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AdLib On February - 24 - 2010

MoveOn’s Virtual March on Washington for health care reform and the Public Option is in full swing today, already over 811,000 people participating and climbing!

If you’re interested in adding your voice, here’s a link:Β  http://pol.moveon.org/virtualmarch10/action.html?rc=homepage

By adding your name, MoveOn will send a fax to Congress in your name and instantly provides a pop up of your Senators’ names and phone numbers so you can call their offices to further make a strong impression on them on how important it is to you to pass HCR and fight as hard as possible for a true Public Option.

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."

142 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    Saw this on The Hill…looks like the conservative approach is on tap for tomorrow night:

    Liberal Dem not happy about White House health summit lineup
    By Jordan Fabian -- 02/24/10 06:47 PM ET

    A leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) voiced concern on Wednesday that the House Democrats’ contingent to the White House healthcare summit is not liberal enough.

    Rep. Keith Ellison decried the lack of liberals on Twitter:

    HC Summit: Blue Dog rep, but NO Progressive, Hispanic, Black, Asian rep. invited. 3 women of 29 members invited.Call WH & complain loudly.

    The four additional members invited by House Democratic leaders, however, includes Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), a member of the CPC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.


  2. Chernynkaya says:

    I could give arguments for the PO, and also why in its present form it matters little. But what I really think is that symbolically it matters a great deal. That is not to say that whatever is passed w/o it is a completely Pyrrhic victory. But the PO is something Dem voters and others have decided they really want. For the Senate to brush that off like 59 Rahms telling us to go fuck ourselves is stupid politics if not stupid policy.

    Seriously, I wonder if passing any HCR will save the public perception of the Senate at this point. It might come too late to rehabilitate their image, but not passing something will be the end of the Dems for the next few cycles.

    • AdLib says:

      Watching KO and Rachel tonight, the consensus seems to be that The Senate has written off the PO, apparently the Brown win in MA has permanently terrified the most spineless Senators.

      So they’re opposing something the majority of Americans want? Where is the logic?!

      Barbara Boxer was on Rachel and glaringly danced around the PO being re-considered, she instead touted the Fed price controls Obama proposed and state pools as accomplishing the same goal of providing affordable health care.

      With the public statements from the WH and the backroom talk, Obama does not support nor want a PO at this point. Reid has apparently told them that there aren’t 51 votes for it among Dems.

      With this in mind, it is understandable why so many Dems are angry. There is a justifiable feeling of so many Dems lacking the courage to do what’s right for Americans instead of what’s best for their re-election.

      And in this case, despite their calculations, having supported a PO would have served both.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I also meant to write that I noticed that too about Boxer. She was being so straightforward up to that point in the interview. Rachel asked Boxer so earnestly, because there was a moment of genuineness there, but Boxer reverted to pol the minute the phrase PO was said. Sad--really sad.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        well, people aren’t logical, but you’d think they’d want to look after their own jobs.

        So, to my logic, that means

        A. They do not believe the majority of voters want a PO


        B.They are bought and paid for by the Ins. industry.

        Or both. Nothing else really makes sense. Oh, except this: They are actually stupid. That is seriously a very real possibility. I’ve seen ’em on the TV machine and many are people I wouldn’t have coffee with, they are that plain ignorant or dumb.

        • AdLib says:

          I’ll sign onto your last choice:

          C. They’re stupid.

          What they got from Brown’s election is that HCR is bad instead of HCR that doesn’t profoundly do the “R” part is bad.

          Support for a PO remains high. Support for HCR with mandatory purchasing and no price controls or PO remains low.

          Fortunately, price controls are being proposed (finally!) by Obama so support may rise.

          What the “dopes” not supporting HCR with PO don’t realize is that it was the only strong path to getting through this on the positive side.

          The Repubs will diss them for socialism, government takeover, etc. in either case but with a PO, they could have far more goodwill banked from the public.

          Even so, I support this bill even without a PO, with Fed price controls as presented.

          And who knows, maybe the 30 million getting insurance will show a bit of appreciation at the voting booth towards the pols who helped give it to them. That could blunt the GOP attacks.

