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Like lambs to the slaughter, Democrats walk into a Republican trap on healthcare reform

I have to make this quick because I have presents to wrap and ship.

It has occurred to me more than once that the Democrats are walking into a trap on healthcare reform and for their own good as a party, they really need to take this bill back and work on it some more, even if the final bill fails to pass.  Here’s why: all of the Democrats coming out for the bill so far are focussing on the poor and uninsured.  And why not?  They’re the ones most in need of this bill, right?

But to get those poor and uninsured coverage means lots and lots of subsidies.  Ok, see, I have no problem with this concept.  I think the poor shouldn’t be fleeced when they need to see a doctor.  And we all have a responsibility to help our neighbor because we’re all in this together.  So far, we’re on the same page.

The problem is, we just gave the BANKERS subsidies.  And a lot of middle class people are hurting right now. They’re losing their jobs and their health insurance.  Or they have health insurance but it’s not great.  They have to jump through hoops to get the treatment they need and their choices are limited.  But mostly, they just aren’t getting any breaks when it comes to taxes, their wage growth is stagnant, the kids need braces (don’t even go there.  braces are ridiculous and the insurance is almost negligible).

What I am trying to say is that the middle class gets virtually nothing from this bill.  All they are going to see is a bunch of poor people getting treatment on their dime.  Maybe if the financial disasters of this and last year hadn’t happened you could have gotten away with it but I don’t think you can now.  For health care reform to really be a plus for Democrats, it has to help everyone.  You can’t do it piecemeal.  It has to be a holistic change, just like the Democrats promised last year.  The fundamental concept of this bill as it is right now is flawed.

What’s going to happen is that Republicans and particularly tea partiers are going to latch onto this bill like there’s no tomorrow.  It’s going to become the new welfare program.  If the bill had been constructed better and everyone ended up with better health care, including employers, the Democrats would have become heros for a generation.  But because they caved and caved and caved, what we’re ending up with is an inadequate plan that only helps the poor and leaves the rest of us swinging.  Isn’t that the argument the guilt trippers are making?  Pass the bill or the poor people get the shaft?

Is that REALLY what the Democrats want?

Poll:

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208 Responses

  1. Failure was the plan.

    • Srsly, what am I missing here? What is going to prevent health insurance companies from continuing to raise rates and suck the life out of our compensation packages? Where’s the choice?

      • You get to choose which health insurance company takes your life savings.

      • Here’s what Ezra I-justify-everything-Obama-does-or-says Klein has to say about insurance monopolies and competition. No worries!

        Can insurers use monopoly pricing under health-care reform?
        By Ezra Klein

        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/12/can_insurers_use_monopoly_pric.html

        • The man is fucking clueless. I DID the insurance contracts for my husband’s practice. They all go up at the same time. It’s fucking coordinated, not that our govt would ever use existing anti-trust laws to investigate that.

          And with no competition over state lines, (the one good idea that the GOP actually had), and with insurance still tied to employment, there IS no choice for most people.

          If there are one or 2 huge employers in town, the insurance company negotiates with THEM, not the individual. It’s not uncommon to have 80% of people in one town insured by the same damn company.

          That’s a MONOPOLY, you twit! He’s a clueless moron.

      • I don’t think the bill does all that much to help the poor, so it’s even more of a slap in the face to the middle-class. If you’re poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, well, there are “entitlement” cuts coming so you’re life will be harder and more miserable. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid (and those whizzes in the Senate just killed a proposal to raise the Medicaid threshold), you’re forced to buy junk insurance with no limits on what you’ll be charged in total, or the IRS will come after you on a criminal tax liability.

        The only good things out of the bill are (assuming they survive to the final) are an end to pre-existing condition exclusions and recissions. But those don’t need to be tied to the mandatory giveaway to insurance companies. That tie is the lie that Democrats are trying to stuff down our throats. They’re hoping no one will notice. Kill the bill and pass the few good things piecemeal through reconciliation if they have to.

        So people will become resentful that their premiums go up to subsidize others for what is essentially cr*p.

        • It’s also a disaster for lower-income gay families with children. Since their marriages are not recognized by the federal government, they are forced
          to buy an extra policy or face fines when they can ill-afford it.

    • Interesting how that “grown up” theme is propagating itself all over the place.
      I’m sure it’s just coincidence and random frequency and stuff.

    • Oooo, netroots under the bus now at MSNBC. According to Chrissy, they don’t work to get candidates elected, so have no input, and they are not Democrats.

      So, netroots, how does it feel to be told you are NOT A REAL DEMOCRAT? How does it feel, after you have walked the pavement, manned the phones, braved the caucuses, knocked on doors, and given your last dime to a party, to just get tossed out of that party on your ass because you won’t sit down and shut up like you’re told? And most of you have only done it for 1 or 2 election cycles – try doing it for a three decades or more, and then be treated like that.

      And he didn’t even leave you a lousy twenty on the dresser.

      • Doesn’t Tweety realize that the only people watching his show are the die-hards? He is alienating the few viewers he still has left. No sympathy from me–the sooner he’s gone the better.

        • He’s like that mysterious rash you got after a drunken night on the town, he won’t go away until his corporate masters decide.

      • To be honest, I doubt most of them did that. They consider themselves the brains of the operation, too good for the grunt work. I had to laugh in my precinct, looking at the Obama supporters and the Hillary supporters–were these guys going to get up off the couch and take our places? Not likely. Besides, Obama’s been telling the nutroots they’re not real Dems since the campaign, they just don’t seem to know when they’ve been thrown under the bus (well, they know, but 2 hours later it’s all forgotten).

    • Tingly is lecturing others on growing up when his dumb opportunistic ass was characterizing Dubya as having a sunny nobility, Hillary as someone who was only senator and running for president because people feel sorry for her, and Barack Obama as the last Kennedy brother? Yeah, ok, sure. Matthews can’t even grow up enough to get Meet the Press after all these years.

  2. I’m not even sure it helps the poor at this point. We’re up to revision number 793 and last I heard expanding Medicaid was a no go and people were going to be expected to pay about 17% of their health care(which is $3500 when you are pulling in between 20,000 at your local service sector job) Frankly between this and housing I don’t see how they make it.

    • Precisely. There is a disconnnect in this country that defies belief. Right now – unless you’re considered wealthy you are pretty much treading water. Everything costs an arm and a leg. CEOs are not adjusting their lifestyles, their volume of the pie is secure and gets dished out on the regular.

