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Ezra raises the question I keep pondering-why are the Dems not emphasizing the morality of universal healthcare? They keep talking about a cut here, a nip there,  and how it saves the economy down the road. But that does not elicit the passion needed right now to get this done. Ezra points out in Sweden the message of morality of healthcare for all was the big deal and helped to get the best deal.

Healthcare for all is the issue of our day. It goes against every fiber of religious teachings, moral compasses and basic human dignity to not provide healthcare to all citizens of the United States, much less the world. Dems run on tv talk and yammer about-the CBO says this, the cost effectiveness is that, one trillion is our limit for the bill because that number is round. Oh and of course we hear the bill must be delayed. We must water it down carefully as healthcare is not a tax cut. It funds no war. It is not Chase bank. So its for the people therefore we must treat it very differently.

So lets talk morals here. And how folks like Conrad and Baucus harm such values. Their personal dealings reek and what they are doing right now is destroying our chances to enact a long denied civil right.

First from Ezra’s piece:

What Happened to the Moral Case for Health-Care Reform?

I spent Sunday reading T.R. Reid's "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care". ..I want to point out something he says about the successful efforts in Sweden and Taiwan to overcome the political opposition and rebuild their patchwork health care sector's into national health-care systems:

Both countries decided that society has an ethical obligation -- as a matter of justice, of fairness, of solidarity -- to assure everybody has access to medical care when it's needed. The advocates of reform in both countries clarified and emphasized that moral issue much more than the nuts and bolts of the proposed reform plans. As a result, the national debate was waged around ideals like "equal treatment for everybody," "we're all in this together," and "fundamental rights" rather than on the commercial implications for the health care industry.

This year, however, it's not just been the opponents of the policy who have relied on the "mellifluous language of the standard economic theory of markets." It's been the advocates of reform. Ask yourself what the administration's one-line goal is on health-care reform. Is it "equal treatment for everybody?" ....

No. It's "bend the curve." And the problem with "bending the curve" is that it's a broadly testable proposition. ...If the White House's primary objective was health care for every American, or guaranteed care that you could keep even if you lost your job, or choice of insurance plans for every American, you could spend a bit more on health care and say you were achieving your goal. But if you say that the point of health-care reform is to save money, and then the outfit charged with estimating such things says it won't, that strikes at the heart of the project.

The economic case for health-care reform requires a really radical version of reform. Single-payer, say, or the Wyden-Bennett Healthy Americans Act. ... But the administration has been pushing it in primarily economic terms, with some moral arguments around the margins. And now they're caught in that dissonance.

By Ezra Klein | July 27, 2009; 2:28 PM ET

Sen Conrad-Mr Co-Op himself, seems to have few scruples. News broke today of some shady dealing on his part. Countrywide, his big money buddy, looks to have given him some sweetheart deals for his homes. This stinks:

According to an Associated Press report late Monday, Robert Feinberg, who worked in the Countrywide’s "VIP" section, informed congressional investigators last month that both senators (Conrad and Dodd)were told "who you know is basically how you’re coming in here."

Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages were for a beach house in Delaware and a small apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.
In 2004, Conrad borrowed more than $1 million from Countrywide to refinance his vacation home.

Later that year, Conrad refinanced the eight-unit apartment building in North Dakota that he owns with his brothers. While Countrywide’s internal rules prohibited the company from doing that deal, Mozilo allegedly told company employees to go ahead with the loan anyway.

Conrad originally said he didn’t receive any special deals — a claim now contradicted by Feinberg’s statement.

Read more:

Blue Cross Baucus takes almost zero money from his own state. He is funded largely by BIG PHARMA to represent them, not the people. The proposal his cmte is now floating is beyond the pale of our obligation to provide universal healthcare.  Politico notes the fermenting rage against Baucus now coming to the fore as this dude chunks key Democratic priorities to placate 3 GOP senators. Note Dean's comments tonight!

