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How much more death and financial ruin do we need, in order for a public option to kick in?  A lot more, if you believe the New York Times.

Unless Progressives hold very damn firm, what seems to be shaping up, is a trillion dollar scheme to require the largest transfer of wealth in history, from middle class Americans to the for profit insurance industry.

This is also known as the trillion dollar bailout of the for-profit health insurance industry.

I'm heading to Washington next week. Jane Hamsher and I will personally deliver the Stay Firm on Your pledge for the Public Option Petition you signed to progressives in Congress.

Thanks to you, we have over 50,000 signatures! You can continue signing and make the number grow even larger.


This is some information you should be aware of, as we prepare to listen to President Obama address the nation on Wednesday.

The reason I'm writing this today is so that those of you who question the FDL approach to securing the public option will recognize the huge stakes.

If we do not hold progressives accountable, then as sure as night follows day, the junk insurance scenario I'm going to tell you about, could well become the sell-out junk insurance mandate taxpayer bailout from the "we've got to do something crowd", to the American people.

  1.  There is a new report, Insured and in debt: Even with coverage Californians struggle to pay medical bills. It is a glimpse into what could be our future without a public option.

Dear healthcare warriors, here's the take home message form the UCLA Report which you can read here.

"That even insured people are forced to take on medical debt to pay for their health care is another glaring inadequacy in our current system of health insurance," said E. Richard Brown, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the SHIC report. "Current policies either do not offer enough coverage or offer full-coverage at a cost that is too expensive for many people to bear.

"The result is that too many people have health insurance plans that leave them financially vulnerable and force them to delay the care they need."

. . .The report, based on the latest data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation's largest state health survey, is the most comprehensive examination of health insurance coverage in the nation's most populous and diverse state.

"Heath coverage is supposed to protect Americans from the financial burden of health care costs," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, CEO and president of The California Endowment. "Americans should be outraged that the very system that they depend on for health care no longer offers that protection."

  1. Anytime you hear the word "bipartisan", understand this is an insurance industry bill.  Don't believe me, just click here. A bipartisan bill is a mandate for all Americans to buy high deductible junk insurance. This is what I've been writing about for many years now. You will be required to buy insurance and then if when you need it, you'll find out, you've been scammed, you've been paying for a product which is insurance in name only.

You will hear Wendell Potter explain on my video (which I'll have up on You Tube in the next day or so) how his former employer CIGNA went about maintaining healthy profits every quarter.  He explains that the entire focus of the company is about generating revenues for shareholders, and that the only way they do this is to sell junk insurance and then deny claims.



This was the scene outside the Bill Pascrell town hall I attended on Thursday.

Let me make this as clear as anything I have ever written. Unless we get a robust public option then the victory goes to "there is no right to healthcare" extremists. I would find it very frightening to be a citizen of a country where the haters you hear on this video set the policy of the nation.

4. John Conyers is worried about this trillion dollar bailout of the for profit insurance industry. Yesterday he and Diane Watson sent out a "Dear Colleague" letter, here's a piece of it.

Today, many of the insured are unable to use their coverage to purchase
medical care. To remedy this situation, H.R. 3200 includes "cost sharing"
subsidies that would be offered on a sliding scale for citizens with family income up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). However, this still leaves many individuals who make slightly above 400 percent of FPL in a position where they may not be able to use the health insurance they have purchased. Cutting subsidies at an arbitrary income level can leave families vulnerable.

Research shows that cost sharing deters the use of care,
including medically necessary care, particularly by people with limited
income. Both Elizabeth Edwards of the Center for American Progress and
Professor Karen Pollitz of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute
noted the serious financial and wellness consequences of high out-of-pocket spending in congressional testimony earlier this year.  Further, research produced by the Center for Studying Health System Change shows that when out-of-pocket spending for medical bills exceeds just 2.5 percent of family income, patients become burdened by medical debt, face barriers to accessing care, and have problems paying other bills.

Thus, H.R. 3200 should be amended to ensure that no individual or family
will have to pay more than 2.5 percent of its gross adjusted income on
out-of-pocket costs. Coupled with the affordability credits, this cap on
out-of-pocket costs would ensure that individuals and families will not be
subject to medical debt or medical bankruptcy as a result of being unable to afford expensive cost sharing obligations.

Additionally, H.R. 3200 should be amended to ensure that affordability
credits are automatically distributed to any individual that qualifies for
the credits.  With the individual mandate in the bill, we are placing a
costly administrative burden on consumers. To ensure that all individuals
receive the credits they are due, qualifying individuals should not be
required to apply for these affordability credits. Without this needed
reform, qualified low-income individuals may lose out on the opportunity to benefit from these much needed credits.

  1. I also suggest you read Jason Rosenbaum's, A Trigger for the Public Option - a plan to kill the public option, which is one of the finest explanations I've seen on what's really playing out in Washington, and why once again, making encouraging the progressives to draw a line in the sand is the most urgent mission we have.
  1. Returning to Wendell Potter. This is a great American. I spent close to a half hour with him, as soon as the tape is up on You Tube, you'll have everything. I'm hoping that he'll register on Daily Kos and become a regular around here, I think he'll do this.  Just to give you a taste of what he said, without a public option, we're doomed.






Originally posted to nyceve on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:22 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (284+ / 0-)
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  •  I was hoping to get Wendell Potter to you . . . (19+ / 0-)

    by now, but I need some help with the You Tube upload, so I expect to have it in the next couple of days barring any further glitches.

  •  LA Times has a brain dead story today (23+ / 0-)

    in the Top of the Ticket blog, whining that Obama's plan would force millions into a single-payer government plan and bleating about an alternative Republican plan created last June (? what plan?  I didn't see a plan, just a silly diagram).  I already posted a response, and encourage others to do the same, along with signing your petition.  

    Full disclosure: Planet Earth pays me, in sunsets, to Adopt A Senator for ACES

    by RLMiller on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:30:28 AM PDT

  •  Send videos, too (11+ / 0-)

    From my email:

    Dear fellow Democrat,

    Inaction on health insurance reform is not an option - except to the big insurance companies that are raking in obscene profits while denying care to millions of Texans who work for a living. Every day, they price more Texans out of the system or deny them coverage because of a pre-existing condition. But reform isn't only about the people who don't have insurance - it's about anyone who's ever worried about losing their coverage if they become sick, lose their job or change their job.

    While the status quo is unsustainable, those opposing reform are doing nothing but helping corrupt insurance companies protect enormous profits gained by charging sky-high premiums and denying coverage whenever they can get away with it. They are out there using fear tactics, getting everyday people to carry their dirty water for them by telling lies about insurance reform.

    Vice President Joe Biden has created a video, addressing the biggest health care lie of all: that our health insurance system works just fine and Americans don't care about reform. The White House invites you to help the Vice President debunk this myth by responding with your own YouTube video on why reform matters to you.

    Click the video link to watch the video and respond with your own:  

    If you need some help getting started, the White House also has a new online quiz - to help set the record straight on what's in reform for someone like you:

    I would just add that if you're for single payer, please say so in your video.  You don't need to say you support "insurance" reform, just because they're trying to steer you towards that.  If you're for H.R. 676, say so; explain that Public Option is the compromise that you're willing to accept, but nothing less, and no triggers.

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

    by CoolOnion on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:31:00 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary, nyceve. (7+ / 0-)

    Not in good shape to contribute :) but I am taking out my credit card and making a contribution, anyway, because this is so important.

    I appreciate your determination to keep fighting, in the face of very discouraging news.

  •  Eve, you have one up (18+ / 0-)

    Blogger Eve (nyceve) Gittelson in a candid three part discussion with CIGNA whistle blower Wendell Potter before the Bill Pascrell town hall in Montclair New Jersey on September 3, 2009

    By the way, did you make it to Jim Himes' (CT-04) townhall on Thursday?

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:32:43 AM PDT

  •  Yes, I'd like him on DKOS (5+ / 0-)

    He is somebody I'd love to ask questions to, about policy and what would work and what wouldn't work so well.

    Did he think Obama would be able to pass a bill or that this will go up in flames like Clinton's?

  •  Great to see your diary here! (15+ / 0-)

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:37:43 AM PDT

    •  Slink, I'm starting to have doubts... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, JanL

      just in the last 48 hours, about the whole strategy for the next seven and one-half years, years after the HCR debate is over.

      HCR and the whole issue of corporate power has me reconsidering my priorities over the last two days. [I posted this in anther comment in a diary that dropped off the page.]

      From the last general election until now I've allocated my spare time to the struggle for health care reform. I've attended meetings and donated money to motivate Blue Dogs to do the right thing regarding the Public Option. I've written letters to them, called their offices, shook their hands, etc etc etc. I wrote Obama a letter describing all the things I did during his campaign, things we accomplished in a swing community in what may well be a swing state in the next election. I told him that in my mind the PO was the key element in any HCR. I told him it was my line in the sand.

      But the alacrity with which the racist Southern Conservatives abandoned their anti-HCR efforts and focused on Obama's speech to schoolchildren took me by surprise. It made it very plain that they are not tied to the anti-HCR effort so much as they are wanting to pull Obama down.  

      This animal-like reaction to Obama's speech to schoolchildren is what has me reweighing my priorities. Their reaction has made me realize that the conservatives have a different set of tactics than I do. I seek to lessen the power of the corporate state and thus benefit everyone. HCR, and the PO, is a way there. The corporate statists seek to enhance their power, of course, but their immediate target is to destroy Obama's Presidency; nothing more, nothing less.

      It is yet a rumination, but I am realizing more and more that the corporate statists are using their ownership of the media to stoke the hatred of the Southern Conservatives for Obama so as to defend themselves from him. I am starting to fear that the failure of Obama's presidency will hurt the whole effort for HCR more than the failure of meaningful HCR now at this time, even with or without a PO.

      Thus, I suppose the reaction of the Southern racists has led me to consider compromise on the PO because I now see them more clearly as the tool of the corporate statists.

      Can we put off full HCR until later so as to give Obama a victory now on a compromise? What will the failure of Obama's presidency do to HCR in the long term? To the struggle against the corporate statists?

      Most important, can they stop HCR entirely if a PO is nailed to it? This is the real question. This is what I want to know.

      Can they stop HCR entirely if a PO is nailed to it?

      What is the answer?

      I'm starting to conclude that the success of Obama's presidency over the long haul is more important than HCR with the PO, right now.

      Are these irrational questions and conclusions?

