Its About Who Runs The Country

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 18:34


One of the stronger criticisms of the Progressive Block campaign for a public health insurance option is that the versions of the public option that have made it through congressional committees are so weak as to have a minimal impact on health care costs and coverage. I do not entirely dispute those assesments, except that getting a small public option now is a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road than just giving up on the public option altogether. What I do dispute is that the public option fight is only, or even primarily, about health policy. Instead, it is about who runs the country.

In one camp, there are conservatives and private health insurance companies who oppose the public option in all forms. Their basic argument is that the public option would work too well, offer health insurance that is too affordable, and as such will deny private health insurance companies more business. A secondary argument from this group is that a public option supposedly cannot pass the Senate, even though a list of Senators is never provided with this claim and even though either reconciliation or the nuclear option would allow a public option to pass with 51 votes.

In the other camp are House and grassroots progressives. Their basic argument is exactly the same as the first camp: a public option, even in its current form, would offer lower-priced health insurance than private companies. This group is composed of the most reliable Democratic votes in all of Congress, the most Democratic districts in the country, and organizations that provide a huge percentage of pro-Democratic activism.

So this is about who the Democrats in Congress and the White House are going to govern with:

--Those who think that protecting large industries is more important than providing lower cost health care;
--Those who think offering lower cost health care is more important than protecting large industries.

Additionally, the first group is lying about Senate procedure and are the top political opponents of Democrats, while the second group is just about the most loyal and active group of Democrats in the country.

If grassroots and House progressives can't even get a watered down public option in this environment, then it is very difficult to conclude that we are actually part of the governing coalition in this country. And really, that is what this campaign is about who runs the country at least as much as it is about health policy.

Chris Bowers :: Its About Who Runs The Country

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as a chronically ill person who has already been dropped from my insurance once, (4.00 / 4)
i wish people on the left would put aside the ongoing power struggle and focus for a minute on getting the best possible policy passed. this would be a policy that outlaws preexisting conditions, puts limits on pharmaceutical patents, helps poor people buy insurance, and, yes, involves some mechanism to keep premium prices low.

all these things seem possible. a public option sounds nice, but i don't buy the arguments that it's the only way to keep premiums low. for instance, couldn't the government issue licenses to allow companies to sell plans on the exchange, and revoke the license of any insurance company with overhead (admin salaries and profits) above 15%? That seems fair to me-- allow companies to make a profit, just not an outrageous profit.

I agree with most of what chris writes, and i want the left to be running the country. but as someone who will be very much affected by this legislation, i don't see the left as being on my side here, at least in the sort of rhetoric distilled above. you seem to care more about winning than about creating the best possible legislation and passing it.


The same players who are fighting against a viable (4.00 / 10)
public option would prevent any serious insurance regulations of the type you mention.


[ Parent ]
That doesn't mean we don't bother trying. (0.00 / 0)
You're continuing a self-fulfilling prophesy here.  There has been no serious effort to make the necessary changes, based on the false argument that we can't succeed so it's pointless to even try.  This then becomes self-fulfilling, for no efforts to make necessary changes will succeed because we don't make them in the first place.

History is riddled with success stories, but we don't look at all the failures that went before them.  Those failures didn't lead to the successes by causing those who refused to accept failure to give up.  Rather, they served as learning tools for future attempts.  In short, history is made through trying to succeed, refusing to accept failure.  No major historical success ever went without failures before it.



[ Parent ]
You pick your battles and I'll pick mine (4.00 / 4)
My idea of success is Medicare for All and not a more regulated insurance industry. The insurance industry has a whole battalion of highly paid lawyers to find ways around regulations. They have a corporate friendly Congress and SCOTUS to help them in their endeavors.

I'll devote my energies to obtaining the goal of Medicare for All. That, IMO,  is the best way to provide affordable universal health care and to keep Medicare viable.


[ Parent ]
I want Medicare for All, too. (0.00 / 0)
Believe you me, our goals on the health care issue are the same if we both support single-payer.



[ Parent ]
I am also an uninsured sick person (4.00 / 5)
and if we don't get public option it is also probable we won't get lower premiums.  Obama has already nixed pharmacuitical reform so why trust him on this?  

My blog  

[ Parent ]
They already compromised (4.00 / 4)
and you can see what that compromise got them.  What makes you think more compromising is going to deliver anything better?

Obama's health care is nothing more than expanded medicaid for up to 5% of the population.  It has no cost containment, no universal coverage, and no option.  If this is the best Obama can do, who needs him.  


[ Parent ]
I must be totally naive (4.00 / 4)
I still think that winning IS creating the best possible legislation and passing it.

I don't think I need to list the reasons that the current offerings do not meet this standard.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
We arent habing a discussion about best plan. This isnt choosing which channel to watch. (0.00 / 0)
We are doing something.
Do 2. To cause; to make; --
This isn't "saying something."  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
What is the relationship of your comment to mine? (4.00 / 1)
Is "doing something" the goal? Does it matter what that "something" is?


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Shhhhh! (4.00 / 2)
Don't ask any questions about trendy activism. You'll be labeled a Naderite or worse, if there's anything worse.

[ Parent ]
Forget Nader (4.00 / 1)
Eric Reed Boucher for President in 2012.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
How will passing a weak public option lead to a strong one? (4.00 / 5)
Isn't it at least as likely that a weak / failed public option will be held as evidence that it's an ineffective policy?

Further, IIRC, you predicted it will be something like ten years before health-care reform regains momentum.

Do we have any reason to believe a plan of incremental progress will be particularly effective?


Good enough questions (4.00 / 2)
Do we have any reason to believe a plan of incremental progress will be particularly effective?
History. Thats how all reform on health has happened. Do we need a recapitulation of the path, the 19 year path to Health reform in Canada? Thats only the path from the first law passed in Saskatchewan, to the law finaly being passed for the country. Its longer than that if you count the years of fighting for it, the two elections it needed in Saskatchewan, and the fact that Health reform continues its development there now.

Shall we look at any country and see if there was nation where they woke yup one morning with a fully developed system?

Further, IIRC, you predicted it will be something like ten years before health-care reform regains momentum.
Once Health Reform Passes, its maintenance becomes normal. Once passed, like Medicare of course, and social security, laws altering and expanding are common place. Reform induces more reform.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Compare with Medicare (4.00 / 4)
It took private insurance out of the over-65 market from day one. Is "public option" liable to do anything remotely that decisive? And why not?

Sure, conservative politics are ascendant today, no one wants change, and we don't have a president with LBJ's rhetorical gifts....


[ Parent ]
For-profit insurance didn't exist in 1965 (0.00 / 0)
the intrest group calculus involved was radically different.

