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There's good news, okay news, and could be better news in the House's "American's Affordable Health Choices Act" (full bill text and fact sheets on various provisions available at that link).

For the really good news that should blunt Republican criticism and public concern over costs, the bill pays for itself--it will not increase the deficit, it will not bankrupt the country. (Like the Iraq War did. As always, it's interesting to see where funding priorities lie.)

According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation would cost $1 trillion over 10 years and cover 94 percent of Americans (97% if you don’t count the undocumented).

As Jonathan Cohn reports, "between savings and a new surtax on the wealthy, the bill pays for itself. In other words, it won’t inflate the deficit." Five hundred billion comes from savings in Medicare and Medicaid and "the rest comes from a surtax on the richest 1.5 percent."

Most importantly, the CBO coverage tables undermine the conservative claim that a public option would eliminate private insurance and erode employer-sponsored coverage. The House bill actually increases the number of people who receive coverage through their employer by 2 million and shifts most of the uninsured into private coverage.

At the above Think Progress link, Igor Volsky provides a handy table of the bill's provisions and the estimated savings. It also has a column entited "sexy facts," which makes it worth taking a look at in and of itself.

The not so good news is that implementation timeline for some of the key provisions--he insurance exchange, subsidies, some insurance regulations, and the public plan--don't come online until 2013. There will be some signficant improvements beginning immediately, as pointed out by Cohn:

On the bright side, some provisions--filling in the Medicare drug donut hole, bolsteirng the primary care workforce, among others--would start in the next two years.

And at least one key insurer regulation would kick in right away: Come 2010, insurers could no longer yank coverage from people retroactively because they've uncovered new evidence of pre-existing conditions. This practice, known as "rescission," is among the most patently unjust features of our health care system.

The health insurance exchange and the public option should be priorities for brining online day one of the plan, though that could sacrifice some of the savings they hope to achieve. Ezra explains:

The slow start is a way of holding down costs in the 10-year budget window. If the bill begins in 2010, but the subsidies don't kick in until 2013, then that's three years that are under the budget but aren't costing much money. That means the new health-care system can really cost an average of $140 billion each year, as opposed to $100 billion, and that means you can afford a better system.

In another post, Ezra has more good economic news from the proposal--it "opens the door to eventually federalizing the Medicaid program." Medicaid has been a large burden for states, a burden that's been increasing with the economic downturn. This bill would expand Medicaid eligibility with federal money. Stabilizing the program with federal investment could relieve some of the states' burden.

President Obama welcomed the legislation, saying in part:

This proposal controls the skyrocketing cost of health care by rooting out waste and fraud and promoting quality and accountability. Its savings of more than $500 billion over 10 years will strengthen Medicare and contribute to our goal of reforming health care in a fiscally responsible way. It will change the incentives in our health care system so that Americans can receive the best care, not the most expensive care.  And it will offer families and businesses more choices and more affordable health care.

This proposal will also prevent insurance companies from denying people coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.  It will ensure that workers can still have health insurance if they lose their job, change their job or start a new business.  And it includes a health insurance exchange that will allow families and small businesses to compare prices and quality so they can choose the health care plan that best suits their needs.   Among the choices that would be available in the exchange would be a public health insurance option that would make health care affordable by increasing competition, providing more choices, and keeping the insurance companies honest.

The House proposal will begin the process of fixing what’s broken about our health care system, reducing costs for all, building on what works, and covering an estimated 97% of all Americans.  And by emphasizing prevention and wellness, it will also help improve the quality of health care for every American.

The better White House news comes from this Bloomberg story which suggests that the whole team is getting on the same page about this whole "bipartisanship" thing.

Both Axelrod and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said taking a partisan route to enacting major health-care legislation isn’t the president’s preferred choice. Yet in separate interviews, each man left that option open.

"We’d like to do it with the votes of members of both parties," Axelrod said. "But the worst result would be to not get health-care reform done."

...

Emanuel, making a theoretical case for a party-line vote, offered a definition of bipartisanship based not on roll-call votes but on whether Democrats have accepted Republican ideas during the process of negotiations.... "That’s a test of bipartisanship -- whether you took ideas from both parties," Emanuel said. "At the end of the day, the test isn’t whether they voted for it," he said, referring to Republicans. "The test is whether the final product represented some of their ideas. And I think it will."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Who'da thunk it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike

    Avoid the drama, vote Obama.

    by Boston to Salem on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:53:09 AM PDT

  •  Aaaaaaand then there's the Senate. (6+ / 0-)

    Let's see how badly Harry Reid jellydicks this one.  

    Change takes time. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that.

    by LarsThorwald on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:55:14 AM PDT

    •  Hey, there's no way ... (0+ / 0-)

      Give-'em-sort-of-heck Harry fumbles (oops!) this (bounce!) issue (ooof!).

      The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

      by D in Northern Virginia on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:03:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As Ring Lardner once said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      "The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet."

      Senator Spineless is neither swift nor strong.

      "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:25:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, he's strong all right. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mbc, AlanF, meldroc, spider webs unite

        People who call the Harry Reids of the Democratic party weak and ineffective are too charitable. They are VERY effective and the results you see are EXACTLY the results they are going for.

        With 60 Senators, he's GOT more power than any majority leader since LBJ. The only issue is whether he USES it the way the Democratic party and the people of Nevada want him to.

        He doesn't want to use his power, therefore he PRETENDS to be feeble, as an excuse. Just like Democrats have pretended, over and over, for the last 30 years, that the Republicans sandbag them because nobody could have predicted that the Republicans would fight dirty.