      Let every American... swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate ...the laws ... and never to tolerate their violation by others. A. Lincoln

      by PhotogHog on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:07:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's one thing we can't put off -- (8+ / 0-)

        If we allow Congress to pass "individual mandates" along the lines of Romneycare, we must oblige Congress to create a public option available to all on day one of the "individual mandates."

        You don't want the sort of compromise that Federal Romneycare would represent.

        "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

        by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:19:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Highest premiums in the nation in Mass. (7+ / 0-)

          also do yourself a favor go on t he connector web site, put in a Mass. zip code, it will then give you all the junk insurance available.

          It's all high deductible crap.

          •  Can you recommend any sites to display this? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nyceve, thebluecrayon

            I'm thinking of writing a diary on it -- and you can see from my playlist that I don't write quickie diaries...

            "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

            by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In July (10+ / 0-)

              I went shopping using the Commonwealth Connector and a Cambridge zip code (02138) and my date of birth (10/28/1958) I got this list of lower-cost choices for people making over $32,496/year ($2,708/month):

              Neighborhood Health Plan
              NHPThree Select  

              Premium $319.50
              Deductible $2,000/$4,000
              Doctor visit co-pay $25
              RX co-pays $15 after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible
              ER co-pay $100 after deductible
              hospital 20% co-insurance after deductible

              Fallon Community Health Plan
              FCHP Direct Care  
              Premium $418.00
              Deductible $2,000/$4,000
              Doctor visit co-pay $25
              RX co-pays  $15 / $50 / $100
              ER co-pay $200
              hospital $500 per admission after deductible Find

              Tufts Health Plan
              Advantage HMO Select 2000 (Limited choice of doctors & hospitals)
              Premium $421.78
              Deductible $2,000/$4,000
              Doctor visit co-pay $40
              RX co-pays $20 after Rx deductible / $50 after Rx deductible / $75 after Rx deductible
              ER co-pay $200
              hospital $0 after deductible

              Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
              Harvard Pilgrim Core Coverage 1750
              Premium $464.74
              Deductible $1,750/$3,500
              Doctor visit co-pays $25 copay up to 3 medical care office visits per individual (or 6 per family); next visits are subject to the deductible; then 20% co-insurance thereafter
              RX co-pays  $15 / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible
              ER co-pay $250
              hospital 20% co-insurance after deductible

              Fallon Community Health Plan
              FCHP Select Care  
              Premium $482.00
              Deductible $2,000/$4,000
              RX co-pays $25 $15 / $50 / $100
              ER co-pay $200
              hospital $500 per admission after deductible

              Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
              HMO Blue Basic Value  
              Premium $494.96
              Deductible $250 per plan year/$500 per plan year
              RX co-pays $25 $15 / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible
              ER co-pay $150
              hospital 35% co-insurance after deductible

              Example: "hospital 20% co-insurance after deductible"
              $20,000 hospital bill
              $2,000 deductible

              You would owe: $2,000 deductible+ 20% of $18,000=$5,600

              Example: "hospital 35% co-insurance after deductible"
              $20,000 hospital bill
              $250 deductible

              You would owe: $250 deductible+ 35% of $19,750=$7,162.50

              Add in the $5,939.53 annual premium to get $13,102.

              You'd pretty much have to get wind up in the hospital every other year to make Blue Cross lose money.

              •  That's interesting. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nyceve, Kristin in WA, thebluecrayon

                So, what happens with all that money being paid by people that never go to the hospital?

                What are the stats with regard to the number of people paying into insurance and not using it v. those that are?

                It seems like it would result in huge profits as it looks like they don't even lose money on most customers they pay out for.

                To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

                by Pescadero Bill on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:59:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've always wanted to know that. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pescadero Bill, thebluecrayon

                  I hope someone answers.  I administer my companies self-insurance reimbursement program.  I feel I should be better informed instead of trusting the insurance broker for my information.  He made an off-hand comment that I need him to clarify.  He said, "Just wait and see how expensive medical coverage will be when it's "free".  What?

                  Also, I wonder if my company reimbursing the employees is just enabling the insurance company to keep raising rates and deductibles while keeping it's own payout down.  It's almost like my company is subsidizing the IC.  It is keeping our premium rates from going up but technically we get much less.

                •  Goes right to Wall Street, Pescadero Bill (0+ / 0-)
              •  I did the same thing.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I read the fine print. Did I read wrong that any prevenative care and chronic disease management isn't subject to the deductibles or co-pays? I thought this helped a lot. That's why I didn't think it was junk insurance.

                •  Tufts' drugs: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Noor B, Losty


                  The Tier 1 drugs are mainly generic plus Cipro.

                  Diabetes stuff is usually Tier 2 at $50 a pop.

                  The drugs and the hospitals are where the big bucks go.

                  The surgeon feels entitled to charge a lot because the hospital charges far more.

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

                    I looked at several plans. My impression was the deductible for the lower cost plans applied to lab work, such as X-Rays, MRI, and so on. It seemed I would not have much out of pocket for prevention or for going to the doctor to get my blood pressure medicine refilled.

                    I would have owed for my cornea transplant for my Keratoconus. But I owed $1,400 for that on my employer plan. I have a $300 deductible and a $2,000 annual out of pocket maximuim. The deductible doesn't apply to office co-pays. It would just apply to hospital care.

                    The surgery was $10,665 but Blue Cross MN contract with the providers to do it for about $5,700 or so. If I was uninsured I'd have to pay the whole thing and the surgery center would not have touched me unless I prepaid. I asked them just to see what if I had no insurance.

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

                what you just described is junk insurance.

                It's worthless, you still face financial ruin.

                •  The Fallon plans above are pretty (0+ / 0-)

                  good if your family line doesn't tend to need prescription drugs.

                  The Tufts plan above is OK if:

                  1. your family line doesn't tend to need prescription drugs and
                  1. you normally live your life near their hospitals.

                  For you and me that travel a lot, that Tufts plan would be unsuitable.

                  Under the current proposed federal subsidy schemes, cheaper plans reduce the subsidies in general.

                  The cheaper premium plans Senator Snowe hopes to appear would really stiff people that need better quality coverage and subsides.

                  The lower premium cost type of plans above should not be used to set the level of subsides because they have known inadequacies.

            •  yes Cassiodorus, go on the . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Commonwealth connector web site and put in a mass zip code and you're off to the races.

            •  Some Kossack recently (0+ / 0-)

              shopped for their family:

              I plugged in approximate birthdates for my family of four and asked for all plans.  Here's what it comes up with.  First, the lowest-cost plans.

              Tufts Health Plan
              Advantage HMO Select 2000 (Limited choice of doctors & hospitals)
              $1,175.05 (monthly rate) $2,000/$4,000 (individual/family deductibles) $40 Dr. copay.   $20 after Rx deductible / $50 after Rx deductible / $75 after Rx deductible (almost all plans have 3 tiers of prescriptions) $200 ER copay. $0 hospital stay after deductible

              Note that Tufts Advantage plans have very, very few doctors included in the plan, maybe < 10% of their total.

              Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
              Harvard Pilgrim Core Coverage 1750
              $1,237.14 $1,750/$3,500 $25 copay up to 3 medical care office visits per individual (or 6 per family); next visits are subject to the deductible; then 20% co-insurance thereafter $15 / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible $250 20% co-insurance after deductible

              Fallon Community Health Plan
              FCHP Direct Care
              $1,286.00 $2,000/$4,000 $25 $15 / $50 / $100 $200 $500 per admission after deductible

              Neighborhood Health Plan
              NHPThree Select
              $1,356.49 $2,000/$4,000 $25 $15 after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible / 50% co-insurance after Rx deductible $100 after deductible 20% co-insurance after deductible

              Note that NHP is largely limited to inner-city Boston.

              So a high-deductible plan is over $13k/year.  See how close we are to Baucus' proposed taxable $15k level without even getting past the Kia range?  Moving up the ladder from "Bronze" to "Silver",

              Tufts Health Plan
              HMO Select 20 (Limited choice of doctors & hospitals)
              $1,633.06 None/None $20 $10 after Rx deductible / $25 after Rx deductible / $45 after Rx deductible $150 $600 per admission (up to $2,400 per individual or $4,800 per family per calendar year)

              Still a "Select" plan, but some lower deductibles.

              Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
              Harvard Pilgrim Best Buy HMO 1000
              $1,740.07 $1,000/$2,000 $20 $15 / $30 / $50 $100 after deductible $0 after deductible

              Not bad coverage, but for $20k.

              Fallon Community Health Plan
              FCHP Direct Care
              $1,862.00 $500/$1,000 $20 $15 / $35 / $60 $100 $0 after deductible

              Now at the "gold" level,

              Tufts Health Plan
              HMO Select 15 (Limited choice of doctors & hospitals)
              $2,063.97 None/None $15 $10 / $25 / $45 $75 $100 per admission

              Still almost no access to the doctors, yet almost $25k/year!  BTW I get Tufts from a non-Connector broker and that's the only way it to get out of their "Select" jail.

              Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
              Harvard Pilgrim Tiered Copayment HMO 15
              $2,571.51 None/None $15 $10 / $30 / $50 $75 $100 per admission

              Still an HMO but low copays for $30k/year,

              Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
              HMO Blue Premium
              $2,918.43 None/None $15 $10 / $25 / $45 $100 $100 per admission

              Just in case you wondered what "Blue Cross" costs here.  Still an HMO. The Connector has no PPOs, no simple indemnity plans.

              This, folks, is what an Individual Mandate with no cost control or public option gets you.

              That's $2,918.43 a month for a family, or about $35,000 a year.

      •  Public Citizen reports (7+ / 0-)

        Corps want to go back to the 19th century and totally control (buy) legislators.  The Supreme Court is hearing a case on this on Sept 9.  There are also 2 bills in Congress to stop this.  Restricting corporate influence is a must in this fight! This is part of health care reform too.  

        From Public Citizen's website:

        Don't Get Rolled!
        Once upon a time, corporate titans bankrolled our elections with no limits. There were no social safety nets, no real labor laws, and no voting rights for most Americans. There were the haves and have nots.

        This fall, a century of modest limits on corporate influence in politics could be completely rolled back, crushing progress on health care, the environment, energy, economic recovery ... on everything!

        The Supreme Court on September 9 hears a case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that reopens the question of unlimited corporate money in our elections. In a stunning move, the Court will reach back and reconsider two other pivotal campaign finance cases settled long ago. The potential result? A century-old pillar of campaign finance doctrine could be swept away.

