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Axelrod defends merits of Senate health bill

By John Amick

Senior White House adviser David Axelrod defended the Senate's health-care reform bill, saying that while the legislation is not perfect, Democrats in Congress are on the verge of enacting monumental legislation for all Americans.

"I think when people see what actually happens after these reforms are passed, those concerns are going to be allayed, and they're going to realize that if they have insurance, they're more secure in their relationship with their insurance company, their costs are going to go down," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week." "And if they don't have insurance, they can get it at a price they can afford. It's going to reduce our deficit."

The Democrats now have the 60 votes needed to pass health-care legislation, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Fox News Sunday, "We will fight until the last vote. We owe that to our constituents, because ... we must do everything. We must look back and say, 'We did everything we can to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place.'" A cloture vote could take place in the early hours of Monday, setting up a final vote sometime before Christmas.

Progressives in the Democratic Party, including Howard Dean, have recently pushed against the White House's assertion that the final Senate bill will have a significant impact on the health insurance industry's grip on access to care and rising premiums. Dean said progressives have given ground after numerous campaign promises from the Obama administration that reform would bring some kind of public option, no individual mandates and access to imported prescription drugs -- all areas where Obama has changed course over the past year.

"I think there's been an enormous amount of compromise" but the Senate's bill sets America on a course where the private insurance industry is the only way to achieve universal coverage, Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Dean believes the House's version of reform is preferable, but in the "scramble" to win votes for the Senate's legislation, Democrats stripped out any real choice for Americans. Without a public option -- which the House version includes -- Democrats have now set up an unpalatable 30-year fight with private insurers, Dean said, voicing his continued opposition to the Senate's plan.

Axelrod, who called Dean's call to defeat the Senate bill "insane" this past week, said Dean is mistaken if he believes this version of reform is a sell-out by Obama and more moderate Senate Democrats.

"Governor Dean's main concern was that he called this a giveaway to the insurance company, but his facts were wrong," Axelrod said on ABC. "The fact is that this bill, for the first time, prohibits insurance companies from spending excessive amounts of money on CEO salaries.... We're going to have competition within these health insurance exchanges ... every American is going to have greater leverage with their insurance company."

Republicans and progressive Democrats alike have criticized the White House and Senate Democratic leadership for showering some senators with gifts for their states in exchange for a vote on the bill. For instance, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was assured significant federal assistance for his state's Medicaid program.

"I think every senator uses whatever leverage they have to help their states," Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union," defending Obama's promises of a new tenor and era of transparency in Washington. "That's the way it has been. That's the way it will always be.... The change is that we are fighting an insurance industry that has killed health reform for generations."

Republicans pointed to Nelson's deal as a prime indicator of how Democrats have handled reform thus far.

"We found what the price of that was as we began to read the bill that we've now had for less than 24 hours, when the senator from Nebraska on page 98 of the bill gets his state specifically exempted from having to pay the increased Medicaid costs associated with bill," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said on ABC.

Nelson was also lambasted by conservatives for compromising on his prior stance on an abortion provision in the bill. Nelson finally accepted a deal where states can decide to opt out of allowing insurance plans to cover abortion in the bill's established insurance exchanges.

"He (Nelson) took up the challenge of the pro-life community," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on CNN. "He became their standard-bearer. And he said, 'I will not let this bill leave the Senate.' And he negotiated a compromise that no pro-life group believes works."

Kyl said the state opt-out won't stop tax money from going to abortion coverage.

"If your state opts out, you're still paying the taxes that will support the subsidies for those who do buy abortion coverage, and that breaks a deal that we've had for a long time," he said.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) disagreed, pointing to separate payments the coverage will demand.

"What we agreed to yesterday, with Senator Nelson, is a clear allocation where those who buy an insurance policy with abortion coverage who also receive a federal tax credit will be required to make a separate payment each month, so it's clear delineation," he said on ABC. "No federal funds will be used, as we've said under the Hyde amendment, for paying for abortion, clear delineation."

When asked how a final bill will impact his party when most of the main reform provisions won't go into effect for years, Axelrod said he believes voters will see the merits of what's been set up by Democrats.

"The day the president signs the bill, children with pre-existing conditions will now be -- an insurance company can't keep them from joining their parents' insurance policy," Axelrod said on ABC. "People with pre-existing conditions will have a catastrophic plan they can join ... not to mention, we'll begin reducing that gap in Medicare prescription coverage."

Dean said if the Senate version is passed, he sees some rough elections ahead for Democrats.

"I think if this bill doesn't go into effect until 2014," it will be difficult to sell, he said.

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

Update, 2:05 p.m. ET: A show-by-show summary of today's talk shows:

NBC: Meet the Press - Axelrod, Dean diverge on bill's value

In the face of strong resistance from progressives in the Democratic Party, White House adviser David Axelrod insisted the Senate's health-care reform bill is a landmark step for patients' rights and not a sell-out of Obama's campaign promises.

"This adheres to the key principles that the president set," Axelrod said. "It's going to bring more security to people who, who have insurance today in relation to their insurance companies, it'll reduce their costs over time as well. It's going to help people who don't have insurance, including small businesses who can't afford it."

Progressives in the Democratic Party, including Howard Dean, have recently pushed against the White House's assertion that the final Senate bill will have a significant impact on the health insurance industry's grip on access to care and rising premiums. Dean said progressives have given ground after numerous campaign promises from the Obama administration that reform would bring some kind of public option, no individual mandates and access to imported prescription drugs -- all areas where Obama has changed course over the past year.

"I think there's been an enormous amount of compromise" but the Senate's bill sets America on a course where the private insurance industry is the only way to achieve universal coverage, Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on "Meet the Press."

Dean believes the House's version of reform is much more preferable, but in the "scramble" to win votes for the Senate's legislation, Democrats stripped out any real choice for Americans. Without a public option -- which the House version includes -- Democrats have now set up an unpalatable 30-year fight with private insurers, Dean said, voicing his continued opposition to the Senate's plan.

Axelrod, who called Dean's call to defeat the Senate bill "insane" this past week, said Dean is mistaken if he believes this version of reform is a sell out by Obama and more moderate Senate Democrats.

"He (Dean) just wasn't familiar with some of the aspects of this legislation," said Axelrod, who also stressed his respect for Dean's record on health care.

Axelrod further defended the administration against progressive critics, saying no legislation is passed without compromise and that Obama supports a public option, but he is only a small part of the reform effort.

