Asking Progressives To Lobby For The Senate Health Bill

The Democratic Strategist makes a call to arms to progressives:

This will likely be the pivotal vote in enacting a decent health care bill, and we can imagine the lobbying pressure the insurance industry will be putting on these House members in the weeks ahead. Much depends on them hearing from progressive constituents and organizations in impressive numbers.

(Emphasis supplied.) I'm sure it will happen. After all, President Obama gave them a pat on the head, though nothing else. After the capitulation to Stupak on abortion is complete, I'm sure progressives will be even more enthused. Yes We Can!

Speaking for me only

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    I heard some scuttlebutt this morning (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:02:27 AM EST
    about how the President's speech urging passage of the Senate bill in the House by mid-March has actually created further problems for the Speaker in her efforts to wrangle votes.  I am not so sure that bullying the House is going to yield the results that the White House is looking for here.

    Its the old lame duck problem. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:12:16 AM EST

    The main problem for the speaker is that she is being viewed more and more as a lame duck.  With less than a year to go in office her promises of goodies or thteats of punishment have less and less weight with each passing day.

    I don't believe that she has a lame duck (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:13:16 PM EST
    problem at the moment anyway.  I believe the problem is that no one trusts the Senate and that, while they aren't publicly saying it, there a lot of people in the Dem House caucus who don't trust the White House because of their backing of the Senate bill - and, not for nothing, the White House's clear disinterest in the prospects for keeping the Dem House majority during the 2010 election.

    It is interesting to me that a guy like Obama who talked so incessantly about bringing people together has created an environment in which so many people are now really focusing on what their individual prospects for survival are.

    Whomever it was that thought that it was a good idea for Baucus to delay and delay over there in the Senate with respect to their HCR bill, was a political idiot.  Had they gotten that bill out of conference on schedule in early June 2009, the issues around the 2010 election would have been much less of a concern for the House members.  Of course, I have never thought that Baucus was dealing in good faith on HCR.  I think he has always known that his bill had some very potent poison pills; and I think he has probably been very pleased with their effect on the bill's prospects and content so far.

    It is almost laughable that the Senate is demanding that the House step in line with their bill.  This power play and the results will be very interesting to watch in both the long and short term.


    The Senate needed a little extra time (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:37:04 PM EST
    because the insurance industry was writing the bill for them. It takes time and effort to cheat creatively.

    Don't you think it took the house a while (none / 0) (#30)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:11:19 PM EST
    to let Operation Rescue write it?

    Operation Rescue (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:30:20 PM EST
    And the Catholic Conference of Bishops are better organized.

    IIRC - the Senate delays (none / 0) (#38)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:34:18 PM EST
    had a lot to do with continuing the folly over on the House side.  Meaning that if the Senate wasn't still playing games as late as the Fall, the House might have avoided the Stupak take over.  Remember that it was after Nelson made his big power play that Stupak emerged making demands.

    The reason you try to get legislation through quickly is because you give trouble-makers less time to find ways in which they can derail or hijack the process.

    It was like Baucus was maintaining an open door policy for the poison pill crowd all of those months.


    What the Dems still haven't explained (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:17:16 AM EST
    My problem with the biggest pile of B.S. in the whole "strategy" is:

    Out of one side of their mouths they claim this: "If we just pass the senate bill now, then we can fix it by adding the good stuff a little ways down the road. Really. Trust us!"

    Out of the other side of their mouths they claim this: "We have to pass this POS bill now, because there is no way health care will ever be revisited -- not for another generation!"

    So... which is it? "We can fix this pile of carp really soon" or "We're not going to mess with health care again for the next 25 years."

    Either way, they are bald-faced liars.

    My rep is going to get he[[ from me.

    I don't get the "won't be another chance (none / 0) (#7)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    for a generation" argument. People are not happy with the health care system as it is. Without effective reform it will only get worse. That means demand for reform will only get stronger.

    Pass this dog or not, the agitation for change is unlikely to let up.

    I'm mean, what are they expecting? When nothing gets done everyone will just shrug and say, "oh, just another 50% increase in insurance cost" or "just another claim denial" -- "I don't see the need to do anything about that."


    To: esmense (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    The reason for the argument that defeating this bill defeats healthcare reform for a generation, I believe, is: The history of attempts at healthcare reform itself and the patterns of Congress. It is the old those-who-don't-learn-from-history-are-doomed-to-repeat-it argument. When you think about it, there is merit in that caution simply because Presidents who have taken up the challenge of reform here--so far--have gotten clobbered (so to speak) in many ways. Since Presidents are politicians, they and advisers take note of that conundrum. The pattern has been that everyone starts out happy and hopeful (Clinton redux).... But, noone really wants to give too much from our own position. That applies to me too, of course. Anyway, savvy politicians--yes, the kind that often become President--usually shy away from losing, giant battles. Since I don't know that many politicians are in line for canonization, my position: Take the advances you can get now--albeit small--consolidate, declare victory, and add on later. The "add on later" becomes more real when we can demonstrate to hesitant politicians that they have had a few small victories in the area. Without that, the "all or nothing" approach gets you...a historically demonstrable long wait for the next go-round at getting anything. (And, lots of tears for years from those who have nothing.)

    16 years ago the need for reform (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:33:44 PM EST
    was not seen as very pressing for a majority of Americans. And, just the threat of reform actually, for a few years, kept premiums from inflating at the spectacular rate we've seen in the last decade.

    Failure this time around will take place in a much different environment; when high unemployment, almost non-existent job creation, and constantly inflating costs are challenging our entire system of employer provided health care and spurring voter demand for reform. There is little to indicate the situation will get much better if current the administration's ideas are implemented and no reason to not believe that it will get much, much worse, affecting more and more people, if nothing is done.

