Health Care Reform

Monday, August 17, 2009

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 8th) talks about health care reform and his effort to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate CIA officials that allegedly authorized torture.


Jerrold Nadler

Comments [52]

hjs from 11211

yes norman, rct is correct. lawyers have no morals. they like most americans have one god and it's GREEN!

Aug. 17 2009 03:14 PM
RCT from NYC

Norman, the big tobacco companies used my law firm -- the one where I worked as a young associate -- and I am a progressive Democrat. The point is that Obama left (as I did) after putting some "big firm" experience on his resume. It says zip about his politics that he worked there; a significant number of the people with whom I worked at the big firm would have burned the place to the ground if they'd thought that they could have gotten away with it.

Aug. 17 2009 03:03 PM
RCT from NYC

Calls'em is from Langley, VA, national Republican Party headquarters. The problem with head cases such as Calls'em is that we all have to pay the price for their delusions.

Aug. 17 2009 02:59 PM
hjs from 11211


you've proved fear still works. if by "our American way of life." the rich getting richer you're right that's not going to change. after 30 years of reaganism americans are just too dumb and fat to know what's good for them. you tea baggers have out smarted the progressives I'll give u that much. keeping yelling that the government is coming for your guns and the mexicans are going to rape your women. soon the middle class will be gone. thanks for that

3rd world here we come.

Aug. 17 2009 01:35 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

hjs [46] - Obama is a radical hiding in leftist clothing. He was raised bereft of knowing or caring about America and American values. Even when he was in the US he was often surrounded by his mother's radical friends. When he got to Chicago, being a man without a country to inspire him or parents to guide him - he was manipulated into the cult of Saul Alinsky and Frank Nitti… community organizing gangland style as practice by the Chicago Democrat Party of Kelly-Nash-Richard Daley criminal-political machine. Make no mistake that his attack on the health care system is merely part of a power grab and would if passed (which it won’t), be a direct attack on individual civil rights and our American way of life.

Aug. 17 2009 01:16 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Just remember that it's not “reform” when the greatest health care system ever established, one that benefits (however imperfectly - we do need portability, the ending of pre-existing conditions, and better medical, dental and eye care for poor people, etc.) the vast majority of the people is DESTROYED because of a political power grab by a group of misguided radicals that want to fundamentally change the American way of life by destroying the private sector. That dog won't hunt and the Dems will be out of legislative power in 2010 and out of the White House in 2012. So bring on immigration reform, too to speed up the political process of “change” - changing back to normal capitalist democracy. LOFL. To the Dems I say “Stop printing money, now!” “Cut taxes, now to stimulate the economy and get people back to work with decent jobs with health insurance!” And, finally “pass tort reform now with responsible verdict caps!” See you all in Washington, DC on "9-12" for the taxpayer "revolt!" lal. I'll be calling in to Brian and Lenny from the Mall, but they won't take my calls.

Aug. 17 2009 12:58 PM
hjs from 11211

this is not a leftist nation. obama is was and will be a centrist. that's want the voters wanted in November.
further more no president can wave his magic wand and make the nation liberal and enlightened. after 30 years of reaganism we are a mess, and the left has a lot of work to do.

Aug. 17 2009 12:52 PM
Norman from Manhattan

Obama started on the right.

His legal practice in Chicago consisted of privatizing public housing.

Chicago tore down its public housing, and gave its federal low-income housing subsidies for vouchers to developers to build "private housing for the poor." The developers used Obama's law firm, and they were Obama's earliest contributors.

The privatization plan led to corruption and disaster. The developments went bankrupt, and some of Obama's contributors went to jail.

As Paul Krugman explained, the big financial contributors to the Democratic Party call the shots, and ignore the interests of the voters.

What I can't understand is how Democratic voters are stupid enough to fall for it. Are focus groups and TV commercials really that irresistable?

Aug. 17 2009 12:30 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Donations and revenues -- the bain of journalism and politics, eh?

Aug. 17 2009 12:06 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

elijit @ #5--What makes you think Obama has been "pushed" to the right...and is not the one doing the pushing?

Aug. 17 2009 12:04 PM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Suggested guests, cont'd.

Kip Sullivan belongs to the steering committee of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He will be on vacation through Labor Day, it appears.

Kip Sullivan on Senate HELP Committee bill:

PNHP--Physicians for a National Health Program:

I think Dr. Himmelstine, Angell, even Dr. David Scheiner, President Obama’s personal physician for 22 years, can be contacted through PNHP.

Aug. 17 2009 12:03 PM
Norman from Manhattan


I suggested Marcia Angell and David Himmelstein on the "30 Issues in 30 days" blog (which is still up):

Brian Lehrer and his co-hosts don't *want* to push single payer. For "30 Days," they got a conservative advocate for 40 minutes followed by a single-payer *debate* for 10 minutes.