[ Parent ]
1965 (4.00 / 2)
For profit health insurance certainly existed in 1965.  It didn't have the reach or the power, perhaps.  The insurance in those days was mostly fee-for-service.

The Blues were not-for-profit and were bigger than they are today.

Rates were community rating.

HMOs where they existed (strong in California) were brick-and-mortar.


[ Parent ]
For profit insurance (4.00 / 4)
also wanted Medicare and Medicaid because they didn't want to have to cover the old and the poor, sinc they were the most costly.

They didn't want the option extended to everyone else, which is exactly what they got.  


[ Parent ]
You ask "why not" as if it was a question of being right (0.00 / 0)
Answer it yourself. Tell us exactly the path to single payer health reform this session, so that it is in effect tomorrow morning.

Bring it out, lets see the voting blocks. Show me the Senators. Hell show me ten and Ill change my sig to "vastleft has a plan"  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I'm not a fan of speculative fiction (4.00 / 5)
I have no idea what would have happened if...

* Progressives had held candidate Obama's feet to the fire to represent real change in a change year, instead of greasing the skids for his false, untimely, and disempowering post-partisan agenda. This would have meant real framing gains and would have set up the new administration to bring, y'know, change.
* Progressives had held Obama and company accountable for their outright lies about the openness of their process for "reforming" health-care
* Progressives had practiced what they'd preached about the Overton Window, about the need to support the more-aggressive end of plausible reforms. Years of studying the likes of Rove and Limbaugh, and how they were able to move public opinion toward implausible changes apparently went for naught, as liberals couldn't stand up even for a very sensible and proven plan that most agreed would be the most universally beneficial outcome.
* Progressive Democrats had pushed back when their own party's president spat in their face with language like "chablis-drinking limousine liberals" and "liberal bleeding hearts"
* Progressives stopped gorging themselves on the trivial catnip of Rump Republican foibles real and imagined and accepted the "make me do it" role in earnest
* Progressives shamed the Democratic Party into embracing populism, rather than smugly laughing at "teabaggers" and "Bubbas"
* Progressives weren't so tribal, so deferential to the cliquish preferences of netroots elites

How much would that have set the stage for either of these two desirable outcomes...?

1. Single-payer health care
2. A compromise-plan better than anything we're liable to get given the way "we" have played it

Hard to say. But it seems painfully obvious that "we" should have handled things quite differently, if "we" cared as much about progressive policies as "we" care about inhaling our own "creative class" fumes.  


[ Parent ]
progressives are not a monolith (4.00 / 1)
Some progressives did all the things you mention.  In some cases different groups did different ones, but they did happen or were attempted.

You're really being unfair in ignoring the many sources of dissent to Obama's status-quoism and the efforts that have been made.  We could start with the criticisms raised here for example on obama's cabinet.  



[ Parent ]
Overall, high-visibility progressives... (4.00 / 3)
A-list bloggers, large activist groups like MoveOn, celebrities -- hauled in behind "public option," just as they (with few exceptions) did little to stanch the mania that pervaded the primaries, and often fed it directly.

I salute those who were and are able to maintain criticism and rationality in the face of bandwagon-or-else pressure. I don't mean to say that every single progressive has done those things, but those who set the pace in the progressive blogosphere in particular haven't, IMHO, fulfilled the promise of creating a brave, honest, and progressive alternative to our worthless mainstream media. Nor have they demonstrated the barest ability to rethink their own orthodoxies, especially if it would entail a social cost.

Pretty much everyone I've seen post at Open Left has written some quite worthy things, and I don't doubt that all are well-meaning. But (as some of your writers are increasingly noting), going all-in on "public option" was a mistake, as was the A-list overall (again, OL has a better record for independent writing on this than most of its peers) going all-in on Obama without regard to his visceral distaste for liberals and most of their agendas.


[ Parent ]
It's easy to go along with trends, even when they're wrong (4.00 / 3)
It's hard to challenge them.

[ Parent ]
Anything at all. (0.00 / 0)
I could have had a pony farm and just released them to the wild too.

You still deliver nothing. In as nasty a way as only you can. I asked a simple question, if you had an answer, one could talk. Your satisfaction from saying how everyone is, nay has always, fucked up, beside you. Its a stereotype. If only we felt what you feel, everything would be fine.

And still no path. No method, no friends. No way. No network, no deliverables.  Just what others shoulda done. Would a been different if you had just been as angry and vaguely done sumpthing with pushing.

Someone is doing something, and it is a deliverable. It is the members of the pledge block, and those with and behind them.

You spit invective well, now do something useful.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
but is this a deliverable that's worth delivering? (4.00 / 3)
Someone is doing something, and it is a deliverable. It is the members of the pledge block, and those with and behind them.

this a 1000+ page bill. there are many, many ramifications if it passes. at the very least, once progressives decided it wasn't worth fighting FOR something, they should have been developing a whole handful of 'triggers' -- conditions that others [blue dogs and republicans, for instance] have put into or left out of the bill that make it so bad that progressives just can NOT bring themselves to support it.  


[ Parent ]
Holy of all that is Guthrie you bet it is (0.00 / 0)
This is very worthwhile reform:No more preconditions, no more you cant have that treatment. That alone, is worthwhile!

Thje single MOST important thing is delivering, healthcare, for health reasons. There is one reform happening, it is going from healthcare is only given if its profitable, as disgusting a theory as exists in any philosophy, to a law that states, health care must be delivered if there are medical reasons.

The delivery of of Healthcare for health reasons. That is the reform. NO more some some bean counter looking to see if you can be denied,, cut off or sent home.

There is reform, no more being charged more than you can afford without bankruptcy. Thats reform. A choice to drive down prices. That is reform. A public option that offers coverage without profit at all.

Interim coverage from the federal government until the system is set up, pre-existing conditions will not stop your coverage, just because it isnt 2013 yet.  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
no more bean counters keeping you from healthcare? (4.00 / 2)
have you looked at the loopholes in the bills as they're written? have you figured out how much these new policies are going to cost? and how little the proposed subsidies really are in comparison?

have you looked at all the cuts [and non-cuts] and experiments they're proposing for medicare in this same legislation? do you care that where this kind of legislation has already been passed that the safety nets for the poorest of the poor have been ripped in order to provide insurance for more of the middle class and well off?

no more rescissions and no more pre-existing conditions, that's good, but it could have been taken care of without all this other stuff. instead it's going to be at a cost, and not all of that cost is going to be monetary.


[ Parent ]
This kind of legislation? (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
That's simply, dishonest, H.o.P. (4.00 / 3)
I have squandered a fair amount of time giving you substantive answers, which you almost never engage. It's you that's inclined to use invective like "loser."

