The Conservative Health Bill

Brad DeLong joins E.J. Dionne:

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have an incentive to discuss the Republican roots of Obama's health-care plan. But that doesn't mean they're not real -- and deep.

[. . . T]he essence of the reform -- [. . .] Americans are now being asked not to shirk their responsibilities but rather to act like adults: to take on the burden, to the extent they are financially able, of making sure that when they wind up at the hospital the cost of paying for their care is not loaded onto somebody else's shoulders. The conservative DNA of ObamaCare is hardly a secret. [. . . T]here has been a conspiracy of silence among those working for the bill and those working against it.

(Emphasis supplied.) The fact that is is a conservative bill filled with Republican ideas does not make it bad substantively. But it certainly does make it hard to argue it is the greatest progressive achievement since Medicare. Indeed, that has been a long standing point for me - comparing the health bills to Medicare is absurd. Medicare and Obamacare take two fundamentally different paths. Medicare adopted a public insurance based approach and Obamacare took a regulated private health insurance market approach. One is the progressive approach - Medicare. One is a conservative approach - Obamacare. Whatever the merits of the health bills, surely adherence to progressive ideas on health care is not one of them.

Speaking for me only

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    Grayson's bill will pass within 7 years (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:45:04 AM EST
    As folks/employers face the costs of private insurance they will demand the right to buy into Medicare.  At some point insurers will overreach, its in their DNA, and that may well accelerate the Medicare buy in bill's passage.  The pressure from progressives for strong public option will not let up and Obama himself should be put on the spot in 2012.  Whiel I am glad the bill passed, I am dissappointed in Obama's handling of HCR (no PO, no govt. negotiating Medicare Rx drug prices, etc), Bush's big bank bailout etc., jettisoning the PO etc. and would welcome the opportunity to support a progressive challenger in the 2012 primaries.  I suspect I am far from alone.

    Utilities are regulated industries and there are many public owned companies.  

    Why (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:48:55 AM EST
    are you glad it passed? I see no benefit in pusuing known conservative failure and putting a "progressive" label on it. This mindset is why I call myself a liberal not a progressive.

    Yes I am glad it passed (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:55:44 AM EST
    the progressive movement to single payer continues and our field position is much improved.  The alternative was same old same old.

    I read where the GOP might propose a Senate reconciliaiton amendment requiring a public option.   The move would be intended to embarass Democratic senators & anger the progressive base when Democratic senators vote against the public option.  it is not at all clear to me that 50 Dems would vote against it.

    Bring it on GOP!


    I would (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:58:15 AM EST
    be very surprised if the GOP did that.

    Well, the games have begun and (none / 0) (#65)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    that is being discussed at the moment.  The Senate Dem Leadership is whipping the Dem caucus to vote "no" on every possible amendment that is not exactly the same - to the letter and punctuation - as what's in the House version so that it doesn't have to be thrown back to the House for another vote.

    There's a brief article over at Huffpo if you want to read about the public option question specifically in this context.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:46:45 AM EST
    The insurance companies will overreach - as they always do.  But I don't see how they necessarily get their hands' slapped.  We could have a Republican Congress by then who could look the other way (if they don't dismantle parts of the bill in the meantime).  And, contrary to what you wish, Obama cannot be put on the spot in 2012, since most of the effects of the bill will not take place until halfway through his second term, if he gets one. And there is no way, short of Obama being caught on tape killing someone, that he will have a (serious) primary challenger in 2012.  The Democrats are stupid, but they aren't that stupid, and there is no one in the party who would sacrifice their career to do that.

    10 immediate benefits via crooksandliars.com (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:07:38 PM EST
       1. Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents' policy until their 27th birthday
       2. Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions
       3. No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage
       4. Free preventative care for all
       5. Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they're still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds.
       6. Small businesses will be entitled to a tax credit for 2009 and 2010, which could be as much as 50% of what they pay for employees' health insurance.
       7. The "donut hole" closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.
       8. Requirement that all insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.
       9. Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders' amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.
      10. AND no more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can't lose your insurance because you get sick.



