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As many feared, the for-profit Murder By Spreadsheet insurance industry, is getting in some vicious last minute licks and is on a rampage against the American people.

The rate abuses (See: Wellpoint Anthem destroys families in California) are so egregious, that finally the government is stepping in.

The contemptible liar lobbyist-in-chief of AHIP, calls the public and politician outrage against this newest round of insurer price gouging, "the politics of vilification".

We're learning this morning that President Obama is stepping up with a proposal to bring the resources of the federal government to bear on insurer price gouging.  

If you haven't already registered to make your voice heard on February 24th, please do so.


Here's information on the just released White House health care plan.

And here's a link to the full proposal from the White House web site.

My own experience with insurer price gouging in New York State.

It's about time the federal government moved aggressively against insurer price gouging.

My own experience in New York State with health insurer price gouging, and the inability and incompetence of the state government to do anything is telling.

When I sought help in October from the staff of Richard Gottfried, my assembly person and the chairman of the New York State Assembly Health Committee, the response was laughable truly sad.

This weekend, with the California price gouging on the front pages of newspapers across America, I've resurrected my request to Gottfried's staff. I've requested a meeting, again, which I was unable to obtain in October (despite being a constituent, I live in his Assembly district), to ask him on the record about what, if anything, New York State is doing to investigate insurer price gouging in the individual and small group market?  Be assured, I'll let you know the response I receive to my simple request.

Returning to Health care reform.

Americans are not stupid, and it's long overdue that the political class stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes.  The politicians (especially obstructionist Democrats in the Senate--Lincoln, Landrieu, Lieberman, Nelson, et al) and any who fail to sign the Public Option letter, are condemning all of us to the cruel vissictudes of this outlaw industry.

Americans require a safe haven, a sanctuary if you will, from the corrupt and despicable for profit insurance industry. Only a Public Option gives us this. And you don't need a degree in brain surgery to recognize that mandating all Americans buy expensive junk insurance from this industry, enforced by the IRS, with no option, is unpopular. DUH??!!  

What's most tragic, is that Lieberman (who is thoroughly reviled and a Republican), was able to work his sleigh-of-hand to get the most popular provisions (Medicare buy in and public option) stripped from the Senate bill.  No wonder Americans don't like it.

Take a look at this New Newsweek Poll.

Check out this nightmare scenario as described by Newsweek, if Democrats fail to front load the legislation.  Front load is Washington speak for making provisions kick in quickly, not in 2013, as is currently contemplated.

Still, this, like most of these analyses, is looking at the long term, with scenarios that take place after the biggest, most controversial provisions in the bills have been enacted, sometime between 2013 and 2016. Who knows if this will ever come to pass? If Republicans make substantial gains in the next elections, some of those provisions could be legislated out of existence before they have a chance to take effect. The more pressing question for health-care consumers: what is reform going to do for me in the near future?

And read this in the New Republic from Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg about how Democrats can avoid a repeat of 1994. We may not agree with everything Greenberg writes, but it's a reasonable road map to 2010 electoral victory.

Wake up, Democrats. Wake the hell up.

Republicans won't make gains if Democrats show not by word, but by deed, that Democrats alone stand with the American people, and against the insurance industry.  Americans need relief and protection from insurer atrocities, now, today, this minute--not in 2013.  

Imagine if Democrats could campaign this year on a Medicare buy in for those 55 and older.  This is what Howard Dean has been saying until the poor man is blue in the face.

So here's another talking point for THE FEBRUARY 24TH, VIRTUAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

The healthcare reform legislation must be front loaded, as Howard Dean argues. That is, we cannot wait--we are dying--until 2013, for the vast majority of this legislation to take effect.

Now, do yourself a favor, please, and read this new Newsweek poll.  It is remarkable and confirms that when Americans understand the individual components of health care reform, they overwhelmingly (certainly Democrats, support reform.

A Failure to Communicate

But here's the problem, and I'm not surprised because even I am not totally conversant with what Democrats are proposing. Democrats and the Administration have failed, I repeat failed to communicate in a clear and understandable manner, how this legislation is going to improve the lives for all of us.  The individual components are immensely popular, but the overall package is a garbled and unintelligible mess.  And guess what dear friends, the Republicans have done what they do best. They have seized on the Democratic inability to clearly articulate all the benefits of health care reform, to fan the flames of fear and "a government takeover".

So because the Democrats deserve an F as in Fail, because they have been unable to frame the debate and explain the Goddamn kitchen table issues to beleaguered voters,the Kaiser Foundation has picked up the slack, with a Guide to health Care Reform.  But the kaiser Foundation is not the President of the United States.

I have no doubt President Obama will knock it out of the park on Thursday. We must knock it out of the park on Wednesday so he will have a wind at his back going into this historic event.

All we ask, is that you take an action.

And if you want to help us continue this fight:

Donate To FixItAndPassIt!

The funds donated to the Progressive Congress Action Fund, a 501(C)4 not for profit,  will be used  to advocate on behalf of the progressive agenda, to advance progressive
legislation, and may include payments to individuals engaged in fund raising.

Originally posted to nyceve on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:17 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (198+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, GainesT1958, Lupin, JekyllnHyde, Sylv, DeminNewJ, Alma, decisivemoment, slinkerwink, miasmo, maynard, Coldblue Steele, wu ming, mslat27, givmeliberty, Doctor Who, timmyc, bara, TheMomCat, conchita, annrose, dvogel001, ScantronPresident, CoolOnion, bluesteel, Xapulin, chimpy, Larry Bailey, equinespecter, egarratt, sidnora, wader, psnyder, American Zapatista, DeadB0y, potatohead, AbsurdEyes, NHandler, Pohjola, DelicateMonster, Gowrie Gal, Jersey Joe, Julie Gulden, rapala, radarlady, JanetT in MD, SherwoodB, Lying eyes, PBen, sap, Flint, willibro, ChemBob, Brooke In Seattle, Pam from Calif, geonerd, deepsouthdoug, Cory Bantic, xaxnar, Jim P, Nightprowlkitty, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, jsamuel, Clytemnestra, edwardssl, Fighting Bill, Themistoclea, Ky DEM, Don Briggs, Gorette, cookseytalbott, dewey of the desert, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, triv33, TalkieToaster, gooderservice, Libby Shaw, Terminus, bleeding heart, Preston S, doinaheckuvanutjob, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, shaharazade, poxonyou, Picot verde, blueintheface, AllanTBG, sea note, markthshark, Aaa T Tudeattack, pale cold, One Pissed Off Liberal, Loudoun County Dem, california keefer, possum, Debs2, ColoTim, BruceMcF, Outrider, Wino, edsbrooklyn, Thunder Dreamer, Matt Z, ezdidit, Steve In DC, Unbozo, aliasalias, Seneca Doane, HCKAD, mudslide, SeaTurtle, millwood, jhop7, pioneer111, LWelsch, ImpeachKingBushII, BasharH, Terra Mystica, roycej, TomP, gregsullmich, VA Breeze, acliff, W T F, MKinTN, zerone, elwior, monkeybrainpolitics, pamelabrown, o the umanity, wyldraven, BYw, allie123, priceman, StrangeAnimals, Mayfly, ZhenRen, forgore, cameoanne, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, cybrestrike, J M F, Rick Aucoin, litoralis, output, Michael James, Ohiodem1, h bridges, ToKnowWhy, desnyder, ArthurPoet, fernan47, angel d, bronxcharlie, veracityus, estreya, 888, Lady Libertine, felkakarp, cocinero, alamacTHC, science nerd, no way lack of brain, I love OCD, Wolf Of Aquarius, BlueHead, Situational Lefty, Billdbq, thomask, CaseStreet, RadicalRoadRat, tardis10, Dixie Liberal, MRA NY, createpeace, Vtdblue, dmw97, corvaire, kareylou, Book of Hearts, Sunspots, KingofSpades, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Proleft, PrometheusUnbound, SycamoreRich, Lambunao, Patric Juillet, James Robinson, wolfie1818, pistolSO, We Won, Nancy Miller, drgonzoo
  •  Yes, yes, yes nyceve. (18+ / 0-)

    Front Load the hell out of it and most folks won't care about the repubs and teabaggers shouting "government takeover" ad infinitum

    We have to do our part by participating in the 1 mil. Virtual March.  Tipped and recced.  Let's get er done!

  •  Obama's plan (14+ / 0-)

    No public option.

    President Obama's plan does not include a government-run public health insurance option, an idea strongly backed by liberal Democrats but fiercely opposed by both Republicans and key Democratic moderates.

    Score another win for the Repubs and blue dogs.

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:26:51 AM PST

    •  No, but he's pushing up or do vote (20+ / 0-)

      which means public option could still happen. We had 4 signatures on Tuesday, another 7 on Wednesday, another 7 on Thursday, another one on Friday, and another one on Saturday. Now up to 20 -- let's get more signed on to the Bennet letter today!

