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Reality Check: Obama knew from day one he had to appease the Insurance Lobby

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:08 PM
Original message
Reality Check: Obama knew from day one he had to appease the Insurance Lobby
It's a political reality that the corporate interests who have made such a mess of our health care system also have a stranglehold on our Congress. They dominate the Republican Party and they have massive influence in our Party.

Among the most dozen or so conservative Democratic members of the Senate, it's impossible to find more than few who don't act consistently to serve the interests of the Insurance, Pharmaceutical and other corporate health lobbies. These Senators wield enough collective political power on behalf of these interests so as to have an effective veto over any sort of health care or insurance industry reform. They have for many many years. As a practical political reality they have to be negotiated with on any such bill.

This political reality existed before Obama won the Presidency and it still exists now. There was no 60 seat magic or possibility of slipping in just a few more progressives that would have changed this. Obama knew before he even won that if he was going to "do" health care reform he would need to strike a deal with the very interests who had broken the system. The political reality was and still is that these interests are so powerful in our system that they had to be given "a seat at the table."

We are now beginning to see the outlines of the deal being struck. It includes a lot of painful and expensive shape-up requirements for the Insurance Cartels, no doubt. In exchange it appears to insure the long-term survival of the industry, and to apply what they feel to be adequate nails to the coffin of single-payer, public-option, Medicare expansion or any other government-centric alternative. That's the big trade-off here. Shape up, and in exchange you never have to ship out.

To suggest that no grand deal between Industry and Obama is taking shape in this bill is to bury one's head in the sand. It's not like it's some secret who the blue dog Democrats in the Senate serve. Obama always knew he'd have to deal with these guys. Now he is.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. this Bill doesn't appease the Insurance Lobby. It means their eventual Doom.
But thanks for letting us all know how you feel about Obama.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The U.S Senate, in it's present makeup,
would NEVER pass a bill that meant the eventual "Doom" of the health insurance industry.

That's just terminal naivete.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Not the immediate Doom, the EVENTUAL Doom
That's why Single Payer was never on the table.
Its effects would have been immediate.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Do you think the Insurance Cartel has been tricked
into going along with a bill that would mean their eventual doom? They know full well this bill means the eventual doom of the public option and thus their continued survival as the only alternative.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. they aren't going along with it. they are being drug along kicking and screaming
they have spent hundreds of millions to try and slow this down.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
22. I agree for the most part. I think that Obama made a mistake by not employing the people against
the moneyed interests.

Here in Montana, we had a spontaneous upraising against Baucus when he had the doctors and nurses arrested from PNHP and other groups that support single payer. about a 1000 people turned up around the state to protest at his 5 offices.

We had NO support at all from DFA (formerly Dean for America then morphed to Democracy for America) OFA, (morphed from Obama for American into the DNC controlled Organizing for America) Move on, Seiu, or any other major groups. They were all co-opted into the imaginary "Public Option" distraction effort that was intended to divert the people away from demanding a government run health insurance system.

The day after the Baucus protest I attended an OFA organizing meeting where about 40 people showed up, and everyone there, with the exception of the organizers, were all talking about single payer, "How can we get it, what should we do?" Most of the people there hadn't been at the Baucus protest, because there wasn't a lot of way to get the word out.

And the organizers diverted and deflected people away from single payer and tried to enlist them instead into working for the so-called public option. Most people went home, many in disgust. They weren't much interested in a market based Republican style solution.

One man at my table in his early sixties said, "I sure would have liked to have been at the meeting in late November 1998 where Obama and the unions and Baucus and Move-on all sat down and decided that they were going to deflect the movement for single payer with this other replacement idea."

It's a shame that Obama, after waking up the sleeping giant of populism, decided to put it back to sleep again. We would have come out far ahead if Obama had provided some leadership to the people instead of cutting a deal with the health care industrial complex.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #22
75. It is not merely a shame that Obama woke up the people & then let their
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 02:52 PM by truedelphi
Opinions be Smoke screened over.

It is an absolute and brutal design. Perhaps Obama realizes that he is part of it, perhaps he doesn't.

Every time that Jimmy Stewart's "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" comes on, I watch it. I often wonder, when they get to the scene where Smith is off being entertained by the foreign princess, if that is what they are doing to Obama?

Or is he directly part of it?

Anyway I think the deal is that as long as O gives Corporate America what they want, he will have Palin as his competition in 2012. (Only 27 % of those who are Repugs like her! iin other words,
27 % of 22 %!!)

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salguine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. I sure hope somebody will doom me by giving me billions of dollars.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. and making you cover everybody, and removing your payment caps?
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 02:31 PM by Dr Robert
the Insurance Industry will begin to crumble the day that Obama signs the Bill.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. Yep, just like Romney Care. They love 30 to 40 million new captive customers with subsidies.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. your are kidding yourself if you think they want to cover pre-existing conditions
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 03:07 PM by Dr Robert
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. You are kidding yourself if you think they will cover pre-existing conditions.
:rofl:

Look, if you want to call Obama a liar, that's fine. This is what he said in response to a question at his town-hall meeting when he came to Montana last August.


"Now, one point I want to make about insurance: Some of the reforms that we want for the insurance market are very hard to achieve, unless we've got everybody covered. This is the reason the insurance companies are willing to support reform, because their attitude is if we can't exclude people for preexisting conditions, for example, if we can't cherry pick the healthy folks from the not-so-healthy folks, well, that means that we're taking on more people with more expensive care. What's in it for us? The answer is if they've got more customers, then they're willing to make sure that they are eliminating some of these practices. If they've got fewer customers, they're less willing to do it.