    You have to stop thinking about this as a political problem and realize that it is a human one.

    If you were someone like me, a cancer survivor who pays exhorbitant rates in the individual market, and small business owner who pays for employees insurance, you would certainly not be thinking that this issue can be put off for another generation.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:49:08 PM EST
    It is a human problem, esmense. I have always strongly believed that about healthcare reform. More than any other issue in my lifetime (and, I would include the passionate Vietnam debate) the dire situation involving healthcare--the fears, realities of loss--are in my heart. And, in my family life. I detest the debilitating actions of so-called "healthcare insurers." For that reason, I strongly support each advance in American healthcare--because they are so few and far between; I support the political tactic of consolidating what we can now and passing it as the one-in-the-hand. (See discussion on tactical choices below.) And, consider: The recent SupCt decision allowing for non-limitation on interest group political contributions  reinforces my support for the tactic of consolidating a gain now because the $$ flowing in the coming years should strengthen the insurers and their buddies as they convince citizens via all manner of expensive advertising/sales pitches to vote against their own interest. Even without the Court's unfortunate decision, there is a history of that persuasion.

    And if you were an African-American in 1930 (none / 0) (#35)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:26:34 PM EST
    you wouldn't have thought the country could take another 35 years to reform civil rights- but it did. I just have to ask who exactly do you think is going to be able to run on Health Care Reform, get into the Presidency and have a compliant enough Congress to slip it through, because from what I can tell its almost always going to be a political loser- up until is actually implemented (not passed but implemented). I can see state level reform happening- and indeed it has in many states- Oregon had a strong program for a while, Mass has such a good program it allowed them to vote against reform knowing it wouldn't help them at all, the Charter Oak program in Conneticut works well, etc. Largescale Healthcare Reform is unfortunately a political loser for us- its like Social Security Reform to the GOP- its popular with the base but turns off moderates.

    Frankly, if Reform fails this time I don't know who can pass it- we'd have basically witnessed the two most gifted Democratic Politicians since LBJ take it on, each with the backing of Majoritites in both houses, each with some success in getting the industry itself to buy-in (look at how the Clinton Plan effectively granted the 5 largest Insurance firms a massive market edge or Obama got PhARMA to go along), and if each fails to get it through I don't know what it will take, historically, it'd be a catalyzing event- a true Great Depression pt. 2, or a mass pandemic that overwhelmed the Healthcare industry.


    Huh? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:55:41 PM EST
    If you were an African American in 1930's there was probably NO thought of civil rights. I imagine that African Americans didnt even have that concept until the Supreme Court ruled on Brown vs. Board of Education in the 1950's. That's what really got the whole movement started. When the highest court in the land is behind you it gives you a lot of hope I would imagine.

    HCR failing this time won't end it. It's going to continue to be a problem. Maybe a President Romney can take it up in 2013 or something. I dont know.


    Didnt have that concept, why? (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:07:01 PM EST
    because the abstract thought required was too tall a neurologic order?

    Fredrick Douglass and WEB Dubois never discussed - with their tens-of-thousands of readers and lecture attendees - civil rights before the thirties?


    No (1.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:28:37 PM EST
    because where was the institutional support for overturning those laws? When you are a minority and the majority of people are against you having rights and there's no institutional support where are you supposed to get your hope from?

    Really (none / 0) (#63)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:32:20 PM EST
    antilynching legislation- was introduced time and again in the 20th century- it nearly passed in 1921.

    I'm not (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:35:20 PM EST
    talking about anti lynching. I'm talking about basic human rights like not having to stay outside certain buildings etc.

    But yet, you're really making the case that there really wasn't a whole lot of hope if the legislation was introduced time and again but yet wasn't passed.


    Unfortunately, African Americans were and are (none / 0) (#76)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:59:04 PM EST
    a minority. They did not have the numbers for significant political power -- they had to appeal to the conscience of the majority. And building support among that majority took time.

    That's a totally different, if not opposite, problem from the political problem presented by health care reform

    Everyone requires health care at some time in their life and ever increasing numbers of Americans are being affected by, and are demanding a political fix for, the short comings in our current system of health care.

    (I'd even argue that the election of Democrats in 2006 and 2008 is one good indication that those who think this is a serious issue that must be addressed are now the majority.)

    In fact, if the public option or expanded Medicare could be put to a popular vote, they would probably win.

    So the problem isn't that there isn't enough political support, among voters, for real reform. The problem is that politicians are unwilling to take on vested, minority interests -- insurers and others who profit from health care, and who invest a lot of money in the political system. And without taking on those interests, real reform is not possible.

    The plans on the table today don't take on those powerful interests. And are not real reform. They are "doing something" but it is something that gives the special interests what they want without giving the American middle class what it wants.

    As long as we do not have real reform that satisfies a majority of middle class voters, the political demand for reform will always be there.


    I could see Romney doing that (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:35:57 PM EST
    Not sure how many people on here would back a Healthcare Reform bill centered around Tort Reform, deregulation of the insurance industry and support for HSAs as well as the elimination of Medicaid (which unlike Medicare has low public support).  But, hey you could be right after all a public consensus on Prescription drug pricing led to the 2003 MMA- which basically served as a massive federal giveaway to PhArma while at the same time defusing the issue.

    Well (none / 0) (#75)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:58:40 PM EST
    I didnt say it would be a good one simply because conservative ideology is largely a failure but simply that he seems to realize that something needs to be done unlike most of the other Republicans.