    The list is not accurate (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:30:59 PM EST
    7. The "donut hole" closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.

    The "donut hole" is not closed until 2020.


    it is certainly misleading (none / 0) (#68)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:32:51 PM EST
    they start closing it in 2010, but you are right, it's not closed until 2020.

    Immediate? Not at least one of these (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    on the list, one that I do know about.  So that suggests that this info may not be entirely reliable.

    For those items that are immediate, though: Good.  At least one of these items is longstanding in my state, and it has made a difference that ought to have been available in all states.  (That said, it is said to be one reason why we pay more than any other area of the country.)

    Still not a true progressive bill, but we find the silver linings where we can do so.


    which one? (none / 0) (#62)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:18:02 PM EST
    Many of them (none / 0) (#69)
    by sleepingdogs on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:44:16 PM EST
    take effect within the first year.  Perhaps that is why they are considered as "immediate" by some, but not exactly "immediate" by others. For instance, I think the exclusion for children's pre-existing conditions takes effect 6 months after enactment.  

    Also, I believe that adult children will be able to be on their parents's policy until their 26th birhtday and that begins in 6 months.  (I have a child that is between jobs and turns 26 in 6 months, so I am interested in this also.)


    The only thing worth doing...IMHO... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Salo on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:21:01 PM EST
    ...was having a publicly administered plan that a working adult from any background could buy into.  I'd have allowed the private insurers to go completely unregulated at that point. let em swing on their length of rope as the public volunteers to abandon their excess in favour of something fair and honest.

    That's also a compromised position too.  


    That's what I always thought they (none / 0) (#67)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:31:08 PM EST
    should have done.  I thought that they should have ignored the insurance companies and just created a government plan.  Of course, I was assuming that most Democrats would be dealing in good faith when I first thought that to be the only realistic way of achieving the needed reform and meeting the stated goals.  I am not so sure I would trust this particular Congress to write a medical insurance plan though.  I could accept an expansion of Medicare to all because it would be difficult to do a ton of tinkering there, but having them build a plan from the ground up - I would only expect the worst from this Congress now.  I could envision this Congress devising a public option that no one would want to buy no matter how bad the private insurers were - and I could imagine that that would be deliberate so as to protect the insurers from competition.

    Within 6 months says crooksandliars.com (none / 0) (#70)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:48:54 PM EST
    "immediate" is my mistake.

    Primary challenger prospects (none / 0) (#58)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:15:39 PM EST
    Afghanistan (and Iraq fro that matter) is a clusterf**k.  Unemployment, by the Amdinistration's own estimate, will likely remain above 8% by 2012.  The commercial real estate problem has yet to reach its peak.   The Obama embrace of Bush's bank bailouts will not be effective policy for anyone other than bankers.  The lackluster stimulus an djobs measures will not provide much in the way of relief.

    I think a primary challenge is likely. It is also critically necessary for Dems, or at leats liberals.  At present, Obama is being effectively portrayed as leader of "the Left."  That is as ridiculous as it is true.  The GOP and media have done that.  Without a strong leftward challenge Obama's failure to right the economy and address the inefensible bailouts and favoring of Wall St over Main St will be seen as a failure of the Left.

    That opens the door for the horror that is right wing populism.  


    wow, sorry for all the typos! (none / 0) (#60)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:16:22 PM EST
    You (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 05:56:47 PM EST
    have made the best argument for a primary challenge that I have seen.

    I sure hope you're right (none / 0) (#12)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:14:06 AM EST
    I even think you're right, though I'm less sanguine about how long it's going to take to get to that point.  Seems to me, too, it'll require another huge Dem. majority in Congress and having the White House before that can happen, and who knows how long that'll be.

    During the Bush years, the public saw (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:54:35 AM EST
    first hand that conservative policies did not work for them. The Dems had a rare chance to prove that progressive policies would result in better outcomes for the people of this country.

