TPMCafe
« Do It | Home | Iran Nuclear Negotiations -- Same Imperialism, Different Day? Really? »

Why the Health Care Bill Will Destroy the Conservative Movement

user-pic

Yeah, the filibuster and the Senate structure sucks-- but some of us knew that and had low expectations. Ignoring what we didn't get, expanding coverage to thirty million folks, including 15 million more in Medicaid, plus restrictions on insurance companies and subsidies for middle class families is a good start.

But let me jump out of the debate on the merits of the bill and highlight the long-term politics. Which is that it will destroy the conservative movement (a point Bill Kristol made in 1993 when he argued for killing health reform at all costs). Why? Because trying to repeal it will tear the movement apart and it will be the platform to destroy conservative anti-tax politics.

The TeaParty rightwing base will demand repeal, but where to start?

Demand that those with preexisting conditions be denied coverage at the whim of insurance companies? That's a nonstarter.

How about going after the individual mandate? Well, if you leave the ban on denial due to preexisting conditions in place, such a campaign will pit the monied health care business interests in the GOP against the anti-mandate rightwing, a lovely chance for an intramural political car wreck.

How about wiping out the funding for Medicaid expansions? Well, that might be popular with the anti-poor Grinch rightwing, but aside from likely being unpopular with the public, such an attack on Medicaid funding will pit the D.C. wing of the rightwing against their state government counterparts. For years, the federal government will be paying 100% of that Medicaid expansion, disproportionately to red states with currently the worst Medicaid coverage, so going after Medicaid funds will mean taking dollars away from GOP governors and statehouses. A few might go along on principle but most will protect every dollar coming to their states, regardless of purpose.

How about going after the subsidies to working Americans up to 400% of the poverty line? Now, there's political suicide since that's taking money directly out of the pockets of swing voters across the country.

The Death of Conservatism: In fact, those subsidies, however inadequate, no- precisely because they are inadequate, will be the death of conservative anti-tax politics. The standard ploy of anti-tax politics had always been massive tax cuts for the wealthy combined with a token cut for the middle class. But with so many middle class families depending on monetary subsidies from the feds for health care, such token tax cuts will pale in comparison. In fact, progressives will easily be able to trump tax cut politics with promises of increased health care subsidies -- invariably more valuable to those families and cheaper to deliver since it won't need to be attached to massive cuts for the the wealthy.

As Bill Kristol said way back in 1993 when he urged conservatives to kill health care by any means necessary, successful passage of health care reform in almost any form would be the death knell for conservatism:


It will relegitimize middle-class dependence for "security" on government spending and regulation. It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.

Because the health care bill will be implemented so slowly, we could well see some political attacks and losses by Democrats in a few election cycles, but unlikely enough to create the political consensus to repeal significant parts of the health care bill, precisely because of the dynamics above.

If anything, demands for more action are just as likely to strengthen the progressive hand to increase affordability or enact some form of the public option -- especially since such financial changes to the bill could potentially be driven by majority vote through reconciliation in future years.

You have some bloggers treating the health care bill as a sell-out to the rightwing and many on the Right treating it as the slipperly slope to socialism. While the latter is probably a bit far, I actually side more with the political analysis of the right; while progressives didn't get as much as they wanted, they got enough to put in place a dynamic that will be almost impossible for the right to reverse. The working middle class will have a clear monetary stake in federal spending each year and participation in the broader welfare state. That reality will profoundly change both political rhetoric and budgetary politics in ways in which the modern conservative movement can not survive.

There will be a few stormy years to come but in two decades, this week's votes in the Senate I predict will come to be seen as a turning point in American history and the cementing of progressive power for decades to come.


134 Comments

| Leave a comment
user-pic

Yup!
Once in place, all the "Death Panelers" et.al. will in short order realize that it's not the end of the world. Actually, they are likely to benefit from it and be glad they have it.
It will lead to more Democratic victories... and, hopefully, that will lead to more progressive augmentations of the program.

The passage of this bill is a big blow to the Republicans... Assuming they don't take over the Congress in 2010 and somehow repeal a lot of what happend.

user-pic

I think you're dreaming. Last week, prices shot through the roof on individual shares for every major insurance company in this country. As Dylan Ratigan pointed out Friday on "Morning Meeting" (tearing a new one for mealy-mouthed, hypocritical Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz), investors only go crazy for stock in companies about to go full boom-town.

This watered-down travesty of reform will be the death-knell of soporific slop about hope and change - and nothing more.

user-pic

I'd love to see the insurance companies eliminated but that's not what we got on this round -- we got more people having insurance. More people having health coverage is a good thing and, yes, if you sell coverage, more customers is a good thing.

When Britain passed its first round of national health care after WWII, a prime minister was asked how he overcame the opposition of the doctors. His response? "I shut them up by lining their mouths with gold." So yes, the insurance companies got their gold to shut up. And a lot of poor and working families will have health coverage as a result.

user-pic

Not working families Nathan...and working families will find out soon enough they've been had again by the D's. It doesn't have to be this way but somehow it always is. Trust me rank and file union members will hate this so-called reform. All it will be for them is more money out of their pockets. I see this as preparing the way for the Republican's next Ronald Reagan cult of personality. But spin away about how this is conservatism's death knell.

user-pic

Some people might hate the bill, but Nathan's right that it won't get repealed. He's also right that the Republican party will have fits trying to quell demands from within that this bill, which they have characterized as nothing short of an apocalypse, must be repealed. Democrats will reap the benefits. Maybe not immediately. Maybe Republicans will take control of congress again even, but as long as they are fixated on health care, they will eventually lose. Incremental reform is better than no reform at all.

user-pic

Except union members with pre-existing conditions, or with a sick child. Or those that get laid off. And of course, those in Nebraska!

user-pic

Yes, Dorn. Oh if only I lived in Nebraska! Or one of the other lucky states that won't bear the brunt of some of the new taxes...

user-pic

I know, those lucky Cornhusking SOB's!

user-pic

Mr. Newman, let me try to help you out a little bit - because obviously you don't realize, or don't care, how bad it's getting out here. The insurance companies' windfall will be borne on the backs of taxpayers - virtually all of us working-class - through the mandated insurance programs. American workers (the famous "little people", Nathan) are being stripped of everything they have, everything they are by credit and banking fees, any fees charged by government, higher and higher taxes and a cost of living that laughs at the meltdown. Now, they must pay for insurance or go to jail. There is no triumph here. It is a disgusing fraud. What in God's name do you intend with this happy-face drivel about lining pockets of looters with gold?

user-pic

Oh, thank you for explaining things on behalf of the "little people." Glad you are so much smarter and "down" than Bernie Sanders or Russ Feingold or any other folks voting for the bill. But then I guess they are on the side of the "looters" as well.

Either have a conversation or go join hands with the Teabaggers in the land where everyone who disagrees with you is part of the evil conspiracy.

user-pic

When Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold come and pay your mandated premiums, you be sure and let me know.

