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choicelady On February - 3 - 2012

We are accustomed to bullying in America. It seems to be the tactic most favored in the political arena, too. School kids are being taught the nasty consequences of bullying – but adults seem to need a refresher course. Over recent years we have seen thuggery such as that evidenced in Town Hall meetings by the “Tea Party” that roughed up people the majority did not want to hear.

What has become even more disheartening is the adoption of those same “rules of the game” by so-called progressives. This is the story of how those tactics recently caused the death of a major piece of highly-valued legislation in California. The long-term consequences will not be known for months, maybe years.

In 2004 then-State Senator Sheila Kuehl introduced the most ambitious legislation in the history of California health care – a state single-payer plan. Long sought by a coalition calling itself Health Care for All, various groups had formed and occasionally cooperated to pursue the bill through several legislative sessions, passing both houses only to be vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In 2008, with Kuehl termed out, the bill SB 810 was eagerly adopted by Sentor Mark Leno. However, he began his march through the legislature with a crop of new legislators who had no history with the bill or with Sen. Leno. It was a somewhat more conservative bunch who required significant fiscal evidence that the bill would save the state money and be affordable to individuals and families. Single payer supporters paid little attention to educating these new legislators since the bill had passed handily before. But these were different people, different times.

In late 2010 the main group pursuing passage of the bill, the State Strategy Group (SSG), agreed that to help move the bill, they would create and fund a panel of experts who would do a new fiscal analysis. The SSG knew it would cost about $250,000 to get this done well – and they agreed it was a top priority.

Without a new fiscal analysis, the bill began to bog down, not passing the Assembly in its first foray under Leno. In response to that loss, and to a perceived threat from federal health care reform, the SSG began to challenge Sen. Leno’s “dedication”, question Senate and Assembly supporters’ “commitment”, and became more and more angry that things were not materializing as they had projected.

At the behest of one member group in the SSG, the majority decided suddenly to by-pass SB 810 and take single payer to the ballot as a proposition. The member group’s policy director boasted they were ‘best buddies” with new Governor Jerry Brown and that as a result, “Jerry will get it on the ballot for us.” Another SSG member pointed out that such a move was illegal, that the Governor had no such power and that it would require a supermajority 2/3 vote of the Legislature to move it to voters because of the fiscal implications. Either that or they had to find $2-3 million for a signature campaign to put it on the ballot themselves. That wet- blanket assessment did not sit well with SSG.

After continuing for several months to insist “Jerry can do it” the SSG finally realized that Brown either couldn’t or wouldn’t get the proposition on the ballot. The SSG shifted focus to the very expensive signature campaign and full-tilt election battle towards which all fund raising efforts were directed.

By late summer 2011, the diversion of attention to the ballot meant that not one dime was allocated to the promised fiscal analysis. Despite having created an impressive panel of health economics experts, no study was ever produced. Ultimately the SSG raised no money for the ballot either, and the group angrily and grudgingly refocused again on passing the bill.

That anger at discovering there was no instant gratification spilled over into a corrosive and suspicious hostility toward Senator Leno. The SSG members suddenly developed amnesia about the fiscal study they had promised to fund, and relations between these now-grudging backers and the Senator’s office got increasingly tense. Supporters showed up unannounced demanding explanations of plans, abused the staff right down to the receptionist, and made clear they did not trust the Senator to keep the focus.

Despite the bombardment of hostility from supposed allies, Senator Leno continued to push the bill. When it predictably bogged down over lack of fiscal clarity, both the senator and Senate leadership used up political capital still getting it onto the Senate floor. However, at the floor vote, five members abstained, and the bill did not pass. Abstentions came from mostly newer senators who could not ascertain the fiscal implications of this massive health care realignment and were highly dubious the state or individuals could afford this extensive new program.

As a favor to the author and supporters, SB 810 remained “on call” for reconsideration of the floor vote to buy time for further negotiations. Senators and staff worked on getting a “courtesy vote” when a member with doubts still votes “yes” to keep it going. At least two courtesy votes were in the works – all that were needed to pass the bill – when the progressive bully machine cranked up, and the shit hit the fan.

