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Opinion

Opinion

Obama must renew bipartisan efforts

December 25, 2009

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— The health care reform bill coming out of the Senate presents a real dilemma for spectators: How do you applaud while holding your nose?

There is so much that is wrong with it — and the way it was made — and, at the same time, so much that is right that you just have to shake your head in despair and in wonder.

As one who covered the Clintons’ struggle 15 years ago to pass health care reform and wrote an overly long book about their failure even to bring it to a vote in a Democratic Congress, I am in awe at the prospect of such a bill making it all the way to the White House.

When implemented years from now, it promises to make as many as 30 million men and women who now live with the fear of illness or hospitalization leading straight to financial ruin eligible for the same care as their more fortunate, insured neighbors.

Six decades after his death, one of FDR’s Four Freedoms will, at long last, be guaranteed to almost all Americans. And the shame of this affluent society tolerating the denial of health care to its own citizens will be largely lifted.

But Lord, what a load of embarrassment accompanies this sense of satisfaction! What should have been a moment of proud accomplishment for the United States Senate, right up there with the passage of Social Security and the first civil rights bills, was instead a travesty of low-grade political theater — angry rhetoric and backroom deals.

There’s blame enough to go around. Start with the 40 Republicans, not one of whom was willing to break out of the mold of negative conformity and offer a sustained working partnership in serious legislative effort.

But even those Republicans who were initially inclined to do that — and there were at least a handful of them — were turned away by the White House and the Senate Democratic leaders, who never lifted their sights much beyond the Democratic ranks.

Forced to bargain for every vote among the 60 in his caucus, Majority Leader Harry Reid did what he usually does: He reduced the negotiations to his own level of transactional morality. Incapable of summoning his colleagues to statesmanship, he made the deals look as crass and parochial as many of them were — encasing a historic achievement in a wrapping of payoff and patronage.

The taint has rubbed off on the bill. This week’s Quinnipiac University poll found a 53-36 percent majority disapproving of the legislation and an overwhelming number — 73 percent to 18 percent — saying they do not believe it will, as promised, reduce future budget deficits. It now becomes President Obama’s personal responsibility to strengthen the cost-saving features of the bill and present them in a better way. Two of them are vulnerable to attack when the bill goes back to conference with the House in January. Liberal Democrats do not like the independent commission in the Senate bill having power to enforce savings in Medicare and the private health system. And labor does not accept the Senate plan to tax high-end insurance plans.

Obama has not intervened with a heavy hand as the bill has moved through the House and Senate, but now it is time for him to act.

It would help a lot if he reached out personally to those few Republicans who might still want to improve the bill rather than sink it. And it would help even more if he shamed the Democrats into rescinding some of the crasser bargains they made to buy votes along the way.

The country would welcome even a few signs that this legislation has bipartisan support.

Then we could applaud its final passage, and take our thumbs down from our noses.

Comments

Pilgrim2 4 years, 3 months ago

pace (Anonymous) says…

Not one republican has voted yes for health care access for working families. Do nothings.


Wrong. The Republicans ARE representing working families. It's the working families that will have to pay for this clusterf*** of legislative prostitution. The Demorats are representing those who don't work and merely want to suckle some more at the public teat.

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 - 2005 ~

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

If you can't get it done ask the Poser to do it for you.

Stimulus, Money Eternally Grows On Trees, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you all

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pace 4 years, 3 months ago

Not one republican has voted yes for health care access for working families. Do nothings. Palin sadly is probably the cream of the crop. She at least says her lies aloud.

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commuter 4 years, 3 months ago

Obama's New Campaign slogan "Heads I win, tails you lose".

The left was all pissed off when the Repubs. pushed some bills through Congress without any yes votes from the Dems but now it is ok. Talk a bout a pot calling the kettle black.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Aaaand you're back to the "know you are but what am I" defense. You're so sad, bozo, got me feeling sorry for ya again. Bye bye, boyo.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

" Nary a response to anything,"

Yep, that's pretty much what you did. Nothing but junior-high posturing (I assume you're now hungover, not drunk.)

If your generally argumentative nature and all-around nasty demeanor aren't alcohol induced, that isn't necessarily a good thing.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"of which you made not the least attempt to understand (let alone actually understanding them.)"

