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I usually spend more time here then I should debating this topic or that topic. But for almost a week I've stayed away (but reading more than ever elsewhere). The reason is simple. Like many folks here I am so upset about HCR I can't even see straight. I'm mad at the Republicans first and foremost. But a close second is Obama and the White House. Lieberman, Nelson, et al. Even the few progressive members of the House and Senate. I am just mad across the board. I got enough anger for them all and I still have some leftover.

I often mention to people when I talk about my political views it can be tough thinking what I think. I've been voting for more than two decades and not a single candidate I supported for President has ever made it to the general election. Often my second, third, even fourth choice gets the nod. But after a couple days of being pissed off, I pick myself back up and support our candidate, because well the alternative of a Republican is something I just can't bear.

But I had hopes Obama might be different. Don't get me wrong, I know he isn't a hardcore progressive. I know he isn't as liberal as myself. But on HCR (and a few other issues) I felt he'd get something done similar to what I would hope for. It appears I was wrong.

There have been countless Diaries written here about the entire process and where mistakes were made. My favorite is we seemed to start the debate with what we wanted, instead of something else far superior (like Single Payer) that would eventually, after making concessions to secure votes, get us the core basics. But I digress.

I could pick about ten different things I am pissed off about. Individual mandates. That Lieberman can seem to control the entire process. That we let him. That Dean seems to be getting attacked for stating the obvious. That progressives in the House and Senate are saying there is "much good in the bill" even though the items they have fought hard to get into the bill for the last year have all been stripped out. Heck that the Senate seems to be a "black hole" where legislation goes to die.

But in an attempt to stay focused, I want to talk about Individual Mandates.

Why are we having this HCR debate in the first place? Cause for-profit insurance companies suck. More than 40 million Americans don't, can't obtain, or afford coverage. Thousands of Americans die each year because they don't have coverage. Tens of thousands more going bankrupt. Families are paying huge percentages of their income to maintain coverage (with huge deductibles and co-pays). Small business, the backbone of our economy, are collapsing under health care expenses. Others fear leaving a job for another position cause of a family member with a preexisting condition.

That is why this debate is happening, the current system isn't working for anybody but the insurance companies and their shareholders.

Yet somehow I am supposed to believe a few little reforms here or there and individual mandates (w/ taxpayers provided aid) to push maybe 30M Americans into plans offered by these same insurance companies is something I am supposed to be happy about. The solution to the problem.

This is such a joke I don't even know where to start. Politicians, even some true progressives, that just a week or so ago were telling me how "evil" insurance companies are (the root cause of the problem they'd say) are now telling me they are part of the solution. Give me; excuse my language, a fucking break!

It defies any and all logic. And I'd say about half my anger is they think I am stupid enough to buy this line of BS.

Now here is what I think will happen. The bill will pass, with even more changes that weaken it further. In a few years tens of millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance programs with aid from taxpayers. Then the nightmare stories will start. How this insurance company and that insurance company found a loophole here or there. Raised their rates 16% a year, to where the government can't afford to keep offering aid.

Some poor single mother will be on MSNBC telling her story about how her infant son died cause the "government supported" plan she bought (by law to avoid fines) into wouldn't cover the treatment required. A small business owner will wave a letter to the cameras noting the fines he might have to pay cause he offers health care to his employees, but can't afford it for his own family. A new funding bill will have to be brought up in Congress cause the rate increases blew through all the money the White House budgeted. It will become a total nightmare.  

And guess what, since not a single Republican voted for the HCR bill it will be hung around our necks like a ten ton anvil. And we will lose election after election. Locally, state-wide, and nationally.

I've learned a lot working for 20 years in a pretty cut-throat industry. If I have to sign my name to a plan I sign my name to MY plan (or at least one I agree with). If it fails I take the fall, as I should. But I refuse to put my name to something I don't believe in 110%. We got a lot of our elected leaders about to do that, and they're (and therefore we) are going to pay the price. Mark my words!

Originally posted to webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I Shouldn't Be Surprised I Guess (7+ / 0-)

      you know "past performance" and all. But I just can't believe we have gotten to where we have gotten. It just seems wrong on so many different levels.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:01:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let Them Kill The Bill (0+ / 0-)

        Answer the Teabagger's prayers!

        ~Ruff

      •  Frank Luntz has to be foaming at the mouth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        About having his RepublicSCUM minions run against the ‘Democrat’ health plan.  I can hear the voice of the woman who always does the RepublicSCUM right now.  

        ‘And the Democrats idea is to force you to buy health insurance......

        Can you afford to buy health insurance?

