The Health Care Reform Summit

Standard

The Republicans didn’t bring anything but the standard right-wing talking points composed of lies, misinformation and fear. They didn’t bring any policy ideas because they believe tactically that they must scuttle reform in order to gain seats and possibly take back the congress this year. They lost the message war today because they had nothing to offer but a lame arse call to start the process over which is nothing more than their way of trying to kill reform.  Nobody with a brain bought the b.s. they were selling.

The Republican game was to look earnest in discussing health care reform with the president while offering nothing of substance. They used their time to pander to whitefolks fears. That is ultimately a losing strategy. It is a larger part of their strategy to demonize the president and scare the stupid into believing that the insurance companies and their outrageous premium increases and denials of care are as American as apple pie and something that they should accept instead of fight.

The president had policy, facts, and the American people on his side. The Republicans have fear. Fear lost today.  He handled his critics with his trademark grace.

The President elegantly byotch slapped John McCain during his angry tirade and told him gently but firmly, “…We’re not campaigning anymore. The election is over.” Barack Obama is what class looks and sounds like.  The Republicans cannot reconcile themselves with that reality.   So instead they deal the race card from the bottom of the deck and call him condescending which is a sophisticated way of saying the president is an uppity nigra that doesn’t know his place.

I am disappointed that he didn’t use some time to defend the public option which I believe to be critical to achieving meaningful health care reform. I will be writing my senator to ask why she hasn’t signed onto the public option.   It is probably in vain but I’ll do it anyway because she needs to hear more voices from the black community.

The President clearly enunciated his goals today:

Rather than start at the outset talking about legislative process and what’s going to happen in the Senate and the House and this and that… let’s talk about the substance: How we might help the American people deal with costs, coverage, insurance, these other issues. And we might surprise ourselves and find out that we agree more than disagree. And that would then help to dictate how we move forward.

His evenhanded and calm moderation of a serious discussion belies the wingnut talking points that attempt to demonize the president by painting a portrait of a violent, dangerous, left-wing radical.  The president is a centrist politician that seeks to govern by consensus.  He is not divisive or disagreeable by nature.  Any attempt to make it seem so is disingenuous.

In my humble opinion, the President won the day hands down and should now proceed towards reconciliation which includes a public option without delay.

49 thoughts on “The Health Care Reform Summit

  1. TripLBee

    Unfortunately I don’t have 7 1/2 hours to watch this stuff. But I watched clips of the exchanges throughout the day. Why exactly are the Republicans continuing to sign up for this abuse? THey are playing directly into Obama’s strengths and allowing themselves to be called out as liars in front of a national audience. As much as I detest Republicans, they used to be smarter than this.

    • Trip,

      I don’t think they were ever smarter. They criticized Obama for not holding a open forum where cameras would be let in. The President simply call them on their talking point B.S. and gave them what they asked for. They don’t have the bully pulpit but they thought they could still bully Obama. Poor bastards, they just don’t understand what they did today. They gave the president another forum in which to shine. Now nobody can seriously believe that the Republicans are sincere about health reform and Obama has the political cover of bipartisanship, which is totally fictional, to use as cover for when move the bill through reconciliation.

  2. Burroughston Broch

    You folks are living in a fantasy. If the President and the Dems in Congress believed in the worth of what they’re selling, they’d be included in the coverage. Guess what? They’re not. They’re excluded so they can have their own special taxpayer-funded healthcare system, and you can bet that benefits won’t be rationed. What this is really about is increased government control by any means necessary, and healthcare is just one vehicle. The US public is on to this charade. And as for the President not being in campaign mode? He announces his plan, then the Dems trumpet that they are going to “Rahm” it through, Congressional rules be damned, and then he holds this meeting with the sham of being “bipartisan”. What a travesty.

      • Burroughston Broch

        Skep, you need to get off the computer, take a walk, and get in touch with reality.

        The “haterade” comment says to me that you spend too much time complaining to people of a like mind. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean that I hate you.

