Obama Brings Back Harry And Louise

By Big Tent Democrat

Petey points to Obama's last PA ad - he's going Harry and Louise again on health care:

[Obama] ad attacks Clinton’s health care plan, saying it “forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it."

Wonder if Ezra Klein will notice? Let me add that I have no opinion on the mandates question. I know too little about the issue. but if you say you care about it and have studied it and think mandates are good policy, you might be affronted by the use of GOP talking points to defeat a policy you think important. If you actually care about the issues, that is.

Update (TL): Hillary's response to Obama's ad which she say has "False And Widely Discredited Claims."

< Will Barack Obama Defend Move On? | The Candidate for Change Goes AWOL in Message Today >
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    so much for the republican talking points!! (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by TalkRight on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:39:58 PM EST

    Lets be clear (3.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:39:27 PM EST
     A mandate:
    "forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can't afford it."

    Thats what a mandate is for crying out loud.


    Lets be clearer (5.00 / 9) (#88)
    by angie on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:45:42 PM EST
    if you omit half of the facts (such as the subsidies  built into the plan to make it affordable) you are distorting the truth.
    That's what a Republican talking point is for crying out loud.

    Social security is a mandate. (5.00 / 5) (#109)
    by Joelarama on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    A good one.  Of course, Obama has suggested that Social Security needs to be "reformed."

    I can understand people supporting Obama.  It's this kind of blind defense of him I cannot understand.  


    clarity? (1.00 / 0) (#148)
    by manys on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:37:36 PM EST
    So are you saying that all Obama supporters are blind defenders of him?

    Can you read? (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by Joelarama on Mon Apr 21, 2008 at 12:03:21 PM EST
    I said I understand people supporting Obama.  I said I did not understand this kind of blind support.

    Nice try.


    Simple answer --mandates make everyone buy (5.00 / 4) (#132)
    by derridog on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:41:42 PM EST
    insurance.  For instance, everyone has to buy car insurance. There's a reason for not allowing people to opt out.  People who are young and well or who don't feel like it won't be contributing to the system as a whole. According to Paul Krugman, who knows a lot more than I do on the subject, this dooms it to failure, because it ups the costs for everyone else.   Hillary's plan has mandates, yes, but also ways of helping poor people who can't afford insurance buy it anyway, through government subsidies.  Obama's plan doesn't cover 25 million people. Her plan covers everyone.

    The big problem with the Harry and Louise ads is that it shows how little this issue means to Obama.  He's fine with throwing our chances for decent health care coverage out the window.  Eiither he's going to give us an inadequate health care plan that doesn't cover millions of people and won't work, or else (much less likely) he's going to belatedly realize the problems and then anything he tries to do to fix it -- the Rethugs and the insurance companies will throw his ads back at him, destroying any chance of universal health care we might have.

    The truth is he really doesn't give a (bad word) whether not we have  universal health insurance or not.  He just wants to get elected.  Evidence:   just go to YouTube and look at the video in 2003 he made when he was running for the  U.S Senate, when, sounding just as convincing as he does now, he took the position that we HAD to have universal ONE-PAYER health care in this country and that it was those stupid fools in Washington who were keeping us from having it and that he'd get in there and fix that.  Yeah, right.



    Sorry. I tried to post this link, using (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by derridog on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:42:45 PM EST
    the link icon, but it didn't work, so here it is. I'm sorry if I'm not doing this right.



    And you think he'll be a Progressive if (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:41:12 PM EST
    elected? I think McCain is about as likely to enact health care reform as Obama.

    McCain wouldn't be eligible under Obama's (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by thereyougo on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:11:09 PM EST
    plan. as he has existing conditions, ie, cancer.

    Which party does he belong to? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by myiq2xu on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:46:38 PM EST
    Because I keep hearing GOP memes and talking points.

    I think he's about to become head of the (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    "McCain for President" movement.

    He's already head of the (5.00 / 7) (#37)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:10:01 PM EST
    "McCain for President" movement.  Just doesn't know it yet!  

    Yes, but once he's the nominee, he'll (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:14:29 PM EST

    If he's the nominee (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:22:10 PM EST
    he may have to fight me for the chairmanship of that movement  :-)

    Fantasy Island Used to Be a GOP Thing (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by cdalygo on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:48:58 PM EST
    Sometimes I feel like I'm trapped behind the lines of tinpot dictatorship like North Korea. Everything the leader says is wonderful and all dissent is crushed. I currently live with a president who promotes that mantra. I'll be damned if I will tolerate that within my party.

    How can anyone even attempt to say that pro-Obama blogs, his campaign, and Obama himself have not gone negative? It not only insults the intelligence, it staggers it.

    Turn on CNN today (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:18:06 PM EST
    and listen to his 'new' stump speech.  It's all snotty putdowns of Hillary...lies start to finish.

    Not acceptable.  Not in a million years.


    Isn't he going (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:30:01 PM EST
    negative on her to complain about her going negative on him? That was the message I got. She's making him do it against his better nature. I simply cannot understand anyone buying this crap. I wish I had the walnut shells and pea concession at their meetings.

    Of course she's making him do it!! (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:35:33 PM EST
    Lordy, he would never go there on his own /s

    Has he kept the hand gestures? The shoulder (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by jawbone on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:49:24 PM EST
    flicking? Poo scraping?

    And, best of all, the subtle bird flicking?

    He was pretty negative on Thursday--it's his closing.


    Different audience. He did the shoulder stuff... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:53:45 PM EST
    ...in North Carolina. Probably the crowd was younger and hipper. He made the "buffet" comments in small town Pennsylvania on his whistle stop tour where he was being just a "regular guy."

    And that's one reason I can't vote for him (5.00 / 7) (#65)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:24:26 PM EST
    It not only insults the intelligence, it staggers it

    I tend to get a tad nasty when someone insults my intelligence. Can't wait to see if he's even going to try and win back the voters he's lost for the GE. Could be rather comical.


    Obama's beliefs about human nature (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:53:24 PM EST
    will give us healthcare!  OHHHHHHHHHHH.

    mandates suck (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:53:32 PM EST
    that's why social security is in a crisis. or something...

    They very well MAY suck (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:55:19 PM EST
    I have no idea.

    But a lot of bloggers told me how important they were.

    Now? They may have changed their minds or somethin.


    well... (5.00 / 11) (#22)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:58:30 PM EST
    i'm for single-payer national health insurance (ted kennedy sold me on nhi when i was in high school, in the late '70s), so mandates clearly don't bother me. but hell- elizabeth edwards was demonized, when she said she favored hillarycare to obamacare. you have to respect the consistency, if not the glassy eyes and monotone droning.

    I am basically (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:20:21 PM EST
    for Medicare Type Insurance for everyone. I know we will have to begin with something less. I am pragmatic enough to know that we may have to get where we want to go in increments.  Without mandates it won't work. Any more than Social Security would.

    How important is it to me? Anything less than universal Health Care, the Edwards/Clinton type plans are a deal breaker.



    That would be good (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:27:18 PM EST
    but even most European nations have combination government/private health care.  France, Germany, Switzerland, etc.  England is all government but the wait times for some procedures are longer and it's actually more expensive as a percent of gdp.

    Highly regulated private insurers and government managed funds would appear to be the best route to me.


