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Look, I know it's tempting to grab this brass ring, but it's morally bankrupt.  I'm sorry the administration f'd up the marketplace website, but they did.  That doesn't make it ok to throw folks(like me) under the bus.  Get your damn messaging right and blame the market health insurance system.  

After all the struggle to break our system out of the nightmare we know as the private insurance market, we settled for the Republicans'(circa '96) insurance system.  We gave up on the public option and countless items that would have made the new system workable and worthwhile.  Instead, we're now being told that the smart thing is to settle for insurance companies being given the option to send folks to debtors' prison.  Mainly because we decided to accept this insanely complex system that only benefits the companies' executives.  BS.  The fact that we aren't even giving any much of any real time to the actual solution(single -payer/medicare for all) shows how much this website has become part of the "bubble" it constantly demeans.  I don't really care if something is "political winner," if it results in working folks being treated like poop.  So, you can take the last couple of days worth of "realpolitik" posts supporting something we would have made fun of(circa '09), and shove 'em.  Despite the second Great Depression and the Obama administration's willingness to defer to rightwing economic theory, the only logical response to all of this bs is pointing out how crappy the private system is, for millions of our countrymen and women.  Get that right-wing-coddling, republican-frame-supporting crap off of the frontpage, thank you!  Those of us that don't think that people are simply digits on the spreadsheet deserve as much.

ps- My insurance is cancelling my policy, so don't think that I don't have "skin in the game."


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Comment Preferences

  •  The policy fight was lost when Obama made his (7+ / 0-)

    backroom deal with the Insurance companies. It is purely politics now.

    If you ever want another crack at getting progressive policy into healthcare, then part of your responsibility is to win elections. The FP'ers are focused where they need to be at this point.

  •  I actually think this is a pretty good rant. (20+ / 0-)

    Dem political malpractice has been central to this from the start---Obama letting Max Fuckus have his way with the law was probably the worst---and it's close to becoming a black hole that will swallow the whole enchilada.

    Of course, elected Democrats will run screaming for the hills instead of sucking it up and fighting back, so we've got even more debacle to look forward to ...

  •  purist, need you be reminded? (12+ / 0-)

    The good is the enemy of the mediocre.

    We must work with the shit sandwich that we have now, not the actual solutions that we've been demanding for all of these years and wish we had.


    "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

    by quill on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:39:15 AM PST

  •  We got the best we could with the horses we had. (4+ / 0-)

    You can fix and improve a government program that is less than optimum, but you can't fix and improve on a government program that does not exist.

    Had we dug in and fought for a single payer plan and lost badly, nothing would have changed. But by getting a less than perfect plan, we have for the first time, the Federal Government making a public commitment for access to health care for all. We have changed the terms of the debate. Forever. Even if the SCOTUS had declared the whole package the be unconstitutional, we still would have changed the terms of the debate. Had it been thrown out, the Republicans would have then owned the mess, and the onus would have been on them to come up with a new alternative which of course, they couldn't.

    I think Landreau's fix is winner. It will allow those who want to keep crap insurance to be grandfathered in. But it will force the insurers to disclose just what a pieces of crap they have been inflicting on the public, and to disclose options of how to get better coverage. If the GOP blocks it, we can say we tried to fix the problem and the obstructed yet again. If we get it passed, we take a major (non) issue from the GOP that they have been using against us with some success, and we force the insurance companies to disclose publicly that they've been foisting snake oil onto the public. A win solution for the good guys all the way.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 09:54:15 AM PST

    •  It's not that I disagree with you (8+ / 0-)

      It just always strikes me that this argument is something of a tautology.  The congress critters we had produced this result, so by logic this result is what could be expected from that particular batch of congress critters.

      On the other hand, there certainly was the political will with the voting public for a public option or medicare bye-in- those ideas polled extremely well with both sides for the political spectrum.  The fight to get those things was with people who theoretically were supposed to be on our side.  What was lacking in that fight was the desire to get those results by Democratic politicians, and I think those who are disappointed are correct to feel that way.

