Krugman, Reich And Schumer On The Public Option

Via FDL, Krugman and Reich as the anti-Ezra Kleins:

And Schumer on MTP:

Some folks are willing to fight for the public option. Too bad none of them are in the White House.

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    Alas, and predictably, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 05:51:23 PM EST
    the President did not "bring the millennium" to the White House. Others will have to help.

    And without the (none / 0) (#8)
    by cal1942 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:40:01 PM EST
    White House it ain't gonna happen.

    The only potential problem is (none / 0) (#32)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 09:31:00 AM EST
    that THEY are up for re election before Obama. If any of them waver because they somehow subscribe to the notion that anything is better than nothing we can have problems. People need to keep reminding them that there needs to be some sort of public option in the bill.

    Krugman lands with the ... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 05:57:03 PM EST
    best quote:

    The argument against the public option is sheer nonsense.

    And (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:18:46 PM EST
    for that matter there's no good intellectual argument against single-payer.

    So if the Progressive Caucus has that much... (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by lambert on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:01:56 PM EST
    ... leverage, why go for a pissant solution like public option, when you can go with Medicare For All, which is proven to work and to save money?

    This is the most synthetic (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 09:15:42 PM EST
    debate on any important policy issue I've ever seen.  God love Krugman, but when he's down to pushing for a "modest public option", he may as well pick up his universal health care ball and come home.

    The sad thing is how utterly misinformed the public option supporters are.  The notion that a widely available Medicare-like option would have been easier to pass than enhanced and improved Medicare for All, or expanded Medicare, or even a Medicare opt-in, fails the sniff test on several counts.  Medicare for All is definable, public option is not.  Medicare for All greatly reduces household health care costs, public option within private, for-profit system, either can not be guaranteed to, or in the case of a weak public option, simply won't.  Medicare for All has a 20 year movement behind it and thousands of grassroots supporters, public option does not.  Medicare for All has a base of customers who would never give it up to go back to private insurers, these are ready made salespeople, public option does not.  

    The public option advocates screwed up on two counts.  One, thinking the President would be a strong supporter of their policy.  Two, thinking you can sneak the country into single payer.

    What's really pathetic is here liberals have this progressive internet infrastructure and they gave away the farm to make "public option" their rallying call.  Forgive me, but it's a rather bland, generic product.  It's just hard to get excited about a "modest public option".  Liberals who think health care is a right, who think we should spend less, and get more, who want a policy that will offer structural change to health finance, need to give up the sunk costs spent on a "modest" public option, and start pushing for building on what works, Medicare.


    Expanding Medicare would have been so simple. (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by caseyOR on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:01:25 PM EST
    If people are under 65, don't have insurance or don't like their insurance, let them buy into Medicare. Medicare has already established rates for people who don't have enough income earning quarters to qualify for the no fee Part A. Part B premiums are based on annual income. Most of the work is already done. And it would not require a bill that is 1,000 pages long.

    No requirement that people under 65 join Medicare. Keep your current insurance if you want. Just make Medicare an option for anyone who wants it.

    It would certainly be easier to understand and explain than whatever is being proposed now.


    You know, (none / 0) (#28)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 12:32:57 AM EST
    With all due respect, I get tired of reading comments like yours.

    Of course you're correct; of course there are many, many mutations, using Medicare as a template that would be infinitely better than what we have now. You could throw a box of scrabble pieces on the floor, and odds are that the random pieces would spell out a better plan, but..........!

    Your argument is equivalent to asking, "Why, when it costs pennies to extract a barrel of oil, do the Saudis charge 60-80-100 dollars? Because they can, that's why; they're a cartel, a monopoly, they've got us by the ba$$s. It's got nothing to do with supply and demand; it's called extortion.
    Now substitute the "Health Industry" for the Saudis, throw in 5 hundred something quisling "representatives, stir in a con-artist supreme Chief Executive who squats at the feet of these black-mailers (with his hands out, of course), and then ask your question again.

    It really is that simple.


