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July 27, 2009 7:26 PM   Subscribe

With the vote on Health Care Reform pushed back to september, Ad campaigns are revving up, both for and against. The DNC has given the 13 million e-mails Obama collected during his campaign to Organizing For America. And our old friends Harry and Louise are back.

Here is the "tools" page on barackobama.com. Wherein you can Tweet your support, or write a letter to the editors of newspapers in your area.

The Twitter link opens directly to Twitter with stuff ready for you to send out.
posted by tylerfulltilt (136 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
This may not be the most thoughtful post I've ever made, but it must be said.

Harry Reid is a fucking pussy.
posted by fungible at 7:39 PM on July 27, 2009 [8 favorites]


“It’s better to have a product” that’s “based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than to go jamming something through,” Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said today in Washington.

Where the hell were you quality assholes when Wall Street was bailed out in a hurry?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:42 PM on July 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Generally speaking, when a motion is made to delay bills, it's usually a sign that the delay-er is trying to kill it.

So we need to ask ourselves why the Congressional Democrats are trying to kill the most important legislation for their constituents in 40 years.
posted by Avenger at 7:47 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


In not-insignificant part I suspect their caution now is a result of the backlash against the bailouts. They were rammed through in a hurry, and I think some of the people who voted for it in the heat of the moment came to regret it later. Once bitten, twice shy.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:49 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hell, if those assholes in the House would simply take the time to actually read the bill, I'd call that a net win, regardless of the voting outcome.
posted by CountSpatula at 7:53 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thank god I didn't give those jokers my email.
posted by grobstein at 8:00 PM on July 27, 2009


So we need to ask ourselves why the Congressional Democrats are trying to kill the most important legislation for their constituents in 40 years.

That's an easy one answer.
posted by spiderskull at 8:02 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]




> So we need to ask ourselves why the Congressional Democrats are trying to kill the most important legislation for their constituents in 40 years.

"What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:14 PM on July 27, 2009


I just read that the health care lobby gave nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to lawmakers in 2007 and 2008. Ah, the best government money can buy.
posted by crapmatic at 8:18 PM on July 27, 2009


How many points is being able to hum "Oh Canada" worth on the immigrant skills test again?
posted by @troy at 8:18 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


AP is reporting that the "public option" is probably done for and the that the bill that will get passed will be nothing more than a token attempt to keep costs from increasing more than the bullshit level that they are already at.

Sometimes I think this country deserves to go down the tubes the way it is.
Half of it almost certainly does.

I'm never going to stop being liberal, but I can certainly stop being a democrat.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:18 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait, so we're not getting our pony?
posted by swift at 8:22 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I just add how unbelievably awesome OpenSecrets is?
posted by spiderskull at 8:23 PM on July 27, 2009


> I'm never going to stop being liberal, but I can certainly stop being a democrat.

"Go ahead, throw your vote away! Ha, ha ha!"
posted by you just lost the game at 8:24 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


> Wait, so we're not getting our pony?

Hope floats.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 8:27 PM on July 27, 2009


Sometimes I think this country deserves to go down the tubes the way it is.

See, this is what I don't get. Why aren't we left-folk screaming about how unpatriotic it is to let your fellow countrymen die of preventable illnesses and suffer financial ruin at the hands of some greedy pricks? Why don't we get to call out all of the right-wing bullshitters and supposedly liberal "centrist" Democrats on this? The health insurance industry obviously has its hands in the senators' pants, we yet, we don't talk about this enough. I can't think of anything more un-American than selling out your citizens.

And you know what? I don't think this country deserves this. No one does, and it's sad that we consider ourselves a first-world nation while simultaneously treating our own as we do.
posted by spiderskull at 8:28 PM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't consider it necessarily throwing it away.

Bush II ran riot and brought us down so far that Obama got in.
Maybe if we suffered (like we seem to really deserve to) for another 4-8 years then we would eventually say "enough" and ACTUALLY turn things around.

And for each one of you that have or will attempt to foist the false dichotomy of Obama being the Second Coming or just a stock lying politician: save it for Fark. Alot of us never expected water from wine. We just expected a few stated campaign promises be kept. We have a right to our buyer's remorse. It's just not the same fictional remorse you try to saddle us with.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:31 PM on July 27, 2009


> Maybe if we suffered (like we seem to really deserve to) for another 4-8 years then we would eventually say "enough" and ACTUALLY turn things around.

I hear you, but people were saying this back in 2000.
posted by Stonewall Jackson at 8:39 PM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Contact info for your representative and senator. Call or write a letter. The only way that politicians know that a lot of voters care is if they hear from a lot of their voters. Nothing sways a politician like the fear of losing an election.
posted by Kattullus at 8:41 PM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


Rather then complaning about the democrats, you should vote in the primaries. The majority of house and senate democrats are for the public option, it's only a handful who are opposed (like Senator Evan Bayh, who's wife makes millions of dollars on corporate boards, including the largest health-care company in the country, by the way).

Does the democratic party suck? Absolutely. But simply throwing your hands up and doing nothing is guaranteed to accomplish nothing. Keep track of how your own senators and congressmen behave. Are they blue dogs? If so vote 'em out next cycle in the primary and contribute to their primary opponents. Blue America is on group that's trying to push out incumbent douchebags who are more interested in sucking the corporate tit then getting anything done.

It's not "Congressional Democrats" it's a small subset of congressional (and senate) democrats who are trying to kill this. We need to get rid of these people.
posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on July 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


We have a right to our buyer's remorse

He's not the Fuehrer, and he has no Enabling Act to make law. My ire is directed foursquare on the Democratic Party at this point -- they are Republicans-lite (like how that party used to be in the pre-Reagan/Gingrich era) until proven otherwise.

This country is simply too conservative to move Left to any significant degree. Only 40% are willing to profess any belief in evolution when polled.

Too many morons.
posted by @troy at 8:49 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm in California and therefore redundantly powerless I believe.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 8:49 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, this is what I don't get. Why aren't we left-folk screaming about how unpatriotic it is to let your fellow countrymen die of preventable illnesses and suffer financial ruin at the hands of some greedy pricks?

