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Four years ago, countless Democratic leaders and allies pushed for passage of Barack Obama’s complex healthcare act while arguing that his entire presidency was at stake. The party hierarchy whipped the Congressional Progressive Caucus into line, while MoveOn and other loyal groups stayed in step along with many liberal pundits.

Lauding the president’s healthcare plan for its structure of “regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote in July 2009 that the administration’s fate hung in the balance: “Knock away any of the four main pillars of reform, and the whole thing will collapse -- and probably take the Obama presidency down with it.” Such warnings were habitual until Obamacare became law eight months later.

Meanwhile, some progressives were pointing out that -- contrary to the right-wing fantasy of a “government takeover of healthcare” -- Obama’s Affordable Care Act actually further enthroned for-profit insurance firms atop the system. As I wrote at the time, “The continued dominance of the insurance industry is the key subtext of the healthcare battle that has been raging in Washington. But that dominance is routinely left out of the news media's laser-beam concentration on whether a monumental healthcare law will emerge to save Obama's presidency.”

Today, in terms of healthcare policy, the merits and downsides of Obamacare deserve progressive debate. But at this point there’s no doubt it’s a disaster in political terms -- igniting the Mad Hatter Tea Party’s phony populism, heightening prospects for major right-wing electoral gains next year and propagating the rancid notion that the government should stay out of healthcare.

That ominous takeaway notion was flagged days ago on the PBS NewsHour by commentator Mark Shields, who worried aloud that “this is beyond the Obama administration. If this goes down, if … the Affordable Care Act is deemed a failure, this is the end -- I really mean it -- of liberal government, in the sense of any sense that government as an instrument of social justice, an engine of economic progress… Time and again, social programs have made the difference in this country. The public confidence in that will be so depleted, so diminished, that I really think the change -- the equation of American politics changes.”

At this pivotal, historic, teachable moment, progressives should not leave the messaging battle about the ACA to right wingers and Obama loyalists. While critiquing the law for its entanglement with the profit-voracious insurance industry, we should fight for quality healthcare for everyone -- definitely including the people who live in states where right-wing officials are blocking expansion of Medicaid coverage. (In a recent Nation article, historian Rick Perlstein cited a grim example of a chronic mentality: “the policy wizards in the Obama White House build a Rube Goldberg healthcare law that relies on states to expand Medicaid and create healthcare exchanges, and then are utterly blindsided when red-state legislatures and governors decline.”) We should challenge all efforts to deny the human right of healthcare.

What we should not be doing is what MoveOn.org is now doing -- proclaiming that the Obamacare law is just fine. In a November 14 email blast, subject-lined “Obamacare in serious trouble,” MoveOn acknowledged that the rollout “has been badly botched” but flatly declared: “Obviously, the law itself is still really good.”

Huh?

The problems with Obamacare involve far more than simply bad website coding. They’re bound up in the enormous complexity of the law’s design, wrapped around a huge corporate steeplechase for maximizing profits. As a Maine physician, Philip Caper, wrote this fall, the ACA “is far too complicated and therefore too expensive to manage, full of holes, will be applied unevenly and unfairly, be full of unintended consequences, and be easily exploited by those looking to make a quick buck.” The ACA is so complicated because it has been so relentlessly written for the benefit of -- and largely written by -- insurance companies.

Along the way, the “individual mandate” cornerstone of the ACA -- required by government yet actually enriching the private insurance industry -- is a tremendous political boost to demagogic GOP leaders. I’m not engaging in hindsight here. Like many others, I saw this coming before the ACA became law, writing in March 2010: “On a political level, the mandate provision is a massive gift to the Republican Party, all set to keep on giving to the right wing for many years. With a highly intrusive requirement that personal funds and government subsidies be paid to private corporations, the law would further empower right-wing populists who want to pose as foes of government ‘elites’ bent on enriching Wall Street.”

Obamacare is a mess largely because it builds a revamped healthcare system around the retrenched and extended power of insurance companies -- setting back prospects for real healthcare reform for a decade or more. Egged on by corporate media and corporate politicians, much of the public will blame higher premiums on government intervention and not on the greedy insurance companies which, along with Big Pharma, helped write the law in the Obama White House and on Capitol Hill.

It should now be painfully obvious that Obamacare’s little helpers, dutifully reciting White House talking points in 2009 and early 2010, were helping right-wing bogus populism to gather steam. Claiming that the Obama presidency would sink without signing into law its “landmark” healthcare bill, many a progressive worked to throw the president a rope; while ostensibly attached to a political life preserver, the rope was actually fastened to a huge deadweight anvil.

In the process, the political choreography included a chorus of statements by Congressional Progressive Caucus members before ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act. Having previously removed the words “single payer” and “Medicare for all” from their oratorical vocabulary while retaining the laudatory language -- and after later excising the words “public option” in a similar way -- those legislators still pretended that passage of the ACA would be an unalloyed positive triumph. Like the president, they resolutely oversold Obamacare and made believe it would bring about an excellent healthcare system.

With such disingenuous sales pitches four years ago, President Obama and his Democratic acolytes did a lot to create the current political mess engulfing Obamacare -- exaggerating its virtues while pulling out the stops to normalize denial about its real drawbacks. That was a bad approach in 2009. It remains a bad approach today.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I think this comment requires some elaboration (22+ / 0-)

      Yes, it's horsepucky. I agree that Mr. Solomon is being very tendentious here, but we need to say why.

      First, yes it leaves the private insurance companies in place, and making profit, but it doesn't make us any worse off in that respect. In fact, they get a strong dose of helpful regulation -- an 85% floor on medical loss ratio, and no medical underwriting. That will make the system work better for everybody, but yes, it does require the individual mandate. These pieces are inextricably linked. The prediction that the mandate will fuel right wing populism is just that -- speculation. Obviously it's already unpopular with conservatives but there's no reason to think it will drive people to the right who aren't already there. In fact, it affects very few people -- most who sign up through the exchanges will get a very good deal and will be happy to do it.

