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So says Nancy-Ann DeParle in an interview with Bloomberg:

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama may accept nonprofit health-insurance cooperatives in place of a new government-run plan as long as consumers are guaranteed more choice and competition in buying insurance, a top aide said.

“We would be interested in that” if those conditions are met, Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff” airing today.

DeParle said she expected Congress to pass health-care legislation on a bipartisan vote “around Thanksgiving.”


In the Bloomberg TV interview, DeParle said a public plan would “level” the playing field by providing consumers “another choice” in “something like 88 percent of markets in this country right now” that are served by only one or two insurance companies.

The public plan would also lower costs, she said.

Nonetheless, DeParle said the president may be interested in cooperatives -- if they are designed to achieve his objectives.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, reinforced that view during his briefing yesterday when asked if Obama would sign a bill that didn’t include a public plan.

“The president is open to a bill that increases choice and competition,” he said.

This is essentially a reaffirmation of what President Obama told me on July 20, in the blogger conference he held with DeParle and Axelrod:

The conversation turned to the public option, with the President reiterating that a robust public option participating in the insurance exchange would be the best competition for people like the self-employed and small business owners and employees. With the topic the public option, and the fact that the Senate Finance committee is still considering the coop model as an alternative, I asked whether there was a coop model that would be an acceptable substitute to his vision of a robust public plan. He gave the well-informed, wonky answer I'd been hoping for. His advisers have been looking at the details the coop approach, and have yet to find a model that answers the problems that co-ops have in getting off the ground and growing quickly enough to compete at the level that will be necessary in a public option. His team is looking for the evidence that exists to show that a co-op could provide that competition, and if they can find it, it might be an option. He then reiterated his commitment to having  a robust public option.

It's pretty damned hard to imagine any kind of co-op that could compete with the private insurers on a scale that could match a government plan, which is what President Obama has consistently insisted upon in any plan in the bill, including in this appearance in Virginia last week in which he insisted that Americans "deserve a public option."

Bloomberg also helpfully reminds us that the public option is "contentious" and that "Most Republicans and some Democrats oppose the creation of a so-called public option." Because most Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress oppose a public option. However, a solid majority of Democrats in Congress support  the public option, and an even greater percentage of the American population supports a public option. To reiterate:

Most recent polls show that the majority of Americans support a public option. Recent polling from Washington Post/ABC News, Time, and McClatchy all show more than 50 percent support for a public option; two Quinnipiac polls and a New York Times/CBS News poll show more than 60 percent support; and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 46 percent support for a public option:

Quinnipiac: 62 percent support "public option."...

Washington Post/ABC News: 54 percent support a "government-run plan." ...

Time: 56 percent favor a "government-sponsored" option....

NY Times/CBS News: 66 percent favor a "government administered" plan....

McClatchy: 52 percent say "it is necessary to create a public health insurance plan." ...

NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 46 percent favor a plan "administered by the federal government." ...

The President keeps saying that this reform is about choice--that if you choose to keep your current plan, you can, but you will also have the choice of something better. That something better has been a robust public option. That's what all three committee in the House fought for, it's what the Senate HELP Committee fought for, and it's what all the mobilized activists in the progressive movement have fought for. Max Baucus and Kent Conrad and the Republicans are not the majority and they're not the "center" in this debate.

President Obama needs to hold firm to his criteria for a public option--that it be strong enough to compete with private insurers, that it provide Americans with a real choice, and that it keeps the insurance companies honest. Untested, unproven, unregulated co-ops are unlikely to provide that competition, and sure as hell aren't what we've all been fighting for for all these months.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:20 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The only way to stop a co-op compromise... (39+ / 0-) to get House Dems to pledge to vote against it if it's in the final bill.

    Obama has signalled over and over again that he'd sign such a bill into law and declare victory.

    Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

    by GreenSooner on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:21:46 PM PDT

    •  Good idea (9+ / 0-)

      Obama made a promise to include this and I think the Dems in Congress should not pass any bill unless it includes the public otion.

      I will be calling my reps to see if they will take that pledge, but I bet out of Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein, only Boxer would do this.

      Donate at and help a child learn to read.

      by kimoconnor on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:24:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not both? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, Matt Z, ancblu

      Why can't we just say yes to Coops, which would give consumers a range of choices,


      a public plan?

      Lets let everybody play !

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:37:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we have a month to see if this is necessary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, Matt Z, fernan47

      I personally think this round of the health care debate is lost to the back-stabbing Baucus's of the world.  What we need to do is start pushing the teabaggers towards succession, and then start the fight again once the South is it's own separate country. Let them go, if they want to fuck up a country of their own, good riddance and get them the hell away from the rest of us.  Yes, I live in Alabama currently but I can and will move, and we can always start a non-profit to help others with the moving expenses if they're too poor to afford the price of getting out of the insanity.

    •  That's one way or looking at it. (0+ / 0-)

      The other is that he's defining co-ops in such a way as to give himself a solid reason not to support them that will still make him look openminded and reasonable to people who are skeptical of the public option for whatever reason. Such as, "if you can find me water that will power my engine, I'll use it instead of gasoline."

      We'll see, I suppose.

      Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

      by LABobsterofAnaheim on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:52:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Talk about diminishing expectations (Animal Farm) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spencerh, polar bear

      Single Payer Public Option Co-ops

      Affordable, Universal Healthcare Mandate to Buy Insurance (or what, go to prison?)

      Transparent Government Secret Deal with Big Pharma.

      All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

      The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

      by BentLiberal on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is unacceptable n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Do you realize the responsibility I carry? I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House. John F. Kennedy

      by PrometheusUnbound on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:08:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I cannot understand why NBC always does it's poll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      with the Wall Street Journal. Honestly why not have Rush just tell them what the numbers are. The Wall Street Journal has not written an article, voiced an opinion or done anything favorable to Democrats since Rupert Murdock bought it. I don't understand how they can find so many journalists who think exactly the same way. Or maybe they just have one writer and as the Republicans send press releases they sign someone's name to it.

      I wish the President would just tell them to go to hell, list the names of everyone who signed that they would vote for a public option, and let us replace the rest election by election.

      People can get treated at the emergency room, which I know is a terrible option for them (and costs the taxpayer as much as a public option-which I am happy to pay, since I am not an asshole republican).  But if it would get the crazies to shut up for another year it would be great. If you get mad at the President for this it just means that the screamers and nut jobs at the town hall meetings win. It means the insurance companies win. They said they would kill it so it would be the President's Waterloo... what about the PEOPLE who elected them? I want to send these jokes for a Senate and House home for good... and then send a note... happy Waterloo to you.

      Support President Obama so his coattails will sweep Democrats into Congress in 2010. Help convince Independents!

      by Plain Speaking on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:11:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Real smart attitude. What if you are at work and (0+ / 0-)

      you have to get 1000 people there to agree to every idea you have. Good luck and that is just 1000 opinions. And what if most of those people said they'd stop you no matter how hard they had to work to do it.  After all of that are you going to buy them cake and ice cream.

      Support President Obama so his coattails will sweep Democrats into Congress in 2010. Help convince Independents!

      by Plain Speaking on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:13:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are 2 co-ops in the USA, they're a JOKE (0+ / 0-)

      80 % of success is just SHOWING UP!

      by Churchill on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:14:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not "open' to it (3+ / 0-)

      and it sounds like there's no "coop" plan out there that will meet even the most minimum of standards for reform. So hopefully this won't be an issue. I'll ask my congresswoman at her townhall if she's not shouted down by teabaggers. If she is, I'll ask her at the picnic (not open to teabaggers so no more said).

      He CAN'T declare victory with such a bill because it will be a matter of mere months before it's obvious that not only has nothing changed but things have dramatically worsened and everyone has to go back to the drawing board. This wouldn't be victory and he won't be able to credibly claim it as such — which is why I don't think this will happen.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:31:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just got an email from Klobuchar (24+ / 0-)

    on health care that does not explicitly mention a "public option", and it's a bit wishy washy. Time to gang up on Amy again.

  •  Can There Be One Message? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Mz Kleen, jds1978, TomP, banjolele

    Maybe serve some nice cups of STFU at the next staff meeting.

  •  Would President Hillary Clinton let this happen? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Progrocks, tellbarackdotorg

    Kinda have to ask yourself.  

  •  WSJ always keeps there thumb on the scales.n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, Matt Z, RustyCannon

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

    by logsol on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:24:24 PM PDT

  •  If true, Obama needs to say so. (5+ / 0-)

    Then we can all stop worrying about refuting these town hall thugs and can get back to finding a REAL man/woman of the people for a 2012 challenge!

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:24:45 PM PDT

    •  If true...we will find... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a person to replace Obama himself as President.

      "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

      by jvackert on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:28:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rolls eyes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, NuttyProf

        If we run anyone other than Obama, then a Republican will be President in 2012, almost certainly. The blow the Dems (Obama included, of course) would have dealt themselves at that point would be fatal.

        Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:59:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So What? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duncan Kinder

          So, I'm assuming you're just telling progressives and liberals to take it up the rump again for the team after taking it from Obama and his conserva-Dems for the time since he's been in office. Oh yeah, let's accuse the Progressives for f'cking up the Health Care negotiations, which Obama has presently negotiated with Big Pharma protecting Big Pharma profits. If the Democrats cannot have enough backbone to adhere to their platform and suppor the issues cared for by their base and the millions of other Americans who voted for Obama for POLICY REASONS. Then fuck them.

          "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

          by jvackert on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 05:46:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You assume way too fucking much. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm just saying that as a practical matter, talking about primarying Obama six months in is as very poor proposition at best. Actually, it's idiotic.

            Now, if in three years nothing has been accomplished, and it looks like Obama is going to lose anyway a la LBJ, I might have some more sympathy for such talk, but seeing as he is without a doubt the most progressive president of most of our lifetimes, I think this kind of talk is beyond unintelligent -- unless you are the kind of far leftist who wants Republicans in power to hasten the day of the glorious revolution.

            That being said, of course everyone should be agitating and putting pressure on, but the atittude you express will get us fucking nowhere. It certainly hasn't worked in any time or place I've read about or experienced.

            Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

            by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 11:45:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  CO-OP'S SUCK! thats like AAA or AARP (11+ / 0-)

    offering insurance! BULLSHIT!

