The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Health Care

Democrats Signal Embrace of Co-op Plans

By John Amick

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signaled on Sunday a willingness from the White House to embrace insurance cooperatives as the main plank of health-care reform rather than pushing for a public option in the final version of legislation being debated in Washington and throughout town halls across America.

"I think the president is just continuing to say, let's not have this be the only focus of the conversation," Sebelius, on CNN's "State of the Union," said about the focus of a public-option inclusion. "Coverage for all Americans, lowering the crushing cost for everyone, making sure that we have new rules for insurance companies, that they can't dump people out of the marketplace if you get sick, that they can't drop your coverage based on a pre-existing condition, that you can't be priced out because you're a woman instead of a man, and gender discrimination won't be allowed to continue anymore. Those are really essential parts of the program, along with choice and competition, which I think we'll have at the end of the day."

Further placing a public option in jeopardy, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), a major player in the Senate Finance Committee's negotiations on reform -- considered to be the prime vehicle for health-care reform legislation in the Senate -- said on Sunday that hope for a government-run public option to be included in a final reform bill is all but dead.

"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option," Conrad said on "Fox News Sunday." "There never have been. So to continue to chase that rabbit, I think, is just a wasted effort."

Proponents who have voiced support for a public option to "keep the insurance companies honest," should temper their ambitions for its inclusion in final legislation, Conrad said.

Such statements come a day after President Obama himself suggested that supporters of reform should be realistic about what will eventually come out of Congress.

"The truth is -- I want to be completely honest here -- there is no perfect, painless silver bullet out there that solves every problem, gives everyone perfect health care, for free," Obama said in front of a town hall in Colorado. "There isn't. I wish there was."

Despite saying Obama's faith in a government option was strong, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also would not commit to any insistence of a public option from the White House.

"What I am saying is the bottom line for this for the president is, what we have to have is choice and competition in the insurance market," Gibbs said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Again, if you are in a place in this country where you only get one choice, how in the world are you going to be able to convince anybody that you are driving down costs when you don't have to compete against anything?"

Town hall debates have driven much of the national narrative on health care in recent weeks. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), one member of Congress that took a lot of heat last week at town halls from opponents of health-care reform, said the sometimes fiery community meetings should not control the discourse on the national health-care debate.

"I think people are very nervous because so many have lost their jobs," Specter said on ABC's "This Week." "Remember, we don't have [a health-care bill] in the Senate yet, and none has come to the House floor, but I think we have to bear in mind that, although those people need to be heard and have a right to be heard, that they're not really representative of America, in -- in my opinion."

Also on "This Week," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) refused to give an opinion on a major topic of misinformation in the reform discussion, the widespread rumor of end-of-life care-rationing in potential health-care legislation.

Speculation that provisions for seniors to consult with a doctor before deteriorating health conditions obstruct sound end-of-life decisions will result in a kind of involuntary euthanasia has been repudiated by other Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

"I don't think I'm going to make that decision," Hatch said when asked if he would defend or reject the rhetoric. "You know, there are many different people who have many different opinions on what is meant by these programs."

When pressed by ABC's Jake Tapper to explain this silence compared to his vote for Medicare reform legislation in 2003, during a time of a strong Republican majority, that included end-of-life consultations, Hatch responded by suggesting any kind of government option would certainly result in rationing of care to senior citizens.

Hatch also defended his crafting of federal government-sponsored SCHIP legislation, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, to ensure health insurance to children in low-income families across America, which is in direct contrast to his opposition of any hint of a public option in today's reform effort. He blamed liberals for perverting the bipartisan legislation he crafted with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

"It worked amazingly well until the liberals started to push more and more Medicaid -- more and more Medicaid people into the CHIP program and started to expand the CHIP program in ways that were never contemplated," Hatch said. "Everything the Democrats are doing is pushing towards what's called a single-payer system, where the government basically controls everything. And this public plan, this public government plan, don't think for a minute that that will not destroy the current insurance system."

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, who joined President Obama at the town hall Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo., lamented the lack of sound information due to opposing forces and the fact that no solid legislation is ready to receive a full inspection, making the current back-and-forth much less constructive than Democrats planned.

Ritter, on NBC's "Meet the Press," also said he didn't think it was fair to blame Obama for the uneven debate.

"I don't know that you can blame the president for this. I think a good part of this has to do [with] how you opened the show ... it's the sort of partisan wrangling," Ritter said. "And maybe that's even too nice of a word for what's been happening with these town hall meetings. They're capturing the attention. Americans listen to where the conflict is, where the swords are crossed. But they're not, I think, getting all of the information about this."

A recent Gallup poll finds 49 percent of respondents disappointed in the way Obama has handled health-care policy. The poll shows 43 percent approve of his job on the issue.

When asked if Obama can uphold his campaign pledge to not tax anyone making under $250,000 in personal income when paying for reform, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), head of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he's confident a proposed surtax on the wealthiest Americans will not dip into the middle class.

"Yes, he can and he will" uphold the promise, Rangel said on "Meet the Press." "The problem that we have is, is what do you score, what does the Congressional Budget Office count as being a savings? Is it people--what happened to the last few years of someone's life? Is it the overcharging that the pharmaceuticals and doctors have? Is it the number of people that go in and out of hospitals and we don't reward those who do the right thing? These are questions we should be talking about."

Posted at 11:42 AM ET on Aug 16, 2009  | Category:  Health Care Health Care
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What are we thinking about to even stop and consider a healthcare reform package - our priorities must be jobs, transparency in government, no more taxes, real assistance for homeowners, no more "pig" and honesty in government.

Americans must get their voice back, insure our government is downsized, insist that the new jets be returned, return the remaining stimulus money, and hold the government accountable for this economic mess we're in...
The Democrats know exactly when, where and how the mortgage frenzy started and you can take that to the bank.
Just go back to President Clinton's administration and do your homework - please don't forget Freddie and Fannie.

As Always, Annie

Posted by: annie21 | August 17, 2009 11:54 PM

Only the republican Democrats are supporting Co-ops and turning down the Public Option. Republicans have not made any attempt to be bi-partisan. You have them coming out like Hatch and Grassley telling outright lies to scare people. Their behavior has been horrid. We have too many people in Congress who are corporate-owned and run. It is pitiful that Democrats have no spine to stand with President Obama and his outstanding position and that republicans are still the bullies they have been for years.

Posted by: equalon | August 17, 2009 11:37 PM

Maddog, Fairlington is right. If congressmen actually get the same benefits as gov't employees and retirees then it is private insurance subsidized by the federal govt. You have a choice of plans to choose from once a year. Trouble is in some states there aren't that many options to choose from. Also eyeglasses and dental are not covered unless you want to pay extra (a lot extra for dental). The good part about it is OPM acts as a go-between between private ins co's and insurees and can stand up for the insurees when they have a dispute with ins cos. The cost of the insurance is quite reasonable because around 3/4 of the cost is paid for by the government.

I would like to see a public option or single payer system where the premiums do not exceed a certain percentage of income. It seems we wont get that this year but I will continue to vote for whomever promises it and try to vote out congressmen who refuse to consider it.

Posted by: rawreid | August 17, 2009 4:41 PM

Public option had to go if the only thing that matters is getting Republicans in the Senate. Conrad is right in saying that public option could not get past the Finance Committee in a bipartisan fashion.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 17, 2009 11:59 AM




URGENT: President Obama, WH staff, members of Congress, cabinet secretaries










And, Mr. President, what caused that bald streak on the back of your head behind your left ear? The victims of this covert torture program fear that you are among the targets of these crimes against humanity.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA" ("stream" or "stories" list).



Posted by: scrivener50 | August 17, 2009 7:46 AM

Will Presidents Obama’s health Insurance Plan create jobs? I’m sure there will be a need for people to handle inquiries and explain how the plan will be administered and what it covers. These questions will come from physicians, hospitals, various health care providers, the uninsured, or those who just want to know. All should be handled in an efficient manner. Remember it may be a matter of life or death. I’m sure the plan will have glitches and unforeseen circumstances that will need to be addressed. I am a hardworking, friendly, compassionate, and very competent individual. I have handled the quality of information for a large financial corporation. I have monitored live and recorded conversations based on uniformity, precision, courtesy, and the effectiveness of how that information is distributed.
I have also been the elected committee person in my district for several years, being the liaison between the constituents of the community and the local government. It is an unpaid position but I find helping people very rewarding. Furthermore President Obama, I need a job. Although you have bestowed upon my city over 20 million dollars the local government has not created any jobs. And nothing for people like me who walked the streets and knocked on doors to get you and these other officials elected. There should be help wanted signs hanging outside of the city halls throughout my state. I live in New Jersey. Need I say more? It’s more than probable that the reason I do not work within my local government is that I don’t always pull the party line. I am not afraid to ask questions or disagree with those who are in power. With all that against me I still manage to satisfy those who have elected me. And I do it for free.

PS. I am a single Dad with a 15 year old daughter and am willing to relocate.

Posted by: dylansdad15 | August 17, 2009 1:39 AM

Sperrico said:

"My change of opinion on health care came after Obama and the D&Rs bailed out banks and Wall Street for $1 trillion with little or no oversight."

I too am having second thoughts about the AIG bailout. Had the companies insured by AIG (including it's health care) failed - the debate would be over.

The unregulated insurance co's grabbed onto bad loans with both hands and then demanded a payout to make up the loss.

Now they're playing the same game with health care saying they can't compete with a public option.

We should have let them all die broke.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | August 16, 2009 11:44 PM

The Republican party brought this economy to its knees with its free market ideology. I don't think anyone but the pleistocene Palinites have forgotten that.

Sounds kind of impersonal, "brought this economy to its knees". Mo betta we say "induced the government to tax workers to bail out rich people while throwing millions out of work and impoverishing hundreds of millions who bought their vision that 401K's invested in stocks were better than Social Security and home ownership was the ticket out of poverty.

Now they're trying to lay all this at President Obama's doorstep, assuming that people have an attention span about 10 minutes long. And they're fighting desperately to make sure that they get a better grade of health care than the people whose taxes bailed them out under Bush.

Think, people. Think.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 10:40 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

What is going on now is non-sense. Any of the reforms mentioned, without a strong public option, will result in much higher insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and financial disaster for many parties.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 10:37 PM

My change of opinion on health care came after Obama and the D&Rs bailed out banks and Wall Street for $1 trillion with little or no oversight. The cap and trade bill was bad. Again Wall Street would profit from pollution credits being bought and sold. The result would be that Americans would pay a lot more for energy while Al Gore and the rest became richer.

So when I read that neither Obama or Congress would be participating in the Public Plan I knew that its quality of coverage would probably be poor.
I read HR 3200, and I knew I was against it. Too many 'shalls' and 'penalties' and 'taxes'. Dr. Zeek Emmauel's writings put the final nail in the coffin, since he is a principal adviser to Obama on health care reform.

Posted by: sperrico | August 16, 2009 10:35 PM

Matthew_DC, keep thinking, keep active in politics, and keep posting. Posting being the least important of the 3 ;)

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 10:28 PM

But, Maddogg, the benefits offered by members of Congress are NOT single payer. It's the usual selection of HMOs and PPOs that I've seen in other jobs. So, let me know when you figure out if everyone is supposed to get Congressional benefits (there's a 20% contribution and co-pays BTW) or single payer is to be imposed on all.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 16, 2009 10:26 PM

"A recent Gallup poll finds 49 percent of respondents disappointed in the way Obama has handled health-care policy"..We are dissapointed he has no guts to stand up to these republican free market economic corportae fascists. I suggest you look up, "Wall Streets' Fascist Conspiracy, Testimony Dickstein Committee 29 Jan 1935, by John L. Spivak". CEO's led this coup in 1935. Today, I believe, the free market republican party are leading the corporate coup of our govt.
Pres Obama please tell these republican corporate oligarchicists, no, to co-ops.Co-ops are non-profit and just as full of corp fraud as the for-profits.

What is it Mr. President that you don't get that the non-profit & for-profit private sector is the 21st century center of organized crime. You can put a public employee in jail for fraud-you cannot put a CEO in jail.

Obama isn't selling out the left. He is selling out the American people for failed free market ideology just as the republicans always have.
By the way you can bash liberals, but they are the only ones left who believe in our constitutional republic.

We the people demand a medicare like 'public option', no co-ops. If no public option, then don't waste our money on more republican corporate welfare programs like medicare part D.

Posted by: teddi_ohio | August 16, 2009 10:20 PM

Maddogg wrote: "Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis."

Yes, Obama should veto it, move on to other issues and let the market-induced pain increase in the country to a critical level. Medical bankruptcies and rising premiums will make converts of the dissenters.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | August 16, 2009 10:12 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

What is going on now is non-sense. Any of the reforms mentioned, without a strong public option, will result in much higher insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and financial disaster for many parties.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 9:58 PM

douglaslbarber wrote:

"The Wikipedia article on 'lumpenproletariat' is well worth a read... I think there's much to be learned from Karl Marx - particularly the notion that formal democracy in elections coupled with the economic dictatorship of the rich doesn't produce anything worthy of the name "freedom", let alone "justice"."

Yeah, I'll second that. Lumpen America is a sight to behold. That a sizable minority can be duped into believing that 1) the country has no opposing class interests and 2) Wall St is the best guarantor of their liberties and economic well-being is worthy of the darkest science fiction.

I'm starting to see why a lot of the world is ideologically opposed to America and it's not a bad thing they are. What the masters of lumpen America really want to export is a system of corporate dictatorship masquerading as "liberty".

Posted by: Matthew_DC | August 16, 2009 9:58 PM


I don't need no one on the right to guide me in what I should or shouldn't do and as a matter of fact...


What you creeps on the right fail to realized you are the reason why this country is screwed up

And I don't appreciate any article talking about my city or my Senator whom turned President!



Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 9:58 PM

So, now the Democrats, like the Republicans and their "drug" Plan, have betrayed the American people.

Too Bad. Obama turned out to be just another George Bush Clone. His Democrats are no mre interested in giving the American people relief from the medical, insurance and drug monopolies than the Bushy Republicans were. The new Health Care bill appears to be just another way to funnel MORE money into these cartels, and thus indirectly into the pockets of the politicians.

The politicians of the USA are no different from those in IRAN except they might be more devious, and cowardly than those of Iran.

The entire Congress, Senate and Executive branch will be da*med in the history of this era, and have poisoned the electorial process for the entire world. Americans feel betrayed, and see their vote for change as futile, wasted. The rest of the world, observing the last 20 years of American politics have come to the conclusion that the land of the brave, and the home of the free, is instead a nation enslaved economically to their true rulers - the Corporations.

Nice move Obama - now, please, go crawl back under that damp rock you emerged from prior to 2008, with this betrayal you've added a whole new meaning to the word "slimeball".

Posted by: maxtor0 | August 16, 2009 9:57 PM

The public option was done-in first and foremost by the SEnate rules. It is impossible to get ANYTHING through the Senate without some Republican support.

I don't blame Obama, but I GREATLY fear what sort of crap bill he will sign in the name of scoring a "victory." It might be better to let it all fall apart.

Posted by: HuckFinn | August 16, 2009 9:57 PM

"Realism" means that the rest of the civilized world is wrong. "Realism" means that a tiny minority rules with the backing of the bloodsucking insurance industry.

Another "realistic" politician sells out our hopes for health care while maintaining our "realistic" dreams of Empire. Is there a need for a "realistic" Democratic Party?

Posted by: rusty3 | August 16, 2009 9:52 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

What is going on now is non-sense. Any of the reforms mentioned now, without a strong public option, will result in much higher insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and financial disaster for many parties.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 9:49 PM

If you think co-ops are the solution, read about their failure rate:,0,2602951.story

Posted by: WylieD | August 16, 2009 9:44 PM

to dollyq, why do you hate everyone who isn't rich? As I posted earlier, the death of the public option means insurance companies will continue to charge what they want. In the next 2 years there will be no more employer provided health care, because it would consume 80% of everyone's salary. So, you will all be on your own when it comes to accessing health care, and it will be out of reach for 95% of the population. Some have suggested moving to a sane country like Canada. (Actually, almost any country is saner and more humane than the US.) The situation in the US is so ghastly that even Mexico is looking good to me now.