      As for delaying more progressive reform, there's no reason to believe that. We certainly weren't going to get single payer in the next decade if this hadn't happened! The Medicaid expansion will be a huge win for people and will in fact bring us closer to single payer. The experiments with payment reform in the ACA will very likely make health care better and more affordable in the long run, and will also improve the prospects for expanding public funding of health care.

      The right strategy is to get behind this and proclaim that we need to fix its problems (there are a few real bugs) and build on it. Bemoaning that it isn't what you wanted is feckless; it isn't going away. Don't just cower in fear of the worst consequences you can imagine, do something about it!

      •  The only alternative to the individual mandate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rovertheoctopus, corvo, 420 forever

        so far as I can see, would be for the government to simply collect the total cost of premiums in taxes - i.e., single payer. Otherwise the free rider problem brings the whole thing down, as we see in New York.

        •  An alternative is pay or play ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus, priceman

          ... with the "pay" side going into the individual's acount, or into funding catastrophic insurance for all if the individual opts out. There, rather than the mild penalty of a toothless version of an individual mandate driving enrollment, it is the desire to use your employer "pay" contribution to fund insurance you pick yourself.

          "I can't imagine an alternative" to a policy alternative when Candidate Obama cogently argued an alternative back in 2008 is a very weak tea argument.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 01:16:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, you guys need to start being truthful. (25+ / 0-)

        If you look at the list of people who are attacking this diary, they are the very ones that he identified when he said this:

        It should now be painfully obvious that Obamacare’s little helpers, dutifully reciting White House talking points in 2009 and early 2010, were helping right-wing bogus populism to gather steam.
        I actually read a diary on another progressive site yesterday -- posted by an Obama supporter who wanted people to stop telling the truth about the ACA rollout. He said it didn't help. Jeez!

        There were a lot of us who warned that this program would be a disaster when it was first introduced. And it is the big mess that we said it would be, just like HAMP was a big mess that benefited the people who caused the crimes that cost so many people their homes (the same bankers who used loopholes in HAMP to literally steal the people's houses that they were supposed to help). And we had warned other Democrats that HAMP would be a disaster, and as usual, we were attacked enmasse by the Obama supporters.

        For years, the Obama supporters - especiallly those on this site - have harrangued and hammered anyone who had the audacity to challenge this administration on any of its policies. They absolutely will not allow the truth to be revealed. And when you have people afraid of the truth, then you know you are looking at corruption from top to bottom.

        Those of us who have been described as the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party are finally starting to fight back, and we're open to new leaders and new ideas. No more supporting corporatists who call themselves Democrats. And no more policies designed by big business insiders.

        Thanks for posting this Mr. Solomon.

        •  Not afraid of the truth at all (9+ / 0-)

          And the truth is that the ACA is far from the best possible solution to universal coverage in a perfect world. We've always known that. At the same time it was the only possible solution that could be obtained politically. And anybody who is still bemoaning the failure to get single payer, or a public option, is not one of what some like to characterize as the  Democratic Wing fo the Democratic Party, they are of the delusional wing.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:12:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you falsify this? (11+ / 0-)
            At the same time it was the only possible solution that could be obtained politically.
            Yet, advocacy and debate for single-payer was outright rejected early into Obama's presidency. The preponderance of evidence points to single-payer never seeing the light of day, because the "debate" was artificially tailored against considering it as a serious option. There's simply no knowing how far it could have gone, because it was scuttled from debate in favor of keeping the system and making tweaks (hence, Max Baucus and Liz Fowler became key authors to work health "care" reform within the framework of a private system.)
            Krugman’s historical errors:

                [P]olitical constraints made [note lack of agency] a straightforward single-payer system unachievable.

            But what was the origin of these mysterious “constraints”? Krugman doesn’t say, so let us supply the lacuna. I suggest the real constraints came from three sources, as indicated by their behavior from 2009, when battle for health reform was joined: (1) The Democratic nomenklatura, which censored single payer stories and banned single payer advocates from its sites, and refused even to cover single payer advances in Congress, while simultaneously running a “bait and switch” operation with the so-called “public option,” thereby sucking all the oxygen away from single payer;1 (2) Democratic office holders like Max Baucus, the putative author of ObamaCare — Liz Fowler, a Wellpoint VP, was the actual author — who refused to include single payer advocates in hearings and had protesters arrested and charged; (3) and Obama himself, who set the tone for the entire Democratic food chain by openly mocking single payer advocates (“got the little single payer advocates up here”), and whose White House operation blocked email from single payer advocates, and went so far as to suppress a single advocate’s question from the White House live blog of a “Forum on Health Care.” (Granted, the forums were all kayfabe, but even so.) As Jane Hamsher wrote, summing of the debacle: “The problems in the current health care debate became apparent early on, when single payer advocates were excluded [note, again, lack of agency] from participation.”

            In short, if single payer was “politically infeasible” — the catchphrase of that time — that’s because Democrats set out to make it so, and succeeded.

            And...
            Moreover, Krugman’s absurd claim to the contrary, single payer is both well known, in the form of Medicare, and polls well.
            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

            "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

            by rovertheoctopus on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:53:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course it wasn't proposed as a serious option! (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fcvaguy, Aliosman, Larsstephens, kkkkate

              Health care is what..7% of the US economy reportedly?  You don't "seriously propose" upending that entire system when the economy is teeterng on the brink of disaster anyway. And you don't "seriously propose" it knowing full well the entire insurance industry is going to throw everything they have into a fight to the death to stop you - forever.  Not only do you not "seriously propose" such a thing under the above circumstances, you avoid hinting that you might even think about it. If getting forward progress on health care reform is your goal, that is.

              And for serious analysis that deals with reality, I would not be citing Jane Hamsher or Naked Capitalism. I, do however, strongly recommend reading Atul Gawande; especially his Getting There From Here for some sensible background and context on the subject.

