Presidential Presser on Debt Limit, Budget Negotiations

Watch here.

I give him an A- so far in these negotiations. Doing quite well imo.

I thought President Obama was A+ in this presser today.

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    We have to break these habits (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    The habit is the addiction to believing fiat currency is more important that people. He is essentially a minor league intellect. He cannot lay out what money is, what gives it value, what creates it, he cannot muster the balls to tell the truth -- we control money, it does not control us. He simply cannot say the truth: It is FACTUALLY impossible for the fed gov't to go broke!!!

    And here he goes again with the i am not immune to compromise. You make SHITTY compromises, Mr. Prez. and you always have and that is why your are here. He is, ultimately, as off point as everyone else.

    Money is not a living thing, people are. It is a game. Design a fair game that allows for wealth, but has a humane and generous floor as its basic goal. Period.

    The Federal Government cannot factually go financially broke. Just say it! Stop this absurd exercise in delusion and denial!

    I need a drink.

    No one person controls money (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:14:12 PM EST
    Money is not what the Fed or Treasury prints....it is much more complex than that.

    All definitions of the money supply include demand deposits.....These are created organically in the economy.  The Fed can buy U.S. Treasuries authorized by Congress.  That can influence the money supply.  

    The mechanics of this are not simply the Treasury printing money.


    By law, Treasury cannot (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:20:20 PM EST
    borrow money from the Fed....

    The Treasury prints currency (dollar bills)--it does not create money.


    This sh*t is on middle of the day (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    Most people are working, everyone in this charade knows that. Internet Howard Beale, where ARE you???

    Maybe he's speaking to all those (5.00 / 8) (#11)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    furloughed government employees...maybe they now have nothing better to do than watch TV in the middle of the day...

    I know the thing that really sticks in your craw is the failure of imagination, but I think there's no lack of imagination - it's just being put to the use and benefit of those who already have a lot, and who want more.

    And since they're not yet turning on each other, they're looking to steal more from those who have the least clout - people like you and me, like those living on pensions and Social Security, like those on disability or who send their kids to Head Start, or receive government assistance to put food in their children's stomachs.

    I mean, they're keeping the House members' gym open, for crying out loud - although towel service has been stopped (oh - the humanity!) - all this sacrifice they keep boo-hooing about isn't touching them, not one little bitty bit.

    So, they have plenty of imagination - they just aren't choosing to use it to make our lives better as much as they are using it to make their own - and their big-money corporate cronies' lives - more comfortable.

    Haven't you figured out that as long as they have jobs, it doesn't matter if the rest of us are out in the streets selling apples and matches?


    "the benefit of those who already have a lot (none / 0) (#88)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:41:31 PM EST
    - and who want more."

    "That's right; I want more!"

    "Will you ever get enough?  Will you Rocco?"

    "Well, I never have.  No, I guess I won't."

    - Key Largo


    He's speaking to reporters (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by rdandrea on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:39:08 PM EST
    In time for their deadlines for tonight's news.  No one but seriously hard core junkies like me watches this stuff live.

    He's just giving the ... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:46:33 PM EST
    press release journalists plenty of time to read the talking points and cut and paste them into their stories.

    Because, you know, they're busy!  They have tweets to send.  And Facebook statuses to update.

    They need a good three hours to handle their usual stellar cut and paste job.


    I'd rather have Victor Martinez (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:07:18 PM EST
    President Obama seems (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:16:31 PM EST
    conflicted between the reality of present day Republicans as he experiences them and those that continue to inhabit his mind.  He prides himself on his ability to compromise and expects the same from the Republicans.  

    However, the evidence is clear that  he is dealing with a post-consensus, non-compromising strategy that is inherent to his opponents plans to succeed as a minority.   A presidential veto, for example, can be overcome in  a new way, not by elusive votes for an over-ride, but by attaching  ideas to a debt-ceilling bill.  

    The president's answer to the issue, is to pursue compromise with greater vigor, on his side, ..get a short-term resolution, lament doing this every few months, and offer "compromises" shortly thereafter. Obamacare may be off the table, but Lyndon-care and FDR-security are another matter.  It was encouraging, however, to note that the president included himself among Democrats, as in Democrats are willing to negotiate with the Republicans.  

    When Obama said that the (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by magster on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:17:37 PM EST
    14th amendment and trillion dollar coin were not effective options because of the legal uncertainty attached to them, he didn't take them off the table. Seems like he said "i'll do what I can, but there are problems with it."

    If the president did not take the 14th (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:54:34 PM EST
    amendment or big coin off the table, he sure seemed to undermine the idea with his argument of uncertainty.  The example of buying a house and not knowing if there was clear title to it, or so doing and incurring a premium did not make it seem a viable option for him.

    Agreed. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:23:05 PM EST
    An A+ when no American citizen are watching... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:42:22 PM EST
    ...don't mean sh*t. Yes, yes, it will all come to an end, and nothing will change, and the rigged game will remain, you know that Tent. Come on. This is why Repubs keep getting elected when they shouldn't. Because Dems have "brilliant" pressers when no one is watching. Get on the real tube and stay there all day until you win.

    Sheesh, this ain't rocket science.

    It's imagination.

    But I'm glad he did well. Better than the alternative. Or at least I hope so. ;-)

    Go Niners!

    I was (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by lentinel on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 07:00:18 PM EST
    wondering how one can evaluate this presser until we see whether it had any effect on anybody.

    Cuz people only watch news live as it's happening? (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:45:59 PM EST
    It will be replayed and analyzed to death all evening. Good luck escaping it. By morning the complaint will be that he is "overexposed".

    Not the time for Prime Time (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:49:54 PM EST
    East Room statement or Oval Office Address....

    That should be saved for when actual default occurs....


    I'm tired (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:03:31 PM EST
    of hearing about this. The Tea Party should go ahead and pull the strings on their suicide vests and the rest of us can go back to other things. The voters in their districts can go about finding other candidates who want to wear suicide vests in the meantime.

    The Problem... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:29:58 PM EST
    ...as noted by Obama is the Citizens decision is letting corporation bankroll these lunatics.  And as much as I hear what you are saying about voters, cash seems to sway voters a whole lot more than message.  He also mentioned regular republicans scared of being outbankrolled by a tea-party candidate in their districts if they don't swing in the right direction.

    Put me at a +1 on hearing about this not getting solved.


    Well, (none / 0) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:11:57 PM EST
    the main problem is that Boehner won't let anythign come up for a vote because of the aforementioned reasons. You know, the people bankrolling these quacks should look at some poll numbers unless their goal is actually to destroy the GOP.

    A couple of good results (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by christinep on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 06:24:41 PM EST
    (1) Agree with BTD that the press conference went quite well.  The constant variation of "take a vote Boehner to open the government ... if not, what are you afraid of" is starting to take hold with the newswriters it seems; the special step of explaining what raising-the-debt-ceiling means for a very general audience is significant because we forget that a lot of people do not know what it means; the down-to-earth emphasis on why the "extortion" approach would not only be wrong here but in future situations; the overall command & tone of the President in responding to a variety of questions made for a strong hour.

    (2) Topping the day is the statement I just saw at CNN that Janet Yellen will be appointed as Chair of the Fed.  

    The proof is in the pudding (and sentiments to that effect)....

    The Janet Yellen News (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Jane in CA on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 11:36:27 PM EST
    I freely admit surprises me. It is such a pleasant surprise. It also tells me how desperate Obama is to keep his left-leaning constituency.

    Regarding raising the debt ceiling: This makes me sick, that this has been politicized. However, it all goes back to the ACA, and Dadler has it right there.

    Brief History: CANDIDATE Obama said that to get Single Payer insurance, the country needed, and I quote "a Democratic House, A Democratic Senate, and a Democratic Administration."