        Sound like a good idea? Sounds so very last, last century — except this time it wouldn’t be the robber barons — it would be the giant, multinational corporations buying our politicians outright.

        Don’t let our elections and progress get rolled by corporate power!


        Pledge to protest getting rolled on September 9! Everyone can protest — check out our ideas for actions. We want to collaborate and share your stories, pictures, and videos! Send your pics and YouTube links to

      •  No, don't think so. (7+ / 0-)

        The majority of the people of this nation are behind a PO. If Obama works hard to get a law passed including a PO, his presidency would be stronger in the long haul and THAT will be a victory.

        It's ridiculous to let a few screaming right-wing banshees derail what is right and what is popular with the unheard (media neglected) masses.

        If there is a compromise to neutralize the screams of the "Southern Conservatives" it will appear not as a success for Obama, but a complete failure. Especially among the progressive contingent of voters that worked so hard to get him elected. For many of them, all their hopes and dreams in this administration will be crushed.

        I think you are deluding yourself if you think a law passed without a public option could ever be seen as a success, AND that HCR would ever be mentioned again let alone with a PO in the same breath. If it can't be done at this time with this popular president, no president in the foreseeable future will touch it.

        Bottom line. This is a sink or swim moment for him. If he caves to the Southern Conservative types, he's sunk. If he stands up to them, he swims and they sink.

        To whom it may concern. Waterboarding is torture. Torture is illegal. Sincerely, A. No Brainer.

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:53:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What a crock, so the Teabaggers scream and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        banjolele, Losty

        ... you see another capitulation, so you recommend yet another capitulation ?

        All I had to do is look at who recommended this "sow discord and doubt packaged as pragmatism"  bullsh*t comment to know it's just another phony excuse to do nothing about insurance reform.

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

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:33:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A "phoney excuse?" (0+ / 0-)

          People who don't on occasion reassess their course of conduct in light of current events are usually failures at what they do, or else religious assholes.

          Let every American... swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate ...the laws ... and never to tolerate their violation by others. A. Lincoln

          by PhotogHog on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:53:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! Bipartisan means Insurance Gold! (17+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this great diary!  I've signed your petition and have sent it on to friends to sign.  Good luck with your effort!  We need to expose these insurance lobbyists and lying frauds.

    Dems need to draw that line in the sand:  NO PUBLIC OPTION...NO BILL.

    The insurance companies are salivating at the prospect of killing the public option while preserving the mandate which will means billions of dollars from new, healthy, young enrollees.

    I don't think this president wants to bear the moniker of "Midas to the Insurance Companies".

  •  Thank you again, nyceve. (11+ / 0-)

    As you say, we must keep up the pressure, on President Obama, on congresspeople and senators. The trigger is not acceptable, but nobody who holds public office will know that if we do not tell them.

    I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

    by NogodsnomastersMary on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:39:22 AM PDT

  •  If ever there was an industry that didn't need (19+ / 0-)

    a bailout, its the health insurance industry.  They help themselves just fine.  The average denial of claims rate in California was 22%.  One company was at 40%.  Talk about death panels, or bankruptcy panels.  Talk about murder by spreadsheet.

    Enuf already, Mr. President.  Stop agonizing.  Give us the public option.  Explain to Mr. Baucus that you will make sure he never holds elective office again if he he can't support you.  Ditto Landrieu, Feinstein, Ben Nelson.  It ain't that hard, you're a Chicago politician, remember?

    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

    by MadScientist on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:42:42 AM PDT

  •  O/T Jim Himes in Norwalk CT 9.2.09 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, ctsteve, Actbriniel

    Image Hosted by
    Kathy Lewton 61, of Stamford struggles with an unidentified man who was later removed from the event, as U.S. Rep Jim Himes talks about health care reform in Norwalk, Conn. Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009.

    Rancorous townhalls this week. Pro-Reformers outnumbered the anti-reformers but the anti people were very loud and obnoxious, as you can tell from this clip.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:44:25 AM PDT

  •  If Canada health care is so bad (9+ / 0-)

    Why are american wanting too go to  Canada and buy thier drug ,and deprive Canadian of their life saving medicine  

    •  and moving to Mexico for the $250 special? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Jones, KenBee, Cassiodorus, Losty

      Dennis Kucinich was right.

      by lisastar on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Canadian law expects drug makers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, Spekkio, Losty

      to supply demand in Canada.

      Every American could buy drugs in Canada and the drug makers would be expected to supply the drugs.

      The Canadian Patent Act was written with the full understanding of the probability of Americans buying drugs in Canada.

    •  The facts about Canadian pharmaceuticals... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      proud2Bliberal, Losty

      The re-importation" meme is ridiculous.

      A few facts:

      The total value of Canadian drug imports and Canadian manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in 2008 was approx $26B.

      Total 2008 imports to Canada from the US $3.7B

      Total 2008 imports to Canada from other Countries (excluding the US) mostly Europe was approx. $8.5B

      Industry Canada

      Total Canadian manufactured pharmaceuticals in 2007 was approx. $13.5B
      (from Industry Canada)

      US Pharma imports account for less than 15% of the Canadian market.

      Another interesting fact pointed out her by others here is that 6 out of 10 of the largest pharm manufacturers in the world are European.

      Pharma  Companies

      The entire annual Canadian drug supply would supply the US market for less than 40 days.

      •  We waste a lot of medicine (0+ / 0-)

        Doctors immediately give a full cycle presfcription before the patient knows whether it agrees with him or her.  Then if the medicine doesn't agree people throw it away.  It would be better to give a few days supply first to see if it works and there would be less waste.

  •  Add this to the debate: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, Cassiodorus, divineorder

    "How American Health Care Killed My Father"

    This article addresses some of the fundamental problems with the way we handle health care in America.

    Seek embrace, not victory.

    by jgerber on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:47:10 AM PDT

  •  Could Obama use Mr Potter effectively? (6+ / 0-)

    This is just my observation:

    While Nate Silver correctly states public option polls fluctuate by how you word the question (more choice vs government run health care), I think the public does support it.

    There seems to be a disconnect between what the public wants and what congress wants due to heavy insurance industry lobbying (threats of running negative ads in their district).

    Could he help break through this?  I don't think Wendell is yet that well known. For example, not one person at my work has heard of him. There are some people at my church who have, but these are people who watch Bill Moyers and Countdown.

  •  I hate that this is called a 'trigger' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, o the umanity, banjolele

    all this talk - now from our side - of pulling the trigger just scares the crap out of me.

    This was a horrible term for it in light of the current hate and crazy climate out there.

    I've signed, forwarded and worked my rear off for this. But I won't call it a trigger or ask anyone to pull it.

    Not to throw shoes is the crime. Not to be outraged is the crime.

    by the girl on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:51:36 AM PDT

  •  "There is no right to health care" (12+ / 0-)

    The same people that scream about the right to life also scream there is no right to health care. The hypocrisy of conservatives is boundless.

    The uninsured keep dying. Death to AHIP!

    by DWG on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:57:51 AM PDT

    •  Can the rest of us (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengrrl, Goldmund, Noor B, Spekkio

      secede from the red states? Or let them secede from us? Really, everyone would be happier. Give them the center of the country and the south, a big L shape. Every right wing crazy hate monger could go live there and all the progressive could join us. Let's just end this senseless fighting once and for all.

    •  But insurance companies have a right to captive (12+ / 0-)

      customers to fleece for profit?

      That thought is driving me crazy.  Mandating Americans to get screwed is insidious.

      If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

      by crystal eyes on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:14:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are so many good arguments (5+ / 0-)

      against the garbage these people are selling.

      Well, you know what? I no longer care why "The Democrats" can't seem to find it in their compassionate hearts to counter their obvious, demonstrable lies. I have had it with this bullshit. I donated what I could to this cause, nyceve, and I pray that your efforts succeed (it wasn't much, but it's the only way I can help right now).

      I'm so angry and upset right now, I could just spit. I have health insurance, because I am fortunate enough to have a decent job--but having that insurance no longer seems to matter. Many, many policies (and three two-jobs-and-three-corporate-takeovers) ago, I was in a serious car accident. Long story short, I recently learned that I'm facing the prospect of having to pay back almost ten years' worth of medical claims that BC/BS now plans to say they shouldn't have paid in the first place.

      Then on top of that, mr. o--full-time struggling musician, who is not legally my spouse, and thus is not covered by my health insurance--has been suffering, um, irregularity for the last couple of months to the point where it's making him physically ill. As time has passed, it's become obvious that this is a little more than a garden-variety "you just need more fiber in your diet" situation.

      It could be serious (intestinal blockage, infection). Or not (change your diet; no more pizza for you!) But of course, that's the point here. He doesn't know. And he won't any time soon. Because the kind of tests we could be talking about here to even eliminate a few causes (and thus get to a treatment plan) cost a lot of money.

      So guess what he's not doing? He's not getting medical care for this. Make no mistake, I realize that part of the discussion with him could certainly be "I don't care what this costs, honey--you're going to the doctor". We've already had that discussion. But he's stubborn. Get this: he doesn't want to be a financial burden to me, if something is really wrong with him.

      What. The. Fuck. have we come to in this country, that two of its middle-class, tax-paying, honorable, rule-minding, patriotic citizens even have to have a conversation like this? When you get sick, you should be able to go to see a doctor, without having to worry about how to fucking pay for it.

      This is a no-brainer to end all no-brainers. If my party shafts me on this, and he has to go buy some worthless insurance that still won't pay the doctors to fix his insides so he quits hurting, then God help them. God help them if anything happens to him which could have been prevented if he'd just gotten treatment sooner.

      Necessity is the mother of revolution...

      by o the umanity on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:42:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support opt-in Medicare-level coverage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, leonard145b, Losty

    going through private Medicare contractors such as these:

    Fiscal Intermediaries / Part A MAC
    BCBS of Nebraska
    WPS Medicare (formerly Mutual of Omaha-Medicare)
    Wheatlands Administrative Services

    Carriers / Part B MAC
    CIGNA Government Services
    Wheatlands Administrative Services
    Wisconsin Physicians Service

    A reconcilation bill could make (or allow) these private entities to enroll younger people in exchange for (government subsidized) premiums at 108% of age-based expected cost.

    Any overage would be credited to the government and any shortfall made whole by the government.

    The 108% multiple plus the no needless quibble payment policy of the Medicare contractors would be quite fair to private insurers.

    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) signed into law by President Ronald Reagan allows people to obtain insurance coverage from private entities.

