WSJ Reports Dem May Split Health Care Bill

The Wall St. Journal reports Democrats are discussing splitting up the health care bill. Here's what would pass first.

Next would come:

Does this satisfy anyone who wants the public option?

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    What? (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by mexboy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:30:15 AM EST
    I have to pay a fine if I can't afford or chose not to have insurance? What the h*ll is that about?

    Sure, let's make the insurance companies richer by forcing citizens to give them money or violate the law. Will that make me a criminal?

    They sure worked themselves a sweet back-room deal! This change you can keep!

    Same thing as auto insurance.... (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:23:34 AM EST
    the big rip-off, mandated by law!  And forget equality under the law, that's obsolete, the insurance co. can charge different rates based on "risk assesment", race, sex, or class. And refuse to be ripped-off by the insurance person, get fined by the government person.

    Ain't it great to live in a "free country" mexboy?  I tell ya, for a free country, they sure do make you buy a lot of sh*t, at different rates for different fools to boot.


    Except (none / 0) (#140)
    by coast on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:39:18 AM EST
    with auto insurance you only have to buy it if you actually have a car.  I've got health insurance, but I have not been to a doctor in three years.  For those who are healthy and don't use a doctor, why force them to pay for something they don't believe they need?

    Look at it this way (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:02:05 PM EST
    You only have to buy health insurance if you are alive and have a body. All bodies are subject to breakdown through illness or accident. You could be the healthiest person alive and tomorrow you might be in some kind of accident that would require thousands to hundred of thousands of dollars for medical treatment.

    Why should the rest of us pick up the tab for your medical expenses?


    Insurance is the spreading the cost of the (2.00 / 0) (#160)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:41:52 PM EST
    risk over a large number of people.

    You don't have to buy insurance (none / 0) (#142)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:39:38 AM EST
    Because you don't have to drive. But if you want to drive, and you want to use government-built roads, then you have to have insurance.

    In a state without requiring auto (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:23:42 PM EST
    insurance (until a change in law still to take effect) -- first, there are states that don't require drivers to have auto insurance.

    And believe me, none of you wants to be in one of those states when some fool hits you.  Would you be surprised to realize that most of the drivers without auto insurance are fools -- and bad drivers?

    All it does is drive up the costs of auto insurance for the rest of us.  So there are stats in comparing states with and without a requirement for auto insurance that would support, exactly, what happens with an opt-our on health insurance.


    In many parts of the country... (none / 0) (#143)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:43:18 AM EST
    without adequate public transport, if ya don't drive ya can't work.  I have a hard time calling driving a "priveledge" when it so often necessary to drive in order to feed yourself.

    That may be true (none / 0) (#145)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:50:05 AM EST
    But the state has the right to issue you a license and they have the right to take it away or restrict it.  Driving is a privilege because if you abuse it, you don't get to do it anymore.   And if you think about it - even your rights, such as your right to free speech, can also be regulated as to time and place and manner.  

    I don't concede that.. (none / 0) (#148)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:54:04 AM EST
    right to the state...my view is however you wanna traverse this orb is your business, no papers required.  If you hurt somebody you can be charged with a crime and/or sued.

    I'm sure such a thought scares the sh*t out of you, but I don't think it would be all that different than what we have now with so many on the roads with suspended/revoked licenses and no insurance anyway, in order to live and eat.  The rules are more of an illusion of road safety and road order than anything else.


    Ah, but (none / 0) (#154)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:07:44 PM EST
    If no one had a license or license plate (or traffic cameras or whatever), how you would know who to sue if they injured you?



    The same way you know... (none / 0) (#167)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:09:21 PM EST
    who to sue or report to the authorities when you get punched in the face...I never said it was perfect, just more personal liberty friendly:)

    Setting standards for (none / 0) (#159)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:37:36 PM EST
    licensing drivers does keep some people who are a danger to themselves and others off the road.

    It doesn't keep d*ck off the roads... (none / 0) (#168)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:10:37 PM EST
    it just makes it illegal to be on the roads, but they're on the roads all the same...everybody has got to get to work whether the law likes it or not.

    agreed: (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:54:23 PM EST
    everybody has got to get to work whether the law likes it or not.

    but they don't have an inherent, constitutionally mandated right to accomplish that by private automobile. driving a motor vehicle on public roads is a privilege, because the state has the right to regulate activities bearing on public safety. even you would have to agree that motor vehicles have a direct impact on the health and safety of the general public.

    the state isn't prohibiting you from traveling at all, merely saying you can't get there by driving a car, you can always ride a bike.

    if you really, really, really want to be totally unfettered by laws and regulations, find a desert island and move there. however, don't expect any of the civilized niceties, that we all help pay for, to be there too.


    For sure... (none / 0) (#190)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    I agree that automobiles are death traps...mankind was not meant to travel at those speeds in one ton hunks of metal and plastic.  It's a jungle out there, I just think it will be a jungle no matter how much we regulate, fine, and mandate...so why have unsafe roads and rich insurance companies and state coffers full of extortionary fines when we can just have unsafe roads?

    I say again...it is a feel-good illusion of safety...we owe the road safety we have to decent human beings outnumbering arseholes, not to all the rules and regs and fines and mandates.  I mean don't try and keep it safe out there because I fear a fine or license suspension...I try and keep it safe because I don't wanna die.  I don't have insurance because I fear the fine...I have it because I can afford it and if I should cause a crash I don't want my paycheck docked for the next 50 years.  The day I can't afford again is the day I drive to work without it...and roll the dice.


    Really (none / 0) (#181)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:24:56 PM EST
    how about drivers who are too old to physically handle driving or those whose vison has become so seriously impaired that they are unable to drive safely.

    In their nineties two aunts, an uncle and my mother were turned down for renewal and never drove again. These are just personal examples, many friends have experienced the same with elderly relatives.  A younger acquaintence, strong, healthy, etc. was just a plain lousy driver who took too many risks.  Lost his license, drove, was jailed.  When he got out he went to work every day but he didn't drive. His commute was over 35 miles and with NO public transit available.

    Don't tell me that the licensing procedure doesn't keep some potentially dangerous drivers off the road.


    I see your point... (none / 0) (#188)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:59:42 PM EST
    maybe some, but not most.  I have examples of the flipside...friends/acquaintances/family who drove with suspended licenses, no licenses, no insurance...out of necessity.  I was on the road without insurance for awhile in my poorer days.  They/I were no more or less of a threat than when their license/insurance was in good standing.

    I mean its just paper...I see people with valid licenses and insurance on the road who have no business being behind the wheel...my 80-something great uncle among them.  The roads are a dangerous place, always will be, they need not be a hotbed of tyranny-lite and extortion to boot.


    No option (none / 0) (#155)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:09:02 PM EST
    Driving is not an option for a very large segment of the population. People are forced to move out in the boonies because of costs and then they have to have a car to get into work.

    Maybe someday the government will include a public transportation system with all interstate highways, but until then, you have to drive to make a living.


    It irks me! (none / 0) (#185)
    by mexboy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:48:46 PM EST
    And couldn't agree more with you...Land of the free, my behind!

    I thought the concept of insurance was something extra YOU did. I don't need a government nanny to force me to do things for "my own good." I thought those crooks worked for us. How do we stop them?

    Also, I hate the racketof car insurance, too. You end up paying more in insurance over the years than the car is worth! Who benefits? Yep, the puppet masters.


    How do you stop the crooks? (none / 0) (#192)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:26:41 PM EST
    You vote for them out of office. But in a democracy, more people may vote for the person you call a "crook." Of course, we could just institute a new system whereby Mexboy and a few other bloogers rule by dictate. That could work better.
    No one to blame but the people in a democracy.

    Should read (none / 0) (#193)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:27:16 PM EST
    'vote them out of office.' My bad.

    You're right... (none / 0) (#196)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:39:55 PM EST
    that the person to blame is the person in the mirror...its just that our system of government is so polluted at this point I think it is beyond a ballot-box fix.  Voting has become a rather pointless excercise.

