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Can't we celebrate a little on health care?

Something truly momentous happened in the United States Senate last night, and almost all of the accounts today involve carping. Typical is the Politico headline: “How health care reform could fall apart.”

Okay, it’s entirely true that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s success in putting together 60 votes to let debate on a health-care bill go forward is only a first step. A final bill is a long way from passage, and of course many things could go wrong. My colleague Ezra Klein is right to quip that this was a case of “60 votes to go find 60 votes.”

But can we pause to note that a comprehensive health-reform bill has never been this close to passage?

The House has passed a bill. Yet most of the post-game analysis of the House’s action two weeks ago focused not on the bill but on the fight over abortion that immediately preceded its victory.

Now, the Senate takes the next step, and all we hear about are problems, obstacles and dangers.

Is it really so hard to remember that for the 15 years since the failure of President Clinton’s reforms, the conventional take was that health-care reform is impossible? Fred Hiatt reminds us in his column today that there are serious questions out there about whether we Americans can still govern ourselves and whether Congress is capable of doing anything big. Isn’t it worth noting that Congress is actually moving forward on what almost everyone agrees is the toughest domestic policy issue we face -- “toughest” defined by the complexity of the issue, the number of competing ideas for how to define and solve the problem, and how many interests would be affected by anything Congress might do.

I’m also bothered by a cynicism-as-realism trope that has affected so much of the commentary. There’s a standard line out there that the bills under discussion don’t do much about the rising costs of health care. But the bills themselves, and particularly the Senate version, actually do contain a lot of measures to control costs.

A must-read for understanding the cost question is Ron Brownstein’s long, detailed and chock-full-of-reporting post on The Atlantic’s website. Brownstein’s point is that while the Senate health care bill is not perfect on this front -- has any legislative body ever enacted a perfect law? -- the bill is winning praise from very tough-minded health-care analysts for how extensive its cost-containment measures are. There is nothing naïve about Brownstein’s post, and he offers a lot of sensible caveats, but he’s right to suggest that this round of legislating may well be “a milestone in the health care journey.”

So let the debate begin, which it now can because of the Senate’s vote. But let’s debate on the basis of what’s actually in these bills. And let’s ask opponents if they really think we will be better off as a country if we ask the 30 million to 35 million people who’d get coverage under these proposals to wait another five years -- or 10 or 20 -- for insurance while we supposedly go about “solving” the medical cost problem. And, yes, let’s celebrate the fact that we are dealing with an issue that we have left unattended for far too long.

By E.J. Dionne  | November 22, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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I agree completely!

Posted by: JoeNTx | November 22, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your schmarmy and tacky State dinner at the corrupt White House, as the people enmasee look on from their appliance box cardboard box homes Mr. Dionne.

The people who attend are also viewed by these unhappy masses as Benedict Arnolds.

Ont thing does come out of your story. No one is for this healthcare bill.

Posted by: dottydo | November 22, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Did you say this was the most important demestic issue? That is funny! The economy crashed but that is not important? High unemployment is not important? What planet does the author live on?

Current things in newspapers is decided as the most imporatant thing. Well! Selling newspaper seems to be the most important thing. Goes with job security for some opinion writers on the washington post.

Of cause, when they get laid off, unemployment will be the most important thing only they well not be able to write about it on the washington post.

When reading, American Theocracy, by Kevin Phillips which was published in 2006, you can just see what direction things were going. You just did not know when.

And now when has happened. Still little is explained by newspaper or government about the problem. Instead we have a president that puts forward health care bill and bails out banks, and extends unemployment as change. And I ask are these new ideas? Instead we are left with another president that rates only alittle ahead of Bush which when we need a strong leader with new ideas. Instead we get someone that likes to hear the sound of his voice.

Posted by: artg | November 22, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm afraid it's useless to urge Republicans to "debate on the basis of what's really in these bills." While there are many provisions of the bills that are questionable, Republicans will continue to focus on phony issues like "death panels" and coverage for illegal aliens because these phony issues are far more exciting to their base than the real issues.

A few (very few) Republican commentators like Michael Gerson of the Post have been honest about the fundamental reason for their opposition to reform. It's not because they're afraid reform won't work, but because they are afraid it will. They're afraid the reform measures that come out of this Congress will become as popular as Medicare has become, and will therefore become politically untouchable, as Medicare is. They're afraid that future tax cuts for the rich, the only issue that unites their party, will be blocked by the need to fund these measures.