    I took students to France a few years ago (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by derridog on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:59:41 PM EST
    in the summer. One of them had a bipolar episode and I had to navigate the French mental health system.  Nothing could have been more humane.  We went to the emergency room, a little house  on a leafy lane named Baudelaire Avenue (hmmm....what are the chances of that in the US?). There was a very small wait, because the French don't have to use their emergency rooms  unless they have actual emergencies. They don't have uninsured people who have to go there because they don't have uninsured people.

    We did have to wait to speak to an intern and then the doctor, but there was no paperwork, no money changed hands. There was no mechanism for this. The doctors couldn't have been more caring even though they spoke no English (my colleague spoke pretty good French, luckily).  We had to take the boy several times and finally they decided we needed to call his father to come get him from the U.S.   They took him into a bedroom that was right next to them and the waiting room and kept him there for several days until his dad could come get him. No charge.

    One night they called my colleague and I a cab because they were worried about us getting home at 3:00 in the morning.


    as someone with health care policy coursework (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by boredmpa on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:31:47 PM EST
    There are a couple components that make mandates important:

    I hate the car insurance comparison, because it's incorrect (and is a huge money giveaway). So let me say that unlike car insurance we will develop something or other as we age and have to be treated and need checkups.

    The first component is the total cost of not insuring poor folks. It's theoretically cheaper.

    Since poor income is limited and highly constrained by lack of power, they are more likely to not have insurance (the risk of health problems vs rent vs putting money away for something special).  The problem is, if you are poor and don't treat/checkup proactively, it costs more and/or kills/damages you when something happens.

    That means that if you don't or can't pay up front, someone pays more later. Usually much more, especially if ambulances are involved and/or if you die and thereby cannot pay, don't contribute to the economy, etc.  

    And lets be clear about who pays: the larger economy.  If you can barely afford rent and food, the hospital will be eating your bills, the charity will be paying for your wheelchair, etc etc.  And you may, again, be left unable to work/participate in life and on disability.  As an FYI, I doubt it's proven anywhere but I'd bet money that low income disease control/testing centers save us money.

    The second component is that rich/middle class folks would basically opt out of insurance ("taxes ")and thereby make this a regressive program.

    If rich/middle class opt out of insurance, then they effectively remove themselves from taxation.  They can afford, for the most part, to play the risk game with little down side.  And it might be cheaper for them to pay out of pocket in the current system (less forms/paperwork, etc).

    Those two issues get much more complex when dealing with other policy options like non-compete mandates, and issues of provider and hospital payment/cost-control.


    As someone with a lot of Public Health (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:43:38 PM EST
    experience I can tell you that in the long run the not having insurance cost us the Taxpayer more than any subsidy that we would have to provide for a mandated UHP.  I need not go into details as you surmised well already.  My experience in getting uninsured but not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare patients the proper health care is always an uphill battle with our current system.

    nods (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by boredmpa on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 10:07:53 PM EST
    You're right, I was too lazy to look up the numbers.  The Lewin Group did a full analysis of CA's universal health care plan that included coverage for illegals.  SB840/Universal Single Payer Care would have reduced health care spending by 8 billion in it's first year of operation--that's just in CA.  Note that it includes dental/eye care as well.

    However, I haven't seen a full economic model looking at worker economic productivity balancing out costs vs the current system which leads to worker economic failure. So I hesitate to quote total costs savings over time--without such models we're probably underestimating the increased revenue. Lewin Group primarily looked at admin costs (20 billion savings on admin) and bulk purchasing, they didn't really get into other issues.

    In addition, it currently costs more and is hard to get poor children subsidized insurance when their parents don't have it.  So Obama's plan is bad on that tip as well...


    Social Security contributions (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:14:54 PM EST
    are only mandated up to a certain level of income.  That is the problem because it is such a regressive tax. It is quite different from the made in healthcare program because it requires all who need health insurance.  There will always be a much bigger pool and the actuarial universe is bigger and therefore rates have a better chance of being reduced.  

    it seems very simple to me (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:28:50 PM EST
    all the profits made by the insurance industry are extraneous costs to the health care system. eliminate those costs, and the average person will be paying much less.

    plus ad costs, employee exp, not just the profits, (5.00 / 4) (#84)
    by dotcommodity on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    the cost of running each ins company.

    Plus the time cost of doctors finding out ythey don't cover that.


    That has nothing to do with the Social Security (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by BernieO on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:41:32 PM EST
    projected shortfall - which is in no way a crisis.
    Mandates are important for keeping costs down. It is generally healthy young people who can afford insurance but think they are invulnerable who skip it. (I have heard that about 20% of the uninsured can actually afford it.) These people generally do not cost the system much until they get older so they bring in money which helps keep the system solvent. A certain percentage of them will get sick or in an accident and when that happens they wind up in emergency rooms which is very expensive. All of us wind up paying higher costs to the hospitals to cover them since they often cannot afford the huge bills.
    In addition mandates make insurance companies much more amenable to health care reform because they get more low costs customers.
    I urge everyone to check PBS's Frontline from this past week. They did an excellent job of analyzing the health care systems of several countries.

    and it's interesting (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Turkana on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:44:58 PM EST
    that obama mandates that children be covered, but not adults. his health plan just isn't well-conceived.

    Elizabeth Edwards says Hillary's plan is better, (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by thereyougo on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:18:21 PM EST
    nuff said. I think she should say this often because of Elizabeth's breast cancer.

    I wish she would put an ad like that.


    Watch how he and his camp whine (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:55:58 PM EST
    when Hillary counters with an ad that hits him back even harder as in the 3am ad in Texas.

    Commercial (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by cmugirl on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:13:19 PM EST
    {There's a woman sitting in an ER in a chair, alone.  You hear hustle and bustle behind her, but everyone ignores her. The lighting is kind of bluish, intimating that it is night. You can tell the woman is crying.  Flash to her wedding ring.

    {Voice Over) - It's 3 am in a small town in Pennsylvania. Mary's husband was hurt in a car accident. Unfortunately, the coal mining company has been cutting costs, so Mary and her husband don't have insurance. He's going to be ok, but his injuries are going to require extensive therapy.

    {Doctor) "Ma'am, we're going to have to do the surgery. He can survive without it, but he'll be in for a lifetime of pain.  I must caution you, however, that even if he has it, it's going to be months of rehab and he can't work during that time. We need your approval to do the surgery."

    (Mary)"I'll have to think about it - we don't have insurance and we can't afford it - let me talk to my husband."

    {Flash to Mary sitting on a hospital bed with her husband discussing the situation.)

    (Husband) "Mary we can't afford it - I can live with the pain."

    (Mary) "But Joe - it's going to be a lifetime of pain. I can get a job, but it won't be much. I thought all we needed was 'hope' and 'change' and we would be all right!"

    (Joe) It's all right, honey, we can still cling to each other and our guns.  Our religion will help us get through. We can make it. Yes, we can."

    (Fade to black.)


    Please get a job with (or volunteer for) Hillary (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by honora on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 08:03:31 PM EST
    My husband already thinks (knows) I'm crazy, but he did ask what I was LOL about when I read your response.  It is so true, and so sad.

    Universality (5.00 / 13) (#20)
    by Petey on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:58:08 PM EST
    "Let me add that I have no opinion on the mandates question. I know too little about the issue."

    FWIW, the issue here is universal healthcare, not mandates.  The Edwards/Clinton plan is a workable and enactable plan that uses subsidized mandates to get to universal coverage in an (economically) progressive way.

