Health Care Bill Changed: Cuts More From Elder Care

How many ways can Congress find to scr*w the elderly? As a result of a compromise today, the Dems conceded more ground to conservatives on the health care bill.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which expects to approve the new version of the legislation by Friday, unveiled the newest version of the proposal at a legislative markup Wednesday. It would cut the cost of health-care reform by $100 billion and provide payment guarantees to rural hospitals.

...Across Capitol Hill, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) announced that a draft of the reform package would provide coverage to 95 percent of Americans, be fully offset by tax increases and Medicare savings...

... The draft bill would provide more cost savings through Medicare than did previous versions, reducing the need for new revenue from about $500 billion in earlier drafts to "somewhat over $300 billion," according to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who is working with Baucus on the bill. The draft also would scale back Medicare payments to physicians, a long-promised but costly provision.

If you scale back Medicare pay to doctors, it seems to me you scale back the number of doctors willing to treat the elderly. If I'm wrong, then it's just another sign our elected officials are doing a lousy job of explaining the bill in terms the public can understand. [More...]

Baucus says the cost of the plan to cover 95% of Americans will be paid for by tax increases and Medicare savings.

The Dems are trying to reassure seniors all is well. Liberals are not happy.

The House changes, which drew immediate opposition from liberals in the chamber, would reduce the federal subsidies designed to help lower-income families afford insurance, exempt additional businesses from a requirement to offer insurance to their workers and change the terms of a government insurance option.

..."We do not support this," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. "I think they have no idea how many people are against this. They can't possibly be taking us seriously if they're going to bring this forward."

The Republican plans are even worse:

House Republican conservatives, relegated to the sidelines of the debate, unveiled a $700 billion health care plan with tax credits to help defray the cost of insurance...The GOP bill also would limit jury awards for pain and suffering, and create new courts with specially trained judges to decide medical malpractice claims.

Here's more on the medicare issues from yesterday's New York Times.

Any bipartisan compromise that emerges from the negotiations is also expected to include a number of cutbacks in planned payments to hospitals and other Medicare providers, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.
This whole thing gets worse by the hour.

Update: Doctors respond to the proposal.

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    Perfect. (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:11:51 PM EST
    Shaking head.

    These people are just really lame.

    Invade Iraq?  Spend Trillions blowing up bridges and rebuilding them?  No problem!  

    INVEST in the health and well being of Americans?  Can't.

    Cutting Medicare.  Dumbest idea ever today - so many dumb ideas have come out of Congress on this healthcare issue - it is more and more difficult to keep up with all of them.

    Agree with all you've said, but (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:52:28 PM EST
    I'm also interested in Jeralyn's focus on how this disproportionally hurts the elderly.

    I, for one, expect a Democratic trifecta to find many more ways of scr*ewing the elderly during the next 3-7 years. The comprehensive Pew Research Center analysis of the demographics in the'08 election shows the majority (53%) of voters over 65 didn't vote for Obama.

    Obama's strongest support came form the the Millenials (aka Generation We - please, just shoot me):

    Indeed, without 18-29 year olds, Obama's popular vote margin would have been slightly under one percentage point.  That figure implies that the overwhelmingly proportion of Obama's popular vote victory (87 percent) was attributable to the support of 18-29 year old Millennials.

    So, you know, if you've gotta screw somebody it's not going to be Generation We - it's going to be the demographic at the other end of the age spectrum. Obama won without the elderly vote in '08 - and he evidently expects to win without them three years from now.

    The Dems may lose their majority in the House and the Senate in 2012, but it's not like they were using it anyway.



    Yeah, well, it is a dumb thing to do because (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 07:16:46 AM EST
    Gen "we" will have to take care of their elders if they fall short - so the Dems are in fact striking a blow at all of us.  Apparently, some are demanding cuts in SCHIP too.  The idea here is NOT to reduce available healthcare - it is to increase and improve it.  Reductions will hurt them no matter where they allocate them.  Our problem is that of deficit of care - not in having too much.  That is why I say that they are lame - really lame.

    Ugh. Yeah... (4.00 / 4) (#111)
    by coigue on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 01:04:59 AM EST
    I have encountered some of that generation on blogs. They are uninterested in so-called "identity politics" and definitely do not want to have health-care premiums standardized (hey, I don't want to pay for the elderly). I guess they aren't yest dealing with their elderly parents. In 10 years they will change their tune.

    Reduces access to healthcare (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:19:48 PM EST
    The draft also would scale back Medicare payments to physicians, a long-promised but costly provision.

    There are already enough doctors refusing Medicare patients because of the low percentage of billing they receive. I've seen bills on my mom that were billed out at $1500 and the doctor was paid less than $500 by Medicare.

    I prefer the co-op system to Medicare, myself.

    But the reason I left was that Medicare reimbursements were not enough to keep the lights on - forget any salary for me- and I could never turn anyone away.  Medicaid paid even less.

    Practice consultants used to recommend that the combination of Care/Caid in a practice could not exceed more than 15% if the doc wanted to make a living.  Don't know what they're saying now.   I'm salaried.  I do know that every one of my friends who is still in private practice has seen their income fall over the last 5 years.  I believe strongly that single payer is the way to go, but I don't believe that because I think it will be cheap. I only believe the administrative costs will be less that what we've got now.  Good, state of the art medical care is not cheap anywhere these days.

    I'm not going to say that if the government cuts doctors' reimbursements to the bone that no one will go to medical school.  I don't believe that's true.  I do say that the quality of the applicants will fall.  I teach, and I can see it already.

    Physicians don't have to be geniuses but shouldn't the local doc have educational attainments greater than a C+ average? Or do you want to be stuck with the barely competent  in ordinary communities while members of Congress and the wealthy utilize specialty centers, reimbursed at higher rates?  That could be one outcome of this wonderful drive to contain costs at all costs: an institutionalized 2-tier system with good care for a few and so-so care for everyone else.


