Despite the fiasco that the Senate has made of things we are now faced with a simple question: what now? We know we aren’t going to get what we want. In fact we knew that the minute that single payer was off the table, but now we’ve got even less to be enthusiastic about, or have we? It seems that people have their views on this matter and are expressing them everywhere. Andy Stern has told us “[d]on’t [k]ill the [b]ill. Fix it.” Howard Dean has told us this “wouldn’t bring real reform.” The list of people who have opinions on this matter include Bill Clinton and Victoria Kennedy as voices of experience. However, there is one person who has been left out of this discussion, and that one person is suppose to be the real reason we’re doing this. The American citizen’s voice seems to get lost in this, but it didn’t get lost in an article I read on Talking Points Memo. In it we read the following:

From TPM Reader AK …
If I feel abandoned, it’s not by Obama and the Democratic party, it’s by those on the left advocating to kill the bill.
I am unemployed and have a pre-existing condition that requires daily medicines, quarterly doctors visits and an annual test. I am on COBRA, which runs out mid-2010, when I will have to find new health insurance. I will need to purchase some kind of health insurance, assuming I can find provider who will insure me
I don’t pretend to understand all the intricacies of the health care reform bill, but I do read a lot. From what I can glean, if the bill passed, I would be able to find health insurance because I could not to be turned down due to my pre-exisiting condition. And based on my income at the moment, my premuims [sic] would be subsidized.
Am I disappointed in the reform effort? Yes. I believe in single payer. I was terribly disappointed the Medicare buy-in for 55 and older was dropped, not because I give a rat’s ass about Lieberman or the political wrangling involved, but because I am two years shy of 55 and I would have loved to be able to tough it out on the private market for a little while longer knowing Medicare coverage was just around the corner. Believe me, it’s scary being 52 and unemployed with a medical condition. Any form of security is vital.
My case is not unique or unusual. In fact, it is common. I am one of thousands if not millions with the same issues that this bill would affect. And when I read or hear people from the left arguing against the bill that would likely provide me and people like me with some modicum of security because the bill doesn’t accomplish everything they had hoped it would or it doesn’t help every last person or the insurance industry will benefit, I do feel abandoned.

Have we become so wrapped up in ideology or pragmatism that we’ve forgotten about AK?

None of us are truly happy with this bill. I stopped feeling enthusiasm when the Public Option was removed. In my view the fact that Medicare was being expand wasn’t enough. As I saw it no Public Option meant no bill. The choice between Public Option and expanding Medicare is now gone. So the question remains: is this a good bill?

We’ve all seen the fear mongering and heard how this is a takeover. We also know that these myths have long since been debunked, but now we actually face the possibility that the mandates might become the problem the right has been claiming all along. I certainly don’t mean to say that it would be the end of the world that wingers have claimed, but could we really be fined because we don’t have coverage? Does this really show that we’re about to become slaves to the insurance industry? In the words of a well known critic of this administration “the objections over the mandate are largely identical — it’s a coerced gift to the private health insurance industry that underwrites the Democratic Party.” To me this is an oversimplification of the matter. Ed Kilgore has explained things more concisely.

[T]here’s now a tactical alliance between conservative critics of “ObamaCare,” who view the regulation and subsidization of private health insurers as “socialism,” and progressive critics of the legislation who view the same features as representing “neo-feudalism.”
To put it more bluntly, on a widening range of issues, Obama’s critics to the right say he’s engineering a government takeover of the private sector, while his critics to the left accuse him of promoting a corporate takeover of the public sector. They can’t both be right, of course, and these critics would take the country in completely different directions if given a chance.  But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it.

Kilgore’s words give me reason to pause and wonder if perhaps we’ve all become so caught up in idealism or pragmatism that we’ve lost all sense of what this is about. Are we really Obama’s doormat, or is this the best chance we have to make progress? Without knowing what’s going to be in the bill I can’t know if it’s worth passing, but I do know AK thinks it might be.

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LITU
Member
LITU

This is not an exercise in self-aggrandizement, but a true story, and one which has formed the basis of my belief-set on this issue.

