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KQµårk 死神 On December - 24 - 2009

I watched the Senate vote and history was indeed made today.

Probably the only surprising story in this vote is that all 60 Senators in the Democratic caucus voted for the bill even though passage was a foregone conclusion. There is one more major step in the process when the bills are reconciled and than the bill is exactly what it is a huge improvement over our current healthcare system. Expanding access to the healthcare system so most uninsured can now get coverage is the biggest domestic progressive priority realized in decades.

The political maneuvering and rancor will continue on both sides of the aisle. But we all certainly know unequivocally that EVERY Republican could give a shit about the uninsured’s access to healthcare in this country. Like usual the GOP will make it as difficult as possible to implement the bill for pure political reasons and do anything they can to prevent further progress. However like most domestic policies that represent progress healthcare reform will be successful because it fundamental will fix the biggest problem in our healthcare system, access.  Eventually this bill will change mindsets American mindset like Social Security and Medicare have . The healthcare reform legislation will continue to expand and progress like Social Security, Medicare and SCHIP. The functioning elements of this legislation will continue to be expanded and Americans will wonder how we once lived in a country where millions of people had ZERO access to the healthcare system, save for an ER visit that cost us all.

Make no mistakes the healthcare bill is much more a foundation for future progress than fixing all the problems in our healthcare system at once.  The bill is no doubt at the low point of it’s popularity because we have our eye on the sausage making process more than any moment in our history with 24/7 media and blatantly biased media coverage from the right, corporate MSM and even elements on the left.

Like any great story there are numerous heroes and villains born out of this process. Most of all perfect or not the Democrats have proven they can govern and drive progress in the most toxic political environment that existed in this country since the civil war. I’m purposely describing the 40,000 foot view of the healthcare bill because it cannot be changed while the details will be improved for decades to come.  More than making history the future is in the making now.

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is kquark@planetpov.com Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

22 Responses so far.

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  1. KarateKid says:

    KQ, my debate foe and friend, while I don’t disagree that this bill is an improvement, it will be a long, long time before we see anything like what Progressives wanted. I don’t know how old you are, but I will be long gone by the time this bill actually improves.

    I believe we have set a dangerous precedent, that mandates that we have to buy something from a private, for profit enterprise.

    Karen Ignagni, the dire enemy of Progressives, said something very disturbing, that insurance rates will go up, especially during this five year waiting period, co-pays will go up, and our wallets would take a hit, and I believe her.

    I hope we didn’t open the Pandora’s Box. What’s next, the government mandates we have to transfer our Social Security to Wall Street?

    I would wait until things actually kick in and see how things to before proclaiming a historic achievement.

    But one thing for sure, I will never forget the obstructionism on the part of the Republicans and will never vote (R) again.

    • KQuark says:

      Well it all depends how progressives respond whether progress is made doesn’t it. If progressives don’t vote and fall back on they cynicism the Huffy is promoting nothing will be improved because the R’s will have control. But if the lesson we all learn from this is that conservatives ALL Republicans and those on the Democratic side of the aisle will always block progress than we can move forward.

      Since I’m over two years past my expiration date I probably will miss many improvements as well. But remember the improvements in Social Security law happened quite quickly because more liberal Dems were voted into office, not less.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Merry Christmas KK! As you see from my post below, I am not celebrating this bill, but I am still more glad that it passed (for a variety of reasons) than I am pissed off. I am about 5 degrees happier on the fence-o-meter, if you know what I mean.

      But here’s what I’ve been thinking about: I think before this stupid country changes, something terrible has to happen-- like insurance rates literally impoverishing most folks. Maybe that’s what it’ll take-- higher rates, more bankruptcies. And the rates WILL GO UP! The ins.cos are not going to cut their profits. Lawrence O’Donnell said the same thing on Morning Joke.

  2. Chernynkaya says:

    Hi KQ-- and thank you for posting under what must be difficult conditions for you. I hope you are regaining your strength and are on the mend.

    I am glad the bill passed. It is very modest progress, which is hard to argue against. Many people desperate for help will get it. But I am not celebrating-- I am just not mourning. That’s the bottom line for me.

    I am no longer demoralized because this bill DOES help, and the Congress and the President accomplished something against tremendous odds, tremendous amounts of money spent to prevent anything like reform, and tremendous right-wing noise.

    But I do not feel celebratory knowing that this country is so backward, so bribed and that so few are willing to do what is best for us.

