If you have "no place to go," come here!

The Daschle Guides to Getting the Conclusion the Obama Team Wants on Heathcare

[I'm leaving this sticky because it's important and creative -- a virtual Daschle house party with reality-based material! But I'm also seeing people volunteering for house parties on the ground. Kudos to all on this thread, and let's do it! --lambert]

Edited to add:

RL house party volunteers as of 12/18:

  • allys gift in Baltimore
  • basement angel in L.A.
  • Paul Lukasiak in Philly
  • Me and the fab GF in Monroe/Seattle area

Can't host but will help a host:

  • ElizabethF in West Palm Beach

We also have document development:

  • -6Qs That Should Be Asked
  • -Press release and PSA templates
  • -Fun Facts factsheet

[I will revise and sharpen if others will draft. Perfection is not necessary! --lambert]

Keep a lookout for dates for virtual house parties here in the Mighty Corrente Building.

Via the PNHP website, I downloaded the Participant Guide PDF and the Moderator Guide PDF to HHS Sec.-designate Daschle's healthcare house parties thing just to take a quick look. My impressions as follows...

The Participant Guide begins with two pages identifying three big healthcare problems:

  1. First, health care costs are skyrocketing, hurting our families as well as our economy
  2. Second, over forty-five million Americans have no health insurance
  3. Third, our nation’s investment in prevention and public health is inadequate, leading to rapid spread of chronic diseases, many of which could be prevented entirely or managed

Each section has key facts about health insurance, healthcare, and other issues footnoted throughout. But these two pages aren't about facts; they're about appearing authoritative. Whether the data expressed in each bullet point is factual or not, combining them the way they have frames the problem about healthcare as lack of access to private health insurance.

The first and third bullet points are all about people being hurt by rising costs and lack of preventive care. The Obama team snuck in health insurance between the two, connecting them with a solution---access to health insurance.

Now to first question for discussion:

1. Briefly, from your own experience, what do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?

The construction of "what do you perceive" is a nice way of diminishing a person’s statements as only opinion. You're talking about your perception---not fact. All the relevant facts are footnoted in the preceding pages and connected to a concluding solution to our healthcare problems. (I'd suggest, too, that the most important part of the question is the use of the term "health system." If the question were, "What is the biggest problem with healthcare?" people would give answers the Obama team does not wants to hear.)

This question sets up the rest of the discussion. In fact, it may very well be the only question the group discusses.

The Moderator's Guide suggests the house party should last an hour to an hour and a half, with 15-20 or, it later says, 20-25 people involved.

The number of people is too big. Focus groups tend to be smaller, about 7 to 10 people---small enough so people feel comfortable speaking, but large enough to get an array of experiences. A trained moderator can control dominant and submissive relationships (not the kind you’re thinking, mind out of gutter) as well as chit-chat with a smaller group.

So why so many people? That the Obama team recommends this number suggests to me that the team is seeking, perhaps even relying on, the consensus effect. Some people actively adopt the opinions of the leader. Some people will tacitly accept the opinions of the leader. Some may not accept, but won’t speak up in such a large group. This benefits the Obama team as they can point to consensus, when there may be no such thing, on their stated positions.

The Moderator’s Guide continues, offering an eight-item agenda that doesn't include things like taking your coat off, going to the bathroom, or the group getting its picture taken. So in this hour to an hour and a half,

  1. The host should welcome everyone to the Health Care Community Discussion, introduce him/herself, and lead introductions.
  2. The host should give a short description of the purpose of the Health Care Community Discussions (there’s a sample paragraph).
  3. The host should go over the three goals of the Health Care Community Discussion: 1) To discuss health care reform and draft a submission to the Transition Health Policy Team; 2) To use a process to do this that respects and empowers attendees; and 3) To identify stories that exemplify the need for health care reform. My note: This chunk includes the gratuitous sentence: “Please stress that everyone should conduct the meeting like President-elect Obama would: respecting everyone, listening to everyone’s opinion, and engaging in spirited discussion without being disagreeable.” Would someone please tell Dear Leader I just barfed?
  4. The moderator (if someone other than the host) should start leading the discussion by explaining his/her role to listen, facilitate discussion, and answer any questions on the process.
  5. Pass out the Health Care Community Discussion Participant Guide. Attendees should take 5-10 minutes reading the document.
  6. The group should then select a note taker.
  7. The group should decide whether they want to address all discussion questions or instead focus on a particular area.
  8. The group should decide how much time to spend for each topic in the Participant Guide. If the group is discussing all the questions, it should spend 5 to 10 minutes per question.
  9. Use the discussion questions in the Participant Guide to guide the conversation, and make sure the group follows the agreed timing. Try to make sure that each attendee has a chance to give input and contribute to what will eventually be submitted online to the Transition Health Policy Team. Help the group get past any obstacles. My note: How do you get 15-20 people to participate in a discussion if you only have 5-10 minutes for each question? Easy---you get them to shut up and look like they agree.
  10. Draft the Submission to the Transition Health Policy Team: The group can have the note taker draft its submission to the Transition Health Policy Team as it goes along or at the end of the discussion. Encourage brevity and plain language. My note: The fastest way to do this is to copy material in the Participant’s Guide.
  11. Fill Out Participant Surveys: Pass out the Participant Survey (at the end the Participant Guide) and collect completed surveys from everyone.*
  12. Listen for Compelling Stories: Identify participants with stories that would be good features to highlight the need for health care reform. (The host/moderator should submit names, contact information, and a summary of stories with the group submission.) My note: This really doesn’t need comment, but I will anyway. This is about finding horribly stories to insert into speeches.
  13. Closing: Thank everyone for their participation.

