New polls show more skepticism about health care "reform"

Following up on Jerome's post from earlier today, Democratic strategists who are counting on a bounce from passing fake health care "reform" won't be comforted by recent poll numbers. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that was in the field from December 11-14

finds that those believing Obama's health-reform plan is a good idea has sunk to its lowest level.

Just 32 percent say it's a good idea, versus 47 percent who say it's a bad idea.

In addition, for the first time in the survey, a plurality prefers the status quo to reform. By a 44 percent to 41 percent margin, respondents say that it would be better to keep the current system than to pass Obama's health plan.

By comparison, in both September's and October's NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls, the American public preferred changing the system to the status quo, 45 percent to 39 percent.

An ABC/Washington Post poll that was in the field from December 10-13 had even more worrying numbers.

Only 44 percent of respondents support "the proposed changes to the health care system being developed by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)," while 51 percent oppose them.

By a 53-33 margin, respondents expect their own health care will cost more if reform passes.

By a 50-37 margin, respondents expect the quality of the care they receive would be better with the status quo than if reform passes.

By a 55-35 margin, respondents believe "The country's health care system overall will cost more" if reform passes than if it does not.

By a 45-22 margin, respondents believe health care reform will weaken Medicare if it passes.

By a 66-11 margin, respondents believe health care reform will increase the budget deficit.

By a 63-33 margin, respondents support "expanding Medicare to cover people between the ages of 55 and 64 who do not have health insurance."

Remember, the NBC/WSJ and ABC/WaPo polls were in the field before Rahm Emanuel told Harry Reid to let Joe Lieberman dictate terms for the bill. It's a safe bet that public support for the current proposal is even lower now that reality is sinking in with more Democrats and liberals, who have up to now largely backed the health care reform effort.

I saw that Keith Olbermann is off the bus now too.

It's past time for beltway Democrats to stop deluding themselves about the benefits of passing something, anything on health care reform.

Tags: Congress, health care reform, Senate (all tags)

Comments

91 Comments

Re: New polls show more skepticism

I want to share with you some figures.

I know a family of 4. They currently make 70K a year (approx) and pay 17K in insurance premiums. They are not rich by any means and after food/mortgage and insurance they don't have much left for emergencies, savings or even vacations.

Under the current subsidy system in the Senate bill, a family of 4 earning 70K a year would have their premiums capped at 6800$. In other words their bill for insurance would come down from 17k to 7K. This for the exact same plan they have now.

I think that is something worth passing.

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

can you please link to a discussion about how the bill will restrict the prices the insurance companies can charge?

I would be interested in reading it.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

I think the subsidies should be passed now. A 10K savings for a struggling middle-class family is a good in itself IMO.

We can get around to restricting insurance companies when the senate has 60 senators willing to do it.

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

He asked for links that provides research that illustrates your claim is true.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

WTF... have none of you read the bill?

Families earning 400% of FPL have their premiums capped at 9.8% of income. A family of 4 making 70K falls within that bracket.

There have been dozens of policy papers and releases about the subsidies in the bill.

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

that would be a no then.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

She doesn't know. One major problem being that the present bill is so different from the one that is posted online that all favorable analysis are outdated.

The bill not only has no fixed caps, but it also allows insurance companies to raise premiums for people with pre-exisitng conditions by 50%. Not taking into account the out-of-pocket payment...that's extra.

But arguing with her is like arguing with a dining-room table. Mindless.

by tarheel74 2009-12-16 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

ok, now I'll have to ask you for a link.

I'm just trying to get accurate information here.

what you are saying, what vecky is saying, and what i've been hearing other places has been all different.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

my guess since they did not respond is that they are referencing cost coming out this argument:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol -briefing/2009/12/report_in_senate_plan_ insuffic.html

but I am not certain.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

By the way- part of the issue that people are trying to get across here is the kabuki of saying 'reform" such as bans on preexisting conditions etc that when you look into the language of the bill- one could drive a truck through. Again, I am not sure if that's tarheel's point, but that's the one I am making regarding reading the labels.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:02PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

you said that the bill caps premiums.