    This is the cheapest way to go and minimizes taxes because there is no exchange and Medicare rates are normally paid by these private entities.

    It would be Medicare level coverage done through private entities.

      •  The insurers are complaining (0+ / 0-)

        about a "public option" paying Medicare rates because Medicare pays $X for Y and insurers often pay $1.2X, or 20% more.

        But commercial insurers like Aetna screen claims very carefully, so they generally never pay for dubious care as Medicare contractors often do.

        This might mean 10% fewer claims, so insurers are would effectively pay (if they paid all valid claims) at a rate of (1-.1)*$1.2X=$1.08X.

        That's where my 108% comes from.

        That doesn't account for possible provider price cuts when the deadbeats are mandated to buy coverage that pays on a higher percentage of cases, so my 108% figure will have to be revisited in 2014 and 2015.

  •  I'm getting my disabled mom to sign this petition (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, ctsteve, lisastar, divineorder, cany

    right now.

    Keep fighting, eve.

    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 Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 07:59:26 AM PDT

  •  More power to you...please keep up the great work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, divineorder, cany
  •  If this has been noted, please ignore... (4+ / 0-)

    “At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we’re not in a health-care crisis,” said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington. “You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus.”

    Can somebody please tell me what planet this guy lives on?

    He's living in a different world than me.

  •  I got nothing left to (12+ / 0-)

    give, eve.

    Saw the oncologist on 8/24 and am patiently awaiting my EOB from Medicare to see what I owe for the tests he had run.  Since the divorce and the loss of the ex's benefits this is all I've got, since I'm high risk and can't afford what the state's high risk pool wants per month ($650-$1,300/mo.  And no, I can't afford COBRA and neither can the ex.).  

    The devil's in the details here.  This forthcoming EOB will tell me how often I can afford to see the oncologist any more, if at all.

    Oh well . . . too sad, too bad.  The Wall Street CEO's got theirs and it seems that's what really matters to those with power and influence in the US these days.  I'm expendable and a useless drain on the system in their eyes.

    What the hell am I holding onto anyway if this displays what matters most in this country?  (Rhetorical question.)  

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:06:54 AM PDT

    •  Determination systems don't work (0+ / 0-)

      I feel uncomfortable with bureaucracies to determine how much they think a person can afford to pay.  Look at the food stamp program.  They will not take car insurance into account, but people need it to go to work.  Some states don't have very much public transportation.

      •  Initially Massachusetts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        required a utility turn-off, eviction, or foreclosure notice.

      •  Everything looks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        really pretty on paper and they hire "professionals" at exorbitant salaries to think this stuff up and write it all down.  

        When we see it in action and see just how many "fall through the cracks" is when it's "pooh-poohed" and "oh well, we tried . . ." over.

        It's only good enough because more people aren't living it.  It's like the folks who fuss over the "rightness or wrongness" over the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.  When my son was deployed, I got asked a number of times, "If this war is so wrong, why aren't people marching in the streets against it like they did during the Vietnam conflict?"  My answer was and still is, "Because there's no draft in effect."

        See these things only matter when "most" are affected.  Right now, "most" aren't affected by the healthcare mess.

        "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

        by Dreaming of Better Days on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:31:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your son needs you and the community here (4+ / 0-)

      ... appreciates you.

      We need to say ENOUGH.

      This isn't about how much it costs-  the costs are negligible compared to the raw struggle for power from the people we just voted out of office.

      And we must also flex that political muscle at the tone- deaf people who aren't technically in office, but are whispering sweet nothings of destructiveness in the President's ear.

      They don't want those mid east wars to end.  The Blue Dog Balkers are taking the same funds that we traditionally think go to the Republicans to perpetrate the system of using foreign oil to keep our energy costs high-  He Who Controls Your Energy Costs Controls Your Economy.  Until the last petroleum dribbles are drained out of the Mid east, they want the United States to keep a mercenary force there to guard those fields or they'll send more terrorists.

      This is why RamnAnnon, official WH MSM leaker, is having a cow about the FDL activities looking at the donations to the Democrats. Not just the Blue Dog Balkers, but the supposedly very liberal ones. I've spent the past week looking at the FEC site, and writing a few comments, but the thing I'm seeing consistently is that the liberal "Balking Dems" who are not firmly committed to the Public Option being in the final bill, have been taking money from Big Tobacco such as Altria Philip Morris, The Aerospace/Navy/ Defense Building Contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE, NG, etc, and from the biggest Oil Company in the US, Koch Oil.

      All of who are funding the Republican Astroturfing Teabagger and Birfer groups disrupting the Town Halls.

      Rahm, You Are Busted.

      Fine. Let the profiteers pay for it then instead of bankrupting this country.

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

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:57:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The final decision will (0+ / 0-)

      be made by the Medicare contractors, but you can call the oncologist's office and ask what they expect you will have to pay.

      Oncology is expensive and Medicare only does a so-so level of cost-control in oncology, but it will most likely be far lower than if you had most private insurance plans.

  •  Trigger -- schmigger! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, JanL, Cassiodorus, Calamity Jean

    The people of this country pulled the trigger on health insurance reform when they elected Barack Obama President.

    Frankly, I think the word "trigger" should become as radioactive as the racial epithet it rhymes with.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:06:58 AM PDT

    •  Another mis-used term ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209, newpioneer

      ... though well-intentioned is  -- "bailout":

      This is also known as the trillion dollar bailout of the for-profit health insurance industry.

      The thing that's so disgusting about the way this is going is, the for-profit health insurance industry doesn't even need a "bailout."

      Bailouts are for ailing companies.

      It isn't a bailout when insurance companies are already making out like bandits (literally).  

      It's a gift -- a great, big Christmas gift, with shiny wrapping and a bow, and a choir singing "Santa Claus is Coming To Town".

  •  We already have a trigger... (12+ / 0-)

    it is trigger by spreadsheet.  39.6 of Pacific Care claims in California is DENIED, these are people with health care.  What are we going to do about that?  And if you missed Maxine Waters talking about this last night on Countdown, it is here.

    I advise everyone to watch this.  What these insurance companies are doing is utterly outrageous!!!  And we are going to give them a chance to clean their act up?  PLEASE.

    •  39.5% denied = tax losses paid by us (0+ / 0-)

      to a large extent now.
       Many of the denied claims translate to medical bankruptcy and debt and debt collections, but much is also written off by the providers: the doctors, the ambulance companies, the labs, the hospitals.

       Some are paid in hospitals by charitable giving, and all the rest are charged off as uncollectible and sold at steep discounts to debt collectors. That charge results in less income tax paid with a 30-50% income tax rate.
       I wonder if any of these RW 'research' institutes have studied the tax losses from denied claims?
       And of course, besides the stress and bankrupcy for the patients, there is the big issue and standard practice of cost shifting these expenses/losses to other hospital patients with insurance, which has got to have skewed the rates for payments in yet another welfare/cost recovery from an innocent third party's insurance company and cash paying patients.

         Parasitical bastards, if this isn't fixed...grrrr.

       Great diary Eve, tipped, recced, signed, passed on to others as well.

      In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

      by KenBee on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 02:17:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Public Option Trigger Date: 1945 (7+ / 0-)

    Hey, I think we're past that.

    Remember Harry Truman!
    Public Option NOW!

    The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

    by Leftcandid on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:09:21 AM PDT

  •  Sample letter for Congress (8+ / 0-)

    edit to suit tastes:


        Dear Senator/ Congressmember,

        Both the Senate and the House versions of upcoming health care legislation contain insurance mandates -- intended to force people to buy health insurance.

        Without an affordable public option, available to everyone on the day the mandates are to become law, there will simply be no cost containment for health care in America.  All of the inside-the-beltway talk of "alternatives" to an affordable public option is an exercise in evasion.

        We know, for instance, from the PNHP report on Massachusetts' health care system ( ), that Massachusetts' insurance mandates have only managed to INCREASE health care costs for its residents.

        The health insurance industry claims that it only ekes out a 3% profit margin on its product.  This is because it uses accounting tricks to disguise administrative costs as actual health care costs.  The real truth is to be found in the statistics on medical loss ratios, which reveal up to 40% profits for an industry which denies (on average) 22% of insurance claims.

        About 60% of all bankruptcies involve medical expenses, and more than three-quarters of those declaring bankruptcy had medical insurance.

        The public option is essential to cost containment because, without it, there will be no economically-stable entity, responsible to the taxpaying consumers, which will provide insurance at competitive rates.   Passing a bill with insurance mandates, without creating a public option for everyone, will solve none of the problems associated with health insurance in America.  The bankruptcies will continue, the denials will continue, the rates will continue to be unaffordable, and there will continue to be large numbers of people without health insurance.  Read the report on the Massachsetts plan linked above -- that's what it will tell you.

        To be sure, private insurance mandates will do something -- they'll fatten insurance industry coffers while angering an enormous cross-section of the American public.  This anger, to be aure, will be directed first at the legislators who passed the mandates.  

        In short, if you want to pass effective health insurance reform, you will either 1) pass a bill with an affordable public health coverage option, available to everyone on day one of the mandates, or 2) pass a bill without insurance mandates.

        The voters of California, Senator/ Congressmember, are waiting for you to make a statement which will unequivocally support a public option, or reject insurance mandates.  We are also waiting for your votes, which should reflect the priorities I just outlined.  The only remaining question is: do you have the courage to do just this?



    "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:11:23 AM PDT

  •  It's about jobs too (12+ / 0-)

    Employers don't want to hire people over 50 because they fear their premiums will rise from those workers' health care costs.  Workers over 50 need a government plan to enroll in immediately in order to separate health care from employment.  This will reduce age discrimination and therefore the use of temporary H1-B workers.  So this is about the unemployment crisis in addition to the health care crisis.

    •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)

      If only the administration did more than talk about green jobs and did something to create actual work in this country.  And followed through with promises to curtail offshoring by eliminating subsidies to corporations who engage in this kind of anti-worker profiteering.

      Sunshine on my shoulders...

      by pkbarbiedoll on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:04:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Take back the Democratic Party (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, ctsteve, JanL, keikekaze

    People have asked about splitting off from the Democratic Party.  But we are the Democratic Party.  We are the voters, volunteers, elected officials in the party, and some people in this forum may hold public office at the community level.  The problem is that our leaders aren;t listening.  Obama's aides were not elected by anyone.  Such employees often come from the families of the well-connected.  The House, however, is elected.  This is the job the DFA has been working on for years, taking back the Democratic Party which is ours, not theirs.

