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The NYT's Robert Pear continues coverage of the key story coming out of last week's passage and signing of health insurance reform: the contention by insurers that a key part of the law that is supposed to take effect immediately will not. That is, they are asserting that the provision that prevents them from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions--intended to begin with policies that begin on or after Sept. 23, 2010--doesn't do that at all.

Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.

William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.”

...[I]nsurers say, until 2014, the law does not require them to write insurance at all for the child or the family. In the language of insurance, the law does not include a “guaranteed issue” requirement before then.

This is why insurance companies have lawyers. The Obama administration insists that it can close this loophole with strong regulations, but the insurers are ready for that.

A White House spokesman said the administration planned to issue regulations setting forth its view that “the term ‘pre-existing’ applies to both a child’s access to a plan and his or her benefits once he or she is in a plan.” But lawyers said the rules could be challenged in court if they went beyond the law or were inconsistent with it.

The language on this portion of the legislation was problematic and didn't move up the guaranteed issue of plans, and it should come as a surprise to no one that the insurers jumped on that loophole within hours of the bill being signed to show their intent to flout it. That's a preview of things to come, probably, as they have four years to tease out every other loophole in the law they can find to continue to deny coverage and raise premiums.

For that reason, it would be smart for Congress to put them on notice that the reform effort didn't end last week by passing a stand-alone bill clarifying the issue of pre-existing conditions for children. There are plenty of stand-alone bills that could be forwarded between now and 2014: the Senate should pass the anti-trust exemption repeal that the House passed in December; Feinstein's medical insurance rate review authority that was included in Obama's plan but didn't make the Byrd Rule cut to remain in the reconciliation fix; and finally, the public option proposal that we've been promised by Reid and Harkin that we'll get eventually, and that Alan Grayson has already found significant support for.

The last thing members of Congress will want to do now is take up any kind of healthcare reform again, but the job isn't finished. The place to start is undoubtedly making their promise to sick children iron-clad.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:12 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  How's about they fix it first, then (0+ / 0-)

      extend it?

      I hate to imagine the problems of making that program even bigger in the shape its in.

      Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

      by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:19:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or just scrap the whole thing (13+ / 0-)

        and replace it with single payer like they should have in the first place.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:32:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Medicare is kind of that, and could serve as a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cali Techie, allie123

          test bed for a single payer that could be spread -- maybe to Medicaid first, then as a buy-in, etc.

          It would be much easier to sell if we can make it work, and its much easier to make it work on a smaller scale.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:36:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the simplest (8+ / 0-)

            route to single payer. Let everyone buy into Medicare if they want. Watch the insurers suddenly find their hearts.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:39:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that it will implode if we just (0+ / 0-)

              "do it", but...yes.

              Give Medicare some love and make it a first-rate program, one people would choose rather than settle for.

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:42:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yea, and here's another question... (0+ / 0-)

              They say they have to cover us all, but what is an insurance policy going to cost me?  Who says I will be able to afford it?  Are the insurance companies going to be able to charge a 50 year old female who makes 40k a year $15,000 a year for coverage?  

              What's gonna stop them?  They're basically doing that now.

              •  If people are able to buy into Medicare (0+ / 0-)

                which takes all comers, a very high percentage of whom are sick and they're able to take care of them efficiently and only charge a couple hundred a month (that's what my parents pay) the health insurance companies had better find their hearts or find themselves with no customers.

                That's what they're afraid of and why they made damn sure they were involved in the writing of the crappy health insurance law we just put on the books.

                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:05:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "a couple hundred a month" bears... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...no relation to what a buy in would cost.

                  IIRC, "Medicare buy in" proposals I've heard require that the premiums paid by those choosing to buy in covers the costs (claims paid, claims processing, auditing, and other administrative burdens) across those who buy in. (I.e., it's a PO implemented using the existing Medicare umbrella and sometimes limited to certain classes of people such as those "over 55").

                  From HHS's 2011 budget brief, we see (pg 54) that there will be about 48 million Medicare enrollees with outlays of about $475 billion (net of premiums directly recovered by HHS). That works out to almost $10K per year or $825 per month. If I'm reading this right, it's better than private insurance for aged/disabled folks, but it bears no relation to "a couple hundred a month". Seems the buy in option could cost be as much as $825 a month per person (not per family!) depending on the ratio of high to low risk enrollees who decided to avail themselves of it.

              •  Make Wrongful Denial or Recission = $1 million (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                We Won, Villagejonesy

                Right now, there's not much downside for wrongful denial or recission.

                If I lose or run out of time I stay sick or die.  That's a pretty big stake.

                If the Health Ins companies lose, first, they get to keep the money invested they would have otherwise spent on me until they lose (years), then they just get to take my premium money and pay out the same amount they would have if they had done right from the start.

                Where's the business risk in that?

                Make it a big $ risk to wrongfully deny or recind.

                The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

                by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:09:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well said. Wonder why they didn't put that in? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Into The Woods

                  Er, um, it's, uh, hardly politically pragmatic or feasible at this time, hrubble-a-brumph.

                  "Not Pragmatic"="Not enough people were bought off for that"

                  "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

                  by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 05:20:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  15k ayear-cheap (0+ / 0-)

                A friend of mine is a cancer survivor and 54.  He checked out individual insurance premiums and best he could find was 35k a year.

                Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

                by barbwires on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 04:28:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Now that's a much better comment (0+ / 0-)

            that your other ones.

            But there's no reason it can't be fixed and expanded at the same time.

            The problem with "fix it first" is that it's the same line obstructionists who don't want it expanded use to kill the idea.

            The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

            by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:50:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe, but my worries about expanding it first (0+ / 0-)

              are along these lines:

              1. It's already very expensive. Part of that is that it serves an elderly population, but only part of it.  Some of the touted low overhead comes from lax fraud prevent/detection and part of that comes from doctors who game the system (thanks to low payments) just short of true fraud.
              1. It's still focused on pay per procedure instead of course of care, and cost-cutting has been focused on cutting per-procedure payments.  That's a big reason why doctors aren't taking Medicare patients.

              Expansion under those conditions sounds like a potential disaster -- one that could abort future potential.

              OTOH -- I didn't think there was any way Scott Brown could win in Massachusetts, so I can be taken with many grains of salt.

              I did predict that Michigan State would be in the Final Four, but...as a double alum, I'm a bit biased.

