Can your conscience live with killing the bill?

There has been a loud pronouncement by self-proclaimed representatives of the left-netroots that the Senate bill must be killed in order to be saved. Or improved. Or some such thing. Never mind the absolute incoherence of logic in the argument of killing the patient to save it. I don't want to talk to Adam Green or Jane Hamsher. I want to talk to the people they talk to. The people that sign their petitions.  I want to share my feelings about what I feel I would be doing if I had a hand in killing the bill.

If they are successful in killing the bill (which, thankfully, they won't be since among the progressives in Congress, cooler heads seem to be prevailing), health care/insurance reform is over for more than a decade.  This idea that we can bring it back next year or in 2011 with some sort of a left-right populist alliance if we fail now is bullshit.  Before you sign one of their petitions to kill the bill, let me remind you what you will be putting your name to:

Killing $10 billion (in the Senate bill) or $14 billion (in the House bill) of community health center funding. Vermont's independent Senator Bernie Sanders - perhaps the most progressive member of Congress has secured this funding in the Senate bill. The Senate version of this bill will make primary care affordable and accessible for 25 million more Americans than is currently the case. Today, the United States is one of the worst performing countries in terms of deaths from preventable illness.  In fact, 100,000 more people die in the United States from preventable illness every year than would if we had the same rate as the top performing countries.  Community Health Centers cut down on those preventable deaths.  People have a doctor to go see.  They get medication at a cheap, affordable rate.  Community Health Centers save lives.  This is real health care.  I can't live with signing off on something that would kill a law that could save as many as 100,000 lives a year.

Denying health insurance coverage to 31 million additional Americans. 31 million.  45,000 Americans die every year due to the lack of health insurance coverage.  If we kill the bill, we damn those people to death.  Every year.  For ten years.  Maybe more.  I might be one of these people one of these years.  You might be one of these people one of these years.  No.  I can't say no to expanding coverage and saving lives simply because coverage isn't being expanded my way.  I can't deny 31 million people health insurance to stroke my ego.  I can't have a chance to change that 45,000 number downward and be proud that I stopped that - however imperfect - effort.  I can't have that on my conscience.

Refusing the best chance to create pressure on insurance companies to lower premiums: People in the kill-bill crowd like to loudly denounce the mandate as immoral because the government is forcing you to purchase a private product.  And it might be a crappy product.  And you are forced to buy it no matter how much it costs or the IRS will fine you, and if you can't pay it, arrest you and put you in jail.  This is all mostly misleading.  The so-called mandate is reasonably weak (and quite reasonable, actually) - one is exempt from it if their premium costs more than 8% of their income. So to recap, no one is forced to buy coverage that is unaffordable.  Secondly, insurance companies will know that if they want the people who may not have employer provided coverage to actually buy it from them, they are going to have to offer products in that reasonable price range, or people will be able to opt out, and there is no force of law or fines holding them captive.  If insurance companies want a captive audience, they will have to provide coverage within that affordable range.  Remember also that insurance companies are not allowed to charge one more based on income.  That means that if they want a family making $75,000 (who get no subsidies) to be subject to the mandate, they have to provide coverage with all the required medical services covered for $6,000 a year or less for every family. What's more, the bill eliminates co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive care, bring your cost down even further.  This bill will also mandate that insurance companies spend 85% of their premiums if they are in a group market (or 80% in individual markets) on actually delivering care.  If they don't, they will have to issue you a refund!

No, I will not be helping kill this opportunity to create a downward pressure on both premiums and actual cost of care to individuals and families.

Denying needy families assistance to purchase coverage: Once the exchanges are in place, individuals and families who have the most trouble affording coverage will have substantial help.  The Center for Budge and Policy Priorities sum up how substantial this help is.  The premium assistance is on a sliding scale for people up to 400% of poverty.  Here's how the premium assistance works out:

  • Under 100% of Federal Poverty Level, you pay nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

  • Between 100 and 400 percent of poverty, you pay on a sliding scale from 2.8% to 9.8% of your income, maximum.  Take a look at the table on this page if you want to know exactly where you'll stand with respect to the assistance and what your premium would be at most before the subsidies kick in.

Today, annual family premiums in 18 states are 18% or more of family income, and the national average stood at a staggering $12,300 last year.  We are paying the price, and the price is too high.  No, I can't live with killing significant premium assistance to poor and middle class families who are having the toughest of times.

Here, I should say a word about actuarial value, as smart people will inevitably read on the above linked page about actuarial value.  And then, some detractors will scream that with a policy with an actuarial value of 70%, the insured still pays 30% of the costs (including your premium and out of pocket expenses).  That's true, but 30% of your costs isn't 30% of your income.  The Senate bill's actuarial value of 70% is for families of three earning $45,775 or more, and the House bill reaches it at a far more generous level of $73,240 or more.

But that's not all.  The Senate bill protects you legally from being charged any more than 10% of your income in out-of-pocket expense.  Out-of-pocket expense is all of your medically necessary expenses except for your premium.  That includes co-pays, whatever your share is at the hospital, etc.  And the bill puts an absolute cap of $11,900 on out-of-pocket for family plans, and $5,950 for individuals (that is, if 10% of your income is greater than those amounts).

And, as I mentioned above, you will have no co-pays or deductibles for preventive care, regardless of how you get your insurance.  So you would actually have to be sick to reach your out-of-pocket limits, and not have to go into your savings just for staying healthy and having regular checkups.

Killing important insurance reform: Killing the bill would kill enormously important insurance reform.  If I help kill the bill, I will be helping insurance companies:

  • Continue to pick and choose which essential services they cover and how much they make you pay for routine, preventive care.  The Senate bill will "eliminate co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive care, including preventive care for women."

  • Continue to deny coverage based on pre-existing condition.  Like acne.  Or domestic violence.  Or pregnancy.  Or for a toddler, being too big.

  • Continue to kick people off their insurance rolls just as soon as they get sick.

  • Continue to con people into high deductible plans and then refuse to pay their fair share even after that.

  • Continue to let insured people lose their house because of their staggering, non-capped out of pocket expenses.

  • Continue to place annual and lifetime caps on benefits so that the patient loses, no matter what

  • continue to make their bureaucrats stand between people and their treatment, while taking nearly 30% of your premiums for administrative costs, executive pay, and bonuses.

to list just a few.  No, I cannot, in good conscience, preserve the status quo and allow the insurance companies to ruin more and more and more lives with no oversight and no accountability.

No.  I have made up my mind.  I will not let my ego, or my anger against Joe Lieberman, or my agony for the public option turn into a destructive force against a huge step forward in health insurance reform.

I know what the retorts are.  What about handing over all these customers to the insurance companies with a mandate?  Am I willing to have that on my conscience?  Yes I am, if that means I don't have to have all these above things on there.

I cannot live with killing the bill.  My conscience won't let me.  So no, I won't be joining the status quo caucus - on the right, or on the left.

Tags: Bernie Sanders, Community health centers, Health care, insurance reform, Joe Lieberman, pass the bill, Public Option, Senate (all tags)




your diary is one big straw man argument

if we believed that it actually did all the things you are saying it does, then we wouldn't be against it.

for example, you state it like a fact that this bill will end recissions. The problem - this bill does not include any way to enforce it.

It is a very bad bill and it offers very little in the way of protections for Americans while further enshrining into law the role of the for-profit insurance monopolies that have shown they will victimize people to get a better balance sheet.

by jeopardy 2009-12-23 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: whatever

" The problem - this bill does not include any way to enforce it. "

What would you suggest?

Maybe a revamp of our judicial system should be in a different bill, or maybe the democrats should try to fix everything at once. I don't Know.

by vecky 2009-12-23 08:01AM | 0 recs
I would like enforcement

to be stronger, but there are enforcement mechanisms in the bill.  I can name a few for the thread-starter's convenience:

- forcing insurance companies to give you a rebate check if they don't spend 85% of your premiums on health care.

- forcing them to play in the exchange and provide coverage at reasonable prices and be subject to the coverage requirements

- Secretary of HHS has power to put insurance companies in the exchange in their place, to be gentle.

- people are exempt from the mandate if coverage is not very affordable.  If insurance companies want to get customers under penalty of law, they will have to offer coverage meeting all the requirements at that level.