Furious single payer supporters claimed that senate leadership had “sold out” and a massive wave of phone calls was unleashed on an unprepared senate – members, staff, and again, even receptionists.

They were inundated with screaming, threatening, angry demands that they vote for the bill. Staff were not spared. No calls were polite – they were angry and snide, shattering one young intern unprepared for personal assaults on her character and politics. Other, older staff were also unnerved by how incredibly rude the supporters of the bill were to the very people they wanted to have vote for it.

Net result? The courtesy votes quickly withered away, the bill had to be pulled to prevent its being killed. Worse, staffers said it was highly doubtful that anyone in the Capitol who knew this story would ever put themselves in a position to work with these single-payer groups again.

After almost a decade of work, single payer seems dead legislatively in California, not just as a bill but as an issue. It died not due to insurance industry or business opposition but due to the obnoxious and outrageously bullying actions of its supporters. Nice job, BullyProgs. Nice job.

Written by choicelady

I am the public policy director for a large, very progressive faith organization. We believe in science, democracy, full equality for all people (NO exceptions), peace, and justice. We respect other people, but it doesn't mean we share their views. Nice to have a world of progressive thought. Rather like finally getting fresh air after a very smoggy day!

36 Responses so far.

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  1. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Just read your piece.

    Impressive look at the Inside Game in the single payer bill. Compare its history to the one in related efforts in Vermont (and earlier in Massachusetts).

    Doing your homework, writing a solid bill, understanding the process, taking the slow steps necessary to move legislation forward, identifying who your public friends and foes are, identifying who your stealth friends and foes are and not giving in to the temptation to grandstand….that is how you win.

    And failing to do all of that…that is how you lose.

    Nice reporting.

    • choicelady says:

      Murph -- thank you! Lots of anger out there about “dissing the movement”, but if our tactics cause harm, then we have to rethink the tactics. Seems simple enough, right? But the fundamental issue for too many people is -- no damn critic is gonna tell ME what to do!

      How people can get involved in the democractic process and know so little about it is beyond my ken. I guess as our parents feared from our watching too much TV, we DO learn all we know from the actions of others. Being the Tea Party seems to be the standard. How depressing is that?

      I like your summary of the process -- spread that far and wide please!

  2. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    ChoiceLady…

    From Vox Populi yesterday….the Paul folks are in place to control the actual delegate selection process after caucuses and primary close in a number of states (often under the rubric of Party Business Meetings). Further, only Paul and Romney are on the ballots in a number of states with a total of 500 delegate votes. What’s the strategy: send their people to the convention and have a floor fight over the platform.

    from the Ron Paul Campaigns Senior Policy Advisor Ron Wead’s appearance on the Maddow Show Last night.
    http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1779884/pg1

    Same thing at the Ron Paul site (note the comments)
    http://www.dailypaul.com/212952/alert-doug-wead-on-rachel-maddow-msnbc-9pm-et-tonight

    Related: http://www.dailypaul.com/206919/500-delegates-to-be-split-between-paul-and-romney

    http://www.dailypaul.com/212334/rp2012-official-campaign-release-ron-paul-winning-the-battle-for-delegates-what-really-counts

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/02/08/ron_paul_secretly_won_the_caucuses.html

    • choicelady says:

      YIKES! What a dangerous process they’ve allowed themselves. I hope they understand what power they’ve handed the little guy. This Grand Old Party is in tatters. Wow.

  3. SallyT says:

    CL, I’m sorry that something you were hoping to get done was stomped on and tossed aside because people don’t know how to negotate in their own best interest. From all the other comments already made on your article, I really can’t add anything more. I just wanted you to know I read your work and as usual am impressed with your thoughts. I hope the issue can be brought up again in Calif and people will have clearer heads and control themselves in getting the work done.

    • choicelady says:

      Thanks, Sally. Yes -- I hope another route can be found. The hundreds of “outside” groups that worked so hard for this plan will have to find out whether there’s anything to salvage then try to do so. Only time will tell.