This has always been Republicans' greatest fear - that "nanny state" programs will prove as popular in America as they have proved abroad and will force their party to choose between moving to the left, as conservative parties have done elsewhere, or fading into irrelevance. And you know what? They're right.

Posted by: | November 22, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne persists in his mistaken beliefs Obama is a progressive and the health care bills being considered would be comprehensive health care reform. Unfortunately neither is true.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | November 22, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Well said Mr. Dionne. I also highly recommend Nicholas Kristof's NYT column of Nov 18: "The Wrong Side of History"

Posted by: fred_flintstone | November 22, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I think cynicism about the bill is entirely deserved (see, e.g., the pay-off to Louisiana's senator). The bill is an uncalled-for meddling by self-appointed do-gooders in one of the most crucial aspects of people's lives. It will unquestionably raise taxes and the federal deficit, and lower availability and quality of care. And for what? For Obama's overweening vanity? For his "legacy"? "Trust us," Dionne would say, "we only want to make things better for you." Oh yeah, and stick more of our grubby fingers into your pocket and tell you where to go and what to do and how you filled out the form wrong. No, thanks.

Posted by: liam358 | November 22, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

After the financial mess that the republicans left us with the vote last night was like a breath of fresh air. Thank you Harry Reid and all Democrats for trying to help America. No thank you to the Republicans who are trying everything they can to help the insurance companies and Stephen Helmsley formerly of Enron and now the spokesman for the Republican health care plan.

Posted by: vanwahlgren | November 22, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Dionne for pointing out the cheap negativism that has infected reporter and journalist writings. Too many of these media folks simply join the bandwagon like the lamb that follows the leader. Too many of these media folks find it easier and to appeal to the know-things and paranoid than to the time to write fairly and honestly.

I saw the Politico headline. Its demonstrates again that Politico is nothing more than a gossip column indulging in chepa yellow journalism. Unfortunately, the Washington Post drops into this mode all to frequently, too. A perfect example is all the anti-Muslim, convict him without a trial, stories that followed the shootings at Fort Hood.

Posted by: pbarnett52 | November 22, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much, NOT, for being a pusher of the most immense tax increase big brother ever tried to foist on Americans. At some $300 millions per vote (check Louisiana's Senator) this is the most expensive steamroller ever bought. Socialist and Marxist Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Reid, and the rest are cooperating with "Our Glorious Leader" in destroying America - "Our Glorious Leader" praised the bowl movement in the Senate from Korea, home of another equally demented "Glorious Leader". The illegal aliens are rejoicing at this step toward yet another "amnesty"."

Posted by: tucanofulano | November 22, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Why all the carping on health reform?"

Because some of us, unlike Dionne, object to socialism.

Posted by: fenoy | November 22, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

You must have really low standards if you think that this is "reform." And, take note, the final bill will probably be worse than the current Senate version.

Some of us will not roll over for just anything that has the Democrat Party label. Some of us want to see real "reform." Mr. Dionne is simply a hack cheerleader.

Posted by: rusty3 | November 22, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Right on, EJ - If William Safire were still around, he could aptly apply his Negative Nabobs coinage to his GOP colleagues. But in this toxic political climate, I doubt it. Even some of the comments made here on your remarks reflect a sourness, not much based on specifics and reality, but on resentment that things aren't going precisely the way they want. But politics and government in earlier times was always thus: wait 'til next year. So yes, health care reform, after trying for more than 70 years, may finally succeed, but the Nattering Nabobs refuse to see that it is a good thing, a positive development for our country and for our under priviledged citizens. If congress can push through this historic bill, the U.S., the richest country in the world, will finally join smaller nations in providing basic health care for its people, and feel proud to finally do it.

Posted by: jbleenyc | November 22, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Can’t we celebrate a little on health care?"

Because it's predicated on lies and will lead to the bankruptcy of this country.

Are you SO partisan that you don't see that?

Posted by: grunk | November 22, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

They are proposing to spend 2.5 trillion dollars. That is $8,200 for every man woman and child in the U.S., above and beyond what we are already paying. Ofcourse, it is the working taxpayer that will pay for it, so the bill will be mutiplied to them. Not to mention the interest we will be paying for borrowing much or all of it.

Imagine, if you will, a head of household being required to pay well in excess of $32,800 in excess taxes and also being burdened with higher family health insurance premiums because they do not qualify. Even at 10 years, it's going to be more than $3,280/year.