    • escribacat says:

      The public option became the entirety of health care reform for many progressives. From my perspective, that is a perspective from a theoretical and political point of view. Getting the greedy insurance companies out of our health care is a worthy goal. I want it too. I want single-payer.

      But from a practical and personal perspective, I just want some coverage because I can’t get it now. And I’m not even sick -- I just have back problems. The refusal to insure people with any sort of pre-existing conditions — including things like high cholesterol or back problems — is the most egregious aspect of the current system.

      • KQuark says:

        That’s exactly the problem I’ve been bemoaning for months. The president was not lying to the people in September when he said the PO was not the only part of HCR that mattered. He’s the one reading letters from dozens of Americans like us who are asking for help. Most progressives are reading blogs written by ideologues.

        The Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland all have cheaper and better universal healthcare systems that are 100% private. They are all cheaper because the people who are well now cannot gain the system and have to buy insurance. It’s called risk sharing and it’s the only commonality in all universal healthcare systems.

        The disconnect I don’t understand is that people like you and I who cannot get affordable coverage are not the ones set to kill the bill because it does not have the PO while progressives who have insurance and will not be eligible for the PO anyway are pushing it.

        For us the philosophical point of view is a pure luxury.

        • choicelady says:

          Hi escat and KQ -- As one of the covered progressives pushing the PO, it’s out of gut level fear that without that, you may be forced to buy insurance that, soon, you also may not be able to afford. That said, I do think the recent control plans -- rate control especially -- do help the individual’s safety. But without a PO and serious rate control, it will soon bankrupt us as a nation with the subsidies for individuals at the rate the rates are climbing. If it turns out to add to the deficit, the Reeps and Blue Dogs will kill the entire plan.

          The immediate program for those desperately needing care (and I think, escat, your back qualifies as a chronic problem) will be into the pool within weeks to months. How it works and what it costs is unclear, but there is a percentage cap on what you would pay that is not wonderful but in line with what single payer would cost in CA. The gummint pays the difference, and that gives you some breathing room.

          KQ -- and now escat -- I do my work and advocacy ALWAYS with you in mind. I discuss people living on the edge needing care they can’t get, and I think “such as KQ”. Mind you I don’t tell people -- your privacy matters -- but I think of you each time I train people, lead discussions, put out alerts to our members. You have become my focus. I evaluate everything in terms of ‘what’s good for KQ’ and what isn’t.

          Yeah -- I suppose we can get along for now without a PO, but it scares me that without it way may cover you for a few years then yank the program on the grounds of cost.

          I am furious with the Dems over this. Boxer was quick to support the PO, but where are the intelligent folks to point out that support for reform declined when the Senate bill left OUT the PO, not when the House bill had it?

          So the question discussed above is right on -- are they ignorant of what voters really want, in the pocket of the insurance companies, or just stupid? I’m voting for C.

      • AdLib says:

        I think the Dems who care most sincerely about the health and lives of their fellow Americans are supporting the passage of a bill whether or not there’s a PO.

        Even some of those out there expressing dismay do or will support the passage of such a bill.

        It is disappointing to think that if not dragged out for a year and if reconciliation was not dismissed at the beginning, profound reform could have taken place.

        This strategy was poor and undercut the momentum and possibilities.

        However, we are where we are today and there is sufficient momentum to pass the Senate Bill after fixing some serious problems through reconciliation.

        We have to accept what we can get today and with Fed control on premiums, the mandatory requirement is more acceptable.

        We will have to continue to fight for single-payer, Medicare for All. Unfortunately, those Teabaggers and Repubs opposing this will have to suffer enough under our for-profit system until they could possibly change their minds.

        After all, Insurance companies deny care and charge an arm and a leg to Progressives and Teabaggers alike.

  3. KQuark says:

    If the president’s reconciliation bill fails this is the only real alternative.


    Of course Murdoch’s WSJ is releasing this article to poison the water even more before the president’s summit but if these two bills fail this is the outcome to expect.

      • AdLib says:

        After reading it, not sure if it really is a denial. The WH seems to be saying that “We’re talking about something else right now” but not denying that they’ve been preparing this for a fall back position.

        Still, despite this and the absence of most congressional progressives tomorrow night, I am optimistic that this is going to happen full bore.

