Repeal and Replace This

Last night I ventured into Laura Ingraham’s No Spin Zone. Confined to the house by inclement weather, I chose to contribute indirectly to Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal’s News Corp. dividends and directly to Bill O’Reilly’s Olympian ego. In the race to the bottom that is cable news, Laura Ingraham’s monotonous Reaganite pabulum trumps msnbc, which is unwatchable, as well as that other thing which barely warrants mentioning.

I witnessed a truly interesting exchange between the aforementioned Ms. Ingraham and Rep. Eric Cantor, who gets to be majority leader after the bloodbath of November. The broad issue was ObamaCare but the main focus was what Ingraham perceived to be Eric Cantor’s squishiness on Republican plans to “repeal and replace” the unpopular reform law.

LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: …You've now got to correct the record because Politico is reporting that Eric Cantor, if he's the House majority leader come -- come November, that you're going to push for a more modest approach to Obamacare, meaning defund it, not repeal it. Did Politico get it wrong?

REP. ERIC CANTOR: Laura, I'll tell you one thing: As you and I have known each other for several years and as many of my constituents are, I'm a big fan of yours. So I got several calls from constituents over the last day or so saying, "What's Laura Ingraham talking about that Eric Cantor is not for a repeal of Obamacare?" Of course I'm for a repeal of Obamacare.

As you know, Laura, I'm the Republican whip in the House, and the duty of the Republican whip was to marshal as many votes as we could against Obamacare to make sure it didn't become law. And in the end, we didn't have one Republican vote that voted for it. Unfortunately, the bill passed. So we are faced with a situation where, hopefully, this November, a conservative majority will regain position in the House. And we're going to do everything we can to repeal the bill, to delay the bill, to defund the bill, to do all of the above. I mean, these things go hand in hand, Laura.

Whenever I wade into the land of Rupert Murdoch and Glenn Beck, I’m always careful to have plenty of aspirin and a barf bag on deck. The latter very nearly came into use after watching Mr. Cantor kiss the ring of hot reactionary blonde Laura Ingraham like the dickless establishmentarian he is. But however nauseating the display may have been, there are important insights to be gleaned here.

Rather than reaping a fortuitous repeat of 1994, conservatives are exactly where progressives were in ’06. In many respects ObamaCare is to them what the war in Iraq was to us. The mainstream public’s rather late aversion to the intractable chaos and bloodshed of the Iraq adventure vindicated grassroots progressives. It was a swift reversal of fortune that came right on time after the nightmarish re-election of President Bush. Unsatisfied with handing Democrats a decent majority in the House and a slim one in the Senate, the American people marched ahead and put a charismatic “change agent” in the White House two years thereafter. And yet the war(s) go on.

This analogous bit of history must frighten Laura Ingraham and her crowd. Read my lips: If the GOP regains Congress this fall and the presidency in ‘12, they probably aren’t going to repeal and replace shit.

For starters we have to appreciate the galling reality of what ObamaCare is: a corporatist sellout that warrants repeal. More specifically, it is policy that has roots in Republican policy circles. The binding element of this monstrosity is the individual mandate that originated in the first Bush administration. It experienced a revival during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s efforts to reform health care as a demagogic tool of Sen. Orrin Hatch and others. This wasn’t socialism. This was Mitt Romney’s baby.

Like progressives who were once elated at the prospect of sending wonderful representatives like Jon Tester and Jim Webb to Washington (and an epic fuck-you to the Bush administration), grassroots conservatives are about to relearn the cruel lesson of America’s Scylla and Charybdis political system.

Even if we were to momentarily forget the ironic origins of ObamaCare, we would still have to consider the character of only some of people who control the destiny of this ascendant GOP. Mr. Cantor, once more, is a stuttering, contemptible creature of Washington. Their most recent standard-bearer, John McCain, has repeatedly affirmed his intent to repeal and replace. Lest anyone is tempted to believe him, remember that McCain is basically an intemperate, vindictive man motivated by personal grudges and his political interest more than anything—and by God I mean anything—else.

Then there’s the curious case of the Massachusetts golden boys: Sen. Scott Brown—who drives a truck!—and the aforementioned Mittens. Scott Brown cynically staked his entire campaign in deep blue Massachusetts on his opposition to ObamaCare despite his support for Gov. Romney’s plan as a state senator in ’06. And the fact that Romney—who makes John Kerry heroic in comparison—remains a formidable frontrunner for the Republican nomination speaks volumes about the political nihilism of that whole crowd.