So it's important for people -- when people ask me sometimes, why don't you just do the insurance reform stuff and not expand coverage for more people, my answer is I can't do the insurance reform stuff by itself. The only way that we can change some of the insurance practices that are hurting people now is to make sure that everybody is covered and everybody has got a stake in it, and then the insurance companies are able and willing to make some of these changes that will help people who have insurance right now. But thank you for the question. I appreciate it." (Applause.)

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/August/14/...


So Obama says exactly what the OP is saying. That they cut a deal.

Why do you believe Obama and the OP are lying?
Or why do you believe Obama and the OP are mistaken?

It's clear to everyone that a deal was cut; 30 to 40 million new customers in return for supporting reforms based on Romney Care.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. key line: ...and then the insurance companies are able and willing to make some of these changes...
Willing. Obama needed them to be willing to play ball.
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. I will smile when you and the OP are served your crow. it's going to be downright hi-larious!
you'll probably spontaneously lose control of your bladder, when Obama signs the Bill.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
48. Oh, he will sign a bill, i have no doubt. When did me or the OP say he wouldn't?
It will be Romney Care, and you will say it's historic and a huge victory for both the little guy and the Democrats.

but it's just Romney Care. The insurance companies supported that too. In MA. They are making money hand over fist
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Dr Robert Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. Do you live in Massachusetts?
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. No, I don't. I live in Montana. I used to
work in Salinas though.

But thanks to modern communication devices I'm in communication with people who live in MA.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
44. How does it doom them? nt
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
69. That is stupid.
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 12:56 PM by ThomCat
Our party has not, and would not "doom" any corporate industry that gives them so much money. That's just delusional thinking. :eyes:

The insurance industry was appeased at every step. The very first step in negotiations was to give them big appeasements just to agree to negotiate. They were promised that they were not be at risk of losing any profits. They were promised that, no matter what, they would remain at least as prominent and large and profitable as today. How could that be another other than an appeasement?

That was setting the results in advance, and agreeing in advance at the negotiating table that your opponent will win. x(

But it's nice to know that you weren't paying attention.
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dionysus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. i think you're right. unfortunate but reality.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. FDR's ghost calls bullshit on that
He antagonized the Wall Street fatcats to such an extent that they even planned a coup against the White House where Roosevelt would be replaced by a fascist dictator. And yet his administration survived.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm not suggesting the Insurance Cartels
would bring down Obama or destroy his Presidency. I'm just pointing out that he wasn't going to be able to do any substantive health care or insurance reform without their sign-off, because their vassals in Congress have an effective veto.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. My point was that FDR got stuff done WITHOUT a corporate signoff
He stared down the corporate vassals in Congress as best as he was able and he got stuff done that brought some actual benefit to Americans.

Obama is not looking like FDR at this point.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. FDR had guts and spine. 99% of Washington Dems, Obama included, have neither.
Corporations are the only constituents they think they work for.

Rp
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
62. Got it.
Sometimes you have to talk slow with me :)

:hi:
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Obama ain't FDR
.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. A lot of people at the time thought FDR
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. That's right..He's President Barack Hussein Obama..
a president for our century.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
71. Even LBJ's Ghost calls Bullshit on the OP.
You make a great point. History shows that the point in the OP is total nonsense.

Regardless of how beholden politicians are to their corporate benefactors, a leader can rally them, cajole them, coerce them, or shame them into doing what needs to be done.

Appealing directly to the will of the public has been done in the past, and it is the only way campaigns to help the poor and dispossessed have ever succeeded. Obama wasn't willing to do this because he isn't a real progressive or populist, and that is why he has failed and we have this shit legislation.


If Obama has been willing to appeal to the public base directly instead of shunning us and keeping us in the dark, we could have been a huge force helping him publicly pressure politicians.

We could have created a huge public campaigns and media campaigns shaming them until there was a public narrative framing this issue entirely differently than than the way they allowed the insurance industry to frame it. Just framing this differently, and making it a populist issue, and getting people involved would have pushed this farther.

The only time politicians listen to voters is when a critical mass of them shout loud enough all at once, for long enough, consistently enough and don't shut up. When the politicians hear this everywhere they go, and it competes with the message of lobbyists, then politicians can be coerced or shamed into voting for our needs instead of lobbyist's greed.

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. Maybe he could of forced a good bill
through this Congress if he tried. Or maybe he couldn't.

But really, why even set about a major reform of something like health care or insurance when everyone knows that the political system is so broken that the corporations who caused the problems are in a position to wreck whatever you try to do? Why not fix that broken system first and then use it to reform America? If the heater on my drier is broken I don't put clothes in there to dry - not even the ones most critically in need of drying. Instead I fix the heater and then dry the clothes.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. Please read what you just wrote and think about it.
You just said, "why try to succeed because they'll just ruin it any way." So should we just give them this horrible pre-ruined bill that they want so they won't ruin it any more?

:wtf:

Obama isn't trying to fix this system. He is working within it. He isn't challenging the lobbyists, or the blue dogs. he isn't challenging the corporate influence. He isn't fighting against them in any way to fix anything. He is working the system with them, as part of that system, inviting them all to the table and giving them what they want.

The only people he is NOT bringing to the table are the ones who want real reform, who want to give poor people what they need, and who want to give people without any insurance real access to health care without being victims of insurance companies.

This very flawed and horrible bill is what we get because nobody has the will for major reform, in health care, or in anything else.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #79
81. You're getting me wrong.
I don't suggest we give them a pre-ruined bill. Or even go along with any of this at all.

