The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Killing the Health Care Bill is Best

Jane’s right on this:

The White House is telling people that if they don’t pass this bill, it will be a disaster for Democrats in the fall. That’s abject nonsense — their “fallback plan” for health care doesn’t have the toxic mandate that makes the IRS the collection agency for Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or any of the abortion issues that inflame both pro- and anti-choice groups.  It’s a better bill on the merits anyway, and most of the country wouldn’t know the difference over a bill that doesn’t kick in until 2014 anyway.

Kill the health care bill, pass the fixes that can be put through, minus the mandate and abortion restrictions.  Sounds like a win to me.


Why would anyone think Obama wants to reshape the courts?


Obama flexes his muscle


  1. Sounds like a winner to me. They could expand Medicaid, fix Medicare Part D, and allow drug reimportation, and those three things would help more people than this clusterfuck of a bill. Plus, it would probably cost a lot less.

    Unfortunately, all the folks who have been talking about the complex interrelationships within the bill won’t allow themselves to see it that way.

  2. DWCG

    This is how bad it is: these guys haven’t even figured out that the only way to recover from the legitimately bad impression/press this bill has today (let alone in ’12 when the GOP nominee is running against it hard), is to actually present something that will work and reap rewards immediately.

    I’m not a big fan of incrementalism, especially with majorities (in numbers only) as large as they’ve been since 1965 (when we passed Medicare, Medicaid and the Voting Rights Act btw), but geez, tell me that this isn’t a better and doable plan that actually would be popular:

    -Expanding Medicaid eligibility to 300% of the poverty line
    -Nationalizing Medicaid (relieving the financial burden off the states)
    -Lowering Medicare eligibility age to 55

    Alas, it’s not about what’s popular with the people, it’s about what’s popular with the corporate donors.

  3. Now, the House Dems are looking for ways not to have a rollcall vote on this monstrosity. Gee, I wonder why?

  4. And on Medicaid, Hipparchia has this to say:
    Medicaid has been a godsend for many people, but it is both means- and asset-tested, which translates to if you had any money saved up for retirement or sending your kids to college, you have to spend it all on your health care first before Medicaid will help you. Both conservatives and “progressives” are fond of pointing out that not everyone who is eligible for Medicaid is enrolled in Medicaid, and now you know why. Many a household has lived very frugally on a modest income and managed to save a very modest but important nest egg. Any rational person would not expect them to give that up just to get health care.

    And yes, Medicaid was originally a public program. By 2004 it was 60% privatized, and in 2007 was 64% privatized. I don’t think this can be considered a “public” program any longer. Expanding Medicaid to cover more people also means expanding the amount of taxpayer dollars we give to the insurance companies, so the bloodsucking parasites win all the way around.

  5. jo6pac

    I agree with Jane on a lot of things but this bill needs to Die. It’s only welfare for the health care industry. I believe that until health care is Free to everyone in this nation no matter of their status than it’s a failure. If anything needs to be stopped it’s the endless money for war and it’s benefactors.

  6. Celsius 233

    This is the most blatant sellout I’ve ever seen; 30 million guaranteed customers for the health insurance industry?
    This is why I have no faith/hope for the future of a free and equitable U.S.
    Get out while you can.

  7. DWCG

    When I say “nationalize Medicaid” I basically mean making it a part of Medicare. It makes no sense to have two national health insurance plans. And as I understand Medicare most of its billing is performed by the private insurance parasites as well.

    Didn’t know about Medicaid means-test including assets. Makes sense that it would (every other means-test does). Put it on the list of fixes.

  8. Killing the health care bill is best? Well, sure, if you’re willing for this to be Over, and only the little fixes to occur from here on out. Here’s hoping that either I’m wrong about that, or you’re wrong about the bill.

  9. Z

    Kucinich caves in the end too …

    Very disappointing that not one of the progressive house members … I think there were 60 of them … kept their word to vote no for any health care bill that did not have z public option in it. I’m also disappointed that it appears that Kucinich was participating in the kabuki theatre for his vote using obama’s pressure when he was with obama in public appearances this week as cover to break his word. Maybe I am being too cynical, but this is american politics and it’s hard not to notice that Kucinich started getting coy about his vote just as he was accompanying obama to obama’s faux populist rallies in Ohio.

    Is it too much to expect that at least one progressive politician would keep his word and stick to his principles? No wonder they never get their way and are constantly ignored and ridiculed when they make noise about holding out on their votes unless progressive concerns are addressed.

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for Kucinich … I have zero respect for the progressive caucus in congress … they have earned none … and I am absolutely disgusted with the democratic party, their leadership and much of their grassroots support like the unions and groups like moveon. It’s party above principle above all in american politics … the public be damned.

    I honestly hope that the republicans win big in November partly so that the democratic party will no longer be able to credibly claim that serving corporate interests is in their party’s best interests … that the campaign cash they get as a result can’t be deployed to delude enough voters to vote for them. Primarily though, I am of the opinion that the quicker things get worse the greater chance for civil disobedience to build on a large enough scale to actually change things. Also, the quicker these oscillations of power between these two corrupt corporate parties, the greater the chance that the people will come to the conclusion that neither of these parties represent them and the sooner the hard work of developing a viable third party will commence. It’s about time the people faced the fact that we’ve only got two parties and it was just a matter of time that each of them became hopelessly corrupt.


  10. Ian Welsh

    They were under massive pressure, including explicit threats to remove all funding and party support if they voted against it. I don’t say that excuses it (Kucinich does not need party apparatus support to win) but it does explain a lot.

    Obama is very good at arm-bending progressives. Same thing was done to pass the bailout before he was even president. It’s Republicans he can’t arm-bend, and blue dogs he doesn’t like to arm bend, because he likes them.

  11. Z

    The blue dogs play an important role in the kabuki theatre. They are cast as proxies for corporate interests. They provide the backdrop for our “pragmatic” president to “have” to serve his corporate donors in order to pass the bill.


  12. BA

    >>I honestly hope that the republicans win big in November partly so that the democratic party will no longer be able to credibly claim that serving corporate interests is in their party’s best interests …

    The problem with this is it will be the end of Social Security.

    So, I can not vote for either party (and I was a dem precinct captain last election). Not this time.

    I am looking for a new party.

  13. Z


    It is not like Social Security is totally secure with obama either.

    Like I said, I’m of the opinion that the faster things get worse, the better, becoz maybe that will create large scale civil disobedience that will truly produce change … before things get hopelessly out of control. The “progressive” demo-zombie strategy of primarying the party pure will take decades … at least … if it ever works. And, again, there is a time element involved here with a lot of things crashing down on this country … the noose on the people gets tighter by the day … and potentially globally as well with food and other resource shortages and possibly global warming.

    I’m with you, I’m not wasting my time going to the voting booth come November. The people that I vote for never win anyway … very rarely does anyone worth voting for win.


  14. DancingOpossum

    You should still vote, for a third party. I know it’s “wasted” as they say (an argument I have never bought) but it means you’re not just “disaffected,” you’re actively saying DO NOT WANT to the Dems.

  15. Z


    Besides voting for kerry in ’04, and practically throwing up on my ballot as a result, I’ve voted for third party candidates for president ever since I voted for clinton in 1992. I agree that a 3rd party is the way to go.


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