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:59:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But there's a way to deal with that (0+ / 0-)

                offer primary care doctors who accept Medicare patients (once anybody can buy into it, that is) a flat fee per patient.

                Maybe 1500/yr. Tests are billed separately, provided that they're done at a separate facility not owned by the doctor or any company that they have an interest in.

                I might go to the doctor once a year - I'm healthy as a horse and HATE going to the doctor (like most people without chronic conditions).

                So the doctor gets 1500/yr to basically hold my medical history, and be the one I call when I'm sick.

        •  The argument against scrapping Medicare (0+ / 0-)

          is one of PR.  Medicare is still seen as a net positive, I'd venture. So scrapping it (even it replaced by something better) could be twisted into saying, "they're taking away our Medicare."

          So maybe improve Medicare while keeping the name.

          The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

          by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:12:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Keep it, bring on single payer, then scrap it. (0+ / 0-)

          Order is important.

      •  It's in better shape (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allie123

        then the wasteful, bloated and unsavory health insurance industry is.

        The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

        by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:38:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is it? Glad you think so, but... (0+ / 0-)

          It's bleeding doctors, has nearly no serious fraud control, and spends more than twice as much per patient as that wasteful, bloated, and unsavory health insurance industry.

          Medicare could be a showcase for "course-of-treatment" oriented care, and rely on science to deliver the best care for less.

          It ain't there at the moment.

          Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

          by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:45:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a disingenuous argument (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            Just to get this stright: you are praising for the health insurance companies for spending less on patient care and you're criticizing Medicare for spending more money on patient care.

            While at the same time you're not mentioning other money spent on other things?

            If you're wondering why your comments aren't getting any recs, it's because you're not as smooth as you think you are.

            The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

            by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:48:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not in the least. (0+ / 0-)

              First, I haven't praised insurance companies in any way, shape, or form.  

              I have definitely criticized Medicare.  It's falling apart, and doing so at great cost.  If you want to take the country in that direction, it might pay to take the blinders off and realize what it means.

              By the way, if you're going to call me disingenuous, you should get it right.

              If I actually were praising insurance companies for spending less (and you've not seen me do that anywhere), it would be completely consistent to criticized Medicare for paying more.

              That would be completely consistent, and evidence of candor, not disingenuousness.

              Logic -- it's a good thing.

              Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

              by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:54:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You simply need to read your own comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac

                It's bleeding doctors, has nearly no serious fraud control, and spends more than twice as much per patient as that wasteful, bloated, and unsavory health insurance industry.

                You're criticizing Medicare for spending money on patients and your implication is that the coporated Health Industry is better because they don't.

                If you want to make the technical argument that you didn't overtly praise the industry, then I'll let you have that "win."  But your statement compares the two and says that the Mecidare is worse than the industry because it spends more on patient care.

                And you're still employing the narrow focus on spending on patient care and still ignoring other spending by insurance companies.

                The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

                by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:01:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Spending money on patient "care" is not a virtue. (0+ / 0-)

                  Look at it this way --

                  Michael Jackson probably paid Dr. Johnson a fortune to "care" for him -- and look what it got him.

                  A lot of that money is either wasted in fraud, or in procedures and tests that aren't needed -- and hence more likely to hurt the patient than help -- in order to make up for reduced per-procedure payments.

                  More money is good when it buys better (not more) care.
                  It's bad when it doesn't.

                  Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                  by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:11:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're still cherry picking (0+ / 0-)

                    and each time I've tried to engage you to widen your focus, you've ignored it completely, and instead just repeated your original comment, sharing nothing new.

                    So, we're talking past each other and for that reason, I'm no longer going to reply to your comments here.

                    The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

                    by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:14:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Whoops -- Sorry, missed the last comment... (0+ / 0-)

                  Ignoring other spending by insurance companies?

                  That's intriguing to me.
                  Not sure what you're talking about, but presume it must come from the 18% (on average) that NPR found devoted to administration and profits by large insurance companies.

                  I presume that people have to be paid, so spending some money for administration doesn't bother me in the least.  If anything, Medicare may be costing more money than it saves by not putting a little more dough into the administrative end.

                  I don't begrudge insurance companies their profits, as their profits are lower than most industries.  What I do begrudge is their nasty business ethic (if you can call it that.  They are the opposite of fair dealing and I have no sympathy for them at all.

                  Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

                  by dinotrac on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:16:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  What is so bad about Medicare? (0+ / 0-)

            My parents are on it and it has worked wonderfully for them, and they have a variety of health problems.  I have had FAR more problems with private insurance, despite being younger and healthier.

            And comparing cost between Medicare and private insurance is hardly fair; Medicare serves a much older demographic with all the health issues that come with age (including expensive end of life care).

            You also ignore that this law includes a bunch of fixes to Medicare intended to reduce fraud and move toward outcome based compensation.  More can be done I am sure, but even as it stands now, extending Medicare to the rest of the population would be nothing but win.  It will provide a better quality service than private insurance at a lower cost than private insurance, forcing insurance companies to lower costs and reducing the outlays for affordability credits.

            Treasure each day like it will be your last, but treat the earth like you will live forever. -me

            by protothad on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 04:34:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  This happened because Dems let Lobbyists write (0+ / 0-)

        so much of this Law.

        Most in Congress have no idea how many more loopholes were inserted into the Law, but you can be damn sure the insurance companies know exactlly what loopholes their lobbyists inserted for them.

        Only industry shills like Liz Fowler (working for Max Baucus) know for sure where the land mines in the Law are, and they're damn sure not going to share those details with the public.

        When Democrats like Baucus lie down with insurance company dogs like Liz Fowler, they get a bill riddled with loopholes and maybe a few feas.

        "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

        by Lefty Coaster on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:49:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Democratic Congressional Majority (26+ / 0-)

    How's the public option looking to you now?

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:14:00 PM PDT

  •  Is someone working on this NOW in WH? (4+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:14:45 PM PDT

  •  As a PR move for the insurance companies... (23+ / 0-)

    this kinda sucks-- shareholders may like it.  But show a few sick kids to the public who really need covereage and make clear who is denying it... I really think that most people will not side with the industry on this.

    Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

    by mommyof3 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:15:44 PM PDT

  •  They need to fix this (7+ / 0-)

    or all the positive messaging in the world isn't going to help. You can't over promise and then have it tied up in court for 5 years while families are still without insurance for their sick children. Fix. This. Now. Public option or Medicare buy-in.

