Skip to main content

Dear Mr. President;

You did everything you could to keep the health insurance industry happy and solvent. You let them set the rules. You let them veto anything that might possibly hurt their bottom line. You looked out for Wall Street at the same time that you were trying to get Main Street a little preventive health care. And what did the health insurance industry do? It bit the hand that fed it. Not a little nip. The health insurers took a great big chunk of flesh---easily more than a pound--out of you when they decided to cancel policies rather than rewriting them so that they would comply with the law. Millions stand to lose their health individual health insurance at a time when government resources to help the uninsured are already strained. The private insurers have precipitated a health care crisis of huge proportions---

This is war. The health insurance industry has declared war. Can we fight back?

The president of the United States has tremendous powers in the event of war or national emergency. And this is a huge national health emergency. Luckily, President Obama, you already have the weapon you need to win this war and preserve our health. It is called Medicare. Forget about Congressional bills that would allow insurance companies to sell  policies that have large deductibles and lifetime spending caps and excludes treatment for a large number of conditions such as mental health care and transplants. Signing a bill like that would be the same as signing a unilateral surrender.

This is your second term. You will not have to raise money for re-election. You can do whatever you want with the executive powers that the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations stretched and expanded to include just about anything. So, why limit yourself to spying on American citizens and killing people with drones? Why not do something really bold----

Like give Americans insurance. Give them Medicare. Start with all the people whose individual policies were canceled. Tell them to take their notices of cancellation to the nearest Social Security office where they will be enrolled in Medicare. Most of these people are healthy. Their bills will not break the Medicare budget. And once they have Medicare, they will never go back to the alternative--huge deductibles, huge out of pocket, lifetime spending caps, exclusions of some treatments. Millions of lives are in danger. If this was a hurricane, you would act. So, act as if this is a hurricane.

Yes, the House will blow a fuse. Yes, they will try to impeach you. Let them. Let them impeach you for giving people Medicare. Let them impeach you for saving lives. It will be much more amusing that watching them trying to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job---and the results next fall will be much the same. And if the Supreme Court decides to step in---well, I would not want to be the one to tell Americans who are now enjoying the benefits of Medicare "Sorry, you have to give that back."

Next, in every state that refused to set up its own health care exchange, you should declare a state of emergency and announce that the federal government is having Medicare open enrollment at Social Security Offices, IRS offices and every other federal government building. The only hard part will be having to check with employers to see if they offer health insurance. Everything else will be a cakewalk.

Finally, do something about the states where the Tea Party has refused billions in federal dollars to expand Medicaid, because they want to preserve their "state's right" to laugh themselves silly as they watch poor folks die of preventable disease. When state refused to let Blacks attend schools, the feds sent in troops. When states refused to let minorities vote, the feds intervened.  Well, breathing is just as fundamental and important as reading and voting. And the solution is simple. All you will have to do is offer the poor citizens Medicare---and send the bill for the premiums to their state government in the form of reduced federal highway funds and other pork on which Blue states are so dependent.

You will probably never get to steps two and three above. When the health insurance industry sees all those valuable (and overwhelmingly healthy) customers lost forever, they will quickly surrender and try to cut their losses.

And no, I am not kidding. The President of the United States has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Bush and Cheney started doing it before 9/11.  They justified it on the grounds of national security. Well, I will sleep a lot more securely at night knowing that people with treatable mental illness are not planning to shoot up my place of work tomorrow and that my grand-baby will not be exposed to a potentially fatal communicable disease like pertussis and that I won't be killed on the road by someone with untreated sleep apnea and that my cab driver won't have a heart attack because he doesn't have insurance and that the only hospital in my rural county will not close its doors because too many of its patients are uninsured.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  A caller on the Thom Hartmann show last (8+ / 0-)

    week summed it up perfectly, paraphrasing:

    It is illegal to sell body parts in the U.S. because it is considered immoral.  If it's immoral to sell body parts, it's also immoral for non-healthcare providers, i.e., insurance companies, to profit from people needing healthcare.  

    •  what the hell? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      My brain hurts from reading that.  Let me try another example.

      It is illegal to punch newborn babies as hard as you can right in the soft spot of their skulls because it is considered immoral.  If it's immoral to punch newborn babies as hard as you can right in the soft spot of their skulls, its also immoral for non-healthcare providers, i.e., insurance companies, to profit from people needing health care.

      They seem equally related.  Oh-- dammit.. I forgot the fancy bold italics, lemme try again....

      It is illegal to eat body parts in the U.S. because it is considered immoral.  If it's immoral to eat body parts, it's also immoral for non-Guinness brewers, i.e., bars, to profit from people needing Guinness.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:44:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a conspiracy theory: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpotsmuggler, Kombema

    Obama is play 12 dimensional chess and intentionally wanted the website to fail, because in his heart he knows the moral solution is a single payer system that cannot profit on human misery.