Uh, yeah, sure, you write something like that and claim alcohol is effecting my perception?
And talk about 'pumping yourself up', to allude to your own Pavlovian drool. What ego must it take for you to believe your posts are anything more than mud puddle deep and difficult to decipher. Nary a response to anything, other than more misdirection. You're a marvil, bozo.

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commuter 4 years, 3 months ago

I am am waiting for Harry Reid's new campaign slogan" Pimpin ain't Easy"

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tomatogrower 4 years, 3 months ago

"But, of course, we frequently find that what he says he will do and what he actually does are very, very different"

How is it different? The Senate bill is nothing like what Obama wanted, because of compromises. Of course the compromises have irked many of us, because we see it as catering to the insurance companies who have their hands on the strings of many lawmakers. And how about allowing for the anti-abortion measures? That was certainly a compromise with the Catholic church.

There has been a need for a different system for many years. Reagan didn't do anything, because he thought big business would actually allow tax cuts to trickle down in money and benefits. He either didn't understand the greed system our "capitalism" had become, or he was in cahoots with the corporations. Clinton tried to do something, but was soundly defeated. His opponents were too busy spending tax dollars to get rid of him. Bush, well Bush's only focus from the get go, even before 9/11, was to invade Iraq. He could have cared less about the American people. He just wanted to get his military industrial buddies a lot of money and control more oil.

Obama wants to spend tax dollars on America, except for trying to finish up what Bush didn't and revenge 9/11 by getting rid of the Taliban as punishment for sheltering Al Queda. In the meantime they might have killed a few of the terrorists. But now Obama has to spend more money finishing the job, before he can actually spend money on us. Personally I would have just packed up and left them all to themselves and put money into the real defense against terrorism, intelligence work. They really are nothing but criminals. They should be investigated as just another criminal organization. Waging war just makes them seem important, not criminals.

You Obama haters seem all for spending money in Iraq, but when it comes to spending money in our own country, you are against it. What does that say about you? Who are the real patriots?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

OK, jaywalker, let's see if you are mature enough to actually discuss the facts.

"Every insurance company must, by law, hold in reserve 4x the amount they pay out in claims, on average, every month."

You proved my point quite well, jaywalker. The money they hold in reserve is NOT their money. They are required to hold it in reserve so that they can actually do what is the only ostensible purpose for their existence--to pay the medical claims of their customers. (Ignoring for the moment that under the capitalist religion, their only reason for existence is to return a profit to investors.) Those revenues held in reserve are NOT part of the cost of doing business.

The only true costs of their business are salaries, office expenses, advertising, bribes to congressmen, etc., and including cash reserves held for payouts on claims in figuring profits accomplishes exactly what they intended-- low-balling their true profitability just to influence the gullible and willfully ignorant.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

“Yeah, me and David Broder”

Broder's an idiot. What's your excuse?


I dare say Broder is orders of magintude smarter than little boohoozo living in mommy's basement. I suspect he's smarter than I am, as well, but not by nearly as much.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"Yeah, me and David Broder"

Broder's an idiot. What's your excuse?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, jaywalker, all you managed to do was express your outrage. Outrage about what? Apparently not any of the points I made, of which you made not the least attempt to understand (let alone actually understanding them.)

No, you're just doing your angry man routine because I have irritated you in the past, and like Pavlov's Dog, when you see one of my posts, especially when you're drunk, you slobber all over yourself and this board.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

Aren't you in the insurance business, Pil? Aren't all those ex-Congressmen and former staffers on Big Health's payroll doing their jobs well enough for you? Is that why you have to come here and spread your willful ignorance?


Yeah, me and David Broder, boohoozo.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"The insurance companies are claiming that the premiums they hold in reserve are part of their revenue stream just like a manufacturer would all of its gross sales in the calculation of their profits"

Pardon me! I missed this gem, bozo. Quit playin' with the adults, as if you have the foggiest freakin' clue what you're talkin' about. I'm bettin' your eyes are brown with the stuff you shovel. Every insurance company MUST, BY LAW, hold in reserve 4x the amount they pay out in claims, on average, every month. Their reserve is part of their revenue stream, boozo, in that the whopping 2.5% profit margin they "steal" comes off the bottom of the lowest monthly average on an annual basis.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the "I know you are but what am I" gambit. Thanks for the refrain:

"...Three pointless posts, Two Strawmen, and a Juvenile in a Pear tree!" .

