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I completely respect the opinion, that I hold, that single payer is the way to go for HCR.  

I also respect the opinion, that I hold, that a "strong" public option (such as Jacob Hacker proposed) is a nice way to help control costs and keep insurance companies honest.

I also respect the opinion, that I hold, that a "weak" public option (such as the one in the house bill) is some kind of start that could be improved.

I do not respect the opinion that we should "kill the bill" just because the "weak" public option is not in there.

You know who else doesn't respect that opinion?  Jacob Hacker, the guy who basically put the public option in our consciousness.   You know who else doesn't respect that opinion?   My uninsured patients.  

Look, the vote is this week, I take Pelosi at her word.  If you think "killing the bill" now is a good idea, just because the "weak" public option is not in there, I'd like to hear about when you think the next chance for HCR to have a vote will be.  

More below the fold.

I've got patients who die, or who are crippled physically and financially for lack of insurance.   And people here want to "kill the bill"?   When this bill will make denial based on preexisting conditions, rescission, and f'd up medical loss ratios a thing of the past?  When it will insure 2/3 of the uninsured?

I guess once the bill is killed I'll just patiently wait for single payer.  After, all, our efforts could only get more progressive with time right?  Oh, that's right,  I forgot that there won't be another attempt until the next democratic president, when's that?   7 years?  Probably not given the fact that dems will have just demonstrated they can't govern.  So at least one term for a repug?  I guess that's 11 years, oh but it will be so worth it when finally single payer is instituted.  What's that you say?  The insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital lobby's will only be stronger by then?  Well, maybe we'll at least get a public option then, or at least a "weak" public option...

This bill will be a huge step forward,  it will establish the precedent that the US government is in charge of regulating insurance companies, and keeping premiums down and medical loss ratios up.  If it's such a great subsidy for insurance companies, as some are claiming, why are they funding attack ads against HCR?

For that matter, who cares if it is a subsidy to for profit companies?  A recent rec'd diary stated:

The mandate. You cannot mandate people to, by law, purchase healthcare insurance if they don't have a public option to choose from. The alternative is simply too ghastly;

Hell, I'd subsidize Halliburton if I knew it would cover 2/3 of my uninsured patients.   What's more "ghastly", a private mandate in exchange for much better regulations, or leaving those 30 million people uninsured?

Like I said, if you think the private mandate is more ghastly, I'd love to hear your plan for when we'll get back to those 30 million after this week's vote is lost.  If you think it's sooner than a decade, then I've got some nice ocean-view property to sell you (in Switzerland, where I'll be going if HCR fails, and where at least my private insurance will be appropriately regulated).

UPDATE: Just to be clear based on comments below, this is NOT an anti-public option diary.  I think it's great to fight for reforms we believe in, I would prefer medicare buy-in, to strong PO, strong PO to weak PO. But none of those are in this bill, and I doubt they will be inserted before the weekend no matter how many calls we make.  

What I am objecting to is people saying "kill the bill" because no PO is in the bill, when the bill will do a lot of good even without it.  After this week, I will be hammering people for the PO, supporting Grayson's efforts etc...,but none of that can happen, and 30 million remain uninsured probably for more than a decade, if the bill fails this week.

So if you're for the PO or better, I'm right there with you, but if you're for killing the bill that will be voted on within a few days, then I've got a big beef with you.  Thanks, and go whip!

Originally posted to Ask 4 Questions on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:06 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (336+ / 0-)
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      •  There's Legitmate Concern That the Bill Could (22+ / 0-)

        entrench elements of our system that are outlawed throughout the civilized world because of the harm they do. Dems have been helping the Republicans take the country farther to the right and farther downhill for decades so it's not an unreasonable fear.

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

        by Gooserock on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:35:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with that concern, (29+ / 0-)

          but look at Switzerland, they have private insurers but have just regulated the crap out of them, this is the first step towards that.   But I'm not saying we shouldn't be pushing for medicare buy in etc...I will be pushing HARD on that, but not this week...

          •  There is nothing... (11+ / 0-)

            In this bill that even approaches the regulation they have in Europe.  Obama makes noises about having some independent board.  Yeah - and he made a lot of noise about the public option too.

            To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

            by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:43:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So what though? (23+ / 0-)

              Why not pass it and then try to improve it? You know it's our only chance, but you are instead aligning yourself with the GOP on this vote.

              I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

              by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:56:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh just stop (9+ / 0-)

                This won't be improved once it is passed. It will be checked off as done on the list and we won't hear a peep, except for Grayson's bill which will be pulled out at campaign time but never be actually passed.

                Just stop with the fantasy. There is no path to fix this in any reasonable time frame. None.

                "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

                by heart of a quince on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:02:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What do you think will be the impact (19+ / 0-)

                  on the Party and the Obama presidency if it were to fail to pass? Is this irrelevant to you folks?

                  I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                  by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:03:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  ? No path to fix this? (16+ / 0-)

                  One could have made this argument about any of the signature pieces of progressive social legislation that were passed in the last 100 years.

                  Unfortunately, it is an argument utterly without merit. You might think it won't get fixed, but you cannot claim that there is no "path" or mechanism for doing so.

                  Every piece of legislation can be improved through the legislative process. Large controversial bills like this - improvements can be tacked onto larger spending bills which have broad support (like war funding measures, for instance).

                  What alternative do you suggest in lieu of passing this bill? I just don't understand what you're talking about. If there's no political will to even slightly improve this bill, in what fantasy world did you ever see the public option or single payer passing?

                  •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RichM

                    But shifted.  If there's no will to do the right thing now, what makes you think this will be improved in 2011 or 2013 or 2015?

                    Obviously there is a legislative mechanism... but there is just as obviously no political mechanism.  Because Dems only 'support' meaningful reform to the extent that they occasionally push air across their vocal chords and shape their mouth certain ways for brief periods of time.  That is the full extent of support for real reform.  For further examples, please see the current HCR bill and the last year of process.

                    •  Your counter-argument doesn't work. (13+ / 0-)

                      Cato is saying "if you don't think we can drive the ball another 30 yards, what makes you think we'll ever be able to drive it 60?"

                      Replying by saying "well if you don't think we can drive it 60 now, what makes you think we can drive it 30 later?"

                      If we played football by your logic, no one would ever score a touchdown.

                      •  That, of course, assumes that I agree... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Timothy J

                        That we are moving in the right direction.

                        Using your analogy, I read Cato as saying "Let's move the ball 5 yards backwards, then we'll move it 15 yards next play for for the first down."

                        Basically with this legislation you are reinforcing the employer-based/individual-market insurance company as the arbitor of care.  You are shifting massive private(mandate) and public(subsidy) funds to that group of companies.  At no point during this debate has the Democratic party laid the rhetorical base for moving to a single-payer.  So... while some people may have insurance who didn't have it before (either because we forced them to or we bought it for them) and there may be some new restrictions on insurance companies, we moved the ball in their direction.

                        The football analogy is very crude because football is one dimensional in terms of progress.  Obviously this is at least three dimensions (coverage, quality and cost) in terms of policy and a few more in terms of ongoing reform's political dimensions (industry, D-party, R-party, public opinion).

                        There are some good points in this bill... like the community care.  So this bill, to me lines up

                        coverage: net plus (subsidies + prexisting condition + mandate)
                        quality: hard to tell, my gut says net minus mostly because of the excise tax and the opinion that the insurance industry will capture regulators and evade regulation that keeps them from dropping high cost people; also, does nothing about current slow-walking claims and denying treatment
                        cost: net minus, mostly because I'm unconvinced that the 'cost control' measures amount to much in this bill, and the primary driver will still be insurance industry profits.

                        I could be wrong... but it's not cut and dry.  We'll see... right now I don't think it matters one whit whether ANY of us support this bill.  Dems will pass what they will pass... Obama made his deal with the devil long ago, and this whole debate has been kabuki.

                        So whatever... it'll pass, it'll be what it will be.  I don't think it will be improved upon.  We'll know by 2012, won't we?

                      •  How about if they couldn't (4+ / 0-)

                        get it even 30yds now-- at the peak of public support, and this Presidency and with majorities in Congress and many options to pass it...then

                        how the hell are you going to move it any more than that?

                        The problem was they were not being bold enough to move it 60...even if that meant reconciliation last year at peak support...you're still thinking in terms of incrementalism and pragmatic reform and you're just not going to get bold comprehensive reform that way...this is not your grandfather's or your father's Congress...we are not going to work it like that anymore.

                        We had to go bold last year and we were pussyfooting with Republicans.

                        Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                        by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:41:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Except there is very little chance... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          askew, marabout40, CuriousBoston

                          "going bold" ever would have worked. Nate Silver's talked about this several times--there just was never the support in congress for a "bold" move, even in the House (which makes the reconciliation argument pretty null).

                          Incremental reform works. Maybe its flaw is that it works slowly enough that people don't really notice, but anyone who says that we don't "fix" bills once they pass is being blindingly ignorant of the history of progressive legislation in this country. Medicare was adopted in 1965--prescription drug benefits weren't added until 1980. The Civil Rights act was signed in 1964--we got Lilly Ledbetter last year. We got Medicaid in 1965, improved it with SCHIP in 1997, and, again, expanded it in 2009. Social Security started out giving little benefit to women or minorities in 1935, a few years later expanded to cover widows and children, twenty years later added disability coverage, and gradually added benefits over time (the original benefits were a pittance by today's standards). New classes of worker were added as late as 1990.

                          I'm sorry if big grand gestures are more satisfying, but it simply isn't true that there is no hope for fixing flawed legislation that doesn't go far enough. The reverse is true--flawed legislation leads to good legislation much more easily than no legislation does.

                          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            and this strategy did?

                            Look I respect Nate, but tell me what you think, not what he thinks.

                            But for the record I disagree.

                            Incrementalism is not bad in and of itself and of course it has worked before. That's not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that the current climate in D.C. politics was not conducive to that sort of pragmatism.

                            Just because something worked before doesn't mean it's the best strategy in another circumstance. We needed a whole new paradigm to really move Obama's initial agenda.

                            unfortunately, most of us feel like the wind was taken out of our sails and we're sitting in a dead calm. Certainly we lost the movement's momentum and I don't anticipate that we'll accomplish much of his agenda. At least it's not going to look like anything that we thought it would for this country...bold, innovative, futuristic etc...

                            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                            by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:32:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One more thing (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            it's not a matter of being more satisfying. It's that a larger vision of where this country needed to go demanded bold strokes, not a tepid, sequential response.

                            We needed change on a major scale and you know that's exactly what Liberals and Progressives try to bring to their country. It is almost our raison d'etre.

                            You and I may always be at odds in our approach, but it's not that I don't understand yours.

                            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                            by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:47:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you honestly think... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CuriousBoston

                            ...it would ever be possible in this country to transform the nation from the ground up? Did you honestly think in one presidency we'd get to single-payer? Or end global warming? Or do any of the things we need to do? Even FDR needed four terms and the greatest international conflict in human history to do what he did.

                          •  I think that in times of great need (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            great leaders have done just that....it was always from the people in those cases and this was the first time this nation felt that way in a long time.

                            And I think we may have blown it.

                            No efforts are ever really done, but we had a chance to do more and I'm sorry that you don't see it.

                            It was what Obama sold to us in his campaign. It's what ignited this nation for change.

                            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                            by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:59:02 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A big part of Obama's campaign was.... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fayea

                            ...telling people how he was going to change the tone in Washington and move forward by respecting ideas form all sides and talking to everyone. He was extremely consistent on that. That's how he planned to make big changes, and he never sold us anything else.

                          •  He hasn't made big changes (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            doing that has he? And that's not to say that cooperation is not a noble cause or that I don't respect that as part of his demeanor, but he said a helluva lot more than that in his speeches.

                            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                            by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:12:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  First: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            askew, fayea

                            Yes, he has made some big changes. Second, he's attempted further changes and they've failed to get traction in congress. Third, if you thought conversation and cooperation weren't going to work, you should probably have seen this coming.

                            When FDR made his big changes, he'd won the popular vote by 18 points, won 42 states, and he entered power with 69 Senators and 75% of the House at his back. Obama may've given us our best shot at progressive change in a long time, but holding him to the standard of sweeping change that FDR established just isn't realistic.

                          •  I Remember He Promised That Baucus Could Run... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            I remember that Obama promised us that he'd let Max Baucus run the show with HCR.   During the campaign he said this.   I think.

                            "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

                            by npb7768 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:27:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're right, it WAS Baucus he kept talking about (0+ / 0-)

                            Silly me, sounds so much like "public option."  Guess I just misheard him.  A bunch of times.

                    •  No will to do the right thing? (9+ / 0-)

                      Congressional Dems rolled the dice and took a HUGE gamble in even tackling HCR. The last congress to even attempt it lost their majority, and the same thing could very well happen this time around. There has been a sizable political backlash from Republicans (politicians and teabaggers) for doing so.

                      This wasn't air moving across windpipes, this was a politically risky move, one that might still go down in flames.

                      If you don't think this bill is "meaningful," then fine. You seem to forget that over 30 Senators supported the public option inclusion in the reconciliation bill. Likely hundreds did in the house.

                      But no, those HUNDREDS of Democratic Congressmen and women will be unable to make some small, incremental, though meaningful improvements to this bill?

                      For further examples, see medicare, medicaid, social security, workers comp., unemployment, workers rights, ad infinitum.

                      •  Maybe 'no one' is not correct. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        npb7768, Timothy J, Onomastic

                        Let me rephrase that.

                        "No one with the mojo to make it happen."

                        You seem to forget that over 30 Senators supported the public option inclusion in the reconciliation bill. Likely hundreds did in the house.

                        But no, those HUNDREDS of Democratic Congressmen and women will be unable to make some small, incremental, though meaningful improvements to this bill?

                        Look, I get your point... but that same group of people... will vote for this bill, and didn't hold their ground on the PO.  Stupak, Nelson, Lieberman... they won this round.  I just don't get why you think that the 'good stuff' couldn't get in this time, but it will get put in later.  What will change?  Just the passage of time will magically make that happen when the leadership is actively working against it?

                        I hope you are right.  I do.  I don't like this bill, but I think it will pass.  I don't think it addresses the major issues, and I think that is a direct result of Obama's inside game strategy.

                        The second you decide that your solution must be palatable to the insurance industry and the GOP you fuck your universe of solutions.

                        •  Tek, I think I just responded responded to this (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          askew, teknofyl, marabout40

                          point of yours upthread somewhere. Basically, political winds are always shifting. Hell Lieberman's going DOWN next time he's up for election, assuming he even runs again.

                          We'll most likely have a new Senate majority leader after the next election. We could have filibuster reform by then too.

                          Those two things alone could lead to more comprehensive reform.

                          •  You know... that combo could be potent. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Timothy J

                            Like I said elsewhere... I'm (barely) in the pass-it-now camp.  I don't like it, I don't plan on saying how awesome it is or pretending that I think it will be a major improvement.

                            I could be wrong.  I hope it is a major improvement... there are some goods and bads, and my estimation of their various weights is just my estimation... nothing technical or insightful, just what I think based on my ~15 years as an interested voter and ~6 years as a close followers of (American) national politics.

                            But you could be right... though I've always thought of Reid more as a sort of weakling, not an obstacle in his own right just an institutional hole where the ability to deal with real obstacles (e.g. Lieberman) should be.  And the 60-vote problem could morph into the 50-vote problem if the leadership just doesn't want to pass something, but doesn't want to openly say so... the way we had 50+ and enough votes in the House for the PO until it comes to reconciliation, suddenly we don't.

                            Like I said... my opinion really only matters to me, since it's been cleared up these last 12 months or so exactly how much regular people like me (don't) matter to the leadership of my party.

                            I'll be putting up cash during the primary season.  After primary season, I'll take fresh stock of the situation and decide how engaged I'll be in the run up to November... I'm sure I'm not the only one.

                            When the party decides to shit on people like me, they are essentially making the call that one of two things are true:

                            1. We'll show up for them anyway, because we have no where else to go.
                            1. They don't need us anyway.

