Alright. This one’s ours. Again.

Darcy Burner says health care reform after Joe Lieberman is worse than nothing.

Sen. Lieberman is one of Connecticut’s senators. We’re sorry.

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66 responses to “Alright. This one’s ours. Again.

  1. No need to be sorry. Alabama has Richard Shelby, who snarls out of one side of his mouth, and Jefferson Beuregard Sessions (Jeff B.S.), who was rejected for a Federal judgeship because of his racism.

  2. Some of us have been saying that for some time now.
    Howard Dean, along with a consensus at FDL have now jumped on the Kill the Bill bandwagon. But their tactic is still flawed.
    Dean and others want to return healthcare legislation to the same House that passed a bill with Stupack/Pitts attached. The same backroom dealings, lies and political gamesmanship, (Think The Weasel), that highlighted that trainwreck is not going to deliver anything close to comprehensive healthcare reform.
    The public option is a lie. Always has been and remains so no matter what kind of spin The House puts on it.
    It’s time to put Single Payer back on the table….NOW.

    “…a single-payer system is our only way out of this mess. We must get US health care costs down for both economic and moral reasons. But we must also get costs down for political reasons. Andy Stern can talk all he wants about finding the ‘political will’ to extend coverage to everyone, but until we as a society find the political will to cut health care costs, we won’t find the political will to achieve universal health insurance. The sooner influential people like Stern can find within themselves the political will to support effective cost containment, the sooner Congress will do likewise, and the sooner we will achieve universal coverage.”
    Kip Sullivan at PNHP.
    Two-Thirds of Americans Support Single Payer Part 6

    Wednesday the Senate will “debate” the Sanders Amendment. Pick up the phone.

  3. It stinks. The bill is full of enough poison pills to kill 100 elephants. Or 45,000 human beings each year.

    http://rawstory.com/2009/12/135000-uninsured-americans-die-health-reform-takes-effect-study/

    • This thing is a mess.

    • What is really spooky is Jacobson says that’s a conservative estimate. There’s no telling what the companies have in store once either of the bills pass.
      Late last month Aetna announced they planned to “price out” 600,000 of their sickest, most needy customers in early 2010 to guarantee double digit profits for the next quarter.
      They don’t sound worried about anything.

      • I think Aetna will be OK in all of this. Not to demonize the company, but.

      • “Late last month Aetna announced they planned to “price out” 600,000 of their sickest, most needy customers in early 2010 to guarantee double digit profits for the next quarter.”

        …and to cut off payments to Hartford Hospital and related hospitals in CT. Don’t know all the details there, can’t even begin to discuss it, but I don’t think they’re going to get hurt unless something REAL happens.

        Over on another blog (and now I can’t find the comment, so I won’t bother linking), a reader said “yeah, you’ll be glad when all of us insurance-workers will lose our jobs, won’t you?” or something along that line. No one wants anyone to lose employment (well, except for a job loss by a senator or two) — but double digit profits? Huge salaries for top dogs? Bonuses that equal more than the life-earnings of most of us? Wouldn’t there be a way to use the experience and knowledge of the employees but in a non-profit organization?

      • Absolutely.
        Workers in the private insurance industry are going to be needed to help establish the group and move their clients into the system. There’s going to be a huge demand initially for universal access. The transition isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be difficult, especially at the start. The expertise of workers in the insurance industry is going to be needed from the onset.

        Private industry need not be locked out of the system entirely. The problem with the current for-profit model is that it generates profit by denying care. That’s what needs to change.
        American capitalists are not going to disappear because the government stepped in to abate a national crisis. They will change their model to one based on innovation and efficiency and will re-enter a tightly regulated system guaranteeing universal access.
        In the meantime, insurance companies can still sell high end plans to those seeking to guarantee their access to high end care. Oprah plans.
        They could also develop a way to insure against lost wages…sick time. The new model of healthcare cannot focus simply on delivery of care. It must also focus on wellness programs designed to abate the need for healthcare in the future. Working with employers and unions the private industry could develop coverage for time lost from work, lost productivity, and market it to employers and employees alike. They could establish wellness plans folk could buy into through work.
        There’s a bounty of opportunity for any dyed-in-the-wool capitalist willing to do the work, and unwilling to profit from the misery and death of others.

  4. …Obama is heading for a disaster.