              Many would-be reformers hold that “true” reform must simply override those fears. They believe that a new system will be far better for most people, and that those who would hang on to the old do so out of either lack of imagination or narrow self-interest. On the left, then, single-payer enthusiasts argue that the only coherent solution is to end private health insurance and replace it with a national insurance program. And, on the right, the free marketeers argue that the only coherent solution is to end public insurance and employer-controlled health benefits so that we can all buy our own coverage and put market forces to work.

              Neither side can stand the other. But both reserve special contempt for the pragmatists, who would build around the mess we have. The country has this one chance, the idealist maintains, to sweep away our inhumane, wasteful patchwork system and replace it with something new and more rational. So we should prepare for a bold overhaul, just as every other Western democracy has. True reform requires transformation at a stroke. But is this really the way it has occurred in other countries? The answer is no. And the reality of how health reform has come about elsewhere is both surprising and instructive.

              .

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:32:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  But the President didn't run on single payer ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... he did run on a public option and no individual mandate. That was what was different to Romneycare ... reliance on the employer mandate to ensure a broad pool and on the public option to complement the regulatory constraint that corporations have long specialized in sidestepping through regulatory capture.

              And the public option was only "impossible" because of the effort to avoid passing it through reconciliation ... which they resorted to anyway. Without that dithering, we also may have seen an energy bill passed, and several million more people employed today as a result.

              What wasn't in the original Heritage plan, however, was stripped out, ad what was omitted, the individual mandate, restored.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 01:26:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It is not a disaster (8+ / 0-)

          I am more than happy to challenge the Obama administration on all sorts of grounds, from spying to climate change. I don't give a shit about Obama, I give a shit about the future of this country and in this instance, specifically, the future of health care.

          I am a medical sociologist and a professor of Health Services Policy and Practice at an Ivy League university. Mr. Solomon, I can confidently tell you, is full of shit.

        •  So why didn't you guys pass that other bill? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          goobop, fcvaguy, Aliosman

          The one that would have given you single payer? Because if this was Obama's bill, then at least Obama got his bill passed.

          We are SO PAST THAT stuff you are peddling. This is what we have right now and this is what has to be our current filet mignon.

          So we cut it with our fork.

          Jeez.

        •  "little helpers" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, kefauver

          when diarist and you use that kind of term to describe those that you disagree with, it just projects sneering and condescension. The people you want to convince just tune out.

          •  I guess "little helpers" would take issue with it. (8+ / 0-)

            Then again, I don't think they're amongst the group of readers likely to be convinced anyway.




            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

            by DeadHead on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:44:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  your contributions in this diary duly noted (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens, kefauver

              0

              •  In other words... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                poligirl, praenomen, TheMomCat

                No response.

                You seem to have a propensity for taking issue with certain verbiage/tone in diaries.

                Because you're convinced, CONVINCED, that had the offending verbiage/tone not been used, the diary would have stood a MUCH better chance of successfully persuading readers.

                You aren't a "little helper," are you?




                Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                by DeadHead on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:39:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You missed the point (0+ / 0-)

                  Look at the sum total of your comments in this diary. You might get it.

                  And, the diarist doesn't need a bouncer at the door. He never comments in any of his diaries, not one. Enjoy.

                  •  No, let's look at yours (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    praenomen, TheMomCat

                    Essentially functioning as a yes man in support of those in opposition of this diary and offering helpful suggestions for properly wording one's diaries/comments so as to make friends, not enemies.

                    Kind of like a helpful "bouncer" would do.

                    Seriously, you're implying your contributions in this diary are more valuable than mine?

                    I guess you're right. The lower the number of recs, the more valuable the contribution.




                    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                    by DeadHead on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:43:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes I am (0+ / 0-)
                      I guess you're right.
                      I was on topic, discussed the diary, shared my opinion. Yours? Entirely different story. This about sums up every comment and clearly demonstrates your positive contributions.
                      And that you should direct your puerile "waah" bullshit somewhere else.
                      Thanks for your fucking comment.
                      You aren't a "little helper," are you?
                      your comment is, well, pretty much fucking stupid nonsense
                      You have a good night Deadhead. Off to London. Be sure to keep guarding the diary for the diarist. You never know, he might actually make a comment in of his own diaries one day and then surely you'll be needed.
                      •  Of course you are. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cassiodorus, TheMomCat

                        Especially when you cherry pick my comments while completely excluding yours.




                        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                        by DeadHead on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:03:06 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are totally free to (0+ / 0-)

                          re-post all or any part of my comments in this diary for comparison, word for word, with your editorializing and putting words in my mouth. Allow my comments to speak for themselves just as I did with yours. Your the one who brought up my comments, not I.

                          Finally, in the future, don't use name-calling/insults when commenting to me. You have no special dispensation from the rules, nor do I.

      •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aliosman, Larsstephens
        an 85% floor on medical loss ratio
        And that 15% includes their overhead, general and administrative expense, and PROFIT. Relative to government contractors, thats pretty thin. And, I bring up government contractors because if we had single payer, we would have a government agency in place to pay all those claims and monitor charges. The government would most likely use contractors to do that work as they do now in Medicare. I'm all for single payer, but pretending there isn't a cost associated with processing claims and managing medical costs is fantasy.
    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Goingallout, Larsstephens

      Not at all suprrised the see some of the usual suspects reccing this drek.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:24:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And your solution is what? (29+ / 0-)

    Single payer?  Is this just another one of these 'we should have fought for single payer' diaries?

    Or is your solution is for the ACA to be declared a disaster and taken down?  

    Either way, we lose because there are no votes for single payer and if the ACA goes down, then that's it for government fixing health care so that it can be available and affordable for all.

    Dems and Progressives are being played like a violin by big corporate health companies using the Republicans and now scary cat Dems as their cover.

