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It's only a matter of time until all our heroes follow suit:

There’s enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill — and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That’s why progressive health policy wonks — the people who have campaigned for health reform for years — are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.

The argument about the evil of the individual mandate is,as Jon Cohn says, all wrong. It was wrong during the primaries, when Obama unfortunately used it to demagogue his rivals — helping set the stage for problems now. And it’s still wrong...

So there’s a lot of bitterness out there. But please, keep your priorities straight.

By all means denounce Obama for his failed bipartisan gestures. By all means criticize the administration. But don’t take it out on the tens of millions of Americans who will have health insurance if this bill passes, but will be out of luck — and, in some cases, dead — if it doesn’t.

Clearly, they've gotten to him.  I can just picture the dump-truck full of hundred-dollar bills that must have backed up to his ivy-covered doorstep at Princeton and covered him in that greeny goodness that has obviously already bought off the President, the vast majority (like all but one or two - so far) of the progressive wing of Democrats in the senate, Kevin Drum, Nate Silver, and many others.

Corrupt bastards all.  There's no other explanation...unless...

...unless the institution of the mandate is not, in fact the "enslavement" of the American people.  I mean, it sounds compelling and all, and certainly gives a righteous ring to the crusade, but is that what it really is?  Am I enslaved because I am no longer allowed to freeride on other peoples' insurance premiums?  Any more than I am enslaved by having to pay taxes to fund my fair share of government operations?

"But that's not going to evil private corporations!!!  It's going to the government!!!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Are you joking? Really?  My tax dollars are not going to fund private corporations, and to pay for other functions I may or may not approve of?  What world do you live in?  Oh right....

Look.  I'm pissed too.  I've been railing against this idiot negotiating strategy from the get-go.  It's all been horribly botched.  But the bill as it is is flawed, maybe deeply so.  It is the product of too much compromise and too little principle.  

But come on, people -- this bill is a Democratic Congress getting passed a $900 billion social-spending program to benefit poor, sick people.  And yes, those people are the primary beneficiaries, no matter how much you want to scream about insurance-executive salaries and shareholder profits.  You want to know what percentage of the $900 billion that will take up?  About 3%.  Lets say I'm wrong - let's say it's 10%.  That's $810 billion in government cash for poor, sick people.    You really think, from a liberal, democratic perspective, that's not worth doing.  You really think Senator Edward Kennedy, one of the greatest, most pragmatic compromisers of all time, would spit at that accomplishment the way you are?  I guess we can't know for sure.  But I really, really like my side of that bet.

And if I was right, and if he voted Aye, would he be a shill too?  How far does it go?  I guess we'll find out.

Originally posted to Turtle Bay on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 07:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ok if some ppl disagree with your talking point (4+ / 0-)

    they  have to be "corporate shills".

    Got it

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:02:09 AM PST

  •  INSURANCE LOBBY IS AGAINST THIS BILL. (8+ / 0-)

    Those motherfuckers have tricked you into joining them to defeat it.

    John Kerry is a draft dodger.  George Bush is Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  "Compassionate Conservative"

    To support this watered down bill is to FUCK The ibnsurance companies.

    If Republicans start coming out of the woodwork to support this bill, then you KNOW you have been sold out.  If the insurance companies say that it is a bill worth supporting, then you KNOW you have been sold out.  

  •  Here here! (4+ / 0-)

    All you pansies who don't approve of the Liebercare bill want poor people to die!

  •  // (rolls eyes) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, math4barack, Alec82

    "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:03:34 AM PST

  •  This is silly. (14+ / 0-)

    Krugman has a point of view.  Sometimes I agree and sometimes not.  Although I side with Dr. Dean, many good people agree with the President and Krugman is one of them.

    "Don't give up on the fight for real reform. Say no to the Senate bill, and get something real done." Howard Dean

    by TomP on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:03:53 AM PST

    •  I appreciate your civility towards the President (12+ / 0-)

      But the Taibbi wing here does not share it.  Sell-out and shill have become some of the most commonly-used words on this site in the last week, and its pretty disgusting.

      •  You do realize that troublemakers park here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheLizardKing

        and stir shit?

