icon_whitehouse.jpgFrom White House.gov, most of what you need to know about Health Care Reform / Health Insurance Reform may be found here. Pass it on.

You know, in hindsight, it would have saved a lot of fuss to have simply branded this project as “Health Insurance Reform” from the get-go. Live and learn.

Tagged with:

20 Responses to Health Insurance Reform reality check

  1. Zaid says:

    I actually wanted to investigate CPR’s ads myself but my editor was completely disinterested in the idea.

  2. J.M. Prince says:

    Yes, the DailyMail caught elements what’s part of a classic ‘disinformation’ campaign. So that’s a decent catch, but again done by journo’s overseas.

    We imagine that we might win the day with our supposedly superior command of facts & figures alone. But this has historically never been the case of any serious social movement nor large scale social change that necessitates similarly significant changes in interpretation & direction of the existing laws & newer attendant reforms.

    All such successful social movements have also historically been great moral crusades as well. And were fought as such. This is what’s sorely lacking in force today. IMHO. JMP

  3. Zaid says:


    That’s the latest from me. And no, JMP and I are not actually arguing in this thread.

  4. Zaid says:

    That’s the latest:


    Yeah JMP and I are not actually arguing in this thread.

  5. J.M. Prince says:

    More data points on the meaning of the polls on the TownHall disruptions, via the invaluable Democratic Strategist.org:


    And IRE, on this thread I’ve got no great disagreements w/Z, who BTW, should hopefully be busy doing research & ‘stuff’ for a slightly wider audience. JMP

  6. MelGX: Name your base price to create a Z V. JMP section for BforD.

  7. Zaid says:

    I keep trying to convince my colleagues we need to stop giving so much press to people making wacko claims that it’s counterproductive, but what can you tell a bunch of people who spent all their lives in the north and think the most effective thing to do is bash rural folks and think that’ll win people over…

  8. odinseye2k says:

    Wait, you mean a juxtaposition of factual problems to the completely fabricated bullshit of talking heads?

    Naw, that’s too much like journalism. We need to stick with that inside baseball speculation with the pretty people whose salaries consume what should be used for field work.

    Bill Mahr may be a good bit of a dick at times, but he does possess a powerful knack for analysis that he may not use often enough.

  9. Zaid says:

    If there’s any better contrast on how the sides of this argument should play out I am unaware of it:


  10. J.M. Prince says:

    Well we’re mostly in agreement here Z. And I might add, current & former WH staffers? (And I’ve met both Tony & John too BTW). Not as smart as either they think they are and/or as smart as they need to be. Ditto for most Thinktankers too. Mega dittos for the Senate too. And of course that goes back to our founding.

    On the Senate & Ga. comes this pithy quote via Tom Baxter formerly of the AJC’s Political Insider:

    “My former AJC colleague Tom Baxter has this I-should-have-written-that opening on his Southern Political Report:

    Eulogizing the late US Sen. Herman Talmadge at his funeral in 2002, former U.S. senator Sam Nunn recalled a meeting with his state’s senator not long after he came to Washington.

    Nunn recalled that when he mentioned casually that he answered most of his mail, but ignored “nuts” like those who believed in flying saucers, Talmadge spit vigorously into the spittoon by his desk and gave him a solemn warning:

    “If you don’t get the nut vote, you can’t carry a county in Georgia,” the state’s senior senator said.

    Somewhere in the Great Beyond, Talmadge may have reached for his spittoon again this week after US Sen. Johnny Isakson invoked the ‚Äúnut‚Äù word.”

    Via Jim Galloway @ the AJC :


    SSDD. Repeat. JMP

  11. Zaid says:

    THIS is how you make the argument for health care:


    I’ve pointed this out to people at CAP, but the mainstream democratic establishment is NOT willing to take on big pharma and the insurance companies.

