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To put it quite simply, if the final bill that passes the House of Representatives and the Senate to be signed by the President doesn't have a strong public option, it will be nothing more than a forced bailout of the murder-by-spreadsheet industry with 47 million new captive customers. Without the public option, the revenue and profits of the for-profit insurers and non-profit insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are set to soar to the tune of $1.39 trillion of new revenues over the first eight years of the proposed health bill.

And you know what's worse? The proposed co-ops in the Senate Finance Bill would allow insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield to become a regional co-operative, which allows it to suck up even more money out of the proposed start-up money for these co-ops, and subsidies for low-income individuals and families.

There will be no real competition without a strong public option, and premiums will rise unabated for the next decade, thus choking the financial livelihood out of millions of Americans.

As I've written before, without the public option as a check on private insurance companies, monthly premiums are going to rise unabated, and there wouldn't be real competition among these insurance companies in the national insurance exchange. You know that might happen in the national insurance exchange without the public option? Right now, we have about six major insurance companies that dominate much of the country's health insurance market in most states. What's going to happen to these six major insurance companies in the national insurance exchange?

Will they really compete with each other? Or instead, buy each small insurance company up to the point that there are now six major insurance companies offering hundreds of different insurance plans within the national insurance exchange?

They'll become too big to fail, just like the companies on Wall Street.

That's not real competition. That won't bring down prices of your monthly premiums. What it is is nothing more than a mandated bailout of the murder-by-spreadsheet industry with 47 million new captive customers. When Americans don't see the cost of their monthly premiums being lowered, you know who they'll blame for not making health care reform affordable for them? The Democratic Party.

Sure, the insurance regulations are great. So you're stuck with an insurance company that can't drop you for pre-existing conditions, and they're now required to pay only 65% of claims rather than the 80% or the 90% that they used to pay, and can't rescind your policy if you get too sick. However, your monthly premiums will continue to rise. In the past year, there's been a 20% jump in the cost of monthly premiums, and that's doubled almost with every year. It's an unsustainable situation for us financially without the public option.

And yes, this is a test of the Democratic Party as to whether they stand on our side or on the side of these major insurers such as UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, and WellPoint.

It's becoming clear which side some Democrats are on, especially so-called Democrats like the Blue Dogs, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, and others when they push co-operatives that have shown NOT to bring down premium costs, but acts as another way for non-profit insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield to funnel down even more revenue off our backs.

And when we have Democrats like these on our side, we need to support them, and encourage them with our support for their refusal to vote for any bill, including the conference report, that does not include a strong public option in it.

Once again, here's a Democrat, Rep. Pete Stark, for us to support when he tells the truth like this below:

Moderate Blue Dog Democrats ''just want to cause trouble,'' said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who heads the health subcommittee on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

''They're for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they're just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process,'' Stark told reporters on a conference call.

And Rep. Stark calls out the co-op scam for what it is--a scam by private and non-profit insurers:

"There aren't many of you listening who remember the co-ops in the '30s, which was kind of a Roosevelt outfit, rural electric co-ops, phone co-ops," Stark said. "But, as I say, there is no real example of either the regulation, or how you would establish them, or where they would get enough people to have a purchasing base. So you might as well talk about unicorns. You know, what is a medical unicorn? My kids all know what a unicorn is. But you don't. You have never seen one. So I think this co-op is just a way of ducking the issue of having the public plan."

Thank you, Rep. Stark, for telling the truth! It's a pity that you're one of the few Democrats to do so in Congress. Rep. Pete Stark is currently at $4,390 on ActBlue. Let's push him over the $5,000 mark today!

And you can call Rep. Stark's office at 202-225-5065 to thank him for telling the truth about the co-ops and the Blue Dog Democrats. Also let Rep. Stark's office know that you've donated to him on ActBlue as a healthcare hero.

And here are the action items today for you to follow:

  1. Go to these townhalls to THANK our progressive Democrats for saying that the public option is a necessary cost containment on making health insurance premiums affordable! Thank them for saying that the public option is the line in the sand for them, and show as much support as you can!
  1. Also bring a print-out of this diary (just click on the link to print out), and a link to Jacob Hacker's paper explaining why regional co-operatives are an unacceptable alternative to the public option! Print out as much as you can and take them with you to the Democratic townhalls to pass out to the audience and to your Representative.
  1. Use the FDL Recess Event Tracker Tool to find other townhall events near you. And if you know of a townhall event that's not listed on the FDL Recess Event Tracker, please enter in that information.

This is a list of all Democratic townhall events for this week alone.

  1. Report back to us at FDL about what happened at the event, and upload any videos or photos from that event. Also, if you go, don't forget to ask questions like these of our Democratic officials, and make the best case as you can as to why the public option is a necessary cost containment on insurance premiums, otherwise it'd be a mandated bailout of the murder-by-spreadsheet industry with no end in sight to your rising premiums.
  1. Read ShadowSD's diary for his excellent defense of the public option, and the rebuttals to the most common conservative talking points. Please bring a copy of his diary with you and your friends when you go to a townhall event.

And please let Senator Kennedy's death remind us of what is right--helping make health care affordable for millions of Americans by working to get the public option in the final bill.Otherwise we do the memory of Senator Kennedy a great disservice if all we get is coverage with no affordability for the middle class and low-income Americans that he worked so hard for his entire life.

This is the test of our Democratic Party as to whether they stand for us or for the corporations. We'll see if the House leadership, the Senate leadership, and the White House will pass this test.

PLEASE recommend this diary so others can see the townhall events of these brave health care heroes and thank them! Also don't forget to donate to our ActBlue page for our health care heroes!

And don't forget to donate to our public option fund at FDL since Nyceve, Jane, I, and others are working hard night and day on this issue for us all!

UPDATE: Democracy For America is looking to hire political organizers to go out in these states and advocate strongly for the public option as an essential part of health care reform! If you're interested, please applyhere.

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:04 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (293+ / 0-)
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    skybluewater, RichM, Sharon, Kitty, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, dwellscho, SteveLCo, scribeboy, Chi, ferg, deben, irmaly, tikkun, importer, kainah, mattman, Shockwave, MsSpentyouth, Heimyankel, Pescadero Bill, OLinda, GayHillbilly, mslat27, cmkinchi, RickD, polecat, robkallopednews, TarheelDem, frisco, Zach in Phoenix, musicsleuth, Foreign Devil, Doctor Who, Heart of the Rockies, Dumbo, opinionated, Slacker Gal, PeteB2, conchita, medaka, Cassandra77, understandinglife, ecostar, srkp23, highacidity, wanderindiana, chuckvw, buckhorn okie, Ignacio Magaloni, wishingwell, luku, kitebro, antirove, artebella, sidnora, nitetalker, wader, DustyMathom, Nag, oldjohnbrown, Miss Jones, DeadB0y, CitizenOfEarth, VinBacchus, defluxion10, alizard, randallt, snowbird42, Julie Gulden, Big Tex, rapala, joanneleon, Simian, radarlady, NoMoreLies, b tex, PBen, Irons33, Simplify, kefauver, dewtx, chidmf, wildcat6, thefos, Jules Beaujolais, flubber, Stuart Heady, Pam from Calif, LABobsterofAnaheim, ladybug53, Burned, Ice Blue, Cyber Kat, wiscmass, sodalis, JanF, gwilson, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, sherlyle, cybersaur, Russgirl, HoundDog, kestrel9000, buckstop, EthrDemon, blueoasis, tecampbell, nilocjin, imabluemerkin, Doctor Frog, mithra, Terminus, el cid, doinaheckuvanutjob, Charles Chamberlain, wargolem, petitelorelei, JugOPunch, rsie, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, 14justice, fiddlingnero, Dreaming of Better Days, revgerry, markthshark, tegrat, AmericanRiverCanyon, One Pissed Off Liberal, lobo charlie, khereva, Cronesense, hockeyrules, Duke S, Wanda517, Cat Whisperer, Loudoun County Dem, desertguy, UU VIEW, aravir, Mary Mike, yowsta, kath25, Jimdotz, greenchiledem, Steve In DC, Unbozo, bnasley, HCKAD, jedennis, Immigrant Punk, Jack the R, pioneer111, uciguy30, madgranny, ImpeachKingBushII, BasharH, keikekaze, roycej, TomP, Empower Ink, adrianrf, ShadowSD, zerone, OleHippieChick, crescentdave, Involuntary Exile, elwior, filby, Sharon Wraight, jakebob, Greasy Grant, alliedoc, hwmnbn, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, rubine, Seamus D, DixieDishrag, Athenocles, allie123, priceman, caps lock on, Robobagpiper, ZhenRen, legendmn, SciMathGuy, Bule Betawi, cybrestrike, DontTaseMeBro, WSComn, ARS, litoralis, greengemini, Discipline28, Field of Dreams, Mol, ryan81, notrouble, DefendOurConstitution, beijingbetty, DClark4129, polticoscott, Corneliusmingus, kevinpdx, Losty, Lava20, romwriter, Little Flower, ArthurPoet, EmmaKY, northernlights, azadmanish, tony26, Randtntx, Tricky, Leftcandid, porchdog1961, Cleopatra, ozarkspark, smileycreek, political junquie, Alec82, foolknot, McWaffle, LaughingPlanet, barkworsethanbite, estreya, breathe67, jethrock, fidellio, CS11, Crabby Abbey, Giles Goat Boy, legalchic, ATFILLINOIS, RJP9999, polar bear, Gertrude, nonntt, ItsSimpleSimon, juturna, kyeo, quagmiremonkey, pateTX, JRandomPoster, rja, swansong50, MsGrin, Jason Rosenbaum, Actbriniel, samantha in oregon, BrowniesAreGood, CornSyrupAwareness, heart of a quince, allenjo, ladywithafan, Kid G, ems97007, canadaboy37, FreeStateDem, Olon, thebluecrayon, wahine, Situational Lefty, cyeko, kevin k, FightingRegistrar, princesspat, The Creator, Cinnamon Rollover, buddingactivist, dle2GA, winterskeeper, felldestroyed, Grandma Susie, tenzen, MarketFarces, Faroutman, jediwashuu, MinistryOfTruth, Wom Bat, kareylou, Sunspots, Ezekial 23 20, StepLeftStepForward, rmrice, Thomas Paine Redux, thejoshuablog, karma bum, jeihesser

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:04:06 AM PDT

  •  Respectfully disagree... (38+ / 0-)

    It is the test of our nation.  Whether our government is truly of, by and for the people or whether it is completely bought and paid for by the corporations and the privileged few.