Everything I've heard says the opposite.

So please send me the link.

If it DOES cap premiums, this is a whole 'nother ballgame and many of us might support this thing.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

*sigh*...

From the CBPP, a liberal think-tank, back  in November

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3004

What Low- and Moderate-income Households Would Pay for Premiums

Under the bill, families and individuals with incomes between 133 and 400 percent of the poverty line (between $24,350 and $73,240 for a family of three in 2009) would receive premium credits to help offset the cost of insurance premiums for coverage they purchase in the new health insurance exchanges. The amounts these households would have to pay for premiums would be based on a sliding scale, under which households' premium contributions would be set at 4 percent of income for households at 134 percent of the poverty line and would rise to 9.8 percent of income for those at 300 percent of the poverty line. The maximum amount that households would be required to pay would remain at 9.8 percent of income for those with incomes between 300 and 400 percent of the poverty line.[1]

These premium charges are lower than those that the Senate Finance Committee bill would have set for households between 154 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line. Middle-income households in the 300 percent-to-400 percent-of-poverty range would receive the largest reductions; they would pay a maximum of 9.8 percent of income for coverage under the new bill, as compared to 12 percent of income under the Finance Committee bill.

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

that's not what I asked for.

I asked what in this bill caps premiums.

you gave me information about a different bill (multiple versions ago, actually)

and even for that other bill, it doesn't say if:

they are using numbers for current premium prices or projected prices,

if it scales with inflation,

or importantly,

if it prohibits insurance companies from raising rates.

but it IS interesting and I thank you for the link

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

wait, found the info about how it is calculated for that older bill:

You are correct that it effectively caps what a family pays (as a % of their income)

what it seems to do for premium price increases is gives a direct 1-to-1 increase in the subsidy for every dollar the price goes up.

So if, for instance, the Insurance decide to raise your rates $1000/month, they will receive $1000/month more from government.

Does that seem like a good idea to you, vecky?

again, what we need is some way to keep the insurance industry from raising premiums, NOT give them a huge incentive to do it.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

What you're missing is that if the insurance companies start ripping off the government, the government is a lot more incentivized to do something about it than if they're simply ripping off poor people.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

actually, that IS a good point,

although if we've figured anything out recently, it's that the Insurance Industry and the government are not all that separate.

and we've seen how well the government reigns in the insurance company.  

But it is a really good point still.

can anybody confirm if this is still in the current agreement?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

I don't understand your comment. Are you arguing that higher premiums will one day be seen as a rip off?

by bruh3 2009-12-16 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

"but we HAD to raise rates because they told us to cover people with preexisting conditions (even though we are pricing them out) bye bye now, I have to go buy my own island."

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Because private industry has never ripped the gov't off successfully before....

Oh wait - never mind.

by jrsygrl 2009-12-16 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

The other way to refuse to engage with my point is to just not post anything, you know.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

I think the problem here - again i am not sure what your thesis - but if it is that the govnerment will do the right thing- is that this is not happening now. Why would it happen later after we have given a way the farm?

by bruh3 2009-12-16 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

My argument is that if we shift the cost of rising premiums from you and me to the government, the government will have the incentive as well as the means to do something about it.

This should not be a controversial point to anyone who favors a robust public option and thinks it will drive down prices.  Based on our experience with Medicare, we know the government is not likely to give away the store in this area.

If you think the government will write a blank check and just sit there as the years go by letting the insurance companies bilk it out of billions of dollars of unnecessary waste, then you shouldn't favor a public option either, as the insurance companies would just exploit it in the same way.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

We see the public option differently. The mechanism for controlling the pricing of premiums with the public option is a product of market forces rather than negotiating with insurance companies. The companies will pursue lower prices because they would be losing customers to the government program rather than through some over transaction that requires the government to do anything more than set a price for its product.

What mechanism would the government have to control pricing here?

by bruh3 2009-12-16 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

The government has some regulatory authority in this bill and it always has the ability to give itself more.

