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This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.

President Obama this morning delivered a stemwinder of a speech in his weekly address on -- what else? -- health care reform. Most importantly for progressives who fear he'll compromise on the public option, he made an absolutely clear declaration of his commitment:

That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family.

After this past week's mark-ups and debates [links], a hastily called conference yesterday, the announcement of a press conference this coming Wednesday and a press release stating, "The President will travel to Cleveland to discuss health care reform." it's no surprise that he focused on health care reform and, to put it mildly, was forceful and passionate.

Now we know there are those who will oppose reform no matter what.  We know the same special interests and their agents in Congress will make the same old arguments, and use the same scare tactics that have stopped reform before because they profit from this relentless escalation in health care costs.  And I know that once you’ve seen enough ads and heard enough people yelling on TV, you might begin to wonder whether there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying.  So let me take a moment to answer a few of their arguments.

He outlined the stakes:

It’s about every business forced to shut their doors, or shed jobs, or ship them overseas.  It’s about state governments overwhelmed by Medicaid, federal budgets consumed by Medicare, and deficits piling higher year after year.

This is the status quo.  This is the system we have today.  This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage.  Or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in 2009.

This is a president who means business. This is also a president who at last seems willing to spend his considerable political capital on getting real health care reform passed.

He takes on Republicans: "First, the same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue – believe it or not – that health reform will lead to record deficits.  That’s simply not true."

He tackles and shoots down -- curtly -- canard after canard: "Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor.  If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance.  Period, end of story."

He's going for broke. At last. Behold the beauty of it, in full, beneath the fold.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Right now in Washington, our Senate and House of Representatives are both debating proposals for health insurance reform.  Today, I want to speak with you about the stakes of this debate, for our people and for the future of our nation.

This is an issue that affects the health and financial well-being of every single American and the stability of our entire economy.

It’s about every family unable to keep up with soaring out of pocket costs and premiums rising three times faster than wages.  Every worker afraid of losing health insurance if they lose their job, or change jobs.  Everyone who’s worried that they may not be able to get insurance or change insurance if someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.

It’s about a woman in Colorado who told us that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her insurance company – the one she’d paid over $700 a month to – refused to pay for her treatment.  She had to use up her retirement funds to save her own life.

It’s about a man from Maryland who sent us his story – a middle class college graduate whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs.  During that time, he needed emergency surgery, and woke up $10,000 in debt – debt that has left him unable to save, buy a home, or make a career change.

It’s about every business forced to shut their doors, or shed jobs, or ship them overseas.  It’s about state governments overwhelmed by Medicaid, federal budgets consumed by Medicare, and deficits piling higher year after year.

This is the status quo.  This is the system we have today.  This is what the debate in Congress is all about: Whether we’ll keep talking and tinkering and letting this problem fester as more families and businesses go under, and more Americans lose their coverage.  Or whether we’ll seize this opportunity – one we might not have again for generations – and finally pass health insurance reform this year, in 2009.

Now we know there are those who will oppose reform no matter what.  We know the same special interests and their agents in Congress will make the same old arguments, and use the same scare tactics that have stopped reform before because they profit from this relentless escalation in health care costs.  And I know that once you’ve seen enough ads and heard enough people yelling on TV, you might begin to wonder whether there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying.  So let me take a moment to answer a few of their arguments.

First, the same folks who controlled the White House and Congress for the past eight years as we ran up record deficits will argue – believe it or not – that health reform will lead to record deficits.  That’s simply not true.  Our proposals cut hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary spending and unwarranted giveaways to insurance companies in Medicare and Medicaid.  They change incentives so providers will give patients the best care, not just the most expensive care, which will mean big savings over time.  And we have urged Congress to include a proposal for a standing commission of doctors and medical experts to oversee cost-saving measures.

I want to be very clear: I will not sign on to any health plan that adds to our deficits over the next decade.  And by helping improve quality and efficiency, the reforms we make will help bring our deficits under control in the long-term.

Those who oppose reform will also tell you that under our plan, you won’t get to choose your doctor – that some bureaucrat will choose for you.  That’s also not true.  Michelle and I don’t want anyone telling us who our family’s doctor should be – and no one should decide that for you either.  Under our proposals, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor.  If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance.  Period, end of story.

Finally, opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care.  That’s not true either.  I don’t believe that government can or should run health care.  But I also don’t think insurance companies should have free reign to do as they please.

That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans – including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest – and choose what’s best for your family.  And that’s why we’ll put an end to the worst practices of the insurance industry: no more yearly caps or lifetime caps; no more denying people care because of pre-existing conditions; and no more dropping people from a plan when they get too sick.  No longer will you be without health insurance, even if you lose your job or change jobs.

The good news is that people who know the system best are rallying to the cause of change.  Just this past week, the American Nurses Association, representing millions of nurses across America, and the American Medical Association, representing doctors across our nation, announced their support because they’ve seen first-hand the need for health insurance reform.

They know we cannot continue to cling to health industry practices that are bankrupting families, and undermining American businesses, large and small.  They know we cannot let special interests and partisan politics stand in the way of reform – not this time around.

The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing.  But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family.

So today, I am urging the House and the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, to seize this opportunity, and vote for reform that gives the American people the best care at the lowest cost; that reins in insurance companies, strengthens businesses and finally gives families the choices they need and the security they deserve.

Thanks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I stopped watching Bill Maher after he (27+ / 0-)

      attacked the president for being "everywhere".  During the campaign, I made donations, did door to door canvassing, phone banking and registered voters.  

      I did all of that because I imagined what it would be like to have a president like Barack Obama.  A president that I respected.  A president who was a leader and was ready to govern and get things done.  A president who would improve our image in the world.  And yes, a president who could give a speech and inspire.  

      I love seeing our president engaged and talking to the American people.  I like seeing him everywhere.  I can't get enough.  I am interested in everything our president does.  

      So to Bill Maher I say "Talk to the hand".  You don't speak for me. You have lost my eyeballs.

      •  I stopped listening to Maher long ago. (10+ / 0-)

        And am particularly appalled that he thought he was clever publishing a book the thesis of which is basically that all religious people are fools and idiots.  And this said by a person who has never hesitated to label herself an atheist (no, Virginia, not an agnostic, sorry) since she was old enough to have a genuine opinion about it probably about 30 years ago.

        Bill Maher, IMHO, is the kind of counterproductive jackass that largely serves to pour fuel on the fires of reactionaries.

        The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

        by Mother of Zeus on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:53:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He sucks Ann Coulter's nuts (0+ / 0-)

          that's when he lost me

          "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

          by patgdc on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:53:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is where you lost me... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z

            He sucks Ann Coulter's nuts

            Totally disapproved of crap out of your keyboard.  You should learn the community here before you display this sort of ignorance.

            •  totally not sure I care (0+ / 0-)

              but I understand where you are coming from.  Had an out of head moment, so mea culpa.

              Oh, and the whole "learn the community thing and conform" thing.........very anti-progressive.  Throwing "shoulds" around is very Republican of you.  Are you sure that you are in the right community?  Just saying.

              "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

              by patgdc on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 04:04:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Eh...the attack in response thing is bull. (0+ / 0-)

                Just sayin'.

                I'm a transsexual woman who thinks you should lay off accusing anyone of being trans in order to attack them.

                Progressive people don't resort to bigotry in order to attack to those they don't like.

                •  I'm not going to put my business out there, (0+ / 0-)

                  but from one marginalized person to another, be careful about throwing around the word "bigotry"...really.  In my opinion, if you see/read something you don't like, then leave it alone, unless you can construct a logical argument that refutes the comment.  When someone makes a bonehead comment like the one I did above, is there really the need to give a "you should" in respond?  I don't think so.  ~Peace.

                  "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

                  by patgdc on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 05:44:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've been "refuting" that sort of comment... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...at Daily Kos for 4 years.

                    •  you know, (0+ / 0-)

                      it took me driving to the grocery store this evening and thinking about it and I can now see how you would have taken that comment wrong.  

                      "suck nuts" is a juvenile expression used by my teenage son and his friends to mean kissing *ss.  While I feel sort of dumb for using a crass teenage expression (which is what I thought you were chastising me for), it suddenly occurred to me that you took it that I was saying that Ann Coulter is transsexual, which I actually wasn't....although I know that's a common joke that is used about her.  I have actually made the comment that Coulter was actually a man in drag, but I have made that reference to the fact that she claims to speak for women but everything that she says and writes is decidedly anti-woman.  Anyway, I digress.  I'm sorry if I wrote something that seemed bigoted.  I'm actually a sociologist who teaches courses in social inequality and I do a lot of proactive work and teaching on LGTB issues.  

                      I still don't think you should be chastising people on the internet.  :)

                      "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

                      by patgdc on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 08:03:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  And last night he praised Obama. (4+ / 0-)

        He stated that it is his job to attack the president when he isn't doing what he promised. Kind of like this site. And I am a fan of both.

        Bailin' Palin - She Won't Quit Until She's Halfway Done!

        by kitebro on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:08:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And why he praised him now? (0+ / 0-)

          "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

          by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:48:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For what he said about healthcare (0+ / 0-)

            yesterday. And I agree with Maher. He was right to put him down , although at the time I didn't feel that he was. And he has the sense of decency to admit that Obama is now doing the right thing. Watch the show and see for yourself. Markos was on the panel!

            Bailin' Palin - She Won't Quit Until She's Halfway Done!

            by kitebro on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:13:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My problems with what Maher did back then: (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, Pirate Smile, Matt Z, jennyL
              1. Asking Obama to act like Bush.
              1. Complaining that he was too much on TV and comparing him to Lindsay Lohan. It was disgusting.

              "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

              by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:51:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  asdf II (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z

              President Obama is

              ...going for broke. At last.

              You had me right up till 'at last'.  If there is one thing our President has proven over and over and over, is that he is a master of timing.  He's not going for broke 'at long last'.  He's adhering to HIS schedule and strategy for when and how to expend his capital to get what he wants.  I've seen it happen often enough, and I trust my pattern recognition enough to know the right thing will happen when it should.

              And he [Maher} has the sense of decency to admit that Obama is now doing the right thing.

              What that really is, is admitting he had no clue as to what The President was planning, and he'd better get with the program or look like an idiot.

              All this 'he's finally doing the right thing' stuff really is irritating.  It reminds me of a Doonesbury comic in the early 70's.

              ...Two characters talking, one (A) who believed all along that  VietNam 'police action' was immoral all along, and another (B) who came to that conclusion late in the game.  A asks B "So, then why do you oppose amnesty for those who sought not to participate in that immoral war?"  "Premature Morality"

              In the age of the internet every citizen is the constituent of every elected official. It is SO easy to make small dollar donations now.

              by pvlb on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:27:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Of course you did. The policy matters more to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        formernadervoter

        ...him than any particular party.  

        Of course that's really why, but I wouldn't expect 90% of you to be able to understand it.  

        •  your opinion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Baldur, sluggahjells

          is worth what we paid for it...  but  wouldn't expect 100% of you to comprehend that...

          Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

          by Pithy Cherub on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:15:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's actually a fact, and doesn't become (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BrightWoods, not2plato

            an "opinion" just because you disagree with it.

            You can't stand to feel like someone is making your adored Superstar look bad, when it's never been about any freaking President.  It's about who controls the government, and Obama is as owned by the status quo, powers that be, as the Congress is.

            That's why all of that "Change We Believe in" crap got dropped like a hot potato once he got into office, and was replaced with the "what already works" crap that he says all the time now.  

            As soon as he hired Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, both Goldman Sachs of sh*t, he declared himself a preserver of the status quo instead of a purveyor of change.  

            You want to get him charged up, start showing poll numbers of Democrats around the country struggling (like they are in these Gubernatorial races).  He can regain that candidate Obama fire then, I see.  

            Like William Engdahl said, a man who's a lot more intelligent than you are, they aren't going to let anyone get close to the White House that they do not fully control.  Obama is as controlled as Bush was.  He'll give you some crumbs.  Bush wouldn't even give you those, but it's still just crumbs.

            All of these guys are playing their role, including the President.

            But, you can "believe" in a politician, if you want to.  If you're smart, you'll stop focusing on whether you trust them as a "person", and instead focus on whether you agree with them on particular issues.  

            Party should matter less than positions, and I know that 99% of you agree, which is why you criticize the "Blue Dogs" and you hated "Lieberman" while he was a Democrat.  But, some of you just can't look at the President with the same critical eye.

            That's because Obama is playing his role well, and the corporate media that was the wind beneath his electoral wings, decided on Thursday to change the message from "struggling to get healthcare passed" to "President is on a mission", and you just blindly followed their lead, as usual.  Oh, you think you put him in the White House?  

            You only contributed 1/7th of the money he raised, and you're interest will get no more of his attention than that.  

            They could have easily have called this push by him "an act of desperation because of how tough reform has gotten", and you all would have adopted that as how you feel about it, as well.  

            It's amazing to me, how little people understand about how the political establishment (which includes the corporate media), dictates how you feel about everything by just playing on how the vast majority of human beings can only focus on people (whether they like or dislike them) instead of the issue being address.  The support of a political party represents the same mindset as the person you like.  

            The people of this country will never get the change that they need until they become critical thinkers and stop focusing on whether they like the messenger based on what party he belongs to.  

            For example, what emotions are evoked by the name "Ralph Nader"?

            Hatred, anger, disappointment, disgust...because you believe "he" (a person, right), cost you the 2000 election based on "his" (a person, right) decision to run for President.

            How many things do you overlook while focusing on the "person"?

            1.  The Constitution listed the qualifications required to run for President, none of which were based on party affiliation.  He was qualified to run.
            1.  The state of Florida was called for Gore as soon as the polls closed because it wasn't even close.  If the entire state of Florida was recounted, Gore would have won by at least 20,000 votes, according to the Miami Herald, and the NY Times buried in an article that Gore would have won no matter the method of recount used if the entire state was recounted.
            1.  Based on the shenanigans in Florida, why are people so quick to believe that Gore actually lost his "home state of Tennessee"?  Oh yeah, because that's the conventional wisdom..."Florida wouldn't even have been an issue if he'd have won his home state."  Well, why are people so sure that he didn't have TN stolen from him too?

            Because it's a lot easier to blame Nader.  It's a lot easier to focus on a person.

            So, I'm sure many will attack "me," because I'm a "person", and believe that this post is an attack on "Obama", a "person", and a defense of "Nader", another person.  

            I understand that because I understand how people think, just like they do.  

            •  I'm sorry but I do trust Barack Obama (7+ / 0-)

              Maybe thats stupid but I nver had a leader  that speaks on the issues in a way that inspires me. In his NAACP speech when he said," If John Lewis could brave billy clubs to cross that bridge then I know we can heal our sick and provide quality education to our children. " I damn near cried.

