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Death Wish Democrats

Saturday’s New York Times featured a piece about how nervous the Democrats are getting over the proposed health care reform plan.  Democrats Grow Wary as Health Bill Advances is a curiousity.  According to the authors, the Democrats are so concerned that they will be painted as fans of big government that they have given very little thought to whether their progressive base, who actually *wants* a big government solution, will reward them for their efforts:

Even as Democratic leaders and the White House insisted that the nation was closer than ever to landmark changes in the health care system, they faced basic questions about whether some of their proposals might do more harm than good.

And while senior Democrats vowed to press ahead to meet Mr. Obama’s deadline of having both chambers pass bills before the summer recess, some in their ranks, nervous about the prospect of raising taxes or proceeding without any Republican support, were pleading to slow down.

Democrats had three reasons for concern. The director of the Congressional Budget Office warned Thursday that the legislative proposals so far would not slow the growth of health spending, a crucial goal for Mr. Obama as he also tries to extend insurance to more than 45 million Americans who lack it.

Second, even with House committees working in marathon sessions this week, it was clear that Democrats could not meet their goal of passing bills before the summer recess without barreling over the concerns of Republicans and ending any hope that such a major issue could be addressed in a bipartisan manner.

Third, a growing minority of Democrats have begun to express reservations about the size, scope and cost of the legislation, the expanded role of the federal government and the need for a raft of new taxes to pay for it all. The comments suggest that party leaders may not yet have the votes to pass the legislation.

Sometimes, I have this feeling that Democrats would prefer that the liberals in their midst would sit down and STFU.  Until then, they’re just going to stuff cotton in their ears and sing “la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!”  I’m sorry, but when did the concerns of the minority Republicans get more attention from the Democrats than the people who they are supposed to be representing?  Haven’t the Republicans had enough time to screw up government and society for the past 17 years??  Why do we care whether they support reform or not?  Do we have to make a bill bad just so the GOP will support it?  They either vote for it or not.  Enough of the mollycoddling already.  As for the Blue Dogs, get their names.  Maybe we can primary them.

But the health care reform bill, as I understand it, is so bad that they are really cutting their own throats if they continue to push for bipartisanship.  Take the surtax on high incomes, for example.  I have read in various places that this will consist of taxing the current health benefits of people like, oh, I  don’t know, moi!  Now, on the face of it, a small tax so that poor families can afford health insurance isn’t so bad.  It’s the Murphy’s Corollary that’s attached to the bill that frosts my crockies.  As it turns out, this so-called “gold plated” policy I have through my employer would be non-negotiable.  That is, I can’t get a better plan and I would be forbidden from joining the public plan.  This is to protect the private insurance industry that has been tinkering with their plans to maximize profits for themselves and not patients.  My “gold plated” plan restricts me to a list of pre-approved doctors with which my insurer has negotiated prices for services, otherwise known as “rationing”.  If I go outside this list, I have to pay out of my own pocket until my deductible is satisfied and then, I get reimbursed for only part of these non-network doctors’ fees.   Let’s just say that I have issues with my plan and leave it at that.

Does this remind anyone of the cable companies who have a monopoly on your township?  You know, the ones that charge you outrageous amounts of money for channels you want to see but which force you to buy the entire FOX package?

Ok, so here’s where I think the health reform plan is going:  you, the hard working individual pulling in a pretty good salary but who is stuck in NJ where everything is expensive and a good salary means diddly squat, are going to be forced to pay a tax for a service for which you can never benefit unless you are no longer employed in the job you’re in.  (Bear with me here because this is going to get ugly)  Instead, a person who has far less education or gumption or whatever or who is in reduced circumstances through no fault of his or her own, but who is destined to be characterized as the new welfare queen, will be able to get health insurance through the public plan.

Let that sit there for a second to marinate.

Ok, now, that sounds pretty bad.  It’s the kind of thing that causes those of us in the lower 98% of population who are not pulling in millions or dollars of ill-gotten booty bonuses to fight over the measley piece of the GDP pie that’s left.  There are a couple different scenarios on how this will play out.  Either the Democrats really are going to stick us in an insurance straitjacket where we’ll simmer with anger over how good the poor have it OR (more likely), the public plan will be so bad that most people who are on it will pine for private insurance.

Either way, the Democrats are screwed.  Well, they did that when then voted to overturn the will of the voters and shoved Obama down our throats even though we told them he wasn’t ready and that he needed more time in the Senate to work on his legislative skills and form coalitions he could count on in the future.  Obama just wants to get this health care reform bill done.  Like now.  Before the August recess.  The bill itself wouldn’t go into effect until 2013, a year after Obama could potentially be out of office so what’s the rush?  Why not get something in place that actually, you know, works?  Why not expand SCHIP in the meantime to include people 4x the poverty level and allow people to buy into Medicaid?  Give yourself some breathing room to craft a European style health care plan with uniquely American features, whatever that means.

But noooo.  They must pass this crappy bill now, now, now.  And they are looking for bipartisan support, a sure sign of impending disaster.  When are Democrats going to learn that Republicans are NEVER going to support health care reform?  Passing a bad bill, with or without their support, only increases the likelihood that the GOP and their media friends are going to clobber the Democrats as tax and spend liberals who like big government programs that don’t work.  And Democrats are walking right into this trap with their eyes wide open.  They *know* this is how it will play out but it’s almost like they can’t resist.  It must be masochism.

