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Add Tom Daschle to the list of people who think that serious healthcare reform is simply not possible, and so instead we should all reach for the consolation prize of substanceless bipartisanship:

In an attempt at bipartisanship, three former majority leaders of the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole, offered their solution today to the biggest obstacle to achieving health care reform -- a public option.

"While I feel very strongly that consumers should have the choice of a national, Medicare-like plan, my colleagues do not. . . But we were concerned that the ongoing health reform debate is beginning to show signs of fracture on the public plan issue, so in order to advance the process of developing bipartisan legislation and to move it forward, it's time to find consensus here," Daschle said.

"We've come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreements on one single issue," he said.

If there's no public option, what the hell is there to legislate?

I'm not being facetious, I'm really asking.  What other "reforms" are they seriously thinking will make a bit of difference?  I find the whole thing to be a farce -- if you're not talking about a public option, you're not seriously "reforming" squat, you're just picking out new color schemes for your already burned-down house.

Case in point: California has a law saying you can't raise health insurance premiums more than a certain percentage each year. So our insurance company, every year, "discontinues" our previous insurance plan, forcing us to choose a "new" one that's almost exactly the same, but with a higher premium. Since it's a new plan, after all, it doesn't count as raising rates on the old plan! A scam, yes, but one of the countless ways that health insurance companies skirt laws wherever possible in order to squeeze every ounce of profit from your relative levels of health or illness.

In the NBC poll, 76% of Americans wanted a public option to be made available. That's a mandate. For small business and the self employed, finding insurance is a nightmarish experience, and finding affordable insurance is simply impossible, for some. For large businesses, healthcare adds massive costs, representing a huge not-very-well-hidden tax on every aspect of labor.

The only major sources of opposition to a public option are the insurance companies, because they believe -- rightly -- that such an option would cut into their profits, and "free market" ideologues who simply believe that the government can't possibly do anything right if it doesn't involve paving roads or shooting guns.


Without a public option, I'd rather we stop the absurd talk of "reform" and recognize that any bill passed would mainly be for show, but if we were to seriously consider a bill without such an option, I think the one healthcare reform that would make a difference is to cancel govt health insurance for all senators, representatives, cabinet members, etc.

It's been proposed many times, but I do think it's long past time. Have the very senators and representatives who are against public health insurance spend the next few years trying to get healthcare on their own like the rest of us -- waiting months to see doctors, having to comb through lists of doctors too see which specialists you are "allowed" to see, spending countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting over individual bills -- I absolutely believe you'll have them socializing all of healthcare, no matter how much the goddamn lobbyists spend to woo them. For most of us in the ranks of the self-employed or -- heaven forfend -- the wrong age bracket, it's that infuriating.

Again, I point out -- 76% of Americans want this "public option." That's a mandate, as close as you can possibly get in red-blue-purple-whatever America. The fact that we're struggling to find 51 senators willing to do what the public demands, rather than what the insurance companies want, demonstrates how badly even three-quarters of America can be outnumbered by the interests of a single industry.

Of course the Republicans aren't going to go along. They have refused to go along with anything, ever, period, and consider that a badge of honor. Of course it's going to be difficult to get Democrats who are beholden to the insurance industry to buck their lobbyists -- but that doesn't mean they should easily be able to block what 76% of the public is demanding.

Nobody said this was going to be easy. So quit whining about "bipartisanship", quit wringing your hands over how dreadfully difficult it's going to be, and get on with it. Solving America's very large and very real health insurance crisis is more important, and even prominent Democrats are shrugging their shoulders in defeat before the first real shots have been fired.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:56 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your Arrow's Backward. It's Reform of the PEOPLE (11+ / 0-)

    not health care.

    That's what the right and the blue dog types are fighting to reform.

    The people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:57:59 AM PDT

    •  This is my line in the sand. (34+ / 0-)
      No public option (at the very LEAST), no more support for any Dem that votes it down.  This should be like the Pro-Life litmus test the Rethugs have.  No big tent here- you're either for the people or against.

      You cannot be against the Public Option (at the very LEAST) and be a good Democrat.  We will never have another oppoportunity for 20 years to get real reform.  This is it.  Now or never.

      We need the DINOs to fear us.  We need to make sure they know their life will be hell if they try to screw us again.

      In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

      by TampaCPA on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:09:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not even a "line in the sand" (9+ / 0-)

        It's beyond that, as this diary indicates. It's that which beyond you can't call anything health CARE reform; it's the point beyond which no problems can be solved and the existing  problems will most likely escalate until they consume us. I heard this on the radio yesterday as I was driving home from work and I was SO infuriated. First of all — Daschle and two has-been, out-of-the-loop Republicans, and they're being taken seriously WHY? Even worse, it was on NPR which reported with a straight face that the "public option" had been scored by the CBO and was too expensive. Isn't that the kind of "reporting" we get from Fox News?

        I don't agree with the now or never crap though; I think the situation is a conflagration and doing nothing  (which is what eliminating the public option is) will make it so much worse so fast that we'll be looking at redoing it in a year or two. But I don't want to see millions suffer in the meantime.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:18:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm going to have to change my sig (6+ / 0-)

          I don't care what Tom Daschle thinks.

          I don't care what Newt Gingrich thinks.

          by aztecraingod on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:25:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you don't vote (0+ / 0-)

            For a bill without a Public option or you fight against a public option you shouldn't get passed a Dem Primary. I don't mind blue dogs, I don't mind Conservadems but if you have a "D" next to your name YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN CORE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES. It's not only a democratic principle the facts, statistics, and surveys show we NEED A PUBLIC OPTION. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGG

            Between my shoulders is a genius. Between my legs is a penis. It seems I have to get both my minds right...

            by theone718 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:21:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's kind of like saying that rebuilding your (5+ / 0-)

          house after a fire is too expensive.

          But if you don't, where the hell do you live? You're going to have an expense either way, and you can either do it right and have an asset, or just shrug your shoulders and not do anything constructive, and then you have a liability.

          Our health care 'system' is a liability - for us, for every business that's here, for our international competitiveness. It's a drain on everything, and needs to be COMPLETELY restructured.

          Everything from the way hospitals are equipped and run to the way doctors are trained and employed needs to change.

        •  So, you don't want to hear the truth? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eloise

          If the truth is uncomfortable, NPR shouldn't report it?

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:46:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fuck NPR. They're (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenearth

            Fox, bought, paid for, and neutered. Check their list of corporate sponsors...

            •  Hyperbole much? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eloise

              I don't know if you realize this, but NPR is not supposed to be chanting slogans or supporting any side and the signal I get in my car suggests that they don't do this. Are they bland? Most of the time. Do they seem to whisper all the time? Definitely. But hardly are they a Fox News type news station.

              http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

              by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:21:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're right, of course. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard

                When NPR tells me about how genetically modified crops are going to save the world from hunger, and GM organisms are going to end disease forever, I know it has to be true, and that those things couldn't possibly be harmful. NPR said so. I know it has nothing to do with sponsorship by corporations like Archer Daniels Midland. NPR is like...Mom...

                •  Link to NPR saying these things? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eloise

                  They may report stories about the positives and negatives to these types of things, but I want a story where the NPR station and reporters are openly saying the things you say they say.

                  http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

                  by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:49:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've only ever heard them air the (0+ / 0-)

                    "positive" aspects of GMOs. One of the reasons I quit listening to NPR. I suppose one of the other reasons I quit them was their fascination with rap/hip-hop music from places like the Netherlands, coupled with their refusal to play the same genre of music from, say, Los Angeles or NYC, thus stripping it of any sociopolitical content that would be socially relevant in this country. There is a difference between neutral and neutered, and it has to do with ownership. NPR is owned by the public in name only.

              •  You must have missed the disgraceful (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard

                bias on display on Talk of the Nation the other day. Check here for the discussion. I heard the segment and was appalled by it. Wingnut talking points delivered by one center-right commentator and one far right commentator. Both backed up by the host when a caller rightfully called them on their false claims.

      •  I am with you (21+ / 0-)

        Not another dollar.  Not another vote.  Fuck them and horses they rode in on if they sell Americans down the river on healthcare reform.

        "It's been headed this way since the World began, when a vicious creature made the jump from Monkey to Man."--Elvis Costello

        by BigOkie on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It needs to be more than that. (11+ / 0-)

          It needs to be dollars to their primary opponents.  And on a large, organized--as in, netroots-wide--scale.

          How else can we hope to counteract tha stranglehold the well-funded insurasnce companies have on them?

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:30:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do what the Iranians are doing. Protest. n/t (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pundit, BigOkie, mikolo, oscarsmom

            Whatever the Repuglicans say, the opposite is the truth .

            by MariaWr on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:38:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  what's more dangerous to the American people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, oscarsmom

            a senior DINO firmly in the hands of the Fortune 1000 or a freshman batshit crazy Republican?

            It's a question a lot of us may have to think about in 2010 and 2012.

            However, I think that the problem of DINOs for ExtortionCare (mandated purchase of junk private sector health insurance) will solve itself if that's what we wind up with.

            Between

            • people who can't afford health insurance getting fined by the IRS as punishment
            • employees finding their employer-paid health care insurance taxed or terminated in favor of the government plan
            • low-income people forced to shift from tax-paid health care to junk insurance and discovering they can't afford to see the doctors anymore

            I think the next election after the Feds start punishing people for not having health care insurance will result in massive electoral losses for any incumbent stupid enough to vote for the new law regardless of party.

            This isn't even a question of whether or not progressives should support DINOs, with the government openly helping fuck over its citizens for the benefit of private insurers, incumbents can't be saved.

            The only reason why anything other than single payer is discussed is "Beltway Bubble" syndrome. Legislators get covered regardless, and most are individually wealthy. So they generally don't even know anyone personally who's suffering from the health care disaster.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:53:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I Agree With You (8+ / 0-)

        I wish that Senator Kennedy would choose Sanders instead of Senator Dodd to get the bill thru.  Senator Dodd is proving to be worthless in getting the HELP plan thru that Senator Kennedy wants.

        •  He's probably picking Dodd (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth, phonegery, Egalitare, FistJab

          to help Dodd out in 2010 -- polls have had him a "dead man walking" and maybe Teddy wants to give a chance for a political comeback. Short of being caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl, Sanders is pretty much set for life in VT.

          Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

          by Cali Scribe on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:47:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And I would like to hear one more roar from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          USHomeopath

          the Lion of the Senate.  I realize he's undergoing treatment, but a press release of sorts underscoring the importance of a public option would be nice.  In fact - if he says that it's not reform without, and he's battled all his life for reform, maybe that offsets Daschle's wimp-out.

          The most violent element in society is ignorance.

          by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:56:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Don't count on the Senate (6+ / 0-)

          Here's the dead eye of Ken Baker at Harper's on the Senate:

          More frustrating has been the torpor among Obama’s fellow Democrats. One might have assumed that the adrenaline rush of regaining power after decades of conservative hegemony, not to mention relief at surviving the depredations of the Bush years, or losing the vestigial tail of the white Southern branch of the party, would have liberated congressional Democrats to loose a burst of pent-up, imaginative liberal initiatives.

          Instead, we have seen a parade of aged satraps from vast, windy places stepping forward to tell us what is off the table. Every week, there is another Max Baucus of Montana, another Kent Conrad of North Dakota, another Ben Nelson of Nebraska, huffing and puffing and harrumphing that we had better forget about single-payer health care, a carbon tax, nationalizing the banks, funding for mass transit, closing tax loopholes for the rich. These are men with tiny constituencies who sat for decades in the Senate without doing or saying anything of note, who acquiesced shamelessly to the worst abuses of the Bush Administration and who come forward now to chide the president for not concentrating enough on reducing the budget deficit, or for "trying to do too much," as if he were as old and as indolent as they are.

          Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid—yet another small gray man from a great big space where the tumbleweeds blow—seems unwilling to make even a symbolic effort at party discipline. Within days of President Obama’s announcing his legislative agenda, the perpetually callow Indiana Senator Evan Bayh came forward to announce the formation of a breakaway caucus of fifteen "moderate" Democrats from the Midwest who sought to help the country make "the changes we need" but "make sure that they’re done in a practical way that will actually work"—a statement that was almost Zen-like in its perfect vacuousness.

          Daschle is another of those "aged satraps from vast, windy places" trying to kill reform.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:12:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Honestly, I am at the point where I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phonegery

          that Dodd is there to fuck it up - deliberately.

          •  Yes, along with Harry Reid. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            inclusiveheart

            We have to check out the motor voter laws.  I'd be willing to go to Nevada and vote against Reid if it were legal.  Montana wouldn't take too many "immigrants" to affect the voting outcome. North and South Dakota too.

            Justice, if not pursued, does not exist.

            by phonegery on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They'll never get a chance to "vote it down" (0+ / 0-)

        If a public option never makes it into the final bill.

