Tag: health care reform

Democrats: Now YOU understand.

In the election of 2010, it won’t matter if you call yourself a progressive.  It won’t matter if you sent a sternly worded letter to the Obama administration or denounced Republicans on the floor of the Congress for wanting people to die.

Anything goes wrong, anything at all, your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault, the American people are going to come screaming for your seats, and you’ll lose them.

It’s as simple as that.

If you don’t pass health care reform, you are going to lose the majority for a generation.  If you pass a corporatist bill with mandates but no public option, you are going to lose a majority for a generation.

And if you play the kabuki of pretending to be for the American people while telling them that their rejection of people dying from lack of health care or medical bankruptcy is “not realistic” or that their wanting decent health care that the average person can afford without giving their money to criminal murder by spreadsheet companies is akin to “wanting a pony”, you are going to lose your seats.  If you turncoat at the last minute and refuse to shove through a public option because it’s “not the right timing”, you’re going to suffer a humiliating defeat as a party and perhaps as an elected official.

It’s time for some goddamn respect for the American people, Congress.

And that is only the start.  The American people aren’t buying “we can’t” anymore.  You better.  And sooner or later the “vote for us or the puppy gets it” routine will fail too.  It’s already failing.  One by one, people aren’t buying the pee-on-our-feet while telling us it’s raining act.

I’m talking even to you, Michael Bennett.  I am talking to you too, Dianna DeGette.  We want results.  And more and more people are not going to be fooled by the red bull flag the Democrats wave with the Republicans acting crazy and the Democrats doing nothing about it.

If you don’t take us to a better place in this country, things are going to get a whole lot worse.

And it won’t matter whose fault it was.

Frank Luntz: a one man wrecking crew, without a conscience

Mr Luntz is at it again, doing what he does best:   Making Stuff Up for purely Politcal Gain!

Wall St Consultant Frank Luntz Pens Memo On

How To Channel Economic Anxiety Into Protecting Wall St Abuses

Lee Fang, ThinkProgress – 02/01/2010

[…] Luntz, who gained national recognition for his role in shaping the buzzword-heavy Contract for America with Newt Gingrich in 1994, has built a sizable business selling his messaging advice to both corporations and Republican campaigns.

The new memo instructs opponents of financial reform to simply lie about reform legislation, and to twist economic anxiety resulting from the recession into fear of any government effort to fix the underlying cause of the financial crisis. The most dishonest argument is that financial reform would “punish” taxpayers while rewarding “big banks and credit card companies.” In reality, top financial industry lobbyists are not only fighting proposed oversight regulations, but have said recently that they are opposed to “any regulation” at all.


How DOES this Man sleep at night?

Friday:Obama HC Summit Plan-No Public Option,Yes Excise Tax

Yesterday, I wrote about why it is a mistake for the Democrats to cling to the Senate Finance Committee’s funding mechanism for their health insurance “reform” bill, which is a punitive, regressive excise tax on the working class’s health insurance benefits themselves, which the White House persists in calling the “Cadillac tax.”


Since Friday afternoon is always good for a newsdump, according to Chris Bowers at Open Left, Jillian Rayfield at TPMDC, and Greg Sargent at The Plum Line, we have the usual Democratic anonymous WH sources/leadership aides

 telling us that the President intends to offer the excise tax and no Public Option to the “Bipartisan” health care bill summit next Thursday Feb 25 th.


Okay, I’ve got some more info for you on what the health care compromise proposal that Obama will bring to the summit next week is going to look like.

Bottom line: It’s all but certain to have the Cadillac tax in it, even though House Dems oppose it, and no public option, aides say.


Oh, goody.

Now, last night at Open Left, we had the breathless BREAKING! applied to this little nugget:

Obama will support the public option if Reid will.  


Based on HHS Sec Kathleen Sebelius answering an interview question put to her by Rachel Maddow.

Check out this Research 2000 polling done in Nevada, this month 2/9 – 2/10/10 :  http://act.boldprogressives.or…

88% of Nevada Democrats and 61% of Independents favor a govt. admin health insurance plan “like Medicare” for younger people to be able to obtain as a choice to compete with private plans

89% of Nevada Democrats and 56% of Independents would prefer passing health insurance reform that includes a public option, and that would make them more likely to vote for Democrats in the 2010 elections, even if this meant the bill didn’t get Republican votes.