"No major piece of legislation that's ever been passed in this country ... that doesn't include compromise," he said. "That's the legislative process. But the question is, in the main, does it achieve what we wanted to achieve? It's not perfect. And over time it may be improved, as all legislation is."

Axelrod insisted that Americans will realize that the bill is a positive force for them, and that by the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats should see a "good result." Dean said if the Senate version is passed, he sees some rough elections ahead for Democrats.

I think if this bill doesn't go into effect until 2014," it will be difficult to sell, he said.

CNN: State of the Union - Axelrod defends Senate health bill

Senior White House adviser David Axelrod defended the Senate's version of health-care reform Sunday, saying the legislation, while not perfect, represents a major step for all Americans.

"I think there is a will to get this done," he said. "People understand we're on the doorstep of doing something really historic that will help the American people and strengthen our country for the long run."

Axelrod defended deals cut with certain senators in exchange for their support of the bill. For instance, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was assured significant federal assistance for his state's Medicaid program.

"I think every senator uses whatever leverage they have to help their states," Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union," defending Obama's promises of a new tenor and era of transparency in Washington. "That's the way it has been. That's the way it will always be.... The change is that we are fighting an insurance industry that has killed health reform for generations."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was upset with Nelson for accepting a deal on abortion coverage in the bill, in which states can decide to opt out of allowing insurance plans to cover abortion in established insurance exchanges.

"He (Nelson) took up the challenge of the pro-life community," Graham said. "He became their standard-bearer. And he said, 'I will not let this bill leave the Senate.' And he negotiated a compromise that no pro-life group believes works."

Axelrod defended the backtrack by President Obama on his campaign platform of allowing the re-importation of drugs, saying the White House isn't done with the issue despite reports that it actively lobbied against the provision in the Senate bill.

"The president supports ... safe re-importation of drugs into this country," he said. "The president is committed to moving forward once we resolve the issues that the FDA has. That's his responsibility, to protect the American people."

ABC: This Week - Axelrod: Dean is wrong about health bill

Senior White House adviser David Axelrod defended the Senate's health-care reform bill, saying that while the legislation is not perfect, Democrats in Congress are on the verge of enacting monumental legislation for all Americans.

"I think when people see what actually happens after these reforms are passed, those concerns are going to be allayed, and they're going to realize that if they have insurance, they're more secure in their relationship with their insurance company, their costs are going to go down," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week."

Axelrod, who called Dean's call to defeat the Senate bill "insane" this past week, said Dean is mistaken if he believes this version of reform is a sell out by Obama and more moderate Senate Democrats.

"Governor Dean's main concern was that he called this a giveaway to the insurance company, but his facts were wrong," Axelrod said. "The fact is that this bill, for the first time, prohibits insurance companies from spending excessive amounts of money on CEO salaries.... We're going to have competition within these health insurance exchanges ... every American is going to have greater leverage with their insurance company."

"We found what the price of that was as we began to read the bill that we've now had for less than 24 hours, when the senator from Nebraska on page 98 of the bill gets his state specifically exempted from having to pay the increased Medicaid costs associated with bill," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said.

Nelson was also lambasted by conservatives for compromising on his prior stance on an abortion provision in the bill. Nelson finally accepted a deal where states can decide to opt out of allowing insurance plans to cover abortion in the bill's established insurance exchanges.

Kyl said the state opt-out won't stop tax money from going to abortion coverage.

"If your state opts out, you're still paying the taxes that will support the subsidies for those who do buy abortion coverage, and that breaks a deal that we've had for a long time," he said.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) disagreed, pointing to separate payments the coverage will demand.

"What we agreed to yesterday, with Senator Nelson, is a clear allocation where those who buy an insurance policy with abortion coverage who also receive a federal tax credit will be required to make a separate payment each month, so it's clear delineation," Durbin said. "No federal funds will be used, as we've said under the Hyde amendment, for paying for abortion, clear delineation."

When asked how a final bill will impact his party when most of the main reform provisions won't go into effect for years, Axelrod said he believes voters will see the merits of what's been set up by Democrats.

"The day the president signs the bill, children with pre-existing conditions will now be -- an insurance company can't keep them from joining their parents' insurance policy," Axelrod said. "People with pre-existing conditions will have a catastrophic plan they can join ... not to mention, we'll begin reducing that gap in Medicare prescription coverage."

Fox News Sunday - McCain signals GOP can't do much to stop reform

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) agreed that there was "probably not" much Republicans can do to stop health-care reform from passing the Senate by Christmas Eve.

"We will fight until the last vote," McCain said. "We owe that to our constituents ... we must do everything. We must look back and say, 'We did everything we can to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place.'"

The former Republican presidential candidate said the bill's savings reported by the Congressional Budget Office, to the tune of $130 billion in the first decade and around $1.3 trillion over the next, are only the result of suspect budgeting and major cuts to Medicare.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) disagreed, saying the CBO estimate will significantly bend the cost curve in the second decade, a goal of Senate Democrats and Obama alike.

"With respect to bending the cost curve, CBO says in the second 10 years it does bend the cost curve -- in the first 10 years very modest increase, but you'd expect that when you cover 30 million more people," Conrad said.

Conrad countered critics of the deal Sen. Nelson struck for his state in exchange for his vote, saying the compromise is common for all senators of all states.

"My state along with the other frontier states, five in number, get an increase in their Medicare levels of reimbursement because we're the lowest states in the country," he said. "And that doesn't offend me at all. It's, in fact, fair."

McCain called Obama's attempt at striking a deal on climate change a failure.

"I think that the fact it has no binding provisions to it whatsoever is a rhetorical attempt to cover up what was obviously a serious failure," he said.

CBS: Face the Nation - Senators disagree on bill's timetable

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) lamented the pace of health reform in the Senate all "for a bill that doesn't become implemented until 2014" and that has been treated as if it were an end-of-the-year appropriations bill.

"I said to the president and I said to the Senate majority leader and others, please, give us the time; come back after the new year; get together," Snowe said. "This is a generational issue that has substantial effects with -- in fact, I would say sweeping effects because you're recalculating one- sixth of our economy."

On the abortion compromise in the legislation, Snowe supported the "status quo, making sure that we're not using any federal funds to finance abortion," but said she's disappointed in how the provision was handled in the Senate.

