The complete list of ways progressives strengthened health reform legislation

by: Chris Bowers

Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 23:50


Did progressive organizations and members of Congress get completely rolled in the health reform negotiations?  Nope.

By comparing the current state of health reform legislation to the most conservative proposals that were passed out of Congressional committee, a healthy list of concessions progressives forced out of the right-wing of the party becomes visible.  If there were no alterations from the most conservative health reform proposals that were passed out of Congressional committees in 2009, then the current state of health reform legislation would have:

  1. $125 billion less for Medicaid, CHIP and exchange subsidies (total across all three programs);

  2. Numerous exceptions to Medicaid eligibility even for people below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL from here on out);

  3. No minimum medical loss ratio for health insurance plans, instead of an 85% minimum medical loss ratio;

  4. The Stupak amendment, instead of the Stupak state opt-out that is in the Senate bill;

  5. No extra money for federally funded Community Health Centers, instead of increased funding to provide primary care to 16.2 million patients annually;

  6. An excise tax on high end insurance plans would start in 2013 (giving most unions no time to renegotiate contracts), and a lower threshold (making it less progressive);

  7. No 2.9% tax increase on unearned income, making the funding mechanism for the overall bill less progressive;

  8. A stronger individual mandate and fewer responsibilities for employers;

  9. No national exchange, instead of what appears to be both a state-based and a national exchange in the proposal form the White House.
Does this list of concessions mean that progressive health reform activists have won resounding victories up to this point?  Certainly not--the current state of health reform legislation is far from ideal, and much closer to the right-wing proposals that passed Congressional committees in 2009 than the left-wing proposals that passed out of committee.

(Even the best proposals that passed out of committee are a far cry from what many progressives wanted.  Then again, there are some conservative Democrats who want no reform at all.  As such, I am only looking at proposals that passed committee, since those were the only viable proposals on either side.)

Still, it is an impressive list that should make any progressive activist who participated in the health reform fight proud, even if dissatisfied.  You really did improve the bill, and have the opportunity to keep improving it.

In the extended entry, I provide extensive justification for this list of progressive improvements to the health care bill.  I do so by comparing the most progressive, and least progressive, proposals to be passed either out of a Congressional committee, or by the full House or Senate in 2009, to the current state of health reform legislation.  This analysis looks at ten key fights legislative fights over health reform that have occurred over the past year:

  1. The public option;
  2. Repealing the health insurance industry's anti-trust exemption;
  3. Instituting a minimum medical loss ratio for insurance policies;
  4. Expanding primary care in low-income areas through Community Health Centers;
  5. Medicaid expansion;
  6. Exchange subsidy levels;
  7. Tax structure for funding the bill;
  8. Insurance exchange structure;
  9. Reproductive rights;
  10. Mandate
It is a lengthy post, but in order to develop a comprehensive list of ways that progressives had improved such a large piece of legislation requires a lot of detail.  I have no doubt that there are some areas where my analysis could be cleaned up quite a bit, but at the very least I hope this is a good starting point in an important discussion.  So many people who poured their guts into this effort need to know what they achieved, because if this bill passes they achieved quite a bit.

More in the extended entry.

Chris Bowers :: The complete list of ways progressives strengthened health reform legislation
1. Public Option--Total Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (Passed by House Ways and Means committee, PDF page 6): Public option tied to Medicare rates, available to everyone on the new health insurance exchange.  Estimated to cover 10 million people by 2019.

Conservadem proposal: No public option

Result: No public option

How did it happen? (You know this story) After House Progressives were unable to find the votes for the Ways and Means proposal, the House ended up passing a weaker public option that would have covered 6 million.  That proposal was further weakened in the bill sent to the floor of the Senate, which was a level-playing field opt-out that would have covered 3-4 million.  When even that was dumped at the behest of Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, a Medicare buy-in compromise that would have covered around 1.5 million was adopted.  And then, that was dumped because Joe Lieberman backstabbed everyone, and the Obama administration backed Lieberman.

****

2. Anti-trust exemption--Current Conservadem victory, but pending
Progressive proposal (included in House bill): Repeal anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies

Conservatdem proposal (Senate Finance committee bill): Don't repeal it.

Result (Senate bill): No repeal of anti-trust exemption, although the House passed it as stand-alone legislation. Might still have a chance of passing.

How did it happen?: Concession to Ben Nelson.

****

3. Medical Loss Ratio--Mostly Progressive victory
Progressive proposal (In the early December Medicare buy-in agreement): Require a minimum medical loss ratio of 90%.

Conservadem proposal (In Senate Finance Committee bill): No minimum medical loss ratio.

Result (In the February White House proposal): Minimum medical loss ratio of 85%.

How did it happen? The 90% loss ratio was originally included in the early December Senate deal on the public option as a concession to public option supporters. It was nixed by CBO when it declared such a provision would make all private insurance a government program.

****

4. Community health centers--Mostly Progressive victory
Progressive proposal (In the House bill): Increase funding for Bureau of Primary Health Care within the Health Resources and Service administration (aka, the federal Community Health Center program) by $14 billion total over next five years.  At current rates of service--$2.5 billion (PDF page 6) for 20.27 million primary care patients in fiscal year 2011-- this would expand community health center patient base by 22.7 million.

Conservative proposal (in the Senate Finance Committee bill): No increase.

Result (in the Senate bill): Increased funding of $10 billion total over next five years.  At current rates of service, Community Health Centers will provide primary care to 16.2 million additional patients.

How did it happen?. Bernie Sanders got this result in exchange for his vote in the Senate.  Also, while some have doubted the ability of the Community Health Centers to provide primary care for so many patients at such low cost, the simple fact is that they do.  Kaiser has more information on Community Health Centers.

****

5. Medicaid--Even wash
Progressive proposal (House bill): 150% FPL eligibility with no exceptions; $425 billion in outlays; 15 million people covered

Conservadem proposal (Senate Finance Committee): !33% FPL eligibility with numerous exceptions; $345 billion in outlays; 11 million people covered.

Result (White House proposal). 133% FPL eligibility with no exceptions, over $400 billion in outlays, between 12 million and 14 million covered.

How did it happen? By an odd circumlocution, Nelson actually did something good for the bill.

Congress was looking to expand Medicaid in the bill, but red-state Governors didn't want to come up with additional revenue.  So, as the bill progressed through the Senate, the federal government kept picking up more and more of the tab for states--including famous deals like the one Ben Nelson scored for Nebraska.   Eventually, by the time the White House released its proposal, the federal government is paying for virtually of the expansion.  Just about every state gets Ben Nelson's deal for Nebraska, now.  The proposed outlays from the White House might exceed those in the House bill.

****

6. Exchange subsidies--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (House tri-committee): $773 billion in subsidies

Conservadem proposal (Senate bill): $436 billion in subsidies

Result (White House proposal): "slightly higher on average in the White House bill than in the Senate bill." In total, the White House is proposing $75 billion more in Medicaid and exchange subsidy spending then the Senate bill.

