Post-Health Care Speech Thread

What did you think of President Obama's speech (text here)?

First, let me say, he was charismatic, forceful and presidential. The speech had some great lines and he delivered them perfectly.

Now, on to substance. Here's my shorter version:
  • Mandates, everyone will have to buy insurance.
    That’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance – just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements.
  • No more promises your current health insurance plan will still be available or offered.
  • A public option only for those currently without insurance, expected to apply to less than 5% of Americans: [More...]

[A]n additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.

Let me be clear – it would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5% of Americans would sign up.

The Associated Press fact-checks the President's speech:

President Obama before: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he says nothing in the plan "requires" any change.

What's the difference?

[N]othing in his plan guarantees that policies people have now will continue to be available in the same form. In earlier accounts, he spoke with unmerited certainty in saying people who are happy with their current insurance can simply keep it.

There you have it. Did he convince you? Is he being too conciliatory to Republicans? Do you buy his numbers?

Update: Final questions: Do you think the plan President Obama outlined tonight is in your best interest? If not, will you still support it because you think it's in the best interests of other Americans? Or do you think we need to go back to the drawing board and start over?

< President Obama HCR Speech Live Blog | Congressional Reaction to Obama's Health Care Speech >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Sorry, come again? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Fabian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:21:44 PM EST
    Who pays and what do they get?

    To answer your three questions, (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:21:48 PM EST
    no, yes, no.

    I wasn't expecting great things, but this was unbelievably bad. Insultingly bad. He looked pretty, though.

    No, yes, no (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:22:48 PM EST
    But the last one doesn't matter.

    He killed the public option, I think.

    This was not a good moment for healthcare reform.

    He did not kill the public option (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:34:52 PM EST
    He strengthened the fight against loony wingnuts claiming that it will drive private insurance out of business because it will be government subsidized.  Look, I believe that a federal public option will hold its own just fine, those who need it will fund it.  My daughter possibly to be one of those.

    But honestly (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:39:45 PM EST
    that's such a Beltway objection.  The disaster scenarios of real people do not typically include "oh no, if the private insurance companies go out of business it's the end of the world!"

    Yup (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:55:26 PM EST
    But somehow the wingnuts make it work for THEM.  Look at the people who showed up crazed at the townhalls out of rightwing Republican crisis building. But such craziness with guns strapped on isn't something lefty loons are known for.  Mostly we are known for GBCW :) and talking to real people about real problems.  I think the Wingers needed to be defanged though on that argument that only fed the frenzy of a black man changing our country.

    But doesn't it all depend (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:40:02 PM EST
    on who is ALLOWED to fund it, i.e., join and pay premiums? It didn't sound as if there will be much access to the so-called public option.

    What does it sound like (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:56:16 PM EST
    when there is a lot of access?

    If anyone can join, (none / 0) (#84)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:10:50 PM EST
    it sounds great! It sounded that way when John Edwards described it many months ago. But a public option with a lot of access does not sound like the public option Obama described tonight. Sounds like he wanted to drown it in the bathtub.

    I disagree (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by lilburro on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:43:46 PM EST
    we are heading for co-ops and triggers.  I heard "I will sign the Baucus plan."

    In the little bit I saw on CNN after the speech (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:02:52 PM EST
    their talking head panel flat out said that Obama wants the triggers. They were so sure about it I came here to read all about it, and haven't seen much. (I missed the speech)

    Baucus plan (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:08:44 PM EST
    will not pass the House and probably not the Senate either.

    Worked for him, but not for the policy (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:39:34 PM EST
    How does it not work for policy (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:58:19 PM EST
    Ron Paul is on the tube going off on how Obama is lying about this not costing.  Obama will finish bankrupting the country.  Ben Stein was on earlier howling about how the public option is still going to destroy private insurance.  We will lose those jobs.

    Don't you see (5.00 / 7) (#62)
    by andgarden on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:59:33 PM EST
    how he used PPUS to kill the public option?

    An entire speech (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:27:03 PM EST
    directed at Max Baucus' backbone.  The most pointless speech EVER.

    I repeat (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:27:08 PM EST
    Never has a president spent so much time and effort ignoring and marginalizing his supporters while pandering to the disloyal opposition.


    I had to cry (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by kmblue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:29:49 PM EST
    I have a bad habit of hoping against hope.
    It was just what I expected--crap aimed at getting a bandaid passed, so the One can declare victory.

    I thought it was a good speech (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by kenosharick on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:30:27 PM EST
    I am more concerned about the follow through. I was planning to discuss health care over the last 100 years (TR-FDR-Truman, ect.)with my students tomorrow (college freshmen mostly)- I want to hear what they thought of the speech.

    To answer the questions: (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:33:21 PM EST
    No, it is not in my best interests and I dont think it's in the best interest of other americans. I do think the whole thing needs to be blown up and started over.

    Obama gave Republicans all kind of (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:37:18 PM EST
    goodies in this speech. It will be interesting to see how many Republican Senate votes he gets.

    None (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:39:39 PM EST
    But that's not the point - it's for Joe and Jane Republican Voter watching at home.

    His new base? (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:44:31 PM EST
    I counted seven goodies for righties (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Cream City on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:43:02 PM EST
    and then gave up.  

    I considered the goodies toothless (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:43:58 PM EST
    I think some of those goodies (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:50:29 PM EST
    were also meant for Blue Dog ears. They love the shibboleths about tort reform.

    Like junkies :) (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:23:40 PM EST
    Need to go back to the drawing board? (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:37:51 PM EST
    I think we need a different President for that . . .

    So, yeah, we may need to go back to the drawing board, but I think it's not the health care one . . .

    Well I thought it was solid. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:38:49 PM EST
    I believe the opposition is officially over. We're getting a bill, with a public option, with mandates, an exchange, and the various other components he talked about. I predict no trigger or co-op, even though he gave them lip service. I don't believe it's his preference, and I think that House Progressives will demand a real public option. Ergo, we get it. I also like that he added talk of a waiver for people who can't afford the mandate.

    To answer the questions, my wife and I are self-employed on an individual plan, so I expect the bill will benefit me directly. When the public option comes out, I'm planning to compare it to our current Blue Cross plan and switch if it's an improvement.

    but the public option won't be available to you (5.00 / 6) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:41:55 PM EST
    if you already have an individual plan.

    in other words... (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:46:56 PM EST
    ...almost all of us are required by law to make sure a useless middleman profits grossly from our inadequate care.  