    • escribacat says:

      That looks like poison to me.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      KQ-- one minor point: Obama has not written a bill, but a set of items that are already points of agreement between the House and the Senate, which the Congress can then choose to fuck up.

      • KQuark says:

        I should have said plan. Pretty much what he did was lay out the compromises that Democratic leadership came up with during reconciliation talks and added a few new wrinkles but the main legislation was written in Congress.

      • AdLib says:

        Cher, did you catch this paragraph:

        White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel didn’t devise the smaller policy, the official said. But Mr. Emanuel argued that it wasn’t feasible to pass a comprehensive bill and counseled a lesser version, according to several people familiar with the conversations.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Yep, and yet it is contradictory, no? He didn’t devise, but he did counsel, blather, blather. He’s such a schmuck.

          • AdLib says:

            I don’t trust anything that appears in the WSJ anyway but considering that Rahm appears to be the conservative voice pulling Obama away from more progressive policies, WSJ, Murdoch and the GOP would probably want to say positive things about him to keep him there as an inhibitor of more Progressive policies.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              I think we should start using the term “rahm” as a synonym for arrogance, as in “the rahm of power” or “Can you believe the RAHM of that guy?”

              In my family we termed our bowel movements either a cheney or a rumsfeld, depending on .. oh nevermind!.

            • Khirad says:

              LOL, Kalima! That’s even better! Scum it is!

              In any case, ‘Rahmbo’ needs to be unceremoniously buried, if for nothing but the homophonic blasphemy that is this nickname -- even if les voyelles are of a different ‘color’.

            • Kalima says:

              My grandmother used the word to describe the nasty stuff floating at the top of the water when you boil your own chicken bones for soups. Isn’t that what you would call scum in English?

              The correct word was actually “Abschaum” but she liked to use the word Rahm because she disliked my grandfather’s habit of making sour cream from the cream collected from the top of milk bottles. It stunk the house out but he lived to be 89.

            • AdLib says:

              Khirad, no, I didn’t know that and those definitions are perfect!


            • Khirad says:

              You guys realize Rahm means ‘cream’ in German?

              And did you know ‘ramo’ is a deception or subterfuge in Yiddish?

              Anyway, making up something is way more fun, but I found that curious.

              Night, Cher.

            • AdLib says:

              Night Cher!

            • Chernynkaya says:

              AdLib, I am glad I stayed for that; ROFLMFAO!!!!!

              G’night πŸ˜†

            • AdLib says:

              Sorry I was away, I had to take a Bush.

              I was thinking of a different application for “Rahm”.

              As in, I was ice skating today and fell right on my “Rahm”.

  4. KQuark says:

    πŸ˜† virtual walks are for real losers. What it takes two minutes to fill out an internet form? 100 teabaggers holding misspelled signs has more of an affect on legislators than this petition. Face it the real effort for HCR was never there from progressives because right away they jumped into the weeds rather than looking at the big picture. The worst part is to this day most progressives don’t understand how little the existing public option means in real policy terms versus a non profit insurance option like Federal employees get now. This is all about politics and progressives feeling like they “win” right now as opposed to supporting substantive differences in policy.

    Again the rest of the industrialized world gets what the US does not.

    A. If you want real change the citizens need to take it to the streets in huge numbers.

    B. Universal healthcare is about giving as many people possible access to the healthcare system, putting controls on insurers, making almost everyone contribute to healthcare coverage and taking the decision whether people can get coverage out of insurers hands.

    Rah rah yeah we have over 1,000,000 signatures. Now pass a the bill and start the process because now we are at ground zero. People on both ends of the spectrum act like we have a system that does not desperately need to be changed.

    Sorry for my cynicism but I see now way a petition like this gets to the goal of universal healthcare any faster. Universal healthcare is a long shot now because the process has gone on too long already.

    • AdLib says:

      Either public protesting changes minds or it doesn’t. You note that RW protests have an effect then state that 1 million protesting Progressives never would.

      If a principle works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

      I appreciate your cynicism but I would think that even you would agree that the Progressive backlash after the town hall teabaggers helped push Congress to get back to work and after that, they had a bill with expanded Medicare close to passage…with Lieberman blocking its path.

      Clearly, Progressive calls, faxes and letters made a difference.