        Just because you see a comment here doesn't make it the general consensus of the site's members. Even if it does have a few recommends tagged onto it. Troublemakers learned long ago to get team support.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:10:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think we should all be thrilled (9+ / 0-)

      just because Krugman says so.  I do think though that if the bill was the unmitigated disaster, destined to explode the cost of health care, that is being said around here - particularly the part on the mandates - that Krugman would be speaking about it differently.  That makes me wonder what we're missing, and I'd like to hear more from Krugman about why he feels the mandates are fine.

      Now on the politics of it, Krugman carries less weight with me.  Still, I really don't think it's wrong to be pointing to an important voice that is usually on the progressive side, telling us that we may be misreading this entirely.  It's something to consider, anyway.

      (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

      by American in Kathmandu on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:07:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am very, very far from thrilled (8+ / 0-)

        And not at all "just because Krugman says so"

        My point was simply that the attitude among many on this site recently has been to demonize those who refuse to endorse killing the bill as if (or almost as if) they were going to personally enriched by its passage, and were consciously indifferent to the, yes:

        "enslavement" - that is the word being frequently used,

        to follow.

      •  The bill could easily be a political disaster (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bronte17, DFH, math4barack, Ezekial 23 20

        Which is something worth considering.  Does anyone expect the Republicans to support this legislation? No, they'll oppose it, and run against the bill in conservative and "moderate" districts, and pluck off its proponents.  It's really a fascinating political dynamic.  

        I'm not that surprised that Krugman supports the bill, but he was always opposed to the demonization of the concept of mandates.  So that's hardly surprising.  

        •  If you're worried about political disasters (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nina, max stirner

          then work to pass this bill.

          If this doesn't pass, the Obama presidency will be crippled. There will be no climate bill (oh, and don't worry, progressives will find a way to oppose the climate bill too). There will be no major progressive legislation for three years.

          Republicans will make gains in the Senate and the House next year (unless the teabaggers save us by going third party). Think that will make passing a better HCR bill easier?

          I doubt Obama will go the way of Carter. But that could happen. If it does, if we lose the presidency after just one term, you really can kiss this country goodbye for many more decades.

          This bill indeed is the most enormous social service legislation to come down since Medicare, even though it does give too much to the insurance comapnies. It really is our only chance.

          God, we are easily manipulated. The teabagger mentality isn't confined to the right.

          It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

          by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:49:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you want "no pre-existing condition" mandates (5+ / 0-)

        are required.

        If you allow people to drop in and out, they will not purchase insurance until they need it.  That would not be good.

        A mandate is required.

        •  The issue isn't a mandate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, math4barack

          The issue is a mandate without an effective means of cost control, or without something that can at least be built on in the future.  Is there one here?

          Additionally, the political cost is another consideration for the Democrats.  How will this legislation be received in districts that switched in 2006 and 2008?
           

          •  How will we be received in all districts (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            missLotus, Nina, dotster, numberzguy

            When we completely and utterly fail to pass the one piece of legislation we ran on and promised as the most important one on our agenda?

            The fact that anyone thinks that an imperfect bill will somehow be even close to as bad in election terms as an entire wasted year resulting in no bill due to our incompetence is incredible to me.

            •  That depends on the district (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fonsia, math4barack

              Which is what people seem to forget.  The incumbents have to win individual districts (and states, but the senate is relatively safe), not a nationwide election. So the political consideration does factor in.  You are going to have Republican candidates, well-financed (undoubtedly by private health insurance industry money), running against Democrats claiming that they've sold out their constituents to the private market.  It will be a faux populist campaign, but it just might work.  

              •  I think it is easier to run against incompetence (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nina

                Than anything else.  Republicans will actually be able to run on a platform that they will be better able to deliver health care reform - and those vulnerable reps will have nothing to say in response.

        •  Who Makes The Laws? (0+ / 0-)

          You don't have to ask the insurance companies permission to make a law requiring they take people with pre-existing conditions. Laws are made all the time that make things more expensive for businesses, but you don't have to pass a counter-balancing law to make up the difference. However, if you wish to find something to counterbalance the costs why not go after PhRMA et al in order to make up the difference? The Dorgan amendment for instance sounds like a good way of finding savings to make up for the added costs of those with pre-existing conditions. By the way, why don't you spell out precisely what it would cost for covering pre-existing to see if savings can be found rather than putting the burden on everyone without savings? We spend more of our GDP on healthcare than other countries, so I'd find it awfully hard to believe you couldn't find more than enough savings to cover people with pre-existing conditions while not requiring a mandate.