Because the same greedy pricks who own the healthcare companies also own the TV networks? And if they arn't the same people, they certainly go golfing with 'em. Visit the same "charity" events. Etc. On and they also own all the defense contractors too.
posted by delmoi at 8:49 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


If you see the ad campaign with "Shona Holmes," who is a Canuck claiming our system failed her, read this. Apparently she's full of shit: she had a benign tumour and rather than wait her turn, voluntarily paid a shedload of money to get it removed in the USA — an unnecessary and, IMO, stupid thing for her to do.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


The Dems hold the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Why the fuck should there be any difficulty passing exactly the reform they want? Bunch of useless shits.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:51 PM on July 27, 2009 [16 favorites]


Oh And I meant to say "they are" but you just don't hear about it

I'm in California and therefore redundantly powerless I believe.

Well, it wouldn't hurt to try to unseat Dianne Feinstein in the next primary (although it looks like she might be running for governor)
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on July 27, 2009


Senor Cardgage: AP is reporting that the "public option" is probably done for and the that the bill that will get passed will be nothing more than a token attempt to keep costs from increasing more than the bullshit level that they are already at.

No way! No way .... Well, fucking shit!!
posted by barnacles at 8:58 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yep. Fuck em.
This bill is expensive politically and quite virtually worthless.

Slowing the growth of costs for things I can't afford?
Fuck yeah! I hope after the summer recess they tackle the rise in prices of luxury seacraft too.

Good work dems. You convinced the young voters to not be so apathetic about our nation's political processes after all; you showed that we should be downright cynical about them.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:05 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why the fuck should there be any difficulty passing exactly the reform they want?

I'm guessing (and this is only a guess so far) that people are finding out that Congress and the Executive branch aren't going to be under this healthcare system, but will still get their 100% taxpayer paid healthcare (for the rest of their lives, and for their spouse and their children) and certainly aren't going to rescind that fantastic piece of legislation for the foreseeable future.
posted by CountSpatula at 9:10 PM on July 27, 2009


Why the fuck should there be any difficulty passing exactly the reform they want? Bunch of useless shits.

But they are passing the reform that they want. No public option, no universal coverage, gutting medicare and pro-business reform.

It's what the Dem leadership has wanted all along.
posted by Avenger at 9:10 PM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


Rob Reich says chances of healthcare passing are "dwindling"
(2) Democrats up for reelection next year come ever closer to the gravitational pull of the midterms, and grow increasingly worried about voting for a bill that could be a political liability in a year when unemployment may well reach double digits and the electorate is restless and unhappy;
You would think that voting to give these people healthcare would increase the likelyhood of them voting for you, but actually reich goes on to say that it just means they'll need more money from the healthcare industry.

If I were Obama, I would be telling dem congresspersons that if they vote against a good bill, they won't even get to the midterms. They would be primaried out. But of course, I'm not Obama. Frankly I'm not sure exactly what's going on with him. He seems incredibly weak.

I guess we'll see. He may very well start playing tough after August, hopefully.
posted by delmoi at 9:11 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's also just occurred to me that we seem to be living in some bizarre Kafka-esque nightmare world where the "liberals" we elect, upon taking office, turn around and try to out-Right the Rightists in virtually every conceivable category.
posted by Avenger at 9:13 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


> The Dems hold the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Why the fuck should there be any difficulty passing exactly the reform they want?

If I were a liberally-inclined American, I'd be wondering if this - "this" being current events and conditions - is as good as it's ever going to get.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:13 PM on July 27, 2009


For the record, I am a liberally-inclined Canadian.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:16 PM on July 27, 2009


you just lost the game: If I were a liberally-inclined American, I'd be wondering if this - "this" being current events and conditions - is as good as it's ever going to get.

Add to those points the facts that it's not an election year, and we just hit a major economic downswing where a lot of people are hurting and might possibly be quite open to something new to help with medical bills, and I suspect you might be right.

That's depressing.
posted by barnacles at 9:20 PM on July 27, 2009


Millions of Americans are going to get what they deserve..."they" being the assholes blocking any meaningful health care reform.

> He may very well start playing tough after August, hopefully.

Why August, specifically? Just curious...
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 9:20 PM on July 27, 2009




The liberal ads will be like a friendly reminder to vote, while the conservative ads will have people hiding under their beds from Canadians.
posted by Brian B. at 9:23 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sen Max Baucus never met a Health Care Lobbyist Teat he didn't want to suckle.

Fuck you Max.
posted by Mick at 9:26 PM on July 27, 2009


No buyer's remorse here; I voted Green... and I feel better and worse about that as time goes on. Nothing would make me happier to look back at some point and say to my Obama-voting friends, "I was wrong. He is a fighter and he isn't a Corporate Fake Democrat."

I guess the final chapter hasn't been written and I take things in various media with a grain of salt, but zero sense that Obama is taking an LBJ-esque knock-heads, get-things-done approach. Much loathing for Bush and the Republicans, but much as I disliked what he got done, they wanted to do things and they did.

People have chimed in about how various things are the responsibilities of various branches of government, talked about what various branches are responsible for, etc. Mmmmkay.

Did people have any serious sense that the House and Senate would do any semblance of the right thing?

Meanwhile, there are so many compelling, sad, fascinating articles and stories out there--and basic human suffering for greed--related to healthcare's fuckedupness that this could become HealthcareFilter and there would be plenty of content.

Screw the separation of powers. Something needs to be done.

If a Democratic president is arguably excessive in twisting arms, threatening to leak photos of lawmakers having relations with farm animals or whatever else he might think of to get something half-way worthwhile done on healthcare, that's hunky damn dory with me.
posted by ambient2 at 9:27 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Millions of Americans are going to get what they deserve..."they" being the assholes blocking any meaningful health care reform.

I think it's a mistake to believe that "millions of Americans" are the ones leading the charge against universal healthcare. More accurately, it's a few hundred to a thousand billionaires in charge of the healthcare and insurance industries who are demanding that their congressmen (who they are on a first-name basis with) not impinge their profits in any meaningful way.

Americans overwhelmingly support universal healthcare. When the fallout comes, millions will suffer, but it wont be because we've brought it upon ourselves. It'll be because our hyper-wealthy oligarchs have undue influence in Washington, local statehouses and the media.