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 3 months ago

"just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

You're the one who's drunk, jaywalker, and you clearly can't handle your liquor."

Marion writes:

You got an Internet Breathalyzer there, bozo?

Your Ad Hominem atacks are not going without notice and have and are being compiled.

Better take it easy; your violations of the TOS of the LJW are stacking up, being recorded and in a provable manner.

Have a nice day now, ya hear?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

You're the one who's drunk, jaywalker, and you clearly can't handle your liquor.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, Barack Hussein Obownow is bi-racial, so why should he not be bi-partisan?

Just askin'.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"I'm hardly defending the the democrats, jaywalker. Why are you defending the Republicans?"

Too much nog? Never said you were "defending the democrats", bozo, nor did I "defend the Republicans". Erecting another strawman to distract from the first one? A double fallacy! Well done. Righteous? 'Bout the equivalent satisfaction as winnin' at tic-tac-toe.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

I know it'd be easier for you to be all righteous if I did, but I'm hardly defending the the democrats, jaywalker. Why are you defending the Republicans?

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Jacob123 4 years, 3 months ago

Come on Obama let the (Rs) in on looting America too.

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jaywalker 4 years, 3 months ago

"But these same Republicans were getting pretty massive bribes from Big Health themselves,"

Puhleeze. Not compared to a 100 million to buy off Nebraska, nor 300 million for Louisiana. The senator herself called it a 'bribe', for cryin' out loud. And whaddya call this entire bill other than a HUGE payoff to insurance companies and big pharma? Sure, let's build a Xmas strawman along w/ bozo, it's the evil Republicans we should focus on.

What a maroon.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

Merry Christmas and the best in this New Year too you Defender! You're a great contribution to the opinions and fun on LJW on-line. Let's hope and pray our elected officials, Dem and Repub, learn to do what WE need and want, not what they think we need and want.

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Defender 4 years, 3 months ago

Tom, YOU'RE an anti-American-pinko-commie (just kidding).

Good God, what I have I resorted to? Third grade reasoning? Actually, just kidding with you Tom, as well. I truly wish the best for you and yours, and even everyone else (including merrill, ugh).

No matter how much I disagree with you on some topics, I totally agree with you on others (gun control, for one, just not for it, period). The best of the Christmas Season to you Tom, and all my other friends and foes here.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

You want it to be about Bush, admit it Defender. You anti-American-pinko-commie (just kidding).

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Defender 4 years, 3 months ago

"When was the Arrogant One ever bipartisan..."

I thought this was about Obama, not Bush? Sorry oldvet, but your old and worn out partisan BS is just that, partisan, and therefore useless.

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Orwell 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, OK, just so long as the discussion isn't descending into ad hominem tactics (cough cough).

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Tom, you are funny!

Merry Christmas to all!

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

Republicans don't even remotely hold a candle to the arrogant, godless, evil, tyrannical, destructive, disgusting, obnoxious, self-absorbed, narcissistic, me-me-me, power hungry, hypocritical, hoi polli loathing Democrats. Not even close.

Merry Christmas! Snow falling again, and appears it will be for a little while. You all have been super LJW neighbors this year!

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jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

As for me, I am neither Republican nor Democrat, although for most of my life I have been Republican.

To be a member of either party is to be labeled a fool as well.