    [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

    by RichM on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:06:36 AM PDT

  •  and this is why the co-ops are a scam (15+ / 0-)

    and anyone continuing to push them as an acceptable alternative here on Dailykos should be called out for propagating a scam.

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:06:53 AM PDT

  •  And don't forget to call Rep. Stark today (4+ / 0-)

    to thank him for speaking up!

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:08:14 AM PDT

  •  HC is defining Democratic issue! If they fuck (5+ / 0-)

    this up, it is on!  If the Blue Dogs Water this down or leave out the public option, and my supposedly progressive Representative doesn't take a stand, there will be hell to pay.

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

    by ecostar on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:08:27 AM PDT

  •  Is this a Democracy or a Corporatocracy? (12+ / 0-)

    That is the question presented to us.

    Thank you for summing it up so succinctly, and for all of your hard work.

    Cheers slink

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:08:55 AM PDT

  •  The lack of moral courage is astounding... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, HCKAD

    from some of the leadership in our party.

    Harry Reid really needs to get his ducks in row

  •  anyone willing to defend co-ops in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, jethrock

    comments below? I'm ready :-)

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:14:41 AM PDT

  •  Social Security, Medicare/Caid, U.S. Postal (8+ / 0-)

    Service, police, firefighters, roads, schools, tap water, food inspection, etc., etc., etc. ... we are a socialist nation, wake up conservations, that is reality ... government health care for all who want it is reality. Period.

    •  heh. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:16:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Free-market economics is the best system for (14+ / 0-)

      goods and services that are discretionary for consumers, like for automobiles and jewelry.  The government should not tell jewelers that diamond bracelets cannot be sold for more than $10,000.00; let the 'invisible hand' guide consumers and entrepreneurs to make this pricing decision.

      For matters of life-and-death, like when your house is on fire or you get cancer, socialist government programs like the fire department, or single-payer insurance, are needed to prevent greedy corporate executives from exploiting the public.  People go bankrupt when their insurance companies deny coverage for the simple reason that they'd rather live than die.  In an unregulated free market, corporations will squeeze as much money out of desperate consumers as they can; a government option will at least have the well-being of American citizens as a higher priority than the almighty dollar.

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

      by Greasy Grant on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:44:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Free Market requires competition (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Free Market requires competition, not 6 companies controlling the market.  Any company that has more then a third of the market should be prohibited from marketing any special product on the insurance exchange.  A product that the sell to a majority of their customers might be allowed but a product tailored to undercut the free market products of small companies on the exchange should be prohibited.

      •  There are no free markets. They do not exist. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, Greasy Grant

        What happens when we expose our markets to nations having no check on how much their people are exploited, is we lose.

        We quit making luxery items, and when we do that, we lose jobs and become dependent on those other nations.

        Go look at Harley Davidson motorcycles for a great example of how it should be done.

        Harley enjoys protection so that they can continue to produce motorcycles, and other nations can produce them, and we keep the jobs.

        Government set market rules.  Business operates under those rules so as to produce a net gain for us.

        When we allow them to force us to compete with nations who give two shits about their people, we lose.  We get owned slowly by those people looking to buy something with all those dollars.  When they cannot buy our products, because we don't make them, they buy us.


        by potatohead on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:00:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let's flip this idea on it's head ... what (0+ / 0-)

        would a privatized police department look like ... it's driving force would be to generate profits, how would it do this, who would it's customers be? Those that could afford it, no doubt. And, who would a private police force protect its customers from? I think we could all agree how that would turn out - who got screwed by the Wall St. meltdown? who gets screwed by private firms shipping jobs overseas? who gets screwed when private firms that lose their pension funds, etc., etc.

        And private firefighters?

  •  and please help forward this diary to anyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you know that's interested in going to a townhall!

    I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

    by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:18:30 AM PDT

  •  Don't forget, kids (8+ / 0-)

    If you live in Portland, Oregon, there's a rally for Health Care THIS Saturday (August 29) SW 3rd & Madison 10 AM in Downtown PDX.

    (Also, don't forget to pass along this awesome video to your friends and family.)

  •  Interesting, slink (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Iberian

    Whether or not the party can pass a public option that will lower premiums by at most 10% is more a test of the Democratic party than whether or not the party can prevent millions of young professionals and middle-class families with a diabetic child, someone with heart problems, or some other expensive preexisting condition from filing for Chapter 7 by reducing their costs by 50%.  That's an interesting value judgement you've made.  It's not the one I would make, but more power to you.  Congratulations!

    •  How do you figure... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That you can get a 50% savings without a public option?

      [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

      by RichM on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:05:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Increase subsidies ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, Iberian

        ... from 300-400 percent FPL to pay for 50 percent of premiums on the Exchange and subsidize 20 percent of the premiums on the Exchange for those earning 400-500 percent FPL , and set the minimum benefits package at 75 or 80 percent of actuarial value rather than the 70 percent in the House bill.  This would obviously make the bill much, much more expensive, but in my opinion, it would be worth the tradeoffs.

        •  So... (4+ / 0-)

          Put a gun to everybody's head and tell them to buy crappy health insurance.  And if you can't afford it, raid the treasury so that the insurance companies get paid.  This will work in one place that I know of - Fantasyland.

          [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

          by RichM on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:18:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, Femlaw

            You obviously don't know what 75 or 80 percent of actuarial value means.  That's what BC/BS Standard Option is, and that has a $600 family deductible and $7,000 out-of-pocket cap.  That's not junk insurance.

            You raise the money by a combination of taxing more employer-provided health benefits, by limiting the deductability of the mortgage and charitable deductions, by limiting preferrential treatment of capital gains, etc.

          •  Again (0+ / 0-)

            If you believe, as Harris Wofford does, that if a criminal has a right to a lawyer, then you should have a right to a doctor, then you find a way to pay for it.  You make that value judgement.  That's what we've done throughout our nation's history -- be it Social Security, WWII, Medicare, sending a man to the moon, etc.

        •  as a person who would almost certainly receive a (9+ / 0-)


          I cannot endorse taking taxpayer money, even rich taxpayers, and sending it to the company that tried to deny me care for my cancer. It would amount to a huge and unsustainable subsidy to the insurance industry and the already fat pockets of their executives.

          I would rather be given some other recourse--some way to get out from under the insurance company's boot on my neck. It really does feel that way.

        •  Oh joy. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, adobedragon, cybrestrike

          Trickle down health care.  Near total subsidization of the insurance industry by taxes.  "Much, much more expensive".  Bit of an understatement there.

          •  Then ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... is the tax deduction you enjoy to purchase employer-provided health insurance a "[n]ear total subsidization of the insurance industry by taxes?"  Do you want to give that money back to Uncle Sam because according to you all it's doing is going to insurance companies?

            •  Me again (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, adobedragon

              Thanks so much for calling me noble. I'm flattered, really.

              But I do not think that there are only two options: pay my entire retirement account to Assurant Health, then lose my business, and end up on Medicaid so that the taxpayers have to pay for my care; or take the taxpayers money now and give it to the insurance company.

              Let's see, can we think of a third way?

              To each his own? My own is to fight to change a system that is set up to enrich the insurance companies while providing no incremental benefit to patients.

              p.s. It's her own, in my case.

      •  he's cheating, like the republicans do with (8+ / 0-)

        income taxes by taking one specific family that benefits by 50% and ignoring everyone else.

        If your income happens to be low enough to qualify for 50% subsidies, your own expenses are reduced by 50% (and the government's increased by the same amount.)  It's not a savings, it's a cost-shift.

        The Kennedy plan, in contrast, saves 10% for everyone who joins.  Not cost shifting, actual savings.

        "At the end of the day, the public plan wins the game." Sen. Ben Nelson

        by ferg on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:16:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see it... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg, slinkerwink, TJ, adobedragon, math4barack

          The cost shifts from the families to the treasury without reducing the overall cost of healthcare.

          [Journalism] is media agnostic. - Kos

          by RichM on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:20:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  First of all (0+ / 0-)

          It's not 10% with the Kennedy plan -- not even close.  It's more like 2-5% with the scope of that public option because it's available to only 28 million people, according to the CBO, and the 10% figure mcjoan cites assumes the public option is (1) available to everyone and (2) bases payments to providers on comparative effectiveness research -- meaning people like Nataline Sarkisyan would suffer the same fate under the public plan as she did with CIGNA.

          But, yes, I do care about preventing the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions pre-existing conditions from going to the poorhouse because of medical expenses.  And if the money to pay for their medical expenses comes out of my pockets through higher premiums from a community rating (I'm 29, and would pay more through a community rating) and taxing more generous employer-provided health benefits, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.  But apparently to you, those millions of Americans with "pre-existing conditions" who file for "bankruptcy" each year because of "medical expenses" are irrelevant.  Interesting values.

          •  noble cancer patient here (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks so much for calling me noble earlier in the thread. I'm flattered, really.

            But I do not think that there are only two options: pay my entire retirement account to Assurant Health, then lose my business, and end up on Medicaid so that the taxpayers have to pay for my care; or take the taxpayers money now and give it to the insurance company.

            Let's see, can we think of a third way?

            To each his own? My own is to fight to change a system that is set up to enrich the insurance companies while providing no incremental benefit to patients.

            p.s. It's her own, in my case.

            •  By your logic (0+ / 0-)

              Everyone who gets employer-based health insurance is giving taxpayer money.  Maybe everyone who gets their health insurance through their employer should just refuse that help they get from Uncle Sam to pay their insurance company for health insurance.  Oh, that would be so noble.  There's a third way.

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

                It's true that people who work for employers offering health care plans get an enormous tax advantage. Tey also get a tax advantage because their employer pays half of their social security contribution. The tax code does not favor the self-employed. We can talk about revising the tax code at some other point.

                I think you need to examine your conscience. Why are you so cynical that you feel the need to deride and employ sarcasm against anyone who appears to be acting   in some other fashion than their own narrow self-interest.

                I have been politically active for quite a while. "By your logic" we would only act for the good of our country until we got sick. Then it's every man for himself. Sounds like some of the chanters at the town hall meeting.  

  •  Thanks for your hard work (4+ / 0-)

    You're prodding finally prompted me to go over to ActBlue and donate to my 3 favorite congresspersons there.

    Come on people, donate!  It feels good!

    Now I'm going to write a note to my blue dog Democrat congress critter, Herseth, and explain that my political donations had to go out of state, as my own representation isn't doing anything to deserve my money.

    Liberals and conservatives are two gangs who have intimidated rational, normal thinking beings into not having a voice on television or in the culture.

    by Dave B on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:26:23 AM PDT

  •  Wasn't there a McCain/Feingold campaign finance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, Gooserock

    bill that was passed and signed into law a few years ago?  What did it do?  Apparently not enough, considering that Congress is still bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists.  But at least we've got commercials that say, "I'm Jim Smith and I approve this message."