    Oh and I love (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:40:59 PM EST
    "African-Americans didn't have the concept of civil rights" bit, totally cool- doesn't remove agency from African-Americans at all, I mean they probably were too busy picking cotton and shining shoes to think about fancy concepts like Civil Rights before the white agitators gave them those ideas.  After all Dubois, et al didn't exist, and the NAACP is celebrating its 101st anniversary this year, and Plessy v. Ferguson- two white guys, they were just playing a prank on the Supreme's.  

    Are you (1.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:01:40 PM EST
    serious? The older black people I've talked to around here really didnt have a lot of hope for something to happen like getting rid of the Jim Crow laws until the Brown case. I mean even Rosa Parks said that she wasnt thinking about civil rights only that she was tired.

    It's a flawed argument (none / 0) (#11)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:11:15 PM EST
    Quite frankly it sounds very much like the progressives who once said that we needed to be electing governors for our candidates in the GE because Senators historically didn't win(and then they would trot out the evidence that was corollary rather than causative).

    Well, I think that this experiment (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    in Senators turned President and VP isn't working out so well; and I think that is directly related to their exposure and previous inclusion in the club.  This Senate is simply NOT even remotely reflective of the greater political body called The People; and yet it seems that Obama and Biden's fealty to their old institution and their friends there is a huge driver in their political decisions.  I don't think that the White House is being pragmatic as much as it is being loyal in a lot of the policy choices that are being made.

    The problem isn't that he was a Senator (4.00 / 4) (#19)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:35:22 PM EST
    The problem is that many people ignored signs of his political philosophy. His record on choice was voting present for political purposes therefore it is no surprise to someone like me that he is not saying boo on reproduction and is more than happy to offer it up for political gain. His record on economics during the primaries was one that disparaged funding for infrastructure. It was no surprise to many of us that his stimulus was weak and he's been rather laissez faire on correcting the market. His record on health care was insisting that universal coverage meant insisting that poor would be forced to choose between rent or health care. His record on FISA and gun control showed that he could and would flip when he felt it was politically convenient. The presidency he choose to speak of as transformational was Reagan, not someone like FDR.

    All these things were ignored because he was a media darling and it would be easier to offer him up to the electorate than someone like Clinton who was seen as more polarizing.

    Taking the "easier" route hasn't worked out real well for the progressives IMO. Better to put in the hard work.


    I think that it s really a bit of both. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:11:00 PM EST
    Obama was a "perfect" Senator for this Senate in particular and that was because of his political philosophy.  He's the perfect country club member in many ways - go along - get along - and never challenge the status quo.

    I did not like the fact that he wasn't a fighter, but I was told that he had it in him to be a cut throat Chicago-style politician.  I thought that nice guy act was fine as long as he was capable of a fight when it was required - because you have to fight in Washington a lot of the time - fighting is not optional here if you seek success.

    The thing is that I disagree with him on policy on a number of fronts, but those disagreements now pale in comparison to my disagreements with his strategy and tactics in attempting to advance his agenda.  I just don't think he gets it.  He is coming dangerously close to throwing himself under the bus out of deference to the Senate - and I don't think that's entirely driven by agreement with their politics - a politically pragmatic President would understand just how different the roots of his power are from those in the Senate enjoy.  First and foremost, popular opinion is much more important to his survival and advancement of his agenda than it is to a Senator.  Senators can get away with passing really unpopular legislation in ways that Presidents and House members cannot.

    We are at 9.7% unemployment and Obama is not taking the Senate to the woodshed over a paltry spend of $15 billion compared to the no less than $3 Trillion poured into the financial industry.  Even if it is kabuki, he should be putting the screws to them for not doing more.  That's the deference for his former place of work that's going to end up destroying his own political prospects.  Maybe he doesn't care about 2012, but that would be difficult to believe.


    A politically pragmatic (none / 0) (#42)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:39:52 PM EST
    president would never have touched healthcare in the first place (or done anything about Gitmo, or released the torture memos, etc- none of that stuff is popular- I hate to say it but the American People like torture, they like military tribunals it makes them feel safe).

    That's a load of bull (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:58:29 PM EST
    You can't campaign on health care reform, and then effectively ignore it and expect to be re elected. Now you could make the argument that he didn't need to do so out the gate and he could instead have started with the economy(which he actually did with the stimulus) or jobs as his first priority but arguing he could have ignored it and effectively won is absurdity.

    Furthermore I suspect he was looking for deficit savings when he looked at health care. Hence the cuts to programs like Medicare.


    The medicare cuts (none / 0) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:43:04 PM EST
    are freaking laudable they apply almost entirely to the boondoggle of Medicare Advantage, which was a stupid money-wasting concept when it was introduced in the 2003 MMA and remains so today.

    Which wasn't your point (none / 0) (#70)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:51:25 PM EST
    You keep switching the argument everytime you realize that you are losing.

    First it was he didn't have to address health care....

    Then it was he's laudable because they almost all-operative words being almost rather than all apply to Medicare plus..........

    The bottom line is this bill has very little laudable about it and the majority of the country doesn't like it. What they wanted was something which would control costs and provide insurance to millions of Americans without. What they got written by their representation was a big ol' giveaway to the insurance company that doesn't control costs. The idea we shouldlike it or believe it is better than nothing is a load of bunk.