    And I'm really getting sick of this.

  •  MoveOn - *GUFFAW* (12+ / 0-)

    Here at the GOS, the mandate went from being unacceptable to being defended multiple times a day, day after day, on the frikkin' front page.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:00:26 PM PST

  •  not true (13+ / 0-)
    Obamacare is a mess largely because it builds a revamped healthcare system around the retrenched and extended power of insurance companies
    While we wanted a better system, the problems come from the website not working correctly which is incompetence with the contractor.

    With that resolved, it will be a success. However, we will still continue to push for single payer. States like Vermont will become an example to others.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:01:42 PM PST

  •  I think the law is good. The website(s) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TopCat, DarkestHour

    are awful.  Understand also that the bar was significantly raised.  No level of error is now tolerated by the media or republicans.  Not an excuse, the President knew it, just the reality.  So everything is now so magnified.

    At the end of the day, the government just seems completely incapable of creating a website that actually makes people want to learn and be educated about health insurance or health plans.  They just seem so damn determined to get your application and pull your teeth.  That is a institutional flaw of government(though it happens in business).  They can't seem to understand that the consumer wants something different from what they are offering.  That part hurts.  

    Also, it's clear the Administration just won't advocate on its behalf.  This is repeated.  They don't believe in advocacy and they don't think its effective.  For instance, rather than pushback against the IRS scandal for what it was, they apologized and waited, hoped for it to blow over.  They have no faith in the media to get a fair message out, so why bother.  Just apologize.

    Same thing here.  The President is sorry.  But how about, " I don't apologize for passing a bill which is fully paid for(which republicans have not done in decades), I don't apologize for reducing the debt by hundreds of billions of dollars, I don't apologize for delivering quality health insurance to tens of millions of americans, I don't apologize for finally bringing stability to people who are sick and can't get insurance.  I do apologize for a weak website."  As far as the Administration is concerned, not worth it.  The media sucks and in this area the President just isn't up to that type of advocacy.  Not in his DNA.  See first debate with Mitt Romney.

    •  this is patently false (3+ / 0-)
      At the end of the day, the government just seems completely incapable of creating a website that actually makes people want to learn and be educated about health insurance or health plans.
      100% false.
      •  So you enjoy browsing on the website? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, corvo, 420 forever

        How aboout this, a consumer goes on the website.  She's curious just wants to see plans.  She browses.  They tell her insurance will cost $350.  But she's eligible for subsidies.  It would really cost $56.  Unless he goes through all the nonsense there's no way for her to know it.  That's a massive failure.  People will be misinformed.  They don't all read Daily Kos and have the time or patience or even ability to get signed up.  For Christ Sakes Brain Wrap who blogs about the law every day, just got through the morass today!!  And it wasn't easy for him.  Outside of glitches, the site sucks.  To me a disgrace.  No coherent message, no way to learn and explore, no way to even get signed up easily.  We'll be signing up but not through the site.  Were going to a firm called Oscar in NY.  Just let them handle it.  Look I want the law to work.  We're better admitting and then forcing the Administration to address the fact that nobody enjoys going on the site.  Photos of models and animation are not the answer.

        •  Ezra Klein just reported that the Adminsitration (6+ / 0-)

          as a goal is hoping for an 80% success rate.  One in five who  sign up for the Website in December will be unable and the Administration will consider this benchmark a success.  That settles it.  The website sucks.  It should reveal another point though.  Which is that the whole point of the website is to sign people up.  Not just people determined to go through the process, but anyone and everyone eligible for covergae.  They should be grabbing them and dragging them across the line. One way or the other.   Instead, they're making them wait on a long line at say DMV.  But it's not DMV.  It's a different dynamic.  We need people to buy coverage whereas people go to DMV, and suffer through DMV, because they need a license.  If they dont want to drive, fine don't deal with DMV.  But if they don't want to deal with this website and dont get isurance, then we actually lose too.  That's a bridge at this point the govt just cant seem to cross and understand.

    •  Well, (0+ / 0-)
      No level of error is now tolerated by the media or republicans.
      At least not by this President.
  •  Mark Shields is a bit late to notice (17+ / 0-)

    Liberal government died the day those advocating for single payer were literally shut out of the room by the Democratic Party.  

    •  Don't be melodramatic. There were obviously not (3+ / 0-)

      enough votes to pass single payer, and you know it.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:47:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Might Have Had Other Contributions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, Nattiq, gulfgal98

        to the conversation.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:52:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  reconciliation? that's how the Insurance Profit (10+ / 0-)

        Protection Act passed , and for anyone paying attention their stocks soared but where's the surprise when  according to Sen. Baucus on the Senate floor Liz Fowler (an exec of Wellpoint on leave 'because of her concerns for this issue) 'wrote it'.
        It entrenches the market based solution for health care but coming from a neoliberal administration this is no surprise. Like Bill Maher quipped "it's a big fat wet kiss to the insurance companies'.

        Also I don't know how anyone forgets that 'single payer' advocates were barred from the Senate committee hearing under Sen. Baucus and even arrested.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:21:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  for those that forgot Max's praise (5+ / 0-)

          http://firedoglake.com/...

          Not a surprise really that upon passage of the health care bill, Max Baucus would openly thank Liz Fowler, the former Wellpoint VP, for writing it:
          Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, there are a flood of emotions going through all of us today as we pass this reconciliation bill which improves upon the bill the President signed 2 days ago. I would like to focus only on one part–a very important part but only one part–and that is to thank the people who have worked so hard, especially in this body, to help accomplish this result.

          [...]

          We all want to thank so many people. Once we start mentioning a couple or three names, we run the danger of offending people whose names are not mentioned. We all know that. There will be an appropriate time for us to make all the thanks, and I will make mine so sincerely because I am so grateful for all the hard work my staff has put into this.