    Now.

  •  An executive order (6+ / 0-)

    should put this one to bed pretty easily. The order can be based on the bill that passed so the WH has a fair amount of wiggle room.

    In fact the WH should go a stage further and squeeze the ins cos a bit more than the current bill does - just so they know that subhuman behavior has consequences.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:17:56 PM PDT

    •  Class Action based on breach of standard est. by (0+ / 0-)

      law?  

      Could be an interesting class action civil suit.

      The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:53:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Executive Order (0+ / 0-)

      Just curious-but why not use that old favorite, the signing statement?

      Does that have the force of the law with it?

      Does it carry the same weight as an Executive Order?

      Just curious...

      ...more horses' asses than there are horses...

      by songseekerma on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 04:26:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is THIS really the hill the insurance cos want (23+ / 0-)

    to die on?  Denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions? There may be ambiguity in the law as written that they are willing to exploit from a business point of view, but this should be TERRIBLE from a PR point of view.  Protest and boycott the sons of bitches that deny a child medical coverage. To borrow a phrase, "make them famous".  

  •  This is sort of (5+ / 0-)

    on-topic and sort of off-topic but has anyone gotten bored like me and browsed the archives of the NYT and WaPo for stories from the last time health care was attempted?

    I remembered because Pear actually wrote a lot of the articles I read.

    It's freaking eerie how similar it is though - except for one little difference: in a few of the articles I've read, some of the Republicans loved the mandate and loved a few of the pieces that are in the bill we just passed.

    Other than that, the opposition is the same, the words are the same, the Republicans even launched a "Why now?" campaign, arguing that we should just wait and work on a "better, more bipartisan" bill to pass at some later time.

    Weird.

    "As long as I think it might make [homophobic 'baggers] happy, I can never retire." - Barney Frank

    by indiemcemopants on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:18:10 PM PDT

  •  This should not be a surprise to anyone. (5+ / 0-)

    These people come from the school of "it depends on what your definition of "is" is".  It was BS before and it is BS now.  Medicare for all and then let's start cranking down costs for that program.  These people absolutely believe that they own our government and so far they have been right.  I hope Obama is able to prove them wrong.

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

    by lakehillsliberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:18:11 PM PDT

  •  Sure, why would it cover sick kids? (10+ / 0-)

    I'm happy this thing got passed, but for chrissakes, the celebration is really gonna be when we get the insurance companies completely out of this game.

    State single payer.  Like they did it in Canada.

  •  Thank you Big Insurance... (9+ / 0-)

    ... for making our arguments for us.  Does this really help the Repeal & Replace crowd, or make folks want to smack Big Insurance around more?

    Are they really this dumb?

    John

    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

      The insurance companies are digging their own graves with stupid stunts like this.

      And when they're gone we can get single payer or Medicare for all done.

      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 Mar 29, 2010 at 02:24:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Repeal Now. Replace ...........crickets......... (0+ / 0-)

      When exactly would GOP 'replace' anything and with what?

      Repeal it, replace it with something that would not work and would give the insurance companies even greater power?

      In the face of this kind of arrogance and disrespect for the law?

      The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:56:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Into The Woods

        ... if the GOP were smart, they would come charging in to claim this is one of the "flaws" they saw i the bill and off something to close the alleged gap.

        The problem is that would be turning on their Big Health Masters.

        Nice catch-22.  If it needs a "fix", who is going to vote against something for Kids?  Even SCHIP passed... several times, though Bush vetoed it.  This is an easy thing for Nancy to bring to the floor.  Think Scott Brown in the Senate wants to vote against closing an alledged whole on this?

        John

        •  Yep. Repeal, maybe (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Into The Woods

          but what would they replace it with? They won't say.

          If they DID, they might actually have a point and get some votes with it.

          They could always do something about some of the loopholes, and score some points, as you said.

          But they won't. They just won't. They don't even see a problem with the insurance companies or the way they do things.

  •  What Scum. They shold try being homeless not fun (0+ / 0-)

    Ora Lee Tate is suing, that usually means we win and they are desperate..... victory brings the crazies out of the closet.

    by oceanstateliberal247 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:19:00 PM PDT

  •  What a vicious move by the insurance companies. (4+ / 0-)

    Hard to believe that they're capable of this degree of meanness (meant in two ways).

    Don't believe everything you think.

    by Miniaussiefan on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:19:13 PM PDT

    •  It is really not meanness. Understand what (8+ / 0-)

      corporate entities are required to do....they are required to maximize shareholder value(and CEO compensation) at all costs. They are actually quite amoral enterprises...and "therein lies the rub".  We cannot have an amoral entity in the middle of life and death decisions...it is just not going to work.  Obama knows this so why they chose this route, I am not sure.  It is absolutely illogical for what he has promised people would happen(healthcare for all).

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

      by lakehillsliberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Single Payer (4+ / 0-)

    The insurance companies will push the govt closer to single payer with these types of activities.  Then let's see how happy they are.

    If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

    by tacklelady on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

  •  Who the fuck are the lawers? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad, esquimaux, marleycat

    We're worried about the 'Al Qaeda seven' when we've got these assholes working against kids in America? Seriously?

    Where's the outrage in the TradMed?

    Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

    by justinb on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:20:17 PM PDT

  •  gotta love them "capitalists" and their (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, allie123

    republicon elected friends who will stand by this!

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:20:54 PM PDT

  •  I read about that this morning. (5+ / 0-)

    This is likely just the beginning of a running battle. All legislation turns up flaws and unanticipated loopholes. Some can be fixed with regulations and others require follow up legislation. This is going to be a particular mess because it is a very complex act with political compromise at every turn and because there is no good faith consensus about making it work what so ever.

  •  This is the "replace" part of... (0+ / 0-)
    ..."Repeal & Replace"...

    The language on this portion of the legislation was problematic and didn't move up the guaranteed issue of plans, and it should come as a surprise to no one that the insurers jumped on that loophole within hours of the bill being signed to show their intent to flout it.

    I speculate the 47% of patriots who want Obamacare repealed & replaced thinks the above blockquote pretty much covers the "replace" aspect of it.

    In other words, "Replace Obamacare!  Constantly ridiculing the good faith efforts of our above reproach insurance companies is so...Obama-like!"

    Consequences have elections.

    by wyvern on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:21:33 PM PDT

  •  If tey continue like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    They simply hasten the day when they are treated like all the other Utilities ...