      •  Here's an explanation (4+ / 0-)

        from Ezra Klein that did make me take a second look at mandates.

        He says the system can't be universal coverage unless people actually are required to be in the it. In all other countries with UHC, people are required to be in the system.

        Without it you cannot keep costs down.

        Pick your favorite system. Socialized medicine in Britain. Single-payer in Canada. Multi-payer with a government floor in France. Private plans with heavy public regulation in Sweden, Germany and elsewhere. None of these plans are "voluntary." In some, there's an individual mandate forcing you to pay premiums to insurance companies. In some, there's a system of taxation forcing you to pay premiums to the government. In all of them, at least so far as I know, participation is required except in very limited and uncommon circumstances. And there's a reason for that: No universal system can work without it.

        It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

        by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:34:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not "silly" - idiotic (8+ / 0-)

      Krugman is pretty much saying what he has always said.

      We need to pass this bill.

      If this bill does not pass, Obama is crippled.  If the bill does pass, he is strengthened.  The bill, while I do not like it, is better than the status quo.

      We need to pass the bill.

  •  i have to disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dillonfence

    this is like the bank bailout. push it through and count on the corporations to not bend us over

  •  Recced for this: (12+ / 0-)

    this bill is a Democratic Congress getting passed a $900 billion social-spending program to benefit poor, sick people.  And yes, those people are the primary beneficiaries, no matter how much you want to scream about insurance-executive salaries and shareholder profits.  

    Exactly.

    I work with poor people. I teach people who come from horrible poverty. I spend my days with people who have almost nothing in common with the people posting on Daily Kos.

    They not only need this bill, they want it.

    As for your title, that's a fail.

    FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

    by indubitably on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:08:55 AM PST

    •  They need and want (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DFH, math4barack

      'a bill'.  Not this specific bill.  For some folks, yes, this bill will do wonders.  Others it will hurt, thanks to the egotism and malice of folks like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus.

      Some of us just want a better bill that won't hurt some people while it helps others.

      This bill pits part of the populace against another part of the populace.

      We can do better.

      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:41:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is our only chance. (0+ / 0-)

        The longer you take, the faster the popularity of doing anything falls. That's why Reid is now rushing it. If this drags into next year, it will fail.

        There will be no second chance, which is why Obama did this now and not three years from now.

        Go back and do reconciliation? Don't forget who will be in charge of that: the chair of the budget committee, Kent Conrad.

        Yup. Kent Conrad will be basically writing the bill. Think he's going to give you that great public option he's opposed from the start?

        If this fails, Obama is crippled and the Rethugs make big gains next year. Kossacks will get their wish: blue dogs will be defeated. Those blue dogs won't be replaced by progressives, but by Republicans (unless the teabaggers save us by going third-party).

        OTOH, if progressives really want to dump Obama the way they dumped Carter, this is the fastest way to do it.

        But he won't be replaced by a progressive.

        It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

        by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:04:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We should double the amount to cover the... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, DFH, math4barack

    uninsured through unregulated monoplistic payments to private insurance firms and really make Blue Cross, Aetna and Cigna really feel the pain.

    We're sticking it to them good!

    Give me a break. The quote that "the insurance companies are against this" is a bald faced PR lie designed to get populist support. I wonder why 3/4 of this country thinks this thing is a pile of crap. I guess they're all misinformed plebes who can't understand the wonderful nuance here.

    •  We see your real agenda (7+ / 0-)

      and it's not people who need medical coverage:

      We're sticking it to them good!

      And your last paragraph, any evidence the Insurance companies are for it? All I see from them is propaganda against it that's influenced 3/4ths of the country into fearing the bill.

      •  My real agenda.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DFH, math4barack

        is insuring poor people AND not paying through the nose for it because there is no cost containment mechanism.

        But go ahead, keep throwing all this non-existent money at the problem. Pretty soon, there won't be a middle class to keep paying the bills on this stuff.