    The Obama plan doesn't get to universal coverage, via mandates or any other means.  If Obama had a non-mandate way to get to universal coverage, he would've told someone.  He doesn't have any such way, so instead, he launches GOP themed ads to attack the plan that does get us to universal coverage.

    The line in the sand here is universality.  If we get a universal program, not only will unnecessary deaths be avoided and unnecessary bankruptcies be avoided, but a political constituency will be developed to support and extend the program.  Universality creates the same political conditions that allowed Social Security to thrive, (and that also helped the Democratic Party govern for a generation...)

    So Ezra Klein told me (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:02:21 PM EST
    Did he change his mind or something?

    It's All Kinda Sad (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Petey on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:52:21 PM EST
    "Progressive healthcare blogger" Ezra Klein has higher priorities than progressive healthcare.

    Keeping in mind (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:04:55 PM EST
    his entire plan hinges on his personal BELIEF - that people want healthcare, so they WILL buy it.  There's no further explanation for why his plan works.  The bottom line is his "philosophy."  No guarantees at all.  No universiality.  It is exactly the kind of thing I would expect from a Republican.  I find it mind-boggling.

    No - it's a calculated strategy... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:08:44 PM EST
    He was for single payer universal health care when he was running for the Senate in IL because the health care industry isn't concerned about 1 Senate vote.

    He is against single payer universal health care now that he's running for President because if he was still for it, the health care industry would spend big, big money to ensure he doesn't get elected.

    So much for the audacity of hope


    You know, I forgot about that... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:24:03 PM EST
    and that actually is troubling.  What would motivate him to completely switch his stance on healthcare other than political expediency?  I don't know where he's coming from on this issue at all and that makes me less confident that he'd do a dang thing about healthcare.

    Motivation (5.00 / 6) (#93)
    by Petey on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:49:23 PM EST
    "What would motivate him to completely switch his stance on healthcare"


    Q: Does General Electric make more money from GE Healthcare or from NBC?

    A: General Electric makes significantly more money from GE Healthcare than from NBC.

    I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that General Electric has decided to give Obama such glowing press coverage?

    Similarly, I wonder if there is any connection between the fact that General Electric gave Hillary Clinton pretty good coverage during the first three quarters of 2007, and then when she came out with her healthcare plan in September 2007, GE almost immediately began its onslaught against her.

    I wonder.


    Weren't you going to do a diary here (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:51:35 PM EST
    on GE?  I'd like to read it.

    Believe it! (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:09:30 PM EST
    Fits right in with his campaign slogan...you know, 'stuff you can believe in!'

    And there's the problem....


    Obama is offering Universal Health Care... (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:05:52 PM EST
    he says so...

    except that it doesn't cover everyone.

    But he used to be for single payer, universal health care.

    which way is the wind blowing today?


    Spot on Petey (5.00 / 14) (#56)
    by Rainsong on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:19:09 PM EST
    I'm a health economist, though working in Europe and Australia for much of the last 20 years.
    The Obama plan doesn't get to universal coverage, via mandates or any other means.

    True. Its actually corporate welfare. The subsidies do nothing by give companies more, and some more people have the same crap coverage that everybody who is insured, are already whining about.

    Universal coverage means you also have leverage to put mandates or regulation on the industry. Obama's plan, is all "voluntary compliance" with vague "standards" on industry, like he did with the nuclear leak stuff - all voluntary.

    universal mandates on clients, is also applied mandates to the industry under Edwards/Clinton plans - which is what the companies really, really dislike. They will have to comply with standards like "no cherrypicking".


    Yup (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Petey on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:40:18 PM EST
    "Universal coverage means you also have leverage to put mandates or regulation on the industry. Obama's plan, is all "voluntary compliance" with vague "standards" on industry, like he did with the nuclear leak stuff - all voluntary."



    But BTD... no one has worked harder to (5.00 / 9) (#31)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:06:40 PM EST
    achieve universal health care than Obama---didn't you get the memo?
    Well, maybe his tireless, unparalleled efforts at fighting anti-semitism wore him out, along with his work at the forefront of ensuring gun rights.

    Hillary's response... (5.00 / 11) (#33)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:07:55 PM EST
    Instead of attacking the problem, he chooses to attack my solutions.

    Doesn't Obama have mandates (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by kmblue on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:11:06 PM EST
    for kiddies?
    Mandates bad, or mandates good?
    I'm so confused!

    What he believes about mandates.... (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:12:56 PM EST
    ...mandates are for scaring people into voting against Hillary Clinton.

    Start gatherin' the clips (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Chimster on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:12:11 PM EST
    I think I talk way too much about video clips, but the reason I do is that I want the "regular folks" to see the hipocracy of Obama's campaign. I care what bloggers have to say about the important facts in this primary, but it's preaching to the choir. I need the folks who don't go to political blogs to get their information.

    If a "non-blogger, 6:00-evening-news watcher" were to read a story that Obama had a racist preacher as his mentor, they could very well say "That Hillary is telling lies about Barrack and I don't think it's fair". They need proof. People need to see Barrack as he really is--not as the media portrays him.

    I hope someone can gather all the clips of Barrack attacking Hillary and juxtapose it with his messages of Hope. The MSM won't show it. It needs to be a viral campaign like many of the other clips that get passed around (i.e. Bittergate)

    Thank you NO QUARTER for finding the Bittergate clip. Hope you find more.

    Ezra Klein and other (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by frankly0 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:14:56 PM EST
    creative class bloggers have long ago found some way, in the smallish reach of their own thinking processes, to deal with Obama's ready use of Republican talking points.

    The harder it is for you to connect the dots, the less often a disturbing, opposing picture will emerge.

    I have begun to understand (none / 0) (#166)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 08:00:28 AM EST
    their thinking or lack of ability to do so.

    Obama says something and if it's not good then Hillary either: a. said it wrong first b. lied about what he said c. negatively spoke about what he said or d. the usual drivel Hillary=bad/wrong/evil/liar/ lather, rinse and apply again.

    Once you get so far in the tank for someone, as the "creative class" has done your thinking is not only nonsensical it is often in direct contradiction to positions you previously took. It's getting weird out there.


    Here's the part I love (5.00 / 8) (#57)
    by Trickster on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:20:02 PM EST
    More "new politics:"

    The ad shows a highlighted section of an AP article that reads: "...willing to have workers wages garnished if they refuse to buy health care insurance."

    Nice ellipsis, Senator.  The words immediately prior to the clip are "might be."  Back when I taught freshman English, a dishonest ellipsis like that would dock your paper one letter grade, no questions asked.

    Not only that, but even the "might be" part is a stretch, because all that really happened is that she kinda/sorta admitted under repeated interview questioning--from the unholy demon George Stephanopolous, as it turns out--that wage garnishment is one of the types of mandate enforcement mechanisms that might be looked at.

    When Mr. Stephanopoulos asked a third time whether she would garnish people's wages, Mrs. Clinton responded, "George, we will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it's that or it's some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments."

    And that quote, my friends, is the entire factual basis for the plausible limited deniablility truthiness in the Obama ad.

    Frontline did an excellent show... (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by citizen53 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:30:16 PM EST
    on universal health care.  The way to succeed is to take the profit out of the system and reward insurance companies for running the best organizations.