    ... or simply passed over and ignored by either a Public Option, or Medicare for all.

    Why do the Insurers make their contempt of the US and it's children so plain, and so obvious?

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

  •  Let's sue the MFs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl
  •  Oh my! What a surprise. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMarshall, esquimaux, Cali Techie, Losty

    Actually, it's not.  I've stated before that these regulations will simply be evaded by the insurance industry.  Even I didn't expect them to be quite so quick.

    Ladies and gentlemen... I believe this was one of the reasons for a true public option, open to anyone who wants it.  Savings was part of it... but if people could switch out of disgust, this dick move would be much more damaging to the insurance companies.

  •  Can we have a Public Option now? (5+ / 0-)

    Or are we still not worth it?

  •  the more the insurers (4+ / 0-)

    fight the plain intent of the laws, the more stupid they are about public relations (think Anthem's price increases), the sooner we have single payer or medicare for all.

    As the President said "Go for it!"

    •  They don't care. It's the only game in town. (0+ / 0-)

      Where else will you go?

      •  its not about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, CalliopeIrjaPearl

        going any place else for 'consumers'.   Its about insurers feeling so empowered by right wing rhetoric that they believe they are untouchable.  For a while it will work.  And, yes, its the only game in town.  But it is excess that gets regulated, it is excess that eventually turns public opinion so firmly that political action follows.

        If it wasn't this provision, it would be another, and even though this was their first announcement, others will follow.  If private insurance had been abolished, they would follow up with takings claims and other complaints.  Power doesn't concede easily, but it sometimes overreaches.

  •  I can't believe people are surprised by this (7+ / 0-)

    Welcome to my world.  All I want is to be treated for ms.  Pacific Care does everything they can to stop me from receiving the treatment recommended by my neurologists as well as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  
    I know first hand, insurance companies will use every possible way of denying and then delaying treatment. The state agency responsible for regulation can not compete with the insurance companies lawyers.  It is me against Pacific Care.  
    I Just got off the phone with HCAN.  They want to know if I will talk to the media, second time they asked. I told them I am glad the bill passed, it will help a lot of people, but it won't help me.  I am too disappointed by the bill, right now, to talk to the media about the bill. I will talk to the media about how much insurance companies suck.  

  •  I hate to say this (9+ / 0-)

    but I told you so.

    The bill that was passed into law was crap. Thus we have a crap law that doesn't perform as advertised by its proponents.

    I've been saying all along the loopholes were big enough to drive a semi through and made a sponge look like solid granite.

    As more news like this starts getting out it's going to hurt the Democrats. It's a looooooong time until November and a lot can happen between now and then.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:29:03 PM PDT

    •  Could we have gotten stronger bill passed? (4+ / 0-)

      Everything I've seen says no.

      Did we need a stronger bill.  Yes.

      But with each abuse, each arrogant clutching from greed that dooms a child to illness and death, another example is born of why we need something stronger.

      I realize, we've had them for years, but the public does not realize that.

      The public looks at what we passed as a huge change.

      It is a change, but they need to see that no matter what it seems like it is not large enough.

      The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:01:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everything you've seen (0+ / 0-)

        was based on some unrealistic expectation Republicans would come along if we just gave them what they wanted.

        The Democratic Leadership starting with Obama could have put in place a MUCH stronger law if they would have just led like the leaders they're supposed to be.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:07:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Blue Dog Dems Disappear Since last week? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Whimsical, CalliopeIrjaPearl

          Or are you assuming they'd just fall in line?

          The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

          by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:10:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The blue dogs would fall in line (0+ / 0-)

            with effective leadership. When the leadership caves in to Republican demands it gives the blue dogs the encouragement they need to make their own conservadem demands.

            Pelosi/Reed: "Oh, you're not supporting the party platform on health care? Welcome to your new office in the basement, and uh all your committee chairmanships have been given to someone else."

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:30:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  House is not the problem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CalliopeIrjaPearl

              Senate, with its rules and customs, gives minority of one near majority power.

              The rules should be scrapped, but only can be done at beginning of session.

              So we start from where we are not where we wish we were and folks like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln don't disappear because you want them to nor do they 'fall into line', in part because they reformed the rules since the good old days of LBJ and the powerful Majority Leaders that held the kind of power we sometimes now wish he had.

              The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

              by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:43:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It takes a ruthless SOB to look at a sick kid (4+ / 0-)

    and say "I don't care if you die, because my duty is to my shareholders". Maybe we need a Constitutional amendment that CEOs are to be looked in their offices and only let out with ankle bracelets and keepers, since it seems the skill set to be a CEO is diametrically opposed to the one required to be a good person.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:29:10 PM PDT

  •  This is just the first salvo in a barrage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, allie123, Losty

    of insurance company legal challenges and policy traps for the insureds.

    I think that Obama thought if he could get almost any health care legislation passed then he could claim an victory and create a triumvirate for all time: FDR passed Social Security, LBJ passed Medicare, and BHO passed national health insurance.

    But there is a key difference between what BHO passed and the work of the other two. The first two worked and the third won't. Everybody loves the first two, except for a few old grumblers, but many, many people will be disappointed and finally unhappy with the third.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning.

    by hestal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:29:54 PM PDT

  •  All the more reason to go strong. (0+ / 0-)

    You have another reconciliation bill available to you.  Use it.

    Let's get people on to a system where considerations like these aren't made.  Now more than ever, it should be clear it's a moral imperative.  

    "I am sick and tired of this Republican garbage!"- Joe Biden

    by Trakd on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:29:58 PM PDT

    •  only one reconciiiatin bill per year (0+ / 0-)

      is my understanding of how congress works - now separate bills must be passed to correct or amend the original one, and i'm thinkin' the pubbies are going to have a harder time explaining their noes on the fixes... like insuring babies at birth...  

      i hope this is the end to the insurance industry as it stands today.

      years ago it worked - then republicans got into control and all hell broke loose.  i remember my father having catestrophic insurance on the home he and mom bought.  when he developed cancer, the company holding the policy he'd paid on for years was suddenly "sold" to another entity and his coverage was cancelled.  he got even with them, though.  he didn't die.  he lived long enough to pay out his mortgage and when he did finally die, my mom had the house free and clear. she's still  living there at 93!

      we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

      by edrie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 06:50:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One per FISCAL year (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson

        And the one they just used was last year's.  They have one for this year too, which is why Harkin and Reid's talk of voting the public option in via reconciliation later is at least plausible independent of their intent.

