"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Sunday, December 06, 2009

Perhaps this is why Barack Obama was allowed to win
Posted by Jill | 10:06 PM
The more we see of Barack Obama as president, the more we realize that he in no way represents change we can believe in. There is no chess game, there is no Special Barack Mojo that we just can't see yet. What there is, yet again, is a Washington outsider who doesn't understand how the game is played; who doesn't understand that Washington is run by Sally Quinn and Maureen Dowd and Little Luke Russert and Big David Gregory and Sweaty Chris Matthews -- and that even though they don't know jack shit, what they say and what they want happens. The Desiree Rogers fracas is Travel Office II: Electric Bugaloo. Gays in the military is, well, gays in the military. And health care is once again health care. If it feels to you like the Clinton era with all the media scandalmongering and none of the prosperity, you're not alone.

It's not all his fault. He came to office in a clusterfuck, and in a nation full of people whose most important issue is who is going to win American Idol, he wasn't going to have enough time to fix what ails this country. But the degree to which the WAshington Villagers want him to fail is truly spectacular. This morning I was watching The Chris Matthews Show for about five minutes and wanted to shoot myself in the face. "If he doesn't get health care, his presidency is ruined", opined one of the hackocracy on the panel. It's amazing just how much the Village wants Barack Obama to fail. It isn't just for Republicans anymore.

I'll tell you a secret. On September 12, 2001, I didn't want George W. Bush to fail. We were in a crisis, and I wanted a president who knew what the hell he was doing. We didn't have one, of course, and he didn't know what the hell he was doing, but not for one minute did I wish his failure. I don't wish Chris Christie's failure either, for all that I didn't vote for him for governor. If he can somehow manage to get New Jersey out of its fiscal mess that's all to the good.

But Barack Obama doesn't "belong", so he must be ruined. And therefore, the Washington social set has decided that if Barack Obama doesn't get health care "reform" passed, the rest of his presidency is just a waste of time.

I'm ready to say that if it DOES pass his presidency may very well be ruined.

Here's why:

The public option in the Senate bill, it should be emphasized, is a compromise of a compromise already. The first compromise was to have the public plan negotiate its rates directly with providers, rather than set them based on Medicare’s rates. This compromise meant that the Congressional Budget Office was unlikely to score the public plan as producing the huge savings that it projected for a plan that used Medicare-based rates. Whether CBO was right in discounting the negotiated-rate plan’s savings is another matter--as I have written on this site, it’s likely underestimating the cost-containment potential--but the CBO’s numbers rule on Capitol Hill.

The second compromise was to allow states that did not want to have the public plan operating within their borders to “opt out” with the passage of a state law. How many states will take advantage of this option is unclear, but it’s certain to reduce the impact of the public plan even further. Indeed, the CBO is now projecting—again, pessimistically in my view--that only a few million Americans will enroll in the public plan. Yet none of this has apparently appeased the handful of hold-outs. Emboldened by the White House’s lack of clarity and pressure on the issue, they are digging in their heels and spewing false claims about the public plan (for example, that it’s a budget buster when there are no special government subsidies for it and the CBO projects it will exert downward pressure on private premiums, thus lowering the price tag of reform). Hence the new push to find some kind of middle road.

The problem is that the “middle-ground” ideas that are currently flying around aren’t in the middle at all.


In short, the new compromise proposals are anything but. They represent calls for advocates of the public plan to eat their crumbs and be happy. But a majority of Senators support the public plan. At least two--Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and Senator Burris of Illinois--have said having a real public plan in the legislation is a precondition for their support. Those who believe in the public plan—and, more important, who believe in the principle it embodies: that no American who lacks access to good insurance should be forced to buy coverage from the private plans that got us into our present mess--should stand firm in the face of these non-compromises.

This includes President Obama. He made the public plan part of his promise of change in 2008. Now he needs to put his weight and influence behind the public plan and its essential goals, rather than allow them to be gutted. This is in our nation’s interest. It is also in his and his party’s political interest. A bill that forces people to take private insurance but doesn’t create competition or a public benchmark is a prescription for unaffordable coverage, runaway costs, and political backlash. The “middle ground” is nowhere to stand if it’s going to crumble beneath you.

Amen to that.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger Serr8d said...
I don't think Joe Lieberman will allow a public option. I might be wrong, but it seems he's firmly planted himself against such a socialistic takeover of another private industry.

There is no constitutional guarantee of health care for citizens. So, the government needs to forget trying to provide health care. There's more important things to consider, things that are well within the constitutional guidelines.

(I really like Joe Liberman; if someone else had been on the ticket with him instead of that fool Al Gore in 2000, things might have worked out differently for all.)

Blogger Jayhawk said...
The "public option" is all about "keeping insurance companies honest" or "holding them accountable" in the name of "cost containment" in health care. But what, precisely, is meant by “cost containment” when legislators are discussing “health care reform” legislation? It might not be and probably isn’t what you might think it would be, namely reducing the amount you pay when you go to the hospital or doctor.

What does the “public option” have to do with prices charged by doctors and hospitals? Well, nothing, which is why “cost containment” doesn’t mean what one might think that it does. Most legislators, news people, and pundits seem to think it means reducing the price of health insurance, but all of the platitudes on the "public option" have not sold me that we can do that really effectively without reducing what health insurance companies pay out for health care services.

Which makes the whole "public option" thing sort of academic.

Blogger Interrobang said...
There is a constitutional guarantee of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and I personally know a lot of Americans who aren't getting a shot at items #2 and 3 on that list because item #1 is severely curtailed by their lack of access to health care.

Speaking as someone who has a disability, and access to government-provided healthcare, I'm glad I've got it, because if I didn't, I wouldn't be working. At least one of the people I know could be a productive, taxpaying citizen if he could get regular access to healthcare. As it is...

Blogger Bob said...
There's no constitutional guarantee that children can't work in coal mines at the age of 10.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Interrobang, your sentiments are regarded favorably by me.

I'm sorry, but, one thing the economy does not need is more workers. I have no trouble at all with the concept of paying people a decent wage not to work.

If there were any interest at all in the upper classes to "work" then we would have 100 percent inheritance tax.

"Work" is a nonsense used by the propaganda organs of the oligarchy to prod people to compete for jobs. They consist of less than 1 tenth of 1 percent of the people in the US, but they have 100 percent control of the propaganda organs.

One of the major fails of protestant churches is the emphasis on work for redemption.

The new testament does not cite or mention one single instance of their fairy god working. The sentence says, "Jesus wept," not "jesus worked."

Blogger Serr8d said...
"Work", anon, is what you were born to do, and unless your were born wealthy you must work to eat. Don't expect someone else to work for you.

"With the hard work of your hands you will get your bread till you go back to the earth from which you were taken: for dust you are and to the dust you will go back."

Oh, and..
This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD."

Since you are quoting the bible and all of that.

So be cursed, and get your ass back to work. Dust awaits.

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
Obama, like all "outsiders", is not there for no reason. Clinton gave the keynote at the Democratic Convention in 1988 to be set up to run next. Same with Obama, he gave the last keynote and "surprise", he ends up the nominee.

There are promises made and bills to be paid for these things. Both Clinton and Obama got the people's blood running and the enthusiasm going. They get us, US! The entrenched powers, military and industrial complex and the corporate and banking world will only allow so much and so if Clinton and Obama didn't know it or see it going in, then they certainly know it now as their lives or their families lives get threatened.

More it is throwing "us" a bone when we get too alert. Then we think we have the power, the votes and that our elected officials represent "us".

Fat chance.