      I think you are too unfairly dismissive of those who participated in this protest. Signing up for it generated a hard copy fax sent to people’s congresspeople then displayed the names and phone numbers of senators. I and many others sent faxes and made calls to our Senators today.

      That is not the admittedly weaker approach of just signing an online petition and emailing it.

      Cynicism and frustration is what we all have to fight against in trying to bring change and we should not fall into the trap of promoting the futility of protesting simply because it hasn’t brought things to fruition yet.

      How long did it take for protesting to bring about the vote for women and civil rights for all Americans? Certainly, they were proven right not to give up because their protests were ignored.

      They kept protesting until they accomplished what they set out to do. As I believe we should. And even if a bill is passed, we should continue to protest against remaining inequities.

      That is how change has happened historically in this nation.

      • KQuark says:

        I keep on hearing the excuses for not protesting in the streets but tell me again how well virtual efforts have worked so far for HCR?

        I would love to see efforts like this work and I doubt many people here have contacted congress and the white house as often in every way or signed as many petitions as I have from the beginning. I’ll sign this petition for what it’s worth.

        I saw most of our virtual efforts tossed aside for a few hundred anti-HCR teabaggers because people in the streets get the MSM’s attention.

        If people who wanted HCR all joined together it would have been an unstoppable force but the goal of giving the vast majority of Americans access to healthcare was all of a sudden not enough to get progressives excited. For example many progressives turned their backs on any HCR early since single payer was never in the mix. I see more traditional Democratic partners like the various unions organizing ground efforts on healthcare. The rest of progressives are split in what they are promoting.

        Most progressives are still defining what real reform is or is not even when the current legislation out there expands coverage to tens of millions of Americans and the vast majority of working families would be paying less for healthcare than they are now. Universal HCR as it stands is real for tens of millions of Americans. Universal access and healthcare security in and of itself was always a huge change from where we are now for most families. Worse the alternative is the status quo or a vastly limited plan but progressives still will only get behind legislation that has a public plan regardless of the real world implications without any reform.

        Yes my views are cynical but then again I was never cynical enough to say “kill the bill” because it was not everything I wanted.

        • AdLib says:

          Imagine if insurance for the 30 million who don’t have health care was removed from HCR but there was a public option and the end of pre-existing conditions. Many might say that bill would not be real reform and should not be passed.

          The HC system is a disaster. People are suffering in all directions and naturally, everyone is looking for HCR to address the issue that is impacting them the strongest.

          Most compassionate people though would put the prospect of people who can’t get or afford health care ahead of the problem they’re having and would support the passage of the current bill.

          Still, one can understand their disappointment at their predicament continuing.

      • escribacat says:

        Well said, adlib. I think phone calls, emails, and faxes have a big effect. When I called my rep’s office a few weeks ago, I asked the guy if they were getting a lot of calls. He said the office had been inundated and that most of the calls were in favor of passing health care reform. The calls were clearly important to them and something they monitored closely.

        • AdLib says:

          Exactly. The squeakiest wheels get the oil.

          When the Teabaggers were the loudest, they moved the discussion in their direction, when Progressives were, they did.

          Many Congresspeople want to get re-elected and if they hear from their constituents, “We are passionate about wanting you to support us on this”, and they don’t, they know they are losing votes.

          They do calculate into their votes which side will lose them the most support so by hearing from more of us, they will give out opinion more weight.

          • escribacat says:

            I think a lot of “progressives” aren’t engaged in the health care reform process because they’re in their 20s. My niece and nephew, who were reasonably attentive Obama supporters, aren’t following this at all. They don’t even think about health care (as I didn’t when I was that age--until I broke my arms in a bicycle accident).

    • Kalima says:

      Talking about progressives, I went to Kos last night, hadn’t been there in a while and was gobsmacked by all the negative and anti Obama comments. Some of them could have easily rivaled RW trolls on HP and I left there with a really bitter taste in my mouth wondering why some people continue to bite their own arses.

  5. choicelady says:

    Hi everyone -- thanks for posting this, and seeing that we have over 1 million voices for reform including the public option done through reconciliation.

