but I would not any more because they did not stand up for American women during the campaign. The caller assured me that they had supported Hillary until it was clear that she would not be the nominee. The caller also said that that was the way politics and campaigns are and at that it was “the media.” In response to her patronizing advice I told her I had been around politics for a very long time and knew quite a bit about all of it, and had followed the campaigns all along. When I told her that I knew the Democratic Party had manipulated the vote, she said, “That was the DNC.” I told her, however, that I never heard the major national women’s groups speaking out against what was happening and therefore I could not support them. She cut off the call by saying, “I understand, but i have to go now.” She never asked for funds.

  191. bostonboomer, on January 26th, 2009 at 5:34 pm Said:

    If we had UHC, it would take a big burden of the companies, wouldn’t it? Health care is what is killing them.
    ***********
    That is the only way that it is going to happen; business failures combined with massive unemployment. The talk of tax credits and $2500/year savings doesn’t cut it, when there is no income. For every dollar that GM spends on health care, Toyota spends one cent.

  192. Fredster,

    The system isn’t perfect but it is a model of a federalized system. Then again the DoD is always whining about the cost. I was just looking but the actual cost for prime is $230 for the retiree and $460 for family or $20 to $40 per month. I was trying to get an exact number to look at to figure the approximiate cost per person the DoD is paying but it seems like it comes out to less than $5,000 per person if my math is right. Granted, the military members are required to go to in network(read military MDs) and costs are kept down but there you have it. The military is still able to buy plenty of bright and shiny new objects despite having to pay the cost of health care.

  193. Tax credits for health care, it seems to me, are only for those who can afford to pay gigantic funds anyway — thus I did not really think McCain’s plan would work either, although he made some favorable suggestions. So, in reality, neither major party is going to do anything about universal health care until, indeed, the big companies cry loudly for help. In the last year or so, it seemed that they might, but since the government seems to lean toward helping them regardless, I doubt they will actually support any real efforts.

  194. CWaltz,

    When T for L was initially offered (and this was years after my father retired, they dropped their BC/BS medi-gap supplement in favor of Tricare for Life. When he realized there would be co-pays he would be responsible for he decided to add back the Blue Cross.

    While he was alive it wasn’t a big deal for those extra $$$s. After he died, I tried to explain how much the Blue Cross was costing her and showed that amount and then showing the little amount of co-pays/deductibles she’d have with T for L. She insisted on keeping the blue cross. To me it’s overkill, but it’s her decision.

    I can say she’s definitely getting a better deal on prescription coverage than under Medicare part D. There is no gap or anything with the Tricare plan.

  195. The big companies have been crying loudly. The thing is that Verizon spent 3.2 billion for health care for it’s 900,000 employees.

    The sad thing is that then you have companies like Walmart that want taxpayers to shoulder the whole burden and fight paying 8% of their payroll towards coverage in states where it is mandated.

  196. Fredster,

    Tell me about it. Humana will cover my neighbors diabetes drugs but only for January through July according to them. August through December she is going to end up paying $400 a month in insulin. Geez.

  197. It seems like they could at the very least come up with a tiered system similar to what they do with children for adults. It isn’t like kids aren’t reliant on the adults in their lives.

    I feel really, really fortunate. We pay less than $200 a month for our health care. The coverage is copay rather than high deductible. One of my managers pays $600 a month for coverage for her and her husband. That seems obscene.

  198. SHV

    Part of the problem for GM is they made an agreement to take care of their retirees though. Do you think they should be allowed to renege?

  199. Toyota has a 401K style pension plan too. I sure hope none of their workers are having to retire in a “down” cycle. Oh and they offshore.

  200. Toyota in a nutshell,

    GM will need to do more than just match wages, it must eliminate the free
    health care for the employees family members they provide and get rid of
    their employees defined pension plan, among other things.

    They need to emulate Toyota by making the majority of the vehicles they sell
    in the US outside of the US, where they can avoid most ot the US governments
    restrictions on doing business as well as government regulations and so
    forth. Particularly in Japan, where they can make them less expensively by
    enjoying the financial assistance that the Japanese government provides,
    particular in escaping US corporate taxes on the profits they earn on the
    vehicles they sell in the US. GM must also obtain most of the materials,
    and the components in the parts they use, from law wage countries.

    Race you to the bottom.

  201. To be fair

    Toyota is hedging their bets. 65% of the vehicles are now made on American soil and the y are opening plants. Their success though is no boon for labor though. Their workers make less, they have less health care coverage, and their benefits plans are not defined. At least from everything I have read on the subject.