How did it happen? In September, President Obama demanded the bills cost less than $900 billion over ten years, probably because the administration was afraid of the word "trillion" in the messaging wars.  So, one of the two main expenses in the various proposals--exchange subsidies, or Medicaid / CHIP outlays--had to be reduced.  Since Congress kept increasing the amount it was spending on Medicaid in the bill, the subsidies ended up on the chopping block.

****

7. Tax Structure--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (House proposal): Surtax on high-income households,; no excise tax on high-end health insurance plans

Conservadem proposal (Senate Finance committee): Payroll tax, excise tax on high-end health insurance plans

Result (White house proposal): No surtax on high income households; delayed and weakened excise tax on high-end insurance plans; tax on unearned income

How did it happen? Labor negotiated a delay and weakening of the excise tax, which the White House then expanded to the entire country to avoid appearance of special interest deal.  White house largely adopted Conservadem approach otherwise, and closed funding gap with tax on unearned income.

****

8. Exchange Structure--Unclear
Progressive Proposal (Mainly the House bill): National exchange that would quickly open up to entire country.  The House bill had a national exchange, but from there it gets decidedly mixed.  The Senate bill allows more businesses to be eligible at the exchange, and the House bill opens up the exchange to the whole country one year faster than the Senate bill.

Conservadem proposal (Mainly Senate bill): State based exchanges with the reverse of the mixed bag listed above

Result (White House proposal): A state based exchange and a national exchange; no word on starting eligibility or expansion rate.

How did it happen? Kind seems like this one is still happening.  Not sure how it will end.

****

9. Reproductive Rights--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (Several bills at the committee level): No change from existing law.

Conservadem proposal (House bill): Stupak amendment that would prevent any insurance plan on the exchange from covering abortion procedures.

Result (Senate bill): Stupak amendment, but on an opt-out basis.

How did it happen?: Democrats apparently elected an anti-choice House of Representatives. Bad candidate recruitment will likely result in backward movement for reproductive rights under a Democratic government.  That makes this mainly a Conservadem vistory.

****

10. Mandate--Mostly Conservadem victory
Progressive proposal (Mainly House bill): Strong employer mandate, minimal penalty for individuals who choose not to purchase

Conservadem proposal: (Senate bill): Basically no employer mandate; moderately stiff individual mandate (exemption if insurance costs more than 8% of income, fee of $750 for refusal)

Result (White House proposal): Some concessions (for example, refusal fee reduced to $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is lower), but still closer to Conservadem proposal.

****

There are many more Conservadem victories than Progressive victories.  Still, in every case except for the public option and the repeal of the anti-trust exemption, progressives wrung at least some concessions out of Conservadems and the White House.  And Progs might yet still win a concession on the public option, and pass the anti-trust exemption.

Progressives really did make the bill better in substantial ways.


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Someone else summing up the overall problem: (4.00 / 5)
""interesting" is an interesting word
but you totally get my point.

It occurred to me after I wrote that last comment that I think of the current situation as akin to the scenario where the Mob is terrorizing the populace for "protection" and the police and City Hall are in on the take and looking the other way, and "progressives" argue that the "pragmatic" approach is to compel and subsidize the payment of the money-if we don't, people will die needlessly, they say-because that's the best we can do under the circumstances (meaning, obviously, we're too weak to take the necessary steps to fix the system).

So the issue is not only ignoring what Americans want; the current legislation, as Dr. Marcia Angell said on Bill Moyers Journal this past Friday,

actually expands and cements [the for-profit, private health insurers'] position as the lynchpin of health care reform. And these companies they profit by denying health care, not providing health care.

Like helping subsidize the Mob's protection money-and accepting the very causes of the problem as a given and as part of the solution, it's a systemic nightmare.

by: jeffweinberg @ Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 21:40
[ Parent | Reply ]"

I will mostly let the comment in the Quick Hit mostly speak for itself.  I will only add the major concession you made was the Overton Window that  will allow suffering to continue longer than it needs to have occurred because Progressives did not set up a path way to future reform. You set up a path way to higher subsidies when things get worse.  It is a lot easier to create something from something, but not something from nothing.

Finally, let me leave on a question: what happens when all those things you mention aren't enough? Do we reform from there or do we put more money into the now cemented system?


No, I don't get your point (4.00 / 5)
Your mob analogy is a borderline nonsensical engagement in rhetorical nonsense.

I think--and I am going to take a wild guess here--your point is that any bill which increases the number of people on private insurance is bad.  The goal, in your view, is to decrease the number of people using private health insurance.

Whether people have no insurance, or public insurance, is irrelevant.  But the ultimate goal is to end private insurance. Anything that fails in that goal is, in your view, bad.

This bill is bad because it will increase the number of people purchasing private insurance.  It actually increase the number of people receiving public primary care and public health insurance by greater amounts (15 million new people on Medicaid, 16 million new people in public health care centers), but none of that matters because the number of people purchasing private insurance will increase.  Any increase in the number of people purchasing private insurance is a negative, no matter what it comes with.

Or, at least, I think that is your point. One would imagine that after several hundred comments you would have actually bothered to present a thesis statement. But I guess if you were clear about what point you were trying to make, then it would take away the fun of engaging in pointless, 100-comment arguments where it isn't even clear what is being argued over. And really, what better use of time could there be then that?


[ Parent ]
It is not my analogy. It someone else's. I used it because (4.00 / 5)
I  knew you would make this about, a personality (me), rather than the fact others have similar concerns. That's how predictable this shtick has become.

You also deliberately it seems mischaracterize other arguments, including the no insurance versus under insurance debate, which is one of whether under insurance only moves the problem of health care from one quarter to another. Does it creates the illusion of insurance while really shifting the problem to another quarter regarding going to their doctors to obtain care? If deductions are too high, for example, what happens to patients seeking care?  Can you actually discuss the critique and concerns?

I will leave it at that. I don't think this exchange with you will be fruitful.  I post my comments at this point as a counter balance to demonstrate what people are actually saying and thinking rather than allowing our thoughts to be distorted.


[ Parent ]
Again, I still have no idea what your point is (4.00 / 3)
I have no idea what you are arguing. I have no idea even where you are disagreeing with me.  You are not even making points.

What proposition are you putting forth? If you made a proposition, then maybe we could argue over whether it was true or false.  But you are not even making propositions that can be argued over.


[ Parent ]
Do you not understand Big Tent Democrats argument as well? (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
That still isn't a point (4.00 / 4)
Again, you are still not making a point.

In this post, I argue that progressives, while losing more often than not, have won a series of important concessions from conservative Democrats. Those concessions improved the bill.

