Dems doing it themselves?

Stories today suggest that the Obama Administration may be eschewing the bipartisan approach in favor of simply passing health care reform with the majority they have in both houses …

To me, that’s a great approach.  Pass a bill and fix the problem of constantly increasing insurance premiums.

Most Republicans seem to be more interested in opposing a sensible dialogue in favor of political distortions.

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

65 Responses to Dems doing it themselves?

  1. Ted says:

    It’s about time

  2. motownrepub says:

    The Democrat leadership has blocked much meaningful Republican involvement and debate in many, if not most, of the committees.

    Are you among the far left that would rather simply eliminate all debate and comment from the minority party and the American people? It sounds that way at times.

    Let the Democrats do this on their own and they will have to live with it as such, a Democrat plan and system. I would predict that if they do it, they will lose more seats in the Senate that in 1994.

  3. Rob says:

    Solve lots of the problems of politics once & for all and mandate single-term limits on every elected office — especially at the local level, where abuse of power runs rampant and unchecked.

  4. Ted says:

    Motown, what meaningful debate and invivement has been blocked?

    Rob, you’re off topic but I’ll bite. What benefits would be derived by term limits?

  5. The Republicans, most of them, have not shown a willingness to work together … The GOP talking points Rodney distributed at a recent meeting are proof of that … That is when he said that those making $85,000 a year can pay their one medical bills … Then, you have the wild accusations about “death panels” and socialized medicine.. Both themes are just designed to rouse up right … And are far off the mark, After a while, you just have to pass what you believe is right and be done with it.

  6. Ed Ramirez says:

    Fred

    It is the Democrats that have written these bills in dark rooms without the advice or council from Republicans. I would like to know how much of the bill HR 3200 you have read. Because if you have not read it all 1000+ pages you really have nothing to add here on this blog until you read it.

  7. Ed
    I am in the midst of reading it ….
    Amd, of course, the Dems wrote it — they’re in the majority. When Republicans are in the majority, they write bills without help from the Dems

  8. motownrepub says:

    Using rules seldom used, the Democrats have limited Republicans from adding ammendments. They have used tactics to limit debate. They have had the main aspects of the bills written solely by Democrats without Republican involvement. The Franking Commission limited their ability to communicate their position with the constituency. This is a bullying majority using every trick in the book to push through their policies without involvement and debate.

  9. Ted says:

    motown, what mailings did the bipartisan Franking Commiission prevent?

  10. Ted says:

    Motown, I doubt that changing the wording from”Government run healthcare” to””public option” was a significant problem.

  11. P says:

    House Democrats Censor Republican’s Use of Term ‘Government-Run’ Health Care in Constituent Communications
    Monday, July 27, 2009
    By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

    Rep. John Carter (R-Texas)
    (CNSNews.com) – Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) made public last week an e-mail from the Franking Commission — a bipartisan panel that oversees messages from lawmakers — asking him to change the phrase “government run” health care to “public option.”

    The term was part of an audio message recorded by Carter’s staff for a town hall event on health care. The message said: “The House Democrats unveiled a government-run health care plan.”

    The Franking Commission, which is authorized by law to oversee mail and other communications between members of Congress and their constituents that is paid for with federal funds, sent an e-mail to Carter’s staff requesting that the wording in the message be changed.

    “I received the script back from the majority, and there are a couple of changes that need to be made to make it compliant,” the Franking Commission e-mail said. “In the first paragraph (answering machine message, automatic connection) change ‘House Democrats unveiled a government run health care plan’ to either ‘the house majority (sic) unveiled a public option health care plan’ or ‘Just this past week the House majority (sic) unveiled a health care plan which I believe will cost taxpayers ….’”

    “Change this on both scripts and send it back to me,” the e-mail concluded.

    Carter unveiled the e-mail at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday. At the same conference, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said his colorful chart on “Obamacare” ­– which was voted into the record on the floor of the House earlier this month – was rejected by the Franking Commission for use in his communications with constituents.

    “Now, why can’t I say what I feel about a plan that I’m being asked to vote upon, that has been debated on the floor of the House on multiple occasions, where multiple numbers of people have used the term ‘government run health care plan?’” Carter asked at the press conference last week.

    “In fact, I would submit to you, when you look at this chart, how could you not say it’s a government-run health care plan?” he said.