- CHC's serve to give people the care they need and cheap prescription drugs.  This huge expansion of them IS an effective check on the powers of both insurance and drug companies.  There are more.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: I would like enforcement

I don't understand the logic of touting that the bill insures millions of Americans and then responding to cost concerns with, well, people who can't afford it can opt out.  So, we will have an increasing number of opt outs under this bill while the insurance companies are handed hard earned money from working Americans.  

by orestes 2009-12-26 01:18PM | 0 recs

What strawman?  Are 25 million people who would get primary care under Sanders' CHC proposal "strawmen?" Are 31 million Americans "strawmen?" Are millions of people who will get premium assistance "strawmen?" I don't understand.  Who's the strawman?

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: mandated?

Registered for the draft much? Most cowardly chicken-hawks have done that for years.

by QTG 2009-12-23 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: wha?

Your first mistake is believing them are trying to make sense. Think of it more like throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks, and the comments make a lot more sense.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:12AM | 0 recs

You guys are parodies at this point. Someone points out exactly what this bill does and why, even though it is not the bill we wanted it is better than what we have and you refuse to engage in conversation. You make accusations. You attack uncivilly, you suggest idiocy.

You guys are too much. You are literally one step ahead of Buckeye in your absurdity, the only reason I don't lump you in with him is because you two actually have progressive values you just have no clue what to do with them.

by JDF 2009-12-23 09:39AM | 0 recs

You are right. Why aren't we discussing Reid and Pelosi?

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:40AM | 0 recs

Because that would take some of the blame off of Obama, and we clearly can't have that.

by JDF 2009-12-23 09:45AM | 0 recs

You are right. I am looking for ponies and unicorns. And, if I believed in him enough, I would know that he's doing his best. He's 'good Christian man." It is my fault that the bill is what it is. Thank you for helping me see the light JDF. Certainly when you said that to Des last night that made sense for that diarist who posted a response to you about the subject of what she had said about Reid. I remember her distinctly saying I don't want to take the heat off of Obama by doing that JDF. Do you remember it that way too? I guessing you do.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:48AM | 0 recs

First of all, you throwing Des at me is hilarious. Des never fails to make enlightened points, rarely if ever calls name AND while I often disagree with her I find her passion compelling, and her communication articulate.

In short Bruh, I have met Des, and you Sir, are no Des.

by JDF 2009-12-23 02:51PM | 0 recs

You are right. I am looking for ponies and unicorns. And, if I believed in him enough, I would know that he's doing his best. He's 'good Christian man." It is my fault that the bill is what it is. Thank you for helping me see the light JDF. Certainly when you said that to Des last night that made sense for that diarist who posted a response to you about the subject of what she had said about Reid. I remember her distinctly saying I don't want to take the heat off of Obama by doing that JDF. Do you remember it that way too? I am guessing you do.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Correct.

once was more than enough.

by fogiv 2009-12-23 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Correct.

Thank you forgiv. You complete me.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Correct.

you're welcome rhub.  I treasure the memories.

by fogiv 2009-12-23 10:04AM | 0 recs
High Comedy

You two really are the Laurel and Hardy of our generation. You are great really. Thank you for engaging in meaningful discussion.

by JDF 2009-12-23 02:12PM | 0 recs
Don't flatter yourself. You started all this...

...and you're bringing the place down.

You're a troll.
You've engaged in trollish behavior.
You have multiple sock puppets.
I haven't seen the racism yet, but I did see you Calling women people b***es.

Like I always said, you have a choice. You can behave yourself, or you can get yourself banned. Word has it, you've already passed the halfway stage to the latter.

Plenty of diarists criticize Obama. Bu this is a left leaning site. So if you're ill with Obama Derangement Syndrome, expect hard criticism or take it elsewhere.

This isn't a stage to fabricate lies about Our President.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:12PM | 0 recs
Whoah! Pot meet kettle!

"...if we believed that it actually did all the things you are saying it does, then we wouldn't be against it..."
No room in there for you being wrong.

How come Howard Dean now supports this bill? He mentioned that he changed his heart after improvements were made int eh 11th hour.

How come Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Paul Krugman (who never cut Obama an ounce of slack) now support this bill?

What do you know that these people don't?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Whoah! Pot meet kettle!

Everything clearly. They are either geniuses OR clairvoyant.

by JDF 2009-12-23 09:39AM | 0 recs
Arrogance was a charge leveled against Obama

And continues to be so by his detractors. I wonder if they see in him what they hate in themselves?

Democrats are generally lining up behind this bill, including holdouts like Dean and Krugman and Sanders.

But I guess none of those liberal lions are as progressive and clairvoyant as the detractors!

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:07PM | 0 recs

it's because he is arrogant. Even his kool-aid drunk friends in Europe are figuring it out.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: pssst...

Well there is a name I don't see to often these days.

yes, he is arrogant; this just in, you have to be pretty damn arrogant to run for President.

by JDF 2009-12-26 01:49PM | 0 recs
Can your conscience live with killing the bill?

 It does all the things you state and more. Great Diary. Thanks.

by QTG 2009-12-23 08:01AM | 0 recs

Thank you! Much appreciated, and happy holidays!

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 08:23AM | 0 recs
When Howard Dean flip flopped...

...and changed his mind on Countdown to support this bill, citing 11th hour improvements and the prospect of improving it in conference, any doubts I had vanished.

Jane (everyone pay attention to ME!!!!) Hamsher can go crawl in a corner and cry.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 09:43AM | 0 recs

What!?!?  This kind of sanity will not be tolerated!

Great diary.  Thanks for the reality check.

by fogiv 2009-12-23 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: poutrageous!

 Orrin Hatch is, at this very moment, quoting Jane Hamsher extensively on the floor of the Senate. It appears that he has decided to vote against the Bill. Unclear if the Hamsher's have been the primary influence for Hatch, but he certainly seems to give them a great deal of weight. Looks like the netroots has really arrived. My sources say that up to 49 Senators will vote against final passage.

by QTG 2009-12-23 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: poutrageous!

See Ezra Klein decimate Hamsher in yesterday's WaPo? ein/2009/12/jane_hamshers_10_reaons_to_k il.html

by fogiv 2009-12-23 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: poutrageous!

I have now!

by QTG 2009-12-23 09:00AM | 0 recs
Ezra Klein punches Jane Hamsher in the throat


I never trusted that woman since I saw her on Rachel Maddow (who is such a seetheart). She seemed far more interested in Jane Hamsher than fighting for the public option. I was very pleased to tell her to remove me from the FDL mailing list.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:15PM | 0 recs
you mean 39..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: you mean 39.., no I mean 49

Once all the 60 vote hurdles are successfully cleared (that's done, i think) then 49 nays still loses (i think) if Byrd doesn't succumb to the imprecatory prayers.

So 49 can vote against final passage, and can do so either to a)placate conservadems in their State or b)placate kill-billers on left or c)send a warning to the House to be gentle on changes.

by QTG 2009-12-23 11:47AM | 0 recs
you are right, now that the cloture vote is done

to end GOP filibuster, the final passage needs 50+ (Biden's vote if it is 50-50) votes to pass.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 12:33PM | 0 recs
you are right,

I forgot about Joe Biden!!!!


by QTG 2009-12-23 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

I personally favor killing little baby seals and murdering dolphins too since I  will be killing all those other folks. I am positively a little baby hitler.  I mean when you compare my record of death by spreadsheets I am sure it stacks up pretty well against those to whom we are now handing over more victims.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

I still think you're a douche, but this comment did make me laugh my ass off.   So your a douche, but a funny douche.

by FUJA 2009-12-23 10:13PM | 0 recs
"Covering" me? Really?

Status Quo: I'm poor, I save money for health care, take personal responsibility for my health and preventative care. If I get sick, I have to pay for it out of my health care savings. If I get really sick, I've got to file bankruptcy like many Americans who have insurance. But I still get health care! And doctors, as I understand it, have insurance to cover me if I stiff them.

Magical Pony "universal" Bill: I'm forced to spend my allotment for health care savings and preventative care on an "insurance plan" with a high deductible. If I get sick, and go to the doctor do I have coverage? No! But I can't afford to pay any any more. If I get really sick, what's different? I get the same health care as before, but now, the insurance company is protected from having to pay out on the product that they've sold to the doctor! And I'm still $12,000 bone in debt!