    Funny there hasn't been (none / 0) (#82)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:10:50 PM EST
    a bill introduced that would control costs- no industialized nation knows how to control costs in the long run-there's a reason that every major healthcare system including ones bettter than our one is facing a crisis in terms of longterm costs- heck one of the few proven costs control devices is a political loser that's currently being criticized in the bill (the excise tax) other options are just as controversial- rationing works- but American's wouldn't accept it from the government rather than a corporate board(this is one of the main problems with people arguing for a UK style system- Americans would quite literally never accept something like NICE). As far as expanding access this bill does that by offering the single biggest expansion in Medicaid since its inception. Is the bill perfect- no, of course not, the excise tax should be stripped and Politicians should just realize that attempting cost control is stupid- it always pisses people off and even if you succeed its only a short term gain before medical inflation eats the savings- but its much better than the status quo.

    Medicare (none / 0) (#93)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:53:24 PM EST
    has controlled costs but hey don't let that truth get in the way of your argument.

    Just don't believe for a minute that I'm buyin' what your selling or that I'll be signing on like an Avon rep for the Democratic brand in 2010 or 2012.

    You keep on hypothesizing on what the American public would or wouldn't buy. Frankly, if you think this is the best that could have been done then you and the party deserve to be mocked when you knock on doors and lose down the line for it.


    Look I don't want to get into the primaries (none / 0) (#40)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:37:33 PM EST
    but Polarizing isn't what killed Clinton with the base- it was one issue- Iraq, after Kerry the base wasn't going to nominate another Dem complicit in the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam- it'd be like Scoop Jackson getting the nod in 1972.

    NO (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:00:16 PM EST
    it wasn't the base it was the elite in the party and the latte liberals that cared about that. The middle class whites, hispanics and women mostly didnt care about that vote.

    And in the end it has been shown to be a silly thing to focus on. That war vote pales in comparision to the failure of Obama on the economy.


    Man I love how (none / 0) (#68)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:46:18 PM EST
    the anti-war folks and Black People aren't ever a part of the base in your mind. Now, it really isn't suprising coming from a person who thinks African Americans didn't understand Civil Rights until white people told them, but its still nice to get it out in the open.

    Tell you what when you get people in the streets in the numbers they were in late 2002/ early 2003 for Healthcare Reform then I'll think that has a bigger impact than say Iraq.


    Did (none / 0) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 06:00:01 PM EST
    I say they weren't part of the base? No I did not. I'm simply saying that they arent the only part of the base which is what you are saying. And latte liberals and anti war are pretty much the same thing.

    Oh, geez, you really are a head case. You didnt ready any of my posts did you? And frankly you were making the same case yourself about civil rights. When you have the majority of the people in the country against it do you think that it's going to happen?

    There already are a ton of people in the streets. They are the tea party people and they're against HCR.


    The "base" liked her just fine (none / 0) (#50)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:00:35 PM EST
    Believe it or not she was neck in neck with Obama on delegates with two states in contention and it was only the same people trying to pass this crock of a health care bill that put him over the top.

    Neck and Neck (none / 0) (#69)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:49:35 PM EST
    in what way- Obama never trailed in elected delegates- his only deficit was in Superdelegates- if you take them out of the equation Obama would have had the kind of lead in March 2008 that would have made things pretty freaking obvious (it was obvious to people who could do basic math and were willing to put in the effort).

    It's real easy to not be behind (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:32:43 PM EST
    when you claim delegates in a state you weren't even on the ballot on, essentially going so far as to take votes that your opponent earned.

    The delegate counts were

    1766.5 Obama
    1639.5 Clinton

    There is a difference of 127 votes. Florida and Michigan base were penalized a total of 156 delegates.

    Superdelegates made up 823 votes.

    If Florida was not penalized for having Republican legislature who switched the primaries those original numbers would have been even closer. Additionally, had the DNC not decided to give him half the ballots in a place he chose not to run on she would have been the nominee

    She didn't even get a full roll call though so that people like Pelosi wouldn't get the vapors.

    The idea that you can blame this on the "base" who seemed equally enthusiastic about her as it was about him is absurd.

    It was superdelegates like Nancy "I won't tolerate such incivility as a floor fight" Pelosi who determined who we had as our candidate.

    By the way, here are the revised numbers had Barack Obama not been given 24.5 delegates in a state on a ballot he didn't run on and had Florida not been penalized 92.5 delegates by people who were superdelegates on the rules committee.

    Clinton 1803.5
    Obama   1775.5

    That's what things would have looked like had ALL of the base been counted as full people.
    Heck, even being magnamonious and giving him votes in Michigan he didn't earn I narrow the difference down to about 50 which would have meant the decision fell to the superdelegates.

    Barack Obama 1799
    Hillary Clinton 1744

    In light of these numbers it seems pretty obvious that a goodly portion of the base didn't see Hillary Clinton's Iraq vote as unforgivable at all. On the contrary she could have just as easily been the actual candidate on base popularity as he was.



    That;'s the thing (none / 0) (#91)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:48:11 PM EST
    they effectively split the base- Obama ended up with a slight edge, but the edge was there.

    Then don't make the garbage argument (none / 0) (#94)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:55:52 PM EST
    that the base rejected her because of the Iraq ar vote. They didn't. He won because the same people who are selling us this weak reform are the ones who put him over the top. That and alot of the base saw him as easier to sell because he was a media darling and she wasn't.



    Obama had a lead in primary delegates? (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:59:26 PM EST
    Only if you truly believe (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:34:53 PM EST
    the people in Michigan and Florida were half people and if you don't run in a state you still deserve t be awarded delegates. If you do believe that then yes, he was ahead.

    Uh yeah (none / 0) (#80)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:01:40 PM EST
    After winning in Iowa he had the lead in elected delegates- a lead he never really came close to relinquishing.