    There is plenty of money to be made even if profit is not the main motivation.  For the doctors, too.


    Frontline did do a good job (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Rainsong on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 08:11:34 PM EST
    - allaying fears of not just consumers, but the laissez-faire capitalist doomsayers. The companies haven't all collapsed or become unviable businesses.

    So mandates Ok for kids, (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by kmblue on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:32:52 PM EST
    but not adults?
    What if Mom and Dad get sick?

    maybe they can steal their kids' meds? (5.00 / 5) (#78)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:34:24 PM EST
    Kathy, (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kmblue on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:39:41 PM EST
    you are so bad.
    But actually perhaps that would work
    as an alternative form of health care.
    You could triple your child's dose of, say,
    antibiotics...(I'm kidding, okay?)

    It's not my fault! (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:47:07 PM EST
    Obama is bad, so I have to be bad, too.

    And I was joking about the meds, but let's be honest: a LOT of parents do this, not only taking the meds themselves, but letting their kids take their meds if symptoms seem similar so as to avoid paying for a doctor's visit.  My friend who runs a clinic in rural TX says SCHIP pays for lots of parents to get medical care.  They bring in their kids, who are perfectly fine, and ascribe their symptoms to the kids.  She gives them a written script and verbal directions on adult doses.

    As to Obama's latest ads, I posted this on another thread Jeralyn just started, but I think it bears repeating:

    The new ads are interesting to me, because if you go to Emily's List, you'll see on the front page that Bev Perdue, who is running for gov of NC, has decided not to go negative, and put it in an ad.

    That's walking and talking the talk--and being a good enough politician to not only stick by the pledge, but reap rewards for it.


    Ehhhh (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:00:55 PM EST
    Perdue and Richard Moore have their own tit for tat going on down here.  The really typical campaign stuff - HE DID THIS!  SHE DID THIS!  SHE SELLS OUT!  HE SELLS OUT!  Classic political advertisements.  I actually enjoy watching them.  They remind me of how ridiculous it is that people hyperventiliate about any and all negative attacks in the presidential primary.  C'est la vie.  

    Not quite as bad as me. (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 09:39:39 PM EST
    I take my dog to the vet for some respiratory infection and the vet prescribes some anti-biotics.  Anything leftover is for me.  Works.

    I have a good reason (aside from (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 09:54:59 PM EST
    not having any health insurance for the last twenty years and not qualified yet for Medicare until I get to be 65) I had a really good vet for my pets who once bragged to me that she has not taken any people medication since she became a vet.  Then I also had a friend who worked in a pharmaceutical company that made those anti-biotics like tetracyline.  I asked her the difference between the tetras made for people and those for veterinary use as well as the prednisones, and she said nothing.  They just labeled those for pets "for veterinary use only". I thank heaven that I have not had anything major, except for an allergic reaction to to a cholesterol lowering medication which four doctors could not diagnose.  Lucky for me that I ran out of money to buy it which probably saved my life. Another two months of taking it could have caused a complete renal failure and death.n  Hillary's plan will be a great help to me.

    H e11 with Obama - Going to see Hillary tonight (5.00 / 5) (#80)
    by Mrwirez on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:35:43 PM EST
    I am going to Mckeesport, PA tonight at 9:00pm for a HILLARY campaign stop at Renzie (Renziehausen) Park. This is a good town for her I think. It is an old steel mill town along the Mon (Monongahela) river. Echostar, which is Dishnetwork saved this town with its call center being built on the site of an old mill (National Tubes) which was a USSteel plant. The Mon river at Mckeesport is fifteen miles from Pittsburgh and along with the Allegheny river forms the Ohio river..... The town of Mckeesport is a lower income town with poor working class whites and African Americans. However, the surrounding areas are very suburban. These are wooded country hillsides with middle class working communities where we don't cling to anything except maybe Saran wrap..... It should be fun! I will be able to tell by the amount of people and her reception as to where the REAL democratic voters are.

    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    BTW (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by andgarden on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:43:37 PM EST
    Going negative probably indicates that his numbers are tanking.

    Shows desperation. (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by cmugirl on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:47:30 PM EST
    As has been pointed out numerous times, if he thinks he's got the nomination wrapped up, he could (proverbially) pat her on the head and laugh.

    I hope that's what it means. (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by Teresa on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:55:15 PM EST
    Some of the closer polls make me nervous.

    Monday night, Hillary on Larry King. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by thereyougo on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:22:22 PM EST
    and CNN 360 ran her history in government. Nice job and fair.

    I do think we are seeing (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 09:43:39 PM EST
    just some slight shift, but perceptible.  I think the ABC debate was the dam breacher; to be followed by others especially when PA goes Hillary. I would not be surprised if Obama becomes a tenor instead of a baritone when that happens with the corresponding gestures.

    Harry & Louise (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Doc Rock on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:45:18 PM EST
    No one who gets seriously ill can afford to be without health insurance.  That is why I am sticking with Hillary--and, yes, even though I have Federal BCBS in addition to MEDICARE!

    I have one question for those who (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:14:14 PM EST
    claim that Obama's Health Care Plan is no different than Clinton's why then do we get this constant attack that is not true that Clinton's plan force people who can't afford it buy insurance when in her plan the subsidies are part of the plan?  It is his plan that will make it expensive because without mandates those who opt out will not put money into it.   Go beyond the promises and check out the real numbers.

    Logic (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:16:24 PM EST
    will get you nowhere.  

    Exactly Kathy (none / 0) (#167)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 08:16:54 AM EST
    If you try and make sense of the assertions coming from Obama and his fans it just makes your head hurt.

    You wonder about the integrity of someone, like Ezra Klein, who is willing to overlook something that is so important in order to support Obama.

    I have read, reread and researched in every way that was available to me about the various health care plans. I do not have health care now and am not eligible for Medicare for another year. I've been holding my breath for a long time because I know that any illness, even one that is not  catastrophic could very well cause me to lose my house.

    Obama's plan is a sick joke. I care about children too but what will my children and grandchildren have to do when my flabby old butt is thrown out of my house because I need gall bladder surgery or the like?

    And fortunately my granddaughters know what can happen to someone young when they don't have insurance. One of the girls was hit by a drunken, uninsured a$$hole and she is still paying off her medical bills 8 years later. Being young and healthy doesn't protect from something like that.

    Some kind of medicare for everyone is what I want, need, and insist upon in any candidate I support.

    Sorry to get so long-winded but I am also fighting off an ear infection with warm olive oil and vitamin C. See I don't have health insurance and I live on Social Security that barely pays my bills (widow's benefit I was eligible for at 62 but Medicare doesn't kick in until 65) so I cannot afford to go to a doctor.


    ...as it has been for the last several elections. I voted for Nader in 2000 because Gore didn't touch the issue with a 10-ft pole.

    I supported Obama (and donated to him) up until the point I watched a stream of a healthcare town hall he held in Iowa last spring. Person after person told their wrenching stories of being priced out or denied healthcare insurance, and Obama's attitude was pretty cavalier. He kept asking the audience for stories of how happy they were with employer-provided healthcare, but no one was biting.

    When he later came out with his healthcare plan, I was underwhelmed, as Krugman was. And as I saw the so-called "progressive" left attack messenger Krugman rather than Obama's weaksauce plan, I decided then and there I could no longer support Obama.

