Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Frustrations Boiling Over Again

You see that picture.. That's what I was talking about the other day. I think that is a disservice to Sen. Kennedy. He did NOT support Medicare for all at this time. Simply because he knew it would not pass.

Yes, he would have loved it, and at one time I think that's what he wanted.. but it is not what he wanted now. If he had, don't you think that's what he would have written in the bill he wrote for the Senate committee he chaired?

The President has now released the logs of visitors to the White House. Everyone was clamoring for them. Now they have them and are bitching about them because they don't like what they see. I am sorry, but to me this is just hypocrisy.

Yes, the President and some of his staff have been meeting with Insurance Company big wigs and Pharma. Isn't that how you make agreements and try to get people to make concessions? By meeting with them? At least that's what I always thought.. but gee, maybe I am wrong.. maybe you don't meet people you want to try to get to lower costs and make concessions with, maybe you are supposed to just shove them away and tell them to go out and cause problems.

Yes, that's what they have done. We have seen that. But still, at least the President and his staff has been attempting to do something. I know, I have my Pollyanna showing again.. or as someone else said.. my head in the sand.

I have been accused of all kinds of things. I just want to have a little faith and trust in my President again.. Is that too much to ask. No, I don't agree with 100% of everything he has done. But I don't expect to have done so with anyone that was elected. But I damn sure agree with a lot more of what he has done than disagree, and I certainly think he has done more positive than negative.

Yesterday, late in the afternoon there was a story out about a phone call between the President and Progressive members of Congress. But for the most part it went unnoticed. And what did get reported was only part of the conversation..The part that went like this. From Greg Sargent at the Plum Line:

I just got off the phone with Dem Rep. Raul Grijalva, one of more than two dozen House progressives who held a conference call with President Obama today to discuss the public option’s fate.

Says Grijalva: The call left him with no doubt that Obama understands House libs are dead serious about not backing any bill without a public plan in it.

“He understands how serious we are about this,” said Grijalva, one of the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, in describing the tone of the conversation. “For many of us this is not a political dance. He got that point.”

Grijalva says Obama asked how far liberals were willing to compromise on the public option, another sign, Grijalva noted, that he grasps that they mean what they say. He added that Obama asked a number of “frank” and “probing” questions, though he declined to say precisely what they were.

But the part that seems to get left out is the last of the conversation.. Where Representative Grijalva goes on to say this:

In another newsworthy tidbit, Grijalva says Obama signaled that discussions about the public option would continue even after his big speech before a joint session of Congress next week. That may be an indication that Obama won’t be mentioning the public option in his speech, but doesn’t want liberals to despair at that prospect.

Said Grijalva: “I didn’t come away from this discussion feeling that we were dead.”

Emphasis mine, and as I have stated numerous times, I don't feel like the President has given up on the Public Option.

If we on the left side of politics could hang together and be as strong as the ones on the right.. if we could just hold our line and be like the right.. we could get this done.

Right now we need to concentrate on the same group I have pointed out before. Instead of attacking the President and saying he has sold us out, we need to be after the members of Congress who have not committed to the Public Option.. We need to make sure we still have the support of those 45 Senators that Governor Dean listed at his site Democracy for America and the ones that have not committed need to be reminded that we are counting on them to vote for the Public Option.

This is what the President said on August 20th when he met with and talked to the people who were his "base and supporters" in Organizing for America, Health Care Forum:

So that is absolutely critical. Now, one of the options we want to provide them is a public option, and there's been -- this has been a confusion around this -- (applause) -- there's been a lot of confusion about this, so let me just clarify. I think a public option is important. And let me explain why.

We're going to have a marketplace where people can select the options that work best for them, the insurance plan that works best for them. A lot of those choices, the overwhelming majority of those choices, will be private insurance options, just like members of Congress have -- they're allowed to choose from various proposals or various plans that are part of the federal employees' health plan.

But what we do think is if we have a public option in there, that can help keep insurers honest; it can provide a benchmark for what an affordable basic plan should look like. And so even though we've got a whole bunch of insurance regulations that ensure that any private insurer that's participating in the exchange is giving you a fair deal, this is sort of like the belt-and-suspenders concept -- it means that not only do they have to abide by these regulations, but they also have to compete with somebody whose interest is not just profit but instead is interested in making sure that the American people get decent care.

Now, having said that -- (applause) -- having said that, I want everybody to be clear that the public option is just one option. It will be voluntary. Nobody is talking about you having to be in the public option. Only -- the only thing that we're talking about is this being available to you as a choice, expanding consumer choice. And we think that's a good idea.

Now, there are a whole bunch of other aspects to health insurance reform, though, that people have to understand. We want to make sure that, for example, insurance companies can't prevent you from getting health insurance because of a preexisting condition. That will be the law whether you're in the health insurance exchange or you're just keeping the insurance that you already have. You should be able to keep it regardless of preexisting condition. You should be able to purchase it. There shouldn't be lifetime caps or yearly caps where you bump up against it and suddenly you've got huge out-of-pocket costs that drive you into bankruptcy. We've got to make sure that there are basic consumer protections on that.

You should be able to keep your health insurance if you get sick or you lose your job or you change jobs. And all too often what happens is when you need insurance most, that's when the insurers decide to drop you. And we've got to make sure that that is against the law. And that's part of what health insurance reform is all about.

