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Gonna Party Like It’s 2012 Tonight!

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There are sinister forces at work on the American people. Our welfare is seen by them as an impediment to the realization of a goal, and they have seen to it that there isn't much we can do about this. Few are immune to its dastardly magic.

Late last week, Former Governor and Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean came out loudly against the abominable Senate health care "reform" bill, insisting that there is no realistic option remaining but to kill the bill dead. Too many compromises have already been made, and yet the bill only gets more odoriferous as time passes. Over 50% of the Democratic Party members polled recently by Democracy For America want the coverage mandate rejected if there is no public option.

 

But they aren't being heard. In just about a week, this Lieberman's Monster dropped voter support from 59% to only 33%. MoveOn.org opposes the bill.  The National Organization for Women opposes the bill. The  AFL-CIO opposes this bill. And they are only the beginning.

There are many reasons not to support this bill. Columnist Joe Galloway echoed the sentiments of many when he insisted that it's "Time to Pull the Plug on Health-Care 'Reform'." The idea that you can't be refused coverage have been no guarantee that your rates won't be increased over your medical condition. There is no rate ceiling provision to keep your coverage costs within reason. And there is nothing to protect you against your insurance company denying you care between passage and the law going into effect in 2014. If you die, then you decrease the surplus impoverished population, don't you? Bigger Bonuses, Ev'ryone!

Insurance companies and health care providers are already coming up with revenue enhancements that clearly can't be covered by the existing bill. Many are now charging admission at the door, as if health care was entertainment. It may be to these Scroogy greedheads, for these "fees" won't be covered by your policy. Strategies are also being devised to evade state regulation of the industry that just might cut you a better break than the Federal government will.

This bill is so bad that many unexpected people came out against this bill. Not the least of these was State Rep. Jim Campbell of Newfield ME, who resigned his Republican Party membership due to his party "failing to address the health care crisis in a meaningful way." Did he not hear Sen. DeMint proclaim that Republicans were doing all they could to promote health care reform? I guess Campbell didn't get the talking points memo.

But lo and behold! Up in the sky! It's absurd! It's inane! It's faster than a Swift Boat slander, more powerful than the smell at a Teabagger protest, and able to leap to the most illogical conclusion in a single bound! But it ain't Superman! Nor is it Sarah Palin!

No, something really wicked this way comes! But what? I doubt it was anyone at the White House, for they have been blasting their opponents on the Left so often that the Left isn't hearing them anymore. Besides, they had to go on TV and make nice comments about Dr. Dean themselves, so you know this wasn't anything they thought up. And it sure wasn't Obama. He's so last year, already! As if! Health care good? WHAT—ever, Barry! Gag me with one of your thirty pieces!

No, it had to be something else, something so powerful that even Dr. Dean could not withstand its evil power, pressured beyond tolerance into announcing on Meet The Press this morning that "the Senate bill had actually improved over the past few weeks" and that he would now work for its passage. Who is he now, really? He's not last week's Dr. Dean! Either he was convinced to visit that secret lab in Stepford, or else someone slipped one of those nasty alien pods (Dick Cheney?) next to him while he slept.

So, WTF? I can't say for certain. But here's what little I know:

The available clues revealing the identity of such an entity are few, but there is one fact that cannot be denied: investors like the Senate bill. Health insurance stocks are at a 52-week high. This IS the intended result of investing heavily in Senators, after all.

About pessimist

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Wow, talk about realistic! As of today I am completely against any health care reform legislation being passed in this term of Congress. We need to throw all the babies out with the bath water made from thawing snows. It’s time for wholesale change in Washington.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good luck!

    We’ve been living in the age of unreality for years. This is the culmination.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I hope you’re wrong in your estimates of Obama, because if you’re not, we’re all in trouble.

    I’ve always regarded him as a “phenomenon,” but always hoped to be proven wrong.

    I suppose my worst nightmares have finally come true.

    Where is Handy, by the way, to try to salvage the faltering image? Please, is there nobody to inspire me with hope?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Realist – gotta admit, I like your “Superbill” phrasing.

    Something to remember, people – it ain’t done yet. Now the Senate bill has to be reconciled with the House bill. Some stuff from each will be kept, some stuff from each will go, and then another vote will be taken to pass or not to pass the bill.

    That said, the I think the article has a couple of inaccuracies:

    There is no rate ceiling provision to keep your coverage costs within reason.

    I may well be wrong, but I think that in the House bill there’s a “trigger” to take effect if the health insurance agencies don’t get things under control. But even if there is not, there’s nothing in either bill to keep Congress from doing exactly that in another bill in the future.