    That's not my understanding (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:47:47 PM EST
    The exchanges (and by extension, the public option) are available to anyone not covered by employer based insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. ie. the individual market.

    The subsidies would not be available to me, that much is true. And that's fine, I don't need them.


    If the insurance companies (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:50:16 PM EST
    are held accountable I don't need anything different either.  The thing I really really need from my insurer right now is accountability.

    I think you're right about the exchanges... (none / 0) (#144)
    by blogtopus on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:39:54 PM EST
    If I were to lose my job, I'd be eligible to get the public option, no? It's not like it's a 'you only get one chance at this' choice is it?

    1. No pre-existing rejections
    2. No sudden-or-extreme illness recisions
    3. Caps for out of pocket expenses
    4. Public alternative for those who don't have insurance (or those who want to quit their expensive individual plans) which will cut out a large percentage of the cost because of low overhead.

    I must have gotten it all wrong, because that sounds not great, but adequate.

    How is the government (none / 0) (#179)
    by maddog on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:35:12 AM EST
    Plan going to cost less than a private insurer with a profit motive?  The government plan has to be subsidized by taxes.  Do you really believe that the government plan will have a lower overhead cost?

    Not to be sarcastic but what world are you living in?  Where have you ever seen a government operated entity be more efficient and have less overhead than a private business?  

    Insurance costs will go up for everyone because the special interests will work to require the base plan to include everything imaginable rather than just the basics.  If you only include primary care, hospitalization and catastrophic then there may be savings and the base plan may be good.  Make all the other "stuff" optional.  But I suspect that it will include all the other "stuff" such as addiction, obesity, mental health, etc., and that will be expensive.


    Which sucks for me as (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:48:09 PM EST
    a self employed someone who needs to buy insurance before this "plan" gets into action, right?

    No (none / 0) (#95)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:14:58 PM EST
    Jeralyn has this wrong.  The public option is an option for people stuck in the individual insurance market because they don't have employer-provided insurance (or Medicare)

    But under a national insurance exchange, (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by steviez314 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:52:08 PM EST
    the poster will have more choices of insurance companies (not just be few that might be in his state), and will be able to get community rated rates closer to group rates which could save him 20-50%.

    Good point (none / 0) (#46)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:53:37 PM EST
    I plan to shop around after this passes. Right now I have really crappy, high deductible disaster insurance.

    I would like to get the public option on principle. But I'm also willing to look at all the options in the exchange.


    In 2013, more options? (none / 0) (#161)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:14:50 AM EST
    But nothing changes before then.  

    Are they going to pass a law that supersedes state laws on insurance?  That's what I want, more options.  Now the state controls our options.


    And how exactly do they do that? n/t (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:54:41 AM EST
    Are you sure that's what he meant? (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by indy in sc on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:55:12 PM EST
    I ask because that section of the speech was unclear to me.  He said that the public option would only be an option to those without insurance, which sounds like what you've said pretty clearly--but then the next thing he said was that if you have insurance, you will not be required to use the public option, which makes it sound like you can, but don't have to.  When he later said that he thinks a public option is necessary to increase competition and give consumers better choices, etc. it made it sound again like it would be an option to everyone.

    I think he messed up the line and meant to say that the public option would only be mandatory for those without insurance.  I know, I know WORM--but I'd like to hear clarification on this point.  Maybe wishful thinking on my part.


    Let's put it this way (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:59:22 PM EST
    I can be uninsured tomorrow if I want. "Hello, Blue Cross? I would like to cancel my plan, effective today." Ta-da, I'm uninsured. More clarity would be good, but I think it's clear that the exchange applies to the individual market.

    think of the PO as an item in a basket (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kempis on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:08:51 PM EST
    The basket is the exchange. People without insurance from employers, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, will be mandated to purchase insurance, so they well select an item from the exchange, I assume depending upon how much coverage they want and what they want to spend. The public option, if it exists (and it won't because the fix is in and the Dems aren't going to piss of their new best friends, the insurers), will be a choice available to those people.

    That's what the public option is now. It is a tiny sliver, And even that is something that Obama and the Dems will not fight for.


    Public option is NOT mandatory (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:17:02 PM EST
    for anyone!  That's why it's called an "option."

    It's an option, an alternative to individual private health insurance, for those who don't have employer-provided insurance or Medicare.


    Sure it is... (none / 0) (#118)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:27:14 PM EST
    in so much as insurance will be mandatory...its private or public, if you can qualify and/or afford either, or pay the fine.  Thats sounds mandatory to me.

    Jeebus (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 12:00:52 AM EST
    Having insurance is mandatory.  Getting it from the public option is not mandatory.

    Quasi-mandatory... (none / 0) (#170)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:36:26 AM EST
    for those who can't afford private.

    This is where I think he is really (none / 0) (#59)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:58:30 PM EST
    full of baloney. If only 5% of Americans are expected to apply for the public option, how is that going to force insurance companies to compete?

    Key word: "expected" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:00:38 PM EST
    If insurance companies get significantly worse, then the public option can be expanded. The mere existence of the public plan, in theory, would keep them in check. Well, that and new regulations.

    At the rate people are losing insurance ... (none / 0) (#157)
    by FreakyBeaky on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:59:31 PM EST
    ... I think the 5% estimate could turn out to be way low.

    That was pretty much my thinking (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by shoephone on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:13:48 AM EST
    We can also add: at the rate people are losing their jobs, because, despite the administration's efforts to paint the recession as "so over", in my state people are still getting furloughed and laid off. Heck, we just saw our entire Seattle Public Library system closed for ten days to fill up a hole worth $650,000 to the library budget, due to loss of city revenues. Each and every one of those library employees had to take an unpaid vacation -- a furlough.

    And I keep hearing and reading about folks who have given up looking for work and decided to start their own home businesses. That takes guts in this economy. But, as I said above, that is quite common entrepreneurial behavior.

    One could rightly assume those people are going to want to access the public plan.


    in the exchanges and have a public option among the choices.  I think that's what I heard.

    Possibly even the employed? (none / 0) (#71)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:04:41 PM EST
    I'm reading that people can refuse their employer's coverage and buy from the exchange, if they want. I'm going to read up more, and I hope someone else can refute or back that up.

