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Usually, when Tom Harkin talks about the public option he pledges that the Senate will pass a strong one for President Obama to sign into law. In a Tuesday interview with MSNBC's Ed Schultz, however, he left open the possibility that Harry Reid's "opt-out" public option will be weakened even further because "there's always room to accomodate people."

Watch:

Transcript:

SCHULTZ: Will the Senate bill do more than 6 million people on the public option? Can you give us a higher number?

HARKIN: That I can't give you right now Ed. Because...let me put it this way: the public option we have in the bill right now, I believe is a good compromise. That's the one that says there will be a public option and a state can opt out if they want to.

SCHULTZ: But last night's meeting -- no more compromises, you've gone as far as you're going to go. Right?

HARKIN: Well, you know, Ed, I never say never. There's always room to accomadate people. And don't forget we still have to go to conference on this after it gets out of the Senate.

There's a picture of Joe Lieberman next to the "Put Up or Shut Up" graphic on the screen. The same could be said of Senate progressives. If they get rolled on this, there's no reason to take them seriously on anything else they say.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If Carper's triggered state-based co-op gets (18+ / 0-)

    in....there'll be hell to pay.

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

    by slinkerwink on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:20:57 AM PST

    •  Looking more like the Foe.org bill ad on the side (0+ / 0-)

      There is a large chunk of Americans who don't care about Glenn Beck, MSNBC or the Polls. They just want jobs.

      by The Simple Canadian on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:28:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sad thing, though... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, wvmom

      ... is that it is the everyday people who are going to really have hell to pay, given the way that insurance reform and regulation, the public option, and really everything else is either being gutted or turned into a "bonanza" for the insurance industry.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:38:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  how, exactly? NT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      Show Dems in R-Leaning Districts Who Voted For Health Care, Against Stupak: We've Got Your Back

      by Adam B on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:03:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem in '94 was the lack of enthusiasm (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, hoplite9, 3goldens

        on our side of the fence.  After NAFTA, and after the failure of a health care bill that really didn't reform much, Dems didn't really mobilize that year.

        Losing the support of the base is a much bigger deal than whether or not this version of HC "reform" gets passed.  The NJ and VA results seem to demonstrate that point.  

        The base is clearly being lost here.  When a populist firebrand goes on Ed Schultz and offers clear signals like that, we're in deep s**t.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:16:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't worry (0+ / 0-)

      I doubt even that will make it in the final bill.

    •  Here's why a weak PO, now, is better than nothing (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, the prospect of a weak public option is ugly, and it'll be a disappointment...

      ...but don't forget: the reason that Republicans are unanimously against anything and everything is because they know even a weak bill spells the beginning of the end for them.

      Bill Kristol knew it in 93 and it is still true today.

      They have their backs to the wall and we have the sword poised against their hearts. We just need to push the sword forward a small distance and they'll be mortally wounded.

      We cannot get squeamish now -- not when we are so close. We need to push the sword in without flinching.

      FDR: "Yes, I'm for it. Now make me do it."

      by arubyan on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:00:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There sure will (0+ / 0-)

      If they "water down" the public option, they sure as hell better "water down" the individual mandate so that anyone who can't find a comprehensive plan for no more than a reasonable percentage of their income is exempt. No forcing anyone to buy expensive crap from the private company. I have had it. I really have. And i cannot even express my level of disgust for Joe Lie-berman.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate http://www.jenniferbrunner.com/

      by anastasia p on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 02:03:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never Say Never? (11+ / 0-)

    More like Live and Let Die

    I will not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with respect of the past. -Woodrow Wilson

    by Gangster Octopus on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:22:03 AM PST

  •  Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, yet (15+ / 0-)

    again.

    Fuck, I hate these people.  They really ought to get out into the real world for a nano-second or two.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:23:12 AM PST

    •  Being an optimist I always look to the glass is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lineatus

      1/2 full possibility:

      And don't forget we still have to go to conference on this after it gets out of the Senate.

      I take that (remember, I'm an optimist) as him saying, "we make concessions now and then take them out in committee".

      So now you're in the minority...it's SUPPOSED to taste like a shit taco - Jon Stewart to the GOP

      by blueyescryinintherain on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:35:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The real world needs to be willing to confront (8+ / 0-)

      .... their bad behavior.

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

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:35:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You gotta remember... (6+ / 0-)

      Some of these people haven't topped off their own fuel, opened doors on their own, or actually cooked their own food in years, if not ever.

      "Here we go." President Barack Obama, 1/22/09

      by cybrestrike on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:36:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why I only suggest a nano-second - (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, cybrestrike, JRandomPoster

        wouldn't want to shock their systems too badly with longer exposure to hoi polloi.

        They only call it Class War when we fight back.

        by lineatus on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:39:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They Could Start By Actually Working (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lineatus, cybrestrike, googie

        What many of them do could never be considered work.  It is basically conniving and manipulating lies until they begin to resemble some form of truth -- well, truth at least to them.

        Many of the creeps can never understand what it is like to actually go to work, put in 50 weeks a year, (if you're lucky enough to have paid vacation), 40 - 60 hours a week, and have actual deadlines and accountability.  

        •  I won't go quite that far. I think most of them (4+ / 0-)

          know what it is to work and to put in long hours.  

          What I don't think many of them understand is what it's like to work hard, maybe more than one job, and know that it's still not enough to keep a roof over your head, food on the table, and a basic level of health care.  They are so far removed from paycheck-to-paycheck (or no-paycheck-at-all) that they just can't possibly understand.

          They only call it Class War when we fight back.

          by lineatus on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:06:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How Many Breaks and Vacations Do They Need?? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, cybrestrike

            Especially now, when they need to get important things done.  I've cancelled vacations, worked holidays and long, long nights when I had deadlines.  I knew I was accountable.  

            Apparently, many in Congress don't understand accountability.  And yes, I question their work ethic.  Especially those who make time for slithering lobbyists, but not the people of the United States of America.

          •  I fully agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, lineatus

            I used to be a Hill staffer, and most members work extremely hard. Those "vacations" are generally spent back in the district meeting with constituents. But these folks are among the economic elite of the country, far removed from the daily reality facing many Americans.

