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Paul Krugman's new column puts his finger on my greatest concern about a health care bill that includes the "individual mandate" but does not include a public option (link after the jump--for some reason I can never get links to work for the intro):

Remember, to make reform work we have to have an individual mandate. And everything I see says that there will be a major backlash against the idea of forcing people to buy insurance from the existing companies. That backlash was part of what got Obama the nomination! Having the public option offers a defense against that backlash.

Krugman continues with one reason this is a problem.  I have another, if you'll jump with us.

Here's whatKrugman says next:

What worries me is not so much that the backlash would stop reform from passing, as that it would store up trouble for the not-too-distant future. Imagine that reform passes, but that premiums shoot up (or even keep rising at the rates of the past decade.) Then you could all too easily have many people blaming Obama et al for forcing them into this increasingly unaffordable system. A trigger might fix this — but the funny thing about such triggers is that they almost never get pulled.

That's one major problem, but it seems to me there's another more immediate one: the sense of fundamental fairness.  Because an individual mandate without a public option makes this bill pretty much what the Rabid Right opposition says it is: government intrusion.

Already the cost of an individual mandate has hit the wires.  I don't know if thisAP story will hold up, but supposedly the Baucus plan calls for fines up to $3800.

It looks to me that without the public option this is the first time the federal government would force citizens to pay out money to a profit-making private enterprise, or even the supposed nonprofits like Blue Cross that spend millions on lobbying and executive bonuses.

The state mandates requiring that vehicle owners buy car insurance is supposed to be the model, but it doesn't quite work.  Because you can choose not to own a vehicle, or drive one.  And people without much money can and do make that choice.

The idea of setting a percentage of your income that you must use to buy insurance from companies with a record of lies, flimflam, excessive compensation, using premiums to lobby against regulation and deny care--that is not reform I can believe in.

Let me put my personal cards on the table.  I am one of the nearly fifty million Americans without health insurance.  I haven't seen a doctor in nearly ten years.  But this aspect of health reform is unlikely to affect me personally--by the time it all goes into effect, I'll be eligible for Medicare.

But even so, it really bothers me. The worst possible reform plan to me would be an immediate individual mandate, and a lot of promises and hope that health insurers will do what they're supposed to do.  It's a health insurance monopoly enrichment act.

If I were among those covered by non-Medicare health reform, I would most likely choose the public option, just on principle.  Some people don't trust the government.  I don't trust the corporations. I think the weight of evidence is on my side.  

In the end, I don't think President Obama is going to let this happen. But this particular issue of mandate vs. public option and its ramifications needs to be addressed.  

Originally posted to Captain Future on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:31 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Can't be stated any clearer than that. (10+ / 0-)

      Thanks, Cap.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

      by nailbender on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:38:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you, Captain Future (16+ / 0-)

      "Some people don't trust the government.  I don't trust the corporations. I think the weight of evidence is on my side."

      These are the words of a pragmatist.  They could be my words.

      They are words that I wish I could hear from President Obama during his address to congress tomorrow.

    •  I had been wondering just tonight (23+ / 0-)

      what will happen if the Congress forces everyone to buy insurance from the same insurance companies that put their bottom line ahead of healthcare.

      This criticism of the proposed healthcare reform seems obvious to me. If there is no public option, it is going to be a very rude awakening when we are all required to pay whatever the insurance companies demand.

      The leopard does not change his spots. The insurance companies will continue to gouge everyone and everything in sight. What is to stop them?

      The Democrats will be blamed if we get healthcare reform that is still run primarily for the benefit of the insurance companies.

      This is the reason that the whole thing does not make sense without a robust public option. It must be the line in the sand.

      •  for the answer to that, see my comment... (11+ / 0-)

        that begins "like forcing you to do business with child molesters."

        In short, major peaceful civil disobedience campaign, with tens of thousands of people simply refusing to pay, and a few selected cases going through the courts.  

        •  We can only hope. (9+ / 0-)

          What bothers most most about "The idea of setting a percentage of your income that you must use to buy insurance" is the possibility that the reaction would not be all that peaceful or civil. It is likely to infuriate people all along the political spectrum, if for somewhat different reasons.

          •  know what? Bring it on! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tecampbell, cville townie, Vtdblue, CMYK

            If those insurance bastards want to ignite a civil war or something like it, I say bring it on.   Maybe it'll lead to the kind of uprising that will throw all of these fatcat vampires out on the streets.   Frankly I would favor the guillotine for some of them, with the insurance vampires at the head of the queue.  

            •  Oddly... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, pgm 01, Vtdblue, CMYK

              It might actually lead to true "bipartisanship." The left will be furious, but the right-wing libertarians will go ballistic.

              •  How many people get away with (0+ / 0-)

                not paying SS and taxes today?

                Wouldn't mandatory healthcare premiums be administered the same way? The infrastructure is already there.

                I don't see what the big problem is for the wingnuts who would refuse to buy healthcare, anymore than the wingnuts who choose not to pay any of the mandatory taxes today.  It's not a big problem.

            •  Problem is, it will screw the Democratic Party, (7+ / 0-)

              and all of us with it, if we are tied to said insurance bastards through shitty mandate legislation.  The mind reels.  If we take part in the civil disobedience, we contribute to our own Party's demise... talk about a dilemma.  Seriously.

              Great post today in HuffPost by a Drew Westen, who nails it on the dynamics and likely outcomes.

              "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.'" - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in "Get Shorty"

              by Vtdblue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:29:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  !!!!!!!!! (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sgary, Jane Lew, Vtdblue, Faroutman, CMYK

                Oh, I hope the fuck to GOD Obama reads that piece.

                (And yeah. The messaging has been so God-awful that one can only conclude that he never wanted the public option to begin with.)

                “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

                by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:42:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It really IS an amazing essay, isn't it? He said (0+ / 0-)

                  everything that's been on my mind, and more.  Why can't the Dems hire people who don't have their heads up their... well, people like THAT?  Lordy.

                  "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.'" - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in "Get Shorty"

                  by Vtdblue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:02:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. Although, I still have hope... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jyrinx, Jane Lew, CMYK

          In short, major peaceful civil disobedience campaign, with tens of thousands of people simply refusing to pay, and a few selected cases going through the courts.

          ...for a favorable conclusion to this healthcare struggle, I will indeed be a part of such a campaign if, for any reason, a strong public option is not a part of the final legislation.

          It simply is not true reform without one.

          "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson 1816

          by markthshark on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:00:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed: and the Democrats (all of 'em, from (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jane Lew, CMYK

        POTUS on down), will deserve the blame if we get a mandate without a strong public option.

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:00:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Constitutional issues (0+ / 0-)

        There are ways to get around this, but, I haven't seen them yet.

        Opting out would have to be free but, the cost may be draconian in another manner.

        Society would have to deal with the inevitable sickness and injury these "outs' will face.

        The original definition of "mortgage" may become useful to describe the "opt-out" option.

        "A functioning Democracy must defy economic interests of the elites on behalf of citizens" Christopher Hedges Econ 3.50&Soc. 5.79

        by wmc418 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 05:24:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Like forcing you to do business with (7+ / 0-)

      child molesters.

      "The idea of setting a percentage of your income that you must use to buy insurance from companies with a record of lies, flimflam, excessive compensation, using premiums to lobby against regulation and deny care--that is not reform I can believe in."

      Amen to that.

      And what to do about it.

      Mass peaceful civil disobedience, as follows:

      Hold rallies where people will sign petitions pledging to refuse to do business with those monsters if there is a mandate and no public option.

      Make it a "conscientious objection" issue.  

      A small number of the signers contact the local DOJ office and offer themselves up for prosecution.

      Everyone else who's signed the pledge, chip in to cover the costs of lawyers and publicity.  

      When the trials occur, pack the courtrooms full, line the hallways, and gather the steps to the courtroom.  

      (Peaceful sit-ins at the offices of the insurance vampires, are also highly recommended.   These will typically lead to citations for trespassing and a brief court appearance where you can make a brief statement and then pay the fine for the trespassing citation: these actions will get press attention.  One thing to keep in mind: always have good liaison with local police, and always be well-organized to keep out troublemakers.  Doing this stuff peacefully and politely is the key to it succeeding.)

      Make damn sure the media is present for all of this.

      And take the mandate cases all the way to the Supreme Court.  

      If the rulings on the mandates go against us, refuse to pay the fines for not doing business with the vampires, and publicly state the willingness to go to prison over it.  In all likelihood there will not be prison sentences for this, but one has to be prepared just the same.  

      And then keep the pressure on, same as the Civil Rights movement did, to force Congress to act according to the wishes of the citizens, not the wishes of the vampires.  