    Choices like the members of Congress have... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by sallywally on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:12:10 PM EST
    I don't really know what that means, but if it means real choice, great.

    Congress has the same choices (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:20:53 AM EST
    that all federal employees have.  That means every November you can choose a new health care plan for the following year, long as you can pay the premiums.  Federal employees can choose cheaper plans or more expensive plans with higher ceilings and lower co pays.  None of them are really cheap.  We pay are over $500 a month for a family of two.  But our co pays are low and they paid almost everything when I had cancer.  

    I think when Obama stated (none / 0) (#83)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:09:36 PM EST
    only around 5% of the population will be provided insurance through a public option, he is confirming that most Americans will get insurance through their employer.

    Where exactly does one read up on this (none / 0) (#85)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:10:53 PM EST
    when there are 3 or 4 different bills written, and none of them have come to a vote?

    That's the issue. (none / 0) (#97)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:15:35 PM EST
    There is no bill.  A lot of noise, but no bill.  

    There are five bills :) (none / 0) (#106)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:18:56 PM EST

    Nothing sent to Obama for signature. (none / 0) (#119)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:27:44 PM EST
    Symantecs, or my lack of clarity.

    or Semantics....:) (none / 0) (#121)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:29:46 PM EST
    Taibbi says no (none / 0) (#132)
    by cenobite on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:48:23 PM EST
    Sick and Wrong

    There's a flip side, though: If your employer offers you acceptable care and you reject it, you are barred from buying insurance in the insurance "exchange." In other words, you must take the insurance offered to you at work.

    I suspect doing what you suggest would result in a yearly fine from the IRS.


    It absolutely will be (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:13:51 PM EST
    That's exactly what the public plan is for, people who are stuck in the individual insurance market because they can't get it through their employer.

    But you (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:44:32 PM EST
    may not be able to buy into the public option. It's going to be very limited as to who can actually but into it.

    Solid what? (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:06:41 PM EST
    No offense.

    I had the same take (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:24:43 PM EST
    I was literally shocked (5.00 / 8) (#20)
    by kenosharick on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:39:05 PM EST
    by congressman Joe Wilson of SC screaming "YOU LIE" at the president of the nation on the floor of congress. Disgusting- probably be a hero to limbaugh, beck and that bunch of nutcases.

    No place for that type of behavior (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by coast on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:50:40 PM EST
    And I thought this state's political standing could not fall any further after Sanford.  Nice to know I was wrong ;).

    McCain (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by indy in sc on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:58:35 PM EST
    was just on Larry King saying that the congressman should apologize immediately.  Such wonderful things keep coming out of my state...ugh.

    The beach is what keeps me here (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by coast on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:04:03 PM EST
    certainly not the representation.

    So were you shocked (1.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:39:55 AM EST
    when the Democrats booed President Bush during the State of the Union speech?  I'm not going to bother linking to YouTube right now, but there's plenty of video about it if you want to see it.

    Oh, don't worry (none / 0) (#125)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:34:51 PM EST
    Wilson will be lauded on every right wing talk show and given a Winger Medal of Freedom during a ceremony co-hosted by Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

    He apologized. (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by indy in sc on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:38:22 PM EST
    Here's a link.  You're right however--he will be lauded by some on the right.

    Maybe it was the gin, (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Radiowalla on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:42:43 PM EST
    but everyone in my household was pleasantly surprised and energized.  

    By what, may I ask? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:43:14 PM EST
    The Gin (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by BDB on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:56:01 PM EST

    As to your last question: (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:47:44 PM EST
    No, I don't believe him on the numbers. Is he relying on CBO? Is he relying on Larry Summers? Where do he, his advisors and Baucus come up with the $900 billion pricetag? And how does that $900 billion not raise the deficit even one dime, but the $1 trillion in HR3200 bust the budgets? It's simply not believable.

    Furthermore, I wonder about his supposition on the numbers of those who will apply for the public option part of the plan (if there even IS a public option in the final plan).

    Where does he come up with the 5% figure? After all, at least 15% of the population is UNINSURED. He is assuming the other 10% will find fulltime work with an employer who will be covering it. There is no way to know that. It's historical that, in hard economic times, more people start their own businesses.

    Makes sense to me... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:12:48 PM EST
    unless they're planning on collecting a sh*tload of fines.

    If the hardship exemption will be set as low as I'm assuming, they just might.  


    One smart thing Obama did (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by magster on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:53:21 PM EST
    was deliver speech in front of Republicans so that they could act like the b*ttheads they are.  That "you lie" guy reminds all the voters why they hate Republicans so much.

    As far as the speech itself, I vote "whatever". I don't see why the progressive caucus should be any less resolute about the public option.  

    Can I explain something?? (5.00 / 9) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:53:45 PM EST
    To understand the public option as contained in the current HELP bill is limited is one thing - to have the President basically belittle the entire concept as nothing means that he will tell the Dems in the House to drop it.

    Only a fool will not see that.

    That is why it was terrible - he killed the public option UNLESS the Progressive Block sticks to its guns.

    Obama is their enemy on the public option now.

    Before he was a bystander.

    Why did he take this tack? Because he wants the PO out.

    All the rest? Well the pretty words we all have heard before are repeated. Nothing new.

    To me the only thing that actually mattered was what signal was Obama going to send on the PO. He did. Get it out. NOW. I want my win!

    An F on those grounds.

    I had the exact opposite reaction (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:16:23 PM EST
    I heard a strong defense of the public option. Where you heard Obama belittling it, I heard his frustration that people are focusing on it to the exclusion of all the other reforms in the proposal. I also heard him framing the public option as a "sensible center" proposal, with single payer on the left.

    I'm sure you will tell me I'm being naive, but I also listened to Communication Director Anita Dunn's wrap-up on White House Live, and there was lots of talk about how the public option will work. It's clear he wants it.

    I agree that he's downplaying the PO but I believe he's doing it for the exact opposite reason you believe he is. I believe he's trying to stop it from being a lightening rod for Republican voters to oppose reform over "socialism". You believe he wants to kill it to make it easier to get a bill no matter what. But I think he made it clear that he wants it in the bill, ergo it's going to be in the bill.

    All that said, I agree with you 100% that it's not happening unless House Progressives fight for it. And that's fine. That's how it should be! It's actually quite nice to have a legislative branch again.