The questions continue:

2. How do you choose a doctor or hospital? What are your sources of information? How should public policy promote quality health care providers?

3. Have you or your family members ever experienced difficulty paying medical bills? What do you think policy makers can do to address this problem?

4. In addition to employer-based coverage, would you like the option to purchase a private plan through an insurance-exchange or a public plan like Medicare?

5. Do you know how much you or your employer pays for health insurance? What should an employer’s role be in a reformed health care system?

6. Below are examples of the types of preventive services Americans should receive. Have you gotten the prevention you should have? If not, how can public policy help?

The moderator is supposed to guide participants into deciding if they want to discuss all the questions or just those that interest them. Of the questions offered in this document,which ones are the most likely to engender discussion? For example, question 2 is like the peanuts in a can of mixed nuts---would you go to a meeting like this to talk about how you found your healthcare provider? (Note: Interesting it's doctors and hospitals, not healthcare providers. Lots of competent people provide healthcare, ya know, not just people with an MD after their names.)

Question 2 is either a skip or a quick answer: "My HMO gives me a list, I picked someone." No drama, so not worth much in the discussion, unless your doctor or hospital messed up---and that becomes a great story for further propaganda or a way to bond.

Question 3 is all about engendering group identification. This is particularly important if we're talking about a group of people who may not know each other well. Even strangers can bond over stories of an asshole boss or asshole doctor or asshole insurance company.

Questions 4 and 5 are both based on a pre-determined solution. And it ain't healthcare for all.

Question 6 focuses on people talking about their personal health. Some people love to talk about themselves (with all the assorted details), but few want to hear about it. And by the time they get to this one, it's way past an hour and a half and everyone is hungry.

So these questions are designed to set up other groups (doctors, hospitals, people who don't take care of themselves) as enemies standing in our way to affordable health insurance---not about developing healthcare for all. It's someone else's fault and on that, the group can agree.

Now the survey.

1. What do you perceive is the biggest problem in the health system?
a. Cost of health insurance
b. Cost of health care services
c. Difficulty finding health insurance due to a pre-existing condition
d. Lack of emphasis on prevention
e. Quality of health care

What a crock. Whoever wrote this survey can take any response that does not conform and chuck it out of the final result.

2. What do you think is the best way for policy makers to develop a plan to address the health system problems?
a. Community meetings like these
b. Traditional town hall meetings
c. Surveys that solicit ideas on reform
d. A White House Health Care Summit
e. Congressional hearings on C-SPAN

This is about how to make people feel like they’re involved in the process in a meaningful way, when in fact this is a way to get people on board with bad policy. My bet is that they’ve already planned and scheduled to do all, especially the summit thing.

3. After this discussion, what additional input and information would best help you to continue to participate in this great debate?
a. More background information on problems in the health system
b. More information on solutions for health reform
c. More stories on how the system affects real people
d. More opportunities to discuss the issues

You just gave the Obama team permission to get more propaganda and to ask you to fill out more skewed surveys with the answers the Obama team wants.

Your turn. I need coffee and some Cheerios.

No votes yet


bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Advocates for single payer should swamp these meetings. I expect the Moderator position will be assigned from lists of loyal operatives, but that's no reason to avoid the meetings. Show up, have a prepared set of statements, voice your opinion and don't take "Time's up" for a reason to shut up. These meetings are designed to build consensus, so speak up and lead the participants to one built around single-payer.

This plan is a community organizer's dream. Use it to rouse the rabble. Invite the local press, raise a ruckus and get coverage in the news for single-payer. They're asking for public participation, so give it to them - take this process and shove it right back down the throat of the entrenched interests. Don't forget to say Many Thanks! to President-elect Obama for serving up such a softball.

Thanks, ohio, for wading through and summarizing the document. You're likely right about their intentions, but I see this as a great chance for single-payer activists to seize the conversation. Lemons to lemonade opportunity if ever one were.

Submitted by ohio on

Provided single payer folk can make it to the events during the holioday season. I didn't go into the structuring of these events because lambert already mentioned how it excludes people because they don't have childcare or a car, use a wheelchair to get around, work second or third shifts or a second job, fight the weather (we've had 16 inches of snow since yesterday---we aren't going anywhere)---or even know when the events will take place because they're not open invites. And the website has crap on what to do if the press shows up.