For progressives who see the ugly truth of ObamaCare (i.e. private insurance companies using the Internal Revenue Service to shakedown the American people), the repeal movement is a reliable gauge of the intellectual seriousness of the right.

There’s nothing conservative (and surely nothing progressive) about the federal government mandating citizens to enter into a private contract with a corporation as a requirement for lawful residence in the United States. Will the Roberts Court lay aside its partiality to business interests and strike down this unconstitutional tyranny? Will Sarah Palin keep her promise to repeal and replace? Or will the shiny perks of the presidency and celebrity disappear whatever principles she currently espouse? Like the current fellow. I think I have an idea.

Get ready to cry those eyes out of your Cro-Magnon heads, wingnuts.


Tags: John McCain, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin, conservative movement, Republican Party, Supreme Court, individual mandate, obamacare, laura ingraham, Tea Party Movement (all tags)



You do not know what you're talking about, yet you talk

You must work cheap.  First, Obama HAS ended combat troops in Iraq on schedule, as promised.  Saying the war is still going on there is like saying that the war is still going on in Germany because there's still bases there.

Secondly, calling Obamacare a corporate sellout is a mere mindless talking point of the Huffington post, Tpm crowd.  It's not reality.   The plan that we got is pretty much the exact plan he campaigned on.  In some ways it's more liberal (the 85% loss ratio, the mandatory coverage of preventive care) and in one way it's less (the public option).  But in any case Obama has, again, delivered what he promised.

Which is the heart of the problem with the dissafected progressives.  It's not that they didn't get what they voted for, it's that they don't know what they voted for.  They thought that he was Dennis Kucinich, and now they're mad that he's governing like Barack Obama.

by insipid 2010-08-27 10:13PM | 0 recs
RE: You do not know what you're talking about, yet you talk

Secondly, calling Obamacare a corporate sellout is a mere mindless talking point of the Huffington post, Tpm crowd.  It's not reality.   The plan that we got is pretty much the exact plan he campaigned on.  In some ways it's more liberal (the 85% loss ratio, the mandatory coverage of preventive care) and in one way it's less (the public option).  But in any case Obama has, again, delivered what he promised.

The reason ObamaCare is a corporatist sellout has everything to do with the individual mandate. The other problems--many of them enumerated by brother Buckeye below, like the lack of cost containment--can be attributable to bad policy and/or incompetence. The mandate is different. During the primary Barack Obama made an succinct and incredible case against it. Are you accusing the president of indulging in mindless talking points from Huffington Post and TPM (which is good company as far as most of us are concerned)? 

Afghanistan: It's true Obama has done precisely what he promised in Afghanistan. Of course this doesn't mean we can't hold him accountable; especially when progressives know that the proposed Afghanistan buildup was always an entirely situational political calculation. It's not a game--American GIs are dying senselessly behind this. Iraq: Are you sitting there making a serious comparison between the extremely tenuous security situation in Iraq and present-day Germany? If so then you've actually gone further than President Obama himself in declaring the sweeping declarations.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-28 11:45AM | 0 recs
RE: You do not know what you're talking about, yet you talk

"... can be attributed to bad policy..." 

"... gone further than President Obama in making sweeping declarations." 

Forgot to proofread. Sorry.

by Jack Landsman 2010-08-28 11:49AM | 0 recs
RE: You do not know what you're talking about, yet you talk

I thought that Obama was wrong then and i think he's right now.  There's no way you can realistically set up any health care plan with no pre-existing conditions without trying to insure that everyone is on it.  What people will do is they'll wait till they get sick, THEN sign up for health care when it's most expensive for all of us to treat.  In fact, if anything, the mandate is not strong enough.  The mandate is essentially a tax write off, much like the tax right off you get for owning a house.  If you don't have insurance, you pay the tax.  But the first years penalty is only 95 dollars.  It goes up after that, but i'm concerned people will just pay it, even if they can get insurance virtually for free with the subsidies.

As far as there being no cost controls the mandate IS a cost control.  As is the 85% loss ratio.  I'm currently enrolled in nursing school and Buckeye is just plain wrong when he says that there is no emphasis on proper diet.  The problem is access people can't see their doctors to get proper advice.  It's also cost, having weight checked, cholesterol checked, blood pressure costs money.  Fortunately, this health care plan which you're so into repealing addresses all these concerns 1. It dramatically increases the number of community health centers, providing doctors to rural and poor communities 2. It forces that all preventive care be paid for for new policies 3. It provides unprecedented funding to the states to promote health and prevention strategies.   BUT THERE'S NO PUBLIC OPTION! SO LET'S REPEAL IT!