        And I'm definitely with you on the insurance industry.  What an unholy construct.

        "I am sick and tired of this Republican garbage!"- Joe Biden

        by Trakd on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 07:04:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right to life--only before you are born. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Yes -- but in this climate of (0+ / 0-)

    "Governmental aggression" makes it tough to sell a reform bill to people who are stupid. For instance, take this concept hatched by Republicans that supposedly marks "the first time ever in our country's history" that we are "being FORCED to pay for something!"

    My God -- you know, they're right. This is why the U.S. Government never forced people to pay into a system that would redistribute wealth... like, say, Social Security...

  •  The people who warned us about these loopholes (9+ / 0-)

    were called "dishonest" by many in this community. This needs to be remembered (for future reference). It didn't take insurance 2 days to start exploiting loopholes, which makes me think this particular loophole was an intentional (because of how quickly the loophole was found).

    •  This was intentional? Are you kidding? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalliopeIrjaPearl

      I think you're tinfoil hat is on a little tight . . .

      •  What do you think health lobbyists (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        714day, Mike Taylor

        were paying all that money for?  The chance to shape the bill.

        If you think they had no influence in forming the recently passed bill, then maybe some of your clothing is a little tight as well?

        The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

        by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:43:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Shape the bill? They could have just kept (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CalliopeIrjaPearl

          kids off of it until 2014. Why the hell go through all the dramatics of pissing people off this way?

          There's nothing "intentional" about this. The insurance companies---and all of their paid hacks who wrote the bill---are just continuing to do what they're unable to stop doing: screwing people.

          No need to imagine anything more nefarious.

          •  Aw, but you may be missing a fine point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mike Taylor

            They could have indeed "just kept (0+ / 0-)

            kids off of it until 2014."

            But to answer your "Why the hell" question, I offer up this: their goal is to pass a bill that sounds as palatable as possible to the American people but at the same time allows them to interpret it so that it works in their own interests.

            If you want to argue otherwise, that's fine and I welcome it. But what I take exception to is you labeling someone as a conspiracy theorist for arguing the opposite.

            The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

            by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:08:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You realize the Liz Fowler, a former insurance (5+ / 0-)

        lobbyist for WellPoint actually wrote most of the bill?

        http://www.indy.com/...

        The point of the comment above may be wrong...but it actually has some basis and can't be immediately dismissed.

        That being said, the bill has been out there for months.  It didn't take 2 days to find.  

        "We did not fear our future -- we shaped it. " President Barack Obama

        Now, don't forget how you did it this March, Mr. President

        by justmy2 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:44:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but . . but . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Taylor, Villagejonesy

          I thought it was the mighty DEMOCRATS who wrote this wonderful bill . . . . ????????????

          (snicker)  (giggle)

          Amazing what a few million bucks in campaign contributions can do, isn't it . . .

        •  Ambiguity buys time. Time for more $ to be made (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Taylor

          Even if all it means is time til the judge tells them to get off their asses and cover people.

          When Insurance Cos have something to lose if they lose that suit, instead of just paying what they should have to begin with, then we have some power to enforce the law.

          The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

          by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:05:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The text of the bill's been available for a while (0+ / 0-)

      Doesn't take long for a dedicated group of people to find nice little tidbits- look at how well the DailyKos community organizes when there's a massive dump of info that needs sorting through quickly.

      I own half a house- it's a duo.

      by EsnRedshirt on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:47:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not a loophole just cause they say it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We Won

      Can you sue for (insert crazy idea)?

      Sure.  Doesn't mean you can win.

      The proof will come in the putting.

      The last dog-whistle has died. What we have now is like blowing a train whistle and then saying "oh sorry, I was just trying to call my dog.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:03:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So... now we've got to pass stand-alone bills? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty

    Through a Senate where the minority party has been filibustering 80% of everything that gets there?

    Sure, it'll make them look bad if they're caught filibustering a law closing a loophole that lets ins companies exploit children, but when has that stopped them before?

    I own half a house- it's a duo.

    by EsnRedshirt on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:36:13 PM PDT

    •  um - can you see them filibustering (0+ / 0-)

      these issues prior to november election?

      and this will be that senator/reps answer to the mother of a sick infant...

      why, yes, ma'm, i just voted to let your kid die since he was born with a heart problem that has a simple but costly fix.  now, let me tell you how much money the government is going to save by making sure you can't get insurance...

      why, when you lose your house due to a medical  bankruptcy, the market will be up and ALL our friends will be happy, not just in the insurance industry but the financial side, too! we will make TONS of money from our PAC friends who just enriched their pockets for the year by lining ours!

      THANK you for your support and your vote!

      [disclaimer, that thank you was directed to the good "citizen" in Citizen United - not to the woman of the sick or dead child...]

      we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

      by edrie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 06:56:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jesus! Give us a PO to avoid the bloodsuckers! n (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, Mike Taylor
  •  The more lawyers Big Ins throws at this issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Whimsical, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    The faster they will make the case for single-payer.

    Godspeed, Insurance Industry.

    Keep denying care for children.

    That is a really good plan.

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:36:48 PM PDT

  •  William G. Schiffbauer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem, 714day

    is a soulless asshole who likes to see sick children denied healthcare, apparently.

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

    by looty on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:37:11 PM PDT

  •  Why does this remind me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    of Ford costing out the price of law suits for preventable deaths vs. the price of just putting the damned gas tank in the right place ?

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:37:38 PM PDT

  •  And since your child won't be a child in 2014 (0+ / 0-)

    he can die now.

    "Progress" is the core of progressive. Two steps forward. One step back.

    by captainlaser on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:38:23 PM PDT

  •  The Attempt to Blame Dems for Premium Increase (0+ / 0-)

    Health insurance CEOs conspire to blame Democrats for increasing premiums.

    ronwilliamsSince passage of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies have begun laying the groundwork to blame Democrats for the increased health care costs that they plan to impose on consumers. Last Tuesday, CIGNA CEO David Cordani told Neil Cavuto that health care premiums will continue to increase despite the new health care law. And in an interview with Charlie Rose, Aetna CEO Ron Williams said that his company also plans to jack up rates:

       ROSE: Will insurance premiums go up?

       WILLIAMS: The answer is yes, and some of the things that will drive those premiums are significant additional taxes the industry will ultimately have to pay in the first year.