    “Why does the Franking Commission have the right to prevent me from freely speaking what I think my folks back home ought to hear and instead tell me I have to speak what the president said last night?” Carter said, referring to President Barack Obama’s televised press conference at the White House last Wednesday.

    “I think that is an abridgement of free speech,” he said.

    “Why are they so afraid of this chart?” Carter said. “Why are they so afraid of a simple phrase that one member of Congress might say on a telephone town hall? Could it be that they know what this health care plan is?”

    John Stone, communications director for Carter, told CNSNews.com that Republicans are not finished fighting what they call censorship by the Franking Commission.

    “We plan to take it to the [House] floor on Monday night,” Stone said. “There is going to be a massive protest.”

    “And if they try to stop it with a motion to adjourn, we’re going to go outside and hold our speeches,” Stone said. “We will not be silenced.”

    The bipartisan Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards — or the “Franking Commission” — has a three fold mandate: (1) to issue regulations governing the proper use of the franking privilege; (2) to provide guidance in connection with mailings; (3) to act as a quasi-judicial body for the disposition of formal complaints against Members of Congress who have allegedly violated franking laws or regulations.

    Members of Congress are required to submit all mass mailings for an advisory opinion prior to mailing.

  12. P says:

    I’ll keep cutting and pasting until Ted learns how to Google, and starts paying attention to the news.

  13. P says:

    The Democrats have made a mess of the whole process. From the start the Liberals in the House have run roughshod over Republicans and their own members who didn’t agree with their far-left position on having the government take over the US health care system – i.g., Medicare for all.

    Obama is trying to be above it all in his post-partisan cocoon, but lately his senior staff have been flipping and flopping on what they will accept and what is sacrosanct as they get whipsawed by the Liberals and Blue Dog Dems. Note – Republicans aren’t even in the middle of this food fight.

    The committee leaders in the Senate realize they need to get a couple of Republicans on board so they can claim “bi-partisanship”, and as usual, there’s three or four who’d love to play the part.

    But at the end of the day, the real problem is that Obama is trying to do too much and he’s slowly losing support. This is 1993 all over again.

    How about fixing Medicare first. It is now going bankrupt (more out than in), and in 7 or 8 years will only be able to pay 80% of its bills. That’s where Congress should focus its attention, not with saddling us with an new entitlement program that will bankrupt the nation by 2020.

  14. motownrepub says:

    Thanks “P” ….. Are we the only ones paying attention…..Oh, I forgot – Hope and Change means just listening to MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NY Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, etc., and the rest of the White House media (I Will throw Fred into the mix just to tick him off), as they force feed their propaganda to the willing masses. Come on people, this is the dirtiest and most partisan Congressional leadership and Administration EVER….and that does include the last 8 years of GWB (I know how much that will send you over the edge) …

  15. Ted says:

    P, The Only thing the bipartisan, Franking Commission did was have Representative Carter delete the phrase ” Government run heath care” and use the more appropriate term “public option.

    Right wing nuts such as yourself twisted that into censorship. Now censorship is more like asking a blog moderator to remove my posts because you got beaten in a debate. On the other hand the Franking Commission is mandated to provide guidence in connection with mass mailings

    It took me only 76 words to present the facts. You wasted our time with 888 words of blather

  16. Ted says:

    Plus another 97 word, off topic post from Motown

  17. P says:

    When Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) says “There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option.” and simultaneously we have Kent Conrad (D-MT) saying “there aren’t enough votes to pass a public option in the Senate” . . calling “the push for a public option a “wasted effort.”

    And this is all the Republicans’ fault? A big majority in the House, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and Obama in the White House – It should be a slam dunk. Why isn’t it? And please don’t say the Republicans or the “crazy” people at the health care town hall meetings.

    And how for some house cleaning – Ted must have no life to be able to spend so much of his time counting words. Better than searching for the strawberries, but not by much.

    Nice try insinuating (but never coming right out and saying) that someone was asked to remove one of your lame blog posts because you beat someone.

    Pathetic!

  18. NoMoreTed/P says:

    A Poem

    There once was a blog where people posted,
    Some were pithy – some got roasted.

    It was jolly – exchanges were brisk,
    All were glad such a blog exists.

    But then came two who would change it all,
    Ted and P – and the blog doth stalled.

    Back and forth and to and fro,
    How long can these two geeks go?

    Day and night and night and day,
    Like two star-crossed lovers – could they have that much to say?