Democrats could make this easier on all of us by doing it right the first time around and making average working folks so satisfied with the results that the Republicans look like a bunch of hard hearted meanies when they roll out the welfare queen meme (and you know it’s coming).  Doing it right could mean electoral success for generations to come.  And at this point, the Congressional Budget Office says health care costs will keep rising, even with this plan.  So, if the bill isn’t going to slow down rising costs for those of us stuck in private plans, it’s time to put the brakes on it and work for a better solution even if it means taking on private insurers and getting tough with them.

Take your time, guys.  This one’s a no-brainer.

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127 Responses

  1. They are blaming the Republicans, but the Democrats don’t want to reform health care either.

    The worst part? A portion of the outrageously high premiums you are paying goes to their reelection campaigns and to health care lobbyists who are working hard to make sure you keep getting screwed.

  2. Frankly, so far it seems that the major beneficiaries are the insurance companies.

    • on this boat, when they yell” ” women, children and voters first!! ” they mean the first off the plank.

      Everything is being done to ensure the insurance companies tumor is saved. If some limbs gotta go to see to that, so be it . Both parties want that….seems
      only GOP have the courage of their ass backwards convictions.

      Dems are weak kneed even when cutting our throat. If they keep this up, the Upper Crust might go back to their GOP enforcer. They knew how to break knees without all the soul searching. / snarky and true

  3. RD, have you seen a definition “gold-plated” insurance? I haven’t.

    Some say it would be coverage that costs the company $20,000/employee. Some say that it has to do with the extraordinary benefits given (cosmetic coverage) & this probably relates to the first.

    I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t refer to plans like yours that might be expensive but don’t include cosmetic procedures.

    AND that it doesn’t include plans that include a National Group of Hospitals and Doctors. Everyone really should have a choice of doctors and hospitals.

    • The only time I had “gold-plated” insurance was when my ex-husband was a VP (investments) of Mutual of Omaha and he could walk down to the desk of some one getting ready to ration me into something unacceptable while I had inoperable cancer recovering from a high risk pregnancy with a prematurely born newborn and said, we don’t like that, can we have an exception then got it.

      They kept trying to force me into a catholic hospital with a high risk pregnancy too … I wanted to go to the Methodist one, with the nice Jewish neonatologist and the Children’s Hospital across the corridor. (I refuse to go to catholic hospitals with a working uterus, silly me). I got that overridden too.

      You think I’d have been successful if I wasn’t married to one of the heads of the Mutual of Omaha Mafiosi?

  4. Add your name: WeWantThePublicOption.com 76% of Americans Want a Public Option

    • Spot on RD!

      We keep been lied to, time and time again. The current system has GATE KEEPERS and RATIONING and the premiums keep going up and soon will be beyond our reach. Just listen to the Greedos like Charlie Gibson who ask how will ‘they’ get an appointment, they would rather have close to 50 million go without insurance than find a solution for fear they won’t get something, when they have it all. WOW!

    • but I don’t want a public option, I want single payer. It is the only solution that will work. A public option will just slow down the slide to misery, because if we do not get everyone in to one group, the young the old, the healthy the sick and take all the money spent now and put it together the private companies will just wait out the government and when people realize that the plan failed they will blame the government option.

      • yup.

      • The way to get to Single Payer is to get them to acknowledge that people want a Public Option, the vast majority of people don’t even know that HR 676 exists. 😦 They think that Obama is busy trying to work so so hard on finding a solution when the BILL IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE!

        HR 676 Single Payer (only 26 pages long and it covers EVERYONE!)

        • They will probably put a poison pill in the public option so that it never can evolve into single-payer.

          I think it would be more effective to just agitate for single-payer. The public option petitions just makes them think we approve of the hash they are making of it. DFA and others are just showing their Obama love as usual.

          Just my two cents.

      • Political Courage 76% of Americans want a Public Option/Single Payer, “Everybody in Nobody Out”!

      • What is Single Payer HR 676 “Everybody is Covered”

  5. joseyt, one of our commenters brought this opinion piece to our attention yesterday: I think it’s worth reading.

    U.S. has much to learn from our health care

    If Obama looked at our successes and failures, he could avoid making the same mistakes

    (by Tom Campbell, former deputy minister of health and deputy minister of treasury and economics for Ontario.)

    • Or…we could have elected someone who ALREADY had done all this research for years, and knows exactly what works and what doesn’t and who the players are. What a friggin’ mess.

      • Yea, the best candidate that just happened to be a woman, Hillary R. Clinton.

      • It’s no accident Hill is nether in the Senate or the Oval Office… and why heaven and earth was moved to see to that . Indeed she’s now where she is not even allowed to comment on the current situation…. and how could she even think of being Obama’s VP and having to sell this swill? They would use her to say, well look! Hillay approves! I’m now sure she was the one to say said no to that idea.

        Hillary ran 20 hours a day for many months to give us a chance, but it wasn’t enough to over come a full court , Upper Crust press. Really ONLY Hill would have gotten the prize she ( and we ) did get . Anyone else would be political road kill. imo

  6. Single Payer Day of Action – Sen. Morgan Carroll (1 of 2) This congresswoman explains the problems with health care today and why it needs to be fixed.

    • Single Payer Day of Action – Sen. Morgan Carroll (2 of 2) I hope she runs for the Senate, because we need more women like her…willing to let the people know the truth.

  7. I’m starting to think the health care issue is kind of like the abortion issue, it’s something they don’t want changed one way or the other because that’s what gets people to vote for them.

    Here’s the thing. If they don’t reform health care in a really meaningful way, single payer or a really good public option, with a super majority, then they never will. If they don’t improve issues revolving around choice however would work best through new laws now, then they never will protect it.