    FWIW, this is kind of thing where I would offer to bet a beer on the outcome.


    If this is true (none / 0) (#115)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:24:18 PM EST
    I believe he's trying to stop it from being a lightening rod for Republican voters to oppose reform over "socialism".

    then Obama has not learned one thing. How does downplaying anything ever stop the Republicans from making it a lightning rod? They don't need an excuse - they will make stuff up if they have to. If he supports it, supporting it loud and clear and for dog's sake fighting for it is the only way to beat them.


    Keyword is "voters". (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by s5 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:41:17 PM EST
    Legislators and pundits will do what they do.

    And maybe you're right about that, and I should have chosen my words better. This was for independents who are open to being swayed by non-specific dread of "socialism".

    My point is I think he's been trying to stop the debate from being all about the public option. I agree on that point, there's more to the bill than the public option. It is pretty ** important, however.


    I think you're both right. (none / 0) (#173)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:47:56 AM EST
    Obama was doing what he almost always does:  Feel strongly both ways and hand off to somebody else to do the heavy lifting.

    I think you folks are discounting too much the ultimate result of the public option.  If you really want a single payer, you'll get it, because no rational employer is going to foot the bill for insurance if they can kick the responsibility over to the government.  In that case, the employees might see some of the savings in their paychecks, but not much.


    Comments of Dingell and S. Brown (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by magster on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:43:33 PM EST
    posted on TPMDC show that they believe that the speech left public option in better shape now than it was this morning.

    CNN poll has speech polling very positively.  I feel a little bit more optomistic for PO (of course every time that happens, Rahm sends out an anonymous administration official).


    I applaud them (none / 0) (#134)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:56:42 PM EST
    That is the right tactic for them.

    Why did he take this tack? (none / 0) (#56)
    by coast on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:57:27 PM EST
    Rahm told him to.

    Rahm is not the boss of him (5.00 / 8) (#78)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:08:07 PM EST
    He hired Rahm because he agrees with Rahm. Obama is taking this tack because he is not strongly in favor of the public option, single payer, or any kind of progressive overhaul of the health care system in this country.  He's just not that guy.  

    he's not ' Teh One?' (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:12:01 PM EST
    wow... I'm so surprised.

    ha - yeah, could have knocked me over (5.00 / 4) (#100)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:16:06 PM EST
    with a feather too.

    He's Just Not That Into Us (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:18:09 PM EST
    He's Teh Wrong One... (none / 0) (#166)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 03:11:41 AM EST
    Assuming you want what the vast majority of the public wants: the option of having health coverage equivalent to Medicare for everybody.

    He went to the crossroads (none / 0) (#73)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:06:01 PM EST
    and made a deal with the Insurance Devils.

    They all do... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:17:36 PM EST
    those with the will to resist don't make it as far as the crossroads in this line of work.

    Ask Ralph Nader.


    And you are probably right (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:00:34 PM EST
    You usually are about such things.  But he promised me man!  After all this chaos, and strapped on guns, and crying women and babies he promised me.

    That boils it down nicely (none / 0) (#112)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:20:47 PM EST
    I wonder what the odds are that the progressives in the House stand firm and kill the bill?  I think they're gonna cave, myself. They have at least 3.5 more years left with this president. I don't think they want to tank him this early.

    But they've also got to face their constituents (none / 0) (#175)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:54:08 AM EST
    in just a few months.  How many seats are secure enough to survive a backlash if no public option is provided?  It seems to me Obama's left them in a tough spot, in that his speech didn't give them enough cover to drop the public option.

    I give it odds of 70/30 the progressives will insist on a public option in the house bill to protect their seats, and no bill actually passes Congress.


    There was something deeply wrong (5.00 / 6) (#74)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:06:10 PM EST
    not just in Obama's equating health insurance with auto insurance but also in his equating the difference between a public health insurance option and private health insurance with the difference between a public college and a private university.

    True, "public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities." But what kind of choice and competition is that, in an environment where access to truly superior private education is effectively blocked to all but a minority of American postsecondary students?

    Does Obama's analogy (unintentionally? accurately?) suggest that the "public option" will be an inferior plan that's only for people who can't afford private insurance or who otherwise fail to meet the standards of the private insurance companies?

    Who's being incoherent here--me? Obama? both of us?

    So he switched out the post office v fedex (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:14:05 PM EST
    analogy with a public v private university analogy?  Brilliant - now the MSM can argue about that for a week. I think it's time to stop with the analogies and just write a dang bill so we can talk about something concrete.

    Yeh, when students argue that (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Cream City on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:22:34 PM EST
    there is no class system in this country, I ask them -- urban, commuter, many first-generation-in-college and immigrant students -- how many even applied to Harvard.

    Of an estimated 10,000 students I've taught (that alone says something about state campuses), once I had a student raise her hand.  But, she said, then a parent lost a job -- in the last recession -- so she withdrew her application to stay home to help her family by taking on another lousy student job, too.  I hope she has a better job today.


    Cream City, we ask the same questions. (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:38:52 PM EST
    I think I've had about 3 over my career who applied to the Ivy schools. I've had about the same number who left the academies.

    what a comparison, given that most folks don't graduate from college in the country.

    similar student numbers here also. But dropping now.

    I asked my students (community college) how many paid their own insurance today. Two. Two more were uninsured. The rest? Family plans. No dog in the fight.


    Interesting -- I'm going to ask (none / 0) (#172)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:46:55 AM EST
    the insurance question.  But unemployment is so high here that I may get different answers.  I'll report back, prof!

    Both you and Cream City (none / 0) (#177)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:23:38 AM EST
    seem to be committed educators.  I had what I thought was a reasonably good education at a state university (although I did meander around the course catalog a lot), and have had a reasonably good career (though not in my major subject).  There is too much credentialism surrounding higher education.  As far as I'm concerned, if y'all manage to inspire a few students to think and learn, and not just treat college as occupational training, you've done a wonderful thing.  Status does not usually buy a happy life; accomplishment does, wherever the endeavor might be aimed.  This ceases to be a meritocracy when we play the "class" game, and think someone has a shinier token than we do.

    There are a few teachers and professors whom I will ever treasure, though they know it not.  Not to sound dramatic, but as prosaic as educators' lives might seem, they should be aware they are on the leading edge that maintains the Enlightenment.   If they fail, no amount of military might can resist the tide of barbarism that will result.


