The Democratic Health Care Plan: Die Quickly.

Nancy Pelosi this morning, showing that inspiring leadership we’ve come to expect from the majority party:

“I don’t see the votes for it at this time,” Pelosi said. “The members have been very clear in our caucus about the fact that they didn’t like it before it had the Nebraska provision and some of the other provisions that are unpalatable to them.”

“In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is,” she said. “There isn’t a market right now for proceeding with the full bill unless some big changes are made.”

Hey, we’re no fans of the Senate bill — we’re not that excited about the House bill, for that matter. But it comes down to this: Is the Senate bill better than the status quo? If so, pass it, and fix it later. If not, say as much and start over.

Because unless we’re missing something, those are your only two options. Anything else requires a faith in unicorns that we lost somewhere.

Pelosi: There Aren’t Enough Votes To Pass The Senate Bill [TPM]

actually there are other options.
there is something they are calling “side car reconciliation”:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that [. . .]”I don’t think it’s possible to pass the Senate bill in the House,” Pelosi told reporters after a morning meeting with her caucus. “I don’t see the votes for it at this time.” [. . .] Aides said afterward that the best option would be for the Senate to pass a bill that fixes those and other issues under fast-track rules that require a simple majority. But the Senate has not agreed to do so.

they should absolutely not just roll over and pass the shitty senate bill. at least TRY to fix it.
for a couple of reasons. it is paid for by taxing middle class health plans. that is stupid and unacceptable to unions. you want Armageddon in Nov? let the unions abandon the democrats. the other reason is that all the senate bill would really do is legally require everyone to buy insurance from the existing fucked up system with absolutely no price controls so the insurance companies can charge us literally anything they want.
and we will have to pay it or get fined. that is not ok.

@Capt Howdy:

Who fucking cares anymore? The ruling class just won. We’ll get the health care that the rich want us to get and that’s it.

@Capt Howdy: Aides said afterward

Well, that’s encouraging, leaving it to minions…

But the Senate has not agreed to do so.

…and that certainly restores my faith in political leadership.

Blaming the Senate is not an option — it’s a whine.

There’s a bill on the table that requires one vote and one signature to become law. Is that bill, flaws and all, better than what exists now? Because unless Harry Reid discovers his testicles in the couch cushions, that bill is the only option available.

@Capt Howdy: And the rest of your comment addresses the issue at hand: Is the Senate bill better or worse? You vote worse, which is an acceptable answer.

I have become convinced, by reading people who follow this shit religiously, that is in not necessarily better than what exists now.
there are very good arguments that is could actually make things worse.
do you trust the insurance companies to not jack up prices once everyone is roped into being legally forced to buy their shit. I do not.
I honestly think if it is the senate bill as is or nothing. kill it. in a year or so of dropped and denied coverage and skyrocketing costs people will begin to see the advantage of real reform.
and its not easy for me to say that. I have tried every way I know how to support this.

as far as leaving it to the minions, there are furious negotiations going on right now.
I dont think the smart progressives in the house will vote for this piece of shit. and I dont think they should.
they worked like hell and produced a pretty good bill while the fucking senate dragged their feet and made excuses for a year.
now the senate says this or nothing? I dont think they will do it.

@Capt Howdy: in a year or so of dropped and denied coverage and skyrocketing costs people will begin to see the advantage of real reform.

Make that ten or fifteen years. You wouldn’t believe the shit Americans will put up with.

I’m not a fan of the political calculus that says wait for the pain to really kick in — that’s too rational for my taste. All I want to know is whether the Senate bill causes more problems than it solves. Anything else is irrelevant.

Personally, a staged expansion of Medicare would suit me fine. And if such a thing could be accomplished through reconciliation, that would suit me even better. But every time I look into reconciliation, it never looks as easy as everyone hopes.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
I have not given up.
this is what I think should happen. I have been saying it for months and I actually was reading yesterday that others are starting to talk about it.
make the fucking assholes like LIEberman and Nelson take up or down votes IN PUBLIC on the bullshit things in this bill.
for example make them explain why the insurance companies should be exempt from price fixing laws that every other business in the country has to obey.
separate out this shit like that from the huge confusing bill and make them explain and vote up or down in broad daylight and explain why they are doing it.

@Capt Howdy:

Fuck them all! I’m serious! I say we drag anybody that makes more than 200,000 a year out of their fucking homes and barbecue them.

This is class war and we are losing.

expansion of Medicare would be the simplest most elegant way to deal with it.
and I totally agree if they pass something that does not effect people NOW they are screwed.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:

to paraphrase Marc Anthony;
“you may have all the best people on your side but I have an angry mob on my side who will roast and eat the best people in the ashes of the senate”

@Capt Howdy:

They don’t care what we think, man! They have theirs and fuck the rest of us. They are our betters!