    What you say makes sense (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by sj on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:17:56 PM EST
    but for what it's worth...

    I do know that every one of my friends who is still in private practice has seen their income fall over the last 5 years.  

    That's true of my colleagues in IT as well.  Income is either flat or has fallen.  just saying


    Don't disagree, sj. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Elizabeth Blackwell on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:31:18 PM EST
    Live in Michigan.  Land of Erik, Prince of Blackwater, and the DeVos clan,  The middle class, even the upper middle class, has been destroyed here.

    I think my point was that in intensely educated and rapidly changing specialties, and IT is surely one, the idea used to be that if you di the constant work required to keep current you became more valuable not less.

    The only people getting more money these days are the crooks (I use that word advisedly) in the financial industry.  They have already devalued America's industrial base.  They are in the process of gutting our knowledge base as well.


    Question (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:27:31 PM EST
    A very close family friend, a brilliant, young internist, has a private practice in, of all places, Chappaqua, NY. He only accepts Medicare, no private/HMO insurance patients. I know this because I used to take my father-in-law to him.

    In explaining his policy to me, he said he simply couldn't handle having to negotiate treatment with uneducated knot-heads (my word.) He said he was willing to forego extra income for the increased freedom Medicare provided.

    I'm not doubting you, but how was this possible?


    I can give part of an answer (none / 0) (#78)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:00:40 PM EST
    to that. The administrative personnel required for a medical practice to process all their claims to all the many insurance providers is a place where they can cut back. Plus all the supplies, postage, billing overhead adds up fast. Medicare patients often have supplemental insurance, and I believe Medicare passes on the information on amt billed, what they paid, and the supplemental pays direct, so my mom saw ONE bill or statement ever during the entire 10 months.

    What IG says is correct, but suspect also that your friend does not "par" Medicare.  A "participating" physician agrees to accept as full payment whatever Medicare pays for a procedure, visit, etc.  Should a physician "par," Medicare pays whatever it pays directly to the doctor, and if the doctor charges are more s/he writes off the balance.  Very few physicians do this nowadays.

    However, the doctor does not have to "participate."   In that case the doctor charges what the doctor feels is appropriate, Medicare pays what it pays directly to the patient and the doctor collects the entire fee from the patient.  This works well in a relatively affluent area with a well-trained front office staff who make sure balances are paid off on the next visit or with an good office manager who keeps (the few) collections in house.

    Alternatively, depending on demographics (i.e. do most patients have Medigap insurance) the doctor balance bills the Medigap, then bills the patient for the (usually small) amount remaining, and if they do not pay aforementioned staff makes sure they do so before the doctor sees them on the next appointment.  No payment of balance, no doctor.

    The elderly population tends to stay with the same physician over time, and if they are not trying to decide how to put food on "themselves and their families" can usually be counted on to pay the doctor's remaining fee if not covered, and it rarely is, by the insurance(s) reimbursement.  

    I'd be interested to know your friend's policy about retaining patients who cannot/do not pay their balances for whatever reason.  That's not a profitable thing to do...and the word gets around.


    Thanks - excellent info (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:19:43 PM EST
    The positive side of Medicare in our experience with my mom was that they did not deny any procedures or tests, and the entire process ran smoothly. The downside was they didn't challenge anything and the doctors and labs used her as a pin cushion so they could bill. We got insurance statements showing somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 doctors billed for services performed on my mom while she was in the hospital. She actually SAW 3 doctors, and blood draws were regular, so the others most likely were behind the scenes.

    It's a system that could be fixed, though.

    One group of doctors here (a large group) did radio and internet advertising to ask patients and local citizens who may have their insurance benefits through Premera Blue Cross to encourage their employers to drop that policy and go with a company that was fair with provider payments. They lost a couple of big employers recently, not sure if that's why, though.


    It may depend on where you go (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:49:15 PM EST
    my mother monitors what's done with my father (Parkison's and other issues). Follows drugs etc that he's given and just stays on top of it (not saying you didn't!!) and puts her foot down when needed. My dad also plays a part in it as she knows him well (lol!~) and she can predict certain outcomes.

    I, otoh, have more experience with vets. The 3 in my 'hood vary quite a bit form how they operate. The newest fancy place really turned me off in how they wanted to handle my elderly feline etc. He jumped to the extremes in testing and care, where as my reg vet would have had a more thoughtful approach from the lesser to the worst. I'd only go back to them if I had a weekend injury with my dog that needed immediate attention like a seriously bleeding wound etc. And I would still be very vigilant as to the procedures they suggested. My primary vet taught me well just through her work with my animals. I can't imagine what I would have listened to/allowed with the newer vet if I didn't have my history. Mom says my experiences (and my research 'habit') are one of the reason's she want's me as her advocate. Daunting to think about . . . Thank dawg my niece is getting experienced in the elder care and is looking to be more career orientated in the field. And we are keeping an open dialogue about Dad's care and what she wants for herself.

    Your experience is a good reminder that we need to watch both ends of the spectrum, from lack of care to over care


    It took time, and second-guessing (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:16:40 PM EST
    before I reached a point where I was doing it right, believe me. After a few visits to doctors, I finally asked my mother why she wouldn't volunteer her symptoms. She said, "they're the doctors, they need to figure it out." I didn't really catch on to what the doctors were doing until after she left the hospital the first time, but that's also when I took on the responsibility of being her advocate. They quickly wanted to start the same tests over again. My mother did not have cancer; they knew it, and we knew it. She had contracted the hospital-only virus that caused them to have to pump her full of antibiotics and her liver could not handle it. That caused cirrosis, which caused ascides, which led to the eventual kidney & liver failure.

    I'm not having to be so suspicious with my dad's care...I took him away from that Medical Center/Hospital and all their surrounding clinics.


    Condolences IG, my partner's mother died (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:57:03 PM EST
    the same way. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy - not even GW Bush.