               There has never been a liberal in my lifetime that has argued for what I believe with the clarity and power that obama has. So call me emotional or whateva but I thank god for giving us barack obama.

              men lie women lie numbers dont Jay-Z

              by Changeweseek on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:07:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  great comment. nt. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Matt Z, jennyL
              •  Trusting a politician is suicidal, and lazy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BrightWoods

                Lazy dependency.  "Cast your cares upon him, for he cares for you," right?

                Apparently you don't trust him as much as you think you do if you think that he's the "leader".  I thought he said "YOU were the leader you were looking for."

                Forget about that, eh?

                I like Thom Hartmann's words, from years ago.  "We don't elect leaders in this country, we elect representatives."

                The President is your representative, not your leader, and that attitude that you submit yourself to any politician and allow him/her to decide what's best for you and you just blindly follow, is the very antithesis of democracy, even representative democracy.

                If they are your "leader," you better hope they are 100% pure and responsible, because if they are not, then they will not be accountable to a follower.

                That's another product of today's media culture.  Every time you turn on the television they are talking about "leader" this and "leader" that.  The "leader" of Iran.  The "leader" of Russia.  They are promulgating this submissive attitude on the American people, and they don't even realize the social conditioning taking place.  

                I really don't give a squat about anyone's "emotions" or sense of "attachment."  

                The sooner people realize that their emotions will never override facts such as hiring Goldman Sachs of Sh*t to economic positions and other conservatives to important positions where "change" was needed the most, the sooner they might begin to see the truth.

                So, you almost cried while listening to his NAACP speech.  What does that change about anything?

                But, I bet you one thing.  The NAACP will agitate and hold his feet to the fire.  No doubt they were happy to see a black President speaking before them, but him achieving what he has achieved doesn't change the fact that the unemployment rate among blacks is a little less than double that of whites in this country, or the fact that whites commit a much higher number of every kind of crime than minorities do, but minorities make up a majority of the prison population in this country.  

                "Feeling good" about the President alone isn't going to change any of those "facts," any more than it will the employer-based health care system or the criminal economic system in this country run by the criminals that he hired to oversee it.

                What is he doing to take on the prison industry in this country, or to change the culture in this country that leads to us having the most prisoners in the world, primarily because of a public that would rather throw people away, mostly minorities, than improve the conditions that they face each day?  How is it that whites commit a majority (actual numbers) of crimes because there are so many more whites, but don't proportionately make up a majority of prisoners?  What is the President doing about that injustice and inequality, or is he just counting on people like you fainting when he speaks?

                Makes his job a lot easier.

                But, how far does your inspiration take you?  Are you inspired enough to ever question him or point him in the right direction.

                If he's following Geithner and Summers' advice, and he's leading you, then you'll be following him right over a cliff.

                Geithner and Summers have been wrong.  Dean Baker, Paul Krugman, William Engdahl have better track records than the Sachs of sh*t in Obama's administration, and Baker and Krugman said from the beginning that stimulus was too small (doesn't matter if it's a two-year bill) and Engdahl says the US is going to be going through 10 years of economic hell because nothing the Obama Sachs administration is doing is going to be able to stop it.  

                Either educate yourself so that you'll know when he's "leading" you in the wrong direction, or stop DEFERRING to "The Leader."

                •  "...been waiting for" (0+ / 0-)
                •  I disagree I vote for leaders (0+ / 0-)

                  Not representatives I wouldn't vote for paul krugman  if he ran for president even if he could win and I believe his diagnosis and prescriptions have been spot on but he seems to lack the leadership  qualities to guide the required legislation  to implement those policies thru congress.

                  But  yes I trust Obama giving trust to anyone can be considered naive I don't think that we don't have to do anything

                  I understand we have to call our congressman and senators I call sen fienstein all the time telling her if she votes against the people I would rather have a real republican than a closet one

                  I'm ready to do my part and whatever it takes but I do give the president the benefit of the doubt  because I didn't vote for him based on specific policy proposal even though he had them and I agreed with the majority of them

                  I voted for him because he is a critical thinker who weighs every side before making a decision so as long as he continues do that I  feel we as a country are bound to come out ahead.

                   But we just fundamentally disagree on how we see government and government leaders you think government should do what the people want I think people should elect the people they wont but those people should do what's best for the country as a whole regardless if the people like it or not examples being climate change

                  men lie women lie numbers dont Jay-Z

                  by Changeweseek on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 04:17:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  A Naderite AND a conspiracy nutjob!! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              math4barack, jennyL

              Yeah! That's how I like my CT nutcases, IN fucking SANE.

              "they aren't going to let anyone get close to the White House that they do not fully control.  Obama is as controlled as Bush was."

              Obama is just like Bush!! Yeee hawwww dear god you're a stupid one ain't ya? Aren't you lonely? Shouldn't you be sucking Ralph "Obama is an Uncle Tom" Nader's cock?

              Imagine the `nae true scotsman' fallacy only with Alaskans and Sarah Palin, and you start to appreciate Kant

              by MnplsLiberal on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:24:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There you go, being all predictable... (0+ / 0-)

                ...trying to make it about "me."

                A "Naderite"?  I've never voted for Nader in my life.

                You see, I can separate "me" from the "issue" at hand, that being how people mess up by focusing on who they like.

                "Obama is just like Bush"???

                Those are your words, not mine.

                I said he's controlled by the same big-money interests that controlled Bush.  There is a difference, you know?  Who am I kidding.  Of course you don't know.

                I couldn't care less about Ralph Nader as a person than I do about you, but the fact is, when talking about the issues that affects the American people, he speaks a lot more truth about those issues than most politicians in either of the political parties in this country that, those two parties being the testicles attached to the political establishment's shaft that f*cks the American people daily.

            •  Sad but true (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              namecallerholic

              I recall how wonderfully we all felt when Barack the candi told us that the health care status quo was unacceptable, and promised that he would never defend that status quo.

              Well he IS defending it now.  In his health care forum a week or so ago, when asked about single payer, his excuse for not pursuing the wisest and most cost effective measure was that the insurance industry would suffer.  

              In other words, I am defending the status quo and therefore, I am NOT leading the charge on health care reform.  I am waiting for others to write a compromised, worthless promise for health care reform starting in 2013.  Then I am gonna claim credit for it.  

              All he does now is defend the status quo while pretending to seek change.  Oh, yeah, he changed the situation in Afghanistan from cold to hot.  I forgot that one.  

              Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

              by not2plato on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:43:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow, Wow, Wow. (0+ / 0-)

              So i guess you won't vote for him in 2012.

              "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

              by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:49:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Another "predictable" person, trying to make (0+ / 0-)

                this about "me."

                What I do in 2012 is irrelevant to this conversation.

                People defer to politicians who they like, instead of holding their feet to the fire, which is why the establishment runs personable stooges who people feel a connection with, and the result is always the continuation of the status quo.

                My future vote in 2012 changes nothing about this conversation, so you don't need to hear about it as if that would change anything about the issue.  

    •  Was Bush "YOUR" President, since everything must (4+ / 0-)

      be personalized?  Did you declare ownership of him so adoringly?

      Obama is the President of the United States of America.

      He's not your first cousin.

      If he was a Republican President doing exactly the same things, would you feel the same way?

      Odds are, you wouldn't because it's all about the "team" he belongs to, right?  Your team, right?

      If we had more people who focused on principles, policies, and positions instead of people, parties, and personalities, this country wouldn't be getting run into the freaking ground.

      Both political parties promote the status quo (in the present case of health care, it's keeping it as an "employer-based" system), so the progress can only be incremental, because they've successfully fooled the American people into fighting against each other instead of the plutocracy.  

      What's the best way to do it?  Run pitchmen who "you like" personally.

      You all "love" Obama as a person.
      The Republicans "loved" Bush as a person.  

      That's all that really matters now in the television-dominated era.  

      Most of what they do will not be questioned based on that fact.

      If anyone dares to question the programs they are supporting or proposing, you must first believe that they are a part of your team before you even think about supporting it, and are more than likely not going to support it if you feel like it makes your superstar look bad.

      God, these guys know how to take human beings and use their nature to play them like a fiddle.

      Disagree with me.  Call me a troll, it's irrelevant, when what I'm saying is true.

      •  both parties perpetuate the status quo (0+ / 0-)

        You are so correct.

        Exhibit A for the Dems is Rep. Waxman, who has done great work...when Republicans are president.  When Dems are president, he starts acting like a Republican.

        "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer health care program." Pres. Goldman Sachs Obama, 6/30/03

        by formernadervoter on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:38:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Um, since when did I try to make him my cousin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennyL

        If you're an American, well, he's "your president" too. Just like Maher said......"my president".

        Sometimes I just laugh at the crazy of some folks like you.

        No one is "claiming him" as you so recklessly infer.

        •  That's not the point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BrightWoods

          Read closer, you will learn how deeply you are misunderstanding the point.  

          It can be captured with the old amity/enmity distinction.  Those we favor, we interpret amicably.  Those we oppose, we interpret with enmity.  

          In 2007, lots and lots of us were working against the war.  It was Bush's war.  It was terrible, illegal, immoral, unnecessary.  Nothing could puncture this cocoon of comfortable ideas, including all the facts about all the high ranking dems in DC who supported the war with their sacred votes.  The way this thinking worked was on the principle of enmity.

          Now, in 2009, Barack is POTUS.  When he wants funding for his escalation in Afghanistan, the dem party leadership goes among the former war opponents and warns them that if they vote against the war funding, say, on the grounds that it is an open ended funding request with no strings attached and NO PLAN for withdrawal/exit, then they will be without party support for re-election in 2010.  This chiseling is what?  Is it awful?  Unethical?  Immoral?  Most dems are telling me it is necessary, even good.  The reasoning here is on the principle of amity -- I like Barack, therefore, whatever he does, I will find a way to approve.  I will call it neutral/necessary rather than bad.  I will call it good, I will call it unquestionable -- annything but admit that Barack did something bad.  

          This is name's point: liking a person is not a political mode of thought.  It has nothing to do with policy or ethics, and in fact, as Aristotle pointed out long ago, it is the greatest threat to justice, because we do not think clearly when we think about the actions of our friends.

          Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

          by not2plato on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:25:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dude, you need to look at my diary from yesterday (0+ / 0-)

            I don't carry my president's water. He gets the criticize whenever he doesn't do what the rational people of America hope he does.

            I'm glad you got that Ecclesiastes quote through, I give you that on getting on your inner Solomon there.

      •  You're a Naderite and a CT nut (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        math4barack

        and a pretty stupid one at that.

        Imagine the `nae true scotsman' fallacy only with Alaskans and Sarah Palin, and you start to appreciate Kant

        by MnplsLiberal on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:26:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama should be out promoting healthcare..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TenthMuse

      POTUS is doing a great job - people who bitch about him being out n America all the time think that W's idiocy is how president's should act. The Shrub made the presidency into a joke - I guess these people are the ones who think POTUS should sit the Oval Office all day do...........?  Vacuum????Dust?????
      We want our President to be the smart one, the one who does what he says -- I wish he would go "all LBJ" on congress to let them know "arm-twisting is available".  THIS MUST BE PASSED WITH A PUBLIC OPTION.

  •  He's going for blood (33+ / 0-)

    their agents in Congress

    Dems especially better beware.  if they again tank health care expect a backlasl to end all backlashes

    •  Failure is not an option (15+ / 0-)

      A good number of our nauseous Democratic Senators have yet to grasp this basic fact.  I'll be writing on this this morning.

      It's hard for me, I like to be loyal and continually make excuses for tearing whatever Democrat has screwed up again a new as..., well, I can be tough.

      We'll see.  Obama will have to do this nearly every day, I can't believe how hard this change is. Should have been easier.

      •  Obama IS doing it nearly every day. (17+ / 0-)

        if people would drag themselves away from the inane cable chatterers Obama can be found on CSPAN or the BBC World News  or PBS practically every day with a town hall meeting, a major speech, a meeting with everyone involved in the health care debate  He has the team (Congress) he is the Coach, urging them on to victory.

        They blasted Clinton for writing and presenting health legislation in toto and now are blasting Obama for letting the people the Constitution states have the responsibility to pass legislation actually write the legislation.  When that is done it is up to him to say yeah or nay!  That's how the American system works.

        People are ridiculous, its either he is out of the country and has lost control of the message or he is at home and is hogging the limelight. Bill Maher is a skinny white idiot. Lost respect boy, there is nothing to admire in someone who is always against everything instead of trying to be part of the solution. At least Al Franken put his life and career on the line and got into the fray.

      •  will you be providing a list? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jennyL

        as of right now, I'm unable to determine who needs nudging, because I will nudge them.  

        "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

        by patgdc on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:55:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Start with the Gang of Six (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennyL, patgdc

          The Dems, Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu and especially Wyden of OR, and the GOP ladies from Maine if you are from Maine.  Also Baucus, Grassley if you are from Iowa, Conrad and Bayh.  And don't forget Feinstein, although she claims that pressure means nothing to her.  Give to one of the groups running ads.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:15:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Adopting the Dems' plan IS failure (0+ / 0-)

        The fucking plan won't work.

        "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer health care program." Pres. Goldman Sachs Obama, 6/30/03

        by formernadervoter on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:38:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman is hanging (27+ / 0-)

      it around the necks of the Gang of Six "moderates" in his blog.  He said, if they tank it -- remember their names -- as if we would forget.

    •  Not the first time either... (17+ / 0-)

      Yesterday's new conference he said that we have to "Force Congress" to get this done right.
      Strong words.
      He's done playing nice.

      So the terrorists of Gitmo are stronger, faster, and better than the USDOJ? The Senate thinks so. My. How "American".

      by RElland on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:12:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call Congress and tell (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, Luetta, fayea, polar bear, jennyL

      to put this on a continuous loop  to remind them what the American people want!!!...1.800.828.0498
      Thank you Mr. President!

      Congress forgets that they have single payer healthcare coverage---The American tax payer pays!

    •  Good To See Engagement (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Akonitum, taiping1

      It's good to see Obama engaging on this topic.  Although most of them mean well, unless pressed, Congress will take four years to dot every "i" and cross every "t", in exactly the right size font.  It is understandable that they want to get it right to avoid having something worse than what we have now.  But I think they could hardly do worse than our current health care system with its inherent incentive to minimize public health.

    •  he is!! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, fayea, TenthMuse, jennyL, patgdc
      I take issue with one comment the author made, that Obama is "at last" using his political capital.  It makes it sound as if he has been vacillating or weak until now.  I don't think so.

      He did this all through the campaign and he did it on the stimulus bill.  He gives everyone the opportunity to either do their job or prove they won't and then times it perfectly to bring the hammer down when it has most effect.  If he had started with this attitude, backs would be up, egos would have started as against it just because and effectively it would have diluted its power a few weeks ago giving a large amount of time for pushback against him.