Today they had Jerrold Nadler, one of the leading advocates of single payer, paired with a flack who simply regurgitates Republican talking points.

It's a good journalism lesson to compare health coverage on the Brian Lehrer Show with

Aug. 17 2009 11:41 AM
Norman from Manhattan


I suggested Marcia Angell and David Himmelstein on the "30 Issues in 30 days" blog (which is still up):

Brian Lehrer and his co-hosts don't *want* to push single payer. For "30 Days," they got a conservative advocate for 40 minutes followed by a single-payer *debate* for 10 minutes.

Today they had Jerrold Nadler, one of the leading advocates of single payer, paired with a flack who simply regurgitates Republican talking points.

It's a good journalism lesson to compare health coverage on the Brian Lehrer Show with

Aug. 17 2009 11:41 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Suggestion: Get Dr. Marcia Angell or Dr. David Himmelstein on with Brian. Or both! Each with his or her own segment.

Kip Sullivan is published at the blog and covers the nitty gritty details of the bills very well, while also painting the big picture. He would be good to have on.

He just wrote an anlysis, as far as possible, of the Senate's HELP bill, which has been passed for quite awhile but not published. He as able to get a marked up version of the original bill. This bill sees "community" (meaning relatively small) provider "groups." Ambiguous and seeminly conflicting language.

But it comes down to smallish HMO's -- run by the Big Insurance Parasites, as few others meet the requirements set forth (just like government contract writing is done by the favored bidders?). If you liked the tightly restricted HMO's of the 80s and early 90's, lokks like you'll love this idea.

But it's not available for the public to review! Why being held back? Where is the compromised HR3200 amended to suit the Blue Dogs? Also not available-- still being "worked on."

See a pattern here? Obama hired Baucus's aide Jim Messina (chief of staff?) and Obama is working closely with Baucus on the Senate Finance committee's bill. The chairman of the health care sub-committee is not even part of the working group!! See anything fishy here

Those campaign promises, phrases? Just words?

Aug. 17 2009 11:22 AM
hjs from 11211

Michael Sobotka
greed! it's the american way

Aug. 17 2009 10:58 AM
Michael Sobotka from Jamaica Estates

Why not take the profit incentive away and require all carriers to be non-profit. Why should investors earn a profit by have carriers deny services to improve their bottom line?

Aug. 17 2009 10:53 AM
hjs from 11211

well they've heard from the pro insurance company people when are the pro reform people?

Aug. 17 2009 10:52 AM
RCT from NYC

So Tully spits out where he is coming from; a free market economy for health care in which those of us who can't afford health insurance die. Nice job, WNYC -- Tully's views should have been stated up front, before he launched into his "The Public Option is Dead" speech. He's a flack for the right wing and the health industry.

Aug. 17 2009 10:51 AM
Gianni Lovato from Chatham,NY

Many people of my generation are determined to live as if they still were college seniors (and with the same life expectancies) no matter what it will cost to our children, grand and grand-grand children.
For decades greedy insurance companies, unscrupulous doctors and lawyers, profit-driven hospitals and corrupted politicians have been honing their skills and maximized their earnings by exploiting our fears of disease and death.
We, the gray panthers and cougars, have been drinking their elixir of long life faithfully, along with our 47 daily pills.
We just wouldn’t have it any other way, you see?

Seriously now: where are all those young folks who, free of the shackles of glaucoma and incipient dementia, helped Obama on the campaign trail?
I know that you guys are busy making a living and keeping or looking for a job, but if you don’t make yourselves heard a little louder, the “gerontocrats” are really going to ruin your future and that of your grandchildren.

Aug. 17 2009 10:48 AM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

#s 5, 8, and 14: I COULDN'T AGREE MORE.

Aug. 17 2009 10:46 AM
John from NYC

hjs from 11211

Your right - I just hope they'll (our reps) listen to us. I think it was Jefferson who said the "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance". Time to get involved...

I know your next reply is going to be - when did you wake up?

Aug. 17 2009 10:46 AM
Graham Walker from NYC

If the new system comes into place employers will drop health care for workers, without increasing the workers salary, and then each person will have to buy health care with their PRESENT salary AND have there health care cost not be tax deductable! We need a single payer system!

Aug. 17 2009 10:43 AM
a woman from inwood

I am an American, but I have lived under national health coverage for 12 years, in France. I was only covered for 6 of those years because I was not a legal resident for 6. But even when I was not covered, paying full price was so much cheaper than it would have been here.

The public clinics I used to use were all immaculate and efficient. I could walk in and see a doctor whenever I needed to. If one clinic was crowded, I could go to another, one subway stop away.

