Kill Bill

Reading the hyperbolic petulant rantings of Kossacks is always a little dispiriting. Obama hasn’t delivered their magic flying unicorn so they’re ready to hand the country back to the GOP. Boo yah, America! Instead of passing a flawed bill as a start to rework, these political naifs are doing the bidding of idiots like Markos Moulitas. Many proto-Republicans in waiting.


23 Responses to “Kill Bill”

  1. We need O-Ren Ishii to deal with these fools sooner rather than later. This Health Care bill has depressed me to no end, but mainly because so many Obama “supporters” are running for the hills.

    • The Daily Kos is a feeding frenzy of hyperbole and Tennessee Williams drama. I actually just had a debate with a stranger at the post office over Obama and the bill. I think I set her straight but the meme is out.

  2. every bill/issue has a set of pros and cons that must be assessed. The set of pros for the current Health Care Bill just got one bigger for me:

    “Olbermann’s Pledge: I’ll Go To Jail Before Buying ObamaCare Insurance”

    • For a change I’m with you. I never liked Olbermann’s outraged Murrow shtick. Too contrived, like Glenn Beck. And I’m watching the whiny blogosphere scream that Obama is now just like Bush. Pathetic.

  3. Aussie Boy Says:

    What’s pathetic is the way people on this thread support that which is contrary to their own interests. It reminds one of Thomas Frank’s book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” — only now it’s Democratic voters behaving like lemmings in their blind adherence to party orthodoxy.

    With regards to the current state of the Senate bill, a recent interview with former insurance executive Wendell Potter is worth a listen:

    • respectfully, you have no idea whatsoever what I support and what interests me. The only thing that should be taken from my participation in this thread is that i’m no fan of Olbermann.

    • Since I’m not a Democrat, there’s no orthodoxy at all.

      What’s more lemming-like to me is the need to destroy Obama (who according to many irrational Kossacks there is now as bad as Bush — an insight that shows these people are instinctual and emotive driven as Republicans) because this imperfect bill isn’t the best BILL EVER! As if Obama ran as a progressive and not a left-centrist.

      As others have pointed out, Social Security was a shitty bill when first enacted. It was altered. As a health care bill can be. And if the Daily Kos had been aound then, I’d imagine the same dramarama woulda went down.

      Honestly Aussie Boy, what drives some on the left is the need to never understand the baby steps that a corporatist system like this needs to be reformed. 60 years of NOTHING and in less than a few months, we have SOMETHING. But that’s not good enough. Obama is Bush! A war criminal! And the whiny fair-weather progressives are ready to hand over the country back to the GOP. That’s a fantastic plan. And then you can really indulge in rage and impotency.

      I have NO ILLUSIONS about our system. You still do. Meet in the middle and maybe we can get something done. Otherwise, hullo President Palin!

      • Here’s Ezra Klein’s response to Kos:

        Pick your favorite system. Socialized medicine in Britain. Single-payer in Canada. Multi-payer with a government floor in France. Private plans with heavy public regulation in Sweden, Germany and elsewhere. None of these plans are “voluntary.” In some, there’s an individual mandate forcing you to pay premiums to insurance companies. In some, there’s a system of taxation forcing you to pay premiums to the government. In all of them, at least so far as I know, participation is required except in very limited and uncommon circumstances. And there’s a reason for that: No universal system can work without it.

        Holding the price of insurance equal, insurance is gamble on both sides. From the insurer’s perspective, it’s a better deal to insure people who won’t need to use their insurance. From the customer’s perspective, it’s precisely the reverse.

        Right now, the insurer sets the rules. It collects background information on applicants and then varies the price and availability of insurance to discriminate against those who are likely to use it. Health-care reform is going to render those practices illegal. An insurer will have to offer insurance at the same price to a diabetic and a triathlete.

        But if you remove the individual mandate, you’re caught in the reverse of our current problem: The triathlete doesn’t buy insurance. Fine, you might say. Let the insurer get gamed. They deserve it.

        The insurers, however, are not the ones who will be gamed. The sick are. Imagine the triathlete’s expected medical cost for a year is $200 and the diabetic’s cost is $20,000. And imagine we have three more people who are normal risks, and their expected cost in $6,000. If they all purchase coverage, the cost of insurance is $7,640. Let the triathlete walk away and the cost is $9,500. Now, one of the younger folks at normal cost just can’t afford that. He drops out. Now the average cost is $10,600. This prices out the diabetic, so now she’s uninsured. Or maybe it prices out the next normal-cost person, so costs jump to $13,000.

