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In the Absence of Specifics, 'Public Option' Looms Large

By Dan Balz
It is now clear that the Obama administration did not intend to spark a firestorm of criticism over the public option. A team noted for its discipline during the campaign found itself unexpectedly on the defensive this week trying to explain the inexplicable.

As Obama once said, words matter. When the president, in his weekly radio address on July 18, used the words "must include" in reference to the public insurance option and a final health care package, liberal Democratic lawmakers and legions of Obama's grassroots supporters took him seriously.

They took him seriously because even as the main message on health care shifted from cost containment to attacking insurance companies, the public option remained part of the administration's rhetorical arguments. In both cases, the public option seemed a central weapon to achieve those goals.

When Obama's advisers focused on constraining costs, they pointed to a public option as a way to assure stiff competition for private insurers. A government-run insurance option, they said, would force the insurance companies to find ways to reduce the costs of their own coverage packages.

When administration officials found that the cost-containment message wasn't working as well as hoped, they switched and went after the insurance companies more directly. Opponents of the insurance industry viewed the public option as an the ideal alternative to private insurance and the administration did nothing to dissuade them of that belief. As a result, the public option assumed greater significance in the debate.

Never mind that, at the same time all this was taking place, some administration officials and their legislative allies were sending quiet signals that the public option could be bargained away at the end of the legislative process. Though never explicit, it was widely assumed that the public option was expendable.

At that point in the debate, the administration was most concerned about unrest among Blue Dog Democrats in the House and remained hopeful that some bipartisan consensus could be achieved in the Senate. Giving away the public option seemed an easy move in the complex legislative strategy whose bottom line was to enact something.

The two worlds collided over the weekend when Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggested that the public option wasn't the essential ingredient in a health care package. Close watchers of the debate took that as a more explicit statement of the administration's ultimate legislative trajectory. Obama's liberal loyalists took it as a betrayal of what had been the central element of reform.

One reason the public option has gained so much attention is that it is one of the few concrete components of an otherwise arcane package of reforms. From both sides of the ideological divide, the public option was described with adjectives that inflated its importance in the overall context of health care reform. Opponents tagged it as a government takeover of medical care, while supporters attributed to it powers it could never have.

Obama has talked constantly about the two major objectives of this initiative -- bringing costs under control and expanding coverage to more than 40 million people without insurance. But he's had precious little to offer Americans who wonder exactly how that would work. Because that has proved to be maddeningly difficult, the public option took center stage in a debate that has become increasingly ideological.

The administration has found it difficult to make the case for reform with generalities. And virtually every other provision that has come into public discussion is one that has put the administration on the defensive. The most obvious example are the so-called "death panels" that don't actually exist -- an idea which has required a major effort by the administration to knock down.

What White House officials need is a short list of items to describe how a reformed health care system would operate. That's one reason Obama pushed House and Senate leaders to enact legislation before the August recess, to arm lawmakers with some specifics to sell reform at meetings back home. The longer the legislative environment remains fluid, the fewer specifics advocates have to point to in explaining how the new world may operate.

That's why Obama has been under pressure to be more definitive about what he wants to see in a health care package. The longer he has resisted, the more doubts he has raised about what he stands for. His own supporters have begun to question his convictions and his toughness. The uproar over the public option this week has brought those doubts to the forefront of the debate.

As a candidate, Obama always said the challenge in enacting health care reform was not a lack of blueprints for overhauling the system but the political will to get the job done. But the lack of a blueprint he is willing to embrace has become a growing problem for the president. He has expressed his determination to enact a bill this year, and the odds still favor that, given Democratic majorities in the Congress. Now the question is what he really believes must be included to qualify as real reform.

Posted at 12:13 PM ET on Aug 19, 2009  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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"Public option" = No option = Government run single payer rationing. Government-run single payer does not work, it will not work in America. The liberal fascists are lying. They are using cute word games to try to fool Americans, who are not buying the lies from the Democrat party. Government-run single payer means abortion on demand, paid for by the taxpayer, whenever it's convenient for birth control. Government-run single payer means health care on demand, paid for by the taxpayer, for illegal immigrants,legal immigrants, anyone who can make it across the border. Social Security is bankrupt, Medicare is bankrupt, the US is bankrupt, the states are bankrupt, liberal fascism is bankrupt. We need to split the country and let the liberal fascists build their own Castro/Chavez workers paradise - somewhere else.

Posted by: doctorfixit | August 21, 2009 12:47 AM

We know one thing for certain: The "for profit" model of the last 30 years has been a TOTAL FAILURE. Since the privatization of the Blues back in the 80s, the model of health care has gone from "care" to "profit". The privatization of hospitals has been the same.

We need single payer. It would cut 10 % out of the system immediately (difference between insurance overhead and Medicare overhead). Where is that 10%? The HUGE salaries paid to insurance companies.

After that, paperwork reduction would save an additional 10 %. Finally, physician time in NOT repeatedly begging insurance restrictors from rationing care would save an addition 20%.

There is a lot of fat in the system, based on insurance profits. We need to remove that.

Once that is done, we can reduce physician salaries, and see another huge reduction in system costs.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 20, 2009 11:57 AM

Government-run single payer health care is a disaster that we cannot tolerate in the US. Americans are sick of Democrat lies. Obama cannot bring himself to make a truthful, clear statement on the issue. The solution is obvious: separate the liberal fascists and allow them to relocate to their coastal urban enclaves where they can set up Castro/Chavez worker's paradise. Real Americans can then begin the work of undoing the socialist programs crammed down our throats over the last 70 years.

Posted by: doctorfixit | August 20, 2009 12:30 AM

There are an awful lot of people who repeat the lie that Obama is a liar? The strangest things happen to people when they affiliate with the Republican Party. They think they are the sole purveyors of the truth and that they should kill politicians who do not agree with them. They are a twisted group.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 20, 2009 12:11 AM

Obama will be a one term president if he continues this healthcare fight, Check out this debate blog

http://www.healthcaredebateblog.com/

Posted by: healthcaredebateblog | August 19, 2009 10:59 PM

Talk to your own doctor. Chances are he or she will tell you that they are against Obamacare. Some have worked with the V.A. and have horror stories of the bureaucracy that runs medicine not the other way around. Lazy employees diss the doctors and sit and smile at them in their frustrations. Medicare is a paper blizzard. One doctor said the government can't run anything very well expecially medicine. This is an example: Several weeks into the "cash for clunkers" program it turns out that delivering a couple of billion dollars worth of rebates to hundreds of thousands of car buyers can generate a few flat tires. The Department of Transportation's latest update on the Car Allowance Rebate System shows that the government has received applications for about 412,000 rebates totaling $1.7 billion. But so far, the feds have approved only a fraction of those, leaving dealers furious.

More from U.S. News & World Report

» Cars Hurt the Most By the Recession

» Cars Getting a Boost From the Recession

The Transportation Department won't say exactly what the rejection rate is, but in an Automotive News survey, some dealers said up to 80 percent of their rebate applications had been rejected. Some dealers are waiting for payments totaling as much as $200,000, the survey found. About 13 percent of dealers said they've suspended clunker deals because of red tape and concern about getting paid by the government.

Posted by: mharwick | August 19, 2009 10:50 PM

why not call it what it is?
PUBLIC OPTION gives the impression that its open to the public to choose, choose, choose.

IT IS A GOVERNMENT OPTION.
GOVERNMENT WILL LIMIT YOUR CHOICES AND YOU WILL ABIDE WITHIN THEIR GUIDELINES OR YOU WILL SUFFER INFERIOR HEARLTH CARE, IMO.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | August 19, 2009 10:42 PM

dems - libs - progressives - national socialists - totalitarianism - fascism - nazism.

Easy enough to follow the progression, even for a liberal.

Posted by: FraudObama | August 19, 2009 10:40 PM

Mackey of Whole Foods is being attaked by this administration because he spoke his mind?

people, its time to speak up for free speach before we all lose it.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | August 19, 2009 10:36 PM

attempting to set a new curve with "no public option," just wont wash either.

packaging a new name with the same rotted potatoes inside is still rotted potatoes in new packageing.

do some research on the people now advising obama on this healthcare issue and it all becomes very clear to you.

read their written opinions of the past and you will see that what they are NOW telling you is just to get U-2-sign on the bottom line. after they have you they will EXPLAIN to you what the really meant and how they just discoverd this, that or whatever to justify their ADJUSTED positions.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | August 19, 2009 10:33 PM

Maddawg wrote:
Q – Is it possible to compare today’s Republicans to Nazi Brownshirts?

A – Yes. See below. Also, the organized protests we see not only follow the Nazi scheme, they are sponsored by the insurance companies.

___________________________
I did not realize that the SEIU and Acorn were now called Republicans. As as for sponsorship perhaps you should look into the money Axelrod, Holder and DePerle took from the insurance companies.

Posted by: georgiarat | August 19, 2009 10:33 PM

simply put you cant sell lies no matter how you package it.

you can deceive until the buyer finds out but you never SOLD it because you sold a lie.

obama's "word" is no longer good.
some men you can do business with a handshake.
obama is not one of them.
he will look you in the eye and LIE. THAT'S A DANGEROUS MAN.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | August 19, 2009 10:28 PM

Tough to sell anything when you are deceptive. Barry lies, on many levels, and the aware public is not going to buy his Socialized Pelosi Snake Oil. His sales pitch has been disingenuous, deceptive and incomplete. Sort of like his version of his shady past, philosophy and associations. Barry has no credibility, if in fact he ever did. The "How to Sell" Saul Alinsky playbook isn't cutting it.

Posted by: FraudObama | August 19, 2009 10:26 PM

Posted by: bob59 | August 19, 2009 10:24 PM

"Q - What is the primary hold up of getting national health care reform?

A - More socialist nations that have national health care have a higher average IQ of around 105. The US average IQ is 98."

Um, wrong, maddog. The average IQ of immigrants and their descendants in the US from those nations is still 105, if not somewhat higher. The average IQ of the US is determined by the admixture of whites versus non-whites.

= f(blacks)*85 + f(latino)*87 +f(white)*102 + f(Asian)*105= 97.7.

Just as you say.

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 9:55 PM

Q - What will be the consequences of not passing a single-payer system?

A - If the US, at this time, does not pass a true single-payer system, the US government will be forced to re-imburse private insurers for issuing policies for the uninsured. It won't be too long before health care spending reaches 50% of the economy of more.

Worse, the deficit will balloon into the trillions of dollars and the currency will be worthless.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 9:47 PM

Obama speak unclearly with a particular acuity. Of course, empty words are a step from a lie.

Posted by: nosam32 | August 19, 2009 9:46 PM


Q - What is the primary hold up of getting national health care reform?

A - More socialist nations that have national health care have a higher average IQ of around 105. The US average IQ is 98.

We can only get to a better health care system if the average IQ in America increases. Improving the average IQ of Americans is difficult when Republicans continue to attack our education system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 9:40 PM

In a recent poll 75% of Fox News viewers claim they do not know what is going on!

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 9:39 PM

When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to go.


... Time for you to go ...

Posted by: dgrowe227 | August 19, 2009 9:34 PM

dgrowe227: Thank you for your Kung Fu sermon in praise of the middle path. Now go back to sleep.

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 9:28 PM

It's been amusing to watch both sides of the fringe stirring their teacup tempests.

On the left we have dedicated souls passionately advocating the impossible.

On the right, we have dedicated souls passionately warning of the dangers of the impossible.

And through it all, neither side seems to be aware that they have both been played. Yes, played by an Obama administration whose strategy, all along, has been to "get crazy out of the way of real debate."

You doubt this? Then consider the following:

The adnimistration advocated radical change. It then publicly advocated an accelerated timeline for all this radical change, just to make sure both fringe sides were drawn out.

They have been.

And what is the subject of all this passion, rancour, dis-information and bizzare speculation?

Nothing.

There is no bill. There are no proposed plans concrete enough to merit discussion.

You are all simply being moved back to the fringes you came from in advance. So that when the real work which needs to be done (in the reconciliation process of whatever bill finally emerges) ... can proceed in a more civil manner than what we currently are witnessing.

Enjoy your moment in the mincing steps of the 24-hr news cycle. Those of us in the center, and our President, are taking a longer view.

Posted by: dgrowe227 | August 19, 2009 9:15 PM

Healthcare reform ...

"Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another"

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC))

Posted by: ThePibbster | August 19, 2009 9:12 PM

Words matter, and the sooner they are spoken, the sooner we will get a much needed reform of our messed up FOR PROFIT system.

"Party of NO, fear and hate mongers, racists...shut the f* up and let us intelligent adults do the work necessary to fix the mess you created"

Posted by: mackiejw | August 19, 2009 9:10 PM

Q – Is it possible to compare today’s Republicans to Nazi Brownshirts?

A – Yes. See below. Also, the organized protests we see not only follow the Nazi scheme, they are sponsored by the insurance companies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownshirts

The SA (Brownshirts) carried out numerous acts of violence against socialist groups throughout the 1920s, typically in minor street-fights called Zusammenstöße ('collisions'). As the Nazis evolved from an extremist political party to the unquestioned leaders of the government

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 8:54 PM

SENIORS DON'T TRUST MESSIAH


Flip-flop, don't get pinned down.

When you're 88 years old, someone gives you that PHONY CRAP -- the PHONY is a dead as Bwarney Fwrank's brain.

Keep pushing, Arrogant Rookie. You're making things worse, every day. Do-nothing BSer.

Posted by: russpoter | August 19, 2009 8:48 PM

By SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writer Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 35 mins ago
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's push for a national health care overhaul is providing a financial windfall in the election offseason to Democratic consulting firms that are closely connected to the president and two top advisers.
-----------------------------------------

Is this the change you can believe in, lib-tards?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | August 19, 2009 8:46 PM

w04equals666...Amen to that!

I wish Mr. Balz and the other pundits would get out of their little ego bubbles and start doing some real journalism. It seems all we see is them talking to each other. Who in the h... is out there gathering REAL NEWS to inform the public?

If you want the facts, here....

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/settingtherecord

Posted by: joy2 | August 19, 2009 8:22 PM

THIS IS IT!

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!

