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What's Wrong With the Finance Bill? An Interview With Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

M1X00120_9.JPGSen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) chairs the Finance Committee's Health Care Subcommittee. His support will be crucial -- maybe even decisive – in getting health-care reform out of the Finance Committee. And he's been very public about his unhappiness with the bill. I spoke with the senator about his concerns this morning. An edited transcript follows.

Can you support the Finance Committee bill in its current form?

No.

Why?

There are a number of big things. The Children's Health Insurance Program is put into the exchange. That's like putting it into a farmer's market. It loses its defined benefits. And children need defined benefits.

Obviously the public option. I feel very strongly about that as a discipline on the private health insurance market. The public health insurance option doesn't have to make a dime. It doesn't have to make Wall Street happy or shareholders happy. It just has to sell a product at cost. That will put pressure on private insurance companies to bring down their premiums. What's the alternative? My staff has done extensive research on co-ops and everyone says they can't do health insurance. The best health care co-op exists in the state of Washington, and both of Washington's senators are adamantly for a public option. That ought to tell you something.

Another issue is that 46 percent of the American people have health insurance from fairly large companies that self-insure. And they're not included in the regulations. They have to have protection from preexisting conditions and lifetime caps and rescissions too. People hear that the regulations in the bill don't apply to these companies and they think it's not possible. But it's true. And it's almost half of the insurance market!

Another piece is the MedPAC proposal. if you really want to be honest about it, eight to 10 percent of the members of Congress understand health care. At maximum. I chaired the intelligence committee, and health care makes it look like riding on a tricycle it's so complicated. So what you have is lobbyists picking on congressmen who don't know health-care reform, and they say, you know what, you could get a lot more jobs in your state if you only put more money into oxygen or a certain medical device. If you're going to do Medicare right, understanding that the trust fund is going to go downhill in 2016, you can't have Congress making these decisions. You need professionals.

That's why I have well over 25 amendments ready for Tuesday.

Is this bill affordable?

Of course it isn't. That's where you get into the area of premiums and subsidies. We've got a big Senate Democratic caucus on this and we meet a lot. Everybody is really upset about affordability. it's so easy to say you've done something, but it's not yet enough for them to afford health insurance.

On the MedPAC issue, I'm always a bit appalled that you're at the forefront of this. Shouldn't Sen. Jay Rockefeller be pushing affordability, while Sen. Judd Gregg, or Chuck Grassley, pushes for entitlement reform? How did this too get left to the Democrats?

To be fair, it's not all cost control. To give you an example, everyone is afraid of discussing end-of-life because they think you'll kill granny. It's nonsense. We train geriatrics in our medical schools. After a few years of practicing geriatrics, however, they go into other specialties that make more money. You could raise how you reimburse geriatricians so they stay in geriatrics. And since end-of-life care is so expensive, it would be good to have more doctors working on that. It's not all about cutting. Some of it will be about increasing.

What's the mood in the Democratic Caucus like right now?

There's very hot discussion. At the second-to-last meeting with Baucus, Democrats really let loose at Baucus. When you're getting close to the time you need to vote, public policy takes on a new type of intensity. Baucus, to his credit, had another meeting last night, and it was the best meeting we've ever had with the chairman. He told me they'd make sure CHIP is preserved. He knows he needs our votes. That's why I said I wouldn't vote for the bill. Democrats need leverage.

What about Olympia Snowe?

I think the world of Olympia Snowe. She's got incredible courage, and the Republican leadership is brutal in the way they apply pressure. Much more so than the Democrats.

How so?

For example, when Clinton was elected president, and George Mitchell was majority leader, [Clinton] came to our Democratic Caucus, because he thought it would be nice to break bread with us. Mitchell told him he had to leave. They were part of different branches of government. And so Clinton and his Secret Service had to turn around and walk out. It was a historic moment. On the other side, there were very few caucuses that Dick Cheney didn't attend himself. That's why whether it's intelligence or environment or elsewhere, they bring the hammer down in a way Democrats aren't good at, which I'm sort of glad about.

How do they do this to Snowe?

They bring the hammer down on her, and I'm not going to say how. She's very strong, and she represents a very rural state that has gone blue. So I don't know what she's going to do, and I'll respect her whatever she does. But we need her vote, as Republicans filibuster every single amendment or item we bring out. We don't have 60 members right now. This is where Olympia becomes very important.

