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03:16 PM on 01/20/2010
There is nothing in the Senate healthcare bill that will help the working people of this country. The problem with healthcare is that it is too expensive. The Senate bill does nothing to change that. Instead, the bill would order poor Americans to buy insurance at obscene prices, giving an estimated $100 Billion in additional income to the medical industry each and every year, of which the Democrats presumably will receive a very generous kick-back.

No single-payer, no public option, no right for people to buy into Medicare. Nothing to help ordinary Americans by holding down medical costs. I just got a notice from Blue Cross that they are increasing my premiums by 38%. The Senate bill does nothing to stop this.

The Democrats deserved to lose in Massachusetts because they have used their power to negotiate contributions from corporate America, and have done nothing to help the working people: no jobs, no housing assistance, no usury law to cap the interest rates charges by credit cards, no cap on healthcare or insurance costs.

All that is necessary for Republicans to win is for the Democrats to continue to do nothing to help the working people. If the Democrats pass this corporate give-away known as the Senate healthcare bill, they will lose congress and the white house to the Republicans.
Raven enjoys the Halloween candy!
04:39 PM on 01/20/2010
Your facts about the Senate Bill are way off the mark. You do a great disservice by reporting false facts.
05:22 PM on 01/20/2010
Gee, then enlighten us with the truth!
03:14 PM on 01/20/2010
Mr. Stern,

If this actually was Insurance reform I might be inclined to go along, although I think simple regulation of the industry would be warranted in any case.

I think this notion of passing anything for the sake of passing something is political foolishness and an example of why more elections will be lost. Whoever is determining this type of politics (Rahm, Obama, whomever??) needs to hear the voice of the people because they are dissatisfied with the Dempublicans, the Republocrats, oh, you know who I mean!
03:11 PM on 01/20/2010

Medicare for all. This can be done by reconciliation. It is time to shove this up the GOP'S butt. Let them come out and trash Medicare and we will see them in November.
03:10 PM on 01/20/2010
Andy, drop the age of Medicare coverage to 0 through reconciliation then dare the Corporate Democrats and Republicans to repeal Medicare-for-all once everyone has had access to it for five years (the period of time after which a vote passed through reconciliation can be reconsidered).

There ... problem solved.
03:32 PM on 01/20/2010
Interesting thought....but how would you see that working as far as taxes? This is a serious question....only working folk have taxes taken out for Medicare....and you have to be 65 to begin collecting. So how would we those who have jobs then go about paying for everyone at every age? Just cusious?
We disagree, it does not mean you are correct
03:45 PM on 01/20/2010
We just print more! That is easy. Of course they will have to be union workers doing the printing and unions will need to keep their Cadillac plans, while the rest of us eat the gubmint' cheese.
05:24 PM on 01/20/2010
Yup, funding would be an issue, regardless of whether you are dem, independent, or repub---would affect all.
03:33 PM on 01/20/2010
So sorry for my typos....
03:07 PM on 01/20/2010
Sorry Andy, no short circuit Senate c.r.a.p. to mandate premiums to private for profit monopolies. That won't fly
03:07 PM on 01/20/2010
We must pass the Senate bill, if we dont, we send a message to the republicans that obstructionism will be rewarded.
03:20 PM on 01/20/2010
Obstructing big government is exactly what our founding fathers wanted and it looks like they win again. Get use to it!!
03:41 PM on 01/20/2010
All that has to be done is for Pelosi to pass the bill and Obama to sign off on it..

Does that make you squirm?

I hope it does.
05:28 PM on 01/20/2010
Nah, no sale. Blame the repubs no longer sticks. National pols show and Mass. voters proved current fed health insurance legislation a loser. By the way, legislation was drafted by dems, which didn't have the 60 votes for public option---among themselves!
02:59 PM on 01/20/2010
I wonder if the new Senator elect Scott Brown was ever asked if he would support a healthcare bill for all Americans just like the one that he will soon "enjoy"?????
03:14 PM on 01/20/2010
Thom Harttman said the Dems overwhelming said "no" when they were asked if they would be o.k. with legislation requiring them to use the system they write. (explains why they just want to cram anything through)
The repubs said "yes" with the exception of 2. (explains why they want to take thier time and be a bit more careful about what they write and agree to)

This is according to the very progressive left Thom Hartmann.
02:59 PM on 01/20/2010
i see the left is still childish - pass the senate bill and change the taxes in Reconcilliation and perhaps expand medicare and medicaid.

while passing the senate bill will make you a target

not passing will get you luke warm support in a mid term election that typically hurts the president's party

you can't get by with nothing

and as someone who hasn't been able to buy insurance in almost 20 years because of a pre-existing conditions don't tell me about their being no reform in the senate bill

quit your whining and accept victory

as a Republican it was once said Republicans never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

liberals seam to never miss an opportunity to take defeat out of the Jaws of Victory.

don't pass health care and see what happens liberal this opportunity won't come again for 15 years

Conservatives it's not in your interest either, yes it would be a victory in the short term the problem is there is really a healthcare problem and premiums are going to double as incomes will have trouble keeping up with inflation the next 8 years. What does that mean - health care will become so expensive that single payer will be the only option
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03:48 PM on 01/20/2010
I see nothing can convince the Obots. Nevermind that all of the predictions of the "childish left" have come true. Has it ever ocurred to you that some people are actually opposed to this bill as a foundation or a finished product.
05:32 PM on 01/20/2010
"...and as someone who hasn't been able to buy insurance in almost 20 years because of a pre-existing conditions don't tell me about their being no reform in the senate bill."
Ban on exclusion because of pre-existing conditions don't kick in until 2013 (House) or in 2014 (Senate). But of course you are willing to wait.
02:57 PM on 01/20/2010
Yes.. They could do Medicare Part 'E' through reconciliation. Thus only adding on to an existing program.

