Tag Archive: public option

Dr. Margaret Flowers – Grassroots Response to Health Care Reform

cross-posted from Sum of Change



(This segment was recorded live on Ustream on 3/24/2001 at 12:00pm EST)

[VIDEO] Dean, Billionaires for Wealthcare, and a Public Option Superstar…

Cross-posted from Sum of Change

Today I dropped in on the health care rally in DC. Everyone who’s anyone was there (not literally, but it certainly felt that way when I was there).

Howard Dean was there. We got to ask him if he thinks the Democratic leadership is prepared to move forward without Republicans and if he agrees with the statement that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer made at the health care summit that everyone shares the same goal of covering all Americans:

video below the fold…

“For the Public Option. Just Not This One”

Warning. This is Not P.C.

Did you ever read something so mind bogglingly bereft of compassion, and so full of the banality of the banana slugs, it slimed the inner surface of your computer screen as you scrolled thru it ?  

This much “advocacy” deserves a rewrite. This is the current apogee of argument for “reform.”  All I had to do was substitute a few words for other words, throughout the piece.   And this is what happens:

____________________________________________________________________________

“I’m For A Public Option. Just Not This Public Option ”

I see a ton of enthusiasm for the public flogging.  I understand it.  Emotionally, I agree. Intellectually, not so much.

A public flogging is attractive on paper, but has some serious and real pitfalls, in my view.  

I understand why people don’t want to let slaves escape on this, and also why they hate having commercial slave bearing ships, competing with their breeding operations.  But there are still some very practical, non procedural reasons to stop and think it all thru.

Pelosi Says House Dems OK w/ Obama Excise Tax & No P/O in Health Bill

Since tomorrow is the big “virtual march” on Washington, when the so- called Democratic activists (yeah, I mean you, OFA) and interested others are supposed to flood the Congressional switchboards, faxes, and email to their Senators on the Eve of Destruction, er, the Thursday televised “Bipartisan” Health Care Summit Kabuki Theatre, to expedite the passing of the gallstone, er, The Health Insurance Bill,  the Speaker of the House clarified the status of the President’s bill tweak tonight.  The bill tweak was posted online yesterday.

This was posted late in The Hill this evening:

Pelosi: House Dems can support Obama healthcare proposal

http://thehill.com/homenews/ho…


“We’re very pleased with what the president put up on the Internet,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday at a news conference.

Pelosi did not object to the absence of a Public Option in President Obama’s version of the bill, altho she said it would be the preferred method, nor to putting an excise tax on on “high cost health care” plans to pay for it.  (oh, nice message control there by the writer for not using the Reaganite  “Cadillac Plans.”)


The White House bill includes a modified version of the tax that seeks to protect middle-class union members from paying it.

Pelosi endorsed that proposal, stating that “the pay-for in it is something that Democrats in the House can support.”

( If I had to make an educated guess, the unions that they have in mind here are the ones that work on government military contracts and projects such as the electrical, metal sheetworker, aerospace industry, shipbuilding, etc,  and in turn donate to Democratic candidates. )

According to the wonk room think progress, with President Obama’s tweak of the Senate bill,  there is a delay in starting the excise tax.  This is a combination of kick the can down the road to 8 years in the future, and upping the amount of exemption for each policy before the 40% excise tax on policies worth over a certain amount kicks in.  A double barreled kick, as it were.  Because it’s very likely that policies are going to cost lots more in the near future, after we saw Wellpoint’s 39% proposed rate hikes this month. http://www.marketwatch.com/sto…


http://wonkroom.thinkprogress….

Obama’s Version- Excise tax – ‘Labor agreement’ for everyone. Changes effective date of the Senate policy from 2013 to 2018. Raises the amount of premiums that are exempt from the assessment from $8,500 for singles to $10,200 and from $23,000 for families to $27,500 and indexes these amounts for subsequent years at general inflation plus 1 percent.  

There is also a payroll tax increase of zero point nine 0.9% percent on wages or salaries above a certain income, and a two point nine percent 2.9%  assessment on unearned income. (“unearned” income is that which does not come from actual work performed for wages, but is from interest, dividends, investment gains, or things like rent).

According to The Hill story, the House will be voting on Wednesday on a repeal of the health insurance industry’s Anti Trust exemption, which would allow the Federal Trade Commission and Dept of Justice to combat collusion (aka evil cooperation to fix prices) between health insurance companies.  They’ve had the exemption since 1945.    

Chris Hayes’ Speech At Sum of Change/Grow the Hope House Meeting

Yesterday, we were humbled when folks from the DC/MD/VA area packed into the living room of David Hart, founder of Grow the Hope, for a fundraiser to help us cover the annual Netroots Nation conference. We could not have been more thrilled with the level of energy in the room.

Our featured speaker, Chris Hayes, the DC Editor of The Nation, gave a rather fantastic speech that we wanted to share with you all right away:

Friday:Obama HC Summit Plan-No Public Option,Yes Excise Tax

Yesterday, I wrote about why it is a mistake for the Democrats to cling to the Senate Finance Committee’s funding mechanism for their health insurance “reform” bill, which is a punitive, regressive excise tax on the working class’s health insurance benefits themselves, which the White House persists in calling the “Cadillac tax.”

http://docudharma.com/diar…

Since Friday afternoon is always good for a newsdump, according to Chris Bowers at Open Left, Jillian Rayfield at TPMDC, and Greg Sargent at The Plum Line, we have the usual Democratic anonymous WH sources/leadership aides

 telling us that the President intends to offer the excise tax and no Public Option to the “Bipartisan” health care bill summit next Thursday Feb 25 th.