That's my thesis, and I offered supportive evidence.  I still do not know what you are arguing, however. I don't even know if we disagree, because I don't know what you are arguing.


[ Parent ]
You are asking me to prove what policies should have been (4.00 / 1)
Those policies have been covered by others in great detail, including the junk insurance and under insurance issue.  What's the point of me repeating that we need a robust public option? We seem beyond policy right now.

I am trying, however, inadequate my attempts are to get you to discuss the bigger picture of failure by progressives.  I don't think it is a failure that is a product of messaging or organization.  I think their failure here rises out of buying into a mindset. They expect to capitulate. I don't see how that has changed. Do you?

The analogy that someone else wrote above captures that point. Rather than challenging dominant assumptions, they go unchallenged when push came to shove on policy. Why didn't anyone point out that the excise tax is a right wing idea?  Because as another comment wrote- they bought into the arguments about the nature of their bargaining power. Have you argued to them that they are wrong? Do you believe they are wrong?

I am not a purist on single payer, but why did you not early on challenge them in the spring of last year regarding their buying into leaving single payer off the table?

Maybe you did do that, and to be fair, I could have missed it. Thus, if I am wrong here, I would love to see where you challenged the progressive mind set? If I am wrong, then I apologize.

I want to discuss what they did in the context of what they should have done and whether a different strategy would yield a better outcome than what they did do.  Before you say it, I am in no way certain that I am right about my strategy or that of BTD or others who advocate pushing progressives into a more aggressive stance.

What I have a problem with is not calling them on their shit like I would anyone else. I mean- we should be seeing this literally on a daily basis how progressives are not fighting hard enough. I think that's far more important than the Conservadems and Blue Dogs because in theory don't you have more influence over them in your writings? I don't mean as in absolute persuasion but levels  of influence being greater than say against Liberliar.

My thesis is simply that I don't understand the value of repeating the same strategy again and again and again.  Why are you not challenging them on their failures on a consistent basis. Isn't that the role of progressives outside of Congress? To be harder on them as the base? To push them to do better?  If not, what reasons will they have to ever change strategies?  


[ Parent ]
That is really, really vague (4.00 / 3)
I think that's far more important than the Conservadems and Blue Dogs because in theory don't you have more influence over them in your writings?

Hahahahahahahahaaha.

Phew. Snort.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

No.  Flattering, but no.

You have influence over members of Congress if you have influence over their electoral constituencies, either directly (through being a community leader) or indirectly (through the application of media resources to reach and persuade those constituencies).

I'm trying to build that, but the truth is that my influence is extremely limited. And the progressives advocating to kill the bill have virtually no influence over communities that elect the members of the congressional progressive caucus.

Netroots organizations, as a whole, reach about one-sixth of the party directly--and even that one-sixth is often divided.  We try to use activism from that one-sixth to reach and influence the rest, but our resources are still pretty limited compared to our opposition.

In that context, just saying something differently wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference. We had to scrape and claw just to make the differences we made (and which I listed here). Our failures are demonstrative of the relative power imbalance of reach and resources, not of poor rhetorical choices or neogtiation strategies.

And progressives in Congress face much the same problem we do.


[ Parent ]
So they too lack the ability to vote yes or no on the bill? (4.00 / 1)
I stayed up late to learn something new. As I said, mind set.  

[ Parent ]
Voting no just would have meant no bill (4.00 / 5)
Not a better one.

Just voting no would not have resulted in the Obama administration caving to progressives, and summoning up the strength to crush the corporate interests working toward a sucky bill.

They needed a nation demanding they vote no until the Obama administration summoned up the strength to crush the corporate interests working toward a sucky bill.  And that never happened.

This isn't about "mindset." Its about building power among voters and popular opinion. Something  like only 35% of the country thought the health care bill should go further than it did, and only 12-13% of the country thought it should be defeated because it didn't go far enough. That simply wasn't enough to win this fight.

Unless they brought the people with them, a few more progressives voting no would have just killed the bill, or made it worse. Wouldn't have made it better.


[ Parent ]
would killing the bill have been so bad? (4.00 / 3)
no mandate to purchase a product with no cost/quality controls...hmm.

passing the bill will certainly get some working poor access to Medicare, but at the direct expense of the rest of the working and middle class.  

and certainly this won't lead to a massacre at the polls once conservatives point out (rightly so) that the democrats have shoved millions of americans into the crushing arms of the private insurance industry under the threat of IRS penalties


[ Parent ]
being able to walk away is not about letting the bill fail (4.00 / 3)
And yes, it is about mindset.

Let me allow 2 commentors to sum it up at talk left:

"[ Parent ]

Because liberals refuse to do the hard work (5.00 / 2) (#5)
by andgarden on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 08:37:06 AM EST
of shifting the public definition of what a "reasonable offer" might be, they are stuck negotiating against themselves.
It's a really sorry state of affairs. "

"It requires giving up the pretense (5.00 / 2) (#9)
by andgarden on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 08:47:07 AM EST
that all Democrats, including the President, are on the same side.
And that makes some people deeply uncomfortable, as we have often seen.

[ Parent ]"

"yeah (5.00 / 4) (#6)
by Maryb2004 on Sat Mar 06, 2010 at 08:41:07 AM EST
"But not every bargaining situation is the same. The health debate was complex and the bargaining power was with those willing to blow up the bill."
Those willing to walk away are always in a better position.

I actually think the problem is that the Progressives never thought of themselves as being in a true negotiation with the Democrats as a whole and never acknowledged that the only TRUE negotiations were taking place among themselves - that the Republicans didn't matter.  

To use a non litigation example, it was like a party with capital joining an investor group and thinking that the true negotiations were with the target company when the target was going to get acquired one way or the other.  What they should have been concerned with was negotiating their own positions within the buyer group.  But for some very odd reason they were too afraid they would get kicked out of the group if they raised too many issues.  They never realized that their contribution was essential to getting the deal done.  That if they threatened to blow up the deal they could strike fear into the hearts of the other investors who needed to go back and report that this deal was DONE.  Where the target could bluster all it wanted but every analysis showed the deal would get done one way or the other - easy or ugly, it was going to happen.

And now, after the deal is complete, our heroes  congratulate themselves that a successful deal was done even though they will make less out of it than they could have if they had negotiated more strongly with their own side.  

It's actually a fairly typical reaction.   "

http://www.talkleft.com/story/...

When I read these, I book marked the page because they hat stumbled on the real problem. You really do believe you have no choice. That if you did differently there would have been no bill.

I use these posters to illustrate just how much it is about a mindset. Others see it differently even if you don't.  The no vote was about getting what you want.  I can repeat this forever, but you won't be convinced.

You will never have enough progressives in congress or organization. That's a product of ignoring mindset of being able to walk away from a bad deal until you get what you want. Without that threat, you will continue to fail.  


