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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Quote of the Day (Lemme say again that healthcare was my #1 2008 presidential campaign issue...) 
18th-Aug-2009 01:29 am
Obama, the agent of hope that we stay center right, not far right. - a friend
18th-Aug-2009 05:33 am (UTC)
I feel sorry for Obama, I can tell he wants the public option but he can't control what goes on in Congress. Everybody acted like the magic 60 vote majority was going to fix everything but there are plenty of "Democrats" who act more like Republicans. Obama can only sign the bill that comes to him and with the terrorism being practiced by the right-wing, it looks less and less likely that that bill is going to be what's necessary.
18th-Aug-2009 05:55 am (UTC)
Of course, it *can't* be Obama's fault. (sarcasm)
18th-Aug-2009 10:06 am (UTC)
He's just one person. He can't pass legislation. So why do you believe it has to be his fault?
18th-Aug-2009 12:31 pm (UTC)
During the campaign his health insurance reform proposal was the weakest; I fully expected him to waffle and capitulate too quickly--and that's what he appears to be doing. As president, a big part of his responsibility is to throw the kitchen sink at the American public--when it comes to something this important. Did you see that stuff where he's making ha ha cracks about how lousy the post office is while insisting the public option won't hurt big business? I could have shot the television...except I knew I was gonna be disappointed back when he won the primary.

That, while continuing key portions of the worst of the Bush era human rights policy abuses...
18th-Aug-2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
I realize you were really hoping Hillary Clinton would win the nomination, and hated Obama for beating her, but I don't understand what you think Hillary would be doing differently? Remember, she was the one who screwed this whole thing up in the 90s. We could have had healthcare for 15 years now if she hadn't messed up. Also, remember, Hillary and her husband were the masters of capitulation and triangulation when Bill was President. She'd likely be right in there with the Blue Dogs giving away everything that makes health care reform important instead of sitting in the White House like Obama fretting over the inevitable watering down of the bill.
18th-Aug-2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
I was simply pointing out that the President can't just snap his fingers and get legislation of his design passed. Bush was lucky in that he had a Congress that pretty much did whatever he said for more than half his time in office. Even the Dems more often than not gave him what he wanted. Obama can't even get the turncoat Blue Dogs to help him out. Before you start blaming Obama solely for the way this bill is turning out, you should look at the leadership in Congress and ask why they're not doing more to whip the caucus into line for this legislation. Pelosi and Reid could do a lot to push this along and accomplish an agreeable outcome but they're not. If they could get rid of all these traitorous Blue Dogs in states that went for Obama (Evan Bayh for instance) they wouldn't have nearly as big a problem.
18th-Aug-2009 10:13 am (UTC)
Isn't it more important to focus on whether it's an improvement over the current situation? Anyone who thought about it realized that a public option that might gut the insurance industry would be a hard sell on top of public perception of government inefficiency even though I agree with you: a public option of sorts is necessary, and single-payer would be even better. And government inefficiency be damned. It was always going to be run like Medicare, which contracts with insurance companies (mostly BC/BS, but not exclusively) to actually administer the program and pay claims.

I think the non-profit coop idea that's being floated around now is somewhat of a Trojan horse. It will depend somewhat on the governance and who controls who's on the board, but the end result may be something like a de facto public option. That's what I'd aim for if I were Obama or his advisers, and considering we came from similar places academically and have a similar political bent, I suspect that's why they're open to the idea. Public option is still best, but it they can't achieve it they'll take a close second best that if Obama has two terms they may be able to fashion into a de facto public option.

Let's not walk away from the process just because there are bumps in the road. That'll guarantee either that nothing gets done or it will truly be bad.
18th-Aug-2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
Just saw this: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/opinion/18herbert.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

This is the best summary of the substantive issues I've yet seen, and Herbert gets to the heart of the problem: Obama administration's idea of "incremental" reform doesn't even begin to solve the underlying cost control problem...in fact doesn't even try.

(Incidentally, as somebody who is going to experience British "socialized medicine" for the next few years--ironically because the very same institution that employs the Stephen "My country is killing me (not)!" Hawking gave me a scholarship--I must say that the difference in discourse btw. the UK and the US is fascinating:
University Literature: "All overseas students (including spouses and children) on a course lasting longer than six months are entitled to free medical care under the National Health Service (N.H.S.)."
Me: Okay, so what sorts of monthly payments, premiums, co-pays etc. is that going to involve?
University Literature (in spirit): What part of the word "free" do you not understand? Do you speak English where you're from?
Me (in spirit): Ha.
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