        They're smart enough to get elected to the Senate, they're smart enough to understand Republican Strategy. If they lead with their chin, that's their conscious choice.

        Reid used to be a boxer. Maybe sometimes the script called for his ass to go down in the fifth. If so, that prepared him well for what he does in the Senate "because we just don't have the votes".

        Confucius says, "Do not reach across aisle with remaining hand."

        by AdmiralNaismith on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:49:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's also the administrative set-up time that (5+ / 0-)

    explains the delay until 2013.

    I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

    by slinkerwink on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:56:11 AM PDT

    •  I get that intellectually (12+ / 0-)

      but I worry about all the people who have to wait three more years before they get treatment that may be badly needed, or who will die in the interim.

      "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

      by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:59:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my thought exactly. Although I recognize that (4+ / 0-)

        Rome wasn't built in a day, it's hard to know, when you are sick and struggling, and there will be an official program in place when it's too late for you.  Like being the last soldiers in Iraq when you know that the withdrawal is coming.

        Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

        by SottoVoce on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:02:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly, but at the same time (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, RantNRaven, SottoVoce

          think of all the people who will be getting sick in the next three years who WILL have the care they need.  

          It's about damn time!

          Healthcare should NOT be a function of income.

          "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

          by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:04:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also worry about the 6% uninsured (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RantNRaven

        That's 18 million people.

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

        by heart of a quince on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:04:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure I understand who the (0+ / 0-)

          uninsured will be under this plan.  Need to figure that out unless someone out there with more info can tell me.

          18 million is still better than 45 million, and I guess my hope would be once we get to that point, we'll have further mechanism for targeting coverage for those that are not covered.

          "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

          by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:06:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they'll be the ones (0+ / 0-)

            on Medicaid, and illegal immigrants.

            I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

            by slinkerwink on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:08:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ok, aren't the ones on Medicaid (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Betty Pinson

              at least covered by that plan, however bad, they do have access to healthcare, right?

              and illegals, while not perfect, can go to the er or to county hospitals, etc.

              so while they are "not covered" under this plan, they have some access to healthcare, right?

              or am I missing something?

              and do you see that in the future, there would be provision to cover them?

              "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

              by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:11:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not EXACTLY right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              milton333

              First of all, 94% refers to the non-elderly insured; the percentage of elderly insured would be higher than this, because almost all elderly in the United States receive Medicare.

              Second, I don't feel like doing all the math out, but about half of the 6% uninsured are illegal immigrants.  The CBO estimates that 97% of non-elderly citizens and legal permanent residents would be insured.  Medicaid is included as insured.  That leaves something like 8 million non-elderly citizens and legal permanent residents who are not enrolled in private insurance, Medicaid, or a CHIP.

              A few million of the uninsured would be eligible for Medicaid but not actively enrolled.  I'm not sure how many these "few million" we are talking about; the CBO is vague.  It is notoriously difficult to reach out to those eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid.  Presumably there is also a religious exemption that excludes Christian scientists and the like, which would be permanent.  And some small number of people will simply choose to accept the individual mandate penalty instead of being insured.

              •  They are technically uninsured but they can get (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mr MadAsHell

                treatment in emergency rooms which they do today.  The next thing on the agenda has to be immigration reform and that will take care of most of this category and give them coverage as well.

                •  True in a limited sense (0+ / 0-)

                  Insured individuals are far more likely to use the emergency room, because they know their insurance company will pay for it.  The uninsured are more likely to avoid using the emergency room because in spite of charity care, they will still be hounded by bill collectors they can't pay off until the hospital gives up on collecting.  Generally, insurance significantly increases access to the facilities of the health care delivery system, though it's also true that we sometimes overrate the importance of insurance and underestimate the importance of other factors.

                  A universal health care system does make immigration reform even more crucial though.

                •  But (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RantNRaven

                  EMTALA only requires that the emergency room treat them regardless of ability to pay if there is an "emergency medical condition."  (Remember, if they could pay for regular doctor care, they wouldn't be going to the ER).  If it's not an emergency medical condition, they can be refused treatment for lack of insurance/inability to pay.

                  An emergency condition is defined under the act as a condition manifesting with "acute symptoms" of such severity that, without immediate medical treatment, there would be serious jeopardy to health, impairment of bodily functions, or failure of an organ or body part.

                  That does not include all kinds of medical conditions which would be treated by your family doc, like sinus infections, severe headaches (which could be a sign of high blood pressure or even a tumor), etc.

                  It also covers no preventative care.

                  The old "they always have the emergency room" excuse is BS.  The ER is no substitute for regular care from a doctor, midwife, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare provider.  The ER is not required to offer care except in actual emergencies.

                  Let me give an example.  My brother-in-law had seen his doctor several times for headaches.  He finally ended up in the ER with an extremely painful headache.  Because he had insurance, he was evaluated and given an MRI.  Turns out, he had a brain tumor.  Ultimately diagnosed as stage 4 cancer.  (Unfortunately, he died less than 3 months after showing up in the ER).  However, consider whether you'd want a family member to stake his health on a hospital's decision about whether a "bad headache" is an emergency under EMTALA.  

                  Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

                  by milton333 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:56:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  thanks for this explanation (0+ / 0-)

                "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

                by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:37:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Why not let everyone buy in, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mrkvica

                documented, non-citizen residents, whoever, at a fair price? That would be a win-win for them and for the states and the country. And bring us a step closer to joining the ranks of civilized countries.

                Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

                by DaveW on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:26:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You mean undocumented immigrants? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jumpjet

                  Documented non-citizen permanent residents ARE incorporated into this system, as best I can tell.  Undocumented non-citizen residents are the ones who will not achieve nearly full insurance.

                  There are a number of barriers to extending universal health care to undocumented immigrants.  First, voters would raise objections to giving subsidies/credits to undocumented immigrants.  Second, it would significantly increase the cost of the bill to do so, because undocumented immigrants make up a large portion of the uninsured and would make up an even larger portion of the uninsured who would have trouble getting insurance through an employer.  Third, it is hard to reach undocumented immigrants through the tax code, so it is hard to apply an individual mandate and tax credits to them.  Fourth, undocumented immigrants are often excluded from our society because of poverty, language barriers, and stigmatization, so it would be hard to run an effective outreach program, making it nearly impossible to inform undocumented immigrants of their own duties in the health care system.

                  And to be fair to the United States, very few countries with universal health care also explicitly extend that universal health care to undocumented immigrants.  I couldn't just decide to start living in Canada without the government knowing and still get free health care at point of delivery; physicians and hospitals check that you have a government-issued insurance card to ensure that the providence reimburses them.  So this isn't really out of the ordinary in a global context.  I don't think it's really practical to focus on insuring undocumented immigrants; if we want to insure the undocumented immigrants in our country, we should instead focus on naturalizing them.

                  •  That shouldn't prevent (0+ / 0-)

                    making the insurance available to them at cost, which should be somewhat reasonable given the size of the pool. I'm not advocating the mandate or the tax credits -- that would be too cumbersome. But I still don't see why they shouldn't be able to opt in at their own cost. It would be interesting to see an analysis of how any costs of doing so would compare to the costs of unpaid ER bills.

                    But that could lead to too much empathy for Americans to endure.

                    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

                    by DaveW on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 01:59:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Initially Social Security did not cover everyone (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, k8dd8d

            either.  The program can grown once in place.  Hopefully.

            Arm the Lilliputians with poison arrows...

            by Pierro Sraffa on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:14:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  uninsured (0+ / 0-)

          According to CBO, it's 17 million. Some are undocumented workers and others are those who just will not sign up for a plan. They will have to pay a 2.5 percent penalty.

      •  I know, and the administrative set-up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RantNRaven

        sucks for that reason alone.

        I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

        by slinkerwink on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:05:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I worry too.... (8+ / 0-)

        My hubby had a heart attack 2 years ago, needs more medical tests, is uninsured, uninsurable at this time, and we still owe many thousands in med bills from 2 years ago which we are slowly, slowly paying off.

        Three years is WAY too long!!   I don't want to lose him due to this delay when he could be getting the treatment he needs but can't because we are both artists. There IS no viable art market to speak of any more, and we can't afford the tests and treatments AND pay rent, utilities, etc.  

        Nope.   Three years is 3 too many.  We need help NOW just like millions of others in this same old leaky boat.

        "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

        by RantNRaven on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:16:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  phase in (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, Living in Gin, k8dd8d, bluesophie

        please, take a look at the entire timeline. Some reform start immediately, like ending rescissions, no co-pays for preventive services in Medicare and Medicaid, more funding for community health centers.

    •  Hell, buyout BCBS and stop making profits. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anthony Segredo, milton333

      How hard is that?

    •  not good enough. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

      by bigchin on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:16:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Medicaid??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mbc

      This bill would expand Medicaid eligibility with federal money

      Why would there still be Medicaid if (almost) everybody's covered by the new system?

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:36:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand the need for set-up time (0+ / 0-)

      That said I think that the public option and exchange must come on-line in 2011 or 2012. It's bad politics to have it in 2013...

  •  Does the 8% penalty on employers (0+ / 0-)

    automatically enroll their employees in the public plan?

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

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 07:57:39 AM PDT

  •  Screw Bipartisanship (4+ / 0-)

    The republicans are gonna say no anyway. And so will the conservadems. Reconcile.

    •  No, get the Democratic Caucus in line! (3+ / 0-)

      Harry Reid needs to DO HIS FUCKING JOB!  Otherwise, he is as worthless as he has so far proved to be...

    •  In the last R2000 poll, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Living in Gin

      McConnell's favorability was 22%.  Boehner's was 16%.  Republicans in Congress was 12%.  The Republican Party as a whole was 22%.  If I'm reading Obama right, what he's doing is throwing a drowning political party an anvil (as Carville suggested you should always do to your opposition).

      Personal experience: I live in NJ-05, a red district in a blue state which has historically elected 'Rockefeller Republicans' like Millicent Fenwick and Marge Roukema to Congress.  I've occasionally crossed over and voted for these candidates while voting Democratic for all other offices.  Others in my district have habitually voted for the Republican even after Roukema retired.  This resulted in right-wing extremist Scott Garrett holding this seat.  What would it take for my neighbors to wake up and see who Scott Garrett really is?  How about if he votes 'no' on Obama's reform plan which contains common sense features that should appeal to both conservatives and progressives?  A straight-up Democratic bill will allow GOoPers to plausibly campaign against it as 'Hillarycare' and retain some of the marginal swing voters they've been getting to augment their 22% base.

      Barack Obama in the Oval Office. There's a black man who knows his place.

      by Greasy Grant on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:22:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck the GOPosaurs... (5+ / 0-)

    ...they won't support real reform no matter what.  They are still playing from William Krystol's 1993 Playbook, wherein if Democrats achieve healthcare reform, Republican'ts will be out of power for serveral more generations.  They will do ANYTHING to stop this...