    And there is nothing to protect you against your insurance company denying you care between passage and the law going into effect in 2014.

    That’s true for adults…but children would could not be denied care beginning in 2010.

    Perhaps it would help to see a list of some of the winners and the losers in the Senate bill. Here are some of the winners:

    1 – Cosmetic surgeons: They fended off a 5 percent tax on their procedures.

    2 – Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont and Massachusetts: These states are getting more federal help with Medicaid than other states.

    3 – Beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage plans in Florida: Hundreds of thousands of them will have their benefits grandfathered in thanks to a provision tailored by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

    4 – Longshoremen: They were added to a list of workers in high-risk professions who are shielded from the full impact of a proposed new tax on high-value insurance plans.

    5 – Community health centers: They got $10 billion more in the revised bill, thanks to advocacy by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

    6 – AARP, the lobby for elderly people: The new Democratic bill has about $1 billion in extra Medicaid payments to states that provide visiting nurses and other in-home or community services to prevent low-income people from needing to be admitted to hospitals.

    7 – Doctors and hospitals in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming: They will get paid more than providers elsewhere under formulas in the bill.

    8 – The University of Connecticut: The school could be the beneficiary of $100 million for construction of a hospital inserted at the behest of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.

    And here are some of the losers:

    1 – Tanning salons: Salons are getting hit with a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services, replacing the cosmetic surgery tax.

    2 – Progressives: They had to give up on their long-held dream of a public insurance option so that Democratic leaders could lock down the necessary votes from moderates.

    3 – People making over $200,000 a year: A proposed 0.5 percent increase in the Medicare payroll tax was bumped up to 0.9 percent in the latest version, putting the tax at 2.35 percent on income over $200,000 a year for individuals, $250,000 for couples.

    4 – Generic drug makers: They fought unsuccessfully to block 12 years of protection that makers of brand-name biotech drugs (expensive pharmaceuticals made from living cells) will get against generic would-be competitors.

    There are significant differences between the two measures, including stricter abortion language in the House bill, a new government-run insurance plan in the House bill that’s missing from the Senate version, and a tax on high-value insurance plans embraced by the Senate but strongly opposed by many House Democrats.

    When it comes to costs, each sets up new insurance marketplaces called exchanges where uninsured or self-employed people and small businesses can compare prices and plans designed to meet some basic requirements. What this means is that instead of one or two insurance companies controlling the vast majority of the market in a particular state, people in those states would have access to all the insurance agencies represented in that exchange – which encourages competition.

    IN SUMMARY, the house and senate bills are SAUSAGE…and nobody in their right mind is eager to see exactly what goes on in the sausage-making process. But when the sausage is made and cooked, it can be pretty doggone good. That, sirs, is what democracy is all about.

    The part I’ll like the most is that at least by 2014, my oldest son and my older brother will be able to get health insurance that they can’t get now. Yes, it is only half a loaf…but that’s half a loaf more than the Republicans were offering, and half a loaf keeps a starving man alive a lot longer than no loaf at all.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Here’s what the Senate bill will do IN 2010:

    * Establish a high-risk pool that will give uninsured Americans with a pre-existing condition access to coverage;
    * Prohibit insurance companies from dropping coverage for Americans because they get sick;
    * Prohibit the imposition of lifetime limits on coverage;
    * Require insurance companies to report the percentage of premium revenues that they spend on medical benefits for their enrollees, and force them to rebate any excessive costs or profits;
    * Require insurance companies to provide free preventive services;
    * Require insurance companies to cover dependents up to age 26;
    * Provide a discount on drug costs to seniors who fall into the Medicare Part D doughnut hole.
    * Provide a tax credit to small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees.

    FCEtier, I recommend you read the link provided so you can see the senator’s reasons for voting for the bill that he knows could be greatly improved…but that he also knows is already a great improvement over what we have now.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Please, my friends, regardless of which aisle you may be standing with, if you have even the slightest doubts about this Health Care bill — contact your legislators. This bill cannot pass into law. It is bad for the country and even worse for health care reform. We need to step back, assess the caliber of legislators making the decisions, and go forth. There is too much at stake.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Silas -

    Did you read the benefits I listed of the legislation?

    Don’t get me wrong – I wish Obama had gone with reconciliation and passed single-payer health care, preferably by removing any age restrictions to Medicare.