Posted by: skylark1 | August 16, 2009 9:43 PM

Get the Feds out of healthcare completely. Turn over funds for medicaid/medicare to States on declining 5-year basis, as which point, the States will be in full control to tax, spend or implement any insurance/coverage they saw fit.

Would remove the biggest layer of bureaucracy (the Feds), give us 50 laboratories for expermentation and best practices, and greatly increase speed and adaptability.

Posted by: pgr88 | August 16, 2009 9:39 PM

Money trumps all. Same sh**, different day.

Posted by: ikea1 | August 16, 2009 9:38 PM


Know the truth and you will feel better. Read the link below. What Obama the Chicago Mobster thinks of you...

Fight back next election VOTE....

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:35 PM

If anyone ever makes a movie as deeply moving about the public option in health care as the film "Happy Feet" is moving in the cause of penguin preservation, we'll have real health care.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 9:34 PM

As on blogger wrote earlier, the health care bills passed by the House should be the minimum standard for the Senate ... and the nation. Without the public option there will not be serious health care reform - period. A critical point missing in the current health care discussion is the matter of the morality of national health insurance. It is immoral and wrong to base health care on the profit motive. Health insurance should be a right for all American citizens. In most developed countries of the world it is. When will the American people wake up to this basic right to which they are entitled? Health care in this country is not about funding, it is about public policy priorities. As for the cost, the U.S. still singly spends more on defense that all the other nations of the world combined! With the world's highest incarceration rate, we probably spend more on keeping people behind bars and barbed wire than any other nation in the world. Let's start with a downpayment for health care education with the $6.6 billion which the GAO recently projected would be the minimal cost for the useless Bush administration missile defense project in Eastern Europe. For additional funding, the U.S. Government could sell its shares in the banks. That amount could finance many years of health care for all Americans. The reason Conservatives are so rabidly opposed to the public option and national health insurance is because they know that once the American people actually benefit from such care in their day-to-day lives, conservatives will never be able to remove this entitlement program. Health insurance will become the new "third rail" in American politics. Let's keep up the debate. Cheers.

Posted by: cscottblair | August 16, 2009 9:34 PM

All you left wing fruitcakes are now knowing how it feels to be on the lying end of Obama. He lied to so many voters during the campaign about being a uniter, fiscally responsible, etc. Then when he took power he swung to the far left and tried to pile drive his hidden socialist/Marxist agenda down our throats. Well, the majority has made their will come to pass and it is a total repudiation of Obama, Pelosi and Reid's vision of a socialist/Marxist America. The liberals are about to find out that they are the MINORITY and their ideas are IN THE MINORITY.

Obama lied his way into the White House and now he will pay the price for it. The American people will not be fooled by him again. Everything Obama and the Democrats propose from now on will be scrutinized and any lies they tell will be made public. Obama's rules of engagement have changed 180 degrees and he can no longer lie to us with impunity or without retribution. I think this will paralyze him because he knows no other way to operate.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | August 16, 2009 9:34 PM

Thanks to the right wing lying scums and its partner in corporate media--the so called free press--the american public gets shafted again. In some ways, the stupid public deserves it.

Posted by: kevin1231 | August 16, 2009 9:33 PM

Dont care what you think lefty. NO DEAL!
you dont need to socialize the entire medical system to give medical treatment - we already do that.
if you can really save 300 billion a year - lets see you do it lefty - but i doubt you will, leftists never save money, they just steal from anyone they can find.
there is nothing in this bill 3200 that is needed.
dont call it insurance, call it welfare, that is what it is and there is plenty to go around.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | August 16, 2009 9:33 PM

Orrin Hatch: "... this public government plan, don't think for a minute that that will not destroy the current insurance system."

... which charges whatever the traffic will bear, and denies healthcare whenever possible. That would be too bad.

Posted by: i_go_pogo | August 16, 2009 9:32 PM

All congressional parties in DC are not to be trusted. They play games with us. Let's play a game on election day...VOTE all out. Both sides.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:30 PM


Screw you and all the rest of you who are "prejudice" and "afraid of change".

I'm not getting into a race bait with you?

You need to be ashamed of yourselves for feeding Grandma and Grandpa that Old Grand Dad whiskey and then pumped their heads with all those lies!!

Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 9:30 PM

I must be in the wrong place.

I thought this article was going to tell me what the heck Co Ops are!

They sure got all the politics covered, though.

Posted by: jeannebee | August 16, 2009 9:29 PM

If congress is honest about real reform they would come up with a public option they would switch to. If not, they fill us with lies of reform-NOT...


Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:28 PM

The stench of a sell-out hangs heavy in the air. Obama got elected to try and actually get a few things fixed. It doesn't look like he's trying either very hard or very smart. Then again, he's up against the usual big bags of money and rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth rightwing imbeciles. Corruption and stupidity: the twin demons of American domestic policy.

Posted by: CopyKinetics | August 16, 2009 9:26 PM

Here's a great solution to the health care problem (and to all of America's other problems for that matter): let's give all Dems and libs a blue pill and all others a red pill. You can only imagine what I'd put in the blue one...ha ha ha!!!

Posted by: DCer1 | August 16, 2009 9:25 PM

This is what Obama adviser said. Read it. Think. Know the truth.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:25 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

What is going on now is non-sense. Any of the reforms mentioned now, without a strong public option, will lead to much, much higher insurance premiums and disaster.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 9:24 PM

We need a huge demonstration in Washington DC. If one in ten of uninsured Americans show up in DC we can change the course of this legislation to include public option. Can DC handle 5 million uninsured people to show their disgust with Obama and the democrats? The democratic party has the votes to pass health care in any form and shape they want..they can forget the neo-conservative republicans. Democrats and progressives are becoming too passive; it is time to express their disgust en mass.

Posted by: ere591 | August 16, 2009 9:24 PM

A perfect GOP fascist, eager to feed our muscles to his corporate sponsors:

**Also on "This Week," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) refused to give an opinion on a major topic of misinformation in the reform discussion--"DEATH PANELS"**

Posted by: lichtme | August 16, 2009 9:22 PM

Best way for legal folks to get what they want is to vote incumbents out all the time ever time. All parties in DC are corrupted.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:20 PM

Congratulations, America! Let's keep the pressure on and do everything we can to send these leftist pigs packing in 2010 and 2012. America is opening its eyes to the dangers of this fraudulent administration, and enough is enough.

Posted by: DCer1 | August 16, 2009 9:20 PM

Q - Would you scuttle any plan that does not have a public option?

A - Yes. In the long run, meaning the next few years, any tampering with the current health care system, if it does not include a strong public option, is a setup for disaster.

Co-ops will not be able to solve the problems of the uninsured or under-insured. They will simply be another insurance company with the same problems or worse. The only possible way they could work is with heavy government subsidies.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 9:19 PM

I wish someone would explain to me what "free health care" is.

People who work for $8 per hour and pay local, state and federal taxes - and who have no health insurance - aren't asking for a handout.

They're asking their fellow citizens to take an honest look at the situation.

You know, in my experience, those people work harder than most people who make megabucks.

Have you every seen a checkout clerk at your local grocery who was allowed to sit in a chair while ringing out your organic foods?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 9:19 PM

free health care.

The best way is to learn Spanish. Go to the ER anytime day or night. Say, "¿No habla ingles?" Do not let the ER know you are an legal American. Get you free aspirins at 500-900 for the visit, and you will not be asked any ?s. Some of the illegal i know go to 3 or 4 counties to get free food to sell to other illegals...

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:17 PM

Thanks Dems, for handing the victory to the Repiglicans again!

Why did anybody believe "hope"?

This country is already fascist: think "Homeland Security," telecom "immunity,""bank bailout," Gitmo, Afghanistan.

I feel sorry for any soldier fighting for this demise of an empire--

Posted by: lichtme | August 16, 2009 9:16 PM

Billisnice, in the interest of building future anti-Republican majorities, please do keep typing. Let us know more about what you think, and why.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 9:13 PM

Just what are you liberals really ticked off about - that people who have read and understood what was about to unleashed in the way of total government control over their lives stood up and were counted - or - that you're not going to get health care for next to nothing.

Posted by: sandynh | August 16, 2009 9:13 PM

Thanks for all the stuff on this page..

But my question is: Where can I go to get my free health care in the US? To me that's reform.

Posted by: robinhood2 | August 16, 2009 9:11 PM

HR 3200 was design to save the government $s. It would not have save you a penny. Read it. Tax, tax, tax everywhere.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:10 PM

Legal scholars---how can we suspend health coverage for members of Congress and their families until this is satisfactorily settled?

Posted by: lomness | August 16, 2009 9:07 PM

If he signs with no Public Option - I won't be voting for him in 2012 matter of fact, I won't vote at all - Why even bother?

He's always beginning to crack in the African-American community

And his staff is too passive - Gibbs Serberlius, Douglas etc.

He always trying to hush Joe Biden but at least Joe know how to handled these Republicans!

Obama has to let go of thinking "Ohh Wee! I want everybody to likes me!"

Excuse me Mr President. But if they talked about Jesue what makes you think you're going to be liked by everyone?

Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 9:05 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 9:04 PM

If i were black and white and worked my butt off blogging for obama and saw he left me out of getting free health care like latinos, i would be pissed. I would think WTF, all this work helping him get elected and I get nothing special.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 9:03 PM

"Obama the Chicago mobster and the democrats will try to screw us over again." They can't do any worse than Bush and his mixed gang of thugs and morons did for eight years. Here's the thing, the vast majority of Americans who lost their jobs, savings, and just about everything else under the Wrecker Ball are more angry about that and more terrified that another GOP moron would be worse than Obama. So, you're going to get to keep President Obama until some sanity returns to the GOP, as well as honest and Americans.

Posted by: rias2500 | August 16, 2009 9:03 PM

Co-ops? So that is what they call nationalilzed health care now?

Posted by: dollyq | August 16, 2009 9:02 PM

And what exactly is wrong with destroying the insurance companies? They only rape the public in order to pay themselves millions. The government should take over health care completely and tell the insurance companies to take a hike.

Posted by: tampaguy691 | August 16, 2009 9:02 PM

Isn't Sebelius a former insurance executive? Too many democratic senators are the Trojan Horses for the insurance industry. Obama should fight for a public option or he can forget my support if he runs again in 2012. He should show he has a strong spine and not buckle up by these spineless Trojan Horse so called blue dog democrats who are collecting millions from the insurance and pharma industries. Eventually, the US will have a single payer system if not in 2009 some time in the future after Uncle Sum declares bankruptcy and ends up under Chinese and European Union receivership. Is that what they are waiting for?may The current system is unsustainable and needs either a single payer system failing that a public option. There is already a public option for Medicare and Medicaid why not for the working poor and those people who are a pink slip away from not having health coverage and may end up bankrupt when they are hit by a catastrophic health problem. obama show leadership and don't settle for the minimum. If not now then when? This is the time.

Posted by: ere591 | August 16, 2009 9:01 PM

The job of reforming the chaotic health care "system" in this country now falls to the next generation - should the country not be driven into the ground by health care costs in the meantime. Good luck kids.

Posted by: Jihm | August 16, 2009 9:00 PM

Mandating that I buy insurance with a public option is mandating that I give some of my hard earned health care dollars to over-paid execs who, right now, are spending millions to kill any real competition. When we talk about health care we're talking about peoples lives. Every dollar siphoned off for fat cat salaries is somebody's chance to live longer. Do these guys think they've got some God given right to the health care franchise? Screw them. They've controlled the system for decades and ran it like their own private slush fund. Time for them to reap what they've sowed. Requiring me, by law, to pay money to a private company I have every reason to hate is just like taxation without representation.

Posted by: dickc2 | August 16, 2009 8:59 PM

wait ... you didn't really BELIEVE him when he said universal health care, did you?

you did?



Posted by: Waffle1 | August 16, 2009 8:59 PM

sure looks like "ObamaCare" has just "WIMPED-OUT" to "FASCICARE!"

Posted by: abelito | August 16, 2009 8:59 PM

billisnice wrote, "The public option Obama and the democrats propose was have you screwed you over more. It was filled with tax and fines and limited treatment options to save the government $ not you. If you could not pay, you would have go nothing."

My money says that bill is an uneducated hayseed who is posting what someone with an agenda convinced him to post based on, erm, baser motives.

But let me give billisnice an opportunity to redeem himself.

Bill, what fines and treatment limitations were part of a "public option" now under consideration in either house of congress?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 8:59 PM

The public option in HR 3200 was design to save the government money, not the taxpayers. You need to read it.

It did not contain any drug or treatment bidding and still have the ER for after hour care. The bill did talk about treatment options to save a $.

Sickness is not 40 hours a week. It is 24/7. Without bidding and 24/7 "at cost" clinic nothing will work long.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 8:57 PM







Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 8:56 PM

North Dakota should kiss goodbye public option crop insurance and public option flood insurance.

Posted by: Garak | August 16, 2009 8:56 PM

There will be a sign-up sheet for soon-to-be ex-patriots to join a wagon train of capable Americans relocating to Toronto.
Wagons, ho!

Posted by: lomness | August 16, 2009 8:54 PM


So the hate-filled, ignorant, protesters, at the townhalls have won. The Alaska floozie, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest of their ilk, along with the bought-and-paid-for Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats have won!

What a great country we live in, where ignorance, stupidity, fear-mongering, and venomous smears, replace real discourse.

In the end, just as many millions of Americans still won't be able to afford health insurance coverage; the health insurance industry wil continue to dictate wht treatment we can receive; we'll continue to be turned down for pre-existing conditions (and the health insurers are very creative in looking for those); our coverage will continue to be discontinued if we have have to undergo expensive and lenghty treatments such as those for cancer; in the event the insurers can't figure out how to discontinue our coverage, we'll still be limited by annual limits ("Sorry, no more chemiotherapy for you this year: you've reached the annual coverage limit).

Thank you, right-wingers. A pox on your houses. I hope that, in the future, you have to face medical costs that will bankrupt you. No one will help. That would be socialism, would it not?

As for the sc*mbags elected representatives, they'll continue to receive their generous government health plans for them and their family, for life, COURTESY OF OUR TAX DOLLARS.

How do these parasites dare deny us the coverage that they so richly enjoy, AT OUR EXPENSES?

Ask that question to your Republican and / or Blue Dogs Democrats representatives when they start railing against health reform. Who do these freaks think they are to merit better and mnore affordable health care than the rest of us who are in fact supporting them? Point out that their lives are no more precious than anyone else's. In fact, some of these people are such revolting, corrupt, hypocrites, that they are lower forms of life.


Posted by: Gatsby10 | August 16, 2009 8:52 PM

Although cooperatives are better than no healthcare reform at all..., the public option healthcare plan is the best source of competition to health insurance companies.,8599,1906105,00.html

However, even if Congress passes co-op healthcare legislation (a disappointment) and Obama signs it, I will still vote for Obama again in 2012.

John McCain would have given us zero healthcare reform!! The GOP and Faux News are misleading uninformed Americans in mass numbers, they are so scared they are making the most ridiculous accusations, especially Glenn Beck. Anyone with a brain, knows Beck is an idiot, who is reaching for straws and ratings, its really disgusting.

Posted by: bigjess | August 16, 2009 8:50 PM

Good work. This smoked out all the kooks. They've come out into the open, been identified, their threats have been noted, and now the "sorting out" begins, identifying those to be rounded-up.
Good work, guys! There's more than one way to catch a domestic terrorist, and these stupid ones are just too easy!

