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60 votes to pass health care reform is a lie.

 
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 06:58 pm
This is not a thread about the option of using budget reconciliation to pass a health care bill (although I would be happy to discuss that as well).

This is a thread about Senator Max Baucus and other the centrist democrats (who have received tens of thousands of dollars from the health insurance industry). They are using the claim that you need 60 votes to pass a bill as a cowardly excuse to oppose the public option that a majority of Americans want.

The argument is silly anyway... we are voting against it because too many people will vote against it. Come on... you are a U.S. Senator, you should get a spine.

But, bills in the Senate pass with 51 votes. The 60 votes are needed for cloture (i.e. ending debate).

Do you want to argue there is no difference?

Well, show me one Democratic Senator who has stated publicly that he or she will join the Republicans to filibuster a key health reform bill. That is what we are talking about here.

Voting no in an up or down vote is one thing. It quite a bit different then using a parliamentary trick to prevent a vote on an issue in defiance not only of your own party, but of the will of the majority of the American people.

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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 1,183 • Replies: 9

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:01 pm
In the end, most politicians don't really care about the people. It's all about the money.
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:42 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

...They are using the claim that you need 60 votes to pass a bill as a cowardly excuse to oppose the public option that a majority of Americans want...



I keep hearing on radio talk shows that a majority of Americans are happy with their current health care, and do not want the public option? Are you sure of the above statement, that a majority of Americans want a public option? That sounds incorrect, since most Americans are insured, and do not want their current type of health coverage to migrate to a less costly (for employer) public option that could have more frugal coverage.
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:45 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
. . . This is a thread about Senator Max Baucus and other the centrist democrats (who have received tens of thousands of dollars from the health insurance industry). . . .


IMO, Kent Conrad is a piece of ****. His vote against the public option and his push for government-financed co-ops definitely proves that he doesn't work for his North Dakota constituents. He's working for the corporations that get him elected. He is definitely bought and paid for by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of North Dakota that already has a monopoly on 90 percent of the health insurance industry in his state. If Conrad's co-op plan goes into effect, the plan would funnel millions of dollars as "seed money" into BCBS of ND.

Conrad’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield Wants to Be Your Local Monopoly Co-op

Quote:
Ever since Sen. Kent Conrad started pushing member-owned co-ops as a substitute for a public option, we've needed to know how the co-ops could possibly perform the functions intended for the public option. How could a Conrad Co-op function effectively (and be governed) at a national level and how could it provide a meaningful alternative to today's mega insurance companies, forcing them to lower rates, stop screwing people or lose market share?

Now that the White House has deliberately elevated co-ops, while lying about it, it has finally occurred to the New York Times that perhaps we need some answers. Unfortunately, the Times article by Robert Pear and Gardiner Harris can't answer key questions because "the co-op idea is so ill defined that no one knows exactly what it would look like or how effectively it would compete with commercial insurers," but it does suggest that we can't expect any meaningful competition from co-ops for a long time, if ever:

"As the debate rages, lawmakers are learning that creating cooperatives " loosely defined as private, nonprofit, consumer-owned providers of health care, much like the co-ops that offer telephone, electric and other utility service in rural areas " will not be easy.

"The history of health insurance in the United States is full of largely unsuccessful efforts to introduce new models of insurance that would lower costs. And the health insurance markets of many states suggest that any new entrant would face many difficulties in getting established."

More important, the article reveals why Senator Conrad and others are pushing the idea so hard.

"Mr. Conrad’s own state demonstrates the uncertainties surrounding cooperatives. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota dominates the state’s private insurance market, collecting nearly 90 percent of premiums. As a nonprofit owned by its members, the company would hope to qualify as a co-op under federal legislation, said Paul von Ebers, its incoming president and chief executive. . . .

"Any new insurer in North Dakota would probably try to take members from the local Blue Cross plan, but that would not be easy to do."