    Of course you pay more (none / 0) (#200)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:06:34 PM EST
    it's insurance, it's not an investment where you expect to come out ahead.  The entire concept of insurance is that you pay a premium to protect yourself against a catastrophic event.

    i'll take NO, (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:38:24 AM EST
    Does this satisfy anyone who wants the public option?

    for $100, jeralyn! ding, ding, ding! oh look, it's the "Daily Double"!

    on a more serial note, this is raising absurdity to the level of an art form. if there's no public option, right out of the chute, why waste everyone's time?

    unfortunately, this is what happens when a barely-dry-behind-the-ears politician is elected president; obama doesn't really seem certain what he wants, and hasn't the long-term muscle or political smarts to adequately use his party's advantage in congress.

    forget JFK, what we need is a reincarnated LBJ ("if you grab a man by the b*lls, his heart and mind will follow.") in the oval office.

    this was a huge concern of mine, with regards to then candidat obama: he's a one-trick pony, and his trick is getting elected, not actually governing.

    maybe barney frank and hillary clinton can, as an intervention team, give him a quick seminar on how to get things done?

    Naw (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:22:47 AM EST
    His trick is making money for himself and then the industries he serves. This isn't inexperience. He's showing exactly who he is and what he wants. This is way beyond Reaganism. It's Corporate autocracy.

    The insurance penalties (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:50:38 AM EST
    are in the current bills!  My son would have to pay something like $4,000 if he decides against insurance.  Nevermind that he's young, has no assets, and goes to the doctor MAYBE twice a year.  He doesn't want insurance, wants to pay out of pocket or sign up for medicaid if he really needs care.  

    Where is the public option?  It sure isn't in the first part.  But a tax increase is.  That will never fly with ANY republican and most of the Blue Dogs.  They might not even get the 51 votes for that mess.  The second part won't fly because of the penalties.  

    So, where again is the public option?  Is it in the purple or mauve part that we don't see?  

    Sheeze.  Every one of these stinks.  It's all junk.  

    I am NOT amused.  

    By the same token (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:50:14 AM EST
    I am a really safe driver, I don't want to have to pay all that money for auto insurance, but the goshdarned government forces me to or I'm a lawbreaker.  How wrong is that?

    You don't have to drive/own a car. (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:13:41 AM EST
    You do, however, exist.

    That us the basic difference.

    I'll take a single payer national plan that covers everyone, please.


    Me too (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:21:57 AM EST
    but in fact, telling people "you don't have to own a car" is a worthless response.  Most people have no real choice about owning a car.  Might as well point out that you don't have to choose to live in America, either.

    Anything other than single-payer is a second-best solution, but the individual mandate and the fines that go with it are no more coercive than the taxes we would have to pay to finance a single-payer program.


    Yes, most people have to own a car (2.00 / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:24:25 AM EST
    and that is my point. In both cases the state will have mandated the purchase of insurance.

    Look at what happened to the price of auto insurance when the states instituted mandatory insurance. Look what happens when a person gets a DWI/DUI or other serious ticket. Can you see what will happen when a person is diagnosed with cancer?

    Sometimes it is better to do nothing rather than do something that will only increase the power of your enemy. And make no mistake. The single most deadly enemy of a SP NHC system is the insurance industry.


    To be clear (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:37:36 AM EST
    I don't support a mandate unless there's a public option, which would actually mean a better deal than what we get with auto insurance.

    I'm still puzzled as to how you can have all these concerns about rationing, benefit cuts, euthanasia and the like, but still support a single-payer system.  Wouldn't all those concerns be even more valid with government as the single payer?


    I support a single payer system (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:42:21 AM EST
    for a variety of reasons. The first is that health care for all citizens should be a right. The country as a whole has produced the technology, schools and infrastructure to provide the world's very best health care. The country as a whole should receive the blessings of it.

    From a business viewpoint I have been involved with several start ups and it is almost impossible to attract the people you need if you don't have health insurance. And then there is the cost our businesses carry that our international competition does not.

    My vision of NHC would be modeled after Medicare with dental added and Rx expanded. Nothing would change except the provider would bill the government.

    This then is an inclusive plan, rather than the various pieces postulated in Obama's planS.

    Rationing, and the results, would effect everyone rather than just Medicare members. I think this would motivate the government to be sure that it didn't happen as there would be no groups to play off against each other. (Governments are good at that.)

    Would taxes go up? I don't know. I know that most people do not see the cost of Medicaid and the uninsured use of the ER as a "tax." Yet they are.

    Most people don't see their employee paid health insurance going away as a savings, but it is.

    Are there other savings? Yes. Unreasonable legal actions do add costs. Mistakes caused by not having readily available medical records do cost money. How much would these items save? Don't know.

    How about we cut the budget of the NEA by 95%? I am sure we can do without government funded "art."

    What new taxes would I add? A 8% national sales tax graduated to excluded items that the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on... unprepared food, utilities, etc.. maybe a higher tax on Beamers and Caddys and entertainment tickets.. sports, etc.

    Would I treat the illegals? Yes. And then deport them to their home country. Would that save health care money? Yes, but it would probably increase the cost some food items.

    Do we need a debate about these things? Yes.


    Medicare expansion is best plan (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:14:38 AM EST
    I agree about the expansion of Medicare as the best solution. I'm not sold on the idea that cutting programs such as the NEA will accomplish anything. The money given to them is very small.

    Maybe we need to look at the sacred cow, the defense budget. I just read about the multi million dollar plan the CIA cooked up with Blackwater to hire and train assassionation squads. Add that to the millions and millions of unaccounted tax dollars in Iraq and we could be on our way to trimming wastes.


    Didn't the NEA just get $50 billion?? (2.00 / 0) (#124)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:15:55 AM EST
    I think everything except national defense should take a hit, and it needs to be watched closely.

    My friend (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:25:31 AM EST
    the NEA got $50 million in the stimulus package, not $50 billion.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#157)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:11:03 PM EST
    I've been trying to do a search on that figure for almost an hour because I thought it was unrealistic. (It was probably the Limbough figure).

    Pardon my "b" (2.00 / 0) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:53:15 PM EST
    $50 million in financing for the National Endowment for the Arts. While minuscule by comparison with some other allocations in the bill, it is a hefty sum for the endowment, whose annual budget is $145 million.


    But my point remains. Take the $50 and cut the $145 to zero.

    I mean if you think we are in a crisis, and many do, then art has to be deferred until we are not in crisis,.


    No, art does not have to be deferred (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:45:45 PM EST
    nor do the jobs that go along with it.

    Having your cake and (2.00 / 0) (#189)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:08:06 PM EST
    eating it too??

    How do you think we got here?


    The NEA didn't break the bank (none / 0) (#191)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:24:20 PM EST
    Some of it could be attributed to spending more on defense than the entire rest of the world combined. As far as monitering the defense budget good luck with that. It's so large and cumbersome, they don't even know where the money is or went. And they have the excuse of "national security" to hide whatever they chose to. A great opportunity for corruption and political payback.

    Sad for those of us over 50 though isn't it? (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:17:06 AM EST
    How many times more in premium costs are the insurance parasites asking for those over 50 vs younger? 7-8 times more was it? And that's to start. And oh, yeah, the plan is going to be put off 'till 2013 to start. What's going to happen in between? Like what's happening in Michigan with the Blues (over 30% hikes this year)-- not so bad when they were asking upwards of 50% I believe. I'll be forced to pay it, where is the limit on premium hikes?

    I agree, but the while thing (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:48:33 AM EST
    is basically useless without mandates.

    therefore, it's got to be the whole package or nothing.


    Are paying premiums mandated in Canada? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:57:18 AM EST
    I know of people that pay a monthly premium but is it manadated?

    If you consider taxes a mandate, sure (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:00:19 AM EST
    I'm not clear on what premiums, if any, people are asked to pay, though.

    They effectively have a single payer (none / 0) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:36:00 AM EST
    system in Canada.  So yes it is mandatory participation, but from my experience there, they get way more for what they put into their system than we get.

    No premiums (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:10:06 AM EST
    In Canada it's just covered through taxes. The government pays docs, hospitals, etc. for services rendered. Each province has a different way of raising taxes, with some having a specific healthcare tax. I love our system because you never have to pay, or worry, for any healthcare services.

    I know of a special needs family (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:01:11 AM EST
    that pays $40 a month.  I don't know what that covers.  Do you?