There really isn't an answer to this problem except a huge re-alignment of American society along socialist or left-anarchist lines, which is probably not going to happen, to say the very least.
posted by Avenger at 9:29 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you see the ad campaign with "Shona Holmes," who is a Canuck claiming our system failed her, read this. Apparently she's full of shit: she had a benign tumour and rather than wait her turn

Not even a benign tumour: a cyst. And she had appointments with all the proper specialists, she just had to wait a couple of months. So that, you know, people with actual life-threatening conditions could be seen. Details here.
posted by jokeefe at 9:36 PM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


> More accurately, it's a few hundred to a thousand billionaires...

Yeah, that's what I was getting at, the rich deserving the fate of the poor people they're screwing over...guess the wording was trying a bit too hard to be clever.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 9:36 PM on July 27, 2009


Did people have any serious sense that the House and Senate would do any semblance of the right thing?

The House, yes. Senate, no. I saw this movie in 2002.
posted by @troy at 9:36 PM on July 27, 2009


I think it's a mistake to believe that "millions of Americans" are the ones leading the charge against universal healthcare.

No, there are in fact millions of Americans who want Obama and the Dems to fail and flail on this.
posted by @troy at 9:38 PM on July 27, 2009


All I have to say is... fuck. How many hours of my life did I spend on the phone with strangers from Ohio? I mean, seriously. This is bullshit. Looking at Obama's action page made me feel a *tad* better, but... fuuuuck. This is ridiculous. WE HAVE 60 FUCKING SENATORS!

Guess I'm giving Feinstein a call tomorrow.
posted by ohyouknow at 9:39 PM on July 27, 2009


From the AP article:
But congressional aides in both parties as well as lobbyists said a proposal limiting Flexible Savings Accounts to $2,000 annually is also a strong possibility. FSAs permit the use of pretax income to pay for items such as health care and child care.
What the fuck, Congress? FSAs weren't the end-all-be-all of healthcare like some of their more wild-eyed proponents said they'd be, but they're certainly not bad, and for people managing chronic conditions where it's possible to estimate ongoing expenses in advance, it amounts to a significant savings.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:45 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess that's why I posted this. I hope we all realize that it's up to us get out there and rattle some fucking cages.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 9:47 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


it amounts to a significant savings.

and for people with chronic conditions not taxing them on their income that goes for care they need to maintain their health is good economics, too.

hey, maybe we could not tax medical providers, that way end user costs will go down 30% or more.
hahahaha, ah, gallows humor

posted by @troy at 9:58 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Looking at all this in disgust and amazement from over the ocean...
The health care debate is even more backward. We all know that every other first-world country has implemented some form of universal cover and that the US hasn’t, but the level of ignorance about such a system — and the way it is misrepresented in public debate — is kind of breathtaking.

There is a barrage of advertising trying to scare people out of change, including one that uses an (allegedly) Canadian woman explaining how government-backed health care in her country nearly killed her. Clever, and the purist bunkum I would guess.

With all this, I can’t decide whether the US is a backwater or refreshingly defiant. Actually, I can decide...There really is nothing too smart about clinging to a system that is burdening their businesses with debilitating costs and depriving 43 million citizens of meaningful health care. And pretending — believing! — that to give in on it is to open the gates to late-onset Marxism. Talk about welcome to the 1950s…
posted by Jimbob at 10:10 PM on July 27, 2009


Same shit, different day.

Let's go over this again: the democrats do not have solidarity like the republicans do. They never will. It's time to come to terms with that fact.

When your party lines boil down to hatred, fear, and greed, it doesn't take a lot of effort to stifle dissent... your constituents' self-interest does most of that work for you.

Not that individual democrats are paragons of virtue, but the party as a whole represents a coalition of interests. Coalitions require cooperation, and that cooperative spirit leads to more positive values. Freedom. Equality. Charity. Temperance. Fairness.

That's great and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and bluebirds land on me and I start peeing rainbows, but it's all held together very tenuously. The fairness people don't always like the temperance people. The charity people don't always like the equality people. And everyone hates the freedom people when they realize that freedom isn't always pleasant.

So the democratic leadership ends up doing a very elaborate dance to keep each of these interests happy. And people who are sympathetic to progressive values see that, and don't understand it. "Look at the republicans," they say, "all they have to do is shout 'HURF DURF terrism' and the party falls right in line!"

It makes the democrats look weak and disorganized at best, and complicit at worst. Some progressives sense that vacuum of confidence and think they can do better, but they can't because they don't value the coalition, only their pet values... and their pet values don't have enough supporters to counter the republicans.

Here's what this boils down to, for this topic:

You want health care reform? Vote for democrats. I know you're pissed that they accept kickbacks from health care lobbyists. Get over it. As I said, individual democrats are no more saintly than individual republicans, and that's just as true for the leadership. But they can only stray so far from the party line, and the party line is to fix what's broken.

The fivethirtyeight link spiderskull provided is interesting, but it doesn't tell the whole story. It shows how much was paid, but it doesn't show what is being sold. The republicans are selling their devotion to the health care status quo. They sell fearmongering about wait times and people leeching off your hard-earned tax dollars.

Democrats are simply offering their apathy. No one gives them lobbying money expecting them to cry out about the socialist boogeyman; it will suffice to just stay out of the spotlight and let the republicans own the discourse.

Not exactly a proud achievement, I'll admit, but we can't blame them for being risk-averse. The party has a majority that's large enough for them to get the blame but too small to act unilaterally. It's enough to make anyone nervous about sticking their neck out.

You know what will fix that? More democrats. Vote democrat, seriously. It's the only math that makes sense. If we ever get to the point where we truly can't figure out which party is progressive then we can reassess the situation. In the meantime, this is the game, and this is the hand we've been dealt. We need to play to win, not to lose.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:19 PM on July 27, 2009 [16 favorites]


Why August, specifically? Just curious...

Because congress is going into recess in august.

What the fuck, Congress? FSAs weren't the end-all-be-all of healthcare like some of their more wild-eyed proponents said they'd be, but they're certainly not bad

Because rich people can put $20k/year in there and use it on plastic surgery Which I guess would be a lot. But the point is, capping that would mean more money for the government, and help bring the 'total' cost (expenses minus new taxes) under the magic $1 trillion price everyone seems hung up on.

Of course, we've spent more then $1 trillion on the Iraq war. I don't remember anyone whining about the cost at that point. Of course most of that money went to defense contractors, rather then poor people.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


You want health care reform? Vote for democrats.