        But let's not talk about that...that's the dirty little secret. HOW ARE YOU PAYING FOR THIS? Answer the question.

        •  Have you read the bill? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nina, dotster, Fonsia, nickrud

          Or looked a the CBO scores?  It's deficit neutral.  The money comes from Medicare waste (insurance company money) or taxes on rich people.  You are a democrat, right?

          •  Yeah, I'm a Democrat.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            math4barack

            just not one who thinks that isn't so completely oblivious to public policy as to believe this will be paid for by "taxing rich people."

            That has been the panacea for all new programs, and yet there hasn't been one ounce of tax reform necessary to get serious about closing loopholes that are so often exploited by those very people that are supposed to carry the program.

            I HATE the being a Democrat has now become synonymous with fantasy land money tricks.

            Furthermore, the current iteration of the bill has NOT been scored, so don't hand me that.

  •  Paul Krugman is a corporate Shill? Really (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYLefty

    Really. He's been pillorying them at every opportunity he has.

    Get real folks, really.

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:12:29 AM PST

  •  Krugman was always for a mandate. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bridoc10, Alec82, numberzguy

    Doesn't mean I think he's right, but he has been consistent.

    If you see mistakes in this post, it's because my editor's on vacation. Sorry.

    by TKinVT on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:13:28 AM PST

  •  AHIP against Senate Bill. (8+ / 0-)

    To support the Senate Bill is to fuck the insurance companies.  

    If they liked it, they would be for it.

    www.ahip.org/content/pressrelease.aspx?docid=28807

    •  Wendell Potter (0+ / 0-)

      ... the former CIGNA PR flack, assured KO last night that the industry likes this bill very much-- they just keep fighting it because that's what gets them everything they want.

      Furthermore: how long do you think the subsidies will last once the "deficit hawks" (one of whom happens to be our president) take out the budget balancing shears? One of the front page diarists yesterday pointed out that programs for the poor don't fare so well over the long term, compared to those which cover everyone.

      Strip out the individual mandate, & this bill is tolerable. Leave it in, the Dems are screwed for the next decade.

      "Mr. President, I served with FDR, I knew FDR, FDR was a friend of mine. Mr. President, you're no FDR."

      by DFH on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:02:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree with Krugman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turtle Bay, tommymet

    drop the mandates and pass the bill.  Work on the PO thru reconcilation the day after Obama signs this bill.

    There, I have disagreed with Dean, Obama and Krugman today.  I am more progressive then all you.

    "To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself." Thomas Jefferson

    by meatwad420 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:22:38 AM PST

  •  Well done. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, Turtle Bay, Nina, dotster, Fonsia

    Maybe it's all part of the grieving process, but I'm encouraged to see more level-headed posts on DK today.

    By definition, a compromise is one where each side is a little disappointed.  Now, I'm understand that many on our side are DEEPLY disappointed, having hoped for a robust public option or Medicare for all.  It was likely never going to happen, folks.  At least so soon.  I think we all could have seen the writing on the wall in August.  

    Let's dust ourselves off and get the ball rolling in the right direction - encourage our Senators to pass the best version of this bill that they can.

    "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Ghandi

    by Bridoc10 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:27:08 AM PST

  •  Thanks, but I'll take my (0+ / 0-)

    economic advice from the economist, and my healthcare advice from the doctor.

    (snark or no snark, I don't care.)

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:35:40 AM PST

    •  This is about economics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fonsia

      Paying for your doctor, not deciding what he does.

      I have no reason to believe Howard Dean has any expertise in the former.

      •  He did a hell of a good job economically (0+ / 0-)

        serving 6 terms as the Governor of Vermont.

        Dean served as chairman of the National Governors Association from 1994 to 1995; during his term, Vermont paid off much of its public debt and had a balanced budget 11 times, lowering income taxes twice. Dean also oversaw the expansion of the "Dr. Dynasaur" program, which ensures universal health care for children and pregnant women in the state.

        Maybe you should actually know something about him before making statements that you have no reason to believe he knows anything about economics.

        Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

        by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:34:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Freeride on other people's insurance premiums?" (0+ / 0-)

    "Am I enslaved because I am no longer allowed to freeride on other peoples' insurance premiums?"

