Health-care reform

On the eve of passing a national health-care reform bill, I’ve been thinking about Senator Edward Kennedy.  He would no doubt have helped make the argument that when you get this close, there are some things more important than reelection.  Speaker Pelosi, who often cites Senator Kennedy’s call for comprehensive health care, made that case recently on ABC’s This Week when she said “Why are we here? We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We’re here to do the job for the American people.

Back in the good old days after the Senate passed its bill and before the Democrats lost their filibuster-resistant majority, negotiators had planned to name the legislation for Ted Kennedy and Michigan Congressman John D. Dingell, Jr., the senior House Democrat who had been advocating universal coverage since he arrived in 1955. That won’t happen; there are just too many other matters to worry about now.

Senator Kennedy’s son, Patrick Kennedy, when asked what his Dad would say: “This was never for him,” he said. “The greatest honor for him would be getting more people covered, any which way or how.


Filed under Democratic Party, Healthcare, Progressive Ideals, Tributes

74 responses to “Health-care reform

  1. fnord

    If it were possible, and we know it’s not, to get past the Republicans biggest fear — President Obama and the Democratic majorities will meet with success — we might be all celebrating this historic and much-needed bill.

    As it is, the Republicans worst fear is coming true and they’ve made themselves powerless because they didn’t want to contribute to this success, all they ever wanted was to defeat it. And, at the same time, the Democrats, who have no backbone and are the least effective at actually making their great ideas become reality, have given away the store in order to win agreement from the Republicans who had decided not to agree on anything.

    Like Zippy said in his letter to his Rep, “as a first start, it’s now or never.”

    Read Zippy’s letter in its entirety here:

  2. fnord

    A short video well worth watching —

    Showdown: Weiner vs. Noonan

  3. tosmarttobegop

    I am glad it will not be named for Senator Kennedy, it would be an insult to him I feel.

    IN a sense this is like claiming to want to feed the hungry children then simply driving by the Orphans and throwing a half eaten candy bar out the car window at them.

    This has been a insult to the intelligence of the American people, seeing how the lies and distortions grew and took legs. It could be more not an insult as it was a classic example of the intelligence of the American people.

    Even this morning watching the call-in on CSPAN, there were callers who still sighted that President Obama was the most Liberal Senator ever!

    That he is the most Pro-Abortion President ever!

    Both being the most delusional statements and not based on any facts.

    I can understand the claim that this is just a foundation and something that can be built on.

    But if that is the case, it is building a foundation of mud and sand with water as the glue.

    It might not even bare its own weight!

    • PrairiePond

      I agree with you, TSTB. This is like throwing a half eaten candy bar to the starving.

      The ONLY merit is covering, what, 30 million uninsured? THAT doesnt get them health care. It just puts money in the pockets of the health insurance companies. It’s going to hurt hospitals, especially rural, with the Medicare cuts. That will in fact, make health care LESS accessible in rural areas.

      There are no additional regulatory oversights for health insurance companies. It does nothing for aging baby boomers who are not Medicare eligible but are too old, or have pre-existing conditions to get affordable health care. It will make it more difficult to get health insurance companies to pay for abortion and related procedures.

      The only good thing about this bill, in addition to hopefully providing insurance for some folks unable to afford insurance, is that it supposedly stops insurance companies from dropping you when you get sick, and last I heard, it also removes lifetime caps. But I dont even know if the latter is still in the bill.

      All in all, with the mandatory coverage provisions and no fixes for those with pre-exiting conditions, I think it makes our health care problems worse instead of better.

      And a small reminder….

      NAFTA was passed with the promise it would be “fixed” later. How’d that go?

      I doubt this sorry assed health care bill will be “fixed” any time soon. If they couldnt pass it correctly now, wtf makes anyone think it will be “fixed” later?

      Sorry. I still say we should kill bill and start over. As it stands now, this will be an unmitigated disaster in the near and far future.

      And you know how I hate agreeing with the repukes on that!

      • Zippy

        NAFTA was passed with the promise it would be “fixed” later. How’d that go?

