Open Thread

A Nation's Health: the good, the bad and the ugly

An open thread in which to dicuss the ramifications of legislation currently being voted upon in The House. Will American citizens benefit as much as the Health Corps? Will the trillion-plus fistful of dollars be enough to make a dint in the diseases of the underclasses? And what will need happen for lawmakers to release a few dollars more to help their constituents in West Baltimore, “South Central” L.A. and those who like to go Deer Hunting with Jesus (the one reputed to have been a legendary healer himself, in his day)?

1,291 replies on “A Nation's Health: the good, the bad and the ugly”

Guys, the previous thread was approaching the cumbersome stage and we need a fresh thread to cope with today’s anticipated volume. Please check the comments and links over the last two days in Cat’s previous thread to segue smoothly into the excitement of this historic event.


gaffhook says:
22 March, 2010 at 7:10 am (Edit)
The health care is live on C Span

KatieLou says:
22 March, 2010 at 7:15 am (Edit)
David Frum is a conservative commentator. Extracts below but the whole thing is worth a read. Bottom line: Fox News is doing the Republicans no favours.

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

(1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

(2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure………

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?……..

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

(Cat, come home! 🙂 )

A victory for incrementalism. 😉

The bill will be improved over time – decades, unfortunately, but it will be improved.

The fact that the conservatives have been *defeated* on this issue is as important as the issue itself. A victory for Obama and the Democrats is powerful stuff, even if the bill is weak. Nothing succeeds like success.

Greetings, Spock 🙂

Cheers Chris, let’s tag team it apiece?


Steny Hoyer D-Maryland: “historic choice……invokes MLK “

Nathan Dea, R-GA: “it’s socialism”

Ed Whitfield R-Kentucky: “this is the wrong bill”

Markey MA: GOP = Grandstand Oppose Postpone”

John Shadagg R-AZ: “it’s bankruptcy all round”

Anna Eshoo D-CAL: “ my constituents want this bill passed”

Mary Bono Mack R-CAL: “Vote no!!”

Stupak D-Mich: ” ~choice abortion not funded”. panders to fundies.

Sensenbrenner R-WI: “~signing statents are bogus” (guess he was asleep during the reign of The Imbecile!

Lois Caps D-Cal: ~universal access to preventive care is good. Vote Yes!

Lee Terry R-Nebraska: talks funny, says sfa.

Mike Doyle D-PA: my dead mate would have urged me to vote Yes

Pelican , Peach and Great Sattes R reps say Vote no to this “disgraceful dirty deal”

Shakowsky D- IL: Yes!

Gentleman GOPper from TX can’t use a stop watch

Not sure if i understand the process but it sure makes them say what they have to and then sit down and shut up.
I yield my time.

Tammy Baldwin D-WI: “whose side are you on. Health care for all”

Dud timekeeper R- TX: “This bill will not last” Wants delay and No vote.

Sander Levin D-Mich: “Republicans have turned their backs on the (health) problem.

Dave Camp R- Mich: Tentacles of Fed Gov will strangle you! Kill The Bill!

216 in reach: House Dems have the votes to pass healthcare reform bill.
House Democratic leaders have the votes to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system.

There are 35 Democrats who are planning to vote no and two undecided Democrats — Reps. Bobby Rush (Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) — according to The Hill’s whip list. If every member votes, Democrats can have 37 defections and still clear the bill.

Rep Wally Merger R The american people have spoken again and again. Lets destruct this legislation. HaHa. Wally by nature as well.

Bill Clinton said last year that Obama would get a 10% boost from health care. If he is right my figures for November are under estimated.

Obama Approval Jumps Back

President Obama’s job approval is back up to 50% with 43% disapproving, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll.

Last year, former President Clinton told Political Wire that “the minute health care reform passed, President Obama’s approval ratings would go up 10 points.”

John Lewis D-GA: inspirational, draws applause.

Sam Johnson R-TX: “will you cave to the demands of Speaker Pelosi?”

Richard Neil D-MA: doesn’t mention Ted Kennedy 🙂

Kevin Brady R-TX: you’re all gonna die faster cos bigger govt doesn’t mean better healh care.

Lloyd Doggett D-TX: this bill will NEVER be “just right” for the GOPpers. (why don’t these schmucks read Goldilocks?)

John Linder R- GA: kabuki theatre-R-Us.

Mike Thompson D-CA: Medicare donut hole will close. Better getcha finger out then America!

“Sancta Incrementata”……

“Ora pro nobis”.

Ron Kind D-WI: Buzz Aldrin is not a “loser”.

Xavier Baccera D-Cal: “the only instsitution that rejects progress is the cemetery” (best quote of the day to date for mine)

Ginny Brown-Waite R-FL: your taxes will escalate!!