Ofcourse, many will pay nothing while others will pay more. This is crippling.

And if our present population of 305 million should increase significantly due to immigration (heck, who WOULDN'T immigrate if they could), we will have more recipients who don't pay.


Posted by: primegrop | November 22, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Revolution! A movement is rising against legislators voting in Favor of the HealthCare bill.

That is what preliminary results show in VOTING the question: Would You Re-Elect Your Representative or Senator That Voted In Favor of the HealthCare Bill? Go to and VOTE.

Send send it to your friends from BOTH SIDES and let The People speak; democracy in action. RA will send it to Landrieu, Lincoln, and others.

This is the relevant VOTE.

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | November 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Like 20-million other Americans, I have been diagnosed with cancer.

Last night a few conservative posters on this site declared that they did not care about this illness or the challenges faces by others with cancer.

In fact, the posters insisted that they wished I died.

That is the moral point of view of the right. And it is wrong.

The AARP supports this legislation, as does the American Medical Association and Lance Armstrong's LIVE STRONG Foundation.

Reading the posts of conservatives, it is apparent that those who oppose this legislation wish that the infirm were dead.

This is no longer a political issue, it has become a moral imperative.

Posted by: colonelpanic | November 22, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans had prevailed a few decades ago there would be no Social Security or Medicare and over half the elderly population would be looking for food in dumpsters, living with relatives or dead for lack of medical care but hey that would be fine because we wouldn't have to worry about "socialism". Only the most "productive" members of society such as lobbyists, hedge fund managers and corporate CEOs would be guaranteed a comfortable retirement.

Posted by: EyesWideOpen8 | November 22, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

If McCain/Palin had been elected, we would by now be at war with Iran. Would any of the Republocult zombies who are are warning that the healthcare bill will "bankrupt" the country, be warning that the cost of all these Repub wars will bankrupt the country?
And, though the wars will cost more than the healthcare bill, no repub says a mumbling word. Because Republoculters can always find more money for another stupid war.

Posted by: rkerg | November 22, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Like 20-million other Americans, I have been diagnosed with cancer.

Last night a few conservative posters on this site declared that they did not care about this illness or the challenges faces by others with cancer.

In fact, the posters insisted that they wished I died.

That is the moral point of view of the right. And it is wrong.

The AARP supports this legislation, as does the American Medical Association and Lance Armstrong's LIVE STRONG Foundation.

Reading the posts of conservatives, it is apparent that those who oppose this legislation wish that the infirm were dead.

This is no longer a political issue, it has become a moral imperative.

Posted by: colonelpanic | November 22, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse


Thank you colonelpanic. I like yourself have experienced cancer. Hopefully you like me will overcome this dreaded illness.

Unfortunately, you will soon find out that if you do survive, you will be UNINSURABLE or those insurance costs will eat you alive.

You see I had cancer in my teens, some 30 years ago. My employer offered insurance, however when I lost my job during this recession, I lost my insurance. Now that I am employed again, I cannot get insured for anything less than $2000/month. This is 40% of my takehome pay.

In previous blogs, people have openly said that they DIDN't care, that it is not their responsibility to take care of me. TO some degree they are right. HOWEVER, no one us has ever asked to get cancer, or get hit by a drunk driver (my brother who now cannot get insurance either).

But they think nothing of my providing funds for PUBLIC education, roads, parks and recreation, FLOOD INSURANCE for people who get new houses every other year in FLORIDA or IOWA.

I provide funds for wars and car safety et. I don't drive, I have no kids and don't live in a flood zone.


As a society, we are and should be judged by how we treat the weakest of our people. IT IS A MORAL imperative that people be PROVIDED medical treatment in this country, as we do education, and defense.

I don't understand why this country sees the models of other countries who provide more comprehensive treatment for ALL citizens at a cost half of ours. THEY KNOW it is the moral thing to do, yet we in the US call it socialism, fascism or whatever made up name they can come up with.

SOMETIMES as a country we just need to do things because IT IS RIGHT AND JUST. It has come time for everyone in this country to have access to QUALITY AFFORDABLE healthcare NOW. Otherwise we are not so great a society.

Posted by: kare1 | November 22, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for a sane posting. We should be grateful for this first step. The cynicism shown by the opposition is breath-taking. I fear that America is losing its audacity to be innovators or to do Big Things. With all the small-minded folks we'll never get through this awful recession and regain footing in the world. Healthcare is so overdue. Now, bring it on. And, folks, you really will like it!

