Mandates Minus PO = Dem Political Suicide


A memo making the rounds on Capitol Hill makes the case that the current construct of the Senate Finance Committee's legislation - which includes an individual mandate but no public option - will be resoundingly opposed by the American public.

"Nationally," the memo reads, "voters oppose a mandate to purchase private insurance by 64% to 34% but support a mandate with a choice of private or public insurance by 60% to 37%... Each [survey] found that likely 2010 voters oppose 'requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a private health insurance plan' but support 'requiring everyone to buy and be covered by a health insurance plan with a choice between a public option and private insurance plans.'"

No problem. They can all get jobs as lobbyists when they are voted out.

Speaking for me only

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    Really? (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:03:26 AM EST
    They need a memo to tell them that?  If they can't figure that out without a memo, then they are probably too stupid to have the jobs in the first place and probably should be voted out.

    You really have to wonder (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:24:59 PM EST
    I am right now, at this very moment, sitting 6 blocks away from where these clowns work.  They could walk down the street (heck, I need the exercise - I'll walk there) and I could tell them that, if they'd listen.  But someone actually had to take the time to do the research and compose a memo to tell them.

    Let's face it. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:53:32 PM EST
    Most of these people really aren't that bright.

    Combine that with a serious deficit in leadership in both the White House and Congress and it is positively toxic.

    I've gotten to the point where I am not so sure that I want them to pass anything at all unless it is simply and extension of Medicare for all because based on their "work product" so far, the chances that anything they create from scratch is a complete mess just seem too damn high to risk allowing them to go forward.

    The other weird thing about this era is that while one always sort of expects foolishness from the House, the norm used to be that the Senate was a bit more sensible.  Right now the House is looking generally very sensible and the Senate looks like a bunch of loons.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:56:34 PM EST
    Even Joe Biden agrees that sometimes Dems aren't that bright:

    Joe Biden has campaigned for a lot of Democrats during his lifetime in politics -- including a few who are "turkeys," the vice president joked at a Thursday night fundraiser in Virginia.

    Attending the fundraising event on behalf of three Democratic House members from Virginia -- Reps. Glenn Nye, Gerry Connolly and Tom Perriello -- at the home of former Virginia Sen. Chuck Robb, an off-script Biden suggested competence doesn't stretch across the entire Democratic Party.

    "These guys are smart, "Biden said of the three Virginia congressmen. "Some of the guys Chuck [Robb] and I have campaigned for are turkeys. Not all Democrats are created equal, while most Republicans are."

    Biden went on to say the candidates are "independent minded" and "damn competent," and all share the party's core principles of health care and energy reform.

    Nye and Perriello, hailing from the more conservative regions of the once solidly Republican-voting state, are expected to face especially difficult re-election races.

    The news paper report I read (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:02:45 PM EST
    in the SF Chronicle a few days ago (sorry I can't be more specific) said that those 19-20 somethings who are probably healthy and currently do not have health insurance will get the public option. Anyone who has insurance now will not be allowed the public option. There were a few more stipulations, and so it didn't sound robust to me.  It sounded downright cowardly.

    There are a number of versions of (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:03:41 PM EST
    the so-called Public Option.  Obama's covers no more than 10 million people - it is designed to exclude better than 97% of the population.  Problem on two fronts - one most people won't be able to benefit and "get happy" about it - and two a program that small does nothing to drive the market to reductions in overall healthcare costs.  It is basically a scam imo.

    We really need to start DEMANDING (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:08:17 PM EST
    Medicare for all. We won't get it, but we need to get that demand out there and make it every bit as loud as or louder than the teabaggers' insane ranting. Maybe then we'll get a decent public option, at least.

    If it isn't open to all... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Romberry on Sat Sep 26, 2009 at 02:37:29 AM EST
    ...and isn't robust (read "competitive with coverage afforded under Medicare"), then it isn't a public option.