  •  It sounds like real progress is being made (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike

    Health Care Reform NOW!!

  •  Why couldn't they have saved $500 billion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anthony Segredo, GN1927, acliff

    before?

    They can only "root out waste and fraud and promote quality and accountability" as part of a healthcare package?  WTF?

    Call me skeptical.. There are reports that Medicare alone has a $60 billion per year loss in fraudulent claims alone.

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

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:01:08 AM PDT

    •  There are reports? (0+ / 0-)

      Gotta do better than that. If they know about all that fraud why isn't it being prevented? And how much is being lost to the private contractors that administer Medicare? And how much are private insurers losing to fraud?

      Or is this just all some "free market" fanboy's fantasy about what constitutes "fraudulent claims"?

      To answer part of your question, they cut waste by consolidating programs and, by covering most people, greatly decrease unecessary use of the ER as a last resort.

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:14:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If they aren't going to vote for it anyway (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, ferg

    Why should we take any of their suggestions seriously?

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

    by heart of a quince on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:04:07 AM PDT

  •  Not sure if I agree with Emanuel here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, denise b, RantNRaven

    If the legislation isn't going to garner conservative votes, why in the world would it still and yet need to incorporate conservative "ideas"?

    I don't agree with that at all!

    IMO the GOP was holding fast to a "fiscal conservative" line, one which posits that unregulated private industry is the solution to everything rather than a recipe for abuse and income maldistribution, and one which prioritizes the needs of private insurers over the needs of Americans who suffer chronic uninsurance and underinsurance.  What does this proven failed philosophy has to offer to progressive and necessary solutions to the huge problems created by the "fiscally conservative" health care status quo?

    Totally disagreed with him here.  The point of bipartisanship is to allow both parties to participate in constructive solutions.  If the GOP has no solutions to offer, why then would we water down our own legislation anyway?  To suit the prerogatives of campaign contributors?  Can't agree with that; health care reform is way too important.

    "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren"--Kirsten Gillibrand

    by GN1927 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:05:36 AM PDT

    •  Rahm has a bipartisanship fetish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LI Mike

      I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

      by slinkerwink on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:06:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he's a hardnosed pragmatist (4+ / 0-)

        who doesn't want those campaign bucks to run over to the GOP in 2010.  As well, if this reform proves unpopular (due to totally preventable underfunding of the public option coupled with individual mandates in the middle of a recession), he wants to be able to make the case that both parties participated in this legislation.

        I certainly cannot and would not attempt to assert that I understand what his logic is here conclusively, but that would be my guess.

        I'd argue that we'd be far better off designing reform, particularly a public option, which far exceeds any insurance product currently being offered by private insurers.  That means properly funding it, period.  Also means making sure that large swaths of healthcare providers accept the public option, and that the program is able to bulk negotiate pricing.  Do that, and take credit for a wonderful piece of legislation which will prove popular.  Half ass it, end up with something controversial, then try to point fingers at the GOP under the guise of bipartisanship, and voters will make congressional Dems pay at the ballotbox.

        Emanuel has done some great things in the WH, clearly, but I disagree with him here.

        "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren"--Kirsten Gillibrand

        by GN1927 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:10:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think he's a lying ass hole. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Anthony Segredo, RantNRaven

          "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

          by bigchin on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:19:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Campaign Bucks.....yep... (4+ / 0-)

          Therin lies the whole problem distilled into 2 words.   No real change will be forthcoming until we get publicly funded elections.    

          We have to do something about health care NOW obviously, but we MUST work for public funding to level the playing field, primary all the Blue Doggies, toss out the lobbyists on their collective asses.....THEN....we may be able to affect considerable change.   Until then.......it's kinda like trying to take down a mountain with a teaspoon and a coffee can.

          We need to work for changes in the time frame of this health care bill.   Three years is just too long.  The GoOPers can just go to hell on this one. I'm really bone weary tired of this "bipartisanship" crap.  We don't really need them and I am sick of the Dems kowtowing to them repeatedly.  That era needs to be OVER!   Did they ever consult US on anything for the last 8 years of the Bushies?  I just can't remember that they ever did....

          OK....end of rant.....  ;O)

          "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

          by RantNRaven on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:35:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  easy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, GN1927, k8dd8d

      because the markup on the bill comes before the vote.  You don't know if you're getting any votes until you get a bill.  And call me a silly political pragmatist, but it is poor politics to make the arrogant suggestion that there are no Republicans in government right now who have anything good to add to a bill or a debate - taking over the government and running it as a one party state will only invite corruption into the Democratic party.  No opposition, no checks and balances.  And that's how a party eventually gets knocked out of power.  Please don't tell me Democrats haven't learned this lesson yet and it's all about taking and using all the power.

      DailyKos: the "Free Ice Cream for Everybody" crowd!

      by louisev on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:17:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I, for one, will NOT call you silly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, louisev

        debate strengthens everyone, checks and balances are good, informed, strong opposition is a good thing.  assuming it exists.

        is my UID revoked now?

        "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

        by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:44:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That only works (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, k8dd8d

          when there is more than one party capable of sane, honest debate. Screaming back at the guy channeling God on the streetcorner strengthens no one, and that's the position traditional Dems are in right now.

          Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

          by DaveW on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:18:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well thank you for that! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k8dd8d

          I do hope that some of the loudmouths here will remember that Obama was voted into office with 20% of the conservative vote, which means millions of Republicans, and even larger numbers of independents, like me.