"I think it's regrettable that it's reached this point with respect to this issue because, clearly, what is in the current legislation should have satisfied those concerns," Snowe said. "It was every attempt to write it as it is in existing law that would not use any federal funds to finance abortion."

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) echoed his fellow Republican Snowe, saying the pace of action in the Senate is indicative of the merits of the bill.

"There's a reason why we're voting on it in the middle of the night," Alexander said of the cloture vote scheduled for 1:00 a.m. ET Monday morning. "We just learned about it yesterday. They're trying to push it through before Christmas. There's a lot of explaining to do."

Sen. Mary Landrieu countered Alexander, saying the only reason for such a late vote was Republicans' stall tactics.

"There's only one reason we're going to be here until Christmas, and that's Senator Tom Coburn," Landrieu said. "We don't have to vote in the middle of the night. But he's the one making us do it, not Harry Reid, not the Democrats. It is a Republican obstructionist that is making us vote in the middle of the night."

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) piled on Alexander, saying that at least Democrats were trying to pay for the bill as opposed to Republican action on Medicare during George W. Bush's first term.

"In 2003, when the insurance companies and the drug companies and President Bush pushed through the Medicare privatization bill ... they were not paying for it in any way," Brown said. "We are paying for this bill. The Congressional Budget Office says ... in the next 20 years, it will be a $1.4 trillion paydown of the national debt."

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  December 20, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Sunday Talkies  | Tags: axelrod, health care, howard dean, mccain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama and McCain duel over health care in radio addresses
Next: Reform takes 'a giant step' forward

Comments

Axelrod & Associates. In 1987 he worked on the successful reelection campaign of Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, while also helping to spearhead Simon's campaign for the 1988 Democratic Presidential nomination. This established his first experience in working with black politicians and he later became a key player in similar mayoral campaigns of blacks, including Dennis Archer in Detroit, Michael R. White in Cleveland, Anthony A. Williams in Washington, D.C., Lee P. Brown in Houston, and John F. Street in Philadelphia.[2] Axelrod is a longtime strategist for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and styles himself a "specialist in urban(Black)politics."

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 21, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

David AxelRod Is a public Image Consultant,
who specializes in getting 'black' untouchable candidates elected.

Did he read a pamplet on healthcare reform?

He is a bald faced Liar!

He needs to go back to his studio in Chicage and create more 'untouchables'

his job with Barry O'bama is complete.

Posted by: simonsays1 | December 21, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

i never believed in U.F.O`S or life on other planets,but listening to sen.axelrod i am beginning to change my mind.this health care bill is unaccepticle to everybody but the liberal democrats.let the senators and congressmen sign up for this health coverage,until than i hope eveyone of them will be voted out of office.

Posted by: SISSD1 | December 21, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Axelrod is an encouragement to all persuasions.

Posted by: Wdyafo | December 21, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Despite fumbling the expectations game, this is still a major victory for the president. He promised a health care bill and he delivered. That's an aspect that cannot be understated.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 21, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

have read excellent articles here about the Obama Admin.. and other relevant issues!

http://www.lipmantimes.com/

Posted by: obwatch | December 21, 2009 3:47 AM | Report abuse

URGENT TO POTUS/VPOTUS/A.G. HOLDER/D. AXELROD VIA WH PRESS OFFICE:

What good is health care reform when unconstitutionally targeted Americans are silently tortured and impaired with secret microwave/laser weaponry?

OBAMA WRONG, UNAWARE; US DOES TORTURE -- ITS OWN CITIZENS, SAYS VETERAN JOURNALIST

• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system employing cell towers and satellites to silently torture, impair, subjugate unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-unaware-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez
OR (if links are corrupted / disabled): NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 20, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

With the tragic passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, The US Constitution and American People lost their fiercest advocate and truest friend. The impending victory of the American People over the forces of corporatist republican't greed, will be greatly due to his stalwart efforts.

The US Congress and the American People must continue to hold his torch high or be forever darkened and diminished by his absence.

For those with serious interest in correcting health care injustices and controlling exponential cost escallations, republican'ts have nothing of value to offer and never have. The republican't goal is FAILURE. Failure for our President, our Congress, our economy, our health care system, our energy crisis. In brief, all the things the previous totally incompetent and failed republican't leadership (including Traitor Joe) have already destroyed!

Over two terms of the, "republican reign of error", these failed republican war criminals had no problem spending a TRILLION dollars to kill 1,366,350 Iraqis, mostly innocent non-combatant women and children.

The hideously greedy grasping republican'ts have fought long and hard to stop critical legislation that would save the lives of 45 THOUSAND innocent American infants, toddlers, children, teens, young adults, women, men, and elderly US Citizens!

The republican'ts are now a greater threat to the survival of US Citizens than al-Quaeda!

Their Jihad on health care reform is conclusive proof that the republican't party, it's vastly failed leadership, hypocritically moronic media lackeys, demented constituents, and self serving corporatist agenda are not only the sworn enemy of 45 THOUSAND innocent American infants, toddlers, children, teens, young adults, women, men, and elderly US Citizens.

They are the proven enemy of our Nation, our Constitution, and The American People!

If we can afford an illegitimate pre-emptive republican war without end, we can and must afford to save the lives of 45,000 US Citizens who will die without needed health care insurance.

The enemies of Senator Kennedy, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Reid, and President Obama are truly the enemies of the American People and our Nations long-term health and prosperity. Indeed, they pose an iminent and terminal threat to 45 thousand innocent US Citizens at this very moment!

Posted by: MrTruth | December 20, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Satan incarnate likes the bill...

Surprise surprise!

Posted by: Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief | December 20, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: kkshoe1207 | December 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Since 2000, every major initiative of the United States government (the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, Medicare Drug Benefits, Bush Tax Cuts, Bush & Obama Tarp, and Obama Stimulus) have one thing in common: not one of them has been paid for by tax-payers. Every US Dollar spent on these programs has been either borrowed, or 'printed' by the Federal Reserve.

Regardless of how you feel about the 2700 page bill (which on one on this earth can honestly claim to have read) under consideration at the moment, unless you are willing to demand, first and foremost, that our government cease and desist from the deliberate plunder of this nation's good credit, our Constitution and our democracy remain in grave peril. The keystone of our democracy is the requirement that Congress debate, compromise and legislate the appropriate disposition of tax revenues drawn from the productive output of this country. For 35 years, our economy has failed to produce more than it consumes. The difference has been made up by the systematic liquidation of this nation's wealth, and is now entirely dependent upon the good faith of the global economy in our credit, alone! To allow the Congress and the President to continue to pursue policies entirely dependent upon that good faith, while failing to deliver (in any venue) on promises to adopt fiscally responsible practices with empirically measurable results, is reckless and guarantees the eventual collapse of this nation's economy, and with it our future.