                            So in may ways my pessimism doesn't stem entirely from a belief that the Dems cannot do the right thing... it's been obvious, to me at least, that many times they don't even want to.... even when they publicly declare their support, e.g. Obama publicly supporting the PO rhetorically but privately working to kill it the whole time.  I know there's an article about that, but really that's been kinda obvious since last summer, really... at least to me.

                            So we'll see... if we get a fighter in the Majority Leader's office and we remove the filibuster as a routine obstacle, will we get positive changes or will we get a different set of excuses why everything must be half-assed?

                            I'm open to the idea of a Democratic party that vigorously pursues good policy.  I mean, I want to believe - I do.  So I hope that this time next year we are both making fun of me for being overly negative.  But until I see some sign of some principle they won't give up at the drop of an electoral hat, I'll just hold onto my skepticism.

                  •  We don't have time... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timothy J, elwior, Korinthios

                    We are not 'Number 1' anymore.  Our education system is in shambles.  Our manufacturing is a shadow of what it once was.  We are asking for the poor and middle class to pay for this.  The rich will get away with not paying anything.  How long until we get a world class healthcare system?  20 years?  40 years?  By that time, our best and brightest will make the decision that they can live a better life in Western Europe, Canada or Asia.

                    To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                    by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:24:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So the alternative is... (6+ / 0-)

                      ...vote against it, get nothing done, and have the same thing happen much faster? That doesn't really sound like a good plan to me.

                      •  Again... (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm not convinced that bill is not a step backwards.  The argument seems to center around 'It's better than nothing'.  Well, why is it better than nothing?  There are enough loop-holes that it looks like the insurance companies can get to the status quo in a short timeframe.  Meanwhile, millions of new customers are forced to buy their product.  I just don't buy it.  I'm not gunna support something just because it is SOMETHING.

                        To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                        by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:36:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Can you name one Democratic House Member (5+ / 0-)

                          who is voting against this from the left who is not a total whack job?

                          I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                          by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:42:19 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  People keep talking about... (8+ / 0-)

                          ...the magical power of loopholes. What exactly are all these loopholes that let them out of all the numerous regulations being proposed? How do they nullify the fact that 2 million people will have insurance that didn't before?

                          And how about the fact that this bill codifies in law the concept that it's the government responsibility to make healthcare available to everyone? That's never happened before. Or the fact that it establishes that the government should regulate the insurance industry?

                          What about the numerous pilot-programs for cost savings? According to Paul Krugman, virtually everything you could look for in terms of attempting to bring costs down is included in this bill, it's just a matter of seeing which ones work. And it's not as though Krugman is known for his blind Obama loyalty.

                          •  I'll tell you what they are... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            askew, IM, zbbrox

                            "Breaking the law" is now a loophole.

                            Using the bill's opposition as a baseline -- my bank simply seizing my checking and savings account and saying "Account?  What account?" is a loophole.  Sure, it's illegal - and for all the ill that banks visit upon us, I'm not aware of any banks trying to do something like that - but that's a "loophole".

                            We're getting nonsense loopholes.  

                            I've pretty much quit citing the legislative language any more because when someone has it deeply rooted in their mind that private insurers are some all-powerful entity bound by no law, you're never going to convince them that ANY legislative provision provides adequate oversight.

                            I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                            by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:18:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've noticed this, too. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            askew, fayea

                            It came up before--this idea of why bother regulating, as corporations will do what they want anyway. When did we buy that Republican talking point?

                    •  We don't have time to scrap this bill (7+ / 0-)

                      and wait for something that you find more acceptable either Rich. Your argument cuts both ways. I don't support this bill because it is merely "something", I honestly believe it will improve our healthcare system dramatically.

                      Further, it is a solid foundation on which to enact even more progressive reforms.

                      Hey, I wish we had passed single payer, but there wasn't anywhere close to the political will to do so.

                •  And the repubs will check it off as "done" when (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mayan, edwardssl, zbbrox, marabout40, Onomastic

                  it fails to pass.

                  If you don't think incremntal improvements will be made over time, what in the world makes you think that a truly progressive reform will be proposed and passed in our lifetime?

                  Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

                  by Happy Days on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:14:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Just like.... (6+ / 0-)

                  when we fixed healthcare with the whole Medicare thing, and then never went back to it!

                  Except for Medicaid and Medicare expansions and SCHIP and, umm, this bill, and....

                •  So it would be different than medicare, social (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, jonnie rae, fayea, marabout40, Onomastic

                  security, the civil rights act in that respect?  All of those were passed and then improved...

                •  If that were the case (5+ / 0-)

                  then the odds of passing a more "progressive" bill once this one dies are even more remote.

                  The diarist is entirely correct that if this fails, the push for HCR fails and we'll have the status quo for another generation at least.  Is that really the better option?

                  I finally put in a signature!

                  by Boris Godunov on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:42:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It might be (0+ / 0-)

                    the push for HCR fails and we'll have the status quo for another generation at least.  Is that really the better option?

                    Purely private health insurance rarely works, and almost never in a country as poorly regulated as ours - see i.e., Goldman Sachs, AIG, etc. - and this bill props up an industry literally dying on the vine, with hundreds of millions of new customers, making them even more powerful.  

                    Right now, there is a check - go without insurance.   It is a painful choice, but I'd much rather deal directly with docs and hospitals than some bean-counter at one of the INSCOs, looking to cancel me AFTER years of faithfully paying my premiums, because of some "i" I forgot to dot.  

                    •  "Purely private health insurance rarely works" (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ask 4 Questions

                      You've got some sources to cite for that claim, I trust?

                      I know people don't like to believe it, but the real truth is that private insurance does work for most people.  The horror stories are the exception, not the rule.  So no, having no insurance is not better than the alternative for most people.  Ask a family that has been bankrupted by medical bills because they didn't have it if they would have preferred to have insurance.

                      Sure, my preference is for a Canadian-style system.  Next to that, I prefer a public option.  This bill is about last in what I'd prefer.  But not quite, as it is preferable to no change whatsoever.

                      I finally put in a signature!

                      by Boris Godunov on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:55:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  So... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, jonnie rae

                  This won't be improved once it's passed.

                  So, you think it's absolutely impossible that additional regulations will be passed to enforce and better this bill, but if we scrap it we're guaranteed to get single-payer or a public option?

              •  Really uncalled for... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jrooth, Timothy J, elwior, Jazzenterprises

                The Dems are the ones who alligned themselves with the GOP.  For all of the blustering - this is a GOP wet dream.  Force the poor to buy a for-profit product?  Ronald Reagan is dancing in his tomb.

                To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:08:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  When we are proposing regulation (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RichM, Xapulin, teknofyl, Timothy J, elwior

            along the lines of switzerland, I'll reconsider my opposition.

            "I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law" -Obama

            by heart of a quince on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:48:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  consider the outcome if it doesnt pass... (10+ / 0-)

              for those that are still opposing this bill because they think we can get something better if this bill is defeated....  consider this

              What Democrat is going to even go near Health care reform in the next decade (or two) if this Bill, fought over for the last year, fails to pass?  

              We have the oval office and majorities in BOTH houses of congress and if we can't even get this bill passed NO DEMOCRAT will go near HCR again, possibly for decades so the dream of a better bill with a strong public option will DIE witht he failure to get this bill passed.

              BUT...... if we get this one passed Democrats will not be so afraid to revisit HCR again in the near future and keep revisiting it until we get  what we ALL believe is the right final outcome... a strong non profit public option.

              no one gets everything they want the first time around.... but if you get nothing in that first round you probably wont get a second chance at perfection.

              so PASS THIS BILL and you embolden Democrats to keep passing HCR bills...  or fight to kill it and you let Democrats know they were fools for putting their jobs on the line for Healthcare reform.

              most things are not 'black and white' but this is....  its either pass this bill and keep the door open for more changes or kill it and close that door for decades.

              "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

              by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:08:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not just a matter... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timothy J, heart of a quince

                Of getting something 'better', it's a matter of getting something that will 'work' for my kids and my grandkids.  This bill is like choosing between dying slowly via poison and dying quickly via beheading.

                And - if the Dems aren't EMBOLDEN by having massive majorities in the House and Senate and the WH - they will never be emboldened.

                To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:15:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you will get NOTHING but status quo if this bill (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jonnie rae, zbbrox, marabout40, Onomastic

                  fails to pass....  holding out for what should be instead of accepting that this is all that is going to be for now means that Democrats, who have been so afraid to vote for HCR will stay as far away from this issue as they can...  we can either move the ball foward on the field or just hand it to the opponents of all HCR.   I choose moving the ball forward.

                  "keep your eyes wide, this chance wont come again"

                  "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

                  by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:21:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not convinced... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timothy J, elwior, heart of a quince

                    This bill is better than the status quo.  Especially for the middle class who get their insurance from their employer.

                    To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                    by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:27:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ok let me put it this way for ya Rich (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RichM, marabout40, Onomastic

                      if you want to travel down the hcr road you have GOT to start by turning on the car... consider this bill the ignition key... if you dont have the ignition key you are going nowhere at all...

                      I will again say this though... if this bill fails NO democrat (except for maybe sanders and kuchinich) will even go near HCR again, for decades...  they will have learned a lesson from this fight that we do not want them to learn... that even with gigantic majorities and the oval office HCR is a career killer.

                      maybe you dont want to turn on the hcr car...but for millions and millions of americas, sitting in the driveway for another few decades is NOT an option.

                      "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

                      by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:35:25 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I get it... (4+ / 0-)

                        I really do.  But I think that attacking somebody for pointing out how just crappy this bill really is smacks of RedState tactics.  I've moved from screaming that this bill should be stopped, to being ambivalent about it.  But I'm not going to sit down and shut-up when it comes to pointing out the real long-term affects of this bill.  And really - isn't it extremely sad that this is best we can do?

                        To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                        by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:44:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  actually I am surprised we got this far (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          IM, jonnie rae, fayea, marabout40

                          I had thought we wwould get nothing so this is a victory imho...  there were monied forces fighting this reform from day one and they are still fighting it so if we get this bill I will be pleased and ready to start the work of pushing for MORE reform before the fire goes out :)  but we have to start by lighting the fire and then we can work to keep it burning

                          "we light the light of love, HCR means love"  :)

                          "We have passed beyond the absurd, our position is absolutely preposterous" - Ron Tavel

                          by KnotIookin on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:53:43 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  It is "along those lines" (0+ / 0-)

              though definitely weaker and would hopefully be strenghtened if insurers get out of hand. But I'm at least glad you acknowledge that regulating private insurers, without a PO, can do the trick...

        •  Bingo... (5+ / 0-)

          For the first time, people will be forced to buy a privately provided product by the federal government.  A product with essentially no regulation or price controls.  In 10 to 15 years, there will be two classes of people.  Those who have crappy high-deductible insurance that doesn't pay much of anything and the rich.

          To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

          by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:42:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are profit restrictions (13+ / 0-)

            in the bill.  Insurer's will be limited to 80-85% profit.

            •  I've spent my spare time for the last two weeks (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RichM, Timothy J, elwior

              trying to find a solid definition of "Medical Loss Ratio" which isn't just a bunch of hand-waving and generalities, and I've failed.

              I'm sorry, but in light of that, this "limit on profits" doesn't inspire any confidence.

              He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.

              by jrooth on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:19:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll help you out then (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew, jonnie rae, fayea, marabout40

                The bill defines Medical Loss Ratio as "percentage of total premium revenue expended on reimbursement for clinical services provided to enrollees under its policies during such taxable year (as reported under section 2718 of the Public Health Service Act) is not less than 85 percent.’."

                Meaning - insurers have to report these numbers to the IRS and it's a very simple matter of dedicating 85% (as the floor across the board, there are actually other plan types that have to hit 90%) of premiums to "clinical services".

                I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:03:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well fine, but ... (0+ / 0-)

                  when you start actually reading all the stuff out there (which is what I've been doing for weeks now) you find out that all kinds of shit that (at least to me) doesn't reasonably fit within "clinical services provided to enrollees under its policies" wind up in there.  You'll see all kinds of declarations that "administrative costs" don't qualify, but then you'll find all kinds of real-world examples (and every damn state is different by the way) where they do.

                  In other words, it's been my experience as I tried to get what I thought would be a fairly simple answer to a fairly simple question, that it gets murkier and murkier the harder you look.

                  And I see no reason to believe this situation is suddenly going to clear up simply because this bill passes.  In fact, it seems to me there"s huge incentive to make it even more of a muddled mess (since every bit of extra muddle is that much more profit.)

                  He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots.

                  by jrooth on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:36:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    askew, fayea

                    And dollars to donuts that most of that muddle is coming from people opposing the bill (from both sides of the ideological spectrum).

                    It's incredibly easy to create tons of what-ifs and yeah buts -- hell, if I wanted to support a repeal of Medicare from the left, it wouldn't take me more than an hour to what if and yeah but it from the left.

                    Administrative costs don't qualify on the insurer side of things as "clinical services".  The only possible exception I might entertain would be "staffed HMOs" -- HMOs that, rather than contracting with a network of providers, are actually health care providers in and of themselves.   However, staffed HMOs are pretty rare - and what's more, I don't think anyone really has a problem with them.   They generally work well because it's essentially the doctors selling coverage plans for their own facilities.

                    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                    by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:59:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  gad, I did it again. 15 - 20% profit (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marabout40, Onomastic
            •  How is that enforced? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jrooth, Timothy J, elwior

              What is the mechanism for the government to control this?  Who is really going to look over the books?

              To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

              by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:39:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  85% (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, edwardssl, jonnie rae, fayea

              That's the floor.

              The original Senate bill had it at 80, but (damning with feint praise) Reid bumped it to 85% in the final mark.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:23:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's assuming there's no pressure to (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Happy Days, soms, marabout40, Onomastic

            amend this, which I'm sure there will be.

            For what doth it profit a party, if it gaineth the whole world, and suffer the loss of it's own soul?

            by hideinplainsight on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:00:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm forced to buy (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, fayea, marabout40, Onomastic

            car insurance (privately provided) by the guvmint.  I haven't spontaneously combusted yet.  Am I missing something?

            •  The substitute... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timothy J, elwior

              For buying car insurance is not driving a car.  Driving is considered a 'privilege granted by the state'.  You can choose not to drive.  What is the substitute for living?

              To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

              by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:38:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The substitute for living... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew, edwardssl, jonnie rae, marabout40

                is dying.  You talk of the poor and rich divide this will create in health insurance . . .
                before this bill, that convo was not possible.  It was rich have health insurance, poor have none.

                Without this bill, an additional 1.5 million people will be dropped from health insurance each year, with costs for everyone else going up.

                Right now the divide is poor people die, rich people live.

                This bill is about reversing that direction for the poor.  It is called a start.

                The divide now is alot worse than the divide you propose this bill will lead to.

                We should help any democratic nation that needs our infrastructural support. We are their big brother.

                by manoftheearth on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:01:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Most people... (0+ / 0-)

                  Have health insurance through their employer.  With the excise tax, those people will be compressed into the same insurance as everyone.  Do you honestly believe that when that happens those people will blame the rich and the GOP?

                  To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                  by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:23:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Try to Live Without a Car In Most of the US (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IM

                And tell us how much of a "privilege" it is with the grocery store miles from where you live.

                NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

                by clone12 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:53:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Substitute is paying a tax. That's all, (0+ / 0-)

                no jail time, no arrest, no taking away your birthday.  A tax.  Fully constitutional in the fed govt's powers.  
                The modest tax for not having health insurance seems much easier to live with than not having a car in most parts of the US.  

                I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                by fayea on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:33:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Enough of this please (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew, IM, fayea, marabout40, Korinthios

            A product with essentially no regulation or price controls.

            This simply is not true.

            In fact, the majority of the text of legislation is devoted specifically to this.

            Enough.

            If you want to cite specific provisions and claim they're inadequate -- and no, "insurers will find a way around it" is NOT specific -- fair enough.

            But it's high the bill killers stop getting away with this broad swath bullshit talking point nonsense.