    With all due respect, (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by caseyOR on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 04:38:04 AM EST
    I don't really care who is tired of comments like mine. I will keep making them and keep hounding my congresspeople until we eliminate our dependence on insurance companies.

    I know perfectly well the game Obama and Congress are playing. I was not born yesterday, nor am I politically naive or uninformed. And I will not give up on this fight. If that means I make comments you, or anyone, get tired of reading, well, so be it. As you point out, the opposition to real health care reform is rich and powerful. They will certainly not be defeated if everyone just accepts that there is nothing to be done and shuts up.


    Yuck!! (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 08:15:15 AM EST
    Yeah, on second reading I can see where you could perceive my response to your comments as being, well, I don't know, uncool? I meant, tired, as in well, "tired...weary," certainly not meant in a pejorative way.

    It's just that (I, obviously don't know how old you are) I've been doing this so long, (joined C.O.R.E. in college, Syracuse, '63) I sometime wonder how it's possible that we hit a Rommuhlan time-warp and now are  living in reverse-evolutionary times.

    If you were to tell me, after Martin Luther was killed, that, in the not too distant future we'd have a black S.C. Justice (who hates blacks, poor people, and anyone below associate Vice President of a Fortune 500 Co.) a black President, who, after accepting 97% A.A. support, sold out our economy, our jobs, and our futures to "The Masters of the Universe," and the most incredible of all, just at the time the Republican Party crossed over the line from being racist, xenophobic, war loving, and sadistic to being  certifiably, pathologically, and really, really Insane, that a black man would be elected to lead the Republican party into the future, I would call you bat-sh*t crazy.

    So, please accept my apology.....keep up the good fight.


    Quit assuming some of us are misinformed (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 09:38:18 AM EST
    I have a pragmatic streak and rather than bang my head into a wall when we've been told "no single payer" I've chosen to go with an option that if applied correctly(and yes I realize 3200 is NOT that vehicle)would potentially lead to single payer. In the meantime I have chosen to cheer on single payer folk because I recognize that as long as they continue to agitate for their cause the  more likely we could get to a robust public option.

    Yes, that's true (none / 0) (#24)
    by NYShooter on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 10:18:56 PM EST
    But wouldn't "Medicare for all" be single payer?

    Intellectually, cognitively, and economically correct; politically, probably impossible.

    We are paying 1 ¼ Trillion dollars/yr. in Health industry marketing, administration, and profits. With that kind of money involved, it's not "conspiracy talk" to say they've purchased our Government.

    If the present situation were propelled back to 1939, our bankers, with our Government providing guarantees, would've invested in German War futures and rooted for Hitler to win. And the quants at A.I.G would've concocted Bereitstellungraum swaps to guarantee it.


    Politically impossible (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by hookfan on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 10:29:37 AM EST
    because of the money big insurance is throwing at it? Well, how is it going to be politically feasible in the future to move a piss poor public option toward single payer when the mandates will be capitalizing the insurance companies to have guaranteed money to fight changes toward single payer in the future?
       Seems to me that argument would make incremental movement toward single payer a political impossibility. Nothing like empowering the political opposition then yelling it will make changes easier. . .

    Woah! Yes, "Politically impossible" (none / 0) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 12:30:09 PM EST
    as in now, this President, this Congress, these Republicans, etc..

    "Would it t'weren't so, but tis"    

    Look, this is a very complicated problem, with many variables involved, and each variable in constant motion, and the motions each having differing accelerations and decelerations, with changing trajectories, and changing degrees of oscillation, and so on.

    Are you getting it now? Kind of like flying a helicopter with 12 axes, instead of three. And let me tell you, three is a real bowl of cherries!

    I kind of tweaked my poetic license joy stick a little bit in order to relay the fact that a forum like this one is not going to get you the kind of meaningful dialogue, and hopefully the beginning of a framework to actually move forward toward the goal.......single payer.

    Single payer; yes, it can be done; it can be done in the U.S. and it can be done with all the opposing forces intact. But something this erratic, and complicated can't be done by a committees, or a Congress, or Town Hall meetings. It can only be done by drawing in all the disparate elements into one, the President.

