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Obama should strike this deal with Republicans:  Give up the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% and in return Democrats will agree to cut health care expenditures by 20-30%.

How can he do this?  By agreeing to modify Obamacare by putting in the "public option" which eliminates the useless insurance "middleman" and its 20-30% of the cost of health care.   Obama gets his tax revenue increases, and Obamacare is "modified" and improved by the public option, and its attendant savings.

And we -- the ones who voted for Obama -- will need to step up big time to put pressure on Congress to adopt the public option.

To me this strategy seems perfect for Obama - it's that "jujitsu" strategy that, according to David Corn of Mother Jones, Obama actually used last year in the debt ceiling "compromise."

http://www.motherjones.com/...

In "The Myth of the Obama Cave-In," Corn reveals how much of what was perceived as "caving" by the public and a lazy media was actually Obama achieving some much-needed stimulus then in return for a short extension of the Bush tax cuts, but that the situation now is far different.  The point he makes is that Obama has this ability to engineer a far more complex strategy than he is generally credited for.

So in this case, now, regarding the big "deal" Republicans are making that they will "agree" to increased revenues only if Obama agrees to "entitlement reforms" and "put Obamacare on the table"  -- I say Obama should agree -- Republicans have to accept increased taxes on the wealthy, and Obamacare can be "modified" and the costs to taxpayers of health care reform AKA Obamacare can be reduced by modifying Obamacare into "Americare -- the public option Medicare for All system many of us  would be happy to fight for.  

What other issue can Obama count on eliciting such rabid support from us, his base, which is what he has learned he needs to do to succeed.  

Why else the serious, sincere, and persistent effort by the campaign to morph into a post-campaign action arm?  I got the survey and didn't immediately respond and got a follow-up that pushed me into completing it.  I got the clear feeling that this was a serious sincere effort to keep the grassroots involved, not just a token "thanks for your support and give us your feedback for the round-file".

What say you Kossacks?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bullsh*t. (5+ / 0-)

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:38:12 PM PST

  •  Is there no cost associated with the public (0+ / 0-)

    option?  Your proposal is completely illogical otherwise.

    •  Actually, a public option would reduce the debt (10+ / 0-)

      According to CBO studies.

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:42:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  By how much? At what cost? (0+ / 0-)

        Obamacare reduces the deficit in its present form, so ...

        •  68 billion through just 2020 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee, corvo, qofdisks

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:05:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that 68 billion *more* than (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wwjjd

            Obamacare in its present form, or 68 billion in savings?

            I'm sure the public would reduce the deficit.  My original point is that the proposal to substitute a public option for the current mechanism is meaningless if the public option costs more to administer and/or doesn't cut the deficit by much more than current law.

            •  CBO estimates the ACA would save $84B thru 10 yrs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fou, corvo
            •  even if it cuts the deficit exactly the same (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ManhattanMan, corvo, qofdisks

              it provides more coverage options to more people, and reduces their costs, which makes it a good deal. of course the gop wouldn't ever go for it, but it's still a clever idea, for political framing.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:29:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, the proposed framing is that the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                charliehall2

                public option would cost less.  That framing is probably incorrect. Your argument seems to be that even if it costs the government the same or a little more, it still lowers people's costs and provides them more options.  My question is does it provide more and better options at a lower cost than the present mechanism?

                •  the cbo didn't score that (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KenBee, corvo

                  but there is no question that a public option provides more and better options, and for some if not most at a lower price.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:40:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                    •  more options at lower overhead- (6+ / 0-)

                      no profit motive surcharge. and actually the cbo did score it- lowers premiums across the board:

                      http://www.cbo.gov/...

                      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:48:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The present mechanism lowers (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        KenBee, agent

                        premiums as well.  And again, there may be other "surcharges" associated with government-run health insurance.

                        Look, if a public option works better than the present mechanism, then let's have it by all means.  But I'm wary of the idea that it's better simply because there's no profit.  The government is not any more or less ethical than a private entity simply because it is not in the business of making a profit providing health insurance.  Nor would a public option provide better quality care for those reasons.  Indeed, as Mitt Romney demonstrated with his Son of Boss scheme, it is entirely possible to corrupt government-run health insurance.

