About Those Right -Wing Protesters

Via e-mail from the Democratic National Committee:

There's been a lot of media coverage about organized mobs intimidating lawmakers, disrupting town halls, and silencing real discussion about the need for real health insurance reform.

The truth is, it's a sham. These "grassroots protests" are being organized and largely paid for by Washington special interests and insurance companies who are desperate to block reform. They're trying to use lies and fear to break the President and his agenda for change.

Health insurance reform is about our lives, our jobs, and our families -- we can't let distortions and intimidation get in the way. We need to expose these outrageous tactics, and we're counting on you to help. Can you read these "5 facts about the anti-reform mobs," then pass them along to your friends and family?


5 facts about the anti-reform mobs

1. These disruptions are being funded and organized by out-of-district special-interest groups and insurance companies who fear that health insurance reform could help Americans, but hurt their bottom line. A group run by the same folks who made the "Swiftboat" ads against John Kerry is compiling a list of congressional events in August to disrupt. An insurance company coalition has stationed employees in 30 states to track where local lawmakers hold town-hall meetings.

2. People are scared because they are being fed frightening lies. These crowds are being riled up by anti-reform lies being spread by industry front groups that invent smears to tarnish the President's plan and scare voters. But as the President has repeatedly said, health insurance reform will create more health care choices for the American people, not reduce them. If you like your insurance or your doctor, you can keep them, and there is no "government takeover" in any part of any plan supported by the President or Congress.

3. Their actions are getting more extreme. Texas protesters brought signs displaying a tombstone for Rep. Lloyd Doggett and using the "SS" symbol to compare President Obama's policies to Nazism. Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil was hanged in effigy outside his district office. Rep. Tim Bishop of New York had to be escorted to his car by police after an angry few disrupted his town hall meeting -- and more examples like this come in every day. And they have gone beyond just trying to derail the President's health insurance reform plans, they are trying to "break" the President himself and ruin his Presidency.

4. Their goal is to disrupt and shut down legitimate conversation. Protesters have routinely shouted down representatives trying to engage in constructive dialogue with voters, and done everything they can to intimidate and silence regular people who just want more information. One attack group has even published a manual instructing protesters to "stand up and shout" and try to "rattle" lawmakers to prevent them from talking peacefully with their constituents.

5. Republican leadership is irresponsibly cheering on the thuggish crowds. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement applauding and promoting a video of the disruptions and looking forward to "a long, hot August for Democrats in Congress."

It's time to expose this charade, before it gets more dangerous. Please send these facts to everyone you know. You can also post them on your website, blog, or Facebook page.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong together and defend the truth.

The battle lines are drawn for tomorrow's health care event in Denver. Via Daily Kos, Firedoglake, and Square State, there will be lots of us there with our flip video cameras to record their shenanigans. If you're going, here's some advice.

These town halls are going on all over the country this month. Find the one in your area and attend to show your support for the public option and health care reform.

How these sheeples can protest a medical clinic that provides free care to the homeless and disadvantaged is beyond me. They are so easily persuaded, eager to follow the crowd and incapable of realizing they are being fleeced by special interest groups.

< Afternoon Delight in Denver Tomorrow on Health Care | Obama to Announce Revamping of Immigrant Detention Centers >
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    It seems that they are, to some degree, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:08:52 PM EST
    foreclosing on the possibility of associating these protesters with the birthers. The choice was between that and Brooks Brothers riot types. And they've apparently gone with the latter. Given the substance of the legislation, that's probably the right choice.

    On the other hand, I do wonder how many of the anti-reform protesters are genuine activists.  

    This is a dicey situation (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:40:43 PM EST
    that needs to be handled carefully.  Fox this evening was going absolutely nuts over the DNC Web ad and the White House trying to discredit and malign "citizens exercising their 1st amendment rights."  That's awfully appealing framing for a lot of Americans.

    If I were the DNC et al, I would lay off the heavy hand on these people being somehow illegitimate and the protests "orchestrated."  There are very clearly quite a lot of, yes, duped but "real people" participating in this stuff.  Who organized it is an inside baseball question that needs to be in talking points to media types, but basing some kind of public campaign on it is more likely to backfire badly than to help.

    Unlike the "Brooks Brothers riot" in Florida in 2000, a large percentage, probably most, of these people are not paid stooges.

    I think if they aimed their fire instead primarily on the protesters' tactics of disruption and shutting down everyone else's ability to get their congresscritter to listen to their concerns and answer critics, it would have a lot more resonance.

    Who organized and/or incited these people is irrelevant to the majority of the public, IMHO.

    Also, if Fox is to be believed (which they may not be, obviously) some idiot on the Whitehouse.gov site has written some kind of blog post urging Obama supporters to "report" disruptive behavior of this kind to... I'm not sure who they're supposed to report it to.  But that's a really, really bad move, if true.


    Well, don't believe Fox (none / 0) (#20)
    by WS on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:44:48 AM EST
    Shouldn't you know by now not to believe Fox?  The White House just asked people to report false information circulating out on the internet like chain emails and the like.  

    It's the exact same strategy they used during the campaign when they asked supporters to send in smears and other false information to their fact check websites/fight the smears websites.  

    What's not appealing to the American people is the boorish behavior these protesters are exhibiting at town halls and public events.  The White House has the right strategy when they say that these thuggish protesters don't want anyone to express their 1st Amendment rights by shouting down and disrupting anyone who disagrees with them.  


    Did you actually read (none / 0) (#29)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:49:09 AM EST
    what I wrote, just curiously?

    Next time (none / 0) (#39)
    by WS on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:56:01 AM EST
    don't call people "idiots" at the White House when they just wanted to collect information on untruths and whisper campaigns coming from the right.  It's not their fault Fox News distorted a regular fact checking operation that they brought from the campaign.    

    Doesn't that bother you a bit? (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:26:51 AM EST
    The White House just asked people to report false information circulating out on the internet like chain emails and the like.  

    Here's what the blog says:

    There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care.  These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.  Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.

    Right - I'm going to send someone's email to the WH, complete with their email address on it.

    I can't believe I'm agreeing with John Cornyn on something, but this sounds a little "fishy" to me, and had Bush suggested doing something like this, Markos, Arianna, and "liberal" heads all over would have exploded.


    Shrug (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:43:36 AM EST
    So take their email address off if you like.  It seems obvious to me that the White House simply wants to know what misleading message are getting passed around out there, not put my mom's email on some kind of enemies list because she forwarded me an email.