    Let’s pray to God that Ted and P go away,
    So others will have the chance to play.

  19. P says:

    God didn’t answer your prayers. He’s got more important things to do. Try back next year.

  20. Ted says:

    A favorite tactic of the GOP is to censor people, slogans or events with which they disagree. We all remember free speech zones at W.Bush rallys, the ban on picture taking as the dead returned from Iraq and the list goes on.

    Regarding the Franking Commission, I recall the early days of the Iraq conflict and the GOP fought to prevent use of the phrase “Invasion and Occupation of Iraq.” The Franking Commision allowed the words and prevented the GOP softpedal (lie). In the case of Rep. Carter they prevented another lying politician fron spinning the facts.

    Now Motown claims the Democrats prevented debate. No Motown, the commission prevented a lie. So I’ll ask again what debate was prevented?

    Snowflack raise a question in his initial post. Where is the GOP plan(s)…or even a germ of an idea?

  21. jimmycat says:

    Here are major components of GOP Health Care Plan (same plan they had in 1994):
    Fear-mongering: Conservatives of all stripes arguing that health care reform is “creeping socialism” or “big government.”

    Denial: Members of Congress (Rodney is especially good at this one!) and activists opposed to reform denying that there is a health care crisis.

    Pushing false reforms: Industry and special-interest groups opposed to reform using the term “reform” to push their own agendas and dilute support for a comprehensive solution to the nation’s health care crisis.

  22. SolomonDrek says:

    Sometimes in politics you take one step backwards before you move two steps forward. It’s important to get something passed, even if its not everything you want, in order to move forward to other issues.

    Democrats need to get this thing over with so they can go into the 2010 mid-term elections with a solid record of accomplishment and an economic recovery.

  23. ChubbyPaul says:

    Fred, I can’t say it enough, there is no way anyone is really paying you is there?

  24. ChubbyPaul says:

    You should probably start every thought that you think up with:
    “My name is Fred and I hate Republicans!”

    I mean its so obvious that you don’t even consider a Republican thought or even a possibility that a Republican thought may have merit.
    Freakin Snowman!

  25. Don’t grasp your point ChubbyPaul … You seem only capable of silly posts and not discussion … what are you, 12-years-old?

  26. motownrepub says:

    Fred, did you delete my last post? why?

  27. Must be a mistake … I hardly ever delete posts … send it again

  28. P says:

    So I gave everyone an entire business day to impress me with their political wisdom, and this is the best everyone could come up with?! Please don’t ask me to stop posting, I provide more insight in a few hours than the rest of the Snowmen do in 3/4 of a day.

  29. P says:

    Next, for all you Franking Freaks more news today from WDC (I’ve highlighted the best parts)-

    Republicans Say Democrats Are Censoring More GOP Mail
    Aug. 21, 2009
    By Jackie Kucinich
    Roll Call Staff

    House Republicans this week accused Democrats of censoring GOP mailings to constituents on a variety of subjects and of imposing uneven requirements on the minority party’s mail.

    Democrats on the franking commission — which must approve all official mail — have blocked Republicans from using politically weighted descriptions of climate change legislation, the stimulus bill and other issues, according to e-mails obtained by Roll Call. ed note – censorship?!

    Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) said he went through seven drafts of his last newsletter, which included language about energy policy.

    “It’s embarrassing and unsupportable,” Culberson said, adding that requests for approval used to take a matter of days instead of weeks.

    Several e-mails between Member offices and franking commission staff obtained by Roll Call show that a number of recent GOP mail pieces were initially denied in part because they used the phrase “cap and tax” to describe the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill would establish a cap on carbon emissions, allowing companies that cannot meet the cap to buy offsets from other companies that emit less than their share, otherwise known as cap-and-trade. Republicans argue the measure amounts to a broad tax on consumers.

    Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which has oversight over the franking commission, said the mailings were denied because they did not comply with longstanding rules.

    “The requirements and regulations imposed by the franking commission have not changed, nor has the review process,” Anderson said. “They are designed to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used for political and partisan purposes.”

    Anderson said majority and minority staff reviewed the content of the GOP franking requests and that decisions were made in a bipartisan process.

    “It’s regrettable that some Members’ offices view the process as inconvenient, but the majority Members and staff take their responsibilities and their stewardship of taxpayer resources very seriously,” he said.

    Culberson said he plans to circumvent the Democratic attempts to censor his newsletters by posting them online.