SPREAD THE WORD

Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | August 19, 2009 8:18 PM

.
..
...
....
.....
right now...Millions of American citizens have faced REPUBLICAN DEATH PANELS..those death panels are insurance companies refusing to insure Millions of Americans because of pre-existing conditions..THOSE ARE THE GOSH DARNED DEATH PANELS..NOT THAT HORSH THAT PALEN AND THE OTHER BROWNSHIRTS ARE LYING ABOUT..
...
...
AND..
...
...
those DEATH PANELS which are sponsored by the party of american fascism, the republicans..are GUARDED BY THE WORST BUREAUCRATS IN THE WORLD..INSURANCE COMPANY SALESPERSONS, POLICY UNDERWRITERS, AND CLAIM EVALUATERS..
...
...
...
...
DEATH PANELS EXIST TODAY..AND THEIR EXISTENCE IS GUARDED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!
.....
....
...
..
.

Posted by: w04equals666 | August 19, 2009 8:06 PM

I can understand why the Obama administration is avoiding specifics. The minute there is something tangible, some knucklehead like Palin gloms onto it to demagogue the progress. There seems to be a looney-tunes epicenter in the southeastern US.

Is it too late to just let the South secede and form their own country, now that African Americans have civil rights? I think the rest of us would be better off without them. Just let them go on their own evangelical, knuckleheaded way so that they stop holding up progress for the rest of the country.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | August 19, 2009 8:00 PM

Hispana, some of what you said may be true. I have never heard a Native American complain about their health care. I have heard plenty of them complain about our government and our government run Bureau of Indian Affairs. The fact that they were forcefully put on Reservation in the first place, is a travesty in itself. However there are plenty of examples of Universal Health Care in this world, where the beneficiaries are quite happy. Don't forget that The United States ranks thirty seventh in the world in terms of health care. And a majority of the industrialized world have some form of a single payer system that covers all there citizens at about ten percent of there corresponding GDPs. The United States spends 17% of our GDP on healthcare and we still have forty seven million Americans with no health insurance what so ever. Never mind all those Americans who don't realize how inadequate there health insurance really is.

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 8:00 PM

Republicans adopt Nazi brownshirt tactics

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23170

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 7:58 PM

Q - Why do you fear your country?

A - I am fearful as they have permitted many to go uninsured and forced phony wars upon us, along with illegal spying.

Americans must take their country back with the public option in health care insurance.

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 7:54 PM

Why can't Native Americans (wherever they reside) receive the same high quality care that Congress currently enjoys?
======================================
This is being fought for as we speak by the indian nation. And I agree. What is happening to them is terrible and that is my point on extending similar programs through the public option. We need to fix first what is broken.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 7:49 PM

The dream of everyone is to become a bureaucrat, sit behind a counter and have power over thoses lining up in front of same.

The fate of most everyone is standing in front of the counter and being helpless.

I feel very sure that you enjoyed your "managerial" 30+ years of work for the Government.
=====================================
Anne12,

One last comment that I will make is that I mentioned my work experience in the federal government in the Social Security Administration as a way to explain that I had good experience first hand with how a federal agency operates and the problems faced with the health insurance that during my time were administered by this administration.

And my travels back and forth have shown me pretty clearly how these governments operate on their health care.

I enjoyed tremendously my job as a Manager, took good care of my employees and now enjoy a decent retirement that I earned through my hard work. And this is not bragging. For you see, everyone here in this country has an opportunity to do the same. I have seen many things through my years of work and know in my heart that the public option is not the best option to resolve our problems.

Let's continue to read and get educated and more than anything read whatever is the final result of this legislation and voice our protests if we disagree.

That is why America is the best nation in the world!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 7:45 PM

Why can't Native Americans (wherever they reside) receive the same high quality care that Congress currently enjoys?

Posted by: dollyq | August 19, 2009 7:43 PM


You say,

"Opponents tagged it as a government takeover of medical care, while supporters attributed to it powers it could never have."

What power does a public-supported medical care option have? It can provide critical health care (delivered in a timely way--a stitch in time saves nine...), and it can provide peace of mind. You need never worry again that a profit-driven company will take every dime you have.

This is powerful medicine, a transcending power indeeed.

Posted by: Hannalee | August 19, 2009 7:36 PM

In regards to the Indians on the reservation having universal health care and that universal health care not being very good: Nuts! First of all they are native Americans. Second of all, if they didn't have universal health care most them wouldn't possibly be able to afford private health care insurance. Where have you been? Why don't you try reading "Bury my heart at Wounded knee"?

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 7:15 PM
=======================================
Evidently you failed to understand my point. Our american indians who mostly live in reservations ( see the studies in South Dakota) receive federal health care based upon treaties with this population.

The sad truth is that this health care is not good or efficient and needs major access and improvement.

And this service is a point of comparison that does not speak well of expanding the federal agencies to offer a public option, when its service is so poor.

Hoping that this clarifies your issue.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 7:31 PM

In regards to Tommyk63; What part of forty seven million "Americans" do you not get? What does it matter how you divide them up? With a single payer health care system, everybody with a job would be paying in, just like medicare taxes. The amount you pay would be progressive, depending upon your income. Say, ten percent of the forty seven million uninsured are unemployeed, that still leaves forty two million people paying for health care that are not paying anything now. People need help and our current system is bankrupting our populace. Have you noticed what your health insurance premiums have done over the last eight years?

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 7:30 PM

Wow, Espana, now this is a spelling contest.

In everyone of your posts you repeat the story of your 30+ YEARS OF MANAGERIAL DUTIES for Medicar , SS etc. It is getting boring. Just say that you have been a bureaucrat for over 30 years.

Your being well travelled, Canada, the Carribean, Europe, and having gotten a "taste" for how these governments work is just plain silly. One has to live in a country for a few years to really understand the intricacies of their kind of government.

Furthermore, Canada as well as the European countries have a Parliamentary System (and my deary, I still spell the British way. Legislation there could not be held up by a few against a simple majority vote.

As to bureaucrat, ther is an age old saying in Germany:

The dream of everyone is to become a bureaucrat, sit behind a counter and have power over thoses lining up in front of same.

The fate of most everyone is standing in front of the counter and being helpless.

I feel very sure that you enjoyed your "managerial" 30+ years of work for the Government.

Posted by: Anne12 | August 19, 2009 7:27 PM

The house bill is H.R. 3200-IH

The IH stands for introduced in House.

The committees got done with it and it has been introduced in the house and will come up for vote in the house.

There is also the Senate bill, which is not complete, and is in committee. Once it is complete, the Senate will vote.

If both bills pass it goes to Committe again where the two versions are merged and anything can change. It then becomes law.

Please go refresh your memory on how a bill is written in and becomes law.

>>>>>Posted by: Anne12 THE house proposal is an imagination of yours, since there are several on the table. They have not yet come up with ONE proposed bill before the August recess, remember?

Get informed, then you might be able to come up with a constructive comment.

Posted by: win1 | August 19, 2009 7:27 PM

tommyk63,

Very wise comment and I agree with you 100%. We can help this population that is in real need of healthcare without major fundamental changes altering the fabric of our society.

I also speculate about what is the real motivation of Obama behind this proposal. I can't believe that if you and I come to this conclusion, where are the studies that support the figures spread by the President and cohorts.

Is it perhaps a need to transform our society into a socialized country? Beware because once we move into this plan, it will be almost impossible to backtrack from such a system as it has happened in England.

Also, the stats around the illegal population is way under reported and it needs further study. My speculation is that they exceed 20 million and growing. This needs URGENT addressing before it explodes. And this nation needs to face the fact that laws need to be enforced and we cannot allow everyone in this country. Our health insurance is being transformed to pay for illegals in this country at the expense of our seniors and this is not just!!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 7:24 PM

A government program is only as good as it is designed and operated to be. You find some government programs are lousy? How about the U.S. Marine Corps? Pretty good, I'd say. Department of Motor Vehicles? Not good. Veterans Administration? Had been bad. Now is good. If Congress would stop yammering about high concepts such as what the American people (read: members of Congress) want and what absolutely won't work and start working on what will work and how it can be made to work then members of Congress will start earning their fat paychecks, great benefits, and valuable associations with powerful, monied people.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 19, 2009 7:21 PM

The dishonest dumbo can't be concise, because he can't afford to tell the people the truth.
he wants to trash the best health care system in the world and create a Kremlin like Commissar, er Commissioner who is autocratic, exempt from judicial review and who will have the IRS enforcing his regulations.
We don't need it, don't want it, and the dumbas$ in the White House, along with his corrupt, sewer dwelling party leeches need to understand that.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 19, 2009 7:20 PM

In regards to the Indians on the reservation having universal health care and that universal health care not being very good: Nuts! First of all they are native Americans. Second of all, if they didn't have universal health care most them wouldn't possibly be able to afford private health care insurance. Where have you been? Why don't you try reading "Bury my heart at Wounded knee"?

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 7:15 PM

It’s essential to thoroughly examine the root of the so called healthcare crisis - the 47 million uninsured. This ground zero statistic for the current debate is deeply misleading if not outright dishonest. Lets break it up into five buckets, and although there is no agreed upon consensus for the exact numbers that follow, the fact that these five buckets exist is enough to prove an important point.
The first large group within this 47 million uninsured is people who can afford health insurance and simply choose not to. They either pay for services when needed or have other reasons. So if a person owns two color TVs and a late model car and doesn’t want to buy health insurance, we can debate his personal financial planning choices, but it is very misleading to count this group as part of the “crisis”. The next group is people who are in job transitions and will likely get insurance when subsequently employed, or people who are expected to purchase health insurance in a reasonably near-term time frame. The 47 million uninsured number is not a snapshot in time, but a cumulative estimate based on annual figures. Once again, these should not be included as part of the crisis. The third bucket are people who are already currently eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or other government health benefits but have not signed up or are not aware of current programs that can help them. So the government is essentially already covering this group. The fourth bucket includes undocumented workers which are estimated to be as high as 12 million people. Illegal immigration is an important debate to have, but is largely unrelated to the current healthcare reform debate. With this administration running up trillion dollar budget deficits, I don’t believe there is much appetite among the American taxpayer to provide healthcare insurance for people who have broken federal law and entered this country illegally. That leaves the 5th bucket, the true root of the healthcare crisis – people that cannot afford health insurance and genuinely need our help. The numbers in this bucket varies widely but estimates usually fall below 10 million people. So how do we help these people? What we do not do is radically change our total healthcare system through massive Federal government intervention that will cost trillions of dollars in order to help less than 5% of the population.

Posted by: tommyk63 | August 19, 2009 7:10 PM

In regards to Hurt2008 and his reference to Krauthammer's solution of taxing employer based health care benefits. Nuts! It doesn't make any sense. Krauthammer suggest that we tax the employer based health care benefits, then send the money back to the employee in the form of a rebate check from the government. So that said employee can go out an use his rebate check to buy health insurance. First of all you could only use this option once, because once you went out and bought your own insurance with your rebate check you would no longer be on the company health benefit plan. Second if you were no longer on the company health benefit plan the government could no longer tax your company on it. Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh! Who in their right minds wants there health benefits taxed? We are trying to get more people covered and take some of the burden off of the individuals and the employers. Not increase this burden. Third: what makes you think that an individual is going to have the bargaining and purchasing power of even a small company. He or she is not, and is going to have to pay even more for an equivalent policy. Individuals pay the worst rates for insurance and the uninsured pay the worst rates for medical and dental care. And please don't forget that illness and injury are the number one cause of bankruptcy in America. Medicare works! Everybody pays in, nobody gets left out. I would gladly pay a higher medicare tax, if it meant that I would have health care coverage. People with more money can buy additional insurance for cosmetics and elective surgery, if they so chose. It wouldn't be against the law and it wouldn't be taxed!

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 7:02 PM

I love the latest White House line: "We're noy gonna let some Washington bureaucrat get between you and your doctor."

Would that bureaucrat you bash happen to be one of your employees, Mr. President?

Posted by: capsfan77 | August 19, 2009 7:01 PM

If there was a ground swell of opposition to Universal Health Care in Britain (or anywhere else for that matter) Why are mainstream Conservative Tories including Cameron Pledging their "100% support for the system" and falling over themselves to distance themselves from the American GOP -- go look that up. (in the British Press)
========================================
I invite you to also read further about Mr. Hannan and his efforts to change the medical system in England and the opposition created by the enormous bureaucracy this system created which occupies a great deal of managerial positions making decisions with very few doctors. And in the mean time, the patients and people seeking medical care suffer. The seniors in this country are not happy campers.

You did not quote my point on healthcare of our own american indians and the poor health care administered to them by the federal government based on their treaties. I invite you to read on this also and then let me know if it will be worthy to expand this to the rest of the population.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 6:58 PM

I won't QUICKLY "change my tune"... I will help lead the charge against ANY politician in the coming elections for YEARS that that gives MY MONEY to Illegal Aliens, abortions , anchor babies , withdrawing care from Granny and giving it to illegals , mandatory organ harvesting ... OR supports EMINENT DOMAIN ! That's not the "HOPE AND CHANGE " you're going to get. GET OVER IT ! Your "Terrorist In Cheif " was mistaken when he thought he could let MEXICO pour in carrying his manufactured SWINE FLU and expect we're going to roll over and play dead ... bit off a little more than they could chew.

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 19, 2009 6:54 PM

Wow! In regards to Anne12. You must have done pretty well working for the government all those years in order to put two kids through law school. I bet that government job had great health care benefits as well. Let me guess. Your husband is a health insurance company executive? What's the matter? Are you feeling a little insecure and possessive of your entitlements?

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 6:23 PM
===================================
So, what is it with some of you? Is it so difficult to see a well educated Hispanic in this country? I have 3 beautiful children and together with my husband, another federal Manager, worked hard to put our children through school and help them be the professionals they are today.

I love this country for the opportunities that it gives us to work hard and earn a living and aspire to have a decent retirement. My health care is very important to me in our golden years and I certainly will voice my opinion, specially when I see the atrocity that this President wants to foist on us. And I am not a freeloader, nor one that wants to live off the government because what my husband and I achieved you are not going to take away.

I believe in being compassionate but everything with reason and certainly we have ways to help the truly needed without changing the core values that we treasure in this beautiful country of ours!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 6:49 PM

Conservatives. ALL of our major ALLIES have universal Health Care. ALL OF THEM. Australia, Britain, Germany, Israel, etc.

Do they ALL have "evil" systems.

Why does that fact mean NOTHING to right wingers?
========================================
Why don't you try to listen to Daniel Hannan, British and Member of the European Parliament who has spoken very clearly about the major pitfalls of the british healthcare system and about what an enormous bureaucracy it has become

-------------------------------------------

If there was a ground swell of opposition to Universal Health Care in Britain (or anywhere else for that matter) Why are mainstream Conservative Tories including Cameron Pledging their "100% support for the system" and falling over themselves to distance themselves from the American GOP -- go look that up. (in the British Press)

You can always find a people who have had bad experiences wit any system. BTW have you every had to call your insurance company about a mistake on billing??