    We had all that, plus polls showing, fairly consistently, that a very large number of Americans. Democratic and Republican, also wanted single payer. I believe the polls were running about 72-79 percent in favor?

    So PRESIDENT Obama has a couple closed door meetings with the big insurance lobbies -- this is fact, BTW, look it up; the media had to sue to get the visitor's book showing these visits -- then took both Single Payer and Public Option off the table before negotiations ever began.

    THAT was when I would have liked to see some backbone from the Dems. Not now. Now, as Dadler says, Dems need to find the imagination deliver us from this mess. If the ACA REALLY was doing anything but gutting the middle class, there would be no need to defend it, would there?

    Everyday, I hear of another middle class taxpayer whose insurance rates just skyrocketed because of the ACA. Every single day. Meanwhile, the ACA is working -- I will freely admit -- working beautifully for the very poor. I'm not being sarcastic about that. As a nation, we should be taking care of our indigent citizens. I just question whether it's sustainable to do it on the backs of the middle class. And whether that was the plan or not, that appears to be how it is working out.

    People accepted Social Security and Medicare because they saw the benefits to them. Who is seeing any benefits from the ACA? Nobody I know who votes.


    President Obama achieved (none / 0) (#81)
    by christinep on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 02:34:58 PM EST
    a significant healthcare result in the Affordable Care Act.  Previous Presidents have tried and failed...even with very large support in and out of Congress at the outset.  Many Democrats knew for many years that this would be (and was) one of the toughest issues to crack in view of the powerful $$$ interests arrayed on all sides.  For that reason, many of us are quite happy with the reform results in insurance requirements and regulations ... changes that, heretofore, were only unfulfilled pipe-dreams and "we coulda, we shoulda" refrains.

     While I have always wanted a single-payer system, it is important to deal with the realities that confronted us and will continue to confront us until the public has the opportunity to experience the positive results of the new system ... the obvious steps forward from the old way of nothing or almost nothing if one didn't have the $$$.  Until then and right now, people are skeptical for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that people are skeptical of many moves that government makes in this past decade; and, in many markets, the $$$ of the anti-Obamacare crowd has been funding day & night negativity (not addressed other than he said/she said via the media) even to the extent of using it as a ruse to shut down the government.  In sum: Let us wait and see -- as with other expansive & new government programs to which you refer -- until several months are under the operational belt.  That's fair, isn't it?  And, finally, it is quite obvious why the opposition has pulled out all the stops even or especially in these past few months ... when people realize that it works and that it is not to be feared as socialism or other nonsense charges, where do you suppose that leaves the Repub antis?  You guessed it.

    As for the Yellen appointment:  Here is what I know ...Ms. Yellen has been named and, I believe, she will be quite good, adept, competent in that position.  What I don't know, since I'm not a psychic, is what the President was thinking.  

    Let's look to what happens.  


    Oh, dear... (5.00 / 8) (#82)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 03:40:58 PM EST
    Let's just get one thing out of the way: what Obama has achieved - if we can even say it's an achievement just yet - is to secure the requirement that millions of people who don't have health insurance get it.  Will that make it possible for some of those people to get care they need?  Yes, I'm sure it will.  Will it end up being truly affordable, after taking into account the cost-sharing?  That remains to be seen.  

    If you're interested, you should go over to Corrente and read some of Teresa's posts; she stopped posting here, I think, because she was more or less called a liar when she reported what she was finding out about the exchange plans and coverage and costs, but she has posted a significant amount of information that suggests - at least at this point - that the exchange plans are skinny, very narrow in terms of which providers are participating, and are going to significantly limit the access of those insured under these plans to the care they need.

    I don't know why you made the segue from single-payer to people getting to experience the positive results of the new system, since the new system isn't even closely related to single payer.  Sure, you can "shop" for a plan at one site, compare costs and coverage, but just as Travelocity doesn't manage the trips you book through them, neither will the exchanges manage or otherwise involve itself in whatever plans people sign up for.  

    The ACA is not a government program; it is a law that mandates and regulates and requires certain things having to do with private insurance and tax credits/subsidies, but the actual plans are the province of the private insurance companies.

    And yes, we do have to wait and see if this will all work for people the way they need it to; it's a shame that, for all the talk about the crisis in health care, that it has taken almost 4 years for us to get to this point.  Given that we know Medicare works, it seems both incomprehensible and foolish for us to have missed out on the opportunity to build on a model we know works, in order to embrace more of the same from the private insurance industry that helped bring us to the crisis stage.

    Well, unless you're following the money, and then it all makes sense.  Insurance companies have taken full advantage of the intervening years to jack up premiums, reduce coverage and increase cost-sharing, to make sure the floor was raised and would allow them to justify even higher prices once the exchanges went live.

    Given that we could have predicted knee-jerk opposition to any plan put forth by Obama and the Democrats, it sure would have made more sense and possibly had a better outcome, if the plan proposed had not been a warmed-over Heritage Foundation/Bob Dole-based plan from the early `90's, don't you think?

    I mean, seriously, Christine, if a President Romney had proposed the ACA, how measured would you be about it, and how willing would you be to give it a chance?


    The government requirements (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by christinep on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 04:17:54 PM EST
    in the ACA constitute important insurance reform ... no lifetime caps, no arbitrary denial of coverage unless fraud is shown by the insurer, no denial or outlandish payment scheme for pre-existing conditions, rebate provisions required if 80 to 85 percent premium $$$ not expended directly in medical needs, etc.  Those reforms are part of a government program.  They are significant.

    The "segue" to which you refer had to be short-hand ... it connected the idea of a preferred single-payer with a perception that numerous people involved in the field held that the political realities of the day did not have a good prognosis for achieving single payer.  Look, one either holds out in the expectation of eventual victory or one fashions a compromise to achieve much more than what we presently have in terms of much broader coverage (available as a result of everyone of any means paying in) and sorely needed limitations on insurance companies provisos.  For me, the ACA was the compromise that moved us further along the healthcare spectrum ... the kind of compromise to which the late Senator Ted Kennedy referred when he opined that he wished he had compromised years earlier when he had the chance to do so with a Repub president.  Similarly, I seem to recall that the Clinton initiative circa 1993 aimed for the total package of single payer (via Ira Messenger), and after that comprehensive proposal went down in Congress following concentrated opposition $$$ showing "Harold & Maude" ads, Ms. Clinton re-worked that single payer concept into an approach like this one ... one that had the better prognosis of surviving, of being real and realized.  It has been about those who have long sought healthcare reform taking yet another look at the lay of the land and moving forward via compromise ... so that forward movement would become fact.

     And, your suggestion, Anne, about following the money is a real aspect as well:  That is, a compromise that works in an area laden with real & perceived different interests necessitates that everyone benefits ... patients, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies, and the public.  That involves a healthier system and reality for individuals and society ... and, part of that is the recognition of legitimate profit by providers because that is the real part of the American culture and system in which we live.  Most people I know would have liked to model the result on what-may-be-called a European model; yet, when it comes right down to it, the strong pull of the American capitalist model continues to have the strongest clout in the historical examples of the homestretch.  That is why I support the improvements we have made ... wholeheartedly.  I support the ACA as a major change from where we have actually been ... yet, I anticipate and look forward to periods of refinement and growth in healthcare in the years ahead.  


    You continue (5.00 / 5) (#84)
    by sj on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 04:31:05 PM EST
    to sidestep the issue of affordability. Rather than ignoring it, I see that as "too-seen-to-tell-but-I'm-not-optimistic-may-I-be-wrong." And I measure affordability by access to medical care by the truly most vulnerable. Chronically ill and below the poverty line. We will be judged by how we care for the least among us.

    But if you want to go back to 1993, I would suggest you stop stretching for similarities to HRC's plan and instead review the Bob Dole plan.