    “Democrats can’t win a fair fight in the sunshine. They’ve always got to rig the rules,” he said.

    “Cap and tax” was not the only phrase that was barred by the franking commission.

    In addition to demanding changes to terminology about the Democratic energy bill, a proposed e-newsletter from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) was returned to his office with notes asking for detailed citations to back up passages critical of Democratic policies. In one instance, the commission asked that the word “Democratic” be removed from the text and “majority” be put in its place.

    “The franking commission is not there to fact-check,” Franks said. The commission “is not there to tell us what our own vernacular should be.”

    Franks said he was also asked to remove his reference to the stimulus package as the “so-called stimulus.”

    Franking rules stipulate that taxpayer-funded mailings cannot be used for campaign purposes. The rules also state that comments about policy or legislation “should not be partisan, politicized or personalized” and should avoid “excessive use of party labels.”

    But Franks said that by barring Republicans from using phrases such as “government-run health care” in communication with their constituents, Democrats “truly diminish free speech itself.”

    One Republican found that the exact partisan language the commission rejected for a GOP mailing had been approved three years ago for then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

    Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) proposed writing in a draft newsletter, “[O]ur nation will wind up paying the price for the Democrat Congressional majority’s special interest agenda,” language that was initially cited as too partisan by the franking commission. But Barton’s staff found a 2006 Pelosi newsletter that said the same thing about the then-Republican majority.

    “[Pelosi’s newsletter] said, ‘But too many here and across the nation are paying the price for the Republican Congressional majority’s special interest agenda,’” said Sean Brown, a spokesman for Barton.

    The franking commission approved the Pelosi mailer on Aug. 3, 2006, three months before Democrats won back the majority.

    A commission staffer explained to Barton’s staff that the Pelosi newsletter was approved in error.

    “Although you provided a copy of 2006 Pelosi letter and the advisory opinion attached, they argued staff error in approving the Pelosi newsletter,” said an e-mail from the franking commission Republican staff. “You can delete and get approval from the Democrats or you can take before the commission when they return in September.”

    Brown said Barton asked for the commission to put the decision in writing, explaining why the sentence was rejected. The decision was then reversed and the newsletter was approved.

    In July, Republicans blasted the franking commission Democrats for blocking pieces of mail that included a chart critical of Democratic health care proposals.

    Franking rules could change in the coming months.

    Franking commission staff have been reviewing the rules to see if updates are in order. The current version of the franking rules were approved in June 1998.

    One GOP aide said the six members of Congress who sit on the franking commission would meet in September to decide what, if any, changes need to be made.

    The bipartisan commission is chaired by Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) serves as the ranking member, but it appears that disputes over the GOP mailings have been primarily driven by commission staff.

    —-

    I think the whole Franking process stinks. Both sides use it as free campaign material and it’s just another Perk of incumbency. Most Congresspersons are sitting on huge war-chests. If they want to mail out junk to their district, let them pay for it. Same with their websites and spam mail. Stop making us pay for your campaign literature.

  30. P says:

    JimmyC – Micheal Steele called, he’s decided to go in another direction, but he thanked you for your interest in becoming the RNC’s spokesperson.

  31. P says:

    And these are the guys we want to have revamp our entire health care system –

    W.H. hikes deficit estimate by $2T
    By: Amie Parnes and Eamon Javers
    August 21, 2009
    Politico.com

    The White House is likely to dramatically increase its projected 10-year budget deficit estimate next week by nearly $2 trillion, senior administration officials said Friday. ed. note – isn’t that a 30% increase?!

    Obama administration officials have concluded the economy was much worse last year — and tax revenues much lower — than they had initially assumed, which means that the estimated budget deficit will increase from $7 trillion to about $9 trillion over the coming decade.

    The planned revision was first reported by Reuters, and White House officials confirmed that account for POLITICO.

    There’s no doubt the revision will be interpreted as bad news for an administration whose deficit spending has emerged as a political Achilles’ heel.

    Already, Republicans have been gaining political traction by accusing Obama of budget-busting spending.

    Earlier in the week, even billionaire investor Warren Buffett — a political supporter of Obama — wrote in an op-ed that massive spending leaves the nation in “uncharted fiscal territory.” Still, echoing the Obama line, he said stimulus spending is necessary in the short term, but that the government must take aggressive steps to curtail spending after the economy begins to grow again.

