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Paul Krugman:

Republicans, it seems, are going to run on repealing health care reform. Bad call. They are, I believe, misreading the polling.

It’s true that the health care bill is unpopular. But as many people have pointed out, a significant fraction of those who say they disapprove of the bill disapprove from the left. And more generally, answers to the question "Do you approve of the Senate bill?" are not the same as answers to the question, "Do you want to roll back what’s in the bill?"

Consider Massachusetts. As I’ve pointed out in the past, the MA health reform has low approval ratings — yet 79 percent of the state’s voters want the reform to continue.

Indeed, just 11% of voters there want to repeal MA's health reform law. And as Krugman points out, even though voters have been decidedly negative on the bills before Congress, voters have consistently said the nation would be better off with health care reform than without it.

If Republicans -- as seems overwhelmingly likely -- do end up running on a "repeal" pledge, they may be making a mistake, but it's important to remember that Democrats could make a similar mistake, for they too must decide how to position themselves relative to health care reform.

Broadly speaking, once it passes, there are three different positions one can take on health care reform:

  1. Say that health care reform once and for all solves the national health care crisis ("Mission Accomplished")
  1. Say that while health care reform is a major step on the path towards solving the national health care crisis, it doesn't finish the job and more must be done, particularly on cost containment/affordability ("Mend it")
  1. Say that repealing health care reform is essential to addressing the national health care crisis ("End it")

For Republicans, the choice is between options #2 and #3 -- "Mend it" vs. "End it."

For most Democrats, the choice is between options #1 and #2 -- "Mission Accomplished" vs. "Mend it."

Just as Republicans are erring by opting for the absolutist "End it" positioning, Democrats would err by opting for the absolutist "Mission Accomplished" positioning. Instead, they should claim credit for the good things in the health care reform bill -- insurance reforms, expansion of coverage, closing the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole," starting cost containment inside Medicare -- but own up to the fact that this bill doesn't finish the job. Health care spending is still out of control, and we aren't getting enough for it. Health care costs must come down, and they must come down significantly.

Conceding that this bill doesn't fix every problem under the sun doesn't condemn the bill, it's a simple recognition that the problems with our health care system are massive and can't be fixed in one step.

It is also important to point out that if it were not for corporate special interests and a dysfunctional Senate, this bill could have done even more. The fact that those obstacles exist does not mean the bill doesn't do good things, but it does mean that there is still work left to be done.

With the finish line in sight, declaring "Mission Accomplished" must be an awfully sweet temptation. But doing so would be an blunder of Rovian proportions. It might feel like good politics, but it wouldn't be good politics.

If Americans must choose between "Mission Accomplished" and "End it" when it comes to health care reform, the political system will have failed them once again. There's no telling which side will prevail. But if the choice is between "Mend it" and "End it," mend it will win every single time.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:14 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It would appear that these fools have (9+ / 0-)

    taken to believing their own soundbites. That will cost them.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:18:04 AM PST

    •  A bit O/T - I still think Dems shoud (6+ / 0-)

      just "talk" about "cannabis reform".

      Seriously. Just talking about it will cause Republicans to fly into spittle-flecked reefer mad tirades that will just further alienate them from Reasonable America™.

      This would not be something they can afford right now.

      I think if Dems mentioned reform enough, they could cause various republicans to actually have seizures.

      Which would be cool.

      Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
      Doc in the Twitterverse

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:33:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He said "cannabis!" Heh Heh! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx

        The drug war -- its costs and casualties, its prisons, its unintended consequences, its cartels and narcoterrorists -- is a serious concern to many people. Obama's only response so far has been a Beavis & Butthead level smirk, on more than one occasion.

    •  So where's the poll (0+ / 0-)
      Asking the folks to vote for one of the 3 options?

      "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

      by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:03:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course they'll also have to explain (11+ / 0-)

    why they couldn't have "mended" it in the first instance, with these majorities.

    That will be the tricky part.

    •  Their genius is in not explaining anything ever. (5+ / 0-)

      It has worked well for them in the past.

    •  No They Won't. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dartagnan, cybrestrike, TofG

      The media will not call them on it.

    •  It would be a good time (7+ / 0-)

      to start explaining why the Senate "rules" have become a disease that has to be expunged.

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:39:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  These majorities (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheTrucker, nickrud, thethinveil, AguyinMI

      ...includes mavericky, independent, Lieberman for Lieberman party of one Joe Lieberman sitting as as Senator #60 in the "Democratic" caucus.

      That's not hard to explain to people at all; even my conservative neighbors understand that one.

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

      by TarheelDem on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:54:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Passage empowers the anti-mending interests (0+ / 0-)

      I don't pretend to be able to predict whether the Dems will, post-passage, ever mend the bill, but.//

      1.  The bill already negotiated away any leverage we might have had to extract cost-cutting concessions from the providers, pharma, hospital companies, and insurance companies.
      1.  The rightward edge of the Dem caucus has laid down the markers that it will not go beyond, and proven that they can get everything they want, any time they want.  To use the classic formulation, we've emboldened our enemies.
      1.  Far from being a big first step in the right direction, the bill ia a huge step in the wrong direction, except with subsidies.  Best that we can get at this point?  Yes (though we'll never know what might have resulted if Obama had wanted a better bill, which he clearly didn't).  Subsidies better than no subsidies?  Yes. Addressing the looming bakruptcy of the country and the continuing assault on real wages caused by skyrocketing health care costs?  Nope.
      •  To do it _YOUR_ way would have required (0+ / 0-)

        The Nuclear Option.

        But when I look at the electoral map for the 2010 Senate I see something I think is important:

        I see six states IN PLAY with only one of the six leaning Democrat and the other 5 leaning Republican.  But the number of supposedly SAFE Democratic seats is greater than the number of SAFE Republican seats.

        If a single issue bill EXACTLY matching the Public Option that was in the House bill is brought to the floor in July of 2010 one of two things will happen:

        1.  The Republican monolith will break because 65% of the voting public want the Public Option.
        1.  There will be 63 or 64 Democratic Senators in the Senate in 2011

        Since the Public Option won't do anything until 2013 or 2014 anyway then why not use it to kick Republican ass in 2010???  Then we don't need LIEberman or Baucus anymore to do a Public Option.

        "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

        by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 12:07:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "End it" has a long way to go. (8+ / 0-)

    It will be very unpopular with people getting benefits under the new system and those who aspire to get some benefit.

    Voters don't vote to end social systems.
    Politicians cut them in order to reduce taxes on the wealthy.

    I think "End it" is something we can fight against.

    "Won't you try just a little bit harder? Couldn't you try just a little bit more?" - R. Hunter

    by mungley on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:18:36 AM PST

    •  Perhaps true, but we have to quit miscasting this (10+ / 0-)

      Jed even makes the mistake:

      Health care reform

      What has been passed and will be reconciled is most assuredly not health care reform.  It's health insurance coverage "reform" (quotes on purpose).  I think there's a huge difference.

      In the past week, I've gone from "kill this bill" to "it's a lousy start - but at least it's a start".