        As for watching Faux News, let me tell you about a chat between 12 of us in my office. We’re a mongrel bunch, aged 24 to 62, white and black, single and married, gay and straight; we even have one of BB King’s grandsons in the group. We all have group insurance through our employer and are glad of it. We all have friends or loved ones without jobs, some without insurance by choice, some without insurance because of necessity. Not one of us knows anyone who is for Obamacare. Not one. There’s my reality.

    • Chuck

      Burroughston,

      Unfortunately, the insurance industry is so renegade, fraudulent, discriminatory, and inept that we have no choice but to have our “paternalistic” government step in and try to make it right. Of course, government sucks at running businesses; but if given the chance, the government will do a much better job than the industry causing more people to be insured, costs to be reduced, and federal budgetary requirements for health programs to eventually be relieved. Public option is the only option to the current horror flick.

      Maybe the republican-libertarian-tea party will atart governing and come up with an option other than stonewalling and campaigning for seats.

      • Burroughston Broch

        ObamaCare will work as well as Medicare, most VA hospitals, and healthcare on the Indian reservations. I need say no more about Medicare – what a joke about cost containment. As far as VA hospitals, take a tour through the backwaters like the Tuskegee AL facility. Go to a reservation and look around. It won’t be Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Public option only won’t work. By the way, under National Health in the UK, Bill Clinton couldn’t have received his last round of stents because he’s over 59. All of my relatives in the UK have private health insurance because they are scared of the NHS.

        How can the opposition (republican-libertarian-tea party in your words) govern when they don’t have control? The Dems are in control. All the opposition can do is come up with options and air them in Congress. The Dems have consistently shown that they are not interested in any options to their plan. It’s ObamaCare or nothing. If the people in this country were comfortable with ObamaCare, it would be a done deal by now. The fact that it’s not a done deal is partly due to the opposition fighting back, but chiefly because the majority of the people are telling the politicians that they don’t want it and will vote against them at the next election if they do pass it. Politics is about re-election first and policy somewhere down the line.

    • Burroughston Broch

      I don’t have a solution, but I agree that changes are needed. My group insurance costs keep rising a lot faster than inflation. I think that a truly bipartisan effort involving the States and the Congress is needed to determine the least worst direction. I am dead set against a government single-payer system. Even the UK doesn’t have that; all of my relatives there have private health insurance because the NHS scares them.

      The effort so far, in my opinion, has been a power grab by certain Dems to turn this country into more of a European-style social democracy. Federal control of healthcare is a convenient way to get 17-20% of the US economy under Federal control at one bite. Control is the primary issue, that it’s healthcare is coincidence. This follows on the heels of our taste of fascism with Federal control of GM, Chrysler, AIG, Citi, Fannie and Freddie. I don’t see the Federal Government in any hurry to let loose the reins of any of those. I believe that Fannie just asked for another $15billion doughball.

      • Mack Lyons

        “I don’t have a solution…”

        Thanks for making Skep’s point. Now if you don’t have a solution to the problem, then kindly step out of the way so others who can, do.

      • Burroughston Broch

        Mack Lyons, I don’t buy what you’re selling. Because I don’t pretend to have a packaged, instant solution to a situation that has been studied for years, I’m supposed to sit back and swallow whatever piece of tripe is being promoted by someone else? Change for the sake of change is not good in my book.

  3. BREAKING NEWS: NY State Governor David Paterson (D) not seeking a full four-year term as governor, having announced his retirement in a news conference at his Manhattan office today.

    Skeptical Brotha any thoughts or will you post Paterson’s decision to retire today ?

    • Blue Dogs,

      Governor Paterson’s capitulation to reality is long overdue. His administration has been a disaster since his presser with the Mrs. admitting to infidelity in their marriage. His inept handling of appointing a successor to Hillary and the poor relations with the NY Senate, a body he served in for two decades, was doomed whatever chance he had of governing effectively. He has seemed out of his league since almost the very start.