Feingold ripped into the White House for their rubber-chicken support of the public option. A better example would be that champ Barney Frank - the bankers' pal.

user-pic

Ripped them, and is now voting for the bill. That's a serious case of Wanting-To-Have-It-Both-Ways-itis.

user-pic

Bravo Nathan. I agree 100% but you can't talk sense into these know-it-alls who know so much more about what's going inside DC than those actually there.

I appreciate your article. I am extremely optimistic that it can and will get better every year. Everything starts from somewhere and this bill is a perfect example.

user-pic

The mean naughty mandate. No one is saying you will goo to jail (hysterical nonsense). How dare the Senate impose a 2% penalty for people who don't sign up for health care.

Let me see, for someone who makes $30,000 a year, that amounts to $600 a year. But then, if that person goes to an emergency room, they will not get turned away even thought they don't have insurance. Since most of the people who do not buy insurance will have no ability to pay for hospital care, the hospital will have to write that off as a loss.

Do you think it is only fair that some money go into the system instead of letting that person have a free ride.

Cost of insurance capped at 8%---significantly lower than what it currently costs. A real travesty.

user-pic

That person may himself have been getting a free ride, but that "free" ride is still being paid for - out of my property taxes.

When the patchwork of taxes that are covering health care right now begin to be sorted out, it will be impossible to dislodge this system.

Besides that, the business of charging small insurance companies and uninsured individuals super high prices, letting large insurers negotiate lower rated and then having Medicare and Medicaid get the lowest rated because of their size is going to end. Providers are going to start charging what they actually have to be paid. The overall cost of the system is going to drop for that reason alone. It is only possible if nearly everyone is in the risk pool.

If you look at a bill and see what is asked, what is paid and what is refused you will see a system that is not market driven in any way. It is not rationally predictable what will be paid for and what won't be paid for. There are no reliable price signals right now because of the patchwork absence-of-a-system that currently exists. Health care planners and medical accountants will be heaving great sighs of relief.

user-pic

Aetna is just over half of what it was selling for in early 2008, its off the ground but not through the roof.

user-pic

There was a meltdown 13 months ago. Remember? Now it's happy days again. Why? Think it out...

user-pic

You're not using stock prices as an indicator of the real world, are you?

Before the crash there were plenty of people piling into stocks, and plenty of analysts raising their price targets. Those same folks were left holding the bag when the bottom fell out.

user-pic

You damn bet I'm using stock prices as an indicator of the real world. What do you think caused Sept. 15, 2008 - authoritarian evangelicals chasing census takers through the hollers?

user-pic

I was just saying, and I'm sure you'd agree, that Wall St. often gets it wrong.

user-pic

Especially in the short term. Well, hell, almost always in the short term.

user-pic

Think ENRON...

user-pic

And... when they get it wrong... who suffers?

user-pic

Me! Among many others.

user-pic

Energy buyers did not suffer after ENRON (even with their enablers in the Bush/Cheney administration) collapsed.

Also, rate payers and black-out sufferers in California did not suffer more manipulated service cutoffs/extortion from the Republican connected shysters at ENRON after they went bust.

I know there was a collapse at the end of the Bush administration, and I also know my 3M stock (a solid non-speculative company), is near its all time high, AETNA is not anywhere near its all time high.

user-pic

As a rate payer and black-out sufferer in California, I promise you, we suffer. What you mean is, you don't CARE that we suffer.

user-pic

I was there at the time, managing senior apartments in Davis, just west of SACRAMENTO where it really got bad.

People died from the heat. We gathered all the elderly and infirm and put them in a lobby where we could run a generator and a couple window units.

Reagan would have been proud!

user-pic

Californians did suffer and still do suffer from that period of time. The state negotiated a terrible purchasing deal, and Arnie swept in and then eschewed the state's lawsuit against Enron for damages. All told, the state lost billions and is the primary reason we are in the mess that mestastasized when the property market went tits up.

user-pic

Prop 13 had nothing to do with any of it?

user-pic

Actually, you might trace a great deal of it back to that misguided, revolting taxpayer revolt.

user-pic

BTW, I really admire this rhetorical trick you're pulling here, it's very Colbertesque. Who's wrong, who's right? I know! We'll let the market decide.

Unfortunately today's closing bell ended with AET and CI down from yesterday and back to the same levels as a week ago, so it looks like the maket decided you lost! But maybe if you can convince enough of us to buy these stocks (since you seem so sure that they are solid investments) they'll rally again and you can win tomorrow!

P.S. please respond to my earlier comments, I await your snarky retorts with bated breath! I've never pwned someone's arguments in TPMcafe before, it's very exciting (or at least slightly more exciting than staring out a train window).

user-pic

yep. the great fun of pretending to be able to read the market's tea leaves is deliberately choosing the time periods and stocks that support the conclusions you've already come to.

user-pic

In fact, these share prices are so far below their all-time highs (I recall CIGNA at $140 a few years ago) that they must reflect considerable continuing skepticism about the future of these companies. Widespread public disaffection and increased government regulation are reflected in these share prices.

user-pic

Their all-time highs? Their all-time highs were bubble highs - like everything else in the American market before late summer of last year.

Look. Let me try to take it real slow, so you'll get it: Investors are buying insurance company stock because they know these fake "reforms" will be a goldmine for the insurance industry.

"All-time highs..." If you've got a point to make, make it. Otherwise - why comment?

user-pic

Know what? I apologize for my snarkiness here. No excuse for that...

user-pic

It's hard to not feel a little snarky.

user-pic

I can't put it better than this, from Libertarian columnist Paul Craid Roberts:

The war and insurance lobbies rattled their campaign contribution pocketbooks and quickly convinced Congress and the White House that the real purpose of the health care bill is to save money by cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits, thereby “getting entitlements under control.”

Entitlements is a right-wing word used to cast aspersion on the few things that the government did, in the distant past, for citizens. Social Security and Medicare, for example, are denigrated as “entitlements.” The right-wing goes on endlessly about Social Security and Medicare as if they were welfare give-aways to shiftless people who refuse to look after themselves, whereas in actual fact citizens are vastly overcharged for the meager benefits with a 15% tax on their wages and salaries.

Indeed, for decades now the federal government has been funding its wars and military budgets with the surplus revenues collected by the Social Security tax on labor.

To claim, as the right-wing does, that we can’t afford the only thing in the entire budget that has consistently produced a revenue surplus indicates that the real agenda is to drive the mere citizen into the ground.

user-pic

I diagree with your assessment. Day trading is driving stock prices moreso than long term forecasets. The immediate impact is that insurance companies survive and will have an extended pool of customers. The immediate word is to purchase stock and the demand drives the price up temporarily. There will be a price reevaluation once the media storm dies down and the next major agenda item comes up... I would give it until the final FY10 indicators to get a true perspective of what is actually valuable.

You are pushing a meme, Curt and normally you know better. Stocks behave with increased volatility in the wake of day trading, and prices are codependant on the media when it comes to spikes... to use it as a PROOF POSITIVE is unbecoming when it is not corroborated by other factors.