But if single-payer advicates want to break this thing wide open, they could, especially by organizing virtual house parties online. Like the one we're having here.

We're having one, right, lambert? Maybe more than one?

And encouraging our bretheren and sisteren to do the same.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

is not a likely plan. Those in power have no incentive to empower the marginalized, they went to a lot of trouble already to create the division. With this sort of event, you just have to work with what avails.

But it doesn't take overwhelming force. An open meeting of 20-25 people can be driven by one strong voice, and totally controlled by three. As to the press, who says they have to announce themselves? Local papers are still full of people who want to do actual journalism; maybe some will be interested in showing up to stand to one side with a tape recorder running in their pocket and ask questions when it's all done, just to get the moderator's name straight. You don't need bright lights and a shoulder-mount camera to be a reporter.

Interestingly, all those Big3 auto workers are off work for the holidays; if they thought single payer would help keep their jobs and keep wages where they are, maybe they'd like to show up at the house parties with a voice or two.

Plus, of course, hold meetings on line; well worthwhile.

Submitted by hipparchia on

should it prove inconveniently inclined to anti-obama-ness, was probably the most-mentioned item on the agenda at the house party i went to.

i didn't get a chance to steer the group into a consensus on single payer, but i did get them to spend a lot of time on healthcare, and no consensus emerged for the obama plan either, so it wasn't a total loss. i don't mind having to settle for the role of janey appleseed occasionally.

yeah, my employer is sending us all home for the holidays too. i intend to make use of that time.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

This is about how to make people feel like they’re involved in the process in a meaningful way, when in fact this is a way to get people on board with bad policy.

Kinda like getting on bored with a weak candidate?

From my experience I don't think infiltrating will work with this group. Judging by the questions, it seems as though they already have their "solutions" in mind. And really, how many more stories do we need? Everyone pretty much knows what we need anyway, don't they? This is about cover, plain and simple. Who's tracking the "surveys"? Who's going over the information? What we learned from PB1.0 this cycle is that a few folks intent on gaming the system can get their desired response by "troll rating" or running dissenters out of town. Since these are the same people, why do we think they would operate any differently?

"Fool me twice--I won't get fooled again."

Submitted by ohio on

Like athlete's foot. Only, you know, less fungal-y and gross.

And honestly, do you think I'd let someone outshout me in my own house? If you think so, then please tell me when you fell down, hit your head, and went crazy.

I was mulling over BIO's suggestion bringing the press in. This might work, especially if we spin it as as positive outgrowth of the Obama Team's "grassroots" effort on healthcare. "Golly, we were talking about health insurance and suddenly Grandma Jones went crazy with demanding healthcare for all and we all realized she was right, like a light shown down from heaven..." blah blah blah.

I understand your pessimism, G. But I got to fight. And a virtual house party on this would be fun (and we're funny, goddammit). And maybe (I know, the odds are bout a gazillion to one), maybe, we make them shift a bit to a better solution. Because there is a better solution and that's healthcare for all.

And the "Uniquely American" thing pisses me off.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

If HCAN already has their minds made up, what difference does it make to infiltrate their sham meetings if discussions at the low level will be ignored?

I'm not advocating doing nothing. But if you look at how union busting outfits operate, they often set up sham meetings and discussions. Its not until the workers get away from the shams and do their own organizing that they can build enough of a power base to actually influence change. If you think working within this group will work, then I'm all for trying. I just don't think this group will ever care about people's opinions.

Yeah, I'm cynical. But what can I say? Obama sucked all the hope out of me.

Submitted by ohio on

But this isn't about them anymore. This is about me. And you. Well, mostly about me. Heh.

I don't know what will happen, my dear. I know that maybe our uniquely American solution is to be found by stealing someone else's idea: healthcare for all.

A longshot? Oh, my, yes. But what do we have to lose? We hang out, have some drinks, ponder, worry, laugh. So Team Obama doesn't listen---I don't expect them to. While we may not be able to reason or shame them into doing the right thing, we may be able to embarass them into it.

They hate being embarassed.

G., I think you're great.

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

With the same kind of result: people feel like they are being heard when they are actually being used to validate pre-determined policies (a la 4 out of 5 dentists recommend X) through group intimidation.

Submitted by ohio on

But I'm sick of being treated like my-way-or-the-highway, you know? There is another way and that is to take back what is ours as citizens and as human beings. No politician is going to give up power willingly (hell, I won't give up power willingly neither and I ain't no stinking politician), but we have our own sneaky and quite entertaining abilities to move them toward doing what's right.

For me, it comes down to being willing to use the power I have to embarass the hell out of 'em. Money and humiliation they understand. "Make me!" is the hallmark of people in power. Okay, fine. We'll make 'em.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

support for single-payer.

Not everyone who will be there has made up their mind, but they have made the effort to show up and demonstrated their interest in health care -- which makes them a fertile ground for planting the single-payer seed.