    There are issues with special needs funding (none / 0) (#135)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:32:18 AM EST
    Right now with special needs funding. It really depends on the specific needs/illness. Some are covered more than others. The Ontario government is currently changing the rules to provide coverage for special needs. We had a rabid right wing government in place through the 90s that basically slashed everything and we've been working to rebuild much of what they destroyed.

    Just a quick look at tax rates (none / 0) (#137)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:34:39 AM EST
    And those of us in Canada pay about the same in income taxes as Americans. The only difference is in sales tax. For most non-essential things we pay 12% (combined federal and provincial). Couldn't imagine having to work health insurance into my current monthly budget. It would likely bust us.

    Their son receives extensive care (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:54:55 AM EST
    as mine does.  He does come to the U.S. too for a procedure.  $40 a month though is chicken feed compared to my copays for special needs items and I'd gladly pay it.  With what my spouse has poured into his career life it is doubtful I will ever know what it is like to be improverished but the copay is a pittance when it came to fund raising.  I could host a charity BBQ and pay a stressed or low income family's premium for the year. I've become very creative in my new life, and a $40 fixed monthly expense for special needs makes me salivate.

    For some up here it's more (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:43:20 PM EST
    Like I said, some people are paying a few hundered bucks out of pocket up here. But in the end, the costs are far less in Canada than in the US. I simply couldn't imagine having to deal with that stress.

    I thought the proposed bills limit (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:01:38 AM EST
    the amount of deductible to something like $2,000 and eliminate the cap on lifetime benefits. Obama has talked about this in his recent town halls etc.

    I was sure Obama had said $2,000 (none / 0) (#116)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:56:46 AM EST
    for deductible but evidently I was wrong. H.R. 32200 reads as follows:

    Annual deductible in year 1 will be $5,000 individual and $10,000 for family

    Should have googled first. Only sometimes I spend more time than I have trying to find the info I want.


    That is a blatant falsehood (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:23:36 PM EST
    Low income individuals CANNOT pay up to $10,000 "over time". You obviously have no experience in this area. High deductibles are a HUGE part of the problem now.

    80/20 (none / 0) (#152)
    by waldenpond on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:00:11 PM EST
    United Health (my insurer) is also fighting for a 65/35 split instead of the current 80/20.  

    Depends on whether or not it (none / 0) (#156)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:09:52 PM EST
    is the only $10,000 bill incurred during a select period of time.

    Unforeseen illness or accidents for two or three years in a row and you are looking at a lot of money for low income folks. Even $10,000 is a lot IMO.


    Theoretically, the addition of (none / 0) (#171)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:24:06 PM EST
    40 to 50 million more people to the insurance pool through mandated coverage was to offset eliminating the preexisting conditions. True or not, that was how it is being packaged.

    Actually most people do (none / 0) (#81)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:06:20 AM EST
    have choices about owning a car or not. Hope you plan on staying young and uninjured forever or you'll find out. Even if you are young and uninjured you still can get by on various means of transportation. They just aren't as convenient. Being fatter and more spoiled than most of the rest of the world, we don't like inconvenience.
      Avoiding inconvenience by choice is not the same as avoiding getting ill.

    Uh huh (none / 0) (#90)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:14:08 AM EST
    It's just "inconvenient" not to own a car.  Not for most people, sorry.

    BS Steve (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:38:40 AM EST
    there are many other forms of transportation surely you know of some. Heck, if one has to get their by car, I (personally) don't have to own the vehicle. Carpooling options where only one individual has insurance is an option. duh. Taxi is another. Bicycle is another. living closer and walking.
       If you ever become disabled and cannot drive what the heck you gonna do? Make snarky ass statements or solve the problem? If the disabled who don't drive do it, so can you. It's not convenient, but it is being done today. By the way, the physically challenged/limited who don't drive, mostly don't have car insurance. They do work and get around. But they damn well being paying through the nose for this health insurance travesty.
       Too bad your lifestyle would be limited by that.

    You're funny (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    I don't even own a car.  But I'm not foolish enough to think the entire nation can pack itself into my apartment building and take my train to work.  Not everyone can afford to live closer to work, not everyone has the ability to pick and choose a job in a major metropolitan area, particularly in these difficult economic times.

    Just because some people, like myself, manage to get by just fine without a car does not mean that cars are optional for everyone.


    Oh so even you (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:59:31 AM EST
    are making a choice not to drive? Point made. Make the choice not to get sick now, and you'll have something to listen too. . .

    I think the better argument (none / 0) (#126)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:21:20 AM EST
    is we individually and collectively cannot avoid illness or old age, so individually and collectively we need to pay for care. I don't see any reasons for having an insurance company in the middle of that. It only adds expense and added difficulties. Obama has apparently made a different choice and for different reasons.

    That would be simple (none / 0) (#108)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:40:33 AM EST
    If everyone lived near a big city. But that's not the case.

    Visit Detroit sometime and try to get around the metro area without a car.  Almost impossible.


    I've had to make choices (none / 0) (#115)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:52:11 AM EST
    it's inconvenient. It takes much longer to get places. But it can be done. People do it all the time. Even the less physically able. Even in Detroit. You have to sacrifice hours more getting to and from work, to and from stores, etc. To deal with it is called planning and mutual support. Inconvenient, but it can be done, because it is being done. Not getting sick? Pffft.
      The line about car insurance is propaganda, and is not equivalent, nor honest.

    You apparently (none / 0) (#127)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:21:38 AM EST
    have never lived where it's a 40, 50, 60, or 70 mile commute to work.  And while it's easy to say "Move" or "Get a job closer to your house", that isn't reality.

    And no, you still would be very hard pressed to get around the metro Detroit area (which is about a quarter of the state, by the way) without a car.  Probably also around most of the middle of the country too.


    Reality is (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:57:42 AM EST
    you are making a choice to live there, or continue that line of work. It's not unavoidable. One chooses to live there, work there or not. One usually doesn't like the consequences if they moved or had other work including reduced standard of living.
       I lived in a rural area before my stroke, was building a cabin to live in and was planning on living off grid. Stroke occurred, I had to make different choices. Not what I would have preferred either. But it's still a choice. Getting sick or old is not. I also choose now not to drive because of risk to others. That's a choice. It's inconvenient. Sometimes unpleasant in freezing weather. But a choice nonetheless.
       I've lived in large cities, several, throughout the us. I've often chosen not to drive. I've always managed to get around.
       I've never managed to not get sick. If I can do it with my limitations, most other individuals can too.

    limited by that= physically limited. (none / 0) (#109)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:41:54 AM EST
    Spend some time around voc rehab. You might learn something.

    not in alot of places unfortunately (none / 0) (#166)
    by cawaltz on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:08:57 PM EST
    The town I live near has a bus system. The bus operates hourly between the hours of 12pm and 6pm Monday thru Sunday(except on Holidays). The bus system is largely subsidized through our major university though. The closest bus stop for someone like me is a mile down the road.

    Public transport in my area is practically useless. Fortunately, I am fairly healthy so I can walk but I know elderly folk that are driving long after it is safe for them to drive simply because it would be nearly impossible for them to get where they need to go on the system we have(doctor's office, grocery store, etc)


    Private businesses run shuttle buses (none / 0) (#197)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:42:07 PM EST
    for this very purpose. Elderly have been known here to pool together to contract shuttle busses especially for the feeble and disabled. There are options that exist or can be created if we choose too. Many elderly choose not to stop driving whether it's safe or not. And often for not good reasons. Whether they believe it or not, they most often can still be independant and not drive.
       90% of the income for the county in which I reside comes from retirement income. I know about elderly, disabled, and feeble. In fact home delivery businesses, and shopping for the elderly businesses is a fast growing national phenomenon. If you don't have them the elderly in your community need to pressure city and county to get them. They are not being well served.

    Depends on where you live (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:33:51 PM EST
    I had no car when I lived in Boston and it was easy to get around by both bus and the T. And some of us like to walk and ride bikes too...

    In Seattle I need a car for some commutes, but this town is notoriously backward when it comes to transit planning (we just opened our first light rail line two months ago). Biking is encouraged.

