Your Money or Your Life

Pass the placebö.If we read the colonic bag correctly, the “public option” is dead. Even if it passes the House, it won’t survive the conference committee. Instead, some future public plan will be “triggered” if certain standards aren’t met after a suitably long period of time.

Long enough, that is, for those standards to be suitably weakened. Or for whatever public option eventually emerges to be suitably hobbled.

None of which matters, since it has no more basis in reality than a campaign promise. Much like the promise that led us to hope something worthwhile might be accomplished this year.

Instead, the immediate, practical question is this: How much will the healthcare “reform” fuck us over?

It’s a practical question because, while the details remain in flux, there’s a good chance the legislation might make things worse than the wonderful system we enjoy now.

Say, for example, an individual “mandate” requires everyone to purchase health insurance. Without a public option — a national insurance pool covering tens of millions of citizens — we’re looking at a marvelous windfall for those insurance companies that are so efficient, they manage to keep thirty cents out of every dollar you hand them.

And while premiums would be subsidized, they likely won’t be subsidized to the point where people can actually afford them.

And even if you’re lucky enough to cover the dues, your deductible may still be so high that your actual coverage never kicks in.

At which point we might start our own Tea Party. But with real teabagging, since our parties are more fun.

All of which is to announce that Barry’s going to say something tonight that won’t make a damn bit of difference, and we’ll be revving up our Open Thread/Hemlock Tasting Party at 7:45 p.m. ET. À votre santé!


If the Congress votes in a bonanza for the insurance crime syndicates we should organize a colostomy bag stomp-in at the next health committee hearing.

The state is pushing up premiums for the very nice $300 deductible PPO and giving discounts for people to take the high deductible plans + FSAs.

They can take my insurance policy from my cold dead hands. I had so much medical/mh stuff done this year that the PPO saved me from insolvency. I’ll pay what I need to for a good policy.

Speaking of mental health, why is this not part of the debate? The system is lousy as it is and probably will be overlooked in the debate.

Mental health is always overlooked. I suspect that the GOP does this deliberately to protect it’s base judging by the stupid insane blather coming from their mouths in the last couple of months.

If the Dems do something as stupid as to pass an insurance mandate without a suitable, cheap, subsidized public option, they will lose the Congress and Senate in 2010 and the Presidency in 2012… and deservedly so.

You cannot force an insurance mandate down people’s throats if it’s going to cost lower and lower-middle income voters a dime. It’s unethical as Hell.

When most of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted for the War in Iraq I refused to vote in the 2002 elections and then changed my party affiliation to Green a few days later (after the Democratic party got slaughtered at the polls). Despite my enthusiasm for Oabma, I have yet to change my party registration back. If the Dems manage to royally screw up health care reform I might start attending Green Party meeting again and registering Green voters.

The Dems are coming across like a sorry assed pack of pussies. They manage to ram through a (needed) Bank and Wall-Street bailout and stimulus package despite thunderous GOP opposition. These are measures that, while they rescued us from an economic collapse, largely spread billions of dollars among the undeserving rich. If the Dems fail to find the cojones to ram through something that actually helps ordinary Americans then the Democratic Party can just kiss my hairy ass as far as I’m concerned.

I think I’m going to watch Melanie Oudin in the U.S. Open instead.

@SanFranLefty: I’ll be getting an edumacation in a class tonight.

@SanFranLefty: @rptrcub: Back to school open house for the little biscuits for me. Then homemade moussaka from the Old Country with the in-laws as we go into the homestretch of their last days visiting/my last days with current health care provider employer.

@Serolf Divad: Out here the Greens are just a bunch of fucking losers with absolutely no grass roots appeal, being for the most part insufferable bearded hippies in weird clothes from some place else, or fellow traveler hippied out patchouli – wearing New Age Hispanics. Greens once had major party status in New Mexico but lost it in for at least the past 1.5 presidential cycles. For an anti-Republican like myself, they do not represent a viable option here in New Mexico.

A bearded hippie from somewhere else with heavy progressive/labor/campaign cred and support actually recently became the Santa Fe Dem Party chair over some shady locally produced hack from a big political family, but Santa Fe, parts of Taos and university/downtown precincts in Albuquerque are our liberal bastions and represent only a faction of the party, but it’s a loud, active one. I’ll probably back our moderately progressive Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the governor’s race next year, which she’ll probably win. I served with her at the state party and I like her a lot. One of my successors is running for lt. gov.

Basically nojo has described exactly what I fear we’ll end up getting. I will have the privilege of paying an exorbitant amount each month for insurance that won’t cover shit, all because the Dems were born without a spine.

@Mistress Cynica: Not true. They’re stand fast against those who threaten their power, prestige and contributions.


Out here the Greens are just a bunch of fucking losers with absolutely no grass roots appeal, being for the most part insufferable bearded hippies in weird clothes from some place else, or fellow traveler hippied out patchouli – wearing New Age Hispanics.

Sure, but at least they’re not spineless, gutless, un-principled Democrats.

@Serolf Divad: Well, if they can find a way to get through to the folks out here, good for them. A lot of our middle and working class Hispanic Dems are actually very socially conservative and form a significant portion of the core and leadership of the New Mexico Democratic Party. Rural northern Santa Fe County went big for Clark, while the city went for my guy Howard Dean in the 2004 caucuses. A lot of them didn’t go our way for Kerry in ’04 general. Gore won by 366 (three hundred and sixty-six) votes in 2000.

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