  4. Deaniac83 says:

    To tell you the truth, I’m not surprised. I have seen some of these people at work, and they were never willing to consider input. They thought they’d get to dictate the matter, that anyone who asked a question was evil, and well, this is where they ended up for us.

    Thanks a lot, Bullyprogs.

    • choicelady says:

      They promised numbers. They delivered nothing. They promulgated total distortions about the bill -- things that made it appear very expensive to families and individuals -- even though Sen. Kuehl had some fairly decent workups in a very early version. They never even read their OWN bill.

      They could not be bothered to do the work of interacting with health care people seeking to administer the federal reform (since they saw it as a sell out and refused to know what was IN it) so there was no way to work on how single payer would dovetail with ACA.

      Pounding tables and snarling at legislators is all they know. They are true believers -- except they cannot even explain what it is they believe!

      Good luck moving this to the ballot. There was no money for it before for whatever reason. It would be a massively expensive signature drive and campaign, and they raised nothing for their first foray. They would still need fiscal analysis, a spending and benefit plan, a program to work this in as the ACA option -- and none of that is of interest to them. They have a committee to DO that made up of fiscal experts on health care, but they could not even get up the energy to raise the $250,000 it would take to get that done.

      Nope. All it takes is accepting THEIR word single payer is the only way to go. No evidence, just their declarations of superiority.

      Everyone else who needs numbers and policy is just stupid and a sell out to the insurance industry. Yeah -- that’s why so many people in so many organizations spent all that time working on this. It’s those people, the ones who really did believe single payer was really important but ALSO understood the hard work, whom the blowhard bullies have betrayed.

      • Juxtapose what happened in CA to both what happened in VT and with the ACA.

        Maybe the biggest reason the ACA passed besides the undaunted efforts of the top Dem leaders was the the positive CBO analysis for the Senate bill.

        While the VT single payer passed because they were able to make the necessary compromises to move the process along slowly.

        It sounds like the Californians involved acted like children. They did not eat their veggies (do the necessary financial assessments) but the still wanted their cake NOW!

        I for one have cooled to single payer, not because it does not work but because it’s not the only solution or necessarily the best depending on the culture of the society receiving care. Like most progressives I’m sure CA progressives think that every country that has relatively inexpensive and quality healthcare uses single payer. The simply fact is they don’t. Universal healthcare around the would could not be more diverse in how their mix of healthcare insurance works. In fact most countries have hybrid and multi-payer systems, especially when you consider almost every single payer system is enhanced by a large portion of supplemental insurance. Like I’ve said dozens of times the only thing universal healthcare systems have around the world is that they are as universal as possible. How the insurance is delivered is truly secondary. The other big thing people don’t understand about the ACA is that every state will have not for profit insurance available in some form.

        • Nirek says:

          KQ , here in Vermont we are a small population and many of us are like minded. Our laws are already being fought and the finished product will likely look different than it does now.

          CL, don’t give up.

          • choicelady says:

            Thank you, Nirek. We are trying to find a route to salvage this. But unless we are utterly undemocratic and throw the rascals out (as if we could!) I’m not sure what to do.

            We in the single payer community OUGHT to be homogenous but have very different views of how to proceed. I guess it was naive to think that basic civility toward strangers (legislators and staff) would be a part of anything we did. I was wrong. The bad taste it has left for the issue is WRONG, but it’s inevitable. Don’t have a clue yet what are our next steps. But we WILL keep trying if we can.

        • choicelady says:

          KQ -- you’ve defined one of the essential issues that never was addressed. In Michael Moore’s “Sicko” he never raised the issue that in France, Germany, Switzerland and many other countries, universal coverage comes via highly regulated private insurance. From the early days of legislation, that issue was raised -- and rejected -- by single payer true believers. They wanted the Canadian system or Medicare for All which is fine, but it might have moved more smoothly to figure ways to integrate insurance payers. NOT that it would have been easy! The insurance industry hates ACA for its rate regulation! But the issues was never discussed since it feel immediately under the bus of “stickin’ it to the insurance industry.”