  4. Mark

    If the good people of the great state of New York want health care, then let the government of the state provide it for them. Same for the others. It is not the job of the federal government to provide health care for the nation. They duties of the federal government are very clearly spelled out in the constitution.

    • Redeye,

      Shug, thank you so much for the Fields article. It was beautifully written and painted a clear picture of the problem that I’ve been talking about. Folk are more than ready to make exceptions for one negro, but for the rest–never.

    • Burroughston Broch

      The Constitution lists powers for the Federal Government and says that all powers not specifically assigned to the Federal Government are reserved for the States. That includes healthcare. QED

      • Burroughston Broch,

        You clearly want to talk today and I am more than willing to oblige. You wouldn’t post here if you didn’t. You misunderstood what I meant by haterade. Haterade is a shorthand for the bitter rhetoric and talking points of the right that will provide no solutions to the health care crisis. I’ve heard it all before in various health care fora and in print and TV. I don’t doubt your sincerity but I honestly don’t think you grasp what an untenable situation the U.S. is in with regard to health care. We cannot continue on the path we’re on. We’re spending 3 and 4 times what Western Europe is paying and it is killing the bottom line of productivity in this country. The right has no solution for that. Obama does.

        You can believe the anti Obama rhetoric if you wish, just be prepared to bear the brunt of the consequences like higher costs and denials of care without complaint if he doesn’t succeed. If you believe the health insurance industry won’t take your money and then cut you off at the knees when you really need a lifeline, go right ahead. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Some people are more afraid of black man in the White House than of their greedy insurance provider, its O.K. Be afraid, just don’t ask Obama for his help when they inevitably screw y’all without vaseline.

  5. Burroughston Broch

    Skepticalbrotha, thanks for your reply. Haterade may be your shorthand but it is subject to misunderstanding by those who follow you. You have proved yourself capable of clarity of thought and word, so please don’t dilute your message with easily misunderstood shorthand.

    I have no illusions about the insurance companies since some of them are my clients. I agree about containing costs. However, we differ on the single payer concept (aka ObamaCare, my shorthand.) If there are multiple insurance companies from which I can choose, and I choose one, and they screw me, I can complain to the State Insurance Commissioner, sue the insurance company, and go to another insurance company (who may or may not be any better.) With single payer, I HAVE NO CHOICE. I have no avenue of complaint, I can’t sue the Federal Government, and I’ve got nowhere else to go. Unlike the UK that still has private health insurance, I would be at a (literally) dead end.

    I also recognize that the Federal Government (like the insurance companies) has a vested interest in getting me off the roles as soon as I retire. They will be glad to have me as long as I contribute more than I consume. Once I turn into a net consumer, it is in their interest to get me off the roll as soon as possible. The way to do that is to deny coverage for things like stents. You saw my comment about not having access in the UK to stents after the age of 59 – I wasn’t exaggerating. The Federal Government position will be the same (courtesy of Rahm Emanuel’s brother) since, under single payer, there will be no impetus toward extending lifespans. The driving financial factor is the ratio between worker bees contributing and drones that just consume. Eliminating drones is an effective way to keep the ratio in limits.

    • Burroughston Broch,

      The only single payer advocates are Senator Sanders and House liberals like Dennis Kucinich. Obama has never advocated a single-payer health plan since he started stepped onto the national stage in 2004. You need to stop listening to the talking points and pay attention. Did you even watch the summit? There was no single-payer advocate in the room. I don’t understand why folks on the right swallow the right-wing b.s. about single-payer health care. The long and the short of it is that you have no risk of going into bankruptcy. None. Be Afraid of that if you desire, but it is not what is on the table right now for the United States. What is on the table is government subsidization of the private insurance industry in exchange for 95% coverage. Throw out what you heard and stop with the death panel nonsense about somebody bumping you off at 59. The private insurance industry is allowed eliminate life saving treatment with impunity now. What folks on the right are really afraid of is that Obama is personally out to get them through the Health Care Reform Bill. That is racist nonsense. Folks need to de-clutter their minds of the misinformation.