    What do you say to young male drivers who are responsible, hard-working, careful drivers who must pay $2500 a year for auto insurance for many long years simply because some other males are irresponsible and an insurance bean counter decided to punish everyone in that sex & age group?

    Sometimes freeriding is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to be outraged, you ought to find a better issue to push those buttons.

    And 3% of $900 billion is $27 Billion dollars. 10% is $90 Billion dollars. When you consider that the appropriation for the Pentagon is $626 Billion... who in their right mind would ever decide to give away 18-20% of the Pentagon budget to healthcare CEOs?

    You don't seem to understand the concept that we can't afford to keep throwing good money after bad.

    No matter how much sugar you pile on top... it's bad for us.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:36:40 AM PST

    •  But by your logic (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Turtle Bay, Nina, dotster, Fonsia

      Doesn't the 626 billion defense budget go to private corporations and CEO's? Does the government build any of our weapons systems? The hospitals are privately run,as are the doctors except the VA system. America is capitalist. That is the ugly fact.

      But the issue here is that 90% of 800 billion dollars will be spent ont he poor and uninsured. That is what hrte diarist is saying.

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

      by zizi on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:41:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  By my logic, the Pentagon is necessary (0+ / 0-)

        Bloated, yes, but necessary.

        CEOs of the insurance racket OTOH are not necessary for the long term health of our nation.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:55:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes they are intermedairies (0+ / 0-)

          Just like distributors in teh retail chain. The hospitals and doctors rightly or wrongly have decided that they will not abandon their favorite intermediary. You'd think those at teh spear tip of healthcare delivery would be clamoring for government run healthcare so they deal with only one principal instead of several insurance companies. But no.

          Americans are hardwired to prefer private enterprise. Sadly the collapse of the finacial system was not total enough to thoroughly discredit corporate welfarism disguised as competitive capitalism. And President Obama's arguments in his earlier sales pitch that the insurance companies do not have to fear more competition did not pierce through to the public consciousness.

          Whatever his faults may have been, President Obama has been caught in the cross-hairs of an inchoate populist anger whose actual culprits have deviously managed to deflect attention from themselves and now onto him.

          This chant from teabaggers against government run socialist healthcare adn progressive chant of "kill the bill" are not morally equivalent but they both find their real targets elusive -- corporate fascism.

          "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

          by zizi on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:36:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  While Obama is caught in the crosshairs... (0+ / 0-)

            it was his decision to put Summer and Geithner in some important driver's seats to steer during this economic meltdown. Sarkozy OTOH sought counsel from Joseph Stiglitz to aid France during these troubled times.

            Your house is only as good as the tools you use to build it.

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:09:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  How did you do that math again? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nina, dotster, Fonsia

      My 10% was hypothetical, the 3% is the actual number.

      And you thing the defense budget is a paragon of fiscal restraint and avoidance of largesse to private interests?  

      Did you forget the middle word in "military-industrial complex"?

      •  I'm not advocating that bloated Pentagon budget (0+ / 0-)

        It was just a quick comparison to show just how much 10% is of our healthcare dollars.

        And, yes, our Pentagon is bloated and wasteful. But, it's a necessary component of our nation.  Healthcare CEOs and their outrageous perks OTOH are not critical to the well-being of our nation.

        $90 billion is still $90 billion... that's a helluva lot of funding to improve the health and well-being of millions of Americans instead of a handful of CEOs.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 08:53:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, it is. It's worth it though. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud

          Would I pay the bloated bastards some good hard cash in order to save the lives of thousands of Americans who would otherwise die?

          Yes. I would. Which make me a bad progressive, I think. I'm more worried about people's lives than money.

          I am not willing to trash the biggest social legislation in two generations just because it gives too much to the insurance companies. It gives far, far more to people who need it.

          (Full disclosure: I'm 59 and uninsured. Haven't had a mammogram or pap smear since 2001, and this bill would require free preventative care. So I have a dog in this fight.)

          It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

          by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:23:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not sustainable. (0+ / 0-)

            The cost containment was one of the biggest issues to our healthcare crisis.

            That aspect alone encapsulates the gamut of the other periphery sections.

            If you can't even get the foundation laid down, what the hell are you building on? It will be a straw house that blows away in the wind.