    Thanks, FA (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:53:09 PM EST
    Not sure why, but my mother didn't have any pain at all from the cirrosis. The ascites caused her stomach to fill with fluid, which made her really uncomfortable and barely mobile, but still no pain. She actually had a very easy passing.

    I am glad to hear that IG... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:34:59 PM EST
    I still tear up about an "easy passing" - from gratitude. When all else has failed, it is the most we can ask for, and such a gift to receive. That was the case with my dad. After a prolonged illness, he died peacefully in his sleep with his hands tucked under his cheek.

    Be well my dear.


    would it make a difference (none / 0) (#43)
    by DXP on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:35:15 PM EST
    if the government took over medical malpractice insurance?

    Would make a difference (none / 0) (#124)
    by Elizabeth Blackwell on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 11:35:16 PM EST
    if the consequences of medical errors, very few of which are actual malpractice, were automatically covered without the need to involve the court system.

    For the real incompetent or the addict or the ham-handed surgeon ( 2-5 % of physicians) a central data base of reportable medical screw-ups, a version of which already exists for filed malpractice suits, should identify them fairly rapidly so the cases reported can be evaluates by peers and corrective action taken if it is needed.

    Conversely , a central reporting base, properly used, would identify systemic problems so doctors, hospitals etc. could more rapidly see that a problem exists and do what it takes to fix it.


    The reductions in Medicare (none / 0) (#56)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:14:24 PM EST
    reimbursement for physicians may lead to denial of care to new patients or lengthened intervals required between "routine" office visits. However, if Medicare participation is linked to participation in private insurance and/or  "public option"  participation as set forth by the legislation, the programs may be mutually supportive.

    Exactly my fears (none / 0) (#113)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 01:47:45 AM EST
    The Baby Boomers are getting into their 60's.  It's a huge group of people who will have very little health care in the future because there will be no doctors to treat them.  

    Guess what, they vote!  Even a 10% difference in their votes would mean big trouble for democrats.  More than that, it's simply unfair to continue to cut funding to medicare.  

    I would love to see Obama make Medicare a model health program.  THEN he could REALLY argue that government can run health care.  


    Wow... (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by masslib on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:27:18 PM EST
    Who in their right mind would support this bill?  Christ, this is just awful.

    A suggestion: (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by ghost2 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:23:16 PM EST
    I make this suggestion in response to Alegre's post (here), and this post:

    Apparently, Bush's Prescription Drug Plan was a costly disaster.  Why can't democrats scrap that lousy plan to save money? Or at least merge it with health care bill and save money? Why should they attack the elderly and SCHIP?


    To answer your question, ghost2... (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:02:05 PM EST
    Why can't democrats scrap Bush's lousy Prescription Drug Plan to save money? Or at least merge it with health care bill and save money? Why should they attack the elderly and SCHIP?

    Why are the freakin' Democrats gutting health care reform? Because they can. The GOP certainly isn't going to stop them and there is no sizable Democratic opposition at any level of government.

    Democrats used to be the party in opposition to this crap - but now the opposition has become officially indistinguishable from their former opponent. So, we are officially scr*wed.


    If the Democrats had principles they would just (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by masslib on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:32:50 PM EST
    expand Medicare, at least to 55-65 year olds, as Bill Clinton tried to do.  I don't know who these people are anymore.  If your PREMIUM's go over 12% of income then you can get in the exchange, but you'll still probably be firewalled from whatever co-op, public thing they've got going.  My Gawd, one could easily end up spending 12-20 percent of their income on health care, and that doesn't include FICA taxes for social security.  The Dem's seem posed to make us all indentured servants to the private insurance industry.  it's truly stunning.  Oh, it's not "politically possible" to expand Medicare, this, in a year the federal government took over the auto industry.  Unbelievable.

    Damn, I meant Medicare not ss. (none / 0) (#88)
    by masslib on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:38:33 PM EST
    Democrats cut prescriptions for seniors??? (none / 0) (#114)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 01:54:06 AM EST
    Can you imagine THAT headline?!  Why on earth would we support something like that?  

    Reform the bill (none / 0) (#117)
    by ghost2 on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 08:21:26 AM EST
    b/c that legislation was a gift to drug companies.  

    If they are considering CUTTING Medicare and SCHIP, the headline is going to be bad anyhow.  

    Unless, of course, this is actually what the moneyed interests want, and umm... the moneyed interests also control the press.  


    Well, that gives the 97-year-old (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:37:02 PM EST
    in our family reason to live to 100, so she can vote in 2012, she says -- because she wants to take back her first-ever vote for a Dem for president.

    Many people (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:15:30 PM EST
    had high hopes when they voted for Obama.

    About those high hopes... (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:01:10 PM EST
    Here is a neat list of problems, from 2008, that led voters to elect Obama - I imagine they expected him to solve them:

        * Two unpopular wars.
        * A deepening subprime mortgage and credit crisis.
        * Trillion dollar bailout/nationalization of the financial sector.
        * Trouble with the Big Three automakers.
        * Record-high employment losses.
        * A growing U.S. and worldwide recession.
        * Record low approval ratings for the Bush presidency.

    Doesn't the present look that - only more so.



    P.S. For some reason the author of (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:14:42 PM EST
    the cited list didn't include:

    *A health care crisis, which is also the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.  


    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:43:10 PM EST
    I hear that spite is one of the things that can keep people alive well beyond average old age.

    That aside, I would question her judgement, being proud of voting for Coolidge, Hoover, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, and Bush twice..  


    I am pretty sure (5.00 / 7) (#15)
    by Steve M on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:47:09 PM EST
    that although women were able to vote for Coolidge in 1924, 12-year old women probably were not.

    Ha. :-) (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:53:26 PM EST
    Thanks! (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by standingup on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:40:48 PM EST
    That was worth logging in just to recommend.

    Well (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:56:06 PM EST
    OK so I exaggerated a bit..

    Well, then (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:54:29 PM EST
    you will live long and prosper.