The comparison with Germany is valid in that no Americans are dying currently.  So far Obama has moved troops out at precisely the rate that he promised.  Unfortunately because of our embassy and interests in the mid-east there will probably always be some troops there.  I don't much like it, but it's reality and it's certainly not fair to blame Obama on that. 

Barack has done an amazingly good job as President.  He has done more to deliver on his promises than any other President has over the past 50 years.  While these are not perfect bills, they're really good bills and they can and will be improved upon over time providing lazy, shody writers such as you don't muck up peoples minds with misinformation.  You've somehow mistaken snark for analysis.

This is the second time I've seen you use the Faux style talking point of popularity equating rightness.  I do not like Huffington Post for the same reason I don't like Fox: they lie.  They use devious misleading headlines to purposely mislead the base.  Why i don't know, but there's no doubt that they do it.  I don't care how many liberals love the site, i'm a REAL liberal (unlike Arianna who spent a good deal of time being a Republican and i suspect she's still working for their causes) who hates it.  Until someone can convince me lying is ok, i'm going to continue to hate it.

What i see happening is another tragic recreation of 2000.  It wasn't the right wing media that brought down Gore, it was the smidgen of Liberal media that existed then.  Namely is was Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd and others who felt that Al Gore didn't live up their liberal purity.  Who advanced the talking points that there was no difference between the parties and that you might as well Vote for Nader or Bush. 

Arianna and bloggers of her ilk are louder yet even more ignorant then Rich and Dowd were.    They were wrong then, and Arianna and Company are  wrong now. 

by insipid 2010-08-28 09:49PM | 1 recs
The problem with reform

The problem with this reform, not only as I see but many experts see it, is, it focuses on access and does little to nothing to contain costs or actually improve care. Medical care in this country is focused on treatment and not prevention. The curriculum in medical and nursing schools focuses on how to identify and treat disease, but little actual prevention of said diseases. The most prevelant diseases in this country are highly preventable. They are diseases borne of poor lifesyle choices. However, our medical schools teaching little to nothing of nutrition, natural medicine and the like. We can implement a single player system and provide access to everyone, however if we dont attack the real problem, which is largely born from poor lifestyle and a lack of individual responsibility for ones own health, we will eventually drown whatever system is in place.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-08-28 09:44AM | 0 recs
RE: The problem with reform

We can educate, encourage, push and prod people, but we can't actually force anyone to "adopt a healthy lifestyle". Doing so would be un-American.

Everyone knows eating at McD's is bad, but should the government ban it or tax it? Well that would be controversial. Maybe we should have a 'fat tax'. Or a 'weigh and trade' system. People who loose weight can earn credits they can sell to people who gain weight or some such rubbish.

Most doctors I know stress prevention - but what more can they do? They can't force their patients to be healthy or take their meds on time. And saying "your unhealthy! we won't treat you" sort of defeats the point of being a doctor.

by vecky 2010-08-28 04:52PM | 0 recs
Much to agree with

While much of what you say I can find some agreement with, I veer slightly away with your concerns about the individual mandate for health care. I also do not like it, but understood the reasoning behind it -- as long as we had some sort of public option or Medicare early buy-in to provide an effective hedge and competition against it. But since Obama betrayed us on that part of the equation, saying repeatedly that he was for a public option, but then making sure one never saw the light of day in actual legislation, I find the individual mandate extremely odious and unfair. It needs to be repealed or Congress needs to revist the law and add a robust public option or Medicare buy-in. Anything less is unfair and insupportable. It is the main reason I have now stopped supporting the Democratic Party organizations with donations of money and time.

I am a part of the so-called "professional Left," which I don't really agree should be defined as "professional" since so many of us who are not earning a living writing as a pundit agree with much of what those pundits on the Left are saying. I am also very disappointed at the sheer number of campaign promises Obama made that he is now blithely ignoring or slow walking. DADT, DOMA, GITMO are just a few. I also agree that while he may be keeping his promise to withdraw thousands of troops from Iraq, diverting them to Afghanistan in light of the current situation there is insanity and suggests he is more concerned about politics than what is best for the nation. I am nearing retirement, so I very much remember the debates and schism that developed over the Vietnam war in the 60s and 70s. I see parallels developing here with Afghanistan, where the people have already figured out that it is a losing proposition and not worth the investment of lives and capital; yet, the political establishment inside the Beltway still cannot make that leap nor are they willing to listen to the people. They are still too tied to the corporate military-industrial lobbyists that advocate continuing to poor billions of dollars of money into the quagmire, while ignoring the lives of the innocent members of the military that are being wasted there for no perceivable gain.