What I would have suggested is that health care reform was a fools errand to begin with. Just like financial system reform, or any other major reform would be.

Until we fix the broken political system it's really a joke and a charade to be using our Congress to "reform" anything.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. Ah. Okay. That I can agree with.
yes, if you give power and a worthy goal to criminals and fools you are not going to get any worthy results.

I think it was obvious from the start though that Obama had no interest in reform. His choices are repeatedly embracing power and others who have power.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. You sure are determined to spin this as a win for insurance companies.
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 02:26 PM by ProSense
FAIL

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Like any compromise it's a win/lose
for both them and us.

I'm just pointing out that they are a major part of the process and that the bill includes a lot that they also like.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. No one spends $400 million to kill a bill they like. No one. n/t
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. They didn't spend $400 million to kill the bill
they spent $400 million to influence the outcome of the bill to be more favorable to them. And in some ways they succeeded.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Don't be obtuse. They were pressuring members of Congress to vote against it.
Why do you think the Republicans refused to participate? A couple more blue dogs and they could have succeeded.

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. In politics you operate on multiple simultaneous tracks
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 02:45 PM by Truth2Tell
frequently. Sure, they took a swat at killing this thing in its cradle. But they knew they never had a real shot at that, and so they also pursued the deal track. They had Baucus and the other blue dogs representing their interests at the table and they worked hard to help craft a bill that would be the best they could get out of a bad situation for them. And the political power of their Senate lackeys proved - quite predictably - to be strong enough to get them them a livable compromise - one that they will eventually release people like Lieberman to vote cloture on - after they've maximized their returns.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. "Sure, they took a swat at killing this thing in its cradle." Dumb, and it contradicts your point.
n/t
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Dumb? Is that the best you've got?
Are you that politically naive that you don't think interest groups play politics on many levels? Try and kill bills and then compromise? Support opposing candidates? Cut deals to take what they can get when they see the writing on the wall? It wouldn't be contradictory of the Insurance lobby to try and kill the bill if possible, but then get on board to get the best deal they can. Happens all the time.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Yes, you insisted they love the bill, then tried to claim the money was to influence it,
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 03:18 PM by ProSense
and now say they wanted to kill in the cradle? Completely desperate spin.

If they wanted more customers and the good things you claim are in the bill for them, they would never have pushed to killed.

FAIL.




edited typo
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I have never insisted they loved anything.
That's a strawman you keep repeating as if you can't read my posts.

What I have repeatedly said is that they have participated in making a deal - a compromise - to try and protect their interests as best they can. And they got some good and some bad out of this process.

You seem to want to suggest that they aren't supporting a final bill and that this bill somehow just slams them, instead of does both good and bad things for them. You seem to want to deny that they're even involved.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. "the bill includes a lot that they also like."
OK maybe love was too strong a word to sum up your claim, but it's still bogus.

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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. The OP is correct ProSense. You are either spinning it or are truely out of it.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. You're always Spinning and have no right to say anyone else
is "truely out of it".
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ProleNoMore Donating Member (316 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
32. Follow The Money - Campaign Contributions To Obama Tell The Tale
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 03:30 PM by ProleNoMore
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ProleNoMore Donating Member (316 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. I Stand With Dennis Kucinich
eom
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
36. Yes it's possible insurance companies have influence..
on the decision making of all but the most progressive members. But I don't think the industry likes this bill. Because they still have the Repuke party and people like Lieberman trying to stop it.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. I think the Republicans are out of the game
and Lieberman is jockeying on behalf of the industry for last minute concessions (part of the process by which they make these kinds of deals) and he will get on board in the end.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. "Lieberman is jockeying on behalf of the industry for last minute concessions" Still doesn't mean
they like the bill. They thought they could win and kill the bill. They definitely wanted to kill a public option. Their actions, though not limited to this year, solidified Democrats on repealing their anti-trust exemption. The insurance companies got screwed, and rightfully so.

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. They did kill a real public option.
And I don't know what bill you're reading but I don't see any antitrust exemption getting killed.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. So you think they're okay with any public option?
Get real! The insurance companies wanted Baucus' bill minus all the reforms Democrats like Kerry, Rockefeller and others fought to add.

You are trying to argue that because they were backed against the wall trying to fight to preserve their profits and all the fraud they get away with, they like the bill. Absurd.

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. Again the stawman.
I am not saying they like the bill. They like some of the things in the bill. For that reason they are going along with a bill that contains other things they hate. It's a compromise. And the only way the insurance industry is in any position to be able to compromise on this bill is because they are involved in crafting it. Their vassals in the Senate could pull the rug from under this at their say so.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. " I am not saying they like the bill. They like some of the things in the bill."
I really don't think you know what you're saying. You started two threads trying to prove the insurance industry doesn't oppose the bill, and in fact, like a lot of things in it.



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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #52
55. They do like a lot of things in it. That's why Obama says they are working with him to get this done
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. What?
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. When he came to Montana he said the exact opposite thing.

He told us this in Montana.

"Now, one point I want to make about insurance: Some of the reforms that we want for the insurance market are very hard to achieve, unless we've got everybody covered. This is the reason the insurance companies are willing to support reform, because their attitude is if we can't exclude people for preexisting conditions, for example, if we can't cherry pick the healthy folks from the not-so-healthy folks, well, that means that we're taking on more people with more expensive care. What's in it for us? The answer is if they've got more customers, then they're willing to make sure that they are eliminating some of these practices. If they've got fewer customers, they're less willing to do it.