  3. To this day, it’s a mystery to me why GOP opposes this – other than reflex obstinacy. I don’t think Democrats figured this part yet. Obama certainly never cared about the party at any point in his career – he just needed to pay back his backers and get ‘historical” in the process.
    His propagandists are now reduced to bragging about what insurers voluntarily offered from the get go
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/oh-noes-obama-stung-by-liberal-revolt/

  4. This bill doesn’t help the poor. The bill is essentially an unfunded mandate. Everything will be dumped on the states–like with NCLB.

    No one will get any subsidies until at least 2014. By then the puny subsidies could well be cancelled. I’d say there is a pretty good chance the Republicans will take over the Senate next year, and they will gain a lot of seats in the House.

    It’s true that the middle class is going to get screwed, but so will poorer people. And they are the ones who are likely to end up in jail because they can’t pay for health insurance and can’t afford the confiscatory fines.

    This bill can’t be allowed to pass.

    • If it does pass, I’ll do my best to check in to TC from prison.

    • I agree. The so called help is about as useful as the vouchers for private schools. years from now and will cover one tenth of the first of five visits. The rest must came from your pockets. Or else. The only ones helped are insurers and pharma. A study found that at the present increase of hikes, by 2025 they’ll want 100% of our incomes.

    • Thank you. I was just about to point out about these weak subsidies are not even planned to go into effect until 2014. We’re constantly urged to understand that these a-holes who are masquerading as Democrats are going to fight to build upon (i.e. FIX this crap) incrementally by then… based on what exactly? Based on how hard they fought for the PO to fail? Whatever. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have made no good faith effort to show that they mean anything that they say on healthcare.

    • What I find amusing is the prison population costs are already out of control. In various and sundry states you have them releasing rapists but they are gonna jail people for not carrying health care coverage? Yeah that makes alot of sense.(rolling eyes)

      • Opening more private prisons will become an even hotter vehicle for investments.

      • What happens over here if you don’t pay is that they confiscate your television, if it’s a bigger fine they take your car. The only things they can’t take is your dining table and chairs, fridge and cooker.

    • I don’t want the bill to pass but I think it will anyway. Dems and progressives don’t have a good enough plan to stop this Obomination. Most of us will just not vote in 2010 and Dems will have to pay the price for Obama to get his disastrous bill signed just so he can pretend in his own mind that he’s still the best president evah.

      I hope Obama supporters have the good sense to sit out 2012 but I’ll ever underestimate the ignorance of Obots. I think a good number will bring out the Hope and Change slogans again and threaten that we have nowhere else to go because Republicans are worse. But I don’t believe OFA will have the success in bringing out the college folks again which is why Obama will likely lose. I think this is the beginning of the end for Democrats, at least until 2016.

    • 100% correct! KILL THE BILL. and do it NOW NOW NOW!

  5. Just saw an ad for Pfizer on The Atlantic’s website. That company is a disaster. It’s a bloated Wall Street construct that’s busily eating its seed corn.
    Other pharmas should look on with horror and learn a valuable lesson.

    • I sure hope they’re paying attention, but from what I read they are mostly lobbying for this nighmare bill and giving Obama and other “Democrats” bribes,…I mean contributions.

      • I’m staying out of the pharma act on the healthcare reform bill. I think they have legitimate concerns but they’ve taken a route I would have avoided and failed to make their case to the public.
        No,I’m just saying that in general, Pfizer is a cautionary tale to the pharma industry. The problem with pharma is how closely risk taking is tied to Wall Street. It’s a recipe for disaster.

      • Yes, and the ethics committee needs to put some rules in place that taking those bribes during the creation of legislation is a conflict of interest.

  6. I too have a big problem with everything about this bill. Cutting Medicare and forcing people to pay taxes for something that does not exist is a dream to these politicians. Nobody will restore the cuts made when they decide our economy can’t handle the mandate and its postponed or pushed back to begin at a later time. The Congress has never respected the “lockbox” that was holding Social Security income. Can’t you see them dipping the money they want to collect for a program they intend to start years from now? I don’t see the poor benefitting as much as you say RD. The poor have medicare and medicaid. Most states can’t afford the medicaid hey are mandated to provide. They could just fund that properly. The states cannot afford it on their own.

    • Not all poor people have medicare and medicaid. Not by a long shot.

      • Men or single women with no kids are mostly screwed when it comes to Medicaid, unless they have a disability of some sort.

        • You are absolutely correct.

          Furthermore, what many don’t understand is that this bill does nothing to standardize Medicaid across state lines. Here in Illinois there is an *asset* test for Medicaid: if you have more than $2000 in assets, you don’t qualify, regardless of your income level. So anyone with a used car, for example, who needs that car to get to work at a low-paying Wal-Mart job, let’s say, is automatically excluded from qualifying. In other words, the working poor are screwed here. Meanwhile, across the border in Wisconsin, the only test for Medicaid qualification is income.

          So people like BTD, who consistently argue “just expand Medicaid” are really clueless on how the system works. Just expanding Medicaid income levels doesn’t necessarily reach the people who could benefit. Nor does it provide the funding the states need to support the Medicaid program. Nor does it provide the doctors willing to treat Medicaid patients. Get the idea?

          • Expanding Medicaid might not be such a bad thing because a significant increase in enrollment could potentially be the trigger to fix it. Right now such a small portion of people are on it and qualify for it and ALOT of those that are on it are children. If the middle class were invested in Medicaid it might be enough to get some of the ridiculousness changed. I do agree though that if this was the way they choose to go then there needs to be ground rules similar to the ones in place for Medicare recipients(such as physicians required to participate in order to recieve federal monies at all). I also think they need to tweak the amounts being offered to physicians upwards some. I’d like to see Medicaid more modeled like SCHIP though and this might be how to do it.

            Like most things though the devil would be in the details. Too bad we’ve got such a big bunch of screw ups in Congress because this is an opportunity for them to fix things so that the poor aren’t political footballs(AS IF they really care about the poor I know).

          • I repeat: the Federal government *cannot* expand Medicaid coverage. Each state is responsible for passing laws that determine who is eligible for Medicaid. That’s the way the law was written. The *only* way the Federal government could force a change in state Medicaid laws is to tie all Federal funding to the states to a uniform Medicaid qualification requirement. In other words, states like Illinois, who base their qualification on assets, rather than income, would have to change their laws to comply with an income test if they wanted to receive Federal funding for part of the Medicaid costs.