          People do NOT care how their health care is paid for, just so long as it is genuinely affordable, does not have caps, does not burden them with debt even when they have it (a massive weakness in the Massachusetts plan that has very high deductibles and out of pocket costs), does not obstruct care decisions by doctors, does not deprive them of choices in doctors, and does not involve huge paperwork for them to do.

          If you can achieve that with insurance? Fine. Via a Medicare type system? Fine. Just DO it. To shift the focus from wanting to provide truly universal health care to wanting to gut capitalism loses the point entirely and makes single payer via government a political rather than a health care issue.

          If we had private insurance with tight rate regulation and care coverage provision mandates, we’d be France or Germany. And that supposedly is excellent care admired by CA single payer people. But just not here. How foolish.

          • Exactly the only system single payer only advocates know any thing about is Canada’s and while it’s better than ours it’s not the best system. Over the long haul countries like Germany and France have proven to be the best. Insurance is only one half of the equation too. Most European countries have many more state run providers including hospitals as well. So the provider costs are much lower not just because of insurance but because provider costs are lower too. We will probably end up with a system that is closest to Switzerland’s which is not half the cost of our’s like some other European countries but still 20-30% less expensive than it would be if we had no universal healthcare.

            • choicelady says:

              You know your stuff! That is right on the money, KQ. The systems are all so different, and most were built piecemeal as this will be. What I do not understand is the presumption that following the very nations we admire is somehow a sell out. The IgnoProg who said smugly that it would cost “only 17% of your income” (YIKES -- it better NOT be that expensive) I think is confusing it with the Canadian VAT of 17%. That is nowhere near that percent of your income. However, Canadian means of paying via the VAT is highly REGRESSIVE putting the greatest burden on the poor as all sales-level taxes do. I don’t know if there are rebates to those in need (as there are for tourists!) but it’s not the best way, and we should not go there FIRST.

              I am sick at heart that the very people who ought to know this stuff cold actually don’t have a clue. So all they had left was rage at people whom they had perplexed from that lack of essential fiscal information.

              Sigh.

  5. funksands says:

    CL, thanks so much for that look into an issue that quite frankly I didn’t know enough about. Admission: When I heard of the 4 holdouts on the bill my first reaction was indignation and outrage rather than trying understand what the hold-up was.

    Of course this may have something to do with people being a little sensitive to legislative chicanery over the last couple years, i.e. Wisconsin, Michigan et al.

    What a disappointment! More so because defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory by people that all wanted essentially the same thing.

    Someone said that the art of political persuasion had everything to do with getting what you want without having to be “right”. Maybe next time these groups will remember that.

    • choicelady says:

      Hi funk -- I ordinarily would understand the suspicion, but these four (turned out there were five at the vote) were people whom we knew -- or should have known. They were not troglodytes, and EVEN IF THEY WERE, they and their staff members are human beings. Staffers are mostly at the bottom of the totem pole and are part of the 1%.

      It is FINE to be really strong and affirmative -- “I really want you to vote for this, I care about this issue intensely, and your vote will affect MY vote” -- but it’s another to start calling people fascists and sell outs and screaming at them. It might even be helpful to ask WHY the legislator abstained. In every case -- I asked this myself -- it was real worry over the fiscal implications and the lack of evidence to erase those concerns.

      I am all too familiar with wacko RW actors. We have them. Yes! Even in CA! But in no way does it make sense to harass and abuse them and their staff members. Once -- OK only once -- an extremist and we wound up on the same side of an issue. (Even blind pigs can find an acorn once in awhile…) You never know where your support will be on another issue. You also never know if you might change minds. We have a GOP supporter for a government reform bill challenging Citizens United! Screaming at him would not have been a good idea.

      What transpired in WI etc. required exactly what the labor folks did -- mass demonstrations, media, large-scale actions. Our “mass” demonstrations for single payer total about, oh, 100 people on a really good day. Only once -- at the world premier of “Sicko” with Michael Moore present -- did we have thousands. If we can’t do better than that, firm but courteous opposition under fire is a must.