And getting petulant does you no good.

user-pic

If I had your noggin, I would've said just that.

user-pic

Zip. Aside from your own speculation: Why is the stock price going up right now? Don't try to talk it away, or drift into a forecast of what will happen next week or next month.

Why is insurance stock appreciating in value? What about it so excites the day traders?

user-pic

We both know the answer. The outlook for insurance companies is good. The mandates will expand the customer pool. Their fundamental identity as a for-profit business is secured. Those new customers that are low-income will be subsidized. Subsidies are naked profit...

But these subsidies are helpful because they allow the urban poor to purchase insurance.

The day traders and speculators are excited because the focus is on an area of business that stands to gain a fresh pool of money. This will boost value no matter what... it is the long term appreciation or depreciation that shows one way or the other how the insurance industry survives.

You are taking the obvious truth of stock values and applying it to the long-term worth of the current unfinalized reform.

For example, I had stock in Comcast. I sold it while Comcast was moving to purchase NBC Universal. I believe that this will overload their eventual portfolio, and the head of Comcast (who now sits on Berkshire Hathaway) is behaving too much like AOL and the value of their holdings will diminish through a lack of effective management. However, the stock rose thanks to day trading speculation and I walked away with a bit of a mint (for a change). Short term forecast: excellent. Long term: unstable.

There are a confluence of factors that surround a temporary surge or decline in stock value.

user-pic

Zip...

Where will these subsidies come from? We couldn't afford the public option. Remember.

Why can we afford this?

Zip, finally... who benefits?

user-pic

We can't afford any of it... it is all monopoly money and it has been since 1974. I have no illusions about the state of the world economy. It has been meta-economics for over 30 years.

Ideally, if we believe the rhetoric and the CBO scoring, everyone benefits because the contained costs will reduce the drag on overall business... a rising tide that lifts all boats. This remains to be seen.

I am ambivalent about the entire reform package. I believe there were too many giveaways, but I am also a long term strategic thinker and I think it is vital to pass this hunk o' junk now and gamble on future improvements. There are reasonable assertions on either side of this argument... but they are still assertions because the landscape is too abstract for definitives.

At this time, I believe that we are being divided based on temperament to either embrace or reject this flawed plan.

In other words, Curt, I see where you are coming from, but the way you are making the point is too elastic. Greenwald makes the same argument today about stocks... he then hedges the argument but still makes it... he knows the argument is circumstantial, but can not resist the lawyerly approach. I believe you are doing the same.

user-pic

They're not surging right now, Curt. Go check CI and AET (we can wait) an you'll see they're both down today, and if you look at a one-week chart you'll see they're both hovering around where they were a week ago.

Spikes happen all the time in response to breaking news. Traders sit around staring at computer screens trying to figure out what piece of news will make them a little profit for a few hours, Don't misinterpreted a 4% rally that peters out after an hour or so for the invisible hand providing a pure expression of the future for years to come.

The only only things still left spiking are the levels of sanctimonious, dickish crap and venom you're spewing around here, and the level of trust you're placing in a few hours of news-driven exuberance for a few stocks. Be nice, please. I never comment but felt compelled just because your rally looked like it needed a correction.

user-pic

They're not surging right now, Curt. Go check CI and AET (we can wait) an you'll see they're both down today, and if you look at a one-week chart you'll see they're both hovering around where they were a week ago.

Spikes happen all the time in response to breaking news. Traders sit around staring at computer screens trying to figure out what piece of news will make them a little profit for a few hours, Don't misinterpreted a 4% rally that peters out after an hour or so for the invisible hand providing a pure expression of the future for years to come.

The only only things still left spiking are the levels of sanctimonious, dickish crap and venom you're spewing around here, and the level of trust you're placing in a few hours of news-driven exuberance for a few stocks. Be nice, please. I never comment but felt compelled just because your rally looked like it needed a correction.

user-pic

Sorry for the duplicate, I'm on an Amtrak on my phone and the connection got spotty just as I hit submit; I guess the phone retried it's request once we got to Old Saybrook.

user-pic

actually, they should have a delete function, just like FaceBook

user-pic

It's going up right now in part because the insurance companies were depressed because of the uncertainty regarding what was going to come out of Congress. By now the investors have enough data to make predictions they trust and they feel they can control the risk.

That's a big element in the current bounce in prices. It's short term, though. There's still a lot of uncertainty in medium and long term events.

user-pic

Sorry, Curt. As someone who generally appreciates your contributions, this (not just from you) "health care stock prices through the roof proves HCR is a boon for the insurance companies" is one of the dumbest arguments currently infecting the blogosphere.

It's just as easy to presume that Aetna, et al.'s prices are doing better because health care isn't going to be as bad for the insurance companies as some had feared (or hoped). Stable profits into the mid-term future, combined with a generally more volatile stock market in desperate search of quick profits, could just as plausibly be the reason for the surge as the legislation being viewed as an unmitigated positive for the insurers.

Seriously, don't we all laugh at those "stocks were down sharply because Ben Bernanke caught a bad cold" stories that are a staple of the nightly news? I think using stock prices as anything other than the momentary perceptions of a small group of people who have been proven catastrophically wrong on many earlier occasions is silly.

user-pic
It's just as easy to presume that Aetna, et al.'s prices are doing better because health care isn't going to be as bad for the insurance companies as some had feared (or hoped). Stable profits into the mid-term future, combined with a generally more volatile stock market in desperate search of quick profits, could just as plausibly be the reason for the surge as the legislation being viewed as an unmitigated positive for the insurers.

No shit, Sherlock. Look... I don't begrudge investors making money. That's human nature; our self-interest has been the incentive for everything from exploration of unknown terrain to invention of the safety pin. If I had money to burn on the stock market, I'd be investing in insurance stock right now. I like that part about stable profits into the mid-term future (I take that to mean 'years'). Sounds good - feeding frenzy and all.

So... before we convince ourselves that this really is the "dumbest in the blogosphere", how would you invest? Right now. Or... how ARE you investing? (Foolishly, I always assume others are as poor as me.) You don't have to give me an honest answer. Give yourself one: What stock would you be buying?

Right NOW....


user-pic

The answer is...key commodities.

But that's neither here nor there.

Everyone above has given you good advice on the prognosticatory (new word!) power of stock movements.

I work in the field and can tell you in all candor that analysts know "something," but not that much. The good ones will tell you they have no idea why or when a stock will go up or down.

Stocks move, sometimes dramatically, in all kinds of directions for no clear reason. Once you have a plausible theory--stocks are going up because of all those new policyholders--it's hard to let go of. It seems so obvious...but it that doesn't mean that it's real.

You are talking about the aggregation of hundreds, even thousands of decisions, made by investors that results in price movement one way or another. Impossible to truly decipher.

