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The latest CPC whip effort shows them still strong in support of the public option, while the Blue Dogs have more pressing priorities for healthcare reform than opposing the public option:

The Blue Dogs have been surveying their membership over the last several days; coalition co-chair Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) has been collecting the responses. She listed the four top priorities that have emerged: Keeping the cost under $900 billion, not moving at a faster pace than the Senate, getting a 20-year cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office and addressing regional disparities in Medicare reimbursement rates.

So, the Huffington Post asked, the public option is not a top priority?

"Right, the group is somewhat split," she said....

The lack of concerted, ideological opposition to a public option opens the possibility for negotiations in the House. Blue Dogs, along with other rural lawmakers, very much want an increase in Medicare reimbursement rates in certain areas to fix what they see as a disparity.

"If the Medicare rates were adjusted, I think there would be less resistance to tying the public option to Medicare rates," said Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.).....

Herseth Sandlin said that despite the survey, the Blue Dog position remains as it has been. "We have not moved back from the position we took previously, which is: if you're going to include a public option, it should be structured to ensure a level playing field, negotiated rates and [be] subject to a trigger."

The rub, of course, is keeping that cost under $900 billion, getting that 20 year CBO estimate, and raising Medicare reimbursement rates all at the same time, while still providing maximum coverage and affordability, is going to be a challenge for lawmakers. But, there's also not as much cohesion as the Blue Dogs usually show, with "somewhat less than a dozen" could support a public option based on surveys returned so far. So the question becomes, in light of this report, are they likely to muster enough numbers in opposition to stop it? It doesn't look likely.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 02:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  20 year estimate..... (7+ / 0-)

    If we get 2 more W's in the White House how can you estimate that cost?

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 02:59:30 PM PDT

    •  Heck, all bets are off with just half a Palin (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, TomP

      Never mind 2 W's.  

      (And, of course, half a Palin is the most you'd ever get.)


    •  5 year plans (5+ / 0-)

      My experience with 5 year plans is that you go through the exercise and then throw it away because you can't predict the future. That's not to say it's a worthless exercise as it forces people to think.

      A 20 year plan? Nothing but a delaying tactic.

    •  I saw or heard some analysis of CBO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      estimates after the fact, and they apply just as much as other prognostication. Not very well. This is another fetish for those who oppose reform.

      Not that the CBO doesn't represent reasonable estimates on policy for use by the branch of government that controls the purse-strings and is a valuable resource, but to treat it as a holy grail for directing policy is to miss the point of changing currently untenable conditions.

      The system is broken and needs to be fixed.  

      It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

      by huntergeo on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:28:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My question is : Who are they asking? (0+ / 0-)

      The Blue Dogs constituents or the congressional representatives, themselves?..If the later, then we know they are being bought and paid for by the HC lobbyists!

      $1.4 million a day to the congress [reported] not including soft money! $374,000 a congress person a day... Sad state of affairs when the small state reps are holding up what the people want but more important the people NEED!

      Costs are an issue but they did not hestitate to fund 2 wars that are costing the USA more ---NOR did they eliminate the donut hole on Medicare which has some seniors choosing between food and medication!

      Call them...1.800.828.0498 Stop this end run for the HC Corps against the people!

  •  my take on the Blue Dog survey...... (11+ / 0-)

    "We are taking some serious frickin heat from our constituents, supporters, and media outlets.  We better see what everyone thinks we should do"

    I hope they force a vote very very soon.

    If Dems had a backbone they would schedule a vote in the house and senate for next Friday.
    If the Reps want debate, keep the floor open 24/7 to allow them to talk.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:00:51 PM PDT

  •  Gee, if only there were a way (7+ / 0-)

    to get the cost down. . .

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:01:34 PM PDT

  •  their opposition needs to disapper not fade away (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darthstar, ontheleftcoast
  •  There's no way you can keep the cost under $900B. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan, Egalitare

    The subsidies would be insufficent such that Americans who purchase health insurance on the Exchange would have to spend to large a percentage of their income on policies that don't provide a sufficient level of protection against medical bankruptcy.