    He’s betting that he can do like Bill Clinton did to us with NAFTA and the World Trade Organization – hand us a turd and tell us it’s gonna blossom beautifully if we’ll just wait a year or three or five. Rahm’s betting that if he can “deliver health care reform” – even if the fundamental system of gangster corporations standing between us and our doctors while skimming 40 percent off the top for their mansions and private jets is intact – we’ll be all excited at his “victory” and elect more Democrats in 2010 and reelect Obama in 2012.
    Thom Hartmann

  5. If this watered down health care plan doesn’t pass, how would single payer ever have a shot. I’m thinking at this point, anything is a step forward but I don’t really know enough about the details. If we even take a tiny step forward, maybe we’ll be able to do it again and take a bigger step next time. If the whole thing fails, I’m afraid we’ll never get anywhere on this in the near future.

    • But with all this compromise, I’m not loving what they’re talking about. I’m with Leftover on this one.

      • Do you think single payer has a shot? I just don’t see any hope for it given what’s transpired so far. I’ve given up on hoping for what I want on this.

        I just got a survey call from Family Research Council asking about public funding for abortions, blah, blah, blah. Then they asked about healthcare reform and spouted out ALL of the scare tactics and then asked, do you support that? I just replied with a “yes”. I don’t want them to win by ending all forms of reform, I suppose.

        • I had a friend email me and day “And we all KNOW what the health care bill says, don’t we,” and so I asked if she’d actually read it, because if she hasn’t she only knows what people say it says.

          • Part of the tactic employed by the neoliberals and faux progressives is the emphasis on creating a myriad of technocratic market-based solutions and collective organizational structures, procedures, protocols, and regulations in order to manage those technocratic solutions. This requires a gobbledegook of legislative language that even the legislators need help to decipher.
            But one fact is becoming increasingly clear; the more people know about this legislation, the more they hate it. And the more they hear the truth about Single Payer, the more they love it.
            No caps, no rescission, no exclusions, no deductibles, no co-pay, care based on need, not based on affordability. I mean the list goes on and on.
            And then there’s…well….the puppy.

    • We don’t need this legislation to achieve universal healthcare.
      In fact, this legislation is designed to suppress the call for universal healthcare by privatization of the healthcare system.
      Don’t lose hope. Even if the bills pass, the call for true reform grows stronger every day.

      Solidarity is the key. Neoliberals and neoconservatives alike have worked hard to fragment and marginalize groups in order to gain compliance for market based reforms.
      We need to reject that marginalization and come together on common ground….and end to discrimination in all its forms.
      Everybody wants that. Well, almost everybody.

      Liberal reformers, Womens’ Rights groups, LGBT communities, Veterans, Healthcare professionals, if we can all see that a Single Payer victory is the first step in eliminating discrimination from government and social institutions and demand change, as one voice, we become a significant political power at the polls. Politicians will listen if we speak as one voice.
      What we can do is reject the manufactured argument that Universal Healthcare is somehow “not feasible” whenever we see it.
      It’s bullshit.
      We make it “feasible.”
      And never lose sight of the moral imperative; “…progressive morality — the morality of empathy and responsibility, for oneself and others. Others, because life is interdependent; ‘no man is an island.’ Translated into policy, that moral view defines two roles for government: protection and empowerment.
      George Lakoff
      In a democratic order,we make the government, the government doesn’t make us.

      • YEH LEFTOVER!!!!!!

      • I was just reading another article about Holy Joe Lieberman and his wife’s financial ties to the Susan G. Komen Fund. (Ironic, huh?) H calls the Senate bill “progressive,” and will probably take the credit for it if it were to pass. Howard Dean says “Kill it.” I say, either everybody gets health care, or no one gets health care. If this stinker passes, we need to get people on the streets and sidewalks in front of every doctor’s office in the country. With a 20% unemployment rate, that won’t be too hard.

        • Interesting, Hadassah’s ties to the medical industry, isn’t it?

          • Her association with the industry is only news because FDL wanted to make it news. The people at Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the limousine liberals who support it have known of her affiliation all along. As has members of The Senate. If there was a conflict of interest there, don’t you think one of his many enemies would have raised it earlier?
            Hamsher and the others need someone to blame to draw attention from the true architect of this debacle.
            I agree with Russ Feingold, as reported in The Hill:

            Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), among the most vocal supporters of the public option, said it would be unfair to blame Lieberman for its apparent demise. Feingold said that responsibility ultimately rests with President Barack Obama and he could have insisted on a higher standard for the legislation.

            This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth,” said Feingold. [emphasis added]

            I think going after Lieberman is a waste of effort and trying to use his wife as a tool in that backlash is low.
            FOX News kind of low.
            Rush Limbaugh kind of low.
            And given the current state of the legislation, now that it looks like
            charity is the only real hope some people may be able to summon in trying to survive not only disease, but a healthcare system openly promoting their quick demise, if Hadassah Lieberman can raise enough money to help a few people survive, I don’t care if she’s got swastikas tattooed on her ass.

