Streams

Health on the Hill

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

As majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) struggles to find the 60th vote for health care reform, David Drucker, Roll Call staff writer, follows the politics in the U.S. Senate.

Guests:

David Drucker

Comments [122]

J.C. from Minneapolis

I think it's time to call Lieberman out and fight the 2010 elections on health insurance.

It's time to put a bill that has government-provided insurance option (y'know, like Medicare and the V.A. hospitals, which Republicans hypocritically support while oppossing universal coverage) to a vote in the Senate and make one thing real clear to this egomaniac Senator: You will either vote for this bill or you can kiss your committee chairmanship goodbye, you will not be welcome in the Democratic caucus anymore, and if you want a committee assignment, then you can join the Republicans.

Since I doubt Republicans trust him much, he'll find himself out in the cold.

Meanwhile, the Dems need to have the guts to fight the 2010 elections on health care. The R's are in denial about the crisis. Show them to be the delusional party they are right now.

Dec. 17 2009 09:04 AM
hjs from 11211

112] Calls'em

are you sure that's a true story?!?!

Nelson spokesman: "The rumor is not true."
http://mediamatters.org/research/200912160026

be careful to report "news" from credible news sources

Dec. 16 2009 11:34 PM
RJ from prospect hts

The idea that "pressure on insurance companies" to raise rates will be off once millions of young people are in the system is naive at best and deaf, dumb, and blind and worst. When did an insurance company ever willingly consider makiing less of a profit? They will cut off the ill and take in all the young and grin at each other across the conference room table. They will raise the premiums continually, and come back year after year to buy elections and convince congressmembers that health care can't happen without them. This is so horribly, horribly sad--so many people will be hurt, will sicken and die early, because the Democrats mismanaged this from the outset by compromising early, and they lost the public advantage they had with distrust and dislike of the insurance industry. No, single payer was not possible, but both Obama and Reid could have been tougher on their ranks--whatever happened to the October 15th "reconciliation" deadline?

Dec. 16 2009 10:43 PM
Nick Lento from NJ

It always blows me away to see how much more intelligence there is often made manifest in these off air discussions than by the "experts" on the actual program.

Dec. 16 2009 04:10 PM
hjs from 11211

calls 100

very close, 80%, to being right,
"the liberals" did not have the votes today (the real joke is on CT) but if they don't fight this in 2010 they deserve to be treated like corporate owned drones

Dec. 16 2009 03:16 PM
hjs from 11211

seems like people know what this bill will not do, but they don't know what it will do.

take what u can

Dec. 16 2009 03:06 PM
Nick Lento from NJ

Bottom line: the people are getting the shaft yet again.

The line about "not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good" doesn't apply here.

Obama isn't stupid and he isn't ignorant, there is video of him acknowledging that he would be for single payer when we had the presidency and majorities in the congress.

Once elected, he NEVER has stood up for "the perfect" and fought from that high position....he started out with a 90% compromise and has backed down from there!!!

Obama and teh Democratic congress have BETRAYED and SOLD OUT their voters!!!

If this watered down BS giveaway monstrosity passes it will result in big losses for the Dems in 2010 and the loss of the WH in 2012.

Obama has either sold out, chickened out or he was a whore conning us all long.

SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

I pray that this disaster of a bill is buried....it's already dead....it was never viable to start with.

The progressives in the house must stand up and stop this asinine bill.....they are our only hope at this point.

It's a dirty rotten shame that Obama hasn't been the LEADER the nation needs.......SHAME!!!!!!!

Dec. 16 2009 12:15 PM
Madeline from Brooklyn

[correction] I meant to say, without a public option... I cannot get behind this bill.

Dec. 16 2009 11:49 AM
LM from New York

America is on the verge of getting hosed...again.

If health reform is for the consumer and the American citizen why have there been sooooo many compromises in favor of the insurance industry?

I don't care which party is in power but I do care about the bottom line and after the tasid rejection of:
universal health-care
single payer
the greatly watered down public option {sidenote: what a misnomer! why should a plan that purports to take care of the public considered only an "option"),
the medicare extension,
The C.L.A.S.S ACT,
Drug price controls
Insurance plan price controls,

In concert with mandatory purchase of insurance for all Americans from private insurance plans makes the passage of this bill seem like the ultimate con game.

It would be interesting to see what would have happened if the bill cane from a supermajority Democratic congress but as of right now this bill sounds like a nonstarter abd a bust.

Regards

Dec. 16 2009 11:46 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Re comment 112: Nonsense.

