Making ridiculous statements attacking Republicans makes Democrats look as bad as Republicans and the public does not see a difference.
When was the last time somebody persuaded you to change your position about an issue by saying "you're stupid"; "you want to kill people"; "you are corrupt"; and "others have paid you off." I have never been persuaded by such arguments directed at me, I doubt many members of Congress have been persuaded by these "arguments."
If Democrats pass HCR, Democrats have a victory to take into the next election. Failure to pass HCR, Democrats will be seen as failures, confidence in a Democratic majority Congress is weakened if not severely damaged.
When Congress bickers across party lines, nothing gets done, which means Republicans win.
If we have Public Option and Health Insurance company profits went to ZERO - that only saves $10 billion/yr or 0.5% of total spending or $65 per year per person they insure. HCR needs to do much more than this - otherwise Democrats will be seen as failures on HCR even with Public Option passed.
What the Federal & State governments spend on Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and Veterans Admin - covering about 1/3 the population is about 8% of GDP. 8% is what other industrialized counties spend for their entire population. Is the "waste fraud and abuse" in current government healthcare enough to finance healthcare for the remaining 2/3 of the population? I don't expect Public Option to be more efficient than current government healthcare programs.
A better arguments to get some centrist Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to go along, and reduce healthcare costs could include:
- Put in Public Option with Private Insurance being allowed to offer policies nationwide if the policy has at least a base level of coverage. In addition, have level playing field, lower administration costs and put downward pressure on healthcare costs by requiring healthcare and pharma providers to offer their lowest prices equally to all public (including other industrialized counties) and private insurance companies.
- Update medical licensing laws. We have doctors provide many services that nurses or technicians provide in other countries. We should change licensing laws and policies to free up doctors and nurses for where they can be more productive and provide better care at lower cost.
- Financial Incentives and Reminders for people to change how they live.American obesity increases costs for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and the problems they cause. We have a bigger obesity problem than most other counties. Taxing soft drinks and similar ideas will raise revenue but not change behavior sufficiently - as it does not address the major problem of people eating larger portions than they should. The problem is people consuming more calories than their activity level burns. Several companies have been successful giving rebates of a few hundred dollars per year for those who keep their weight in a normal range after they get an annual or biannual checkup. Having those who consume too many calories pay more for health insurance for causing higher healthcare spending is the equivalent of heavily taxing tobacco - which has been successful in reducing smoking by those with a tobacco addiction. I favor this approach as it is cheaper to pay this rebate than to pay for the drugs and frequent medical testing associated with obesity; it directly reduces the need for healthcare spending and the result is better for a person's health.
- Medical tort reform. Apply the same tort rules and policies that already apply to healthcare workers in Veterans Administration Hospitals. I see no evidence that VA patients are badly treated in this regard. They in fact get better remedies for medical errors, as there isn't the waste of 52% of malpractice insurance costs going to attorneys (both sides) and administration. In addition errors don't need to be massive before a person can seek legal recourse. Part of the motivation for this is to win additional political support got HCR.