Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Morning Fix: A One-Month Sprint on Health Care



The sprint is on to pass or block health care reform. Photo by Lionel Cironneau of the Associated Press

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to postpone a final vote on President Obama's health care proposal until September sets up a one-month campaign sprint between supporters and opponents of the legislation that will span over Congress' August recess.

"With final votes now pushed back to at least September, this means every pro and con group is drawing up new media plans," said Larry McCarthy, a Republican media consultant who is doing work for the conservative Americans for Prosperity. "Two week media plans just extended to eight week media plans. Targets will expand -- not only national cable and swing Senators, but more congressional districts will be added."

The White House moved quickly to put its political machine in motion, launching ads through the Democratic National Committee on Thursday designed to set the stakes for inaction on health care legislation. "Some leading Republicans, playing politics, have vowed to kill reform," says the ad's narrator. "Tell Republicans: the cost of doing nothing on health care is just too high."

American for Prosperity is spending better than $1 million on a national cable television buy this week that castigates the Canadian-style health care the president's plan would allegedly institute.

And, Rick Scott, the chairman of Conservatives for Patients' Rights, promised in a memo to supporters on Thursday that "liberal, pro-government health care advocates are intensifying their campaigns" and that "we must meet them head on and continue with ads, news events (particularly in the grassroots), media appearances, etc, to finish off the public option.

The all-out ground and air war is broadly understood as a fight for the hearts and minds of the American public but is more rightly seen as a battle for the votes of the 100 members of the Senate. (These two strands are interrelated; public opinions does tend to sway political positioning -- particularly on issues as controversial as this health care plan.)

The most important player in this fight -- aside from the president himself -- is Organizing for America, the group set up within the DNC to manage the massive 13-million person e-mail list built up during Obama's presidential campaign.

OFA was created for just this sort of fight -- to bring the political power gathered during the campaign to bear on the legislative process. The group has been active for months in the health care fight but is expected to significantly ramp up its grassroots and advertising efforts over the next month, according to sources familiar with the plans.

There will be "intensive OFA activity", promised one senior Administration official and, as if on cue, OFA sent out an e-mail appeal late Thursday night aimed at securing one million public supporters for health care reform before the end of next week.

One lingering question for the Obama White House is how much -- if any -- help they will get from progressive interest groups over the next month.

To date, the largest expenditures from the ideological left have been made by Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees who are currently on air with ads hitting several Republican members for their opposition to reform efforts. AFSCME is up with a new ad today featuring nurses speaking in favor of Obama's bill.

Given that the Democratic National Committee ended June with just $13 million in the bank (the Republican National Committee showed nearly $24 million on hand), the White House will almost certainly need other outside players to step up to match what is expected to be a barrage of spending from conservative-aligned groups over the next month.

The fate of the health care bill hangs in the balance.

Friday's Fix Picks: Did anyone else not know the "Friday Night Lights" director has a new NBC show coming this fall?

1. Dan Balz on the stakes for Obama in health care fight.
2. The final days of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
3. Another New Jersey political scandal.
4. Neil Oxman: Caddy, media consultant and movie buff.
5. A perfect game!

Obama Raises Millions for DNC: President Obama collected between $2 and $3 million for the Democratic National Committee at a pair of fundraisers last night in Chicago, according to a source familiar with the haul. The events were the first fundraisers Obama had done in his hometown since being elected president and were well attended by Windy City celebrities including Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, quarterback Jay Cutler and former Chicago Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong. The fundraisers, as reported earlier this week by Politico's Mike Allen, also marked the kickoff of "Gen 44", an attempt by the DNC to keep young professionals who participated in the campaign as active donors in the years to come.

Thune Keeps Up Second Amendment Drumbeat: Days after announcing he would oppose judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, Sen. John Thune sent an e-mail to supporters taking issue with the "narrow view" of the Second Amendment that Sotomayor has taken in her past rulings and urging backers to sign a petition in opposition to Sotomayor's confirmation. Thune also uses the e-mail to detail his -- unsuccessful -- fight to pass an amendment earlier this week that would have allowed concealed weapons to be carried across state lines. "Overheated rhetoric overcame common sense in this case," said Thune of his amendment's defeat. As we wrote earlier this week, Thune is moving into the national conversation on the Republican side and appears to be adopting the Second Amendment as his pet issue.

LaMontagne Draws Conservative Backer: As former gubernatorial nominee Ovide LaMontagne continues to mull the possibility of challenging former New Hampshire attorney general Kelly Ayotte in next year's Republican Senate primary, a key Granite State conservative has signed on to his bid. Former state Rep. Maureen Mooney, who served as John McCain's liaison to conservatives during the 2008 presidential primary fight is backing a LaMontagne candidacy -- praising him as a "principled and experienced conservative." The Mooney endorsement comes one day after LaMontagne announced that Jim Merill, who served as New Hampshire director for former governor Mitt Romney's (Mass.) 2008 primary campaign, was serving as a senior adviser to his nascent campaign. LaMontagne has also brought on Charlie Spies, a well known Republican lawyer in Washington, to help advise him on a bid. While national Republicans seem keen on Ayotte, it's clear that LaMontagne has no plans to step aside -- setting up a likely primary fight next year.