The democrats are proving that we can't just blindly vote for them. Bad democrats need to be replaced.
posted by delmoi at 10:20 PM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Here's an anti-healthcare ad that I think is creative in some ways, though I think that by imitating big-budget pharma ads to imply something like "The supposed benefits of Obama's plan are a falsely idyllic future, just like with over-sold medications!" they sort of undermine the message, essentially highlighting how deceptive the health care industry can get when there's lots of money on the line.
posted by XMLicious at 10:24 PM on July 27, 2009


delmoi: Bad democrats need to be replaced

Somehow I suspect you didn't read the entirety of my argument in a single minute, if that's your response, delmoi. Not that I blame you, since it was long and dense on things-we-all-already-know.

So I'll address your point more directly. Bad democrats need to be replaced? Replaced with what? Any given republican is 98% guaranteed to be worse than a bad democrat on the democratic party line. And if you try to vote for a third party you have a 98% chance of failing that, too.

Replace democrats when they're blatantly corrupt (beyond the ambient level of political corruption) or are shamelessly snubbing the party line. Otherwise you're just throwing out the baby to spite your face. Er, wait.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:33 PM on July 27, 2009


Delays almost always benefit those in power. Those who are trying to change something have to re-organize and maintain their moral, while those in power get to hammer them some more.
posted by 517 at 10:34 PM on July 27, 2009


Mick: "Sen Max Baucus never met a Health Care Lobbyist Teat he didn't want to suckle.

Fuck you Max.
"

From FiveThirtyEight: The Baucus Bill's Bad Math
Baucus's bill will not contain an employer mandate -- a requirement that employers provide health insurance to their employees -- even though it does contain an individual mandate.

Does this look familiar to anyone?
-- No employer mandate
-- No public option
-- But yes, an individual mandate

It should -- because this particular permutation on health care reform looks an awful lot like the incomplete draft of the HELP Committee's bill that the CBO scored last month, which also lacked an employer mandate and a public option but contained an individual mandate. That bill, the CBO estimated, would cost about $1.0 trillion -- but would only cover a net of about 16 million people. In contrast, the revised version of the HELP Committee's bill, which did include both a public option and an employer mandate, would cost about the same amount but cover a net of 37 million people.

[...]

The AP may be right that Baucus's bill will cost less than $1 trillion, but it accomplishes that by shifting the burden to middle-income families, some of whom have poor balance sheets and will face a really tough choice between paying for health insurance they can't quite afford and facing some kind of penalty. Odds are that many of them will take the penalty, which is why coverage probably won't expand very much. Or, the enforcement mechanisms could be more stringent, in which case they'll have to buy health care, at the cost of reducing their spending in other areas -- and in probably being very teed off at the Democrats who passed the bill.

[...]

Just to underscore this point: when it scored a similar bill, the CBO estimated that 15 million people would lose their employer-provided coverage. Most of these people are likely to be lower-to-middle income persons with somewhat tenuous employment situations, a group that tends classically to be swing voters.

Now, how are those 15 million people going to feel about health care reform when they find out that:

a) Although the bill was supposed to guarantee access to health insurance, they've in fact lost theirs;
b) They're required to buy an expensive, private plan on their own, or to pay a fine;
c) They're probably not getting any government assistance;
d) They certainly don't have any Medicare-like alternative to fall back upon;
e) All of this cost the country about $1 trillion dollars.

You think those 15 million people are going to vote for the Democrats again, like, ever?
Also:
The good news is that the math on this bill is so bad that I doubt it will survive intact.
What could possibly go wrong?
posted by Rhaomi at 10:36 PM on July 27, 2009


For the last decade or so, the democrats have needed to do nothing to prove they're a less-bad option for American government.

Why is it so odd that that's exactly what they'd do?
posted by pompomtom at 10:38 PM on July 27, 2009


It would be cool if a more progressive state (Washington, Connecticut, or something) adopted a state-wide single-payer program. Then the program gets adopted by other states until only the most backward states don't, and by then it's just unfashionable. It can be something the voters can actually vote on instead of throwing more democrats into Washington and hoping for the best. It'll be like gay marriage, except there isn't a concentrated religious movement that opposes it.

It would be nice if we could all get health care at once with a huge federal program, but, shit, we have the most progressive voting bloc in a generation and we can't even get government option? I think it's time we took this on a state-by-state basis.
posted by hellojed at 10:40 PM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


It'll be like gay marriage, except there isn't a concentrated religious movement that opposes it.

No, just a concentrated movement of some of the largest, richest, most powerful corporate groups the world has ever seen. For all the lip service to religion that government officials play, at least we can say that religious organizations are less powerful than our own government.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:53 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Bad democrats need to be replaced? Replaced with what?

Better democrats at the Primary stage.

But, given the politics of flyover country, this may be a bridge too far.
posted by @troy at 10:55 PM on July 27, 2009


For all the lip service to religion that government officials play, at least we can say that religious organizations are less powerful than our own government.

True, but we won't have the crazies to deal with. For every corporate peon there's like a baker's dozen of angry people waving Leviticus 18:22 around like a freakin' t-ball bat.

Then again, there will be the crowd that thinks anything remotely socialistic is super-evil. This is why the fight will have to start in these real progressive states, the states that have lots of bike lanes.
posted by hellojed at 11:02 PM on July 27, 2009


@troy: But, given the politics of flyover country, this may be a bridge too far.

Dude... "flyover country" has a muslim congressman, Kucinich and the very liberal John Yarmuth, whose not afraid to stick up for such unpopular positions as throwing kittens in a woodchipper.
posted by Kattullus at 11:12 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Winning a gerrymandered seat is a bit different than winning the state.
posted by @troy at 11:16 PM on July 27, 2009


For every corporate peon there's like a baker's dozen of angry people waving Leviticus 18:22 around like a freakin' t-ball bat.

what's worse, socialism is the road to marxist-lennonism and Lennon said Jesus sucks. Or something.
posted by @troy at 11:18 PM on July 27, 2009


And flyover country gave us Obama. Oh, wait... .

Yeah, yeah, Democrats are a coalition and it's harder... .

(As fate has it, my senators and congressman are good on this issue and in general.)

Did I miss something saying being the POTUS would be easy?