This health care legislation is not the straw that will break the Camel's back, it is a tree-trunk. We can sit idly by and watch it happen, or we can demand of our elected officials that they stand down, and confront the reality of a bankrupt nation now, while we still have the means to avert a disaster.

Posted by: thomas777 | December 20, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

These bills simply have NO MERIT. The majority of the American people DO NOT WANT THESE BILLS, they really want real reform. So why are the Senators and representatives NOT LISTENING? The first stages of real socialism. They believe first that socialism will work even though history has proven them wrong...their reason...because they will be in charge and they are smarter, brighter, and more educated that those that tried before. It is sad because it will be at the price of the American citizen that they will eventually be proven wrong...again by history. What incompetents!

Posted by: staterighter | December 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm a veteran so I have a certain amount of respect for McCain who was a POW. What I believe he should do now is retire and live in one of his 12 houses. The wing nuts are out tonight and crying , WHAT'S NEW.

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | December 20, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, We do need Health Reform. But- Axelrod, sounds more lke a Brown, or a Tory,- than a PATRIOT. He makes it sound like it was a good fight,- and 'give-and-take' was necessary by both/all sides on Health Reform. Axelrod also replied:- "And if they don't have insurance, they can get it at a price they can afford. It's going to reduce our deficit." Well well, again.!? - It is so difficult to tell what many on either side are acually for. Side being played against side. Reds against Blues. Will WE ever know what goes on, or has been going on.- behind the scenes?! - So many powerful & influencial Republican & Democrats,-- quite most likely,- not only making agreements / deals in public,-- but "behind-the-scenes" may have been plannig some of this ALL along!? - WE-the-People, are often duped, lied to, manipulated, and played agaisnt each other,-- just to in-the-long-run,- produce the Desired-Results that the $Insurance Scoundrels,- and their' Bankster ? Wallsters wanted as final results!!?? - Another reason to question, examine, and explore,- the REAL RESONS for all this CRAP!? - CRAP made-up and spread by $Banksters, Wallsters, and Fake REFORMsters! ha!? -- "END-the-FED"! - "Take-AMERICA-Back!! -- and:- {(throw out the CRAPsters / BROWNsters- the Traitor Reds & Blues in Congress)}"... -- jward52

Posted by: jward52 | December 20, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod wins as propagandist of the year, with Obama being a close second. This is not change we voted for, but a continued surrender to corporate interests in this country.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 20, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Compromise? Everytime it lowers the bar...and this package is no exception. Sorry, Mr. Axelrod, you may have run a brilliant campaign, but you are far from being a public policy specialist.

Without a so-called "public option", I'm afraid this bill won't do much more than further fatten the coffers of the insurance companies -- these are businesses who really don't offer anything to anyone. This bill is a give-away to industry just like TARP and HARP and about everything else the politicians touch. "Cap and trade" will be that way when the time comes for it to get lodged in the senate.

Why would insurance companies ever help provide or pay for health care? It's against their business interests to do so! Last year the insurance companies earned about $32 billion! That money should have gone to hospitals, doctors and nurses.

Why is there a need for investors in health insurnace? All these businesses own are computers...they don't own physical plants or medical equipment. The American public and its representatives just can't get the picture.

Think about it...$32 billion to divide amongst investors...and that's after all expenses and executive bonuses were paid.

The insurance industry is nothing more than leaches who suck money away both from people who pay premiums and the healthcare providers.

Posted by: Vunderlutz | December 20, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha! Axelrod, the replacement architect of the demise of America! Who cares what he thinks.

Posted by: williepete1 | December 20, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

axelrod needs to get off the stage.

i want to watch the tall and scrawny one defend his P.O.S. bill.

some things you should never do.. passing a half-a** health care bill full of taxation on the middle class while cutting medicare on the elderly and fixed income seniors is one of them.

plus, our "fearless leader" obama has now shown us he is not above bribes and payoffs to senators to get what HE wants.. not what the american people wanted.. but what HE wanted. nobody even knows what's in this friggin P.O.S. bill, but harry "useless" reid was saying, "trust me.. trust me.. it's a great bill.. i can't give you any details, but it's a great bill!" and the tall and scrawny one was on every talk show including hee-haw saying how wonderful both HE and IT was..

this is "CHANGE"?

hardly.

Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | December 20, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The chickens always come home to roost. sometimes it takes a while, but its a given.


All those young exuberant voters, the drive to register to vote on campus and through ACORN, or donate coin through the Internet...it will be missing in 2012. It will be missing in 2110.


But what will not be missing, what like the oak will be at the polling booth is our senior citizens, armed with the lever and mad as hell. Bet on it. The first decrease in benefits, the first increase in premiums or medication cost and its curtains at the polling booth for democrats. If played right its curtains "before" the bill arrives.


Who else will be mad as hell? Christians, "When thou hast done, Thou hast not done, for I have more." (forgive the pun from Donne). Washington just gave them a new reason to organize. To crusade as it will, and no Democrat is safe now with such a bold betrayal for profit. Sold out his pro life standard bearing soul for a gift of gold to Nebraski. Few Nebraskans will be able to say Ben Nelson's name with pride after this. Liberals shure, moderates not so much. Christians no way, not without a spittoon at the ready.


This election cycle will be political change meets political theater, with the mascots living up to their traditional names.

Posted by: Homunculus | December 20, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

david axelrod and rahm emanuel pulling the strings for puppet obama and these progressive socialists are paid for by the likes of george soros ,aman who hates our american democracy .......it is time american citizens pay attention to what is happening to our country .

Posted by: cmt138 | December 20, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I strongly support the health care bill because it will be good for millions of Americans. And Obama has made some tough decisions this year and deserves out respect. But I have to say it is equally gratifying to see the defeat of right-wing conservatives on the health care issue. They represent what is worst about American politics and the character of the American people.

Posted by: dudh | December 20, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Washington Post for giving a PR man a channel to broadcast his spin.

If only the DNC were as effective as pushing the POTUS's message as you are.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | December 20, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod lies as much as his boss the dishonest as$ hole in the Oval Office.
Disgusting.