        This is called an insurance death spiral. If the people who think they’re healthy now decide to wait until they need insurance to purchase it, the cost increases, which means the next healthiest group leaves, which jacks up costs again, and so forth.

        • And Nate Silver is calling progressives batshit crazy for trying to kiil this bill:

          • And that master lemming, Paul Krugman, has a message for YOU:

            And the truth is that health care reform was probably doomed to be deeply imperfect. As Ezra Klein pointed out a few weeks ago, we’re basically in a hostage situation: progressives really, really want to cover the uninsured, while centrists whose votes are needed can take it or leave it. So the centrists have a lot of power — which in the case of Joe Lieberman means the power to double-cross and indulge his pettiness.

            Now, in a hostage situation there are times when you have to just say no — when giving in, by encouraging future hostage-takers, would be worse than letting the hostages perish. So the question has to be, is this one of those times? I don’t think so, given the history: as Kevin Drum points out, health reform has come back weaker after each defeat. I’d also point out that highly imperfect insurance reforms, like Social Security and Medicare in their initial incarnations, have gotten more comprehensive over time. This suggests that the priority is to get something passed.

            By all means denounce Obama for his failed bipartisan gestures. By all means criticize the administration. But don’t take it out on the tens of millions of Americans who will have health insurance if this bill passes, but will be out of luck — and, in some cases, dead — if it doesn’t.

  4. Aussie Boy Says:

    In response, a few quick points:

    Supporters of this bill display a flaw in their thinking, or perhaps in their understanding of the bill. They keep refering to it as “imperfect,” as if it is not as good as it could be (and that is what is making the “purists” unhappy).


    The problem with the bill is not that it doesn’t take health care far enough in the right direction.

    The problem with the bill is that it takes health care significantly and aggressively in the wrong direction.

    The bill is a radical reinforcement of the current for-profit private insurance system. This profit-driven system is the central problem with health care in America. The bill will commit this country to an even more rapacious form of profit-driven medicine.

    Contrary to the White House’s current disinformation campaign, Howard Dean does not want to dump health insurance reform altogether. Far from it. He wants to abandon THIS bill because it will do more harm than good — and replace it with a good bill, through the process of reconciliation.

    When Paul Krugman, who has been sympathetic to a market-based solution throughout this debate, talks about the millions out of luck, or dead, he unforunately confuses “health insurance” with health care coverage. They are not the same.

    All of the countries mentioned by Ezra Klein, including those that use a private-public mix, have strict laws AGAINST FOR-PROFIT INSURANCE with respect to providing basic universal coverage. Let me repeat that: Even in Germany and Sweden, where private insurance is part of the formula for providing universal coverage, making a profit on basic coverage is AGAINST THE LAW. People like Ezra Klein always fail to mention that.

  5. Aussie Boy Says:


    I never said Obama is Bush. Don’t attribute that to me.

    As for the war crimes, they are well-documented. I’d be happy to show you the volumes of evidence from human rights organizations.

    Let me say it again because it bears repeating: Leaders who commit war crimes are “war criminals.”

  6. Aussie Boy Says:

    Let me see if I follow your logic:

    1. Obama and his party craft a bill that many liberals view as harmful to the country, a bill that locks in and exacerbates a dysfunctional system rather than reforming and making improvements.
    2. Obama stakes his political fortunes on the bad bill.
    3. The liberals who oppose the bill are irresponsible. They should support it because Obama has invested political capital.

    That seems to be your position. It seems quite insane, not to mention immoral.

    Having said that, we don’t disagree on everything. I think you’re right when you suggest the Republicans are emboldened by what’s going on. In fact, I think it’s not unlikely that Palin will be the next president.

    If that happens, it’s because Barack Obama and his party have commited political suicide by governing far to the right of center. If it happens, it’s because Obama has shoveled a toxic, offensive piece of health care legislation down our throats. If it happens, it’s because people like you are enabling an epic gesture of bad faith by a spineless majority party and its weak, compromised leader.

    The way to help Obama is to oppose the current legislation and force the Democrats to produce something better.