Dec. 16 2009 11:36 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

NEWS ALERT:

Obama threatens to close the Strategic Air Command HQ in Nebraska to pressure Sen. Ben Nelson to vote for the Obama/Weiner Socialist health care plan (even as watered down).

This is the most important AFB in America.

Nelson is the last holdout to this watered down bill. He is against any federal money for abortions.

If Nelson wins, Obama has met his Waterloo.

If Obama closes the SAC base it is a "high crime and misdemeanor" of the highest order.

Dec. 16 2009 11:29 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

Reading the comments here and at other forums, I have to wonder if many haven't noticed this is the Senate's bill and not what will come out of committee. Your guest today was very informative about this.

Dec. 16 2009 11:15 AM
Stephanie from Northern NJ

David Drucker needs to stop saying "20 year-olds never get sick". It's an untrue, insensitive generalization that insults the hundreds of thousands of young people who have been born with congenital defects and those who develop chronic health problems like diabetes, asthma, and heart and kidney disease.
It is a highly unprofessional and unresearched comment.

Dec. 16 2009 11:15 AM
Paul Sugarman from New York City

Vote no, they've gone a compromise too far.
A public option is a necessity to have a check on the insurance companies, I was willing to support the medicare compromise. Joe Lieberman should not have veto power on this.
We need health care reform, not another bail out of insurance companies. The insurance companies are parasites who are only interested in their own profits and should not be given this huge government handout which this has become.

Dec. 16 2009 11:04 AM
B. Rothman

Gag me with a tongue depressor! This bill makes "premium peons" of the American public with no competition to drive down costs and no way to escape punishment from either corporation or government. On the other hand, the status quo will bring debilitating cost increases even faster, which might bring to their senses lots of Americans now against reform. But this bill is merely the latest of many over the past 30 years that have moved our nation to what is clearly a corporate oligarchy. It is not at all clear that this bill is more useful than nothing, but it will be passed, in spite of the ugly "give ups and give backs" that mar its formation and perhaps its effectiveness.

Given the Constitutional finger on the scale to the smaller states that is a permanent fixture in the Senate, we have now come to a situation of nearly dysfunctional government. Many senators are unable to get past our national philosophic pride in "individualism" to pass legislation for the national, i.e. the common good. As the Founding Fathers understood, but present day Senators don't, if we don't hang together, we shall surely hang separately. It is a sad thing to watch this nation go down the tubes economically and politically because the powerful and the rich have a death grip on the media (and therefore what most people think they know) and in the Congress (where members can only see as far as their next election.) Sic transit gloria mundi.

Dec. 16 2009 11:02 AM
John Moran from New York City, Jackson Heights

We need the "Obama bill" on Health Care Insurance, not Howard Dean's.

Let's not leave 40 (or30) million without health insurance for at least another decade, until the next President might try to reform the system.

Dec. 16 2009 10:55 AM
Robert from Brooklyn, moving to Connecticut

A tall order, but doable:

(1) Take this reform! It gives us broader insurance coverage, a break on drug expenses for seniors and the disabled, and a precedent for reform. And if it doesn't pass, the Democrats will be wiped out in 2010.

(2) Then let's make sure the Democrats get a reinforced mandate in 2010. And let's dump Lieberman!

Dec. 16 2009 10:54 AM
Madeline from Brooklyn

I am loathe to undermine progress, but in what way could this bill be called progress?

My vote is NO.

I am a self employed person and haven't had insurance in fifteen years -- can't afford it. Obviously, I was eagerly awaiting reform, but without a public option...

Would someone please look into the constitutionality of requiring people (through the public mandate) to buy for-profit health insurance?

Dec. 16 2009 10:54 AM
David Brody

As a physician in favor of a single payer system, I absolutely agree with the first caller, that the entire process has been an outrage. The health care bill as currently formulated will be a bonanza for the insurance companies, who will use every loop hole they can find to get around the proposed safeguards for consumers. To make it mandatory for consumers to sign up with the insurance companies, without alternatives, adds insult to injury. Governor Dean knows what he is talking about.

Dec. 16 2009 10:53 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

Here's David Drucker writing for the CATO institute....

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11050

No wonder he has a brown nose for Max Baucus! lol

Dec. 16 2009 10:53 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

Mike from WH [91], yes I realize that our system is intended to guarantee a voice to the minority, but it is not intended to permit a tiny minority or a single senator to hold the country hostage to his or her agenda, notwithstanding that 70% want reform and voted for change. Oh yeah, those who can still vote because they're not among the 45,000 people who DIE every year in this country because they lacked medical care (i.e., medical insurance).