    That will forever be a voting issue now (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:14:37 PM EST
    And that bodes well

    of course (none / 0) (#86)
    by sj on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:45:46 PM EST
    I meant "too-soon-to-tell- ..."

    And you also continue (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:56:53 AM EST
    to gloss over the fact that

    in the ACA constitute important insurance reform ... no lifetime caps, no arbitrary denial of coverage unless fraud is shown by the insurer, no denial or outlandish payment scheme for pre-existing conditions, rebate provisions required if 80 to 85 percent premium $$$ not expended directly in medical needs, etc.  Those reforms are part of a government program.  They are significant.

    were all popular things and would have passed and become law WITHOUT the rest of what is known as Obamacare.


    I don't know about that (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by ruffian on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:34:56 AM EST
    I doubt those good things would have been in the law without the agreement with the insurance companies regarding the individual mandate. That is why you can't break the ACA apart into the stuff you like and the stuff you don't.

    Sure you could (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by jbindc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:41:02 AM EST
    You could say that all insurance companies are required to cover kids until age 26.  Done.

    You could say you can't turn down people for pre-existing conditions.  You could charge more as a step (before working towards a public option) - but an insurance company could not refuse coverage.  Done.

    Yes, with people working together, you could have had something that was popular, much easier to implement, and then wouldn't have brought out the crazies.

    Or, you could have had all that stuff and started with a public option.


    Ah ..... But, guess what, jbindc (2.67 / 3) (#93)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:01:58 PM EST
    All those "popular" things--those justifiably popular provisions--could have been introduced and passed at any time over the years.  At any time.  People actually called for those fixes from time to time.  But, as we know, it didn't happen.  Nothing happened ... nothing but talk and wishes ...nothing happened without the ACA/Obamacare.  (Little bit of a side note:  Even minimal pediatric coverage was a tough fight over the years ... because you are talking $$$ and interests and all that.  It took a tough President to get real change, and that happened with President Obama :) )

    Right, Christine (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:57:43 PM EST
    Well, Yman, tell me then ... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:04:46 PM EST
    What happened, actually, before then?  Hmmmm?  What legislation or regs did we see in the past 80 or so years respecting healthcare before then?  Did I miss something?  I know that you hit hard ... but, kindly provide some support for any advances in healthcare prior to the ACA???  

    Hey ... I'm every bit as idealistic as yourself.  But:  I want to see results.  I want to see results for a lot of reasons ... not the least of which is the memory of my dead younger sister, my best friend, Rita.  (So, consider that with your "rating" or whatever other bs you call it. )


    In the past 80 years? (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:09:10 PM EST
    Apparently, you did "miss something".

    In 1965, there was Medicare and Medicaid, which I would submit were real - in fact, hee-YOOOOGE "advances in healthcare".  There were also advances in HIPAA (1996) and SCHIP (1997).

    Of course, that wasn't my point(s).  My point was that calling the ACA (aka the Republican plan of 1994) "real change" and calling Obama a "tough President" - while he sat on the sidelines instead of pushing for the public option he promised - is ridiculous, IMO.  That doesn't even touch on all his other broken promises on this issue.

    And if we're really going to go the route of using dead siblings/friends to claim the moral high ground, let's discuss the millions who are still without health insurance under the ACA, or the millions who will go bankrupt under the ACA because it does virtually nothing to lower costs.  Not to mention all the divorces, suicides, etc. that will result.

    Pretty ridiculous argument, huh?

    BTW - If you want to complain about "your rating or whatever bs you want to call it", you should check the mirror, first.


    "Curses! Foiled again!" (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Anne on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:24:02 PM EST
    Or so I imagine christine saying through gnashing teeth...

    Seriously, I mentioned the other day that Teresa has been doing extensive research and writing about it at Corrente (she was more or less called a liar here for what she was posting, so I can't blame her for taking her findings elsewhere), and what she is learning suggests that while the ACA may bend the cost curve, it is also going to bend the care curve - that's how Teresa put it and I think it's sadly accurate.

    The plans offered on the exchange may be fine for those who don't need more than routine physicals and screenings, most of which are fully covered.  But for those with chronic illness, those in need of oncologists, cardiologists, surgeons - these people will find their choices limited and their cost-sharing potentially financially crippling.

    No one who is signing up will get to test the system until January 1, and it may take a while to see whether it's working the way people need it to, but I'm guessing we'll at least get past the 2014 mid-terms before it can significantly damage Democrats.

    I'm sure they are greatly relieved.


    Dream on, Anne (none / 0) (#105)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 03:17:30 PM EST
    No teeth-gnashing or even hand-wringing for me.  You know my perspective and thoughts about healthcare reform and the ACA ... and, how supportive I am of that legislation.  I'll step aside only to await the early people's verdict as experience with the system and an assessment of the real ACA--as opposed to Repub scare tactics--grows.  If the next year shows major concerns and setbacks for the public as to ACA reality, I'll grind my teeth, hand-wring, and apologize to you. (Note to self: One year check-in on reform performance due 10/1/14.)  

    My only real response to this particular series of comments: I allowed myself to state openly and in writing my very emotional motivator here as to my late sister, Rita ... and, in my opinion, got figuratively slapped in the face for it by Yman ... that hurts. I won't argue further about it; enough on that from me.


    We've probably all lost someone, christine, (4.33 / 3) (#107)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:35:13 PM EST
    and there are many who have commented here who have their own horror stories to tell about what lack of insurance has meant to their ability to get the care they need, and can afford.

    The problem I have with your comments is that, in your eagerness to "get" Yman, you overlooked the implementation of Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, etc, all of which came into being in the last 80 years - and then, rather than say, "oops - I goofed," you invoked your dead sister - it almost felt like a deflection.

    Did you intend it to be?  You say not, and I will take you at your word - but you need to understand how it came across - and you still haven't acknowledged your big mistake on achievements in the health system.

    Twice now, I've pointed you to Teresa's posts at Corrente, and the extensive research she has done on the ACA in Washington State.  I know that's not where you live, but I think there is information in there that should be a red flag to all those looking for insurance on the exchanges.

    It's so easy for those of us with good insurance and pretty much our choice of providers - and with the means to cover our share of the costs - to close our eyes to the potential problems with how the ACA is being implemented - and I don't mean the websites, I mean with the narrowness of the networks and the coverage, especially for those who need more than just routine care and screenings.

    The ACA will work - but will it work the way people need it to, or will the bulk of the benefits from it accrue - once again - to the insurance companies?  

    We shall see.  But in the meantime, I don't intend to close my eyes and ears to ANY information about it, good or bad.  


    Believe me, Anne, I did not want (none / 0) (#108)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 06:30:12 PM EST
    to get him.  Sometimes I wish that you knew me, because you would know that.  

    I have felt and generally commiserated and empathized with people here, genuinely and fully.  Of the many things that have happened in my life, there is one -- one -- overriding sadness, tragedy; and, that is personified in my sister.  The best joy (many joys) and the worst long-lasting sorrow.  But, that is my issue. That is my life.

    I did not want to get Yman.  I only expected some empathy ... and not the feeling that everything here is a game.  That is really who I am.


    An addendum (none / 0) (#109)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 06:50:48 PM EST
    Sorry, Anne.  I forgot to address: (a) Teresa and the quandary she faces.  I don't know what to say other than that kind of trap in an earlier context is the kind of thing my sister routinely faced under our present situation where pre-existing and caps and what physician is included in coverage is commonplace.  What Teresa has described is understandably tremendously frustrating for her.  All I can say is not much ... keep trying to cut through it all, don't give up, etc.  None of that helps, I know.  (b) As for the reference to "80 years," heck, I pulled the number out of the air.  Of course, there was the great Medicare advancement.  My viewpoint was more focused on the all-ages general advancement or not over many, many years ... an advancement that was not seen until President Obama was able to skillfully guide us to it.  Mea culpa for my different focus.  My point: In the area of general insurance reform for the general populace, many individuals and groups and Presidents fought for advancement ... yet, it was only argument, talk until 2010.  

