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The baseline scenario on health care -- or, as Obama says, health insurance -- reform

Ian Welsh, who's been on fire lately:

I’ll settle for a good public option, or even a non-sucky one. But I’m becoming convinced that any public option will either be too compromised, or non existent, and at that point, all that happens is you have slashes to Medicare and Medicaid, forced purchase of bad insurance, and through those purchases more money being pumped into the system.

As I've said in the context of the bailout for banksters: If you pump more blood into a zombie, it's still a zombie.

Is forcing people to buy insurance the real goal? The best way to make money, bar none, is to have government force people to buy your product. It’s a wet dream for any industry, so if it’s going to be done, it has to be done right—it has to be very highly regulated and controlled with rates of return set like utilities.

Will it be?

Simple answers to simple questions:

No. The bill is a bailout for the health insurance companies. AP -- amazingly enough -- concurs. (Possibly because they don't even see that as a problem.) As I wrote:

Nothing to date has re-assured me that we won't end up with a mandate that forces millions of us to pay for junk insurance, leaving all us unterbussen worse off than before.

It's one thing when a wild-eyed hippie like lambert, who everybody hates and nobody reads, says this. It's quite another thing when a sober and well-respected Open Left poster like Ian Welsh does. Eh?

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cal1942's picture
Submitted by cal1942 on

for health care insurance companies to make even more money.

Another danger of a greatly compromised bill may be that the version passed could be an example of what Conservatives have always warned that a government program would be like.

That would totally waste any chance at actual reform for a few generations.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

lambert, who everybody hates and nobody reads

Gee, I dunno, lambert. I kinda like your in-your-face, take-no-prisoners style.

And "nobody reads"? Heck, lambert, you're all over the place: Open Left, Digby, Daily Kos and, of course, here—we can't stop reading you!

Maybe I'm giving you too much credit but I think you're single-handedly changing the discourse about the current legislation on the so-called "public option." Support it or oppose it—we might as well know what we might be getting or not getting, in any case. (You've definitely changed my perception about it.) Not bad for someone "who everybody hates and nobody reads."

Kudos for being constructively confrontational where it matters (and very readable, too).

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

My mother used to have a tee shirt that said "Question Authority". Lambert does that with vigor and facts and thank goodness for it, few in the Left blogosphere seem to do that these days.

Submitted by lambert on

Yes, we're getting some traction. It's exactly like 2003, except the putative owners of the discouse are different (and smarter, smoother, and to some extent better).

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

OKAY, I know that that's NOT an acceptable subject line.

But, after I read your post, but before I read the comments, I was thinking pretty much along the same lines as the comments above.

"lambert, who everybody hates and nobody reads"-

yep, this is the "bullshit" part of my comment. Look, I tracked you down, and found Corrente because of your comments at FDL- even tho you don't link Corrente in your moniker there.

And KS likes you, and thinks you are smart. ;) and so do I. ;)

Submitted by lambert on

Which is, I grant you, a sophisticated and subversive form of bullshit...

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

to all the pro-lambert comments --nobody sums it up better (for me, anyway). I've stopped reading a lot of other sites, because it required wading through vast amounts of verbiage on topics that lambert covers perfectly in two or three paragraphs.

And then of course there's the real clincher, the awesome snarkaliciousness.

Okay, enough with the gushing ... RL is outside the house with a bullhorn.

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

As I hope it's been clear from my various comments before at this site, I'm a newbie here.

Sorry if this a dumb question but RL = ?. I've seen this RL thing in several posts and comments. Maybe someone could give me a clue?

Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

crikey, that never even occurred to me! I thought it might be an abbreviation, say like "OL", for some bloggy place I didn't know about. Laughing. ;)

added in edit- I guess that tells you where my mind is!

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

today. He calls us "suicidal" because we actually support what he says he supports, you know, except we do so openly.

http://www.singlepayeraction.org/blog/?p...

Ya know, I think Dem's like dear Barney are maybe the biggest problem. They won't fight for what they believe in. They won't even ask for a seat at the table. Of course, he felt the same way about marriage equality here, and look what happened. HE WAS WRONG!

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I know paradigm is a buzzword dumb people use to sound smart (h/t The Simpsons), but I've always been fond of alliteration.

I've been meaning to post on this topic, but...RL. And my computer has the tendency to crash because the video card is at the end of its life. So it goes.

Submitted by jawbone on

thought of Barney Franks as one of the mainstays of liberalism in the House. But since the TARP mess, he seems to be, oh, I don't know, somehow limited in his thinking on issues. Like between center and center-ish.

But, Mass, thnks so much for the link to Single Payer Action. I wasn't aware of the site and I had a lot of fun rummaging around. Kinda shrill over there. Sorta like here but with much shorter paragraphs.

Loved the takedown of Dr. Dean's claim that Obama's public option was just like Medicare. What' he been smoking? What's happened to him? Same thing affecting Franks? Get a center right "Dem" in the presidency and lot of people go all wobbly and get pulled to the right?

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

More than once, recently, I've found myself singing this old Tom Lehrer tune with another name [Krugman, Randi (Weingarten) ...] inserted in place of "Hubert":




"Once a fiery liberal spirit,
Ah, but now, when he speaks, he must clear it."

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

Sorry if I embarrassed you, lambert, with those gushy comments.

I did get the irony—got me smiling as soon as I read it—but I still wanted to say what I said. Credit where credit is due, and all that.

k, back to lurking.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Because the US Chamber of Commerce and Big Pharma want it:

The effort received a boost during the day from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, normally a close ally of Republicans. In a letter to committee leaders, the business group called for the panel to "act promptly, preferably before" the Senate's scheduled vacation at the end of next week. In doing so, the business organization dealt a blow to the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other GOP lawmakers who have called repeatedly for Democrats to slow down.

In yet another boost for the drive to enact legislation, PhRMA, which represents drug companies, has purchased more than $500,000 worth of television ads to air during the week in nine states.

Well, I'm just sure they have all of our best interest at heart, aren't you?