Posted by: case3 | August 19, 2009 6:41 PM

Hispana

You show, by saying that you have read
THE House proposal on healthcare reform, that you are ideed completely uninformed, and that as a supposedly 30+ year of managerial duties in Medicar and SS, whatever that is. (people seem to make up a lot of their curriculum vitea in the anomymity of the internet)

THE house proposal is an imagination of yours, since there are several on the table. They have not yet come up with ONE proposed bill before the August recess, remember?

Get informed, then you might be able to come up with a constructive comment.
=========================================
Please check your spellings and typing before you comment on my opinions. I do have a version of the House proposal which is being given out by the Congressmen in their Townhall visits and they are available at their offices. And I would not repeat further what I have stated. You could do YOURSELF a favor by reading and getting educated on the issues before critisizing others.

Before commenting here I read, spoke to my lawyer children and got their interpretation of the various sections on the proposals and about the federal government I have 30+years of very successful employment and experience in what works and what doesn't to allow me to state my opinion about NO for a public option.

In addition I am well travelled in the Caribbean, Europe and Canada and have a taste for how these governments work.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 6:37 PM

Call it what it is - rationing.

Posted by: dollyq | August 19, 2009 6:32 PM

Hispana

You show, by saying that you have read
THE House proposal on healthcare reform, that you are ideed completely uninformed, and that as a supposedly 30+ year of managerial duties in Medicar and SS, whatever that is. (people seem to make up a lot of their curriculum vitea in the anomymity of the internet)

THE house proposal is an imagination of yours, since there are several on the table. They have not yet come up with ONE proposed bill before the August recess, remember?

Get informed, then you might be able to come up with a constructive comment.

Posted by: Anne12 | August 19, 2009 6:27 PM

Wow! In regards to Anne12. You must have done pretty well working for the government all those years in order to put two kids through law school. I bet that government job had great health care benefits as well. Let me guess. Your husband is a health insurance company executive? What's the matter? Are you feeling a little insecure and possessive of your entitlements?

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 6:23 PM

If we are serious about health care reform, here are two articles. A reform that can combine the ideas in those two articles will make every body happy on this planet, liberals and conservatives alike. Thanks

Health-Care Reform: A Better Plan
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 7, 2009
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/06/AR2009080602933.html


It's Time to Give Up On the Public Option
By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/18/AR2009081803449.html?hpid=topnews


Posted by: Hurt2008 | August 19, 2009 6:13 PM

Ignorance must be blissful, it seems abundant this summer on health insurance.
I did not vote for "more of the same". I voted against it.
A handful of vocal, intense partisans at town hall meetings have owned the national media. They have captured Chuck Grassley and are holding him hostage. Grassley, now terrified at the thought of losing a Republican Primary in Iowa has sold the country out. Enough, Senator, you know better than this and so do we.
Let's put a good bill in the hopper in the Senate and see if the Republicans would actually filibuster healthcare reform. Let's name some conferees with guts and test the system.
If we do not seize this moment to change the old politics of destruction, why did we bother to elect a super majority for a new order.
The "Gang of Six" is a ruinous mess. Let Conrad and Baucus vote no. Let's see if Snowe and Enzi and Collins want to be held responsible for killing reform. Give them the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with John Ensign and David Vitter.
What a disgrace! This country is not comprised of a large number of people who would hold up Swastikas while carrying loaded handguns at a presidential event. They are only an unfortunate consequence of a free society.

Posted by: MikeKelly45 | August 19, 2009 6:10 PM

A Government that does not take care of it's most needy can hardly be considered JUST.
=================================
Anne12,

I am in favor of trying to cover as many truly needed individuals in our society, which after the inflated figures of Obama, we can bring it down to 10-11 million people, and we can do it by attacking the systemic problems that we have with our medical system and the federal programs such as MEDICARE, SSI, MEDICAID. (See my previously stated recommendations), but I am totally against a total overhaul of our current system such as opting for this public option or co-ops.

I have 30+years of government managerial experience and knowledge of MEDICARE and SSI in the Social Security Administration and real experiences opened my eyes. A lot of you are dreamers and idealists that think that a centralized agency with the given powers that this legislation will give, will result in optimal care.

Well, my experience in this government world tells me: HELL NO!!!

And I have a copy of the House proposal and read it and had 2 of my children lawyers read it and they have agreed that this legislation is risky and quite dangerous to our population.

No, I don't express my opinion without informing myself. Further I was a participant of a telephone Town Hall with Elijah Cummings and he could not answer a great majority of intelligent questions presented by the audience and expects us to give him our trust. He was not even well read on the different sections on this proposal as the participants were educating him. Is this what you expect we will follow?

No, DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the great majority of protesters who have taken steps to read, get informed and question the many areas that do not make sense in this legislation.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 6:02 PM

Dr. Dean is a true champion of the little guy and gal. I, too, support a single payer health care system, where everybody pays in, and nobody gets left out. I don't want to find myself denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition or have my health insurance policy cancelled by some health insurance company employee, who is paid to find reasons to cancel insurance policies on individuals who become sick or injured. These practices are rampant in the health insurance business. Employers often use the threat of lost health insurance as a club against disgruntled employees. Just imagine; Medicare for all! No more worries about having your policy cancelled or astronomical premiums and co-pays. Individuals, families, and small business will actually be able to afford health care. I would gladly pay higher medicare taxes, if it meant that I would have health care coverage. Where are your premiums headed lately? Just imagine, if your employer could give you half the money he/she spent on health insurance, in the form of a pay raise. With two hundred million Americans participating, now, there is stimulus spending for you.

Posted by: Fascistfighter | August 19, 2009 5:59 PM

During his his campaign Obama said that all Americans should be able to have the same insurance that members of congress have (which is mostly paid for by the American taxpayer)?

There it is: One talking point

Posted by: JAH3 | August 19, 2009 5:59 PM

I'm surprised that Adam Curtis's latest documentary "The Trap" hasn't caught fire during the debate over ObamaCare.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trap_%28television_documentary_series%29

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 5:49 PM

Let's just remember that thiis bogus administration is just an amalgamte of FRAUD, DECEPTION, DISHONESTY...in others words a total dis[play of CORRUPTION.____

They are giving 'new names',...new terminology,...neo-semantics,.. to hide truth and perpetuate liying to the american people.____

The 'co-op' new nomenclature is just another attempt to misguide the electorate ....however americans are smart, inquisitive, and cannot longer to be deceived / under the 'spell' by the pseudo-hypnotic influence that once was.____

As long contorl of services, drugs, procedures, medical guidelines are in governental arena that is GOVERNMENT POWER GRASP.So,this so called 'co-op' aproach is the same CONTROL WITH ANOTHER NAME.____

The scenario, the effects and the by-products coming from this 'HEALTH CARE PLAN' REMAINS THE SAME . CO-OP = GOVERNMENT OPTION = GOVERNEMNT CONTROL = SOCIALIST AGENDA = LOSS OF THE AMERICAN FREEDOM____

BESIDE THE ECONOMICAL BURDEN....WHAT ELSE THIS SO CALLED HEALTH PLAN OFFERS?____

ABORTION,EUTHANASIA,GENOCIDE___'HEALTH PLAN'....WHAT KIND OF PLAN ?...(something hidden?)

If interested, anyone can go into READ, RESEARCH, INVESTIGATE, AND - 'read between' the lines'....and ultimtely ANALYZE, in multiangular way, this monstruosity of proposal.....you may find that the so called 'reform' vectorize promotional roads to ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, AND GENOCIDE. Strange right ?____

The final result is but one thing, VIRTUAL COMPLETE STERILIZATION ON USA POPULATION.

We can go even further , but this , in short for now.____

And how your day is going so far ?

Daniel Cabrera,
Merrillville,indiana

Posted by: morcab | August 19, 2009 5:48 PM

Words matter, of course, but the administration shows its contempt for the folks by assuming that a different way of saying it is all that's needed. What's really seems to be happening is that the country is rejecting a headlong, politically driven race to intrude into our personal lives and reorder an enormous chunk of the American economy in the process--all in the name of universal coverage for a distinct minority that may not even want to be covered.

Only an academic of rarefied conceit would think that Congress could do this well or that it could be turned over to another incompetent federal bureaucracy with anything other than disastrous consequences.

Posted by: LHS2 | August 19, 2009 5:43 PM

Conservatives. ALL of our major ALLIES have universal Health Care. ALL OF THEM. Australia, Britain, Germany, Israel, etc.

Do they ALL have "evil" systems.

Why does that fact mean NOTHING to right wingers?
========================================
Why don't you try to listen to Daniel Hannan, British and Member of the European Parliament who has spoken very clearly about the major pitfalls of the british healthcare system and about what an enormous bureaucracy it has become delivering poor service, specifically to the elderly and the difficulties they are encountering in trying to change this system because of the amount of people they employee, mostly Managers and not medical personnel. Please do a bit of research on this.

And further, take a look at the indian reservations in South Dakota and their federal health care and the enormous problems they have with rationing of care. They claim that "you cannot afford to get sick after June, because you will not be taken care of". And you want such a system to be expanded to cover all in this country?

Please read and investigate!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 5:40 PM

Words matter, esp. in a country so full of imbeciles who fall so easily for every scare tactic in the book. It's like we've become the United States of Stupidity.

Posted by: booger1 | August 19, 2009 5:39 PM

Maddogg: I'm too lazy to click on your link. Suppose you summarize it for us.

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 5:37 PM

White Supremacists and their fellow Republicans are mad:

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23170

Posted by: Maddogg | August 19, 2009 5:34 PM

case3: Define universal. Define health care. Who benefits? Who Pays?

Lord, deliver us all from Post Office & DMV quality medical care.

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 5:34 PM

Conservatives. ALL of our major ALLIES have universal Health Care. ALL OF THEM. Australia, Britain, Germany, Israel, etc.

Do they ALL have "evil" systems.

Why does that fact mean NOTHING to right wingers?

Posted by: case3 | August 19, 2009 5:18 PM

"Does not the Pledge of Allegance that I swore when becoming a citizen of the US say at the end: AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.?

A Government that does not take care of it's most needy can hardly be considered JUST."

***************************************************

Hogwash! it is not my responsibility to pay for others. Justice . . . my backside, try individual responsibility.

Posted by: rplat | August 19, 2009 5:18 PM

The Democrats and supporters of the public option repeatedly say things that are not in the bill.

Such as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee does not affect anything but the public option. Sec. 134 states that it applies only to the extent decided by the Commissioner.

Posted by: win1 | August 19, 2009 5:17 PM

It doesn't take much common sense to get skeptical about Obama's plan for healthcare. For one, every time Obama or someone in Congress talks about getting insurance for "46 million uninsured" in this country, they haven't realized that sounds like illegals are getting covered. Why? Because the 46 million number includes illegals. (factcheck.org confirms this fact) As well, even if the bills don't specifically state that illegals will get subsidies, they'll still be allowed to get treatment in emergency rooms - essentially a back-door subsidy.

How many times did we hear "if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance"? Now we recognize that is not a promise the president could ever keep.

Everyone wonders, if we can cut $500 billion in waste, fraud and abuse from the Medicare system, why aren't we already doing that???? And we all recognize, too, why would we want to (basically) expand Medicare, when Medicare as it currently stands will be bankrupt by 2017?

It doesn't take much intellect to raise these as-yet-unanswered questions. Unfortunately, the media is focusing on the few nut-jobs out there and saying this defines the opposition, when that couldn't be further from the truth.

Posted by: boosterprez | August 19, 2009 5:15 PM

The news just keeps getting BETTER and BETTER!!!

"The percentage of Americans who hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday."

Posted by: LoonyLeft | August 19, 2009 5:13 PM

Stix is drawing from Steve Sailer's brilliant book 'America's Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama's "Story of Race and Inheritance",' the only truthful examination of Barack Obama's autobiography to appear during the election season. Steve is no birther: in fact, in the his book he discredits the claim that Obama is not a US citizen quite handily. The thing about Steve is that, since the left can't denounce him as a kook, they simply ignore his consistently brilliant, highly empirical stuff.

http://www.lulu.com/content/4576443

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 5:13 PM

Obama's father notes the African traditional concept of socialism is incompatible with private property and urges confiscation of private property........

this undoubetly had an influence on Obama's mother, (who presumably talked with Obama's father), and through the Mother directly to our Obama

this will confrim many aspects of the Obama worldview analysis which were unverified.......

ProCounsul

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 5:13 PM

Good lord, the people in this White House must be psychopathic liars and/or the dumbest organisms on the face of the planet. I don’t believe any of them have the slightest idea what the problems are and they certainly don’t have a clue on how to solve them. The Public Option is only part of the problem with this socialistic aberration and it is separate and distinctly different from the serious problems of rationing and denied care that will face our seniors. This administration makes the “Keystone Cops” look like a well planned, perfectly orchestrated affair. This country is going down the sewer at warp speed and the legislative and executive branches don’t even know where the sewer is located. Somebody had better scream for help because left to their own resources these fools will destroy us.

Posted by: rplat | August 19, 2009 5:12 PM

Hispana, you are repeating the absurd argument that a overhaul of of the broken US healthcare system would involve lack of care for end of life patients.

There was a suggestion of Medicare paid, voluntary end of live counseling by a physician of your choice which then became the Palinism of "death panels".

In the snearingly considered "soccialist" healthcare systems of Europe or Canada, nobody pulls the plug on grandma or grandpa. There are though patients such as my father, diagnosed with cancer and a max of two months to live, that like to talk all of their decisions over with their physician while they are still in possession of their mental capacity. He lived and died in Germany (with their oh so awful socialized system) having decided to spend his last two months at home and dying in his own bed, surrounded by family and not being hooked up to tubes and surrounded by strangers.

I do not think he ever thought of the enormous savings for the public system by not being in a hospital, undergoing numerous tests and treatment, again and again, that might have prolonged his life by a couple of weeks or not at all.

But that is exactly what is being done in the US hospitals, test upon test that will not improve the quality or length of live of those with a terminal illnes , but fills the coffers of the hospital and doctors doing or reading the tests.

I find the rumour mill doing the round in arch conservative circles shameful, despite the fact of belonging to the so called rich, whose taxes need to be raised to help others those less fortunate.