            And members of Congress are accountable, every 2 or 6 years. Unfortunately, the campaign finance system is set up such that they are just as accountable to lobbyists who provide campaign funds as they are to voters back home. If we want a better Congress, we need to demand a better way of selecting members of Congress. I hear very little these days about meaningful campaign finance reform.

            Here's an idea, although I don't know if it would pass muster with the Supreme Court -- Nobody can contribute to a candidate unless they are eligible to vote in the next election for them. That would focus accountability on constituents.

        •  It's known as "truthiness". nt (0+ / 0-)

          I get "suaviter in modo", Mr President. May we now have some "fortiter in re"?

          by tapu dali on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:26:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •   a freind who was permenant staff in the house (0+ / 0-)

          was surpised when I asked him when he was going to put his 30 in. He said "ah then I would have to go out and get a real job, you know private schools and all that".

          Turned out he went out and got a job, but it's more of the same and pays 3-5x better. A lobbyist on K street for the same people he purportedly worked against when he worked which was about a half year in total each of the 30 years.

          We are paying 75% retirement pay for him and his wife plus health care plus they get their medium 6 figure jobs from K street.

          Hell I was thinking if they both retired they would be getting 240K a year plus health benefits. Apparently that wasn't enough, what with private school and all that. Yep, being a public servant is tough duty these days.

          That's when I got really depressed.

          So If you see Tom Harkin with an apologetic smile on his face? That means the PO is being sliced and gutted like a fresh fish.

    •  it's not over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, lineatus

      it is just the lobbyist think they can sneak stuff in at the end.  Call your Senators and make sure they know it will not be tolerated.

  •  Not to worry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RFK Lives, 3goldens, polar bear, MPociask
    I'm sure Obama will put the full weight of his office behind a strong public option.

    "And the biggest self of self is, indeed, self." Mark Sanford

    by Paleo on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:23:23 AM PST

  •  "Senate Progressives" (10+ / 0-)

    Progressively weaker, gutless and without conviction.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:24:27 AM PST

    •  Hey - they've got the convictions... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      ... given to them by the insurance industry.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:41:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  loyalty (0+ / 0-)

      If some Senators have no loyalty to their leadership/President, they should understand their seniority is at risk.

      •  They also know... (0+ / 0-)

        ... that if they betray us en masse, they can all protect each other's asses.

        Doing the Right Thing (tm) here would be the best way for them to keep their seats and seniority.  But they're afraid that if they're the only ones doing the Right Thing, that the rest of the pack will turn on them.  So, they go the "safe" route - as they see it - and maintain the status quo.

        My level of disgust today has broken my meters.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:08:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow, that does not sound encouraging at all (6+ / 0-)

    Coming from the best PO booster the Senate has, choosing his words so carefully. Not good.

  •  Christmas comes early for the insurance industry (10+ / 0-)

    Indvidual mandates, no meaningful employer mandate, a "public option" in name only, and very limited help for those who can't afford expensive health insurance.  It's a win all around ... for the insurance companies.  

  •  Dear Senators: That campaign contribution you (10+ / 0-)

    were hoping for next year will be going to our new, higher insurance premiums.  Surely your friends at Aetna et al can more than make it up to you.

    To bad they can't vote.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:25:05 AM PST

  •  always 'nice' to a democrat dancing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:25:28 AM PST

  •  let us first see the bill.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superribbie

    we have been on this road for a while now, every time there is a bill we obsess about it and get all twisted .... for once  let us wait the unveiling of the bill.

    Politico: the pamphlet of the hipster wing nut

    by Dhirty on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:26:37 AM PST

  •  People mean Senators, because the people of the (4+ / 0-)

    United States are being screwed. Also, accommodating moderate/conservative Democratic Senators means acting against the interests of the country as a whole. Our entire political apparatus works in the interests of the 1% of the country that has most of the wealth and power. When their material prosperity is at stake, never say never to how far even "progressive" politicians will bend to appease them.

  •  WHAT?!?!?! Democrats backing down even more... (11+ / 0-)

    ....and watering down key provisions?!?!?! Say it ain't so!

    Sincerely,
    water being wet
    and the sun rising in the east

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine...." {-8.13;-5.59}

    by lams712 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:28:02 AM PST

  •  Can we see the bill before we hyperventilate? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, KingofSpades
  •  Time to use the whip tactics on the Sens? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    googie
  •  There's always room for compromise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, JRandomPoster

    I've noticed that about the Senate.

  •  Ed's giving out bad information (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, polar bear

    That 6 million number is who is slated to join the public option NOT Who's eligible.  

  •  This might not be a question of "getting rolled" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    I'm not sure this frame fits the dynamic of the Senate.  Folks like Harkin and Brown have been relentless on the public option, but like everything else, it's a matter of votes, not strength.

    The public option has a better chance in the Senate because it is in Reid's bill.  If a weakened public option can help break a filibuster, than we can take some form of the plan to conference committee where it stands a better chance than if the Senate left it out all together.

    I'm not saying this is my prescribed avenue, and the leadership should be doing everything in their power to get the best bill through and not cede more leverage to the AHIP caucus than they already have.

    But calls for "spine," "twisting arms," "cajoling," and "not caving," are the wrong way to look at it.

    •  In order to get what you want, you have to be (9+ / 0-)

      willing to walk away if the deal is unacceptable. When progressives look like they will accept anything to get a bill passed/moved forward, then they will just get rolled over and over again. This has been happening as long as I remember, and it is odd that people don't know it. You have to be willing to walk away from the table if the terms are unacceptable.

      •  Negotiating is also more than demanding (0+ / 0-)

        The public option is only alive today because people rallied to it.  Howard Dean helped the insiders realize they couldn't just deal it away when he started talking about how health reform was "meaningless" without the public option, but one has to realize that it is a gamble.

        Suppose, for example, that a few Democrats are emboldened enough to block passage of the bill over the public option and the president and leadership have no real immediate leverage over them.  This is not necessarily reality, but it's a distinct possibility.  We're now in the position where reform supporters are apt to believe that the bill is meaningless without a public option, or in some cases, is meaningless without a "robust" public option.  The problem is that this premise isn't really true.  Health reform is vastly better and more meaningful with a strong PO, but it's still pretty important for the minimum 30 million Americans who can get health care.

