How The Health Bill Debate Is Like The Iraq War Debate

One way it is not YET, is that we do not know who is right, the bill proponents or the bill opponents. Indeed, as of yet, we do not even know what the bill will look like. Ben Nelson is still making demands.

One way it is like the Iraq War Debate is people like Joe Klein are castigating bill opponents for "melting down" and being NOT Very Serious People, while pointing to Very Serious People who are in support.

For the most part, the substantive arguments made by bill opponents are not being addressed by the Very Serious People. It has been very disappointing to see Paul Krugman follow that path. Which is ironic in that in 2002, Krugman was not taken seriously with regard to his opposition to the war in Iraq (I imagine Joe Klein castigated Krugman at the time.) It is strange to see him give the health bill opponents the same type of treatment he rightly chafed about regarding Iraq and other Bush policies. I guess it always is about whose ox is being gored. (See also Glenn Greenwald on the ideological divisions in the Democratic Party.)

Speaking for me only

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    In Light of the Disappointment (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by The Maven on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:49:59 AM EST
    in Krugman's current approach, how then to view someone like David Brooks, whose column today tries to tally up some of the various reasons for supporting or opposing the measure as it stands now.  Ultimately, he comes in against it:
    So what's my verdict? I have to confess, I flip-flop week to week and day to day. It's a guess. Does this put us on a path toward the real reform, or does it head us down a valley in which real reform will be less likely?

    If I were a senator forced to vote today, I'd vote no. If you pass a health care bill without systemic incentives reform, you set up a political vortex in which the few good parts of the bill will get stripped out and the expensive and wasteful parts will be entrenched.

    Defenders say we can't do real reform because the politics won't allow it. The truth is the reverse. Unless you get the fundamental incentives right, the politics will be terrible forever and ever.

    I found myself today in the relatively uncomfortable postion of having to agree with a Brooks conclusion.

    As (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:01:36 AM EST
    Using Brooks term, give me the d**mned spinach! I want the freaking spinach!

    For once in his whole life Brooks beats Krugman.


    I particularly like his nasal spray when you (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:10:50 AM EST
    have cancer analogy.  It was a very thoughtful measured read.  Unlike some, I don't know how entrenched everything that is horrible in this legislation can become because the system is going to blow.  If this thing gets passed in the bad condition that many of us fear it will, it won't save a thing and the whole system is still going to blow.  If people are forced to pay for crappy care, they will blow....and bankrupted people can't pay anything even if they want to so what are you going to do about them?

    Me too, except (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:59:58 AM EST
    the part about being insulated from costs.  Those who get health insurance from NY Times are insulated from costs.  Those who buy their own insurance and opt for the high deductible, and those who don't have insurance, are not.

    He's talking about a different kind of reform -- keeping people from seeing the doctor unnecessarily.  That isn't even part of this or any proposed bill.

    I actually agree with him that in SOME people with low deductible, low copay plans, this can be a problem.  I personally know people who literally see the doctor for everything -- dry skin, a hangnail that looks red.  They go to the ER for a cut finger when urgent care would probably provide greater service and for less cost.  Cost control is necessary in these cases too, I think.

    However, it's a different bill.


    This going to the doctor (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    unnecessarily gets cured when your first approach is met by a military doctor :)  If a Motrin 800 won't kill it then you can fight for a referral out.  My daughter was bit by a tick once in Colorado on a school field trip on a Friday.  On Saturday the site turned a really strange pallor and she felt clammy to me.  I got yelled at for bringing her in on the weekend, then he gave her some Motrin and scowled at me.  The next day was Sunday and she woke up with a fever of 102 and the bite site looked worse.  I took her back, he scowled at me still (maybe I bit her) and put her on an antibiotic then.

    I asked USN MD recently yanked (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:49:10 AM EST
    out of his private practice in OB-GYN, how, after he was my physician throughout my pregnancy, he would be contacted to be present for the delivery.  He laughed--but not in a happy type laugh.  He was not present.  

    I think it only blows up... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:41:11 AM EST
    if people start getting turned away from the emergency room and/or more people are needlessly suffering due to being denied available care because they can't pay...then you'll see people get violent.  Some are suffering now in silence of course, don't get me wrong, but it has to get worse apparently before people really blow up.