So, basically, this plan pays ransom to the health insurance terrorists holding this country hostage, and then asks them pretty please to lower costs. Sweet!

But hey, at least politicians get to prance around teevee saying they're "covering" me.

Now, I know there ARE a few decent things in there. But you see my situation? It's a deal-breaker.

by luckymortal 2009-12-23 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: "Covering" me? Really?

When did you realize you hated insuring people and wanted to see them murdered?

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: "Covering" me? Really?

When did you realize you hated the uninsured and wanted to take their health care away?

Or is it that you just love the insurance companies SOOOO much that you want to give my health care money to them?

by luckymortal 2009-12-23 09:24AM | 0 recs
WHoops! Sarcasm... It's hard to tell these days!


by luckymortal 2009-12-23 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: WHoops! Sarcasm... It's hard to tell these day

It's cool. People make such absurd arguments that I probably should write snark at the end. The truth is when dealing with nutty people I am starting to just let the insanity of what they are really saying speak for itself. In this diary, you have one nut job trying to attribute some quote he or she randomly found by claiming it is something I wrote. Surprisngly no links.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: the natl nurses union

bunch of racists!

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: "Covering" me? Really?

bravo, you are absolutely correct!

Now tell me, when did you become an old lesbian bitter Appalachian knitter racist?  Because opposing this bill could ruin Obama's right to declare unprecedented victory and could damage his legacy.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:28AM | 0 recs
Missing snark tags

"If I get really sick, I've got to file bankruptcy like many Americans who have insurance. But I still get health care!"

You are either unfunny or a total idiot.

If you get really sick, say with cancer and don't have insurance you won't get health care. You don't get chemotherapy or radiation therapy through the emergency room. Nor do you get treatment for diabetes. Until they need to cut off your feet before gangrene sets in. Nor you get treatment for that basal cell carcinoma in your ear. Don't know what that is? I'll send you a picture. Got a mole that changed color and got bigger? Tough shit, they don't have dermatologists in the emergency room, you have to wait until your melanoma metathacizes, at which point you are mostly doomed. Are you suffering progressive organ failure? Need some sort of hormone treatment? Too bad for you.

Kidneys failing? Gosh you are actually in luck, there is a special program under Medicare that covers end-state renal failure even if you are not Medicare eligible. And heck three times a week dialysis is not going to cramp your schedule any.

Cancer? Heart disease? Hyper-tension? Until the pain or internal bleeding gets severe enough, or until the actual heart attack or stroke you don't get health care. You don't have any absolute right to be treated at a clinic or to check yourself into a hospital or to have continuing care for your chronic condition, the hospital can and will send you home to die once your emergency condition is stabilized.

You either are making a snarkish comment that backfired or are living in a fantasy world.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 08:25AM | 0 recs
It is completely sickening to think some of our

so-called fellow progressive friends are calling for killing this bill. We might not like everything in it (hell I don't) but I'm willing to accept what I can get now and work to get make things better. Instead some of our friends, like the Rethuglicans want to scuttle last six months of work and negotiations and go back to zero! As if, magically next time, they'll get a better deal more to their liking. Well, let me bring them some news : we had been trying that since 1948 but nothing happened regarding universal coverage. This is the closest we have gotten for healthcare coverage of all Americans.

BTW this is what liberals turned down in 1974 because it came from a man named Richard Nixon. 35 years later, we are fighting to get some of the things he proposed. 2009/September/03/nixon-proposal.aspx

Thanks for putting forth the point succintly and forcefully in this diary! Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: It is completely sickening to think some of ou

I agree.  I definitely want 30 million people to die. Indeed, I am glad you all called us evil so called progressives out on here. Indeed, we are to blame for everything, including the insurance industries prior death by spread sheet, the bank collapse years and the common cold. That's right. We are responsible for the common cold too.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:10AM | 0 recs
Come can come with better

arguments than that..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:11AM | 0 recs
Sorry it got should be able to
come up with better arguments than that. Self victimization is a weak play in any debating hall.
by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry it got should be able to

You are right. I am acting like a victim. Absolutely. Thank you for showing me the light. I am now to blame for the common cold, the shape of the bill, and I am whining too. Also, I want a unicorn and a pony. That's what children want.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:16AM | 0 recs
It is impossible to argue with you when you are

influenced by ludwigvan. Your reasoning is impeccable.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: It is impossible to argue with you when you ar

You are absolutely right. It is my fault that I did not realize I was murdering so many people. And while the president does not have a vote in Congress, I do. I should have used it better. In the future, having taken your advice I will. Thank you also for comparing me to someone else. That shows how great you, and how bad bad I am. Bad bruh. Bad.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:26AM | 0 recs
Thanks again for displaying your impeccable

reasoning power. I fully concur.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks again for displaying your impeccable

Yes,yes it was brilliant to say that we wanted to kill uninsured people. As brilliant as Bush/Chenney questioning people's loyalty to the country and whether they wanted Americans to wake up one day to see a mushroom cloud over an American city. The thing about being an authoritarian cult is that there is not a debate happening.  I am speaking of Bush's supporter, of course. Not you. You are absolutely right. Praise be Obama's name.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:32AM | 0 recs
I didn't say you wanted to kill

uninsured people. Please point that out in my comments. Under any case, I fully concur with whatever you wrote above.

BTW are you reading Norman Vincent Peale's the Power of Reasoning these days?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: I didn't say you wanted to kill

You are absolutely right. Brilliant as always. Thanks.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:38AM | 0 recs
Good Sire, thanks for the compliment.

Your didactic abilities have far reaching influences via the internets. Thanks again.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Good Sire, thanks for the compliment.

Absolutely. It is far more important to be intellectually honest like you are than to be unserious about the conversation at hand like I am. Thank you. You are right.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:52AM | 0 recs

by Strummerson 2009-12-23 10:41AM | 0 recs
Oh Hateboy is Fanboy now?

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 10:43AM | 0 recs
That's not the way the Internets work, bud

Can't take the heat? Stay out of the kitchen.

You want to post sane, rational, fact based criticism of Democrats, go ahead. You want to engage in right wing smear mongering and trolling, you're going to hear about it.

The only way to get people to leave you alone is to behave like an adult.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: hiding my comment

This isn't your site.  It's not your home.  It's a virtual location, a cyber-club if you will, open to those who abide by its standards.  Don't like the people here, we're not forcing you to stay.  But stop this lame victim stuff if you want to be here.  It's an open space and absurd for you to demand we respect you wishes to homogenize it into an echo chamber.

by Strummerson 2009-12-23 03:00PM | 0 recs
tonight when I go to church

I will try not to sing

Away in a manger no crib for a bed
The little Obama laid down his sweet head.....

it just tips off the republicans.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:43AM | 0 recs
Bruh you are not bad

Just an asshole who thinks that snark is an argument.

But you mean well.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 08:28AM | 0 recs

Sorry that some of us confused you and Bruh. Because up close all you sphincters look much the same.

Our bad.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Come can come with better

No no. I evil. I am "evil doer." I hate small animals and the reason why the bill is the way it is because I and other liberals are not realistic, and Obama had no power to obtain a better bill than this, Because if we had believed in him more, he would have. Also, it is Jane Hamsher's fault too. She didn't do her job right leading the country.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:14AM | 0 recs
Ok then to use your handle

"Obama is the evil tool of corporations, sold us out to the capitalist pharmaceutical, insurance and medical industry. If only one of us was in the President's chair, he/she would have waived the magic wand, and we would have single payer or nationalized healthcare, no problem."

Thanks for the education bruh!

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok then to use your handle

Thank you. Yes, I absolutely wrote that. That's why you provided a link as is customary. Because I wrote it. It is not all because you are a liar. Or that this diary is manipulation. it is all mean. I am just a hater. I finally see the light now that you have posted a post in bold without a link to it asserting that it is my statement.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:22AM | 0 recs
Do you understand what "using

your handle" means? It means by using your deductive power, I came to that conclusion. Again thanks for the education, bruh, I'm now fully on your side.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Do you understand what "using

Yes yes, it is my fault thatyou attributed something to me that you are now claiming that I did not write. Yes, I see it now. Thank you.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:33AM | 0 recs
Bowing to your great deductive prowess

I sincerely proclaim my concurrence to your above statements.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Bowing to your great deductive prowess

Yes, yes, it depends on the definition of what campaign is.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: It is completely sickening to think ...