Posted by: Tomcat3 | August 16, 2009 8:50 PM

The public option Obama and the democrats propose was have you screwed you over more. It was filled with tax and fines and limited treatment options to save the government $ not you. If you could not pay, you would have go nothing.

Obama the Chicago mobster and the democrats will try to screw us over again. We can not let out guard down as long as Obama and the fruitloop democrats are in charge.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 8:49 PM

I have taken my Obama posters off the wall, because first he said no to single payer, and now all indicators point to him nixing the public option. I might consider putting his picture back on my walls in my home if he decides to take his family off the govt health care plan he now enjoys. He can join 53 million other Americans who've lost health insurance along with their jobs in these tough economic times. "Yes we can" has become "Oh no, he didn't!"...and now I'm sorry I voted and campaigned for the man.

Posted by: morayboy | August 16, 2009 8:48 PM

I would prefer a public option, but if leaving it out means that the President finally realizes that the Republicans, other than maybe the Mainers, have no intention of playing fair and compromising, and tells them what to do with themselves and the horses they rode in on, all will not be lost. I've been registered Independent for over 40 years, but I can't imagine EVER voting for another Republican again.

Posted by: destinysmom | August 16, 2009 8:46 PM

Well, we're screwed. No public option, no transition to single payer, no help. Obama was our best hope and he's not up to it either, hence there is no hope.

For costs to be cut, someone has to take a hit. If no one does, then costs won't be cut. The USA will keep what it deserves...high premiums and bankruptcy is the only option.

Posted by: michael4 | August 16, 2009 8:44 PM

I congratulate those who have apparently prevailed in this health care debate. You have been heard.

As a progressive Democrat, I have spent many hours pushing for a public option. I believed and still believe it is the best thing for the country.

I am sad to say that I can no longer support the President or the Democratic Party. I will change my affiliation tomorrow, and I will turn my back on politics for a very long time.

Again, and without acrimony, I congratulate those of you who fought hard for your beliefs and prevailed. Good wishes and good luck.

Posted by: Administrator1 | August 16, 2009 8:43 PM

One of the things that most people just don't get, including religious and scientific instittutions, but especially politicians, is that when it comes to real change-change that has the momentum of Natural Law, the die is cast. The old street slogan of my youth still rings true-"Take care of business, or business will take care of you!" Obama, from appearances, justifies the public option on Saturday, followed by an equivocation of his position on Sunday. Either the public option is worth fighting for, or it's not worth having! Any principle that has its anchor rooted in the Law of Change, is a principle that needs no allies, or "deaf ears" to give credibility to its soundness. Now maybe this is a sort of esoteric political maneuver that will reveal its relevance in the light of day. But if we truly want to change the policies of Washington, we must first change the politics of America. And that can only be done if politicians stop treating everyone like sheep, and for people to stop acting like sheep. for the only reason this whole process is complicated is that we want to pretend that Capitalism works for everyone, when, by it's own selfish nature, and construct, works for the "few" to the detriment of the "many"! Illusions carries no weight in Nature, for Nature never equivocates Law! America, this is not merely an issue concerning insurance reform, but a tacit referendum on Capitalism itself.

We just cannot have true change without shattering our delusions. And the Law is not going to wait for us to grow up!

Posted by: D-0f-G | August 16, 2009 8:39 PM

Q - Do you favor Tort Reform?

A - Yes! I would like to see liability awards limited to $250,000 for pain and suffering.

In place of large financial awards I'd put in criminal penalties of up to life in prison and even the death penalty.

The latter point would keep bad doctors from practicing medicine.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 8:36 PM

Q - Any good jokes today?

A - Yes!

Man: If you saw two trains on the same track heading for each other and one train is named health care reform, and the other train is named Congress what would you do?

Kid: I would go and get my brother.

Man: Why would you get your brother?

Kid: Because he has never seen a train wreck.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 8:30 PM

Obama, if you bail on your promise of universal health care, which you know as well as I do includes a "public option", period, good damn luck getting re-elected.

Posted by: binkynh | August 16, 2009 8:29 PM

CO OP will be another way to screw over legal Americans. Keep an eye out.

The voters will no forget congress lack of common sense to their needs. This will change the faces in congress next election.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 8:28 PM

IF it was the LATINOS and Blacks that turned the ELECTION for OBAMA then why do we give them MINORITY STATUS AND ENTITLEMENTS if they are no longer the ..." MINORITY ?"

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 16, 2009 8:27 PM

Obama has now sacrificed ObamaCare for his personal approval ratings.........

ironically he will therefore lose BOTH

which is GOOD for America.

Posted by: JaxMax | August 16, 2009 8:26 PM

Congress has not looked at a bill to lower insurance rates. The last bill would have taxed you to the point of no return, and dictate treatment options to save $s.

If you do not have insurance, you tax dollars pays for illegals ER visits. A back door approach to get your money for freebies. They will take your house and savings as you pay taxes for others to get the free stuff. VOTE!

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 8:25 PM

Does anyone remember when G.W. was leading the charge for INSURANCE COMPANIES ? It was the " FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS" ... AND MAL PRACTICE LAW SUITS WERE THE EXCUSE FOR HUGH INS. AND MEDICAL COSTS ... so the Dr teamed up with the INS company against the patients and got what they wanted... The heart patients started leaving the HOSP. too early ... Now we have NASTY bacteria in the Hospitals because gee... no one will ever know that the room wasn't washed .. after all , it doesn't show. KNOCKING MAL PRACTICE LAW SUITS in the Knees was supposed to make it cheaper and better ... REMEMBER ? Who was BAILED OUT and took huge vacations ? Don't you believe for a minute that LAWSUITS cause Malpractice Ins to go up. Mal Practice LAWSUITS don't make Malpractice Ins go up...(((MALPRACTICE DOES)))!!! What part of your GOD GIVEN BODY is " frivolous" . Lawyers are all that polices the medical and Ins Thugs ... DON'T CUT THEIR THROAT !

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 16, 2009 8:23 PM

You can believe that if we go the co-op route, that acorn will be in the insurance business.

Please read the bill, I know it is difficult, it took me 4 days , but there are so many loopholes that congress can do whatever they please.

acorn stands to make millions, healthcare can be rationed,premiums can be baised on age,there is no enforcement to prevent illegals from using the system, etc.

Why are these bills written so that they can later be interpreted anyway that the government pleases?

No matter what our president or members of congress tells us, it is the language of these bills that will be law.

Posted by: rlkidd58 | August 16, 2009 8:23 PM

If the public option had encompassed drug bidding, treatment bidding, and 24/7 after hours "at cost" clinics and common sense cost without all the BS, it would have been fine. But congress sold us out to the drug companies and anyone who give congress $. Fight back, votes incumbents out every time all the time...

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 8:20 PM

Ahhh Geeee Kathleen ...ya think we don't see through this Neo-Liberal attack? I'm sure this trap will pass the insurance Corporatocracy litmus no problem. It keeps us all INSLAVED to the horrid Predatory Capitalist pigs...meanwhile the Stockholm syndrome will continue to subjugate the 'Neo-cons, Teabaggers, Birthers and the like. Similar to the ones/slaves that Harriet Tubman couldn't Free because they were in denial about the chains they were bound in. All Republicans adore the Capitalist enslavement.
This is what the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) is all about~ ya put your DLC satrap in charge and then Suck the Life out of every living thing.

Posted by: Darwin26 | August 16, 2009 8:18 PM

Q - Will anything you heard lower cost of insurance, including deductibles and co-pays?

A - No. In fact, if Congress forces insurance companies to pick up pre-exisitng conditions, removes billions of dollars in subsidies from insurance companies the net result will be very very much higher insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

There are ways around it. One way is price controls on insurance companies. The other way a strong public-option.

Failure to have price controls and or a strong public-option will result is a complete disaster for all Americans.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 8:18 PM


Latinos and African-Americans get no say so in this? Just old angry people who already getting Public Option with Medicaid?

President Obama -

Just because the news station only shows caucasians townhall meeting don't forget it was the majority of us in the minorities groups that turned out for you.


The men and women who works for minumum wages are the ones who is hoping that we could get the Public Option...

Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 8:18 PM

What we have here is another President and Congress giving in to big time money from the lobbyist, who have been spending over a million a day to fight reform. With out a public option we will continue to suffer with out of control medical costs.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | August 16, 2009 8:11 PM

So much for the "Democrat Majority Congress".....AND president.
May as well hand their so-called majority to the Repubs and their corpofascist enablers and....."roll over and play dead!"

Posted by: abelito | August 16, 2009 8:11 PM


Posted by: leetn | August 16, 2009 8:08 PM

@ roblimo-
Could someone please remind me why we voted for Obama?
It's all about "Obama-Love" and how he brings joy and prosperity to all of the "village idiots" who still believe in their fearless leader. Forget Waterloo. Here is a song just for your leader who just made his March back from Moscow.

I've thrown away my toys
Even my drum and train.
I wanna make some noise
With real live aeroplanes .
Some day I'm going to fly.
I'll be a pilot too.
And when I do, how would you
Like to be my crew...

On the good ship lollipop.
Its a sweet trip to a candy shop
Where bon- bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.

Lemonade stands everywhere.
Crackerjack bands fill the air.
And there you are
Happy landing on a chocolate bar.

See the sugar bowl do the tootsie roll
With the big bad devils food cake .
If you eat too much ooh ooh
You'll awake with a tummy ache.

On the good ship lollipop
Its a night trip into bed you hop
And dream away
On the good ship lollipop.

Y'all keep living in La..La..Land while us folks who pay taxes and pay for our health insurance receive top-notch care.

As far as the HealthcareforAll whining about her $1500 a month health insurance policy, well lady, there ain't no free lunch. Did you really expect me to pay for responsibility?

Kubrickstan- You can go back into the hole you came from.

Q. What does a patient get when the government says how much a doctor is going to receive for his services under "the public option."

A. A referral to a "free clinic."

msdusti- I just saw the Bill Moyers interview and I need to ask, how many people filed for Medicaid or have a physician in their town?

My in-laws and parents have to pay for their medical care and I anticipate, I will too. That's why I am stashing as much money as I can into my 401k and other savings.

You see, there are people who think rainy days don't happen and all they do is play in the sun. Well, we all made choices.

King Obimbo just got bopped and it ain't over until we taxpayers have our say in 2010 and 2012.

As far as we are concerned, let New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and California dig themselves out of their own budget hole.

King Obambi delivered you liberals on what you wanted- Hope and Change. He kept you full of "High Hopes" and just gave you "Chump Change."

Enjoy. Taxpayers 1 Socialists and Libs 0.

I wonder how Princess Pelosi is enjoying her dinner about now along with George Miller and the rest of the Hollyweird contingent?

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 16, 2009 8:06 PM

Q - Who is the biggest winner in the health care debate so far?

A - Republicans, and they were not even elected to lead.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 8:06 PM

More evidence that our country is not up to the major challenges that confront it.

Posted by: steveandjanereed1 | August 16, 2009 8:00 PM

Why do this President feels pumped up when dealing with Republicans who continued to punk'd him on a daily basis? You think your numbers are low now. You will lose the Latinos and African-Americans support. Because all you did was listen to these cable shows that had a bunch of mostly "Angry Elderly Senior Citizen" get the so called people to sympathized with them.




Posted by: danders5000 | August 16, 2009 8:00 PM

Q - Do you still support health care reform?

A - No!

Health care reform needs to be scuttled until Congress offers all American's the same health care plan members of Congress have, on a single-payer basis.

There is too much nonsense going on now, and the final result, if anything passes, will be higher costs to the consumer.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 8:00 PM

Keep an eye out on Congress plans. They keep throwing us trash...Fight back...VOTE incumbents out...

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 7:57 PM

Where's the birth certificate?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | August 16, 2009 7:56 PM

The Democratic Base does not support coops. We will not support a handout to the insurance industry. Health care reform is for healing, not stealing. Any bill will have the public option or the Democratic base will abandon Obama. We're already fighting him on support for Specter. Beware Obama, abandoning the public option means the left abandoning you.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | August 16, 2009 7:51 PM

The Wikipedia article on "lumpenproletariat" is well worth a read. Marx and Engels may have given rise to some bad government, but it couldn't have happened had they been devoid of insights.

"According to Marx, the lumpenproletariat had no special motive for participating in revolution, and might in fact have an interest in preserving the current class structure, because the members of the lumpenproletariat usually depend on the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy for their day-to-day existence. In that sense, Marx saw the lumpenproletariat as a counter-revolutionary force[6]."

"Leon Trotsky elaborated this view, perceiving the lumpenproletariat as especially vulnerable to reactionary thought. In his collection of essays Fascism: What it is and how to fight it, he describes Benito Mussolini's capture of power: "Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy."[7]"

It seems an opportune time to consider some insights from beyond Obama's orbit. I'm not a partisan of Leninism, myself, but I think there's much to be learned from Karl Marx - particularly the notion that formal democracy in elections coupled with the economic dictatorship of the rich doesn't produce anything worthy of the name "freedom", let alone "justice".

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 7:49 PM

I'm disappointed but not really surprised to find that Pres. Obama appears to be willing to ditch the public plan to get something...anything...through Congress. Instead of initially coming out strongly for a single-payer option (in my opinion, where we really need to go, as have almost all industrialized nations), his administration outsourced development of health care "reform" to Congress, where political infighting was bound to create the proverbial sausage that no one really likes (and that won't make the major improvements we need). No thoughtful and transparent analysis of a broad array of options, just a political process hijacked by the Republican minority and a handful of conservative Democrats who represent a small slice of the American public. This could have been avoided with stronger leadership by Pres. Obama, who has, johnny-come-lately, been holding town meetings over the last week. Too little, too late. And we all lose.

Posted by: JDWV | August 16, 2009 7:46 PM

A sellout. Nothing but a god damn sellout.

We need a revolution in this country or we'll be ruled like dogs.

I am so disgusted with this sh!ttiest of all governments that let the repukes push them around while they have a majority in both houses and the White House.

Posted by: rcubedkc | August 16, 2009 7:42 PM

LOL. You ahole republicans should not play poker. the Dems knew all along that there would not be a public option. It was just a ploy to get you jerks to act like the idiots you are. Now they've "given in" on the public option, and you morons will have to give in to the new rules that your friends and benefactors in the insurance industry are going to choke on. I am beside myself with laughter. IDIOTS!

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | August 16, 2009 7:38 PM

If you think healthcare cooperatives are a better mechanism to provide competition to healthcare insurance companies, and lower monthly premiums,....think again.

Use weblink or Google it...

See Time Magazine article titled:
"Can Health Co-Ops Do the Job of a Public Plan?"

Article dated: June 22, 2009,8599,1906105,00.html

Posted by: bigjess | August 16, 2009 7:32 PM

Not for profits coop insurance system is the worst ever quagmire that Obama Administration can suggest or come up with. The inherent fundamentally major problem in this country's health care problem is these so called not for profits monster medical centers and their corrupt to the hilt lying, cheating, self interest, self righteous hierarchies, panel of experts and cohorts of the Insurance companies. Not to mention the patronage appointed incompetent political hacks all the way down from the Secretary of Human and Health Care. Coupled with this Congress for which over 70% has no confidence this whole mess will be a boondoggle.

The private health care industry owned, operated and manged by the perverts of the conservative republican kind with their usual perversity of inequality and rights only of their kind is what is wrong, And yet Obama is still ass kissing these malignant narcissists, chronic scape goaters, uncorrectable grab baggers, who sacrifice others with coercion, reckless abandon and impunity to promote their evil. outwards, hypocrite self image of good and Obama is fast becoming a part of this menace.

Posted by: winemaster2 | August 16, 2009 7:29 PM

This health care plan before congress reminds me of an Aesop fable. There was a mountain that was groaning in trifle;(giving birth to something grand) the people came from miles around to see what a marvelous beast was to be born. They waited and then the mountain groaned and out came a mouse.