You've put it to me to describe with certainty how an alternate reality would have worked. The other day, Chris Bowers himself mocked the "we don't have the votes" conundrum. You get the votes when your party's leadership successfully whips the votes. You don't get them when your party's leadership -- and its citizen elites -- deep-six the agenda all agree would be the most effective and most humane.

I've also described the benefits of pushing the Overton Window toward the more-aggressive goal (how that's not already understood by blog aficionados is rather odd) even if it wouldn't ultimately be the shape of the legislation, and I've described the outright lies that Obama told about that process. None of that matters to you, because you act as a cheerleader. No criticism of Obama or the blogosphere elites can register with you, no matter how plainly sensible it might be. Go, team, HousesofProgress, go team!


[ Parent ]
asking me why i let people spit in face is answering a question (0.00 / 0)
answering a question is different from rhetoric. Rhetoric and spewing invective.

I asked what is the path. What coulda been done isn't either effective, again, nor is it a path.

It does not answer the question.

I* want a path to making the system give people healthcare in this world, in this country.

This is a path, and a damn good one. The path to further reform built in.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Perhaps we can agree on this, reciprocally (4.00 / 1)
Interacting with you is a waste of time.

[ Parent ]
because you have no plan, and no way forward and only invective, you are approaching the truth (0.00 / 0)
You only have invective. You have no plan, nothing to do. There is no there, there.

And that I think is the teaching moment we have.

I do reject naderism, completely. Your attempt, like nader, to stop all reform because it isnt good enough for you has been and is rejected. I reject it officially again.

I support and celebrate Working Families Party, and their drive to create more better democrats. If you have a plan, even 1/10th as good as theirs, have supporters and voters even one hundredth of theirs, have a commitment to not just talk, and ugly talk at that, then yeah I can say you dont have anything worth saying on that topic.

You dont know how to do.

"Vote Tantrum Party. Because we will hold our breath!"

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
May conflict with the GOP (4.00 / 2)
"Vote Tantrum Party. Because we will hold our breath!"

Isn't that their basic strategy?  And, no, I'm not implying that vastleft is a republican. I don't think vastleft is throwing any more of a tantrum than you are.

Even if the entire reform trajectory develops as you predict, I think you still have to recognize that settling for the PO as THE solution to the current problems in the healthcare field was a very poor strategy. Moreover, by employing such a weak-kneed approach the Dems have done little to assure anyone that they will be successful stewards and actually push us in the direction your optimistic outlook describes.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Nonsense. (0.00 / 0)
Again, show a path. Without rancor or invective, show a path. A path is moe than wanting, hope is more than wishing. Are there ten Senaotrs that can be convinced to vote for single payer today? Are there ten who can be drugged, beaten humiliated or bribed into sinlge payer today?

Can you name three? I can name 80 Representatives who will vote for single payer. I think there are 2 Senators today, who will vote for SP.

Do you want a sytem that provides medical care for medical purposes only, or not. Do you want to open the door to the right for health or not. Do you want to immediately sart funding people who have been denied coverage or not? Not 2013, but right away. Do you want reform or not?

I am not into a 'good fight' that produces nothing, no reform at all, so that we can smugly say that our plan was better.

I don't like that in Presidential candidates, nor in enacting reform. Nader gave us Iraq, Nader gave us 8 years of Bush. Nader is trying to give us no health reform. I am very used to be attacked by people who only attack people on the left.

I reject naderism.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Kind of beside the point (4.00 / 2)
I don't like Democrats who blame Nader for every failure of the two party system.

Ralph is a pretty powerful figure in your mind, eh? So powerful that by being forced off the ballot in 18 states by the Democratic Party in 2004 he STILL managed to be the reason for defeat. Wow!

This kind of perspective is at the root of Democratic weakness if you ask me. The party regulars are always ready to blame anyone and everything else for their failures.

If and when Obama signs a health reform bill that has no public option (triggered or otherwise) and turns all of this into a subsidy to the share-holders and executives in the insurance companies, you'll likely blame folks like vastleft.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I reject naderism. (0.00 / 0)
I reject letting it collapse so we can sing with joy that we lost and can blame someone.

Take some responsibility for governing please. Stop giving me excuses. Get to work. Get it done. Stop blaming. This is the way we build.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I cannot take responsiblity for governing (4.00 / 1)
I'm not governing.

Are you?

Funny how someone who blames Nader for the failure of the Democratic Party to beat Bush/Cheney in two successive presidential elections now wants to "stop blaming".

Priceless.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Yes you are. You are governing. (0.00 / 0)
You have rights in a democracy, and responsibilities. If ity isn't happening the way you want it to be, in a democracy you have a responsibility to change iot.

Hard it may be. But that's your job. Are they killing Vietnamese people with bombs raining form the sky, its your job, your responsibility to stop it.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Look, HoP (4.00 / 1)
You are talking in circles.

You tell me its my job the "change" and make the nation the "way [I] want it to be", but if I might decide that the middle-of-road half-a-loaf-as-all-we-can-hope-for political rhetoric is not what I want, you'll start ranting about "naderism" and how much you hate it.

Then you'll tell me to settle for what the likes of Baucus is shoveling because its better to get "something" than "nothing" and we had better make nice to the corporacrats because if we talk about anything to the left of the "PO" we are asking for too much and besides, we already lost that battle, so why revisit the past.



"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Because if we recognize the job is a responsibility maybe you will try to figure out a way to do it. (0.00 / 0)
And not just say demand it! protest is communication, thats all it is. Doing is not just communication. Show me a path. Show me the votes. Show me the organizing. Being right about something isn't worth any more than that.

How do we get it done.

You say this is the way, but I dont see a way being offered foreard. And saying, just be more demanding, I will say that is not a plan.

Look this a wrench,
It will not do a damn thing to tighten this

I see a path, and the votes and the organization, and the cultural drive and the disussion moving to great coverage, more affordable coverage and the eastablishment of the right to healthcare in this plan. I don't see anything even remotely like that, no path, in vastleft's  attempt to stop it.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Path (4.00 / 1)
1) Push and push again. Not only to include a robust PO, but to re-visit more substantial reform mechanisms, i.e. single payer and non-profit private insurance.

2) IF the final bill that goes up for a vote in the congress does not have a public option (or better) that is not dependent on triggers and is not based on co-ops VOTE NO. All the while making it clear that a NO vote by members of the Democratic Party is a very real possibility.

3) IF the reform bill is unacceptable and requires a NO vote, start over from the beginning. That is: put ALL options on the table (no more pre-concessions). And hold those responsible for the lack of an acceptable to account by cutting conributions, campaign volunteering, and voting.

4) Make healthcare reform THE major issue in the 2010 election and take on the fearmongering directly.

5) After clearly demonstrating that 2010 is not 1994, write new, improved bills and pass those.