  202. Remember Chris Dodd? As Kennedy’s chief deputy on health care reform, he started his “listening tour” last week.

    http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-dodd0124.artjan24,0,7607036,full.story

  203. Damn,

    I am depressing the crap out of myself. Over 10% of our poulation didn’t have health care before all this. Thousands are looking at layoffs and “furlough” is the new catch phrase to save a buck for companies.

    People in my state that are unemployed are going to be expected to get by on a little over $1500 a month with 1/5 of that going to health care and likely 2/3 to housing. Electric just increased by 17% and food and gas are going back up. Woohoo! Let the good times roll.

  204. I for one feel a slight sense of relief that this particular (the 11th congress) group of self serving idiots are NOT going to keep their promises on healthcare reform.

    We need action but mere action in and of itself is worthless unless we have a viable plan to IMPROVE healthcare.

    Besides, they were only saying they would work on it to get re-elected, what did you expect???

  205. Ugh. Dashle. Now there’s a guy who can play some semantics at the same level as Blago according to wiki.

    Daschle denied that he was a “lobbyist,” because he was prohibited from lobbying soon after leaving the Senate. He became “special policy adviser” in the legislative and public policy group of the K Street law firm Alston & Bird following his election defeat.[16][17] The firm’s health care lobbying clients include CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth.[5] The firm was paid $5.8 million between January and September 2008 to represent companies and associations before Congress and the executive branch, with 60 percent of that money coming from the health industry.[6] Daschle was recruited by the former Republican Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole. Daschle has refused to discuss his salary, but Dole, performing a similar role at the firm, has said he makes in the region of $800,000 to $1 million per year.

    he isn’t a “lobbyist” though.

  206. mam

    Thanks for helping me look at the bright side. Your right, these are the same bunglers who chose Obama. They’d probably only screw it up anyway.

  207. CWaltz, on January 26th, 2009 at 6:05 pm Said:

    SHV

    Part of the problem for GM is they made an agreement to take care of their retirees though. Do you think they should be allowed to renege?
    ************
    NO…but I would swallow the outrage if that was going to be the only way to get UHC.

  208. We ought to just change our name to the Corporate States of America and be done with it.

  209. A new OPEN Thread!!

  210. CWaltz, on January 26th, 2009 at 6:33 pm Said:

    Damn,

    I am depressing the crap out of myself. Over 10% of our poulation didn’t have health care before all this
    *************
    Having health “insurance” isn’t all that great either. The insurance industry spends a lot of time and money trying not to pay. If you have insurance and you get sick you also need a lawyer.

  211. Health insurance should be like car insurance when it comes to purchasing. It would be competative and more reliable claims processing. They’d need a Gieko lizard tho……………….

    CWaltz – did you ever belong to a online spades club?

  212. “sam-they’re probably keeping her post open for her”

    Actually, the hospital RIF’ed MO’s job when she left. If you need a clear indication that the job and raise were kickbacks, there it is.

    Conyers better remember the other thing about 1994–Gingrich and the Republican Congress. It could happen again after two years of Obamatic ineptitude.

  213. […] Posts No Soup for You! Democrats take "Universal" Health Care Off the TableI’m just asking questions, because I am not a LawyerOh Hell Yeah!Monday: Oh, Fiddle-di-di, I’ll […]

  214. mam,

    nope

  215. Well, I’m kinda late to this party, but we do have an actual record on Obama and universal health care. When he was an Illinois State Senator in 2003, he was instrumental in sponsoring / derailing such a bill for the state. (From The Boston Globe)

    The bill originally called for a “Bipartisan Health Care Reform Commission” to implement a program reaching all 12.4 million Illinois residents. The legislation would have made it official state policy to ensure that all residents could access “quality healthcare at costs that are reasonable.” Insurers feared that language would result in a government takeover of healthcare, even though the bill did not explicitly say that.

    By the time the legislation passed the Senate, in May 2004, Obama had written three successful amendments, at least one of which made key changes favorable to insurers.

    Most significant, universal healthcare became merely a policy goal instead of state policy – the proposed commission, renamed the Adequate Health Care Task Force, was charged only with studying how to expand healthcare access. In the same amendment, Obama also sought to give insurers a voice in how the task force developed its plan.

    Lobbyists praised Obama for taking the insurance industry’s concerns into consideration.

    What more could anyone want?

    Obama himself seemed rather proud of his accomplishment. “'[W]e radically changed [the bill] . . . in response to concerns that were raised by the insurance industry,’ Obama said, according to the session transcript.”

    As many others here have said: no surprise here.

  216. I reckon I’ll be thinking of this line MANY times in our Brave New Assministration:

    “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss”

    Shoved down our throats by the same owners of the same Corporate Holodeck Media. 😛

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