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Posts Tagged ‘public option’

The Approaching Storm. The 2010 Congressional Elections and the Democratic Party.

As the attention shifts to Joe Lieberman and his new found power in being able to kill any remaining meagar progressive aspects of the Senate Health Care Bill and any cost containment mechanism except in reduction of care that health care insurers and their representatives in the Republican Party and their allies in the Blue Dog coalition and the DLC Democrats seek, public anger continues to build among the Democratic voters and the Progressives who sought change. This month, actor and activist Margot Kidder had the following to say about Democratic Party politicians in an op-ed titled “Ax Max, Time To Declare War on Democratic Blackmailers” ,

The absence of democracy in a congress whose votes are bought, sold, and traded like pork bellies by big corporations in exchange for highly profitable votes and amendments on bills is a bi-partisan infection. And the pus is everywhere.

Give me a nut job for an enemy anytime. You can take aim at the obviousness of the problem and roll a strike 99 times out of a hundred. But if your enemy is disguised as a boring but harmless friend, and wears the same logo on his sweatshirt as you do, then landing a punch is like trying to slug mist. There’s no connection, no delicious smacking sound, there’s no obvious win. The fact that 20 to 25 percent of Americans support policies and politicians that are bat shit crazy is not as much a concern as the fact that 50 to 60 percent of Americans support politicians whose policies are for sale to the highest bidder, and exist independent of any underlying morality or consistent philosophy of government. Arlen Specter calls himself a Democrat for God’s sake. And so does Ben Nelson. And Blanche Lincoln. These are not Democrats; they’re Republicans in Donkey suits. And somewhat tasteful donkey suits at that. None of them would have strings of tea bags dangling from THEIR cowboy hats, you can bet the ranch on that. They are much more dangerous than Rush Limbaugh could ever hope to be.

She had this to say about her Senator Max Baucus who has led the Senate disaster on health care reform,

The hideous truth is that this empty suit-person almost single handedly took the reform out of health care reform, has introduced and somehow passed more legislation to abet the cornucopia of crime that is our banking system than anyone else in congress, and has stalled the funding of any, if not all, modern programs that would give financial lifeboats of one kind or another to families in need. He did it by pretending he was a Democrat and by hanging in there long enough to get appointed, almost by default, as chair of the banking committee. And he gets elected in a state with the fourth lowest per capita income in the country by consistently “bringing home the pork.”

She had this this to say about “centrists” and the portrayal of them,

The mainstream media calls Max Baucus and other Democratic blackmailers “centrists”. As compared to what, Chiang Kai-Shek? “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” said Yeats, but that was in 1919 and he was referencing the Russian revolution. America’s centre has been tap dancing to the right since Ronald Reagan was loosed upon the world and it hasn’t taken a backwards step yet, so our centre is way out in right field and has no intention of coming back of its own accord. It’s up to us, unfortunately.

And it’s not just “liberals” or progressives that are realizing they are continually sold out by their party and that the Democratic Party itself has changed. In an op-ed titled “The Twin Frauds of Obama” , Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration had this to say,

There was a time when Democratic presidents represented the little man, and Republicans represented business. Today both parties represent the moneyed interests. On December 3 at the jobs summit with business leaders, Obama said, “We don’t have enough public dollars to fill the hole of private dollars that was created as a consequence of the crisis.”

In other words, all the public’s money has been spent on the banks and the wars.

Despite Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and the ease with which Obama won the presidential election over McCain/Palin, the Democratic Party has totally collapsed. The Democrats have abandoned every constituency. Democrats have discarded the American people. Democrats, in pursuit of campaign contributions, represent the moneyed interests on Wall Street, the munitions companies, the insurance companies, the agri-businesses that have destroyed independent farmers, despoilers of the environment, unaccountable police, and the builders of detention centers. The exception is Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

The Democrats have become brownshirt Republicans.

And what about the 60 vote excuse in the Senate? John Avarosis shoots that excuse down in his piece titled “The GOP had at most 55 Senators during Bush’s presidency” at AMERICAblog. He wrote

I’ve heard people say that it’s not fair to criticize the Democrats for botching health care reform because the Democrats never truly had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Sure, they have 60 votes in principle, the argument goes, but with Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, and Bayh counted as four of those votes, it’s not really a solid 60.

Perhaps. But then how was George Bush so effective in passing legislation during his presidency when he never had more than 55 Republicans in the Senate? In fact, during Bush’s most effective years, from 2001 to 2005, the GOP had a grand total of 50, and then 51, Senators. The slimmest margin possible.

And on the accomplishments of the Bush Administration’s actions of ramming things through that have transformed America for probably over a generation into something authoritarian and corporate in nature, he wrote

And look at what George Bush was able to accomplish in the Congress with fewer Senators than the Democrats have today:

– John Ashcroft nomination
– Iraq war resolution
– Repeated Iraq funding resolutions
– 2001 & 2003 tax cuts
– Patriot Act
– Alito
– John Roberts
– Medicare Part D

And of course there is the growing realization that the Obama administration is not a progressive administration from its DOJ defending Constitutional crimes of the Bush administration to its Wall Street economic team. This is producing a severe splintering away of the voters that have brought the Democratic Party its election victories in Congress since 2006 and the Presidency in 2008 and sets up what could be a base voter rebellion going forward. As Jane Hamsher put it concerning the Senate Health Care Bill, “I’ll add that whether they vote for it or not, it’ll be a bloodbath for anyone with a “D” next to their name in 2010 if it passes.”