What about reconciliation?

Reconciliation is always there. The public mentions it both publicly and privately. So does Max Baucus. But it's filled with hazards. The Byrd rule. You can't do anything that isn't fully paid for. Points of order can be brought against anything.

You met with the president this week. How did that go?

I can't talk about that.

Well, what did you tell him?

I gave him eight or nine or 10 things I thought were wrong in the bill. I feel very strongly about them and I said them very strongly and it was a terrific meeting. The 35 percent excise tax has a devastating effect on coal miners because they have good benefits. Suddenly coal miners, who need good health care because you can get black lung and the work is risky, are getting taxed. And I don't want them getting taxed.

Are you optimistic about getting a bill?

Very. The meeting we had last night helps me say that. Max Baucus does need our votes to get the through the Senate Committee. And there was a coalescence of Democrats that hadn't been pre-plotted. Some of these members had been quiet, and suddenly they were speaking, and loudly, about what was wrong. And if those things weren't fixed, they implied they wouldn't vote for it.

How will you pay for all this?

We're not sure exactly. We spent the first hour talking only about affordability. But we had to talk about some other things, too. How we're going to pay for this, I can't yet answer you. That's the amendment process. That's the next few weeks.

Photo credit: By Andrew Harrer -- Bloomberg

By Ezra Klein  |  September 18, 2009; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform , Interviews  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Days for Health Reform?
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Comments

Thank you, thank you, thank you for conducting this interview. Rockefeller has to be the ONLY Senator I'm willing to trust on health insurance reform right now, so I'm encouraged to see that he isn't backing down. This IS a moral issue. NO ONE should court financial ruin or death from being underinsured. And co-ops simply won't work to fix the problem.

Of course I hope that he and the rest don't lose sight of the absolute necessity that health insurance be *really* affordable--especially for people making even 300%-500% of poverty, who I fear might fall between the cracks. And I am also glad that Rockefeller hasn't forgotten the importance of actually good coverage--for those in risky jobs, certainly, and also everyone else. Health insurance coverage has to be comprehensive enough, generous enough, for people to be grateful for the price (even if they'd be really sticker-shocked without the pending reforms).

Posted by: Bertilak | September 18, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Senator Rockefeller states:


Obviously the public option. I feel very strongly about that as a discipline on the private health insurance market. The public health insurance option doesn't have to make a dime. It doesn't have to make Wall Street happy or shareholders happy. It just has to sell a product at cost. That will put pressure on private insurance companies to bring down their premiums.


Obviously Senator Rockefeller doesn't understand the fact that Insurance premiums don't drive healthcare costs, Healthcare costs drive insurance premiums.


Maybe he would have rather had our predacessors in government made sure we had a "national oil company" run by the government as opposed to Standard Oil. Then he wouldn't be worth $125 millon dollars. What's the old saying about those whose parents lived in glass houses??

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Jay is right to insist on government control of insurance - but first we must address the costs of health care. Until the cost of drugs, hospital bills, liability and doctor fees are regulated and contained, we'll never be able to afford reform.

The only thing that makes sense is a comprehensive universal health care for all residents of America - even undocumented ones. That is really what universal means.

Posted by: alance | September 18, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

That the insurance regulations don't apply to employer based plans is news to me. This is definitely a problem.

Posted by: slantedview | September 18, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

That interview is excellent -- concise and clear.

I'm intrigued by two comments in particular. (1) "And there was a coalescence of Democrats that hadn't been pre-plotted." and (2) "We spent the first hour talking only about affordability. But we had to talk about some other things, too. How we're going to pay for this, I can't yet answer you." The second gets back to the President's absolute and irrevocable promise of deficit neutrality: the first hints at something different.

Posted by: rmgregory | September 18, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Next time you're interviewing a Democratic policymaker, could you PLEASE ask why nobody is using the phrase "up or down vote"? Why nobody is even TRYING to put any pressure on the GOP to not abuse the filibuster? In the end, it might not work, but it might. And even if it doesn't end up moving a single vote, it at leasts puts a little pressure on the GOP, forces them on the defensive a little bit. Why are they being allowed to control the debate?