    BUT -- the choicelady/churchlady is in a massive funk. Our national faith call today had discussions with Maura Vanderslice Deputy Director of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives. I asked her what about the public option, and she gave me a non-answer. I KNOW it can be created through reconciliation and that we now have 26 or more Senators who said they’d do that.

    And then the mountain fell on me. The faith community tomorrow will have an ad in “The Hill”, the paper for the Capitol staffers (an online version exists) so I went online and saw yesterday’s version. The pronouncement from on high came down that there won’t be 51 senators and the WHITE HOUSE is “shutting down” (their words in The Hill) the movement for the public option.

    I don’t what to believe. There were some rumblings tonight on Olbermann, and I was too depressed to watch.

    There are several emotions ranging here. One is the feeling that, as in this earlier discussion about the Dems, they are wimps and just as tied to business as usual as some of the Republicans. The second is that the poll nosedive for health reform came with the Senate bill that left OUT the public option. People don’t hate health reform -- they dislike anything that does not have a public option. The third emotion is that my work in CA is pretty pointless since both Boxer and Feinstein are on board with a PO, and most of the Congress (there are three Blue Dogs -- Latinos no less -- who’ve raised their ugly heads, but most of the Dems are on board.)

    Most of all, it’s the feeling that what is good for the public, good for the nation, takes second spot to just getting something done.

    Now the vote to remove the exemption on anti-trust from the insurance companies DID pass the House 406 to something!!! Within the Senate-cum-White House plan, there is a move to have national oversight of insurance rates which is equally great. In this cobbled-together plan, the individuals up to $88K (400% of the federal poverty level) would pay from 2-9.8 percent of income for their polcies, and they’d be subsidized for the rest.

    And herein hangs the problem -- if the federal government has to pay the difference between affordable health plans for families and what the slavering insurance corporations want, this nation WILL go bankrupt over health care costs. It’s lousy, no matter what. Not that bad for people, but REALLY bad for the government budget.

    The chief staff person in CA for single payer (sponsored now by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco) says we would not even have to talk about single payer IF we had serious rate control as they do in Germany and Switzerland. Single payer is not cheap. It costs an average of 8% of one’s pay, less for less well paid folks, more for some others. The rate for a family policy in Germany is about $750 per month -- that ain’t hay since a family policy here is about $1000. BUT -- the rates are predictable and reliable and do not include co-pays, deductibles, etc.

    The only way we could get a more reasonable plan would be with a PO -- so what the HELL is going wrong that we cannot move the DEMOCRATS to do this? The Republicans cannot drive this train -- they want NO change, so why are the Dems handing the possibility of NO change to them? What happens tomorrow if they agree to nothing -- do we have Dems with cajones to do what is RIGHT or do they capitulate TO the Right?

    One thing is certain -- if we do not have substantive health reform NOW, Dems will lose hugely in November. If they pass something that is really helpful, they will win. Why do they not see this?

    So -- someone talk me down. I have worked this stuff for four years, and I am at the end of my tether and my patience and my morale.


    • Kalima says:

      “that there won

    • Chernynkaya says:

      My dear friend-- I was in the same place yesterday that you are tonight. In despair and demoralized. I tried to stay away from most of the blogs, didn’t watch MSNBC. I composed a “brilliant” letter in my head, one which I was going to send to Michael Moore, begging him to help organize progressives. And I would send it to my Reps and to Rachel because-- in my head— it would be so powerful and heartfelt, they would all be moved to read it and it would became a rallying cry. (~snort~)

      But then I thought about what exactly I would write. I thoughtr about how painful it is too feel so discouraged. And then I thought of something an older, wiser woman once told me: If you are afraid of pain, you will not change.

      I thought of the word ‘discouraged’ and how it really means to lose heart, because the word courage, as you I am sure know, comes from the word coeur-- heart. It takes courage--heart--to face the pain of our own lives, but I think the same can be applied to the courage we need to face some hard facts about this country and our political system and our leaders.

      Unless I am brave enough to see things as I believe they are, instead of how I want them to be-- without becoming too cynical-- they will not change. I will become too discouraged to fight. I will lose heart as I see so many of my fellow progressives have done, and then I will be a coward and shut down, stay home, go back to sleep. Yes, I said coward, and that’s harsh and judgmental, but also means I understand that they are in pain, and cannot face it. Been there!!I am not brave and I get discouraged, but at the same time, I know that will change nothing.