    My preferred plan was Edwards'--especially with its option for non-seniors to choose Medicare, which would have forced private insurers to compete with a public plan--but after Edwards dropped out, I gave another look at Hillary's plan and recognized its superiority over Obama's.

    The flood of Obama's Harry & Louise ads back in February spurred my first donation to Hillary. I've had a rough week financially--having to pay taxes for 2007 as well as my first installment of estimated taxes--but because Obama has lowered himself to distributing the right-wing meme about "mandates" I'm going to find a way to donate some more to her this weekend, even if it means taking a little longer to pay off my credit-card debt.

    When he attacks Hillary's healthcare (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:24:00 PM EST
    he attacks ME.  It's as simple as that.

    Her healthcare policy is strongest.  He can attack her if he must, but attacking healthcare is morally wrong.

    What makes me wonder sometimes about (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 10:19:39 PM EST
    seriousness of a health plan that mandates health care for children but not for their adult parents.  How well is that health care going to work for the children if their parents are sick.  If because of lack of proper health care one of the many single parent families loses it's ability to feed and care for the children how is mandatory health care for the child going to help?  Families are complete packages if you just take care of one part it will break by the other parts.

    Given that Obama is winning the primary, I (4.66 / 3) (#3)
    by tigercourse on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:42:12 PM EST
    have to wonder if this is the way to run a campaign in the future. "Run against your base!"

    It seems really counterintuitive, but I'll be damned if it isn't working.

    yes if the aim is to ONLY win the primary!! (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by TalkRight on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    not GE

    Ask Gray Davis (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by myiq2xu on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:49:38 PM EST
    of California what happens when you forget to dance with the ones that brung ya.

    He spent so much time kissing up to the GOP that when he got in trouble (Enron-related energy problems) that his base didn't defend him and the GOP-led recall made Ahnold our governator.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by lilburro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:54:43 PM EST
    All the Republicans, especially elected Republicans, who are making nice to him now will jump ship at the most promising political moment.  It's a complete no brainer.  And do you think that moment will be manufactured somehow, some time between oh, now and November?

    It Helps If You Have 90% Of One Demographic Group (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:51:23 PM EST
    and a large percentage of the "Creative Class" voting for you no matter what you say or do. Obama's strategy of running against the base would fail miserably for most people and it may well come back and bite him in his ass in the GE.

    BUT IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR DEMS THEN (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:47:40 PM EST
    "90% Of One Demographic Group" (none / 0) (#165)
    by BrandingIron on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 02:55:22 AM EST

    OMG how dare you suggest that 90% of "a certain" demographic group is voting for Obama!  U racist!111



    That will only work in a Democratic Primary. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:02:30 PM EST
    ...but I'd love to see the Republicans try it.

    When it comes to campaigning, the (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by tigercourse on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:05:33 PM EST
    Republicans are quite simply smarter then Democrats. They have been for decades. I thought in 2006 that we were getting better at this. We clearly aren't.

    Obama has done a smashing job of both ignoring much of the base, AND painting himself as an out of touch, elitist extremist. It's some achievement.


    Well, he got advice from some of the (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:07:35 PM EST
    best losers in the Democratic party. It's not a surprise.

    Are you trying to imply that Tom Dashcle, Ted (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by tigercourse on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:12:23 PM EST
    Kennedy and John Kerry aren't experts at electoral victory? Pshaw.

    windsurfing lessons this summer (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:19:01 PM EST
    at Martha's Vineyard.

    I can't imagine how that charge of elitism stuck...


    Ummmm.... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oldpro on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:15:51 PM EST
    ....not sure they are the 'best losers' in the Democratic Party...but they're certainly among the 'biggest losers' in the Democratic Party.

    Unless the DLC comes to the rescue, we are doomed.


    Give me a break... (1.00 / 7) (#10)
    by RosaLuxemburg on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:51:47 PM EST
    Okay, thumbs down to Obama for going negative in this ad. As a supporter, it's disappointing.

    But good grief people! Have the intellectual honesty to admit that it's Hillary, not Barack, that has run the most negative, Rovish Democratic nomination campaign in recent memory. Barack has largely run positive ads - one can count his negative ads on one hand, maybe a few fingers. Hillary is now 100 PERCENT negative in most parts of Pennsylvania. Hillary  is the one using the typical Republican framing device of defing Barack as weak, indecisive, elitist, effete. That's the real Republican playbook, my friends.

    have the intellectual honesty to WHAT??? (5.00 / 11) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:54:18 PM EST
    See, they both have run nasty campaigns as POLS ALWAYS do.

    you must be joking.

    The fact is Obama went negative first - last October. As he had to because he was challenging the frontrunner.

    You rreally must be joking with this comment.


    Obama went negative last JUNE, BTD (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:55:27 PM EST
    That's when his campaign was circulating a memo accusing Bill Clinton of capitalizing on 9/11 to raise funds.

    WHAT?!! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:11:56 PM EST
    I never heard that one, luckily.

    Eriposte covered it. (none / 0) (#46)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:13:57 PM EST
    TheLeftCoaster has a lousy search, so I'm not going to look for it. One could email him to get the reference, if one cared.

    Thanks. I'll hunt around :) (none / 0) (#60)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:20:49 PM EST
    If he had said that about Rudy, I would agree 100% , but Bill Clinton?!

    earlier than that... (5.00 / 2) (#139)
    by Dawn Davenport on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:00:10 PM EST
    The day after he announced his candidacy last year he was calling her "divisive."

    We have intellectual honesty. (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    Try it sometimes---it's refreshing.
    If you had any, you'd admit that Obama's qualifications are the thinnest of a likely nominee in decades---you'd probably have to go back to the 19th century to find someone comparable.
    You'd admit that he and his campaign have repeatedly argued that Hillary is untrustworthy, a liar.
    You'd admit that the Obama campaign went out of its way to paint the Clintons as racist, on specious grounds...
    that's just a start.

    Does your alternative reality have better (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by tigercourse on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:55:30 PM EST
    weather then this one? I ask because it's hot as summer in mine already.

    I'm afraid not... (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by RosaLuxemburg on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 03:58:09 PM EST
    My alternative reality is New York City, where the weather is consistently terrible.

    Sunny 71 degrees with a slight breeze (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by nycstray on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:13:33 PM EST
    and baseball coming from the TeeVee equals one hell of a beautiful NYC day.

    Hope you are a Mets fan (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by honora on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 08:08:43 PM EST
    I'm in the future, but my husband just told me the O's are leading the Yankees.

    So if we disagree with you we are.... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:00:21 PM EST
    ...intellectually dishonest? I can't even think of a response for that.

    And where is the relevance? Why does (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:01:55 PM EST
    this woman think that Hillary's negativity excuses Obama taking a dump on UHC?

    It's just a diversion... (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:05:24 PM EST
    ...whenever Obama steps in it, their response is well everybody knows that Hillary is meaner.

    crap (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:21:58 PM EST
    I wish she was meaner.

    Nice of him to toss out these ads at the last minute.  Reminds me of how my annoying cousin used to always shout something out the car window as his mom was backing out of the driveway.  "You're stupid!"  And then his arm would work like crazy to crank the window back up before I could tell him no, he's stupid.

    Little brat always had to get the last word.


    you're hilarious, kathy. (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by kangeroo on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 12:28:22 AM EST
    It's easy if (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    you just remember that when Obama goes negative on Hillary it's cause she deserves it and is only telling the truth.

