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Question: Do you think Pelosi and Obama were good at herding the blue dogs?
Yes(left winger)   -4 (14.3%)
No(left winger)   -15 (53.6%)
Yes(right winger)   -3 (10.7%)
No(right winger)   -3 (10.7%)
Yes(other)   -2 (7.1%)
No(other)   -1 (3.6%)
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Total Voters: 28

Author Topic: What do you guys think about the whole Healthcare debate?  (Read 1109 times)
LastVoter
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« on: February 19, 2012, 01:09:54 am »
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So basically, did Obama & company bribe the blue dogs & moderates properly or not? How about the media presentation?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 01:38:03 am by seatown »Logged
Хahar
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 03:54:51 am »
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What we got was a ridiculous and backwards system that could only be considered "good" in comparison to what preceded it. Obviously, when it comes to this sort of thing, cost should be a very minor consideration, but I would be able to understand (not agree, but understand) it if the plan we got were cheaper than a good plan. But it isn't, and it's a terrible way to administer a medical system.
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 09:47:09 am »
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What we got was a ridiculous and backwards system that could only be considered "good" in comparison to what preceded it.
^^^^^^^^^

Nobody has the balls to admit what everybody already knows, the insurance companies are a huge part of the problem. The cost of healthcare is crippling our nation's businesses and our government, and the reform law does very little to change that.
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 10:33:05 am »
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Agree with everyone else who has posted in this thread. The only effective way to really control costs is with some type of public healthcare. ObamaCare is only better than not having ObamaCare (and this is a big plus, of course) because it ensures that a lot of people that currently get their primary care through the ER will have access to proper health insurance. (Now getting people out of the ERs will have a certain effect on cost, too, of course...but it's still not nearly enough.)
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Torie
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 11:06:19 am »
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Unfortunately, Obamacare was shoved through without much thought in the end, when the Dems lost their 60 votes in the Senate, because they knew the window for just doing it was closing. We will live with the negative consequences for some time I suspect.

But to answer the question, yes team Pelosi "herded" with considerable talent.
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 11:11:07 am »
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Unfortunately, Obamacare was shoved through without much thought in the end, when the Dems lost their 60 votes in the Senate, because they knew the window for just doing it was closing. We will live with the negative consequences for some time I suspect.

But to answer the question, yes team Pelosi "herded" with considerable talent.

I think ObamaCare is poorly organized as well, but can it really be argued that the status quo is preferable to it?

I know if you were in charge, we'd get some nice privately run efficient universal system that I'd support....but do the political realities in the U.S. allow something noble like that?

The United States Senate, and it's stupid 60 vote requirement at present, force several interests to compete with each other, and the only way to reach a supermajority on anything of importance is to give everyone a bone.

I wish we had a nice majority parliamentarian system, too, Torie....but if a President and two majorities in Congress can't even pass something simple like a public option, I'm not all that optimistic.
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Torie
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 11:29:33 am »
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No, the present system is a disaster Franzl, but the "good news" is that it will collapse of its own weight, and sooner rather than later. Putting aside the need for rationing and triage, among other things it is hideously inefficient, with docs over-treating and over-prescribing, because they have an economic incentive to do so (the fear of lawsuits is just the excuse).  The system is not computerized, and medical files are still filled out and maintained manually (which docs in my experience really don't read anyway, and ask you instead to just orally tell your story), and you can't for simple stuff talk to your doc over the phone, but have to go down to his or her office and wait for an hour to be "examined," because the medicare and insurance system does not let docs be paid for telephone consults, or the docs just won't do it, or both. Hopefully, the "equilibriating" of it all, will not be via the US going the way of Greece.