          DailyKos: the "Free Ice Cream for Everybody" crowd!

          by louisev on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:44:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's a big difference (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GN1927, k8dd8d

            between steps to please some conservative voters and steps to please Republican Congresspeople.

            The conservative voters, most of them anyway, want the plan to work, though they may be more concerned about cost and expansion of government than liberals.

            The Republicans in Congress need to kill it or have it fail.

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:51:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think a system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bluesophie

            where we look at the other party as our enemy serves anyone.  Yes, they are opposition, and politics is bloody, and I disagree with them most of the time.

            But, everyone does better when everyone has a place at the table, and a little slice of the pie is a lot more tasty than crow.

            Lots of lefties disagree with me, and I respect that.  We all have a place on the continuum.

            I do not believe that to win, you must destroy the other guy.  Set him back a few generations, maybe, but without the opposing opinion, the echo chamber is defeaning and defeating.

            "There are so many people in this world who refuse to see any vision they didn't think of" ~Hyrum Graff, Ender in Exile, Orson Scott Card

            by k8dd8d on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think that the GOP has demonstrated (0+ / 0-)

        an unwillingness to constructively participate in this and other major legislation.  For political reasons.  Checks and balances require two parties operating in good faith, not merely one.

        "My favorite is Greta Van Susteren"--Kirsten Gillibrand

        by GN1927 on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:52:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Rahm: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dump Terry McAuliffe, Nathan45
    At the end of the day, the test isn't whether they voted for it," he said, referring to Republicans. "The test is whether the final product represented some of their ideas. And I think it will.
    What ideas?
  •  Holy crap! $2 Trillion in startup costs???? (0+ / 0-)

    $2 Trillion in startup costs for the public option as a "loan"?  Who are they kidding?  And how much will premiums need to be to pay that back?  

    How the hell can anyone say this "pas for itself" with a straight face???

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

    by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:06:04 AM PDT

  •  GOP will vote against the bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thomasjefferson33, k8dd8d

    regardless of concessions the administration makes.  We need a health care proposal that controls costs, doesn't break our budget, and covers as many people as feasibly possible.  That said, we shouldn't cave to Republicans who won't vote for the bill regardless of what concessions are made.  The primary job should be to pressure Blue Dogs to support the best health care option available that includes a robust public option.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:06:20 AM PDT

  •  Well damn. Thank goodness we took care of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven

    part where the assholes who have gamed the healthcare industries get theirs for three whole years before the public phase kicks in. I was so worried that the poor babies wouldn't be able to get in there.

    And too bad about those without insurance. Fools. We have to have money to give Goldman Sucks, AIG, etc. THEY HAVE BONUSES TO PAY. Who do people think they are? Just because they have to pay for everything, they get all uppity and think they should get something out of it.

    And as long as it's bi-partisan, it's all good.

    (NOTE: You wait, that public option will NEVER kick in.)

    •  when are people on this site going to stop saying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RinaX, k8dd8d, realityworld

      that the taxpayers "gave" money for the bailout.  It was loaned - WITH INTEREST - and 78 billion of those loans has already been paid back by banks anxious to get out from under the chafing of federal oversight and restriction.  If the government were offering taxpayers loans to pay for health insurance you sure wouldn't be calling it a giveaway.  Let's stop undermining our political credibility by blatantly misrepresenting legislation and programs we don't like because of hatred of Wall Street - that's just lazy and irresponsible.

      DailyKos: the "Free Ice Cream for Everybody" crowd!

      by louisev on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:21:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  At least now I understand why it waits until 2013 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, slinkerwink, Nina, Living in Gin

    Sucks, but it keeps it deficit neutral without neutering benefits over the long term.

    Granted, I'd prefer raising the millionaire tax even more to solve this problem and get a public option sooner, but I guess we can't have everything.

    I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it! - Franklin Delano Roosevelt http://meldroc.com/

    by meldroc on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:13:52 AM PDT

  •  2013 is bullshit and unacceptable. (7+ / 0-)

    Hold down the costs?  Fuck that. If you buy into the "need" to control costs, you're buying a load of crap.

    If not now, when? If cost is the issue, when will that ever not be the case?

    The Democrats prevaricate and deceive and I will not avert my gaze from that fundamental truth.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:16:31 AM PDT

    •  It's also necessary for administrative set-up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, sapper, k8dd8d

      It took Social Security five years to be set up, and it didn't cover everyone at first.

      I'm on Twitter so if you'd like to follow my tweets, please do!

      by slinkerwink on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:17:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  dead by 2013 (6+ / 0-)

      bigchin, I'm with you. Lots of people will be dead from lack of care by 2013.  And in the meantime, the right wing will have lots of time to fear monger and kill most of the effective provisions of health care reform.

      •  To be callous, think about how many people (0+ / 0-)

        will be alive 2013 and afterward. They'll be alive for the rest of their lives.

        "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

        by sapper on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:37:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well, if you want it done right (6+ / 0-)

      it needs to be set up correctly.

      despite everything you've learned from installing software, the real world doesn't work that way.

      (+0.12, -3.33) agree w/ me or go to redstate. i'm snarking. too many aren't.

      by terrypinder on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:20:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How quickly do you think this could be done? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      As another poster said, it took 5 years to get social security in place. I've been wondering about the setup on this all along, but this is the first time I've heard a number. If they can leverage the unavoidable delays due to getting this up and running into making the cost more palatable then bravo.