      This is a fight we can WIN in the long run, same as Civil Rights, because the entire weight of morality is squarely on our side.  

      •  One other thing: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, cville townie, pdx kirk

        We would NEED to start publicizing the whole concept of Jury nullification.

        It would be poetic justice if juries decided that they just weren't going to allow a government taking on behalf of private industry.

        Jury Nullification: A great solution to a private insurance mandate.

        It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

        by Gravedugger on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:19:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we ought to do that anyway. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gravedugger

          That campaign should always be ongoing, to make the concept familiar to people across the spectrum.  

        •  Ehhhhhhhhh … (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cville townie, CMYK

          I'm a little weirded out by the idea of jury nullification, though I get all my knowledge of the idea from Boston Legal (though a quick Wikipedia check confirms). It's a pretty damn good way for a smarmy lawyer (see Shore, Alan) to get someone out of trouble for committing an actual crime. It was also a way for white juries in the Jim Crow era to effectively legalize murdering black people.

          (Also, again according to BL, it's illegal in Louisiana for a lawyer to argue for jury nullification. Which is likely partly why no lawyer shows take place there — I mean, there goes half the episodes of The Practice right there …)

          “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

          by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:28:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  (Not to mention (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CMYK

          it's a way for the red-dress defense to work to free a rapist.)

          “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

          by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:30:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  NEED v. GREED$$$ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CMYK

      NEED to live, not want.

      Is that really what we've become as a country? Would any of our legislators actually enact such a draconian policy? Somebody must have stolen their "precious".

      Just refuse to pay and hope you don't get sick or that there are enough doctors setting up clinics to help those of us (and I imagine there would be a lot of objectors to such a policy prescription) get the care we need.

      Republican motto: Vote Democrat and die, vote for us and be granted eternal life.

      by karma bum on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:04:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman is right. Now. But remember (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, cville townie, dot farmer

      that during the primaries, he was all in favor of mandates. It was his major reason for supporting Hillary, who wanted them, over Obama, who didn't.

      I love me some Krug, but when he switches positions so completely like this and doesn't admit it, that bothers me a bit.

      It's a BOY! See our new baby panda on the PANDA CAM! Congrats San Diego Zoo!

      by Fonsia on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:35:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And the Reepers will be the loudest: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CMYK

      Then you could all too easily have many people blaming Obama et al for forcing them into this increasingly unaffordable system.

       They can't wait to tunnel under the foundations of whatever reforms are made.

      Joe Sapperborough in the Morning is the model for this.

      In 2002, the USFS spent $36 million on its Tongass timber sales program, and rec'd back just $1.2 million from timber companies.

      by KenBee on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 03:37:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The individual mandate (33+ / 0-)

    Is the ticking time bomb at the heart of this whole thing.

    If we don't have much more robust subsidies - up to $100,000 in income - then Krugman's scenario will almost certainly come to pass, where health care reform winds up handing power to Republicans for the better part of a decade.

    I am coming to believe that maybe the public option isn't the whole battle here. The subsidy level is an equally important matter.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:37:45 PM PDT

  •  Mandates are a victory for the insurance (26+ / 0-)

    and pharma companies pure and simple.  That isn't reform, that is a step backward.  

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:38:47 PM PDT

    •  No that's not it (0+ / 0-)

      It's for insuring that costs stay down.  Mandates or single payer are the only ways of keeping costs down.  As a matter of policy it's the only thing which will keep costs down over the long term.  

      •  Mandates don't keep costs down (25+ / 0-)

        They haven't in MA. Why would they succeed in keeping costs down when in most of America there is no real competition among health insurers?

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:42:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MA has it's own problems (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdx kirk

          Think of it this way.  On a national level, you have MedPac and IMAC regulating what types of tests should be used on an individual.  They make decisions for the US as a group, it's easier to do that through a mandate or through single payer, because you don't have to worry about individuals who are not part of the system getting different testing or extra testing.  

          It's very hard to treat people like a group if you have individuals doing individual like things.  In a sense, this is rationing, but it might be smart rationing.  I dunno, I never bought into the thought that one test works in one area shouldn't work in another, but that's another discussion.  The key point is that without mandates and universality there is no way to regulate costs, which in turn would fail to regulate premiums that consumers have.  

          The public option is very much just incidental to that problem.  It's more of a cherry flavor to a horrible tasting pill.  The point is you still have to take the pill, even though it is better flavored.

          •  costs have little to do with premium prices (3+ / 0-)

            you ignore the naked greed of the insurance industry, which is the entire point.

          •  There is another way to regulate cost (0+ / 0-)

            The key point is that without mandates and universality there is no way to regulate costs

            The government could limit the percentage of premium dollars permitted to go to profit & overhead.  Yes, that's right, I'm talking about regulating corporations in order to provide the consumer more services for their premium dollars.  The notion that corporations should enjoy complete freedom to abuse their customers, often times under near monopoly conditions, is both absurd and immoral.  

            There was a time when the "right" to do business under the protections offered by a corporate structure came with at least a tacit understanding that it would also serve some public interest in the process.  Or am I just dreaming?

            Those who advocate for unfettered capitalism are either fools or avaricious capitalists themselves.  A healthy society depends on a well regulated corporate structure.  Operating a nakedly capitalistic society would quickly lead to it become brutal and inhumane.  The force of greed and the "rights" of corporations need to be countered by humanitarian impulses as manifested through our governing structure.  Corporations need more regulation, not less.

            "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

            by ovals49 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:16:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Mandates keep costs down (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ovals49, Jyrinx

          for the insurance companies because they increase the total pool by bringing in new customers who otherwise wouldn't buy in but now can because they're subsidized. They don't keep costs down for the system as a whole. It's just another huge transfer of public money to private corporations to mandate the buying of private insurance.

          However, mandates DO keep costs down for the system as a whole in a single-payer system, because in that case it's the government able to throw its weight around to negotiate fees with health care providers.

          An individual mandate makes perfect sense in a universal single-payer system. In a privatized and fractured market like the US has, it's insane - nothing but a giveaway to the insurance industry and an extra burden on individual citizens.

      •  I guess that depends on what the mandates are. (20+ / 0-)

        If the mandates are to buy insurance from private companies with subsidization from the government, i.e., taxpayers, then it's a clear win for the private insurers.  Without a public option, the mandates seems like a ripoff.

        "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

        by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:44:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even if so (5+ / 0-)

        it's a political disaster, which is its own kind of "cost."

      •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cville townie, BigAlinWashSt

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:03:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, you are confused (8+ / 0-)

        A legislated manadate to purchase insurance has absolutely nothing to do with a Single Payer System.

        You are however, absolutely correct about a Single Payer system's ability to reduce and keep costs lower, long-term.

        However, a Mandate to purchase insurance (minus a public plan option) from private, for-profit companies, simply puts more (premium) money into the pockets of those private insurance companies.  Nothing about cost savings at all.

        •  Universality leads to Cost coverage (0+ / 0-)

          That's my point.  Read my "MA has got its own problems."

          •  No it does not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poxonyou

            You assume that the amount of money the new participants put into the system is greater than what they will take out.  That is a very big assumption.  This new larger pool contains those whose could not afford coverage as we have it today, either thier employers can't afford it, or they can't afford the individual plans that you can buy.  This pool also includes all of those who the current system tossed out for being too large a risk to cover.  This group is going to add to the costs of health care since including them means the insurance company will have to pay out large sums of money to pay for thier care.  There is no way that the healthy and uninsured will be able to even balance out those who present a higher risk of needing expensive care.  Given that it is rather easy to rack up an amazingly high bill with some illnesses (my Grandmother had cancer in the 90's the total bill was over $500,000 but she had plenty of coverage) it is not feasible to suggest that the new healthy players will add enough into the system to balance the costs of the high risks.

            Simply increasing the pool of participants also increases the costs because some in this new pool will have really big expenses (which is why they were excluded from our current system). We know that some of the high risk people will need a large expenditure to cover thier costs, and thier costs can be far larger than what comes in by adding new participants.  By only increasing the participants, you are decreasing the insurance companies profits.  Wall Street won't have any of that so the insurance companies will find a way to charge more to make up for thier losses.

        •  a pinch of incense to the Roman gods. (5+ / 0-)

          Recall that Jesus told his disciples they should "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," in other words, pay their taxes.

          However, the early Christians refused the legally-mandated obligation in the Roman Empire, to offer a pinch of incense to the Roman gods at various shrines that were located along certain roadways.  

          The difference is that if you pay your taxes, you are not engaging directly in acts of worship for those Roman gods, with your own hand.   But when you offer that pinch of incense at the shrines, that is exactly what you are doing.

