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This is blog that I read today that after I allowed myself the time to seriously think about the information, makes me believe that even though HCR sucks BIG TIME, it is better than the current system in place. One thing I do believe is that the public mandate need to be dropped in conference before I could support this bill.

As long-time readers know, my daughter (Ms. Dancer) is a competitive dancer. She has competed in world, national and regional competitions. Like all kids competing at her level, she discovered early on that even if she outdanced the competition, she could still lose because the judges liked the look of the other dancer, their hair, the color of their dress, or some other detail that simply held their attention. She learned a hard lesson at a young age: being the best doesn’t guarantee the win. Worse yet, it seemed that she would miss her goal by one place. This was to be the one constant of her competitive career. (She’s on hiatus right now due to a situation with the status of her school.)

Our conversations would go the same way every time. She’d suck it up in public, put on a smile and be gracious to the winner, get in the car, burst into tears and declare, “It’s NOT FAIR!!!”, to which I would reply “You’re right. It’s not. But it’s what it is. Do you quit? Or do you go on to the next one?” Those were real options. She knew she had the right to quit at any time without any protest from me as long as she understood her own reasons for doing so, and was honest about them.

She’d cry, shake her fists, rail at the subjective judges and the next day she’d put her shoes on, go back to the studio, practice some more and we’d go on to the next competition. Over the ten years she competed, she climbed through the standings to be a top-20 dancer in a 7-state region, top-10 in California in her age group.

We both learned to let go of disappointment and work harder for the better result, building on the strengths and working out the weaknesses. So what does this have to do with my normal topics?

If you think I’m not furious with Joe Lieberman, you’d be wrong. I am. During his press conference today I wanted to slap that grin right off his face. His self-aggrandizing love-fest with himself is enough to make anyone scream, even Howard Dean, who doesn’t need much encouragement to get his own share of the spotlight.

There is nothing more maddening that feeling like you’ve put a ton of work into something only to have some arrogant jerk step on your hand and take it away in the blink of an eye. I get that. I feel that. Ms. Dancer and I both know that feeling way too well.

Here’s the thing: We’re not Charlie Brown and Joe Lieberman isn’t Lucy. This is how it’s done, like it or not, and it’s really time to step up and look at reality. I want to take some of the common themes I’m seeing around blogs, Twitter and the like and really break them down to see if they’re myths or the real deal.

Democrats have the votes to ram it through

Here’s where the reality check makes a difference. Let’s count the Senators, one by one. Nope, still only 58 and of those 58, probably 55 are a sure vote. Then there’s Bernie Sanders, and…oh HAI, it’s Joe Lieberman.

So no, we don’t have the votes, because cloture needs 60 votes, and to get to 60, we need a Republican or two or else complete and total unity inside the caucus.

Lieberman gets this. Why don’t we?

Conclusion: We don’t have the votes. Myth busted.

We’ve been sold out by [choose your name: Obama, Reid, Rahm]

Let’s see if I can put this argument together. It goes like this: If [Obama, Reid, Rahm] really wanted to, they could twist arms and MAKE THEM VOTE FOR WHAT WE WANT. They’re (choose as many as apply): a) sellouts; b) crummy leaders; c) intentionally sabotaging health care reform; or d) Republicans in disguise.


We’ve established that there aren’t 60 votes if no compromise is made.
Every day things stay at an impasse is one more day Republicans get to bring primitive foamboard charts to the floor (I’ve been waiting for the felt charts to come out with little Jesus figures on them like Sunday school…) and tell lots of lies with lots of soundbites about the reform package.
We can get 60 votes if we a) Delay until mid-January, as Ms. Snowe wishes; or b) play ball with Joe Lieberman.
Fact: It isn’t fair. What are you going to do? Quit or move on? Hold onto blame and disappointment or work with what you’ve got, take the good out, work harder to fix what you don’t like in the next round?

Myth: It’s a sellout. It’s not a sellout. It’s how this stuff works. You can argue about Lieberman’s motives, but the bottom line is that Lieberman holds the trump card, he’s played it, and we can deal with the disappointment and come back harder and stronger in the next round, or pick up our toys and go home.

Whining, by the way, is not an option. Not with my daughter, and not in my mythbusting scenarios.