      And things in this country MUST change, if not for us, for our kids. C’Lady-- this is a dark night of the soul-- so to speak --for you. And you know this, but I’ll remind you: There is no faith without doubt.

      I don’t know if you are in the mood, but I posted a video of Bill Clinton, that made me feel better. It’s early on the Knee jerk thread.

      Courage,Choice Lady!!

    • SueInCa says:

      Don’t give up yet. That lady probably did not have an inside track. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. They cannot turn a blind ear to the rumblings. Some in DC are getting backbone.

    • escribacat says:

      It’s fascinating that there aren’t even 51 votes in the Senate for this! All this time we’ve been worried about Lieberman…and it turns out, he was just the Show-Monster?

      I learned something interesting today — that MediCare actually contracts out to a private insurer. I already knew that our state Workman’s Comp is contracted out to Traveller’s — a private insurer. I always thought that was strange. In other words, our concept of “Public Option” or “MediCare” could be or is actually private insurance. I don’t know what kind of profit these contractors make.

      I guess what I’m saying is that these definitions — “public” and “private” aren’t as clear cut as I thought they were. Since I no longer really understand what the “Public Option” was supposed to be, I’m not that upset about losing it.

      For many months now, I’ve just hoped they pass something and I’ve been determined that I would reserve judgment until the moment I log on and sign up and find out what it’s going to cost me and what I’ll get for that. Until that moment, I don’t have it in me to be gung-ho for or against anything — especially when it might be just semantics. The only thing that would really upset me at this point is if nothing passes at all. I know the president’s plan has a high risk pool immediately available for uninsured self-employed types like me (with pre-existing condition). I just hope it’s a lot better than the state one, which was so bad it was a waste of money and not worth signing up for.

      • KQuark says:

        The problem is not Medicare contracting out so much as Bush having them contract out to profit making entities with Medicare Advantage. Contracting out to non-profit NGOs is quite different and is the type of coverage many Federal employees pay into now. In fact a big part of the president’s reconciliation bill is taking Medicare out of the hands of for profit insurers reversing much of what Bush did.

      • Kalima says:

        I would be feeling the same in your position escribacat, just pass something and amend it down the road. I know for a fact that KQ feels the same, Don’t give up.

        • KQuark says:

          In the bastardized words of Father Ted ‘Just pass the fucking bill’.

        • choicelady says:

          Thank you , all of you. Thank you for reminding me of Courage, Cher. Thank all of you for pointing out that some of what’s public is private anyway, so WTF?

          At the bottom I know -- I KNOW -- the Senate bill alone is actually not awful. It will make a huge difference for millions, will expand Medicaid and raise provider rates adding 15 million people and stabilizing the rest. IMMEDIATE care for people with no insurance and chronic or life threatening problems -- anothe 18 million. And people won’t go bankrupt because of it.

          And I lost sight. You all helped put this “little engine that was fed up” back on the tracks. I will indeed keep on keepin’ on.

          Thank you. You talked me down!!! Blessings, Cher -- that post is beautiful! Thanks to all for such sensible words, thoughts, and deeds.

          • KQuark says:

            Reading the president’s reconciliation proposal, he took out the most egregious parts of the Senate bill like sweetening up the subsidies and lowering the out of pocket costs.

            Not to mention more expressly setting up a Federal watchdog over policy hikes.

            Progressives would all love a virtual single payer system but people act like there is not a huge gulf between the system we have now and single payer which is not a leap most Americans want to take in one step. Almost every country that has universal healthcare systems have hybrid systems with varying degrees of involvement from private, public, business and personal entities in paying premiums and providers. There is no best systems but what they all have in common is universal coverage of some type to share the risks. The best healthcare systems meld well with a countries culture. For example the French don’t have near the problem with having over twice the tax burden we do so doctors go to medical school paid for by the state. The UK prefers a true socialist style healthcare system. Singapore, the Swiss and the Dutch have no problem with 100% private systems as long as government controls the quality of plans and rates.

          • Kalima says:

            United we stand devided we fall!

            Keep the faith cl.