Posted by: OldCoot1 | August 16, 2009 7:25 PM

When the story of this effort is written about, I can tell you what the title will NOT be for the chapter on Republicans: Profiles in Courage. All it takes is Glenn Beck to rile up some yahoos and Orrin Hatch would repudiate his Mormonism. Embarrassing. Truly corrupt and embarrassing.

Posted by: steveboyington | August 16, 2009 7:23 PM

Come on dems, stick to your guns. Don't worry about Obama's plummeting poll numbers.

Posted by: alstl | August 16, 2009 7:21 PM

I am observing discussions about the health care reform with great interest though somewhat surprised.

I now live in one European country but have lived in others before (Austria, France, Switzerland, UK). In each one of them, every legal resident is covered for health care, organized differently but working well. I never encountered any problem in any of these countries.

Some opponents seem to be very afraid of "socialists", which seems to be a frightening thing indeed.

Switzerland, where I live now, is not run by socialists and it still has a very good health care system.

I hope and I am sure that American citizens will be able to make their minds up by conserving what is good in their system and completing by experiences made elsewhere.

Sarah Palin's experience of seeing Russia when looking out of her window might not really be very helpful.

Posted by: bidjou | August 16, 2009 7:21 PM

Brilliant. The Democrats will pass a worthless bill just so they can claim victory, and it will be another decade or two before anyone dares attempt serious reform.

And in the long run, we will all end up paying for Obama's incompetence on this issue.

Posted by: WylieD | August 16, 2009 7:21 PM

It's quite obvious that conservative republicens will do and say anything to protect insurance giants profits at all cost. And conservative democrates will go along because they have that conservative need to protect corporate interests over the peoples interests. The rest of the democrats have no back bone and wither in the heat. Obama will lose the left if he caves on the public option.

Posted by: Woodstocknative | August 16, 2009 7:15 PM

It took Hurricane Katrina for the public to finally wake up to what a phony George W. Bush was.

Obama's Big Insurance Takeover Plan should be the wake up call to what a phony Obama is.

The only "change" Obama has brought has been to intensify and deepen the corporate control, executive secrecy and unaccountability of the Bush/Cheney regime.

Thanks so much Donna Brazile, Howard Dean, Arianna, Kos, Olbermann, etc. for bringing us the change you believed in. You've been Punk'd with a capital "F". Unfortunately, the rest of us have to suffer for your gullibility.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 16, 2009 7:15 PM

Good thing the democrats won big in the last election cycle. Now they can let the loony repugs run the show. Not sure if spineless or gutless is the better term. Perhaps worthless will have to do.

Posted by: branfo4 | August 16, 2009 7:14 PM

It's a shame we probably won't be able to insure everyone - maybe we can still help some people at the end of the day.

It's also a shame that many people characterized the effort to bring health care to those that need it most as some sort of left wing power grab.

It isn't about power. It's about helping our fellow citizens. Sorry some of you don't feel the same way.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | August 16, 2009 7:13 PM

This afternoon, I sent my good friend, "Axe" the following email in response to one of his massive spam Bullshi* emails:

Dear "Axe":

I really appreciated your sending me this personal email about how "the time is now" and how I needed to "stand by the President" during this most "important period in our nation's history."

Well, pal, now that your guy has folded up like a $2 umbrella on any concept of a public plan (you know, like the awful Medicare and Social Security) in the face of such powerful statesmen as Max "$" Baucus; Kent "I need a home loan" Conrad; and those oookie "Blue Dog" bullies, you can now take me off your email list, fundraising list, town meeting list, "Yes We Can" list, neighborhood list, and Christmas List.

Like most of Obama's base, I contributed loads of money, time, and effort to his campaign. I won't give you a nickel or a minute of my time ever again. GUARANTEED.

As an incredibly seasoned veteran of Washington, I still placed enormous faith and hope in the "Yes We Can" garbage. The honeymoon lasted six month.


And, don't worry about me. I am one of those "Elites" who has health care up the wazoo. No problems, here.

PS - please pass this onto "Val," "Rham," and the dog.

PPS - Tell Hillary I said I. I would like to talk to her.

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | August 16, 2009 7:11 PM

By passing a health care bill which finds favor with those opposed to the introduction of a public option, the Obama administration could well be playing into the hands of those plotting its downfall. Since there is no reason to oppose a public plan simply as an option, unless it has the potential to be at least as good as the private plans, it is clear that any compromise that satisfies the opponents of a public plan will necessarily be designed to be inferior to the private plans. It will therefore be guaranteed to fare badly in comparison with the private plans, thereby soon becoming irrelevant. Such an insidious compromise can do lasting harm to both the public at large and the present administration, since its failure would be exploited to discredit both the government and the very concept of a public plan as a viable alternative. Giving in to expediency will therefore be a strategic error, besides ruining the chances of enacting real health care reform in the future. Maintaining the status quo till there is enough support in the congress for a proper health care reform bill will be a much lesser evil. The majority of the people already support a public option; more will start demanding it when conditions get worse, as they surely will, if no action is taken now.

Posted by: amity | August 16, 2009 7:07 PM

How would healthcare coops be different from FANNIE MAE or FREDDIE MAC?

Posted by: mandog | August 16, 2009 7:06 PM

The reports of Generation Obama not wanting to follow up on his election with activism on this issue, if true, may seal its fate.

If true, it will surely also seal the fate of the country, since the redneck baboons of the radio right are once again riding high in their native mode of reactionaryism. I predicted this would be the case and pleaded with the Dem Congress to take back the AM airwaves as a first priority, since the baboons were demoralized for awhile at the ruin they brought on the country, but have now regained their ruinous stride and will probably complete the ruin without further interference from distracted GenO twitterers.

Posted by: Walkdmx | August 16, 2009 7:04 PM

I give up! I guess I will continue to have to pay $1500+ a month to cover my husband and me...I had so hoped that a public option would be available to us similar to Medicare as we continue to age and our premiums skyrocket. I'm sure that the lovely limited Blue Cross policy I have won't even think about lowering my rates or including a few of the exclusions. I'm sorry to see that common sense did not prevail...the lobbyists and the loudmouths won. They should be so proud.

Posted by: HealthcareforAll | August 16, 2009 6:59 PM

Why does no one bother to point out that Sen. Kent Conrad has received over $1.2 million from the health care industry just in the past year? What other country would allow its entire Congress to be completely BOUGHT by the industry they are supposedly reforming while in the very act of reforming it?

I wondered why there were no commercials hammering these reps for being so blatantly bought off, since such commercials could actually neutralize all the millions the health care industry is spending to buy them off. But the committees that would run these ads under party auspices are all run by the bought, so it is left to independent groups to blow the whistle on this with a relative drop in the bucket.

This is actually taught in the schools of other countries as reason why we are a failing democracy, and without the health care guaranteed to all other modern nations, we aren't even competitive in the world economy any longer when we have to price into a car $2500 just for health care that every other nation provides.

Posted by: Walkdmx | August 16, 2009 6:58 PM

" Although not voting for Obama (or McCain), but being happy for the United States that Obama did win"

If by this you are simply trying to say you voted for someone other than these two I'd say that is your right and duty. As a disabled 100% purple heart vet I have proven my support for this. On the other hand, if you are saying you just didn't vote then I would suggest that perhaps your opinion which you did not bother to support isn't really worth that much.
Quite frankly I would say that most of the posters (rabid) should do a little bit of historical research going back to say pre WWII as to what Prescott Busch, family and associates have been up to for nearly 100 years. Then tell me you think we live in a Democratic country where the wishes of all are equal. As to me. I think not but for the life of me I cannot see any solution that does not involve armed conflict.
I hope I am wrong. Whoever made the comment about throwing them all out there is a web site that expresses that very thing. It is I am in no way affiliated to this group but they have some interesting thought on the entire mess. You might want to search for "The Money Masters" as well.

Posted by: RetCombatVet | August 16, 2009 6:57 PM

Heck of a job, Barry.

Posted by: WylieD | August 16, 2009 6:56 PM


More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 76% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (85% of democrats, 71% of independents, and 60% of republicans). Basically everyone.

AND NO INSURANCE MANDATES WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION ON DAY ONE! An insurance mandate without a strong government-run public option choice on day one, would be a DISASTER! And it would be worse than the GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE HORROR! SHOW you have now. YOU MUST MAKE CERTAIN!! THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN AMERICA.

The healthcare reform bills released by the first two committees of the House Of Representatives are excellent bills as I understand them. They are bills with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. They are carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. These bills will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. They are also now supported by the AMA.

These are the type of bills that all Americans can feel good about. And these are the type of bills that have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. These bills have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bills released by the first two committees should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind these healthcare reform bills released by the first two committees of the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support the first two committees bills with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. These first two House committees healthcare bills are VERY, VERY GOOD! bills for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of these bills if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for these bills.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!


Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | August 16, 2009 6:56 PM

In the words of the Great Justice Thurgood Marshall. "NOT YET, MR. PRESIDENT, NOT YET".

The blow back from real American citizens who "DEMAND A PUBLIC OPTION", will shake this country to it's Knees.

Posted by: austininc4 | August 16, 2009 5:35 PM
Well said. Thanks!
It is not over till the People say it's over.

Posted by: dummy4peace | August 16, 2009 6:55 PM

chicago77 wrote, "The fact that the administration was able to see that the majority of Americans did not think an expensive government plan was a viable option, is to their credit."

What was being proposed as a "public option" was a government-run program which would compete, not replace, for-profit and so-called "non profit" insurance companies.

If in fact it had been more expensive, it would have attracted few buyers.

What the people who are growing rich off the illnesses of their fellow citizens feared about the "public option" was that it would deliver health care more efficiently than their enterprises do, and so kill the goose that is even now laying more golden eggs for them.

I'd prefer enactment of a system which is preferred by a majority of Americans who have taken the time to inform themselves about this subject, who then convinced a majority of Americans who don't have the time or inclination to inform themselves about it, to do the right thing.

Isn't that how representative democracy is supposed to work?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 6:55 PM

In the November, 1964 issue of Harper's Weekly, an article written by Richard Hofstadter appeared under the title "The Paranoid Syle in American Politics." Modified slightly for today's social threat.

"The basic elements of contemporary right-wing thought can be reduced to three: First, there has been the now-familiar sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt's New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism.

"The second contention is that top government officialdom has been so infiltrated by [Liberals] that American policy, at least since the days leading up to [9/11], has been dominated by men who were shrewdly and consistently selling out American national interests.

"Finally, the country is infused with a network of [Liberals], just as in the old days it was infiltrated by [Communist] agents, so that the whole apparatus of education, religion, the press, and the mass media is engaged in a common effort to paralyze the resistance of loyal Americans."

Sound familiar? 45 years have passed and this description is still accurate.

Posted by: wizard2 | August 16, 2009 6:54 PM

Q - At this point in the debate on health care, Maddogg, what is your opinion?

A - Reform needs to be scuttled until Congress is ready to offer all American's the same health care benefits members of Congress get, and on a single-payer basis.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 6:54 PM

What is really sad about this whole situation is the fact that political debate in this country always seems to be driven by the crazies and political bottom feeders in the Republican Party. They make an outrageous claim and the mainstream media parrots is without comment.

They don't want a reasoned debate on health care, they just want to shout down anyone who disagrees with their backwards worldview. I hope that Americans are eventually smart enough to realize that Republicans don't want what's best for the Country, but rather what is best for their Party.

Posted by: whirlwind81 | August 16, 2009 6:53 PM

Without a PUBLIC OPTION, any other so-called INSURANCE REFORM will be worthless!

Candidate Obama told us, "LOBBYISTS WILL NOT RUN 'MY' WHITE HOUSE"!

Candidate Obama also said, "Wouldn't you [the public] like to have the SAME HEALTHCARE that I, Congressional officials and high-level government officials have?"

Candidate Obama also 'promised' he would fight for:

1. strong economy,
2. excellence in education,
3. clean energy, and
4. health insurance reform.

Pharma and insurance LOBBYISTS appear to be RUNNING his WHITE HOUSE!

He has done the opposite of what he had said he would do with the economy - not allow its system to remain as it was since we would only continue to have bubbles and busts - but to clean it up with reform and regulation. Thus far, corporations are- operating the same way, especially the banks which have robbed us blind with the help of Geithner, Summers, Bernanke and Paulson [Hank just GAVE the money to his friends with no accountability of where or to whom it was given.]

Thus far, I have heard nothing about education reform.

With energy reform, the G-'NO'-Pers refuse legislation on 'cap and trade' that would be meaningful, so that bill has been watered down to nothing and any reforms in energy are not worth the paper they are written on.

And now, we see where health insurance reform is going, and short of a public option, it will also be worthless.

Why can't Obama 'stand up to conflict' especially when he has the support of most Dems and the majority of the public? Why win the election if you refuse to be strong and stand up to BULLIES - neocons, blue dogs, and the rest of the OBTUSE, IGNORANT, RACIST people [we all know their names] who KNOW they won [again] by Obama's refusal to tell them 'NO, THERE WILL BE A PUBLIC OPTION OR THE WEAKENED, WORTHLESS BILL WILL BE VETOED.'

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | August 16, 2009 6:53 PM

Chinese billionaires are becoming interested in financing the new medicare plan. But their insurance would exclude treatment of cancer and pneumonia patients. They also would refuse to pay the costs of providing seniors with major surgery. Asians would get preferential treatment.

Posted by: melvin_polatnick | August 16, 2009 6:51 PM

One major obstacle to reasonable, universal health care is the FEAR and Pseudo-patriotic of the term, "socialism" that the right wing has instilled in us from the old "Commie" and McCarthy cold war days.
Those who shout loudest against health care reform because it is "Socialism" should put their money where their big mouths are and REMOVE THEIR NAMES FROM THE SOCIALIST PROGRAMS MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, AND IF VETERANS, FROM VA BENEFITS!!!
Geeze, far right pseudo-super-americans are so dumb!

Posted by: lufrank1 | August 16, 2009 6:50 PM

Laying to to the Republican Machine and Insurance companies does nothing for me! Public Option would have been the best thing for this Nation and many People without health care. So who will suffer the outcome the jobless, low income, and middle income! Thanks Obama you've just showed that words me nothing!

Posted by: ifordc | August 16, 2009 6:50 PM

The fact that the administration was able to see that the majority of Americans did not think an expensive government plan was a viable option, is to their credit.

Everyone in both parties should get behind a workable Co-Op Plan to help those who need Health Care Coverage.

This a chance for rich corporate types and rich Hollywood types to show their compassion.

Posted by: chicago77 | August 16, 2009 6:45 PM

The term "non profit" in the health care industry is a scam. What you get are entities like the various Blue Cross enterprises, and UPMC in Pittsburgh, which from a health care consumer's standpoint behave exactly like for-profit corporations.

There are two differences between these "non profits" and actual corporations. First, management doesn't answer to shareholders. They run the show in the best interest of executives and higher level employees (we're not talking RN's and LPN's here). Second, despite such enormous profits that they're investing surpluses in places like Ireland and India, they don't pay taxes in the USA.

They're professionally managed scams.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 6:44 PM

Get the FEDS out of health-care entirely. Let each state manage its own Medicaid, Medicare, or non at all if they prefer. With 50 different states, you will have flexibility and experimentation - they WILL find something that works.

Posted by: pgr88 | August 16, 2009 6:42 PM

I do not understand how this will help small businesses, which supposedly are creating jobs, and freelancers. But perhaps more to the point, whatever is passed should be the health plan for all members Congress as well.

Posted by: godofwar | August 16, 2009 6:40 PM

Boy, is this fun. I come back to the computer once an hour just to watch the lefties go crazier and crazier. I suspect that before the day is over one or two of them will have their heads explode. And I feel sorry for them. The Messiah has abandoned them. The public option is dead as a door nail. But there are still 100 more time bombs in the House bill. Don't give up the fight yet.

