Friday, August 14, 2009

Bipartisanship ≠ Good Legislation

Hey guys. I'm taking a brief break from my weekend away to post this short clip that sums up my feeling about "bipartisanship" at least as far as healthcare is concerned.

Read Chris' post below. I agree. The president needs to draw a line in the sand and not be so afraid to fail.

The way I see it. We have 60 caucusing Democrats, and they might as well be good for something. Some of the sucky ones don't even have to vote for health reform, just don't support a Republican fillibuster, and let's get this done.

This clip illustrates perfectly why working with the opposition on this issue is futile. Their goal is not to come up with a healthcare reform bill that serves the American people. Their goal is to stop it, or water it down enough so that it's not a threat to the billions of dollars the health insurance companies make every year--and then funnel back to Congress as campaign donations--by NOT treating their customers.

Breaking: Chuck Grassley is a huge D-bag.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In Response to Bipartisanship

The discussion for months about health care reform has been focused around bipartisanship. The President has failed to “draw lines in the sand” and it is damaging the prospects of meaningful health reform. The Senate Finance Committee has spent months hiding from the public, structuring a plan that is likely to have the most influence of what the final health reform bill will contain. I agree that methods in which to pay for health reform need to be debated amongst Democrats and Republicans. Health reform should not be done entirely on the backs of the wealthy. We cannot allow this bill to be turned into another rhetorical “welfare program.”

Yet, when it comes to debating the structure of the plan the President and Congressional Democrats need to put their feet down. Health reform should not be passed without a public option, health insurance co-operatives with government seed money and infrastructure, or at the very minimum a provision that if free market solutions fail to achieve their goals within a certain time period that a public option will be implemented.

Am I the only one that feels that this incredible opportunity for reform and what we worked so hard for in the campaign is slipping away?

President Obama has continued to speak in generalities so he can spin any health bill as a success. In doing so he has weakened the liberal position on health reform and allowed conservatives to take the driver seat. The energy against reform is building by the day. We must combat the opposition with clear ideas and comprehendible solutions; not the generalities, pandering, and drama that so often echo in the halls of Capitol Hill. The President has outlined what he wants in a plan but has refused to give specific details of what it must include to warrant his signature.

Organizing for America is asking volunteers to sign a pledge stating their support for these three elements of health reform.
  • Reduce costs — Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals, and families, and they must be brought under control
  • Guarantee choice — Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor – including the choice of a public insurance option
  • Ensure quality care for all — All Americans must have quality and affordable health care
I signed the pledge and you should too,, but we should be doing more than asking the Senate Finance Committee and other members of Congress to stand with the President. We should be able to inform them of what the health reform bill MUST contain for our President to sign it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Thought on Town Hall Madness for a Tuesday Evening

Many of you have probably been reading and watching the hysterical zombies showing up at town hall meetings over the last week. It appears to have reached a critical mass of "special" this weekend, though, as Sarah Palin reared her lovely head as usual and became the leading voice behind the "deathers," people who have become convinced beyond all convincing otherwise that under the new health care paradigm, panels of faceless bureaucrats will be formed with the authority to give a Caesar-like thumbs-up or thumbs-down on whether or not elderly, ill people will receive life-saving treatment.

This meme grew out of a tiny provision that requires the public care program to provide (if desired) end-of-life counseling for things like writing living wills, etc. It is an attempt to ensure that seniors can have their will expressed should they have a life-threatening illness. Right-wing spinmeisters used this as a method of causing more hysteria by distorting this into "death panels."

What I would like to see is a Congressman or Senator who can cut these things to pieces without insulting his audience. When confronted by a deather, I'd like them to say this:

"Sir/ma'am, I'm going to assume that you know -- and this is out of respect for you, not an attack on your honesty -- that no such provision actually exists in the proposed legislation. I'm sure you know that. So what you must be concerned about is that you believe the bill as it stands will create, unavoidably, situations in which some seniors will simply be left by the wayside because someone, somewhere in government, has decided these folks are simply not worth saving. I would absolutely agree with you that if true, this would be deplorable. Can you please explain to me what you see happening as a consequence of our health care reform bill that would lead to this, so that I can bring your concerns to committee and ensure that absolutely cannot happen?"

This will result in one of three answers:

1) Crickets.
2) Stammering.

All three of these make the deathers look stupid and are easily countered with reality.

Come on, guys. Let's get organized already.