        And if you don’t you’ll be prosecuted as a criminal by the IRS.

        This is Obama’s Change You Could Believe In?  

        And Democrat So&So voted for it?  

        Time to elect RepublicSCUM Joe Bendoverandtakeitintheass.’

        The focus groups are being conducted right now.  

        This is going to be a shooting fish in a barrel campaign for Luntz.  

        I think RepublicSCUMs really don’t care about giving their Insurance Corporate Overlords all these paying customers.  This is about throwing the Dems out first and then keeping the mandates.  

        This is about the worst political strategy I’ve ever seen.  

        Book it – this is how this is coming down.      

        ...someday - the armies of bitterness will all be going the same way. And they'll all walk together, and there'll be a dead terror from it. The Grapes of Wrath

        by deepsouthdoug on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:58:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  how many millions of Americans vote like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, webranding

    Vote out of fear and little else. And still they can only get about 50 percent of eligible voters to turn out. What would happen if all the peo0ple who no longer believe in the weak pretensions of a two Party state stopped voting and began passively resisting the state's dictates? We would bring this house of cards down faster than the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

    Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

    by Marcion on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:11:03 AM PST

  •  I say this diary (6+ / 0-)

    was worth at least two bucks. Good job!

  •  HCR is not even a final product yet (4+ / 0-)

    What I don't get is the scores of diaries excoriating Obama, Reid, pretty much everyone and anyone, when we don't even know what's going to be in the bill that lands on the President's desk.

    Yeah the process stinks.  Politics stinks.  It stinks that Lieberman is even still a senator, much less still has a committee chair, mich less hasn't been drummed out of the caucus yet.  It stinks that Nelson is an asshole, and so  is Bayh and Lincoln and Landrieu.  It stinks that Baucus has no spine.  It stinks that Obama caved in to these people without appaearing to put up much of a fight.

    But the inescapable reality right now is that we don't have a bill.  So going around and announcing defeat over it is premature.  

    Pony invective, pony invective, pony invective, blargh blargh blargh

    by NoVa Boy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:11:52 AM PST

    •  You'd rather we sit back (7+ / 0-)

      until a shit bill is passed and signed before we complain?

      •  That IS Exactly What Trolls Want (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, webranding, AquariansRule, HPrefugee

        Well said.

        First it was impolite to complain that Obama was hiring a backstabbing sellout as his chief-of-staff.

        Then it was bad to complain about his cabinet choices.

        Then it was bad to complain about the failure to prosecute torture authorizers.

        On and on... there is never a good time to complain about being sold out.

        ~Ruff

        •  Amen, Amen. I Fall Into That Group (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oscarsmom

          I am a glass half empty person in my person life. But for some not so smart reason a glass half full person with my political leaders.

          That is so opposite the way it should be I don't know where to start ....

          I was one of those guys saying (not that long ago), well Rahm Emanuel isn't my favorite guy, lets see what happens. I have faith in Obama.

          My somewhat blind trust and/or faith is gone. Period!

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

          by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:24:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  FYI, I never complained about any of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding, HPrefugee

          the above.

          But NOW they have crossed a line.

          Health care is THE issue.  I've sat back holding out and being "flexible, " all because I was hoping that it would all pay off by getting some sort of foot in the door for government involvement in health care.

          Now I've had it.

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:55:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, keep agitating to get a better bill. (0+ / 0-)

        But I'm reading a lot of defeatism around here.  Talk about primarying the president three years from now.  Can we at least wait until we have a bill before declaring it the worst thing ever?

        Pony invective, pony invective, pony invective, blargh blargh blargh

        by NoVa Boy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:08:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well That Is An Easy Question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, Ruff Limblog, NoVa Boy

      Agreed, we don't know what we'll get. My gut, worse then what we are hearing now. But these questions need to be asked BEFORE the bill passes (and it is being shaped), not after.

      I would also note that I mentioned I wasn't here as much as usually. I spent a ton of time reading the past week (even more then usual). Visiting blogs I normally don't visit.

      As has been noted in the progressive blog world there seems to be a split between policy wonks (Ezra Klein) and activists (Kos).

      IMHO I think it has brought out the best in us. The level and quality of the debate has dwarfed anything you can find in the "traditional" media by like a factor of 10.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:18:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We may not have a final bill, but the bill that's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, oscarsmom

      under consideration in the Senate has already dropped critical elements of an effective health care package.  What are we supposed to do? Sit on our hands, and wait.  No.  The Congressional Democrats and President Obama need to understand that passing this bill will have serious consequences for its base.  

