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bravo to Obama for health-coverage breakthrough

DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

 

Another thread here loads the dice for negative comments; here, it's bravo Obama ! He deserves it.

I think the compromise voted yesterday  is quite good - in the circumstances - and do not want to wait another 37 years for a similar chance ( the period since the failed Ted Kennedy compromise in 1973)

A good assessment of its historic importance by E.J. Dionne:

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/21/AR2010032102642.html

 

 

 


Comments

Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

You're welcome to disagree in the other thread.

And I'm going to disagree in this one.

It wasn't a compromise - it was a complete capitulation.  If the Republicans had gone about creating a health care bill, they couldn't have come up with one better than this one for their corporate buddies.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

by the logic of the nay-sayers, they would have voted against the Social Security Act... it did not cover everyone, completely or immediately!

In truth, FDR, in setting the age of retirement at 65 excluded 60 PER CENT OF THE POPULATION; people did not live that long! In time, it was adjusted to the demographics and health care -- Medicare -- was added.

 

from Dionne:

 It is also worth remembering that when Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, he was properly modest. FDR insisted that "we can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life."

He knew that his bill was more a beginning than an end. The Social Security Act, Roosevelt said, "represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete."


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

My cousin's son in Florida will now be able to get the healthcare insurance that was denied him because of insurance companies not wanting to take him on for less that $1200 per month.  And another 30,000,000 people (Canada's population) will be covered.

Strange how the empathy for those folks is swamped by invective about "corporations".  Not the corporations in which one's life savings are invested, though.  Other corporations.   What meaningless, so-20th-Century "analysis".

quote:

He knew that his bill was more a beginning than an end. The Social Security Act, Roosevelt said, "represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete." And Bush nearly destroyed this, proposing the individual social security fund recipient be turned into an investor. Perhaps it will take more than a year to claw their way back from the madness of King George.

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

I don't think duplicate threads should be allowed because people don't like the tilt of the opening post.

Nothing has been said here that couldn't be said in the original said. Some of it is duplication, and there will be more.

I vote for shutting this one down.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

And on the 7th day, he rested.


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

it's like commenting, on a thread titled: " People who eat pizza should be drawn and quartered! "

that , uh, by the way , every Friday you like to head down to Dominos for a slice of pepperoni:

off with your head!! Yell

-- Not much of a discussion, eh?


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

It's beneath God to vote. He would have just issued an edict.

And what became of God anyway? I stumbled across some of his postings. Maybe he still does in those many kind of threads I avoid. [Speaking of which, I should have stuck to staying away form ones where Obama figures.]


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

Rush predictably concludes the opposite of the no-sayers here,

that Obama IS aiming to move steadily towards a public system:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_031910/content/01125111.gues...


Lou Arab
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Joined: Jul 25 2001

DaveW - one thread at a time please.  Michelle beat you to the punch, so she gets to name the thread.  Sorry.

Closing this. I'll likely re-open it when the other thread is full.


Lou Arab
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Joined: Jul 25 2001

Open for business.


GOD
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Joined: Jun 18 2002

KenS wrote:

It's beneath God to vote. He would have just issued an edict.

And what became of God anyway? I stumbled across some of his postings. Maybe he still does in those many kind of threads I avoid. [Speaking of which, I should have stuck to staying away form ones where Obama figures.]

 

Someone was looking for some sort of input on this?  Despite the frequency with which they try to draw me into things down there, I stay away from American governmental issues. They don't trust government, so they created one that doesn't work.  Free will and all you know.

Besides, Washington creeps me out.  Try talking to The Devil.  He's there all the time, and also posts here.

 


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Now, we have some real work to do if we really want to say we have universal health care. The sharks who run the insurance companies have every intention of turning this lemon into some very profitable lemonade.

Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Someday, the Hyde Amendment is going to have to go. No Democratic president should ever agree to anything that discriminates against women.


WingNut
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Joined: Aug 30 2001

David Frum considers it a Republican health care plan: "Those of us who said there was a deal to be done, that there are a lot of parts of this bill that look familiar, that look like Mitt Romney's plan, that look like plans Republicans proposed in 1993 and 1994, they look like things that were drafted at the Heritage foundation in 1990 and 1991."