    Maybe the people's best course of action is to bring the blow-up to a head...via an insurance premium revolt.  Call the big bluff and stop paying...will the actual care providers let us die and suffer? Or will they work with us?  

    I tend to think the actual care providers dislike the insurance companies as much as we do....we might be surprised.  


    This should be a huge concern (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:32:31 PM EST
    If you demand that people pay - leave them no option but to pay or be punished, but they end up getting bad coverage or denied - they will get violent. This is a life or death situation, but most pundits and wonks can't factor in the facts of life from their insulated sheltered cubicles. You are the first person who I have even come across to say such a thing, but I've sat in a surgery waiting room and in a bad situation violence can be just a hair away even when everything possible is being done.  You throw some by force good ole fashioned capitalism into that mix to a greater degree than what we already have and you will get some postal!

    Definitely agree with this part (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:24:02 AM EST
    If I were a senator forced to vote today, I'd vote no. If you pass a health care bill without systemic incentives reform, you set up a political vortex in which the few good parts of the bill will get stripped out and the expensive and wasteful parts will be entrenched.

    IMO there are elements in the current Senate bill that will result in people receiving less health care for more money. Provisions that the insurance industry have been trying to get for years that will decrease regulatory requirements. These will be entrenched.  


    Until we know what we are getting (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:30:25 AM EST
    We know it is possible. In the interest of keeping all of my eyes on as many things as I can, which decreased regulatory requirements does your post pertain to if I could be so nosey :)?

    This is one that causes me a great (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:14:32 AM EST
    deal of concern.

    The Senate bill contains a provision long sought by the health insurance industry lobby AHIP. It would allow for the sale of "nationwide plans." Theses plan would not be required to follow the state laws regarding what medical treatments must be covered. It is described as:

    Allows insurers in the individual and small group markets to offer a qualified health plan nationwide, which is subject to only the State benefit mandate laws of the State in which the plans are issued; but requires such plans to provide the essential benefits package. Allows States to enact a law to opt out of allowing the offering of nationwide plans.

    These nationwide health plans will, in effect, gut state health insurance regulations and create a race to the bottom. What will likely happen is what happened with the credit card industry: all the card companies moved to the two states with the absolute lowest regulations. link

    Snowe, Lincoln, And Landrieu submitted an amendment to eliminate the state opt out. Haven't been able to find out whether that has been included or not.


    Whoa (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:53:05 AM EST
    Though it contains silly (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:04:25 AM EST
    anti-government stuff as well. Well, I think it is silly stuff. YMMV.

    If he were right that it would put (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    more people in the position of expecting more healthcare, but I would probably accept it, because under those circumstances you could really deal with cost later.

    But my concern is that, with apologies to Pepsi, we'll send "twice as much for 6 oz too." That is to say: show me the guarantee that this bill actually gets more people more healthcare.


    I think the more healthcare (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:27:03 AM EST
    scenario is false.  How many people look forward to going to the doctor as much and as often as they can?  The only people I know making as many appointments as they can if they have coverage have far different problems and issues outside of unbridled consumerism :)  And with that in mind, they probably need to see a doctor of some kind to resolve and heal those issues.

    Yes, And That's Why (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by The Maven on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:03:54 AM EST
    I most certainly wouldn't say that I agreed with the whole column, but, ultimately, the reason he gave for his postion rings essentially true.  As Krugman and others now saying that they support this bill on "half a loaf" grounds (while I believe it's considerably less than that) point to the likelihood of a long delay before another attempt at reform is made should this effort fail, I have to think that should this pass, it will be even longer before an attempt at real reform is made.

    That's my major divergence here with Krugman, as I simply don't see any Congress or Administration in the near term using the 2009 bill to plan for a more significant overhaul of our broken system, with its perverse incentives.  And in the long run, of course, we are all dead.


    Agree entirely (none / 0) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:38:55 AM EST
    If they actually pass a bill out of this mess, they're not going to want to have anything to do with it again for many years.  If the whole effort collapses this time and nothing passes, the pressure to start over again from scratch I think will be very high.  Unlike the Clinton effort, there's a huge head of steam up in all quarters about the need to do something-- not just advocates for low income people and wonky reformers, as it was then, but urgent pressure from business and from the insurance industry itself.