The fix is to mandate, and subsidize on a means tested basis, medicare insurance, which covers a certain range of treatments. The amount of the subsidy should be based on HMO pricing, and Medicare should be taken over by HMO's. The problem with a government program, is that is you don't like your service, you can't fire your doc. It is a government monopoly. The doc won't give a damn what you think, and rationing is done by the most inappropriate system of wait times in large part. So late diagnosis is a problem, and letting a patient be miserable for six months while waiting, is a problem.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 11:36:25 am by Torie »Logged

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 01:19:44 pm »
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Was awful. One crappy corporatist system versus another.
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 01:20:10 pm »
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I more or less agree with Χahar, and am very disappointed that time was not set aside to weigh the pros and cons of a reform package seeking to emulate, or at least incorporate lessons to be learned from how the healthcare systems of other Western states are structured. Setting aside the way the Democrats quickly brushed single-payer off of the table, France appears to have an excellent arrangement and Germany utilizes another that is arguably much more compatible with mainstream cultural values in the States. The Blue Dogs were not herded well, and even if they had been the result would still have been disappointing, i.e. incremental progress is incremental.
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 02:17:58 pm »
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Absolutely terrible.  I was initially a strong supporter of the health care bill when the debate started, but I became more dispassionate about it as it continued.  When the public option was taken out, I thought the bill was mostly pointless at that point.  Even the public turned against the Democrats since there was overwhelming support for a public option, but hardly any support for the bill in its final form after it was taken out.  Now the bill has some good aspects to it, but I think we will be paying the price for what happened.  I also believe the bill helped the insurance companies much more than the consumers.

Looking back on it now, I probably would have rallied against it.
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 05:11:55 pm »
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I never understood why the public option became the dealbreaker for so many moderates. Having a public option alongside private options strikes me as a much smaller deal than having so much government control over "private" insurance.
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 05:48:24 pm »
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Was awful. One crappy corporatist system versus another.
+1
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 05:51:50 pm »
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I never understood why the public option became the dealbreaker for so many moderates. Having a public option alongside private options strikes me as a much smaller deal than having so much government control over "private" insurance.

It didn't have anything to do with ideology....the insurance companies didn't want a public option so the "moderates" in congress turned against it. In the real world, people would have much preferred a bill with a public option than what we finally got.
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anvi
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 06:33:08 pm »
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The public option was specifically designed for people of little means--not everyone would have been eligible for it, as it had a means-tested income cap.  In its initial version, it was slated to reimburse doctors at Medicare rates, and when Senate Democrats objected, some percentage was added onto the Medicare compensation rates to placate them.  But, in the end, hospitals and doctors were still not satisfied with the adjustment, so the Senate Dems killed it. 

And more, the same Senate Dems held the bill hostage to ensure they got both extra goodies for themselves and a number of other provisions changed, both to protect themselves from their constituencies and for patronage.  Pelosi did a "skillful" job of wrestling the Blue Dogs to the ground to get the bill the House lefties wanted, but, given the numbers in the other chamber, Reid had far less control of the Senate Dems, and by the time they were done with the legislation, they'd made an incoherent hash of it.  The president, who has no idea how to write sound, coherent health care legislation, was merely at the mercy of this whole process.

The way that bunch handled the health care reform bill was the reason I eventually stepped out of the exit door of the Democratic party.  I'm a strong advocate of wholesale structural reform to our health care system, open to anything that can get everyone covered, hold down cost inflation and improves efficiency, and yes, I do believe ideas from both sides of the aisle as well as ideas from other systems are necessary to achieve all these things.  But the way those guys made a mess of a golden opportunity was profoundly disappointing.
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 06:59:47 pm »
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The public option was specifically designed for people of little means--not everyone would have been eligible for it, as it had a means-tested income cap.  In its initial version, it was slated to reimburse doctors at Medicare rates, and when Senate Democrats objected, some percentage was added onto the Medicare compensation rates to placate them.  But, in the end, hospitals and doctors were still not satisfied with the adjustment, so the Senate Dems killed it. 