Who are the 11 million Americans left out? Does anybody really care?

 


Frustrated Mess
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Joined: Feb 23 2005

Quote:

This bill is not about fiscal responsibility or the common good. The bill is about increasing corporate profit at taxpayer expense. It is the health care industry’s version of the Wall Street bailout. It lavishes hundreds of billions in government subsidies on insurance and drug companies. The some 3,000 health care lobbyists in Washington, whose dirty little hands are all over the bill, have once more betrayed the American people for money. The bill is another example of why change will never come from within the Democratic Party. The party is owned and managed by corporations. The five largest private health insurers and their trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, spent more than $6 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker, spent more than $9 million during the last quarter of 2008 and the first three months of 2009. The Washington Post reported that up to 30 members of Congress from both parties who hold key committee memberships have major investments in health care companies totaling between $11 million and $27 million. President Barack Obama’s director of health care policy, who will not discuss single payer as an option, has served on the boards of several health care corporations. And as salaries for most Americans have stagnated or declined during the past decade, health insurance profits have risen by 480 percent.

Chris Hedges


takeitslowly
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Joined: May 31 2009

In America, a liberal can sell out the gays, women,and the public , but they must always protect the rights of corporations to earn profits.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 27 2008

Chris Hedges: The Health Care Hindenburg Has Landed

http://mammonmessiah.blogspot.com/2010/03/chris-hedges-health-care-hinde...

"The mendacity of the Democratic leadership is staggering. Chalk them up as yet another victory for our feudal overlords and a defeat for the serfs.."


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 27 2008

doublepost omitted


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

a realistic assessment:

http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-treatment/truman-johnson-obama

On Tuesday, President Obama will sign the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. And the same spirit will be in the air.

The compromises that went into this legislation are, by now, well-known. It won't be fully effective for several years and, even then, several million people will likely lack health insurance. People won't have the option of enrolling in a new public plan; the private plans many carry will still have substantial deductibles. Government accounts predict the plan will reduce the rate of growth in medical spending only modestly. The full realization of Harry Truman's dream, of affordable health insurance for every American, will remain elusive.

But, like Medicare, this bill represents a monumental step forward. The numbers are impossible to ignore. More than 30 million additional people will have insurance; even those with sizable deductibles will have protection from the kind of ruinous financial liabilities they face now. There is no public plan--for now!--but there is extensive regulation, including requirements that insurers spend more money on actual patient care. What we spend on medical care isn't going to plummet. But it won't rise as fast as it might otherwise. And, over the long run, that can save a lot of money--particularly if we are smart enough to learn and adapt as we go.

And, as with Medicare, this bill is every bit as important for the statement it makes. Medicare affirms the principle that the elderly have a right to affordable medical care, even if it requires government help. Medicaid does the same for the poor. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act extends the promise of affordable care to the rest of the country--a promise that will be fulfilled, one way or another, by the government.

 

 

 


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

WingNut wrote:

David Frum considers it a Republican health care plan: "Those of us who said there was a deal to be done, that there are a lot of parts of this bill that look familiar, that look like Mitt Romney's plan, that look like plans Republicans proposed in 1993 and 1994, they look like things that were drafted at the Heritage foundation in 1990 and 1991."

Who are the 11 million Americans left out? Does anybody really care?

 

And from another part of the much-edited Frum "Waterloo" essay:

"I've been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters - but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say - but what is equally true - is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed - if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office - Rush's listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

So today's defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it's mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it's Waterloo all right: ours."

Follow David Frum on Twitter: @davidfrum


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

The usual snippy comment was made in the other thread about "the Obama worshippers". That would have to be me, wage zombie, maybe someone else. What is really meant by "Obama worshippers" is those who don't vilify Obama as is the norm around here. So the comment doesn't really merit any note at all.

Nonetheless, for what its worth, I thought I would describe the nature of my "worship". 

I didn't expect much concrete of Obama's election. I hoped and thought there was a chance he might accomplish something of note to me, but didn't expect it. He is after all the President of the United States- which at a minimum means imperial adventures. Said adventures could hardly fail to be less crazy than what the Bushies did, but that counts nothing for 'expectations'. And as to what else he might do- maybe, but the man has some obvious flaws, on top of the 'issues' of what you can expect from the institution.