          And so with the monstrously immoral insurance companies that kill people for the sake of their executives overweening greed and royal lifestyles.  

          If you pay them yourself, write the check to them with your own hand, you are offering a pinch of incense to the Roman gods of our time.  

          And that's an act many of us will find to be outside the limits of conscience.  

  •  Well said. (21+ / 0-)

    Some people don't trust the government.  I don't trust the corporations. I think the weight of evidence is on my side.

    Don't like government? Consider how wonderful life would be (is?) when corporations run things.

    Healthcare reform without a public option is lipstick on a pig.

    by thinkdouble on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:41:18 PM PDT

    •  SO true! (10+ / 0-)

      Anytime I get some idiot telling me that they don't trust the government to run something like this, I ask them why they prefer the private sector since that gave us such gems as Enron and AIG.

      •  Want To Compare Bernie Madoff to Dick Cheney? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        Anytime I get some idiot telling me that they don't trust the government to run something like this, I ask them why they prefer the private sector since that gave us such gems as Enron and AIG.

        This idiot would take Madoff over Cheney had he to choose.

        Cheney was a CEO of a  bandit corporation as well as running a terrorist government.

        Why must one choose?  What's the point?

        Isn't this all rather juvenile?

        Best,  Terry

        •  No, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          there is no difference between Madoff and Cheney.

          Healthcare reform without a public option is lipstick on a pig.

          by thinkdouble on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:34:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And Torture Is Fine With You? (0+ / 0-)

            Madoff caused enormous harm including at least one reported suicide. He caused no murders or torture.  He did not cause war.

            But you missed the point entirely.

            Cheney was both a corporation CEO and the puppeteer controlling Dubya.

            In both instances he did enormous harm.

            Best,  Terry

        •  You can vote a Cheney out of office. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indiemcemopants, yamanote

          You can't vote these corporate vampires out of their positions.  

          •  History says you can't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terryhallinan

            Did Bush/Cheney lose in 2004 and nobody told me?

            •  history says they STOLE that one. (0+ / 0-)

              Which does not prove that you CAN'T get rid of them at the ballot box.  

              •  Don't you mean the Gore/Bush Election? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Free Spirit

                Some claim Kerry was robbed but have far less of a case.

                Incumbents have a powerful advantage.

                Best,  Terry

                •  Both. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fonsia

                  2004 was the year of Diebold.  

                  Voting machines that had consistent "errors" flipping the votes to Bush.  

                  If those were truly errors, they would be "normally distributed."  They were not.  Independent nonpartisan statisticians studied this and concluded, in a lengthy report with all of the data and the math spelled out, that the probability of those "errors" being mere "errors" rather than deliberate tampering, was on the order of millions to one against.  

                  By analogy, if you flip a coin 100 times, it should come up heads 50 times and tails 50 times.  If it comes up heads 60 times, and does that for every series of 100 flips, then either a) you're doing it with PK and should be able to do the same thing to a physical random number generator at a distance, or b) the coin has been tampered with.

                  I somehow doubt the Republicans were so psychic that they flipped those votes with their minds.  

                  •  My Son Got To Be A Poll Watcher in Chicago (0+ / 0-)

                    for the Progressive Party when a female roommate hired for the task was roughed up by Daly's boys.

                    At the time Pat didn't give a damn one way or another about politics but got converted.

                    Somehow a heavyweight martial arts expert was able to communicate more effectively than a South American girl in a hispanic district.  

                    The majority for the Daly candidate was down noticeably despite the truckloads of zombies from nursing homes.

                    Perhaps the Dalys dispensed with the trucking in previous elections.

                    I am familiar with the fortuitous flipping of votes in Ohio but I gathered it wasn't likely needed even without the element of chance weighing against Kerry.

                    Same as in Chicago in other elections.

                    Best,  Terry

                    •  when the flipped votes were subtracted.... (0+ / 0-)

                      ..and other truly blatant shenanegans were taken out of the picture...

                      ...Kerry won.  

                      You can probably still find the statisticians' reports on this stuff if you want to take the time to keyword search for them.  

                      Hard to believe we had two stolen elections in a row, but the numbers don't lie.   Those bastards were out for a thousand-year reich, and the only thing that stopped them was Bush's own stellar incompetence.  We may not be so lucky next time.  Eternal vigilance really is the price of freedom.  

                      Excellent re. your son in Czechago.  Interesting that Daly trucked 'em in from nursing homes.  Ahh, for the good old days when stealing elections was so obvious, compared to today with the damn bits & bytes.  

                •  Either way... (0+ / 0-)

                  It doesn't matter why we can't vote them out of office. The fact remains that we can't.

          •  Lots of CEO's Been Fired (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Spirit

            including the head of GM by Obama.

            Many should have been jailed but they are more vulnerable than politicians.

            Attorney General Cuomo is threatening some executives of Bank of America with jail.

            As you know Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc., etc., have been given a pass for far worse than any corporation executives.

            Best,  Terry

            •  those CEOs do not run for office (0+ / 0-)

              in elections where each citizen has one vote.

              The fact that Bush & Cheney got away with murder does not change this.

              Moose in living room does not cause rhinoceros in dining room.

              •  Here in Moose Country We Get A Choice of One (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek

                Republican for each office in local elections.

                Doesn't seem like much of a choice to me.

                The theory of elections is fine but check out how things are going in Kabul.

                I am kinda partial to the torch and pitchfork elections when they are conducted as well as the one in Niceland.

                I missed getting to vote in a corporate election where the executives and directors had bulletproof vests and armed guards at the annual meeting.  Sure would have liked to vote in that one but I had sold even before the management.  Mike Wallace had done the Franklin Mint in with a silver bucket.  ("You mean you want me to put this beautiful silver medal in that bucket?"  "Yeah we just melt them down for the silver.")

                You really can't beat corporate elections for color when there is a little heat applied judiciously.

                Imagine the elections that would have occurred with health insurers if single payer had passed.  

                Best,  Terry

                •  Niceland? where's that? (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm partial to torches & pitchforks only when all else fails (elections, the courts, and the legislature are all compromised or shut down), and the Regime is using mass violent repression against critics & dissidents.  That's my threshold for physical revolt mode, and i was seriously afraid that last year was going to be stolen again, and we'd have to "go there."

                  Bulletproof vests & armed guards eh?   What company was that, Mafiaco International?

                  What's this about Mike Wallace, the Franklin Mint, and silver medals?  

                  •  Iceland (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    G2geek

                    A weatherman complained bitterly about a Canadian start-up buying into "Niceland's" geothermal power because of Iceland's financial straits.

                    They don't do weather reports like that here for us ugly Americans.

                    Quite obviously Niceland isn't.

                    Bulletproof vests & armed guards eh?   What company was that, Mafiaco International?

                    What's this about Mike Wallace, the Franklin Mint, and silver medals?

                    The Franklin Mint was the name of a company that pioneered First Editions.  They even hired a former head of the U.S. Mint for their trash instant heirlooms.  

                    A stock that had at one time been dead, gone, kaput, zilch, zero became a huge winner for a couple of decades selling medals, books, porcelain, whatever to professionals with too much money and too few brains.

                    Then Mike Wallace destroyed them in a single segment on 60 Minutes more thoroughly than Jon Stewart did in Jim Cramer.

                    Then the meeting.

                    I have seen a meeting with the founder of a Chicago biotech, major stockholder and Chairman of the Board reduced to a mere director while shareholders cooled their heels in the foyer.  That was followed by hilarious soap opera SEC filings as a battle for control of the biotech ensued.

                    Another biotech's annual meetings were shouting matches with the founder/CEO firing the Chief Scientist and President and then being fired himself.

                    I have been told by a director and major player that if the CEO of another company was not ADHD there might be a chance for survival.  The CEO is gone and the company is nearly gone too despite huge assets.

                    I could name many others but only one had the management and board wearing bulletproof vests accompanied by armed guards.  

                    And I had to miss that great meeting as luck would have it.

                    Drat.

                    Rahm Emanuel plays pattycake compared to some corporate politics.  At worst Howard Dean never had to wear a bulletproof vest.  Even Niceland is meaner.

                    BTW the Franklin Mint was headquartered in Chicago as best I can recall.  

                    Best,  Terry

                    •  very interesting. (0+ / 0-)

                      Testosterone-blocking medication ought to be required of corporate executives and boards.  OTOH i've been involved in startups that had an overdose of office politics and bullshit melodrama.  No more of  that for me.  

                      What works is voluntary cooperation between independent adults.  But that's another story for another day.  