And more, the same Senate Dems held the bill hostage to ensure they got both extra goodies for themselves and a number of other provisions changed, both to protect themselves from their constituencies and for patronage.  Pelosi did a "skillful" job of wrestling the Blue Dogs to the ground to get the bill the House lefties wanted, but, given the numbers in the other chamber, Reid had far less control of the Senate Dems, and by the time they were done with the legislation, they'd made an incoherent hash of it.  The president, who has no idea how to write sound, coherent health care legislation, was merely at the mercy of this whole process.

The way that bunch handled the health care reform bill was the reason I eventually stepped out of the exit door of the Democratic party.  I'm a strong advocate of wholesale structural reform to our health care system, open to anything that can get everyone covered, hold down cost inflation and improves efficiency, and yes, I do believe ideas from both sides of the aisle as well as ideas from other systems are necessary to achieve all these things.  But the way those guys made a mess of a golden opportunity was profoundly disappointing.

I tend to agree with Anvi's analysis above. I still believe that real reform requires disconnecting basic health care coverage from the employer. Obama rejected that precept from the outset of his presidency and that ended all discussion of a range of ideas that might have had real chance of success.
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 10:42:30 pm »
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The public option was specifically designed for people of little means--not everyone would have been eligible for it, as it had a means-tested income cap.  In its initial version, it was slated to reimburse doctors at Medicare rates, and when Senate Democrats objected, some percentage was added onto the Medicare compensation rates to placate them.  But, in the end, hospitals and doctors were still not satisfied with the adjustment, so the Senate Dems killed it. 

And more, the same Senate Dems held the bill hostage to ensure they got both extra goodies for themselves and a number of other provisions changed, both to protect themselves from their constituencies and for patronage.  Pelosi did a "skillful" job of wrestling the Blue Dogs to the ground to get the bill the House lefties wanted, but, given the numbers in the other chamber, Reid had far less control of the Senate Dems, and by the time they were done with the legislation, they'd made an incoherent hash of it.  The president, who has no idea how to write sound, coherent health care legislation, was merely at the mercy of this whole process.

The way that bunch handled the health care reform bill was the reason I eventually stepped out of the exit door of the Democratic party.  I'm a strong advocate of wholesale structural reform to our health care system, open to anything that can get everyone covered, hold down cost inflation and improves efficiency, and yes, I do believe ideas from both sides of the aisle as well as ideas from other systems are necessary to achieve all these things.  But the way those guys made a mess of a golden opportunity was profoundly disappointing.

I tend to agree with Anvi's analysis above. I still believe that real reform requires disconnecting basic health care coverage from the employer.

Yes, this is true. But considering how much employers do pay into the system right now, it's easier said than done.
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« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 11:18:24 pm »
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Was awful. One crappy corporatist system versus another.

Indeed and pro-corporatism is a foundational factor of being a Blue Dog.
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 11:32:53 pm »
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Don't let the good become the enemy of the perfect.  The Patient Protection Act is a bit of a disappointment, but it still is significantly better than what came before.  And besides, there is no reason to think why we cannot improve on it in the future -as was done with Social Security.   
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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 11:39:25 pm »
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As unfortunate as the healthcare bill was, it was still the biggest step forward on that issue we've had in awhile. But as others have already mentioned, the biggest problem with healthcare in this country is the existence of the insurance companies. Very few in politics have the courage to admit this and our political system is too [inks]ed to actually do anything about it anytime soon.

