HOME



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














Infomania

Buzzflash
Cursor
Raw Story
Salon
Slate
Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
Crisis Papers



MediA-Go-Go

BagNewsNotes
Crooks and Liars
CJR Daily
consortium news
Scoobie Davis




Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
Demosthenes
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
oilprice.com
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Paperweight's Fair Shot
corrente
Pacific Views
Echidne
TAPPED
Talking Points Memo
pandagon
Daily Kos
MyDD
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
Rooks Rant
The Poorman
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Mark Kleiman
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Mad Kane
Blah3.com
Alas, A Blog
Fanatical Apathy
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
Ruminate This
skippy the bush kangaroo
Slacktivist
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
Nitpicker
The Agonist


email address:
digbysez at gmail dot com
isnospoon at gmail dot com

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


 

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

Hullabaloo


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

 
"Because They're Good Americans"

by digby


Think Progress reports:

In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.



I'm reminded of a White House conference call held right after they announced the hospital deal in which a reporter asked the official on the call why the hospitals would agree to all these sacrifices to their bottom line. The official replied, "because they're good Americans."

As TP points out, the White House continued to insist all the way to the end that the public option was not off the table and that they backed it to the hilt. But of course, as was obvious at the time, this was merely a negotiating chip to hand to Lieberman and his ilk when he demanded something to gratuitously hit the loathed hippies over the head with to prove his "independence." And he did.

None of this is really news, but it is revealing that Daschle put it in his book without giving a second thought to how it would be received. (He's now attempted to "clarify" and say that the president truly believed in the public option and fought for it, but whatever.)

The best we can hope for at this point is that the hospitals and insurers who are now pouring money into Republican politics in the hope they can extract even more from the government for their benefit will crash upon the ideological incoherence within the GOP:


Many Republican leaders have enthusiastically embraced the call to revise the healthcare legislation, vowing to "repeal and replace" the law in the next congressional session. But that call to repeal poses a delicate issue for the budding GOP/insurance industry partnership. The Republican Party thinks it has a winning position in denouncing the unpopular mandate that will require Americans to get health insurance starting in 2014, while insurers and independent healthcare experts see the requirement as crucial to controlling costs for everyone by spreading the risk.

The healthcare law will penalize Americans $95 in 2014 if they fail to get insurance. The penalty rises to $695 in 2016.

"The one thing that insurance companies would love to see are penalties that are actually stronger," said Jeff Fusile, a partner at consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The insurance industry, attracted by the prospect of millions of new customers as a result of the coverage mandate, initially backed President Obama's campaign to overhaul the healthcare system. And insurers scored a key victory when Democrats abandoned plans to create a government insurance plan, or "public option."

But insurers are increasingly balking at the myriad new directives in the healthcare law.

Among other things, the law prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to sick children and canceling policies when customers become ill. The law bars insurers from placing lifetime caps on how much they will pay when their customers get sick.

Many consumers will also get new rights to appeal denied claims and win access to preventive care without being asked for co-pays.

"The health reform law did not deliver the uninsured in the way that insurers wanted," said veteran healthcare analyst Sheryl Skolnick, senior vice president at CRT Capital Group.


They love the mandate. Indeed, it was the part of the deal the insurers and hospitals loved the most. What they don't like is any requirements that they cover sick people or, if they are required to cover sick people, to restrict their ability to raise prices. That's what they are paying the GOP to take care of for them.

But Republicans are running on the notion of repeal and replace, which can mean anything, but which the crazed ideologues who are coming into power now have fairly well defined as repeal of the mandate, replace with ... nothing. You can be sure that the new Medical Industry overlords are not going to allow that. They want that mandate.

I would guess that the GOP strategists are hoping the courts will overturn it, but they shouldn't count on that. The right wing courts are also in the thrall of corporate power, so they could easily see it from the industry's point of view, which is that it's only right that all Americans be forced to purchase this necessary product, but that it's very, very wrong for the government to tell the insurers and hospitals what they can charge for it. That's the new American way.

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. If I had to guess, I'd think that the Republicans will relentlessly chip away at the funding mechanisms for the big medicaid expansion wherever they can, even if it requires changing the law the first chance they get a Republican majority w/president again. I would think the mandate will stand but that the mechanisms requiring that they keep prices manageable will be tweaked in such a way that the insurance companies will have much more latitude for charging customers. And they will be relieved from having to create comprehensive policies and will be able to go back to the old expensive premiums for crappy coverage model they love so much. In other words, it will take a while, but they'll probably be able to go back to some version of the status quo, only with a mandate that all citizens buy shitty insurance.

The proof will be in the pudding about a decade from now when the court cases all finish and whatever is left of the program is in place. At this point we are dealing with theoretical outcomes even if the plan is unchanged for the worse (and I am very skeptical that it will be.) Politically, this is not a winner for the Democrats or Obama because average people don't see any positive change and until full implementation it's likely they will continue to see their rates going up. But then, that was baked in the cake as well. It is what it is.

And we can guarantee one thing: all the talk of "improving" the legislation will be a joke if the Republicans get the chance to gut it before it ever gets going. That long window to implementation is a land mine that was set when everyone was still singing Kumbaaya about the Permanent Democratic Majority. It doesn't look so smart right now.


.

Search Digby!