So it's important for people -- when people ask me sometimes, why don't you just do the insurance reform stuff and not expand coverage for more people, my answer is I can't do the insurance reform stuff by itself. The only way that we can change some of the insurance practices that are hurting people now is to make sure that everybody is covered and everybody has got a stake in it, and then the insurance companies are able and willing to make some of these changes that will help people who have insurance right now. But thank you for the question. I appreciate it." (Applause.)
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/August/14/...



So Obama is saying two opposite things. Which do you think is true? What he told us in Montana, or what he told us over the radio?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. Yeah, you seem to have missed the point
THE PRESIDENT: Okay, that's a fair question, that's a fair question. First of all, you are absolutely right that the insurance companies, in some cases, have been constructive. So I'll give you a particular example. Aetna has been trying to work with us in dealing with some of this preexisting conditions stuff. And that's absolutely true. And there are other companies who have done the same.

Now, I want to just be honest with you, and I think Max will testify, that in some cases what we've seen is also funding in opposition by some other insurance companies to any kind of reform proposals. So my intent is not to vilify insurance companies. If I was vilifying them, what we would be doing would be to say that private insurance has no place in the health care market, and some people believe that. I don't believe that. (Applause.) What I've said is let's work with the existing system. We've got private insurers out there. But what we do have to make sure of is that certain practices that are very tough on people, that those practices change.


Got it: Some, like the industry group AHIP, have been trying to kill reform, any reform.


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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. Aetna is a member of AHIP
AHIP stand for America Health Insurance Plans. Aetna is a member.

AHIP's CEO is Karen Ignagni She has been a frequent visitor to the White House
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32087532/ns/politics-white_... /

# Karen Ignagni visited the White House on March 5, 6, and 11 and June 30. She is president and CEO, America's Health Insurance Plans.
# Richard Umbdenstock visited the White House on February 4, February 23; March 5, March 25, March 30; April 6, and May 22. He is president and CEO, American Hospital Association.
# J. James Rohack visited the White House on March 25, June 22, and June 24. The cardiologist from Texas is president of the American Medical Association.
# William C. Weldon visited the White House on May 12. He is chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson.
# Jeffrey B. Kindler visited the White House on March 5, May 6, and June 2. He is chairman and CEO, Pfizer.
# Stephen J. Hemsley visited the White House on May 15 and 22. He is president and CEO, UnitedHealth Group.
# Angela F. Braly visited the White House on February 13. She is president and CEO, WellPoint.
# George Halvorson visited the White House on March 27 and June 5. He is president and CEO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
# Jay Gellert visited the White House on February 10, March 11, and March 20. He is president and CEO, Health Net.
# Thomas Priselac visited the White House on April 3. He is president and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System.
# Richard Clark visited the White House on March 24. He is chairman, president and CEO, Merck.
# Wayne T. Smith visited the White House on June 4. He is chairman, president and CEO, Community Health Systems.
# Rick Smith visited the White House on May 19 and June 2. He is senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
# "In addition to the above information, the White House visitor records reflect that Mr. Tauzin, Ms. Ignagni, Mr. Umbdenstock, Mr. Rohack, Mr. Kindler, Mr. Halvorson, Mr. Gellert, Mr. Priselac, David Nexon, and Rick Smith were scheduled to attend a May 11 meeting at the White House. We understand that all the individuals attended the meeting except Mr. Kindler, and that Mr. Clark attended as well."




And this is a list of the companies that are members of AHIP

Health Insurance Plan Links

AEGON USA, Inc.
http://www.aegonins.com /

Aetna, Inc.
http://www.aetna.com/index.htm

Affinity Health Plan
http://www.affinityplan.org /

Aflac
http://www.aflac.com /

Alameda Alliance for Health
http://alamedaalliance.org /

Alere Medical, Inc.
www.alere.com

Allegiance Life & Health Insurance Company
http://www.allegiancelifeandhealth.com /

AlohaCare
http:/ / www.alohacare.com

AMA Insurance Agency
http://www.ama-assn.org /

American Fidelity Assurance Company
http://www.af-group.com /

American Heritage Life
http://www.allstate.com

American Medical Security, Inc.
http://www.eams.com /

American Republic Insurance Company
http://www.aric.com /

American Specialty Health Incorporated
http://www.ashcompanies.com /

AmeriChoice Health Services, Inc.
http://www.americhoice.com

Amerigroup Corporation
http://www.amerigroupcorp.com /

AmeriHealth
http://www.amerihealth.com

Arcadian Health Plans
www.arcadianhp.com

Arkansas BlueCross Blue Shield
http://www.arkbluecross.com

Assurant Health
http://www.assuranthealth.com

AultCare Corporation
http://www.aultcare.com /

AvMed Health Plan
http://www.avmed.org

Aveta, Inc
http:/ / www.aveta.com

Bankers Life and Casualty Company
http://www.bankerslife.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
http://www.bcbsaz.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
http://www.bcbsfl.com/home/index.cfm

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
http://www.bcbsga.org /

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
http://www.bcbsks.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
http://www.bcbsil.com

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana
http://www.bcbsla.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
http://www.bcbsm.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
http://www.bluecrossmn.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
http://www.bcbsmt.com /

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
http://www.bcbsnm.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
http://www.bcbsma.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
http://www.bcbsne.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
http://www.bcbsnc.com

BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota
http://www.bcbsnd.com

BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma
http://www.bcbsok.com /

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
www.bcbsri.com

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
http://www.bcbssc.com

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
http://www.bcbst.com

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
http://www.bcbstx.com

BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
http://www.bcbsvt.com

BlueShield of Northeastern New York
http://www.bsneny.com

Blue Cross of Idaho
http://www.bcidaho.com

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
http://www.bcnepa.com

Blue Shield of California
http://www.blueshieldca.com

Bluegrass Family Health, Inc.
http://www.bgfh.com

Boston Medical Center Healthnet Plan
http:/ / www.bmchp.org

Bravo Health
http:/ / www.bravohealth.com

CalOptima
http://www.caloptima.org

Capital Blue Cross
http://www.capbluecross.com /

Capital District Physicians Health Plan
http://www.cdphp.com

Care 1st Health Plan
http//www.care1st.com /

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
http://www.carefirst.com

CareMore Health Plan
http://www.caremore.org

CareOregon
http://www.careoregon.org

CareSource
http://www.care-source.com

Celtic Insurance Company
http://www.celtic-net.com /

CENTENE Corp.
http://www.centene.com

CHCS Services, Inc.
http://www.chcsservices.com /

Chartered Health Plan
http://www.chartered-health.com /

Children's Mercy Family Health Partners
http://www.fhp.org

Chinese Community Health Plan
http://www.cchphmo.com

CIGNA Health Care
http://www.cigna.com /

Clarian Health
http://www.clarian.org

Colorado Choice Health Plans/San Luis Valley HMO
http://www.slvhmo.com

Commercial Travelers Mutual Insurance Company
http://www.commercialtravelers.com /

Community Care, Inc.
http://www.communitycareinc.org /

Community Health Network of Connecticut
http://www.chnct.org /

Community Health Partnership
http://www.communityhealthpartnership.com

Community Health Plan of Washington
http://www.chpw.org

ConnectiCare, Inc.
http://www.connecticare.com /

Conseco, Inc.
http://www.conseco.com /

CoreSource
http://www.coresource.com /

Coventry Health Care, Inc.
http://www.cvty.com

DAKOTACARE
http://www.dakotacare.com

Delta Dental Plans Association
http://www.deltadental.com /

Denver Health Medical Plan
http://www.denverhealth.org

Disability Management Services, Inc.
http://www.disabilitymanagementservices.com

Elderplan
http://www.mjhs.org

Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield
http://empireblue.com

ENCOMPASS Health Management Systems
http://www.encompas.com

Erickson Advantage
http://www.ericksonadvantage.com /

Essence, Inc
http:/ / www.essehealth.com

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
http://www.excellusbcbs.com

Fallon Community Health Plan
http://www.fchp.org

Family Care, Inc.
http://www.familycareinc.org /

Federated Insurance Companies
http://www.federatedinsurance.com /

FirstCarolina Care, Inc.
http://www.firstcarolinacare.com /

First Choice Health Network
http://www.1stchoiceofwa.com

First Health
http://www.firsthealth.com /

Florida Hospital Healthcare System
http://www.flhosp.org

Fox Insurance Company
http://www.foxinsurancecompany.com

Fresenius Medical Care Health Plan
http://www.fmchp.com

Geisinger Health Plans
http://www.thehealthplan.com /

Gen Re LifeHealth
http://www.genre.com /

Genworth Financial
http://www.genworth.com/longtermcare

Group Health Cooperative
http://www.ghc.org /

Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire
http://www.group-health.com /

Group Health Cooperative of SC Wisconsin
http://www.ghc-hmo.com

Group Health Incorporated
http://www.ghi.com

Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company
http://www.gtlic.com /

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, The
http://www.glic.com /

Guildnet, Inc.
http://www.jgb.org

Gundersen Lutheran Health Plan Inc.
http://www.gundluth.org/healthplan

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
http://www.hphc.org

Hawaii-Western Management Group (HWMG)
http://www.hmaa.com

HealthPartners, Inc.
http://www.healthpartners.com

Health Alliance Plan
http://www.hap.org

Health Dialog
http://www.healthdialog.com /

Health First Health Plan, Inc.
http://www.health-first.org/health_plans

Health Net
http://www.health.net

Health New England
http://www.healthnewengland.com

Health Partners Philadelphia
http://www.healthpart.com

Health Plan of Michigan
http://www.hpmich.com /

Health Plan of Nevada
http://www.healthplanofnevada.com /

Health Plan of San Joaquin
http://www.hpsj.com

Health Tradition Health Plan
http://www.healthtradition.com

HealthEquity
http://www.healthequity.com

Healthfirst, Inc.
http://www.healthfirstny.com

HealthMarkets
http://www.healthmarkets.com

HealthNow of New York, Inc.
http://www.healthnowny.com /

HealthPartners, Inc.
http://www.healthpartners.com

HealthPlan Services
http://www.healthplan.com

HealthPlus of Michigan
http://www.healthplus.com/providers.html

HealthRight, Inc.
http://www.healthright-dc.com /

HealthSpring
http://www.myhealthspring.com

Healthways, Inc.
http://www.healthways.com

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
http://www.highmark.com

HIP Health Plans
http://www.hipusa.com

Hometown Health Plan
http://www.hometownhealth.com /

Horizon BC/BS of New Jersey
http://www.horizon-bcbsnj.com

Humana, Inc.
http://www.humana.com /

Illinois Mutual Life Insurance Company
http://www.illinoismutual.com /

Imerica Life and Health Insurance Company
http://www.imerica.com

The i/mx* Companies
http://www.imxinc.com

Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia, PA
http://www.ibx.com

Independent Health
http://www.independenthealth.com

Independence Holding Company
http://www.independenceholding.com /

Inland Empire Health Plan
http://www.iehp.org

Insurance Administrative Solutions, L.L.C.
http://www.wakelyinc.com

Integrated Health Plan
http://www.ihplan.com

Inter Valley Health Plan
http://www.ivhp.com

JHA, Inc.
http://www.jhaweb.com /

John Hancock Financial Services
http:/ / www.jhancock.com

Kaiser Permanente
http://www.kp.org /

KelseyCare Advantage
www.kelseycareadvantage.com

Kern Health Systems
http://www.kernhealthsystems.com

Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Inc.
http://www.keystonemercy.com