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

    by Greasy Grant on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:30:23 AM PDT

    •  What's Left of It Is On Track to Be Destroyed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, tikkun, MissyH, Greasy Grant

      as the Supreme Court has requested arguments on the question of whether corporate political speech can be restrained at all, in a case that was about a smaller and narrower issue as I understand news reports (not my expertise).

      I think if they do that, first the people are going to be quickly priced out of national campaigns, and second the media could plausibly become effectively the major political party.

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

      by Gooserock on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:33:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No kidding. (5+ / 0-)

    Years of full-time employment since college: 6
    Years with health insurance: 0

    Hey Dems:

    Don't let a small bunch of BULLIES take away my health care, you wimps.  Our side is plenty angry too. We're just not as big assholes, so maybe you haven't noticed yet.  

    (p.s: You will.)

    Support the greenest energy of all: EFFICIENCY

    by hannahlk on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:30:54 AM PDT

  •  And Too Big to Fail Means Too Big to GOVERN (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, Catesby, HCKAD, cybrestrike, Losty, anyname

    That's the real point of it.

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

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:31:48 AM PDT

  •  What are the vote count for strong public option? (0+ / 0-)

    Last I heard was 45 pledged yes votes and 15 maybes.  Anyone know how many more pledged yes's there are?

  •  if there is no public option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, flowerfarmer

    it will create institutionalized monopolies.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:36:14 AM PDT

  •  we must keep demanding the public option so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that progressives in the house will stand firm and the conserva dems will be isolated. We must make it clear to Obama and Rahm that no public option will mean no forgiveness.

    The song remains the same

    by polticoscott on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:36:39 AM PDT

    •  that we will. We at FDL will work hard to make (0+ / 0-)

      suer that all of our voices are heard in support for the public option.

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:38:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Medicare for All (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, jennylind, recrum

        I think we made a major strategic error to take the Single Payer Option off the table. Sure, it is not possible at this time, but when ever they mention Co-Op, we should say "Medicare for All". That will make the Public Option seem like the fair compromise that it is.

        Remember, THEY hate us for our Freedom! The freedom for the President to do as he damn well pleases.

        by Tuba Les on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:14:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  oh come on (0+ / 0-)

      I think you guys will forgive anyone so long as there's a D next to their name and they're giving you your verbal soma, you'll roll over play stupid.

      •  I think you're underestimating us. (5+ / 0-)

        I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

        by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:45:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not if they fail on real Healthcare Reform (7+ / 0-)

        with a robust Public Option.

        They are going to loose a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and support from the Progressive base... who simply aren't going to fight or donate funds like we have in the past eight years so they can simply gain a useless 61st seat in the Senate.

        If they fail on this they deserve to loose seats. Rahm Emmanuel's Blue Dog incumbents will be the first to go.

      •  1994 the Democratic base stayed home (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, cybrestrike

        Rahm's working hard to repeat that dynamic.

        "At the end of the day, the public plan wins the game." Sen. Ben Nelson

        by ferg on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:18:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's what happens when you have the same (4+ / 0-)

          people with the same old thinking from 1994 in 2009 politics.

          I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

          by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:24:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Does that mean too many recycled Clintonista (0+ / 0-)


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

            by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:25:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, it means the Business/Big Oil interests got (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... real, real busy with the Democratic's usual lobbyists right before the election, when they realized the other party was going to take power and the Republicans were going on hiatus.

              And there's so many Republican public relations operatives who are getting funded by these foundations and right wing think tanks which are harder to trace the money sources from. And they're setting up networks and working the Republican base really hard. They are trying to dominate the news MSM media with their messaging control and so far are doing a good job at revving up the retirees with Fox News type paranoia bullshit.

              I don't know if the President has a grip on the power brokers at the Pentagon, CIA yet.  He thought putting Rahm in as the pit bull would protect him from that, but as another news source pointed out recently, they have been slacking on appointed positions all over the place for new heads of all of these minor cabinet and sub cabinet posts, and you've still got Bush appointees in there- for the Love of God, they have got to clean house and get their own people in there running things.

              Clintonistas are used to working with a Republican dominated House/Senate and are totally effed up in the head if they think this is the same situation- this is the Democratic party getting played by the Republican party operatives, funded by big oil, that was just voted out because they haven't adapted yet to how to work with a majority.

              I suspect they looked at the mall full of people during the innauguration in January and thought, oh, cool, everybody loves us now.  They forgot that the Republicans own a lot of the media and immediately began running their anti Obama playbook.

              "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 28, 2009 at 12:32:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  How do we demand? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, in what form? Active prayer? Or do you suggest that we do something? If so, what?

      "90% of life is just showing up" - Woody Allen

      by Explorer8939 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:40:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You damn right its a test. (12+ / 0-)

    You damn right it is a test.

    I just spent the later part of this morning reading the comments in the political blog on politico concerning how the Blue Cross Insurance company sent out emails blasting the democratic plan with public option and trying to garner support in fighting it.
    Here is the link

    About 95% of folks posting on there were speaking out and acknowledging the true colors of the insurance companies and their personal stories  I can gurantee you that this is a snapshot of how the rest of the country feels about high premiums, denied coverage because of pre-existing condition, dropped coverage, families going into bankrupty because of these insurance companies.We need to fight this tooth and nail  because the public option right now is on life support in the senate. We have the votes for it in the house, but it is going to die a slow death in the senate if we don't stand up and demand that the public option be added to the bill. The blue dogs are the ones who we can blame if this doesn't pass. We can't continue to blame republicans when we control all three branches and can make this happen. The DINO who are listening to their brain dead constiuencies in these small red states that are dictating what the rest of the country should have are Kent Conrad, Baucas, Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, and the rest of these do nothing democrats will be responsible for the death of this bill. They also will be solely responsible for the end of the democratic party, because I can predict that if the democrats don't pass a bill this year, or a watered down bill passes with no public option when the democrats control all three branches of government plus an almost fillabuster proof senate.
    The bloodbath the democrats faced in the house/senate in 1994, when clinton was president and didn't pass healthcare, will look like a party compared to the 2010 Hurricane Katrina that will happen to the democrats when they lose their seats because folks "LIKE ME" will stay home and not vote in 2010 to send a clear message. If we can't count on you to look out for the interest of the american people, why continue to support you or your party? I have been committed to the democratic cause for over 20 years. I have donated money to the DCCC, DNC, DSCC, and I helped get my congressman/women over the years get elected in my district, as well as President Obama last year. I knocked on doors, canvassed, made phone calls, had obama phone parties, worked my ass off last year. I loved every minute of it, but I promise you if they do not pass this bill, If the democrats continue to keep dicking us around about this bill,  I will be changing my party affiliation to an Independent and staying home in 2010 because this is ridiculous. If we can't pass healthcare now, it will never get passed.

    •  tipped for a great comment! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seconded=Now or never (0+ / 0-)

      especially the last sentence,

      "If we can't pass healthcare now, it will never get passed".

      I know from personal experience that my insurance company, Assurant Health, is interested in maximizing profit, even at the risk of treating cancer patients and other ill people inhumanely.

      If they see that we can't touch them when we have a Democratic populist president elected by a landslide, a filibuster-proof Senate, and a Democratic house, then they will know that they are unassailable.

      It's now or never.

  •  Until the GOP disavows the crazy/stupid wing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That party can never be allowed to have power in this country again.

    I understand that people have their priority issues, that they are frustrated with the Baucus, Lieberman, Blue Dog types in our party.

    But after the dishonesty, comments, tactics, and open appeals to racism and violence we have seen from the GOP this summer, that party can simply never be validated.

    Is  public option a test of our Congressional leadership, sure. Does Obama risk some political setbacks if the final bill has less in it that it should, of course.

    But none of that come close to what will happen if the GOP is validated in any of the upcoming election cycles. It will be a repeate of Red State/Blue State all over again, only with the staks higher, the tactics more extreme, and the risks to our constitution and our nation as grave as they could be.

    So, as we work for a good health care reform bill, lets put things in context. Our side is working (however imperfectly) toward a policy improvement in healthcare. The other side is using needed reform as a proxy to destroy everything we and our leadership stand for.

    They simply can't be allowed to get away with it.

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

    It's not your democratic party. It's big pharma's. Better luck next time.

  •  Tests and Consequences (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, flowerfarmer
    There will be no real competition without a strong public option, and premiums will rise unabated for the next decade, thus choking the financial livelihood out of millions of Americans.

    This really is going to be a historic moment.

    Passing a bill without a robust public option will serve to impoverish a generation of Americans.

    Passing a bill without a robust public option will lock the problems of the current system in for a generation.

  •  What if they fail the test? (0+ / 0-)

    99% of loyal Democrats will not switch parties or start a new party.  Whether they fail or succeed as a party doesn't really matter with die hard Democrats, at least in terms of who they're voting for.

    •  If they fail the test, then we at (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, TomP, Losty, rossl

      the grassroots level will work hard at changing the party from inside out again like we did in 2004.

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many will walk away. (6+ / 0-)

        If they fail the test, Obama will lose in 2012.

        He is now at 50% approval.

        Rahm is destroying the admin, just as Clinton ended up being a lost opportunity for Dems.

        Their strategy is to decouple conservatives from business financial support, at the cost of the soul of the Democratic Party.

        If Obama allows this to occur, he will reap his actions in 2012.

        It is up to Obama.  Is he change and hope of just Clinton again?

        They "prefer an America where parents will lie awake at night worried if they can afford health care their children need."

        by TomP on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:09:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I fall into that category. If Obama accepts no (6+ / 0-)

          public option health care "reform" bill, signs it, lauds it as "mission accomplished" or some great victory, then I will not vote for Obama in 2012. That doesn't mean I will vote Republican. I am a progressive democrat. So, I will not vote Republican. I can't conceive of ever voting Republican again.

          I may vote third party.

          We have the tools to get this done according to David Waldman (aka KagroX) .

          They don't believe that Reid will fire the gun. David Waldman wonders if they have the courage to fire it too.  