Sargent:

Okay, I’ve got some more info for you on what the health care compromise proposal that Obama will bring to the summit next week is going to look like.

Bottom line: It’s all but certain to have the Cadillac tax in it, even though House Dems oppose it, and no public option, aides say.

http://theplumline.whorunsgov….

Oh, goody.

Now, last night at Open Left, we had the breathless BREAKING! applied to this little nugget:

Obama will support the public option if Reid will.  

http://www.openleft.com/diary/…

Based on HHS Sec Kathleen Sebelius answering an interview question put to her by Rachel Maddow.

Check out this Research 2000 polling done in Nevada, this month 2/9 – 2/10/10 :  http://act.boldprogressives.or…

88% of Nevada Democrats and 61% of Independents favor a govt. admin health insurance plan “like Medicare” for younger people to be able to obtain as a choice to compete with private plans

89% of Nevada Democrats and 56% of Independents would prefer passing health insurance reform that includes a public option, and that would make them more likely to vote for Democrats in the 2010 elections, even if this meant the bill didn’t get Republican votes.

88% of Democrats and 58% of Independents think Harry Reid should include a Public Option in Reconciliation.

Today, Friday, President Obama did a joint appearance with Senate Majority Leader Reid at a town hall in a high school gym in Henderson, Nevada.  They hugged, they praised each other, they made boxing allegories.  

 “Health care has been knocking me around pretty good,” Obama said. “It’s been knocking Harry around pretty good.”

The goal was to shift the emphasis from the unpopularity of some of Reid’s votes to, in Obama’s view, the courage it took to take expensive steps to save the economy. “Sometimes he takes his licks,” Obama said of Reid. “But he gets back up. Harry Reid has never stopped fighting.”  

Yup. Harry’s never stopped fighting.  Fighting for what, we’re not sure, and in what decade, we don’t know, but he’s still in there, swingin’ away.   Harry’s sagging in the polls in his Nevada re election race.  Nevada, with the highest percentage of veterans and retirees in the nation (think living on fixed incomes), and an economy that depends on tourism and entertainment, has been battered brutally in this recession, as it also has a 13% unemployment rate, and the 2nd highest foreclosure rates in the nation.  Harry needs a Big Las Vegas Finale to pull this one off.  

Pelosi Takes Public Option Off Our Table

The day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech to Congress, the conservaDems intent on bailing out the health insurance industry are happy to hear that House Speaker Pelosi say that:


“I think that the President’s, not only his appeal to pass it but his explanation to the American people as to what the possibilities were was a very powerful statement that will be helpful to us,” Pelosi said.

/snip

“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll poll vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

– from Greg Sargent’s Plumline

http://theplumline.whorunsgov….

Pelosi and her House are allegedly attempting to do a run around of the “60 vote Senate supermajority needed to block a filibuster” problem, by passing a House version of “side car reconciliation” to the bill first before signing off on the Senate’s version of a “health insurance reform” bill.  There is no timetable, other than they have a year to contemplate how to do this before the proto legislation already passed, expires.  

There They Went Again & Again & Again…

Now crossposted at Progressive Democrats of America

In another arrogant collusion to once again deny us any possibility of what we want — real health care reform, single payer, public option — those who do what they want, but not what we want, have decided to scrap the conference committee to reconcile the Senate and House versions.  Instead, they have decided to have a secret meeting of the 3 major players, Pelosi, Reid, Obama, behind closed doors without reporters or C-Span.

This is a call to action.  We need to call congress and tell them we are furious.  Like modern day Paul Reveres, we need to ride through the countryside on our internet horses and yell from the rooftops, “The fascists are coming.  The fascists are coming.”   And we aren’t gonna take it any more.  No we aren’t.

It’s time for the Second American Revolution.  We need to let Congress know we aren’t going to take this any more.  No taxation without representation.  No mandates to force us to buy junk health insurance when we don’t have a democratic say in what is being put into law.

To the rooftops, to the tubes, to Congress, say NO!  We won’t take it any more.  The Second American Revolution is coming.  The Second American Revolution is Coming.

Follow below for more to do and a very cogent letter from PDA.

 

“Block This Bill”: No Public Option, No Bill

Crossposted from Antemedius

David Swanson, Washington Director of Democrats.com, talks with Paul Jay of The Real News, dissecting the politics of health care reform and the roadblocks in the way of getting to a real reform that serves peoples needs rather than politicians needs and the fact that politicians, even democrats and so-called “progressive” politicians and not just republicans, are the major roadblocks.



Real News Network – December 21, 2009

No public option, no bill?

David Swanson: Will progressives shoot down a healthcare bill that lacks a public option

David Swanson is the creator of ImpeachCheney.org, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com A writer and organizer, Swanson has worked for ACORN, the International Labor Communications Association, Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign and many others. Swanson is the author of the new book “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when his tour will be in your town: http://davidswanson.org/book.

Hoist Them on their own Petard: Trigger the Mandate

We kept hearing about Triggers and State Opt-Ins and State Opt-Outs … for the Public Option. Its time to move an amendment to the Individual Mandate that triggers it, with an Opt-Out. Note that these can be split into two Amendments, as the Opt-Out works with or without the Trigger.

(1) The Individual Mandate is triggered when everyone subject to the Mandate in a state has available to them insurance from a not-for-profit entity, and excluding all entities owned by for-profit entities, at a premium after any public subsidy of less than 5% of their annual income.

(2) Before the Individual Mandate can come into force in any state, a measure approving the individual mandate must be placed on the ballot in the next Federal general election, and the mandate must obtain a simple majority of votes cast.

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