        Personally, I feel this "public option or nothing" attitude is silly, as there are a number of ways of achieving universal health coverage without a public plan.  But, that attitude has seemingly taken on a life of its own lately and it looks like "nothing" is about all we'll get.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:45:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a tactical error by the diarist. (0+ / 0-)

          And others who want to make this battle all about the public option. The great thing about being a majority is the ability to pick the battlefield. The toughest thing about the majority is that your battlefields are necessarily limited because of the need to appease a lot of interest groups in the coalition.

          The sizable majority Democrats possess is double-edged. This is why we see some Republicans claiming they would rather have 30 true believers in the Senate rather than 60 ideologically varied members.

          The Public Option is a tough, tough sell for some people. It is going to cost a bunch of money that we clearly don't possess. It seems to be an odd place to pick a battlefield especially when there is broader support for less expensive ways to make healthcare much more affordable.

          http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

          by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:05:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes an alternative might be indentured servitude. (0+ / 0-)

          /s

          •  That attitude (0+ / 0-)

            will end up getting nothing done at all..

            "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

            by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:46:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh so sorry to offend. (4+ / 0-)

              It's difficult not to be just a little irritated that my premiums wen't up 400% in the span of four years forcing me to drop insurance coverage in order to be able to continue covering stupid, selfish stuff like food, housing and business expenses.

              •  eating is so overrated.. (0+ / 0-)

                I know.. I shouldn't be flip about this..  but the discussion has got to the point where it is beyond a search for real solutions and now it's just wild demands from all quarters..

                "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

                by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:27:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The public option is not a wild demand. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pundit, TampaCPA

                  The economies of scale and the elimination of the profit motive to provide access to healthcare are really the keys to the kingdom in terms of keeping healthcare costs from being effectively out of reach for a growing percentage of the economy.  Look at most African countries - their biggest problem on the health front comes from a lack of access to badic healthcare.  We could go there eventually and it will make the country weaker - not stronger.  It already is weakening us in the global marketplace.  Let's hope that flu pandemic doesn't really materialize at its full potential in the Fall because with 60 million people who don't have access to basic care, it will be far worse than it has to be and have a much greater impact on the economy as a result.  People who think that healthcare should only be for those who can pay full frieght are penny wise and pound foolish.

          •  Can you think of any other alternatives? (0+ / 0-)

            Is it really a public option or indentured servitude? That sounds like a logical fallacy I'm familiar with where two options are proposed as the only two options.

            But I'm sure you know there are other options.

            What if we could get strict regulation of insurance companies to eliminate cherry-picking, price controls for a insurance package affordable to all Americans, a guarantee for all children to be covered, competition across state lines, price controls on medicine, etc?

            Would that be okay without a public option? Or is it public option or bust?

            http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

            by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:56:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At the rate that the cost of health insurance (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TampaCPA, alizard

              and healthcare itself is growing, we'll be at 20% of GDP pretty soon.  My earnings aren't growing at the rate of heathcare costs - most people's earnings are contracting.  So I am not sure where that money is going to come from and with medical bankruptcies on the rise, I think it is fair to say that indentured servitude is already a reality for many people who have had the misfortune of having a catastrophic medical event for which they cannot pay and never really will be able to pay for.  We really shouldn't be studying ways of saving lives if all we are going to do when we save them is take them into indentured servitude.

        •  "public option or nothing"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson

          It was tried in MA. It's failed in its officially intended purpose of universal coverage (many are figuring the punitive fines are cheaper than junk insurance premiums) and is drowning the state government in a sea of red ink.

          It has succeeded in its real purpose, which is providing junk insurance vendors with a guaranteed customer base.

          Bad health care reform is worse than NO health care reform.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:56:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here, here... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, atg, Dixie Liberal

        I get tons of e-mail everyday from politicians, their PACs, Move-On, DNC, DSCC and DCCC.  If this doesn't get passed, I'm no long supporting any of those organizations.  Period.

        [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

        by RichM on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:52:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My Line in the Sand Was the FISA Vote Months Ago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard

        Obama promised as a candidate in the primaries before Hillary withdrew that he would vote against FISA. He did NOT. I therefore voted for Nader with one of those "Throw away your vote" actions. Some progressives have no "Lines in the sand". That's their choice. Think about it. Maher said Obama is no liberal & both parties are corporate owned. He's correct. If we can't even get a public option through now, our political system has surely been destroyed by MONEY! Two-party system my arse.

      •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

        This is what I've been arguing on this site as well as huffington. What you now have that passes as Democrats are slimy Republicans masquerading as Democrats. After this go around with Obama and the Democratic congress I have committed to never again vote for a Democrat. I'll vote Green or I'll sit it out.

    •  Thank you, Hunter! (17+ / 0-)

      Well said.

      When do all these amoral jerks go into the individual market?

      It's been proposed many times, but I do think it's long past time. Have the very senators and representatives who are against public health insurance spend the next few years trying to get healthcare on their own like the rest of us -- waiting months to see doctors, having to comb through lists of doctors too see which specialists you are "allowed" to see, spending countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting over individual bills -- I absolutely believe you'll have them socializing all of healthcare, no matter how much the goddamn lobbyists spend to woo them. For most of us in the ranks of the self-employed or -- heaven forfend -- the wrong age bracket, it's that infuriating.

    •  And to think, Daschle was almost head of HHS (21+ / 0-)

      thank God for transparency.  

      "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

      by patgdc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:17:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank goodness the Administration . . . (9+ / 0-)

      . . . has been keeping its powder dry, avoiding things like investigating war crimes, restoring the rule of law, and providing equal rights for all Americans, while it continues to work on corporate welfare for insurance companies and health care conglomerates.

      I'm sure our Fierce-Advocate-in-Chief is really digging in with those finely honed Congressional whipping skills of his, to make sure that any Democrat who votes agasint the public option understands that s/he will be primaried into oblivion.

      Yeah, as if.

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:27:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  without (10+ / 0-)

      without the public option, all this is , is a TRILLION dollar giveaway to the insurance companies.

      The same companies that would let you die if it meant they saved a few nickles.

      (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

      by dark daze on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:32:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Public Option is a con; wake up (0+ / 0-)

      Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

      by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you kidding? There's a lot of room for (5+ / 0-)

      reform.

      I believe that the "other" reforms are, in fact, necessary to make any kind of public option fly.

      Costs are out of control and not because care is getting better.

      If we aren't trying raise money for a public option, how about extending the tax break corporations get to everybody?

      How about getting big pharamceuticals the hell out of MCE?

      Eliminate "cherry-picking" by insurance companies, effectively turning the whole population into 1 giant risk pool?

      Get serious about reining in doctor (and patient) abuse in Medicare without reducing quality of care.

      Find a mechanism to impose standardized claim forms?

      I'm sure there are a million things that would demonstrate that better care than we get now can be delivered for less money.  An active government role in making things better would surely soften some hardened opposition (among voters, not among pharmas, etc) to an increased public role.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:37:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you put some serious constraints on (7+ / 0-)

        the insurers, such as requiring they pay out 80% of the premiums in claims, limiting the amount of profit they can make, requiring that they cover ANYBODY at any age and with any conditions - do that, and they'll SCREAM for a public option. They'll want one, they'll push for one, and once there is one, you could drop some of the restrictions.

        Then they could cherry pick to their heart's content, because everybody could go to the public option.

        It's one or the other - either the insurers agree to some strict regulations (including on how much money they can make), or they agree to a public option.

      •  There you go trying to make sense.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jfriday, phonegery, dinotrac

        What's wrong with you?  /snark

        It's amazing how the whole progressive blogdom has focused on the "public option" as their line in the sand and the only feature that will mean true reform.

        As you mentioned.. make one giant risk pool.  How?

        1. Eliminate state by state insurance laws.  Combine all health insurance companies under one set of tight federal laws.
        1. Mandate insurers must offer a basic health care package.  They can offer others, but the basic package must adhere to minimums and a feature set set forth by the Congress.
        1. Have the federal government take on the risk of all citizens beyond say $10k per year.  This will drop premiums for the basic health coverage to less than $200 per month per adult. (ok.. i'm pulling that number out of my ass, but it will be darn cheap.. you can buy catastrophic health insurance just about that cheap now)
        1. Subsidize clinics in drug stores like the ones popping up in CVS and Walgreens.. Primary care done cheaply and right in the communities!  The feds pay the co-pays so a visit to these are totally free of charges to people needing primary care.

        No.. there's nothing we can do without a public option.. I'm getting more than a little sick of hearing that myself..

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:02:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent post. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, Skeptical Bastard

        There are a lot of ways to provide much easier access and affordability for health coverage. The problem is few people hear about these because the Democrats are allowing the Republicans to bait-and-switch with this public option.

        http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

        by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:13:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe a good time for being independent... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Common Cents, Skeptical Bastard

          avoiding Dogma Day Afternoons, as it were.

          Here is a great opportunity for either party to step and earn points with the public by doing things that might not thrill the vested interests, but will be pretty popular with a lot of voters.

          It would be a shame to let a single issue -- even an important one -- derail the whole process.

          And it's not like they're mutually exclusive.  If Democrats really want a public option (or single payer) they will have to convince people that costs won't eat the budget.  Otherwise, they'll never sell it.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:34:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Public Option is not our only option. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac, Skeptical Bastard

            And it might well be that the country is not yet ready for that type of system.

            But even if the country isn't ready for that, the Democrats are in a prime position to push through cost controls and intense regulation of the health insurance industry which would make health insurance more affordable and accessible to all.

            It would be pretty easy to get all kids insured in new reform along with low-income mothers.

            As you pointed out it would be much less of a fight among the Dems and the country to regulate the insurance industry and eliminate cherry picking.

            We could offer more tax incentives for people buying their health care. We could implement price controls. We could cut costs in hospitals. etc etc.

            And nothing says that these reforms won't lead to a future public option once we master the system and it is proven to work.

            But to put all of our eggs in one basket on an issue this big is not intelligent or necessary.

            http://www.democraticfreedomcaucus.org/dfc-platform/

            by Common Cents on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:47:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I hosted one of Daschle's health care meetings (44+ / 0-)

    We wrote in our report that we wanted to abolish the health insurance industry and start over with a single payer health care plan.

    I compared notes with many other people, and found similar results.

    So what did Daschle (then Sibelius) do with all those reports we sent?

    And what part of "we want single payer" do they not understand?

    Watching Pete Sessions and reporting from the Taliban-controlled 32nd Congressional District of Texas.

    by CoolOnion on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:58:41 AM PDT

  •  The hell with 'bi-partisanship' (29+ / 0-)

    As if average , working Americans give a shit if the chuckleheads in DC get along with the "other side" or not ; give us the same health coverage you pampered stooges have , or get the hell out.........

  •  yep (23+ / 0-)

    "We've come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreements on one single issue," he said.

    What efforts?  Without a public option, there are no efforts.  What is left to fail?

    All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

    by fizziks on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:59:18 AM PDT

    •  Plenty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigOkie, greeseyparrot

      How about modified guaranteed issue underwriting, a.k.a, no discrimination for preexisting conditions?  How about comparative effectiveness research to base Medicare and Medicaid payments?  How about subsidies for the millions of Americans who aren't lucky enough to get health insurance through their employer?

      •  None of these options constitute reform. (5+ / 0-)

        Because if they did the health care corporations wouldn't allow it and they are in the drivers seat.  This congress is so corrupt it is useless.

        The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

        by rubine on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:23:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  all it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RichM, wsexson, USHomeopath

        all it is without the public option is a trillion dollar giveaway.

        I sure the hell wish the govt would require everyone in the US to use my product.  

        (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

        by dark daze on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:34:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whoa! (0+ / 0-)

          There's a difference between the government requiring someone to purchase insurance and requiring someone to purchase some random product.  When someone voluntarily chooses not to purchase health insurance, and then is hospitalized, you and I involuntarily bear the costs.  Very few products produce that kind of social good.

          •  what? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RichM, Brooke In Seattle

            Very few products produce that kind of social good.

            what in  the hell are you talking about?

            Health insurance is just a fucking product, nothing more.

            social good?  require americans to eat bananas for god sake, at least they are fairly priced, are healthy, and dont fuck people... Well.. you know what I mean.

            and you really think ANYONE voluntarily chooses not to purchase helathcare?  wtf, they simply are priced out be lying scammy mother fucker insurance companies.  

            Insurance companies= scum of the earth,  and yet now the government is actually requiring all americans have to deal with them?  Its a fucking giveaway.

            sorry charlie, all business LOVE to have the gove make it a requirement to use their product.  Usually takes a few leaders in your pocket, but the payoff is sweet.  Happens in all sorts of industry all the time.

            (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

            by dark daze on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:49:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "Required" or not (0+ / 0-)

            there will always be plenty of people who have slipped the system who will remain uninsured.  Just like the millions of people driving without valid driver licences.

            An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

            by Thomas Twinnings on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:59:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Subsidies... (0+ / 0-)

        Payed for by what?  Taxing my health benefits?  That's the way to maintain your electoral advantage.