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pace 4 years, 3 months ago

The Democrats are emerging as not a team, but a number of individuals, different ideas, different priorities, different solutions. Thank god. They represent a wide spectrum of Americans, they are bringing ideas to the table and hammering out a plan to help the broken health care industry. I hope the Republicans are more than the ant army of one note and that be one of defeat. The Gop seems to be selling hatred . That hatred seems to be riding over concern the working families of this country. Maybe their fear mongering will move opinion and some votes but basically I think America likes doers, not do nothings. They aren't offering their opinions their solutions, they stand mute on ideas and voice bizarre screams at tea parties. They scream keep the federal government hands off medicare. (Medicare is a federally run health care program) Medicare has kept many of the elderly in their homes and protected most retired Americans from the vultures of private health industry leeches. We need a strong diverse Republican party, not a unified impotent Republican party afraid to speak their own ideas. We need Ideas not ideology. It is a time of courage, not of cowards.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

Someday, we may return to the concept that we are Americans and can solve problems together. The poisons in the extreme wings of the R's and the D's don't help. We still have a chance, but another generation or two of this stuff may do us in. Perhaps we need three parties. One in the middle, where perhaps 60%+ of the public stands, another to support the zygotes and the skygod's ancient needs, and another to promote total government control of the system. This is a great chance for M. Moore and S. Palin to start the fringe parties. Let the middle look for common ground.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, sorry that I am not as knowledgeable about business as you are, but you are missing my point anyway. I've listed several other issues that would have helped lower healthcare costs, none of which were addressed by either the congressional nor the senate bill. Issues that were brought up by the Republicans and dismissed by the Democrats. Obama's plan was initially, to bring in the public option, which would eventually force the insurance companies out of business. He is on record (youtube) as saying his preference would be a single payer plan. He did, to his credit, scrap that plan when he realized he would not go down in history as being the One to finally deliver healthcare "reform". Instead of being labled healthcare "reform", it should be named Health Insurance reform. That is the only issue that was addressed. While we all can agree that some insurance companies are bad and needed to be brought in line, they missed the boat on this. My point in bring up the industry profits listing was to point out that there are a myriad of issues that make healthcare expensive, not just the greedy insurance companies not wanting to show their reserve funds as profits, or whatever it was you were trying to tell me.

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farfle 4 years, 3 months ago

We need a new political party. Neither the Dems or Reps are working for us.

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"I'm not a Democrat, Tom. And I didn't vote for Obama (not that it matters who I voted for, living in Kansas.)"

I get the sense that borderline PA's are finagling some distance between themselves and the Poser mindset. So to speak.

Nothin' wrong with that mind you, "better late than never".

Stimulus, The Punaho Kid and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

You clearly don't understand the difference between salaries and profit, fancy. Salaries/payrolls are considered a cost of doing business. Profits are the money left over after all expenses have been paid, but they obviously increase the cost of the goods or services provided.

While it's difficult to know what Obama really wants, it's pretty clear that the bill we see today is the best he thought he could accomplish, and given the level of corruption in Congress among both Democrats and Republicans, he may have been right. I expect that's why he never even considered single payer, and jettisoned any sort of public option without much hesitation.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Inspire, actually, I considered most of your post a lecture. But, maybe I read it wrong. That is the problem with posting, emails, anything written. It is easy to misread the tone of the comment. I apologize then for #5 on my reply to you.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

ahhh, and I was so ready to log off and do something different....not all insurance companies are for profit. I guess it would be nice in a perfect world, if they were all not-for-profit. Since we're in that perfect world, maybe the people that work for the government run healthcare would volunteer. You know, get rid of the pesky salaries... When a hospital charges $8 dollars for an aspirin, how can anyone seriously think that everything will be peachy, if we just get rid of the greedy insurance companies? That has been my complaint with this "reform" all along. They only addressed ONE of the issues. Insurance companies. We both know that Obama's intent was to have a single payer (government) plan.

Have you read anything lately about how much government salaries have gone up in the past year. The Dept. of Transportation alone has added 1300 (thats thirteen hundred) jobs that pay $160k in the past year. If you think insurance premiums are expensive now, wait until the government takes it over.

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inspire 4 years, 3 months ago

Fancy, funny that you consider one sentence a lecture.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"I don't consider money that is not yours a profit. It sounds to me as if you do."

No, that's not what I meant. The insurance companies are claiming that the premiums they hold in reserve are part of their revenue stream just like a manufacturer would all of its gross sales in the calculation of their profits. That makes those profits seem much smaller than they really are.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Large bureaucracies will always be a pain to work with, whether private or government run. There is no getting away from that.