                      So what was it that Mike Wallace managed to get on Franklin Mint that brought them down?    Something about melting medals?   Where have I been while all these cool scandals have been going down?

                      •  The Idea Was That All Those (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek

                        heirlooms that doctors and lawyers were spending money on were pitched into a bucket to be melted down as scrap.

                        During that silver rush when Bunker Hunt was making himself a millionaire trying to corner the silver market (Bunker had been a billionaire), the medals became more valuable as scrap than medals.  Had to be since they had no resale value.

                        The Franklin Mint's idea of a Limited Edition was to stuff the market with all the medals it could possibly sell.  There is no market today and never will be in this life I imagine.

                        I will always wonder if Mike Wallace didn't bring that silver bucket with him to the pawnshop.

                        A stock that had soared for decades lost 98% of its value during the year.  The company was later sold for scrap itself.

                        It's as if Microsoft became a penny stock overnight.  It should but I don't suppose will.  Some predatory monopolies outrun mortal lives.

                        The bursting of bubbles is a regular occurrence but The Franklin Mint was in a class by itself. It was as if the Franklin Mint had owned the tulip market in its entirety during that craze.

                        Best,  Terry

        •  Sorry, I don't quite get your response (0+ / 0-)

          I wasn't saying that the person had to choose, just pointing out that they were insulting the ability of the US government to do anything good or worthwhile for the people.  
          My then pointing out that AIG and Enron were total failures in the private sector was just to get the idiot to recognize that turning everything over to the private sector is not a magic bullet and not the solution to every problem.

          I don't see how that is juvenile.

  •  Well, if we are forced to buy insurance (0+ / 0-)

    from for-profit health insurance companies, then the insurance companies should be forced to convert a portion of the premiums we pay to them into stock in the company.  At least that way when they make obscene profits by denying coverage, we get something back.

    A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

    by marleycat on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:41:31 PM PDT

    •  not all insurance is for-profit. (0+ / 0-)

      40% or so is nonprofit.  many hospitals are nonprofit.  

      a lot of insurance companies that deny coverage ever are not for-profit at all.  what is their motive?

      governments deny coverage all the time or simply cut services.  

      when is it acceptable to cut services, deny access to treatment and impose age cutoffs?  these are all things done by nonprofit and for-profit insurance companies, and by government run insurance in this country and all the others compared to the united states.  

      and i have to ask, since when is a three percent or four percent profit margin 'obscene'?  that's what for-profit insurers in this country make as profit.

      http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/bth/toc.html

      by shoeboy on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:55:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  where are you getting the three or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, pdx kirk, marleycat

        four percent profit?????

        866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

        by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:59:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From medicare... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeepLooker, Jyrinx, marleycat

          You know...those nonprofits like Medicare with a 4% margin.

          It would be awful it the government touched medicare!!!!

          /snark.

          It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

          by Gravedugger on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:23:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  from the 10ks of the companies (0+ / 0-)

          there is a range of about <2% at the low end to i think>5%, but 3-4% is pretty much the norm for the publically traded insurance companies mentioned so often.

          i was really surprised, but yes, it is that low.  

          http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/bth/toc.html

          by shoeboy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:42:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  health is not for sale (9+ / 0-)

        a lot of insurance companies that deny coverage ever are not for-profit at all.  what is their motive?

        Their motive is still money.  Check out the stories today on Blue Cross in Montana, paying out millions in bonuses, sending executives on lavish trips, etc.

        Blue Cross and other "non-profits" work hard to establish monopoly in a market, so they rake in more money, and have to worry less about competition on services.

        As for "governments" denying coverage all the time, here or elsewhere, I'd need some evidence for that assertion.

        Profit margin? It depends partly on whether you believe  "health care is a right" as Ted Kennedy did, and that health is not for sale.  There are lots of businesses selling stuff that people can choose to have or not. Health care shouldn't be a for profit business. Why is profit more sacred than health, which eventually becomes public health? Health care providers should make good wages, and there should be money invested in equipment, research etc. That's not "profit."  Profit is money above that, which in the health care industry is used primarily to enrich a few people, buy politicians, do advertising and marketing, pay people to figure out ways not to cover actual medical needs, lobby against reform and regulation, and buy up other providers until a monopoly is established so there's no competition. Who pays for all that?  The people who pay the premiums, and who can be denied care anyway.  

           

        "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

        by Captain Future on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:10:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And believe me...the non-profits, (0+ / 0-)

          when they find themselves with excess surplus (I know it sounds redundant) fall all over themselves spending that excess on anything they can think of rather than pass the excess back to their policyholders in the form of reduced premiums.  That's how BCBS in SD had all that extra cash to spread around for their execs and their junkets.  They could have just reduced premiums with the money and lowered their surplus that way.

          I don't trust the non-profits in insurance any more than I trust the for-profit companies.  They feed their greed and screw the insureds.

          I'm mad as hell and can't take it anymore. We need health insurance!

          by pattisigh on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:29:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This... (0+ / 0-)

          Why is profit more sacred than health, which eventually becomes public health?

          Why indeed.

          Excellent observation.

          866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

          by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:47:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  we can't live forever. (0+ / 0-)

          i have a fabulous genetic inheritance.  i can smoke, drink, eat red meat all the livelong day and i'll die around age 90-95, provided i am not run over by a mack truck.  if i skip the smoking, i'll live past 100.  i am not sure why people believe that visiting the doctor will magically bestow eternal life when your ancestry and behavior are such strong factors in how long you live.  

          health care is not the same as health, nor the same as a healthy life.  you can have a healthy life and never go to the doctor at all.  i would much prefer teaching people to do simple healthcare for themselves than rushing to send everyone to the doctor for 5 minutes 15 times a year (japanese model-- people visit the doctor a lot, but the visits are extremely short).  

          american behaviors are more of a factor than doctor visits in terms of health.  but you can't make people eat whole foods, or get more physical activity.  and we don't have the money to fund the expensive care that is a weak substitute for changed behaviors.  not even if we brought all the troops back to the USA (which should happen, but sadly will not).    

          i believe healthcare access should be focused on local solutions and localised forms of access.  if you can get people comfortable with it, perhaps robots or some other kind of automated diagnostic tools that can be shepherded around rural, lightly populated areas.  

          i really would prefer insurance be done away with except for catastrophic in favor of concierge-style plans where patients pay 40-100/month for unlimited basic care.  you could even force all insurers to be non-profit (which is fine since they make so little profit anyhow).  

          and perhaps charity care can be rewarded.  locally a lot of charity care is done (specialist care, surgery, basic care, the whole shebang), but it's not rewarded governmentally.  the local doctors and hospitals offering it do so without getting any subsidy or bonus for doing so.  encouraging more of that, if possible through government incentives, would be good.  

           

          http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/bth/toc.html

          by shoeboy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:54:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm, let's see... my insurance (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, HCKAD, pdx kirk

        company right now is the "non-profit" Care First/Blue Shield of Maryland.  Their ex-ceo William Jews filed suit against the Maryland Insurance Commissioner because the Commissioner wanted to cut Jews' severance pay from $18 million to $9 million-this after he was fired for trying to privatize the company so it could be sold and thereby enrich the top executives by millions of dollars. Trust me, if this is how non-profit insurance company executives are compensated, what do you think is going on at the for-profit companies?  Three or four percent profit at for-profit companies?  I don't think so....          

        A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

        by marleycat on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:13:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You Hit A Bull's Eye Straight and True (0+ / 0-)

        but missed the follow through.

        not all insurance is for-profit.

        It's a good posting but the diarist distracts with the trite talk of trusting the government more than corporations.

        Both are equally capable of help or harm.

        Everything depends on who is pulling the levers.

        I don't think we should care as much about how much profit is made by health insurers as how it is made.

        Most profit is made by denying payments.

        Best,  Terry

      •  (Christiannymphos,org?) (0+ / 0-)

        (That's a new one for me shoeboy.  Welcome to Daily Kos - this looks like your first and only comment, so far.)

        A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. -Greek proverb

        by marleycat on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:16:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  not a bad idea (0+ / 0-)

      but what about just making it illegal for them to drop anyone unless they can prove the person intentionally deceived them

  •  Great lines in this diary: (13+ / 0-)

    Some people don't trust the government.  I don't trust the corporations

    It looks to me that without the public option this is the first time the federal government would force citizens to pay out money to a profit-making private enterprise

    The worst possible reform plan to me would be an immediate individual mandate, and a lot of promises and hope that health insurers will do what they're supposed to do.  It's a health insurance monopoly enrichment act.

    Because an individual mandate without a public option makes this bill pretty much what the Rabid Right opposition says it is: government intrusion.