    And forunately, I have a very low premium with my car insurance. Contributing factors: It's a locally owned insurance company, I have a perfect driving record and drive an older vehicle.


    Put "choose to" (none / 0) (#199)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:56:18 PM EST
    in front of "live", and I agree with you. True, some elderly are now stuck because of previous choices. But they are not totally limited in what they choose to do about getting their needs met. People have even established agreements with local churches to get their needs met. What about senior centers, community action programs, Concerned citizens groups, united way, etc., etc. Heck, if contacted I bet even local county or community mental health centers could help.

    I'm with you on the large pool (none / 0) (#95)
    by Coral on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:20:48 AM EST
    but mandates without a public option is a boondogle for private insurance companies.

    Not the same Steve. (2.00 / 0) (#51)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:20:41 AM EST
    First of all, just because something is already law does not make it logically/morally valid.  But forget that...

    You're not required to get insurance covering your own car's damages, only the damage you cause to things which are not yours.


    Like I said (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:54:30 AM EST
    As a society we're willing to let you total your car and deal with the consequences yourself, but we're not willing to let you lie bleeding on the sidewalk because you made the voluntary choice not to carry health insurance.  So apparently we as a society don't buy the "you're only hurting yourself" argument, because we're not willing to let people hurt themselves.

    That's interesting. (none / 0) (#122)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:06:26 AM EST
    You said "I am a really safe driver, I don't want to have to pay all that money for auto insurance, but the goshdarned government forces me to or I'm a lawbreaker.  How wrong is that? "

    To which I replied, with reasoning you did not contest in your response, why the comparison was invalid.

    What are the rules here exactly?  I feel like I'm playing chess and the second I get check-mate you claim the bishop is the king and the king is the bishop.  I'm not replying to your posts to aggravate,  I was just indicating your line of reasoning in that instance was invalid.  So...if you're going to debate the merits of mandates, you should appreciate that I was helping you avoid making that same mistake again so that in the future people won't be able to invalidate your reasoning on that specific remark.  


    Point is (none / 0) (#131)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:28:48 AM EST
    in both cases, failure to carry insurance causes damage to more than just yourself.

    In the case of an auto accident, you're hitting someone else's car and maybe injuring them.

    In the case of a medical emergency, you're forcing the taxpayers to pick up the bill for your care that you chose not to insure.

    Unless we're going to be a society that says "fine, if you don't buy insurance, then lie there and bleed on the sidewalk," the argument that failure to buy health insurance has no repercussions for others is fallacious.


    Ok good points. (none / 0) (#146)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:53:00 AM EST
    Totally missed that aspect of things.  I think you can see how I was easily confused but I agree with your premise now...sorry bout that.

    Would you support removal of all taxpayer funded medical assistance so that "society" could determine for itself if they truly wanted to help people by volunteering money (or time if they're doctors/nurses)?  Obviously it would have come with a reduction in taxes.  


    Completely different ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by NealB on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:23:43 AM EST
    ...except in the abstract.

    When you crash your car, by accident no doubt, it doesn't matter how well you think you drive, you've still injured other people or other people's property.

    When you choose not to buy health insurance because you're invincibly healthy, if you get sick, or injured, you've only hurt yourself. I think you should have that choice.

    Unless the same law that requires you to get health insurance will define and provide an insurance plan where you've got some say about what the benefits are and how much it costs, it's the definition of unAmerican to force it on you.


    Then let's talk (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:46:32 AM EST
    about what happens to people who decline to buy insurance.

    If they contract a serious illness, or they're in an accident, or anything else that requires expensive and catastrophic care, do you intend to just leave them to die because they made a choice not to be insured?

    I sort of doubt it.  In fact, not to play the "un-American" card back at you, but I don't think this country would stand for such a policy.  Of course we're going to save people's lives if we can.

    But that doesn't happen for free.  It's just that the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill, because that person chose not to buy an insurance premium.  There's nothing particularly laudatory or "American" about allowing people to say "I'll just take the free ride, and the taxpayers can pick up the costs!"

    If you prefer, don't think of it as a fine.  Think of it as the minimum buy-in to a system where everyone is eligible to receive catastrophic care whether they bought insurance or not.


    you response makes assumptions (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:48:45 AM EST
    When you choose not to buy health insurance because you're invincibly healthy, if you get sick, or injured, you've only hurt yourself. I think you should have that choice.

    You assume this hypothetical person has no family and will not seek emergency treatment. If you assumptions are correct, you may be right.

    However, if the person injured has a family to support, failure to have some sort of insurance injures others. Even if they don't support a family, grief is an injury.

    Emergency medical care is not cost free. The only question is who actually pays for it. Failure to have insurance means others have to bear the costs of the "choice" some people should be allowed to exercise.

    We did not live on a desert island. Failure to have insurance has consequences that go beyond your immediate self.


    edit correction (none / 0) (#35)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:52:14 AM EST
    the last part should read

    Failure to have insurance means others have to bear the costs of the "choice" you think some people should be allowed to exercise.

    We do not live alone on a desert island. Failure to have insurance has consequences that go beyond your immediate self.


    By your logic (none / 0) (#53)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:23:31 AM EST
    that of the family being effected by healthcare costs to an uninsured guardian...should we not allow anyone to drive or eat fatty food cause if something were to happen they'd be hurting their family?  

    I don't see how you can propose it's imperative for all to pay into an insurance scheme but not imperative for everyone to eliminate all risky behaviors.  


    Funny you should mention logic (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:43:25 AM EST
    since it appears to me that you are engaging in the fallacy known as Absurd Extrapolation.

    Never heard of that. (none / 0) (#121)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:01:58 AM EST
    Are you talking about reductio ad absurdum?  That method is consistent with logic.

    Here's the best list of logical fallacies I've found online, which one of these did I use?

    You're reasoning is that since someone injured will receive state funded medical assistance if they are uncovered, then everyone should have to pay in since we're all eligible for state assistance.  Correct?

    I believe your premise was that it is unfair for someone to not pay and be eligible for these services.  

    My point was that, by that definition/requirement of fairness, it would seem to me unfair if a person eating a healthy diet had to pay the same as a person eating fast food.  It would seem to me unfair that someone who smokes would pay the same as someone who did not.  Since in your view it is appropriate for the government to mandate payment in the name of fairness, then it should also be appropriate for the government to restrict behaviors for the same reason.  

    Point being the government cannot provide equality on this matter as the mandates themselves would give rise to numerous inequalities.

    Let me know if "absurd extrapolation" is a real fallacy that I'm unaware of and do link.  Thank you for engaging!


    No (5.00 / 0) (#169)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:17:30 PM EST
    No, my point is and was that you do more than injure yourself and that you're argument was based upon fallacious thinking.

    Nice try at setting up a strawman to knock down.

    Alpha list of fallacies


    Yay hostility. (2.00 / 0) (#182)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:27:32 PM EST
    "See: Slippery Slope" - Come on.  I clearly didn't say I think that it would happen, I was saying you needed to provide a different justification for mandates as your current justification also justifies that.  

    I'm not setting up a straw man.  I used your justification to illustrate it leads to a conclusion that I believe you do not support.  That final assumption, that you do not support, I suppose could be considered a straw man.  If it were however, it would mean you yourself are illogical.  

    "No, my point is and was that you do more than injure yourself" - Yes and when you smoke/drink/stay up late, you do more than just hurt yourself.  If it's such a straw man, show me where the logic breaks.  

    From your link "The Slippery Slope is a series of statements that have a superficial connection with one another, and which lead into what is usually a rather far-fetched a conclusion."


    "Reductio ad absurdum (Latin: "reduction to the absurd")[1] in formal logic is an argument to refute a proposition (or set of propositions), by showing that it leads to a logically absurd consequence."  ie: "I believe in insurance mandates because injured people pass costs to others."  Therefore the same justification, injured people pass costs to others, should bring rise the conclusion that harmful self-inflicted activity should be banned under a single-payer or partially publicly funded system.

    The logical contradiction being admittedly an assumption: that you do not believe the government should restrict behavior to that extent.

    Slippery slope is more like "you can't legalize weed cause kids will get into crime".  


    Not taht (none / 0) (#183)
    by Samuel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:29:34 PM EST
    I don't appreciate you linking me per my request!