The main problem with the current system is that it's designed to deliver profits, not healthcare, and it works precisely as it's designed to. If we were to adopt either the Canadian system (single-payer, medicare for all) or the Swiss model (private insurance companies, but no profits allowed and highly regulated) we could cover everybody and save at least $400 billion a year.

That seems like a no-brainer to me.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, I don't consider money that is not yours a profit. It sounds to me as if you do.

listen, it's been a nice exchange of thoughts. I hope you and yours have a safe and happy holiday.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, sorry, I posted my last comment before reading yours. I still say take all the apples and oranges away and you still have #3 and #4 versus #29. Many people have been programmed to think of Evil when they think of Insurance Companies. Personally, I think the US government wants in on the money they think they can make from taking over the insurance industries. Deal with Medicare or Medicaid for a month and then tell me if you want the government running your insurance policy. I don't.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

In other words, if you want to get a true picture of their profits, it should be figured ONLY against their actual expenditures in operating the business-- that would include all salaries, office expenditures, and even lobbying and advertising. But not the premiums they are holding in trust, which is how the profits you are talking about were figured. Considering that 80% of what they collect in premiums is paid out on claims, that means those profit figures are at least 3 times lower than what they really are, and looked at that way, insurance companies are really among the most profitable of all corporations, not #29.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

are Pharmacuetical companies and Healthcare Product manufacturers required by law to keep a reserve so that if everyone in the US needs an artificial knee that they can provide it immediately. Insurance Companies are. If everyone of their subscribers (insured) gets H1N1, they have to have to money to pay their claims. Now, granted they probably invest the money, but they still have to be able to pay the claims now. Not in 6 months, and not by being helped out by the taxpayers.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

I forgot to point out that the profits for insurance companies referenced above are calculated against the premiums they collect. Well, those premiums aren't really their money-- it's money they (supposedly) hold in trust for their customers, until they need it. That's a very different thing from a manufacturer who collects money for the goods they make and sell, and generally never have to give any of it back after the sale is made.

So, it's about as apples and oranges as you can get.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

using your argument then, are we to believe that Pharmacuetical Companies and Healthcare Product Manufacturers pay their executive meager salaries and don't offer perks. And of course, they don't spend HUGE amounts of money on lobbying either. Of course they do. So, subtract all that stuff away and guess what? You still have # 3 and #4 versus #29. Tell me how that is bogus.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

" CNN Money lists the most profitable Industries and guess who is in the top 5? Health Insurance companies? No, they're listed at 29. "

This is a bogus argument. The main reason for profits in business is to create a pool of capital to reinvest back into the business. But insurance companies don't produce anything. Theoretically, their only purpose is to pool money from their insured customers, and then pay it out as needed for the medical needs of those customers.

The supposedly low profits also mask the fact that these companies are extremely inefficient, and pay out very large salaries and perks to their executives-- and none of that is considered "profit." Likewise, they spend huge sums of money on marketing, advertising, and most importantly, on lobbying (bribing) government to protect their "low profit" cash cow.

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawklawrence. As a republican I can only hope we demonstrate the same class the democrats did during the Bush years.....its hard, but I am trying. LOL!

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oldvet 4 years, 3 months ago

How does obama define bipartisanship? According to his book "The Audacity of Hope", he says:

“Genuine bipartisanship,” he wrote, “assumes an honest process of give-and-take, and that the quality of the compromise is measured by how well it serves some agreed-upon goal, whether better schools or lower deficits. This in turn assumes that the majority will be constrained — by an exacting press corps and ultimately an informed electorate — to negotiate in good faith.

“If these conditions do not hold — if nobody outside Washington is really paying attention to the substance of the bill, if the true costs . . . are buried in phony accounting and understated by a trillion dollars or so — the majority party can begin every negotiation by asking for 100% of what it wants, go on to concede 10%, and then accuse any member of the minority party who fails to support this ‘compromise’ of being ‘obstructionist.’

“For the minority party in such circumstances, ‘bipartisanship’ comes to mean getting chronically steamrolled, although individual senators may enjoy certain political rewards by consistently going along with the majority and hence gaining a reputation for being ‘moderate’ or ‘centrist.’”

But, of course, we frequently find that what he says he will do and what he actually does are very, very different...