    I don't think it's possible at this point to patch up this mess some more and come out with anything that will actually work.  They need to start over from the ground up with a clean slate-- and a much better understanding of what the various pressure points are than they had when they started this.


    Wow (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:56:14 AM EST
    I must go read the whole thing.

    Yes Or No ? Kill Bill (none / 0) (#65)
    by norris morris on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:37:28 PM EST
    It doesn't matter at this point whether Krugman or Brooks,Dean or Bill Clinton give a Yes or a No.

    No one really knows how much worse this will get, or if hoping for reform is just hoping. Which of course it is. Obamabot Village likes it? They're nuts. They don't think, they just LOVE.

    Since this doesn't kick in for 4 years why are we handing big insurance larger premiums for 4 yrs, and anything else they can stick to us?

    This bill is simply worthless without a public option as it acts as a windfall to private insurance cartel and we will be helpless. They continually break the law whenever possible. I know. In order to have a perfectly valid surgical/medical claim reimbursed, my insurance co. weasled, waited, stalled, and after over a year I contacted the State Insurance Superintendent's Ofice, and they actually helped.

      After nearly 2 years I got reimbursement after over 500 requests,letters,backup material, etc etc were previously sent to Ins. Co.

    You think this won't happen again unless we have real competition and can buy insurance through a public option?  The administrative costs of big insurance are huge. Medicare administrative costs are minimal and efficient.

    The naivete and mess in handling this by the Democrats and the ham handed politics of enforcer Rahm who is peeing all over us as Obama disappears, is disgusting. The fix has been in for months.

    How can we go for having this terrible HC plan Rhammed down our throats?. Is it impossible for voters to be such idiots that they are unaware of the Drug deal that Obama made with BigPharma in July screwing us all?

    Obama promised we could see all the details on C-Spam? Remember? The cost containment? Makes no sense even if you rape Medicare which is really the plan.

    We know NOTHING about this bill and it changes every time a Senator compromises for more to weaken the bill. Watching Reid and the Senators is stomach churning and I cringe at the sight of the HC charade/circus.

    Now it's women's rights. Kill Roe v Wade as a Democrat wedge issue from Nelson & Stupak and let's just ram this through? Right?

    NO. It's wrong as hell as so is a bill than delivers NOTHING except to the Insurance Monopoly.

    NO it isn't right, and this bill sucks and only enriches Insurance and Team Obama as it violates women's rights to boot.

    It's a sham and sellout. Don't buy it.


    Nebraska governor (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 08:56:40 AM EST
    Urging Nelson to put the brakes on the health care bill.

    Nelson is not going to back down anytime soon, I believe.

    Why back down to anybody running the (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:03:09 AM EST
    show these days?  It isn't ever necessary.

    Glenn Greenwald (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:05:29 AM EST
    Channels BTD re: corporatism and the Obama administration:

    As I've noted before, this growing opposition to corporatism -- to the virtually absolute domination of our political process by large corporations -- is one of the many issues that transcend the trite left/right drama endlessly used as a distraction.  The anger among both the left and right towards the bank bailout, and towards lobbyist influence in general, illustrates that.  Kilgore says that anger among the left and right over corporatism is irreconcilable, and this is the point I think he has mostly wrong:

    To put it more bluntly, on a widening range of issues, Obama's critics to the right say he's engineering a government takeover of the private sector, while his critics to the left accuse him of promoting a corporate takeover of the public sector. They can't both be right, of course, and these critics would take the country in completely different directions if given a chance.  But the tactical convergence is there if they choose to pursue it.

    This supposedly irreconcilable difference Kilgore identifies is more semantics than substance.  It's certainly true that health care opponents on the left want more a expansive plan while opponents on the right want the opposite.  But the objections over the mandate are largely identical -- it's a coerced gift to the private health insurance industry that underwrites the Democratic Party.  The same was true over opposition to the bailout, objections to lobbying influence over Washington, and most of all, the growing anger that Washington serves the interests of financial elites at the expense of the working class.  

    Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing:  a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else's expense.  Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s.  It's true that the people who are angry enough to attend tea parties are being exploited and misled by GOP operatives and right-wing polemicists, but many of their grievences about how Washington is ignoring their interests are valid, and the Democratic Party has no answers for them because it's dependent upon and supportive of that corporatist model.  That's why they turn to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; what could a Democratic Party dependent upon corporate funding and subservient to its interests possibly have to say to populist anger?