Posted by: jdonner2 | August 16, 2009 6:38 PM

The American public is being sold out yet again. As things appear big insurance can put another notch on their post of a victory over the American people. Another victorious campaign by a combination of their bought government servants, disinformation right-wing media machine, and their frontgroups deliberate radicalizing of the moronic fringe.

The status quo will be preserved and we will watch things get worse as these corrupt industries will be able to continue to milk the public dry, deny care to those who need it, where insurance beaurocrats dictate what doctors people can see and what procedures they can have done, where countless people suffer and tens of thousands die every year from lack of insurance, hundreds of thousands every year go bankrupt, as more Americans lose coverage, more grow deeper in debt and the country sinks further into 3rd world status.

Yeah thats some accomplishment. I am ashamed of what this country has become.

Posted by: navywxman | August 16, 2009 6:37 PM

The lady with the sister with 7 years in the army - I bet she has cable tv and cell phones and says she can't afford insurance. You can find a way to afford it - maybe you don't eat out as much or maybe you eat eggs for dinner a few times a month instead of more expensive items. The point is that we find a way to afford things that we want but we want other people to pay for health care? I think it is a shame that the VA wouldn't cover your sister after she gave 7 years of her life to this country. But she makes too much for the VA to cover her? She must make enough for insurance. I had free health care and free prescriptions through the military until my husband divorced me after 30 years of marriage. You find a way to afford the things that you need.

Posted by: Jimmie54 | August 16, 2009 6:32 PM

so Sebelius, the Queen of Abortion..........

announces the ABORTION of ObamaCare at the sacrificial altar of higher approval ratings for Obama???

we will take a win however it arrives.

Posted by: JaxMax | August 16, 2009 6:30 PM

Let me get this straight. The Democrats have a Senate filibuster proof super majority, a Conressional majority and a Dem president....and they can't pass a health insurance reform with a public option?

If your knees are weak you can wear knee braces, but if you are spineless you cannot grow a spine. Giving in to a few tea baggers will be the nail in the Dem's coffin. They will never retrieve any future power in this country, ever!

Posted by: xyz729 | August 16, 2009 6:29 PM

If the goal is to provide uninsured Americans Health coverage, this is surely a step forward.

Hopefully, all Americans without insurance will now be able to obtain access to affordable health care services under a Cooperative system. Efficiencies that big government cannot provide, will be available to smart and responsive Co-Op managers.

There are many sucessful not for profit
Co-Ops operating in various industries and businesses and have been for years.

Taking a high quality, lower cost approach to Health Care Reform can benefit those who have the greatest need health services, if it's given a chance.

Posted by: chicago77 | August 16, 2009 6:29 PM

Once again, insurance companies' interest in profits, aided by the gullibility of the lumpenproletariat Limbaugh Beck Fox Palin wing of the Republican party and the chicken wing of the Democratic party, prevail over the clear interest of a majority of the people of the USA.

Eliminating the public option will not improve a single person's health care. All that it will accomplish is to make the profits of investors and the salaries of executives in the health insurance industry more secure going forward.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | August 16, 2009 6:29 PM

The federal govt. again shows us that it is no longer representative of the people but is a great and strong voice for lobby organizations. Obama should get out now, he is only going to be voted out in three years (and I am a democrat). Here is an idea... take away the the federal health care until they find it in their tiny black hearts to do what is right for the country.
If you are not going to get re-elected why not do the right thing?

Posted by: nuddxela1 | August 16, 2009 6:28 PM

Though I'm typically a huge critic of the President and his programs, save on his K-12 Education policy and some of his moves to help cushion the blow of this severe recession and the enactment of updated financial regulations, I do support the broad principle of what he is doing and see that there are several ways in which we can do it. I think that he is making an honest effort to find a way in which patients and their families are more protected from exposure to financial catastrophe, that nobody with good insurance now ends up with poorer care, and that there is more competition in the health insurance industry.

I think President Obama is right now doing the right thing, and that is finding a middle way that a broad consensus of Americans can agree upon for a long time, not just what the current majority in Congress dictates to the people. I think encouraging more non-profits to get involved in the insurance industry and allowing for more portability of insurance benefits and more competition across state lines is a great way to make coverage more affordable. For those truly caught in a crisis of life, we can allow for rules that protect them and their families when all else fails.

I am emphatically against both the "sigle payer" and the "public option" because I believe they inherently lead to less competition. Without competition to keep such arrangments in check, service and quality will eventually decline substantially. And, though it may look like we will be paying less in absolute terms, it will actually end up that we will be paying too much for low quality of care.

I think its fine for Presidents to have broad and sweeping agendas, but I also believe that they need to be forced to adjust to the realities of costs of their programs and the realities of what most people want. Those calling for single payer or for no reform at all are at the excessive ends of this issue and are in the minority; the President should go and get more input from the people. He also needs to give us as well as himself the benefit of having more time to sift through the issues of healthcare and broader issues that are closely linked to it in the pondering of any broad reforms. I think it may be best to wait until perhaps next year to get more input and to take other important issues into consideration that are linked to any healthcare reform: the debt/deficit, the Social Security and Medicare imbalance, and illegal immigration reform.

The President needs to work on bringing most of this country together. He isn't the President of the most liberal wing of the Democratic party or of "NetRoots"; he is President of the United States!

Posted by: chrojo01 | August 16, 2009 6:27 PM

This past Wednesday morning on the 12th, my sister-in-law had to go to the Emergency Room at the John Cochran V A Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. because she was having severe stomach pains. She served 7 years in the Army. After all of the tests were concluded, she was told that she had a "fairly significant gallstone", and that her gallbladder would have to be removed. The surgery was scheduled for Aug. 28. They also found a "dark mass" on one of her kidneys and asked her to return of Friday the 14th for a biopsy. Thankfully the tumor was benign.
But the the V.A. dropped a bombshell on her. They told her that her husband made "just a little too much money last year", that she was over the salary cap, and did not qualify for V.A. health benefits. Her surgical appointment was canceled and she was told to "come back next year and reapply".
Although her employer offers a health care plan, she can not afford it because of the high cost. Her husband could not afford to buy insurance from his union this year, because he did not work often enough to be able to afford it. She now has to return to work with the excruciating pain, and work with this severe medical problem because this country has no National Health Care policy. She can not even go to a fee based clinic because she would be over the income cap.
We need to stop all of the lies and hateful rhetoric and pass a comprehensive health care plan to cover those who either do not have health care or outright can not afford it.

Posted by: mikehill2009 | August 16, 2009 6:26 PM

wabewalker wrote:


After the health care "salon" fiasco back in June, where the Washington Post business section and the Publisher, Katherine Weymouth, proved themselves to be corrupt beyond reform, I am no longer reading this paper (except to post these comments) until Katherine Weymouth resigns her position as publisher.

(remainder of comment deleted)

RESPONSE: Consider the irony of "boycotting" the Wash Po............who let you post comments for free.

No one is perfect, but permitting free and open exchange of comments covers up a lot of other errors for the Wash Po.

And you know it or you would not post.

Posted by: JaxMax | August 16, 2009 6:25 PM

Hey liberals and democrats, you know that show Punk'd, where there's a prank and it's declared "you've been punk'd...." Well, you've been punk'd! With a D Prez and a D Congress you remain ineffective. And the Prez continues to not come through on a number of other items he promised you could feel hope about (Gitmo, gov transparency, overseas wars, corporations in bed with the government, etc.). Although not voting for Obama (or McCain), but being happy for the United States that Obama did win, it's really disgusting and pathetic how this is the best the Ds could do. A real sad shame. Universal health care should be a top priority for the United States. And funny, so much outrage on here by Ds and liberals....changing the world on the Internet, on Internet comments, while instead ignorant small protests at town halls are corrupting any intelligent debate on this. Why aren't 2 million of you Ds and liberals marching on Washington? Why? Too comfortable and complacent? Seems you're not getting the representation you thought you were voting for....

Posted by: aveimperator | August 16, 2009 6:23 PM

What's next = universal car and house insurance where idiots who live in flood areas or new levees that have broken in Katrina get free insurance and I get to pay for that too????

Posted by: Jimmie54 | August 16, 2009 6:22 PM

For how long we will allow Congressional Republicans phony attack on our government Aren't they a part of the very government they attacking every day? They get pay to oversight and make sure we have an efficient government.So they do not do their job but complain about it? Why these lunatic liars are not confronted?

Posted by: bueyesxyou | August 16, 2009 6:21 PM

the good news for America is that Obama ONLY loves Obama...........

so Obama will sacrifice ObamaCare

for higher Obama poll ratings.

its Obama's worldview.

Posted by: JaxMax | August 16, 2009 6:20 PM


After the health care "salon" fiasco back in June, where the Washington Post business section and the Publisher, Katherine Weymouth, proved themselves to be corrupt beyond reform, I am no longer reading this paper (except to post these comments) until Katherine Weymouth resigns her position as publisher. If they're willing to sell access to White House staffers and their editorial staff to health care lobbyists, how can we trust anything that they write? There are plenty of papers to choose from out there, join me in reading something more reputable. Until Weymouth resigns, of course.

Posted by: wabewalker | August 16, 2009 6:18 PM


The drop in the polls to 48% approval for Obama

combined with the amazing fact Americans now prefer Republican over Dems on healthcare (Rasmussen)
Obama's alleged signature "issue"

is MUCH more ominous for Obama than he realizes. Its NOT a matter of switching to a Co-Op.

Americans have lost CONFIDENCE in Obama and do NOT TRUST him.

Its not the "Scare tactics" that are defeating Obama care...Americans are just DISGUSTED with the Obama revealed through the ObamaCare LIES and the Gates/Crowley bigotry of Obama.

And that TRUST and lack of CONFIDENCE are NOT coming back, you see you only get to "spend" your TRUST ONCE.

Obama--socialism, stupidity and sloth

Posted by: JaxMax | August 16, 2009 6:18 PM

"This is all about protecting the profits of insurance companies."


Well, it's about that and it's about the stupidity of people who do not want what's best for all.

Posted by: iammyself | August 16, 2009 6:16 PM

Thank goodness President Obama is finally listening to the American people, most of whom are not liberals. He has himself only to blame for this crisis. He and the Democrat Congress have not shown leadership and will be replaced.

Posted by: NEWSOUTH1 | August 16, 2009 6:16 PM

"So, why should we believe that the federal government would do any better with health care for everybody? Like Fred said, why would anyone want that?"

And what is Medicare? "Keep the Government's hands off my Medicare!" LOL.

If you think the system we have now is sustainable, just wait. Well, you may be one of the lucky few rich individuals for whom the present health insurance system is working (along with the present tax system), but most of the rest of us are not and it is not working for us.

I am not for the public system Obama was pushing for, I am for complete socialized health insurance - Universal health insurance for every single citizen living in the United States. This is what I will continue working for and I am certain that we will either get Universal health insurance or we will devolve further into a corporate fascist state, unrecognizable even by today's low standards.

Posted by: iammyself | August 16, 2009 6:13 PM

We have but one president at a time, and it is in the country's best interest for Obama to repudiate his extremist ideology and agenda, and move to the common ground he's always blabbering about.

As it happens, it is also his only hope for a second term.

Posted by: zjr78xva | August 16, 2009 6:13 PM

This is a lie...

"The truth is -- I want to be completely honest here -- there is no perfect, painless silver bullet out there that solves every problem, gives everyone perfect health care, for free," Obama said in front of a town hall in Colorado. "There isn't. I wish there was."

Illegals get free health care. The Veterans who fought for our freedoms do not? We need to vote the Chicago mobster and the democrats out of the DC.

My advise, if Americans voted incumbent out every time all the time, you would see changes fast. We vote the same old folks that can not read over and over again. We are dumb doing so. I am not for one party, vote democrats, republican and independents out. All current incumbents have failed us...

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 6:10 PM

So now the insurance companies will start demonizing the health care cooperatives. And we will have town halls people complaining that they are unfair. This is all about protecting the profits of insurance companies. If we can't have the public option, better not make it mandatory or all of our tax dollars will be siphoned into corporate profits to subsidize the high cost of premiums for the working poor. Unless we can get a robust national cooperative, it just won't work.

Posted by: goldie2 | August 16, 2009 6:06 PM

When the time came to stand up and be a President Obama folded. His bluff was called and his hand was empty. Less than 3.5 years left as a one-term president. May as well enjoy the perks of the Office while he can. At this point he may as well start going on the overseas trips.
The only transparent office change for Obama was how fast he sold out.

Posted by: KBlit | August 16, 2009 6:06 PM

This is a sellout, pure and simple. The "fairydust" from the lobbyists has found it's way into the pockets of Capitol Hill and the end of the rainbow is nigh for committee chairmen and all the way down the line.

This is how business is conducted in Chicago and you can see the results in today's news.

Posted by: alance | August 16, 2009 6:05 PM

I think congress needs to show how they can fix the economy and Medicare first. Both are broken...Medicare is design to confuse seniors to make bad choices. That is a fact.


Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 6:04 PM

Non profit insurance companies...are you frickin' kidding me? What a joke. A non profit insurance by THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY!!!! Can America get anymore dumber then they already are? Gee...wasn't Blue Cross a non profit insurance company? Yeah, and look what happened to them and how expensive there coverage is. I give up.

Posted by: kubrickstan | August 16, 2009 6:03 PM

When it finally counted and it was time to play hard ball Obama folded like a cheap tent. Just another politicican full of promises and in the end no action because it would make him look bad.

Under 43% in the polls and in less than 250 days. A one-term president.

Posted by: KBlit | August 16, 2009 5:59 PM

Hope fades? Hah! Those of us who want to see this boondoggle killed before it gets off the ground are hopeful and ecstatic!!!

The best part is, we're stopping Bozobama with the jewel in his crown. He's looking like a one termer to me!!!


Posted by: A1965bigdog | August 16, 2009 5:59 PM

Sad but it appears that Obama may in fact be only a one-term president.

We had such high hopes, as our country has such great needs, but it appears his administration does not have the focused pragmatic leadership needed to get results in this critical time. Unless he can deliver more than just a congressional compromise, his idealist base will not be motivated to actively support him next time around.

Mr. President, DO THIS: DECLARE the PUBLIC OPTION as ESSENTIAL for your signature - and force Congress either to include it or to abandon health care reform until the 2011 session.

Posted by: myhonestopinion | August 16, 2009 5:58 PM

A public option using for profit providers (medicaid/medicare) will not reduce costs. A public option that pays salaried providers (veteran's care, non-profit coop's) is very cost effective, without a loss in quality. The Dems back for profit healthcare, they will get destroyed in the next election. Obama did a poor job of framing the debate and now is trying to do what should have been done months ago. He gives up on the competitive non-profits going up against for profits in the free market, and this supporter will no longer be one.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 16, 2009 5:54 PM

Obama has succeeded in showing us that the corrupt corporations hold the power, the crazy screamers have succeeded, and democracy has failed us, big time.

Posted by: syolles | August 16, 2009 5:53 PM

Dear President Obama,

As a fellow Chicago Democrat I am again emailing you asking for your administration's complete support for a national health insurance option in the health reform bill being considered by Congress.

Many of us are concerned that while you have been in Town Halls of late supporting the public option for health insurance, your Sec. of Health was on the media talk shows saying that the Obama Administration will drop their support of the national health insurance option in order to get a compromised bill passed by the Congress.

Why would you do this?

We The People worked to elect you and your Democratic majority in order for you to truly bring "Change" to our nation.

Why abandon your pledge and your promise to reform health care and make a national health insurance option a reality?

Could it be that your administration is give into the uber-powerful corporate interests?

As they said to a Chicago baseball player many years ago: "Say it ain't so, Barack".