                        I think the ACA is a big leap forward because it prohibits discrimination and other adverse incentives for profit.  Now, if it can be shown that a lack of profit incentive and a centralized federal program will provide better quality care at lower cost than regulated private insurance, then great; but thus far I'm not convinced either way.

                        •  so you're opposed to a public option. Ok. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          corvo

                          I don't know why but for some reason you react negatively to it. I can guess but it'd just be a guess. Probably right, though.

                          •  I'm not opposed to a public option. (0+ / 0-)

                            Not at all.  I am skeptical of the idea that non-profit health insurance is ipso facto better than regulated, for-profit insurance.

                          •  Of course it is -- profit is only acceptable when (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Karl Rover, corvo, qofdisks

                            the profit motive adds value to the enterprise -- there is absolutely no reason for profit in financing health care.

                          •  Again, this is a simplistic, ideological view (0+ / 0-)

                            of a complex problem.  You can't make the claim that non-profit health insurance is better and cheaper simply because you don't like profit.  Obviously, non-profit insurance is not free.  What are the costs associated with its implementation?  Why would tax-subsidies produce better care than well-regulated competition between private entities?

                            I'm not saying that a for-profit system is better.  I'm simply saying that without a meaningful discussion of the costs and incentives associated with centralized, government-run health insurance, you can't really say that it's better than that produced by for-profit companies in a competitive marketplace.

                          •  We are not talking aout non-profit insurance. (0+ / 0-)

                            We are talking about a public option to pay premiums to basically opt into medicare.

                          •  Non-profit is bogus (0+ / 0-)

                            I belonged to a "nonprofit" HMO for healthcare many years ago.  I did get great healthcare but I was not sick or have any particularly pressing medical conditions.  If I had been sick it could have been a very different story.  

                            Regarding its non-profit status: I paid 500/month for a premium and this was back in 1988, I can't imagine what it would cost now, and I was single.  They were a non-profit, they gave out huge bonuses every year.  A friend worked there as a check in type person and she received 5K per year in bonuses.  Great for her but considering her position with the organization her bonus was low but that was how they maintained "non profit" status.

                            So, in my opinion, nonprofit, so what.

                        •  um (4+ / 0-)

                          the profit motive adds a surcharge by itself that isn't present in a government run program. in our system, a multi-billion dollar surcharge that serves no public or health care interest. and the aca has huge holes in it, such as erisa 514, which should have been eliminated but wasn't, and which provides a mechanism that allows insurers to deny treatment even if they can't deny coverage- the difference between guaranteed insurance and guaranteed health care.

                          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                          by Laurence Lewis on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 09:19:46 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well duh. (3+ / 0-)
                            the profit motive adds a surcharge by itself that isn't present in a government run program.
                            Yes Laurence, but there might be other "surcharges" that are present in a government-run program versus a private one.  
                            in our system, a multi-billion dollar surcharge that serves no public or health care interest
                            Well, the ACA has just re-calibrated the market incentives such that they now serve a public interest.  Now, insurance costs less because healthy people are required to buy it, and taxpayers pay less because they're not having to subsidize the cost of emergency care for the uninsured.  The whole point of the ACA was to incentivize private insurers to serve the public interest.
                            and the aca has huge holes in it, such as erisa 514, which should have been eliminated but wasn't, and which provides a mechanism that allows insurers to deny treatment even if they can't deny coverage- the difference between guaranteed insurance and guaranteed health care.
                            ERISA was enacted in 1974 and is not part of the ACA.
                            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                            A public option wouldn't guarantee health coverage or care because it doesn't require people to purchase insurance through its program.  The public option would lower the cost of insurance presumably through tax subsidies, but it wouldn't guarantee anything.

                          •  you're missing the point (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            james321, corvo, qofdisks

                            the continuing existence of erisa 514 is a hole in the aca large enough to drive countless deaths by denial of treatment through. it renders the requirement of insurance coverage to people with preexisting conditions practically meaningless, because insurers can just take the money and then refuse to pay for expensive treatments.