Posted by: chicago11 | November 22, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Insurance companies own the republican party. Republicans are no more than flunkies for insurance company lobbyists who mouth what the lobbyists tell their republican lackeys to say.

The insurance companies have instructed their republican party lapdogs to do nothing in the Congress, to not work toward solving any problem in America and to take the next four years off. They were already lazy, shiftless and no-account and now their insurance company sugar daddies have told them that lazy and shiftless is a good thing.

Isurance company pimps have dressed republicans up in mini-skirts and size 14 heels and made them walk the streets.

Posted by: DCSage | November 22, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Because PASSING the bill is the only real objective?

"We have no idea what is in the bill. We have not read the bill. We are not sure who will get covered, or who will have to pay more. But it is a good bill worthy of my vote".


You people amaze me.

Posted by: mdsinc | November 22, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

How can Congress truly "debate" the bill when anyone who suggests taking the time required to read the entire bill, examine what it contains, and assess what the purported benefits might actually cost over realistic timeframes is immediately demonized by the media as obstructionist.
When similar deals are pitched to ordinary citizens using high-pressure tactics from a hidden boiler-room operation, we're warned by law enforcement they're probably being scammed. What makes this outrageous "rush-to-judgement-without-thinking-it-through" behavior so different or acceptable when takes place in Washington by our elected officials?

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | November 22, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

many in the news media are sick: they just want to criticize and attack. it's shallow journalism.

why is the news media bowing to the gop, repeating their talking points?

Posted by: JoeBridgeman | November 22, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I have 6 brothers and sisters. 4 of us have insurance, 3 do not. So, for those who say we don't need health insurance reform, f.uck you very much. We certainly do need reform. We need a public option, to force the insurance companies to actually cover people and to reduce costs. We need to prevent pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | November 22, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

But can we pause to note that a comprehensive health-reform bill has never been this close to passage?


Comprehensive? Are you reading what you're writing? The only reason this legislation has gotten this far is because it's been compromised to the hilt and nowhere comes close to actual reform or "bending the cost curve" downward (how long has it been since we've heard that battle cry?).

We've apparently reached the point that the end game has become to pass anything just for the sake of declaring victory.

Posted by: JamesSCameron | November 22, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

No Mr, Dionne, we shouldn't celebrate. No less than the Dean of the Harvard Medical School (not a hotbed of Republicanism) relates this week that the reform effort is ineffective in any type of cost control, and that the prior "experiment" in Massachusetts is in dire straits because of expenditures growing beyond what was "expected".

The main point of his article (in the WSJ, by the way) is that the health care reform has devolved into a partisan battle whose outcome will serve everyone but the patients. You remember the patients, right, EJ? Patients are not the people in the interest groups who are spinning this pile of xxxx to be something it is not, nor are they the Senators who are being bought off-all with taxpayer money.

Real reform is needed-but the politicians and interest groups are at the trough here and it's a sad sight to see. The politicians really care about the little guy, right EJ? I can tell you really do as well.

Don't clap anyone on the back for this monstrosity-it will fall of its own financial weight after Landrieu and others cash-in on the political favors that the taxpayers will have to underwrite.

This bill is indefensible, period.

Change we can't believe in.

Posted by: Towson_Tiger | November 22, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

liam358 wrote, "The bill is an uncalled-for meddling by self-appointed do-gooders in one of the most crucial aspects of people's lives."

There are a lot of Americans who have worked hard all of their adult lives, who are one uninsured trip to the emergency room followed by a month long hospitalization from losing everything a lifetime of hard work has earned.

They don't view the extension of affordable health coverage to all working Americans as a government intrusion, or, to use your term, "meddling", in their lives.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 22, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dionne, you still don't get it.

The people who are opposed to this just don't trust the government. They know that ANYTHING which allows even a hint of a public option will just open the door for more government intervention. The government has proven they can't handle our money and we don't want to give them any more of it!

Wise up.

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | November 22, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"wearedoomed1" is quite right - many of those who oppose reform don't trust the government.

Well, let's amend that. They DO trust the government to decide who is a terrorist and to lock every such person up in prison for years at a time with no trial and no chance to defend himself. They have no problem with giving our government that kind of power over the prisoners in Guantanamo. And they object to the idea that any of those prisoners should be brought into a federal court and given the same rights we give to murderers, rapists and child molesters.