    Except to the extent that when the invincible do (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Rojas on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:51:45 AM EST
    get sick health care cannot be denied by statute. To that level there is some benifit recieved.

    Very wrong... (none / 0) (#136)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:34:29 AM EST
    Just as wrong as a health insurance mandate...aka corporate welfare.

    If you're a good driver and wanna roll the dice without liability insurance and risk losing all your assets if you do hurt somebody or get hustled by an ambulance chaser with the help of a lousy jury, shouldn't that be your right?  I think so.

    And if we're gonna mandate insurance of any stripe, shouldn't the principle of "equality under the law" demand we all pay the same mandated rates?  


    You don't have a right to drive a car (none / 0) (#139)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:36:58 AM EST
    Driving a car is not a right. Government says you must meet certain criteria before you are able to use the roads that government built, such as a valid licence and have insurance on your vehicle. If you don't want to pay insurance you don't have to. You just can't drive on public roads.

    The government... (none / 0) (#144)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:46:11 AM EST
    didn't build sh*t...laborers did with taxpayer money.  The government was the administrator/middleman and thats all...our ancestors built the roads and we the people maintain them and build new ones...they are our roads.

    Government is the people (none / 0) (#176)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:47:03 PM EST
    That's the point. The government represents the collective will of the people. The people say we will build roads for us to use. But we will require each of us to be licenced and have insurance before using those roads.

    Government should be the people... (none / 0) (#177)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:52:38 PM EST
    it ain't and hasn't been for sometime, if it ever was...now the government is insurance companies and banks, if it ever wasn't...and it shows.

    Perhaps but ... (none / 0) (#194)
    by Lacey on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:30:54 PM EST
    But the people are responsible for that. After all, the ultimate power still rests with the people. They choose to vote, or not vote, for the politicians. At the end of the day, we have far more democracy today than we ever have before. That doesn't mean there is a constant struggle, but that has always, and will always, exist.  

    Gosh (none / 0) (#110)
    by Dave B on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:43:08 AM EST
    I'm still young.  I don't need social security or medicare yet!  Why should I have to  pay into it now?

    Single  payer systems work because EVERYONE pays in, because they know that someday EVERYONE will get sick and need care.  Insurance works only when healthy and sick both pay in, and the sick get the treatment they need.


    Better to let Dave (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:48:12 AM EST
    get what he's paying for, at least with respect to Medicare.

    There should be a Medicare Buy-In program (currently in NONE of the bills) or this health insurance industry give away act of 2009 should be voted down.


    It's a terrible strategy (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:06:42 AM EST
    No public option at the outset, no go! Are the drunken sailors steering this ship?

    And, as I said in another thread, they can't get the budget part passed without reconciling the horrible deficit forecast by the CBO. $239 billion more in the hole.

    I guess the Dems are subconsciously angling for us to create a viable third party, after all.

    This plan has Tom Daschle written all over it.

    Call it Obama-Baucus Bill (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:36:12 AM EST
    Because obama has been working with Baucus all along on just this tripe.

    Re yesterday's Ted Kennedy blog post: (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by steviez314 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:03:18 AM EST
    He wrote a letter to the MA gov and senate asking them to change the succession law to allow an interim appointment instead of waiting 5 months for a special election:


    Thanks for info (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Sweet Sue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:26:06 AM EST
    Wow, good for him.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#11)
    by weltec2 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:35:57 AM EST
    This has been on everyone's mind.

    It does (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:11:25 AM EST
    nothing to satisfy people who want the public option.

    Genius! Pure genius! (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 05:53:34 AM EST
    Who'da thunk it?

    How do you get Universal Health Insurance?
    You make everyone buy it and if they don't, you fine them.

    Makes me proud to have such brilliant legislators.

    It's the only trick they got... (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:39:24 AM EST
    to crack down on "criminals"...when they aren't enough criminals they create them, in this case with the mandate/fine song and dance.

    All to avoid angering the insurance companies...deep down we know who they work for, don't we.


    Close ranks (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:28:59 AM EST
    Every day there's a different story on how to blow up HCR. I've getting numb from it all! It's time for Obama to put the breaks on it. Either come out with a concise plan and sell it or shelve the whole deal. Every time a "reliable source" is quoted with some other twist it just makes selling a bill harder.

    Dem's need to close ranks and put up a unified front to the American people with a plan that brings the US into the 21st century with health care.

    I would respectfully suggest (5.00 / 9) (#14)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:48:41 AM EST
    that they pass the public option and the subsidies BEFORE they pass the part that says you have to pay a fine if you aren't insured.

    I would suggest the same thing (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:09:13 AM EST
    Although I'm sure I couldn't do it quite as respectfully as you.

    I think the public (2.00 / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:48:22 AM EST
    would see through that strategy in a New York Minute.

    Nothing to "see through" (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:55:34 AM EST
    The point is not to hide the ball, the point is to make it clear that no one will be forced to pay more than they can afford or to give money to a private insurance company.

    You do understand (none / 0) (#111)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:43:47 AM EST
    CBO says at most 10 million people will be allowed to enroll in the public option.  The vast majority of the rest of Americans will be stuck buying for profit junk insurance.

    Seriously, I wonder how many liberals on this blog even known what the public option is.  It is not, IT IS NOT an open door for anyone.

    The Health Insurance Industry Give Away of 2009 is nothing but Roomney-care gone national.


    I do understand (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:47:02 AM EST
    That part kinda bugs me.  But I don't think it will be all that difficult politically to expand the public option, once it's there.

    Respectfully, you're proving you don't (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:01:47 AM EST
    The public option is not a government-program like Medicare.  It is highly subsidized private insurance at a tune of 1 trillion dollars a decade to cover 10 million Americans - no where near large enough to "keep private insurance honest."  Why folk don't laugh out loud when the best Republican president since Clinton utter such words I don't know.

    In addition to being a highly subsidized private plan, it's going to have difficulty cracking the marketplace given that there is no requirement for doctors to accept the patients.  It might not even survive, just like FDR's rural co-ops didn't survive.  And even if they do, expanding such programs isn't going to be easy ESPECIALLY after this false claim of insurance industry reform is exposed as not lowering cost.

    Say it with me now: the public options being debated are not a version of Medicare.  The public options being debated are not a version of Medicare.  The public options being debated are not a version of Medicare.


    Okay (none / 0) (#133)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:30:30 AM EST
    You think that anyone who disagrees with you can't possibly understand the underlying facts.  That's fine.  It was nice talking with you.

    Incrementalism (none / 0) (#147)
    by waldenpond on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:53:39 AM EST
    This is the perfect opportunity for incrementalism.  Just like Social Security, those eligible would increase ( I imagine quite quickly.)  The public option is not as good a candidate for incrementalism.... it would be impossible to pass without a Democratic Congress and President.  Now is the time.

    I have United Healthcare.  I do not get to pick my doctor, I wait for my visits, I have a prescription that would have a co-pay of $700 per month if I could afford it.  I would gladly switch to a public option.


    While they're at it (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kmblue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 06:54:59 AM EST
    the Dems can split the baby. (snark)
    No public option, no hope and change.

    No effective mechanism to (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:04:39 AM EST
    compete with the insurance industry - no sale. IOW only a real ROBUST public option will do. Not a weak watered down faux public option. Not a co-op.

    Also, it does not seem feasible to expand Medicaid and reduce its budget without reducing care. IOW more people in the program and less money to spend.

    No individual mandate without public option (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by NealB on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:07:19 AM EST
    The individual mandate becomes taxation without representation if there's no public option. Plain and simple. The public option has been the critical component of this health care reform campaign from the beginning because this reform package has proposed to enforce universal participation with the individual mandate. Short of Medicare for All (single payer), forcing people that otherwise would choose not to buy health insurance requires an option defined, directly or indirectly, by ELECTED representatives, by the government. That is, a forced expenditure (a tax) with representation. Without a public option defined by the government, the individual mandate is little more than a regressive tax; a tax middle-income Americans. It's a violation of Obama's biggest promise during the campaign that he would not raise taxes on anyone making $250,000 a year or less. And it forces us to make that payment directly to private insurers. It's a forced tax to subsidize the private health insurance industry.

