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View Diary: Sorry, Mr. President, But The Affordable Care Act Did Not Make Insurance a "Right" (103 comments)

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  •  The White House wanted what was possible. (5+ / 0-)

    Single Payer / Public option was not possible in Congress.

    The core message others were getting at was if you do the possible, we can get the possible this time.  If we go for the impossible, we won't get anything this time.

    And that message is true regardless of how broad the public support for the better options were.

    Congress writes the laws and some members made it really clear they were perfectly willing to not pass anything, if it had to include public option / single payer provisions.

    The White House didn't want to draw a line they would have to walk back from.

    Without some very serious leverage on the members of Congress who were keeping single payer / public option off the table, they were going to keep it off the table.

    That leverage did not exist, meaning we got what was possible, not what people wanted.

    Worse, way too many people failed to understand that, stayed home in 2010, and now we have the GOP making a perfect mess of things for the remainder of a Democratic President's term.

    Had the White House said "Single Payer or nothing", or "Medicare for all or nothing" they would have gotten nothing, accelerating the damage we saw after 2010.

    And that is why most people who worked to get as many people aligned with the possible as possible did what they did and they were right to do that.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 11:54:03 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  well said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      potatohead, Jack K

      I had to login to recc'd this.  

      I also am one who benefited from the ACA's pre-exisiting insurance plan after I was laid off and couldn't afford COBRA coverage for the 2 years before becoming eligible for Medicare.

      Denigrating it is disrespectful to those of us who have been helped.  It hasn't helped everybody and most definitely needs to be improved but I have no patience for those who would rather see nothing than what we did get.

      •  Me neither. Purity rage quitting is too expensive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack K, hbp

        It is time we started discussing basic priorities as a party.

        And to do that we need to start asking a whole lot of "what is worth what?" questions.

        Was staying home in 2010 worth the blood bath we got and the war on women and unions?

        Hell no it wasn't.  Not by a long shot.

        We could have voted to keep a lot more power, limiting the damage today and potentially getting even one more Grayson or Warren in there.  Just one of those does a hell of a lot of good.  Could have happened, or at the least we could have maintained way more power so that when it does happen we get more from it.

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***

        by potatohead on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:02:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I was going to reply to the reply that I got (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          last night after I went to bed, but I see you've said everything that I would have said about the confusion and misunderstanding caused by the "the President could get this if he REALLY wanted it" line of reasoning that was so much in vogue during the health care debate...

          "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

          by Jack K on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:56:02 AM PDT

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          •  I myself was confused and those comments (0+ / 0-)

            can be found here.

            Cost control and the greed of private insurers was and is a very serious objection.

            After the ACA passed, I had some time to cool off and to discuss things with other people.

            It took a while to process all of it, and I was starting to get there when 2010 hit.

            I was stunned!  We lost a huge amount of ground.  Rage quits all over the place.  A third of people I knew who were excited about Obama and changed just packed it up left it to Republicans.

            Republicans who were completely happy to pick up that surrendered power and wield it as well as they could.

            This combined with the obvious divide in the Democratic Party along economic lines brings a potent lesson to anyone who will see it.

            A whole bunch of us don't want to see it, and that's a problem.  A big problem in that we can't keep power long enough to make things better for having to defend against seriously aggressive Republicans interested in nothing but regression.

            I think the biggest lesson here is rage quit type no-votes or contrary votes impact us far more than they do Washington.  People get to do that, but people get to do a lot of things.  Sometimes the ability to do something doesn't mean it should be done.

            And I know all about feeling trapped and wanting to do something.  Most of the people who stayed home don't want to reward the party that didn't get the best and that better is a let down given expectations and needs.

            I really do understand that.

            Maybe it's possible to give people different options!  The whole idea that we give up power when we don't get precisely the result we want in a shared power environment makes no sense at all, and it makes no sense because the power we give up insures a WORSE result in the future, until such time as we regain power lost.

            And retaking that ground consumes energy, time and mind share that would have been far more productive advancing our agenda rather than recovering from self-inflicted wounds.

            If the people don't see other options, I remain convinced too many of them will prioritize their need to act over their need to see better legislation over time.

            Perhaps that can be improved on somehow.  2010 really hurt.  We are still feeling it, still attempting to even organize, still fighting over purity.  

            Looking forward, we probably can galvanize around another Presidential candidate, assuming the Republicans don't convince too many people "both parties suck", which they are very good at doing.