    A veritable meme-fest.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:42:49 PM PDT

  •  Trigger is a dead horse (7+ / 0-)

    stop beating it.

    It's ridiculous.

    Mandates without a public option are ridiculous.

    Anyone with common sense knows this.

    Mandates without a public option are ridiculous.

    Nobel Prize winners know this.

  •  I'll tell you what concerns me, and you brushed (20+ / 0-)

    against it.

    First, the insurance companies will have four years to suck the daylights out of the public.  That is troubling, because it not only has severe economic implications, it has severe political implications.

    Second, we already HAVE a trigger, the year 2013 for all this to come to fruition.  That is TOO LONG away.  In the meantime, before the 2012 election, insurance companies could raise their rates so much that there would be a spike of blame against the plan for this.  The second reason this needs to kick in sooner.  I do not see ANY reason this needs to take so long, and IF people could just buy into medicare or a medicare-like program, that would resolve the problem.

    Third, during these four years, and with the economy still putting along, literally, we MAY see another unemployment spike and/or spike in foreclosures.  If the gov. is [still] underwriting the majority of the costs of COBRA, why NOT move these COBRA folks TO medicare, fee-free, and allow them to buy supplemental if they so chose (just as Medicare patients are allowed to do)?  I just cannot be more expensive can it???

    Finally, there are a lot of lives lost in this interim period. Morally, that is unacceptable at any cost.

    866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

    by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:48:57 PM PDT

    •  The reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, cany

      the public option was designed to start in 2013 is to keep the total cost of the bill under $1 trillion over 10 years. Basically, it cuts out those 4 years of operating costs so the total cost of the bill over the next 10 years is lower. If you start a public option immediately, the cost of the bill will go up, and they will need to find a way to get that extra money to pay for it.

      •  I understand, and I don't know how we (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, G2geek, HCKAD, priceman, jamtown

        get around this, but we have to get around this somehow.

        Is there no way to supplement costs in future budgets?

        It makes me so mad that we spend all this money on an illegal war in Iraq, and a war we cannot win in Afghanistan and we cannot take care of the very people who have paid and are paying for these debacles.

        866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

        by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:08:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "the cost of the bill will go up" (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, G2geek, HCKAD, priceman, pdx kirk, Johnny Q, cany

        By how much? Folks can make as many administrative and financial arguments as they like, but a 2013 start date is absurd.

        I'm willing to bet you dollars to donuts that 90% of the public has no idea that access to the public option will take that long. I've never heard a single congressman or senator mention this start date. No one dare talks about it because the reaction would be bewilderment.

        •  I think you are right. In a Daily Dose (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, G2geek, priceman, pdx kirk

          diary recently by War on Error, many WERE surprised at that and there were MANY comms about that... and we are probably better educated than most, I think.

          866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

          by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:17:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm just telling you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          that the reason the start date is 2013 is to keep the cost of the bill down. President Obama wants a bill that does not add to the deficit. He wants it to be paid for. They are having a hard time as it is finding a way to pay for it. Any increase in the start date of a public option is going to add to the cost of the bill.

          •  even if they propose a buy in to medicare? nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

            by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:22:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have no idea (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, cany, diceyproposition

              Listen to President Obama tonight in his speech. He is supposed to spend a lot of time explaining how the bill will be paid for. House Dems put 2013 as a start date for the public option in HR 3200 because they needed to put off the start date to save money. That's all I'm saying. Moving up the start date is going to require a new source of funding. It doesn't grow on trees, especially when the President wants a deficit-neutral bill.

        •  Does anyone know where the Trillion plus dollars (0+ / 0-)

          will actually be spent? Most people enrolling in the exchanges, either in a public or private health care program will be paying premiums, even if some are heavily subsidized, a lot won't be. So where is all the money being spent?

          •  and by the way I have serious doubts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jyrinx

            that even a public option will have a very significant effect in bringing down or even leveling out the high inflation rate of health care costs. Even if you were to discount the inflation of insurance premiums that still leaves the inflation of the health providers themselves, which are the source of most of the inflation in the first place.

            The proposed public option plans are so restrictive as to who can enroll that the entire subscriber base in 10 years will amount to way less than the entire health insurance market. Not significant enough to put much pressure on private competitors IMO. Very anemic to me. Microsoft and Intel have "competition" but it really has very little effect on them because it is just such a small peercent of their markets. Same thing will happen here I think.

            From what I have seen, there is very little built into any of these reform plans to put very much of a big dent in the inflationary rise in health care costs. Which of course is supposed to be one of the biggest reasons for reform in the first place.

            Besides being forced to buy insurance, and having a subsidy for the premiums,  lower class and lower middle class people will still have big problems with co-pays and other associated costs when they get sick, especially if they lose their jobs due to illness.

            Very fuzzy area there that I smell a rat somewhere.
            Poor people are not going to like this.

            •  than 10% of the entire health insurance market (0+ / 0-)
            •  Yup. There is ALMOST nothing (0+ / 0-)

              that brings down costs in the entire bill, and what does bring costs down is, as you say, very limited in the number of people eligible.

              The reason the public option is so critical is that it is still available to those who need it the most — those being forced to buy care they otherwise couldn't afford. (Subsidies just mean the insurers get to gouge the taxpayer and the poor folks …)

              “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

              by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:05:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That... (0+ / 0-)

              Very fuzzy area there that I smell a rat somewhere

              .

              ...is what happens when your house is infested with rats.

              The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

              by Bobjack23 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:37:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Also, Free State Dem, if people BUY into (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, priceman

        medicare (which, with a 4% overhead v. an industry average of 30% or so), that means paying less TO medicare, and might actually support Medicare financially.  I mean buy in for those that would chose to do so that HAVE insurance now, lose insurance and those that are on COBRA.

        866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

        by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:21:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The costs are not the issue with PO (0+ / 0-)

        the public option is fully subsidized through the premiums you pay, which is why it's referred as deficit neutral and cost benefit analysis is why we want it. There will be small tax subsides to start it up and administering it and creating a Medicare like system from scratch is what will take time, though 2013 is too long. The start up fees will be small and slightly financed through taxation to start, but 3-4% administrative costs are much lower than 30% or so which is why we even want the public option as most of that 1 trillion will be spent to reform the private sector and administer the mandate.

        Medicare is already here, in an ideal reform, we would just be able to buy into existing Medicare instead of creating something like Medicare that we can buy into, and those with crappy Cobra and the like should be able to buy into it as well.

        But giving that up as well as Medicare reimbursement rates which Medicare deserves and the private sector doesn't was done all so we could say we accepted Republican amendments and Schumer's watering down as slink has shown in the past with her tireless work on this issue.

        We need something to build on, though and we need a public option even though this is disheartening that it's a lot weaker than we originally wanted, but as long as it's federal and built into the framework of health care reform, we can amend it later an tout the cost savings for that battle to improve the option as SS was improved to cover farm workers and federal employees.

        We can't use these flaws as an excuse to give up, though. If the public option had no hope for reforming the system even as it is now, it wouldn't be treated as the enemy by the gang of six. We need something federal to build on and Krugman is right. Mandates by themselves will be politically and operationally regressive as it's a regressive form of taxation anyway where there is no guarantee the care will arrive like SS checks in the mail.

        Pro Life??? Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers!- George Carlin

        by priceman on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:27:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Single payer not for profit... (0+ / 0-)

        ...cuts costs out of the gate. To hell with the private health care insurance industry they have lived off our misfortune long enough. They are bloodsuckers by design. Since when is it ethically sound to turn a profit off human suffering? Every other first world nation has decided it is not!

        Who runs this country’s health care system policy? The citizenry through their representatives or the private health care insurance industry? Why do all the health care corporation's CEOs draw a much greater annual income than the President of these United States?

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:35:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think Max added the fines just to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, pdx kirk, Micheline, Johnny Q

    create something else for Republicans to scream at...

    Obama better cut that off immediately tomorrow...

    "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

    by justmy2 on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:49:08 PM PDT

  •  why do you think they want a bi-partison bill (4+ / 0-)

    becuase the gop hasn't even begun to demogauge the mandate. If the dems have to go it alone without the public option but with an individual mandate,they had better put in a good employer mandate as well. The more people forced to pay out of pocket the more problems there will be.

    After Obama's eighth straight victory, Penn told reporters: "Winning Democratic primaries is not a qualification or a sign of who can win the general election.

    by nevadadem on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 10:49:11 PM PDT

  •  It's not just bad policy, (14+ / 0-)

    it's bad politics. It's actually Democrats in Congress who are pushing mandates, because they think it's the best way to get universal coverage. Republicans are going along with it because they know their corporate supporters in the insurance industry want it. But Republicans are not being forced to go on the record and defend mandates. Democrats are the ones putting it in there, and Republicans are just going along with it.