      • Burroughston Broch

        The President is a single-payer advocate who has lately cooled his rhetoric because he understands that he cannot get it passed in Congress at this time. He desperately wants to get something passed so he can say that he fulfilled a campaign promise. He thinks that this legislation will be the way for the camel to get his nose in the tent.

        I don’t buy your scare stories about the insurance companies. I have a friend still working in his late 60s in the US who just got stents installed, ala Slick Willie. He got no crap from his insurer. I have a cousin in the UK, still working in his early 60s, who just got denied by NHS. No theories, no conjecture, just facts.

        If you want to cogitate on death panels, treat yourself to the writings of Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezekiel who whispers in the President’s ear on healthcare.

        I don’t care what color the President is, but I do care that he wants government in total control of healthcare. If that makes me racist because he happens to be black, well you can throw the word at me. I think that you are all too quick to use that word, for lack of something constructive to say. It’s a cop out in my book.

  6. Burroughs,

    Have you been following the health care debates for the past three years? When exactly did Obama recommend a single payer system? I wish he had, but he doesn’t even support a public option. It really is striking the degree to which people on the right project their fears on Obama, regardless of the facts.

  7. They showed who they were. But, it was a necessary farce.Onwards to reconciliation.

    I agree with you about Paterson – his bumbling Senate appointment was pathetic. You’d never think that he was raised in a political family because he’s been tone deaf and making misstep upon misstep. I want to feel bad for him, but…..

  8. Chad

    Have you guys ever heard of Google or YouTube? Type in Obama Single Payer 2003.

    Plain as day. Or was it some racist white person with a trick camera…or maybe some fancy editing?

  9. Chad

    Obama has the American people on his side? Hmmm…

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    New Rasmussen poll out today. Obama hit a new low today among likely voters, with a 43% approval rating.

    I seriously am beginning to question whether some of you have a single foot in reality. Wow.

    Obama had a super-majority in the Senate and a huge majority in the House for an entire year, yet it’s Republicans fault that he can’t pass Obamacare? I must have missed something. I could have sworn it was fighting and disagreements within the Dem party that has been their problem.

    I think it’s time to accept the fact that your progressive wonderland is not going to happen. Sorry. There is just no way that the racist white folks, who are scared of a black president, will ever let that happen! 🙂

  10. Chad,

    It’s not the GOP’s fault that Obama can’t pass the kind of substantive health insurance reform that Americans need. But it is the GOP’s fault that such drastic measures are necessary.

    • Burroughston Broch

      Time for a deep breath and a reality check, TripLBee.

      It’s not the GOP’s fault that Obama and the Dems cannot legislate their healthcare proposals. The Dems have had the votes in Congress to do as they wish, but they are distracted by the voters.

      It’s the fault of all of those pesky voters that keep telling Obama and the Dems that they don’t want healthcare as passed in the House and Senate. How ungrateful of these voters! And their gall to tell Obama and the Dems that, if they put it into law, that they will be voted out of office at the next election! These pesky voters have forgotten that the Dems (including the trial lawyers, the union bosses, and the Al Gore carbon cap & trade crowd)know what’s best for them and that they should meekly do as they are told by their betters.

      • If the voters are against the Democratic plan, it’s because of the watered down version in the Senate thanks to weasels like Joe Lieberman and Max Baucus (whose blatant corruption on this issue is truly Republicanesque). Obama should have used the House bill as a starting point, not the Senate bill.

    • rikyrah,

      I’ve been thinkin’ bout it. His poll numbers are in the toilet though. Even blackfolks are lukewarm and think he is a sellout after he screwed over that Genarlow Wilson boy.

