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AdLib On December - 14 - 2009

flatlineRachel Maddow just mentioned and the AP feed here at The Planet also presents the story that the Senate Dems meeting on health care that just ended, the Medicare buy-in and the Public Option will be killed to get the bill passed before the end of the year and bring Joe Lieberman on board for cloture.

Rachel just had Sen. Ron Wyden on her show who is a passionate supporter of Public Options and he was clearly resigned to there being NO PUBLIC OPTION in the Senate bill.

Wyden’s disappointment was palpable. He knows where things are going. Simultaneously, Rachel mentioned that Lieberman’s response to tonight’s meeting was that he’s encouraged.

I hope I’m wrong but I am now convinced that t’s over. There will not be a Public Option nor Medicare buy-in in the Senate bill and thus, there will not be one in the final bill that Obama signs. It’s over.

The Senate Dems, Rahm Emmanuel and Obama have concluded that getting a bill passed before Christmas is the priority. I’m sure there are those Dems and Obama who see this as a first step and they can come back to this later.

That’s very optimistic.

So, what no one will stand against in this bill, that all Americans will be legally required to give private insurance corporations their money without limitation on premiums or deductibles…or either increasing hugely…WILL be included.

But the option for people to have an alternative to being broken financially by health care corporations is removed.

The Dems and Obama seem to believe that the progress on outlawing the practices of denying coverage and benefits and co-funding a minority of Americans’ premiums is worth it.

One can’t argue that those provisions would be an important reform of the HC industry as would some other proposals still supposedly in the bill.

A bill accomplishing those can’t be opposed.

But the same bill making it a law that makes Americans the financial serfs of the Insurance industry is unacceptable.

Is a bill that takes away some injustices but makes others into law worthy of passage?

I really don’t know. We may not get another serious bite at this apple for a generation, could “reform” permanently compromise the American public by then?

Or maybe such changes will never get passed in the future. This could be it. Is it alright for this to be the law of the land through your, your kids’ or grandkids’ lives?

Please vote below:

[poll id=”19″]

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

387 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. javaz says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/15/AR2009121503717_2.html?sid=ST2009121504003

    “Public cooling to health-care reform as debate drags on, poll finds”

    “”In the poll conducted this month, 51 percent say they oppose the proposed changes to the system; 44 percent approve of them. Two-thirds say the health-care reforms would add to the federal deficit, with two-thirds of those people calling such an increase “not worth it.””

    also --

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/12/15/GR2009121504435.html

    “”Public opinion wanes on health-care reform

    A Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows that support for the health-care overhaul has been diminished and that the politics of the health-care debate has hurt the president’s approval ratings. The poll also finds that a majority of the public approves of Obama’s handling of Afghanistan.””

  2. javaz says:

    Certainly, the Democrats and President Obama must realize the high stakes of health care reform.

    Certainly, the Democrats and President Obama must realize the level of anger and despair, and the feelings of betrayal from all of us who donated time and money to get them elected.

    Is this political theater?

    The Internet has gone viral, as have the talking heads from both sides, about the information being released about the Senate health insurance reform bill, because we can no longer call this a health care reform bill as it stands.

    I have a very hard time believing that our president and the top democratic leadership are going to pass a bill that benefits the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

    All of them know their future in politics and the future of the Democratic Party remaining in control is at stake.

    I’m taking a huge breath and calming down, because this is not the final bill.

    If by chance, the Democrats pass a bill that rewards the insurance companies and punishes the middle class and working poor, then every single one of these politicians deserve to be voted out.

    But I am hoping that our anger is misplaced.

    I’m hoping that President Obama and the Democrats keep their promises of affordable health care for all Americans.

    Yes we can, and yes, they better grant us all the historical Christmas present of affordable health care for all.

    I’m not giving up hope yet.

  3. KevenSeven says:

    Fact:

    Failure to pass a bill will cause the Dems to lose seats in the House and Senate.

    We are about to see Clinton II. Somehow the Dems have fucked up passing health care reform and we will be stuck with a rump presidency.