If President Obama were a better leader, he’d MAKE [insert name here] give in

He’s the President of the United States, not a Mafia don. The Republicans might think he’s a big bad scary black dude, but he’s really just a smart guy with a decent head for how this stuff goes, and a doggone pragmatic streak that just drives idealists nuts.

To those who like this argument, I’d be very interested to know when the last time was that they were successful by yanking someone up and “making them do it”.

Good luck with that.

Fact: Democrats have competing priorities under this big top, and represent constituencies that include pharma, insurance companies, doctors, medical device manufacturers, and other interested parties. Some Democrats represent budget hawk districts, where they’re expected to be the keepers of fiscal purity. Corollary: Democrats aren’t Republicans. They don’t strongarm their caucus into a strict, unified message. Ask Lindsey Graham what happens when a Republican strays off message. That has never been the style of the left.

Myth: By virtue of being the President, Barack Obama can take individual members to the woodshed and twist their arms to reverse a strongly-held position.

The insurance companies win

Oh, boo hoo. That’s like Ms. Dancer crying because she was second, even though she was…SECOND. In a field of 50.

Plus, they don’t really win. Not so much at all.

To insurers, winning means getting to do what they want, how they want, at whatever price they want, to whatever customers they choose, for the highest profit margin they can squeeze.

So what do they get? Required guaranteed issue of every insured with no underwriting requirements; minimum medical loss ratio of 85% (or 90%, depending); requirement to submit rate increases in advance with full justification; requirement to post detailed information about how premium dollars are spent on the Internet; requirement to cover claims without lifetime or annual caps on benefits; requirement to adjust focus from illness to wellness by covering preventive procedures 100%; and loss of the right to arbitrarily withdraw coverage from any insured at will right when the person needs them most; and best of all, limits on the differential between younger insureds and older ones.

They also get what they’ve resisted most for a very long time: regulation. Heavy, heavy regulation.

Yeah, that sounds like a win to me. How about you?

No, the insurance companies don’t win.

We’re screwed because we don’t have a public option

I’m not going to spend a lot of real estate on this one, since I already proved the public option to be a symbolic and sacred cow that has little to do with cost control and everything to do with a promise of a future single payer system.

Are we screwed? Well…other countries have similar arrangements to this, most notably Switzerland. No one died in Switzerland this year because they didn’t have access to health care insurance. Sadly, we can’t say that here in the US.

Finally, there’s no reason the public option or single payer or Medicare expansion can’t be the “work harder to make it better” piece of our future. It is a canard to say that the public option represented reform. It didn’t. It represented part of a larger package of reforms with one single major reform at its heart: Banning exclusion for pre-existing conditions.

We can afford to wait till it can be done right

This comes from the same group who uses the “44,000 people die in the US because they don’t have access to health care argument”? How does that work exactly? We die till we don’t? It’s important, those uninsured dying people till the ideal is more important?

Moreover, I’m trying very hard here to figure out how, with 2010 midterm elections looming large, waiting means somehow snatching a bigger success from a failure. Can anyone familiar with history point to any time where a bill has made it this far, been pulled back by proponents, and lived as a stronger version of itself? I can’t. I couldn’t find one single time where that was the case.

No, we can’t afford to wait. There are too many people hanging by a thread right now.

More importantly, if this is stalled, kiss a jobs bill or a cap-and-trade bill or any other really meaningful legislation goodbye right alongside it because a stoppage on this bill makes winners of teapeople and Republicans. There’s only one message stoppage sends: THE TERRORISTS WIN.

If I were mom of the world, I’d say this: Shake your fists. Be angry. Be active. Be engaged. But don’t be fooled by myths and memes, even when they come from the so-called good guys.

Shake Your Fist, Then Get Real

In the end, we need something, I believe. There are too many people, that currently do not have access to any healthcare at all. Some people are happy with the healthcare their employer provides and never think about the day if their Employer Sponsored Healthcare program was to end. This is a reality of many people like myself that have been Unemployed for over one year and many people in my state were the Unemployment Rate is 15.2%.

I fully understand and support a Public Option. I am angry at President Obama, Congress and Senator Lieberman for killing at resources available to have a P.O. for the public. I think it sucks after all the work we done to have a Democratic Congress and President Obama elected (I volunteered and gave for the first time the little money I had to the Obama Campaign) this is the treatment we got in the end. I will have to do some REAL soul searching, at this point, before I could place a check mark or punch the paper for President Obama in 2012. I am shaking my fists to say the least.