NY-23 Special Takes Shape: Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) hasn't even formally resigned his seat to take the post as Secretary of the Army but the race to replace him is already in full swing. Earlier this week, the 11 Republican county chairs in the district picked state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, a pro-choice moderate, as their nominee. And on Thursday state Sen. Darrel Aubertine, the strongest potential Democratic candidate, announced he would not run; "My priority must continue to be the work I have started in the state Senate," Aubertine said in a statement. While Aubertine's decision not to run is a blow to Democrats, the potential candidacy of Jim Kelly (not the former Bills quarterback) for the Conservative line in the primary could cut into Scozzafava's Republican support. This race will be a major priority for both sides this fall that will, like it or not, be mined for national implications.

Rubio Staff Shakeup: Former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio parted ways with his campaign manager, Brian Seitchik, and his chief fundraiser in a staff shuffle that reflects the struggles of his Senate primary campaign against Gov. Charlie Crist (R). "Speaker Rubio believes it is necessary to click the reset button in certain areas of the campaign," said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the campaign. "He based his decisions on current realities that weren't evident when the campaign was organized earlier this year." Rubio will bring in Pat Shortridge, a former aide to Reps. Dick Armey (Texas) and Mark Kennedy (Minn.), to serve as a senior adviser. Despite the staff and fundraising problems, Rubio is still committed to staying in the race, said Burgos.

Selzer to Bloomberg: J. Ann Selzer, the Iowa-based pollster who nailed the 2008 Iowa caucuses on the Democratic side, has signed on to handle survey research for Bloomberg News. The first Selzer survey for Bloomberg was a poll of global investors that shows, among other things, that Obama is wildly popular internationally.

Click It!: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R), under fire from the Democratic National Committee, has posted a video response to the charge that he has "no plan" that features DeMint talking, in a variety of settings, about his plans for health care reform. At 98 seconds long, it's worth watching if for no other reason than the acoustic guitar music at the end.

Say What?: "We need someone to stand up to Barack Obama and his policies. We must protect our culture, our Christian identity." -- Arkansas Senate hopeful Conrad Reynolds (R), proving that political incorrectness is epidemic in the Razorback State.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 24, 2009; 5:05 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gates-gate: Controversy Grows
Next: Mouthpiece Theater: Little Blue Pill

Comments

BB, Bobbywc,

Out here on the Main Line in Pennsylvania our school district requires yearly notification from doctor and dentists saying that any and all care required has been undertaken. I have to show that my children have been to the doctor and are all up-to-date with shots, and I have to show that they have been to the dentist and that all treatment required has been undertaken. I suppose if the dentist felt they needed braces and I wasn't going for it, he could refuse to sign that form and the school might refer me to, I dunno, family services.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 26, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@ bobbywc - I was a bit tied up myself. You are incorrect with regards to food stamps--to be precise, it is now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We have it in VA and I saw it in action this week. 90% of what the mother purchased was covered and she used a debit card for anything not covered.

Your posts have struck me as conservative/libertarian. What you seem to be advocating is intrusive beyond all reason. Shall we cover skim milk, but not whole milk? How about 2%? Butter is OK if you're going to make pancakes, but not if it's put on top of potatoes. Actually, given that potatoes are shown to raise blood sugar, but sweet potatoes don't, perhaps we should discriminate amongst varietals.

You bought a candy bar at work? Denied! Too much salt in the sauce? Denied. I'd say this is reduction to absurdity, but you're already halfway there.

With regards to forced braces, you're giving me a whiskey tango foxtrot moment. I simply don't believe you. There was a locally famous case of a pre-teen in the Baltimore area who died due to an infection related to the lack of dental care. I simply don't believe stories of forced dental care.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 25, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Follow the Money... Link

Sign this Single-Payer Health Care Petition: Link

Call Congress and demand,

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE FOR ALL NOW!

SEMPER FI!

Posted by: NAVDOC3rdMAR | July 24, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I've said all I have to say on the health care bill as it now stands.

If it fails, one thing will be clear, however: The American PEOPLE are powerless; American CORPORATIONS--including the health industry--OWN THIS COUNTRY AND NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO STOP THEM!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 24, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 24, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know for a fact whether illegal immigrants are included in the health care "plan," as developed so far by certain House committees? If it is true, why haven't Republican opponents made this into a big issue?
________________________________________

Obama has Schumer working on an (ILLEGAL) Immigration Reform Bill, due Labor Day. It will include the proverbial "Path To Citizenship" which will make the ILLEGAL legal. Since they are poor, and impoverished, they will be gifted HealthCare, at your expense. Comprende?

Posted by: buzzm1 | July 24, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Babe, that is the A. I know that. That doesn't make it a good way to operate -- it isn't a good policy for individuals and or our society.

As a country, we have long accepted that we do not prosper when we trick and lie and cheat people. Long ago we decided it was a fit role for government to inspect our food and insist on in honesty in labeling; to establish public schools so we have well educated workers and citizens; to enforce safety standards in the workplace; to have an honest and open court system; to provide a safety net for vulnerable citizens -- the young, the old, the widowed; and for government to review financial institutions for basic stability and honest practice.
The next level was tax benefits to encourage folks to save for their retirement; fines that encouraged business to take responsibility for their effect on the environment; prosecution to prevent racial, religious and sex discrimination, sin taxes to encourag healthy living.
These are all incremental ways we have chosen as citizens to make our country as good a place to live as we can for as many people as we can. I think health care reform is the next step on this path. As a mother, as a worker, and as a citizen who has benefited from many of these systems I hope we take that step.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 24, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

aprogressive:
well allrighty then
perhaps we can catergorize
(((wait, i had to use spell check, is that correct???)))--

the undocumented issue in healthcare is imbedded in what is called
the state low income health insurance plan
that all your state taxpaying dollars
go to

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

A few persons in their comments on blogs and news articles at "The Washington Post" website write that illegal immigrants will be covered by the Obama/Democratic health care plan. I have not seen this issue addressed in any news reports I have read. Seems as if it would be a major story if true and would give those opposed to Obama's "plan," a strong argument against it, so I am a little dubious as to if illegal immigrants are included.