            I and plenty of others have cited specific provisions that do EXACTLY what you say the bill does not, and the ONLY counterpoint I've ever seen any post is "Well, they'll just find loopholes".

            Time and again.

            If you want to oppose the bill, fine - oppose the bill.

            But the nonsense bullshit talking points against the bill -- from EITHER the teabagging right or the bill killing left stop now.

            Put up or shut up.

            I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

            by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:55:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Stop with the "being forced". (0+ / 0-)

            No one will be forced.  People who have Medicare, Medicaid, military medicine, Indian Health, etc obviously don't have to buy private insurance.  What you are being "forced" to do is pay a TAX if you elect not to have some type of health care insurance plan. The tax you will be forced to pay if you don't buy a plan is to help offset what the fed govt (states, too) is paying now to hospitals, etc for unreimbursed care that currently is astronomical and rising daily.  That citizen who comes into the hospital and receives care s/he doesn't have the insurance or means to pay for is driving the cost of health care up for everyone else.  To stay open for business, hospitals and doctors have to raise their prices because an increasing percentage of our "customers" don't pay anything at all.

            We are already paying for all the "freebies".  I would rather have everyone pay their fair share a little at a time, and get access to regular and preventative care, than have to pay for their cardiac bypass or motorcycle head injury.  
            If you do not want to buy a private insurance policy - don't.  Just pay the rather modest tax instead.  You have a choice.  No forcing.

            And, by the way, who would actually buy any insurance at all while they were healthy if they could just buy it when they got sick with no fear of being excluded for a preexisting?  

            I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

            by fayea on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:28:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes,the bill will entrench negative trend (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timothy J

          And while Americans of all classes chip in to purchase these 31 million private policies out of diminishing household incomes, we must hold the Dems accountable for this failure to reform another collapsing vital market.

          As long as we accept the poison as long as there's a spoonful of sugar in it more people will suffer in the end.

          It's a matter of education about the degree of pain of the status quo versus the degree of pain of change. When people are desperate they will try to survive and right now the classic private insurance policy with a few better regulations feels like survival for many people right here.

          HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

          by kck on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:30:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm concerned about... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J, elwior, cybrestrike

        Fixing the problem.  This bill WILL NOT fix the problem in the long term.

        To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

        by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:40:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  The afordability of quality... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth, Timothy J, elwior, cybrestrike

            Healthcare.  This does not provide for quality healthcare and it does nothing to bend the cost.  The majority of the cost to be recovered is in the profit margin of the insurance companies.  This does nothing to recover that margin.  It will just cause everybody to have the same crappy high deductible insurance.

            To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

            by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:45:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It means that for over 30 million people their (18+ / 0-)

              insurance will be available despite pre-existing conditions. Why do Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean support the bill's passage, are they secret conservative infiltrators?

              I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

              by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:47:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jrooth, Timothy J, elwior

                They are politicians.  Dr. Dean wants to still be part of the Dem party - so he wants something now because this is all they are going to get.  I understand his calculus and I'm not going to disparage anybody who says, "Let's pass this now and try to fix it later."  But I'm also not going to all of sudden say, "It's a good bill!"  Because that is just bullshit.

                And to your point.  It's my understanding that for pre-existing conditions:

                1. For the first four years - it only applies to children.
                1. After that, the only punishment for not insuring someone with pre-existing condition is to fine the insurance company.  If the it cost more to insure somebody than the fine, well, guess what they are going to choose.  And that person is going to be left without insurance.

                But the biggest problem is that everybody is going to be compressed into the same high-deductible catastrophic insurance.  And that is going to piss-off the middle class.

                To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:06:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dude, you are no match for Howard Dean (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, mayan, Viceroy, edwardssl, marabout40

                  or Barack Obama. Give it up.

                  I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                  by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:19:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timothy J, elwior

                    Somehow you are not willing to consider the long term affects of this bill.

                    To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                    by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:30:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And you don't care a whit about (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      askew, marabout40

                      the effect on the next presidential of Obama failing. You said so yourself.

                      I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                      by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:40:49 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I do care... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Timothy J

                        But I'm not going to blindly support him no matter what.  I truly believe that this bill, as written, will do long term harm to my kids and grandkids.  That's my concern.

                        To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                        by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:46:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  What kind of person, in predicting the future, (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          askew, fayea, marabout40

                          can be so sure of himself that he's willing to go against almost all progressives in the country. Seriously, isn't there a chance that you are wrong? Aren't there times when your family needs you, and you need to be there for them, even if you are not 100% on board?

                          I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                          by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:49:13 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The progressives... (0+ / 0-)

                            Are once again swallowing a shit sandwich in order to get along.  And the Democratic Party is not my family.

                            To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                            by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:56:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, IM, fayea

                  Your first point is just incorrect.

                  Your second point is misguided.

                  That "fine" is not based on a single denial of coverage.  There is not a flat fine per violation -- the compliance portion of the bill is written such that a single incident of noncompliance equates to a fine that is calculated based on:

                  1)The total number of insured under the plan - regardless of whether 1, 10, 1000, or 10,000 were affected by the noncompliance - deny coverage for one person, the factor is total beneficiaries.

                  2)Number of days of non-compliance.

                  The $7 million fine CA regulators are trying to levy on Wellpoint?

                  Child play's... Wellpoints' fine under this bill would be minimum 3/4 of a billion dollars -- and that's assuming the escalators didn't (willful noncompliance, etc) haven't kicked in.

                  Collecting the fine?  The IRS takes care of that.  Wellpoint has to file a corporate return just like any other entity.  The fine is collected on their return.

                  An insurer is free to sue either HHS for levying the fine or the IRS for collecting it, but they don't get out of the fine itself.

                  I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                  by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:09:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  No, that's not right. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, mayan, edwardssl, marabout40

              The majority of cost to be recovered is in the actual costs of things like meds, MRI's, tests, etc...Some of that is due to overuse and overprescribing.  A small part of the cost is in health insurance profit margins.  The growth in insurance premiums is not driven by drastically increasing profit margins, but by drastically increasing medical costs.  The place for costs to improve is in controlling this rate of growth, and you can do that (indirectly) by controlling premiums.  I'll admit that single payer would do the best at that, largely because people trust the government to cut costs, but don't trust insurance companies to do so...

              •  A small part is insurance profit margins? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Timothy J, elwior

                I'm sorry - that's just wrong.  Some 30% of the cost are profit and marketing.

                To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

                by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:32:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Doesn't matter whether your number is accurate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, edwardssl, Korinthios

                  or not -

                  The bill says 15%.

                  85% has to go towards reimbursement of clinical services (baseline... platinum requires 90%).

                  I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                  by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:11:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You are so did wrong (3+ / 0-)

                  You are entitled to your own opinion, but you start sounding like a deranged tea bagger when you make up your own facts.

                  Currently most insurance companies pay about 80 to 85% of their premiums in claims.  The remainder is not profit--it is to pay for administrative costs.  The average insurance company makes about 2 to 3 percent profit on premium.

                  HCR will require all insurers to meet that 85% requirement.

                  There may be a couple of rouge companies that try for the 70% level--this legislation will drive them out of business.  When you go around and claim that all insurance companies are making 30% profit on their policies, you lose the little bit of credability you have.

                •  Here's a link: (0+ / 0-)

                  profits are about 3% of premiums for major insurers.

                  I don't have numbers but I'd bet marketing may be similar. But you're right, having neither of those would be better, they just are not the big drivers of out of control costs - they just pass the cost on to the consumer.

            •  Almost half the bill - HALF - is devoted to (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, IM, edwardssl, jonnie rae, marabout40, LiLaF

              programs that bring down costs while improving quality of care. There's far too many around here who either don't know that or choose to ignore it.

              These pilot programs come from recommendations from almost every leading Health Care expert. What they all fundamentally do is shift us away from a "fee for service" system of HC to one where HC outcomes are the priority.

              If folks are going to make statements about the Bill's approach to "costs", the least they can do is read Atul Gawande's piece in The New Yorker - TESTING, TESTING http://www.newyorker.com/... first. He examines how we've used pilot programs successfully in the past to revamp a system that was financially swallowing families and the country. And he takes a look at some of the pilot programs in the HC bill.

              For example:

              The bill tests, for instance, a number of ways that federal insurers could pay for care. Medicare and Medicaid currently pay clinicians the same amount regardless of results. But there is a pilot program to increase payments for doctors who deliver high-quality care at lower cost, while reducing payments for those who deliver low-quality care at higher cost. There’s a program that would pay bonuses to hospitals that improve patient results after heart failure, pneumonia, and surgery. There’s a program that would impose financial penalties on institutions with high rates of infections transmitted by health-care workers. Still another would test a system of penalties and rewards scaled to the quality of home health and rehabilitation care.

              Other experiments try moving medicine away from fee-for-service payment altogether. A bundled-payment provision would pay medical teams just one thirty-day fee for all the outpatient and inpatient services related to, say, an operation. This would give clinicians an incentive to work together to smooth care and reduce complications. One pilot would go even further, encouraging clinicians to band together into "Accountable Care Organizations" that take responsibility for all their patients’ needs, including prevention—so that fewer patients need operations in the first place. These groups would be permitted to keep part of the savings they generate, as long as they meet quality and service thresholds.

              If folks are really worried about costs than do some reading. To say that this Bill does not address costs is at best ill informed.

              To say that this Bill does not rachet down regulations on Insurance companies that have them fighting tooth and nail against it, is being oblivious to reality. They're not happy about their profits being cut. They're not happy about having to insure those with pre-exisiting conditions or having to keep people who become ill. They're not happy about deductables being lowered.

              Now some folks here may not be happy about what is NOT in the Bill. That does not give the right to mispreresent what is actually IN the Bill.

              Enough all ready.

              We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope. - Dr. Martin Luther King

              by Onomastic on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:41:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As Dr. Gawande said, no one really (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Onomastic

                knows how best to contain costs.  Various things must be tried in pilot programs.

                The idea that simply paying doctors for better quality outcomes sounds good on the surface, but when you try it out you must see if what is really happening is that doctors will just quit seeing smokers or diabetics.  Everyone knows these patients will have more post op infections, so you can rig your quality data if you stick to low risk patients.  And, they can avoid having these patients without actually "denying" to see them.  You just have to be obnoxious to them, piss them off, and they'll go elsewhere. There would have to be some mechanism to prevent unintended consequences from screwing up the efforts to improve.  

                Which is why it needs to be done small scale in pilot programs so you can see how human nature twists your best intentions.  Something will work.  The bill allows for tracking the programs and then pushing the best methods.  That alone is worth a bunch.  

                I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                by fayea on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:49:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Couldn't agree more fayea. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fayea, MKSinSA

                  Our system is such a hodge podge of various components and regs that this approach makes a great deal of sense.

                  The fact that it has worked before is reason for confidence in the process.

                  We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope. - Dr. Martin Luther King

                  by Onomastic on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 05:10:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not true. Please read this (0+ / 0-)

              article by Atul Gawande from The New Yorker about how the senate bill controls the cost of healthcare:

              http://www.newyorker.com/...

              It seems to be the best kept secret of how much the bill actually is devoted to cost control.  It is pretty complicated stuff which I suppose is why we don't see it discussed on the TV machine.  Most people would glaze over.  

              There really is a structure created to allow for cost containment to be figured out.  Right now no one really knows how to contain costs while enhancing quality.  

              Please read it.

              I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

              by fayea on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:38:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, it won't totally, completely fix it. (24+ / 0-)

          So fuck it, let's do nothing, and let's have Barack Obama be a failure, and let's get a Republican in there in 2012 to REALLY fix the problem, right? Because advocating against this bill is advocating for a failed Obama presidency.

          Ah, but you're doing so from an enlightened moral position. I see.

          I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

          by doc2 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:45:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not saying that... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timothy J, elwior

            I'm saying that we should push significant changes through reconciliation.  But I'm all I'm seeing on that is Kabuki theater and a world-class display of cowardice.

            To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

            by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:18:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Here's why that's a weak position (4+ / 0-)

        I am more concerned about people who will bebefit from the bill.

        This is the exact problem that came up with the security contractors, and the banks.

        People would cede turf, begging, "please, please just don't give them another contract/tax cut/bailout". The merit being that the firms had done abuses. Obviously, they couldn't further benefit from our tax dollars.

        But the American system has made it pretty clear that whatever industry, someone's going to benefit largely. We can pretend it's not going to be the massive, already-"proven" companies, but that's not likely.

        If the abuses are the merit of the argument, the firms should have already been investigated and probably punished. It's not too late for some of that now. If we've shifted to trying to deny them benefits, as opposed to punishment, shame on us for being weak-kneed.

        I think ten thousand kossacks could create quite a bit of momentum on the hill, were we to demand prosecution of war profiteers in unison.

        I miss Johnny Rook and Ormond Otvos.

        by Nulwee on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:40:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks Ask... (23+ / 0-)

      This is a big step forward. Let's help make it happen, and then work to improve it.

    •  I can't speak for Shiz... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J, elwior, cybrestrike

      But I think I know her enough to say this:

      This bill is bad not just because it has no PO.  People keep screaming '31 million more insured!!!!'  But you know why?  Because they will have a gun to their head and will be told 'buy crappy insurance or be taxed.'  That's why.  Is this bill better than nothing?  I don't think so.  With the excise tax squeezing the middle class and the crappy high-deductible insurance becoming the norm - I think it may end up that things will be worse.  There are no price controls, no real punishment if an insurance company refuses to insure someone or if they rescind someone's policy and no real regulation.  Yet, they are going to get 31 million new customers under the punishment of the law.  The PO would alleviate some of this - and that is not going to be included.

      To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

      by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:39:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  rebuttal (19+ / 0-)

        Yet, they are going to get 31 million new customers under the punishment of the law.  The PO would alleviate some of this - and that is not going to be included.

        Yes. they are going to get 31 million new customers. They are also going to be more regulated. For example, they now would to spend more of their profits on actual health care. So, it's not as one-sided as you claim it is.

        The PO would only apply to perhaps 1-2% of the population at the most.

        The bill is a start. Based on the 1993 experience, we would have to wait another 17 years before the next President tried this. As someone who knows someone who has no insurance (and has a pre-existing condition) we don't want to wait that long. Their lives are hell as it is.

        •  Um... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timothy J, elwior, cassandraX

          What regulation?  Fines if they refuse to insure somebody?  Well, if the cost of insuring somebody is more than the fine - then guess what financial decision is going to be made.  And then guess what option that individual has.  Plus, this will affect the middle class in a big way.  With the excise tax, everybody is going to be squeezed into the minimum catastrophic insurance and be paying more out-of-pocket causing more bankruptcies.

          To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

          by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:50:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the initial level of fines is too low to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jonnie rae

            stop the problem of coverage denial, then the fines will be increased.

            Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

            by Happy Days on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:26:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When and by whom? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Timothy J, elwior, Nax

              Do you really think any congress will have the will to increase fines on a large contributor?  Really?

              To the WH: "It's your job to f*ck-up power; it's Fox's job to f*ck-up truth.' - Jon Stewart

              by RichM on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:28:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The fines are not low (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, fayea, LiLaF

              And what's more -

              The compliance program is set up NOT to fine insurers for individual instances of non-compliance, the fines are set up so that the fine is a factor of:

              Total Beneficiaries X days of noncompliance.

              The largest insurers would be looking at fines that would easily run into the hundreds of millions, and even into the billions if they were really twits about things.

              That "total beneficiaries" number is NOT "people screwed"... it's total beneficiaries, period.

              Meaning - an insurer that denies just ONE person coverage isn't fined based on that one denial... they're fined based on total beneficiaries.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:14:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Half of that 31 million are going to be (8+ / 0-)

        new Medicaid recipients.  Last time I checked Medicaid was Single Payer.  Sounds like a pretty friggin' good idea to me.

      •  And You Obviously Speak for Those 31 Million (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jonnie rae

        I mean, those same uninsured 31 million Americans are rioting out on the streets over the prospect of having health insurance coverage against their will as we speak right?

        NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

        by clone12 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:56:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to know what you think the next step... (0+ / 0-)

      is when this passes.  If you think it's ANYTHING then I'd like to sell you that same ocean view property in Switzerland.