    The under $900B cap is ridiculous.

    jim bow, ASA, MAAA

    by jim bow on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:04:00 PM PDT

    •  And the only way ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... you can maintain a 20-year balanced budget is by funding the bill through the health care system itself as health care costs rise much faster than wages.  The millionaire tax won't raise a sufficient amount of money.

      jim bow, ASA, MAAA

      by jim bow on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:06:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm (11+ / 0-)

    Apparently you can teach Blue Dogs new tricks.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:04:06 PM PDT

  •  Oh sure, post one of these (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Joe Beese, akmk

    crazy, paranoid delusions as an FP piece. The odds that the Blue Dogs will support the public option are slightly worse than Rush Limbaugh winning the 100 meter dash against Usain Bolt. And I thought I was crazy.

    I'm a Puntheist. If your religion doesn't make you laugh out loud at least once a week you may have picked the wrong one.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:05:10 PM PDT

  •  $900 billion limit (0+ / 0-)

    I really think it's sad that sticker shock (to be specific, the fear that must be going thru their heads at the spectre of a GOP challenger running an ad that features "...and s/he spent A TRILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR MONEY so your grandkids would be still paying the bill for your neighbor's hip replacement") would limit a more ambitious effort.

    So sad....

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a handful of Democratic Senators pay exclusive attention to the lobbyists of the Medical Industrial Complex.

    by Egalitare on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:05:18 PM PDT

  •  no justification for keeping the cost of the bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, MondSemmel

    under $900 billion.  None.  Arbitrary number.  Who cares if the middle class can't afford to buy the mandated health insurance?

  •  you have to wonder (6+ / 0-)

    if all those polls showing strong support for the P.O. even in many "red" districts are starting to have an effect.
    The blue dogs seem to reflexively echo their Republican counterparts, but perhaps they are beginning to realize that maybe the town hall freaks don't speak for the bulk of their constituents.

  •  Yes we can. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, sherlyle, Eloise, bartcopfan

    This is good news...the drip, drip, drip of new support for the public option will only increase in volume until it becomes a deluge, and as I heard someone say on NPR yesterday, when it finally does come to a floor vote, there will also be Republican support as Senators and Congressmen won't want to be "on the wrong side of history."

    It's often said that life is strange. But compared to what? --Steve Forbert

    by darthstar on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:07:40 PM PDT

  •  Only if a 20 year CBO estimate (11+ / 0-)

    on Iraq is published the same day.

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

    by lgmcp on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:11:57 PM PDT

  •  That's great news, but it's not realistic to keep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, divineorder

    it under $900 billion.

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

    by slinkerwink on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:12:06 PM PDT

  •  Anyone hear about this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) took questions from his constituents on the health reform debate for the first time this summer. One such constituent, Patricia Churchill, spoke about a close family member, now unemployed and thus uninsured, who is dying of tumors...

    After I read this story I realized that the trigger that should give rise to a public health insurance option has already been invoked.  The lady needs an operation ASAP but can't get it; the health insurance system we have today in the U.S. has already failed.

    I used to donate to Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's congressional campaigns because she's cute (yes, I'm that shallow).  If she can't get behind a program so that Ms. Churchill's family member, and others like her, can get the medical care they need, I might as well send her as much money as I send to Eric Cantor (hint: it's not a lot), because they've got essentially the same ideology.


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

    by Greasy Grant on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:12:27 PM PDT

  •  but it is subject to a trigger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, sherlyle

    it went off already, which is why we need it now

    •  Congress removed the 'trigger' on medicare (0+ / 0-)

      two weeks ago [H Res 5]  If that can happen -then a trigger is a CYA and will not bring a Public Option!

      Smoke and mirrors for the HC lobbyists favor!
      call them to stop this 1.800.828.0498!

  •  Does the (0+ / 0-)

    20 year CBO estimate mean to include data for 5-10 years from now, when the citizenry are truly sick and tired of being jerked around by failed Obamacare and we finally get the leadership to enact single payer healthcare financing?

    The CBO might want to account for that event.  

    Maybe not.  Can we accurately project Big-Boy Pants(tm) Dem fecklessness and toadyism that far into the future?  

    Please don't feed the Security State.

  •  Did one of you guys hire... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    huntergeo, polar bear

    All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a handful of Democratic Senators pay exclusive attention to the lobbyists of the Medical Industrial Complex.

    by Egalitare on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:14:34 PM PDT

  •  how many blue dogs need to sign on for hcr (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mogolori, sherlyle

    to pass?

    218 needed to pass legislation (or is it 217 b/c there are 2 vacancies).  dems have 256 members.  they can have 38 reps defect and still pass the bill.  blue dogs = 52.  that means 14 blue dogs need to sign on.

    does this math look right?