    As I mentioned earlier, I'll stand back on the healthcare reform assessment until the data, figures, and experiences roll in the year ahead.  In addition to my philosophical beliefs about movement, my emotional self has been torn, and that lessens my ability to respond with the kind of acumen that I believe healthcare reform deserves.  Right now, I need to breathe in and out deeply and reflect.  


    "Skillfully"? - Heh (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:07:10 PM EST
    My viewpoint was more focused on the all-ages general advancement or not over many, many years ... an advancement that was not seen until President Obama was able to skillfully guide us to it.

    Is that what they call sitting on the sidelines waiting for a bill, while making backroom deals with the insurance companies and reneging on your campaign promises in order to get the Republican plan of 94?

    I had a different name for it.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#114)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:21:21 AM EST
    so much for this information. I look forward to reading it and also referring it to my friend, for whom my heart breaks on nearly a daily basis.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#106)
    by sj on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 05:24:43 PM EST
    She is always able to comfortably ignore uncomfortable details. Too busy with finger sandwiches to gnash her teeth.

    At least those lady's teas are the only reason I can see for her sanguine positions and cooing adoration (astute! wise! brilliant!) of The One.


    Yes, I am going to go the route (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:17:16 PM EST
    You are off the mark, Yman.  Pure and simple.  

    THAT'S your response? (none / 0) (#99)
    by Yman on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 09:27:07 PM EST





    Good morning, Yman ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 08:29:59 AM EST
    My position on healthcare reform formed and grew over many years for a lot of reasons ... at the heart of that growth is the very personal experience with my sister that I alluded to earlier.  It is central for me; it is real for me.  Of all the areas of my life, that human growth life experience is as close to pure as I get.

    Now ... have the last word, if you wish.


    Whatever (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:37:23 AM EST
    It's simply the lowest form of argument - not to mention irrelevant to my points and your response.  

    But I understand why you'd prefer to drop your snooty response (" Well, Yman, tell me then ... What happened, actually, before then?  Hmmmm?  What legislation or regs did we see in the past 80 or so years respecting healthcare before then?  Did I miss something?  I know that you hit hard ... but, kindly provide some support for any advances in healthcare prior to the ACA???) and go that route after forgetting about the two largest/real pieces of heathcare reform - among others.  Not to mention forgetting about Obama's lack of leadership and string of broken promises on the ACA.


    Neducare and Medicaid (none / 0) (#100)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 02:53:35 AM EST
    Only passed with the Support of the insurance industry- there's no profit to be made covering the high risk patients, they tried, failed and then called for the Government to step in.

    And? (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:30:26 AM EST
    I have no idea if your claim is true (see Aetna's alternative to Medicare in 1965 - "Bettercare"), but Christine was asking what progress on healthcare reform has occurred in the past 80 years prior to the ACA.

    My point was that there has been real progress on healthcare reform in the past 80 years, including Medicare and Medicaid.  Opening Medicare to everyone would have been real progress in 2010, as opposed to cheering from the sidelines to end up with a string of broken promises, backroom deals and the Republican plan of 1994.


    When did LBJ sign (1.50 / 2) (#115)
    by Politalkix on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 12:32:23 PM EST
    "Medicare for All" legislation? After Harry Truman proposed a national healthcare plan for all Americans, it must have been real lack of leadership on LBJ's part to create a Medicare plan for people over 65 with support from the insurance industry and dropping everyone else in the process.
    I am not slamming LBJ, I am just holding him to the same standards as some are holding the current President. I am also exposing the dishonesty of some commenters.

    "Dishonesty" - Heh (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Yman on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 01:39:37 PM EST
    When did LBJ sign "Medicare for All" legislation?

    Uhhhmmmm, ... he didn't.  Of course, no one said he did.  The question posed was:

    What happened, actually, before then (the ACA)?  Hmmmm?  What legislation or regs did we see in the past 80 or so years respecting healthcare before then?  Did I miss something?

    In fact, there were substantial, real healthcare reforms in the past 80 years.

    So in reality, you're "exposing" nothing, other than your ability to knock down your own straw arguments.  Or, if you had read all that and comprehended it ... your own dishonesty.


    Who here claimed LBJ signed (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 01:44:38 PM EST
    Medicare for All into law?  No one, so it seems more than a little dishonest to me for you to pretend that someone did.

    The point, Politalkix, is that christine challenged Yman to tell her where all the other historic health legislation was in the previous 80 years,  forgetting(?) about the fact that Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, etc., came into being during that time.

    This wasn't about LBJ v. Obama, it wasn't about holding presidents to standards, it was about holding one particular commenter accountable for refusing to acknowledge the historic nature of those programs, so as to elevate the ACA - and Obama - to a higher level of the pedestal she already has him standing on.


    That wasn't her point at all (1.00 / 1) (#119)
    by vicndabx on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 02:20:48 PM EST
    refusing to acknowledge the historic nature of those programs, so as to elevate the ACA - and Obama - to a higher level of the pedestal she already has him standing on

    and if you folks weren't so he// bent on ensuring everyone must must must share your view or otherwise be made to feel as though their opinions are less valid than yours you'd see that.

    You're going on about what most can see is a slip in phrasing that she made to make a point about the difficulty in getting significant changes implemented for the general populace - not kids, not seniors.


    When challenged, this was (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Anne on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 02:39:37 PM EST
    christine's response - in part:

    What happened, actually, before then?  Hmmmm?  What legislation or regs did we see in the past 80 or so years respecting healthcare before then?  Did I miss something?  I know that you hit hard ... but, kindly provide some support for any advances in healthcare prior to the ACA???

    And when it was pointed out to her what had been achieved in those 80 years, she came up with an explanation that didn't make much sense to me, but was apparently about needing to honor the glory of Obama.

    I'm happy for people to have whatever point of view works for them, but they need to be prepared to defend it, and if their support is based on more than "well, because...Obama, silly" they need to link to it, quote it, cite it.
    She was the one viewing Obama through the lens of the last 80 years, with her eyes closed.


    Your comment just proves (none / 0) (#118)
    by Politalkix on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 02:11:08 PM EST
    (1)A comprehensive national health care plan funded by the Federal government has always been impossible to achieve because of the politics involved. This is why progress has always been achieved in bits and pieces (Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP).

    (2)Progress is always achieved in cumulative fashion. Future presidents can always add a public option or build on the ACA to improve it.
    The heavy lifting has already been done by the current President.


    I suppose (none / 0) (#122)
    by sj on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 12:13:11 PM EST
    that could constitute proof...
    Your comment just proves (none / 0) (#118)
    by Politalkix on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 01:11:08 PM MDT

    (1)A comprehensive national health care plan funded by the Federal government has always been impossible to achieve because of the politics involved. This is why progress has always been achieved in bits and pieces (Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP).

     (2)Progress is always achieved in cumulative fashion. Future presidents can always add a public option or build on the ACA to improve it.
     The heavy lifting has already been done by the current President.

    ...if one could create reality with assertions. I know that your assertions make you happy and make that you believe you have won some sort of argument.

    So, carry on.


    Ah, but guess what christine? (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by jbindc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:38:57 AM EST
    Obama promised to come in and "change Washington."  

    He came in with a very demoralized and beaten down Republican Party (and no Tea Party yet), a huge majority in Congress, and the political winds at his back.  He came is with lots of goodwill and "political capital".  He and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi could have made that stuff happen - even if "nothing major had happened in 80 years".

    But they didn't.

    (You know what else? Before 1964, there hadn't been any major civil rights initiatives in 40 years prior - since the passage of the 19th Amendment.  How EVER did they get the Civil Rights Act passed??)