      You are probably right... this bill is what we'll get, now and for the next decade.

      THANK YOU DEMOCRATIC PARTY, FOR PISSING AWAY ANY HOPE FOR REAL REFORM.  NICE FUCKING JOB, ASSHOLES.

    •  Luckily for us (4+ / 0-)

      The time for this debate has passed. Support it or not, this bill is going through. And thank God for it. The largest paradigm shift in the thinking about health care in 2 generations...and it is going to happen. Say what you will about Obama, hate the bill, whatever.

      Thank you for this diary. This is the time for hunkering down, getting it done, and celebrating the milestone.

      America is waging a war on intelligence.

      by alkalinesky on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J

      obviously entitled to your opinion and I don't necessarily disagree with much of what you've written but I do take issue with this argument:

      What's more "ghastly", a private mandate in exchange for much better regulations, or leaving those 30 million people uninsured?

      Like I said, if you think the private mandate is more ghastly, I'd love to hear your plan for when we'll get back to those 30 million after this week's vote is lost.  If you think it's sooner than a decade, then I've got some nice ocean-view property to sell you (in Switzerland, where I'll be going if HCR fails, and where at least my private insurance will be appropriately regulated).

      I do think it would be sooner than a decade because if this bill doesn't pass, the problems will still exist and they will still grow.  The political will to pass real, meaningful reform with a strong public option will grow with the public's growing outrage at the private insurance industry.

      There are a lot of different dynamics at play here even some as yet unforeseen and I cannot say that HCR would be taken up in the next ten years if it fails now.  But neither can you say that it wouldn't and considering how bad things are now and how much worse they're likely to get if this bill fails, if I were a betting man I'd bet that it would get taken up much sooner than ten years from now.

      Furthermore, if this bill passes, I believe that it will be the end of the road on reform.  The current legislation isn't good enough and if it passes, it will take far longer, IMHO, to get back to fixing the problems with the bill that it would take to get an entirely new bill written and passed if the current bill fails.  Once there is a bill passed that legislators can call "reform," they aren't going to be too keen to reopen the wounds that have been inflicted on them from the current effort by the health sector lobby.  The current bill is some pretty damn weak tea and any effort at real reform would be far more contentious so if the current bill passes, that's basically what our generation and possibly the next will get in terms of health "care" "reform."  Bill passed, crisis solved (at least in the minds of Dem politicos).  If this bill fails, I think we'll see another effort more quickly because the crisis will continue to be a crisis, it will worsen and it will demand action.

      Experts are to Fox News what winners are to the Special Olympics. If you show up, you are one. -Jon Stewart

      by democracy inaction on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:20:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just Like How If Bush Got Elected in 2000 (0+ / 0-)

        Things would get so bad that the people will greet St Ralph Nader, in a shiny armor and on a white horse, into the White House by 2004.

        NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

        by clone12 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:58:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          Just like after 8 years of Bush, things were so bad that the country elected the first black president.

          Experts are to Fox News what winners are to the Special Olympics. If you show up, you are one. -Jon Stewart

          by democracy inaction on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:21:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ... A Black President So Conservative (0+ / 0-)

            that some progressives on dailykos want him primaried oin 2012.

            NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

            by clone12 on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 06:27:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You do realize (0+ / 0-)

              that you're only augmenting my point?  George Bush made such a huge mess of things that even the first black president, whose voting record in congress was among the most liberal, is still too conservative for some folks.

              Experts are to Fox News what winners are to the Special Olympics. If you show up, you are one. -Jon Stewart

              by democracy inaction on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 07:04:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  An answer to your question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J

      I'd like to hear about when you think the next chance for HCR to have a vote will be.  

      Short answer: Next week.

      Long answer: Obama and the Dems are not going to walk away from this.  As most people here acknowledge, if they do so, they are cooked in November.  Thus, they will be willing to deal with anyone to get this bill passed.

      That means they will deal with progressives who demand more for the billions of dollars this bill throws at private insurers.

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They won't walk awasy, they will run (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J

         As fast as their little cowardly feet will carry them.  They will declare victory, and do nothing.  Anyone who pushes for more will be told "we don't have the votes".  

         On the other hand, if the bill doesn't pass, the for profit health insurance business model is doomed.  Without the mandate, they will continue to price insurance beyond the means of just about everyone, and slowly fade away.  That means the number of uninsured will go up, and up, until it reaches a critical mass and the political will to do something like single payer/medicare buy in/public insurance option is created.  

         Will that process be painful, chaotic and shitty?  You bet it will.  But in the long run it will get us where we need to be for our grandchildren.  If this bill passes, we're locking in the for profit insurance companies as the only option for generations.  The govenment is guaranteeing their survival at our expense.  Literally.  I don't accept that.  Sorry if that offends people who are willing to compromise their future away.  

      •  That will never happen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fayea

        If this goes down, so does the entire conversation.  The Republicans will be crowing about defeating it, the Dems will be afraid to come anywhere near it again and will be too busy trying to say they didn't really support it to ever try any more reform.  It will take decades to get the memory of the defeat out of the way before anyone tries reform again.  And then reform will probably be even smaller than what we are trying to pass today.  The lesson they will learn is that healthcare reform is poisonous.  And they will stay as far away as possible.  

      •  I guarantee it wont' be next week (0+ / 0-)

        if the vote is lost this week... If they dont' vote this week, sure it can be next week.  If they do vote and the "bill is killed", I doubt we'll see Obama try HCR again.

    •  You're wasting your time. (0+ / 0-)

      You'll never be able to convince the screaming, crying libs that anything short of liberal perfection should pass.

      They love Noble Failure and they're crying because Obama wouldn't be a Noble Failure for them.

      They wanted Obama to demand single payer, and they didn't care if he got it or not.  He didn't follow their orders so they are crying about it.

    •  In charge of regulating health insurers, you say? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure they'll do as fine a job in protecting consumers there as they've done through their regulation of finance companies.

    •  This bill doesn't solve the problems, BUT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fayea

      This bill doesn't solve the problems, but it looks like the farthest we can go right now.

      Next year, if somebody starts a movement to advocate "Medicare for All," I'll join up.

      If the bill is defeated, the story everyone will hear is that "the Democrats tried to reform the health-insurance situation, but the people stopped them."

      If "con" is the antonym of "pro," what is the antonym of "progress"?

      by Frank Palmer on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. From another doc -- you are dead on (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty, Ask 4 Questions, fayea

      with this diary. There will NOT be another chance in my lifetime, and I'm not yet 60 and hope to live for many more years. Killing this bill now kills not only health care reform, it also kills the Obama administration, Democratic control of Congress, and any hope for passing any progressive legislation for at least the next two years, and most likely much, much longer.

      It kills jobs.

      It kills climate change legislation.

      It kills financial regulation.

      It kills immigration reform.

      It likely destroys the already compromised Supreme Court.

      And it will kill millions and millions of people.

      How can this choice be made any more starkly?

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Everything but the kitchen sink (5+ / 0-)

    The Baucus bill supporters are out in full force.  And throwing everything at the wall, and their opponents, and seeing what sticks.  Or smears.

    "Trust me, after taxes, a million dollars is not a lot of money." Michael Steele.

    by Paleo on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:10:02 AM PDT

  •  HCR will be the law of the land (35+ / 0-)

    also respect the opinion, that I hold, that a "strong" public option (such as Jacob Hacker proposed) is a nice way to help control costs and keep insurance companies honest.

    Hacker also says pass the Bill!

  •  The point is now is not the time to end debate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    If the House re-inserts the PO, which passed in their original bill, then the senate will pass it.

    Now IS the time to press hard for a PO, and attack this bill because it lacks one.  The House vote is another matter, and, frankly, few people on this site will be voting on it anyway, as they are not members of the house.

    It takes a movement to change the world, and the Oval Office just can't hold all of us --- me, in a moment of pithy pique.

    by oxon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:13:31 AM PDT

  •  I am with you. I think some of our fellow (39+ / 0-)

    progressives have forgotten that politics is a kludge at best and it is better to get what you can, then gear up for getting more than to suffer a defeat that is guaranteed to cost us any chance of doing anything in the next five years or so.

    Getting Democrats together and keeping them that way is like herding cats that are high on meth, through L.A., during an earthquake, in the rain -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:14:43 AM PDT

  •  I find that most of the Kill the Bill (32+ / 0-)

    folks, loud minority that they are, don't even have a comprehensive understanding of what's in the bill.

    A lot of this is ignorance, some of it is reflexive "Dems are weak/assholes/sellouts" and some of it is simply attention-seeking.  Best ignored!

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:19:51 AM PDT

  •  Well the kill-billers have lost and they know (10+ / 0-)

    it, so they are ranting and throwing temper tantrums. Then there are a few who rant because they want attention, so they stir the pot so the muck can float to the top.

  •  Some folks would rather be right (14+ / 0-)

    than actually helpful.  The bill is flawed in many, many ways, but what bill isnt?  Being flawed is the result of the legislative process.  So, we pass this bill now, and in the future we can pass smaller bills to improve this one.  

    Why are so many "progressives" ("progress" being the root word) against that?

    "Let us ... see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered."

    by dlh77489 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:22:51 AM PDT

  •  A public option or no option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, Timothy J

    as a progressive I will not allow this Administration to subsidize the insurance industry on the backs of the working poor.

    I wasn't a health care reform voter.  I was a jobs and infrastructure voter.  But the Administration chose this path, they will have to live with the results.

  •  Look, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J, elwior, cybrestrike, burana, We Won

    at this point it doesn't much matter what any of us thinks. The bill will in all likelihood pass within the next two weeks. So, whether I hate it or you don't will not effect the outcome, and we really don't need to beat each other up about it.

    Maybe it's a matter that I'm not as worried about it anymore because there is an aura of inevitability to it (and because I think it's inadequate). And I think in your case and perhaps some others here that people are climbing the walls worried about it passing because only that can account for all the wringing of hands here and the inordinate number of insults hurled at those who hold an opposite view from yours.

    Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

    by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:24:53 AM PDT

    •  yeah actually...many kill-the-billers much like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Iberian, rweba

      some people who should not be named have called people like the diarist Terroristsand Bush incarnates...Way to project it on us there.Positively Rovian.

      Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

      by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Soms (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timothy J, elwior, cybrestrike

        most of the name calling I've seen was kill the billers and =GOP etc etc...and some rather unseemly things...I haven't seen too many people being called bush.

        Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

        by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:04:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How does it make you unlike the GOP (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, valadon, jonnie rae

          when you know killing-the-bill will bring up GOP in the WH or the congress or both for atleast the next 8 years and will turn this country into a Texas-education-board like clusterfuck in no time?

          Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

          by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:21:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  because I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timothy J

            all Americans have the best healthcare and I care more about what benefits us all. I am extremely angry that our President and our Congress had failed in that regard.

            Republicans don't give a damn about anyone but themselves. Self-interest, security, your moral behavior and money...those are their main concerns.
            And their underlying motivation is more ideological than mine.

            My concern is a human one.

            BTW I've never gone around saying kill the bill. I don't really like this bill, I've tried to change it, but I know it will pass despite my views because it has to for the party's sake much more than ours.

            Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

            by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:07:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In addition, (0+ / 0-)

              and I hesitate to mention this because it makes some people angry but,

              There is a certain logic that says that the only want to make a radical change in the way a party behaves is to quit rewarding their bad behavior and let them fail big time.

              Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

              by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:13:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this diary, A4Q! t-recz n/t (7+ / 0-)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:28:18 AM PDT

  •  But I was told by a commentator just this very (11+ / 0-)

    week, that no one has ever died because of a lack of insurance.

    I've got patients who die, or who are crippled physically and financially for lack of insurance.

    I'm coughing up small bits of blood this very week. It's subsided for now. Very hard to control the coughing.  

    Since this isn't an STD, I'm pretty sure I can't go to the community clinic. I'll be checking on that. It's not right.

    I miss Johnny Rook and Ormond Otvos.

    by Nulwee on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:28:36 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this perspective. I am and (7+ / 0-)

    will be a single-payer advocate forever.  I've been royally p.o.'d by what I perceive as too much willingness by my beloved president to compromise away principles that, IMO, should not be compromised. Yet, he's infinitely superior to the alternative, so I'll continue to support him when I think he's right, and let him know when I think he's completely wrong.  

    But- just as I am unwilling to take away the right of choice from other women (though I personally feel that abortion is wrong), I am also unwilling to take away the opportunity to provide at least some relief to uninsured people who may be helped by provisions in the proposed health insurance reform bills.

    I have insurance, that I am barely able to pay for each month.  I've been putting off the inevitable for the last couple of years.  I will probably have to give it up next year, as we've been told that the premiums are going up again.  I won't qualify for more insurance, with or without the passage of this bill.  But, I am hopeful that others will be more fortunate.

    Health insurance companies are pricing themselves out of business, reaching the saturation point where middle income Americans simply can no longer afford to pay their exorbitant costs.  Reform IS coming, because millions will finally stop paying the insurance bills--and demand TRUE cost controls, which can only be achieved through single payer.  

    I think next year may be the last one where insurance companies get their pound of flesh.  I think they know it, too; which is why they are upping their prices to the maximum degree NOW.  IMO, it's like wall street, big banks, and big pharma who knew that the financial relapse was coming, so they busily pushed to wring every single cent from unwary consumers before the bubble burst.  

    They didn't care about the economy collapsing, because they made sure their and their shareholders' nests were well-feathered before the dam broke.  They're set for life.  The rest of the unwary cusumers be damned.  They couldn't care less.  And, neither do their political shills.

  •  Wait, shouldn't there be like 29 HR's for this (8+ / 0-)

    Diary by now?

    /snark

  •  The bill restricts insurer's profits (18+ / 0-)

    to 80 - 85%, so I can't understand the rationale behind the argument some are making that this is a giveaway to the insurance companies, who are currently making 30 - 35%.  That's the reason insurer's are fighting this bill, it restricts their profits.  This is no giveaway.

  •  These kill the bill folks are the most selfish (9+ / 0-)

    people i've ever encountered so telling them all the people you know personally this will help or even save is no longer necesary.  They aren't listening they dont care.  They have become emotionally attached to attack, and no amount of reason and or arguement is going to change their minds.  We should have HR'd all that Hamsherite bullshit out of existence when it started, but now its like kudzoo and out of control.

    My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected.

    by Adept2u on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:36:40 AM PDT

  •  Rec'd for most of it (15+ / 0-)

    I think we still have a long way to go.  Getting this going and getting national health insurance more under control is necessary.  

    I told my wife this morning that when this is signed denying coverage for pre-existing conditions for children will immediately be banned.  

    I was amazed that I could say that.  I didn't mention anything else.  

    She doesn't follow politics at all, so she doesn't really know much about it.  It was news to her.  

  •  Got a Dem Rep Undecided, Phoned for "Yes" n Also (14+ / 0-)

    left my personal contact information at the local office to underscore that I'm a constituent & serious.

    Herself is preparing to do the same.

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

    by Gooserock on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:42:14 AM PDT

  •  Kill-billers = Republicans (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, rweba, DBunn, soms, Adept2u, amk for obama, We Won

    The time for debate is over.  Now, it is the voting time.  We must unite to save this imperfect bill, and save the Obama presidency.

    The loss on this bill is the loss of Obama's effective strength.  Loss of the bill will result in the loss of the house.

    Bill the Butcher was right. I am a nativist, and that is a progressive position.

    by numberzguy on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:42:56 AM PDT

  •  HCR: right in principle (5+ / 0-)

    ... and wrong in every detail. What should we do about that?

    Pass the principle, fix the details.

    Here's the principle, in three parts:

    1. The private system doesn't work.
    1. It's the government's job to make sure health care does work.
    1. The young, the healthy, and the comparatively wealthy will help the old, the sick, and the poor.

    Once the principle is passed, the details will be scrutinized for how well or poorly they serve the principle. The gaps, snags, imbalances, and injustices can be filled in, sanded down, minimized and corrected over time.

    But none of that will or can ever happen until we first pass the principle.