    That’s why any worsening of the deficit forecast is likely to be seen as bad news inside the White House. The timing of the story’s release fits a classic Washington media strategy of dumping bad news late on Fridays, as voters are less likely to hear about news that breaks on Friday nights and appears on a Saturday.

    —–

    So first the CBO tells us that the curve-bending proposal from the Democrats will actually grow the size of the deficit generated by the Obamacare plan, not shrink it.

    No, in a typical it’s Friday Night, let’s Take-Out-The-Trash move, the WH lets slip that the size of the deficit will grow by $2,000,000,000,000, from $7T to $9T!

    These guys have no concept of controlling spending. And please don’t tell us this is Bush’s fault. The end of his administration saw a real train-wreck in the world of finance that everyone just threw dollars at, but to say that this problem will continue for the next decade is a sham.

    So by all means, let’s go for a health care plan with a public option that passes 51-49 in the Senate that squarely puts on the rode to single payer which morphs into the Libs ultimate solution – National Health Care.

  32. P says:

    Did anyone else read this a week ago?

    ===

    Wall Street Journal
    AUGUST 11, 2009

    The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare
    Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit.

    By JOHN MACKEY

    “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
    — Margaret Thatcher

    With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

    While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

    Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees’ Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.

    Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan’s costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.

    Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

    Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

    Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

    Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

    Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

    Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

    Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    Many promoters of health-care reform believe that people have an intrinsic ethical right to health care—to equal access to doctors, medicines and hospitals. While all of us empathize with those who are sick, how can we say that all people have more of an intrinsic right to health care than they have to food or shelter?

    Health care is a service that we all need, but just like food and shelter it is best provided through voluntary and mutually beneficial market exchanges. A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America

    Even in countries like Canada and the U.K., there is no intrinsic right to health care. Rather, citizens in these countries are told by government bureaucrats what health-care treatments they are eligible to receive and when they can receive them. All countries with socialized medicine ration health care by forcing their citizens to wait in lines to receive scarce treatments.

    Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor’s Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million.

    At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.

    Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

    Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

    Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

    Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

    Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.

    ===

    In case you didn’t read about it, this op-ed piece set off a firestorm on the left. They felt betrayed by their beloved grocer. Now, many are organizing boycotts of Whole Foods. And we wonder why people don’t stick their necks out? Liberal congress people whine when their constituents come and express their displeasure about their plan to nationalize health care. But if someone tries to make a few rational suggestions that don’t include a public option, or a massive government take-over of the health care system, they try to put the company (and its employees, none of whom signed the piece) out of business. CRAZY.

    Note – Most, if not all of these ideas have been promoted by various Republicans, but none were given the slightest consideration by the Dems in the House or Obama. The jury is out on the Senate because they are huddling behind closed doors to see if they can find a few RINOs to make it look like a bi-partisan plan.

    So please don’t say the Republicans have offered nothing, it’s more like the Dems don’t want anything to ruin their perfect plan, and Mr. Post-Partisan is showing his true colors – i.e., most liberal Senator.

  33. Ted says:

    Wow! It must be a record- 2, 940 words. About 70 of which were penned by P.
    It reminds me of the phrase; ” If you can’t dazzle them with briliance, baffle them with Bull S****.

    P the only insight you’ve provided is that there are others as looney as you.

  34. P says:

    Keep complaining Ted, they’ll just keep getting longer, and be posted more frequently. And speaking of BullShine, what truly brilliant words have you posted lately? Other than counting the words in my posts and whining about them incessantly; and repeating the Hatch Act mantra, you’ve provided us with nada. But keep up the good work. I’m sure your HS English and history teachers would be proud.

  35. Ted says:

    Health care reform will get done. Get over it.

  36. P says:

    And what, pray tell, will “reform” look like when it’s done? Now that you have proclaimed victory, must know what the finished product will include.

    So please tell us OracleTed.

  37. zzpol says:

    Folks, the left and the right in power are totally out of touch. Where is the sense needed to make any kinds of reforms? So tell me, why do we have to spend $1 Trillion for the government to takeover 1/6 of the total US economy? What track record do they have of doing anything efficiently – on time and on/budget? I don’t trust them to run anything. How can you? I’m not willing to let them “try” to fix healthcare.

    Why not reform healthcare in steps? Why the big-bang approach? How about a first law – allow insurance companies to cross state boundaries. How about a second law – tort reform. How about a third law – no disregard of pre-existing conditions.

