Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, June 22, 2009

Congress: Steamroll Over the NO Party and Pass Health Insurance Reform. Now.

Why are the Democrats worrying about “bipartisanship” when it comes to reforming America’s antiquated health coverage? There’s a reason the Republicans got trounced in the last two elections. They need to wallow in their minority status until they learn something. They have absolutely no “plan” whatsoever for health coverage, and they never did. They can shut the fuck up now.

Sure, now they’re trotting out all kinds of slogans and “compromises” so they can pretend they care. They don’t. For twelve years they controlled Congress. They had plenty of time to do something about our dismal health coverage.

When they took control of Congress in the 1994 election, the first thing they did was derail Clinton’s health care proposals. After that, their only “plan” was to take millions of dollars worth of bribes from the health insurance lobby in return for doing absolutely nothing.

The latest polls show that most Americans want the option of a government-financed health plan, EVEN IF it means paying higher taxes. So what are we waiting for??? Pass it already. Move it!

And here are two more shining examples of why the Cro-Magnon Party is so popular. Childhood Hunger? Oh come on, it builds character, according to Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-Missouri). In response to a report that one out of five Missouri children experiences hunger, she said:

“Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted.....Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another.....Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator.”

Since the early ‘90s, Republicans have been scaring the shit out of Americans with “you won’t even get to choose your own doctor!” and “you’ll wait six months just to get an emergency appointment!” So why should they stop now?

In between grovelings and gyratings at the feet of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele went into hysterics about a national health ID system and a “health police” that would force everyone to have regular checkups:

“Well you’ll get issued, Doc, you’re gonna issue, to your patients, a health care card that’s gonna be part of a national ID system that, you know, every time I charge something or use that card, it’s going to show up on a grid what I’ve done and what I have failed to do, according to the government plan. So the government will know whether or not I’ve had my physical at the appropriate time and then probably some health police will come knocking on my door telling me I’m now costing the system money because I haven’t, you know, gone and done my preventive care.”

Oh My God. Big Brother will be gawking at or private parts while we're being examined! Well, we certainly don’t want that, do we. I guess we’d better just leave our health care system the way it is.

Gee, why does this party keep losing elections again?

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Blogger J. Marquis said...

I heard some good news..Charles Schumer has pretty much decided the Dems need to forget about the GOP and go it alone (I assume using the reconciliation process).

June 22, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

I was watching Bill Maher on HBO who has really been pissed at this issue and how he feels Obama and Democrats are fumbling the ball on this very important issue. The do seem to lose their nerve. Frustrating. I think as more people get hammered with the recession, the fear mongering by the right is not going to carry as far as it once did. Now is the time to get real reform through.

June 22, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The GOP had no problem with national ID cards as an antiterrorist solution, but now that they'll actually be used for something real, now they're a bad thing?

June 22, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

As Ricardo pointed out (re Maher), the problem here is NOT the Republicans, it's the Democrats themselves. And I agree with Maher's basic thesis -- The Democrats are the new Republicans. Every year they move farther and farther to the right.

I also agree with something else Maher said. He opined that the GOP keeps calling Obama a socialist and the guy's not even a liberal!

June 22, 2009 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Re: the card thing Steele has his knickers in a twist about.

On C-SPAN this evening, I watched the Senate committee Dodd is heading in Kennedy's place going over proposed amendments to the health care bill. The cards came up. They're not national ID cards but rather medical-record data cards, so people can always have up-to-date records with them. They would have basic ID information, but not for use as some kind of national ID card. Rather, it's so a doctor's and hospital's record system could be sure to update the right person's data following visits.

Are Republicans lying about this or are they just incredibly idiotic?

June 23, 2009 at 2:10 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Excellent post. There comes a time when ya just gotta say, "Well fuck you then" and move along.

June 23, 2009 at 2:26 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

First, they pick your doctor. And now, they pick your food! Socialized gastronomy!

One party is evil, the other is spineless. Good luck, Murka. Muahahahaha!

June 23, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

At this point and in this case, "bipartisanship" needs to mean "I'll hug your elephant when you kiss my ass".

It is obvious they are going to try and put the kibosh on something polls suggest almost 3/4 of Americans want, so it's time to leave them whining in the dust and simply "go for it".

S.W. asks "Are Republicans lying about this or are they just incredibly idiotic?"

I would have to go with "incredibly idiotic"! 8-) Although "lying" is also a possibility!

June 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Well he came out and made a speech on this matter today. I liked what I heard for the most part. What are your thoughts?

June 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: I'm all in favor of reconciliation, or the nuclear option, whatever it takes. We need to get this done.

Ricardo: I'm starting to agree with Bill Maher. After a point, it's not the Republicans' fault for just being what they are; it's the Democrats' fault for continuing to argue with the Republicans instead of just moving forward without them.