Thanks!  Your thoughts are very well presented as well.  My deal is this: at our very core, I don't think I can call myself progressive and stand against the tide of history to try to kill a bill that, while a dozen light years from perfect, is more than likely a few dozen light years ahead of the status quo. I can't call myself progressive and put up a brick wall against progress simply because a portion of the bill that I think would have been terrific policy did not come to fruition.

Sorry, but I'm not Joe Lieberman.  I am not willing to hold health care hostage to my ego.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 12:28PM | 0 recs
JC on a crutch

How old are you?

We might not like everything in it (hell I don't) but I'm willing to accept what I can get now and work to get make things better.

When the hell did that ever happen?  What we get now we get stuck with for 30 years.

Now to you other jaw dropping statement..

It is fucking pathetic that with all the power the democratic party holds right now WITH THE ABILITY TO PASS ANYTHING THEY WANT, we should have to HOPE that they would propose something as good as Nixon did.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:35AM | 0 recs
So what happened? Are the hallowed

PUMA grounds of the Corner blog and the Confluence not good enough any more?

And I'm glad that your jaw dropped. Now make sure no flies get in.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-24 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: So what happened? Are the hallowed

so, in other words you have no suitable answer.  
You should be ashamed to work as astro-turf for this crappy white house.

PUMA?  Hell yes, party unity my ass.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-26 10:37AM | 0 recs
I don't work for the WH. I'm not that

privileged or learned.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-26 07:07PM | 0 recs
45,000 Americans die? Save 'em w/apples!

Look, I'm getting pretty sick of hearing that I'll be personally responsible for killing 45,000 Americans if I don't roll over for the Lieber-care corporate give-away. Look at the study you article you linked to...

Look at the REASONS uninsured people, like me, have a higher rate of death. The article sites, for example, the inability of uninsured to get treatments like blood-pressure medication, you could probably assume things like diabetes fit in there too.

So, your plan "covers" me, (HOORAY!) but doesn't actually help me get those treatments! (boo.) I'd still have to pay up $12,000 or so (or more) out of pocket before I get crap!

So, it's like there's a scurvy epidemic and 45,000 people could be saved by eating an orange. ANd your bill buys 45,000 apples!

And you're telling me, "what? It's a fruit isn't it?"

by luckymortal 2009-12-23 09:19AM | 0 recs
Rather, "forces 45,000 people to buy apples.

But hey, they're "covered!" Universal coverage!!!

by luckymortal 2009-12-23 09:22AM | 0 recs
Preventative care has no co-pays

Which would cover both high blood pressure and diabetes check ups.

You two are not evil. Just profoundly ignorant of the actual contents of the bill.

Everything you call out are simply talking points from FDL and similar sites whose proprietors fell in love with the concept of HR676 and never bothered to actually read the original bill.

You are both reacting to bills that exist only in your own imaginations. A handful of upper middle class people will be forced to pay for health insurance they think they don't need, because I guess that college degree makes you fucking immortal.

But you would be perfectly willing to pay more tax to pay for single payer. Under these bills 15 million people are projected to get single payer through Medicaid, millions more will be eligible for private insurance at rates ranging from 1 1/2% of their income to 8%. Under this plan premiums are capped at the cost of actual health care delivered and not at the whim of the insurance companies. But rather than deliver a single penny to the evil bastards at Aetna (a judgement btw that many of us share) you would stand by and let tens of thousands of people die.

So no you are not murderers per se. Just conspirators in 10s of thousands of counts of negligent homicide. But by God loyal soldiers of the Revolution.

Right on Brothers! Heighten the Contradictions!! After all you can't make a revolution with sacrificing a certain amount of proles! After all many of them are just lumpenproletariot anyway.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: 45,000 Americans die? Save 'em w/apples!

Stop taking these people seriously. that's what they want. They are as the nutty bush 28 percenters.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:23AM | 0 recs
Nah, we're the Obama 51%ers

And I'll take 51% in this climate.

It must be so lonely bruh being way out there in the political wilderness all by yourself.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Nah, we're the Obama 51%ers

the 28 percenters were previously in the majority in 2004.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:54AM | 0 recs

depending on what poll you are looking at.  However don't forget that in this same time period in 2001 it was the Bush 92 percenters.

Obama has so much farther to fall and already has worse "disapprove" numbers than bush did.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 05:50AM | 0 recs
There are 3000 reasons for that 92% rating

Bush looked good with a bullhorn.

Look at his ratings prior to 9/11 oval-data_files/zzzmainGRAPHICS_14808_im age001.gif

The were bouncing around between 50 and 60%. Then 9/11 happened, eople pissed their pants, rallied around the flag and shot his numbers up to 92%- in one poll. His average was more like 85% and by this time were down to 75% and steadily dropped from there to 55% right before the war only to take a Commander in Chief bounce.

Bush was 'lucky' enough to have thousands of Americans die on his watch in his first year even as he was busy handing out $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. I hardly think the conditions comparable.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: 45,000 Americans die? Save 'em w/apples!

You know whats great about this site. You get to call people who don't agree with you names...but will never get called out on it. I assure you, if I wrote what I REALLY thought of you, I would get banned in an instant.

by JDF 2009-12-23 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: 45,000 Americans die? Save 'em w/apples!

LOL- sad. YOu don't even have the courage to say wht you mean. Shocking.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 09:55AM | 0 recs
You want courage?

You are a self-satisfied sociopath.

Want a second opinion?

Also a whining wanker able to dish it but not take it.

You have not advanced a single substantive argument, just repeated talking points seemingly backed by a wilful determination to not actual engage with the bill language at hand.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 09:04AM | 0 recs
Oh, you must be new

conscience? on MyDD?!?! HAHAHAHAHA!!

by ND22 2009-12-23 09:28AM | 0 recs
I'm not new

I just don't post here that often.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 12:09PM | 0 recs
I completely understand why, believe me

by ND22 2009-12-23 07:44PM | 0 recs
Thank you

Thank you for a well reasoned and articulate diary. Thank you for pointing out the reality that many didn't know and many others refuse to accept.

by JDF 2009-12-23 09:49AM | 0 recs
Obama needs a bill

If the House voted down this bill, Obama would not just throw up his hands. There would be some bill pushed through the Senate using the reconciliation process. It might not be as far-reaching, but it could include Medicaid and Medicare expansions, for instance. The insurance regulations as well as repeal of the insurance industry's anti-trust exemption could be passed separately, if Obama wanted to do that.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-23 09:57AM | 0 recs

if the House votes it down, the media will spin it as the defeat, the would exhaust all political will to start over and try to push a reconciliation bill through the committees, including the Senate Finance Committee.

If you want to kill the bill, that's fine, but don't pretend it would be easy, or even possible, to pick right back up and get something passed through reconciliation before the next elections.

by ND22 2009-12-23 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Disagree

So, you're saying that if this crap bill doesn't pass, our elected Dems are not going to care about the health care needs of Americans?  Are you endorsing this notion that if we don't accept this, it's okay for the government not to give us anything?  This kind of attitude betrays any sense of duty or concern on behalf of our elected officials.  And if they don't have any concern for the needs of the people, what makes you think they are expressing concern with this bill?  

by orestes 2009-12-26 01:40PM | 0 recs
No, WE need a bill

the American people need a bill.  Health care has been derailed before.  Clinton needed a bill too.  But nothing happened.  We can't claw our way to the public option.  We have to think our way to it.  And for that, something must passed so it can be built on.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: No, WE need a bill

OK- demonstrate to me how this bill will be built upon.  I have not received one argument in rsponse to this query.  If this is the best we can get now, while controlling all three branches of government, how and when will we get improvements?  And consider in your response the fact that the insurance lobby will continue to fight any improvements (with an additional bundle of cash from Americans).  When will this time for improvement occur?  I am unwilling to hope and pray that that time will come.  In my mind, this bill actually forestalls any real reforms.  It kicks the can down the road in the same way the bank bailout did.  I would really like to hear an argument that takes into account the behavioral history of the insurance lobby and the current state of play in congress.

by orestes 2009-12-26 01:45PM | 0 recs
It's not a one shot deal

The house isn't voting this bill down. Future refinements will have to be made after it passes.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama needs a bill

How do you prove he will though?    You are greatly speculating they will indeed take it back up and are willing to gamble that they will get back to the table.    I think it would be a minimum of a year before they did, at which time our congressional makeup could be worse and nothing would be passed.

by FUJA 2009-12-23 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama needs a bill

There is no path to reconciliation that includes Medicaid or Medicare expansions. There are a whole lot of conservative-moderate Senators not willing to go through with it. At the most there will be some tinkering along the edges - Insurance regulations basically, but the 900$ billion, 450$ billion of that for medicaid, will be dead.

by vecky 2009-12-23 11:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama needs a bill


The same logic applies to accepting this bill as is and then immediately turning around and introducing the bill Obama might actually like. In this case the delay in implementation actually works for progressives.