Sadly, for me, reality is sinking in. This crap HCR bill is probably the best we can get out of the current bunch. Please feel free to chime in with your options and thanks for reading my diary.

Originally posted to IU News & Talk on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:24 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Detroit Job Search Examiner for Feel Free to read and share my articles.

    by kayla9170 on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:24:19 AM PST

  •  I Think This Is Where This Convo Breaks Down (0+ / 0-)

    There is one side who is thinking, "Public Option.  Medicare Buy-In.  Single-Payer.  The alternative?  This bill."

    The other side is thinking.  "Status quo.  The alternative?  This bill."

    I think the people in the first camp have a game plan in their heads whereby we navigate back to one of those first alternatives.

    Those of us (and I'm there) in the second camp have watched this process unfold and we're asking, "OK if we go back to square one, are we going to end up anywhere better than here?  If the answer is no, let's just do this."

    You disagree with his conclusion that Obama is a boot licker...give examples where this can be shown to be false. -- Dumbest Poster in dKos History

    by TooFolkGR on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:27:39 AM PST

  •  Dean said it right (0+ / 0-)

    Dean said it is time to kill the bill.

    You suggest to kill the mandate? In my view the mandate is necessary to require the companies to insure those with pre-existing conditions. No one has explained to me how it can be otherwise.

    We could have gotten this crappy bill months ago. Instead we have spent months debating the nature of the public option, examining the Medicare buy-in, debating opt-out. And what do we have at the end? Everything useful is stripped out of the bill. It has not an ounce of resolve in it and probably it will get worse in the coming weeks.

  •  Forcing people to buy insurance that has no cost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, mattinjersey, kayla9170

    controls is worse.

    To make a metaphor, this is like using tax dollars to pay a huge construction firm to build a ladder to the moon out materials taken from people's homes and then saying, "you can't have rockets because we have to do this in steps."

    •  The Mandate is ONE of the Main Problems with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this bill. I believe that people should have an opportunity to chose if they want to pay into the "exchange" without facing any penalty. Also, ending the mandate would IMHO stop employers from making their Employer Sponsored Health Care Plans so crappy, that they would force employees into the exchange.

    •  Mandatory Purchase of Insurance is TAX (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      under-the-table tax
      tax paid directly to the corporation
      no gv'ment in this one.

      sick tax

      Fox - Crapture from Farmageddon

      by 88kathy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:42:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pass the bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blu Gal in DE, kayla9170

    If this bill dies there will NEVER ever be talk of a public option again. Pass the bill and pressure a REAL PO or Medicare buy-in during the reconciliation process next year.

    If this fails HCR is dead for at least 20 years. And countless will suffer.

    Voted proudly for Obama in spite of all the primary flame wars! Let's move on and support him 100%!

    by GregNYC on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:30:16 AM PST

  •  About the Mandates: They are needed if you want.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blu Gal in DE

    guaranteed coverage.

    In the Bill is a provision that pre-existing conditions and rescission will no longer be allowed. That means, a person could wait till they got sick and then apply for insurance knowing that any company would be required by law to provide that coverage.

    Once the person had recovered, they could then cancel the coverage until they needed it again.

    The end result would be that Insurance companies would make up this increased risk by increasing their premiums accordingly.  Premiums would therefore jump enormously. Which would in turn create more people dropping coverage and only applying when then needed insurance, which again would result in an increase in premiums.

    Within a few short years, Health insurance would collapse and nobody would be covered.

    Mandates are designed to reduce the risk thereby driving costs down by increasing the risk pool.  With mandates you remove the opportunity for people to buy insurance only when they need it and prevent insurance companies from sifting the sick out of coverage.

    It is not perfect and needs work but mandates are required if eliminating pre-ex and rescission is going to be in the Bill.

    All evils are equal when they are extreme. - Pierre Corneille

    by LiberalCanuck on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 08:33:21 AM PST

  •  Neither scenario is acceptable period. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not willing to accept the quick fix that this bill full of mandates and loopholes. this bill will kill the middle class because there is no cost containment nor path for better access. It's a loser that will kill the Democratic Party.

    Kill this bill and do better.

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