        Every once in a while, I'm told by someone that the Baucus bill should be killed or we should walk away and start over, thinking that we can get a better deal after being dealt a major defeat. It's a wrongheaded approach.

        The fundamentals of this negotiation are such that reformers have the interests of the people at heart and the opponents don't care whether people get health care.  That's a disadvantage that no amount of demands are going to change.  We can fight for better terms, we can isolate the opponents, we can marginalize their arguments, but we ultimately want more health care at the end of the day.  The opponents know it, and so they keep exacting a higher price.

  •  Interesting facial expressions there (8+ / 0-)

    .... Look, Democrats, the Republicans intend to kill the bill even if you take out the Public Option, so you may as well leave it in there.

    As to your problem with one member of your caucus, just start asking him about why his financial supporters for his campaign committee were doing rallies in Nevada this summer specifically against the Senate Majority Leader, and supervised by Eric Odom.   That's not very nice behavior between good friends.

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

    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:33:42 AM PST

  •  dammitalltohell (4+ / 0-)

    sh*t. Living in IA sure has its ups 'n downs (yep, I live here). First Grassley, then Braindead Branstad running for Gov., Steve King, and now Harkin caving....

    shakes head

    No one ever died from laughing too often

    by googie on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:34:02 AM PST

  •  At some point, the fear of not passing a bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, grrr

    completely take over. So the strategy needs to be to make that fear create a stampede for a bill with a strong public option. The weak-willed conservadems can be just as fearful at not passing the bill, perhaps more so, to use that to get them to pass a strong PO.

    But in order to do that, we need a strong group of progressives who stand up.

  •  It would seem that in this case... (0+ / 0-)

    ... the phrase "the blood sucking, care denying insurance industry" has been redefined as "people".

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:35:55 AM PST

  •  Could not disagree with you more, Jed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA, ruascott

    There is plenty in this bill for progressives to like.  The insurance rating rules, the minimum benefits package, and the subsidies are certainly nothing to sneeze at.

    I'm beginning to think the front-pagers have some illness that prevents them from being able to articulate what Democrats have aspired for the last 60 years.  Does any front-pager honestly believe the grandness of Democratic aspirations over the last 60 years boils down to a public option that covers abortions?  Yet that is what one would conclude from the front-pagers' writings these last several months.  It's really unfortunate that the Daily Kos has come to this point because I believe the Daily Kos has the potential to do so much better than this, and it's not too late to change.

    Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

    by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:35:56 AM PST

    •  Oh Lord........ (9+ / 0-)

      No one ever died from laughing too often

      by googie on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:39:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does anyone believe... (8+ / 0-)

      That Democratic aspirations for the past 60 years were about insurance rating rules, minimum benefits packages, and subsidies(give-aways) to the health insurance companies?

      Cuz' I thought it was about universal health care.  But what do I know?  I'm just the single payer advocate in the room.

      •  A single-payer system ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, bourbonblue

        ... could have a $20,000 deductible and doesn't cover durable medical equipment.  Single-payer doesn't mean jack squat.  What matters most is what percentage of a person's income someone has to spend on health care, and that's not contained in who does the paperwork; that's contained in the rating rules, the minimum benefit packages, the subsidies, the risk selection, etc.

        Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

        by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:47:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim, Jim, Jim. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, 3goldens, bagman, 0wn, googie

          Will you please stop with the pro-for-profit bullshit that you've been spewing for months?

          Looks like your side may win - enough already.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:48:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Jim don't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jim bow, bourbonblue

          take the insults personally. You are one of the few on here who makes any sense most of the time. Most of these people can't see the forest...

          And most have no idea how much of an impact insurance reforms and a national exchange will alter the market in this country...oh and also 96% of the population will have insurance coverage and will never go BK because of medical bills.

          But that's not good enough for the people on here, because money goes to those evil-doers, insurance companies. Non-profits don't even work for them.

        •  You confuse 'insurance' with 'health care' (5+ / 0-)

          A subsidy to buy private insurance does me no good if all they do is deny or delay my claims.  That is exactly what my family has experience.  I must now watch the woman I love suffer daily with debilitating pain because of insurance company betrayals.  My parent, in contrast, have never had a claim denied by Medicare (and they need a LOT of medical care).

          It is not just about cost. If there is no public option, there is no reform.  Period.

          Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

          by protothad on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:31:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Amen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JRandomPoster, MPociask

            Without the public option, this "reform" is absolutely meaningless.  I can tell you from experience that the private insurance companies will always find a way to avoid paying claims.  The only way to reform health insurance is with a public plan.

          •  Tell that to my 27-year-old sister's face. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bourbonblue

            She spends $6,000/yr. on her individual health insurance policy, and remains one illness from bankruptcy.  Because of the guaranteed renewability provision, this bill will have peace of mind knowing she is no longer one illness from bankruptcy.  But you would deny her the help she needs because your feelings were hurt that all your ideological litmus tests weren't met.

            I'm glad you have the luxury to care for who does the paperwork.  I wish more people had your luxury, but my sister doesn't.

            Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

            by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 02:16:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You didn't read my post (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JRandomPoster, MPociask

              I am not operating from ideology.  My fiance has had her claims denied by for-profit insurance.  She is in constant pain and without care despite having had insurance when she was injured.  Our insurance was dropped when we could no longer afford to pay both premiums and the out-of-pocket care that we were forced into when our claims were repeatedly denied.

              The current insurance reforms in all of the proposed legislation does nothing to change that.  If anything, it will grow worse as insurance companies turn to denied and delayed claims when they can no longer deny or rescind the entire policy.

              If 'reform' without a public insurance option is passed, your sister will still be one denied claim away from bankruptcy.  I will gladly tell that your sister's face or to anyone else that cares to listen.  I don't mean that in malice... I just mean that too many people don't realize just how ruthless and predatory the private insurance industry has become until it becomes too late, and they need to be told.

              Peace.

              Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

              by protothad on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 02:53:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That can easily be done with a claim ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                protothad

                ... processing time limit, with an exorbitant fine if the claims are not paid on time.  A public option is not necessary for what you are talking about; regulations will do the trick.

                Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

                by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:04:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Up to the point that the next Republican... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MPociask

                  ... congress gets elected, at which point they will do to regulation what was done to Glass–Steagall, all in the name of "free markets".  And unlike the corporatist Democrats we seem to be stuck with, they won't allow Lieberman's to happen to them.

                  While regulation may do the trick, it is too easy to undo.  An actual program (like Medicare) is far harder to undo, and thus, is more solid reform.

                  The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

                  by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:15:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just like ... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    protothad

                    ... undoing child labor regulations, cigarette warning label regulations, and mandatory seatbelt regulations were so easy to do while ripping out a 60-year entitlement from the most vulnerable Americans at their most vulnerable moments (AFDC) was virtually impossible to do.

                    Has this website accidentally turned into the Daily Rand?

                    Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

                    by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:22:04 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Apples and Oranges... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      protothad, MPociask

                      ... to compare child labor regulations, etc.  Although, the Republicans did want to legitimize corporate rape not so long ago.

                      It comes down to scale.  A stong PO that works and has a lot of members subscribed would be more akin to Medicare.

                      I'd be willing to bet that if we had a real PO, and single payer was on the table in 20 years, you'd have the next generation of TeaBaggers holding signs saying, "Keep your government out of my Public Option".

                      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

                      by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:30:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JRandomPoster, MPociask

                  But none of those solutions are currently on the table... the public option is.  If we let the public option drop at this point, you will end up with mandated private insurance without any of the fixes you suggest.

                  I also doubt that those regulations would be properly enforced, considering how poorly current regulations often are.  I suspect our insurance company broke the rules but it didn't stop them from screwing us.  If we had time and money for an attorney, we likely could have fought the insurance company and forced them to pay out on our claim, but how many people can fight the insurance company when they are already sick and struggling financially because they are missing work?

                  I appreciate your view and I am actually a bit on the fence myself.  Perhaps if we get the exchanges and affordability credits and insurance reforms in this go, we can build on that foundation with a public option in the future.  I can't honestly say I would vote no on that bill, if only so we can lay that groundwork.  I still wouldn't call it reform though, only an incremental step toward it.

                  And I expect I will likely decline insurance myself and just pay the fine rather than give another penny to those vampires, at least until I need major medical care or we have a real public insurance option.

                  Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

                  by protothad on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:32:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Concur. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    protothad, MPociask

                    And anecdotally, in CA, they passed regulation to limit insurance company abuses.

                    What did the insurance companies do?  They started to cancel all plans every year, and introduce new ones that had the rate hike and coverage adjustments that the wanted anyway.

                    Just because we've built up an infrastructure around the middleman in health care doesn't mean it is an infrastructure that should receive continued support.  They've had decades to prove that they're "good corporate citizens" - and have failed epically on a regular basis.

                    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

                    by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:51:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  But - that's what our "leaders"... (0+ / 0-)

        ... are telling us they were.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:47:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Aspirations are about goals and values, not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jim bow

        mechanisms.

        The goals and values are expanding the availability of basic health care and reducing its burden on ordinary Americans.  There's more than one way to get there.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:06:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's a reason that the phrase... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, MPociask

          ... "Uniquely American" has been used throughout the entire HCR debate.

          And it is this:  Every single other industrialized nation has rejected the premises of the model.  The rest of the

          Sure, in some industrialized nations, the Doctors, Hospitals and Insurance is not completely socialized.  But there is far more of a socialized approach than is even being considered at this point.  Said socialization may be tough regulation, it may be direct ownership of medical facilities and employment of the doctors and other professionals by the government, it often includes a progressive income tax that removes some of the gouging incentives.  But the rest of the industrialized world has pretty much rejected the premise that one should be able to get filthy rich off the backs of the sick and dying.

          So - while there may indeed be more than one way to skin this cat, a weak, watered down, insurance company boon of a bill ain't one of those ways.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:14:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  mandates to buy expensive private insurance will (6+ / 0-)

      never fly. Although the bill does have positives as you point out, those will be overshadowed. The public option isn't a cure-all but it has become the progressive standard.

      •  An individual mandate ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... to buy private health insurance here in Massachusetts works.  There simply is no way you can have a community rating without an individual mandate, or else people will wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance, and the price of health insurance will reflect this.

        Operator, operator -- what's the number for 9-1-1? - Homer Simpson

        by jim bow on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:49:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Works in Mass., says who? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          Really? From all I've heard it's caused Ins. rates to escalate much faster then the rest of the country , so how does that make it work? The prices are already ruinous in many regions of the country.

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

          by Blutodog on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:57:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Highest premium increases in the nation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, MPociask

          Among INSURED residents in the state, 18 percent say they have skipped care because they couldn't afford it.  

          A middle income uninsured 56-year-old is now forced to lay out at least $4,800 for a policy with a $2,000 deductible before it pays for any care, and 20 percent co-payments after that.

          Yeah.  Working great - for health insurance companies.

      •  hey Steve (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bourbonblue

        The CBO said that the PO premiums will be higher than those offered by private insurers on the exchange. What say you now?

        •  That's because (0+ / 0-)

          sick people will all want the PO.  If you, or a family member, is chronically ill then you want the plan that won't turn you down.  The last study I saw on private insurance showed they turned down 40% of claims.  I'd gladly pay a little more for a public plan knowing they would actually pay my claims when I'm sick.

    •  A valid point--if Jed had said that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      But, what you are seeing is people applying pressure where there is not consensus, as opposed to pressure where there is consensus.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:04:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Insurance companies are the problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog, MPociask

      They cannot be reformed through regulation alone; without competition from a public insurance option, they will simply find more ways to deny and delay claims.  I've experienced this first hand.

      Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

      by protothad on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:52:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Buying a used car (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, Dburn, sethyeah

    Remember when people would say they wouldn't buy a used car from Nixon?  Well I would love to buy a used car from the Senate Progressives.  What's more, I'd love to sell them a used car.  In fact, I could probably sell them back the used car I buy from them at a profit.  If I were selling them, I'd leave them on the sales floor while I go "talk to the sales manager" and they'd negotiate the price up all by themselves.  They must be the world's worst negotiators.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:36:21 AM PST

  •  If they're going to weaken it FURTHER (8+ / 0-)

    and from what I understand it's not that strong in the first place, what's the point of even putting it in the damn bill? It won't contain costs if only a very small segment of the population is eligible for it.