Am I disillusioned? You bet. Do I think Congress will be taken over by the Republican nutwing party in November? No doubt. Will that lead to more obstructionism and wasted "investigations" of this administration designed to stymie any constructive governmental assistance with helping the people and restoring our fractured economy? Yes, it will. But in my opinion, Obama has brought all of this on to himself. He still refuses to acknowledge that his bipartisan triangulation efforts have been a complete failure, have led to an all-but-certain victory of the very party he wanted to work with, the party of NO that will continue to do all it can to make sure his administration is a complete failure and his accomplishments are few or ineffective. At the same time, he continues to disrespect the very elements of the party that worked so hard to help him get elected, that still want him to succeed, and that would work their hearts out if they felt it was appreciated and worth it. Unfortunately, as one of those people, I no longer feel it is worth it. We will not be able to stop the take over of the government by the crazies, and Obama will spend the last two years of his administration fighting off investigation after investigation.

What should have been a seminal change election that ushered in 'real change' has been squandered by attacking and ignoring the base while courting the oppostitional party of NO to no avail. It is a sad situation we find ourselves in, but one that can be directly attributed to a president who failed the test of leadership when it was sorely needed. No doubt, he is happy with the corporatist versions of legislation he has succeeded in getting passed. But there are a lot of us out here who don't really see things that way, and then to have him diss us for not kowtowing to his policies the way the mindless Republicans fall lockstep in line with their party's leaders is the ultimate insult. I'm done with him and this way of governing. I won't send them any more money, and I won't be boarding a bus to go to Scranton or Manchester anytime soon to work for his re-election (the way I did in past campaigns). Stick a fork in me, cause I'm done.

by mcarnes 2010-08-28 01:39PM | 1 recs
RE: Much to agree with

Kvetchy posts like this make me want to put my head through a wall.  The only way the Republicans will win in November is if people read blogs like the one above and take you attitude.

There is no "corporate version" of legislation passed.  Do you think that the health insurance industry want their overhead limited to 15%?  Do you think they want to be forced, by law, to pay for all preventive care?  Do you think they'll enjoy having to compete on an exchange in an open market?

Do you think that the banks are going to enjoy having to answer to a new consumer protection agency?  Do you think they love having the amount of fees they can be charged severely curtailed?

For the life of me i don't understand what you and other progressives are gaining by this.  Social Security and Medicare were imperfect pieces of legislation at the start to, but they were strengthened over time.  Obama passed A LOT of really good legislation.  Comparable in scope to Social Security and Medicare. Not perfect, but certainly great starts.  And by the way, FDR had 80 Democrats to work with in the Senate and LBJ had 70 so Obama's achievements are even more impressive in many ways.

They can be made better but only if we don't become so despondent at their lack of perfection that we allow the Republicans to take charge.   If we allow that to happen, what lesson do you think will be learned from that?  That Obama should of fought harder for the Public Option?  No, after passing health care reform, banking reform, the stimulus package etc. etc. the lesson that will be learned is that people don't like progressive legislation.  That the best thing for a President to do is to do as little as possible.  That the progressive base does not stand by progressive Presidents the same way the Conservative base stands by theirs.

And they'll be right.   This has been the most progressive, successful Congresses in generations.  For you not to stand by them is just a stab in the back. Let the Republicans take charge and it will be generations before any real progressive legislation is passed. If ever.  This is a make or break election and whining is counter-productive.

by insipid 2010-08-29 05:19AM | 0 recs

My grandfather passed away this last spring. He was a good man who worked hard all his life for the same company, and was lucky enough to have worked for a company that is still honoring its pension promises.

We have a family story of when the family was at Disney World. The family seperated for a while to go on different rides, and we were to meet up at a designated time after that. My grandparents had been waiting more than an hour in a line for one of the lesser rides that was mostly just sitting in a chair that moved around to see animatronic stuff. Well, as they were getting to the front of the line, it became clear that they were going to be late getting to the meeting place. They would get on the ride by that time, but couldn't quite make the walk back to the meeting place without being a few minutes late.

So they got out of the line when they were at the front, after the long wait, jsut so they wouldn't be a few minutes late to meet us (we might worry, and they said they would be there). That's the kind of people they were. They lived by their word and always thought about others.