What Slaughter and Jane and you are arguing is just another version of Heighten the Contradictions, rather than risk a delay in the Revolution by palliative measures that might drain away some enthusiasm by the masses, the true revolutionary prefers to continue and if necessary increase the misery level among the proles. After all don't the ends justify the means?

Hmm no. Not when that means people dying for what are essentially slogans detached from the actual bill language.

The premise of the argument against this bill is that there are a bunch of people who would rather have no insurance coverage than have a penny go to private insurers. The reality is that millions of people would sacrifice a lot more than 8% of their income if they could only get health insurance. Under this bill there are actually 40 million people projected to get different insurance, 31 million who are projected to get insurance where they didn't have it before and 9 million who are projected to move from employer insurance (4 million) or non-group insurance (5 million) to either Medicaid or the Exchange, presumably because it is more affordable than their existing coverage.

That is a lot to throw away simply to buy some enthusiasm for a wholly new bill rather than grafting an improved bill on top of this one. The House convenes on Jan 12th, why not introduce a whole range of stand alone bills that would improve one or more sections of the existing one? Think the subsidy schedule is too stingy (even though the Senate version is in many ways better than the House bill) then introduce a new better one. Want to add a public option to the private plans in the Exchange? Make a proposal. Public opinion seems to be on the side of drug re-importation, put that in the form of a bill. And while you're at it end the protection for biologics.

If you need a car you buy the car you can afford. And then accessorize it as you can. Holding out until you can buy the custom rims and upgraded sound system doesn't make a lot of sense if your main goal is to be able to commute to work. Personally I think this is a pretty damn good car, but even if you think it is a beater, it serves to get us on the damn road.

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama needs a bill

First, you betray your position by asserting that Obama is not happy with this bill.  Everything in the public discourse indicates Obama is quite happy with this bill.  After all, he did not campaign on the public option.  

The argument in support of the bill that astounds me is this notion that it can be improved upon in the future.  On what- beyond mere hope and a need to deflect the real concerns of those who demand a better bill- is this notion of future improvement based?

by orestes 2009-12-26 01:49PM | 0 recs
The Senate didn't pass Bush's energy bill

on the first or second attempt, but he kept pushing and finally got it done. Yet you assume this bill is the very last chance ever to do something on health care.

I believe many supporters of this bill are over-selling its benefits and downplaying problems such as 30+million people getting their benefits taxed or seeing their employer-provided coverage degrade by 2016.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-23 09:59AM | 0 recs
As a kid, I learnt, " a bird in hand is

better than two in the bushes". Maybe I'm wrong in asserting let's get this one and then work to get the rest. But then the "grass is always greener on the other side".

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: As a kid, I learnt, " a bird in hand is

Platitude as political argument.  It doesn't get much more persuasive.  In fact, this demonstrates how weak the arguments in favor of this bill are, as the support essentially boils down to this cliche aphorism.

by orestes 2009-12-26 01:51PM | 0 recs
If you can get it done better than what

had been done, then do it. Talk is cheap.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-26 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: As a kid, I learnt, " a bird in hand is

as a kid I learned that if something is worth doing it is worth doing right.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-26 02:42PM | 0 recs
Yeah I know, PUMA was a such success.

We now have President McCain and his VP Palin ruling our country.

by louisprandtl 2009-12-26 06:38PM | 0 recs
I dunno, but I believe the general

commentary about this being a one-shot thing.  It seems most obvious that this bill, if it fails, will not be followed with another.

And if it was, I don't see any reason to believe that it will be followed with something better to progressive sensibilities.  Is Senator Droopy going to sign off on anything more substantial?  When they dropped the Medicare extension I was cranky enough to say we should just let the idiots filibuster and lock up the Senate until hell freezes over, I wouldn't expect anything different to result from HCR v 2.0.

The precedent we have from similar efforts in the past, though, is that when they die they stay dead.

by chrisblask 2009-12-23 11:16AM | 0 recs
This isn't an energy bill

There have been several energy legislation passed over the past decades.  We have been trying to do health insurance reform for a half century and nothing ever gets done.  We're going to get this done this time.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 12:03PM | 0 recs
In case anyone missed it:

It's done.

by chrisblask 2009-12-23 12:17PM | 0 recs

Last procedural hurdle clears! No more filibuster threat?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 12:32PM | 0 recs

No filibuster.  Tomorrow morning is a ceremony, not a vote.


by chrisblask 2009-12-23 12:44PM | 0 recs

I'll be up to watch it!

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 02:11PM | 0 recs

It takes something away from the fun when you're always right. I think Rod Serling wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone where some guy couldn't lose. Turns out he was in Hell.

I think I need to have some quiet time right now.

by QTG 2009-12-23 02:28PM | 0 recs
It took me a while to get the joke

But wasn't there a diary just a few days ago saying that healthcare reform was dead for the year?

I sure hope I'm still alive and not in some netroots version of hell.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 06:29PM | 0 recs
you're forgetting the HIPAA

That was the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act of 1996, which passed unanimously in the Senate. It was supposed to ban rescission and allow people to take their insurance with them when they left a job. I can understand why you don't remember that bill, because it didn't do a damn thing to solve the problems we have. I question whether the current bill will either.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-23 04:40PM | 0 recs
The bill is finalized?

I thought there was still a lot to be worked out?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The bill is finalized?

Think of this Bill as "No NAFTA Left behind, now with Nigerian Yellowcake!" and you start to get the idea. Now wrap it up in a Texas Caucus and your pretty close.

by QTG 2009-12-23 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The Senate didn't pass Bush's energy bill

True... but the final Energy bill that passed was in the Spring and Summer of a non-election year.   By using it as a comparison, that means AT LEAST a year before this is broached again, leaving an unknown electoral situation.  That also means that the final bill wouldn't go into effect until 2015 or 2016, further pushing it out.

I do hope in conference, they can get the house time line installed.  

To me a much better use of time is to pass this and then IMMEDIATELY start hammering on passing PO through reconciliation or start hammering to pass Harkin or Nuke Option, THEN pass the PO and Medicare.

I really do applaud your moral stand on this issue.     It's commendable that you won't accept anything but the very best bill, even if it means walking away from a mediocre deal sitting on the table.  From a moral stance,  I agree with you 100%.  

However, from a short and long term strategic standpoint, your path is fraught with peril, to the point that there is a better than likely chance we end up with nothing at all.  No removal of pre-existing conditions, no removal of Annual and Lifetime Caps (The annual was added back in to the recently passed amendment), No expansion of Medicaid.     Those are some pretty good things.    Social Security wasn't a perfect bill when first passed... but efforts were made to improve the systems.

Interesting that this whole debate is more about strategy than substance.   Most of those who say pass it feel it could be greatly approved.   The disagreement seems to be in how to handle the aftermath.    

Good chatting with you.   I have always had great respect for you both here and on Open Left.

by FUJA 2009-12-23 10:29PM | 0 recs
Oh the Angst - What's a Good Progressive to Do?

I'll neither be throwing any sort of excrement, nor eternally condemning anyone to hell based on their opinion of the Senate Health Care Bill...

... but I will pop my head up from a situation-forced semi-retirement to add my thoughts on this controversial and critical issue, which will markedly impact both health care access and availability, and the greater American economy...