The government may not always regulate in the interests of consumers, but it's a safe bet that it will regulate in its own interests.  They're not just going to sit there and watch private insurance companies bust the budget with ridiculous premium increases that the government is forced to subsidize.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Steve, one of the reasons I am a moderate, is that I don't believe people always do what they are suppose to do. I don't make much difference between government and corporations in that regard.  Look, I understand what you are saying. I just don't believe it. And after the behavior regarding the public option (which was smart policy making and a moderate solution to a market failure) I am not holding my breath for future behavior to be better. Let's just say ultimately I hope you are right, and that I am wrong.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

The government currently overpays private insurance companies $40 billion a year or so in Medicare advantage payments. The GOP started those payments in 1998. This is the first year of a democratic congress and a democratic president and they are trying to get that money back (and use it for subsidies for poor & middle class folk). So ya, governments can and do do the right thing.

by vecky 2009-12-16 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

I'm not sure what else you want:

According to the Senate Bill the cap on premium for a family of 3 earning $73,240 a year would be $7,178.

(9.8% of income, 400% of poverty level).

That in is the current bill before the senate right now.

This is the cap on how much the family pays. If insurance companies raise rates that rate increase will be born by the government. Yes that sucks, but the government can deal with it far better than that family can. We can get to that as well.

by vecky 2009-12-16 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

what makes you think that it is in the current agreement?

the link you gave contained other things that have since been stripped out.

further, it amounts to a giant incentive for insurance companies to raise premiums.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Wendell Potter, the former Cigna executive and whistle-blower weighed in on the current state of HCR. The video is posted on my diary.

by tarheel74 2009-12-16 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Because it is in the Bill currently? The bill is posted online, and no amendments have touched the subsidies so far.

Please also note the subsidies are funded mainly by the insurance companies themselves, via the excise tax, and via the cuts to medicare overpayments to insurance companies.

by vecky 2009-12-16 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

and please spare me the sigh

I don't think asking you for a link is asking for too much.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Let's just take the first thing on the bill. It says there are no annual caps. That is no longer true. The senate has stripped the provision under pressure from the health insurance companies.

by tarheel74 2009-12-16 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Was it Nelson leading the charge for getting rid of the cap too?  

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-16 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

CBO also estimated that without caps the insurers are also likely to increase premiums on pre-existing conditions. It seems according to the new bill (still undisclosed) insurers can not only charge more for pre-existing condition but also for older age groups. Again most of the new bill is still shrouded in mystery, it's too much of a crap heap to be disclosed.

by tarheel74 2009-12-16 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Yes, they lowered the percentage of income for those in the 400% of FPL to 9.8%. You know how they did that. They raised the amount that families in the 134% - 150% must pay.

Also, I sure hope that people in your sample family don't get sick because they will be on the hook for 30% of health care expenses. Their policy will have a 70% actuarial value. Of course if someone goes over the annual limit, they will have to pay 100% of the costs.

by MOBlue 2009-12-16 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

The Unions, Dean, Olberman, a few of the more progressive congressmen, etc.

And especially the netroots and many, many progressives throughout the country.

Us liberals are standing up and saying NO MORE. It's very nice to see. I wish it didn't have to come to this though

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

No more... no more what?

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

no more letting the Insurance Industry representatives (read: Liarman) write our health care reform bill

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

So where is this bill? How close is it to being signed into law?

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

wow, resorted to arguing semantics, huh?

you will go down fighting for the insurance industry and lieberman until your last breath of air, huh?

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

ok, i take that back.

i should not question your motives. vecky, i believe that you really do want something that helps people. I rescind my statement about you fighting for lieberman

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

Thank you. I agree we want the same thing and I share your anger about the lack of cost control in the bill.

I just think of it as a first step that is all.

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

I think once they (Nelson) got rid of the language that would end the exemption from anti-trust laws for the insurance groups from the bill, that the faith went bad. Having that there would be a good first step. There are some good things, as Dean points out, that make a good first step, but not the mandate.