        [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

        by RichM on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:03:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Newsflash! (0+ / 0-)

          Any universal health insurance plan involves major tax hikes on the middle class.  H.R. 676, for example, has an 8.7% increase in the payroll tax on employers and a 2.2% health care income tax.  There simply is no way around this.

  •  I could not agree more. (19+ / 0-)

    I don't care if this passes with 100 Senators or 51 Senators, along as it includes some real changes to our heath care system.

    Right now I'm most afraid that 'reform' will take all the momentum we've generated while accomplishing zip, thus acting as a net set back for actual health care reform.

    •  There will be change. (0+ / 0-)

      We are talking about passing a law prohibiting insurers from excluding preexisting conditions.  Do you think the House and Senate Republican leadership supports guaranteed issue underwriting?  Most are more like McCain, Bush, and Hutchison -- opposing any limits to medical underwriting.

      Do you think there will be zero relief for those who are not lucky enough to get health insurance through their employer?  I don't think so.

      •  That will just give them an excuse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        to jack up their premiums even higher.  It's a runaway train.  What is the use of health care if only the rich can use it.

        We needed to call an ambulance the other day.  But we can't afford it really unless our lives are in danger.  Ambulances are for the Marie Antoinettes of our culture, not the rest of us.  Same with most health care.  That's the reality.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:35:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  New York State has guaranteed issue. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brklyngrl

        It also has community rating.

        And guess what?  Our premiums are through the roof.  There's no way I, or most people in the state, could afford decent non-employer based insurance.

        Let me ask you something: if everyone in the country were offered the same insurance policy, and the premiums were enough to cover all pay outs (with no caps) plus administrative costs, what's the minimum monthly premium that a company would need to charge to stay solvent?  You can assume reasonable cost-cutting measures if you want.

        I'm just asking because my suspicion is that monthly premium would be make health insurance unaffordable to everyone but the wealthiest among us without a subsidy.  I don't see how health insurance is a viable business without government subsidies or significant underwriting.  It strikes me as being closer to flood insurance than to car insurance: it's a public good that the market won't provide on its own.

        And if that's the case, if universal health insurance is a market loser without government help, why are we keeping these companies in business?  How is anything short of a public option a sustainable solution to our problems in even the short term?

  •  How can I say this, politely? (40+ / 0-)

    F*ck Bipartisanship.

    I want health care reform, and soon.  Go sip each other's milkshake another time.

    I am not a Palin. I can speak for myself at all times.

    by vcthree on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:59:29 AM PDT

  •  If the Lobbyists are ruling the country (9+ / 0-)

    That needs to be exposed.

    "If the thorn of the rose is the thorn in your side Then you're better off dead if you haven't yet died."

    by whitewash on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:59:32 AM PDT

  •  Part of the problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinko Elephant, lams712, MCMetal

    I recently read that 90% of voters (excluding senior citizens) in the last election had employer-based health insurance. The uninsured simply don't vote.

    •  The newly unemployed are changing that pct. (4+ / 0-)

      If you lost your job, or you saw the handwriting on the wall and are happily self-employed, then you are struggling to find insurance now... and you damn well better believe that I still vote.

      And remember: If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own. - Scoop Nisker, the Last News Show

      by North Madison on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Employer-based ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      ... doesn't mean good, or even adequate. Your point doesn't explain anything.

    •  Employer based insurance sucks (4+ / 0-)

      mine costs my school district 17,000
      For co pays, drug co pays, drug denials, procedure denials.
      All for 17 grand.  And it's considered cadillac coverage.

      Get rid of insurance companies.

      Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

      by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:12:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  believe me... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Brooke In Seattle

      The uninsured vote! As well as the underinsured and the self-employed. Almost everyone I know falls into one of these categories and we all vote.

      •  I'm self-employed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, mmacdDE, Brooke In Seattle

        with crap insurance from a company that screwed over one of my self-employed friends, who is still deeply in debt, but I had no other choice because I was rejected by other company for a ridiculously minor condition that has been resolved and COBRA cost double our mortgage after my husband lost his job. Oh, and you'd better believe I vote.

        I almost think people with crap insurance might be the most pissed off of all because every month we pay for something knowing full well we could get screwed by "insurance company rules" should we ever get sick and we'd be just as SOL as if we'd never paid a dime, except thousand of dollars poorer.

        I have a friend who is a consumer attorney, who fights credit card companies, auto manufacturers etc. and SHE buys her own individual health insurance and she casually mentioned last night to me that she doesn't trust her insurance to be there should she need it. I said, "Great. And you're a consumer attorney. What does that say for those of us who aren't?"

    •  I think the figure is more like 70% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, Brooke In Seattle, rubine

      and many of those are unhappy. And this isn't about "covering" the uninsured — it's about affordable access to health care for everyone, including people who have "coverage" from their employer but still pay a fortune out of pocket, or get denied, or can't see a doctor for six months. And they vote. Also, I was uninsured as of last November 4 and you'd better believe I voted. So don't sneer condescendingly at the uninsured either. "Uninsured" doesn't mean "stupid and apathetic."

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh...hello? (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, you...Angry White Democrat?

      Yeah, it's me.  One of the uninsured.

      I voted.  Believe me, I voted.  I not only voted, I served as a judge in the last election.

      Might wanna...watch the generalizations there, kid.

      :-)

      I am not a Palin. I can speak for myself at all times.

      by vcthree on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "This is great news for John McCain"...... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinko Elephant, Losty, Nada Lemming

    .....

    sincerely,
    Michael Steele

    Even though in all seriousness it might be in the sense that Republicans DON'T want any real healthcare reform, so in a way they will get their wish.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:59:45 AM PDT

    •  Ah yes, John McCain (0+ / 0-)

      who's had govt funded, single payer, socialized medicine, totally comprehensive coverage since THE DAY HE WAS BORN. In a MILITARY hospital.

      He's the LAST person I'd listen to about health care reform. When it comes to medical care, he's lived in an alternate universe  his entire life.

  •  Sometimes you can renovate a house (19+ / 0-)

    and sometimes you're stuck with a tear-down.

    Daschle and the Republicans are ok with tacking on some new siding and maybe a paint job, when the problem is mold, decaying bones, and a cracked foundation.

    /metaphor

    When are we going to start acting like we won rather than cowering before a toothless, leaderless, extremist minority?

    Someone is wrong on the Internet! To the Kosmobile!

    by socratic on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:59:47 AM PDT

  •  Another article (8+ / 0-)

    hitting it out of the park.

    I haven't figured out where the 'reform' is without a public option.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:12 AM PDT

  •  Why yes (9+ / 0-)

    after all, don't we all understand that bi-partisanship is SO much more important than the health of millions of Americans.

    So the terrorists of Gitmo are stronger, faster, and better than the USDOJ? The Senate thinks so. My. How "American".

    by RElland on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:16 AM PDT

    •  if by bipartisanship... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RElland, scarlet slipper

      you mean the desire on both side of the aisle to continue to get paid off by insurance companies.

      The CEO's of said companies collected $14.9 billion in compensation over 5 years.

      what digby said

      And that's only the CEO's, not any of the board or other highly paid top people.

      "Torture is the tool of the lazy, the stupid, and the pseudo-tough...the greatest recruiting tool that the terrorists have." Maj Gen Paul Eaton

      by whitewidow on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:10:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's important is the stability and power (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scarlet slipper

      of Institutional Washington.

      The Imperial Throne (the Oval Office), the Greater and Lesser Nobles (Senators and Representatives) and their many eunuchs (the MSM, lobbyists, et al) are primarily interested in strengthening the Forbidden City and in jockeying for power within it.

      The fate of the Great Unwashed outside the gates matters very little, except when the Great Unwashed show up with torches and pitchforks and threaten to burn the place to the ground.

      That's the only time they're interested in conceding their own power or making compromises with us.

      "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

      by Pesto on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:11:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Better cancel Medicare and the VA while you're up (8+ / 0-)

    It is a sign of how little anyone is paying attention that we can have a 'serious' debate about government-organized health insurance without acknowledging that it's already in that business -- and the customers are remarkably happy.

    And remember: If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own. - Scoop Nisker, the Last News Show

    by North Madison on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:37 AM PDT

  •  Democrats failed on the Overton Window. (10+ / 0-)

    We should've really had Senators like Boxer and Sanders going hard for a national single-payer health system. Then, all the "moderates" could've rushed in with the "more reasonable" comprimise of a public health insurance program to work alongside private plans.

    Now that we missed that vital political window, it's going to be very hard to win, I'm afraid. We'll just have to keep plugging away. I'm still shocked Obama hasn't spent any capital getting the Senate Democrats in line. That bill needs to come out of committee with the public option in it. I hope he isn't fine to settle on blaming Congress for failing to deliver his promises.

    Gura slán an scéalaí.

    by surfbird007 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:38 AM PDT

  •  It's a good thing that (18+ / 0-)

    Daschle wasn't confirmed as HHS Secretary.

    'A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Apocalypse Please on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:39 AM PDT

    •  Why was he even nominated by the annointed one? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fabacube, jennylind

      Shouldn't that bother folks on dkos?  That this president nominated an insurance company waterboy for HHS (and Sebelius isn't much better, really).

      Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

      by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:16:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah.. (0+ / 0-)

        He's just paying back the people who came out and supported him early on.  I'm not naive about that.  Unfortunately, it's to be expected from all of our politicians.

        'A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by Apocalypse Please on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:32:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democracy is not bipartisanship (13+ / 0-)

    and this is a real test of whether or not our "democracy" can function to solve real problems any more.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:00:48 AM PDT

    •  Exactly so . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      westyny, givemhellHarryR

      Do you think the current Congress would have been able to pass the great civil rights legislation of the early 60s?

      Or enact Medicare? Or the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act or anything else of lasting significance.

      Our reps, especially Senators, are drowning in the day to day perks brought to them by lobbyists and trying to pretend that they actually matter.  

  •  Daschle's idiotic "logic" (19+ / 0-)

    Daschle used this same idiotic logic -- accomodate the GOP at all costs -- to support Bush's plan to invade Iraq.  He was useless as the Senate Democratic leader.

    Thanks Tom.  We don't need to hear any more from you. Go away.  

    •  hear hear!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Earth to Tom:  GO AWAY!!!

      Bush repealed Godwin's Law with a Signing Statement.

      by Mad Kossack on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:05:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Giving a sh*t what Tom thinks now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, Aquarius40

      is like giving a shit what Newt or Dick think now. They are nobody but one vote and I can walk out my door and find a dozen people who care more what my dog thinks than what these clowns think. Selling us down the river (for tickets to the best cocktail parties), they are.

      If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

      by Leslie H on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:08:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, yes, yes . . . (5+ / 0-)

    This is absolutely correct and I am going to get a letter together tonight and start faxing it every day to Obama and my two senators as well as Dodd and Baucus.

    Without the public option there is no way to control costs.

    Without the public option, there is no way to really control abusive practices of either insurers or providers (who all too often get a free ride in their own business dealings).

    Without the public option, there is no reform.  It's all wasted hot air.  Daschle is an idiot (as we have already deduced when it turned out he had a car and driver service 24/7 paid for by a contributor and didn't "know" that it wasn't taxable.)

  •  Then, why isn't Daily Kos joining (6+ / 0-)

    Stand with Dr. Dean team to get Senators and Reps on the record for a strong public option?

    There are thousands of people who read this site daily, including many people in Congress, we could make a huge difference.

  •  I'm afraid.... (6+ / 0-)

    ....that they damn well know they have the votes if they want to. It's just that their paymasters have said there will be no healthcare reform, so that is that. Can't make the paymasters unhappy. The only way around this is to put tremendous pressure on the Senate. It worked with Ben Nelson. We must all do our part.

  •  Yes but does 76% (9+ / 0-)

    of the for profit health care industry support the public option?

    Because you know it would be too partisan if the Democratic Party actually stood up for the people over corporate interests.

    "The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unit and asserting this imaginary `unity' against all others" Thomas Merton

    by Pinko Elephant on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02:01 AM PDT

  •  No tweeking around the edges (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinko Elephant, lams712, mdgarcia

    If they want popular support they're going to have to write legislation that will actually make a difference, otherwise, us the populace they need for popular support won't see any point in raising a fuss, calling, fighting, donating or quite possibly even showing up to vote for their weakkneed spineless asses next Nov.

    ... but that's just me ...

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02:05 AM PDT

  •  But a public option will cost (11+ / 0-)

    the healthcare industry 100,000...no, 500,000....no, 1.25 million jobs!

    I don't know where I got those numbers, but they SOUND good.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02:05 AM PDT

  •  more like repackaging. (3+ / 0-)

    slap a "new & improved!" sticker on what w have, maybe even "now with 30% more zest appeal!"

    "Michele Bachmann is like the demi glace of wingnuttia." - Chris Hayes, Countdown, 2/18/09

    by rasbobbo on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:02:49 AM PDT

  •  Just say NO! (3+ / 0-)

    Sane people don't "compromise" with insane people. Thus, either the Senate Dems are also batshit nuts, or they're sell-outs.

    It's either / or.

    Reform isn't reform without reform. Rearranging the deck chairs won't cut it.