    Free advice: Never argue with a Right Winger, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience

    by Muzikal203 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:36:40 AM PST

    •  For me, Muzikal, the point is to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethyeah

      put in place a structure that is at least partially run by the govt.  I don't see it happening in the future if we don't do it now.  This will at least give us an insurer that isn't ruled by the "profit for shareholders" that corpses always use as an excuse to screw us.  That's why the corpses are so hysterical about it.

      i know you have been a great advocate for it, so i suspect I'm just giving moral support here.

  •  He sure does (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethyeah

    look happy at the thought of weakening the public option further.

    God, it's like they aren't even trying any more.

    Are you on the Wreck List? Horde on Garrosh.

    by Moody Loner on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:36:57 AM PST

  •  Slippytoad: (3+ / 0-)

    Thinking he'll be really bored on the first Tuesday in November, 2010, because NOBODY TO VOTE FOR.

    Keep fucking that chicken guys.  You're choking yourselves to death on bipartisanship -- and the public is watching you.

    I'm a liberal. I think OUR rights are more important than YOUR fears.

    by slippytoad on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:39:01 AM PST

  •  obama has never (8+ / 0-)

    made a strong argument for the public option.

    He's much more "popular" than the Congress.

    He has much more "credibility" with the public.

    Were he to be demanding a strong public option, we'd have one.

    How can we changechallenge who we elected to be more consistent with his campaign pledges?

    •  Since when? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JC from IA, sethyeah

      What more can he do?  He can't say he has to have it in the bill that's akin to Clinton's "This bill MUST have Universal coverage". Are you enjoying your universal coverage right now? Further that would make everyone dig in their toes more.  Including Nelson, Lincoln and Landrieu.

      As for Lieberman, he's not losing his chairmanship.  It would be INCREDIBLY awkward for him to lose it as he's going after the Obama administration for Ft. Hood.  It's not going to happen, sadly.

    •  Obama is going to pay the price (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethyeah, SycamoreRich

      if he does not get a strong public option in the final health care bill whether he want to play footies with it or not.

  •  Is health care bill worth passing? (6+ / 0-)

    Abortion restrictions that will apply to ALL health care payments.

    Increased insurance premiums.

    Forced purchase of expensive insurance.

    No Federal insurance option for all (most) Americans.

    $500B cut in Medicare/Medicaid funding.

    No requirement that ALL employers contribute to health care costs.

    What is the point of passing this expensive, health care reducing bill?

    •  Sure as shit not *this* bill. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog, sethyeah

      Which leaves me in the odd position of rooting for the Forces Of Evil to kill it.

      •  Rooting for Progressive Caucus to kill it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blutodog, sethyeah

        Democrats in general and liberals in particular are going to be saddled with a health care "reform" bill written by the GOP.  Its a costly disaster that will be the source of voter revolt in 2010 and 2012 which will put the GOP back in charge.

        The current bill HR3296 and Senate HELP fail to address any of the problems of US health care system.

        Progressive Caucus should hold a press conference and say they will be voting against the health care bills because:

        Any health care reform is judged by three factors. Cost, coverage and results. The current bill fails on all three measures.

        1. It does not lower cost of US health care system from 17% to 10% cost of European systems.
        1. It does not provide 100%, universal coverage as do European systems and never will even by its supporters own estimates.
        1. It will not improve US results from current 37th in the world to top 10 in the world similar to European systems because it will not reduce costs or provide 100% coverage.

        We propose a temporary fix to help the 40,000 Americans killed each year by lack of health care access.

        1. All children under 18 will automatically be covered by Medicaid. All Federal funding for all current children's health programs will be redirected to providing full coverage via Medicaid for every child.
        1. All Americans on unemployment will automatically b covered by Medicaid even when their unemployment runs out.  Funding for this will be by employers paying the same health care benefits for a period of one year after they lay off or terminate an employee. Funding will also be provided by raising the income cap that applies to Medicare/Medicaid payroll taxes.
        1. Everyone not covered by private insurance can sign up for Medicaid and pay a full insurance premium to cover the costs. If they are 400% or below US poverty level, the Medicaid coverage will be subsidized. This cost will be funded by raising the income cap that applies to Medicare/Medicaid payroll taxes.

        This will be a temporary measure and will expire when US unemployment rate is at 5%.

        Three easy pieces. It's all "temporary" for the duration of the Reaganomics Great Recession of 2008-10.

    •  I don't know. I don't know. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JRandomPoster, sethyeah

      I feel like crying.  

    •  You are reciting conservative themes...n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, AmericanRiverCanyon
      •  We should be flattered that AHIP (0+ / 0-)

        has its college-age paid volunteers participating.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:09:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is a fact. Bill cuts Medicare/Medicaid $500B. (0+ / 0-)

        Running away from the facts never works. You can't run far enough and the facts never go anywhere.

        The facts are:

        1. Medicare/Medicaid is seriously underfunded from similar GOP cuts.
        1. Medicare/Medicaid is seriously underfunded as states cannot meet their budget obligations to fund it.
        1. Medicare/Medicaid is seriously underfunded and primary care doctors are not accepting any new Medicare/Medicaid patients. Nursing homes will not accept Medicare/Medicaid patients.
        1. Medicare/Medicaid will be cut by $500B by both versions of current health care bill.
    •  AHIP/RNC talking points. (0+ / 0-)

      "increased insurance premiums"

      "$500B in Medicare/Medicaid funding"

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:08:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ***Groan*** Again? (2+ / 0-)

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

    by Wom Bat on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:43:55 AM PST

  •  Dissapointed, but we have to be realistic. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruascott

    We're not even close to cloture on a bill with the PO - probably 5 or 6 votes short. No one here really seems to grasp that fact.  We do not have Lieberman, Lincoln, Conrad, Landrieu, Bayh and Nelson and there is a slew of others who seems to have backtracked on the PO as of late (Fienstein, Warner,etc.)      