So it's going to bring down skyrocketing costs, it's going to save families money, it's going to save businesses money, and it's going to save government money. We are going to make Medicare more efficient, guaranteeing today's seniors better benefits than they have right now. We're going to make sure that that doughnut hole in the middle of their prescription drug plan, that that doughnut hole is closed, because we want to make sure that seniors who are already living on fixed incomes during difficult times aren't having to dig even deeper to increase drug company profits.

So I just want everybody to understand that in addition to providing health insurance for people who don't have it, even if you have health insurance, you've got a stake in this debate. Fourteen thousand people are losing their health insurance every single day. Millions of people all across the country are vulnerable to exclusions because of things like preexisting conditions. Millions of Americans have experienced the fact that premiums have gone up three times faster than inflation and faster than incomes.

And if we go at the pace that we're going right now, there are going to be a whole lot of families who make the decision that they can't afford health insurance because the costs are simply unsustainable.

And if you're a deficit hawk, then you should be especially concerned about passing health care reform, because at the pace we're on right now, Medicare is going to run out of money in eight years. It won't be totally broke, but it will be in the red, because the costs are going up a lot faster than the money that's coming in.

So when you're talking to seniors out there, tell them, number one, nobody is talking about cutting their benefits. Talk to them about the fact that, by the way, Medicare is already a government program -- (laughter and applause) -- so when people say, "Keep government out of our health care," make sure they know that Medicare is a government program. But also explain to them that part of what we want to do is strengthen the program so that it's going to be there over the long haul. We don't want a situation in which Medicare runs short of money because we did not make the changes that were needed early on.

I am absolutely confident that we can get this done, but I want everybody to remember, this has never been easy -- never been easy. When FDR proposed Social Security, all across what was I guess the equivalent of today's Internet, right -- (laughter) -- all the newspapers and the radio shows and all that -- he was accused of being a socialist. He was going to bring socialism to America. How dare he.

When JFK and then Lyndon Johnson proposed Medicare, everybody suggested, this is going to be a government takeover of health care; it's going to destroy your relationship with your doctor. The same arguments that are being made now have been made every time we've tried to propose a significant change that ultimately made people more secure, improved our health care, improved our quality of life.

So we cannot be intimidated by some of these scare tactics. We have to understand that there a lot of people who are invested in the status quo and make a lot of money out of it. We've got to also understand that people are understandably nervous and worried about any significant changes when it comes to something as important as health care, because it touches on your lives, it's very personal -- and so they're more vulnerable to misinformation.

And that's why what all of you do is so important, because people trust you -- your neighbors, your friends, fellow community members -- they trust you. They know you. And if you are presenting the facts clearly and fairly, I'm absolutely confident that we're going to win this debate. But we're going to have a lot of work to do and I'm grateful that you're willing to do it. Let's go get 'em. Thank you very much, everybody.

Again, the President has stated right there, he is in support of the Public Option.. but does anyone talk about this.. NOPE.. we ignore it.. so does the media because it doesn't fit into what they want to say. It doesn't feed the hype of the President abandoning his base and the Republicans winning the battle. And that's what this is all about. The Republicans and big business winning the battle.

Big business, Insurance Companies, Big Pharma and the Republicans.. all part of the Corporate Media and all part of the same pattern of the Rushbos and the Hannity's and the Becks who want the President and the Democrats to fail, so that they can get back in power.. That's the name of the game.

As long as the people who believe the media spin, who feed off this stuff and keep hyping it, it will continue. So keep going... The bill we need to be pushing, if you want to invoke Teddy Kennedy is the one he wrote.. The one from the HELP committee. It can be found here at the HELP committee web site.

That's the full text of the bill, it is only $600 billion over 10 years as scored by the CBO. You can see that in the summary of the bill at this site here.

As I stated before, this bill should be considered bipartisan, with 160 amendments written by Republicans. They have tried to say they didn't have a seat at the table, but that is an out and out lie. The shear hypocrisy of them is astronomical.


Sue said...

Great post again Annette, you're doing a fab job keeping us informed and on our toes! I know its all media driven, I believe a huge majority of the country knows it too. We trust and we believe! No sand in my hair! LOL

mommapolitico said...

Girlfriend, you are one of the best investigative journalists I know! You always link reliable sources, keep me up to speed, and have cogent, strong arguments. All in all, you rock!

Your point about the 160 amendments is extremely important. And, frankly, I'm pretty done with bipartisanship. The amendments are good enough for me.

You're dead-on with the remarks about the left banding together. That's how the right gets things done. We need to make this happen, as this is the time and the place. Americans can't afford to wait. And as long as you keep talking me down, I'll try not to get too impatient! ;)

Great post, Annette. As usual!

Isa Lube said...

Not sure it will wrk out or not since other nations under same type of system say it's should be more restrained so not just anyone can get access from hard working tax payers dollars??? I don't want anyone to take food out of my mouth and give it to someone who is sitting around doing nothing-or should you/I???

Annette said...

Isa Lube, I think you are a little confused... not sure exactly how you think anyone is going to be taking food out of your mouth and giving it to someone sitting around and what that has to do with Health Care.. And exactly what Nations have said this doesn't work.. I know of no country that has National Coverage that says it doesn't work..

Go away little troll.. you don't know what you are talking about.. Oh and by the way.. NO ONE is talking about GIVING anyone anything... it all has to be paid for... just on a level everyone can afford.. not the rates we are paying now, like the 22% increase Blue Cross just hit people in Michigan with.. Yeah.. Michigan.. one of the hardest hit states of the recession..