      Once signed, it's not time to rest on laurels.  The real work for health care reform is just starting.

      There is a fine line between bold and Dennis Kucinich.

      by Richard Cranium on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:49:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once signed, however, (D)emocrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        will be in a hurry to move on and trash the climate bill, destroy EFCA, rename some highways and post offices, and pay lip service to many other needed reforms and campaign slogans.

        "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

        by enhydra lutris on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:13:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stop projecting (0+ / 0-)

          The time for a single issue add on bill doing nothing but adding the Public Option to the law crated by the current Senate Bill is JULY.  Right in the guts of the campaign season.  65% of the voting public WANT the Public Option.  And the Republicans are on the wrong side.

          "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

          by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 12:11:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not projecting at all, it is a prediction (0+ / 0-)

            based on about 50 years worth of watching the acts and actions of US politicians, especially (D)emocrats.  Asserting that they will take time out from campaigning and unanimously unite under Reid, who will be seriously campaigning to maintain his rather tenuous hold on his seat in order to pass something that several Blue Dogs and Lieberman have already strenuously opposed is wishful thinking.

            "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

            by enhydra lutris on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:45:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  That's the thing with polling (5+ / 0-)

    how the questions are framed is pretty much everything.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:18:54 AM PST

    •  true, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We all seem mention a poll when the shoe fits. I still don't know anyone personally that has been part of a poll. I believe they are frauds, all of them!!

    •  Was a big problem during the last (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      7 or so months when polls showed dropping approval ratings for both Obama and the health care reform being debated by Congress -- the press was bleating about how the public was more conservative and was disapproving of Obama for supporting health care reform.  But I looked at the questions (my background is public health & survey research) and they were written so broadly that the disapproval included both right-wing militia types and single-payer supporters (like me).  Meaningless questions.  My disapproval of Obama was because he wasn't pushing for greater reform, not because I was against health care reform.  
      But the surveys weren't written to capture the U-shaped curve on this -- so you end up with equating the teabaggers and the left wing.  

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:11:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yet the support for the Public Option never (0+ / 0-)

        stopped.  They tried asking the questions upside down and inside out and it only made the support better or worse.  They never produced a poll in which the spread for the option was negative.  In the vast majority of the polls the support was between 55 and 70 percent.  And in some of th emore interesting polls where they asked 2 questions about the PO the results were more than 70% positive.

        So the smart political party passes the Senate Version of the bill INSTANTLY and then in July brings the separate "Public Option" bill to the floor of the House and the Senate.  The Republicans will be cooked.

        "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

        by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 12:21:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, fayea, TheTrucker, TofG, msmacgyver

    won't have the votes to repeal it, will they? And if they do, Obama can veto, and surely they won't have the votes to override a veto. I don't get the argument, at least until after 2012. Maybe that's what they're banking on.

  •  Krugman is right, I think, and the work goes on. (16+ / 0-)

    This is a step in the right direction.  For all its flaws, this is a step in the right direction.  

    Krugman is correct on the polling, and there is a reason the GOP is doing everything it can to kill this bill: because once enacted, it's fundamental provisions dealing with the preference for patients over insurnace companies sets us off in a particular -- and dare I say particularly progressive -- direction.

    And the public will not want to turn back.

    And the Republicans, already facing serious demographic problems in the coming century, will have to battle against an entrenched view that Universal Health Care is a widely accepted goal.  

    It's hard to see now, with the pissing contests between progressives on the details.  But I think this thing will cement into permanent policy a very progressive, very tangible value.  


    Change takes time. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

    by LarsThorwald on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:19:58 AM PST

    •  Yes. Hard to put the genie back in the bottle.n/t (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamar, fayea, TheTrucker, TofG, msmacgyver

      To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

      by Dar Nirron on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:31:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like people say... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, mdmslle, TofG, msmacgyver

      it's easier to lose something you never have than to lose something you have actually gained.

      See Medicare and how even conservatives whose total views are against everything Medicare stands for defended it in this healthcare debate.

      Why?  Because the program, while not perfect, is seen as an ideal that one is entitled to healthcare when you are older just the same way social security makes sure you are entitled to support once you retire.

      Once this is in law the idea will not be whether or not all Americans deserve healthcare, but how do we make it a better system.  Which is why the GOP is fighting it tooth and nail.  Because they know once it becomes a benefit in actual reality, the public will be more willing to mend the system to where it actually works than have it taken away completely.

    •  This Isn't Reform, It's Corporate Welfare (8+ / 0-)

      I remember when Kos'rs decried Corporate Welfare...

      Now, we have to SUPPORT massive corporate welfare, or we're "Firebaggers!", or "Trolls", or even worse.

      This isn't Healthcare Reform, it's Insurance Co Profits Assurance in perpetuity, and assure the DC PARTY MACHINE a corporate revenue stream for a Century.

      And it is EXACTLY what I Predicted it would be, way back in August and September:

      We'll 'Win' Something Called 'Insurance Reform!' (6+ / 3-)

               Which will be exactly what the Insurance Company lobbyists pay for it to be, and the Purity Trolls on KOS will be SINGING PRAISES AND HOSANNA's for it, telling us how great this all is, and how it's what they REALLY wanted all along, like they have with card check.

               You didn't think all those lobbyists in an administration that promised NO LOBBYISTS just sit around and do nothing, do you?

               And anyone who disagrees, or points out what was said before will be buried in a blizzard of HR's.

               Meanwhile, all those orgs that got fat, wealthy and happy begging us for money to push this thing, will be back in a few months for MORE MONEY, so they can "Help us", again.

               I've seen this script so many times now that it writes itself.

      •  You are projecting and dead wrong (0+ / 0-)

        This is legislation, not a constitutional amendment or a stone tablet.  We can't get the public option through the bought and paid for senate when the bought and paid for senate has all the other stuff in the bill to be held hostage.  But the addition of the Public Option AFTER the rest of the bill is LAW is going to be EASY.

        It is a campaign winner for the Democrats to bring a Public Option bill to the floor of both House and Senate in July of 2010.

        "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

        by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 12:28:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm hoping public pressure (0+ / 0-)

      will make sure that the provisions in the bill to protect patients are really enforced.
      And I agree, if people start seeing the benefits, they won't want it turned around.  All the more reason to make sure the benefits start arriving as early as possible.

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:13:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mending is off the table (0+ / 0-)

      Don't forget, we've now established the principle that proven cost-saving mechanisms in use in other countries cannot even be discussed, cannot even be voted upon, much less enacted.  

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

      Alas, some form of "common sense" is expressed! One only has to see how Medicare started as a weak piece of legislation that it was enhanced to a workable solution through a series of amendments over the ensuing years.

  •  The anti-American Conservatives (5+ / 0-)

    wants America to suffer, so they can proclaim Obama a failure and regain power...

    Just the facts.

    "GOP, Grandstand Oppose Pretend" (Rep. Ed Markey, November 7, 2009). Oh, and in case we forget...Blue Dogs Suck!

    by cyeko on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:21:07 AM PST

  •  They will have to strike a careful balance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, TofG, Jed Lewison

    between #1 and #2.