But the same people do NOT trust the government to do anything that might help Americans who need help in getting through this recession. Clear?

Posted by: | November 22, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

For those who continually say that they don't trust the government to run anything, I have to ask, do you trust the military?
Do you think that the Army. Navy, Air Force or Marines are not to be trusted? Because my little Republocultsters, the military is owned, paid for, and run by the GOVERNMENT !!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rkerg | November 22, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Dionne:

Why all the carping? That's your term.

It is not carping when you realize that:'
1. This is a bad bill - and bad bills are very difficult to change after they have been passed
2. Benefits will be reduced for Medicare recipients - maybe not immediately, but soon after
3. The bill is not deficit neutral - it only looks good long enough until BO is up for reelection - then costs will explode and he will blame Republicans as he, Rahm and Timmy (who obviously never had any toys when he was a kid) constantly do - they've been in office long enough and have perpetrated enough negative stuff so that it's all theirs now - the deficit has really been controlled under them has it not? Certainly has
4. Where's the transparency and truthfulness promised by BO - one never sees or hears things until it's too late to react to. Like the transparency about all of the jobs created or saved including those in 440 non-existent districts.

No, it is about honesty and truth which is sorely lacking among BO and his cronies - they lie!

Posted by: apdseal | November 22, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Social security, food stamps, welfare programs, all along with the latest health care proposal, will all crash and cease to exist when the economy completely collapses. The fact that this nation barely escaped such a total crash seems to have no effect on most of our leaders. How can they in good conscience be spending all their time arguing about a trillion dollar program to be funded with money borrowed from Red China when the economy is devastated? Somebody wake up. This is not roses you smell.

Posted by: johntu | November 22, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans in Congress went through a farce of putting out a "BILL" that would've let more people uninsured in 10 years than are uninsured today. The Republicans in the Senate didn't even bother putting something together because they thought they could've killed the bill by now. They put up so many legislative hoops only to see them drop. They thought that the CBO would make the bill a non starter - the CBO didn't give them what they wanted so now they're throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the bill. Somehow they think that opposition to this bill will put them back into power. I believe that 2010 would be a very bad one for the Republicans. They take comfort in their Tea Parties membership and ignore the fact that the rest of the country is annoyed with them at this point.

Posted by: ATLGuy | November 22, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@&%%$$###___Da__n GOP and Blue Dog Health Corp OWNED Dems.

It is apparent that the GOP and Blue Dogs are AMORAL! And, THAT IS A FACT!!!!!

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 22, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Good column, Mr. Dionne.

It's funny, according to conservatives, even this modest little health care reform bill will "BANKRUPT" our economy, blah blah blah, whine whine whine.

Somehow only the things that help people, like health care reform, Medicare and Social Security will "bankrupt" us.

But a trillion dollars every year on the Pentagon is never questioned. Military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan alone cost far more than health care reform. But I've never heard one Republican admit to this.

Why is health care a "budget buster" but indefinite occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan---costing billions per week---not?

Posted by: snesich | November 23, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

So I have the idea that the Health Care Bill is just about passed and that the Conference Bill (loaded like a birhday cake) will pass in the Senate with 50 or more votes. And i see a few senators and representatives says so on television. So i think it is true. But all the pundits talk 60 votes up and say "how can the democrats give up enough to get 60 votes?" why not 80 votes or 100 votres?

And where do my post go when I can not find them?

Why go to such an effort to hide what seems obvious?

Posted by: gary4books | November 23, 2009 5:13 AM | Report abuse

You're right, EJ. In much commentary, easy cynicism regularly passes for tough-minded critical thinking. They aren't equivalent,

However, it looks like we'll be asked to wait another five years even if the Senate bill does become law.

Posted by: psnyder | November 23, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing to celebrate with health-care. Everyone loses! Health care itself loses as it is diluted with demand beyond supply. Taxpayers lose because they have to pay for another liberal giveaway. Doctors lose because they are soon to become the automatons of bureaucrats. America loses because "the people" hate this administrations failure to support it's enormously successful free-market economy in favor of European Socialism.

There are no winners but hypochondriacs and those who are enemies of American prosperity.

What an evil distortion and deception this health-care reform has become.

Posted by: 2009frank | November 23, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Finally- Civics American Style- this is how our government is supposed to work!

Justice O'Conner stated Americans need many years of education regarding our Government- CIVICS!