    Except that this time we will have a series of external wars to prosecute, along with grotesque unemployment.

    And that mumbling little fuck from Connecticut will be laughing his ass off the whole way.

    Why oh why did not Connecticut have a sore loser law?

  4. KQuark says:

    Good night folks.

    Tomorrow the sun will rise.

  5. AdLib says:

    If you didn’t see Howard Dean on KO today, explaining his call to kill the bill, check it out:

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Thanks, AdLib. I really like the way he talks. Smart, plain, no B.S. and calling folks out for what they are. “beholden to the insurance companies”, it doesn’t get any plainer than that.

      Liar Men Be (think about the letters), but so do men and women of integrity and grit like Howard Dean.

  6. bitohistory says:

    AdLib’s poll should have read: are you frustrated?; are you confused?; Are you satisfied?; Are you completely disjointed?

  7. KQuark says:

    As a survivor and eternal optimist who is blogging from a hospital bed right now I actually see a major silver lining to this.

    The MSM coverage:

    Think about how the media will spin this. They will talk about how this is a massive victory for president Obama and the Democrats. They will talk about how this is the largest domestic accomplishment in over 40 years even though it’s just healthcare insurance reform.

    The MSM will say the brave and mighty Democratic moderates saved us from a crazy liberal government takeover of healthcare when in reality most people wanted a public plan.

    The narrative will grow that Obama always gets what he wants and is checking off his agenda one by one, especially if the climate bill passes in some form. Well this would actually be kinda true.

    In politics perception is reality.

    Or I could just be under the effects of my main pedicines.

    • kesmarn says:

      KQuark, gotta love your sense of humor! Whether it’s your “main pedicines” talking or not, I hope you’re right.

      Remember when Obama joked at that one dinner that he was actually from the Planet Krypton and had been sent here to save the planet? That’s the kind of narrative we need to grow out of all this 😮 Let’s hope Joe (Henry Gibson) Lieberman gets written out of the public perception. Soon.

      And, you, sir!! Get your ass out of that hospital bed before Christmas!! (Or Winter Solstice, take your pick)

      Feel better soon, KQuark, Eternal Optimist.

    • AdLib says:

      First, hope you’re feeling better!

      Second, you may be right.

      Third, it may not matter.

      If reform changes little for many progressives, their premiums remain expensive and their rates keep going up to where they can’t really afford it, no amount of MSM happy talk will alter reality.

      I am afraid Obama may be too optimistic about the public’s reaction to passing the shards of health care reform.

      Some will indeed be grateful, those who get government support (and that’s a good thing). However, those still under the heavy thumb of insurance companies who wanted a public option, like me, will still be pissed off.

      Not really at Obama, though I think he blew it by stepping back and allowing Congress to do it all (I know he was behind the scenes but we could’ve used him publicly riding Dems to get them on board).

      I’m pissed off at Harry Reid and I am furious at Lieberman. I saw 81% of Dems want his chairmanship pulled.

      Does anyone here think Harry Reid will do that? Not me.

      In 2010 and 2012 I will be a powerful supporter for those Dems who fought hard to get a strong reform bill but I will do everything I can to attack and defeat the campaigns of all Dems (and Lieberman) who smothered the soul of this bill.

      • KQuark says:

        Adlib premiums will be lower for most families because of the wider risk pool and subsidies. The oldest and perhaps largest part of the Democratic blue collar base will do especially well by this bill.

        I think your overestimated the wonkiness of the public and underestimate how the MSM has already framed this as a win for Obama if he passes a major healthcare bill.

        Yup small business owners and independent contractors may be the people most negatively affected like this if they can’t get insurance now.

        The executive always gets the praise or blame another thing Obama knows.

        Then you will be a supporter of about 55 Dems in the Senate and about 200 Dems in the House.

        Reid will face the voters in 2010.

        FUCK LIEBERMAN!

        • AdLib says:

          KQ, according to this bill, anyone who is seen as a higher risk, especially older people, can be charged a premium 3 times higher than anyone else.