          I wish to single out one person, and that one person is sitting next to me. Her name is Liz Fowler. Liz Fowler is my chief health counsel. Liz Fowler has put my health care team together. Liz Fowler worked for me many years ago, left for the private sector, and then came back when she realized she could be there at the creation of health care reform because she wanted that to be, in a certain sense, her profession lifetime goal. She put together the White Paper last November–2008–the 87-page document which became the basis, the foundation, the blueprint from which almost all health care measures in all bills on both sides of the aisle came. She is an amazing person. She is a lawyer; she is a Ph.D. She is just so decent. She is always smiling, she is always working, always available to help any Senator, any staff. I thank Liz from the bottom of my heart. In many ways, she typifies, she represents all of the people who have worked so hard to make this bill such a great accomplishment.
          ..."

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:39:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  and speaking of revolving doors (4+ / 0-)

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            WASHINGTON -- The White House defended its ethics record on Wednesday after reports surfaced that one of its top health care policy officials was leaving the administration to take a job at a pharmaceutical giant.

            Liz Fowler left her post as deputy director of the Office of Consumer Information and Oversight at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a senior position in Johnson & Johnson's government affairs and policy group. According to Politico, which first reported the departure, Fowler would be leading the company's "global health policy," which has raised a few flags.

            The president's health care law, after all, still needs to be implemented, and Johnson & Johnson could stand to benefit from alterations to certain provisions. Moreover, Fowler's hiring by the pharmaceutical giant comes after the president's team cut a deal with the industry's lobby arm that limited the government's ability to negotiate for cheaper drug prices. In exchange, the lobby arm, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), backed the legislation.

            "As a broad matter, we should be concerned about the access that certain individuals have by working in the administration and in Congress because these policy questions are going to continue to come up, and voters will feel like the game is rigged against them," said David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund. Donnelly noted that the nation's capital witnesses a mass migration from K Street to public office (or vice versa) every two years.

            (emphasis mine)

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:44:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  There aren't enough votes because we don't (10+ / 0-)

        have a liberal party.  You can't have liberal government without liberals or progressives demanding liberal government.  

        We don't have the votes is just another way of saying -- you don't have a party progressives, STFU.  And again, the clearest demonstration of that was exactly the day that they slammed the door on people who wanted to advocate for single payer.

        This law was written by centrists sucking up to the insurance lobby.  It was touted as "insurance reform".  

        If you a are liberal you know it has never been about insurance.  It's always been about providing healthcare.

        This was the law the centrist elite wanted so let them defend it instead doing what they are doing ducking and covering and hiding and cozying up to the Republicans trying to point the finger at the left when we were shut out of discussion.  We had no role to play in the debate.  

        •  This is a tautology (0+ / 0-)
           There aren't enough votes because we don't have a liberal party.
          Yes, there are not enough votes because those people who get voted in, are not liberal (enough). So far, so true. So how does one go about changing that deplorable fact? By
          liberals or progressives demanding liberal government
          It may surprise you, but no. No this is not the way. The way to get liberal government is to elect liberal representatives. That is the only way. Not by demanding liberal representatives or liberal government. You cannot skip the electing part. It is important, you know...

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 04:07:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's what happened when the dialogue (5+ / 0-)

        was controlled from the top down. The recounting of history in Naked Capitalism's article on the 2009 health care reform debates make all too clear just how deliberate the sabotage of a proper debate was.

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

        by rovertheoctopus on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:24:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are under the mistaken impression that (0+ / 0-)

          politicians are open to be persuaded by your better arguments. Nothing can be further from the truth. Politicians will not take positions that get them un-reelected.

          He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

          by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 04:10:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Perfectly voices my theory of never doing anything (13+ / 0-)

    Remember kids; if you never try, you'll never fail! (returns to hiding under bed)

    "Here comes the night; dark as my soul. No end in sight, no shining light, no love to hold." - The Mavericks

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:06:53 PM PST

  •  Ah, one of my favorite rhetorical devices (11+ / 0-)

    State something as a fact, or in this case is undoubtedly true (i.e. obamacare undoubtedly is a disaster), because if you don't your entire argument is moot.

    •  Bingo. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, kkkkate

      Gotcha documentaries make lots of money doing this.

      Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

      by CupofTea on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well said (13+ / 0-)

    It's been a political disaster.  All for a plan thought up by the Heritage Foundation.

    We've constantly been assured by its supporters that it will be popular.  First after its passage.  Then after it's implementation.  Maybe after a while it's time to realize that it will never be popular.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:08:38 PM PST

    •  Some on the left and those on the right (6+ / 0-)

      devoutly hope it is a political disaster. That's because you were never in favor of the ACA in the first place.

      You're modern Chicken Littles screaming that the sky is falling, though. The ACA will be a political disaster only if a majority of the voting public is still dissatisfied by the time the next election rolls around: that's in a little less than a year.

      Meanwhile, you won't see very much in the media about the people who are shopping for insurance and discovering their premiums/coverage are better than last year.  And you aren't seeing very much in the media about the people who are now able to get insurance when they couldn't before.

      •  October 2014 exchange premiums and policies may (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, 420 forever, Victor Ward

        tell the tale.  If people can't enroll into an affordable policy next October for 2015, it's going to be a political and a healthcare disaster.  

      •  It's already been a political disaster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        See 2010.

        I'm not rooting for it to fail, but it depends on howyou define success and failure.  If it succeeds in its stated, and unstated, goals but the result is another 2010 either next year or 2016, then it would be a failure IMO.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:16:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep a glance at the users who rec'd this diary (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jdsnebraska, kefauver, kkkkate

        shows the people here who have been rooting for this bill to fail from the beginning. When it is proven successful in April 2014 expect them to just shift the next talking point.

        President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

        by askew on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:29:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How nice. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostinamerica, Victor Ward, triv33

          You just declared that everyone who rec'd the diary must have rooted for the ACA's failure from the outset.

          No links to back up your idiotic claim, of course.

          Just "at a glance," because you have a photographic memory.