            And a Stupak amendment... II or III or lite Stupak... it's all bad.  What the hell is wrong our side to even consider it.

            Frederick Clarkson detailed in his diary Who Is Winning Re Abortion in Health Care Reform? how Stupak is  "default compromise" slipped in the backdoor with the acceptance of this idea that Stupak is "abortion neutral" policy. The anti-abortion militants smell victory in the air and said this:

            Although I've read recent calls from the abortion industry to rescind Hyde, which is reperilized every year, it will be that much more difficult here on out, since so many pro-aborts, most importantly Obama, have labeled it abortion-neutral.

            Clarkson condenses it to this comment:

            Clearly to those of us on all sides who have followed this over the years, the evolution of the Hyde Amendment from being seen as strident anti-abortionism -- to being accepted as abortion neutral public policy -- is really just astounding.  The significance of this shift merits far more discussion than it has received so far.

            mcjoan noted the reverse Overton window...

            By creating such a radical proposal, they make Hyde the default "compromise" position.

            It's something we need to keep an eye out on as well in this new proposal to have OPM administer new non-profit private plans--will they expand Hyde to all of those plans, regardless of subsidies--because they're under OPM?

            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

            by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:03:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The status quo is not sustainable. (0+ / 0-)

              I agree that the bill doesn't do enough (yet) to contain costs, especially without the public option. However, the public option was so weak by the time it (apparantly) died that it wouldn't have contained very many costs.

              Note that health care costs are rising dramatically in all states except one: Massachusetts. Health care costs are falling in Massachusetts, the only state with UHC. I say that as someone who really doesn't like Romneycare.

              As to the abortion language, I'm as pro-choice as you get. I'm gung-ho liberal all the way on that. They'll work it out.

              But even if they don't, it's not a reason to kill the biggest piece of social legislation since the 60s. $900 billion to the uninsured and underinsured, with only 3% of it going as baksheesh to the corporatocracy? That's a fantastic deal.

              It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

              by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:08:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, no doubt you'll want a link to that (0+ / 0-)

                Massachusetts claim.

                Here it is:

                And the results have been an enormous reduction in the cost of nongroup insurance in the state: The average individual premium in the state fell from $8,537 at the end of 2006 to $5,143 in mid-2009, a 40 percent reduction, while the rest of the nation was seeing a 14 percent increase.

                Link

                It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

                by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 12:12:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you not read the post from kos earlier? (0+ / 0-)

                  It's on the front page:

                  Sounds impressive! Except that it's not that simple, according to figures (PDF) from the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy.

                  The individual market in Massachusetts, for which that claim is based, grew from 40,000 to 89,000 subscribers, and yes, prices for that market have dropped 40 percent. Yet it is still twice the price of the national average. And more notably, it was only 0.8 percent of the market before reform, and 1.6 percent of the market, afterward. In other words, in a tiny sliver of the health care insurance picture in the Bay State, the situation went from the worst in the nation to merely one of the worst in the nation.

                  There is Commonwealth Care, which appears to be a publicly subsidized exchange. It has 177,000 subscribers, or 3.2 percent of the insured. Its premiums have increased between 18 and 20 percent in that time period, depending on the plan chosen (page 18 of that PDF).

                  Then there is MassHealth, which is much bigger at 804,000 subscribers, or 14.7 percent of the population. It is essentially Medicaid and SCHIP -- a government run health program. No per-insurer cost numbers are readily available.

                  Finally, there are individuals in private health insurance -- 4.416 million subscribers, or 80.5 percent of the total. I haven't been able to find 2009 data, but in 2007, the average annual health insurance premium for plans offered by employers was $12,324. In 2008, it was $13,788, or 12 percent. Chances are, increases in 2009 exceeded the two percent needed to match the national average increase of 14 percent.

                  Three percent remain uninsured.

                  So to recap, of the entire state of Massachusetts, we have full 2007-2009 premium data for about 5 percent of them. One-third of those had their premiums drop 40 percent, but still pay double the national average. The other 2/3rd had their premiums increase 20 percent. In group plans, we know that just between 2007 and 2008, premiums increased 12 percent.

                  So what's going on? You're going to love this -- the Massachusetts plan lacks cost controls.

