Obama To Hold Health-Reform Summit

Let anyone wishing to be obstinate do so in the light of day.

President Obama announced he will host a bipartisan health-reform summit with the country’s congressional leaders on February 25th. “I want to come back, after the Presidents’ Day congressional recess, and have a large meeting—Republicans and Democrats—to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there, and move it forward,” Obama said.

Even I’m skeptical — me, the Pollyanna!  Does anyone think meaningful reform is possible?  I haven’t seen any hint that anyone in Washington actually knows what is needed to pass meaningful reform.

Republicans will need to have more than opposition.  Their choice:  show up and put their ideas on the table (snicker), or not show up at all.  I expect Republicans to jump at the chance for the nation to hear all their wonderful ideas and solutions to our problems and challenges.  We will have the opportunity to see whether they truly want to help Americans or they’d prefer to work hard toward helping America fail if that’s what it takes to defeat President Obama.

It will be interesting!  When Obama trounces the Republican arguments (which won’t be difficult), will they fall back on Acorn, or blame the homosexual lifestyle?



Filed under Healthcare

83 responses to “Obama To Hold Health-Reform Summit

  1. Good to see your willing to give people an opportunity to voice their ideas before you criticize them. It is good to see that once the democrats lost the ability to do what ever they wanted that they are “willing” to try bi-partisan discussions. Don’t you think that more could have been done if they had done this from the beginning?

    Personally I don’t expect to come out of a meeting with a bunch of politicians who know little to nothing about the field they are trying to “fix”. The only way to improve our health care insurance industry is to invite experts in the field to discuss options and to get the politicians out of the way. Unfortunately the topic has become another in a growing list of “us verses them” battles, and no one is willing to “loose”. Once the congress starts to vote as Americans and not Democrats or Republicans nothing will get done correctly.

    • lillacluvr

      There have been doctors and other health care professionals in meetings with Obama and the Republicans still sat on their hands and proudly said ‘No’ to everything Obama.

      From reading your post, I get the feeling that you think Republicans have been shut out in the health care reform debate.

      Okay, that may be true and if it is, then this televised bipartisan meeting will bring that out – won’t it?

      If the Republicans’ health care ideas are already in the proposed current health care reform bill, then won’t that show that perhaps it is the Republicans who are blocking everything with their political point-scoring and the worst case scenario – the Republicans have been lying the entire time about being shut out and not heard?

      Let’s put everything on the televised table and see exactly what each side has or has not done.

  2. fnord

    Hi mcoville, welcome to PP&Ps.

    I hear you loud and clear on the “us verses them” battles. Seems in the rush to make someone a loser all Americans lose big time.

    I’m pretty sure the experts were consulted, I even suspect someone actually knows what would be beneficial, but all that has been lost in the rush to please the corporate masters with the big bucks.

    Personally, I think a single-payer system is the best way! I’m not holding my breath — can’t afford to see a doctor or get medical care after I pay my insurance premiums.

  3. tosmarttobegop

    It is not likely that either the Republicans or Democratic would want a unscripted dialog on TV.
    Watch enough CSPAN and see that it falls into the same things said and neither side seeming to hear what is said.

    There is a problem with the me-me of they are not listening to us, when ever an amendment was adopted that was introduced by a Republican . The Republicans voted against it including the Republican that introduced it!

    Some idea from the Republicans are sound and or at least would not be harmful.
    But then some show a level of clueless ness as to what is the problem.

    Going back to Mcoville’s point, both sides have shown that they are either not addressing problem with knowledge. Or are addressing it with preconceived answers without knowledgeable input.
    Exchanging valuable solutions with Politic motivated solutions to have a win for our side over the people.

    It worked well when the President met and took questions from the Republicans for one reason.
    The Republicans did not have a good fall back position, they had been so enraptured by fighting to make Obama have a waterloo. That they did not have a thought to fall back on to actually address serious issues.

    That will not happen again for a couple of reasons, one is that the Republicans will not be willing to have another dog and pony show where they are the dogs.

    The other the forum will be more controlled and less on the moment.

    • Zippy

      No doubt it will be more scripted, and with more “details”–but there’s a problem. The narrative they’ve created is actually very fragile. Even in our talk-radio society, it wouldn’t take much to punch more holes in it.

      The real problem is getting across just how necessary real, comprehensive reform is, not just in terms of the obvious effects on people–though that’s vitally important–but a renewed emphasis on how the current system is a death spiral of escalating costs. And also undo the demonization of health care in other countries–with the facts.

      A tall order, but not impossible.

  4. fnord

    I agree with you that the Republicans won’t get caught ‘off guard’ to the extent they were that day, ever again! That had to be terribly embarrassing.

    However, they really don’t have workable ideas or solutions for reforming health care, so what exactly will they be able to say that can’t easily be shown to be ineffective?