Posted by: LarryG62 | December 20, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

mcain and liebermouth hide behind the best government paid for health plan in the world

and consign the rest of us to s**t

all true.

Posted by: jato11 | December 20, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

As stated by John McCain, "We must look back and say, 'We did everything we can to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place."

~~~

Yes, McCain, it is true that you did try everything.

You and your miserable cohorts did every thing possible to DERAIL the efforts a comprehensive reform strategy of the U.S., Health Care system, which is no longer efficient and is too costly for millions of hard working tax payers.

Now we know why Government DOES NOT work.

This is another one of the GOP's BIG failures that I am adding to the list.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | December 20, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

aepelbaum
"I, as the majority of Americans, wish McCain all luck in the world to win this fight against this bill."

DC Sage 1: John McCain was not supported by the majority of Americans who resoundingly voted against him and his Wasilla attack dog in the Presidential election. I'm not sure where you get the nonsense that the majority of Americans support this incompetent puppet of insurance companies.

John McCain represents insurance companies and like the entire republican party, McCain has been bought lock, stock and barrel by insurance company pimps. McCain is an insruance company lackey.

I for one hope that this shill for insurance companies fails in everything he tries to do because he has never uttered one word in support of the American middle-class.

Posted by: DCSage1 | December 20, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

sooner or later this bill will hurt most people...
why...
because it's a mess...
you can demand reforms that don't cost anything and you can demand results without changing everything...
but obama and the dems want to change everything when most people are happy with what they have...
anyway...
don't wait until 2012...
2010 is a good year to cast your vote in favor or against of your rep...
just remember...
how many millions have no job and they have done nothing...
and it's about the culture of jobs...
jobs for Americans...
which these multinationals don't want Americans working for them...
so they move the work overseas and there goes the tax base...
which the congress doesn't do anything about, asking more from us...
send the dems home, give the others a chance...
lets see what happens...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod sucks giant Grinch Kock.

Posted by: dashriprock | December 20, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Obamajoker face

Axelrod = The penguin


Timmy al capne Geithner = The riddler

Holder = the dirty cop


Pelosi = the 2 face

Hillary is the Dr Evil pinky up saying 100 billion dollars , while Bill is in the backround as mini me humping a missle.

Place Biden for a more American America.


Posted by: dottydo | December 20, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The bill is a definite sellout.

We needed health care costs to go down, not up.

We'll be paying more for health care, more taxes, and getting less medicare.

THAT is an improvement?

Posted by: postfan1 | December 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Why pass a healthcare bill that is known to have problems.

Reality is all of the laws our government passes seem to be broken or don't do what they need to do.

Posted by: riain | December 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The Health Care seeks to control health insurer spending, and begins taxing tanning salons.
http://digitaljournal.com/article/284177

Posted by: ajefferson | December 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

BUY insurance company stock...it is another banks get richer scheme like bailouts were , sure as chit.

You lost your wallet and house, and banks are looking for caulk cash for your old place.


It is all beyond ethics violations and yes, even Un-American, but Obamaland doesn't run like the USA ....because it isn't.
The jail train waits for you not to ante up to the cake eaters.

Buy stock now and be the cake eater.

One small note: Donate taxable gains to charity and bankrupt Obamaland anyway.

Posted by: dottydo | December 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ya Axelrod, it's not perfect, the bill sucks. Be proud that you are getting this POS bill passed. All you care is saying that you reformed heathcare when you really didn't. FU.

Posted by: FredKnowsBest | December 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Another corporate give-away. People need to read about the campaign contributions he health care industry is funneling to the Democratic leadership over this piece of trash legislation. It is going to cost all of us billions. It is no different than the "bailout" these crooks gave to Wall Street banks. And to think, I voted for Obama, voted a straight Democratic ticket. My god was I rube! Evidently, A LOT of voters feel the same way. Throw these bast*rds out! As bad as Bush and the Republican's were, Obama and his Democratic thugs are worse.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 20, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

McCain is amusing for numerous reasons right now Axelnod. The standout entertainment to me is using propaganda tools upgraded for the 21st Century by Rove. These propaganda tools were pretty much invented by evil nazis and adapted by Communists through the latter half of the 20th Century. Irony to me is that McCain's caucus has become "good Commies" when it comes to misinformation.

In addition, we can tell McCain is now running for re-election claiming he is looking after his constituents after missing some 100 votes in a row in Senate while running for President. We all know about Arizona's porous borders and high incidence of drug crimes from the Sheriff's of Arizona. When McCain and Kyl fail to secure Arizona's borders drugs and illegal aliens creep into the rest of the country. So McCain's lack of empathy for his own constituents has actually threatened the security of the rest of the nation.

McCain talks alot of crap after a spending bill is passed but I have never seen him filibuster a spending bill on his own as would be his right in the Senate to express a Minority opinion, days on end if need be. Landrieu has filibustered on her own for hours upon hours in recent years. Perhaps McCain is lazy. I also know that Fridays he is usually not in D.C. but in Arizona on the radio, imagine that.

Coburn the Elitist Doctor better than the rest of Americans is amusing. This hypocrite voted against SCHIPS and now is making a fuss about abortion. I wonder how many children would have been denied Health Care if Coburn got his way on SCHIPS. I guess the tobacco companies and Medical Industry own Coburn ? That's ashame.

In general, these hypocritical, holier than thou, self proclaimed Gods are missing a point of Civil Liberties which comes down to the Free Will of Individuals. I know that Elitists try to play God for people through a defect of character that makes them Superior to the common man in their own elitist minds. Point is, we all have individual rights to Freedom in this Country which differ state to state as well. Indeed, Prostitution is legal in Nevada but not D.C. ?

Cusp is an interesting word. Just when I thought I knew it all, I discovered the term "cusp" as it is used in Mathematical theory. Einstein was apparently intrigued by mathematical computations revealing the "cusp". Einstein was in fact a genius and beyond comparison I think.

Posted by: truthhurts | December 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

odumbo and axe just working on their retirement funding.slick willy was not this transparent.

Posted by: pofinpa | December 20, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who believe that health-care 'is a right, not a privilege' will very likely get your way. And as long as the rest of the world is willing to keep financing that 'right' (along with all our other rights, including 60-inch plasma TV's, SUV's, and cheeseburgers with 7 all-beef patties and whatever other goop we want on them), you'll get you're health care, even if it means standing in a very long line. Keep in mind, people who prefer not to work will be ahead of you in line, because their hours are more flexible. And the lines may get longer, since the amount we pay health care workers (other than doctors) is substantially less than what we now pay important government employees (like parking meter readers here in Portland, OR, who make $60K + benefits). My good friend, a nurse with 15 years experience who makes substantially less than that asked me the other day: "Do you think I could make it as a parking meter reader? Maybe I should quit nursing and go do that?"

