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If the Public Option dies in the Senate let Health Care Reform go down with it.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:14 PM
Original message
If the Public Option dies in the Senate let Health Care Reform go down with it.
The argument over this year's health care reform bill has enough pro and cons to fill 3 DU forums, but Ill keep it simple. For me, no public option equals no deal. Period. If that gives Lieberman the power to kill it, so be it. There are many good things about this legislation, but many bad things also. The whole effort is riddled with compromises, so what's the big deal about one more? Ask yonder Camel, piled high with straw. There always comes a breaking point.

The public option has been whittled down to a mere 6 million users in the current House bill with the math skewed to help it fail but at least, in the House, it still lives to see the light of day. Where there's life there's hope, so possibly this meager public option could be improved on by future sessions of Congress. A beachhead can always be expanded on but without one there is nothing to build on, just an unbroken massing of entrenched emboldened opposition. If the current concerted national effort to reform our heath insurance system ends with no public option put in place, there is absolutely no reason to think one will be added anytime in the foreseeable future. AFTER the moment is ripe, opportunity rots away. Timing is everything.

Who here believes that health care reform will succeed in America without at the very least establishing a robust public option that private insurers must compete against? Without an opening toward daylight that a public option offers, we would be locking Americans into a closed failed insurance system headed toward ever greater failure. Before signing on for Democratic sponsored reform failure I would rather simply scrap it and blame the Republicans for thwarting reform instead. There needs to be a new bottom line in Washington with evasions no longer accepted: Health care reform must minimally include a public option or there will not be health care reform passed until it does. Politics in Washington shows that only those who credibly draw bold lines in the sand get their bottom line respected. Once that reality sets in, and only after that reality sets in, a public option will cease being seen as an optional component of health care reform. It must be no more "subject to negotiations" than banning preexisting condition exclusions is thought of being as today. It is at the heart of any real reform.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. If the bill was nothing more than the regulations that will be imposed on the isn. companies...
...then it should still pass. Then again, if you like the fact that insurance companies can take people's money but not actually cover them, can discriminate based on gender and pre-existing conditions and are not subject to anti-trust laws, then go ahead, continue advocating that the bill be shot down.

I want a PO, actually I want better than a PO, but the insurance companies should NOT be allowed to continue on as they are. Anyone that advocates that the bill dies is considered an advocate of allowing the insurance companies be allowed to continue engaging in the above practices, period.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I think agent Lieberman is drawing his line in the sand where he is for a reason
The threat of government comptetion is the only intervention the insurance industry mortally fears, and they fear it for good reason. There is a good reason why the rest of the civilized world gives government a central role in providing health insurance to its citizens.

If I believed we could accept just the first set of reforms today without that making it near impossible to win a public option n the reasonable future I likely would feel more like you do. But I think surrendering the public option now would doom it for a generation. Congress will only overhaul the basic system once. I woould rather tyy again in 2012 if it must come to that.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. I disagree. We need those regulations NOW.
I'm a 1099 worker and paying to cover me and my wife is a FORTUNE. Just getting rid of the discriminatory prices alone would enable us to afford coverage for both of us.

I agree that if the PO isn't included that it hurts our chances of getting it in the future, but we can not pass up the chance to ban the insurance companies from engaging in these practices.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Are you really a 1099 worker, or is your employer screwing you over by calling you an "independent
contractor" when you are really an employee? This happens very, very frequently.

When he was in the Senate, Obama denounced this practice. I sure wish he and the Dems would stop this illegal practice ASAP. It screws workers, BIG-TIME.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. I'm a 1099 contract worker which is really common when you are in the IT industry.
My employer employs everyone that way in order to cut overheard and they are very honest about why they do it. I agree to it though because I get to work from a home office 5 days a week and I get paid pretty good for someone that has such a privelige.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. but how much control do they have over you and how you do your work? If they have much control at
all, then you are in fact an employee and should be treated as such. Google "twenty factor test" and check out the IRS's guidelines re: employer vs. independent contractor. HUGE numbers of employers are breaking the law on this issue.

Do they pay you enough extra to compensate for the massive health insurance premiums you have to pay, plus no paid time for sick leave, vacations, holidays, extra FICA tax, etc? Even if they do, they may still be breaking the law.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Here is my kick in response to an anonymous Unrec
Owned unreccs, as always, respectfully received.
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. Whatever passes the Senate will just be a step in the process
The important bill will be the one that comes out of the House-Senate conference committee.
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aSpeckofDust Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I have a sickening feeling it's only going to get worse from here. N/T
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DavidDvorkin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I'm trying to be optimistic
Partly because I've been pessimistic for so long that I just need some hopefulness.

