Pull the Plug

It’s difficult to see how any “progressive” Democrats could support in good conscience what’s clearly become a failed attempt at achieving healthcare reform in the U. S. Congress. Perhaps at this stage of the game, the best thing to do would be, as Howard Dean suggests, just killing the present bill and going for the so-called reconciliation process in the House.

A metaphor, if you will…

Update: Great article by Glenn Greenwald in Salon outlining the duplicity of Obama and the Democratic leadership on the healthcare issue.

“The administration is getting the bill which they, more or less, wanted from the start — the one that is a huge boon to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry.”

11 Comments

Filed under Health Care & Medicine, US Politics

11 responses to “Pull the Plug

  1. Joseph

    As only budget items can make it through the self-imposed Senate “Reconciliation” loophole (allowing a regular majority for items that impact the budget), I can only hope they will pass a bill that includes all those non-budget items this round and win on the budget items via reconciliation afterward, perhaps as early as the next budget.

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope it would happen that soon. But the truth is if they even hinted at telegraphing that intention now, you know Lieberman of the “I’ll filibuster if I think progressives like this bill” (which is what his argument has been reduced to at this point) would NEVER allow even this bill to pass.

    As furious as I am, I am more on the side of passing what is there now and continuing to work on the rest (because those items CAN be passed via reconciliation rules). It’s been 15 years gathering dust, with some basic necessary reforms going untouched in that time.

    I respect Howard Dean a great deal, as we’ve discussed in the past RT. But I don’t want the US healthcare infrastructure to crumble for another decade.

    I’m furious but in the light of day I do see this bill as a step forward. The US hasn’t had any of those on this issue in recent decades.

  2. More from Dr. Dean…

    The biggest mistake the Dems made was taking single-payer off the table from the outset.

    The funny thing is that the right-wing is still characterizing the pathetic mess that’s left as a “government take-over” of the health care system.

  3. the Jane Hamsher articles linked to by Greenwald are great as was Digby’s post yesterday. the US is a corporatist gov’t, with a vast redistribution of wealth to corporate interests under both Bush and Obama. not the change i had hoped for.

  4. thanks for the vids RT; Dean is great. Dean 2012 😉

  5. Not much will happen until employers start dropping insurance coverage for their employees en mass. The oligarchy will love this — they’ll end up owning everything as the average folks declare bankruptcy more and more as they try to pay their health care bills.

    Hey, it’s the order of things, my fellow downtrodden friends.

  6. They’re going about this the wrong way. The smart move is to open the issue up to legislation on a state-by-state basis, and make funding available for each state to plan their own systems, then compare results.

  7. “they’ll end up owning everything”

    they sorta already do, insurance companies being exempt from trust laws as they are; gives them the leeway they need to establish monopoly. no, not the natural kind, like a public option….

    KEvr0n

  8. Joseph says:

    As furious as I am, I am more on the side of passing what is there now and continuing to work on the rest (because those items CAN be passed via reconciliation rules). It’s been 15 years gathering dust, with some basic necessary reforms going untouched in that time.

    This is exactly what I think. John Cole on Balloon Juice made a similar point.

    Not much will happen until employers start dropping insurance coverage for their employees en mass.

    This is right as well, though I don’t believe that corporations will drop current employees. I think they will do what they did with pensions and just deny these benefits to new hires. Turnover will take care of healthcare costs within a few years. The average length of service for American workers is 4.4 years anyway.

    I don’t know if I mentioned this, but as some know I live in New York. The local doctor my roommates and I see just sent us a letter demanding that we up $1,500/yr out of pocket. In the letter we are told that this will help him hire extra staff to deal with insurance company paperwork and covered denied claims. For this $1,500 yr we will get “enhanced” care, meaning that he will give us more “face time” when we see him, we’ll get a “free” physical annually, and we can call him by cell phone 24/7 in case of an emergency. Terms subject to change.

    If we don’t pay $1,500 out of pocket, we’ll have to find another doctor.

  9. er, “antitrust laws”….

    KEvron

  10. Ti-Guy

    f we don’t pay $1,500 out of pocket, we’ll have to find another doctor.

    You mean like a membership on top of insurance?

    Wow…it gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?

    And you can imagine, if someone pays the 1 500$, they’ll make bloody sure they get their money’s worth, whether the care is needed or not.

  11. That’s exactly it Ti-Guy. It’s a membership fee.

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