I never had a doctor propose any unnecessary treatments on the grounds that "you have health insurance, so why not?" (which has happened here). I was actually grateful for that system over there. Grateful! How many people can say they're grateful about their insurance here?

Aug. 17 2009 10:39 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Part 2 (cont'd from above)

Now, if Obama and Orszag so much want to keep private insurers, that has been done in, for example, France. But the private insurers will no longer be the profit centers Wall Street has grown to love; they will be more like regulated public utilities. They won't be giving huge donations to favored or crucially politicians.

Ths mishmash Obama is looking at is unweildy, unworkable, untested, and will be unsuccessful.

Obama may skate with the public, but regular Dems will pay the price with the electorate. Either anger, apathy, disappointment, disgust, or other feelings and even rational analysis will lead people to little or tepid support of Dems. Losing the majority? Who knows? Happened last time.

Medicare for All...the bailout for the rest of us.

Aug. 17 2009 10:36 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Part 1

Lynn Woolsey on the Diane Rehm Show on 8/3, talking about the compromised HR3200, said that the Blue Dogs had succeeded in getting $5 Billion for what has been described as "Kent Conrad's imaginary friends--co-ops" -- only $2 Billion appropriated for the public option. The $5 Billion for co-ops would not have to be repaid; the $2 Billion for the public option would have to be repaid.

Neither of these figures is serious money, but the $2 Billion is a sad joke.

I fear the WH sees some importance to private for-profit Big Insurance companies that the rest of us do not see. They and Obama seem to be bending over backwards and twisting at the same time to make a case for preserving the Big Insurers and maintaining their profitability.

Which we will pay for in taxes and higher premiums, now mandated. Massive wealth transfer from the non-wealthy to the Big Insurance companies.

Single payer is the only rational and economically feasible approach. The only one which will also provide for health CARE.

Medicare for All is the established template we have here in the US. It works, people know about it, they know it works, they know people on it, they know it works for them -- it's not buildng a new infrastructure and regulatory apparatus to extend it to all. Everyone who now has payroll withholding is set up to contribute to Medicare for All. And according to Dr. David Himmelstein single payer Medicare for All would save $400 Billion a year (old figure was $350, new one is $400), and it can cover everyone comprehensively (health, dental, vision) from Day One, Dollar One.

Conti'd below

Aug. 17 2009 10:34 AM
hjs from 11211

people can let congress know how they feel many other ways besides the chaotic side shows that we've seen on the TV.

Aug. 17 2009 10:33 AM
John from NYC

hjs from 11211

On the electronic town hall - isn't that a slippery slope resposne. You risk allowing Nadler or other people to censor and set themselves above the people who they represent. Zero accountability.

Aug. 17 2009 10:27 AM
Norman from Manhattan

If we had a demonstration in Washington of people who supported single payer, how many people would show up?

Aug. 17 2009 10:25 AM
Norman from Manhattan

If we had a demonstration in Washington of people who supported single payer, how many people would show up?

Aug. 17 2009 10:25 AM
Nico from Crown Heights

Wow, Congressman Nadler is talking about health care reform as if the Democratic party has a majority in both houses of Congress!

That is really nice to hear for a change. Thank you, Congressman. PLEASE stand firm on the public option!!!

Aug. 17 2009 10:24 AM
Susan Straub from W. 85th St

My experience of national health care has been excellent in both the UK and France. Yes, I paid higher taxes, but I felt the benefits directly and indirectly. Having a healthy population speaks to the same wish an an educated people. Thanks to Rep Nadler for supporting such basic rights.

Aug. 17 2009 10:23 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

For the 45 plus million who CANNOT buy insurance TODAY how can they buy under a Co-op plan? Will the Federal government pay? Then we have people who have insurance and yet for all practical purpose have no insurance due to high deductibles and limitations on coverage. How will they be covered?

Aug. 17 2009 10:22 AM
hjs from 11211

non-profit co-op ie the old blue cross failed in the past and will not work. co op is not an option.

Aug. 17 2009 10:19 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

I think a better explanation about the costs of health care need to be given. People don't like the word tax, but the fact is that they are paying for health care in all kinds of ways that aren't taxes.

I think that raising the taxes of only a few is divisive and doesn't get all on board with reform. I am a poor adjunct prof and I would like health coverage, and I would like to contribute my fair share of the $$ if it's a non-profit, or single payer, plan.

Aug. 17 2009 10:18 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

We need the non-profit co-op and the public option. Both! Now!

Aug. 17 2009 10:16 AM
RCT from NYC

And I just called Nita Lowey, my congresswoman, and told her NOT to vote for a plan that didn't include a public option.