    Michele Bachmann may believe that Obama wants to collect census data in order to put Republicans in concentration camps, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.


    I think (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:49:34 AM EST
    she goes a bit far, but I don't put it past this WH (or any other) to not have an "enemies list" to do god-only-knows-what with in the future.  This is the Chicago Way, remember.

    Guess I'll have to turn in my grandmother for the "casual conversation" we had the other day.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:52:58 AM EST
    when the Chicago goons come to break down your grandmother's door, I promise I will apologize for my skepticism.

    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by bocajeff on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:12:48 AM EST
    Even if it's all organized and coordinated and fake, so what? The President of the United States, The Speaker of the House of Representatives, The Senate Majority leader are pretty powerful positions and command lots of attention. If they do their job and if they do it well this won't mean anything. If they don't do their jobs (such as putting out a plan) then they are the ones to blame for the way they are handling it.

    The Dems are in total control due to their large majorities and the Presidency. What Republicans do is of no consequence.

    Yup (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:22:50 AM EST
    I have to agree with you in general, the rsponsibility lies completely at the top.  A clear solid proposal from the White House was the only way to enact meaningful reform. I especially agree with your last paragraph:

    There was never any need whatsoever to engage the Republicans.

    Leo the lip had it right: Nice guys finish last.


    But that creates a people vs. powerful narrative (none / 0) (#22)
    by WS on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:57:08 AM EST
    where "grassroots" and "ordinary people" are fighting the heads of Government.  We don't want to create an underdog story.

    We know that these people are extremists bent on making sure that no one but themselves gets to voice their opinions and 1st Amendment rights.    


    The DNC buried the lede, quite effectively (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:28:27 AM EST
    They parrot the Obama administration's new talking point:

    It's "health insurance reform" now.

    Talk about a sham.

    My husband and I, will be in the anti (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by suzieg on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:29:55 AM EST
    "mob" for the presently proposed HC bill. My husband, who is on Medicare, lost his doctor because he was only accepting patients enrolled in a medicare advantage plan. He infected his finger and couldn't find a doctor who accepted Medicare patients except for a clinic where only interns treat medicare patients. He accepted seeing that it was not a life and death emergency.

    We were both life long democrats but changed our party affiliation to independent following the coup committed by the party in May, so we are not and never have been republican supporters.

    Obama, Congress and the insurance companies are not going to fight to improve or protect Medicare coverage for the elderly. It isn't profitable. Just look at what US Representative Dennis Kucinich, the fearless champion for single-payer health insurance, had to say in a recent interview about private industry's support for Obama's proposed health insurance plan:

    REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: "Right now what I see is a public plan that gives the insurance companies the option to pick the people's pockets. As long as you have a public plan, which now is going to be supported by what? Cuts in Medicaid, on the other hand? And undermining benefits to the elderly? Are you kidding me? ...Now, I will vote for it, if we can keep the single payer in, because I think it would be worth the price. But without the single-payer provision in it, I don't know what's in the bill that would really be worthy of supporting."

    We, the citizens in need of adequate and good health care coverage, will have to fight for it ourselves. We need to educate our members of Congress on the immediate need to adequately fund, expand, and protect Medicare for the elderly. Until then, my husband and I are not backing this proposed travesty now renamed "insurance reform" and will raise our voices, if need be, to try to stop it going forward as it's presently sold!

    Now this is an activist (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:28:35 AM EST
    Will you distinguish yourself when you go though?  I'm fine with you going but please make your grievances represented at the protest so that our leaders can see that we will not help them hurt us more than we already are.  In times of war the enemy of my enemy is my friend and that seems to be what our pathetic leadership is creating by placing big business above human lives.  You have a legit complaint, medicare like Tricare gets a lot done but is still in many many ways broken and now they want to cut funding.

    It is interesting to note the (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 05:29:01 AM EST
    DNC posts no proof the protests are being paid or organized by the evil non-gov't entities.  Just have to take their word on it.  Yup.

    shocked, shocked... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by diogenes on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 05:45:09 AM EST
    DNC is not exactly the most impartial source, especially absent facts.  The best way to convince people at town meetings is to actually have a specific plan and sell it to them, as opposed to the various versions of various congressional plans, none of which are Obama's, which people talk about.  When there are many plans floating around then people assume the worst...and who can blame them?

    No you don't . you could watch Rachael Maddow (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by DFLer on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 05:57:44 AM EST

    The Recess Rally website, which she analyses. should a list of political and lobbying/thinktank entities sponsoring the effort, including David Koch.


    If the DNC had so spoken (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 05:50:12 AM EST
    about similar behavior at caucuses last year, it would have more credibility in denouncing it now.

    Or another way to put it (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:45:36 AM EST
    is this, as Dark Avenger says below: "astroturfing should be called out no matter which side does it."

    Yet note the downrating.  We always can count on a laugh of the day here.


    I find it interesting that (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 06:40:06 AM EST
    now that "there's a new sheriff in town" that any dissent is not a grassroots movement, but 'hired thugs and brown shirts'.  So... were Code Pink and Cindy Shehan (sp?) protest grassroots or 'hired thugs and brown shirts' too?  Yes I know Rush & Vannety et al exhort their listeners to protest, but that doesn't mean the protesters don't have legitimate grievances.

    I'm not a Code Pink fan (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:02:19 AM EST
    but who pays Code Pink?  Who paid Cindy Sheehan?  And I was at the Crawford protest with Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan and we slept on the ground and ate granola, and people who read stuff on DailyKos brought us food they made themselves.  Cindy and Code Pink stayed there for weeks, we had one shower....one shower at Peace House.  I know the wingers had grievances, but their grievances were so small that almost every single one of them could only show up for about an hour at the most.  Then Bush tried to throw a big BBQ to attract more, but even those people couldn't pledge more than staying for about an hour with a sign.  In real life, a legitimate grievance garners legit dedication.  The people who have lost family in this horror of a healthcare system are more dedicated than a bunch of ditto heads.

    I agree with what you're saying (none / 0) (#76)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:24:52 AM EST
    and by the same token, no one has proven that the protesters (Tea party, health care, etc) are being paid by anyone.  They appear to be people with grievances voicing their displeasure.  As some have stated in their comments, these elected representatives should engage these folks in a debate (assuming the idiots in the crowd allow this to happen).  As a small business owner, I'm concerned by things I read in the health care proposals due to all the legalize; which leave some statements open to interpretation (put 4 lawyers in a room & we'll have 6 opinions/interpretations (...and yes I realize that this comment will draw the ire of DTD & Jeralyn)).  As I said in another section: I believe we need health care reform, but we don't need European health care.  I be happy to see tort reform and the correct application of insurance: i.e.; used for ER, surgeries, and to prevent financial calamity.  But not be used for every Dr's visit or prescription - that's what FSAs/HSAs can be used for.