Does not the Pledge of Allegance that I swore when becoming a citizen of the US say at the end: AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.?

A Government that does not take care of it's most needy can hardly be considered JUST.

Posted by: Anne12 | August 19, 2009 5:10 PM

This Republican family LOVES our "socialized medicine" - Medicare!
And we support the Public Option!

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 5:09 PM

Helloooo!
This article was written by Obama's FATHER in 1965!
Unless you think Pres. Obama could have written it when he was 4 years old.
http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 5:07 PM

ProCounsul--how did we miss this--cnsdr asigning a monitor for politico

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 5:05 PM

Obama's Mother CHOSE Barak Obama, presumably she was attracted to his ideas as expressed in this article

then Obama's Mother CHOSE to raise Obama

in a Moslem culture

in a Moslem Country

with a Moslem husband

and all the shrinks will testify to the predominant effect of the Mother......

Consider the opposite--

Moses (in the Bible) was only with his mother while he was weaned........yet he identified himself with Israel though raised

in Pharaoh's house

by Pharaoh's daughter..

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 5:04 PM

The fact that 47 million Americans with no health insurance doesn't bother many conservatives is very telling.

Also calling Universal Health Care Nazism when ISRAEL has universal health care is idiotic!!

Posted by: case3 | August 19, 2009 5:02 PM

Schumer suggested that the public option meet the same rules, regulations and laws as private plans, along with state laws.
Apparently that isn't there, instead the bill mandates to the private insurance.

As long as there is a Health Benefit Advisory Committee the bill needs to go. Even the bill puts the cost of prenancy and well baby care on everyone, including men and older people.

The bill doesn't require non-resident aliens to get health insurance, or those illegally here either. So I guess that is why there is so much funding for community health centers, and diversity training, and liguistic services, and all that.

If they actually fixed the bill to take the stuff that is not absoulutely necessary out, people might support it.

Now they don't because it is agenda driven power grab.

Posted by: win1 | August 19, 2009 5:01 PM

Posted by: billisnice | August 19, 2009 4:58 PM

I do not see how this country can favor those getting tax free employer health benefits while those not getting those benefits suffer.

Those people pay $15 (next to nothing - I pay $100 or more) to see a doctor. They get employer subsidized health care. And what they do pay per paycheck is tax free.

That is disgusting.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 19, 2009 4:58 PM

EnemyOfTheState---

have you READ the article??

Don't worry--you will SOON be geting ALL the salient summaries.....

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:57 PM


Thanks for the private message...

the cite of Obama's fathers Socialist article is

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:48 PM

--------------------------------------------

You wingers are unbelievable. You want to judge Obama by the Father who abandoned him as a baby? - He only spent 3 weeks with him at the age of 10. Then never again in his life.

I barely knew my father.. if someone judge me by his words, I would have some not so diplomatic choice words for that person.

Posted by: case3 | August 19, 2009 4:57 PM

well Obama is a chip off the old block.........

the article acknowledges no reason NOT to tax at 100%

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:55 PM


The US Government has run Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security into the ground. VA hospitals and Public health Service hospitals are pathetic. Hospitals on Indian reservations are close to third world in quality.

Now Obama, Reid, & Pelosi say—gee, the Government has done such a good job with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security we want to take over the whole health care industry.

Can you say STUPID IDEA.

By the way, there won’t be any “death panels.” Obama is smart enough to call them something else, something that sounds benign. Still, there will be groups of doctors and bureaucrats whose main job is to decide whether your life is worth saving. Are you cost effective?

Posted by: FredChatard | August 19, 2009 4:55 PM

supporter of the administration that i am, i must say i am appalled at how seemingly unprepared for the debate the administration was, and how verbally inept they have been at presenting health insurance reform to the public. after all, it's not like we haven't been through this exact same debate before.

all the arguments the right-wing opponents are making this time are the same ones they made last time. for a usually savvy group of people, the administration blew the health care reform presentation big time. it's like they weren't prepared for any of the old arguments. at least up to now.

we'll see if they can reform their presentation going forward.

Posted by: dlopata | August 19, 2009 4:50 PM

From Nicholas Stix:

"As “Obama” has himself testified, he got his “dreams”—our nightmares—from his father. What the son neglected to mention was that although the father had a Harvard M.S. in economics, he was a racist and an economic illiterate. In the father’s 1965 racial socialist economics manifesto, “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” he called on the Kenyan government to seize all white and Asian-owned property, and implied that all government action must be based on the goal of dispossessing, robbing, and generally harming all whites and Asians (Indians), and giving all power to blacks. Since the son knows he can’t seize whites’ property directly, he plans to do so through confiscatory taxes to pay for racial socialist schemes in education and health care, whereby he forces American whites to fund their own dispossession."
_________________________________________________________

Makes those "Birther" conspiracy nut-jobs look sane!

Posted by: chris30338 | August 19, 2009 4:50 PM

Shortening up the health reform message was exactly Bill O'Reilly's recommendation on his show 3 days ago.

Don't tell me !! Fox just bought WaPo ??

Posted by: bandcyuk | August 19, 2009 4:50 PM

Thanks for the private message...

the cite of Obama's fathers Socialist article is

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:48 PM

From Nicholas Stix:

"As “Obama” has himself testified, he got his “dreams”—our nightmares—from his father. What the son neglected to mention was that although the father had a Harvard M.S. in economics, he was a racist and an economic illiterate. In the father’s 1965 racial socialist economics manifesto, “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” he called on the Kenyan government to seize all white and Asian-owned property, and implied that all government action must be based on the goal of dispossessing, robbing, and generally harming all whites and Asians (Indians), and giving all power to blacks. Since the son knows he can’t seize whites’ property directly, he plans to do so through confiscatory taxes to pay for racial socialist schemes in education and health care, whereby he forces American whites to fund their own dispossession."
============================
These absurd allegations and conspiracy hacks are why intelligent conversation with the right is all but impossible.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | August 19, 2009 4:46 PM


Posted by: bob59
One word describes socialized medicine: Rationing.

CHRIS SAYS: REALLY??? Have you ever used a private self-payer health care plan? Apparently not.

Posted by: bob59
Socialized medicine has been tried and has failed globally.

CHRIS SAYS: REALLY??? Where? Show me one country poll where the people suffering under "socialized" medicine want our system? Show me just one poll. Here, I'll even show you mine if you show me yours. Poll regarding those poor suffering folks in Canada. QUOTE: The poll, by Angus Reid Strategies, found that 65 percent of Canadians have a "very positive" or "moderately positive" impression of single-payer health care in their country. A whopping 79 percent of Canadians have a negative opinion of health care in "the States."UNQUOTE Here's the link:http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/175523.asp

Posted by: bob59
We need reform of the private system that addresses malpractice lawsuits and fosters competition, like allowing people to buy insurance across state lines.

CHRIS SAYS: Some states already have tort reform and it has not lowered costs. Name me one where it has? Buying insurance across state lines won't work either. Compare private insurance costs in CA and ND; there's no difference although one is far larger than the other.

Posted by: bob59
Let's improve what's working.

CHRIS SAYS: If you're self insured it isn't working. If you are unemployed, it isn't working. If you have pre-existing conditions and self employed, it isn't working.

Posted by: chris30338 | August 19, 2009 4:44 PM

Nicholas Stix:

Do you have a web address for "Problems Facing Our Socialism,”

I could put that to GREAT use....

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:44 PM

Guys, guys...... It's August 19th, not September. The duly elected Government of the 'United States' will implement needed changes to health care reform. Just as sure as the last 'duly' elected government did not.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | August 19, 2009 4:42 PM

From Nicholas Stix:

"As “Obama” has himself testified, he got his “dreams”—our nightmares—from his father. What the son neglected to mention was that although the father had a Harvard M.S. in economics, he was a racist and an economic illiterate. In the father’s 1965 racial socialist economics manifesto, “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” he called on the Kenyan government to seize all white and Asian-owned property, and implied that all government action must be based on the goal of dispossessing, robbing, and generally harming all whites and Asians (Indians), and giving all power to blacks. Since the son knows he can’t seize whites’ property directly, he plans to do so through confiscatory taxes to pay for racial socialist schemes in education and health care, whereby he forces American whites to fund their own dispossession."

So that's what ObamaCare is all about, Charlie Brown.

Posted by: greg3 | August 19, 2009 4:37 PM

The problem with the message is that they aren't telling the truth about their intentions and if they did there is no way it would pass. The elephant in the room nobody on the left will address is that the whole thing is a Trojan Horse (talk about mixed metaphors!) They won't admit that their goal is a European Style Government monopoly and single payer system. Americans don't want that but the effete liberals know better, you see, and they just can't trust some citizen to make important decisions about running his own personal life, you know. So they bounce from focused grouped lingo to more focused grouped lingo and none of it is working because you can't put lipstick on a pig (more mixing) and call it a beautiful woman. Obama just can't bring himself to be truthful so the message doesn't ring and never will. Next we hear he is going to lecture us on morality and tell us it is a moral imperative. That pitch won't last long, either.

Posted by: beachbum09 | August 19, 2009 4:36 PM

Bob59 wrote...
Socialized medicine has been tried and has failed globally.

Really?

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | August 19, 2009 4:34 PM

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:14 PM
* TORT reform – a real driver of costs!
CHRIS SAYS: And it doesn't work. Texas and some other states have tort reform and it hasn't resulted in lower costs.

* Health Savings Accounts to allow individuals to at least be partially responsible for their OWN health care.
CHRIS SAYS: These already exist (many banks offer them). Doesn't really help if you're unemployed.

* Inter-border health insurance sales
CHRIS SAYS: Also won't work because health insurance companies are regulated at the state level. Also, there is no significant difference in costs between states such as CA and ND, two states with vastly different populations. So there goes your "enlarge the pool argument".

* Targeted language for fraud, waste and abuse of MEDICARE and MEDICAID.
CHRIS SAYS: Good intentions.

* New initiatives to provide scholarships for doctors and nurses to pursue medicine to preclude a further shortage of doctors and nurses. Folks there is no need to develop a ‘Health Care System’ if you do not have a viable delivery system.
CHRIS SAYS: This is long term and won't effect anything in the short run.

* Language that will permit government funds for health care be only expended for US CITIZENS.
CHRIS SAYS: This is really good! Have you even read the reform bill??? Apparently not. In fact, the legislation specifically states that "undocumented aliens" will not be eligible for credits to help them buy health insurance, in Section 246 on page 143.

READ THE FREAKING BILL!!!What you posted are the standard Republican talking points which have nothing new to offer at all.


Posted by: chris30338 | August 19, 2009 4:31 PM

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"Promote the general welfare"? What could that mean?

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | August 19, 2009 4:30 PM

wheeljc, great ideas!

I would like to add one: Whistleblower rewards for Medicare and Medicade fraud at the same rate used by the IRS: 30% of what the Government recovers as a result!

Let every patient also examine the costs to uncover overbilling! Give them an incentive they can spend.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 4:27 PM

Without a public option there will be many more former congresscritters turned lobbyists in DC come January 2011! The market will NOT be free!

Posted by: boilermaker2 | August 19, 2009 4:22 PM

OBAMA NEED NOT HAVE A COMPLETELY FAILED PRESIDENCY

that would not benefit any of us, much less the unemployed.

Obama should:

1. DEFER (not surrender) ObamaCare until unemployment is less than 7%

This sounds precise and reasonable to even Dem whackos

2. Put one or 2 LIVE Business people--who have actually run a business in Obama's Cabinet

A lot that we attribute to Obama malice is actually just his misguided abject economic illiteracy.

Once Obama realizes that if the economy is growing, more can be fleeced in taxes even at a lower rate, the light will come on in Obama's brain.

3. Focus on UNEMPLOYMENT. Its the key to all his domestic problems.

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 4:14 PM

It is time for the Administration to START OVER -- CLEAN PIECE OF PAPER!! Keep the far left and far right out of the picture, and develop a true Health Care Reform package for the American people -- NOT THE US GOVERNMENT.

As a minimum, the following elements should be included:

* TORT reform – a real driver of costs!
* Health Savings Accounts to allow individuals to at least be partially responsible for their OWN health care.
* Inter-border health insurance sales
* Targeted language for fraud, waste and abuse of MEDICARE and MEDICAID.
* New initiatives to provide scholarships for doctors and nurses to pursue medicine to preclude a further shortage of doctors and nurses. Folks there is no need to develop a ‘Health Care System’ if you do not have a viable delivery system.
* Language that will permit government funds for health care be only expended for US CITIZENS.

NEED TO KEEP NANCY PELOSI, HARRY REID, AND BARNEY FRANK AWAY FROM THE PAPER!! HOW HAVE THEY WORKED FOR YOU SO FAR???

Posted by: wheeljc | August 19, 2009 4:13 PM

Hispana: OMG someone actually read my post, I normally think that because I am not yelling my head off when I post that people tend to ignore me, most posters would rather call each other names than actually talk about anyting, btw I love the term Cryptofascist I just wish we could add soemthing more descpritive to it like Semi-Cryptofacist, much like my old favorite Pinko Commie.

Posted by: DCDave11 | August 19, 2009 4:11 PM

One word describes socialized medicine: Rationing.

Socialized medicine has been tried and has failed globally. We need reform of the private system that addresses malpractice lawsuits and fosters competition, like allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. Reform of the private sector won't cost taxpayers one dime, will lower premiums, and increase the quality of care.

Let's improve what's working.

Posted by: bob59 | August 19, 2009 4:11 PM

What the Government needs; and by that I mean what Obama needs is an understanding that the American People do not share his view of the Government running all aspects of their lives. The Post Office will lose 7 billion dollars this year, Medicare, Medicaid and soon Social Security will be or are broke. Who believes that the Government should run our medical system?--just wild liberals like Nancy Pelosi, Waxman, Kennedy, Moveon.org, and some others. We need to vote all of these people out of office and get back to what made America great--and it is not Acorn and other Obama allies. What ever happened to our Constitution that reserves most powers to the States? We are not some dictatorship or at least we should not be one. The limits on Federal power must be enforced or we will go the way of other democracies turned into oligarchies.

Posted by: Mindboggle | August 19, 2009 4:08 PM

"Sorry, but Howard Dean did not come across during his campaign as a down to earth individual and acceptable to a great majority of americans."

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 3:48 PM

I disagree. And by the number of people who are coming out to hear him speak across the country, others disagree.