Does anyone know for a fact whether illegal immigrants are included in the health care "plan," as developed so far by certain House committees? If it is true, why haven't Republican opponents made this into a big issue?

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 24, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

okay margaret, i'll bite
.."But why should the next person in the door pay more for the same endoscopy, the same antibiotic, the same 15 minute consultation?"

it is dependent on the network your provider is using.

i know that doesn't help.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

bobby: that would take too much monitoring.
we don't know how to monitor....

your lone star card for food stamps (based on eleigibility) is like the unemployment card if you are on the system through unemployment.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

and I know my premium will go up because I have got one of the best deals going. I can shop a wide variety of plans and pick the one that meets our needs.

It really burns me that hospitals, doctors and pharmacies charge different prices for the same services and meds depending on who pays for them. Clearly, though, they feel that they can make enough of a profit from the size of the pool and the steadiness of the income that they do agree to give me discounted procedures and discounted meds. But why should the next person in the door pay more for the same endoscopy, the same antibiotic, the same 15 minute consultation?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 24, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade,

Sorry I missed your post - you are correct about WIC, but WIC is not food stamps they are different programs.

here in Texas it is called the Lone Star Card - you can go to any store and they are loading up on all the junk you can imagine.

I support healthcare reform and some form of national insurance as an option, but if the government cannot solve the problem of people on foodstamps buying junk food then why should the taxpyers get caught with the costs associated with junk food?

Here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley if your kid is on medicaide at age 14 they are getting braces whether they need them or not - they are sent for them and the government simply pays the bill.

Reform must include forcing people on food stamps into eating healthy or being denied foodstamps - it must include addressing teh fraud with the medicaid system

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 24, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

dbw1, this isn't a political goal I am talking about. I see it as a human goal, so maybe we aren't talking the same language.

I have health insurance because the Feds are my employer. At $550 a month (my share and my employer's share combined) the insurance for my family of 4 is paid for. The pool I am in is large, and my employer negotiates better policies at better prices. Insurance companies compete to be included in the pool. At $550 a month they WANT my business.

My neighbors? They have no power when they go to negotiate. They are just two people who need insurance. They've been with this company several years. if they are dropped and have to go to another company, her diabetes becomes a pre-existing condition and won't be covered. So they pay $24 K a year (and more) for their coverage ... and the insurance company is glad to take their money, too.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 24, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

"The insurance and medical industries are filling the airwaves with disinformation. This couple thinks their premiums will go up! Theirs is exactly the kind of permium that will come down."

You are going to have to explain the math to me. Let's say I pay $500 a year now for car insurance, and my insurer currently refuses to cover anyone with a DUI or more than 3 moving violations (i.e., those at high-risk). Now, the government forces my insurer to extend insurance to these high-risk folks as well but forbids them from charging these individuals more than they charge safe drivers. How exactly would that lower my car insurance premium when the insurer is now going to be incurring higher-than-average costs for these high-risk drivers?

I'm not saying I think it's moral that health insurers deny coverage to individuals just because they've had an illness, but it's a fact these folks will have a higher probability of using health services (which will mean more costs to the insurer), so if the government forces private insurers to cover these people they have been denying for pre-existing conditions, you can be 100% sure YOUR premiums will be going up to help cover their cost.

You simply have to decide if you are willing to pay the higher premium to accomplish the political goal.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 24, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

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

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

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

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

SPREAD THE WORD

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

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 24, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

BB is leaving out the millions of white collar types in their 50s, who can be dropped by their insurers at ANY TIME if they become unprofitable. I have neighbors who pay 2K a month for insurance (they are self-employed and in their late 50s). $24,000 a year plus copays! And they hesitate to mention anything new to any of their doctors because she has diabetes and they are afraid they will be dropped if they become too expensive.

The insurance and medical industries are filling the airwaves with disinformation. This couple thinks their premiums will go up! Theirs is exactly the kind of permium that will come down. They think they will be dealing with the federal bureaucrats, when in fact they will be dealing with the exact same insurance compnay (if they choose them) as before. They will simply have better defined coverage that they cannot lose at a better price.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 24, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

In the last 22 years, since the 1986, Reagan, one-time amnesty, to a thought to be 1.3 million illegals, that turned out to be 3.5 million (and still counting) over 27 million illegals have been apprehended, as they crossed the border into our United States.