I think the only argument that can be made about the Senate bill is that it will go to reconciliation with the House bill, and the House bill will win out; then the Senate either backs it or not. I would be in favor of that route if I believed the House had the will to roll the Senate on it. I guess it depends on who Reid sends over.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-16 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

But they are trying to avoid reconcilliation to obtain pre-capitulation from the house on the bill.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

sorry conference. They are not interested in reconcilliation as a separate approach.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

Which is kind of one of the main points of all of this.

Where is the cost control?
Where is the public option?
Where is the elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions?
Where is the reform that reigns in the insurance companies and benefits the individual taxpayer?
Right now what I am hearing gives the insurance companies MORE empowerment and takes away hope of reform for the taxpayer. This is devastating! And you know what? All of this focus on the health care reform bill being is distracting from the fact that the economy has managed to bottom out and slowly struggle back towards a recovery; a recovery that will be hindered when we lose seats; a recovery that will falter because a sound stimulus package wasn't passed containing true stimulators such as extending the COBRA subsidies. God why can't the party get ORGANIZED!!!

by jrsygrl 2009-12-16 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

What semantics... the opponents of reform don't want a bill.

You say there is a "our health care bill". I want to know where it is...

by vecky 2009-12-16 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

the bill that they've agreed on (that all this backlash is for).

It was basically written by Insurance Industry Representative (lieberman)

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

breaking, Bernie Sanders says he will not vote for this bill:

http://news.firedoglake.com/2009/12/16/b reaking-sanders-not-voting-for-health-ca re-bill/

he didn't say anything about not voting for cloture though

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Count me

among the 32%. And congratulations to all those who have joined the GOP in opposition. That didn't take long!

Gopers and the fringe left, equivalent factions!

by QTG 2009-12-16 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Count me

fine, if you are going to be like that,

congratulations on joining the Insurance Industry and Lieberman.

That didn't take long.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Count me

Actully, you are partially correct. Just like politics, my approach to such subjects as money, insurance, travel, work, education, real estate, child-rearing, marriage, investments, estate planning, exercise, and debate, lean toward the practical - always have. I now have no personal need of HCR, and may profit handsomely if those who do need it do what they often do. I bet on likely events. Shit in your nests. I'll shake my head and pity your slf-destructive behavior - all the way to the bank.

by QTG 2009-12-16 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

Dean is smart... he's giving the conservadems a hippie to punch... by doing this, it helps make sure the bill isn't further watered down (and maybe even strengthened), 'cos anything that the left likes the conservadems will object to.

Smart strategy on his part...

by LordMike 2009-12-16 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

It's plausible, but considering how many progressives hold Dean's opinion in high regard, doesn't he run the risk that if the bill passes many progressives will think it really sucks?

If he likes the bill, and thinks that it would be a fine achievement for the Dems to run on in the midterms, do you really think he would demoralize the base by running it down like that?  After it passes will he announce that he was just kidding?

by Steve M 2009-12-16 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

Oh, he doesn't like it I'm sure... he's being honest, but he knows that if he says anything positive about it, the conservadems will water it down even further...

After it's passed, he can do a mea culpa and explain his reasoning...

by LordMike 2009-12-16 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

I'd like to believe it, but I don't know what he could possibly say to turn angry progressives into enthusiastic progressives just like that.  And an enthusiastic base is desperately needed for November.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

I think this sentiment- that you are smarter than the base- is what will kill the party next year. You are not smarter than the base. They feel what happens in DC through their own lives. This is the problem in a nutshell, and Dean is irrrlevant to that reality. I don't think this issue alone kills the Democrats. I think this issue alon with the rest of the draws  on the camels back is what will break them.  We will still likely have majorities next year- but they will be much, much smaller.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

Dude, I just watched the video of Dean and Mary Landrieu yelling at each other on Hardball.