Now, please, will you do the same and describe how one transitions from passing a bill that does not contain a strong public option to single payer health care? That is, tell me the pathway by which your incrementalism will produce true reformation of the system.

I should note that #1 is going better than I would have predicted. Moreover #2 - #5 only come into play if #1 fails. My sense is that some on the left have begun to think that #1 is finished (I include you in this group) and we should just fall in line behind whatever bill the Congress pukes up.



"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
This is my position. This is what I support. This what I have said a hundred times. (0.00 / 0)
Every point could be from any post of mine. I specifically sated months ago, if PO is voted down, if therefor there is no reform bill, the next set of demands is higher, not lower, and single payer is the next base demand.

Including the creation of single payer dems for the 2010. As THE issue.

Including killing the bill if it doesnt meet the pledge block minimum. That is the plan we have, that is the plan I support, that is a path.

Thank you SpitBall

As I posted before:


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Has the final bill even been written? (4.00 / 1)
I don't think so. It is not certain that the final bill will include a PO of any kind. No, "exchanges" and "co-ops" are not a PO.

Yet, you seem content that the time has come to stop pushing the congress to write strong reform bill and start voicing support for an "Obama Bill" which does not actually exist.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I am not content, I see no coops, no triggers both of which should (0.00 / 0)
prevent a passage of the Bill. I see Baucus' crap, about to be 'despiusoed of" I hear talk of 51 votes, I see Obama travelling about the country pusing its passage, promisng the list on the page cited elsewhere, with inyerim coverage, with a PO, without a trigger, and with a pldege from the PO pledge block to kill it if it deoesn't meet the vow.

This is what I urgently support. Strongly support, thios is why I urge support to the pledge block, and post their donation pade and aks people to be pushing, but accurate, strong but clear. We have built to this point since the summer. If HR 676 can replace all other bills by amendment, most necessarily in the senate, then wow, its a revolutuon, but other wise we have PO reform to build on, if we stay on course, strong, wary and proud of getting this far.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
How asking for better strategy and tactics (4.00 / 2)
Made me the poster child for the ol' debbil Naderism is quite remakable. As is your refusal to engage a single one of the points in my detailed response to your request for my alternate-reality theory.

Instead you wail about Nader and keep whimpering "invective, invective" as if you just invented the word. And I'm the "loser."


[ Parent ]
You "detailed" response is not an plan. (0.00 / 0)
It does not say do this, this will happen, these people will act this way, you and your friends will do this and that, these votes are here, etc, etc. Plans for demos is not a plan for reform, being angry is not thinking, attacking only those working for reform is not fighting back.

Your "details" are not how to move forward through a path. Merely demand this, and then......

Here is my plan for a first step toward the next step after Obama's Health Reform passes. lets fund and defend the seats of the co-sponsors of the Single Payer Bill HR 676. Lets set up an ActBlue Page for Single Payer Dems. Lets primary for SP Dems, lets search for develop and elect more single payer dems. That is a plan, an action and its doable and it will work.

We can start by donating to the Pledge block heroes, even restrict the donation to just those that are both, which is am unsurprisingly large number. I have been and continue to suggest organizing around that. lets do it. Lets move on.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Here's my plan (4.00 / 2)
Fight for a non-pathetic public option. If we get it, ask our Congress critters to vote for it. If we don't get it, ask them to vote against it.

(BTW, I notice that you've dropped you "No public option, no deal" motto. What's going on, there, HOP?)

A strong public option, which we're not going to get in this go-round, would shrink health insurance companies down to a fraction of the size they are, now. But the country is being run by corporatist Democrats, after all, so we're not going to get what otherwise would have been a slam dunk.

Continue fighting for striking the no-bargain clause from Medicare Part D, reversing the no re-import ruling, single payer being explicitly legal in states (as per Kucinich amendment), and a national single payer.

Above all, my "plan" calls for brutal, bundled messaging. What do I mean by that? I mean, on the one hand, fearless truth telling: in particular, telling the truth about Obama's crappy leadership and his healthcare lies. (Not the fake Republican PR ones.). OTOH, by "bundled", I mean not focussing on just the current healthcare bills, but the corruption in the Democratic and Republican parties which made the process so abominable.

It's all well and good for the more honest, progressive blogsphere (such as OpenLeft) to be able to look at the Democrats more critically. Unfortunately, the main stream media frames things in a historically and ethically myopic manner. And that is where most voters are getting their information. So, any "plan" which I would respect would integrate short-term concerns (such as the specific bills under consideration) with long-term concerns, especially process-oriented ones.

As a recent example of what more intelligent messaging would look like, I refer you to this post. Another example of more intelligent messaging would be to mention the fact that the most cost-efficient way to cover everybody is national single payer, so it's important for viewers to push for legal state-based single payer now. Yet another example of more intelligent messaging would be to discuss the economic stimulus that would result from cutting our healthcare bills down to European levels. Another example of more intelligent messaging would be to make mention of the Progressive Bloc, and point out the need to grow it, with a link (URL) to a website that aims to do so.

In short, good points and good framing made in the honest blogosphere should be used in addressing the masses outside of the honest blogosphere. Otherwise, instead of using these painful episodes to, at the very least, increase awareness of the systemic rot affecting American politics, and give people something that they can grab onto to make things better, they are being endlessly mesmerized by 'arguments' that are much more about the fringe of things than they suspect. Some of the masses so 'de-mesmerized' will become fighters, and a progressive, or at least populist, movement would grow.

Absent something revolutionary like vote bloc technology (fortunately, on the horizon), I can only shake my head in bewilderment as to why activists would NOT leverage painful fights into attacks on the systemic corruption that we are all suffering under. With a corporatist run government, I don't see where you have much choice about how you can eventually making deep "change(s) you can believe in".

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
You're wasting your time. (0.00 / 0)
HouseOfRegress is just another DLC sycophant trying to ram the same baloney down our throats that the rest of the corporate-owned Democrats do on a daily basis.  His purpose is to cheerlead the status quo, and attack any who dare suggest breaking it in favor of something that actually works for everyone.



[ Parent ]
Well at least you didnt troll rate me. (0.00 / 0)
Thanks!

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Your comment didn't violate the site rules this time. (0.00 / 0)
But make no mistake: when you do cross the line and openly flame people, I will troll-rate those comments of yours that violate site rules.



[ Parent ]
You are so full of ignorant specious nonsense (0.00 / 0)
and completely dishonest, as always.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I don't think you're being fair to HOP (0.00 / 0)
Also, FWIW, I normally don't speculate on whether other people are pursuing some sort of hidden agenda. How can I possibly know that, for sure?

Of course, I can't. And neither can you....