Please remember he was an active and viable candidate for President until that unfortunate moment when he came across as being just a little over-excited... But I would hope he can talk intelligently, based on his medical profession experience, on what the Democrats intentions are for true health care reform and all the elements they want in it.

"At town halls, in keynote speeches and on cable talk shows, Dean has become a leading voice in the debate, warning that if Democratic leaders abandon a public option, they surrender their principles to political realities...

Dean received a hero's welcome when he addressed hundreds of progressive bloggers last week at the Netroots Nation convention in Pittsburgh. He was their favored messenger in 2004, when his innovative campaign fueled the rise of the "netroots" in the Democratic Party. Now, five years later, Dean is speaking for them again.

"The president has put together the best health-care [proposal] I've ever seen," Dean said. But, he added, the public option itself is a compromise between liberals who supported a government-run single-payer system and moderates. "We have already made our compromise, and there will be no more compromises in this bill."
By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer


You can't tell me Americans were excited and educated after Obama's last prime time hour long "news conference" on health care... please.

Give Dean a chance. He'll offer a different perspective, but one which may make Obama's plan more digestable.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 4:04 PM

BHOs waterloo, as defined by GOP, will be his inability to impose his political will to include *public option* in the final reconciliation bill...with majorities in both houses.

So far, BHO has been procrastinating and avoiding the real (choice) issue, if healthcare reform is to become a reality.

It's in the nature of the beast that politicians are capable of saying a lot -hot air - without spelling out exactly what they actually wish or want - for lack of concensus.

Wake up POTUSA!

Posted by: hariknaidu | August 19, 2009 4:02 PM

cibor,
No one is calling it a "coop" since that inplies setting up a new insurance carrier. My understanding is that existing insurance carriers would still sell policies through the state insurance exchange, but that all medical payments would be specified to occur in the new manner (including to Medicare, which would require federal government approval). The payment changes would be phased in over a five year period.

The whole report is downloadable at:
http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dhcfp/pc/Final_Report/Final_Report.pdf

Posted by: jwbbu | August 19, 2009 3:53 PM

Dan Balz-

I like this column, but I'd go one step further to say that what we are seeing on the health care debate is the inevitable extension of a character trait of President Obama's -- one that has served him well before, but isn't serving him well now.

"Barry" Obama, Candidate Obama, Senator Obama and President Obama have all been particularly effective active listeners. By facial expression, body language, and in his responses, he comes across as someone who is genuinely (and I don't doubt his sincerity) listening to what you have to say. In responding, though, the active listener is usually trying to convey that he/she has heard and understood what you said -- not necessarily what his/her own position is.

As a result, Obama has always struck me as something of a Rorshach test -- love him or hate him, you could see in him what you wanted to see. That's great for getting votes, not so great when you are leader of the Free World. On healthcare, that means left wing Democrats could see the avatar who'd bring about single payor (or darn close), and right wing Republicans could see a big-government loving socialist.

The truth is somewhere in between, as is the bill that President Obama would ultimately like to sign. To get to that bill he needs to develop a short list of items that explains the tangible benefits -- I agree with your column. But he also can't continue to allow people to believe what they want to believe about his position. He needs to affirmatively state what his position, and correct those (on both sides of the debate) who continue to see what they want to see.

The health care bill can't be a thousand page ink blot.

-AOS1

Posted by: Axisofstupidity1 | August 19, 2009 3:49 PM

You are right in this article, words are what matters. The American public has become aware of the language in the bill because they have read it. The devil is in the details, that is why the Dems can't b.s. their way around the truth behind this horrendous bill.

Posted by: SirLoinofBeef | August 19, 2009 3:49 PM

Howard Dean is a doctor, and he's making it his life to go around the country to convince us the "public option" is critical to any plan.
=================================
Sorry, but Howard Dean did not come across during his campaign as a down to earth individual and acceptable to a great majority of americans.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 3:48 PM

From our friend jwbbu in Mass:

“The key idea is "primary care physicians, specialists and hospitals would group themselves into networks that would be responsible for a patient’s well-being and would be compensated with a flat monthly or annual fee known as a global payment.”

This sounds like the explanation of what a “co-op” is designed to do.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 3:40 PM

"The Presidency is all about communication. Frankly - 99% of Americans don't understand how a "Public Option" will work. We need a Democratic Ronald Reagan to push this through. Cut through the bull and tell us what we'll get, how much it will cost and how we get it started.
Posted by: mwcob"

Howard Dean is a doctor, and he's making it his life to go around the country to convince us the "public option" is critical to any plan.

Let's give Howard Dean an hour of prime time television coverage to explain the details since President Obama has failed to do so.

I bet America would listen!

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 3:37 PM

Cibor,
You are correct about the MA plan; there is no "public option." A commission was setup in the law to make recommendations to the govenor and legislature about controlling costs and they recently release a report worth reading:
NY Times, 7/17, "Mass. Panel Backs Radical Shift in Health Payment."
The key idea is "primary care physicians, specialists and hospitals would group themselves into networks that would be
responsible for a patient’s well-being and would be compensated with a flat monthly or annual fee known as a
global payment."
Still no public option is being proposed.

Posted by: jwbbu | August 19, 2009 3:32 PM

What! No Public Option?
then forget about health "reform."
Just leave the keys to the White House under the front-door mat for the corpofascist medical cartels.

Posted by: abelito | August 19, 2009 3:30 PM

Since there is so much waste, fraud and abuse in Social Security, how about getting rid of that also? By the way, we might as well include the Defense Dept, there is a ton of waste, fraud, and abuse in that budget--it always has been--might as well get rid of the defense establishment too.

Posted by: JohnY1928 | August 19, 2009 3:29 PM

One thing that I do not hear in the debate is how medical innovation will be handled. Currently health insurance providers resist covering new treatments for patients even when it's the only option available. Is this even on the table in the discussion of health care reform?

Posted by: browneri | August 19, 2009 3:28 PM

The Presidency is all about communication. Bush sounded like Forest Gump. Clinton was Jimmy Swaggart. The President has got to know how to present the right information, in the right amount, in the right way, at the right time. Reagan, whether you agreed with his policies, was "The Great Communicator" and he got things done. Hillary gave us too much information and we got lost. So HillaryCare died. Obama is giving us too little information, and what we get is mis-delivered. Frankly - 99% of Americans don't understand how a "Public Option" will work. We need a Democratic Ronald Reagan to push this through. Cut through the bull and tell us what we'll get, how much it will cost and how we get it started. That's what Reagan did best. But even the Republicans haven't found the next Reagan.

Posted by: mwcob | August 19, 2009 3:24 PM

Cibor,

Thanks for your comment and we possibly could be contemporaries in the federal government and am too a witness to the deterioration of standards in government agencies in employment. During my time of entry I had to take the PACE and those of us who got job offers were those that passed the tests with high marks.

I worked in SSA for over 30+years as a Manager and can testify that managing programs such as MEDICARE and SSI have been a major headache and forget about efficient and prompt service. I loved my work and enjoyed my 70+employees and dealing with the public, but I also saw the major problems that the agency had and could not resolve.

Expanding service to cover all of our population will be a major step backwards in service and that is not talking about the provisions sought by this proposal in rationing care and limiting end of life care for a good portion of our population.

Yes, we can improve our system, but let's begin by comfronting the real roots of the problem and reducing this can be a step in the direction of paying for this legislation so that we can expand service to the real needy individuals without us giving away what we have!!!

Obama wants to transform our society as the liberal left in the Democratic party and we must put a STOP to this!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 3:24 PM

jwbbu, isn't it fairly accurate to say what is happening in Mass. is not something that would work on a nationl scale?

As I understand it, the state government does not participate other than as a facilitator.

"The bill creates the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, to connect
individuals and small businesses with health insurance products. The Connector
certifies and offers products of high value and good quality.

The Connector is to be operated as an authority under the Department of
Administration and Finance and overseen by a separate, appointed Board of
private and public representatives."
(Health Care Access and Affordability
Conference Committee Report)

The "public option" is not as a facilitator between individuals/groups and private health insurance companies by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 3:20 PM

"Never mind that, at the same time all this was taking place, some administration officials and their legislative allies were sending quiet signals that the public option could be bargained away at the end of the legislative process."

Liar - li-ar; noun: a person who tells lies

How do you like him now, libs?

Posted by: hill_marty | August 19, 2009 3:20 PM

August has brought a fractious mood to Washington and to the country at large, but before we all head to divorce court with our irreconcilable differences in hand, let's recall that the principle role of the "President of all the people" in this circumstance is to serve as "Reconciler in Chief." Whether the present political standoff is immutable remains to be seen. Recall that fierce Republican opposition denied FDR much of what he'd hoped to achieve in his Social Security legislation. Their victory was shortlived. Subsequent Democratic presidents have succeeded in securing FDR's legacy, a bit at a time. Decades later, with a new president, that effort continues. Universal health coverage will eventually join existing programs to provide a true safety net for every American and, by the way, spell the end of government of, by and for the plutocrats.

Posted by: thewolf1 | August 19, 2009 3:18 PM

Why is the government so involved with the business of hardworking Americans. Why is the Government slowly taking control of everything that is controled by the American workforce. You either are blind to their objection, or you see right through their future plans. Knowledge is the key to survival!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLB6yGQMYsY

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

There are a few words to describe the democrats' blivet(which is the most descriptive).
Kremlin-like, gigantic bureaucracy, above judicial review, reduced services, icnompetent administrators, increased costs and taxes, IRS enforcer, loss of personal privacy, etc.
The dishonest, incompetent phony in the White House has to keep on lying, because he just can't tell the American people the truth about this travesty.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 19, 2009 3:16 PM

I'm from Massachusetts, and the process of passing the MA health care reform plan may point the way to getting something reasonable through Congress. Mitt Romney, a Republican governor in a liberal state, emphsized that the population who had health insurance had a moral responsibility to the rest to ensure they could get health insurance, private insurance carriers would compete through an state-sponsored exchange with policies meeting state-specified standards, and that no one should expect a perfect solution initially. Updates to the approach are taking place. It seems to me we are trying to create a "perfect" national approach on Day 1.

Posted by: jwbbu | August 19, 2009 3:09 PM

I meant to say the Cash For Clunkers program has NOT paid...

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 3:02 PM

Hispana, excellent post. Thank you.

You brought up something most people will never know about. "I am a witness to the fact that there is too much fraud, waste and incompetence in the handling of MEDICARE, SSI and MEDICAID and relying in a federal agency is a gamble that we cannot take."

I took the P.A.C.E. exam in 1975 to qualify for employment in the federal government AFTER I graduated with (at least) a B.A. from an accredited university. When I worked for the federal government, Contracting Officers were attorneys.

Carter abolished any exam to qualify for employment in the federal government claiming it was excluding "people". He also did away with the requirement of a college degree, and put in place 24 semester hours instead for certain professional job categories.

Today the federal government has program managers and Contracting Officers who can't compose a grammatically-correct paragraph to save their lives.

Yet these are the people who will administer a federal government-run health care system?

Please! The Cash For Clunkers program has paid car dealers because of these same unqualified federal employees!

Is it any wonder why there is so much fraud and waste in Medicare and Medicade? Even the Inspectors General have insufficient and untrained staff who simply cannot meet the objectives of their jobs. Consider how much money we wasted in the war in Iraq, and multiply that by _______!

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 3:00 PM

DCDave11:

You summarized it quite well and very eloquently.

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 2:52 PM

Dan,

We can certainly come up with solutions that will not destroy the fabric of our society and relying on a public option to be run by the federal government is a recipe for disaster. As a former Social Security Manager I am a witness to the fact that there is too much fraud, waste and incompetence in the handling of MEDICARE, SSI and MEDICAID and relying in a federal agency is a gamble that we cannot take.

I strongly recommend that the public nominates an independent Commission that examines our Health care system and comes up with recommendations to the nation. Totally independent from the President and Legislators. And made of all parties affected representing the nation. And these are some suggestions of areas to look at:

1)A thorough examination of MEDICARE and MEDICAID to eliminate fraud, waste and Incompetence and introduce the latest technology. The nation will be surprised at the millions that will be saved.

2)A thorough examination at our medical system to look into our current doctors and make their practices easier. This should encompass nursing, hospitals and clinics. We need to look into our future and how to boost this profession so that we have more practitioners delivering quality care.

2)TORT reform is desperately needed.

3)Serious look at our pharmaceuticals and establish guidelines and controls whereby they provide to the nation the best in medications and at a global competitive prize.

4)A serious look at our insurance companies making innovative changes introducing portability and ability for customers to get the best option nationwide. Customers must not be penalized for pre-existing conditions.

5)Insure that our Health care does not deteriorate into one that fosters abortion, rationing and control on our lives where our disabled and elderly will suffer. WE VALUE LIFE!!!!

6)Establish electronic medical records with strict safeguards to insure PRIVACY.

7)Take a look at the REAL statistics of who is uninsured and needs the coverage. The President and Democrats are abusing and using FALSE statistics. Is it really 49 million? What is this? What about the REAL number of illegals in this country? I bet you that a good count will show more than 20 million and growing. Can we afford to cover them? We need to see the reality that we cannot open our borders to everyone and that we have to have laws. So, we need as a nation to decide once and for all what our policy will be. I am one for the rights of those that are accepted legally in this country.

We must remember that we have been and are a nation where we value our freedoms, choices and right to privacy and this HELL of a proposal to socialize our health insurance shifts us in a direction that is totally ALIEN and against our core values.

And that is what the great majority of americans are seeing and our voices will be heard!!!!!

Posted by: Hispana | August 19, 2009 2:45 PM

4 Balz no Strikes

Breaking:
Obama to Abandon Bipartisan Health Reform

"Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, told The New York Times that the Republican leadership "has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama's health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day".

As I posted yesterday:

Democrats in Congress and the Senate now know EXACTLY what they'll get if they drop the public option from the bill:

Exactly Nothing.

It won't yield a single GOP vote in support of ANYTHING the president proposes. It's a glow-in-the-dark, 3-D message to Democrats. The right HATES you.
They want you to FAIL. This is NOT NEGOTIABLE!

Grassley has made it clear that he cannot deliver anything. The GOP has stiffened because they think they smell blood.