88% of Democrats and 58% of Independents think Harry Reid should include a Public Option in Reconciliation.

Today, Friday, President Obama did a joint appearance with Senate Majority Leader Reid at a town hall in a high school gym in Henderson, Nevada.  They hugged, they praised each other, they made boxing allegories.  

 “Health care has been knocking me around pretty good,” Obama said. “It’s been knocking Harry around pretty good.”

The goal was to shift the emphasis from the unpopularity of some of Reid’s votes to, in Obama’s view, the courage it took to take expensive steps to save the economy. “Sometimes he takes his licks,” Obama said of Reid. “But he gets back up. Harry Reid has never stopped fighting.”  

Yup. Harry’s never stopped fighting.  Fighting for what, we’re not sure, and in what decade, we don’t know, but he’s still in there, swingin’ away.   Harry’s sagging in the polls in his Nevada re election race.  Nevada, with the highest percentage of veterans and retirees in the nation (think living on fixed incomes), and an economy that depends on tourism and entertainment, has been battered brutally in this recession, as it also has a 13% unemployment rate, and the 2nd highest foreclosure rates in the nation.  Harry needs a Big Las Vegas Finale to pull this one off.  

Why the Excise Tax Sucks

~Why the Excise Tax Sucks~

In the current Senate version of the Health Insurance Reform Bill, the funding mechanism is being called an “excise tax,”   and it is currently designed to be applied to HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS

There’s  4 major things wrong with the Senate version of the bill:

1.  This so called excise tax, which is regressive, hurting lower wage workers more than higher wage earners.

2.  The lack of a public option to provide a guaranteed alternative to the vampire blood sucking of private for profit insurance , and therefore, the lack of universal coverage-   this means insurers are guaranteed to have a rotating pool of “excludables,” perpetrating the caste system and the medical access lottery of the damned.

3.  The lack of universal health care coverage for all, which, aside from the moral implications, therefore still provides a mechanism for all the things wrong with the current cannibalistic system to continue.

4.  The Democrats in the Senate being unable, so far, to be willing to change the suckitudinalness and go for some serious reconciliation with the House.

Today, we’ll look at reasons to get rid of the excise tax.

Obama: Congress might screw the pooch on Health Care

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    At a DNC fundraiser last night, President Obama had an interesting exchange with a Democratic organizer about health care reform, wherein he appeared to suggest that Congress could drop the ball and fail to pass a bill–and that voters should judge them harshly if they do.

    “[I]t may be that — you know, if Congress decides — if Congress decides we’re not going to do it, even after all the facts are laid out, all the options are clear, then the American people can make a judgment as to whether this Congress has done the right thing for them or not,” Obama said.


    More below the fold

Aetna Lays Off 100 in CT, Same Day as Free Health Clinic

Oh, those charming folks at Aetna.


Wednesday, the same day as the National Association of Free Clinics held their latest clinic at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, which took care of a thousand uninsured people who needed a doctor but couldn’t afford it,  the same city in which Aetna is based,  Aetna Insurance announced they were laying off 100 more employees. The company previously laid off 160 in November 2009, and is planning to cut at least 625 nationwide.

Catch the excuse given below:

Part of the reason, company officials said, are declining membership and the state of the economy.  


Declining membership? And why, pray tell, is membership declining ?

Conspiracy Theory

What digby said

The most generous reading I can give is that he’s trying to derail any efforts to pass a public option or medicare buy-in through reconciliation and ensure that none of the deals he struck will be harmed in the process.

Which leads me to ask if they still don’t ask the right question: did Rahm ever want to pass real health care reform? And if he did, can there be any excuse for his having mangled the legislative strategy so badly?

From the absurd strategy to try to call health care reform “deficit reduction”, to backroom deals after the president ran explicitly on transparency, to allowing the hostage taking by the Gang of Six for months to a dozen other inexplicable tactics — it all makes the most sense if you already assume that he wasn’t fully committed to its passage.