    Not really (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:09:22 AM EST
    I would probably be a "corporatist" under Glenn's rubrik.

    I do not object to the idea of a mandate. I object to giving away this critical bargaining chip for real health care reform in return for this crap bill.

    As a rule, I am for less direct government intervention in the market, than more. The health care market does not function and I have come to conclude that the government taking over health insurance is the most effective policy, as opposed to the regulatory model.

    I certainly do not feel that way about the financial industry.


    Glenn's wonderful post (none / 0) (#66)
    by norris morris on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:00:20 PM EST
     You really managed to clarify what each group
    has invested as corporate America dominates our politics.

    We are all being misled. Those on the right with their tea party anger. Their anger buys thm nothing. As you say many of their grievances about DC are valid. But they're being faked out.

    Those on the left are being handed to the corporate monopoly that controls our politics and our lives. And our continued  growing anger  will increase as we face the actual corporate swindle being perpetrated by the Democratic Party that survives on corporate money. Maybe.

    Unless the stranglehold of Corporate America is fought with meaningful political action, we will see monstrosities like the HC debate again and again.


    Joe Klein (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:32:25 AM EST
    I mean, wait, Ezra Klein:

    Al Franken is onto something here. I think the left would calm quite a bit if they could be assured that Sen. Joe Lieberman would never be extended another extra minute, or any other sort of senatorial courtesy, again.

    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:45:12 AM EST
    because I live and breathe every day based on what Joe Lieberman says.  I wouldn't mind writing bigger and bigger insurance checks for lesser and lesser quality coverage if Joe Lieberman would just shut up.


    Hmmm, and wasn't Ezra Klein once considered a member of the unwashed masses of "the left".  If not, maybe all the lefties should stop linking to his page.

    LOL, he makes me laugh.


    Insulting as usual (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:37:52 AM EST
    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:43:38 AM EST
    this is what caught my eye from his other recent post:

    I think some on the left would say that they just want to remove the individual mandate. But if they do that, then the healthy will leave the plan, and the average premiums will be the average premiums for unlucky people, like this reader, and those premiums will quickly become unaffordable.

    I guess Ezra believes we have to leave in the mandate because it will lead Congress to control costs later, after we have already been f*cked.

    Does he just believe that Democrats will always be the majority party, or what?

    sorry I know this is off-topic but the defense of the mandate strikes me as particularly stupid especially this late in the game.


    Why would the healthy leave the plan? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:46:11 AM EST
    It's an implicit acceptance (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:47:01 AM EST
    that the subsidies are insufficient, I think.

    Because they don't need a plan (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:47:22 AM EST
    until they become unhealthy.

    Doesn't compute (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:54:22 AM EST
    No one needs health insurance until they get cancer or some other chronic condition?  That's not the mentality of anyone I know.

    Apparently the arg. is that there are too many (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:56:12 AM EST
    "young invincibles" who won't even take health insurance if it's massively subsidized. It's either that, or the subsidy isn't enough and it's still too expensive.

    I was young once too (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:05:59 AM EST
    I think for the vast majority of people we're talking more about "can't be bothered" because they simply don't see health insurance as a big priority as opposed to the kicking and screaming "hell no, we won't go" that I see tossed around by the people who think a mandate will be the most unpopular thing ever.

    I guess single-payer, and the taxes necessary to fund it, were going to be completely optional so no one would have minded.


    I can't speak for all people in the category (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:10:13 AM EST
    but most people I know would quickly take free or very cheap health insurance.

    I think it's an affordability issue (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:21:53 AM EST
    as andgarden is saying.  If it's not affordable, then you still can't be bothered.

    Right (none / 0) (#52)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:41:21 AM EST
    I think if this bill fails to deliver affordable insurance, people will dislike it for that reason, not because of the mandate.

    The number of people who want affordable insurance is far, far greater than the number of people who want to assert their God-given right to go without health insurance without the government forcing them to buy it.