      Stimulus package he came down with the hammer about 2 weeks before he wanted to sign and it seems he is doing it now too.  The republicans and blue cross dogs will be scrambling while he goes for a full court press.  Prime time presser, rahm twisting arms, he will be meeting with the people he needs and doing his own version of "crush them".  Even his comments when he introduced the new surgeon general showed he was fully aware and pushing back. "the week i was away there was a lot of chatter" lol

      He has been doing it earlier as well just not as publicly where everyone sees it unless they are wonks watching c span :D  Which was ok bc the public is already vastly in favor of it.

      "I know we will have differences. Put them aside. It is so easy to focus on where we don't agree and to lose the big picture. Fight until we win" -Kwickkick

      by vc2 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:38:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that there's a lot on the plate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, TenthMuse

        and he's having to spread his energies very thin.  I can't think of a president who ever came into office with the level of crises and the range of crises that Obama has.  Those of us who are focused on one issue are jealous when he pays attention to another.  

        "The political core of any movement for freedom in the society has to have the political imperative to protect free speech." bell hooks

        by patgdc on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He gives his opponents time to become (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, jennyL, vc2

        hoist on their own petards.  It's part of his rope-a-dope strategy.  They fall for it every time.  

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:26:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what choice will you have? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      I was glad to hear Obama finally come out explicitely for a public option within the exchange.

      But the devil is in the details and what chouce people will actually have remains an issue. What if you theoretically have access to health insurance via an employer, but it is expensive and/or coverage too limited? Who will the echange and public option be open to?

      How does the public option keep from being a dumping ground for the sick, which then makes it more and more expensive? Meanwhile the private for-profits will skim off the healthy and wealthy.

      First read Don McCanne's crititque of the choice actually being offered:
      http://www.pnhp.org/...

      And Jon Cohn's earlier backgrounder:
      http://www.tnr.com/...

      Now, Wyden's proposed amendments to improve the exchange are getting much attention from reporters with access to what is considered the mainstream Democratic view:

      http://blogs.tnr.com/...

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

      I remain doubtful that any fix that leave the private for-profits in place will work, but what they are proposing can be made better. Questions to ask:

      1. Will the exchange let you choose a better plan? - Will public option be open to everybody, even if they have access to private insurance through employer?
      1. Will it let you have free choice of physician, clinic and hospital?
      1. How does the proposal avoid adverse selection, and public plan becoming the ever increasingly expensive dumping ground for sick, while the private insurance companies scoop up the healthy and wealthy?
      1. Will it save individuals money while providing 100% coverge and access to care that is comprhensive when you need it? - Will it control overall costs?

      Just askin'

      •  You may lose your doctor (0+ / 0-)

        Good points.  I also think Obama should not have said so flatly that if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.  Not if your insurance co drives your employer away with cost increases, or you are priced out of individual coverage.  Not if your doctor changes plans.  Not if you change or lose your job.

        People with insurance need to understand how vulnerable many of them are now.

        Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

        by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:22:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The bill was written to please lobbyists (0+ / 0-)

        and other crybabies who make big bucks from the current system.  

        It will not allow all of us to choose the public option.  

        If you think that all of you will have this option, you are all dreaming.

        Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

        by not2plato on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:54:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is what I hope for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      Right now, I think the house plan is a piece of garbage that, contrary to what Barack said today, in fact increases subsidies to rich insurance companies, and does not control costs at all.  It is a poison band-aid.  It MUST NOT PASS.  

      Instead, let health care fail, and we will enter into a primary season to truly remember.  I would love to run a primary against a blue dog dem -- and knock them out over this issue, and replace them with a more progressive candi.  

      The thing to hope for is the failure of the current legislation in the house.  the senate plan is still under wraps.  But the house plan truly stinks.  

      Of course, there is almost no criticism of it here on KOS.  you will have to go elsewhere to figure out how screwed we will all be if the house blue dogs get their way.  

      Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

      by not2plato on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:30:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's incredibly popular, still high job approval, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      and as a result is extremely powerful, with a lot of influence. He can inflict some major damage upon some of these senators if they get in his way.

  •  When is Obama going to Cleveland? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stranded Wind

    Obama 7/15/09: Health care reform: "It's time to buck up".

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:04:15 AM PDT

  •  Well, if the President is committed (19+ / 0-)
    Then its down to us to put pressure on the Congress to do something besides what they usually do, nothing.

    So that's what a republican looks like in person? Wow. I've seen pictures, but never imagined the smell.

    by Dungeon Dwelling Dragon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:06:26 AM PDT

  •  Well, we know now that these folks that are (3+ / 0-)

    dragging their feet have determined that the people dying every day due to no health care is currently valued at 1.4 million dollars per day. I'm sure this amount will increase, though, as more lobbying money pours in.

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

    by logsol on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:09:09 AM PDT

  •  There is a passion and urgency in his voice (17+ / 0-)

    that I did not sense in his previous weekly addresses. There are strong emotions just beneath the surface.

    The man truly cares.

    The next revolution will be self-organized.

    by nailmaker on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:09:37 AM PDT

  •  Stemwinder (19+ / 0-)

    "Stemwinder" is one of those grand old words that have traveled so far from their origins that nearly all traces of their beginnings have faded from popular culture. The culprit in this case is not merely the passage of time (which, after all, has been passing since about day one), but the accelerating pace of technological progress. In many such cases, the advent of the new and shiny has led to the coining of "retronyms" as a way of distinguishing the old and moldy from their more modern equivalents. Thus we find ourselves specifying "broadcast TV," "film camera," "brick-and-mortar store," and the like. But in the case of "stemwinder," if there were a modern equivalent to its source, it would be as irrelevant as a digital butter churn.

    It all goes back to the humble watch. Before there were electronic battery-powered wrist watches, before there were manually wound (or self-winding) mechanical watches, before there were even watches worn on one’s wrist, there were pocket watches. And if you go way back, those pocket watches were wound with a separate tiny key. This may sound cute, but it was a major drag, because the process was awkward and the key was easily lost. So in 1842, when the French watchmaker Adrien Philippe (co-founder of Patek-Philippe) invented a "keyless" watch that was wound by turning its "stem" (a knurled knob on the side of its case, today called the "crown"), it was such an improvement that it won Philippe a Gold Medal at the French Industrial World’s Fair.

    It’s hard to imagine today, but the new "stemwinder" watch became an instant public sensation of almost delirious intensity, the iPod of its day. It was so popular, in fact, that within a few years the term "stemwinder" entered the lexicon as a synonym for anything excellent and exciting. By the end of the 19th century, "stemwinder" was being used to mean, first, an energetic person, then a rousing public speaker, and finally an especially inspiring speech itself.

    Interestingly, as the public memory faded of how revolutionary the "stemwinder" invention had been, the word took on the slightly more focused sense of a speech which not only impresses but galvanizes a crowd to action, perhaps by analogy to a watch spring being wound up ("After all the calls to unity, ..a stemwinder in the old tradition from Hubert Humphrey,... Sargent Shriver was formally nominated for Vice-President," T.H. White, 1974). This is the sense in which we use "stemwinder" today.

    http://www.word-detective.com/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:10:36 AM PDT

  •  This is how it's done (21+ / 0-)

    As he has said many times in one way or another..."make me do it."

    He waited to spend his capital until the moment was right. Things would move this way without him, but now is the time to parlay movement into victory.

    This guy is smarter than we give him credit for sometimes. I know that seems strange to say, but it's true.

    He waited until he got the CBO score in, waited until we did some of the work whipping and cajoling and embarrassing. He waited until it was time.

    Now, it's time.

    Let's keep up the pressure. It's time.

    •  "until the moment was right". (4+ / 0-)

      .
       No, the moment was "right" several months ago:  to create and control the Narrative, not to be playing desperate "catch-up" in mid/late-July.

       I hope he can pull this off, and if he does maybe he'll start "getting" that:

        (a)  Playing "catch up" is not the way to go.

        (b)  The obsession with "bi-partisanship" needs to be scrapped.  Period.

      BenGoshi
      ____________________

      "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

      by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:25:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just hope it's not too late (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BenGoshi, Crazy like a fox

         This was an excellent address by Obama, one of his best. But if he'd delivered it a couple of months ago we might have health care reform today.

         Obama (and his advisers) remain unspeakably naive about the way our corporate media functions.

        "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

        by Buzzer on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:46:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (8+ / 0-)

        There needed to be time for congress to create various alternatives and for the battle lines to be drawn.  Earlier would have been premature.

        •  i agree. (12+ / 0-)

          we elected a president who understands and respects the co-equal branches.

          sure he couldve steamrolled it early on and appeared to be a dictator. But we elected a president with respect for co-equal branches of government. It is the job of congress to craft the laws. Now that there are some possible pieces of legislation, and CBO reports to back them up, he can marry his own wishes with something concrete instead of something nebulous.

          I recall not many weeks ago people around here asking "what are we supposed to be supporting?" frustrated at the lack of something concrete to examine and support or not support.

          At the time the bills were still being crafted.

          Now there are solid bills crafted. They are making the rounds of committee.  The president, who wanted to make sure the bills are solid before using his appreciable ability to rally the troops, can confidently say this is what we want and actually POINT to something (and the numbers for it).  how embarrassing would it have been for him to rally everyone only to have a stupid bill come up months later, one that he couldnt support and that wouldnt help the american people (like the co-op plan we just barely missed?)

          His timing is, as usual, impeccable.

          BTW I recall a lot of folks around here having "problems" with his timing and "naivete" during the campaign too. Just sayin'

          •  You believe in Obama to the point of (0+ / 0-)

            .
             . . . sycophancy.

             I don't.

             I believe he displays incredible leadership skills when he wants to.  For the past several months he's chosen NOT to lead on health-care reform.  NOW he's playing desperate "catch-up".  I wish him and all of us the best.  But he screwed-up.  It may be fixable, but we -- none of us -- should have to be playing goddam "catch up".  

             

            bg
            _____________________

            "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

            by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:14:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  thanks ben. i love being called (10+ / 0-)

              a syncophant.

              you dont know me and your personal assessment of me is irrelevant.

              I believe he displays incredible leadership skills when he wants to.  For the past several months he's chosen NOT to lead on health-care reform.

              I happen to believe that too. I just dont think it was because he a dumbass. You do.  I happen yto think he's smart enough and astute enough to choose when HE thinks its the best time to

              displays incredible leadership skills

              . The fact that he chose to do it at a time that you think is an error made because he's naive (or something) doesn't mean he is.

              The difference between you and me is not my so-called synophant-hood. Its that I actually believe (based on some pretty good evidence in his track record) that Obama knows what the fuck he's doing. that's all.

              •  well, it is what it is. - nt - (0+ / 0-)

                "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

                by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You are right as rain. They said (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew, mdmslle, jennyL

                the same stuff about Obama during the campaign - being too soft, not attacking, letting it all slip by because he refused to take action.  Ho hum.  He fucking won in spite of the anxious types that want to see fireworks from the get-go on everything.  I'm glad you, mdmslle, can see the beauty of Obama's strategic power plays.  Let the opponents tire themselves out ranting like the maniacs they are.  Then, pow.  Knock out in one punch.  It's so easy to say he should have made that knock out punch in the first round.  However, it is not so certain to work at that time, and way less entertaining.

                I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                by fayea on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:39:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  and anyway if you believe he (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, fayea, TenthMuse, PurpleMyst

              display incredible leadership skills when he WANTS to why do you believe this isnt when he WANTED TO?

              just sayin

            •  No offense, but he DID lead on health care reform (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, fayea, TenthMuse, jennyL

              by putting it front and center of his campaign for Presidency.  Which he won.  Whoever said upthread that he respects co-equal branches of government is correct.   Why would he have run from President if what he really wanted and where he thought he would be most effective was drafting legislation?  He was already a senator after all.  

              A president doesn't lead by crafting legislation.  A president leads by spending political capitol to bring the pressure to the hill.  Senators lead by crafting legislation and whipping up support for it.  But it starts with a call for it.  Which Obama spent 2 years doing with great success.  Everyone knew what he wanted for healthcare when they pulled that lever in November.  It is up to congress to deliver that bill to him and it is up to us to pressure congress to do so.  

              If you think that the president and his staff have not been working behind the scene to ensure this happens as well, then you are sadly mistaken.  

              •  No, actually, he's been passive. (0+ / 0-)

                .
                 I'm glad he's finally discovered what a Bully Pulpit is.  I just hope it's not too late.

                 bg
                __________________

                "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

                by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:37:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  His being "passive" as you call it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fayea, jennyL

                  just might lead to actual reform instead of full on defeat.  I suppose he should have spent day and night shouting at people about his vision until his words had all the gravitas or seriousness of say...a Rush Limbaugh.  Or, he does control the military, I wonder why he didn't just declare change and then enforce it at the point of a gun...that would have gotten things where you wanted them to be A LOT quicker.

                  Seriously, your disdain for actual politics is understandable, but I'll forgive our most powerful politician for feeling the need to engage in them to reach his end goals.  I'm understanding like that.

                  •  Well, we fundamentally disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                    .
                     Ain't democracy great?

                     I believe in a President Leading.  On health care reform he's not been doing that.  He's starting late in the day.  I hope not too late.

                     You think his timing's perfect.  Whatever.

                    bg
                    _______________

                    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

                    by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:52:58 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Isn't the very act of leading (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jennyL

                      getting a bunch of people to believe in your vision and then everyone together playing their individual parts to accomplish that?  Leading has nothing to do with being responsible for every cog in the machine.  That's managing.  They are two different jobs.  He has led congress to water, but it is no longer his job to be a congressman.  

                      •  To quote Lao Tzu: (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jennyL

                        "A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves."

                        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

                        by fayea on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:42:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  In his defense (0+ / 0-)

              He had the economy to deal with, and various smaller crises.

              I think his style is what was said above--outline some broad principles, give people a chance to work on solving the problems, feel out what is practicable, gradually split off those who are willing to be problem solvers from the posturers, then drop the hammer in a final push.

              He has been trying to steer a middle course between Clinton's mistakes (send his own detailed plan to Congress) and letting Congress, tool of the special interests, do very little.  

              I do think he let the foreign trips detract a bit from pushing the domestic agenda, though, and could have been more forceful earlier.  It is good he's reminding the Dems they lost Congress in 1994 after Clinton's reform plan failed and nothing was passed.

              Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

              by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:35:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, no "defense". (0+ / 0-)

                .
                 This is his "pet project".

                 He either cares about it enough to get out "in front" of the Narrative, or he doesn't.  Or he thinks that passivity up until the last minute is a good strategy.  I don't think it is.  I just hope it works, though, that he can pull this out of his ass.

                 bg
                ___________________

                "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

                by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:38:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  well said. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fayea, mdmslle, TenthMuse, PurpleMyst

            Obama learned well from the Clinton fiasco and is not repeating their mistakes.

