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vastleft's picture

This typist, 12/9/09:

The vacuum created by a vapid agenda and zero criticism for a process in which Dems lied to high heaven about being open and transparent and considering all options is leading to essential policy being decided in a panicky clusterfuck for the ages.

Shit and sausage everywhere, and not a health inspector in sight.

Something's going to be slapped on the plate NOW NOW NOW, with the barest deliberation and even less — surprise! — transparency.

Recalls to me the old ads, "is this any way to run an airline?"

At this point, I'd suggest they fly this monstrosity into the Potomac and hope it will take out as few innocent people as possible.

Who knows what further monstrosities will be slipped into the bill as various and sundry claims of inclusiveness, prudence, and public review are either sucked down the memory hole or are bronzed as historically historic by Truthy Believers?

Don't worry, they'll only affect the people under the bus, which for them is apparently "the right side of history."

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Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

I've long suspected that they will make certain health care debts non dischargeable in bankruptcy, like student loan debt is.

They rationale would be that everyone is required to buy insurance and those that can't afford it are given subsidies.

I have no basis for this particular suspicion other than the fact this thing keeps getting worse and worse.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It has to be passed NOW NOW NOW!

Do you want to be "on the wrong side of history"?

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

To the Wells Fargo advert I got in the mail yesterday. "Urgent Notice" it said, I needed to sign up for their free credit protection product or I wouldn't get access to the credit I deserved and might suffer some horrible consequences.* I needed to act right away and get my "Free Credit Report"** as well and protect myself.

Our society is run by hucksters and thieves.

*And subsequently $15.99 a month if I, like most people, failed to call back within 30 days and canceled the product (and if the worker would have accurately processed my cancellation).
**Not really free--I guess the capitalization means they can lie?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... they're following a doctrine of shocking us into submission, or something.

Submitted by jawbone on

of junk insurance. This was news in WI when I was out there over the holidays: Buyers of high deductible, high copay insurance would have to take out special credit cards for use for medical expenses.

It would take the problems of collections off the backs of the providers and leave the patient with fewer means of negotiating rates. Just put on your credit card, pay off over time, dear needy patient.

Apparently, fewer and fewer of the insurees with junk insurance can come up with the high cost of using care...they're almost getting as bad as people without insurance. But they still have some assets, so they can be frightened into paying and paying and paying.

Gives new importance to the bankruptcy law changes the credit card companies worked so very hard to get through Congress, doesn't it?

And I can clearly see your point: Buying insurance is a duty of any citizen; some premiums are subsidized by tax reveneus; ergo, why should it be subject to forgiveness through bankruptcy?

We have Corporatist pols working overtime to develop means of returning us to serfdom status...all our earnings belong to the Corporate Masters. And the laws are being written by the Corporate employees, either at the moment or were employed (Baucus's aide who wrote the Senate health insurance bill -- who was a VP for Wellpoint) or expect to be employed by the Big Corporations.

Walter Wit Man's picture
Submitted by Walter Wit Man on

That's interesting. I hadn't heard that about those bankcards. Makes sense for the creditors to get together and do that. I wonder if they basically created their own bank to give credit to not-very-credit-worthy sick people to try to get as much money out of them as possible and to ensure the creditors take a more equal hit when the inevitable happens and the sick person is bled out (financially speaking).

The rationale to make these debts nondischargeable has been used before. Like I noted, it was used to make student loan debts nondischargeable. The idea being that if the government is going to subsidize you then you can not avail yourself of the normal protections. Plus, by making the debts nondischargeable, the thinking goes, it means there will be more creditors willing to offer credit.

I see a bright future for those bankcards in WI.

Unfortunately this is a one way street. The Big Boys get the government subsidies but never have to face any consequences. In fact, they get special bankruptcy protection.

Submitted by jawbone on

article. From an About.com Q&A... linked to a Star-Telegram article from 2007 which is no longer available:

Health Care Credit Cards - For Medical Bills Only
Wednesday October 31, 2007

According to Star-Telegram, a few of the top health insurance providers have decided to offer health care credit cards to consumers. These credit cards, which can only be used for medical expenses, are intended to help consumers cope with rising health care costs.

Mila Koffman of Georgetown University offers a strong warning against these new health care credit cards: "If you can't afford the deductible, then putting the deductible on a credit card -- adding in the fees and the interest -- is the worst thing that you can do. That's not going to help you be able to finance your medical care. It's just going to get you further into debt."

But it will help the BHIPs and providers.

Submitted by lambert on

Here:

No one expects the gravy train to stop anytime soon. After all, banks and other issuers of credit can make money from medical services in numerous ways: collecting a fee from the medical provider for handling a transaction, charging interest on patient bills, and charging employers for acting as administrators of their HSAs and other medical spending accounts. It seems unlikely that any business would give up on this growing income stream without a fight. "If there was Medicare for all in which the private health insurance industry had little or no role, that would have a very dampening effect," Clarke observes. "The insurance companies would be much more vocal than the banks ... but the banks would be right behind the insurance companies."

And the kicker? It's from The American Prospect, 2007. These career "progressives" knew exactly who they were selling the rest of us out to the whole time. Yay!

three wickets's picture
Submitted by three wickets on

They follow BO wherever he goes. They wouldn't know a principle if it hit them in the face. Oh..with one exception. They are adamant about war being bad, though still rusty about understanding the historical dynamics of global conflicts. But it's a start.

Submitted by lambert on

... when I thought that the problem was just the Republicans, and after they were dealt with we could get back to some kind of balance.

Now that I think that the legacy parties are part of the problem, and we're going to have to start something new, I'm a lot more circumspect. I mean, I still say Fuck (see definition), and I don't moderate for civility, but evidence and reasoning really are the strongest weapons we have. So we need to make sure that the talking points or memes we are going to propagate get the widest possible circulation, without descending into mushiness or unwillingness to call bullshit (rather, we name bullshit).

No need to apologize; hashing these things out is what we do.