There is just no way Dean is taking one for the team here.  No one is that good an actor.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

No, Dean is being sincere.. he doesn't like the bill, but he knows that by opposing it, he's not hurting the chances of its passage one iota... if anything, he's helping by being the hippie whipping boy the conservadems can rally against.

by LordMike 2009-12-16 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

Well, that's valid.  But I still wonder if the unions are going to do anything.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about

It's tempting to think that way after his positive reaction to the Medicare-buy-in.

Or maybe he's setting himself up for a primary in 2012.

by vecky 2009-12-16 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Are your union friends going to go to the mat to block the capitulation to Lieberman?

Any Democrat with a sense of history, who remembers NAFTA and 1994, would know that pissing off the unions before a midterm election is unthinkable.

But I don't know if the unions are actually willing to use their leverage here.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

The problem is that they are not in 1994. There is actually alot more going on that is pissing off the base right now. Even a vote of "not going to do anything" by the unions would be devastating, IMO, for the Dems in 2010.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:05PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Well of course the unions are not going to campaign for the GOP.  "Not doing anything" is what I'm talking about.  The unions went all-in for Obama in 2008 and I sure hope the WH understands that they are not an optional part of the coalition.

There are precious few individuals or groups who have the power to be a positive influence on the legislative process at this late date.  The progressives in the House are in that category, at least theoretically.  The unions are certainly in that category.  But I don't know if they're really willing to go there.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

I don't know.

Look, two things run in my mind against your argument: a) I think this White House (the President) believes his own hype (his reaction to the criticism from Conyers to me was telling of his mind set right now. Conyers is his ally from early on) and b) As Big Tent Democrat has said, and I agree- I don't think the interests of Rahm E are those of the president. I would add I don't think the interest of the WH are those of the Democratic Party going into next year's elections. They mostly overlap, but not completely, and that means they seem to be moving along a different calculus than worrying about the base.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.  What incentive would the WH have to want anything in 2010 other than the biggest victory for the Democratic agenda that can be managed?  Why would they ever want a 1994 or even a mini-1994?

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Two possibilities, and there are probably more that I am not seeing:

a) They think they can do what they want, and the base will fall into line anyway. Give a pretty speech, and we will be back to swooning. Thus, unlike those up for re-election next year, the White House are not as concerned. That's believing your own hype.

b) Poor calculus by a Rahm about what decade he is in. That his interest are met through the blue dogs, and that they will do okay next year if they win the money race with the fat cats.  That the electorate is like 1994- Reaganite conservative. To win, you got to go right of center or right to woo those voters, and blah, blah,blah. As for the base? The base is the "left of the left." Someone recently said of Rahm- his moves are like an old general who does not realize that the last war is over and he needs to fight a new one.

You asking me to explain the logic of people I don't get. They are fundamentally misreading the times, but that won't be clear for a long time so I am left to suss out why they think the way they do. They aren't stupid men. So I am left with misplaced perceptions of interest.  Add to this that Obama is naturally a moderate conservative centrist  it seems, and you are left with a bill at the time of rising populist rage that will only add to it.

Forget for a moment all the details- the one that as a moderate_ am looking at going "huh?" as I said are the mandates to private insurance companies. I just don't see the public responding well to that at all.

As I said there are probably more including the one you posit about smaller majorities, but I think that one unlikely. I think the two I mention are the likely reasoning.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:45PM | 0 recs
Re: the folks im talking to believe that there

So you're saying there is no chance for this bill to pass, and no chance for a better bill to pass, thus they're just going to let it die on the vine?

If that's the case, it seems like the unions really screwed the pooch by not cashing in their chits a lot sooner.  Who thought it was a good idea to sit back and let Max Baucus handle everything?

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: the folks im talking to believe that there

well- no one ever said liberal groups were the best negotiators on the planet, did they?

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

I don't know why you are so harsh on Pelosi.  From where I sit, she did a good job and passed a pretty good bill in the House.  Any one of us would take the House bill if we could get it.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

agreed.

if there is ANYONE that has done a decent job and showed some backbone in this, it's Pelosi.