    Absolutely not. No public plan? Then no individual mandate. These two items must be in the same bill.

    What's up with these "exchanges" (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:15:13 AM EST
    they keep promoting when they are talking about the PO and/or buying insurance? Am I missing something here, or are they talking about just having all the info in one place? 'Cause if that's what it is, they pretty much exist already. I can go online and compare policies.

    I really don't see how breaking up the bill helps, especially when there's nothing to control cost to consumer and the PO is in the gray area. It seems kinda silly to put in for Federal subsidies until they've worked out cost control. And no way in H*ll should they be putting through mandates without affordable options attached . . .

    The exchanges would included (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:30:19 AM EST
    several different insurance industry products and possibly a public option or a co-op. I think the difference between the exchange and the current on-line comparison shopping is that the policies in the exchange would be based on group rather than individual rates. Of course, how good those rates would be would probably depend on the size and the health of the group.  

    I guess I'm just not seeing (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:48:57 AM EST
    what the big deal is and why they keep talking about it. {grin} When I was searching, they seem to have included everything, so I would assume things would be adjusted if/when a PO or groups/co-ops etc are available.

    Modeled on Mass. I think (none / 0) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:02:48 AM EST
    One of the best aspects of the Mass. system now is a special Web site that's been set up that allows direct comparison of all the policies available in the state to individuals in one place and a single format.  It makes it much, much easier for people to sort out the options and see which plan would suit them best (out of all the crappy crap currently available, that is).

    Medicare has the same thing www.medicare.gov (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:10:46 AM EST
    let's you see the reduced cost coverage options.  Click the "Medicare Health Plans - 2009 Plan Data" link.

    Actually it is very difficult to compare (none / 0) (#99)
    by Coral on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:29:56 AM EST
    plans without an exchange. An exchange lists the plans by price and benefits and allows you to look across and compare them in equivalent language.

    Health insurers tend to provide very obscure explanations of the benefits, with lots of fine print. I've been there, attempting to figure out what plans were available and what they included, plus costs for my daughter, and believe me it was impossible.

    Now in MA there is a connector. You look at all options at once. Much better. MA is not perfect, but much better than before when individuals were basically on their own.


    So I'm getting mandates (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:51:53 AM EST
    but public option is iffy.  Someone's smoking crack on the Hill guess.

    Good Lord, the desperation is (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:59:59 AM EST
    palpable, and maybe even beginning to smell a little.

    Terrible leadership, no consistent message, not enough consideration of what the people want, the wild goose chase of seeking bipartisanship that only resulted in weaker and weaker proposals - this is the majority party and its president in action?

    God help us.

    I'm not "satisfied" , (5.00 / 8) (#41)
    by Bemused on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:40:08 AM EST
     with a public option, so I can't be satisfied with something less than that. It's not even "acceptable."

      A "strong" public option would be acceptable to me as incremental movement in the right direction.I'd consider a "strong" public option to be a government sponsored program providing subsidized coverage at below-market prices and which had the the ability to provide coverage to a large number of broadly situated (geographically, financially and in terms of health care needs) people. I'd want the government plan to be available not just to those who cannot find private market insurerance individually or through employee benefit program; i'd want both individuals to be able to purchase from it and for businesses to enroll to obtain coverages for their employees.

       Long term, I'll only be "satisfied" with universal health care eliminating private insurance as the mechanism through which basic health care costs are managed. i would not object to a private market for policies providing benefits over and above the government program if the government program provides everyone with access to basic health care.

    Enough with the trial balloons, Dems (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:58:30 AM EST
    You know what is best, you are just afraid to do it.

    Just forget the whole thing, and we'll throw the lot of you out and start over when the situation has deteriorated to the point where even the people with the mentality of Barney Frank's dining room table can see that single payer is the only way to go.

    I really think that is the only way something meaningful will ever get done.

    They should have a daily (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:14:14 AM EST
    trial balloon page on the WH website so we can just give it a thumbs up or down with room for a comment.

    Ha! Yes, if they are going to do it (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:07:41 AM EST
    Do it right!!!

    ROFL! (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:04:56 AM EST
    Very funny!

    I just don't get it... (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:20:09 AM EST
    From Think Progress:

    President Obama has invited conservative radio host Michael Smerconish to broadcast his radio show at the White House today. Smerconish plans to use this afternoon's show to air "pointed direct and substantive questions about health care" from listeners.

    What?  Single payer advocates cannot get within a mile of the WH, but the door's open for conservative radio hosts...

    Maybe we'll know more after this (also from Think Progress):

    Obama will be rallying Organizing for America supporters around health care reform in a conference call at 2:30 p.m. ET today. Obama will "update supporters on what's happening in D.C. and around the country, and he'll lay out our strategy and message going forward."

    Wonder which dimension we'll be hearing about today.

    Could someone please pass the Advil?

    Smerconish endorsed Obama (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:25:24 AM EST
    He's really more of a Philadelphia phenomenon than anything else. My guess is that he has suggested he will support HCR.

    That was yesterday (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:41:26 AM EST
    And apprantely Smerconsih said he voted for Obama.  Today, I think, Obama is meeting with the DNC for an OFA event

    Pre-existing conditions (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by ricosuave on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:45:33 AM EST
    Pre-existing conditions is one of the biggest problems (OK...it's the biggest one my family faces) and I have a hard time finding any information about what anyone proposes on it.  This WSJ chart says they will eliminate that problem, but how?  Will insurance companies agree to insure pre-existing conditions, but only at exhorbitant rates?  Will they be allowed to exclude certain coverage that they claim derives from the problem?  Will people still have access to the state health risk pool, which offers complete coverage (albeit at a very high price, without covering pregnancy, and with the added cost of having to reapply for private insurance and be rejected on a regular basis)?

    The dems still need to come up with some details of how every part of this will work before we can say who this helps (e.g. who is covered and what they pay and how the insurance companies or doctors will fare).  I am skeptical that they will utlimately pass something that helps my family more than it helps UnitedHealth, but I am willing to be surprised.

    But right now dems are just rearranging the deck chairs by announcing a new procedural approach to writing bills.  It is another way of stalling before actually writing any bills.  And there is still no public guidance from Obama on what he considers a must-have (other than the desire that some sort of reform--a.k.a. change--take place).

    As to Jeralyn's main question about public option: putting it in the "gray area" means nobody is committed to seeing it move forward.  The fact that it has moved from a primary talking point and must-have solution to "still on the table" status means nobody is going to fight for it.  Obama is not willing to stick his neck out for it, and his is the biggest neck in the game.  Nobody else with any influence or control over the process is willing to fight for it, so the "gray area" means you can stick a fork in the public option.

    I actually don't think (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:13:27 AM EST
    the gray block means "still on the table," it just means they haven't figured out whether they can do it under the reconciliation procedure or not.

    That said, everything is "still on the table" in any case because We Don't Have a Bill Yet.

    As far as the pre-existing conditions issue, my impression from hearing many Republican senators and congresscritters talk about HCR is that the odds are very high that preexisting conditions will simply be eliminated altogether as any kind of factor in health insurance.  That's the trade-off for the individual mandate.  The ins cos get to enroll all those young healthy people, and in return they have to cover those who aren't.

    I think if anything at all gets passed, this is one problem that's simply going to go away.


    I'm going to be a little nit picky here (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:39:25 AM EST
    It is my understanding that under the proposed legislation you cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing. O.K. that is really great. The lack of clarity for me is how much will the insurance companies be able to charge.

    In a single payer system this would not be an issue. Extremely large pool of healthy people would offset costs of the sick.

    The problem that could arise under the proposed legislation is that too many people who are currently sick or with pre-existing conditions will wind up in the relatively small restricted exchange options. If that happens, there is no way that those premiums will be affordable even if subsidized.    


    It's all about the promises, you know. (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:15:26 AM EST
     Writing legislation that guarantees the insurance companies millions of new customers to collect premiums from, cutting deals with the industry to make sure there will be no bargaining power for prescription drugs.  The promises to the public that they will not be able to be turned down for pre-existing conditions or will not be dropped when they get sick, but fail to address the cost to the individual.  Hey, when some guy comes on my TV and tells me I can have a new car, as exciting as that possibility is, I know that having it will mean paying for it, and if I can't do that, then I don't get the car.  I might be able to get A car, but I won't be able to get THE car.