    Tort reform? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:33:22 AM EST
    Really, because lawsuits have done this to healthcare?  Please give evidence...this is such a winger talking point.  And what is wrong with European health care?

    not in and of themselves... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:16:13 PM EST
    Tort reform is one of many things I'd like to see.  For example, the crack addict who has no prenatal care, by choice; goes to the ER; delivers a still born; and then sues.  There has to be a way to ferret out frivolous law suites to help keep malpractice insurance cost down; which should lead to more affordable health care.  Or a system where the loser pays all cost.  So if you file a frivolous law suit and loose, you & your attorney pay.  There's nothing wrong with European health care as long as you don't mind 6 months to a year for an MRI and another 6 months to a year to have your knee repaired.  Yes I know this a a winger talking point, but it doesn't mean its not true.  I have several Brit friends who come to the US for treatment/surgery and pay out of pocket because they don't want to wait.

    Most states (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    already have rules in place to limit frivolous med mal suits.  It's a mistake to think that the system has no mechanism to weed out your hypothetical crack addict suit.

    Having said that, the cost attributable to frivolous law suits is a tiny, tiny fraction of the problem.  Yes, it's convenient for the insurance company to say "sorry, we don't want to raise your rates, but all those frivolous lawsuits are forcing us to," but that doesn't mean you have to believe them.


    Some states do indeed (none / 0) (#94)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:40:53 PM EST
    have mechanisms, but not all.  Also, in the current system, where the plaintiff or their lawyer (and most of the lawyers know when they are filing a frivolous lawsuit) are not held accountable, it is more beneficial (many times) for the insurance company to settle the case vice fight it because it cost more to fight than to pay.  To me, that's AFU.  Individually, the cost to the system may seem minor, but collectively it can become significant.  Concur that industry (insurance or other) 'facts' have to be viewed skeptically.

    Every poll (none / 0) (#98)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:56:59 PM EST
    I've seen shows that Europeans, and all other modern countries, prefer their system to ours by something like 80%. To find an exception, or a unique case, to divert attention from the overwhelming majority who are happy with their universal health care serves no useful purpose.

    You remember the auto company's campaign years ago to shoot down seat belt legislation? A fictional story was planted, about a driver who got into an accident, and then burned to death because they couldn't get out of their due to a jammed seat belt.

    Same crap, different date.


    Polls...statistics...and lies (none / 0) (#101)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:06:30 PM EST
    All the same to me.  For every poll or stat someone presents, someone has a counter poll/stat.  I've seen polls that say most Europeans are unhappy with their system.  Based on what my Brit friends tell me, I'd prefer not to venture into European health care (at least the UK version).

    O.K. (none / 0) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:25:44 PM EST
    Since facts are "off the table," I suggest you take SNL's "Linda Richman's" advice and

    "Talk among yourselves."


    Too funny.... (none / 0) (#107)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:32:27 PM EST
    the point is that people, on both sides, selectively pick their "facts".  Hence, it can be difficult to determine the "facts".  And since both sides are quick to dismiss the others "facts"; you are correct each group does talk only to themselves.

    Were as in the US... (none / 0) (#106)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:26:03 PM EST
    ...the insurance company will simply deny your MRI as medically unneccesary and won't approve your ACL reconstruction surgery because you haven't tried more "conservative rehab".  

    Not at all like rationing care, just the good old profit motive.  Nothing wrong with that, right?


    Your point is taken (none / 0) (#109)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:37:11 PM EST
    as there are cases where insurance companies, especially in "experimental cases" attempt to wear an individual down by denying service/claims.  In my experience, this is not the rule.  I've owned/run a small business for 10 years and I have NEVER had an employee's been rejected.  That includes of my folks who died of liver disease.  Everything his Drs did was covered by insurance (except the co-pays) & his family had NO issues with the provider.  Perhaps we're just lucky...perhaps there's something to be said for "Cadillac plans" (which I provide at NO cost to my employees).

    My experience is different... (none / 0) (#110)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:46:17 PM EST
    ...because I see the Company practices it up close every single day.  Entire departments and a litany of procedures designed to limit procedures and services, delay/deny claims and "control costs".

    And it is certainly not limited to "experimental cases". It's most commonly under the guise of pre-ex, COB, medical necessity, plan exclusions and rescission of coverage.    


    I hear you. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Pragmatist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:59:45 PM EST
    I know that what you describe does happen and this is one area where the reform needs to occur.  Personally, I would prefer that the govt do this through laws, rules, policies, and not run the program itself.  Because, from my perspective, every (ok, almost every) program the govt touches becomes a bureaucratic hydra which becomes a "self licking ice cream cone".

    This waiting thing is bullsnot (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:38:35 PM EST
    As if Americans never wait the exact same way for surgeries that are not life threatening.  Americans wait just as much.  My father waited two months for a knee replacement. Two months ago our daughter ended up waiting for 5 days after her first surgery was scheduled for what was considered an emergency nose surgery because our insurer was fighting about what doctor could treat her.  And they approved and sent her to the first doctor before they decided to not send her to the first doctor so whatever.  Your examples are essentially baloney based on my real life.

    Last year (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:53:50 PM EST
    I had a same-day MRI (take THAT, Canadians!)... and then had to wait 4 months for an appointment with the knee specialist to interpret my MRI.  So it goes.

    Steve, as I stated to MT (none / 0) (#139)
    by Pragmatist on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:16:20 AM EST
    yes, we have to wait for many things.  But, we have options.  You didn't have to wait 4 months, you could have sought out another Dr - unless your insurance is very restrictive or unless you decided that you would wait for that Dr. because he was the 'best'/highly recommended.  I think we all want the same thing - access to affordable health care.  Personally, as with all things, I want to keep govt involvement to a minimum due to the govt's tendency to turn a focused program into an uncontrolled hydra.

    The government runs Medicare just fine (5.00 / 0) (#143)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:21:31 AM EST
    This excuse about government has been thrown about in every argument the insurance companies make in an attempt to protect what they haven't fully killed off yet of their cash cow, which is the health of the American people.