    One reason (5.00 / 3) (#153)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:31:13 PM EST
    why people in the United States suffer from false class consciousness is the desire to minimize barriers that, for all practical purposes, cannot be overcome.

    If those barriers were honestly acknowledged, our better natures would compel us to establish a system in which everybody lived at a decent, humane standard instead of tolerating poverty for the millions so that a few can enjoy obscene wealth.

    But we're all indoctrinated to believe that we too can get lucky and become filthy rich, so we identify upward. That's why the media gets away with describing people as "middle class" when they're actually lower middle class or working class, and why people confuse the lower middle class with the working class.


    The term first was "middling classes" (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Cream City on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:49:44 AM EST
    as I found from reading primary sources on the emerging merchant/artisan (upper to middle) class and manufacturing (lower/working) class in the early 19th century.  Not sure at which point this initial more clear-eyed view got muddled into one middle class, but you sure are correct that it disserves all in it and deters understanding of significant distinctions in very different lives as they are lived in this country.

    As a public school alum (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:29:50 PM EST
    I have more of a problem with your post than with his analogy, frankly.

    What problem (none / 0) (#131)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:45:48 PM EST
    do you, as a public school alum, have with my comment?

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#139)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:17:32 PM EST
    I do not believe private education is "truly superior."

    the social networking (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:45:50 PM EST
    in elite private schools is superior. Power Elite.

    Maybe (5.00 / 3) (#147)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:50:10 PM EST
    but my alma mater has 500,000 alumni, which is helpful in a different way.

    Really the genius of the President's analogy is that a lot of people like me will get pissed at anyone who tries to disagree with it.


    I didn't say that (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:06:13 PM EST
    I do not believe private education is "truly superior."

    I said that access to truly superior education is blocked to all but a minority of American postsecondary students. It is true, however, that only a few institutions have their pick of faculty and students, and that only a few have the donors and the endowments that enable comprehensive libraries and the other amenities that can factor into a truly superior education. Do you disagree that the great majority of those institutions are privately owned and operated?

    I too am a graduate of a public university--Cal Berkeley. I got a graduate degree at Stanford and then went on to journalism school at Columbia. But I do not pretend that I've seen education from both sides. My "public" education at Berkeley was every bit the equal of the "private" education I had at Stanford and Columbia, and my Berkeley degree has opened doors for me.

    I was also the first in my family to attend college, much less graduate from one. And I had to fight my conflicted, alcoholic, working-class parents in order to do it. In my freshman year I finally got tired of their threats to stop filling out the financial aid forms for the next year, so I worked my way through my three remaining undergraduate years, thanks to a succession of crappy jobs in factories, hospitals, and big-box stores, until I could apply for the fellowships I needed to get through Stanford.

    When it comes to education, I am an absolute and proud elitist. I believe that everyone should have an elite education, not just rich kids, legacies, and the tiny percentage of strong academic performers who manage to beat the odds and make it into one of the schools referenced in my earlier comment.

    And I don't know too many people who, given any real choice in the matter, would choose a diploma from Podunk Pines State College over four years at an elite university. But maybe I just need to get out more.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:37:15 PM EST
    I am proud of my degree from Podunk Pines State College, and I don't particularly want to play WSRM.

    OK (5.00 / 2) (#155)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:52:04 PM EST
    My comment was not meant as an insult to you. It was my reaction to what I saw as Obama's questionable analogy. But it seems that I did insult you, and I'm very sorry I did.

    You should be very proud (none / 0) (#178)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:34:48 AM EST
    of what you achieved, because as someone who also had to work to pay for college I know somewhat of what you went through.

    A couple of questions:

    If it were just a matter of money and intent, are there enough people in the country (or available outside the country) capable of becoming the professors needed to staff the superior schools of which you speak?

    Does not the internet somewhat alleviate the library issue?  I am still more comfortable with a real book in my hands, but can make do with a screen.  Related:  I see MIT is making available their course materials.  Can the internet be leveraged to achieve part of your vision?


    Answering your questions (none / 0) (#183)
    by Spamlet on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    Thank you. And I thank those godless Commies. If they had not managed to get Sputnik into space before the U.S. shot a satellite up there, we never would have had the National Defense Student Loans (later renamed the National Direct Student Loans). I also thank LBJ for his vision of the Great Society, without which there would not have been some of the grants that got me through my first year at Berkeley, where I was able to see what else might be possible for me.

    1. I think the question of faculty is partly an issue of numbers and staffing but also partly an issue of perceptions. For example, every year U.S. News & World Report publishes its rankings of American universities and colleges. The ranking system is extremely dubious in many respects, as are the machinations that colleges and universities undertake to get in the evalutors' good graces. Nevertheless, the annual rankings stand--in the popular imagination as well as in university trustees' boardrooms--as a proxy for educational quality, and those managed perceptions of superiority tend to perpetuate certain institutions' cachet and their power to attract the most desired faculty members (and, incidentally, mistreat them in ways that would not be possible in a school perceived to be of lower quality).

    2. I have high hopes for the Internet, especially where lifelong learning is concerned. And university libraries are changing, too, especially with respect to some of the partnerships they're forming with university presses. I hope there will be more such partnerships, and that they will be successful. But junior scholars on the tenure track still face pressure not just to "publish or perish" but to publish in traditional, high-prestige paper-and-ink formats, at least in the humanities and other fields outside math, engineering, and other disciplines where tenure committees consider publication in journals to be at least the equivalent of publication in book format. And that is absurd. There truly is no viable future for the scholarly monograph in university press publishing. University presses are still grinding out junior faculty's revised dissertations, but they're publishing fewer all the time, and that's another impediment to advancement in an educational system divided between tenured faculty and adjunct faculty (house and field slaves, if you will). It also means that valuable research, which could have seen original publication in easily repurposed electronic formats, may never be published at all and may never reach the Internet or the readers it could have had.

    Hope that answers the questions you posed.

    Let's see.... (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by AX10 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:08:34 PM EST
    The tone of the speech was positive.
    Though, he has given much to the GOP already and
    has not recieved a single vote to date for
    his efforts.

    Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) should be censured for
    showing blatent disrespect towards the President.
    Afterall, the GOP believed that it was wrong to
    show such disrespect towards the President
    during Bush's tenure.