    Now will 60 Minutes please air this!

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 03:13:54 PM PST

  •  now's the time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpotsmuggler, liberaldemdave

    it's a slippery slope to medicare for all.  

  •  Seriously? (4+ / 0-)
    The president of the United States has tremendous powers in the event of war or national emergency. And this is a huge national health emergency. Luckily, President Obama, you already have the weapon you need to win this war and preserve our health. It is called Medicare. Forget about Congressional bills that would allow insurance companies to sell  policies that have large deductibles and lifetime spending caps and excludes treatment for a large number of conditions such as mental health care and transplants.
    Are you REALLY arguing that a President should forget about silly little things like the basic, fundamental Constitutional requirement that Congress is the one that enacts laws?????????

    Wow.  Just Wow.  I wonder what people here would have said if GWB just decided to pass Medicare part D, or even the Social Security policy he ran on, by forgetting about silly little things like Congressional bills.  

    •  Context is your friend and fundamental (8+ / 0-)
      Congressional bills that would allow insurance companies to sell  policies that have large deductibles and lifetime spending caps and excludes treatment for a large number of conditions such as mental health care and transplants.
      Notice that doesn't include all Congressional bills in general, but nice try though. Besides no deals with for profit hositals to kill the public option and deals with Big Pharma, inducing Big Pharma lobbyist Billy Tauzin who he made an ad against during the campaign,to kill Byron Dorgan's reimportation amendment to import drugs from Canada, goes a long way, like reconciliation if it's used.

      It wasn't. Now find something else to misinterpret to deflect.

      Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

      by priceman on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 03:33:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Context is EXACTLY the problem. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        misslegalbeagle, VClib

        The diary is arguing for the President to take unilateral action to bring about Medicare for all.  Read the whole thing -- like the beginning of that paragraph, that says the President needs to use his emergency powers to enact Medicare for all.  Or this:  

        This is your second term. You will not have to raise money for re-election. You can do whatever you want with the executive powers that the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations stretched and expanded to include just about anything. So, why limit yourself to spying on American citizens and killing people with drones? Why not do something really bold----
        Or this:
        If this was a hurricane, you would act. So, act as if this is a hurricane.
        Or this:
        Yes, the House will blow a fuse. Yes, they will try to impeach you. Let them. Let them impeach you for giving people Medicare. Let them impeach you for saving lives.
        •  And yet none of this says what you hope it does (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheMomCat, triv33, Cassiodorus, LaEscapee

          FAIL, again.

          The president of the United States has tremendous powers in the event of war or national emergency. And this is a huge national health emergency. Luckily, President Obama, you already have the weapon you need to win this war and preserve our health. It is called Medicare. Forget about Congressional bills that would allow insurance companies to sell  policies that have large deductibles and lifetime spending caps and excludes treatment for a large number of conditions such as mental health care and transplants. Signing a bill like that would be the same as signing a unilateral surrender.

          This is your second term. You will not have to raise money for re-election. You can do whatever you want with the executive powers that the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations stretched and expanded to include just about anything. So, why limit yourself to spying on American citizens and killing people with drones? Why not do something really bold----

          The President can act to bypass normal Congressional proceedings with Congress hence the sellout deals with big pharma and for profit hospitals to make the vote a foregone conclusion. Besides, it is Congress's job to hold the President accountable regardless which they aren't doing on the NSA etc. which is really the point being made as to why can't the President act unilaterally against the Constitution on some things, but not others that are beneficial to society.

          I get really tired of this kind of sophistry. Seriously find something else to get poutraged about.

          Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

          by priceman on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 03:52:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? This is just beyond words. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, misslegalbeagle
            why can't the President act unilaterally against the Constitution on some things, but not others that are beneficial to society.
            You are really ok with a President bypassing Congress to do something that would be a blatantly unconstitutional power grab and that would essentially render 1/3 of government -- Congress -- superfluous, just because it's "beneficial for society"?  

            In your view, it is ok for the President to act, in your words, "unilaterally against the Constitution" if it's "beneficial to society"?????

            And you think it's ridiculous because I am aghast at that?  

            •  Critical thinking is important (5+ / 0-)

              Is 1/3rd of the government -- Congress -- superfluous, because of the kill list and NSA? Is the 14th amendment superfluous because we have a debt ceiling that when isn't passed questions the public debt? That's something to think about, and mainly just a point the diarist is making, so far with regard to something beneficial to society.

              You also don't seem to understand how the separation of powers works. One holds the other accountable which is the job of Congress and the Judiciary when the Executive goes too far or when the Judiciary goes to far it is Congress's job to reign it in. That's government operating as it is supposed to. That's not superfluous. Too bad you don't seem to really understand any of the points you are making.