    So this is a big important term for them. If they don’t do those things, they never will. They can never campaign for those issues ever again.

    • Well, they can campaign for those issues, but people will say, oh, like how you did that in 2009/2010? What you need 70 Dems in the senate? Sorry Dems, we’re not buying it. It’s just way too clear who really owns you and who your master really is. If you don’t do these things now it’s really obvious you never will.

      So what is your purpose in life Democratic Party? I’m afraid I just don’t see one.

    • Yup, the Ole keep ’em busy and GIVE THEM NOTHING! His plan is over a thousand pages long and costs more?!?

    • http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090715_healthcare_change_the_debate/
      Posted on Jul 15, 2009

      By Rep. Dennis Kucinich

      In mid-May, in an effort to reach consensus, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5 percent of their costs each year for 10 years, saving a total of $2 trillion, which would be reprogrammed into health care. Just two days after the announcement at the White House, the insurance companies reneged on the deal that was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35 percent.

      The insurance companies reneged on the deal because they refuse any restraint on increasing premiums, co-pays and deductibles—core to their profits. No wonder a recent USA Today poll found that only 4 percent of Americans trust insurance companies. This is within the margin of error, which means it is possible that no one trusts insurance companies.

      Why aren’t they listening, 76% of Americans want a Public Option.

      • Why aren’t they listening, 76% of Americans want a Public Option.
        I assume that was rhetorical. Might as well ask why the insurance companies won’t be nice. They in fact are listening. To their bosses.

      • Thanks for that. I’m ashamed to say that I know next to nothing about Kucinich (blame that on the media who has pointedly ignored him … I seem to remember him complaining that he couldn’t get any mic time during the primary debates).

        But he’s a wonderful advocate for single-payer! Thanks for the link. I shared it on Facebook.

        • Nah, we are actually doing our due diligence as it turns out that Pelosi hasn’t read the 1,000 + Obama Bill on Health Care. 😯 Hey, and we aren’t on the payroll nor do we have any staff…but we do have Katiebird, RD, Dak, and all the others helping out here to sort through and get the information.

  8. Passing a bad bill, with or without their support, only increases the likelihood that the GOP and their media friends are going to clobber the Democrats as tax and spend liberals who like big government programs that don’t work.

    Doing it right could mean electoral success for generations to come.
    This goes for everything they have been rushing through in a panic, including the “stimulus” bill. It’s like watching a train wreck, and here’s where it’s going:

    RASMUSSEN 2012 poll released at 10:30AM ET

    Obama 45% Romney 45%
    Obama 48% Palin 42%

    Thanks for nothing Obots. We could have had 16 years easy. Now we’re going to end up with Mitt Romney.

    • I can definitely see Obama losing in 2012 as long as the Republicans nominate someone who has a solid economic background and sounds like s/he knows what the are talking about to solve the economic recession and job market. I despise Romney but I think he is one of the few Republicans who has and credibility left and a chance at winning in 2012. Romney/Palin might make a good team but I doubt Palin would run for VP again in 2012.

      • They might feel they don’t need her, Obama will stink so much… Because they don’t like her either .

        We’ll get ” the adults will be back in charge, Mitt as Bush 2 in ’99 ” campaign. If the Upper Crust decide to go back to the GOP. That depends how bad Obama smells by then and how discredited the Dems are by 2012 . …at this pace of Dem collapse, the UP might go with Mitt.

        If Mitt runs , it’s for real. If it’s someone else , it’s not. and the powers that be want Obama part 2 . MaCain’s run wasn’t for real even if he thought so…and Palin was asked to join him in order to hobble her. imo

      • I believe that the republican have enough dirt on Obama that they can destroy him whenever they feel like it, which is why he is so concerned about what they think and do, he does not dare risk the republican ire less they release it, and since the republican preferred Obama to Mccain they saved what they have to hold over Obama head, but if the “right” candidate wins the republican nomination they have no reason to keep this stuff any more and I expect nonstop revelations about Obama.

  9. How many Republicans voted for Social Security?

    • How many support the VA Hospitals, that is socialized medicine.

    • Actually, many more Republicans voted for the S.S. Act than voted against it.

      Of course, that was a different time–a time of crisis but also a time when corporate interests hadn’t completely dominated both major parties and voters hadn’t yet been rendered completely docile by Madison Avenue-run polical campaigns. Now it hardly seems to matter that both parties suck and neither one serves the interests of the great majority of Americans–people have been neatly niche-marketed into voting on empty campaign slogans, party brand identification, and the belief that the other party sucks more.

      Not that I believe that the voters will remain docile forever–I just have no clue as to how much worse it can get before it starts to get better.

      • ciao inky-hows things?

        • Hey Laurie!

          I’ve just switched my web browser, because my response to you keeps getting swallowed up in the either. I’m doing great–thanks for asking! My doctors are wonderful, my prognosis is very good, and my spirits are excellent! I start chemo in two weeks, but I’m even feeling very upbeat about that–after all, I have twenty pounds that I’ve been trying to lose forever. I feel about chemo that way that John Candy felt about the army in the movie Stripes.


  10. Deep down I think all of us know that governing is not something which can be done well in the “panic, the appocalyse is upon us” mode of both the Bush and Obama administrations.

    If they were serious about doing something right, they would slow it down and proceed deliberately. Now they’re just using taxpayer money to pay off their contributors. The “panic” is the people might balk before they finish.

    • Actually reading the bills might help. The link above that talks about SOME form of oversight would be wise for where the bail out money is going and how the banks are using it…where is there any common sense to this? They don’t want anyone to read the bills, because then we’ll find out who’s really benefiting–and it’s not the average American.