    When Hillary goes negative on Obama she's a terrible, horrible, Rovian, nasty, beeacthy, Republican Talking Point Monster.

    Or short version; Hillary always wrong/Obama always right.


    Sorry... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Raven15 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:12:20 PM EST
    but you are the one who is buying into Axelrovian spin, and you question others' "intellectual honesty"? Neither candidate is holy or spic-and-span clean. This is a hard-fought primary, and as any political science 101 text will tell you, CONTESTATION is an essential component of a DEMOCRACY, and it's not always pretty. I don't expect my candidate to be perfect, and HRC does not claim to  offer a "new kind of politics." In claiming that, Obama is setting himself up for a fall as disillusioned voters realize he is just another mainstream pol who plays to win.

    The operative word in BTD's post (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by kredwyn on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:10:22 PM EST
    is "back." This isn't the first time the "Harry & Louise" style commercial has been run. Here's a link about it back in December...another for February.

    The idea that he's "just now started" with this particular ad campaign...meh.


    Hmmm...somehow I remember the Clintons (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by derridog on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:40:56 PM EST
    being accused of racism, the most divisive accusation possible in this country.  And. let's see, then she was accused of doing and saying anything to get elected. Was that before or after she was called a f ing W.... by one of Obama's media supporters? Oh and let's not mention the other misogynist names she's called on a daily basis on the Great Orange Satan and other "progressive blogs" by Obama's followers.  Sorry, I'm not allowed to say them here on this blog. And just  yesterday, I think, Obama told a group of people in Raleigh, NC, that she "liked to turn the knife a little bit" on him -or something close to that, describing her debate performance, which he indicated was entirely an attack on him.

    Hmmm... how could we possibly have missed that it was HILLARY who is running the most negative campaign in recent history?

    Hmmmm... recent history. Something makes me think of Howard Dean, whose Democratic opponents made an anonymous ad accusing him of being like Osama Bin Laden to make him lose the Iowa primary in 2004. But that wasn't nearly as harsh as Hillary is on Obama. I see that now. Thanks for pointing it out.


    GIVE US A BREAK....MORE OBAMABOT B.S. (3.66 / 3) (#97)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:53:52 PM EST
    Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama went negative from the get-go when he played the race card and then the victim.  He has WHITE FOLK scared to say a word against him for fear of being labeled racist.
    Obama is insidious and a much better liar and sneak than Hillary could ever hope to be.  His supporters have been taking pages out of the repub's handbook from early on.  Honestly, you would never guess these candidates are in the same party.  Obama and his camp are using these tactics and some dems are too dumb to figure it out I guess.  And the most classic of these under-handed tactics is to try to put the blame on the other candidate saying they use them.  So, as I said, please give us a break.  We are not stupid, even if you would like to think we are.

    Was Barach adopted by his mother's second (4.00 / 1) (#126)
    by jawbone on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:17:47 PM EST

    Or was the last name just used while Barry was  in  Indonesia because it was more recognizable to people there?


    Sorry--typo--Barck. (3.00 / 1) (#127)
    by jawbone on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:18:32 PM EST
    Enough with the "bot" thing...'lay? (3.00 / 1) (#123)
    by kredwyn on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:15:49 PM EST
    Well, Hillary fans... (1.00 / 4) (#105)
    by RosaLuxemburg on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:13:31 PM EST
    With allies like this...

    Hmmm... (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by kredwyn on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:15:14 PM EST
    I have met supporters of Obama who refer to HRC as "the Borg Queen" and suggest that her supporters aren't real Democrats.

    There are people who go overboard with the name calling. It's uncalled for...but irrelevant to the actual candidates themselves.

    Do you really want to go the way of fallacious arguments of association?


    It's better than having republican like (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:17:16 PM EST
    allies who criticize the only two Democratic presidents we have had  in the last 40 years and praise Reagan and Bush 1 and top it off by giving out the impression that the Repugs are better at foreign affairs.  Wow sounds like the kind of ally any Democrat would want.  I guess that's why he had to depend on so called Independents and Cross-over votes to win caucuses and some primaries.  Hmm who did I hear this before from " I am a Uniter"

    The fact is that (1.00 / 4) (#36)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    mandates don't work.  The HRC plan would be a burden on some middle class families.

    And, BO is totally opposed to the R plans for health care.  HRC supporters don't always realize that BO's plan is almost identical to HRC's, except for mandates, so please don't bother mentioning all the non-mandate aspects of HRC's plan because BO has them too.  

    and I would suppose... (5.00 / 8) (#48)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:14:36 PM EST
    that we aren't supposed to mention the mandates that he does have in his plan?

    It's silly that you aren't at all troubled by the fact that his explanation for not covering everyone is mandates and that he still mandates coverage for some...just not all.

    I think it's wonderful that he can sell hypocrisy with a straight face.


    It's even more wonderful that (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by frankly0 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:17:08 PM EST
    his supporters can buy it.

    kids can't decide for themselves (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:26:15 PM EST
    and we have SCHIP*, new subsidies**,  and other existing federal programs that can be used to cover most of the at-risk kids without adding a new burden on struggling middle class families.

    *especially after the eventual passage of the expansion that Bush vetoed

    **provided by both BO and HRC plans


    that still doesn't address (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:28:17 PM EST
    the hypocrisy of dissing mandates when he's got mandates in his plan.

    He's clearly making a trade off...in the process of giving insurers the right to deny coverage to some. It would be silly to make the insurance companies lose money on those with pre-existing conditions wouldn't it?

    Of course in 2003, he was for single payer health care...


    Do you just make this stuff up, or (1.00 / 1) (#136)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:56:46 PM EST
    did you mistakenly hear this somewhere?

    Q. What if I have a pre-existing condition?

    This guaranteed eligibility will apply to all private and public insurance plans, whether they are offered in the National Health Insurance Exchange or outside of it. No insurance companies will be allowed to discriminate because of a previous bout with cancer or some other pre-existing illness.


    No I don't just make stuff up... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by white n az on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:07:25 PM EST
    But the assumption that healthy people can opt out while the sick ones can opt in is unrealistic.

    I'm sure that insurance companies will love this type of coverage pools and respond by dramatically lowering their prices.

    Change I can believe in?


    Every UHCsystem (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by americanincanada on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:37:57 PM EST
    in the world...from Taiwan to the Swiss to Germany to Canada (where I currently live and receive healthcare) to the UK...have mandates of some kind and cover everyone.

    Only Germany allows people to opt out and their system suffers higher prices because of it.


    Logically, this (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by frankly0 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:56:15 PM EST
    is a completely inadequate response.

    You make the claim that somehow, magically, the burden to require every single family to cover their children will be OK, but, somehow, that can't possibly be true for families without children, or for families with children who need to cover the parents.

    Put it another way, what, inherently, guarantees that the national health plan will be OK in terms of burden for every single family with children in covering their children, but not in other cases? You offer up absolutely nothing to make that principled argument.

    In other words, your argument is completely incoherent.

    What a big surprise.


    Funny, why were mandates the (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by MarkL on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:20:32 PM EST
    sticking point for Hillary's 1993 plan?
    The insurance companies were adamant that they would not accept a plan with mandates---just like Obama.
    I imagine your link refers to MA; regardless, having  mandates for the entire country is a completely different ballgame, and it works in several countries.

    yes MarkL.. BUT... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Rainsong on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:30:41 PM EST
    having  mandates for the entire country is a completely different ballgame, and it works in several countries.