    The public option must be open to everyone who chooses, regardless of whether they have existing coverage or not. We can't turn it into a high risk pool (like we have for state auto liability insurance.) If it's to be an alternative choice (which is sort of the definition of option) and is to be a program that private insurers have to compete against, the extremely limited (almost closed) program Obama is talking about isn't gonna cut it.


    Yes, one would hope they translate (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:16:40 AM EST
    such a bill being "resoundingly opposed" to mean that the people will be resoundingly opposed, too, the next time that the American public has a chance at them.

    The two choices (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:08:19 PM EST
    Too stupid or too greedy/crooked are typically the two choices when it comes to politicicans.

    Okay, we also have all of the above.


    Or too deafened by the avalanche of (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:10:29 AM EST
    $$ from big pharma and health insurance lobbyists to hear the American public, including their own constituents.

    This Congress has me rethinking term limits (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:03:50 PM EST
    the rules of seniority, the obsession with reelection and need for support from corporate interests, and the insularity of DC is a toxic stew.

    The thing is that I've been thinking (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:23:11 PM EST
    a lot about the fact that Obama is term limited and with the way these bills are written nothing that is enacted will be put into place until 2013 - conveniently right after his last and final bid for office.  It makes me wonder whether an FDR who was not term limited was additionally motivated to enact legislation that responded to voters - and legislation that he believed in because he was potentially going to have to live with it.  

    It doesn't matter a whit what this healthcare reform legislation looks like for Obama in political terms - that's why it is so easy for his White House to simply go for the legislative notch in their belt instead of pushing for GOOD policy.  The Democratic Party, OTOH, is teetering on the edge of sending themselves into oblivion no matter how "bad" the other guys are, imo.


    Term limits (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:33:16 PM EST
    vastly increase the power of lobbyists and corporate interests.

    Dr Dean explains... (none / 0) (#19)
    by trillian on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:35:42 PM EST
    via Susie.....

    I talked about the strange Beltway bubble and asked if people working there really understood what was at stake out here.

    He said it wasn't my imagination, the people in the Beltway really do live in a different universe - "especially the Senate. It really is like a club," he said. He corrected himself: "No, it is a club. And they're most concerned about their personal relationships with the other Senators, and then everything else. It's very strange."

    Don't they understand how angry everyone is out here? I said. He said no, they really don't - although he keeps trying to tell them. He said we're looking at a real political disaster if they screw this up. "Because I'm on the outside, I get to say those things," he said. (He also said they just want to get something done and keep insisting "we can go back and fix it later.")

    The senate club is the epitome (none / 0) (#29)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:20:29 PM EST
    of the old boys club pure and simple.  It is time to set some term limits on these old boys.  Even Democrats like Chris Dodd and Byrd, Conrad, Caper, Rockefeller, etc. have outlived their usefulness. I'd like to see some moderate term limits for the senate such as 2 eight year terms or 2 ten year terms, period.  As for the House I would like to see a longer term to eliminate their need to be constantly running for election.  I'd like 3 four year terms or even 3 5year terms.  That would allow more time to become competent with their job before they had to run for office again.  Term limits, if they are too stringent, allow the lobbyists to run the show.  Congress needs time to orient themselves.  The other good thing about term limits is that long term power brokers are upended.  That can be good or awful, but at least it changes the players and weakens the power structure.

    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:10:05 AM EST
    contend in vain'.

                 -- Friedrich von Schiller

    Common Sense (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:13:36 AM EST
    What has happened is that they have lost site of the most basic common sense.  The impact this will have on American households.  It shows you how out of touch they are.  

    No wonder (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:10:17 PM EST
    they are out of touch- they have been receiving pretty good, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for a long time. The highest cost, fee-for-service family plan they can get costs them $410.57/month (the government- i.e. the taxpayers- pay $763.88/month into this plan).  There are other, less expensive plans.  The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000/year.  Do the math- they're paying just under .03% of their gross salary (or less) for health insurance.  That would be a pretty good deal for most people- .03% (max) of their salary for health insurance.

    3% (none / 0) (#31)
    by gtesta on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:30:02 PM EST
    They are paying 3% of their salary.  Still pretty sweet.  I just did mine and I am paying 4.5% for spouse + 1 coverage and I make considerably less than they do.