      Daniel Akaka HI (202) 224-6361

      Max Baucus MT (202) 224-2651

      Evan Bayh IN (202) 224-5623

      Mark Begich AK (202) 224-3004

      Michael Bennet CO (202) 224-5852 initiated the letter!

      Jeff Bingaman NM (202) 224-5521

      Barbara Boxer CA (202) 224-3553 signed the letter

      Sherrod Brown OH (202) 224-2315 co-signed the letter!

      Roland Burris IL (202) 224-2854 signed the letter

      Robert Byrd WV (202) 224-3954

      Maria Cantwell WA (202) 224-3441

      Ben Cardin MD (202) 224-4524

      Thomas Carper  DE (202) 224-2441

      Robert P. Casey, Jr. PA (202) 224-6324

      Kent Conrad ND (202) 224-2043

      Christopher Dodd CT (202) 224-2823

      Byron Dorgan ND (202) 224-2551

      Richard Durbin IL (202) 224-2152

      Russell Feingold WI (202) 224-5323

      Dianne Feinstein CA (202) 224-3841 signed the letter

      Al Franken MN (202) 224-5641 signed the letter

      Kirsten Gillibrand NY (202) 224-4451 co-signed the letter!

      Kay Hagan NC (202) 224-6432

      Tom Harkin IA (202) 224-3254

      Daniel Inouye HI (202) 224-3934

      Tim Johnson SD (202) 224-5842

      Ted Kaufman DE (202) 224-5042

      John Kerry MA (202) 224-2742 signed the letter

      Herb Kohl WI (202) 224-5653

      Amy Klobuchar MN (202) 224-3244

      Mary Landrieu LA (202) 224-5824

      Frank Lautenberg NJ (202) 224-3224 signed the letter from his hospital bed!

      Patrick Leahy VT (202) 224-4242 signed the letter

      Carl Levin MI (202) 224-6221

      Joseph Lieberman CT (202) 224-4041

      Blanche Lincoln AR (202) 224-4843

      Claire McCaskill MO (202) 224-6154

      Robert Menendez NJ (202) 224-4744 signed the letter

      Jeff Merkley OR (202) 224-3753 co-signed the letter!

      Barbara Mikulski MD (202) 224-4654 signed the letter

      Patty Murray, Patty WA (202) 224-2621

      Bill Nelson FL (202) 224-5274

      Ben Nelson NE (202) 224-6551

      Mark Pryor AR (202) 224-2353

      Jack Reed RI (202) 224-4642 signed the letter

      Harry Reid NV (202) 224-3542

      John Rockefeller WV (202) 224-6472

      Bernie Sanders VT (202) 224-5141 signed the letter

      Charles Schumer NY (202) 224-6542 signed the letter

      Jeanne Shaheen NH (202) 224-2841 signed the letter

      Arlen Specter PA (202) 224-4254 signed the letter

      Debbie Stabenow MI (202) 224-4822

      Jon Tester MT (202) 224-2644

      Mark Udall CO (202) 224-5941

      Tom Udall NM (202) 224-6621 signed the letter

      Mark Warner VA (202) 224-2023

      Jim Webb WV (202) 224-4024

      Sheldon Whitehouse RI (202) 224-2921 signed the letter

      Ron Wyden OR (202) 224-5244

      Call your senator today, and tell them to sign on to Mike Bennet's letter.

      Tell them to pass a public option through reconciliation!

    •  No PO. Which means it has a chance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of passing. Thank God.

      I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

      by doc2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:15:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, the thanks should go to the lobbyists (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catnip, pistolSO

        and the people with enough money to bury it.  (Not my thanks but those who... well, whatever)

        "Centrist" refers to a politician who takes money from corporations, and then votes for those companies to become richer.

        by gooderservice on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:32:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  nothing says godly... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geonerd, gooderservice, Cassiodorus screwing the little people.

        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

        by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:41:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "little people" of this country (0+ / 0-)

          elected 41 Republican senators, and a handful of conservative Democrats. Enough to foil true progress. The little people should have voted differently.

          I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

          by doc2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:43:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  lol (6+ / 0-)

            You're hilarious.

            The little people of your country elected Democratic majorities in the house and senate along with a Democratic president - enough to enforce "true progress".

            The fact that they refuse to act accordingly is not the fault of those little people (considering the rampant corruption inherent in the entrenched 2 party system) but they're certainly being punished for it.

            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

            by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:03:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The little people didn't elect GW Bush? (0+ / 0-)

              The little people didn't elect the exact Congress we think sucks? Who is to blame in a representative democracy if not the voters?

              I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

              by doc2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:34:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Shrub was appointed by the SCOTUS IN 2000 (0+ / 0-)

                AND 2004 was stolen via Kenneth Blackwell and the vote caging.

                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:58:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Correct on 2000. Wrong on 2004. We (0+ / 0-)

                  indeed elected him in 04 (he won by more than 3 million popular votes as well).

                  I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                  by doc2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 04:15:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Shrub was losing by exit Polls, then Repug ran (0+ / 0-)

                    Diebold and those votes suddenly were different. Voter caging was rampant.

                    without the ants the rainforest dies

                    by aliasalias on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 04:48:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  3,000,000 votes separated Bush (0+ / 0-)

                      and Kerry. Arguing that was all due to fraud is the exact same thing as the right arguing that Obama won due to Acorn, or that Obama is not a citizen. Think with your head, not your heart. America voted for Bush, as sad as that is.

                      I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                      by doc2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 05:02:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  "Diebold" = "voter caging"? (0+ / 0-)

                      "exit Polls" = "those votes"? This isn't even making sense.

                      Many "caged" voters wouldn't show up at the polls, or would be turned away, so they would not show up in the exit polls. Some might cast provisional ballots -- but the number of rejected provisional ballots in Ohio was less than 1/3 of the margin, and there is no reason to think that all of those were Kerry votes. Most of Ohio voted on punch cards, not any kind of Diebold -- and there is no good direct or indirect evidence that those votes were systematically miscounted.

                      •  I posted that in a hurry, try this Rolling Stone (0+ / 0-)

                        article by RFK JR.

                        despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad3 never received their ballots — or received them too late to vote4 — after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations5. A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states6, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations7. In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes8, malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots9. Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment — roughly one for every 100 cast10.

                        The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count11.
                        (EMPHASIS, ITALICS MINE)


                        without the ants the rainforest dies

                        by aliasalias on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:39:12 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  sorry, no go (0+ / 0-)

                          Shrub was losing by exit Polls, then Repug ran (0+ / 0-)

                          Diebold and those votes suddenly were different.

                          RFK Jr. may believe that, but I don't think you'll find any meaningful support for it in his article. (It's true that W. was losing in the exit polls.)

                          There was voter caging, but so far no one has marshaled strong evidence (never mind proof) that it affected the outcome in any state. Tying voter rights to the dubious inference that 'Kerry [should have] won' doesn't seem to do them much good.

    •  The public option is lurking... (3+ / 0-)

      In the background of this entire summit, thanks to the Bennet letter and the work of everyone on our side involved in health care reform.  The GOP is blide if they can't see that.  I don't mind too much that the PO is used as a negotiating ploy, and a hammer with which to crack the GOP if they don't come to the summit with anything but "No."

      However, I think we should be prepared to insert the public option into the reconciliation fix if we still do not have enough GOP senate votes to get back up to 60.  If the GOP refuses to play, why should we back down and delete the public option from discussion.  I say let the GOP take their ball home (this will be evident to all the American public on Thursday) and we'll just get a new and better ball to play with.

      So, how this plays out (in my mind at least)... GOP attends (reluctantly) the televised summit meeting and whines and groans all day long and at the end refuses to accept any plan by the President and does not have anything to contribute themselves.  Obama says okay, I tried and then puts his weight behind a reconciliation fix while House members and Bennet letter signees signal that the public option should be included.  We build up to the 50 Senators needed to pass the fix with the public option (remember the superdelegate buildup during the Democratic primary) and around Easter (or whenever the precise time Reid decides it should take place) we have the vote and pass the fixes.  The House and Senate do their thing, and Obama signs comprehensive health care reform into law.

      The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

      by BasharH on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:20:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mispresented again (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, J M F, pistolSO, Eric Nelson

      President Obama's plan does not include a government-run public health insurance option, an idea strongly backed by liberal Democrats but fiercely opposed by both Republicans and key Democratic moderates.

      The Idea is strongly backed by more than liberal Democrats; it's backed by a majority of the country (which I assume are not all liberal Democrats).

      "Centrist" refers to a politician who takes money from corporations, and then votes for those companies to become richer.

      by gooderservice on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:28:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No PO in the bill (9+ / 0-)

    I just saw a blurb on CNN that the new bill doesn't contain the PO but the prez is still "open" to one. I wonder what that means?

  •  tipped and recced, Eve (6+ / 0-)

    Join Our FixItAndPassIt! Project I work with Progressive Congress Action Fund, a 501(c)4.

    by slinkerwink on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:28:26 AM PST

  •  The Democratic party is torn right now. (21+ / 0-)

    There are many Democrats who sincerely want to do the right thing and help Americans suffering under our disgusting, immoral healthcare system, and they're charging full stream ahead.  Those are the heroes.

