Thursday, December 17, 2009


The more that comes out about this bill, the more unhappy I become.  When the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid,  humped LIEberman’s leg, he may have lost one of the Senate’s best members.

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In what may be a huge setback for the Democratic leadership, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Wednesday on the Fox Business Network that "as of this point" he cannot vote for the Senate health care bill after the concessions recently made to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

"He wants to strengthen the bill," Michael Briggs, Sanders' Communications Director, wrote in an e-mail to Raw Story. "With the public option and Medicare buy-in off the table, he is focused on strengthening provisions on community health centers."

"He wants to dramatically increase support," Briggs added, "for the primary care facilities that provide doctors, dentists, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs on a sliding-scale basis -- and he is working to improve a provision that would let states experiment with single payer or other innovative programs to deliver comprehensive, affordable health care more efficiently and economically."

But the Senator made no promises about how he'll ultimately vote, saying "we'll see" what happens.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid removed a Medicare buy-in option from the health bill on Monday, following Lieberman's announcement that he would join a Republican filibuster of the bill if it included the Medicare expansion. Lieberman's vote was seen as crucial to getting the 60 votes needed to overcome filibuster.

But Sanders' comments Wednesday indicated that the Democratic caucus may have gained the support of one of its most conservative members at the price of one of its most liberal. (Sanders, a longtime favorite politician in Vermont, is a self-described "democratic socialist.")

"As of this point, I'm not voting for this bill," Sanders told Fox's Neil Cavuto. "I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman’s action, what I worried about is, how do you control escalating health care costs? How do you give competition to the private insurance companies who are raising rates outrageously every year?"… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Bob Cesca argues the other side well.

bob-cesca If I stop being pissed off long enough to take a good look at what remains in both the Senate and House bills, there aren't necessarily fool-proof solutions to these problems, but there are regulations, subsidies and reforms that will ameliorate a significant chunk of the present crisis. For example, the Senate bill will reduce the cost of insurance for a family of four earning $54,000 from around $19,000 per year to around $9,000 per year.

Ezra Klein:

To put this a bit more sharply, if I could construct a system in which insurers spent 90 percent of every premium dollar on medical care, never discriminated against another sick applicant, began exerting real pressure for providers to bring down costs, vastly simplified their billing systems, made it easier to compare plans and access consumer ratings, and generally worked more like companies in a competitive market rather than companies in a non-functional market, I would take that deal. And if you told me that the price of that deal was that insurers would move from being the 86th most profitable industry to being the 53rd most profitable industry, I would still take that deal.

So would I, even though I'm pissed off about it. But it undeniably makes sense to take the deal. If progressives successfully convince enough Democrats to kill the bill, do we really want to be the group that plunged the last blade into the back of reform?… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

Cesca is correct that there are god qualities left in this bill.  But is it enough?

Yesterday, I qualified my support for the bill with the condition that with neither the public option nor the Medicare buy in to contain costs and provide choice, that the bill would be acceptable only if the mandate were removed.  Now I seriously doubt that he read Politics Plus and used us as a basis to form his conclusion, so I can only surmise that great minds often fall in the same ditch.


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As they always are, this Olbermann special comment was compelling.  He agreed with me on the mandate.  He also inspired me to reevaluate a couple other things.  The Nevada Leg Hound has given the Republican, Traitor Joe, and the DINOs a free ride.  Every time one of them has so much as farted, he had moved to gut the bill further.  Looking ahead to 2010, the Democrats will own whatever passes.  Do we want that to be a bill that helps some, but harms more than it helps?  No.  And if this bill is to be killed, do we want it to be a progressive like Bernie Sanders that kills it?  No.  Should we just go back to reconciliation as Dean suggests?  No.  Put either the strong public option or the Medicare buy-in, or preferably both, back into the bill.  End the free ride.  If this bill is going to be killed, let it be the Republican Reich with their wannabe Traitor Joe and the DINOs that kill it.  Make them pay the price for opposing their voters at the polls.  It may well be that Traitor Joe and the DINOs will not be so bold in their opposition, when they can no longer get what they want for nothing.  And if they kill the bill, they own health care.  We should immediately go the reconciliation route, if that happens.

If Reid and the Senate Democrats continue their cowardly ways, I will still support this bill, if and only if the mandate is removed.


rjs said...

im no wonk on this, but my emails from former supporters have now been running against any further support of this told all it now does is force individuals to purchase insurance, but does nothing to rein in what insurance companies charge...

Brother Tim said...

I cannot support this bill even if the mandate is removed. This is a gift to the insurance industry. Reid needs to re-write the bill for single-payer or a strong public option. Let the Repugs, and the DINO slime like Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, LIEberman, et al go on record denying America healthcare. If the Dems don't stand up now and show some balls, they're in a lose-lose situation. I wonder what insurance company Reid will go to work for next year?

the walking man said...

I tried to find in my own mind a compromise and I can only come back to my original position. No single payer system means there is no reform at all worth having.

What a joke and travesty demanding the clerk read entire amendment and then leaving the floor that bastard did yesterday.

Jack Jodell said...

This bill, in its current form, is a gift to the greedy health insurance companies. Joe LIEberman is DEFINITELY a skanky hooker for that industry. I'm with Olbermann, Dean, and Sanders: KILL THIS BILL!

gabrielle said...

The mob prevails. I can only hope that other progressives follow Bernie Sander's lead. At this point, no bill is better than a bad bill. I will continue to call Senator Klobuchar and urge her to withdraw her support for this bill.

Holte Ender said...

I am beginning to depend on your analysis on Health Care and I thank you for it. The republicans are in a win/win situation, if the bill is so bad some Democrats would want to kill it, or if it passes, Lieberman's, and others, paymasters get richer. How do these people sleep at night.

Middle Ditch said...

Just visiting to say hi

Oso said...

" Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.

“This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. “I think they could have been higher. I certainly think a stronger bill would have been better in every respect.”

ivan said...

MAD Magazine could have called it the AAARGHHony-- and the ECCHHSTASY when the fershlugginer bill is finally passed, flaws and all.
Will be a small victory for Mr. O.

Lisa G. said...

I'm with Brother Tim; it doesn't matter how much they take out of it to please the Repubs and the Blue Dogs, they won't vote for it anyway. Have a 1 page bill with single payer and put it up for vote. This bullshit has gone on too long.

And Obama is at fault for this too. He could have demand at least the public option or he wouldn't sign it. Right now, he'll sign any piece of crap they give him and declare victory. I'm regretting my vote more and more everyday.

Oso said...

Props to Lisa G.

TomCat said...

RJ, that's essentially correct. From what I understand they can charge an older person triple what they charge a young one, and that they can raise rates 50% for preexisting conditions like high blood pressure. So a 50 year old with a minor preexisting condition could be charged 4 and a half times what they charge a young person.

Brother, for me it's a very fine line.

Mark, I'd take less than single payer, but that will anyways be my ultimate goal.

Jack, none of them have called to kill the bill. They want to keep fighting to improve it.

Gabrielle, I'm for it IF they can make it better. Also, remember that it must be reconciled with the House bill.

Holte, you're welcome, but that's a tall responsibility. I would encourage you to keep doing your own research too. I'm just human enough that, at times, I'm wrong.

Hi Monique!!

Oso, nobody is blaming LIEberman, because they are desperate for his vote.

ARGH, Ivan!! PU!!! A small victory indeed!

Lisa, I hear you, but consider where we might be with McConJob and Mooseolini!