    Moreover, and contrary to what is being said here and elsewhere, it's patently absurd to think that a comprehensive health care bill can be pushed through reconciliation.  That just won't happen,  Also, it would be incredibly dangerous if we tried as it's likely a lot of the bad stuff would remain and most of the good stuff would get kicked to the curb.

    Right now, I see 2 choices; (x) quasi-comprehensive HCR with no PO or (y) start over in 2 years.  I'm not sure which is best from a policy standpoint and I'm not sure from a political standpoint either.  I tend to think it would be disastrous for Obama if HCR fails but it may end up being good for most Dems in Congress.  

  •  Senate progressives? Plural? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    Only Sen. Sanders belongs to the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 11:48:03 AM PST

  •  Yeah, accommodate the f'in lobbyists (4+ / 0-)

    Don't they ever get sick of looking like such whores?

    How 'bout if they accommodate some of the people who have been showing up at KO's free clinics???

  •  Should have played chess rather than checkers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, KingofSpades

    Meaning, we should have STARTED by pushing hard for a single payer system so that going to an opt-out public option would already seem like a huge compromise.

  •  The Dems want this too much (4+ / 0-)

    and they'll pay any price for it.  By being unwilling to miss passing HCR -- any HCR , the Democratic Party has lost its vision and it newfound strength.

    "... it wasn't so much the underworld you had to fear as the overworld." ~Ian Rankin

    by Andhakari on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:00:40 PM PST

  •  Another Government Program that will not work! (0+ / 0-)

    If the Democrats sabotage it enough the Republicans will win elections. Republicans will pound democratic politicians  with it's failure in the future.

    American Heart Association: Diet Soda can cause type 2 Diabetes.

    by jeffrey789 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:01:22 PM PST

  •  Where is that Change I Can Believe In???? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dan667, arcticshadow

    Warning to WH:

    After you get finished congratulating one another on all your hard work on the health care bill, when you finish patting each other on the back, long after your voices get hoarse from proclaiming the health care bill as Sweeping, Comprehensive, Historic Reform ... there will be the real fallout ...  the 2010 elections.

    And, you know what????   Your base, which you have dismissed as you continued to tack to the right, will have grown so disgusted, so disheartened, that you wont get us out to vote in 2010.

    Then, the Republicans will really run roughshod over you.  

    Obama leadership???  I havent seen it ... and I was so supportive of his campaign.  

    Obama the Candidate...  A (no one better)
    Obama the President...  D- (No guts, no visible leadership, continues to govern right of center, appears unwilling to take any position on any issue & too willing to dismiss the base for centrist support which he'll never get from the center-right crowd)  

    •  and this will be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JC from IA

      And, you know what????   Your base, which you have dismissed as you continued to tack to the right, will have grown so disgusted, so disheartened, that you wont get us out to vote in 2010.

      Then, the Republicans will really run roughshod over you

      almost Nader like in its impeccable logic !!!

      because ... really .. all we are really concerned about is exactly how we can make Obama pay for his sins ... it really doesnt matter how the common people are affected by GOP legislation ... it really didnt matter that 4000+ of our soldiers got killed in Iraq ... but we did show it to Al Gore :-)

      No Way, No How, No McCain

      by nerdngeek on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:12:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When the Democrats govern as Republicans, then no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Liberty of Meat, polar bear

        we shouldn't feel ashamed when we no longer vote and support them. It is the same basic logic that leads to horribly unprogressive legislation. The more willing you are to compromise your ideals and values, the more concessions will be expected from you. The more willing Democratic base voters, fairly progressive folk, are willing to vote for war-mongering, corporatist politicians because they present  themselves as slightly more progressive than the Republican, the more conservative, war-like, and corporate-friendly Democratic politicians will become.

        There is obviously a need for compromise. However, there should be a point for every person or group where they decide that they have certain foundational ideals or values they won't compromise away, and the modern Democratic Party doesn't seem to be at the same place I am at right now. They are far more willing to willing deal away the welfare of the average American than I am, and I nor any other progressive should be expected to just take it over and over again without saying enough.

    •  Another WATB 'progressive' bashes Obama. (0+ / 0-)

      BFD.

      •  Are you for real JC from IA? (0+ / 0-)

        I offered my own personal assessment of Obama and it is not Obama-bashing.  What, now Democrats cant express dissatisfaction without the likes of you whining?  Why not try to use your energy in a positive manner and try to get the Democrats we elected pass the major items on the Democratic party platform?  

        I worked hard to get Obama elected and I want him to succeed.  I stand by everything I said earlier.
        Its time for Obama to show visible leadership and get a strong public option passed.

        •  Are you? (0+ / 0-)

          There is a difference between electing Democrats and whining about the ones whom you've just elected.

          One of those behaviors is self-defeating, for starters.

          Which is the road the Dems have taken during my lifetime.  And, just look at what they have managed to accomplish with that strategy.

  •  Always room to accommodate 'people'. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Massman, JRandomPoster

    Just not the American 'people'. Only the corporate American 'People' (with a capital P).

    Kill the damn thing already. Put this legislation out of our misery.

  •  I will be SO happy once the Senate sends a (0+ / 0-)

    bill to conference.

    It's quite vexing to have to choose between Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman as the most despicable sellout in our midst.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:07:35 PM PST

  •  you want made people, then cave (0+ / 0-)

    All you have to do is drag it three feet over the finish line, no need to compromise now.

  •  Forget the PO (0+ / 0-)

    So we'll all focus on getting a PO whose premiums will be HIGHER than a comparable private plan on the exchange.

    Here's what the CBO says about the negotiated PO passed by the House:

    That estimate of enrollment reflects CBO's assessment that a public plan paying negotiated rates would attract a broad network of providers but would typically have premiums that are somewhat higher than the average premiums for the private plans in the exchanges.

    The rates the public plan pays to providers would, on average, probably be comparable to the rates paid by private insurers participating in the exchanges. The public plan would have lower administrative costs than those private plans but would probably engage in less management of utilization by its enrollees and attract a less healthy pool of enrollees. (The effects of that "adverse selection" on the public plan's premiums would be only partially offset by the "risk adjustment" procedures that would apply to all plans operating in the exchanges.)