    No matter how much they want to say this debate has left them out, that no one has listened to them, we all know that’s just cover for “We have nothing.” The other thing we all know — the money from insurance and pharmaceutical companies has gone to all politicians. They’ve all sold their souls, and they’ve all padded their war chests and pockets!

    Unlike the everyday goings on you watch at C-Span, this is a meeting announced in advance, and will garner more attention. Sadly, unless enough people (this must include the politicians and the citizens) actually clear away their prejudices and partisanship, listening with an open mind to every idea, it will just be a show. After the show both sides will pick and choose which talking points they want to repeat to gain an advantage, and it will be meaningless.

    • fnord

      You brought up a good point, Lilac. Some of the Republican ‘ideas’ are already part of the bills that passed the two chambers. That should be made clear when this televised meeting is held.

      • lillacluvr

        That’s why I think Obama came up with a great plan – televise everything!

        And let the chips fall where they may.

        Of course, there will always be that 18% of Obama haters that will hold steadfast to their notion that they are not being heard.

        Really, think about it, when you see an old white man dressed like a Founding Father and wandering around with a teapot hanging off his belt, doesn’t that just make you think – now there is a smart man!

      • President Obama didn’t televise the Democrat only meetings as he promised before, it’s amazing that now he needs the Republicans he decided to allow c-span in. I would have loved to see what they where talking about in all those closed door meetings, wouldn’t you?

        Don’t get me wrong, I am happy they are televising these meetings I only wish he didn’t show himself to be such a hypocrite in the process.

  5. Will President Obama listen to the members of his own party this time? Or will progressives be shut down at the outset the way they have since the beginning? Conservatives like to cry liberalism and take on the role of the victim–but the progressive voices in the democratic party have been attempting to address the real issues with real solutions and have been told to shut up over and over again. The truth is closer to this–we should all be crying corporatism and pointing out that the real victim of the process and the resulting bill has been the American people who still don’t have the change they voted for and the program they have supported in poll after poll after — a government-sponsored health care program. Medicare for all. Will Obama finally LISTEN to its proponents or will they again be shut down before they even get to make a case?

  6. wicked

    I never thought I’d say I didn’t want a health care reform bill to pass, but what we’ve been offered is a pile of doggy doo, wrapped up in sheets of uncut million dollar bills, with a big fat 24k gold bow on it.

    We’re getting screwed in the name of reform! What are the people getting out of it? Nothing, compared to all the goodies the insurance companies will/would get.

    Right now, I don’t care. They’ll do what they want to line their pockets and wonder why everyone isn’t eternally grateful.

    Screw ’em. Screw ’em all!

    • I am with you.

      I am tired of the hold-your-nose-and-pass-it- anyway philosophy. Progressives are told that our ideas are too radical and that we have to accept solutions that don’t solve anything, but reward the very people that caused the problems to begin with. Then the bills with no solutions get passed, the money flows to the corporate interests allowing conservatives to point out that the bill didn’t solve the problem, but just threw money at it, and the people lose faith in the system and are screwed and it lends credence to the conservatives all at the same time. Democrats without balls hurt the whole party and I am frankly DONE with their way of doing things.

      All this crap about concensus can go away, too because Bush didn’t need any concensus to run the damn country into the ground, why do we need concensus to fix it?

  7. Thunderchild

    “Obama To Hold Health-Reform Summit”

    In other words, this time a year from now, there will still be millions of people without health care.

    Just like the Republicans want it.

    • Yes and no–reform has corporate support from doctors, hospitals, and temporary care facilities. They have an interest in seeing that everyone has insurance coverage because they lose a lot of money when they have to care for the uninsured. They want to see 100% coverage and the only way that is going to happen is with reform.

      So, the republican party can continue to be the party of no, but they do so at their own financial risk because the organizations listed above will be sending all their campaign contributions (unlimited since the Supreme Court decision) to whichever party is going to get the reform done.

      This issue will not go away again because their are interested corporate concerns. It is a matter then of making sure that We the People get our issues addressed while the bill is being hashed out.

    • this kind of ad hominem attacks are what is keeping the real healthcare insurance reform from happening.

      • wicked

        mcoville, are you denying that Republicans have not dug their heels in against health care reform? Until they finally managed to weaken the bills, they were totally against it.

        I’ve heard Republican voters screaming against any type of health care change in this country. Have you missed that?

      • I have also heard Republican healthcare reform options that have been shut down by Democrats, does that mean Democrats are against reform?

        Just because the Republicans are against a bill does not mean they are against any kind of reform. You must have blinders on to think that way.

      • fnord

        Well, they have an opportunity to let everyone know exactly what they propose that isn’t being listened to!

        Good for everyone!

        Will they take that opportunity or will they pout about something / anything? Because if they really have something and they really want to help Americans they need to make that very clear to everyone!

      • wicked

        If the suggestion for a bill won’t work or works against the people, should it be accepted? Just because it gains more for the “have mores”, does that make it good?