A much better, but not perfect, guide will be if these health care stocks start upping their dividends. This is real cash, and companies can't pay it out unless they really have it. Before the days of all this analysis and theorizing, dividends were used as the most reliable guide to a company's current and future health. You can't fake cash.

user-pic

I'm not rich either (but thanks for the gratuitous class identification, btw, it really helps to remind us that you're not a rich asshole), but if I had money to invest "RIGHT NOW" I certainly wouldn't risk it on the health insurance industry.

There are just too many uncertainties left to be worked out. Which lobbies will be most successful at influencing reconciliation? How will the exchanges be set up, will marketing be regulated? What of this proposed 85% restriction on the ratio of healthcare spending to revenue? How much will the subsidies be, exactly?

There are so many unpredictable changes — not just in the legislation, but in its implementation as rules/policy and then the cascading economic effects on actual irrational consumers, companies and bureaucrats — that I'd have to wait and see before risking my money. (Foolishly, I always assume others are just as uneasy speculating & jumping to conclusions without details as me.)

But I often

user-pic

The issue here isn't the uncertainty of the stock market, although I appreciate your thick description of how murky be our changling world; someday, when I'm marooned on a desert island, I'll be sure to check it out.

'Til then, the only issue here is that our "reform" saddles us with mandatory insurance from private insurers - because we can't afford the public option. We, as citizens/taxpayers, absolutely cannot afford to pay for a government-run system with our taxes, but we have enough disposable income to chunk out to the industry. We know that because that's what's been decided for us.

But you're wrong about one thing: There's NOTHING unpredictable about this legislation. It benefits exactly who it's supposed to benefit.

user-pic

Well lets say Big Pharma eludes reform with no price controls and a sweetheart deal like with the Medicare drug benefit, but the insurers are actually required to spend 85% of revenue (not profit) on "care." Well then I guess I'd invest in drug companies, since they're sure to get a big chunk of that 85%. And investing in insurers might be akin to buying utilities back in the old days, when I understand they were heavily regulated, paid good dividends, and were considered safe investments.

But if the revenue-ratio provision is scrapped, then perhaps there would be lucrative insurance stock picks, depending on geography and ability to adapt to the new rules.

But the bill is still being worked out. So I'd have no idea which stocks will win in the end. Perhaps you could start a mutual fund for me, since you seem to know.

Of course it's a boon to business, but I guess I took those fence-sitting Senators at their word weeks and months ago when they said they wouldn't support a public option. Our best hope is for tighter regulatory controls on insurers and pharma but I'm remaining cynical in that too so I won't get my heart broken. We can still say we have European-style (Swiss, that is) if the current bill becomes law.

user-pic

P.S. I remember reading this Krugman column "The Swiss Menace" back in August and thinking, well, if this is the best that our crazy tea-partying country can accomplish, it will have to do. Krugman seems also to be similarly resigned. And lo and behold, it's a few months later, and it looks like it was, and it will.

user-pic

As a small-time investor (through a small IRA and a 401(k)), I'd stick to diversified blue-chip, which undoubtedly include some insurance companies. If I was a true investor, I'd probably go energy or defense stocks, (which also may not say much good about our president). As someone else noted, the big money right now is being made in commodities.

But so much of day-to-day market action is smoke and mirrors. There's a lot of people making big sums convincing rubes to buy health stocks due to the alleged giveaways in this bill.

user-pic

Defense stocks. Now you're talking... With the Af-Pak surge... Iran heating up... Oh, YEAH, baby! Always a safe bet. Slap we with that military Keynesianism!

user-pic

Please don't act as if I'm giving investment advice, or endorsing any current or future administration policies. Like I said, I contribute to my 401(k) and fund a small IRA. I don't make any direct investment decisions with the miniscule amount of money I have available. I'm a solidly middle-class guy.

user-pic

Enron had a similar spike, as I recall, on more than one occasion...

Watch the insurance company execs, whern they start dumping you know the end is near...

user-pic

Or, if they start buying at market prices, the future is probably bright for them.

user-pic

Could it be that the huge uptick in healthcare stocks is a con job? The healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against the reform bill what would prevent them, when it looked like the bill was a done deal, from joining together to game the system with an infusion of money to drive up their stocks to make it look like the industry is happy with the bill hoping to cause the bill to lose support? Just a thought.

user-pic

Not to mention that the repubs have shown how against the American people they are by attempting to block every bit of legislation and whinning about being left out..They submitted 140 amendments to the McCaskill bill but did not vote for it..Liars and obstructionists all..There are a few on the left side of the aisle that will have to find new employment too! Liebermutt and BNelson to start--stupid and against womens rights!

user-pic

"...we got more people having insurance. More people having health coverage is a good thing..."

I'm sorry, this is utterly foolish. Insurance isn't coverage. That's the problem. Insurance is the illusion of coverage, an illusion that is quickly going to get more expensive and more false over the next few years. Just wait until doctors stop getting paid, THEN something will happen.

user-pic

Nathan,

The obvious flaw to your argument is that you assume that middle class families know what the issues are. I have never met anyone, regardless of income, who was not happy with a tax cut.

You really expect that to change?

Even if the tax cut most people get really is nothing but a "token," they are not bloody likely to say, "no, thanks Washington, you keep it. I don't need it."

I still think there's a decent chance at repeal, but I would look for the mandate portion of the reform to make its way before the Supreme Court as a constitutional issue. It would take a lot of balls for any court, regardless of political affiliation, to take a stand, but it's not out of the question.

Another thing to consider here is that this bill, as written, will probably not help as many people as you think. Some sports teams look good on paper but end up being lousy on the actual field. Like I said in another post, I'd be impressed if this legislation, at its height, ends up expanding coverage to 15 million more Americans (half of what is being advertised) I'll be thoroughly impressed. I'd figure it to be even less than that. The insurance companies aren't particularly devastated by the senate bill. After all, it's good business for them. But you can be sure they'll find loopholes in the new regulations and find other ways to offset any hindrances to their profit margins. When the GOP gets back in power you can rest assured those loopholes will remain wide open.

user-pic

Folks can be rightly disappointed at what was not in the bill, but the blind refusal to admit what is good in the bill is some kind of masochistic progressive reflex that can't recognize real benefits for people.

The bill clearly extends Medicaid coverage to 133% of the poverty line, which by itself will cover 15 million more people under a public option. Then add in the hundreds of billions of subsidies for individuals in the exchanges and -- even after the insurance companies take their profit slice -- millions more will get coverage and millions more will have more affordable coverage than they would have otherwise.

If I had my bet, demands for better subsidies means that we will cover more people with more affordable coverage by the time the law is fully implemented. Remember, more subsidies will take only a majority vote in the Senate in future years as part of the budget process.

user-pic

The worry here is that the Republicans will say to most people: "They redid the whole thing, had a big drama about health care and guess what, your premiums are still going up, Aetna still denied your claim and your deductible will still be higher next year than it was this year!"

user-pic

I think Nathan's argument presumes that insurance premiums won't have gone through the roof in the next four years -- that is, before most voters experience the benefits of the legislation.