I was VERY pleased at his election, and again at the inauguration. But thats a largely symbolic thing. Obamas election is symbolic of what is possible. One reason that doesn't mean a lot to people around here is because everything is already 'possible'.

Another reason his election meant a lot to me, is because I'm still connected to the nation of my birth. And that nations history of racism is something that particularly impacts me on a personal visceral level. The understanding of that around here was so shallow as to be almost painful. You all just did not seem to be able to grasp that people can know absolutely that the election of Obama as President is no solution, yet many of us can at the same time feel immensely proud.

So thats a catalogue of what Obama's election meant to me, and what I expected [not] when he was elected. You'll find that is pretty typical of OS progressives. Many many of them also sincerely expected great things of the man. What else is new? If its not one distraction its another.

Even with those low expectations, Obama managed to dissapoint me. Leaving aside the imperial adventures and other reactionary stuff that was totally predicted, he just seemd to bumble along and stand back. Oh well. Nothing lost. [In that case I think we have the ex-pat speaking... most even of the realistic progressives probably dont find it so easy to be philosophical about it.]

And Obama's failures around health care in the Senate, and just standing by while the Massuchsetts seat slipped away, were certainly part of that dissapointment.

But when he belatedly rallied to the battle and this bill got through, I'll take that. And warts and all: not grudgingly in the end. While I've not been observing the US blogosphere at all- I think its a safe bet thats very representative of the feeling of US progressives... that even with all the nasty limits, we did achieve something... and a wedge to get even more [knowing full well the right also has a wedge to unwind it all].

The notion that its worth than nothing is but for a very few exceptions one that is only going to occur to Canadians, or to those for whom anything less than a step towards revolutionary transformation is worse than nothing.

In short- yep, its a breakthrough. And no apologies for saying that.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

I haven't seen or heard all of Frum's comments. But I know the realism that lies behind them.

It goes roughly like this. Its all well and good to have the whole Republican party speaking for the shock troops. But when it comes to actually fighting ObamaCare and having a ballot question for November.... there are millions and millions of people out there who appreciate that they will finally have some health care security, and many more millions of their familly and friends who will be releived from having to worry less about them, and we the conservatives are going to be the spear carriers for the insurance industry to repeal the forcing of the companies to cover people. That is going to go over really well.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

And conversely- the fact the Republicans are setting themselves up for failure, will enhance the opportunity for Democrats to press forward.

The Republicans can gain seats in Congress this year and still go backwards in the battle. Because the more people see that health care works- which will be apparent even when people know their coverage is still just in the works- that will block out the hysterical lies propogated over the last year. And as general support for universal health care builds, the number of blue dog Democrats who don't feel the heat will also diminish.

[Some of them by the way who voted against the health care bill will face serious primary challenges, whcih will not be deterred by the realism that challenging them may well result in the seat going Republican. Which will in turn, increase the heat under the rmainder of them.]


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Michelle wrote:

So in order to think about this clearly, I've been trying to put myself into the place of one of those people who are uninsured, knowing it could have been me had I not had the lucky break I did in geography when I was born.

I'm trying to imagine myself suddenly being faced with being forced to spend ten percent of my income on a shitty insurance plan from a private company that will jerk me around every time I try to claim anything.  (I can't even imagine shelling out 10 percent of my income NOW, and my budget was a lot tighter then than it is now.) 

I know an American with a "Cadillac" plan - and even those ones involved a bunch of red tape and wrangling to get them to pay out.  I can only imagine what the poverty plans will be like.

 

Its not likely to surprise you to hear there is more to it than that.

There is no plan except for Midicare for the over 65s- existing or proposed- in the US that does not have substantial monthly premiums. [And even Medicare and Medicaid can and does claw back from you all your assets, often including your home, to pay for your care.] This would be true even if there had been a public option.