    By choosing to draft and pass a conservative health insurance bill, they IMO chose a unsustainable plan, erroneously labeled progressive,   that will give the false impression that progressive policies do not work either.

    Oh well, I guess we'll have to (none / 0) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:09:38 AM EST
    resurrect "liberal"!

    Honestly, this is the kind of work product that I was taught would fall into the category of being "progressive" - I was taught that progressives were incrementalists and compromising.  Progressive policies were risky hybrids of conservative and moderate thought with a little bit of liberalism peppered in for good measure.  That may not be the modern, popular useage/understanding of the term, but that was what I was taught and why I have always called myself a liberal.


    Where the hell did you learn that? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:13:28 AM EST
    It is ridiculous.

    If you want the original on "progressive" it referred to reform-centric movements.

    But of course it has meant liberal for some decades now.

    Your construction is something it never meant.  


    My Dad - who worked on the Hill (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:20:52 AM EST
    with some who called themselves progressives and others who called themselves liberals.

    Never said it was true, but that was how the hair was split around my house - based on experience.

    Do you remember when Hillary Clinton was asked during the primaries if she would describe herself as a liberal or a progressive and she said "progressive" and even went on to explain how that was different?  She was pretty much tracking with what I was taught.  Most progressives of her and my Father's era viewed themselves as more moderate than liberals.


    I agree with this... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by masslib on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:23:39 AM EST
    There was a time when moderate Republicans referred to themselves as progressives.

    Yes and come to think of it, (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    I worked for one - who as it happens endorsed Obama which was huge since one of his ancestors had been one of the founding members of the original Republican Party.

    The usage of the term has certainly evolved as the political landscape has changed - and as the term liberal was vilified - a lot of people adopted the ID of "progressive".  But in terms of the 70's and 80's political landscape that originally informed my understanding of politics in this country, I was not a "progressive" - I was a "liberal".  And if Obama is progressive, then I am definitely still a liberal.


    When Progressive meant reformers (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:28:39 AM EST
    That was the 1920s.

    And it had nothing to do with being Republicans.


    My farther taught me that, and he's a (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by masslib on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:40:28 AM EST
    brilliant political scientist by education.  I'm not arguing it had something to do with being Republican, just that Republicans used it.  It's certainly not something liberals have always used, and not nearly as much as they have in the ten years.

    Due respect (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:04:39 AM EST
    It simply is not accurate.

    Oh really... (none / 0) (#46)
    by masslib on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:19:10 AM EST
    I'm going to ask him to write something up for you.  Thanks.

    So riddle me this? (none / 0) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    Do you think that the Republican Party of this era is really reflective of the Republican Party from any other significant era in the past.  Seeing as they've been taken over by a bunch of bizare factions that can only be described as aliens from another planet, I would say no.  For that matter, is the Democratic Party what it was?  No.

    I know that I am holding onto a vision of the Democratic Party from a past era.  I am clear on that.  The party today is very different from the one that I was raised on. There are plenty of politicians who call themselves Democrats in this era who are much more like the Republicans I grew up with.  A lot of those people claim to be "progressives" - so, I don't know what to tell you other than that these labels can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.


    If the circumstances in place in 1859 were today (none / 0) (#53)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:58:38 AM EST
    would today's GOP nominate Lincoln?

    I highly doubt it. nt (none / 0) (#63)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:20:49 PM EST
    Today's GOP (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 03:59:44 PM EST
    wouldn't nominate Nixon.

    BTD, the term has been used in (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:49:20 AM EST
    many contexts and by many movements.

    Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive - and there have been a number of Republicans who have called themselves "progressive" over the decades since.


    Not really (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:04:12 AM EST
    Progressive first meant reformers. Citing TR as a Republican misses the point of the use of the word.

    Frankly, the word liberal is the one that has jumped from one side to the other of the ideological spectrum.