  •  If going to be paid for what does $900B mean? (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody? What does 900 B consist of that bill writers want to limbo underneath it?

  •  We're only talking about the House here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    right? Senate is a whole different can-o-worms

  •  Sherrod Brown on Ed Schulz (13+ / 0-)

    Says an HCR bill with PO will pass in the Senate.  No Dems want to be on the wrong side of reform.

    Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:22:02 PM PDT

    •  Good on Brown! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle, Prof Haley, Betty Pinson

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

      by slinkerwink on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:28:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's gelling, too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pointsoflight, Matt Z

      BHO has given everyone ample opportunity to make a better case than he has.  Everyone got heard.  But in the 9th inning, there's one president at a time, folks like him, he's playing it straight, and the other side sucks rocks.

      The game in town is BHO.  You in, or you out, Dems?

      •  The game is good health care reform (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and whether the Democratic Party will go down in history as getting it done.   Pres. Obama is just one of the players.  Until he steps up to the plate and starts twisting Blue Dog arms to get it passed, he's not leading on the issue.

        Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

        by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:46:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another Kossack whose name I forget (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, akmk

          (which is a shame because I quote him/her endlessly) replied to me in a thread several weeks ago that this is playing out a lot like the superdelegate fight with  HRC in 2008.  We Obama folk were wringing our hands and wondering why he didn't just go out and say, "Hillary, give it up already."  But he let the math do the talking and his magnaminity do the walking.  We showed up in Denver unified, he proceded to smack down McCain, and then he brought HRC on board at State and now even seems to be getting the Big Dog's sagest service.

          George W. Bush blew up the Republican party for several election cycles at least.  They are rudderless, kooky, intellectually bankrupt, regionalized and whiter than rice on porcelain.  Is that the movement Blue Dogs want to roll with, at long last?

          I don't think so.  And I think BHO is helping them get there on their own terms, which will make for a firmer conversion.

          What, me worry?...

          •  I'm not so sure (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mogolori, akmk

            I think Obama is less concerned about voters than he is about corporate campaign donors and is placing higher priority on raising money for 2012 than on enacting a good HCR bill.

            He's trying to play both sides so that, if the PO prevails, he can shrug his shoulders and tell his Wall Street donors "well, I tried, but the liberals prevailed" or if Rahm and Blue Dogs are successful in killing the PO, he can tell the Dem base "well, I tried, but the Blue Dogs killed it".

            So yes, I think we have to push hard to both thwart Rahm and the Blue Dogs and push Obama to take a real stand and push for a good bill.

            Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

            by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:06:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think were that true he wouldn't have allowed (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z, akmk

              this bill to become the end-all-be-all of his presidency, and the cornerstone of his national political re-alignment.

              But, you know, merd happens.  He needs to push the public option, and we need to push him to push it, until the bill is on his desk and the pen is in his hand.  But I have been optimistic since the Joint Session that the political means are there for public option as long as BHO wants it there.

              Plus, per the last line of Martin Nolan's obituary for Ted Kennedy in the Boston Globe, there's the matter of a gentleman's agreement...

              Despite his illness, Senator Kennedy made a forceful appearance at the Democratic convention in Denver, exhorting his party to victory and declaring that the fight for universal health insurance had been "the cause of my life.’’

              He pursued that cause vigorously, and even as his health declined, he spent days reaching out to colleagues to win support for a sweeping overhaul; when members of Obama’s administration questioned the president’s decision to spend so much political capital on the seemingly intractable health care issue, Obama reportedly replied, "I promised Teddy.’’

              •  We'll see (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mogolori, akmk

                I hope you're right, but I'm having to work from the assumption he will settle for an inferior bill, even if a good one is possible.  I hope he does the right thing, too.

                Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff - Sen. Sherrod Brown

                by Betty Pinson on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:39:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I notice that nowhere in these top priorities (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, bruh1, docb, PedalingPete, Phatz

    is there any mention of actually providing better healthcare to more Americans.  

    •  That's not (0+ / 0-)

      the "uniquely American" way that we cherish.

      Nor is cutting 30% bureacratic healthcare-denial overhead and disgusting levels of CEO pay.

      See, in Reagan's Obama's America, we take care of those at the top and watch the benefits rain down.

      Works like a charm.

      Please don't feed the Security State.