      This is the stuff that really enervates me as a voter.  You go door to door, send in money you can't really afford, and in the end you wind up with a corporate friendly government who's primary concern is with the 1%.  And yes, I do know that Democrats are better than Republicans, but it is still disappointing that the 99% have so little influence.

      •  But the reality is that positions that poll very (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        well, often lose their some of their appeal once the debate starts. It happens to the right as well as the left. Privatizing social security did much better in the polls until Bush unveiled it. And to mention a couple of other epic right wing fails, Amendments to allow organized school prayer and another to ban flag burning. Both were very popular in the polls until our side started pointing out problems with it.

        Once the Republican started their rhetoric about government take over of one fifth of the economy, many people who thought a public option was cool got scared away from it.

        We have to change the term of the debate, and stop letting the GOP capture the narrative. That is easier said than done, but I believe we've made some progress. Like I said above, we have already changed the terms of the debate on health care. But there's a lot more work to be done, and many rivers to cross.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:53:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The public option never lost public support (6+ / 0-)

          it was killed by politicians not a lack of support from the public.

          Like I said above, we have already changed the terms of the debate on health care.
          When the debate is about single payer vs. what we have now I'll believe this is true. As it is the GOP terms of the debate are now front and center. They invented this program.
          •  But when the other side terms it (0+ / 0-)

            a government run company, support drops.  Public option/government run company - it's just words, but phrasing is very important when it comes to seizing the narrative. With well informed voters, this crap doesn't make much difference, but with the low info voters, the wording is important. It's really a sad commentary, really. But the Republicans are masters of the buzzwords. They didn't have to even win a majority of the people to their side against the public option, just increasing the opposition is enough to spook enough Democrats against it.

            I do agree that we were too quick to drop it, thank you Mr President. There's nothing that encourages the other side more than a show of weakness.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:33:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Public perception had zero to do with the lack (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              magnetics, SoCaliana, akmk, Sunspots

              of a public option in the health care bill. It was killed by politicians and its removal from reform had nothing to do with public support for it and everything to do with conservative politicians killing it to support insurance companies. The fight was never about PR, it was about the industry owning too many politicians.

        •  Very empty words (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          magnetics, Sunspots
          Once the Republican started their rhetoric about government take over of one fifth of the economy, many people who thought a public option was cool got scared away from it.
          So because Democrats instantly crumble from any kind of Republican rhetorical bullshit, that made the public option unworkable "in reality"? You're comparing Bush's proposals to privatize SS to the debate for single-payer? Seriously? Have you seen the polls for what people want to be done with SS? Hint: It's not privatizing it.

          How have we "changed the terms of the debate" when the primary goal of the ACA is to keep the health insurance companies in business? Wouldn't changing the debate be arguing for single-payer?

          You know, that thing that the Democrats just won't do?

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:37:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly my point. (0+ / 0-)

            When simply thrown around as policy discussion, it was more popular that when he actually put it on the table, particularly when there was an organized opposition - us - who were ready to pick holes in it. They never knew what hit them.

            Single payer is what we all want. But simply getting any sort of commitment was a struggle. The baseline in our country was to have no guarantee except to elderly and the very poor, and even the latter had been under heavy attack from the right. The Republicans opposed what we put on the table, even though it was originally a Republican proposal, proving there were never serious about any sort of health reform. Over their dead body would it be passed they told us. It has been passed, and they are still alive, somewhat.  And they have still have their bi-weekly attempts to repeal it.

            If it is such a reactionary plan, why have these reactionaries opposed it so vehemently? If they honestly believe the ACA is as attrocious as they say, why not let it be and let it fall apart on its own? Because the ACA, bu its very existence as I said, has changed the terms of the debate. So, what if it is not perfect? If the American people have a choice between scrapping it or coming up with a better plan, what do think that will be? The Republicans know that the next step will be a single payer plan. They are on defense for a change instead of us, and I like that.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:30:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So the lesson is, we can never actually propose (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shadowmuffin, Sunspots

              anything that's actually good, because then the Republicans will try to poke holes in it?