        I don’t recall every hearing that one, but I well remember how Clinton said he’d “fix” so-called welfare reform–and in fact made just a comment regarding this process, in this very forum.

        There are deals going right now, and many of them crappy, some less so. We know this a crappy industry bill, but two of the main things under negotiations are the cost of the premiums, among other things.

        But “start over” is the Republican mantra. I’d like to see a serious makeover, but starting from scratch means absolutely nothing will happen. We might as well be honest about that.

        Perhaps that is better than this current ugly approach. But, as repulsive as bribing the insurance companies to kill fewer people is, I’d like to see a realistic alternative in this environment.

        If Raul Grijalva and Dennis Kucinich are folding, then who is left to make it happen? With the mid-elections coming up, a new mark-up probably wouldn’t even make it out of committee.

        And I of course am not suggesting no changes be made. I’ve given Gabby an earful of criticism on pretty much every point, though I suspect it got lost in the crowd noise.

        The problem, as some Republicans like to point out with glee, is not really the Republicans, but insurance shills like Baucus (who once actually said he supported a publicoption) and, yes, Obama, who was more than willing to deal away nearly every aspect of the bill that sane people liked.

        From my perspective, we are looking at two bad outcomes: a bill that a little bit with a lot of issues that invite instant litigation (which I will support), and a grand “teabagger” victory that “saved America from socialism.”

        I am in favor of stretching out the process to get it right. I think those pushing otherwise are–very likely people like David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs—want the focus to end, being how they stupidly let the lunatic right frame the issues. I guess Obama cynically thought cutting a deal with the major players would be enough. Please. The TEA party stuff was a fortuitous coincidence, but one in which industry were glad to promote to improve their bargaining position.

        I have been and remain in favor of amending the shit of it, including open debate on the Sanders amendment (i.e. re-introduction of the public option). “Starting over” on a bill this large will mean no bill, period, will happen, because every negotiation will be subject to re-negotation.

        In the meantime, premiums will continue to soar and we will become an every sicker populace.

        One could go back-and-forth on what it actually does to Medicare Advantage, and what effect it will actually have. Seeing how that program was basically a subsidy to the insurance (subcontracting–kinda like this bill) , I do know doctors are being squeezed on regular Medicare payments at this time (including my doctor, Michael Hamant, who is a member of Physicians for a National Health Care Plan). He is among those discussing those issues at video linked at this site. Among the things noted:
        Ballooning costs of Medicare have increased because of Medicare Choice options. Under the Bush Administration Republicans pushed through the Medicare Advantage plans that cost the government an average of 13% more than original Medicare, but gives Medicare enrollees the choice to enroll in a private plan that offers perks and widely divergent premiums and copays, but imposes restrictions on choice of providers and may not offer the same coverage as regular Medicare if a patient has a chronic, expensive illness.

        Make no mistake: I don’t like what being proposed as a “compromise” one bit, but I also know my district and my rep. I don’t see how the drop in Medicare Advantage subsidies will hurt rural health care, and I can’t see Gabby voting for anything would make the Oro Valley retirees want to kill her. It would be political suicide.

        And politics does–on the margins I must say, not even at #5 on this list–make me think about 2010. State senator Jonathan Paton is less extreme than some Republicans (which is to say, he’s not a total nutcase like JD Hayworth). Tucson Weekly featured some of the truly irresponsible legislation he’s sponsored this year, but he comes across enough Repub-lite, that Giffords might be in trouble, particularly after strongly supporting a pubic option only to see it teabagged into what we see now.

        As I’ve said before, there aren’t other options. We have a small green party that is somewhat less than organized and flaky. How much? Their candidate for mayor, Dave Croteau, got my serious consideration even though he was homeless (not, I’m not joking). But he ultimately had no idea of what he was talking about.

        But as repulsive as this will likely be, if the recent CBO scoring is correct, it could change the debate about “socialism.”

        And unlike NAFTA (would exactly promised to “fix” it?), or welfare reform (Clinton tossed off a line, knowing full well most people didn’t gave a damn about it), health care issues every nearly everyone in this country.