  6. escribacat says:

    Excellent link describing how reconciliation has been used in the past on health care issues such as COBRA.

    “The correct name is continuation benefits. And the only reason it’s called COBRA is because it was contained in the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985; and that is how we came up with the name COBRA,” she says.


  7. Kalima says:

    Well I suppose that I could always start knitting again, I have no Senator. :( *sniff*

  8. Chernynkaya says:

    “We did it! 1,124,457 Voices for Real Health Care Reform!”


  9. SueInCa says:

    It is up to 1.114mm

  10. Chernynkaya says:

    Well, it seems that we won’t find out about the MoveOn campaign on MSNBC tonight because programming is preempted by CURLING!

    I tried to watch curling last night, and it’s one of those things that make no sense — and cannot be figured out — unless you know what the hell is going on. Plus, those sweepers just make me laugh!

    • SueInCa says:

      I know this is important to everyone so I looked it up, the sport was invented in late medieval Scotland around 1541. So now you all know LOL

      • Kalima says:

        No wonder, it gets so bloody cold up there they have to keep moving and who plays golf in the snow, oh, sorry a friend on mine said her husband used to paint his golf balls bright red when they lived in Belgium. That’s what I would call an obsession.

      • PatsyT says:

        One of the other things that crack me up about this is that they have mikes.
        Hearing all the Swedish takes me back.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I figured it was invented anywhere the winters were long and boring and there was too much ice and a lot of rocks. So, Scotland seems appropriate, but I would have guessed Greenland.

    • boomer1949 says:

      But, but…they’re so serious! Are they allowed to blow on the stone or just sweep?

    • PatsyT says:

      That Curling cracks me up!
      They scream at that granite as if that will speed it up or slow it down!

      Keith and Rachel are to be on at the usual time on the West Coast 5 and 6

      OK I have left nearly ten comments on the MoveOn thing and I keep seeing them !
      Can Everyone see them ?

    • SueInCa says:

      Have you ever played bocce ball or lawn bowling? The premise is similar to those. I watched it last week Sweden v. USA

      correction it was Switzerland. big diff, huh?

      • Chernynkaya says:

        No Sue. The closest game I could relate it to was shuffle board.

        • SueInCa says:

          I played bocce ball in Martinez CA, in fact was on a championship team for one year. You roll a yellow ball(pingpong size) down a court of seashells(grated fine) then you take a red ball heavy and about the size of a large grapefruit and try to get closest to the yellow little ping pong ball. And let me tell you those players were worse than football or basketball pros. Do not get in their way and do not touch the ball! They played for keeps LOL

          • bitohistory says:

            Sue i was “politely” informed by an Italian family that it is not bocce ball! it is bocce.

            Well excuse me! πŸ˜† I still won my match! πŸ˜‰

            • SueInCa says:

              Well excuse the hell out of me bito, those Italians must have thought I was just illiterate in the great sport of bocce LMAO

            • SueInCa says:

              LOL, you don’t have a patent on the phrase do you? Ha Ha

            • bitohistory says:

              SueInCa says:
              02/24/2010 at 4:22 PM
              Well excuse the hell out of me… πŸ˜†

              I think that was my thought.

            • boomer1949 says:

              …and you had the balls to prove it! πŸ˜‰

              EDIT: have πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

          • Chernynkaya says:

            So Sue, the curling team with the red rock tries to get close to the yellow rock?

            • bitohistory says:

              Closest to the center, Cher. Think of archery and bulls-eyes. This is quite popular to watch “up on the line.” Many blue-collar bars have bar shuffleboard and there are many similarities. I have personally and proudly wasted many an hour playing. :-)

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Thanks, Bito-- you too Sue. I’ll try to see if i get it.

            • SueInCa says:

              No, to the bullseye in the center. you knock out the other color if you can.

  11. nellie says:

    That was fun.

  12. escribacat says:

    That counter has been whirring all day long. I started getting skeptical (too cynical) but I think it’s for real. I called my senators earlier today and got answering machines. Over 1.068 million now!

  13. Chernynkaya says:

    I just saw 1,049,000!!
    EDIT: So cool to see my comment there signed PlanetPOV.com!

  14. javaz says:

    1,000,000 + and counting!

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