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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 23, 2009 10:10 AM. The previous post in this blog was Everything you know is wrong. The next post in this blog is Talkin' the dogs. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Dear Harry Reid: Call the bluff

It appears that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is willing to push a public option in the health care reform bill, but because of some "centrist" Democrats, he won't have the 60 votes he needs to break a Republican filibuster.

Harry, all you need is 50 votes and Obama. If the filibuster starts and "centrists" like Gatsby Wyden stand with the Republicans hour after tedious hour, their constituents will start to see them for what they really are. And that's the last thing they want.

Show them the big spotlight they're going to be under, Harry. Go for it.

Comments (34)

Amen, brother, amen. Time the Sachems of the Democratic Party to be put squarely on record: are you for the people or the insurance company parasites?

Did you see the story yesterday about rape victims being unable to get insurance because they took a prophylactic dose of Anti-AIDs meds? These leeches need to be lanced with a red-hot syringe full of clorox.

I agree with you Jack, but not for the same reasons. Lets see which scoundrels want to lay another layer of debt on us and our progeny and come 2010 vote their sorry butts out.

It would be a great medical advance if he did, demonstrating that it's possible for someone without a spine to grow one.

"are you for the people or the insurance company parasites?"

Not against a public option (if it is run intelligently), but why would the insurance companies oppose this? Most of the people opting for a public option are probably types the insurance companies don't want to service.

They "centerist" dems would melt like Mt. Hood glaciers if they were forced to face the music in public.

public option or bust

The insurance parasites are against a public option for the same reason PGE is against public utility districts --- because the leeches hate institutions dedicated to providing people with essential services to promote the general welfare instead of corporate profits.

Lets see which scoundrels want to lay another layer of debt on us and our progeny and come 2010 vote their sorry butts out.

What do you mean "another" layer of debt? Have you seen the national debt recently?
Most it has ever been. And that is before health care.

We are calling you out Sen Wyden
We need the Public Option Now.

Have you seen the national debt recently?
Most it has ever been.

This is just (perhaps intentionally?) wrong. It's meaningless to look at the number of dollars; it only matters as a percentage of GDP. By that measure, our debt is about 40% of its historical top.

Oh, and on the public option filibuster? Three words: Joe Lieberman.

I don't support the public option. we already have the infrastructure to provide health insurance to the entire population. Why reinvent that wheel? Do we really think that the government will do that better than state regulated insurance companies? I don't.

I hope Reed doesn't refuse to put the public option forward unless there are 60 sure votes, but opts instead to let a filibuster occur. Most people have no idea what one looks like, because "Senate courtesy" has eliminated the actual practice. I want to see which Dems are willing to get up and talk--and talk, and talk--siding with Republicans against their mates.

Any Democrat (or "Independent Dem, like Lieberman) who does this should lose his/her committee chairmanship(s).

It's time the Dems starting acting like the party in control, instead of cowering at the thought that conservatives might say something negative about them. Get a clue, guys. They already are, and no matter what you do, they will continue to.

When you call, be sure to shout out the Medicare plus 5% public option. The other so-called public option is too crappy.

we already have the infrastructure to provide health insurance to the entire population.

Yes, and it's working so well!

I'm quite confident conservatives have outlined at the very minimum five ways the government can dramatically reduce the cost of health care without spending a single dime, and most likely saving itself a ton of money.

However, it doesn't seem like the majority of the left or those in power care to pursue any of these options. This is where most of the backlash against the proposals currently on the table come from, based on polls and people I've talked to.

Start with revising the anti-trust laws. Competition is the solution, not a dirty word.

Gary K, as someone who's been unemployed for awhile and is now on a private plan that costs me more than COBRA did, much more than my share of my employer's plan did, and that has a $2,500 yearly deductible and still only pays 80 percent of any major medical, don't be so dismissive of a public option.

I challenge you to get on the horn Monday, act as if you don't have insurance (or just got laid off) and see what you get quoted. Then talk to your pals and see how much trouble their 20-something children are having finding affordable insurance while making 20K a year as baristas (my 300 plus a month wouldn't be so affordable for them). I've heard -- firsthand -- of 20-somethings being denied coverage because they have -- oh, horrors -- allergies or heavy periods or once had the measles (no, I'm not making this up, I wish I were). For the allergies, Zyrtec (and its generic equivalent) is now an over-the-counter drug, people; doesn't cost insurance companies a damn dime.

