Public Option, But States Can “Opt Out”
This just might be a way to get the public option passed by all sixty members of the U.S. Senate. (Oh that’s right, there are forty other senators, but they’re all so busy whining and sobbing and holding their breath ‘til they turn blue — I forgot they were there.)
Some of the worst Blue Dog Democrats are from states where health insurance companies have a large presence. If these senators had integrity and/or a set of cajones, this wouldn’t matter; but you know how that goes…
One Capitol Hill aide said: “What folks are looking for is what gets 60 votes. The opt-out idea is very appealing to people. It has come up in conversations. I know personally that a handful of members have discussed it amongst themselves.”
The opposite approach — Opt In — has been vaguely discussed off and on for several years. But the Opt Out approach would have a lot more momentum. Federal legislation would make a public health insurance option available for everybody; but then each state would have the chance to
Conservatives shouldn’t have any objection to this approach, since after all NOBODY really wants a bunch of socialist bureaucrats standing between themselves and their doctors.
Meanwhile, Republicans are looking over their to-do list.
Arrange a bunch of spontaneous demonstrations and shouting matches at town hall meetings — Check.
Scare the shit out of millions of gullible people with shouts of “Death Panels!” “Mandatory Abortion!” “Communist Fascist Socialist Muslim Born in Kenya!” — Check.
Squeeze campaign money out of doctors by scaring them about “Socialized Medicine!” — Check.
Republicans have spent the last few months calling and faxing thousands of doctors, trying to scare donations out of them. Fortunately doctors are generally less gullible than your Fox News couch potato. This latest Astroturf group — “Physicians' Council for Responsible Reform” — has conned donations out of 5,000 doctors. Who knows how many other doctors told them to stick it.
Dr. Paul Kramer is in that second category. He said he was interested in joining this “grass roots” organization at first, but then realized it was nothing more than “a bald fundraising effort. When I told the woman I wouldn't be interested in making any financial contribution, the call was quickly ended. I want reform and wanted to tell them that not all physicians were interested in seeing this effort tank. I never got the chance.”
What a bunch of sleazy shitbags. With all of their huge efforts at backstabbing, smearing, lying, sabotaging — the only thing the Republicans haven’t done is try to come up with an alternate plan. Nah.
We’ve all probably known somebody who puts a massive gargantuan effort into not having to work. Welfare or unemployment checks (when the person doesn’t qualify), scams, lies, ripoffs, shortchanging people; and always watching their backs and always trying to remember what they said to who. And you just want to say to this person, “wouldn’t it be easier to just go out there and get a job?”
The Republican Party reminds me of that person.