UNITED STATES BORDER APPREHENSIONS (Source DHS/CBP)
1987--1,190,488------1995--1,394,554------2003----931,557
1988--1,008,145------1996--1,649,986------2004--1,160,395
1989----954,243------1997--1,412,953------2005--1,189,075
1990--1,169,939------1998--1,555,776------2006--1,089,902
1991--1,197,875------1999--1,579,010------2007----876,704
1992--1,258,482------2000--1,676,438------2008----723,825
1993--1,327,259------2001--1,266,213------2009----550,000est.
1994--1,094,717------2002----955,310

UNFORTUNATELY, less than half of illegals are apprehended at the border. Before the recent addition (over the last two years) of 10,000 Border Patrol agents, and 322 miles of fence, and 304 miles of vehicle barriers, only 32 miles double-layered, it was estimated, by the border patrol agents, that less than 1, out of 7, illegals, were apprehended at the border. Some border patrol agents said less than 1, out of 10.

Now, border patrol agents, collectively, could approximate what percentage of illegals they catch. They said they catch more than half of the ones they know about. How many don't they know about.

According to the U.S. Immigration Service another 6 million illegals in our country are visa overstays.

Anchor babies are now being born at a rate of 400,000 per year


Posted by: buzzm1 | July 24, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:
"If there were some measurable way in which our system were superior, except in VIPs flying to the Mayo Clinic for treatment, you'd have a leg to stand on."

I assume you haven't done much reading on health care outcomes in the various countries? Let's put it this way, if you come down with any serious disease, your chances of survival are statistically far greater in the US than in any of the universal-care countries "progessives" would love to model.

Typically, the primary metric single-payer honks love to point to is life expectancy. However, these numbers are usually drawn from the WHO, and have been roundly criticized for their statistical inaccuracy. There are many reasons, but one example is that the WHO will pretty much report whatever number a country gives them. Different countries use different statistical and sampling methods, and how much trust would you put in the numbers submitted by Cuba, for instance?

In addition, find me a universal care country that 1) has a proportional share of illegal immigrants, and 2)has better health outcome statistics than the US. And don't get me started about average wait times, which would scare most Americans if they knew what would come if they follow the Pied Piper down the single-payer road...

Why progressives continue to malign our wonderful doctors, nurses, and scientists and act like we have a 3rd world health system just to advance a political agenda is beyond me.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 24, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@dbw - You haven't been paying attention. This has already been discussed. Break down the numbers how you like. What you fail to realize is that nearly everyone *with* insurance is vulnerable to a lay-off. Get a chronic illness and lose your job? Start talking to a bankruptcy attorney.

If there were some measurable way in which our system were superior, except in VIPs flying to the Mayo Clinic for treatment, you'd have a leg to stand on. As it is, we pay more and get less.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 24, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse


aprogressive:
...Most people in this country have overall positive esteem for the police, doctors and teachers.

not sure anymore
in all honesty.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:
"If you actually believe that one in every seven people in American is an illegal alien, you probably also believe the moon is made of green cheese."

I'm not the one who said there are 40 million illegals, but I've seen enough of your posts to know you are an Obama backer (usually). So I just had to wonder: do you believe that 1 in 6 Americans don't have health insurance?

If so, what kind of cheese do YOU believe the moon is made of?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 24, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Question: why do our liberal media members (and some obviously loyal posters here) continue to use the "50 million uninsured" number that is known to be intentionally misleading?

If the media is going to continue using that number, then they need to start referring to the 52 million unemployed Americans, and how even if Obama achieves his dreamy "3 million jobs created or saved", the media should help people understand how little it will matter to helping the 52 million Americans who don't have a job.

Posted by: dbw1 | July 24, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama's approval ratings could further decline after his recent comments criticizing the Cambridge police, blaming doctors for not providing more effective health care and scapegoating teachers in public schools for low student achievement, as evident in the article at this website about his administration's educational intiatitive.
Most people in this country have overall positive esteem for the police, doctors and teachers. For Obama to unfairly criticize these groups is not politically wise for him or any politician.

I thought until these recent comments Obama was invincible in 2012, that no possible Republican except probably Romney could win as much as 45% of the popular vote. With high unemployment likely to persist for at least a few more years, maybe a viable Republican candidate, such as Romney, could have an outside chance of winning against Obama.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 24, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

there's no reason for a thrombo
of course something will pass

in september. but that is okay.
maybe they can do their homework

what i am surprised at is that Chris didn't get in the FIX with the Gates case yet with his blog

It has over shadowed the healthcare issue big time

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The fantasy world and economics of today's NeoCom Statist Destructionist Party.

Congrats on the 40 year anniversary of healthcare icon Teddy K. He denied Mary Jo her basic healthcare. Will your family fare any better?

Posted by: leapin | July 24, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

ANYONE who is against health insurance reform is either an unendicted criminal insurance agency executive, a lobbyist for the insurance industry, or a bribed politician who has taken so much of their money they own him/her: Charlie Rangle comes to mind, 100% of the blue dog delegation come to mind, and religious fundamentalist members of the house and senate come to mind.

ANYONE WHO ARGUES FOR THE CURRENT SYSTEM, OR THAT WE SHOULD SLOW IT DOWN SO IT FAILS SHOULD BE LABELED ANTI-AMERICAN (Michael Steel the current failure running the failed republican party said EXACTLY that to his members who are FIGHTING AGAINST YOUR HEALTH AND FOR THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY)

Posted by: onestring | July 24, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

It is going to pass because, as Obama pointed out, it is not fiscally possible to continue as we are at present. Look at the size of the coalition against passage this time as opposed to 1993. The only discussion left going on really is who gets to ice the cake and whether party A or party B is going to get to lick the spoon.