Posted by: CynicalJerk | September 18, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr: I couldn't agree more; but, I'll bet not for the same reasons. I want health care taken out of the profit community. So, I want Drs, hospitals, pharmacuticals, etc minimally profitable. I want all of the health care community's profits limited to a reasonable %. At that point, we could afford to do away with the insurance companies. Look at the profit hospitals; look at the salaries of doctors, look at the drug companies profits. It is food, water, oxygen; they should not be allowed enormous profits at the expenses of health.

Posted by: linda_521 | September 18, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks also. This is the most encouraging thing I've read lately.

Insurance costs are driven by two things: health care costs and insurance cists, including administrative costs and the cost of highly compensating top management and shareholders. The public or not-for-profit cuts the second of the cost drivers. MedPAC, doing away with Medicare Advantage, rewarding efficient providers etc will address the first half. It is nonsense to say that administrative costs, excessive compensation and profit don't drive costs as well.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 18, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the votes on the Finance Committee it's obvious that any bill that comes out of that committee would be very bad.

The fact that Rockefeller thinks they can produce a bill is not good news for real reform.

Furthermore, it seems like Rockefeller's main concern is the excise tax. And if you don't have the excise tax Baucuscare is not funded. His position is untenable.

Posted by: bmull | September 18, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

linda_521,

i'm fine and all for every single sector having a cap of profits of say the rate of inflation. Many sectors are already there (insurers and hosptials). Doctors and pharma are not. But they're not being talked about now are they? At some point someone has to pay the claim to a hospital, pharmacy, x-ray provider, doctor. That is where the insurer comes in. If you think government can do it better i'm sorry but you're wrong. Medicare denied 10% of claims over a set period of time (watching the house subcommittee hearing on private insurers that took place yesterday now) and private insurers ranged from denials of .1% to 5.3% Definitely much more efficent than Medicare.

As I've stated before the facts show that:

Medicare's fraud and abuse >>>>> private insurers profits.

If we had a medicare system that had the same fraud and abuse costs as private healthplans I'd be all for HR 676. Although knowing the government, we'll never get there.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

"Another issue is that 46 percent of the American people have health insurance from fairly large companies that self-insure. And they're not included in the regulations. They have to have protection from preexisting conditions and lifetime caps and rescissions too. People hear that the regulations in the bill don't apply to these companies and they think it's not possible. But it's true. And it's almost half of the insurance market!"

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

Did I miss a comment from Ezra in his review of the Wellpoint Plan about this issue? 46% of insured people *not* getting these key "insurance reforms" that we're suppose to feel all warm and fuzzy about?

Hmmm... it's not in here:

Five Ways to Improve Max Baucus's Bill
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/five_ways_to_improve_max_baucu.html

Is Rocky full of crap on this one? Did it fly by Ezra? Or did Ezra just not think it's something that needs to be "improved"?

John

Posted by: toshiaki | September 18, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Senator Rockefeller's comment,

"Some of these members had been quiet, and suddenly they were speaking, and loudly, about what was wrong. And if those things weren't fixed, they implied they wouldn't vote for it."

illustrates a failing of Democrats in the Senate to this point, they have been silent, MIA, hiding under the blankets.

Here in California—as safe a state as there is for Democratic Senators of which we have two—both Senator Feinstein and Boxer have been conspicuous in the their absence from the debate hear in California.

Both are at a point in their careers where you might expect them to be thinking about their legacy and be willing to go out a little further on a limb for an issue as historically important as health care.

Apparently not the case.

After President Obama's speech to Congress, Boxer was on the Rachel Maddow program on MSNBC. She recounted meeting the President in the hallways after his speech and in response to her praise for the speech he simply said, "Now it's time to get it done."

Senator Boxer—in her conversation with Maddow— appeared oblivious to what the President was saying, pointedly, to her. And she still is.

A comment from a talking head (whom I can't recall) yesterday on Hardball explained the Democrats timidity and ongoing disappearing act on health care and the obstructionist and nihilistic behavior of Republicans as a result of Governor Dean no longer being the head of the Democratic Party and the testosterone (gender neutral comment as anyone dealing in the world of politics knows women bring the potent hormonal cocktail of estrogen and testosterone) he brought to the table was now sorely lacking.

Perhaps Senator Rockefeller is signaling a shift in the Dem's strategy (assuming they have one) or is simply him as an individual stepping into the proverbial power vacuum.

God bless him either way and hopefully his "good friends" in the Senate will begin to follow his lead.