    I love the Iowa primary too (none / 0) (#87)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:38:17 PM EST
    in fact, I think it would be  a great idea.

    thanks (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 06:01:23 PM EST
    for reaffirming that the GOP was right in Bush vs. Gore. That's the same argument they made. You guys and your embrace of Bush talking points never ceases to amaze me.

    Well except for the fact (none / 0) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:34:51 PM EST
    that they had a point then and still do now- longterm Senators (say more than 10 years) will inevitably take contradictory stances at one point or another- remember the "flip-flop" thing- its not utterly debilitating but it is almost always a liability.  For Healthcare the lack on any strong Counterexample is a bit stunning- Truman tried it in 1948- Dem's lose Whitehouse in 1950, Carter in 1979- Whitehouse and Senate, Clinton in 1993- Dem's lose Congress for first time in half a century, 2009- Dem's likely to lose House. (LBJ succeded in 1965 Dems lose Whitehouse in 1968- but its hard to assess impact as Vietnam basically overwhelmed to voters at time and even now its hard to get many people to admit that LBJ is probably the second most influential Democratic President of the 20th Century only FDR is better and Truman and Clinton while Great men themselves aren't even close).

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:24:16 PM EST
    I wonder if they realize rational people are not going to square, "we have to pass this now because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity" with "don't worry we'll fix it down the road"

    If your going to be fixing health care down the road then apparently this isn't that "once in a lifetime"


    there is a pretty clear difference (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:11:38 PM EST
    and historical record that suggests this is exactly what happens.

    It's much easier (politically - and therefore more likely to happen) to tinker with an existing program than it is to introduce a brand new one.

    That's why the public option people were pushing so hard despite it's initial limitations.  Or why a simple medicare expansion should have been an easy way to go.

    The problem with the existing bill is there doesn't seem to be a whole lot there to tinker with, since there is no clear "new program" that's being created besides the exchanges which don't mean much.  So it has to be sold on it's own merits (I personally think this bill is an improvement from what we currently have, and support it on those grounds, but I understand that is not a widespread opinion).


    How do you tinker with a program (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:50:11 PM EST
    where most of it doesn't even come into being for another three years, and by then, who knows which party will be in charge?

    I don't even know - haven't seen it explained anywhere - what constitutes a "new plan" which will get the benefit of some of these take-effect-immediately provisions; does anyone know?  Does it mean that if you have your own insurance and want the benefit of the new provisions, you have to start over, be re-rated and take your chances that you actually will be getting more/better (I'm laughing as I type those words) overall coverage?  And if you had an 80/20 policy, will they now want you to pay more for it if the "new" requirement is only 70/30?

    I expect chaos, actually, since nothing's been adequately explained, there will be a gazillion insurance companies all taking advantage of the general confusion, and that chaos will result in  jaw-dropping profits for the big-hearted folks in the mahogany-paneled, oriental-carpeted offices and boardrooms of the industry, and nice dividend checks for stockholders.

    "Give it time - let's let the whole plan get up and running first" is far likelier to be what we hear, as opposed to, "we have to fix this."


    Some brilliant strategist from the Village has it (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:22:27 PM EST
    all figured out Anne. By doing it this way the Dems can declare they need a super duper majority for forever. We need 100 Senators and 435 representatives so that we can fix health care down the road.

    My husband declares that I am one of the biggest Pollyannas he knows and even I am too cynical to believe the "we'll fix this down the road argument." The Dems have spent far too many times pulling the rug out from under people like me to find them credible when they say that they'll get to it later.


    The delays in the bill being (none / 0) (#41)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:39:06 PM EST
    enacted if it becomes law only make it scarier in my mind.  It is like these people know how much of a political loser it will be and are hoping that when it does come into effect, no one will remember which ones supported it.

    Other than (none / 0) (#43)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:42:04 PM EST
    the protections against recission, and the elimination of pre-existing condition bans- there isn't a huge amonunt for people earning more than the subsidy ceiling- but then again most people are happy with their insurance.

    Lets see how happy they are (none / 0) (#52)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:02:54 PM EST
    when the excise tax kicks in.

    The Dems are going to be roadkill when people like my family find that our insurance price increased as a result of their tinkering.


    The excise tax is a poltical mistake (none / 0) (#71)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:51:32 PM EST
    policywise it has been shown to be one of the few effective cost-controls- but lets be honest cost controls are pointless no one cares if healthcare costs keep skyrocketing because controlling them is going to be painful.

    just as it was seen as much easier (none / 0) (#16)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:26:46 PM EST
    politically to get someone into office with a limited record that doesn't require a consensus. That being said progressives should get over the idea that democracy is supposed to be easy. It isn't. Sometimes getting something worthwhile requires hard work. Sometimes taking a shortcut can lead to disaster.

    I think after 2004 (none / 0) (#44)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:44:54 PM EST
    people made a frankly prudent calculation- the opposition party is insane thus winning even with less than ideal canidates is better than not winning with say a Dean/Feingold ticket- its why the primaries boiled down to two centrists with great political skills but far less experience than say a Bill Richardson or a Joe Biden.

    Now they will learn (none / 0) (#54)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:05:35 PM EST
    the Dems are equally insane since the whole point of health care reform was to lower costs and provide insurance and the Dems only succeed in half of that equation and actually will increase costs to a decent portion of the population.

    Heckuva job Dems


    You do realize that (none / 0) (#72)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:54:05 PM EST
    providing health insurance to those currently not covered was always going to have attendent costs right- it was either going to be in the form of direct tax costs- ie your taxes go up, or in the form of increased premiums- I mean guareenteeing access when a lot of the people currently without are that way due to poverty or illness means the efficency of risk-pooling is going to go down when they're added.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#83)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:13:59 PM EST
    because extending Insurance to 30 million people who don't currently have it is totally equal to declaring war on a country.