I read some excerpts from Obama's speech. I think he's doing all he can as far as Iran is concerned; there really isn't much he can do. And he told off the health insurance lobbyists.

Lew: Of course. Republicans only think it's "too much intervention" when the government helps people. When it comes to massive spying, the more the better.

TRT: The Democrats are going to have to start growing spines one of these days. I don't know if they're moving to the right or not, but if they can't stand up to the Republicans they have nobody to blame but themselves.

SW: I didn't know the exact details, but I assumed Steele was twisting everything way out of proportion. I don't know whether the Republican leadership is really that stupid; maybe it's a combination of stupidity and sleaze.

Carlos: Damn right. It's time for the train to leave the station, with or without the Republicans on board.

Randal: Yup, the evil and the spineless.

Snave: I like your definition of bipartisanship. And it's definitely time to leave the Republicans "whining in the dust."

June 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

motherfu#%ers, on both sides. Maybe I should run for Congress, so I can stand in the chamber and say "Fuck you, we don't need you."

...wishing someone would grow a set, already, and be done with it.

June 23, 2009 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: "Grow a set and move on," yup that's what they've gotta do.

June 23, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

I'm with the "let's get on with it" sentiment, too. But maybe in fairness we should keep a couple of things in mind.

First, while there has never been a really good time to do this gigantic, incredibly expensive makeover, there probably hasn't been a worse time either. The sum total of U.S. public and private debt, even to this liberal, is staggering. Over time, health care reform will save money in both public and private sectors. But getting there will cost plenty, with shifts and dislocations along the way.

With that in mind, and surely not wanting to hand Republicans a board with a nail through it that will be used to beat them up in the next election, Democrats have determined the plan must be paid for going in. That's a tall order, with the prospect of requiring lots of people to accept more taxation. And some will have to accept lesser government benefits, because part of the funding must come from finding savings in existing programs.

Most of the people who will have to pay higher taxes and/or accept reduced benefits are feeling really strapped since their investments went south, their home value (if they got to keep their home) sank like a rock and their job (if they still have one) could go away at any time. There's a high potential for last-minute cold feet among the public, especially with Republicans throwing crap at whatever Democrats come up with. So, it's going to take political courage to tell people already hurting that we've got to do this and do it now.

The other thing to consider is that stampeding Democrats now could ruin everything. Obama said we have to do health care reform this year. Many congressional Dems campaigned on doing it. Up against harder than expected problems, there is a danger that if they're pushed too hard, Democrats will throw together a plan that turns out to be really bad, just to get the monkey off their back by the deadline — a plan so bad a bunch of Republicans will support it. And Obama, not wanting to miss his own deadline, will sign it into law, even though he knows it's a poor plan. Among themselves, they will shrug and say, "Well, it's not great, but it's the best we could do now."

The worst outcome, in my opinion, is to end up with a plan that's only window dressing. One that mainly benefits insurers, HMO's, doctors and pharmaceutical companies, while delivering little actual improvement to most Americans.

So, while we need for them to get on with it, let's remember we need for them to take the time to do it well. If it's badly screwed up this time, leaving people dissatisfied and disgusted, we might never get another chance.

June 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Screamin' Mimi said...

I'm with Bee -- except in order to grow a set, you must actually be alive, and I don't think Newt, Rush, and Dick (especially) can meet that criterion. :)

June 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Those are all valid concerns. But IMHO the top priority is to get a reform bill passed and signed, warts and all. To me, this law has to include a government-financed health plan, and federal laws strictly forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage because of a "pre-existing condition" and forbidding them from dropping clients after they've submitted a claim. Any other factors can be tweaked and negotiated; but I'm afraid that if a major reform law isn't passed soon, we'll lose our momentum for God knows how long.

Also, since Obama has so much riding on health care reform, if Republicans are able to sabotage it or water it down, he'll lose a lot of his credibility; and Republicans could make a comeback in 2010. And that's unthinkable.

SM: LOL. Good point.

June 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Tom I agree, he can't go too far on about Iran because he could inadvertently supply the stuff the Iranian government needs to brutalize those people. The age of the cowboy is thankfully over.

June 26, 2009 at 5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some of us are forgetting that some of our best major national reform like Civil Rights, The New Deal and Great Society were more or less Steamrolled over the Republicans. They "accepted" it then rubbed their hands together while evilly laughing and have proceeded to gradually dismantle all those programs. They have shown incredible patience and persistence for over 70 years.

We all deserve a plan that 20 years from now when the next Generation gets in, wont be 1/10th of what it started out as, like the GI Bill.

Maybe by getting them on board we can assure a solid plan that they wont try to dismantle.

History says I don't trust them.


June 27, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I'd rather have the Republicans on board for this, but if they keep fighting it, the train needs to leave the station without them.

June 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM  

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