Time for Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer to drop the hammer on the Blue Dogs and get the majority in line, ready to vote.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | August 19, 2009 2:42 PM

Words do matter...some have been entered into the public record:

"A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer. This is not a principled fight. This is a fight about strategy for getting there, and I believe we will."
Rep. Jan Schakowsky

"We're going to get there, over time, slowly, but we'll move away from reliance on employer-based health insurance as we should, but we'll do it in a way that we're not going to frighten people into thinking they're going to lose their private insurance."
Barack Obama

Do not trust a democrat with your health, if you do you are risking your life.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 19, 2009 2:40 PM

Sorry, misposted this url. Please check for more commentary on this topic.

http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/2009/08/backdoor-single-payer-will-not-happen.html

Posted by: pflevy | August 19, 2009 2:39 PM

"Why do idiots use upper case as if they have something urgent or important to say? Its like those town hall nuts.

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM"

Look at the positive of his posting. He didn't insult any person(s) based on their belief!

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 2:35 PM

When the President is too detailed, the media and folks who respond to the media say that the President talk is confusing. Likewise, if the President just reads a shortlist like the one Mr. Balz proposes, the comment will be that President isn't telling us enough.

This is a game of rationalization by folks who can't or won't do just little bit of research and critical thinking on their own. They rely on the opinions of others including Mr. Balz. So, Mr. Balz, lets have something from that is a lot more honest and a lot less column filler. Lets have something that will attract Americans away from computer and cell phone games and reality shows and helps them focus on the issues.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM


NEW YORK (AP) - Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.

--------------------------------------

Seriously folks, the government can't even run the Cash for Clunkers program and you want to trust your health to the bureacrats?
Even Obozo's friend Warren Buffet is starting to bet against the obozo economy. Wise up....start voting the bums out of office and admit you made a mistake with obozo the clown joker fool.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM

"Then why doe's our health care rank in the thirties in the world Einstein?

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 2:08 PM"

Without agreeing with your claim it "ranks in the 30's", I will say go to the countries in the top ten and see where their equipment and medical technology was researched, developed, and designed. True, cheap foreign labor may have manufactured it...

There is also the reality that our health care system is burdened by a large number of unhealthy people, not all of whom are American citizens. There are also a lot of Americans who choose very unhealthy lifestyles, including eating the wrong foods leading to morbid obesity, smoking, illegal drug use, and, of course, drinking and acting stupid. This burden costs all of us.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM

CALLING CONCERNED CITIZENS NAMES AND TRYING TO DESTROY THE CHARACTER OF ANYBODY THAT DOES NOT SEE EYE TO EYE WITH THE ATTEMPT TO CRAM THE LEFT AGENDA IS POLITICAL SUICIDE ... DEMS CAN PACK . America is over populated because people CHERISH their freedom.

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 19, 2009 2:09 PM
******************************
Why do idiots use upper case as if they have something urgent or important to say? Its like those town hall nuts.

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 2:32 PM

Posted by: pflevy | August 19, 2009 2:26 PM

angie12106 wrote "We don't understand this....because currently OUR EMPLOYEES are among the 47 million uninsured.
THIS Republican family with 2 small businesses supports the Public Option which will allow our employees to buy affordable coverage! and will SAVE taxpayers' money when our employees can go to a doctor when they're sick, rather than the ER.

Clue: just because we dislike much about Obama, is no reason for us to argue AGAINST our EMPLOYEES' BEST interests!"

Angie, like you, I am a small business owner, but I've also worked for small businesses that hire people on a contract or task order basis, so I have a lot of experience in the high cost of medical insurance and the many, many different configurations they offer to keep costs down for their customers.

First, I've never NOT offered medical insurance to my employees, even if I could only pay 20% of the total cost. My attitude is that small business owners don't work for free - they make enough profit to keep them in business. You indicate your employees have no health insurance, and to me that only says you don't offer it. And you have two differnet businesses that employ people but don't offer any health insurance? Why not find a broker, configure a plan, and offer it to your employees - even if they must pay 100% of the cost?

You indicate you support the "public option" because you think it will be "affordable". Well, current private plans are affordable. The public option, otherwise known as Medicare For All, could actually cost more and offer less. So I hope you call an insurance broker and educate yourself what the current health insurance options are to small business owners.

The best insurance plan I've had in the past ten years cost me $60 a month and my co-pay was $10/$20/$35 for prescriptions. The worst cost me $305 a month and medication co-pay was $20/$40/$75! The worst plan did not cover medications all my other plans did - such as the anti-smoking Chantix. So spend the time and learn. Find out what is covered and what is not!

Then ask what the public option will cost, what the costs will be for your employees, what it will and will not cover, and think about whether existing insurance companies can stay in business competing against a federal government-run public insurance.

If private insurance companies go out of business because they can't compete (they pay for employees while government plan has "free" federal employees), there will not be a choice.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 2:23 PM

Health care reform AND the Public Option would pass Congress in a skinny minute if "America" or "Freedom" were included in the name of the bill - with TV ads that included lots of American flags.

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 2:22 PM

DCDave11 wrote: >>>Conservative talking heads (Beck, Hannity) see Medicaid/Medicare as being hugely inefficient and point to numerous cases of egregious wastefull spending in those programs (c.f. CNN's report on the 1200 dollar rental of a 300 dollar wheel chair.)

YES! Ridding "egregious wasteful spending" in Medicare is one of Obama's goals.
Taxpayers provide $180 BILLION for Medicare Advantage, an INSURANCE plan for seniors that includes more services than standard Medicare.
25% of seniors (wealthy and upper middle class) have Medicare Advantage.

THIS Republican family says if they want more coverage than standard Medicare - they should pay for it themselves!

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 2:14 PM

Short and to the point: All citizens will have the Congressional Plan.

Posted by: rusty3 | August 19, 2009 2:13 PM

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat." -Will Rogers.

To the Blue Dog Democrats and to those in opposition to real health care reform, what are you afraid of?

Throughout the history of the Democratic party(Progressives) in the 20th century it has fallen to you to be the enactors of real societal change. From the introduction of the 19th amendment to the creation of social security, G.I. Bill, civil rights act, voting rights act, and medicare, these are all pieces of legislation that the American citizenry living today cannot truly fathom of the time of not having them. These items reinforce the reciprocity of government and its people, creating a “more perfect union”.

Today, citizens may fight for their nation and come home knowing that they can afford to continue their education. Today, citizens after spending their entire adult working lives paying into the government system that if their retirement funds suddenly evaporate in some Wall street Ponzi scheme there will still be some form of income provided by social security. Today, because of medicare, an elderly citizen can at least get the health care they need. Today, we as a nation can finally say that opportunity is truly available to all and every citizen has the right to effectuate their government regardless of sex or race.

The time has come again for Democrats (Progressives) to be the steadying hand to the invisible hand. It is neither mere accident nor divine providence that the legislative items mentioned above; all came about after a long uninterrupted term of conservative hegemony. It is the realignment of democratic principles with economic and social realities. History has taught us that those who heed the cry “socialism” in these times of change in our nation are regarded as persons with limited foresight by the generations to come. Those that were against the voting rights of 1965 could not imagine a day like November 4th 2008.

So the time has fallen unto us to establish once and for all, a citizen’s right to health care- a human right; if it were not a human right, than man should be considered no more than a pack of rapacious narcissistic jackals motivated by the hunger for profit. Capitalism does not stipulate that government can not be an equal player in the market place. Is it not competition that drives capitalism and innovation? Citizens have more choice in shipping companies to include the United States Post Office, than they have in how to pay for health care. How is that big insurance will not be able to stay competitive if they are truly providing a better service to the people than government?

Democrats(Progessives) be moved by your conscience and ideals, not by your ego and benefactors.

Posted by: Ironcomments | August 19, 2009 2:12 PM

CALLING CONCERNED CITIZENS NAMES AND TRYING TO DESTROY THE CHARACTER OF ANYBODY THAT DOES NOT SEE EYE TO EYE WITH THE ATTEMPT TO CRAM THE LEFT AGENDA IS POLITICAL SUICIDE ... DEMS CAN PACK . America is over populated because people CHERISH their freedom.

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 19, 2009 2:09 PM

Am I the only one who would like to see more highly qualified medical students receive a government-paid education in return for a contract to work providing health care in the United States at the same rate of pay as a Captain in the army?

.........

there are several programs for medical students to exchange the costs of their education for military service.

Posted by: newagent99 | August 19, 2009 2:09 PM

Like many readers here, I am alive today because of the advancement of medical technology in the United States. Such new technology is made possible because when a hospital or physicians' group buys a machine that costs over $1 million each, they know over time it will pay for itself.

Perhaps the reason the United States leads the world in the development and deployment of the best medical equipment in the world is because health insurance companies pay for its use. What would happen if we "have to control costs" and the federal government has a GS-12 decide paying for such equipment exceeds "fair and reasonable" reimbursement?

Do we want to "enjoy" the same medical technology they have in Cuba's BEST hospitals, and have our lives depend on cheaper ways to install a coronary stent?

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 1:58 PM
**********************
Then why doe's our health care rank in the thirties in the world Einstein?

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 2:08 PM

Am I the only one who would like to see more highly qualified medical students receive a government-paid education in return for a contract to work providing health care in the United States at the same rate of pay as a Captain in the army?

I know such a program has provided the military with lawyers for decades. You have the government pay for your education, and in return, you work for the government for a set minimum number of years, usually in the military.

Our population is growning much, much faster than medical schools and the number of doctors graduating from them. We need more doctors and nurses, and giving them a free education is fine with me if they return the gift by working for American citizens.

I also support making these doctors lawsuit-free. Have the federal government pay malpractice insurance for them!

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 2:05 PM

Obama needs to be stopped--He is continually trashing America with his socialism. Any way we can get him out of the Oval Office is OK with Americans- The election of 2008 was a mistake---it's time for the eraser.


Posted by: charko825 | August 19, 2009 1:58 PM
*******************************
Are you referring to violence?

Cracker

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 2:05 PM

cibor wrote: >>>>But he (Gibbs) accused some Republicans of being unwilling to participate in health care reform that would cut costs and insure millions of Americans."

Republicans have rejected ALL compromises!
We don't understand this....because currently OUR EMPLOYEES are among the 47 million uninsured.
THIS Republican family with 2 small businesses supports the Public Option which will allow our employees to buy affordable coverage! and will SAVE taxpayers' money when our employees can go to a doctor when they're sick, rather than the ER.

Clue: just because we dislike much about Obama, is no reason for us to argue AGAINST our EMPLOYEES' BEST interests!

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 2:04 PM

The debate about the public option if it is substantial should focus on the current effectiveness of Medicare and Medicaid. Liberal talking heads (Olberman, Maddow) say that setting up a public option that works like Medicare and Medicaid will save money becuase the Government will have a stronger hand in negotiation drug prices. Conservative talking heads (Beck, Hannity) see Medicaid/Medicare as being hugely inefficient and point to numerous cases of egregious wastefull spending in those programs (c.f. CNN's report on the 1200 dollar rental of a 300 dollar wheel chair.)

To my mind Olberman and Maddow are wrong because of two dubious premises in their argument, the first is that somehow Obama can run a public option like Medicare/Medicaid in a way that is more efficient than any President before him. This is stated largely without any evidence whatsoever. If the Presidents stimulus package is any indication of his managment of goverment programs it is that he wants to throw money at special interests just like usual. Given that he has not cut waste in these programs in his now 3/4 year in office, why would we think he is able to do that in a much larger case study like the Public Option. There is no evidence for this belief and infact there is good evidence to believe it is untrue. Secondly, the President does not seem up for a big fight over Prices with the Drug manufacturer's, in fact he just caved on putting in language that would allow the new public Option to negotiate prices for drugs, in return for about 150 million dollars in advertisements supporting his nebulous health care plan. This was widely reported in both the WaPo and the Huffington Post.

So given that there is good evidence that a Public Option would be better than, and in fact that there is good evidence it will be worse than Medicare/Medicaid, why would anyone support it? I won't and I have been a registered Democrat for 20 years.

Posted by: DCDave11 | August 19, 2009 2:04 PM

"...the right wing propaganda being by waged by the Washington Post..."

Come on now, the Post as a right-wing propaganda machine??? Hardly; they endorsed Obama (and though I didn't vote Obama I really liked the points made in the Post's endorsement and do think Obama is a wonderful person and all). But really, the Post is not a right wing paper by any stretch of the imagination; it's where I go when I want a more-or-less middle-of the road look at the issues. In fact, I'd say the Post is a Center-Left paper. It's a good paper!

Posted by: chrojo01 | August 19, 2009 2:04 PM

If Obama, Sebelius, Napalitano , Ezekiel were not trying to KILL Americans... WHY are they allowing ILLEGAL ALIEN SWINE FLU CARRIERS to slither through the borders ? What would have happened if people said " IT'S TOO LATE TO CONTAIN" the BUBONIC PLAGUE ? ... LIKE THESE TERRORISTS AND INEPT AT THE CDC ?

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | August 19, 2009 2:02 PM

Like many readers here, I am alive today because of the advancement of medical technology in the United States. Such new technology is made possible because when a hospital or physicians' group buys a machine that costs over $1 million each, they know over time it will pay for itself.

Perhaps the reason the United States leads the world in the development and deployment of the best medical equipment in the world is because health insurance companies pay for its use. What would happen if we "have to control costs" and the federal government has a GS-12 decide paying for such equipment exceeds "fair and reasonable" reimbursement?

Do we want to "enjoy" the same medical technology they have in Cuba's BEST hospitals, and have our lives depend on cheaper ways to install a coronary stent?

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 1:58 PM


Obama needs to be stopped--He is continually trashing America with his socialism. Any way we can get him out of the Oval Office is OK with Americans- The election of 2008 was a mistake---it's time for the eraser.


Posted by: charko825 | August 19, 2009 1:58 PM

The public option is already a compromise away from single payer. Given that a significant majority of Americans support the public option, why on earth should it be dropped? We need it to force costs down, since the status quo obviously has not done so.

Posted by: aravir | August 19, 2009 1:57 PM

I wish Obama would get mad or something.


FIGHT BACK. ITS ABOUT TIME!!

Those idiots come to these town hall meetings more to be seen than heard, and think creating chaos makes them great Americans.

Those people have been convinced by the current culture that we are dying to hear from them, and the louder the better. People who think that all they need to star in their own reality series is a couple of TV crews.

With that kind of zealotry, screaming about government programs as if Medicare isn't one. It is why so many of them, all these wild-eyed red faces in the crowd, look completely certifiable, screaming about how Obama wants to kill Grandma, as if he's suddenly turned into Jack Kevorkian.

Don't ever ask Barney Frank a question if you don't want to know exactly how he feels about something. Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it."