Aug. 17 2009 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

the fear would be that those who have bought into the fear will stop the debate with the yelling we've seen at other townhalls

Aug. 17 2009 10:15 AM
RCT from NYC

Can Rep. Nadler please explain the reconciliation process and how a Bill with a public option may be passed without 60 Senate votes? It's my understanding that, in reality, we need 51 votes, not 60, to pass a bill.

Aug. 17 2009 10:14 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

It's pretty clear now that there will be NO public option. Obama has shown no spine at all on this. His cowardly conduct since his inauguration goes uninterrupted. At every turn he has caved to the right-wing and big business (the bailout, due process for illegally held foreign nationals, health care, etc.)

Obama is never going to win over morons on the right-wing -- the Palinistas.

He did win over the left in the last election. Now he seems deliberately, maliciously to be antagonizing us. He has lost my vote and has lost the vote of every progressive I know.

Aug. 17 2009 10:13 AM
antonio from park slope

I heard on "msnbc" today that the dems are considering to take the public option out? Please explain what would be the point of that? I mean why? Don't the dems have a majority? I guess all the wild eyed folks that have been "democracy now" were right...

Aug. 17 2009 10:13 AM
Ann Hall Every, CCP from Forest Hills

What restrictions will for-profit hospitals have to adhere to so that they can't charge exhorbitant prices for operations and other hospital-related procedures.

Why are hospitals "for-profit" business enterprises anyway?

Aug. 17 2009 10:13 AM
Norman from Manhattan

That !#$% Obama is equating the right to the left!

Aug. 17 2009 10:12 AM
Tom from Westfield

As the congressman states the single payer is the best choice, so I wonder why Medicare is underfunded, and pays between 70% and 80% of what the private sector pays, and there are a good number of Docs that won't take new medicare patients because the reimbursement has them loosing money.

Aug. 17 2009 10:11 AM
Norman from Manhattan

What are we going to do to organize support for at least the public plan?

Aug. 17 2009 10:09 AM
MFan from Brooklyn, NY

I'm beginning to think that Harpers article comparing Obama more to the good-intentioned-but-falling-short Hoover than the actual reformer, FDR, we all liked to compare him to, was right.

No compromise will ever be enough for the mindless partisans to support meaningful reform. There's no reason to court these snakes.

Public option or not, the bill will fail. And without the option, it deserves to fail.

Aug. 17 2009 10:06 AM
RCT from NYC

Will you oppose a health care bill without a public option? According to the Huffington Post, 75% of Americans polled support such an option.

How can we prevent Senators Baucus and Conrad, and the Republic right, from hijacking health care for 300,000,000 Americans?

What can we do to persuade President Obama to stand up to Baucus and Conrad and fight for the public option.

Aug. 17 2009 10:00 AM
John from NYC

Question for Representative Nadler:

You've scheduled a virtual Town Hall meeting, being held in an electronic forum where you have the ability to pick and choose the questions and potentially censor anyone with whom you don't agree. Do you fear the possibility of Right Wing pundits, or those who simply disagree with your position, taking you to task? Will you change your mind and schedule an open public forum (without ID checks and not charging an entry fee)?

Aug. 17 2009 09:56 AM

things are looking pretty grim on the health insurance reform front.

obama was slightly to the right of hillary during the primaries....and he has been pushed further in that direction since taking office...and yet his proposals are still not enough to satisfy the conservatives...some of them in his own party.

the only response from the republicans to his increasingly modest proposals has been complete and utter opposition and accusations of everything from communism to nazism to....grandma murder?

The town hall meetings that attempt to convey the reality of the plan to the public have degenerated into savage shouting matches thanks to right wing operatives in the crowd. this is then enthusiastically broadcast by the media...further decreasing the chances that any senators will vote FOR heathcare reform for fear that they will anger their constituents.

like i is not looking good for health insurance reform. try to stay healthy everyone!

Aug. 17 2009 09:39 AM
Norman from Manhattan

The health care question for Jerrold Nadler is:

If Obama tries to reject the public option, how will we respond?

Aug. 17 2009 09:33 AM
Norman from Manhattan

The health care question for Jerrold Nadler is:

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are saying that Obama will abandon the public option.

If Obama does try to abandon the public option, how will the progressive Democrats respond?

Will we have a demonstration in Washington, D.C.?

Aug. 17 2009 09:32 AM
Jamilah from astoria

even with an insurance co-op proposal on the table, I don’t believe bi-partisan support will be achieved. I'm a bit skeptical it will cover all uninsured. I think it’s a little bit of a slap in the face to Obama’s more liberal supporters.

Aug. 17 2009 06:20 AM
George from Bay Ridge

Seymour Hersh mentioned the extralegal use of special forces operators to assassinate al-Qaida operatives and was connected to Dick Cheney's office. Is there any substance to this?

What happened to single payer?

Aug. 17 2009 06:19 AM

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