Did I miss Obama saying during the campaign that he probably couldn't get big things done because those wascally Congressional Democrats are just too diverse and free-thinking?

Maybe I'm naive, simply wrong or both, but no sense that Obama is laying wood and raising hell to pursue party discipline. Seems like he either doesn't have it in him or he really doesn't care enough.

Feels more like Obama is saying, "Hey, could you congresspeople maybe think a little about perhaps doing what I want."

I didn't like John Edwards in a lot of respects, but I did like his message that he would fight hard on healthcare (and other things), that it would take a hard fight with entrenched, hugely monied interests. Sure, "fight" does not mean "win," but hard, go-to-the-mat effort is respected.

What's not respected is that this is starting to look like another story about how things just couldn't work out this time, that the monied interests and their whores will get their way, but thank you for your support, send us money because we're on your side.

At this rate, I'll defecate in a box and mail it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., before Obama gets a cent o' mine.
posted by ambient2 at 11:37 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Blue Dogs need to be house-trained.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:48 PM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


ambient2: ...no sense that Obama is laying wood and raising hell to pursue party discipline. Seems like he either doesn't have it in him or he really doesn't care enough.

Here's why a democratic president might not think it's in the country's best interest to bet all his chips on health care reform.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:55 PM on July 27, 2009


Somehow I suspect you didn't read the entirety of my argument in a single minute, if that's your response, delmoi. Not that I blame you, since it was long and dense on things-we-all-already-know.

So I'll address your point more directly. Bad democrats need to be replaced? Replaced with what? Any given republican is 98% guaranteed to be worse than a bad democrat on the democratic party line.


They need to be replaced with good democrats, in primary campaigns. Not that complicated.

(Also 'trimming' the excess democratic congresspersons might not be a bad thing. You only need a 50%+1 majority in the house, if Blue Dogs knew that going to far would cause them to lose support they would be more likely to vote the right way in critical votes. So we might get better legislation passed with fewer, better democrats then a wide coalition with a significant percentage of corporate whores.)
posted by delmoi at 11:57 PM on July 27, 2009


Here's why a democratic president might not think it's in the country's best interest to bet all his chips on health care reform.

Only if by "country's" you mean "His"
posted by delmoi at 11:58 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


So you don't think the republican revolution did any harm to the country's interests, delmoi?
posted by Riki tiki at 12:00 AM on July 28, 2009


3000 people die on 9/11 and we absolutely must pass the PATRIOT Act.

22,000 people die every year because of a lack of health insurance and Fox News complains that we're "rushing" health care reform.

Weak.
posted by wuwei at 12:04 AM on July 28, 2009 [18 favorites]


delmoi: They need to be replaced with good democrats, in primary campaigns.

Absolutely. Replace them with good ("good" being defined to include "electable," by the way) democrats in the primaries.

But since the democratic primaries are for democrats only, it's not really a response to my point about how health care reform = voting for democrats. Yes, we'd all love to have smart, principled, electable democrats win every primary race. Since that's not realistic, I'll take a blue dog over a republican and that long ranty abomination above is why.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:07 AM on July 28, 2009


wuwei, if you have a cite for that, I'd love to pass it on.
posted by weston at 12:08 AM on July 28, 2009


Whoops, should have included that cite right from the gate:
Physicans for a National Healthcare Program.
posted by wuwei at 12:29 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having read the AP article and the NYT article about the Senate Finance committee compromise, my interpretation is that it's a bill designed to prevent health reform from providing longterm political advantages to the Democrats. The replacement of a public plan with multiple non-profit coops is intended to prevent Americans from seeing a government entity outcompeting the private sector, and to splinter the competition to private insurers so that it doesn't have much leverage to set prices. The new regulation of health insurance plans (mainly guaranteed issue and prohibiting price discrimination based on preexisting conditions) will increase premiums for most people, which, combined with the lack of an employer mandate, will likely force some employers to drop their health coverage, letting future Republicans crow about the X million people who lost their health insurance due to the Democrats' reform (the bill actually sounds like it will discourage that for poorer employees, but lower middle class ones, making more than 300% of the poverty level, will be screwed). Even the tax penalty on gold-plated plans (something that Bush favored too, and that I think some liberals lately have been stupid to support... Nancy Pelosi's proposal to just increase top income tax rates is much smarter) will suck a good bit of money out of the system that could help subsidize others. Ugh.

I think Obama is desperate enough to get this passed that he'll agree to anything. This is the only bill that can get 60 votes, and it would look horrible to force another bill through the reconciliation process when there was a halfway reasonable proposal that some Republicans were willing to support. That would trigger all out war from the Republicans, and the Senate would basically shut down. At the end of the day, it would still be major healthcare reform that would do a lot of good, but it's still a disappointing outcome.
posted by gsteff at 12:40 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


The descriptions I've read also don't say anything about a health insurance exchange, the centerpiece of Obama's proposal during the primaries and still one he's promoted a lot. Hopefully that's something that can be added by the conference committee.
posted by gsteff at 12:43 AM on July 28, 2009


At the end of the day, it would still be major healthcare reform unmitigated disaster that would do a lot of good irreparable harm, but it's still a disappointing outcome designed to fail.
posted by Avenger at 1:17 AM on July 28, 2009


Loathe as I am to get in Internet debates (cue the iconic xkcd cartoon), the view that Hilarycare = Republican Revolution is far from a given.

Even if it's incontrovertibly so (and balanced observers found massive problems with Hilary's approach), that means no smart Democratic president should fight hard on healthcare?

Maybe the ones without spines.

I wanna see an LBJ-on-civil-rights style approach. (Yes, I know what he knew and what what happened to voting in the South.)

People don't get it both ways: Hope, change, we are the ones we've been waiting for, audacity of hope, the old ways of Washington are over, etc,.... and... this--the audacity of a gutless bullshit artist.

Sure. We'll wait around for the likes of Baucus to get voted out, for monied interests to up and decide to stop running ads, for Republicans to show any inclination to work with Democrats.

We have a better chance of waiting for magic ponies that fix all injuries and illnesses.
posted by ambient2 at 1:46 AM on July 28, 2009


This country is simply too conservative to move Left to any significant degree. Only 40% are willing to profess any belief in evolution when polled.

troy, unless you're going to tell us how belief in evolution is related to health care, this is not a useful observation, nor do I believe it's true.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:40 AM on July 28, 2009


troy, unless you're going to tell us how belief in evolution is related to health care, this is not a useful observation, nor do I believe it's true.

EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION

When WHEN will the Democrats learn that the key to 50-100 years of power is education reform? An informed electorate makes better choices.

But they can't even pass a weak, watered-down compromise (public option) of one of their core planks. Screw you guys.
posted by DU at 4:51 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would kill right now for a president that wasn't a goddamned motherfucking jellyfish.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:39 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd settle for a media that wasn't run by corporate interests and/or a Congress that wasn't deathly scared of what that media would do to them if they did anything to the left of Attilla the Hun.
posted by DU at 5:54 AM on July 28, 2009


But they can't even pass a weak, watered-down compromise (public option) of one of their core planks. Screw you guys.

Geez, people calm. Nothing final from the Finance Committee has been presented yet, and the Senate HELP Committee plan does have a public option. Those two committee's will have to reconcile with each other before presenting a bill for the full Senate to vote on and then that bill will have to be reconciled with House legislation, which will probably have a public option also. This doesn't mean a public option will happen, but it's not as carved in stone as many are making it out to be.

So enough doom and gloom, it's not going to get anything done. If you're really pissed off, volunteer for Organize for America.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:55 AM on July 28, 2009


Those two committee's will have to reconcile with each other before presenting a bill for the full Senate to vote on and then that bill will have to be reconciled with House legislation, which will probably have a public option also.

I'd feel a lot better about the public option remaining if something stronger was in the HELP/House bills. Even a negotiating simpleton like me can tell you you don't start with your line in the sand. You start with your blue sky, then compromise on your line in the sand.
posted by DU at 6:02 AM on July 28, 2009


I would kill right now for a president that wasn't a goddamned motherfucking jellyfish.

Ronald Reagan?
posted by codswallop at 6:36 AM on July 28, 2009


I would kill right now for a president that wasn't a goddamned motherfucking jellyfish.
Jesse Ventura?
posted by hellojed at 7:03 AM on July 28, 2009


Spongebob?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:30 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


What happened to the Chief of Staff? Wasn't this supposed to be bad-ass Rahm Emanuel's job - whipping the pansy Democrats in Congress into shape, getting them to do what needed to be done? I'm disappointed in you, "Rahm-bo."
posted by misskaz at 7:33 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the down side, it is an internet petition.

On the upside, it is from Leahy, Schumer and Durbin.

Either way, I signed CitizensForAPublicOption. Can't hurt.
posted by DU at 7:43 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


DU: Either way, I signed CitizensForAPublicOption. Can't Hurt.

I daresay that that link might deserve an FPP of it's own.
posted by tylerfulltilt at 8:12 AM on July 28, 2009


Doubt it would stick around. We already have an open healthcare legislation thread right here. Also, SLIP isn't a great post, however politically necessary.
posted by DU at 8:20 AM on July 28, 2009




Who Has Access to Max Baucus.

Either way, I signed CitizensForAPublicOption. Can't hurt.

If everybody who signed that petition sent Baucus's office a photocopy of a $100 check, name to be filled in with whoever opposes him in the next election, that might actually help.
posted by weston at 9:54 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's also just occurred to me that we seem to be living in some bizarre Kafka-esque nightmare world where the "liberals" we elect, upon taking office, turn around and try to out-Right the Rightists in virtually every conceivable category.

It's clear that Obama and a majority of the Democrats in both the house and the senate want a Public Option. If they can't get enough votes to make that happen because of the fucking Blue Dog dems and the Republicans, I fail to see how that equates to the democrats "turning around" and "out-Righting the Rightists."

The President is not a Dictator, and American political parties have notoriously poor ability to whip stragglers into line. Ironically, one of the few weapons that a President has to wield is his own personal popularity (it's a carrot and a stick--a popular president can promise to campaign for a senator, or threaten to campaign for a primary opponent). The more the democratic left decides it hates, hates, hates Obama because he's not giving them all their ponies now, the less power he has to help them get any ponies at all.
posted by yoink at 10:03 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Americannon-Republican political parties have notoriously poor ability to whip stragglers into line

Invasions, massive tax cuts, denunciations of France, extremist judges, etc all seem to be effortless for conservatives. Even the most mild legislation that's actually aimed at helping people has to fight an uphill battle.

If you didn't already, now you might know how women and minorities feel. Republicans/conservatives have an invisible backpack in the political world. Democrats/liberals have to work 10x as hard to be considered "as good as".
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on July 28, 2009


I just read some more about Kent Conrad's plan, and I come away with a somewhat better opinion of it than I get by reading Silver's analysis of what the Senate Finance Committee hath apparently wrought. Part of me thinks it could actually work, and have the advantage of isolating the insurers from politics (imagine, say, a future Bush administration in charge of the public option). But the chicken-and-egg problem described by Conrad (you need a size of about 500,000+ members) and in this article seems to be a big one, and unless there's a plan to facilitate their creation in such a way this is overcome, I don't see how this is going to end up any different for most of the uninsured than picking one of the Blues that are still non-profit.
posted by weston at 10:40 AM on July 28, 2009


Invasions, massive tax cuts, denunciations of France, extremist judges, etc all seem to be effortless for conservatives. Even the most mild legislation that's actually aimed at helping people has to fight an uphill battle.

Obama is going to get his first choice for the Supreme Court in with no problems. The most famous failed effort to get a judge onto the Supreme Court was Bork; a Republican. Bush did not seek a specific vote on the Iraq war, though if he had he would probably have got it; but 9/11 was the ultimate gift to any power mad executive; the president's approval numbers were straspheric (see my point about the power of a popular president). Bush was not looking especially effective before 9/11 and as it slowly lost its power to whip everyone into line, Bush steadily lost his ability to achieve his legislative goals. Here's a link to an LA Times article from 2004, before the election. The entire burden of the piece is that Bush's legislative program has been stalled because the Democrats are starting to play hardball again (and yes, that also includes a large number of judge confirmations that they'd sunk).

Bush's second term saw him stymied on almost all his major initiatives (remember Immigration reform?).

The problem you're suffering from is the same one that afflicts sports fans who always think the refs have it in for their side. They just don't notice bad calls that go their team's way because those seem to be the universe working the way it ought to work.

