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Obama’s Health Care Blundering

I'd never heard of this McConnell before, but this sounds about right:

And here's the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader's conference room has even seen. That's right. The final bill we'll vote on isn't even the one we've had on the floor. It's the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private

Beyond that, I'll let someone carry the conversation in the comments below.

4 Responses to "Obama’s Health Care Blundering"

  1. I'm not a McConnell fan, but his comments are right on.

    Here's what's going on: Obama made the mistake of making this his top domestic priority. It's a disaster. It was a dumb move from the start, yet now he can't back down, because if he does, then his domestic agenda will be judged a failure. Come january, campaigning starts and nobody wants to touch this disaster during a campaign. Republicans are itching for a delay, because they know the American public does not support this bill. Obama wanted his own thing originally, but at this point he would sign anything just to say he signed something.

    The making of it is fun to watch. Liberal Democrats want X, which is intolerable to moderates. Moderate Democrats want Y, which is intolerable to the liberals. It has truly become a circus.

    Democrats have way overplayed their hand. In November 2008, the public was pissed off at GWB and the Republicans, and it showed. But, what happened was not a liberal socialist mandate, as Pelosi/Reid/Obama and company have interpreted it. It was nothing more than a public pissed off at a lame president (GWB) and an inept party (the Republicans).

    And now, instead of being the post-partisan president, with no finger-pointing, that BHO said he would be, he has been the most partisan president in the last 50+ years. He is governing from the far left, and the public has had enough of it. Polling data shows this: he has the lowest approval rating ever, of any president, at the end of his first year.

  2. I am a supporter of health care reform. I would like to see a single payer system. Based on all available leaks about the bill it is not reform in any way. It is designed to dramatically increase profits of the health insurance industry. At this point they want to mandate we buy insurance from for-profit near-monopolies exempt from anti-trust laws. Here are some choice elements that will not be fixed:

    • no cap on profits / minimum payout
    • old people will pay 3 times as much
    • they can't deny pre-existing conditions but can charge more for them
    • they can still have annual and lifetime payout caps
    • they can still deny claims / procedures
    • they can still raise rates as much as they want any time they want
    • they will still be a nightmare to deal with
    • we will still have a sever medical bankruptcy problem
    • the subsidies will quickly be washed away by increased premiums under the current plan

    analysis of average middle class families leaves them with only $13-17,000 for all expenses after health insurance, taxes, food and shelter. The $13-17,000 must cover education, clothing, transportation, utilities and all other expenses for the whole year. This is after you count their subsidy (analysis at: http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/12/16/the-mybarackobamatax/ ).

    They need to bring back a public non-profit option, drop the mandates or kill the bill.

    A non-evil mandate such as those in other countries would eliminate these problems. A non-evil mandate would be a mandate for affordable insurance (based on income and assets), not an unaffordable extortion / protection racket for profiteers. It would guarantee a lifetime of coverage for all necessary medical procedures and get out of the way of doctors and patients.

  3. Matthew, I am for reform too. Our current system (which, it should be noted, was designed by Ted Kennedy) is in fact unsustainable. But, we need real reform that fixes the real problems we have. We do not need a socialist power-grab, which is what this bill is all about.

    I find it interesting that you complain that "they want to mandate we buy insurance from for-profit near-monopolies exempt from anti-trust laws," yet you do not seem to recognize that it was Congress itself that exempted the insurance companies from antitrust laws in the first place. In fact, the lack of competition caused by Congress's own actions is part of the problem here. And, instead of having the government get into the business of medical payment (more than they already are, anyway), government should be encouraging competition.

    Instead of increasing mandates, which will lower competition, and raise premiums and the cost of insurance and health care, government should be encouraging insurers and employers to allow each of us to choose what we want to be insured for. I have childless friends who are required to pay for maternity coverage. Why, exactly? They'll never use it, yet they are required to pay for it, because of government mandate. That raises the cost of their insurance.

    What we (American society) really need to figure out is what we want. Do we want true insurance (as in, insuring against financial loss due to health-related issues), or do we want simply a health care payment system? You clearly want a government-run health care payment system. I think that's a bad way to go, but it's what you want. I just want you to recognize that it isn't insurance. Annual flu shots, maternity expenses, regular colds, for example, these are predictable events and expenses and are therefore not cause for "insurance."

    What I think we need is to get back to is the notion of major medical: real insurance. HSAs are a market-driven approach in that direction, and are very popular with the people who have them. HSAs are seeing tremendous growth, but the Reid/Obama/Pelosi health care bill will kill that market.

  4. Iran's president said yesterday that U.S. President Barack Obama made a big mistake when he accused the country of having hidden a newly revealed nuclear site. Iran reported the facility to the United Nations even earlier than required, he said.


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