Stand up for all of us, not for the "Corporate Citizens" who control too much of our fair country.

Did you even watch the footage of the uninsured standing in lines in Los Angeles last week?

Or were your Town Hall appearances merely your "fly by above the flooded New Orleans"?

Please do not leave our sick out to drown in the Sea of No Health Insurance.

Your Mother is watching what you are doing for (and to) the least among us.

Posted by: kirby2 | August 16, 2009 5:53 PM

Ten years from now, health insurance costs in America will be uncontrollable, the insurance companies will still gouge and deny coverage to those who are sick, and America will continue it's downward path to a third world country where the rich rule and the rest get nothing. And ten years from now, we can thank the republican party for doing what they do best...SCARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH OUTRIGHT LIES. Way to go republicans, you got your way. And all the insurance companies out there are most grateful that you chose to protect there interest and not the American peoples. Way to go republicans you anti-American jerks.

Posted by: kubrickstan | August 16, 2009 5:52 PM

And the hell with you too democrats and Obama for being the wimps that you are. Nobody, either democrat or republican will get my vote again. This is disgusting.

Posted by: kubrickstan | August 16, 2009 5:49 PM

In case you don't already know it, Co-op Plans are the Public Option; but, if you’re so inclined, dressed in sheep’s clothing. If you get a chance to watch C-Span or read the transcripts of the Congressional deliberations, you’ll find that Co-ops are one of the means being discussed to define and resolve the Public Option in actual practice.

And, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that there already are Insurance Co-ops, primarily for certain national professional organizations; what would be different with health care reform is that there could be a combination of legislation and administrative code by which to regulate and oversee these. Unlike the few existing co-ops, which tend, as noted, to have a national presence, these co-ops would likely be set up on the state level. My sense is that those states that figure out ways to get the majority of their state employees on the co-op plan would be the ones with the best co-ops overall.

I suspect that at some future point these co-ops could get in line for federal assistance that would not be subject any focus of the health care reform bill presently being crafted. If that’s the case, the true costs of health care reform may not be as readily apparent as we might otherwise wish them to be.

Posted by: gwaaia | August 16, 2009 5:45 PM

Ten years from now, health insurance costs in America will uncontrollable, the insurance companies will still gouge and deny coverage to those who are sick, and America will continue it's downward path to a third world country where the rich rule and the rest get nothing. And ten years from now, we can that the republican party for doing what they do best...SCARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH OUTRIGHT LIES. Way to go republicans, you got your way. And all the insurance companies out there are most grateful that you chose to protect there interest and not the American peoples. Way to go republicans.

Posted by: kubrickstan | August 16, 2009 5:44 PM

It's always nice to hear something from TAX CHEAT "honest-kate" Sebelius:

Kathleen Sebelius - hussein's SECOND TAX CHEAT candidate for HHS secretary - used undocumented, phony deductions to cheat the federal government out of more than $7000 over three years.

She LIED to the IRS, but she would never lie to you, now would she?

Eliminating the socialist "public option" is step one to actually REFORMING HEATHCARE, INSTEAD OF NATIONALIZING IT.

There are now just 1,264,789 steps to go.

Posted by: LoonyLeft | August 16, 2009 5:41 PM

While it is well known that liberals don't hold the Constitution in high regard, they should actually read it. It doesn't guarantee individuals the right to health insurance. (It does however guarantee individuals the right to keep and bear arms). It is unconstitutional to take taxpayers' money to pay for health insurance for illegals. It is also unconstitutional to require people to purchase health insurance if they don't want it.

Posted by: oldno7 | August 16, 2009 4:52 PM
Try reading the constitution before you make asinine statements. The 2nd amendment prohibits the federal government from stopping gun ownership and establishes the right of states to regulate their militia (state gun laws). The Supreme Court ruled all hospitals private and public must treat uninsured patients citizen or not. The constitution allows congress to pass laws in effect as long as the courts consider them constitutional.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 16, 2009 5:38 PM


Interestingly enough- universal provision of check-ups and preventative care and paid insurance for everything else is what China currently has. With the government paying a low fixed fee for the "universal" services- Chinese medical centers- formerly and dedicated to treatment for all- are now incentivized to provide higher priced services, since they are "for-profit" businesses. As a result many, many Chinese Citizens do not utilize healthcare services.

Posted by: NYClefty | August 16, 2009 5:38 PM

Obama, a believer in Liberation Theology, as indicated by his 20 year relationship with Rev. Wright, wants to socialize the emdical costs of the high rate of disease suffered by African-Americans. They suffer from an obesity rate of 53 per cent after their 20th birthday; their rate of cancers are 25to 30 per cent higher than for any other group. The list for black rates of disease is very high in almost every category. But their rate of being covered by insurance is lower since Welfare Reform of the 1990s.

That's why Obama wants government insurance.

Posted by: sperrico | August 16, 2009 5:38 PM

In the words of the Great Justice Thurgood Marshall. "NOT YET, MR. PRESIDENT, NOT YET".

The blow back from real American citizens who "DEMAND A PUBLIC OPTION", will shake this country to it's Knees.

Posted by: austininc4 | August 16, 2009 5:35 PM

As I was afraid of Obama turned out to be a principle-less, spineless gutless politician who is an appeaser instead of a fighter and achiever. I supported Hillary in the primaries, and the more I see how Obama operates, whether is it health insurance reform or banking reform, the more I am convinced the the democrats made the wrong choice. Hillary has more guts and balls than Obama and Bill Clinton put together. She would have known how to get health care reform through congress, whom to cajole, whom to threat, whom to bribe with promised support. If Obama had been president in the 60's instead of Johnson the civil rights act might still not have been enacted by congress.

Posted by: simon7382 | August 16, 2009 5:35 PM

Cowardly in times of great need.
Forget democracy as long as the capitalist plutocracy continues it's advance to the detriment of intelligence and common good. Obama speaks of hope and fear, well guess which one came out on top? Public health care will come only when working people are too broke and too sick to pay the corporations any longer. There will be only poor and only rich.
Guess who wins?

Posted by: masondickme | August 16, 2009 5:34 PM

They will not drop the public option. Opposition to the public option has been so strong and vocal that President Obama needs all of us supporters to rally for the public option. Contemplating dropping the public option will put the fire under more supporters to get out there and voice(loudly if necessary) our support. Too few supporters are showing up at these town halls. We can't let the opponents make it look like they speak for most Americans. Come on, GET OUT THERE. We can do this, yes we can!!!!!

Posted by: freespiritheart1 | August 16, 2009 5:34 PM

A health care reform bill without a public option is the greatest giveaway ever to the insurance companies. What a deal for them! Everybody has to buy private insurance with no public option to serve as a yardstick for prices and benefits.

Obama the candidate opposed mandatory purchase of insurance, but now he's perfectly willing to mandate everybody buy the insurance companies' policies- what a sell-out!

No, Mr. President. Passing an inadequate bill isn't a substitute for insisting on a good bill. Take a look at what the House did, and stop the "kumbaya" bipartisan stuff. The "Gang of Six" is so unrepresentative of America it's hard to believe you could endorse anything they support- including the silly coop idea.

There's going to be an awful lot of angry Democrats sitting out 2010 if these rumors turn out to be true.......

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | August 16, 2009 5:33 PM

Democrats will loose on the economy. If we are still furloughed, laid off, and lack of decent jobs with benefits.

Health care need real reform, not paying for the same old, same old system using creative taxing of the few of us with jobs left.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 5:30 PM


O'Bomba wants to have me, a single, Healthy, Legal, American Male;

be FORCED to carry Insurance;

that is priced so as to shoulder the costs of Un-Healthy, irresponsible, ILLEGAL, Women!

As well as all the Abortions THEY get to decide if they want-or NOT!

How "Liberal"! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | August 16, 2009 5:27 PM

Q - Will Democrats lose in 2010 if there is no public option?

A - Yes! The base will not vote for Dems in 2010 or in 2012. Obama caves in to much and that is not good.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 5:26 PM

Why would you believe in Dante's Inferno, and believe in a supeme being? If their was something, like a god, she/he/it would surely tap the brains of the hypocrites, and help them. The joke called Christianity, was to help your fellow man. They have become selfish, ignorant, hypocrites. Otherwise, if Obama doesn't veto anything less than total health care, he will never get my vote again. Look, I have good government health insurance, and medicare, but I believe this country should mandate health coverage for everyone.

Posted by: linda_521 | August 16, 2009 5:22 PM

As long as we can still pull the plug on Granny I'll be happy.
Oh yeah, and the insurance company big wheels are still making thousands an hours.

Posted by: Tomcat3 | August 16, 2009 5:21 PM

If the bill was a real reform plan based on competitive bidding on drugs and treatment it would be great. But, "taxing" and "treatment options" are the only savings.

The senior drug plans are not based on bidding, but price fixing. With a doughnut hole...designed to wipe you out...

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 5:19 PM

An arm of Obama's socialism goes down in flames. There is still hope for America!

Posted by: totalkaosdave | August 16, 2009 5:18 PM

Dear iammyself

My mother has been kept alive for 15 years under a Public Option. It's called Medicare.

The VA hospitals were neglected, especially by Republicans. It can be fixed, and is.

As for Indian reservations, they are a national disgrace and this country needs to address the truth about what we've done to native Americans and fix it now.


VA hospitals have been neglected for years, under both Dems & Repubs. Indian reservations are & have been a national disgrace.

So, why should we believe that the federal government would do any better with health care for everybody? Like Fred said, why would anyone want that?

Posted by: tharper1 | August 16, 2009 5:17 PM

Q - Would you scuttle any plan that does not have a public option?

A - Yes. In the long run, meaning the next few years, any tampering with the current health care system and it does not include a strong public option is a setup for disaster.

These co-ops will be owned by the private insurance sector and be re-imbursed by the government. This is a major disaster in the the making. They will drive the deficits into the 10's of trillions of dollars.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 5:15 PM

Another truth:

If congress is serious about reform they should outlaw lobbyist and taking their money. As long as lobbyist make congressmen and women instant millionaires their minds will be clouded with greed.

Posted by: billisnice | August 16, 2009 5:13 PM

The mobs and the demagogues have won.

I would say it's time to move to Canada or the UK and leave America to its victorious right-wing ghouls--except that to do so would be to let them take the whole globe down with them.

Obama, why are you so GUTLESS? Why won't you believe in--and for what those of us who gave you a MANDATE believe in? Why are you selling out to the corporate thieves and corruptionists without even a fight?

Posted by: jasm917 | August 16, 2009 5:13 PM

What if anything do Senators know about the health care system? Why are they insistent on creating stupid models like co-ops while adding to a regulatory web on private insurers. Neither will work. We need a public option or the government should just bow out and leave the system alone. Co-ops will be price fixing cartels of health providers who give themselves the most favorable rates. We don't need this scam.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | August 16, 2009 5:12 PM

MSN is also reporting at this moment that Obama is going to drop the "public option". This means more of the same insurance company profiteering. Everything remains the same, as Otis Redding sang. I have been posting the info below a week in various places and many times here. Sadly, it is all come true.

"Brown Shirt" protests at public meetings are being created, encouraged and financed by the Banking Cartel Families, who will NEVER let single-payer health insurance come into being.

They own the FED and they own the Insurance companies. See the result of a House Investigation that confirms these facts at : [ ]

They would lose Trillions of Dollars of criminal revenue, if reasonably priced or free health care is made available for all Americans.

Obama accepted nearly $1 Million from Goldman Sachs, and also large sums from the Rockefellers as campaign contributions.

Both Families are among those that own the FED and the Insurance companies. So, Obama's speeches and trips are strictly diversional theater. He is the Judas of "no change."

If you wish to know the Agenda of the Bnking Cartel for the future of America, I suggest you see this short video on Google. All facts stated in the video are documented and verified.

The author is even threatened in one segment, by a former head of the IRS for daring to reveal that no American is required to pay Income Tax......for no law has ever been written requiring Americans to do this, and the Supreme Court has declared this to be so, as well.

I learned a lot by seeing this film. I suggest you do so as well.

Arron Russo's film America : Freedom to Fascism

Posted by: vcompton1 | August 16, 2009 5:12 PM

why not a universal singlepayer system with people being made to buy insurance for anything more than annual checkups and shots?

Posted by: gmallet0709 | August 16, 2009 5:07 PM

And so, The Cleptocracy wins again. The insurers and their maffia partners in congress wrangled the public option out of the hands of ordinary Americans by subterfuge , misinformation and blatant lies, fed to the easy impressionable masses..[shakes head in desperation] I agree with Abby, there is indeed a certain ring in Dante's inferno for liars and cheaters. They'll prolly' be pushing a giant diamond up a neverending hill for eternity.

How can anyone call himself an American, or a patriot or even "human" if one cheats, lies, bamboozles ,solely to insure his/her profits.

What a sad situation. I DO hope, for the sake of ALL Americans, that it is declared dead a bit too early.

Posted by: diakrite | August 16, 2009 5:04 PM

Q - Should we trust Republicans on health care reform?

A - This is a great questions and we need to examine their history for an answer:

Republicans have acheived:

A major financial meltdown
Two wars we are not winning
Budget deficits
Trillions in unsustainable debt
Reagan set the stage to have unlimited illegal aliens

Need I go on. We report, you decide if Republicans can be trusted.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 5:02 PM

I am just now shopping for insurance for my son on the private market. He is a young and healthy guy. The costs are horrific and the deductibles are so high. What are people thinking. If they kill the public option, the insurance industry will keep making health insurance so unaffordable and unusable, we will just all have to stop getting medical care because we can't pay the deductible. This is reform to protect insurance companies, not the American people.

Posted by: goldie2 | August 16, 2009 5:00 PM

No public option? No single-payer proposal? Big mistake.

Since single-payer appears to be off the table, with respect to calling this health care REFORM, without the public option there's no there there.

Posted by: labman57 | August 16, 2009 4:59 PM

Q - What will be the ramifications of not having a strong public option?

A - Look forward to at least 26% annual health insurance premium increases, with higher deductibles and co-pays. In less than five years the health care delivery system will be a disaster.

The above will cost jobs and pay raises.

At this junction only a public option with very, very, strong price controls can avoid a major train wreck.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 16, 2009 4:54 PM

While it is well known that liberals don't hold the Constitution in high regard, they should actually read it. It doesn't guarantee individuals the right to health insurance. (It does however guarantee individuals the right to keep and bear arms). It is unconstitutional to take taxpayers' money to pay for health insurance for illegals. It is also unconstitutional to require people to purchase health insurance if they don't want it.

Posted by: oldno7 | August 16, 2009 4:52 PM

Without a public insurance option, it's not health reform, because it still leaves millions uninsured.

Hopefully, this article is jumping the gun a bit. Otherwise, Obama is in trouble.

Posted by: binkynh | August 16, 2009 4:50 PM

Amick's article is jumping the gun. and seems soley based on one unreliable blue dog's opinion. This is more spin than news.

Posted by: info23 | August 16, 2009 4:46 PM

I don't need this kind of regulatory insurance reform. Its doomed to failure and high cost. They need a public option to really change things. Coops are silly and doomed to failure.

Posted by: paulnolan97 | August 16, 2009 4:37 PM

I think the Republican party which has no ideas at all on how to solve the problem are doing this country a disservice. All they ever want is more money for their friends in the insurance industry. Does everyone realize that the insurance industry has already spent $262 million for the first six months of the year on lobbying? Folks, this is premium money since they don't produce anything, just redistribute what they collect. I want the health insurance back to where it was in the 60's, non profit. I'm very healthy and have seen changes in my health plan with premiums going through the roof. Basically our health plan has turned into catastrophic insurance. We pay for everything up to $1200 a year and it costs $256/month. What a joke! Get private insurers out of health insurance!