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
the path is simple yet hard, (0.00 / 0)
we need to build the type of power that the health insurance lobby has, that wall street banks have, they have been writing legislation for  years, how? the map to success is out there, money, pacs, tv ads, vacations, cushy jobs once you retire from congress, or accountability, if we had eyes on every move each member of congress made, each corrupt connection, each bribe, if they knew american was watcihng and they would be publicly tarred and feathered if they did not give us what we want and need, thats the path,
granted its a broad stroke

whatever you think people owe you, that is what you owe people

[ Parent ]
Enrollees in Medicare pay for private insurance as well (4.00 / 1)
Currently, seniors enrolled in Medicare pay for supplemental policies, and may have elected to pay for additional prescription coverage. Between the two, I pay Blue Cross as much monthly as much as I pay into Medicare monthly. My policy is the lowest-cost, highest-deductible that Blue Cross offers. I pay for annual physicals out-of-pocket, since Medicare paid only for the "Welcome to Medicare" physical during my first year in the program.

[ Parent ]
medical association in saskatchewan formed in 1906 (4.00 / 4)
or thereabouts. 65 years later the whole country had medicare.

here we first started talking about universal health care / national health insurance with teddy roosevelt at about that same time and we still don't have either one here.

you say the fight for canada's medicare-for-all took 19 years, but it's been 44 years since our medicare-for-some was first partially implemented.

Shall we look at any country and see if there was nation where they woke yup one morning with a fully developed system?

that's specious. between medicare, medicaid, the vha, the military, the ihs, we've had govt-financed, and in some cases govt-provided, health care for citizens [we're up to about 1/3 of the country now] for more than 40 years. there's nothing 'overnight' about finishing the process up now.


[ Parent ]
Then do it. (2.67 / 3)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
quit apologizing for the ones who won't do it (4.00 / 2)


[ Parent ]
what is this apology BS? (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
I dont see a difference between right opportunists (0.00 / 0)
pretending to be lefties, and naderists pretending to matter. At some point you tune out the pretendists who do nothing and only work against "not as far left as me's" its a pretend fight.

It is a side show, if loud.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Please spitball, stop ignorantly troll rating comments (0.00 / 0)
This does not become you at all.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I would like you to pause just a moment and realize your purpose is to insult. (0.00 / 0)
Is it the paucity of your arguments or your inability to play nice with others? Failing grade one or grade 12?

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Why do you ask questions of me that apply to yourself? (0.00 / 0)




[ Parent ]
I found your comment unbecomingly (0.00 / 0)
rude. You post alot. What's one TR?  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Because TR abuse is a bannable offence. (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
One is abuse? (0.00 / 0)
Wow. Even Cheney works on a 1% basis ;)

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Two is abuse. You suggest that rude is reason enough to TR, I think you realize you are being at least rude. (0.00 / 0)
Please act like a grown up.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I had already moved on from this insignificant event (4.00 / 1)
Until your bruised ego brought it back to the fore.

I'm moving on again.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Just like a man to blame the victim. (0.00 / 0)
Framing it like a republican isnt attractive.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
progressives have had influence (4.00 / 3)
I actually think the progressives, including the single-payer die-hards, have had a significant influence on the health ins. reform debate/process. If not for them the public option would be long past dead.

I personally detest the anti-Obama rhetoric spewed by the lefty activists, however I will admit that their tactics and persistence are paying off with what looks like a better bill than what might have been.

My single payer friends are uncompromising and will be disappointed in the end...but I will freely admit that all the progressive advocates that refused to give up and fought like the dickens have made a difference.

take heart the sky is not falling chicken little.

.


I think there are ways of fighting and stuped rhetoric. (4.00 / 3)
They seldom work hand in hand. The people making the case, brilliantly for Single Payer, like the California Nurses and Michael Moore, and forcely like the AFL-CIO, have shown that we are cpom[promising to much already, and pointed the direction we must go, have given us the space we need and the leadership.
For keeping real reform on track for passge and defending the introduction of one poster called the "public medicare option", there are those making a strong fight keeping the battle lines drawn, sticking their crowbar in to draw the line, our heroes in the pledge block.  Supporting those Reps, and organizing to pass reform have kept it alive.

Chris is right on the larger issue too. This is about who is governing. And I dont mean just progblog or The Reps, I mean did we win the election?


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
A neo-conservative won the election (4.00 / 4)
One might be forgiven for believing he was a neo-liberal, but if one looked closely enough, the evidence was there.

As Paul Rosenberg said here recently:

He is a child of Reagan.  I wish he were not, but he has told so in innumerable ways innumerable times.... He is a child of Reagan.  Deal with it.


[ Parent ]
Ok so, Reagan is going to give us Public option Health reform with preconditions (0.00 / 0)
and yearly caps on outlays to stop 2/3 of bankruptcies and you think we arent pressuring him hard enough?

You think someone could create an extra 55 votes in the Senate answer that question please just that one.

Either its hopeless or it isn't, which is it? Is it a government we can push? Thats a question. If its a fascist hopeless government that hates us, why are "holding their feet to the fire" ?

Why are suddenly in a rush? I am willing to wait a few years with this method, we waited eight years after not being responsible for government, after merely being angry, after sounding left, gave us Cheney. Lets see if we can start pushing and build democracy this time.  Why do you spend all you time trying to stop the push left? Find another way to push left than trying to just stop other leftists.  

It reminds me a lot of all the demos, where some 'lefties' bring their flags and banners to the front of the march they didnt organize, as if they are leading.

Where was your push left faster when ABC CBS and Bush took us into Iraq?

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Nixon was a Child of FDR (4.00 / 2)
Yes, Obama was a child of Reagan, but only in the same sense that Nixon was a child of FDR.  No one in his right mind would consider Nixon a liberal, yet the domestic policies he pursued were very liberal compared to Republicans today and about the same as Obama pursues.  This is because Nixon was a child of FDR and the New Deal.  This was the world Nixon enherited.

Obama is like that in reverse.  Yes, Obama is a child of Reagan, but no one in his right mind should consider him conservative.  He is, however, playing by conservative rules.


[ Parent ]
By today's standards (4.00 / 2)
Many people in their right minds consider Nixon (EPA, Clean Air Act, thawing relationship with China, Native American rights, etc.) a relative liberal.

Something he said in his fateful year of 1974:

Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America. There has long been a need to assure every American financial access to high quality healthcare... Surely if we have the will, 1974 should also be the year that we find the way.



[ Parent ]
from another perspective (4.00 / 4)
it's about who runs the country: a democratically elected government, or a oligarchic consortium of for-profit businesses.

Pass the public option and you reaffirm that government works.

Give up on the public option and it's one more victory for the right wing idea that for-profit business should control the really important national interests.


And when the "public option", if one is passed, turns out to be another fraud? (0.00 / 0)
What will that affirm?