    Yeah... And I Say Public Option

    •  and then the nation will give birth to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akmk

      a new plan in response - either public option or public group plans not controlled by the private sector.

      government is reactionary just like industry!

      we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

      by edrie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 06:57:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  c'mon (0+ / 0-)

    "Pro-lifers" - your moment awaits you here....How about a comment?

    "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

    by KibbutzAmiad on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:38:44 PM PDT

  •  Democrats better get a move (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux

    on closing the electoral poison pills they just signed into law.  Looks like a great opportunity to prove "This is just a first step" and "we can fix it later".  

    Do not let this turn into a Pyrrhic victory.

    "We did not fear our future -- we shaped it. " President Barack Obama

    Now, don't forget how you did it this March, Mr. President

    by justmy2 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:39:51 PM PDT

  •  How is this bad for the Democrats? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    Not to be cycnical and exploitive, but this is a freaking goldmine for the Democrats.

    "Well, we did the best we could, but they still got a few loopholes in. Tell you what though- knock a few of the Blue Dogs out in primaries, and kick out a few more Republicans and we'll improve the bill so they can't pull crap like this.

    Or, you know, you can vote for our opponents, get the bill repealed, and allow them to pull even more crap like this."

    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 Mar 29, 2010 at 02:40:09 PM PDT

  •  This is a predictable outcome of using regulation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Evil Betty, alkalinesky, akmk

    instead of competition to rein in the odious practices of the health insurance industry.

    Until there's competition in the form of expanded medicare or a public option, these types of flaunting of regulations will continue, indefinitely.

    The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free fully funded, thanks SCOTUS.

    by BentLiberal on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:41:41 PM PDT

  •  FINE! DO It asshats, you getting your chance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won

    to prove that you are better than what we think.. that you are more than some money grubbing entity paying  high dividends and salaries to you share holders and CEO with BLOOD MONEY

    But you can't help yourself... your a drug addict who is refusing help or intervention

    Fine, next step

    CUT YOU OFF COMPLETELY - no more money to feed your habit

    MEDICARE FOR ALL

    My senator, Scott Brown, is running against non-candidate Rachel Maddow, because his best friend, Harvey, told him to.

    by Clytemnestra on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:41:48 PM PDT

  •  this is a perfect example of... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Evil Betty, Losty

    ...why this bill sucks big time without a governemnt run insurance option.  And I bet those same lawyers are working on ways to force those who don't want to buy the crap policies mandated now into purchasing them.  Or providing the medical equilavent of SR-22 auto insurance.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:42:20 PM PDT

  •  how about we remind the insurance companies to (0+ / 0-)

    count their lucky stars (and their contributions to Dem campaigns) that we didn't just pass single-payer and put their whole fucking industry out of business?

    And if they don't like it, then let them throw a hissy fit, close their doors, and go out of business.  Then the Federal government can do what they SHOULD have done in the first place--take over the health financing industry entirely and run it without the companies.  Fuck 'em.

  •  What would you expect ins. co. lawyers to say? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, barbwires, Whimsical, alkalinesky

    Of course they're going to argue that they don't have to follow the intent (or maybe even the letter) of the law. These are the scumbags who get paid the big money to find loopholes. Did any of us ever think enforcing the new law would be easy?

    Yes, this is a setback, just as the civil suits filed by the attorneys general are threats. But I wouldn't run up the white flag just yet. Whatever problems there are in the language of the legislation, HCR is the law of the land. We've got pretty good lawyers, too. We've got bureaucratic regulations on our side. We have public opinion that is overwhelmingly supportive of sick children getting medical care rather than bigger corporate profits for Aetna and Wellpoint. And we've got the stick of blocking access to the future insurance exchanges and the pool of >30 million new customers these companies will want.

    Firms like United Healthcare Group are immensely powerful, and I don't underestimate their ability to continue trying to deny people coverage and resist paying claims. They can cause a lot of problems, and the fight is far from over. But the federal government has many equally strong resources at its disposal, too. All I know is that I wouldn't be so quick to say we've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory already. Nor would I claim that the fight is over and we've won just because we passed a bill last week.

    "They smile in your face when all they wanna do is take your place, the back stabbers." - The O'Jays, circa 1972

  •  Insurance rates will explode. Dems will implode. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Evil Betty, Losty

    Not sure why Democrats are so stupid on this, insurance company certainly spotted the obvious before the ink was dry.

    "And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost."

    That is why Obama was correct during the campaign that a public option was essential and no mandate was essential.  Mandates are what have most people the angriest.  High rates and no escape to a public option will be next as insurers take their captive customers to the cleaners.

    Democrats better pass Grayson's Medicare Choice bill while they have the chance (before 2010 elections) or they will be toast in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

    •  Bet you a dollar? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE

      Id love to see Graysons bill passed, dont get me wrong.  But even if we cant right now, crap like this from the insurance companies leads to public pressure to fix it, leads to the election of MORE Democrats, not less; since their opponents are locked into campaigning for repeal.

      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 Mar 29, 2010 at 02:51:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GOP in power in 2010 is not fixing anything. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Losty

        They will do exactly as promised, repeal Democrat's bill on a wave of public pressure from price hikes by the insurance companies perpetrated on a captive public.

        The two main flaws of the Democrats bill, no price controls and mandates to purchase unlimited cost insurance products, make it an easy target.

        Democrats only hope is passing Grayson's bill before end of 111th Congress.

        •  Bet you a dollar? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ophelia

          I say passage of this bill alone, even if we get nothing else passed is enough to keep Democrats in power THROUGH the '12 elections.

          Especially since repeal is a physical impossibility in '10; you should know that before you go around claiming the Republicans will repeal the bill, as making impossible claims does little for your credibility.

          (And really, the odds that we aren't going to build on the momentum this win gets us for more wins is ridiculously low).

          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 Mar 29, 2010 at 03:07:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why is "repeal" impossible? (0+ / 0-)

            Seems easy enough. I'm guessing you mean Obama will veto any repeal vs. GOP passing repeal.

            GOP will be happy with that prospect. Democrats will continue to get battered as insurance industry raises rates on their captive market who keep voting Republican to make the economic pain stop.

            Democrats will have no majority to fix the problem by passing Grayson's Medicare Choice bill so it's a perfect storm for GOP.

            •  You either think Americans are deeply stupid.. (0+ / 0-)

              ..or that the GOP has Voldemort level advertising wizards.