    A dumb decision that cost people billions (none / 0) (#88)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:38:17 PM EST
    is a dumb decision that cost people billions.

    We live in a capitalist country. If you aren't thinking people aren't looking t things from the point of what it cost their bottom line then I don't know what to tell ya.

    It's cute though that you think that the GOP actually got the cold willies on Iraq because of the soldiers rather than the billions it was costing.


    Really, you think that (none / 0) (#32)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:15:41 PM EST
    wow, I admire you're faith in the American People, because I'm pretty sure if the bill fails the only reform we'll see before say 2020 is tort reform and the removal of State by State Regulation- you know things that will save in some areas but also make things much worse for the poor and the sick who don't vote in great numbers.

    The problem isn't the American public (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:24:37 PM EST
    who have clearly stated that they wish industry regulation and some sort of viable government option to private industry to help control costs.

    The problem is the industry and the representation they are able to buy.


    That's part of it (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:52:18 PM EST
    the other part of it is the people- they inevitably turn on Healthcare Reform bills because such bills are always massively complex, easy to charicature and take a long time to pass- which lets the Industry marshall its forces and change public opinion- if anything its going to be even harder next time around- not just due to the SC decision regarding corporate funding, but also due to the establishment of a Hard Right (frankly quasi-fascist) media operation thats getting stronger every year- Clinton didn't have to deal with Fox News in 1993, Carter didn't have to deal with Rush, LBJ actually had the support of the Insurance Industry(and was able to get them to go along because Medicare/Medicaid only covers those potential customers either to poor to buy in, or too old to be profitable- Medicare boosts the profits of the Insurance industry by making their overall pool younger and healthier) and Truman only had to fight against the AMA (the Health Insurance industry was largely nascent).  

    IF Obama hadn't sat on the sidelines (none / 0) (#56)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:07:39 PM EST
    for a good portion of the debate, essentially turning it over to legislative and made backdoor deals with industry then I'd argue this wouldn't have been as easy to mischarecterize.

    Obama stepping in could very well (none / 0) (#73)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:55:35 PM EST
    have made this debate go even worse for the Dems- like it did in 1994- where the executive branches meddling basically pissed off the Hill and they decided not to act.

    Or it could have made it better (none / 0) (#89)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:40:26 PM EST
    We'll never know how it would have gone had he used those brilliant oratory skills of his because he didn't bother to use them until after telling Snowe(the opposition party for cripes sakes) and Baucus to go to town on crafting a bill.

    The truth is that they will try (none / 0) (#14)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:17:35 PM EST
    to avoid it like the plague if this doesn't pass.  The question is whether or not they realistically could.  I don't think that they could avoid it.

    However, if they do pass it, they will be able to defer action and judgment on the issue for no less than a decade by saying that we need to see if their fixes are working.

    So, basically what they are saying is, "We don't want to deal with this issue anymore.  This is your last chance before we get back to the easy stuff like naming Post Offices."

    And that's why a lot of the people currently in Congress need to be replaced by people who want to work on the tough stuff.


    Our current health care system is IMO (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:34:29 PM EST
    unsustainable. What this legislation will do is prop a very bad, destructive system up longer.

    Yeah, sure it will, but they still (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:41:54 PM EST
    have provided political cover for avoiding the issue for probably a decade - possibly a whole decade after all of the elements of the bill actually start to take effect.

    That's one reason why I am not all that enthusiastic about its passage.  I don't think that the House bill is great, but the policies it put in place like progressive taxation and the public option makes it far more palatable for me because those are principles that might be carried forward in the next round of dealing with the issue.

    The Senate bill is nothing better than indentured servitude wrapped up in a big ace bandage so as to mask how undemocratic, in effective and likely damaging the policies will end up being.

    I'd scrap the whole thing and pass an expansion of Medicare to people over 45 and be done with it for the moment.  That's how you get around Stupak this week - just cover populations that are unlikely to get pregnant.  That's also how you hold onto your majority because the threat of having the GOP repeal the expansion would keep a lot of people in your court.


    I give it a 50/50 chance of not even (none / 0) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:48:32 PM EST
    being implemented. Only thing is that the really bad parts will probably remain long after the tax credits are removed.

    No it wouldn't (none / 0) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:59:02 PM EST
    the GOP would simply run around talking about how expansion would "ruin Medicare", Seniors would buy-in entirely, and unlike the current plan you'd lose the votes of all the Senators and Congressman beholden to the health Insurance industry- you think a single Rep. or Senator from say CT or Del votes for it? Heck I'm even money that Chuck Schumer would go against it hard.  Oh and then there's the issue of Medicare expanison possibly reducing overall access to Healthcare as more and more Physicians refuse to see Medicare patients (they do so now either under Medicare Advantage- which is an unsustainable program, or at barely breaking even/ a loss)- that and it would likely push the overall costs of the bill to massive heights.

    Agree in part, inclusiveheart (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:36:10 PM EST
    Definitely, the pressure to "do something" will continue to build...as it has for years. My point has been, tho, that it is the better tactical call to get some advances (which there objectively are in terms of expansion and particular regulation of outlandish insurance practices)today, rather than forego all in the belief that the building pressure will bring about a bigger change down the road. We really agree on the conclusion that failure to pass will make the subject a pariah in the view of the politician.  Quite a tactical dilemma.