          They'll never do it. But maybe that's the problem.  
          by David Waldman
          Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:22:04 AM PDT
          And it's for that reason that you're now seeing plans floated for splitting the health care plan up into two or more bills -- one to deal with the finances and that arguably can meet the reconciliation and Byrd rule requirements, and one to deal with the policy, but which comes to the floor under the normal rules.
          But I'm actually thinking there might be some real value to being much more aggressive with it. Put together the best and most progressive health care bill that can get 50 votes, then essentially tell the parliamentarian thanks but no thanks, overrule him, and pass what you like.
          Because Republicans with some fair frequency have threatened and actually done the same sort of thing on a number of occasions, and even went ahead and fired the parliamentarian who wouldn't rule their way on the Bush tax cuts they'd inserted into the 2001 reconciliation bill. And of course, each time, there were all of the typical warnings and threats -- couched in Senate gentility, of course -- about how this was a terrible thing to do because it was so damaging the the institution of the Senate, since the Republicans weren't always going to be in the majority, and one day such bad precedent could come back to bite them in the ass.

          David tells us again how you can fire the gun:

          I suppose there's always a chance that the language could be crafted in a way that convinces the parliamentarian that the connection is strong enough for it to survive a Byrd rule point of order. They're certainly trying to think of ways to do that.

          But this is about what to do if it doesn't work.

          And it goes like this: Bring the bill anyway, let Republicans make their point of order, allow the parliamentarian to advise the chair, have the chair rule against the point of order regardless of the advice he gets from the parliamentarian, let the Republicans appeal the ruling of the chair, then move to table that appeal, get 51 votes to table, and move on.

          Ordinarily, getting past this problem requires a waiver. Unless the chair says it doesn't and a majority agrees with him, or opts to table the appeal of a minority that doesn't.
          Points or order aren't self-enforcing. Someone has to rule on them. And if they rule "wrong" but the appeal doesn't succeed, what are you left with? A "wrong" ruling that says the point of order doesn't lie.

          So, this means that if we don't get it done, it is because we (democrats) didn't want to get it done, refused to use the means available to get it done.

          And again, there is no reason to worry about reprisal since the future consequences are not as bad as not getting a health care reform bill with a public option passed.

          That is true both politically and policy wise. Politically, as you pointed out, TomP, Obama can't win in 2012 without getting a health care reform bill with a public option passed. And many Democrats, especially in close seats or purple states, will lose, especially if they didn't take a strong stand for the public option. Ironic that these conservadems don't do the math and realize that most Republicans vote for a Republican even if their conservative voting record wins a certain small percentage of Republican voters over. They rely principally upon Democratic votes to win their election. Rationally, they should try to earn and retain the support of Democrats.

          Policywise, what coming legislation will be worth throwing out the reform in this health care reform legislation ?


          •  Let's be honest... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alisonc, davewill

            I share a lot of your concerns, but not voting in 2012 will be every bit the equivalent of a vote for a Republican.

            And ten-fold if you're in a swing-state.

            The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

            by wastelandusa on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:51:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's a dirty secret to 3rd party politics (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, math4barack

              in America.  And that secret is that a good amount of third party candidates (although I wouldn't say a majority of third party candidates) embrace the spoiler effect.  The theory is that if a party "spoils" enough elections for one of the major parties, that major party will be forced to change.  It happened with the Populist Party (they got the Democrats to take up their main cause of a silver standard in the 1896 election) and the Prohibition Party (their base was mostly old Republicans), most prominently.

              So a lot of people might change their vote just to disrupt the Democrats - although the advantage to that is that it gives the group of voters who switched to third parties more power.  It makes them swing voters who need to be appealed to.

            •  I am in Texas. I vote based upon my (3+ / 0-)

              progressive values. I don't vote for people simply because they have a d by their name.

              There must be consequences to the national Democratic party and to local democrats for a failure of this magnitude which is avoidable.

              There isn't another issue like this for me. I care about a number of issues, but this is our one chance to get health care reform with a public option done.

              We won't get another chance for some time to come. If they fail to do it here because of cowardice, not using the tools at their disposal, then there will be political / electoral costs for that failure.

              •  Of course there will be a price to pay... (0+ / 0-)

                There are millions of Republicans sitting in coffee shops or their homes, or their offices right now, incensed that Bush (and McCain) refused to carpet-bomb Iran, refused to slash Abortion rights, refused to cut taxes 10 times as much as they already have been, refused to completely eliminate welfare, refused to set up Illegal immigrant concentration camps, etc... and feel that because they didn't take those steps, the price is that Obama is now sitting the White house.

                We're just shooting from the opposite direction, to use a really bad metaphor.  And it's over one singular issue.

                I'm just saying, this debate is pretty irrelevant... the only thing that matters in terms of how this relates to Obama is if he truly thinks he's gone in 2012 should he let the Republicans win this fight.  If he truly doesn't, we can just assume that we're going to get fucked on reform.

                The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

                by wastelandusa on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:10:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I was livid in 2000 at the way Nader ran and (0+ / 0-)

            campaigned heavily in states where he could undermine Gore.  To me, third party votes are discarded votes.  But, I am starting to lean that way.  It is scaring me because I have never felt this way before.  I doubt I actually do it, but I am definitely getting these thoughts.

            We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

            by alliedoc on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 03:27:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I feel I'm looking at a one-term president. (0+ / 0-)

          sadly, very sadly.

          We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

          by alliedoc on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 03:25:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  John McCain showed his true colors (7+ / 0-)

    and, unfortunately, those of the entire GOP at his town hall the other day:

    Other audience members in the crowd of 2,000 told McCain about their medical problems, such as HIV and multiple sclerosis.

    McCain urged them he would fight for health care reform but reiterated his opposition to President Barack Obama's plan to create a government option to compete with private insurers, arguing that it would be the eventual end of private insurers in the U.S.

    (my emphasis)

    Shame on him for putting the health of insurance companies' profits before the health of his constituents. We should be hitting all the GOPers with this every chance we get.

    In the open space of democracy, beauty is not optional, but essential to our survival as a species. - Terry Tempest Williams

    by tgypsy on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:46:53 AM PDT

    •  good. let it be the end of private insurers. few (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Losty

      Americans would weep. The private insurers don't provide any good or benefit for the American people.

      I wish that it would put an end to the private insurance industry.

      The CBO estimate shows that this is far from the case, unfortunately.

      Actually, since most of the uninsured who will be mandated to purchase insurance will not choose the public option, this will benefit the private insurance industry by adding more customers.

      On the other hand, eliminating the discrimination will harm them.

  •  Denver today at 5:30/ (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alisonc, Femlaw, TomP, alkalinesky, Losty

    Please come, if you are in Denver. I drove down to Denver only to go to this event. If public option does not pass, I am done with politics. I will enjoy my life and will not give a shit about the rest of humanity. Maybe I will just go volunteer in a third world country...

  •  Its also a test of Daily Kos (8+ / 0-)

    If we get either a watered down health care bill, or a mandate-no public option abomination how are we going to respond? Are we going to continue the insulation of Obama at all costs? Or are we going to take a serious look at the White House and the Democratic Party in total and ask ourselves hard questions?

    In his article yesterday Greenwald writes very specifically about the Blue Dogs and their relationship to the Whitehouse:

    Nobody suggests that the President could easily or single-handedly change the behavior of Kent Conrad or Mike Ross.  But there's certainly things -- effective things -- he could do to try, including making it more difficult for those politicians to stay in office, exactly as they threaten to do with defiant progressives.  But they don't do that.  They do the opposite.  The reason that Blue Dogs and "centrists" exert such control in the Democratic Party and are able to ensure the Party remains beholden to corporate interests is because that's how Party leaders want it.  That's how the Democratic Party has been built and it's how they continue to maintain their power.

    •  and I know that the Blue Dog Democrats (6+ / 0-)

      are planning to throw a "ruckus" once Congress gets back in session by threatening to vote against HR 3200 unless certain provisions such as the public option are changed, or tossed out in favor of cooperatives.

      We'll see how the House leadership and the WH responds to that.

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:02:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm afraid so. (0+ / 0-)

      Even Obama.

      "Meet the new boss,
      Same as the old boss."

      "That's what 'Murica does...rewards mediocracy." -Right Winger with no sense of irony.

      by Bulldawg on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:07:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The insulation of Obama? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, Grassee, tiredntexas


      Look at how the Republican party treated Bush during the run up to Iraq.  That's insulation.

      There are people who are definitely in the bag for him, but I see a very healthy debate taking place amongst progressives over this.

      The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

      by wastelandusa on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:48:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think either of your scenarios will (0+ / 0-)

      happen.  You said,

      Are we going to continue the insulation of Obama at all costs? Or are we going to take a serious look at the White House and the Democratic Party in total and ask ourselves hard questions?

      First, the insulation is breaking down.  Secondly, I think a war would break  out.  The "desperately insulation" group and the "rabid anti Obama" group.

      It will be very ugly and I hope this doesn't happen.

      We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

      by alliedoc on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 03:31:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What Do Democratic Fence-Sitters Not Understand? (7+ / 0-)

    A majority of Americans support a bill with a public option. Vote for and pass this and you'll be re-elected easily. You won't need the insurance company's bribe money anymore. It's a Win-Win!

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

    by kefauver on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 08:54:45 AM PDT

    •  This is a pro-corporate deal. "free markets" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RichM, kefauver, Losty

      are the buzzword.

      They must be told that free markets do not exist and that when we open ourselves to that, we are selling ourselves out and that's why we don't have jobs.

      Business must see some regulation to keep from over exploiting us.  That's the issue here.

      A lot of people think that business has the right to make money no matter what.  That is not true.  Nobody has the right to overexploit us for a net national loss.

      When somebody says "free markets" they believe that we serve business, and that's the problem with health care.

      Putting all those "just trying to make a buck" private insurers would not be a "free market", so it's wrong.

      More of the "free markets do not exist" kinds of messages need to be linked to health care.


      by potatohead on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:04:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can tell you why (0+ / 0-)

      One of the democrats....Evan Bayh. His wife works on the board of one of the major insurance companies called WELLPOINT/BLUE CROSS that are the ones who just blasted the democratic party's public option plan. So can you guess why he would object? Let me give you a hint..$$$

  •  What is the penalty for not buying insurance? (0+ / 0-)

    Does anybody know what repercussions are being proposed to ensure people would have to buy insurance?

  •  The devil will be in the details. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am hearing even hard-core liberal staffers echoing that the public option can't be fetished unduly.  They are clearly warming up to change the name, at a minimum.  

    If changing the name and keeping most of the substance will work, I'm all for it.  But I gotta say that the prospect of MAYBE getting most of part of an undersized solution, doesn't have me jumping with glee.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:04:43 AM PDT

    •  Changing the name is stupid (0+ / 0-)

      The majority of Americans support a Public Option.

      If they think changing the name will get more Republican support or stop the attacks... they are fooling themselves.