Of course all this is probably confusing to many Americans, especially the Palin Teabag base and regular Fox viewers who think they are locked in a battle against either “liberalism” or the fantasy “Marxist Leninism”. Of course they will say what is needed is more tax cuts, more deregulation, less civil liberties, more war spending, and all the things that have led us to this point. It’s a pretty pitiful of a situation we find ourselves in.

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Michael Moore Discusses The Health Care Debate And the Reform Bill To The Canadian Press. In Doing So, He Tells How The Bill Is A Corporate Giveaway To The For Profit Insurance And Pharmaceutical Industries And How Easy It Is To Fool The American Public Due To A Failed Educational System.

In his address to the Canadian press, Moore explained to them how things are in the United States concerning healthcare and the debate there and how the insurance interests and pharmaceutical interests aren’t concerned too much over this bill.  He mentions the deal the Obama administration struck with the pharmaceutical industry to keep them out of the debate by saying,

“And the drug companies signed a deal with Obama to keep them out of it, because they agreed to reduce their prices by $8 billion in the first year of the healthcare bill”

He went on to say how they had raised prices $10 billion the year before therefore coming out $2 billion ahead. Unlike Canada, the United States does not negotiate drug prices on behalf of their citizenry. In addressing the benefits the for profit insurance industry which controls the American healthcare delivery system and any solution those in government will come up with for them in lieu of the public interest, he said,

“The health insurance companies are going to make an extra $70 billion dollars as a result of Americans being forced to buy their health insurance. What company wouldn’t love this bill?”

He also added the following,

“So all of the wailing that they’re doing about this bill — believe me, the health insurance companies are not that upset about it. In fact, they helped write this bill. It’s not universal health care. Thirteen million people will still not have health insurance in the United States.”

And in describing a country where it’s citizens aren’t exposed to how other countries address their health care needs and an educational system that is lacking in many respects, he went on to say.

When you create a society that essentially is in that state, it’s very easy to run an ad on the nightly news about what a third world country Canada is, and about how people are dying on the sidewalk here because they can’t get in to see the doctor, you actually believe that stuff. Because of the education you’ve been given, because education is such a low priority. Our schools are in such disarray. And our media doesn’t do anything to help educate people in the way they need to be educated.”

If one really looks at the debate in the United States, it is really hard to argue with him. A single payer system such as Canada has wasn’t allowed to be discussed in Congress when crafting the bill, but corporate lobbyists were insiders to the process. The US media stopped investigative journalism or giving any valid multiple views to anything about a decade ago. It has all become part and parcel of the rise of the corporate state in the United States. The story can be read in full at the raw story.

How The Healthcare Reform Con Game Is Played. David Swanson Discusses The Ins And Outs Of American Politics And How The Monied Interests Never Lose Control.

Real reform was being defeated early on by lobbyists and their buying power of the people’s representatives. Hence, physicians for a change to a single payer or medicare model were escorted out of the Baucus hearings as ads came on TV where Harry and Louise were for health care reform this time along with Wall Street based insurers. Still, many rightwing organizations and some lobbyists were also providing the money to fight real reform and escorting and busing their useful idiots along with their guns (which they had been told would be taken away with an Obama presidency) and their “socialism” signs to disrupt town halls. And the Democratic Party vying to take away the dollars from the Republican Party that comes from the Health Insurers’ lobby and the big Pharma lobby, peddled to their constitients that sent them there to change things, that they took their interests to heart by providing a “robust” public option that would be available in an insurance “exchange”. In the end, this so called public option that was supposed to contain costs will be nothing but a dumping ground for those the for profit insurers won’t cover and only available to a few making it uncompetitive and unable to negotiate lower prices. Since progressives are the hardest people to fool with propaganda, another bone was tossed to them in the form of the Kucinich amendment which would allow the states if they wanted, to set up a single payer state system (along with using the combined state dollars for medicare and medicaid to pay for it). But now that is taken out because of the risks to the bottom line of the publicly traded Health Insurers for if a single payer system was allowed to exist in one of the states, people and businesses would start moving to that state to avoid the escalating costs and the cat would be out of the bag, so to speak. There is a reason the CBO won’t score a single payer system or a real single payer option. It would bring down the costs and be less expensive than the plans on the table or our current system and would actually save this country money. Saved money at the expense of those that can buy a member of congress with their lobbying money.

Rep. Alan Grayson Reads Some Of The Stories of The Dead On The House Floor. Listen To The Shame Of The American Health Care Delivery System. This Is In Honor Of Those Fighting The Good Fight In The Face Of The Capitulation To The Blue Dogs And So Called “Centrists”.