    Fred, continue reading the bill.
    Page 16: If you leave your job or your company stops providing health insurance, you will end up in the government plan. Think – lines at the motor vehicle department.
    Page 52: Government can access your bank account. Do you want that?
    Page 427: “Advance Care Planning Consultation”. Is this voluntary or mandatory? Without words explicitly stating what it is, it can be one or the other. Today, the Vets Admin has an end-of-life planning document, “Your Life, Your Choices.” It was not used during the Bush years, but is under Obama. Essentially, think about if your life is worth living based on economics – not if you want to live or die or see your grandchildren,even if you are in a rocking chair. Brutal.

    What’s tough is to realize what it omits. It does not explicitly say that only citizens and legal immigrants are covered; so illegals are covered. It does not say that abortion is not covered; so, it is covered.

    Is the purpose to control costs or to cover 40 million uninsured? My understanding of the uninsured: 1/3 truly need coverage. 1/3 can purchase it or have refused to accept the coverage offered by their companies. 1/3 are illegal immigrants. So, disregard the last 2/3 and find a way to cover the first 1/3. If the push to get rid of waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid can cover the costs, then just do that.

    By the way, Social Security – Medicare – Medicaid – Amtrak – the US Postal Service – are all in the red or will be in 2-7 years. Why not fix those first and then deal with healthcare?

    Where are the people who think right? Nobody in Wash DC is on our side. They are all politicians, and lots are just lawyers – not knowledgeable about economics nor healthcare. Just looking for votes and not looking out for the country.

  38. Ted says:

    Perhaps you’re not aware how our goverment but thats for congess to decide. Guessing however, It will be deficit neutral, cover everyone who wants coverage, include a public option and focus on keeping people healthy as well as providing medical care when needed’

  39. P says:

    Deficit Neutral – Maybe on paper, but it will run at an ever growing deficit every year.
    Cover Everyone – Nope
    Public Option – No
    Keeping People Healthy – Sure, whatever that really means. In the same category as “eliminating wasted, fraud and abuse.” Easy to say, impossible to do unless you plan to start banning many foods and making exercise compulsory.

  40. P says:

    And tell us – Where in the Constitution does it give Congress the power to run health care?

  41. P says:

    Last time I checked, if a power wasn’t enumerated there, it wasn’t something Congress could run/control/regulate.

  42. Ted says:

    A public option doesn’ mandate coverage, it enables all to be covered and like it or not, there will be a public option.

    Stop the scare tactics. A wellness focus measures the effectiveness of a medical procedure. For example, Medicare currently pays for a second, third or fourth allowable procedures without regard for the effectivness of prior procedures.

    Deficit neutral can work . But let me ask you P what’s your alternative?

    And it isn’t government controlled healthcare. If you like your private plan, keep it. If your employer drps its plan or your policy is canceled, you’ll have an alternative.

    Are you in capable of including your thoughts in one post? It’s like you’re on speed or something .

  43. P says:

    Public Option is the way to get to single-payer, and there will not be one this year. Too many Democrats are resisting the idea.

    And what scare tactics, that Democrats want the government to take over a $2T a year industry? If you gave Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Barack Obama truth serum, it’s what they would tell you.

    As far as “deficit neutral”, can you name one government entitlement program who’s cost was accurately forecast or accounted for in the revenue model? So on paper they may get there, although they’re far from it today, but down the road (five to ten years), the true cost will be known and it will make the Medicare shortfall look like chump change.

    And now you are accusing me of being on drugs? I’m composing a list of all the things you’ve accused me of, starting with being an antisemite. Someone who had a real case to make would stick to the argument at hand, not make a lot of scurrilous charges.

  44. Ted says:

    A public option will happen this year. You’ve gotta keep up with the news. Will it lead to a single payer system? I hope so

    Wow, you’ve gone from $500 billion to $1T and now $2.T. The numbers would be really scary if they had any basis in fact. Perhaps you can detail or support you claim.

    A forcecast is a plan. As time passes plans are adjusted. Hove you ever heard of a forecast being 100% accurate?

  45. P says:

    I think you need to get out of your cave and catch up on what’s going on in the real world. The Public Option is on life support. Obama isn’t fully backing it, and neither are enough Dems to get it passed. At best they will try to pass a plan with some type of private coops that they hope will morph into a public option over time.