      The American public is confused enough by the way Democrats have handled this... and by Obama backing off of demanding that the exchange "must include a Public Option"

      The attacks won't stop... when everybody thought the Administration was dropping the Public Option the GOP's line of attack was "even without the Public Option it's still a Government takeover of Healthcare"

      When they dropped the end of life counseling provisions the attack was still "they wanted Death Panels"... then a "Death Book" then "Cash for Caskets" then the Democratic "Fat Police" coming to everyone's home telling them what they can or cannot eat.

      Changing the name from "Healthcare Reform" to "Health Insurance Reform" didn't help.

      Dems don't need to change the name. They need to find moral courage, some conviction and a spine.

      •  Fine, but I'm just telling you (0+ / 0-)

        that a panel of health-policy wonks who I personally know for a fact to be very much on our side ... were repeating the rather aggravating line that it's unhelpful to make public option the one single line in the sand, and wait and see we're going to get a lot of good things with or without it.  These are basically Senate support staff and one of them was a senior health policy analyst to Ted Kennedy.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:36:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate that... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, lgmcp, flowerfarmer

          and there was a great article that stated we should have called it the American Option instead of the Public Option.

          But this isn't just about branding (I work a lot in commercial/music video production and broadcast design... and used to work on Wall Street I know a thing or about selling).

          Good policy makes good politics... but if you don't have the conviction from the leadership... from the top salesman and his sales crew... if they don't even know what they are selling... then you have an unconvinced customer who won't buy.

          This is where the Republicans have an upper hand. They are master bullshit artists.

          Harry Reid, Tim Kaine and Steny Hoyer and I do put some blame on Obama... They need to get their troops organized.

          Lack of a Public Option will be a failure in reality as much as perception. The Public Option is the compromise. The Public option is the only plan put forward that reduce costs, saves money, and increases coverage. Period.

  •  Pete Stark is below $5000. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, TomP, alkalinesky

    And the contributions to this fund have really slowed down.  

    If we could get everyone on that list over the $5000 mark, it would really send a message.

  •  I one million percent agree with your diary Slink (6+ / 0-)

    I usually very strongly agree with you and I always listen to you with respect (you've more than earned that) and I make the calls and donate as you lead us -

    I so completely agree that this public option is the test of our democratic party -

    This is important enough to reveal our true character

    There is no future issue which I would barter this away for.

    For me, whenever we have given something up, but said on a more important rainy day, we will stand and fight - we are waiting for the issue and cause that is momentous and counts - this is that cause and today is that day.

  •  I fear they've already failed the test. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And Obama has conceded to the insurance companies.  Read this months article on healthcare in Rolling Stone.

    "That's what 'Murica does...rewards mediocracy." -Right Winger with no sense of irony.

    by Bulldawg on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

  •  From OFA: Your Time to Shine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Explorer8939, Femlaw

    OFA is organizing events as a show of strength for health care reform:

    As the health care debate has heated up, we've seen more and more media attention paid to political point scoring and special interest lies. Amidst all the noise, you don't hear as much about the families that go bankrupt each day trying to keep up with spiraling health care costs -- or about insurance company bureaucrats who every day ration care to maximize profit. But we haven't forgotten why we're fighting so hard for reform.

    In a matter of days, Congress will return to Washington, D.C., to put together the final legislation. Before they leave, they are carefully gauging support back home, and it's essential that we thank those who are standing up for reform and let the rest know their voters demand action. So we're organizing a nationwide effort: thousands of "Health Insurance Reform Now: Let's get it done!" events across the country.

    There's a big event near you -- will you be there?

  •  Harry Reid Supports the Public Option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or at least that's what he's saying.

    "Where all Obama's people to help him with this now? He is like Michael Jordan on a VERY, VERY, VERY bad team". - Bill Maher.

    by blackwaterdog on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:10:43 AM PDT

  •  I may get scolded-but financial aid donation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will be coming. I will get some more financial aid pretty soon. When I do, I will make a healthy donation (relatively healthy for a very poor person !).

    I make all of my donations in your honor, Slinkerwink.

    I will probably get falmed for this or lectured or something.

    I am still going to do it.

    If I could do it now, I would.

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

    is a referendum on whether or not we have a functioning government at all. If you have not yet read Matt Taibbi's most recent piece in Rolling Stone on this sad debacle, it is worth a look see. I haven't been around enough to see if it's been diaried, but I'm sure it has. Depressing, but important.

    President Obama. Yes We Did.

    by alkalinesky on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:13:36 AM PDT

  •  It'd be nice to have a little Presidential... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...leadership on this. But apparently "Change we can believe in" is inoperative.

    The private health insurance business model is not based on making health care more efficient. It is based on finding ways to avoid paying claims.

    by expatjourno on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:15:20 AM PDT

  •  Employer-based insurance slows job growth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissInformation, Tricky, Actbriniel

    This report from the RAND Corporation makes a great case for a public option.

    The study found that excess growth in health care costs has adverse effects on employment, output, and value added to GDP in the United States, and that the effects are greater for industries in which high percentages of workers have ESI [Employer-Sponsored Insurance].

  •  Pressure needs to be put on Rep. Patrick Murphy (0+ / 0-)

    He is the Whip for The Blue Dog Caucus...

    At Netroots Nation this year he specifically said that he personally supports a Robust Public Option.

    Pressure needs to be put on the so-called 'fiscal conservatives' to explain why they refuse to support a Robust Public Option when it is the only plan that saves money and truly reduces costs. Both for the Federal Government and for private business as well as individuals.

    Pressure needs to be put on the Blue Dog Whip Patrick Murphy of PA.

    •  really? I didn't know he was the whip for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Blue Dog Caucus.

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:49:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah... he spoke at NN '09 about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's video... I either watched it online or on CSPAN.

        It was on a panel with a Progressive congressman from Florida (i think the Orlando area) and a new Congresswoman who revived an older caucus that I guess is supposed to be more centrist between Blue Dogs and Progressives (???).

        I couldn't make it to Pittsburgh... although would have loved to go.

      •  Here's the video: Still looking for a transcript. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I can't get it to embed... but here is the link:

        Making Change Happen

        Panelists: Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Patrick Murphy, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, David Waldman

        Session Topics: Congress, Governance

        •  transcript would be useful to me since I'm deaf (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

          by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:49:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is the CSPAN link. w/ a brief transcription (0+ / 0-)

            Couldn't find the transcript, but the segment where Patrick Murphy talks about The Blue Dogs, his whip position, and the public option begins around the 34:00 minute mark.

            He says "Well I'm one of the whips of the Blue Dogs" then goes on to talk about the public option. That  starts around 37:20.

            Making Change Happen Panel  

            I transcribed this part for you... It's all I can do at the moment.

            You have to give Murphy credit... I think he's one of the better Blue Dogs who could be useful if he can apply pressure to the rest of his caucus and make them realize the Public Option is the fiscally responsible as well as moral thing to do.

            After talking about about fiscal conservatism and how he's sponsoring the repeal of DADT and voted with Progressives on the budget and stimulus...


            David Waldman:

            So you do then spend a certain amount of time meeting with the group. With the Blue Dogs. Is it a similar situation? Is there whipping within the group? Are you hanging together? I mean the power of the Blue Dogs in-particular is the leverage you've got. Is you've limited your membership-- you keep it I think-- purposefully the, the number of members about at the level it takes to be able to leverage a bill off the floor. If you want to stand in the way, or if there's someone who's got a problem with something...

            Patrick Murphy:


            David Waldman:

            So I mean it's clearly a leveraged group. How much time do you spend with them?

            Patrick Murphy:

            Well I'm one of the Whips for the Blue Dogs. So I ...

            (then jokingly)

            Frankly I probably Whip because I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. But, But seriously.

            Let's take Healthcare for example. You know the Blue Dogs are 61 and you can't just say I'm a Blue Dog and show up. You actually have to have those values and a record of standing, you know, for fiscal discipline. And, and in our group when it comes to healthcare. I happen that it's a good thing. I am for a Public Option.


            That's my personal opinion. I think that it shows (or shoves?) competition. I think that's what we need .

            Then he goes on to talk about how some Blue Dogs were for it and some weren't

            So I think it would be a good idea to put pressure on him to speak up and hold other Blue Dogs accountable that the Public Option is the only option that is truly fiscally conservative. Both short and long term for the Country.

  •  If that is the "test" (0+ / 0-)

    Then you had better be prepared to grade them on a curve.

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

    by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:23:19 AM PDT

  •  It's a line in the sand for me... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, joanneleon, hannahlk
    ...unless the Democratic Congress passes a health care reform bill with a public option (or better yet, a single-payer system, but at least a public option)...this longtime Democrat will leave the party. That's been my message to my two Democratic Senators (Schumer & Gillibrand) and my Democratic Representative (Maffei). Since then, Maffei's come out and said that he will not support any health care reform bill that doesn't have a public option.
    •  I hope it doesn't come to that, obviously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think they are capable of doing this and I think the odds are still in our favor if we stick together on this and if we make them do it.

      It will require vigilance, relentless pressure on our representatives and reminders to those who have pledged.

      There will be a lot of pressure from the industry.  It's likely that there will be pressure from the White House (but I hope that changes).

      We have to make them do it.  Just like FDR said.

      No excuses.  No backing down.  This is a line in the sand.

      And it's a line in the sand that will help everyone -- the people, the president, our representatives, the party.  I suspect that there is going to be a very big battle right here in the netroots very soon, with many people urging us to place less emphasis on the public option.  It's up to us to stand firm and convince those allies to stand firm too.  

  •  Pass out copies of Profiles in Courage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, hannahlk

    The Kennedy legacy can be summed up in one talisman: a copy of a book.  JFK's old college thesis turned into a book was a study on how politics sometimes takes courage.  JFK studied leadership and public personalities such as movie stars, since his dad owned a major part of Hollywood.  

    Ted Kennedy became, in the end, and improbably, a study belonging in that book.

    Surely this resonates with Democrats in public office to some extent, or it could and should.

    I hope that appeals for the public option will land on Congressional Democrats' desks, especially in the Senate accompanied by this reminder that history remembers well those who had the courage to do the right thing at time when it was precisely difficult to do it.  

    Also, there are consequences that are terrible to consider.  If Democrats are seen by the people who volunteered in the campaigns of 2006 and 2008 or voted in those elections, as betraying them, there will be hell to pay.  Many people will see no point in participating in the next set of elections and this could result in the kind of people who are promoting unconstructive negativity now getting elected instead.

    Contemplating that for a second, should lead one to conclude that the likelihood of constructive leadership coming of that would be extremely unlikely.  People like Michelle Bachmann or Chuck Grassley could be sitting in Congress in enough numbers to keep anything from happening on any front that might be constructive in any way.  