If it does, then, the argument is on shaky grounds.

user-pic

Good point.

user-pic

So that gives us multiple years to push for additional cost controls, public option or more subsidies for families. (And any of the budget items only need 50 Senators.)

Why do folks act as if this is the last time we can ever get a vote on health care reforms?

user-pic

For decades, the left/progressive side has been focused on judicial, not legislative victories.

This has been a catastrophic mistake.

Not only does a judicial victory play as "imposed" without representation in the public's eye, it leaves the grunt work and details of implementation to whoever is in legislative seats at the moment. This split is dangerous.

And legislation can be drawn in ways to negate or circumvent court decisions.

Elect better people to legislative bodies and stay involved. And remember that progress is not "one and done", it's one step at a time.

user-pic

Really good point.

user-pic

Elect better people? Didn't we try that in a big way? There is no chance in the next election that this will happen.

user-pic

I can't tell the start date of the two curves or on what date they cross, but any savings ("curve bending") looks like a distant hope.

user-pic

I thought those premiums went through the roof long ago, now they are heading for the stratosphere.

Isn't that one of the differentiating factors in this issue, that the public has already been egregiously abused, (Michael Moore's movie was about the mis-insured, not the uninsured, remember?) and they are trying to double down on their bad bets before the game gets busted?

user-pic

Kill (the) Bill

user-pic

I'm with the 'you're dreaming' group. Even beyond that this post is so 'out there' that I get a sense of phony cheer leading. Sort of "Rah! Rah! We love the toilet bowl plunger up our rears! It's the backbone that makes us stronger!"

My sense is the complete reverse. This will be the start of the end of Social Security and probably Medicare too. It's already begun with the calls for a commission to look into entitlements. A commission outside of oversight by congress - somehow bypassing the filibuster and certainly bypassing the will of the people. That, with little protest.

The reality will be that the costs to average Americans will be huge and 'in your face' blunt. I once commented elsewhere that the war in Iraq would end quickly if its costs were put in a monthly bill to Americans. Of course that would never be allowed to happen. It's even been suggested that Americans should buy "war bonds" to cover the war costs. Why not a war bond mandate? Nagannahappan.

But it's all happening in this health insurance -big pharma welfare bill. That, with caps and no price controls. Americans won't need to get sick anymore to go bankrupt over 'health care' costs. If they're currently near the limit of survival with debt they'll drown to pay for the worst health insurance in the world.

This bill is too much like the Republican Medicare drug bill to even vaguely think they're afraid of it. Their histrionics are just the prelude to what will come when the bills start coming into American homes and the kids still die because insurance gets capped (nice double meaning) or treatments are swapped (never saw anything on that insurance company practice - switching the treatments allowed to cheaper ones because the insurance companies find the cheaper ones to be just as effective). Cancer treatments usually vary greatly depending on how a patient responds. What if the insurance provider simply says that the cheapest 15% survival treatment is the only one they'll cover and not allow rotating to find one that works?

But that's just a detail I'm not sure about. With caps allowed, no price controls and no real competition (monopolies protected) this is an obamanation. I don't give a damn if it destroys the Democrat party. It deserves to be dumped. But Social Security and Medicare are the real targets. This isn't taking us to some future social nirvana. This is taking us back towards feudalism through government and corporate co-operation in the exploitation of the masses.

user-pic

I believe that if you read the legislation, include the House and Senate versions and the latest manager's amendment to the Senate bill, it will become clear that there are abundant cost controls, and that caps are prohibited.

It seems to me that much of the criticism of the reform package is based on second hand sources that often purvey misinformation, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes deliberately. The best antidote is to become familiar with the legislation itself. The reform package is far from ideal, but it offers such a substantial benefit to so many millions of individuals, and with only minimal hardship to others, that it's understandable why the Republicans are fearful of its passage.

user-pic

Thank you! Speculation based on hearsay is worthless.

user-pic

Hey Fred...

I thought there were ANNUAL caps, but no lifetime caps.

Is that incorrect?

Elsewhere, you talked about Maggie Mahar and David Hacker's work...do you have links? I can't find them.

user-pic

Mahar with some numbers on caps and subsidies in the Senate bill, Friday on TPM Cafe:

I've very glad that Paul Starr has weighed in on this.

He is right-- the bill is deeply flawed, but will help many low-income and moderate-income people.

Many middle-class families at the upper end of the middle class and some upper-middle class families who don't have employer-based insurance will still find insurance unaffordable.

Someone asked for exact numbers-- here they are, from the Senate bill. (I'll be posting these on HealthBeat (www.healthbeatblog.org) along with other specifics about what is in the Senate bill in the next couple of days.)

Most low-income and many middle-income families who do not have employer-based insurance will receive subsidies to help them buy insurance in the insurance exchanges. The subsidies are available on a sliding scale, and are pegged to income and the size of your household.

For example, if you are a single person earning less than $43,320, a couple with income under $58,280, a three-person household reporting earnings up to $73,240, or a family of 4 earning as much as $88,200, you’re eligible for “premium credits.”

Under the Senate plan, households at the low end of the scale will not be expected to shell out more than 2.8% of their income toward their share of insurance premiums; the subsidy will pay everything over that amount. At the high end of the ladder, (a single person earning close to $43,320 or a family of four approaching $88,200), the amount they are required to pay is capped at 9.8% of earnings.

If you have employer-based insurance, 9.8% of income may sound like a large amount. But for the uninsured, the self-employed and those who work for employers who don’t offer insurance, this is less than most would pay today if they tried to buy good, comprehensive insurance in the individual market.

And those in the middle of this sliding scale are required to fork over just 4% to 6% of their earnings toward premiums.

Out of pocket payments also are capped, again on a sliding scale.

The Senate plan limits how much even the wealthiest family buying insurance in the Exchange can be expected to pay, out-of-pocket, in a given year to a total of $11,900 for a family, and $5,950 for an individual.

Again, lower-income households are expected to pay less. For those who are eligible for subsidies but are at the high end of of the scale (income for a family of four approaching $88,200) the out-of-pocket limit is set at $4,000 for an individual, $8,000 for a family. Households in the middle would pay no more than $3,000 (individual) to $6,000 (family).. Finally those in the bottom third would never face medical bills that exceeded $2,000 (individual) $4,000 (family.)

These caps should virtually eliminate medical bankruptcy. The total amount that a family can possibly owe is low enough that providers will be willing to give them time to pay it off, and in many cases, to negotiate discounts.

When providers know that there is no way that you can ever pay a $50,000 bill, you wind up in bankruptcy court. When the amounts are smaller, and doable over time, negotiations are possible.

Fred Moolten-- thanks of the kind words.

On caps, I think we just need to make it clear that, in the Senateplan there are caps on how much a family would pay out-of-pocket ina given year.

You're talking about the caps on what an insurance company would have to pay out in reimbursements, in a given year, or over a life-time for a given individual or family.

When there is a cap, this creates a real problem for a family that has a child with cancer who needs treatment over a period of 9 years. They "run out" of insurance.