    I suspect it will be like that with insurance coverage: you can and will have it, but the coverage you want and need may still be more than you can afford, and what you can afford might not provide all the coverage you need, and you still might not be able to afford the actual care after paying premiums, deductibles and co-pays, but you will have a bright, shiny insurance policy.  Woo-hoo!

    Is there anyone who thinks the insurance companies won't, in the years between passage and implentation, be soaking up as much money as they can?  Or who won't, once any new program is implemented, soon be up to their old tricks at our expense?  Wall Street isn't going to let them do it any other way.

    And the band plays on.


    In all fairness (none / 0) (#165)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    it's not right to say they "fail to address the cost to the individual."  Even the Republicans, as per my other comment, are addressing it.

    Let's hope they realize this (none / 0) (#164)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:03:48 PM EST
    It's hard for me to believe that they don't, since it's so obvious.  I think they realize that if there's an individual mandate and coverage for pre-existing conditions, but the premiums are wildly more expensive, it will quickly be seen by the public as a cruel joke and there will be massive outrage that will make the current "town halls" seem tame.

    What I have heard the GOPers talking about is some kind of limit on how much ins cos can charge extra for pre-existing coverage.  What I've heard them say is an upper limit of 1.5 to 2 times regular coverage.  That's not good, but it's not as bad as it would be if they were left to set their own prices.  I have not heard any Dems. addressing this specific question so don't know where they stand on tht.


    But, what is the cost of (5.00 / 2) (#178)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:55:40 PM EST
    "regular coverage?"  Is it the cost to an individual in the same age range, same geographic area, but without the "conditions" for the same coverage?  So, if I, as someone 50-55, am paying $7,000 a year for coverage, then someone in the same age range could pay anywhere from $10,500 to $14,000 annually?

    That's a lot of money.  And the choices for lowering the premiums are all about increasing the co-pays and deductibles, so it once again gets back to whether there is real value in having a policy that does not start to provide reimbursement until after the individual has shelled out premiums, co-pays and deductibles that could be more than $15,000.  

    I think it's kind of bizarre, actually, that the GOP is talking about limiting the insurance companies and the Dems are just pretending that isn't an element that deserves to be out in the open for people to assess.  

    I mean, we don't really know what a public option would look like, much less cost, so I don't know how anyone is supposed to know what to think.

    As for anyone in Washington giving a flying fig if the public is outraged, well, let's just say that I feel like they've gotten pretty good at ignoring the anger up to this point, so I imagine they will continue to listen to the sounds of their own voices in lieu of listening to ours.

    It's almost like we're not even speaking the same language anymore.


    "Government is from Mars (none / 0) (#180)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 02:23:21 PM EST
    Voters are from Venus"

    Mandates, in order to work must be enforceable (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:02:30 AM EST
    how good those rates would be would probably depend on the size and the health of the group

    Indeed, and the only way premiums are coming down is to get as many folks in the various pools, or, reduce, the utilization/costs of the services.

    Someone named Hillary Clinton (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:07:26 AM EST
    had a winning idea on this: automatic enrollment.  In other words, don't let the issue of how we can get people to pay or how much they can afford to interfere with universal coverage.

    Gee, if only we had a federal agency (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:09:09 AM EST
    devoted to automatically enrolling people in a healthcare program. . .

    Maddening to think how much easier this would (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:20:26 AM EST
    all be if we just tweaked what we already have.

    I'm sure I am oversimplifying it, but not much.


    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:13:53 AM EST
    Saves them shopping around for something too, if they are averse to that part of the process.

    Haven't commented on the various 'mandate' comments, but of course this only really works if there is a public option to put people into if they don't find private insurance themselves. I don't think a mandate without the public option would pass congress.


    Right (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:16:08 AM EST
    A mandate without a public option is crazy talk.

    Frankly, although I'm fine with having a limited public option to start out with because we can always expand it later, the idea of a mandate with a limited public option sort of bugs me too.  But just between us, in my own selfish way I think I would be willing to live with it.  They sure are painting themselves into a lot of corners in the name of compromise though.


    concur 100% (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:22:35 AM EST
    Illogical (none / 0) (#138)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:34:44 AM EST
    The public option is likely to never get off the ground.  Walsh summarizing Kip Sullivan:
    [T]he public plan starts without a single enrollee and has to hire sales staff, negotiate contracts and so on, all while being required to pay back its start up costs within 10 years.  

    What advantage do you have over the private insurers that means you will be able to out compete them?  The only one I can think of is that you don't have to make a profit, but that's only half true, because of the requirement to pay back within 10 years, you effectively do have to turn a profit.

    I think it absolutely could (none / 0) (#97)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:24:36 AM EST
    unfortunately.  The Republicans (and the ins. cos.) see the individual mandate as no more or less than the way to make it possible (ie, still profitable) to insure people with preexisting conditions.  That's a core trade-off that I think is likely to pass, public option or no public option.  If I had to guess, I'd say we're likely to get that plus some anemic co-op idea.  Most Republicans are opposed even to the co-op thing now, but there's the usual handful of rational ones that will go along with it.

    If the Progressive Caucus in the House has the stones to stage a full-scale revolt, it might change the dynamics, but absent that, I don't think we're going to get a public option of any kind.


    No arguments from me on that one. (none / 0) (#87)
    by vicndabx on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:12:33 AM EST
    If we must, force people to "opt-out" w/a full understanding of the risks involved including higher premiums.

    On Jeralyn's Question (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 12:51:10 PM EST

    Under no circumstances.

    There also must be a specific outline of the public option and the "mandate" and its costs at every income and dependent level has to be clearly explained and it should be available to all including employers in lieu of private insurance.  A public option should be just that, available to the entire public.  

    Nothing half-a$$ed.

    Story isn't credible ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:47:11 AM EST
    this idea has been out there for awhile, but suggesting it's gaining momentum isn't backed up by anything in this story.

    More unnamed sources and people speaking privately.

    In fact, there's no reference to any source for this story until 'graph six, and here the only sources suggested are "congressional aides."

    And one of the few on-the-record sources suggests the opposite of the notion the story is peddling:

    "We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid.

    This story may or may not be true.  But the reporting doesn't support the contentions.  And it looks more like a strategy, which has been around for quite a while, being peddled as news.

    Evidently Baucus now has a deadline (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:13:56 AM EST
    But other senators noted privately that several factors are working against any deal. Many Democrats now believe it's a long shot. Mr. Baucus has set a deadline of Sept. 15 to reach agreement.

    Several softer deadlines have already come and gone without a deal. One Republican senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah, has dropped out of the talks. The remaining Republicans have suggested they would only support something that had the backing of many GOP colleagues.

    Whoopee, can't wait to see what kind of cr@p would be in the bill if they ever reach a bipartisan agreement.


    YES...If they decide that public option and (none / 0) (#7)
    by steviez314 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 04:48:37 AM EST
    exchanges are budget related  and thus move from grey area to Part I, this plan works fine.

    51 votes for public option, exchanges, subsidies and taxes.

    60 votes for pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps (I'd like to see the Repubs filibuster that!).

    All the above commenters think grey area means not in the bill..it doesn't.  It just means they haven't figured out which part it going into.  When they realize it's Part I, this works fine.

    Yep. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    Although I'd say that the exchange should go in the second category (since it presumably would have not much trouble getting 60 votes).  The less in the first category, the less the parliamentarian can gut.

    BTW, the number for reconciliation is 50 since Biden breaks ties.

    I don't get all this whining.  A split bill at this point is the strategy to get the best possible outcome out of the legislative process (assuming the parliamentarian isn't a hack, willing to do whatever the leadership demands).  It's a risky move, but the legislative path we're going down is not going to get a good bill.


    ok (none / 0) (#72)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:55:01 AM EST
    when you are forced to buy insurance that doesn't do anything but bankrupt you, come calling about whining.

    do you not see a MASSIVE handout to the private insurance industry coming?  it is as obvious as the nose on your face.

    whining?  fabulous.  imagine, for one moment, you are someone else, someone who has been bankruptied by the current system (the majority of bankruptcies in this country are medical related, and the majority of those are with people who HAVE insurance), and now all you know you are going to get are crumbs that someone is going to FORCE you to pay for.

    be a TAD skeptical.  it might help.