    Roosevelt invented its use for what we think of as progressive policies today. But prior to that, "liberalism" was identified with Conservative Party trade policies in England.

    Think Disraeli.


    They've all jumped the line (none / 0) (#49)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:30:35 AM EST
    at various points - and the terms only ever have meaning in their historical and regional context.

    I was explaining at the outset of this discussion what was explained to me about my family's political views in the context of the 1970's American political landscape.  I won't even go into what I was told about Libertarians when I reasoned out loud that we might have something in common with them - lol.

    But the bottom line is that for my era - the term "liberal" has been the most accurate out of the bunch to describe my personal political views.  I have also found that politicians who claim to be progressives - not including friends, acquantances and bloggers here because politicians are in a class of their own that relies heavily on carefully parsed communications - I have found that most politicians who call themselves "progressive" are less reliably liberal in their dealings than I would like them to be.  Some are even at odds with liberal policy - Obama's block of the public option for whatever reason is an example that I would cite in this context.


    Hillary said what exactly? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:28:07 AM EST
    Please explain.

    She talked about being a (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:40:18 AM EST
    progressive of the ilk of the sufferage movement.  It was a brilliant response given the political risk in answering the question.  She picked the more acceptable term, empoyed an historical moment of change that few to none would consider politically charged in this era, and appealed to everyone in the spectrum from moderate republicans to lefty liberals.  I think it was during one of the debates.

    And brilliant because while her example was incredibly radical during its time, she managed to convey the sense that she was pragmatic and mainstream in her thinking in emulating that "progressive" movement.  The reality is that we all know that women getting the vote or not had no real middle ground position.  It was one or the other.  A clear choice of yes or no.


    That is actually my point (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45:21 AM EST
    "progressive of the ilk of the sufferage movement."

    that was the era of Reform Progressivism.

    I t never meant Republican/Dem split the difference.


    Eventually even had a party: Bull Moose (none / 0) (#29)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:51:23 AM EST
    also (none / 0) (#25)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:45:06 AM EST
    there are not many pols who are/were racing to embrace the liberal tag.  it has been turned into a pejorative

    As a HRC backer then, (none / 0) (#42)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:11:45 AM EST
    I might have preferred she have taken the debate moment to reclaim the word "liberal", perhaps quoting some lines from JFK's famous defense of liberalism from the 1960 campaign.  It would have been a somewhat bold stroke that could have won her some points with the skeptical liberal-left in the party that were beginning to coalesce around Obama.  For sure, the Repubs and McC would have tried to exploit it had she made it to the finals.

    But at the time, she and her campaign were playing it safe, with their stupid Inevitable Nominee attitude, and so didn't want to make any unnecessary waves.


    Here's what she sd.: (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:09:01 AM EST
    I think they are making the point (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:41:56 AM EST
    that Hillary grew up as a moderate/progressive republican in a moderate/progressive household.
    and that she may see a slightly different definition for liberal and progressive.

    Not just Clinton. (none / 0) (#31)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:58:03 AM EST
    My Dad as a liberal Democrat made the distinction too - as did most of his colleagues on the Hill during his tenure there.

    There is actually a progressive republican movement that is emerging which would be very good news for America if the Democrats would allow the liberal wing of the party to have a little breathing room.  We might actually be able to get back to a place in this country that is not so far right of center - and not so radicalized from the right flank.  Those new progressive republicans would not have been too helpful with healthcare because they believe in small government, but they would be good on civil liberties, gay rights and the environment.

    Wiki calls Senator Mathias a "liberal Republican", but I think IIRC he called himself progressive.

    Check out his bio: Senator Charles "Mac" Mathias


    I wouldn't call them Republicans... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by masslib on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:02:20 AM EST
    and there is NO progressive coalition of "progressive" Repubs. in the halls of Congress, however, Robert Reich talks about a growing "I'm Mad as Hell Party", and argues such a group, left and right, should really take on the mother of all that which is ruining our political system, the money, ie a movement to change to publicly funded elections.

    there isnt now (none / 0) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:07:49 AM EST
    but there was once

    They are not on the Hill as yet. (none / 0) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:14:51 AM EST
    But there are people in the Republican Party who are trying to start a movement and organize.  They're not going to achieve party domination anytime soon, but they are out there.

