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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1260
Location: providence
Taibbi on Healthcare reform  Reply with quote  

Ugh...this shouldn't be surprising...just difficult to see it all laid out like this.
After reading this I'm left without a rooting interest in the current debate. I know it would be bad politically for Obama to have this go down as a total defeat, but it seems a hollow victory if he does get something passed, public option or not. Again ugh....

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29988909/sick_and_wrong/



Quote:

In many ways, the lily-livered method that Obama chose to push health care into being is a crystal-clear example of how the Democratic Party likes to act showering a real problem with a blizzard of ineffectual decisions and verbose nonsense, then stepping aside at the last minute to reveal the true plan that all along was being forged off-camera in the furnace of moneyed interests and insider inertia.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:54 am
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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Yeah I'm with you on not really caring what happens now. Without single payer or a real public option, we'll all just be worse off and Obama will lose even more political capital and the Dems will probably get hammered in the mid-terms then he'll be even more of a lame duck than he is proving to be right now. Perfect shit storm, just uniquely depressing.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:36 pm
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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
Posts: 1260
Location: providence
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Quote:

Without single payer or a real public option, we'll all just be worse off and Obama will lose even more political capital and the Dems will probably get hammered in the mid-terms then he'll be even more of a lame duck than he is proving to be right now. Perfect shit storm, just uniquely depressing.



Yeah you summed that up pretty well....plus just knowing that brain dead right wing hacks will somehow end up being feeling vindicated and pissed off at the same time. Crazy country we live in.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:06 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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Single payer was never on the table. The public option has been somewhat pointless for a while: immediately any pretense of medicare level pricing was dismissed. Most Americans can't define the public option. You're way lat to the party if you're giving up over that now. I also think that you're looking at the problem simplistically and you're being almost as unreasonable as the other side. In fact, the other side keyed on the public option because they were keen enough to predict this kind of self-defeating bullshit response.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:19 pm
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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What are we fighting for then? There's no good options on the table and that's what's fucking me up. It's not a defeatist response, it's looking at the options that are being considered and seeing that none of them solve the key problems with our system.

I know single payer was never being seriously considered outside of honest conversations (imagine that?), but a cheaper public option was the supposed compromise and that's even been whittled away to shit. Just drives me crazy when the Dems have a 60 seat majority and still can't do anything right.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:22 pm
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note1



Joined: 10 Jul 2002
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Not to be a dick...but did you read the article?
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:43 pm
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redball



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There are other ways to handle it than either of those two options. Those are just what are spoon fed to us as the one and only answer.

Our health care system is broken, and it's broken in more ways than simply injecting a government-funded plan could possibly solve. There is substantive reform that could be done outside of that. Yet, we've framed the debate around that one point. Meanwhile, the other side is using that point to a) win and b) negotiate other terrible ideas into the bill.

The fact that no one is willing to support anything else, and that everyone on the left is ready to give up if they lose on that single issue, means that Democrats are hung out to dry in a damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't situation. Ultimately, we've both ceded control to the blue-dogs and ensured that they can't give us anything that we want. As such, our negotiations are all but shot because the other side knows that to demoralize the left is almost as big of a win as failing to pass the legislation at all.

There are systems that provide universal, or near universal health care without a government run plan. They control costs through strict regulations the keep insurance companies from the kid of profiteering that we see here. Other solutions include tying health care cost increases to inflation, using the public option as a punishment should the industry not comply.

Meanwhile there's other problems with the legislation, like the implementation of tort reform. We've got some legislators up there willing to do just about anything just to get a watered-down implementation of this idea in the final bill. The debate has lost all sense of intelligence, and all anyone can do is sneer across the aisle blaming the other side. "Obviously none of the fault lies with me. I'm reasonable, it's just that I know all the goddamn answers so nothing you say could possibly be right."
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:48 pm
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Stumbleweed



Joined: 09 Mar 2005
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Yeah there are major things that can be done to make the system run more efficiently and to cover more people. Those are good things to focus on if these bills don't go through (or even if they do), but we're still stuck with a poorly-conceived and thoroughly butchered bill instead of a real comprehensive solution. I just worry that it'll end up being a half-assed plan that doesn't solve anything substantial (or in fact could raise costs, as is mentioned in the article) and then it's a matter of doing patchwork improvements from there, as is the case with many new programs, most of which turn into lumbering pork mammoths on the way as more and more legislators get their hands on it.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:13 pm
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redball



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note1 wrote:
Not to be a dick...but did you read the article?


I just did. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. It's also slanted and has the same whiny "government funded insurance or nothing" attitude that I find to be so ridiculous and counterproductive. The problems detailed in this article are largely a product of the attitude expressed within it.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:33 pm
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Joshua Kane



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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redball wrote:
note1 wrote:
Not to be a dick...but did you read the article?


I just did. It didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. It's also slanted and has the same whiny "government funded insurance or nothing" attitude that I find to be so ridiculous and counterproductive. The problems detailed in this article are largely a product of the attitude expressed within it.


I don't know about this. There is alot more driving this debacle than attitude. Anyways, the main (and best) point I got from the Taibbi article is that Obama has officially squandered the mandate he was given with lilly-liveredness (healthcare merely being one reform area his lilly-liveredness has astounded on), and America is gonna be more fucked than ever as a result. Its really is quite sickening.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:40 pm
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redball



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You cannot say that until at least tomorrow night. The bigger picture here is twofold: One is that progressives have been using the same negotiating tactics in this debate that my son does when he doesn't want to go to bed. The other is that Obama has to handle this carefully and must accept some compromise to avoid the same failures of the past.