        •  Disagree all you want. (0+ / 0-)

          .
           The fact is Obama's playing catch-up.  He's NOT "out in front" of the narrative.

           Now is (actually several months ago was) the time for LEADERSHIP, not for playing "rope a dope" as you think is so great.

           I like and support Obama.  But I reject the notion that a supporter need be a sycophant who believes everything he does is "genius".

           bg
          _______________

          "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

          by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:12:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama has always made the 'opponents' (11+ / 0-)

      put their cards on the table first...Look what he did with the clintons--defused! He is wise enough to make Congress do the job they were elected to do...WRITE THE LAWS'  Now they are whining about no input...or help but it is their job- NOT HIS!

      They are like bad editors...They can not write but they can tear it down...Obama did not play their game!
      Call them---1.800.828.0498

  •  This is a good address (8+ / 0-)

    I have been frantic since yesterday about the fate of health care reform. Yes, I know Obama talked about "insurance" reform vs "health care" reform, but whatever. What he said in this address is the first time I have heard him directly say what he will/will not sign in a bill that hits his desk.

    What I am hearing is that there has to be a public plan and exchange; there has to be a lowering of costs; and it has to be done this time around.

    Thing is, he doesn't need to tell me this. He needs to tell the Democratic wankers this. And put some teeth behind it. No more cookies for them, no more money to their state, no more unicorn bills, no more money for their campaigns, and no more use of the company bathroom.

    In. No. Uncertain. Terms.

    The wankers must be yanked. Hard and fast.

    They don't win until we give up.

    by irmaly on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:14:14 AM PDT

    •  I noticed that too that Obama calls it (5+ / 0-)

      "health insurance reform" not "health care reform".  

      I am not sure why.

      Obama 7/15/09: Health care reform: "It's time to buck up".

      by Drdemocrat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  easy (21+ / 0-)

        because people (regular everyday folks) LIKE their health "care" and hate their health "insurance".  

        If you think about it, (and polls support this) people LIKE their doctors and care givers. What we HATE is the insurance companies who fuck everything up. Regular everyday folk have never had to fight their doctors. they fight the insurance adjusters who send denial letters and bills for ungodly amounts you didnt expect and who sound detached and ambivalent when you call them crying about it.

        i'm sure this has been focus tested to death but I think its an important distinction when trying to reach an apolitical audience.

        Additionally, its the health INSURANCE companies who are the enemy. He may be adjusting the terminology as to presage a coming full frontal attack on the evils of the health INSURANCE industry, which no one can deny and is really what people are unhappy about. Exposing their lobbying efforts, demonizing them (rightly) in a similar way as he demonized Bush in 2008.

        I can think of lots of reasons to use health insurance reform. To me, its actually more accurate.

        •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

           It's much better framing.

           The parasites here are the insurance companies, not the doctors.

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:49:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, it already seems to be having an effect-- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sherlyle, trinite, Akonitum

          as an elderly person I've been getting all kinds of health-related calls.  Yesterday there was one from someone who described herself as my health care advocate. I didn't listen to more, though I probably should have.

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:52:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  advocate, eh? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billlaurelMD, Luetta

            probably an insurance co. shill

          •  They haven't called me yet. (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe they know they'd be wasting their time.

          •  Depends on where they're calling from (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hannah, fayea

            I have no idea who this person was, but I'm seeing more and more of this idea of patient advocates, and even insurance advocates within hospitals and even insurance companies.

            Not all hospitals and insurance companies are evil. That's too easy of a judgement. But even the good ones recognize that the system is so large, so complex and so weighted against the patient/member that they've tried to balance out the equation a little bit by having people whose job it is to try and help real people not get as screwed.

            We've used patient advocates when we were getting poor care in the hospital before, and they were wonderfully useful. (Duke Univ. Hospital)

            Sometimes, though, they just can't do anything but explain in detail how you're getting screwed. I also have a recent example of this.

            Last year I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil. (just one)  I had two surgeries and radiation and so far so good. Everyone in the oncology wing was wonderful and compassionate and really seemed to care about taking care of me. And my insurance company payed for everything once I had used up my deductible and co-insurance (which is evil) which means I got a whole lot of care for "only" $3000 out of pocket.  

            Ok, could have been better, could have been worse.

            Well, I have follow up appointments every two months for the first year, and now every three months. I come in, they do a quick scope down my throat to look for anything that shouldn't be there, feel around my lymph nodes, and I'm out. It takes about 20 minutes.

            These appointments take place at Duke Clinic which is a big ol' building full of clinics supporting Duke Hospital. I have no choice of where I see these doctors (I alternate between the surgeon and the oncologist).

            Up until last March, these visits were treated as an office visit so I just paid my co-pay of $40. As of March, Duke University Hospital decided to change over Duke Clinic to be considered an out-patient facility. They kept telling us it was happening, but never explaining the implications of this except to say you may now be getting two bills instead of one.

            The real implication came when I got my EOB (explanation of benefits) from my insurance company for my Feb. visit and my April visit. Both visits listed the exact same codes, same procedures, but one showed the $40 co-pay as my share, the next one showed that I owed $275 for an out-patient surgery procedure that would be applied to my deductible for the year.

            The next time I went in, just this month, I spoke with the clinic's "patient advocate" and found out that this is one of the real implications of becoming an out-patient clinic. The other is that Duke can now start billing for more parts to the same procedures since it is considered out-patient rather than office visit. She was sympathetic, but could only explain what it really means. She admitted that she hadn't even understood what the whole change was going to mean until it happened. And that's her job to know insurance! (of course, Duke never announced it in any way that made it clear they were becoming an out-patient clinic, they used other words that didn't set off alarm bells)

            So, sometimes patient advocates can be helpful, sometimes they can't do much of anything. I've even encountered, as  I mentioned above, member advocates from insurance companies that are there to help you better understand what is and what is not covered. They can't get you better coverage than what's in your contract, nor can they reverse decisions themselves, but they can help you better understand what is and is not covered, and how to get the most out of what you do have. (like getting a mammography from a doctor's office is considered an office visit and is 100% covered with co-pay, but a mammography done at an out-patient clinic is not and falls under your deductible)

            So, these advocates while possibly helpful, are extra overhead in the system that only delivers value because of the inefficiencies and injustices of the system as it is. Get rid of those, and we don't need the advocates anymore. Hopefully they can then become advocates for consumers in other areas where we still need them.

            Plane

            Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, work when people are watching. - Dogbert

            by PlaneCrazy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:12:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your story illustrates a key point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hannah

              in the problem with the current system.  The care did not improve when Duke changed the category of the clinics, but their bottom line improved dramatically.  If an institution can figure out how to improve their cut by following "rules" that are perfectly legal, they will.  This type of shenanigan is seriously going to change with the bill that Obama will sign.  Currently there is an administrative group that evaluates how reimbursement for Medicare is done.  They make recommendations to Congress.  Each recommendation is evaluated piecemeal.  Whatever state or entity it affects (cuts pay) clamors loudly until that cost saving measure dies.  In the bill that Obama will sign, those cost saving measures will be bundled together so that the millions of dollars of savings will shout louder than any one pet part of the cuts, so the package has a higher chance of passing than each individual component.  This is exactly what happened when the military needed to close bases around the country.  Suggesting that a particular base should be closed, saving a relatively modest amount of money, raised the hackles of the Senator from the state in which it lay - "OMG everyone in my state will die!" - and each Senator colluded with their buddies to say if you vote with me, when your turn comes along, I'll vote with you.  So, eventually the base closings were all lumped together with a huge $$$$ cost savings attached and it was just too much $$$$ to vote against.  

              I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

              by fayea on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:56:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I appreciate your perspective, but I'm not sure I (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fayea

                agree on the base closings since they seem to have justified having more bases with shorter rotations overseas.  I am actually a strong proponent of military service (sent both sons to do a tour as a reserve and regular Army) and think a year overseas is very beneficial, but the stateside base closings are still suspect in my mind.  In many instances, one of the primary motivations seems to have been to leave polluted environments behind and let local communities supervise the clean-up.  Taxpayers pay anyway, but when the polluters leave, they also take away the historical memory and that makes all the harder to clean up.

                Perhaps one of the most pernicious aspects of our occupation of Iraq is the environmental damage we have caused (not just by bombing, but via simple non-disposal of waste).  It would have been good for the Pentagon to have developed the habit of cleaning up after itself.

                How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:51:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Very good point (0+ / 0-)

          I have always been bothered when people talk about health insurance reform not health care reform since I'd like to see private insurers die out, but this explanation is really good.  Makes perfect sense.  I'll stop talking it as backsliding.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:42:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Because it's not the care that needs (0+ / 0-)

        reforming; it's how it gets funded.

        Technically speaking, insurance is not appropriate for almost certain events.  But, Social Security is referred to as old age insurance and Medicare is medical insurance for the elderly (which, unlike a pension, they haven't earned).  

        I'm content that they've gone to "public option" instead of the inappropriate 'c' word.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:48:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some care needs reforming (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fayea

          Use of more expensive alternatives that are less effective but bring more profit, for example.  

          Excessive care at the end of life.  Much could be saved by more humane, natural end-of-life care.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:46:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  First thing I noticed about it (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mimikatz, Luetta, fayea, zapus

        as the most important rhetorical change in the President's message.

        As long as we were arguing about health CARE reform, then the arguments about choosing your doctor for you, long lines, letting the elderly die because health CARE is rationed, etc.. could be made. They were obviously false arguments, but the frame of health CARE reform allowed them.

        By calling it health INSURANCE reform, you take away the ground from those arguments. Who's going to get up and say how wonderfully our health insurance companies are? More importantly, who's going to try and scare us with the fear that we might have to get in line for health insurance, that we might be attacking the elderly's health insurance. ("But they generally don't have insurance, they have Medicare and maybe a Med supp. plan")

        Now, we all know that we need true reform of the WHOLE system, but if we can get just one reform passed, a true public option along with the tools for comparing the various public and private options (that's what his description  of the exchange sounded like), then we can use these levers for true systemic reform. e.g. negotiating drug prices on a national level, changing incentives from quantity of procedures to quality of procedures.

        I'm glad to see President Obama drawing the line in the sand where he is, and I hope he continues to use this rhetorical cudgel of "Health Insurance Reform" to drive it home. It may not be perfect, but if we can do what he called for in his speech, we are a whole lot further along then I ever thought I'd see in my lifetime, and we'll be in a better position to keep improving the whole system.

        I like irmaly's suggestion about yanking the wankers. "No more cookies for them, no more money to their state, no more unicorn bills, no more money for their campaigns, and no more use of the company bathroom."
        Plane

        Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, work when people are watching. - Dogbert

        by PlaneCrazy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:51:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Note he did this just as the doctors and nurses (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, fayea

          Came on board.  This is what he is really good at--giving people a chance to help solve the problem, and  when the wedge is where ihe wants it, bringing down the hammer to split off the obstructionists. He's largely got the doctors, nurses, hospitals.  The private insurers and GOPers are now the obstructionists, with the Conservadems in the balance, deciding which way to jump.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:50:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Now what the Obama team needs is (12+ / 0-)

    for the Obama team to go out on every news agency (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc) and talk about health care reform.

    It can't be just Obama.  Not big fan of Sebellius because she isn't forceful enough but she is going up agains McConnell on MTP and he is a bad speaker for the GOP.

    However, I am a HUGE fan of Orszag.  He is one of my two favorite members on Obama's economic team (the other is Goolsbee).  He will be out there on Sunday on CNN and FOX.

    I am also a big fan of Schumer.  I think that he is a good spokes person for the administration and he has a knack for politics.

    Obama 7/15/09: Health care reform: "It's time to buck up".

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:14:32 AM PDT

    •  The other side is flooding msm. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coral, Cassandra77

      They're on every channel, frantically telling us we'll all go broke, die while waiting in line for health care.  Here in Iowa we're being saturated with ads against health care reform.  Is this happening in every state?

      •  Harry and Louise II (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle

         No one could have anticipated that the enemies of health reform would run a massive propaganda campaign. I mean, who would have seen THAT coming?

         I honestly don't know what is the reason for the existence of the Democratic Party.

        "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

        by Buzzer on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:55:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Know what you mean, Buzzer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buzzer

          But any time I get too depressed over the Dems, I consider the only alternative - just giving it over to the Repubs and letting them run with it.
          We have a prez and a few congress people who really do get it and are trying.  Slim chance of success?  Well, maybe, but that still beats the crap out of certainty of defeat.  :)

          •  True (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sherlyle, fayea, polar bear

             One-tenth of a loaf is better than none.

             But I still don't understand why Ben Nelson, who loathes working people, identifies as a Democrat. There's a Republican Party right in front of him that's much more attuned to his beliefs.

             And he's just one of too many examples. Why can't they leave the Democratic Party to Democrats?

            "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

            by Buzzer on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:20:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Scare tactics from the other side (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, pickandshovel, polar bear

        will not work if we stay on them...Email the MSM---Call Congress--1.800.828.0498 Get active Badger them to death!

        •  We know how many people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polar bear

          want the public option, but has anyone done polling on the number of people WILLING to pay higher tax in order to get it?
          Repubs are yelling their heads off about higher taxes and running small business out of business, but there's not been much visible pushback on this.
          Telling a Repub it will benefit so many people who desperately need it does absolutely no good.  They don't seem to care.  BUT tell them they'll actually save money over paying for private insurance, and their ears prick up.  
          Would a petition from lots of voters volunteering to pay a tax to get this done get attention from BlueDogs?

        •  How many more calls can I make? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm sure the staff recognizes my voice by now. I know I recognize theirs.

    •  I agree about Orszag. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, mdmslle

      I think he's a great spokesperson. Articulate, warm, knows what he's talking about.

      The best is the enemy of the good. --Voltaire

      by pateTX on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:42:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I thought I liked Orszag until I read about him (0+ / 0-)

      in a frontpage piece in The NYT.  Now I think he's a kook who thinks he knows all about medicine and what procedures everyone should have or not have.  He had a genetic test to see if he could keep consuming huge amounts of coffee.  I wonder if he would approve of that procedure for everyone else or if this ridiculous test is just o.k. for  special people like him who go overboard on coffee and probably everything else.  

      •  The Orszag article (0+ / 0-)

        was in The NYT on Saturday, March 28, on the front page.  The author is Jodi Kantor.  It's worth reading.  Obviously this guy is influencing the President.  I've heard Obama repeat his words verbatim.

        •  Orszag is no kook (0+ / 0-)

          He used to be the head of the CBO until he joined the Obama administration.

          He tells it straight.  He actually wrote a letter to the House after their health care bill came out saying that they were NOT doing enough to cut cost and curve the bend for health care inflation in the outer years.

          If only the House listened to Orszag before the official CBO report came out.