        The idea is to work for a good bill using compromise. That’s the way our government is set up to work. Concessions to the bills have been made…to the detriment of the people. Those suggestions were made and eventually accepted as a compromise. And still the R’s refuse. That says to me that they really aren’t interested unless it’s their way all the way.

        I followed this closely in the beginning. I’ve since lost interest, thanks to the party of No being obstinate and wanting it their way or no way. Other than making insurance companies richer, I don’t see how any of the bills voted on are going to help anyone. I expected to be disappointed in the Republicans. I didn’t expect to be disappointed in the Democrats, yet I am. Very much.

      • wicked

        And, fnord, those ideas need to help, not hinder, the people. Accepting ideas that continue to chip away true reform isn’t worth the time it’s taking.

      • fnord

        wicked, look at the ideas the Republicans have put forth — both those already incorporated and those they continue to push for — none help the people! They all help the corporate masters.

        There are NO ideas from the Party of NO which help the people.

      • ad hominem would mean that there was no evidence to support the charge. There is ample evidence to prove that the republican party is doing everything it can to make sure that health reform does not get passed–including their own admission in public comments that they are going to do everything they can do make sure it doesn’t get passed. So, ad hominem doesn’t apply to my “attack.” I was merely making an observation of the supportable facts.

  8. lillacluvr

    You’re right, Paula, this issue will not be going away because health care costs are rising every year with no end in sight.

    There has to be something better than what we’ve got currently.

    Most doctors that I know are for health care reform because they are sick and tired of these insurance companies strong-arming them into taking less and less in negotiated prices. But the doctors know that if they do not participate in most of these insurance plans, then their patient base will disappear and they will be left with those without health insurance – and no cash flow for their practice to continue.

    But, one thing that I’ve noticed in the last 10 years is how many doctors are now being ‘corporatized’. Just think and how many doctors do you know who are in their own practices? How many are even in an office with 2 or 3 other doctors?

    Alot doctors’ offices are going to this corporatized type of medicine where there are 15 or 20 doctors in the entire practice.

    Now, those are the practices that love the corporatized medicine because they know how to work the corporate angle.

    Just ask any doctor if he works for himself or does he get paid a salary from some corporation – and that will tell you everything you need to know.

    • You are OH SO RIGHT about the corporate practices. And they are not necessarily good practice in the health care sense. Because a doctor that can bring in a lot of money for the corporation is not necessarily the best doctor. But the corporation is not going to be based on quality, it will be based on the bottom line, just like every other corporation.

      The practice corporations set up like this–doctors form a corporation together, sign service agreements to work for the corporation and they receive salaries as employees of the corporation and bonuses and incentives from the corporation for the services they provide and then, depending on the profitability of the corporation, they get stock value as well. So, it’s a win-win-win, except the patient is basically a commodity, a means to an end. And what drives the profits? Quantity, not quality.

      So this is not the best way to deliver health care, but it is increasingly the way it is delivered. Real reform would motivate quality health care, not quantity. I am not seeing that in practice in the health care “reform” bills as currently written.

      • lillacluvr

        With corporatized health care, we get that infamous ‘the doctor only spent 5 minutes with me’ complaint from people.

        Well, duh…….he/she needs to get to the next patient and up his/her quota for that week.

        And yet we have people who are intent on keeping this current health care system that promotes that type of health care.

        I agree, I don’t think the current health care reform bill is necessarily what we need nor want.

        So, let’s have a health care summit and see what the fallout will be. Maybe the good ideas will outweigh the bad ones and some actual reform will take place.

        And then all the unicorns can come out to play again…..


    • wicked

      It all depends on the doctor. Mine–the only “doctor” in a small town–has a nurse practitioner in his office. He told me last August that he doesn’t want the reform that was being discussed at that time. He said if it was passed, he’d retire…which is what he’s planning to do anyway, but when I mentioned that, he acted surprised.

      And here’s a good one to add to the list. My bff switched her prescriptions to the small town pharmacy, because they’re easier for her to get there. The pharmacist decided to split the prescription, saying the doctor didn’t write it correctly. That way she has to pay 2 copays, costing her $15 more to have her scripts filled. Walmart and Walgreens are happy to fill the scripts as written by the doctor. She told the local pharmacist to take a hike…again.

      • lillacluvr

        I work for a pharmacy and believe me, pharmacists have to follow the doctor’s written prescriptions or call that doctor before changing it – they cannot just change it because ‘the doctor did not write it correctly’ . Sounds to me like your bff got a hold of a pharamist who ‘assumes’ too much authority. There is a Pharmacy Board that handles complaints if your bff would be interested.

        I’m on a cholesterol medication and the doctor wrote it for a 40mg tablet. When I went into Walmart about their $4 meds – the 20mg tablet was on the $4 list but the 40mg tablet was not. They did not seem willing to call the doctor to get him to change the prescription to read 2 – 20mg tabs = 40mg .