    Really (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:16:26 PM EST
    Well if that is true it will not be due to spite. I live quite in the present, to a fault in a way. Spite is not a driving force in my life. Just because I disagree with you often does not mean that I have the least bit of feelings of spite toward you.

    More health insurance reforms? (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:47:18 PM EST
    Evidently not everyone thinks that the bipartisan deal brokered by Baucus is a good thing.

    But some liberal Democrats, like Senators John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, expressed reservations about concessions being made by Democrats to keep a few Republicans on board.

    Mr. Rockefeller said he was unhappy that the legislation would end the Children's Health Insurance Program and could reduce the scope of benefits for 11 million children in the program. NYT - h/t Allege

    The cost of the give away to the insurance industry gets higher every day.

    Remember in the previous thread (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by coast on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:51:15 PM EST
    showing how lobby dollars are higher this year.  Now you know why.  Their money is apparently working.

    Oh Lord (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 01:07:33 AM EST
    if only we could fix the world so that people knew how blatantly untrue it is to affix "liberal" to "Jay Rockefeller"...

    Sausage making (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:51:30 PM EST
    can be fun and wildly creative. Not built on compromise, the way I've learned it. You are only limited by your imagination, not Republicans and Blue Dogs. Selling out doesn't really play into sausage making  ;) In fact, the best sausage is made with the best ingredients and dedication to a successful final outcome  :)

    Honestly, I trust Henry Waxman on this (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:57:01 PM EST
    I know trust is a dirty word, but if something passes with his backing, I expect it to be pretty good.

    We'll see.

    The scare ads I'm seeing on teevee (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:57:31 PM EST
    constantly by conservative groups are going to make any compromise for a halfway decent bill impossible.  The ads are definitely ramping up as the Congressional recess nears, before our delegation heads home and hits the fan here.

    This is Obama when (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:07:53 PM EST
    he had a brain in his head. 2003 to be exact:

    "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." (applause) "I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that's what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."

    Obama speaking to the Illinois AFL-CIO, June 30, 2003.

    Now - in 2009 he sees the light. He sees why we cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.

    Now - a single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan is not what he would like to see.

    I am so angry sometimes at this charade. It seems like a waste of time watching this farce go down. Like a corny soap opera. Worse.

    We need a whole new system of government.
    A democracy, maybe.

    "When Obama had a brain in his head"... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:01:28 PM EST
    That wasn't Obama's brain. (I kid.)

    Your Mistake (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 06:21:27 PM EST
    Is that you somehow believe that you are representative of the majority of Americans. Activism is necessary, to push the envelope, but insisting that the US is ready and willing for a single payer system is absurd, imo.

    Hey I am all for it, but I do not think that I represent the majority of voters, who, imo have been hoodwinked and vote against their interests.


    Multiple polls ... (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:03:21 PM EST
    show that a majority of Americans favor some form of Single-Payer system.

    Here's a list of some from the last couple of years.

    The people are ahead on this issue.  The politicians are behind.


    Not Convincing (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:22:22 PM EST
    If there were a national referendum and the question was do you want to nationalize healthcare with a single payer plan like medicare, I do not think that the majority of Americans would say yes.

    Reason that were it put on the table, the evil forces would also have influence. Communism, third world country, lower standard.. bla bla bla.

    Those evil forces are what is holding back the Senators. Don't you think that if the majority of Congresscritters thought they would lose their seat if they voted against, even the bill on the table now, no less a single payer plan, they would vote yea without a second thought?

    If it is such an important issue for the majority of Americans we would not be where we are today, regarding waffling and watering down health care bills.


    You have a thought ... (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:44:30 PM EST
    but I presented scientific evidence.

    Your "thoughts" are unpersuasive.


    BS (none / 0) (#46)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    A one sided poll may be what it is but it is not scientific evidence that proves that the majority of americans would vote for a single payer plan.

    That is just nonsense.

    When you ask someone if they want a million dollars, most would say yes.

    Does that scientifically prove that most people would take a million dollars if it meant selling their children to slavery?

    Of course not.

    The problem is that there are consequences presented by those opposed to single payer. Not a free lunch, so to speak. Those consequences are scary to most people even if they turn out not to be true. It is a gamble that most people are not willing to take.


    Amusing how ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:54:30 PM EST
    willing you are to expose your ignorance.

    What Ignorance Is That? (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:55:16 PM EST
    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:57:23 PM EST
    A word to the wise, (5.00 / 5) (#61)
    by ghost2 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:30:26 PM EST
    ignore those who not interested in truth or even a conversation.   It's a waste of your time to engage with those who only have their rationalizations and talking points.  You end up doing a whole lot of research for nothing.

    I know ... (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:36:48 PM EST
    but there are other people reading who might find it valuable.

    IOW (2.00 / 1) (#63)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:35:02 PM EST
    A: We would have single payer health care in america if Hillary was POTUS, because everyone wants it.

    B:It is all Obama's fault.

    Well even if statement B was true, it would not mean A was true.

    You people are funny.


    Hmmm ... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:38:53 PM EST
    A:  Hillary didn't support single-payer

    B:  Congress is also at fault here


    The above comment (none / 0) (#62)
    by ghost2 on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:32:04 PM EST
    is for Robot Porter.  

    Really? (none / 0) (#65)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:35:51 PM EST
    How would anyone have guessed that? lol

    Laugh All You Want (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:02:19 PM EST
    Your claim that scientific evidence proves that most americans would vote for single payer health care is ludicrous.

    The deficit, reduced quality, no free choice, higher taxes, government controlling health care, socialism, etc are all factors that come into play in most adults minds when opting for government single payer, or government anything health care reform.

    Yes children can vote for anything without having to evaluate real or imagined negative consequences. You seem childlike in your grasp of this issue, imo.


    Breath, Squeaky ... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:09:03 PM EST
    I didn't say those studies "proved" anything.

    I argued that they were more valuable than your "thoughts."