            This presents a huge states rights issue, and I’m sure there are states that would want to “opt out”. Remember what happened with the motorcycle helmet law? States were told that if they didn’t pass laws requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets that those states wouldn’t receive an additional cache of Federal funds available for road improvement. Many states chose not to pass the helmet laws and were willing to forego the additional transportation funding.

            I think a lot of confusion arises because the words Medicare and Medicaid sound so much alike. Unfortunately, that’s really where the similarity ends.

          • Medicare is a good program, though it does need some tweaks and some cos controls. Medicaid sucks ass. Two entirely different things.

          • We’re talking about adding 30 million people to it- I see that a something that could be built upon because it hits that magic 10% threshold that has helped Medicare be successful.

            I also don’t see why Medicaid couldn’t and shouldn’t have some federal regulatory control in return for funding similar to how Medicare stipulates 15%.

            I see this as an oppurtunity to revamp a broken system that poor people are reliant on if done correctly. It would require craven Democrats taking a stand but there is potential imo.

  7. The bill does little to help the poor (shoves that off on the states for half of it), put I understand RD’s point about framing.

    If the only thing you are selling is that it covers those who are uncovered, then you are selling the wrong thing. People care about that, but most not too deeply. They want to know what it’s going to cost them, and what they’ll get for the price.

    When they see the hit to their pocketbook, and all they got out of it was a relatively few more insured, they are going to be livid at the Dems. Isn’t that convenient?

    • Besides, hate to quote DFA, but they said it best: uninsured are not even covered – they are just forced to pay for insurance/punished if they are not.

  8. Thanks for the Hardball link. A taste of their own medicine as GE shows the netroots who really is in charge. Do you think they realize they were used yet? Next, Olberman will be calling Markos or Huffington The Worst person in the World.

    • Next time KO gets an urge to do a Worst Person segment, I wish he looks in the mirror and then shuts up.

  9. I think we have to be willing to Kill the Bill — at this point asking nicely for them to go back and add health care protection for the middle class (well, in the sense that the bill IS a protection racket, I guess they DO have that!) then I think they won’t do it.

    The Democrats in office (as opposed to The Democrats NOT in office) don’t get this at all: Unless you are wildly wealthy, you can’t afford to pay 25% of your income in health care expenses — and that’s where we’re moving fast when you consider the cost of health insurance) protection plus all the actual health care costs: Prescriptions/co-pays/deductables/and-stuff-not-“covered”

    Middle class Democrats expected a bill that makes actual health care for their families affordable (again?) They/we are NOT getting that with this bill.

    We’re not speaking in a vacuum here — “lefty” complainers are hurting for health care as much as anyone. For us to be told to “Grow Up” by a fat-cat-millionaire is so insulting, so fight-inducing — I can hardly stand it!!

    Keep telling us to grow up, pigs. There is a backlash sure to come.

    • Totally agree. Even when you look at the charts for the subsidized levels of health insurance, the closer you come to having a true middle class income, the more pathetic the level of benefits–the so-called Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze coverage programs. Huge amounts are being shoved back on to the consumer the higher the income level. All that will happen is that people will continue not to visit doctors because the co-pay level will still be too high.

  10. Looks like the unity pony act ain’t working in Copenhagen either:

    A visibly angry Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet at China and other developing nations Friday, declaring that the time has come “not to talk but to act” on climate change.

    Emerging from a multinational meeting boycotted by Chinese Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Obama warned delegates that U.S. offers of funding for poor nations would remain on the table “if and only if” developing nations, including China, agreed to international monitoring of their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Considering we owe them our first-born male children for then next 4-5 generations, I doubt the Chinese give a shit what Obama thinks.

    • Here’s another first hand view of the speech from young progressives.

      @maegancarberry RT @billyparish What’s Hot: Obama’s Climate Sham[e]: Empty Rhetoric in Copenhagen Speech: http://bit.ly/8ldoR7

    • Whoa Nelly! -0 Mr. Cool losing it on the international stages? Could he become -02x?

    • Uh oh, another pissy tantrum by the Entitled One, because he isn’t getting what he wants right away. Next thing, he’ll start jabbing his finger in the air and pursing his lips. Oooohhh…scarey.

    • Oooo, The Anointed One is showing his true nature. He has ever and always gotten pissy when people didn’t fall down and heap accolades upon him just for existing in all his magnificence.

    • Whenever Obama throws a hissy fit, China can just show him the SNL video reminding him that the U.S. owes China $800 billion.

    • Sr WH Official: The “Chinese Are Dug In”; “We”ve Done What We Can” in Copenhagen.

      Oh sure, blame the Chinese. They made a 40% reduction by 2020 commitment. What did we commit to. http://bit.ly/6jE5Py Who knows what to believe.

      • I have been watching the BBC and Al-Jazeera’s coverage of Copenhagen (both are good in representing developing countries’ and activists’ views) , and the US position was really pathetic considering that its commitment was effectively just about 4% to 5% cut in carbon emission by 2020, when the estimate of climate scientists right now is that we need at least 30% cuts in order to significantly reverse the situation. I suspect the US deliberately put forth the “international verification system of emission cuts” as non-negotiable because it knew that China will never agree to outside inspection. Now the US can blame the talks’ failure to China.

    • “visibly angry” and “threw down the gauntlet” – LOL

      So his brow moved slightly downward and he dropped his pencil.

      He has no emotional expressions. Only messages he send with his face are looking down his nose, and laughing AT the public.

      • Oh, COME ON. Credit where it’s due, he also looks incredibly SMUG.

      • I could have sworn the article said:

        In a display of anger he ripped the pacifier from his mouth, threw his rattle to the floor, cast himself down prone, and wailed.

        At least that’s what I thought I read.

    • Again, terrific body language. Jeesh.

      P121809PS-0285

    • This is surprising on Hillary from the Atlantic.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912u/copenhagen-us-china

    • What was Inhofe doing there. What a mess.

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30769.html

  11. Federal govt now spends 500 billion a year on medicare. This bill will cut 50 billion a year from medicare, and add 100 billion a year in new insurance subsidies to support an est 30 million who are currently uninsured and will qualify. An oversimplification, but in the ballpark. In the greater scheme of the looming apocalypse in healthcare cost inflation and actual care provision, this bill is just a step and not even that big of one as far as I can tell. But it sets the table for the perpetual political fights and chess moves over healthcare to come for at least another generation, and that will shape real health and financial outcomes for everyone. So unfortunately, politics is just as important as principle in this opening round. Guess I’m learning.