This is a good start!

Lincoln-Douglas NOW!

Is that not what you wanted Senator McCain?

Yet yesterday voted NO for the DEBATE!

DEBATE this-

On C-Span Tom Scully Bush's admin CMS- stated Med Advantage a failure & no GOP will admit this.

Mr. Scully is correct-

But- Do not take my word for it-

Go to C-Span Healthcare Hub and hear Mr. Scully state this for yourself!

8yrs such a long time! Bring on the DEBATE!

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) should call for REPEAL of BUSH TAX CUTS!

55% increase GVT SPENDING under GOP BUSH 8 years-

Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Obama - Is that Country First?


Start over is what GOP want!


Look at this WASTE of TIME-

Just before those 'TOWN HALLS' - for all those GENUINE lawmakers:

Rep. Steve King - 7-27 & 29-09 WASTED 4 hours on House Floor- ALL about CRIMINAL ACORN- nothing about HCR!

Once again- not my view- it is all on C-span Healthcare Hub!

Lincoln-Douglas NOW!

Is that not what McCain was screaming about?

Mr Maverick- VOTES NO for DEBATE!

Dumb it DOWN !

Real good now!

Posted by: sasha2008 | November 23, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Spot on EJ. No legislation is perfect from the start. There were so many people left out of social security when it first passed the program would not be recognized today. The right hates everything about this bill and the left doesn't want for profit insurance to benefit. Both will be disappointed. Eventually I think that the Health Exchanges will be opened to everyone and there will be an end to employer based coverage, which will save manufacturing billions, free entrepreneurs to strike out on their own, and improve the quality of care through competition.

Posted by: ne_voice | November 23, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Celebrate the lies, the manipulation, the intimidation, the coercion, and the billions of BRIBES at our expense to get the Senate to discuss the scam?

Don't we have enough honest Senators to represent and defend us from the criminal Obamacare SCAM.

The scam should have been scrapped. Why are they discussing the scam? Are they expecting to improve the SCAM by finding more and better ways to lie, manipulate, intimidate, coerce and bribe people at our expense?

From what we know so far, Obamacare will:
*Raise federal taxes
*Raise state taxes because of unfunded mandates to Medicaid increasing coverage to 15 million
*Raise the cost of existing premiums
*Cut Medicare
*Increase insurance costs
*Not include any reform to reduce costs or improve anything (NO tort reform)
*Force everyone to purchase insurance under threat of heavy fines and JAIL!
* Use gimmicks, creative accounting, smoke and mirrors to hide the trillions of dollars this scam will cost us
* Destroy our freedoms, our economy, our future and our country.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

colonelpanic, you are lucky your cancer can be treated before the Obamacare scam kicks in! You may still be saved.

Regarding the AARP and the AMA,don't you know that they were both BRIBED at our expense in exchange for their support?

The AARP, which has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company), is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off.

But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap.

Under Medicare Advantage, seniors get all the extra coverage they need. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Obama solved the AARP problem in exchange for their "support." He's eliminating subsidies for Medicare Advantage. Seniors will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, while the AARP -- which supposedly represents them -- will make more money.

That's why informed seniors are leaving the AARP in droves and are joining the American Seniors Association:

The fraudulent AARP is STEALING money from seniors pretending to represent them. The AARP sold the seniors to Obama in exchange for that little "favor” that will help them increase their revenues at the expense of seniors.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

colonelpanic, regarding the American Medical Association (AMA), first of all the AMA does NOT represent most doctors, and membership is sinking because doctors feel betrayed by the AMA.

The AMA's excuse to doctors is that, in exchange for endorsement, Obama promised to kill the law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare. (Of course, we, the taxpayers, will pay for this.)

However, it turns out the real reason is that the AMA expects to make HUGE profits under Obamacare through the medical coding system (which is in AMA's hands) at the expense of the American people and most doctors.

As a matter of fact, "Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in mind."

Most of those supporting the Obamacare scam have been BRIBED at our expense. Please learn how Big Pharma and insurance companies have also been BRIBED.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Every step along the way is characterized as the "first step." We must have had a half-dozen "first steps" toward health care reform by now.