Be that as it may, it's possible that the Senate will pass a weak bill and then the conference committee will come up with a strong bill that the Senate will pass under reconciliation rules.

That's assuming Reid will demonstrate the spine to go that way.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. well I disagree.
I want the lousy public option in there. But I don't agree that it is the beachhead in this battle. Rather the many other regulations that are being put in place on private insurance is the beachhead. That is what will be expanded on. I see this evolving similar to how auto insurance has evolved. In return for mandates that people must get the insurance there will be a great acceptance of the need to regulate health insurance more. Eventually we will either see more effort at price controls or a full blown public option that will easily gain support needed.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. OK, we have a principled disagreement then
I respect that. I obviously have a lot less trust in the regulatory model of making insurance companies behave on behalf of the consumers than you do, because of the way insiders with money always manage to scatter loopholes with their contributions. To borrow a page from the Right, real market competion is a much more effecient means of controlling prices and enuring quality. But it's not just that. America being dependent on a better regulated private insurance industry would be like having to drive a car with one flat tire instead of the current two. The rest of our economoy is increasingly becoming less economically competitive in order to support current private health insurance company profits.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. You don't think there is competition
in the auto insurance business? A well regulated insurance industry will not end competition, it just means they compete according to the rules.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. I'll go with the comparitive international studies of health care costs
...under different models. I'll go with the studies comparing overhead costs for Medicare vs the private insurance sector. And I'll go with a generations long track record of callous greed displayed by the private health insurance industry in America to inform my predications of their future behavior.

The markets betweem autos and human health are profoundly different. The psychological component of needing access to treatments to combat disease and the death of loved ones is trancendent, leaving consumers of health care in a highly vulnerable state to profiteers, among other things.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. You're fighting a different battle
than Obama outlined though.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. No, there is not competition in the auto insurance business.
Look at the Canadian system for proof of that. In Alberta, where they have mandated private insurance, yearly costs in premiums are triple to quadruple what the premium costs are in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where there is government insurance. If we had government auto insurance in America, we'd be paying a quarter of what we are paying now, because the auto insurance industry collaborates on pricing, just as most other areas of the private sector do.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. Amen -- As long as the public option is mneaningful
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. The House gave us a Pubic Option, not a Public Option
Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 12:41 PM by IndianaGreen
What we got is an exchange that will cost more than the for-profit insurance, and that won't take full effect until 2019. Prior to that, the working class will be further burdened by mandates that will reward the industry at their expense.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. That's not meaningful for sure
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I agree...
...that is why I think my position here is extremely flexible and pragmatic. I'm going on a wing and a prayor to think if we get a tiny toehold of a public option included now we can then struggle to change it to make it actually workable over the coming two to eight years. That's putting a lot of faith into a system that hasn't done much to earn it.

To settle for LESS than that out strips my ability to be so called pragmatic.
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
9. Lets never forget that ANY Public Option isnt a Good thing...Remember: Trigger is like no PO at all.
As it stands though and as weak as it is currently in the bill it is going to take alot of amendments to make it worth while for future generations.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Yes, 'trigger' = 'no public option'
No trigger!
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. Without the public option, the bill really should die
I'm very happy with the House bill and it's reforms, but without the 'foot-in-the-door' public option (which will likely grow faster than expected as small business stops offering healthcare), the whole reform is lost IMO.

No public option, no reform - I agree.
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Aramchek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. such negativity, so little Hope
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I still hope we wiill get reform with a Public Option
But in the real world one way to influence the chances of getting what you need is to inform those who are in a position to deny that of the price they will pay for so doing in advance.
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Aramchek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. The House just passed a bill with the PO and your first post out of the chute is this
That doesn't look like Hope to me.
But maybe you're just a worry wart.

Chin up!
We are winning.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I'm not panning hope
I'm actually hoping that a deeply flawed House Bill can somehow help turn the corner of the health care crisis in America, if what it minimally contains is not bargained further away. I think that takes hope :)

But this fight is too important to just sit back and hope. There are folks in Washington holding critical strategy sessions right this minute while we type our posts. They are I have no doubt taking stock this very instant of where all the forces are balanced. We are not disinterested and meaningless bystanders. Politics is at work, and the reactions of voters and supporters are always being measured and taken into account.