Key Democratic provisions fading fast
By: Carrie Budoff Brown
July 27, 2009 10:46 PM EST

Bipartisan negotiations on the Senate Finance Committee are moving closer to eliminating two health care provisions favored by many Democrats – a mandate on employers to provide insurance or pay a penalty, and a government insurance option, a senator and health care insiders said Monday.

That could bring even greater pressure on Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who has been challenged by more liberal senators who say he is sacrificing key Democratic priorities on health care reform ... Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) confirmed that the three Republicans and three Democrats negotiating the Senate Finance bill are moving away from a broad-based mandate that would force employers to offer insurance. The senators instead are leaning toward a "free rider" provision that requires employers to pay for employees who receive coverage through Medicaid or who receive new government subsidies to purchase insurance through an exchange.


Democrats on the Finance Committee meet Tuesday morning, but already talk of a deal along these lines drew fire from one prominent Democrat – former national party chairman Howard Dean. If the co-op plan and free rider provision make it into the bipartisan compromise, "I fear for the future of health care reform because that is not health care reform," Dean said Monday on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.
Instead, he called it "health insurance reform."

As for the co-op plan, Dean said, "That is what I call the fake public option. And that is a shame."

"This compromise does nothing except reform insurance. It is not worthless because it makes it fair, but it is not health care reform," Dean said.

In the NYT tonight more on a grand bargain deal being crafted in secret as real dems grow disgusted. These folks do a great disservice to their nation. A grave one. They negotiate away basically health coverage for all. All for appeasing conservatives who wont back this bill anyway. NYT highlights the junk food these people eat during the day, munching on Doritos and oreos on our dime dashing real reform. While this gang of 6 crafts a bill progressives could never support it will come down to Pres Obama who will have to side with the House or Baucus. Yep. Side with either Democratic reform or a craptastic Baucuscare bill:

July 28, 2009
Health Policy Now Carved Out at a More Centrist Table

WASHINGTON — On the agenda is the revamping of the American health care system, possibly the most complex legislation in modern history. But on the table, in a conference room where the bill is being hashed out by six senators, the snacks are anything but healthy.

Last week, there were chippers — chocolate-covered potato chips — described on a sign as "North Dakota Diet Food." More often, there are Doritos, pretzels, Oreo cookies and beef jerky: fuel to get through hours of talks (as)... The fate of the health care overhaul largely rests on the shoulders of six senators who since June 17 have gathered — often twice a day...

But if the three Democrats and three Republicans can pull off a grand bargain, it will have to be more conservative than the measures proposed by the House or the left-leaning Senate health committee. And that could force Mr. Obama to choose between backing the bipartisan deal or rank-and-file Democrats who want a bill that more closely reflects their liberal ideals.

But this quote is priceless from Countrywide Conrad:

"I think there’s a heavy sense of responsibility among this group," Mr. Conrad said in an interview. "Our country needs us to get this right."

As they near a deal, however, Mr. Baucus is getting resistance from Democrats who think he is giving too much ground.

Meanwhile the whole House Dem caucus met  to get the work done on their bill and be briefed on all of it. Maybe Reid could learn from Pelosi here, no??  Rep van Hollen told Bill Press time is up for Baucus.

Van Hollen: Senate may need to 'pull the plug' on talks
Contributed by Michael O'Brien
07/27/09 02:27 PM [ET]

Senate leaders may need to "pull the plug" on
bipartisan negotiations on healthcare reform legislation, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Monday.

Van Hollen, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), indicated that the still-unresolved negotiations before the Senate Finance Committee may have to be abandoned.

"What concerns me about what's happened in the Senate Finance Committee is that they've had a whole lot of time to work these things out, and just don't seem to be able to break the impasse," Van Hollen said in an interview on the liberal "Bill Press Radio Show." "It doesn't seem to be as much about a disagreement over policy issues, and it
seems more to be just the lack of the political will on behalf of some to get it done."

Originally posted to pronin2 on Mon Jul 27, 2009 at 10:01 PM PDT.

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