      "Mom, baseball, apple pie, and a unified Democratic juggernaut.

      by Purplepeople on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:34:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spider webs unite

      Three years is bullshit.  I have a very personal interest in getting this done NOW.  People are dying every day because they cannot afford the medical care they need immediately.  Weighing the saving of human lives against administrative costs seems like comparing a 2000 pound succulent watermelon to a dried-up old green pea.   That watermelon will feed many....that pea won't help anyone.  

      Did the WH and the Pentagon consider "start-up" costs before invading Iraq???   Bring the troops home, stop funding the MIC.....and we have the $$$ to make changes in a lot of areas.

      "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

      by RantNRaven on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who are the people "dying every day" (0+ / 0-)

        and would the cost of the care necessary to prevent them from dying be covered under the pulbic option?  I thought I heard something about how most of the cost savings would come from more efficient spending on health care at the end of one's life.

        •  That would be the uninsured (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RantNRaven

          You know the ones who can't afford the medication that's keeping them alive or functional.

          The one who don't bother getting checked for cancer because they couldn't afford treatment anyway.

          The ones who put off going to the doctor until the problem is so bad they can't function and the ER will have to treat them: treat them and dump them back out on the street without any followup, because that's not emergency care.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:20:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  More" efficient spending " on health care (0+ / 0-)

          at the end of one's life? What would that mean??   A life is a life is a life.   Does this mean that we should just stop attending to the medical needs of people after a certain age?  And just who would determine that age?

          I would certainly HOPE that the cost of the life saving care would be covered under the public option!

          Who are the people dying every day?  People who have chronic disease and no insurance who cannot afford the tests and treatment they need under our present shameful system.  One example: My husband had a heart attack 2 years ago and now is considered uninsurable.  He needs more cardiac tests and possibly another stent installed, but we cannot afford the thousands of dollars even ONE of these tests will cost.   We already owe many thousands from his last procedure and are slowly paying it off.  We are both artists in a tourist town and do not make much money, especially in this very weak economy where art is considered for many a luxury.

          I fear every day that he has another blockage but we cannot afford the tests.  He has threatened to quit taking what meds he is now on because the price just keeps going up.  This man is only 56 years old and has a lot to contribute to this world and to the people who love him.  There are millions like him all over the country............

          I do not consider 56 as being old or at the "end of one's life".  We need universal health care NOW.   Apparently in the past Congress and the President have deemed that spending shameful amounts of money to get Americans killed is much more profitable for the corporations than saving American lives.

          "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

          by RantNRaven on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 10:30:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  bigchin-- some reforms will start immediately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      according to the poster edlab staffer:

      please, take a look at the entire timeline. Some reform start immediately, like ending rescissions, no co-pays for preventive services in Medicare and Medicaid, more funding for community health centers.

  •  ideas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan

    Why would a good bill have any Republican "ideas" in it?

  •  Polls show: Public Option is ALREADY bipartisan. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333, RantNRaven, k8dd8d

    Polls show that about 3/4 of all Americans, and about 1/2 of self-identified Republicans, want the Public Option. That's bipartisan enough. Just do it.

    •  Yes.. but we need details on the public option (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RantNRaven

      Americans are in favor of the "idea" of a public option.  Maybe not so much when they see the cost of premiums, co-pays, etc.

      That is what I am most anxious to see the details of.

      However, I'll bet they pass a bill with the public option without ever actually working that out or revealing those details.

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

      by Skeptical Bastard on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:22:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My biggest worry is that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven

    ...faced with huge deficits in 2011, they decide to put off the 2013 parts of the bill (which includes the public option).  

    It looks like the individual mandate will be enforced through a penalty of 2.5% of income, but I can't figure out if it takes effect immediately or in 2013.  If the former, that gives an unfair advantage to insurance companies, since inertia rules and many people will be slow to change to a more affordable public option.

    •  individual mandate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, wsexson

      Penalties will only being after the exchange, market reforms and public option is set up in 2013.

    •  Would have to be in 2013 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      It's impossible to actually enforce an individual mandate without making insurance affordable to the poor and those with pre-existing conditions by:
      a) providing subsidies to low income households, including Medicaid expansion and insurance premium subsidies, and
      b) enforcing guaranteed issue and community rating (or robust risk adjustment)

      Because there's no insurance exchange or subsidies until 2013, an individual mandate would be unfeasible until then.

      Also I have to assume it would be phased in over a couple years like the Massachusetts individual mandate so that people have time to get used to it, but I haven't actually read that part of the bill, so I can't say for sure.

  •  Wow (8+ / 0-)

    It is hard to imagine life without worrying about health care coverage.  

  •  Aside to budget hawks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, milton333, RantNRaven

    If you voted to authorize that $3 trillion (and counting) war of choice in Iraq, STFU about the cost of improving the nation's health care.

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:26:12 AM PDT

  •  What Bucky Fuller said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, Mr MadAsHell

    For the really good news that should blunt Republican criticism and public concern over costs, the bill pays for itself--it will not increase the deficit, it will not bankrupt the country. (Like the Iraq War did. As always, it's interesting to see where funding priorities lie.)

    40 years ago, Buckminster Fuller said our fate depended on whether we chose to use our accumulated knowledge and capital on "articles of livingry" or "articles of killingry".  It is rather clear which we as a people, a nation, chose.

    From whatever angle you approach it, the present offers no way out. This is not the least of its virtues. ~ The Coming Insurrection

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:26:51 AM PDT

  •  What about the taxes? (0+ / 0-)

    No benefits until 2013, but what about the taxes? Do they start immediately? Is this just smoke and mirrors to cover up TARP losess?

  •  Thanks for the info, mcjoan (0+ / 0-)

    Appreciate your insights, too.