    Introducing the Progressive Republicans

    My roomate is one, my bf would be another, most of the Republicans I am friends with fall into this category - and all of them think that their party has gone off the rails.  And just to be clear, these people are not Democrats.  They voted for Obama because they really had no other place to go.  They all say Palin was the coup de grace for the McCain vote they pondered.  Ironically, they all also supported a single-payer healthcare model - even though it went against their big government sensibilities.  I've got a lot of Republicans in my life considering how much of a lefty liberal I am - lol.


    it seems to me (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:34:59 AM EST
    that pointing out that a democratic congress was only able to squeak through a bill that was backed by republicans only a few years ago only underscores how far to the right the country has moved since those days.

    DIng Ding Ding Ding (none / 0) (#32)
    by jb64 on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:00:31 AM EST
    That's what 4 decades of (mostly) Republican rule will get you. what seemed unreasonable to Teddy Kennedy in 1973 is now considered mainstream.

    Public option (none / 0) (#38)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    I disagree the country has moved right.  The right has gone off the deep end and is appealing only to those with the most extreme ideology.  60% of the country supports the progressive idea of a public option.  That wasn't the reality 10 years ago.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:10:36 AM EST
    its not all together that the country has moved right.  in some important ways we are becoming more civilized.  but the right has become more hardened and aggressive and vocal.  not that they were not always.  but I cant imagine some of the things we have seen in the last few days that has been excused by the republican party happening 20 years ago and being excused by the party.

    TL an Example? (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    TL comments moved to the right with the influx of Hillary supporters. My guess is that had it been Obama supporters that flooded TL instead, the comments would have also shifted to the right.

    I agree that the country moved to the right. It is because the right wing formula: perpetual war and fearmongering rhetoric that "the other" (muslims, immigrants, socialists, and communists) will soon usurp red blooded american's way with of life with sharia law etc, confiscate property and corrupt our children, always works... until it doesn't.


    TL is an example (none / 0) (#75)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:51:12 PM EST
    For some individual supporters.  Yeah, the Obama supporters are no different than the Clinton supporters.  Some who came to TL moved left on social issues like the public option.    I know that I shifted left on the death penalty.

    I so agree with you on the shift right militaristically.  More are accepting of torture and indefinate detention.


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:42:43 PM EST
    My framework is from before January 2008 when many new commenters started commenting here. IOW the comment shifted to the right with the influx of commenters focused on the 2008 primary, imo. And has not bounced back since many of the old commenters left and many of the new commenters remained.

    And Yes (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by squeaky on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:46:20 PM EST
    That is not such a terrible thing, as the site has not shifted right one bit. It is better to influence others than have a Kaffe Klatch where everyone agrees.

    And from my perspective, as annoying as the process can be it is good people shift left.  So I agree.


    As I see it, I don't care (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:25:59 AM EST
    if the final product contains some or a good deal of Republican thinking so long as it moves things forward, generally, and is about as good as we could get under the circumstances.  

    Medicare 1965 for instance contained about 2/3 Republican/AMA ideas -- though these initially had been intended by their conservative backers to be the only elements of, or a substitute for, the final medicare bill.

    The problem with the Obama legislation is that with the early backroom dealing with PhRMA and the health insurance industry, we probably did sacrifice too much at the outset and at a time when Obama had political momentum and could have stood firm against such deals and gone for a much more robust bill.  

    It's something like if, following the huge Dem landslide win in 1964, the primary dealmaker for Dems (Wilbur Mills or LBJ) decided to just try to get the sort of modest deal that was available prior to the election.

    Now it's up to Obama and Dems to try to make improvements as soon as possible, and/or to signal to November voters that even more substantial reform is at hand provided they keep the health insurance industry-backed Repubs from taking over Congress.  

