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The Public Option Is The First Step Towards Single Payer Health Care

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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 01:34 PM
Original message
The Public Option Is The First Step Towards Single Payer Health Care
A good number of posters here believe that America is just like DU. Here's a news flash. It aint. This country is comprised of various groups that span the political spectrum. You have some far left, some progressives, a lot of moderates, some fiscally conservative, some bigots, some racists, some down right asshats, but the largest group is bunch of people who don't really pay attention nor care about public policy. These folks care more about what's going on on TMZ.

In order for any major public policy to take shape, you need a majority of these people, and that's very hard to do. That's why you have to make compromises. That's why if you want single payer, you have to begin by introducing a pilot program like the Public Option which has the chance to grow into a single payer.

Some people are alarmed that the Public Option will only be offered to folks without healthcare insurance. Well, given that the rate of uninsured is growing year after year and that the few new jobs that are being created do not carry health insurance benefits, then the Public Option will rapidly become the primary health insurance for an entirely new generation. For example, it will be the default health plan for young people in this country.

Also, some people are alarmed that states can opt out, but even here, there should not be a worry because if those states do opt out, then their healthcare costs will skyrocket and the bondholders of those states' debt will force them to opt in.

In the end, the Public Option is the best way to acclimate the dullard and easily frightened U.S. public to a single payer health care system.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I disagree
I think this firmly plants the US toward a universal health care system closer to the hybrid Swiss, German, Dutch models. I will definitely transform people views about the role of government involvement in health care, more Americans will come to see health care as right to be guaranteed by the federal government. But it will also transform views of the those left that believe that anything other than a single payer, which none of those countries have, won't work.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. The only reason the Swiss system works
is that the private insurers there are tightly regulated, and by law are NOT FOR PROFIT. Obviously, no such regulation is going to happen in the US with the current level of corporate corruption in Congress, so the only way to get corporate insurers to clean up their act is to force them to compete with a national non-profit public entity for their customer base. And then, if they still insist on being crooked bastards, they can lose ALL of their customers to the public option, and everybody wins (aside from the criminals)
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think it can lead to single payer or something like the European systems, especially if it
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 02:24 PM by andym
1) passes
2) is open to all who want it
3) is tied to Medicare rates (eg Medicare+5)

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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. But that is not likely to happen. The house Bill doesn't even include that
and they aren't sure that will pass either.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
3.  Sorry. That is bs. With control of both houses and the WH there is NO reason not to offer universal
health care. NOW. They took single payer off the table immediately, because they want "bipartisanship" over what is best for the people. Bipartisanship is an illusion. it has been for years. The GOP passed everything they wanted without ever meeting with the Dems. We knew as soon as they indicated that they would NEVER endorse anything this administration proffered that GOP support did not matter. We could have gotten whatever we wanted without GOP support and we should have.
Instead, they are protecting there own re elections by catering to the GOP. They want to retain the majority regrdless of the cost to the people. A majority that does nothing to represnt us is worthless.

The propsols currently considered are nest to worthless, They don't cover enough people to drive insurance costs down or to be effectived.The tax the benfits ocf those who have employer insurance and place mandates on those who cannot choose the PO. They are obligatingv many to pay for something they are denied the use of. This is a set up for failure because for this to work, everyone has to be involved. That isthe only way to be competitive and containe. That is the way this was originally presented, When this fails, and it will, the Dems will be beat over the head with it and that is ezactly what the gOP will do. The opt out will further reduce the people who can participate and further reduce the numbers necessary for success, no matter holw bad the conditions may be in the individual states and this is what the GOP is counting on. And ther WILL be states that opt out.
Thisx are anong the resons the Unions and the CPC are not supporting this. These are among the resons people like Rachel Maddow are calling attention to this.

The Public Option is worthless if it cannot be extended to all citizens.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Sorry. You Don't Understand American Politics and Governance
The Dems have a numerical majority, not an ideologically consistent majority. There are quite a few Dems that are more like liberal/moderate Republicans than they are Dems. The GOP passed everything they wanted because they are more ideologically pure.

You simply cannot adjust to the fact that we do not live in a majority liberal nation. We just don't. The public option is the only way to a some sort of universal healthcare coverage.