  •  the system will fail without this change. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Pol Junkie, soms

    i do not like this bill.  I want it to pass.  I do not think that it will take 11 years for change if it does not pass.  If it does not pass we will have more and more citizens without health insurance.  at some point even the stupid healthcare industries will wish for a public option because they will not have any customers.

  •  KILL THE BILL! (25+ / 0-)

    And kiss your ass goodbye.

    I'm serious.  If HCR goes down now, the Dems will lose both houses of Congress, Obama will be neutered for the foreseeable future and the only thing we're going to hear about is debt, and how we have to slash SS and Medicare and all the rest because we just can't afford it.

    (You have to wonder if that was the GOPer plan all along - push the debt to a point where it is simply unsustainable to facilitate the Nordquistian nightmare of a nation without any federal entitlements.)

    Anyway, back to the bill...this week is high noon.  If the bill doesn't pass, it's GAME OVER.  You won't see any structural reform of health care in this country for a generation and more.  What idiot following Obama would DARE bring it up, knowing that he'll lose the energy of the left if he can't deliver massive and immediate change, and will energize the zombie legions of the right, with their propaganda networks and astroturf billions?

    What future Democratic Congress would even LET a Democratic President go down this road again, knowing the looming disaster - a disaster that will come as much from the left as the right?

    There is NO WAY, NADA, ZIP, ZERO, FUHGETTABOUTIT that we'll ever go from what we have now to a radical change to single-payer or Medicare for all.  No way.  Even this incremental change has turned out the zombie legions.

    PASS.  THE. DAMNED.  BILL.  NOW!

    Bob

    •  I think Bob that some people (7+ / 0-)

      are treading into fantasy territory while people who actually live, breathe and write fantasy like yourself know reality better than anyone here.

      Signed-
      drooling fangirl

      /'ZOMGWTFBBQ Holy Crap...it's actually RA Salvatore I am talking to!'

      Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

      by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:54:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So true Bob (8+ / 0-)

      What idiot following Obama would DARE bring it up, knowing that he'll lose the energy of the left if he can't deliver massive and immediate change, and will energize the zombie legions of the right, with their propaganda networks and astroturf billions?

      Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

      by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:57:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  honest reform that holds corporations accountable (0+ / 0-)

      is more important than political calculation.

      anti-reform forces are counting on fearmongering citing political calculation in order to pressure congress to pass a bad bill.

      devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

      by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:06:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zomg...look there are flying (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, rweba

        mackerels mating in the sky...that's some seriously batshit-crazy convoluted CT logic which I think is supposed to make you feel smug and less guilty about joining the 'bat-shit-crazy-kill-the-bill-pie-in-the-sky-i-am-actually-a republicanwilling-to-sacrifice-virgins toget-public-option' crowd

        Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

        by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:12:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  first, what are you smoking? (0+ / 0-)

          second, don't come crying to me when contrary to what you've been promised, your premiums go up.

          devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

          by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:20:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my premiums have already gone up. (0+ / 0-)

            They were projected to go up when dubya was still in the wh.

            Impeach Obama- some dkos clown (Jan 05, 2010)

            by soms on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:22:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  they're projected to continue to go up (0+ / 0-)

              even with this bill's passage.

              we need a public option in order to keep insurance honest. obama himself has stated as much. without competition and without repealing insurance industry monopolized status, they will continue to go up.

              what's wrong with continuing to pressure congress to include it? nothing is over until it's over until the votes are cast.

              devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

              by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:27:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's nothing wrong (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rsmpdx, soms

                with keeping the pressure up.  What I and others are talking about is High Noon, the moment of vote.  If people like Kucinich vote no when the moment of truth comes (knowing their votes will kill the bill), they're not "keeping the pressure up," they're throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

                At that moment, the moment of vote, High Noon, it's GAME OVER for any hcr for a generation and more.

                Bob

        •  no, wait... (0+ / 0-)

          name calling isn't a counter argument. where is yours?

          devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

          by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:23:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm so sick of this hyperbole (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, sideboth, soms, LiLaF

        The Senate Bill is almost exactly what we have in Mass, and what we have in Mass (except we can't control costs without losing docs) is way better than nationally.

        In many ways, this bill is EVEN BETTER.

        For example, I've been successful - by all appearances, I've got security, and I can afford the ridiculous premiums for health care.  

        But I'm not in a big plan, being self-employed, so my security is part illusion.  If I or my wife get really sick, under current law, I can be dropped, and everything I worked for can be wiped out (I saw my brother's cancer bills).

        Because I'm not in a big plan, I pay $1500/month (before April's impending increases) for insurance.  Like I said, i can afford it, but how many self-employed/small businesses can't?  Getting in a large pool will reduce my premiums, and how many kids getting out of college can't get insurance?  Raising the age to 26 takes the pressure off a very critical group, right there.

        If this was a "bad bill" - as in, if it did more harm than good, I don't believe for a moment that Bernie Sanders and others would sign off on it (including Grayson, I believe).

        And when you consider political calculation, consider the government you're going to get under the teaparty crowd.  There's a political calculation for you.

        •  low income workers in mass. are struggling (0+ / 0-)

          to keep up with paying premiums.

          http://www.cjr.org/...

          devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

          by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:14:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the mass. model: (0+ / 0-)

            Smerd reports that the Massachusetts law forces many low-wage workers, like home health aides, to buy the increasingly unaffordable health insurance from their employers. This puts additional stress on their already stressed household budgets. Mike Trigilio, president of Associated Home Care, told Smerd that his employees “are barely able to muster enough money together for rent or food, let alone health insurance. In the past a lot of employees would go without it. Now they are forced to take it, and it puts a strain on them and on our company.”

            devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

            by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:21:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Subsidies even for employees (0+ / 0-)

            Wow- hang on one second- the MA plan does not subsidize employees who get their healthcare through their employers. But the national plan does. Read senate bill p.347-348

            if the employer plan’s share of the total al24
            lowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is
            25 less than 60 percent of such costs, that the employee
            348
            O:\BAI\BAI09M01.xml [file 1 of 9] S.L.C.
            1 may be eligible for a premium tax credit under sec2
            tion 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and
            3 a cost sharing reduction under section 1402 of the
            4 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if the
            5 employee purchases a qualified health plan through
            6 the Exchange

            Also- on p.248:

            ‘‘(C) SPECIAL RULE FOR EMPLOYER-SPON8
            SORED MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—For
            9 purposes of subparagraph (B)—
            10 ‘‘(i) COVERAGE MUST BE AFFORD11
            ABLE.—Except as provided in clause (iii),
            12 an employee shall not be treated as eligible
            13 for minimum essential coverage if such
            14 coverage—
            15 ‘‘(I) consists of an eligible em16
            ployer-sponsored plan (as defined in
            17 section 5000A(f)(2)), and
            18 ‘‘(II) the employee’s required
            19 contribution (within the meaning of
            20 section 5000A(e)(1)(B)) with respect
            21 to the plan exceeds 9.8 percent of the
            22 applicable taxpayer’s household in23
            come.

            If your employer provided plan exceeds 9.8% of your income then you can go on the exchange and get subsidized.

            So in short:
            MA plan: employer contribution can be as low as 1/3
            National plan: employer contribution 60% or more. Under that and the employee get subsidized premium.
            If your employer plan costs more than 9.8% of your income you can again switch to the exchange and get subsidies

        •  this is an unchallenged claim (0+ / 0-)

          except we can't control costs without losing docs

          floated by greedy doctors more interested in profit than sacrificing just a little bit for the greater good:

          The fee cuts concerned BusinessWeek, too, which talked to dermatologist Michael Bell of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Bell said he had to delay appointments for his elderly patients by four months. Bell said that even if Congress steps in and blocks the cuts, Medicare pays too little. Were BusinessWeek readers to feel sorry for the dermatologists, who are among the best compensated medical specialists? The magazine quoted a Medicare official who said that Medicare pays 80 percent of the $65.67 cost of a mid-level office visit, but failed to say that most beneficiaries have supplemental coverage that pays the additional 20 percent. In the end, the docs get the full amount.

          http://www.cjr.org/...

          devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

          by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:19:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  this bill isn't going to stop rescission: (0+ / 0-)

          If I or my wife get really sick, under current law, I can be dropped, and everything I worked for can be wiped out

          insurance executives testified before congress:

          Take the practice of rescinding policies when carriers find that consumers have lied or misrepresented information on their applications. An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that companies including WellPoint had canceled more than 20,000 policies and praised employees for targeting policyholders with costly illnesses. Yet insurance executives told Congress that they would not agree to limit rescissions to policyholders who intentionally lie or commit fraud on their applications. In other words, when the heat’s off, they admitted it will be business as usual.

          http://www.cjr.org/...

          corporations get to write the rules, not congress.

          devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

          by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:26:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seems to me... (0+ / 0-)

            that the standard of "intentionally lie or commit fraud" is a higher bar (it's neither, for example, if you forget your middle initial on a document, or other such trite errors) - and one that will have to pass the government's muster post-bill, but one that is completely the domain of the insurance companies right now.

            I don't think I've ever seen a group of people so willing to ultimately and inevitably END something they say they so desperately want.

            •  insurers will claim fraud even with honest (0+ / 0-)

              applications.

              as they do now.

              devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

              by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:46:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And the Federal Government (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rsmpdx

                will have a vested interest in NOT ALLOWING THEM to do that, as the DON'T have now.

                See the difference?

                •  the federal government doesn't have a vested (0+ / 0-)

                  interest in regulating an industry who is also their banker.

                  devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

                  by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:21:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Uh yeah they do. (0+ / 0-)

                    Every person dropped because of this will fall fully to the Feds to pay for.  Every rate hike by the insurance companies will put more people on subsidies and will up the subsidies the Feds have to pay out.

                    What this bill has cleverly done, by the way, is make EVERY future measure on HCR become a matter of reconciliation, requiring a simple majority vote.

                    Think about that for a moment, will ya?

                    From here on out, every health care increase automatically becomes a budgetary issue.

                    Do you guys not even get why the GOP is so desperately trying to kill this thing?  They know that once health care becomes a "right," once it is an accepted "granted" guarantee, the big game's over.

                    This is it, folks.  Period.  We lose this, it's OVER FOREVER AND EVER.

                    Bob

      •  'honest reform' that can't pass? (0+ / 0-)

        Is that what you want? Honest reforms that make you feel good, but will never ever pass the senate? Is this your vision for the democratic congress:

        American voter: we gave you 60 seats in the senate in 08. The largest majority in over half a century.

        Democrats: thank you very much.

        American voter: what have you done with it?

        Democrats: We thought about a lot of really good thoughts on how to hold corporations accountable.

        American voter: OK. And?

        Democrats: well- we didn't actualy do anything. You know- the republicans and all. But we thought those good thought really hard though!

        American voter: WTF?

        Democrats: Please re-elect us. We'll think even more good thoughts!

        American voter: Line them up against the wall.

    •  Years 7 to 11 are the ones I worry about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soms

      the most (or will it be 3 to 8) when the Republicans retake the White House on the collapse of HCR. Whatever wars Obama phases down, they will restart. Whatever he does on climate change (if he can do anything having lost on HCR), they will undo. Whatever he does on financial reform, they will cancel. We will be right back where we were in 2008 in no time flat.

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:08:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly if dems can't govern w/ 60 votes (0+ / 0-)

      The they are useless. Voters are looking for people who can GOVERN, not make excuses.

  •  Thanks for this diary (16+ / 0-)

    It's a good companion to mine, in fact. Glad to seem the both on the Rec List together.

    Become an Eclectablog fan on Facebook.

    by Eclectablog on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 07:51:56 AM PDT

  •  the doctors and hospital lobby conspired to kill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil

    the public option. this is how obama was able to get the AMA's endorsement. what are you and your colleagues doing to make sure your brethren aren't more interested in lining their pockets? what are you doing to make sure they are not standing in the way of reform?

    devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

    by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:03:55 AM PDT

    •  you cited no more rescission as a reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PolitiCalypso

      to support the bill. that's what we are promised. but here is the reality:

      Take the practice of rescinding policies when carriers find that consumers have lied or misrepresented information on their applications. An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that companies including WellPoint had canceled more than 20,000 policies and praised employees for targeting policyholders with costly illnesses. Yet insurance executives told Congress that they would not agree to limit rescissions to policyholders who intentionally lie or commit fraud on their applications. In other words, when the heat’s off, they admitted it will be business as usual.

      http://www.cjr.org/...

      corporations get to make the rules. not congress.

      devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

      by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:18:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  INTENTIONAL FRAUD & LIES (0+ / 0-)

        Do you really expect them to continue your coverage if you've intentionally lied to them?

        Also the lie has to be a material lie. It has to matter to the policy:

        ‘‘SEC. 2712. PROHIBITION ON RESCISSIONS.
        21 ‘‘A group health plan and a health insurance issuer
        22 offering group or individual health insurance coverage
        23 shall not rescind such plan or coverage with respect to an
        24 enrollee once the enrollee is covered under such plan or
        25 coverage involved, except that this section shall not apply
        26 to a covered individual who has performed an act or prac17
        O:\BAI\BAI09M01.xml [file 1 of 9] S.L.C.
        1 tice that constitutes fraud or makes an intentional mis2
        representation of material fact as prohibited by the terms
        3 of the plan or coverage.

        Also- currently a lot of the recisions are along the lines of 'you forgot to report that you used cortizone on your acnes when you were 13'.  In the future there will no longer be any discrimination based on pre-existing condition. Hence forgetting about the acne is no longer material.

    •  Many of my colleagues ARE standing in the way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jonnie rae, stolen water

      I really think you've hit the nail on the head.  The insurance companies arent the big culprits for cost as much as doctors/hospitals/pharma/device makers etc...

      I talk to fellow docs all the time, I'm active in Doctor's For America (presser for my rep Matheson tomorrow) as much as I have time for.  I don't think I can do anything more than fight for reform I believe in, on the phones and at the water cooler.  

  •  Exactly! Many of the 30 million can't wait (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libby Shaw, soms

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    by TX Dem 50 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

  •  what's ghastly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libby Shaw, Ask 4 Questions

    What's more "ghastly", a private mandate in exchange for much better regulations, or leaving those 30 million people uninsured?

    What's ghastly is that this is the choice our legislative process intentionally has left us with.  Either we enrich private companies infamous for amorality and with an antitrust exemption, or people die.

    Other developed nations, and even some less-developed ones, were able to present their citizens with different choices.

    A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

    by eightlivesleft on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:05:30 AM PDT

  •  Don't worry about the arguing on here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boston to Salem, soms, amk for obama

    For the most part, it's irrelevant.  It doesn't matter whose calling for the bill to be voted down, they're voting on it this week and it's likely to pass.

    Any arguing done on here is done more out of a need to communicate with someone than it is to affect policy.

    There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

    by djtyg on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:05:35 AM PDT

  •  I think many of those who say "kill the bill" ... (13+ / 0-)

    actually think that if that happens, Congress will immediately go back and pass a single payer system or something approaching it.  I think they live in a dream world.

    If this fails, two consecutive Democratic presidencies will have been gravely weakened by taking the issue on.  If we're lucky enough to get another Democratic President and Congress any time soon, I don't think they'll want to touch the issue.  And by proving that Democrats can't govern, we'll greatly reduce the chances of having another Democratic President at any time in the near future.  And one thing is for sure:  We won't get ANY kind of health care reform that's even as good as this if the Republicans are in power.

    It's been pretty clear for a long time that Dennis Kucinich lives in his own dream world, but it seems like many here live in that same dream.

  •  I hardly ever speak against my fellow Kossacks, (14+ / 0-)

    but this "kill the bill" bullshit is unraveling my last gay nerve. Any Democrat advocating "kill the bill," knowing that there are people literally dying everyday that could've been helped by the passage of this bill - weak as it is - is, well, bordering on souless. Push as hard as you can to make the bill as progrssive as you can - up to the last minute - but "kill the bill?" NO FUCKING WAY!!!