L.A. Care
http://www.lacare.org

LifeCare Assurance Company
http://www.lifecareassurance.com /

LifePlans, Inc.
http://www.lifeplansinc.com /

The Lifetime Healthcare Companies
http://www.lifethc.com

Long Term Care Group, Inc.
http://www.ltcg.com /

Long Term Care Partners, LLC
http://www.ltcfeds.com /

Lovelace Sandia Health System/Lovelace Health Plan
http://www.lovelacehealthplan.com

Martin's Point Health Care
http://www.martinspoint.com

MedAmerica Insurance Company
http://www.medamericaltc.com /

Medco
http://www.medcohealth.com

Medica Health Plan
http://www.medica.com

Medical Card Systems, Inc.
http://www.mcs.com.pr

Medical Mutual of Ohio
http://www.medmutual.com

MemberHealth
http://www.mhrx.com

Mercy Health Plans
http://www.mercyhealthplans.com

Metlife
http://www.metlife.com

Metropolitan Health Plan
http://www.co.hennepin.mn.us /

Mid Rogue Health Plan
http:/ / www.mripa.org

Molina Healthcare
http://www.molinahealthcare.com

Mount Carmel Health Plan
http://www.mountcarmelhealth.com /

MultiPlan, Inc.
http://www.multiplan.com

Munich Re America HealthCare
http://www.mrahc.com

Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company
http://www.mutualofomaha.com /

MVP Health Care
http://www.mvphealthcare.com

National Teachers Associates Life Insurance Company
http://www.ntalife.com

Nationwide Life Insurance Company
http://www.nationwide.com

Neighborhood Health Plan
http://www.nhp.org

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
http://www.nhpri.org /

Neighborhood Health Providers
http://www.royalhc.com

Network Health Plan
http://www.networkhealth.com

New West Health Services
http://www.newwesthealth.com /

New York Life Insurance Company
http://www.newyorklife.com /

The ODS Companies
http://www.odscompanies.com

Olympic Health Management Systems, Inc.
http://www.ohmsystems.com /

On Lok Senior Health Services
http://www.onlok.org

Optum Health
http://www.optumcare.com /

PacificSource Health Plans
http://www.pacificsource.com

Partnership Healthplan of California
http://www.partnershiphp.org /

Passport Health Plan
http://www.passporthealthplan.com

Penn Highlands Health Plan
http://www.pennhighlands.com /

Penn Treaty American Corporation
http://www.penntreaty.com /

Peoples Health
http://www.peopleshealth.com

Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana
http://www.phpni.com

Physicians Mutual Insurance Company
http://www.physiciansmutual.com

PHP Companies d/b/a Cariten Healthcare
http://www.cariten.com

Preferred Care Partners
http://www.psohealth.com

Preferred Health Systems
http://www.phsystems.com /

PreferredOne
http://www.preferredone.com

Preferred Plus of Kansas
http://www.phsystems.com

Presbyterian Health Plan
http://www.phs.org

PrimeWest Health Systems
http://www.primewest.org

Principal Financial Group
http://www.principal.com

Providence Health Plans
http://www.providence.org/healthplans

Prudential Life Insurance Co. of America
http://www.prudential.com

Puget Sound Health Partners
http://www.ourpshp.com

QualCare, Inc.
http://www.qualcareinc.com

QualChoice of Arkansas
http://www.qcark.com /

Regence BC/BS of Oregon
http://www.or.regence.com

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
http://www.regence.com

Regence Blue Shield
http://www.wa.regence.com

Regence BlueShield of Idaho
http://www.regence.com

Resolution Health
http://www.resolutionhealth.com

Rocky Mountain Health Plans
http://www.rmhp.org

Samaritan Health Plans
http://www.samaritanhealthplans.com /

San Francisco Health Plan
http://www.sfhp.org

SCAN Health Plan
http://www.scanhealthplan.com /

Scott & White Health Plan
http://www.sw.org

Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania
http://www.shipltc.com /