              The reason most American's are suffering economic pain in the first place is Republicans, and most of them know it.

              The idea that they will vote for the people that caused them economic pain in order to end their economic pain holds no water whatsoever.

              But cmon, put your virtual money where your virtual mouth is.

              I bet you the Democrats hold the Republicans to gaining 15 or less seats in the house and 4 or less seats in the Senate- as a direct result of passing this bill, and regardless of whether or not any fixes get passed this year.

              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 Mar 29, 2010 at 03:25:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  People will resent mandatory high insurance cost. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                akmk

                Who wouldn't. It's a major part of the problem now and will only get worse because the Democrats bill makes this aspect much worse. It provides no control on insurance price increases. It forces everyone to buy the product.

                Forced purchase of insurance is the key behind the emotional response to Democrats health care plan.

                Obama saw this during the campaign but then went politically tone deaf and let Democrats make it part of the health care plan that now bears Obama's name even though Obama campaigned against every major feature of the bill (for public option which the bill does not have, against mandates which the bill does have, for universal care which the bill never even pretends to achieve).

                •  Bet you a dollar? (0+ / 0-)

                  By November forcing purchase will be a non issue, and the price increases will be working for the Democrats (elect more of us and we can get you a better bill, elect our opponents and the insurance companies get to screw you without even the pretense of regulation), not against them (Caveat, this does assume they have campaign advisers with triple digit IQs.)

                  Im not saying that we should stop pushing to improve the bill.  But we need to recognize that this bill was a major win and its much more likely it will save our electoral chances rather than doom them.

                  The fact that you claim this bill will doom democrats in the fall and can't seem to bring yourself to agree to a virtually meaningless internet bet is very telling.

                  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 Mar 29, 2010 at 04:23:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  High cost mandatory insurance will not be popular (0+ / 0-)

                    High cost insurance is unpopular now, raising the prices and making it mandatory is going to make it even less popular.

                    Republicans will, correctly, blame Democrats health care plan for higher prices (there are no price controls) and for mandatory requirement and that will be the basis for repeal.

                    Democrats only hope is pass Grayson's Medicare Choice before they lose seats in 2010.

                    •  Democrats will not lose more than the usual (0+ / 0-)

                      number of seats in '10 (because the party in power almost always loses a handful of seats in the midterms) whether they pass Grayson's bill or not.

                      Guaranteed.

                      I'm not saying we should'nt bust our asses to get Grayson's bill passed but the idea that the current bill is electoral doom for Democrats is a load of unsupported crap, and needs to be squelched.

                      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 Tue Mar 30, 2010 at 03:51:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Don't forget that majority rule is coming to the (0+ / 0-)

              Senate.

  •  No One Could Have Foreseen.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, Villagejonesy

    That this lovely bill that was the salvation of a year's work could be turned over in a week..

    Except some people could, and tried..

    Amazing.. No PO, No SP, Mandates, and no pre-existing protection AT ALL..

    Not for adults, not for Children, no protection or cost controls..

    "And they Can raise Premiums for the added cost"

    Amazing..

  •  I don't buy the insurance Co talking point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalliopeIrjaPearl

    It sounds like a trial balloon to try to see what the reaction will be before they try to make challenges in court.

    If Republicans say this is a problem, and it is one of there talking points, lets see if they will vote against a bill that will strengthen that provision.

    If they vote and say the solution is to completely remove that protection and all the other protections, let's see how they do in the election.

    Republican / Insurance Co talking point:
    McConnell: 'Ineffective' healthcare language threatens popular provisions
    http://thehill.com/...

  •  And now we know why their stocks went up. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, Losty, nutbutter

    November Slogan: Moderation You Can Believe In

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

  •  Hey Look!!! A Sternly Worded Letter!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, Losty, nutbutter

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo...

    Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to AHIP chair Karen Ignagni urging her to encourage insurance companies to stop denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

    In the letter, Sebelius cites "recent media account" that "indicate that some insurance companies may be seeking to avoid or ignore a provision in the new law that prohibits insurance companies from excluding children with pre-existing conditions from coverage."

    We may need a bit more...

    btw, "encourage" doesn't sound like HHS has a huge leg to stand on, cease and desist would sound a lot better...

    I hope this isn't the best they have got to offer?

    "We did not fear our future -- we shaped it. " President Barack Obama

    Now, don't forget how you did it this March, Mr. President

    by justmy2 on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

  •  More on the Litigation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Losty, CalliopeIrjaPearl, We Won

    The troubles of the health care lawsuit are being exposed. Both Republicans and Democrats are against it.

    Check out this blog for an pretty sweet analysis of the lawsuit's chances.

    http://emersonbrownesq.blogspot.com/

  •  Alan Grayson's Medicare For All (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie123, nutbutter, We Won
    would have taken care of that very nicely.  When the word gets out about this, there are going to be some very angry parents and no doubt, grandparents, most of whom vote.

    Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

    by incognita on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 02:56:46 PM PDT

    •  Mad at the DEMOCRATS.. (0+ / 0-)

      "We siad X would be done, but it won't.."

      "We Said Y will be done, but it won't.. "

      And We said Z will be none, but it wont.."

      So you and your family gets screwed, and you have to buy a neverending increasingly expensive product, without PE protections, and with Recissions, forever.."

      I can see the ads now..

      •  Counter ads write themselves (0+ / 0-)

        "Well, you can kick out some corporate Dems in primaries, and kick out a few more Republicans, and we can keep working on the bill.  After all, the more of us you put in power, the better a billw e can make for you.

        Or you can vote for our opponents, and let the insurance companies go back to screwing you without having to squirm around finding legal justification for it.

        Your call."

        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 Mar 29, 2010 at 03:11:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Every single position like this (6+ / 0-)

    that the insurance companies try to carve out, just brings a strong PO or a Medicare buy-in, closer.  They're in a no-win scenario right now, given that their business model in the end depends on killing people who get sick, after they take their money for years.

  •  When COBRA was extended..... (0+ / 0-)

    Stimulus bill?  I think so.  Anyway, COBRA was extended and the government was going to pick up the lion's share of the premium cost to do so.  My best friend is an HR manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company in the U.S. with factories in several states.  Most BCBS plans just signed the paperwork for the extension.  But there was one BCBS in a state (I forget which state, sorry) that said that COBRA benefits would be extended, but not by who.  They determined that the company would have to self-insure to fulfill the requirement-- they were not required to do it by the law.  The law didn't specifically say they the insurance company had to extend the benefits.  