        It is not going away and, if the bill works as badly as some claim, what is the result? Sure, the teabaggers will claim they were right all along, but the kind of realistic problems envisioned will not fit within their talking points if a bill become reality.

        Will not even the teabaggers be forced to see the man behind the curtain? And those 30 million who get insurance–will those people, themselves, not be a selling point for doing more, and with greater government intervention?

        It is not going away.

    • Hear, hear, tstbgop!

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  4. PrairiePond

    And in case I havent been clear enough…

    This is an EPIC fail on the part of obama and his minions.

    There is too much joy in the insurance industry to make ANY sane person believe this will help real people, and not just the corporations.

  5. PrairiePond

    Need more proof of just who is happy with this “reform”?

    “LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Shares of insurers kept climbing Friday as uncertainty over a health-care reform package nearing a key vote in Congress seemed to clear.

    Virtually all major insurers made sizable gains by the close, prospering in the face of a broadly lower U.S. stock market, though they gave back some of the gains realized earlier in the session.

    AM Report: Final Health Vote Nears. Is it the end or the end of the beginning for the Obama administration’s battle for passing health reform legislation? Janet Adamy reports on last minute deal-making that could lead to a vote on Sunday.
    Cigna was the leader earlier in the session, posting near-5% gains.

  6. PrairiePond

    And with all due respect to Zippy…

    “the endorsement of Dennis Kucinich tells me that, as a first start, it’s now or never”

    Well, WHO tf make it a “now or never” kind of deal?

    I say obama and rahm and their merry band of corporatists.

    They gave away EVERYTHING meaningful up front, put this pos legislation up as the “best they could get” and are now twisting arms and issuing threats with the “now or never” caveat.

    Perhaps if they hadnt ratphucked the deal up front, there would be room for negotiation, and not just political thuggery.

    “Buy this bill or we’ll shoot this dog!”

    • wicked

      Kucunich was on Real Time last night via satellite. I looked but kind find it on YouTube or HBO. I find it highly humorous in a dark way that when Republicans spout the for/against statistics, many of those “against” are that way because the current bill doesn’t go far enough. But the R’s will twist and turn anything, even turn it inside out to make something say what they want it to. Screw ’em.

      This is NOT the bill we should have. But I fear if we don’t go with it, the whole idea will die, yet again. This is a tiny step in the right direction and many, like Kucunich, understand that. As soon as this is passed, they’ll start work on a single payer system bill.

      Those screaming the loudest to kill this bill will never admit it when there’s little change for them. And you can bet your sweet bippy that they’ll “never, ever, ever” admit that anything about it is good. Until the day comes in the far future when they start saying it was “their” idea.

      • PrairiePond

        Hi Wicked–Well, if I see any benefit from this program, I’ll be glad to admit it, I promise. I just dont see it benefiting anyone but the insurance companies. I’m glad more people will be covered by insurance, but given the mandate to purchase, and how those “exchanges” work out (color me skeptical) I wonder if it will end up being more of a burden on the very poor and if that will outweigh any benefits.

        If they make the subsidies dependent on income only, and not assets, it will be more helpful. Many of us are income poor but asset rich. The only reason I buy insurance is to protect my assets. Without them, I have hardly any income, so it’s a catch 22. Sell my assets and qualify for welfare, or keep my assets and my income and pay my own way.

        Toss up.

        It’s always good to see you here Wicked. I hope you and yours, especially that newest granddaughter, are well and happy.

      • wicked

        Always good to see you, too, PrairiePond. I saw there’d been some sh!t flying and hope it isn’t weighing on you.

        We’re all good. Granddaughter is growing and the doc says she’s doing well. She’s still tiny, but she has her first tooth and is on the verge of crawling. We’re thinking this week.

        I’m busy and should really be working, but my youngest had to have the New Moon DVD, so I had to go buy it. (See me rolling my eyes.) I pop in here when I have a few minutes, but can’t keep up on a regular basis. It may not get better…which is good. Crazy? yes. 🙂

  7. PrairiePond

    Sometimes I really miss the poster known as CF. I wonder what he has to say about all this.