        So I went to Dillons and they were more than willing to call the doctor to get it changed, my doctor changed it and Dillons charges me $8 for the total prescription – $4 for each 20mg tablet size med.

        End of story – everyone is happy.

        As for your small town doctor – if he is retiring anyway, then why would he care what health care reform does or does not do?

  9. Zippy

    Actually, I think it’s a great idea. When there was no dialogue, the ridiculous narrative took hold and, hence, a bill already watered-down beyond belief and full of Republican ideas was denounced as “socialism.”

    The summit in question, however, should be attended just by politicians. Let the experts attend as well.

    By far, the biggest ally of health-care reform–apart from entrenched interests and ideologues–was the fact-free environment that took over the debate.

    For instance, one didn’t even need the specific figure Obama gave, from his experts–two percent–to know that emphasizing tort reform as fixing the system was ridiculous. It was on the misplaced belief that out-of-control malpractice suits were responsible for the escalating costs, which, notwithstanding the cost of malpractice insurance (hmm?? who sells the insurance?), is simply not true.

    The goal is to separate the wheat from the chaff and, unfortunately, people will suffer and die in the meantime. But, in my view, if there’s any chance of a meaningful bill, facts will drive it.

    By the way, after what came out of the process, I will be looking forward to a televised summit with House Democrats.

    However, our “non-ideological” president had better lay down more concrete and positive goals, and be willing to stand firm on them, or the process will still produce crap. His waffling on the public option alone–before a single vote had been cast–was politically stupid, at least if we were aiming for real reform.

    And the deals Rahm presumably negotiated are not encouraging.

  10. Zippy

    Oops–“shouldn’t” just be politicians.

  11. Zippy

    Double oops–“opposition to healthcare reform”

    • Zippy, if it were up to me, I’d put you in charge of the whole thing. Sounds like you have it figured out pretty well.

      I just wish that I thought that the politicians involved actually wanted to ACCOMPLISH reform. It appears as though they are aiming for the appearance of reform more than the actual reform.

  12. lillacluvr

    That tort reform the Republicans always shout from the rooftops is their putdown to all lawyers.

    Of course, nevermind the fact the GOP is full of their own lawyers. But I guess these lawyers are okay. Maybe they all passed their purity and/or competency test to vote?

    • The myth of frivolous lawsuits fits in very well with the conservative ideology of being against anyone getting something without earning it. They don’t really CARE if my negligence harmed someone–shit happens, right? They don’t really believe in holding anyone accountable for their “mistakes.” We should all just man up and live with whatever fortune might bring.

      Pair that ideology with the Christian ideology of if you pray enough and give to the church, good things will happen and you come up with the next logical fallicy of the conservative mindset–if something bad has happened to you, you have somehow brought it on yourself.

      So, if a doctor’s negligence has caused you harm, you probably did something to deserve it and you certainly shouldn’t sue the doctor because mistakes happen and we should all just shut up and deal with whatever misery life hands you. (You probably aren’t praying enough–maybe you should read your bible more often)

      There is double support for the ideology which believes against all evidence to the contrary that the problem of rising health care costs is due in large part to frivolous lawsuits.

  13. lillacluvr

    Wicked – if your small town doctor really wants to get away from any health care reform – then he can always make his practice exclusively private pay.

    But, of course, he will have to give up those patients whose insurance companies pay him on a regular basis – you know, that cash flow thingy.

  14. David B

    When a typical Republican tactic has been to support an amendment and then vote against the adoption of the very same amendment, it clearly proves they are not serious.

    They are acting like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.

    • lilacluvr

      But, David….

      have you noticed these Republicans propose an amendment, then Obama comes out in support of that amendment and then that is when this Republican gets his divine wisdom from God that somehow the amendment is no good and then votes against his own amendment!

      It’s not their fault – blame God!

      Yeah, or blame what is really at work here – political point scoring.

  15. lilacluvr

    mcoville – with all due respect, I saw some of the health care debate myself on C-span the first time around. Even some of those Republicans who are ranting and raving about this issue was on C-Span and guess what they were doing? – you guessed it, health care debate.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but does C-Span televise the closed door committee meetings?

    Correct me if I am wrong again, but did C-Span televise the Republicans when they had total control of Congress and the White House for 6 yeasrs in every single meeting they ever conducted?

    I’m all for transparency and if the Democrats are doing something behind closed doors and making secret deals, then I want them hung out to dry for it. But I also want the Republicans to be hung out to dry for their closed door meetings and secret deals.

    Our country is in bad shape right now and, frankly, I’m tired of both sides playing politics.

  16. lilacluvr

    mcoville – You said ‘that now that Obama needs the republicans to pass health care he wants it on c-span’

    Did you not notice that there were several Democrats who were not siding with Obama and from the beginning of this entire health care debate – Obama has stressed from the beginning that he wanted bipartisan support.