    Oops! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:58:41 PM EST
    I misplaced the decimal point!  I think many people could afford 3% (or less- there are less expensive fee-for-service plans they can get, as well as less expensive HMO's). So let's allow anyone into the federal employees health plan.  (Although they should just let us all buy into Medicare, with fees adjusted for income.  They won't do that, of course.)

    If anything, at least they will probably (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 11:02:53 AM EST
    respond to this. I hope. . .

    Gee (none / 0) (#11)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:11:27 PM EST
    Yes, they can go off and become lobbyists if they vote the sh*t way, but the citizens will still have to deal with the repercussions...along with the fact that the legislation will leave Democrats (even actual non-corrupt ones) unelectable.

    So we'll have a huge tax increase and corrupt Republicans who won't help us.

    The "we'll vote them out and they'll become lobbyists" consolation just isn't enough if we have to put up with that.

    Unreal (none / 0) (#12)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:15:36 PM EST
    The party of the working class shouldn't need a memo to explain that they shouldn't bite the hand that feeds them. This entire HCR roll out has been one major screw up after another.

    I'm still amazed at that. The Obama people did such a fantastic job throughout the entire election cycle. They didn't miss a trick. I really expected them to control the message at least as well as GWB managed during his reign of terror.

    We forget (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:23:14 PM EST
    I remember a certain Donna telling us in the primaries that this is not "the old party of the working class".  

    The first dead give away that Baucus is flawed, is the administrative complexity and regulatory monster that will result in little or no benefit to American households.  It's all reminiscent of the complex financial products that were filled with contrived cleverness.  Monsters that are impossible to regulate and or implement.  


    I hope that if the Dems pass (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:41:31 PM EST
    crappy insurance give away legislation, the unions followthrough on their primary threats and refuse to do their normal GOTV efforts in 2010 and 2012.

    As long as there are no consequences, both parties can continue to sell out the American people.


    Party of the working class? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:30:45 PM EST
    There is none.

    As somebody pointed out recently, the Democrats are the party of Wall Street, and the Republicans are the party of the mentally deranged. But it's also true that Stuck On Stoopid has ample representation from both parties.


    Nope. Obama did not run as the W/C champion. (5.00 / 10) (#23)
    by Pacific John on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:52:39 PM EST
    In any political campaign, there is a crafted difference between appearance and reality. Obama's appearance - the way he campaigned - was as a reformer. As Chris Bowers said, he was against the bubbas. But the reality was, he was the candidate of Harry and Louise and Goldman Sachs.

    The untold story of the primary campaign is that it was a coup against the working class. Obama lost the working class of all non-AA ethnicities by 70/30, but won upper middle class whites overwhelmingly. It's hard to look at this and see it as anything other than a white upper middle class coup against workers, the very people who have the most on the line in these debates. But conveniently enough for the Ezra's and Matt's of the world, the grubby masses don't have an entire class of people speaking for them in major media outlets.


    The unions (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:25:37 PM EST
    have not represented working people for a very long time except in a very narrow sense. This failure is partly a result of the fact that leftists were purged from union leadership many decades ago.

    Back in the early 70s, the radical feminist Ti-Grace Atkinson made an astute analogy: that the second-wave feminist movement of her era was being dyke-baited (and thus being made more conservative) in the same way that the labor movement had been red-baited (and thus made more conservative).

    Today we suffer the results, on both counts. But there will be disagreement from those who believe that feminism is only about day care centers and (somewhat) equal pay, and those who believe that labor organizing is only about getting a (somewhat) better deal from the owner-overlords.


    Ah, yes, the dyke-baiting (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by caseyOR on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 02:28:11 PM EST
    How well I remember the purging of lesbians from NOW membership in the 70s. I had just come out and it was quite the eye opening experience.

    Atkinson, a most astute observer and commenter, maintained that to be successful a political movement requires a radical fringe to make the merely radical appear reasonable. She was right, and the left has ignored that fact to its eternal detriment.