      I for one won't give a dime to any Democrat that helps make this Senate bill become law (unless it changes dramatically for the better).  I've already called my Congressman and one of my Senators to let them know that.  I've had it.  

      I want dramatically broader coverage in this country, and I'm more than happy to pay more in taxes to achieve that end, but not at any price - not at the price exacted by private insurance companies that dictate premiums, are exempt from antitrust laws and face no competition from a publicly sponsored alternative.  No way.  I'm never going to support something like that.    

    •  You would be wrong for one simple reason... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom

      the bill that comes out the Senate must go back to the Senate untouched otherwise it just dies when it gets back to the Senate.  Have we learned nothing about how this game is played.  

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:30:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who's defeatist? (0+ / 0-)

      Putting our head in the sand now sets us up to surrender went a shitty bill does get signed.  Going nuclear now as the grassroots does aid the negotiations going on in the Senate.

      Being very critical about the bad elements of the bill now lets us consistently keep the healthcare issue alive as a campaign issue to get a mandate to fix those bad elements.  Regardless of the bill that finally gets signed.

      Sometimes it takes more that just saying at a bloggers conference with Axelrod that the base is angry.  Sometimes having the evidence of that is helpful to the process.

      Yes, we don't have a bill; that means that we can and will apply public pressure every way we can.  And venting authentic anger can be as useful in this as "keeping our powder dry".

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:35:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Have Been Trying To Figure Out How (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TarheelDem, NoVa Boy

        to write this Diary for a few months. The things I am not happy with Obama about. Now keeping in mind I still support him. But I find it stunning that we often disagree with him, his "base" and still can support him.

        I don't want to have to do it, but to write it I'd have to spend time at places like Red State. My thesis is I am not sure they ever really pushed him. Disagreed with him.

        When Bush said jump, they said "how high?"

        I find it pretty cool we can support and like a politician and still disagree with him/her. I think/hope that bodes well for a free and open society.

        "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

        by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:45:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  not every progressive idea is gone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ban nock

    but a lot are. I say pass this now and come back jan 4 with a reconciliation bill that adds a medicare buy in for the uninsured. It would be a very simple bill. Ram it though the senate. The comity of the senate has been gone since the bushies pushed through 2 rounds of tax cuts using reconciliation. What's good for the goose....

  •  Yup... (5+ / 0-)

    There have been countless Diaries written here about the entire process and where mistakes were made. My favorite is we seemed to start the debate with what we wanted, instead of something else far superior (like Single Payer) that would eventually, after making concessions to secure votes, get us the core basics. But I digress.

    Why do Dems always seem to want to start with what they consider a reasonable compromise?  As if the other side is going to say, "Oh yes, that's very reasonable.  You've saved us the trouble of even having to debate it.  We'll sign off on it right away."

    Grrrrr.

  •  You are assuming that the Democratic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, webranding

    message machine will not have a countervailing P.R. campaign highlighting citizens who were harmed by private health insurance carriers but are benefiting from the new reform legislation.

    Judging from past history of Democratic message machines, your assumption appears to be correct.

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

    by Greasy Grant on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:17:07 AM PST

  •  The post-signature narrative is key (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, webranding

    That is why it is helpful to the future for Howard Dean to take on what's wrong with the plan although it makes the White House communications staff squirm.

    The fact that the Republicans do not have their fingerprints on the bill although there are a lot of Republican amendments accepted during markup and although they shaped the Senate Finance Committee bill is not an insurmountable problem once folks know how deep in the bill the Republicans were.

    The fact is that progressives better figure out how to win the populist backlash that will come with the bill likely to be signed.  We have a track record too, and we can put up progressive candidates that can use the Republican obstruction and ConservaDem representation of the industry to win Congressional seats that the conventional wisdom says are impossible for Democrats (or progressives) to win.

    We are very clear what is coming, even if the White House is not.  We must take steps to create our position and recruit our candidates to take advantage of a seemingly hostile environment for progressives.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:26:06 AM PST

    •  I Kind Of Hope You Mean This (0+ / 0-)

      I've learned a lot working for 20 years in a pretty cut-throat industry. If I have to sign my name to a plan I sign my name to MY plan (or at least one I agree with). If it fails I take the fall, as I should. But I refuse to put my name to something I don't believe in 110%. We got a lot of our elected leaders about to do that, and they're (and therefore we) are going to pay the price. Mark my words!

      In hindsight I could have used that throughout the Diary as a point of reference, but kind of used it as a throw away conclusion. But as you said, "We are very clear what is coming, even if the White House is not." Very true.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:31:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, webranding

        We have to create an run our own plan for 2010.  And that means using the resulting bill as a wedge issue to argue for further reform.  That means fielding candidates in longshot partisan areas in which support for the public option is high and the need for healthcare is great.