          Except, you don't.

          I can tell you at least one recommender of the diary, me, has never rooted for its failure.

          So, your comment is, well, pretty much fucking stupid nonsense you fabricated in an attempt to validate the above comment.

          Other than that, it was great.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:04:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Gwhahahahahahhahhahhahha,,,,,, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    too funny man, way toooooo funny.  What a card....

  •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:10:03 PM PST

  •  Just wait till some companies start dropping (8+ / 0-)

    coverage.  And a lot of employees find that they can't get the same coverage or have to pay more for the same.  It may go from bad to worse.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:12:39 PM PST

  •  There seems to be some misconception (18+ / 0-)

    that somehow single payer or some other politically impossible progressive legislation would be immune to hitches or drawbacks or demagoguery.  That seems to be one of the main thrusts of this piece, that this version of HCR is somehow uniquely positioned to be attacked by Republicans.

    I got news for you:  the transition to single payer would be incredibly dramatic, and would have just as many if not more unintended side-effects as ACA.  Winding down an entire industry would have far-reaching impacts for years.

    These are the reasons HCR is hard, and why something is only possible every half century. This "we told you so" BS is just pouting on the sideline with blinders on.

    Not that I expect a reply or anything.

  •  Whaaat? (13+ / 0-)
    The problems with Obamacare involve far more than simply bad website coding.
    The "bad website coding" has been the poster child for the GOP howls that the ACA is failed policy.  That's pure, grade-A bullshit.

    Like any monumental legislation that's passed since the New Deal era, the ACA will need some tweaks and tunes along the way.  The GOP will use every single one of those opportunities to seize on the media narrative that OMG THE ACA IS AN EPIC FAIL!!!!

    As written, the ACA is the first step.  Coding issues be damned, the website will eventually work as flawlessly as any website can be expected to work.  (In the tech field, it's an article of faith and near statistical certainty that 98% of the population is technically incompetent at the most basic level, and very short-attention span.  If a user can't complete a computer task in 2 minutes, it's the technology's fault, not the user's incompetence or level of detail required.  /snark)

    Look, you're a smart guy.  I'm not telling you anything you don't know when I reiterate that the GOP has an extremely vested interest in seeing the ACA receive as much negative press as possible.  Working with the administration to address whatever tweaks and tunes are necessary is viewed as capitulation and weakness by the Cruz wing of the Republican Party, rather than "doing the people's business".

    From the perspective of an aging technology geek (me), ITIL and Six Sigma are completely foreign terms to those who hold the levers for making or breaking the ACA.  When the ACA is fully up and running and accepted as an integral part of the social fabric in the U.S. (a year?  two?  maybe five?), the teabagging GOP will be fully exposed as residing on the scrap heap of legislative history.

    UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

    by Richard Cranium on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:30:13 PM PST

    •  IT was just the canary in the mine for an under (6+ / 0-)

      funded law.  The subsidies are too low and the premiums and deductibles are not going to be affordable for many.  Then they just blame the victim for not being able to afford what they claim is affordable.  

      •  That's a Red State comment if I ever read one... (6+ / 0-)

        UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

        by Richard Cranium on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:00:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why, we've already seen here (5+ / 0-)

          Older people reporting that their premiums have gone way up and these were called entitled douche bags or something like that.  You can deny it but you aren't going to hide the truth from the public.  This law was sold on affordability and if it is not perceived as affordable by the middle class, you're going to have a political disaster.  

          Pelosi or Warner or all the other richer than Gawd Democrats may think it's affordable but that won't matter if the folks in flyoverland don't see it that way.

          We unabashed liberals could have told you that you have to bribe the middle class to accept regulation.  You needed to sweeten the pot one hell of a lot to get the buy in you needed until the law was established.  

          Trying to revolutionize your healthcare system with an austerity mindset was just foolish.  Everything from the underfunded web site and marketing plan to the premium subsidies makes me wonder if the centrists even want this law to work at all.

          •  Website underfunded?? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kkkkate

            Last I heard (and am willing to be corrected if I'm wrong) HHS poured half a billion dollars into construction and operability of healthcare.gov.

            And your comment about "older people"?  I'm an "older people".  I haven't heard of a single person eligible for Medicare that is bitching about Obamacare.  They don't need to.  They're covered already.

            Again, another Red State strawman.

            UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

            by Richard Cranium on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:58:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm talking people 50-65 what a surprise for us (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Victor Ward, LaEscapee

              The young folks think they're getting screwed but meanwhile healthy older people are seeing large premium increases that were a big surprise.  Who knew that was going to happen?  Who told us the bad news?

              I don't know how much the roll out should have cost but it was either underfunded or mismanaged.  There was no multi-media marketing effort, the web site was a failure and they failed to inform people that they could expect higher premiums and cancelled policies.  

              You want to deny that happened but it did.  

              You sell an Affordable Care Act and it costs the very people who are most likely to vote more money and then you are surprised if people aren't thrilled?   They needed lots more carrots before they started using the sticks.  

    •  Richard you know I love you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      priceman, Richard Cranium

      but your comment is complete and utter bullshit.

      This isn't about a website. This about the fact that old people are getting fucked, rates and deductibles are being raised, policies are being cancelled and people like me are being told to buy garbage insurance we can't afford or we would have had it before.

      They want to fine me I won't file taxes they want to jail me I get free insurance. See how that works?

      Victim of the system~Bob Marley

      by LaEscapee on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:09:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know I love you too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, kkkkate

        ...but please quit listening to Wolf and Friends.

        The truth is out there, but you're not going to get it from NPR, CNN, Fox, or even MSNBC.

        ACA is not even close to a perfect piece of legislation, but it's a start.  I've said that from the beginning.  It's a foundation from which we build universal health care, not the entire structure that rests on the foundation.

        UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

        by Richard Cranium on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:18:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Stick around and chat one of these days, (4+ / 0-)

    Mr. Solomon!  Not that there's anything wrong with hit-and-run exposure anywhere you can get it, I guess.  

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:33:10 PM PST

  •  The failure to recognize (13+ / 0-)

    the fact that we already had a successful single payer system in Medicare was and is my biggest beef. From the beginning, the progressives were cut out of the process until it was too late to have effective input into the resulting deals and bill.  Many of us here warned that the ACA was headed in the wrong direction despite there having been some good things that have come from it.  And of course, any time a bill is written by the corporations that it is regulating is always a bad sign.  

    Despite all that, we still have no idea how effective ACA will be in the long run. Like any hybrid, there will be good things and not so good things about it so we cannot conclusively conclude that it is a disaster. If ACA results in pushing for a more efficient single payer system, then it might have served its purpose.  

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:39:50 PM PST

  •  When I read stuff like this (6+ / 0-)

    I think back to what Abraham Epstein, then the nation's preeminent expert on social insurance and old age pensions, said about Social Security several years after its passage in 1935:

    “The ‘New Deal’ Social Security program is not only inherently menacing,” he wrote; “it may actually stifle the growing movement for social insurance and turn us from the road of social legislation by shattering the hopes of a distressed people.” (Michael Hiltzik, The New Deal)
    I'm all for making the law better, and as of right now it's kind of a mess.  If you want to improve the law by adding a public option or Medicare buy-in, I'm all for working to make that reality.

    But I'm not for kicking the ACA when it's down.

    I would think that anyone regardless of party who is genuinely interested in expanding health care access to the tens of millions of uninsured Americans should not be joining the mob seeking to destroy and undermine a law that, however flawed, goes further in advancing that goal than any previously enacted legislation.  Not when the law is still in its infancy and going through growing pains.  And not when there is no better solution to replace it that can be realistically passed any time soon.

    And before people start on the whole "But FDR would've never settled for a public-private legislative kludge like the ACA" I suggest you read up on the National Recovery Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Act.  

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:42:13 PM PST

  •  Poutrage at its finest. You would not know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    success, if it stared you in the face.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:43:29 PM PST

  •  Just today (6+ / 0-)

    a conservative Republican voting someone  mentioned how many good things she was discovering in her new Obamacare compliant policy (her latest renewal adopted several items that have to be covered already, so she isn't paying extra for birth control,  paid almost nothing on her annual except a couple uncovered tests, etc.  If she and her family don't break any bones or get a serious illness, she will have recouped more than any cost increase on the plan.  Plus, her hubby, a firefighter with several on the job injuries,  will never be able to be turned down for coverage if he retires before Medicare age.

  •  Lots of ad hominem, straw men, and (3+ / 0-)

    arguments from inertia in these comments today. A solid representation of logical fallacies and elements of "very serious people" talk, with few making a valid rebuttal. Well done, kossacks.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:53:21 PM PST

  •  I'm not going to recommend your diary... (7+ / 0-)

    though I think it is 'likely' true.

    I am not convinced the ACA is a disaster any more than i'm convinced its a resounding success.  I do believe it has the potential to be a disaster, but that doesn't mean it will be.

    Over the last day been discussing with ACA cheerleaders how I want to reserve judgement and I say the same thing to you as an ACA doomsayer.

    We do not really know yet if the ACA will end up being a net good or bad and all of those cheerleading and doomsaying are just pushing their talking points.

    Mine personal main concern is that we had a democratic president push a right wing think tank plan that the right could have never gotten passed on their. Maybe it will all work out well, but given the architects of the plan its hard to have any confidence in such.

    Only time will tell if the ACA is truly a great achievement or another wolf in sheeps clothing type of legislation.

    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:54:23 PM PST

    •  Your comment is much in the same vein (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fToRrEeEsSt

      as mine above.  And although I tipped the diarist, I could not recommend this diary for the very same reasons that you have stated.

      "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:09:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama knew then what he knows now (0+ / 0-)

    I seriously doubt that he would have gone down this road in the first place.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:04:54 PM PST

  •  The very wealthy still control the system. (7+ / 0-)

    That makes it unacceptable.  It should anyway.  

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:19:26 PM PST

  •  I think you're a little confused about something! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, askew, kkkkate

    You write:

    (In a recent Nation article, historian Rick Perlstein cited a grim example of a chronic mentality: “the policy wizards in the Obama White House build a Rube Goldberg healthcare law that relies on states to expand Medicaid and create healthcare exchanges, and then are utterly blindsided when red-state legislatures and governors decline.”)
    What you and Rick Perlstein manage to ignore is that this WASN'T a feature of the Affordable Care Act as originally written, but resulted from the Supreme Court's decision that the federal government couldn't condition funding Medicaid in a state upon the state's going along with extending Medicaid to additional people, despite the fact that the federal government had done very similar things many times in the past.  NO state, regardless of the party controlling the governorship or the legislature, would have said, "OK, no more Medicaid for anybody in our state."  Their hospitals wouldn't have stood for it, and the middle class voters who are happy to have Medicaid paying for grandma's nursing home care wouldn't have stood for it.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:39:44 PM PST

  •  re: the diary's title: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever, greenbell, Victor Ward

    One has to ask, yet again, who is being loyal to the Party: the folks who support big corporate solutions to real problems, or the folks who want government to do what people in most countries believe government is supposed to do.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 01:59:20 PM PST

  •  What, do you live in DC or something? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, askew, kkkkate

    OUt here in the real world, outside the DC and media bubble, Obamacare is hated by a small few, a mild success in general, and a huge success for a bunch of people.  I'd hate to attach random percentages, but let's say (20% hate, 60% mild success, 30% huge success).

    I know the Republicans and their cohorts crow the loudest.  But their drumbeat cannot possibly stifle this Act that is sweeping the country.