              Single payer is what we all want. But simply getting any sort of commitment was a struggle.
              Yeah, it was a struggle to get commitment from the D's. Yes, the R's would scream bloody murder. Yes, the Dems would have to vigorously defend their (tremendously popular) position in the face of strong opposition instead of instantly assuming the fetal position.
              Because the ACA, bu its very existence as I said, has changed the terms of the debate.
              I don't know what this is supposed to mean, and I definitely don't see how locking everyone into buying private insurance is the logical step to single-payer healthcare.

              The R's oppose the ACA because they hate Obama and everything he supposedly represents. Obviously. The only way the ACA has "changed the debate" is in calling out the worst of the insurance industry's practices while working very hard to preserve the private system as a whole.

              I don't see any Democrats arguing to single-payer.

              Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

              by Boogalord on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:30:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how I remember it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          schumann, Sunspots

          I don't recall support for a public option ever wavering in the polls.  What I do remember is politicians dancing around the edges of a very popular idea that they did not want to either support or come out against.  As I recall they never had a vote on the Public option in the senate to protect Democrats from having to go on record.

          Voting for Democrats gets us movement on social issues like marriage equality that doesn't negatively impact and corporate interests, but with our current system of government the terms of debate aren't all that important as far as things like getting single payer goes, because there really isn't that much our elected officials want to debate on.

    •  There already was a health care program (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      magnetics, Sunspots

      that existed, it's called Medicare and Medicaid. If your first statement was true then those would have just been expanded and improved and we wouldn't have a new and worse law. The administration did the exact opposite of what you claim is necessary.

      •  Expanding Medicare was being pushed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We didn't have the horses to get it. Before we blame conservative blue dog Democrats, remember these were elected by a constituency containing a high percentage of blue dogs.

        I dream of the day when we can move these states to the left, but we had to work with what we had.

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:32:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which means we should have focused on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          awcomeon, Sunspots

          better horses. This is what I was responding to:

          You can fix and improve a government program that is less than optimum, but you can't fix and improve on a government program that does not exist.
          We had a program so the idea that we needed to have a program before we could fix it doesn't follow.

          The idea that we're going to be able to fix this beyond some minor tweaks strikes me as hopelessly naive. The negative implementation will hurt Dems and is being used as a bludgeon. Going after wall street would have been a better political strategy by far.

          •  Government program as in one that has been (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, raincrow

            created because you've gotten the law passed. This, I contend is about is good as we could have gotten.

            We need better horses, yes. But we need to rebuild the progressive movement in places like Montana, Arkansas, and Kentucky get those horses. Until then, we have to pick our battles, and I believe the ACA for all it's faults was well worth fighting for.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 12:54:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medicaid and Medicare are both programs (0+ / 0-)

              that were already created. They are less than optimal. So by the reasoning you put forward we shouldn't have had to get a crappy program and instead we could have improved those programs.

              The problem is that it doesn't actually work like that. You always get what you have the votes for in congress. So if we get to the point where we have the votes to expand those programs then we can expand those programs. But there is this lie going around that we somehow didn't have a government health care program and therefore we had to create one before we could improve it. That's not true. We have a government HC program and congress didn't improve it. Given that fact I see no reason to expect that congress will improve this new program if they didn't improve the program we already had instead of creating a new program.

            •  I respectfully disagree. If Dems had stood (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              united and fought toe-to-toe FOR universal healthcare, instead of fighting toe-to-toe with Repubs to substitute a chickenshite GOP-reject InsuranceCompanyCare program (thanks Joe Lieberman, Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln, et al) we COULD have had a much superior healthcare delivery system.  Dem infighting sank a more progressive health plan, imo, more so than the usual and expected Repub obstructionism.  Now, thanks to Mary Landrieu and her posse, we get round two of that blue dog, backstabbing crapola.

              Not to mention, IF President Obama had not cut a backroom deal to keep single payer completely out of the equation before the reform effort even began.  

              When opponents (Repubs) perceive one party  as wimps who can be rolled at every turn (Dems) and the wimpees (Dems) continually confirm and affirm that perception, Dems can expect to reap what we have sown, as in not voting at all or electing fair weather, blue dog conservadems and putting them in charge of major "progressive" policy initiatives.