Ours is a state that has been run (into the ground) by Democrats for the last 30 years, and we now have nearly the highest unemployment in the nation, and a state government which is effectively broke. We also have a public option health-care system. That's right: we've had what you Democrats want for nearly 10 years, and guess what? It's broke too! But then, we can't borrow money from China.

PS: Neither can the United States, anymore. Check the figures at the US Treasury website. China isn't loaning us any more money. They're doing us the big favor of not cashing out the $800-billion they already hold (and wish they didn't).

Posted by: thomas777 | December 20, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I listened to Axelrod on MTP.He wouldn`t answer any of the tough questions and clearly lied through his teeth.He actually suggested that the Reid bill would "save" Medicare.It`s tragically clear that Obama and his flacks will say anything to advance their radical agenda.

Posted by: bowspray | December 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the Democrats biggest mistake has been trying to curry favor with Republicans.

Republicans view Democrats as "the enemy"

Democrats would be wise to view Republicans the same way.

Posted by: RealityAlwaysBeatsPerception | December 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

You bet your bottom borrowed Chinese dollar the bill isn't perfect. Democrats "compromised" away most of the good parts in an effort to get Republicans onboard. Republicans bargained in bad faith, as is their habit. So the exceptionally well-managed, affordable health care delivery system that Americans -- those who don't substitute faith/belief/hatred for brains -- want is not in the bill.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | December 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

As a Republican, I would like to be very clear: our party's brain-dead obsession with abortion rights and trickle-down economics does nothing to solve the core problems we face. Trickle-down economics is just a nice name for predatory capitalism, and simply provides the opposition party the excuse it needs to destroy free-enterprise with government mandates, along with wage & benefit entitlements. These are the two ideologically bankrupt sides of the same corrupt coin, the 'coin of the realm' as we in the electorate have allowed it to be defined. It's ironic that someone would bring up Mao in an attempt to blame our problems on 'socialism', given that we now owe China $800-billion (our largest single lender for our national credit card), and they are more than any other nation responsible for keeping this country's economy afloat.

Socialism traditionally has something to do with re-distributing the wealth of a country out of the pockets of those who earn it, into the pockets of those who just need it. But it doesn't really apply to our country now, in the 21st century, because we haven't earned a dime in 35 years. 1977 was the last year this country earned more than we consumed. This year, only 1 in 3 dollars spent on government came from tax-revenues. The remainder was borrowed, and that does not take into account the $1.2-trillion fabricated by the Federal Reserve to pay additional costs of government ($300-billion), and to buy up $900-billion in toxic mortgage assets from private financial institutions (that is, losses incurred by non-union, generally Republican financial moguls on Wall Street after their sub-prime mortgage racket imploded). I would ask: was that move by the Fed 'socialism', or was it just flagrant plunder of the global monetary system to keep big banks in control, and prevent a few dozen billionaires from being knocked off the Forbes 400?

Posted by: thomas777 | December 20, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Hold still, I'll try and gag you before you make a bigger Fool out of yourself than you already have.Listen to how silly you sound, can you not hear the words that come from some distant place that is not your heart.

Posted by: thomascanada | December 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, o* course Axelrod will say anything to support Obama. While Dean sees his own mortality in the Bill he *ights it on terms only he understands. I think that as long as abortion is the Law o* the Land, it should be covered like it or not. To exclude this as a covered service is up to the Supreme Court. Who knows they need an abortion be*ore they have one?

The public option, which scares the living daylights out o* the Insurance Conglomerates is something Obama is willing to give up just to pass the Bill. It's a shame. When good could actually be done *or the people without insurance the pressure o* the Big Pharma and Insurance Conglomerates come to put pressure on the Senate. I hope when it comes right down to it the House Bill and the Senate Bill come together and uphold the very REASON this whole agenda was brought up in the *irst place. To help the American People without taking anything away *rom them. I* one doesn't choose to get insurance they're taxed? That's absured. Hope*ully they don't get sick - but i* they do, then it's on them and no one else. To DEMAND it however, is un-American. I've read parts o* this Bill and I think taken at *ace value it's wrong, but in order to get the ball rolling it's a good idea. Medicare wasn't anywhere near right when it was passed 60 some years ago. It's been a "work in progress" ever since - but at least it shows good progress and takes care o* those in need. That Obama stands or *alls on this legislation is the reason theres such a split in the PARTISANSHIP and lack o* understanding between the Dems. and Republicans. It will be remembered throughout the eternity o* our nation that they didn't come together on such an important issue. It looks bad especially towards the stalwart Republicans.

Posted by: JMG621 | December 20, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

So do Axelrod, Emaunuel, have deals with insurance companies? Big Pharma? They gotta cut? The Chicago Way?

Gag me.

Posted by: mftill | December 20, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The same nay sayers pop up like a Jack-In-The-Box, saying nothing but looking dumb as Jack does.Monkeys chasing Weasels.

McCain is still the same as he rants like the Military Brat is has always been. Poor John or is it Dear John!
John still holds up his flag of surrender,. I wonder what really happened in Hanoi for all those years?
Manchurian Candidate?
We will have something and once people realize it is not a conspiracy and wealth comes from health, we will be just fine once we put the insurance and pharmacutical gangs out of the way.
Time for them to get their spanking and sit in the corner for an hour until they learn to behave like good children.

Posted by: thomascanada | December 20, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod is a worn out rehash from the Clinton administration. Considering Obama's selection of advisors, mediocrity and irrelevance is the rule.

Posted by: nmg3rln | December 20, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Their costs are going to go down," Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week." "And if they don't have insurance, they can get it at a price they can afford." This is worse than propaganda, these are falsehoods.

Anyone who actually believes health care costs are going to decrease and everyone who does not have health care insurance will be able to get it at affordable prices is either sadly deluding themselves or lying. According to the Senate bill, twenty-three million people will be uninsured ten years from now, that contradicts what Obama's propagandist said.

He could at least be truthful in defending the bill.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 20, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

As evidence of the bill's merit, Axelrod cites in the insurance companies' opposition. They say, "Please don't throw us in that briarpatch."

Posted by: RLHughes | December 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Who voted for Axelrod? Or Rahm-the-Israeli-Defense-Force?

God help us! These are not people who grasp who most of us are.