    • fnord

      Maybe CF still posts at the other place? I wouldn’t know. He got married over a year ago and must be very happily busy with his life. I think Iggy talks to him occasionally and last I knew he was doing well. 🙂 His ‘take’ would be interesting! He is a smart man and I always appreciated his insight.

      • PrairiePond

        Ditto Fnord. I dont know if he posts at the other place, but I doubt it. He had kind of quit doing that after he got busy with his new marriage. I hope he’s happy. He’s a special, and as you noted, smart guy. He also has a huge heart! I loved hearing him talk about his wife when we were all at Watermark, but I think she was his girlfriend at the time. Anyway, he spoke about her with such joy and love that it was a pleasure to hear.

  8. PrairiePond

    I guess everyone is watching basketball, so I’ll continue to talk to myself 🙂

    Here’s a great take on this pos legislation.

    “Sadly, we have ended up with legislation that fails to meet the test of true healthcare reform, guaranteeing high quality, cost effective care for all Americans, and instead are further locking into place a system that entrenches the chokehold of the profit-making insurance giants on our health. If this bill passes, the industry will become more powerful and could be beyond the reach of reform for generations.” – Karen Higgins, Co-President, National Nurses United×7956377

    • wicked

      I sure can’t disagree with you or Karen Higgins. But my fear is that if nothing is done now—because the Dems didn’t grow those spines and balls early on—that health care reform will never see the light of day again in our lifetime.

      I’d like to kick some Dem butts, big time.

  9. tosmarttobegop

    The unspoken reality it the real possibility of a repeat of 1994.

    That could be one real reason for the push more then if we stop now it will be ten years before it will happen again.

    But that is also a reason to not put a lot of fate in it will be fixed later.
    You can’t finish fixing the car if the Mechanics are out of the business!
    There will be several loses in the next election, if they could not pass it when they had the sixty.

    How could they correct it with less then a majority?

    I just read that the decision has been made to not use deem and pass.
    That means in part that part of the process is being repeated.

    The Congress will have to vote for the Senate bill instead of using the procedure.

    That is six of one a half dozen of another, those who are concerned about their elections may not vote for it this time.

    Of course the reality is that may not be a matter at this point.

    Only the bill working and not ruining the country will it matter and assure the reelection of those in Congress.

  10. tosmarttobegop

    Do I agree with Pond on that!

    The mandate and the whissy regulations means that all the night deposits are going to the bank robbers!

  11. wicked

    I’m sure you all saw that the State of Kansas is jumping on the bandwagon with a bill to “opt out” of the health care bill.

    Good. The State of Kansas can pay for my health care then.

    • wicked

      And my funeral expenses.

      • PrairiePond

        Heh–They can throw my ass in a Hefty bag and carry me to the curb when I die for all I care. Of course, I dont have any children and funerals are for the living.

        Summer would just want to know who the new cookie mama would be. (big eye roll)

        Ungrateful dog children!

      • wicked

        My family already knows my wishes. Cremation, and they can toss my ashes or keep. I don’t care. I won’t be here. As for funerals, I’ve already stated loud and clear that there’ll be none of that. Now, if they want to have a wake or a party, I’m all for that!

        As for those ashes, my youngest has decided they be divided between the four of them. She’s going to put her share of me in a “book” urn. I just tell her, whatever makes you happy.

      • Zippy


        My father didn’t want a funeral and, in a way, that turned out to be a mistake. Apparently, many people I and others knew not only felt obligated to come up to us and offer their condolences, but some were shocked–shocked!–that we could do such a thing!

        My suggestion–the way I’m going anyway–get tight with a Unitarian minister (they’re pretty open about ideas) or, failing that, invent a posthumous ceremony of your own. Have them wear silly hats and recite Shakespeare or something.

      • wicked

        Thanks for the suggestions, Zippy. I’ll keep them in mind and pass them on to my kids. None of us is “religious,” so a church-type funeral is pretty much out of the question. Unlike my mother, who became more church-bound as she aged, I back away from it.