There are lots of details that hundreds of people have authored and edited and adjusted and tweaked and pushed and pulled... and these details and their implications and potential applications should be analyzed obsessively, so that we progressives can push for the good and work to recind the bad, even if we all don't come to a unified conclusion on some aspects.

But to me the bottom line is this... unless the bill is seriously detrimental in some way, it really needs to get passed!

We need to give the Federal Government a foot in the door of the health care delivery system. This bill will give the Governmennt a role in getting insurance to more people... and do a lot of other things that aren't so great... but these things can be CHANGED as time moves on!


{note hand-wringing of the last 11 months if you don't believe me}

If we get that foot in the door, we can start shaping things more favorably for the general population. At that point, changes that could be significant and truly reforming of the HC delivery system structure could be proposed and much more easily implemented than the rather less life-shattering "Health Care Reform" we're working on now and which looks like it could pass!

Once "reform" is implemented [current bill], future substantial changes/reforms [in the true sense] will play like tweaks to the major overhaul which will then have already occurred [if current bill passes].

Really, unless the bill institutes mass murder or some [more realistic] other seriously deleterious policies, I think we need to do this while we have the chance!

We get that foot in the door, and working ourselves inside so we can make more substantive and beneficial "tweaks" or "alterations" later, is the only way to go I think.

We've been trying to get a foot in this door for 60 years. Let's strike while the mood is marginally with us, so we don't have to wait another 6 decades just to get back to this square (which I got sick of back in 1993).

... and really, I don't think it'll play as poorly politically as many think. Dems can claim a major accomplishment that has been on America's mind for 60 years, and the downsides of the compromise legislation can be worked on as time progresses and we all see how well and if each aspect is working.

Just my $0.02

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-12-23 10:16AM | 0 recs
A very reasonable commentary..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

Hey, this is a good diary.  I still am not sure I like this bill, but thanks for trying to improve the discourse on this site.

by gravypatrol 2009-12-23 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

How many sock puppets are going to pop in like this.  diary with this title is a good diary? Right. This is why I don't take any of you seriously anymore.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

What's wrong with the title?  And why not actually address some of the facts I presented?

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

You questions people's morality because they don't want a bill with insurance company bad faith actors who have previously knowingly created policies that killed people. It is Orwellian to claim we are the ones who should check out moral beliefs.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

I'm not a sock puppet.  I've been here since the 08 primary season.

by gravypatrol 2009-12-23 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

Yet you have no problem with this diary questioning our morality even as you claim that you don't like the nastiness here. What you seem to mean if you like it just fine so long as you agree with the diarist.

by bruh3 2009-12-23 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

If you'll read my response you'll see that I don't agree with the diarist.   It really pains me that I'm on your "side" in this debate.  Stop being mean, please.   That goes for everyone.

by gravypatrol 2009-12-23 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing the bill

Well Tommy, not eveyrone wants to improve the level of discourse here... some people want to drag it down or destroy it outright because they don't believe there is room for disagreement.

by JDF 2009-12-26 01:53PM | 0 recs
Interestingly there used to be a commenter

bruh1 who was probably banned from the site ....

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Interestingly there used to be a commenter

if the sock fits.

by QTG 2009-12-23 01:53PM | 0 recs
well he is bruh1 at dailykos for sure..
the sock fits.. 017/52 1/15/804636/-Understanding-Gay-Anger:-On -Low-Hanging-FruitBoycotting
by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: well he is bruh1 at dailykos for sure..

I cannot believe you saw through such a crafty disguise!

by Steve M 2009-12-23 06:32PM | 0 recs
Well you have to thank bruh3 for my

current highly enlightened deductive capabilities. Even Sherlock Holmes is no match..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: people like you

You may be right about the use of the word "conscience"; to be honest I kind of glossed over the title and read the actual diary.  (Shrug) sorry.   Forest for the trees, all that.  Happy holidays to you.

by gravypatrol 2009-12-23 03:56PM | 0 recs
ooh boy

now you did it.  you pissed off at least a half a dozen people.  (who make up 75% of the comments on this diary).

by the mollusk 2009-12-23 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ooh boy

Lol.  Good, I'm far less worried about pissing off a half dozen people than I am about providing health insurance to more people and about expanding CHCs.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: ooh boy

Ahh, lame much better than actually saying something.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-26 02:41PM | 0 recs
She is wrong

I respect Rep. Slaughter, but she is obviously wrong on several points.

The "whole point" of the public option is not, and was never, to do any cost control.  It's not like hospitals and drug makers were going to be mandated to charge less to the public plan.  The point of the public option was to let the people choose whether they wanted a private or a public health insurance system.  And it was a damn good idea.  But the CBO has consistently stated that the public option does not make any significant dent to cost.

As for being "forced" ... I answered that in my diary.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: She is wrong

I think all the CBO said was that it couldn't really predict the competitive impact of the public option to any degree of certainty.  It's hard to see how competition wouldn't serve to drive prices down, frankly.

by Steve M 2009-12-23 02:12PM | 0 recs

I get to agree with ludwig?  It feels a bit naughty.  But yes, the PO is all about keeping costs down.  Harkin is planning to push it in a separate piece of legislation next year.  That way, if it fails, as long as they make a compelling case for it against the tea-thugs and regressives, it can provide a rallying point for the midterms.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-23 03:26PM | 0 recs

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Fanboy!

He OWNS me.

by Strummerson 2009-12-23 05:25PM | 0 recs
Are you stalking me now?

Keep away from my comments and diaries. Otherwise I'll call Jerome and cry wah wah...

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Stalk me now!

Nobody will stalk me! It's not fair! I'm stalk worthy. Why am I not OWNable? I'm the biggest goddam fanboy there is!

by QTG 2009-12-23 05:48PM | 0 recs
don't despair, hateboy and stalkboy

are sitting around the corner..they'll come soon to OWN you!

by louisprandtl 2009-12-23 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: don't despair, they'll come soon

by 'soon' you don't mean 'prematurely' I hope. the anticipation is excruciating (-ly delicious)

by QTG 2009-12-23 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: stalker punk loser

Thanks! Merry Christmas! How bout them 60 votes?

Best. Christmas. Ever.

by QTG 2009-12-24 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: What to say

 Try: "You told me so, Fanboy#1"

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:03AM | 0 recs
Re: You are wise

 to push one of your predictions out to next November. But remember this: Tempus Fugit.

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:28AM | 0 recs
Ok u r a FanBot!

by louisprandtl 2009-12-24 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Ok u r a FanBot!

 Thanks! Likewise, I'm sure.

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:41AM | 0 recs
I saw elsewhere you were a Fanboy..

Congrats Fanboy #1. Welcome to the FanBoy Party! We'll be celebrating this Xmas Eve the 60 votes on Senate today.

Hahahaha! QTG is Fanboy#1...

by louisprandtl 2009-12-24 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Fanboy#1

 I'd like to thank the Academy, my Internetz provider, my fellow fanboys who are every bit as deserving as I -(maybe next year guys, after we get rid of 1/3 of our Democratic Senators and every Congressman except Dennis K), my dog who barks at me as though I was a stranger, and my gastroenterologist who shoves a hose up my ass for a $100 co-pay every few years.

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Fanboy#1

I'm stalking all of you mutherfreakers now.  

You so totally OWN me, nest-ce pas?

Here's some monkey poo.  

I throw it.  I throw it everywhere.

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Fanboy#1

Go away!

by QTG 2009-12-24 05:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Fanboy#1

Umm.  No.

I have nowhere to go.  I don't have a life.  Or a job.  Funny, nest-ce pas?

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, then

come over here.

by QTG 2009-12-24 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: to be clear

"half-educated twit" merits an HR. I would have liked to know if that was aimed at Strummerson or me, but as a half educated twit myself, I'll just have to put that bit of unknowledge in the BIG pile.

by QTG 2009-12-24 06:11AM | 0 recs

I get to agree with ludwig?  It feels a bit naughty.  But yes, the PO is all about keeping costs down.  Harkin is planning to push it in a separate piece of legislation next year.  That way, if it fails, as long as they make a compelling case for it against the tea-thugs and regressives, it can provide a rallying point for the midterms.  

by Strummerson 2009-12-23 03:26PM | 0 recs
No the PO was not about cost control!