I'm guessing that many of the people who show up know something about the issue, but are not as well versed as they could be. They may not know about HR 676 or whether or not their Rep. has signed on as a co-sponsor, has expressed hostility or is neutral.

If someone shows up with a compelling argument for HR 676 and is prepared to refute the propaganda against it, these are people who could be convinced to become more involved and invested in its passage.

BIO's absolutely right about this being a great opportunity. I would add to it by saying that if you can come prepared with additional written information, that would be very helpful. It allows people to go back and review and absorb the information after they've left (it also gives them something to use to convince to their like-minded friends if they're not prepared to present the case themselves), it allows you to pass along the info even if you are filibustered and are unable to present the full case during the meeting itself.

Along with the info about subject itself, bringing along suggestions of things they can do to help influence the decision-makers will do wonders. You'd be surprised how many people are intimidated by the thought of contacting their elected representatives -- they want to do something, but literally don't know where to start.

Give them pointers for contacting their Reps., e.g., a phone call carries more weight than an email, a written letter, faxed or mailed, carries more weight than a phone call and an in-person visit to the congressional office carries the most weight of all.

Give them pointers on how to compose a letter, or important things to convey in a phone call.

All of these things can be written and prepared beforehand and for people whose prior political acts begin and end with voting, very, very useful.

Submitted by hipparchia on

... and then grandma went all crazy on us ... like a light shone down from heaven ...

we are a fun group, and a smart one too. your spin is a good one.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

Have you or anyone in your family ever failed to seek medical attention even though you had a condition which indicated it and were covered by insurance, because you could not afford the co-pays and/or deductible?

I don't think this is identical to the question of having trouble paying medical bills. It's a question of not generating them in the first place

[Dang. I think I'm in that position right now. And it reminded me of Susie's post, although my condition is a lot less scary.]

The questions you've listed do seem very tilted to having the group come up with, essentially, the Obama plan as it was presented in the primaries. Bleh. I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it.

Submitted by ohio on

"Have you or anyone in your family ever failed to seek medical attention even though you had a condition which indicated it and were covered by insurance, because you could not afford the co-pays and/or deductible?"

Deserves a repeat.

(And I'm sorry to hear you may be having trouble in this regard.)

Lambert! Hey, LAMBERT! Can we have one house party night featuring the Six Questions Daschle Should Have Asked?

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

have our online meeting (or several), stick our answers into one of these Obama guides's questions and send it in.

Will it matter that our answers aren't responsive to the questions asked? No. That is what politicians do all the time, it's their lifeblood -- no matter what question is asked of you, ignore the question and respond with your talking points (ad nauseum). Granted, sometimes I can hardly blame politicians for doing so, the MSM questions are so stupid. But let's grab that strategy.

I'm not so confident about the swamping the meetings idea on single payer unless it will really be possible to swamp individual meetings (or at least critical-mass them). One or two or even five voices, no matter how strong the arguments, how well-supported the facts raised, or how well-spoken the speakers, this group-hug setup is specifically designed to counter any rationality outside the policy goals already decided on. (not to mention, even critical mass is useless unless you can grab the Notetaker task).

Instead (or in addition to?) let's figure out how to make some of us the Team Leader (or whatever the title is), hold our own meetings and submit our own responses.

Then, if the 'right' answers are totally ignored (a fair probability), we'll at least have our own set of talking points to spread into the online conversation at least.

Submitted by ohio on

All sneaky like that. Yes, we upload answers to our 6Qs that ought to be on the survey---or print them out and mail them in. Or both.

I get a rash from Kumbaya, so I get your leery-ness. OTOH, maybe we can swing all the group hugginess to single payer by just saying, "This is change we can believe in."

You just have to register at to become a Moderator. Then you host the event---or have someone else do all the talking if you don't feel like youc an do that. Then you upload the draft of your healthcare statement and upload the survey results on the website. And they want pictures and if anyone tells a really horrific story, they want their names and contact info.

That part creeps me out. Actually, the whole thing creeps me out, but goddamit, enough already.

So, it looks like Paul L. is going to host. We're going to host. Anybody else?

How about some Corrente barbarians to invade the land of Kumbaya? We will arm you with those little cocktail swords they use to skewer maraschino cherries.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

but these events will be controlled by those who show up, if single payer people succeed in flooding these meetings single payer will control these meetings. Never mind that, if single payer host these meetings we will control the results.

Submitted by ohio on

The fab GF and I are discussing offering to host one of these. All of you in the area (Seattle/Monroe/Everett), would you be interested? C'mon G., you know you want to come out to the country and have Indian food. Ask Joni and jjm, maybe Ron?

We could meet at our SB house, though, heh, there's no toilet in there and the port-a-potty is going away any day now. Would keep the meeting short, for sure. (Scotty the plumber will be by the week after Xmas, so if you can hold it till then...or at least be sure you have insurance in case your bladder explodes. And if your bladder does explode, you better make it outside or I will not be held responsible for my actions.)

We'll try to decide tonight if we can do this and if so, I'll post details. At minimum, I think I'll re-do the survey to see if it can reflect a bit more of you know, real life.