          Obama 7/15/09: Health care reform: "It's time to buck up".

          by Drdemocrat on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:07:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Au contraire - about Sebelius (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      She is quite soft spoken but she speaks with an undeniable surety.  She has said (several times that I have heard including just the other night on Jon Stewart) "health care reform will be passed"  or some such phraseology.  No doubt in her at all.  Just simply that it is.  I appreciate her quiet elegance - no need to bluster or shout.  Just clarity and certainty.  I find it pretty convincing.

      I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

      by fayea on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:01:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nationalization, or bust (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stranded Wind

    That's all...

  •  Our elected representatives have shown us quite (5+ / 0-)

    vividly what they think of us, not much.  We are money and a vote, once that is done, their responsibility to their constituents is exhausted and it is time for payback to the special interests and the corporations that they really represent.  Yes, I am a bit bitter.  50 years old and still waiting for a basic human right in the country that holds all other countries to higher standards than they are willing to meet.

    •  I'm beyond bitter. Never thought I would give (0+ / 0-)

      up fighting but I am really thinking what is the use.
      Might as well join the other 95% who don't do anything but at least they lead their lives without all the time that is wasted on politicians who give a rat's ass about us.

  •  For the for-profit health insurance corporations (7+ / 0-)

    it's looking like the gravy-train may finally be off the rails, $$$$ and political connections notwithstanding.

    The mainstream is sick of the canards.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Did he say anything about our separate and (9+ / 0-)

    and unequal public health systems being a vestige of legal segregation?

    Probably not.  He's too young.  

    But, somebody should make the point that Medicare, by serving the elderly and disabled exclusively, is in violation of the equal protection clause.

    There's a reason for privatized everything.  Private corporations find it easier to evade the obligation to serve everyone equally.

    And let's not fall for the GOP argument that people aren't equal.  That's irrelevant.  The Constitution demands equal service not equalizing.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:16:50 AM PDT

  •  Weeks ago many of us were begging for Obama... (8+ / 0-)

    .
     . . . to start leading on this.

     Once again I'm afraid a Democratic President has underestimated the ability of the GOP and Insurance/Pharma Industries to create and control the Narrative, and underestimated the proclivity of Congress to sink into lobbyist-controlled cravenness.

     Dammit:  get ahead of and make the narrative.

     Why is this so hard for Democrats to "get"???

    bg
    _________________

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:18:46 AM PDT

  •  timeline (0+ / 0-)
    The need for reform is urgent, but not necessarily dead if not passed this summer.  The line in the sand is arbitrary and is used to add pressure for a bill.  I'd rather we pass a good bill in the fall than a useless one next month.  There will be a tomorrow--the party in the majority draws up the calendar.  

    Sometimes (ok--many times) Dems don't seem to understand--they're in control--no more hat in hand begging is necessary.

    •  I think the time pressure (10+ / 0-)

      is due to the fact that many proponants feel that if the bill doesn't go through very, very soon, the insurance lobby and "their agents in Congress" will continue to ramp up their advertising, swiftboat this issue, and the Republicans will be able to slow the momentum and destroy the chance to make this happen at all.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:22:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, Stranded Wind

        Most people realize something needs to be done--time for Dems to call out the Republicans as obstructionists.  We are the leadership unless we are afraid to lead.  

        Republicans bankrupted the country, the economy, the military, and health care, yet, I haven't heard many Dems use that in the rhetoric--why?  Leo Durocher used to say--Nice guys finish last.  Well we won, we're nice, but we'll be ineffective if we don't play some blame game.  Not pretty, but crooked media makes this necessary.

        •  I think the more effective obstructionists (5+ / 0-)

          are these so-called "centrists"including some Dems.   We don't expect support from Republicans, who see their political future written in the failure of this reform.  But the centrists wield too much power, and can shave off just enough votes to wreck the whole thing.

          Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

          by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:36:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Harry and Louise (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coral

          are now dealing with kids who've lost their job and insurance, or grandkids who've graduated from college and can't find a job with health benefits. It's hitting home for a lot more people now than it did in the 1990s.

          Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:24:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Would love to get those H&L 20-years-later (0+ / 0-)

            ads up & running now.

            And speaking of ticking time bomb (a new version of '24'), I've got one kid who can't leave a job because of health insurance, and another whose insurance runs out in October when she is no longer eligible to be covered by our plan, as she's just graduated college. There is little hope for her finding a job with insurance.

            I feel a bit of post-partisan depression coming on. Krugman

            by coral on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:42:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  my son (aged 26) is a chef, and has no (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coral

              health insurance.  No chance of finding a job with health benefits, even though being in a kitchen is dangerous, and accidents happen all the time.

              Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

              by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:47:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's painful to watch (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wsexson, SottoVoce

                your children forced to accept so much less than what we had access to. When I was young and freelancing, I was able to join an organization where I could purchase decent insurance with very low payments. As time went on, the payments went up and coverage went down.

                Luckily, at some point my husband got job with good benefits.

                Today a young person has much less freedom than we used to. And that is, frankly, because of many years of Republican misrule by advocates of "freedom" (for the wealthy) such as Reagan & Bush II. They have destroyed this country. Very few young people realize how much better things used to be for the middle class.

                I feel a bit of post-partisan depression coming on. Krugman

                by coral on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:52:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  they do recognize it, because they grew up (0+ / 0-)

                  with it.  They are frustrated and sad that they don't have the same opportunities.

                  Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

                  by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:57:38 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's economic (0+ / 0-)

        Take a look at the commercial real estate issues, which are only now starting to cook off. That's going to get a lot of banks. Housing prices in Japan dropped 90% from peak to trough in their housing bubble. The whole country is going to look like the Inland Empire with it's 50% plummet the last two years.

         And 70% of our economy is consumption. All we had left were financial services and housing construction. Read that slowly so it sinks in ... three quarters of our economy has imploded. Housing starts this month are off 48% from last year and what is happening is inertia - zombie builders who know not what to do with themselves other than continue to stuff the inventory, despite the fact that bank repos aren't hitting the market because they'd tank prices. It's crazy and it will come to a screeching halt in the very near future.

         So, you're going to see a whole lot of people who don't view themselves as fitting into the 'homeless' label ... being made homeless. And if they're stripped of health care they're totally disenfranchised. That will blow up in the face of both parties - incumbents ejected from office at nearly orbital velocity is the best outcome, and the U.S. of 2011 acting like Iran in 2009 is one of the more extreme possibilities.

        "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

        by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:34:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are lots of ads in the Jacksonville (5+ / 0-)

          paper for rooms for rent in single family houses.  People are doubling-up.  

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:01:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  here, too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billlaurelMD, perro amarillo

             I'm in a nice studio sized space paid for by company housing allowance. Got a shiny new female friend who just got cut to one day a week. We're debating a merger of resources, but there is a little person involved, and we've not known each other very long.

             I may go around the corner and pick up a town home (allowance would cover it), then we'll see what happens. I was debating doubling up with a coworker but we have slightly different dictionaries, in particular the word 'clean' :-)

            "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

            by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:04:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are some of us, perhaps of a certain (0+ / 0-)

              age, for whom living with other people is the norm.  I, for example, in my 68 years, have only lived in my own space for three years when I had a single room in a college dorm.

              Personal habits can be important, but a frank discussion and a recognition that what  one wants done is best done by oneself can overcome a lot of potential for dissension.

              I've found that taking turns in getting one's way works fairly well.  I've now got a 90 year old "boarder" whom we salvaged from becoming a ward of the state who refuses to get out of his clothes except when I insist on a shower once a week.  Since he's perfectly lucid and perfectly healthy, it seems obvious that his regimen works for him.

              Privacy is a really important concept when people are living close together.  That's one of the things the Americans in Iraq seemed not to comprehend--that privacy depends on a person's space being respected, even when their every move is observed.  Americans kept invading Iraqi homes, apparently assuming that because they lived in groups, there was no privacy to violate.

              It was always apparent to the regular users of public transit in NY when out-of-towners showed up; they just didn't know how to respect privacy in a crowd.

              How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

              by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:36:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think that if things don't get done (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, SottoVoce, mdmslle

        quickly, it will all be sidetracked by the war crimes revelations.  I'm sure that's why Obama has delayed the release of the pictures.  They will take all the oxygen out of the air.

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:58:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. Kossacks who are ready to give up (0+ / 0-)

          on him for that, as if he is pro-torture or something, don't give him credit for a longer view.  I think he feels he needs to get healthcare NOW, and an energy bill NOW, and knows that an investigation--or several, or many--is inevitable.

          Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

          by SottoVoce on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:49:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The choice isn't between a useless bill now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mimikatz

      and a good bill late.

      It's the choice between the best we can get now and nothing later (or worse than useless bill later).

      Time is on the side of GOP and health insurance lobby. That is why they are delaying.

      The good news is that their talking point is now on "taking time to get it right", which shows that direct opposition to any reform doesn't seem to be a selling point -- yet.

      I feel a bit of post-partisan depression coming on. Krugman

      by coral on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:38:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

      A president has only so much time to get something done.  If they don't do it this summer, they will be tied up in appropriations bills and then the reconciliation maneuver will be lost.  By next year everyone is running for reelection and it is much harder to get anything done.

      After Clinton failed it has been 16 years before they are willing to try again.  Meanwhile the problems get worse.  Plus the Dems lost the Congress in 1994 after Clinton's plan failed, and that was one reason many Dems stayed away in 1994, leaving the field to Gingrich.

      Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

      by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:58:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Hope He Has a Better Plan for September (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, BenGoshi, Stranded Wind

    than the wait-for-the-opponents-to-dominate plan he used this summer.

    Industry doesn't roll out a serious campaign till after Labor Day so he and his Magic Rolodex better be in formation, locked and loaded before then.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:20:36 AM PDT

  •  reinventing ourselves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, TheWesternSun

    Without health care reform people are strapped to their existing employer out of the need for coverage. The iron triangle of economics, energy, and environment demand that we as individuals and collectively as a society go about reinventing ourselves. If the government can't solve this problem it will lead to the people solving their government problem. There are a couple of things in the U.S. that can trigger that but the millions who are already or who soon will be dispossessed and cut off from care are definitely in the top three concerns.

     A failure to tend to the people's business in this matter is an admission by our Congress that they are too corrupt for the United States to continue without some forcible restructuring. They only hope the anesthesia of American Idol and Paxil hold up to this stress. It won't.

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:23:49 AM PDT

    •  Yes, but that's part of the agenda-- (0+ / 0-)

      part of a bundle of strategies that are designed to control the labor force.

      Why is it called "labor force"?  Because some people (economists and the moneyed elite) are convinced that people have to be forced to work (labor) and, since slavery didn't work very well, they've developed a selection of threat-mechanisms from undernourishment, lay-offs, injuries and wage reductions at the drop of a hat, which can be selectively applied to send the message that not only is there no free lunch, but you'd better toe the line, if you want to get paid.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:07:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  3rd world Appalachia needs health care reform NOW (8+ / 0-)

    As a former health care giver, I am shocked and saddened to see what has become of health care in America. $ 1. 4 million is being spent per day in DC by the health care lobbyists so your elected representative is getting taken care of and has quality health care we pay for and can't afford ourselves for our families, I know what is deemed, defended and supported in Tennessee and Virginia as quality health care and clearly profit care comes ahead of patient care. http://www.wisecountyissues.com/... MRSA ( methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureas ) is infesting our communities because filthy, uncaring hospitals and emergency rooms are breeding them and spreading them into our schools, homes, restaurants. How many more Americans' will be diseased or die while 74 % of Americans' are begging for health care reform ? More people died in America last year from MRSA complications than AIDS. When MRSA and a flu bug start mixing, it won't be pretty and we are being infected by the very health care system we depend on and trust to keep us safe and healthy. If we had "the best health care" in the world then why does RAM ( Remote Area Medical ) come to Wise County, Virginia year after year so people can go to the fairgrounds and stand in a line like cattle in the hot July sun just to see a health care provider ??? America's health care system is a disgraceful sham !

    There will only be change when those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.

    by quidam56 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:24:57 AM PDT

    •  My friend's sister has it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mommyof3

      My friend, the one in Florida who was made homeless by cardiac troubles, went to live with his sister. She was hospitalized a few weeks back and got MRSA. The got it cleaned up but she was on an IV antibiotic cocktail for ten days.

      That's some way scary stuff and we need to tighten up our operating discipline both in hospitals and with antibiotics in general.

      "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

      by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:36:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kick some gang of six ass (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, Stranded Wind, mdmslle, Tommymac

    how dare these people

  •  glad this topic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stranded Wind

    is forefront ...a bit OT but not much...not sure when it will come out but I just got zogby polled regarding single payer health care!

    "Democrats are sexy! I mean who ever heard of a great piece of elephant?" - from a bumper sticker on a car

    by Spedwybabs on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:30:20 AM PDT

  •  Do the pharaceutical companies win? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stranded Wind

    http://www.greenchange.org/...

    My uncle just told me he is disappointed in Obama because he was reading in yesterday's WSJ about the negotiation that will prevent the federal government from negotiating cheaper prices with the companies.  Why hasn't this made bigger news?

    •  pharma risks (0+ / 0-)

      Pharma takes big risks with new drugs. If they get bargained down on the winners they'll want protection (ie socialized protection) on the losses.

      A public health option is going to require that we, as a people, be more healthy.

      http://edition.cnn.com/...

      And that ain't the picture of a healthy body politic.

      "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

      by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:39:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pharma profits (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle, Stranded Wind

        I'm no expert, but although pharma may take risks, that's not the reason medications cost what they do.  Pharma profits drive the bus, don't they?

        •  big risk demands big profit (0+ / 0-)

          If you're going to roll the dice on $100M ten times over and only one of the ten is going to work it had better pay out bigtime.

           A better way to allocate our time and energy would be lessening the things that cause chronic conditions and taking a sensible approach to end of life care. We spend some crazy percentage of total health care dollars in the last ninety days. I'd rather have the care now when I ought to be at my earning peak during the week and mountain climbing on weekends. Instead I'm cut off from functional medical care, I've lost eighteen months out of my early forties because of it, and the systemic negligence has probably shaved years off my life in the process.

          "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

          by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:48:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a false choice (0+ / 0-)

            We don't have to choose between current care and reasonably priced medicines.

            Every manufacturer takes big risks.  But not all manufacturers have huge lobbies that manage to avoid anti-trust types of protections.  

            •  no (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't mean it was a choice, I meant that better individual choices (out, damned high fructose corn syrup, out!) would reduce overall costs. A nation of fatties, which we've become, is a horrible health care problem in the aggregate.

              "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

              by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:00:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fat is not responsible for 48,000 vehicular (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cali Scribe, sethtriggs

                fatalities and hundreds of thousand of injuries annually.  Fat is not responsible for mercury in fish, excess chlorine in the water, dioxin in the soil and carbon particles in our lungs that have to filter the air.  Fat is not responsible for herbicide and pesticide poisoning.  Fat is not responsible for impaired neurological development in children.