    ...that among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness - and majority rule

    by Rumarhazzit on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:09:16 AM PDT

  •  Hell yes, (5+ / 0-)

    we have to all be able to push in the same direction at certain moments or we'll never get anything done.  

    You plant ice you're gonna harvest wind

    by Sun dog on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:14:39 AM PDT

  •  It isn't the lack of the public option. (0+ / 0-)

    It's the mandate.  

    Drop the mandate and you've got a reasonable, if incrementalist, bill.  Keep the mandate and you have a massive corporate welfare giveaway.

    Economic efficiency is not an absolute good, let alone a priority over human welfare.

    by RequestedUsername on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:18:03 AM PDT

    •  No mandate, no reform (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, rsmpdx, soms

      You can't ban exclusions for pre-existing conditions unless you have everyone covered.  You get a death spiral of increasing cost.  That's why Obama switched from the no-mandate plan he advocated during the primaries.

      You have the power to change America. Yes. We. Can.

      by CA Pol Junkie on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What (0+ / 0-)

        You can't ban exclusions for pre-existing conditions unless you have everyone covered.

        Of course you can.  Let me show you how:

        BE IT RESOLVED you can't exclude people for pre-existing conditions.

        Done.

        Economic efficiency is not an absolute good, let alone a priority over human welfare.

        by RequestedUsername on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:32:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think (0+ / 0-)

        that my human right to health care takes precedence over your "right" to your wallet.  The fact that you're saying this supports my contention that there is a widespread feeling that chronically ill people really don't have the right to health care.  We only get that privilege granted if other people make a financial sacrifice.  Just wait till the teabaggers get hold of this.  Unlike progressives, they don't mince words about their eugenics.  If a right is conditional upon the behavior of someone else, it's not a right at all.

        Let the insurance companies foot the bill.  As it is, the community foots the bill when someone goes into the emergency room and cannot pay.

        --Thanks, from someone with pre-existing conditions who is against the bill.

  •  Not just 30 million (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Ask 4 Questions, soms, LiLaF, PeakRaider

    The bill will help far more than the 30 million uninsured:

    - Small businesses who have insurance for their employees will see lower costs - Employees of small businesses will have choices of health insurance - People who want to start a business or get out of a dead-end job will be able to do so without fear of losing health insurance - People who have health insurance will not have to worry about losing it if they get sick - Insurance companies must spend 80-85% of premiums on health care, saving everyone money - The life of the Medicare trust fund is extended, saving taxpayers many billions

    PASS. THE. DAMN. BILL.

    You have the power to change America. Yes. We. Can.

    by CA Pol Junkie on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:18:06 AM PDT

  •  Rule #1: get what you can, when you can (14+ / 0-)

    and then press for more later.

    Some people in here are acting as if this HCR legislation is "IT" -- as if the proposal carries within it the prevention of any near-future amendments and follow-up legislative pieces.

    It does not.  

    Let's take what we can get, NOW, and then keep pressing.  It often works that way.

  •  Passing the bill is a huge step forward (4+ / 0-)

    for a first world country that does third world access to affordable health care.  The status quo is a human disgrace when we think about it.  

    This is just the beginning of the end of the status quo.  An ophthalmologist who treats a condition I have wants HCR asap.  He said ideally we should have single payer like in the UK but this bill is better than what we have now.  

    This doctor raises private and federal money to treat patients who do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for their treatments.  If the doctor did not have this resource some of his patients would have gone blind or suffer from low vision.  It is patently criminal for insurance companies to treat people they way they do.  

  •  Who the heck is Jacob Hacker? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, elwior

    I can guarantee you he didn't put the idea of a public option into my consciousness.  I've been thinking we should have a public option, or at least what is now called a public option, ever since I grew old enough to realize that not everyone has government-provided health care, as my family did because my Dad was a lifer in the Air Force.

  •  It is so surprising to me this thing (0+ / 0-)

    got rec'd to the top. This is just the kind of diary that supports all or nothing. We can't keep doing this no matter how noble the idea. My mom is right, it is more of ego and selfishness. Get this passed then pass PO later. Don't destroy it because of that one thing that can come soon after. This is America, don't fuck it up more than it already is.

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    by JamesE on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:24:10 AM PDT

  •  need to know bill won't prohibit single payers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    THE big issue right now is getting the ERISA waivers for the proposed state single payers. The bill says they can't be given until 2017 at earliest and that's got to be changed either through reconciliation or another bill. That train wreck is coming as states pass single payer and Healthy San Francisco is before the SCOTUS now and may be ended.

    If the bill passes and nothing is done about ERISA waivers a lot of us supporting it are going to have egg on our faces when we're told the bill prevents state single payer.

    Even Repugs support state experiments on a states' rights theory. In the House committee vote 14Dems and 13Repugs supported waivers. Unless there's a clear intention to stop state single payers this isn't so hard.  

  •  Thank you. (7+ / 0-)

    My VA doc husband and I agree with every point you have made.

    Thank you for stating them so well.

  •  Great Diary (6+ / 0-)

    I wrote a diary about a week ago asking the simple question, "If this HCR bill doesn't pass when do you think we will get a bill?".  A large majority thhought it would be a generation or so, my position.  But a surprising few thought we could get something better sometime this year or maybe even sooner.

    I will not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with respect of the past. -Woodrow Wilson

    by Gangster Octopus on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:35:00 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps the most succinct and best D ever posted (5+ / 0-)

     It was short and quickly got to the bottom  botton line. We all benefit from this bill, even if it's not where we ultimatly want to be. It will save the lives of people whose only medical treatment is in an ER when it's to late to do anything except keep them as pain free as possible until they pass.

  •  My diary today (8+ / 0-)

    The Soul of the Party

    Of my 12 adult relatives, 8 will be helped significantly and immediately by the bill; two break even; two get caught by the mandate.

    The choice is not this bill and some better bill. The choice is this bill and no bill. And this bill helps millions of people right now.

    Choose compassion, or choose hatred of AHIP. If we choose hatred, then the soul of the party is gone.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:40:41 AM PDT

  •  my suggestion... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions, soms

    ...especially for those who say that might be against this bill just because it doesn't include a public option: Be the first one to introduce legislation, including both a bill and an amendment, to create a public option; and then, seek to get action on that bill and amendment at every single opportunity starting now until it's passed.

    To add creation of a public option as an amendment to each and every piece of legislation that comes up for a vote, would start with a sizeable number of supporters in both the House & Senate, it seems to me.

    So...it will just be a matter of time before a public option can be enacted.

    We progressives will also need to keep the pressure on all those running for Congress to get them to commit to support a public option.

    Hopefully, we'll be able to do it this year. If not, perhaps next. If not then, then perhaps after that.

    To quote the late Ted Kennedy...lets make sure that, when it comes to creation of a public option..."the dream lives on" until it's fulfilled,
    (hopefully sooner rather than later).

    •  failure of congressional dems (0+ / 0-)

      to fight to keep the public option is not only proof of selling out, it was also a betrayal of ted kennedy's memory.

      he would have fought for it. he would not have rolled over so easily.

      devil details :: dems don't criminalize and fine innocent people.

      by stolen water on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:41:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's proof that there weren't enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ask 4 Questions

        of them who supported it strongly enough...that's for sure. So...hopefully, the public option will make yet another triumphant return to the political stage at the last minute and pass with the health care reform bill. However, if it doesn't, we need to show those who did allow it to die exactly how serious we are...by immediately demanding that it be enacted separately...as an amendment or a bill unto itself, whatever it takes.

  •  Winning gives you power (9+ / 0-)

    We are vastly more likely to get a public option or single payer after this flawed bill becomes law than if it fails. Winning gives you power. Passing this bill puts a stake in the ground and says: this much, at least, everyone is entitled to. There will be further health care legislation, and it will build from this base.

    You don't have to live in a fantasy world to write science fiction, although it seems to work for Orson Scott Card.

    by mswaine on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:45:31 AM PDT

  •  Bill is not going to help those w/o health care. (0+ / 0-)

    It's a cruel fiction that the Democrats bill will provide health care to 30 million (out of 70M) in US who do not have health care.

    Follow the money.

    Current per person health care cost in US is $7,500. That is $225B dollars.  Current bill raises $254B in new taxes. The rest of the money comes from cuts in Medicare and Medicaid services so is not cash available to pay for health care.

    The $7500 is used to purchase INSURANCE not health care. Insurance costs go up 25% on average so in 2011, there will only be money for 22M, in 2012 money for 14M, in 2013 money for 7M, in 2014 money for 0.

    The Democrats bill kicks in in 2014...imagine that.

    This doesn't even calculate in the rising drug costs, inflation to cover doctor and nurses wages etc.

    This is why lowering US cost from 17% of GDP ($7500 per person) to 10% of GDP ($4500 per person) is the first measure and the first requirement of actual health care reform in US and Democrats bill COSTS $875B MORE in taxes and reduced services that must be made up elsewhere by individuals or states.

    Meanwhile the bill MANDATES that everyone purchase insurance (not health care) and that insurance cost will be going up by 25% per year as it has for the last 10 years.

    It's a health care plan designed by Goldman Sachs.

  •  They used to hold up Krugman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, smartdemmg, Mariken

    as a god when he opposed it.  But now he says to pass it, and instead of listening to his (very sound) reasoning, they claim he's a sell-out, turncoat, etc.

    I don't like the "give away" to insurance companies, either.  But two things need to be considered with that:  1)  The bill puts more regulation on insurance companies than ever before, and the elimination of pre-existing conditions alone is a huge step, and 2) for the most part, insurance companies work and save people untold $$ in medical expenses.  For every insurance company horror story, there are dozens of people for whom insurance is a literal lifesaver.

    I broke my collar bone 4 years ago and it required surgery and PT.  With insurance, my total out-of-pocket came to about $1200.  Without it, I would have been looking at over $10,000 in personal costs.  

    Would I have preferred a PO wherein I paid nothing out-of-pocket?  Sure.  But given the choice between paying $1200 and $10,000+, which do you think was better?

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:52:26 AM PDT

    •  the reason it seems that way (0+ / 0-)

      is because there are degrees of acceptance. It's not so black and white. Krugman got to the point where he, personally, could accept it. It might not be the same for someone else. And that can take into account his former reluctance and still be consistent.

      Therefore, I wouldn't call him a traitor or turncoat, nor would I call Kucinich one.

      Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

      by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't read Krugman's article that way at all. (0+ / 0-)

        It wasn't a mental rumination.  It was a direct examination first of the major arguments being made against HCR and then a specific addressing of those criticisms with the realistic benefits of the legislation as it stood at that time.

        I understand that others have their own impressions of this legislation.  But honestly - I see people here kind of regurgitating talking points that are, in fact, erroneous.  They're not trolls or plants - they are people who can't wade through the morass of opinion and obfuscation across the political spectrum regarding this legislation.  Krugman, for me, helped cut right through the PHOG (prophecy, hearsay, opinion & guesswork) and point out tangible, fact-based benefits.

  •  Today mandate, tomorrow those mandated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    may have a public option. If the bill is not passed, when will either of these things happen?

    The bill is to give congress the right BY LAW to reform health care. It wouldn't have bothered me if the bill only included that one line.

  •  It is my understanding the reason some parts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    of HCR want go into effect for a few years is due to budget restaints. But if savings are recognized much sooner, wouldn't that change the equation?

    This bill is only restricted by the present budget.

  •  The Problem With the Naderites (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Mariken

    Is that they are more concerned with their own purity than they are with getting anything done.  These people just don't know how to fight.

    If we get this passed, the GOP and its base will be demoralized.  Then you can build on your victory and do more.

    If we don't, then Kucinich, Moore and the rest of the Naderite moral narcissists can feel good about being so damned pure.

    That's not much of a choice in my view.

    "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

    by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:00:50 AM PDT

    •  there is a gap between you view of pure & reality (0+ / 0-)

      If you are forced to buy a health care plan the increases it's premiums by double digits every year, but you cannot use because the deductibles are to expensive to afford are you better off?  No.

      •  Sorry, you just don't get it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North

        You are looking at the difference between a Dem victory and a GOP victory.

        The score does matter.

        Whose base do you want energized?  Ours or theirs?

        Then again, maybe you won't be energized unless you're pure.

        "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

        by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:32:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  did you benefit from the CARD Act? (0+ / 0-)

          Did you like your credit card interest rate going up for no reason?  I could careless about who is energized if I get screwed again with real impact to my every day life.  Everyone's credit card rates increased as a result of the poorly written CARD Act and it cannot be allowed to happen again with health care reform.

          •  Right, Because We All Know (0+ / 0-)

            it doesn't matter whether the Democrats or Republicans get in, right?

            In case you missed it, this is a partisan Democratic blog.  It is not for Nadirites.

            "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

            by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:44:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  did you miss the point of these bills? (0+ / 0-)

              If you want to cheer for a team pick the NFL.  If you want to pass bad legislation, this is also not the place to be.  The Patriot Act is one of the most UnPatriotic Bills ever made, and if Health Care Reform has no actual reform in it then it is no better.

              •  Good to see you're above partisanship. (0+ / 0-)

                You'll get much in this world.

                "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

                by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:33:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, yeah. (0+ / 0-)

                And in case you missed the point the first time, this is a partisan Democratic blog.

                If you're above partisanship, then you're obviously too good for this place.

                "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

                by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:34:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  this makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

                  if Dems want to start murdering children you are saying you would cheer for it.  Sorry, just cannot do it, I call it like I see it.  I won't be a mindless sheep like you see with the right wing nutjobs and I hope others don't share your bad attitude.

                  •  You can be as pure as you like. (0+ / 0-)

                    Just do it somewhere else.  This is not a blog for Nadirites.

                    This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we're all still in this fight together.

                    That's what this place is.  You don't have to like it, but that's what it is.

                    If that means that you're too good to be here, well nobody's making you stay.

                    "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

                    by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:30:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I can be as realistic as I want to be (0+ / 0-)

                      fixed that for you.  You can ignore what is in the bill, but I hope it is not a surprise when it does not do what you expect.  And right now health care reform does not have any reform in it.

                      •  Great, call it "realistic" then. (0+ / 0-)

                        Point being, you already wrote that the Democratic party is no more important than a sports team to you.

                        You have no business on a partisan Democratic blog.  That's all.

                        Pretty straightforward really.

                        I'm sure there are plenty of places out there for brilliant, pure and realistic folks like yourself.

                        Why don't you go find one?

                        This place is for Democrats.

                        "I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing." -- Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

                        by journeyman on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 03:22:22 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Political novices sold us Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    Pardon me if I'm not willing to let a bunch of celebrity-loving kids with ADD tell me what is or isn't possible for health care reform.

    "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:01:21 AM PDT

    •  How about a political pro? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, Actbriniel

      This is what's possible at this moment.

      It's better on top.

      by PeakRaider on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am a political pro (4+ / 0-)

        who has been working on HCR for nearly a decade.

        The only reason something better isn't "possible" is because the WH doesn't want something better.

        "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:36:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How has your decade of professional advocacy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North, RenaRF

          worked out so far? I don't mean that sarcastically, but realistically. Since the early 90s when Bill Clinton attempted to change healthcare no other president has touched it with a 10 foot poll. In 16 years, this is as far as we have come. The question is, can we afford to wait another 16 years or so to improve what we have here today.

          I have heard the argument that it will not take another decade to come back to this issue but realistically, the healthcare fight almost cost Clinton his presidency, and certainly strengthened the GOP and now threatens to do the same to president Obama and many in the current Congress. Which new Democratic president is going to be eager to take on this issue again in the near future and which Senator or congressman/woman will be willing to risk their seat?

          when you ask Americans why the poor are poor, they always say it's because they don't work hard enough... They act like poverty is a character issue."

          by smartdemmg on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:45:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tweaks (0+ / 0-)

            made possible at the end of the Clinton Administration, kept alive during the Bush years.

            The stuff about a decade before reform will be possible again is total BS.  Without decent reform, our health care system will crash and burn in the next few years.  There won't be anything to reform in a decade or any money with which to reform it.

            Which new president?  Not saying right now, but there are good candidates available who have experience and a proven track record.