          Even if the gov’t is subsidizing, how much of that huge premium will it cover and why should insurance companies have a free hand to grab as much tax money as they want, by raising their premiums whenever they want?

          Also, there are loopholes to the pre-existing conditions provision.

          I think the political game aspect of this is not reliable.

          Obama may initially get some credit but as I say, when the rubber hits the road, when many find that even with some government subsidy they’re not much better off, reality will intrude.

      • kesmarn says:

        Whoever is running, in the future, against Baucus, Nelson, Landrieu, Lieberman, et al, will get a contribution from me.

        Even if Arianna or Sarah ran against Lieberman…..
        well, maybe that’s going a little too far….

    • Chernynkaya says:

      There you go-- being all realistic and practical again. What you said there resonates as truth. At least, as the truth about perception. And while the base-- of which I am a part--will feel resentment or at minimum, disappointment, the painful fact is that we don’t have the numbers. Progressives are a small minority in America.

    • Khirad says:

      Indeed. It’s all about what lens they choose to put on the looking glass.

    • bitohistory says:

      KQ, Your meds are fine. Your line :”In politics perception is reality.” is perceptive. Especially with 24 hr cable news, the net, blogs ….Any morre 20 people is a crowd if the cameraperson shoots it right and the coments a written to inflame.
      “As seen on TV…”

  8. kesmarn says:

    Howard Dean on Countdown right now. Let’s see what his comments are at this point….

    He adamantly urges Congress to vote no on this bill.

    He says this is not reform. He suggests we drop the current bill. Pass the smaller pieces of it that will pass and come back in two years to do the rest.

    Ron Wyden is on next and disagrees. Says there’s too much good stuff in this bill to dump it now. Pass the whole thing and fix it later.

    Well, that leaves me just about where I was before. And this fence isn’t all that comfortable…

    • bitohistory says:

      k’esmarn, you mentioned that you were a cancer survivor. Are you able to purchase an individual HC policy and able to afford it?

      • kesmarn says:

        Oh my gosh, no, b’ito!! Not a chance in the world. I was incredibly lucky to be able to get healthy enough to be able to go back to work, and I’m covered under my work plan. But if I lost my job, there’s not a company in the state that would take me on for under about $10,000/month! (Actually haven’t priced them recently, but I know that some years ago when I did check, the few that didn’t flat out turn me down, charged rates that would bankrupt any but the very wealthy.)

        • bitohistory says:

          K’esmarn, That was the point I (and KQ was trying to make about the basic bill. If you ever do lose your job (Dog forbid) this bill will help you. (and me, and KQ and many others.) It would be a shame to lose that.

          • kesmarn says:

            b’ito, you make a good point. The thing that worries me, though, is will I be able to afford the premiums, if I lose my job? I’d hate to think of the insurance companies getting my last Sacagawea dollar coins, by mandate. If I knew for sure that the government subsidies are going to be REALLY generous, I think I could get behind this bill.

          • PatsyT says:

            Tom Harkin was just on Rachel M and he also makes a lot of sense --
            Thinking of this bill as a foundation on which to build,
            as Social Security started out and Medicare ect
            They are all different from their original bill today.
            Bito
            I too am a cancer survivor (skin cancer as a child)
            it’s been 40 years….
            I wish you and Kersmarn all the best with that
            I am always afraid that if I ever have anything come up I will be dropped like a lead weight and risk my whole family’s coverage
            These Ins. Cos. have us all right where they want us
            full of dread and fear…..
            I do not want them to win anything.

            • kesmarn says:

              Thanks, Patsy. Yeah, that diagnosis changes your life in more ways than you would ever imagine on the day you hear it! In the eyes of the insurance companies you become a leper! (I can just see the big red rubber stamper: “LEPER” on my file! ;o )

              You’re right, though, Harken seemed encouraged by this beginning and, like others, said, in code: “Trust us, folks, this ain’t the final product.”

            • AdLib says:

              I’m usually an optimist but I have to say, it’s all spin now.

              Here’s the problem with that, if the bill forces all Americans to pay insurance companies premiums that have no cost controls, and this bill provides none, the middle class could be decimated if not gone well before any further reform could ever be passed.