  12. Is Bill reading the same bill the rest of us are?

    Bill Clinton urges passage of health-reform bill, warning failure would be ‘a colossal blunder’

    “This is a good bill,” he wrote in a statement released by the William J. Clinton Foundation. “It increases the security of those who already have insurance and gives every American access to affordable coverage; and contains comprehensive efforts to control costs and improve quality, with more information on best practices, and comparative costs and results. The bill will shift the power away from the insurance companies and into the hands of consumers.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/12/bill-clinton-urges-passage-of.html?hpid=topnews

    • I didn’t agree with everything Bill said when he was in office. Right now I consider him a hostage.

      It’s not enough that he doesn’t say anything critical. Both he and Hillary have to give Obama enthusiastic support or they will be accused of disloyalty.

      • I agree. When he recorded that robocall for Martha Coakley, his pitch was that “she would fight for a healthcare bill with a strong public option.” But the Obama White House has certainly been using him to try and rally the wavering Senate Democrats — he’s already been sent twice to the Senate twice by Rahm to send the same message, i.e. avoid a colossal defeat in 2010 by passing a bill.

      • I agree, and I think Hillary’s reputation is the ransom. I never thought it was a good idea for Hillary to take any job at the pleasure of this POTUS. He can destroy her with a lie and removal from her position.

    • Which bill is he talking about? The ever evolving Senate Bill or the already passed House bill?

      • Whatever bill Obama will sign, that is the one Bill is bs-ing about.

        • He’s losing his touch because alot of people are going to be exactly like me and say what bill? Last I saw they are still “negotiating” the darn thing. Let’s wait until the actually HAVE a bill before endorsing it and calling it a marked improvement.

  13. Does Obama Hate Liberals?
    by Marc Ambinder

    Does President Obama have contempt for liberals? No. The administration is virtually infested with liberals. And they’re not inclined to be self-hating.

    But the Obama Way harbors contempt for ideologically driven special interest constituency politics. During the campaign, it eschewed endorsements, refused to attend interest group cattle calls, and alienated the DC-lobby-politics community. The activist left was never really on board with the Obama movement until the very end of the primary. And the White House makes a distinction between self-identified liberals — who, polls tell us, still love the president — and the activists who cue those liberals, many of whom are calling into question the entire Obama project.

    Beyond this, though, it’s a matter of respect: liberals aren’t feeling the love. They feel taken for granted. They feel as if the president hasn’t done enough to bring them into his coalition. They projected a lot onto candidate Obama, and — for a variety of reasons, some valid — don’t see the same guy. It is as if Obama’s approach to governing assumes that the only influential audiences are the ones he has to court. The White House is looking for ways to palliate the anxiety.

    The White House interprets the discontent by saying that liberals REALLY don’t like Congress, and the Senate, with its hard-to-govern rules…and that they’re associating Obama with Congress because of the health care debate…and that once the economy begins to improve…liberals will retrospectively judge this first year of his presidency with more appreciation.

    http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/12/howard_dean_has_become_the.php

      • You just don’t understand. Dean’s movement was propelled by white college educated liberals, Obama’s by grad school educated white progressives. Totally different.

    • Virtually infested? He thinks liberals are cockroaches?

      Who are these liberals and where do they keep them locked up?

      • I missed that part. I was laughing too hard to read after Marc informed me that the activist left was never really on board with Obama…

        Puhleeeze. Every activist left blog on the damn intertoobs was Obama Love Central.

    • The comments on this article are clueless. I am still amazed that there are still living, breathing, panting obots who believe in The One.

      • Willing suspension of disbelief?
        Clues were there for anybody with two neurons to rub together during the primaries, they wouldn’t see them then so why should they see them now?

    • Oh, yeah, blame it all on Congress, while he remains pure and above the fray. Has this jackass ever taken responsibility for anything in his entire life?

      Does he think we are all fools? Did he campaign saying “Elect me and I will do absolutely nothing, because after all, I don’t write laws – Congress does! So reserve your criticisms or accolades for them. Me, I’ll be chillin’ and giving speeches.” ?

  14. RD: It is this “redistribution of wealth” meme that the Republicans will use to whip on Dems. This bill that really does not relieve the poor, threatens the booming seniors with cutbacks in care and does nothing for the middle class will wind up being the poster child for “redistribution” at a time when the middle class, as you point out, have little to redistribute. I see a time bomb too in the unfunded mandate for expanding medicaid. I know that CA will have a huge problem funding such an expansion and it almost certainly will result in some kind of tax increase that will add to the anchor weight holding down economic recovery in this state. The Dems and Repubs should really be paying attention to the so called “Tea Party” numbers—41% of Americans for the Tea Party, which does not even exist, is a red flag for both parties.

    It is time for your Third Party. But the reality is that “liberal” is taking a huge knock down from a President and a party that are not in any way shape or form “liberal”. Framing around that sad fact is going to be very important, IMHO.

    • I believe the stipulation would be that federal funding would be provided to states to expand the program(which lets face it will in most cases probably just be returning it to pre recession levels when many got thrown of the rolls). At least I hope that would be where the billions healh care is expected to cost would go. Then again with this group in Congress I guess it ought to be stipulated After all they’ve lost BILLIONS in Iraq and Afghanistan because they never did handle the pesky accountability thing.

  15. I’m having a hard time seeing how helpful this bill will be to poor people. My niece has started having seizures. They’re not sure what’s causing them, but she does have some small lesions on her brain. She has no insurance and cannot work because of the seizures. Her husband is a full time college student who works part-time for a pittance. Right now, she’s getting medical care because she is covered by the plan for the indigent offered by the state. She likely needs neurosurgery, but doctors are avoiding the subject because of her lack of ability to pay. So if this bill passes, maybe they can be subsidized to obtain private insurance, but as soon as her husband starts making more money, that will have to go to pay for insurance coverage, and her level of treatment will be determined by private insurers. How does this bill help them?

    It seems to me that all this bill accomplishes is privatizing healthcare for the poor. Basically passing off the cost of the government providing healthcare for the poor to the poor themselves. I’m surprised that every Republican isn’t jumping for joy over this bill. They just love privatization.

    • They would be but it would ruin kabuki theater if they did so.