    •  I tend to agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ruascott

      I've post on this below....I think a weak PO would not be viable and would become an albatross for any future hopes for single payer, as its inefficiency and perhaps ultimate bankruptcy would just feed into the "anti-government" hype of the right-wing.

      Let's pass a Bill which does a lot of good things in other areas, as the House Bill does, but let the insurance companies have their field day with the newly insured. And when the Bill comes due, then we have the conversation about how
      we can really address issues of cost.

  •  I can't stand Ed Shultz PERIOD!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA, ruascott
    So I longer watch his show or is interested in any of his over the top temper tantrums.... Find another clip from another show please..... Because Ed Shultz simply won't get any of my attention
  •  Ditch the PO..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ruascott

    Ron Wyden points out that the "current" PO under consideration in the House Bill will at most cover 6 million people. A drop in the bucket when you consider United Healthcare alone covers over 70 million. This PO will be a repository, and an expensive one, for the sickest Americans. Its small size will make it a non-player in trying to compete for lower prices, etc.

    And since there's no way that a robust PO (i.e., open to anyone) being in a final Bill, I now believe we should go one of two ways:

    1. A "robust PO trigger"...yeah, I know the objections, but it's still potentially a

    threat to the insurance companies.

    1. No PO whatsoever. Then we'll see what happens to premiums, etc.....and

    this will lay the groundwork for advocating for a single payer.

    There's nothing worse than pinning the words "Public Option" on your forehead
    and dictating your whole thought process about HCR over the existence of one,
    no matter what its size.

  •  Will someone please explain (4+ / 0-)

    Just why the Democrats are going to allow the Blue Dogs in their caucus to talk them all into slitting their own throats politically?
    Is it really all that hard to see that folks will be outraged if they pass a huge government mandate to buy insurance but have either no public option or one that is so restricted and puny that it won't make any difference anyway?
    All those who argue that  we need to pass a bill, even if it sucks, because we can fix it later has to explain to me just how the bill is going to be fixed if the Democrats suffer a bloodbath for plucking the money right out of the pockets of working class folks in order to hand it to the insurance companies.
    Since when does it make sense to stab your core voters in the back?

  •  Could someone more wonky (0+ / 0-)

    than me explain how this saves any money at all?
    The whole idea of mandates is to prevent people from signing up for the PO when they get sick. If the PO is disappearing, shouldn't the mandates be disappearing as well?

    Abolish the Homeland Scrutiny Department.

    by hoplite9 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:32:35 PM PST

  •  Over-simplified drivel. (0+ / 0-)

    McJed it is.

  •  It is truly sad... (4+ / 0-)

    ... that from day one, we've been giving away bits and pieces of what would have comprised good, solid, real health care reform.  And at each step, we've accepted this after a bit of angst.

    We started with acceptance of the fact that there was absolutely no discussion about single payer.  Public Option was the word of the day.

    Then weaker PO.

    Then less regulation.

    Then mandates.

    The compromises just continue to pile up.

    And eventually, we are going to wind up with a bill that hurts more than it helps.

    I don't care if I'm called a "purist" or whatever.  While it may be true that at times "the perfect is the enemy of the good", as my sig says, it is also true that "the inadequate is the enemy of the necessary."

    When are we going to stop giving away the farm for tiny concessions?  

    When are our leaders going to draw a line in the sand and say, this is the right thing to do?

    And when are we going to stop accepting this sequence of concessions that are whittling away everything that HCR was supposed to be to the point that it is turning into a complete fiasco in the name of "political reality and expediency"?

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:44:04 PM PST

    •  It's called passing a bill in the US Congress (0+ / 0-)

      and it has been going on for years, now.

      Did you just recently tune in?

      •  About sixty years, actually, in this case. (2+ / 0-)

        And given your reaction, I guess that you're one of those who's just accepted the status quo, and will be grateful for any shit sandwich that they feed us.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:49:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No its not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JRandomPoster

        The GOP passed bill after bill in the Bush years...and they weren't watered down.  What is happening now is the direct result of a shocking lack of party loyalty.  Democrats are threatening to join the GOP fillibuster of their President's biggest priority.

        I cannot find a paralell for this in Congressional History, can you?  Can you remember the GOP fillibustering Bush, Reagan or Nixon?

        •  Uh, so what? (0+ / 0-)

          Are you advocating going back to change the way the Senate was run in the Bush years?

          Or, are you advocating just continuing it?

          Neither is much of an option, the way I see it.

          •  You miss the point my friend (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JRandomPoster

            Party members have always been free to vote up or down on anything they want.  It is unprecedented, for Republicans or Democrats, for a party member to DENY HIS OWN PARTY AN UP OR DOWN VOTE.  Historically, My Friend, the fillibuster has been used on the opposing party.

            What difference does this make?  Well, for party activists and workers like myself who put hundreds of hours and many years of work into electing Democrats so we have a "fillibuster proof" majority, it is a cold slap in the face.

            Who said we want the Bush years?  What I'm saying is that we have enough Dems in Congress and the Senate to finally get progressive....or at least people-friendly....legislation passed.

            Mary Landrieu, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson and the other Senate Blue Dogs are taking an incredible, unprecedented, and cold corporate step in denying their own President's Agenda Centerpiece and up or down vote.

            That is my point.

            •  And, that hasn't happened yet, has it? (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't miss the point.  You just forgot to make a valid one.

            •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)

              I too spent hours and gave a lot of money that I really couldn't afford.

              Seeing how we're being sold out an inch at a time, seeing how those we supported during the election cycle are playing to the lobbies and in cohorts with the right makes my stomach knot up, to say the least.

              And you're right in so far as this level of disloyalty to the ideals of the party - and especially about the filibuster issue - is unprecedented.  And it is a horrible betrayal - a betrayal that will cost untold thousands of Americans their retirement, their health and their futures.

              The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

              by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:48:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JC from IA

              Democrats have always been more willing to filibuster their own presidents.  For example, Johnson proposed civil rights legislation that was filibustered by southern Democrats back in 1964.

              It is not necessary to attack you personally, however, just because we disagree on a factual matter.  All it really takes is a factual counterexample.  Just sayin'.