    I fully expect that many of the Dem (none / 0) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:04:50 PM EST
    politicians will campaign and send out funding requests on the premise that they will improve the health insurance legislation. It will always be something that will be done after the next election. Great funding raising ploy for the masses but in practice the industries and their campaign contributions will be what dictates the actual legislation.

    This is not accurate (none / 0) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:17:28 PM EST
    "Medicare 1965 for instance contained about 2/3 Republican/AMA ideas -- though these initially had been intended by their conservative backers to be the only elements of, or a substitute for, the final medicare bill."

    That is just incorrect.


    Be more specific (none / 0) (#71)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:12:01 PM EST
    as to how its incorrect.  Mills did incorporate the Repub congressman's and AMA's proposals which originated as Medicare alternatives by themselves.  The final product came to be known as Mills' "3-layer cake."

    The thrust (none / 0) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:15:24 PM EST
    a public insurance program, was decidedly NOT a GOP idea.

    In any way.

    Your analogy is absurd.


    Of course, but I (none / 0) (#74)
    by brodie on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 01:38:43 PM EST
    was arguing, on some narrower grounds, that some gooper notions, which did involve public monies, did make the final bill more expansive in scope compared to the original, smaller Dem-driven one.  The final result was good, even if it didn't contain only 100% liberal-originated ideas.

    While the clues had been there (4.57 / 7) (#8)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:01:18 AM EST
    since the primaries (okay - that is neither an invitation to dredge up and re-fight them, or an indication that you-know-who is about to be invoked - it's just a way to fix the timeline) that Obama was more likely than not to take a right-of-center approach to health care and entitlements, there was a hope that a lot of people held onto for a long time that what the people wanted would spur the Congress to take a more liberal approach, and the Congress' approach would in turn push Obama more to the left.  But when Obama shut out the single-payer advocates altogether, and spoke of them in condescending and dismissive terms, I knew it would never happen.

    My concern is that the failure of allegedly progressive members of Congress to stop the rightward movement, much less move it one inch to the left, and the "victory" now being gloated over by the WH and the Democratic leadership, will set the pattern for whatever else is on the agenda.  

    And there's a lot there, from financial industry reform, to immigration, and (cue dramatic music) entitlements.  There's a commission now, co-chaired by the biggest Medicare and Social Security hater ever - Alan Simpson - hand-picked by Obama.  Is that all about "balance," a desire to hear "good ideas," or is it the first step in a campaign to "reform" these programs in the interest of the Republicans' favorite subject: deficit reduction?

    Am I the only one who wonders why the Democratic caucus cannot seem to see two moves ahead, and will just putz around until the conservative direction is firmly established, and their mission becomes less about changing that direction and more about doing what they have to do to give Obama another win?  

    I do not recognize the Democratic Party anymore, the Republican party offers nothing that I want, so here I am: disaffected, disappointed and wondering if it even matters who I vote for, since they don't listen, or whether I vote, because they don't care enough about whether I do it to listen to me.  All they want is my money - and I no longer give it to them.

    Support and encourage liberal primary candidates (none / 0) (#54)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:02:37 PM EST
    to run against the coporatist Dems.  Vote Green or Socialist if necessary in general elections.  It is better than non-participation as it allows the Dems to see how many voters they are losing & could potentially attract.  

    Let's face it (none / 0) (#2)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:48:25 AM EST
    this is pretty darn close to the MA health plan.  Which was implemented under a Republican governer.  Of course the MA state legislature is much further to the left than the senate or the house, and they were able to over-ride a few vetos on specific parts of the bill.  But Romney still signed the thing, and Brown still voted for it (which sort of makes their grandstanding on this bill even more unbearable, but that's another thing).

    In some ways MA health is further to the left than the federal bill.  And it was put in place under Republican leadership.