      • Skeptical Brotha, according to Rasmussen Reports, former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes (D) is LIKELY going to crush the entire Democratic competition in the upcoming July 2010 primary including Baker (who is certainly going into retirement with his wig) and he has a good chance of winning back his old gig in the November general elections since the GOP primary between Oxendine, Handel (who tried to disenfranchise African Americans as GA Secretary of State during the 08 presidential campaign) and Deal (who bailed his House seat) will be nasty.

        As for Paterson in NY State, he’s certainly helpless and is only a FIGUREHEAD now with the Dem-controlled State Legislature calling the shots in Albany and following the orders of NY State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D), who is really his father’s 4th term.

  11. Chuck

    “I can complain to the State Insurance Commissioner, sue the insurance company, and go to another insurance company (who may or may not be any better.)” – Burroughston Broch

    This comment is proof of the disconnect between reformists and obstructionists. The people who really need the reformists to do something about the insurance and health care systems (i.e: those without insurance, those who spend too high of a percentage of their income on insurance, those whose insurance and health care providers screw them, etc.) don’t have the resources to sue the mighty insurance companies. Insurance Commissioners are likely people with backgrounds in the insurance industry, and the processes for complianing and obtaining redress are set up for complainants to fail. Very few people (those in Burroughston Broch’s class, station, and club) could afford to compete against an insurance company in courts and/or have the support, clout, or discipline to fight through the red-tape and setbacks of an administrative process.

    The perceived existence of judicial and administrative adversarial remedies are not the answer. Besides, when the obstructionists’ tort reform hits, we might as well forget about suing health care and insurance providers.

    As to switching to another insurance company, only one who has insurance AND good health has that luxury. Then, for those who have insurance, considering the collusion that occurs in the industry, there are few factors, products, and plans that distinguish one company from another.

  12. Chuck

    “How can the opposition (republican-libertarian-tea party in your words) govern when they don’t have control? The Dems are in control.” – Burroughston Broch

    I know Burroughston does not speak for the opposition, but isn’t it sad commentary that factions of both “the opposition” and “the Dems” are so “tribal” (ala Bayhn) that they believe you have to be “in control” of the government to govern?

    Burroughston’s statement is evidence that on about November 4, 2008, government ceased to be about solving problems. Government became about being “in control.” Campaigns and fundraising began, and governing stopped.

  13. Mark

    Trip

    Why not at least get those states that could garner the votes create their own statewide health care system. If any of them get a winner, it would be bound to be adopted elsewhere

    • Mark,

      That would be an interesting fall back position if all fails. Hopefully it won’t because incremental change won’t fix the problem of health care access. Now that you mention it, the California Assembly tried to pass a public option this year and failed. Arnold would have vetoed it anyway.

      • Mark

        Skep,

        Arnold is a strange cat. A couple of years ago(2007) he actually proposed a comprehensive health coverage plan for California (http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/press-release/5057/). Of course, the house of cards was already falling-in and now we’re in a real financial mess, all bets are off.

        As recently as last week, though, Arnold came out backing the democratic health care reform bill.

        I have a feeling he may go up against Boxer this year. Celebrity is a powerful force.

  14. hearthesiren

    i want the public option. not having health insurance sucks, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ARE A 1L IN LAW SCHOOL, CAN’T WORK BECAUSE IT IS FORBIDDEN, AND CANT AFFORD IT BECAUSE YOU LIVE OFF STUDENT LOANS.

    i suppose next time i have a seizure, when i come to, ill tell my friends to cancel the ambulance.

    i have insurance now because I am 2l, can work, and have a job tutoring the football team so I have insurance from my school. Thank the LAWD.

    i think this was a great post, and i love the byotch slap comment.

    @ mark, yeah the govt can do whatever it wants, anything not expressly stated in the constitution that is reserved for the states, the fed govt can regulate. this can be exercised through the necessary and proper clause, or the commerce clause…the govt can control and/or regulate ANYTHING effecting interstate commerce. most notably, brought about when the fed govt stepped in when white folks wouldnt let blacks eat at restaurants and sleep at hotels—white folks were decreasing profits by refusing blacks so the gobment stepped in. this is in u.s.supreme court case law which is BINDING, the supreme court interprets what the constitution says. That is a fact.

    so let’s see, obama used to be a lawyer, i dont think he would be dumb enough to advocate a govt MONOPOLY on healthcare. not only is this ILLEGAL but it’s stupid. He ain’t stupid.