    • Republicans get the double-whammy of loving the bill because it helps their insurance and pharma constituency, and knowing it’s horrible for citizens, so they can pretend they’re blameless in it when people revolt.

      Result: Permanent Republican majorities for many years to come.

      It has occurred to me many more times than once that the overwhelming Democratic majorities occurred in part because the Republicans stepped aside and let them take control — they knew the sh*t would hit the fan..

      • I think the election stats actually support your view. The Repbulican turnout in 2008 was not there for McCain.

    • I’m sure the Republicans are jumping for joy (behind closed doors)

  16. Absolutely right. It gives people some subsidies so they can buy health insurance, but it doesn’t give anything that helps them afford the copays deductibles, costs once the yearly caps are exceeded, etc.

    For the poor, it provides health insurance, not health care.

    All the while this is going on, the rest of us have to pay more.

    It’s just a way of handing out big money to insurance companies, while making some people think government is trying to help. Smoke and mirrors. People who actually have followed the issue are not confused about what’s happening. I suspect Riverdaughter is too busy working and taking care of a child to really sit down and read what the Senate bill (the one they’re pushing) actually does.

    It doesn’t help the poor, or anyone else, but I suppose wealth redistribution will be one of the ways the Republicans frame it.

  17. This bill will cut 50 billion a year from medicare, and add 100 billion a year in new insurance subsidies to support an est 30 million who are currently uninsured and will qualify.
    *********
    The cuts, taxes and fees go into effect after the law is signed but the subsidies don’t begin to happen until 2014 and aren’t fully implemented until 2016. The 4-6 year “lag period” is needed to pay for the 4-5 years of subsidies; after 2019 the costs explode.

    The subsidies won’t really help that much, it’s just a money laundering scam to transfer $630 billion to the insurance industry from ~2014 to 2019. The CBO gave a probable scenario for 2016: A family of 4 with total income of $54,000/year will have an insurance premium of $20,000+ per year. The subsidy will be about $10,400 so the premium cost to the family will be $9,600 for “junk” insurance. That doesn’t include deductibles, co-pays and other out of pocket costs.

  18. Glenzilla on divisions over health care reform:

    Shared contempt for the Bush administration (at least once Bush and the Iraq War became discredited) largely obscured these differences when Bush was in office. The desire to undermine the Bush GOP and dislodge that movement from power subsumed all other objectives and united people with vastly different political outlooks and agendas. There is still a shared revulsion towards the Palin/Limbaugh Right, but that faction is too marginalized and impotent to serve the same function. With the unifying force of Bush/Cheney gone, the divisions Kilgore describes are now vibrant and increasingly potent. In addition to health care and Iraq, roughly the same progressive fault lines are seen over the bank bailout, escalation in Afghanistan, Obama’s economic team, tolerance for Obama’s embrace of Bush/Cheney civil liberties polices, and even the reaction to Matt Taibbi’s recent Rolling Stone article on Obama’s subservience to Wall Street.

    There are many reasons for the progressive division on the health care bill. There are differences over the narrow question of health care policy, with some believing the bill does more harm than good just on that ground alone. Some of it has to do with broader questions of political power: if progressives always announce that they are willing to accept whatever miniscule benefits are tossed at them (on the ground that it’s better than nothing) and unfailingly support Democratic initiatives (on the ground that the GOP is worse), then they will (and should) always be ignored when it comes time to negotiate; nobody takes seriously the demands of those who announce they’ll go along with whatever the final outcome is. But the most significant underlying division identified by Kilgore is the divergent views over the rapidly growing corporatism that defines our political system.

    One major problem is that many leading “progressives” were CDS infested Bush lovers just a few years ago. They don’t give a rats ass about policy except as a means to power.

    • This is probably the most important piece Glenn has written. IMHO, Obama has successfully splintered the Democrats for good. And I think he’s done it deliberately. If you think back to the primaries, Hillary was capturing all the traditional “main street” Democrats, plus the Rockefeller Republicans. Historically, the “main street” Dems included the AAs, since much of their economic rise came from places like Detroit, with good-paying union, blue-collar jobs in the automotive industry.

      In order for Obama to win, he not only needed to peel away the traditional AA vote from Hillary, he needed to appeal to what I call the phony white liberals–or what Chris Bowers calls the “creative class”. These were the younger voters who had never experienced hard times; whose jobs were often based on the tech balloon of the 90s; who didn’t really care about safety nets; who only paid lip-service to women’s rights and equality.

      We all know what happened from that. Hillary and Bill were smeared in order to take away their AA votes, and the “creative class” was promised pie-in-the-sky and a chance to feel “cool” voting for the first AA president. Now you have a group of people–AAs and the young–confused and uncertain as to where they belong. Blacks are falling farther and farther behind, and Obama is totally unwilling to listen to the needs expressed by the Progressive Black Caucus. The “creative class”, who never really considered themselves to be part of the great unwashed traditional Democrat base, has found themselves without the creative class messiah they thought they had voted for; at the same time, they really don’t care about taking care of their neighbors, just about *calling* themselves progressive–whatever that means.

      The bottom line is that neither party represents a majority of the people anymore, and people who used to identify themselves as Democrats find themselves unable to support the party’s agenda as represented by Obama Democrats.

    • Glenn GTS IT in another area as well, regarding the Tea Party folks. He echoes what many of us have been saying. (emphases mine)

      It’s certainly true that health care opponents on the left want more a expansive plan while opponents on the right want the opposite. But the objections over the mandate are largely identical — it’s a coerced gift to the private health insurance industry that underwrites the Democratic Party. The same was true over opposition to the bailout, objections to lobbying influence over Washington, and most of all, the growing anger that Washington serves the interests of financial elites at the expense of the working class.

      Whether you call it “a government takeover of the private sector” or a “private sector takeover of government,” it’s the same thing: a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else’s expense. Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s. It’s true that the people who are angry enough to attend tea parties are being exploited and misled by GOP operatives and right-wing polemicists, but many of their grievences about how Washington is ignoring their interests are valid, and the Democratic Party has no answers for them because it’s dependent upon and supportive of that corporatist model. That’s why they turn to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; what could a Democratic Party dependent upon corporate funding and subservient to its interests possibly have to say to populist anger?

      Glenn is dead on, and some of us have been harping on this. Yeah, there’s astro-turf mixed in, but there is a REAL and GENUINE downright populist anger out there among non-lefties as well.

