Yes, I've read your opinions on the subject. I've read other opinions that disagree. Including, now, Howard Dean's, though I know he's not quoted here as much after the manager's amendment strengthened a lot of the terms and he's cautiously optimistic about it.
Worst case, I'd rather have the option that my husband can get insurance and appeal (if necessary) than be shut out altogether.
Let's see...my same-sex partner and I make more than that, and because he has a pre-existing condition, he is unable to get private insurance at any cost. Fortunately, he is presently covered under my policy because I have an enlightened employer.
Now if for some reason I am forced to take a different job, he'll be able to get insurance. [Well, once this all kicks in, which I've already said I'd like to see be immediately.]
It may not be ideal, and it may still involve more fighting with an insurance company that I'd like. But to claim that we won't see any benefit....that's just not true.
I completely agree with this -- except for the fact that because the mandate isn't in effect for 4 years, it will be very easy for the Republicans to play the fear card all that time. I suspect that once the mandate goes into effect, and people see how they are or are not affected by it, and many uninsured see how they are in fact helped by it and the accompanying subsidies, it will fade into the non-event you predict.
But the lies about the mandate, and the push polling about how you'll be forced to buy it even if you can't afford it (oh wait, you mean we didn't mention the subsidies?) has the opportunity to take its toll, particularly in a media driven by the their love of divisive commentary rather than reporting facts. I think either there needs to be a mandate now, or no mandate.
Frankly, I don't see how health care reform works without a mandate (the best mandate, of course, being taxes that go to a single-payer system). If I expect not to be turned down for insurance because I have a pre-existing condition, then I expect to have to carry insurance when I'm healthy. It would have been nice for my friends who spent the weekend at the DC airport to have been able to buy travel insurance on Saturday morning against the possibility of flight delays, but not surprisingly, no policy was available by then.
Let's see.. first you say you're not making the argument that Obama could have gotten Lieberman to vote for the bill somehow. And then you say the president is only interested in twisting progressive arms and coddling ass-hats like Lieberman.
You're right; I don't know how anyone might have come to the conclusion in the first statement given your second statement. How silly of me.
And I am not so sure that there is no amount of strong-arming that could have gotten Lieberman or Snowe to change positions. For this third time in this topic, I'll say that I'm open to hearing about something he might have done and I'll change my mind.
Until such time as that argument is made, however, I'll continue to believe that the only way to move the bill forward and to get at lat some reform is the path that we are presently on, and that our side has done just about what was possible given the cards we were dealt.
I'm not arguing the WH can't affect the bill. Clearly some senators (Landrieu) can be persuaded with pork; others (Lincoln) can be strong armed in other ways. The WH has, in fact, moved some reluctant senators to our side.
I'm arguing that isn't enough to get us to 60; nothing the WH can do is going to move Lieberman to vote for a PO or Medicare expansion. But I seem to be in the minority on that position in a world (at least on mydd) where the majority think all Obama had to do was make no compromises and somehow all 60 votes would magically appear.
So they could be strengthening the bill and facing the "correct" way on this, or they can deal with reality and try and get a bill through. If you think the resultant bill is worse than the status quo and should be rejected, I have no problem with that argument (I'm not completely sure, actually, which side of that debate I'm on, and clearly the WH believes its still an improvement over the status quo).
But the idea that I can't accept is that all Obama had to do is try harder and we'd have gotten a better bill. Tell me what he could have done to Lieberman to get him to vote for a PO, for example, and I'll change my mind.
On the other hand, I've seen several postings that assert he could have gotten a better (if not ideological perfect) bill, but no one has been able to explain to me how. "Leadership" seems to be enough to get the GOP to cave, apparently.
I find your earlier comment quite telling -- maybe we would all feel better if Obama had driven a harder line and this process had therefore ended much sooner (either when SFC failed to report the bill, or when the Thanksgiving-week vote failed). I'm not sure that us feeling better and moving on is the best policy, though.
Interesting that 4 Republicans chose to try and have it both ways -- by not voting, they can't be accused of not funding the troops. But that doesn't change the hurdle that the Democrats had to overcome either.
Every time I think how much better our party could be, I'm reminded how much worse things could be. Hopefully those who aren't energized about future elections will have opportunities like this to reconsider.
But the assumption is that those we thought were on our side had all this leverage and political power that they failed to wield; I'm not sure I buy that.
What could have gotten Lieberman to change his position? The threat of losing his chairmanship? I don't think so; I think he knows he's in big danger of that already. The promise of support in a 2012 primary? He's already been elected after losing a primary. Money? He's got plenty from the insurance companies. Attention? How could he get more than he is getting now?
I'm no more thrilled with the state of the bill now than anyone else (though if Rockefeller's amendment to limit profits gets passed I'd be happy, though I'm not holding my breath). But I don't understand all these assumptions that it could have happened any differently.
Maybe someone can tell me specifically what Obama could have done differently to get a different outcome. And "provide leadership" and "use the bully pulpit" are not specific answers.
So the alternative is that they don't repay the TARP, and use the write-off over the next few years until it is gone, and only then pay back the TARP. How exactly is that a better situation?
By the way, your statement about "pay taxes for buying the majority stake" is incorrect. There is no discussion in any of this that Citi should or would have to pay taxes for buying back the majority stake. The issue is when buying back the majority stake if that should be treated as one that wipes out the existing tax credits or not. Although I understand the emotional argument that they should be punished and lose the tax credit, logically I see that it shouldn't work that way.
In the NY Times -- the PO is not dropped but replaced with competitive private plans and has a trigger to come back:
Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.
A government-run plan would be retained as a fall-back option, the aides said, and would be triggered only if the new proposal failed to meet targets for providing affordable insurance coverage to a specified number of people.
The agreement would also allow Americans between age 55 and 64 to buy coverage through Medicare, beginning in 2011.
Snowe and others have always said a trigger is a no-go; hard to see how that part gets us to 60. But I like the idea of the federal plan and the ability to buy into Medicare. But until there are actually details, it's hard to know what to like or dislike.
I'm completely in favor of Medicare for all, but I don't think this is it.
But I don't quite understand the complaint about allowing only the uninsured to buy in. The public option in the house bill isn't open to everyone anyway; it's only open to those who can't get insurance elsewhere. The unhealthy and those without resources were always going to be the ones on the public option.
The problem is that without a mandate, then too many people will not carry insurance until they are already sick (or until they are over 50). That's not a workable situation either.
That whole scenario is one reason why a single-payer system is so much better. Without that, mandates can work with a sufficiently robust public option, or a sufficiently regulated insurance industry (as in Switzerland), but I'm afraid we're not likely to get either of those.
You realize, I hope, that just because animal life emits CO2 doesn't mean that unlimited CO2 production is a good thing. Humans produce fecal matter; fertilization is crucial to our very survival, but just leaving human fecal matter around untreated is not really a step for our long-term survival. It's a similar story for CO2.
I understand that you don't want to believe that human activities other than breathing have a significant effect on global warming, but if you're going to advance that argument, it would help if you could advance a logical argument as to why not rather than advancing some illogical absurdist reduction which is, well, absurd.