    So, from your statement that ‘now since Obama needs the Republicans’, I assume you think that since Scott Brown won the 41st Republican Senate seat that somehow that tips the balance of power?

    Obama never had the entire 60 Democrats in the first place – so what would losing 1 Democrat Senate seat do?

    But, even with this argument set aside, if Republicans really wanted to get health care reform pushed through – then why did they not use their power in the Senate to get it done?

    I hear all about these evil Democrats but I don’t hear one word about these Republicans from day one that made it known to everyone far and wide that they were going to play the ‘just say No’ card to everything Obama.

    So, if you don’t like what the mean Democrats did to the Republicans, you might want to turn that question around and ask why none of those Republicans had the cajones to stand up and take the president up on his promise for bipartisan support and hold his feet to the fire for that support?

    Oh, yeah, I forgot – there were a few Republican Senators that voted against your Party of No and voted with Obama. And what did they get for it – demonization from the Republicans, name-called RINO’s and primary contention from ‘real’ Republicans to face when they get home to their districts.

    When one party is unified in just saying No – then nothing will ever get done.

    In my opinion, let’s just send all these elected officials home and stop paying them. They have all stopped participating in the democracy process so why waste the taxpayers money in paying these fools.

  17. fnord

    Does anyone remember Sen. Mitch McConnell’s criticism of Democrats’ potential use of the reconciliation process to pass health-care reform without noting that he repeatedly voted in favor of using reconciliation to pass the Bush tax cuts.

    I have a long memory. And just because the minority party and many of their supporters seem to have short memories doesn’t mean they get to be hypocrites without having it pointed out.

    • fnord

      You see, the election of one Republican Senator doesn’t equate to: “it’s amazing that now he needs the Republicans he decided to allow c-span in.”

      No matter how much spin you put on it.

      • lilacluvr

        Also, it was the Independents that pushed the newest Republican Senator into that job.

        And Brown promised that he would work to get things done in Washington to change the way we do politics.

        If Brown simply chooses to ‘Just Say No’ to everything Obama, then how long do you think his Republican seat will be safe?

        I also find it rather ironic that the very same Independents that put Brown into office are the very same people that have a health care plan much like Obama has envisioned for the entire country.

        And, I also noticed that Brown voted for that state health plan – even when it mandates that people have to buy it.

        I thought that was something Republicans hated?

    • This is a prime example of what is wrong with the two party system. The politicians are too loyal to their party that they forget to people loyal to the people that elected them.

      The minority party will always complain that they majority party is abusing their power and the majority party always calls the minority the party of “no”. The American people are the only ones that get ignored in both cases.

      When we finally elect people that refuse to play party politics we might actually see improvements. President Obama talked a big game during the campaign about stopping party politics but has yet to do anything about it through 25% of his term.

      We need a president that is a moderator between the two parties and not one with his own party’s agenda at the head of his “to do” list.

      • fnord

        How do you suppose a party becomes a majority party? Would that be because they garnered more votes? Did they garner more votes because the last party screwed up badly or because what they campaign on is what the people want to happen?

        You see, I think it’s BOTH!

        We have voters who pay attention and know not only what is happening but the whys behind it. For instance, right now, I am paying careful attention to Republicans efforts to obstruct everything because I voted for all the things President Obama campaigned for! I know Americans need health-care reform badly! I also know the mess he was handed cannot be fixed overnight, cannot be fixed without cooperation from everyone who is supposed to be part of those who swore to serve America!

        There aren’t enough Americans who really pay attention! When the economy sucks, jobs are few, they, or someone they know well, is feeling the pinch (and worse!) — they look up from their busy lives and see who is in charge. That’s part of who elected President Obama. These voters are pretty much non-factors when times are good and contentment is high. When times are not good, that is when they come out to vote.

        They can cause massive shakeups in the political landscape, but they have absolutely no loyalty whatsoever to the changes they caused. Quite the opposite, in fact, they only vote to punish those who are in office. If they elect you, they don’t want to hear from or about you. If they do, then maybe you need to be removed….

      • fnord

        “We need a president that is a moderator between the two parties and not one with his own party’s agenda at the head of his “to do” list.”

        Ya know, an invitation has been proffered. Will the Republicans behave as adults or recalcitrant children? If they behave as children will YOU recognize that, or will you make more excuses for them?

        Have you forgotten already that President Obama was elected by the majority of the voters and they expect him to follow his “to do” list as he promised?

        You indicate to me it’s fine and dandy for the majority party to control only if that majority is Republican!

      • I have noticed that a party becomes the majority because people are disappointed with the current administration and votes for the minority party.

        I would say that most voters are not informed and vote for issues. I personally spoke to people that voted for Obama because they wanted to see a black president and others voted because he was a Democrat, and had no idea of his stance on issues. The majority of voters vote on the fly for name recognition and opposing party to current administration.