  •  Cost Under $900B (5+ / 0-)

    Keeping the cost under $900 billion

    That's $900B over ten years, $90B a year. To ensure coverage for 300M people, or $300 per person, per year. At the very least it's offering new coverage for something like 45M people, or $2000 per person per year - but of course much less, because it's doing much more than covering just those presently uninsured.

    At $900B over 10 years, this programme is cheap. Baucus wants to fine people $750 for not playing his game, even if they make only $11K (just above the poverty line), or 7% of income. The Federal government is going to take in something like $40 TRILLION in the next 10 years, so $900B is only 2.25% of that. For all American healthcare. Which will cost more without reform.

    I will remind you that the catastrophic Iraq War has already cost us well over $900B, after less than a decade. After another 10 years, it will surely have cost us at least $2 TRILLION, especially including the interest on all that expense that was all extra debt. And of course it healed no one, but rather killed and maimed thousands and hundreds of thousands of Americans, and probably millions of Iraqis.

    I doubt the "fiscally conservative" Blue Dogs will ever mention any of this. Because then their constituents would send them to the hospital for opposing this completely sensible reform over such penny-ante complaints.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:23:37 PM PDT

    •  Doesn't the PO make the cost less? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Public Option means insurance premiums go down, means subsidies are less thus a cheaper plan.  GOPs are against it because it costs Insurance companies money which is way more important than saving taxpayers money.  Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage proved that.

      •  Why exactly are the Republicans against it? (0+ / 0-)

        Well, we all know the real reason.  They are the pawns of corporations.  But what do they say--just anti-govt. ideological BS?  Why is Olympia Snowe against it?  She seems halfway rational.  It is so obviously the better way to go.

  •  Keep the bill under 900 bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    MY ASSHOLE. What you need for an effective bill and what you are asking for are two different things politicians.

    "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

    by theone718 on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:24:04 PM PDT

  •  It'sbecause they know the Senate... (0+ / 0-) doing the heavy lifting to block the Public Option.  They'll go along to get along in the House on this issue and refocus their energy on the upcoming financial regulations.  

    "We compromised with the Po, so the progressives should come our way in weakening the reforms"

  •  look out, any minute now a diary is going (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to pop up saying, no the Blue Dog opposition is NOT waning...

  •  And what's with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, sherlyle

    "not moving faster than the Senate"? As of yesterday's markup the Senate was on track to have a vote next summer, and I didn't hear of any mass withdrawal of amendments. Are the Blue Dogs looking for a way to let reform die without actually killing it? That won't play any better in the polls than opposing the PO.

    We're on a blind date with Destiny, and it looks like she's ordered the lobster!

    by Prof Haley on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:34:17 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, that was bizarre (0+ / 0-)

      They'd all have to break their own legs to even conceivably move more slowly than the Senate.

      The braying sheep on my TV screen make this boy shout -- make this boy scream -- I'm going underground...

      by jamfan on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 04:08:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, but where does President Snowe stand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    After all she is the most powerful person in the world right now.

  •  Urge to kill (the poor) fading...fading... N/T (0+ / 0-)

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 03:39:14 PM PDT

  •  John Garamendi, CA-10 democratic (0+ / 0-)

    candidate, is on the ED Show.  In favor of the public option.  Let's support him CA-10ers......

  •  Expose the financial links of Blue-Cross Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Time Waits for no Woman

    and we need to continue pushing this links.

    if anything we can see that when congressman Ross was exposed he is now shaking in his boots enough to weakly support the public option

  •  Breaking: Conrad opposes PO (0+ / 0-)

    and then gives lame reason why he opposes it, then sorta backtracks.

    Do you support the public option?



    I go back to the T.R. Reid book. I don't think a government-run plan best fits this culture. A plan that's not government-run has the best chance of succeeding in being passed into law.

    Second, and this is very important to my thinking, the public option as defined by the committee of jurisdiction in the House, the Ways and Means Committee, is tied to Medicare levels of reimbursement. My state has the second-lowest level of Medicare reimbursement in the country. If my state is tied to that reimbursement, every hospital goes broke.

    People say, "Just fix it." I've been on the Finance Committee more than 15 years. I've been trying to fix the unfair aspects of Medicare reimbursement all the time. We run into the House. Membership is determined by population, and the big population states write levels of reimbursement that unfairly treat hospitals in states like mine. My hospitals get one-half as much as urban hospitals to treat the same illnesses.