I also don't blame Reid as much as other people do. Reid bucked the WH to even have the PO in there in the first place (there were a ton of reports that the WH was not pleased about that) and Reid seems to keep getting pressured by the WH to concede everything to the likes of Lieberman and Nelson. Yes, Reid should stand tough, and I do fault him with that, but at least he's facing the correct direction unlike the President.

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

What about Stupak?

by vecky 2009-12-16 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

ok, good point

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

One of the more offensive claims by the cheerleaders such as those by a Nate Silver or here is that people who want real change are not willing to compromise. This is just a lie. I thought the House bill imperfect, but thought it was at least something worth fighting to achieve. The purists are those who keep supporting the conservadems and now white house with regard to making a sham bill. The idea that these people are desireous of compromise, and that progressives are not strikes me as one of the more Orwellian frames I have seen this year. When I pointed out that conservatives have compromised nothing in this , some one actually responded they gave up the chance to tort "reform" that Obama had promised. There seems to be a complete disconnect between a) what policies matter regarding effect on health care and b) what constitutes compromise.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

Basically you can compromise 10 times but if you refuse to give in the 11th time then you're a purist.

by Steve M 2009-12-16 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

That's about right. I read it something like this several years ago:

The Conservative's definition of Progressive compromise is where the conservative is clubbing someone to death for the purpose of stealing their car, and progressives are purists if they say okay you can steal the car, but you have to stop clubbing him to death.

The Democratic response to this is to say "Okay you can continue to club him, but only to maim, rather than kill."

by bruh3 2009-12-16 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

I agree, although for me that offensive claim is trumped by the downright hateful claim that those who oppose this bill hate the poor, with lines such as, oh, so you'd rather thousands of people die, etc.  Those kinds of arguments are simply immoral and so intellectually lacking that there is no reason to engage them.

by orestes 2009-12-16 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

What that argument means to me is just part of the Obama branding that created this sense that one is progressive as a label rather than anything meaningful with regard to the underlying policy producing good.  

So long as it "looks" like it is helping. That's what counts rather than "did you solve the problem?" Masking the symptoms is the goal rather than treating the disease. The patient will feel better, but they are still dying of cancer. "But the patient feels better would be their response back." A stimulus that does not really stimulate the  jobs economy. A finance reform plan that has so many loop holes that it effectively changes none of the behaviors that caused the crash last year. Banks that are too big to fail are now safe although they are stil not lending. Orwellian.  

Left is right. Right is left. Obama accepting a plutocratic policy on health care is "progressive" and those arguing against plutocracy are "right wingers."

by bruh3 2009-12-16 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: there were union rallies in every town

Yeah, as you frequently rail at them, they are more concerned with falling in line then working for policy and statutory changes.  But when it gets to the point that they make the arguments we mentioned, it really just becomes juvenile.  I stop engaging them when they refuse to support their claims with facts.  I am always astounded at how often they disappear when you ask them to explain their position logically or provide support for their claims.

by orestes 2009-12-16 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Do you think any politician will ever touch this issue with a 10 foot pole ever again?  

I don't think so.. every time someone tries to do something it is poison...  We learned that in 1994, and we are learning that now...

No one will touch healthcare ever again, I promise!

by LordMike 2009-12-16 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Mike- at some point you are going to have to kill your darling here. You are right this will kill it for a long while, but frankly the bill now being proposed to me will increase the greater financial pressures that a) mean less jobs for Americans and b) make an increasingly uncompetitive economy in the world economy even less competitive as large parts of GDP are eaten up by a now hidden cost of health care.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

The status quo will be worse... and trust me, no one will do anything about it...  

I'm not advocating for the bill.. it's not what we want, but do realize that by killing it, it kills ANY chance of reform in the future.

Ezra Klein did make a good point today, that passing a bill would set the precedent for a federal role in health care... that's an interesting point, and one I never considered.

I never really believed the, "if you pass something now, you'll be able to pass something better later" argument, but maybe Klein has a point...

I'm very torn on this in many ways... One of the problems is that there are lots of things tucked away in this Senate bill that are EXTREMELY positive... stuff that will never have a chance to come out again...

