Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letter to EJ Dionne--Dems can't blame...

EJ Dionne had a column in the Washington Post yesterday that annoyed me. So I sent him a reply:

Considering how much work it is to pass health care reform (the country has spent more than half the year on it) and how much it will cost us to do. I think progressives have every right to point out what a steaming pile of crap (to the average know the 85+% of america that already has health insurance) health reform is without a cost control mechanism like the public option, or medicare buy-in, or something, anything really. We are forcing 30+ million americans to buy insurance (yes some will get subsidies--but they still have to buy it!), which no matter what is going to lead to a waco-style backlash in the hinterlands. Okay just possibly if it actually leads to lower premiums for everyone else...but I don't see that happening with what we have. I really don't.

I feel like I did when the congress was passing a near trillion dollar TARP (big mistake in rewarding the wealthy bankers and screwing the average american). Great! we saved the fucked-up economy so the bankers get another year or two or twenty of unconscionable bonuses, while we keep losing our homes, our jobs and our health care--SWELL just swell.

Now we are gonna hand another half a trillion dollars to the insurance companies that have ruined health care in america over the past 20-30 years? And for this we get them to *promise* not to drop our coverage once we get sick? BRILLIANT--in any other industry this practice would be called fraud (funny how they only decide to drop us AFTER we get sick) and executives would be prosecuted.
In fact we don't have to give all this money to the insurance companies right now. We really don't.

It is like reverse prostitution, the more they screw us, the more we pay them. Yes we've grown used to this under republican administrations-but damn it, we are in charge now. There is another way to do things.

Dionne says "grass-roots progressives have to be less on a hair trigger to shout betrayal"

Hair trigger? we have kept quite about the stupid back door deals with big pharma, focused our fire on Rep-no-licans and the insurance industry faux-roots protesters (got off our butts and out numbered the town-hall disruptors [once we understood their shtick]) and for the most part held our fire against "conserva-dems" obstructing passage all year. Dutifully called our congress-critters and urged them to support reform (actually the House has been incredibly effective).

And what do we get for this good behavior? we give up one good policy after another (popular things mind you, not the unpopular crap) in order to tease one republican on side...or keeping the democrates from changing aisles. All we need is 60 senate democrates (and they ALL call themselves democrates) to vote for cloture, and then everyone can vote for or against the bill passage as they desire.

This nonsense that we need 60 votes to take a bathroom break in the senate is beyond absurd. Republicans got things done with 50 + VP votes. We can't even do it with 60? ??

Make someone actually physically fillibuster the bill (some bill, any bill) if it goes down to a republican fillibuster + 1 so be it. If we had done that this summer, I would be okay with passing something more limited now, but we never even tried! I'm tired of getting played by one bought off senator after another--without the public being forced to at least see (if not actually acknowledge) the corruption.

In 2008 I trudged down (in rain/snow/sleet) to Obama HQ in Chicago to make phone calls to rally supporters for the promise of a new way of doing things. I knew that things wouldn't change overnight, but I thought I was voting for a president that would push for 90% of what I wanted and maybe settle for 50%, not push for 50% and settle for 15% in order to be all bipartisany.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Health Reform - public option + mandate = crappity crap

I'm disgusted by the legislative process. How exactly does the senate get to the eve of passing a health reform bill that takes better care of the insurance companies than it does the american people?

Yes the bill will cover more americans, but only because it forces all those americans to buy the crappy insurance that we already can't afford! We need some way to bring costs down. Public option, medicare buy-in were ways to control costs (even as neutered as they were) plus they were POPULAR! Now those are out. And what do we get? WHAT DO WE GET? What in this bill controls costs?

I knew the bill was gonna be an insurance companies wet dream, handing them gobs of cash--but I always thought there would be something in it to keep the insurers honest. Something...anything. I dont see it.

I feel just like I did when Hank Paulson proposed TARP to bail out wall street no questions asked. That sucked for the average american (great for the bankers--and their obscene bonuses) and what is left of health reform appears like the same damn thing for insurers who aren't even in a crisis!

Look, I want to cover all americans. We need that, millions of americans lives depend on it--I get it. But that doesnt mean we gotta grab our ankles and let the insurance companies have their way with us. You see what a massive cock-up TARP was, and here you are about to do it again! Stop! this is not why I voted for Obama. This is not why I spent one day a week making phone calls for Obama in 2008.

Obama made his first "major" mistake a couple weeks ago ordering 30k more troops into Afghanistan. But he has been making a series of small mistakes all year--on health care--and other topics. The mistake in all cases has been a near complete lack of leadership. Obama is the F---ing president DO SOMETHING! You are letting a couple senators push you and your supporters around.

If the Health Reform bill passes without a method of cost control it will be a bigger mistake than the Afghanistan escallation.