  11. From what I’ve read of the current healthcare bill, it is insane. It’s an insurance company giveaway, with the federal govt power-grabbing to control and micro-manage hospitals and doctors assets to boot.

    I want single payer, or at the very least a simple public option available to ALL at a sliding-scale buy-in. If they can’t do that very simple thing, and instead want to load up over 1000 pages of monstrosity with nonsense and crap, then I will STRONGLY oppose this bill, period.

    Don’t assume that all “moderate Democrats” are opposed because they are bad or uncaring or on the side of real reform opponents. Some may well recognize this for the sham and boondoggle it is.

    • Right on. The very idea of primarying blue dogs because they are against these pieces of crap is amazingly off base.

      You want to primary some people, try the asshats who came up with these lousy bills.

      • Agreed! I was a bit shocked by the idea of “primarying” the moderate Dems. My god, they’re the only ones who seem to be sane.

        • You smell trollish. We had someone just like you here last week making a similar argument about Jon Corzine being a moderate Democrat like Bill Clinton and how stupid could we be to not support him.
          Look, LS, I don’t know who’s paying you but let’s get one thing straight right now: we don’t allow psycholgical and group dynamics manipulation on this site. I will ban you. I’m leaving your comment up for now but I’m digging up the other comment from the Corzine post and will carefully check the IPs when I get home.
          To readers, take note. LS is saying that Blue Dogs are moderate Democrats. They are not. Blue Dogs are more conservative. They’re DINOs. They vote with Republicans much of the time. Indeed, the caucuses of BOTH parties skew well to the right of most voters. That is why primarying them is sometimes necessary.
          I can’t tell if LS is a Republican or Democratic operative but in any case primaries are not evil. They’re the means by which a non responsive politician is replaced by one that is more to our liking. And commenters who suggest otherwise are really not welcome here.

      • The Blue Dogs are working with the Republicans to develop these pieces of crap.
        Ralph, I really think you are at the wrong blog. We’re liberals. The reform bills are crap because they aren’t liberal enough. Get with the program.

        • Um, several members of the Blue Dogs Caucus were co-sponsors of the single-payer bill.

          All Blue Dogs are not RINO’s. Some are, but some aren’t. They have various reasons for opposing Obama’s crappy plan. It would be nice to look at them as individuals.

        • Whoa, RD. This is your blog and you makes the rulz and this is generally a very good, undoubtedly sometimes stressful thing. But isn’t what you’re saying here a bit stringent? It seems that a majority of the Dem party has been corrupted, whether they fly under a blue or yellow banner. And yes, the great majority of us here are Genuine Liberals of the old school. Doesn’t that mean we should be open to and able to withstand honest discussion and differing points of view?

          • Actually, no. I don’t think RD was being harsh. It gets old, seeing the same failed Republican talking points rolled out on castors again and again. That destructive center, in Krugman’s great phrase, is the reason single payer is “off the table” and the “public option” has come to mean an “option for the insurance industry on the public’s money.” If Big0 wasn’t one of them, he could have got single payer done in his first ten days in office. There was that much momentum. But neither he nor any of the DINOs were on the side of the people who elected them.

            All that health care reform is going to be now is another opportunity to raid people’s pockets. People will dump the Democrats like toxic waste come 2010, if all there is to show for “reform” is a tax on health benefits. RD is absolutely right on that.

          • And by all means, “primary” the industry shills. Our representatives are supposed to represent *us*.

          • Even I ( a conservative) am a bit tired of Republican talking points especially when they haven’t done anything towards reform when they had power.

            My chief beef with the Dems is their trust in the feds that is unnecessary.

        • RD: Why the hell do you think I don’t like the reform bill. I want single payer! That’s common sense as it works well in the rest of the industrialized world.

          You may be liberal, but I didn’t think you were stupid or narrow minded. Guess I was wrong about that? The general statements that all of “whatever” are evil or some other adjective are symptoms of distress. Maybe you should look at that.

          This is your blog and if you are going to run it like an Obamabot runs their own, I am definitely at the wrong place.
          Buh Bye and Fuck Off!

          • This is hardly the first time you’ve expressed some opinions that I have found questionable. Arguing against primaries is a very unDemocratic thing.
            Don’t let the door hit you…

          • Huh? So all Blue Dogs, even the ones who are wanting single payer rather than this awful bill ought to be primaried? And if one disagrees with that approach, one is somehow “unDemocratic”?

            Um, I think you may have misread here somewhere, RD. That doesn’t sound like you.

        • Ralph: “The very idea of primarying blue dogs because they are against these pieces of crap is amazingly off base.

          RD: “The Blue Dogs are working with the Republicans to develop these pieces of crap.

          No, RD, they are not. These pieces of crap are being developed by the majority mainstream Democrats, and NOT primarily the Blue Dog Democrats OR the Republicans. Sorry, but the Dems need to own their own shit, and you need to insist that they own it, and not make excuses that it’s “really” the blue dogs or the DINOS, etc.

          • What WMCB said.

          • You are not following the plot here, WMCB. The Blue Dogs do not want a reform bill because many of them are from very conservative districts. They tend to boobytrap bills or vote with Republicans so that they cans say to their constituents that they aren’t tax and spend liberals.

            The rest of the Democrats are being held hostage by these guys.
            There have been plenty of articles about the way the Congress skews right specifically because of the Blue Dogs and Obama’s propensity to completely ignore progressives in order to pacify the Blue Dogs.
            BTW, you can call me whatever the fuck you like but one thing I am definitely not is uninformed.