        I wish more people where as informed as you are. This points to the failed government education system we have currently.

        As for holding the Republicans accountable for the upcoming meeting, I agree that they need to bring ideas to the table and be willing to discuss them and I will rail against them if all they bring is reasons why the Democrat bill will fail.

        Will you hold the President, and the congressional Democrats, accountable if they refuse to compromise and include any ideas from the Republicans?

        I dislike the idea of a majority party system at all. I feel that once you are elected to congress there are NO MORE PARTIES. They should discontinue the whole separate caucuses process in congress. Nothing good comes from allow parties to decided legislation. It should be open debates in the congressional halls with all members present and never behind closed doors in separate groups. Yes, I do understand the need for separate committees being convened for discussions to bring recommendations to the congress as a whole, but committees do not make final decisions and that is what needs to be public.

        The Democrat and Republican labels allow people to back a politician without really knowing anything about their position. Americans need to ignore party affiliation and stop wearing red or blue jerseys when debating what is right or wrong with a proposed bill.

      • fnord

        “Will you hold the President, and the congressional Democrats, accountable if they refuse to compromise and include any ideas from the Republicans?”

        Absolutely, positively, unequivocally YES!

        I’m 62 years old and don’t remember a time when politicians didn’t worry most about money (theirs!), fame, and getting reelected. But if somehow we could get to the point you describe so well — where people who are elected actually serve the people — our country could prosper.

        So, we the voters must accept our responsibility! We must speak as you and the other bloggers here have spoken — with respect for one another and opposing views. We must break this partisanship, and only reelect those who seem to understand what their job is. Politicians count on us not paying attention and having short memories! They count on us listening to sound bites and believing what they want us to hear.

        Until we the voters do our part I’m afraid politicians will remain nothing more than what they are.

      • wicked

        “Will you hold the President, and the congressional Democrats, accountable if they refuse to compromise and include any ideas from the Republicans?”

        I hold them all accountable, including the Democrats, especially for caving early, without debate, without discussion. As far as I’m concerned, the Democrats have already included ideas and compromised. Anymore compromise, and nobody is helped.

      • You are absolutely right that the two-party system has failed us. And both parties have a two-fold loyalty-to party and to CASH. We the People aren’t even in the mix anymore.

        The republican party spent six years complaining about Clinton renting out rooms in the White House and then the next eight selling out both houses of Congress.

        The democrats have stepped up their game and are selling those houses for a higher bid. The issue of health care reform turned into an issue of insurance reform before Obama even took the oath of office because democratic senator baucus had been meeting with the special interests involved for months leading up to that time and the senate finance bill, which, suprise!, is the one that is being considered the most seriously, was written by the hospital corporations, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. etc ad nauseum that Baucus was taking meetings with and taking campaign donations from.

        But this is the way it is done in Washington and conservatives screaming “socialism” are sidetracking the conversation from the real issue that what we have is not a socialist problem, but a corporatism problem. We have the illusion of democracy, but we have a corporatist government-owned, operated, bought and paid for by corporate interests.

        When conservatives, liberals and everyone in between finally comes to the conclusion that the enemy is not the other, but that we all have a common enemy–that is corporatism–then we can finally get somewhere towards solving the problem.

        We don’t need a moderator–we need a leader that is not beholden to the corporate masters. The people of this country HOPED that they were getting that with Obama when they voted for CHANGE. It appears we were wrong. That doesn’t make the republican party the answer, however.

  18. lilacluvr

    Their memories are not short – they just plain don’t care if it is hypocrisy or not.

    • fnord

      Maybe they think our memories are short. You know how we’re told all the time, “bush isn’t president any longer…”? They expect us to ignore, like them seem to be able to, his part in the mess America is in. They want us to forget, I don’t ever plan to. The lessons that everyone needs to learn from those eight abysmal years of bush the lesser can’t be forgotten!

      • wicked

        It’s Bill Clinton’s fault. All of it. Everything. Blame him for this snow, too, fnord. He did it.

      • At some point though you need to move on and not repeat the mistakes of the past. A lot of time the Democrat sheep on blogs condone the negative actions of President Obama by pointing out that President Bush did the same thing. If it was wrong for Bush to do it then it is wrong for Obama to do it.

        At what point does President Obama become accountable for the mess his policies are putting us in?

      • fnord

        You are right that if it’s wrong, it’s wrong! Good point! I was mad as hell that President Obama didn’t pursue legal action against the crooks in bush the lesser’s administration!

        I would think the accountability will come in the fall of 2012. He was elected to a four-year term and he should have the opportunity to serve that term without the stupidity we see from the Republicans. I’m all for ‘the nuclear option,’ reconciliation and any other tool available.