  19. backtrack is Karl Rove’s wet dream and he and donna brazille have done there best to destroy the democratic party.
    We have people in congress who have been too long at the fair. They have forgotten who they represent and are too busy telling themselves ” how great they are and how much they deserve” 2010 will be” the wakeup and smell the coffee fool” time. We need term limits and both parties need new people and fresh ideas and a reminder of who they represent.
    Health care in this country is a disgrace. No one should have to lose everything due to medical costs. Insurance corporations do not have the right to decide who lives and who dies. If congress does not get that, then they have to go.
    Being told to ” grow up” by people who have never had a real job in their lives is beyond insulting.
    How many here have worked, raised children, with no help from the government. We contributed time , money, knowledge to make this country a better place for all.
    What have the obots done for the country lately?

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  20. What utter kabuki this has all been…. here comes the next act: Obama the hero…

    Huffpo:

    The White House will play an active role in moving health care legislation closer to the House’s version once a bill passes the Senate and goes to conference committee between the two chambers, administration officials said on Thursday. But while much of the progressive community is hoping for a renewed push to expand the government’s role in providing insurance, the president will likely focus on other priorities.

    White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle told a conference call of progressive bloggers that there “are some things I’d like to improve” in the Senate’s health care bill once legislators merge it with the House’s legislation. The primary objective for the administration is to adopt the House’s language on making insurance more affordable (which is more generous than the Senate’s), she explained.

    “I’d like to make some more changes there and move a little bit more towards the House bill,” DeParle said. “So we’ll see, I don’t know what we’ll be able to do there. But I know we talk daily to our friends and colleagues in the House who are just as anxious to get this done.”

    “The question is now, when we’re in a conference committee and the president can really put his finger on the scale, does he do it now?” Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. “What we’re saying is now is your moment, big guy. You’re the Mariano Riviera of this situation: you’re going to come in the end and there’s still chance for them to do it.”

    • White House health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle told a conference call of progressive bloggers that there “are some things I’d like to improve” in the Senate’s health care bill once legislators merge it with the House’s legislation.

      Make the penalties more draconian?

      • I think that would be to make certain the Stupidstan amendment is indelibly written into the bill.

  21. ot

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30679.html

    ratings of people in government.broken down by party and inside and outside the beltway.
    pretty interesting

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  22. Is that REALLY what the Democrats want?

    It’s what they took their thirty pieces of silver for.

  23. ot
    This made me laugh so hard I thought you would need a break from the disgust about obots

    http://uppitywoman08.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/free-nobel-peace-prize-with-an-oil-change/#comments

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  24. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121701208.html

    Here is an interesting article on the health care problem for the democrats.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  25. Bernie? What a disappointment. They must’ve leaned on him hard.

    I say throw every fucking incumbent out for at least 2 cycles, D or R. I want an entire CONGRESS who are uniformly terrified for their jobs, and crawling to the People to beg what they can do for us, pretty please.

    • May I say that again, louder?????

      Why is it always about Obama? What about us???

      Their reasoning seems to go like this:

      1) The Democratic Party has historically been on the side of the people
      2) Therefore anything that hurts the Democratic Party hurts the people.
      3) Defend the Democratic Party at all costs
      4) If you ever find yourself questioning whether what you are doing is actually helping the people, immediately defer to rule #2 and #3

  26. The core problem with the legislation is that for EVERYONE, top to bottom on the economic scale, profit driven, private sector corporations will continue to have control over who gets what care when. You can fix every other problem with this crummy legislation and you still will have an inequitable health care system that puts medical practitioners, as well as patients, through the wringer when making decisions about appropriate care and treatment.

  27. I am not surprised at all. Least of all by his saying he doesn’t want the media to be able to say Obama accomplished nothing. (IMHO that is what Krugman’s argument for passing the bill is too even though he never says it quite that explicitly and dances around it a lot. But, at the heart of it this boils down to D vs. R battle. It’s about not wanting the GOP to score this win, the contents of the bill be damned.)

    • BINGO.

    • Knew it knew knew it knew it. He doesn’t have the guts to be the deciding vote. I don’t know if it’s because he’s from Vermont, land of the progressive feel good, and he’s worried about reelection, or because underneath the Independent Socialist schtick he still buys into the two party dichotomy and always wants to save their bacon, or both. But, yeah.

  28. Another argument against expanding Medicaid, from the governor of Nebraska asking Nelson to vote “no” on the senate bill:

    The governor said Wednesday that a new analysis by Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services indicates that while state spending on Medicaid, the health care system for the poor, would be less in the first three years after the bill took effect, Nebraska, after six years, would have $45 million in extra expenses.

    “America’s health care system needs improvement, but this bill is not the answer,” Heineman said in a letter to Nelson. “You are now the 60th vote, and as Governor of the State that we both represent, I urge you to vote against this bill and against cloture.”

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20091216/NEWS01/912169982

    Here’s a man who understands that what’s important is not only the vote on the bill but the vote on cloture.

    • He’s a Republican. That ought to be enuff said.

      • I don’t think the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is stacked with Republicans necessarily. Facts are facts, regardless of political party.

      • Expanding on that

        this particular governor cut funding for social programs rather than raise taxes even while acknowledging an increased need for those same programs.

        http://sify.com/news/nebraska-governor-signs-budget-cutting-package-news-international-jlvb4ldibea.html

        I reiterate he’s a Republican

        • June 26, 2009

          Throughout the state of Illinois, workers are speaking out against proposed budget cuts. On June 23, for example 5,000 people converged on the capitol in Springfield to demand an end to spending cuts. The protest included large contingents of health workers, public employees, unemployed workers, seniors, students, and people from many walks of life.

          Illinois lawmakers are poised to cut $7.5 billion in funding to vital social services. These cuts would mean that thousands of workers would face job-loss, pay cuts, and furloughs. Cutbacks would mean a drastic reduction or elimination of many basic services including money for schools, homecare workers for the elderly and disabled, health services for tens of thousands of people with mental illness, childcare assistance programs, domestic violence programs, teen pregnancy prevention programs, college aid, etc.

          http://www.workersparty.org/budget-cuts-illinois-workers-fight_6-26-09.htm

          We’ve had a Democrat as Illinois governor for the past 7 years and we have Dem majorities in the state House and Senate. I repeat, party doesn’t matter. There is no money in the state budgets anymore. Medicaid expansion is DOA.