Maybe not. I’m not one to mythologize single actors, and I do believe that the buck always stops with the president. But either Rahm is a brilliant legislative strategist, in which case he didn’t bother to use his great powers to pass health care reform for reasons we can only speculate about, given the stakes — or his reputation for brilliance is extremely overrated. But Rahm’s culpability, whether intentional or not, has long been obvious and there’s nothing surprising in these recent statements.

The Leadership of Necessity

I wrote this for posting, New Years Day, on DailyKos. It began as a reply to Lambert on CorrenteWire, when he was expressing deep doubt at the efficacy of soldiering on against the monumental stupidity of U.S. elites, and the monumental indifference of such a large portion of the American people. At the risk of it being lost in the excitement over President Obama’s behind-the-woodshed beating of the Republican House Caucus earlier today, I’m posting it here. In a few days or a few weeks, I’ll post some thoughts on what you can do to prepare for the hard political and economic times I see coming. But let my reposting of this essay here serve as unequivocal testimony that one of the things you do NOT do, is stop fighting for what you believe in.

You should save last week’s list of recommended diaries. It will be something you may want to refer to in the not too distant future, when your mind needs release and you wonder where the turning point was.

Nyceve assured us, Don’t fear the truth: LieberCare is an unspeakable hoax and One Pissed Off Liberal sadly pointed out It’s Not Even Good Kabuki. And, of course, there was the dance of diaries over Jane Hamsher and her attempt to outflank Rahm Emanual by joining forces with Grover Norquist. The atmosphere around here has become so charged and so bitter, that Cat M pleading Stop Telling Me I’m Not Progressive made the rec list.  

Pelosi Takes Public Option Off Our Table

The day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech to Congress, the conservaDems intent on bailing out the health insurance industry are happy to hear that House Speaker Pelosi say that:

“I think that the President’s, not only his appeal to pass it but his explanation to the American people as to what the possibilities were was a very powerful statement that will be helpful to us,” Pelosi said.


“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll poll vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

– from Greg Sargent’s Plumline


Pelosi and her House are allegedly attempting to do a run around of the “60 vote Senate supermajority needed to block a filibuster” problem, by passing a House version of “side car reconciliation” to the bill first before signing off on the Senate’s version of a “health insurance reform” bill.  There is no timetable, other than they have a year to contemplate how to do this before the proto legislation already passed, expires.  

He Works. We Wait

“White House to Main Street” Town Hall: Elyria, OH

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

A recent change of the guard in the Massachusetts Senate race force the President to reveal he is working.  We, the American people, are waiting, just as we have been for months and months.  For a full year, countless citizens have felt as though they were patient.  Yet, the President did not seem to have their interests at heart.  True change has not come.  Countless constituents anticipate none is forthcoming.  Three hundred and sixty five plus have gone by and the American people are tired of being patient.

Dateline NBC: Critical Condition

Critical Condition: Are you covered in case of emergency? These families thought they were

Learning from Massachusetts …

Scott Brown’s victory provides clear lessons for both Democratic Party and Republican Party operatives.  The question: whether these operatives will read the tea leaves correctly or incorrectly and, therefore, what measures they will take walking away from the situation.

Briefly, for the Republican Party, the message is clear: essentially every single seat is up for grabs in this fall’s elections if (a) they have a photogenic candidate, (b) maintain message discipline with truthiness-laden attacks on all policies, (c) avoid mentioning “Bush” (and invoke “Reagan”), and (d) if the Democratic Party “establishment” fails to heed the lessons of Massachusetts.

Now, as in New Jersey and Virginia, much of the Democratic Party knashing of teeth will resolve around Martha Coakley’s failures as a candidate (from failure to take the election seriously to, in the debate, stating that this was “Ted Kennedy’s seat to …).  There is (substantial) truth to these complaints, but this was not the core of what went on in Massachusetts (although, a more robust / stronger campaign and a Brown surge wouldn’t have seriously threatened Coakley).

From this election, many will propagate a message that “Obama is too left” and that “voters think he’s trying to do too much”.  This, however, simply flies in the face of both polling and on-the-ground reality.

Load more