    How would Faux & Foxes cover this story?

    by surfdog on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:25:08 PM PDT

  •  NO coop!! (19+ / 0-)

    What doesn't the administration understand about us wanting the public option?????  WTF??????

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:25:34 PM PDT

  •  only prob with that (16+ / 0-)

    AHIP is absolutely opposed to Co-ops.

    The health hater terrorists won't stop for that either.

    But I hear they are willing to be peaceful if they get the rest of Czechoslovakia.

    Daring Dems to take to the streets. Big mistake, Pubbies.

    by cskendrick on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:25:37 PM PDT

    •  Never! Leave the beer alone! [nt] (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cskendrick, LABobsterofAnaheim

      Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices--François-Marie Arouet

      by CA Berkeley WV on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:45:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  EXACTLY! (4+ / 0-)

      I really don't get why Obama doesn't see this.  He's negotiating against himself.  Every concession he and the Dems in Congress make is met not by concessions from the other side, but only by demands for further concessions.  No matter how many things the Democrats give up in this reform legislation, they're not going to get any Republican votes or any support from the insurance industry.  All they're doing is making the bill weaker and weaker for the millions of Americans who really need health care.

      Obama should have started out with a single-payer, "Medicare for All" type option on the table and then negotiated down, if necessary, to a strong public option.  Instead, Democrats started out practically apologizing for wanting to give Americans something overwhelming majorities of voters support and that the public desperately needs, i.e., health insurance guaranteed by the government.  Then they quickly moved to yielding on issue after issue to placate Republicans (ah, the sacred "bipartisanship"!) and the insurance and drug companies. Now Baucus and his bought-and-paid-for ilk in the Senate are trying to kill the public option completely.  

      I'm no political genius, and I don't claim to understand all the maneuvering that may be going on behind the scenes, but I saw this crap coming from miles away.

      •  We know he is not a stupid man (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, ImABlondOK

        Nor inexperienced in how things get done in Congress.

        My guess is he is playing a much longer game for much bigger stakes than even health care.

        He is establishing that he has the dignity that America need in its leadership, an example that shames to rage and tears every last one of his detractors.

        He is presidential. They are punks.

        And there is no spin on any network that can undo the damage that the Teabaggers are doing to themselves.

        Daring Dems to take to the streets. Big mistake, Pubbies.

        by cskendrick on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:18:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bigger stakes? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Um, if you can explain to me what stakes could be bigger than health care, I'd be most appreciative.  See, for those of us with serious, chronic, expensive, life-threatening illnesses, the stakes are literally life and death.  We're one job loss away from not being able to afford life-saving medication.  Maybe for those of you who are fortunate enough to be young, financially secure, and in good health, there are bigger stakes.  But don't try selling that shit to me.

          •  Maybe you should read all my other posts on this (0+ / 0-)

            before raising your voice.

            I am just speculating here, trying to make sense of the seeming paralysis.

            The other scenario is that Obama doesn't mind health care reform failing... for now... that he feels it is too expensive for the economy right now to press on with.

            That is not a fun thought. It is also perhaps closer to reality.

            And in no way am I saying this is a great scenario.

            You have a friend here in the fight for healthcare that you need.

            Or you can just yell at me some more.

            Daring Dems to take to the streets. Big mistake, Pubbies.

            by cskendrick on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:39:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Read the other posts (0+ / 0-)

              Still don't get your point.  The stakes here couldn't be higher, either for the American public (which needs health care) or for Obama himself (who's made this a signature issue).  I doubt seriously that Obama "doesn't mind health care reform failing," because if it does he'll have taken a massive beating at the hands of the Republicans, and they'll know he can be rolled.  If he fails at this, he'll find himself in the same position as Bill Clinton back in the early 90s.  He'll have lost the biggest policy battle of his presidency, and neither he nor his party will recover from it.  

              Whatever Obama's actual views on health care (and they remain a mystery to me), he needs to win this for the sake of his own skin.

  •  Any Canadian Kossacks want to sponsor my imigrati (4+ / 0-)

    on?  Seriously, health reform is dead in the water (too many people are calling into somewhat non-partisan shows with "I'm just angry at this bill, Democrats aren't giving us a chance to speak that's why we shouted", its set to be 1994 all over again) and without it the US is going to finish the journey to third world country that we're well on our way too.

    "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

    by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:26:01 PM PDT

  •  No conviction. Republican lite (7+ / 0-)

    If this is the result, why bother in the first place?

  •  The "public option" (26+ / 0-)

    is the compromise position already. That single-payer isn't even on the table (and was not allowed on the table) is already compromise position. If Congress doesn't pass a bill with a robust, no-trigger public option that is in every state and market, then we need the bill killed/vetoed.

    We get one bite at this apple, so it needs to be a full-throated reform plan or it will be incremental bullshit which will not produce the changes needed and will kill any chance at real reform permanently, not to mention will be the springboard that the GOP will use to kill Dems in the next several cycles with... using a "see it is a disaster and we told you so" argument.

    The Dems on the hill and the people around Obama need to wake the fuck up and get their shit together.


    Mitch Gore

    January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:26:13 PM PDT

  •  I think we should have one big national co-op (24+ / 0-)

    called single payer.

    Let's bust them up in little pieces so they can't hold us hostage like this.

    by RustyCannon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:26:36 PM PDT

    •  Why not just outlaw... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LABobsterofAnaheim, RustyCannon

      ..."for profit" insurance.  The non-profit insurers suck for affordability but they at least provide the care they say they will in Michigan.  A heavily regulated (with subsidies on a sliding scale), non-profit/non-government insurance with the horrific practices of recission and life time caps banned would work and void the issue for the "socialism!" semi-sanes (as opposed to Repub nuts who are completely gone).  

      "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

      by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:29:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, Mr. Utopia. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LABobsterofAnaheim, JC from IA

        Why not just outlaw......"for profit" insurance?

        Because there is no middle ground.  

        Private insurance is entitled to make a profit.  The stockholders like to think so.   So are doctors.  Why spend the time and effort training to be a doctor if you can't get paid like one?

        Public insurance, one the other hand,  should not make a profit.  

        You can have both.  Australia does.  

        Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

        by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:45:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just a note... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LABobsterofAnaheim, RustyCannon

          >>Private insurance is entitled to make a profit.  The stockholders like to think so.   So are doctors.  Why spend the time and effort training to be a doctor if you can't get paid like one?<<</p>

          Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan (which is a non-profit and Michigan's insurer of last resort as they can not deny you coverage if you can pay) is a non-profit and is much preferred by doctor's in regards to payment.  They actually prefer Blue Cross coverage to Medicare which is unusual in the insurance game.

          You can have both, but getting rid of for-profit insurance removes a lot of the problems from the system.

          "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

          by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:53:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, and BC/BS of MI lost 149 mil last year. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

            by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:09:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Kaiser is also not-for-profit. (0+ / 0-)

            And in many respect far superior to most other plans. It's not easy to get it as an individual (I had to jump through all kinds of hoops, and I've been in Kaiser literally since birth) and there are too many co-pays and other possible charges if you get ill, but you can actually get coverage as an individual for $247.00 a month. Not bad in our present completely f'd up system, when some are paying double and triple that.

            Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

            by LABobsterofAnaheim on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:09:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kaiser Spambot Alert, Commercial, Incoming (0+ / 0-)

              .... kindly go screw yourself and quit lying to people.

              They're for profit, they pay doctors to do the least, they cherry pick and dump patients by refusing treatments, their wait times are horrendous, and most of all,

              THEY DON'T COST ONLY $247 a month.

              Shameless greedy little ****s.

              "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

              by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:31:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  then wikipedia has been changed... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ...wikipedia claims they're non-profit.  Granted, wikipedia really could have been changed for self-serving reasons and also they could be non-profit in name only.

                "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

                by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:48:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Kaiser is a non profit org (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wsexson, LABobsterofAnaheim


                Like all non profit orgs they seek to generate revenue (duh), but have no share holders to distribute them to and are governed by a different set of rules.

                Unlike many for profit insurers, a relatively large portion of their income is delivered in medical care, not as good as Medicaid's 97% but pretty high, an no where near the obscene 60% levels of some for profit insurers.

                Like all insurers they attempt to control costs by limiting care and by providing care that will optimize health outcomes relative to cost.

                Whether this particular person paid 247 is between you and him, but I'm sorry you are having such a bad day, and that you are so ill informed.

                •  They pay people to edit that wikipedia post and (0+ / 0-)

                  ... to put the same scripted advertisements in the form of blog comments under most internet sites with health stories....  I am not ill informed but you certainly are disingenuous.

                  You said nothing about quality of care and that's because it is not equal to having a contract with an HMO.

                  "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                  by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:58:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  ?????????? (0+ / 0-)

                    If you bothered to look me up, you'd see that I've been around these parts for a very long time and it's not like I talk about my Kaiser membership habitually. Just because someone prefers something doesn't make them a shill.

                    If you'd like, however, I can show you my monthly bill.  I'll also gladly whine at you for three hours about the problems I had getting my membership back after my Cal-Cobra deal changed because Kaiser raised their rates and my old employer decided to go with HealthNet. Getting back in should have been easy for me, but it was anything but. Kaiser's has some problems and it's far from all beer and skittles, just the best thing I know of at this moment for folks who aren't wealthy. I should also add that if the Public Option is cheaper, I'll almost certainly be taking it.

                    Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

                    by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 11:52:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  ALL of my Dr's in MD (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mister Gloom

            don't take either BC or medicare. They have big signs in their offices that say so. And I ought to know. I have BC.

            •  BC/BS are usually independent... (0+ / 0-)

              ...if wikipedia is telling the truth you have a CareFirst Blue Cross (as does DC and parts of Virginia) which may be a for-profit company.  In Michigan BC/BS generally has one of the higher pay rates to doctors for treatment.  And between it and Health Alliance Plan (another non-profit, albeit this one is an HMO) they are probably one of the top 2 coverages in Southeast Michigan.

              "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

              by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:46:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It is the only thing that makes sense. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, banjolele, RustyCannon

      I think the POTUS should spring this on Baucus when recess is over.

      Negotiate that, fuckwit.