Don’t think so? Find me one piece of legislation- one- in the last 15 years that isn’t a Valentine to one corporation or another. I am so sick of this shit I can’t see straight.

one other thing
I believe that if the house progressives stick to their guns and the scum bag spineless jellyfish senators see that they really are willing to shove that piece of shit bill up their asses and walk away with nothing they will miraculously become more pliant and reasonable.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
I couldnt agree more and I think there is a group, a sizable group, in the house that is as sick of it as we are.
this is a senate problem. its a 60 vote problem. they do not have to get 60 votes. Bush passed most of the shitty stuff he passed, tax cuts included, through reconciliation.
they just have to be forced to do it.

@Capt Howdy: separate out this shit like that from the huge confusing bill and make them explain and vote up or down in broad daylight and explain why they are doing it.

If the Senate bill is worse than the status quo, I heartily agree. And arguments that the Senate bill is worse than the status quo — and cannot be improved after passage — are heartily entertained.

But first I want to be satisfied that the Senate bill is so fucked up, it’s beyond redemption. Practical alternatives are thin on the ground.

@Capt Howdy:

This government is rotten from the ground up. They’re not interested in actual governance. They are interested in lining their pockets and that means keeping the status quo.

If the House progressives stick to their guns, it won’t be long before the system works to corrupt them too. Too much money in it, and after today it will just be worse.

I dont trust them to improve it after passage. I am not willing to give insurance companies the right to charge any fucking thing they want, thats exactly what it does, and REQUIRE ME BY LAW to pay it.
there is one and only one good thing in the senate bill. the preexisting condition thing. think the insurance companies give a shit about that with the gold plated gift they are being given by the senate?

if that was really a problem I doubt that insurance company stocks would be riding a 50 year high.

I honestly think you have to wait a bit to see what happens.
if the choices are right now as is or nothing. its nothing.
but I dont think that is the limit of the choices. yet.

@Capt Howdy: Honestly, I don’t trust fix-after-passage either — I don’t trust any if-then scenario that follows the Senate bill. That’s why we have to look at it squarely, decide whether we can live with it, and proceed accordingly.

If we can’t live with the Senate bill, that’s an honest assessment. But let’s be clear that the alternative isn’t some better bill (or smaller, better bills) we can devise later, but what we have now. That’s all I ask.

this works for me.

So what’s next for Pat? What’s next for a country frustrated by leaders who seem to be governing out of timidity versus conviction?

Step one: The House should pass the Senate’s health insurance reform bill – with an agreement that it will be fixed, fixed right, and fixed right away through a parallel process.

Reform can work — the Senate bill can serve as the foundation for reform and include at minimum the improvements the Administration, House, and Senate have negotiated. We cannot squander the opportunity to make real progress. The House and Senate must move forward together. And, there is no reason they cannot move forward together to make those changes through any means possible — whether through reconciliation or other pieces of moving legislation.

At the very least, split the Medicare cost savings out of the bill and force the little pigfuckers to argue against them. I would love to see Republicans arguing that insurers *need* additional subsidies to provide the same service as the government. After all, I thought the insurers were way better at it, and everyone knows that government subsidies are “socialism” in the Republican playbook. XD

Would also make the whole “deficit commission” schtick even funnier – could even the most shameless Repug manage to try to cut Medicare after spending 8 months defending it?

@Capt Howdy: I honestly think you have to wait a bit to see what happens.

Well, I’ll have to honestly disagree on that. I loves me the Progressive Caucus — ancestral homeboy Pete DeFazio is a member — but alas, they’re not driving the bus.


if the progressives stick together, and I really really think they might – and apparently so does Nancy, then they are in fact driving.
I really think the end of the rope may have been reached for many of them.
time will tell.

One thing I’m sure of: my insurance rate will go up dramatically just as soon as Cigna figures it’s safe to raise it. Next Tuesday, say. In 2001 I paid two thousand dollars a year. Eight years later it has quadrupled in cost to me and benefits are less. In ten years what will it be?

And the assault on Medicare begins in 3.. 2… 1…

And BTW: State of the Union is any day. What’s the betting on the number of Republicans who don’t show? And those who do sit on their hands all night?

Hey, here’s Mrs. Brown herself, starring in a music video from the 80s by a band called “Digney Fingus:”

Obama punts:

“As the majority leader and speaker continue to look to the best way forward, the president has a very full plate,” Gibbs said. “There’s plenty of work for the president to do in the meantime.”

Well, that’s nice. All we need is a “Contract with America,” and we’re set for November.

he has been a bystander in this entire process. he seems unable to take a stand on anything more important than a beer summit.

IMO he is becoming the definition of a political empty suit.

oh wait
I forgot. he sent some troops someplace. didnt he?

Boys, boys, listen. There’s one choice now, and this is it: our fucking Ark. During Hope and ChangeTM last year, we were seduced into thinking we could stay in this country because there was a chance that decency and common sense could be salvaged, that we could pull back from the brink, that maybe, just maybe, we could ride out the decline of the American empire with grace.