    I just keep thinking that (5.00 / 3) (#79)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:03:21 AM EST
    taking one big pile of cr@p and making three or more smaller piles of it doesn't change what it is.

    I am skeptical. (none / 0) (#129)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:23:39 AM EST
    But this is the right legislative strategy.  Getting a good bill with 50 votes is much easier than with 60 votes.  I don't understand what everyone is complaining about.

    You're laughable. (none / 0) (#174)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:45:25 PM EST
    And spell your name correctly, Rahm.

    Because Rahm is a big fan of reconciliation? (3.50 / 2) (#179)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    And he wants to pass the legislation that gets no more "moderate" votes than are needed.  It's an interesting world that you live in.

    Because Rahm couldn't care less about (none / 0) (#198)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 03:44:08 PM EST
    the public option. And, judging by your comments, the same can be said of you. Considering that I've never seen your name in these comment threads before, I assume you are a new commenter. I always take lip service from new commenters with a heavy dose of salt.

    I'm not interested in political games, triangulation in particular. In the past, triangulation has been shown to squeeze more liberal Dems than anyone else. No thanks.


    Here's a question (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:25:49 AM EST
    The 1st part mentions  "new taxes to pay for these items".  What will those new taxes be?  And my guess is, they are going to hit people making under $250,000, so will this break (another) Obama promise?

    Depends (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:35:24 AM EST
    I read just recently that Baucus' group is still considering taxes on employer paid health benefits. Wouldn't that be just peachy. We could get a policy that John McCain campaigned on as part of the package.

    We elected a Republican president last fall (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:20:08 AM EST
    We're getting Mitt Romney's health care plan, and using John McCain's idea to finance it.

    If we get that (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 07:38:54 AM EST
    then why not just vote for McCain in the first place and take out the middleman?

    Palin - that's why not (none / 0) (#100)
    by Coral on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:33:37 AM EST
    Plus McCain's temper is legendary. Obama is not living up to my expectations, but he is intelligent and has good temperament for presidency.

    I mean, I'm frustrated, but let's be realistic.


    It was more of a rhetorical question (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:39:10 AM EST
    But really - I expected very little of Obama and I'm still disappointed.

    And Biden is so wonderful?


    We gamed this out yesterday (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:35:28 AM EST
    They can accomplish everything they want so much more simply in a conference report.

    Incorrect (1.00 / 1) (#134)
    by DWCG on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:31:08 AM EST
    You can't slip something in a conference report that's not in one of the bills.  It's a reconciliation process not a bill writing do-over.

    There is no strong public option in any of the committee bills.  The strongest version may never even get off the ground, and if it does will at best cover 10 million (and that's optimistic).  Thus, how do we accomplish anything let alone everything?  Unless your goal is enriching an already corrupt industry of hitmen in Armani, we accomplish nothing.


    Assuming that Ben Nelson doesn't sabatoge us. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:25:43 AM EST
    And Bayh.  And Lincoln.  And Pryor.  And Conrad.  And Warner.  And Begich.  And Bill Nelson.  And who is there to offset defections?  Maybe Snowe, a small chance of Collins.

    I'll take imposing a good bill in Conference over an easy to pass bill.  But breaking up the bill seems like an even better idea.  We can get everything we want - a larger safety net, stronger regulations, more aggressive disbursement reform, and a public option.  The only issue is that it would be easier to kill down the line, but that just means that we need to make the legislation sufficiently good that killing it would be a third rail.


    It's basically impossible to kill (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:29:43 AM EST
    a conference report, even in the Senate. A majority should do.

    A majority can't impose cloture. (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:38:54 AM EST
    I'm not sure what kind of magical powers you believe that conference has over the actions of Ben Nelson and gang.  As I said, if ramming a good bill through conference is the only way it happens, I'm fine with that.  But there would be a real risk here.

    We went through this yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:44:00 AM EST
    You can't filibuster the motion to proceed to a conference report, and the report itself is not amendable. Conference reports are very difficult to keep from a vote.

    But you can filibuster the final legislation. (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:51:56 AM EST
    Nelson and co. have their veto.  I'm not at all confident that they wouldn't exercise it.  Of course, I'm not confident that they would.  There isn't a lot of data on which to predict their behavior (remember that the "moderates" voted for the stimulus only AFTER they got to reshape it).  This is a straight up gamble.

    then LET them (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:56:56 AM EST
    let's see what democrat wants to stand with the right wing and stop it.  let it come to that.  we are such phucking cowards on this side it is staggering.

    play some godd*amn hardball.  once.

    just once!


    From what I've read about procedure (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:57:04 AM EST
    a conference report is very, very, very difficult to filibuster. See here.

    I don't understand why you're so confident. (none / 0) (#132)
    by Ramo on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:29:11 AM EST
    A filibuster by talking is not that hard a burden to bear.  Health care is the whole ball game.  That seems like exactly the strategy to take for the other side.  It's not like Nelson and Bayh would have to talk.  They would just have to vote against cloture (or not show up).

    OTOH, splitting the bill is virtually risk free.  As long as the bill's provisions are popular (i.e. generous safety net and strong regulations) and everything is cleared with the parliamentarian beforehand, what do we have to worry about?


    Isn't this why we have ammendments? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Exeter on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:42:29 AM EST
    I don't like this -- and if there is a filibuster, wait them out! Make them get up and read the phone book for a month.

    I wish people would stop demanding this (none / 0) (#43)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    because it shows a general ignorance of Senate procedure.

    The only situation where you might be able to "make them read the phone book" is if you get to a conference report. That's exactly what I suggest, BTW.


    I hope (none / 0) (#57)
    by hookfan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 09:26:11 AM EST
    with this ball of krap, that it does fail. If Dems face electoral consequences, it's their own effing fault.

    I've never (none / 0) (#98)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:25:57 AM EST
    seen a government try so hard to pass a horrifyingly bad law so they can say they got a "win".

    They lost.  They need to get over it.

    (of course, we lost too, but in the end, we are invariably the losers of all of these "battles".)

    I'm glad now that no mandate (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:35:07 AM EST
    exists in this country, as in some others, that requires everyone to face a fine . . . if they don't vote.  There are just too many fools voting other fools into office.  

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#118)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:59:36 AM EST
    fools voting for fools.

    I can see it now under mandates.  People start declaring bankruptcy because they can't afford their mandated insurance premiums.

    We'd never see a Democrat in the White House again.  I'm starting to wonder if that's a bad thing.


    This lst part, 2nd part, three is gray plan (none / 0) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    is confusing. The linchpin of the first part is new taxes to pay for subsides to buy insurance or expand Medicaid, but new taxes were not to be the only component of the financial underwriting--about half is to come from Medicare "savings". And, Medicare "savings" do not appear in parts l or 2 or even in the gray area. Indeed, it seems to have gone missing.  If the Medicare "savings" do not need to be in the legislation (and "savings" are to be "re-directed" following regulatory or policy changes) why was this professional and political thicket allowed to be such a key part of the discussion, what with death panels and all?  Indeed, Medicare should be de-coupled from the legislation to be replaced with a laser-like focus on parts l and 2, and to resolve the stated gray areas.  The gray area, with even a little courage, could be a mini-Medicare--no worry about mandates, just automated enrollment easily accomplished by its integration with social security.

    Excuse me, Lacey? (none / 0) (#201)
    by mexboy on Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 10:11:42 PM EST
    Are you trying to offend me?

    You vote for them out of office. But in a democracy, more people may vote for the person you call a "crook." Of course, we could just institute a new system whereby Mexboy and a few other bloogers rule by dictate. That could work better.
    No one to blame but the people in a democracy.

    I wasn't placing blame, nor was I implying I want to rule the world, or that I know how to solve the problems. That is why I asked.

    If you must know, I didn't vote for the man at the head of this administration and I left the Democratic party because of their dirty political deeds. So don't throw shame, that isn't mine, my way.