    • My only disagreement would be the suggestion that President Obama is governing ‘far right of center’. He may be to the right of his supporters expectations … but ‘right of center’?

  7. Aussie Boy Says:

    One more thing:

    I used the term “Democratic voter.” That is you, Christian. How you register is irrelevant. Your behavior in this matter represents the epitome of obedience to a party and its leader.

  8. Your behavior in this matter represents the epitome of obedience to a party and its leader.

    Good Lord, you’re ridiculous. You voted for Obama too? That makes you complicit, And more naive than me.

    And Krugman, who you’ve quoted in the past, disagrees. Is he a stooge?

    Demonizing people like this is not only unfair, it’s almost deliberately counter-productive. Try again.

  9. Vicky Kennedy chimes in:

    “In the early 1970s, Ted worked with the Nixon administration to find consensus on health-care reform. Those efforts broke down in part because the compromise wasn’t ideologically pure enough for some constituency groups. More than 20 years passed before there was another real opportunity for reform, years during which human suffering only increased. Even with the committed leadership of then-President Bill Clinton and his wife, reform was thwarted in the 1990s. As Ted wrote in his memoir, he was deeply disappointed that the Clinton health-care bill did not come to a vote in the full Senate. He believed that senators should have gone on the record, up or down.

    “The bill before the Senate, while imperfect, would achieve many of the goals Ted fought for during the 40 years he championed access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

    “The bill before Congress will finally deliver on the urgent needs of all Americans. It would make their lives better and do so much good for this country.”

    • What an asshole.

      • i should have qualified the link … I agree the guy was a prick. I am too sick sick sick of hearing nothing but talking points, and that goes for seemingly every hard question, on any topic, to either party. Still, he should have given her the floor.

        It is interesting to note how investors regard the present health care plan –that is a data point that cannot be ignored. I am trying to understand the continued interest in this bill; my inner cynic suggests the intent is to break things so badly that a fix will actually be urgent and affect everyone. I hope i’m wrong.

  10. Aussie Boy Says:

    “Good Lord, you’re ridiculous. You voted for Obama too? That makes you complicit, And more naive than me. And Krugman, who you’ve quoted in the past, disagrees. Is he a stooge?”

    Yes, I voted for Obama. I did so expecting to see the corporate party-line Democrat he ran as. I did so hoping for, but not expecting, something a little better than that.

    He is much worse than I expected.

    On three key issues — the wars, the banks, and health care reform — he has been a disgrace. And after his performance in Copenhagen, you can add the environment to that list.

    Obama and the Democrats commited political suicide today. It appears they’ve got the 60 votes they need in the Senate to pass “health care reform.”

    Once in play, this bill will be despised by the majority of Americans, when people are forced by the government to buy an expensive for-profit private insurance product that in many cases will NOT provide health care coverage for the insured.

    When Krugman talks about an extra 30 million being insured, he fails to mention that under the current system, and the one that is being reinforced by this bill, high dedictibles make it impossible for many working people WITH INSURANCE to go to the doctor when they are sick. Because they are forced to pay out-of-pocket up to the point where their medical expenses reach somewhere in the range two to six thousand dollars, they go without health care. Many insured people have to choose between food and seeing a doctor.

    Most of the extra 30 million people whom Krugman refers to will be forced to buy (whether subsidized or not) high-deductible insurance. Many of these people will not be able to afford to go to the doctor when they are ill.

    My employer just changed the insurance I am offered. Consistent with the national trend, I now have high-deductible insurance.

    I can no longer afford to go to the doctor when I’m sick. I pay hefty premiums for this new insurance — and I cannot afford to go to the doctor. I don’t make enough to pay out-of-pocket.

    This is what the government is forcing people to buy — high premiums, high deductibles. If you can’t pay out of pocket, you’re screwed.

    After this bill goes into effect, the Democrats will feel the wrath of the voting public for a generation. The bill is, simply put, an abomination. The “progressives” on this blog who support it are either uninformed or foolish.

    Take a look at last night’s Moyers:

  11. Aussie Boy Says:

    “The bill before the Senate, while imperfect, would achieve many of the goals Ted fought for during the 40 years he championed access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”

    Vicki Kennedy is wrong.

    It’s not quality.

    It’s not affordable.

    It’s not for all Americans.

    She’s wrong on every point.

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