Bill Pascrell D-NJ: ” we love Vets”

(sound appears down, plenty of movement, probably just gone for a Burton)

Why Democrats Are Fighting for a Republican Health Plan

Here is the ultimate paradox of the Great Health Care Showdown: Congress will divide along partisan lines to pass a Republican version of health care reform, and Republicans will vote against it.

Yes, Democrats have rallied behind a bill that Republicans—or at least large numbers of them—should love. It is built on a series of principles that Republicans espoused for years.

Republicans have said that they do not want to destroy the private insurance market. This bill not only preserves that market but strengthens it by bringing in millions of new customers. The plan before Congress does not call for a government “takeover” of health care. It provides subsidies so more people can buy private insurance.

Republicans always say they are against “socialized medicine.” Not only is this bill nothing like a “single-payer” health system along Canadian or British lines. It doesn’t even include the “public option” that would have allowed people voluntarily to buy their insurance from the government. The single-payer idea fell by the wayside long ago, and supporters of the public option—sadly, from my point of view—lost out last December.

One of the Retards objected to what the bloke said regarding vets so they switched the mic off while they reviewed what was said.

Double barrell gavel brings House to order.

Bill Pascrell’s words stricken. No political harm done. Will draw attention to the bum deal that Vets get.

“No more ad hominem thanks reps”

Geoff Davis R-Ky: “headlong rush to socialism, (the commies are coming)

Joe Crowley D-NY: fix it now, this is good medicne for America.

Reichert R-WA: “Dem plan is Govt takeover; hearing aids and wheel chairs will be taxed!

Chris Van Hollen, D-MY: slags Boehner a treat! nice Left jab.

Chuck Boustany R-LA: ~this is a Greek tragedy

Dean Heller R-NV: this bill will kill Nevadans!

The bill has been costed and it is said how much etc it will save but the retards still get up and bash on about increases in this and that like a bunch of idiots they are.

Cheers gaffy, he sure stung ’em with the jibe though.

Petey Roskum R-IL: caterpillers will no longer become butterflys.

Danny Davis D-IL: ” let’s do the right thing”
(places notes in waste basket)

Chris B @ 20
I understand Fox News has been with the tea baggers out the front of the Capitol Building all day. There’s no other news – just the protesters. So there will be plenty of footage.

Agree with Ecky – Watching John Lewis was inspirational.

Frum: Health Care Is GOP’s ‘Waterloo’

The impending Republican defeat on health care is much worse than most conservatives realize, according to former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum. And what he calls the party’s “most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s,” will hardly be rectified come November. Frum writes that conservatives should be worried about the elections for two reasons: “The economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the health-care bill will be reaching key voting blocs.” The biggest mistake Republicans made was letting themselves be led by radical pundits who were uninterested in true debate, Frum says. “We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement,” he writes, “and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat… It’s Waterloo all right: ours.”

continued here…

The amazing thing this morning that struck me was that, even though these geysers don’t vote along party lines, not one of the Retards have voted with the Dems on any vote leading up to this but up to 25 Dems have voted with the Retards on some of the votes.

John Kline R-MN: “why are we here. this bill will be paid for by our children”

(unlike the Wall St. bailouts of course)

Joe Courtney D-CT: Spoke fast. cf. gaffy above

Doctor Tom Price R-GA: this bill violates patients lives!

(presumably while they are still alive, eh, Doc?)

Lyn Woolsey D-CA: “being a women is a pre-existing condition, acc. to Insurance Corps”

Rep Brett Guthrie R Kentucky Passed Barnaby accountancy Billions and millions rolling fluently off his feral tongue.

Rep Judy Bigot Biggert R- Blah Blah we have had lots of time to get this right. (We have done fuck all to help) but please listen lets get it right FFS. What an airhead.

Watching O’Reilly. Man, is he angry. As the most moderate man on Fox, it is very indicative to watch him. He was so angry he was even arguing with people who *agreed* with him – his rage blinded him to the fact that they were saying exactly the same thing as him.

Hannity and Beck are going to be enormously amusing to watch this afternoon. 🙂

(Although I am watching the cricket, too … the advantage of Obama cancelling is that there is basically no work here …)

I have to say, the time limit rules on this debate, are one of the few things we could import into the Oz parliament and actually gain a benefit. 🙂
I certainly wouldn’t want their health care system. But it’s sure good to see them taking that first step towards sanity.

Yeah, gaffy, those 25 Dems are card-carrying DINOs.

Judy Biggert R-Il is “deeply troubled” and will therefore vote NO.

John Kline R-MN “citizens calling oppose this bill 13 to one.” Urges delay and postponement.

Dina Titus (not a pre-existing condition) D-NV: “Pass this Bill!”