            Say we do with Hilary what we did with Obama.  The excitement and historic nature of electing a woman is comparable to electing a Black man.  I'm there for sure.  Kick ass.

            Maybe we could recover to where we were in 2008.  That would enable another tepid move forward similar to the ACA.  But now we've got all this ugly regression to fight over too, limiting things.

            How can we get people to see past one election?  Had we gotten out there in 2010, we may not have kept the house.  The backlash on the ACA and the Tea Party mess was very strong.  But, we would have kept something.

            And it all adds up in a shared power environment.  Whatever happens next Presidential election will get blunted when we rage quit instead of it adding together to get real change on the table.

            Worse, our opposition understand this!  They get it.

            It's not like we have to be like them.  

            I think having a larger party that is debating how much better things can be is a much better problem than having a smaller one that can't do anything, but is more pure.

            Finally, these Republicans do not need much!  They will abuse the process, avoid democracy, lie, cheat, steal, and do anything they can to secure their power for later.

            And that's the biggest cost.  Redistricting locked us out of the House without a very serious movement to secure it again.

            That and things like SCOTUS appointments among others, is reason enough to stay engaged even when we don't get what we want, or the ideal of what we want.

            So frustrating.

            ***Be Excellent To One Another***

            by potatohead on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:26:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It has NOTHING to do with purity. NOTHING. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It has to do with what actually works. Man, if your ignition isn't turning over, and someone comes along and says "heh, inflate the tires more" and you say "okay but you know that won't get the car started" and they come back "Purist!" .... well, WTF?

              Look, don't go blaming the people if they see they aren't getting what they need. That's Democracy for you, like it or not.

              Don't blow smoke up their ass with "oh, but you see although the rest of the world can deliver affordable care, here it's impossible because, hm, er, the people making a profit off the Insurance/Pharmaceutical Interests actually count in our Democracy, and, well you don't. That's just realism, baby."

              And then expect the party to grow instead of shrink. Both parties are dying. Both parties, completely subservient to monied interests, are failing us.

              Let's not pretend we are Beltway Insiders who have to bow to what our Betters tell us is all that's possible.

              I mean, if you want to live in a meaningful Democracy. Maybe you're doing just fine, but I got to tell you I hardly meet or talk to anyone who is.

              Including the still-crushing Health Insurance costs.

              Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

              by Jim P on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:00:18 AM PDT

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    •  Wrong categories: possible and impossible. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bacon

      The rest of the industrialized world, and even some "third world" nations have tamed or eliminated insurance costs AND give their populace coverage which they can actually afford to use.

      The ONLY reason it was deemed 'impossible' by our Democratic politicians was because the campaign contributions from Pharma, Medical, Insurance, etc plus future careers in those industries would be at risk.

      Now if you want to say "it's impossible because our political leadership is spiritually and economically captured by Big Money" you might have a point. And certainly a more realistic basis for discussing the matter than using the assumptions of the DC version of Stockholm Syndrome.

      Very serious leverage on members of Congress existed then, existed before, exists today, and will exist tomorrow. Especially if Democratic Leadership had insisted on a way for voters -- and that's still who wins elections, btw -- to bypass the current insurance scam.

      If the President and Congressional Leaders had made that their one-note message the voters WOULD have turned out in 2010. Obviously, because to this moment they're still being crushed by insurance and medical costs. Medical costs they often can't afford even with insurance.

      Turnout was down because "Change" had been taken out to the back-40 and shot. As proven in the secret deals with Pharma and Hospitals, etc.

      So you've got the sequence all out of order.

      Everything you wrote makes perfect sense within the context of the DC version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

      In terms of the objective needs of the People; in terms of the objective demands of the voters; it terms of objective economic-betterment of individuals and the nation, we have to gut the insurance industry. Not preserve it.

      The status quo is killing us.

      Now, there will be no discussion for years and years to come about health-care (and btw, we didn't come within an inch of discussing actual Health CARE in the Health Insurance debate. We still rank lowest in the industrial world for health CARE outcomes.)

      No discussions because "we've dealt with that." And what it means is 30 million people will not be covered, and who knows the exact number but I'd think a multiple of that who, having paid premiums won't be able to afford deductibles and co-pays.

      Believe it our not, the way to win elections is not to kow-tow to the Corporate Limits big money places on our political possibilities, but to actually represent the objective benefit of the nation and its people.

      Why do you think year after year more and more people are dropping identification with either Party?

      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:49:46 AM PDT

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