              But no, it's not OK that the President and Eric Holder do not care about due process in the Constitution with their kills lists or that we shall not question the public debt which we allow with our crisis to crisis government this "concern" of yours doesn't even seem to want to touch upon.

              So therefore critical thinking exercises like this diary, are needed, and so is Medicare for All. Whether that upsets you or not is irrelevant, for you have shown you are anything but consistent so why should I care. I really don't.

              Those who deflect debates about the issues with complaints about tone usually have a lot to atone for.

              by priceman on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:21:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  How is this a misinterpretation? The diarist is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, VClib

        saying the president should assume broad extra-constiutional powers to enact medicare for all.  There's no limiting principle in the diarist's suggestion that applies only in the healthcare context.  

    •  Wow Are you Really arguing (7+ / 0-)

      That Obama hasn't,  as a matter of routine, NOT exceeded his constitutional authority?   Or are you saying he should only exceed it when it benefits defense contractors or Wall Street?  

      "I'm ashamed you exist" -Inland 11/8/13 http://www.dailykos.com/comment/1254066/51839318

      by Nada Lemming on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:02:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I only wish such outrage would be consistent (6+ / 0-)

      I read the point of the diary as precisely that if the executive branch is going to ignore the constitution in favor of what corporations and warmongers want, why not use the power concentrated in the executive to bring out change that would actually benefit the general population.  This is a thought experiment, an attempt to create an eye-opening perspective.  I doubt anyone here imagines Obama might one day do take the side of the people over his corporate friends.

      To take one example of many for comparison, if the president is claiming the power to decide unilaterally and in secret which Americans to kill, then why not assume the power to decide which Americans can be on Medicare.  The telling point is that people like you express incredulity and outrage at the mere suggestion that the president violate the constitution to provide health care while yawning or even actively defending actual violations of the constitution which cause death and destruction.

      If it is the constitution you are concerned about, then where the fuck have you been over the last six years?

      And btw, even now, Obama is busy working on the TPP in secret, without consultation from Congress or citizen groups, with the plan to fast track the bill through congress without discussion.  Would that you were as shocked and outraged by this actual real-world, right-now behavior as you are about a proposal thrown out to make a point about what is possible.

      Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

      by geomoo on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:36:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I TOO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kombema

    Have had enough Mr. President.
    Step out of character and tell Bohner, Ryan, Cantor, Issa, et al to BRING IT. You didn't start this war, finish it!

  •  The president doesn't have vast domestic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    "emergency powers."  I'm interested in what part of the Constitution you believe gives him these powers.  

  •  You crazy dreamer, you. (4+ / 0-)

    It's fun to dream, and to mention reality from time to time.  Thanks for the diary.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:22:20 PM PST

  •  Well things cannot continue as they are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kombema

    Rome is burning and it is catching us all in flames.
    Don't worry, they will try and impeach him no matter what he does.  Don't worry....the republicans and obtructionists and sell outs will hound him to no end for simply apologizing.   The reference to George W Bush and his medicare part D is not even a good argument compared to Bush's illegal war.   Who is more impeachable?   Was it not Bush that said the consitution was just a piece of paper?
    Did he really care about consitutional powers?  Bush shredded that document long ago...bringing him up for comparison is quite laughable...with his enhanced interrogations.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 04:32:39 PM PST

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      This insurance company give away does very little to insure health care for all.   Check the exchanges.   If you are lucky enough to get a subsidy on your premiums you still have a five thousand dollar hurdle (deductible) that is keeping you from getting health care.

      Health insurance does not equal health care.  Period.  It equals money for health insurance companies.  We DO need single payer

      As for Medicare, did you know that the Medigap policies have doubled their premiums?  You will now pay 3-4 hundred, same as a regular health care.  I heard they want to keep people from seeing drs because that will somehow bring health care costs down.

      This is flawed in two ways:1.  I know very few people whose idea of a good time is seeing a dr even though they don't really need to.  Those dr office waiting rooms are just great right?

      2.  How will this bring costs down?   Those people who will now wait until they are really really  deathbed sick will bring costs up IF supply and demand play an actual role here.
      Plus, think of how utilities raise their rates after periods of mild weather.   Demand went down, prices went up because they have a freaking monopoloy and they are going to get as much money as they want

      So, yes we need Medicare for all but watch how they are changing Medicare, raising deductibles, making it harder to see drs, etc.  

      We need an end to the game playing and take profit out of health care PERIOD

  •  Worst. Fucking. Idea. Ever. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    Advocating that the President can and should just do whatever the hell he wants if he thinks its a good idea because its a good idea is not only so farcically juvenile and short-sighted but a complete abrogation of the founding principles of the American Constitution.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:46:52 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site