Chronicle of Our Death Panel Foretold

Our C-SPAN streaming plug-in is on the fritz, so we’ve invited famed political illustrator Pieter Bruegel the Elder to depict the Senate as it casts its historic healthcare vote at this hour.


For all its flaws, let us not forget that is a bill that ultimately extends health care coverage to some 31 million Americans who currently lack it. And it is a bill that can be tweaked and made better over the years. This is exactly what happened to Social Security and Medicare.

The real story today shouldn’t be Democrats Pass Flawed Bill. It should be Every Single Senate Republican Votes to Deny 31 Million American Health Insurance Coverage.

Or GOP Death Cult Votes for 31 Million Americans to Die Grisly Deaths

The deed is done.

When the roll was called at 7:05 a.m. on Thursday, it was a solemn moment. Senators called out “aye” or “no.” Senator Robert C. Byrd, the 92-year-old Democrat from West Virginia, deviated slightly from the protocol.

“This is for my friend Ted Kennedy,” Mr. Byrd said. “Aye!”

Considering what the bill was up against, I think that the fact it has passed the senate is somewhat of a small miracle.

Rant… Oh sweet zombie Jeebus!
Watching what happened here makes me glad that Canada City’s founding fathers didn’t follow the US Senate rule and kept the upper house proportional to population despite various Westerners attempts at the supposed triple E senate (which would be like yours and we would have our “own” Liebermans.)

Considering the dysfunctional mess created by some 40+ senators from mostly the least populated states trying to dictate to the rest of the nation something to help less fortunate US Americans. Of course, folks can point to the constitutional impasse of Quebec and, now, Alberta, but these don’t crush the operation of parliament–just affect how those rules are applied.

@Nabisco: It’s become the death party. War everywhere against everyone. Insurance, overpriced, for those who won’t ever need the coverage, leaving the rest to die swimming in their own puss. Can’t wait for the insurance companies to quintuple health insurance premiums, place 24/7 ads on the TV about Obama’s death panels being assembled to exterminate white people and fund 527 groups forming up as front groups for militia to arm the craziest. The insurance block won’t give up until every American is bankrupted or dead.


I think the bill theoretically requires insurance companies to spend some 94% of the cost of a premium on patient care. That, in theory, should keep costs from skyrocketting since they’d have to find a way to spend the bulk of the premium increase on care.

@Serolf Divad: There are SWAT teams of accountants and lawyers now working around the clock in bunkers figuring out ways to end run that 94% rule – as well as organizing court challenges, suits and setting up front groups to rally militia against Obama. The insurance industry makes the creatures from alien look like a fat house cat. The war against reform has only begun and they’re flush with cash and have everyone who voted McCain as a rabid, totalist foot-soldier at their disposal.

@FlyingChainSaw: I agree with everything you said and still think we’ve witnessed a first small shift in the “me, me, me” direction this country has been taking for what, the last 40 years or more? Of course the bill that comes out of the Congressional sausage grinder in Washington isn’t going to be exactly what we want to see. What it represents is an initial change in the status quo that has allowed insurance companies to make obscene profits by denying payment for health care to us, our friends and families. Those profits have been subsidized by the taxpayers picking up the tabs for the treatment of uninsured people in hospital emergency rooms where the costs truly become astronomical.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard Senators talk about Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, especially the Freedom from Fear. That’s the kind of progressive discussion I hope to be seeing more of from now on. The GOP is playing the role of King Canute commanding the tide.

@Dave H: Don’t get me wrong. I’m inspired but I will never underappreciate an adversary of the sort that we have at hand in the pharma-medical-industrial complex. Assume the worst. Assume the worst channeling the imagination of Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Manson. Then get ready to be surprised at the wanton depravity of soulless monsters that would make Jeffrey Dahmer vomit blood. Then you stand a chance.


@Dave H: The GOP is playing the role of King Canute commanding the tide.

@Serolf Divad: I think (happy to stand corrected) they had to lower it to 80 percent, because anything higher would be legally regarded as a government takeover.

But whatever the percentage, insurance companies use far more creative accounting than the movie industry. It’s all about enforcement.


Clearly exhausted, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid mistakenly voted no before changing his vote to yes, which got a laugh in the chamber, especially from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Following his blunder, Reid was thrown off the Bridge of Death.

@nojo: Likely, a lot of the guys who worked with Fastow at Enron have already been consulting with the insurance industry to construct special purpose entities offshore, very likely to be house-controlled reinsurers who will rate the policies something arbitrarily risky and then buy the pools only at ridiculous mark-ups – profits of which will be channeled back to the health insurers carriers’ executives through another layer of special purpose entities.

The health insurance carriers will go in front of the Congress in 2011 and say that the market has determined the cost of carrying the risk and it is unfortunately rising at 100% per year – just ask the reinsurers what they’ve calculated as a ‘rational premium’ for these policies. The reinsurers will present their calculations in excruciating detail and ‘prove’ that any predictive pricing model that would present a lower premium would introduce so much new and unmetric’ed risk that the policies could not be traded on the reinsurance market. The market is perfect, uncorruptible and irrefutable, the GOP members of Congress will bark, and to question it in any way is an affront to jesus and unconstituitional.

While the insurers are gaming the health premiums, they’ll have PAC’s funding 527s and Adkisson brigades attacking the Obama administration for doubling the cost of health insurance and forcing white people to fund the health care of the browns. The GOP will introduce the same bill in both houses every day – to revoke the HCR legislation – and filibuster every single piece of legislation in protest that the HCR has not been repealed.

The holdovers from the Bush Administration in Justice and Treasury will be working full-time to make sure any case formation against the insurance industry in their agencies is mishandled to an extent that makes the case unprosecuteable. Obama must make sure that any enforcement action is managed by his blood-sworn stormtroopers and that the work is audited by his most trusted field marshals as it proceeds.

Unless the Demrats are ready to fight this on every frontier – industrial, political, and ministerial/civil service with coldblooded relentlessness, predicting every betrayal and fighting it before it gains ground, they will lose whatever wins they think they’ve gained yesterday. The adversary is a horror of unimaginable ruthlessness, insatiable greed and hunger for destruction.

BREAKING: Mellbell texts from somewhere inside a giant metal tube…

I’m on a flight with Mitch McConnell! On fucking Southwest! Unbelievable!

Not sure how long she has until her connection drops. Any suggestions?

@nojo: Ask the steward/ess for a six pack of Ballantine Ale. Drink it. Piss in McConnell’s face.

@nojo: If she has a pair of shoelaces and a pen, preferably two, she could sit in back of him . . .

@nojo: Tell Mellbell to ask him when he is going to marry Larry Craig. That should get a conversation started.

Messages forwarded. That’s the real reason I got an iPhone — I could never figure out texting with old-school multiple key combos.

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