    Yes, it works on universal elsewhere - BUT -not many countries went that way very easily. Other countries had similar bitter struggles and public debates to get there that the USA is now in. In some countries it barely passed, and others had two or three attempts before it was passed.


    Obama has made it clear (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:33:51 PM EST
    he won't fight for universal.  He's actually made it pretty clear that he won't fight for a lot of things.

    Can someone tell me exactly what he'll fight for?  Other than getting the nomination, I mean.


    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:57:54 PM EST
    It would be awfully nice of you (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by frankly0 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:21:57 PM EST
    to explain how it's OK to enforce mandates on working families to insure their children.

    Wouldn't you be forcing them to buy something they might not be able to afford?

    And why shouldn't they be "forced" to ensure themselves, when their own good health is absolutely critical to the welfare of the children?

    The crickets and I eagerly await your reasoned reply.


    Let's look at other countries (5.00 / 6) (#75)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:31:59 PM EST
    that have successful health care programs:

    Japan, Switzerland, Korea, UK, Canada, Germany, Taiwan...all with mandates, all with higher life expectancies, lower infant mortality rates and resounding patient satisfaction.

    The Taiwan program is especially interesting because it came about comparatively recently, and they investigated all existing plans and cherry picked the best way to create theirs.  I believe the Swiss one was formed back in the 1980s--the vote to authorize it was quite slim, but now it is overwhelmingly popular.  Again, both mandated.

    Healthcare is a human rights issue.  Why does Iraq have universal healthcare when we don't?


    None of those plans (2.00 / 1) (#100)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    match the HRC plan.  Her plan is like the MA plan.  SCHIP may also be a good harbinger, except (unlike SCHIP) HRC's plan has the individuals (w/o subsidies) pay, not the government.  It overlays our existing system, it doesn't force the insurance companies to undergo big reforms.  

    Good for you if you're proposing one of the European plans.  Personally, I'm torn.  I would say the French plan is pretty good on paper.  It has an interesting way of connecting highly subsidized citizens with the costs of the services they seek, the idea is to prevent folks from over using services they don't pay for.  But, the French system would never work here, e.g. Docs make about $60,000 (probably more now, but only because of the exchange rate.)

    I also like the Japanese plan with some modifications, but as with the French plan, (and all the others) our system would require a major overhaul.  Not the little stuff BO and HRC are talking about.


    The HRC plan (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:03:54 PM EST
    incorporates the successful parts of the plans: mandates (which every single one has) along with things like the technological edge the Taiwanese have, the co-pay that the Germans have, the bonuses for doctors that the UK has, the Swiss model of regional control, the drug pricing regulations that they all have, etc.

    If you study it closely, you will find that she (and Edwards before her) actually looked at what was working before forming a plan of action.  Her plan is much more extensive than you give credit.


    Maybe you shouldn't confuse (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:21:14 PM EST
    this one with facts.  Perhaps he/she just doesn't want to pay for health insurance?

    Trust me, I know her plan (1.00 / 1) (#107)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:19:39 PM EST
    inside and out.  I also know our existing system very well, and I know the international plans fairly well--enough to know how they work on a structural level.

    Her plan is not like the others.  The easiest way to express the differences is to note that 1) she leaves the insurance companies in power, unlike they exist in the others you mention (our balance of responsibilities between private and public are unique, and would remain fundamentally unchanged by HRC or BO), and 2) strong cost controls (i.e. limitations of service/care) are critical to those other systems, but HRC and BO know that the public won't put up with these, yet.


    I don't believe you (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:23:55 PM EST
    since increased insurance regulation is part of the Edwards/Clinton plan.  It does not make them non-profit, but it would help.  There is also the public plan, which is open to all, and that leaves the insurance companies out.  So ...

    They both (BO and HRC) (1.00 / 1) (#133)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:41:53 PM EST
    have the opened up public plan.  They both have minimum coverage standards, portability requirements, and fixes for pre-existing illnesses.

    As I said in my original comment, it would be nice if folks stuck to the major differenced between BO and HRC, rather than pointing out aspects of HRC's plan that are in common with BO's plan.

    This is a waste of bandwidth.


    Talking to you is a waste all right (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:54:51 PM EST
    of bandwidth and time, so this is my last.  BO's plan contained a public option which was only open to those who could not be covered by an employer.  It was changed after he got hammered on it.  You are a constantly moving target and can believe whatever you like.  However, you won't convince anyone else so have a nice night.

    I lived in Europe (5.00 / 5) (#113)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:28:31 PM EST
    under many of those healthcare systems, and I have read HRC's (and Edwards') plans and found remarkably similar options.  Strong cost controls in those systems do not limit service or care.  In Germany and the Netherlands, they even offer alternative therapies such as acupuncture and spiritual healers.   Where regulation benefits these systems is two-fold: records keeping, which is highly computerized, and price negotiations with the drug companies.  

    The US spends ten percent more on admin than Switzerland, which spends the second highest of any nation.  Like every other successful system in the world, they negotiate with the drug companies for price controls.  The drug companies, of course, will not be happy if the US does this, but then again, think of the money they'll save on advertising when marketing directly to the consumer is outlawed.

    But, again, to make myself clear: these systems do not limit service and/or care.  They limit COSTS.


    Kathy - good point (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Rainsong on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:11:49 PM EST
    The drug companies, of course, will not be happy if the US does this, but then again, think of the money they'll save on advertising when marketing directly to the consumer is outlawed.

    DTC marketing is very important. In largely public-funded systems, the cost through over-use, misuse and unneccessary demand for services from advertising is a pain. So many countries have strictly regulated DTC advertising of health services, especially prescription medicines.

    Other countries are trying, desperately, to hold their line from increasing pressure to privatise. US-based HMOs have maxed out in the US, I think in economic-speak its sometimes called a "saturated market". At its most simplistic, the Americans are paying as much as they can, and they can't be bled much more. These companies in order to continue making profit, need to expand and go multi-national. Its why many countries are feeling the pressure to cave in, just a little here, and a little there.  

    Just my view, but this is one of the crux's of why it is so important that the US tries to make a start on UHC now, for if the US falls on this, other countries may not be able to hold against the multinational pressure.


    Now these health care (2.00 / 1) (#141)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:08:06 PM EST
    insurers have discovered that they can directly transfer tax revenue into their own coffers, that's why they love SCHIP.  And, part of Medicare also works this way.



    Well (1.00 / 1) (#130)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:34:02 PM EST
    Germany can control costs at the point of negotiations between the sickness funds and provider associations when fee schedules are approved.

    The Dutch, like Germany, have a single mandatory service requirement that all insurers must provide, and, very importantly, there are no co-existing government programs (Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP with all kinds of varying requirements and missions) that allow the private companies to "live off the system."  And, the government's risk-equalization reimbursement amounts inherently limit procedures/expenses.

    And, the swiss government certainly does set (approve) the fee schedule.

    HRC's plan is not like these plans, as I've said, she allows the private companies to live off of the government programs, and there are no strong cost controls (i.e. service limits.)  