      • leftover, I agree with the concept, but I don’t see much hope for it. I just don’t think we’ll get there all in one shot. I think it’ll take years of small steps. I am completely frustrated with the way our government works when it comes to things like this. Too many cooks spoil the stew and we’re locked into including too many in and out of government (eg the Catholic church) on this. Nothing happens outside of this bottleneck and what comes out barely resembles what at first goes in. I’m frustrated by the whole thing and don’t feel at all represented by CT’s Senator. I’ve written and called and yet the only leverage I have is my one tiny vote in a few years and that’s nothing. I didn’t vote for him last time. At this point I just want to close my eyes and have someone tell me when it’s over.

        Sorry to be the pooper at this party.

        • Everybody needs a pooper, that’s why we invited yoououououo…nope, not the pooper. It can get frustrating but I (naively, probably) believe that Sen. Lieberman’s state will remember this, as Leftover said earlier about Bernie Sanders.

          • By then, won’t it be too late? I feel like we are now held hostage and we have no leverage, no say on this issue at this time. Lieberman can do whatever he wants. He’s 67 years old (I think) and if he retires at 69, will he be disappointed? I doubt it. Millions will suffer the consequences of his (& others’) choices and yet he will really be unscathed. Can we really hold him accountable in the end? I don’t think so.

            • We are at the mercy of Obama on this issue. But we are not without leverage. We have our votes, our voice. And we have our dollars and our determination.
              Olbermann talked about what many on the street have been saying for months. Boycott the Mandate.
              Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

              If we lose this round we still have cards to play in the political game. If Obama and the rest want to play games, there’s still a few of us left in the streets that can accommodate…
              …but this time, they’re not going to be running up against a bunch of stoned hippies singing give peace a chance.

              • Welll…that didn’t work as well as i had hoped…

                try this one.

                • ….the text…so you don’t have to watch the whole presentation…

                  “Health care reform that benefits the industry at the cost of the people is intolerable and there are no moral constructs in which it can be supported. And if still the bill and this heinous mandate become law there is yet further reaction required. I call on all those whose conscience urges them to fight, to use the only weapon that will be left to us if this bill becomes law. We must not buy federally mandated insurance if this cheesy counterfeit of reform is all we can buy.

                  No single payer? No sale. No public option? No sale. No Medicare buy-in? No sale. I am one of the self-insured, albeit by choice. And I hereby pledge that I will not buy this perversion of health care reform. Pass this at your peril, Senators, and sign it at yours, Mr. President. I will not buy this insurance. Brand me a lawbreaker if you choose. Fine me if you will. Jail me if you must.

                  But if the Medicare Buy-In goes, but the Mandate stays, the people who fought so hard and so sincerely to bring sanity to this system must kill this mutated version of their dream, because those elected by us to act for us have forgotten what must be the golden rule of health care reform. It is the same one to which physicians are bound, by oath: First do no harm.”

              • Yeah. We’ll not be stoned?

                • Only if medically qualified…….

                  • So can a regular person get medically qualified? I think this whole mess might look better if my perspective was altered in some way.

                    leftover, you’ve been closer to this that I have been so tell me why Obama is to blame. I didn’t think the current proposal was what he was after at all. He didn’t create it. Obama’s concept has been remodeled dozens of times by other people. I wish Obama was in charge of this.

                    • Obama is the Democratic leadership. This legislation has been crafted under his direct supervision through the tireless efforts of his staff.
                      He has directed a debate purposely designed to produce reactions just like yours; confused, frustrated, and tired.
                      Okay…so I’m not a big fan right now.
                      But looking at it from a more objective position:

                      The most powerful President since FDR, The most popular man since Jesus, the man directing a solid majority in both the House and the Senate, this man, bargaining from a position of power not seen in 50 years, began negotiations by surrendering to compromise. It’s called…
                      “…the Surrender-in-Advance Trap. With an exaggerated emphasis on system-based solutions, neoliberal thought may lead one to surrender in advance the moral view that drives an initiative in the first place. Those who pragmatically focus on appeasing what they assume will be unavoidable political opposition to their proposals also run the risk of moral surrender. For instance, assuming strong, possibly insurmountable, conservative resistance to government-based health care solutions, they will embrace profit- maximizing insurance solutions because they believe that 1) political opposition can be muted; and 2) the ‘free’ market, properly regulated, can serve moral purposes, such as providing health care for all Americans. Proponents of these neoliberal solutions often overlook the fact that the very source of the health care crisis is the structure of insurance: the less care they authorize the more profit they make, and profits come first and are maximized.
                      ……