            "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:50:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No evidence to support your argument. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CS in AZ

              If this bill goes down in flames (and a failure to pass this legislation will suggest to many of us that Democrats are wholly unable to govern, even with super majorities), anyone who decides to take this on will be told they are committing political suicide. And those who would take it on are unlikely to be electable.

              As for this quote,

              Without decent reform, our health care system will crash and burn in the next few years.  There won't be anything to reform in a decade or any money with which to reform it.

              This just sounds naive. The insurance industry will survive because health care is a necessity. They are not selling chocolates. People like me with pre-existing conditions, will pay whatever is necessary to survive. I know this because I do so every day.  

              when you ask Americans why the poor are poor, they always say it's because they don't work hard enough... They act like poverty is a character issue."

              by smartdemmg on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:01:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pinson has never made a single positive comment. (0+ / 0-)

                ...about ANYTHING this administration has done. Her arguments are full of strawmen and obfuscation - and they are the exact same arguments as the RNC's. If she is a "political pro", I certainly hope no one is paying her to spread her nonsense, because she's not very good at it.

              •  I reject your premise (0+ / 0-)

                You need to prove that:

                Moderate improvements today in the HCR bill are impossible

                Making those improvements will kill HCR for the next decade

                "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

                by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:37:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Odd (0+ / 0-)

                  You need to prove that:

                  Moderate improvements today in the HCR bill are impossible

                  Umm, isn't that the point of the current health care bill, to make moderate improvements---hence the changes to the Senate bill that will be made through reconciliation. You seem to be making my point.

                  when you ask Americans why the poor are poor, they always say it's because they don't work hard enough... They act like poverty is a character issue."

                  by smartdemmg on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:32:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I reject your frame (0+ / 0-)

                    I would like to see better regulation of the insurance industry w/ good, strong enforcement.  Those things could be added to the final bill and are, indeed, moderate improvements.

                    What are you talking about?

                    "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

                    by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:56:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  that's some nice revisionist history there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, RenaRF

      still bitter about the primairies I guess

      •  Tired of watching people die (4+ / 0-)

        who don't need to.

        Also tired of people selling out my party's values for a few campaign contributions.

        "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

        by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:37:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as am I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, RenaRF

          so let's pass this bill and get on to the next battle, get on to preparing the fight to make this bill better.

          Instead of you know trying to tell people some revisionist tripe that makes us feel better but accomplishes nothing

          •  This bill (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheMomCat, Cassiodorus

            will keep right on killing them.

            A few tweaks will make it better, tell your boss to get busy.

            "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

            by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:45:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •   bullshit it will (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, RenaRF

              you do not know that.

              But you do know what is known? That without this bill 45,000 Americans a year will die.

              Please get off your horse and grab a mop or just get the hell out of the way.

              Either way I am not sure I really care.

              •  Yes, I do know it (3+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                TheMomCat, valadon, Sagebrush Bob
                Hidden by:
                demimondian

                It doesn't contain adequate regulation/enforcement or cost control for the private insurance industry.

                It compounds the problem by giving them trillions in taxpayer funds, making them too powerful and too big to fail.

                The fact that this administration has consistently failed to make even moderate improvements to HCR that ensure better regulation/enforcement means they're not going to "fix the bill later".  Instead they've been incredibly dishonest and misleading about the reconciliation process.

                I can't begin to explain their motivations or thought processes. I have little in common with them or their ilk.  But I can hazard a guess:

                1. Political contributions
                1. Targeting a few House Dems in safe Dem seats that Rahm wants to replace with more morally bankrupt DLC drones.

                Rahm may win in the short term, but I will do everything in my power to ensure he doesn't replace good Dems with corrupt DLC Dems.  I'd rather see the seats go R than give this perverted political strategy a foothold in my party.

                "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

                by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:59:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  THANKS, OKAY, BYE, NOW. (0+ / 0-)
                •  You'd rather see seats go Republican? REALLY... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  askew, drache

                  ...well, let's see - you've never made a SINGLE positive comment about this administration - on ANYTHING. You've consistently attacked HCR - and this is about the fifth comment I've seen where you specifically say you'd prefer Republicans.

                  Fascinating.

                  •  Yeah, right, I'm a troll (0+ / 0-)

                    Actually, I love my party so much I'm willing to fight a DLC/corporate takeover.

                    Attacked HCR? If you've read my comments, you know better.

                    Thanks for playing.

                    "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

                    by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:25:59 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  HR for encouraging Republican elections (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  drache

                  I suspect that this commenter might actually prefer republican elections in general, given its history.

                  •  Try reading the comment (0+ / 0-)

                    If you don't want Republicans taking over a Dem seat, stop trying to replace good Dem incumbents with DLC candidates.

                    "Private health insurers always manage to stay one step ahead of the sheriff." Sen. Sherrod Brown

                    by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:39:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  uprated abusive HR (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TheMomCat, Sagebrush Bob

                  Language is wine upon the lips. -Virginia Woolf

                  by valadon on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:33:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Up Rated (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sagebrush Bob

                  There is nothing in this statement that deserves an HR.

                  "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

                  by TheMomCat on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:34:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and you continue your assorted history of rep (0+ / 0-)

                    abuse

                    •  Tough. Bitch to meteor blades, drache (0+ / 0-)

                      Maybe he needs to take a good look at your comment history but I have my doubts that anything will be done. You have no purpose here but to berate, deride and insult. Have another drink and enjoy whatever it is that you do while your on patrol.

                      Please, send MB an e-mail about my so-called abuse. You've threatened this before to the point of harassment and stalking. I dare you to do it.

                      "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

                      by TheMomCat on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 10:48:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  lmao (0+ / 0-)

                        MB has personally told me I am fine so your threats are meaningless but please try to do something it's amusing to watch you try.

                        And I do not see a need to send a letter to MB yet, you seem to be gaining quite the reputation for rec abuse among people.

                        At this point you can self destruct for all I care.

                        •  Good for you, I glad you're amused (0+ / 0-)

                          You have MB's imprimatur to be insulting and derisive.

                          Remember that stalking rule, drache. All your threats to report me for so-called ratings abuse are forever on record. Keep up the good work. Give me more ammo.

                          Have a good night, I see you're on a real busy in other diaries.

                          "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

                          by TheMomCat on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 11:22:20 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  :rolls eyes: (0+ / 0-)

                            As usual you are twisting things

                            1. I have not threatened you, you might have interupted me stating that I was considering reporting you for rec abuse as a threat. If so that's your choice but I never threatened you
                            1. We both know that's not what I said about MB and you know it
                            1. I  think I finally understand you learning that you hold a French citizenship, I have often heard that the French really hold insults as an art and celebrate it. With that in mind, your behavior now makes perfect sense. Too bad that you are still a rude, insulting and yes lying cat

                            Now you have a good night because frankly our 'interactions' never go anywhere and I am sick of your behavior.

                            Go chase yourself for all I care

                          •  You do a lot of eye rolling there, pal (0+ / 0-)

                            BS, drache, you're denying that you have ever said you would report me to Meteor Blades for abusing TU status? Now you're lying because you've not only done it to me you've done it to others and gotten reamed for it. Please, I have enough of your comments stating that I am abusing my TU status to fill a diary.

                            You are the liar here and since you don't care stop stalking me.

                            BTW, thanks for the ammo

                            "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

                            by TheMomCat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 12:32:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One more "little" point I've noticed (0+ / 0-)

                            I am sure you'll be back for the last commentq. You can't resist, even if it's a day later. Part of your M.O.

                            "I tried to join a Tea Party, but they called me a DFH, eh.", TMC

                            by TheMomCat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 12:37:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  you are insane (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:
                  Sagebrush Bob

                  and that is not something I say lightly.

                  Further I do not think this is the blog for you.

      •  You see this with a lot of bill killers. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drache

        They backed the wrong horse in the primaries, but instead of admit that they are doing everything in their power to make Obama fail.

    •  I'm quite happy with the president, thank you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew
    •  Have you apologized yet for backing Massa's (0+ / 0-)

      delusional lies wrt Pelosi, Stoyer, Rahm, and Obama?

      BTW, those "political novices" you look down on WON.  They beat you (i.e. whomever you and other experienced political heavyweights backed) in the primaries.  Novices did that.  Maybe you should show some respect.

  •  And this is the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nax

    compare having no insurance to having to buy insurance, from a the current broken private health care system.  Add onto double digit premium increases every year that are now mandatory because you have to buy it.  Now say you get really sick and they fight tooth and nail to not pay for any of the treatment.  As well, health care costs have continued to spiral out of control so you cannot even afford the deductible.  There is a gap between people being covered and reality.  Who cares if you have health insurance if you cannot actually use it.  Is that just so rich politician with a government health care plan can feel good about some spreadsheet?  Health care cost is "the" problem and it is not being addressed by health care reform.  Get the Public Option added in so there is some real reform to break this cost problem.  

  •  Here's the deal. (0+ / 0-)

    If the Democrats fail on this, I un-register from the party and bolt as fast as my feet will take me from its incompetent, ineffective stench.

    Never another penny for them.  And I am not alone.

  •  You said a mouthful. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    Hell, I'd subsidize Halliburton if I knew it would cover 2/3 of my uninsured patients.   What's more "ghastly", a private mandate in exchange for much better regulations, or leaving those 30 million people uninsured?

    And there, finally, we have it.  Thank you.

  •  As a fellow primary health care practitioner (3+ / 0-)

    I thank you for speaking clear and sensible truth.

    As someone whose brother died because he didn't have health insurance, I agree with your whole-heartedly.

    I read that diary yesterday and frankly think someone was looking for attention for being daring and edgy.  But I'm fairly certain she has never worked in a County Hospital or an emergency room.

    FDR: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    RNC: The only thing we have is fear.

    by smileycreek on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:28:55 AM PDT

  •  It's become a matter of trust. (0+ / 0-)

    Do I trust that Congress, who gave us this bill, will "improve" it?  I don't think they will.  I've seen what the Democrats have given me after I've given them a supermajority in the Senate, a substantial majority in the House, and the White House.  The political cycle will mean Republican majorities and presidents eventually, and maybe even very soon.  And I think the Democratic politicians are satisfied that we're giving billions of taxpayers' dollars to yet another wealthy, abusive, cartel.  We'll see how great this coverage for 30 million Americans is in 4 years. And now that Kucinich has became the enemy and the object of abuse by so many "progressives"...I have that same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had when every media outlet, and friend I had, was calling me naive when I was oppossed to W's invasion of Iraq.

    •  You act as though all things are static. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North

      In a vacuum, I would be right there with you on the subject that THIS Congress would have the will or wherewithal to continue improvements.  But honestly - I can remember feeling so abashed when I heard the "death panels" language.  I thought - 'no one will believe that'.  Boy was I wrong, along with a whole bunch of other people that seem to have just failed to anticipate the events that unfolded from there.

      But not any more - we are MUCH better equipped now to deliver on the promise of "more and BETTER" Democrats, as well as to organize to combat lies and scare tactics proactively.  The very fact that we have reservations that this Congress will do anything meaningful should serve as a clarion call to step up organizing efforts and to devise ways to put pressure on Congresspeople present and future.

      Just my $.02.

  •  "kill the bill" is a dumb move (4+ / 0-)

    by people on the left.  Let this pass and let it play out.  Time will show that a public system really is necessary.

    You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.

    by noofsh on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:32:56 AM PDT

  •  The vote probably WON'T be this week - Clyburn... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jazzenterprises, Mike Peterson

    ...just said today that it will probably be pushed past Easter, as he still doesn't have 216, the legislation language for the reconciliation bill isn't here yet, etc. Reported in the Washington Post, and elsewhere.

  •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RenaRF, Ask 4 Questions

    I find it interesting that only progressive health care providers have been largely willing to move to wherever the debate and the vote is at, while still trying to push the window left.

    And before any of you snark that this is us defending our paychecks, many of the docs supporting this (including my wife) are doing so knowing that the new public money allocation equations could eliminate their job.

    I think it's because we see how bad the situation is, and because the sooner the better for the worst off of our patients.

  •  I am so sick of this falsehood (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus, Jazzenterprises

    When this bill will make denial based on preexisting conditions, rescission, and f'd up medical loss ratios a thing of the past?

    I HAVE pre-existing conditions.  I am in that group that the sanctimonious activists pretend to represent (because they don't have the spine to say what their real interest is, the health of the Democratic Party and the presidency), the people who have conditions that can be fatal.  I still want the bill staked through the heart, and it's not because of martyrdom -- it is because I DO know my own interest, and this is a bad bill for the sick.  Let's leave aside the whole reason behind the mandate and the message that it sends loud and clear:  "You don't have a human right to health care if you are chronically ill; the only way we'll make even a halfcocked attempt to keep these parasitic companies from denying you care is if everyone else has to shell out to support you."  As a result, the mandate will foment public anger against chronically ill people.  This is not a kindly nation (I know this personally as a resident of the Gulf Coast region), there is a pervasive but subtle Protestant-originating belief that if you are sick, it is your own fault, and we will be seeing many of these people who report being "satisfied" with their coverage (because they don't have to use it) getting MASSIVELY pissed off about "subsidizing" sick people.

    Still, leaving that aside, let's touch on that halfcocked attempt now.  Under this bill, they can still deny whoever they please as long as they can pull together a half-arsed case accusing the customer of insurance fraud.  We are seeing more of this happening with patients who have been insured for a very long time or even their whole lives, preventing the pre-existing condition clauses from taking effect, but who still became sick with a costly illness.  There was even a front page diary here about it a while back.  NOTHING in the bill prevents them from doing this, and I would make a bet of any amount you please that this is the method of denial that they will switch to in 2014.

    So we sick folks won't be denied because of being sick; instead we will be accused of committing insurance fraud.  We will have public hatred fomented against us by people who either must pay more than they can afford to the insurance cartel, or who are seeing the government bankrupted as the cartel demands price hikes.  (Case in point, Massachusetts insurance rates.)  What an improvement.

    •  You are incredibly misinformed. And my fiancee... (7+ / 0-)

      ...has a pre-existing condition as well; in the same category as you.

      "Clear and convincing evidence of fraud" is not achieved through a simple "accusation".

      I deal with lawyers involved in these cases almost every day.

      Do you have any idea what it's going to take after this bill passes for an insurance company to provide "clear and convincing evidence" of fraud? There will be no "half-arsed" cases.

      And, with respect, nobody will be "subsidizing sick people" - everybody pays for their OWN INSURANCE. People are "subsidizing sick people" NOW, because those sick people ARE UNINSURED. There is no leap of logic that is fathomable to say that because you pay for your own insurance and a chronically sick person pays for their insurance, that you're subsidizing them - using that logic, you might as well say that they're subsidizing you because they're paying for their own insurance. The people who would suggest such a thing in the first place - let alone be "angry" about something that doesn't exist - are dumb as rocks anyway.

      •  Not everyone can afford a lawyer. (0+ / 0-)

        Of course the accusations don't stand up in court.  That is why the health insurance companies don't take the customers to court over the "fraud" like homeowners' insurance companies will do if the homeowner sets the house aflame to collect a payout.  But not all people can afford to hire a lawyer to take on their case, and very few people who are seriously ill -- or their families -- will want to do that with their remaining time in the first place.  "Get a lawyer to fight it because the accusations won't stand up" is such an ivory tower position that it floors me.  What goes into the denial letter stands unless you, the customer, fight back, and many do not have the option of fighting back.  The insurance companies know this.

        And as for the second paragraph:  It doesn't matter if they are dumb as rocks.  Dismissing people for being stupid ignores the fact that their sheer numbers are significant.  The American public IS dumb as a box of rocks and evil as a pack of demons.  They will see changes made to their insurance, many of which will not be for the better (whether the pro-billers want to admit it or not) such as a massive reduction in "Cadillac" policies when the costs become prohibitive, and rather than placing blame where it belongs -- on the companies and the government -- they will turn against their fellow civilians who are chronically ill.  I've had members of my own extended family lash out at me and my sister, who has the same situation, because of this, so don't even try to tell me it won't happen.  This script has been performed through the years many times, all over the world, and we are setting ourselves up for it to be performed here.