[ Parent ]
Off topic: (0.00 / 0)
When you quote passages and other text, could you please use the blockquote tags?  If you're not sure how, just select the text you're quoting and click the Quote button below the comment box.  (It's on the left-hand side.)  That'll give you the appropriate tags and make it easier to read your comments in the future.

Also, you can use:
<a href="some.url">some text</a>
to make inline links like so.  Not necessary, of course, but it's a nice little touch.

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


[ Parent ]
I don't read Chris' arguments as an ad hominem attack (4.00 / 2)
He's attacking your argument.  Maybe fairly, maybe unfairly, but he's not attacking YOU.  Nor am I.

You have legitimate points to make over whether the actual content of the bill will do the good that Chris says it will and maybe he isn't dealing with them.  

On the other hand you are not dealing with the critique of your main premise - that being willing to "walk away from the deal" is a necessary AND SUFFICIENT remedy for any negotiating problem.  That may work in limited negotiating between two businesses of approximately equal strength but I don't think it applies to the political arena in quite the same way.  

Bart Stupak, for example, can threaten to walk away from HCR because he doesn't care nearly as much about HCR as he does about abortion.  Since our concerns are different, we can't just negotiate the way he does.  

But many progressives did in fact threaten to walk away at various points.  The AFL-CIO decided that they couldn't stomach an excise tax in the form it was originally presented and in fact, negotiated a much better form of it for them (and also for non-members of the AFL-CIO, while we're at it).  They did precisely what you advocate - and they won something.  But they played the hand they were dealt.  Their calculations never told them that they could get similar results holding out for the public option, say.  They never thought their pair of threes was a royal flush.


sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.


[ Parent ]
... (0.00 / 0)
Well, you are a Newlywed... I'm sure you can think of BETTER uses of time!!!  :-D

[ Parent ]
he/she actually did state a thesis statement of sorts in one comment (0.00 / 0)
correct me if i'm wrong bruhrabbit, but i think it was along the lines of - the bill was okay, but progressives failed to negotiate as much as they could have and therefore failed to win as many consesions as they could have.

more broadly, the mob analogy is definitely NOT nonsensical nonsense.  The chief progressive argument one can mount for the deals cut with various entrenched powers, including labor, for-profit hospitals, and the overall lack of aggressiveness towards the private insurance sector is one is willing to avoid taking on entrenched powers in order to help people today (i.e. getting something done).  it is the same argument you mounted in the past in defense of the bill in which you said that you couldn't ignore the reality of how many people were suffering and that this bill would assist them.  

i agree with the logic you presented in this context, but I think it's incumbent on progressive supporters of the bill to articulate how this bill is going to lead to something better, either through building on these policy changes or existing policies (e.g. medicare), how the social support for that is going to come, and how the power of insurance companies in particular but the health care establishment as a whole is going to be mitigated so that the next time around it's going to be easier.


[ Parent ]
My ultimate thesis piggy backs off your point (4.00 / 4)
Ultimately, my issue, if I had to say it in one line, is why aren't people calling progressives in Congress on their shit? Why aren't we saying to them on a consistent basis "You should have negotiated a better deal, and you didn't, and here's why. Now do better."

I attempt to keep demonstrating my thesis in different ways. One of the most important ways is reflected better in your mob analogy. That their present actions make future actions that much harder because they accepted the underlying premise of the mob as a true.  That's a part of the lack of negotiation here. My ultimate question is, if progressive Congress members are not required to change by the progressive base,  then at what point in the future will things change?  


[ Parent ]
My ultimate question is.... (4.00 / 3)
"if a so-called progressive POTUS is not required to change by the progressive base, then at what point in the future will things change?"

The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party was played - and they're still being played.  (I used to be a member - now I am free of that oppression.)

The failure of leadership from anyone/anywhere this past 14 months has been staggering.  Why should "better than crap" be the standard to which people aim?

Eventually the standard goes down, then down again, then down again - example:  regular employer health care plans are being labeled "Cadillacs" so that working stiffs can be taxed on them and employers can dump them.

For shame.  


[ Parent ]
"You should have negotiated a better deal, " (0.00 / 0)
Yes well of course.

But its not really a thesis.

The thesis would be were the power lies, where more power comes from, and contend with the difference between the two groups who both want changes, but only one also wants the there to be no reform preferably. One group that wants the emerging progressive majority to have power, and the one who don't.

Merely saying you could have 'done better' isn't a thesis.

Knowing that blue dogs power come from a real desire to prevent any reform, doesn't mean that that power is transferable to a group that does. "Negotiate from the same place as Blue Dogs!" isnt a cry for power, it's a cry for increasing the size of the do nothing committee, the status quo cabal, the conservadem/republican alliance.

Positing actions, and then positing outcomes isn't analysis, just ask the Chicago School.

--

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


[ Parent ]
The Kucinich Amendment? (0.00 / 0)
Davidswanson's new diary raises an important point--is anything going to be done about allowing states to enact single-payer? Is this being discussed at all, or has it pretty much fallen by the wayside?

I don't know what the current status of that is (4.00 / 2)
But one thing I will say, and I will say it as someone who voted for a single-payer resolution on the state Democratic committee:

David Swanson is consistently mischaracterizing Pennsylvania as somehow close to passing single-payer health care. It isn't. It doesn't even have half the votes it needs. There is no legislative momentum behind it. No one I talk to in Harrisburg thinks it is anywhere close to passing.

People need to be honest about where these efforts stand. Single-payer is not close in Pennsylvania, and characterizing it as such is just wrong. I hope his characterizations of where it stands in other states is not equally distorted.

It is a very long-term campaign where right now some progressive groups in PA are making it a requirement for endorsements at the state legislature level.  However, the truth is that we have a very right-wing legislature that is constantly threatening to shut down our public transportation in Philly, along with numerous other local services (including massive cuts to waste management, fire deapartments, police departments, libraries, and on and on). We don't even have a progressive state income tax.

The idea that Pennsylvania is close to passing single-payer is simply untrue.  Although I agree that states should be allowed to do it.


[ Parent ]
Well, I can't speak on the Philadelphia situation... (4.00 / 2)
But I do think it could be one of the most important steps in opening the way to nationwide single-payer--after all, that's how it happened in Canada.

[ Parent ]
Oh, for God's sake... (4.00 / 2)
the Pennsylvania situation. I'm always getting those two mixed up.

Can you tell I've never lived east of the Mississippi?


[ Parent ]
I assumed you meant Harrisburg. (0.00 / 0)
but I still knew what you meant.

--

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


[ Parent ]
However, the same is not true of California (4.00 / 1)
"In California, already the OneCare proposal for a single-payer but not Government-run health care system has passed the State Legislature twice. Both times it was vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Potentially, if there is a Democratic governor in 2011, such a plan could be enacted in the California."

http://www.examiner.com/x-3820...