Posted by: teoc2 | September 18, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This was a great interview. One that points out how ridiculous Baucus's plan is. He very much favors insurance companies etc, wonder if his $4 MILLION in campaign contributions from various health care enterprises has anything to do with it?
Go Health Care reform, Go Public Option!!

Posted by: kathlenec | September 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Terrific interview, Ezra

Posted by: bobmcmanus | September 18, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Can we loose the insurance salesman please?

Posted by: obrier2 | September 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Can we loose the insurance salesman please?

Posted by: obrier2 | September 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse


haha. free country right? It is still free, right??? It'd be boring for me to go on conservative sites where everyone agrees with me. And are you just upset that I show you the facts that show the truth??? Or should we just listen to congressmen that have NO IDEA what they're talking about when it comes to health reform. Senator Rockefeller admitted that 90% of those in congress have not a clue what they're talking about. Shouldn't if you want reform talk to the people who actually know what they're talking about.

If you really want to control costs shouldn't you speak to the only entities that have ever controlled costs, insurers?


And actually you've got an extra "o" in there.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, how do you still have a job? Seriously, you actually interviewed the guy that opposes a bill that WaPo's clients, the insurers, LOVE.

So, I think Jay is correct on this health care issue: the issue is so complicated that people like Joe Lieberman, normally well intentioned and all, are being bombarded with misinformation from lobbyists. Seriously, how can we tolerate policies with "rescissions" associated with them (i.e. you pay premiums for years and then, you need your insurance for your cancer, and your insurer sends your premiums back). It's crazy.

The same is true with respect to preexisting conditions.

On the mandate. Look, I am for universal coverage. But, if you're going to make people buy health insurance, you better make them buy it in an affordable manner. The public option, it seems, is necessary. In fact, I think the insurers waived their right to demand a bar on the public option merely because of their past behavior.

Finally, I think it's important for Obama to make a trip to Maine. Seriously. He needs to force Snowe and Collins to come to the table on this. After the Sunday shows, he should get up there. . . .

Posted by: teoandchive | September 18, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

A successful approach to provider contracting that we have implemented
with all major insurance payors in Atlanta is based on a collegial "bottom up" setting of quality standards by private practice MDs including primary care and 29 specialties in proactive consultation with insurers.
This gets at the bottom line without a top-down MEDPAC approach which will be resisted by providers, fearing a loss of professional control and authority. I suggest Sen. Rockefeller consider adding this approach to his planned amendments.

Posted by: AWDUPLEX | September 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Obviously Senator Rockefeller doesn't understand the fact that Insurance premiums don't drive healthcare costs, Healthcare costs drive insurance premiums."

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

Not true. BOTH drive the cost of medical care. That's why BOTH have to be fixed B4 this issue is behind us.

Posted by: tjconnor | September 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Agents of the health insurance industry alleging to "... show you the facts that show the truth???

Here is some truth...

"In 1999, health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States,or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada. After exclusions, administration
accounted for 31.0 percent of health care expenditures in the United States and 16.7 percent of health care expenditures in Canada." Copyright © 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society

...go peddle this on your conservative sites where they all agree with you in your hermetically sealed, hate filled and xenophobicaly driven echo chamber where truth clearly thrives despite the toxic gases that asphyxiate the better angels that once lived in even health insurance industry toadies.

Posted by: teoc2 | September 18, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'd be really interested to hear what "bring the hammer down" really means. Why the secrecy around how the GOP enforces party discipline? Is there any chance we can find out more about this?

Posted by: jbrians | September 18, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

teoc2,

really? a study from 10 years ago? any links please?

also you compare administration costs from two different countries. Why not just compare the costs of salaries say for example from New York City to Mobile Alabama and you'll see how silly it is to compare figures that way.

I'm not saying its not somewhat broken because it is and it needs to be fixed but if you're going to blame republican's that vote against reform with a public option, you also need to blame Democrats like Rockefeller that have said they'll vote against reform WITHOUT a public option.


"...go peddle this on your conservative sites where they all agree with you in your hermetically sealed, hate filled and xenophobicaly driven echo chamber where truth clearly thrives despite the toxic gases that asphyxiate the better angels that once lived in even health insurance industry toadies."

nice silly rant. do you feel better. and I don't hate anyone thanks. and i'm not a xenophobe and in fact one of my best client is a foreign based company and they're very nice and very responsible with what they do.

and i thought the health insurance industry was ALWAYS filled with devils, no? There was a day when they weren't all bad???

