Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can BARF Become Beautiful?

Yesterday was the first day that the entire Senate Finance Committee got to start making changes to BARF (the Baucus Anti-Reforming Fixes Act).  The following is the tail end of an article that summarizes some of what they said.

BARF debate ...Enter, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del). He began carping about the 'unfairness' to the pharma industry that had 'negotiated' an $80B deal--although not, Senators Kerry and Schumer pointed out, with Congress, but rather (supposedly) with people in the White House. He suggested that, since drug costs were only 10% of health care expenses, whereas hospital costs were 35%, that hospitals should be contributing 3.5X the amount the drug companies did "in order to be fair." His position was carefully filleted by Senators Kerry and Schumer, who noted that many hospitals are non-profits, some are losing money, and others have very thin profit margins.

While Carper carped, the grumpy old men on the Republican side began to remember their talking points. Only 12% of medicare patients, Grassley harrumphed, were in the donut hole. [neglecting to say is that that is more than 5 million people(!), and how many are not in it because they cannot afford it, and are thus just not taking those medications?]. Probably the most ridiculous argument was that if the pharma companies did not make their $86B over 10 years fleecing poor seniors, they would raise the prices of the drugs for children, as if children were on such drugs as Lipitor®, Rituxan® or Forteo®, or even that most drugs for children are still patent-protected and thus not subject to generic competition.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) denounced the original bill for not providing choice, and pointed out that most versions of the public option are only for those who do not have or lose their insurance. He challenged the committee to open the health care plan available to all Members of Congress and all federal employees, and that thus already operates in every state (because they have federal employees) to the public. This would fulfill, he said, the President's argument that "if it is good enough for Members of Congress, it should be good enough for the American people".

Overall, it was a good opening day. One could measure how good it was by the sour faces and wounded-appearing body language of the Republicans. After their opening statements--spouting the same poppycock that they too were for reform, that malpractice reform would reduce costs substantially (a position refuted by the Congressional Budget Office, in 2004, under a Republican Congress), and that opening competition to insurance across state lines would reduce costs--they were unable to mount any cogent responses to the Democrats' modifications or amendments. As noted in an earlier article, if the Democrats pass a good universal health care bill, Republicans will become politically irrelevant for 2+ generations. ("Permanent Irrelevance: Outcome for Republicans if Dems Pass Universal Health Care Reform", September 9, 2009). Their body language, their harrumphing, and their lack of anything cogent to offer is a harbinger of that status.

Although much of the comments were directed to costs, in fact many of the proposals lowered costs because they improved health outcomes. That is the key to success, and ought to be the focus of the President's messages on health care.

There is a long way to go before the Baucus bill is transformed into real reform that benefits real people. Day 1 was a good start. [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

I picked this part of the article, because it contrasts a Bush Dog DINOcrat with an authentic Democrat, my own Senator.  The rest of the article contains several examples of the good Democratic Senators are trying to accomplish.  I strongly recommend that you click the link and read the rest of it.  It will open in a new window, so you you can do so without being pulled away from here.

Tom Delay, still under indictment, is strutting his stuff with all the grace of a constipated elephant on Dancing with the Stars.  It almost seems that his presence there serves to remind Republicans of their third favorite tactic: DELAY.  Lying and fear mongering are one and two.   They want to hold up the committee for three days.  You won’t believe the reason.  Watch.

 

Hello?  You want three days to give your owners, the providers, three days co consider more tactics to deprive the American people of reform.  Not this week!!

So can BARF become beautiful?  It hasn’t yet, but if Democrats replace all the Republican/DINO garbage it still contains with the best things from the Kennedy bill and the House bill, there may be hope for it yet.

10 comments:

the walking man said...

Just because the summer of madness is waning doesn't mean there is nothing yet left for the public to say. Don't stop bombarding congress with your voice.

Brother Tim said...

BARF is BARF --- You can present it to look like lamb stew, but the smell is still the same.

TomCat said...

Amen to that, MarK!

Brother, what if they gave it a public option, strong regulation of the insurance criminals and taxed the rich to pay for it?

Brother Tim said...

Then it wouldn't be BARF, it would be TREATS (The Reform Everybody Asks To See). :)

Jolly Roger said...

I don't call them Rushpubliscums and Blue Dicks for nothing, y'know.

an average patriot said...

Last I heard there was about 575 amendments to it and things were sure getting testy today.

Hill said...

"You want three days to give your owners, the providers, three days to consider more tactics to deprive the American people of reform."

Bingo!

And ditto what Jolly Roger said.

These pigfuckers won't be happy until MILLIONS of poor peeps die for lack of basic medical care.

They should be careful what they wish for.

They might find themselves actually having to work for a living. You know, doing the work that the poor peeps do...

Hell isn't good enough for these heartless bastards. Betcha even satan twitches a bit in their presence...

UGH

Dusty said...

BARF-Made me lmao..and brother I don't think I have ever laughed about barf before. ;)

Mary Ellen said...

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) denounced the original bill for not providing choice, and pointed out that most versions of the public option are only for those who do not have or lose their insurance. He challenged the committee to open the health care plan available to all Members of Congress and all federal employees, and that thus already operates in every state (because they have federal employees) to the public. This would fulfill, he said, the President's argument that "if it is good enough for Members of Congress, it should be good enough for the American people".

One thing I agree with...not sure much will come of this bill, however. The insurance companies will get a big windfall because all Americans will be forced to buy insurance from them ( I doubt if we'll see public option) and we all know big pharma will make a killing (back room deal by Obama), and those in the middle and senior citizens...get screwed...as usual.

TomCat said...

Good one, Brother! LMAO!!

JR, that's great terminology!

Jim, I've been listening on CSPAN. Some of the Repuglican amendments are bizarre... just a waste of time.

Hill, the SPCS might get you for that. Poor Satan! Being compared to GOP Senators is a fate below even him.

Thanks Dusty. BARF (Baucus Anti-Reforming Fixes) is a TomCat original. Welcome! You're now followed and blog rolled.

Nunly, that deal was with Obama's staff, and it's been nixed. But if we don't get a public option, you're right about it being welfare for big insurance.