Posted by: zakany | November 23, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

STIMULUS MONEY TO AARP - The AARP is using a lot of money to promote Obama Care that has deep cuts in Medicare. Where is that money coming from? AARP received $18,176,224 in "Stimulus" funds from the Obama Administration, yet reports that it created NO jobs with the funds. What was the money used for? When pushed, AARP claims the funds were used to "train" people to get jobs, but can't tell when or where the classes were held. Hmmm. Sounds like a payoff to me. Meanwhile, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio says that millions of dollars of Stimulus funds went to ten congressional districts in his state that DO NOT EXIST. See list. La Raza, (English translation "The Race") which is in actuality a rather racist organization, has also received Stimulus funds. Some of the more outrageous Stimulus expenditures can be found at A watchdog study has found the stimulus has given 6.4 billion to 440 non-existent districts in all 50 states, D.C. and even four American territories.

Posted by: Bill1776 | November 23, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released a merged version of the Senate comprehensive reform on 11/19/09, which Mike Oliphant whom manages Utah health insurance plans for employers could get behind and support some of it (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or H.R. 3590). This should encourage the private sector health insurance carriers to form INSURANCE EXCHANGES which is what we have done here in Utah. They carry the risk and burden, not the tax payer. See more about this at

Posted by: mikeoliphant | November 23, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If I lost the ability to read Dionne every morning I think I would move to another country. I love his unabashed love for Obama and all the socialism our new left loonies are forcing onto us for the good of the country. There is great humor involved with the downfall of the American experiment. As a student of Roman history I remind everyone, how do you think they felt knowing that they were responsible for their own downfall? You just have to laugh as there is virtually no one or nothing to stop the liberals from taking over our country and going socialist. Just ask Dionne. He is already partying.

Posted by: tomb5 | November 23, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Department of Defense cannot even use it's volume buying power to reduce the cost of medications it purchases. The VA, Army, Navy, Airforce and Coast Guard have different prescription formularies for their respective health recipients instead of one DOD purchasing all. All bureaucracies apparently have to have their own say vs. being united. Layers of additional bureaucracy will not help. The government to date has not demonstrated it's ability to break up monopolies, nor reduce waste, fraud and abuse. If you think the 2,000 + mostly unknown pages solves all of our healthcare woes calling you naive is generous. Words will only be words printed or otherwise. In action and function this will be a debacle. No one will have to debate or argue it later it will speak for itself. I give it less than 10 years.

Posted by: star_key2 | November 23, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

You are right, Bill1776. The stimulus money is not being used to create real jobs but to advance socialism/Marxism through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, and groups such as La Raza.

Many economist believe that rather than "averting a Depression," the “stimulus” is making it much worst.
Among the "gems" that are being paid with the stimulus package are the death panels for Obamacare:

"It can be found in SECTION 9201 of the Stimulus bill. It sets up a 15 member Comparative Effectiveness Board, modeled after the UK's "NICE" board. Obama has appointed the members of this board and one of the members is DR. EZEKIEL IMMANUEL.

In socialist doublespeak, Obama and his accomplices will call Obama’s death panels "life panels" and the government’s takeover of health care “public option,” but lies do not change Obama's pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands of Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

Obama's Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called "Doctor Death," would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

Dr. Emanuel has said that "Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens."

As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care.

And Obama's "Science Czar" John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls.

Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

Pray the fraudulent and criminal Obamacare bill slips forever into oblivion!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

it's been 75 years - time for the U.S. to finally join the other modern democracies in offering healthcare for all its citizens. All the criticism is just so much noise likely similar to when public schools were first proposed, or public libraries or a public fire department. Time to move on

Posted by: PWChomeowner | November 23, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Hell No! For once Scar1 is saying no!!! Why? because we have enough people taking advantage of the people and we have to sit and watch Senators and Congressmen act like a bunch of jackasses debate on things we are sick of hearing about!!!! No one said any of it would be easy but, that is the point of overhauling ab entire system that should have been gradually overhauled over the years and regulated so the Insurance Industry did not end of being a fix for themselves.

So, celebrate what a bunch of educated jackasses making more money and wasting our time? The ones who oppose have interest in the industry so, did anyone think they would be happy? And gee, everyone is so pure these days? Give us a break! Any excuse is better than none which is what some of them have for sitting in Senate and Congress with this issue for years and having done absolutely nothing and now wanting to be center of attention on a witch hunt trying to look like somebody when they are nothing. Nothing at all but, "empty wagons" making dust not even noise.

Posted by: Scar1 | November 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Glad La. got something!!!!! And leave the Black colleges alone!!!! Merger!!! Waht?