You need to read non-liberal message boards to gain an insight into the American psyche.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
9.  I realize that, and as i live in a red state am likely more cognizant of that fact than most.
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 02:26 PM by saracat
I am also saying I don't give a damn. I do understand how the system works. But re-election is more important to these folks than doing the right thing.We "could" pass a decent bill if we wanted to. I don't think we do. Midterms are coming up and they are counting on the conservative Dem and moderate( allegedly) GOP votes. I say our majority isn't worth preserving if they can't do the right thing. And yes, there is a right thing to do here and I would much rather we lose the majority than deprive millions of folks real health care. Your argument is exactly the same one that was argued before both the Civil War and before the Civil Rights ACT.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. No, the GOP passed their agenda because
their leadership at the time were a group of ideological assholes who didn't give a flying fig about "bipartisanship."

Tom Delay and Gingrich before him didn't have the least interest in anything a Dem, either blue dog or progressive, had to say.

However, I agree with your larger point that what we have now is a first step.

We will get UHC, but the first step is necessarily about defanging the insurance companies.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. Passage of a weak public option will destroy any chance for a single payer system ....
for at least a generation.

Unless new and improved legislation is written, large employers and most individuals will not be eligible for a public option.

According to experts only about 10 million people will be covered in a decade. And Senators like Schumer have pointed out that the public option they support will "compete" with private insurance companies on "an equal footing" and will not have any advantages over private insurance!

If a public insurance is not open to all employers and individuals to join and does not offer equal or better benefits at a lower price than private health insurance why in the world would anyone want it?
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. And some want to use the "maybe someday" first step argument to
have us "trust the folks who didn't give it to uzs to begin with! :eyes: :eyes:
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Current Democrats In Congress Would Filibuster Single Payer
Then what Einstein?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Really? Do you have any evidence to back your assertion?
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 03:03 PM by Better Believe It
Given the lack of leadership on health care reform (now called health insurance reform) from President Obama to the Democratic Party it's not hard to figure why even a weak public option is a hard sell, especially one that won't have an advantage over private health insurance!

Is that what you really want? Is that what the people want? Is that what we really need? I don't think so!

Actually a single payer Medicare for All campaign would take on the insurance industry, mobilize much broader active public support and apply a lot more pressure on Republicans and conservative Democrats than a wishy washy weak public option that won't amount to diddly shit.

Do you find it difficult to explain the current bills and answer questions about those bills when you talk to co-workers, friends and neighbors? Perhaps you can just print and circulate the thousands of pages in these bills to them. That'll simplify things!


It's easy to explain Medicare for All and single payer legislation doesn't take up over 1,000 pages written by the insurance, big Pharma, healthcare industry lobbyists, corporate lawyers and their political whores in Congress!


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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Evan Bayh, Max Baucus, Etc.
Would never allow single payer to come to the floor for a vote. In fact, they'd kill it in committee, and big huge national campaigns only work in election years.

If Obama had pushed for single payer, he would have been handed a major defeat right off the bat which would destroy any chance for any health care reform and doomed his presidency.

Again, you foolishly believe that the U.S. is some kind of progressive Utopia and that the people are clamouring for a single payer health insurance. You are wrong.

Even if you make the bills simple to understand, you would still run into major political resistance which would ultimately defeat any notion of a single payer health insurance system.

The best way to get the public to back single payer and universal coverage is to introduce it to the public and prove the viability of universal coverage to them. Once they see how it works and how effective it is, then they will indeed clamour for it.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. You don't think it would help if President Obama campaigned hard .....

on behalf of the people and for a single payer system?

Too much change to believe in?

Well, I guess we could go with your alternative and that is surrender to Wall Street and corporate American that are responsible for this crisis.

Now that's a realistic plan!

Where can we all get those white flags and sign up?
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Do You Not Understand the DIfference Between A Political Campaign for President
and getting legislation passed in Congress? Are you that dense? Do you really think that career Senators are going to be swayed by public rallies? Or are they more influenced by campaign contributions from big pharma and big health insurance?