If you have a story, share it at Names of The Dead. As you may have heard, Pelosi decided to adhere to the Blue Dogs and support a weak instead of a robust public option. We will still have a system that falls short of modern democratic counties. We are truly a country with questionable priorities, beliefs and morals. A country whereby its citizens believe it is so superior, mostly due a false sense of self, deserves better in spite of that belief.

A View of the Healthcare Debate From Inside The American Plutonomy.

Those that have gone to see “Capitalism: A Love Story“, the new Michael Moore movie, have become familiar with the Citigroup memo about the United States being a “plutonomy”.  A plutonomy is “an economy driven by or that disproportionately benefits wealthy people, or one where the creation of wealth is the primary goal”.  The memo was essentially saying that investors should invest in those investments related to the rich and their lifestyles.  It suggested the American Plutonomy would continue to strengthen as long as the rest of Americans (non plutocracy) didn’t catch on that 1% of the population controlled over 50% of the nation’s wealth and thus have a populist revolt.

One of the things the memo warned about concerning the plutonomy and related investments was the concept of one man, one vote and a scenario where the 99% became wise to the set up.  So far, the plutonomy had been holding up since Reagan.  As long as Reaganomics (once called voo doo economics) was believed by enough of the 99%, everything would hold firm.  As long as corporatism could be equated with freedom instead of the rights enumerated in the Constitution, the belief could hold.  That is, until the failure of its myths become self evident.  The belief in continual tax cuts at the top, deregulation, massive military spending, sending jobs overseas for cheaper labor, and no spending on the public welfare is a panacea with everyone becoming rich may finally be cracking under our recent economic failure.  And so, if the people do not vote the way the 1% want, what is the strategy going forward for the control by the 1%?  Using the healthcare reform debate as a guide the corporate lobbyists step in and buy our representatives and they fund lies about other healthcare systems.  Hence, the current fight on healthcare reform, the Baucus Bill and the fight against a public option.  With this in mind, watch the Special Comment by Olbermann and ask yourself if the profit margins of the for profit health insurance companies are more important than your health, your family’s health, your life, and your well being.

Blue Dogs Turning Red. Progressives Turn Up Heat Over The Public Option. Senate Finance Committee Flips Off Democratic Constituency.

October 2, 2009 2 comments

An interesting week transpired on the healthcare reform front. As the Senate, many members’ pockets flush with lobbyist money, was working on the final amendments to the health insurance lobby guided Baucus bill, progressive groups began their televised assault on Baucus. In a last ditch effort, Schumer, (D) NY and Rockefeller, (D) WV, pushed forth public option amendments which were voted down by the Senate Finance Committee. In the meanwhile, Byron Dorgan, (D) ND, was planning to blow up the Obama, Emanuel, Baucus deal with Big Pharma with a drug importation amendment to drive down drug prices. As this action was proceeding, firedoglake began a petition campaign to demand from Senate Majority Leader Reid (D) NV to expose the Democrats who were willing to stand with the Republicans and filibuster a bill with a public option. Also, firedoglake and Democracy For America worked to shore up the progressives in the House (64 so far) to ensure they will stand firm for the public option in sufficient numbers.

Topping things off Thursday, Senator Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee gave Democrats and Americans in general one more slap in the face by not only proposing fining people who do not buy private for profit health insurance, but possibly jail time. All this while 73% of Americans according to a new NBC/Wallstreet Journal Poll, say it is important that there be a public option.

The Largest Corporate Welfare Bill In U.S. History? Quite Possibly So. The Health Care Reform Bill Is Corporatism To Its Core.

September 10, 2009 Leave a comment

After the speech, the media and Democrats lauded the speech as a victory for the American people while the Republicans kept up their “it’s socialism” lie to it’s fooled ideological base. The proposal outline by Obama is, of course, mandated private health insurance with some consumer protections and taxpayer subsidies for the poor with a promise to trim the already trimmed to the bone most efficient, less costly system inside the American goobly gook health care “system”, medicare. This probably makes the bill the biggest corporate welfare bill in history and private for profit health insurance a forced condition by law of being an American citizen. This is a highly ideological bill for the corporate interests being sold by the Democrats as “moderate” and by the Republicans as “liberal”. The fact these characterizations get traction in the United States is probably due to the fact that since the Reagan presidency, Americans are probably the most propagandized citizenry outside of North Korea. The sad thing is Obama in many respects chastised progressives in the party as being too ideological while they are the only ones who have compromised their position in the healthcare debate by accepting the idea of a public option in lieu of single payer. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him? America needs that Progressive Party he attempted to create. Real facts are still with the single payer advocates. The American people will probably never know them unless they ever become intellectually curious enough to check. Will this be the biggest corporate welfare bill? Currently the growth of the military industrial complex is. But with the high annual medical cost inflation, who knows in the end? If there is no true and real public option without the 30% overhead of the for profit health insurance companies and available to anyone who would like to choose it, this is not a bill designed with the idea of maximum coverage at the least cost, but to keep those in charge of the world’s most expensive system with the least access in charge.