    For somone who was behind the 8-ball on the healthcare issue from the very start, Mr. Obama tried to play catch-up and just couldn't do it properly.


    Very well said (none / 0) (#87)
    by vicndabx on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:13:50 PM EST
    Half a dozen middle class friends (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:11:45 AM EST
    now, who are outraged that the insurance companies are now allowed to triple their rates for any reason as part of what our wonderful democratic congress and President traded away for no 'pre-existing condition.' Which is a joke, as another poster already pointed out.

    I know one person who has been helped by ACA. She doesn't vote. Never has, never will. Was thrilled to have health care for the first week or two and is now discovering -- good luck finding a doctor who will accept what is essentially Medi-Cal. She's even unhappy with it! And it is bankrupting the middle class to get her what she is being given.

    I cannot even begin to describe the degree of vitriol coming from my friends who have actually been responsible about purchasing their own insurance ...

    Christine, if you don't listen to another word I say, please hear this. I have NEVER in all my life seen, felt, or heard the kind of all-consuming anger that I am hearing from people now. People who finally, FINALLY thought they had weathered the recession. They're working 60-70 hour weeks now instead of 30-50 they used to, but they've kept their home, they've put their kids through college with a minimum of debt, they thought they had finally made it past the bump, and now here comes Obamacare. Which wasn't supposed to hurt them. Remember that?

    My BFF and her husband spent the last four years doing everything they needed to do to keep their home. A year ago they finally thought they were "homefree" (no pun intended). Christine, they are going to now lose their home because of the actions of a Democratic President and a Democratic congress whose leader said blithely,"we'll know what's in it(ACA)when we pass it."

    Well, know we know. Another nail in the coffin of the American middle class. Driven in by a Democratic president who had everything he needed to push through Single Payer, except agreement from the insurance lobby and a will to fight for the people who elected him in good faith that he would do so.

    MY BFF cannot, simply cannot work any more hours than she is already is. And she cannot afford to triple her insurance for catastrophic only, and still make her house payment. She is one of half dozen people I know personally facing this dilemma, and it hasn't even been law for two weeks.

    And these people -- the ones who are paying for ACA? Most are Democrats. They vote. My BFF was Green Party before it was 'popular' to be. She told me this week, from now on she is voting republican. She says she can work and pay her bill under the republicans and she can't do that under the democrats.

    You and I can argue the flaws in her argument until we are blue in the face, Christine. But, this is no longer intellectual, nor will it ever be again. I know her. She will not change her mind.

    And her employers have already consulted their attorneys and are gearing up to cut worker hours (these are, by and large, good employers, otherwise) to under 30 hours per week before January 2015 when the law for businesses takes effect. I don't even think there will be a penalty for doing this, but they look on the penalty as an 'out.' They can't afford ACA either. It will put them (small businesses) out of business. The penalty hurts them but allows them to stay in business.

    This is all so bad from a human perspective. You can twist and turn words all you want. That's all they are: more words. They change nothing. I'm seeing it firsthand, and it is so much worse than I ever thought it would be. And I knew it was going to be bad.

    I knew that when Judge Stevens basically said, in the justification of his decision, that it was not the job of the Supreme Court to protect people from making bad voting choices. That was a stunning admission, IMO, but it didn't seem to bother anyone else. And the people tried hard to tell the government how much they didn't want this. Even in ultra-liberal MA, where they had seen first hand the awfulness of it. But people act as if they've achieved some sort of victory because now voters blame the GOP for the shutdown.

    What's next? What will our progressive president do next? There's still those pesky weekends and eight hour days, I suppose ...

    Make no doubt. The ACA is a full out assault on the middle class by the Democrats. The Democrats, Christine. Please stop for one moment and consider that. The worst set back for the middle class since Hoover, and it is the work of a Democrat. I despair.


    I am so sorry (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Jane in CA on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:15:43 AM EST
    for the length of the above post. I literally woke up at 5 am worrying about it and just started writing. Should have waited and edited. Again, sorry. And sorry for the raw emotion as well.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 07:24:14 PM EST
    the tea party it seems according to anecdotal evidence and polling is doing a great job propping up Obama's numbers. I think Obama's numbers would really be dwindling considering the state of the economy were it not for the tea party crackpots. I think people see him as the only thing between them and the fundamentalist radicals and are running towards him screaming for him to do them in.

    If that was an A+ I would hate to see a C (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Payaso on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 12:58:55 AM EST
    But then I was never enamored with Obama's communications skills or political savvy.

    Roubini (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:50:47 AM EST
    is predicting that if the GOP actually decides to default that the people in the country are going to lose 1/2 of what they have. When you think that way, it makes the tea party freaks even scarier.

    A- in comarison to what? (4.43 / 7) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 01:50:28 PM EST
    Sorry, this is pitiful on all sides: the Repubs for being crazy, Obama and the Dems for being unimaginative and uncreative boobs. There are no magic bullets here? Really? Yes there are: be smarter and better. You can't beat these fools? Are you crazy??? Sorry, Tent, you have very low expectations.

    Blah blah blah, I have no imagination, I have no outside the box thinking ability, I am average beyond measure, as week in context as the Repubs.

    Count me as disgusted, tired, and sick of giving halfwits credit for brilliance.

    He TOOK all that money from billionaires!!! He is such a coward for saying no one has clean hand. Please, he talks now, as a lame duck. Phuck him and phuck this useless process. He is a coward. When it mattered, years ago, he balked, and now he has balls. Phuck him.

    And when he first ran... (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:36:04 PM EST
    ...he most definitely did not have to take all that Wall Street Money, he was a phenomenon. But he CHOSE to take it, gambled on taking it, and now that gamble has proven to be a curse. Had he staked out a firm and principled position 6 years ago, had he stuck to it, fought for it, played hardball for it, we wouldn't be here. But he didn't do that. And it's up for people to decide for themselves if he did this out of error or out of the corrupted influence of campaign cash, or, more likely, both.

    I couldn't disagree more (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by jondee on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 08:20:16 AM EST
    the money and the pr machine it funded is what allowed Obama to morph in the public's perception from the excrutiatingly cautious, tepidly liberal corporate lawyer we get served up every four years
    into the phenom. It was mainly bullshit and smoke and mirrors from the start..

    The not-openly-discussed meme embraced by these establishment men is that crossing Goldman Sachs & co risks bringing down the entire economy and also means political career death..


    It's one of those T-Ball ... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:42:42 PM EST
    everyone gets a trophy, and you don't even have to face pitches, style "A's".

    Oh, I love (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Zorba on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:57:42 PM EST
    the T-Ball trophy comparison, RP!  Only in this case, the trophies are stuffed with lots and lots of money.   ;-)

    I am So Glad to Come Back (4.50 / 2) (#49)
    by Jane in CA on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 10:54:34 PM EST
    after a couple years and see that the first comment is Dadler, still keeping the faith, after all these years.

    Perhaps (2.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 12:34:03 AM EST
    in comparison to any other President ever, seriously what's the ultra magic solution you obviously have since your magic unicorn skillz are so elite.

    I can't speak for Dadler (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by sj on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:55:44 AM EST
    but as long as we're talking ultra magic solutions using elite magic unicorn skillz...

    How about a the Democratic Party goes back to its roots and give us a real populist to vote for. Someone who is not funded by Big Money and so owes nothing to them, and cares deeply for the Greater Good.


    Oh geeze. Get real , eh? (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 12:16:54 PM EST
    Look, the two-party scam is the only game in town and you have to pick the one slick enough to sound the most barely not-evil or else the other half of the scam will win.

    Have you no pragmatism in your soul? Where would all the trickle-down come from that keeps everybody's nostrils just barely above the waterline if everyone voted for a real populist?

    Although, I must admit it is kind of irksome that obama took all those votes away from Jill Stein last election. Almost as bad as Nader taking all those votes away from Gore way back when?