        Of course, President Obama truly wants bipartisan participation in government and continues to seek that. His patience is longer than mine!

      • wicked

        “At what point does President Obama become accountable for the mess his policies are putting us in?”

        Please explain. Which “mess” are you referring to?

  19. lilacluvr

    Yeah, poor Bill. He gets the blame for everything.

    the funny thing is – I think Bill Clinton would win again if he was to run for president and that just makes every Republican eat their heart out.

  20. David B

    I watched the hearings on CSPAN. And I saw the ENTIRE line of Rs voting no, every time and on everything.

    I saw the debates.

  21. tosmarttobegop

    Paula is right on will Obama listen this time?

    In a sense that is why he is courting the Republicans.

    Not that it is 59 to 41 this time, it is that there are several Progressives that would not vote for the bill at hand.

    There were the backroom deals to get four otherwise Democrats to vote for the senate bill.
    Imagine if the needed votes to get to agree is twenty?

    Wicked is not alone in her opinion about this Senate bill.

    Obama may need as many Republicans as he can get to vote for the bill not just one GOP vote.

    Now I do not hold out much hope in either a good bill coming out of it or getting the GOP block to split.
    It still is in the GOP benefit to stay the total party of NO, it is correct that the majority of people are against this form of reform.

    The end result will be that the Democratic will be saying we passed the bill you hated and the Republicans will be able to say they voted against the bill you hated.

    I think there will be some Democrats who will stand on Principle instead of Politics.

  22. fnord

    Unless Obama has been giving directions to Pelosi and Reid, I haven’t heard him weigh in on health-care reform as much as I think he should.

    In the Q & A session at the House a couple of weeks ago I heard Obama say to a Republican Congressman that he had read his suggestions and plans, another time I heard him comment that those ideas were in the bills — so it sounds like he keeps abreast. But is he directing, leading, pointing out the way? Or is he expecting lawmakers to do their jobs?

    • lillacluvr

      This is where I think Obama is showing his penchant for legislating – that is, the process of legislating.

      When I hear Obama ask for bipartisanship, I think he is sincerely asking for both parties to get down to the business of that sausage making that is called legislating.

      I don’t think Obama is the type to take the bull by the horns and appoint himself to be the king (or Messiah as the GOPPERS like to demonize him as being) and tell others what he will or will not tolerate.

      I think Obama truly believes in the legislating process – and this means the debates back and forth and sometimes the political theatre is a part of that process.

      • My impression is that Obama saw the Clinton way – of Bill developing the health reform plan, fail miserably; thus he has elected to ask the congress to do their job and develop the reform. He does seem to have faith in the sausage making process.

        I hope he is correct in his plan.

  23. fnord

    Factbox: Republican healthcare reform proposals

    Republicans favor less ambitious legislation with a much smaller price tag and no tax increases.

    Here are some of the ideas Republicans have put forward.


  24. David B

    Now the R “leadership” has put preconditions on and debate. The D’d have to give away certain powers they have or the R’s won’t go to the meeting Obama invited them to, as well as letting them bring hired guns from the industry in to do their talking for them.

  25. David B

    They are already weaseling out.

  26. fnord

    Color me shocked!

    I said in the thread header —

    “Republicans will need to have more than opposition. Their choice: show up and put their ideas on the table (snicker), or not show up at all. I expect Republicans to jump at the chance for the nation to hear all their wonderful ideas and solutions to our problems and challenges. We will have the opportunity to see whether they truly want to help Americans or they’d prefer to work hard toward helping America fail if that’s what it takes to defeat President Obama.”

    Guess we are getting the idea that they want America to fail if that’s they way they defeat Obama!

  27. fnord

    The first compromise never made it to a vote, and was the only way to meaningful health-care reform — Medicare for all!

    Single-payer, universal health care coverage for every citizen of this wealthy nation. One of those ‘take care of your own before you make yourself out to be compassionate’ ideas.

    • Single payer was never even an option. It was out of the House bill in short order and absolutely OUT of the Senate bill from the get go, as it was never in there and baucus refused to allow any amendment for it.

  28. fnord

    Health care is not market driven!

    One of our bloggers, Monkeyhawk, says it best. (paraphrasing for him)

    If the free market is the model for health care does that mean, “Can’t afford it, don’t get cancer?” Or maybe, “Get a stroke and start calling doctors to negotiate the best price or best care?”

  29. fnord

    As one way to encourage competition and drive down costs, Republican members of Congress want to make it easier for insurance companies to sell their policies across state lines.

    Would this idea make those who advocate for ‘states rights’ heads explode?