    You HAVE to Mend It, but at the same time you HAVE to sell the bill as a major step forward.

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:21:42 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure that much boasting is warranted (0+ / 0-)

      even Canadian politicians, with a much further forward system than the US, don't dare do too much boasting about health care.

      What problems there are even after these reforms are implemented remain problems that affect (and cost) lives. Getting too far into the "mission accomplished" camp leaves citizens feeling that the politicians haven't really heard them.

      If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

      by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:19:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could we be so blessed... (7+ / 0-)

    that the Republicans will actually try to run on "repeal it"/"end it" in 2010?  :-D

  •  It will be difficult to campaign on the successes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..because on November 2010, most of them will only exist on paper.

    The situation in Massachusetts involves people choosing not to 'end' something they can see in effect all around them.  For good or ill, it is a known quantity.

    The political situation nationally will involve framing of an argument that touches on fear of government intrusion without many obvious benefits for most of the country.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:22:15 AM PST

    •  Depends on what goes into effect in 2010 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, TofG, msmacgyver

      and what waits till later -- if some of the key proposals that directly affect consumers are in effect such as the elimination of pre-existing condition clauses (especially for older folks because I don't know anyone who can make it to 40 or 50 without some sort of condition no matter how minor) and severe rescission restrictions, it's going to be tough for the GOP to argue that allowing insurance companies to kick you off the rolls is a GOOD thing for the public.

      Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:35:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, there are no rescission restrictions. (4+ / 0-)

        The reason that insurances give for rescission is exactly the reasons that are still allowed, so that reform simply doesn't exist.

        The pre-existing conditions will certainly be a benefit to some.. but since there will be no subsidies, and those patients will be paying up to 3x more for coverage based on their risk group, there will be many folks who will not be able to take advantage of the opportunity and won't be disposed to hear how great things are.  

        We are almost ready to put Republicans in charge of bringing healthcare 'horror stories' to light on FoxNews, blaming Obama and the Democrats for the abuses of a system they will be seen as owning.


        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:52:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct me if I am wrong but I (0+ / 0-)

          understood that the 3 x higher charge for premiums applied to age groups, not preexisting condition groups.

          I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

          by fayea on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:39:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Both. (0+ / 0-)

            Different rules pre-2014 and post-2014.

            Under Section 1101 of the Senate proposal, the newly created high-risk pool would be open to people with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months.  The program would end by Jan. 1, 2014, when new health insurance exchanges are slated to be up and running.

            They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

            by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 02:16:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  my husband is on medicare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea, TofG

      that 500 donut hole closure is immediate and we'll definitely be feeling it by November 2010. He reached his limit in September this year. Fortunately he had a month or so worth of meds coming on shipment already paid for through medicare but November and December we've been relying on only filling the meds that are cheap and getting samples from the doctor (mostly b/c my husband is stubborn and feels that the govt should be covering these meds. We have the money).  I've had to practically beat him about the head to get him to fill his blood pressure and sleep medications this month and then he only would let me fill 10 days worth - $108.

      I can tell you that narrowing that gap will be felt by seniors everywhere by the fall of 2010.

      THAT and the 30 million people who will be insurance for once, despite their conditions....that's enough electorally right there.

      •  Interesting.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, mdmslle in your case, if 2010 plays out similarly to 2009, you wouldn't see any visible benefit until after the election.

        1/4th of Medicare Part D recipients actually reach the lower limit of coverage, but I have no way of knowing exactly what part of the year they would see an improvement.  It would certainly skew to the last two months, though.  Let's hope the first ten months doesn't set their mind too firmly in the Republican camp.

        Too bad the bill banned covered importation of cheaper drugs from other countries, as that improvement would have been visible from day 1 and affected 100% of Part D subscribers, instead of only a portion of them.

        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:01:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  fwiw my husband doesnt do the medicare (0+ / 0-)

          part d or any supplemental plan because with the meds he takes the extra monthly cost to a private insurer doesnt make any sense.

          its sort of confusing although medicare's website is very very well done. those one medicare can simply type in the their meds and it will show you your options so you can see if getting a supplement makes sense for your particular case.

          many pharmacies provide this service as well.

          my husband is on straight medicare.

  •  Mend it to single payer. (11+ / 0-)

    THat is our best plan. We need to get the subsidies rolling as soon as possible. Ideally covering at least 100% of the "cost" to as many people as possible. Then, we can move to our goal of single payer which would provide every American with their fundamental right to health care.

  •  one of the better entries of the day (8+ / 0-)

    i have no problem with stance #2.  i think actually this crystallizes the debates on the site these days.  i worry that the president and this congress is firmly in the #1 camp - and that is bad, bad, bad.

  •  Enormous donut hole for the working class (5+ / 0-)

    The problem is that even with the subsidies the premiums alone are unaffordable by the working class, those above the Medicaid eligibility level (about $14300 for a single person) and below about $40K, and for a family at 50K or 60K it is still a struggle.  The problem is severe given that persons in the age group 50-64 are being charged a lot more, so community rating has not been achieved. The proposed excise tax on high coverage employer benefits will kick the labor movement in the teeth and set back the clock for labor benefits about 100 years.  (I think Bismark actually gave workers health insurance in Germany in the 1800s, which shows how regressive this is).  I do not see anyone addressing this except Bob Herbert in the NY Times. Even the progressive members of Congress are repeating the "subsidies will be available" mantra, even though they are insufficient and even though it is deceptive for them to claim that these subsidies are sufficient.  I feel that even the progressives in Congress are abandoning the working class.  I don't think we can just swallow this and go along with it.  It has ceased to be a Republican vs. Democratis issue for a long time.  The excise tax was McCain's campaign idea, and we did not elect McCain.

  •  “Blunder of Rovian proportions” :-D (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, Jed Lewison, thethinveil

    It's good to remember our arch-nemesis has his own idiot moments … (see Math, The)

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

    by Jyrinx on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:26:07 AM PST

  •  If the Senate Bill taxes on the middle class are (5+ / 0-)

    in the final bill, that is all the Republicans will have to run on and they will win, in 2010, and there won't be much of a chance to mend the bill.

  •  Just look at Social Security (6+ / 0-)

    and Medicare, two liberal programs that the Republicans have been trying to kill since the ink was barely dry. Neither one was perfect in their first form; they left a lot of people uncovered, especially Social Security. But through a lot of hard work by some good people we got to the point where we are now, and while there's still a lot to be done both are better than at the start.

    The Republicans know that even a shitty bill is a loss for them, because history shows that (a) once a program is in place, it's impossible to eliminate it (anyone remember Reagan's plans to eliminate the Office of Education?), and (b) it's easier to modify a program that's in place than it is to start from Square Zero every 10-20 years.

    I fear that if we don't get SOMETHING on the table now, we've lost our last chance...because no future politician will even touch the subject if popular presidents like Clinton or Obama couldn't push it through.

    Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

    by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:27:31 AM PST

  •  I can't wait to see Republicans run (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, fayea, TofG

    repealing HCR. It will turn out just like it did when they tried to kill Big Bird and public television.

    unUnited States of America

    by plok on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:28:17 AM PST

  •  I don't feel the bill is supportable at present (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, cybrestrike

    I don't think the bill is supportable in its present form, and the usual obstructionists will block any further improvement.  So I don;t think we will get very much mending.  That is the problem.  It is like marriage.  What you see is what you get. Take it or leave it.  At this point I say leave it.

    •  Then it may be decades before we get another (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brillo, cybrestrike, TofG

      chance at reform.

      •  why? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Says who and for what concrete reason, other than the same spinelessness and fear that permeates the current incumbents?'s Progressive Community

        by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:35:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You Just Answered Your Own Question. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32, beltane, cybrestrike

          You may not like the political culture, but it's what we have.

          •  only until 2010 (0+ / 0-)

            if you don't like the culture, change it. We thought we were doing that last year, but looks like we chose the wrong champion(s).

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:39:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Speak For Yourself. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              beltane, fayea, cybrestrike, mdmslle

              Not all of us who voted for Obama were babes in the woods.  

              You'd have to more or less wipe out most of congress, replace them all with progressive senators, and do so all at once to enact the kind of change you're talking about.  Dozens of Senators, maybe a hundred or more members of the House, all of their staffs (who do much of the grunt work, most of the research, and write pretty much all of what gets passed), plus the president.  

              Even then, they'd be pretty likely to revert to the old ways of doing things.

              I'm not sure why you thought electing a president and a handful of senators (many of them far less progressive than you) would bring about the sort of change you're looking for, but you were clearly wrong.

              •  then why engage at all? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                opinionated, jobu

                If your thesis is that politicians lie, so just close your eyes and keep electing them, what's the point? If you're saying you voted for Obama but didn't expect him to actually do what he promised to do, what's the point of supporting him in the first place?

                Yes, we will have to more or less wipe out most of Congress. Replacing them with progressive senators isn't necessary; just honest ones.

                The sort of change I'm looking for is hardly pie in the sky. The health care reforms necessary to make this even a moderately positive bill are broadly popular and soundly backed policy positions. It's not ideology preventing it, it's MONEY and the culture it has spawned. When your representatives say "It must have this," or "this is crucial and necessary"--and then jettison what they said for the ostensible good of the party to "get a win," then you are not being properly represented, no matter how progressive they are.

      's Progressive Community

                by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:57:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fayea, nickrud

                  You win little victories.  And they eventually take you where you want to go.  

                  People have to have a sort of passive acceptance of the sort of change you're talking about, they have to not be terrified of the very thought of that change.  You can't get to that point without without working with them, without working within the system, without winning all the little peripheral fights that make it clear that the change you're after isn't a threat to them personally.

                  This bill does that.

            •  HA! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fayea, nickrud

              no i didnt choose the wrong anything.

              If McPalin was in the white house today we'd have bombed Iran immeidately after the elections. We'd have alrady started a war with North Korea either over the "hostages" or their firing of "test missiles".

              They'd be in the process of privatizing social security (because the givt just cant afford it anymore right now) and we'd be in the middle of a worldwide financial meltdown.

              Speak for yourself.

              There's work to be done in electing more progressive democrats.  Some districts and states may never see a progressive elected. Its a big country, dude.  If you want to pout, go ahead. But WE didnt choose the wrong anything. pfft.

        •  Democrats are unlikely to expand (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, beltane, TofG, enhydra lutris

          their majorities in the next couple of cycles imo. They had great elections back to back in 06 and 08 and, so naturally will be on defense in 2010 and 2012. If we couldnt get hcr passed with this majority, it seems unlikely to happen with smaller majorities(and of course, absolutely impossible if the Dems are in the minority in either House or Senate). The kind of reform most on this site want requires a liberal, not just Democratic majority in the House and supermajority in the Senate, which will take years to create, if it happens at all.  

      •  But this isn't reform (3+ / 0-)

        The whole point is that it accomplishes reform for everyone except the working class, for whom it is a step backwards.  What good does it do when people are forced to pay premiums & can't pay the deductibles and copays and can't pay for nutritious food anymore, and that is where we are being left.

    •  It's likely not going to be mended (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike, TofG

      right away (though we could see some small attempts at improvement), but got to think about the future. I don't want my great-nieces and any future great-nephews revisiting this whole rigamarole 30, 40, 50 years down the road when I and Jane Hamsher and many of the rest of us are long in our graves.

      Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:40:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NO ONE is saying this round of HCR (0+ / 0-)

    is going to solve the health care crisis.

    Absolutely no one is saying that.

    •  It's making the situation *worse* for workers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, mdmslle

      The problem is that if you between 14.5K and $40K in income, the problems are being made worse and not better.  They are attacking employer benefits already in place via labor union negotiations.

      •  not for everyone (0+ / 0-)

        i went and plugged in some numbers at teh kaiser thing

        i have my own insurance and I plugged in a few different incomes b/c my income fluctuates.

        below about 37,000 i was getting a subsidy with the senate bill (and I have no kids).

        the annual price was about the same.  

        above 38,000 or so I was getting no subsidy - which I am already not getting anyway.

        I would imagine a person with kids would see a subsidy where I didnt.

        I agree with you that the Unions will need to exert some strong influence though. I dont like some of the stuff in there that applies to them (or others who are making say, 50-60K or so). No help for them really.

        •  If you make 15,000 and live in a high (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          cost area, you get a subsidy, but you will still be unable to afford insurance and will be bankrupted by the fines if you don't buy it.

          "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

          by enhydra lutris on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:23:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  bankrupted? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            if youre living in a high cost area, say NYC and making 15,000 you probably qualify for medicaid. I'm not trying to be a smartass here but the penalty for not paying is different in the house and the senate. Neither exceeds 2% IIRC. Additionally, there is an exemption and hardship clause built in to both bills.

            if this is the case for you, I'm not sure you'd be forced to buy it. I'm not sure you wouldn't qualify for medicaid if you live in a place like NYC of SF and only make 15,000/year. and finally I'm not sure that even if you had to pay a penalty  (the one in the senate bill is higher but i think it starts at $95 in 2010 and goes up to $750 by 2016, i THINK) that's not going to bankrupt you.

            As I said in my comment, the bill will be good for some, neutral for some and worse for some. I am hoping we can fix up the think in conference just a bit to make it work well for more people.

            I think the people who really are getting left behind are those making 50k+. That's solidly middle class but that's not as much money as it sounds like. 75K doesnt go as far as it used to and sadly these people need subsidies although 75K sounds like a bunch of money.

            •  This isn't about me, it is about ordinary people. (0+ / 0-)

              Not all of us think only of ourselves, you know.  The subsidies and qualifications for medicaid are not locality adjusted in either bill, and especially not in the Senate bill, which is the most probable survivor.