    I think that they had the luxury of (none / 0) (#24)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:50:31 PM EST
    ignoring the problem during the 90's and early 2000's mostly because Americans were generally doing "okay"; and the private insurers really only "jumped the shark" by going after the docs, hospitals and even Pharma a few years ago.  It wasn't until those constituencies started to feel preyed upon that anyone on the Senate side of the Hill felt real pressure to respond to the crisis.  If they don't pass this bill, they won't be able to placate those forces - and the public pressure will grow - so, while they'd rather not deal with it or any other "real" issue for that matter, they will not be able to avoid it. Would we get anything better out of it?  I haven't a clue at the moment.  I think that the 2010 and 2012 elections will play into future results in ways that we might not be able to imagine.  If the anti-incumbancy theory comes to fruition in this race, we could see a very different kind of politician emerge on the Hill.

    Somehow I don't (none / 0) (#53)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:05:13 PM EST
    see people who want to remove Government intervention from our lives pushing for federalizing Healthcare- if anything it will go the other way- after all if we just removed regulations let healthcare be traded across state lines and clamped down on frivioulous law suits surely Healthcare would be more affordable (and it probably will be- as long as your relatively healthy) - and people will go along with it because PhArma and AHIP will run tuns of ads, and because the AMA will buy-in due to tort reform.  

    Oh goodie (none / 0) (#51)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:01:30 PM EST
    that building pressure would certainly be preferable to extending healthcare to 30 million more Americans- how long did that "building pressure" take to get civil rights protection after reconstruction- I'm sure the pressure of 10%+ of the country being effectively disenfranchised and living under Apartheid probably made Senators act fast.

    Hmmm . . . . . (none / 0) (#57)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    extending healthcare to 30 million more Americans

    Yeah, I'm sure a portion of that 30 mil are going to be real happy to be forced to buy high priced junk insurance . . . .


    Most of them will be covered (none / 0) (#74)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:57:21 PM EST
    via the Medicaid expansion, others were free riders who were always going to be unhappy with having to buy insurance be it public or private.

    Have you looked at your state's (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 07:05:21 PM EST
    eligibility requirements, and seen how poor one has to be to be eligible?

    In Maryland, there are several medical assistance programs; here's one of them:

    Primary Adult Care:

    What is PAC?

    Beginning July 2006, there will be a new program in Maryland called the Primary Adult Care Program or PAC for short. PAC offers health services to people 19 and over who make limited amounts of money each year.

    People on PAC will get:

    Free visits to a family doctor. Also called a Primary Care Provider or PCP.

    Free outpatient visits to a counselor or psychiatrist for mental health services.

    Lower-priced or no-cost prescription drugs. You may need to pay a co-pay for some prescriptions. Remember that pharmacists can deny prescriptions if you do not pay the required co-pay.

    PAC does not pay for hospital stays, emergency room visits, or specialty care.
    PAC will cover all of the services that are covered by the Maryland Family Planning Program except sterilization (tubal ligation).

     Who can apply?

    You need to be age 19 or over.

    You can't be on Medicare.
    You need to meet the income and assets conditions.
    For individuals:

    If you are an individual applying for PAC, call to see if you meet income guidelines. Your assets can't be more than $4,000. You will find out more about what an asset is when you fill out your application form.

    For families:

    If you are a household of more than one person, call to see if you meet income guidelines. Your assets can't be more than $6,000. You will learn more about what an asset is when you fill out your application form.  

    The income limits for PAC?  $1,046 per month for one person, $1,408 for two.

    So, forget about it if you own a home - you won't meet the asset test; forget about it if you make more than $12,552 per year (1 person) or $16,896 per year (two persons).

    Are income limits going to be raised?  Will asset limits also be raised?

    And how do you overcome the stigma that Medicaid carries - that it's a program for poor people?

    I'm all for expanding the programs, I just don't know how the states will be able to pay for them, and how they will encourage more providers to participate.


    How many is "most"? (none / 0) (#81)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:07:08 PM EST
    yeah, those ol' "free riders" . . . perhaps a {large} percentage can't afford insurance (and may have PEC that will still make the cost out of their range). Ever consider that? And as insurance keeps going up, people are DROPPING it, and they hit your "free rider" status. COST is a freaking problem here.

    IIRC 15 million will be covered (none / 0) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:44:01 PM EST
    by Medicaid.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#92)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:49:57 PM EST
    No, its pretty simple (none / 0) (#31)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:13:16 PM EST
    if Healthcare fails to pass this time around the lesson learned will be that its political kyrptonite to even approach- thus it wont be attempted again for another 10-25 years, if it gets through it can be expanded piecemeal through small bills like Social Security was intitially.

    But Social Security worked, didn't it? (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:31:24 PM EST
    Which is why it made sense to expand it.

    But if this legislation doesn't work - and it will be some years before anyone even knows if it works, because of the delayed implementation of so much of it - I think it far more likely that it will just be rolled back or repealed than that yet another attempt will be made to "fix" it.

    My guess is that in the near term, premiums will continue to rise to unsustainable levels, and it will soon become all too clear that having insurance is not the answer to securing access to affordable care.

    Here's an example of what's happening now:

    When WellPoint's CEO Angela Braly boasts that a 40 year old woman can purchase $1,500 deductible coverage from them for only $156 per month, it's important to see how they define that coverage.

    Although Angela Braly didn't state which $1,500 deductible plan has a premium "as low as $156," let's look at the Anthem Blue Cross $1,500 deductible CoreGuard plan as an example. Under that coverage, a 40 year old woman would have to pay twelve monthly premiums, the first $1,500 of In-Network care, the first $1,500 of Out-of-Network care, one-half of allowed In-Network charges after the deductible (coinsurance), 70% of allowed Out-of-Network charges after the second deductible (coinsurance) (Anthem Blue Cross paying only 30% of allowed charges!), an additional $500 per day for up to three days for hospitalization (a copayment on top of the coinsurance!), all maternity care (Anthem Blue Cross paying nothing!), and... well... you get it.