    When you come to a fork in the road. Take it. - Yogi Berra

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:03:16 AM PDT

  •  We have a nice President (7+ / 0-)

    who seems pretty good at managing his Presidency. But color me underwhelmed at his boldness. This administration seems afraid to fight the good fight. Say what you like about Bush, but the guy went to the mat over even tiny things. Maybe gumption will make a comeback when Franken takes his seat.

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:03:33 AM PDT

    •  IMHO, this is the first real test of his mandate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batfish

      Unlike pretty much all other issues, he only gets one chance on this. Obama simply cannot back down on the public option.

      •  And he hasn't actually done anything yet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TenThousandThings

        because nothing has come to him for a signature.

        That's when we know where he stands. Right now, he's letting Congress hash it out and try to come up with something.

        But if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to sign it. And if he doesn't, my bet is there won't be the votes to override a veto.

        So it would be back to the drawing board for Congress.

        Maybe that's what Obama is pushing for. Maybe he's going to let them try it their way first, and if they screw it up, he'll put out what HE wants, the public will probably like it much better, and since it will be closer to the election the Congress had better go along - or they'll likely be out of a job soon.

        I can see that as a plan.

  •  Taibbi said it best about Daschle (15+ / 0-)

    "In Washington there whores and there are whores, and then there's Tom Daschle."

    Fuck him, fuck the Blue Dogs, fuck the insurance companies, and especially fuck the Republicans.

    "Torture is the tool of the lazy, the stupid, and the pseudo-tough...the greatest recruiting tool that the terrorists have." Maj Gen Paul Eaton

    by whitewidow on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:03:52 AM PDT

  •  I disagree, We will get a Reform Bill.. (10+ / 0-)

    The final Health Care Reform Bill:

    Article One:

    Eat Your Vegetables.

    Article Two:

    Walk 1/2 mile Every Day.

    Article Three:

    Don't Get Sick.

    Also Environmentally friendly, saves a LOT of paper..

  •  OMG (7+ / 0-)

    Fuck bipartisanship...gawd Daschle is such a fucking tool!

    UGH!  I couldn't even finish reading this because my monitor was in grave danger.

    Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

    by Sychotic1 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:04:25 AM PDT

  •  Come too far ... FOR WHAT? (5+ / 0-)

    gained so much momentum ... FOR WHAT???

    What the hell is the point if the legislation you write is so frakking weak it makes NO DIFFERENCE to people who have no health care insurance or people who's businesses are being strangled by the costs?

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:04:36 AM PDT

  •  One, most are rich and can 'buy' good care. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, lams712, JRandomPoster

    Two, the waiting and wading would be done by their do-people. They really are unreachable, but as a symbol I'd like to see their gold-plated coverage snatched away until and unless the people they 'represent' have healthcare just like they get.

    Have...senators and representatives who are against public health insurance spend the next few years trying to get healthcare on their own like the rest of us -- waiting months to see doctors, having to comb through lists of doctors...spending countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting over individual bills

    I believed, but I'm damn glad it is now reality.

    by alasmoses on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:04:56 AM PDT

    •  Even the rich don't have it easy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      I have an extremely wealthy friend who is lucky enough that she no longer has to work. When her COBRA expired, she had to buy individual insurance... and finally arranged for a plan. The first month she had the insurance, she dislocated her shoulder. She sat for 12 hours in an ER before they could get to her, and by then the muscles were so stiff that fixing it was much harder than it should have been, resulting in much more pain and suffering than was necessary.

      And a month later, she got a letter from the insurance company denying payment, because her dislocated shoulder obviously was a preexisting condition.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:08:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Said it before, saying it again: (6+ / 0-)

    "We've come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreements on one single issue,"

    No, it's the only issue.  Everything else is just fluff or methods to funnel more money into the hwealth insurance industry.

    And thus, without a public option, it's fail anyway.

    They tortured to save lies, not lives.

    by JRandomPoster on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:05:08 AM PDT

  •  What's there to legislate? (0+ / 0-)
    1. Requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions (modified guaranteed issue underwriting)
    2. Subsidies for millions of Americans who currently don't get health insurance through their employer to receive health insurance
    3. Comparative effectiveness research in Medicare and Medicaid to reduce the growth of those entitlements

    There are plenty of items besides the public option for universal health insurance.

    We campaigned for this President because we believed he would be a transformational President for a fairer and just society.  Any form of universal health insurance is transformational; it changes the relationship between citizens and their government.  If done correctly, it will change the country for the better.

    •  It doesn't do any good to lower costs on (6+ / 0-)

      insurance, if the insurers have no intention of paying claims.  There needs to be regulatory agency set-up to resolve claim denials. The agency would need the authority to impose fines and damages to the member they denied service on. And there should be a chance that insurance companies could lose the right to do business, if they act unethically. And criminal charges needs to be an option. The insurance companies are not honoring the insurance contract and know that people don't have the money or time to fight them in court.

      There also needs to be other rules put in place:

      1. A cap on executive salaries
      1. A minimum % of policy premium to pay claims
      1. In-Network providers are locked in for entire policy period. None of this cancelling providers mid-term and screwing policy holders.
    •  Without a public option, how will be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      it be universal?  Please explain?

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:23:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  See the Wyden bill. (0+ / 0-)

        The bill requires all Americans to purchase health insurance, forbids insurance companies from excluding pre-existing conditions, and replaces the employer-provided health insurance tax credit with a credit for all Americans to purchase health insurance on state exchange markets, which allows all Americans to have health insurance independent of their job.

        •  So it's a voucher system (0+ / 0-)

          I could go along with that.

          But there have to be some real regulations, with serious teeth, on the insurance companies.

        •  Mandates that we buy insurance (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jfriday, snazzzybird, jennylind

          are just a giveaway to the insurance companies, and they don't guarantee that anyone will get health care.

          Even if it's not tied to your job, how are you supposed to pay for it if you don't HAVE a job but don't qualify for a state program? Yes, there are people out there like that.

          Likewise, I'd like to see just how much is going to be subsidized and to what extent. Will it be like SCHIP, in which people must still pay an insurance company? Is there a strict dollar cutoff based on salary? Is there an assets test? Does it cover tests and co-pays and deductibles or do you just get your mandated premiums paid but no access to coverage if you can't pay for extras? What about chronic conditions that still don't qualify you for Medicaid (such as diabetes testing supplies)? If your situation suddenly changes (lose a job, death of breadwinner/insured), will the government cover you, or will they do like they do now for government programs and base it on your previous year's income tax return? You could have been doing fine last week, but if something goes wrong in your life...oops, we can't help you until NEXT time you file your taxes.

          Any kind of tax credit scam needs to be easy enough for people to figure out how to take the credit, not some complicated extra form full of qualifying information.

          And I still don't see how you can force people to spend money that they just don't have. What are we going to do, punish them? Great. More wonderful reform making it illegal to be poor.

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:44:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't want any republican votes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennylind

        None of them voted for medicare either.

        Screw them. When this passes their party will be history and they know it. Their only plan is to destroy this bill.

        This will improve everyone's life. That is why they hate it.

        It's simple-

        Stand up for the voters not the lobbyists.

  •  Damn Straight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, ctsteve, lams712

    I was willing to put off the battle for  Single Payer.

    But not this.

    If we don't get a public option, then its time we compel our party to believe what they obviously don't of their own accord.

  •  Shocking! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, drpmeade

    I am shocked by Daschle. Is he on the AMA payroll? Sounds like the voice of private insurance speaking through him. Shame on him!
      I am very strongly of the persuasion that the upcoming government medical insurance should be 100% one payer and that pay source should be the U. S. government. Profit-taking has damned near ruined American medicine -- we have only to look at Canada and Europe to see how viable the fully public option is. There is really NO argument; the less private involvement the better.
       Obama is smart enough to know that; so, we'll see what he can do. As for Daschle -- what a whore!!  I mean it!!  We are damn lucky he is not in the cabined. He is one discredited little politician -- Kaput!!!! Craven little bastard!

  •  Amen. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, ctsteve, wsexson

    The problem is not lack of regulation, it's lack of public accountability.

    Insurance companies are not accountable to anyone but themselves.  They can do pretty much whatever they want to acheive that sweet spot of profitability and to hell with whoever they have to cut to get there.

    Atrios said it best (yesterday) that you never realize that your insurance sucks, until you really  need it and they're not there.  We need an option that is always going to be there because they don't have to make it profitable.

    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:07:03 AM PDT

  •  The public option is NOT reform (0+ / 0-)

    Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

    by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:07:24 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Hunter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eryk, jennylind

    I'm starting to go crazy with this. I can't believe how weakly they are defending the public option. Oh wait, yes I can believe it, and that's just sad.

    "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:07:30 AM PDT

  •  Folks, you can forget any significant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, jennylind

    health reform in our lifetime and probably in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. Until you have people marching through the streets, as they are in Iran, none of our politicians are going to "get it".

    The time passed for single payor after WW II. The US failed, the rest of the civilized world enacted some form, even though two and three tiered systems do exist.

    Until you can get the politicians out of the back pockets of every interested party lobbying against significant health care reform this is an exercise in futility.

  •  right on (0+ / 0-)

    It appears we'll be back in the future demanding actual universal health insurance.

    The problem isn't public opinion, or Republicans, or the economy, or the debt, or anything else. The problem is the Democratic leadership. They prefer listening to a few constituents over the rest of us.

    Eventually that will change. It's just unfortunate more people have to die and more dollars have to be wasted in the meantime.

  •  Curious what the polling for public option would (0+ / 0-)

    be in each of the Blue Dog Dem's specific states or districts.  I fully agree that the health insurance and big pharma industries have captured our Congress (including former prominent Senators, apparently), I just wonder if the national polling is reflective of strong support in say, Louisiana, where an individual Dem like Landrieu may find it risky.

    Not excusing Dems betraying this necessary reform, just curious if it's more than industry lobby to blame.

    y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

    by gatorbot on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:08:21 AM PDT

  •  No Healthcare for Govt offic without reform! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, jennylind

    It should be that simple. If our government officials wont give us the healthcare most Americans want, then they can not have the same healthcare that we dont have access to.

  •  They work for us! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird

    "It's been proposed many times, but I do think it's long past time. Have the very senators and representatives who are against public health insurance spend the next few years trying to get healthcare on their own like the rest of us -- waiting months to see doctors, having to comb through lists of doctors too see which specialists you are "allowed" to see, spending countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting over individual bills -- I absolutely believe you'll have them socializing all of healthcare, no matter how much the goddamn lobbyists spend to woo them. For most of us in the ranks of the self-employed or -- heaven forfend -- the wrong age bracket, it's that infuriating."

    This portion of the article says it best. This should include any form of insurance provided by the people including VA benefits.

  •  Daschle has become a neutered joke (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, Murdershewrote

    After what the Republicans did to him in South Dakota.  After what the Republicans did to him though he stood with the Presidetn 100 percent after 9/11?  And yet here is he is consorting with dinosaurs - like Dole and Baker - who have only looked after the interests of the rich in Washington to help derail what an elected Democratic government - White House, Sentat and House - promised the voters in November?  Woe is me is on helathcare Ralph Nader is proved right.

  •  Translated Tom Daschle (0+ / 0-)

    "We've come too far and gained too much momentum for our efforts to fail over disagreements whether to create a real solution to the problem or not."

  •  R E C O N C I L I A T I O N (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb6, mdmslle, jdsnebraska

    I'd love to see polling asking Americans if they want real health care reform with 51 votes with not a single GOPosaur (Snowe is on board with the public option, is she not?) or a limp-dicked bipartisan blue dog approved bill. I'll bet my left nut they couldn't give a shit about bipartisanship.

    Senate Dems and Blue Dogs are out of excuses, with another Dem Al Franken in the senate, the votes are there to pass anything short of single payer. The public option is a compromise. Anything short of that is betrayal.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

  •  A friend of mine just posted this on Facebook (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Cali Scribe, snazzzybird

    just bought individual health insurance...$460 a month! So much for eating!

    The Democrats need to grow a pair.

  •  Public option is supposed to be the ... (10+ / 0-)

    ...compromise in place of single payer. And now these guys want to compromise the compromise.

    Righteous, Hunter and right on.

    Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:10:56 AM PDT

    •  Public option leaves the evil system in place (0+ / 0-)

      Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

      by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:20:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At what point do we march on DC? (0+ / 0-)

      Are we going to let this happen?

      Or can we get a million people + to descend on the Capitol and show these people they can't tell us what to do?

      The shear arrogance of the elected officials right now has me extremely upset.

      ... the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

      by Tirge Caps on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:35:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd prefer a march on local offices of ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, Tirge Caps

        ...the recalcitrant Senators. I prefer 5 million e-mails. Followed by 5 million phone calls. Then, if there is still no positive response, a march, perhaps. Remember how much energy and organization such a march takes - and remember that it costs money that a lot of people don't have to get to Washington. We need to find alternative ways to make our voices heard.

        (I am not saying we should never march on Washington.)