In 1971, while living and working in England, I developed acute nephritis, due (believe it or not) to atmospheric pollution. I spent 13 weeks as an in-patient at a hospital, undergoing every treatment possible by specialists brought in from all over the country, because my case was so unusual. Bear in mind, I’m a Yank, not a Brit.

13 weeks! Imagine that happening in this country? As an employee, though a foreigner, I paid my taxes like everyone else. Those taxes proved to be the best dime I ever spent.

The cost to me for those 3 months under hospital care? ZERO! My outpatient cost for the ensuing months – ZERO.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in the current Senate proposal. I don’t support it, and here’s why.

Rightly or wrongly I believe that once any bill is signed into law it will take an act of God to improve upon it. Elected reps who oppose reform will be emboldened by its failure to bring about real change, and the industries will put even more energy into preventing further reform. I see this matter stagnating for many, many years. That is not acceptable.

That’s my two-cents.

KQµårk 死神
Member

SCHIP and SS are the perfect examples of how domestic programs became expanded because people got use to the benefits and wanted more. I don’t think this ends the cycle but begins it based on past history.

Most Americans view legislation like this in a binary way. Those who opposite do not see a win to embolden them believe me. Once law gets passed it will be a win and basis for further progress.

Chernynkaya
Member

That story makes me weep in frustration with our country! I have only one biological child– he is the most important person to me. I have told him I’d like him to consider leaving the US for Western Europe/Canada –someplace with humanity. I mean it. He should leave this backward place for somewhere where his life will be better.

It’s a sad irony. My grandparents endured severe hardships to get here from Poland and Tsarist Russia, where they would have perished. Now, the second generation advocates returning, if not to those places, to the Old Country.

Kalima
Admin

And the Repubs say our NHS stinks, it’s not perfect but it still works.

My father will be 87 this month, he suffered a stroke in 99′, he gets all his help, caregivers, cleaners, laundry and medication free. He receives about 45 Pound a week, he tips his caregivers and the other people who work for Social Services because they don’t earn very much for all the work they do.

I don’t have to worry as much about him now, even though I’m thousands of miles away, he is being taken care of. So much for the Repub lies.

LITU
Member
LITU

Thank you for that, and Chernynkaya, too. 🙂

As regards the blog, I guess the good news for many of us is that we’ll be eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage when the need arises. But once upon a time I managed a large clinic, and experienced the deliberate tactic of swamping the appointment schedules in order to prevent Medicaid patients from being seen. I imagine that is a broad practice, and adding several million more to the rolls is not likely to improve the situation. I see it as a lose/lose. Another reason why I argue against the present proposals with the assumed default to a Medicaid-type of coverage for those who can’t afford private coverage.

Kalima
Admin

Here in Japan I have the same National Insurance plan as my Japanese hubby. I pay only 30% of my regular hospital out patient bills. MRI and CT’s are a litte more expensive but still very cheap.

The only thing not covered are major diseases like cancer, you have to have a separate, private policy for that. We pay about $100 each every month and are covered. I just can’t understand the obstruction and gutting of your HCB, I have out of work and sick friends in your country, it really makes me mad too.

LITU
Member
LITU

Gomenasai! 😐

Kalima
Admin

For what? 🙂

Kalima
Admin

Oh that, don’t give it another thought, I love my friends.

Doitashimashite!

LITU
Member
LITU

The frustration. 🙂

FlyingLotus
Member

Hi ya’ll.

I’m going to keep this real simple..

Eff the republicans and the reptiles they rode in on!

Pepe Lepew
Member

Hello.

You can also say Putain the Republicans here…

Chernynkaya
Member

Yep x 1000!

AdLib
Admin

Hey all, due to some discussion below about this, I’ve just added instructions on how to use our fancy blockquotes like this:

PlanetPOV has fancy blockquotes!

And how to make a word or words in your post into links as appears in the next sentence.

Click here to go to the FAQ and scroll down to the new section titled, “How do I insert Links and Quotes in my posts and comments?”