So of course, when my grandfather got sick (foot infection; he was diabetic), the family rallied around him. He had private insurence. Good private insurance, negotiated by his company decades ago with massive amounts having been paid to the insurance company over decades. the kind that you can't even really get anymore.

Still, when he had to go into a skilled nursing facility, it started costing the insurance company a lot of money. The insurance company responded by pulling all sorts of dirty tricks to get out of paying. Stuff like denying coverage for the next week on friday afternoon, meaning that it wouldn't be paid for unless we appealed it within a matter of hours. The family had to set up what was basically a command-center, with somebody manning the phones and making phone calls to the insurance company and nursing facility every friday afternoon, and with a hiarchy of responsibility and delegation for different family members. Among the family members working on getting the coverage continued were an attorney, a health-care professional, and a long-time office manager with lots of experience dealing with such matters.We had a very good team set up to fight the insurance company. We fought hard, even bringing in the large company my grandfather used to work at to bring pressure on the insurance company.

We fought the dirty tricks put forth by the insurance company for a long time, at great cost to us emotionally, in time spent, and even missed work. We were mostly successful, but the insurance company finally got my grandfather declared in a state of stasis, meaning that there was not enough of a chance he would get better and that the care was only maintaining his health instead of improving it. That finally allowed the insurance company to stop paying for skilled nuring care, and the family could no longer afford to keep him in the facility.

He went home, and we hired private nurses, with the idea of doing it until he could recover enough to not need them. My grandparents started bleeding through their life savings at a fast rate (it was still cheaper than the nursing facility). Being chilren of the Depression, they had lived modestly and saved a lot over the years. We looke dinto verterans's care, since he had fought in WWII, but it would only help after their life savings was used up.

Ultimately, my grandfather stopped eating and got weak enough to pass on. It is my own beleif (he denied it at the time, of course) that he stopped eating to make sure that my grandmother would be left with enough money to live on instead of them burning through it all on his care.

Through this, I learned just how evil the insurance industry is, and how it is a gigantic barrier to people receiving health care.

I thought Obama understood this. During the campaign, he talked about his mother's struggles with her insurance company as she was dying. I really beleived he would try with all his might, that he would do everything and anything he could do to fix this.

But then he took single-payer off the table before negotiation seven started. He handed the initial job of coming up with a bill to senators bought by the insurance companies. he gave some lip service to the public option while dealing it away in agreements behind closed doors. He praised a few specific obstructionists and twisted liberal arms.

What we ended up with was a law that actually enshrined into law the centrality of the insurance industry in our healthcare system. We are forced by penalty of law to give money to the very companies that have so victimized us. And with inadequate protections and no other options for us.

If I learned anything during our fights with the insurance company, is that dealing with them is like playing "whack-a-mole." They have the means and the motivation to keep coming up with new dirty tricks and if you defeat one trick, they pop up with another. So long as they control our health care, they will screw us over, no matter how many specific regulation you put on them.Did you know that it was already illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions in California, but that it still happens in record numbers because the state doesn't have the resources to find the larger companies? Did you know that the health care law enforces the pre existing conditions ban by letting the states enforce it and without giving a dime to the states for that purpose?

But meanwhile, the Administration attacks people like me who are not happy about the core problems not being fixed (like with healthcare, or "too big to fail", etc) and tells us to shut up and be greatful for the meager scraps we've been given. How can the be so blind and out of touch?



by jeopardy 2010-08-28 03:41PM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare

"We looke dinto verterans's care, since he had fought in WWII, but it would only help after their life savings was used up."

Medicaid has the same problem. Thankfully the asset test for medicaid and chip have been done away with in the ACA. Now people won't have to blow through their life savings, sell their home and become destitute before they can get coverage.

Did you know that it was already illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions in California, but that it still happens in record numbers because the state doesn't have the resources to find the larger companies?

That's not strictly true. The no pre-existing clause only applied to Group plans, and even there the actual pre-existing condition would only be covered after you were enrolled for 6 months. Individual plans had an 18 month wait, and the clause didn't apply to them. 

Did you know that the health care law enforces the pre existing conditions ban by letting the states enforce it and without giving a dime to the states for that purpose?

That's not necessarily a big deal. Since it's now law most of the enforcement can be done via the DA's office rather than the Insurance Regulators.

But meanwhile, the Administration attacks people like me who are not happy about the core problems not being fixed (like with healthcare, or "too big to fail", etc) and tells us to shut up and be greatful for the meager scraps we've been given. How can the be so blind and out of touch?