Not directly.

The focus of these bills was from the beginning Access and Affordability. When the CBO first scored the House Tri-Committee Bill 4/hr3200.pdf

The result was a $1.042 trillion dollar of coverage spending with a net ten year deficit of $239 billion and coverage of 97% of the legal non-elderly population.

The HELP Bill on the other hand passed out of Committee already compromised on cost to meet the demands of Republicans ml and carried a $597 billion bill and covered only 90% of the legal non-elderly.

House Energy and Commerce had to compromise with the Blue Dogs to cut the bill cost to get it out of Committee. And then SFC (with the complicity of Obama) fairly arbitrarily set some hard spending caps. But on the House Side there was no illusion that you could fund everything out of the existing national health care spending.

The House Bill focused primarily on cost controls on the health insurance side and not so much on the health provider side but this was mostly to keep people from being priced out of insurance and not on bending the cost curve as such. In this context the PO was mostly there to keep the private insurers honest (a theme openly expressed by President Obama) by essentially serving as an outside baseline.

The Tri-Committee Bill had some savings measures on the provider side, but more than offset that with spending increases, to me it was pretty clear Dingell as lead author was trying to get as close to Universal Coverage as he could given the policy constraints of Obama. For example Obama promised that people could keep their current coverage which promise by itself eliminated the possibility of straight out transition to Single Payer (which was Dingell's preferred approach-see Kennedy-Dingell Medicare for All bill of 2007).

This doesn't mean they were just ignoring the issue of cost control on the provider side, they were just deferring it to other legislation, perhaps the avoid what we got which was compromises away from coverage to appease the deficit hawks

by Bruce Webb 2009-12-24 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: escuza...

It ain't dying in the house, AFL or no AFL.

If I'm wrong I'll buy one of your songs (may buy one anyway - unless I have the wrong ludwigvan?)

by chrisblask 2009-12-23 12:52PM | 0 recs
That's a very definitive statement.

No point arguing about it, we will see soon enough.

Still up on that bet, though.  Even if I have the wrong ludwigvan, nothing wrong with supporting an independent musician.  I'll raise it a notch and bet it is done in time for the state of the union.

by chrisblask 2009-12-23 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: escuza...

I've keeping score. So has Politifact. promises/browse/?page=1

The Obama FAIL peple should avoid this link.

Obama has been in office 337 days.

by QTG 2009-12-23 01:16PM | 0 recs
Don't you know?

Whatever fat white guys with mustaches say comes true.

Seriously, I double up on that bet with ludwig, and then laugh in his face when it is signed into law.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 02:14PM | 0 recs
Well, then back up your words here

Are you willing to wager that HCR won't be signed into law?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Wager

I believe the bet you might get some takers on will be: that the Bill which finally passes won't be signed into Law for some weeks or months, and once it is, it will suck - the adjudicators of suckiness will be the 'real progressives', who, since some traitors are yet to be exposed, will be considered real only if they truly believe the Law and it's apologists - well, suck.

And you'll have to give odds.

by QTG 2009-12-23 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: what a nice anti union slur

 I think this one deserves an HR..

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:21AM | 0 recs
Can your conscience live with killing?

If more people die as a result of HCR being signed into law sooner rather than later, then knowing that is a possibility has moral implications.

Even without accusing any particular person or persons of actually conspiring to commit murder, it behooves us to remember that homicide can be charged in various degrees, for the sake of a better understanding of the issue.

1st degree. You planned it ahead of time and carried out that plan with the sole intent on killing the person.

2nd degree. You killed the person on purpose but didn't plan to do it. It was just spur of the moment.

3rd degree. The person died as a result of your negligence or an accident caused by you. You didn't mean to kill them but it's directly because of you that they died.

by QTG 2009-12-23 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live with killing?

 Or 'later rather than sooner'.

by QTG 2009-12-23 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: or

perhaps later raather than sooner. Both should be examined.

by QTG 2009-12-23 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Want to try something creepy? FAIR WARNING

Read this and try to ignore the presuppositions that will inevitably arise when you see what site I'm linking to so you can fully experience the creepy feeling which comes from reading the actual text. 20/real-progressives-condemn-obamacare

There's strange bedfellows and then there's strange bedfellows.

by QTG 2009-12-23 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I attacked no one, of course

I was merely pointing out the creepiness of reading Larry Johnson heaping praises upon the  Obama bashing kill-billers. Regardless of where you stand on that impo(r)tent debate, the creepiness is undeniable.

(PS. I just ordered the FL vanity plate FAN-BOY)

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Over-react much?

Chill, dude. It's Christmas-Eve.

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: i didnt wrute a snide comment

 I never said you wruted a snide comment.

by QTG 2009-12-24 04:58AM | 0 recs
I attacked no one, of course

and what are you doing visiting a site thats populated by people you hate?

why cant you tolerate others having opinions different than yours?

you people are obsessive in your need to dominate, humuliate and control.

think maybe that too is a little creepy?

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 05:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Are you calling me

a little creep? Y I autta....

by QTG 2009-12-24 05:23AM | 0 recs
Re: nope

Try to follow along. I was addressing Strummerson (Fan Boy #>1)

by QTG 2009-12-24 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge


Can I get you a julep massah?

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

And this is a site where you HATE the majority of the posters.  So, what are you doing here?  Do you enjoy this fantasy that you are being stalked?  Do you need this fantasy to feel relevant?

But yes.  I have spent thousands of seconds responding to you.  What an obsessive commitment.

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

ease up. pointing out logical inconsistencies has a tendency to rile.

by QTG 2009-12-24 06:52AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

Are you trying to silence and censor me?  

More please.  I love posing as a righteous victim.  I'll never be as good at it as brudwigvan3, but I can dream?

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

I'm coming after your #1 ranking. Fair warning, stalker.

by QTG 2009-12-24 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

Merde!  Bon chance, mon chere amis.

It might be more fun to join lv and mock the unemployed and insult people's mothers, blame everyone else, dress our valiant locks with laurels, and wrap ourselves in mantles of denigrated prophets.

In the mean time, enjoy your holidays.

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

OK. You can remain lv's S#1, looks like you've got a big lead, judging from the bilious emanations. I'll have to be content defending my status as FB#1. Lot's of competition there.

Enjoy the Holidays.

by QTG 2009-12-24 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: i dont acknowledge

For the record, I call ludwig a liar because he lied about my past not his, though I suggested that his behavior here calls the credibility of his constant claims about his politically relevant career into question.  You are indeed a liar.  About me.  That's the basis for the accusation.  You know this.  Suggesting otherwise is just another lie meant to paint you as an ouraged victim.  Thus, whether you are telling the truth about yourself or anything else or not also comes into question.  

And it wasn't an innocuous "yo mama." You lose control of yourself all the time and spew bile at everyone.  You are responsible for that.  

Screaming STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO ME is a silly way to cry for attention.  Stop acting like an dishonorable lying bile spewer and your experience here will improve.

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: he really doesnt believe

I actually don't know or care whether you read me or not.  Even when you claimed to read me your responses were identically filled with dishonest ad hominem cliches.

by Strummerson 2009-12-24 08:25AM | 0 recs
I am not only happy with killing the SENATE bill

I would SLAUGHTER it. The house bill works. aughter.oppose.senate.bill/index.html

by Trey Rentz 2009-12-23 04:54PM | 0 recs
This bill is going to cost me AT LEAST

an extra $600 a year in costs for one of the drugs that I import from Canada, right now, Lexapro.  I just calculated that out a while ago.  And that's not the only drug I take.

So, if this bill dies, I'll think what I already think, which is that it is an enormous clusterfuck that speaks badly for all the establishment Democrats that collaborated to turn it into what it is.  And those Democrats deserve to get their butts kicked badly in 2010.  I'm not a Republican, but a good ass-kicking may be the only cure for what ails this party.

