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

What Chris Floyd said

vastleft's picture


[I]f this bill (which almost every "progressive" has declared is a misbegotten, corruption-ridden, botulistic glop of indigestible legislative sausage -- even as they threaten to wage holy war against anyone who votes against it) is defeated, then the ground will be cleared for genuine reform. A real leader could then say: "OK, we tried it your way. We brought in the corporations. We courted the Republicans shamelessly. We gave away the game on day one, took all our cards off the table, compromised every value we profess to hold. We backed down, we turned tail, we sold out. And it didn't work. Now, we're going to do it for real. Single-payer, universal: that's where we start, and by God, that's where we finish, or somewhere damn near to it. And if you don't like it -- well, let us refer you to the famous words uttered by Dick Cheney to Patrick Leahy on the floor of the Senate on that historic day in 2004."

If the bad bill is defeated, you can bring up a good bill in every Congressional session -- yes, for the next 20 years, if need be. Hell, you can bring it up every week. And if you beat the drums for genuine health care reform with even one-tenth of the strength and fervor that the Obama team lavishes on demonizing Iran, protecting torturers and enriching the criminal rich, then you wouldn't need 20 years -- or 20 weeks -- or 20 days -- to get it passed.

That's what a real leader could do. But of course, there is not even the shadow of a semblance of a real leader within 500 miles of the festering core of the Potomac Empire.

To be fair to President Obama, if this bill (which, in characteristic Schrödinger style, he both personally crafted and was completely at Congress's mercy with) passes, he's led us deeper into the clutches of Big Insurance, which is no doubt an historically historic accomplishment of historic proportions.

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Ian Welsh's picture
Submitted by Ian Welsh on

real leader?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

Much like I felt when I knew that Obama was going to win.

The passage of this piece of crap legislation is not something to be celebrated and I can't stand listening to anyone who suggests it is.

This is a sad day/time for the good citizens of this once great nation.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

All he'd need to do would be to say, OK here's a simple bill everyone can understand:

1) no denials of coverage or special pricing due to preconditions effective immediately

2) No preconditions effective immediately

3) No raising of insurance rates beyond the general rate of inflation effective immediately

4) No raising rates more than once a year effective immediately

5) All denials of coverage claims have to be submitted to a new Federal Agency for confirmation effective immediately

6) Extension of full Medicare benefits to those above 65 and under 18, sign-ups begin immediately coverage, effective within 6 months

7) Medicare buy-in for everyone else, sign-ups begin immediately, coverage effective within 6 months

8) Full insurance subsidies for those under 200% of Federal Poverty Level for Medicare buy-in, sign-ups begin immediately, coverage effective within 6 months

9) Partial subsidies for those between 200 and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level for Medicare buy-in, sign-ups begin immediately, coverage effective within 6 months

10) Financing by increasing taxes on families with more than $300,000 annual income with maximum marginal tax rates for those between: $300 and 500K at 42%, $500K and $1 million at 50%, $1 million and 2.5 million at 60%, $2.5 million and $5 million at 70%, and above $5 million at 75% effective immediately

11) Use of the constitutional option to pass this legislation quickly and remove the filibuster from the Senate, hopefully permanently

12) Revisiting hcr in 2012 to consider whether HR 676 enhanced Medicare for All ought to be implemented

Why not HR 676 right now? Out of respect for those Americans who don't want to be forced to abandon their current private insurance plans and replace it with Medicare.

This bill shouldn't be more than 50 pages on length, and it should be easy to sell to the mass of Americans. Republicans and blue dogs will scream socialized medicine, but they're doing that now, and are subject to the boy who cried wolf syndrome. The Dems can easily reply by saying that the insurance companies have served us poorly and that all medical services under the bill are private in nature, and that only Government insurance has been expanded in scope.

To those who say that the private companies won't be able to survive, the answer is that they don't deserve to, but that the bill gives them the chance to survive among those who prefer private insurance, if and only if they can really deliver value to their customers. Point out that this won't be easy for the privates, but that it is possible if they'll become as efficient as private companies in other countries such as Japan where insurance companies operate successfully with 1.5% overhead and profit.

three wickets's picture
Submitted by three wickets on

Wonder if that financing would be enough. The only other thing you'd need is a sensible plan for migrating private insurance industry jobs.

Submitted by lambert on

It has such a plan. I'd add on real (health outcomes-oriented) medical records work, as opposed to the financial stuff. There is plenty of opportunity for those who know or can learn the coding systems. I'd also add on jobs in the delivery of actual health care, instead of its denial.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

Give the private health insurance employees right of first refusal to comparable Government jobs. Of course, those employees whose jobs involve finding pretexts on the basis of which to deny coverage due to preconditions, or to justify rescissions mau not be able to find Government jobs. Too bad! So Sad!

It may also be difficult for top executives to find comparable jobs. Again TBSS.

More generally, though an econometric study done some time ago by the California Nurses Association predicted that Medicare for All would create about 2.5 million new jobs. The above would create less but also cost less. My impression is that private insurance now provides roughly 400,000 jobs, some percentage of which would be lost if the above proposal were implemented.

Submitted by lambert on

Well done. One more reason to kill the bill!