I guess this lady's 15 minutes of fame is a bust. That's show biz.

I love it.

We are never gonna get Republican support so screw them.

Posted by: sherardg | August 19, 2009 1:55 PM

Interesting...
So I listen to Obama's comments and it seems like he's just trying to do his job.

A leader's job is to remove barriers, make decisions on what is critical for success and what is not. Public option is not critical to success. He may not have realized that before but maybe he does now.... many are attacking Obama for changing his stance.... but isn't that the very thing liberals hated about BUSH?!?!? That he was "stubborn and did not listen to the people". If a leader cannot change their mind then why do we protest in the streets? Why do we call and write letters? This is democracy folks and part of this process is to discuss, challenge and even change our views. Change is not bad... but we need to find the right change and that is a challenging process, inclusive of conflicting ideas to bring out the best.

IMO the public option is simply a distraction from the problem. Obama references Cost of Care and Coverage rate as the two key problems...
I would argue that if you fix the cost of care then everything else will follow.
The only way public option or one payer plan works is to assume that all healthcare providers are jerks and overcharging for everything... But seriously... health insurers do their best to keep those costs down as it effects the bottom line. They have no incentive to let doctors charge more. So then maybe the healthcare providers really do have reasons for charging ridiculously high prices.... Seems to me that we should focus on those reasons... Help the doctors so they can charge less... and then insurance can cost less and then everyone can afford it (or be on Medicaid).
We need quality healthcare for everyone. Lets find the Best solution and not try to spend our way to a solution that might not work.

TK

Posted by: TKite | August 19, 2009 1:55 PM

What White House needs to do is to point hypocrisy and utter dishonesty of the right wing propaganda being by waged by the Washington Post. The so called 'free press' is nothing but a mega phone for spreading disinformation and for pushing corporate agenda. Everyone should become aware what this so called free press is about.

Posted by: kevin1231 | August 19, 2009 1:54 PM

AHHH..Obama is stiring the pot

The Republicans Smoke the Tea.

They are so high on it they quench their thirsts with Koolaide.

Their Smoked Up Advocates lockstep themselves back to Slavery and Chear..and thank the GOP from Saving them from themselves in the name of god/gop.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | August 19, 2009 1:54 PM

AllenRidge wrote: >>>Critics of President Obama’s health-care overhaul are zeroing in on his senior adviser David Axelrod, whose former partners at a Chicago-based firm are the beneficiaries of huge ad buys — now at $24 million and counting — by White House allies in the reform fight.

Sounds a lot like Bush giving HUGE no-bid contracts to Cheney's Halliburton.

And I remember the "H" monogrammed towels that taxpayers funded for the Iraq War.
Obviously, nothing that fancy and expensive was for our soldiers - but rather for reconstruction contractors in Iraq.

Posted by: angie12106 | August 19, 2009 1:53 PM

"Gibbs told a group of reporters that the Senate Finance Committee is still working on its version of a bill, and the president is speaking regularly with members on both sides of the aisle.

But he accused some Republicans of being unwilling to participate in health care reform that would cut costs and insure millions of Americans."

I believe the heated debate is not about insuring "millions of Americans" who do not already benefit from Medicade or Medicare. If it was about insuring American citizens, we could easily pass yet another spending bill to cover them, as the administration did for the children without health insurance coverage. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA or Public Law 111-3)!

The emotional debate is sparked by the prospect that Americans (seniors currently on Medicare and Baby Boomers who expect to go on Medicare as a benefit they've already paid for) will see their benefits reduced to make room for illegal immigrants who want coverage. These people are not "Americans", Sec. Gibbs. And yet it appears they will be covered at our expense.

Posted by: cibor | August 19, 2009 1:49 PM

Caroline Baum summed it up best:

The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

Neither option is good; ignorance is clearly preferable to the alternative.

Posted by: mobileclem | August 19, 2009 1:49 PM

Kenneth P. Vogel Kenneth P. Vogel – Wed Aug 19, 5:45 am ET
Critics of President Obama’s health-care overhaul are zeroing in on his senior adviser David Axelrod, whose former partners at a Chicago-based firm are the beneficiaries of huge ad buys — now at $24 million and counting — by White House allies in the reform fight.

The unwelcome scrutiny, largely from Republicans, comes at an inopportune time as Obama seeks to shore up support for health care reform. It revolves around two separate $12 million ad campaigns advocating Obama’s health care plan that were produced and placed partly by AKPD Message and Media, a firm founded by Axelrod that employs his son and still owes Axelrod $2 million.

A separate firm, GMMB, is also handling the campaigns. Both AKPD and GMMB did millions of dollars of work on Obama’s presidential campaign, continue to tout their connections to the campaign and still maintain close ties to his inner circle.

The two firms were hired to make the health-care ads by a pair of linked coalitions supporting Obama’s health-care overhaul proposal —

........Well a couple of comments...

First off the Republicans shouldn't have to investigate this corruption ....our corrupt Left-wing press should be, POST are you listening.

And second if this had been Karl Rove and the Bush Administration then the WASHINGTON POST would have multiple stories for weeks covering this.

Again the CENSORSHIP that is occurring at the POST is very sad indeed........very

Posted by: allenridge | August 19, 2009 1:42 PM

I would be happy to go along with a health care proposal that fulfilled Obama's campaign promise of no health care proposal that did not offer exactly the same coverage to the people that he and members of congress can get. SO if he will veto anything that does not specifically make it illegal for the president or members of congress to have any care not also offered to, for example, the 100 year old grandmother, then it would be a plan acceptable to all. BUT it has to prohibit the president and congress members from going outside the system and getting other care even if they are willing to pay for it. We should not have a 2 layer system like they have in the UK where the wealthy can get wonderful care outside the National Health Care system and the ordinary people can not afford it.

AND the numbers about the cost of insurance are completely incorrect and false. My daughter has blue cross/blue shield with all the coverage - even maternity and dental care and she pays half of what the news media claims people have to pay and she has a pre-existing condition that has been covered.

Posted by: tenshi1 | August 19, 2009 1:42 PM

Pattr! said,"The public option is better for the public. Even the current set of swiftboaters know that. It's just that they have told the 'public' otherwise. The swiftboaters are loud, repetitive and crooked. They know how stupid the public really is. They know how to make them believe anything."

Wow. Talk about the Pot calling the kettle black? All we heard for about 6 years was how horrible Bush was and everything he did was pure evil by the liberal democratic party. All we hear from them now is how great a government run health care plan is for us, the stupid citizen.

Unbelievable. I guess all the misinformation regarding global warming and evolution, which most liberals believe, is based upon intense personal study, not by any group's persuasion right?

I suppose releasing the insurance companies to sell across state borders wouldn't have any impact on competition then would it? You might believe this because Obama has not addressed it and therefore, you haven't been told what to believe yet.

I believe most extreme liberals tend to jump on whatever bandwagon is most rickety, feeble, and nearest the edge of the cliff.

It is true that people tend to parrot each other, just as you have here. It is also true that people, when pushed, rise to the occasion.

No, the public is not inherently stupid. It may be politically ignorant, but certainly not stupid. That is what Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Biden, and Frank think. And now, you. This is why I, and millions like me, can't possibly vote for or stand behind anything your party suggests. You seem to think you know better how to run my life than I do. But by such derogatory remarks, I have a tough time believing any who utter them can run their own.

Posted by: RevolutionNow | August 19, 2009 1:41 PM

"Now we know our Media/Press and Law Maker's are not smarter then a 5th Grader. President Obama explained the Health Care Plan so well even a 6 year old could understand it"

LOL, only some one not smarter than a 5th grader would believe that was a valid explaination of the plan

Posted by: newagent99 | August 19, 2009 1:41 PM

The only words that should matter in the healthcare debate are preventative healthcare. We must take charge of our health and not rely on the government for a long-term solution. Luckily, there are several online tools, such as Holosfitness.com that can help you get in shape, stay in shape, and lead a healthy life.

Posted by: gstallkamp | August 19, 2009 1:35 PM

How about a realistic answer of how we're going to pay for this. Something other than Obamacare will lower costs. No independent source believe it!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77
........

why?
you never asked bush to explain how he was going to cover the costs of his wars!

Posted by: newagent99 | August 19, 2009 1:35 PM

OK, HERE'S THE SHORT LIST

Balz writes:

"What White House officials need is a short list of items to describe how a reformed health care system would operate."

1. Death Panels

2. Governement run healthcare

3. Mindless Govt Bureaucracy/ 1984

4. Russian Roulette

5. Age Based Rationing

6. ElderAbortion (Euthanasia)

7. Abortion

8. Life or Death Emergency ?? Take a number, or take a pill

9. The Post Office or DMV

10.Socialist Healthcare

or worst of all

ObamaCare

Posted by: JaxMax | August 19, 2009 1:33 PM

exactly why I didn't support obama- he has no balls, he's a neophyte, and he hasn't the slighest idea what it takes to get legislation thru congress.

you hire an novice, you get novice level work.

I hate that people were fooled by his speaking ability.

Posted by: newagent99 | August 19, 2009 1:33 PM

An OPEN Letter to the 2008 Democratic Congress:

The uniqueness of the American Healthcare Plan different from the Canadian or UK variety is that we are not making it Single Payer. So the least we can do is to have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give the American Public a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.

Given the 2008 election of a Democratic Congress on OBAMA's co-tails the least this Congress can do is to support President Obama in his singular Domestic Agenda: The Healthcare for the American public.

If not now then when? If not here then where? If not by this CONGRESS them by whom? The Democratic Congress will sink or swim with President Obama and we will sink or swim with Him! Do not recreate the debacle of 1993-1994 AGAIN! Your seats are at stake!

Wake up Democrats and find your spine including the Blue Dogs. Why do you think (blue dogs) there are no Red Dogs because the Republicans do not have an Obama with them. They had/have the likes of McCain, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Grassley, and of all the BLUE DOGs Ross!

The day Healthcare is defeated in this Congress it will take this Democratic Congress down with it. President Clinton is speaking from great experience and wisdom, follow his advice!

Blue Dog Democrats and all the Democrats, Republicans like Grassley have shown their "true" color already! They WILL NOT support ANY Healthcare Bill whatsoever given ALL the compromises and cooperation from President Obama or the conservative Democrats.

Democrats of ALL colors it is your last chance to stand by our President on whose 2008 co-tails you are ALL standing today. So wake up and show some spine before its too late in your "one last term".

Give President Obama the support he needs in return for his 2008 co-tails. This is your last and only chance to do a Democratic thing in your generation, in your life time. Not many Presidents have achieved all that Obama has provided you on a silver platter so wrest the issue and make this generational national imperative your OWN. Thanks for your time.

Please send this message to all the Senators and Congressmen you ought to send to support this watershed Healthcare event of 2009. Its not too late and 2010 is still beyond us. Democrats (blue dogs and others alike) Don't let your vote/stand of 2009 haunt you in 2010 and for rest of your political life!

Obama - Biden 2012!

Posted by: ajain31 | August 19, 2009 1:28 PM

Health Care Amendment Requiring the Congress to be in The Plan: Congressman John Fleming (Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same healthcare plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are curiously exempt). Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his website and sign his petition (very simple - just first, last and email).

Posted by: pauldia | August 19, 2009 1:27 PM

Now we know our Media/Press and Law Maker's are not smarter then a 5th Grader. President Obama explained the Health Care Plan so well even a 6 year old could understand it. But reading this article and listening to our Law Makers it's clear just how dumb the United States is. Maybe the President should use picture and give out coloring books for the Adults to understand. It is so embarrassing to see our President speak at the Press Conference to reporters/Americans on a level so low my 6 year old son understands yet a few minutes later some of the dumbest questions are asked and Americans go to Fox News were drunks and druggies are the Anchors who give half baked cooked up lies and yes the viewers believe these idiots.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | August 19, 2009 1:24 PM

The public option is better for the public. Even the current set of swiftboaters know that. It's just that they have told the 'public' otherwise. The swiftboaters are loud, repetitive and crooked. They know how stupid the public really is. They know how to make them believe anything.

I heard Ron Paul on Larry King. He perhaps is not as stupid as appeared. He kept on repeating bigger Govt, making it worse. That was all there was to it. Zero substance. At one point he even said, "I did not say Medicare does not work, I said its broke". Most public would not understand what Dr Sanjay Gupta was saying, nor would they care. All they would hear this guy squawking 'Bigger Govt, making it worse'. Even after all the debates, town hall meetings, a large majority still believes the 'death panel' stuff.

You have to fight fire with fire. When the switboaters hit you below the belt with lies and more lies, you have to figure out a way to expose the liars and their vile motives. Question really is does Mr. Obama have the nerves and the outrage to do it. Because this is not about health care, this is about the next elections and the presidential elections 4 years from now. They all are Limbaughs. They all want Mr. Obama to fail. Only Limbaugh admitted it and therefore causes far less damage.

Posted by: pattr1 | August 19, 2009 1:23 PM

An OPEN Letter to the 2008 Democratic Congress:

The uniqueness of the American Healthcare Plan different from the Canadian or UK variety is that we are not making it Single Payer. So the least we can do is to have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give the American Public a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.

Given the 2008 election of a Democratic Congress on OBAMA's co-tails the least this Congress can do is to support President Obama in his singular Domestic Agenda: The Healthcare for the American public.

If not now then when? If not here then where? If not by this CONGRESS them by whom? The Democratic Congress will sink or swim with President Obama and we will sink or swim with Him! Do not recreate the debacle of 1993-1994 AGAIN! Your seats are at stake!

Wake up Democrats and find your spine including the Blue Dogs. Why do you think (blue dogs) there are no Red Dogs because the Republicans do not have an Obama with them. They had/have the likes of McCain, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Grassley, and of all the BLUE DOGs Ross!

The day Healthcare is defeated in this Congress it will take this Democratic Congress down with it. President Clinton is speaking from great experience and wisdom, follow his advice!

Blue Dog Democrats and all the Democrats, Republicans like Grassley have shown their "true" color already! They WILL NOT support ANY Healthcare Bill whatsoever given ALL the compromises and cooperation from President Obama or the conservative Democrats.

Democrats of ALL colors it is your last chance to stand by our President on whose 2008 co-tails you are ALL standing today. So wake up and show some spine before its too late in your "one last term".

Give President Obama the support he needs in return for his 2008 co-tails. This is your last and only chance to do a Democratic thing in your generation, in your life time. Not many Presidents have achieved all that Obama has provided you on a silver platter so wrest the issue and make this generational national imperative your OWN. Thanks for your time.

