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It is obvious many of us who consider ourselves progressives that we were disappointed by the HCR bill. It was clearly watered down to nearly nothing but so many tried to say "something is better than nothing". Well as it stands now it turns out something is nothing. The Obama administration has issued dozens of waivers to big insurers and companies like McDonald's. They did this in an effort to counter threats by health insurers to abandon markets or refuse to sell certain policies etc. The waivers allow companies to maintain coverage far below the new law's standards.

It is obvious many of us who consider ourselves progressives that we were disappointed by the HCR bill. It was clearly watered down to nearly nothing but so many tried to say "something is better than nothing". Well as it stands now it turns out something is nothing. The Obama administration has issued dozens of waivers to big insurers and companies like McDonald's. They did this in an effort to counter threats by health insurers to abandon markets or refuse to sell certain policies etc. The waivers allow companies to maintain coverage far below the new law's standards according to a new New York Times article.

In my opinion the bill that passed is a joke and this is additional evidence of that. It was a gift horse to the insurance industry and it was obvious they would find ways to get around any meaningful changes. It is obvious corporations and special interests still own the day despite our long desired Democratic majority.

With all of this in mind I have fallen into the "enthusiasm gap" that has been widely talked about. I can no longer fool myself into thinking watered down lobbyist written crap is a "good start" or "better than nothing" because it never goes anywhere beyond that. At the very least it will likely be well over a decade before anything further and of real meaning comes up with Health Care Reform. The truth is our political system is entirely inept regardless of party and fundamental changes to it are needed.

For the full NYT article go here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

Originally posted to eyewall on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 10:40 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    It could be the only purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others.

    by eyewall on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 10:40:12 AM PDT

  •  Nope. (19+ / 0-)

    Something is something.  It ain't enough.  It may not ever lead to enough.  Our job is to make sure it does lead to enough.

    So how are we gonna do that job?

    We push.  Who can we push?  Not the folks you're enthusiasm gap is gonna let into power.

    •  It is good to know... (6+ / 0-)

      when the executive branch is undermining legislation that it touts as an achievement.  This is news, and that is what the diarist is sharing.

      This constant refrain by some that we can't discuss issues because of the elections is utter crap, particularly when it is simply news, information.

      I have always had a preference for reality instead of propaganda and cheerleading.

      And, if there is an enthusiasm gap it is up to the Democratic politicians to change that by inspiring enthusiasm.  It is their responsibility.

      Corporate PACs, not just bribery but a lifestyle!

      by rubine on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:07:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is absolutely good to know the failings (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Gemina13, EdgedInBlue

        of this package of laws and regs.  We need to know them.  We need to understand what the costs -- political, social, economic -- have been here.  Like most lefties, I'll be unhappy with American healthcare until we get ourselves a sane single payer system and put the insurers out of business.  For me, that fight's now at the state level.

        But knowing the huge places where this federal legislation falls short isn't enough.  Knowing what we're gonna do about it is the trick.  You can point to a bunch of places where this process failed us, many of which were squarely dem party failings but the dime's-worth-of-difference crap does not advance our understanding of where it fell apart.

        Republicans said no across the board.  More Republicans will say more no.

        •  Is anybody here voting republican? nt (0+ / 0-)

          Corporate PACs, not just bribery but a lifestyle!

          by rubine on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:45:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans said NO when Dems could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkestHour, rubine

          have told them to "go fuck themselves" and push through what we really needed.  We gave them the votes in the House and in the Senate.  

          Before the "60 vote" chorus starts its whining, the filibuster (a sick joke today) could have deep sixed if party leadership chose to do so. It's called the nuclear option and be sure that when the Repugs are in control again, they will certainly use it when it suits them.  They could have pushed campaign finance reform; EFCA to increase union membership; repealed DADT; curtailed the offshoring mania; fixed our compromised, untrustworthy and unverifiable voting system; passed real HCR; passed a real stimulus; repealed the Bush taxcut bullshit early while taking care of the poor and middle class; etc.

          Of course this would have taken balls and a willingness, a desire, to pass progressive, people oriented, corporation controlling, wealth corralling legislation.  Something totally lacking at the top, and in much of the democratic leadership.  

          Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. Walk Softly, CHECK. Time to get on with the rest already, Barack!

          by FightTheFuture on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 12:38:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Push these shitty Dems how? Unless you get them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, DarkestHour

      out of office and replace them with better Democrats.  Yeah, that means some assclowns will get in for a term, which is not so bad as it will reenrgixe the left, like under Bush, but more savvy after the fuckups of Obama and this current crop of corporate teat suckers.  

      All we have now is a repeat of the NAFTA administration of CLD'er Clinton with some new features like ramped up wars, eroding civil liberties, FISA protections a joke, FBI raids on Peace activists, torture ever onward, no-string Bank bailouts, coverups for BP, etc.