[ Parent ]
And THAT would be a massive step forward. (0.00 / 0)
Getting that to happen in California, part of a complete overhaul of the legislature, ie just like the Senate going to rule by democracy, 51%, maybe the most important political action to change the federal system, the federal health system and the future of the country.

--

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


[ Parent ]
State Solutions (0.00 / 0)
I'm fairly certain the senate bill allows states to opt out of the whole system, keep the money for health care and implement their own solution instead.  This includes single payer.

This amendment actually had bipartisan support in committee.  The Kucinich amendment allowed single payer, only, so got no support.  But the single payer option is in there.

If someone who has more detailed knowledge of the bill wants to jump in to verify/dispute this, please do.  I'm going by memory from several months ago.


[ Parent ]
One Problem (4.00 / 3)
I have one problem with this sales pitch for what few items progressives have won in this health care debate.

Most of what you survey here Chris depends on the Senate reconciliation fix (the Medicaid subsidies standing out as the most obvious), apart from Bernie Sanders' Community Health Care Centers and the Medical Loss Ratio.

One is sure to become a reality as soon as the House buys into the latest snow-job, the other will never happen as standalone legislation once it hits the Senate buzzsaw.

Otherwise, based on this Administration's penchant for "listening" to Republican complaints (i.e. folding), reconciliation is looking more and more unlikely every day. Something I'm sure people living in the alternate reality where one can count it as a done deal would be less than willing to entertain as a possibility.

Considering that one of the largest drains on a state's budget is in fact Medicaid, and that Medicaid will be the first thing to be cut as this recession continues, then we've likely won nothing.


reconciliation is looking morelikely every day, not less (4.00 / 2)
The votes are there for reconciliation. I have been counting them for two weeks. Passed the magic number on Friday.

As to why you think the Senate won't pass a reconciliation fix, I'd like to hear your evidence.


[ Parent ]
if the House passes the Senate bill first (4.00 / 10)
and Obama signs it into law, I expect many Senate "supporters" of the reconciliation fix will find excuses not to pass it. There are a lot of liars in the Senate. Think how many people claimed to support the public option when they figured it had no chance of passing.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
"There are a lot of liars in the Senate. " (0.00 / 0)
Unfortunately this true. For that fact alone, the biggest weapon we have is massive public attacks right here. This is where the power lies in stopping the emerging progressive majority. This is the strongest weapon of the right, "liars in the Senate."

This is where we should be focusing our strength, limited as it is, because of our limits, and I mean that for dkos and move-on as well. Stomp, deride expose and primary the: "liars in the Senate."

--

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


[ Parent ]
Yes (4.00 / 1)
I expect many Senate "supporters" of the reconciliation fix will find excuses not to pass it.

Glenn Greenwald calls them "Rotating Villains." If it looks like something decent is going to pass, in jumps a selected "rotating villain" who puts the kibosh on the whole thing. Jay Rockefeller played one the other week. Tom Harkin (my Senator, too, DSM Dem)) played one last week. Snakes in the grass, all of them.
I will not be voting for Harkin again. Let him court the low information voters, like the rest of the turncoat Progressives. I'm done with him.  

[ Parent ]
Ask Representative Weiner (0.00 / 0)
My apologies Chris for not following up, as I'm still learning the process of commenting (rather than blogging).

My evidence in support of the Administration/Senate pulling another snow-job can be neatly summed up by Representative Anthony Weiner's statements, which can be found here: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-...

To save time, nearly 300 bills have been passed by the House to die in the Senate.  What's one more, eh?

I'm not sure how many more bills coming out of the House and dying in the Senate it will take to make people realise that no matter how many Senators sign however many letters makes not one bit of difference to reality, but if this coming (planned) failure - when it occurs - doesn't do it, nothing will.


[ Parent ]
Ask Representative Weiner (0.00 / 0)
My apologies Chris for not following up, as I'm still learning the process of commenting (rather than blogging).

My evidence in support of the Administration/Senate pulling another snow-job can be neatly summed up by Representative Anthony Weiner's statements, which can be found here: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-...

To save time, nearly 300 bills have been passed by the House to die in the Senate.  What's one more, eh?

I'm not sure how many more bills coming out of the House and dying in the Senate it will take to make people realise that no matter how many Senators sign however many letters makes not one bit of difference to reality, but if this coming (planned) failure - when it occurs - doesn't do it, nothing will.


[ Parent ]
Whoops (4.00 / 2)
I swear I only hit "post" once...

[ Parent ]
still feels like a total progressive failure to me (4.00 / 14)
I expect loopholes will allow insurance companies to get around the medical loss ratio requirement. California has already enacted that regulation, and it didn't stop enormous rate increases by private insurers this year.

I put the odds of the Senate acting on the anti-trust exemption at zero.

I could have accepted a lot of compromises if I felt the potential existed to improve the reform structure in the future. It looks to me like the industries got everything they wanted, and if they keep jacking up their premiums, they can now count on taxpayers to subsidize that. They will never face competition from a public insurance plan. If the public doesn't like how things are shaping up, they will elect more Republicans, who will never "fix" the problem with any kind of health care reform we would like.

Publicly funded primary care centers are great, but those could have been included in an appropriations bill. Ditto for Medicaid expansions.

The bill doesn't solve the portability problem, which is huge for a lot of people, and doesn't even end the ban on discriminating for pre-existing conditions until 2014!

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.


Close only counts in horseshoes. (4.00 / 10)
It is like losing a hockey game 10 to 1 and celebrating the fact you didn't get shut out.   Only in Obamaland can getting 10% be declared winning.  

The public wants a public option; and the stronger it is, the more support it has.  Obama negotiates with the health care terrorists, and they get 90% of what they want - despite a mandate to "throw the bums out".  Now, the voters should all be grateful he didn't give them a 100% and fall in line to save his presidency.  My response to him is "make me do it".   He can let his corporate and conservadem pals save his sorry ass since he saved theirs instead of ours  - again.

The Democratic Party is dead.  All efforts to rescue or revive it are futile.  It needs to be declared DOA, and we need to move on.  The reason I don't donate at all anymore is because it is a complete ripoff.  I put my money into a green hole; and out comes another liar and crook, who is too pragmatic, helpless, or corrupt to care what voters want.  

I do thank you for your heartfelt work.  


Amen to all you said. (4.00 / 2)
Especially this:

"The Democratic Party is dead.  All efforts to rescue or revive it are futile.  It needs to be declared DOA, and we need to move on.  The reason I don't donate at all anymore is because it is a complete ripoff.  I put my money into a green hole; and out comes another liar and crook, who is too pragmatic, helpless, or corrupt to care what voters want."  
 

I understand why Chris is trying to salvage something, but that won't make the shit sandwich taste one little bit better.