              And many will die in the meantime because they still can’t afford health insurance.

              Yes, some will be helped and that’s good but others will be prisoners of insurance companies with the U.S. gov’t and the IRS as their enforcers.

              This situation so sucks.

            • AdLib says:

              bito, yep!

              Have to say “if” because I can’t say I’m 100% positive that this will be the case…but I am 97% sure.

              Everyone, even Obama, have stopped referring to a public option or affordable health care for all.

              It makes me angry and a bit sad.

            • bitohistory says:

              AdLib, you prefaced your doubts with a large word….”If”.

    • KQuark says:

      Then in two years Repubs will be in control of congress.

      Why will the American voters support a party that failed on it’s biggest initiative?

      • kesmarn says:

        I guess the million dollar question, KQ, would be: which party would the American voting public blame for the failure of that initiative? Is it possible that their wrath would turn on the Republican Party and Lieberman?

        I honestly don’t know. This was Dean’s take on the situation.
        He makes a persuasive case, but is he right?

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Kes, Reptilians don’t want “gummint health care.” They won’t see the death of this bill as a failure at all. It will invigorate them. If you are speaking about right-leaning Independents, I don’t know. And I also can’t predict how real centrists and lefties will feel about either a failure to do anything or the passage of a bad bill.

          I’m still undecided myself.

        • KQuark says:

          The wrath of America is always on the party in power especially when the Democratic Party is in power.

          The other big thing is the economy which may not be much improved in 2010.

          The Dems could survive one failure but not two.

  9. KarateKid says:

    AdLib,

    Well, as someone who took the opposing view in the first debate, I still stand on what I believed at the time; in fact, I feel even stronger about it now. I was dead set against the mandate, as I saw it as nothing but a boondoggle for the insurance industry, and I see people have now come around to that thinking, based on the poll you did.

    It’s ironic that what really killed this bill was the distrust of the government by the people. You can add me to that list, but for an entirely different reason than the cretins who oppose healthcare reform in any form.

    What’s left of this bill still has some good things, but this could have been done without a 1000 or 2000 page bill that was clearly an overreach from the get go. The demise of the single payer expanded Medicare option would be extremely disappointing, it’s now hanging by a CBO thread.

    In some ways, we have no one to blame but ourselves, as voters. George Carlin talked about the stupidity of the American voter, and what the people of Connecticut did in first jettisoning Lieberman in the primary, then electing him in the general, is a prime example. So, now the American public gets a fork stuck in us by a tiny state (that I used to live in) that voted stupidly.

    • KQuark says:

      Healthcare reform usually fits the culture of the country from about every account I’ve read. Actually when healthcare reform does not fit the culture it’s been least successful. We are still in the greed is good and government is bad Reagan era even though I still think a transition is underway.

      30+C 40+M 20+L. Until those proportions change progress will be incremental.

  10. Gretel1or2 says:

    There is a headline from the AP saying “Upbeat Obama says senate near health passage.” What is there to be upbeat about? Is there something Obama knows that we don’t?

    • KQuark says:

      He knows the bill will pass now.

    • nellie says:

      Let’s hope so.

      If this bill meets his criteria, that means it contains a cost control mechanism. It would be good to know what that’s going to be.

      • escribacat says:

        I thought there were cost controls in the bills. One was 2:1 and the other was 3:1….that is, they can’t charge anyone more than twice or three times the amount they charge anyone else. Of course, they’ll just charge the healthy people twice as much now….

        • nellie says:

          That’s exactly the problem, e’cat.

          I think the only way to get costs under control is to take the profit out of the system. Either out of the entire system, or out of one segment of the market to provide competition with the profit makers.

          We should have cadillac plans for people who want to pay more for something “elite.” But health care shouldn’t be a profit making business — especially managing the payments.