Meanwhile, it's true that the most mild legislation aimed at helping people faces an uphill battle. I'm still not clear on how that's Obama's fault. He plays the hand he's dealt--as all politicians must.
posted by yoink at 10:55 AM on July 28, 2009


I'm still not clear on how that's Obama's fault.

I haven't and don't blame Obama.
posted by DU at 10:58 AM on July 28, 2009


It will be Obama's fault if he signs what the committee is trying to push.

The only thing that Obama could do at this stage that would resurrect my belief that politicians aren't all whores sucking off the corporate dick, would be to veto any bill that comes across that isn't what he campaigned on.

He's not willing to step up and make it "his" bill, he's not willing to marshal those assholes into line, he's not willing to do anything but hem and haw and offer the poor people of this country up as sacrificial lambs to the meat grinders of medical profiteers.

Fuck them all.
posted by dejah420 at 11:44 AM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]




The only thing that Obama could do at this stage that would resurrect my belief that politicians aren't all whores sucking off the corporate dick, would be to veto any bill that comes across that isn't what he campaigned on.

In politics you never, ever get exactly the bill you want. If Obama were to say anything at all like this it would simply torpedo the process. No doubt he'd get some plaudits from the remarkable number of people on the left who would rather be right than effective, but he would be betraying the many, many uninsured and underinsured people in this country that he (and a clear majority of the Democrats in Congress) are trying to help.

He's not willing to step up and make it "his" bill, he's not willing to marshal those assholes into line

And, what, exactly, do you propose that he do in order to achieve this magic "marshalling"? Does he just put his marshalling pants on and say "I now declare you marshalled--and not just generally marshalled, but marshalled into line!"?

What specific threat or promise do you propose he use? What evidence do you have that he hasn't already tried it? Do you have anything to offer here besides "I want a pony and I want it now?"
posted by yoink at 12:49 PM on July 28, 2009


Obama is getting rolled by the establishment. He won the election, but there are enough "centrist" democrats who want to keep bringing in that healtcare cash. I almost wonder if it wouldn't be better to simply try again in '10 with, hopefully, a better set of democrats. Get rid of all these idiots who want to stand in the way during the primary process, which should be earlier in the year. I think the senators who want campaign contributions from big healthcare should be force to make a choice. Be supported by the insurance/pharm industry or be supported by the democratic part.

But, Obama clearly isn't willing to play hardball that, uh, hard.

More news today: Health Policy Is Carved Out at Table for 6 and Blue Dogs looking to work with republicans to trash healthcare.

What specific threat or promise do you propose he use? What evidence do you have that he hasn't already tried it? Do you have anything to offer here besides "I want a pony and I want it now?"

Well, he could try bashing them in public. So far, he hasn't said a single negative word in public about a democrat. And barely anything about a republican.

Oh well, even if we don't get healthcare, we are still better off then having McCain in the white house. But I think what Jim DeMint said about this potentially being Obama's "waterloo" makes sense. If he can't get this through, his domestic agenda is dead.
posted by delmoi at 1:09 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, he could try bashing them in public. So far, he hasn't said a single negative word in public about a democrat.

The only purpose public attack by the President would serve would be if he'd completely given up on getting a workable plan put to a vote and was beginning the (longest of long shot) move to trying to get the Blue Dogs defeated in primary battles.

People talk about all of this as if it's all happening in a vacuum--as if the Blue Dogs are just naughty children and Obama needs to give them all a good spanking. There's a reason the Blue Dogs are positioned where they are, and although part of it is the gobs of Big Med cash they're swallowing, most of it is because they're worried about how the plan plays to their constituents, and they're worried about that with good reason. They're worried that a Republican opponent will be able to use a vote for "socialized medicine" as a club to beat them with--and they may well be right.

It's not as if Obama necessarily holds all that many cards here. The whole point about the Blue Dog Dems is that they were recruited as plausable right-leaning candidates to win in right-leaning districts. It's true that Obama can threaten to try to run a more liberal candidate against them in the primary, but that could well mean the more liberal candidate going down in defeat to an even harder-right Republican; is that useful? It sure as hell doesn't get any health legislation passed.

Obama's best play is if he can find some combination of carrots and sticks to get the Blue Dogs on board. I can't see how out and out attack gets it done.
posted by yoink at 1:34 PM on July 28, 2009


Health Policy Is Carved Out at Table for 6

Actually the Senate Finance Committee is carving its health care policy using only 6 of 23 Senators. Like I said before, that has to be reconciled with the HELP committee's version and then the House and Senate have to reconcile their versions before presenting a bill the President can sign off on.

Sure, the rumors of Finance Committees plan doesn't sound good, but throwing our hands up in the air and declaring all is lost is not only unproductive, it sounds exactly like the paranoid, ignorant Republicans that get bashed so much around here. Deep breaths people, nobody said this would be easy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:26 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


The most famous failed effort to get a judge onto the Supreme Court was Bork; a Republican.

Have you noticed why it's the most famous failed effort? That's because the Republicans sent up a deafening wail of outrage at the time, and to this day can't keep from whining about it whenever a SC opening appears. They won't let us forget that the nasty Democrats prevented their designated lizard from sitting on the Court. That time.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:36 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Have you noticed why it's the most famous failed effort? That's because the Republicans sent up a deafening wail of outrage at the time, and to this day can't keep from whining about it whenever a SC opening appears. They won't let us forget that the nasty Democrats prevented their designated lizard from sitting on the Court. That time.

Yeah, and? It still shows that it's nonsense to say that Republicans have some kind of well-oiled machine that never puts a foot wrong and that the Democrats just don't know how to get their business done. Remember Douglas Ginsburg? He was after Bork. Remember Harriet Myers? She was after both Bork and Ginsburg. When was the last time a Democratic President had to withdraw a Supreme Court nominee? 1968.
posted by yoink at 3:54 PM on July 28, 2009


stewart nails kristol :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 5:17 PM on July 28, 2009


Get rid of all these idiots who want to stand in the way during the primary process, which should be earlier in the year. I think the senators who want campaign contributions from big healthcare should be force to make a choice. Be supported by the insurance/pharm industry or be supported by the democratic part.

It's an interesting idea, particularly since the Democrats had a good election cycle in terms of fundraising. I seem to recall Obama had $30 million left over from his campaign.