    It’s not a lump of coal in my Christmas stocking, but it’s not an empty stocking either.

  3. nellie says:

    I was also encouraged to see the 60 vote passage where 51 would have sufficed. Something good is going on in the Senate, and hopefully it will continue for the vote on the final bill. It’s going to be very interesting to see where the conference committee takes this legislation, considering the squeak through on both the House and Senate sides — and the substantial differences between the two bills.

  4. AlphaBitch says:

    Hi KQuark! You are king of the photos, dude! You even make DC look holy-ish.

    Hope you are doing better. Storms headed your way (GA, isn’t it?). Hammered us here in Texas yesterday.

    Stay warm, and get stronger.

  5. choicelady says:

    Hi KQuark-

    Good brief and gorgeous photo. Hope you’re feeling better and will have a lovely holiday.

    One quick comment -- we’ve not lost the public option yet. That may well come back in Conference Committee. I have a side by side comparison of the bills, and they each have strengths, though the House bill, overall, is better, IMHO. I heard Obama this morning (I have been up since before dawn -- it still is -- to see this) and heard commentators say that he is prepared, unlike “Mission Accomplished” Bush, to give the Conference Committee time to do this well.

    I actually remain optimistic that the things we want will largely prevail. Our (meaning my organization and other faith groups) have one caveat -- No public option? Then no individual mandate in the private market. We are unmoveable on that, since it could and would be a disaster for Americans of middling means.

    I am hopeful that the Senate plan will kick in. This is to immediately create a high-risk pool to cover those with chronic or life-threatening diseases who’ve been uninsured 6 or more months. Since this includes you, I believe, it would be a major boon to you and so many others. That is something I’m urging our members to fight for in your honor (though I’m not saying that save for “someone I know” who needs this help.)

    So -- this major milestone is just that. There is still great amounts of work to be done, but I am quite hopeful that we will get not only reform but major reform early in 2010.

    Wow. This is already historic. Let’s hope for more!

    • KQuark says:

      Because there are members in the Senate like Lieberman and Nelson I’m not bullish on the chances of the PO as outlined in the House plan or even the Medicare buy in per se.

      I do think we have a chance to have the chance to see the government set up a non-profit NGO which if a national self pay type insurance would be close to the public option just without the name.

      I had an employer once that had self pay healthcare insurance and it was the best insurance I had as an employee. Your premiums go directly to the employer (the government in this case) and claims are distributed by an private insurance company for a nominal fee. The point is the government is your bottom line insurer but does not distribute the funds to the provider. I know it sounds complicated and there is a cost associated with a non-profit but private insurance company but it’s lower than the cost of private insurance plus profits and higher overhead costs.

      To me the delays have always been the biggest problem I’ve had with the bills from a practical and political standpoint.
      This is the point in the process where I always thought the Obama administration should be most involved. Months ago I wrote an article saying this very outcome was possible that the House would come out with a bill including the PO and the Senate would not. Reconciling the bills was not going to be the biggest hurdle (I always thought getting the first 60 votes was going to be the hardest thing to accomplish) but this stage is the best opportunity to make one good bill.

    • kesmarn says:

      From your lips to God’s ear, c’lady, on the prospects of improving this bill. I was on the fence for a while, regarding the wisdom of the Senate’s passing this thing at all, especially when people I respect, like Dean and Krugman made such good points. But I think now that passing it has probably been a good thing overall. And, with you, I hope it gets better and better.

      Merry Christmas!

  6. Scheherazade says:

    Well said KQ. :)

    That’s beautiful picture btw. Where ever did you find it?

  7. javaz says:

    Merry Christmas to us all from the Democratic Party and Democrat Senators, and a big bah-humbug to all the selfish, greedy, Republican SOBs.

    When I first read Howard Dean’s opinion of the HRC, I believed him and was against the bill.
    But after reading you, KQ, and b’ito and Nellie’s positive input, I changed my mind in support.

    Good morning, KQ, and hope you are feeling better today.

    • KQuark says:

      Thanks for listening to our POV as well as descending POVs because that’s what the planet is all about. Everyone is hugely disappointed about losing the public option, but in reality I knew we lost 90% of the PO months ago when it was not offered to everyone. That’s when I reflected and weighed what was most important and by far it was the fact that the bill will give access to millions more Americans. That’s the quantum leap that has been made in this bill but obviously we must not stop improving on the program for years to come.


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