  •  Our democratic strategists on health care (7+ / 0-)

    need to get fired.  
    A campaign so inept from start to finish, it's like they wanted to lose after pretending to put up a mock fight.

    If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:17:31 AM PDT

  •  We need a greater Howard Dean presence (8+ / 0-)

    Howard Dean has 400,000 signatures on his petition.  We need him now more than ever before.  Can FDL coordinate with Howard Dean?

  •  We should massively call Snowe & the Obama aides (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, greengrrl, ctsteve, keikekaze

    We need the direct reach phone numbers of the Obama aides.  

  •  Get ready for the Easter Bunny (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, ctsteve, JanL, keikekaze, Losty

    and Santa Claus too.

    Under Snowe's "safety-net option," aides said, private insurance companies would be asked to develop plans affordable to 95 percent of the population in a given state or region.

    If insurers could have they would have according to market theory.

  •  Just a few short months ago (8+ / 0-)

    the Democratic Party was at the top of the world and the Republican Party in their death throes.  What a difference a few months can make.

    Do they really think Health Care Lobbyist money can bring out the base on election day?  

    I hope that Obama in Wednesdays Speech will come out forcefully for a Robust Public Option, like he promised as needed Change during his campaign.  One can hope.

    Thanks Eve for your leadership.


    ............................ The Public Option IS the compromise.

    by ctsteve on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:21:39 AM PDT

  •  Insurance contracts with providers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Bonsai66, Betty Pinson

    probably have best rate clauses.

    Providers probably can't cut prices for special low-cost private policies.

    It takes a government to get a better deal from providers.

  •  A House staffer was hit hard (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Losty, Betty Pinson, thebluecrayon

    by a Metrobus in Washington, DC.

  •  Signed, tipped, rec'd... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, RustyCannon know the drill.

    Thank you!

    "See if you can guess what I am now?" -John "Bluto" Blutarsky

    by Bonsai66 on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:28:43 AM PDT

  •  What's happening is simple and evil... (13+ / 0-)

    when Obama, during his campaign, platformed on the "healthcare for all" promise...the Real Deal began to rise to the top and become visible in a multitude of ways, healthcare being the most obvious.

    The Real Deal:

    This country has ignored those in poverty for so long and got by with it, it occured to those who never figured themselves "my brother's keeper", to extend those evil attitudes to include the "middle class" (whatever that means anymore).

    And now, people who were doing well find themselves in the "you could be poor like me...but you have no experience at being poor, so who's laughing now" contingent.



    5 Ways to Become Homeless

    1. Be all alone. As in, have no social network of friends and family to ask for help when times get rough. This could happen if your parents are abusive, much of your family is dead, you have run away from home, you’ve disconnected by choice, or a variety of other ways. Many homeless people end up that way because they have no support network.
    1. Get a minimum wage job. Supporting your family on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis leaves you no money to cover emergencies, such as a broken car or health problem. You won’t be able to cover rent, and will be evicted.
    1. Get sick. Even investing in GM won’t lose you quite as much money as a serious illness. If you’re uninsured, your money gets eaten with incredible velocity. If you are insured, there’s still a good chance you’ll be in debt and unemployed, putting you at risk for poverty.
    1. Have your home destroyed by a natural disaster. Instant homelessness, at least until someone gives you money to rebuild.
    1. Harbor a tricky mental issue. Alcoholism and other addictions count. So do hard-to-acknowledge mental imbalances, such as bipolar disorder. Addictions funnel your money towards products rather than rent or bills; mental illnesses render it difficult to keep a job or make long-term financial decisions. A sizable segment of the homeless population has mental issues that they don’t recognize as contributing to the instability of their lives.

    When a country has no problem in looking away at people like these, I have to wonder how in God's name are we going to make them care.

    Healthcare? God help us all, and thank you Eve for everything you do.


  •  Something to consider (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Calamity Jean, Losty

    According to Tom Schaller of, the blue dogs are probably trying to sink the public option because they are scared out of their goddamn minds of losing their jobs.

    If this is true, then perhaps we need to consider offering them a carrot. Something along the lines of:

    If you support the public option, we'll fund your campaign and walk your districts.

    •  No, they're just flirting with corruption (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... and they don't want to be targeted by Big Oil and the Defense Industry with the swiftboating ads, so they take the PAC money and hope nobody notices them.

      The Blue Dogs take Koch Oil money. And Coal money.

      They also take Phillip Morris Tobacco Money.

      And Aerospace/Defense industry manufacturer money.

      Teabagger astroturf groups paid by these to fight all the President's bills.

      To hell with carroting them. They don't need money, they need sticks right now.

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

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:02:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes maxomai, for a politician . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      losing an election is like dying.

      They have no regard for the public or the public good, all they care about is winning the next election.

      •  So you see my point, yes? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, Calamity Jean

        We agree, then, that politicians basically operate according to some simple rules that we can exploit.

        So, if we're right, then maybe they'll support the PO, too, if we promise them that we'll get behind their re-election bids in 2010 ... and show them the money. If it's enough money, and enough boots, then we can get the blue dogs to swing our way.

        We've been focusing on the progressive caucus, and that has been producing good results. I'm suggesting that maybe we need to start working the blue dogs the same way, since it doesn't look to me like the White House is able to do enough in this regard.

  •  Triggered gets pulled 2013 the SAME year as (10+ / 0-)

    the exchanges are set up.

    Under Snowe's "safety-net option," aides said, private insurance companies would be asked to develop plans affordable to 95 percent of the population in a given state or region.

    In areas where private firms do not comply by 2013 -- when people are scheduled to begin entering a new federal insurance exchange -- a nonprofit insurance plan sponsored by the government would be added to the list of private options.

    I think people are clueless here about when the public option would be available and who can participate.  

    The public option will NOT be available to ALL Americans.  The way the public option is set up in ALL the bills that have it it will ONLY be available in the exchange program.

    People who have employer-based insurance will NOT be able to participate in the exchange program and thus NO public option available for the VAST MAJORITY of Americans.  The people who are eligible for the exchange are people who don't have insurance, people who are self-employed, and people who work for small businesses.

    The insurance exchange is NOT going to be set up until 2013.  Thus if certain criteria aren't met with the insurance companies in 2013 THE SAME TIME THE EXCHANGES WILL BE SET UP the trigger will happen and the public option WILL be part of the exchange.

    I think this could work if one sets up the "criteria" properly.  

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:41:57 AM PDT

  •  There is an excellent series of very informative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TravnTexas, nyceve

    programs being broadcast around the clock over CSPAN.  They include in depth call in Q&A segments with representatives from every aspect of the health care delivery and providor under the sun including from other nations. Tomorrow morning on Washington Jounral, where many of them originate, is a high official from the UK ntional health service, last week they  featured a Canadian official.  They have explained all aspects of Medicare and medicaid, who it does cover and who it doesn't and what the supplental means.

    I have watched as many as I possibly can and especially found this mornings program useful (Joel Marx, an advoicate for HOME CARE provisions of Medicare) which I am passioanetely in. As an elderly person, well able logisticelly to stay in my own home with some help from the system instead of being warehoused in a nursing home to die, I am plannign on getting fully active in advocating.

    I have learend many details of ALL the bills already passed out of the Congress, one provision allows dependant children to stay dependant until aged 26 and stay on their parents health plans, which would be a HUGE boon to many young people who fall into the crack at this point in their lives.

    I have made an absolute decision NOT to listen anymore to the 'line in the sanders' because I have come to believe that their tactics are doing more harm than good and are politicising the process beyond any manner of redemption.

    So, any people who truly want to try and follow the nitty gritty of what might wind up in a FINAL bill to be sent to both Houses for a vote I suggest you all do yourselves a huge favour and check out the CSPAN archives, they are all on-line and can be heard over your own computers if you don't have the time or inclination to follow them at broadcast time.  They are re-played several times however and one series with program with Sheilagh (? name escapes me) Congressional reporter for the WaPo, explains the arcane meannings of the details.  She speaks clearly and has an excellent grasp of the overall connectedness of it all.

    So, if like me, you are totally burned out by the constant  hysteria this is a fair, a balanced and welcome relief for sane, reasonable, rational individuals looking to be part of the solution, not making the problem insurmountable.

    Have a wonderful Labour Day and don't forget to watch the three events next week, Moinday, AFL-CIO, Tuesday, kids speak speech, Wednesday, joint session of Congress.

    Then have at it.

    •  Final bill will suck if somebody doesn't hold the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, Cassiodorus, sable, Losty

      ... line against the insurance and Big Oil industries gutting it.

      Public Option = Teddycare for what, about 10 million more people?  THIS is too much?  Pray tell how did Medicare kill off private insurance in this country?

      The Repubs are on full offense. I'm not folding now.

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

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:08:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as far as I can tell no one is talking about (0+ / 0-)

        folding?  although I will concede that would depend on your definition of folding or caving or any other martial term used to denote surrender.

        The real debate is basically what the definition of 'line in the sand' consists of, and more importantly what EXACTLY does Medicare for All and Public Option actually consist of? and how it correlates with the other caveat, that any program has to be defecit neutral and pay for itself and still not raise taxes or create mandates, or cut existing Mecicare/Medicaif ptrograms or create rationing etc.

        That is why I suggest, only to those  ewho want to try and understand the DETAILS and SPECIFIC proposals already on the table do a bit of work and research the excellent CSPAN series of programs available to explain them.

        Your choice, your option and i generously offer it to the PUBLIC!!!  

        I actually enjoy talking with you when the conversation can remain civil.

        •  where does it specifically discuss (0+ / 0-)

          the provisions to create mandates? Since you've been following this, I wonder if you could point me in the right direction of said details?

          I, too, am tired of arguing. However, I am not thinking quite clearly enough to search, as this past week found me formally double-whammied by the current system. I am...what is the word I'm looking for? Shell-shocked? I am too shell-shocked to think right now.

          Necessity is the mother of revolution...

          by o the umanity on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:17:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, that is really the problem isn't it (0+ / 0-)

            there is NO IT YET.  There are three House bills, one Senate HELP bill, one pending Finance Senate bill and a great deal of talk about mandates on small business, subsidies to cover them for those that can't afford them although there would still be a gap between the subsidy and a family of four for example.

            I believe I heard that as part of the re-broadcast HELP (Dodd/Kennedy) hearings that were broadcast yesterday, but I wouldn't be absolutely certain.

