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View Diary: I'm sorry, Kos frontpagers, but the individual insurance Senate deal is crap... and you know it. (37 comments)

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  •  We got the best we could with the horses we had. (4+ / 0-)

    You can fix and improve a government program that is less than optimum, but you can't fix and improve on a government program that does not exist.

    Had we dug in and fought for a single payer plan and lost badly, nothing would have changed. But by getting a less than perfect plan, we have for the first time, the Federal Government making a public commitment for access to health care for all. We have changed the terms of the debate. Forever. Even if the SCOTUS had declared the whole package the be unconstitutional, we still would have changed the terms of the debate. Had it been thrown out, the Republicans would have then owned the mess, and the onus would have been on them to come up with a new alternative which of course, they couldn't.

    I think Landreau's fix is winner. It will allow those who want to keep crap insurance to be grandfathered in. But it will force the insurers to disclose just what a pieces of crap they have been inflicting on the public, and to disclose options of how to get better coverage. If the GOP blocks it, we can say we tried to fix the problem and the obstructed yet again. If we get it passed, we take a major (non) issue from the GOP that they have been using against us with some success, and we force the insurance companies to disclose publicly that they've been foisting snake oil onto the public. A win solution for the good guys all the way.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:54:15 AM PST

    •  It's not that I disagree with you (8+ / 0-)

      It just always strikes me that this argument is something of a tautology.  The congress critters we had produced this result, so by logic this result is what could be expected from that particular batch of congress critters.

      On the other hand, there certainly was the political will with the voting public for a public option or medicare bye-in- those ideas polled extremely well with both sides for the political spectrum.  The fight to get those things was with people who theoretically were supposed to be on our side.  What was lacking in that fight was the desire to get those results by Democratic politicians, and I think those who are disappointed are correct to feel that way.

      This is the stuff that really enervates me as a voter.  You go door to door, send in money you can't really afford, and in the end you wind up with a corporate friendly government who's primary concern is with the 1%.  And yes, I do know that Democrats are better than Republicans, but it is still disappointing that the 99% have so little influence.

      •  But the reality is that positions that poll very (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah

        well, often lose their some of their appeal once the debate starts. It happens to the right as well as the left. Privatizing social security did much better in the polls until Bush unveiled it. And to mention a couple of other epic right wing fails, Amendments to allow organized school prayer and another to ban flag burning. Both were very popular in the polls until our side started pointing out problems with it.

        Once the Republican started their rhetoric about government take over of one fifth of the economy, many people who thought a public option was cool got scared away from it.

        We have to change the term of the debate, and stop letting the GOP capture the narrative. That is easier said than done, but I believe we've made some progress. Like I said above, we have already changed the terms of the debate on health care. But there's a lot more work to be done, and many rivers to cross.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:53:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The public option never lost public support (6+ / 0-)

          it was killed by politicians not a lack of support from the public.

          Like I said above, we have already changed the terms of the debate on health care.
          When the debate is about single payer vs. what we have now I'll believe this is true. As it is the GOP terms of the debate are now front and center. They invented this program.
          •  But when the other side terms it (0+ / 0-)

            a government run company, support drops.  Public option/government run company - it's just words, but phrasing is very important when it comes to seizing the narrative. With well informed voters, this crap doesn't make much difference, but with the low info voters, the wording is important. It's really a sad commentary, really. But the Republicans are masters of the buzzwords. They didn't have to even win a majority of the people to their side against the public option, just increasing the opposition is enough to spook enough Democrats against it.

            I do agree that we were too quick to drop it, thank you Mr President. There's nothing that encourages the other side more than a show of weakness.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:33:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Public perception had zero to do with the lack (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              magnetics, SoCaliana, akmk, Sunspots

              of a public option in the health care bill. It was killed by politicians and its removal from reform had nothing to do with public support for it and everything to do with conservative politicians killing it to support insurance companies. The fight was never about PR, it was about the industry owning too many politicians.

        •  Very empty words (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          magnetics, Sunspots
          Once the Republican started their rhetoric about government take over of one fifth of the economy, many people who thought a public option was cool got scared away from it.
          So because Democrats instantly crumble from any kind of Republican rhetorical bullshit, that made the public option unworkable "in reality"? You're comparing Bush's proposals to privatize SS to the debate for single-payer? Seriously? Have you seen the polls for what people want to be done with SS? Hint: It's not privatizing it.

          How have we "changed the terms of the debate" when the primary goal of the ACA is to keep the health insurance companies in business? Wouldn't changing the debate be arguing for single-payer?

          You know, that thing that the Democrats just won't do?

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:37:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly my point. (0+ / 0-)

            When simply thrown around as policy discussion, it was more popular that when he actually put it on the table, particularly when there was an organized opposition - us - who were ready to pick holes in it. They never knew what hit them.

            Single payer is what we all want. But simply getting any sort of commitment was a struggle. The baseline in our country was to have no guarantee except to elderly and the very poor, and even the latter had been under heavy attack from the right. The Republicans opposed what we put on the table, even though it was originally a Republican proposal, proving there were never serious about any sort of health reform. Over their dead body would it be passed they told us. It has been passed, and they are still alive, somewhat.  And they have still have their bi-weekly attempts to repeal it.