    What about a public plan that can't use Medicare rates?

    There are discussions going on about that. Obviously, it would be very important that it would be clear that it's not tied to Medicare levels of reimbursement. Those of us in low-reimbursement states would have our health infrastructure put at risk.

  •  Top headline in Jim Cooper's TN-05 newspaper (0+ / 0-)

    Somewhat related to medical care, and certainly the public, there's a funny headline in the Nashville Tennessean, the main daily newspaper in Jim Cooper's TN-05 district:

    Coyote Ugly patron sues after falling off bar
    Woman says workers should have done more to prevent her tumble off slippery bar.

    Poor Jim is not representing the country's most exemplary, intelligent citizens, but myself and all my friends excepted.

  •  Republican Health Care Lies/Blue Dog Misinformed (0+ / 0-)

    Robert Dobbs for Congress

    We constantly hear, "I don't want Government in my healthcare", well guess what we already have it with the Veterans Administration, Military Hospitals, Medicare, and Medicaid.  What we have wasted in the Middle East could have paid for our healthcare reform.

    That may seem to be a harsh title, but it is true!  Just as Popeye would say "I've stands all I can stands and I can't stands no more!"  You would think that Republicans would be on board, especially since they claim to stand for small business, for the debate on Health Care Reform.  But once again we see no real effort put forward by the Republicans other than to derail the entire process.

    Frankly, I am sick and tired of this and action needs to go forward.  We can send billions of dollars to the quagmire called Iraq and Afghanistan but we can't take care of our own people.  So let's go at the lies one by one..

    No public option/Single Payer!-Well I would imagine then since the Republicans believe America should not have a public option or single payer, then they will be submitting legislation to end Medicare, Medicaid, V.A. system, military hospitals (especially seeing even Republican members of Congress enjoy use of Walter Reed and Betheseda Naval Hospitals), and any State sponsored plans, ie Wisconsin Badger Care and others.  Even the Republicans in Congress would not be that suicidal!!  Wake up everyone you already have a public option that is utilized by millions in Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and Military hospitals.  If it is good enough for our disabled, seniors, and military why isn't that option good enough for all Americans?

    Death Panels-This one is beyond belief that Republicans would say this and Americans would believe this, but then seeing Republicans including Senator Demint compare the Democrats and President Obama to Nazis what would we expect.  The provision in the bill, which ironically a Republican Congressman had introduced originally, would allow Medicare for the first time to cover patient-doctor consultations about end-of-life planning, including discussions about drawing up a living will or planning hospice treatment. Patients would, of course, seek out such advice on their own but they would not be required to. The provision would limit Medicare coverage to one consultation every five years.  This isn't a "death panel", but something many people need to do rather than not have a plan when an end of life issue arrises.

    Medicare Will be Cut-Another bold face lie by the Republicans.  What the President is going to do is cut the 10-year cost of $177 billion in subsidies paid to insurance companies to allow them to participate in Medicare Advantage.  This is wasteful spending that can be eliminated to help Medicare.

    Americans Don't Want a Government Ran Healthcare Plan-This is another lie.  In a poll conducted by New York Times and CBS,

    66% of Americans polled would like to see a government ran option similar to Medicare.

    Rationing of Health Care-Another lie plus if you think our health care is not already rationed think again.  Every day insurance companies deny coverage for a myriad of reasons.  So how could it be any worse, maybe the pre-existing condition removal alone would help us all, and considering a public plan would not be able to cover all procedures, private insurance plans do not either.

    Single Payer System Would Give Us Worse Healthcare-If the single payer system is so bad then why do we give to our military veterans and yet members of Congress call the VA system the best care for our veterans.  A U.S. newspaper wrote that under the British system Steven Hawking would be allowed to die due to his deteriating condition, but Hawking said, "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS."

    Why can't a rational discussion of healtcare reform occur without being called a communists, socialists, or Nazis.  Even the Heritage Foundation has called on Congress to create a system similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) for Americans which all members of Congress enjoy.  However, the health insurance industry is and will do anything to derail any option that will be a benefit to the consumer and affect their bottom line.  

    Most small business would love to provide health insurance to their employees, but simply can't or the ones who do have very expensive plans with limited coverages.  I know this first hand because I am a small business owner.  The U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world on both a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP, yet fails to provide Universal coverage.