              There are at least 47 million people in this country who are having difficulty putting food on the table on a regular basis.  Many of them will be above the medicaid threshhold and be unable to purchase insurance even with a subsidy.  Subsidies pay part, not all, of the cost.  If one is already skipping meals, one doesn't have a chunk of extra cash laying around for either medical insurance or penalties.  You may find $750 or $95 to be trivial amounts, but many do not.  For them, pretty much any additional cost means bankruptcy.  This is especially likely for the young underemployed working poor and those with debilitating chronic ailments.

              "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

              by enhydra lutris on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:55:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  BTW here's what I show for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            someone say 42 years old making 15,000 in a medium cost area - single:

            total cost $3690
            subsidy    $3068

            in a high cost area its:

            total cost $4428
            Subsidy    $3806

            This is based on the Senate bill. Either way it looks like about $50/month or around $600 a year for coverage of a middle aged woman making 15,000 a year. (BTW the house version puts me squarely in medicaid territory and says so directly).

            You can do your own calculations

            •  Glad that you have an extra $600 laying around (0+ / 0-)

              the house, but a great many do not.  Many also don't have an extra $50 laying around at the end of the month.  It isn't that those opposed to the mandates haven't done the calculations, it is that we have actually thought about what the results mean to poor people.  Make your middle aged woman a middle aged man in a high cost area paying alimony and child support (legal obligations) as well as some outstanding debt from the good old days when he was making a better living, for instance.  Actually he's probably already bankrupt, but 15,000 ain't takehome pay and it isn't after other bills, that is gross, and people earning it very, very often skip[ meals and don't have spare cash at the end of the month, or other pay period, with which to pony up insurance premiums and penalties for failure to pay them.

              BTW, ignore the house version, it ain't happening.

              "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

              by enhydra lutris on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 09:02:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  look you dont need to take a tone with me (0+ / 0-)

                or try ot tell me about who doesnt have $50 a month extra,dear.

                I know. I lived it.

                But I also STILL have medical bills on my credit report which was SHOT to shit for most of my adult life because I couldn't pay for an emergency admittance when I was 26.

                The fact is that yes, having an extra $50 bucks a month is going to be tough for lots of folks but I can alos tell you that as someone who went from ade 22 (after college when I was off my parents policy_ until I was 33 and went on my partners policy I incurred quite a bit of debt that could have been prevented if only i could have seen a doctor once a year.

                the fact is that none of the policies we're looking at are FREE. Period. The only way to effect a system like that is to o the single payer route where everyone makes a contribution with their paycheck like we have now with social security.

                Unfortunately thats off the table. So I think that $50 a month (and remember this was for a SINGLE policy - a family policy would indeed be FREE and fall under medicaid according to that estimator), is a decent amount to expect to pay. Hell Canadians are paying more than that monthly as a deduction.

                please stick with the facts. I realize that this won't help everyone. And I am not thinking only of myself. I've got plenty of options, including moving my entire business to canada where I can become a permanent resident and get health care in a sensible system. I don't have to care, but I do. I want to see as many helped as possible but I also realize that some will fall through the cracks.

                •  You realize that the insurance that one (0+ / 0-)

                  will get for $50 a month will also have deductibles and copays, very likely preventing many from using it.

                  "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

                  by enhydra lutris on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 02:10:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yup i realize it (0+ / 0-)

                    as i said, been there done that.

                    and you know what i would have gladly saved up for one doctor visit a year maybe saving $1 a week to cover it rather than have to open a bill for the ONE emergency room visit for $17,950 i opened and couldn't pay for tat ruined my credit for my entire adult life. I couldnt get a bank account. I paid big money to cash checks.  It was a downward cycle. I get it I've been there. What do you think those same people do NOW when they feel sick?

                    I'll tell you what: they ignore it.

                    True story: i;m in walmart about a month ago. lady is a greeter standing thre looking pale. She's usually warm. something told me to stap and ask what was wrong. She said her chest hurt. I immediately had her sit down, sent someone for a jar of baby aspirin in the HBA section and went and got her supervisor. The fact is that she didnt have insurance and had been ignoring this pain for several days.

                    Long story short, she's not on blood pressure meds and that day may have saved her life and kept her children from being motherless. The sad part is that her hospital visit probably cost her ell over 50K. I want her to be able to get insurance and according to that kaiser chart I sent you a link to, she would likely have qualified for medicaid in my area or at least a decent subsidy even under the more crappy senate bill.  I best today she wishes she's had an option of $50 a month - because I know that wasnt what walmart was offering.

    •  I am still trying to figure out how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grytpype, thethinveil

      even this watered-down attempt at healthcare reform is considered by the Right to be Obama's fascism marching through the door.

      I don't think my brain bends like that

      Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
      Doc in the Twitterverse

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:39:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A summer of "NO" will do more harm to the Pubs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, TofG, annieli

    than they can imagine.
    It will only help remind everyone how little they have done.

    The big issue will be jobs---and saying "NO" to everything doesn't cut it!!

  •  In a sarcastc way, I like it (5+ / 0-)

    when folks TRY THEIR BEST to see the GOP in some sort of good light.

    Republicans, it seems, are going to run on repealing health care reform. Bad call. They are, I believe, misreading the polling.

    I am not Paul Krugman (lest ye forget...) BUT...I think he misses the point on purpose by trying to be les than direct about the utter maliciousness of the GOP's perspective of "health care Reform".

    I am aware that Big Ins gives a lot of money in a "buy-partisan manner", hat dems as well as repubs get a sizable fortune from them to make health care reform suck much worse than it needs to.

    However, I feel like the GOP is very keen on keeping as much of that money flowing in as possible and this is at the root of their opposition to reforming healthcare adjusting the healthcare system so that everybody has care of one sort or another.

    Beyond that is racism, of course: the notion that money earned by white republicans would help heal sick poor and non-white people. The thought clearly makes their skin crawl.

    No, Paul - the GOP hasn't "misread the polling" - they are nasty sons-of-bitches and proud of it.

    Torture good, Healthcare bad, Marijuana evil.
    Doc in the Twitterverse

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:30:36 AM PST

    •  Totally Agree, Doc. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But subtle as it is, Krugman still has a point. They're so single mindedly malicious that they have gone all in on the most horrible, hateful position they could take, i.e. complete, seamless, bullet-proof opposition of their party in Congress to HCR in particular and anything else the Obama Administration likes, in general.

      And of course they misread the polls, and sometimes the polls (can you say Rasmussen) mislead them. To understand the gross numbers of a poll showing opposition to the Senate bill you have to ready the internals if useful ones exist at all. That's a little too much like study and research, the kind of things that make a lot of Republicans' heads hurt.

      So, if Krugman's premise is that the R's have stepped in it with this Repeal It bullshit, I gotta agree with that, too.

      "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

      by LeftOfYou on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:09:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think part of the opposition to the bill is (0+ / 0-)

    also because healthcare is a very personal issue, and when people hear about healthcare reform, they think it will mean rationing, or some radically negative change to their health insurance policy.

  •  Well, I guess it is yet to be seen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, beltane, Jampacked

    which side of the political spectrum will yell loudest to Mend It or End It.