Senior Whole Health, LLC
http://www.seniorwholehealth.com

Sentara Healthcare
http://www.sentara.com /

Sharp Health Plan
http://www.sharp.com

Silver Script Insurance Company
http://www.silverscript.com

Southeastern Indiana Health Organization
http://www.siho.org

Starmark
http://www.starmarkinc.com /

State Farm Insurance Companies
http://www.statefarm.com /

Stonebridge Life Insurance Company
http://www.stonebridgelife.com /

Sun Health MediSun, Inc.
http://sunhealth.org

Swiss Re Life & Health America, Inc.
http://www.swissre.com /

TakeCare Insurance Co.
http://www.takecareasia.com /

Teachers Protective Mutual Life Insurance Company
http://www.tpmins.com /

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
http://www.thrivent.com

Touchstone Health Partnership, Inc.
http://www.touchstone-health.com

Transamerica Life Insurance Company
http://www.transamerica.com

Trillium Community Health Plan
http://www.trilliumchp.com

TriWest Healthcare Alliance
http://www.triwest.com /

Tufts Health Plan
http://www.tufts-healthplan.com

Trustmark Insurance Company
http://www.trustmarkinsurance.com /

UCare
http://www.ucare.org

UMR
http://www.umr.com

UNICARE Life & Health Insurance Company
http://www.unicare.com

United HealthCare
http://www.UnitedHealthcare.com

United Teacher Associates Insurance Company
http://www.utainteractive.com

UnitedHealth Group
http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com

Unity Health Plans
http://www.unityhealth.com

Unison Administrative Services
http://www.unisonhealthplan.com

Univera Healthcare
http://www.univerahealthcare.org

Universal American Corp
http://www.uafc.com

University Health Alliance
http://www.uhahealth.com

Universal Health Care
http://www.univhc.com

Unum Group
http://www.unum.com

UPMC Health Plan
http://www.upmc.edu

Upper Peninsula Health Plan
http://www.uphp.com

USAA Life Insurance Company
http://www.usaa.com

USHEALTH Group, Inc.
http://www.ushealthgroup.com

Virginia Premier
http://www.virginiapremier.com

VNS Choice
http://www.vnschoice.org

Vytra Health Plans
http://www.vytra.com

Wakely and Associates
http://www.wakelyinc.com /

WellCare Health Plans
http://www.wellcare.com

Wells Fargo
http://www.wellsfargo.com

WellPoint, Inc.
http://www.wellpoint.com

Western Health Advantage
http://www.westernhealthadvantage.com

WINHealth Partners
http://www.winhealthpartners.org

World Insurance Company
http://www.worldinsco.com

XL Health
http://www.xlhealth.com

Yale University Health Services
http://www.yale.edu/yuhs/menu.html

Zurich North America
http://www.zurichus.com /
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. So? The industry group has been trying to kill reform. Aetna is one company
and as the President stated others cooperated.

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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #66
72.  AHIP wouldn't want 30-40 million new subsidized customers for their companies, like Aetna?
And Karen had to go to the White house 5 times for what reason?




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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. That logic is absurd
AHIP doesn't give a damn about new customers.

Why should they? They have to hire more people to service them and accept the ones with pre-existing conditions. These things cut into their profits.

The status quo simply allows them to drop people and deny treatment. They're much better off under the status quo.

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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #73
74. AHIP isn't an isurance company. It's the industry lobby. Aetna pays them to lobby for them
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 01:56 PM by John Q. Citizen
So do the rest of the companies.

They also backed Romney care and that's they same thing as this. No pre-existing conditions in MA. anymore. Everyone covered. Costs through the roof. Insurance industry making more money than ever.

They love it, and I bet they love you too. You are really helping the insurance industry put one over on people!


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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #52
58. You're like a bad Abbot and Costello bit. I no longer believe
you are discussing in good faith - just throwing dust up to confuse.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Hope you're right; I don't trust Lieberman do ever do the right thing
If not, we need to do Reconciliation.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #40
45. Reconcilliation can only be done on limited parts of the bill, the parts that effect
the budget.

So things like outlawing pre-existing conditions can't be included in that because they don't effect the budget. Also, bills passed with the reconciliation process only remains in force for a limited time and they would have to pass all that stuff all over again in a few years.

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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. Can the public option be part of reconciliation?
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 04:36 PM by mvd
I'm just afraid we'll have to use it for whatever we can. We can get the pre-existing conditions denial ban passed anyway. It's the public option that really scares the insurance industry.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. There won't be a PO, IMHO, there never was going to be a PO.
Actually, the best I think we can hope for is getting the Kucinich/Sanders idea of letting states pass their own single payer system put back into the final bill during conference.

Joe isn't going to vote for the PO, and Oly isn't. and a few other Dem Sens probably aren't.

But if a state wants to do something, who are they to tell a state what they can or can't do? That's not really any of there business, according to the constitution.

And in some very real ways it would actually put more pressure on the private insurance companies to contain costs than the non-functional public options would.

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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. I agree about the Kucinich amendment; really want that put in
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 04:58 PM by mvd
I don't think a bill without a public option could pass, though. I remain hopeful it is the Blue Dogs and Lieberman that feel the pressure.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. Absolutely right.
Lieberman is doing the blocking for Baucus and Obama. They cut these deals with the insurance industry, and now they don't want progressives in the house screwing them up with their tiny non-functional PO that people think might be improved at some later date or with their drug price negotiations that Baucus and Obama already bargained away.

It's Romney Care or bust, baby!!!

The Repos don't want any bill passed at all, no matter what's in it, based purely on political expediency. But they have zero say in the process, because they only have 40 Senators, and Olympia Snowe is probably in the bag for the Dems if they jettison the non-functioning PO. Then Obama and Baucus can say it was bi-partisan. Yeah, right.

My guess is they (the senate) will leave the Stupak abortion deal and take out the PO. altogether.

Conference will take out both the PO, and the Stupak amendment. (there by killing two birds with one stone) At that point the left should demand that the Kucinich amendment be put back in for their support in both the house and the Senate (Sanders, Kerry, etc in the Senate, and the progressive caucus in the house in return for the removal of the non-fuctional POs) and we should have a bill.


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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
42. Big Insurance and Big Pharma hire some of the biggest brains in the world to help them
figure out how to beat the fuck out of the government and the people. They use short term and long-term strategic thinking and planning. They also use their Congressional lackeys to provide the feints and jabs to make it look like someone is tagging them every now and then, when in reality they stagger back a few feet and then laugh at us.