    When Anthem Blue Cross promotes this product as a $1,500 deductible plan, they are being so deceptive that it is dishonest. They call these "look alike plans" - it looks like a $1,500 deductible plan, but it isn't. The patient is paying most of the health care costs while Anthem Blue Cross pretends that this is insurance.

    The more sophisticated insurance purchaser might look at this plan and recognize that it is almost worthless except that it has an out-of-pocket maximum of $3,500 for the year. So maybe it is worth the premium as a catastrophic plan, limiting losses to $3,500. But look closer. The fine print excludes the deductible from counting towards the out-of-pocket costs, so it is really $5,000, but only for In-Network services. Another $9,000 ($7,500 plus $1,500 deductible) has to be paid for Out-of-Network services as well. So the exposure is the total of monthly premiums, the In-Network $5,000, the Out-of-Network $9,000, all Out-of-Network costs in excess of the allowable charges, and any services, such as maternity care, that are not a benefit of the plan. This is another one of those you're-covered-if-you-don't-get-sick plans.

    To show how ridiculous this can be, using the same benefit guide (link above) for a family with a $10,000 deductible plan, the out-of-pocket maximum looks like it is $7,000, but it is actually $17,000 for In-Network services ($7,000 plus $10,000 deductible), plus $25,000 for Out-of-Network ($15,000 plus $10,000 deductible). In addition to this $42,000, the family must pay monthly premiums, all Out-of-Network costs in excess of the allowable charges, and any services that are not a benefit of the plan (no maternity benefits for a young family!).

    Angela Braly admits that WellPoint, the largest mega-insurer in the nation in terms of enrollees, cannot control health care costs, and neither can the rest of their industry. Their solution to keeping premiums affordable is to shift more of the health care costs to the individuals and families who need care, defeating the purpose of risk pooling.

    Any guesses on how upset and angry people will be who thought plans like this were going to be the answer to their health care needs?


    Insurance does work in other countries though (none / 0) (#58)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:09:01 PM EST
    France, Switzerland, Germany and Japan all have a private insurance industry- the key is heavy regulation, and forcing them to be non-profit- allow CEO (and others) pay to be huge (in Germany bonuses can push large firm CEOs into the mid-to-high 7 figures) because hey doing so encourages competition but regulate and make basic coverage a non-profit industry (expanded coverage still should be a profit sector).  Then use mandates and subsidies to enroll everyone and keep them covered.

    Risk-pooling (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:11:37 PM EST
    only works with bans on pre-existing conditions (otherwise people wont be covered)  which in turn only work with a mandate (otherwise people wont buy in until they get sick which destroys both public and private approaches), which in turn only works with subsidies.

    Don't think that will be the message that (4.66 / 3) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:40:48 AM EST
    I send to my Dem representative today.

    If only I had a Dem. Representative to (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:11:52 AM EST
    whom to send a message.  

    I did implore my GOP Representative not to vote for Stupak/Pitts.  He didn't, as he voted against the House HCR bill entirely and belatedly explained why.  He wants HCR, just not this HCR.  With details.  Sounded very much like some of the coments here.  


    Mine voted no too (none / 0) (#8)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:15:08 PM EST
    I like to think because of my call and my husbands. However, when he sent a letter he mentioned his vote had little to do with Stupak Pitts.

    I see desperation as a great strategy--- (1.00 / 2) (#26)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:17:18 PM EST
    if you're a Republican watching from the sidelines.
    Where are the votes coming from? Didn't I read a couple weeks ago that there weren't even 100 votes in the House for the Senate bill?
    In retrospect, I do agree that the purpose of the bipartisan summit was to showcase to the House how intransigent the Goopers were---but who didn't know that already?
    The whole strategy seems amateurish.
    The only professional touch is comparing the HCR bill to the Civil Rights, to make it clear that voting against the bill makes you  a racist.

    I don't think it makes you a racist (none / 0) (#60)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:13:06 PM EST
    if you're a blue dog it makes you an idiot and if your a progressive it makes you naive but it doesn't make you a racist.

    You're missing the point (1.00 / 1) (#61)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:16:24 PM EST
    Why compare HCR to the Civil Rights Act? Why not compare it to Medicare?
    Hint: the answer has to do with  a proven winning strategy for Obama.

    Because Medicare wasn't a (none / 0) (#78)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:59:54 PM EST
    guareenteed politcal loser like the Civil Rights act. A better comparison than either would be Social Security- as intitially constructed it was a far from ideal bill that was essentially racist in character- but that was the only way it could be passed.  

    HCR per se was not a guaranteed (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:35:58 PM EST
    political loser before Obama and the Dems sold out.

    But...but... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:36:49 AM EST
    I thought the insurance industry was already on board. Why else does the bill have a mandate and no public option?

    Yes, by all means progressives, get out there and fight for this bill! Dem need more cannon fodder.

    Look on the brightside (none / 0) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:10:13 PM EST
    after Healthcare fails to pass this time we probably wont have to bother thinking about reform for another 25 years or so.

    Are the so detached about what (none / 0) (#98)
    by Andy08 on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:52:00 PM EST
    real progressives ( ie. not the village ones) really want?

    By the way here's an interesting whooper caught by firedoglake about the excise tax.

    Orszag and DeParle Spin Insurance Reform Whopper