    And that they are suggestive that your view of the public's attitude toward single-payer may not be correct.


    Nah, don't... (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:45:58 PM EST
    BS (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:23:13 PM EST
    Sorry to say:


    I presented scientific evidence.

    The context of this discussion is not what children want but what has a chance of passing.

    What exactly does your scientific evidence prove, in the context of this debate. I read every one of the polls, and none of them mentioned any of the tradeoffs, real or imagined, that are central to this discussion.

    IOW your polls are nice but basically a non sequitur. Seriously, my thoughts are based on the evidence that for the last twenty or sixty years if you want, no one has been able to crack the fear that most americans have about switching to a single payer plan. That is not just my random thought that is reality, and today's reality.

    I do believe that we are closer than ever, and Kennedy is absolutely right that all we have to do is get a public plan of almost any sort started and then we can build on it. Then the horse is out of the barn, in a matter of speaking


    Polls are ... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:35:19 PM EST
    scientific evidence.

    The rest of your rambling is just a logical fallacy.  In this case, you suggest because a small group (congress) didn't do something, it means a large group (the public) didn't want it.


    Yes (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:38:37 PM EST
    Scientific evidence that prove what?

    Certainly not that most americans would want to make any sacrifices for single payer, real or imagined.

    That is where your polls fail to address the question at hand.

    Why do you think we do not have a single payer plan? Because Obama is POTUS?

    Really what are your thoughts?


    Several of the polls ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:39:56 PM EST
    addressed increased taxes.

    Really? (none / 0) (#75)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:46:36 PM EST
    None that I saw in your link. Just checked again.

    Look again: (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:55:10 PM EST
    AP-Yahoo Poll 2007:

    65% - The United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers

    CNN/Opinion research poll 2007:

    30. Do you think the government should provide a national health insurance program for all Americans, even if this would require higher taxes?
    64% - Yes,

    Washington Post ABC/Poll 2003:

    49. Which would you prefer - (the current health insurance system in the United States, in which most people get their health insurance from private employers, but some people have no insurance); or (a universal health insurance program, in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that's run by the government and financed by taxpayers?)
    62 % Universal


    RP, see poll: taxes and health care (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:59:27 PM EST
    The previously cited, CBS/NYTimes Poll, from June 20th '09, is unambiguously titled: Support for a Public Health Plan. Like your sources, it also shows:

    57% of respondents "would be willing to pay higher taxes so that all Americans have health insurance that they can't lose no matter what".

    OK (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:18:53 PM EST
    The only one that asks about sacrifice is the cnn poll. The other two require a leap that is not there.

    Well why don't we have a national health insurance program?

    I would maintain that the rhetoric of the right and center (dems included) couple higher taxes with lower quality health care, among other things, and many believe it.

    So yes, it is great that 64% (+- 3%) of 1080 americans would pay higher taxes for national health care.

    In the same poll 48% thought it a priority.

    It still does not mean that most americans would vote for a national health care program, if they thought there were several negative factors. I believe that most americans believe that there would be several negative factors, I am not one of them.


    You continue to provide ... (none / 0) (#89)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:40:58 PM EST
    no evidence to back up any of your claims.

    This may be indicative of the failure of our educational system which no longer effectively teaches argumentative reasoning.

    You know a few blogger tricks.  But they collapse when faced with a reasoned, supported argument.

    You can think and believe, but you need to learn to demonstrate and show.


    Evidence? (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:51:22 PM EST
    How about the fact that we do not have a single payer health plan right now?

    And again I ask you, the second time, why in the face of 64% of americans who want a national health plan do we not have one?


    There are a lot of things ... (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:07:53 PM EST
    the public wants that it doesn't get.

    We have no referendum system for federal legislation.

    Hence, this doesn't back up your initial claim that the public isn't ready for single-payer.


    It should also be added ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:15:29 PM EST
    that the only single-payer system every seriously proposed (Medicare) was passed 44 years ago.

    And (none / 0) (#73)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:42:53 PM EST
    Your small group of Congresscritters? Well a small group in congress is not stopping anything. That small group, responding to their constituents, have joined a larger group called R's and if you add the smaller group and the larger group you have what is called a majority.

    What you seem to be saying is that (5.00 / 9) (#57)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:19:41 PM EST
    most people could not be in favor of single-payer because they don't really know what it is?

    I think everyone knows what Medicare is.  Almost everyone has a parent or a grandparent or knows someone who is getting excellent health care, all the choice they need or want, at little cost and with minimal - if any - paperwork, so why would they be afraid of, or distrustful of, a plan either in the Medicare model, or that would simply open Medicare up to all Americans?

    People know that it works, and I don't think you can dismiss that simple truth just by declaring that it's ludicrous to think people - most people - do not want such a plan.  In fact, it's ludicrous to me that you would even think you could sell that.


    "at little cost" (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by coast on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:15:22 PM EST
    Huh....its headed towards a deficit in the very near future (less than ten years by most estimates).

    "At little cost" referred to the (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:51:10 PM EST
    out-of-pocket costs and premiums being deducted from Social Security payments for each individual enrolled in Medicare, not to the overall cost of the program.

    People, by and large - rightly or wrongly - concern themselves with what is coming out of their pockets, and the ease with which they can access the care they need.

    And I think that overall, what people want is to be able to know that if they have a health issue, they will not have to suffer because they cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs - co-pays and deductibles.


    Got it and I agree. (none / 0) (#95)
    by coast on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:00:24 PM EST
    OK (1.00 / 3) (#60)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:25:50 PM EST
    Then if everyone wants a single payer plan why don't we have one.

    Oh right, because Obama got elected president, and not Hillary, I forgot how simple it is for you people.


    The stumbling block is the (5.00 / 8) (#72)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:42:00 PM EST
    massive insurance and pharmaceutical lobby, squeaky, which owns the Congress in much the same way that the financial lobby does.  These groups are spending enough money to fund a freakin' single-payer plan, just to make sure they maintain a lock on the business they have, and have an unobstructed path to making money off the millions they hope will be required to get insurance.