And unrelated but interesting: 16" of snow since yesterday and it's still coming down.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I'm willing to put cynicism aside. But I have to say, the snow and my driving do not at all mix. The last thing I need is to have to pay a deductible to get a car fixed.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

I'd be willing to host a party myself.

IMHO, single payer advocates shouldn't just be talking about "invading" other house parties, they should be organizing their own within the Obama-scam framework. Have the party -- and invite the press to YOUR party -- and send out press releases about the results of YOUR party....

so where are all the single payer advocates in philly? I mean, we should be able to get a bunch of these things going -- register with Obama-scam, publicize among the single payer community, and then make sure that the media hears about these "Obama House Parties" that are demanding single payer!

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

ultimately the hosts will control their events, so the more single payer advocates willing to do this, the better.

Submitted by ohio on

Or I'll show you yours if you'll show me mine. Hang on, that's that non-gay bar pickup line I heard back when I had a fake ID.

If you host, we'll host. We have a deal.

So, how about a plan of action sort of like:

1. Lambert maybe sets up some online virtual meetings, including 6Qs We Should Be Asking. Maybe that one first so we can develop some talking points and facts to back them up?

2. A template for press releases and public service announcements? I can do some, who else? Also, always good to have a solid quote and a contact person for reporters to call for background. Connect local effort with national and we'll get some attention.

DCBlogger, do you know someone we can use as our national go to?

3. Shared list of media contacts with a focus on local media. I have some, who else? Lambert, can we upload media listings or otherwise have them here for use? Or would that be a pain in the buttockal region?

4. Host and invader posts on the Calendar. And report on what happens, y'all.

5. Is it time for Corrente shirts? We can wear 'em at these events. Hahahaha. Rabblebranding.

6. Basically, we brand everything with a specific graphic---a single payer visual, so when we have pictures or video or any other crap, right front and center is a big-ass "SINGLE PAYER" or "HEALTHCARE FOR ALL" or something else that cannot be photoshopped out. Maybe sheet stickers people can wear during the events and an e-file of the artwork for putting on photos before sharing? Anybody want to give a logo a shot? I have an idea for one, but you all are creative.

Submitted by lambert on

1. Define "online virtual"? How different from a sticky post with comments?

2. What's your idea for a graphic? That seems to be the issue for Cafe Press shirts.

Submitted by ohio on

self as host. And a bit of notice in the side margin prior. You know, like you did before with PB2.0.

2. I like the Corrente logotype and tag myself, with the URL handily nearby. I don't really care about the whacking squash. Logotype over the left side where a pocket would be, screened or embroidered. I'd keep it one color (two at most) unless the whacking squash comes into play, then that's a lot more color.

Corrente set center as treated in the header, Boldly shrill ital underneath, URL above. Corrente width about 2.5" to 3" wide. I don't know about colors, though I tend to like it simple. Maybe Corrente as the central color in the palette (white or black) and Boldly and URL in Ivory or Olive like the website colors---depending on the shirt color. Or Corrente in Ivory or Olive depending on shirt color and Boldly and the URL in white or black.

Edited to add: or did you mean the Healthcare for all graphic? I'll post one tomorrow when I fire up Sluggo, my production machine. It's just a logotype, green and blue, very simple, and will print in grayscale for people who don't have color printers.

Submitted by ohio on

lambert, old sport, I'll need the font and color palette to do these correctly (I totally cheated these). But I'll only do it if the concept works for you. Basic logotype and right to the point.



And this is the healthcare for all brand stamp.


Submitted by hipparchia on

awfully good people, even if they're obama fans, would you invite them? i'll let them know about it if so.

also, field negro is in philadelphia. can't hurt to invite fellow bloggers, unless you're like me and are trying to keep your online and rl identities separate.

Submitted by hipparchia on

but yeah, *i* think he should invite them both,

ElizabethF's picture
Submitted by ElizabethF on

but I will go and help organize and participate. I live in t S Florida, West Palm Beach.

Just let me know. I'll be there.

Submitted by ohio on

Do we have any online tools for "LET ME KNOW" kinds of things like this? Would the Groups function handle that?

If it does, do we need someone to be the regional host? For example, could ElizabethF be the West Palm Beach contact and people can sign up for notice of regional activities?

ElizabethF, I'm not volunteering you, just using you as an example to see what kind of functionality lambert added to this fancy-shmancy new design. I'll volunteer you later, when I know what kind of magical power we can access. Heh.

Submitted by ohio on

Kidding. You don't have a tractor with a plow attachment.

I was thinking a Calendar with a Reminder feature. For example, ElizF signs up to be the West Palm Beach Rabble Wrangler*. If you join her group, you can request a reminder maybe two or three days in advance. A one-time pop-up when you first login/show up here.


*Okay, "Rabble Wrangler" is pretty catchy. I amy keep using that.

Submitted by lambert on

Sounds doable. And see comment below on audio/video capture...