    There are also plenty of Democrats who are either covertly or overtly working for the enemy, and protecting insurance companies' right to make huge profits by extorting sick and dying Americans.  Those are the stone cold, evil, greedy bastards... and they've allied themselves with the Republican party, who are ALL stone cold evil greedy bastards, to a person.

    And then I think there's a vast middle in the Democratic party that would sort of like -- or at least wouldn't mind -- seeing some healthcare reform, and would LOVE to take credit for it when it's popular... but they're also terrified of alienating the insurance company sugar daddies.  

    THOSE are the people we have to keep calling, convincing, threatening politically when necessary.

    And we have to keep giving moral and substantive support to the first group, the heroes.  Let them know we have their back.

    As for the stone cold evil greedy bastards -- we have to let them know we're coming for them, and will make it our business to end their shameless political careers.

    Lots of work to do!

    Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

    by chumley on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:34:05 AM PST

    •  tipped for a great comment! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, gooderservice, Matt Z, TomP, wabird

      Join Our FixItAndPassIt! Project I work with Progressive Congress Action Fund, a 501(c)4.

      by slinkerwink on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:34:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, that's what we need (0+ / 0-)

      more demonization of anyone that has a different opinion on the legislation.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:43:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's just hard to see it any other way. (7+ / 0-)

        When the American system puts profits ahead of patients, and people die - literally die by the thousands - because they can't afford health insurance ... how is that not a diabolical system worth demonizing?

        I welcome your viewpoint, but I don't know what you're complaining about.

        "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

        by Benintn on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:53:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the same system (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Japan employs - and I think if one were to point to the best health care system in the world in terms of macro and micro outcomes (from infant mortality and life expectancy to cancer/heart disease survivability rates).  Japan's system is largely private insurance driven -- there is a public program, but it's not an 'option', it's only available in instances where coverage isn't offered by an employer.

          The Swiss, the Dutch - other nations have also found a way to make a largely private coverage schema work.

          My complaint is that I think many PO advocates are dishonest in their discussion -- for example, time and again, I've read this "forced to buy junk insurance" meme.... yet, whenever I or anyone else cites actual text of the legislation:  1)the specific provisions that dictate minimum coverage standards, 2)the premiums-to-benefits ratio requirements, and 3)HHS oversight --- they're dismissed out of hand.

          I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

          by zonk on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:06:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Stop DEMONIZING!! (4+ / 0-)

            My complaint is that I think many PO advocates are dishonest in their discussion -- for example, time and again, I've read this "forced to buy junk insurance" meme.

   use your melodramatic frame above, strong disagreement = DEMONIZING.  Or does that only work one way?  

            Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

            by chumley on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:16:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  zonk, if rates are prohibitive . . . (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice, TomP, wabird, pistolSO

            as they were for me due to insurer price gouging, yes, this is what you have to do, you have no choice.

            You must purchase very high deductible junk insurance, this is reality.

            It is junk insurance, it's also known as insurance in name only.

            Or, think you're insured, think again.

            This is reality.

            •  But (0+ / 0-)

              rates are capped - even in the Senate bill - as a function of income.  Out of pocket costs are likewise capped.

              Taken in tandem with minimum coverage definitions, discrimination/rescission protections - that's been my complaint with your line of advocacy.

              I actually would prefer a public option myself, but I'm not interested in kneecapping alternatives because they are not PO inclusive.  

              It's one thing to say premium cap X isn't low enough, out of pocket cap Y isn't low enough, or mandated minimum coverage Z doesn't include whatever -- and that's why a 'public option' is needed.

              It's quite another to pretend that none of those things exist when they do.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:00:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The Swiss and Dutch cover people in small (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:


            If a Swiss person wants out of country coverage, then insurers can sell a profitable upgrade.

            It would be like offering nyceve non-profit coverage for NYC, Westchester, and Nassau counties and then letting the insurers have a relatively free hand if nyceve wants unregulated optional coverage in places like the nation's capital, California, Hartford, and Kansas City.

            Also the Swiss have cost-efficient providers.

            •  Bottom up (0+ / 0-)

              Actually, I believe the Swiss HC expenditure by GDP is second highest in the world (14% IIRC) - so I'm not sure how we could laud the cost effectiveness of their providers.

              But on the larger point, this is actually where I think the PO falls short, at least -- I've never seen a really workable plan.

              We are a large nation.  There are substantial COLA disparities across states and even within states.  

              Any nationalized option is going to be a holy mess of GPCIs.  Medicare has always struggled with this - and the best they've been able to do (and I say it's to their great credit that they've been able to even get this far) is ensure that all providers grumble equally.

              Just because geographic pricing is hard doesn't mean it's impossible -- but I have yet to see any PO advocates lay out exactly how that would be structured.

              You simply cannot reasonably expect to just boil something that will necessarily be complex into a singular 'public option' without providing those details.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:07:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The Swiss and Dutch systems (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            benefit from the French standard tariff used by 97% of French providers and the Belgian national tariff providers that control costs.

      •  "Demonization?" (4+ / 0-)

        Oh please, spare us.   The generic "different opinion" does not happen in some airy-fairy vacuum.  There is NO good case to be made for not enacting real healthcare reform.  None.  Those who oppose it have failed for the better part of a year to make a true case, with any integrity or logic.   They've based it on lies, pure and simple.   Which means they have a different agenda.

        Mind you, I'm not talking about minor differences of opinion in HOW to enact healthcare reform.  Those are inevitable, and healthy for our democracy.  

        But the idea that someone opposing healthcare reform has any integrity at this point is laughable.   It's about the MONEY.   Money that is used to used to bribe our public servants, in plain sight.

        Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

        by chumley on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:14:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  wow (0+ / 0-)

      what a rather nasty comment.

      You missed a category, democrats who see the problem but do not precisely agree on the best course forward.

      •  the best course is just that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, wabird

        forward.  if you don't agree with that maybe you need to re-evaluate your choice of party.  it might help to brush up on the democratic party platform...  especially the part where it says "we believe that quality and affordable health care is a basic right".


        by the disinfector on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:36:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  gee since you have made is so simple (0+ / 0-)

          why don't I just let you do my thinking for me?

          :rolls eyes: bloody hell did you actually read what you wrote before you hit comment?

          Sorry but I do not do sheep, I think for myself accept it or not.

          •  i didn't make anything simple (0+ / 0-)

            nice try at a diversion, though.  but this isn't about me.  this is about what you believe.

            do you believe quality and affordable health care is a basic right?  it's a yes or no question, and i didn't make it up.  dailykos is a democratic website, and that's from the democratic party platform.

            you can answer the question, or you can decline to do so, or you can attempt to muddy the waters some more.  i guess we'll see.


            by the disinfector on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:23:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you proceded to tell me what to think (0+ / 0-)

              and over simplified matters but hey if you want to delude yourself go for it.

              Seems to be a popular past time for some here.

              And stop with the emotional manipulation, I have debated better people and I recognize what you are attempting. Of course health is a basic right that is why it is so fucking important to instill that belief in legislature. Even if the bill that does that is not perfect or enough.

              •  What the heck is your problem? (0+ / 0-)

                All I see is negativity and playing the victim.  The fact is that Democrats are divided, and there is a portion of our party that is spineless. We're pointing that out. And we're letting them know that we're coming for them, one way or another.  Yet, it seems like you're intent on protecting these guys? Why? How are they helping the Democratic Party platform on healthcare?

                •  my problem? (0+ / 0-)

                  I am tired of the self righteous zealots that have allowed themselves to think that only they have answers.

                  I am tired of people bashing on others simply because they see the same problem, the same information and come to different conclusions.

                  And most of all I am tired of people acting like this is simple.

                  It's not, yes some democrats need to grow bloody spine, but some democrats just disagree. I may not like that, I may think they are wrong but well to quote Voltaire, I may disagree with what you have to say but I will defend to my death your right to say it.

                  There's too much flipping group think on this site and too much high school bullshit cliques.

                  •  Look. I absolutely believe in dissent ... (0+ / 0-)

                    but it has to be principled, well reasoned dissent. I'm not saying that about you either way.  But we know that Joe Lieberman is full of shit. He has no principles, and I believe that about some other Democrats in our caucus as well. They are not dissenting due to legitimate policy differences - in my opinion they are doing the bidding of their corporate masters. And it's a damn shame.

            •  I bite my tongue a lot (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              the disinfector

              whenever I see drache come into a diary posting negativity. You can't win an argument with stupid, nor can you win an argument with someone who for whatever purpose is being intentionally obtuse and nasty.  

  •  Summary of Obama's proposals (8+ / 0-)

    ...are up on White House website.  It is 11 pages.