And once you've had the measles, you're done. Can't get that again. Heavy periods? Well, in most cases a heating pad and a pain pill work fine. Neither is very expensive. A more expensive option is some hormone pills (like birth control -- that won't break the insurers' bank, either.) Yes, there are a few more serious conditions, but statistically, we're not talking a lot of people, which is why we, our employers and our government buy insurance.

The model is broken. I don't think government is the ultimate answer, but what we have now isn't, either, and it certainly doesn't cover the unemployed, of which 12 plus percent of your Portland brethren are part.

Also, keep in mind that government is paying the medical bills for all your elected reps and their dependents as well as any parents over 65 (and even they have to get supplemental insurance to pay the remaining 20 percent. That supplemental insurance cost eats up a lot of their pensions and SS). So the elected folk don't have a clue, either, or a good reason to change the status quo. As soon as their mom or their over-21 and uninsured kid gets sick, their opinion changes.

BTW, I have NO pre-existing medical conditions. I've never smoked in my life. Anything. Plus I'm too old to get pregnant. My blood pressure's normal and my cholesterol and blood sugar are just dandy. The chances of me getting AIDS are slim and none. If I have cancer, I'm certainly clueless about it and so far am experiencing no symptoms. My current insurer is getting that 300 plus a month for a policy I've NEVER used. I'm just pure profit to them.

After all, I'm not about to go for an annual exam and get a pre-existing condition put into my record.

So, if you can find more affordable insurance, just leave me a message here and I'll be on the horn to said insurer so fast, it will make your head spin (which hopefully for you won't count as a pre-existing condition). And I will publicly acknowledge you found me a better deal. And that it can be done as the system stands today.

Please. I beg you.

Healthy people contribute to the GDP, which means they contribute to Taxes.

That means tax money spent to provide medical care for all makes it's way back to the tax coffers.

Sick people becoming well enough to work mean more taxes to cover their medical costs.

That is only the beginning of a healthy citizen's value to a society.

It takes two things for a society to thrive:
1. Medical care
2. Education
Neither should be for profit.

I must hang around with all the wrong people. I don't know anyone who is a big fan of yet another botched government program. How's that Swine Flu vaccine coming along? The USPS? College funds for Veterans? And you people want these same overpaid fools to operate the US healthcare system?

Dave A: Hope you've got a good arsenal. The military is, well, you know: a big government program. You're screwed.

Why do you use the military in rebutal?

That's ridiculous. First of all it's also a enormous bureaucracy full of waste fraud and dysfunction. Second, we need a military.
Third, that's doesn't mean we shoudln't scrutinize and clean up the military bureaucracy.

There are many critical things that must happen before the government grows with another whopper.

Why does the left completely ignore this while demanding the push forward to expansion?

The health insurance system has always worked for me but I understand that it hasn't worked for a lot of people. But I don't believe the right start in fixing it is to throw the existing system out entirely to replace it with a government program. It's not necessary in order to get to where we want to be.

If "public option" means what I think it means, then some of us--including Mr. Reid--need to read the Constitution.

The same progressives who push for this huge government bureacracy have systematically driven up health care costs by insisting on "accountability" (sue the pants off of any doctor who makes a mistake), universality (separating consumption and payment decisions from the individuals who would otherwise decide what treatment(s) to choose), systematically shuttering thousands of community hospitals (while building Taj Mahal edice medical centers with multiple auditoriums named after pillars of the community) and imposing universal prevention/treatment requirements.

The progressives have created this world -- they should pay for it - a pox on their houses for turning to the rest of us to fund their unsustainable, idyllic visions, which are turning no surprise into a nightmare.

"Second, we need a military."

LAST, we need a military. Believing that 'security' -- global, national, state, county, town, residence, bodily or otherwise, is province of military madness and murder, is the stigma of a fear-soaked pitiable mind. See a shrink, or get some medication.
Grow up. Be decent. Thus: social good security.

- -

Uninformed Hannity Tries To Provoke Culture War Over NYC Subway Atheist Ads

... Fox News show on Tuesday night, ... attacked a new ad campaign soon to be appearing in New York City subway stations that raises awareness about atheism. The ad, sponsored by The Big Apple Coalition of Reason, reads: “A million New Yorkers are good without God. Are you?”