        Some people would be better off not reading diaries they comment on, since they already have all the answers.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:39:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Notice how they're all... (0+ / 0-)

    coming out of the woodwork to scuttle what is clearly the will of majority of the people.

    One might almost assume that whoever or whatever is pulling Daschle's strings has issued a command for Tom to hop on the bipartisan bandwagon.  Lest he forget, he was run out of office by the very people he's now cozying up to.

    Well, it beats the alternative.

    by lalo456987 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:11:30 AM PDT

  •  Your diary needs a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdgarcia

    "forward this story to Barack Obama" button.

  •  Don't worry (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhp, ctsteve, FutureNow, mdgarcia, tcandew

    This will all work out.  

    Just like:
    torture
    war crimes
    FISA amendments
    DOMA
    TARP
    GM, Chrysler
    etc.

    It's only been five months!  Get a grip!  We only have 59 votes!  Then, when we have 60, we'll only have the ones who are not blue dogs!  Then when we vote the blue dogs out, we'll only have the 60 votes we need, but the republicans might cry if we do what we said we were going to do.    If you only wait until 2060, then everything will be ok!  

    "Honestly, I think we should trust our president in everything he does." - Britney Spears in Fahrenheit 911

    by Nada Lemming on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:12:01 AM PDT

  •  76% (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, Tirge Caps, TomP, PorridgeGun

    There is no clearer example of who Congress truly represents.

    Why is there a debate over something the public wants at a 76% rate?

    This is why.

  •  Only 3 possibilities: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, ctsteve, greenearth, PorridgeGun
    1. They don't give a sh!t or
    1. They are against us..."we the people"
    1. They are incompetent

    Whatever the case, ALL of these politicians who FAIL to support We The People while forever kissing the asses of Them the Plutocrats...have to go.

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:12:22 AM PDT

    •  4. They know they'll win re-election. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Feinstein, Feingold, Leahy, Harkin, Schumer, Kerry will all win re-election with ease. So, why should they care about actually doing anything in the Senate.

      •  Not Chris Dodd. (0+ / 0-)

        It seems to me Dodd needs proper healthcare (with the public option) to pass. He's Ted Kennedy's point man. Getting this done will bump his poll numbers considerably.

        Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

        by PorridgeGun on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:26:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dodd has done more to fuck-up health care reform (0+ / 0-)

          than any republican. He's the one that allowed the CBO to grade Kennedy's 1/2 written plan. CBO's grade was obviously horrid and gave the Republicans a talking point against reform.

          Now, Dodd doesn't even think he'll be able to meet the 4deadline, which will push back the vote and give the MSM and the Republicans another talking point.

          At this point, I'd be happy if Dodd would sit in the corner with the other liberal Democratic Sentors and do nothing.

      •  Same as #1... (0+ / 0-)

        When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

        by Rayk on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:15:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tom Daschle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdgarcia

    is willing to let us die miserably in order to maintain an empty, codependent bipartisanship.

    And, also, to avoid inconveniencing the insurance industry with any harm to their all-important profits.

    Are you on the Wreck List? Horde on Garrosh.

    by Moody Loner on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:13:03 AM PDT

  •  If there's no public option (7+ / 0-)

    The Democratic Party is going to collapse in the 2010 election. There will be no motivation from the grassroots.

    I hope their lobbyist money can help them then.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

    by arcticshadow on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:13:03 AM PDT

  •  Public Option Purists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink
    I happen to be one.  And I also happened to be a purist about certain deal breakers like No Tel Com Immunity, and not taking Bush Impeachment off the table, and a speedy overturn of DOMA and more.

    I remember being called a "purist" as though I were some low form of bathroom soap scum that was a necessary evil of taking a bath.

    And now I see many of those same ranks ... many of those same NAMES ... now openly demanding that it's Public Option or bush.  Some of the same names that tut tutted the gay community about DODT and Gay Marriage, patting us on the head, telling us what a really good quality patience is and butt-whopping us on our way.

    The hypocrisy makes me sick.  But I still stand in line with them to demand that Public Insurance be a part of the deal.

    And if it's not, Democrats and President Obama should suffer political damage.

    You can disagree.  But if you call me a "purist" you can guess what I will tell you to do.  And it might require a duplicate of yourself or contortive talents to get it done.

  •  Propose an Amendment to whatever bill comes up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, The Creator

    This amendment will state that "Seeing as the private insurance market provides superior protection for health care, and seeing as how members of the HOuse of Representatives and the Senate are members of the public, and seeing as how they deserve the highest quality health care available.all members of the U.S. House of Representatives will be required to purchase their own health insurance from private insurance companies once this Act takes place.   There will be a ninety day waiting period for members to be approved for coverage from their new private insurers, during which time they will be uninsured. Members of the Congress will not be permitted to arrange any special deals with insurance providers for their insurance coverage and shall be required by law to pay the same rates as are available to the general public.  Also, seeing as how Medicare is an inefficient and bloated Federal bureaucracy, members of Congress who are age-eligible for Medicare coverage shall forfeit their eligibility for this public health coverage for the duration of their tenure in office."

    I would REALLY like to see something like this proposed as an amendment on the FLOOR during the debate over whatever bullshit bill comes up, just so we will have every member of Congress on record as voting to PROTECT their own socialized medical coverage.

    Bush repealed Godwin's Law with a Signing Statement.

    by Mad Kossack on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:13:39 AM PDT

  •  Can I just say that I am so f*cking pissed off (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, The Creator

    right now I can hardly think well enough to type. ... DAMN THEIR SLIMEY HIDES!!!! Sell outs!

    What do these Democrats think they won their f*cking elections to do... make nicey nice with the Rs that had been taking our whole country into the abyss for 12 years ... the same Rs we busted our assses to beat last year? F*ckers. All of 'em.

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:13:59 AM PDT

  •  Is this really a surprise? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, formernadervoter, The Creator

    People on here are bitching about LGBT issues, torture, Bush, Cheney and other extraneous issues, while dem senators and wingnuts were secretly killing healthcare reform and now y'all are surprised that this is happening, lol? The left will never learn, get your priorities straight

    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RinaX

      This bill has been in the works for months, while the left blogsphere ignored that not one liberal Senator has completed a full public option bill. We've ignored for months, while our liberal Senators have done nothing on health care.  Why should the liberal Senators do anything though, we aren't asking them to. We bitch at conservative Democrats for sticking to their principles, but refuse to demand that our liberal Senators do the same.

    •  So true. (0+ / 0-)

      You don't win wars without winning the big battles.  Attending to side skirmishes loses wars.

      This healthcare reform, and the loosening of the iron grip of K Street, is FUCKING D DAY, people.

      The Republican Sociopath Party

      by The Creator on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:23:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only Giving to DFA from Here On Out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, The Creator

    DNC and the congressional groups don't get anything until I see real action.  It's bad enough I'll need to save extra money if I ever get married, but now not even basic progressive staples are adhered to?!  Might as well stuff money in the mattress.  It's back to that.

  •  the reasons are simple and it aint lobbyists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    the reason they dont want to do this is because this will require WORK, something NONE of them have done since hitting the ground of Capitol Hill.

    A Reform Bill will require them to actually THINK and do some freaking WORK. So they say, "oh its too hard."

    I mean, i get it, i have to face working on shit i dont want to do everyday. and this health care stuff IS indeed hard...you have to try to think through different scenarios and situations that could effect people and businesses...its WORK and they don't want to WORK.

    its that fucking simple.

  •  The failure of real health care reform, (5+ / 0-)

    which seems more and more likely, is the failure of leadership.

    Few are willing to see that, but health care reform will define this presidency.  If it is all window dressing and no real reform, than get used to it.

    So far Obama has endorsed the public option.  He is either unwilling or unable to get 51 Dem senators.

    And the failure will also be shared by the Dem senators.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by TomP on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:15:32 AM PDT

    •  It will be the 1990's all over again ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, TomP, The Creator

      New President and heading toward the same result.  there's only one reason - too many Democratic Senators are in the pocket of tyhe insurance lobby.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:19:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he doesn't veto a bill with no public option (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, TomP

      then Obama will own it just as surely as these spineless pieces of shit in the senate.

      And I don't see him vetoing, do you?

      "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

      by heart of a quince on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:19:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, come on. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seeds, RinaX

      Obama is going to take all the blame from the MSM and the left blogsphere on everything, that is standard operating procedure. It, as usual, doesn't paint the full picture though.

      Obama has been working on health care reform. He's given speeches; lobbied the major players; held town halls and is doing a television special focusing on health care.  His administration has been on the media weekly talking about how important reform is.

      The liberal Senators that everyone LOVES here so much and can do no wrong, have done nothing on health care. Durbin, Leahy, Feingold, Boxer, Harkin have all been sitting around twiddling their thumbs while Obama tries to drum up public support for reform and conservative Democrats write the legislation in the Senate. The liberal Senators signed a letter to Obama. That's it. Their entire contribution, except for Kennedy completing 1/2 a plan and Dodd letting the CBO grade that plan. So, I guess you could argue, that they signed a letter and gave the Republicans a talking point due to not handling the CBO correctly.  

      •  You always use (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink

        strawmen. This time it's the big, bad netroots.  You know, the ones that were 90% for Obama agaisnt Clinton.    

        Interesting that you attack "liberals."  Anything to defend "your personal Obama," which is far different from the real President.

        Reality is tough,  Better stay with fanstasy and yoru projection into Barack Obama.

        They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

        by TomP on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:34:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about responding to my comment, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seeds

          instead of attacking me? I guess it is my own fault for responding to you. You are always nasty to me. It's a waste of time dealing with you and I won't do it after this.

          What have any of the liberal Senators done on health care outside of Kennedy, who actually caused damage to us by only writing 1/2 a bill?

          And I never said that Obama was blame free. I said blaming him does not paint the full picture. There is plenty of blame to go around. But, you are more interested in attacking Obama, than in looking at the full picture.

  •  Tom Daschle was voted out for a reason. (4+ / 0-)

    And now he's showing everyone who ever wondered, exactly why.

    Isn't it amazing how a lot of our Democratic "leaders" seem more concerned about their corporate constituents more than the actual citizens that they expect to vote for them?

    "Give me a water board, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." -Jesse Ventura

    by Beelzebud on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:15:46 AM PDT

  •  Why are all Democrat majority leaders pathetic? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennylind, The Creator

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

    by arcticshadow on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:16:06 AM PDT

    •  They're not. (0+ / 0-)

      The scary thing is, many of them really believe the bullshit they espouse.  After all, most Senators are mere extensions of the businesses who funded their election victory.
      Sure there's a few exceptions: Sanders, Feingold, Brown, Harkin...Christ, I can't think of any more.

      Obama used to be for single payer before he came out against it.

      by formernadervoter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:25:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because the Democrats, (0+ / 0-)

      instead of thinning the weak from the herd, try to promote them to Alpha Male.

      The Republican Sociopath Party

      by The Creator on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:25:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed! (0+ / 0-)

    Withour a public option we are likely to end up with yet another HMO like scam.  This time called "co-opts".  There will be minor improvement but we'll be right back here arguing about unaffordable health care 8, 12, 16 years from now.

    How about some real change?

    by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:16:42 AM PDT

  •  If there isn't a public option, we should (5+ / 0-)

    work to kill the health care bill.  A bad 'reform' effort is worse than no reform at all!

    Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

    by jumpjet on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:17:06 AM PDT

  •  What Bill Maher said. (0+ / 0-)

    Bill said a lot in this piece, but some of it was on Healthcare, and it should be seen again and heard by all.

    It's time for a Progressive Party.

    by mdgarcia on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:17:18 AM PDT

  •  I knew this was going to happen. (4+ / 0-)

    The congress is so dominated by corporations that nothing progressive can pass, regardless of how many calls, emails, letters, etc. that are sent.  It doesn't matter.  They KNOW that the public wants a real Universal Health Care system, but they simply refuse to give it to us because of the money that they are given for elections as well as investments that prominent congressman have made in health care corporations.  The stink of corruption rises ever higher.

    We must have electoral and lobby reform.  We have too.  Otherwise we've lost our democracy.

    The ekpyrotic theory hypothesizes that the origin of the observable universe occurred when two parallel branes collided.

    by rubine on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:19:26 AM PDT

    •  Get rid of the plutocrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubine

      I see election reform as the main issue.  Now how do you get the plutocrats to vote for that?  They like their little corrupt plutocracy!  

      Maybe it really is time to convene a constitutional convention as our government has failed us.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:26:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm thinking of starting an insurance company. (0+ / 0-)

    Here's the business plan.

    I'll start out by insuring lower risk people so I can establish a healthy stream of money.  As the coffers grow, I will offer insurance to higher and higher risks.  Eventually preexisting conditions will be phased out as the risk is spread over a massive pool.  The company will be non-profit, non-publicly traded and will be obsessive about controlling administrative costs.  There will be no bullshit recission or any of that bullshit from Sicko.  Doctor orders it, we pay for it.