    Me, I'm FOR Mending and AGAINST Ending.

  •  I can't see any choice other than (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, fayea, Jampacked

    Mend it.

    To say mission accomplished is to say this version is perfect. I've yet to hear anyone say that.

    To say end it is to say you hate HCR. OK for some but not Dems.

    "Don't fall or we both go" Derek Hersey

    by ban nock on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:34:28 AM PST

  •  Number 2 Number 1 is a long way off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LarsThorwald, cybrestrike, Jampacked

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:38:01 AM PST

  •  The Republican blockade is a gift (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, LeftOfYou, mdmslle, Jampacked, phantomf8

    to the Dems if they play it right. It should be pretty easy to say "Look at the great stuff we accomplished without a single Republican vote. We transformed a burdensome healthcare system into one with much better access, affordability, and choice. We wanted to go further with reforms like .................. Because of Republican kneejerk obstructionism, we didn't get everything we wanted this time around. The bill provides a platform to build an even better system and we are dedicated to overcoming the obstructionists to create the great healthcare system a great nation deserves. The finishing touches will take more time, but we will get there with the continued support of the American people."

    Or something. In a way, Lieberman becomes a Dem asset because he's not a Dem: the Dems don't really have a filibuster-proof majority. If they're competent, the Dems should be able to parlay their achievement along with the shortcomings of the current plan into a credible and powerful campaign for even bigger majorities. The effort to do so will be set back more by the idiot Left that want to tear it all down than by the GOP, which has nothing to campaign on except its own cultist lies.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:38:16 AM PST

    •  so you want Dems to lie? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike, thethinveil

      Never a good strategy...people aren't going to believe it, because it's not really true.'s Progressive Community

      by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:41:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  because people never believe lies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        if what you just said was actually true, we'd be passing a single payer bill today.

        just sayin

        death panels
        national debt
        killing grandma

        It wasnt just republicans who bought that shit

      •  What's the lie? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        This isn't an improvement? Tell that to the millions of people who will be able to have health insurance. I don't see that any lies are necessary.

        As to "lies are never a good strategy", what planet are you typing from? If lies didn't work there would be no elected Republicans and no Fox News.

        Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

        by DaveW on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:14:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention campaign on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveW, fayea

      ending the filibuster (or at least whittling away at it, even if changes only come in the long term).

      •  How about campaign finance reform?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Curtailing lobbyist influence on congresscritters would be a HUGE help and it would actually be a popular move.  Only Repubs, and, well, lobbyists would.

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:06:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand of the public (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          feeling on finance reform is that a LARGE chunk of non-blogging America sees this as a feature and not a bug. There is a lot more explaining and disappointment before folks are convinced to let go of the sacred cow of corporate persons.

          The filibuster is a limited and easily explained problem, I say we use the former to solve the latter.

  •  Democrats Promised to Mend It (0+ / 0-)

    Every time Democrats abandoned some benefit or protection of the people in HCR this year, they told the backlashing progressives we should still pass what was left, as a necessary start that would make passing the rest inevitable over the next phase. That promise was the only bone thrown progressives, and anyone paying attention to their own interest despite insurance corp interests.

    If Democrats don't keep backing that promise, they will epically fail. All they had was "trust us", and November 2010 is the first "accountability moment". But all of 2010 will need to be filled with that promise, or they won't even have the opportunity when that accountability moment comes around to exploit it. If they campaign on it and lose seats, especially in the Senate, it'll be easy for them to abandon that promise. But if they win Senate seats on it, but fail to keep that promise in that next congress, 2012 will be a nightmare for them when its accountability moment comes around.

    The Constitution is designed to track changes, but to keep them gradual and slow, punctuated on 2, 4 and 6 (or even 12 or 18) year rhythms. Time will tell, but time is now well underway.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:38:16 AM PST

  •  what evidence? (0+ / 0-)

    Where's the polling showing that most democrats are between 1 and 2, without healthy numbers of advocates for 3 such as myself? I would absolutely vote for challengers from the left who campaign on repeal of the current bill if it includes a mandate, and would sit out an election if that challenger lost. So it's awfully premature to say that repeal is a bad strategy for the GOP--or that it's not actually a winning strategy for progressive Democrats. Imagine the bizarre crossover electoral appeal of a leftist who says "I will vote to repeal?"'s Progressive Community

    by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:38:34 AM PST

    •  the mandate is necessary for ANY plan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brillo, Jampacked

      single payer included.  #3 makes sense in a way, but as an attack from the left, it has no historical precedence.  Imagine using that tactic with civil rights - yikes!  #1 is the dangerous position ... #2 is the only one that makes sense.  

      #3 means insurance discrimination is bad and small business not being able to afford to cover its employees is good.  That is hard to say.  

      •  yes, it is (0+ / 0-)

        But it is incompatible with the current plan. The current plan does even less without a mandate, likely--which is all the more reason to kill it. With the mandate you've got a giant clusterfuck; without it you've got an ineffective clusterfuck.

        #2 is only a sensible position if the original bill is not a net negative. #3 is bad, but it's the status quo and we already own it. Making things worse is not the answer.

        If the civil rights bill had given blacks rights--and then made them effective wards of the state--I'd have suggested we kill that bill, too.'s Progressive Community

        by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:52:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  using that example, i'd suggest we might (0+ / 0-)

          be more at Reconstruction than 1964.  But hey it beats slavery.

        •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I don't know about the other Black folks around here, but I'm not really that great with the comparison between being forced to buy health insurance, and slavery, imprisonment, or whatever the hell you were just suggesting.  

          And I really do love how the 'progressive' attacks on this bill are starting to mirror the Right Wing's.  Anti-tax, questioning whether it's ok to tax affluent people to help low income people, jumping up and down and pointing at the constitution while screeching about state coercion and the mandate...  

        •  not cool man (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If the civil rights bill had given blacks rights--and then made them effective wards of the state--I'd have suggested we kill that bill, too.

          just, not cool.  I agree with brillo. as one of the other black folks around here, just drop that. ok?

          btw fyi, the civil right bill came 100 years after emancipation. shit takes time.
          lots of black folks didn't see too much effectual difference between 1862 and 1867.  well, we were technically OWNED like property anymore. So there was that. Be we were doing many of the same jobs and tasks, subject to the same fear and bigotry. But I can assure you that the vast majority of black folks would NOT have reversed the proclamation regardless.

          So today, just two or three generations later, i can sit here with my college education and earn a living doing something my dad (who is 82) and granddad (who is dead) would never have been able to.

          if you want to make comparisons to the black experience in america, start at the beginning.

          •  Well Said. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Any struggle looks easy if you skip ahead to the end.  

          •  nope (0+ / 0-)

            emancipation is the opposite of this health care bill--it freed people from bondage. The health care bill puts people into bondage. My point was that if the civil rights bill put blacks into bondage, it would have been better not to pass it in that form, either.

            De facto is not the same as de juris. We all agree that insurers will still attempt to evade the law, just as former slaveholders did. That's not a justification for officially offering them up more bodies for the attempt.