    And the right, (none / 0) (#36)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:04:23 PM EST
    for many decades, has assiduously showcased its radical fringe, making its flaming reactionaries seem reasonable to the media.

    Speak for your own union (none / 0) (#39)
    by cawaltz on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 05:42:33 PM EST
    My husband's union has done fairly well for its constituency. They make an above average pay scale for the area. They have a great health care plan. They have a pretty decent vacation period. Railroad retirement is one of the last of the defined benefit pensions left. Could they do better? Sure, but I'd be a fool to argue that they haven't done a decent job with collective bargaining.

    Sure (none / 0) (#40)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 06:02:20 PM EST
    I'm glad your husband has a nice deal.

    But you're kind of making my point.

    Truly radical labor organization would go far beyond collective bargaining for a single constituency. To begin with, it would redefine "labor" and "the working class" to encompass everyone who has to do any kind of work in order to make a living--in other words, 99+ percent of us. If we had truly radical labor organization, we would not have seen organized labor shrink from a paltry 25 percent of the workforce some 35 years ago to around 10 percent now. In my opinion.


    My take (none / 0) (#42)
    by cawaltz on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 07:26:17 PM EST
    when you have a minimum amount of resources you utilize those resources to represent the people helping to provide those resources to you. There are instances when it works out that it is in the unions interest to represent the larger constituency and it does so but suggesting it utilize its resources to represent everyone, when conflicts of interest often exist, would not be wise.

    The unions have no problem asking for a raise in the minimum wage because they know any raise in a minimum will result in higher wages for everyone. That being said I daresay it is their responsibility to campaign each and every time on behalf of people who have rejected their usefulness.


    My view (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 08:58:32 PM EST
    is admittedly utopian . . . unfortunately.

    Is it really a "coup" (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 04:56:01 PM EST
    if one interest group outvotes another- I mean did Obama win in a "coup" against White Voters as well since he lost them nearly 60-40 in the general?

    No one is talking (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 06:57:30 PM EST
    about the general election. The original commenter was talking about the Democratic primary season. To compare the two is to compare apples and oranges.

    In the general election, everyone who voted cast a ballot. Nothing was decided on the basis of caucuses, so the playing field was level, the two candidates were competing for electoral votes (not free-agent delegates), and it was as fair a fight as a general election can be (though let's not forget the issues brought up by Bush v. Gore).

    The original commenter said this:

    The untold story of the primary campaign is that it was a coup against the working class. Obama lost the working class of all non-AA ethnicities by 70/30, but won upper middle class whites overwhelmingly. It's hard to look at this and see it as anything other than a white upper middle class coup against workers, the very people who have the most on the line in these debates.

    You may agree or disagree with the commenter's point, and you may agree or disagree that the DNC made a wise choice in deciding to break its own rules in order to hand the nomination to Obama (hence the commenter's description of the process as a coup). But that is what happened, and I think that is what the commenter is referring to. That, and the primary election returns from California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and other large blue states with substantial numbers of working-class voters.


    Per Huff Post, donations to Dems are (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:32:40 PM EST
    down.  Wonder why?

    From the WaPo article (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:37:54 PM EST
    Big money donors don't like the tone the Dems are taking about cracking down on Big Business, and so far, small donors (especially independents) are giving to R's.  Maybe it's a "wait and see" attitude, but lots of people who gave to Obama, probably gave more for the man than the party and its platform, and now that he isn't having campaign stops where young girls swoon, there's no interest in giving money (that is, if those same people still have jobs and discretionary income).

    "Dem Political Suicide" (none / 0) (#18)
    by Spamlet on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:33:07 PM EST
    Is Obama a GOP mole?

    No excuse left now (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:43:40 PM EST

    You mean, "We Can't" won't fly with (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 12:56:26 PM EST
    you?  lol

    The Dems after today will have a 60 (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 01:01:41 PM EST
    seat majority. Mass. judge rejects bid to delay Kennedy successor

    No more excuses. They either stand up for real people or they can protect the profits of corporations.