    But with the political system we have, without going with reconciliation, you’re not going to get a much better bill. That’s why it’s likened to making sausage.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Yes, Glenn, I’ve seen the benefits and I maintain more so than ever that we cannot allow any legislation to pass. Half a loaf is not better than none. Conservatives be damned, every American should have equal access to basic health care which includes prevention, DENTISTRY and eye care. I have yet to hear one legislator mention the direct correlation between bad oral hygiene (for lack of a better phrase) and a wide variety of co-morbidity including endocarditis, lung disease, inflammation and chronic infections. Basic dental care must be given equal status to basic physical health care. Insofar as cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic surgery and any “elective” procedures which are not a medical necessity, tax the hell out of them.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I agree, Silas. This looks more like an appeasement. But darn it – can’t we get something decent evolve out of it? We tried passing UH since TR, thus far with no effect. So maybe, just maybe, the first baby step is better than nothing?

    You tell me.

  • Arch Conservative

    Could someone please cite exactly where in the Constitution it states that health care is a right?

    I think I missed it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For Arch -

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    If you’re not looking out for the people’s health, you’re not looking out for their welfare.

    And on a side note, now I can’t get a certain tune from “Schoolhouse Rock” outta my brain….

  • http://deblibernation.com Silas Kain

    Well, Arch, it’s a matter of interpretation.

    The Preamble to Our Constitution:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Seems to me providing health care at its’ very base would establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

    To answer your question there is no mention of health care as a fundamental human right. That being said, the Constitution is a living document subject toa wide array of interpretation. Congress has the right to promulgate legislation which insures the basics covered in the Preamble.

    We are a country in transition, Arch. Like it or not, as we evolve in science, technology and knowledge there must be modifications made to our way of life. As long as our liberty, right to bear arms, freedom of religion and even debate these topics ad nauseum are preserved that is what counts.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Or then there’s that vexatious Ninth Amendment:

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    Rather underlines Silas’s point that the US Constitution isn’t a static, all-encompassing document.

  • Arch Conservative

    General welfare is rather broad and open eded now isn’t it.

    You need food to live…..do you want the government to pay for that too Glenn?

    Can’t walk around barefoot either…should the government buy you a new pair of Nike’s every year Glenn?

    We used to be a nation of independent, self sufficient, productive citizens. But thanks to the welfare state we’ve become a bunch of whiny cry babies waiting on the next government handout, asking for more and accepting less personal responsibility each day.

    Yes our healthcare system needs some fixin but the endless justifications of more government control and intervention needs to stop or this nation will cease to be a place worth living in.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch -

    Can’t walk around barefoot either…should the government buy you a new pair of Nike’s every year Glenn?

    Yeah, you CAN walk around barefoot. But my brother who just got his lower left leg amputated canNOT. Why? Because it was ‘too expensive’ to go to the doctor to get his infected ingrown toenail taken care of.

    Keep the population healthy, Arch, and they’re FAR better able to work to support their families and themselves…and to pay the taxes that such health care will cost.

    You probably don’t remember the old oil-change commercial where a mechanic warned the viewer about failing to get an oil change by pointing out that a car owner’s going to pay one way or another…in this case, either pay for an oil change, or skip it and pay FAR more for the engine overhaul caused by not changing the oil for too long.

    It’s the same thing with health care. The taxpayers can pay it now, or pay FAR more for it later…because when people put off their care because it’s too expensive, sooner or later they wind up at the emergency room which costs three times as much – if no further surgery is required as in my brother’s case.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well Glenn I agree with you that something needs to be done not only to make the cost of healthcare affordable but also to keep the poipulation healthy as possible.

    I do not believe however, that more government control of the system is the answer. Government usually makes things worse, not better, when it gets involved.

    I don’t know where your faith in the fed government comes from, especially at a time like now when there is such widespread opposition to the bill in the Senate on all sides of the political spectrum yet they’re going to do what they wanna do anyway and ram the bill through to make it law.

    You may be right in assuming that the executives at Blue Cross or Aetna don’t give a damn about you or I Glenn. But guess what, neither does anyone in Washington, with the exception of maybe Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. Obama sure as hell doesn’t. he’s more interested in helping Bernanke keep his job, giving soeech after speech and awarding himself “solid B pluses.”

    It’s the marriage of big business and big government that we should ALL be rebelling against.

  • Boeke

    Arch: Nobody personifies a welfare deadbeat better than the corporate executive who at one moment demands tribute for holding the economy hostage and in the next whimpers about his money and privilege needs and how entitled he is to his extravagant bonuses.

    What can you expect from us lesser mortals?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    But guess what, neither does anyone in Washington, with the exception of maybe Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

    Once again, Arch is spot on. As I have been spouting for a week, it is Main Street which is out of touch with Washington. It’s easier for us to say the reverse because it takes the responsibility off us.