    I guarantee you if the final bill has mandates without a public option, and insurance costs keep rising, Republicans will use it against Democrats in election after election for years to come. They will say to the people, "Look what Obama and the Democrats did to you. They passed a bill to force you to buy health insurance, even if you can't afford it." And there will be no record of them either 1) going on the record to defend mandates during the drafting of the legislation, or 2) voting for the final health care bill.

  •  What about mandates + no public option til 2013? (9+ / 0-)

    Of everything I've read, the public option won't go live until 2013. What happens if there's a mandate and 4 more years until the public option is available? Isn't that just as problematic?

  •  Help! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Johnny Q

    There's a picture or diagram that shows

    doctors 	  doctors
       |		     |
    insurance	 <strike>insurance</strike>
    companies	 <strike>companies</strike>
       |		     |
      you		    you
    

    but I can't for the life of me find it.  It's
    been posted in diaries here recently, and elsewhere.

    Anyone know of a link to said diagram?

  •  Let's talk about auto insurance as a model (9+ / 0-)

    for a second:

    Auto insurance rates are more informed by the credit rating of the driver than his/her driving record.  

    Auto insurance rates are also dependent on the neighborhood that you live in.

    A person who drives a 50K BMW usually pays less monthly than a working class person driving a used beater regardless of driving record.

    Mandated auto insurance is nothing but a transfer of risk from the wealthy to the poor.

    That 50K BMW will cost 2K to 20K to repair in most accidents.  The 1K beater is a total.  I haven't mentioned fault at this point.  The cars collide.  If the cop blames the beater driver his insurance is out big bucks.  If the cop blames the Beamer driver his insurance is out zilch as the beater driver will only have liability insurance.

    It is criminal.

    It is also the same modality the insurance companies will impose for health insurance.

    The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

    by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:03:19 PM PDT

    •  I'm not sure I understand. Can you explain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pdx kirk

      again? (I get the car ins. part, but I don't get how that is applicable to health care.)

      Thanks.

      866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

      by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:05:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The diarist mentioned this: (8+ / 0-)

        The state mandates requiring that vehicle owners buy car insurance is supposed to be the model, but it doesn't quite work.  Because you can choose not to own a vehicle, or drive one.  And people without much money can and do make that choice.

        Unfortunately it is likely worse than the diarist imagines.

        Mandatory auto insurance is the modality that health insurers wish to operate under.  Once people are forced to buy insurance, insurance companies can skew benefits to those they favor and debits to those they do not.

        The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

        Etc.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure that is true... but help me out (0+ / 0-)

          here.

          The idea, as I understand it, is that there are a variety of plans from the lowest bronze plan to the super duper plan.  The lowest plans must have the same options, and no less... but could have more... than the PO.  (This from reading the bil.)

          So how would they skew coverage given, say, credit?

          866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

          by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:13:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are not sure what is true? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt

            Let me be clear that I favor single payer and I see the public option as a compromise.

            But to answer your question:

            So how would they skew coverage given, say, credit?

            Simple, considering the Congressional/Senate playing field.  But I would rather not give them any ideas, thank you.

            The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

            by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:37:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think many of us see the PO as THE (0+ / 0-)

              compromise.

              But I still don't get how they could do what you suggest given the mandates about insurance co. bills in HR3200.

              The bill also says, if memory serves, that the Sec. HHS has to set the standards and ANYTHING going into the exchange has to be approved similarly.

              They can TRY to throw junk in there, and if the Sec. of HHS doesn't stand hard on a line, I suppose that could be done.

              I suppose it is always possible NO insurance companies could enter the exchange... which would be fine by me as long as the PO was then available for all.

              866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

              by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:41:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  You're confusing the different kinds (0+ / 0-)

      of car insurance. AFAIK, no state mandates car insurance per se, just liability insurance. Which makes perfect sense, because that's the only way you'll be able to pay up if you hit someone.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

      by Jyrinx on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:37:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bull. (0+ / 0-)

        'If you hit someone'.

        Transfer of risk from the beater folk to the Beamer folk.

        People who drive cars occasionally run into each other.  A fair system makes you insure own car, but only if it is worth it.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:40:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And if we have public medical (0+ / 0-)

        we won't have to worry about medical liability, I should add.

        The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

        by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:41:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I should edit: (0+ / 0-)

      The beater driver who likely has liability coverage will get nothing for his beater it is his fault.  The Beamer driver will have to pay blue book for the beater if it is his fault.. 1K, 2K, red K, blue K.

      Guess whose insurance rate will go through the roof though?

      Mr beater, of course.

      The business of Nations is never morality. Moral stories live only through people.

      by tecampbell on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:54:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thought of being forced to buy crap insurance (18+ / 0-)

    from companies that rake 30% off the top for profit makes my blood boil.

    Obama must know that Democrats passing such a bill will be  stepping into an empty elevator shaft in the next elections.  The Republicans want the Dem's fingerprints on screwing the little guy so the fat cats get richer. That's the Republicans' job, but strangely we seem ready to go it alone to do just that.

    If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:03:45 PM PDT

  •  After the 3800 fine (10+ / 0-)

    After I pay the fine, what insurance do I get?

    Barack Hussein Obama- Don't Mock the Constitution.

    by odenthal on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:09:45 PM PDT

    •  zip, apparently. if you make over $66K for a (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, G2geek, bleeding blue, Nebraskablue

      family of 4, you get the $3800 slap. If you are single, you get the $750 slap.  I guess they are pro-rating slaps.

      866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

      by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:11:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You just better insure that you don't get sick! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, BigAlinWashSt, DirkFunk

      Because you're getting zilch.

    •  That fine (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, pgm 01, echatwa, Jyrinx, Johnny Q

      Is likely to be a cheaper option for many people than buying insurance.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:26:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed, for some. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, pdx kirk

        and how exactly do they fine, one, I wonder?  If you take far more deductions on your pay than you need to, they don't have a lot of room to hold much of your money.  Anyone know the mechanism they would choose to do this?

        Not that I am, eh-hem, thinking about doing this... I make too little to pay for insurance or a fine.

        866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

        by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:29:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  no, let's be BLUNT and UP-FRONT: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jyrinx, pdx kirk

          Mandates without robust public option = mass peaceful civil disobedience.

          Refuse to buy, refuse to pay, refuse, refuse, refuse.

          Study the Civil Rights movement, and the various Quaker-inspired peace movements in New England, for examples of how to do this right.  

          If tens of thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands) sign a pledge to do this and follow through, and a few offer themselves up for prosecution, we can tie up this shit in the courts until long after 2013.  

          And at the same time we can move public opinion and overcome the insurance vampires' PR campaigns, and start moving the frame to full-on single payer.  

          •  Quakers FTW! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, pdx kirk

            As a Quaker, I approve this message :-)

            I think the court cases will be the key to this, BTW. No doubt there would be some extremely sympathetic cases — someone who works 14 hours a day but can't afford insurance even with subsidies; someone who works 14 hours a day and could just barely afford insurance who then got cancer and had their claims denied and subsequently was driven into bankruptcy; etc. This would play extremely well in the media. (Sadly, it would be the Democrats being targeted by all the bad publicity. But they'll deserve every bit of it.)

            “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

            by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:19:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  excellent point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jyrinx

              Find the cases that are truly heart-wrenching and put those in the spotlight.

              For me this is a concience issue.  I refuse to do business with those companies as long as they are nests of sociopaths.  

              Render unto Caesar, but no offering a pinch of incense to the Roman gods with one's own hands.  

          •  Mandates w/o PO will put GOP back in power. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jyrinx

            And I think that's what's coming. The Dems may just be stupid enough to do this.

            When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

            by Wom Bat on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:53:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nose under the tent. (0+ / 0-)

            This mandate gets people's attention.  

            Up to this point all platitudes.  Keep your current plan, everybody gets some, prices will go down, blah, blah, blah.

            Suddenly you have skin in the game.  $3800 fines and you're naked on the field with employers and insurance companies.

            Who's your daddy?  The pie is shrinking, everybody dies, especially boomers.  Better get with the O-man or only the lobbyists get knives.

                   

            Barack Hussein Obama- Don't Mock the Constitution.

            by odenthal on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 01:03:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  If the Dems are stoopid enough (15+ / 0-)

    to pass mandates without a public option, they're as nuts as the teabaggers.  There aren't enough subsidies for the middle class to buy insurance to counter the greed of the insurance companies.  And Faucus's fees on the insurance companies will just be passed down in higher premiums.