    No public option; no explicit mention of exchanges, but vague wording about the American people getting what Congress has.  Cornhusker subsidy gone but states get increased aid for Medicaid.  Closes doughnut hole faster by taking rebate from federal funds.  Holds Social Security Trust Fund harmless from any changes in bill.  And more...

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

    by TarheelDem on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:38:58 AM PST

  •  They can't be legislated out of existence.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, soothsayer99

    ...if the Dems FILLIBUSTER those bills to repeal Healthcare Reform!  Right?

  •  Lobbyist have spent 1.3 million for (9+ / 0-)

    every hour congress has been in session, and all of last year were spending 1 million per day to defeat health care reform.  What a shame.  What a head wind.  I pray we can get something meaningful done.  

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:39:25 AM PST

  •  Well Said! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, nyceve, Matt Z, TomP, MariaWr, We Won

    Thanks for the excellent diary.

  •  Failing to Communicate is a Feature... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, TomP

    ...not a bug for Democratic Congresspeople and Senators who serve two masters: the American people who elected them and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries that underwrite their campaigns.

    Stop Obama's Wars Now! Bring the Troops Home!

    by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:41:54 AM PST

  •  I think there's plenty of accountability (6+ / 0-)

    to go around for this:

    Democrats and the Administration have failed, I repeat failed to communicate in a clear and understandable manner, how this legislation is going to improve the lives of all of us.

    That said, it looks like Dems actually got HCR accomplished; both chambers were able to place their imprint on this signature legislation and now I'm eagerly awaiting a no-nonsense, common sense explanation from our speechifier par none, POTUS.  All in all, this is a fabulous Monday for me and well-wishes to everyone!' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:43:20 AM PST

  •  finally! the Whitehouse is using the line (8+ / 0-)

    America deserves an up or down vote on healthcare. That means Obama is ready to go to war to get this done. Better late than never.

    After Obama's eighth straight victory, Penn told reporters: "Winning Democratic primaries is not a qualification or a sign of who can win the general election.

    by nevadadem on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:44:59 AM PST

  •  I have joined the March n/t (0+ / 0-)

    In as much as you have done it unto the least of these my brethern, you have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

    by scamp on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:54:18 AM PST

  •  Great diary, Eve! (7+ / 0-)

    We must knock it out of the park on Wednesday so he will have a wind at his back going into this historic event.

    Fired Up!
    Ready to Go!

  •  Pass the Senate bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, We Won

    I'm sorry,but if we need healthcare reform so desperately (and God knows I do), pass the Senate bill.  NOW.  Yes, reform it later, and hopefully make it better, via reconciliation in the Senate.  But this is a House Dem problem now.  Pass the bill.

    •  You are welcome to (8+ / 0-)

      tell Congressfolks whatever you wish on Wednesday.  Please make a call.

    •  To recap: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, geonerd, pistolSO

      The House will never pass the Senate Bill without the Senate passing reconciliation first.
      That bridge burned the House when Scott Brown in MA took away the supermajority that the strategy depended on.
      So to blame the Democrats in the House of Representatives (the Peoples chamber)
      for the debacle in the Senate is missing the point to put it gently.
      We rehash this time and again on this site for the past three weeks.  Slinkerwink, Nyceve, many others attempt to explain the politics here and get people up to speed on why the "pass the damn Bill" is so dead and buried and still we have these comments.

      You can't get there from backwards reconciliation and "pass the damn bill".

      •  the "people's chamber" has a choice (0+ / 0-)

        I'm entitled to disagree with slinkerwink and nyceve on the politics of the thing.  The Senate bill has already passed the Senate (pre- Brown) and therefore if the House passed it as is, it wouldn't have to be recommitted to the Senate.  

        This new reconciliation strategy requires the Senate to amend the bill via reconciliation BEFORE it passes the house and is signed into law, and then the House will consent to pass it.  In my mind, the House is threatening to jeopardize any legislation.  It's their choice, of course, but it's therefore on their heads.

    •  Senate wellness adjustments (0+ / 0-)

      The wellness adjustments that are in the Senate bill are very very similar to medical underwriting. They would allow insurance companies and employer health plans to vary peoples premiums and/or cost-sharing by thousands of dollars a year per individual based on health status if it is done in the context of a wellness program, and the wellness program is "reasonably designed" to improve health status or to change behavior. "Reasonably designed" is determined by the insurance company and the employer health plan. So as you enroll in coverage, insurance companies can require you to fill out a health risk assessment, submit to a physical examination, give blood samples, urine samples, cheek swabs. They can measure pretty much any aspect of your health status that they want — as long as they can make a case that it is reasonably linked to your own personal behaviors – and then charge you more.


      Karen Pollitz is a research professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. The O’Neill Institute’s Lester Feder spoke with her on November 16 about potential loopholes in reform legislation.

  •  WaPo link (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Matt Z, TomP

    Interesting headline...Obama embraces Senate approach in new health-care plan

    "The president expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health care," Pfeiffer said. "This is designed to provide us maximum flexibility if the opposition decides to take the extraordinary step of filibustering health reform."

    By offering his own proposal, Obama is betting that Americans watching the health care summit will provide his efforts new momentum after a nearly year-long process that ground to a halt while negotiators cut deals in back rooms and Republicans intensified their criticisms.

    "Americans watching"... that would be us!! To the phones!!!! :-)

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does. Margaret Mead

    by Lady Libertine on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:04:29 AM PST

  •  Can the Dems get their heads out of the arses (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, madmsf, TomP

    of the lobbyists long enough to pass a bill that is critical to the economic survival of this country?

    Stay tuned.

  •  the PO is for all intents and purposes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not going to make it this time.

    Campaigning on something that is increasingly unlikely to have enough votes is foolish.

    Instead of engaging in this quixotic bid maybe you should think about pushing for this suggestion of Obama's?

    No doubt the dear leader straw men will come out of the wood work but something to consider.

    Oh and stop fear mongering there is almost no way the GOP can go from 41 to 60 senators and a super majority in the House which is what they would need to over ride any of this.

  •  HCR must be front loaded - Obama doesn't think so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Most everything he and the Dems have been proposing all along will not start before 2013. Most people don't know that.

    You think they want to explain that delay? (the Dems proposed it and Obama is willing to sign it) and all the other things you say you're not sure you understand about what the Dems are proposing?

    You want donations for PCAF so they can try to explain what Obama and the Dems are doing? This is really sad for the Democrats and Obama.

  •  First Strip Out Any Vestige of Librulism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In Cambodia, Nixon's newly installed capitalist government dragged a Chinese rice merchant into the public square and shot him to end the soaring price of rice.

    Worked about as well as Nixon's price controls on beef.  Man was there ever some fat hamburger as a result.

    Cambodia got Pol Pot and we got generations of thieves that managed to be even worse than Nixon.

    Love you, nceve, but this ain't no reform.

    Best,  Terry

    •  I am so sick to death (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the unrealistic expectations and badly formed decisions.

      No this is not all the reform we need but go look up the history of change in America because for someone good at pointing out history you seem woefully unaware of how change has come to America.

      •  Not Reform (0+ / 0-)

        The Law of Reform states that any reform, good or bad, is simple.  It strips away all the clutter.

        This doesn't do that.

        It ain't reform.

        We voted for change and got more of the same.

        Best,  Terry

        •  really and you can find this law where? (0+ / 0-)

          sorry but reform makes things better which is not necessarily simpler.

          This makes things better, not completely but it is a good start.

          •  You Can't Patch A Blowout (0+ / 0-)

            It is really so simple that even a simpleton like myself understands it.  Why can't a smart fellow like you do so?

            reform makes things better

            You really are a lawbreaker aren't you?

            When the mathematical wizards in Alabama decreed that pi must be a rational number, they were being irrational.

            Man oh man was that reform.

            Reform can be good or bad but it must be simple and clean up the mess.

            When God leaves a mess, it can't be reformed.

            This makes things better

            Yah.  Sure.  

            Were it so.

            Best,  Terry

      •  I'm willing to settle for crumbs, drache . . . (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, TomP, elwior, drache

        just a few crumbs is all we ask for.

        But I can't tolerate insurer price gouging any longer.

        •  and I agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitty, nyceve, Matt Z

          but to call this not reform, hell to even call this a few crumbs pisses me off because it is unrealistic, unhelpful and just plain dumb.

          To actually get our foot in the door is a huge thing and what the president, our president is proposing has multiple huge pluses and firsts.

          No it's not enough but it might take another decade to get HCR reformed the way is should be. Maybe that's not fair, I will not pretend to know but then life is not fair.

          And as I have said before if in the end we get a PO in the bill I will be happy but I worry that too many people are concentrating on a single part of the bill that is unlikely to ever be strong enough to justify the attention it is getting.

          •  warts and all, the senate bill is $900 billion (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kitty, drache, We Won

            $900 billion spending authorization for health care reform.  we are NOT getting anything that ambitious out of the senate again anytime soon.

            nor can we get any regulation out of reconciliation-only HCR.