That is truly horrible--and unacceptable. But it's a less common cause of medical bankruptcy than the lack of caps on how much the family is expected to pay in a given year.

Posted by Maggie Mahar

December 18, 2009 6:17 PM | Reply | Permalink

Mahar's blog: Healthbeat.org

http://www.healthbeatblog.org/

user-pic

I suspect Moolten meant Jacob S. Hacker and not David Hacker,

as in


Jacob Hacker: Inventor of health care's 'public option' - Sep. 4, 2009

Sep 4, 2009 ... Yale Professor Jacob Hacker reflects on the public option -- the ... Some Democrats say health care reform without a public option is not ...

money.cnn.com/2009/09/04/news/...hacker.../index.htm

Why I Still Believe In This Bill | The New Republic
Dec 20, 2009

... Jacob Hacker, 'the Godfather of the Public Option,' Is NOT Pleased With ... critics who say that health care reform should now be killed. ...

www.tnr.com/blog/the-treatment/why-i-still-believe-bill

For those and much more, google "Jacob Hacker health care reform".

user-pic

Thanks for the correctin, aa - I did mean Jacob, not David.

In response to pressure, the annual caps have been eliminated by the manager's amendment - more or less. No annual caps are permissible for medical services essential to health. While the term "essential" may lead to some disagreements, the amendment does preclude caps for established treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions.

user-pic

What an ignorant comment. I rescind my previous acknowledgement of your intelligence. To state that it's no wonder why Republicans oppose a bill that helps people is no different than claiming that Republicans want to harm people. That is idiotic. Republicans wanted to preserve our health care system which, despite flaws, is the best in the world. They want simply to address the flaws and improve the system. Democrats simply wanted a big social program to buy votes and grab political power, as this blog openly claims.

user-pic

Chihuhua

I rescind my previous acknowledgement of your intelligence.

That must cut deep Fred. My sympathies.

Chihuahua thinks he is very intelligent, and Fred joins others who Chihuahua thinks are dumber then him.

The Little Dog thinks he is smarter than Charles Keeling as the CO2 measurements he took for 50 years which earned him recognition and awards, were, and still are, taken on 'an active volcano'. Chihuahua must have heard that piece of claptrap on Rush.

Chihuahua has yet to show us where on the Keeling CO2 curve the volcanic eruptions skew the data. Nitwits like him don't do facts.

Chihuahua also thinks he was smart to vote for Bush twice. It cuts deep when such an incisive mind doubts your smarts.

user-pic

I have to say that I'm surprised at how quickly Nathan Newman's tone got nasty here. Commenters are one thing, but moderators have a certain responsibility to offer good faith responses to the issues raised, rather than sarcasm about 'the little people.'

Look, here's the issue that TPM as a whole has refused to respond to: whatever the 'progressive' merits of the bill are, it contains within it a strong corporate element that strengthens, rather than weakens, the hand of the insurance lobby. While some may argue, as you do, that this is but the first step, and that gradually Americans will vote more progressive legislation in, it seems just as if not more possible that the insurance lobby, having gained power, will 'astroturf' this obligation into exactly the shape they want it to be in. There's a bit of progressive illusion about the power of 'grassroots' here that I find surprising. After all, the 'grassroots' just gave the Democrats a powerful hand to play, and still the lobbyists won out in the end. And not in a little, compromisey way, but in a we stole your lunch and are eating it in front of you way.

So no, I think there are grave concerns about the future of our democracy after the passage of this bill. This represents not an assertion of the government's role, but rather a further cooption of government to strengthen a major industry, by taxing working americans to support it, with these taxes going not to representative government, but rather to corporate boards. It will generate tremendous cynicism about what our elected government can do, while at the same time leaving American health care permanently in the hands of a monopoly industry.

I guess partly what it comes down to is what do you care about more: democracy and the principle of progressive government, or adding 15 million people to medicare. And while I have a heart, and know the time to do good for one's neighbor is now, I still wish we didn't have to make this horrible choice. And until TPM comments directly on the corporate issue, I think it will not have taken the substance of the debate seriously, hiding behind 'perfect is the enemy of the good' and 'we're making history here folks, the first progressive bill in 40 years,' etc. Calling something progressive doesn't make it good policy or good for democracy.

user-pic

So Nathan can give as well as he gets. That's what we should want, a real dialogue, not the post and run tactics of Reich or others who couldn't be bothered.

user-pic

It's nice to run into somebody even more pessimistic than I am -- maybe there is hope after all?

But seriously:

... whatever the ‘progressive’ merits of the bill are, it contains within it a strong corporate element that strengthens, rather than weakens, the hand of the insurance lobby ... a further cooption of government to strengthen a major industry ....

Well, yes, sort of, maybe, but that is an unedifying way to phrase it -- as if to frustrate the knavish tricks of Big Management always and automatically takes precedence over every other ‘whatever’ that anybody can think of.

A worse difficulty is that the guesswork involved in that oracle may be just plain mistaken. It is at least possible that DonkeyCare™ will mean neither a general coöptation of government by Big Management nor strengthening of the particular "major industry" in question. In fact, Neocomrade R. A. Posner, Esq., argues in Wednesday morning’s Wall Street Jingo that . . .

. . . well, but let's hear the G.O.P. genius speak for himself and for Party ’n’ Ideology, shall we?

[T]he [F]ederal government could not just require all private health insurers to liquidate tomorrow, without compensation. What's done here is a close second. The inexorable squeeze between the constricted revenue sources allowable that insurers get under the Reid bill and the extensive and uncertain new legal obligations it imposes is likely to result in a massive cash-flow crunch that will drive the firms in the individual and small-group health insurance markets into speedy bankruptcy.

Funny kind of major-industry strengthenin’ that would be!

Healthy days.

user-pic

Well, I certainly don't want to be a downer. Anything's possible, as you rightly observe. It's possible that the Neoconservative Posner is accurately predicting the future -- rather than simply acting as an ideologue -- when he foresees the death of big business. And it's also also possible that I didn't explicitly pose the moral dilemma you claim I didn't observe -- the choice between checking corporate power and creating a better safety net -- in my post. (Though of course, the facts are plainly otherwise in this second case, and in the first: well, you yourself identify Posner as a Neocon first and expert second. It would therefore seem more likely that he's operating as, well, an operative, rather than as a careful analyst).

In any event, I hope you're right, though I also hope you can argue with someone without resorting to sarcastically misstating their opinion. I wasn't talking about 'knavish tricks' and wasn't assuming democracy always comes first.

user-pic

I am certainly in favor of giving basic health coverage to people who cannot afford it otherwise, and throwing a monkey wrench at Gingrich, Palin, and Kristol, and discovering perpetual motion and fountain of youth too, but what will this really accomplish for the rest of us?

1) Will medical care become less expensive or less mired in red tape?

2) Was it worth Obama spending most of his first year on this (and not achieving most of his other goals)?