As for what I view of the debate around the issue? It was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. Dominated by astroturf protests and lies perpetuated by people on the Right that only cared about defeating a President, and a media organization that masquerades as "news" that only cares about ratings. Facts went out the window pretty fast.
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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 12:32:16 am »
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I believe that both sides of the debate had fair points and both points were lost in the struggle.  We should reform tort laws because lawsuits in this country are ridiculous.  We should also reform our regulations and lower them.  Just to start a single small business in our fine country requires mountains of paperwork and a pretty penny.  Paperwork makes anything more expensive.  Another thing we could do is simply combine Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  We could also computerize and modernize it to also help reduce costs.  You could also separate Social Security/Health Care from the government so it can stay solvent, similar to how Social Security was intended to stay.  Another thing that could be done is to get rid of Medicare and Medicaid and simply have the government pay for emergency visits of people and then make them pay a slightly higher tax rate.  That is a good first step too, and by getting rid of medicare and medicaid and making it [health care] available to all, it would cause our friends on the right to reconsider their positions.  Unfortunately reforms get in the way of campaign money which is what both parties run on nowadays, so instead we got more regulations and more kickbacks and exemptions for favorites.  The marketplace idea was good, though.
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2012, 12:53:34 am »
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I agree with those of you who say above that some progress is better than none.  If we are going to spend upwards to 20% of our GDP in health care, than I'd at least prefer to have everyone, or nearly everyone, covered.  Rationing procedures in specific circumstances is in my view a great deal more humane and sensible than rationing whole cross-sections of people out of the system entirely, and then having to pay extra for it anyway when those who are uncovered use the emergency room for care.  That's why, despite its evident unpopularity, I stand by insurance mandates.  But tort reform, tackling the problem of rampant over-testing, standard minimum package plans, record automization, and, in my view, though controversial in this country, a non-profit insurance industry, among other things, have to be part of a long-term and effective fix.  We are fast, fast reaching the threshold when incremental solutions will be useless; you can't put out an oncoming firestorm with a few cupfuls of water. 
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2012, 06:59:33 am »
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As unfortunate as the healthcare bill was, it was still the biggest step forward on that issue we've had in awhile. But as others have already mentioned, the biggest problem with healthcare in this country is the existence of the insurance companies. Very few in politics have the courage to admit this and our political system is too [inks]ed to actually do anything about it anytime soon.

As for what I view of the debate around the issue? It was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. Dominated by astroturf protests and lies perpetuated by people on the Right that only cared about defeating a President, and a media organization that masquerades as "news" that only cares about ratings. Facts went out the window pretty fast.

Exactly my thoughts on the matter.
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2012, 11:45:48 am »
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As unfortunate as the healthcare bill was, it was still the biggest step forward on that issue we've had in awhile. But as others have already mentioned, the biggest problem with healthcare in this country is the existence of the insurance companies. Very few in politics have the courage to admit this and our political system is too [inks]ed to actually do anything about it anytime soon.

As for what I view of the debate around the issue? It was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen. Dominated by astroturf protests and lies perpetuated by people on the Right that only cared about defeating a President, and a media organization that masquerades as "news" that only cares about ratings. Facts went out the window pretty fast.

Exactly my thoughts on the matter.

Me too. It was a big step forward for America but exposed some of the worst traits of our political system. starting from scratch would have produced better results but that was impossible.
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Napoleon
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2012, 11:54:20 am »
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Absolutely terrible.  I was initially a strong supporter of the health care bill when the debate started, but I became more dispassionate about it as it continued.  When the public option was taken out, I thought the bill was mostly pointless at that point.  Even the public turned against the Democrats since there was overwhelming support for a public option, but hardly any support for the bill in its final form after it was taken out.  Now the bill has some good aspects to it, but I think we will be paying the price for what happened.  I also believe the bill helped the insurance companies much more than the consumers.

Looking back on it now, I probably would have rallied against it.

The Moderate Heroes ruin everything!  Think about it, reform opportunities have been squandered for a generation so that Obama could claim a false political victory.
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shua
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 03:29:55 am »
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I never understood why the public option became the dealbreaker for so many moderates. Having a public option alongside private options strikes me as a much smaller deal than having so much government control over "private" insurance.

It didn't have anything to do with ideology....the insurance companies didn't want a public option so the "moderates" in congress turned against it. In the real world, people would have much preferred a bill with a public option than what we finally got.
Assuming that the politicians are completely controlled by insurance companies (which is a bit overblown imo), that still leaves the question as to why the companies were more concerned about a public option competitor than they were the enormity of regulation put upon themselves.
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