        When my girls were in high school, a friend of theirs died suddenly. A wake was held at Lake Afton. The girls said it was a very positive thing. A friend of mine lost her mother last year. Several weeks later, they held a memorial at an arboretum. (This was in Texas.) I’m sure everything will depend on a lot of things, including seasons and whether my kids are still speaking to me at the time of my demise. 😉

        There are many options, besides the tried and true. I trust my family to do what’s best for them and for friends and family, but it’s good to have options to consider.

    • PrairiePond

      Wicked, I need to go back and check, but i read yesterday that the opt out thing in Kansas is “stalled” (WTF?) in the senate. I hope it’s stalled for good.

      OTOH…that might be just the ticket to make kansas turn at least purple if not blue. Of course it would be “blue dog blue” and not true blue….

      • wicked

        PrairiePond, I’m at least a day behind on the local (state) news, but I do hope you’re right. Total morons in Topeka.

  12. PrairiePond

    Hi Zippy!

    “but two of the main things under negotiations are the cost of the premiums”

    I had not heard THAT one. Not being a smart ass, but I’d like a link to read more about that. Pending more information on premium negotiations, I think this “In the meantime, premiums will continue to soar and we will become an every sicker populace” is going to continue even with this bill. I know of nothing in this bill that will force or cajole insurance companies not to continue to skyrocket premiums, or cherry pick based on pre-existing conditions and age. Another blow to aging rural populations.

    “I do know doctors are being squeezed on regular Medicare payments at this time” And so are rural hospitals. It’s particularly more devastating to them because the majority of their clients are Medicare patients. At least out here they are. So.. the cuts to Medicare are going to further squeeze hospitals. I dont think it’s just cuts to Medicare Advantage. It’s cuts in basic Medicare reimbursements. Of course, I could be wrong about that, but that’s my understanding.

    Part of me says “cry me a river” because many of those docs got fat and happy on Medicare just like the hospitals. But another part of me wonders how far folks out here can reasonably drive for health care, particularly if they are elderly with little or no younger family here to help them. They’ll move. Buffalo Commons here we come!

    “But as repulsive as this will likely be, if the recent CBO scoring is correct, it could change the debate about “socialism.” My understanding is that most of the “savings” being projected come from the Medicare cuts, which is one of the things being proposed in “the fix”. If they do fix it, the savings will be lost, according to one pundit who’s name I cant recall. But if they dont fix it, it’s going to, in the long run, affect rural and elderly health care.

    I can go with stretching out the process to get it right. I’m saying start over because really, I cant see that this bill will do anything but harm. And that is the danger of passing this as it is. I see real harm being done, not just some benign shuffling and more people being insured.

    I agree with making insurance more affordable, but force the insurance companies to compete and lower premiums. Dont just subsidize the corporations. That is what this bill does. It isnt subsidizing consumers. And the insurance corps will fight any fixes. If we cant pass it right, wtf makes anyone think the insurance companies will roll over any easier if their pockets are even MORE full?

    In the end, in this midterm and the next presidential election, I think the harm from this bill will be readily apparent, and will be political suicide. Oh, Obama may get a short term political bounce, and he’ll dance around and call passage of anything (including gas) is a victory, but I dont think the general public will see it that way. It’s a classic case of pissing EVERYONE off on both sides.

    Perhaps, if this administration admits it did things wrong this time, starts over, and does it right, even if it takes longer, the politics will be better for Obama in 2012. If the benefits kicked in immediately, or there was no harm being done, it could be different politically. But without major overhaul, this bill is a political poison pill. For him and for a Democratic congress.

  13. fnord

    Here’s what the Republican Party is saying, this is ‘the face’ they’ve courted and want to represent them. These peoples’ parents are probably the ones who said that ending segregation was an abomination against God. Conservatives make no bones about wanting to stall social progress. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming into civil rights era of the 1960’s.

    Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressman

    The health-care protests are getting ugly. While exiting a congressional office building on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Lewis was called nigger by angry tea partiers protesting the proposed bill. Lewis, who was subjected to beatings in Alabama during the civil rights riots of the 1960s, responded by saying, “It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialog and debate.” Other lawmakers witnessed the N-word being shouted, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver described it as a “chorus.” The Huffington Post also reported protestors referring to Rep. Barney Frank as a “faggot.” Frank is one of the few openly gay members of Congress.”