    Losing the Public Option is about more than health care.

  •  A Bill That Passes Without A Public Option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adobedragon, hannahlk

    and a requirement to buy insurance will be the death of the Democratic party and rightfully so.

  •  They're now called.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Blue Cross Democrats.

    Blessed is the blind squirrel who can type all the works of Shakespeare twice a day.

    by Doug in SF on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:32:45 AM PDT

  •  Slink we need to double down now: single payer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The "public option" is what, watered down to nothing, we'll get after Obama and the Blue Dogs get through with the bipartisan smoke and mirrors.

    "Public option" has no meaning at this point. In fact, in the end, it's whatever the White House will be willing to do that won't unduly inconvenience the insurance industry.

    Putting up a meaningless target has always been the strategy. The much-heralded "public option" is the same old con: the compromise the DLC always leads off with, always negotiating rightward, whining feebly that this is all they can get.

    It's the DLC that will control this, if we let them. And we all know who they work for.

    Starting with the public option is terrible chess. Let's go for it: single payer is what is worth fighting like hell for at this stage. If we are outplayed, forced to compromise on a weak and ineffective public option, which appears to be the White House objective, let's let the corporate one-party system know we'll be back for more next year, louder and stronger.

  •  Slink, we've got to remind people what PO means. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannahlk, math4barack

    And I think the CPC provides best itemization of Principles for a Public Health Care Option.

    This is really my line in the sand for supporting ANY incumbent politician.

    Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

    by Fossil on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:38:46 AM PDT

  •  reaching back 4 some forgotten economics - (5+ / 0-)

    I believe that it is called an oligopoly when a small number of companies dominate a market.

    And there is a barrier for new actors to enter into the market.

    The coops won't have a large enough pool to be able to compete. Without a large enough pool, they can't drive down prices or offer better deals to potential customers.

    Any new organization or company wishing to enter that market and compete effectively must have a large customer base or tied to some other such organization or company like Medicare.

    This barrier is a major reason why coops cannot succeed.
    The coop idea is a nonstarter.

    We must have a public option tied to Medicare, a robust public option.

    It is the only way to enter in a sustainable way into that market and be able to compete which helps the public and the national economy.

    •  A real public option (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, math4barack

      You are spot on, math4barack.

      Co-ops aren't a public option, though there will be many people trying to convince people that they are a public option, or that they are an acceptable substitute.

      But the truth is that these co-ops will not change the tilt of the playing field at all.

      Real reform requires a real, Medicare-like public option -- one that stands a chance of making a difference in this corrupt and convoluted industry.

      •  I wish that OFA people would answer your (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, jethrock

        question: Will they support passing a health care "reform" bill if it does not have a public option ?

        It is very telling that they attempt to avoid answering the question.

        And the answer to that question tells us if they are simply about trying to help the President win reelection or trying to really reform health care.

        It's a great and important question. It deserves an answer !

        Thanks for the great work that you and Slink and Jane are doing !

        from a humble contributor !


        •  I'm on my own (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but I support what slink and Jane are doing too, and am also a humble contributor.  If I could be there in DC working like they are, I would.  Instead I contribute to help defray their expenses.

          This issue is really important to me for a number of reasons.  It's personal and will significantly affect my life and my ability to earn a living.  It will affect my children and my ability to care for them.  But it's also a stand on principle and a stand for others, not just myself.

          Yes, I would like a clear answer too, from OFA.  It's too bad we can't all work together in true unity.

          Thanks for your comments and your strong stand with the progressives and for a public option.  This is going to tougher as time goes on and we have to stick together.

  •  Now or Never (5+ / 0-)

    Someone commented,

    "If we can't pass healthcare now, it will never get passed".

    I know from personal experience that my insurance company, Assurant Health, is interested in maximizing profit, even at the risk of treating cancer patients and other ill people inhumanely.

    If they see that we can't touch them when we have a Democratic populist president elected by a landslide, a filibuster-proof Senate, and a Democratic house, then they will know that they are unassailable.

    It's now or never.

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

      You point out the profound risk that we take if a strong, competitive, public option is not offered.  This will certainly embolden insurance companies to wring every last cent from their business model, assured that government is powerless to act as a proponent of the people.

      Why is it that there is always talk of the moral hazard of people overusing medical care, but nothing of the conflict of interest in for-profit health insurance?

      Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty. - Norman Douglas

      by Fossil on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:50:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're very right on that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 09:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's recommend this up please. thanks. nt. (3+ / 0-)
  •  Reid getting ready to push for public option? (0+ / 0-)

    maybe, according to this article:

    Reid opened a private meeting of health care providers in Las Vegas on Tuesday by saying, according to one attendee who took notes: "We have a problem in America and it’s called the private insurance industry."

    Reid went on to express support for a public option, the proposed government-run insurance plan that he compared to Medicare, saying any meaningful reform legislation would have to include a public component.

    According to Ezra, this is good news for progressive:

    That should encourage progressives. It's also evidence that Reid is readying for a strategy — at least rhetorically — that relies on Democratic votes and an excited Democratic base, as opposed to one that downplays points of controversy and scales back the bill to attract a few Republicans.

  •  I don't usually cheer on Ross Douthat... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, flowerfarmer, Losty

    ...but you have to agree with this:

    In reality, the health care wrestling match is less a test of Mr. Obama’s political genius than it is a test of the Democratic Party’s ability to govern. This is not the Reagan era, when power in Washington was divided, and every important vote required the president to leverage his popularity to build trans-party coalitions. Fox News and Sarah Palin have soapboxes, but they don’t have veto power. Mr. Obama could be a cipher, a nonentity, a Millard Fillmore or a Franklin Pierce, and his party would still have the power to pass sweeping legislation without a single Republican vote.

    What’s more, health care reform is the Democratic Party’s signature issue. Its wonks have thought longer and harder about it than any other topic. Its politicians are vastly better at talking about the subject than Republicans: if an election is fought over health care, bet on the Democrat every time. And for all the complexity involved, it’s arguably easier to tackle than other liberal priorities. It’s more popular than cap and trade, it’s less likely to split the party than immigration and it’s more amenable to technocratic interventions than income inequality.

    If the Congressional Democrats can’t get a health care package through, it won’t prove that President Obama is a sellout or an incompetent. It will prove that Congress’s liberal leaders are lousy tacticians, and that its centrist deal-makers are deal-makers first, poll watchers second and loyal Democrats a distant third. And it will prove that the Democratic Party is institutionally incapable of delivering on its most significant promises.

    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

      Its politicians are vastly better at talking about the subject than Republicans: if an election is fought over health care, bet on the Democrat every time

      Is this a joke?  Since when has the MSM allowed the Democratic party, or any of its members, to have an honest, forthright discussion about health care reform and the policies attached to it?

      There's no debate of any kind taking place.  If you think there is, you're hallucinating.

      I just see non-stop coverage of a couple of kids playing in a mud-pit, with one of the kids (the Republican) throwing mud at the other kid and smearing it all over his face as he screams 'You're MAKING ME DO THIS TO YOU!!!'

      The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

      by wastelandusa on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:01:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just donated to Pete Stark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and will call his office next.

    And remember, folks... there IS A TOLL-FREE number we can use to reach all members of Congress:


  •  Suggestion-Bring 7/30 letter for your rep to sign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Victory for us will occur if we can force members to choose:  either the PO is important enough to make the commitment to oppose any bill without it OR it's not just not a real high priority for them.  

    I think having that July 30 letter (which already has 57 names affixed to it) with a nice signature block already prepared with their name under it would be very helpful in forcing them to make that choice.

    Particularly if they are waxing poetic about how much they support the PO, then you can make them prove it right then.  

    It's quite unlikely that your Dem rep will come out and say they don't support the PO.  They won't be that stupid -- so be ready to make them walk the walk if they want to get credit for supporting the PO -- make it clear that failure to say you won't vote for anything without the PO is the same as being against it, and hand them the letter for them to add their name.  

    Heck, you can even make a little show of it by showing the crowd all the pages of signatures the letter already has to demonstrate how much support this has.  

    Just a reminder about the July 30 letter.  It was addressed to Pelosi/Waxman/Rangel/Miller, and objected to a deal Henry Waxman was making with Blue Dogs to drop a real public option. Waxman made a deal with Blue Dogs to force the public plan to negotiate reimbursement rates instead of adopting Medicare's rates - putting it at a significant disadvantage and helping to insure it would cost a lot more that it should, and pushing the costs down to the states and low and middle income Americans.  They said no way.  

    Here are the relevant quotes:

    Any bill which does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates - not negotiated rates - is unacceptable.  


    In short, this agreement [between Waxman and the Blue Dogs] will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and as taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies.  

    We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.


  •  The cruel victorian profit motive must be exposed (0+ / 0-)

    It's just not right to seek to maximize profits at the expense of millions of peoples lives. If we must have an argument about socialist and capitalist political systems than I submit that wheeler-dealers in the anti-reform health industry are intruding into the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of those who die in the service of their profits. They are depriving the insurance-less of the right to make their own profits.

  •  Actually it is a test of our Netroots (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Explorer8939, Populista

    There's an awful lot of energy going to push fear, division, complaining and apathy.

    "We're losing, we've lost, I just KNOW we will get sold out, there is NO WAY this could work."

    When instead we could be selling real action on healthcare.

    Because if we fail to get out in the streets and stand up for healthcare - Denver tonight, NYC tomorrow and the list goes on - then we will fail to get the public option too.

  •  Without the Public Option There's Nothing for Me (5+ / 0-)

    I'm in that "lucky" 40% of Americans who have a company-subsidized health insurance plan. My carrier at present is Aetna. Until recently it was Cigna. They are all the same. Interchangeable. Yet they make changing a hassle by trying to force me onto cheaper but non-equivalent medications. Now I need minor surgery for a torn labrum in the hip joint. It has taken years to get this bad, but now it must be addressed. Will Aetna reject coverage for a pre-existing condition? If they do, the bill will cost me $15K instead of $2K. Why is this even a concern? I have been religiously paying premiums and co-pays for years and costing them nearly nothing in medical treatment.

    With a public option which does not reject doctor-recommended treatment, Aetna would be forced to treat me the same. Need hip surgery, receive hip surgery.

    Without a public option, it's just a matter of time until the private insurer tells me to go die.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 10:19:09 AM PDT

  •  Start calling it "public choice" not "option" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When people realize that option means choice they respond very positively.

    So start calling it public choice.

    •  Unless "choice" means "abortion" (0+ / 0-)

      after all, "option" means a choice, too, doesn't it? It's weird what our politics has done to some pretty simple words. Unfortunately I think the problem is "public" rather than "option."