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 02:03:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Another advantage to "Mend It" (0+ / 0-)

    is that it requires treating voters like rational adults.  I think, by and large, the American electorate responds positively to that kind of approach.

    In the sea, Biscayne, there prinks
    The young emerald evening star,
    Good light for drunkards, poets, widows,
    And ladies soon to be married.

    by looty on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:40:05 AM PST

  •  Jed with all due respect (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, LarsThorwald, Jampacked

    I haven't heard a single democrat anywhere (even our dumbassed elected officials) even TRYING to pretend to pretend to perpetrate

    "mission accomplished" with this bill.

    even Obama said that it would be a greta start to helping millions get insurance.

    Any democrats unfurling the Mission Accomplished sign out to be put on the next space launch to Mars.


    •  i think the President and the Senate have (0+ / 0-)

      maneuvered in their dealings with health care as an industry in a #1 sort of way.  #2 involves directly confronting the reality of market based delivery of insurance - and I am not sure the Rahm-Bama side of the Democratic Party want to stare that in the eye.

    •  What I ahve heard from Obama can be taken (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as such if you are aware that the American people need a clear message - Obama calling it a Historic Step Forward, is not exactly helping.

      The only thing Historic about it, is that he is claiming victory so boldly without actually offering that much change in the insurance company control of our Health Care.

      It is historic in that he has declared so loudly how historic it is.

      We are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform," Mr Obama said. "With today's vote, we are now incredibly close to making health insurance reform a reality in this country. Our challenge then is to finish the job."

      "We can't doom another generation of Americans to soaring costs and eroding coverage and exploding deficits [This will still be a reality after it passes -TTV]. Instead we need to do what we were sent here to do and improve the lives of the people we serve.

      "For the sake of our citizens, our economy, and our future, let's make 2010 the year we finally reform healthcare in the United States of America."
      President Barack Obama hails 'historic' healthcare reform bill vote

      - Telegraph

      (29 December 2009)

      "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

      by thethinveil on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:15:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with your framing (0+ / 0-)

    of how folks are left to approach the bill, put me down for number 2 (and passing the current bill).

  •  Would those Republicans in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, voroki

    "mend it" category please step forward?

  •  Question: medical parts of auto insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Currently auto insurance policies cover provisions for medical payments.  Will the health care bills eliminate the need to medical provisions in car insurance policies?  Would that make car insurance cheaper?

  •  Declare victory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...but not "Mission Accomplished", celebrate for a day.

    And next day pull together the agenda to mend it to use as a platform in 2010 to get another few Senators to actually be able to mend it.

    Claiming it's a historically significant bill brings guffaws.  It's a step forward. No more.

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

    by TarheelDem on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:57:51 AM PST

    •  Our government is the laughing stock of the world (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's what this bill will prove.  They can pay for health care in Iraq, but they can't provide the same for their own people.

      •  I trust you've tested this opinion globally (0+ / 0-)

        ...but I suspect you are close to right about healthcare.  

        I suspect the world really is more puzzled about how we can elected an articulate and educated president who understands policy issues and still get the same results as with a guy who couldn't read "My Pet Goat" rightside up.

        And btw, those guffaws are from my friends and neighbors--the liberal ones as well as the conservative ones.  Only the ones selling insurance defend it.

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

        by TarheelDem on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:46:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Attention: Critics of Political Triangulation (0+ / 0-)

    See treatise above.

    What a happy coincidence that the politically expedient and the right thing to do come together so nicely once we have the vehicle of a program to move forward with.  

    "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

    by LeftOfYou on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 11:58:30 AM PST

  •  Create a bill that we know needs mending already? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, thethinveil

    How dumb is it to create something that we know needs mending even before it goes into effect?  The people who wrote this bill are cowards who want to appease their lobbyist friends and want to leave   the mess they've created for someone else to fix.  In this way, they protect themselves from the threats that have obviously been made.

    This bill does nothing to contain costs, and it allows a large percentage of the cost to go to insurance profits.  

    I'm not an ideologue.  I just try to figure out what works best for the American people and for our economy.  I also don't believe that the free market works when you're dealing with something that is as essential as health care.  When I studied economics we were told that utilities had to be regulated because they were essential and the laws of supply and demand didn't apply.  The same could be said for health care, in spades.  That's why the cost has gone up so dramatically in the United States.  It's not about supply and demand. It's about charging as much as you can get.  That's how it now works and that has to change.

  •  Why are you writing like it is already over? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought we still had conference committee?

    Oh yeah! I forgot we cannot challenge Baucus and Nelson or they will pull their support.

    People don't even want to try now, then they will not ion the future.

    And that is where you can see how things are shaping up and how fast it will be mended.

    "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

    by thethinveil on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:07:56 PM PST

    •  Don't notice the huge paradox behind the curtain (0+ / 0-)

      We can't change the bill now, no matter how bad it is, because some of the 60 Senators won't vote for it if it is changed.

      We can't let the bill stay as it is, because that would be a Mission Accomplished mistake, so we will need all 60 Senators to vote for changes to the bill.

      They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

      by Wayward Son on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:11:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they will budge because, (0+ / 0-)

        blue dogs need this bill to succeed as much as the progressives, or it looks like a poison pill that the Dems are being asked to swallow for very short term political convenience of declaring victory.

        "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

        by thethinveil on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:20:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So, explain to me..Anybody...Just how and why (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you think the current legislation as it is written will be "mended" and still get the 60 votes required?  I'll bet that it will be as you see it so that there will be 60 votes: So where does that leave us?

    It leaves us with a P.O.S. Healthcare piece of legislation written for/by the insurance lobby that will cause some serious problems both short term, and in the long term.  The insurance industry is already got their game plan in place and they don't care if we know what they are planning to do because they already are marching to the bank, laughing all the way.

    Feel slightly "used", folks?

    Really care to go along with "Mission Accomplished"???

    How happy will the electorate be??

    Not very after all of the 60 yell, clap their hands, and pat each other on the back and proclaim "Mission Accomplished".

    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." ~ Albert Einstein

    by LamontCranston on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:08:52 PM PST

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, thethinveil

    For most Democrats, the choice is between options #1 and #2 -- "Mission Accomplished" vs. "Mend it."

    I submit that for most (D)emocrats, especially those in the Senate, the only choice that will be seriously considered is:  "Mission Accomplished".

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    by enhydra lutris on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:10:59 PM PST

  •  I believe there's a forth option. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, thethinveil

    Once passed, the insurance lobby will work hard to twist this legislation more and more in their favor and less and less in ours.

    They'll essentially have a foot and a hand in the door with the subsidies.

    Are they guaranteed a minimum profit percentage in this bill in order for the exchange to work? If so, they'll be begging for more and more subsidies and using every shyster accountant trick in the book to show they're losing money.

    Suddenly it's Christmas The longest holiday. When they say 'Season's Greetings, They mean just what they say It's a season, it's a marathon Retail eternity

    by Pescadero Bill on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:11:54 PM PST

  •  You left out a fourth option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, thethinveil

    "Start over."