    Ha! You didn't know me fifteen years ago :) (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:07:39 AM EST
    On those personality tests I have no "S" (need to feel secure).  You will have people like me ditching the pool, and kdog will be ditching the pool, most everyone at the healthfood store 24/7 will be ditching the evil pool of corporate medicine.  I think Ezra is right about this, not much else but I think it is valid that too many Americans will not invest in our health unless everybody else is and we have to.  I'm more mature now, and I have been sick now too :)  I accept now that it is wise to invest in my health :)  Now what totally pi$$e$ me off is having to pay 23% of my investment to corporate middlemen who essentially do nothing other than get to tell me NO when I'm sick.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:17:28 AM EST
    I think if the policy ditched mandates, it would certainly have to go back to the HIPAA rules on pre-existing conditions, which I really think are fair....except I think financial or other hardship exclusions should be added....and of course subsidies should be left in for many.

    But yeah, I don't know any young person who would ditch employer-sponsored healthcare.  It's only those potentially on the individual market who would opt out.


    Depends on what they must pay in (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:20:34 AM EST
    on their employer sponsored policy.

    very true (none / 0) (#58)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:04:39 AM EST
    Actually... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:04:16 AM EST
    I'm debating dropping my employer based plan if the mandate passes...just to be difficult.

    Being forced to pay the government for sh*t you don't want/like is one thing...being forced to pay the insurance company for sh*t you don't want/like is another ballgame.


    There is something sacred (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 03:24:08 PM EST
    and very American about reserving the right to be difficult :)

    true (none / 0) (#36)
    by CST on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:56:41 AM EST
    but there is a "young, broke, and invincible" group.

    Those are pretty healthy, relatively cheap to insure (for insurers), and a lot of them don't have health insurance.

    Not sure why they'd sign up en masse now without a mandate.


    I think young people (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:00:30 AM EST
    are probably more likely to hold out for health insurance that is offered as a benefit, than shop around for health insurance individually as a stop gap measure.

    Although it's expanding Medicaid that would cover the most young people...and of course, that expansion is currently in question.


    Also, the Invincible Yoots are so inured to (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:58:45 AM EST
    ... a culture besotted with the notion that all one needs to get rich quick is a stake for the world series of poker, a shot at a reality show, the right viral youtube or wisely managing the spark from being the next hot thing for a nanosecond. Why go broke going to college?

    And why spend $$$ for health insurance when making the right blog, vlog, podcast, sex tape, or balloon boy scam can make you a millionaire stahhh?

    And even if you do get sick you can turn THAT into mega-bux with the right scam or scheme.

    Oh, and did you know what the latest sickening trend is? Interfamilial or acquaintance/worker abuse and exploitation of the elderly. It's a silent epidemic.

    The sense of entitlement to that money from the 'pre-inheritors' is huuuuge, whether it's a pittance or assets collected over a lifetime, and/or from those who believe they won't get caught.


    you have no idea (none / 0) (#60)
    by CST on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 12:32:21 PM EST
    what you're talking about.

    Most young people are just trying to make it like everyone else.  Get through college, find SOME job in this market, and figure out what the hell to do with our lives.

    That's like saying all Gen Xers want to be like the "Housewives of Orange County" because that's what you see on tv.

    There are bad seeds in every group, but nothing in this post is representative of any significant margin.

    Young people go without insurance for the same reasons everyone else does.  Lack of funds, no/low paying job, and overwhelming debt.

    The idea that it's easy to get rich quick died with the tech bubble bursting.  The vast majority decide to go broke going to college.


    You have no idea why I DO know what I'm talking (none / 0) (#61)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 12:43:31 PM EST
    ... about.

    Jerk your knees all you want this wasn't about a "generation".


    In Professor Krugman's "Pass the Bill" (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:34:35 AM EST
    op-ed piece, this one sentence stood out for me: "All of this (the goodness, in his view, of the bill as he knows it) would be paid for in large part with the first serious effort ever to rein in rising health care costs."   No further explanation--apparently to be accepted by universal consent, just like the goodness of the Iraq war.

    Agree (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:37:27 AM EST
    Argument by assertion has been Krugman's way in this debate. It has been extremely disappointing.

    If he thinks that more insurance means (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:43:18 AM EST
    more healthcare, he should explain why. I am disappointed that he has not.

    Woohoo! (none / 0) (#55)
    by cawaltz on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:55:10 AM EST
    We can pay for things with good intentions All the people behind on their mortages are saved!(rolling eyes)

    BTW, one way to deal with Nelson (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:35:40 AM EST
    is to strongly suggest (in public) that because his demands are unreasonable, we are no longer looking for 60 votes. At which point, as in 2005, he will buckle on cloture.