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

tjconner,

i'm sorry IMO you're wrong. its the old which came first the chicken or the egg argument.

If you NEVER have a claim then you'd never have a cost.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

or if you play the game as does health insurance industry here in the USA...

"you don't have a cost EVEN if you have a claim because you simply DENY the claim and what would have been cost becomes profit..."

"The South Carolina Supreme Court this week ordering a health insurance company to pay $10 million in punitive damages for its reprehensible decision to rescind the health insurance policy of a young man. Why did the company Fortis Healthcare now Assurant revoked a policy of a teenage college student? He tested positive for HIV a year after he had taken out the policy. The company claims he had misrepresented his HIV positive status for a virus he did not know he even had." from last night's Countdown on MSNBC

great game...only in the USA...

Posted by: teoc2 | September 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

teoc2,

I don't know of that case but Fortis is 100% wrong if they did that. Is it also OK in the cases when it happens for people to lie on an application about health conditions? I guess its OK for the consumer to lie but not the insurer?? I'm not saying this consumer lied or not but it absolutely does happen and many times it slips through the cracks.

And you speak of one instance when this happens and I'm sure there are others and those are wrong too. But by throwing out the system that works for 85+% of America because of isolated cases is not only wrong, its idiotic. Better consumer protections need to be put in place to ensure that doesn't happen.

If we did that then i guess we should throw out of office every congressman that ever did ANYTHING wrong. I don't think we'd have many left. We'd lose Dodd, Conyers, Rangel, Ensign, Murtha and others. Wouldn't that be a shame!

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Members_of_Congress_under_investigation


Back to the fortis case. I agree with you 100%. Then i'd guess you'd agree with me that when an insurance company changes your policy for you but its not put into place until after the effective date and you've used benefits you should have those costs re-adjusted right? When you change from a plan with a $30 copay and go to a $50 copay you'd gladly pay that extra $20 for each visit that you were incorrectly paid a higher amount for right?

Insurers lose billions of dollars a year due to not reprocessing these claims and yet you all still complain about them. That'd only be fair, right?

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative and the only Democrat I've heard from that sounds like he is not ideology driven is Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon. He has a bipartisan bill with Senator Bennett. Wyden sounds reasonable, well informed, and passionate about fixing the things wrong with the current system.

So far, he's been unable to get Obama interested in it. I guess Wyden's plan doesn't contemplate government control of 1/6th of the economy. And I'm sure Obama is suspicious of it because it has a Republican co-sponsor.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | September 18, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Go to YouTube and look for this. You will like it! Sorry I didn't get the link for you.

YouTube - We're Number 37

Posted by: lynettema | September 18, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

With the reforms included in 4 of the 5 bills, no customer would "lie" because pre-existing conditions would not matter. Nevertheless, the Republicans in Congress will NEVER vote yes on ANY health insurance reform bill. Therefore, visionbrkr, all of your arguments are inconsequential since your side of the aisle will not support reform. Therefore, nothing you or your Congressional representatives say really matters. If more than 1 Republican was actually interested in helping Americans, and not insurers, then your comments might be helpful. Instead, like the Republicans in Congress, your comments are just obstructions. Why don't you and the rest of the right wing just get out of the way and let us left-wing patriotic Americans fix this mess called health insurance. Truth and honesty are sorely lacking from right-wing politicians and citizens in 2009. Honestly, the only true patriots today are those progressive Democrats who are more concerned with maintaining the physical and financial well-being of our fellow Americans than with maintaining the salaries of billionaire CEOs. When Republicans decide that American lives are more important than corporate profits, perhaps then we will hear something truthful being said by the right wing. American health insurance is horribly broken and it has been for decades. Yet, in the last 17 years the issue of health insurance reform has only been seriously discussed twice. One time in 1994, when Republicans successfully defeated Clinton's bill and sentenced Americans to die a slow death from health insurance abuses for the next 15 years and now, in 2009. For 8 of those 15 years the Republicans had a president in the White House who was only interested in killing people in Afghanistan and Iraq. As long as America remains the only wealthy nation who puts corporate profits before people's health America will never be as vibrant and strong as it can be. Republicans have nothing constructive to offer the health insurance reform process, and neither do you. Please take your obstructions to another forum where you and like-minded people can rail against an attempt to improve EVERY American's life. Finally, the right wing in America has demonstrated that when people are trapped by ignorance and lies, they tend to promote ideas and support concepts that are NOT in their own best interest.