    Not arguing that people have to wait.... (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by Pragmatist on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:18:10 AM EST
     (Sorry -- posted this under Steve's comment vice yours)

    in a way you make my point -- Tricare is a govt program (run through contractors).  They limit your choices, unless you want to see a non participating provider, and pay out of pocket.  Regarding waiting; it's like anything else - if you go to "the best' Dr (auto mechanic, etc), you have accommodate their schedule via appointment.  If you don't like the fact that they are busy, you can always seek out another Dr either through your plan or find an out of network provider (and pay out of pocket).  We have to wait to most things, but at least we have options.  From what my Brit friends tell me their option is to wait or come to the U.S.  As I previously stated, I want the govt to create the environment not run the program as govt run programs are not models of efficiency.


    Your comment is ridiculous (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:18:39 AM EST
    My insurer is actually a private insurer and it is Humana at this time.  They are who currently restricts me.  The government is who tries to fix certain situations that Humana puts the family in because you can't send someones parent into a war zone when the family is fighting an insurance company trying to get a family member medical treatment and someone's health hangs in the balance.  It messes up a soldiers ability to focus on the job they are doing.

    MT, I'm not the enemy here... (none / 0) (#144)
    by Pragmatist on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:40:28 AM EST
    My time in the military is long past & I was single.  I didn't have to 'suffer' with military medicine after bootcamp and A school as our team had a dive doc assigned.  So..., other than what my team mates told me, I have no real knowledge of Tricare.  My understanding of Tricare is that it is a govt run/sponsored program.  Insurance companies competitively bid on the contract the govt awards based on some criteria - my assumption is that the lowest bidder is the primary criteria.  The insurance company runs the day-to-day w/ govt oversight.  I FULLY concur w/ your comment that a deployed military member can NOT fully focus on the mission if they are worried about a family members medical situation.  Regarding what's denied/accepted, I assume, the guidelines had to be agreed upon by the contractor & govt and that the govt has the final approval/denial authority.  It's a shame (criminal) if the insurer is denying necessary services.  From what others are saying this also happens with non Tricare insurers too.  Again, I have not experienced this as my provider has never denied any claims by any of my employees. I wish all policies work like my company's.  And, this is where I want the govt involved: set the rules, laws, policies, and enforce them.  I don't want the govt running the program itself as my fear is that will run like social security or the IRS.

    But insurers aren't just denying (5.00 / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:37:55 AM EST
    people under Tricare....they are denying everyone.  I have extra ammo in that when something needs done there is apparently a different slush fund some place that covers that.  Denying services is part of the game of making insurance profitable and everyone is getting denials, not just me with my Tricare.

    Correct... (none / 0) (#147)
    by Pragmatist on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:47:15 AM EST
    that's what people are saying.  Fortunately, for me, I've never experienced this.  Perhaps I'm the 'exception to the rule'.  Hence, I want to see solid rules, regulations, laws, and enforcement; but not govt run as (as I've been saying) my fear is another "self licking ice cream cone"hydra that doesn't deliver what it promises.  I understand how those who have to deal w insurance bureaucracies have a very different perspective.  But... I believe, in most circumstances, less govt is better. I hope your daughter is recovering and that she receives/received all the treatment she requires.

    So far so good (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:53:39 AM EST
    with her schnoz, she is pregnant though as well right now and while having to wait for everything to be settled she hardly slept because she could not breathe through her nose and was constantly waking up because of that all night long.  It was miserable but she survived.

    Not arguing that people have to wait.... (none / 0) (#138)
    by Pragmatist on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:08:33 AM EST
    in a way you make my point -- Tricare is a govt program (run through contractors).  They limit your choices, unless you want to see a non participating provider, and pay out of pocket.  Regarding waiting; it's like anything else - if you go to "the best' Dr (auto mechanic, etc), you have accommodate their schedule via appointment.  If you don't like the fact that they are busy, you can always seek out another Dr either through your plan or find an out of network provider (and pay out of pocket).  We have to wait to most things, but at least we have options.  From what my Brit friends tell me their option is to wait or come to the U.S.  As I previously stated, I want the govt to create the environment not run the program as govt run programs are not models of efficiency.

    I no longer view the DNC as the (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:32:18 AM EST
    arbiter of fairness or honesty, so I take what they say with more than a few grains of salt.

    The focus now is not on health, and not on care, but on insurance; at least the DNC managed to get that part right.  

    Is this what reform looks like?

    Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.

    Drug industry lobbyists reacted with alarm this week to a House health care overhaul measure that would allow the government to negotiate drug prices and demand additional rebates from drug manufacturers.

    In response, the industry successfully demanded that the White House explicitly acknowledge for the first time that it had committed to protect drug makers from bearing further costs in the overhaul. The Obama administration had never spelled out the details of the agreement.

    "We were assured: `We need somebody to come in first. If you come in first, you will have a rock-solid deal,' " Billy Tauzin, the former Republican House member from Louisiana who now leads the pharmaceutical trade group, said Wednesday. "Who is ever going to go into a deal with the White House again if they don't keep their word? You are just going to duke it out instead."

    A deputy White House chief of staff, Jim Messina, confirmed Mr. Tauzin's account of the deal in an e-mail message on Wednesday night.

    "The president encouraged this approach," Mr. Messina wrote. "He wanted to bring all the parties to the table to discuss health insurance reform."

    Reform, my a$$; this is the Big Bamboozle.  And while it's true that a lot of these protests may be astro-turfed, paid-for-by-interest-groups events, what the DNC, with the help of the media, is managing to do - no doubt at the president's bidding - is ensure that ANY protest will be characterized as illegitimate.  So, if I, angry about the constant betrayals by Obama and the Congress in favor of insurance and pharmaceutical interests, decided to show up at a town hall to protest that, I would simply be considered one of those crazy, tea-bagging, paid-for-by-Republicans wingnuts, instead of someone with a legitimate and credible concern.


    Makes me glad I decided not to send any more money to the DNC.

    It is okay to be suspicious (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:18:38 AM EST
    I don't think the DNC has done much to earn anyone's trust and Obama hasn't done anything to cause any of us to believe he is going to fight for us or put human lives above big business.  For the record though Anne, this is how big business uses wingers to get what big business wants. Sadly the Republican party has become so skewed that they don't even have a platform to build anything grassroots on.  The corporations use them though by feeding them a continual conversation full of knee jerks.

    Many non-corporations are behind (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:31:06 AM EST
    astroturfing, too.  Look up the definition; "political interests" can be behind it, too.

