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When it comes to this disaster of a health care bill, our only hope is that the Republicans will kill the damn thing with a filibuster. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who had considered jumping party lines and supporting the Dems, has now said she will join her party's filibuster and that's probably a good thing. Let the Republicans look like the whiny losers they are and let the Dems walk away from this Frankenstein-monster of a bill and start over.
Certain Dems, the kind who believe that any bill will do, will argue that this bill is better than no bill because it will provide 30 million more Americans health insurance. This is true, but the increased coverage is by forcing uninsured Americans to buy it from for-profit insurance companies at a fairly high cost. According to some estimates, it may cost uninsured Americans $12-15,000 per year (possibly more if you are over 40 and have a pre-existing condition). It also covers some of the expenses of this increased coverage by assuming cuts in Medicare and taxing Americans whose insurance now costs over $15,000 a year.
Olympia Snowe confirms she’ll filibuster health reform | Raw Story.
As Mary Shelly told us in her tale of Frankenstein, life at any cost is a monstrous affair. When will the centrist Dems running the White House and the Congress realize that the same is true of policy. If you have so thoroughly compromised with the interests of BIG INSURANCE that you gain coverage by extracting even more wealth from the Americans who can least afford it, then that's not a bill that should come to life in law.
The truth is the Dems could have used populism to gain Single Payer health care- that is, insurance outside the for-profit medicine we have now paid for by everyone through income taxes. This is something that 65% of Americans said they wanted as of 2005. That number, with increasing job losses and job insecurity, could be even higher now. But except for a few lone voices, few Democratic leaders are even talking about a national health care system. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tried to introduce an amendment for Single Payer Health Insurance on the House floor and was stopped. Instead, he gave a remarkable speech about why we need it.
It's time for the Dems and Obama to show some leadership and get a health care bill that is about insurance for all outside of a for-profit system, like every other industrialized country. We need Single Payer- not Public Option or now, even worse, forced insurance policy consumption at high rates so insurance executives can stay rich.
Let's hope the GOP is successful in their filibuster, that the American people get even more tired of them and their pro-business ways, and that the Dems listen to the people and come up with a health care bill that provides a standardized system of rational health care distribution for all at the lowest possible cost.
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The media (myself included) is trying to create drama about whether or not health legislation will pass before the Christmas break. You know what? You should ignore it. Whatever compromised, meaningless bill passes at this point, it's not going to help the problems of the American health care system and it will probably, if you can imagine such a thing, make it worse.
How did this happen? Was it the damn GOP with their pro-big Pharma policies? Nope. It was the damn liberals- the muddled, middle who speak out of both sides of their mouths on any single issue because they labor under the delusion that good leadership is making compromise after compromise.
Want to end the war? Support Obama's dramatic increase in troops. Want to fix health care? Take the only thing that would fix health care- single payer- and take it off the table from the very beginning.
Then try to pass some weird hybrid called "the public option," let the Republicans accuse you of being Commies, let huge insurance and drug companies set the terms of the debate, and end up with a bill that will please no one, but will be sold to the American public as "sweeping" and "historical."
According to the Times, Mr. Obama said
“The final bill won’t include everything that everybody wants,” Mr. Obama said. “No bill can do that.”
Obama Health Care Meeting Aims to Rally Senators - NYTimes.com.
And according to the Huffington Post, Obama actually believes his "base" (meaning Progressives) will forgive the wars and the banker bailouts if he just gets health care reform through. But health care reform that's sick- and not in the excellent sense of the word- but the Michael Moore "Sicko" sense of the word- is not going to make anyone happy.
According to Senator Bernie Sanders, there will be an amendment proposed for single payer health care, but
As a result of the power of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, this amendment will not pass or even get very many votes. Nonetheless, given the view of millions of us that a single-payer approach is the ONLY WAY this country will ever provide comprehensive, cost-effective health care to all its citizens, this is an important step forward.
I don't know whether an amendment with no votes is an important step forward or not. An important step forward would be realizing that the Dems ARE the problem. Muddled middling liberals are the ones who killed the health care reform that would work- a single payer system where we ALL use the same system and therefore costs are kept down and medicine is not for profit- and then transformed it into something so complex, so confusing that most of us tuned the debate out or forgot what "public option" was and how it differed from"single payer."
But there's a huge difference. A public option was never going to be outside of the "for profit" insurance industry that pays its CEOs like Wall Street fat cats and makes decisions on what medical procedures are necessary (rather than our doctors making those decisions). A public option was not gong to actually reduce the costs of for profit insurance or for profit medicine.
And so we tuned out, let the complexities of the whole debate get away from us, and now will be told that whatever passes, even though it is pretty likely to be a train wreck as a piece of legislation, we should rejoice at the brilliance that is the Liberal Democratic Obama movement in this country.
Americans beware. There was NEVER a progressive debate about health care reform. Yet mark my words, single payer health care will get singled out as a socialist plot that brought us the mess that will still be health care in ten years.
If we learn anything from the health care debacle, it's that middle of the road Dems, with their endless need to compromise real change, are not going to do anything but represent the interests of big business and big military just like their supposed "enemies," the GOP.
This is some sick health care legislation and an even sicker political system.