    I've always (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:50:12 AM EST
    thought that the MA bill was further to the left. How does the federal bill effect that if all?

    well the big difference (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:01:18 AM EST
    as I see it between the two is Mass Health, which is essentially the public option part of the bill.

    Plus - I trust my state to "run" an exchange more than say, GA.

    But here's a good rundown from the globe about how things will change in MA due to the federal bill.  It's mostly good, but it is more about the cumulative effects - I haven't seen anything that compares the bills side-by-side.

    One interesting thing to me in this article is that it states the mandate will go down because of the federal bill.  I had previously assumed it would be cumulative, so I'm glad to hear that they will be replacing the state mandate rather than adding to it.


    Also the Massachusetts govt can veto premium hikes (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:14:45 AM EST
    These 2 things - government regulation of premium rates and a public option - are the key to premium control.  Obama does not support either of them because they might lower the profits of insurance companies.

    yea but lets face it (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:18:36 AM EST
    premium control has not happened in MA either.  Something else has got to give.

    psst..... (none / 0) (#35)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:03:56 AM EST
    it's the amount paid to providers of services.

    well (none / 0) (#45)
    by CST on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:18:07 AM EST
    they are working on changing that here, we'll see how it pans out.  There is an active investigation to determine if BCBS and partners in health in MA have been engaging in collusion or unfair practices (Partners in Health owns many of the major hospitals).  So we'll see what happens.

    If it works to provide health (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:50:33 AM EST
    CARE, then that makes the bill Progressive, IMO.
    We'll see.

    It is not progressive or liberal or (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:05:09 AM EST
    remotely lefty.  The reality is that there is a faction of the Democratic Party who would be just as happy as most Republicans to entirely eliminate progressive liberal thinking in this country.  What better way than to stake out the goal posts and call their position "progressive".

    The spam from the DNC over the past few days have claimed that this is the most monumental achievement on healthcare in 100 years.  Not true.  Medicare is still more important - if true progressivism is acknowledged - but true progressivism was never the goal here.  The President wanted to get something passed; and I don't believe for a second that he wanted that something to be trully progressive.


    Oh yeah, I think the oversell (4.00 / 1) (#30)
    by observed on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:55:20 AM EST
    will come back to bite the Dems, big time.
    This is actually more ridiculous than "Mission Accomplished".

    Is he for real? (none / 0) (#15)
    by masslib on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:19:24 AM EST
    "Americans are now being asked not to shirk their responsibilities but rather to act like adults."

    Nobody think Americans should shirk their responsibility.  Medicare for All for example, increases taxes, it just doesn't mandate the public by a private insurance product.

    I strongly predict this is the sort of language progressives will have to stomach when Obama is running for re-election.

    Obama would benefit from left primary challenge (none / 0) (#56)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 12:05:10 PM EST
    and the sooner (after Nov 2010) the better.

    Frankly, I don't care what benefits Obama (none / 0) (#76)
    by shoephone on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 03:30:34 PM EST
    If I like the primary challenger I'll go to bat for that person. At this point, those who feel cr@pped on by the president are not going to "take one for the team" ever again.

    Splitting Hairs (none / 0) (#34)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:02:55 AM EST
    Making distinctions w/o differences.  Whether the gov't takes my money and uses it to pay a contractor to pay my claims vs. the gov't requiring me to give money to a private entity to pay my claims doesn't make a difference.  Fundamentally, there are no differences in how the gov't handles health insurance & coverage as compared to private industry.  Both cover certain services, both deny claims when not medically necessary.  Seriously, it seems the only goal of the rhetoric here is the destruction of a particular industry and nothing more.

    You think the contractor (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:15:59 AM EST
    the government may hire to pay the claims is going to make as much profit as the insurance companies do now?

    No (none / 0) (#47)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 11:25:57 AM EST
    The contractor selection process uses RFP's so whoever can provide the services requested the cheapest and best wins.  Generally, contractors who perform this work don't do it for profit.  The implication in your question is that profit is always ill-gotten gain, fortunately, that's just not the case.