      •  Dude... (0+ / 0-)

        ...single payer doesn't solve a lot of the big problems with healthcare.  This is why most of Europe is not single payer (technically the UK isn't single payer either because the government owns the means of production in medicine, making it true socialized medicine).  

        "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

        by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:32:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing solves every problem, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson, banjolele, RustyCannon

          but do we have to keep crippling our economy with jacked-up health care costs til we achieve complete perfection?

          I'll take ANY European system ANY day over ours.

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:34:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Canada and most countries DO have a form (5+ / 0-)

          of single payer or fully socialized system. And it does address the bulk of the healthcare problems... dude.


          Mitch Gore

          January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

          by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:35:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We had mutual insurance decades ago. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RustyCannon, polar bear

          And, that is all these 'co-ops' are.  The upper management of the mutual companies simply bided their time and bought enough influence in Congress to convince them that they could not possibly 'compete' if they weren't allowed to make massive profits on their insurance pools.  The co-ops will just do the same.

          Co-ops are not only a bad idea, they are not a particularly new or original idea, either.

          •  Also... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polar bear

   an industry that will still have competitive pressures, what's to keep even the most honest co-op from simply getting screwed over by private companies that can dump their high risk patients onto the plan.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield of MIchigan is a non-profit (and as such will not turn down any patient) and, if you can afford them, they actually do provide the coverage they say they will.  

            However, there individual plans have become a large scale problem for them because they are having private insurance dump their high risk clients into their pool while undercutting the non-profit and cherry picking the lower expense clients.  This has given BC/BS the unenviable choice of having to either jack up their rates or eat the costs until they become no longer viable.

            I believe BC/BS of Michigan will generally at least attempt to do the right thing, but that situation gets harder when you combine the issue I noted above with Michigan's long-time economic problems.

            "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

            by Mister Gloom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:02:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But alas the POTUS can't spring anything... (4+ / 0-)

        ...since the POTUS doesn't write legislation.

        Robust, full-throated public option in all markets and states or single-payer must be in the bill or veto it.


        Mitch Gore

        January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

        by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:33:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, sure he can. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FightForJustice, RustyCannon

          Presidents have legislation written all the time.  Make Baucus and his butt-chums stand up and try to sell the American people on why they oppose it, while the insurance industry is ling their pockets.

          •  You mean like they did in 1994? (0+ / 0-)
            •  Zing! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              Yes the exec can craft a proposed initiative, but it hardly ever gets used as the actual skeleton of a bill. Look at how budget bills are made. Sure the POTUS presents his recommended budget, but that  is used as an advisor broad outline at best, but is hardly ever the actual core of any of the myriad budget bills.


              Mitch Gore

              January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

              by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:14:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Gee, that's not what you just said, is it? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                In fact, you just said the POTUS doesn't writ legislation.

                It's just above; maybe you should review.  Your own words.  To refresh your memory.

                •  Actually it is what I said (0+ / 0-)

                  Maybe you should review how laws and legislation are actually made and passed. I am well aware of what I wrote and it is wholly consistent. The executive branch do not rite any laws at all. They can propose legislation to the legislative branch all they want, but laws are written by the legislative branch not the executive.


                  Mitch Gore

                  January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

                  by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:25:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You mena, like the way they STARTED in 1994? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, RustyCannon

              Breaking: It's fifteen years later, the POTUS did not start the process by trying to ram his own legislation through like the Clintons foolishly did, and the process is further along than it ever has been up to this point.

              Other than that, it's just like then.

  •  public option (7+ / 0-)

    is the minimum. It has to be included. We're going to negotiate from there in the next goround, twenty years from now.

  •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Donna Z, joanneleon

    I called this one a couple of hours ago talking to a friend. Don't be surprised if you see talk of "triggers" brought up, too.

    Freakin' shell games. All to prop up the almighty delusion that capitalism is for all things at all times.

  •  If No Public Option, what are we fighting for? (12+ / 0-)
    I am a fan of Obama, but if he settles for co-ops over a real public option, I will find it harder to believe he wants real change.

    If he accepts a co-op, then the Right will correctly claim victory, and his presidency will indeed be hurt.

    I understand there are other elements in the bill, but why go through all this just to back off the main fight?

    "When you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain, and not necessarily at the top." - Cousteau

    by Thucydides Junior on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:27:34 PM PDT

    •  To kill the bill (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, Matt Z, math4barack, Wolf10

      that is what I will fight against

    •  Waterloo indeed (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

      But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

      by banjolele on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What are we fighting for? (0+ / 0-)

      The same thing we have for the past 60 years:

      1. A reduction in the number of uninsured
      1. A requirement that insurers accept everyone -- regardless of health status, and cannot vary premiums except for geographic region, family structure, and age (by a limited amount)
      1. A cap on out-of-pocket expenses and an end to annual/lifetime limits
      1. Subsidies for low and middle-income families to purchase basic health insurance

      Is having a public option really that valuable if only 27.5 million Americans have access to it?  That's what the House bill, which imprisons people to their current coverage, does.

      What about if the minimum benefit package allows for a $5,000 deductible for an individual and a $10,000 deductible for a family?  Is a public option then still a good tradeoff?  That's what Mike Enzi wants.

      What about if insurers are allowed to charge 62-year-olds five times as much as 22-year-olds?  Is a public option then still a good tradeoff?  That's also what Mike Enzi wants.

      What about if young professionals earning $40,000/yr. are required to pay for the full cost of health insurance if they have access to the public option?  Is a public option then still a good tradeoff?  That's also what Mike Enzi wants.

      I favor the public option, but I'm not even remotely ready to elevate it above some of the issues I mentioned.

  •  OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE! (9+ / 0-)

    I give up!  I don't care anymore.  

    Pat Buchanan and Jeff Sessions are gonna go do that crack cocaine thing now.

    by dlh77489 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:27:41 PM PDT

    •  i can't blame you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spencerh, banjolele

      i feel really defeated at this moment.

      if obama thinks coops will do any good at all, well he ain't as smart as we thought.

      why kill ourselves for a debacle???

      and i am sacrificing a lot for this campaign.

      We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

      by fernan47 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's a mighty big 'if' he threw in there. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, mjd in florida, Matt Z, Wolf10

    In fact, I would interpret that remark in just the opposite way.

  •  Hopefully this is just a tactic to look like (7+ / 0-)

    Obama is really trying to include all viewpoints. Contrasting this agaisnt the blind raging mobs, he can then say we tried everything and there was no cooperation, so we have to do reconcilliation...and then pass what he wants.

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

    by logsol on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

  •  well the public is against the public option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    math4barack, Wolf10

    according to all the polls on the television, so the ppl are should get what they want (or not what they don't want)

    watch the republicans still don't vote for it

    •  Polls (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't the polls suggest that the majority still favors a public option?  (Some stations don't report fully.)

    •  Against the public option? (0+ / 0-)

      Um, not sure what polls you've been looking at, but you might want to take a look at the ones cited above in the diary:

      Most recent polls show that the majority of Americans support a public option. Recent polling from Washington Post/ABC News, Time, and McClatchy all show more than 50 percent support for a public option; two Quinnipiac polls and a New York Times/CBS News poll show more than 60 percent support; and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 46 percent support for a public option:

      Quinnipiac: 62 percent support "public option."...

      Washington Post/ABC News: 54 percent support a "government-run plan." ...

      Time: 56 percent favor a "government-sponsored" option....

      NY Times/CBS News: 66 percent favor a "government administered" plan....

      McClatchy: 52 percent say "it is necessary to create a public health insurance plan." ...

      NBC News/Wall Street Journal: 46 percent favor a plan "administered by the federal government." ...

  •  obama should have came out with single payer from (6+ / 0-)

    the beggining

    and after months of negotiating, come out with the public-option as a comprimise

  •  We're putting our lives on the line... (10+ / 0-)

    ...for this cause, and he's talking CO-OPS?????  We wanted single payer, and finally agreed to settle for this watered down public option thing.

    I'm a precinct chair; if the President goes for co-ops, I'm quitting the phone banking and canvassing--and taking my precinct workers with me!

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

    by CoolOnion on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:28:59 PM PDT

  •  Oh damn, this is great. This is just up this guy's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenskeeper, Duncan Kinder, Wolf10
    alley too. In Obama-speak 'comprimise' does usually mean 'actions taken for the benefit of corporate America'.

    I am just surprised that this hasn't happened before this. Maybe he had to get his deal done with old Billy T. first.


    •  I Said It Before, I'll Say It Again: (0+ / 0-)

      Barack Obama is a reliable neo-liberal corporate shill. What's progressive about him is that he demonstrates that all Americans, regardless of race, creed, or the national origin of the parentage, can get ahead through hard work, playing by the rules, and an eagerness to shill for corporate interests.

      Anybody who says any different either wasn't paying attention in the first place, or has been lying all along.

  •  NOOOOOOOO (6+ / 0-)

    No, no, no, and no.  Just, no!!

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:30:24 PM PDT

  •  Co-ops have been test and have failed (12+ / 0-)

    Its not that the coops are an untested idea, they are a proven failure. They have been tried repeatedly before and almost always went out of business or became for profit.

  •  We did not win the election, if (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    spencerh, math4barack, polar bear

    by "we" one means progressive Democrats. The euphoric haze is gone and with clarity one sees that more education, organizing and electioneering must occur before we get what we thought we had.

    The frog jumped/ Into the old pond--/ Plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:30:37 PM PDT

  •  Why Not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Have public option and call it a co-op?  I would be open to that.  You could have a public option and call it "lassiez faire" or"Reaganism" or "George W. Bush economics", the "Glen Beck School of Health Care" "Limbaughcare" for all I care.  As long as it's a public option I don't care what you call it.

    If it isn't a public option, then fuck it and fuck Obama if he allows himself to be rolled on it.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:31:44 PM PDT

  •  Knew (5+ / 0-)

    something was up when the little I saw on MSNBC yesterday's Ed Show,Lawerence O'Donnel talking about co-ops & later Johnathan Alter mentioning the same to Olberman.Folks don't sit back & wait.Contact your reps let'em know you want public option.

  •  Trial balloon? (9+ / 0-)

    I'm a little leery of taking this at face value - how much of what Bloomberg is doing is part of the traditional media misinformation campaign? Stories slanted, facts omitted, voices not heard....