    Yea, lawyers for insurance companies.  

  •  Intentional Loopholes (0+ / 0-)

    I find it hard to believe that this bill could not be written in an unambigouse manner to accomplish what the Democratic Caucaus was bragging about. If there are loopholes, they are there because they were intentionally placed there. I don't for a second buy this bullcrap that it so difficult to write that they accidentally wrote things in a way that is open to legal interpretation. If you want to really force insurance company's to cover someone with a pre-existing condition then you simply say "All Insurance providers offering insurance to people who live in the US are required to offer all of their policies to everyone regardless of the individual's current or prior state of health." If you want it cost the same, then you say, "The cost of an insurance policy's  must be the same for all customers, irregardless of their age, gender, and any current or previous medical condition." You can then specifially spell out that the intent of the law to allow every single person living within the US legally to purchase the same coverage if they so choose irregardless of the state of their health, the medical history, any medications they are taking ect . .. and nothing is this law should be construed to mean that there is any intent to allow the insurance provider's any leeway in this.

    I'm sure this could be written a lot cleaner and more precisely but that is just my off-the-cuff 30 second stab at it so I find it completely unbelievable that it couldn't be written correctly if that is what they really wanted.

  •  I challenge anyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Villagejonesy

    to find a link to, and the actual text of, the clause of the Health Care Law that in fact stipulates that children can no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    I have been trying on and off for two days now, and I can find no such text in the law that was passed, or in the Public Health Service Act (which the new law amends it obscure ways).

    It is no wonder that lawyers for health insurance companies are challenging the wording of the new law when no one can even produce the exact wording of the new law, including the New York Times, which cites partial quotes but has nothing which directly associates the elimination of pre-existing condition clauses with children under 18.

    I'm not saying it doesn't exist, or that the NYT or anyone else is lying, but I'd sure like to see the exact text.

    •  Clearly you're Jane Hamsher or a teabagger /snark (0+ / 0-)

      Don't you know that the only reason to speak against this bill is if you're a cold-blooded purist killer GOP supporter?

      But good point.  Anyone?

      "Arguments are to be avoided. They are always vulgar, and are often convincing." -- Oscar Wilde

      by Villagejonesy on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 05:28:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WAIT- REFORM BILL AT WORK (0+ / 0-)

    I am no genius, so bear with me PLEASE.
    In the bill to be a part of the 'pools' companies must qualify and if they "pre-raise" or pre-gut their policy rolls they won't be in the pools.

    I believe that is the way it was stated in the bill.
    I promise you this, I will write my rep and hopeful next Pennsylvania Senator Joe Sestak(D-Awesome) to clarify that.
    Maybe the bill will be setting up such standards and practices as the end of that company.
    Smiles

    you can't remain neutral on a moving train

    by rmfcjr on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:25:11 PM PDT

  •  why the hell does the bill wait till 2014? (0+ / 0-)

    one would think that democrats would want tangible benefits to result from the bill as soon as possible if for nothing else than election purposes.

    •  They want the insurance companies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalliopeIrjaPearl

      to hang themselves for the next 3 yrs.

      Every time they do something like this, it's another nail in their coffin.

      People don't like insurance companies. They like them even worse when they get screwed over.

      The insurance companies have 3 yrs to make themselves more enemies, and to have more pressure put on Congress to rein them in in whatever way they can. Regulations, treating them like utilities, or a Medicare buy in option.

      3 yrs. A lot can happen in 3 yrs.

  •  this is why we need a PO (0+ / 0-)
    discussion of which i noticed has been virtually absent on this forum for the past week and a half.  
  •  What a fucking surprise n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akmk, nutbutter, Villagejonesy

    Visit www.350.org to stop climate change.

    by bogmanoc on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:53:28 PM PDT

  •  looks like it's time for another health care vote (0+ / 0-)

    ...a stand-alone bill...that clearly states that health insurance companies must cover all children and cannot charge more to those with pre-existing conditions. Even some Republican'ts might go along with that.

  •  No wonder so many health care policy wonks ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... have stopped blogging in mcjoan's diary.

    If mcjoan, DK's esteemed health care expert, knew anything about underwriting, she would know that the prohibition of pre-existing clauses for children doesn't mean jack $hit until 2014 when the community rating (and guaranteed issue underwriting go into effect).  Just because insurers are required to accept all children, and are forbidden from writing pre-existing clauses, doesn't mean they can't price for the pre-existing condition.  The last item doesn't go into effect until 2014.  That's been known since day one.

    I found a moonrock in my nose. - Ralph Wiggum

    by jim bow on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 03:58:43 PM PDT

  •  and for those who thought the public option (0+ / 0-)

    ended with the passage of the current bill and reconciliation, let me point out the obvious:

    when the insurers start contorting to the extreme to avoid coverage, then the fixes will be made singularly (or in batches) to correct what will be exposed for all the public to see - not just the progressives.

    try explaining to your consitituents that you oppose the bill to regulate the insurance companies that prevents them from simply not selling you a PRIVATE  policy when you need it!  if you are a republican senator or rep, that will be a hard "no" to swallow!

    the age of protectionism of the corporate/multinational/financial/health industries came to an end last week with the passage of those two bills.

    this is what so many of us were trying to explain to those who were upset that the bills didn't go "far enough" - now, the congress has specific issues to vote on - and it is a whole lot harder to explain why you are voting to protect an insurance company that claims a NEWBORN has "preexisting conditions at birth yet that same insurance company won't insure them until they are actually born!

    obama has signaled the repeal of "catch-22" and it's driving the powergrabbers totally insane!

    we are the future. no one else. WE are the ones who make change happen in every little detail we do. make it count. we only get one go-round.

    by edrie on Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 06:45:53 PM PDT

  •  Even if they can... (0+ / 0-)

    Would they? I mean it's nice to think they'll be kicking off or denying kids left and right, but what insurance company would do this? They have to go to court over it first right? There's no jury or anything, is it just a circle jerk of lawyers coming up with plausible this and that, I want ordinary people to look at it and determine if insurance companies are required to help sick KIDS. We're not even talking about just people anymore, but KIDS, who survive only off their parents. Other than wanting to get crushed for the next 3-4 years before the effect is CLEARLY law, do they really want to push this country into single payer?

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