    Mend it implies you improve the current system.

    IT needs a lot more than mending.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:12:40 PM PST

    •  First thing I thought when he presented his (0+ / 0-)


      "What is the robbing of a Bank compared to the FOUNDING of a Bank?" Bertolt Brecht

      by thethinveil on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:17:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How Do You Start Over? (0+ / 0-)

      Politically, how do you do that?  And assuming that works, how do you end up with a different outcome?

      •  You start again (0+ / 0-)

        by taking an incrementalist approach based on a solid foundation.

        One, don't allow recissions for pre-existing condition.
        Two, force them to put at least 15% of health care dollars into health care.
        Three, cut the subsidy to Med Advantage.

        In other words, keep the parts of the bill that regulate the insurance industry.

        Without a comprehensive plan that shares the burden of universal coverage, you can't have mandates or exchanges.

        The insurance company regulations would drive the costs of insurance even higher and employers would finally balk at the rises.

        Once employers and all the average workers can get behind a Medicare system for all (even if it's only optional), you then have the really big discussion:

        More taxes in exchange for more salary.

        You do this incrementally. The last thing you should do is build a comprehensive system on a faulty foundation.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 12:58:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My mom taught us never to settle for mediocrity. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She didn't want us to settle for "good enough."  This bill is worse than good enough, and that's what our government has become.  It's obvious when you look at what they've allowed to happen to our economy when they deregulated everything and didn't lift a finger to protect jobs in America.  And they even rewarded the people responsible with important jobs in Washington.  Now they're playing the same tune with health care and want us to be happy?

  •  True, throwing the baby out with the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinite, thethinveil

    bath water is not what the people want.  The people want real reform, they know reform is necessary.  They don't want a broken bill they want a fixed bill!!!  Let's fix it!!

  •  The Senate is dysfunctional. (0+ / 0-)

    It's also grossly undemocratic and is a relic of the past.  No government in the world would copy our Senate.  What it does is make it impossible to pass anything that doesn't keep the special interests happy.  It's why the Supreme Court had to handle desegregation and abortion.  It's because the U.S. Senate would never, ever allow anything so important to the American people as a nation interfere with the petty demagogues where getting elected is controlled by corporations or fanatics and ideologues.  Isn't it time to change that?  It's easy for lobbyists to control events because all they have to do is get a few senators under their control.  In the House, this is more difficult because one or two people don't make so much of a difference and all people are represented equally.  It's beyond time to improve our government and reform or get rid of the Senate.  It's really worse than useless these days, and we wouldn't really miss the vast majority of senators, especially now that some of the best are gone.  In fact, I think we could throw a few parties if we could forget about Lieberman and Nelson and Baucus.

  •  Amen For "Mend It" (0+ / 0-)

    And the mending should start in the House-Senate Conference.  I'm not saying put back in the Public Option (although I'd like that) because we all know that is a Senate bill killer, but why not at least try for an automatically tripped Public Option Trigger based on CBO cost projections (i.e., if the budgetary savings that CBO projects will happen though increased competition between private insurers, does not materialize, a PO will kick in to help produce those savings).

    The President, Senate ConservaDems. and Snowe were all in favor of the trigger concept before Reid introduced the Opt-Out PO, so I don't see why such a compromise is not possible.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Tue Dec 29, 2009 at 01:35:29 PM PST

  •  other than Dick Armey you will not find many (0+ / 0-)

    seniors in favor of doing away with Medicare  (government one payer health care)  or veterans willing to do away with the VAMC or  clinics they run  I beleive more than 1/3 of all Americans already enjoy their "government run healthcare" I do   my wife does and my ex likes the coverage my son has from CHAMPVA  another government run health care program

  •  Dems declaring "Mission Accomplished" would be a (0+ / 0-)

    TREMENDOUS blunder in all of its Bushian glory.  Fortunately, I believe the Dems will ultimately follow President Obama's lead on this and tout its accomplishments while maintaining the need to tweak it over time- something that will be MUCH easier once we have the foundation in place.  Obama, in fact, already stated during his July press conference that this one bill would NOT be the end of reform efforts but merely the beginning- a break, if you will, in the inertia that has consistently blocked ANY kind of sensible reform efforts in the past and I believe that he is right on the money.  I don't think that Repubs trying to run on its repeal is very smart and I don't think that they are going to be allowed by the teabaggers to merely argue for even their form of tweaking.  They will face tremendous pressure to simply call for and, if great maker forbid if they get any power back, work for its complete repeal.  Of course, I think that they'll have a hard time explaining to the public why the whole thing needs to go when it contains some very popular stuff let alone mustering up the votes to override a certain Presidential veto while Obama is in office.  Even if he were somehow to be defeated in 2012, they will almost certainly have an even harder time calling for its repeal since people will have already been exposed to some of the bill's benefits and less likely to support a repeal- so, they are more or less screwed any which way you look at it.

  •  As Usual, Krugman Has It Wrong.. (0+ / 0-)

    .. basing his assumptions about America on an absurdly myopic, uber-intellectual worldview that has virtually nothing in common with how this country actually works or what drives it.  There is nothing mainstream America about Massachusetts and the fact that its bluer-than-blue residents appear to have made peace with Big Brother applying the Vaseline to the thermometer while they bend over (and the ever-growing fiscal sinkhole that their little 'experiment' is becoming) most certainly does not portend the rest of us rolling over in an obligingly similar fashion.

  •  Another GOLDILOCKS Poll (0+ / 0-)

    One bowl is too hot, one bowl is too cold, and one is just right. Fox News reports that Bear porridge has a 33% approval/66% disapproval rating.

    Upon reading this, Papa Bear exclaims that porridge is just too hot, and since a 66% majority of Goldilocks disapprove of porridge conditions, it should be banned from the breakfast table until a more reliable method of cooling is devised.

  •  Mend it? (0+ / 0-)

    Congress can improve the bill they just passed by the skin of their teeth, with smaller majorities (if any) in both houses?

    Who exactly is going to buy that?

  •  Starting From Scratch (0+ / 0-)

    If you are in the "mend it" camp, then what you are really saying is that you are ready to start over and get some healthcare reform. Except that you are really starting from a place that's much worse than before with all the entitlements for healthcare insurance and drug companies.

    It shows how craven our politicians are that not a single meaningful one of them has pulled the plug on this.

    •  Starting from Stupid (0+ / 0-)

      Is what you propose.  And that ain't Liberal.  It is MOONBAT.  It is a leftea bagger mentality.

      But stick to your fundamentalism.  I just hope you can't unite enough left wing teabaggers to ruin our shot at doing something very progressive.

      "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

      by TheTrucker on Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 12:34:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  YMDV (0+ / 0-)

        It is not liberal to force people to buy insurance from private companies (and probably illegal). It is not liberal to increase healthcare costs when we need to decrease them. It is both a failure of policy and politically stupid. Why are you backing this Republican idea of healthcare changes? What possible benefit do you think it has for you?

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