    And unions, as now the White House is organizing unions to astroturf back.  Is that the answer, for the Dems to also resort to astroturfing -- again?  


    That's not what I'm saying (none / 0) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:35:11 AM EST
    And I'm speaking completely in NOW terms.  I'm not ever going to stop seeking the source of things and that will always shift.  But for wingers right now...the corporations use them and they have lost touch with humanity.  And the Unions lost power when they did the same.

    So by that reasoning (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:09:59 AM EST
    we agree that the unions could lose their power with this, if they are seen by some members as being out of touch on this.  That's my concern -- further weakening of unions, which always is a corporate aim (and both parties, of course, are beholden to the big corporations now).

    Btw, it's said that the thing we need is for everyone to have the health plan that Congress has.  I wonder if another way to put it is for everyone to have the health plan that the military has?


    My father was unionized for (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:21:10 AM EST
    many years, based on my childhood experiences of union members discussing real life around each other's kitchen tables I would have to answer yes.  If the unions become part of strong arm tactics that bring us healthcare reform with no public option you friggin bet it will.  People will once again view the unions as a good ole boys network working out of smoke filled back rooms willfully striking down the common man.  The way everybody is jockeying right now I think we could see lots of different emperors unaware that they have no clothes.

    And about the military health care (none / 0) (#78)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:01:21 PM EST
    and coverage, is it good?  (I.e., rest of the question.)

    Btw, I come from a union family, too -- Teamsters, even (and Molly Maguires before that:-).  So it means a lot to me to finally have the right to unionize.  And so I worry about their use and abuse.


    With Tricare we get coverage (none / 0) (#113)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:23:17 PM EST
    but it can be very hard to find doctors who take Tricare.  We get denials too just like everyone else being played by the insurance companies.  Tricare is split up and underwritten by four different insurers according to whatever region you are currently stationed in.  Some of the hidden items at play in the Tricare system though that I have uncovered are the use of patient advocates who seem to be able to authorize payment from some different source when the underwriters refuse or deny something.  Now, in order to get that I have to throw a fit in a patient advocate office and then usually magically coverage and approvals are found.  It wasn't until we went through this broken nose situation though with our daughter that we discovered that funds can come from two separate areas to pay our medical bills.  You can't deploy someone though who has a family in the middle of a healthcare crisis so I have extra pull.  Should I though?  It seems sort of disgusting to me.  And the system still only fully feeds the demanding animals.  Evans Army Hospital employed a very special woman who oversaw all the special needs children cases and worked every single day to shut down various requests while trying to avoid any legal hassles that could crop up.  I'm not sure who she was working for.....the underwriters or the keepers of the funds who pay for what the underwriters won't pay for or both.  After numerous angry angry angry letters sent to the hospital commander though about various actions preformed by this woman by many many of us parents of special needs children we finally got it....she was doing what she was being paid to do.  I don't know how she slept at night.

    There is a difference (none / 0) (#124)
    by AlkalineDave on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 05:02:13 PM EST
    between Tricare Prime and Standard.  Those of us who have to see a military doctor (especially us enlisted) can tell you plenty of horror stories.  I've got my own personally.

    I assume you have seen (none / 0) (#81)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    the exchange between Bill Kristol and Jon Stewart on that point.

    I can find you a link if you haven't.


    The one where... (none / 0) (#82)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:13:02 PM EST
    ...Bill "Always wrong" Kristol says that we proles aren't good enough to have TriCare, but admits that it is a government run program that works well?

    It is very hard for me to watch BC, 'cause I just want to wipe that smug grin off of his evil face.  


    I haven't seen it (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:23:59 PM EST
    I'll look for a link

    Just for you (none / 0) (#116)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:31:41 PM EST
    Whew, that was stomach churning for me (none / 0) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:53:04 PM EST
    The whole soldier worship thing really really needs to go away.  My husband doesn't want to do anything else other than be a soldier.  The whole force is volunteer, so it grosses me out to even hear Stewart reservedly agree with Kristol that soldiers deserve better healthcare than anyone else.  Soldier worship feeds so many other forms of social dysfunction and the best person I ever heard take on someone insisting that as a soldier he needed to be worshipped was an Air Force Chaplain who had also served in Vietnam.  I got to witness him tell a soldier that he could just drop the sacrifice crap.  His wife stayed home and sweated every detail and pulled her hair out dealing with his teenagers all by herself and cleaning toilets while he played the role of a man's man.  The Chaplain also told the soldier that he used to love being on a ship on the ocean holding a steaming cup of coffee watching the sun come up and smiling to himself that his kids were already tearing the house up and his wife was running after them.  I loved that Chaplain!

    Congress has private insurance that (none / 0) (#96)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:46:26 PM EST
    is subsidized, heavily, by the government, so having what they have isn't accomplishing anything, is it?

    Sure, they have more plans to choose from, and I'm assuming that because it is employer-based, no one is denied coverage and there are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, but that's true of most all group insurance offered by employers.

    Honestly, this whole campaign for reform has taken clusterf**ery to new levels, even as it gets farther away from real reform, and seems to be bringing us back to where we started. with the only real benefit accruing to - what a shock - the insurance industry.


    Good grief (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:26:35 AM EST
    Look at the videos. These aren't people being paid...

    No, the people being paid are the ones (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:09:17 AM EST
    involved with organizing the protests.

    My concern is that the DNC is setting up to de-legitimize ANYONE who protests what he and the Congress are proposing to do to the health system; it's a familiar tactic from the Obama playbook whenever things get tight, and he hasn't been able to make things happen just by dropping rhetorical pearls upon the masses - he just mows down anyone who gets in his way, and he doesn't much care how it happens.

    And he doesn't care whether the protests are from wingnuts or fellow Democrats: it has to stop.  

    Obama, of all people, ought not to be too critical of astroturfing, given his association with David Axelrod, who used it to great effect to help get Obama elected.


    And wh0 are these people and (none / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:04:25 PM EST
    who do they work for??

    Read where one in CT took in $5000 last year and has a following of 8 in Twitter..

    What a Goliath he is..



    Check the shoes. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:43:54 PM EST
    They won't be there any longer than they (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:31:49 AM EST
    have to be then for appearances sake.  Not very many of them if any at all.  They are only there for the adrenaline jolt, not the good fight.  If they aren't getting paid somehow they are at best only good for one showing unless something else stirs the debate up a bit more for them.