        Let's let them and not us pay the price.  We work our own plan, not theirs.

        One of the problems with the netroots that I saw the first of this year is that folks were waiting for Obama to tell them what to do to "make him do it".  We were waiting to work his plan instead of ours.

        We still need to make him do it by changing the electoral landscape in 2010.  The old blue state-red state cliches are dead.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:43:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. A Quick Story (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi, TarheelDem, oscarsmom

          I live in a district that voted (in Illinois BTW) for McCain 52%. On the same ballot we had a bond issue to raise $40M for a new high school. Would raise property taxes.

          Now in 2000 we had 5,500 in my town. I bet close to 8,500 today. Farm land being turning into affordable homes, just a few minutes from downtown St. Louis (the Metro line doesn't hurt).

          The sales pitch from the school/bond supports was simple. We have the best school system, by test scores, then any county in the area. Just .2% lower then the private Catholic school that costs $12,500/year.  

          You want to sell a home, let the home buyers know their children can attend our schools. Them moving here mean more in property taxes. More in money spent in local businesses. Just a win/win.

          The bond passed with 57% of the vote!

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

          by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:55:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  the thing to keep in mind is that (0+ / 0-)

    mandates are a requirement of any universal system. Even a single payer plan has "mandates", though it's less obvious. Everyone had to pay for it. That's what spreads the risk.

    so while I agree that mandates without a public plan are unacceptable, we need to be careful about demonizing the idea of mandates, because it won't ever work without them - people would just wait until they were sick to buy into the plan.

    I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

    by decembersue on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:41:41 AM PST

  •  You didn't notice a crucial factor in your (0+ / 0-)

    scenario in your diary.

    Now, it will be that health care delivery and cost issues are in the sphere of public input as a result of the reform. That means pressure brought to bear to make the subsidies more generous and any ins abuses reigned in and regulated.

    Which we don't have now.

    I just don't understand why this simple, obvious consequence of the 'horrible' mandates can't be understood by people.

    •  That is, (0+ / 0-)

      because under the new system IT WILL BE GOVT. RESPONSIBILITY to REGULATE insurance. Which we don't have now. That is a huge, beneficial change.

      I'm not saying the mandates are fine and dandy, but they do provide a good purpose politically in policy that is beneficial.

      •  Do you think the average Joe will (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, webranding

        be more or less favorable towards more government involvement in health care, once their government is forcing them to fork out huge premiums to the insurers?  And if you think the Republicans won't be happy to use this ammunition in future elections, think again.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:59:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Government Aid" Is A Bad Phrase (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi

          where I come from. I was making huge amounts of money when the dot.com thing happened (didn't even work directly with that industry). Lost my job. I was making more money then I could spend. I (and this is me) refused to take unemployment. I felt I could work. Worked at a 7/11 type store. Had to swallow my ego. Wasn't wearing French Cuffs to work anymore at that point, they don't work so well when you are mopping a floor. It is a pride thing, maybe wrong, but it is what it is.

          Do you think a lot of people, even if they need that help (and I did BTW), are going to take it?

          "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

          by webranding on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 12:07:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you require most people to buy $10,000/yr (0+ / 0-)

            insurance policies, and then give them $10,000/yr subsidies, I'd would guess that a good proportion of them would still resent it.  Especially after the Repubs got through vilifying it as welfare.

      •  is there a provision in this bill that mandates (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, webranding

        that all insurance companies must accept everyone at the government rate & with the government's specifications for coverage & benefits? are all insurance companies forced into this plan or can they opt in?
        certainly if there was a bill before the congress that said simply, "it will be the government's responsibility to regulate insurance," there would be little argument here.

        "Michele Bachmann is like the demi glace of wingnuttia." - Chris Hayes, Countdown, 2/18/09

        by rasbobbo on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 12:11:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I could have written this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, webranding

    I share your outrage, and your fear, and your indignation at being taken for granted.  Thanks web!

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:53:45 AM PST

  •  Take action, call Senators. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:58:58 AM PST

  •  I'd switch the order (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, webranding, HPrefugee

    I'm mad at the Republicans but to be honest, I didn't expect anything different from them.  So on the "piss off" scale, they come in at #3.

    Number 2 on my list is the Congressional Blue Dogs, but then again, they were being true to form also.  

    First and foremost, I'm angry at Obama and his administration who were far too eager to accept anything, call it healthcare reform, and made no secret about it.  

    The buck stops with Obama.  He wanted any bill so he could sign it and that's what he got.  

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