    The total cost of health care in the US is over $2.4T. And the Liberals would love to nationalize the whole system, which would put WDC in charge of 1/6th of the GDP of the USA. All FACTS. And remember, current tax revenue is only about $2.5T, with expenses running well north of $3T, so nationalized health care would almost double the size of the US Gov’t overnight.

    “At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $ 12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.”

    So an increase of 35x (actual) vs. 4x (projected) is an acceptable margin of error in forecasting? Because that’s the type of “slight” errors that the legislature makes on a regular basis when they are trying to sell us on a new plan.

  46. Ted says:

    Well your estimates are a bit screwy but you’re forgetting that insurance profits are a part of whaatever total your feeble mind settles on. More important is the fact that the system currrently pays per medical procedure- more tests means more wasteful spending on doctors, hospitals, labs, etc.

    You really need to stop focusing on faulty linear projection. Spend more time on actions needed to correct things. Your hyperbole stands in the way of rational discussion.

    If you kept in touch with the news and this site, you’d know Democrats are going to use their sizable majority to pass health care reform. The mistake you make is believing Democrats act like the GOP. Republicans have differences and the party falls to pieces. Democrats may disagree but reach a compromise.

    Bet on a public option. Speaking of history, remember back in1961 when Reagan told us that Medicare would bring socialism and the ruin of the USA. Guess what? Medicare is wildly successful and the nation still stands

  47. P says:

    My numbers are spot on. I challenge you to refute one. Anytime someone just waves their hand and tries to tritely dismiss a factual argument, you can be sure they can’t.

    I think anyone who is expecting a public option to pass better prep themselves for a HUGE disappointment. If the Dems large majority was cohesive, they would have reported something out of committee and at least passed bills in the Senate and House before they recessed for the summer. Things will only be worse when they get back in the fall.

    If we give everyone “medicare” i.e. single-payer, we will have the government owning between 1/3 and 1/2 of our GDP, and we’ll be well on our way to a fully socialist state. So the first half of Regan’s prediction will come true. Only time will tell about the second half, but things will be looking bleaker for the USofA.

    By the way, if the government is soooooo good at running things, why not push for a socialist state? You should want them to own and run everything and remove the “evil” profit option.

  48. P says:

    BTW, I took your word on the date of Reagan’s quote since I was too small to actually remember it. 😉

  49. Ted says:

    I did refute your numbers. They’re linear projections that assume no change to the delivery system or cost structure of health care. Actually, if you assume no changes, the numbers you’ve supplied are on the low side. You see, the rate of cost increase in far greater than the simple linear projection you’ve provided. So your simple analysis assumes the adoption of controls that will maintain current cost growth and inefficiency. Not going to happen

    If you’re paying attention, the proposals in both houses of congress include changes that improve delivery and reduce costs. Ergo, your numbers are meaningless.

  50. P says:

    Lets work from the bottom up. The CBO’s report to Congress in July said – “In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount and, on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs,” . . so wrong and wrong.

    Next, you keep babbling about linear projections. First of all, the projections aren’t linear, and even if they were, if the angle of the “linear” slope is 45 degrees, you have an out of control problem. So stop using an incorrect relative term without any context. Then you tell me the problem is actually WORSE than I had projected (so you agree it’s really bad), but, don’t worry, Obama’s going to save the day. Oops (see above).

    So how did you refute anything I said?! Stick to looking for the strawberries.

  51. Ted says:

    You still don’t get the basic concept. What you use as a scare tactic is a management tool.

    If an executive reveals a business plan and his/her financial team says we see no way this can work, the plan is adjusted. If that same exec sees costs rising at a 45 degree angle, changes are made..

    Wake up, Socrates

  52. P says:

    ALERT – Ted being intentionally ignorant or outright lying

    This is not a business, it’s the government. They don’t make adjustments the way a business does, and that’s the major flaw with letting the government run these programs. If they made proper adjustments, Medicare wouldn’t be in the red today and heading towards outright collapse (even using the “Fund” fiction) in 5 to 7 years.

  53. Ted says:

    Don’t be silly, if adjustments weren’t made, Ronald Reagan’s 1961 predictions might have come true

  54. P says:

    Just out of curiosity, when was the last adjustment made? Any good business adjusts its revenue and spending forecasts at least once a month, and then adjusts its business model accordingly. I believe the last time the US changed the revenue model was in 1994 when they removed the earnings cap on contributions. With the ability to make adjustments at that speed, it’s no wonder everything the government does is a mess.