 Understand where we can from and where we have reached. Ya insurance companies are bad, but 50% of congress didn't want to get rid of them. I would rather have something than nothing.

by vecky 2010-08-28 05:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare

lets put the enforcement of the regulations aside for a min. it's a smaller point.

My main point was that the MAIN problem with health care is the insurance companies. If you stop one of their horrible practices, another pops up in it's place. I do not have faith that regulations can stop insurance company evil practices, and there's strong evidence that regulations to that effect have not necessarily worked all that well in the past.So again, we need to work away from the private insurance model.

Now, success in HCR would be to make steps to get away from the Insurance Company model of health care. The Public Option or expanded Medicare would have been examples of this. Those are steps in the right direction.

Instead, the law cements the Insurance Industry as the very center of our health care system. It actually forces us to be their customers under penalty of law. It takes no substantial steps to move away from private health insurance. In fixing the main problem, we just went backwards.We have no new option besides private insurance.

And even if you think that on balance it was slightly positive, we lost the best chance we have had and will have for a long time to move more down the correct path. The opportunity cost of the legislation not being good enough is gigantic.

You don't think we could have gotten more. You don't know that and neither do I. However, I do know that my president didn't fight hard enough to move us down the correct path towards fixing it, and then attacks us when we are sufficiently excited to support him anymore.

by jeopardy 2010-08-28 06:20PM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare

I understand your point, and I do agree with it. However the promise of HCR, even during the campaign, was most emphatically not to get rid the private insurance model ("Those who like their plan can keep it"). The argument that a PO would move us away from that model was in fact used an argument against the PO.

Instead, the law cements the Insurance Industry as the very center of our health care system.

I don't necessarily agree that it "cements" anything. And we did get a rather hefty Medicaid expansion. Yes we didn't get a Public Option, but the PO being debated was so watered down that it was designed to fail. In it's final incarnation all it would have been is a dumping ground for the private companies to dump the sickest and neediest patients on the government. 

And OK, we did get a Individual Mandate, but we also managed to water that down so much that it too is designed to fail. Sure there is a fine, which even in it's full effect will not be more than 2-3 months worth of premiums. And there is no penalty for not paying, it won't even effect my credit rating. In return we get the ability to sign up for any insurance coverage even after we fall sick. The IM will fail and fail badly, unless it is done away by the courts first.

And even if you think that on balance it was slightly positive, we lost the best chance we have had and will have for a long time to move more down the correct path.

I don't think holding out for a better plan would have helped any. Yes it was political foolishness to attempt an expansion of medical coverage during a recession and with collapsing revenues. But one should remember that in '93 the dem majorities in congress were about the same level as in '09. This wasn't 1964. You take what you can get with what you have and i'm glad they took it. Who knows, maybe if Palin is nominated in '12 we will get majorities like in '64 and '34. 

by vecky 2010-08-29 01:33AM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare

I personally had to have my colon removed because of ulcerative colitis and i also have rheumatoid arthritis so i can share equally horendous horror stories of insurance companies.

While the affordable health care act doesn't do away with insurance companies, it does do a LOT to regualate them.  It will certainly make it more difficult for them to pull shit like you described above.  First off it mandates that 85% of what they take in has to go to health care, secondly it provides for competition instead of there only being one insurance company there will be many to choose from, thirdly it enables your grandfather to go to another carrier since pre-existing conditions will no longer prevent people from leaving.

There are countries such as Sweeden and France that get by quite well with extremely regulated private insurance companies.  We even have examples of private, yet regulated, companies providing cheap quality service in our electricity and heat.  Plust with this bill there's a cudgel that the government can use against the insurance companies, namely "Cut this shit out or we're taking you off the exchange."  Without the bill there's nothing, if you call your congressman all they can do is call the insurance company and scream, just like you.  Now they have a club.  While i myself would prefer a single payer system, there is no reason for us to believe it's just impossible for us to make this work.   Legislation is not written in stone, a public option can be added now that the exchange is there.   But we can't fall victim to despair.

Nor is there a reason to despair.  The health care bill IS basically the bill he campaigned on.  That's just a fact and anyone who says different doesn't know what they're talking about.  Yes, he campaigned on a public option, but he also never mentioned community health centers, free preventive care, and an 85% loss ratio all added to the bill by progressives. 

There was a lot of good done in the past two years and a lot more that can be done.  But bitching about the bad and ignoring the good helps no one.

by insipid 2010-08-29 05:39AM | 0 recs


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