                Fat is an example of the latest effort to blame the victim by people who grew up mouthing "it's your own fault" whenever some mischance felled a member of the family.  Shifting responsibility to the victim is what's called "objectivity" in some circles.  It's what explains that people held captive on Guantanamo are tortured because they're terrorists, even though there's no evidence that they are.

                Why do people go along with this kind of thinking?  I suppose it's because they prefer to be the captains of their fate to being pieces in a malevolent game.  So, people deceive themselves, but that doesn't excuse the malevolence.

                How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:22:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  nurse (0+ / 0-)

                  Having dated a nurse or two I will say that while your concerns are not incorrect, our own personal choices are the largest factor in the worst grief we experience. Terrible things happen to those who are obese ...

                  "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

                  by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:37:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  And it's all on US (4+ / 0-)

            Most countries have socialized medicine and bargain for MUCH cheaper pharmas, so the phramas profit-shift onto the u.s. health insurance system. Add to that the fact that they spent MANY of those millions on b.s. developments in erectile disfunction (i read somewhere that most truly life-saving treatments come from research universities who are funded through NIH), and it's clear the profit motive isn't exactly helping fund as many lifesaving treatments as we're lead to believe.

            The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. - George Carlin

            by mediaprof on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:52:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  pharmaceutical r & d (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wilderness voice, mdmslle

              It is true that most r & d dollars come from NIH to universities and other entities.  When they are shown to have some promise the "rights" or "patents" are sold to greedy pharmaceutical companies who would love for all of us to believe they were the ones who spent millions of dollars on r & d.  It is a BIG LIE.  

              •  If they cut in half (0+ / 0-)

                the amount of spending they do on advertising and put that into the R&D, we'd likely be better off, and wouldn't be bugging our doctors for pills that we don't need. (The only pill I've ever asked my doctor for was the birth control pill, and even then I didn't ask for a specific brand but let her prescribe the one that would work best for me.)

                Civility is the way of telling someone to go fuck themselves in such a way that the someone agrees it probably is a good idea.

                by Cali Scribe on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:29:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  yep (0+ / 0-)

              they spent MANY of those millions on b.s. developments in erectile disfunction

              and other "me-too" drugs

          •  Do you make the same case for a cell phone or (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sydneyluv, mdmslle

            iPod or Wii or hybrid car?

            All these require massive investment to bring to the marketplace but none get a 20 year protection guarantee from the Government once they go on sale.

            Drug companies did fine for themselves until Wall Street pulled the rug out from under them.  Even Canadian, French and German companies do fine and they don't get protected the same way American laws provide.

            Give every American a fair chance at the race of life - A. Lincoln and B. Obama

            by captainlaser on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:56:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  drugs are digital (0+ / 0-)

              Drug development is digital - large investment, maybe you have a hit, maybe it's a total bust. Those other products you describe are on a continuum. They might be roaring successes ... or merely moderate ones. The dynamic is very different.

              "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

              by Stranded Wind on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:01:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  American enterprise has always relied (0+ / 0-)

              on monopoly situations, even as it proclaimed itself to be free.

              How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

              by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:25:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  actually its the small biotechs that (0+ / 0-)

            create the real innovation. Take a look at Dendreon. Big phrama spends more on advertising and lobbying than they do on R&D. They spend their R&D on "me-too" drugs for big established markets.

          •  I thought risk meant you dared to lose (0+ / 0-)

            everything and the daring deed is its own reward.  When did it become necessary to reward or bribe people to take risks?  Never mind that they're not even risking their own assets or asses anymore.  

            How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

            by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:13:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's because WE subsidize Pharma research (0+ / 0-)

          Other countries that have universal health care can negotiate lower prices.  Drugs are much cheaper there.  That's why people go to Canada. The dirty little secret is that it is only WE who are subsidizing them because we don't have that kind of cost controls.  If we did, everyone else would pay a little more and the drug cos would be ok.  Besides, it's little biotechs who really do the research now.  Big Pharma only distribute.

          Democracy needs accountability. Investigate and prosecute the Torture Thirteen.

          by Mimikatz on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:04:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand this? the medicare D drug (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, sherlyle

      program passed by the Bush admin already HAS the provision that the federal goverment cannot negotiate for cheaper srugs or buy them overseas.  It has been the nucleus of the discontent with the program for several years now.

      So what has this to do with the Obama plan?  this doesn't sound right to me.  can you please elaborate otherwise it is misleading.

      •  From the article linked below... (0+ / 0-)

        "The missing items include two planks of Mr. Obama's campaign platform: allowing cheaper drugs to be imported from Canada and giving the federal government the right to negotiate Medicare drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies."

        As I noted, I'm not an expert, but Obama wanted to address the bar on federal government negotiations and it seems the new legislation has omitted that provision.

  •  The Need to Pressure Wavering Dems! (3+ / 0-)

    DFA and the PCCC have launched a 10 day vote to determine which Democratic senators they will run TV ads against on the public option.

    Cast your ballot here:  http://vote.wewantthepublicoption.co...

  •  Any Politician Who Stands In the Way (0+ / 0-)

    of this legislation will become a Pariah in the history books.

    They'll be jeered at and mocked as the ones who tried to murder us with self interest and greed.

    They only call it "Class War" when we fight back. (via Buhdydharma)

    by Detroit Mark on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:46:42 AM PDT

  •  Healthcare subterfuge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral

    Bill Moyer's has done it once again.  His interview with Wendell Potter, former CEO CIGNA Health clearly demonstrates and provides proof that the health industy and Congress are NOT going to give us what we want, deserve or need.  All this PUBLIC PLAN nonsense is just that.  Please watch and then get angry and involved even more passionately than before.

    http://www.pbs.org/...

    A real EYE opener.  You will be hopping mad.

    •  well if they arent going to do it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Scribe, wilderness voice

      proof that the health industy and Congress are NOT going to give us what we want, deserve or need.

      why should i get angry and more involved?  what it sounds like youre saying is that its a lost cause and yet I should still get involved.

      i dont believe its a lost cause and i'm already angry and involved enough.  the WILL give us exactly what wew want, deserve and need. If i didnt think so, i;d be on the beach sunning today instead of preparing for canvassing.

      •  Healthcare subterfuge (0+ / 0-)

        Did you watch the "complete interview" with Wendell Potter?  I just think everyone would benefit greatly from doing so.  It may change the approach taken to get the results we need.  Maybe my cheerleader approach wasn't so effective.  I only intended to expose what is "really" happening up on the Hill.  

    •  Potter was head of public relations, he wasn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polar bear

      the CEO.  The CEO of Cigna is Ed Hanway who is retiring at the end of the year.  
      Hanway made $12.5 million in total compensation for 2008.  He's getting out while the getting is good...

  •  Health care cannot fail this time. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    If it does, the President will become a lame duck and we will fall back into the "We can't" decade that we just came out of.

    And if it is the fault of Blue Dog Democrats, I will work like hell to defeat each and every one of them.  Better to have a Republican devil you know than the devils you don't know.

    Give every American a fair chance at the race of life - A. Lincoln and B. Obama

    by captainlaser on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:48:23 AM PDT

  •  Healthcare (0+ / 0-)

    The only option we should accept and promote is SINGLE PAYER.  Remember, the one that was barred from the table since the beginning.  The one option that would truly reform the system and improve conditions for all of us.  "Public Plan" is just a buzzword.  It is more of the same. Anyone who doubts this is only deluding themselves.

    •  whew! well then. thats great news! (0+ / 0-)

      i am SO fucking sick on making phone calls and knocking on doors and hosting reform events in my town. fuck it, i'm exhausted.

      so....the single payer bill. Is it in committee right now or is it set for a floor vote or what?  Who should I be calling to make sure we get 60 (or 51) votes on this?

      •  Frustration (0+ / 0-)

        I totally get where you are coming from.  I am exhausted by a lot of this myself.  However, how can more information be a bad thing?  When we are being ignored by our legislators what can we do anymore to rectify it?  It does leave one feeling quite helpless at times.  I am among many who have commented about voting out anyone who obstructs this progress.  Will they just be replaced by another "droid" politican with only self-interests?

      •  From the PDA website... (0+ / 0-)

        "On Friday morning at 9:45 a.m. ET in the House Committee on Education and Labor, the committee members voted 25 to 19 to pass Congressman Dennis Kucinich's amendment to the healthcare reform bill. This amendment, if it survives the full House, the Senate, the conference, and the President, will not alter the federal legislation except to allow states to create single-payer healthcare systems if they choose to. If this change to the bill makes news, it will pass the Senate, because there is no legitimate argument against it, and the support for it is bipartisan."

        Keep at it, there's a long way to go, but single payer is still alive!

        •  i'm aware of that. i keep up with this stuff (0+ / 0-)

          what's your point?

          its an amendment.

          it may get dropped in the end.

          the bottom line is I am NOT holding out for single payer. that's a fools mission and a waste of my own time (which I happen to value). We're not there as a country yet and frankly, even as a progressive, i;m not ready for it. I want to see demonstrated efficiency in a large scale strong public option first before my only choices are the single payer system or cash out of pocket. not there yet.

          I'm left of most folks in this country but probably right of you.  trying to advocate for a single payer system at this point in history in America is a dead end street.

  •  Lieberman, Nelson (Ben), Landrieu, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tx LIberal, polar bear

    Bayh, Lincoln (Blanche) and Pryor - The Gang of Six - are all in the bag for health insurance companies.

    Only Bayh & Lincoln are up for re-election in 2010 - but WE HAVE LONG MEMORIES!

    They have to run for re-election sometime. How many of these will still be around after 2012 or 2014?

    They ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then they fought us. Then - on July 2nd 2009 - we won! [ht: Mohandas K. Gandhi]

    by ezdidit on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:57:34 AM PDT

  •  Public option dooms reform. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    billlaurelMD

    There is no option other than basing American health care on prevention and quality of care instead of a for profit based system we have in place now. Capitalism does not belong in the debate of whether or not a patient's condition is treatable.

    •  I agree with you in principle. (0+ / 0-)

      Is it better to get nothing than to get this?

      I don't know.

      When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

      by billlaurelMD on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:09:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if there are no reforms other than competition (0+ / 0-)

        with a public plan then what have we gained? Capitalism is entrenched in the healthcare industry and very adept at finding loopholes to protect profit.

        IMO healthcare shouldn't be an industry but an inalienable right of citizenry.

        •  it shouldnt be (5+ / 0-)

          but i can start a list of shoulds and shouldnts that would take years to complete.

          the real question is what can we do to create improvement, even significant improvement, if it appears that what should be is too distant?

          this is reality and we have to deal with it as it is, not as we think it should be.  We move TOWARD shoulds in whatever way we can.

          Whenever i think of this type of thing, i  fall back on other human rights struggles (and yes, i agree with you, access to free health care or affordable health care is a basic human right), I think of my ancestors.

          When we blacks were emancipated, we weren't granted the right to vote at that time. In many ways, freedom presented new challenges slaves had never experienced.  It was 100 years, and lots of flawed laws (plessy etc) before we were even voting! and today we STILL fight segregation (Valley Swim Club) and bigotry (Pat Buchanan).  So what, we should have waited in 1865 for the possibility of people electing a black president before signing the emancipation documents because black SHOULD be seen and treated as equal? Of course not.  It was a step in the right direction. There have been many steps in the right directions since then. And today, Obama, a black man, is president.

  •  I sick and tired of government being demonized (5+ / 0-)

    Finally, opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care.  That’s not true either.  I don’t believe that government can or should run health care.

    At least they'd be accountable to more than just greedy shareholders demanding ever-increasing profits.

    When will we ever learn that PROFIT cannot be a part of the equation when endangering people's lives adds to a company's bottom line?--Earicicle

    by billlaurelMD on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:04:32 AM PDT

    •  He said "run health care" not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barath, mdmslle, sethtriggs

      "provide health insurance."  There's a world of difference between the French and the English systems. He's using the fact that he would not want to see every hospital and clinic made public as a way to feed people the kind of rhetoric they need to hear to get behind him.

      Sick and tired of the demonization or not, there is a political reality in this country and the way around has got to be incremental.

      The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

      by Mother of Zeus on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:08:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, the anti-socials are really (0+ / 0-)

      freeloaders.  

      One has to wonder why they are willing to kill the cash cow or the golden goose, the American worker.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:30:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the kind of language I needed to hear to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    math4barack

    get myself "all in" for the adminstration's reform.  I've gotten too many previous e-mails from OFA that allude too vaguely to "principles" for reform.  I needed to know that that was going to mean a regulated insurance exchange with a strong public option.

    I realize that within those parameters there is still room to pare down the reform to rig it in favor of insurers and so there will never be a time to "stand down."  But Obama clearly means business now and he has obviously focused his attention on this problem and come to the right conclusions.  And he is messaging this the right way now.  This is an effort I can get fully behind.

    In for $50 today and will look for chances to phone bank or canvass locally if possible.

    It's now or never.   If this effort goes down, look for the next six years to be an endless gleeful commentary about how progressive reform generally is not wanted in this country.

    This is the agenda item that will serve as the tipping moment for progressive reform.  Do or die, folks.  Literally.

    The GNOP: "We take the bi out of bi-partisanship"

    by Mother of Zeus on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:06:46 AM PDT

  •  This Is The President I Happily Voted For (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    math4barack, TenthMuse

    This is the president I will vote for again.  Any democratic member in congress that votes down health care reform should be drummed out of the democraic party, even if they are blue dogs.  Blue dogs think that democrats will go out and support them if they vote against a bill will find out that no we won't.  If these blue dogs think they can get elected by repugs only they are mistaken.  I predict that every blue dog that tries to stop President Obama from getting a bill thru will be remembered and will be oppossed by us democrats.

  •  Keep insurance companies honest? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PurpleMyst

    When Obama said a public option would do that he must be dreaming. Nothing will keep the insurance companies honest. He NEVER should have excluded single payer right from the start of the healthcare negotiations.

  •  What's a stemwinder? (0+ / 0-)
  •  apparently it can wait four years. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Wall Street Windfall Tax Please.

    by JerichoJ8 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:14:45 AM PDT

  •  But who is Obama talking to? (0+ / 0-)

    Americans?  Public wanted health care reform for the last 20 years.  Polls have shown that a solid majority of Americans want Medicare for All coverage.

    Democrats in Congress?  Some have been for it for decades, Conyers and his Medicare For All bill.  Others like Nelson, Baucus have opposed it.

    GOP?  They have always opposed health care reform and would be happy to see it fail both to protect their source of income from the insurance industry which pays them million$ to preserve their franchise and for political reasons, so Democrats fail and US government fails to solve US problems.

    Obama should probably give that speech to himself as the failure to get health care reform done falls on him.  His strategy of letting incompetent right wingers like Baucus be in charge of health care reform has failed.