I agree somewhat with yoink, though. Funding is probably only part of the issue, voter constituency is another one, I'm familiar with one or two of the districts where the current blue dogs hail from, and it might not be an exaggeration to say that tea partiers outweigh the number of people who can make a functional distinction between actual nationalized medicine and single payer. And a lot of other people really are on the horns of a dilemma between a picture of ineffective government they have in their heads and ineffective private enterprise they've experienced first hand.

I'm still not sure this is a good excuse, particularly when one has a chance to go at fixing such a serious policy problem and potentially even do it right. No one holds office forever, and there's not much evidence that a particularly lengthy term of office leads to better policy. If you can't use the time you have now in office to do the right thing, what makes you think you'll be able to use it later?
posted by weston at 5:39 PM on July 28, 2009


Am I the only one who finds it funny that this post appears right about a post about barbecued ribs, roast beef, french toast, and a whole slew of unhealthy foods?
posted by gettkcarter at 10:27 PM on July 28, 2009


Maxene Waters slamming blue dogs, suggesting that "people out there" ought to consider running against them (I'm assuming in primaries). She brings up the interesting point that Rahm Emanuel was the one who really built up the Blue Dog caucus.
posted by delmoi at 1:50 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who finds it funny that this post appears right about a post about barbecued ribs, roast beef, french toast, and a whole slew of unhealthy foods?

Apparently it's not all that clear if unhealthy lifestyles bring up the total lifetime cost of care.
posted by delmoi at 1:51 AM on July 29, 2009


Because the same greedy pricks who own the healthcare companies also own the TV networks?

How about the Media seeing a big new ad-market from the healthcare?

Not quite ownership - but the effect is the same.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:33 AM on July 29, 2009


he would be betraying the many, many uninsured and underinsured people in this country that he (and a clear majority of the Democrats in Congress) are trying to help.

Signing a bill that says "if you can't afford insurance, you will be forced to buy some" would also be betraying them.
posted by DU at 7:04 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]




House Dems reach deal, which includes the Public Option. According to TPM the deal includes raising the exemptions on employer mandates from companies with $250,000 in payroll to $500,000 and reducing the subsidy for people making between 3 and 4 times the poverty level by one percent.
posted by delmoi at 11:40 AM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now get it past Baucus & Co.
posted by DU at 11:48 AM on July 29, 2009


"If the Obama administration wanted to pass a real health care bill, they would do what George Bush and Tom DeLay did in the first six-odd years of this decade whenever they wanted to pass some nightmare piece of legislation (ie the Prescription Drug Bill or CAFTA): they would take the recalcitrant legislators blocking their path into a back room at the Capitol, and beat them with rubber hoses until they changed their minds."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:48 PM on July 29, 2009


IT'S NOT A TUMOR!
posted by chunking express at 1:21 PM on July 29, 2009


Now get it past Baucus & Co.

It might not be that hard, bills can be 'reconciled' between the house and senate, and reconciled bills only require 50 votes, although that may not be the case if it increases the budget, which this obviously would.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on July 29, 2009


Nate Silver: Obama, Democrats Flunking Health Care Sales Pitch. Although to be fair, he also said he thought Sarah Palins positives would stay high and democrats shouldn't attack her...

But I agree, it doesn't seem like the democrats are doing a very good job of this at all. They're trying to make it all about economics, rather then personal health and financial (not to mention bodily) security.
posted by delmoi at 1:48 PM on July 29, 2009


I can't believe it's hard to sell people on, "OMG you won't go bankrupt if you get cancer" or "You can finally get that cough checked out." Selling people on, "we need more of the same," seems like it would be the harder thing to do. I guess this is what happens when you feed school children lies about public healthcare for 50 years.
posted by chunking express at 2:45 PM on July 29, 2009




Obama fine tunes the message:
On his travels Wednesday -- to an audience at a high school in Raleigh, N.C., and at a supermarket in Bristol, Va. -- the president will unveil the eight-part message, designed to convince the insurance masses that reform will be good for them. Here, according to White House aides, are the key points:

* No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.

* No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.

* No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.

* No Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.

* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.

* Extended Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
August should be interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 PM on July 29, 2009


the president will unveil the eight-part message

We're doomed.
posted by DU at 7:12 PM on July 29, 2009


We're doomed.

Hey, it's six fewer than Woodrow Wilson.
posted by yoink at 7:17 PM on July 29, 2009


Selling people on, "we need more of the same," seems like it would be the harder thing to do. I guess this is what happens when you feed school children lies about public healthcare for 50 years.

What I see is opposition hitting hard on loss of choice. Take this piece:

5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform

Essentially, they're pointing out that provisions likely meant to ensure a uniform baseline for anything that calls itself health insurance and to stop certain discrimination shenanigans may have the consequence of eliminating certain kinds of plans which could be beneficial.

I have my doubts that in practice rewards for healthy living will end up prohibited, or that hair plugs will be required coverage... in fact, I'd go so far as to say that on these points, the writer is probably dissembling. But they're not unimaginable consequences and the choice angle plays well. And if HSAs really will go away instead of being one alternative among many, I'm not sure how excited I am about that, and the "medical home" bit does sound pretty spooky.
posted by weston at 8:40 PM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]




5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform

More like 5 freedoms I don't have anyway or wouldn't actually lose. The article should be titled "5 Big Lies about health insurance."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:01 AM on July 30, 2009


The less choice thing is what I find confusing. In Canada I actually can go see any doctor I want. When my cousin moved to Washington, he had to find a doctor that would accept his lame ass blue cross insurance. (And according to him, the vast majority wouldn't see him.)
posted by chunking express at 7:12 AM on July 30, 2009


The Abortion Ad Wars
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on July 30, 2009


homunculus: "The Abortion Ad Wars"

Huh, well that was faster than I expected.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:45 PM on July 30, 2009


I read the abortion ad wars link. And then I clicked the Youtube video therein. And within a few seconds had to close the window because I was pretty sure I'd end up having to kill someone today if I watched it.

There are evil people with media power who are doing their damnedest to utterly destroy the civilization we have created. They desperately want to return to the old power structures of religious domination. We are insane to allow them to get away with what they are doing.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:13 AM on July 31, 2009




Traitorous special interest groups.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:50 PM on July 31, 2009


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