    At least, that would be if we hadn't had the constant "no reconciliation!" drumbeat.

    Since July (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:36:46 AM EST
    this should have been the drun beat.

    Postmortems are obvious here, I did one, letting Baucus go to October is when this was lost.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cawaltz on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:51:34 AM EST
    I'm rather getting used to being referred to as "uneducated". What I find amusing is the "uneducated" masses seem to have a pretty good track record at predicting outcomes. Certainly as good if not better than the oh so educated folk.

    As far as melting down, it appears to me that THEY are the group melting down. I'm just waiting for one of them to stomp their feet and demand that we pass something, anything, just to be done with the health care issue. I mean these are folks that haven't really even defined what they would consider unacceptable at this late stage in the game.

    We need more Bernie Sanders! (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:06:08 AM EST
    h/t BlueTexan at FDL

    Stung by the intense White House effort to court the votes of moderate holdouts like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, liberals are signaling that they have compromised enough. Grass-roots groups are balking, liberal commentators are becoming more critical of the president, some unions are threatening to withhold support and Howard Dean, the former Democratic Party chief, is urging the Senate to kill its health bill. [...]

    In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Sanders, another advocate of a single-payer system, said he was not certain how he would vote on the bill, though Democratic leaders have been assuming he would back it in the end.

    "I don't sleep well," Mr. Sanders said. "I am struggling with this issue very hard, trying to sort out what is positive in this bill, what is negative in the bill, what it means for our country if there is no health insurance legislation, when we will come back to it."

    The senator added, "And I have to combine that with the fact that I absolutely know that the insurance companies and the drug companies will be laughing all the way to the bank the day after this is passed."

    Wonks are the new Very Serious People (none / 0) (#8)
    by Dan the Man on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:05:16 AM EST

    Except for single payer wonks (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by lambert on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:23:41 AM EST
    They're still unpersons.

    That's because single payer advocates have got the only policy on offer that can be proved to work, and if you're a pundit or a strategerist, there's a good deal more money to be made running a decade's worth of campaigns that FAIL [the public] than there is to be made getting it right the first time. Just another case of Versailles incentives being totally misaligned to what voters actually need.


    you mean "wonks" (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:24:59 AM EST
    Krugman (none / 0) (#18)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:30:48 AM EST
    I wonder if Krugman has just resigned himself to the fact that the longer the debate continues, the worse the bill becomes?

    He let Bernanke off the hook (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:36:16 AM EST
    only to become distressed by Bernanke latest shenanigans days later :)  He is a nice person.  I think it is hard for him to grasp at times that a lot of people are not and do not care to any degree that matches his own about the human condition.

    I think the fallacy in that (none / 0) (#20)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:33:03 AM EST
    Is that we haven't recently had a point where they liberals could have just given in and gotten a result better than what the "deal" is as of now.

    Maybe if we had all hailed the finance committee bill, with its triggered co-ops. . .


    Oh, like not knowing who was right re Iraq war ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ellie on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:13:46 AM EST
    The side that demanded, during the heat of the post 9/11 attack, an immediate war of aggression on a nation completely irrelevant to 9/11 attack, and which had no WMDs, and hadn't declared war nor endangered its neighbors, and wouldn't be baited into either, and upon which a unilateral US attack was illegal by domestic constitutional law as well as international law, and earning the enmity of virtually the entire world ...


    The loony toonz bonkers side?

    That debate?

    A destructive, wrong comparison (none / 0) (#53)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:42:16 AM EST
    I know the intention behind the comparison: it means to draw a contrast between the Beltway bubble and those outside it.

    But, speaking as someone who protested the Iraq war and (barely) favors passing this bill, any comparison invoking the Iraq war vote is very divisive.

    I also don't like the "us vs. them" atmosphere that it creates.

    Please, stay away from invoking the Iraq war vote. This point can be made in other ways.

    I took it up (none / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:13:35 AM EST
    because the point of the comparison was being demagogued by the Very Serious People.

    I would not have otherwise.


    Actually (none / 0) (#64)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 09:37:06 PM EST
    (late reply, I know).

    I believe that Krugman brought it up because it was on the front page of DailyKos.

    I'm not 100% sure that is where it started, but I believe so.