    Obama should have lead on the issue. He should have used the public support, his popularity, his bully pulpit, the Democratic majority and existing bills in Congress (HR676 Medicare for All) to push health care reform.

    Obama (and Democrats in Congress though they are clueless about it) is in the same position as Clinton in 1994.  The mirage of 60 votes always out of reach. Every mental midget in Congress (Wyden, Nelson, Specter) trying to be kingmaker for day.

    Democrats will lose big in 2010 off year election because of the failure of health care.

    •  DOOOOOMED!!! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, mdmslle, math4barack, sethtriggs

      Obama should fire the entire Senate and appoint all new guys who will do what he wants!

      Otherwise,

      were DOOOOOOOOMED!

      "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

      by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:29:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it feels like September around here! nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, brooklynbadboy, sethtriggs
        •  Seen it all before. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, mdmslle, sethtriggs

          "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

          by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:41:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. Saw it in 1994. Cost Dems Congress (0+ / 0-)

            Miscalculation by White House both in strategy and tactics. Despite strong public support and Democratic majorities, health care reform was defeated by GOP and insurance industry with help from Democratic right wingers.

            •  The reason Democrats lost in 1994 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, sethtriggs

              was because the Clinton White House thought they could just ram healthcare through Congress just because they had public support. Shit doesn't work like that. When it comes to a choice between risk and caution, Congress will always choose caution, except when there is extraordinarily good timing.

              FDR had public support, he failed. JFK had public support, he failed. Even in 1964, with LBJ having TOTAL public support behind him, couldn't get the Medicare bill out of conference.

              This President is doing it the ONLY way its going to get done.

              "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

              by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:00:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The reason Democrats lost in 2009 (0+ / 0-)

                is because the Obama White House thought they could leave it up to Congress just because they had pubic support. Shit doesn't work like that.  

                You supply the reasons why Obama is failing to get health care reform passed.

                You left out a key part though and that is Obama failed to use the campaign to educate the public on health reform so his election gave him no mandate for health care reform.

                Had Obama used the campaign to tell people why a national health plan like HR676 was the only way to cut costs, provide universal health care and get better health care results, then he could have used his election and popularity, the public support and the Democratic majority (51 vote majority not the fake 60 vote) and gotten HR676 passed.

                Obama played it cool figuring he'd get elected and move US incrementally toward a national health plan. But there was no clear mandate and Obama left it to Baucus whose only interest was in making himself look good by passing whatever GOP would vote for.

                There is nothing in Congress now that reforms health care, cuts cost, gives us universal coverage and improves outcomes.

                •  What planet are you on? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  math4barack, TenthMuse, sethtriggs

                  Maybe we aren't living in the same country, or perhaps you watch too much cable TV. MAJOR HEALTHCARE BILLS are BEING PASSED for the FIRST TIME IN 40+ YEARS. Clinton couldn't even get a hearing. Carter didn't even bother trying.

                  Maybe you choose to live in alternate liberal fantasy world, but back here in America it looks to me like major healthcare legislation is clearing hurdle after hurdle.

                  Where's Conyers' bill? On the fucking shelf gathering dust where its always been. His bill has always been dead in subcommittee without so much as even a public hearing. If it is THIS difficult to get a fairly mild bill passed, what the hell makes you think there would be no trouble getting Conyers' corpse of a bill out of committee? Conyers doesn't even have jurisdiction over his own bill!

                  "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

                  by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:20:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You support the Baucus approach. Anything is good (0+ / 0-)

                    You fail to separate health care reform from passing a bill in Congress.

                    None of the bills out of committee include any meaningful health care reform.

                    •  No, I support the Obama approach (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      math4barack, TenthMuse, sethtriggs

                      which is the reality-based one: Politics is the art of the possible. He understands the vested interests that control Congress, while John Conyers apparently does not. Neither Conyers, nor Obama, nor the public is going to make those interests magically disappear. That is why he is getting everything he can POSSIBLY get, while Conyers is putting together a legal defense fund for his wife.

                      "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

                      by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:30:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, he totally failed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, mdmslle, TenthMuse, sethtriggs

      that's why he's closer than any president ever to health care reform.

      "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

      by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:35:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama didn't give speech because he was winning. (0+ / 0-)

        Obama gave the speech because health care reform is dying in Congress.

        The best of the Congressional bills has weak reform of a public option while most of it is about increasing health care costs and doing nothing about the 30% of health care dollars lost to insurance industry which provides no health care services.

        The best of the Congressional bills have the least support.

        Petty kingmakers like Wyden, Baucus, Nelson are demanding what little reform in the bills be removed, demanding delays.

        •  LOL (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, math4barack, TenthMuse

          I'm unsure how politics works in your world. Nothing being done constitutes "winning" and getting bills out of committee constitutes "dying."

          "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

          by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:02:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Getting bills out of commitee is not "winning" (0+ / 0-)

            Getting a bill out of committee is meaningless.

            Insurance company sponsored bills that increase US health care costs from already unsustainable 16% of GDP to economy killing 20% of GDP is not winning.

            No health care reform bill that has come out of committee in House or Senate has a strong public option without which costs continue to increase, 30% of health care dollars continue to be lost to insurance companies.

            You seem totally unaware that all bills coming out of Congress contain huge Medicare/Medicaid cuts.  Medicare already fails to pay for 50% of the cost of procedures so that health care providers don't want Medicare patients.  Medicare itself needs funding increases of 50% to make it viable.

            •  Reality check: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, math4barack

              Medicare: either you are going to cut it, or youre going to increase the regressive payroll tax to pay for it. Take your choice.

              Second, you seem live in some sort of fantasy world where you just do shit because you want to, rather than getting it through the process that exists. Okay then, sit back and keep dreaming because thats not going to happen.

              Finally, getting a bill out of committee is not meaningless because that is the only way a bill gets to the floor. If a bill doesent get the floor, it doesent ever get to the president, which means it never becomes law and sits on a shelf. Like Conyers' dead bill.

              Maybe you think Conyers is a better leader on healthcare because he wrote a bill that never went anywhere. But personally, I'd rather have a leader who actually gets things done rather than dreams up his own fantasy solution only to watch it die.

              "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

              by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:26:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Reality check (0+ / 0-)

                Medicare: Either we restore the GOP cuts and make the tax more progressive or we fail to provide health care to Medicare/Medicaid recipients. Take your choice.

                Second, you seem to live in some sort of fantasy world where you just do shit and claim you did something when you didn't.

                Passing what you can is not health care reform. Calling a bill health care reform because it is all you could do is not health care reform.

                "Maybe you think Conyers is a better leader on healthcare because he wrote a bill that never went anywhere."

                No. I think Conyers HR676 Medicare for All bill is the solution because Physicians for National Health Plan say it what will work to give US a cost effective European type of health care system.

        •  Maybe you can wait until the end of the game (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, TenthMuse, sethtriggs

          Before declaring that he lost.

          "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

          by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:53:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  bwhahahahhahahahaha! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, TenthMuse

      i see its going to be a long day on Daily Kos. Glad I'm going canvassing instead.

  •  Lose for a generation... (0+ / 0-)

    that would be good.  This plan will bankrupt an already bankrupt country.

    Check out my blog "Musings of a Baptist" @ http://jgnoonan.blogspot.com

    by jgnoonan on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:18:01 AM PDT

  •  Does THIS speech signal a compromise? (0+ / 0-)

    I understood Baucus' recent concern was Obama's refusal to accept taxes on health benefits.

    I think this speech lays out OTHER things as Obama's bottom line, which implies the things not specified are not sufficient to arouse a veto.

    Am I missing something here?

    •  The Congressional Budget office has put the fear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle

      of god into the legislators with their preliminary analysis that none of the bills that have come out of Congress so far are actaully addressing trhe crucial issue of COST. Their projections say there will be no savings and Obama's line in the sand is that costs have to be controlled and the reform bill must NOT increase the deficit.

      Congress is NOT dealing with that aspect of reform.

      There are several issues the legislators are not adressing at all, one is that the necessity to raise revenue will probably mean benfits must be taxed, after all it is income that the rest of America who are self employed etc. doesn't get, and that breaks Obama's campaign pledge not to raise taxes,

      The other sticky issue is the third rail of the health care reform debtate, end of life issues, the bulk of cost of escalating health care provisions is incurred in the last couple of years of life when extraordinary means are taken to keep the elderly, and I am one of them and am aware of the problem, alive for another couple of years.

      America still is NOT facing the actual reality of an over indulgent nation desperate for longevity pouring an unlimited amount of money into a system that can not make old people young or healthy again.

      So, wake up folks, and face the facts. It is NOT up to Obama, or the congress, it is up to US.  

      •  Don't be silly. Health care is not a benefit.n/t (0+ / 0-)

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:33:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  don't you be ridiculous. of course it is if an (0+ / 0-)

          individual receives the employer provided paid for health insurance that others do not recieve and have to pay for themselves, that benefits the employed and discriminates against the self employed, and others who do not actually fit into the traditional mould.

          Although I realise you were being snarky, it is in fact an element in the debate that needs discussing.  I'm no longer in the mood for banter and idle repartee. This is too serious.

          We NEED to differentiate between health CARE and health COVERAGE. And although people, especially progressives like to parrot/spout that meme, health care is not a right at all. Where is that written?  certainly NOT in the Constitution, a document people like to quote selectively when it fits their argument.

          If it were we might take better care of ourselves. We are the most obese nation on earth, we are the most addicted to drugs and alcohol nation on earth, we do less excercise as a nation than any on earth, we are more prosperous than most, we have less mass transportation and use up more of the earth's resources than any other people on the the planet.

          So you are arguing with the wrong person here, I see lots and lots of belt tightening we can do, but Americans want it ALL, and want it now.

          •  Negating a negative (illness or injury) is not a (0+ / 0-)

            benefit.  At best, it is a return to the status quo ante.

            Compensation, of whatever form, for labor performed on behalf of and at the direction of another, is not a benefit.  It is, at best, just compensation.  Making it possible for a worker to access care in the event of injury or disease, which, one assumes, permits a rapid return to full productivity, is not a boon or, as Justice Kennedy might call it, a "matter of grace."  It's a matter of self-interest on the employer's part.

            Keep in mind that our thinking on these matters is influenced by economists who have a strong moralistic streak, emanating from the assumption that "man prefers leisure and must be bribed to work"--an assumption that turns payment from just compensation into an immoral act (bribe).  In other words, in an ideal world, men would do what they are told for free.  It's in this context that various forms of compensation--practically necessary to replenish the energy expended--are defined as "benefits."  
            When the natural resources of the earth have been monopolized and men are reduced to labor in someone else's vineyard to simply survive, then to call their payment a benefit is to add insult to injury.

            Would it be possible for six billion humans to survive without relying on industrial production and corporate agriculture?  Who knows?  How much productive energy is being wasted dealing with industrial wastes and subordination to corporate manipulation?  We assume that humans are living better lives equipped with cell phones and computers.  But, do we know that for a fact?  I enjoy typing out comments with my fingers but, frankly, I enjoy weeding or tying macramee knots or stitching a quilt just as much.  

            How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

            by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:19:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was not debating health insurance as (0+ / 0-)

              payment for labour, that is a totally different morality and social construct.

              I am questioning whether 'health care', not coverage, the self controlled state of personal health,  as a right. Because if it is an inherent right for human beings it must be applied to the entire population of the planet, not restricted to a segment of the population as a condition of employment.  

              That is covered by the covenant society has with its consent to be governed by accepting the conditions of citizenship or residence.  It is not an inherent right, its a clause in a contract.

              The inherent right of a human being to health, employment, copmepnsation, whatever, is dicated by each nation's system of governing.

              I personally do not believe that life carries any inherent rights. Rights are those privileges conferred by society and accepted or rejected by the population of each nation.

              Do I have a right to breathe?  do I have a right to eat? no, I have the necessity to do both if I wish to remain alive.

              •  No, my dear, a right is not a privilege, (0+ / 0-)

                even though man, having discovered death, would like to think that not exercising the ability to kill entitles him to a boon.  That's the unspoken contract between the male human and the off-spring of his mate.  That he will countenance the competition for resources, including the attention of his mate, in exchange for the off-spring's subservience.

                Not only is the contract unspoken, but it's unequal because the off-spring hasn't got a clue that his/her continued survival is dependent on subservience to the inclinations of the dominant male.

                Having participated in the creation of a new life, the male has an obligation to support it, regardless of whether he accepts it or rejects it out of malevolence or ignorance.  After all, given the long period of gestation, only the most time-sensitive humans are likely to be aware of the connection between carnal pleasure and the creation of a new life.  Which still doesn't negate the obligation--something that's recognized by the family of man and accounts for the village jumping in and carrying out the obligations when the individual parent falters.

                Life has a right to persist, to be sustained and to sustain itself until its natural terminus.  Our Constitution recognizes that but our agents of government don't always follow through.  And, to be realized, a right has to be recognized and respected by someone else.  Rights do not/cannot exist in a vacuum.

                On the other hand, rights are not earned, contrary to what conservatives and resentful males would like to believe.

                How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

                by hannah on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:55:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Talk about taking control (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes, mdmslle, PurpleMyst

    It's over. It's over for the opposition. Our President has thrown off the kid gloves and is going for broke. lets make sure we have his back all the way.

    Between my shoulders is a genius. Between my legs is a penis. It seems I have to get both my minds right...

    by theone718 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:19:29 AM PDT

  •  John Dingle on MSNBC right now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumblebums, math4barack

    saying that CBO came out last night with report saying this plan will be deficit neutral.  !!  What does this mean?  We have two diaries on rec list right now about this - is Dingle's statement confirmation that the first diary is correct after all?

    •  I just saw that too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle

      He is citing the CBO report as saying the bill is deficit neutral.

      I am confused.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:24:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can't afford to be confused! (0+ / 0-)

        If we don't understand what's happening, it blunts the hell out of any point we're trying to make.  Who do we call?  What do we say?  What do we think?  If we don't know, our momentum is gone and we're sitting still in the water, and wouldn't that just be convenient as all hell right now for the bad guys?
        Aarrr!

        •  Money is spent on inefficiency right now. (0+ / 0-)

          People using the emergency room as their doctor's office pushes up the costs.  Compare a doctor's visit for approx 100 dollars to an ER visit at approx 1,000 dollars.  Which would you rather pay?

          And at the doctor's office you are seeing the nurse and the doctor. 2 people and maybe the receptionist to make your next appt.  In the ER there is a full staff of not only doctors and nurses but phlebotomists, radiologists, pharmacists, clerical, housekeeping, etc.
          You are using all those overhead expenditures to treat a simple cold or flu or earache or sore throat. Not good use of dollars and not an efficient way to  deliver health care.

          Plus, the uninsured don't pay, can't pay.  So, the hospital has to raise it's rates or cut back staff in order to break even.  And then the insurance companies paying those increased rates decrease their coverage in order to keep their profit margin.