For all of you who are so convinced that these proposed "reform" measures are going to lead to universal healthcare in the not-too-distant future, you should be aware that the de-fanging of the Public Option was done so it will fail by becoming what we all fear--a bloated, black hole of a money pit that future reformers will point at as the failed result of government intervention in the free market of health insurance.


This "incremental reform" is about as likely to lead to universal health care, as the vaunted "early withdrawal" technique is likely to prevent unwanted pregnancy.


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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
59. What is really needed is Democratic Party Reform -- We need a two-party system
The political reality is that the Democratic is held hostage by too many Democrats who ought to be Republicans.

Somehow we have to find a way to get the basic balance of what a two-party system is supposed to. A right wing party and a left-wing party. Instead, what we currently have is a right wing party and a center-right wing party that is in thrall to the corporations.

We need to find a way to get the interests of the majority represented.

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LatteLibertine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 05:03 AM
Response to Original message
63. Here are some current options
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 05:06 AM by LatteLibertine
Say to hell with politics because you are not a member of the most wealthy 1-10%.

Support a party populated with many politicians who are puppets to lobbyists.

Support a party populated with many politicians who are puppets to lobbyists and who are also often racist, sexist, homophobic and heavy into classism.


Ideally, we'd have a government that represents the interests of the overwhelming majority of United States citizens. We don't. We are in a nation that is solidly in the grip of corporatism and crony capitalism.

I'm not sure what the answer is or how it can be implemented. Currently, I am doing my best to work with what I view as the lesser of two evils to get done what we may considering the reality I've outlined.

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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. The "lesser" of two evils is still evil...
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 12:49 PM by ProudDad
As long as the critical mass accepts Evil, that's what we'll get...
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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 06:10 AM
Response to Original message
64. He might have to
But, we don't. Why should we engage in appeasing the insurance industry? We should keep Obama's feet to fire in the same way they keep his feet to the fire. The time to compromise comes after we've done all we can to win, and by backing Obama every step of the way, I don't think we're doing that.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
65. Who came up with this shit of our Government answering to private industry?
APPALLING.
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ProudDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
67. When one lives in a sick, stingy, hypocritical empire
this is what one gets.

This lousy, sick, bankrupt USAmerikan Empire can't even get a simple concept like "We need to help each other in our times of need." or "Yes, I am my brother's keeper."

And not just about "Health Care"

This bullsh*t legislation is being "crafted" by people in the pocket of corporations and simmering in a sea of corporate-think.

This bullsh*t "nation" can spend trillions on the war machine in order to rape and rob from the billions to allow a tiny minority to live in utter luxury and a slight majority to be marginally fed and entertained by the bread and circuses of the Empire - mcdonalds and cable TV, but cant find its way to spend anything substantial for the General Welfare.

Meanwhile, the mindless glorification of that USAmerikan Imperial war machine and its dirty deeds fill the airwaves of the empires propaganda machine on ARMISTICE DAY; the day on which the rest of the world (the semi-civilized part) celebrates the sudden, planned outbreak of Peace 90 years ago today.

We cant allow the promotion of bad examples like PEACE or "Universal Health Care" now, can we?

SICKENING...
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
70. This is total Bullshit.
With a HUGE public mandate, no president HAS to cave in to corporations.

He could have run a hardball campaign with full public transparency so that the public knew who was saying what, and who what representing which interests. He could have brought in massive public pressure, combined with his own authority and pressure against anyone against real healthcare. With that kind of combined pressure he could have assured that the media would have lined up behind him to tar anyone supporting corporate interests.

If he had been willing to use really play hardball and use the public mandate, rally the public will and public pressure he could have created a tidal wave of pressure towards health care. He didn't. His entire management style, and Rahm's, is secrecy and keeping the public out of everything as much as possible.

It is because Obama wanted to do this without allowing the public to have any roll, or any say, or even any information about what was going on that we got what we got. The tea-baggers represented the only really organized political/public campaign while this was happening because only the republicans reached out to their base. Why were the republicans the only ones that reached out to their base? Why are the republicans the only ones who Ever reach out to their base? Don't the Democrats realize that they have one? :(



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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #70
78. OK, I suppose he could have run that type of campaign for health care reform.
But he's not that type of politician. And in our broken system I'm not sure that would've worked.

An honest campaign like that would ultimately need to morph into a campaign against the very existence of those corporate/political powers. It would spill over beyond just the health care debate. It would have to in order to succeed.

And if you're gonna go down that road, why not then just address the entire corrupt system before you try to make a generational reform like health care/insurance?

I'd be all for that, but it ain't gonna happen under Obama. He has never shown any sign of doing any such thing. That would be all out war with our corporate owners and that's exactly what Obama seems to want to avaoid.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. History has shown that politicians are very good at
inviting populism into campaigns in very limited and restricted ways. So if history is any lesson, he could have used a populist approach to fight for health care without challenging the entire corrupt way government is run.

Hell, political inertia Requires that the influence of populism would have as little impact as possible and would be concentrated into as narrow a field of focus as possible. The media would not allow it to spread. Politicians would not allow it to spread. Obama would not allow it to spread.

I doubt it would be possible for him to expand populism beyond one or two issues without it backfiring in a whole bunch of ways. He would be painted as unprofessional, refusing to work through the professional political process, refusing to negotiate diplomatically, etc. if he really embraced populism. There is too big an arsenal developed to discredit populism if it gets too big a head start.

So it is a weapon he could have used, but it isn't one I think could have done us that much good, to really undermine the corruption in DC. I think that is just wishful thinking.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
77. AHIP on passage of the bill
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