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:58:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Julia Carson's legacy: Grandson Andre' Carson is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the only one of the four Democrats elected from Indiana to the House of Representatives who has strongly supported Public Option. Of course the five Republicans don't support health care in any way.  Andre's was elected with some trepidation to fill Julia Carson's seat from the 7th District, Marion County, inner city Indianapolis.  

    An article re Andre' Carson's strong support for Health Care. in today's Indianapolis Star, explains the 7th District has the highest percentage of uninsured voters in the state, despite the fact that Wellpoint and Eli Lily have their headquarters withi in Andre's district.

    You can pull up this article at  The author is Maureen Grope who can be contacted at 202-906-8138 or at

    Those wondering about who might be the next legacy candidate need to keep Andre' Carson in mind,

  •  You got that right. With the majorities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thay have, if Dems can't even pass a legitimate Public Option healthcare bill (when they know damn well it should be single-payer instead), they all--president, senators, representatives--should resign in disgrace.

    When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

    by Wom Bat on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:11:01 AM PDT

  •  It is the test of our Democracy (0+ / 0-)

    In the last decade our last few elections were stolen and our principles and morals and ethics have been systematically raped.  Our treasure has been plundered.

    Don't let the health care rapists and profiteers exchange our health and welfare for their profits.  We come first.

  •  Three cheers for slinkerwink! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    math4barack, kareylou

    Thank you so much for your laser-like focus on this issue.  I agree it is a defining moment in our party.

  •  Lots of great suggestions, I suupose (0+ / 0-)

    but why are we complaining?

    If you like polls, HCR with a PO is winning.

    Why are y'all bitching so much?

    You would think by the tone here we are losing. We are not.

    The main guy has our backs. Breathe.

    Bible Death Scorecard: God 2,390,000 Satan: 10

    by A Runner on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:28:49 AM PDT

  •  If we get a bill with a viable robust PO (0+ / 0-)

    Really, honestly, how will some of you guys feel about the Dem party and the President?

    Progressives are not always right.Sorry, but they are not. Our ideas are just good ideas.That is all. Good ideas that could work.

    by theone718 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:38:38 AM PDT

  •  yeah, dems vs. limbaugh and hannity and sons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, kareylou

    because they and their 1000 radio stations, protected by call screeners to say whatever they want as often as they want  to  a crowd the size of the one that voted for obama, without the dem party paying attention, is the only reason the obstructionists have anything going for them at all.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 11:44:58 AM PDT

  •  Tis a pity that few here will read Krauthammer's (0+ / 0-)

    oped today, because he is one of THEM and not one of US, not that i agree with it mind you, but it sure as hell does point out one glaring and obvious truth and that is theat NOBODY, left, right or centre is really living or willing to live in a reality based worls and the whole idea of change was an illusion.

    People don't want change, they dopn't want sacrifice, they want it all, and they want it now and forever.

    So, today in my heart I have decided that health care reform is stone cold dead, killed by both sides, neither of whom will be wiling to give what it will take to get it passed.

    I am relieved actually, becausae i don't personally need to agonise anymore.

    The polls show the same picture, Obamacare will be killed by his own supporters. Et tu Brute!!!!

    •  So krauty got to you, too? (0+ / 0-)

      ... that's too bad. Should I try to reprogram you or do you want to suffer ?  He's a really twisted person, paranoid, with an advanced degree in manipulating people's emotions.

      "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 28, 2009 at 11:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rather like you. I'll suffer thank you (0+ / 0-)

        altho actually i won't because as you have so often pointed out i am one fot eh lucky ones who is already feeding at the public trough. One year younger than kennedy i am OK and as i've often been told here, it's old people like me who are spoiling it for everyone else.

        So as you also often tell me, spare me your homilies today.  In your own immortant words, you make my eyes itch.

        •  don't read krauty at the WAPO (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ... look at this, one column and your ability to insult me and me feel guilty is going to hell.

          I refer to elected politicians with gold plated choice of lifetime health care paid for by the government, yet fighting reform, and criticizing government, as trough feeders.  The rest of you are just confused or working at this from a different angle.

          Krauty qualifies as a PNAC style psychopath who encourages others to kill for him based on religious grounds. He's a miserable person. I'm not even going to go look at that piece, I've read his other stuff and a short blog bio of him written by somebody who actually met him (he's a bit reclusive) explaining his brilliance as a physician, who is handicapped, who writes ultra conservative pieces encouraging a state of perpetual mid east warfare. Warped. Of course he would be pulling a Palin death panels number on anyone he could fool, that's what he does for a living.  

          "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 28, 2009 at 03:04:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just a tip- be sure to call your local rep and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Senator- each should have a webpage showing numbers for local offices and for the offices in D.C.

  •  ...become Canadians, or something... (4+ / 0-)

    Hello, this is my first comment on DK and I hope it's appropriate.

    On August, 14, we conducted interviews at the RAM free clinic in Inglewood, California. The subject of the comment is a direct quote from a man we interviewed.

    Featuring a cross section of real people with genuine health concerns, "To your health..." is our humble contribution to the ongoing debate.
    People truly need help and their voices deserve to be heard.

    There can be no health reform without the public option.

    •  You need to put a transcript with this for the (0+ / 0-)

      ... person who wrote the diary, because she's deaf.

      I'm on a slower connection so it would take me about a half hour to get the whole thing, here's the first 2 minutes  

      into's "my name is" then people who were at the Remote Area Medical in Inglewood CA were saying

      I don't have money

      My wife's diabetic so keeping up on her medical needs is important

      I broke my leg about 8 years ago the cost at the time really took me down I was no longer able to afford health insurance subsequently

      I turned 50 my health insurance went up to 500 bucks a month a good time to get rid of me

      I have health insurance and medical and dental insurance but my co payment is so high that it is almost ruining my retirement (savings)

      now I have to pay like 700 and if they don't get you going to work within a month then I have to come up with another 700 and I don't get that much money a month to start with times are hard these days

      I don't see the doctor regularly I buy my own medical insurance....

      "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 28, 2009 at 12:06:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My apologies... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's a great idea and I'll work on it.
        Thank you.

      •  "To your health..." Transcript (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm the slowest, worst typist in the universe, but here goes! Thanks for a great diary, Slinkerwink.

        LOCATION: The RAM free Clinic at The Forum, Inglewood, California - August 14, 2009

        TITLE: To Your Health...

        INTROS: "Hello America, My name is Oscar..."
        "My name is Dr Jessie..."
        "My name is Leonard..."

        MESSAGE: 47 million Americans have no health insurance.

        LEE: I don't have money for health and dental - medical and dental.

        OSCAR: My wife's a diabetic so keeping up on her medical needs is such an important priority in my life.

        ALICIA: I broke my leg about 8 years ago and the cost at the time with having really decent health coverage really took me down.
        I was no longer able to afford health insurance, subsequently.

        MESSAGE: The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a universal health insurance system.

        NICK: I turned 50 and my health insurance went up to 500 bucks a month so it was like a good time to get rid of me (laughter)

        DR JESSIE: I have health insurance and I have medical insurance and dental insurance but my co payment is so high that working out of my retirement is almost prohibitive.

        LEONARD: My deductible is high... In order for me to get dental work, now I have to pay like 700 and if they don't get you going to work within a month then I have to come up with another 700 and I don't get that much money a month to start with... along with other bills... It's kinda hard... Times are hard these days.

        MESSAGE: While the CEOs of America's largest health insurers are making record salaries, the average American is priced out of health insurance and healthcare.

        RENE(Heath care volunteer): I don't see the doctor regularly -- I buy my own medical insurance and generally speaking, I don't go to the doctor unless I'm seriously injured.

        ALICIA: I've put all my resources into bettering my health, but what that has meant, is that literally, I have no money now.

        RENE(Heath care volunteer): I'm an emergency nurse and an emergency care nurse by trade...Some Doctors don't accept Medical, some doctors will only accept private pay -- if you don't have the cash, you're not going to get in.
        So, you don't get normal physicals. The fact that you don't get this kind of preventive medicine then end up costing our entire system -- A much greater issue because now instead of taking something to prevent a problem, we wait till that
        problem happens and is more expensive to treat.

        MESSAGE: Half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. Three-quarters of those filing are people with health insurance.

        ALICIA: We've become so profit centric that we've almost lost sight of how to build community around helping each other deal with our health in a productive, long-term beneficial way.

        LEONARD: It shouldn't be all about money.It seems like this world is based on money - what you got. If you got nothing, you get nothing.

        MESSAGE: 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every single day.

        LEE: Right now we have denial of care and that denial of care is paying for the multimillion dollar salaries of executives and CEOs and the shareholders of private health insurance companies.

        DR JESSIE: I think that people are an important resource especially today when there's so much confusion going on - Any help that you can give to people only helps make it better for the next generation. And that is important to me.

        MESSAGE: More than 9 million children lack health insurance in America.

        DR JESSIE: I don't have any grand children myself, but for the people that I... My brother and his friends and the children that come to my center,I consider them my children and for my children, health care is important.

        MESSAGE: A baby born in El Salvador has a better change of surviving than a baby in Detroit.

        DR JESSIE: And I think... you can call it what you want -- fascism, socialism... People can call it a name, but a name doesn't help the people...
        Put a label and then you put them on a shelf -- so I think that it's important that we look at people and give them the help that they need right now.

        MESSAGE: Healthcare in the U.S. is ranked 37th in the world, after Columbia, Morocco, and Slovenia.

        OSCAR: This country really needs health care reform.

        LEE: This country needs medical care and health care is a human right and we're a rich country -- I think we're the only industrialized country that doesn't have health care for everyone.

        OSCAR: Sometimes I feel like maybe my wife and I should just maybe pick up and move to Canada -- Just become Canadians or something!

        ALICIA: I am adamantly in favor of a single-payer health system. I really believe in freedom of choice and I believe in a free market and I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there that somehow, if we advocate for a single payer health system, and succeed in putting one in place that it's somehow going to limit choice and that's just not... That is not what happened in Canada. I don't think that's going to happen here.

        OSCAR: Like I said... just become Canadians or something.

        MESSAGE: Health care can't wait...

        OSCAR: What is there to debate about? Health care... We all need health care...It should be a non issue. That's.. that's it!

        THE END

        A video by Meena Nanji and Ofunne Obiamiwe.
        -- MoviesforChange.