  14. fnord

    Elections have consequences. This bill was passed by the U.S. Senate with 60 votes! It was hashed and rehashed for over a year (and that doesn’t count the months of the campaign).

    The sore loser Republicans, who seem unable to conduct themselves as adults, will just have to go out and win some elections. Maybe they can do that by promising nothing but to hate President Obama, all democrats and anything and everything they do?

  15. David B

    This is really a needles and pins night. History – one way or the other – will be made tomorrow.

    Song Of The Battle Eve
    By Thomas Moore

    To-morrow, comrade, we
    On the battle-plain must be,
    There to conquer, or both lie low!
    The morning star is up,
    But there’s wine still in the cup,
    And we’ll take another quaff, ere we go, boy, go;
    We’ll take another quaff, ere we go.

  16. fnord

    This goal has eluded President Obama’s predecessors all the way back to Theodore Roosevelt! I hope he is man enough to realize how much Nancy Pelosi has done!

  17. David B

    CSPAN has Rs yelping about socialism on the floor of the House.

    • fnord

      Are they also yelling for President Obama to keep his hands off their health care? Maybe they’re leaving that intelligent statement to their constituents who receive Medicare.

  18. fnord

    If you asked them what the meaning of socialism is they wouldn’t know. It’s their cultural prejudice born out of ignorance showing. If enough voters find their behavior attractive maybe they can win an election.

  19. David B

    Looks like the southern crackers rented the room for the night on CSPAN

  20. fnord

    An interesting article —

    “How some Democratic holdouts made the call on healthcare

    To get the final votes they needed from the widely diverse Democratic caucus, party leaders kept tweaking and changing the massive legislation to make specific provisions acceptable to individual members — always mindful that each change could win one vote but lose another.

    It was like trying to twist a kaleidoscope but control what the new picture would look like.”,0,3663222.story

  21. Thunderchild

    It is not what was hoped for.

    I said all along that the forces that helped make Barack Obama were not all that unlike the forces that made george bush.

    That has proved true.

    But when you have nothing, half of something half ass promised is about as hopeful as it gets.

    It wasn’t always like this for me. It wasn’t always like this for most Americans.

    If only one more American gets health care, it’s a victory.

  22. PrairiePond

    A blogger on another blog, (he’s known as Fading Captain) had this to say today.

    “People I agree with and people I respect are supporting this because they believe it is the last hope. I believe supporting something like this signals that I’ve given up hope. That I’ve decided that “not good enough” will have to do. That “Yes we can” was just a marketing ruse and that the reality is, the Democratic Party is just another corporate-owned party.”

    I couldnt agree with him more.

  23. Pingback: Health-Care Reform Prairiepopulistsandprogressives.Net

  24. Zippy

    What it amounts to is that Obama cut deals with various industry players to get something–anything–passed. It wasn’t just ugly–it was a huge betrayal of a key campaign promise.

    They think we’re a ‘captive audience,’ and to some extent that’s true. I won’t be voting Republican (frying pan, meet fire), and The Tea Party crowd is no alternative. I still don’t know enough about the Coffee Party people.

    But defeating Blanche Lincoln in the primary will send a nice warning that, hey, thinking people are still out here!

  25. PrairiePond

    Even though I despise this legislation and the way it was done, and I’m none too fond of Steny Hoyer on a good day, this photo just makes me want to cry. I’m proud of every single person in this picture.I love me some Nancy Pelosi these days. She is one smart and tough cookie.×235104

    And I hear Barney Frank brought his partner with him today and he’s got a camcorder going.

  26. PrairiePond

    …and all that’s missing in that picture is Teddy….

  27. Zippy

    Well, it’s official. After weeks of holding out, for better or worse, Gabby is voting yes. Article with press release:

    I think it’s going to pass. Here we go. . . .

    • fnord

      It has to pass, the option is doing nothing. I’m nervous — like that cat on a hot tin roof we hear about.