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

has put up a video clip of Billy Jean Kling talking about her family's need of some kind of universal healthcare. For those of you who don't know the story, her son died of cancer a few years ago without insurance. Her daughter, who is also uninsured, now has 3rd stage ovarian cancer. Her other daughter has been shot by an abusive spouse and is clinging to life - although that happened after this video.

But it is heartbreaking watching this woman who facing the fact that her family may, literally, not survive if Hillary isn't the nominee.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

If you can fix it and would like to, please do.

I posted the link because it struck me as being awfully real after reading about the unreality that the Obama camp is cooking up. I don't have health insurance, Brad can't get it. I make too much money for county and not enough for premiums. And nothing is going to be done to change that.

For Betty Jean, and myself, Hillary's candidacy coming to an end probably means we don't have access to healthcare for many, many years to come. Physicians don't want to see you if you don't have insurance because they are afraid you will not be able to do what they recommend and that they will get sued when you get sick. So, you're just stuck. Betty Jean tells that story in as a pungent a way as I can imagine.

I'll host a party here in Los Angeles. All we have left is our principles. Might as well fight for 'em.

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

About having to change doctors or face crippling deductibles when you're being treated for a long-term illness and you change jobs or your employer changes insurers. Which is actually happening in my immediate family as well.

[Sheesh. I really don't need to have it brought home so hard just how much our health "care" system sucks dead owls, right at this moment.]

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

Rewriting and posting the participant guide, that is, the questions? (I can probably arrange to PDF it for download)

I have to warn everybody that (a) we have a RL deadline of 12/31 (since that's when the house parties stop) and (b) that I have significant (non-holiday) RL issues for the next few days (I hope).

Does somebody want to take a hack at the rewrite? Ohio? Hipparchia? gob? ALN? DCB? Then we can post and discuss.

What I should do is fix the calendar module. It had a bug, and I took it down. I'll put that on the top of my list, because we'll need it ASAP.

Sound good?

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

I'm jammed up for the next few days with end-of-semester stuff, but may have some free time after that. Um, like on the 25th...

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

what about posting notice at some OFB sites like DU or myDD? Would that be a problem in terms of commenting? The point is not to start a pie fight with OFB people, but to plant the seeds.

Submitted by ohio on

pod-peoply. That kills me.

Whatever lambert says. If his servers (and his patience) can take it, he has my full support.

You know, this is a good idea. So what do you think, we make a concerted effort to inform as soon as we have our first virtual house party date set?

Submitted by hipparchia on

oh, darn, you said no pie fight. drat.

that's a great idea. and cheetopia too.

Submitted by ohio on

Revision of the survey with our 6Qs That Should Be Asked. A little night has two. We can add some more. I can start tomorrow and will post as I go.

2. Volunteers for hosting should speak up and start scheduling. If you want to go through, do so, but if you don't want to, then don't. But everybody please keep in contact---carpooling, hosting, or being a Corrente barbarian are all things we want to document and share.

3. Gather media contacts---basically, your local papers and radio/TV. Even if its the editor of your neighborhood rag, get the contact info. They're looking for stories and this is a good one.

4. PR and PSA templates. If DCB has a national contact we can include, great, otherwise, we keep moving forward. I can start on these, too.

5. Fun fact sheet. Can anyone cull some of the great one-line facts hipp, DCB, and others have posted? These are things you can print and hand out at a meeting for people to consider. Goes with the healthcare for all talking points.

6. Pick dates for our online virtual house parties.

Sound good?

Submitted by hipparchia on

i lurve me some facts, happy to provide you with some [ok, a lot], but maybe you should ask me a few questions that you want answered. i'm buried deep enough in this that i'm in love with the esoteric, and have lost touch with what it's like to be a doubter. this is why i mostly talk about this one-on-one irl, because i answer just the questions that the person in front of me wants to ask.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

I can turn it into the simple.

That's what writing good headlines is about.

"10 facts you need to know before deciding on a better health care system."

Say. Try for 10. Formula will be catchphrase + explanation + link to evidence. You can make a stab at the catchphrases and I'll edit them and the explanations.

Try to take out that "values" stuff and reframe that "uniquely American" to "not wanting to learn from others." (The corporate jargon would be we want "best of breed" solutions. Surprise, that's single payer....)

Submitted by ohio on

Another important jargon term: Stakeholders. As in, "We are all equal stakeholders in our healthcare system."

We could offer our own brand:

"Healthcare American Style"

"Healthcare the American Way: We're All In"

"Healthcare to the Power of All." (Okay, I admit I think this one is really good, but I'm in love with my own cleverness.)

Submitted by lambert on

"Health care is a right." He said it, therefore it is not questionable (and therefore Daschle doesn't understand what Obama really meant...)

Take that as a starting point.

Health care is the right of every American.

So, who's taking our rights away?

(IOW, I think the human rights frame is more appropriate than the stakeholder frame. That puts it right back in the corporate context.)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

every day -- even now.

do you in any way think that statement has real meaning in terms of his policies/programs -- esp on something he attacked so much during the campaign in such a Republican way -- healthcare?

