HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins

emails:
Digby:
digbysez at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 14, 2009

 
The "Debate"

by digby

This morning John King had Kathlen Sebelius on his show and she made a good case for the public plan option:

KING: The president tomorrow will speak to the American Medical Association. Doctors are skeptical about this public option. And let's look at -- we will show our viewers what our means. It's a government-owned health insurance plan, similar to Medicare and Medicaid. And it essentially would increase competition. And the goal is to lower prices by having competition with private insurers.

Those who argue against it say the subsidies from the government would be unfair competition, hurt private insurers, and perhaps drain the federal treasury, because, once you have a government option in place, you need to pay for it.

How will the president make the case to the skeptics, even in his own party, that this is too much government?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think that competition is a good thing, that most Americans understand that choice and competition is what we want. So, if you look at a health exchange, a marketplace, where people can have some options -- in many parts of the country, private insurers have no competitor, in -- in a state like my own home state of Kansas. There is a dominant insurance company in a lot of the states.

So, we created a public option for state employees, so they could choose side by side benefits and prices. Competition is good. You can write the rules for a level playing field.

The president does not want to dismantle privately-owned plans. He doesn't want the 180 million people who have employer coverage to lose that coverage. He wants to strengthen the marketplace.

But, you know, I -- I don't think it's a big surprise that a lot of insurers say, you know, what we would really like is, everybody who doesn't have insurance to be told they must buy it, and buy it only from us.

The president feels that having a public option side by side, same playing field, same rules, will give Americans choice and will help lower costs for everybody. And that's a good thing.


She went on to talk a bit about how the public plan is the best mechanism for cutting costs, (which is the reason for doing it!) And I like the fact that she pointed out that the insurers are all for a mandate that forces people to buy their insurance. Why wouldn't they be? There are 47 million+ new customers out there waiting to be screwed with lousy coverage, high deductibles, profit driven bureaucracy and eventual medical bankruptcy if they have the bad judgment to get sick. It's a bonanza for them.

So, that was good. Not so good was the fact that that was the last time we heard anything but nonsense on the subject from a parade of mushy MOR Senators, right wing flamethrowers and the Carville Matalin sideshow (which never fails to perfectly illustrate the fact that the Village sees all of this as some sort of a game.)They all pretty much predicted doom for anything but a "reform" that amounts to a mandate for the uninsured to buy insurance and maybe some phony, toothless non-profit hybrid that will do nothing to bring costs down, thus insuring long term failure. There were wingnuts a-plenty taking the far right position, which Matalin perfectly articulated, saying that "polls show" that people are far more worried about the deficit than anything else in the whole world. This means that not only shouldn't we be reforming health care, we should be cutting medicaid and medicare too. (Carville clowned and mugged and basically made little sense at all.) Sadly, there wasn't time to present any liberals who would argue from the other side for a rational single payer plan because well --- that's crazy talk.

And all this confusing chatter around the issue --- which started out with a pretty strong national consensus that the system was broken and that fundamental reform was needed --- plays perfectly into the hands of those who seek to preserve the worst aspects of the status quo and turn the crisis into yet another opportunity to profit at the taxpayers expense. Almost overnight the debate has become all about reassuring people that nothing's going to change.

And that leads to the public being completely incoherent on the issue --- all they have left is successful Republican bumper sticker propaganda to frame the issue:


So, we went to Junior's Diner. It's in Orlando, Florida. We sat down. Everyone at the table agreed on the urgency -- the urgency -- of doing something about health care. But getting them to agree on just what, that is a whole other matter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: ... with the way we do health care in this country now, if anything?

BLANCHE DORMADY, ORLANDO, FLORIDA: I think that depends on the person. I -- I have -- I don't like the insurance. The insurances decide what you're going to have and what you're not going to have. And I certainly don't want the -- the government to have that ability. And I like it to be private.

KING: Well, are you -- are you -- are you worried, though, that they will make it worse, the politicians will make it worse?