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:32:01 PM PDT

  •  Pallone said as much this week (0+ / 0-)

    Rep Pallone was honored this week at an annual meeting of NJ health care agency. Not sure why he did it, but he made three points: Bush did a good job expanding community health centers, long term care insurance prolly should but prolly won't be in the bill, and pretty much said regional co-ops will be the options for individuals or small businesses.

  •  Waterloo moment (13+ / 0-)

    Obama is truly going to lose support if he further alienates the progressive end of his base. The scared people (and the vast-right-wing conspiracy that is scaring them, along with GOP) are not going to be reassured by co-ops.

    As late as last week, I had faith that Obama and the Democratic majority would push a flawed, but better-than-nothing health reform bill through, probably with 51% in the Senate.

    If he goes on with the concessions to Baucus and six or seven Democratic Senators that are pushing against the fairly ok House Bills, then he's going to lose those of us who were already making an effort to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    So...I'm going to go bury my head in the sand because I can't stomach watching this kabuki play out.

    Ugh, back to reading classic novels and sci-fi.

    And, yeah, I'll keep callling my Congress people, because I figure it's my duty. Heart is no longer in it.

    It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. Jimmy Carter

    by coral on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:34:00 PM PDT

    •  Ever played sports? THEY ARE LOOSING and they (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, Matt Z, fernan47

      ... know it.

      Don't let up now.  If you want to win the game, keep playing. Send in the second bench, take a breather, drink some water, but kick their asses, and keep kicking, until they they STOP and LOSE.

      White House could get horrendous blow back on this.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:43:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Screw this. (12+ / 0-)

    I am completely beyond trying to understand why the insurance industry has to have a seat at the table, and it's uber-critical for the bill to be "bipartisan."  I just plain ol' don't fucking get it, and you know what?  I don't care anymore.

    Obama and the Democrats get this done, and done right, or they go down in flames.  And rightly so.

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

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:34:08 PM PDT

  •  Here's what will happen: (14+ / 0-)
    1. Obama and conservadems will pass a bill with co-ops. Rahm will be happy. So will Max, and the DLC corporate types.
    1. Liberal groups will cave.
    1. Our health care system will still suck.
    1. Dems will try to get all excited and trumpet a bill that sucks.
    1. Nothing will get better, or costs will still up.
    1. The GOP will say this non-government run health care plan proves that government sucks.
    1. People will believe them.


    The facts are these: until the liberal wing stands up to the stupid center, nothing will get done.

    Until we get the $$ out of the system, nothing real will happen.

  •  Obamas Advisers Need to Catch Up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    verso2, jds1978, fernan47, PorridgeGun

    It seems as if every major idea like these Co-Ops have already been in the News and Rejected by the major players befor Obama even hears of the ideas and their rejections. I don't know who is claiming to keep him up to date but they are lying.

  •  Green Party Looking Good! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, spencerh, enemy of the people

    White House special deal with drug industry exposed by drug industry's chief lobbyist, who cut the deal.

    Don't any politician dare to even think about betraying us.  Boy that Green party sure is looking good!


  •  It's about time for Pres. Obama (10+ / 0-)

    to threaten to veto anything without a real, viable public option and quit the nonsense about co-ops and triggers.

    If he's not willing to do this for us, after everything that the people have done for him, he's lost me for good.  And I mean it.

    He's got to tell the drug and insurance companies and all the other BigHealth interests to get lost and he's got to listen to the people.  His charisma is not strong enough to convince us we're getting chicken salad when it's really chicken shit.

  •  complaint about mcjoan in 3,2,1,... (0+ / 0-)
  •  Who really cares what it's called (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's okay to call it a Co-op as long as it provides real choice and competition to the health insurance industry. It must be separate from the insurance industry and efficient like the VA healthcare system. It can be a public co-op, I don't care about the label only that the Wall Street parasites don't have a way of sucking profits out of the system. That's how I read President Obama's statement.

    Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

    by RMForbes on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:35:19 PM PDT

  •  "ONE-TERM-PRESIDENT" - Would all of you who (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenskeeper, fernan47, math4barack

    .... think the Senate and even the Chief Executive can be just left alone to do the right thing because they were elected, wake up now, stop being so naive, and start to get aggravated with this endless bullshit trianglelation ?

    August. The month of accountability.  Not one nickel and not one hour if they persist in screwing over the American public for Corporate Business Interests.

    LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THESE TOWN HALLS. Do you want this to be America ?

    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:35:22 PM PDT

    •  I'm making calls. At least 25 today. So, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't know who is complacent. And even though I don't think (as apparently mcjoan may not believe either )that regional private coops are favored among Democratic Senators.

      I don't think regional coops passes the Senate because the votes just aren't there.

      You will have no argument from me that this President has been extraordinarily weak (that's the kindest way I can phrase it) on health care which is a top tier issue.

  •  There is a good model for co-ops (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon, roadbear

    It is called the Federal Farm Credit System.  It was established by the government about 100 years ago to keep banks from ripping off farmers.  During the last century, the American Bankers Association has constantly pushed for its liquidation.  But the Farm Credit System, which is made up of farmer-owned cooperatives and regulated as GSE's by the Farm Credit Agency, continues to do its work.  It accounts for 30%-40% of all agricultural lending in the US (which means it hasn't driven out private lenders) and it also is usually the price-setter in the market for farm loans.  Other banks drop interest rates and improve lending terms to compete with it.  

    That's exactly what we want in a public option too, so, yes, a cooperative system, properly structured and regulated, can be a very good form of compromise on a public option.

    •  yeah but it represents a continual watering down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      spencerh, roadbear

      of our original intentions.

      its like the argument against high speed rail.
      They argue for more money to local rail, when the topic of local rail comes up, they argue for Bus transit lanes, when the topic of bus transit lanes, they argue for more lanes added to regular traffic highways.

      "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

      by superHappyInDC on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No co-ops (4+ / 0-)

      A Medicare-like public option was the compromise.  

      •  No the compromise is what (0+ / 0-)

        gets the deal done.  If we can't have single payer, which would be the best, we at least need an effective universal alternative to private insurance.  The farm credit system IS a public system.  It is private only in the sense that it gives its profits back to farmers who are nominal owners of the system. (I have no problem with making patients the owners of health care, do you?) It is completely, and very heavily, regulated by the federal government through the farm credit agency, and essentially is an arm of the USDA.  It is governed by the farm credit board, which has authority over and above each insititutions' individually elected boards of directors, which is appointed by the US president and approved by the Senate, like any other government appointment. That's why the American Banking Association lobbies in every farm bill to have it liquidated or privatized.  

        A properly designed cooperative system would be NO different from the public option proposed already.  It would be private in name only, which is exactly what we want.

        •  Health care reform without a viable public option (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon, Matt Z, spencerh

          is not real health care reform.  It is simply a gift to insurance companies.

          •  And that response is based on ... (0+ / 0-)


            A cooperative system IS a viable public option, just like it was a century ago to farmers at a time when a third of the country depended on that for their living.  Or, I should say, it CAN BE a viable option. The issue is whether it provides a public-controlled (not industry controlled), alternative to paying for health care, not whether you, me, or anyone else, deems it worthy of the mere semantic label "public option."

            •  Do you have examples of successful co-ops (0+ / 0-)

              that create real competition for oligarchical health insurance companies today?

              In the 90s my provider was a non-profit company who had salaried doctors and health care centers with different specialties under one roof.  They also had contracts with hospitals, other specialists, pharmacies and services.  It was very much like what a co-op today would be.  Try as they might, they finally went out of business because they could not compete.

              We have a fully functioning public plan in place right now.  In fact we have more than one, Medicare and the VA.  There is absolutely no reason not to just expand one of those and make it a public plan.  The only reason not to is that the insurance companies and other large health companies know that it will force them to compete.  

              If co-ops are so good and so viable, why aren't there many, many healthy co-ops today?  It's not like there isn't a demand for more affordable health care.  If they existed, people would flock to them.  Where are these wonderful co-ops?

              •  It's not because they're co-ops (0+ / 0-)

                that make them better.  The non-profit and member ownership are not that important. It's that the co-op systems would public systems, accountable to regulatory bodies appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.  The Federal government would have a stake in their success and mission to expand coverage and lower prices.

                That's what the farm credit system co-ops are. They have clout not because they're co-ops, but because of the federal government stake in them and regulatory apparatus designed around just them. That's what would exist in a national health care co-op system, properly structured.

        •  If you would diary this, with an in-depth look at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          how it works, how is has national clout to bargain with other entities, how it sets prices and so forth, that would be great.

          Then compare it to what Conrad is talking about.  

          I hope you are right, but from what I heard, Conrad's plan is more regional and would not leave us with the size and backing we need to grow and prosper.

    •  Maybe progressives really are stupid (4+ / 0-)

      Here's this guy posting solid information on an example of a federally-run cooperative that works, and everyone here screams "NO NO NO, that's not what we wanted!" like a bunch of toddlers.  No one is responding to his points with additional information, arguments, etc.  

      This isn't how public policy gets changed.  

      It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

      by dotalbon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:50:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not taking out an effing LOAN to grow CORN in (0+ / 0-)

        .... my hospital's parking lot and hoping the crop comes in so I can afford to see the ER doctor.....

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:24:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  who do we need to lean on to get this through? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, oscarsmom

    I want a public option...dammit.

    "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

    by superHappyInDC on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:36:28 PM PDT

    •  I think he lives on Pennsylvania Ave. n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Oh, and joanne? Your sig line- Sestak is not a (0+ / 0-)

        ... big public option fan.  Why are the Republicans targeting Specter ?

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:46:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polar bear

          In addition, the Congressman reaffirmed his support for the inclusion of a public health insurance option in the exchange.

          Transcript from the Ed Show:

          SCHULTZ:  What are you hearing about public option and an insurance plan that would give the public an option to jump in and go against the private sector?  What are you hearing from Pennsylvania?

          SESTAK:  Everybody wants it.

          SCHULTZ:  Everybody wants it?