Posted by: FreedomFreedom | September 19, 2009 5:56 AM | Report abuse

What's Wrong With the Finance Bill?

Obama and his crew of collectivist cronies in Congress have crafted health care reform legislation that would violate the rights of patients, doctors, business owners, and insurers on a massive scale unprecedented in American history.

This legislation amounts to a War of Choice on Choices in Health Care, but our legislators -- with the shamelessness of consummate BS artists -- have given this legislation the Orwellian name, “America's Affordable Health Choices Act.”

Our liberal legislators apparently hope the American people are so stupid that we will "buy" this pleasant sounding health care reform without noticing the steep price -- lost liberty.

The "Individual Mandate" is just one of several provisions that violate individual rights. This provision, which is included in ALL of the bills fermenting in both houses of Congress, is the most disturbing provision. I do not understand why people from all political persuasions -- from the ACLU to the John Birch Society -- are not screaming bloody murder about this grossly immoral and unconstitutional violation of individual rights.

The government has no moral or constitutional authority to (a) force people to buy insurance -- whether they need or want to or not, (b) force people to buy plans with specific coverage -- whether they need or want this coverage, and (c) force people to buy plans with a specific deductible -- whether they need or want this deductible or not.

The Individual Mandate gives the government a fascist foot in the door to control the doctor-patient relationship and, as such, must be resisted by all freedom-loving people.

If the Individual Mandate were to be signed into law, it would set a powerful precedent that would threaten liberty in ALL areas of our lives.

Talk about a slippery slope!

If the government has the right to do this do us, what can’t it do?

Why even pretend anymore that we have individual rights or a constitution to protect them?

Even the CBO in 1994 wrote:

"A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government."

Contact your legislators and the Blue Dogs NOW and tell them to oppose the Individual Mandate and the rest of Obama’s War of Choice on Choice!

Americans must put unrelenting political pressure on Congress to make sure they protect us against these fascist assaults on our liberties.

Dr. Gregory Garamoni
Doctors on Strike for Freedom in Medicine
http://www.doctorsonstrike.com

Posted by: GLGPHD | September 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

FreedomFreedom,

that's a nice tirade but its amazing to me that you consider me a Republican. Did I ever state that I was a Republican? I have voted for Republicans from time to time but I've voted for some Demcorats too. Its your partisan views that seem to taint your post. I'm for 90% of the reforms in the bill. The ONLY thing I'm against is the public option. The only reason I'm against is is that I do feel that its unfair competition or later on can be set up as unfair compeition if its not there now (just like medicare can be and is adjusted all the time). Other than that, I'm 100% behind every aspect of reform. So before you go and paint me with a broad brush, realize I'm not what you think. I'm against the Iraq and Afghanistan War. I believe the change in the missle defense shield is warranted and correct and that it will be better targeted to defend the most current threat. I'm also pro-choice although I would rather a woman choose life as there are many couples that can't have kids and would gladly adopt.

So before you go and paint someone as one side or the other remember please that we all believe different things on different subjects. Its not a Republican or Democrat thing no matter how much you try to make it seem that way.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 19, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

FreedomFreedom,

that's a nice tirade but its amazing to me that you consider me a Republican. Did I ever state that I was a Republican? I have voted for Republicans from time to time but I've voted for some Demcorats too. Its your partisan views that seem to taint your post. I'm for 90% of the reforms in the bill. The ONLY thing I'm against is the public option. The only reason I'm against is is that I do feel that its unfair competition or later on can be set up as unfair compeition if its not there now (just like medicare can be and is adjusted all the time). Other than that, I'm 100% behind every aspect of reform. So before you go and paint me with a broad brush, realize I'm not what you think. I'm against the Iraq and Afghanistan War. I believe the change in the missle defense shield is warranted and correct and that it will be better targeted to defend the most current threat. I'm also pro-choice although I would rather a woman choose life as there are many couples that can't have kids and would gladly adopt.

So before you go and paint someone as one side or the other remember please that we all believe different things on different subjects. Its not a Republican or Democrat thing no matter how much you try to make it seem that way.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 19, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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