The question about where Congress gets the power to force everyone to buy health insurance has been treated like a joke.

But it shouldn't be.

If Congress can force you to buy health insurance, is there anything that they can't force you to buy?

Can they force you to buy your next car from GM or Chrysler? Buy a mandated amount of fruits and veggies? Purchase your TV cable from companies that don't carry Fox News?

If they can force you to purchase one, why not the others?

John D., you are right. There is no constitutional basis for a federal mandate to buy health insurance.

Unlike states, which have plenary powers, including the "police power" to regulate for health, safety, and welfare of the residents, the federal constitution creates a government of enumerated powers, with only the power to act where a constitutional grant of authority creates that power to act.

Thus, the feds can create a health program -- call it "Medicate for All," say -- and can pay for it with tax revenues. What the feds may not do, constitutionally, is force anyone to buy health insurance from a for-profit private entity.

There is a Congressional Research Service report that concludes that Congress may arguably have the power to impose a mandate and that it "might" be upheld against a Takings challenge under the 5th Amendment. But the "might be upheld" argument is quite weak. It cites a case decided in the 1940s that held that wheat grown for on-farm use still came under the purview of Agricultural Adjustment Act (farm subsidies) because it affected commodity wheat. What the CRS analysts failed to point out is that the farm was a participant in the AAA, so the farmer in that case was trying to have it both ways (to participate in the commodity crop supports program AND not participate with on-farm wheat).

I have read every word of the Constitution multiple times trying to find a basis by which the feds could force you to buy private health insurance, and I can safely say that, absent radical new law from the Supremes, a federal "you must buy health insurance" order that forces you to patronize one of the parasite leech companies will not survive a takings challenge.

But Medicare and Medicaid are constitutional, so the solution here is simplicity itself: Medicare for All. Those who wish to purchase additional health insurance from one of the leeches are free to do so -- but everyone has the option of relying on the public plan.

I have read every word of the Constitution multiple times trying to find a
basis by which the feds could force you to buy private health insurance

Did you find a right to privacy? Not everything about the Constitution is revealed by a simple reading.

Yes, it's in the Ninth Amendment.

But even if you agree with those who say it's OK to have judges excise portions of the text and create a "Forgotten Amendment," and don't like that answer, there's still a pretty big difference between the federal government's power to act and finding that individuals have a fundamental right to control their own reproduction.

Recall that there is (and could not be, Constitutionally) a federal law criminalizing abortion. Because a government of enumerated powers can only act where the Constitution grants it the authority to do so. The feds don't have a grant of authority to prohibit (or require) abortions --- or the purchase of health care coverage.

Add "no" after "Recall that there is" in the last para.

George, I am trying to avoid being rudely dismissive here, but the feds have long ago figured out ways around your concerns. There's a federally mandated drinking age, and that's not allowed by the Constitution. Private schools are forced to allow military recruiters on their campuses, and that's not allowed by the Constitution. They simply tie it to federal funding. "Any state that does not require people to own health insurance doesn't get Medicaid." Case closed!

I think you're right, actually, greenmail could well be how they do it -- (like they do with tying DOT funds to the drinking age and federal funding to universities to the recruiters).

But that's cool too -- first, because it shows that they agree that the feds can't directly order Americans to buy insurance.

Second because, if they take that approach, there's likely to be a lot of variation in how states tackle it, including a pure single-payer state (surely covering 100% of everyone would satisfy the mandate). It's not like a drinking age law -- it's much more like Medicaid, which has a huge amount of variation in how it's implemented. The red states can all leave themselves to the tender mercies of the leeches and the smart states can provide people with a real public option.

(Sidenote: It's interesting though, that the Cong. Research Service report doesn't address greenmail at all -- they were discussing a flat-out federal mandate.)

Agreed, the "greenmail" approach would probably get around the Constitutional problem.

But that's not what is being proposed, is it?

At the very minimum it would appear to preclude a Federally mandated and operated "single payer" system.

Also, if the Congress does manage to force the individual mandate in this case, how long do you think it would be until they apply it in other cases.

Remember, these are 535 little tin gods who will do anything to get more power.


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