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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-11-08 06:58
Subject: [politics] The House and healthcare reform
Security: Public
Tags:healthcare, politics
I've been a bit distracted lately, oddly enough by healthcare, or I'd have had more to say about the HCR process in the House. There's lots to say now, much of it complaint. What the hell ever did happen to single payer, given that the Dems negotiated that away all by themselves? Why was the dreadful, pathetic Stupak-Pitts amendment even allowed to enter the process? Is the Senate serious about the six-month waiting period for the Public Option, which protects insurance companies while (sometimes fatally) victimizing voters?

But you know what? A few years ago we were debating whether to privatize Social Security. Now we're complaining that the proposed Public Option is flawed.

Guess which argument I'd rather have. Victory in politics is ever transient, but I think, for now at least, that sanity, goodwill and reason have prevailed. A hell of a change after all those years of Republican governance.
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User: the_blue_fenix
Date: 2009-11-08 15:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think it's a tipping point. When Social Security was first proposed it was an evil demonic communist liberal communist thing to conservatives. (Who weren't necessarily Republicans at that point, the sides have shifted.) Same with Medicare. Now they're established and therefore sacred.
Give people even a couple of years of NOT taking it for granted that a medical crisis will mean bankruptcy and a painful death. They'll never want to go back. If the first mechanism to that goal isn't good enough, they'll keep working on it.

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User: yourbob
Date: 2009-11-08 18:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The problem is, the legislation doesn't cover you if you have a job that offers healthcare. Just like welfare, you have to essentially lose everything in order to be eligible for assistance. So basically, voters won't notice anything except their premiums going up (still and higher).
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User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2009-11-08 15:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I agree - while happy we've finally got *something*, I'm disturbed that this seems to be the best we can get. I suspect this is a unique opportunity, with control of both houses & a popular President backing it in a strong yet equivocal fashion, that is unlikely to come again for a LONG time (unless the Republicans continue their self-marginalization).

Your mention of Bush's plan to privatize Social Security is an apt one here, as it looked then like Bush erred (thank God) in leaving it to Congress to put something together. There it died and good riddance. Last year should serve as a reminder why you don't tie something like that to the vagaries of "the market". I fear Obama did the same with health care, which rapidly became health insurance, reform - leaving it pretty much up to Congress to assemble with some hazy wishlist notes.

I still do not understand the decision, made from the start, not to even let single-payer be discussed (and to arrest/eject those who advocated it). The argument "if we were starting from scratch..." is malarky, as I don't think the countries that DO have it were starting from scratch. After seeing the rigamarole needed to get even this, maybe it was a practical politics decision that too many in Congress are beholden to insurance companies to have passed that. I don't know, but it is sickening.
As is the Stupak amendment, which I can only hope will die a horrible death in conference committee, if the Senate can avoid using it as a model instead.

Still, as you say, quite a change after all those years of "Republican governance". Then again, perhaps it is no surprise that, seeing as they have an allergy towards government, that they aren't any good at it.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-11-09 03:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
/bemusedoutsider here/

Bush's privitization of Soc Sec may have been more blatant, more honestly labeled. But doesn't this HC bill as a whole amount to privitizing what should have been single-payer healthcare, or at least a really good strong public option?

Bush: forced payments not to SS but to Wall Street
Obama: forced payments not to Medicare for All, but to insurance co's.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-11-09 05:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Except this payout to insurance was driven by the need to make HCR minimally acceptable to Blue Dogs and other conservatives...not a liberal-progressive idea or ideal, either one.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-11-08 16:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That amendment will be stripped out of the final bill in conference so I'm not worried. It was included to give Blue Dog Dems cover.

Yeah. I'd much rather be having this discussion than most others. I'm not overly happy with the bill, either, but it opens the door to more reforms later on down the road. Even the first Civil Rights bill, or the first Medicare bill, didn't have the teeth, or the expansive coverage, they have today.

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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-11-08 17:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think everyone needs to accept that health care reform will be imperfect and that it will not answer every need.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2009-11-08 17:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My daughter said something sensible when I was ranting about the bill: "You're a writer. You know you have to produce the book first, and then go back and make it a good book."

I really wanted this to be a good book right out of the shoot, but I suspect she's right. I'm horrified that Stupak-Pitts made the cut, though. To paraphrase a San Francisco bumper sticker, I have daughters, and I vote.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-11-08 18:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I sometimes wonder what percentage of forced pregnancy advocates come from a non-religious perspective. Are there really a significant percentage of secular scientists, doctors, ethicists and ordinary people who believe that human life absolutely begins at conception?
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2009-11-09 00:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am personally related to a few. I suspect a lot of your other readers are, too.
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shelly_rae: Bleeding Hearts
User: shelly_rae
Date: 2009-11-09 05:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Bleeding Hearts
It's a start--heck it's a historic start. The final bill will no doubt look different. If Obama is bold he'll use that line item veto (that's still around right?) to block the Stupak amendment.
With this a whole heck of a lot of people will have health care that didn't before and, for people like me, the previous condition clause will no longer exist.
I'm optimistic. It's change for the better and I hope it's the first step for even more care.
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