            People are upset Obama hasn't solved all the problems yet. C'mon, he's only been in office one year...the man went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. - Wanda Sykes

            by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:25:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why not Medicare for 55 and older? (9+ / 0-)

    How come Obama has not jumped all over this politically extremely popular idea?

  •  My Senator and Congressman are for PO so I'm not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, penguinsong

    going to campaign for the Obama plan on the 24th. That's a step backward.

  •  Obama sides with Baucus (0+ / 0-)

    over us.  I am sick of it.  I will admit I haven't finished reading Obama's proposal but what I have read he is with the senate.

  •  I have very little faith (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F

    in this - too many caveats, too many points of potential obstruction and too many deliberately ambiguous statements that can be parsed in multiple ways, from all sides, especially ours.

    Harry Reid's lack of backbone is an act, his obstructionism isn't.

    by stevej on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:20:25 AM PST

  •  Running against the insurance companies and (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Matt Z, TomP, J M F, Eric Nelson

    their Rethug puppets is the best way to win people over for healthcare reform. Organized Crime couldn't do a worse job of providing health insurance than the corrupt private insurance companies. Also key health reform benefits must be enacted ASAP. Preventing people with pre-existing conditions from getting covered is the most important issue that must be eliminated. The fact that we are stuck with a rotten political system that is run by corporations prevents us from having a single-payer system which would solve so many problems like coverage and cost makes this all so frustrating.

  •  Good diary. Opens many issues though. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, elwior, J M F

    We see in the news today that 'credit card companies face new regulations' (Financial Times and elsewhere), and we see the Obama is saying health care rates need to be controlled.   BUT: credit card companies have already changed their interest rates upward, and have in some cases, doubled minimum payment requirements.  And health care companies have ALREADY raised rates (New York Times, and other sources) to unprecedented levels.  

    For anyone who lived through the 70's, with inflation, stagflation raging, with the specter of price controls, everyone raised their prices in anticipation, and also used the 'stagflation' rule: if it isn't selling at 10 dollars, it may as well not sell at 20 dollars.  

    Americans are in for a very heavy ride.  Corporations and banks have figured out they can raise prices without any regulation at all for the 'commodities' that Americans need: health, food, fuel, electric, etc. and apparently enough Americans can foot the bill that it's working.  Is this what Congress is figuring on, getting millions from lobbyists to support the 'la la la la' mentality we see each week in D.C.

    President Nixon said, during the inflationary times, in which among other things, food was rapidly increasing, 'well at least food is available.'  And he also said this:  "Americans need to move into higher paying jobs"  to cope with higher prices.  Rings true today I'd say.

    I want health care for Americans, but the price is going to be very very high either way--whether we get a bill through, or if nothing happens but the status quo.  Congress is not doing it's job, and in my view neither is the president on this issue--it looks like posturing to me.  

    SO, 'get a higher paying job' seems to be the message.  And, work for a  big corporation to get its health care plan. Or be a banker at the top, or a Congressman.  

    I bet if Congress had to eat its own dogfood, we'd see very effective changes, but they are outside the system the rest of us live with each day.  

  •  NycEve: Do you oppose the President's Bill? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, ThisIsMyTime

    What is your position on it?

    •  It doesn't include the public option, so I would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      guess that she does oppose it.  This fight for the PO is not over yet... until a bill is signed into law.  

      Just going by your user name, I can't imagine in litigating anything that you give up a fight until its won ;)

      "Centrist" refers to a politician who takes money from corporations, and then votes for those companies to become richer.

      by gooderservice on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:38:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Support it by not opposing it passing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, pistolSO

      But, push for the elements you do support.

      That's the message here.

      Everybody wants health care to pass, and I believe it will pass.

      Getting the best bill possible is the push here, and that means leveraging the House Progressives position to get a PO out of the Senate.

      Speaker of the House is not going to ask all those Progressives, who negotiated fair and square in the House, to give up the PO, take a big one for the team, go home and maybe lose, only to coddle the Senate, who clearly can get this done, and voiced support for it being done, when they could hide behind the sellouts.


      by potatohead on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:41:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi Trial Lawyer . . . (9+ / 0-)

      The newly released bill?

      I think it's certainly an improvement on the status quo.

      I've said over and over, we must get a bill passed.

      I'd like it to be the best bill possible.

      I'd like it to be a bill which will help Dems in 2010 and insure Obama's re-elction in 2012.

      Hence, I'd like to see:

      1. The bill front loaded
      1. If possible a public option, which will diffuse the mandate problem.
      1. A Medicare buy in.
      1. A national exchange.

      All this will be very good for Dems in 2010. But none are deal breakers for me, though I do think not including at least some of this will make it difficult for Dems in 2010.

      •  since those things aren't in the bill, though (0+ / 0-)

        where does that leave things?  i'm getting the impression you want the GOP to continue its obstruction so that reconciliation becomes the answer.

        which is fair enough, but only worth it if we know we've got the support for a PO via reco, imo.  i.e., we should all be fighting like hell for the passage of the plan as presented, because between it and a rec fix w/out the PO, the plan as presented wins hands down.  it is far more ambitious in its improvements over the senate bill.

        People are upset Obama hasn't solved all the problems yet. C'mon, he's only been in office one year...the man went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. - Wanda Sykes

        by Cedwyn on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:37:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anti Trust exemptions for Insurers should go n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 04:20:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My oh my oh my... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, We Won

    But here's the problem, and I'm not surprised because even I am not totally conversant with what Democrats are proposing. Democrats and the Administration have failed, I repeat failed to communicate in a clear and understandable manner, how this legislation is going to improve the lives for all of us.

    And guess what dear friends, the Republicans have done what they do best. They have seized on the Democratic inability to clearly articulate all the benefits of health care reform, to fan the flames of fear and "a government takeover".

    I think it is time for you to check in with the reality of what is on the ground.

    If only you point out the benefits instead of spewing this non stop Monday morning quarterbacking with all the negatives twist and turns, may be this community will be well informed.

    Here is a talking point of benefits you don't seem to acknowledge:

    1. NO denial for pre-existing conditions,
    1. No cap on lifetime benefits, Cap on maximum out-of-pocket expenses,
    1. Subsidies for those who cannot afford health Insurance,
    1. Closing the Medicare doughnut hole, Tax credits for small businesses to afford insurance plans,
    1. Requirement that insurance companies spend greater portion of every dollar directly on health care,
    1. Children stay on parents plan until age 25,
    1. No gender discrimination in pricing,
    1. Minimum benefits package,
    1. give tax subsidies to help moderate-income people buy private insurance

    and then here are the more likely fixes:

    1. increase the threshold on the Cadillac tax,
    1. include more affordability credits,
    1. close the donut hole in the Medicare Part D drug benefit, and
    1. eliminate the Cornhusker Kickback

    We don't have Public Option. Get it and Move on to pave the way to Pass the Damn Bill with the possible Reconciliation fixes.

    That is change I can believe in.

    You should read Let's Not Fight Against Each Other If PO Does Not Make It!. It is written for your kind of state of mind.

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:34:46 AM PST

  •  Not the way (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, gooderservice, bluicebank, J M F

    As long as we have a for-profit health insurance system, companies may in fact need to raise rates, sometimes to exorbitant levels, to stay solvent/turn a profit. Yes, there are plenty of cases when they do so far beyond what's needed, but health care costs are ballooning for reasons beyond administrative. They are often acting rationally as institutions required to make a profit (especially if they are public companies.)

    The answer is not to try to control private companies in this way, but to remove the need for them in the first place. Put in place Single Payer. This method makes no sense, and actually gives the private health insurance industry continued legitimacy by saying it's OK for them to exist in the first place.

    Palpably Extant: the death of the 4th estate.

    by spencerh on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:35:15 AM PST

  •  How many (5+ / 0-)

    people have registered to call on Wednesday so far?

    I registered and will follow the instructions on who to call, as I don't think calling my congresspeople from MA is going to make an impact.  Regardless, I'm calling Scott Brown, to tell him that I expect him to live up to his campaign promise of voting independently and on behalf of the best interests of his constituency.  Hah.

    •  hi signals, here on daily Kos . . . (4+ / 0-)

      I'm thrilled to report that we're a few away from 2000 registered here on daily Kos.


      We will keep you updated during the day about how many Kossacks are participating.

      Of course, we're hoping and expecting on Wdnesday that many thousands more, who have not already registered, will come here, to sign in and then start their action.

      All the other large organizations are heavily emailing their membership, so we feel very confident that between all of us, we will generate at minimum 1,000,000 contacts on Wednesday, perhaps many more.

  •  Remember the House Progressives are in (5+ / 0-)

    a do or die scenario.

    Call the Senate for that PO to be included, because the House Progressives committed to the PO.  They can't go back home and win after voting in a mandate only bill.


    by potatohead on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:38:32 AM PST

  •  We must do this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, We Won

    You made a compelling case here. I only wish the president and all in the WH, plus every Democratic member of Congress would read this.

    Wake up, Democrats. Wake the hell up.