          SESTAK:  I hear across the board as I‘m talking to these Democratic committees.  Here‘s why, in Pennsylvania, particularly, 70 percent of all private health care plan are in two companies across Pennsylvania.  And we know it.  We‘re 42 percent of the population lives, the Philadelphia region, one company has 70 percent.  And everyone‘s talking about how come my health premium‘s gone up 86 percent the past seven years.  Arlen Specter hasn‘t done anything to address this issue.

          Everybody‘s for this, let me tell you.

          SCHULTZ:  Will you support the Employee Free Choice Act?

          SESTAK:  Yes, I co-sponsored it.

          Specter was expressly opposed to a public option until Sestak indicated he was getting into the race.

          Since Joe Sestak started making noise about running Specter has been voting very Democratic.

          •  Read his website, it's extremely lukewarm support (0+ / 0-)

            ... at best, he did not mention it on his website, instead kept talking about creating competition between private insurers, and he is NOT leading, he's following on this issue to get netroots support.

            I'm not a Specter fan either, but at least Specter committed first.

            These trianglulating bastards are going to start equating co opt with public option - NOT the same thing.

            "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

            by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:21:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  From his web site (0+ / 0-)

              Joe supports inclusion of a public plan that competes on a level playing field with private insurers, is subject to the same rules, regulations, and requirements as all other plans; and pays for care from individuals’ premiums and copayments -- not general government revenue.



              Establishes an exchange where individuals and small businesses can purchase private insurance (or a new public option)

              I've been a Sestak supporter since he began his first '06 run for Congress (when Rahm Emmanuel called him and told him not to run).  I have worked independently since '02 so health care is one of my top issues, and I've been listening to what he's been saying about it for several years now.  Back then, long before we even knew who would be running for president in '08, Sestak said that the main reason he decided to run for Congress was because he wanted Americans to have access to the same kind of health care his daughter received, courtesy of the US govt.  It was his way of paying back through public service.  So this is not a new meme for him.

              He doesn't believe that single payer is the best solution for this country, and he initially was looking toward something similar to the Mass. plan. This past winter, he said in a town hall that his biggest concern about a Medicare for all option was that it was not fiscally sustainable, but was not opposed to it in principle.

              But his position has become more and more progressive over the past year or so.  In May, he came out in support of a strong public plan.  He does feel strongly about the need for competition and has stated explicitly that a public option must provide competition.  As he learns more about the issue and talks to more Pennsylvanians, I think his support will become even stronger.

              Upon assuming office, one of Joe Sestak’s first priorities was to reform our healthcare system. He requested membership on the Small Business and Education and Labor Committees’ healthcare subcommittees

              My only concern about Sestak and health care is that I know he feels strongly that we need to pass a reform bill now.  He hasn't specifically pledged to vote against any bill that doesn't include a strong public option.  But it's clear that he strongly supports one.  So we have to work on him between now and October, and most importantly we have to work on the people who are writing this bill in the Senate so that they don't put the House in a position of having to vote down a reform bill without a viable public plan.

              •  I'm sorry, but if he thinks the Romneycare Mass (0+ / 0-)

                .... Massachusetts version was a good idea initially, then he's just another Dem who's figured out how to say anything to get elected.

                I heard him at Netroots in 06 and actually went back to his district where I have friends and relatives to talk them into working for him, and I live across the country.

                It is now 2009, three years later, and this pos Congress has not done a single goddamned thing for some of those people. Other than switched from "R" to "D."

                You know that the Romneycare routine of mandated purchase of junk insurance sucks yet this is the best that he can come up with ?

                Have these people even bothered to look at other much less wealthy nations with different insurance plans that are either single payer or have a baseline and tight regulation of the supplemental policies?  

                Of course fucking not.

                How is it that those other countries don't go bankrupt from providing universal coverage while they expend less per person and provide better outcomes?

                I'd rather see Specter forced to do the correct thing as his last legacy than to see this what I thought was at least a domestic policy liberal but just another war hawk with contempt for civilians (and we have enough of them already) get into the Senate for a lifetime.

                "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The minute Specter gets reelected (0+ / 0-)

                  (if things turn out that way) he has absolutely no incentive to vote with the Democrats on anything.

                  When Specter initially switched parties, that first week he came out unequivocally and said that he would not support a public option.  He also was waffling on EFCA.  It was not until he had the threat of a primary that he changed his mind.

                  If he is put back into office, do you really think he's going to vote with the Democrats?  Why should he?

                  The man has shown himself to be completely self-serving.

                  Plus, it's up to the people of Pennsylvania to decide who they want to run for senator in their state.  It's not up to the White House and Ed Rendell.

                  And Sestak's initial leanings were not for an exact replica of an MA plan, it was similar.  There were differences.  His main concerns were financial.  He was never opposed to it in principle.  As he learns more and speaks to more people in his district and throughout the state, his position has become more populist.  And healthcare reform has been his top priority from day one.

                  •  The minute he's (Specter) would be elected, if (0+ / 0-)

                    ... he was treated the proper way by the Democratic Party, he'd have no problem voting with them.  I figure his first few weeks he was going either get with the program or be a disaster-  he's adapting.  

                    re Sestak "his main concerns were financial"  that's just more bullshit Republican- style posturing and excuses. There has never been a financial means test applied to any sort of military spending bill, and the health care reforms would cost a fraction of what we spend-- this is nothing more than a power struggle.

                    Let me translate this for you-  it takes thousands of dollars to run for Congress but it takes millions of dollars to run for Senate and the second somebody actually decides, they become funded by special interests.  Even if Sestak loses, he is indicating by this move that he will take a lot of corporate financing with out a qualm. Nothing wrong with that other than then what do you do with it.....  piss them off and vote for Dem ideas in the Senate?

                    I have been going over his financial donations and I do not like what I am seeing, he has not done anything wrong per se but he's getting some of his money from Republicans that fund all of the Democratic party's natural enemies.  Plus, if RMR/MAF (swiftboats 'r us) is supporting him by doing expenditures against his opponent, that's a total, inexcusable flunk.

                    It pains me to do this, but at least with Specter one would know exactly what one was getting.

                    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:46:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

                      We've agreed on many things in the past but I have to say, ARC, I think you've gone off the rails on this particular match up.

                      You really think that Arlen Specter is going to vote with the Dems if they would only treat him right?

                      if (0+ / 0-)

                      ... he was treated the proper way by the Democratic Party, he'd have no problem voting with them.  

                      Cripes, do you know anything about Arlen Specter?  You've gone off your rocker.  And I don't know if you understand this race very well either.  

                      You've made a lot of accusations against Sestak with absolutely no sources, no links and nothing to back it up.  Produce the evidence of all these sinister things about him, or quit attacking.

                      As for your doubts about Sestak's loyalty because Republicans seem to be working against Specter -- come on!  First, Specter left the GD Republican party and gave the Dems the 60th seat, and Republicans are freaking vindictive people.  Does that make any sense to you?  Second, Republicans feel that they have a lot better chance of winning that seat with Toomey running against Sestak rather than Specter, so they do things to work against Specter.  Third, if the Republican candidate does not have a tough primary, and the Dem candidate has a tough primary, conventional wisdom says that this is an advantage to the Repub. candidate in the general election.  So they want Sestak to primary Specter because they think it will weaken the Dem. candidate in the general.

                      I'd like to see some proof and evidence for your attacks on Sestak, and I'll call you on it every time I see it.  You're way off base on this one.

    •  Call the ***ing White House. n't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:45:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've been had! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pundit, spencerh

    They're going with co-ops and that's that.

    Let's see...

    Rahm tells progressives to shut the fuck up.

    Obama had over twenty meetings with the health care industry.

    A report comes out Billy Tauzin got the WH to not negotiate drug prices with big pharma.

    The WH got "flat footed" on the town hall mobs. There is still no message or leadership on how to combat them.

    Now we're hearing he's "open" to co-ops.

    We've been had by the "centrist" - AGAIN!

    But if you still want to believe in "change", good luck.

  •  Sarah Palin will be happy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No Death Panels

    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices--François-Marie Arouet

    by CA Berkeley WV on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:37:22 PM PDT

  •  Sadly, because a "robust public option" (0+ / 0-)

    is perceived as being so "robust" that it would drive private insurers out of business, you probably won't see one for at least ten years.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:39:47 PM PDT

  •  Is Obama a Blue Dog? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, Duncan Kinder, polar bear

    Once again I must ask.

    Prove you are not, Mr. President.

    Hokey Pokey: n. Boring, conservative sex to make more boring conservatives.

    by jimbo92107 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:40:28 PM PDT

  •  This is why so many powerful forces in politics (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, Matt Z, fernan47, polar bear

    demanding that policy discussions begin at the compromise position as the starting point instead of ending up there after negotiations is so dangerous, there is no recognition of how great a role bad faith is playing in the opposition.

    The traditional media is doing what it did in 1993.

    The whole point of the GOP tactics is to move the ball towards... nothing.

    The opposition to healthcare reform is opposed to any reform.

    Their goal is... how can we end up with no reform?

    This hamstringing of policy debates couldn't happen if the media and GOP weren't in sync on demanding that progressive ideas cannot be on the table.

    No single payer. Then, once they get that off the table, no public option. Then once they get that off the table, we will wake up to discover that the Co-op option is suddenly 'too extreme'. Then they are off the table.

    Suddenly, we wake up with health insurance reform, dictated by the health insurance industry, as "the only acceptable bipartisan option".

    The illusion of reform in defense of the status quo is a monumental failure, so, all the wankers are happy and tens of millions of Americans are still screwed.

    I can't wait to read the Op/Eds in 2011 blaming Democratic setbacks in Congress on.... us.

    We tell the leaders of our party what is being done to them. We fight for the best policies.

    And huge chunks of our party listen to their political enemies while trying to gatekeep us out.

    You can't claim solidarity with people if you also want to bomb them

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:41:15 PM PDT

  •  Wake up and smell the coffee (4+ / 0-)

    Obama said this when he declared for president:

    And as people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what's filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we're here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It's time to turn the page.

    . . .

    I know there are those who don't believe we can do all these things. I understand the skepticism. After all, every four years, candidates from both parties make similar promises, and I expect this year will be no different. All of us running for president will travel around the country offering ten-point plans and making grand speeches; all of us will trumpet those qualities we believe make us uniquely qualified to lead the country. But too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.