    Last, I do not support any mandates unless there is an immediate public option open to EVERYONE!

    The question is (1.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:37:25 AM EST
    did YOU believe it was wrong to show such disrespect to Bush.  Remember, the Democrats booed him at the State of the Union speech.  If not, it seems your attitude is "rules for thee, but not for me".

    I was (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:08:48 PM EST
    never a big single payer advocate simply because I didnt think it could happen BUT this whole "Obamacare" debate has made me realize that it's probably the only solution in the long run. We can't continue to pay these exhorbitant rates and be competetive in the global market. The Dems apparently don't realize how insurance costs are sinking the economy too.

    If this bill passes it's apparently going to raise my premiums $250.00 that I dont have. Then what? I cant buy into the imaginary public option because I dont qualify. My choice would be to drop the insurance and pay a fee?

    Bottom line (none / 0) (#109)
    by waldenpond on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:19:35 PM EST
    yes, people will look to their bottom line and find that the fine is the lesser hit to their pocket book.  Though one proposal is that everyone must buy catastrophic insurance.

    Higher premiums (none / 0) (#164)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:30:21 AM EST
    That's exactly what I heard too.  I am going to have MUCH higher premiums if insurance companies have to insure everyone and treat everything.  How could his plan not raise premiums?

    In the beginning of his speech he said that all insured people were paying $1,000 for the uninsured, a charitable contribution of sorts.  I've got no problem with that.  I'd rather pay $1,000 a year to help others than have my premiums go up by another $200 or more a month under Obama's plan.  


    Tomorrow (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Coldblue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:15:29 PM EST
    the pundits will be just as bad as before and the Congress will get back to its business as usual.

    The speech was just another speech. I don't see how this is a game changer.

    It's pretty obvious that he failed to communicate (5.00 / 5) (#99)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:15:39 PM EST
    what his plan is all about. There is tons of confusion right here in these threads about whether a public option will exist, whether it will be included in the exchanges, and how self-employed people are ever going to afford coverage in the near future.

    Considering the brain power and experience level of commenters on this blog, I daresay, I must declare Obama's speech a failure now, on simple grounds he did not make the important parts clearer. If none of us can come to agreement on WORM, then it failed.

    And now, it is time for dinner, and "Jeopardy"!

    Lack of clarity has a purpose... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:36:10 PM EST
    Mixed signals, conflicting messages, byzantine language. It's all part of a strategy that can be deliberately used to generate uncertainty, confusion, despair, self-doubt - and a paralyzing fear that renders many people helpless and incapable of making decisions and taking action.

    Not that our politicians would want the public to become brain-addled and risk-averse on the subject of health care reform or anything.

    I'd say that we have risk-averse (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:41:28 PM EST
    representation at the highest levels of government. Not 100 percent, but in some key positions.

    That too is true - N/T (none / 0) (#142)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:35:58 PM EST
    mandatory insurance? (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by diogenes on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:12:45 PM EST
    Didn't Obama blast Hillary in 2008 when she suggested MANDATORY individual purchases of insurance?  So how is this part of his mandate?

    I think he said he got this from her (5.00 / 3) (#140)
    by sallywally on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:27:19 PM EST
    and Edwards, as he said he got something else from McCain.

    How is it Constitutional (none / 0) (#181)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:40:40 AM EST
    to REQUIRE people to buy something?  One must buy auto insurance if they want to drive on the public roads, but that isn't the same, because nobody has a right to drive.  Has anybody here though about the Constitutional angle?

    speech was fine (5.00 / 5) (#138)
    by souvarine on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:14:42 PM EST
    The plan he outlined tonight sounds like his campaign plan plus mandates. The public option in his campaign plan was restricted to exactly the same set of people and was projected to affect a small portion of the population. So sure, he is being too conciliatory to Republicans with this plan but that was part of why I didn't support him in the primaries. I bet his numbers are conservative, and that in the end this reform will be more cost-effective than projected.

    Yes, this plan is in our best interests, and besides many of my Democratic friends voted for it over what I thought were superior plans. Now that he includes a mandate his plan is improved, because it is more realistic. This is the plan we voted for, and he is our president, I'm happy to support him and his plan.

    Did you see Obama shake hands with (none / 0) (#141)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:28:23 PM EST
    those he was acknowledging but kiss Hillary on the cheek?  Interesting, no?

    Actually, he let Hillary kiss him on the cheek. (1.00 / 1) (#150)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:10:45 PM EST
    He did not reciprocate.

    Um, he leaned to her. (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:13:56 PM EST
    FYI, because it seems important to YOU.

    Yes, exactly. (none / 0) (#152)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:25:35 PM EST
    He leaned in to allow her to kiss the cheek.

    He did not kiss - or even air-kiss - her.

    If it's important to YOU to imagine something else, knock yerself out.


    I think they actually like each other (none / 0) (#149)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:08:47 PM EST
    Not great, not terrible, better than I expected (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 12:46:37 AM EST
    I hated the PPUS stuff, of course.  By my estimate the public option is still alive, and as before all eyes are on the house progressives.  

    With the PO, what Obama proposed meets my minimum requirements.  Without it, it does not.  

    So house progressives ... let's see what you've got ...

    I didn't watch the speech (4.00 / 3) (#94)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:14:39 PM EST
    because it was obviously as informative as I thought it would be.

    I guessed and was right that it was Obama's typical Rorcharchian(sp) nonsense, PO being a case in point.  People who think that anyone who chooses to can opt into the PO have decided that he said it was so.  People who think it will control premium costs for the poor have decided it was so.  People who think Obama is killing the PO have decided based on what he said that it was so.

    The bottom line is he really told nothing about any aspect of the plan.  Obviously there were detail that could be published (e.g. where the 5% PO coverage estimate came from).  He chooses not to.  He chooses to confuse.

    Haven't we been through this before during the primary and general election?  He made statements during the election to mislead and then after the election, he told people essentially that they misread him.  He's doing it again now.

    Personally, I think something should be done but this scrapped.  It is mostly junk.  

    Give some tax breaks to help people afford insurance (I say this reluctantly because I've seen private and public industry suck up subsidies, leaving little or nothing to the consumer, so I don't think it's a super worthwhile idea, but it might help some).  Expand healthcare for the poor.  Expanding Medicaid is the first thing that comes to mind, but it is yet another starved non-funded program, so I dunno, but something has to be done.  Nix the mandates so that people have the option of opting out of insurance if premiums get too high (because opting out is the only control we have over premiums either now or with the new plan).