    Eventually, say 10 or 15 years, the company will be a defacto public option, and the government can purchase it as it obtains monopoly status.

    The Republican Sociopath Party

    by The Creator on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:19:36 AM PDT

  •  What a sell-out loser. I wonder, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    do dems drop trou and bend over when they're capitulating to the MINORITY repubics?

    Show me a $20.00 hooker on a corner and I'll show you someone with more integrity, decency, and ethics than the entire Senate and House cubed.

  •  Do these dipshits read the polls? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennylind, The Creator

    Over 70% support having the choice of the public option. Apparently Obama doesn't even have to campaign for it or educate the public about the advantages to having it. Presumably Obama and his advisers, even Rahm and Axelrod, aren't complete morons. Putting pressure on wavering Dems to support a strong public option has huge upside electorally. Is it just me, or is it a smart political PR move by going to the mat and passing proper healthcare reform without a single GOPosaur vote? Afterall it's a Democratic issue, like Social Security. it's their job to lead on this.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:20:55 AM PDT

  •  We already have a "Public Option!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TenThousandThings

    A model for how this would work already exists in workers' compensation insurance, where 23 states have competitive "public option" funds whose main role is to expand availability of coverage, stabilize rates, and deal with a "residual market" (those risks that private insurers don't want to touch).

    There are some significant differences between workers' compensation and basic health care; but in general, the "public option" system allows all employers the ability to get coverage, while competing with private insurers in a new state of market equilibrium that tries to keep insurance rates reasonably affordable.  

    I would not be surprised if Dick Cheney loves International House of Pancakes!

    by seenos on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21:18 AM PDT

  •  In all seriousness (3+ / 0-)

    If the Dems can't get it together to pass real reform with 76% approval, WHAT THE FUCK GOOD ARE THEY?

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21:57 AM PDT

  •  no public option (0+ / 0-)

    I normally hate statements like the one I am about to make but -

    If "health-care reform" does not have a public option, why would any progressive vote it?  What does it offer that progressives want?

    I also had a though about the proposed trigger -

    How about we give them a 15 year trigger for the public option but tie it when they ruined the previous chance - 1993?  Fifteen years from 1993 is 2008.  I wasn't old enough in '93 to remember but I would bet that a lot of promises were thrown out about how the insurance companies would fix health care on their own and didn't need the government involved.  And they didn't do squat except make more money and cut more coverage.  

    Go on Charlie Brown keep on trusting them. I'm sure Lucy isn't going to pull the football this time!

    Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

    by Liberal Elite on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:23:28 AM PDT

  •  Delete my F'in Tom Daschle Kos! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    condorcet, The Creator
  •  this reminds me of welfare reform. (2+ / 0-)

    Back in '96, the Dems bent over and took it up the whazoo, called it "reform for the working poor," and created problems that, I have argued, contributes to the subsequent shambles we find ourselves in now (those 5 year lifetimes limits started materializing and poof! the economy goes to shit).

    I voted for Obama because he said he was going to do what he said he was going to do- and while I find the "honeymoon is over" rhetoric that is being pushed by cable media this week annoying as hell (could they be more desperate in their attempts to avoid talking about Iran?), I'm continuing to hold on to hope that he won't pull a Clinton and come to the great "compromise" of the century (The Personal Responsibility Act being that of the last century) and leave us all to, basically, die in the streets.  

    "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

    by patgdc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:24:51 AM PDT

  •  Would someone please explain to me (7+ / 0-)

    why we worked our asses off and gave money until it hurt over the last few years so we could get majorities in both houses and one of ours in the White House. It's looking like all we're getting is the same old shit on a different plate.

    There is no real leadership in the Democratic "leadership."

    I'm damned tired of getting rolled.

  •  Real Reform (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    Real reform has the public option as a primary component.

    This is insane. We manage to spend more money for less effective care than the rest of the developed world and we can 't manage to do more than tread water for $1.6 trillion dollars?!?

    Do we score wars when we fund them?

    Why is insuring the American people any less important?

    I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

    by Sharon on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:25:17 AM PDT

  •  Who needs a Public Option? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want it

    •  Good. You don't have to take it. That's what... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctsteve, jennylind

      .
      . . . the word "option" means.  I know that's tough for Fox News Watchers to wrap their tiny little brains around, but keep trying.

       bg
      __________________

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  again, it's all about you isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, maybe none of us want it for ourselves either, but the difference is that we recognize that it would be beneficial to OTHERS.  Get it?  It's not about US!

      "The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God's vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth." B Obama

      by patgdc on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:40:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, why have a health care system (0+ / 0-)

      better than Britain, France, Australia, etc.
      I mean, we're America right? We're supposed to be the best. And yet we have the worst health care in the industrialized world.
      We can do better. We can have a public option that covers everyone.
      But you have to believe in the government being of, by and for the People.
      What is it you don't get about the health care crisis? Or are you a millionaire?

      Electing conservatives is like hiring a carpenter who thinks hammers are evil.

      by MA Liberal on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:37:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hate these ex "leaders" of the Senate poking (3+ / 0-)

    their noses into this. We can't even contact them and give them a piece of our minds. At least with our current "leadership" we have a phone number to reach their staff.

  •  w/o a Public Option, it's caving to the Rapacious (4+ / 0-)

    .
      Right and Insurance Robber Barons.  It's also a betrayal of the American people.

      bg
    _________

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:27:14 AM PDT

  •  stock market (0+ / 0-)

    Notice that health care thieves are doing very well on Wall St this week--guess the market figures the people have lost.

  •  While failure is not an option, we've certainly (0+ / 0-)

    managed to find a way to get there in a very straight, bi-partisan line.

    Bravo...Let's hear it for the big warm fuzzy moment for the insurance companies.   Screw the majoirty public opinion.  Damn the poor and unfortuante (they probably think you deserve your misforutnes anyways).

    Thank you, "out-of-office-well-to-do" blowhards.

    This must not happen.

    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." ~ Albert Einstein

    by LamontCranston on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:27:19 AM PDT

  •  More and more it is becoming VERY clear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, Areopagitica

    we are no more participating in a democracy than the Iranians.  Seriously, public approval for the Public Option is 73%.  But, Congress says yeah, no that is going to have to be scrapped (I know Dachel is not part of Congress, but he is still a playah).

    We do not have a democracy we have a corporate run state who will make room for theocrats if necessary.

    •  We live in a plutocracy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Areopagitica

      Iranians live in a theocracy; we live in a pltocracy.  Money is "God" in our society.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:30:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And not only that, but (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats were elected in dominant numbers, including at the top of state executive positions, promising to give Health Care a public face.

      Now, we find out they were just posturing, posing, pandering, and prevaricating. The Four P's in a pod.

      Time is up. There is another election coming, and 500K Americans lost their health insurance last month alone, since 375L lost their jobs.

      At half a million a month, it doesn't take higher math to see what will happen in the fall of 2010 to the current House and Senate Democrats.  

      Replace the current Democrats with real Democrats and try again in 2010. If this alleged Health Plan goes through with no public option, there will be very few of the current Democrats left standing in 2011.

      And the President must say it: No Public Option equals a veto. Guaranteed. No compromise, no shilly shally, no thisnthat, no wishnwash. A Presidential Definition.  

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:41:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People are taking their eye of the ball (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FOX NEWS WATCHER

    Who cares if it's basically a public option administered by non-profit co-ops or the federal government? I don't. As long as the plan they're administering is good, I don't care.

    And if it's done right, health care reform can free up 8% of GDP. You want to solve the budget crisis, then free up 8% of GDP by implementing a better health care system.

    •  Agreed- No Public Option (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesusismyHero2008
    •  Don't trust the co-opt idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      It sounds too much like the false HMO promises.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is that it depends on the details (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seeds

        And that we should be fighting over what is in the details, not the term that is used to describe the underlying details. A public option could be really bad too. Let's say we take the "Medicare for All" proposal, what about part D and the donut hole? You'd be looking at cancer patients being forced to shell out $10,000 for chemo under such a plan.

        If the term co-op provides cover, then I'm all for it. What matters is what is in the details. Here is what I would like to see from the last thread on this:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        •  Actually part D is way better than nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brooke In Seattle

          From the perspective of a person with no health care coverage, you would have a hard time explaining to them that a public plan is a bad idea because prescription coverage may be "part D" like.

          Nope, I am NOT selling out to that degree.  If all we get is tweaks to the current system, it won't be enough.

          Here why we should do it right. In 4, 8, 12, 16 years we will be having the same fight only more people will be getting lousy health care, more people will die because of sub-standard coverage and our economy will still be hurting from a dysfunctional system.

          How about some real change?

          by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:47:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From a patient's perspective it is worse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seeds

            You have Part D with the donut hole, so you get the first $2,500 free. Then you're responsible for $10,000 in medication. Biologics run from $30,000 to $50,000 per year. Biologic drug makers will provide subsidized drugs to underinsured patients under the current system--but with the CMMS negotiating prices, the drug companies would undoubtedly use those benefits as bargaining chips to extract higher prices from the CMMS. So, depending on the year, the patient gets stuck with the bill.

            Compare that to a drug deductible of $250. It hurts the first time, but after that it's manageable.

            Part D, which doesn't work as it is, would completely collapse under a Medicare for All system. It's something proponents of Medicare for All have failed to address, largely because the cost of addressing it would be $4 trillion or so.

            I do agree, unless it's done right, this'll come back in a few years. But doing it right means actually doing it right, not doing what sounds good.

    •  I'm not even hearing non-profit co-ops (3+ / 0-)

      I'm hearing "run by each state", which is "Medicaid for some". It's a satisficer - looks like something was done about an alternative to for-profit insurance, but in practice is.....well, "Medicaid for some"

      "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:38:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's just about the most frustrating thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    I can understand, though not forgive, when politicians of either party fail to enact necessary policy changes because of how it'll play politically, but I really REALLY hate it when they fail to do necessary things in spite of the polls. Reminds me of Cheney's "so" answer. People want it, but they're not going to do it. It's the opposite of good democracy and it's even the opposite of good politics, and they're still doing it. I don't know what you're supposed to do with these people.

    Still, I heard about a group called Change Congress on the Young Turks the other day, they sound like they're making progress, I hope they continue to do so.

    •  It's un-representative government (0+ / 0-)

      When the politicians do whatever they want to do and/or what their corporate masters tell them to do, we cease to be a functional representative government.  Representing the interests of corporations is NOT what we cast our ballots for. Corporations don't get a vote; they aren't citizens.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  health care reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, The Creator

    who cares about what a corporate whore like that little piece of shit from South Dakota says.

    He can go back to being a lobbyist- he is no different then the idiot who replaced him (Thune)

  •  That's exactly what Chuck Todd said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, The Creator

    yesterday after looking at the NBC/WSJ poll in terms of health care.

    He said Americans will NOT FEEL like it is health care reform unless there is a public option.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:31:00 AM PDT

  •  Damn straight, Hunter - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennylind

    That the media allows bullshit artists to blanket the airwaves peddling their brand of dinosaur dung - expecting Americans to accept reform in name only (RINO) - is infuriating.  

    50 votes, w/ Biden to break the tie.  Get it done and the majority of Americans will thank you.  

    I'm not a single issue voter, but I'm close with universal health care.  I voted for Obama because I thought we could get this or something like it done with his administration and this congress.  I was confident that we could finally have essential and far reaching reform.  

    Come on congress, get it done already - even if you have to use reconciliation.  

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    by Jahiz on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:32:19 AM PDT

  •  Daschle - Once a weenie, always a weenie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, The Creator

    Daschle has always been a weenie.  Look at how he capitulated in 2002 and got the Senate Democrats to approve the assault on Iraqis.  

    Daschle wanted to get the war thing "out of the way".  But the Regressives labeled the Democrats as "weak on defense" during the campaign - even after the Daschle surrender!

  •  I'm so sick of GOP Lite (0+ / 0-)

    I'm starting to think the Democratic Party is unfixable.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

    by arcticshadow on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:33:14 AM PDT

  •  Daschle is part of the problem, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Brooke In Seattle

    not part of the solution.  Health Care money has been keeping him alive, and he wants no part of hurting the status quo.

  •  If we end up with "reform" that amounts to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Brooke In Seattle

    the same health care system but now we just get fined by the government if we don't buy it then I will not vote any for any Democrat on the national level in 2010 or 2012.

    •  That would be a total crap reform (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      and it would never work.  There will be many people who will just pay the fine OR refuse to pay the fine and challenge the system.  Punishment is such a GOP idea! The sociopathic aholes always conclude that the problem is the people.  Lying piece of crap bastards.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:36:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is how this "reform" is shaping up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bink

        A bunch of inconsequential changes that don't amount to much.  The only big change will be mandates.  Average Americans will still end up paying sky rocketing costs to insurance costs.  Costs that increase three times as much yearly as the increase in American's real wages and twice as much as inflation.  

        We will still up at the mercy of companies and men and women that have based their business model at providing as little health care as possible to us at the maximum price.  The difference will be that if we refuse to pay these people the government will send us a fine through the mail.