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Aramchek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. don't just sit back, but don't give aid or comfort to the opposition either
Keep on pushing
Straight ahead

Keep on pushing
Straight ahead
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
24. Killing it is not an option.
Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 01:14 PM by jefferson_dem
Period. To not get ANY reform would be worse than foolish - in terms of both policy and politics.

Change happens incrementally. Plant the seeds now or it will never bear fruit.

So...get the absolute best we can get, celebrate reform, and move on.

I'm glad our Democratic representatives are not as short-sighted as some of my fellow DUers.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Do you ever draw lines?
Would a guarentee of increased federal funding to make sure that public schools for blacks were as ggod as those for whites have made "seperate but equal" a tolerable standard back in 1960? Would marginally improved education for hundreds of thousands of children have been worth it if the underlying principle of segreation got reaffirmed in the process?

This is of course an emotionally charged example which may well be a poor fit except for the fact that you chose a relatively absolutist position to assert. I do not think that all instances of progress measurable by some selected criteria justify the compromises made to make that progress; neither morally or pragmatically. Politics is like poker in many many ways. Once it is established that an adversary will back down in the face of seeming resolove, that adversary will always be confronted with so called steely resolve. Once it is shown that and adversary will always fold if the ante is raised, the ante will always be raised.
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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I draw lines at the health of my family.
Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 01:35 PM by dave29
period. I want all the things you express, and will continue to fight for them. But yes, I will draw a line and say the health of my family (and there are pre-existing conditions abound) will be improved by this bill. That's why I will continue to support it today, and until the day it is signed into law. And why I belive you should continue to support it as well.

I say all this still believing we will get a public option, so please do not accuse me of being against it.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I've been uninsured for years now
We all have a personal stake in this. I don't doubt your word on anything you said.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. A better illustration. Truman integrated the armed services in 1948.
Should we have opposed that effort because many public accomodations were still segregated, and remained so for 16 more years?

Progress is progress. We only get one bite at the major healthcare reform apple every 30-40 years. This is our time. That means two things. First, we take this opportunity to demand reforms be substantial and effective. Second, we use this opportunity to actually achieve reform. Do you honestly think Conyers, Dingell, Weiner, Slaugher, DeFazio, etc would support the bill if they thought NOTHING was the better solution?

Obviously, I do not have a position at the negotiating table. So it makes zero difference if I show my hand before the game is played.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. "Do you honestly think Conyers, Dingell, Weiner, Slaugher, DeFazio, etc would support the bill..."
They supported the House Bill, obviously. Nowhere did I suggest that they shouldn't support it.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
34. The public option is only one part of the bill,
Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 04:02 PM by FrenchieCat
and to believe otherwise is a miopic view, in my estimation.

To say, either it is there or fuck it
is not humane for the good that it does
for yes......people.

and yes, I unrecced your post,
because I disagree with its premise,
strongly. Sorry about that, but
you did state that you wanted to know....
and this is the first time I have unrecced one of your threads.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. Thanks Frenchie. I appreciate you being straight forward about it.
And given how you feel your unrec is understandable. I haven't given you any unrecs but if I ever do, I'll say so directly also :)
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
35. Not just no but HELL NO. Public option is no litmus test for me. n/t
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. Agreed. No PO, no deal.
What's left of a Public Option is pathetic after the House vote. It means NO real competition for the bloodsuckers.

But as pathetic as it is, at least it's a "foot in the door".

Killing it would mean killing off any chance at REAL reform, becuase it would GUARANTEE the insurance companies' reign of terror.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
38. Agreed - take out the Public Option and it all unravels

No Public Option I can't see how you can justify mandates


No mandates then you can't eliminate discriminaton or preconditions.



But in fact they have the votes - they simply have to win on procedureal issues. In the end there will be no filibuster.



I have a theory that the Republicans want the bill passed. If it is defeated then they will have to take responsibility for not having alternative and there really isn't one.


I think that they would rather pass it and then pummel Democrats on the next 3 elections on deficit issues.



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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. Of course I hope you are correct about the Senate
Usually you are, so here's hoping this isn't the exception to the rule :)
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
40. Totally agree. Well said.
Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 10:39 PM by Waiting For Everyman
I'd add that the mandates need to go too though, as well as Stupak. I doubt those provisions would ever get "fixed" if it's passed with them in it.

But the public option is good as the ultimate deal-breaker line in the sand.
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