John Tierney D-MA: doesn’t mention Ted Kennedy.

( Min’s gonna whip me if I don’t play Domestic Ball now. Back later 🙂

Does this reflect the actual vote?

It may not be the actual bill, but Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, heralded the 224 – 206 approval of the “rule” to allow the House to proceed to the final vote as a clear indication that health insurance reform is in the bag.

“This is a great accomplishment, a significant moral and psychological boost and clear indication that a clear, strong majority of this House favors comprehensive health reform legislation,” said Slaughter in a statement. ” It’s a historic vote and I am proud to have been part of it.”

more here..

From twitter comes a damn fine idea. 🙂

C-Span needs pop-up video function: “Not true,” “Received $40k from insurance companies,” “Flip-flopper,” etc.

You almost have to pity those Repugs. The requirement to stand up in Congress and talk utter bullshit is a true character test. 👿


The requirement to stand up in Congress and talk utter bullshit is a true character test.

That is the quote of the day Paddy.

66 I agree. People also need to settle down and take in all the information. Someone always want to be first, regardless.

There are some polls due out later in the week (Daily Kos). But next week will be better.

Repug retard shouts “Baby Killer” at Bart Stupak in the chamber…Yep at Bart Fuckin Stupak.

How out there can these Uglies get before someone reins them in.

They are totally insane.

That David Frum article “may” be them trying to claw their way back to the cliff face but they are too far gone. They are in huge trouble. They need Rupe, Roger and Rush to pass into the next life real quick.

Hussy, that article sums reality up perfectly.

The Dems have just produced a Republican Bill of 20 years ago and NOT ONE Repug voted for it.

It’s the same here.

From Twitter for fellow West Wing lovers:

RT @owillis clearly what america didn’t realize was that the real life jed bartlet would be a skinny black guy


I believe Obama fulfilled a personal pledge to his mother tonight.

I can imagine him going home tonight totally exhausted and emotional.

He will wake up tomorrow though and go back to work.

That’s Rahm hugging someone in the background @76.
There’s been lots of criticism of him recently – saying he wanted to step back on health care after Massachusetts. But it looks like he had skin in this.


I can only see one of Rahm’s hands while he’s hugging that unsuspecting person in that photo. I cannot see his knife hand.

An Ugly piece of work.

Dept. of Life Immitating Art

There’s nothing more thrilling than nailing a (Health) insurance company.

( be a 2 buck Weekly at your local DVD sto’)

One famous scene has Matty Damon, a known, “real-life” lefty, sitting opposite Jon Voight (who btw was geeing up T-baggers live on the steps during the recent vote) and fellow vultures at a board room pow-wow;

Sez Matt’s character ( directly to Jon’s character):

“Sir, there’s just one more thing I’d like to ask….”

Voight: “sure…….I’d advise you to mind your manners…you’re in a big war now””

Damon: ” do you even remember the first time you sold out?”


Yep, paddy, your Dumbo & The Dingbats clip was a hoot. Well-edited; tres cool interviewer.
Anyone else notice the shortage of black folk amongst interviewees?

Mar 21:

Mar 22:

Mar 18:

Mar 21: Dumbo Cornutto

How ’bout a little local flavour in there, Chris?

Good outcome for Obama although it is amazing that many Yanks can be so ignorant with the example of Canada next door.

Many liberals were ready to compromise during health care’s twisted path to passage. Matthew Yglesias on how the right’s just-say-no game helped bring the left together.

As health-care reform passes, I find myself in the unusual position of being enthusiastic about the bill on the merits, but disappointed that its success undermines my skills as a political prognosticator. Barack Obama’s brand of health-care reform is based on a three-legged stool that was popularized in progressive circles back in 2006 and 2007. The stools are new regulations on insurers, a mandate on individuals to buy insurance, and subsidies to low-income families to ensure they can afford to comply with the mandate. Back when this idea was becoming popularized I was, frankly, a skeptic.

My guess is that the brighter minds on the right will recognize that their determination to turn health-care reform into Obama’s Waterloo sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

It took a woman

Obama has all the right instincts—but it took a fiercely focused female to really get it done. Gail Sheehy on a major victory for family caregivers.

Today is a victory for humanism. American style. Messy and mollycoddled as the process has been, the about-to-be health-care law finally accepts that basic affordable health care is a human right.

I can almost hear an oceanic sigh of relief from members of the Sandwich Generation. Even before the Great Recession, middle-class parents were falling into debt, squeezed between keeping their children on their payroll well beyond college and spending out-of-pocket to care for their long-living, chronically ill parents.

Nearly 50 million adults are now working as unpaid, unsubsidized family caregivers for aging parents or spouses or siblings. This is the silent reality inside one-third of American households.

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