    It's possible that a stronger leader would be providing push-back against the health lobby, instead of having chummy little meetings at the WH with industry execs, and bringing lobbyists and executives to the table and leaving out the single-payer advocates.  

    Would Hillary have been that stronger leader?  All I can say, squeaky, is that Hillary knows what her principles are on this issue, knows what the deal-breakers are, knows the issues inside and out, up and down, and has an affinity for the people who need care in a way that Obama, I'm afraid may see, but doesn't really feel.

    It might have been the difference-maker.


    No Sh*t (none / 0) (#86)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:32:37 PM EST
    And that gigantic lobby is not only influencing our Representatives but it is also influencing voters. Has been for as long as I have been alive. One of the biggest, and most lucrative con jobs going.

    The problem is the voters, imo. If the voters are unhappy and health care reform is perceived to be important enough by them, and their Representatives in Congress do not pander to them by reforming health care, those Representatives are voted out of office.

    I voted for Hillary, and liked her enough, but I do not believe that she would have done any better than Obama on this. Yes, it is nice to think that she would have, but my perception is that not enough americans care about it to hold their reps accountable and that is the main problem.

    Yes I am disappointed in Obama's cave ins on many issues. But I do not think things would have been much different with Hillary, both Pols represented mainstream Dem values which are to the right of where I stand.


    Disagree (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by sj on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 02:06:08 PM EST
    ...my perception is that not enough americans care about it to hold their reps accountable and that is the main problem.

    I agree that it is a problem.  But the main problem is that we have a leadership vacuum.  Our system is not set up to easily move things from the bottom up.  By design.

    Voters can only voice their opinion once every X years (depending on the office).  And in the last election, for example, they haven't (so far) gotten what they voted for.  Letters, cards, phone calls, demonstrations are all that's left to voice an opinion.  And those things are obviously easily ignored unless strategically made shortly before an election.

    Unfortunately, that's generally after attention would have value.

    Sure, there are lots of citizens out there too consumed by real life survival, or intellectually incapable or whatever.  But calling citizens the main problem is a huge case of victim blaming.  Representatives are elected to do a job.  For a group of citizens.  Instead they are doing a job for the money changers.

    btw:  remember to read your own words.  That's your perception.  That is not necessarily equal to reality.


    OK (none / 0) (#119)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 02:29:01 PM EST
    Not blaming the victim. The so called victims here, imo, are either not motivated or believe that National Health care is a commie plot.

    Yes I agree that Obama et al should demand that some sort of National Plan with government public option, be passed and threaten a veto, filibusters, and pull out all stops to force the issue.

    But it is a two way street. IMO, most americans do not see how important this issue is.


    Clearly ... (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by sj on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 03:10:38 PM EST
    ... we associate with different sorts of people.  Because my "peeps" are all too aware of how important the issue is.  But then I come from a very large, extended family and we all know and care about someone (or more than one) who is directly, adversely affected by the current situation.

    And the people I work with?  There are serious angry feelings that go around when it's time re-up on our health care plan every year.  There are 12 of us here and four guys that have children between the ages of 3 and 10.  They're taking it right between the eyes financially with very, very little in the way of benefits for their kids' health issues.  Not only that, but our French Canadian with two children makes it clear to us how inadequate we (as a nation?  as a company?  doesn't matter.  Just "we") are when it comes to health care.  So does our German colleague, for that matter.

    I think I prefer the people in my orbit to the people in yours.  At least we can have rational conversations.  And at least they largely operate from a position of knowledge and compassion.  Although it is more and more tempered by fear.

    Just wondering.  Is your opinion of "most Americans" based on the people in your orbit?


    No (none / 0) (#121)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 04:29:51 PM EST
    Although I cannot remember having a health care reform conversation save for once every few years at an extended family brunch table, other than asking about what criminal insurer they might have.

    Out of the three bloggers here Jeralyn is by far the most personally concerned, or so it seems.

    I think that the biggest groups who believe health care reform should be the #1 issue, are those over 55 and those who have to deal with older parents. Next largest, imo, are those who are uninsured who have health problems.

    Many uninsured healthy, younger people could care less. Stupid, imo, but not surprising.


    Well, the point is (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by sj on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 05:04:47 PM EST
    the younger, healthy people of my acquaintance are either related to those over 55 and those who have to deal with older parents


    they are related to/aquainted with those who have children who have had say... needed tubes to deal with ear infections and had a $60 dollar benefit for the surgery after paying about $10,000 a year in premiums PLUS paying about $2000 towards a deductible.

    You say healthy, uninsured people could [sic] care less.  I kind of agree with you.  I just don't think that "healthy, uninsured people" = "most Americans".


    No one in this thread mentioned Hillary (4.42 / 7) (#81)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:15:18 PM EST
    until YOU did, whereas all your comments here, starting with the one in which you accuse a 97-year-old woman of "spite," are pure Obama boosterism. Project much?

    Huh? (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:22:38 PM EST
    It is the very definition of spite to stay alive just to put someone out of office that you dislike.

    Doesn't matter if she is a he, or she is 10 years old.

    I could give a sh*t about Obama. He is who we have and he is just as bad as Hillary who I voted for in the primaries.

    So get off your boosterism. If your job is rooting out cultists, look around.


    RIYF (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Spamlet on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 12:57:19 AM EST
    It is the very definition of spite to stay alive just to put someone out of office that you dislike.

    Reread the original comment. The voter's remorse is based on the president's policies, not on a putative "dislike."

    Doesn't matter if she is a he, or she is 10 years old.

    OK. Whatever. The simple fact is that the person you slandered is a 97-year-old woman. What are you reading into the mere statement of that simple fact?

    I could give a sh*t about Obama. He is who we have and he is just as bad as Hillary who I voted for in the primaries. So get off your boosterism. If your job is rooting out cultists, look around.