            If it is such a reactionary plan, why have these reactionaries opposed it so vehemently? If they honestly believe the ACA is as attrocious as they say, why not let it be and let it fall apart on its own? Because the ACA, bu its very existence as I said, has changed the terms of the debate. So, what if it is not perfect? If the American people have a choice between scrapping it or coming up with a better plan, what do think that will be? The Republicans know that the next step will be a single payer plan. They are on defense for a change instead of us, and I like that.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:30:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the lesson is, we can never actually propose (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shadowmuffin, Sunspots

              anything that's actually good, because then the Republicans will try to poke holes in it?

              Single payer is what we all want. But simply getting any sort of commitment was a struggle.
              Yeah, it was a struggle to get commitment from the D's. Yes, the R's would scream bloody murder. Yes, the Dems would have to vigorously defend their (tremendously popular) position in the face of strong opposition instead of instantly assuming the fetal position.
              Because the ACA, bu its very existence as I said, has changed the terms of the debate.
              I don't know what this is supposed to mean, and I definitely don't see how locking everyone into buying private insurance is the logical step to single-payer healthcare.

              The R's oppose the ACA because they hate Obama and everything he supposedly represents. Obviously. The only way the ACA has "changed the debate" is in calling out the worst of the insurance industry's practices while working very hard to preserve the private system as a whole.

              I don't see any Democrats arguing to single-payer.

              Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

              by Boogalord on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:30:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how I remember it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          schumann, Sunspots

          I don't recall support for a public option ever wavering in the polls.  What I do remember is politicians dancing around the edges of a very popular idea that they did not want to either support or come out against.  As I recall they never had a vote on the Public option in the senate to protect Democrats from having to go on record.

          Voting for Democrats gets us movement on social issues like marriage equality that doesn't negatively impact and corporate interests, but with our current system of government the terms of debate aren't all that important as far as things like getting single payer goes, because there really isn't that much our elected officials want to debate on.

    •  There already was a health care program (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      magnetics, Sunspots

      that existed, it's called Medicare and Medicaid. If your first statement was true then those would have just been expanded and improved and we wouldn't have a new and worse law. The administration did the exact opposite of what you claim is necessary.

      •  Expanding Medicare was being pushed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow

        We didn't have the horses to get it. Before we blame conservative blue dog Democrats, remember these were elected by a constituency containing a high percentage of blue dogs.

        I dream of the day when we can move these states to the left, but we had to work with what we had.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:32:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which means we should have focused on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          awcomeon, Sunspots

          better horses. This is what I was responding to:

          You can fix and improve a government program that is less than optimum, but you can't fix and improve on a government program that does not exist.
          We had a program so the idea that we needed to have a program before we could fix it doesn't follow.

          The idea that we're going to be able to fix this beyond some minor tweaks strikes me as hopelessly naive. The negative implementation will hurt Dems and is being used as a bludgeon. Going after wall street would have been a better political strategy by far.

          •  Government program as in one that has been (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, raincrow

            created because you've gotten the law passed. This, I contend is about is good as we could have gotten.

            We need better horses, yes. But we need to rebuild the progressive movement in places like Montana, Arkansas, and Kentucky get those horses. Until then, we have to pick our battles, and I believe the ACA for all it's faults was well worth fighting for.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:54:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medicaid and Medicare are both programs (0+ / 0-)

              that were already created. They are less than optimal. So by the reasoning you put forward we shouldn't have had to get a crappy program and instead we could have improved those programs.

              The problem is that it doesn't actually work like that. You always get what you have the votes for in congress. So if we get to the point where we have the votes to expand those programs then we can expand those programs. But there is this lie going around that we somehow didn't have a government health care program and therefore we had to create one before we could improve it. That's not true. We have a government HC program and congress didn't improve it. Given that fact I see no reason to expect that congress will improve this new program if they didn't improve the program we already had instead of creating a new program.

            •  I respectfully disagree. If Dems had stood (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sunspots

              united and fought toe-to-toe FOR universal healthcare, instead of fighting toe-to-toe with Repubs to substitute a chickenshite GOP-reject InsuranceCompanyCare program (thanks Joe Lieberman, Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln, et al) we COULD have had a much superior healthcare delivery system.  Dem infighting sank a more progressive health plan, imo, more so than the usual and expected Repub obstructionism.  Now, thanks to Mary Landrieu and her posse, we get round two of that blue dog, backstabbing crapola.

              Not to mention, IF President Obama had not cut a backroom deal to keep single payer completely out of the equation before the reform effort even began.  

              When opponents (Repubs) perceive one party  as wimps who can be rolled at every turn (Dems) and the wimpees (Dems) continually confirm and affirm that perception, Dems can expect to reap what we have sown, as in not voting at all or electing fair weather, blue dog conservadems and putting them in charge of major "progressive" policy initiatives.

              Better horses needed, indeed.  Talk about an understatement.

    •  That's right (0+ / 0-)

      Just the fact that we are talking about this, that it has become part of the national debate, that people are starting to look at what insurance policies really do and don't do.  These are big steps forward over the horrendous situation we had before.  Health insurance is now part of public policy and forever will be.  That in itself is a big change for the better.  

      And could we please stop the recriminations over not getting single payer?   Anyone who was paying attention knows that that never had a chance in hell.  Obama is a realist, and wanted to get something real.  Yes, a half-full glass is a lot better than an empty glass.    

    •  With Obama's administrative fix, Landrieu's (0+ / 0-)

      proposal is unnecessary, and posturing at best. It will never pass the House.

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