    Pity, because it would be much easier to pass than this bureacratic mess. “Medicare for All” is a much better rallying cry than anything the mainstream Dems are pushing and much simpler and easier to gather public support for.

    In all of this, Obama has not established a single principle in the eyes of the public. What he should be making the case is that for-profit health insurance doesn’t work. That profiting from people’s illness is not only immoral but economically inefficient. But instead, he’s been making wonky arguments about cost that don’t make sense to most people and overarching argument for health care for all that most people agree with, but don’t understand how practical it is.

    Unfortunately, moneyed interests and establishment liberals are why we can’t have that.

    Daschle, Podesta, etc. are beltway wonks, and that’s just not working. Of course, Daschle’s gotten more money from AHIP than I’ve seen in my life, and Podesta took a couple of years off from the White House before starting CAP to lobby for the American Insurance Association. Haven’t brought that up with either one of them, and I probably won’t because I don’t want to be fired.

  12. BEZERKO says:

    No, I completely dissagree with the premise that it (the debate on health care) has ever been anything other than insurance reform. A secondary unfortunate meme is that health care is that it is a comodity to be bought and sold, instead of the vital service it is (like national defense, law enforcement, FEMA, dead animal pickup etc.) so the focus is on how we’re going to pay for it. This began when the subject was talked about in terms of coverage, which is the laanguage of insurance.

  13. Zaid says:

    Stepping away from the actual bill and just talking about the Democrats’ tactics, let me run you through a strategy session I was privy to with John Podesta of all people:

    The GOP is saying people are going to go under death panels and people are sympathetic to the protesters!

    Hey I know, let’s just keep trying to debunk that and the numbers will go back up!


    You see the frame that we’re entering. It’s become more a debate about whether or not the bill will PUT PEOPLE TO DEATH than it is a positive argument about the bill. The GOP is already winning by kicking the debate into that field.

    The GOP always does this and the Dems. always eat it up.

  14. JerryT says:

    I’m not so sure it would matter much how we branded it. A program like this has the potential to undermine conservatism at is foundation. Or at least conservative strategists would see it that way. No matter how it is sold, they must fight it by any means necessary. They just can’t let Democrats have a potentially successful government run system that touches pretty much everybody.

    Even if something like this passes, they will continue to find/create/invent perceptions of failure. This program is going to have to be pretty good out of the box to prevent being tarnished for another couple of generations.

    I think this is the right time, and these are the right people to get it done.

  15. J.M. Prince says:

    Joe Stiglitz says the war in Iraq, by best economic estimates will cost somewhere between 2-3 Trillion dollars, and that was a limited, conservative estimate too. Sorry for the confusion in the typo above. JMP

  16. J.M. Prince says:

    Umm yeah Jules. Pretty predictable all around. A triumph of hope over experience perhaps. And in many instances? Just go with betting on the experience part, it’s not only the better part of wisdom, but the way to bet. And it’s proven out.

    I also think in the moderately long run that the yes, orchestrated mobs will detract from the ‘argument’. It may firm up some votes. Never underestimate the forces of reaction in politics.

    And Z, lest we forget, it was easy to throw a trillion dollars, no questions asked by & for BushCo & the Repug Congress. A Trillion dollar ‘war of choice’ in Iraq (best estimates are it’s going to be closer to 23Trillion by the time we’re done). That’s been ‘off the books’ budget wise (for the first time in US History, BTW) for the 8 years of BushCo. Not one Repug complained then. Not then, even when they were appropriating Billions that got pissed away into the sands, or helped to bankroll our former ‘enemies’ who we just paid off to ‘keep quiet’.

    Then there were the 1.3 Trillion in needless tax cuts for the rich, further skewing the already miserably obscene income inequitable distribution. Again prorated over 10 years? That’s actually closer to 2 Trillion dollars lost to the Treasury. Ditto for the drug makers/Pharma & AHIP on the Medicare Part D boondoggle. Another close to a Trillion dollar bill, 80% of the costs and benefits going right back to the underwriters, Big Pharma & Insurance Co.s. with nary a protest over those costs or any ‘unfunded mandates’. They lied repeatedly about the costs of that dog, openly, proudly & illegally before Congress too.