Tomorrow could be two things. It could be Obama will announce that this health care reform will not be substantial (though he'll use a grandiose speech to make it sound otherwise. Or he will begin to step on the bully pulpit. If the latter happens things could change dramatically. If he'd done this from the start they would have Clinton'd the bill in no time.

Re: Attitude - What's driving the debate is attitude. Progressives have a lot of it, but not enough. They've decided to hang their hats on one item at any cost. This article expresses exactly that: everything is fucked because omigod no public option. Well, I guess we just can't win! Meanwhile they're not fighting any other battles. They've given up. We have a situation where the message has become pretty clear: blue dogs will be voted out of office if this legislation passes and the republican machine has any substantial gripes. Liberals have made no such statements, except in the most liberal of districts. In large numbers they've given up and turned to debating whether town hall crashers are really crazy. Meanwhile their representatives are including no end of shitty things in the bill, primarily as sweetener to try to get a sham public option through.

Give up on the public option and start demanding that you get something. Progress can be made without that single component. If you're going to demand it, start fucking breaking down doors. Don't fucking give up you morons.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:58 pm
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Joshua Kane



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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redball wrote:
You cannot say that until at least tomorrow night. The bigger picture here is twofold: One is that progressives have been using the same negotiating tactics in this debate that my son does when he doesn't want to go to bed. The other is that Obama has to handle this carefully and must accept some compromise to avoid the same failures of the past.

Tomorrow could be two things. It could be Obama will announce that this health care reform will not be substantial (though he'll use a grandiose speech to make it sound otherwise. Or he will begin to step on the bully pulpit. If the latter happens things could change dramatically. If he'd done this from the start they would have Clinton'd the bill in no time.

Re: Attitude - What's driving the debate is attitude. Progressives have a lot of it, but not enough. They've decided to hang their hats on one item at any cost. This article expresses exactly that: everything is fucked because omigod no public option. Well, I guess we just can't win! Meanwhile they're not fighting any other battles. They've given up. We have a situation where the message has become pretty clear: blue dogs will be voted out of office if this legislation passes and the republican machine has any substantial gripes. Liberals have made no such statements, except in the most liberal of districts. In large numbers they've given up and turned to debating whether town hall crashers are really crazy. Meanwhile their representatives are including no end of shitty things in the bill, primarily as sweetener to try to get a sham public option through.

Give up on the public option and start demanding that you get something. Progress can be made without that single component. If you're going to demand it, start fucking breaking down doors. Don't fucking give up you morons.


I agree with the beginning of your argument - perhaps Obama can still salvage this. But I disagree with the strategy Obama took on healthcare starting this summer, an approach you seem to support. Obama should have drawn lines in the sand, said this is what I as president want and need to see, and then bargained from there. Not this lilly livered leave it up to congress bullshit we have been dealing with since the mofo took office. What Obama doesn't seem to understand is that his winning was not politics as usual, he had a mandate for change typically seen only once in a generation (if). Neither Bill nor Hillary nor any democrat since FDR had such a mandate. Obama is squandering his once in a generation mandate by playing politics as usual, so far, and I am going to need better healthcare (that I won't have) as a result.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:42 pm
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GrantherBirdly
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I'm with Joshua on this one. At this stage in the process most if not all of the meaningful reform is off the table. As our healthcare system is sick and gangrenous to the core, only a solution that treats it holistically (i.e., reforms it fundamentally) can hope to cure it. Which is to say, meaningful reform would have to drastically realign incentives for insurers, providers, and patients. As it stands, insurers have no reason to insure the ill or poor. Providers get paid by the amount of procedures and prescriptions they dole out rather than by the quality of their patient care (which would be measured by patient outcomes). Patients avoid treatment until whatever is wrong with them gets real bad, at which point its much harder and more costly to treat them. Tort reform, while in order, doesn't address any of these skewed incentives. Furthermore, as Taibbi discussed at length, the healthcare bureaucracy is a genuine shitshow. Unless the process of dispensing and paying for medical care is dramatically simplified, costs will continue to soar, and bringing another 40 million people into the system will only exacerbate the problem. In the end, as much as I would like to remain hopeful, I see no means by which insurance "co-ops" and increased competition can accomplish the three stated goals of healthcare reform - universalize coverage, reduce costs, improve care.
Post Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:53 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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I like using the term "lily-livered" to refer to the Democrats. They're (for the most part) corporate stooges just as much as the Republicans are.

Amazing how when a public option, let alone single-payer, is brought up, critics bring out the "s word" - socialism. And it's effective! Democrats are too scared to push a public option for fear of being labeled socialist and being voted out of office because of it, instead of rationally explaining the benefits of such a plan. It's pathetic.
Post Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:22 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Alan Hague wrote:
I like using the term "lily-livered" to refer to the Democrats. They're (for the most part) corporate stooges just as much as the Republicans are.

Amazing how when a public option, let alone single-payer, is brought up, critics bring out the "s word" - socialism. And it's effective! Democrats are too scared to push a public option for fear of being labeled socialist and being voted out of office because of it, instead of rationally explaining the benefits of such a plan. It's pathetic.


And meanwhile they get labeled socialist anyways. It's very having your cake and eating it too.

Anyways, if they can pass the pre-existing conditions thing, I'll not be too irate.

I would prefer government run health insurance, but failing that, they should just regulate the shit out of the insurance companies.
Post Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:27 am
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