      Sometimes you have to Game Theory their asses if you want to get some real change.

      A common refrain in the lefty blogosphere is that you have to support the candidate with a D after their name, even if they repeatedly betray your causes and ideals, because the Republicans are worse. They’ll repeal all the ‘great’ legislation the Democrats have passed over the past two years, and continue all the terrible policies the Democrats have unfortunately continued – policies which are also, conveniently, the Republicans’ fault.

      However, game theory teaches us something quite different – that cooperation without the threat of retaliation for betrayal is a sucker’s game.:

      The problem for Progressives is that we’re being told to, and have in the past often utilized an Always Cooperate strategy.. and our partners in elected office learned that long ago, and are exploiting it.

      On gay rights, on immigration, on financial reform, on restoring the rule of law, on putting torturers on trial, on unions and the free choice act, on escalating unwinnable wars, on fighting the legalization of marijuana, on just about any and almost every single Progressive issue you can name the current Democratic party has defected. Why?

      Because it’s a winning strategy to defect if you know your opponent will always cooperate; in fact, it’s the absolute best strategy to employ.

      The Way Ahead

      The only way we can expect to stop the exploitation is to show our would-be-defectors in the Democratic Party that we’ve woken up, once and for all, and are willing to retaliate when defected from. Yes, if we do so, we’ll lose in this round of our iterated game. We might, in fact, lose very badly indeed.

      The alternative, however, is clear, from both game theory and common sense: the exploitation will never stop. Never. Let’s be very clear; the current dilemma Progressives face with their estranged counterparts does not stem from a lack of understanding; the party understands us all too well. It isn’t the result of Dems failing to learn from past mistakes; on the contrary, they’ve learned exceptionally well from ours.

      It’s time to teach a new lesson.

      Obama needs to channel TR+FDR: Walk Softly, Carry a Big Stick and Welcome Their Hatred. Walk Softly, CHECK. Time to get on with the rest already, Barack!

      by FightTheFuture on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 12:26:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely agreed. But if you've got a good Dem, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FightTheFuture

        back them.  We need to hold the Progressives in Congress, even while we let the non-Progressives twist in the wind.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 12:28:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Primaries. (0+ / 0-)

        We should be primarying the hell out of these corporate bastards.

        And we should be letting the Democratic leadership know that our contributions are targeted now.  That we give our time and support to people who make a difference.

        But look at the right now.  Do you see their abandonment of the less fringy members of their party as helping them?  Do you think the teabaggers are ultimately going to help Republican entrenchment?  I don't.  I think they're screwing themselves out of real political power.  If their coalition -- which is a patchwork of some very contradictory stuff -- doesn't hold, they'll be in the political wilderness.

        We aren't likely to get what we want through the Democrats.  But we are assured that we won't get it from the Republicans.  And this "make it get worse so it will get better" thing has been spouted by our team for as long as I've been active in the left, which is a long time.  It has never worked.

  •  I dunno about McDonalds (15+ / 0-)

    I do know about my own family.

    My severely bipolar nephew is approaching age 18, at which point my sister & her husband were going to have to start using up their assets to keep him stable.

    Now he can stay on their policy, only because of HCR.

    My Dad is apporaching age 93 and has been receiving medical benefits for his advanced Parkinson's disease and its complications. He had to go to the ER two days last week, for example. Not sure when those benefits would have been used up before, and we'd be on our own to use up all of Dad's savings, but now, that won't happen.

    I've been left out so far (unless Jerry Brown wins in November, which would give me a chance to get on the expanded Medicaid), but the rest of my family is grateful for HCR.

    So long and thanks for all the fish--Douglas Adams

    by Fonsia on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 10:57:56 AM PDT

  •  fail (10+ / 0-)

    We realy don't need this wheel spinning garbage.  

    The truth is our political system is entirely inept regardless of party

    I mean, golly, that's so wise and cynical and everything.  But the whole point here is that we recognize that we have a shot with one of the parties of getting some things done.  The world isn't perfect but cynicism is a stupid reaction to that.  By staying engaged with our party and being a known force to deliver votes we have a far better chance, in the long run, of helping some people and ourselves than this whining.  

    Seriously, with perspective of the people who have already been helped by HCR, some of whom have written right here on dkos, this diary is kind of offensive.  Your enthusiasm is down so their lives don't matter.  Poor you.  

    An 'attack on the left' is the GOP in office destroying lives.

    by Sun dog on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:06:22 AM PDT

    •  I'm truly glad some people have been helped... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, DarkestHour, costello7

      that doesn't change the fact that the HCR legislation was crap.  It doesn't restrain cost, it subsidizes greedy, incompetent, corporations, it is doomed.