You literally have NO idea of how things work politically in this country, do you? NONE. What are you 12?
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. ding ding ding ding, couldn't have said it myself.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
33.  Except there is no universal coverage to any of these plans . And they are designed to fail
as they don't encompass enough people to lower rates. The failure of these plans will be uswed against us. The ONLY way to demonstrate the viability of universal coverage is to cover everyone.The plans do not incorporate enough people to ensure it works.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
25. you do not deal in reality. if you think blue dogs would vote for single payer you probably think
the easter bunny is real.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #25
36. Nah. That is more in your line.Reality is we don't need the Blue Dogs
but we want to kiss consevu dem ass for the mid terms to preserve our worthless majority, that places faux bipartisanship over the people. If you believe any of these proffered bills will cover most Americans OR are a "viable first step", you are the believe in the Easter Bunny. But then you "trust" these folks. Whoo Hoo. We got nothing, but "maybe someday" we will get Federal Health Care.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. i don't like the blue dogs either, but subtract them from the caucus and there is no majority.
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 06:29 PM by dionysus
no bills of any kind. and living in a red state yourelf you must realize that a liberal dem doesn't stand a chance of getting in. what's your alternative plan to get bills then?
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #39
40.  Dunno if that equation is true. We had a Dem Gov who was disappeared to become Sec. of Homelend sc
and we have an extremely popular Dem Atty Gen, who may be our nest Gov. And the Dems are currently the majority of our congressional delegation. Our legislature is screwed though.I think you can substract the blue dogs and still have a majority.Heck, we are three votes short now in the Senate.There are ways of getting Blue dogs to cooperate and it isn't by watering down bills. Evedrybody wants something,or doesn't want someone else to get something in DC. Once you know what that is you can use it to get what you need. But at this point it doesn't matter. We aren't going to see real health care because the PTB don't really want it.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
34. Reconcilation, Einstein.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. My Response to You
Unless new and improved legislation is written, large employers and most individuals will not be eligible for a public option.


Again, read my post. Large employers are becoming a thing of the past. The new jobs that are being created DO NOT carry health insurance with them. The future for a majority of American workers will be as contractors (temps) or for small employers who will not provide health insurance benefits. The Public Option's prime target will be this new worker demo.

According to experts only about 10 million people will be covered in a decade.


This actual number will be much, much larger than the projection. Again, the days of large employers hiring people and giving out generous benefits are over.

If a public insurance is not open to all employers and individuals to join and does not offer equal or better benefits at a lower price than private health insurance why in the world would anyone want it?


Let me explain this to you one more time. The trend is that the majority of new workers will be working for smaller businesss and those businesses won't be offering health insurance. Thus, the Public Option will be the only way most Americans will get health insurance coverage. Large businesses with thousands of employees are becoming a thing of the past.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. So you really think the future of American labor is working for cockroach capitalists
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 03:22 PM by Better Believe It
who will not offer any benefits and barely pay a minimum wage or having most of us work for temporary labor agencies?

Your economic forecast makes the Great Depression look like a wave of prosperity!

Do you think we'll just sit around and accept those conditions? And your idea that we'll only have tiny minimum wage employers is laughable. I guess we'll have little neighborhood food stores, a pony express will replace Fed-EX and UPS, cars and trucks will no longer be made here, the railroad and trucking industry will disappear, no new "Green" industries will be built, food, merchandise and other mass distributions centers will close down, the internet, cell phones and all mass communications centers will shut down and not expand, etc., I could list hundreds of things here, but why bother. You just don't know much about this nation and the economy.

And when you say "workers" are you only including "blue collar" workers or all workers who are employed by private industry?

So just about everyone in private industry except professionals such as doctors and lawyers and bankers, Wall Street folks, CEO's, capitalists and small capitalist wannabe business owners will be poverty stricken and your bare bones public option will save us!

Ahhhh .... thanks but no thanks.
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
37. Future? That Future Is Now
Ask someone in my line of work, IT about working contract with no benefits. Ask law school grad about where they work. You're living in the past if you think that we're all going to work for large employers. Once an enterprise gets big. Whamo!! Off to India or China they go!

We're ALL temps from here on out.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. Whatever makes you happy, but
Better Believe It is right. Large eployers and most individuals will not be eligible. Would you care to cite your sources that say all Americans will be self-employed and that large employers will soon die away. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and many other large employing corporations will be upset to find out they are about to go out of business.

Which experts do you want to cite that say the actual number of those covered will be larger. And just how much is "much, much larger"? Sources for your astounding predictions.

Let me explain this to you one more time. The insurance companies are writing this bill. If, with a Democratic congress and a charismatic Democratic president we can't even get a portion of a start of a hint of a real public option, what magical world do you live in where the members of congress will grow into brave populists or where corporate money doesn't influence legislation?

This is not a step toward universal coverage; it is the end of hope for health care reform for our generation. But you go ahead and celebrate. The rest of us know better.
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Only if it's the true public option that Dr. Dean described in his book
That would be a public option open to ALL, that gives the American people the choice whether to keep their existing corporate coverage, if it works for them, or go with the public option, if it doesn't.