I do know one thing... it this fails, future reform fails forever, that is for certain!

by LordMike 2009-12-16 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Your first line sums up the fork in the road. There is really nothing else to be said if you think this bill is better than the status quo. I guess I understand corporate America a little too much to believe that if you give them the loop holes this bill gives them. Ezra Klein has never worked for the black hats. I have. You are again engaged in hyperbole. Nothing is forever. If this bill fails, we try again 10 years from now. The AMerican people have the historical memory of a fruit fly.

by bruh3 2009-12-16 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

Sure there are loopholes, but there are massive highways right now preventing people from getting any decent health care coverage...

In addition, having family in the medical profession who are briefed on the bill's status weekly, there are a ton of seemingly tiny things in the bill that no one talks about that are HUGELY beneficial to everyone...

No one talks about them... maybe someone should...  I don't care about the "mandate".  I'm already a prisoner of the health insurance companies, that won't somehow improve if the bill is killed.  There is nothing in there that makes things "worse"... they might not make things incredibly better, but certainly not worse!

by LordMike 2009-12-16 10:14PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

20% of your labor belongs to Aetna

Consider, first of all, this fact. The bill, if it became law, would legally require a portion of Americans to pay more than 20% of the fruits of their labor to a private corporation in exchange for 70% of their health care costs.

Consider a family of 4 making $66,150-a family at 300% of the poverty level and therefore, hypothetically, at least, "subsidized." That family would be expected to pay $6482.70 (in today's dollars) for premiums-or $540 a month. But that family could be required to pay $7973 out of pocket for copays and so on. So if that family had a significant-but not catastrophic-medical event, it would be asked to pay its insurer almost 22% of its income to cover health care.

Several months ago, I showed why this was a recipe for continued medical bankruptcy (though the numbers have changed somewhat). But here's another way to think about it.

Senate Democrats are requiring middle class families to give the proceeds of over a month of their work to a private corporation-one allowed to make 15% or maybe even 25% profit on the proceeds of their labor.

It's one thing to require a citizen to pay taxes-to pay into the commons.

It's another thing to require taxpayers to pay a private corporation, and to have up to 25% of that go to paying for luxuries like private jets and gyms for the company CEOs.

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/1 2/15/health-care-on-the-road-to-neo-feud alism/

by jeopardy 2009-12-16 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

When you go to the doctor and give them a $50 co-pay, who do you think gets the money?

by Steve M 2009-12-16 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

I don't think any of these folk have any kind of insurance currently. Or they would know.

Even Medicare has acurial values and co-pays.

by vecky 2009-12-16 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism about health ca

What the poll actually indicates is just what you've discerned. The expertise required to have you opinion count is a random phone call and FOX on your TV. Corollary is that to be smarter than everyone else in a particular subject only requires a keyboard and an internet connection.

Darwin was right, but I don't think his ideas poll well.

by QTG 2009-12-17 12:48AM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Without a public option this bill only makes things worse. It is a Republican and an insurance lobbyist's wet dream and they won't even get the blame for it since it is the Democratic party's handiwork.  This couldn't be a worse case scenario and the party is losing a vocal supporter in me if they go forward with this.  And that is not a statement I have EVER made or one that I make lightly either.

by jrsygrl 2009-12-16 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: New polls show more skepticism

Republicans are opposed to this bill.

Where do you think the money to pay for the subsidies is coming from? It's coming mainly from the insurance companies. So if HCR fails, not only do the insurance execs get to keep that money, the middle-class also don't get subsidies to afford HI.

The losers here are us.

by vecky 2009-12-16 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: come on!

You come on! I don't favor this latest incarnation of the bill one bit - think it is making an already awful situation horrific. BUT, Obama is right - if they don't pass a TRUE reform (not this shit on a stick called reform) then this will be it. And BTW we will lose our majority more than likely coming up soon so this is our big chance. And the Republicans always managed to shove through whatever initiative was on their wish list with LESS of a majority.  This party needs to do the same!

by jrsygrl 2009-12-16 06:20PM | 0 recs

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