The Healthcare Discussion We Could Still Be Having

But we won't.

There are those that cling to or have given in to some mythic "inevitabilty" that we're doomed to be fed the toxic soup-salad-sandwich that is called healthcare reform by the elites in D.C. and crafted for the benefit of Wall Street and the rich. But we know this to be another transfer of wealth from the middle class to the corporate welfare sycophants in finance. And not to the the benefit of any of the people that do need help. This is not even a debate anymore. Just what is right and what is continuing, from preceding decades, to be wrong.

So, now we're debating an excise tax? How far we have fallen

So, now we're arguing about an excise tax. Apparently, the unions don't
understand. Apparently, the unions are anti-Democrat, and promulgate
right wing memes. Such is the death spiral of political discourse.

We never got to argue about single payer. It was seen as impossible, so
aiming for it was seen as pointless. Even though doing so might have
reframed the entire debate, by allowing us to negotiate down from it to
a public option, which would have been seen, from the start, as the
compromise it was.


There is so much wrong with the bill, and there has been so much
wrong with the process. But it really can be summarized thusly: once
upon a time, we were debating the will to pass a public option; now,
we're debating the efficacy and fairness of an excise tax.

We're going to get a health insurance bill. We're not going to get a
health care bill. The difference between the two defines what has gone

The discussion has broken down into two basic groups.

Those that want a political win and are willing to take it out on all of the wrong people to get that win. And the rest of us that are still waiting for real reform. In the case of the "go alongs to get alongs" that pretend there is something good out there to celebrate, or even worth debating at this point, or think we can fix it later...

It's NOT a Cadillac tax, it's a junk insurance tax

We should also be immensely troubled by the fact that most of these
reforms won't be available for many years, yet Democrats will hit the
ground during this election year, extolling the virtues of just a
little more patience.  How Obama runs on this in 2012 is beyond my
ability to understand.

And if you care to face the truth, these so-called reforms, will not be at all affordable to the millions of Americans who won't benefit form the Medicaid expansion.
 Once again, the political class responsible for this legislation,
doesn't have any idea that most Americans don't have an extra $200-$300
at the end of the month for health insurance. And then to add myriad
co-pays and deductibles on top of that, oh well, good luck to the IRS
trying to collect the fines from all these hard working people.


And here's the take home message on healthcare. I was with a group
of doctors last weekend. To a person, they all said, this whole
enterprise is bound to fail.  What was most interesting is that this
group of quite affluent doctors, none of whom were champions of single
payer all knew and  recognized that the only solution for our collapsed system is a single payer system. This is true.

What we're getting, is a transfer of wealth from the middle class to
the private insurance industry. And for this, they will be required to
"insure" us, though there will be all sorts of loopholes for them to
weasel around. For Americans who make the Medicaid cut, it will be a
good day, but for the rest of us, and those working poor who make just
a bit too much to qualify for the Medicaid expansion, the reforms will
be hard to fathom.

And in times like this, my thoughts always, without fail go to Dallasdoc's
admonition for the last God knows how many years. Dallasdoc predicted
this sort of outcome on healthcare. He said we wouldn't get any real
reform until we demanded publically financed campaigns.

If even I'm angry, Democrats should be worried.

No. We will not get a chance to fix it later.

This bill, in fact, is already only "a later" (2013? 2014?) and by then it will already be too late for too many people. And it will mean a collapse of the Democratic party's control of the Senate (maybe even the House?), virtually guarenteeing that there is no going back to fix all of the junk in their legislation. There is just too much of it and, obviously, no political will to do the right thing in D.C. from our current politicians. Even the supposed "good ones" are too corrupt to do what is really needed, as evidenced by what they have tried to shove down our throats in this debate.

We have reached a boiling point, IMHO, and a heck of a lot of politicians in power now will either leave or be shown the door. The fact is, the idea of opening up Medicare to all is more popular than all of the politicians out there and in leadership. Obama included. The same can be said for any real Public Option available to everyone. But they can't even give us that. They absolutely refuse to do what is best.

Is that an argument to get what we can now? I don't think so.

Not based on any of the legislation I have seen. They would do better, IMHO, to just expand Senator Sanders' legislation and pass only that. Maybe toss in some hard ERISA outs so, at least, states will have a chance to honestly fix the real problems on their own. They can't do any worse than the piles of corporatist dung being tossed around in Congress. Can they?

From Vermont:

Progressives Introduce New Single Payer Bill

This week Progressive legislators introduced a new Single Payer bill (H.491).
This bill proposes to create a single-payer health care system in
Vermont to promote health, to prevent chronic health conditions, and to
contain costs.

From Pennsylvania:

Welcome to Health Care for All Pennsylvania. We are a
501(c)(3)/(c)(4) nonprofit whose purpose it is to both educate citizens
about the Single Payer Solution in Pennsylvania, and to see that the
"Family and Business Healthcare Security Act of 2009" becomes the law
of Pennsylvania so that ALL of our citizens are guaranteed quality,
comprehensive, affordable, single-payer medical care.

From California:

Join the March, Rally & Lobby Day in Sacramento This Monday, January 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

In California’s first health
care reform action of the New Year, the California Health Professional
Student Alliance (CaHPSA), supporters of single payer SB 810 (Leno),
are staging a public March, Rally and Lobby Day this Monday, January
11th, 11AM to 1:00PM in Sacramento. Our historic legislation for true
single payer reform in California is expected to be moved from the
Appropriations Committee next week or soon thereafter, enroute to
passage in the Legislature later this year.

No votes yet


The fear of screwing up the good by considering the perfect was never a real issue once single-payer or even the array of possible public option considerations was narrowed to choices made among the lords of the Senate.

I'm trying to popularize Steppenwolf's nearly half-century old premonition, just a little too late.  "Now it's a monster, and will not obey."


Once the religious, the hunted and weary
Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new vision
Far from the reaches of kingdom and pope
Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And 'til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end
While we bullied, stole and bought our a homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

The blue and grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war was over
They stuffed it just like a hog

And though the past has it's share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey

The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seemed friendly and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people got fat and grew lazy
Now their vote is like a meaningless joke
You know they talk about law, about order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who wins
You know we can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster ♪♫
The official Steppenwolf website.

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson

It was awesome. At first, I thought it was the real music video... Didn't think it was just made by some YouTube user. And I always liked all of Steppenwolf's songs.

Daniel Spelzmann's picture

You know the unions are overwhelmingly left leaning and they always have been. The democrats always scratch their backs and they scratch the democrats backs. It would seem as one of the strongest relationships in politics. Then, here comes helthcare reform. The unions act like spoiled brats the first time they don't get 100% of what they want. They are worse than the republicans who oppose the bill, it's really ridiculous.

There is nothing spoiled about the fact that a tax on the higher priced healthcare plans will hurt more than just the unions. It will hit anyone that needs ongoing treatment for many illnesses because in our messed up system they have higher premiums too regardless of whether or not they have the mythical "Cadillac Plans".

With the tax added in all that will happen is people will be forced into plans that will not cover anywhere near as much as the crappy plans they have now.

And if Unions really got what they wanted on this issue? They would be getting a Single Payer plan because that is what most unions wanted from the get-go. They made a huge compromise in supporting a Public Option that seems to have been tossed in the trash.