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Inspire, what you see as bravery, I see as a slap in the face.
1. this bill doesn't extend healthcare to every one of our citizens. It extends it to some, but certain not the 49 million people that was one of the talking points of the campaign. 2. as for this president being the one that finally got it done....that is precisely why it was so important to Him. Only He, in His infinite wisdom and self-importance, could do it. 3. I do take responsibility for myself and my child. I do not expect the government to provide (at the taxpayer's expense) healthcare for us. 4. I do blame government for this fiasco of a bill. The majority of the people that they work for said no, go back to the table and get it right. The government said no, Ben Dover, this is what we are doing and when you realize what is best for you, you'll thank us.
5. Please don't lecture us on what life is about.

Merry Christmas to you.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"Bozo, the republicans would like to see tort reform and interstate health care insurance. Just like auto insurance, life insurance and most anyother insurance you can think of. What is wrong with that pray tell."

Well, tort reform is really nothing but a distraction. Medical malpractice payouts only account for about 3% of overall medical costs. The high cost of malpractice insurance for doctors is more owing to gouging by insurance companies (who need the cash for their Wall Street speculation) than the payouts. The main goal of Republicans in harping on it is to attack trial lawyers, who tend to contribute to Democrats, not Republicans. While some sort of reform is probably necessary, it shouldn't come at the expense of the ability of patients to sue bad doctors for bad treatment.

And while allowing interstate sale of health insurance sounds benign enough, the reason insurance companies want it is to remove restrictions on their practices by state insurance commissions-- without a host of other reforms on a nationwide basis, all this would do is increase the (already considerable) abuse of the insured by insurance companies.

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jayhawklawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

As for the Republicans showing class and statesmanship during the current administration, I would say that Tom represents them well.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=9423266

Our congress has been an embarrassment for a long time.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Tort reform could reduce healthcare costs by 25%. Paying for drugs from Canadian companies could reduce costs, or at least make the American Drug companies prices more competitive, but what do the dems do? Tax, regulate and mandate. CNN Money lists the most profitable Industries and guess who is in the top 5? Health Insurance companies? No, they're listed at 29. No, the Pharmacuetical Industry was at #3 and Healthcare Product Manufacturers (think pacemakers, artificial hips, etc.) were at #4. If those profits were reduced, healthcare costs would go down, which would reduce premiums. It's all a big circle jerk, but let's demonize the Insurance Industry. Why? Because the Dems have to blame someone, and they couldn't figure a way to blame this on former President George W. Bush.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

idevalueamerica, thanks for the analyis. You are not too great at shooting from the hip, are you? I get so much entertainment from far-lefties who claim to be open-minded and in the middle. You guys make these claims and accuse conservatives of being extremists. Hilarious!

Merry Christmas!

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inspire 4 years, 3 months ago

I NEVER respond to these political blog debates, but Mr Shewmon's first post begs for this response. What he calls arrogance, I see as bravery. Despite the knowledge that pursuing health care reform would certainly diminish his approval rating and after DECADES of this country talking about extending health care to every one of our citizens, our current President may have finally really tackled this issue. Of course, this legislation isn't perfect and of course, it will require many many adjustments, but he will be the President who finally got this job done! And if you call the years of 2000-2008, years where government was in 'order', you are just plain blinded by your own prejudices.
I also think it is so funny how so many times when I read these political blogs, people like to copy and paste someone's blog while substituting Republican for Democrat or vice versa. This points to the possibility that we really aren't as far apart in our arguments as we like to think we are. If the argument is valid after substituting the other party's name, why in the heck are we all still arguing? I hope and believe that maybe, just maybe, we can all put aside stupid party politics, stop blaming government and anyone else for what's wrong in our lives and start taking personal responsibility for our beliefs, our lives and our own happiness. Life is about so much more that whether my taxes should go to fight a war or to insure my neighbor!

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Corey Williams 4 years, 3 months ago

ivalueamerica (Anonymous) says…

"Tom, however, no matter what the issue, you only need to check how Rush Limbaugh feels about it to know what Tom will say."

Yeah, Tom. Happy holidays! How do you like that reverb?