    Bailing out bankers and partnering with insurers and drug companies.  Is it clear yet who his constituency really is, after the campaign rhetoric is over?

    So it goes!

    •  Wow. Thanks, citizen. I keep hearing how he never (0+ / 0-)

      told us he was for the little guy, he never said he'd defend us against the lobbyists, but there it is, in black and white.  I guess I've been too lazy to look it up.  I'll google a piece of this and see what i get.

      Thanks.  This is exactly the man i love and still hope he will show himself again, and soon!

  •  BTW, thanks mcjoan (4+ / 0-)

    This is all essential information for us to have.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:42:20 PM PDT

  •  Defeat Co-Ops (4+ / 0-)

    If co-ops are the public option, this is not reform and the bill should go down to defeat.

  •  Co-Op? No Thank You. (4+ / 0-)

    "It's like they take pride in their own ignorance or something." - B. Obama

    by kefauver on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:43:10 PM PDT

  •  I am looking into the future and not liking what I (3+ / 0-)

    Obama trying to pressure the Democrats in the Senate into passing some mockery of a regional, private coops bill with a little republican support so that he can say that he got bipartisan support.

    The coops are a complete disaster. Democrats, especially progressives, in fact most people vote Republican in the midterms and Obama loses in 2012 to whomever runs against them.

    Republicans will say see what happens when -

    An utter failure which will show itself in numerous statistics. and the next several election cycles.

    •  Either that or the corporate media and the voting (0+ / 0-)

      machines will keep just enough votes coming in to leave a lot of the Dems in place.  After all, it gives the illusion of democracy, does it not, to change parties now and then?

  •  SIlly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, fernan47, NuttyProf

    The Republicans and their allies, the lobbyists and the healthcare industry, are doing everything they can to insure that their bedfellows remain in control of the money.  That way, they can continue to double our premiums every year.  The system as it exists is unsustainable, and without a public option, there will be no pressure on the insurance companies to offer fair ly priced plans.  

    Co-ops would probably be toothless in the face of the giant, rich, very rich, super rich insurance companies that continue to rob us all.  Interesting that the opponents of healthcare reform are too uninformed to realize what is being done to them, but their stupidity has a long history.  Since Reagan, they have been convinced that only small government works (only it wasn't small & it engaged in the biggest deficit spending possible right through Duhhhbya's term); everything must be deregulated; and taxes must be cut.  They 'believe' these things because god told them (or someone), even though the ideas are irrational in a complex, sophisticated society.  We are no longer a rural, 19th century backwater, perhaps except in the sense that too many of us think that way.  We need government, but we need good government to protect us from the kind of god-approved capitalism advocated for decades by THE FAMILY.  The rich have managed to prey on people who are too ignorant to defend themselves by appealing to their fears about guns, abortion, and government intrusion into their lives.  It seems to me that some giant corporations already control our lives, and we must work to be free of that profit-oriented control.

    It is ridiculous to believe that high-priced insurance, the use of emergency rooms and problematic practices in Medicare (which I have) and Medicaid will not ultimately result in the higher deficits the hired protestors talk about, shout about, in their mob behavior.  

  •  Clearly, this is our fault. (5+ / 0-)

    After eight nightmarish years of Bush & Co. policies crammed down our throats with not a single, not ONE, filibuster from the Democrats, then two sweeping elections where we worked our asses off to hand the Democrats EVERYTHING they said they needed, and this is the thanks we get.

    Mob rule wins and we get shat on. Again.

    I know I'll get bitched at for this post and I may regret I posted this later when I cool off, but this is becoming a pattern here. Democratic leadership fails miserably and the rank and file get called "pathetic whiners" and blame is shifted to us for not making enough phone calls.

    I'm disgusted.

  •  Amazing. (4+ / 0-)

    On one side the teabaggers are trying to shut down the health care debate altogether, and on the other side Obama and the Dems are working out deals with the pharmaceutical industry and caving in on even compromises like the public option.  This is really depressing.  Democracy is dying in this country.

  •  You better get your $hit together Mr. President- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    you have just lost a supporter unless you turn this around and get a public option in the final bill.

    •  Sorry I yelled at you earlier (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      math4barack, polar bear

      .... I'm probably older and more cynical.  This is very exasperating because it tends to discourage people to be yanked around like that-  I really do appreciate that you called all those people. And I know a lot of Senators are committed, but when given an opportunity to chose between the difficult and the easy.....

      Michelle needs to talk some sense into him.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:13:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no worries. friends and peace ! I will (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        keep calling!

        When I called the White House I said that if a health care reform bill passed without a public option, I would not vote or support him in 2012.

        I voted for him in the primaries and generals, made phone calls in both Spanish and English during both the general and primary, donated as much as I could, talked to others.

        I'm just one person, but I'm through with Obama if this bill doesn't have a public option.

  •  back when insurance companies were non profit (0+ / 0-)

    We had better care for less money, so this could potentially work.
    Assuming, of course, that senators aren't in bed with execs.

  •  We still don't have good descriptions for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    any of these terms.

    What the hell is a "co-op"? Is it "good" non-profit, like Kaiser, or Puget Sound? Or is it a "bad" non-profit like Blue Shield of California?

    What if it were a public-owned utility, like the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power? What if it were a private, but regulated, public utility, like Edison Companies or the old Ma Bell?

    I've tried to steer conversations about reform away from "socialism" and toward "regulated public utilities". Our telephone companies provide minimum "lifeline" service for low-income households. I ask reform skeptics why we shouldn't have "lifeline" health insurance that works.

    What the hell is a Public Option? Does it have to be Federal, like Medicare? Or can it be local/regional like the utilities that bring gas, water, telephone, and electricity to your home?

    BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:48:51 PM PDT

    •  is BCBS non-profit? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, ancblu

      I know they used to be but I didn't think they were any longer.

    •  Understand the concern but.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      The fact the administration has yet to see a "co-op" model that will meet the President's criteria for providing the kind of competition that will lower insurance costs to consumers should be noted.  I think the public option is the best model, but from my point of view, getting fired up over him being "open" (i.e. listening) other ideas is not a reasons to become enraged, concerned as always but not enraged just yet.  There is plenty of time for that next year when you can decide whether to vote democratic or independent as I will.
      I am more concerned about reform, including banning of preexisting conditions, portability, lowering fees and premiums.  I am more concerned that as the right keeps pressing their case (the insurance industry's case) of NO REFORM AT ALL, we will lose everything.  If the right stays united in killing all reform and progressives split, the game is over for another 16 years.  With insurance premiums and drug costs skyrocketing, I really can't afford and the small company that I work for can't afford to wait that long for any reform at all.

    •  Federal gives it enough bargaining power to make (0+ / 0-)

      a difference.  Of course, it seems that it won't be allowed to bargain anyway, perhaps, but in another 10 years, once the deal has run its course, maybe then.

      Hopefully the House will not accept any of this crud.  The problem that I see there is that a lot of progressive Representatives simply love Obama and are not going to want to defy him if he truly pushes coops.  

      The ones that don't love him that much, Rahm will bring a baseball bat.

  •  time to bend over and grab ankles (0+ / 0-)

    we are effed.

    Yes, the NSA can hear you.

    by Muggsy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:49:02 PM PDT

  •  This is why we are not united (6+ / 0-)

    This is why we can not get big rally's together like the conservatives because they know what they don't want and that's anything but progressive's are fragmented and it is showing.

    Crank up the crazy and rip off the knob!

    by Dugits on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:49:55 PM PDT

  •  Mutual Insurance Companies (5+ / 0-)

    Dozens of mutual insurance companies already offer health insurance.  Have they solved the problems of our health care system, or are they part of the problem?  All that these "co-ops" are is mutual insurance companies.  As described there are no major differences.

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:53:15 PM PDT

    •  That's a good comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, polar bear

      Even Wikipedia briefly mentions that many "mutuals" have converted to corporate form when they ran out of capital.

      These "new" Co-Ops would be sitting ducks in today's financial jungle... unless they were quasi-public (like the Postal Service) and had government backing.

      I'm still for Canadian-style single payer. But I'm keeping an eye out for "next best alternative"...what can we get now, that will help us get to single payer in the future?

      Expanded Medicare sounds good. It's already available to the disabled under age 65, let's extend it to the young, the unemployed and under-employed as well.

      BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

      by jjohnjj on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:20:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      Mutual companies worked in their day, until upper management got greedy.

  •  Public Option (4+ / 0-)

    To me there is NO reform without a public option.  No public option?  Just more smoke and mirrors brought to you by big business and compromised legislators.  

  •  Important Message To President Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, math4barack

    Any bill that passes that doesn't have a robust public option will have failed all of us democrats who sent money to you, went out and got votes for you, and voted for you.  This will be the biggest betrayal of all time.  I hope you remember this President Obama.

  •  No way will I be FORCED to buy private (6+ / 0-)

    insurance. I don't trust my health the fu$%^ing insurance business.
    No public option?
    Not interested.

  •  My letter to the President... today (8+ / 0-)

    he President of the United States
    The White House
    Washington, DC

    August 8th, 2009

    Dear Mr. President,

    During the summer and fall of '08 I was fully engaged in your campaign. Truly engaged for the first time since the election of President Carter. I also had the pleasure of introducing one of my daughters to a Presidential campaign as it would be her first national election.

    You did inspire hope. You did project a sense of right and wrong. A respect for and of the law. So much so my daughter and me made financial contributions to your campaign. We phone banked. We canvassed.

    Yes, I have been disappointed. Disappointed with your stand on civil liberties, disappointed with a lack of transparency and disappointed regarding the administration's stand on the issues of "torture" and law. My line in the sand, however, is health care reform and seeing you giving into the blue dogs and seeking bipartisanship distresses me. The Republicans have no desire to work with you. A direct path to bad legislation, mediocre legislation.

    Here, the Republicans, having no moral fiber whatsoever. Not able to condemn a radio voice equating Congresswoman Pelosi and Democrats with the Nazis. Republicans who promote the dog whisper of racism. Compromise, bipartisan? In my lifetime? I doubt, seriously.