      It’s a sad, sad day when progressives act like Baggers. The harm done is incalculable. And I for one feel betrayed that this issue that our members so strongly supported was killed with hateful speech and lousy manner. It would have been so productive the other way ’round.

  6. CL this is a huge tragedy and the worse part is I’m not surprised. It no longer is about the issues with many progressives, it’s about the meme.

    • GirlOutWest says:

      I agree. I sometimes think it’s more about “me” rather than what is in the best interest of all of us. It’s the Id over Ego perhaps?

      • choicelady says:

        I KNOW you are right about a great number of them. The tales I could tell that are NOT written here! BullyProgs begin as EmoProgs. (Maybe that’s the tadpole stage?) Watching people pound tables and insist they are absolutely right when they are absolutely WRONG is one of the more stunning spectacles of all of this.

        First rule of the advocacy business -- know how your system works, follow the rules, and know your bill contents. Second rule -- be polite even when you’re losing. Third rule -- figure out what was left undone then do it right the next time.

        Fourth rule -- don’t act like Baggers, not EVER.

        Hope we get a repeat. But I fear we won’t. It is totally unclear who’d ever work with these folks again. Even the nice folks got tarred with THIS brush, and it would not be possible to keep the BullyProgs out of any future actions anyway. Democracy can be a bitch that way.

        Sigh.

    • choicelady says:

      I know, KQ. I know. Thanks.

  7. SueInCa says:

    CL

    Again and again the term “instant gratification” comes to mind when I think of the emo progs. I can understand deciding to change parties what I cannot understand is staying within a party you so decidedly hate. I am going to call them out whenever I see them though and twitter is a pretty good tool for that as long as you recognize they are definitely the Firebaggers et al.

    It is so sad this bil came to such a nasty conclusion. How great it would have been to have CA come out with the first single payer coverage in the nation. I see Brown has introduced some great policy ideas to get CA back on top again.

    • choicelady says:

      Hi Sue- Well, we’d have been the SECOND. Vermont passed theirs in May last year. One of the sidebar problems with the group is that they would never believe that Obama had promised a waiver to VT that when they did pass single payer AND had a concrete plan for their program, he would see that HHS gave them a waiver. This would make VT single payer the state option in 2014. NO ONE believed me when I said it. I gave sources (Bernie Sanders’ web site newsroom, Feb. 28, 2011) so then they said, sneeringly, “Well, it’s only a PROMISE.” Arrrgggh! Of course it is -- until the bill passed and the plan was documented, it could not APPLY for the waiver!!!!! What part of reality do these people NOT understand?

      None of them would approach Boxer or Feinstein to see if WE could have them ask for a waiver. None of them would work with the existing health care departments and programs to figure out how we could dovetail single payer with what CA was doing on the ground to implement federal health care. They were too GOOD to do that.

      But they ALSO would not do their own internal work, namely the fiscal policy. Instead, the meme, as KQ has so rightly pointed out, is that they never “promised” it. Well -- YES THEY DID. But then they got their attention diverted with the next bright shiny object, and they lost interest in fund raising or doing the work needed to move votes.

      I suppose it’s remotely possible some of this will smooth over, but the bill cannot be re-introduced until 2013 in any credible fashion, and Senator Leno is highly UNlikely to wish to repeat this performance. Maybe I’m wrong, but sentiments everywhere this week were: single payer with THOSE people? Are you insane?

      Opportunity lost to laziness, ego, and angry posturing.

      Despicable.

  8. AdLib says:

    CL -- Thank you for this invaluable though disappointing peek into how people become their own worst enemy and can harm many people in the process when they are filled with hubris.

    We would like to think that just because people are enlightened enough to be Progressive that they are just as enlightened in other ways but it’s not a package deal.

    People can be thoughtful about issues but just as angry, intolerant and bullies when it comes to getting the altruistic policies they support, into law.

    To begin with, when you have a game plan that seems like a strong way to succeed, you don’t bail on it because someone’s selling a knockoff version of it cheaper on eBay. If the SSG had merely kept their promise and commitment to create financials as they promised, it is much more likely that this bill could have passed.