Submitted by ohio on

I reckon I'm trying to use what striking workers use---the old "work to rule." You follow the rules---exactly as laid out---and watch as everything grinds to a halt.

This is our work-to-rule opportunity. Dude said it was a right, I want my damn rights. Dude says he wants feedback, I'll give him feedback.

C'mon, doesn't it sound like a little bit of fun? I mean, he got all caught up in his own rhetoric and now we get to stick it to him.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i agree, human rights is the way to go.

this issue is so very full of corporate jargon... stakeholders, high-value this, high-performance that, quality... we need to ignore all of that and restate every bit of it in our own words.

Submitted by ohio on

then we wouldn't be pushing this. If appealing to human rights is all we needed, hell's bells...

Usually the only stakeholder who interests me is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But if I have to whip out the jargon, I'll do it. And it's not a lie---IMHO, corporate jargon actually serves a purpose and being fluent in it doesn't mean you've sold your soul to the devil. Which would be pointless anyway because 1) there is no devil and 2) it's a buyer's market and you'd get paid so little, it's not worth the paperwork.

Saying that are stakeholders as much as hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the like, is a true statement. One of the problems with the current and the Team Obama schemes are that we are only seen as consumers, without any interest in defining the problem, creating a solution, or participating in the opportunities presented in a change in how we do business regarding healthcare. But we do have interests here, profound interests that aren't limited to appeals to our better angels. (FTR, here is no such thing as angels and when someone says that more people in the U.S. believe in angels than evolution, this is not something to be proud of or to exploit for political gain. But I digress...)

Once policy makers realize that we have a vested interest here---that we are stakeholders---not only in receiving care but in creating a healthcare system that works for all will be a good thing.

(Really, I don't care how we get the truth out there as long as we do. I'm just a little edgy today. No offense intended, hipparchia.)

Submitted by hipparchia on

buffy rocks, but otherwise, no.

obama is the consummate corporatocrat, he doesn't need us to come up with the right jargon, or even the logical justifications. he and daschle both already know that single payer is the way to go, and they both have already acknowledged that in public.

you were right the first time, when you were talking to amber about work-to-rule. obama has said that this is our chance to influence his policy, and he has said that health care is a right, so we go with that.

and no this isn't because doing the right thing is all it takes... what it takes is scaring them into doing what we want. sit ins, shut downs, walk outs, this is the kind of stuff that strikes fear into the little black hearts of the corporatocracy. they really don't want the unruly, unwashed masses to crash the gates of their idyllic gated communities.

the obama team has co-opted the classic rules and structure of community organizing with these house parties, so now we take it all back from them. the first step is a polite, veiled threat: we use their channels they've set up [heh, with some modification], their time frame they've set up, but we throw out their words and put in our own.

also, single payer is all about throwing quite a large number of stakeholders under the bus, so we really don't even want to be the ones to bring that up.

[thick skin, i has it. i come from a family that's generations-long in politicians, political activists, and political cartoonists; it's purt' near impossible to offend me, but you're welcome to keep trying if you need someone to practice on :)]

Submitted by ohio on

And has defined the stakeholders as everyone but patients. But claiming patients as the major stakeholders wrests away from opponents the definitions on which they base a poor set of arguments against single payer.

The corporatist (that's a bullshit word, frankly) argument for single payer is a better argument than the corporatist argument for the Team Obama scheme. Single payer makes, in fact, a better business argument---these are strengths, not weaknesses. So why not work those strengths?

But as I say, not an either/or. I just think that an argument based on human rights will not be enough. Why not? Because it already would have if it was going to.

Emotional appeals work. Arguments based on money work. Fear of embarassment or losing power work---we're totally in agreement there. But refusing to use corporate jargon truthfully (yes, it can be done) is a winning tactic why exactly? So we don't sound like them? And this is an advantage how?

Submitted by lambert on

Ohio, can you get the stakeholder style justification into a paragraph?

Then we can combine.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It suggests that everyone with a vested interest deserves consideration, as in "health insurers have a big stake in this, so we'd better listen to and address their concerns!"

Submitted by hipparchia on

refusing to use corporate jargon here is the equivalent of community organizing [obama's specialty years ago, and the process that i'm arguing team obama has co-opted/corrupted here]. agreeing to use corporate jargon here is the equivalent of community development --

In contrast with community organizing, community development efforts focus not on taking power away from the powerful but instead on working through collaborative relationships (often with the powerful) to improve communities.

Community development is not infrequently driven by a “deficit” perspective on impoverished communities. This deficit vision can make these communities seem as if they are mostly made up of problems (often problem people) that need to be “fixed” by outside agencies. These efforts are often led by outside organizations and/or professionals with limited long-term connection to the communities they are trying to assist. Institutions like large hospitals, public school systems, and banks often engage in this kind of “top down” community development. Sadly, this perspective also pervades many groups in impoverished areas that represent themselves as “community-based,” since they are usually run by people whose backgrounds, lifestyle, living situation, and understandings are quite different from those of residents.