    It would be way worse than the stinking mess we have now.

    Shudder.

    I'm mad as hell and can't take it anymore. We need health insurance!

    by pattisigh on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:12:58 PM PDT

  •  Exactly right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD, BigAlinWashSt

    If they pass this without a legitimate public option that is extremely low cost (if not free) it will be revealed as nothing but a scam to attack low income people of behalf of big business: force the poor to subsidize big business by buying "health insurance" that will never really help them and that they would never freely choose to buy if not threatened.

    This is an absolute disgrace. Is this the "hope" we were promised?

    If things go this way then i can't see how anyone could care about voting for Obama ever again. He will have resoundingly failed on his most basic message. Worse, it will be a slap in the face.

    •  he said, on Labor Day.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      valadon

      ...that he wants a real public option in the mix.  

      No sense second-guessing right now, about a speech we'll hear tomorrow.

      •  Per Cenk Uygur, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, pletzs

        when a politician calls a provision “important,” that means it's not important; and if he says he's open to other ideas, he's capitulating right then and there.

        And what's he been saying for frigging months now?

        So if tomorrow he says the same thing he said on Labor Day, we're fucked.

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

        by Jyrinx on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:42:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IMHO all this pre-emptive dumping on Obama (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Micheline

          ..is exactly what Republicans want us to do.  They benefit from it.  They benefit by driving the wedge in deep until we bleed.

          Enough of that.  

          We'll hear what Obama has to say tomorrow, and we can respond to the actual speech rather than to Republican voices in our heads.  

          •  OTOH, if he surprises us (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, G2geek

            and puts his credibility on the line for the public option, we'll be all the more ecstatic from having low expectations.

            “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

            by Jyrinx on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:48:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  there is that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jyrinx

              At risk of sounding megalomaniacal, I know something about how his mind works on this kind of stuff, because he & I have two key cognitive variables in common.  One is called Keatsian negative capability: the ability to deal with ambiguity and cognitive dissonance, to "walk in the gray" as it were.  The other is the tendency to deliberate at length before making decisions.  

              When he was an unlikely candidate I recognized those things in his cognitive style and that's why I supported him.  

              I think he's going to come through for us.

          •  I think this is exactly wrong (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, Jyrinx

            How is dumping on Obama for not standing up for the public option helping republicans? Capitulation and "bipartisan compromise" on the public option (which is already a compromise) is what helps republicans.

            Obama promised it and now they're trying to back out to get an illusion of victory by passing a bad bill that carries the name "health care reform". If the people who actually believed in what he was promising - and therefore voted and campaigned for him  - don't stand up to hold the line on the promises then who will?

            Obama will not fight because it's right (see Van Jones). They will only fight if we force them. Nobody else will. End of story.

            •  there is a difference between (0+ / 0-)

              reasoned criticism and dumping.

              Reasoned criticism produces solidarity and strength.

              Dumping produces divisiveness and depression.  

              •  Ok, fair enough... (0+ / 0-)

                but how should i propose 'solidarity and strength' around something that does not deserve it?

                This begs the question, i suppose. Why does this kind of capitulation (if it comes to pass) deserve my solidarity and strength? Why should i fight for this?

                •  tell you what. (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't ordinarily go disclosing personal information, but this issue is life and death for me.   This is not an abstraction, and it's not a case of "something might happen."   It's a case of something did happen.  And I'm going to leave it there for now.

                  But the point being, I have more than skin in this game, I have my whole body in this game, and I am not about to give up, and neither am I about to give in to cynicism or despair.

                  Study the Civil Rights movement, study Gandhi, study the Quaker peace movement in New England.  There's where you'll find solutions in case our people in DC leave us high & dry.  

    •  Poor people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pdx kirk

      qualify for Medicaid. A mandate is going to affect the middle-class more. It's going to hit the middle-class.

      •  but isn't it the case, for instance, that one has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdx kirk

        to, for instance, sell their home to get on medicaid?  they have to sell down... in order to qualify?  am i mistaken?

        866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

        by cany on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:43:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, poor people qualify (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdx kirk

          for Medicaid. That's who it's for. Some people who are not poor "sell-down" to make themselves poor, so they can get on Medicaid. Some old people do that to get Medicaid to pay for their nursing home care.

          I think the health care bill is supposed to expand Medicaid. So if there isn't a public option, we can all just sell our crap and become poor to get Medicaid. We will be in the poor house, but we will have a "public option". I'm just joking of course. Sort of.

          •  I have been contemplating applying for it, but (0+ / 0-)

            I cannot find, for the life of me, the regs as to whether I would qualify or not... seems to be some big secret in CA and have not wanted to take the time given I have to go there and spend nearly 1/2 or more of my day...

            If you know where to find the regs for CA (qualification standards) I'd love to see them.

            866-338-1015 toll-free to Congress in D.C. USE it!

            by cany on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:06:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "more" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jyrinx, pdx kirk

        in what sense? Most people who don't have insurance are poor, meaning they make only what it takes to keep some roof over their head and not much else (if not much worse). With a "mandate" they're going to be forced to buy "health insurance" from some private company. I hear a lot of talk about 'subsidies' but little in the way of specifics. Are the subsidies going to mean it's basically free? If not, that means they can't afford to buy it and continue to keep the roof over their head, at least not without serious changes to their lifestyle so they can subsidize the insurance company.

        Sure there are others who choose not to buy health insurance who are not scraping by hand to mouth from one paycheck to the next, but I don't believe that is the majority.

        If the 'middle class' are scraping by paycheck to paycheck and could not keep a roof over their head with even a minor increase in costs, it's time to realize they aren't really "middle class". They're living just spending like it.

  •  Anybody getting the same feeling (5+ / 0-)

    they did back when we were voting on whether to go to Iraq? Like a whole metric fuckload of Democrats are about to vote for a terrible bill that they're only going to regret for years to come but they refuse to see the obvious? I swear to God, if we hear one pundit say “Who could have predicted that passing reform would hurt Democrats among Democrats?” I'm going to explode.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

    by Jyrinx on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:39:42 PM PDT

  •  I don't think this wil happen (0+ / 0-)

    I still remember... they wanted to get that bill out of finance by whatever it takes. Sometimes I do forget.

    I think that's why Max put that bogus plan.  There has to be a senate plan from this committee.  There has to be "some" elements from this plan necessary to combine all plans.

    Everything said in this diary we know the dems and Obama know.  

    Obama/dems have been vilifying the ins. co's all summer, in public no less, and he wouldn't just force over 50 million more customers AND give subsidies.

    I can't believe he will do that.

  •  Krugman is, er, right on the money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    as usual.

    "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" --Patti Smith

    by andrewj54 on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:44:44 PM PDT

    •  One question (0+ / 0-)

      I support the public option but how do we KNOW that it will be that much cheaper than a private plan?
      And to be perfectly honest if someone is required to buy a product, does it really makes that much difference where it comes from if they don't want to buy it in the first place?

      That's one major problem, but it seems to me there's another more immediate one: the sense of fundamental fairness.  Because an individual mandate without a public option makes this bill pretty much what the Rabid Right opposition says it is: government intrusion.

      Why in the hell would anyone here want help the opponents of all reform make their case by saying that a mandate without the public option is "government intrusion"?  IMO, that doesn't even make sense. If that were true, having a public option would make absolutely no difference because it's still a government requirement either way.
      The point is it takes more than just a public option to get reform to work.  It also requires regulation of the insurance industry because most of us are not going to have access to it.  There are many other changes in existing bills (HR3200 and Senate HELP) that don't have anything to do with the public option, like regulation, banning pre-existing condition restrictions, and an alternate choice of prividers especially in places where one insurance company has over 90% of the business.  The public option just make it better by insuring (no pun intended) competition by a not for profit source.

      •  too long of an answer (0+ / 0-)

        --but it's late here. Why does it matter, required to pay to private or public?  It matters in a practical sense for health care specifically. A public plan presumably wouldn't pay for lobbying, bonuses, marketing, etc. or to expand to become a monopoly, nor would its executives be required to show a profit.  The Medicare model indicates it would be more efficient.

        Also from the payer's point of view, your money is paying for health care, not for all of the above. Being required to buy insurance from corporations is being required by law to contribute to their profits or to their other non-medical practices, and that seems to me to be government forcing me to contribute to the profits of a company, which I regard as an intrusion.  I don't have a choice.  Right now I can choose to hold my nose and enrich a bank so I can get an interest rate and a credit card.  Or I can choose to keep my money at home in a sock, and not contribute to the bank's excesses. It's my choice.    