  55. Ted says:

    As you said, the government isn’t a business. And as I pointted out even the government accounting structure is different

    If the last change was 1994 and Medicare is solvent ’til 2016, I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job forecasting. And what would you be saying if there was a big change on a monthly basis?

  56. P says:

    It is insolvent today.

    Revenue < Expenses + no real Assets = Bankrupt.
    ed. note – doesn’t everyone learn that in financial accounting 101?

    Only a fictitious “fund” keeps the illusion alive.

    If what the US Government does is, as you call it, “accounting”, Bernie Madoff should be the head of the FASB.

  57. Ted says:

    What you’ve said would be shocking if it were in any way true. No evidence that Medicare is bankrupt has been provided. Not by you, not by any Republican or blue dog Democrat.

    I see that if you don’t understand something, you invoke hyperbole and blather to demean it.

  58. P says:

    I wouldn’t call a simple observation – If your expenses exceed your revenue; and you have no assets, you would be broke. They only reason that Medicare is funded is because the US Government can borrow the money to make the payments. But the fiction that is the whole Trust Fund is neither blather or hyperbole.

    I guess your standard for broke is when they stop paying your medical bills. By then, the program will have added Billions, if not a Trillion more to the national debt. But since we now think nothing of running annual Trillion dollar deficits, what’s another Trillion.

  59. P says:

    More Comic Relief courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aka The Stimulus Bill –

    From the Boston Herald –

    One day after the Herald reported some surprised Bay State inmates – including murderers and rapists – were cashing in $250 stimulus checks, federal officials revealed the same behind-bars bonus was mailed to nearly 4,000 cons nationwide.

    A federal watchdog is now probing how the cons were cut the checks. The same cash also may have been sent to fugitive felons, people kicked out of the country and even individuals now deceased.

    It’s all part of the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – and what is becoming an accounting nightmare for red-faced feds.

    “President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill has done more to help convicted criminals than it has to actually boost our economy and create jobs,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Sara Sendek.

    The Inspector General of Social Security is now tracing the checks that were mailed to 3,900 prisoners at a cost of nearly $1 million after yesterday’s report in the Herald.

    Social Security Administration spokesman Stephen Richardson said yesterday none of the prisoner recipients receive monthly Social Security benefits, meaning they should not qualify for a stimulus check. Such benefits are generally cut off to the incarcerated.

    The IG also is investigating whether any improper payments were made to dead beneficiaries, felons on the run from the law, individuals living overseas and recipients no longer legally authorized to live in the United States, said IG spokesman George Penn.

    Among the 23 inmate recipients in Massachusetts mentioned in yesterday’s Herald are a prisoner convicted of first-degree murder, three prisoners jailed for second-degree murder and five convicted rapists, according to the state Department of Correction.

    Richardson said five Bay State prisoners received the payments legitimately because they were legally on Social Security in a three-month period before they went to jail.

    The remaining checks were sent to individuals who were not properly identified as prisoners in Social Security records or to people where inaccurate Social Security numbers have since been found.

    Only five Massachusetts prisoners have enough cash left to pay the government back, the DOC said. ed note. – what did they spend it on in jail?

    Nationally, about 2,200 inmates who were mailed checks are entitled to the payments because they were not in prison and lawfully collecting Social Security at some point between November 2008 and January, Richardson said.

    The federal government is examining whether the payment was due to the remaining 1,700 inmates because they were not identified as prisoners in the Social Security system, Richardson said.

    The U.S. Treasury Department began mailing the $250 checks to 54.4 million Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and federal railroad retirees in May as part of a $13 billion spending plan.

    ——–

    Reason #1,675,098,753,321 why the government is incapable of running 1/6th of the GDP of this nation (the Health Care system).

  60. Ted says:

    ALERT- the previous post was pure BLATHER 600 words to be exact

    Keeping to the point, Medicare costs won’t exceed revenue until 2016

    P is one of those fools who keeps fighting even after he’s beaten to a pulp

  61. P says:

    The US Government is alerting Medicare recipients that it will not be able to cover their bills in the month of September. Apparently, someone decided to send their money to inmates and dead people. So please, do not get sick next month.

  62. Ted says:

    ALERT- the previous post was pure BLATHER

  63. SonyaSunny says:

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