So under ANY plan, poor people would face the same choice they do now. Under most conditions you can pay out of pocket your medical expenses for a lot less than insurance premiums. In practice, when you need to go to the doctor you may not. But its not like you are better able to pay the premiums. So its a rational choice for people to do without. Everyone knows that if you need some really expensive care you will get it. [Exceptions of course, but those exist for people on plans too.] Throw yourself on the system and you aren't turned away.

And that cruel choice is also made by a LOT of people who are not forced into it by poverty. My brother is a typical case. His company health care is elective, and even with the employer co-pay he doesn't want it. Can't make him feel guilty for the social irresponsibility or even that his siblings will end up having to take care of him financially. And hes in his 50s- so you can imagine how common this would be for 20 and 30 somethings who are not surrounded by peers with medical issues and emergencies.

But back to the poor people. If you are somewhere in relation to the poverty line, you will get free or subsidized coverage. I don't know where the line is but its safe to say that many of the kind of 'working poor' you are talking about will be getting no such assistance.

So the bill won't be doing much for them. It will probably make the coverage more worth paying for [with less excluded], but it isn't going to make it any easier to pay for until the US starts to wrestle directly with health care costs, and they are a long way from that.

But the bill will make a huge difference for the availability of health care, AND its quality/coverage level to the masses of working class people who are not on the edge of poverty.

Because if you own a home, or you would be traumatized by throwing yourself on the mercy of the system, or you have children that you don't want to be worrying about whether you 'need' to take to the doctor this time [and the next and the next], then you have a great deal to lose by having no health care available... and its a huge source of stress.

 

Corrolary: because the vast majority of Black and Hispanic people are either in this social position themselves, or if they are middle class unlikely to be far removed from friends and family or church members who are in it, ObamaCare will be massively popular among them. And they do act pretty cohesively. Even though they already are not voting Republican, the Republicans have a lot to fear in riling them. Palin and the tea partiers are oblivious of course, but David Frum and company are well aware if the peril.


josh
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Joined: Aug 5 2002

DaveW wrote:

by the logic of the nay-sayers, they would have voted against the Social Security Act... it did not cover everyone, completely or immediately!

Ugh.  This again.  Social Security was, and is, a public plan.  There is no public plan created by this legislation.

This reasoning by faulty analogy permeated the entire discussion among Democrats and progressives regarding this bill.  It just shows you how bad the bill is that those in favor had to rely on this myth.

 


DaveW
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Joined: Dec 24 2008

no actually, the Republicans blogs are saying this most frequently: once you make a big move like this towards universality ... how do you ever stop it?

exactly!


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

That's because Republicans are dumb.

That's exactly right - if there were a public option to this plan, then the social security analogy would work.  There is no public option.  In order for that analogy to work, Social Security would have had to be a plan where everyone is forced to pay private stockbrokers to invest money for their retirement plans.


josh
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Joined: Aug 5 2002

Universality, which this bill does not accomplish, by private insurance is not my idea of universality.  Nor was it the idea of the Democratic party from Harry Truman through the most of Ted Kennedy's time in the senate. 

Just tell the uninsured that they have to buy private insurance?  How could we have been so blind?

 


Michelle
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Joined: May 10 2001

Yeah, geez, you could've done that all along.   Easy peasy!


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Michelle wrote:

 

I don't think we know better than US progressives what's best for them.  But I also don't think that US progressives are in lockstep on this one.  And the arguments of the progressives who are critical make more sense to me.

Here's another take:

Black Agenda Report

Of course US progressives aren't in lockstep about this. But I don't think they are as divided as you seem to think. The report you quote is a case in point of what I said above: "The notion [the bill] worth than nothing is but for a very few exceptions one that is only going to occur to Canadians, or to those for whom anything less than a step towards revolutionary transformation is worse than nothing."

Its also worth noting that they referr to Kuchinich as backup, while Kuchinich himself feels the bill is worth backing, and that its defeat would have probably set the debate back for another political generation.

Similar to you quoting Michael Moore's displeasure with the what the bill does not have, while Moore does not share your overall assessment that the bill is worthless.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

DaveW wrote:

no actually, the Republicans blogs are saying this most frequently: once you make a big move like this towards universality ... how do you ever stop it?

exactly!

 

josh wrote:

Universality, which this bill does not accomplish...

Did someone say universality was accomplished?

No.


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