    I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

    by Gorette on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:43:46 AM PST

  •  Private Medicare Plans are going up 14% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This will crush seniors on fixed incomes.

    If they are not restrained insurance companies will and can continue to rob us blind.  What average middle class person could be against health insurance regulation?   I suspect even teabaggers would be on board with it.

  •  PO only way to clarity, prevent gouging, denial? (0+ / 0-)

    If I'm big insurance I'm licking my chops over the prospect my oligopolies may still be left, perhaps not totally intact, but at least essentially functional, so I can just get back to skirting the new laws, cashing checks, and denying claims.  I really do have to apologize to the more informed here for my simplistic portrayal, but throughout all this, this is what is still gnawing at me, and if others feel the same, right or wrong, it at least may help explain the fixation on the public option by well-meaning fellow Kossacks.  There are many ways for insurance companies to get their way.  If not through pricing, then through denial etc.  I hope we will not just solve some and let other slip through.  We must be sure to truly solve the problem of lack of competition, not just through the letter of the law, but through practical application as well, remembering the insurance companies' ingenuity.

    People do what the system motivates them to do.  Insurance company oligopolies have done what they've done because that's what the system has motivated them to do.  This is not the first time regulations have been passed to try to move heaven and earth to get the oligopolies to please, please do what we want.  But they haven't because people had no where else to go, so they just said no thanks, skirted or outright ignored laws, and kept going.  That's why we are where we are.

    I think the insurance companies love all the complexities, because they're expert at navigating through all the haze and blasting out full speed on the other side.  Perhaps this is why my eyes glaze over at all the pretzels we bend ourselves into to get the insurance oligopolies to please, please do what we want.  We have to get away from saying "Here see if you can get around this".  They will because, perhaps not from a pure letter of the law regulatory standpoint, but from a practical standpoint, that is what the structure of the system motivates them to do.  We can't afford to underestimate their ingenuity.  We have to move to something more like "Here you go, if you can give people a better deal than the public option, more power to you, and you will keep them.  If you can't, you won't survive, nor should you."  That puts the motivation in the right place for them to do right by people.

    Perhaps we will take away their monopoly exemption.  But oops, they're already monopolies, and have regulatory capture as well.  We might not be able to bust the monopolies purely from a regulatory standpoint.  We need to decisively change the structure of the industry.  I know there are very good arguments about how exchanges will solve the problem, and I have felt myself encouraged, but I just imagine the wheels turning to get around those.

    I'm not one to say just don't pass anything, if there are those who can be helped with the Senate legislation.  But is it really true that we can't do any better now than what we're getting?  I fear as time goes by and we see we didn't really solve the basic motivation problem, and we're not getting new chances, we'll be sorry we didn't get the only real fix (short of single payer) when we may have had the chance.  I fear we may be saying, you know the reason we decided okay we'll take what we can is that we thought we were getting a lot more than we really were.  The insurance companies are having to work harder this time because not only do they need to con Congress, but they have to con us as well, and I'm worried that may be what they are doing alright, keeping us away from the one thing they truly fear, real competition.

    Although I'm not suggesting this, if the only thing to pass was a strong, undelayed public option, and nothing else, I don't see how the insurance companies are not standing at attention.  They would need to make people happy or die, which is not to say there are not other vital issues, there is more to fight for of course, and I continue to try to learn, but I just don't see how we count on stopping for-profit insurance companies from getting around the rules, unless people have another place to go.  There's just too much money on the table.  Apparently they stopped single payer long ago.  If all they do now is stop the public option, I just think the insurance companies are still on a roll, the game is still hot.  The pig will still be plenty slippery for us the next time, if there is one.  And what's with the delays on items that don't really take so much time to implement, and thinking once these delays are accomplished there won't be further delays?  Many of these delays are there to provide a second chance to kill the provision.

    I hope we can all stick together through this, it's a tough one, with other tough fights to come.

    I'm not lying! I'm just being conservative with the truth.

    by Steven wonders on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:45:31 AM PST

  •  It's pretty simple (0+ / 0-)

    When was the last time that any legislation of substance was passed that benefited the middle class by either party. The little candies they give us don't count.

    In other words, when was the last time a Program similar to medicare was passed in any sector that negatively affects the majority of Americans?

    I can't think of one. The only reason one would pass now is if the Dems could clearly see their political survival is at stake for generations. It's almost too bad the the GOP is ranked this low. Unfortunately, in this strange world, it makes the Dems complacent. That means HCR is less likely to be a bill of any substance.

  •  I see that Dem suicide is easy (0+ / 0-)

    Come on, people.

    What do you think will be the reaction among healthy people who can't afford it, and who won't get enough subsidies to buy crap insurance?

    Flame on. But if Congress passes a bill FORCING me to buy junk under the THREAT of a fine, I'm not the only vote they've lost.

    If Congress doesn't pass the stink-burger (we'll fix it later, promise), they're going to suffer at the ballot box because they didn't pass actual HC reform.

    But if they do hand this steaming pile to Americans, it will be a bloodbath in November.

    Remember these words:





    •  Sorry, you have it backwards (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan, Matt Z

      Passing nothing gets us the bloodbath.

      Passing the Senate bill without fixes hurts us, but nowhere near the level of passing nothing.

      Passing the Senate bill with fixes helps us.

      Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

      by Whimsical on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:13:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Boehner sets up the cut and run (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Gorette, Matt Z, elwior, Eric Nelson

    why not do nothing, and snipe from the wings, right?:

    "The President has crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected.  This new Democrats-only backroom deal doubles down on the same failed approach that will drive up premiums, destroy jobs, raise taxes, and slash Medicare benefits.  

    "This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of health care.  
    "Republicans are also standing with the American people by calling for health care reform to protect human life and not use taxpayer money to fund abortion.  ...  Health care reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it – and the American people agree."

    translation: "We got nothin but the same old repackaged crap that got us into this mess, so we're taking our ball and going home. Oh, and here's a wedge issue to distract the rubes."

  •  backgrounder on market segmentation: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, Gorette, bluicebank, elwior

    Here's how health insurers screwed over the American people, and how they stack the deck for ever-higher premiums. the 1970's health insurance was to be replaced by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs); the archetype being Kaiser-Permanente. The driving notion behind the HMO movement was that it is cheaper to take care of problems early rather than late. So, HMOs would engage in preventative care, screenings, and regular visits to a primary care physician. In recent years, studies have been done and promoted by insurance companies claiming that HMO practice is more expensive and no better at maintaining patient well being. It is also true that shortly after HMOs began to proliferate (often as part of traditional health insurance companies) the acronym became Healthy Members Only. Market segmentation.

    The point behind insurance is shared/pooled risk. While it may be dismissed as just academics, if you've been an economics student you've known of or taken Risk and Insurance (the most common name). In such a course, you learn the algebra of risk and probability, and how it is that the many can pay a small amount to support the occasional disaster which befalls the individual. The whole point is market aggregation, not segmentation. The Wellpoint assault is purely segmentation. They claim that each segment, which they define as they choose, should make lots of money. The fact that the whole enterprise manages to make billions is denied. Wellpoint, and the rest, of course oppose the public option. The reason, which they'd never admit, is the public option removes the opportunity to segment the market and make monopoly profits.

    Lastly, note the similarity here with the Banksters of The Great Recession. Having lost their shirts (and our trousers) in CDOs and such, they now seek to recoup their profits by squeezing those retail customers; most of whom have few other options given that the number of Banksters has shrunk. Again, segmenting the market. We need a revolution, and not the Tea Party sort.

    [my emphasis]

    A number of good suggestions, like the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, and another, the inception of insurance co-ops, fail to extract the savings from extraordinary insurance companies profits that single-payer will do by definition.

    Why on earth does the government want to create an outsource supplier in the for-profit health insurance sector for the job that CNS does with Medicare, Medicaid, S-CHIP and VetsVA or TriCare?

    I'm all in favor of an outright government takeover of these unethical and illegitimate insurance bad actors. Having been given the keys to the kingdom, they robbed us blind; now they audaciously insist that they were only doing what misguided and crudely corrupt government officials said they could do.

    President Obama is wrong - dead wrong: These ARE evil people. Greed blinds them, and they will fight like hell in the courts against what they will ultimately claim to SCOTUS is a bill of attainder levied against them.

    They may be right. They've earned every ounce of enmity.

    They only call it class war when we fight back! ht: buhdydharma

    by ezdidit on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:02:23 AM PST

    •  as I understand it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from my experiences going back to early 80's private individual insurance ( I had HMO before that and then group BCBS ) they either began or assigned you to a small circle of insurance holders for formed by individual insurance brokers.... the core was young and healthy and the concentric circle of insurance holders were each older with more risk / health factors... these small groups are co-joined with a few other small groups ( I don't know the termination point how sm/lg the groups of individual insurance holders became as administered by BCBS but as soon as you signed on the clock bega... within year or year 1/2 the premiums go up and the benefits are trimmed.... if you used the insurance even more regressive pressure came into play.... by the early 90's from my experience the practice of using pre-exisiting condition denial was national widespread and customary business model ... and the growth of uninsured was a phenomena the public feared and knew about; the cost of premiums and the denial of service drove the remaining policy holders and people new to signing up for insurance into submission they knew they had to pay the higher prices or go naked....

      the monopoly had a hammer lock on us all by early 1990's.....