    And the place had such promise, too. Sigh... ;-)


    Now I will give him credit (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:15:33 PM EST
    You are much wiser and more sentient that the Republicans. Now...put it on in primetime, or all day, every day. Without these networks to play to. Remember the 6 Million Dollar Man: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology, we have the capability to make the world's first bionic man." Oscar Goldman, where are you?

    He did a better job then Sebelius last night (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 02:32:04 PM EST
    Agreed. Secretary Sebelius (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 03:03:53 PM EST
    slipped a bit on her political slickness.  Not a good tactic with an interviewer like Jon Stewart.  The link says Stewart did not get an answer to his question of how many signed up, but she did give an answer; she did not know and no one did--she said.  But what was interesting to me was that the Secretary did not dispute very strongly, Jon's wonderment of why we did not go to single payer.  

    Single payer was never (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:39:47 PM EST
    on the table...

    No one in 2008 campaigned on it.


    And ...? (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:48:50 PM EST
    Someone campaigned on a public option.

    That didn't make a difference.


    Public Option was (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:41:19 PM EST
    the opening offer.....

    Public option was a bumper sticker. (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:48:25 PM EST
    It had no meaning to speak of, but it sounded good.

    So the relevance is ... (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:51:24 AM EST
    ... Obama doesn't know how to negotiate?

    No kidding.

    You keep saying he had to take the public option of the table because that was his starting position.  It's simply not true.  You can make smaller compromises without throwing away a moderate campaign promise ... also without making backroom deals with the health insurance lobbies and having your meetings in public, as promised.


    No, you misrepresent what I have said (none / 0) (#64)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:13:24 AM EST
    You have repeatedly done this.

    I am talking about single payer--you switch the subject to public option.  You have done this at least twice now, so it is no mistake.

    Let me repeat:  Single payer (not the public option) was off the table because Obama did not campaign on it and it was not part of his plan.  Nor was it part of Hillary's or Edwards's plans in spite of the idea that the public option would eventually lead there.


    So, the only way things get on the table is (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:35:52 AM EST
    if one has the foresight to campaign on them?

    Single payer came off the table because Obama, in his health care summit, specifically announced that it wasn't going to be part of the discussion.  It wasn't "uniquely American" enough, remember?

    Never mind that Medicare, a single-payer plan, had been part of the American landscape since Johnson was president.  Thank goodness there was someone who thought such a plan would be American enough, huh?

    "Public option" was a bone that got lobbed at single-payer proponents to make them quiet down; it didn't take long, though, to figure out that there was nothing on that bone, but it in the meantime, it bought him some time - and probably some donations - while the stranglehold by private insurance was strengthened and the inherent dysfunction and unfairness in the current private system was secured.

    You don't solve a crisis by strengthening the things that contributed to it, but that's what happened.


    I'm "switching" nothing (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:39:06 AM EST
    You're saying that Obama never campaigned on single-payer, therefore it was too difficult/impossible to backtrack to it in negotiations.  Leaving aside the fact that Obama's position on single payer (much like his position on every major healthcare reform issue) has "evolved" over time, my points were:

    1.  So what?  Even if he campaigned on single payer, he would have thrown it under the bus, given his willingness to do the same with the much less controversial (and much weaker) public option, which he not only campaigned on, but actually promised.  Whether he "campaigned on" it is irrelevant, given his willingness to sacrifice virtually every major component of his campaign proposals on healthcare: individual mandate, imported prescription drugs, public televised hearings, no backroom deal with the insurance lobbies, a public option ...

    2.  The weaker public option promised by candidate Obama was sacrificed after President Obama sat on the sidelines waiting for the House and Senate to deliver a bill to him, despite their pleas for help/leadership.  "Leaderless: Senate Pushes For Public Option Without Obama's Support"

    3.  Single payer was part of Edward's and Clinton's plans - it was called "Medicare Plus."  They simply didn't mandate that everyone drop their private insurance and enroll in it.

    For those who haven't followed the details of health care reform, a single-payer health care system would mean the government pays hospitals and doctors directly for every person's health care. It's not socialized medicine, like in the United Kingdom, where the government owns the hospitals and doctors are government employees. In essence, it's Medicare, the government-sponsored health care plan for seniors, with no age restrictions.



    No, "single payer" (3.00 / 3) (#70)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 10:07:00 AM EST
    was never part of Edwards's plan; a public option was.

    The more I thought about it, the more full of b.s. this comment about Edwards proposing single payer is.

    What does "single payer" mean?  One (as in a "single") source of insurance for everyone.  Government insurance.  The name is "single" payer, not "multiple" option payer.   "Single" payer means you do not have multiple other options.  Dishonest attempt at verbal sleight of hand by you.


    Bu//$hit (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:08:43 AM EST
    "Single payer" is not a difficult term to understand.

    It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or "payer." In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity--a government run organization--would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs.

    As Paul Krugman points out, it's Medicare.  Or Medicare-For-All/Medicare Plus.  The government acts as a single payer to collect the fees and pay the bills.

    But wait!  According to you, it's only single payer if there are no other options - if (literally) the government is the only healthcare "payer" - like Canada.  Oh, .... wait, ....

    ... not like Canada:

    Half of private health expenditure comes from private insurance and the remaining half is supplied by out-of-pocket payments.

    So, it turns out that, under your convoluted definition (

    "Single" payer means you do not have multiple other options
    ), even your Canadian-style single payer plan isn't "single payer", because you have "multiple other options" and more than one "payer".

    Go figure.

    Citizens of virtually every single payer country on Earth would also be surprised to hear they don't have a single payer system, because they also have "multiple other (private) options").  Sorry, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Norway, Japan, Finland, etc., etc.  You may be defined as "single payer" systems, but there's more than one source of insurance for everyone.  You have "multiple other options" - including private insurance plans - so you're just committing a "dishonest attempt at verbal slight of hand."



    It is an example (none / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:00:02 AM EST
    of the logical fallacy of "equivocation."

    Here is a nice summary of what has been attempted here.

    Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is classified as an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic words (words with multiple meanings).

    And an example:

    Equivocation is the use in a syllogism (a logical chain of reasoning) of a term several times, but giving the term a different meaning each time.

    For example:

    A feather is light.
    What is light cannot be dark.
    Therefore, a feather cannot be dark.

    In this use of equivocation, the word "light" is first used as the opposite of "heavy", but then used as a synonym of "bright" (the fallacy usually becomes obvious as soon as one tries to translate this argument into another language). Because the "middle term" of this syllogism is not one term, but two separate ones masquerading as one (all feathers are indeed "not heavy", but it is not true that all feathers are "bright"), this type of equivocation is actually an example of the fallacy of four terms.

    What was it you have told me and others? (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by sj on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:24:37 AM EST
    Oh yes. You are not just wrong, you are spectactularly wrong. All your bullet points are word parsing on a major scale to suit your opinions which you are then presenting as facts.

    And then you bring in logical fallacies as if you weren't indulging in them right and left. Coming up next: throwing about the term "ad hominem" ... as well as ad hominems.


    Medicare is a single-payer plan; (5.00 / 6) (#79)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 01:02:41 PM EST
    all claims submitted under Medicare are processed through and paid by one entity.

    Does having Medicare mean that seniors don't have any other kind of insurance?  No - there's a huge market in privately-issued policies designed to cover what Medicare does not.  There is no prohibition on having both Medicare and private, supplemental insurance.

    It's really very simple: there was never any real effort or intent to solve the real problems that private insurance created.  The very powerful health/pharma industry execs and lobby made very sure that real solutions weren't going to happen if they involved cutting them out of the loop.  

    Obama had a tremendous opportunity to show real leadership and imagination and vision, and he chose to take the path of least resistance.