    I saw the interview with Chuck Todd. No mention of a public option. The focus of the items you ticked off was insurance reform and not health reform. Today I learn Rahm Emanuel and Jim Messina cut a deal with Billy Tauzin, a former Republican House member from Louisiana who now leads the pharmaceutical trade group. A deal capping savings at 80 billion for the pharmaceuticals. And, heaven forbid we negotiate the pricing of prescription drugs tied medicare.

    Mr. Tauzin said the White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. The $80 billion in savings would be over a 10-year period. "80 billion is the max, no more or less," he said. "Adding other stuff changes the deal."

    After reaching an agreement with Mr. Baucus, Mr. Tauzin said, he met twice at the White House with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; Mr. Messina, his deputy; and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the aide overseeing the health care overhaul, to confirm the administration’s support for the terms.
    "They blessed the deal," Mr. Tauzin said. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House was not bound by any industry deals with the Senate or the White House.

    Who blesses us, the public? Those of us without access.

    CEOs of insurance companies are paid tens of millions in salaries and hundreds of millions in stock options. And, we are left with what? The Baucus Bill? Why is our health care so poor (rated 14th I think). Why is it the most expensive in the industrial world? Why is our death by birth rate so high?

    Stephen  Hemsley the CEO of UnitedHealth. In 2007, he earned $13.2 million dollars. His unexercised stock options total three-quarters of a billion dollars.
    Where does he get all that money? He gets it from you. Your health, to be exact. Every time UnitedHealth denies one of their customers a treatment, that's more money in Hemsley's pocket. Every time UnitedHealth skimps on care, or delays treatments, more money for Hemsley. Hemsley is rich because he keeps you sick, that's just the way it works.

    Mr. President, UnitedHealth pays commission to their workers. Deny a treatment or deny for pre-existing condition and commission is paid. Here I am begging you for a public option so some cost containment might be offered. So insurance companies are accountable.

    You've asked for my support. What am I supporting? I am not supporting the "Baucus Bill." I will not support you blindly. I will not back off. I will confront those who seek to belittle and demean the value of a public option. You, Mr. President, have given me nothing to fight for.

    The fight for me is personal. I have a thirteen year old daughter. When she was nine we learned she was a type 1 diabetic. Five years of pin pricks, of needle stabs and of counting carbs. At times not being able to share cake and ice cream at the birthday parties of friends. Five years of monthly disagreements with our insurance company over the numbers of needles, test strips. Last month I went to pick up her supplies and saw a note attached to a bag. "The insurance company with only allow four needles a day."

    Managing diabetes is about preventing future complications and a greater expense. My daughter's Doctor had prescribed six needles per day. Each needle represents a meal, a snack or a correction. In effect the insurance company was saying to her you may eat four times a day. Or, eat three and correct once. Well her Doctor believes in more and smaller meals. Tell me Mr. President who stands between her and her Doctor? Who has a concern for preventive care and maintenance? Why do I have to have this conversation month after month? Why does my policy increase nearly ten percent a year and some times more?

    Mr. President, the Republicans are winning the message war. The Democrats in Congress and the Senate have largely been silent. They seem to have no bone for the good fight. The Republicans have no qualms about putting forward lies. Perhaps it's time to trust the base who fought for your election rather than allowing Rahm Emanuel to minimize them in favor of his blue dogs.

    Until you tell me Mr. President what I am supporting I can not support you. I will not invest my energies to be taken for granted and dismissed or told to back off. I will not invest my energies in supporting bad legislation. I will support a strong public option. A platform you campaigned on.

    Sincerely and respectfully yours,

    xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx

    "Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave." - Thucydides

    by JasperJohns on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 03:55:02 PM PDT

    •  That is a diary as written, and just needs to go (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, math4barack, polar bear

      ... into that format.

      Allowed to eat 4 times a day.

      When needles are so cheap....  I hate to say this, but you should check out a mail order pet veterinary supply house because they sell packaged sterile needles (for their vaccines or other animal needs) that are the exact same thing as are used on humans, only for dogs, cats, horses, etc.

      I can't believe I just had to type that.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a superb letter! nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, polar bear

      You can be active with the activists, or sleep in with the sleepers/ While you're waiting for the Great Leap Forward --Billy Bragg

      by andrewj54 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:41:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My biggest Obama-fan friend... (7+ / 0-)

    ...luuuuuvs him because of the whole Process Thing. Inclusionary decision-making. Win-win negotiation. That sort of thing.

    The problem is, this has now literally turned into a fistfight--and you can't inspire people to fight for vague promises of a really inclusive process when the other side is talking about bringing guns to town hall meetings.

    I got this email from MoveOn the other day asking me to support Obama's health care plan. I don't even know what the hell Obama's health care plan is, and based on this diary it seems Obama doesn't either!

    No. Obama's got to pick sides this time, and be specific. What's his legislative plan now, really?

    •  obama does not have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polar bear

      a health care plan.

      he chose not to write one.

      this was a major error which is looking like is leading to failure.

      he does not take center stage with anything to talk about except vague principles and a bill cannot be filled with vague principles.

      meanwhile stuff is injected into the bills which twist the thing into an unrecognizable form.

      i am getting really discouraged and the people in my local activist group are starting to call me with messages that they are afraid to go out and get signatures on our petitions.

      We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

      by fernan47 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:06:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The mechanics of petition-gathering. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        polar bear

        Maybe a year ago you could go door-to-door asking people to sign for "a better health care plan." But not now. People are right to want to know exactly what they're supporting. Right now, the "Obama plan" may or may not have public option, and it's terribly vague on all the other major details. I can't imagine asking someone to support the "Obama plan" today.

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        he chose not to write one.

        this was a major error which is looking like is leading to failure.

        The last Democratic President wrote on and that was a major error that lead to failure.

        So, guess, either way, we fail.

        •  maybe (0+ / 0-)

          but hillary's attempt was shrouded in secrecy and the current attempt is shrouded in closed door negotiations with powerful forces.

          We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

          by fernan47 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 05:34:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The latter (0+ / 0-)

            is how legislation is made...closed door negotiations and compromise.

            If you look at the history of legislation in this country, this is actually a hell of a lot more open.

            •  perhaps this is true (0+ / 0-)

              however, this legislation impacts all of us directly in a personal way; therefore, people want to know how each provision will affect them.

              and obama promised us transparency but set up a situation in which the key legislation is virtually opaque.

              had he created a bill, we could have examined it and taken positions for or against specific provisions.

              as it is now, he has asked us to pound the pavement for unknown legislation.  what is that about???

              We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

              by fernan47 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 10:18:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  NO<NO<NO. Coops are a small state (5+ / 0-)

    solution to some health care issues. None have proven successful and none guarantee treatment for all ailments.  This is a blue dog ploy.  The Senate Finance committee of 6 has fewer constituents than New York City.  It is so wrong to allow them to set the policies for the whole country.  Private insurance has had 60 years to present health solutions for this country and has failed to do it. The public option is absolutely necessary to keep the insurance companies honest.

  •  Amazed nobody calls for cutting DoD budget (6+ / 0-)

    America is so in denial. It's unreal.

  •  " Just say no" to compromise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    munky, AmericanRiverCanyon
  •  I've said this before and gotten slammed for it. (0+ / 0-)

    Obama has stated two goals for healthcare reform since the early campaign: all Americans covered, and costs controlled/reduced through efficiency and improved care. Remember--in the campaign, he didn't even have mandated coverage!

    Yes, the public option could help reach both goals, to me that seems perfectly clear, although no where near as well as full-bore single-payer.

    However, it's all in the details, and we don't a complete set of the details, no one does. There could be a poorly implemented public option that will not achieve the two primary goals, and I don't think anyone wants that. On the other hand, I for one am at least willing to listen to the details regarding a coop plan or any other plan, and to consider whether it would achieve them.

    For example, why not have a public option and coops? That is, instead of a public option with a single, nationwide health insurance clearinghouse, why not have a national public option along with regional or state-wide health coops? Are these two ideas really mutually exclusive?

    If people in Congress come up with a plan that has a good or excellent chance of meeting the two main goals, especially if there are any Republicans who sign onto it, then I think it will pass whether it has a public option or coops not.

    And, if meets the two goals, then I'll be glad it did. It will be a tremendous victory for Americans no matter what form it takes, in my opinion.

    Greg Shenaut

    •  Agreed to a point (0+ / 0-)

      Netherlands, Belgium & Germany have what it sounds like you are describing.

      From wikipedia:

      These countries have a type of single payer health care that employs a large central fund, largely hidden from public view, plus multiple funds that jointly pool their risk via this hidden fund. This operates through a process of risk equalization. Funding overall is via a mix of taxation and insurance premiums paid by the individual.

      For instance in the Netherlands, each insurer sets its own premiums but has to provide at least one policy covering the national standard level of care but may also offer additional, less regulated policies over and above this, e.g. for prescription benefits. By law, insurers have to set the same price for all adults living in a given region regardless of the age and health status of the insured. They cannot refuse an applicant. All insurers can be compensated from a central risk equalization pool if the health care demands of the sum of their customers is higher than would be expected. The risk equalization pool is funded by health care levies on employees and employers, as well as from other taxes. Insurers may have to pay into the equalization pool if their customers' risk profile is below the norm. Thus, not withstanding the higher than normal cost of insuring the elderly and the sick for the same fixed premium, insuring these people becomes an attractive business proposition because of the additional transfers going on in the background. This risk sharing encourages insurers to compete by giving good customer service and by lowering their administration costs (so they can attract more premiums) and they will not attempt to penalize the elderly or the sick in the way they might otherwise have to do if the equalization pool was not there. Thus although there seems to be multiple funds, risks are mostly managed centrally and inefficiencies within an insurer soon show through in its pricing. The taxation element of funding ensures that people pay more when they are young and earning and the relatively wealthy help to subsidize the health care costs of the relatively poor in society. This is one of the key advantages of single payer systems supported with taxation. Health care pricing is mostly negotiated by the insurers with health care providers within a region. Thus the insurers that negotiate the best prices will tend to be more profitable. This price competition is aimed at encouraging efficiencies in the provider sector. Because insurance is personal and not related to an employer, a person will never lose insurance if they change their job. An individual can always be assured of being insurable at the same rate as everyone else even if they have higher health costs than other people. Premium pricing is level at all ages. In the Netherlands, changing insurers requires only the filing of one simple form.