Please send this message to all the Senators and Congressmen you ought to send to support this watershed Healthcare event of 2009. Its not too late and 2010 is still beyond us. Democrats (blue dogs and others alike) Don't let your vote/stand of 2009 haunt you in 2010 and for rest of your political life!

Obama - Biden 2012!

Posted by: ajain31 | August 19, 2009 1:22 PM

Want the GOP and Blue Dogs to go along with a public option is easy, pressure them with something draconian as an alternative. Draw up a bill that use eminent domain to take over all medical facilities and doctor practices. They will quickly change their tune.

Doubt this would be attractive. It certainly would not be accepted by the people. All we want is truth. We are savvy enough to never trust the government as Barney Frank told us we shouldn't. His words: "Who told you, you can trust the government?"

Thank you Mr. Frank for cementing our distrust and your political demise (hopefully). I thought I voted for representatives who would represent me and thereby forward and sustain my trust in them to all three branches of the government? I had assumed, incorrectly according to Mr. Frank, that the government was to uphold the common trust of the people?

So, by Mr. Frank's own advice, we should not trust this government to handle health care. Interesting.

Well, that's a load off of my mind. I guess, whatever they propose, I can simply vote: NO and not worry about it. I suppose I can stop looking at bills, comments, commentary, voting records, and the like.

Thank you Mr. Frank. You have made my life much easier.

Posted by: RevolutionNow | August 19, 2009 1:20 PM

Words do matter, but let's be honest about this. Any words used will be twisted. The real issue is money. Billion dollar insurance corporations want to continue to run health insurance companies which only insure the healthy. They exclude "pre-existing illnesses," and cut many who get expensive illnesses off their rolls.

So no matter what language is used, the lobbyists and their GOP front will twist it to cause confusion. All they have to do is stop something. They are not trying to do something positive to help all of us who will lose our insurance as soon as we get sick. They only have to protect the large corporations.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | August 19, 2009 1:19 PM

Most government undertakings that require legislation do not specify operational procedures. It is more about appropriation of funds (taxpayer's dollars) and who has authority and control over the money. Read the bill carefully because the mandates by federal law will be used to justify how the money is spent and who will get the money.

Take for example a federal government-run health insurance program, called Public paid for Option open to everyone. Who is eligible for the Option? We know it is intended for the uninsured and a public program to encourage the uninsured to sign up for free health care insurance.

A public reaction is if we get the same thing free, then why pay for private health insurance. Wow! Now we have a government paid for health insurance. But if you want to you can keep your private health insurance. Ha. If you can get it free, that’s better than a bargain sale at our local department store.

Outcome is that private health insurance goes out of business and we have a government program at tax payer’s expense. Government regulates medical services and what they will pay for them. Is this what the American people want? Does not matter what you want this is what Obama Democrats want and will push through Congress.

Posted by: klausdmk | August 19, 2009 1:19 PM

Dan Balz asks for a short list of terms. Here's mine:

Choice
Control
Reasonable Costs
Peace of Mind

I am belatedly realizing how valuable healthcare reform could be to me personally. Those are the advantages I see. There are lots of others, but they have more syllables! So I am responding to with just those four.

Here's what I mean:

Choice:
True health care reform will give me choice about what I want to have covered (pay more and get dental and visual, pay less and save money; buy a plan with higher deductibles and pay less; get a plan that does or doesn't include chiropractors; etc.) and choice of changing from an insurer who's unresponsive to a different one, just like with home or car insurance. This is what the insurance exchange is for. Right now, we may have some of those choices in theory, but in practice we don't. Changing insurers because of customer service issues, for example, would almost be reckless under the current system.

Control:
Available, affordable insurance would give people more control over their life and decisions. For example, it would allow me to be an independent contractor, start a business, or go on staff at any type or size of company, all as a business or career decision, not distorted by availability of health insurance. If I got a preexisting condition, or a child did, I still wouldn't be tied to working at a particular company. Everyone reading this knows somebody who this has happened to.

Reasonable Costs:
Right now, insurers just tell you what your premium will be each year (or rather, your premium increase). No bargaining power. No choices. That is a recipe for overcharging. They also just announce how reimbursements and other benefits have changed (shrunk). If there's a standard set of benefits, that gameplaying is greatly reduced. More important, if there's competition, and everyone's in the risk pool (including healthy 20 somethings), premiums will be lower. There won't be a "dead zone" of unaffordable coverage for the late-50s group before they reach Medicare age.

Peace of Mind:
Knowing you can't lose your insurance and you will be able to afford it, just like any other kind of insurance (car, house, renter, life, liability, etc.) would be fantastic. Imagine a world where health insurance was no more interesting or worrisome or controversial than one of those routine varieties. That is the ultimate peace of mind.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | August 19, 2009 1:18 PM

Attention deficit disorder is characterized by excessive inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Procrastination, disorganization, trouble making deadlines, and impulsive behavior is also common.

Sound like anybody you're familiar with?

Posted by: JAH3 | August 19, 2009 1:18 PM

Mr. Balz is right on the money. The President also needs first to explain exactly how the current system is not working (i.e. how the 40 million uninsured use emergency rooms for medical care skyrocketing costs for the rest of us.) It needs to be done simply, highlighting 4-5 major points. Then he needs to address how his plan would cure these current symptoms. He should also address preventative measures everyone could take to lead healthy lives (and I would start with the rising rates of childhood and adult obesity.) May I suggest he present a plan much like the Presidential Physical Fitness Program that I enjoyed as a grade school kid in the '60's. Then he should wrap it all up in a grand vision that a "healthy America is a strong America." I think that is something on all sides of this argument could agree with. Respectfully, Paul Metsa, Minneapolis, MN

Posted by: metsainmpls | August 19, 2009 1:18 PM

Health-care reform good thing. Universal care, covers *ALL American citizens*. Public option or Co-op managed insurance claims processor good thing. Why should private insurance companies make a profit from mistreating sick people? Corporate (employer) paid insurance benefits *NON Taxable income* good thing. Negotiated drug prices good thing. Why should drug dealers get a pass on "reasonable prices?" Single Payor system good thing. This alone would likely stabilize "price controls." Medicare/Medicaid expansion bad thing. The government's intervention distorts pricing. Taxing wealthy class at higher rates good thing. Especially tax Wall Street "tycoons" at very high rates; why should these guys get a pass on higher taxes?

The clearest explanation for health-care reform is found in Howard Deans book, see http://www.deanshealthcare.com/

Posted by: rmorris391 | August 19, 2009 1:17 PM

How about a realistic answer of how we're going to pay for this. Something other than Obamacare will lower costs. No independent source believe it!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | August 19, 2009 1:14 PM

Since serious opposition to the current version (that would be today's) of health care reform began several weeks ago, I cannot remember how many columns I've read from well meaning but obviously in-the-tank-for-Obama "journalists" I've read that find nothing whatsoever objectionable about the legislation, it's the way the MESSAGE IS BEING CRAFTED, STUPID!!

And all of this hoopla about how stupid, easily directed (particularly "older") voters have been misled by Sarah Palin and talk radio about "death panels" and the like (another good example: coverage for illegals) has the punditocracy focusing on the plain language in the various bills, COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT that voter anger is not about the plain language in most cases, it's about an eroding lack of trust in the government's willingness and or ability to actually do what they say they are going to do.

It doesn't help Obama to be on videotape claiming he wants a single payer plan but understands that he might have to wait 5, 10, or 20 years to completely eliminate private insurers. Or to have Barney Frank on tape saying the "public option" is just a trojan horse for single payer. Or for Congress to have jammed the stimulus bill down everyone's throats as an emergency measure and now telling everyone it was never intended to work overnight --- although we have the President's economic guru, Larry "I love the Dames" Summers on tape saying the impact would be "immediate," but unemployment continues to rise.

For instance you can tell me that the bill specifically excludes illegals from being eligible to enroll in the "pubic option," but you cannot show me anything in the bill that requires anyone to enforce that prohibition. Two years ago, when "comprehensive immigration reform" was tried, Americans figured out the government was very likely to enthusiastically embrace the amnesty part of the bill and "fail to fund" or "fail to enforce" the border security part of the bill. It wasn't then about "plain language" of legislation and it isn't now about the plain language.

It's about voters losing faith in their government, the rampant corruption among politicians, and the failure of government to do a good job with the taxpayers' funds. We don't want to give them any more chances, certainly not on the scale of this gargantuan, ill conceived, expensive health care "reform."

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 19, 2009 1:11 PM

The President has tried to use the tactic of promoting the party agenda while being prepared to compromise when it is time to count the votes. While he has generally pursued a pragamatic agenda, he has been ready to use demogoguery at times both on the bond holders in the Chrysler bankruptcy and on the insurance company's role in health care.
With health care, it is increasingly looking like his tactics are not going to work. But, this week appears to have been a particularly bad mistake. He should not have back-pedaled on the public option. He can still say that he favors a public option. But he needs to state clearly that it is not essential for the bill. He does need to say what is essential for the bill. I would suggest improving health care quality, controlling costs, and extending coverage. He also has to say clearly that Democrats need to get off arguments on the public option an on to a discussion of what is essential in the bill. He also has to say clearly that the bill needs to be sold to the American people.
If instead what we get is a battle over a Democrat attempt to force an unpopular partisan bill though with the narrowest possible majority, it will probably destroy his Presidency.

Posted by: dnjake | August 19, 2009 1:07 PM

Government Run Healthcare - That will be bankrupt before it even starts. Another massive deficit is looming with this fiasco. Maybe the current leadership should be more concerned with the operations of Medicare, and Social Security. Social Security is on the fast track to unsustainablility, and they continue to do nothing. Get this fixed and fiscally feasable before trying to push liberal extremist agendas, on top of more failed Government Programs.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | August 19, 2009 1:04 PM

HEALTH CO-OPS: AN OBAMA MASTER STROKE?

The co-op alternative could prove to be an Obama master stroke -- a decentralized system of publicly-owned and operated health care that's not under the yoke of either Big Government or Big Business.

As a former disciple of Ralph Nader, President Obama understands the virtues of publicly-owned co-ops. No costly and unwieldy bureaucracy, no allegiance to hidden bureaucratic or corporate agendas.

Could it be that once again, the media pundits are underestimating the Obama savvy? This way, he can't be called a "socialist" because co-ops are owned by their members, not the government. And he's not surrendering to corporate interests because co-ops offer the benefits of a decrentralized mutualism, similar to the administration of a mutual fund owned by member-investors.

I hope I haven't given anything away to his political opposition... but I believe there's a sound methodology at work here. Keep the faith.

***

But President Obama also must dismantle the anti-democratic extrajudicial punishment "matrix" that he inherited from the Bush administration -- because "community stalkers" affiliated with this Gestapo-like apparatus have infiltrated the health care system, jeopardizing the care of "targeted" Americans:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 19, 2009 1:03 PM

"Want the GOP and Blue Dogs to go along with a public option is easy, pressure them with something draconian as an alternative. Draw up a bill that use eminent domain to take over all medical facilities and doctor practices. They will quickly change their tune."

Posted by: jameschirico | August 19, 2009 12:43 PM

=========================================
Sounds like an unconstitutional way of going about this. That would be so controversial that you would get even fewer Blue Dog votes for it than for the "public "option"". That's how other countrys go about pursuing antitrust policy - nationalize monopolies. In America, we break up monopolies. In the case of Health Insurance in America, we need to make the market landscape more competitive. A "public "option"" will lessen competition and ultimately HURT patients.

Mr Obama needs to help ALL of the American people to come to a consensus position on this most complex issue that a vast majority (say over 60 percent) can agree on for a very long time (30 years or more). What a simple majority that happens to hold the House of Representatives this year says is not enough in getting consensus to fix the system, especially if their prescription is radical and costly to taxpayers - as they have made clear that it is in the proposals.

There are many ways in which we can increase competition in the insurance market and the public "option" is not really a good idea because it will have a predatory nature in the markets. I would prefer working with our current system, but allowing for competition by all insurers in this country nationwide. I also think that the non-profit co-ops would be a great addition to the market. I also think that the States should be given leeway to experiment with systems that may work best for their region.

I don't like the idea of giving so much power to the federal government, don't like the idea of the government introducing a predatory entity into the market, don't like the idea of a single payer system getting even its ugly foot in the door, and don't like the strain that this will put on the budget and the potential for those who alredy have done the right thing and got good insurance to suffer.

The President is President of the United States; he is not merely the President of NetRoots and the most extreme wing of the Democratic party. We just had a Vice President who pursued an aggressive agenda of the most out-of-mainstream factions of the Republican party for eight years, we don't need Obama to be the Cheney of the Left. The President should act accordingly and help us find consensus. He was elected because we had eight years of devisive and excessive rule by Bush-Cheney, not because America wants radical change or wants to be "remade". This country is great, needs a few improvements, but certainly doesn't need to be "remade", especially by the radical wing of the Democratic party.

Posted by: chrojo01 | August 19, 2009 1:02 PM

"Want the GOP and Blue Dogs to go along with a public option is easy, pressure them with something draconian as an alternative....."

Or provide a clear, concise explanation of how the plan would be structured, administered and funded. Resistance to health care reform is driven by the sheer lack of specificity. I don't trust the government to overhaul 16% of the US economy with a "plan d'jour" approach.

Posted by: FedUp389 | August 19, 2009 12:55 PM

"...Obama has been under pressure to be more definitive about what he wants to see in a health care package. The longer he has resisted, the more doubts he has raised about what he stands for. His own supporters have begun to question his convictions and his toughness. The uproar over the public option this week has brought those doubts to the forefront of the debate."

This presidential administration has been completely ineffective to date. They seem to be selling instead of working. But their sales approach is arcane and self destructive. You don't attack your customer do you? You don't need to lie to him either. You need to accentuate the positive and address the negative. Our president, in my humble opinion, has made a mockery of the executive branch and has alienated many of his own supporters.
I believe he has accomplished this faster than any president in my life time. Their public relations team should be fired. Obama needs to give his TV appearances a huge rest. Are you guys sick of looking at him yet? I want some action and I don't believe he can deliver.

Posted by: RevolutionNow | August 19, 2009 12:47 PM

Want the GOP and Blue Dogs to go along with a public option is easy, pressure them with something draconian as an alternative. Draw up a bill that use eminent domain to take over all medical facilities and doctor practices. They will quickly change their tune.

Posted by: jameschirico | August 19, 2009 12:43 PM

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