Posted by: nodebris | July 24, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Well DDAWD, I believe you helped illuminate the tough postion blue dogs are in, they have to be mindfull of their democratic base in their district without alienating more conservative and independent voters.If they don't balance that walk carefully they will be out of a job in 2010. Something Ms. Polosi and Mr. Waxman don't have to worry about."

Honestly, I think the health care plan is less politically risky than say something like the stimulus and obviously less risky than the bailouts. I think people will see the results of health care reform a lot faster than they will see an increase in jobs as a result of the stimulus. If they can get insurance, people aren't going to give a damn about any arguments about deficits the Republicans may make.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

chris:
that's eligibility

it's the most important factor in healthcare

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

chris,
all this sprint is based in ....
is the PR push.

what about sending an actual human person
out to medical facilities across the country and here from the front line worker on
whatever is on their mind.
Go talk to the Jada P character Hawthorne in any town USA.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 24, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

SECOND: Get the 40 million freeloading illegals off of our HealthCare System.

==

If you actually believe that one in every seven people in American is an illegal alien, you probably also believe the moon is made of green cheese. Your political views are of no interest or value.

Go back to sleep.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 24, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Senators under the knife!
Ted Kennedy Brain surgery Tim Johnson brain surgery State Senator Alex Padilla Brain surgery Murkowski surgery for broken ankle (Prevention you are to old to ski.)
Senator Barbara Mikulski surgery for broken ankle Senator Blanche Lincoln Back surgery U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Back surgery John Kerry Prostate surgery
Hil broken elbow surgery
This is just a very few of the surgeries Tax payers are providing, and going on in Washington. They go from life saving to hair implants. If we are so broke that the most important people the voters cant get affordable health care why should our Senators have a government run free plan. Their needs to be a limit, what would you insurance company pay for? I am sure Harry Reed has had his share and dnetal.

Posted by: iamright1 | July 24, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

If this legislation comes out of Congress, without a public plan, and Obama doesn't veto it; Obama comes out of the presidency after one term. Tell him people. Not just any bill will do, cut cost, and a public plan.

Posted by: linda_521 | July 24, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Why not stress the national security aspects of health care reform? Remember the anthrax attacks? With H1N1 and the possibility of some other calamity you want as much as the population insured so the emergency rooms are not flooded.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | July 24, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Well DDAWD, I believe you helped illuminate the tough postion blue dogs are in, they have to be mindfull of their democratic base in their district without alienating more conservative and independent voters.If they don't balance that walk carefully they will be out of a job in 2010. Something Ms. Polosi and Mr. Waxman don't have to worry about.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 24, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Q - Do have some easy solution to financing health care reform?

A - Financing is the easy part. Unfortunately Congress is dysfunctional and has been for some time, which makes this portion hard.

My "Uniform Traffic Violation Fines" bill will not only finance the entire health care reform program, it will cut cost dramatically.

Basically, the bill will impose a federal fine for all traffic violations starting at $100.00. The bill will reduce accidents in a big way saving lives and health care costs at the same time. The Federal fine is in addition to any local fine.

Posted by: Maddogg | July 24, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

10 minutes with you doctor 90 dollars... Minor surgery(Appendicitis)
25 thousand.....
A politician who isn't in the insurance and drug companies pockets..... Priceless. American want health care. Insurance companies don’t. Americans can’t afford to buy the vote the insurance companies can and have for years. YOu freeks were voted in to bring out affortable health care for all. Those who vote agains it, well we don't have a whole lot left to loose. What do you have.

Posted by: iamright1 | July 24, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Rick J wrote: "Re: the sprint. Ugh! One month of half-truths from both sides that really won't address anything. It's really sad that politics has rendered government impotent."

And it will be the profiteers who will benefit from killing healthcare reform who have the most money and who will be in the best position to keep generating the lies and misleading statements that have put government in a stranglehold. I truly hope those in office realize what incompetent and ineffective buffoons they'll look to the world if they let themselves be manipulated by the profiteers...and in fact sell themselves as marketeers for their lies. As i listen to citizens truly frightened by the lies they've heard, i just get angrier and angrier...and am concerned that simple honest people who just want to set the record straight can't match dollar for dollar what insurance, wall street and big pharmacy/health care providers can insert into the public forum.

Our government is collapsing under the weight of corporate greed...the interests of the people who elect the representatives are being replaced by the interests of those who pay for the elections of those representatives.

Posted by: las100 | July 24, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Q - Maddogg, you said the Congress is dysfunctional. What do you mean?

A - The Congress is dysfunctional because the American voter or population is dysfunctional. I'm talking psychological dysfunction.

The Republican philosophy of government does not work and the Democrats have no real leadership. Obama is a step in the correct direction but he cannot mend a dysfunctional Congress. But we will see.

Posted by: Maddogg"

This does nothing to answer the question as to what you mean by dysfunctional. I'm calling you on this because I hate seeing these superlatives thrown around without reason. (I think the original person who posed the question feels the same)

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"One thing we can be reasonably sure of, Senators and Congressmen and women will not vote themselves out of a job. If Ms. Pelosi was in a swing district, I would be willing to bet, she would have the same concerns as blue dogs. As President Obama shot himself in the foot Wednesday night and he is now polling at or below 50%, it is highly unlikely a public option will survive, my guess, he will take whatever he can get, call it a victory and move on."

Reminds me of another 538.com column on the blue dogs and health care. First of all, the blue dog districts are the ones that need health care reform the most. Second, if blue dogs are so scared of voting for health care, then what part of the Democratic platform ARE they going to go for?