      The idea that this comment of mine will somehow send the democratic party into a tailspin, destroying motivation, lifting the repubs into power, is ridiculous, absolutely absurd, and the idea that we should censure ourselves due to some strange paranoia regarding the incredible influence of DailyKos, is obnoxious.

      Corporate PACs, not just bribery but a lifestyle!

      by rubine on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:15:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wha? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gemina13, Diogenes2008

        I have a strange paranoia?  I was worried about that but I thought I was just being paranoid.  Apparantly sometimes my paranoia really IS out to get me.  Being paranoid.  Or...whaaa?  

        An 'attack on the left' is the GOP in office destroying lives.

        by Sun dog on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:24:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What does a discussion of HCR... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          have to do...

          I mean, golly, that's so wise and cynical and everything.  But the whole point here is that we recognize that we have a shot with one of the parties of getting some things done.

          with voting for republicans?  I'm not going to vote for the repubs, I'm fairly sure the diarist isn't going to vote for repubs.  What is your point?

          Corporate PACs, not just bribery but a lifestyle!

          by rubine on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:49:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  funny (13+ / 0-)

    being able to keep my college student covered under Mom's policy is kinda nice actually considering he has zero coverage at his PT job and has some moderate to minor health issues.  We can afford to get those addressed (TYVM) and not let them linger or fester into something more serious.  Sorry if the incremental change isn't working for you, but for some of us, every little bit helps and considerine the alternative offered by the other side were essentially STFU, I'd have to say that the differences are quite obvious to many of us.  Giving up and moving to Denmark is always an option for you tho....

    I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused - Elvis Costello "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes"

    by piratedan on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

    •  I'm glad your child is covered now. (0+ / 0-)

      But millions of people, including me, are getting no help.  The temporary insurance pool costs are outrageous.  So I still have no access to healthcare and no job, and no one is doing anything about jobs.  So telling people like us to move to Denmark is not very realistic or an option.  What does that even mean?  Is that like the old love it or leave it saying.  You have been helped, which is great, but you are sorely lacking in sympathy for those of us who have not seen any change and likely won't for years and years.

      •  well LaneJ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lestatdelc, Gemina13

        I feel you pain, but this diary wasn't about jobs, it was about HCR being a total failure, which it isn't.  The remarks were intended for the diarist who seems to feel the the best alternative is to sit on the freaking sidelines instead of doing anything.  

        As has been stated ad nauseum, no one believes that HCR is perfect, many felt that they should have been more ambitious, but I cannot say with ANY surety that even if they had aimed higher that the end result would have been any different considering the total lack of coorperation from Republicans and a good many blue dogs that are beholden to corporate interests.

        If you wanna take me out to the woodshed for taking my comments to the diarist out of context, that's your priveledge but you have zero comments in this diary so I have no idea on why you think I was speaking to your situation.

        I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused - Elvis Costello "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes"

        by piratedan on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 12:13:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe I misunderstood you. (0+ / 0-)

          I took it personally as if you were telling people like me to move to Denmark.  I guess that was not your intent, so I do apologize for that.

          I was connecting the lack of jobs with the inability to even think about purchasing insurance, even through the temporary high risk pool. Or getting insurance through employment.  Jobs and insurance are unfortunately quite connected

  •  HCR is a good law, and (0+ / 0-)

    it is unfortunate that the Obama administration has pulled back from actually enforcing the provisions of the law, and in some cases has delayed implementation. When it comes to health care reform, Democrats in Congress and the administration are afraid of their own shadows.

  •  They Issued Waivers to Entities Who Said (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UncleCharlie, neroden, Gemina13, SoCalSal

    They were going to simply stop insuring people instead of offer the required plans.

    Once the exchange is up and running, this won't be as significant a problem since there will be an alternative in place.

    But now, it would have meant "Nobody who works for McDonalds has any health insurance options until 2014."

    I'm OK with the waivers for now, considering what the alternatives were.

    Dear Wall Street: If you want to stop feeling like a piƱata, stop stuffing yourself with our f#@$ing candy.

    by TooFolkGR on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 11:40:37 AM PDT

  •  They should waiver the requirements (0+ / 0-)

    for the uninsured to buy policies, too.

  •  Did you read the article you're citing? It says (0+ / 0-)

    smth different from what you're saying.

  •  Hey, bullshit! My kid who is 24 now has insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    and my premiums haven't gone up. No Co-Pay, and a prescription for antibiotics yesterday was $3.50.  Joke?  I ain't laughing, except to the bank

  •  The pint of contention is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey
    all in the how your argument is expressed.

    If you meant to say that the law doesn't help you that might be hard to argue with. But stretching that to then say "something is nothing" or that the law is nothing at all understandably causes reaction because there is a ton of evidence that it was in fact something.

    "amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work every day" - unkonwn

    by dadan on Thu Oct 07, 2010 at 01:06:05 PM PDT

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