      Mitch Gore

      January 20, 2009... the end of an error.

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can you say 'sellout?' (4+ / 0-)

    I knew that you could.  Welcome to politics!

  •  CRAP! (3+ / 0-)

    Sound familiar? "The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters little if it is true or false." Journalist Arthur Bullard, circa 1917

    by planmeister on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:11:26 PM PDT

  •  This cake is baked: No public option, just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, Churchill

    "regional" (read 2 to 3 state-wide) co-ops.  Obama will tout this as "choice" that will cause insurance companies "to compete" in those "states" where there is no "competition."  

    This health bill will be nothing but a glorified Medicare part D "fraud."

  •  So We've Been Sold Out (Again) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... and this surprises us for what reason?  As soon as Obama started placing Clinton cronies in high places, we should have gotten a clue.  But, no, we are optimistic to the bitter end.  Now we have Co-ops instead of a public option that was instead of national single payer.  Next we can expect to see a letter of apology from the White House for having caused the CEOs of the Insurance Companies so much angst over their $500+++ million bonuses.  How could we have been so cruel?  Next thing, we will have Rahm Emanuel chiding progressive groups for running spots against Dems who have sold out to the Insurance companies.  OOPS!  He already did that, didn't he.

  •  I hate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andrewj54, Matt Z, polar bear

    to be a fucking downer, but I hope we are not expecting Obama to do anything but cave. He will sign whatever piece of crap bill comes to his desk. At this point does anyone honestly believe he'd veto? So we can go through this all over again? Right.

    I see this shaking out with the public option being shafted and a quick cave from the Administration, hailing it as a major victory. The battle then shifts to defeat the bill before it gets to Obama's desk.

    The Progressive Caucus is good to sign our letters, whether or not they show spine in the end is another question. Who wants to be blamed for the first chance to pass "meaningful healthcare reform in 20 years"? Even if it's a steaming pile of shit, who is going to step up and take responsibility for killing it? This is why Pelosi was laughing at them last week.

    In the end I blame the American people. A solid 30% of them are fucking loons. It's not just that they're "uneducated". They revel in this shit, they WANT to believe. Like cultists or conspiracy freaks. Trying to get these people aquainted with reality is kind of like trying to convince that poor soul who wanders the streets talking to himself, that the voices in his head are not real. It ain't happening. Not without intensive therapy and heavy medication anyway.

    Any expats want to suggest a nice American friendly country that might make a nice home for an IT guy who can only speak english? I'm beginning to think the juice aint worth the squeezing.

  •  no public option no campaign money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, PorridgeGun

    When health reform makes it to the finish line and there is no public option, i will not give another dime to any future Obama Campaign.  I will politely tell who ever asks that I am buying over inflated health care and it is not longer in my budget to help those that don't help me.

  •  nonprofit health-insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    Yeah, I got your nonprofit right here:  New Jersey Blue Cross, Blue Shield Horizon, where they spend millions on flying a blimp up and down the South Jersey shore line with their name on the side of the blimp.

    Just prior to having to drastically change employment in my household because we could no longer afford the 25 grand for Horizon non-profit insurance, the few hours I could get to the Jersey shore every summer, while trying to relax and regenerate, I became sick every time I saw that damn blimp, which was often.

    Oh, the employment/job change...  now we're only paying 8 grand a year for employer "provided" health insurance.  Of course many things we need are "re-worked" to the cheaper model, including drugs that don't work.

    And the mantra that people who are getting 5 CAT scans or MRIs that don't need them, I've never met one, including myself who has to fight to even get one, which was turned down.

    Health ins. is antiquated like the typewriter & pager. People don't retire from their 1st job & more people are self-employed. No more $ to CEOs. Inves

    by gooderservice on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:27:37 PM PDT

  •  what the fuck is obama doing? (3+ / 0-)

    "Love the life you live. Live the life you love."- Bob Marley

    by sillycilla on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 04:37:16 PM PDT

  •  Carper demands trigger-Schuster-Very bad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, polar bear

    Washington Independent's transcription of Carper's interview with Schuster today  

    Shuster: Why shouldn’t people believe that your decision to say a public option as backup plan — why shouldn’t people believe that it’s been influenced by the money you’ve gotten from the insurance companies and from pharmaceuticals who don’t want a backup plan, who want it as — who don’t want a public option, at all, or a backup plan as a worst-case scenario?

       Carper: Well, at the end of the day, I want us to pass a bill. I want us to pass a good bill ... At the end of the day, there are more important things in the bill than whether or not we have a public plan or a public option. I think the idea of what we did in the Medicare Part D plan, where we have a fallback plan on the shelf, ready to pull out if we need it, in order to make sure market forces are working, that seems to me to be a perfectly good option.

       Shuster: But, Senator, you’re under a lot of pressure, wouldn’t you acknowledge, from the insurance companies, with all the money they’ve given you?

       Carper: I don’t feel a lot of pressure at all. The most effective lobbyist for me — I’ve been governor; I’ve been congressman; I’ve been state treasurer; now I’m the senator — the most effective lobbyist, for me, in everything I have ever done, are actually people from Delaware that I know that I trust who talk to me, in all kinds of parades all over my state this last Fourth of July weekend, and people that call my office, mostly from Delaware, that have a view, some for public plans, some against it.

    "The best way to do it," Carper concluded, "is to develop a bipartisan plan."

  •  The dropping support for health care reform (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Matt Z, math4barack, polar bear

    is based quite a bit on the misinformation out there about the Democratic plans. The media needs to know that and Democratic members of Congress need to know that.  

    Here's audio of Celinda Lake and Anna Greenberg talking about health care polling: http://www.americansunitedforchange....

  •  I've re-read the comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Matt Z

    and it's as though not everyone truly read what mcjoan posted...

  •  If Obama caves on the public option... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    munky, AmericanRiverCanyon

    ...he'll have created more problems than he's solved.

    Particularly if the gun-to-the-head insurance purchase mandate goes through. Without an affordable, not-for-profit public coverage option, all the mandate will do is to force people to spend money they can't afford on junk plans that won't do anything but keep them from running afoul of the new health insurance purchase laws.

    Obama has to insist upon (with the threat of a veto) a strong, easily-affordable public option, or else he may as well drop this whole fucking thing before he ends up screwing the very people he claims to be trying to help.

  •  Untested? Unproven? Why, certainly not! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    Co-ops have been thoroughly tested and proven themselves quite capable of failing.  But hey, let's not let the facts get in the way of designing healthcare finance reform.

  •  thanks, mc; you're a rock in stormy seas!* (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear
  •  Obama has always said this - nothing new (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, PorridgeGun

    He's open to anything that works.

    BUT the only option that seems to work so far is the public option.

  •  The biggest problem with too much compromise... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...on the public option is that we could end up with a crappy do-nothing, paper work-heavy bureaucratic layer (exactly like health insurance companies are now, BTW) that winds up causing average Americans more trouble than its worth and proving the anti-government GOPasuars (somewhat, kind of) right.  Stick to your guns on the public option, Big O!  It's the best thing for the country and your political future.

  •  Game, Set, Match.... (0+ / 0-)

    We lost.

    Too many stupid tactical errors (accusing town hall meeting protesters of being GOP-paid shills, the absolutely brain-dead fishy email address, Scaring the hell out of everybody by even mentioning "middle-class tax hikes", failing to recognize the concerns of the "Blue Dogs", etc.).  Sorry, regardless of what you think of these people, take a lesson from marketers: You will never make a sale by insulting your customers.  

    Too many strategic errors: Pissing off a key demographic -- specifically seniors  by funding the plan by diverting money from Medicare - this is one of the most powerful Democratic constituencies.  What the hell were you thinking?  Allowing the house leadership to write the bill when you knew their popularity was less than 35% - again... DOH!  Failing to set clear priorities.  Passing such expensive initiatives such as "stilmulus", "Omnibus", "S-Chip", as well as Cap
    & Trade through the house before you trotted out the bill with the really big price tag: health care.  All during a recession.....  

    Sorry, the administration blew it.  Now we need to figure out whether we are willing to accept a "co-op", or whether we should recommend our leaders just scrap the whole thing and start over.

  •  Looks like (0+ / 0-)

    we're about to lose. They compromised way too early, which made them start negotiations from a position of weakness. This is what happens. How many times over the past few decades have they made this same exact mistake?

    Palpably Extant: the death of the 4th estate.

    by spencerh on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:13:35 PM PDT

    •  No we are NOT (0+ / 0-)

      Public Option will pass either now or in Oct.

      Mark my words.

      Even Roy Blunt admitted that most GOP reps and senators cannot afford to vote against it--he told that to Nancy Pelosi this week.

      "Now let's get airborne!" - Lyndon B. Johnson

      by Loose Fur on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 06:53:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Saddest, most pathetic chart I've ever seen (0+ / 0-)

    stand with Dean

  •  part 2 of same damn pathetic chart-Dean (0+ / 0-)

    public option,Dean Chart,health care rform

  •  On the other hand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loose Fur

    if they want to create a public option and slap the label "co-op" on it, hey, who would object?

    Mandate a co-op in every state, mandate a funding stream, regulate it properly and you've got a public option.... with a big sign in front that says "Co-op"

    Then the blue dogs can all go home an announce they killed the public option, and everybody's happy.

    I'm just sayin.

  •  Gee, I only blogged and diaried this over & over- (0+ / 0-)


     and here,

     and here,

     . . . and in Comments too numerous to count.

     And took the President to task for telegraphing throwing the Public Option under the bus (after that had long been done with Single Payer) back in June with this diary that so many sycophants had so many hissy fits over.

     Thanks for being so quick on the uptake Front Pagers.  


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

    by BenGoshi on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:40:22 PM PDT

  •  public option is a must (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    President Obama,  please ignore the right wing nuts and deliver on public health care.  The senators need to start thinking about the public good and not worrying about the right wing nuts as well.  They will viciously attack whatever plan Obama and congress puts out anyway.

  •  This Pirats Of Health Insurance (0+ / 0-)

    I know it's been posted here before, but it deserves a repeat.

    "Now let's get airborne!" - Lyndon B. Johnson

    by Loose Fur on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 06:49:29 AM PDT

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