3) Why couldn't this bill have been passed last summer?

user-pic

Response:

1. Probably health care will not be less expensive because what is saved by lower prices (because of less use of ER) will be swamped by covering more people Over time, however, the research into more effective and reliable treatments is going to have a price-lowering effect. This is also in the bill. With some luck the rate of increase in costs will be slowed.

2. Yes. Health care is top priority. Except for dealing with global warming, this is the goal with the greatest long-term benefit. That's been true since WW II. There is not that much that can be done on global warming yet.

3. This bill could not be passed last summer because the Senate Democrats wanted a bipartisan bill and were ready to work really hard for it. The Republicans, however, consider this the chance to destroy the Obama Presidency, so they were never serious about negotiating. Snowe herself was the key to delaying the finance committee for months and she was just toying with the Democrats.

I don't think the Senate Democrats believed that there were NO SANE REPUBLICANS. The various Republican Senators were just each taking different roles to slow the passage down with the intention of killing it. Snowe was the most duplicitous. The only hope for the Republicans now is that the House and Senate can't get together or that Sen. Byrd becomes unable to vote. We are all gambling one way or another on Sen. Byrd's health now.

Sure it's a poor bill, but the Republicans have forced the Senate to operate with 60 members who have to agree unanimously to pass anything! Any single Senator can demand to be bribed.

If the Republicans didn't like that bribery they could individually offer their votes to replace that of Lieberman, Nelson or Landrieu. THE REPUBLICANS WANT THE POLITICAL TRADE OFFS AMONG THE DEMOCRATS! They created the conditions that require that, and they are going to run against the Democrats on it in 2010.

Had the Republicans worked on it in good faith, the bill could have been a lot better. Had Harry Reid not expected the Republicans to work with him, this bill could have been passed in July or September. If this bill gets killed we are not going to see anything better during the Obama administration.

user-pic

"Destroy the conservative movement"? Wishful thinking!

Conservatives survived Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Conservatives survived Barry Goldwater's landslide loss. They will survive health care reform.

Conservatives won't try to repeal the health care bill once it becomes law and they won't split apart. Instead, they will tout themselves as defenders of health care reform, just as they did with Social Security (for which FDR mocked them) and just as they are doing now with Medicare.

user-pic

Congratulations. Your article is showing up on conservative blogs as proof that the left was less concerned with helping cover the uninsured, and more focused on consolidating political power. When Jim Demint's waterloo comment was characterized as proof of a motive to use healthcare as a machevellian ploy to destroy the President for personal reasons, it was only a matter of time before a liberal provided evidence that the conservatives were right that the Democrat's motive was political control, not helping the underprivledged.

user-pic

Actually, it proves that helping the underprivileged damages the conservative movement.

I suggest you re-read this blog and note how the benefits are what damages conservatives, not the consolidation of power.

user-pic

I did re-read it. It only mentions "benefits" or aspects of the legislation in terms of their tactical value to acquire and maintain power. Have you even read the title of the piece?

Re-read the title three times and then try to tell me he is focusing on the moral benefits of caring for the underprivledged. Let's be honest here.

user-pic

Bingo.

Let's resist the impulse to be too clever and braggy, could we. Just once?

user-pic

Shhhh...

Don't want them to ake-up-way oo-too-say, do we?

Let them sleep in their happy rage now..

user-pic

Canada still has conservatives. They just don't touch health care.

user-pic

This post presents an interesting perspective.

Given the sacking of the country by the Bush administration, it seems Obama understood the need to build unshakable foundations for energy, climate/environment, health care, the economy, etc.

If you listen to what he says, these foundations are the building blocks of programs and policies that will make the United States of America one of the most progressive countries in the world. They are woefully inadequate for those who want it all now -- who thought Obama was some kind of magician. Instead, they are designed to ensure the longevity of the policies/programs that will be built on them.

The economic climate right now is too unstable to pull the rug out from the health insurance/services (or any) industry. However, one foundation that has been laid in the bill is:

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.

That doesn't seem like much, but it's a beginning. It's putting insurance executives on notice. Other regulations are in the bill. The noose will soon begin tightening around the throat of the insurance industry.

At present insurance companies are not subject to anti-trust laws. Patrick Leahy's already set the wheels in motion to change that.

So, no. It's not a sell out. It's a foundation. And that it could kick the teeth out of the republican party is just grand.

user-pic

Translation: This bill will help the liberals achieve their goal of turning most of the population into parasites.

user-pic

I'm confident our resident libertarian meant "dependents."

user-pic

If "most of the population" could be turned into parasites, who or what is the host body?

user-pic

There you go asking questions that require a Libertarian to think. Don't you know it hurts their brains terribly to do so? When they can't just parrot "government bad" over and over, they start to twitch and stutter.

Hmmm...

Could be entertaining.

user-pic

The People's Republic of China

user-pic

Open Extortion and Bribery with key members of Congress. Is this what will distroy.... who?
How about the sigmificant relationship between lobbying and bailout money?
This my go in NY but it does not go in Nabraska.
Malfeasance means something to real people.

user-pic

Progressives have never understood, or at least admitted, the rationality of the fear behind progresive gains. Once gained it rarely goes the other way--and they know this even if they don't say it.

For example, gay rights opponents talk about the gay lifestyle becomming acceptable over time. They are right. If gay rights gain a foothold in society there will come a day when it is unacceptable, at least publically, to say things agains gays. Don't believe me? These same people fought against racial equality, women's votes, birth control for women, etc. Anyone think that short of a major authoritarian revolution it will other go the other way?

And how threatening, really, have all those policies proved to be to society? Exactly. Which is why progressive policies have won the day, eventually, since humanity came out of the caves.

user-pic

Frankly, if George W. Bush couldn't accomplish the mission to detonate the Republican Party and the so-called conservative movement and blow it to a smoking ruins, I really doubt anything can rid us of these nitwits, or at least send them back to their caves.

user-pic

Could it be that the huge uptick in healthcare stocks is a con job? The healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against the reform bill what would prevent them, when it looked like the bill was a done deal, from joining together to game the system with an infusion of money to drive up their stocks to make it look like the industry is happy with the bill hoping to cause the bill to lose support? Just a thought.

user-pic

That was my take.

user-pic

What is the big deal about death panels?
Just get use to the ideal that some of us will be sent to camp, one way.
Now that the ball is rolling, what happens if there is a change in DC?
This may be where a lot of the bloggers on this site may end up.
Merry Christmas to all!

user-pic

We're going to be sent to camp? Really?