                            a public option, with a mandate (which most hardcore obama supporters considered unacceptable in 2008), and a repeal of erisa 514 would lower costs and expand actual health care (as opposed to healh insurance) coverage, at lower costs to consumers, while also lowering the deficit. it would be as close to single payer as you could get without it being single payer. the aca will help a lot of people, but don't for one minute pretend it is anything but one step on a still long path toward a comprehensive solution. a path that the aca itself does not necessitate we ever take.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:01:05 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Government is more ethical in the sense that (0+ / 0-)

                          a government agency does not have any civil servant looking to get stinking rich.  Civil servants draw a dignified paycheck.  
                          Huge profit taking and executive salaries inherently have unethical profit taking and denying of care as an incentive.
                          So, this statement is nonsense.
                          "The government is not any more or less ethical than a private entity simply because it is not in the business of making a profit providing health insurance. "

                    •  No spending on... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      corvo, qofdisks

                      ...Advertising.
                      Bloated CEO salaries.
                      Dividends to shareholders.
                      Interest payments.

                      •  All minor contributors to the cost of health care (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Hell, no! (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          qofdisks

                          Take United Health Care (ticker: UNH) for example.

                          They collected $101 billion in premiums last year and spent $19 billion on "administration". Their shareholders pocketed $5 billion (after taxes). Bondholders got $500 million.

                          Financials are here.

                          Only about $74 billion went to actual healthcare! And even that number is suspect because the company can embed internal costs (like the commissions for the salesmen who sell policies) in this number.

                          For every $1.00 policyholders pay UNH, they get back less than 75 cents in medical care.

      •  So will (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks

        the ACA.

        What makes you think logical argument with statistics will persuade the gop to go along?

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:38:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well the public option + ACA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          Will reduce the deficit even more. But as you see in my comment below, I don't think the GOP will go along with this until hell freezes over. I was just answering the question of deficit reduction. In a rational discussion, something like a public option would be a great thing to keep on the table. But we are not negotiating with rational people.

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:08:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It won't persuade them. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluezen, corvo

          It will just make them look stupid.

          It will also make them chew up a few more days until The Fiscal Cliff.

          The goal is to run down the clock until the last minute.  At that point, whoever has the better issue framing will win.  Let's hope it's us...

  •  I like the idea in principle (8+ / 0-)

    But there is no way in hell Obama is going to get a public option from the Republicans, of all people.

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:41:45 PM PST

    •  No No No -- not "from Republicans" (Mr. Anon) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip, majcmb1

      What he gets is instant opposition from Republicans, and FINALLY the public discussion of the issue (and the participation by the grassroots) that was never had when the ACA was originally passed.

      If there is one thing I think many of us agree on it is that Obama LEARNS from his mistakes.  I saw it time and time again in the 2008 primaries (against Hillary) and also in the change in September 2011 when he started tacking back to his base.

      The big mistake Obama made with the health care reform is that he never got the grassroots involved, and he utterly failed in the messaging aspect, instead allowing the Rs to totally frame the debate (death panels, etc.)  He has LEARNED from that --  this strategy puts the discussion of the public option and its potential savings and benefits at the forefront of the discussion of how to increase revenues while decreasing costs to achieve a "balanced" approach.  

      It's the irony of the issue that is so delicious -- the Republicans can't argue that it's not a means of reducing the deficit (which is what they're supposedly all about) so they are left arguing the unpopular argument that we the people shouldn't have the same type of health as they the elites.  

      •  Who says Obama thinks a Grand Bargain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks

        involving regressive changes to Social Security and/or Medicare is a mistake?    Obama is a centrist, and if you believe Woodward  thinks of himself as a Blue Dog.

        I can only hope that Obama makes the pragmatic choice in that cutting earned benefits is very bad politics(nevermind policy) but I don't trust anybody and Obama has not earned my trust on this.   I do trust Bernie Sanders though.

      •  How many years (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        majcmb1, qofdisks

        Are you willing to wait for a PO.

        How about Obama get the tax increase he wants without having to give up a thing.

        The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

        by jsfox on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:18:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What indicates to you that POTUS learns from his (0+ / 0-)

        mistakes on this issue?