[ Parent ]
Here are some names you might not want to use for your new party. (4.00 / 1)
    * American 3rd Party (1990)
   * American Conservative Party (2008)
   * American Centrist Party (2004)
   * American Heritage Party (2000)
   * American Nazi Party (revived) (originally 1959)
   * American Patriot Party (2003)
   * American Populist Party (2009)
   * American Reform Party (1997)
   * American Third Position Party (2010)
   * Center Party of the United States (2009)
   * Christian Socialist Party USA (2006)
   * Communist Party USA (1919)
   * Conservative Party USA (2008)
   * Freedom Road Socialist Organization (freedomroad.org) (1985*) (Note: both Freedom Road Socialist Organization factions are the result of a 1999 split in the original party)
   * Freedom Road Socialist Organization (frso.org) (1985*)
   * Freedom Socialist Party (1966)
   * Independent American Party (1998)
   * Jefferson Republican Party (2006)
   * Labor Party (1995)
   * Libertarian National Socialist Green Party (1997)
   * National Socialist Movement (1974)
   * New American Independent Party (2004)
   * New Union Party (1974)
   * Pirate Party of the United States (2006)
   * Populist Party of America (2002)
   * Progressive Labor Party (1961)
   * Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (1975)
   * Socialist Action (1983)
   * Socialist Alternative (1986)
   * Socialist Labor Party (1876)
   * Workers Party, USA
   * World Socialist Party of the United States (1916)
# Greenback Party (1874-1884)
# Anti-Monopoly Party (1884)
# Populist Party (1892-1908)
# Silver Party (1892-1902)
# National Democratic Party/Gold Democrats (1896-1900)
# Silver Republican Party (1896-1900)
# Social Democratic Party (1898-1901)
# Home Rule Party of Hawaii (created to serve the native Hawaiian agenda in the state legislature and U.S. Congress) (1900-1912)
# Socialist Party of America (1901-1973)
# Independence Party (or "Independence League") (1906-1914)
# Progressive Party 1912 ("Bull Moose Party") (1912-1914)
# National Woman's Party (1913-1930)
# Non-Partisan League (Not a party in the technical sense) (1915-1956)
# Farmer-Labor Party (1918-1944)
# Progressive Party 1924 (1924)
# Communist League of America (1928-1934)
# American Workers Party (1933-1934)
# Workers Party of the United States (1934-1938)
# Union Party (1936)
# American Labor Party (1936-1956)
# America First Party (1944) (1944-1996)
# States' Rights Democratic Party ("Dixiecrats") (1948)
# Progressive Party 1948 (1948-1955)
# Vegetarian Party (1948-1964)
# Constitution Party (United States 50s) (1952-1968?)
# American Nazi Party (1959-1967)
# Puerto Rican Socialist Party (1959-1993)
# Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (1964)
# Black Panther Party (1966-1970s)
# Youth International Party (1967) - Commonly known as the Yippies
# Communist Workers Party (1969-1985)
# People's Party (1971-1976)
# U.S. Labor Party (1975-1979)
# Concerned Citizens Party (1975-1992) Become the Connecticut affiliate of the Constitution Party (then known as U.S. Taxpayers Party) with party founding
# Citizens Party (1979-1984)
# New Alliance Party (1979-1992)
# Populist Party of 1980s-1990s (1984-1994)
# Looking Back Party (1984-1996)
# Grassroots Party (1986-2004)
# Independent Party of Utah (1988-1996)
# Greens/Green Party USA (1991-2005)
# New Party (1992 - 1998)
# Natural Law Party (1992-2004)
# Veterans Party (2003-2008)
# Christian Freedom Party (2004)

--

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


[ Parent ]
I have no intention of becoming a third party.... (4.00 / 1)
member - because of the point your list makes.

I am simply out of the game.  I will watch from the sidelines, laugh (a lot, I suspect) and save the money, time and voice that I used to use for (obviously) no good purpose.

My focus will be on my core family and friends - and the rest of the country can.......

It is so sad for me to write this.  


[ Parent ]
See ya.. (0.00 / 0)


--

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


[ Parent ]
HoP, it's silly to imply (4.00 / 7)
that the only way to organize for political or social progress is through political parties or elections.

For instance, someone could stop donating to any and all Dems, and spending that money instead on a bus ticket to DC tomorrow to blockade the Health Insurance industry meeting.

Most significant political change in our country's history has been led by people working outside any party structure, and spending their energy and money on something other than elections.


[ Parent ]
This is where I am at this point. Thinking of ways I can contribute outside party (4.00 / 6)
system.

[ Parent ]
I do no such thing. (0.00 / 0)


--

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


[ Parent ]
Nonsense (4.00 / 2)
Here's Shainzona's comment, in full:
Amen to all you said.   (4.00 / 1)
Especially this:

   "The Democratic Party is dead.  All efforts to rescue or revive it are futile.  It needs to be declared DOA, and we need to move on.  The reason I don't donate at all anymore is because it is a complete ripoff.  I put my money into a green hole; and out comes another liar and crook, who is too pragmatic, helpless, or corrupt to care what voters want."  

I understand why Chris is trying to salvage something, but that won't make the shit sandwich taste one little bit better.

To which you replied:

Here are some names you might not want to use for your new party.

Shainzona never said one word about starting a new (political) party.  That was entirely your inference.

To pretend that you didn't imply that abandoning the Democratic Party inevitably involved starting a 3rd party is even more ridiculous than your having made that inference in the first place.


[ Parent ]
Okey Dokey (0.00 / 0)
The party is dead, in your incorrect bland statement, although, we still have an elected representative form of democracy, power comes from the bodies elected, and the appointed people, including judges, who are appointed by those elected officials, and you are going to change things in what manner?

I have little patience for posting that seems to be little more than petulance.

Yep we got creamed by the conservadems. They are a shadow arm of the Republican Party, they dont even believe in the things that the Republican Party put in their platform for Eisenhower. We have to keep a coalition in office to preven the crazies from destroying democracy, destroying the environment, etc.

Obama isnt good enough, JFK wasn't good enough, lketrs be honest FDR wasn't good enough. The left attacked him his entire period in office, and if you go read, you can find much the same arguments then as now.

We need to attack the conservadems, and promote the Democrats who suypport our positions. Support them enough that they have the strength to do the ings they and we know need doing.

There is no other line to get done what needs doing.


--

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


[ Parent ]
OK, where to start... (4.00 / 3)
The party is dead, in your incorrect bland statement,

Shainzona was quoting dkmich, not me.  Feel free to hold me to what I say.  Please try to keep track of who's saying what, however.

we still have an elected representative form of democracy, power comes from the bodies elected, and the appointed people, including judges, who are appointed by those elected officials, and you are going to change things in what manner?

So now you are implying that the only way to fight for political or social progress is through political parties or elections, right?  Because just 2 comments up when I pointed that out, you said, "I do no such thing."  