But just this week the people of Massachusetts filled Kennedy’s seat with a teabagging pin-up SILF, congressional Dems washed their hands of a health care bill that they had already allowed to be whittled down to no longer resemble anything close to reform, and the Supreme Court greenlit major corporations to openly buy and sell elections. It should be clear to all of us sane folks left that this concept of a livable country was an illusion. There are two choices in this here U.S.: theocratic, kleptocratic pigfuckery or hypocritical spineless collaboration.

Ergo, pull up the stakes, gather the organic seeds, sewing machines, and booze, and prepare to sail! First order of business: Prommie, find us a seaworthy vessel and make her yar!

@Capt Howdy: He’s quite good at committing troops, ignoring war crimes, ignoring faked Gitmo suicides, living with DADT, proposing toothless financial reforms…

I should find the South Park clip with all the Dawn of the Dead zombies raiding the town asking for “Change, Change”…

@flippin eck: Is now a bad time to mention that I don’t swim?

@Capt Howdy:
dibs on the job of auditioning cabin boys

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: They’re not valentines, they’re auto-erotic poems that the corporations author themselves, to themselves, in their own self-interest and shove up the ass of their paid-for congressslaves.

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what your government can do for Wall Street.

Well, hey now, I for one would rather no health care than this shit bill anyway, it has always been government single payor universal coverage or nothing, for me. Medicare for all.

why do you think Droopy Dog LIEberman is so fucking wrinkled?
its the excess skin that accommodates the sheer mass of what has been shoved up there over the years.

you know, the thing is, expanded Medicare was originally in the 60 vote senate bill. LIEberman took care of that.

@Capt Howdy: I’m staying. Cannibal anarchy imminent. All the fucking neonazis you can shoot. Total bankruptcy of the US and its sad, shattered people. Hate and death raining down like thunder and lightning. Who could walk away from apocalypse America?

@Capt Howdy: I thought it was from all those insurance companies and banks holding onto his ears while they rip his asshole open in a perpetual ass-fucking festival of bitch-ownership.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Darling, didn’t we go over this last week?

Hear, hear!

The 2010 Democratic platform: “Hey, don’t blame us.”

@Capt Howdy: Expanded to 55 and up, yes, I want it expanded to 0 and up.

@FlyingChainSaw: It will be after the 2010 elections and the impeachment.

@flippin eck: I saw a listing for a read-to-go 200 foot research vessel with accomodations for like 100 people, just a week or so ago, $1.5 million. Don’t any of you all have homes, like, with some equity, ya know? It wouldn’t be luxurious, be kinda like The Life Aquatic, but I bet it would be fun.

lets see, the white house, huge majorities in both houses of congress.

nope. Im thinkin that flight will be shorter than the spruce goose.

Have we seen this? It’s choice.

I’m thinking about going back to Blighty. Trouble is I despise the English and we could never afford to buy anything remotely comparable.

Maybe now is the time to look more closely at Iceland.

ADD. It seems that noje has taken away my posting linques privileges. Perhaps because I said he had no standards. But I meant that in a good way.

(Editorial add: Noje can’t help it if you can’t type.)

@Capt Howdy: but the thing is, they were never really majorities, if 1/4th of the caucus could be counted on to vote as republicans.

Maddow did some pretty good reporting last night on the scary republican minority.



she has it exactly right. there is nothing stopping them but an shortage of nads.

@Benedick: Psst. Put a < in front of your linquey, before the a href part.

@JNOV: That’s right, dazzle me with science. It’s only a matter of time before someone tells me not to trouble my pretty little head.

@Benedick: :-* Just like with everything else, it takes some practice. If you start linking like a maniac, it’ll stick to the grey matter eventually. Or you can just blame Nojo. That’s cool, too.

@JNOV: Actually, I have learned how. I just missed the thingy when I copied it. But thanks for the info. And shh! yes, it is usually more fun to blame noje.

@flippin eck: Please please please — you all will let me on board as well? I’ll cook, clean, be a decent fourth at canasta, and I don’t get seasick.

@flippin eck: I’ll knit fisherman’s sweaters for everyone.

Stinque legal eagles – check your inboxes. Message from FCS.

I have ruminated on Unicorn’s presidency for a good while now and have decided that the change he has instituted is that the presidency hews more closely to its constitutional role, rather than the CEO presidency, or a presidency that exercises great latitude in its powers. He proposes and lets Congress (representatives of the people) debate and legislate. This model is great (in the 19th century) only that Congress is a whorehouse of special interest, so the best interests of the country are lost. My hope with the Unicorn’s ascendancy was that election reform would be the first issue tackled as it would hopefully close down the whorehouse with the special interest money. Then reforms might have more readily happened. But as should be expected it didn’t, and my well aged cynicism has re-engaged after a brief respite. So I can’t follow any more of this sad story, nor care to add commentary, or give much of a fucking shit about anything other than my own little parochial interests.

Who wants to bet against me that now, at last, we will finally get the health care reform the previously disenfranchised, poor, starving, selling-matchsticks-on-the-sidewalk insurance companies really desire?

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