                     

                  In Massachusetts, brokering the 2006 overhaul was such a delicate and years-long undertaking that the disparate interest groups - insurers, businesses, consumers, hospital and doctors organizations - all agreed to first tackle health coverage expansion and leave the cost question for a later date.

                     Now, the Commonwealth Fund report projects that without significant cost reforms, an annual family premium in Massachusetts will soar to $26,730 by 2020.

                  So we have one example of a state with mandates, but no cost control. And the results, thus far, aren't encouraging. Monopolies don't make a habit of passing on the savings to consumers without being forced to by 1) government regulations, or 2) real competition. We have neither in this Senate bill.

                  But it's worse than even that. Remember how only three percent of residents lack health insurance? Kaiser Family Foundation finds that having "health insurance" isn't the same (PDF) as having health care:

                   

                  [T]he affordability of health care remains a barrier to receiving care for some residents. Of the total population, 21 percent went without needed care in the previous year because of cost.

                  Part of the reason is that soaring costs (the ones that were never contained), are already forcing major cuts (PDF), according to Physicians for a National Health Program:

                   

                  In order to bring the state’s cost increases down from 15.4% to 9.4%, the plans boosted co-payments and enrollee contributions, making services even less affordable for the near-poor families enrolled in Commonwealth Care.

                  So not only does a mandate-centric health "reform" plan not control costs, but also continues to leave people it pretends to cover in the dust, too poor to afford steep co-pays and deductibles. Bravo, Senate Democrats. It's hard to see how you could screw this up any worse (though Ben Nelson will try his best with Stupak II).

                  The bottom line in Massachusetts? From the Kaiser report:

                     

                  In addition, rising health care costs continue to challenge the sustainability of the program.

                  You pass a shitty program now that further bankrupts our nation, and we won't be talking about "fixing" it in a few years, but whether it should even exist.

                  Okay, so I left off links and bolded some other things that kos didn't, but he makes the point.

                  And that Stupak business will kill the bill before our stance against it does. Nelson and Casey are on the job for that.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 01:37:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman is well intentioned - the question (0+ / 0-)

    is not about whether this bill can do good - it can, it clearly does.  The problem is that this bill gets passed, then the Democrats and Republicans in Democratic Party clothing will pat themselves on the back, go back to their Georgetown townhouses and end this.

    Obama's dire warnings (Medicare will go bankrupt!) yesterday were instructive - and unintentionally spotlighted why passing a beneficial bill with a lot of unbeneficial stench in a political environment where there is no reason to believe there will be future forward momentum is dangerous.

    Will this Democratic party keep the fight - pass this, but then advocate for candidates who want to push more progressive reform, so this CAN be improved?  Or will it fall to more DLC-ish elements who will try to push the bill towards more of a private healthcare giveaway?  

    •  Social legislation bills always improve (0+ / 0-)

      over time.

      Especially Social Security and Medicare.

      It really is true that liberals opposed Social Security because the Southern Democrats insisted that it exclude most Blacks and women, and FDR went along with it.

      There would be no Social Security today, there would be no Medicare, if the liberals had won back in 1935, even though the liberals were quite correct about the bill's shortcomings. That was the only chance for such legislation to pass (it took five years to implement and after that came World War Two).

      It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

      by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:31:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed - but is there that liberal strength in (0+ / 0-)

        the party or the country in 2009 and in the future?  The Democratic Party orthodoxy has been shifting towards the private health insurance giveaway side of this for a while - really this leadership telling the progressives they are essentially naive and incorrect in their beliefs (which the president's leadership team has done).

        I'd like to say social legislation always moves forward - but we just came off of an election where California ROLLED BACK civil rights.

        •  No, the country is not progressive (0+ / 0-)

          Which is why we have to pass this now, flawed though it is. It's why there indeed is too much giveaway to the insurance companies in this bill. That's the price we pay because there is not a progressive majority in the country.

          The only way progressives will gain is if we actually pass legislation that improves people's lives. This bill will do that, even though it could have been much better.

          Kill the bill and be sure that we will lose seats next year (unless the teabaggers come to our rescue by going third party).

          On one hand, Kossacks will be happy. The blue dogs will be the ones who will lose their seats. They won't be replaced by progressives, though.