[ Parent ]
There's the rub, methinks (4.00 / 8)
If grassroots and House progressives can't even get a watered down public option in this environment, then it is very difficult to conclude that we are actually part of the governing coalition in this country. And really, that is what this campaign is about who runs the country at least as much as it is about health policy.

IMHO, it's been a massive mistake for progressives to ignore Obama's (and Baucus's, et al.) dishonesty in promising an "open and transparent" process that "considers all options," and then taking single-payer out of the discussion from the get-go (see: Daschle's house parties, the townhall discussions, and Obama's dismissing of single-payer advocates as "liberal bleeding hearts"). Not to mention the secret deal with Big Pharma.

"Public option" was always and obviously a way to proffer a plan that sounded like Medicare for All but wasn't. Like "hope" and "change," it sounded meaningful but had no commitment to be.

"Public option" advocacy hasn't made us a stronger force in "who runs the country," it's made us flabby. Even recently, where are the howls of protest about Obama bragging that "public option" (if one) would be used by fewer than 5% of Americans, as if our cherished goal is something to be shunned?

This isn't to say that single-payer would have been easy, nor necessarily achievable. But even to have forced and contributed to the earnest discussion of its obvious benefits would have helped the Democrats articulate a policy of real reform, not "watered down" reform.

The weakness of the elected Dems' hand is in no small part due to the weakness of the "reform" they're trying to promote and defend. A more substantive plan wouldn't have left the vacuum to be filled with nonsense about "death panels" and such. Sure, the GOP would have unloaded against any plan, but the Dems would have had something real -- and populist (a timely thing to be, no?) -- to rally around, instead of gruel that's getting thinner by the day.

Alas, the tools for consensus-building among the top tier of the blogosphere and activist groups like MoveOn are a little too efficient. Support coalesces quickly and pervasively, as it did in the netroots groundswell around Obama. But does it coalesce wisely? And where will the course-corrections come from if it doesn't?

And if we don't get wiser activism from those with the big megaphones, then who's running our country? The status quo is. Same as it ever was.


Obama's mediocrity is matched by the timidity of the criticism he endures (4.00 / 3)
That's no coincidence.

You posts in this thread inspired me to comment in an 'adjacent' diary.

Indeed, they've also inspired me to want to send off a suggestion to Gary Null (uber activist and all-around trouble-maker :-) ) to take the lead in making the sort of ad that I called for in my link. Which I shall do, presently.

Good job.

435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Just sent the following to Gary Null (4.00 / 2)
DFA and PCCC are going after Olympia Snowe. That's good, as far as it goes. Obama, in spite of his awful leadership and duplicity vis-a-vis healthcare, is getting a pass from DFA and PCCC. That may be fine for them, but that's no good for troublemakers like you and me!!!!

Please see my comment here:

and please note that there is a pattern of pulling punches by PCCC.

I can't take the lead in producing any reality-based ad that goes after Snowe, Obama, and the Republican Party.
But if you, or Michael Moore, or ANYBODY does so, I'm in for $50. Whoever does so should not be bashful about asking for contributions to get it aired, or about talking about health prevention and alternative medicine - the absence of which is yet another sign that the 'healthcare' bill is mostly to serve business interests, not the public.



435 Dem Primaries 2012
Coffee Party Usa
TheRealNews.Com


[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 6)
I've never been so much pro-public option as anti-anti-public option. To oppose it, you have to be either a corporate whore or a Reaganite, or both. Woulda been nice if Obama had pointed this out a time or two instead of portraying opposition to the PO as oh-so-reasonable.  

He's playing to his constituency.... n.t (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Rallies Nationwide Tomorrow (4.00 / 2)
Diary about all rallies at dkos here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

Philadelphia Rally:

   PHILADELPHIA -- Tuesday, 9/22/09, 4:30pm
Big Insurance:Sick of it! Philadelphia (for details and sign up)

   When: Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009, 4:30 PM
   Where: Philadelphia City Hall, Broad and Market Streets, northwest corner of Dilworth Plaza,1490 John F Kennedy Blvd., at 4:30 PM Then march to 1601 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA



. (4.00 / 2)
I've been very "who gives a fuck" with regard to the whole public option thing. There are so many things that can do more for people, or fuck people over more than having/not having a public option. Or at least the type of public option that's on the table for the house bill. I mean you could add the house public option to the baucus bill and the bill still sucks.

But with that said the left drew it's line in the sand, so I whole heartedly agree with the political argument that Bowers puts forth. If progressives can't win an argument to include a good idea (something that covers people and saves money) then we know the power of the coalition.

Whatever Snowe does is what we get though because she is the only one willing to cross over and provide political cover.


Win the argument lose the war? (4.00 / 5)
This isn't an academic discussion.  Whatever health policy Congress enacts we are going to be stuck with for years to come.  Congress is treating the symptom, not the sickness.  Uninsurance rates are merely the symptom.  The market failure of private insurance is the disease.  They are exactly two ways to skin this cat.  Either the US expands it's Medicare program to every resident, or it enacts a serious regulatory role over the insurers and the health providers.  One or a combination of these is how health care is done in every advanced nation besides the US.  None of these proposals before Congress come remotely close to either of these approaches to health care.  All of the proposals still treat health care like a commodity.  The PO advocates have done a great disservice to the health reform movement by fixating in exclusion to something called a "public option".  At this point, Congress would pass a "public option" that doesn't have the potential to enroll one consumer(this is pretty close to the PO being crafted in both Houses), and call it a success.  The PO advocates seem afraid to discuss the public option in the larger context of more ambitious health care reforms, like Medicare for All.  They are creating an immense vacuum for what public insurance is, what it can do, and who should support it.  By doing that, they leave the policy open to Congress to exploit and less well meaning figures to define.  Why are you all so dug in?  My Lawd, sometimes you have to change you strategy.  The PO as crafted by Congress would be a very empty victory that would further entrench millions of Americans in the private insurance system.  There's nothing wrong with assessing your strategy and trying to improve it.  Just going ahead with the same failing strategy to the incredible shrinking public option at all costs isn't very bright.  Look at some of the trade offs.  We are not going to use our market power to negotiate drug prices through medicare?  that's absurd.  That's the federal government saying they won't permit themselves to do what Wal-Mart does freely.  The PO advocates are too invested in a failed strategy to even try to reassess.  How pathetic.

We already know (4.00 / 6)
who is running the country.

All we have to do is look at the chasm between

a) the preference held by a majority of the American people for a "Medicare-like" system, otherwise known in the current context as a "public option" which would be a government run and government paid system open to ANY AND ALL AMERICANS.

and

b) the major tendency of Congressional legislative proposals that REFUSE to honor the popular will in order to force EVERYONE to pay for private insurance that costs 1/3 more than it should because it covers profits and unnecessary administrative costs incurred to deny claims.