    Good luck defeating Reality

    Romney's whole business was about maximizing debt, extracting cash, cutting head counts, skimping on capital spending, outsourcing production, and dressing up the deal for the earliest, highest-profit exit possible. -- David Stockman.

    by CupofTea on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 02:21:33 PM PST

  •  It always cracks me up when I read (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, kefauver, kkkkate

    people talk about what could have been while ignoring the actual realities on the ground. Even better is how they completely ignore what actually happened and instead rewrite history.

    Those of us in the reality based world remember that the final bill barely passed, that a select few Democrats stopped a better bill from being written and that we have had a GOP that has made making Obama fail the center piece of their existance. We remember what happened the last time health care reform was attempted and how long ago that was.

    And just as in the Bush years we are slammed for living in a reality based world.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 03:05:14 PM PST

  •  They're right, we can't march in a straight line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smoothnmellow, kefauver

    And we shoot each other in the back.

    •  Exactly. Not that marching (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, kkkkate

      in some mind-controlled lockstep thingy is better, but it's just mind boggling how we can let the GOP off the hook for shutting down the government and flirting with debt ceiling disaster just mere weeks ago to the President of the United States being incompetent to the level of Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina or the Iraq War just because a freaking website doesn't work right or that people are complaining about paying more for comprehensive coverage that they didn't have before the ACA; that they actually wish to continue giving donation premiums to the corporate health industry and so Obama 'lied' to them.

      How the hell did it come to this?  Really?  This is just nuts.

  •  Obamacare is a mess? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, kkkkate

    Beyond that declarative statement, you don't provide any evidence that its a mess beyond a broken website. I'd prefer to reserve judgement for about 3 months and see how many people actually get insurance.

    Beyond that, when Perlstein says :

    the policy wizards in the Obama White House build a Rube Goldberg healthcare law that relies on states to expand Medicaid and create healthcare exchanges, and then are utterly blindsided when red-state legislatures and governors decline.”
    The administration wasn't blindsided by red-state legislatures. They were blinded by a partisan Supreme Court that let red-states off the hook. In states which have expanded Medicaid, it appears to be a respectable success. Amazingly, Kentucky seems to stand out amongst them all.

    Most importantly, you seem to focus on what progressives should NOT be doing and your diary ends without ever saying what they should be doing other than point at Democratic supporters and call them "loyalists" and "acolytes".

    Come up with some real, achievable, progressive ideas. I'm all ears.

  •  Don't lose sight of what's important. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate

    Ending discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.

    Right now there are people living the nightmare of being denied insurance while facing serious illness like cancer and the prospect of bankruptcy if they can even get the treatment they need.

    A woman who needs a hysterectomy or a man with prostate cancer wouldn't mind the indignity of having to go through an insurance company to get life-saving medical attention.

    It's easy to hate insurance companies when you don't need them. Things look different when you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

    It's not like the Affordable Care Act created the very first insurance companies. They've been around and we've been using them all along.  The ACA certainly doesn't enshrine them when it prohibits medical underwriting.

    No longer will they be allowed to exclude applicants they suspect will need coverage for expensive illnesses.

    Don't lose sight of that. It's too important.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 04:52:20 PM PST

  •  Thank you Heritage Foundation. (8+ / 0-)

    And thank you Liz Fowler, thank you Mitt Romney.  You created a health insurance bill that all Democrats can rally around.

    "this is the worst of all worlds, and that is how it was designed to be." - Ian Welsh

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:37:50 PM PST

  •  this is pretty right on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate

    healthcare is a 2.5 trillion a year industry, if you divide that by the number of people, you are going to get the average premium. I don't think Obama could have gotten anything passed if the medical industry, whether its doctors, pharma or insurance, thought they would lose a dime.

    thanks for the straight talk.

    drones are a cost effective way of generating enough new terrorists that calls to cut military spending will fail.

    by just want to comment on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:11:23 PM PST

  •  Reality is complex (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kkkkate
    Oregon is a progressive blue state. As of November 18th, not one single person has been enrolled in the ACA by the Oregon website, see  http://www.digitaljournal.com/.... This colossal failure can’t be blamed on Obama. SB 840 a California single payer bill, was passed in 2006 and 2008 only to be vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. This was expected. I participated in 2008  discussions about the plan- most legislators assumed that the bill would be vetoed; they had not done their homework. If the Governor had signed the bill, I believe that the plan would have failed- every misstep would have been pounced upon. Libertarian suspicion of do-good measures is everywhere.

    The ACA is an improvement; it removed pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on benefits and requires that at least 80% of premium revenue go to benefits. I am a physician who greatly admires Atul Gawande as a writer. However, his article about piecemeal progress to healthcare reform was wrong- he and probably many of Obama’s advisers were not realistic about the depth of opposition to Obama personally (whatever Obama wants must be stopped) and to anything that can be called socialized medicine. The ACA is not socialized medicine, nothing that was put together by Baucus and Liz Fowler is remotely socialistic, but our machismo culture thinks of any such changes as suspicious.
    None of the Wall Street Wing of the Democratic Party were ever going to support single payer
    . How many Congressional Democrats belong to that wing? How many of them urged tax relief for the poor oppressed medical device makers a few months back- both Clintons, Durbin, Schumer, even Elizabeth Warren. That hasn’t come up for a vote; I’d like to think that Sen. Warren might vote no if it did- taking that revenue away from the ACA would be very harmful, and these guys know that.

    So what now? I’d like to see the ACA preserved, flawed though it is. I have no illusions about current Democratic leaders extending and improving it, but if we make enough noise, maybe we can frighten them into defending it. Corporate profits are at all time highs, inflation adjusted wages are falling and many jobs have been permanently lost to automation and offshoring. I have no loyalty to the party, because it’s loyalty is to wall street and conventional wisdom. But we’d better fight or the Republicans will eliminate the ACA, eliminate birth control and make things much worse than they now are. We are back in 1860. There’s a small chance that Vermont will bring in single payer and do it right. California, no way.

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