    I also voted for Hillary in the primaries because her stated policies were more progressive than Obama's. But, again, we were talking in this thread about Obama's policies, not Hillary's. You brought her up. You and nobody else.

    I'm not anyone's booster, but your comments do reveal you to be a reflexive Obama apologist. And we all suffered for eight years from that approach, thanks to Bush's diehard cultists.

    "He is who we have." Abssolutely right. Obama (not Hillary Clinton) is the person whose policies we are discussing, and Obama has us to answer to, regardless of whether you choose to characterize valid, policy-based criticism as "spite."


    Sort Of (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:04:07 PM EST
    I believe that most people are convinced by the lobby that National Health care will be worse and more expensive.

    But what the biggest problem is that most do not care so much about it. People under 50 let's say, do not usually think of getting sick, and do not know much about medicare even though their parents are on it. Their parents are generally not so old that they have to get involved with knowing much about it.

    And if most people were informed, and believed that their sacrifices would be reasonable, and that their health care would improve, I believe that make it much easier to reform health care.

    That is not the case.


    People under 50 do not think about (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Anne on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:27:21 PM EST
    getting sick?  Really?

    Last year, in my firm, we lost 2 partners to cancer - one was 45 and battled a rare form of GI cancer for three years before losing that fight, and the other was 47 and died after a long fight against melanoma.  One of our secretaries collapsed and died (at work - that was so horrible it still makes me shiver when I think about it) of a massive heart attack at 45.   My 55 year old brother-in-law just had quintuple heart bypass surgery.  My brother had testicular cancer at 33 - he's fine.  He had a motorcycle accident three years ago at age 50 that subjected him to four surgeries on his leg and months of recovery and rehab.  And he's once again fine.

    Plenty of people under 50 have health issues, expected ot unexpected.

    I know many people in this age group, and I can assure you that we all look forward to the day when, instead of paying $1,800/quarter or more for health insurance, we can enroll in Medicare and pay a whole lot less and get more for our money.

    I can tell you one other thing: calling single-payer "National Health Care" is not going to help anyone understand what single-payer is.


    But realistically speaking, Medicare (none / 0) (#125)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 11:17:29 PM EST
    is not a good indicator of what this health plan would be if Congress passes it. First of all, Obama & Congress are not removing the insurance companies from the picture. They'll still be sucking the life blood out of the middle class, this time via government payments and government enforcement of coverage. Secondly, when Medicare is available to people on Social Security, it's a package that they've earned, that they've paid in to, because they've worked enough to receive a SS retirement or insurance payout that allows them to afford the Medicare monthly payment. If you don't pay into the SS system, you get nothing out of it. But this plan will allow people who have never paid into Social Security to get free health care. It's welfare under a new name.

    This plan will be completely different from what Medicare looks like now. Not necessarily in the care provided, but in what we have to pay for it. The insurance industry bloodsuckers will still take every penny they can, but now the government will force everyone to be insured and will trick the middle class into paying for both their own insurance and medical costs, and for that of the poor (and/or deliberately poor). Obama claims it'll be funded by the top 1% earners but that's simply not true. The numbers don't add up. And given the history of Democratic Party's deceit with Social Security (e.g.: modifications to the original promises like not ever using SS funds for anything except SS), you'd be wise to not believe Obama's tall tales about who is going to benefit and who will pay for all this.  

    Like every other social welfare program before it, this health care "reform" will be paid for by America's middle class. In this case, we'll pay more and get lower quality, while the superrich line their pockets again. And because of that, the backlash from the right wing will be huge, garnering more moderates than Nixon ever dreamed of converting. People on the left will wonder why their taxes have gone up when the whole idea was to reduce individual costs, while the GOP will present a nice story about stupid liberals ruining the health care we had and driving our deficit so high the whole economy suffers.

    I'd like to a survey that asks regular working Americans if they want to pay a lot more taxes in order to cover everyone in the country, including illegal immigrants and those Americans who work under the table and don't pay taxes at all. I'm guessing that question would get a resounding NO from both the left and the right.


    Medicare is part of the problem (none / 0) (#115)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Jul 30, 2009 at 02:02:29 AM EST
    With so many complaints about Medicare, it's scaring people to think that universal health care means that they will have health care like Medicare and Medicaid.  Most people would rather keep what they have now than have to use one of those programs.  

    CBS/NYTimes Poll: Medicare Type Option (5.00 / 5) (#70)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:40:14 PM EST
    This June 20/09 NY Times/CBS Poll showed:
    72% of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan -- something like Medicare for those under 65 -- that would compete for customers with private insurers.

    Here's the breakdown of support by party affiliation:

    It is supported by 87% of Democrats; 73% of Independents; and 50% of Republicans.

    Further note, even among Republicans, only 39% actually oppose the Medicare option. So, obviously, voters aren't the ones who are currently making the Medicare type option politically unfeasible.

    No doubt, the Blue Dogs and the GOP will spend the summer scaring the beejesus out of voters over anything remotely resembling a public option - let alone a Medicare type option for all. If they succeed, it will be reflected in the fall polls. Then the bastard politicians will trot that out as their coup de grace.


    Simply Put (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:26:09 PM EST
    Poll: If all your health care was free for life and the quality of care was at the higest standard in the world would you want that health care.

    90% would say yes.  

    When it comes to voting for it, and the controversial details emerge it is another story.


    You didn't even ... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:48:16 PM EST
    look at the polls.

    I Read Each and Every ONe (none / 0) (#47)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:54:15 PM EST
    And the synopsis of a few of them is misleading, particularly the NYT one. The real number is 49% not 60% if I remember correctly.

    And asking if the government should be responsible to make sure that everyone has health insurance is not the same question as asking if given the choice would you elect for a single payer plan.


    You clearly didn't ... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:14:07 PM EST
    read the link.