  11. bitohistory says:

    Couple of good observations by Matthew Yglesias today on HC. One that is so often forgotten in the politics vs. policy discussions are LIVES!!
    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/12/lives-are-at-stake-in-policy-debates.php

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/12/the-success-of-the-public-option-campaign.php

    Both of these are worth a read.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      From the blog:

      “And consequently, millions of currently uninsured Americans are closer than ever to having insurance and the rest of us are closer than ever to having a sense of security that if our own insurance goes away we won

      • KQuark says:

        Speaking as someone who needs insurance and cannot get it I have no security because I have been left hi and dry with our current system.

      • KarateKid says:

        Well, you know, Cher, you and I have had the same (but minority) views on this since the summer when we first got to know each other. Now, I see a worse scenario than even we envisioned when everyone was hot to trot for a reform bill, ANY reform bill, and we got shouted down.

      • kesmarn says:

        I’m beginning to ponder the same thing, Cher. What would happen if Reid, Pelosi and Obama came together to say: “Thanks to Joe Lieberman, the entire Republican Party and certain Democrats, this bill is FUBAR. We’re going back to the drawing boards and this time around the public needs to elect some people to office who are NOT invertebrates”?

        • bitohistory says:

          Cher &k’esmarn, What and deliver what accomplishments, that are in the base of the bill, away to the republicans for a victory?
          They are touting right know for rallies to kill the bill for X-Mas!
          http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/15/tea-bag-bunning/

          Killing this bill for lack of perfection is not in the best interests for progressives.
          Some excerptsfrom their rally:

          • kesmarn says:

            Argh…those quotations are so tremendously depressing, b’ito! Whence comes such appalling ignorance??

            I don’t know…I guess I was thinking that if the administration could find a way to deliver very forcefully to the public the message that it is the Republicans who have almost terminally messed this up, it might be the jolt needed to rally public opinion against them. Maybe that’s hoping for too much. Maybe there really is nothing that could convince these tea bag types that they need to vote differently.

            It would be one thing if they were only hurting themselves. But they’re causing such enormous damage to all the rest of us with their ignorance. It’s enough to make a person contemplate all sorts of options.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Do I want to do what’s best for us or what is worse for them? That is what I am pondering.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Can’t argue with that, bito. As Carlin sez, swallowing small amounts of saliva over many years is fatal.

            • bitohistory says:

              Cher, 😀 Leave it to Carlin.

            • bitohistory says:

              Cher, if you want to see any progress towards a single payer bill, this bill, with all the faults, must be passed! Ha!! I don’t care I have incurable cancer. You guys fight!!

            • javaz says:

              (((((hugs)))))

            • bitohistory says:

              K’esmarn, I should have put a smile after my statement about a fight. I know we all want what is best for the most. I am just a bit aggravated with both the left and right today. Too much Goldilocks: too hot… too soft… And the GOP just wants to kill and the dump the whole thing and soil in the bed.

            • bitohistory says:

              Cher, not to worry, I am gong to otlive most of you here, as long as I don’t get hit by a bus (Damn those buses ~smile). I have very good health care, I am in a socialized clinical trial. Perhaps that is why I am so adamant about getting a foot in the door for true health care reform.
              Thanks for your concern--not to worry--we all have an incurable condition. LIFE.

              peace

            • kesmarn says:

              Same here. b’ito. No intention to disagree with your words of wisdom, at all. Just exploring various “what ifs.” And the goal is for you to be feeling better and a part of a huge celebration when the right bill finally passes.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              WHAT!? I didn’t know that, bito, I am speechless and, well, still speechless. I am so terribly sorry to hear that. I guess being new here, it is my turn to be saddened by that news, and I can’t tell you how upset I am.

              But that aside-- if possible for me--we aren’t fighting. Just thinking out loud.

              Oh, bito.

  12. TheRarestPatriot says:

    My 2cents.

    I feel that Dean is right. Perhaps not for same reason I see, but seriously…this bill stinks to high heavens. I guarantee not a single GOP will vote for it, so WTF? Jam in the public option or single payer and squish it through with 51 votes! Why is this so hard?