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:51:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I haven't seen evidence that pres. Obama learned (0+ / 0-)

        anything.

  •  My understanding was (0+ / 0-)

    that profit and overhead by insurance companies adds between 20-30 percent to the cost of providing health care.  Of course there are still costs associated with providing health care, but the profit part of the equation os removed.  If I'm not correct in this assumption then obviously the logic fails.  

    I'm certainly open to other theories.  I was just positing the idea that Obama has in the past used a kind of jujitsu tactic of seeming to surrender to an opponent's force, and then turning that same force against the opponent.

    So in appearing to "agree" to discuss changes to Obamacare, he could actually improve it by putting in the public option.

  •  Hell no. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, majcmb1

    Because he'll agree and then, ONCE AGAIN the Rethugs will renege on the agreement.

    NO deals.  Let em eat their own petard.  (Yes, I know that's a mixed metaphor.  I kinda like the image.)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:46:56 PM PST

  •  You make a good point about the public option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, qofdisks

    and cutting costs.
    However, he doesn't have to do anything. The  Bush tax cuts are going to expire on their own.
    Dems have already staked out an extension of the cuts for those under $250 G.  
    Likewise, we will ultimately get a public option.
    This whole thing is baked in. There will be no going over the fiscal cliff. There will be no massive sequester of billions in spending, that would send millions out of work.

    This should be structured in such a way as to make the gop knuckle under, to humiliate them. To drag their noses in it.
    We need to eviscerate  
    slap chop them and set them up for2014.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:52:53 PM PST

  •  The problem with these 'gotcha' titles is that (10+ / 0-)

    you get a lot of people who immediately respond to the title without actually reading the diaries beneath them...

  •  Why is it that when Repubs win, we lose and when (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade, Persiflage, bluezen

    Dems win, we STILL lose?  Why should the GOP be allowed to call the shots--about anything? Why should the GOP be accommodated on any issues?  Why can't we simply play the winning hand that so many millions of voters dealt us so that we could keep the promises that were made during this campaign season?

    Why can't our Democratic president, senators, and representatives STAND STRONG and not give an inch to the lying, cheating, greedy, obnoxious haters in the Republican party????  

    No.  Main street has contributed and suffered enough.  It's time for Wall Street, big oil, big pharma, big banks, the defense complex, etc. to pay their fair share by giving up their tax perks, corporate welfare, and other pork.  

    The only tweak to ACA should be single payer/Medicare for all.  And, no cuts to MediCaid.  Just because the poor don't have a powerful lobby like seniors do doesn't mean that they should be abused to pacify the rich.  Hand off!

  •  Isn't Administration preparing to offer public (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen

    option administratively?  If this is true, no reason to "go there" in negotiations over a contrived "crisis."

  •  Go Over the Fiscal Cliff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    That way, according to their logic, Republicans no longer have to vote for a tax increase. Any top tax rate lowerthan the Clinton rate, but higher than the Bush rate would now be a vote for a tax cut.

  •  How about taxes go up because Obama won? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, qofdisks

    Why barter on an issue when WINNING that issue has already been achieved?

    Obama should be prepared to walk away from the table and let taxes go up on everyone while defense gets cut.

    Those are two priorities we want to see happen anyway.

    Be prepared to walk away from the Republicans, who only want to cut Medicare and Social Security and unemployment benefits.

  •  Oh geez, just let the Bush tax cuts expire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    I think we are making a big mistake by tying anything to the Bush tax cuts.  Let them expire.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:03:58 AM PST

  •  Republicans are dumb but they're not that dumb! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi

    Although I have to admit, I like the idea.  Maybe it could be extended: If Republicans agree to boost taxes on the wealthy back to Eisenhower-era levels, we could grudgingly agree to reduce the defense budget by 50%.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:14:20 AM PST

  •  Scared me for a moment with the title, but YES! nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Sorry -- was just trying to get people to read! (0+ / 0-)

      And I may have confused people by saying "public option" when I maybe was thinking of "single-payer" so I appreciate "ferg"'s comment describing the difference.  

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