  •  Pfffffffffft.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, JRandomPoster

    ....that's the air going out of the Public Option Balloon.  What a shame that a few Blue Dogs can refute the will of 70% of the American People.

  •  Here is the line in the sand for ConservaDems (0+ / 0-)

    where blood gets spilled, and not just from the innocents suffering, as they get sucked dry by corporate for profiit medicine, its tools and apologists ("Blue dogs") and republicans.

    You gave up single payer, you allowed "opt out", you want to preserve profit making in basic health insurance...and now, you don't want to allow competition either in pharma or in health care coverage?

    OK, you are dead to me and millions of others. you were useless anyway. Now you are a downright enemy of the people.

    Yes, that statement that  MAKES YOU LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER...AND  fear for the future.

    Why should average Americans keep going bankrupt, keep dying for lack of affordable care inside the richest country on earth?

    Answer:

    Because your reelection funds depend on wealthy blood suckers, not average Americans.

    Saddam Hussein only lasted 7 months in his hidey hole. What makes you think you have any better future than he did? when you have fewer friends than he did?

    You are just as big a tool and leech as he was...except he GAVE a good medical system to the Iraquis. You won't even extend a good plan to those millions of Americans  who need it desperately. F U.

    cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

    by Pete Rock on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:18:56 PM PST

  •  Here is what happens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JRandomPoster

    there will be a great big alarum and fanfare as millions of people get "added" to the insurance rolls, along with a "tax subsidy'. nothing gets done about costs or competition. all the insurers rake in billions more...about 5% growth in revenues each year for the next 10. the budget wobbles, and as the prices escalate, the conception of revenue neutral goes away. the system responds to the increase by another increase in pricing for
    basic services...we pay more.

    We get Conservadems, centrists, and weak need dobblers come with their tail between their legs
     "but, but but we PASSED a great big health bill....it took away legal abortion, gave more drugs to everybody, gave doctors a few percentage points higher fees...why do you hate us?"

    "ecause the biggest leeches just got a hundred billion more of OUR money and you gave it to THEM."

    cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

    by Pete Rock on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 01:27:19 PM PST

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

    Is it possible the Dems still don't get it?

    If there is no public option, they will get absolutely blasted in the elections in 2010.  Only the biggest Kool-aid drinkers are going to be fooled.  The rest of us will stay home.  I predict they lose 4-6 seats in the Senate and dozens of seats in the House.

  •  The Dems. in Congress and the WH don't get it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JRandomPoster, SycamoreRich

    The Dems. really do not get it they continue to believe were all idiots and they can just sell out to the same BIG CORP. interests over and over and that they continue to get into office on the same Change mantra over and over when they don't mean any of it. Obama and the Dem. Congress so far over the course of the last two + yrs. has been for the most part an enormous disappoint. They've done little, delivered nothing on their promises. They've thrown trillions @ the wrong people and gotten nothing back for it. @ the same time what have they done for millions out of work? Nothing. All they can say is were better then the other crowd in here and that has become such a low hurdle to jump as to reduce both groups to a pathetic joke. There has to be a better way then this/ the system is broken.

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

    by Blutodog on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 02:09:20 PM PST

  •  Capitol Hill Democrats' self-immolation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JRandomPoster

    We're headed toward one of two outcomes:

    1. The Senate passes a bill even crappier than the one that won House approval. Voters aren't impressed with the Democrats. Especially younger voters who get slapped with a buy-insurance mandate and little protection from insurance company abuses.
    1. The Republicans and conservadems filibuster the bill to death. Voters aren't impressed with the Democrats. Especially progressives.

    Either way, the Democrats are looking at huge losses in next year's election, thanks to gross stupidity by those inside the Beltway. Yet again.

    "You can never guarantee victory, but you can guarantee defeat."--Hall of Fame baseball writer Leonard Koppett.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:04:47 PM PST

  •  Wait a minute... (0+ / 0-)

    We're ready to condemn EVERY progressive Dem in the Senate because of ONE thing ONE of them said in an interview?  Before anything even gets passed?  Why not wait and see what they come up with?

    Somebody has to say it:  liberals (or at least some of the ones on this site) are WAY too eager to condemn Democrats in Washington.  

    The era of "the era of big government is over" is over.

    by lungfish on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:16:24 PM PST

    •  Speaking for myself, at least: (0+ / 0-)

      I've been making my calls, writing my letters, keeping myself educated, and donating what I can to FDL and such.

      However, I keep seeing the same cycle.  Some Democrat will say, "Well, feature X is open for bipartisan debate and compromise."  Next thing is that Feature X is compromised, watered down, and rendered near ineffectual.  Rinse and repeat.

      At the same time, I see delay tactics and lack of decisive leadership (with some exceptions here and there). I see the monies flowing in by the hundreds of millions from the insurance lobbies - monies that in the end come out of the American people's pockets.  I see years upon years of abysmal failure of the insurance industry to carry through with their advertised and contractual promises; yet, our politicians seem to buy into their saying, "We'll be good now.  Really!"

      When we started this thing, a lot of folks thought that we should have at least discussed Single Payer as an option.  That chip was given away without a fight - hell, the Democrats couldn't rid distance themselves from Single Payer fast enough.  From there, collectively, it seems that we've allowed one thing after another that weakens the bill:  abortion regulation but lack of real regulation of the industry, a PO that keeps getting weaker - the list goes on.

      So - in closing, it's not that folks are fast to condemn.  It's that the same cycle of degradation of HCR keeps occurring - and what we're seeing here is symptomatic of yet another cycle starting.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 03:26:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the Reid bill DOES contain a public option (0+ / 0-)

        and the public support of single-payer simply wasn't there.  

        Yes, there are Dems to be criticized here (I will be FURIOUS at Lincoln or Landrieu if they vote with the Republicans to fillibuster), but why condemn every one of them, as many posters here have done?  Why not name names?

        E. J. Dionne said it best (as he usually does) in his recent column.  The problem isn't with every Dem in Washington, as people here so often say; it's with certain ones in certain states.  

        The era of "the era of big government is over" is over.

        by lungfish on Sat Nov 21, 2009 at 08:30:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Schultz (0+ / 0-)

    and Olbermann have been good on riding herd on public option.

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