            I don't really have the tech skills to link you to all the available sites but I imagine you might find something in the House bill that is most frequently touted (the number escapes me at this moment) and the Senate HELP bill.

            But that is the real problem, anything one points to is NOT necessarilly going to be in a final combined House and Senate bill.

            Logically I just do not see how costs can be brought down, then contained, by expanding Medicare to cover everyone, still remain deficit neutral, pay for itself, take the savings out of fraud and waste in mediccare and medicaid, still not cut benefits, ration coverage, not raise taxes, and on and on.

            It is VOODOO economics, which is why I prefer to try and stay above the fray and watch what is finally laid on the table, which it will have to after enxt week.

            Sorry. Can't be more specific because really there are not enough specifics to be specific about. It's all speculation still. What if's!!! That's how i view it anyway.  Other don't and are more certian than I am about what is being proposed EXACTLY.

  •  Matt Taibbi has a depressing.... (16+ / 0-)

    but eye opening article on this whole mess in Rolling Stone.  He says:

    Just as we have a medical system that is not really designed to care for the sick, we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crises. What our government is good at is something else entirely: effecting the appearance of action, while leaving the actual reform behind in a diabolical labyrinth of ingenious legislative maneuvers.

    Over the course of this summer, those two failed systems have collided in a spectacular crossroads moment in American history. We have an urgent national emergency on the one hand, and on the other, a comfortable majority of ostensibly simpatico Democrats who were elected by an angry population, in large part, specifically to reform health care. When they all sat down in Washington to tackle the problem, it amounted to a referendum on whether or not we actually have a functioning government.

    It's a situation that one would have thought would be sobering enough to snap Congress into real action for once. Instead, they did the exact opposite, doubling down on the same-old, same-old and laboring day and night in the halls of the Capitol to deliver us a tour de force of old thinking and legislative trickery, as if that's what we really wanted. Almost every single one of the main players — from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Blue Dog turncoat Max Baucus — found some unforeseeable, unique-to-them way to fuck this thing up. Even Ted Kennedy, for whom successful health care reform was to be the great vindicating achievement of his career, and Barack Obama, whose entire presidency will likely be judged by this bill, managed to come up small when the lights came on.

    We might look back on this summer someday and think of it as the moment when our government lost us for good. It was that bad.

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:47:10 AM PDT

  •  People don't have a clue about the public option (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, nyceve, jim bow, Escamillo

    and how it is set up in the 3 House bills and the Senate HELP committee bill.

    The public option will NOT be avaiable to the vast majority of Americans.  It will only be available in the insurance exchange program.

    The only people eligible for the exchange program are the self-employed, employees of small businesses, and people without health insurance.  

    People who already have employer-based health insurance will NOT be able to participate in the exchange which is the VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS (>80%)

    Most importantly the exchange will not be set up until 2013.  Thus the public option will NOT be available until 2013 the earliest in any of these bills.

    The Snowe trigger is will go off in 2013 if certain criteria are not met which is the SAME YEAR as when the exchanges are available.

    Thus a trigger could work and the public option could be available the same time as the exchange program which is 2013.

    The big issue is what is the the "criteria" that would trigger the trigger.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:52:51 AM PDT

  •  I got your triggers right here, Mr. President. (8+ / 0-)
    I got your triggers right here, Mr. President.

    I'm not talking about the ones from TV this August - those of the wackos who think the fourth branch of government (pace Cheney) is comprised of crazed gunmen - or the way that your chief of staff seems determined to give away the health-care reform store to appease them and the corporate interests hiding behind the shadows of violent intimidation.

    I'm talking about triggers that should have made health-care reform already happen.

    I'm talking about things that one would think would lead Congress and the White House to create effective health-care reform:

    - When 47 million Americans don't have real health-care coverage, that's a trigger.

    - When the number of uninsured Americans has stayed in the 40-million-plus range for twenty years, that's a trigger.

    - When insurance companies can buy senators at the drop of a hat, that's a trigger.

    - When a senate chairman can spin on a dime -- or a few million of them -- from agreeing to support something at 76% approval, to turning and coughing up billions of dollars for insurance companies with no accountability, that's a trigger.

    - When insurance company executives can buy congressional party leaders (McConnell, Reid, Boehner).

    - When insurance company executives are congressional party leaders (Frist) (well, "were," but still).

    - When everyone knows the best way to make money is to deny meritorious claims, that's a trigger. Cue Leonard Cohen: "Everybody knows... the game is rigged." (h/t Michael Moore)

    - When the negotiating strategy of choice is offering to make everyone pay for shitty coverage, instead of threatening to prosecute health-care companies under RICO, that's a trigger.

    - When insurance company executives make so much money denying claims that they could actually name separate wings of their McMansions after individual people who have died because their claims were denied, that's a trigger.

    Triggers? We don't need no stinkin' triggers.

    We need to stop letting Republicans -- and corporate centrist capitulator Democrats -- tell us what we can and can't do.

    Because "Yes, we can" is inspiring -- unless it's followed by "Oops, no, we can't, because someone just told us not to."

    How many war crimes can a man admit on TV before anyone catches on?

    by Christopher on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:54:45 AM PDT

  •  As the President tells us there simply isn't (19+ / 0-)

    enough money for a robust public option, just remember the billions of dollars we're spending every year in Iraq and Afghanistan blowing people up.  

    Sunshine on my shoulders...

    by pkbarbiedoll on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:58:57 AM PDT

  •  The Purpose of the Trigger is to Let Republicans (10+ / 0-)

    regain strength so that the profit system can be maintained with less blame on the Democrats.

    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 Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:02:06 AM PDT

    •  That is also the purpose of the desperate (0+ / 0-)

      at times comical attempt at bipartisanship over the bill.The corporate bought wing of the Dems needs some cover when they give the store away to the insurance corporations that flood them with campaign money.

      The Purpose of the Trigger is to Let Republicans (10+ / 0-)
      regain strength so that the profit system can be maintained with less blame on the Democrats

  •  Unfortunately, what would trigger the trigger (6+ / 0-)

    would be a hundred pages long. And
    every sentence a potential quagmire.
    Well, it may not be quite that bad,
    but it would be a serious roadblock and cause
    delays, and confusion; just what the
    obstructionists want. I submit it won't
    work, and it will demoralize the supporters
    of True Health Care Reform.

  •  We can always get another president (11+ / 0-)

    and more and better Democrats in congress, but once your daughter has died from cancer because an insurance hack refused payment for treatment - you can't get her back. Public option plans like Medicare and Medicaid save lives, not just money.

    No Public Option, No Re-Election. It's not complicated.

    by mrobinson on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:10:02 AM PDT

  •  The 'trigger' is a Reagan-like idea, very GOP-ish (5+ / 0-)

    and very corporate.

    I have to hand it to corporate and GOP Power---they know how to get the memes out there.

    Democrats are so lame, they just stand back and let the GOP create a new reality and then join in.

    Why doesn't the Democratic leadership EVER create a good meme?  

    This is like high school stuff---the bullies and frat boy wanna be's run everything while the others just sit and watch.  

    That Obama would embrace a 'trigger' meme is truly astonishing to me.  He's fighting for the GOP and corporations, not for his base, those of us who voted for him.  A crazy crazy inversion isn't it?  Orwellian--the progressives are bad for America, but the GOP is good for America?  Thus, progressives should shut up.   I can't believe what is happening in the White House---are they all on crack?

  •  Suppose it's an insurance co. bailout. What then? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Big Tex, Cassiodorus

    I would like to see it fail. I can't imagine anyone here who wouldn't. But I would also be tempted to all my Republican Representative and encourage him to vote against it. (I would be less tempted to give the asshole money, and would probably drawn the line before that.)

    At that point I think I would also like to see Obama fail. The "better Democrats" clause would trigger (as it were) in my head, and I would see a 1-term Obama presidency as the lesser of the available evils, even if it ushered in another destructo-administration. If the lesson from the really epic fall from grace this would represent is that we really do need a fighter -- which I think would mean that whoever applies for the job next will have to have a record of political fights that primary voters and donors can evaluate -- then the long view in my mind is that that is the best possible outcome under the circumstances.

    I lived through 1993. Fool us twice, shame on us.

    "The problem isn't government, it's Republican government - and everyone knows it." TPM reader BH

    by itswhatson on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:19:24 AM PDT

    •  It's got to fail then! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex

      No bailout for Obama's brownie points.

      Oh, and a better President?

      The general pattern is this: Two terms of a Republican, then two terms of a Democrat, rinse, and repeat.  So Obama until 2016, then a Republican until 2024.  They all get eight years to consolidate power, and since they all piss off the voters in the end, it stops at eight years.   (And Bush, of course, had election-rigging on his side.)  So that's our big chance for a better President, 2024.

      I certainly wouldn't wait for it.  In what state of advanced degradation will world-society have reached by 2024?  

      "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

      by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:43:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A doctor (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Big Tex, newpioneer, Losty

    When you hear or read about yet another meeting of stakeholders, realize that 90 percent of those in attendance do not care for the sick and will never be at the bedside of a sick patient. The present health care system is rife with profiteers who view health care as a good business investment. Fancy hospital rooms, MRIs, endless billing codes, e-prescribing, new computer systems, etc., are all peripheral to the real business of healing. We must get the pseudo-stakeholders out of the way.

  •  Baucus threatens to produce his own bill (6+ / 0-)

    if Gang of 6 don't produce something. Gosh, looks like we are going to get a full a la carte set of bills to choose from, looks like a Chinese menu alrady.

    let's see how much heat we can generate over this over the weekend. Put the shrimp on the barbie, mates!!!

  •  The transfer of wealth (10+ / 0-)

    First the bail-out.

    Now the wait and see drug and insurance industry pay-off.

    I'm wondering when people will remove the cataracts from their eyes and see the reality.


    Yes, I am addicted to mojitos and ideals, but not in equal measures ;-)

    by LaFeminista on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, a trigger would be awful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Big Tex, Kiku

    With a trigger, the public option might not kick in until 2013, or something.

  •  What amazes me -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, Loose Fur

    is how they think they can all escape the wrath of the voters after they pass a bill with mandates and no (meaningful) public option.

    "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 09:46:26 AM PDT

  •  Justreceived this in an email . . . (15+ / 0-)

    Makes sense to me.