Personally, I think these guys were sent to office as people who will side with Democrats on things like health care and economics matters, but side with Republicans on things like gun control and gay marriage. If the blue dogs just block all legislation, then they might find themselves out of a job anyways.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/07/dear-mr-blue-dog.html

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Q - Maddogg, you said the Congress is dysfunctional. What do you mean?

A - The Congress is dysfunctional because the American voter or population is dysfunctional. I'm talking psychological dysfunction.

The Republican philosophy of government does not work and the Democrats have no real leadership. Obama is a step in the correct direction but he cannot mend a dysfunctional Congress. But we will see.

Posted by: Maddogg | July 24, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

One thing we can be reasonably sure of, Senators and Congressmen and women will not vote themselves out of a job. If Ms. Pelosi was in a swing district, I would be willing to bet, she would have the same concerns as blue dogs. As President Obama shot himself in the foot Wednesday night and he is now polling at or below 50%, it is highly unlikely a public option will survive, my guess, he will take whatever he can get, call it a victory and move on.

Posted by: vbhoomes | July 24, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/23/AR2009072302633.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Not sure why this link wasn't posted since Mr. Cillizza seems to love all things Palin, but here is John Kerry and Barbara Boxer's rebuttal to Palin's op-ed a few weeks ago.

It's basically a long winded way of telling her to grow up.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"I would use a system that replaces monetary awards with criminal penalities like life in prison or death. It would be some sort of combination system."

Problem is that if a doctor botches a surgery and leaves me very ill, throwing him in jail isn't going to do much for me or my family who I can no longer support.

That's kind of the scary thing of tort reform. I know that people abuse the system, but people also have legitimate gripes. I don't know the proportions for this, but I do think those who have been seriously damaged by the medical system should be amply compensated.

I don't see why we can't have some sort of system to filter out the frivolous cases. I'm not a legal expert, so I don't know how feasible this is, but why not have judges decide to accept and reject certain cases. The Supreme Court doesn't see every case that people want them to see. I'm sure there are medical legal experts around to advise with these sorts of things. I'm talking about a relatively low standard to actually try cases. Plaintiff just needs to show that he has a good reason to bring the case to trial.

But I don't think that artificially limiting the compensation for people who do win cases is the right thing to do.

Also, we need to regulate malpractice insurers. There is no reason for them to jack up the prices on a doctor who gets sued once and wins his case.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Hispana writes
"I have submitted comments to this column and they are held. Please explain why!!!"

Usually one or more of three things:
1) too long
2) too many links
3) naughty language

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 24, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

FarlingtonBlade writes
""4. 9.4 million are in between jobs and are temporarily uninsured."

Here is where you are posted like an imbecil. Here's the procedure to a quick bankruptcy. A - Get an expensive medical condition. B - Lose job with good benefits. C - Oh look, you're uninsurable! D - Pile up massive medical bills."


Building on that theme, even if you subsequently find a job with good benefits, the medical condition that began before you took the new job & qualified for new health insurance is now a preexisting condition - and thus uncovered by your insurance.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 24, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I have submitted comments to this column and they are held. Please explain why!!!

Posted by: Hispana | July 24, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Q - Maddogg, you said you had a desirable plan for tort reform. What is it?

A - I am happy with the present system, but realize others want reform here.

I would use a system that replaces monetary awards with criminal penalities like life in prison or death. It would be some sort of combination system.

Posted by: Maddogg | July 24, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Q - Maddogg, what do you see as major problem for health care reform?

A - If the health insurance industry is involved with the decussions in Congress health care insurance will cost more than it does now. It is not the job of Congress to provide profit to the insurance industry, but that looks like exactly what they intend to do.

Posted by: Maddogg | July 24, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of one's political agenda, it's clear real solutions to America’s crisis MUST concentrate on fundamental cost reductions and modern management practices. The industry is a profit driven hodge-podge, and dysfunctional private insurance adds billions in overhead yet contributes zero value to actual care. Solutions must correct the underlying problems – inefficient distribution of services, poor quality control, and a profit driven industry dominated by self interest entrepreneurs and middlemen. Other countries and many U.S. non-profit models already point the way. We can no longer tolerate exclusive business contracts between profit center “providers” (formally called doctors and hospitals), grossly inflated pharmaceuticals, an artificially constricted supply of family practitioners, policy agendas written by campaign contributors, and revolving door regulators. Otherwise, despite expanded private insurance and unlimited taxpayer funding, American healthcare will continue to rank 43rd in performance, and No. 1 in cost.

Posted by: jdwil | July 24, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I will give President Obama the kudo's when he is right. President Obama is right when he is trying to overhaul healthcare. I lost my sister to Cancer last years and today most hospital and private care insurances treat people with those types of illiness including HIV very badly. My family basically had to lie to the insurance company about ailments in her condition, for them to cover her for certain procedures.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | July 24, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

More time for the American public to get information on healthcare reform is a good thing. Both sides are going to make their case for & against the public option, as well as some other proposals I'm sure.

Kelly Ayotte is going to be the GOP nominee in New Hampshire. A more conservative primary against a former loser may help her with independents & perhaps moderate Democrats. Ayotte has the full support of the NRSC, has the endorsement of Judd Gregg, is a prolific fundraiser and starts the raise with high positives and a reputation of working across the aisle. Ayotte likely begins the race vs. US Rep. Hodes as the favorite.