        •  Such a mandate will fail (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson

          People will refuse to pay it.  The legislation will turn into a hated bill and will be repealed.  That would be a major mistake to pass such a bill.

          This is exactly the fight we had in the primary.  Does President Obama recall that he didn't want mandates unless we can guarantee that the system does not impose unfair costs?

          I see this shaping up as an Obama veto if it lacks the public option.  The Dems will have to go back to drawing board and face lots of angry voters.  The Republicans will be lower than the filth they already are because at the core of the problem has the been the party of NO that hasn't done one positive thing for their country.

          How about some real change?

          by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:56:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the Democrats fail at this the GOP will win (0+ / 0-)

            Many voters will buy the GOP's I told you so argument.  Also, there are plenty of voters right now that are not voting for the GOP not because they don't agree with their overt policy stances, but because they see him as dishonest and corrupt.  

            The Republican MO is of course not to regain the trust of American voters, but instead to convince America that the Democrats are just as bad.  

            Health care reform that becomes nothing but a government bailout of the private health insurance industry at the expense of the American tax payer will destroy the Democratic Party's credibility.

  •  Daschle is lobbyist-ish (3+ / 0-)

    http://gawker.com/...

    That is the story of Tom Daschle, the former Senator and Obama's pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services. He is the guy who will fix health care, once his embarrassing tax issues are dealt with. All because a rich friend of his gave him millions of dollars to sit on the board of his media company that, oddly, had no business with the government. And also his friend let him use his Cadillac and driver for free, whenever he was out of town, and Daschle didn't pay taxes on that, because who knew?

    And so Daschle's accountant finally told him that he owed $150 grand in taxes, on that car, but he can afford it because his rich friend's investment firm gave Daschle $2 million to raise money and sit on the board, with other former lawmakers and random notable political types.

    Oh, and Daschle also worked for a Washington law firm that had as clients lots of groups doing government business, but Daschle didn't lobby, he just, you know, advised. And then a student loan company sent him to the Bahamas! That is what they're doing with our money! Christ! If it weren't for the fact that Tom Daschle is going to fix health care, we'd be really upset with him.

    http://www.bittenandbound.com/...
    Mrs. Daschle is a full blown lobbyist

    Linda Hall Daschle is a registered aviation lobbyist
    with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and is the wife of the next secretary of health and human services, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.  That said, is this situation in direct conflict with the hard line that Obama has imposed on his transition team against lobbyists?

    Dear GOP&Conservatives If all you have to offer are Cliches and Hyperbole then STFU. Thanks XOXOXO

    by JML9999 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:36:31 AM PDT

  •  Yes, a thousand times yes!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Without a public option, I'd rather we stop the absurd talk of "reform" and recognize that any bill passed would mainly be for show, but if we were to seriously consider a bill without such an option, I think the one healthcare reform that would make a difference is to cancel govt health insurance for all senators, representatives, cabinet members, etc.

    It's been proposed many times, but I do think it's long past time. Have the very senators and representatives who are against public health insurance spend the next few years trying to get healthcare on their own like the rest of us -- waiting months to see doctors, having to comb through lists of doctors too see which specialists you are "allowed" to see, spending countless hours on the phone with insurance companies fighting over individual bills -- I absolutely believe you'll have them socializing all of healthcare, no matter how much the goddamn lobbyists spend to woo them.

    The only reform would be to provide Americans with a viable, available public option.  Period.  If they won't include that, then let all Americans, especially our elected representatives who are NOT representing our best interests, live with the same painful results.  Take away their health care plan that we taxpayers fund!!!

  •  healthcare legislation looking like immigration (0+ / 0-)

    This is looking more and more like the immigration debate. Lots of noise and no new changes.  Status quo wins out.  

  •  Ralph Nader.. (0+ / 0-)

    must be getting a huge belly laugh out of the performance of our elected democratic majority senate.

    He's been parachuting in at the last minute in the past few presidential elections to little effect.

    If he really is serious about ever mounting an effective campaign, this would be the time to engage the populace because I sense a quickly growing sense of outrage about this.

    He should grab the nearest bullhorn and start yelling as loudly as he can about the incompetence and cowardice of our elected lawmakers.

    I think there are a lot of people who are ready to listen to him.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:41:29 AM PDT

  •  Looks Like Postponement. May Be Time to Assemble (0+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:41:41 AM PDT

  •  Dascle == Neville Chamberlain (0+ / 0-)

    Need to change the Overton Window back to Government Sponsored Single-Payer. I thought Democrats were in charge?

    Also Congress please do a cost analysis of Single-Payer. What are you afraid of..... I thought so.

  •  prevent insurers from rejecting patients (0+ / 0-)

    You could get reasonable partial reform just by preventing insurers from looking at anything but age and gender in their pricing structure and preventing pre-existing condition exclusions. End insurer-based pools entirely. The easier it is for everyone to get insurance, the easier it is for insurance companies to lower costs. Require states to offer vouchers to everyone taking unemployment or welfare benefits (replacing medicaid).

    Pair that with initiatives for electronic medical records, collaborative treatment, evidence-based medicine, etc., to keep costs down, and you've got yourself a reasonable, if imperfect, start.

    car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

    by HarlanNY on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:42:13 AM PDT

    •  What about the unemployed (0+ / 0-)

      who aren't on any rolls? It doesn't last forever, and there still aren't enough jobs to go around.

      People are already falling through the cracks, and plenty are still unemployed but no longer receiving any benefits, yet still not on a state program.

      State programs will have to be massively revamped. They would have to stop testing for assets and stop making people grovel for the barest crumbs.

      I can't imagine the fat cats in the state legislatures would stand for that.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, partial reform is partial (0+ / 0-)

        And your comments about state programs I think are really good. This whole project is so much more complex because everything is decentralized.

        It's occurred to me that the Federal bill could let states pick between various options, including a public plan, co-ops, etc. That might increase political support.

        car wreck : car insurance :: climate wreck : climate insurance

        by HarlanNY on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 06:45:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are they still going to get the mandates? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Oaktown Girl, wsexson

    Because if they kill the public option, but still get the mandates, then health care "reform" will be just another feather in the cap of the insurance industry, this one to the tune of 47 million new captive customers, and the rest left without any bargaining power.

  •  Well, looks like I won't be working (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oaktown Girl

    for Obama's re-election in 2012...because chances are good that I'll be dead before then.

    Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:44:18 AM PDT

  •  It's the zombie ruling elite back from the living (0+ / 0-)

    dead. God, I hate bad horror films.

  •  Imagine if we were all Freepers... (0+ / 0-)

    and were adamantly against any kind of reform, nevermind a Conrad/Grassley compromise without the public option. For weeks we'd been phoning our Republican senators and sending handwritten letters telling them to filibuster any Obama approved healthcare bill. Then two polls are released showing over 70% of American support the public option. What do you do then? You've already lost the argument by a landslide.

    Everything the Man of Steele touches turns to Kryptonite.

    by PorridgeGun on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:47:47 AM PDT

  •  Make them vote! (0+ / 0-)

    Making them put it to a vote is going to be key. They keep hiding behind "we don't have the votes". It's simply a tactic to cover their asses and not be on the record for or against the strong public option.

    We need to start a MAKE THEM PUT IT TO A VOTE! campaign. Fuck this "we don't have the votes" business. Make the rat bastards come out of the shadows and say whether they support the people or the insurance industrial complex.

    Homer: "Marge - I'm going to a hardcore gay club and I won't be back 'til three in the morning". Marge: "Have fun!"

    by Oaktown Girl on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:51:14 AM PDT

  •  They couldn't even get private insurance (0+ / 0-)

    By 'they' I mean the Representatives and Senators.  Most of them are not young men and women -- their position in Congress is the pinnacle of their career.

    The standard private health insurance application now consists of pages and pages of questions about whatever medical conditions, treatments, or incidents you have had in your entire life.

    Every one of those questions is tantamount to a request for self-incrimination, to give the insurance company a reason not to write you a policy.

    Our CongressCritters live stressful, hectic lives -- which among them doesn't have high blood pressure, acid reflux, smokes tobacco, or is too old or too heavy or too skinny -- or some combination or subset of this?

  •  Well when u have your own party blasting (0+ / 0-)

    u for everything, you will fail. As of now my optimism for health care reform is LOW.

  •  And u make another good pt.. (0+ / 0-)

    this will not be easy, so how come the dems can tell the rethugs to STFU...instead they want Obama to tweek everything...that whole party need to grow a pair!

  •  We have no choice but to Harass them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb6

    I have made at least a dozed calls to my Senators and intend to make a lot more. I found that reminding them that 76% of Americans want a PO has some impact. I also press them to commit to supporting a PO. I can only implore everybody who reads this cmt to please call your Senators till it hurts.

    Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

    by eddieb061345 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:53:32 AM PDT

  •  Looks Like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eddieb061345

    Its time to hit the streets folks!

    •  Absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

      Can you imagine if we fllled streets with millions of people across the country for 5 days straight like the people are doing in Iran?  The plutocracy would be shaken to it's core.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:00:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Much better than denying congressmen healthcare (0+ / 0-)

    which they're not going to do to themselves.  Instead we should:

    #1 Insist congressmen like Conrad, Baucas return Health Care Industry contributions or recuse themselves from voting on issue.

    #2 Threaten anti-trust action.  Health insurance companies routinely engage in restraint of trade.  $1.7 bn compensation packages (United Healthcare CEO) and doubling of premiums ('00-'08) cannot occur in competitive markets.  Insurers have divided up markets so they don't have to compete.  It's virutally an "ipso facto" case.

    #3 Why aren't the faces of the people who have been screwed (eg bankrupted, killed, maimed) by insurers prominently being displayed by our side?  It's political malpractice.

    #4 Why doesn't our side simply state the fact that we have the "least efficient" health care system in the world.  A simple case - We pay twice as much as any other country for poorer results.  A few graphs and the case is made.

  •  How can we organize a march on DC? (0+ / 0-)

    I am talking about a HUGE march - millions of people. What does it take to organize something like that?

  •  Let's not do another Med-D type giveaway (0+ / 0-)

    ..to the For Profits, all the Tom, Dick and Harry join our Med-D plan oportunist and the drug companies ...Plezzzzzzze!

    It's the cost of health care and the profit off of it that is at the heart of our problems.

    I don't think I can stand another con game again...either they do a good plan or they don't do any and we have one of those million man marches...right up their..

  •  we should control their pay/benefits (0+ / 0-)

    I wish there were a way that constituents could control the pay and benefits of their representatives/senators. That might solve a lot, actually.

  •  Isn't Daschle a lobbyist for a health care group? (0+ / 0-)
    - Bet he gets a Big Bonus for this.

    License they mean, when they cry Liberty! - Milton

    by Rocco Gibralter on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:07:23 PM PDT

  •  The insurance companies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hdock0459, jennylind

    will love healthcare reform without a public option as they see the 47 million uninsured as future customers they can put in a crappy HMO and PPO that limits choice of a doctor or hospital. Once again we will be stuck in a lousy healthcare system instead of a universal plan with freedom of choice that all advanced countries enjoy. Leaving it to the insurance companies to fix this system is a sick joke since they are the main cause of this mess.

  •  Dear Mr. Dole and Daschle... (0+ / 0-)

    We don't need an erection, We need healthcare.

  •  All bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

    Kucinich said it..."They're talking about health insurance. I'm talking about health care." Single-payer, God damn it!

  •  Who needs these DINOs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hdock0459

    You would think a guy like Daschle would have some integrity.  This is just shameless - pure unadultered bs.  We desperately need an insurance industry lockout from a public plan and true CRAMDOWN on the physicians, hospitals and other healthcare entities.  Reimbursement rates at either Medicare rates or 50 percent of existing rates whichever is less.  This is not rocket science.  We need the insurance industry totally out of healthcare.  In lieu of the above we need a public plan that has teeth and by the way the people would flee to it.  We need more democratic senators with balls and lock the rethugs out of the equation entirely.  

  •  The Farce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pundit

    Boy do I ever agree with the above focus. It IS, without a public option, a complete and total farce/scam.

    •  Even worse - it may allow more health care denial (0+ / 0-)

      If they build in nothing but mechanisms to allow insurance companies to deny care on the basis that their analysis shows it's ineffective, we could be in for an even worse reign of terror buy the health care insurance industry.  The only way to keep them honest is with a single payer like public option.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:30:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've been talking about this shit (0+ / 0-)

    for how many years now?  To see what actual, substantive changes to the "system"?

    Hell, we can't even get people on the same page about "access" versus "coverage".

    Should people who smoke and refuse to participate in a government paid smoking cessation program have to pay more for their services like higher auto insurance rates for people who have frequent accidents/tickets?

    If a treatment is available for some disease but it costs a million dollars should it be covered?

    Should current end-of-life practices be maintained, draining the system of money that could be used to treat people with a life expectancy of longer than 3 weeks?

    Will ANY savings be realized if we don't bring back Physical Education and intramural sports to the public schools, balanced lunches and no snack machines?