So, BCBS controls 90 percent of the market, and it wants to be the exclusive not-public-plan Conrad Co-op to provide an alternative to . . . itself. Why would BCBS bother to compete against itself? Because if you qualify to be the "reform" Conrad co-op, you're automatically eligible for the exchange, you get start-up funding (and no other competitor does), and any insurance plan in the exchange gets a share of the business ginnned up by the individual/employer mandates, and it is entitled to receive federal subsidies to help people pay whatever premiums the 90-percent dominant monopoly charges. It's a terrific scam that only a monopolist could love.

What about Sen. Chuck Grassley's Iowa?

In the 1990s, Iowa adopted a law to encourage the development of health care co-ops. One was created, and it died within two years. Although the law is still on the books, the state does not have a co-op now, said Susan E. Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner.

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield collects about 70 percent of the premiums paid in the private insurance market in Iowa and South Dakota.

To become established, a new market entrant would have to offer lower prices or better services, Ms. Voss said, adding: “Wellmark has a huge advantage. They already have contracts with practically every doctor in the state.”

So, if Wellmark BC/BS weren't eligible to be a Conrad Co-op, then some other entity would need to be created to wrestle market share from Wellmark BC/BS, but the historical success rate for that happening is zero. In the meantime, Wellmark BC/BS could still be eligible for the exchange and federal subsidies as a "private" plan, even if it's not the Conrad Co-op.

Let's see, I wonder if the Senators from North Dakota and Iowa and others on the Finance Committee get any campaign contributions from BC/BS/Wellmark and industry? I'm shocked, shocked. And it's only fair to mention Evan Bayh's direct conflict ties to Wellpoint in Indiana, via his wife (h/t masaccio).

But of course, this corrupt scheme will bring Republicans flocking to support a reform bill, right? Uh, that would be a "no" for Kyl and DeMint because the co-op is a "Trojan horse."; and here's Orrin Hatch:

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said he saw the differences as more semantic than substantive. “You can call it a co-op, which is another way of saying a government plan,” Mr. Hatch said.

Someone in the Obama White House -- as in someone who claims control over every WH action, message, and detail -- needs to explain how the effort to reform America's health insurance industry (since we're not doing health care reform anymore) became hijacked by corporate whores looting the Treasury to bail out monopoly insurance companies. And why should any decent American, never mind liberal Democrats, support this travesty?

0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  4  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 08:17 pm
@Foofie,
Quote:
I keep hearing on radio talk shows that ...


Is the humor here intentional? (Because this is quite funny.)
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2009 11:42 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
I keep hearing on radio talk shows that ...


Is the humor here intentional? (Because this is quite funny.)


No it's true... No, not what he said, but that he heard it on talk radio.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:05 am
I have heard a lot of radio shows. There are plants in them i.e. employees of whatever company or government unit phone in and create a bogus 'public opinion'.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:32 am
I recently told Senator Baucus exactly what I think of his stinkin' health plan (in a polite, but honest way). You can too:

http://baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 05:08 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
I keep hearing on radio talk shows that ...


Is the humor here intentional? (Because this is quite funny.)



I will repeat myself, so you can read it in a more somber mindset:

I keep hearing on radio talk shows that a majority of Americans are happy with their current health care, and do not want the public option? Are you sure of the above statement, that a majority of Americans want a public option? That sounds incorrect, since most Americans are insured, and do not want their current type of health coverage to migrate to a less costly (for employer) public option that could have more frugal coverage.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Oct, 2009 06:22 am
@Foofie,
Foofie, I suggest you listen to NPR. They have been doing polls among various groups, including doctors. All the polls are in favor of a public plan. Or just Google a few different news polling sources and see what they say. Only conservative radio and tv (ie: Rush, Beck, FOX etc.) are saying people don't want it. Broaden your horizons, open your mind and eyes...

Here are a couple of the reports you can listen to:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112818960

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112839232
0 Replies
 
 

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