Rubio should drop out of the Senate race & run for Attorney General. He's fighting a losing battle here.

Thune is beating the conservative drum nationally & locally on the 2nd Amendment issue. This makes him more popular with the national Republican base & there at home in South Dakota. It's a win-win for John Thune.

Posted by: reason5 | July 24, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) took the unusual step of requesting the House clerk to read aloud a 55-page motion to recommit, a process that took over 40 minutes. The obstructionist tactic, the Politico’s Glenn Thrush reports, appears to have been orchestrated by the GOP in order to delay House proceedings so Republicans could attend the annual “Boehner Beach Party” fundraising event at the Cantina Marina, a D.C. restaurant near the waterfront. Party Time, a blog maintained by the Sunlight Foundation, obtained a copy of the invite for Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) event. View it below:

http://thinkprogress.org/

Boehner’s spokesman has claimed that the stalling was part of a “protest” against Democrats. However, after Democratic aides pointed out that members seemed to be leaving for Boehner’s party, Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) sheepishly returned to the floor to apologize to his colleagues for the “delay here.” CQ reported that while the House clerk labored to finish a task that is typically dispensed with in seconds by unanimous consent, a Boehner spokesman sent an e-mail saying that he was “headed down now” to the party.'

Party! Party! Party!

Being an elected republican today is apparently quite similar to liviing in a frat house...

Posted by: drindl | July 24, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

In response to bsimon, Qwhat do you suggest
as an alternative?
A: Alternative production methods-insect cell growth rather than egg, and alternative vaccine formulations, ie DNA plasmid(conserved segment) vaccines or virus like particles (VLP). I believe HHS has already given $30+ million to Protein Sciences for insect cell vaccine growth, but whether other alternatives such as DNA vaccines which can be manufactured rapidly are also being funded is a question which needs immediate study. View the video.

Posted by: mesondk | July 24, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@bobbywc - Sorry, lost my thought there. The system is programmed to allow the WIC card to be used for approved items. Anything not approved has to be paid for by another means. So, the "junk food" you see is not being paid for by WIC.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 24, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/07/healthcare-timeout-is-fine.html

Column on the benefits of having the break on the health care vote.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@bobbywc - You haven't been paying attention. The cards are programmed. I was just behind someone who was using WIC the other day. The allowed items

@mockingbird - Nice copy job, now think about it a bit.

"1. 18 million can afford it, but don't want it."

However, when they go to the emergency room and can't pay for the treatment, guess who picks up the tab? That's right, it jacks up our insurance costs.

"2. 8.4 million are 18-25 years old and consider themselves indestructible."

See above comment. I consider myself a very safe driver, but carry car insurance anyway.

"3. 12.6 million are illegal aliens and shouldn't be here anyway."

Granted. However, shouldn't the employers of these have to pay into the system since they're off-loading these costs onto the rest of us?

"4. 9.4 million are in between jobs and are temporarily uninsured."

Here is where you are posted like an imbecil. Here's the procedure to a quick bankruptcy. A - Get an expensive medical condition. B - Lose job with good benefits. C - Oh look, you're uninsurable! D - Pile up massive medical bills.

5 and 6 were just a statement that not everybody who is eligible has signed up. So, they should be in the system and we would have to be paying more.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 24, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

mesondk writes
"And by going with conventional vaccines, we're going too slow."


What do you suggest as an appropriate alternative?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 24, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Whoo! Perfect game! There was an amazing catch made by their center fielder early on to save a home run.

This is like the first one in five years, right?

Posted by: DDAWD | July 24, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

By the time they get to a vote, the H1N1/ swine flu will be in full impact, 1 in 5 teens, pre teens and parents up to 60 million people with the flu according to a Dr. Belshe from St. Louis. Response to this pandemic may be the defining moment for this administration.
And by going with conventional vaccines, we're going too slow.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2006/0204-faster_flu_vaccine.htm

Posted by: mesondk | July 24, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama and the Dems are taking the wrong approach to counter GOP obstruction to changing our health care system. Having recently read many accounts and personally witnessed the large number of people in my own area who have either not sought care for their own medical problems or delayed or refused to seek care for their own kids, the lack of available affordable care is a disgrace and results in untold suffering and the premature deaths of Americans--more than have been lost in any war! Those who are denouncing any change are thinking of themselves and not of the growing ranks of uninsured or underinsured who forego early treatment, preventitive care, or necessary medications. If they want to sell healthcare change don't focus on the politics, focus on the suffering of those who need help. Pretty soon you may be next...

Posted by: IDnative | July 24, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The ads won't make a difference on this, the Democrats are going to have to have a come to Jesus moment and come to some sort of agreement. In the end neither the liberals or the blue dogs will be fully satisfied, but the result will be a mandate for individuals and buisnesses to have health insurance and to provide it if you have a certain amount of employees. There will also be a public option in the form of a Co-op or possibly a trigger system for a government insurance group. That will make the blue dogs happy enough to vote for it. Then to appease the liberals we will see the SCHIP program expanded so that every child in the country is covered.

If Obama can get this type of deal down the throats of his own party then he is good. The one question I wonder is if the GOP will be able to stick Tort reform on the final bill?

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 24, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

People need to remind themselves that what is being offered is pretty much what 1.8 million civillian Federal employees are already offered. It works well, and it works at a reasonable cost. Between the employee's contribution and the employer's contribution the program pays for itself, just like a private industry program does.