And it should go without saying that people assemble power in lots of ways other than through electoral politics.  Workers organize unions.  People form communities at houses of worship, and organize boycotts.  People organize clinic defenses.  People found companies and assemble wealth.

Politics touches on all of those things, but it's perfectly possible to have a huge impact on our society without donating to politicians or political parties, or volunteering for campaigns, or even voting (say, if you've got a felony on your record).

Obama isnt good enough, JFK wasn't good enough, lketrs be honest FDR wasn't good enough. The left attacked him his entire period in office, and if you go read, you can find much the same arguments then as now.

And without the Left organizing general strikes, occupying factories and other centers of power (in one case even the NJ State Assembly), and generally threatening Capital in a very serious way, I don't think there would have been a New Deal, at least not the one we got.

We need to attack the conservadems, and promote the Democrats who suypport our positions. Support them enough that they have the strength to do the ings they and we know need doing.

The last year has demonstrated just how difficult that will be, even with the possibly-once-in-a-lifetime set of advantageous circumstances we had after the 2008 elections.  It's not clear that many in DC really want what we want; nor is it clear that those who want it at some level are willing to cause the kind of disruption and conflict necessary to get it.

There is no other line to get done what needs doing.

I think that in principal that's just wrong.  Even a center-right Congress could pass, say, Medicare for All if they believed that not passing Medicare for All would be worse for the interests they actually care about.  Like, "There have been 2 regional general strikes this year, insurers' offices are being blockaded, and the only way to get people to shut up and go back to work seems to be to pass Medicare for All."

Not that I think that's very likely, but the point is that you can coerce a hostile Congress to do what you want if you can scare them enough.  And most of the scariest stuff to them will involve non-electoral power-building.


[ Parent ]
That's the problem - I can't name one! (0.00 / 0)
...promote the Democrats who suypport our positions.


[ Parent ]
I see. Thank you for your contributions (0.00 / 0)
perhaps you would like to organize those you do apporove of so that we might judge them. can you thionkl of any that you do approve of? Any at all?

Not one?

--

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


[ Parent ]
There' the attitude that will destroy Democrats this fall. (4.00 / 3)
As if Massachusetts wasn't warning enough.  

[ Parent ]
Sounds just like obama and Rahm. (4.00 / 4)
This flippant fuck you to the people who voted for and expect change clearly demonstrates what is wrong with the party.  

[ Parent ]
Yes I am the Democratic Party. Elections are now off. Go on about your business. (0.00 / 0)
I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

--

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


[ Parent ]
Thanks for contributing, and ignore this poster. His point is to be a jerk (4.00 / 2)
unless someone buys into the frame of ignoring and denying what's happening.  

[ Parent ]
Thanks for contributing (4.00 / 1)


--

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


[ Parent ]
You Can Always Fight for Causes (4.00 / 2)
ACLU, etc.

[ Parent ]
Yes, please do fight for causes. (0.00 / 0)


--

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


[ Parent ]
Minimum medical loss ratio is flaky - probably a con (4.00 / 3)
Ever since the Interstate Commerce Commission, regulated industries have played regulators like a violin, given a tenth of a chance.

A Kaiser piece from December quotes the Kansas Insurance Commissioner thus:

Insurers can make their (medical care numbers) look pretty darn good if they add in some things we might not consider part of claims.

I've no clue whether the rules on MLR will stymie this sort of shenanigan - trouble is, the lefty sphere doesn't have anyone with a clue on these things either!


A lot of the bill is that way or was when I was still checking (4.00 / 2)
ie, mechanisms with no effective means of enforcement,  which means completely useless.  

[ Parent ]
Thank you (0.00 / 0)
Congratulations.

Any lessons learned?

If the GOPpers get their way and the we "start over" - what will change next time 'round? Even fixin' the bill - how can Progressives improve their abilities at shaping policy?


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


Thank you for putting together this evaluation (4.00 / 4)
Anything that's worth preparing for is worth evaluating systematically.  This kind of evaluation of the healthcare reform fight is essential if we're going to get anything accomplished down the road.  

This healthcare fight was the biggest fight so far during the Obama Administration -- not necessarily the most important, because you could well argue that banking reform or the jobs bills or all the war policy and funding will matter more in the long run -- but in terms of the time and effort we put in, this was #1.

I think evaluation discussions after losses or disappointments basically boil down to one question:  "Did we work a bad plan, or did we have a good plan and work it badly?"

Often it's a mix of the two -- you can have a bad plan to start with, and then work it badly as well.  

I think we need to ask ourselves very seriously a) what policies we need to change in order to have a reasonable society b) how we can get the government, and society/culture at large, to make those changes.  And we need to be willing to conclude, after looking at the situation as objectively as possible, that any plan that relies on conventional politics (with the Dems as the inevitable standard-bearer) is a bad plan.  

Maybe there is no good plan available, no way to protect restore our civil liberties, achieve economic and social justice, end US militarism, head off disastrous global climate change.  Maybe our diseases are terminal, and we're just looking for the best form of palliative care at this point.  If that's what an objective analysis concludes, then so be it as far as I'm concerned.  I hope that OpenLeft can be a place where we can openly contemplate those questions, and reach whatever conclusions we do honestly and in an unbiased way.


Maybe our diseases are terminal, and we're just looking for the best form of palliative care at this point. (0.00 / 0)
Ha ha ha
omg thanks so much
"I think I will go into the garden and eat worms."

Is is hopeless, we are all going to. . . . . .



--

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


[ Parent ]
I'm for having an open-ended, honest conversation (4.00 / 2)
and accepting whatever conclusions we happen to reach.

You're for...what, exactly?  Knowing the conclusion before looking at the evidence?  Sticking your fingers in your ears, closing your eyes tight, and going "La-la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you!!"?

And if you deny even the possibility that we've crossed a point of no return WRT atmospheric carbon, then you're a global warming denialist.


[ Parent ]
Insanity is, and so goes HoP. n.t (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
What I don't get is arguing passionately for doing nothing (0.00 / 0)
sitting on hands
waiting ten years
watering our garden

etc. etc.

I mean fine, if you want to do that, there is no one who will get in your way.  But why all the gusto for trashing anyone trying to make something out of all these lemons.  Why try to discourage others from doing anything?

And I say this even knowing that you may be right:  that we really may be fucked in the end, and irretrievably so.  

Still, life goes on, and some of us will try to think of ways to improve our lot.  What's it to you if you're already really planning on dropping out?

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.


[ Parent ]
Who am I trashing? (0.00 / 0)
I entered this conversation when HoP sarcastically chided shainzona for her (IMHO, very understandable) disappointment bordering on despair.  I didn't jump hard on HoP, just pointed out that there are lots of non-electoral ways to fight.  I only got pissed off at HoP after s/he denied implying what s/he clearly implied.