          It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

          by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:56:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the chance for the giveaway to harm is at least (0+ / 0-)

            as high as the chance for the good to be substantial.  That is the risk with the bill - it does good, but it could do as much good without the crappy parts.  Passing a bill with the crappy parts seems counterintuitive when you can split the bill and pass the good portion of it.  

            Also that the bill, from the start is centered around keeping private healthcare going as a profit maximizing entity, has kept it from even approaching what it could have been.  

            We live in a moderate country - I have no problem with that.  However, in this issue, as with others, a progressive-ish point of view (pulling out of Afghanistan, expanded medicare, extracting flesh from the negligent financial institutions) is simply marginalized as a non-starter ... while the Pastor Ricks and Dick Cheneys of the political world still get airtime.

            •  I used to be for splitting the bill (0+ / 0-)

              and maybe it will still come to that.

              But there's a major problem. Doing reconciliation basically allows the budget committee to write the bill.

              Who's the chair of the budget committee?

              Kent Conrad.

              Also, the more time we take the more support we lose. Reid is quite right to say this will pass on Xmas eve.

              If it doesn't, for the first time I think we could lose.

              As much of a mess as it is, even though it gives too much to the insurance industry, it's still the biggest piece of social legislation since the 60s. It gives $900 billion to the uninsured in this country.

              That is huge.

              And just because it does UHC the way it's basically done in Sweden instead of in Canada, imho is not a good reason to oppose it.

              It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

              by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:26:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Public vs Private is not really the distinction (0+ / 0-)

                but profit maximizing vs not ... there are some not for profit alternatives being discussed like the OPM thing that are important.  The exchanges have value, but given the case history of this country, it is far more likely that the private system will be run to maximize profit than to make insurance affordable to everyone.

                We're not near Germany yet - and I'm not sure the Democrats even think that a desirable outcome. (Germany the Government does not insure, but private exchange is very very regulated and is tied to your salary, and is half charged to your employer)

  •  $810 billion in government cash - NOT QUITE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17

    The bill mandates is about Big Insurance finally finding a way to get paid full premiums for the poor. And it is paid for on the backs of the steadily declining middle class.

    If the bill does not lift ALL boats by lowering costs (ie Public Option), it is just a windfall give away to Big Insurance.

    You are witnessing late stage Capitalist Carcinoma. Diagnosis, terminal. Hospice recommended.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:12:06 AM PST

    •  it benefits insurance companies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fonsia

      but also benefits the people. Its an inefficient, but it will do good.

      Single payer is the best option. but if you use private insurance to insure people with gov't subsidies, it still helps the people without insurance. Not efficient. but better than nothing

      Bernie sanders has a good summary of the good and the bad here:
      http://sanders.senate.gov/...

      •  Bankrupting the middle class will not (0+ / 0-)

        help the poor in the long run. Bernie said last night he is undecided now .

        You are witnessing late stage Capitalist Carcinoma. Diagnosis, terminal. Hospice recommended.

        by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:28:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right wing argument. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud

          Saving lives costs too much.

          This bill will not bankrupt the middle class. It gives subsidies to much of the middle class (the poor already have Medicaid).

          It doesn't do enough to control costs, but it helps. Health care costs in Massachusetts are going down, not up.

          It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

          by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:35:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  pass the bill (0+ / 0-)

    the add public option and medicare buy in via reconciliation next year.

    is this impossible?

    •  They wouldn't allow PO this year (0+ / 0-)

      Why will next year be different?

      You are witnessing late stage Capitalist Carcinoma. Diagnosis, terminal. Hospice recommended.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:19:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the bill fails, next year indeed will be (0+ / 0-)

        different.

        There will be more Republicans and fewer Democrats in both the House and Senate.

        The public doesn't like it when Congress can't get stuff done. They tend to vote out incumbents.

        (As to reconciliation, don't forget who's chair of the budget committee: Kent Conrad, who's been opposed to the public option from the start.)

        It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! He's learning to walk! (better and better!)

        by Fonsia on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:39:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  51 votes for reconcilliation (0+ / 0-)

        I think Bernie should tell Reid: Public option vote next year in exchange for cloture vote.

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