B. DORMADY: It will make it worse. But I'm not a worrier.

(LAUGHTER)

MARGARET DORMADY, ORLANDO, FLORIDA: I'm against health -- national health care. I personally don't have health insurance, because it is too expensive.

But I want to get for myself what I need. I -- I don't want to be told what I can have and when I can have it. And I sure as hell -- excuse me -- don't want...

(LAUGHTER)

M. DORMADY: ... the government having my medical records running throughout the U.S.

KING: One of the things in the proposal put forward by Senator Kennedy, and most likely in the House by the Democrats as well, would be a mandate that would require you to get health insurance. That's the way they do it in the state of Massachusetts now. And you would have to get health insurance. If you had a job, and you were able to afford it, you would be -- you would have to get it, and you would be penalized if you didn't?

Is that right?

M. DORMADY: Just like the car insurance. I understand that. And I don't like that either.

STAFFORD EZZARD, WINTER PARK, FLORIDA: I trust the government more than many people do. I'm a Democrat. And I think the Democratic Party, at heart, has the people's interests in mind. I'm somewhat skeptical of our ability, politically speaking, to reach a -- maybe a conclusion at all.

KING: You don't want the government involved, but do you think they will pass something? The Democrats have big majorities.

M. DORMADY: I'm a Democrat. I vote open ticket. And I'm afraid they will. And I just feel more power, control by the government, so that I no longer have ambition to be able to go out and strive and do what I want to do in life and have the life that I want. I have to be under someone's thumb.

KING: You think they will do something?

B. DORMADY: Oh, I hope not.

(LAUGHTER)

B. DORMADY: I'm sorry, but if they put it back in the hands of the doctors to do what the doctors want, maybe it will be done. But to have government getting involved....

M. DORMADY: And I think that's a good point. Doctors need to be more involved in this, and not be pushed around.

KING: Well, do you think they're pushed around by -- by the insurance companies?

M. DORMADY: I think they're pushed around by insurance companies. I really do.

EZZARD: Yes, I think we are agreed on that.

I just had an experience with -- with my primary provider, who joined a -- a private -- I don't know what you would call it, but it's a -- but it's a group of doctors who have banded together.

And, in order to stay with him, I was going to have to pay him $1,500 cash, and my wife would have had to pay $1,500. My son would have had to pay $1,500. That's in addition to our health insurance.

KING: Paying for it is the big question mark, where many think this could collapse. One of the things on the table is to tax the health benefits you get from your employer.

Is that a fair way to do it?

B. DORMADY: I don't think the government ought to get into it.

M. DORMADY: Well, I see what you're saying.

And even McCain was trying to say we should back...

KING: Right.

M. DORMADY: ... we should tax...

KING: Right.

M. DORMADY: ... everything. So, you would have to pay more taxes on what your benefits are.

But you know what? Why not. I don't have a problem with that. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: A fun discussion and great oatmeal with raisins at Junior's Diner. You can see we brought the CNN Express along, and took up most of the parking lot there.


John King fed them the conservative straight lines and they delivered the propaganda punch lines, one right after the other. If anyone stepped in with something provocative, like the guy who said that his doctor was making him pay $1500.00 per family member, on top of his insurance premiums, just to stay with him. King just blathered on about taxes as if that's this fellows biggest financial problem rather than the fact that he's getting it coming and going from the health care industry.

I don't blame them really. Nobody is helping them make sense of this. If you watch Democrats on television explaining their plans, they sound as if they are just as scared of a socialized, government takeover of health care as the Republicans are. And seeing as most of them take massive sums of money from insurance companies, it isn't exactly surprising, is it?

This is just beginning and a lot can happen, but I can't say that it's going very well so far. They took single payer off the table before they even began, so they are starting this negotiation with this public plan option as the leftward position to be bargained away in the inevitable "compromise." The way they're going we'll be lucky if we don't end up with "reforming" Medicare into a private, for profit insurance company.


Update: Good stuff on this subject from Scarecrow at FDL


.

Search Digby!