The corporate insurers would either have to clean up their act, or get out of the health insurance business. And if they did the latter, we would be left with a single payer system.

This is the REAL "5 dimensional chess" strategy. Not some fucking weak "compromise" of co-ops, opt-outs, or opt-anything else.
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. No.
The proposals that are getting the most attention are mainly scams to artificially shore up the insurance companies by forcing most of us to continue to buy their shoddy products. Nothing that's being proposed actually guarantees better access to care, only compulsory coverage. The high out pocket expenses allowed may still keep people from getting care and help the insurance companies continue to make obscene profits.



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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Have You Seen A Final Bill?
Why not hold your opinion until you see a final bill?
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. No I haven't But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where we are headed.
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 03:34 PM by Better Believe It
Just read what the good Senators are saying.

Do you think the Senate will introduce a bill that is stronger than the original Kennedy proposal or House proposals?

I'd like to see that.

But, unless you and others raise hell it probably won't happen!

Now I truly hope you can prove me wrong in a few weeks or months .... whenever, if ever, the Senate votes on a bill coming out of a House/Senate conference.

If such a public option insurance is made available to everyone, employers and individuals alike, and will have a clear advantage over private health insurance and will offer better or at least equal benefits at a lower premium than private insurance, it will have my support.

If a public insurance option can't meet those minimum standards and conditions, what fricken good would it be?
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. So, Since You Haven't Seen A Final Bill
Then you don't know what the hell you are talking about then do you?
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dflprincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. There won't be a final bill until whatever versions the House and Senate have passed
Edited on Wed Oct-28-09 03:34 PM by dflprincess
have been reconcilled and voted on. Then it will be on on its way to Obama's desk to be signed it will be too late to change it.

The only way we have any hope of getting actual reform is by paying attention and speaking up now. And, so far, most ideas being kicked around appear designed more to protect the insurance companies, not us. I'm not willing to settle for something that's even less meaningful than credit card "reform" that was passed.

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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
41.  Amen. We must deman coverage for ALL Americans and not this crap they are wheeling out.
We can't afford to settle for the "maybe someday" or trust the "Fix it later" crowd.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
27. Public option is the first step towards the public option
This is silly. Everyone wants to sit here and yap that Single Payer doesn't have a chance to pass, yet those same politicians are stupid enough to vote for something designed to become that which they disagree with?

Bah. Silliness.
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. That's what worries me.
It will be difficult to get anything that is significant past some of these politicians-- as you say, they are not stupid.
See Joe Lieberman for one.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Nor are their lobbyist buddies
This naive wishful thinking, which inspires capituations in the hopes of pulling a fast one on em later, is getting tiresome
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
28. Yes you have to make the first step
but at the same time you have to call the GOP out on what they propose to do with Medicare, SS and veterans health. They are opposed to gov healthcare so that means the above bites the dust.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
29. If Joe and the GOP filibuster the current bill,
Harry and Nancy should run single payer through budget reconciliation with 51 votes. Screw 'em.
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
32.  Yup.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. Not if it's designed to FAIL
which many of the current proposals are.
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-28-09 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
38. Permanently feeding the for profit giants a steady diet of
mandates and subsidies does not bring us one step closer to any version of universal care. The states can opt out after 1 year, it will take 10 years to populate the public option. Do the math.
Opting out will be no problem for many red states. There basically will be nothing of consequence to opt out of.

The silver lining may be this is such a bad plan that it will hasten the collapse of the system forcing real reform when we have no other choice. A dangerous, unnecessary way to go, deadly to hundreds of thousands, but inevitable as long as people continue to settle for less.



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philly_bob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
42. UNREC for tone. Condescending 'news flash', public is 'dullard'.
I'm not one to overpraise the sophistication of American public, but consider how smart the public was in slapping down Bush's social security privatization.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
43. Agree completely. That was in fact exactly how John Edwards described his strategy
Edited on Thu Oct-29-09 12:09 PM by HamdenRice
PO leads eventually to Medicare for all.

Many DUers live in a fantasy world in which the entire country has exactly their personal belief system and the reason the Democrats don't do exactly what they want must be because they are sellouts, because the Democrats don't represent their personal preferences.

In fact, the Democrats have to try to do things that are at the ideological middle of the electorate and that's why single payer was logically off the table from the get go.

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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
44. Not bad for insurance finance reform,
Edited on Thu Oct-29-09 12:55 PM by Autumn
and we WILL finance the insurance companies.
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