    Instead, as you describe, they acted with a sense of entitlement, as if they didn’t need to do all the work required to pass this bill and that their connections or righteousness should be all that the legislature needed to vote their way.

    The ignorance of people in this position to think the Governor can put something on the ballot is astounding. Many non-professionals in politics know the basic rule of US democracy that a legislature is the only branch that can legislate. That’s why they’re called legislators.

    And this poorly thought out distraction of instead signature gathering for a ballot measure comes off as just plain dumb. “Let’s see, should I spend $250,000 on creating a financial analysis I’ve promised to deliver to get my bill passed or embark on a signature campaign to get on the ballot that could cost $1 million or more?”

    Obviously, math was not their strongest subject.

    And the vicious bullying that they whipped up when they didn’t get what they wanted is simply horrible and as unProgressive as you can get.

    “Hey you Motherfucker! I’m calling you, asshole, so you’ll vote for my bill that is all about showing compassion and care for every human being, you sonofabitch!”

    I don’t get the kamikaze nature of some people. It took years for ending slavery, women’s suffrage, civil rights, etc. and yet because these people have decided that they would do or die on single payer this year, it dies.

    Can you imagine Martin Luther King responding to setbacks in the South on civil rights by going on a swearing and bullying rampage? How much would that have set back the whole movement if he had acted as petulant and vindictive as these people did?

    And what if Obama reacted to the Repub racism and intransigence by angrily screaming at them or calling them offensive names?

    Again, an astonishing amount of ignorance.

    Personally, I refuse to let these people kill single payer for the rest of us but I recognize that there will need to be a cooling off period for a while, with newer legislators who haven’t been burned by them, until we can try again.

    Once again, thank you so much for enlightening and sharing this cautionary tale about how being Progressive in one’s politics isn’t enough, one has to be Progressive in one’s humanity as well to ultimately be successful.

    • AdLib sadly that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned on progressive blogs and you could not have said it better. The pettiness and hypocrisy I’ve seen from some progressives matches that on the other side of the political spectrum.

    • choicelady says:

      AdLib -- I think your last lines are the essence: you have to be Progressive in your humanity as well.

      I fear that this story will take on the “urban Capitol legend” quality so many others have. Lots and lots of things do or do not occur because of past practices. I can’t see this escaping.

      The assumptions too many Progressives make is that a legislator does not vote because he or she is either stupid or in hock to some special interest. Well, a GOOD legislator needs information, and this slate of legislators do not have it. Why would someone vote for a bill without knowing if it will help or hurt their constitutents? One of advocates for single payer went around bragging, “Oh -- it’ll only cost you 17% of your incomes!” WHAT??? That’s what we pay for PRIVATE insurance NOW. Furthermore, that is double -- DOUBLE -- both what the original fiscal analysis a decade ago thought it would cost individuals and families, AND also twice what one would pay for federal health reform coverage up to 400% of the federal poverty level. Who in their right mind would inflict TWICE the cost on someone? So proponents are spreading WRONG and DAMAGING information, too.

      It is a sad day when good sense cannot prevail, when the heavy lifting of providing good insight into cost effectiveness is, well, too heavy, and when emotional self-gratification of “stickin’ it to the man” trumps winning a critical piece of legislation that benefits us all.

  9. escribacat says:

    CL — What a sorry sad tale! Grrr. I think one of your critical phrases was “instant gratification.” I do believe that personal characteristics come into play with these issues. Some people apparently got whatever they wanted as children and expect that as adults, even in politics. I never got what I wanted as a kid (no spare money in the household) and I am very rarely disappointed as an adult because I don’t have wild expectations about anything.