Of course we always hear from the Republicans that we need to deregulate. Right, it worked so well in energy, airlines, telephone, savings and loans, and banking. All of those were complete failures. All it did was make a few of their rich friends even more so.

Private insurers are evil. My wife worked for one of the major firms and a doctor was in charge of approving claims. He got a bonus for denying claims. I kid you not! So that is what he did, find reasons to deny claims to increase his own bonus money. There just aren't that many health insurance companies for deregulation to even work. Cigna, Kaiser, United, Wellpoint(Blue Cross) that they would just buy each other out like the oil companies did and fix prices and we're all screwed again. I'd rather take my chances with the government any day.

Posted by: patrick8 | August 16, 2009 4:37 PM

I think this pretty much says it all.

Posted by: msdusti | August 16, 2009 4:32 PM

The Senate was NEVER going to vote a public option. So Obama polishes his "pragmatist" credentials.

BUT, no retrenchment on public option does anything about the costs of universal coverage. AND now that public option is off the table, opponents will focus on how the government intends to control what is sold by the "co ops," including funding for abortion.

The road ahead for Obama is a little smoother, but still rocky.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 16, 2009 4:26 PM

For the first time since Regan the Democrats and Republican voters have woke
up and realized that the current adminstration is lying to them about the "Publc Healh Care Plan". People are finally getting a chance to mull thru the mountains of goverement doublespean and garbage and finding the actual plan. It is not good for Americans of any age. If you are infirmed under this plan you will die. Maybe not today but your tretment will be dollar based upon what you can contribute andif you poor, oh well hope you bought a plot already. It will effectively destroy Medicare, Medicare and
VA bemefits within a short time and a pannel will decide who gets to dring the KOOL AID or get the necessary sgy or meds to speed our recover and quality of life.
The annoted one is a socialist and his adjenda is to make over the country with total disregard for the Consitutio of the United States of America.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | August 16, 2009 4:25 PM

What a great piece of news. The Kremlin like Obamacare organization may be old news. Sebelius is probably crying in her beer. She and the Commissar er Commissioner would have been practically omnipotent under the terms of the nitwit democrats' blivet HR3200.
Now, maybe we can dump the Cap and Tax threat to our economy.
Then in 2010 we can dump a lot of the democrat turdheads.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 16, 2009 4:24 PM

The public option MUST be preserved. Without it there is no reform. Please re-think this, Obama administration. We want change, not pandering to insurance companies and right wing freaks. No one I know loves either their current coverage nor their insurance company. Please, please don't take this off the table!!!

Posted by: indy474 | August 16, 2009 4:21 PM

Obama will be a one term president if he keeps up this fight, check out this debate blog:

Posted by: healthcaredebateblog | August 16, 2009 4:20 PM

So,did Obama's Tax Cheater Lying Phony Baloney Sec of HHS Kateen Selibus ever pay
the IRS all the money she cheated IRS and
the American Tax Payer out of yet by now?
Hey Madame Sec of HHS Resign as we don't
Trust Lying Obama Tax Cheaters like you!
The fact is Barack Obama should have never
named these Tax Cheater Crooks like her and
Obama Sec of Treasury Tiny Timmy Geithner
to his cabinet and the Democrat Controlled
Congress Should Never Have Confirmed Them.

And anyone still wonder why Obama's Poll
Numbers Are In The Negative Range for over
a full seven weeks now? In example the 8/16
Rasmussen Poll shows 54% Oppose Obamacare!

And,over 52% somewhat Disapprove of Obama
Job Performance and ONLY 47% Approve,but
even more revealing is that 39% Strongly
Approve of how Obama is doing his job,while
Only 32% Strongly Approve and that makes
Obama 9% in the hole! Impeach Obama and
Throw Obama's Tax Cheater Cabinet Under The
Bus. Just Say NO Damn Obamacare Ever!

Posted by: redheadclaudine | August 16, 2009 4:18 PM

To hear that Co-op plans are probably in the works is disappointing. Who rules the roost when Democrats are in power? I just don't get it.

Under the GOP (house, senate and executive branch) they have never taken on Health Reform as an issue, but under the Dems, they are calling all the shots and Democrats are falling inline.

If the proposed bill is watered down ..that's a stinging insult to many Americans who need access to health care. This dumbing down,gives power to the GOP even when they dont have the numbers. They know how to play... and Democrats still fail to model how they do it.

Cheers to them, the Dems apparently are turning the other cheek.

Posted by: Victoria5 | August 16, 2009 4:14 PM

The discussion has gone from Single Payer, to Public Option, to now Co-Ops.

If Single Payer is not economically sound or practical to do at this moment, then give us a National Public Option and STOP trying to put more Band-Aids on our Health care system, by settling for Co-ops in rural areas around the country.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | August 16, 2009 4:12 PM


Should the decission(voting) / DETERMINATION for this helath plan reform is given to the american public IN GENERAL NATIONAL REFERENDUM, this bogus plan will never come to pass.After all, the american public is ultimately the RECIPIENT of this plan and - guess what - THE PLAN IS NOT WANTED BY VAST MAJORITY !____

However, the ones to vote for on this are in Washington and they are ignoring the people. It seems that 'convincing' via BRIBES AND INTIMIDATION from the OBAMA GANG might take a toll with the 'aparent oposition' by ('blue-dogs democrats and some 'sold-out'republicans).____

And so, since there in Washingtonl all is NASTY CHICAGO-TYPE CORRUPTED POLITICS, and 'SPECIAL' SELFISH INTERESTS, others words, a megalitic CORRUPTION ,...chances are that this (another) BILL OF GOVERNMENT POWER GRASP, will come to be.____

In conclussion, whichever the dynamics vector - (for the american people is sick and tired of DECEPTIONS) - the result for 2010 and 2012 is that the present OBAMA GANG CORRUPTED ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL,ANTI-AMERICAN,TERRORISTS FRIENDLY -RIENTED AND LOADED OF ENEMIES OF THE STATE (TRAITORS),...WILLBE REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH BETTER LEADERS , which ones?,...ANSWER - true patriots that will give the good fight in all fronts to preserve fundamental VALUES OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY !____

And how is your day so far?

Daniel Cabrera

PS - The tv tabloids (NBC, CNN, MSNBC) , and tabloid publications such as , THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE HUFFINGTON POST, LA TIMES , etc,... along with what is left of the quasi-hypoitized brainless "utra-obamanized " cool aid drinkers people, will not take this one lightly.

Posted by: morcab | August 16, 2009 4:07 PM

So, Obama is selling us to insurance companies. And, the Republicans are in charge. What is going on?

Posted by: mihalick | August 16, 2009 4:05 PM

"Most people who are being hurt are the ones who are urging the abusers on. It's a fairly common psychological phenomenon. The Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind..."

You're dead on right. There are millions of working class right wingers who will fight to their last breath for the ability of their abusers to exploit them. It's really sad to watch. But they are so brainwashed by corporate agents like the talk radio magnates that they cannot see straight. There's no reaching them.

It gives me sympathy for those who try cult rescues. VERY hard to de-program someone who's so thoroughly gone.

Posted by: B2O2 | August 16, 2009 4:02 PM

I'm not sure how critical a public option would really be in lowering costs or expanding availability. The point all along has been to use the health exchanges to open up national private insurance markets to all Americans - subsidies can help people afford what is beyond their means right now. Unless you see the public option has the first path to single-payer - and none of the public option plans have been written in such a way as to encourage already-insured people to drop out of employer coverage and join the public plan - the public option has become more symbolic of reform than a real mechanism.

What bothers me, however, is Obama's willingness to concede this before Congress gets back in session. The White House needs to toe a maximalist line in order to minimize concessions to Blue Dogs and conservadems. You don't give up something like this before negotiating.

I wouldn't be surprised if the White House pushes back STRONGLY against this very article in the next few days.

Posted by: ElrodinTennessee | August 16, 2009 4:01 PM

A goat by any other name is still a goat. We saw the name after name for stimulus/bailout and whatever. So is the pubic option gone or in witness protection with a new name. Nothing yet on the TORT option. No TORT then ABORT all Obama 44 options

Posted by: browncow | August 16, 2009 4:01 PM

I'm from SC where Mark Sanford has been a failure for 6 years before he was a national joke. The reason: he does not understand that government is about compromise and consensus.
I'm seeing a lot of "no-compromise" posts.
I don't care what kind of health insurance reform we get this year AS LONG AS WE GET STARTED ON SOME KIND OF CHANGE. This cannot be put off any longer.
Personally, I would prefer single payer, but I can live with insurance companies, drug companies, doctors, hospitals being regulated and held to some kind of morality they do not appear to naturally have so that more people can be covered better.

Posted by: edismae | August 16, 2009 3:58 PM

Why is anyone still laboring under the delusion that health insurance companies are anything other than well-heeled, well-dressed welfare cases?

They don't DO anything. They simply sit there in the middle between the providers and you, collecting a middleman fee. The government can manage that step MUCH MORE EFFICIENTLY. Why? Because they won't be paying countless executives handsome salaries to sit atop this collection racket. And because the government won't need to spend lavish sums of money advertising (in print and broadcast venues) fighting over health care dollars that are going to be spent anyway. All of this is WASTE.

Why can't people SEE this? I'm for the free market in general - it has made this country great in many ways. But health care is so fundamental that it should be universal. And in any case, unlike other industries - and this is the key - insurance companies add NOTHING to the end product.

Posted by: B2O2 | August 16, 2009 3:57 PM

Sebelius spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" and ABC's "This Week."
Gibbs appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation." Conrad and Shelby appeared on
" Fox News Sunday." Johnson and Price spoke with "State of the Union."
Hatch was interviewed on "This Wee

volley2.ind 97: ?>*:\ ...//2009:07:29:15:35:Wednesday
#700 of 701: William Hale (hinging0) Sun 16 Aug 2009 (12:52 PM)

30 Million Poor Americans form a health insurance cooperative..
...and ask the US government to be a partner in their cooperative.

FaceBook and MySpace to offer health insurance cooperatives to
members. US government invited to participate...

Grange Halls form Health Care Cooperative, USDA invited to

Ivy League Schools form health care cooperatives, invite private
insurers to participate...

Posted by: randomsample | August 16, 2009 3:55 PM

I have good health insurance that I'm in little or no danger of loosing, so the outcome of the current health-reform debate probably won't affect me much. Nonetheless, I think our leaders in Congress, especially the Senate, deserve special contempt (not to mention being voted out of office en masse) for their atrocious handling of this important issue. These gutless wonders who have already been largely bought and paid for by the insurance industry now seem increasingly prone to kowtow to the right-wing idiot fringe. Their continued efforts to water down significant elements of reform in the interests of the private insurance industry are simply appalling. As if the welfare of insurance companies - not affordable, quality health care - were a primary policy objective; as if those companies had not already given us a health system that no other industrialized country would tolerate and that is substantially focused on NOT providing health care.

This situation is made all the worse by a president who talks a great game but who increasingly appears incapable of getting things done. By the time we're finished with health reform, we're likely to have nothing but a subsidized expansion of the current dysfunctional system - if even that. This would be great for the insurance companies but disastrous for the deficit. (One can only wonder what conservatives will do then. Probably try to cut taxes).

Posted by: aardvark3 | August 16, 2009 3:45 PM


My mother has been kept alive for 15 years under a Public Option. It's called Medicare.

The VA hospitals were neglected, especially by Republicans. It can be fixed, and is.

As for Indian reservations, they are a national disgrace and this country needs to address the truth about what we've done to native Americans and fix it now.

Posted by: iammyself | August 16, 2009 3:45 PM

"The most ironic thing about the loss of a public option, if it does occur in the final health care reform legislation, is that the people, who hollered and screamed the most at the town hall meetings, are the ones who will be hurt the most by the failure to provide real competition to the health insurance companies."

Caliguy55, don't try to interject reason into the discussion. Reason hasn't seen the light of day in this country for a long time and it won't see the light of day until it's a moot point.

Most people who are being hurt are the ones who are urging the abusers on. It's a fairly common psychological phenomenon. The Stockholm Syndrome comes to mind...

Posted by: iammyself | August 16, 2009 3:39 PM

Hope for Public Option Fades?

Who the heck in their right mind hoped for any association with a public option? Surley not anyone who was ever in a public health service hospital or a VA hospital. Surley not anyone who ever spent time on an indian reservation where they are totally reliant on government health.

The only people who want the public option are rich democrats who want it for everybody else--but not themselves.

Posted by: FredChatard | August 16, 2009 3:32 PM

"Everything the Democrats are doing is pushing towards what's called a single-payer system, where the government basically controls everything. And this public plan, this public government plan, don't think for a minute that that will not destroy the current insurance system."

What the hell is Hatch talking about? He appears to be a traitor to the United States because without a public option, there is no way to MAKE the insurance companies pay attention and stop financially RAPING the American public. I suppose when he, along with all other elected officials, have every aspect [dental, vision and health] of their health insurance paid for by taxpayers, why would he [and they] want to help us as they only view us as 'necessary or important' when it is time for us to vote or pay taxes.

They will never understand - unless they are forced to forfeit their taxpayer subsized health insurance - how any type of insurance reform could work to MAKE insurance companies wake up and smell the coffee and stop raping us unless there is a 'public option'. Without it, the government is only spinning its wheels and anything less will only make 'reform' nothing more than an illusion. What a huge dissappointment considering that Candidate Obama promised THE SAME health insurance he had if we would make him POTUS. Now that he is POTUS, he is asking us to understand that even a public option is not reasonable because it appears the rotten GOP have won the argument. Why do we have a Democratic majority if we can't gain from it?

This will most certainly mean Obama will not be seen historically as another Abe Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt or even Lyndon Johnson [apparently reading all those history books did nothing to enhance Obama's understanding of a STRONG POTUS] - far from it - and he will definitely NOT be given a second term!

Posted by: MadasHelinVA | August 16, 2009 3:32 PM

What! The public is sold out again? I'm shocked I tell you...shocked!

There are not enough votes in the Democratic led Senate because the Democrats never wanted a public option, or any other option other than the corporate insurance/money option.

To all those crowing about a victory against socialism, let's see what you have to say in ten years when your premium has doubled or tripled and you can no longer afford it. But hey, you can always wait in line for 24 hours at a free health fair coming to a town near you.

Posted by: iammyself | August 16, 2009 3:27 PM

It's always nice to hear something from TAX CHEAT "honest-kate" Sebelius:

Kathleen Sebelius - hussein's SECOND TAX CHEAT candidate for HHS secretary - used undocumented, phony deductions to cheat the federal government out of more than $7000 over three years.

Eliminating the socialist "public option" is step one to actually REFORMING HEATHCARE, INSTEAD OF NATIONALIZING IT.

There are now just 1,264,789 steps to go.

Posted by: LoonyLeft | August 16, 2009 3:25 PM

Let the filibuster run it's course. If our Democratic majority is as worthless as Conrad makes them out to be, there is no reason to not keep them tied up in an endless debate. Heath Care reform CAN wait until 2010 if that's what it takes, and these Senators can campaign for re-election from the floor. Let the filibuster expose all who enable it for the charlatans they are. We need NAMES! Conrad doesn't get re-elected. Who else? It's time to educate our government about "by the people" accountability.

Posted by: JamesHovland | August 16, 2009 3:19 PM

Our family voted for President Obama for real health care reform. Not the gimmick of so called health co-ops. Public option health care isurance is a must. Insurance companies dont want reform for the obvious reasons-the famous bottom line.I dont truly care what kind of name the conservatives wants to call healthcare reform.

Posted by: lagrsf | August 16, 2009 3:19 PM

Do you smell that?

It's the stench of desperation and looming defeat rising from the d-crat socialists.

It looks like American citizens are winning this one!

A least we've all seen another trait the socialists have in common: Adolph whipped up hatred against Jews to achieve his twisted goals; hussein whips up hatred against health insurance firms to do the same.