    I laid awake last night with panic attacks over what this insurance nonsense is going to do to our country and even to our economy as money gets poured into one industry and out of others.  I have a feeling I'm going to have another sleepless night.  

    Obama obfuscates like Greenspan... (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 03:21:21 AM EST
    According to this source:
    According to research published in Frankfurt by the ECB, Greenspan's success in dealing with the vicissitudes of the US economy was probably due more to luck than skill.

    Greenspan couched his statements on the economy in such confusing language that they baffled the best brains on Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

    Greenspan mocked his own speaking style in 1988 when he said: "I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I said."

    Nothing WITHOUT reform... (none / 0) (#4)
    by rdandrea on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:24:07 PM EST
    ...guarantees you'll have the same coverage, either.  Employers can change underwriters, companies can change coverage.

    It's a non-issue.

    not true (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:38:49 PM EST
    health insurance companies may cancel or reduce high end plans or make the premiums go through the roof to absorb the cost of the new plan. They say so themselves. From Anthem:

    Many in Congress believe that creating a government-run health plan is better than working to improve the current system. However, a government-run plan will impose new costs and ultimately limit choices and access.

    It's a huge concern, and only if the plan benefits millions of others, as a strong public option plan would, do I think the sacrifice is worth it.


    I am concerned (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by standingup on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:07:05 PM EST
    about what it will do to premiums too but I hardly see them eliminating high deductible policies.  I have one and the insurance company has gladly accepted my money for over 8 years without paying out one cent while increasing my premium 330% over the same period of time.  

    I will say that I would hardly accept anything an insurance company puts out on what might happen as a result of reform.  They have a well established history of saying anything to stop regulation and reform.  


    Do you have a private plan (none / 0) (#182)
    by Jack Okie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:43:47 AM EST
    or are you covered by your employer?

    I don't understand what you are saying (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:36:50 PM EST
    If your employer changes coverage and you aren't happy with it won't you be able to buy your own coverage through the exchange?  Employers can change their coverage now and you have no choices.

    No (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:38:28 PM EST
    you're not really going to be able to buy your own insurance through the exchange unless you're willing to pay more for coverage.

    Where does it say that the exchange will (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:41:49 PM EST
    cost more?  Isn't the public option also going to be on the exchange?

    Usually (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:47:26 PM EST
    when you get insurance from your employer, the employer pays part of the cost of the plan. If you purchase a policy in the exchange you will be paying the entire premium yourself so you costs will go up simply due to that fact.

    And the public option is limited only a few people. I wont be able to buy into it even though I'm self employed.


    Which is why it totally s*cks. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:55:16 PM EST
    The PO is part of the exchange in HR3200 (none / 0) (#49)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:54:22 PM EST
    as I understand it. What I don't get is where it is offered in Obama's plan. Because, as the nervous laughter in the House Chamber proved, we still don't know the real details of how it will fit together.

    i'm not so sure about exchanges (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:44:29 PM EST
    insurance companies will still be in the business of making their profit by charging a lot for a little.  and unless we ALL have the right to opt out of the for-profit insurance game, we have no real choice.  you think there won't be collusion?  

    and i have no rational reason to believe in some lowest-bidder bonanza coming from this industry.

    as always, unless you have the means to fight them, you are going to continue getting screwed.


    Nobody is sure about the exchanges (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:48:51 PM EST
    He said it's going to take four years to set this up and do it right.  That's a long time.  This had better really be right.  I'm going on what he said though. He is going to hold the insurance companies accountable and I'm going to hold him acountable. Is he blowing the rest of his political capital?  I dunno

    How will you hold him accountable? (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by hookfan on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:01:31 PM EST
    It won't be enacted until after next election. How will you know it's done right or not?

    That's a good question (none / 0) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:19:12 PM EST
    I believe (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:57:56 PM EST
    if you have employer provided insurance, you will not be able to participate in the public option.  I also believe that the plan (when a bill is presented for signature) will strive to lower employer provided insurance costs and "tax" employers who do not provide insurance to employees.  These employees would participate in the public plan.

    "currently" without insurance? (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:32:47 PM EST
    Does that mean as of today, as of when the bill is passed, as of when this so-called public option goes into effect....or what? If I withdraw from my employer's coverage, I will be "currently" without insurance. Can I get the public option? I'm thinking not.

    As for that last bit from the AP, they are still deliberately misunderstanding what he has said before. When he said 'if you are happy with your insurance you can keep it', he never meant you are guaranteed your employer will still provide it. He just meant that the government was not going to make you drop it and force you into a government plan.  Of course, that is just what I want them to do, so that is cold comfort to me.

    If you got sick though (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:20:23 PM EST
    there is supposedly some sort of immediate insurance coverage they are going to give to people immediately so that nobody goes bankrupt being sick again.

    Had to delete the poll (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:33:36 PM EST
    I had up for a few minutes, it got skewed and I couldn't fix the formatting, sorry.

    Your questions (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:35:38 PM EST
    were fine. the speech wasn't.

    The speech (none / 0) (#48)
    by standingup on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:53:47 PM EST
    was less than I hoped for but better than I expected.  Obviously my personal expectations for Obama are not that high.  

    On a personal level, I am glad to have new regulations that will require insurers to offer coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions and stop them from dropping coverage when someone becomes ill.  

    I don't have concerns that the high deductible policy I have will no longer be available.  I was hoping for something to give me a better policy at a lower cost.  What does concern me what will happen to insurance premiums as insurers have to cover anyone and have no caps.  I could have missed the discussion on this but so far have not heard any plans to keep premium costs down.  Insurers will have little problem justifying huge premium increases when they have to cover anyone with no caps.    

    They will recoup (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:20:27 PM EST
    in spades because of all those healthy young currently uninsured people being forced into the system.  Don't you worry about the insurance companies.  They're making out like bandits with this, which is why they've been behind it from the get-go.

    If they get the individual mandate, which they will, they can easily absorb all kinds of restrictions and regulations.


    Maybe I wasn't clear (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by standingup on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:58:13 PM EST
    I am not worried one bit about the insurance companies being hurt or at risk with reforms.  I am afraid they will put their actuaries to work to justify hiking premiums up to the point I can't afford coverage.  