    Also, the Dems are going to lose the majority next year if they vote for this bill. I just know it; Because I like to think I know the mind of Americans. They will feel like they’ve been sold out and now have a new burden to shoulder because the Dems had no balls.
    NOW, if the Dems stand up and vote this bill DOWN, perhaps the voters will recognize the thought and disappointment that went in to having to let the president down. This will endear the Dems to the people again and maybe they’ll get voted back in. Then the bill could be studied further, re-written WITH Dems options AFTER the 2010 elections and resubmitted for a quick ram through behind the defeated GOP. Everyone wins, we have a public option and Obama gets re-elected. Finally healthcare for all…

    • KQuark says:

      No the voters will vote Dems out in 2010 and we will wait another 15 years to get coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Voters don’t reward failure.

  13. bitohistory says:

    This is not good news for me, because I respect the man.
    Dr. Dean says to kill the bill as it stands now.
    Edit: I need to read his full statement.

  14. Mightywoof says:

    Apologising in advance, I’ve just been to the Dark Side and read this very interesting pov on why bad strategy lost healthcare reform

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-neffinger/how-we-lost-healthcare_b_392275.html

    Perhaps this is the problem with being reasonable rational political creatures (as we all are here) -- we ask only for what we think is possible. If we were to be totally outrageous in our demands then the ‘reasonable, rational’ pol would be able to enact the kind of legislation we wanted in the first place (ask for the sun when you only wanted the moon in the first place). Food for thought?

    • nellie says:

      Thanks, woof. I just went and posted a reply to this piece of doom and gloom.

    • Hopeington says:

      No apology necessary Big Woof, we’re all guilty from time to time. I just recently found my way out and now I’m in. Glad you made it here, thought I’d shout out a welcome before I get to work. looking forward to your positive input!!!

    • escribacat says:

      Hello Mightywoof, Welcome to the Planet. I agree that a smarter tactic would have been to ask for the sun, expecting only the moon. Who knows whether it would have worked. One thing I’ve noticed during this process is that everything is unpredictable.

      I don’t really follow the author’s reasoning in this column though. Especially this quote:

      “Obama told progressives the exact opposite: “Don’t make me do it. I’ll handle this. Trust me.”

      That’s not what I saw happening at all. I saw Obama hand it over to congress with some vague guidelines and say: You’re the legislators. Now legislate the bill. He did this because that’s NOT what the Clintons did and they failed. I don’t think Obama ever once said or implied “I’ll handle this.” I have to say, I feel like that columnist is living in an alternate universe to the one I’m in.

      • nellie says:

        I distinctly remember Candidate Obama saying to his supporters that change was not going to be easy and that he would need our help.

        How does the author get “don’t help me” out of that?

      • Hopeington says:

        ditto, e’cat, I find it hard to believe he said that, doesn’t even sound like something he would say.
        but i totally agree with the sun and moon analogy.
        The lobbyists got the seat at the table from the beginning and we’re just the dogs under the table hoping for a scrap.

      • Mightywoof says:

        I didn’t read it that way escribacat. I think he was using drama (wrong word and my brain can’t come up with the correct one) to demonstrate the difference between the BO’s approach and FDR’s. Both president’s supported a new policy approach -- FDR knew that if he supported it, the naysayer’s wouldn’t; hence ‘make me do it’. BO adopted a conciliatory approach to be bi-partisan (and avoid the Clinton debacle); hence ‘don’t make me do it’. Given the Republican methodology of ‘just say no’ perhaps Obama would have been strategically smarter to have said ‘now is not the right time, there’s too much else to be done -- make me do it’. Who knows -- I certainly don’t :)

        • nellie says:

          FDR had a very different political environment, though. The wealthy and the monied interests were genuinely worried that a France-style revolution was going to break out any day. Under those conditions, it was a lot easier to pass through progressive policy — considering the alternative.

      • Gretel1or2 says:

        escribacat, I agree with you. He did hand it to congress because of Clinton’s failure in the ’90’s. Also, he did not tell the public to stay out of it. He kept saying over and over, at his health care town halls : “America I need your help.” If I could get a video..I would post it on here, but I distinctly recall him saying that he could not do it alone. This guy is trying to blame Obama for the progressives’ apathy, but he is not convincing.


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