They could also reinstate the Glass Steagall Act and several other regulations that will stop this downward spiral of excessive profit (costs, to you and me).

Regulate...... or else repeal all laws and rules for the citizens of the U.S. as well. If there are no rules for companies or financial, insurance and health industries then I say do away with all speed limits and traffic laws too.
Jack Webb
Just the facts, ma'am'
03:12 PM on 01/20/2010
Those are the kind of things one expects from REAL leaders.

That's why, I for one, am not too hopeful here.
02:56 PM on 01/20/2010
Time to start fresh.
02:56 PM on 01/20/2010
Thin Skin and Thick Skulls

The Democrats just don't get it. People want MORE action, not less. They want extreme, decisive solutions.

I believe Obama did have to dance that dance in order to get enough votes to pass some version of health care, but only because the senators and congressmen were too stupid and frightened to recognize that -- Republican rhetoric aside -- the people wanted them to do MORE.

That's what Obama's election was about. And that's what this new guy's election -- or more properly, Madam Coakley's repudiation -- is about.

But the Dems will take the wrong message. And do less.

Or do things wrong and seem complicit with the powers that have always been.
02:44 PM on 01/20/2010
Could they do a reconciliation bill to allow anyone who wants to to buy into medicare?
02:50 PM on 01/20/2010
How about if we scrap this entire bill and just do what Mr. Obama said over and over and over again during his campaign???

Obama promised: We would have the same exact health insurance program that all the Senators and Congresspeople enjoy.

Yeah, he used the word "enjoy".

So ... let's do it! What do you say, Mr. Stern. Why don't you visit the White House for the millionth time and tell Obama to keep his campaign promise .... no, not the promise to YOU, the promise to US!
02:40 PM on 01/20/2010
Americans want change, and do not want to be ruled by the banks and global corporations and/or a government dipping into either's pockets.

The first thing is there needs to be tough regulations so that America or it's people are not taken advantage of by business or politicians. Whatever happened to regulation?? Has this now disappeared from the conversation or is it all free market capitalism.......... the biggest company or financial institution rules the masses, the government and tramples over America and it's constitution.

Want to fix healthcare.....
Reconciliation: Medicare Part 'E' (medicare for everyone!)
Import safe drugs from Canada and elsewhere
regulate the insurance companies!!!
03:11 PM on 01/20/2010
Ok let me get this:

Single payer medicare for everyone
Imported drugs from Canada
Regulation of Insurance companies.

Nullifing employer based insurance should gardner the support of 100's of millions of insured Americans fairly easily, right?

Imported drugs, good idea nevermind the terribly understaffed FDA, lets just disban the FDA and let anyone sell anything anywhere.

And I guess we can regulate insurance companies with the 1,800 pgs of the current bill which does just that scraping the 200 pgs which supposedly hand the insurance companies everything they want, heck I can't see why they spent more money ever fighting this legislation tooth and nail, I guess that was just a distraction while they secretly supported the bill.

and I guess since Republicans always fight for the consumer over corporations, one more and one less democrat makes all the above that much easier.

Pray for your nation
05:47 PM on 01/20/2010
Slick, almost worked: "Imported drugs, good idea nevermind the terribly understaffed FDA, lets just disban the FDA and let anyone sell anything anywhere." Same manufacturers, same drugs.

"And I guess we can regulate insurance companies with the 1,800 pgs of the current bill which does just that scraping the 200 pgs which supposedly hand the insurance companies everything they want, heck I can't see why they spent more money ever fighting this legislation tooth and nail, I guess that was just a distraction while they secretly supported the bill." Company stocks rose sharply, musta been a disconnect, no?
02:39 PM on 01/20/2010
This may work, but it would take a lot of trust on the part of House Democrats to take a chance on this. An alternative plan would be the following:

1. Take the parts of the Senate/House bills that can get agreement from Democrats and
Republicans alike and create a separate bill with only those parts in it. Items like
not allowing insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, no yearly
caps and no lifetime caps on coverage; repeal the anti-trust exemption that health insurance
companies presently have and allow insurance companies to cross state lines. These
would garner quite a substantial number of Republican votes. Which Republican would
dare vote against this if this was all there was in that bill??

2. Create a set of basic national standards that all insurance companies in the nation would
have to offer in their policies, with possible tiering of plans.

Then go to reconciliation (only 50 votes needed plus VP) on the following.

1. Provide for gradual universal coverage by folding those 55 years and older into Medicare, but
they would have to pay a subsidized premium if their income is too low. This would be optional
2. Eliminate the individual mandate. This does affect the budget because of #3
3. Offer a robust public option, also subsidized for lower income people
4. Establish national health insurance exchanges, like envisioned in the Senate and House bills.
02:37 PM on 01/20/2010
You just don't get it, do you Andy? We don't want health insurance reform as proposed by the Senate Democrats. I'm a lifelong Democrat who grew up in a solidly pro-union family in Detroit. I voted for Obama and every downline Democrat on the ballot last year. But, and this is a big one, Democrats have squandered an historic opportunity to regain our nation's momentum and social equality. They failed to resurrect and pass Sen. Ted Kennedy's 2007 "Medicare For All" act and instead tried to cobble together a Frankenstein's monster bill of giveaways to insurance and pharmeceutical companies, all paid for with a threat (or "mandate" as they call it) to throw people in prison for not buying overpriced private insurance.

The Senate bill is dead. And rightfully so.