    I can't really take you seriously (5.00 / 2) (#137)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    because you keep changing the definition of the discussion.  First, you said they cut services, then you said it was like the MA plan, and now you are on to this without addressing any of the valid rebuttals those of us who have lived in these countries and used these systems bring up.

    Clinton allows the private plans to stay in place, but the big thing is that she allows private citizens to opt into the government employees insurance program, which ranks as one of the best in America.  They are a non-profit group, and the program is so much better than what the private companies now offer that the private corps will have to lean down in order to be competitive.  And you are wrong about strong cost controls--they are the benchmark of the Clinton (and, again, Edwards) plan.  Group negotiation is something Clinton often speaks of, and I've read several articles about how important negotiation is to any viable proposal.

    But, as I said, you keep creating new topics without discussing the previous ones, even as your statements get knocked down, so I don't really see the point in continuing this discussion with you.


    I was leaving out the critical detail (2.00 / 1) (#154)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 08:05:36 PM EST
    because I took it for granted that you were familiar with the way international programs limit services.  They do it by "pricing out" services.  That is, they will set reimbursements, or they'll set a finite amount of funding to accomplish coverage for a particular population (then this limited funding requires decisions about what can be afforded, and what cannot.)

    But, our system can't work this way because we have private insurers that "live off" of the public system.  And the overlay plans offered by HRC and BO don't address this problem.  So, until we do get a major reform we can't impose a regressive unfunded mandate on middle class families (who aren't poor enough for the BO and HRC subsidies.)

    You didn't look at my original link, I've always related the HRC plan to the MA plan.

    I clearly noted some of the ways the that German, Dutch, and Swiss plans are different than HRC's plan.  If you want I can describe more detail about how those plans are structured, so that you can see they are fundamentally different than HRC's plan, her plan is an overlay on our existing system, it's not a major restructuring.

    Both BO and HRC open up the gov plan.  No difference.

    Both BO and HRC have similar cost control approaches, I have written a lot about this in the past.  It has been shown, by independent researchers, that BO's cost savings plans are greater than HRC's--but really there's not much difference imo.

    Group negotiation is fine, but you want many insurance providers competing for the business of the citizens (the group), without the government coexisting as a crutch for the private companies.  The European plans don't have our three funding sources 1) direct government payments to providers (Original Medicare and Medicaid), 2) tax revenue transfer plans paid to private insurance companies (the rest of Medicare, SCHIP), 3) and the private sector funding paid to insurance companies.  The Europeans have the government as a collector and distributer of funds, and an overseer and regulator.  Or, as with the French, the government may have a more direct role for a particular part of the population (e.g. elderly) but the government has direct control of the services provided, i.e. they don't just write checks to private companies.  This is just a high level look at major differences between how we fund our system and how other governments fund theirs.  I can go into even more detail, to show that these systems are fundamentally different than ours.  In one way or another they put the government in the system as a gateway, and that gateway is how they use cost controls to limit services.  The overlay plans of HRC and BO still leave the private insurers running amuck and living off of the government's participation such that the private companies generate more income.

    If there is any time I seem to be switching subjects, I'm sure it's because I'm making assumptions about people's basic understandings of the health care programs.  For example, I did assume that folks would know how cost controls are used to limit services in other countries.  But, I now realize that their is no reason folks should know that, I need to be more detailed.


    Hillary has subsidies and a cap on percentage (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by jawbone on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:23:02 PM EST
    of income which can go to pay for healthcare.

    What's wrong with that? I believe she announced a percentage cap of 10%.

    Boy, what I wouldn't give for that kind of cap--$1500/month is a killer. Single person, individual plan. I can't move out of my coverage area or my chronic condition cancer will not be covered.

    Please, vote for Hillary so we get universal care! At least have a chance at it....


    They both (BO and HRC) have (1.00 / 1) (#131)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:37:55 PM EST
    subsidies, when you read them side by side they're indistinguishable.  They both deal with minimum coverage requirements, portability, and preexisting conditions.

    see above, I responded to another n/t (none / 0) (#69)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:27:49 PM EST
    Yes, but you could apply (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by RalphB on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:49:07 PM EST
    that response to adults as well as children with little legislating.  Therefore it make no common sense.

    Mandates don't work? (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by kenoshaMarge on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:31:33 PM EST
    Tell that to the Social Security Administration.

    Do you have any independent info (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Joan in VA on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:58:55 PM EST
    to back up that statement? Other than you stating it previously.

    Look at MA, details in my original link. Or, (2.00 / 1) (#114)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:30:39 PM EST
    imagine Medicare or SCHIP, except that the citizens are forced to pay the premiums, even if they can't afford them (because they're not poor enough for the subsidies, which both BO and HRC offer.)  That is what the HRC mandate plan is.  The rest of her plan is very similar to BO's plan.

    If people can't afford it, they can't afford it.


    If Clinton was proposing the MA plan (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by Kathy on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:17:28 PM EST
    you might have a point; however, she isn't so you don't.

    Didn't Romney as gov (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by eleanora on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:28:13 PM EST
    leave out several important components that the Clinton plans addresses? I understand that the MA health insurance plan

    • did not create a generally available public insurance plan, thus putting a big strain on low-income subsidies for buying regular insurance,

    • plus the MA plan didn't require insurers to accept all new patients, even with pre-existing conditions, at regulated premium prices.

    So MA actually didn't go far enough into universal, even with mandates. Transitions are always painful, but doing something halfway almost guarantees it won't work well.

    Opening the public plan (1.00 / 1) (#135)
    by 1jpb on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 06:50:43 PM EST
    is common to both BO and HRC.  And, it doesn't really matter, because the public plan (Medicare) is not some great bastion of cost savings, if anything the opposite could be true.  

    Requiring new patients is good (both BO and HRC require it) but it certainly won't result in cost savings, so if anything this makes the federal plans more expensive than the MA plan.


    Then the only difference according to you (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by felizarte on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 09:34:37 PM EST
    are mandates in the Clinton plan which are not in the Obama plan.  So why has Obama refused to put in mandates for adults and in favor of mandates for kids?  Is it because of opposition from the Insurance companies?  Because his advisers have gave in to the Insurance lobby?  Logic dictates that the bigger the pool of insured, the lower per capita cost.  Hillary's plan allows the people to choose their desired plan.  If you are so well versed in healthcare coverage, why is this so difficult for you to understand?

    Oh Please (5.00 / 5) (#116)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 05:46:43 PM EST
    If you are going to start anything with "The fact is that" you BETTER be an expert in this field, have done years and years of studies and be prepared to show us all. Otherwise why are you wasting our time?

    There are a lot of very smart people here. Most of us think mandates are a good idea. We support Sen Clinton. None of us start with "fact is" because most of us ARE NOT EXPERTS IN THIS.

    Everything I have read that has not been partisan says her plan is better and gets more bang for the buck. So the fact is, my research says otherwise.


    um, "except for mandates" is (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by kangeroo on Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 02:41:58 AM EST
    the difference between returning to the same failed experiments (to cut costs) over the past 40 years and forcing a wrench into the vicious circle of inadequate coverage, declining insurance pooling, and rising costs.  in fact, it's precisely people like you--who would block a system-wide change in favor of incremental and ultimately worthless adjustments--who have helped get us into this mess in the first place.

    Fair enough (4.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 04:17:03 PM EST
    I can accept that argument from you but not from people like Ezra Klein who have vociferously supported mandates in the past.