      We should stand up and say let's work together until we finish defeating the left and then we won't have to work with them as much. - Newt Gingrich

      by anyname on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:35:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CNN this am: Congress doesn't "have the guts" to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, valadon, TomP, elwior

    go for a public option. It is completely pathetic that those who are supposed to work for the people are more concerned about themselves and their careers in Congress and fund-raising rather than what would be best for us and the country as a whole.

    But it remains unclear whether the political will exists in either chamber to move ahead with a comprehensive health care bill in the current political environment.  --from politico article linked above

    I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

    by Gorette on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:03:37 AM PST

  •  thx for the diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, TomP, elwior, We Won

    haven't been able to keep up on the info lately without these diaries of yours

    We should stand up and say let's work together until we finish defeating the left and then we won't have to work with them as much. - Newt Gingrich

    by anyname on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:09:49 AM PST

  •  I Say PASS THE DAMN BILL ALREADY! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  saw people formerly day to day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, elwior

    tense with each other smiling more relaxed as soon as HHS said on Maddow that PO ( that time frame when media was reporting Senators pledging support for PO) was part of health insurance reform plan... the people in my neighborhood as my bellwether... they are GOP and the everyday working GOP kind though they are robotic on GOP bulletin points they know without the PO this whole HCR is swiss cheese legislation with same old loopholes the monopolies have on us now they aren't thinking about themselves it seems to me any longer they are thinking how the heck are their children going to survive if this reform isn't done right

    We should stand up and say let's work together until we finish defeating the left and then we won't have to work with them as much. - Newt Gingrich

    by anyname on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:18:34 AM PST

  •  How about Bowers' suggestion to push for Medicare (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Dave925, TomP, elwior, pistolSO

    buy-in?  It had 57 potential votes in support a while back, and clearly fits reconciliation because of the budget impact.

  •  an arm, a leg, but no more! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, elwior

    Rate increases don't appall me as much as they probably should. Existing health expenditures are so ridiculous they're just insult to injury.

    The UK, Japan, Norway, Australia, Sweden - all spend ~9% of their GDP on health care. That is basically normal for single payer systems. We spend almost twice that.

    In Japan, the government reimbursement rate for an MRI is .$98.

    It'd be great if we can legislate a hold to keep things from getting worse; but it seems strange to be happy that we're 'holding' prices at nearly twice what any reasonable person pays.

    If one had overpaid this much on a car, it would not be a mark of fiscal sanity to brag about having not splurged on leather seats.

    We spent $2,454 billion on health care in 2006. If our system was as efficient as Japan's, that would be $1,299 billion. Every dollar spent on health care is a dollar that isn't being spent somewhere else.

    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

    by efraker on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:34:04 AM PST

  •  No public option = No Democrat. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catnip, elwior, virtual0

    This is one of the foundations of the party. If the public  option is not going to be supported Obama and the rest of the Congress then we can only assume that behind closed doors they have changed the very foundations of what the party stands for. This does not provide an avenue to stop healthcare for profit, which used to be one of the moral foundations of our party. This bill allows the Democrats to redefine the party platform.  It means that Democrats believe healthcare is a privilege and still a commodity that should be profited from.

    •  That is nonsense. This bill is basically (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      the senate bill that has already passed, incorporating some of the provisions of the Hosue bill, that has already passed.

      I don't recall a public option health care plan being part of the Democratic platform?  It is a Progressive pipe dream and no amount of quoting slective polls and Progressive organisations positions will change that.  The Congress if comprised of both Democarts and republicans and this is as good as is possible right now. PASS IT AND FIX IT.

      •  Healthcare for all (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, aliasalias, elwior

        has always been one of the foundations of this party. Funny you don't understand this. This lack of upholding even the basic of democratic principles is what allowed this revision to erode our party. Let me know how passing it and then fixing it works out for us when the Democrats lose in the next cycles.
        Your argument of "this is as good as it gets" answers the question of what is possible with both the president and the Congress in Democratic control. How do you think any further legislation is going to be improved upon when the Republicans control one branch?
        This party needs to get back to it's foundations. This party used to believe in the people not increasing the profit margin for WS.

        •  My opinion is that eventually there will be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve, mahakali overdrive

          healthcare for all and that this is the first step to achieve that goal, obligation and right.

          I do not believe that passing it and fixing it will cause Democrats to lose in the next elction cycles. I believe NOT passing it and fixing it would ensure Democarts losing the next several election cycles.

          We have different ways of achieving the same goals.  Only time will prove which one of us is right, and that is incredibly unimportant, you and me, I mean..

          You will notice that the the MSM today is not even talking about Progressives disappointment, they are focused on the repubs stated desire to start from scratch, or in other words, kill the bill entirely..

          Obviously there is no consensus, inside our outside either party apparatus and membership. Opinions are all voer the map.

        •  that was then and this is now. (0+ / 0-)
          •  So why are voters (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dave925, TomP, elwior

            going to believe anything that comes out of his mouth? Now you see it now you don't? Voters are not buying it. Do you not see how this completely undermines elections? The promise of a PO was a huge reason many Independents voted Democrat. The Democrats, beginning with Obama, have failed to produce the polices they were elected upon.

            •  I disagree. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              I believe people have more understanding of what the alternative will be. I also realise a lot of progressives do not share my opinion in that regard. And Independants are all voer the map and probably will turn on Obama and the Democrats, who knows. Most of them seem to eb libertarians anyway and are more in the republican camp.

              We shall see, won't we. One of us will be correct.  I am not at all sanguine mind you as the past three elections have shown that Democrats are as prone to voting against their self interests as the republicans are.

              If Democrats/Independants had turned out for Coakley we would NOT be having this discussion. So you may be right.

              •  He didn't campaign on the public option (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                for a good chunk of the primaries, which is why most early supporters don't remember this but later supporters do.

                I can't believe this wasn't debunked.

                I debunked it pretty easily. I have the physical print-outs from the internal phone banking scripts (not publicly accessible anymore) because I made so many calls from my University campus that I would bring that stuff there to do it. They don't mention it. Nor does for a good chunk of time during the primaries.

                It depends on three things:

                1. what do people mean by "campaign on"?
                1. when do they mean he "campaigned on" this?
                1. which form of the public option do they mean?

                So it's totally subjective. Not that it matters. But this is one of those really weird things that was floated around that literally never made sense to me.

                Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. - MLK

                by mahakali overdrive on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 06:10:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  a pipe dream? (5+ / 0-)

        Maybe you should read the platform:

        Covering All Americans and Providing Real Choices of Affordable Health Insurance Options.
        Families and  individuals should have the option of keeping the coverage they have or choosing from a wide array of health insurance plans, including many private health insurance options and a public plan.

        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

        by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:36:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's no alibiing for this. Unless (5+ / 0-)

        they're called on their betrayals, there's no hope that anything will ever change. Obama hits the canvas for corporate America way too often, way too easily. Maybe you want to keep excusing it, but some of us don't. FYI, the public health-insurance plan you glibly dismiss as "a Progressive pipe dream" was part and parcel of the Democratic Party 2008 platform.

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

        by Wom Bat on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 11:13:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No alibi's. I say PASS IT AND FIX IT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          you want Fix it and Pass it.  Different perceptions of the same reality.

          There is NOTHING glib about my attitude. I am desperate for a bill to be passed because I truly beleive the game is completely over if it is not. So there is no need to insult me. I respect your position. If you don't respect mine, that is your preogative.  No sweat.

          •  You incorrectly labeled a (5+ / 0-)

            2008 Democratic national platform plank on which Barack Obama campaigned repeatedly "a Progressive pipe dream." In 2008, the national Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Senator Obama each endorsed a public health-insurance program. That makes the PO anything but "a Progressive pipe dream." I pointed out your error. That's not an insult. Instead, it's proving that you were mistaken in your characterization of the PO. You can call it an insult if you want to. But that won't make it an insult, any more than your mistakenly calling the PO a Progressive pipedream made it a Progressive pipedream.

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

            by Wom Bat on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 12:38:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That was NOT my objection. Your erroneous (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              assumption that my dismissal was 'glib' was insulting. My emotional involvement in health care reform and the reform of the national dream is anything but glib. That is what I object to becasue it is anything but true. I care deeply about the future for my grandchildren in America and believe with all my heart and soul that if this attempt to pass healthcare reform fails they are doomed for cycles to come.

              Have it any way you wish. I know my feelings, my caring, my responsibilities and my position and how and why I have come to change my original position fro single payor as it ebcame obvious it would not pass in the political climate. I also came to believe the same about public option and to feel that my original positions were pipe dreams.