    There will be a public option… OPTION (fingers crossed) And duh, of course America wants to make a profit, who doesn’t. People just don’t start non-profit corporations e.g. business that help people, so they go bankrupt. There is nothing wrong with making America better AND making a profit. After I pass the bar I plan to do both.

    And who is this dude saying Medicare doesn’t work. I know plenty of families who need it and use it all the time. Yeah, let’s just get rid of that too because it isnt giving us the precise results we wanted!!! Ehhhhlllll…..

  15. Mark,

    The Constitution does not address the role the federal govt can and cannot play in healthcare. This is no coincidence since the health insurance industry didn’t exist at the time the Constitution was promulgated.

    As for your idea about individual states, just look at credit cards as an example of why that approach won’t work. Most states have strict usury laws. South Dakota doesn’t so guess what, that’s where most credit card companies have established their headquarters. The system needs to be national in order to work.

  16. Mark, I think Arnold is finished politically and 2006 was his last political campaign for statewide office.

    PS: Jerry Brown is BACK at the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento come January 3, 2011 when he succeeds Arnold.

  17. Mark

    Blue,

    Brown will announce tomorrow. He is pathetic and no one will buy into his tired old schtick. Chiang would be a good candidate, just not enough name recognition. The dems gotta come up with something better than Brown. Too many backed out too early.

    Good luck with moonbeam, you’re gonna need it.

    • Mark, Chiang ain’t running for governor, he’s better off seeking re-election as State Controller.

      The California GOP has ZERO chance of keeping the Governor’s Mansion in November because Arnold has like an 18 percent approval rating.

      Jerry Brown’s track record:
      Member, LA Community College Board of Trustees (1969-1971)
      California Secretary of State (January 4, 1971-January 6, 1975)
      34th Governor of California (January 6, 1975-January 3, 1983)
      Chairman, California Democratic Party (1989-1991): some blame him for Diane Feinstein’s loss to Pete Wilson in the 1990 governor’s race
      Mayor of Oakland (1999-2007)
      31st California State Attorney General since January 8, 2007

      Moonbeam is likely back in the governorship whether we like it or not, plus his family is very well-known across the state: his late father, Pat Brown served as California State AG (1951-1959) and as the state’s 32nd Governor (January 5, 1959-January 2, 1967) and his sister, Kathleen Brown served as California State Treasurer (1991-1995) and was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor in 1994.

      • Mark

        Blue

        Being the political junkie you are, you must remember the nick-name “one-terminator” for Arnold back in 2005 after a special election in which his all 4 of his initiatives were absolutely squashed. He was dead in the polls, yet one year later he cruised back into office. Here’s my guess as to how he was re-elected… the people who vote for Arnold do not participate in polls, nor do they participate in special elections.

        Brown announcing via webcast was akin to Michael Steele dropping “off the hook” to the New York Times, that is, people trying to project an image for themselves that just isn’t there

        By the way, take a look at the number of hits his you tube video has garnered then search for “governor schwazenegger” on you tube and compare numbers of hits. Then tell me who’s popular

  18. TripLBee

    Meg and Poizner should save their money. Jerry Brown is going to win. Having lived in Oakland during his tenure there, I am underwhelmed by him, but he’s going to win.

  19. “take a look at the number of hits his you tube video has garnered”

    Wow, polling by youtube. I guess this means you believe Sarah Palin will run away with the Republican nomination in 2012?

  20. Ernesto, Romney or Huckabee will be the likely GOP nominee in 2012, unless they nominate outgoing Minnesota Governor Tim “Segregation” Pawlenty (R), who recently re-instated the state’s death penalty over there.

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