    Yeah, you could too (none / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:05:04 PM EST
    if you weren't so in the tank for Obama.

    Ms. TL: (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:13:20 AM EST
    Are they protesting the clinic or the Politicians that are using the clinic as a political backdrop in order to garner sympathy?  Frankly I know you know the answer and to say:

    How these sheeples can protest a medical clinic that provides free care to the homeless and disadvantaged is beyond me. They are so easily persuaded, eager to follow the crowd and incapable of realizing they are being fleeced by special interest groups.

    Is something I would expect from some other type of "progressive".  A little disappointed.  

    The Democrats hate this (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:53:43 AM EST
    but love caucuses, the embodiment of astroturfing mobs.

    Should I laugh or cry?

    I like to pick laugh (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    The Medicare folks are pi$$ed though and rightfully so.  I wonder if they aren't going to end up saving us from Obama's special brand of mediocre halfarse solutions?  My largest concern this morning is the DNC trying to throw the protesters ticked off about cutting Medicare in with Wingnuts and calling them the same deal.  They aren't even close!

    IRONY squared... (none / 0) (#99)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:59:39 PM EST
    Astroturfing, is just like everything else in the bag of dirty political tricks: It's Bad When They Do It; but It's Different When Obama Does It. TeresaInSnow2 asks:

    Should I laugh or cry?

    No need to choose. It's so ironic you can laugh until you cry.


    I watch the Steny Hoyer town hall. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 11:19:01 AM EST
    Those people didn't seem to be all that organized or any kind of corporate shills, but at the same time, none of them were at all interested in dialog. Every time Hoyer opened his mouth they would just shout "lies, lies." It's like the birthers, no matter what evidence you give them, it's all lies. The Bush administration did the same thing in the run up before invading Iraq. No matter what Iraq, no matter what information was given to Bush, it was all lies.  Trying to converse with these people is like trying to teach a pig to dance. It only wastes your time and it really annoys the pig.

    It only annoys them, and the pig (none / 0) (#92)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:35:19 PM EST
    if you try to lead.

    Now, if you will listen to what they say...even if it is not well put in a Powerpoint overhead..you will come to understand what they want.

    Sales 101. Shut and let the customer talk.


    You don't seem to get it. (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:26:48 PM EST
    They're not saying ANYTHING. Just screeching "lies, lies!" when anyone tries to speak. That's not discourse.

    The medium is the message (none / 0) (#128)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:14:43 PM EST
    Listen to them. They are saying the plan sucks and the Rep doesn't know what they are talking about.

    And no one ever said democracy was pretty,,,


    They have no idea (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:17:54 AM EST
    what the rep knows or doesn't know because they aren't listening.  they are there to shout and disrupt and have no intention of having a civil discourse or presenting opposing ideas.  They are there to cause a scene.

    Hmmmm... I suppose you have never heard (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:48:06 PM EST
    of ThinkProgress, CodePink, DNC, KOS, etc. and etc..

    Plus there never was any organization behind the anti-war demonstrations either for Iraq or Vietnam..

    Democracy includes like minded people organizing and meeting and demonstrating...

    Now, go run off another 10000 words proving that you hate democracy,...


    Feingold's approach at his Listening Sessions (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:49:48 PM EST
    He calls on them first, gets 'em a mike. thanks 'em for 'your thoughtful question,' and answers it.

    Then, he can 'you've had your turn.'

    He usually saves my question for last.


    Works with a crowd that is (none / 0) (#104)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:16:54 PM EST
    awed and on your side to start with. If not, listen to the yelling. You can learn a lot that way.

    I am waiting for (2.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:36:10 AM EST
    any dissent of President Obama's plans equal racism rants.  Stay tuned, the summer is not over yet.

    It is amazing to me (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Slado on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:26:23 AM EST
    how one election can so switch the sides of opinion and hypocrisy.

    Republicans protesting a sitting president is not grass roots patriotic protest but corporate paid rabble rousing.

    The speaker is now saying protesters are branding "swastikas".

    When will these dems learn that when you're the party in power you are held to a higher standard.  The tactics that worked when you where in the minority or on the campaign trail no longer apply.   The burden of proof is on the democrats.   They are the "man".  They are the one we should be scared of.   Just as they got to take pop shots at Bush and Co. during his term republicans and their cronies now get to take shots at Obama and Pelosi and Reid.  

    Grow up. Govern.  Be the bigger man or women.  Obama through Gibbs and Pelosi and Reid cannot whine and complain about angry protesters.  It makes them look like petty politicians who can't handle the responsibilities that come with being in charge.  


    You nailed it. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:59:18 AM EST
    It makes them look like petty politicians who can't handle the responsibilities that come with being in charge.

    That's because they are petty politicians who can't handle the responsibilities that come with being in charge.


    astroturfing (none / 0) (#44)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:12:08 AM EST

    ...astroturfing should be called out no matter which side does it.

    Do you include blogs that parrot white house talking points?


    Jeff Gannon? (2.00 / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:27:32 AM EST

    you and jeff (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:42:04 AM EST

    good buddies there jim? hey, just asking.

    the "grassroots activists", bussed in from out of town to "protest" at local congressperson's townhall meetings aren't real people, they're pod people, brought in specifically to disrupt, nothing else. they bring nothing to the table but white noise, not constructive criticism or even legitimate questions.

    so no, i don't consider them "real" people, just rubes and paid flacks of the republicans and insurance companies. prove me wrong.

    single-payor is the only economically viable method for covering everyone. push congress and the administration for that.


    How about some proof?? (none / 0) (#85)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:20:25 PM EST
    Of these claims. I'd like to see it.

    And I'm for SP also but Obama won't do it because he will have to tax his base to do it...

    It has been my observation that people always want something when it is free....


    Just take a look (none / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:22:40 PM EST
    at all the fish swimming in Obama's tank if you want "questionable" people..

    LOL ... I swear I'd have to invent you if you didn't exist!


    DA writes (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:24:12 PM EST
    Good spelling on this post,

    You know they don't hvae mcuh to say whne they attack the spelilng...



    And what does that (2.00 / 0) (#129)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:15:52 PM EST
    have to with Obama's WH starting an enemies list??

    Why else would they want it?? (2.00 / 0) (#133)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:44:06 PM EST
    Surely you don't believe the BS about fish information.

    2 is a bit off the mark ... (none / 0) (#2)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:29:14 PM EST
    ... people, lots of them, are afraid because they are close to the edge and fear that any change at all will push them over.  When you say to them you are going to make things better and the middle class is not going to pay for it, they don't believe it.  It's hard to blame them.  This is the fertile soil in which frightening lies take hold.  