    • The States are the last line of defense for the people in many cases on policy terms that further defraud and abuse policyholders. States have laws that force insurance companies to pay for necessary tests, otherwise they might not pay for them. States have laws that don’t allow abusive terms that limit payout on covered items. There is a long list of the things that States control, and one big goal of the insurance industry in this “reform” is to make those protections disappear. Because it is easier to get those laws passed to protect the people in State houses of congress than it is to get it passed in the federal houses of congress. So, do away with the state line rules, and you have an instant boon for the insurance industry. An opportunity to start at square one at charging people for things and then not covering them or refusing to cover necessary things, or randomly deciding what you will pay for tests and services regardless of what they actually cost.

      Watch out for this little perk–it should be a bill-killer because it will wreak havoc.

  30. lillacluvr

    Just because the Republicans are against a bill does not mean they are against any kind of reform. You must have blinders on to think that way
    If the Republicans really are for health care reform then why was this issue never brought up when Republicans had total control of Congress and the White House for 6 years?

    While we are talking about missed opportunities, why didn’t the Republican attempt to try to overturn Roe v Wade while they had this 6 years of total control and they had a majority of anti-abortion Supreme Court justices.

    I’ve heard Republicans campaign on health care reform and pro-life issues – but yet, when they had the power to do something about both of these issues – what did they do?

    Absolutely NOTHING…..

    Could it be they want to keep these two wedge issues to keep their people voting for all those R’s behind every name on that ballot?

  31. lillacluvr

    mcoville – upthread you were lamenting the fact that not all people are informed about the issues and vote for someone because they are black or for name recognition or any other reason they seem to choose.

    But, in our country, every citizen has the right to vote – and that vote is theirs to do with as they see fit.

    No one has the right to deem anyone as being unfit to vote and when I hear talk like Tancredo was saying at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville last week about us not have competency tests to vote – that makes me really angry!

    I personally know of a few people that go in and write in a vote for Mickey Mouse or None of the Above. Is that a wasted vote – yes. Would I consider that a stupid vote – yes. But, you see, I don’t think it is up to me to be telling someone how to vote.

    I have my opinions about politicians and I am guaranteed the freedom of speech to blog about my opinions. But I do not have the right to tell someone they are misinformed or stupid if they vote for some politician that I personally find to be a lying weasel.

    And the sad fact is, when Tancredo made that comment at the Tea Party Convention, he had many people applaud him. And these people professed to be such patriots and loyal Constitutionalists.

    If that is true, then perhaps they need to revisit the theory that each citizen gets one vote – to do with as they please.

    Much like that freedom of religion thing – people can do with it as they like – even if it means no religion – but that is another issue.

    • fnord

      It took Constitutional amendments to get that done. In the beginning our country only recognized white men. I sometimes wonder if that isn’t what many old, white Republican men want today.

      • lillacluvr

        You’re right, I thought about that fact after I posted this.

        As for old white Republican men and what they want – who the hell knows. But I’m sure they all want to keep their socialized Medicare paying for those little blue pills.

        Believe me, I work in a pharmacy and the number of old white men coming in for that crap is mind boggling – ewwww…

  32. lillacluvr

    ‘That doesn’t make the republican party the answer, however.’

    You’re right about that one, Paula. I would happily join a third party to give these two parties a run for their money.

    But, so far, I don’t see any leader coming forward who could command such a movement.

    And, unlike Palin in her belief the Tea Partiers need to be decentralized, I think a viable third party will need to show some strength and that will take a unified group of independents and moderates from both parties.

    And, of courss, like I said yesterday – then all the unicorns can come out and play.

    • It may be a long shot, lillac, but it isn’t completely mythical. Our forefathers did not agree on everything either, and there were those in this country that continued to side with monarchy even years after the war was won. But, enough people came together on the important issues to make a difference.

      It IS possible.

      • lillacluvr

        I know it is possible – I guess I am having trouble seeing as being probable.

        But I do think if the right leader or leaders come forward and try to get a third party going, it might work.

        Excuse me, but the current Tea Partiers are not just cutting the mustard for me to join them.

  33. fnord

    ‘That doesn’t make the republican party the answer, however.’

    When dissatisfaction with President Obama is voiced it seems difficult for Republicans to understand this simple fact.

    • And as unhappy as I am with Obama, I am completely disgusted with Congress and the Senate. They are the biggest part of the problem. Obama didn’t sponsor the crappy Baucus bill and he didn’t strong arm Medicare for All or the Public Option out of the congressional bill.

      Something has to be done to make sure that the leaders of the Democratic Party understand that we aren’t putting up with anymore of the nonsense that they have been dishing.

      Impeachment off the table?
      No public option?

      Maybe progressives should form a party of their own. Not the Tea Party, maybe the Espresso Party–we need concentrated energy for the fight ahead.

      • lillacluvr

        LOL – The Espresso Party -I like it!

        Obama has never been the strong arm type – IMHO. He is more about the legislating process – that making of the sausage.

        Oh, he can deliver a fiery speech about wanting to change politics and taking on the big guys – but when it comes right down to it – he relies on the traditional sausage maker called Congress.

        And that’s where the sausage becomes contaminated!