  •  It's the best thing going. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    littlebird33

    I can't wait to see how the Senate'll dick it up.

    I read the Bloomberg article on Rahm et al. I love how Drudge is blasting this bill as the antichrist. Means it's right on target -- or as good as the House can craft it in the declining age of vociferous wingnuts -- with what the American people demand.

    "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

    by sapper on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:31:30 AM PDT

  •  Insurance regulations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    milton333

    such as eliminating pe-existing conditons must be enacted now. There is no excuse why these regulations have to take so long.

  •  Looks like a pretty decent piece of legislation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rick, askew, RantNRaven

    but man, three years is a long time when you have no health insurance. And that 18 million figure is higher than I would have liked. I realize that true universal coverage is virtually impossible under our current system but I'd much rather see that number down in the 10-12 million range.

    •  The hardest subpopulation to cover (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, for political, practical, and economic reasons, it's nearly impossible to extend insurance to a whole lot of undocumented immigrants, who make up half of that estimate.  It's also very difficult to get households to enroll in Medicaid, because they are typically too poor to make tax penalties that they respond to.  So a big reason for the large # of uninsured is the sad fact that it's very difficult to run outreach to low income households and even more difficult to insure a whole population of people who we don't even know are here.

  •  criticism (0+ / 0-)
    For the really good news that should blunt Republican criticism and public concern over costs, the bill pays for itself--it will not increase the deficit, it will not bankrupt the country.

    That won't blunt Republican criticism.  They're gonna fight tooth and nail against this for the one reason they can never acknowledge publicly - it will work.  The last thing our friends in the GOP want to see is any government program that works.

    "To hell with the rich. They made me sick." - Philip Marlowe

    by Roddy McCorley on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:38:31 AM PDT

  •  There are some downsides to having fed. Medicaid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snaxattack

    For one thing, expect the fed to avoid doing anything about reproductive services of any sort.  OTOH, Medicaid patients in many states have contraceptive, reproductive and abortion coverage, exactly because the states administer the program.

    I hope to heck that nothing in the fed. bill will prohibit the states for continuing to do this.

    Here's a table of which states do what:

    http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/...

    Pretty much all states cover prescription contraception.  I hope the fed will do at least as well.

  •  One thing I wonder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    If insurance companies will no longer be allowed to drop coverage for people on Jan. 1st 2010 won't that create the perverse incentive for them to accelerate rescission by Dec. 31st 2009?

  •  they will not get GOP votes - why bother? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinite, RantNRaven

    as proven in the Senate HELP committee, which approved about 160 Republican-offered amendments, and all 10 Republicans on the committee voted "No" anyway.

    Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself - Wallace Stevens

    by catchlightning on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:46:11 AM PDT

    •  They're not worried about votes in Congress (0+ / 0-)

      as much as they are about votes at the ballot box.  Some of them live in conservative states or districts and all they think about is getting reelected.  It's an obsession and their first priority.

  •  I think the timetable is something Obama can (0+ / 0-)

    weigh in on when, hopefully, it all gets reconciled in conference.

    Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself - Wallace Stevens

    by catchlightning on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:47:50 AM PDT

  •  Bad plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RantNRaven, leonard145b, jennylind

    As candidate Obama said, health care is a right.  If it is a right then changes should be made now to ensure that all uninsured and underinsured citizens are covered from day one.  

    1.  The Medicare program should have an open enrollment for all those 55 years or older.  Costs offset by aggressive fraud investigation and payout recovery.  Increase physician payments.  Increase funding to states targeted to pass through to health care institutions to increase staff and upgrade facilities.  All physicians/facilites/providers must participate.
    1.  Target increase in federal dollars to all states for all uninsured/underinsured under 55 years of age to enroll in existing state medicaid programs.  Increase physician payments, investigate fraud.  All physicians/facilites/providers must participate.
    1.  Phase in long term health care plan with public option, tax increases, malpractice review board, health care education initiatives and many more components (perhaps a future diary)

    The situation is critical out there for millions of people. A 3 year phase in is not a viable option. It is just plain inhumane.

    •  Inhumane, yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Digginthislife, trinite

      Good observation.  I think that's the word I've been searching for.    And it kinda describes the system we've been living under for many years....

      "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

      by RantNRaven on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The current rationing of health care must STOP! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RantNRaven

        The health care industry reduces us to consumers and transforms compassion and care into traded commodities.   The ill and poorly funded drag down the bottom line and are cut out of the picture.  Millions suffer and die and it is hard for many to care because the suffering has been made invisible.  The current structure and administration of our health care system  is inhumane and it is unacceptable.  This recession/depression is a game changer.  For everyone.  The age of the individual as entrepreneur will be advanced only when access to health care is available to all.  That is where the fight lies.  Do we cede individuals power over their own lives and work choices or continue skewing money and priorities towards the corporations.  Which future do we want?  

        •  I think I know the future we want. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Digginthislife, RantNRaven

          The problem is that we obviously don't have the power to get it because it's not "we the people" who run the show.  It's the military/industrial people who obviously do.  It's the religion of our times.  Have you noticed that the military has a government run health care plan and how all presidents love using it?  Some of them have every part of their body checked out before they leave office.  Something very drastic will have to happen to change things because it looks like the American people will continue to accept whatever is thrown their way.