          • RD, I didn’t the fuck call you anything at all. Nor do I think you’re uninformed. But then, neither am I. I merely pointed out that this awful bill was crafted not by the Blue Dogs, but by the mainstream Dems, and THEY need to be held accountable for that. Hostages my ass.

            I pointed out that the only single-payer bill out there was co-sponsored by some Blue Dogs. And that some (not all) of them have some very good reasons for opposing the current bill.

        • RD, I think there are some gray areas here that cause misunderstanding. I have a blue dog congressman and he is moderate to conservative depending on the issue, but he is also a populist and he supported Clinton in the primaries because his constituents did. He did what he knew to be right and I applaud him for that.
          This is a liberal blog, but this last primary made us strange bed fellows with a lot of people, including Palin. And I think PUMA’s come in all flavors and that because most of us are hoping to work with all women on issues of sexism and power politics…. well there is just a real mix here.

    • Speaking of health care and cap and hose legislation, here’s another dagger at both of them.

      “White House putting off release of budget update”


  12. Sometimes, I have this feeling that Democrats would prefer that the liberals in their midst would sit down and STFU. Until then, they’re just going to stuff cotton in their ears and sing “la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!” -RD

    I agree they don’t want to hear 76% of Americans that want a Public Option/Single Payer and they want to keep singing “la-la-la” all the way to the bank while 60 Americans die each day without health care.

  13. if this plan is so bad the congress doesn;t want it.then why is it good enough for us.

  14. We have met the enema and it is us.
    I work in a union shop and you would be surprised how often I hear the “Unions were good and necessary in their time” meme. I invite these people to go south and live with their toothless kin in a “Right to work state” making peanuts.
    It is the same with a single payer health care system. The loco republican legislators shout “Communism” or “Socialism” and the Igno(rant)-American segment agrees.
    These loons don’t want their government telling them what doctor they can see or what treatments they can have but are perfectly happy shoveling over hard earned money to an insurance company or HMO to have them do the same thing.
    Really why should any legislator risk being thrown off the gravy train for doing what is right when it won’t be appreciated by the masses?
    I see this as the main reason Democrats didn’t want to have Single Payer anywhere near their “reform” hearings. They were afraid the public would hear the truth and demand real reform.

  15. The amazingly ignorant voters — the ones who’ll vote for the insurance companies and against themselves so long as you scare them with “Government Control!” “Taxes!” — the amazingly ignorant voters are one problem the politicians are terrified of.

    But I think there’s another side to it, too. The Democrats figure the progressives can’t vote for anyone else anyway. So the voters who need pampering are the ones who make up their minds in the week before an election and who vote based on how often they hear “Government!” “Taxes!”

    The “get over it” strategy worked quite well for them in the last big election. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether the next time will be any different.

    • What is amazing about it?

      It’s kinda hard to sort fact from fiction when nobody will tell you the truth.

      • True. true.

        But my main point was that I’m not sure the Democrats have a death wish. I think they’re gambling that the progressives have nowhere else to go, and by being DINOs they can get enough other votes to be reelected.

        Telling the progressives to suck it up worked just fine last time. didn’t it?


        • I’d like to see our Congresscritters work on other goals besides “get reelected”

          (but I ain’t holding my breath)

  16. And this should help things along…not…

    You’ll notice that a very large proportion of this growing organization’s followers come from Indonesia…

    Chicago Suburb Hosts Hizb ut-Tahrir Conference; Organization Aims to Re-Establish an International Islamic State (Caliphate), Supports Jihad


  17. Great post RD!

    I’m sorry, but when did the concerns of the minority Republicans get more attention from the Democrats than the people who they are supposed to be representing?

    About the time Tip O’Neil stepped down as house speaker I’m thinking! It’s been going on for a long time. Dems never came close to helping Bill like they helped Bush 2….lrather they joined the GOP pile on

    Why do we care whether they support reform or not? Do we have to make a bill bad just so the GOP will support it? They either vote for it or not

    They WILL not vote for it , no matter what is done. Hillary learned this lesson 16 years ago! The GOP will complain and protest every step of the way and if one acts as if it’s in good faith , and trys to accommodate them, you will wind up with a complicated , unworkable, super expensive horror on life support which is what the GOP want in the first place .

    The new wrinkle this time around is the Dems are doing so much of the work for the GOP by starting with a horror of a bill and having a supposed Dem POTUS so worried about the GOP’s feelings. Add to that Dem’s propensity for wetting thier pants in fear and The GOP just has to text stuff in this time to put the Dems in a tail spin. Disgusting . They are throwing away a once in 20 year chance and it’s no accident.

    We are seeing one of the reasons Obama HAD to get in and why the upper crust moved heaven and earth to see to it.

  18. Isn’t amazing how our pols get the dogs fighting each other for the scraps under the table while the good stuff goes to the already fat and satiated sloths sitting at the table. You’d think the dogs would wake up and realize who they need to go after eventually, wouldn’t you? It’s called why not bite the hand that rarely feeds you! For their amusement, the sloths make you fight it out with every other floor dweller, American Gladiator style.

  19. Don’t even try to read a part of that 1000 page bill, it will make your blood boil and that’s bad for your health.

    I’ve been complaining that Dems are going to deliver the Mitt Romney health care plan. I think I was wrong, what they are planning is even worse.

    Why they can’t look to some of the states for examples of how it’s possible to provide reasonable programs is beyond me. Wa state has Basic Health and Howard Dean created a program in his state. SCHIP has been successful. Why not look at the programs that work and put together something based on those examples?