  28. wicked

    Keep watch for me. Let me know on here what happens. I should have stayed home last night and worked, but the game lured me away. Blame the promise of Godfather’s pizza and the company of family.

  29. fnord

    The Billionaires for Wealthcare thank Sen. Mitch McConnell and the GOP for their heroic attempts to kill health care reform by showering him with real cash.

  30. PrairiePond

    Zippy, I didnt want to be too strident about this yesterday because I wasnt sure, but I pulled this off of Crooks and Liars today.

    “WASHINGTON — A Democratic plan for new federal power over health insurance rates was dropped Thursday from the final health care bill, squeezed out by the way the Democrats are pushing the bill through Congress.

    Rolled out with fanfare just weeks ago, the Democratic plan was a response to double-digit rate increases proposed by health insurance companies in California and elsewhere.

    It was first proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., then picked up by President Barack Obama.

    It would have given the federal government the power to reject proposed rate increases. It also would have allowed the secretary of health and human services to order insurance companies to give back part of premiums if the government decided that the companies spent too much of their incomes on salaries or advertising.”

    • wicked

      I don’t see what anyone on either side of the political aisle would have a problem with overseeing unnecessary rate increases. You’d think any person with half a brain would be aware of that. And not that I disagree with keeping an eye on increased salaries and advertising, knowing R’s, their screams can easily be imaged. That’s against all “free market” rules, for them. And if looked at from their POV, that would be huge government oversight.

      I’m extremely disappointed. I guess it’s okay to let insurance companies run amok, with no rules, no oversight, while they screw not only those insured, but the government itself. We’ve already seen what they and Wall Street will do if left to “regulate” themselves.

      Another thumbs down, accompanied by a big sigh.

    • Zippy

      You really think that isn’t being debated?

      Try asking Feinstein, who would prefer to be re-elected. The atmosphere in Washington is crazy now, even more so than usual.

      And this ain’t over. Not by a longshot.

      None of it, not just health care.

  31. PrairiePond

    Zippy and Wicked, from your lips to the Goddess’ ears….

    THAT little bit of reform would go farther than just about anything else, other than lifetime caps, recission, and pre-existing conditions.

    It’s the cost of health insurance that is the root of a lot of evil in the system. That, and the insurance company hubris that keeps them from being regulated much at all.

  32. PrairiePond

    Oh yeah, and while were making a wish list….
    Could they please allow importation of drugs? Please? Pretty please?

    Phuck big pharma!

  33. PrairiePond

    I gotta say, even though the mandate and lack of regulation makes me think this bill is more harmful than good, I am LOVING the repuke wailing and gnashing of teeth!

  34. Zippy

    The major problem–and I cannot say it enough–is that the debate has become between between who want to do something—anything—and these morons:

    Jello Biafra, who had his share of tinfoil-hat ideas in the 90s, nonetheless had a good point. But “becoming the media” means more than reporting on random service employees that annoy you, or parroting the latest fashionable conspiracy theory.

    The people in this forum generally look to facts, to the extent actual facts can be determined. But the Youtube generation has yet to realize the power in their hands–power that Comcast and others would like to kill before they can truly use it.

    Sorry for the seemingly off-topic rant.

    P.S. I fully understand Thunderchild’s sentiment. And, no, it was never about him. That should have been obvious, but it was a good talking point.

  35. wicked

    Amen, PrairiePond. I know several who cap out on their much needed (life-saving, to a point) meds early in the month or year. That points to both big insurance and big pharma. And don’t get me started on the FDA. Bunch of big pharma backers who will okay anything if enough money–for them–is involved.

    As for loving the teeth-gnashing…oh, yeah. I don’t know how many people keep saying they have great insurance, when it starts cutting into the basics of living–which it eventually will–a few will start seeing how their reps have turned their backs on them. Those numbers will grow, and we’ll see how happy they are then.

  36. PrairiePond

    Zippy, net neutrality is more important than most people realize. And it’s also more fragile than most folks understand. Give the fall of real, hard journalism, net neutrality is even more important.

    And… on a COMPLETELY different topic…

    If freeper heads are not exploding at a sufficient rate, this should help light more fuses. heheh.