                      [adopting the neoliberal logic of healthcare reform] [t]he progressive moral basis for providing health care for all—empathy and responsibility, protection and empowerment—is not stated. As a result, Americans don’t get to hear the progressive moral basis for extending health care to all Americans, and they don’t get to decide whether they agree with that moral premise. Americans only hear the conservative moral view. That moves them in a conservative direction, not only on this issue, but on all issues.
                      There is an additional danger. As a strategy, surrender-in-advance puts advocates in the weak position of starting negotiations by going half way or more toward what the other sides want. No one would think of taking that approach when bargaining in the marketplace.”
                      The Logic of the Healthcare Debate
                      George Lakoff, Eric Haas, , Glenn W. Smith, Scott Parkinson
                      The Rockridge Institue Oct. 2007

                      Obama made the choice to focus on saving insurance companies instead of American lives.

                    • I think you’re giving Obama credit for a lot more power than he actually has. There is another player here that has even Democrats split on some things: the Catholic church. I don’t see a single voice coming from the Democrats on a number of issues. I don’t agree with this:
                      “Obama made the choice to focus on saving insurance companies instead of American lives.”
                      I just don’t see it this way.

                    • Oh yeah….qualified….if you’ve got $150 and a headache, you can get qualified…..

                    • I bet you need health insurance to get qualified. :-)

                    • nope…..

                  • Shoot, I know people. I can get qualified.

                • Jon Stewart did an incredible Lieberman as Droopy, complete with cartoon on The Daily Show last night. It’s online. It’s called The DC. But he takes a shot at CT as well.

            • I predict Joe-mentum will not last in politics. He’ll find a cushy job giving speeches or consulting or something, but his latest bid for the spotlight are going to come back and haunt him, voter-wise.

  6. p.s. starting with the LIEberman family doctors.

  7. Unconfirmed reports say Sanders pulled his amendment.
    Playing politics with peoples’ lives.
    Shame, Bernie…Shame.

  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/opinion/16wed4.html

    “What makes it all the more hypocritical is that Mr. Lieberman claims to want health care reform. And way back in September, the senator was publicly championing a Medicare buy-in.

    In an interview with The Connecticut Post, he said he had been refining his views on health care for many years and was “very focused on a group post-50, or maybe more like post-55” whose members should be able to buy Medicare if they lacked insurance.

    This week, when there actually seemed to be a compromise on health care that did not focus on Mr. Lieberman, he announced that he would block the package if the Democrats included a terrible idea — allowing people between 55 and 65 to buy Medicare.

    He presented this as a principled effort to keep down federal debt, but when a Times reporter asked about his 180-degree turn, he said he had forgotten taking his earlier position until the Democratic leadership reminded him about it over the weekend.

    Mr. Lieberman has taken more than $1 million from the industry over his Senate career. In his 2006 re-election campaign, he ranked second in the Senate in contributions from the industry. He doesn’t seem to have forgotten that.”

  9. LIEberman’s not going to run again. He’s got a nice cushy job waiting for him at an insurance company. I guarantee.

  10. On “Morning Edition” this morning there was a comment piece by a young woman from KY.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=113928094&m=121549450

    Legislators must hear stories like this all the time. How do they minimize them so as to — I dunno — see The Big Picture? Maintain their contributions? Maintain favor with … whom?

  11. “tell me why Obama is to blame”

    Would Lyndon Johnson have left the Congress to its own devices to craft this legislation? No way in hell. He (his staff) would have written it, he would have buttonholed every g.d. fence-sitter and laid it out for them. There were no Blue-Dog Democrats when Lyndon was in D.C., that’s for damn sure. He would have pushed this through and taken the consequences.

    • I don’t think things in Congress can happen in that same way now.

      • “I don’t think things in Congress can happen in that same way now.”

        You’re right, Jac. It’s Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid whose job it is to get out there and kick butt and take names. They’re entirely too nice. We need someone like Alan Grayson in charge.

        • Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’ve often wished for someone who leans left (or stands firmly left) but has fangs. There aren’t too many of those types out there.

  12. If you can bear to laugh about any of this right now, watch Jon Stewart’s take on it, on last night’s show:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-16-2009/the-d-c-

  13. Here’s another clip–I think it’s from the same Daily Show. “12 days of Hanukkah”, LOL!

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-16-2009/obama-s-socialist-christmas-ornament-program

  14. Just one more clip from last night, because Stewart just cuts Laura Ingraham to ribbons.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-december-16-2009/highway-to-health—last-tea-party-protest-of-the-year

    • I would give cash-money to sit in on one of the writers’ meetings while they fire ideas back and forth. At least, I assume that’s what happens.

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