It's a sad, sad irony when the status quo may actually be cheaper for poor Americans.  

by Dumbo 2009-12-23 04:57PM | 0 recs
How about

trying another SSRI?  There are a shitload of them out there, and they're all pretty similar.

by TexasDarling 2009-12-23 06:02PM | 0 recs
The Rude Pundit explains it all arry-reid-and-sad-facts-of-american.html

Sure, sure, this is a ludicrous system, where one nutzoid's "bribe" is another Congress member's bread and butter, where every compromise comes down to dollars (or abortion, but that's for another discussion), where compromise in DC simply seems like the art of sacrificing on the left until almost nothing we hold dear remains. Yet it behooves us to remember that we are a nation founded on the most heartbreaking compromise in our history. The Constitution almost didn't come into being, and therefore the United States itself, until abolition of slavery was compromised away, until the horror was actually put into the document.

Why bring this up? For one of those hyperbolic comparisons that blogs are mocked for (even if the breathless rhetoric coming from the GOP and Michael Steele puts bloggery to shame)? No. It's that every compromise, even the most vicious, must leave the lingering question, which will not be answered here: is it better than the alternative, which is failure?

by QTG 2009-12-23 05:41PM | 0 recs
I think you are mistaken

I think you are mistaken in your post "can your conscience live with killing the bill". Even though I think that it is a legitimate question, whether passing the bill is good or not, I believe that the framing you are using to discuss it misrepresents the concerns of people who are opposed to the bill.

The problem with this bill is not that it is not 'good enough'. The problem with this bill is not that it does not go 'far enough'. If that were the problem, or the gist of all the problems, then there would be no opposition to the bill, just disappointment, since it's quality leaves a lot to be desired.

The problem with this bill is that there are a lot of things in it that are bad. It's not that they aren't good enough, or that they don't do much, it's that they are bad. The main issue that people consider bad is the individual mandate. The mandate is troubling as a general issue of blatant subsidizing of an industry, as a healthcare issue inasmuch as there is little regulation on what are the adequate basic healthcare plans, which is a recipe for serious abuse.

Another issue that people consider more than troubling is how in bed the Democratic administration is with the insurance industry and how this can affect the governability of the country.

Another issue that people consider more than troubling is that there are very few cost cutting measures in this bill, and since costs are actually a large problem in the healthcare scenario in America, this won't actually solve any problems, it'll just delay them and make them worse.

There are a lot of issues with the bill.

You seem to be operating under the idea that the only starting point can be 'neutral' and then it goes towards 'good', but this is not true. A lot of the measures on this bill, without something to balance it, such as a strong public option that uses the government's bargaining power, are not neutral. They are downright bad.

It is true that healthcare reform is a very important subject and should be addressed, since the human costs are large and the country can't keep going this way. But the healthcare reform that Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress have been pushing for is looking more and more like something out of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine".

There are a lot of things on this bill that no one in their mind would ever support if they were a single issue (and if you want me to be completely honest, I do not believe any of you would support these issues individually or as a health reform pack if they were coming from a Republican administration). And yet, we are being asked to support them, because that is the only way, apparently, that we can get the good things that you mentioned in your post.

That's not even politics. It's real blackmail, and emotional blackmail. We are being blackmailed into accepting things that are reprehensible and go against everything we believe in and will in all likelyhood seriously affect liberal causes in the future (negatively), because otherwise we don't get the few good things we can get and because there are people suffering.

I don't really know what to think, if you want me to be honest. I like neither the House nor the Senate bill and I strongle believe that:

1) they will negatively affect the Democratic Party and the chance of real reform in the future.

2) they will not be improved meaningfully in decades if not more so.

3) the few good parts will be lobbied against strongly by the health insurance industry when no one's paying attention.

4) will not be sustainable and ultimately just delay the inevitability of this system's failure.

That is what I believe in. It's not that I believe we need a perfect bill or we should get nothing. It's that I am dead certain that this will not actually benefit the progressive movement and other liberal causes at all in the future, and it won't really meaningfully impact healthcare in the long run.

Does that mean it shouldn't pass? I don't know. It will pass, in all likelyhood, and I hope that it at least helps more people than it hurts. That's about as much as I can hope.

This is actually a really complicated subject and subject to much nuance. I don't really know if the better outcome is for it to pass or for it not to pass. I can't really fault people for thinking it should pass, and I hope they're right. But I think that ultimately that'll be the wrong call.

My conscience could live with killing the bill, thought it'd nag at me. But y'know what? my conscience is going to nag at me the same way when the bill does pass.

It's going to nag at me when the bill passes because, even taking into account the good parts, this bill is a Deal With The Devil.

by adlaistevensonramirez 2009-12-23 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are mistaken

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.  Frankly, under your prognosis, my framing is perfectly sound.  If you truly, in your heart of hearts, believe, based on sound evidence and judgment that this bill does more harm (or bad) than it does good, your conscience indeed can live with killing the bill.  My argument, humbly, is that people focus on a question of conscience and not ideology.  Because in my judgment, too much of the debate has based around our liberal ego being hurt for losing to Lieberman on the public option.  I think it's time to rise above that and look at what goods the bill actually does achieve.

by deaniac83 2009-12-23 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are mistaken

makes sense.

by adlaistevensonramirez 2009-12-24 02:21AM | 0 recs
Very reasonable statement.

You're right, this is a hugely complex issue subject  to much nuance.  Two issues, really:

o  How to get from here to somewhere better?

o  What exactly does "somewhere better" look like?

I think we all agree that "somewhere better" looks something like universal single-payer healthcare, but beyond that even this group would squabble.  I lived twenty years with socialized medicine, and while I (reluctantly) agree that it is what we need here, once you have it (or even "once you have authority to create it") you can still argue all day long about the details.

Given that, exactly how we get from where we are to where we generally think we want to go isn't even science, it's philosophy (and we know how easy it is to win one of those arguments ;~P ).

One point I will pick with you, though:

It's that I am dead certain that this will not actually benefit the progressive movement and other liberal causes at all in the future, and it won't really meaningfully impact healthcare in the long run.

I know it's mostly a turn of phrase - particularly from someone who obviously understands how complex this all is - but it is important imho to use our words carefully.  If I may, I suggest you meant to say: "It's that I am virtually dead certain..." None of us (none, Senators, Presidents etc) really know what is going to come of any decisions we do or don't make on this fuzzy hairball of an issue.

-Merry Christmas!


by chrisblask 2009-12-24 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience live

I absolutely have no qualms with killing this bastardized Senate version of HCR and making them go back 'round.  None.

by TxDem08 2009-12-23 10:54PM | 0 recs
60 votes for passage

No one budged.

by QTG 2009-12-24 02:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience

Most of the people who rant against this bill here are on their mommy and daddy's insurance policy.

If they didn't have insurance or if the had a pre-existing condition they wouldn't be so idealistic.

by RichardFlatts 2009-12-24 03:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Idealistic

 in the pecuniary selfish Libertarian sense.

by QTG 2009-12-24 03:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Can your conscience

See, that's funny, but I would think that the overprivileged are more likely to support this bill for the same reason.  They get to play out their guilt by helping "those unfortunate ones" without having any real understanding of how this bill would affect them.  Union workers, for example, will get hit really hard with this bill.  In case you are not aware, they are not overprivileged people.  Those who oppose this bill generally do so because they see that a hardship this will be for most working Americans.  I personally have not observed any dissent based upon pure political ideology.  

by orestes 2009-12-26 02:14PM | 0 recs
Can your conscience live with passing this fake?

I do not want to subsidize the private insurance market; the whole point of creating a government option is to bring prices down. Insisting on a government mandate to have insurance without a better alternative to the status quo is not true reform.

Love Louise, she is right again.
Anyone pushing this lousy insurance company protection legislation should be ashamed and particularly if they are here as Obama astro turf.

by TeresaInPa 2009-12-24 12:06PM | 0 recs
Si, se puedre!!!

by chrisdarling 2009-12-25 06:13AM | 0 recs
Excellent diary
Unfortulately some bill killers can no longer be reached by logical arguments. But, fortunately,
conversation remains possible with others.
by french imp 2009-12-25 09:19AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah dialog is always helped

Yes.  The way to improve things is to call people fanboys.

by Strummerson 2009-12-27 04:38AM | 0 recs
waah waah, Jerome, Jerome, see

I'm being mocked by fanboys..

by louisprandtl 2009-12-27 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: waah waah, Jerome, Jerome, see

This guy could make some real money curing MyDD addiction syndrome. But don't misunderstand me, I don't want to rile anybody up....

by QTG 2009-12-27 06:42AM | 0 recs


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