    • wicked

      Screw Hasselbeck. (I don’t want to see a single person raise a hand on this opportunity.) I don’t watch talk TV–including The View, nor do I listen to talk radio. I can’t stand Oprah, never have. Why should I? She thinks highly enough of herself to need me or even others. Rosie is okay. Good to know she’ll be back on the air.

      –all from someone who used to watch Donahue and grew up with Johnny.

      • PrairiePond

        “Screw Hasselbeck”


        that is all


      • Zippy

        Rosie isn’t all that sharp, though, despite agreeing with Donald Trump on the whole “truther” flap, she has to smarter than him.

        I say that knowing full well how he got rich by working for his father, and has increased his wealth only by “being famous for being famous”–a new industry.

        If I’m riffing on Trump, it’s not just because of his excruciatingly moronic statement on global warming (he likes publicity, ya know?), but he’s perfect example of inherited wealth that does nothing useful or say anything remotely close to intelligent and still makes money.

        But don’t ask him about the New Jersey casinos or the bankruptcy proceedings of the past 20 years. He ain’t bankrupt. That’s all that matters to scum like him.

  37. Zippy

    I have $2600 of dental work that I need to do, over the course of 2 years. With insurance. I don’t expect that to change a bit. I’m better off than most people out there.

    I care more about those who are worse off, which is many people.

    Mr. Obama needs to dust off his chalkboard.

    This is not over.

  38. wicked

    What a bunch of babies. Wah Wah Wah

    (I should have thought of c-span online earlier)

    • PrairiePond

      Even though I think this bill is god awful, I am loving the whoopin’ the Dems are a puttin’ on the pukes. They are dancing on the Puke political graves. And singing “nanny nanny boo boo” as well.

      Cant wait until the final final vote. The Democratic speakers just put the WHIP on those pukes and repukes.

      That’s gotta leave a mark. heheheheh

  39. PrairiePond

    Governor Leadership sure has been MIA lately, hasnt she? I think she can kiss any eventual presidential ambitions buh-bye. Her role was really minor for getting this through.

    I guess there’s always a lobbyist or non-profit job she can nab when her term as Secretary is over.

    Gee, maybe she can be a water policy czar somewhere since she did such a bangup job on water policy in Kansas. (sarcasm off)

    I think when she went to Washington, she thought she’d be a bigger fish in the pond than the minnow she ended up actually being.

    But my guess is that she jumped after the Daschel thing because she knew what her tax cuts for business and the kicking the can down the road for education funding meeting the Kansas Supreme’s decisions would be hell on earth.

    Imagine if she were still the governator here. She’d have to actually own the consequenses of her actions regarding tax cuts and budgets. And it wouldnt be pretty.

  40. wicked

    That’s pretty much where I am, PrairiePond. It’s almost exhilarating to see the Dems with some balls.

    • PrairiePond

      Roger that, Wicked!

      Ya know, when I played and coached basketball, if a player, especially a shooter, was in a slump and couldnt buy a basket, the best thing to do was let them make a couple of easy ones under the rim to get their confidence back.

      This was, of course, not an easy shot under the rim, but maybe this will get the Democrats off their asses and out of their pity party about not being able to stand up and accomplish anything against the united defense of the repukes.

      Since the Democrats not only passed the bills but crushed the repukes at the end, maybe this victory will turn the tide and give them back their balls, ovaries and especially their spines.

      At a minimum, I hope it gives them confidence that they can actually stand up to the repuke bullies and their mighty wurlitzer media channels.

  41. wicked

    Who are those 30 House members not voting?

    • wicked

      Pretend I didn’t ask. DUH

    • wicked

      All that noise reminds me of the booksignings (Literacy for Life) at national conference each year. After 2 1/2 hours, I always came away with a blinding headache. 300 authors and hundreds of readers.

  42. fnord

    I am relieved and happy and without words. Once again Democrats passed legislation for the people.

  43. fnord

    WOW! Americans join other civilized nations who provide opportunities for their citizens!

    President Obama’s predecessors couldn’t get it done, but tonight the hope of over one hundred years comes to fruition!