    A Trillion dollars pissed away on a needless & reckless war that made us demonstrably Less safe worldwide. That was done and anyone who spoke out against it was demonized as a traitor. I say anyone who’ll vote against making the needed reforms in the Insurance markets AND finally ensuring that every Citizen has needed & decent quality health care should be treated the same way. A trillion dollars was nothing for Bush & the Rethugs to spend for useless military adventures or tax break boondoggles for millionaires. We need to remind the public of that reality, daily too. JMP

  17. odinseye2k says:

    “So yeah, the WH/DNC messaging left a bit to be desired, but again who could have predicted that the Rethugs would again resort to mob violence to intimidate to get their way? Bueller?”

    Hey all, what’s happening?

    Personally, I think those town halls are the best thing that this August delay can give us. Sure, they are scary for a lot of the Congresspeople (and may ultimately push a couple of votes for that reason), but they are also showing that a lot of the opponents are bat-shit crazy. Straw men are great in debates, and it’s even better if they are out there holding signs and doing stupid things.

    JMP, the Social Security experience is a good one to remember. In my mind, that’s the core reason that the public option needs to be the sine qua non of the reform. I’ve liked the idea ever since it was publicized way back in the SEIU primary debate when there were still a bijillion candidates. It is an existence proof, the put-up-or-shut-up moment where private and public compete to exist. And both will probably have lessons for each other along the way as in all competitive solutions.

    And meanwhile, you have the 50-state laboratory to play with more progressive solutions. Once California isn’t completely broke anymore, you’ll probably see the SB 810 type solution moving forward. Places like Vermont, Washington state, or even a midwestern state might actually beat CA there.

  18. Jules says:

    JMP, um I could have predicted this in April when Gingrey’s health LA told a group of us lobbying for a Hate Crimes bill that nothing was more important than defeating the Health Care bill.. whaaa.. we were there for a Hate crimes bill sweets not HC. It was seriously bubbling out of the guy!

    We dropped the ball on this two weeks ago. Whatever happens now, we’ll be lucky to get

  19. Zaid says:

    It’s throw a trillion dollars at the insurance companies and hope that rules that’ve failed in other parts of the country work reform.

  20. J.M. Prince says:

    Well it’s quite a bit more than Health Insurance Reform. That’s a good start, but the Insurance Lobby wants some small steps & voluntary goals towards that end, & that would be just fine for their handmaidens the Repug’s & some of the BlueDogs too. Just trying for reform of the usual cruel idiocy of the repeated denial of care, the rescissions that happen when you’re sick & needy, or anything much else also requires, yes mandates, & consistent watchful government oversight. Hence the real need for real Health reform. It could be that we get substantially less than hoped for, (He’s Ezra Klein with a history of similar reforms under FDR inventing Social Security for example):


    But we’ve got to try. The whole system is a teetering house of cards that makes little sense economically or health wise, and is costing us dearly. Everywhere. Except for a small number of happily self-satisfied plutocrats & and others of the ‘right’ sort of people who are still happily getting rich off of the system, and will fight to the last wingnut to try and prevent anyone from much noticing their repeated windfalls at our collective expenses. (Health wise & economically).

    The talk of the much valued Insurance reforms of course has been drowned out by the mob actions and the media fascination of same. Policy? They just don’t do policy anymore. Just the maddening pictures of gleefully angry madmen who’ll try anything to ‘shut it down!’, just like the ‘Brooks Bros’ riot that stopped the Fl ‘recounts’ in 2000.

    So yeah, the WH/DNC messaging left a bit to be desired, but again who could have predicted that the Rethugs would again resort to mob violence to intimidate to get their way? Bueller? Anyone? JMP