    Hey guys.  Am I wrong here, or does offering the trigger to get Snowe still mean no filibuster breaking majority?  I mean, OK, you get her.  Fine.  You then lose Bernie Sanders, unless they figure he’d vote to break the filibuster to allow a vote and then would vote no.  I think if you can convince Bernie and maybe one more like Sherrod (both former Progressive House Caucus members) to vow to not vote for cloture for a bill without a strong public option, then you basically just killed the ‘trigger’ deal.  That’s really all it takes – get Bernie to pledge to not allow a vote on a sham bill.

  •  Paraphrasing John Kerry... (6+ / 0-)

    How do you ask someone to be the last person to die for a broken health care system?

  •  Wendell Potter Interviewed.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by the Madison Capital Times:

  •  Here is what I sent to Congress and the POTUS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, Loose Fur

    Mr. President and Congress,

    I worked hard to get yuur party elected on a bunch of promises that have beeen not kept and now are bieng watered down. I canvised, Phonebanked and donated lots of my hard earned money to you. I got Republicans to vote for you. And now I am disapointed that I fell for the Change you can believe in mantra. I will never ever donated to the DSCC again nor anything but ActBlue and will not support Obama in a second tearm as he has disapointed us time and again. He is not fighting for us but fore big pharma and the insurance companies with this talk of a Trigger crap.. And that is what it is.. crap.. He says pull my trigger finger and I smell the fragrence immediatly.. It smells of pain and death form millions and the joy of insurance companies giggling all the way to the bank.  So now you can Pull my trigger finger and oh you cannot cause well the insurance company owns it. Those are the real death panels your supporting.. Fight for us or find another job.. Be a Great One Term President and fight for the right thing.. not mediocraty.

  •  "Culture of cruelty" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Calamity Jean, Spekkio

    Explains why so many Americans want me dead. I just looked into the price of an EpiPen today, a medication I can't get because I can't get a prescription for it. $73.89. That is 5% of my take-home pay (roughly) per month. The cheapest price I found on the Internet, assuming it was an American based pharmacy I could actually order from, was $121 and change for two Epipens. That's up to 7.5% of my monthly income. Factor in the $136 for the exam (cheapest I can find anywhere "local") and the $240 for the standard battery of food allergy tests, and assuming that I won't need anything else...that's $449.89 for one Epipen or $497 for two. Over 30% of my monthly gross income. I cannot pay that.

    And much of my government and my country would rather see me dead than with the health care I need just to stay alive. That's not factoring in my higher food costs because I have food allergies (and no, I don't qualify for Medicaid or food help...I "make too much money"), or the costs of the liquid Benadryl I go through to stay alive, or the money I need to spend to keep up my 13+ year old car, or rent.

    Thanks. Now I understand why so many people hate (parts of) America.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    by allergywoman on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:44:59 AM PDT

    •  State university pharmacy? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, greengemini

      What state are you in?
      The pharmacy of a state university medical center may negotiate for lower drug prices.  You get great discounts at UW Medicine in Seattle if a UW doctor writes the prescription.
      Also, is there a community health clinic in your area?  In some areas they special order from pharmacy companies for low income situations.

  •  There's a reason why there should be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, boofdah, Calamity Jean

    a public option:

    PEOPLE ARE DYING so that insurance companies can make more profit.

    If there's an apparent lack of perspective about what constitutes civil discourse and principled argument against a public option - a true competitor to health insurance companies - it's because PEOPLE ARE DYING.

    Is this is not a violation of civil rights? Has the government ceded the right to do this to the private sector? At what price? Do the taxpayers benefit from this?

    Or, is murder by cost-benefit analysis to be part of President Obama's proposed plan?

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

    by ezdidit on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 10:46:58 AM PDT

  •  Politico: What the Pres. will say Wednesday (7+ / 0-)

    It sounds like the White Houseis going to lay out there thinking on the public option and the work you've been doing is starting to pay off.

    I wonder if they're still trying to push the trigger or have decided they're going to have to go w/reconciliation which means they need a strong public option anyway.

    Obama will try to reassure the left about his commitment to a public option, or government insurance plan. Aides said they are rethinking what he will say about this. He wants to thread the needle of voicing support for a public option, without promising to kill health reform to get it. But liberal congressional leaders were unyielding in their support for it on a conference call he held from Camp David yesterday, and he's going to meet with them at the White House early next week.

    The White House line has been: "We have been saying all along that the most important part of this debate is not the public option, but rather ensuring choice and competition. There are lots of different ways to get there." But now he’s going to step on the gas a little harder. One top official gave this formulation: "He has consistently said that he thinks the public option is an important way to make sure that there is both cost and competition control. He’s also said consistently that if someone can show him a better way or another way to get there, he’d be happy to look at it. But he’s never committed to going with another way. He’s always said he’d be happy to look at any proposal that gets to these goals, but that he thinks this is probably the best better way to do it."

    The speech was very much in flux over the weekend, because key decisions are being hashed out. Even the length is not yet set.

  •  I have noticed that a lot of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, boofdah

    the anti reform people have Medicare Advantage and don't want to lose it. I don't think it has been adequately addressed. What will replace Medicare Advantage? What can I say to elderly people who are obviously terrified of reform?

    "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 Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:33:33 AM PDT

  •  Which Senator Is Going To Re-Phrase John Kerry's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Vietnam Question in Medical Terms?

    'How many more people have to die - due to greed by Insurance and Big Pharma - before Congress gets off their asses and PASSES PUBLIC OPTION?'

    To The White House, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid: "Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way."

    by hopalong on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 11:53:49 AM PDT

  •  Help me out here, nyceve: (0+ / 0-)

    How does the public option help prevent medical bankruptcies?

    jim bow, ASA, MAAA

    by jim bow on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 12:07:56 PM PDT

    •  Medicare-based coverage (0+ / 0-)

      is of good enough quality that bankruptcies would rarely be needed or advisable.

      Now if exchange coverage is standardized as is planned, there would be no legal difference.

      The bankruptcy trustee would simply ask the public/private insurer to pay up as required.

      The mere threat of bankruptcy would help enforce the exchange legal minimum.

      There is a practical difference as the public plan would be better than the legal minimum due political considerations.

  •  Bottom Up Stimulus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SingleVoter, Mike Taylor

    If the Stimulus Money had been injected into the economy from the bottom up - instead of from the top down - by sending Stimulus checks to all of the mortgage holders and student loan holders for 20% of their outstanding loans to represent the decline in the values of their family homes and decline in wages, every family in America would be better off with reduced mortage and student loan debt and the banks would still have received their stimulus.

    There would have been less opportunity for all of Corporate Execs who have been skimming the corporate profits with their excessive salaries and outrageous bonuses to take an another opportunity to enrich their own checking accounts.  

    But ifs and buts were just candy and nuts, so the stimulus package went to the same corporate crooks who created this mess.  Now they wonder if the dollar has any value any more.  The Republicans who were in charge for the last eight years and, counting the Republican Congresses of the Clinton Administration, for effectively 34 of the last 36 years worked to destroy every vestige of the federal government.

    The Republicans do not believe in effective government.  Bush-Cheney, and before them, Reagan-Bush, spouting their Delay-Gingrich-Limbaugh philosophy, have effectively bankrupted the United States government.  It will be a miracle if Obama and the Democratic Party are able to salvage anything in this opportunity, and they certainly will not be able to if they succumb to allure of bipartisanship.

  •  Thank you for all you do! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, thebluecrayon

    I've fowarded this to my contacts, like the co-ops that just relabeled BCBS, this is just another sham.

    There will be hell to pay if this is pushed through.  I'm letting my Congress critters know.

    I called Boxer yesterday, and thanked her for supporting the public option, but let her know that in no uncertain terms, I would be working against her if she voted for this.

  •  Your sharply defined but deep perspective (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is crucial and inspires action.  

  •  Tea bagger says health care not a right (0+ / 0-)

    I'm wondering if I had a conversation with that same teabagger guy in the Youtube video here on Dailykos. I had this person telling me that I was trying to turn people into slaves and force them to give other folks services against their will, and that health care is not a right. Here, I'll let you try to make heads or tails of it because I couldn't.

    BTW, it was telling when one of those anti-reform people accosting Al Franken the other day declared, "We don't have enough doctors to treat everyone in this country!" In other words, they just got to go without. More doctors can't be trained? Whatever happened to Bobby Jindal's, "Americans can do anything!"

    Not wanting to seek Republican approval for everything Democrats do means you're "The Left of the Left".

    by William Domingo on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 01:17:15 PM PDT

  •  Is there a right to no healthcare? /nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  THANK YOU ncyeve (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, thebluecrayon

    Thank you ncyeve, slinkerwink, and many others for your passionate work on behalf of the thousands of people across this nation who are literally getting sick and dying because of lack of access to affordable health insurance.  I sent the following letter to the President today.

    Dear Mr. President,

    As one of your most ardent admirers and supporters I am writing to strongly urge you to reject all proposals for triggers and embrace a real, robust public option.

    I have been a Democratic party volunteer for 37 years.  In that regard I've done every last thing I could do to support my party from door to door canvassing, to donations, to poll watching, etc., etc., etc.  Through the years I have always been an outspoken advocate of a "big tent" party and have frequently defended legislators and former Presidents who strayed from party line.  HOWEVER, on the health care issue I draw a line in the sand.  Democratic volunteers across this nation have been working for decades to give our party the power to enact fundamental health reform, and we have delivered significant majorities in both the House and Senate.  Having kept our end of the bargain I feel it is emcumbent on our representatives to deliver on their promises.  For the life of me I cannot understand why any Democratic Senator and/or Representative would not be able to support a public option which as you know, is not a government takeover of the health industry but merely gives Americans a choice, one which could literally save their lives.

    I have never written to the President before but I feel so strongly about this issue I feel I must speak out.  With the greatest respect I ask you to take a strong stand for the public option; no co-ups, no triggers, no tinkering.  We're counting on you, Mr. President!  Respectfully and Sincerely,  

    •  Right on. I was compelled to write him too. (3+ / 0-)

      Here's my letter I put on the White House website:

      I urge you to honor your campaign promises and support a public option for health care.  This is the ONLY way that we can begin real reform.  A "co-op" will be weak and guaranteed to fail.  A "trigger" simply pushes the problem down the road.  

      How can you expect the very companies who have gamed the system for over 20 years,  to now, suddenly, to fix the "problem".  The "problem" is their prices and profits.  They do not consider that a problem.  Costs are NOT spiraling, prices are spiraling, and so are their profits. Please Mr. President, you cannot compromise on this.  

      Thank you for supporting Eve and Slink. I'm sending them some cash (i don't even have) to help fight this fight.  We all gotta stick together, and least we will go down swinging.   God bless you Dan.

      Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

      by truebeliever on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 02:22:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You nailed it Eve "Insurance in name only". Its (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Mike Taylor, sopranospinner

    an illusion.  Just ask those who were "recinded" on phoney excuses once their healthcare was not profitable for the insurance company. Or people like me who never get sick, and visit the doctor maybe once or twice a year.  Yet our premiums, coupled with our employer contributions, come to over $14,000 a year.  That's a huge profit.  Then one simply skateboard accident for my son resulted in a $31,000 bill.  Blue Cross told me to "hush", be happy we only had to pay $3000 out of pocket (for 18 hours!).  That's $3000, in addition to the $14,000 they have been collecting every year  for the past 8 years.  $112,000  

    And they can't pay for an emergency room visit and a precautionary overnight in the hospital?  Are you kidding me?  And God forbid one of us should really get sick.

    The focus seems to be on those "uninsured" but really the largest ticking time bomb is those of us who think we have "good" insurance - until you get really sick, that is.  That is where the outrage and focus out to be.  


    Thank you for all that you do.  I am $ending $ome ducats$$ your way right now (again).

    Eve you rock! Let's go down swinging!

    Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

    by truebeliever on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 02:18:08 PM PDT

  •  Same time the Patriot Act's Sunset Provision (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor

    kicks in.

    In other words:  Never.  

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

    by Beelzebud on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 03:15:10 PM PDT

  •  Health insurance highwaymen to Americans: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Themistoclea

    'Your money and your lives!'

    "I want to know if the president knows what a fucking asshole Don Rumsfeld is."--Bush Adviser on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Fran Townsend

    by big spoiled baby on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 03:42:13 PM PDT

  •  When there are so many uninsured that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it becomes monetarily impossible to cover them. Then the option will kick in. But it will fail, because all the money has been spent on wars, bailouts for the rich shareholders of big banks, subsidies for super-rich insurance co.s, in the form of government subsidized public mandates for health insurance.
    And when it fails, republicans will say; "see, we told you the government can't do anything right!"

  •  I talked to TX Rep Sheila Jackson Lee today (6+ / 0-)

    I went to a town hall meeting that had one rowdy guy removed whom was screaming about socialism but for the most part, it was pretty civil even though the usual anti-health acre force was out as well. I would have to see it was about even,though and there were many more single payer supporters than you would think exists in this state. I failed to get the commitment I told slinkerwink I would try to get. This is how it went down:

    After town hall I walk up to Sheila Jackson Lee

    priceman: Hi, thank you for holding this town hall and for making time to speak with me. Can I ask you a question?

    Sheila Jackson Lee: Sure.

    priceman: Word has it that Obama is ready to make a deal with the Finance Committee and Olympia Snowe to put forth a bipartisan effort to put a trigger in the bill and I don't want a trigger.

    Sheila Jackson Lee: Neither do I. I support a robust public option and as I'm sure you know I am also a cosponsor of HR 676.

    priceman: That's great, but will you commit to voting against a bill with a trigger or without a public option?

    Sheila Jackson Lee:'re going to have to give me some leeway so I can talk to the President and try to work this out.

    priceman: Ok, but this is NOT what we voted for. This is NOT why progressives worked to elect progressives like you and the president. This trigger is a copout and it is unacceptable. I hope you will only support a real public option like thankfully Nancy Pelosi has committed to.

    Sheila Jackson Lee:*nods and smiles*: I understand. I have to go, but thank you.

    *shakes hand*

    priceman: Thank you very much for your time.

    So, Rep Sheila Jackson Lee will express verbal support for what we want and against the trigger and full support for a public option, but she won't commit to the whip count or says she needs more leeway. It sounded like a lot of our great FDL health care champions like your effort, have gotten the message to her already and I tried to reiterate that message and get a commitment to the whip count, but I wasn't able to do that fully, but I hope this information helps in some way.

    Thanks for everything you and he FDL crew do, nyceve.

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

    by priceman on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 04:43:56 PM PDT

    •  priceman you did great . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, priceman

      What Ms. Lee said is what so many progressives are saying, this is why we need to squeeze them despite the fact that some don't approve of this strategy.

      If progressives hold firm, there can be no bill without a public option. They won't have the votes if progressives are united and willing to stand strong when the are on the receiving end of fierce pressure.

      •  Thanks, nyceve. I tried. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We do need to squeeze them despite who disagrees with this strategy. Political pressure from groundswell mobilization of progressives have brought us most of the social reforms we have today. To deny this strategy is to deny history. Even if it fails for awhile, this is going to be a long battle and we must keep at it.

        Absolutely, Progressives must not let Obama just assume he will always have their support when he doesn't help enact what their constituencies voted for which is part of his platform and by far what most Americans, even those who don't identify themselves as progressive or liberal want in some fashion.

        Exactly, a real public option with no triggers or no bill. Progressives can use their clout to stand for what most of the American people want if they stay strong and we can end this national health care nightmare.


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

        by priceman on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 06:25:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please help clarify for me: (0+ / 0-)

    Lets say we get the robust public option that we are all dreaming of, and fighting for.


    WHEN does it kick in?

    We are all talking about how we can't afford anymore delays, and 'no to the trigger', etc. Obama spoke of the 'fierce urgency of now'.

    WHEN does the bill actually do anything for us.

    Seriously folks. I have an increase of 70% on my premiums this fall. I can't wait for yyyeeeaaarrrsss
    for this to take effect.

    Is there any definite time frame that anyone is aware of?

    Or is it still conjecture?


    If single payer is back on the table, then I'm gonna get up on that table and dance with it!!!!

    by karma13612 on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 04:57:30 PM PDT

  •  sad but true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the haters ARE setting the policy of this nation.

    we got our president, but that's all.  now the screamers are getting all the attention.

    when we were the ones protesting, crickets.  a million people march before the Iraq War started--crickets.

    a handful of teabirthers carrying guns to town hall meetings?  they set the policy of this nation.

    what liberal media?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    I'll have a Markos Marxist Maoist Muslim Moulitsas Mulatto Mojito, please!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 04:57:56 PM PDT

  •  Used to say the same about the war... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How many dead and dying are too many?

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. Reinhold Niebuhr

    by patriot spear on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 05:03:44 PM PDT

  •  I have an idea for getting the media to cover... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the huge, pro-health care reform rallies. (Today there was a another big one, this time in  Seattle, that didn't make the papers).
    Pretend to be teabaggers. Show up carrying teabagger signs. Be obnoxious. Then, when the media shows up, change your spots. Throw down the teabagger signs and pull out the real signs.
    (Only half snark!)

  •  "Before we're 64" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, addisnana

    By Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed
    Monday, November 5, 2007
    We can't afford to let American workers and companies wither on the vine. We can ease the cost crunch for both by giving employers and unions a new option:
    buying Medicare coverage for retirees ages 55 to 64
    Taxpayers would also benefit, because the more we can do to make Americans healthier from 55 to 64, the less Medicare will have to spend on chronic conditions later.

    For many companies, buying into Medicare would be the most affordable option. It could make the difference in whether companies are able to compete -- and whether companies are able to provide retiree health coverage.

    Senator Rockefeller's Medicare Early Access Act of 2009:

    A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide access to Medicare benefits for individuals ages 55 to 65, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a refundable and advanceable credit against income tax for payment of such premiums, and for other purposes.

    Subsidies of up to $300/individual and $600/couple would be available.

    It's all typed up and ready to be voted on.

  •  Pete Stark's AmeriCare Health Care Act H.R. 193 (0+ / 0-)

    Benefits: Adults receive Medicare Part A and B benefits; preventive services, substance abuse treatment, mental health parity; and prescription drug coverage equivalent to the BC/BS Standard Option in 2008. Children receive comprehensive benefits and Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) coverage with no cost-sharing.

    There is an annual maximum of $1,500 (5% of income) for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles combined for someone making $30,000/year.

    There is an annual maximum of $3,750 (7.5% of income) for premiums, co-pays, and deductibles combined for someone making $50,000/year.  

    This is quick and easy to implement.

  •  Eve, it's not a bailout! (0+ / 0-)

    I've been putting off writing a diary on this for weeks. Everywhere I read about a "bailout" for the insurance industry. Words matter. A bailout is when the boat is filling with water and about to sink. Think GM and Chrysler. A huge gift is what we taxpayers gave to Wall Street banks, and what Congress seems about to give to the already highly profitable insurance companies. They don't need a bailout, and every time someone uses the word, it subliminally conveys the message that they are in trouble and need taxpayer help. Enough uses of the B word and we'll be feeling so sorry for the poor, sinking insurance companies that we'll gladly fork over a trillion just to keep the poor insurers afloat.

  •  You are a true patriot (0+ / 0-)

    Paid or otherwise. Please run for office someday.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 08:17:53 PM PDT

  •  Getting media coverage (0+ / 0-)

    I believe we can still win this fight for the public option but for the life of me I do not know why progressives are not more effective in getting media coverage for our cause. There are people literally dying every day because they do not have health insurance and the media is focusing on these silly nutcases who are disrupting public meetings with lies and distortions.  Surely we can find a way to manipulate the media as well as these fools.

    I know we're rational people who do not believe in shouting down people we disagree with, bringing guns to public meetings, and comparing our opponents to Nazis but I do not understand why progressives do not have a better strategy to get our points across to the American public via the corporate media.

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

    We have been told that we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics.  It will only grow louder and more dissident.

    We've been asked to pause for a reality check.

    We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

    But in the unlikely story that is America, there's never been anything false about hope.

    Don't let us down Mr. President.  We want change.  Do the right thing Wednesday.

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

    We have been told that we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics.  It will only grow louder and more dissident.

    We've been asked to pause for a reality check.

    We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

    But in the unlikely story that is America, there's never been anything false about hope.

    Don't let us down Mr. President.  We want change.  Do the right thing Wednesday.

  •  If this succeeds.... (0+ / 0-)

    It will be a massive transfer of wealth to the insurance companies, but even more than that.  It will thoroughly discredit Obama and progressives.

  •  Someone I work with had a heart problem (0+ / 0-)

    and had to go to the hospital for 3 days, $80,000. What can they possibly do that legitimately costs $26,000+ a day?

    The insurance and hospital industry has basically become the old joke about the Mafia lawyer; "What will it cost you to represent me?"

    "I'll represent you for everything you've got because if you get off it's better than the alternative, and if you don't get off you won't need it anymore."

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