    Will anyone CARE since the results of such actions will take longer than an election cycle to realize?

    40+ years of same old same old.

  •  Tom Daschle is the substanceless bi-partisan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hdock0459

    poster-boy.  If it weren't for Harry Reid, Daschle would probably have gone down as the most spineless Democratic Majority leader ever.

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live. "Sometimes you gotta roll the hard six." - Adama

    by LionelEHutz on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:48:23 PM PDT

  •  I Support A Public Option But You Can (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hdock0459
    get to universal coverage without it.  Massachussets has achieved over 97% coverage for people through its play or pay system and through insurance reforms.  It's not perfect but it is a huge improvement from what we have today.  

    I strongly support a public option and we should keep up the pressure.  However, the idea you can't get health reform without it is just not true.  Single payer is the best option in my mind but if you look at countries like Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the Netherlands there are a lot of ways to get to universal coverage.  

    •  Universal insurance is not the same as (0+ / 0-)

      universal health care.  You know it's true.  People in Mass. are NOT happy with the system. Forcing people to buy something that is crappy isn't fair nor will it drive prices down.  The problem with our system IS the insurance companies.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:36:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd Blow Up the Whole System and Start Over If It (0+ / 0-)

        were up to me.  Single payer is by far the best option.  However, I worked on the Clinton Healthcare effort and I know that this is going to be very hard.

  •  Today's letter to the Whitehouse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, deep, hdock0459

    Hello Fellow American,

    Why is Tom Daschle allowed in the news putting down the public option for health care? How is this NOT lobbying considering who pays his salary? What is the Whitehouse doing to reduce this industry influence in a public debate?

    Over 75% of Americans want a public health option. If Tom Daschle, Howard Baker, and Bob Dole are against a public option let's be sure that they and their families reimburse the Federal Government for all the Health Services they receive. My feeling is that anyone on the government plan, should not be speaking about this plan (or one very similar) NOT being offered to all Americans. This "Do As I Say Not As I Do" approach is nothing more than lobbying for their new employers.

    Please tell me what the Whitehouse is doing to reduce the influence of lobbyists in the health care discussion.

    I offer my support and encouragement for a process that protects Americans from unfair industry influence in the discussion about health care.

    •  Good letter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tech108

      and valid questions.  You ask me the health care debate has been dishonest from the start.  I knew it was in trouble when I seen mainly insurance industry hacks and conservative hacks from Heritage Foundation around the table.  I wondered where was Dean Baker, where's PNHP, Healthcare Now, Public Citizen, Progressive Democrats for America and even Dr. Howard Dean?  Why not invite progressives to the discussion unless the goal was to favor the corporations?  Well, I wonder no more.  The health care debate was tainted from the start.  My advice to the President is to do a big reset on it and call for additional hearings.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:21:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now that they are bringing back (0+ / 0-)

    Dinosaurs like Dole and Baker, Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms must be just around the corner. Being dead shouldn't exclude them from participating in the health care debate.

    Growing old beats the alternative.

    by Jfriday on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:56:43 PM PDT

  •  What kills me... (5+ / 0-)

    This is a chance to BURY Republicans for the next two decades electorally.  Why not do it for that sake alone?!?  It would be just like after FDR and the new deal.  In that time, you could do great things.

    This call for "bipartisanship" only strengthens the notion that Republicans have relevant ideas that should be included.  But why dilute good legislation with bad ideas (or poison pills).  

    I see this call for bipartisanship as merely top cover for themselves.  They are beholden to the money-givers, but have to appear as though they are doing something.  

    Rome is burning and they do not even smell the smoke.

    by Mote Dai on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 12:57:24 PM PDT

  •  I've written my rep (0+ / 0-)
    and Senators and assured them I will support their primary opponents if they cave on the public option in any way.

    No co-ops. No Daschle.

    If not now, when?

    We may never have better political conditions for a public option than now.

    I've urged my friends to do the same.

    So now what else can I do?

    If we lose in November, I will advocate for Blue State Succession.

    by perkinwarbek on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:14:30 PM PDT

  •  I don't trust the Private Sector (0+ / 0-)

    I don't really trust the private sector to address the problems of the uninsured and the under-insured. Big Pharma and the Health Insurance companies have not endeared me. I have a pre-existing condition, and paid thru the roof for a high deductible plan.  That's a $10,000 deductible, while paying over $25,000 in premiums.  I DON"T call that insurance because it can put me in a major financial bind, with or without the insurance.

    If a so-called public option addresses the needs of the uninsured and in my situation, then that will be true reform.

    •  We only heard from the private sector! (0+ / 0-)

      That's the problem with what the Congress and to some extent the President have done.  They spent almost all their time listening to the health insurance companies.

      Look it politicians, you don't need to hear anymore health care horror stories.  There are more stories than you have time to read.  The system is broken. Fix it!  The only fix is a single payer like public option.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FRC Calls Benefits For Gays "Special Benefits" (0+ / 0-)

    What is going to make this health care debate even more contentious is Obama's new plan to extend benefits to gay couples.

    Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council actually called extending benefits for gay couples "special benefits." Watch it in the clip below.

    If extending benefits to gays makes the Christian right crazy, I am all for it. I am all for it anyway.

    http://progressnotcongress.org/...

  •  Health Care Reform needs Reform (0+ / 0-)

    The current proposal by progressives and Obama include in their arguments that we need to reduce health care costs in the economy to avoid economic disaster.

    The proposal then being proposed has additional cost as determined by CBO of $1,000 Billion to $1,600 Billion and decreases the uninsured by only 16 million.

    The proposal needs to be updated to build in that it reduces costs significantly over the next 5 years.  The Federal and State government already pays about 8% of GDP for healthcare - through Medicare, Medicaid and the VA and other industrialized nations spend about 7-9% of GDP - while the US is spending more than 16%.  

    So if the US had the healthcare economics of other industrialized nations - what is being spend by government today would be sufficient to care for the entire population.

    Update the plan to strictly reduce cost - so the proposal is to reduce the per cent of GDP spent on healthcare to become less than 14% of GDP by 2012 and 12% by 2016.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:22:53 PM PDT

    •  That is why you need the single payer option (0+ / 0-)

      There is no other way to reduce the costs.  Otherwise we are having a dishonest debate.  We can debate endlessly about what should and shouldn't be covered, about preventive care, about medical records BUT those items won't bring down the cost significantly.  The problem IS the private insurance company.  Let's build a hybrid system where people can elect to go public or go private.  That's is a common model in the industrial world. All this crap about "the traditions of our system" and how if only we are starting from scratch is silly.  The other countries in the world recalibrated their systems because there just was no other choice.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:21:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Put the cost cutting policies into the proposal (0+ / 0-)

        Private insurance is part of the problem, not the entire problem - as can be seen through the current public programs of Medicare, Medicaid and the VA already spending 8% of GDP.

        The cost cutting needs to be directly discussed, including:

        • Compensation throughout healthcare is higher relative to compensation generally in the economy -- excessively high pay goes far beyond just the CEOs.  People working in healthcare are about 12% of the workforce while healthcare takes 18% of GDP.
        • We spend excessively on hopeless cases.  While the rest of the world puts those who are dying over the next few weeks into humane hospice care, we put them into intensive care units and provide heroic proceedures at outrageously high cost and discomfort to the patient, while knowing they will still die in the next few weeks.
        • Rebates need to be provided to those who don't smoke; those who are not abusing alcohol and drugs; and those who are not excessively overweight.  We all understand and accept that motorists with frequent tickets for speeding, running red lights, not signaling -- rightfully pay more for auto insurance because their behavior makes it more likely they will ingure or kill people and damage property.  In the same way,behaviors that drive up health care costs - need to impose higher costs on people engaging in those behaviors.
        • Prescribing generic drugs first, if they don't work use on patent drugs

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 04:52:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why was entry into FEBP taken off the table? (0+ / 0-)

    Single payer was ruled out without even a discussion.  Equally baffling was that entry to the federal employee benefits plan was somehow never put on the table.  The President did campaign on that.  Exactly how did it get ruled out?  I suspect we did NOT have an honest debate on health care.  At this point, I almost want to start from ground zero.  I don't want to hear any crap that it must be done right now.  It must be done right now but it needs to be done right.  Stop excluding viable options from discussion.  Put everything on the table and let the people into the debate.  What's all this meeting in secrecy crap?

    How about some real change?

    by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:39:49 PM PDT

  •  The Public Option is the Compromise (0+ / 0-)

    A compromise between single payer and the clusterfudge we have now.

    A Public option would enhance competition amongst those offering healthcare plans.

    What happened to the arguments from Republicans that private industry could always do something better then government.  Why are they afraid of this now?

    •  Because their masters told them to be (0+ / 0-)

      against it.  Same goes for a bunch of Democratic Senators.  It's outright corruption.  They are taking the logical options that work throughout the world off the table simply because the corporate plutocracy told them that's the way it is.  Is there any doubt we need drastic change in our system of government?  Corporate money has corrupted the entire system.

      How about some real change?

      by noofsh on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:27:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Without Public Option, (0+ / 0-)

    Just quit wasting time on so called healthcare reform!  I am completely and totally fed up with Congress.

    No one can express how angry I feel like Hunter and.  Thanks, Hunter!!!

    "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

    by gulfgal98 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 02:37:42 PM PDT

  •  The premise is false (0+ / 0-)

    Guaranteed enrollment, play or pay, and community rating is MAJOR reform. And we can get it. The insurance industry has caved and even the Rethugs won't go to the mat for it.

    All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

    by charliehall on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 03:43:07 PM PDT

  •  Another day, another capitulation. (0+ / 0-)

    I hate to say "I told you so" but.......

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 06:19:32 PM PDT

  •  Will public option be mandatory for physicians? (0+ / 0-)

    I hope not because ending the fee-for-service payment system won’t fix the crisis, but it will do one sure thing: strongly push medical students like myself towards the less procedural specialties. Generally-speaking, more procedural specialties have longer, oftentimes more intense residencies and/or fellowships, pay more malpractice insurance, work longer hours and with a few exceptions don’t tend to be the "lifestyle" specialties with minimal on-call, set hours, and so forth.

    Specialists and subspecialists also can see the interest accrued on their student loans pile up much higher than primary care physicians due to a longer amount of time spent in residency and/or fellowship.

    Bottom line: Realigning payments to a "Robin Hood" approach of take from the higher paid specialists and give to the lesser paid primary care physicians will obviously result in flood of entrants into primary care and a dwindling of many of the specialties and subspecialties, possibly to the extent of shortages.

  •  I just sent a letter to WhiteHouse.gov (0+ / 0-)

    I have been an ardent supporter of President Obama. I stuck by him through many decisions I strongly disagreed with. But health care reform is MY line in the sand. This is the issue I feel most strongly about, followed closely by energy reform.

    After reading about Mr. Daschle's comments as well as the latest information coming from Washington I felt compelled to leave my 2 cents on the WhiteHouse.gov website.

    Here is some of the content:

    I am deeply discouraged by the latest comments coming from prominent Democrats as well as Tom Daschle regarding health care. As someone who wholeheartedly supported President Obama during the primaries, both financially and through volunteer work I could not be more disappointed with his policy decisions of late. ...

    Not too long ago President Obama said that if a comprehensive version of health care reform could not be passed with bi-partisan support then he would push for a simple majority vote in the Senate. .....

    My questions are as follows: When will the President and his administration fight for and deliver on the issues that earned my vote last November? When will the full weight of the White House be brought to bear on a public health care option and energy reform? ....

    Until I get a satisfactory answer to these and other questions, or see the ardent advocacy I expected from President Obama, I will be left with the heartfelt despair that has displaced my faith in what I truly believed would be a different kind of President.

    Sincerely,
    xx

    I will continue to work for the progressive causes that are near and dear to me. And I am not giving up on Obama. I DO believe he has accomplished a great deal of good in his short tenure. But the emerging pattern of compromising too far on important issues has me disheartened.

    I always expected President Obama to be more of a centrist. I recall telling my husband "he will piss off people on the left and the right". But I did pin my hopes of health care reform on his administration. Now that this issue also seems to be slipping toward quicksand even I can't help but feeling a loss of faith.

    We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

    by BP in NJ on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 12:19:22 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for making my point (0+ / 0-)

    Oh ya, we'll get some socialized healthcare reform really quick if we take the socialized healthcare away from Senators and Congressmen.  The problem is how to take it away from them.  I was chided as ignorant about the US electoral system when I made that point because we wouldn't be able to put this as a proposal on any federal election ballot because there is no such thing.  We would need movements in every state to vote on this with state ballots.  Still, just a movement to vote to repeal free healthcare for stingy politicians would put the fear of the people into these insurance industry sell-outs.  Plus it's a way better ballot initiative then trying to keep homosexuals from marrying.  It would be better to not pass anything if we get no public healthcare option because the real problem is people going bankrupt from visiting a hospital, and the reform they seem to want to pass will only force more people to buy health insurance they can't afford thus more healthcare bankruptcies.  I always have said they love to solve problems with the problem itself.

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