    I believe, if Obama wanted single payer, we would get single payer. But he doesn't, so we won't.

    Now, if you have a week or two, I'll explain to you how it could be done.


    It will get done (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by hookfan on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 02:54:08 PM EST
    when the voters get wee-wee'd up enough to demand it, or heads will roll (politically). That's political reality. Watered down bs is an attempted palliative to actually serve the monied masters (whom Obama apparently serves), while pretending to effectively serve the populace.

    Sometimes I wish I was (none / 0) (#42)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 04:32:47 PM EST
    a true, born again, seen the light, mammy, mammy Christian so I could at least pretend to have hope. but I also hoped the frog I killed as a young boy would wake up,wink at me, and swim away happily too.

    Ain't gonna happen; Zombies, and cadavers, don't spring back to life. and our Zombie voters have been flat-lined for quite a long time now.

    Ever since, probably since the end of WW 2, we have been trained, conditioned, and brain-washed into becoming "good citizens." Good citizens, being robotic consumers, and permanently indebted waste-makers.

    We may not lead the world in Health care, but we wup the pants off anyone else at being "good citizens."


    Dont be stupid (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:37:01 PM EST
    Can you really be this oblivious to political reality?

    Oh, wait.  I fortgot.  Yes, you can.

    Never mind.


    Ho hum (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by lambert on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:23:26 PM EST
    Some of the Cassandras are looking pretty good these days...

    I guess that depends on whether... (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by lambert on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 11:24:11 PM EST
    ... you want to change reality or accept it. I prefer not to lay back and enjoy. YMMV, and, apparently, does.

    I for one am grateful for people (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 09:33:26 AM EST
    like lambert who pursue the best solutions  regardless of what CW says is political reality. Political reality is only changed by the efforts of those who push hard to challenge and expand the its definition.

    The Republicans and the right understand this. Unfortunately, too many Democrats do not.


    What political reality are you creating (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by hookfan on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 10:51:34 AM EST
    by not supporting single payer? The reality that big money wins, the rest of us suffer, so get used to it? Or the myth one will get incremental change after capitalizing the political opposition through mandates? If the political reality now is no single payer due to the strength of big money insurance, why will it change after they are strengthened by mandates?
       The political reality is one will never have single payer until big insurance/big pharma is weakened financially.
      Perhaps you should explain why you're so supportive of big insurance continuing to run the show, rather than weakening them and hiding behind the skirts of "political reality".

    It shouldn't be necessary (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:38:12 PM EST
    to spell this out to any sentient being.  But I guess we have some non-sentient beings among us.

    More realistically (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by MojaveWolf on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 10:18:34 PM EST
    They are already bringing out "death panels" and have my grandmother fearing that if she breaks her back, no one will perform surgery, and that she will quit being able to get her flu shot for free because she is too old.  WTF else do you think they are going to do?  Tell people they will be shot down in the streets for catching a cold?  

    They have no bigger guns; they could throw more money, but the republicans are already throwing the worst memes they can at this bill even tho it actually improves things for corporations and hurts the poor, just because it is something democrats are doing.  

    That the public option is even still polling around 50% given that the democratic defense of it is at best half-hearted and incomplete, and even some of those who claim to support it seem to want it to fail, is a pretty good indication of how easily it could have passed if Obama or any of the SCLM with a big platform had stepped up to the plate on this one.


    There are studies that show that (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 09:23:32 AM EST
    more jobs would be created by going to single payer.

    Expanding Medicare to include the uninsured, and these on Medicaid or employer-sponsored health plans, and expanding coverage for those with limited Medicare, would have the following immediate impacts:

    Create 2,613,495 million new permanent good-paying jobs (slightly exceeding the number of jobs lost in 2008)
    Boost the economy with $317 billion in increased business and public revenues  
    Add $100 billion in employee compensation
    Infuse public budgets with $44 billion in new tax revenues  National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association

    Many of the current worker bees employed by the insurance industry would just change employers. They would be needed in a single payer system. Maybe some of the highly paid CEOs and executive officiers would lose their jobs but I for one will not lose any sleep over that.