  •  Slinkerwink, thank-you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pundit, slinkerwink, Cleopatra

    for your diaries. I read them regularly and rely on them regularly. I have been an RN for 30 years and have learned to despise the greed and amoral callousness of the private insurance companies. They must be checked. That's why we have to have a public option robust enough to put them in check.
        Is it my imagination or are there a lot of trolls who regularly write comments on your diaries? I would swear that some of those comments were written by corporate insurance employees.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:10:25 PM PDT

  •  This issue for Democrats is similar to Iraq (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, Losty, Cleopatra

    for Republicans. It represents a signature issue of the party (health care vs. waging war) and the interests are well defined. Do they recognize the will of the people or do they bow down to their corporate masters. Does money truly speak louder than the welfare of the nation?

    Will they

    stand on our side or on the side of these major insurers such as UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, and WellPoint?

    Do we enable another looting of the American taxpayers by the equivalent of Blackwater, Haliburton, KBR, Lockheed Martin, et al?

    Murder by spreadsheet...murder by contract. All in the name of greed.

    We should be marching in the streets with the same passion with which we opposed the war. Of course, with the Republicans in charge, we all know how that turned out. The fox was pimping out the hen house.

    Will the Democrats resolve us to a similar fate?

    Republican motto: Vote Democrat and die, vote for us and be granted eternal life.

    by karma bum on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:21:19 PM PDT

  •  As a parry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, kareylou

    we need to put our collective shoulder to the wheel and push!

    We need to get this done!

    This has beena dream of the democratic party's for years!

    One of our greatest warriors is gone-let's pick up the torch and head straight for the winner's circle!

    We get to do this for the people in this country and were going to do this for the people in this country!

    On political conservatives: "I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun." Bill Maher

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:22:43 PM PDT

    •  great comment! :-) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lyvwyr101, Sharon Wraight

      I'm on Twitter. I'm also a part of the FDL team on health reform.

      by slinkerwink on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:25:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great! So, what are you doing to push? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Too many people here believe that debate is the same as action.

      "90% of life is just showing up" - Woody Allen

      by Explorer8939 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:29:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hi explorer8939, (0+ / 0-)

        I call our legislators twice a week-evey week-I've been doing that for a while now. They're probably tired of hearing my voice at the other end of the phone.

        I sign petitions-and although I hate it-I call republican legislators as well-and just as often.

        They literally sigh-into the phone-when I identify myself. It's all I can do not to chuckle.

        They're "smarmy" and so is their staff.

        I call the White House, I email the president-and even though I know they get delayed because of the anthrax scare-I write letters-but I'm switching to postcards.

        Even with the anthrax scare-I still think there is a lot to be said for the written word-but it's getting closer now-so it's postcards.

        I have a small group of activists where I live-and we go for it 24/7!

        We talk to everyone about healthcare reform-write letters to the editor-and hand out leaflets.

        We're working hard and the republicans are not going to take this away from us.

        Most of us are older-and we have some health issues-so traveling is difficult for some of us-but believe me we're in this and we're on it!

        They don't get to win this! We do!

        On political conservatives: "I was so shocked I nearly dropped the Bible I was using to help me masturbate into my gun." Bill Maher

        by lyvwyr101 on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 01:00:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think this issue... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, OLinda, RickD, Losty

    ...will determine whether many new Democrats, like me, and my mom, and the new young and minority voters who voted for Obama, stay with the Democratic Party.  If they actually passed a health care bill with mandates and without a public option, which is both evil and unconstitutional, I doubt I'll ever vote for a Democrat again in my life.

    The only people who oppose the "public option" have cushy health insurance to begin with.

    by cartwrightdale on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 12:59:18 PM PDT

  •  quite seriously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I sometimes feel like the Democratic leadership doesn't understand that their supporters want them to act like Democrats.  If they act like Republicans, they won't get support from either Republicans or Democrats.  They'll be criticized less by Republicans, but that's a sucker's game.

    If this Congress doesn't pass a bill with a public option included, the whole Democratic party will be viewed as a failure.  I don't think that the leaders "get" that.

    "I've been on food stamps and welfare. Did anybody help me out? No." - Craig T. Nelson

    by RickD on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 01:10:11 PM PDT

  •  Well put, and I could not agree more! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    ~we study the old to understand the new~from one thing know ten thousand~to see things truly one must see what is in the light and what lies hidden in shadow~

    by ArthurPoet on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 01:24:18 PM PDT

  •  There is a townhall meeting Saturday morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in northern New Mexico. Senator Bingaman is reported going to be there by the local paper however the organisers know that he will not be but his staff will be there.

    The meeting starts at 10:00 am and many of us organised what questions we want to ask and what positions we want to take.
    Everyone is welcome though.

    1.  No existing pre-conditions 2: affordable basic health care for ALL, no matter what they want to call it.  3: Absolutely NO mandates, subsidies for those who can't afford insurance are fine, but no mandates.

    My basic question is what exactly IS public option?  because until the final bill is reconciled there is no way of knowing what will get in or left out. So questions at this point really have few answers. The important thing is to make our individual and collective poositions crystal clear.

    We need to be telling them what we want in the bill, not what we will do if our issues are not adressed.  Everyone has their own way of fighting this fight depending where they live and what their personal positions are.  It is unproductive to expect small rural communities in very poor and sparesely populated states to feel the same way people in huge sprawling crqded urban states feel.  That is why a single payor system covering everybody is the only fair way.

    It doesn't matter whether we'll get it or not at this point, it is very important to state that is what we want.

  •  We don't need just any "public option" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know single payer is off the table, but any "public option" won't do. We need a true robust public option and I think we should start calling it something else a Medicare Buy In. People understand that whihc is the same reason Medicare for All would of been the best frame and plan, but here we are and if we just call anything a public option, we might run the risk of getting a a compromise of a compromise which was a compromise that is itself a compromise of a previous compromise from a former compromise of a much reduced compromise of the original compromise of the goal of many on the left.

    That being said, I hope we get one of the more robust public options among the many being floated out there.

    Good work, sinkerwink, as usual.

    Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers!- George Carlin

    by priceman on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 02:07:50 PM PDT

  •  Health Care Rally in Portland, tomorrow 10 AM (0+ / 0-)

    Be there, or be square.
    10 AM, Terry Shrunk Plaza downtown Portland

  •  Excellent Diary, dammit! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Experience has taught me that things are likely to get worse, so these are likely to turn out to be the Good Old Days...Molly Ivins

    by eddienutzak on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 02:21:13 PM PDT

  •  RIP Teddy and (0+ / 0-)

    The blue cross dogs suck

  •  You know Nora O'Donnell just reported she had (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, b tex, Losty

    asked Hatch if he thought there could be agreement reached (all in the context of the Kennendy memorial).  She reported he said, No.  Not if a public option is included.

    I think we really have to ask ourselves what their strategy is.  Why they risk going down like this?  A proper answer to that question would be, You know now is not the time for policy discussion.

    But, they are answering these questions.  They are coming off very cold.  Very cold.  They are controlling the amount of sympathy the passing of Senator Kennedy is allowed.  They never stop campaigning.  I had a tiny bit of respect for their discipline up until this point.  I see it as a sickness now.  Their values are really screwed up.

    •  Well, then - let's throw THESE numbers at them (0+ / 0-)

      Number of uninsured in each state:

      Yes, the numbers are 2 years old - and probably worse by now.

      Orrin fails - everytime - to address the uninsured in his own state.  He's all big about insuring kids....but when their parents lose their jobs (thanks to living in a right-to-fire state)?

      He's gone.

  •  Excellent diary, but I would call the "bailout" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, mithra

    a windfall, the insurance companies are not in any financial trouble.

  •  Real and strong public option is the key (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (and just for the record, it should really be single payer).

    A private company CALLED a public option a la Harry Reid does not cut it.

    And neither will a public option that isn't really allowed to be affordable or that is designed to fail.

    Even if we do get a public option (and that is quite the battle right now), expect to hear all sorts of "level playing field" language designed to weaken regulation of private insurance and force the public option to be no cheaper or better than private plans.  We must not let that happen.  If we do, then, as private insurers find ways to cherry pick who they cover (and they WILL find ways to do this, even if supposedly prohibited), those needing more care will be forced into the public plan, raising costs.  There will be screams not to allow the public plan to have these higher costs subsidized, and it will either fail under these costs or under further attacks from the private insurers.

    We do need to draw a line in the sand on a public option, but it has to be the real thing, and we can't throw away strong regulation of private insurers as a "compromise".  We've compromised more than enough already.

    Civil marriage is a civil right.

    by UU VIEW on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 05:03:05 PM PDT

  •  Town halls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Slinkerwink, I'm trying to figure out how to add townhalls to firedoglake, and don't see it.  Here's a link with lots of town halls not listed in firedoglake.

  •  I'm with you. (0+ / 0-)

    No bailout for health insurers in reform clothing.

    There's nothing to believe in
    The loudest mouth will hail the new found way

    by wanderindiana on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 05:56:45 PM PDT

  •  Politics alone demands that President (0+ / 0-)

    Obama either succeed - so that the savings and efficiencies can aid economic recovery - or, if he chooses to accept an insurance bailout bill, there will be every reason to scrap it in four years when he is defeated in 2012.

    I cannot bear to think this good man will not at least go down fighting, trying to re-educate the public promoting a bill that includes ALL options for even the lowliest freedom-fighting, beer-chugging, gun-toting yahoo.

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 06:58:32 PM PDT

  •  Indeed... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, mithra

    When Americans don't see the cost of their monthly premiums being lowered, you know who they'll blame for not making health care reform affordable for them? The Democratic Party.

    And Karl Rove is grinning as this is the best way to guarantee a permanent Republican Majority.

    "We tried to let you do it, and you failed".  At least we know who's screwing us with the Republicans.

    Harry Reid: An idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing (HT Shakespeare)

    by DrWolfy on Fri Aug 28, 2009 at 07:03:29 PM PDT

  •  I'm disappointed in Organizing for America (0+ / 0-)

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 05:29:05 AM PDT

  •  insurance regulations on their own won't work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    any better than the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act did.

    That's the inconvenient truth sellout Democrats don't want to admit.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 05:31:07 AM PDT

  •  slinkerwink, what are the non-negotiable (0+ / 0-)

    parts of a public option? what would it have to have? do you think there's wide agreement about that, especially among those who have supported, or continue to support, single-payer?  

  •  They own both parties (0+ / 0-)

    The BIG Corps. own both parties heart and soul. Nader was right. Neither can effect meaningful change because they represent the Corp. aristocracy /plutocracy that wan only CHANGE they can believe in and they're paying for just such a Change. America is rapidly being reduced to just another BananaRepublic owned by 1% of the Pop. with a fake democracy.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 07:28:10 AM PDT

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