    I am well over 25 years away from Medicare and can't afford premiums that continue to rise at the rate they have until I am eligible.  My other pays close to $1000 a month for a high deductible (I believe $5000) policy now.  What are they going to do to protect those with coverage now that won't be eligible for the exchange or other proposed solutions for those without coverage?  I was hoping to have a strong public option so I could drop what have now and get coverage through it.  


    No, I understand (none / 0) (#156)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 11:58:15 PM EST
    I'm just trying to say that at least they won't be able to justify raising premiums because of the package that comes out of Washington as long as it has that individual mandate.

    I actually suspect that the mandate will keep them from raising premiums much for at least a little while.  They'll be too busy signing up all those folks who will flood the system.

    I haven't heard a single word in all this about any kind of restraint on premiums, but it really seems hard to believe there won't be any at all.  As you say, it's the great big gaping hole in the whole package if it isn't addressed even minimally.

    Presumably, the idea of subsidies will at least keep you (and me) from being bankrupted by premiums alone, but I have no confidence any of these people have a clue about what it's like to live on the financial margins.  You tell me my insurance costs will be capped at 15 percent of my income, and I'm dead.  I'm done.  I can't live with that and pay my other bills.


    Good to know I'm (none / 0) (#50)
    by coast on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:55:06 PM EST
    not the only one who is still confused.  Glad we got to hear 45 min. of nothing.

    How about those of us on COBRA policies? (none / 0) (#51)
    by katiebird on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 08:55:07 PM EST
    I've got a lifetime access to COBRA -- but the premiums are killing us.  And there is NO way to absorb 4 years of rising premiums....

    Is this MY only option?  Or can my family join the public option?  I don't get it.

    You might want to talk to your provider (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by coast on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:01:19 PM EST
    COBRA coverage has coverage term limits.  Usually between 18 and 36 months.

    katiebird, (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by ChiTownDenny on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:05:20 PM EST
    lifetime COBRA doesn't sound accurate.  You might want to check on that.  

    It's a retirement benefit (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by katiebird on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:17:14 PM EST
    Required by Kansas Law. And BELIEVE me -- I verified it and verified it again.  In fact the people in the benefits office got to know me by name I was in there so often.  

    The Medical part sunsets when I turn 65 but, the dental & optical continue forever....

    Or as long as I can keep paying the budget-busting premiums....

    I was hoping to hang on until the reforms could take over.  But, it didn't occur to me that I might actually be locked in forever!


    I'm confused (none / 0) (#70)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:04:09 PM EST
    I thought COBRA was merely a connector plan in between jobs where insurance is covered by employer.

    Insured (none / 0) (#92)
    by waldenpond on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:14:22 PM EST
    Those already insured are not supposed to be able to qualify.  A category that qualifies... those with an employer that does not offer insurance.  A category that does not qualify... think Walmart... if you work part-time and Walmart offers expensive, high deductible insurance, you MUST take it.  If you are paid so little you qualify for Medicaid, you will no longer qualify for Medicaid.

    Simple? No.


    Mixed feelings (none / 0) (#77)
    by Nathan In Nola on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:07:30 PM EST
    Yes, I'm disappointed by parts of the speech, but I'm just as disappointed by some of the hyperbole in these comments.

    I really wish there was a public option. From the tone of his speech, I think it's pretty clear that the public option--if there is one--will be weak. But people here are saying that this reform is nothing, that this was the "worst speech ever," that his plan is even worse than doing nothing, hello primaries 2012. It's as though this is some popularity contest where everyone's trying to outdo one another to have the best and most stinging criticism. Way to go, guys! You should team up with the people saying there are death panels--they got a lot of attention.

    Maybe I'm naive, but I trust the man that I voted for and I believe this is the man that I voted for. I have more faith than to start jumping ship or throwing stones at everything he tries to do. He didn't bring the sun, the moon, and the stars, but he brought something, and there are still a lot more positive things that he can do in office.

    I'm proud to call him my President.

    sorry (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by kmblue on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:14:34 PM EST
    you feel that way.  
    I feel like I don't have health insurance and I'm not going to get any--at a minimum for four years and maybe not even then.
    I feel like the President was unclear on an issue of life and death.
    But hey, that's just me.

    I also believe (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Spamlet on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:15:36 PM EST
    that this is the man you voted for.

    So the man you voted for has (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:19:23 PM EST
    disappointed you a bit on this issue but you still have faith. May I ask which of his campaign promises you feel he has fulfilled to your satisfaction?

    I sure wish that I had your (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by kenosharick on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:33:21 PM EST
    confidence. I agree some comments have been a bit over the top- but Obama has disappointed me so much already (as a gay man I felt screwed over before he was sworn in)that I have lost most of my hope. If he actually delivered on REAL reform with a STRONG public option he could certainly win me back. I have very little hope of this actually happening, however.

    Sorry (4.25 / 4) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:11:19 PM EST
    but we're dealing with the facts of the plan here. We're not into the Obama as savior movement. The problem is the plan and it's such a bad plan that the truth of the matter is that passing nothing is better than this load of garbage.

    hear hear, (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:12:59 PM EST

    I second. (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by shoephone on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:26:09 PM EST
    Half the folks here want Kucinich (none / 0) (#124)
    by domer5000 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 09:33:22 PM EST
    and the other half want Jindal.  Interesting.

    Count me in for Kucinich... (none / 0) (#145)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 10:41:34 PM EST
    Don't agree that "half" of the people here at TL want Kucinich - and who the hay makes up the other 50% who want Jindal? "Interesting" stats indeed.

    I like Kucinich and would never listen to Jindal (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:15:17 AM EST
    I don't know of any TL readers that share the sites' goals or point of view support Jindal. TalkLeft is a completely Democratic site. If some commenters are not, they don't speak for TalkLeft, only themselves.

    I think the GOP was banking on Jindal as (none / 0) (#168)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 03:30:08 AM EST
    a Republican Bobby Kennedy - if you can imagine that. He's young, he has the right first name, he has a thick crop of Kennedy hair and that outdoorsy look - but he doesn't have the mojo - among other more important things.

    Delivery was Great, content, not so much (none / 0) (#165)
    by BrassTacks on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 01:37:03 AM EST

    Yeah, another triumph of form over content - N/T (none / 0) (#169)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 03:31:33 AM EST