I work in Philadelphia. Every November I get an array of policies offered by the same insurance companies I would be negotiating with if I was in private employment. The polices run a full spectrum. I can go to a web site and evaluate policies and pick the one that gives me the best coverage (HMO, high deduct., lower co-pays, better scrip program, etc). And I'm still with Aetna, or BC/BS or Keystone, etc.-- just as I would be in the public domain.

The difference is Uncle Sam does the negotiating and sets the standards to be met in this market place. This means my family of 4 gets well defined coverage for $540 a month (my $180 and Uncle Sam's $360), something my 3 self-employed neighbors would love to have (they are paying an average of 2 K a month to cover their families).

This system is in place, it works well and it pays for itself. As long as the medical conglomerates keep us splintered and uninformed and scared with disinformation, the medical industry will continue to consume more and more of our GDP (16% and rising). They will also continue to bill us for things they should be paying for (you can challenge your bill if you catch it)and deny treatment (you can grieve it if you aren't dead) and stop your coverage if you become unprofitable to them.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 24, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Correction to post @ 9:18 a.m., below:

IT HAPPENS TO WHITE ETHNIC MINORITIES, TOO:

http://nowpublic.com/world/anti-stalking-journo-seeks-lawyer-fight-stalking-charge

Gremlins in the computer? Or THIS?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 24, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Why are we not talking healcare as part of this discussion. I see foodstamp users all of the time buying junk with their government money. How is it we cannot program these debit cards to reject the purchase of junk food?

Why are our schools still searving breakfasts and lunches filled with corn syrup. They use artificial syrup which causes some of the kids to become hyper or sleepy. It actually knocks me out like a sleeping pill.

Not that facts matter to people who have no interest in facts. We have a major underinsured problem in the US.

I have a friend who has insurance with a major department store. A simple colonoscopy now has this guy 7 thousand in debt after CIGNA paid its part. Had he known this he never would have undergone the two procedures. His copay for the ulcer medicine was 100 dollars - something he had to borrow.

It is not just about pepole without insurance it is about underinsured people. It is about doctors and hospitals who know they are not party to CIGNA's plan and then bill twice as much as CIGNA will authorize. We need reform and we need it now. these doctors and hospitals should have a duty to inform the patient in writing they are not part of their insurance plan and that they will pay more for going outside the plan.

I know someone who works for the VA who is not getting her colonoscopy because the copay is way to high. What good is insurance if you cannot afford the copays?

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 24, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

WHAT GOOD IS HEALTH CARE REFORM WHEN A FEDERAL 'MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTION PROGRAM' IS DESTROYING THE LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICANS...

...BY MEANS OF A GPS-ACTIVATED VIGILANTE 'COMMUNITY STALKING' ARMY; CO-OPTED LOCAL POLICE; AND THE DEPLOYMENT OF SILENT, INJURY- AND ILLNESS-INDUCING MICROWAVE/ LASER 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS'?

***

THE PROF. GATES POLICE HOME INVASION:
EMBLEMATIC OF THIS POLICE STATE GESTAPO.

• President Obama must dismantle the nationwide GPS-activated "torture matrix" and remove from power the federal officials who continue to oversee it.

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

IT HAPPENS TO WHITE ETHNIC MINORITIES, GOOD:

http://nowpublic.com/world/anti-stalking-journo-seeks-lawyer-fight-stalking-charge

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 24, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

An awful lot of people are "between jobs" (i.e. unemployed) these days. In the rest of the developed world, people without jobs still have health insurance.

Posted by: mpittman1 | July 24, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

my tweet

40 MILLION ILLEGALS FREELOADING ON R HEALTHCARE SYSTEM HAVE TO LEAVE. MANDATE E-VERIFY FOR ALL EMPLOYEES & ENTITLEMENTS http://bit.ly/SeCUP

Posted by: buzzm1 | July 24, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

The 47 million "uninsured":

1. 18 million can afford it, but don't want it.

2. 8.4 million are 18-25 years old and consider themselves indestructible.

3. 12.6 million are illegal aliens and shouldn't be here anyway.

4. 9.4 million are in between jobs and are temporarily uninsured.

5. 8 million are children who are covered, but whose parents have not signed them up.

6. 3.5 million are eligible for government programs, but have not signed up.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | July 24, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

FIRST; European Drug Prices for all Americans

SECOND: Get the 40 million freeloading illegals off of our HealthCare System.

Posted by: buzzm1 | July 24, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I read yesterday that UnitedHealth, the health care group that owns the Lewin outfit which provides the statistics for Republican opposition to health care reform, earned over $800 million (three quarters of a billion) in the quarter ending in June.

You'd better believe those people will be using this next month to try to keep destroy health care reform. They have billions of dollars at stake. And what about all of us who will certainly lose insurance or jobs when we get an expensive illness? If these very rich people get their way, the health care rip off will get worse and worse, the costs will continue to skyrocket, and if you get sick, you will be out in the cold.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | July 24, 2009 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Re: the sprint. Ugh! One month of half-truths from both sides that really won't address anything. It's really sad that politics has rendered government impotent.

Re: Thune. Not sure that the Second Amendment is the best platform to use for a national stage unless we're going retro on issues again.

Re: Conrad Reynolds. More us v. them politics.

Posted by: RickJ | July 24, 2009 5:32 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company