So I really am curious about why you think I'm displaying "gusto for trashing anyone trying to make something out of all these lemons."  I'm happy to make what we can, but I think we a) need to figure out what exactly is in the bowl in front of us, and b) not be closed-minded about how we can make something useful out of whatever's in that bowl.

Still, life goes on, and some of us will try to think of ways to improve our lot.  What's it to you if you're already really planning on dropping out?

Go find the comment in which I explain that I'm "already really planning on dropping out" and I'll answer that question.


[ Parent ]
My apologies (4.00 / 2)
I've apparently misidentified you, Pesto, as one of the trashers.

There are some in this thread.  But you are not one of them.  This food fight has gotten too messy to follow, but that doesn't really excuse my laziness.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.


[ Parent ]
No worries, sTiVo, apology accepted (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
I prescribe a steady Diet of Worms (0.00 / 0)


sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
Progressives got hosed and the blame (4.00 / 2)
Progressives are the scapegoat for a bad HCR bill if the Senate one passes intact.

As usual....

The bloc with the least amount of influence is blamed for a lack of backbone and leadership in the Democratic party when it has a majority and the White House - bought and paid for by the corporate interests.

To bad when it all falls down again I won't be there to say "told ya so..."

Again, the fault if any lies at the feet of President Obama and Sen Harry Reid.

And posting the same tired argument about "hey look at what we do get...." is just that tired.


The fault lies at the feet of the conservative dems in the Senate, who lied and betrayed us. (0.00 / 0)
Period.

--

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


[ Parent ]
A great summary (0.00 / 0)
of a really depressing fight.  It is interesting to take each of the proposals listed and compare them against polling data to see the extent to which the unpopular provision prevailed.

Can you create a link on the main page - as I can see coming back to this post in the future.

It would make for an interesting poll - as I don't think there is one that would go point for point - but I have little doubt that in most instances the Progressive Position is also the most popular provision.  Such a poll would leave little doubt that the system is fundementally broken.

Below is a summary of the polling since January 1 on each of the 10 points you raise.  Here is my overall count:

Polling Data shows Progressive Postion clearly more popular: 5
Public Option, Medicaid, Exchange Subsidies, Tax Structure, Mandate.
Unclear polling data shows Conservadem position might be more popular: 1?
Reproductive Rights??
Unclear but Progressive Position probably popular:2
Anti-trust, Community Health Centers
Unclear: Exchange Structure, Medical Loss ratio

So of the 10 areas, I think it is fair to say in 7 there was a substantial progressive majority, and yet in those 7  Conservadems succeeded in 5.  

Here is the best I can do with the existing data, all from January 1 or later that is found on the polling report website:
1. Public Option - the wording changes in polling,and the results at polling report do not include other polling showing this far more popular than the numbers below.
Newsweek Feb 17-18th: Favor 50, Oppose 42
CNN, Feb 12-15  Favor 51, Oppose 48
Ipsos Jan 28th - 31st, Favor 49 Oppose 42
ABC, Jan 12-15, Favor PO 47, Only private 41
Kaiser, Jan 7 - 12 Favor 53 Oppose 31
Conclusion - a popular provision was dropped

2. Anti-trust provision - no polling that I have seen.  I can't believe this isn't popular.  It should be emphasized, however, that stronger regulation of insurance companies commands significant support.  

Conclusion - unclear, though the progressive position was probably more popular.

3. Medical Loss Ratio - not polled.  I doubt this would even be well understood if it was.

Conclusion - unclear.

4. Community Health Centers - not polled, can't believe it would not be popular.

Conclusion - unclear, though the progressive position was probably more popular.

5.  Medicaid
Kaiser, January 7th - 12 found using Medicaid to cover everyone under 133% of the poverty level was supported 62-22.  Kaiser found 56% believed expanding Medicaid was extremely or very important.  

Polling supported the Progressive Position.

6.  Exchange subsidies. Kaiser tested asked if people supported a subsidy for those under 400% of the fpl and found broad support: 57-24. Kaiser's Feb 11-16 poll found 66% believed providing financial help to those who can't get insurance through their job extremely or very important.

Moreover, subsidies have a significant effect on the perception of HCR generally.  If the question is asked if people support requiring everyone to have insurance with subsidies for those who cannot afford it, you get consistent support.

For example, Ipsos found people against requiring everyone to buy health care coverage 37-60.  CNN (2/15-17) found opposition to the requirement 45-53

But when ABC (2/4 - 2/8) asked about the requirement, but added that those who could not afford it would get a tax credit, they found it was supported 56-43.

Conclusion: General support for Progressive Position.

7.   Tax Structure
The polling is clear, and unambigious.  The public opposed the excise tax, and supports higher taxes on the wealth.  When ABC (Jan 12-15) asked which method should be used to pay for hcr, the public chose a tax on the wealthy (58%) against excise taxes (22%).  CNN found very similar numbers. Ipsos found by 35-40 people were less likely to support a planb that included an excise tax.  By contrast, increasige the Medicare tax was supported 49-41.  In a later poll (Feb 26-28) the public opposed the excise tax 24-70.

8.  Exchange Structure
Regulation of insurance companies is popular, but I didn't find a poll that asked the question directly.  

9. Reproductive Rights
USA Today found very marginal support for a more restrictire policy with respect insurance and abortions.  50% thought the policy should be more restrictive, 46% less.  

10   Mandate
Requiring employers to offer insurance is popular.  BY 72-27 is is supported for example, in the CNN poll (feb 12-15).  The mandate asked independly from the subsidies is not popular as shown above.  If you include the word fine opposition grows substantially (Newsweek, feb 17-18.)
 


Thank you for this insightful, well researched, well structured fact filled comment. (0.00 / 0)
It is refreshing. We need to be building and organizing around the spoefuic issues, not who won or lost.

There has a great deal of non-productive duiscussion about the sellout by the conservadems, and how that disappointing betrayal cut the wind from progressive sails. The long and the short of it is, don't mourn, organize.

And the best way to organize is on issue, on facts and picking the right target. Lincoln is a good target. Not just to lose the Democratic Party nomination, but to destroy her chances of running on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket. She is not just not our candidate, she is not anyones candidate. She needs to be defeated. Period. Not just primaried, defeated. This is one example. We need to identify a couple more this cycle, but first and foremost we need to retire Lincoln.

--

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


[ Parent ]
So we got fucked, (4.00 / 1)
but we should be proud that we at least forced them to use lubrication? Sorry, but the end product of this health care "reform" process is and should be a source of endless shame. Democrats are going to pay a steep price at the polls for this failure.

So we were fucked . . . (0.00 / 0)
but we should be proud that we asked them nicely to use taxpayer subsidized, monopoly supplied, price fixed lubrication.

That's what happens when being Bent-Over is a preexisting condition.

Sláinte,
cl

Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless if practiced between consenting adults, but neither should be imposed upon children.


[ Parent ]
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