              Better horses needed, indeed.  Talk about an understatement.

    •  That's right (0+ / 0-)

      Just the fact that we are talking about this, that it has become part of the national debate, that people are starting to look at what insurance policies really do and don't do.  These are big steps forward over the horrendous situation we had before.  Health insurance is now part of public policy and forever will be.  That in itself is a big change for the better.  

      And could we please stop the recriminations over not getting single payer?   Anyone who was paying attention knows that that never had a chance in hell.  Obama is a realist, and wanted to get something real.  Yes, a half-full glass is a lot better than an empty glass.    

    •  With Obama's administrative fix, Landrieu's (0+ / 0-)

      proposal is unnecessary, and posturing at best. It will never pass the House.

  •  In so many words (19+ / 0-)

    I feel your pain.  

    Progressives have been waylaid by the ACA.  Mandating private corporate insurance was a bad idea when Obama said he was against it in the 2008 campaign.  

    It was a bad idea when the Heritage Foundation formulated it a decade ago.  

    And a few people around here said it was a bad idea when Dems actually seemed on the verge of making it law.  That epic mistake caused many to lose their seats, and the Party to lose the House.

    The result is what is happening.  Political gridlock, no way to get a real Progressive agenda through Congress, and the Republicans being allowed to campaign against their own stupid "market based health care" while calling it "Obamacare," and "nationalized health," when it obviously is not even close to a National Health care system.

    It's a historically classic example of political tone deafness, and incompetence by the Party "leadership" (and the same people who lost the House in 08 are still "in charge") and it has resulted in the Rethugs being left to fight another day, when they should be buried.  And Americans confused yet again about what Democrats actually "stand" for.

  •  It's almost like the Heritage Foundation thought (15+ / 0-)

    up this plan.

    Oh wait, they did.  

    Next time, when asking for a pony, push hard for the fucking pony.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:08:14 AM PST

  •  and yet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics, raincrow

    Ya have to get to the finish line eventually.
    Your calculations are polar opposite of teaparty philosophy - it leads to a "principled" dead end that helps no one.

  •  In the end, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    magnetics, awcomeon

    the country has Joe Lieberman and his ilk  to thank.

  •  brainstorming and actual solutions... (4+ / 0-)

    are now called "utopian thinking".

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 10:46:05 AM PST

  •  Numbers noted on initial signups... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, raincrow

    That most of the people who pursue info on the "exchange" are too low of income?

    More people are qualifying for Medicaid. How about that story.

    This is only a comment based on glanced over "media" sources & observations.

  •  The Wall Street wing of the democratic party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    schumann, Sunspots

    (both Clintons, McAuliffe, Landrieu, Shumer, Rubin, Sperling and others) was never going to support Medicare for all; Hillary won't do so if she should become president. Obama has been anxious to please everybody, that's why he let Baucus and Fowler have such a free hand. The more he tries to be reasonable now, the worse the public image of the ACA, and the more confusion. CMS planners should have anticipated denial of service attacks on the website (not the #1 problem), Obama keeps thinking that the Rs will be reasonable in the future.

    Kos and the Landrieu bill are wrong - Baehner is eager to pass some modification of Fred Upton's bill to allow people to keep their old insurance indefinitely, which means that premiums must keep rise enormously and all of ACA policies will approach the Medicaid situation - overloaded with sickies, too few healthy young people. When that Upton bill passes the House and comes to the senate, the Wall Street Wing will say that "we have to do what the public (i.e. the Koch astroturf pundits) demand.

    Is the Wall Street wing of the democratic party better than tea baggers like Cuccinelli? yes. Will they ever deal with the steamroller of economic inequality? Both Clintons have said that the problem is that poor Americans dropped out of school, but they refuse to do anything for education that makes Wall street unhappy.

    Most states have refused to cooperate with the ACA exchanges. Are they more likely to cooperate with its latest iteration?

  •  The very imperfect starting point for single-payer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yes this is going to be really messy for some people, but this is a massive upheaval opposed by extremely powerful forces, so it was to be expected. I hope you'll be able to resolve your own ins woes.

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 01:08:16 PM PST

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