    During the health care debate, which I followed very closely because I was hoping to get insurance despite my “pre-existing condition” (back problems), I encountered someone over at yonder yellow site who grew incredibly vicious when I argued in favor of ACA. I am still angry and insulted about it these 2-3 years later!! She is a “prominent” poster there (“pundit,” badges ad nauseum) who endlessly brags about being an old time democrat feminist and spends 95% of her posts bad mouthing Obama and the democrats. During our “discussion,” she told me that I would have been a collaborator in a concentration camp (a kapo) — this because I supported ACA. I am not easily insulted over there but this pissed me off. Severely. She pompously claimed that she would make sure the whole world had coverage before she took it for herself. (Gawd, gag me with a spoon).

    I understand exactly how those interns and receptionists and legislators feel — I wouldn’t do anything to work with that pompous old hag no matter what. I’d just as soon spit on her. If I ever meet her in person, that’s exactly what I will do.

    And by the way, after being uninsured for several years, I now have insurance because of ACA.

    • choicelady says:

      I want to follow up on SueinCA’s observation.

      I realized that what you wrote about this blogger and what she said, that she boasted she’d not take health care until EVERYONE had health care, makes me pretty sure I KNOW HER. Not online -- in person.

      It did not sink in immediately, but if it’s the same Firedogger who was once part of single payer, she is the ONLY person in 10 years that had me quietly but determinedly back in her face, with my teeth gritted, flames out my ears. I don’t want to go into the details of what she said to get me that furious -- but I came out significantly ahead in a quiet but unrelenting rebuttal of her total assholery. She never got within 20 feet of me EVER again. My parting words to her were, “Oh, get OVER yourself!”

      I will now think back on that encounter with REAL pleasure, and consider it as “taking on the bitch for escat!” That line -- “I won’t take health care…” -- was her brazen signature boast. Turns out she had private insurance.

      Presuming there are not two such jerky women in the world with the same bad line, you can think of yourself as already vindicated! Hah! It might please you to know she worked for a single payer advocacy group -- and eventually got fired ’cause she was too obnoxious even for them. Double HAH!

      • escribacat says:

        Wow. This sure sounds like the hagmonster I’m talking about!! You’re right — how could more than one monster come up with the same pathetic self-righteous pompous etc etc etc. Not to mention the same level of hatred and viciousness against people on the same side of the aisle. Wow again!!

        PS: I’m a woman and don’t particularly approve of the term “hag” for an older woman but in this case, there simply is no other appropriate word.

        • choicelady says:

          es -- it’s taken me a very long time to get used to new/old celebrations of hags. It’s when a woman turns 70. Period. But yeah -- now we use it as a nasty image. Same with crone (when you turn 60.) But this woman was the negative personification of the BAD meaning of hag -- and she is not even that old.

          I think of Dorothy Parker’s comeback when I think of this woman. Someone said to Parker that a mutual acquaintance was “her own worst enemy”, and Parker retorted, “Not as long as I’m alive.”

          I’m there with respect to this bitch/hag/asshat. Not as long as *I* am alive! Especially now that I know what she said to YOU, one of the most thoughtful and valuable people EVER. Fie on narcissistic faux progressives!

    • SueInCa says:

      Wow Cat
      What a disturbing experience you had with that poster at the yellow site. I cannot imagine who it was but I have also tried to put HuffHo behind me thoroughly. I havehad some stalkers over there but no one outrightly calling me such foul names. I am glad you are here.

    • choicelady says:

      escat -- HOORAY! I’m so glad you have coverage at last! And this was sneeringly rejected by single payer people -- which means, in essence, that they reject YOU.

      The two plans can and should work together, but EmoProgs have no clue what is in federal reform and how it helps people. The 2014 coverage cost schedule is virtually identical to CA’s single payer! It’s NOT “RomneyCare”. It has, by default, a “public option” now, and that’s what is covering you I imagine. The High Risk Pool has given millions the affordable NON-private care coverage they need and want. Shock! Horror! Awful!

      But you and I and several others here know how GREAT this program is, and if the EmoProgs would focus on health care and stop deciding they want to “overthrow the system” -- whatever THAT means -- then compassion for you would be the FIRST, not the LAST thing they care about.

      I celebrate your health, and I’m SO happy it’s working for you! That’s great news, and thank you for sharing it with us.


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