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leedavid 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, the republicans would like to see tort reform and interstate health care insurance. Just like auto insurance, life insurance and most anyother insurance you can think of. What is wrong with that pray tell.

Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you have a wonderful holiday, and a safe one too.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

What do we (the people) do about it? I'm so frustrated by the government that is supposed to be working for me, I could literally cry. What about the Big Trial Lawyers? Think they don't have the dems in their pocket? What about Big Pharms? Who did they cut deals with in the White House with all their visits? I don't mind the Republicans taking their fair share of the blame, but it is both sides. Anyone who cannot or will not admit that, is blind. The entire system is broke and does not work as it was intended when the Constitution was written. So, back to my original question....what do we (the people) do about it.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

"Actually, the republicans did, and to some measure, still do want bipartisanship."

You may believe that. I think it's nothing but political posturing for the next election. Overall, this is a shameful bit of legislation, but that's because too many Democrats are just as corrupted by Big Health's money as the Republicans are. But the Republicans will gladly bludgeon Democrats with this legislation, even though if they had the votes to do it, they'd have passed something even worse.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo, Actually, the republicans did, and to some measure, still do want bipartisanship. Clearly, they aren't going to get it from this administration, and we all just need to remember this come voting time. For someone that campaigned on how bad the Washington machine was, and how that was all going to change with Him, the entire process demonstrates just how much of a joke He is. Sad thing is, the joke will eventually bankrupt us. Will you still find it amusing then?

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ivalueamerica 4 years, 3 months ago

Bozo,

Tom does not need facts, he is the perfect example of what is wrong in America today. His politics is faith. I am not talking faith in religion, but faith in his side. Facts do not matter, only his side.

The blindness he shows is what is wrong with America.

If Obama says day, he will say it is night just to contridict, even if the sun is shining.

Most reasonable people will chastize obama for his mistakes and praise him for his successes.

Most reasonable people have opinions that fall between one side or another, but not extremists like Tom and his ilk. They fail American values because they fail truth and honestly. They fail humanity because they the could care less about looking at the results of their actions, only about winning.

Most people are not like him, must of us fall in the middle.

I, for example define myself as a liberal, but I am NOT a pacifist NOR am I against the death penalty.

I am A Christian, but I do not need government intefering with my face, offering my special privelages.

I am gay, but I have never voted for a candidate on gay issues as my spectrum of concerns is much broader.

Tom, however, no matter what the issue, you only need to check how Rush Limbaugh feels about it to know what Tom will say. He has no thoughts, no reason, no wisdom, only sides presented to him.

It is sad. for Christmas, I will pray for his enlightenment.

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 3 months ago

What does one of the top Democrats in Congress have to say about Reid's grand mess?

"The Senate's healthcare bill is fatally flawed, a senior Democrat atop a powerful committee said on Wednesday. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Rules Committee and co-chairwoman of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said that the Senate's bill is so flawed that it's unlikely to be resolved in conference with the bill to have passed the House. "The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago," Slaughter wrote in an opinion piece for CNN's website. Slaughter argued that while the House bill is far from perfect, the Senate bill's exclusion of a public option, along with abortion funding restrictions and other measures, make the bill undeserving of a vote. Specifically, Slaughter said, the Senate bill would charge seniors higher premiums, would fail to nix health insurers' antitrust exemption and would not go far enough in extending coverage to people in the U.S. "Supporters of the weak Senate bill say 'just pass it — any bill is better than no bill,' " Slaughter wrote. "I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills."" http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/73493-senior-dem-kill-the-healthcare-bill-and-start-over

I'd posted a CNN link to this story yesterday. CNN seems to have flushed it down the memory hole.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a Democrat, Tom. And I didn't vote for Obama (not that it matters who I voted for, living in Kansas.)

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

The whining about the lack of bipartisanship from Democrats is pretty amusing— as if that's what they wanted. To them, bipartisanship merely means getting their way all the time. And with regards to this particular dubious piece of legislation, the only thing they did is to make things even more difficult for healthcare providers, while covering a dubious amount of people.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

The whining about the lack of bipartisanship from Republicans is pretty amusing-- as if that's what they wanted. To them, bipartisanship merely means getting their way all the time. And with regards to this particular piece of legislation, the only thing they would have done differently is to make things even more profitable for Big Health, while covering even fewer people.