          • The money would come from the federal budget. The same money that would have been utilized to expand Medicare or to create a public option.

  29. http://news.discovery.com/space/report-obama-to-ramp-up-human-space-program.html

    backtrack is already financing his escape hatch.
    People will be in jail because of not being able to afford his gift to the insurance companies.
    congress oks one thing he does another.
    once the corporations get the American people’s wealth backtrack is expendable.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  30. The argument I keep seeing that makes no fucking sense at all is that if we don’t pass something called health care reform now it will be harder to pass anything in the future.

    Here’s an example:

    A bad bill has a chance of defeating at least one pernicious meme: that no Congress or administration can alter US health care delivery systems, which are wholly broken.

    But passing a bad bill will feed into the GOP argument that government can’t do anything right.

    When this clusterfuck takes effect and people realize that they are worse off than they were before, I seriously doubt that will persuade them that more government involvement in health care is the answer.

    • That’s because they’ll all be encouraged by the Repubs to believe that the result was due to “government involvement in health care”, whereas the crappy results will be due to more *insurance company* involvement in health care. And when that happens, the Dems won’t be able to explain it away by saying it was all the fault of the Repubs.

      • I said it earlier – the current version of HCR will be very unpopular if it passes – and the GOP will truthfully tell the voters they tried to stop it.

        Now if the Democrats passed single payer or a real public option, once it took effect it would be popular and the Democrats would get the credit.

    • myiq, these people don’t live in the real world. Seriously. They are utterly and completely tone deaf to the mood and heart of the American people. BEYOND clueless.

      I despise the GOP, but they KNOW Americans, inside out. They know ’em. They manipulate the hell out of them, but they are able to do that because they understand them.

      • I concluded a while back that the Democratic leadership is insane.

        For years they seemed to try to lose elections. The wins in 2006 and 2008 were due to the anti-Bush sentiment of the voters, not because of anything the Democrats did.

        Now they’re in charge and they seem determined to piss off as many people as possible.

    • Bad policy reinforces the meme that government can’t work and specifically that the government can’t fix healthcare. Good policy is the only thing that defeats that meme. It is very simple.

      All the theoretical bullshit in the world (see Ezra’s idiotic post about the exchanges making regulators hold the insurance co’s accountable) is not going to change the fact that there is a mandate in this bill that benefits the insurance industry while We-The-People are getting screwed.

      • Yep. If this bill passes, prepare for the backlash of “get the govt’s paws off of everything possible” conservatism.

        Watch. I’ve seen this damn movie before.

        • They’ll finally get their wish and “privatize” Social Security.

          The crown jewel of the New Deal will become bonuses and commissions for Wall Street suits..

          • Well, Bernanke did say that SS and Medicare could easily be repealed, because “that’s where the money is.”

          • FDR must be turning in his grave. Obama isn’t good enough to repeat FDR’s name to further his corporatist agenda. When I saw Obama using the spirit of FDR to BS with Oprah Winfrey and her Christmas at the White House Craptacular I wanted to vomit. He doesn’t even begin to understand the meaning of those words. Everything he says is “just words” repeated to further his own career and agenda.

    • That’s like saying that if your surgeon does a really crappy job, you will have disproven the meme that he can’t cut you open, and will go back for even more surgery later.

      Um, mebbe so, but you are damn sure going to pick a different fucking surgeon next time, aren’t you?

  31. Every congressperson who votes for this obomination has to be voted out of office. If it takes more than one election so be it.
    It must never be forgotten or forgiven.
    They want to be half a dollar hookers for the insurance company treat them as such.
    They deserve no respect because they do not respect the American people.
    They deserve no loyalty because they have no loyalty to the people they are supposed to represent.
    It is too bad that they will get pensions when voted out as they sold the working person pensions to wall st.
    It is too bad they will have heath care while the American people will be struggling or dying due to rationing by insurance companies.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  32. Here’s the email I just sent to Bernie Sanders:

    Dear Senator Sanders,

    As a subscriber to your email newsletter, I was extremely disappointed to hear you say that it is important for the Congress to pass a healthcare bill just to show that Obama/the Democrats can get something passed. Please understand that the majority of Americans don’t care about political parties or which party gets which bill passed. They care about health care–not health insurance. This is true on most other issues facing our nation right now. We could care less about the success or failure of any political party.

    The majority of Americans are now opposed to the bills currently under discussion by Congress, whether it’s the House bill or the Senate bill. Both parties have become representatives of corporations rather than representatives of the people who elected them. Please keep in mind that big pharma and big insurance may be able to buy your vote, or that of your colleagues, but they can’t buy mine, and they can’t buy the votes of any of the rest of us who put you into office.

    I know you know that what is being discussed is not health care reform. How can you live with yourself–how can you look your constituents in the eyes and say you’ve done your best for them–if you vote for either of these bills? I am truly disappointed in you.

    Sincerely,

    grayslady

  33. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/12/no-room-for-error-on-road-to-passing-health-care-in-the-senate-before-christmas.php?ref=fpb

    this will be ugly.

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

    PUMA,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • I was just reading that article.DeFazio sounds like a real democrat not one of the New democrats.
      How did he become a democrat in today’ s party? he has a backbone.

      I also was reading an article that says backtrack says the climate bill does not have to be good just get passed.
      Sounds like the same theme as the Insurance giveaway bill.
      WTF
      since when is it more important to pass a bill then to read it, understand it, and make it good for the country?

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

      PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

      • If you go to DeFazio’s website he has a statement on his opposition to the cap and trade bill.

        • I guess I will never understand this “over and out” congress.
          The idea of just get it passed is against everything I was ever taught. It is like saying get the train out of the station, it does not matter if it has cracked wheels and will derail 5 miles down the track.
          We really do not have a government that is in our best interest anymore.

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

          PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • POTUS is a vindictive a$$hole. There, I said it.

  34. Rahm Emmanuel — Don’t worry about the left. They’re just “noise.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/12/18/rahm-emanuel-dont-worry-about-the-left/

  35. A small amount of good news, domestic violence victim Rody Alvarez was granted asylum today.

  36. Meanwhile, Obama is winning friends and gaining respect and influencing people with his boundless charisma:

    Obama to meet ‘offended’ Chinese premier in Copenhagen

    From Sam Coates, Chief Political Correspondent) UK diplomatic sources confirmed there had been a major setback after China took huge offence at remarks by President Obama over the need to independently monitor every country carbon emissions.