Most members of Congress are in the pockets of their campaign contributors from the private insurance industry, so between the two of them they are running the country and flouting the will of the people.

So the real question in my mind is not who runs the country but whether the increasing popular rage that is being generated by Obama's and Congress's betrayal of the American people on health care reform is going to force them to change direction.

I have to admit to being blown out of the water by the extraordinary arrogance displayed by Obama and his Congressional fellow travelers in flouting the popular will on health care.

The Baucus bill is a hideous travesty. If there was a way the American people could remove traitors of the public interest like Baucus from office before the end of their term, he'd be on his way out.

Obviously, the perpetrators of the health care debacle in Congress think they can get away with it, ie pass a publicly harmful bill that they call reform and not create an uprising of enraged citizens.

But I am just wondering whether the sell out of the American people on healthcare may be the final straw, the match that sets the public aflame with outrage that the instigators cannot quel.

The flags going up on the mall in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the deaths of the 44,000 Americans who died needlessly last year because they could not get access to medical care may prove to the turning point.

Or maybe not.

Time will tell.

My instincts, however, make me question whether the American people are going to take this lying down.

Nancy Bordier is the author of Re-Inventing Democracy: How U.S. Voters Can Get Control of Government and Restore Popular Sovereignty in America. The book can be read free online by clicking here.

A prototype website illustrating how the Interactive Voter Choice System works can be accessed at Citizens Winning Hands.  


duh (4.00 / 2)
.
Did you really think the Nazi's were just going to give up? Did you really think one guy in the White House was going to "CHANGE" everything?

We need to take over or destroy the Democratic & Republican Parties. They represent no one. Until we do, get used to being ignored, rolled over and screwed.

It's time for a real old-fashioned NY ass-kicking.

Anybody got a baseball bat? How 'bout one more game before the Fall?
.


Sen. Durbin explains how to get a public option (4.00 / 3)
You change the definition of a public option to mean a trigger or a co-op. Presto chango you now have a public option.

Durbin said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he could get a filibuster-proof 60 votes for a public option "if there's a variation on the theme, perhaps," mentioning nonprofit cooperatives or the "triggered" public option as possible variations.link

It's magic.


let's assume that after this, progressives are running the country, (4.00 / 2)
what is their plan for getting us from tiny crappy camel's nose public option to real single payer a la hr676?

because that's what the majority of the CITIZENS want.


Why don't you ask someone else to do it then? (0.00 / 0)
Hurry.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Fake hustle (4.00 / 1)
Some on the left are addicted to fake hustle.  They would rather put on a show of fighting the good fight than actually achieving anything.

[ Parent ]
That's HouseOfRegress exactly. (0.00 / 0)
He and his fellow DLC cheerleaders are not interested in fighting for genuine change.  What they are interested in is silencing and bullying progressives into total capitulation.



[ Parent ]
No, I was talking about you. (0.00 / 0)
By fighting the good fight and remaining pure, you always have an excuse for failure.  Convenient.  You get to feel good about yourself without ever needing to hold yourself accountable for actual results.

But you are correct about one thing.  I don't give a damn about "fighting for genuine change".  I care about actualizing genuine change.  It isn't the fight that is important, it is the real progress.


[ Parent ]
it's a legitimate question (4.00 / 3)
the progressive block is bent on increasing their power -- an eminently rational goal for a group of politicians, and one i can applaud.

but i need real health care and i need it now. that power is completely useless to the rest of us if it's not going to get citizens what they want. taking one small step -- voting for a tiny public option, for instance -- and then hoping that one day in the far future it will morph into good policy is stupid beyond belief.


[ Parent ]
Good Health Care (4.00 / 1)
What you need is good health care without having to pay any more than your fair share.  Single Payer is by far the most efficient mechanism to achieve that, but it isn't the only way.

[ Parent ]
agreed (4.00 / 2)
and if we don't get single payer, is this bill really and truly going to give us one of those other ways of getting good health care without having to any more than your fair share?

[ Parent ]
argh, typos, i hate them. (4.00 / 1)
and if we don't get single payer, is this bill really and truly going to give us one of those other ways of getting good health care without having to pay any more than your fair share?

[ Parent ]
Yes it is. (0.00 / 0)
If you cant afford, you get subsidy. If you have a precondition, that's not important, if you are threatened with bankruptcy you wont have to pay.

I don;t want you to have to pay the health insurance scam artists, thats a reform we need next, and maybe even way of dealing with the killing of thousands to make a profit, like jail time. But thats a different topic. I am willing to hear and discuss ways to indict people whio made the willfully deadly desciosns to let people die who caould have been helped, but didnt, so as to make money.

There is a legal term for it. Reckless indifference

liability for high-speed police pursuits is deliberate indifference to, or reckless disregard for, a ...... substantive due process by causing death through deliberate or reckless indifference to life in a highspeed
chase for example. If you knew you action, even if legal, would cause harm, and you did it anyway, you are liable.

So yeah I want people getting healthcare, affording health care and not being wrecked by medical emergencies. I want people to get healthcare.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
if you are threatened with bankruptcy you wont have to pay? (4.00 / 1)
that's in the legislation? where?

[ Parent ]
It's not the ONLY way, no. (4.00 / 1)
There is a system of regulations and laws governing what corporations can and cannot do legally, and some countries use a combination of such regulatory restrictions on businesses and public health insurance to achieve universal health care.  The problem is that we're being lied to by people who really ought to know better.  We're being told that a weak, effectively useless "public option" is the best we can get (which flies in the face of history), that we shouldn't even try to pass something better, and that we're hurting the cause by demanding more.



[ Parent ]
Of course it's a legitimate question (4.00 / 2)
Chris says "getting a small public option now is a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road than just giving up on the public option altogether."

Kip Sullivan makes a reasonable counter-argument that "A weak public option is far worse than none at all."

Even without the counter-argument, there's nothing wrong with questioning Chris's assertion. But, especially in light of the counter-argument, regardless of which side you're on, it seems reasonable and legitimate to question it.


[ Parent ]
i'm a single-payer-or-nothing person (4.00 / 3)
[although ian welsh almost swayed me to his point of view.]

but an awful lot of people who really, really wanted single payer have been convinced to give up their wishes and get behind this instead. if the plan going forward is to just hope for ponies and rainbows and public options to magickally sprout and grow and flourish, this is a huge abuse of supporters' trust and energies just for the sake of some representatives feeling a little more powerful.


[ Parent ]
I am not an or nothing person. (0.00 / 0)
The pledge block is PO or nothing, not because they are so pure, or better than others, but because they can win. If they hold their ground, they will win. If you want them to hold their ground for a single payer we don't win.