        •  In these cases they can. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agent, icemilkcoffee

          Coverage questions, when brought to litigation carry with them the penalty that the insuer raising the coverage question must pay the insured's attorney fees if coverage is proven.

          •  Let's get a few things straight here. (0+ / 0-)

            Insurance companies will make complete fabrications if they believe they can get away with it.  Assertions based on vapor.  It happens to me every time I get a denial; they immediately back down as soon as they receive my appeal with documentation, because it is that clear cut in the policy when it involves pre-existing conditions.  We've been through this before, Blue Cross and I, and the only reason they continue to issue unsupportable denials most times that I go to the doctor is because they hope I will screw up my appeals paperwork this time and they can make it stick.  The same thing happens to my sister and my best friend, whose medical condition is even worse.  Knee-jerk denials in the hope that maybe the customer will mess up the appeal.  It's unpleasant and it costs money, but the price of postage is minimal, and it is something that I am perfectly able to do myself.

            I make barely above minimum wage (in practice it is much less because of a mandatory "retirement plan" in which part of my paycheck is taken away) and I am a state employee.  Blue Cross is the carrier that the state chose.  I can handle my own appeals, because the appeal for a pre-existing condition denial is straightforward here.  The instant it is required of me to enlist the aid of a lawyer to handle insurance appeals and demonstrate I did not commit FRAUD is the day it is "Game Over."  It doesn't make a lot of difference if the insurance reimburses the lawyer after the fireworks if I've had to miss work over the matter (unpaid, I should note, as per state policy) or been dismissed from my job over it.  And, just for the record, my state has recently given the governor -- a Republican -- unilateral power to dismiss any state employee for any reason.

            This proposal will make my life much more difficult, and yes, I do think I have a legitimate fear here.  It's extremely difficult to get worked up over what may happen to other people if you are worried about YOURSELF, and to be perfectly blunt, I don't vote for other people.  I vote my own needs.  If you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will.

    •  Your analysis is faulty. I represented Insurers. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agent, icemilkcoffee, outspoken82

      For over a decade I represented insurers (I don't anymore!).  I have litigated many pre-existing condition cases. The Senate Bill will not cause them to use "insurance fraud" as a reason to drop people with pre-existing conditions.  Material Misrepresentations on an application (that form the basis for most "insurance fraud" recission claims) requires that something material to the financial risk insured not be disclosed.  If insurers have to insure pre-existing conditions, there is no financial consequence for discovering one later.  There is also no reason a person wouldn't disclose it voluntarily.  As to unknown or latent conditions, those don't form the basis for fraud.

      Pass the bill.  It will greatly help people with pre-existing conditions.  

      •  Then I suppose (0+ / 0-)

        that you should tell that to the poster below you who claims to work with such cases, or to the people who have had their coverage dropped because of "fraudulently concealing" items in their medical history that they simply forgot, because they HAVE been used in cases as a basis for fraud.  Whether they "should be" isn't relevant; plenty of things "shouldn't be."  You should inform these people that they are lying to the media because such things don't happen.  (The fact that you represented insurers does reveal your biases, though.  I wonder if you're going to reply to my other post saying that it doesn't happen the way I describe it.  People really do operate in their own reality.)  You should also tell the front page diarist who discussed this topic a while back.

        Curiously enough, I find myself believing them over a random poster on a blog.  Funny, that.

        •  If there is a provision that (0+ / 0-)

          pre-existing conditions be covered without question, how can a fraud be perpetrated or alleged for someone not disclosing a pre-existing condition?

          Hair On Fire is the new black!

          by arielle on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 02:04:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is what FP'er mcjoan wrote about it (0+ / 0-)

            There's not a whole lot I can add to her diary from December.

            Insurance Reform? Rescissions

            Do YOU trust health insurance companies to do the right thing?  I don't.

            •  "Material fraud" has a legal definition. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ask 4 Questions

              Do I TRUST insurance companies?  Hell no.  I've been fighting with these dickwipes my entire adult life.

              But this bill is important in establishing actual baseline regulations of the insurance industry, establishing numerous consumer protections, and because of guaranteed issue, no pre-existing exclusions, and no rescission except in cases of material fraud, the entire basis these companies used to wipe their dicks has either been removed or relegated to a reviewal process.

              Is it everything it should be?  Not by a long shot.

              But it's a rung or three up a ladder that has been pulled out from under us time and time again.  Sometimes by the very people certain progressive groups align themselves with now thinking they're going to get a better bill "tomorrow".

              Hair On Fire is the new black!

              by arielle on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:30:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  A question for those more knowledgeable (0+ / 0-)

    than I - Does anyone know if the reforms in the bill will also be applicable to companies that self-insure?  

    My husband worked for a publicly-traded company until they decided to close their facility and move the jobs.  They claimed that they didn't have to allow our son to stay on the policy (even though that is the law in our state - he is 21 and not in college this semester) nor did they have to comply with the 65/35 split for Cobra cost since they were self-insured.  

    Will these same companies be able to skirt the reforms by being self-insured?

  •  My clients = diarist's patients. (6+ / 0-)

    I agree with the diarist 100%.

    I am a lawyer. I represent people trying to get Social Security and SSI disability benefits, which would also qualify them for Medicare or Medicaid. The disability application process, with multiple appeals, can easily take several years. Here's what I see, over and over:

    1. Get sick or injured.
    1. Lose job because of #1.
    1. COBRA means next to nothing because with no job income, you can't afford the premiums. Presto, you're uninsured.
    1. Without insurance, you can't treat #1. So your health gets worse instead of better.
    1. As you get farther and farther away from being healthy enough to work, you are ruined financially.
    1. Some of my clients die.

    Pass the damn bill.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:47:05 AM PDT

  •  Here we go again. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon

    I do not respect the opinion that we should "kill the bill" just because the "weak" public option is not in there.

    So we shouldn't hold Congressmembers to their pledges not to support a bill without a public option?

    I've got patients who die, or who are crippled physically and financially for lack of insurance.

    Must be because those insurers are such great healers!

    When this bill will make denial based on preexisting conditions, rescission, and f'd up medical loss ratios a thing of the past?

    Yeah, they'll be obliged to buy junk policies or pay the mandate fine.  I fully expect heavy payment of the mandate fines.

    I forgot that there won't be another attempt until the next democratic president, when's that?   7 years?  Probably not given the fact that dems will have just demonstrated they can't govern.  So at least one term for a repug?  I guess that's 11 years, oh but it will be so worth it when finally single payer is instituted.

    And as for a popular movement to make it so?  Naah, the people are worthless.  Only crumbs from the elite table will do.

    What's that you say?  The insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital lobby's will only be stronger by then?  Well, maybe we'll at least get a public option then, or at least a "weak" public option...

    Putting the insurance companies under permanent public subsidy is a good way to fight further reform.

    This bill will be a huge step forward,  it will establish the precedent that the US government is in charge of regulating insurance companies, and keeping premiums down and medical loss ratios up.

    And that's why enforcement is left up to the (bankrupt) states?

    For that matter, who cares if it is a subsidy to for profit companies?

    I'll let you pay all of the subsidy out of your own money, then.

    ""It is hardly a moral act to encourage others patiently to accept injustice which he himself does not endure." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Cassiodorus on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:48:24 AM PDT

    •  One issue (0+ / 0-)

      Must be because those insurers are such great healers!

      No, it's because they don't show up to clinic.  They do show up to the ER though, and sometimes they make it, sometimes they don't.  I'm sorry, but you are responding to a serious problem with snark, and it is not "snark-worthy."

  •  The Oregonian: "Now or Never" (4+ / 0-)

    Lead editorial in The Oregonian today, "It's now or never on health care reform"

    The editorial admonishes fence-sitter Brian Baird (D-WA3),

    If the Democrats don't press forward, they will have lost a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

    This isn't the ideal way to get a health care overhaul approved, and, as Baird is well aware, this isn't the ideal health care overhaul either.

    No, it's just that this is the only one.

    Obama: "I ask Congress to finish its work." Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL): Health Care Bill "must be stopped". Which side are you on?

    by rsmpdx on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 09:58:50 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and rec'd (0+ / 0-)

    for the voice of practical reality.  

  •  some here got "stuck" in a meme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Ask 4 Questions

    after several months of saying "pass the PO" and getting whipped constantly by some paid bloggers some people here got stuck in the meme that any bill without the PO is bad and shouldn't be passed.

    Now the big majority of progressives (including the paid bloggers here) have realized that they've achieved all they can and are now saying the bill should be passed. But they have left a few true believers behind, stuck with last months meme that it's better to have nothing and everything depends on having a PO in the bill. pity

  •  There is a simple reality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    about health insurance. If you have a system where too few healthy people are paying into the system for the number of sick people, then you have a system that will be very expensive and will continue to get more expensive. Any reform that works on getting more healthy payers and reduces either the number of sick people or limits unnecessary procedures is a step forward. Single payer does this very well but it is equally possible to achieve the same result with a semi-private system.

  •  Don't look at it as 7/8 empty..... (0+ / 0-)

    ...look at it as 1/8 filled.

    It makes more sense if you think at it as if we're the supply (tiny fish) and the Health Insurance Companies are the demand (big fish).

    by dehrha02 on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 12:02:30 PM PDT

  •  Re: The Update (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions, Dixie Liberal

    I think that a lot of people are confusing the concept of an objective with the tactic used to reach it.  Everyone who wants to see a single payer system in this country is equally liberal/progressive/left.  Having that as an objective, but being pragmatic enough to take what is attainable rather than idealistic enough to fail completely in the pursuit of what is not currently attainable does not make one less left or liberal or progressive.  When people who are not pragmatic in their preferred tactic claim that title "left" or "progressive" or "liberal" it is intended as in insinuation that those of us who also want a single payer system, but recognize that saving some lives with an imperfect bill that passes is superior to saving no lives with a perfect bill that doesn't pass aren't liberal.  It is a false notion that confuses the objective with the tactics.

    Suppose we are a group of people who are extremely hungry standing on the bank of a river full of crocodiles on the spillward side of a damn.  Suppose now that there is a huge picanic baskuette (ala Yogie Bear) on the other shore.  Suppose further that the river is about 9 feet wide.  Every one of us is hungry.  Every one of us wants the food.  We all have the same goal.  None of us is more or less pro- "let's get to the other side and eat" than any other.  Some of us want to back up, sprint, and leap across the river.  Some of us want to climb a nearby tree and tie a rope to a branch over the river so we can swing across.  The running leap will get us across and eating faster, but comes with the HUGE risk of falling short and ourselves being eaten thereby NEVER reaching the other side.  The rope on the branch idea takes longer, but has a significantly higher chance of succeeding.  Rational people can argue for either plan.  Each has its pros and cons.  The debate is about tactics and to accuse the others of "not being hungry" is flat out false.  

    Either side has a right to lobby enthusiastically to have their favored tactics adopted.  The one thing that should not happen though is to turn the wheel that increases the rate at which water is allowed over the damn widening the river and putting both factions further from success.  That, in my opinion, is what the folks who sound like the teabagers and republicans in their attacks on the one guy who doesn't get a vote in the legislature are doing.  The money advantage that we finally enjoy on our side of the aisle would be far more damaging to the GOP if they had to buy their own commercials instead of standing back, grinning in wonderment, as these people market their talking points for them.  That's a different topic for a different day I suppose.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 01:03:39 PM PDT

  •  This is very brutal, (0+ / 0-)

    But it has to be said.

    U.S. population = 300 million.
    Uninsured = 30 million.
    Percentage of the population that is uninsured = 10%.
    Official unemployment rate = 9.7%.
    "Jobless recovery" chances = probably near 100%.

    We have an overpopulation problem.  I'm not sure if the percentage of employed people in the uninsured is the same as the percentage in the general population, but anyway.  Humans are just another species, though our population correction mechanisms seem more sophisticated.

    If we aren't going to set up a true social safety net the way Europe has, there is only one way out of it.

  •  Incredibly naive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Jaffa

    I mean seriously, if Democrats won't pass meaningful reform with buy in or PO now, when will they do it? Seriously, in your mind, when do you think they will do it?

    If they weren't willing to do it with huge house and Senate majorities and a (at least initially) incredibly popular president who campaigned in part on a greater role for government in health care, and won in a landslide--if they won't do it in these conditions-- when do you really think they will do it? Oh, and we're in a time when many people who traditionally had access to health care have lost it, which ought to have increased support for a government plan.

    Just whining about how hard it is and how mean the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists are and how the Republicans are assholes is not only lame, it's costing lives.

    Seriously, if it doesn't happen under these near-optimal conditions, when does it happen?

    •  It will be easier in the future (0+ / 0-)

      as insurance companies continue to dump customers.   It's a popular program, and might be easier to add when it doesn't have the bloated HCR that conservatives can use to undermine it.

      I think it will happen sooner than we think.

    •  Perhaps, but I think it more naive (0+ / 0-)

      to assume that a bill that is voted down leads us to anytime soon address this problem.  I'm not saying we shouldn't be pushing to make it better, but I think it is misguided to "kill the bill" they are about to vote on, because a lost vote is probably lost HCR.

  •  Regarding when is the next chance... (0+ / 0-)
    ...for a health care vote:

    If the entire House Progressive Caucus told Nancy Pelosi that they're not voting for the reconciliation bill unless she adds a public option, then she'd add a public option.

    •  Good, keep calling then! (0+ / 0-)

      All I'm saying is if they hold a vote, and it sounds like they are going to very soon, and that vote fails, I doubt we will be taking another shot at HCR this session, and after November it will be much much harder.  If we hold a vote, and it succeeds, we still get to try to improve it, and we will cover 2/3 of the uninsured even if it isn't improved.

  •  when is the CBO scoring the bill (0+ / 0-)

    or did it happen & I missed it?

  •   I have seen some people I believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    to be Republicans whipping for the public option, and turning fury toward progressives.

    It takes time for people to see the options and understand the game, to let go, at least momentarily, of what they have been fighting for.  I get that.  Progressives have my fullest support, I'm really proud of them.

    I hope that we can all see the good things that this bill has to offer, and celebrate it's success.  We all deserve it.

  •  NOW IS THE TIME. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    Let the vote happen. One way ot another we need to know if "Change We Can Believe In" is dead or still alive.  

    Pick your poison.  I support passing the Bill and the Reconcilliation follow-up; from there, working on Grayson's idea.  

  •  I support it- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions

    because I know in the end- it will help people in need.

    I will continue to fight for something better.  Hopefully in my lifetime we will see it.

  •  If this bill actually made things better (0+ / 0-)

    instead of worse and didn't torpedo our long-term prospects for real reform, I might be inclined to agree with you.  Since that's not the case, count me out.

    •  Define long-term. (0+ / 0-)

      How old will you be then?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~ Mencken

      by royce on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 03:54:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know. (0+ / 0-)

        I do know that passing this bill now as is, and expecting that it will be fixed later (it won't), will put us that much further away from our goal--partly because the bill will make American health care worse and thus make the process of reforming it that much harder, partly because its failures and shortcomings will be used to discredit efforts at passing real reform for the foreseeable future, and partly because it's going to relegate the Democratic Party to minority status for several election cycles at a minimum.

        The key to eventually getting where you're headed is to takes steps, however small, in the right direction.  This bill doesn't do that.

  •  Kill the bill......................... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ask 4 Questions, icemilkcoffee

    when it's passage stands to make the heads explode  of the likes of Mitch McChinless, John Boner and Batsh*t crazy Bachman not to mention Rush, Beck and Hannity.

    NO WAY !!

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:04:42 PM PDT

  •  Exactly my sentiments. (2+ / 0-)

    This bill is both Far, Far less than what is really needed and far more than what I thought we'd get after Brown won in MA.  

    As one of the uninsured, working for a small employer, this bill has the potential to make HC Insurance affordable for me for the first time in years.

    I'd rather have Medicare for all, but this bill is Better than what I, and many others in my position, have now : Nothing.

    "We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

    by Dixie Liberal on Tue Mar 16, 2010 at 04:05:12 PM PDT

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