    I sincerely hope that the ACA helps more people, but it hasn't solved, or even come close to solving, the real crisis in getting affordable care, and it certainly hasn't moved us closer to a single-payer system.  What it's done is make it easier for those generally opposed to the government "getting involved" in things to make the argument that you can't trust the government to do anything well.


    Hard to Believe... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 01:36:37 PM EST
    ...we are on the path of 'least resistance'.

    Jesus, what's the most resistant path looks like.

    I totally agree, just boggles my mind that we are currently experiencing the least problematic solution beyond doing nothing.


    A summary of your claims? (none / 0) (#78)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 12:00:04 PM EST
    Because you just replied to your own post.

    I would agree.


    All irrelevant (none / 0) (#68)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:53:10 AM EST
    to my point.

      1.  Speculation on your part, and not what I was talking about.

      2. What Obama did with the Public Option is irrelevant to my point about single payer.

      3.  So what if Edwards had a more robust form of a public option?  You are changing the meaning of the term "single payer" as has been used.  Edwards was not talking about a Canadian style single payer only plan.  And the key point was  what Obama had proposed.   He was elected, so his plan was the only one anyone could say was approved by the public via an actual election.

      4.  If you do not want to discuss my point, fine, but you could at least stop misrepresenting it.  


    Try again (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    1.  It was what you were talking about just 3 days ago when you said the public option

    2.  It's entirely relevant.

      So what if Edwards had a more robust form of a public option?  You are changing the meaning of the term "single payer" as has been used.  Edwards was not talking about a Canadian style single payer only plan.

    I'm changing nothing.  "The meaning of the term as has been used" by whom?  Be specific here, because I'd like to correct the uninformed person/people who would claim that a Medicare-for-all is not a single payer system.  Paul Krugman would also like to correct their ignorance.  Its proponents would be shocked to learn this.  So would the sponsors of the United States National Health Care Act ("Medicare For All"), a bill designed to do the very same thing as Edward's/Clinton's - open Medicare enrollment to those under 65.

    You didn't claim no candidate campaigned on a Canadian-style single payer plan.  You claimed that no candidate ran on a single-payer plan.  Medicare Plus/Medicare For All are, in fact, single payer plans.

    4)  Repeating this claim that I'm "misrepresenting" your position doesn't make it true.  Check your comments from just 3 days ago if you can't remember.


    BTW - You said ... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:50:18 AM EST
    ... when discussing the public option (not single payer), that because it was the opening offer and single payer was never possible, you "had to win without any concessions to keep it".

    That's simply false ... on both counts.


    I never said (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:56:30 AM EST
    the public option was off the table.

    I said it was the starting point in any negotiation....Come one, the concept is not too hard to grasp.  Stop the distortions....


    It's not hard at all (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 10:26:46 AM EST
    What you said was that - because the public option was the starting point - the only way to get it was to not compromise at all.

    This is simply false.


    Let ME repeat my question (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by sj on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:15:12 AM EST
    Let me repeat:  Single payer (not the public option) was off the table because Obama did not campaign on it and it was not part of his plan
    You are asserting the plan he campaigned on set limits as if he could only act within the parameters of his campaign. You have further stated that he couldn't change direction and still be taken seriously.

    You do NOT explain how he could reverse himself on other campaign "plans" and promises -- such as transparency in negotiations with stakeholders in health care for one small example -- and still be a serious person.

    Your assertions about how restrictive his campaign plan was are just assertions. They are your opinions presented as facts.


    I love how this works (5.00 / 9) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:50:23 PM EST
    If the candidate does not campaign on something his voters want, they can't have it.

    If the candidate campaigns on something his voters want, they can't have it.

    If the candidate does not campaign for something his voters truly hate, the candidate will try his best to ram it down their throats.


    Then vote for candidates (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:22:09 PM EST
    that advocate single payer.

    The idea you can at first offer to sell a basket of fruit in the marketplace for $100 while bargaining with someone, and then say you really want more money to sell it, does not work.    


    I did (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:29:14 PM EST
    You on the other hand (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 08:35:13 PM EST
    voted for a candidate who campaigned on a public option.

    Sorry your example is more applicable to Obama voters but only in the sense that they though they were told they were buying a basket of fruit in the marketplace for $100 and after the election was over they found their $100 was only buying a run broken down basket left over from the 90s.



    All three major candidates (none / 0) (#46)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:40:19 PM EST
    Hillary, Obama and Edwards, all had the same basic private insurance/rebate model.   None of them advocated single payer.

    Single payer was "taken off the table" in 2008.  So, the idea that good negotiating strategy would have entailed putting single payer on the table to get a public option was never feasible.  The die was cast....

    Perhaps not what you wanted....But it was reality in 2009-2010.  


    Clinton campaigned as an advocate for (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 11:48:22 PM EST
    individual mandates. Obama did not.

    I thought Hillary really made (none / 0) (#52)
    by MKS on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 11:57:48 PM EST
    sense in 2008 on that point.  That was the only policy difference between the two candidates that I could detect in 2008.

    No (5.00 / 6) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 05:11:17 AM EST
    Hillary and Edwards advocated opening up Medicare for people to buy into which would have been an easier way to get a public option than what Obama was offering. His health plan really made no sense to me. Why set up another program when you already have an existing one.

    That you "could detect"? (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:01:25 AM EST
    Then there was that other, minor (heh) point of difference.  The fact that Edwards and Clinton offered Medicare Plus - a backdoor to single payer.  All three plans left private insurance in place, but with a much more cost-effective Medicare Plus option, the private insurance plans would be forced to become much more efficient and lower premiums or wither on the vine as people gravitated to Medicare Plus.

    Policy - Clinton and Edwards Open the Backdoor.


    Let us talk about some of the (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:55:12 AM EST
    things that Obama campaigned on that he not only failed to deliver but negotiated away in back room deals.

    Open transparent negotiation process carried on CSPAN - replaced with back room deals with various health insurance/care industries.

    Public option - negotiated away in back room deals.

    Negotiated prescription drug prices and reimportation of prescription drugs - negotiated away in back room deals with pharma even to the point of allowing them to continue to overcharge on Medicaid/Medicare dual eligibles.

    If you like the insurance you have now you can keep it - replaced with if you have good insurance benefits now it will have to be replaced with less desirable benefits.

    So once again, if something on health care was beneficial and desired by the citizens, if Obama did not campaigned on it, according to MKS they couldn't have it.

    If something on health care was beneficial and desired by the citizens, if Obama campaigned on it, according to Obama they couldn't have it.

    That is the reality of happened then and continues to happen now.


    It is not (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:05:48 AM EST
    as if I am the one to hand out health care plans and I have unilaterally decided to deny single payer because no one ran it.

    I am pointing out the reality that it is very hard to backtrack in negotiations....

    I am pointing out the idea that Obama should have used the better negotiating tactic of offering single payer in 2009 to settle for the public option, was not something that could be done.   If you start out with the Public Option, then you cannot back track to single payer....



    You've said this several times (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by sj on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 05:11:29 PM EST
    And it makes me wonder where it is written that only campaign promises can be considered by an office holder. And, if that's the case, how the he!! did we end up with the NSA spying on everybody? I don't recall anybody campaigning on that.

    So, is reneging-on/being-constrained-by campaign promises all you've got? Because if you want to go down that road it quickly becomes a rabbit hole. So don't even get me started thinking about all the positions that are the opposite of his campaign statements. I wonder, for example, where his comfortable shoes are...


    Good point (none / 0) (#27)
    by Slado on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:48:47 PM EST
    Single payer was never discussed.

    What was discussed was the individual mandate and like most things Obama there's a difference between election position and his governing position.


    Old/New Obama (2.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 04:55:12 PM EST
    Remember this...?

    Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally.   Leadership means that "The Buck Stops here".  Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of children and grandchildren.  