I guess that's what the loony-left calls "Change We Can Believe In".

Posted by: LoonyLeft | August 16, 2009 3:11 PM

There you will find the health care "industry" money trail for the corporate Democrats, like Obama, Baucus, Conrad, Reid, and all the others. We've been sold out again, folks. Get used to it. That's how our progressive president operates.

Posted by: Jack451 | August 16, 2009 3:09 PM

The idea that health insurance companies will go out of business given the establishment of a public insurance option is ludicrous. Instead, they would necessarily do what they have not done in a very a long time having to compete in the public market place.

President Obama will have sold out to the health insurance special interest Bogeymen if he compromises on the public insurance option and more importantly he will have comprised the future of his presidency having handed the Repudiated Republican Party of No the rights to loudly claim Yes We Can!

Posted by: csfoster2000 | August 16, 2009 3:09 PM

Okay, we've managed to kill the public option. Now, all we need to do is kill the health care coops and we can FINALLY fix health care...instead of the political ruling and governing class.

Kill the coops!

Posted by: Beeper812 | August 16, 2009 3:08 PM

If there are not enough votes in the Senate for the Public Option that means that the Senate has sold out to the corporate interests that control health care. Obviously, this means that the Democrat/Republican labels are meaningless - they are all in on this because they get elected with contributions from the corporate world. In short, the US Government is CORRUPT and this fact is never going to change as long as special interests can contribute to political campaigns.

Posted by: AJBF | August 16, 2009 3:07 PM

Obama abandoning the public option is hardly surprising. Only a few liberal pundits in some newspapers, cable television and true believers will cling to their faith he is a progressive. With overwhelming majorities in Congress, Democrats by being unable to pass true health care reform, are clearly a center-right party, not a center-left party.

Obama has little credibility as an advocate of health care reform. He opposed Hillary's health care mandate as a candidate in the primraries, but promply accepted the same mandate after becoming president. He has publicly said how important the public option is to protect people in this country from some greedy health insurance companies and help reduce future costs, however instead of trying harder to persuade people of its virtues, is ready to throw in the towel, another Obama/Democratic appeasement of health insurance companies, Republicans, conservative Democrats.

Obama and Democrats are increasingly showing a desperation to pass anything, then declare the bill is health care "reform," even if this is substantially exaggerated. Having sold out to the insurance companies and being politically intimidated by reactionaries, the Obama administration, as well as Democrats in Congress who support any semblance of health care reform need to ensure health insurance is affordable, with enhanced subsidies to middle class people, for those who will be required to purchase health care insurance.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | August 16, 2009 3:05 PM

JOHn: google"Questions for Dr. Marcia Angell" and hear an unbiased summary of this mess Obama and Congress are making of so-called Health care reform. The Public Plan option is the only short-term alternative to bail-out the poor and middle class and even everyone else that will continue to subsidize through Coops, private Health insurance and taxes the Health Benefits Plan of Congress, Federal employees, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA and the 12-20 million illegals that flood our Emergency rooms to get their primary care. This privileged group gets too much in health care and medical devices with hardly any cost-control-their Health care bill will still fall on the taxpayer. If Obama caves-in on the Public Plan, it will be another testimonial of an irrelevant Presidency. The present Bill is a total disaster.

Posted by: lionelroger | August 16, 2009 3:01 PM

The plan will end up as a total sell out to insurance and drug companies and the members of the AMA. The majority of the country is begging for reasonable medical care. I cannot believe the Democrats are bowing to the likes of Sara Palin. It doesn't matter who we vote for and whether or not they are elected once they are in they are blind to all but power. If there is no public option I see Obama as a one term president and a lot of Republicans elected at the mid term. If the public hands them a mandate and they can't get it done they are losers in everyway. As for the war no one wanted - we've just moved from Iraq to Afghanistan - still the same mess and the same war.

Posted by: txajohnson | August 16, 2009 2:56 PM

This is ridiculous - if you eliminate the public option - then why spend the money? It is no longer reform. I have zero confidence in the media about the reporting on this issue, so I will let time bare this out.

Posted by: interestingstuff | August 16, 2009 2:53 PM

well, i could accept the dropping of the public optioin IF the industry salary + benies were capped at 1 million, with retirement a 401K match for the first 7%.

nothing else, no stock options, no homes, cheap loans from the company ,no vacations, no planes, no private ed for their kids, no golden "screw the stockholder" parachutes, no clothing allowance, no private dinning facalities, NOTHING, but the pay.

Posted by: newagent99 | August 16, 2009 2:52 PM

As soon as Charlie Rangel is involved, you know he's going to steal money from us, and not pay taxes on what's his.

And then some pseudo-intellectual will upbraid us telling us that Charlie is really a man of the people.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | August 16, 2009 2:50 PM

I wish the WaPo employeed some journalist.

Obama never wanted the public option, the Congressional HOuse forced him into it.

Obama is just another corporate president stooge,albeit with a better veneer.

Posted by: newagent99 | August 16, 2009 2:47 PM

Could someone please remind me why we voted for Obama?

I seem to recall that it was because we'd get some real help in the face of a growing recession.

Instead, the recession is over for the Richies, the financial companies have been bailed out and exec. bonuses are flowing.

People who can afford new cars are getting subsidies.

Meanwhile, I'm still laid off, and more people (not fewer) than ever are out of work.

And now, no public option health insurance?

Wasn't all this what we expected from McCain, not Obama?

Posted by: roblimo | August 16, 2009 2:39 PM

As an Independent and insured, I am very disappointed by our Congress, but President Obama needs our support. Any co-op will not work if the pool of insured is not large enough based on the theory of probability.

The fundamental mistake made by those for competition is that a healthy insurance program needs a large pool of insured. The larger it is, the more sustainable it gets. Politically, it looks like we will have more choices but the pool of insured will be divided up further and inch towards failure. The co-op idea is a fake reform just to show us that we are all wrong about the need for fighting against private health insurance companies. We have been short-changed by our representatives in Congress. I will vote my senators and reps out soon enough.

Thanks to President Obama's persistence on the public plan, but six months is really not long enough for this fight! Please do not sign any bill without any public option! Thanks!

Posted by: dummy4peace | August 16, 2009 2:33 PM

I am completely disgusted with Obama and Sibelius. A public option would have been the only way to keep the insurance mafia in line. Howard Dean would have been a better president. Even Hillary would have had more cojones. The insurance industry is unadulterated evil, and I hope that those of you who were against a public option now lose your insurance within 3 months, or have your premiums tripled. In fact, I have no doubt the latter will occur.

Posted by: skylark1 | August 16, 2009 2:33 PM

How would these co-ops work?

If a self-employed person like me who's currently forced to buy way over-priced/high deductible/crap private insurance,

would I get a better deal with co-ops? What would the restrictions be?

What's so great about private insurance, anyway?

How much more money is wasted adding a layer to the already layered private insurance market?

Posted by: dadada | August 16, 2009 2:32 PM

The private health insurers and providers, in killing reform, are committing business suicide over the long haul. Maybe they'll protect their fat profits for now. But if the big executives and lobbyists would get out in the real workaday world, they will find that middle class people are hurting. We have nothing left for you to milk. Many of us would rather die than hand over our life savings and homes to you instead of our families. You people, through your greed, are sowing the seeds of a major public backlash, and eventual government-run insurance as the outcome, whether you like it or not. You still have to time to get smart and get on board with reform. It's good for business AND the people.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | August 16, 2009 2:31 PM

The democrats should also drop the idea of co-ops and go without anything like that. Make the private insurance companies offer cheaper basic choices on health insurance exchanges. The final price of the bill would be that much lower.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | August 16, 2009 2:25 PM

Guess the video's of Obama and Frank admitting that the public option was just a place holder for single payer did them in!

Then good old tax cheat Rangel assuring us that taxes for the middle class won't rise, finished things off. No wonder people don't believe the political double speak!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | August 16, 2009 2:24 PM

The ideological bashing of the insurance companies ignores the basic reality of health care. A large proprotion of the insured have their health care through their job. Their employer works with some insurance company to provide their insurance. At least in my working history, I don't know of anyone who has had problems with this kind of arrangement. As far as the public option goes, Kent Conrad's statement seems to be the accurate one particularly since his vote is one of the key ones that the Democrat's need. It has also been obvious for a while that the President would accept a bill without a direct government managed option. But perhaps Kathleen Sibelius' statment can help move the debate off of lost causes and on to options that are still in doubt.

Posted by: dnjake | August 16, 2009 2:18 PM

The most ironic thing about the loss of a public option, if it does occur in the final health care reform legislation, is that the people, who hollered and screamed the most at the town hall meetings, are the ones who will be hurt the most by the failure to provide real competition to the health insurance companies. They're losing their insurance coverage at the rate of 2,000 per day, while 1,000,000 of them go bankrupt every year because of unforeseen health care costs. These poor souls will one day realize just how stupid they were in allowing themselves to be duped by the health care industry and its allies in the far right wing.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | August 16, 2009 2:16 PM

Was there ever any doubt whether the insurance industry would come out on top? Any doubt that when the smoke clears it will be business as usual? Follow the money, both in the Congress and the White House, and the issue is never in doubt.

Posted by: Diogenes | August 16, 2009 2:16 PM

First, I belong effectively to an insurance Co-op, but since we lack oligopolistic power, our abilitity to contain the medical monopoly of the local hospital is difficult. Blue Cross, and Blue Shield have a me too clause in their contract, so if the hospital decides to negotiate with local Co-ops and lower contracted rates with us then they loose the revenue with the large insurance companies whose rates also fall. Thus, Blue Cross and Blue Shield effectively set my rates. The result is our insurance plan is hit regularly by a 14 to 15 million dollar excess charge from the local hospital in excess of what we would be charged if our emergency provider was Stanford Medical center. Our whole plan runs 100 million per year.

So why I think Co-ops can work, insurance companies should have to negotiate seperately from us. This is why I was hoping for a government provider, the Medicare rates at the hospital are considerably lower since they can negotiate seperately from the Insurance Companies.

Posted by: sarlat | August 16, 2009 2:15 PM

Wow. Democrats continue to amaze me with their spinelessness. First they drop end of consultation because of republican fear mongering. Now they are ready to lay down and play dead, for the public option, even though the majority of Americans want it. MY goodness i guess when you have a contest between liars and cowards, the liars win.Shame on Sebelius, Howard Dean should have gotten her job, she is just another coward. Dean has some cajones. Shame shame shame.

Posted by: vernyuy | August 16, 2009 2:13 PM

Government should serve the people. If true the government should be able to reduce costs for healthcare for the people. The problem is the track record of the type of legislation that gets passed. There is a middle man standing between the people and government; that middle man is special interest and in this case big pharma. see link below
Middle man seems to write legislation that our Congress does not read. In writing the legislation these middle men write legislation that has one purpose in mind, extracting taxpayer dollars. We say this with TARP where the BIG banks were rescued because if they were not according the Hank Paulson the system as we knew it would have failed. SO WHAT... the system would have failed and the big banks would be gone and the SMALL BANKS the big banks competition that survived would have stepped in filled the void.
BAck to healthcare.
Who is writing this current piece of legislation and who benefits? My guess is what gets proposed will have been written by the middle man, big pharma and the insurance companies ... where the people will pay lots of money for jack.
the reason why people are up in arms is that the government does not serve the people. For Arlan Spector to continue to babble that the folks at these meetings who want their country back are not representative of America is nuts. The system is broken. Congress passes bill they dont read or write ...
special interest write the legislation and write it to maximize profits .. not to maximize service to the people.. the sole role of government ... to serve the people.
end of mindless rant.

Posted by: AmericanSpirit | August 16, 2009 2:12 PM

We liberals have been sold out.

As one who unlike most Americans has lived with cooperatives for about a third of a century and at one time was president of a small water cooperative, I can tell you that they are not governed by their members. Employees and Boards of Directors operate cooperatives for their own benefit. There is no incentive for efficiency. In any but the smallest cooperatives, members do not bother to vote, just think of what percentage of people vote in a national presidential election.

For your education, look up "Whoops" the Washington State cooperative scandal. Time Magazine headlined the story as "The two billion dollar blunder".

Posted by: Desertstraw | August 16, 2009 2:09 PM

Not blame Obama for this mess? If healthcare reform is so importent why does the Adminestration not have a plan? Just like the stimulas plan, no Obama. You may not like Bush or his Social Security Plan, but at least he had a plan. Obama is useless, an empty shirt. As they say in Texas, all hat and no cattle.

Posted by: jdonner2 | August 16, 2009 2:05 PM

Just for clarification:

Amick writes, "When asked if Obama can uphold his campaign pledge to not tax anyone making over $250,000 in personal income when paying for reform, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), head of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he's confident a proposed surtax on the wealthiest Americans will not dip into the middle class."

Wasn't Obama's pledge to not tax anyone making under $250,000 in personal income?

Posted by: footlestool | August 16, 2009 2:02 PM

You can believe that if we go the co-op route, that acorn will be in the insurance business.

Please read the bill, I know it is difficult, it took me 4 days , but there are so many loopholes that congress can do whatever they please.

acorn stands to make millions, healthcare can be rationed,premiums can be baised on age,there is no enforcement to prevent illegals from using the system, etc.

Why are these bills written so that they can later be interpreted anyway that the government pleases?

No matter what our president or members of congress tells us, it is the language of these bills that will be law.

Posted by: rlkidd58 | August 16, 2009 1:57 PM

These co-ops sound like carbon copies of the Fannie/Freddie Ponzi skeem.

They are called "non-profit," yet they lack the oversight mechanisms in a way similar to the mis-managed mortgage groups, and contrary to a would be HHS ran measurable and accountable government program.

Now we know why both sides will be able to agree upon this plan.

Posted by: JR11232 | August 16, 2009 1:57 PM

Thank you grandma and grandpa while I pay for your medicare and can't afford my health insurance, you have the nerve to tell me I shouldn't want the "option" you enjoy at my expense.

Posted by: sondysue819 | August 16, 2009 1:55 PM

The President just was elected to lead us. Now he is abdicating in favour of the insurance companies, those gentle people who gave us credit default swaps and our financial mess. To say I am disappointed in the President and our totally corrupted Congress is understatement. Our revolution was about receiving taxation without representation. "Here we go again!"

Posted by: sailhardy | August 16, 2009 1:53 PM

From Walter Cronkite's people:
"Our most recent poll found that more than eight out of 10 Americans think the U.S. health care system either needs fundamental change or needs to be completely rebuilt," said Sarah Dutton, the head of surveys at CBS News. "Even 70 percent of Republicans feel that way."

A poll at the end of July showed nearly two-thirds of Americans supporting some sort of public option - 66 percent exactly, although fewer Republicans, 49 percent, than Democrats, 85 percent.

Posted by: com1rich | August 16, 2009 1:44 PM

The insurance industry has had a strangle hold on Americans for decades, milking Americans for every penny while using every excuse to deny coverage and drop coverage for the desperately ill. I no more trust the insurance industry than I do the politicians that serve as their lap dogs.

The government would have to have very stringent laws governing the actions of the insurance industry, an industry which, of course, will find all the loop holes to crawl through so as to continue to deny coverage while raising premiums.

The insurance industry cannot be trusted -- nor can the politicians that have been purchased by the industry through "donations."

The whole thing is shameful, but I know that between "Faux" news and the pseudo-journalists like Beck, Limbaugh, and Dobbs, and ignorant extremists like Palin the insurance industry will get what it wants -- which is to continue sticking to the American people while raking in huge profits.

Thank you to all those who have sold their souls to the insurance industry for spreading lies and fear to keep the average American from having decent health care coverage. Thank you for putting your own selfishness before your fellow citizens.

There is a special ring in Dante's Inferno awaiting you....

Posted by: abby0802 | August 16, 2009 1:42 PM

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