    A study published in 2008 in Annals of Internal Medicine, a leading medical journal, showed 59 percent of physicians "support government legislation to establish national health insurance," while 32 percent oppose it and 9 percent are neutral.  

    Here is the proposal from Physicians for a National Health Program key features:

    "Key Features of Single-Payer

    Universal, Comprehensive Coverage

    Only such coverage ensures access, avoids a two-class system, and minimizes expense

    No out-of-pocket payments

    Co-payments and deductibles are barriers to access, administratively unwieldy, and unnecessary for cost containment

    A single insurance plan in each region, administered by a public or quasi-public agency

    A fragmentary payment system that entrusts private firms with administration ensures the waste of billions of dollars on useless paper pushing and profits. Private insurance duplicating public coverage fosters two-class care and drives up costs; such duplication should be prohibited

    Global operating budgets for hospitals, nursing homes, allowed group and staff model HMOs and other providers with separate allocation of capital funds

    Billing on a per-patient basis creates unnecessary administrative complexity and expense. A budget separate from operating expenses will be allowed for capital improvements

    Free Choice of Providers

    Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed health care provider, without financial incentives or penalties

    Public Accountability, Not Corporate Dictates

    The public has an absolute right to democratically set overall health policies and priorities, but medical decisions must be made by patients and providers rather than dictated from afar. Market mechanisms principally empower employers and insurance bureaucrats pursuing narrow financial interests

    Ban on For-Profit Health Care Providers

    Profit seeking inevitably distorts care and diverts resources from patients to investors

    Protection of the rights of health care and insurance workers

    A single-payer national health program would eliminate the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people who currently perform billing, advertising, eligibility determination, and other superfluous tasks.

    These workers must be guaranteed retraining and placement in meaningful jobs.

    from the American Journal of Public Health January 2003, Vol 93, No.1"

    Robert Dobbs for Congress

  •  Is Sandy Levin considered.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...a Blue Dog?  I didn't know that...anybody have a URL to blue dog list?

  •  If you're from Alaska, call Begich. I did. (0+ / 0-)

    The following from "Move-On" is a good one.

    Hi, I'm the public option, and I need your help. Can you call Sen. Begich and tell him that health care reform must include a real public health insurance option that's available immediately—not a "trigger" designed to indefinitely delay it?

    Senator Mark Begich
    Phone: 202-224-3004

    Report your call

    Hi, I'm the public health insurance option.

    People have been saying all sorts of untrue things about me lately, so I decided it was time to stand up and set the record straight.

    First off: the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I'm happy and healthy. And I'm proud to play a starring role in four of the five health reform bills currently on the table.

    Second: I have a lot of friends. President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi support me—as do 77% of the American people.1 In fact, I'm feeling pretty popular....

    Here are some other things you might not know about me:

    I like candlelit dinners, overseas travel, and long walks on the beach. Whoops, sorry—wrong email.
    Some people say they don't like me because I'm too expensive, but that's just a flat-out lie. Keeping me around will actually save money—I'd cost 10% less than the typical private plan.3
    I'm the best way to keep insurance companies honest. Like my friend Senator Jay Rockefeller has said, "Without the steady, positive influence of a public plan option in the marketplace, we will never truly solve the health care crisis in this country. Private health insurance has a long history of cutting people off or charging too much for too little."4
    Over 60 House progressives have publicly pledged to only vote for a bill that has me in it.5 So without me, health care reform doesn't have enough votes make it through Congress.

    And I'm counting on your help to make it through the Senate. Can you call Sen. Begich today?

    Thanks for all you do.

    –The public health insurance option (and the MoveOn team)

  •  And what of the cost when (0+ / 0-)

    aliens visit us from jupiter?!

    What of the cost when we find Bigfoot?

    What of the cost when we find out Nessie is really the president wearing a President Obama mask?

    What of the cost when we finid a rethug NOT telling a lie?

    What of the cost get the picture.

  •  They don't want to go nose to nose (0+ / 0-)

    If the Blue Dogs make the Public Option a make-or-break issue,

    1. They don't have all their members on board. Some conservative Democrats are quite dependant on Labor support.
    1. They go nose-to-nose with the OProgressive Caucus and the tricaucus. if they lose on that one, their bluff power is much diminished.

    If "con" is the antonym of "pro," what is the antonym of "progress"?

    by Frank Palmer on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:14:14 AM PDT

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