On the other hand, an increasingly popular approach is referred to as “asset-based community development,” which tries to emphasize that communities always contain many resources as well as challenges. Asset-based approaches take a “half-full” instead of “mostly-empty” perspective on community institutions and individuals. And they try to mobilize the resources already available in a community for its own improvement. These assets include the skills and leadership of community members and the capacities of existing local institutions (like churches). The asset-based approach, in the ideal, follows a democratic process guided by authentic representatives of the communities or group being served. Because impoverished communities do, in fact, lack the level of resources available to the privileged, however, these efforts are also generally supported by outside agencies and funders.

Community development of both kinds often involves providing direct services to individuals and families like food, mortgage counseling, and medical help. More broadly, community development includes efforts to build new housing, beautify blighted areas, form business incubators, hire more police, and other similar projects.

To one extent or another, however, both types of community development share the conviction that community improvement can be accomplished through an essentially cooperative process. Community development broadly understood, then, tends not to threaten the “powers that be.” The cooperative approach of community developers and the (at least initially) conflictual approach of community organizers is a key distinction between them.

[lots more on community organizing here and here]

anyway, i would like us to use this event as an opening salvo in the mode of community organizing, laying out our demands -- single payer! medicare for all! hr 676!

we can worry about maybe cooperating later; team obama already knows single payer will help main street [car mfrs, homeowners, sick people, their doctors] and hurt wall street [insurance companies are wall street through and through] and they have definitely shown themselves to be on the side of wall street.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i'm working on my own rewrite right now....

i don't see any reason why we can't each do our own. the one consensus we've got, without even trying, is that we need single payer. if everybody arrives at the same conclusion a little differently, i think that's actually a better demonstration overall.

then maybe we could all just post our own versions here over the next few days [or up until midnight 12/31] and you make them into a book [pdf, and one here at corrente too, if you're so inclined] for us as soon after that as is convenient for you, and email the link and a synopsis to daschle, post it at change. gov [i've got an account set up, though no posts yet, i could do that much], post it at my.barackobama.whateveritis [i've got an account there too], ....

didn't i see vl speaking in a homemade video on one of his blogs? he could make a short video, add it here, post it on you tube [yep, i've got an account there too] ....

wouldn't even have to host a liveblogging, which should help with the rl crunch.

Submitted by ohio on


You share, I'll share, everybody share. Everything goes into the stack and use what is useful to you.

All I ask is that every sheet of paper/PDF/page/email have HEALTHCARE FOR ALL or HR676 or SINGLE PAYER in the footer or header. Use the logotype above if you want. This is a way to connect all these disparate voices visually, and that makes it easy for anyone to see we share this same concern.

They may not read all the words but they will catch those words. I'll create a set of logotypes people can use however they want.

I'll check in in the a.m.

Submitted by hipparchia on

first thing you do is divide your prospective grant-givers into 2 piles -- those who are impressed by poundage, and those who want you to sum up your entire 10-year project into 2 paragraphs and a handful of bullet points...

change that healthcare for all to medicare for all and i'm with ya.

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

The PDF is great, but can drive the live blog. Yes?

If the live-blog were in the last week of the month, Xmas to New Years, my RL stuff should be over. And traffic will be lower, but OTOH few people will be trying to make noise, so we might stand out.

If there's a logo, I can set up cafe press, too.

Maybe we should have a permanent stick on this? Or set up an organic group?

allys gift's picture
Submitted by allys gift on

the guide and survey, I'll host a single payer party in Baltimore under the Obama banner. I never did anything for him before (I campaigned for Clinton), but co-opt his lousy healthcare plan, THAT I will do for him. (I'm such a softy).

Submitted by lambert on

And the survey?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I am just blown away by the commitment and iniative shown by residents of the Mighty Corrente Building! Go Team!!!!!!!!!!!!

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

What do we want? Single payer!
When do we want it? Now!

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

I just installed a survey tool, so when we're ready, we can create the survey and then blogwhore the hell out of it. Nobody else is doing this!

Ohio, Hipparchia, say the word; I can take what's here and put it together, or you can put it together and I'll enter it into the survey tool.

I am tame; pronounce.

Submitted by ohio on

Doing all the technology like you do.

We got our fifteen questions and the three question survey revision I did.

Can your survey take an "Other" with room for responses or is it multi-choice only? If only multi, I bet we could take some of the questions from the 15 and mush 'em up to work.

If you want to take a crack at it, do. I think that would be great as you're better at the boil down than I am.

Should I revise the press release to be an email release with Corrente notable quotables? We emphasize the online survey here and the desire for single-payer? This strikes me as useful. If those Correntians who wish want to email it to interested parties, or post it---that vastleft and pie would spread the word, you know.

I know a contact email for people to respond to for more,,, or something. Give it to me here or with the PR (or email, I don't care) and I'll revise for it to fit the whoopdee survey at Corrente.

Nice, bro.