    4 on the other hand is dead on.  I was reading some analysis of recent polling on health care issue at Pollster.  Opinion is in flux, but trending negative.  When people are given more info about what a health care bill would include, it shifts opinion from disapproval to approval - not by huge margins, but by enough.  Prevent information from getting out and health insurance reform is doomed.  I hope these brownshirt tactics do not work, but I'm pessimistic at this point.  

    Brown shirt tactics (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 11:47:55 PM EST
    is exactly right.  It's really frightening to see some of these YouTube videos.

    The biggest problem, seems to me, in public education on this whole subject is that there is no plan yet.  There are various versions, all of which change almost daily.  Obama is heavily criticized by many (including here) for not explaining clearly how this is going to work, but he couldn't if he wanted to because nobody knows how this is all going to come out in the wash.

    And of course, into that vacuum of information comes the right wing with its interpretation.  The Dems can't explain what they're doing ecause they don't have the details nailed down yet, so the right wing is doing it for them.

    If nothing else, this strikes me as a major, major flaw in Obama's community organizing approach of setting broad goals and letting Congress work out the details.  It keeps being called "Obama's plan," but there is no single plan yet, his or anyone else's.

    The Democrats are still utterly clueless about the dynamics of how an information/propaganda war works.

    I'm tempted to add "We're doomed!"


    Absolutely dead on (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:06:58 AM EST

    The fault lies at the top.  On a critical issue like this the White House should have submitted its own detailed proposal.

    As you said, "no ones plan."  It really amuses me when it's called Obama's plan.  He never submitted a plan.  Submission of a plan is so fundamental.  Definition has been handed to the right and it should be obvious.

    Weak President, lack of leadership; call it whatever it all comes down to the same thing.

    It makes me wonder if there was ever a real conviction for reform.


    I said on another thread (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:19:13 AM EST
    that I think Obama believes strongly -- and he might be right, actually, despite your and my disdain -- that a reform achieved in a screaming, kicking, head-bashing go-to-the-mattresses fight you barely win won't hold and will outright cancel any hope of getting cooperation on other issues.

    I could amateur-psychoanalyze why he believes that, but I've become convinced he is totally committed to the idea.

    I do actually believe he's committed to reform, but I think he's aiming for modest reform on a wide range of issues from foreign policy to economic policy to environmental, health care, you name it, and he doesn't believe that taking them on one by one is a productive way to go.  I think he thinks it's important to shift the whole paradigm just slightly to the left of where it's been for the last X years, not win one or two battles on one or two major issues.

    I suspect he would say, if pinned down, that it's a matter of getting a foot in the door on a lot of different things, thus paving the way to pry it open further somewhere down the road.

    I don't know if that's wise or incredibly bone-headed.  It's an alien way of thinking about U.S. politics and governance, which I would guess is one reason it appeals to him.

    It doesn't appeal much to me, but what does intrigue me a lot is the idea of somebody thinking long-range and incredibly broadly, something I don't think we've had in this country in my lifetime.

    It's one hell of a gamble with our immediate wellbeing, I gotta say.  Maybe I'm just short-sighted and it will pay off big-time in the end.  Or maybe we're just doomed.


    I generally agree (none / 0) (#11)
    by cal1942 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:40:40 AM EST
    but you're probably more charitable than I am.  I believe its just plain bone-headed.

    He may believe that he's thinking long range and broadly and if that's the case he'll accomplish nothing.

    Beyond process I believe that Obama is emersed in neo-Liberal thought.  His White House staff is loaded with neo-libs.  With a chance to restructure the finance industry (our biggest problem IMO) he took a pass.  On the issue of health care reform he opted for tepid reform.  All neo-lib style.


    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by WS on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 07:51:31 AM EST
    wanted to avoid the Clinton health care strategy of having one plan sent to Congress to be ratified (or not ratified as it turned out).  

    I do think there should be middle ground between the Clintons' "one plan to Congress" and "Obama's let Congress do it" strategy because we've seen the effects of each.    


    Keep it simple (none / 0) (#52)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:30:03 AM EST
    It's a cop-out, but I'll quote Krugman anyway:

    The essence is really quite simple: regulation of insurers, so that they can't cherry-pick only the healthy, and subsidies, so that all Americans can afford insurance.


    But what it means for the individual will be that insurers can't reject you, and if your income is relatively low, the government will help pay your premiums.

    Throw in a public option, and I think we've got a winner.  Yeah, it's mild, but it's necessary.

    It's not that tough - yet The Great Orator has lost control of what should be a very simple message.  I don't get it.  


    It worries me (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:44:01 AM EST
    Not that these protests are organized (although I think they clearly are) but that they could very easily spread into being dangerous.  Indeed, some are right on the edge now.

    When you have very angry, worried people being told that government is going to make you sick, keep you from doctors, tell you how you have to die... that's lighting a fuse and at some point it will explode.  

    Shades of 1995.


    It will be (none / 0) (#12)
    by JamesTX on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:06:22 AM EST
    interesting to see if this works. Considering Markos Moulitsas's hypothesis about how the politics of the future belongs to people with one hand on the keyboard and the other on their credit card. If this kind of public protest actually derails reform, we might want to reconsider the notion that public protest is an ineffective artifact associated with people who have wrinkles -- along with eight track tapes and VHS cassettes (I had a reel-to-reel!).

    so bring them up on the stage and debate them (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:47:27 AM EST
    am i to assume that the "yellers" know more than the reps relative to the issues?  Better to keep your mouth shut and look the fool than to open and confirm as the old proverb tells us.

    Well, to be fair, (none / 0) (#31)
    by dk on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:53:52 AM EST
    I don't think these Congressional town halls are really about debating the issues.  If that were the case, they would not have shut out single payer advocates.

    Ha. You must have been reading (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:55:09 AM EST
    accounts of Rep. Kagen's town hall.  One would think that the physician in the House would be able to competently address questions on the bill to which he has promised his vote.

    But he lost that seat already, anyway.  It just will take until the next election to certify it.  


    What the people know (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:55:14 AM EST
    has nothing to do with anything. We elect "Representatives," not demi-Gods and royalty.

    As you well know the House is supposed to represent the will of the people. That's why they are elected every two years.


    agree (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:16:54 AM EST
    so if there is a disruptive chap or chapette in the group, bring them into the discussion.  If they are well versed on the topic it gives the attendees a good show, if they are an *ss, it gives the pol a leg up.  Seems to me that the yelling is working.....