    Don't Tell Me I Did Not (none / 0) (#93)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:56:12 PM EST
    Of course I read your link, and I do not find it convincing that most americans would vote for a National health care plan when faced with multiple negatives, real or cooked up by lobbyists.

    Now when polls start saying that a large majority of americans believe that developing a National Health care system for all americans is the most important issue we have to deal with today, that would be more encouraging.


    Okay, you read it ... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:10:41 PM EST
    you simply didn't understand it.

    Stop (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:15:37 PM EST
    I understand the polls, I do not find them convincing, scientifically or otherwise, that most voters would vote for a national health care plan if they thought that there were several negatives involved.

    Why is it that we do not have a national health care program if your polls prove that the vast majority of americans want one?


    The public can't vote ... (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 10:25:52 PM EST
    for a national single-payer system.

    It would require the Congress to pass legislation.


    We need a middle class uprising (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:06:27 PM EST
    Maybe this is our chance to connect on common ground with the elderly.

    Remember when Obama told (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:21:40 PM EST
    the banksters: "my administration is the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks". He could just as easily tell the health care lobbyists the exact same thing.

    Speaking as a low-information, pitchfork-wielding voter, I'd like to ask: why is Obama treating us like we've got cooties while actively assisting the high-rollers who are bleeding us dry? Ugh, the answer is just too obvious.  


    Half a loaf (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:16:55 PM EST
    When the Dems start out the legislative process by excluding many important provisions, they start with half a loaf and will end up with far less.  And the far less in terms of any real public benefit will still cost an arm and a leg -- no pun intended.

    Great. Now I will have to pay for college for my (5.00 / 6) (#50)
    by coigue on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:56:09 PM EST
    kids AND health care for my parents.


    You say cut medicare, I say single payer (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by ruffian on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 08:05:41 PM EST
    Let's call the whole thing off

    Bad timing (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by good grief on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:11:41 PM EST
    I just became eligible for Medicare after 6 years on a high wire without insurance as a self-employed individual with a pre-existing condition (that resolved but that doesn't matter), essentially self-insured with my savings. Just in time for Obama's cuts to Medicare, thanks, pal. The comment earlier rings a chilling bell that Obama (sounds like Rahm actually) won with the Millenials and can throw us seniors under the bus.

    In CA we passed a fabulous single payer bill through the legislature twice in 2005 and 2007. It was nixed twice by Arnold but it shows that single payer is not from Mars, squeaky. Several other states, including PA are also cooking SP bills. Kucinich did a great thing by getting that amendment in the door to get waivers for states to do their own SP systems. We should encourage our critters to keep that amendment in the final bill.

    Wuda cuda shuda: Obama (or better yet so he doesn't take any political chances, I know how uncomfortable that is for him) his surrogates in Congress, not lefties like Kucinich or Conyers or Sanders but mainstreamers shuda championed single payer from the start, really gone to bat for it and educated the public (I personally would have promoted it as SP plus a robust private option to allow people to buy additional luxury insurance for single rooms or whatever they want). Eventually after the sausage-making process we would end up with a compromise in a robust public option, giving people a choice, while allowing SP to be aired out as a strongly championed policy (lots of good talking points) instead of being chased away from the table and treated like a hopeless, worthless cause. Bottom line: We likely wuld had a good public option instead of what looks like a ticket to hell with nothing much to protect us from being creamed by the private health insurance and drug industries.  

    We did healthcare reform backwards, should have done clean elections/ban most lobbyists from Congress (and ideally make some headway on media reform) first, then we could get down to serious policy issues in the public interest like healthcare.

    Governor Schwarzenegger did a similar (none / 0) (#1)
    by hairspray on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:08:23 PM EST
    thing it California.  No new taxes (no increases in car license fees, oil severance taxes or split roll for property taxes, all things that would not have hurt the less fortunate.)  But he did get from the majority Democrats, draconian cuts in IHSS and education.  He smiled when he said he was going to have a big cigar and lol about in his jacuzzi tonite. The tragedy is that the Democrats couldn't seem to hold the wall against him.

    Counterproductive at best (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 07:14:51 PM EST
    cuts in healthcare and education for children may save money in the short term but it costs far more down the road in welfare, unemployment, Medicaid (unless Congress succeeds in gutting this program altogether while telling us it's a bipartisan reform), and squanders our most precious natural resource.  

    Affordability (none / 0) (#2)
    by hookfan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:08:32 PM EST
    So much for that. . .

    Your ellipse (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:24:36 PM EST
    makes your quote confusing. I assure you Baucus and Conrad are not working on the House Waxman bill.

    I have not read the article but something is missing in your quote.

    I think I fixed it (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:34:35 PM EST
    I added more to the quote.

    Your read seems accurate. (none / 0) (#8)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:24:57 PM EST
    I wonder if this is a (temproary) means to accomplish an end.  Sooner than later, given their numbers, the baby boomers will get what they want.  

    or we'll get thrown under the bus (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:52:50 PM EST
    J, I'll be passing around my usual (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:56:28 PM EST
    under the bus. Fresh gulf prawns and other yummy snacks. Can't remember who was bar tending though . . . We can save ya a comfy seat away from the exhaust pipes :)

    It is pretty clear to me (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:39:42 PM EST
    that the bulk of the funding will come out of Medicare's hide. Increased taxes on that over $500,000 to a million/year group is, apparently, still the other part.  The "public option" gets further and further away from Medicare and its bargaining power, and, hence, weaker and weaker.  The mandate on employers, similarly, gets further removed.   Taxing health care benefits would be among reasonable ways to underwrite the program, but that would mean new taxes and it is not likely to happen--even using Senator Kerry's indirect taxing of the insurance companies with a pass through.

    Mirror image. (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:44:11 PM EST
    Dems and Repubs.
    Go with the flow.
    Go with the money.
    They are them.
    Them is us.

    Pogo (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Cream City on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 05:56:17 PM EST
    comes to mind.:-)