          •  True (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RantNRaven, jennylind

            Part of the citizen inertia is the fact that politicians don't see individuals unless they are lobbyists.  I attended a community meeting broadcast over local radio.  The topic was health care access and reform.  It was well attended.  Our fed and state reps were there.  One stood and said ( I paraphrase) "If only the 46 million could organize and march and let their needs be known".  I was stunned.  I stood and replied that if you already know that 46 million Americans are uninsured then DO YOUR JOB!! Get to work and reform access to health care! Why should the citizenry have to become lobbyists in order to become visible to our elected leadership?  There is a great disconnect.  Health care access and reform is an economic game changer.  The Washington crowd knows it.

  •  A though, admittedly from an underinformed (0+ / 0-)

    discussant here.

    If you banned rescission and set up the exchange first and held off a few years on the public option, wouldn't THAT kind of roll out help the public option to compete better by forcing private insurers to take on their share of all applicants - including those with preexistings and other health risks - before the public option comes online?  One worry I have is that the public option will be at a disadvantage becuase even within the exchange, private insurers will market in such a way as to force sicker individuals to the public choice, thereby making the public option much more expensive to run.  If we can hold off a couple of years in which some of the previously uninsurables are able to get private insurance through the exchange, while they may ultimately decide to leave for the public option, at least that will be a more genuine choice in the long run.  If that makes sense . . .

    The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

    by Mother of Zeus on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:51:52 AM PDT

  •  A little nitpicking (0+ / 0-)

    94 percent of Americans (97% if you don’t count the undocumented).

    If they are undocumented, then they aren't Americans.

    "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 08:53:44 AM PDT

    •  Yes, but they're still human beings. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jennylind

      If you travel to Europe and aren't covered by insurance over there, some European countries will still give you health care and will not bill you for it.  

      •  I think there is a difference (0+ / 0-)

        between travelling and residing. They do that because they are dealing with travellers who are there for only a few weeks at a time. And some of the same countries that do so also refuse entry for sufferers of certain severe or chronic conditions.

        If those few European countries which can afford to offer healthcare to visiting travellers were faced with suddenly having to care for an additional 5% of their populations on a permanent basis, it might not be as feasible.

        "crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

        by Phil In Denver on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 10:08:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Federalizing Medicaid, (0+ / 0-)

    if it meant fully funding and standardizing coverage, would be a very significant improvement.  Not so much if it still allowed states to define covered benefits.

  •  EdLabor Staffer Leaving (8+ / 0-)

    Sorry, I have to jump off now. Opening statements start today at 3pm and I need to get things ready. We will carry all of our proceeding live at edlabor.house.gov.

    It was great answering some of your questions. Check out our website for more details. I'm sure I'll be lurking again.

  •  You underestimnate FOX News. (0+ / 0-)

    For the really good news that should blunt Republican criticism and public concern over costs, the bill pays for itself--it will not increase the deficit, it will not bankrupt the country.

    Right now FOX News, led by Stuart Varney, is going ballistic over the House bill claiming the CBO is saying costs will explode.

    Democrats don't expect their presidents to be their leader; they expect him to be their errand boy.

    by eclecticbrotha on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:09:27 AM PDT

  •  Social Security Administration (0+ / 0-)

    If we got national health perhaps disabled people can actually get some help rather than having the SSA work just as an insurance company denying care for years all the while they are flying to Arizona having executive junkets... that shit makes me furious. They said they need it because of the amount of death threats, perhaps they are getting so many death threats just like BSBC because they are killing us with their lack of care and actual neglect, absolute assholes...IMO of course..

    there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over -6.88/-4.31

    by DeadB0y on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

  •  Why 2013? (0+ / 0-)

    This must have a lot to do with the election in 2012.  Gee, if we had a public option before 2012 it might give the insurance companies a chance to get rid of all the Democrats in Washington, and as we all know, the D.C. folk are obsessed with getting elected.  After all, these are lifetime jobs for many of them, and the others want to guarantee that they'll be there for two terms.

    As always, the people in Washington are still more concerned with getting elected than they are with doing the right thing and saving lives.  Is this the change we were waiting for?

    Also, why do we have to take GOP ideas?  This is more about politics than anything else.  It's so very disappointing.

  •  Individual Mandate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennylind

    Individuals who don’t purchase coverage would pay tax equal to 2.5% of modified adjusted gross income.

    How about couples who are both employed but one employer offers much better insurance so both are under, say, the wife's plan.  Will they lose 2.5% of his AGI?  So much for "if you like your current coverage, keep it".

    Its also complete garbage that employers can't offer the public plan.  If insurance companies don't have to actually compete against the public plan for the employed, that won't lower costs.  In fact, if they have to compete in one arena (the unemployed) and not in another (the employed), guess where they're going to make up the costs...

    Also, I see nothing about dental, vision, mental health.  These are real medical needs with real costs that need to be covered.

    •  You could stay under wife's plan (0+ / 0-)

      You only lose 2.5% of AGI if you are uninsured.  Which is not the case if you buy a family insurance policy through your wife's insurance.

      As for the public plan... I agree, employers should be able to offer it.  Or rather, I think everyone should have access to any insurance through the exchange, bypassing the employer completely.  There is no reason anyone should be forced onto a single insurance plan with alternatives made prohibitively expensive in a system built around buying insurance via premiums, which is why I find it encouraging that the House's bill allows the HHS to give large employers the ability to offer employees health insurance through the exchange.

      I remember seeing mental health as part of a standard benefits package when going through a draft of the House bill.  I don't know if dental and vision are; my first instinct is no, because they would significantly increase the cost of the bill.  Dental and vision are definitely important and need to be included in future reform, but there's not enough political will to pass them now.

  •  Medicare/Medicaid (0+ / 0-)

    Where are the savings coming from in Medicare and Medicaid?

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