    The problem is that the Representatives (2.00 / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:38:51 AM EST
    in most cases, don't know what they are talking about. Plus they are clearly use to adoring party members and or staffers hanging on to their every word.

    However, the facts are that democracy is working here, in spite of the Left's fear of it. These elected men and women are clearly being told that the people do not like the plan that Obama is pushing... and who can blame them? It rations care costs trillions and still doesn't cover everybody.

    Let them introduce a true NHC based on the Medicare model, explain the costs and let's have a debate... NHC would win in a walk.


    democracy (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:59:47 AM EST
    allows for the public debate and i have no issue with the yelling, if the rep wants to shut the person up ask them to come on stage and debate the issue.  If the rep is clueless it will run on the local evening news, if the yeller is clueless the people in the forum will make that decision.  Either way democracy will work.  Removing them or calling them wingers does nothing for the debate.  

    As for the merits of the plan and who is covered I agree it is not the plan i had hoped for and therefore want to see some "debate" on the matter from the people not pols getting funded by corporations........


    The "debate" (2.00 / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:37:25 AM EST
    is actually the people yelling.

    Remember that many people are not articulate and freeze up when a mike is stuck in their face. That doesn't mean they don't vote and don't have a right to have their opinion heard.

    And the typical Congressperson doesn't know what's in the plan and the people have figured that out.

    And Obama is afraid that if he admits his plan will cost those already paying taxes like heck while giving another entitlement to his base the plan won't pass. He is hoisted on his on deviousness.


    come on (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 02:12:18 PM EST
    then yell your questions, civil disobedience is ok, not allowing other forum participants to hear the slick willie speaking isn't democracy its Limbaughism.  

    I don't care if they have been spoon fed info or not, nor do i care if they yell their questions and voice their frustration.  But democracy also requires equity and for the other attendees (not the rep) it strikes me as denial of their right to hear a pol spin to them.


    Then all those (none / 0) (#125)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:08:24 PM EST
    shout downs by the anti-war Left is bad according to you??

    You can't win every pot in poker and in political meetings sometimes you will get shouted down. But fixing the game isn't a solution, it is called "dictatorship."

    Let'em yell I say.


    I say we have... (none / 0) (#130)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:49:44 PM EST
    no right to stop anybody from yelling, and that right damn may well kill us all one day, but whaddya gonna do?  One can only hope a significant majority of us wanna talk instead of yell...for to deny the right to yell and scream may well kill us all one day sooner, and ya err on the side of liberty, as clusterf*ckish as it is.

    Right on, bro! (2.00 / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:50:54 PM EST
    But the Left now wants to fix the game since the other players are winning.

    Hey, may be in NYC in Oct... can you turn me on to a game??


    Probably.... (none / 0) (#141)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 08:20:13 AM EST
    I know one decent spot in Manhattan now...lets see if its still running come Oct...John Law or Jack Stick-Up could bang down the door at anytime:)

    The people have the right to yell (none / 0) (#89)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    whatever they want to.

    Tell your people to get in line if they want to compete....bring their own spoons.

    You know, your love of dictatorships is showing.



    This isn't "fire in a crowded theater" (2.00 / 0) (#103)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 01:14:29 PM EST
    and you know it.

    Looks to me, and a slim majority of Americans that your side can't make their case.

    Too bad so sad. That's how democracy works...

    Of course you want a secularocracy run by those who consider themselves the "elites."


    Looks like no one reads (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 08:52:42 AM EST
    Huffington Post or Frank Schaeffer.

    Is this former lifelong Republican, now an avid Obama supporter, (I quit the Republican Party notwithstanding my background as a former religious right leader, as have all sane Americans after the Republicans became the party of hate, fear, myth, needless war...

    It's time for a summer of rage, the kind of thing the French are good at. Where are the burning tractor-loads of dung clogging the streets of Washington? It's time to build a few barricades, hurl a few paving stones and generally shut this country down until our health care system is genuinely reformed and that means that the insurance companies lose and we win. If the Democrats we elected can't do better than to effectively cave to the do-nothing, hate-America Republicans and the sell-your-mother insurance industry who will act?


    And the Demos are worried about some citizens protesting at Town Hall Meetings?

    What happened to "Speak truth to power?"

    heh (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:41:01 AM EST
    Frank's point was shutting down the government and throwing stones.... I mean, that is what he said.

    Frank wrote what he wrote (none / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:29:46 AM EST
    and de Nile is a river in Egypt...


    You can't run and you can't hide.


    Frank wrote what he wrote (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:27:38 PM EST
    And your attempt to de Nile it is risible..



    I figured as much (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:05:20 AM EST
    Will they also be bringing their own professional camera crew who will then offer the networks some free footage to "use" for their news casts?

    Sure. That way, the teevee types (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:34:03 AM EST
    get video handed to them by both sides, the networks' work done for them by both sides.

    After all, the teevee reporters will be too busy with makeup and hairspray.


    Yeah... and then (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:30:45 AM EST
    the black helicopters will fly the video to Fox News...



    Well I can see that Jim's been to a lot (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    of protests lately :)

    As I recall (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 03:01:47 PM EST
    a couple of years ago it was: free speech is all well and good, but there's a war on.

    hmmm I seem to recall something like that too (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 03:14:16 PM EST
    Water's edge and all that stuff... (none / 0) (#126)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:11:30 PM EST
    but show me an example where I said the government should restrict your free speech.  My point was a responsible person wouldn't give aid to the enemy by attacking the troops....

    Nope (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 12:29:14 PM EST
    My Rep is too big a coward to have a Town Hall meeting....

    Do I need to add that he's a Demo?



    A democratically elected (5.00 / 0) (#123)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 03:30:04 PM EST

    Guess he better get goin' organizing meetins' though, before you and the rest of the minority mob start burning books and crosses on his lawn.


    Just can't (none / 0) (#127)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:12:46 PM EST
    help showing how bigoted and uninformed you really are, eh?

    Do the Democrats really want (none / 0) (#64)
    by oldpro on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:46:22 AM EST
    reform?  I just don't see it.  Dem congresscritters are home bragging about their House bill being passed and lamely explaining away Obama's insistence on bipartisanship.  To get it, he will ditch any real public option.  Grassley insists on it.  The Rs might settle for a co-op plan ie. Group Health and my bet is that's where they'll end up.