That's not acceptable to me.

What is acceptable is how to organize for single payer to actually be enacted, not just merely holding ones breath, or wishing or insulting. I would suggest making the co -sponsors of HR 676 into a block, and funding them. Protecting their seats, and expanding their number.

Passing the Presidents plan, whether he like it or not, will lead to more and more reform, it will lead to a battle ground of defending every single persons right to healthcare. It will to amendments to improve, to expand and to modify, just as Medicare was, and is. It will be defended and exapnded just as social security is.

It will to state fights for single payer in New York, (Weiner for Governor!) in California and more.


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I would suggest making the co -sponsors of HR 676 into a block, (4.00 / 1)
isn't that what y'all did here with the progressive caucus? that caucus and the cosponsors of hr676 overlap a fair amount, would have been nice if if they hadn't been siphoned off in this effort to get a po instead.

[ Parent ]
They are a block! Hell that is the point of Chris's POST! (0.00 / 0)
They as a block, voted, the single payer block voted, to become the PO pledge block, because in their combined understanding of the legislature, the votes the senate and the country, this was the way to win.

Its like poker, bluffing is fine, knowing the risks is better, planning on winning, and not bluffing when everyone knows you have a hand that can win is the way to loose the mortgage.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Define winning (4.00 / 2)
I get the distinct impression from your recent posts that "winning" is Obama signing whatever bill the congress sends him whether it will actually accomplish reform or not.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I define winning as the plan Obama has on his health page. (0.00 / 0)
http://www.barackobama.com/iss...

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
So if the final bill does not meet those standards (4.00 / 1)
you would support a veto?


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
No I support Killing the BIL (0.00 / 0)
before it goes to Obama. I support the pledge block. I dont want Obama to even such a Bill, let alone have to decide to sign it.

I made tis graphic, I have posted the graphic several times for months, its on this page.

I support the pledge block, if it does meet the signed vow, KILL the BILL

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
"…will lead to more and more reform" (4.00 / 3)
Repeating the assertion is not making an argument for how that will happen. It's not an argument against Sullivan's assertion that it's worse than no reform. It's in the best interests of the supporters to make the best arguments possible.

As vastleft says, at the top, it's at least as likely that a weak/failed public option will be held as evidence that it's an ineffective policy.

And, paradoxically, it could also be harmful to further reform as being touted as effective. Any plan that purports to "cover everyone"-whether it, in fact, does or doesn't, no matter how costly, byzantine and ineffective-could block any further health care debate. It could occupy the same position as the debate-ending canard that "all Americans have access to health care through emergency rooms."

Those against more reform cost could thus argue, from both sides of their mouths, that the public option has both succeeded, making more reform unnecessary, and failed, making more reform unwise.

And the deliberately handcuffed means of a public option, if passed could easily become transformed into its ends, e.g., "the public option always was always intended to help only those who couldn't afford health insurance otherwise" or some such, just as President Obama falsely claimed "...for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable for those without it." The limitations and constraints become revised in a rewriting of history into the goals.

No one can say definitively, really, whether the possibilities I've mentioned are any more likely than those possibilities leading to a further development of the public option. But bare assertions that the "public option will lead to more and more reform" or "is a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road" as certainties, rather than as one possible scenario, do not even acknowledge, much less address, the other plausible possibilities.


[ Parent ]
Well yes I suppose that is possible. Possible Just _highly_ unlikely (0.00 / 0)
There will be more reform, becasue you wont let it go away. Neither will I, nor Michael Moore, nor lambert, nor Chris, nor the pledge block.

Of course it wont stop. ALl the players that are here now, will be better mobilized for the next set of reforms. This is work. real effing work. It takes steps, each step has to know where the ground is, where the riser is, where the handrail is. Each step is a step. I am not done with this set of reforms. Neither should you be. Winning creates more wins. Defeats lead to new defeats.

I am not asking you to not be concerned or active, or even to not be angry. I am saying this is a win, this is a big win, and there are more to come. The best thing is to focus on getting delivables, voters organized voters for all these issues, including Single Payer. PO is not either or with single payer, PO is step one.

We need to get ready for more reforms, and to change the mission in Afghanistan, and to support democracy in the America's. and to lower carbon emissions, and to build a green economy ab=nd to have second stimulus, and to establish voting rights nationwide, and to primary for single payer dems

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Yes, the fact is those with the money run the country (4.00 / 1)
Call it Corporatcracy, Oligarchy, or Richocracy, its the fact that everyone gets a vote, and if you have a Million dollars, you can effectively get about 100Thousand votes with that money.
Most people don't stop to think about what sounds better, because the illusionary tigers brought up by those with the Agenda and the Money and carried by the MSM are far to distracting, and we'd rather just trust someone.  Someone who is successful and fears the same things we do.

Maybe, just maybe we can get that shadow judgement about corporations having the same rights as people recalled, and that might reverse the effect some, but I'm afraid that it will have to be a bloody revolution, after the middle class is dissolved and the poor have no health care, no clean water, and no clean air.  And can't make it through the gates either.


You're missing the point, Mr. Bowers. (4.00 / 4)
One of the stronger criticisms of the Progressive Block campaign for a public health insurance option is that the versions of the public option that have made it through congressional committees are so weak as to have a minimal impact on health care costs and coverage. I do not entirely dispute those assesments, except that getting a small public option now is a more viable path to a meaningful public option down the road than just giving up on the public option altogether. What I do dispute is that the public option fight is only, or even primarily, about health policy. Instead, it is about who runs the country.

Agreed, to an extent: it is about who runs the country.

If grassroots and House progressives can't even get a watered down public option in this environment, then it is very difficult to conclude that we are actually part of the governing coalition in this country. And really, that is what this campaign is about who runs the country at least as much as it is about health policy.

So in the interest of demonstrating who gets to run the country and shape policy, you'd gladly foist upon us a "public option" that you freely admit is watered down to the point where it would render any reform that comes about as a consequence meaningless and, something that should be even more alarming to you but clearly isn't, will likely prove even worse because of its ability to kill genuine reform for perhaps a generation if not more.  That's the price you're willing to have the rest of us pay for the sake of showing who runs the country.

Yes, Mr. Bowers, it very much is primarily about getting a good policy, one that benefits more - not fewer - people.  Remember: you don't have to worry quite so much right now about losing your day job or your access to health care.  There are so many of us, myself included, who don't have jobs or access to health care and who suffer from your willingness to compromise progressive principles.  We have nothing, or very little that we stand to lose more of, and your driving concern is showing who's boss.  But that comes about as a result of getting good legislation passed.  You're confusing the natural results of battles won for the goals of the battles themselves.

I have to leave for class shortly, but I intend to expand upon this later in the week.  This is madness.



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