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fancy80 4 years, 3 months ago

The word "renew" implies Obama and his administration practiced bipartisanship in the first place. What a joke! There was NO bipartisanship done during the senate version or the congressional version of the healthcare "reform" bill. The dems never even pretended. They told us they would ram it through and they did, at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers. The 300 million that LA. got will be paid for by taxpayers, as will the deal that Ben Nelson got for his vote.

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Healthcare_Moocher 4 years, 3 months ago

Obama must renew bipartisan efforts

Another terrible headline. How can you renew something you never started?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

Aren't you in the insurance business, Pil? Aren't all those ex-Congressmen and former staffers on Big Health's payroll doing their jobs well enough for you? Is that why you have to come here and spread your willful ignorance?

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

In fact, there was a good deal of bipartisanship in this bill. The obstructionism of the Party of No in the Senate meant that the most heavily bribed Democrats, Bluedogs and so-called “centrists” could hold out for measures that Big Health demanded— measures that won't expand coverage or bring down costs, but will greatly pad their bottom line.


Yeah, right. Broder is there in Washington and knows most of those people personally. Boohoozo sits in his mommy's basement in Larryville, KS, doesn't know even one of the participants, and we're supposed to believe boohoozo's version of how this clusterf*** of legislation was put together and passed.

Pathetic.

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TJ_in_Lawrence 4 years, 3 months ago

I thinik I'll move to Nebraska, since they will no longer be contributing their share to medicare.... hmmm doesn't seem like a good deal to me as a Kansan. In fact doesn't seem like a good deal to me as an American. What happened to equal protection under the law? I guess if your "Dirty Hairry" you get to make your own rules regardless of the constitution.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

'Twill be interesting to see what sort of gravy is generously ladeled over the Greater Chicago Area after this bill is passed, whatever mystery version is passed. The two or three trustworthy news outlets will surely be uncovering some eye-popping shenanigans over the next few years.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

This bill is almost certainly the one that Obama and Rahm Emanuel wanted. But as horrible as it is, any bill the Republicans might have passed would have been considerably worse for everyone except Big Health.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

Leave it the resident clown to somehow try to spin the Mega-Debacle known as Obamacare as the fault of Republicans.

Merry Christmas, bozo!

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

Merry Christmas Jabot b.

Stimulus, The Punaho Kid and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwim bless you all

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 3 months ago

In fact, there was a good deal of bipartisanship in this bill. The obstructionism of the Party of No in the Senate meant that the most heavily bribed Democrats, Bluedogs and so-called "centrists" could hold out for measures that Big Health demanded-- measures that won't expand coverage or bring down costs, but will greatly pad their bottom line.

But these same Republicans were getting pretty massive bribes from Big Health themselves, and even if there had been some sort of "real" bipartisanship, the bill likely wouldn't look much different than what we have, except that coverage would have been extended even less, and subsidized/enforced profits for Big Health would have been even bigger.

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oldvet 4 years, 3 months ago

"Renew"??? When was the Arrogant One ever bipartisan... other than his campaign when, along with his other multiple lies, he promised to be bipartisan... his arrogance will keep him from doing this and will lead to another one-hit-wonder...

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Liberty_One 4 years, 3 months ago

Tom, even if the GOP retakes a majority do you think they'll actually repeal this stuff? More likely they will "reform" it. When this stuff gets passed it never goes away.

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

"The Wall Street Journal said, "It's hard to imagine a better illustration of the panic and recklessness stringing ObamaCare along in the Senate than the putative deal that Harry Reid announced in the Senate."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/17/public-option-protrusions/

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

There is not a society on the planet that has succeeded under the tutelage of PA's and their "contradictory" methods of handling people. They suck and they are showing it.

Stimulus, The Punaho Kid, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

The arrogance of Democrats will be their undoing. Wait until they've put carbon emissions and energy taxation (known on the street as "Cap & Trade") through the meat grinder like they just did ObamaCare. Again, they can go right on ahead in my opinion, as it almost certainly guarantees we will be free from their ilk over the next few years and can restore some order to our government.

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