Great. I liked camp. Will there be archery and canoes? I hope my camp is on a lake. That's where I learned to sail.

user-pic

One of the higher order effects from this legislation should be a more cohesive society less filled with rage, resentment, and fear. A society in which everyone feels he is getting a fair shake with the basic things is healthier in a way that goes beyond the care rendered. Does anyone like knowing that neighbors' or relatives' lives could be destroyed by a single cell or chromosome run amok; that is not a healthy society to live in.

user-pic

they won't try to repeal it. come on now.

they will pass a Healthy Health Care America Act.

that just so happens to remove the mandate*
and/or lower the medical loss ratio
and/or removes "onerous" regulations on insurance companies
and/or slashes subsidies (if no mandate)
and/or slashes funding for a bunch of the other little stuff that nobody in DC will give a hoot about because it only helps Those People

they can also just fail to fund things in the budgets. then the Republican governors can campaign against "unfunded mandates", and Round 2 begins.

i mean, were any of you around here recently?

you can't predict that a thing can't be done because it would cause fiscal wreckage or because it would make no logical sense. those are both points in favor.

*to answer the objection about why they can't remove mandates, you can leave a nominal version of the community ratings and other regulations in place, and just let premiums go up to compensate. now, it may in fact prove true that the insurance companies would prefer to keep the mandate. so then you allow super-junk policies. and so forth. shell games inside shell games.

user-pic

Chris Matthews gave a quick comparison, between drools, of progressives and radicals.

The progressives move bit by bit to achieve their agenda.

The radicals want everything today, and if they can't get it they throw in the towel.

The HCB is a major victory that will lay the ground work for future victories. The radical left can't grasp this (pay attention Ed Schulz).
I love the Howard Deans of the party but some clear headed thought is, and has been, badly needed when it comes to health care.

I totally agree that if the republicans are fighting like hell against this bill then it must be good.

user-pic

After thinking that the bill should be defeated, I've changed my mind.

No one I've met in real life understands much about the bill. But, then, the average person has no idea about the legislative process. The chance that the public will move beyond this is nil.

What they will understand is a mandate that costs them more than they can afford. In that situation, there will pressure to reduce costs.

With a mandate one could see pressure to pass something like the Dorgan amendment as a law on its own, removing protection for insurance companies from antitrust laws, and some kind of public option. So I support the mandate.

But in the short run, I see the Democrats losing many seats in the coming election. That the benefits don't kick in for several years seems crazy from a political viewpoint. In the short run this seems to help the conservatives. I think much will depend upon how fast aspects of the bill come into effect. The sooner some voters get something out of this, the better for the Democrats and the loss for Conservatives.

One small business person I know— a progressive and former Obama voter— told me that she "guesses" she supports the bill but would take immediate action to reduce her number of employees to be exempt from any employer mandate. This seems not a good omen. She also expressed extreme displeasure about any rollback of abortion rights.

All depends, of course, on what finally comes forth. I don't see how this thing does make it. But others understand far more than I on the future. I wonder if supporters here are confident on passage, and why.

Facebook

Site is very nice and fun and I always recommend this site.
We'll wonderful people parça kontör I wish to take advantage of service..

Facebook
Facebook
Facebook

thanks admın ı like it

video izle
maçı canlı izle

Facebook
user-pic

I do not understand how this will destroy it. We need to make some changes to it in the future. Lets get this going in the future.
Auto Body Shop

user-pic

he argued for killing health reform at all costs). Why? Because trying to repeal it will tear the movement apart and it will be the platform to destroy conservative anti
cosmetic bag supplier

user-pic

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! Hulu Downloader | iPad Converter

user-pic

This article is very interesting. Thank you very much for sharing . m2ts files converter from m2ts converter

user-pic

if you are a fashion man,you must heart the abercrombie and fitch or the vibram 5 fingers

user-pic

Cheap christian louboutin Sale, Pumps, Boots,christian louboutin pumps, Wedges, christian louboutin shoesUp to 75% OFF, Free Worldwide Shipping.

user-pic

At start, I’d choose to tell thanks to you for this enlightening article. 2nd, I had prefer to doubt wherever I can attain lot more info regarding your post. I arrived right here through Ask and can not find out any linked up web sites on this subject. How do I subscribe for your web blog? I'd prefer to adhere to your updates as they arrive along! I had a query to interrogate but I forgot what it absolutely was... anyways, thanx.


xox, Ray Cook
Author of how to cook beef tenderloin

user-pic

Hello, Good morning cos i absolutely dig your fine article, i would feel very special if you would want me to publish a short review on your blog on my News site would you be ok with that?

xox, John Peds
Author of how to cook salmon

user-pic

Hi there because i so totally dig your original blog, I wuold feel very special if you would ask me to blog a short review about your incredible blog on my small News site would you grant me permission to?

Kind regards, Von Willy Peds
Software Developer of copy psp games-Researcher of psp music video Thank you for sharing your blogs i really like it .

Facebook

This time the health care is unlike the formerly spoken about one. It's more transparent and supportive to respond to people's feedback. It's good at one side, for sure. But they have to fight for it really hard behind the desk. Life Insurance

Facebook

At start, I’d choose to tell thanks to you for this enlightening article. 2nd, I had prefer to doubt wherever I can attain lot more info regarding your post. I arrived right here through Ask and can not find out any linked up web sites on this subject. How do I subscribe for your web blog? I'd prefer to adhere to your updates as they arrive along! I had a query to interrogate but I forgot what it absolutely was... anyways, thanx.
regards

Kitchen Appliances

Facebook

Not working families Nathan...and working families will find out soon enough they've been had again by the D's. It doesn't have to be this way but somehow it always is. Trust me rank and file union members will hate this so-called reform. All it will be for them is more money out of their pockets. I see this as preparing the way for the Republican's next Ronald Reagan cult of personality. But spin away about how this is conservatism's death knell.

regards

Kitchen Appliances

Facebook

user-pic

Not working families Nathan...and working families will find out soon enough they've been had again by the D's. It doesn't have to be this way but somehow it always is. Trust me rank and file union members will hate this so-called reform. All it will be for them is more money out of their pockets. I see this as preparing the way for the Republican's next Ronald Reagan cult of personality. But spin away about how this is conservatism's death knell.
regards
mezzi rifle case

Facebook

Not working families Nathan...and working families will find out soon enough they've been had again by the D's. It doesn't have to be this way but somehow it always is. Trust me rank and file union members will hate this so-called reform. All it will be for them is more money out of their pockets. I see this as preparing the way for the Republican's next Ronald Reagan cult of personality. But spin away about how this is conservatism's death knell.
regards
Iris van Herpen

Facebook

Not working families Nathan...and working families will find out soon enough they've been had again by the D's. It doesn't have to be this way but somehow it always is. Trust me rank and file union members will hate this so-called reform. All it will be for them is more money out of their pockets. I see this as preparing the way for the Republican's next Ronald Reagan cult of personality. But spin away about how this is conservatism's death knell.
regards
KCA Financial Services

Leave a comment

Advertisement
Please disable your adblocker!
Ads are how we pay the bills!

Subscribe

The Coffee House
TPMCafe's regulars

House Brew
From Your Cafe Editor

Special Guests
Big names and big brains

Special Features
Pressing topics and trends

Table for One
An expert's week-long talk.

All Reader Posts
TPM readers discuss.

Advertise Liberally
Share
Close Social Web Email

"To" Email Address

Your Name

Your Email Address