And "our" President. Not so much...

Posted by: mftill | December 20, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

They are not Progressives, they are Ultra Liberals. The Progress party in Norway is the most right wing party in the country. Let's drop that pretentious misnomer- Progressives.

Posted by: hz9604 | December 20, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

And I'd bet Chairman Mao would also offer a sterling defense of this socialist healthcare manifesto. Disgusting!

Posted by: rplat | December 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Every member of the electorate who thinks the issue is health-care is part of the mass delusion that continues to grip this country. We have a Congress and Executive which is completely out of control, determined to stay in office (and keep paying a massively useless federal bureaucracy it's exorbitant salaries and benefits, even as the rest of the country sinks further into debt), no matter how many US Dollars they must borrow and/or 'print'. Mostly the latter, now that the rest of the world recognizes we intend to take whatever we want, regardless of our ability to actually produce a net profit in the global economy.

The complete absurdity of this charade was made clear to me this morning when I heard a news report that part of the 'funding' for this latest legislative debacle is going to come from a 10% tax on indoor tanning. Does anyone posting on this forum believe that the new health care legislation will add anything less than $500-billion per year to our annual deficits, adding to next year's $1.4-trillion forecast deficit? Does any one on this forum believe we can keep fabricating US Dollars to perpetuated our shared delusion of prosperity, by 'stimulating' an economy based on credit cards, and which has not turned a legitimate profit in the global markets for 35 straight years?

As a Republican, I voted for Obama because he said he was going to show the special interests the door, and fix what was broken. Instead, he's paid off their losses, re-filled their coffers, and our country has never in it's history been more broke and broken, all at the same time. We are presiding over the collapse of the greatest democracy in the history of mankind. By agreeing even to debate the 'merits' of this latest Obamanation you are not only part of the problem, you are the marrow of the problem.

Posted by: thomas777 | December 20, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

McCain needs to wake up and see that millions of Americans are held hostage by insurance companies that rival the Hanoi Hilton in terms of treachery and inhumanity. Fight? for whom, Senator? I'll believe these Republican neo-fascists are serious when they voluntarily give up their own gov't run insurance policies and entitlements. Until then, they are as trustworthy as an insurance lobbyist on crack.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | December 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The bill is atrocious -- at most a bandaid for a gaping wound in the body politic. The Republican attitude is even worse -- to throw salt in that wound. I hope the bill passes, since it will at least slow down the process by which our so-called health care system is bleeding this country to death. Still, I would urge anyone with any sense and two nickels to rub together to refuse to buy health insurance in the United States, pay the fine, and seek treatment overseas.

Posted by: mnjam | December 20, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his senatorial slaves have just performed a five-fingered rectal on the American middle class. No one with a hand in this abortion should be left in office next year. A warning: the Democrats will try to steal the election. We now live in a Mugabi-style dictatorship.

Posted by: iamafg | December 20, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats would provide money to help pregnant teenagers and new mothers so that they could stay in high school and attend college.

The federal government would provide $25 million a year for a 'pregnancy assistance fund.' The money could be used for 'maternity and baby clothing, baby food, baby furniture and similar items,' the proposal says."

No wonder Planned Parenthood cannot support the bill as their entire agenda is “sell abortions” by using sex education to 'break down' the natural modesty of children, separate them from their parents and their values, and establish the abortion provider as the sex expert in young people’s lives.

'So they would turn to us when we would give them a low-dose birth control pill they would get pregnant on, or a defective condom," Carol Everett

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 20, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will always fight for mandatory financial bondage of all americans to mortgage, insurance, defense and credit card companies. Their arguments against healthcare or anything else is just noise to cover the fact.

Axlerod is a jerk. Obama is a sell out. It doesn't really matter though. We do not live in anything resembling a democracy.
It's whatever the financiers want. Ba-a-a-a-a Ba-a-a-a-a

Posted by: jfern03 | December 20, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It is really quite easy to allow emotion to rule in the argument on any side of this bill. That there has been more than just minor acquiescence to the so called Health Insurance Cartel is not in question. This has been bought and unashamedly surrendered by so called Representatives of the people. This is nothing new. Such behavior was present when the immorality of slavery was debated at this level. The rights of women and black people to participate in the electoral process must have caused similar discord in a virtually all white senate and congress. We know of the disagreements these same bodies have had on desegregation of schools, hospitals, housing and a host of other American services. We all hear the prolonged discussions on issues that seem common sensical to many of us (death penalty, equal wage for men and women, abortion and so on).

The adjustments that have to be made to get this bill through have been quite unreasonable but should not have been a surprise. Many of our representatives may have an eye on the well being of the electorate but their souls are the posession of corporate America and their opinions have been purchased. The good stuff that had to be surrendered to get this bill forward may be retrievable if need be. We are still negotiating the equity disparity more than 150 years after the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln looks a whole lot better to us than he must have appeared to a lot of vocal America back in the day. We have had reconstruction, post reconstruction, Jim Crow, KKK and much more since Lincoln's great war.

Healthcare, in my opinion is a small issue in comparison with Slavery but the areas of debate are similar. We need to take what is available while pushing towards the ideal which would reflect our stated belief that all people are created equal. President Obama and Mr Axelrod are correct. We need to suck it up and move on while remembering the never say die attitude of many of our forefathers and mothers..John Brown, Mary McLeod Bethune, Harriet Tubman, Martin L. King and a host of others who did not see the Civil War and Civil Rights Bill signing as ends in themselves but as important accomplishments on a journey. There is still work to be done; lots of it.

Posted by: Draesop | December 20, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

DNC is DOA in 2010.

Posted by: trippermeow | December 20, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Of course McCain and his buddies will fight to the last vote. Remember how presidential candidate McCain stopped his campaign and rushed back to Washington to be sure the big banks and AIGs were bailed out? Why would he be any different with health care?

The GOP is the political arm of the huge corporations, and that's true with shilling for the the billion dollar health care corporations too. They had the White House eight years and the congress six, and what happened? The rich got exponentially rich and the middle class got unemployed, without insurance, homes and lost at least half of their retirement funds.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 20, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