        I am required by law to pay taxes, I have no choice about that, but that money is at least theoretically being spent for public purposes, by the government that collected the tax.

        And that leads to the more general problem, which could have legal and even constitutional ramifications.  Is a government requirement essentially a tax, that goes directly to a private company?  Can the government do that?  The auto insurance requirement seems like a precedent, but maybe not, when you break it down.

        It seems to me all of the problems, including just the sense of fairness, are addressed if there is at least the option of paying into a public plan. A single payer Medicare for All, or even health insurance companies as regulated public utilities, would address this better.  But there seems little chance for either of those this time. A public option seems in these ways, and in the ways that Krugman identifies, a necessary mate of the individual mandate.  So no public option, no mandate.  

               

        "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

        by Captain Future on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:52:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree but... (0+ / 0-)

          First thing, with or without the PO, the government requiring someone to pay for something could be considered as "government intrusion", period.  And trying to make that argument doesn't really prove anything except why there shouldn't be a mandate, which without there could be no way to spread the costs because only sick people would buy insurance.
          I agree with all the benefits of the PO but there are also other reforms which are needed besides.  And IMHO, all this emphasis on the PO alone is "upstaging" the other good reforms which could also benefit everyone.
          Is that short enough?

  •  You said it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    Because an individual mandate without a public option makes this bill pretty much what the Rabid Right opposition says it is: government intrusion.

    That is the problem in a nutshell and no one in the Democratic leadership seems to see it!

    I liked what Lawrence O'Donnell said on Countdown today, that they are living like it's still the 90's and there is no internet.

    I wish they would wake up.

    Thanks so much for this diary.  Tipped & rec'd.

    If I'm not an activist, would that make me a pacifist?

    by pensivelady on Tue Sep 08, 2009 at 11:49:06 PM PDT

    •  Governmen Intrusion? (0+ / 0-)

      It makes no difference as to whether you call it intrusion or not if it is a requirement by the government to buy something.  If that were the case then requirement to buy automobile insurance is "government intrusion".  Maybe it is but it is for a good reason.
      But why do some people insist on trying to help the right prove their point?  They have all the help they need in the MSM.

  •  Because they will just go work for Lobbyist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HCKAD

    They don't care when they can just go and work for their corporate masters if they lose the election and get paid millions in teh process.  

    Choose Hope not Hate in 2008, Reject McCain/Palin

    by HouTxLib on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:31:21 AM PDT

  •  If they go this route... (0+ / 0-)

    They will lose America for a generation.  Never mind the south...

    They can't be this dumb.   They just can't.  

    "Give me a water board, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." -Jesse Ventura

    by Beelzebud on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:49:44 AM PDT

  •  Shouldn't be a penalty, but rather a tax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx

    In the Japanese model, if you select the public option, then you are taxed about 5 percent of your income.

    That's the model we should pursue. No mandate - you can opt to go bare and face the consequences - or get private or public insurance. Because their public option is basically funded by a tax on income, it's means adjusted and universally available.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:59:02 AM PDT

    •  Isn't it infuriating? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven

      There are so damn many models for working universal health care in the world, and we're going with the only extant system that absolutely does NOT work. I mean, some other systems are better than others, but medical bankruptcy, the ultimate failure of health care (besides death, I suppose), happens only in America, and it happens every fucking day.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

      by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:13:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'health insurance monopoly enrichment act' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx, Faroutman

    nicely said...

    Torture: An act... specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physical control.

    by MsGrin on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:59:27 AM PDT

  •  the only thing that needs to be mandated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    echatwa, priceman, Jyrinx

    is providing care to all human beings in the system. if people can afford health insurance and health care, they'll buy it. if they can't, it's cruel idiocy to force them to do so at cost.

    unless there is an affordable, quality public option, any talk of mandates is utter bullshit, and i will oppose it.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:10:29 AM PDT

  •  this diary explains the reason why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    priceman, Jyrinx, Faroutman

    progressives in the house WILL vote no on any bill that does not contain the public option. thank god.

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:22:18 AM PDT

  •  If there is a mandate without a public option (0+ / 0-)

    ten-to-one there will be a snow-balling boycott of the mandate that will grab lots of media attention and cost many democratic seats in the midterm elections and beyond.

  •  A mandate on the individual to require (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx

    giving private property to another private entity would be unconstitutional.  

    Requiring financial liability insurance for a motor vehicle is a condition of issuing a permit to use it because the machine is an inherently dangerous and often lethal instrument.

    Basic Republican politician's mistake--that they rule, rather than serve.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:36:51 AM PDT

  •  I'm gonna go one step farther... (0+ / 0-)

    ...than the "No Public Option, No Mandate" call.

    My call is "No Public Option, No Health Reform."  That, should a healthcare bill hit Obama's desk without a public option in it, he can and must veto it.

    No public option makes pretty much any healthcare bill a health insurance bailout.  And one becoming law would be a major victory for the insurance lobby and corporatism in general.

    Bill O'Reilly is a terrorist sympathizer.

    by IlGreven on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 01:52:56 AM PDT

    •  No, without mandates, (0+ / 0-)

      it's at least a subsidized exchange that might in fact give poor people a shot at some level of health care. The insurers wouldn't be able to name their own price for the plan, because people would be able to go with the ever-present “nothing” option.

      In other words, without mandates, it's a stinking pile but at least it's better than nothing. With mandates, it's political suicide.

      “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

      by Jyrinx on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:10:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  at least subsidized.... (0+ / 0-)

        "that might give poor people a shot at some health care.."

        Ok, what about poor people that reject "private" so-called "health care"?

        I stand by them. "Poor people" reject private so-called "health care" because it provides nothing to them that they might want to buy. It is a huge waste of their money. It is a bogus subsidy to the health insurance lobby. This is the Obama 'plan' apparently (It is exactly the 'plan' without a public option).

        Why do any so-called 'progressives' support this? I have no idea.

      •  I think you misread me. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm saying that, mandate or no mandate, healthcare reform without a public option is basically giving health insurers a license to make more money.  Because we know the only thing the Republicans will agree to is tax cuts, and the Democrats that are scared pantsless by their constituency won't be voting for more regulation.  

        If the public option is off the table, there is absolutely no merit to any healthcare reform bill.  None.

        Bill O'Reilly is a terrorist sympathizer.

        by IlGreven on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 03:53:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Medicare for All is the answer (0+ / 0-)
  •  Private Tax. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jyrinx

    The idea of setting a percentage of your income that you must use to buy insurance from companies with a record of lies, flimflam, excessive compensation, using premiums to lobby against regulation and deny care--that is not reform I can believe in.

    That is a tax. it is a private tax for profit.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 02:09:26 AM PDT

  •  This is why I (0+ / 0-)

    didn't vote for HRC!  The individual mandate without a government option is SERFDOM.  I know its not the middle ages and we no longer use the feudal model, but damn it, we are going to start again.

    Think about it for a moment; in feudalism most people lived on the manor and worked (communally) with their village to provide first for their lord, and second for themselves.  They had to pay annual rents (premiums) to the lord for what was essentially his protection (care) from outside molestation (sickness).  They had no choice.  If they did not pay they could be kicked off the manor, which was dangerous, or could be hauled in front of lord and forced to pay fines (Baucus' $3,800.00).

    On top of annual rents there were charges for all kinds of things like getting married, burying the dead, the tithe, hunting and fishing dispensations from the lord.  One could argue that all/most of the above are the equivalent of taxes to the state today, but I would make a distinction between feudalism and citizenship; as a citizen I am a member of what amounts to an "insurance pool' (government.)  Through taxes and fees, I am provided services, protection, and granted special privileges if I start a business.  The state, while retaining the ability to abuse its power, has the power of force in order to exercise its will in the realm of sovereignty, is different than a private firm because it has a fundamental obligation to serve all people, while a private firm does not and in my view of capitalism, can not be forced to do so.

    Thus, individual mandate without a public option is serfdom.  Or debt bondage.

  •  Krugman's usually right (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of people around here bashed, and bash, him, but the guy's been more right, and more progressive, than Obama and company.

    "And the biggest self of self is, indeed, self." Mark Sanford

    by Paleo on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 03:44:07 AM PDT

  •  Mandates without a public option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    desiderata

    is not Democratic and not progressive.  

    "And the biggest self of self is, indeed, self." Mark Sanford

    by Paleo on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 03:45:07 AM PDT

  •  If the Democrats pass.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    manwithnoname

    ....an individual mandate without a public option, I will be forced to conclude that the Democrats are also insisting on electoral suicide. It just blows my mind.

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