LITU
Member
LITU

I refuse to insert links, because I prefer to remain disingenuous! :-))

Chernynkaya
Member

Thanks AdLib. I might actually learn to do this!

bito
Member

Gop has filibustered 101 times this year!!

escribacat
Member

Too bad there’s no way to filibuster the GOP!

bito
Member

The reading of the bill is finished.
Cloture vote 1:00am monday

escribacat
Member

1 a.m.? Weird time, isn’t it? Is that eastern time? Thank you, bito!!

bito
Member

E’cat, yes eastern. the earliest time they could vote for cloture.

bito
Member
Chernynkaya
Member

Fuck ’em!!!

AdLib
Admin

I would propose a different perspective.

To me, it seems like a bargain with the devil.

The Devil (i.e. Insurance Corporations) offers, “I will cover 30 million of your uninsured and all you have to do is give me your soul.”

That “soul” being our financial slavery to Insurance Corporations and they will then have the U.S. government as its “minion” to enforce this on everyone who lives in America.

It reminds me of Bush’s tax cuts, where the wealthiest received millions and the average person got $400 or something and thought, “Cool!”

Yes, there are people who need health insurance today who can’t afford it and should have it today. That’s not in dispute among true progressives whether they favor or oppose the current bill.

The difficult issue is in trying to look ahead and imagine where all of us will be in ten years if this passes with terms similar to how they are now.

According to the provisions as they’ve been described, insurance companies can raise their rates at will. The bill won’t kick in for a number of years, by then they could have doubled the rates from today and all this financial assistance could be absorbed with all of us, including many of those 30 million, facing premiums we still can’t afford.

This could be a bait and switch by the insurance companies, they have shown how clever they are to get around regulations and the intent of laws, without strong regulation, could the benefits to many Americans from this bill just be conceptual or temporary?

And if the provision stands that allows them to cross state lines to sell insurance and they can all set up shop in Texas or another state that has the most Insurer friendly/consumer unfriendly provisions and oversight, no matter what state you live in, you will have no recourse and will have to abide by how Texas protects insurers.

This is what you do to make a big steal. Offer the mark something they can’t refuse in exchange for something huge they would never otherwise give you…then steal back what you gave them.

I am not as confident as others that the insurance companies will play by the rules or at least the intent of the rules. That’s my concern, that these insidious insurance companies are already calculating on how they can widdle away at the benefits Americans would be given by this bill.

I do not think that the bill that would come out of conference with the House will be much changed from the Senate version, out of fear Lieberman or Nelson will jump ship and scuttle the whole thing. So, my bet is that what the Senate bill is will pretty much be what the final bill is.

If it passes, I will at least take comfort in the near term that people who need insurance desperately are going to get it and Obama and the Dems in Congress will chalk up a win while the GOP retreats back in its coffin to wait for the next full moon.

I will however be very concerned about our future.

KQµårk 死神
Member

The fact is if it was not always single payer or everyone could buy into the public option it is a deal with the devil.

You have to look at the final PO that resulted where 10-20% of people would have become newly covered by a public plan that could not use Medicare rates. Whereas it was still a 80-90% a deal with the devil.

Add on the non-profit government administered plans for each state that is close to what Federal Employees get and in reality you have something close to the PO just without the government run language.

The same thing goes with premiums increases from both plans which were not going to bend the curve much. Like I said in a previous post universality of everyone who can paying premiums bends the curve better than the current PO by far. In fact there was a good chance the PO could be used as a dumping ground for patients with preexisting conditions and older patients. Of course I would argue the public coverage would be better even though it could be more expensive.

Chernynkaya
Member

As I posted the other day, that’s what I have decided as well, AdLib. I find small (very small) rays of sunshine, but no one can tell me it’s not still raining. It is very hard to keep a still upper lip.

Chernynkaya
Member

The email just now from Nancy deParle at the White House:

“Dear Friend,

After months of debate this year, and decades of gridlock before, our country is closer than ever to passing the single most important piece of domestic legislation since Social Security. This is no small feat. There’s a reason that presidents from Truman to Nixon to Clinton have called for, but been unable to achieve, health reform: it’s incredibly difficult.

The current legislation in Congress includes many of the protections found in the bipartisan Patient