              I presume you know what a pipe dream is. An unattainable position fueled by unrealistic expectations.

              PASS IT AND FIX IT.

              •  pass what and fix it? (0+ / 0-)

                Even Obama's new proposal doesn't follow that sloganeering since it is not identical to the senate bill.

                So, what exactly do you want passed? Are you throwing Obama's proposals under the bus in favour of the senate bill as is?

                "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 02:24:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, no buses. Same as Fix it and Pass it, slogan (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  Whatever comes out of the conference on Thursday, based on the blueprint that President Obama released today, and has made clear through Robert Gibbs that that is the template for discussion. I presume you can access the same blueprint ?. I am sure it is lonked in many places.

                  I shall support whatever bill the White House and the Congress can agree on, that is if they wind up getting the votes. That is by no means a sure thing, as I presume you also know?.

                  If it changes I imagine I shall continue to support its passage.  However as I am sure you are aware there are several steps left yet before passing anything concrete. I thought you knew that?  I certainly do and I imagine most people here do as well.

                  •  do you have to be so condescending? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Picot verde, aliasalias, Wom Bat

                    I presume you can access the same blueprint ?

                    as I presume you also know?.

                    I thought you knew that?

                    What I know is not the issue. You wrote "PASS IT AND FIX IT." So now it's "fix it and pass it"? Those are two different stances. That's why I asked you what you supported.

                    And I see you ignored my comment showing the Dem party platform that included what you characterized as a "pipe dream" of a public plan that you didn't seem to think was in there so spare me your judgments about what you think I do or do not know.

                    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                    by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 02:56:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  LOL. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mahakali overdrive

                      I do my best to ignore everything you write to me actually.  We don't see eye to eye and I prefer not arguing for the sake of arguing. So how about both of us sparing each other from now on? OK?  Have a nice evening.

                      •  NO, NO, NO. FIX IT AND PASS IT is the slogan of (0+ / 0-)

                        nyceve/slinkerwink/Darcy Burner organisation and the slogan of the Fix it and Pass it crowd.  It was a reversal of your challenging me on PASS IT AND FIX IT, which is as you know the reverse of their opinion and stand.

                        I thought you knew that? Forget it.  Let it go.  WE are wasting time and energy and getting nowhere.

                    •  Condescension is this user's style. When (0+ / 0-)

                      BS gets called, this user resorts to accusations. There's a well established pattern of that. Little is to be gained by politely engaging. Even when shown evidence of their being mistaken, this user remains unpersuaded and simply digs in harder. Not that it's real important, but offhand I'd say there may be issues at work other than just viewpoint of the subject matter under discussion.  

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

                      by Wom Bat on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 04:40:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  this line alone earns the tip and rec: (6+ / 0-)

    Americans are not stupid, and it's long overdue that the political class stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes

    because it cannot be stressed enough. people are hurting and angry and sham reform, sold as the real thing, will backfire in November, causing low Dem turnout like it already did in NJ and MA.

    " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

    by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:44:59 AM PST

    •  Input to output: Cracking open corporate monolith (0+ / 0-)

      is next to impossible. Especially with the Senate stuck deep inside.

       Once we get an opening it's only a matter of time until we get what we need.

       Hitting the Gop with everything we got, not just one plan or another, can only help.

       Some think it will screw us come election time if we have a mandate and no P.O. I agree.

       That won't happen. We'll just keep hammering.

       We'll get the P.O. It'll just take some more  hammering.  

  •  Better than the public option (0+ / 0-)

    The Health Insurance Rate Authority may be more effective than the public option in controlling rate increases, and more detested by the insurance industry.

    •  Homeowners like me in Florida (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, pistolSO

      await effective premium regulation.

    •  In 39% California (0+ / 0-)

      Anthem said it welcomed the state's review and was confident that regulators would find its rates to be justified. The company blamed the increases on rising medical costs and an exodus of health consumers from its ranks caused by job loss and consumer belt-tightening.

      WellPoint executive Brian Sassi, who oversees the company's individual policies nationwide, defended the increases in a statement. "Anthem filed these rates with the appropriate regulators in November of 2009," he said. "They are actuarially sound and in full compliance with all requirements in the law.

      "Our decision to agree to postpone the rate adjustments does not change the underlying issue," the statement continued. "All health plans are in the same situation, trying to deal with the steadily increasing medical costs in the delivery system, which are not sustainable."

  •  Spend some now and save on Emerg room use (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, TomP, elwior
    "Expanding Community Health Centers
    The Act provides $11 billion in funding for the operation, expansion, and construction of community health centers throughout the Nation. This investment will help community health centers provide better care to people in need all across America."

  •  excerpt email: bold progressives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, SingleVoter, Matt Z

    survey Q that shows national support for PO was this:

    QUESTION: What would make you more likely to vote for Democrats in the 2010 elections: If they pass health care reform that includes a public health insurance option but gets zero Republicans votes OR if they pass health care reform without a public option but with some Republican votes?

       * Nevada: 53% public option, 40% bipartisanship
       * Illinois: 61% public option, 30% bipartisanship
       * Iowa: 58% public option, 29% bipartisanship
       * Washington: 61% public option, 25% bipartisanship
       * Missouri: 49% public option, 36% bipartisanship
       * Virginia: 55% public option, 33% bipartisanship
       * Minnesota: 62% public option, 39% bipartisanship
       * Colorado: 58% public option, 43% bipartisanship

    We should stand up and say let's work together until we finish defeating the left and then we won't have to work with them as much. - Newt Gingrich

    by anyname on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 10:20:44 AM PST

  •  These are not the droids you're looking for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Get it done, NOW!! Talk time is over....n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Matt Z
  •  HEALTH SECURITY ACT OF 1993 (0+ / 0-)

    Cost Containment
    Health Plans annually bid premium to Alliance for covering standard benefits

    Target premium is known to bidding plans in advance

    Range of bids acceptable as long as weighted average premium < target

    If plans overbid, opportunity to re-bid lower amount

    Otherwise, Alliance institutes mandatory premium reduction

    Alliance also develops provider fee schedule that can achieve target premium level.

    Premium reduction is backed by provider fee schedules to yield required savings

    from Karen Pollitz, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute

  •  A comparison chart of HCR plans here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, TomP, elwior

    I really don't understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. - John Cole

    by Gorette on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 12:17:41 PM PST

  •  Obama's bill sucks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So Obama is going to use reconciliation to force Republicans to accept a bill that is in reality their wet dream.  Obama is a fool.  

    Democrats have abandoned working/middle class people.  They are now Republicans, welcoming more Republicans to become Democrats while driving the party further and further right until it represents no one but Republicans, corporations, politicians, and the ruling elite.  Working/middle class people need to form a party that represents working/middle class people because the Democratic Party isn't it.  

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by dkmich on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:31:03 PM PST

  •  Johnson makes 21 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, horizontalrule

    WhipCongress says he signed

    Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

    by pistolSO on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:40:05 PM PST

  •  R's will never, ever support the President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As is shown by the NYT story, below, that just came up on the web----R's will not even consider a plan that President Obama proposes---it is rejected as soon as issued by the R's, so I hope the President shows them as the frauds they are and pushes his bill however he has to push it to get it into law, now.

    Obama’s Plan for Health Bill Largely Follows Senate Version

    Published: February 22, 2010

    WASHINGTON — President Obama began what may be his final push to win enactment of a health care overhaul, laying out a legislative blueprint on Monday that seeks to unify House and Senate Democrats but makes no big new concessions to Republicans.

    . . . . . .
    But among Republicans leaders, the initial reaction was negative. Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader, said that Mr. Obama had "crippled the credibility" of Thursday’s meeting by proposing "the same massive government takeover of health care."

  •  You float with the wind... (0+ / 0-)

    one week the pres says yes to public option, and you cheer. Then he says no, and you say, no matter. You can take your mandates, and well, you know what to do with them.

    "Revolutionary Road" was a brilliant film.

    by scorpiorising on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:45:58 PM PST

  •  AP is pissing me off all day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is their latest, after this morning's 'Obama's last-ditch' story:

    Starting over on health care, President Barack Obama knows his chances aren't looking much more promising. A year after he called for a far-reaching overhaul, Obama unveiled his most detailed plan yet on Monday. Realistically, he's just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency.

    Whose 'talk' would that be?  The RNC? Rove? Beck?  Your boss Fournier?

    Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

    by Tuffie on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 01:49:01 PM PST

  •  brrreaking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    horizontalrule, ridemybike

    Adam Green just announced on the Ed Show that Stabenow's on board for the PO.

    That's 22.

    He also said they polled N Dakota and the results will be out tomorrow: majority in favour of the PO.

    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

    by catnip on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:18:15 PM PST

    •  Tim Johnson and Debbie Stabenow!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catnip, horizontalrule

      I was just gonna post it...but, ya beat me 2 it ;-)

      "Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." -Helen Keller

      by ridemybike on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 03:26:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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