    That’s a rhetorical question, I already know the answer, they won’t because they’re stupid, self centered, greedy, and mean, LOL.

    I hope the welfare queen nonsense doesn’t come back, but I feel it’s presence everywhere. You can’t squeeze Americans who are already struggling in order to provide services to the poor. That just breeds resentment and sure enough, it’s breeding out there.

    • It’s the old case of the land owner watching the cracker and the share cropper fight among themselves as he laughs in the air cooled limo .

    • I worked for many years in public hospital ERs. I’ve met my fair share of system abusers, but I have met many many more people who happened to be down on their luck. Why can’t we view this in the same way that we consider auto insurance? I’ve never had an accident or a moving violation, yet I am required to carry liability. I choose to add comprehensive. With reard to health insurance, everyone gets a basic policy, and then either your employer or yourself can purchase upgrades.

    • Canadian Health Care legislation =12 pages

      Text of H.R. 676 [109th]: Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act =26 pages (by word count) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-676

      Obama / H.R. 1495
      Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act of 2009 = 1,000 + pages

      Pelosi Will Read Full Final Text of Health Care Bill Before House Vote and Give Public ‘Ample’ Time to Do Same, Says Spokesman
      Monday, July 13, 2009
      By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter & Marie Magleby & Monica Gabriel

      😯 Pelosi hasn’t read it! 😯

  20. Once again the plan is to pit us against them. Then, when we are at war with one another, they will have the perfect excuse to pull the plug and we get nothing. Exactly like they did to so-called “Hillary-Care”. To put the straightjacket on emplyed people who have jobs will stress employers and people tied to their jobs with no way out, less they lose healthcare for their families. Watch as employers insist on more and more employee contributions as insurance costs skyrocket. The only way to do this is the same for all Americans, no matter the circumstances. I read there was an amendment that would require Congress to participate in whatever plan was passed and it was overwhelmingly rejected. Now why would that be?

  21. I’d like an explanation on how single-payer all of a sudden morphed into Public Option. Was anybody insisting on a “Public Option”? We have home Owner’s Insurance in Florida run by the state called Citizen’s. It came about because of all the insurance companies refusing to insure our Hurricane prone homes after they were hit a few times in one year. Almost everybody has Citizen’s Insurance now. The big question is that there hasn’t been a test yet. Since the creation of Citizen’s Insurance, the state has not had a catastrophic hurricane. We hear that there isn’t enough money to cover the losses that would be expected and some will not get a timely payout after a disaster but rather an IOU. Imagine this scenario for a healthcare emergency. Then there is the state run health insurance created in Tennessee to replace medicaid. It too was administered through privatye HMO’s, PPO’s, etc. It was a disaster that left the poor in worse shape after it became unsustainable due to the high costs of medication. Tenncare was cancelled with 3 month’s notice, the sick and poor were left with NOTHING. Many died.
    The problem is in Florida, when the insujrance companies pulled out, they should have been penalized. They should have been banned from insuring automobiles here for example. Punished, in other words. Nothing like that happened. They had no incentive to do anything other than what they have been doing all along. Its the same with the “Public Option”. Why would they cover a sick person if they didn’t have to. That would cost them money. So they’ll make the gov’t run Public Option take those people, They won’t have any risk unless forced to do so.

    • good post. I’m thinking something along the Tenncare story might be what they are after…the on purpose unworkable system collapsing, and they are off the hook.

      Why would they cover a sick person if they didn’t have to….

      Exactly. You get them to do it by making it the payment for having the healthy ones too. Just like saying you can’t insure Fla cars might have gotten them to rethink leaving…but nooo we can’t hold them to nuthin.

      The powers that be are in a pickle. If one completely screws up / trashes health care for cash like they want ….how can they go after Social Security as well without public out cry? It’s a puzzlement. /snark

    • I was living in florida when Andrew hit in 92. Many insurance companies wanted to pull out of florida and the governor at that time (a democrat) told them they either sold hurricane and flood or they could take every other form of insurance they sold and leave florida altogether.
      Sorry to hear the two republican governors since him have failed to protect you.
      BTW, my ex is a roofing contractor and a damn good one. We were divorced right after Andrew and it is no coincidence. He is state licensed and he watched every scum bag in America with a truck come to the state and make their million and leave. He on the other hand had to play by the rules and in addition he did a lot of work for people who begged him in tears to help him and swore they would pay him when the insurance check came, only to turn around and refuse to pay for reasons such as a slightly different color in one tile. It cost him a lot of emotional pain to see miles and miles of people living in third world conditions and not try to help them.
      He had a nervous breakdown and I did not know how to wait it out. Had I realized at the time I would have refused to give him the divorce, gone and told his interfering father to “F” off and we could have working things out.

  22. Doctors’ Group Backs Single-Payer Amendment to House Health Care Bill
    16,000 physicians urge passage of substitute ‘Medicare for all’ motion

    WASHINGTON – July 17 – Calling the health reform bill released by House Democrats a “proven failure,” an organization of 16,000 doctors called today for the passage of an amendment to the bill that would essentially overturn it and implement a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system.

    The single-payer amendment to H.R. 3200, the House tri-committee bill unveiled two days ago by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is scheduled to be offered by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) next Monday at the Energy and Commerce Committee, although it could be introduced as early as tomorrow.

    Weiner is a co-sponsor of another House bill, the U.S. National Health Care Act, H.R. 676, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.). Conyers’ bill, which has 85 co-sponsors, would create a single-payer system. Weiner’s amendment to H.R. 3200 would basically substitute the provisions of H.R. 676 for its present content.

    The struggle continues and those representing the working folks aren’t giving up.