          It's a vicious cycle that is unsustainable.

  •  Boy, Am I Glad He's On Our Side (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes, mdmslle, math4barack

    We all know he is a powerful orator with a knack for simplifying the most complex issues, such as health care reform, into terms most Americans can understand.  So often I listen to our Congress critters on both sides of the aisle, who try to explain the details of legislation on the air in the language they use with their colleagues, call it "Washington-ese".  While some of us political junkies understand this language, most Americans don't know what they are talking about, and either mis-interpret the meaning or tune out alltogether.

    But his skills obtained as a Community Organizer and a Chicago "pol" are equally valuable.  While he strives to get people to cooperate through incentives and friendly tactics to build necessary coalitions, he also knows when to play hardball, like know with health care.

    I have to say I love his current health care reform strategy.  Going to the American people directly, getting the polls on questions of reform lopsided in his/our favor (76% for public option) and then putting targeted Congress critters in a position of being singled out as killing the health care reform desired by vast majorities of the electorate, if they vote against the bill.

    Like, I said, I'm glad he's on our side!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

  •  Whether he succeeds or not he's a great president (6+ / 0-)

    for trying so hard.

    Don't forget the enormous wealth of the companies whose business model is to put profit before people.

    He's not just fighting those companies, he's fighting the status quo, what people have come to accept though it's hard for them.

    •  He'll succeed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      math4barack

      We are quite lucky that the President understands power relationships better than the media. While the pressures that seem to drive political coverage have far more to do with ratings, the pressures that drive politicians are much more concrete and base.

      I think he'll get a bill to conference, and then the real battle will begin.

      "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

      by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:40:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have worried that once they control (0+ / 0-)

    the Congress and the WH, the Dems will go the way of Republicans and focus on partisan agenda instead of America.
    When I listen to the President, I am reminded again of what attracted me to this man.

  •  This isn't an "at last" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    stand this is the timetable that has always existed.  Let the Republicans trot out their scare tactics, let the Blue Dogs try to undermine effective reform, and then hammer all of them for being utterly disinterested in the future of the country, the viability of small and large businesses, and the needs of the people.  You can't do that until they've revealed themselves.

    Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war. - A. Einstein

    by I love OCD on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:48:13 AM PDT

  •  Fantastic! I'll be over the moon if this goes (0+ / 0-)

    through:).  There's still a little caution, though, as i hope that Obama and i are talking about the same public option--national, run by the govt., available to all, and available on day one.  I know the "available to all" will be qualified by employment, at least at first, but I'm hoping for everything else.

  •  p.s. Surgeon General Benjamin was on moyers' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, math4barack

    last night, and she is truly inspiring--rebuilding her clinic and taking fish as payment for her work.

    Moyers compared her selfless service, her desire to actually heal people, to 2 or 3 insurance executives, who are taking home billions (one was over $23B!) in pay.

  •  Read the history of Medicare: FDR, JFK, LBJ (5+ / 0-)

    ...all of them got beat.

    FDR couldn't get it out of committee. Kennedy couldn't get it out of the Senate, where it failed 54-48 in 1962. Even LBJ, the master, couldn't get the bill out of conference.

    It wasn't until 1965, after several blocking Republicans were tossed out of office, did LBJ manage to get the bill out of conference and on his desk.

    People saying Obama is failing have no knowledge of history and even less sense of fairness.

    I think he's moving things along just fine.

    "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

    by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:54:19 AM PDT

    •  Amen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, brooklynbadboy

      to that.

      Not to detract from LBJ, but people also tend to forget that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should have been, would have been signed into law by JFK in his second term, as would Medicare. Obama's timeline on healthcare reform has been spot-on in the overall scheme.  

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:08:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Super Amen (0+ / 0-)

      Just a bunch of clueless people, who choose to ignore (or maybe just never knew) the tragic history of the fight for health care reform.

      I wonder if anyone of them will have the decency to apologize, once Obama get this thing done.

      "Only I AM the president of The United States" - Barack Obama.

      by blackwaterdog on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:47:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about "fine" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      but your point that many activists/bloggers don't get how difficult this is and how arduous a process this is, is on the mark. Most of the legislation that people hold up and say, "see how easy it was for LBJ or FDR or whomever to get things through," took years to even get to a point where LBJ could do any strong arming.

      That's why I end up defending Harry Reid, even though I'm not particularly enamored with some of his political moves... too many of his critics fail to provide any evidence that he's not doing the will of the caucus or that anyone else would do a better job of herding cats.

      I haven't really liked some of what OFA2.0 has been doing in the sense that I think it could be harnessed more effectively to spread knowledge about health care reform. I have some qualms with giving Baucus this much time and leeway. I also think the talking points and arguments for health care reform now could be sharper. But we're closer than we've ever been since LBJ to universal coverage... that we're still very far away from the goal should show anyone how tough this is.

      "There is a vast difference between applying pressure and taking bits of evidence and extrapolating to wild conclusions and crazy rhetoric from them."-MT

      by Newsie8200 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 10:45:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not sure how you make sharp arguments (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, math4barack, sethtriggs

        when Congress is writing the bill. Today's talking point could be tomorrows foot-in-mouth. The president speaking in broad terms, but outlining whats important is the way to go from a political perspective.

        Where I will agree with you is OFA2.0 not being particularly effective. To me, they haven't spent enough time on moving their cadre into the key positions of political leverage in local media.

        For example, instead of having a canvass, I'd rather see a field captain working the local media and establishing his/herself as a local pundit. Local radio show: "Kelly O'Connor, local organizer for the President is here with us this morning to talk healthcare." That sort of stuff. Canvassing and door-knocking is important during a political campaign, but during the governing season it is of little value.

        Harry Reid: His key problem is that he hasn't got any leverage. It's not that he's a coward...it is just he has no chits. He comes from a swing state with little fundraising muscle. He is weak on TV. He didn't help anybody get elected. Thats a recipe for disaster for a majority leader, a position that is by definition partisan. A party leader should come from a safe Democratic seat, with plenty of money in his/her backyard to be able to muscle guys around.

        Who would do a better job? Schumer. He's got the DSCC motherlode in his backyard. His seat is safe. He's brought 15 new Senators to power since he was head of the DSCC. He's sharp on TV, and he'd always be on since all the studios are in New York. He'd have nothing to worry about except running the majority. That give's him wiggle room to cut deals when he has to.

        "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra

        by brooklynbadboy on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:34:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Joe Lieberman's Deep Concern (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crystal eyes, The Creator

    for the effects of healthcare reform on the Federal budget do not extend to the effect of purchasing unwanted F-22's on the same budget.

    How does a purported lifetime liberal say no to a chance to be part of the biggest social welfare legislation since Medicare?

  •  Why is America so short-sided? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    Most of the people I talk to always shoot down this health care idea over the littlest of details.  I believe the President is getting sincere stories from people who are devastated by health care and there are too many hit by this devastation.  Peter Ozarg also brought up some compelling budget numbers that prove health care is not only going to be a significant rising government cost, but a significant cost to each individual as they grow older.  This is the baby elephant in the room.  It's going to be the 8,000,000 lbs elephant in a few years.  We have too much technology and forecasting methods to prove it.

    So why after all of this expert hypothesis and investigated journalism most of America doesn't see this problem?  Or why do they dismiss the elephant because they can't find the right color elephant trap?  

    ---=== CoffeJoe's Husband

  •  Obama needs to show that he has a pair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    Now is the time.  Health care reform is the issue.  He ran on this during the campaign.  If Harry Reid isn't strong enough to provide the necessary votes, lose him as majority leader.  If Pelosi cannot deliver, replace her too. The election was about change that an overwhelming majority of citizens voted for.  Obama needs to exert his power to hammer this home.  The health care industry in this country focuses far too much on profit and not enough on care.  Enough already.  Show their lobbyists that we, the people are the true power in this country as the framers of our constitution intended.  We, the people can help get this much needed reform completed by contacting your representatives in Washington that if they vote against this, you will organize to vote against them when they are up for re-election.  I continue to bombard my two Senators and congresswoman, even though 2 out of the 3 of them are Republicans, with my wishes and urge you all to do the same.  If the AMA can get behind this then so should all of us who want/need this.  Polls continue to show that a majority (approx 65%) of people want to see this reform.  The time is now and this is the issue.  I, for one, am sick and tired of the influence lobbyists have on our political leaders (using this term loosely).  Take back this power.  Now!

  •  The Enemy is Sen. Ben Nelson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub

    He needs to be persuaded.  He is killing meaningful reform.

    •  That's singular when we have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Creator

      multi-pronged front with Lieberman, Wyden, Nelson - squared, Feinstein, Baucus, Reid not fighting hard for health care reform that benefits everyone who needs it rather than non-human corporations who have equal status with, We the People.

      Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

      by Pithy Cherub on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:20:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sen. Ben Nelson is a typical example of (0+ / 0-)

    the dilemma faced by Senators representing states where fiscal and social conservatives predominate.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    This NYT article basically explains the problem being faced by both the Legislature and the Electorate.  Most of them and of us are not really facing the hard facts of how to pay for a massive new entitlement program, even if 75% of the American people want it, without raising taxes. I don't know the percentage of the electorate say they don't want to pay higher taxes.

    Obama's line in the sand is it will NOT increase the deficit.  More than two thirds of the American people who have their health care paid for by their employers are terrified of losing it.

    The Congress and the people are still not facing the realities of COST, who pays for it, how the re-imbursements for services provided are allocated, and whether or not the American public can continue to demand and get whatever treatment they want or need under the dual sustems of for profit and not for profit.

    We are not really debating the subject honestly yet.  The cobbled together reform we will get is probably the best for this year anyway.  We'll have to see where it all leads. This is only the beginning, there is a long way to gop amnd i wish people would stop saying health care is a right. It is NOT.  Being healthy is a right and a right that each individual has a degree of control over. It is something we owe ourselves.

  •  Going to the mat for practically nothing (0+ / 0-)

    Top Ten Reasons the Public Plan is a Big Con

    1. It leaves in place the deficient employer based model.    As the National Organziation for Women noted in their endorsement of the only viable reform model, single payer, many Americans are tied to jobs they don’t like because of the antiquated employer based insurance model.  For those switching from one job to another, those wanting to go on strike, those wanting to quit a job, etc. it prevents the ability to move freely as a laborer.
    1. It leaves private insurance, a major contributor to administrative inefficiency and bloated bureaucracy, in charge of health care decisions.
    1. It only results in about 10% of the savings that would accrue were single payer to be enacted.  That’s assuming 50% of Americans can enroll---an optimistic figure.   Since hospitals and doctors will still have to deal with 1300 insurance companies little savings will result by adding a public option.
    1. It does not pay for itself, like single payer, requiring a huge tax increase.   Instead of everybody in, nobody out, an all inclusive idea, public option pits the wealthy class who must be taxed to find money to help poor people buy overpriced, insufficient private health insurance.
    1. It becomes part of the same failed private model: co pays, deductibles, denials of some necessary procedures, services and medications.   Coverage and benefits will be similar to the private plans due to inability to control costs.  (see no. 3)
    1. Leaves millions uninsured and most people actually will not be eligible to sign up for it.  
    1. Segregates patients into two groups: health patients who will be aggressively pursued by insurance companies and sicker/older patients who will end up in the public plan.
    1. Projected savings published by Citizen Action are not based on historical trends with public option plans that have already failed in every state where they have been tried.
    1. Private insurers will still continue to deny claims and as a result, a major issue, bankruptcy due to health costs will remain unaddressed.
    1. The public option will not provide choice of provider unlike single payer.

    "I happen to be a proponent of a single payer health care program." Pres. Goldman Sachs Obama, 6/30/03

    by formernadervoter on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 08:35:38 AM PDT

  •  Bushcare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    "Obamacare" seems to beg for that response. I haven't heard it. Or "Limbaughcare."  

    We have got to close the name-calling gap!

  •  what choice will you have? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, polar bear

    I was glad to hear Obama finally come out explicitely for a public option within the exchange.

    But the devil is in the details and what chouce people will actually have remains an issue. What if you theoretically have access to health insurance via an employer, but it is expensive and/or coverage too limited? Who will the echange and public option be open to?

    How does the public option keep from being a dumping ground for the sick, which then makes it more and more expensive? Meanwhile the private for-profits will skim off the healthy and wealthy.

    First read Don McCanne's crititque of the choice actually being offered:
    http://www.pnhp.org/...

    And Jon Cohn's earlier backgrounder:
    http://www.tnr.com/...

    Now, Wyden's proposed amendments to improve the exchange are getting much attention from reporters with access to what is considered the mainstream Democratic view:

    http://blogs.tnr.com/...

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

    I remain doubtful that any fix that leave the private for-profits in place will work, but what they are proposing can be made better. Questions to ask:

    1. Will the exchange let you choose a better plan? - Will public option be open to everybody, even if they have access to private insurance through employer?
    1. Will it let you have free choice of physician, clinic and hospital?
    1. How does the proposal avoid adverse selection, and public plan becoming the ever increasingly expensive dumping ground for sick, while the private insurance companies scoop up the healthy and wealthy?
    1. Will it save individuals money while providing 100% coverge and access to care that is comprhensive when you need it? - Will it control overall costs?

    Just askin'

  •  Its happening just as I predicted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    The house has a lousy health care bill, the progressive caucus is opposed to it.  It won't even help one soul in this country until 2013 -- its THAT BAD!!  

    Yet the Obama team, Organizing for America, is out in the streets supporting this piece of sh** bill.  I get three or four emails a day from them now.  All are totally in favor of whatever they think their leader wants.

    This thing will be praised from the rooftops very soon.  Even Wolf Blitzer will support it, along with Lou the drip Dobbs and the former surgeon general nominee, etc.  

    Within two weeks people will be telling me I have to support it or I am not a democrat.  Event he Denver Pest will be on board -- hell, even Rush Limbaugh might come out in favor of it.  

    Then it will pass, and the people will be screwed worse than they are now!!!

    The House bill is a bad bill!

    It is a poison band-aid.  It will not help you or your loved ones, and even if it does, it will be a long time away and very expensive.  It will not control costs -- as the CBO has noted!

    It is just another way of selling us out.  

    I hope it fails.  I really, really hope it fails.

    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Ecclesiastes 9:10

    by not2plato on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:16:56 PM PDT

  •  Why do republicans hate America? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Creator

    We all don't start with zero

    by BeeClone on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 12:32:58 PM PDT

  •  Kick their treacherous asses, Barack. (0+ / 0-)

    Fuckers.

    Look, I don't give a shit whether my insurance is public or private.  I give a shit whether it's affordable, reliable, and efficient and efficacious.  So fuck anyone standing in the way of that.

    Universally despised by all the right people.

    by The Creator on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 01:23:21 PM PDT

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