    In his speech President Obama said: “Without any accountability, any agreement would be empty words on a page” – remarks the Chinese interpreted as an attempt to humiliate them, prompting Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to return to his hotel.

    President Obama will now hold a second round of talks with Mr Wen in an attempt to patch up the disagreement.

    Experience on the world stage MATTERS. We tried to tell you it did. There are certain ways that you do not word things when speaking of/to the Chinese in a public setting surrounded by their peers.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/copenhagen/article6961367.ece

  37. Ezra doesn’t get it:

    Joe Lieberman’s reckless decision to blow up last week’s compromise has had exactly the impact many of us predicted. Much of the left has flipped into vicious, angry opposition to the bill. Is that because the Medicare buy-in, a good but limited policy, has disappeared from the bill? Ostensibly. But not really. If you don’t believe the bill has cost controls, Medicare buy-in was not an answer to your concerns. If you believe the mandate is bad policy, letting the small slice of exchange-users between 55 and 64 choose public insurance did not answer your fears.

    But progressives had compromised plenty already. Single payer became a strong public option, a strong public option became a weak public option, a weak public option became Medicare buy-in, and Medicare buy-in became Joe Lieberman’s revenge. Progressive ends are submitting to conservative means, and industry is laughing all the way to the bank. All this amid the first year of a president they elected, a Democratic majority they built.

    Don’t blame Lieberman – it’s what Obama wants. Lieberman is playing lightning rod for Obama.

    When smart, educated people who get paid to express their opinions apparently can’t figure out something that obvious I have to conclude they are being dishonest.

    So why is Ezra lying to us?

  38. The White House is pushing hard. Krugman, Andy Stern, and even the Big Dawg are all reciting their prepared lines.

    I expect to see Scarlett Jo and Will he is from the Blackeyed Peas pretty soon.

    • I’m really disappointed in Krugman. I expected as much from Big Dawg but he’s a pol and will always publicly support whatever Obama does no matter how awful. But Krugman? I expected more from him.

      • There’s a lot of people on the left that have disappointed me the last couple years.

        I guess speaking truth to power doesn’t apply when the Democrats are in charge.

  39. From Hot Air:

    Rasmussen conducted its latest poll on the health-care overhaul bill in Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, after the announcement that the public option and the Medicare buy-in had been stripped from the bill. The bill, which has never been popular with likely voters anyway, now only has even limited support from 34% of respondents who say it’s better than passing nothing.

  40. Influence is really a Conflict of Interest and I am wondering why the ethics committee doesn’t step in and stop all that!!

    Campaign reform is the most important thing we can tell our congressional members to work on if this is the best we can expect when they are writing such important legislation.

  41. It was common, esp. for one blogger in particular, to say Hillary voters not voting for Obama in ’08 were cutting off their noses to spite their face.

    Cutting out real reform so that you can pass anything, no matter how bad policy it is, to defeat the GOP is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  42. Dan Pfeiffer:

    When President Obama first took on health insurance reform, he made it clear he hoped to reach out across the aisle to produce a bipartisan plan. He even kicked off the health reform effort by bringing a wide array of folks from across the political spectrum to the White House to share ideas and find common ground.

    Health insurance execs, Big Pharma execs, the AMA, probably some guys from Golden Sacks. Hmmm, who’s missing?

    (Dan is a White House mouthpiece)

    • Well, isn’t that special.

      Maybe one day they’ll invite me to participate.

      If they ever do they’ll regret it.

    • I didn’t know you could mainline Kool Aid telephonically these days.

    • I guess this blogger conference call was the equivalent of a bubble bath.

    • Information does not equal truth.

    • I’m not professionally qualified to judge insanity and maybe I should have used a different word,” Axelrod said, and he noted that “everybody’s a little on edge at this point” in the long legislative battle. He also stressed his respect for allies in the “progressive community,” but reiterated his view that it would be “wrongheaded” to squash all of health care reform at this point, which is “infinitely better” than the status quo.

      Asked about a dip in polling by Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney, Axelrod reiterated his argument that the White House was focused on legislative progress, not polling or approval ratings. “We’re not here to husband our poll numbers like a trophy on a shelf,” he responded, and essentially rebuffed the argument that White House compromising has reduced enthusiasm and support from Obama’s base.

    • I will never trust anything that Axelrove says. The guy even looks like a slimy crook. I saw him on Charlie Rose last night and lying is second nature to the man.

  43. Ronald Brownstain:

    Maybe one reason former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and so much of the digital Left can so casually dismiss the Senate health care reform bill is that they operate in an environment where so few people need to worry about access to insurance.

    Yeah, we’re all independently wealthy.

    What a fucking wanker.

    • Yeah, this is Booman’s argument again. It actually seems like everyone who’s in favor of this has good insurance and can afford to screw around as if it’s a big game. It’s those of us who will be affected who can’t afford the theoretical exercise of a bill that will make our situations worse.

    • WTF? No, it’s those asses on the Hill and in the Village that have that particular cluelessness.

      Me, I’ve been on foodstamps, no heat, no lights. I walked out on my ex with NO job, NO education, a $300 POS car with all my worldly belongings in it, and my 2 children, and that’s all. Well, 50 bucks in my purse. I know from poor.

      Gawd, these morons just infuriate me, because they have no idea who We The People even are. They are consistently so damn wrong about us, about what motivates us, about or dreams, about our intelligence, about our lives.

      Despite being a Liberal, I have at least one thing in common with the Tea Party folks I know (and I know a few). It’s that urge to just stand up and scream in their fucking faces:

      “STFU!! JUST STFU!! STOP TELLING US WHO WE ARE! STFU AND LISTEN TO US TELL YOU WHO WE ARE!!”

    • this is SO 2008 primaries–project onto the other side what is really the case with Obama and Whole Foods Nation. Not to mention that it’s really rude and missing the entire point to assume people arguing for access to freaking HEALTHCARE as not needing to worry about access to insurance.

      • Don ‘t forgedt they through CEO of Whole Foods under the bus, for having objections to this doonboggle.

  44. New open thread up…

  45. Kill the bill. They have no interest in fixing anything. It’s become this big scam to favor special interests so that they don’t have to fight them.

  46. Sad reality is that the only bump up in -0s popularity approval rating was his decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. If he gets a bump up from the climate change conference for playing tough with China, expect more center right moves. After all, this presidency is about one thing, -0x2 and how popular he is or is not.

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