  23. “Doctors’ Group Backs Single-Payer Amendment to House Health Care Bill”

    The reason the AMA backs the National Health Care Act is they will win twice: they’ll get a subsidy from the government for the public health care portion (to see how efficiently they’ll “work” this, look at Medicaid); plus they’ll double-dip in the newly created private health care market (which will be more expensive than it is today, due to the public health care portion).

    It’s all about Economics; the AMA isn’t looking out for the health and welfare of the average American. (And Wall Street isn’t looking out for our economic welfare either, they’re just looking to capitalize on it.)

    • The AMA represents only about 15% of the working doctors in this country. Its membership is only 30% of licensed physicians. About half of those are retired.

      The WORKING DOCS of this country want reform. It’s the paid “medical” lobbyists for the AMA, who have not laid hands on an actual patient in 20 years, and have cushy perks from the insurance industry, who don’t.

      Please do not confuse the AMA with the mindset of physicians in this country. They are not the same thing at all.

      • Sorry, I don’t understand your point: The AMA has endorsed the House health reform bill.


        Perhaps you are not considering how many “working docs” make a killing off of Medicaid, and spend two days a week on the golf course. We need reform, but right now the doc agencies are just playing it, because they know they’ll win with Congress in the end… and their patients will pay regardless… because there’s really no choice for us. Please don’t think any one in Washington is actually trying to correct the corruption in the health care system; they’re merely trying to “fix” (i.e., establish, make it certain for future reliance) it.

        • Actually, I know tons of working docs, including my husband – most of whom work around 60 – 90 hours a week (not counting on-call time), and very few of whom golf. Had a cookout with 7 or 8 of them just last week. They were about 90% in favor of single payer, via my informal poll.

          Don’t know where you get your info, but most docs don’t work in Beverly Hills.

          • O.K. I understand your perspective. Don’t worry, no docs salaries are going down. I promise. (P.S. I know there are very dedicated docs out there, but I believe they are in the minority as in any other profession. The ones I’m thinking about are the ones I deal with who “treat” the elderly and anyone else who comes in on the government’s tab as a source of constant and easy income.)

          • To be fair, you will find VAST support for single payer among first-line docs: i.e. the internists, family practitioners, etc. It’s less supported (though still to a good degree) among the bigger-bucks specialists. ALMOST EVERY DOC I KNOW despises insurance companies and their bureaucracies, regardless of specialty.

            Also, a lot of docs are very open to all solutions, but are distrustful of massive interference in their profession, because they DO have some nightmare stories of stupid politicians and/or stupid ins execs trying to mandate this and that that does nothing for real patient care. They don’t like the insurance companies much better than the govt, and they distrust both.

            It’s not always all about money. Most of them do care about their profession, and good patient care. Then there are the assholes, but you get those everywhere.

        • make a killing off of medicaid? Here in PA most of them will not accept it at all because they got paid shit and it takes forever for the shit to arrive.

  24. Hey RD, great post. I know this is OT but if you want to hear the “sisterhood” comment just click on the link below. It’s awesome and reminds me of the Puma Pac HQ.

  25. There were no more replies after finely’s comment @ 3:33 pm , so I’m starting this a fresh.

    I have to say they have a point. I over see my Mom’s care at a fab Quaker, not for profit place and I have to watch like a hawk she isn’t used as a cash cow by the medical system for useless procedures that would only add quality of life to someone’ else’s wallet. When she was ill in the hospital , a parade of Docs, never seen before or since , stopped by , read her chart , then left, charing lord knows what . They often seemed starled when I wanted to know what they thought about her case. Like someone waking from a dream

    Having said that, without medicare, Mom would have died years ago.

    • ps…that posted early. I wanted to add that abuses crop up anywhere human nature is left unchecked. That’s why we need checks and balances. It’s always chilling when I hear an industry will” regulate itself. ” That’s an impossibility imo.

    • Are you Quakers? What I mean is do you have to be Quakers to get in?

      • No, you don’t. Only about 20 % and dropping are Quakers at her place. However Mom became a Quaker in the 70’s and thank god she did because that’s how she’s getting funds to be there now. Her social security goes right to them, but that would not nearly be enough. What also helped is she was in the Philly meeting. Philly has the funds to help members much more than others, being the oldest etc. But all that was 8 years ago…I don’t think she’d get the same deal now. But who knows. I get on my nobby knees and thank the lord she joined them!

    • Paper doll, I’ve seen a similar thing with an elderly friend of mine. The doctors have her on an “every two months” appointment schedule – I bet that’s some Medicare limit. Nothing is ever diagnosed or fixed – they say she would need to see a specialist or psychiatrist for that – but they keep calling her back, regularly, to make sure the problems haven’t changed or lessened I guess. They may not be doing her any good medically, but she is doing them good financially.

      And here’s the kicker, though: to be honest, she loves it! It’s a day out for her, with lunch. That is one of the big conflicts of elderly care. She wants what they are doing (at least she wants the social aspects of what they are providing her with), and they just happen to profit from it, for medical services paid for by the government on a regular basis, even though they are effectively providing none.

      What’s the solution? I haven’t a clue.

      • She wants what they are doing (at least she wants the social aspects of what they are providing her with)…..

        No it’s true, Mom wants to see the knee Dr cause he’s a handsome young man who paid attention to her . Dr. Knee only wants to see her if she’s getting a knee replacement…the first one he did, hurts her worse now than her 87 year old undone knee because she doesn’t walk and there fore the cut tendons stiffed up with scare tissues….not only that, she lost quite a bit of speech when she went under for that op. This is not his fault…but she was well on her way to getting the other ” fixed” before I became aware of it . If that happened, she would be sitting there with two “fixed” knees hurting worse now and even less able to speak.