    The number of doctors refusing to take Medicare patients may be more of a rural problem due to lack of sufficient providers in the area. Don't think this is a wide spread problem overall. Per Doctors who have adopted a fee base only practice,  they avoid the overhead of dealing with insurers, which they say can eat up as much as 40 percent of their income. link
    Also, there are many doctors who are strong advocates of a single payer system. Be real interesting to see a poll on how many refuse to take Medicare patients and another on how many support single payer.


    It Would Have Been (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Maven on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:04:24 PM EST
    even better had he been given an opportunity to explain why that is so (and Krugman can do so very succinctly), but such is the nature of what passes for political discourse in this country.

    And am I just being completely paranoid here or were the producers trying to stack the deck against the "liberal" viewpoint by featuring a couple of bearded academics who don't "look like America"?  (Of course, since this excerpt doesn't show how Profs. Reich and Krugman were introduced, perhaps I am overstating this point . . .)


    When Krugman mentions (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:53:45 PM EST
    modest public option, I know it's reality, but my heart still sinks to my knees.

    Robust mandates with modest public option.....

    I was certain I could accept incrementalism in the public option, but ugh, this will be a disaster.

    It is "trickle down economics" on steroids.  Suck money out of the economy, sink it into one industry, especially into the coffers of certain CEO's?

    Ew boy.  This thing has to fail.

    And yes (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:57:11 PM EST
    I know certain folks will see the doctor more if insured (which spreads the money out a bit)...but only if the deductible isn't too high .

    Take me as an example.  I have a $3000 deductible.  I don't go to the doc unless I really, really have to, aka they're holding meds hostage for a blood test or something, because I know that whenever I go it's out of pocket.


    My young son would LOVE to have your plan (none / 0) (#39)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 01:25:09 PM EST
    He would LOVE to pay less for health insurance and pay out of pocket the two times a year he has to see a doctor.  It would be SO much cheaper for him but, alas, our state doesn't allow those plans.  

    i love that no one in the msm... (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Dadler on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 07:59:14 PM EST
    ...is really latching onto the glaring statistic about the percentage of personal bankruptcies caused by medical bills and that 70 PERCENT of those folks going bankrupt HAVE insurance -- or something passing for insurance, since all it seems to have insured is their financial ruin.

    absolutely astounding any of them can talk about the economy and not mention that.  

    astounding, i should say, but sadly not surprising.

    Because (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:05:46 PM EST
    have you not realized by now that the media in this country sucks big time? Why would they care about reporting that kind of thing? They have good insurance so they really dont care.

    that was on CNN last night (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:12:05 PM EST
    but a footnote in the discussion.

    Could you please give us a link? (none / 0) (#40)
    by BrassTacks on Mon Aug 24, 2009 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    I would love to be able to show that to other people.



    John McCain on Ted Kennedy (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Dadler on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:07:17 PM EST
    Specifically, how Kennedy's absence has hurt the process of healthcare, er, insurance reform:

    "He had a unique way of sitting down with the parties at a table and making the right concessions, which really are the essence of successful negotiations," McCain said.

    Is that funny or what?  As if the dems haven't been folding like a house of cards most of the time anyway.  I'm sure Teddy would appreciate being seen as the Democrat that Republicans look to for the "right" concessions.

    On health care in particular (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Spamlet on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 08:31:06 PM EST
    I'm sure Teddy would appreciate being seen as the Democrat that Republicans look to for the "right" concessions.

    What's with the Krugman (none / 0) (#5)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:21:16 PM EST
    heading?  Public option opponent?  Looks more like Faux Newz headline.

    The full heading is: (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:23:44 PM EST
    "This Week-Paul Krugman: Public Option opponent's arguments are 'sheer nonsense'"

    Thanks...missed that when I (none / 0) (#7)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 23, 2009 at 06:25:27 PM EST
    played it.