Posted by: Scar1 | November 23, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

All those who want socialized medicine and a socialist/communist country should move to Cuba or the socialist country of their choice. We would be happy to pay one-way tickets for all of them and would ask them to take their comrades Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc. with them.

They have no right to transform the U.S. into another failed socialist country like Cuba just because they happen to be dumbed down, as they are called in Pravda.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | November 23, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, let's celebrate these idiots driving another nail in the coffin that are our economy and personal liberty. The fact that they had to bribe and arm twist to get just enough votes to move this mess along are's a disaster.

Posted by: akwa01 | November 23, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah,Dionne is right. This is as big a deal as medicare or social security which is why the republicans are so desparate to stop it. They know that once it is passed and goes into effect they will never be able to repeal it without a popular revolt anymore than the republicans could now repeal social security or medicare which they likewise tried to stop with the same lies they are using against healthcare.

The right wing press, drudge, fox, and all will be digging up every negative angle they can about european healthcare systems and try to pump those stories as the norm in 'socialized medicine' over the next few weeks to try to further mislead.

Posted by: orange3 | November 23, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding my breath until it's over. The amount of muscle and money the health-care industry pushes out there to impress the Congress with the seriousness of their position is scary.

Can our guys -- and some of theirs -- do the right thing for the whole country or only for the loudest and wealthiest of the whole country? So far, we ordinary people are still in the mix. That's good, I guess.

When you take a good look at the players, many of the grassroots, the "real" public, got involved in this battle. Most likely that's why we have taken the issue this far. That's how it's supposed to be.

Even the "real" public I don't agree with, those I argue face-to-face with, enrich the dialogue. That's how it's supposed to be.

Posted by: goodgovernment | November 23, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party is the party that historically is behind substantive change - Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights - and now Health Care reform. Thank goodness we have the Democrats!! And we should celebrate the vote on Saturday night! The GOP acronym should be changed to "Grumpy Obstructionistic Partisans." They carp and complain and whine, without coming up with any realistic solutions of their own. (btw, "Politico" seems to almost always advocate the GOP view on things - maybe because its founder was a big GOP player in previous Republican administrations)

Posted by: uofmdgrad | November 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Dionne can glory in the fact that his Senate wants to tax my diabetes test tabs and the meter.

I'd rather spend my money on bullets to protect myself from those people, and him!

Posted by: muawiyah | November 23, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

kare1Sorry to hear about your cancer.

Now, tell me why its morally justified to tax my medical appliances (diabetes testing equipment) to pay for your treatment?

Why don't we tax your chemotheraphy and X-rays and radiation treatment to pay for my testing tabs?

Posted by: muawiyah | November 23, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the fringe lefts wet dream. The left hates business and would rather be out of work than be rational about what it takes to run a successful business today. In fact, given a choice, they would rather government run business as in Socialist or Communist countries. Then, as in health care, they would implement more budget busting programs like cap-and-tax and still solve nothing. Any way they can stick it to the rich white guy is cool - no matter what the cost to the economy, jobs or productivity.

Liberals saw the movies by Gore and Moore and made them foundational to their ideology, not recognizing that these clowns were reaping in millions and laughing all the way to the bank.

Bottom line, polls now confirm Americans are dissatisfied with Obama's performance and Congress is as it's lowest popularity rating in the history of our country. Most of us feel that we are not represented in government any longer.

Posted by: 2009frank | November 23, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Reading these posts gets nauseating after a while. Wouldn't it be a miracle to see, just once, someone say, "Oh - good point," or "True, I didn't think of that?"

However, that would require humility, a virtue in very short supply these days. As one example, how about a little humility from those who think government can't do anything right? These pampered people drink clean water, breathe clean air, drive on safe, maintained roads, work in safe workplaces, put their money in banks from which it won't suddenly evaporate, don't have to support their parents, etc., etc...if they would like less government "meddling" in their lives, there are plenty of countries they can choose from!

Most people I know are not happy with the health care status quo. Most would like to see improvements. And that is what *reform" is about - not perfection, not a whole new socialist system (for God's sake, no one throwing that word about like a schoolyard bully has ever even met an actual socialist)...just something a bit better. It would be nice if members of BOTH parties were interested, but we'll have to take what we can get. It will be messy - but that's democracy for you. I heard somewhere that our government is of us, by us, and for us. Hmmm, hmmm, hmm, to mimic one of the many all-knowing self-appointed pundits here.

Posted by: Philosophe | November 23, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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