        But every care meeting she wants to know when she’ll see the nice young Dr. So you are right about them wanting the social aspects. If the operation helped with her knee pain, I’d go for it . But it makes it worse . Lucky I have POA and the system has to mind what I say.

        Part of the problem is they are cash cows, but also the system is so chopped up that no one is seeing the whole pro/con picture . The knee Dr just sees a knee etc. in tunnel vision . He doesn’t / can’t evaluate what was lost after the first one. It’s like he’s a clog.

  26. I strongly support the public option. But if it’s the only element in this overall reform package that acts as a bridge to single payer, it will be a shaky and fragile bridge. I’m visualizing one of those rickety rope and plank jobs hastily strung up between two tall mountains in the jungle. We must get to single payer, but the transition will cost. There is no way around that. Like any J curve, things will cost more before it can cost less. The partial UHC piece in the package for instance will add another 15% every year to the government’s health tab – even before factoring in the runaway costs from population shifts or the layered inefficiencies in the system, the stuff that Kucinich talks about. Also, if that bridge to single payer security becomes sturdier and wider, the private insurers will lose customers and hike prices further for those who are compelled to stay. It does not look like the providers or insurers will be bearing the brunt of these escalating costs and subsidies, at least in the near term, in the down economy. There will have to be more deficit spending and the wealthy will be taxed.

  27. OT, but Greta on Fox is interviewing Hillary tonight. just a heads up.

    • hey WMCB 🙂



      Oh, and the Mayo Clinic — upheld by President Obama and other Democrats as a model for reform — also weighed in on the House bill Thursday, though without the AMA’s fanfare. While noting “some positive provisions,” it “misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite,” the clinic’s policy shop wrote in a statement. “In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. . . . The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.”

      • Well, evidently our Democratic senators thing the public option in Obama’s plan sucks as well, since they voted today AGAINST having to use that plan for themselves (they are still all for sticking US with it, however.)

        Just labeling something a “public option” does not make it good.

  28. RNC Chairman Steele on Pres. Obama’s Health Proposal (GOP is forgetting nearly 50 million uninsured people…60 Americans die a Day without Health Care, Having NO health care is costing lives.)

    • http://barackobamaexperiment.com
      Paid for by the Republican National Committee
      Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate’s Committee

      The Democrats need to call the GOP out and ask if Public Option/Single Payer is so wrong, will they work next to get rid of Medicare next, since they keep increasing the age limit to qualify? Call your congressperson and ask them if the are against Medicare (that is socialized medicine), and why they don’t want to make sure every American has Health Care like they do, which is paid for by the our tax dollars.

      • If only they had the guts to do that. In some ways I can see why so many DC Dems love Obama….they are similar profiles in jelly

  29. “Harry and Louise” Health Care Advertisements

  30. Just a mention about the comment about doctors living high on the hog off medicaid. Its becoming harer and harder to find providers that accept medicaid. Why?Because the re-imbursement rates from medicaid are so low. Plus, the paperwork, etc to process the medicaid claims require at least 2 additional staff people to match those claims to each individual state’s requirements which vary from state to state.

    • The average primary care physician works 60 hours or more a week. The average primary care physician makes approx 150,000 a year. That comes out to roughly $50 an hour, and subtract from that some of the highest overhead of any profession, annual fees and licensing and insurance out the wazoo, and longer and more expensive schooling.

      Are there some big-name surgeons and cardio-thoracic icons and plastics guys etc out there making millions? Yup. But the idea that your average, everyday doc who treats your diabetes and cholesterol is raking in cash hand over fist is simply not true. He/she is making a nice living, sure. But not rolling in dough.

  31. #1. I too hear some of the same tired Rep talking points but heard Sen. Gregg on Sun. on Fox and he made great sense. Talked about the need to focus more attention on bringing down health care costs and suggested several basic changes that would help that do so.
    #2. There are doctor shortages and health care worker shortages in most suburban and rural areas and in inner city urban areas. If we bring 50 million more people into the system, where will we get the health care providers—doctors, nurses and technicians?
    #3. Why can’t we have a single payer system for all and still allow people to purchase additional care beyond that system if they can afford it?

  32. I see all the forty anniversary of the moon walk stuff is not to honor the past, but basically to sell a Mars mission. I post this on this thread because my question is: Mars mission?… with what funds? Why does health care..(which in the hands of the insurers we should call ” death care” ) have to shake a cup and get cold potato peels, but there’s money for three wars and a freaking Mars mission? WTF?

  33. Let us not forget that the cost of medicaid and medicare are running off the rails and pose a far bigger future problem than social security payments. The problem is that congress critters are not dealing with the issues of why the US health care bill is so big for so fewer and fewer. Why aren’t they doing that? Maybe one big reason is that a big part of that bill is spent on treatments of the terminally ill in their later stage disease history. HMOs and all the insurance companies spend a huge amount of time denying treatment, delaying bill payments, asking for all kinds of billing corrections and minutiae. In this country insurance companies and the above programs pay for procedures and treatments—not health care results. The TX study on these practices was a real eye opener. This is the problem with government in this country—-it is not driven by intelligent inquiry—it is driven by media sound bites and political hype. So what the hell do you all expect to get in return?

  34. Joe Lieberman on Healthcare Reform – July 20th, 2009 (They need another 40 years to get it RIGHT, and to think I voted for this guy. 60 Americans die every day because they don’t have Health Care!)

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