This man and Karl Rove were King makers. They were not elected by the American people. But they make the government policy. Not the fellows they got elected. They will ultimately be filthy rich selling their privileged government access to our filthy big business!. Shame indeed! What a democracy we are! Tell me, are we indeed a democracy?

Posted by: tjohn1 | December 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Jerzy wrote:
"Alexrod, Obama, Emanuel, and Jarrett are all corrupt and incompetent Chicago Democratic machine politicians."

DC Sage 1 wrote: Why they are so incompetent that they won the White House and have bulldozed the republican lackeys for insurance companies despite all their best efforts to prevent the American people from moving forth with healthcare reform.

This group has stood steadfast in the face of tea-bagger thugs, republican lackeys, for insurance companies and bigoted birther nuts. I for one am glad we have someone to stand up to the bigots, the birthers, the tea-baggers and the Becker-r-heads.

Posted by: DCSage1 | December 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It is estimated that EVERY member of congress will receive a minimum of $400,000 from the health industry. IRS needs to investigate every one of these sleaze balls to include the WH. Amazing how these people come into politics with little outside income and leave millionaires. Just luck? Sure!~

Posted by: KBlit | December 20, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod conveniently neglects to mention that those pre-existing conditions are going to cost a lot to cover and that the tab is going to be picked up by those with private insurance. The latter's premiums will skyrocket.

This bill does nothing to control costs, and obviously, there's no concern about improving efficiency of care. The new government bureaucracy will not only cost billions to establish and run, but it will heap stacks of paperwork on doctors, hospitals, and citizens.

And why do Axelrod and every Democrat fail to point out that Medicare currently has a $37 trillion unfunded liability? Perhaps they don't want to face the truth about how badly the government has managed the present "public option."

Posted by: judithod | December 20, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Well Axelrod . . . that is the understatement of the century. Are you attempting humor or was that just a rhetorical statement?

Posted by: rplat | December 20, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Atenora wrote: "How much did the insurance industry pay the chicago mafia, barry and shaniqua included?"

DC Sage1 Wrote: We do know that insurance company pimps paid republicans over $200 million to block the American people from enacting healthcare reform. We saw the sorry spectacle of an entire political party of lapdogs for insurance companies marching in lockstep like zombies and doing nothing unless told to do so by their pimps.

Republicans continue to delude themselves into thinking that voters will reward them for being lackeys for insurance companies. They even voted against funding US armed forces in the field, because they were told not to work on anything other than insurance company business by their insurance company masters.

Posted by: DCSage1 | December 20, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

May be it’s time for the millions of Americans suffering from no insurance to take their sick kids to the offices of their congressmen, senators and or send them their unpaid bills. Is it not their solemn duty to look after the needs of their constituents?
McCain is sounding bitter man. Where was the elder statesman is sprouts himself to be over the last year when the US was falling apart courtesy of 8 years mismanagement? He could have put America and Americans first and led the GOP to work together with Obama to help solve the critical issues that have crippled our country instead of being a party of spite. No one is asking nor expecting a peaceful mixed marriage but certainly people expect a little common sense from these people who hold the highest places in the land.

Posted by: fra09 | December 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad Senator McCain didn't do "...everything we can to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place" when the vote was for for Bush's Iraq war fiasco.

Posted by: sstackwick | December 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

This health care bill is a giveaway to the health insurance industry, Big Pharma and anti-abortion activists.

This is not the "change" I voted for but more junk DC politicking that, like the bank bailouts, benefits elite lobbies at our expense.

With this health lobby-written bill and its anti-abortion provisions, I seriously doubt I'll vote for a Democrat in 2010 or 2012.

Posted by: ephemerella | December 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

This article proudly brought to you by United Health...

WaPo staff quietly cheering the securing of the 60th vote (in the background)

Posted by: jsmith33351 | December 20, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

""Governor Dean's main concern was that he called this a giveaway to the insurance company, but his facts were wrong," Axelrod said on ABC. "The fact is that this bill, for the first time, prohibits insurance companies from spending excessive amounts of money on CEO salaries.... We're going to have competition within these health insurance exchanges ... every American is going to have greater leverage with their insurance company.""

Umm, who gives a damn about the narrow issue of insurance company CEO salaries when they are preparing to enact a bill that uses the force of law to force people to buy a private industry product, without a public alternative?

I agree with Dean and I think Axelrod is a tool mouthing catchphrases like "CEO salaries" as if that's a magical incantation to justify anything.

Posted by: ephemerella | December 20, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Alexrod, Obama, Emanuel, and Jarrett are all corrupt and incompetent Chicago Democratic machine politicians.

They destroyed my home state of Illinois, just as they are now destroying the nation through bribes and threats.

Posted by: Jerzy | December 20, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

John McCain will cement forever that it is the insurnace companies that he represents and not his constituents. The American people overwhelming rejected McCain and the Wasilla attack dog with a mustache, but neither of them will just go away.

We don't want any part of anything that John McCain is fighting for because John McCain is a lackey for the insurance companies.

Posted by: DCSage1 | December 20, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

How much did the insurance industry pay the chicago mafia, barry and shaniqua included?

Posted by: Atenora | December 20, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod defends merits of Senate health bill is not a surprise. Obama’s backers need to defend Democrat health legislation they initiated, or liberal left-wing Democrats would have to admit failure and defeat.

The Nelson abortion issue is part of a Democrat political stunt. One "hold out" vote in Senate translates to failure, then Democrat Senator says he will vote yes to get 60 votes to pass bill. This is a Democrat partisan “cut a deal success” for Obama, not the American people especial those who value the right to life.

The divide runs deeper. Democrats get a “gutted bill” passed against the vote of the Republicans in the Senate and the majority of American voters. Obama and Democrats may have a 15 minute victory on the Senate vote and one or two historic press releases, but the impact will set Americans against the left-wing social Democrat Party of Obama and his campaign contributors. Planned Parenthood is the worlds’ largest abortion provider.

Posted by: klausdmk | December 20, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I, as the majority of Americans, wish McCain all luck in the world to win this fight against this bill.

Posted by: aepelbaum | December 20, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod is as dumb as a board. Let's say the bill raises my taxes, raises my health insurance premiums, cuts my services and causes me or my dependents harm or anxiety.

Do I get to smack him up side the head with an iron pipe or what?

He talks big, but when the bad side of this POS comes around he'll be hiding behind his armed escorts.

Eventually that will come to an end and he'll be out on the streets.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 20, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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