    America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.  America deserves better.

    I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

    --Barack Obama 3/16/06

    I couldn't have said it better myself.


    Same for Republicans/Conservatives (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 05:26:18 PM EST
    The partisan posturing about "fiscal responsibility" is pretty easy when you're a single Senator and there's no chance of default.  Happens every time for the past decade, at least.  the issue this time, is whether Republicans are crazy enough to do it, rather than simply engaging in meaningless political posturing.

    "Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility -- two things that set us apart from much of the world." - Ronald Reagan, 1987.

    "This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world.  The full consequences of a default - or even the serious prospect of default - by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns." - Ronald Reagan, 1983.

    I couldn't have said it better myself.


    I agree with the President's comments (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Jack203 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 07:10:23 PM EST
    Now, what does that have to do with the Republicans trying to extort concessions without giving an inch, and threatening to sabotage the entire country if their demands are not met?

    Personally, I'm all for "negotiations" on spending cuts.  But the Republicans have to make concessions of their own.  The top 1% needs to pay more.

    When taking in consideration the total percentage of wealth in this country has increased substantially for the super rich over the last 25  years.  It should be a no-brainer compromise for the Republicans to make.

    Of course, it isn't.  And the Republicans have shut down the country and ransomed the full faith and credit of this country in order to score concessions without giving up an ounce of their overlords wealth.

    But the real fault is the idiots that have enabled this to occur. Heck, everyone needs an advocate, even the super rich.  But if an entire parties only constituency is the top 1% who are already doing effing fantastic in this country, you would think they would have trouble getting elected.  

    Not if you have a "black muslim liberal" to hate I suppose.  And only one of those words describes Obama, and it's only half right.


    Since you have stated that you are (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 07:30:49 PM EST
    willing for the president to negotiate additional spending cuts, what are you personally willing to sacrifice as part of these cuts? IOW what cuts that have a major affect on your personal well being and bottom line do you want him to offer to the Republicans?

    What I would give personally? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Jack203 on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:30:12 PM EST
    I would pay higher taxes as long as the super rich got socked.  My wife and I do very well and are sound financially.  Were not top 1%, but even many in the top 1% are willing to pay more (for ex: Buffet)

    I understand compromise is a dirty word for some progressives too.  Not for me.


    I would also (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by sj on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 12:48:07 AM EST
    I would pay higher taxes ...
    But that doesn't really answer the question. If you are sound financially it isn't a real hardship (which is why it pi$$es me off that the super rich just keep more and more). What compromises are you willing to make that would mean real sacrifice. Not just a larger donation.

    That "dirty word" that you are talking about means cutting the thread by which some people are just barely holding on. Are you willing to compromise their right to food, housing and medical care? The very well-being of others is being compromised. What hardship will you suffer for your compromise? True hardship, not just the giving of something that doesn't really affect your way of life.

    I don't want or need my taxes to be lowered. I need for my society to take care of those who most vulnerable. That will release so much tension from my body.


    Actually the question was not whether or not (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 06:47:21 AM EST
    you would be willing to pay higher taxes since raising your taxes is not anywhere on the agenda. The question had to do with what CUTS would you be willing to sacrifice that would have a major affect on your personal well being and bottom line. The opportunity for you to pay higher taxes was negotiated away by Obama and replaced by more cuts to domestic programs that cause real sacrifice to the people who need them.  

    Instead of additional higher taxes, part of the so called "compromise" that has always been included along with the draconian cuts in domestic and "entitlement" programs is cutting the corporate tax rate.

    So when you are willing for Obama to "compromise" please at least be aware that what you are advocating will come at a real cost not to you but to others who can least afford to sacrifice more. You are in effect asking others to make reals sacrifice so that you can support an Obama compromise which will turn around and give that money to the corporations.

    At a time when more and more of our elderly are falling into poverty (look it up) the cuts will be to SS security, Medicare, emergency heating assistance, housing assistance and other things that they need to survive.

    At a time when food pantries are swamped with new applicants on a daily basis, more will be cut from food stamps, WIC and unemployment benefits.

    At a time when many schools are reporting that the number of their students being listed as homeless has increased dramatically (look it up), more will be cut from housing assistance and other social services.

    The list goes on and on.


    Secretary Sebelius (none / 0) (#31)
    by KeysDan on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 05:09:11 PM EST
    did give Jon Stewart a reason:  the president did not want to disrupt the 80 percent who have insurance.

    Rare occassion I thought she did just fine (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:14:15 AM EST
    I am no Sebelius fan, but Stewart pretending not to understand her answers on that topic was just annoying to me. She did miss a chance to explain it better, but he is not a 5 yr old, he could have given her the same attempt at understanding he bends over backwards to give conservative guests.

    She also answered why there was not single payer - there were not the votes for it, which was true. The Democratic controlled Senate includes many Dems who will never vote for single-payer. Same with what was the Dem controlled House at the time. I liked her answer - the ACA, based on private insurance, is being deemed the end of civilization as we know it - what chance did single payer have?

    I am fine with Stewart expressing opinions on his show - I wish he would do it more forthrightly.


    I agree with your (none / 0) (#75)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:12:52 AM EST
    observation on Jon Stewart's sometimes unequal treatment of liberal and conservative guests--gingerly broaching issues with conservatives and being even hostile to liberals.

    Perhaps, to show his "fairness" or maybe, because he expects more from a Democrat.  For example, Jon was so hostile to Jeremy Scahill when he was presenting his book on  the scandal of Blackwater (Nov 2007) that Stewart later had to apologize.  On the other hand, he is so patronizing of guys like  Bill O'Reilly that I change channels, fast.

    But, in the case of Secretary Sebelius, I think there was disappointment in the roll-out, explanations and education, as well, as the technical "glitches" experienced by many on the first days.  

    Knowing that the opponents are gunning for it and the first enrollment day occurred during a government shutdown rooted in its  defunding  (aka, de-capitating),  it was surprising that such an initial foul-up would happen.  But, it is not surprising that questions and criticism would follow.  

    Even common-sense questions, such as why an account had to be started before comparative shopping could occur on the exchanges (some state exchanges permit this, e.g. MN).  Or, to stagger the initial enrollment period by alphabet, or age cohorts, or days of the week.   Or, to get a better computer contractor.

    The Secretary resorted to talking points for the program, which were not really the question, or the point.


    Noam Schieber via digby (none / 0) (#34)
    by MO Blue on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 05:55:36 PM EST
    The problem with a short-term debt limit increase is it muddies everything you're trying to make clear. Suppose Congress reopened the government for six weeks under a temporary funding bill known as a continuing resolution (CR) while at the same time raising the debt limit for six weeks. Obama has said he's happy to negotiate a fiscal deal once the government is reopened, even as he refuses to negotiate the debt limit.

    Under this scenario, how would he differentiate between the two? Even if the White House were absolutely scrupulous about not trading anything for the debt limit increase (that is, not making more concessions for a budget deal that includes a debt-ceiling increase than they'd make for a budget deal without one), Boehner could always turn around and tell his rank-and-file that some of the concessions came in return for the debt-ceiling measure. It wouldn't matter if he were right or wrong. The mere belief among Republicans that they'd extracted concessions for raising the debt limit would encourage them to try again. link

    The problem I see (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 07:38:42 PM EST
    with a short term solution is it does nothing to solve the long term problem. Something that just kicks the can down the road for 6 weeks or so is just going to allow this to happen again in 6 weeks with the tea nuts send another laundry list of demands.

    Agrtee. it is no solution at all. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:15:39 AM EST
    This is what I get for being in Guam. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 06:39:34 PM EST
    By the time I wake up, the Beltway's already closed up shop for the day and gone out drinking. The downside is that the baseball playoffs will be done before noon, and the only thing that's on the Guam airwaves in evening prime time is reality TV.