Dec. 16 2009 10:53 AM
Theresa from Westchester, NY

Vote Yes. We have to start somewhere with this beast of Healthcare and make ammendments when this media circus dies down. If we don't get an approved bill on something it will be political suicide for the Democrats.

Dec. 16 2009 10:48 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

HaHa!!!

HEADLINE: Obama & Senate stab liberal supporters in back. The big question now is whether the libs will bend over and take the beating again or will stand-up and have rebel against their masters? The current generation of Libs is pretty subservient so I’ll guess most will just take it. Their parents at least boycotted Humphrey when RFK was killed and Gene McCarthy was denied; and their grandparents fought fascism against Franco, Hitler, Tojo, communism in Korea and Viet Nam, southern racism during the Civil Rights movement and old style corporate hegemony. The young people today just want to wear Che T-shirts and do “X.” Lol.

PS - Brian it’s funny that you never discussed “transparency” or even constitutional legality during these past few months and yet you hold yourself out as the greatest radio talk (liberal lecture/propaganda) show of all time (except for Lenny of course). You never asked one Dem or reporter: “where in the constitution do you have the power to do these things?”

Dec. 16 2009 10:48 AM
David Schneck from Middlesex county Nj

The Deomocrats have to grow a pair and step up to the plate and put the public health care option back in to the bill. I could never understand why legislators who receive contributions from health insurance companies or drug companies aren't required to recuse themselves from any debate on health care. I belong to an organization that requires me to recuse myself from debate, let alone voting when there can be the slightest question of conflict of interest, yet our elected officials are not bound by similar rules. They have some of the finest health plans money can buy - for life, both for themselves and their families. Yet they have no qualms about pontificating as to what we are entitled to. I will utter the five most dangerous words in the English language: "I want what they have".

Dec. 16 2009 10:47 AM
David Schneck from Middlesex county Nj

The Deomocrats have to grow a pair and step up to the plate and put the public health care option back in to the bill. I could never understand why legislators who receive contributions from health insurance companies or drug companies aren't required to recuse themselves from any debate on health care. I belong to an organization that requires me to recuse myself from debate, let alone voting when there can be the slightest question of conflict of interest, yet our elected officials are not bound by similar rules. They have some of the finest health plans money can buy - for life, both for themselves and their families. Yet they have no qualms about pontificating as to what we are entitled to. I will utter the five most dangerous words in the English language: "I want what they have".

Dec. 16 2009 10:47 AM
anna

Sorry, I shouldn't do in a hurry and angry excitement
New and improved version of #92
THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT.

In 2007, CEO of United "made" 1.6 BILLION. In 2005, my beloved Oxford, first sent me for basic checking up, then refused (100%) to pay for basic stuff forcing me to ask politely: "Are you nuts?" which encouraged them to correct "mistakes."

Dec. 16 2009 10:47 AM
Nick Lento from NJ

It is outrageously absurd that Brian chose a reporter who acted as a salesman and an apologist for the totally watered down compromise bill that HE HIMSELF then acknowledges has ZERO popular support....and then at the end of the interview he comes out and with thye proclamation that Max Baucus is his hero!!! ROTFLMAO

If the Democrats pass this ugly pig of a bill the insurance companies have won EVERYTHING!!!

The Republicans will take over the congress in 2010 and the WH in 2012 and all the the minuscule cosmetic reforms will be scuttled and/or further turned into taxpayer based giveaways to the insurance industry.

WHY the **** doesn't WNYC have the courage to allow the full airing of a ***progressive*** perspective on this issue???

How much money do YOU, WNYC, get from corporate interests that don't want any real reforms???

Dec. 16 2009 10:47 AM
Ivan from Rockland County, NY

It is laughable that Americans discuss whether health insurance should be universal with no private companies involved or the politically concocted private profit backed bills emerging in Congress. No need for discussion. Evolved societies know that some things are too important to be left in private interest hands. Once again the "from barbarism to decadence, way too fast" rings true for the good USA.
Good luck.

Dec. 16 2009 10:44 AM
Beth Browde from Upper West Side

Age adjusted insurance rates are completely unfair. The only way insurance makes any sense is when it's community rated. If we're going toward public spending based on use of services, then people without children should not pay anything toward school taxes and people without cars should not pay for infrastructure they don't use.

Dec. 16 2009 10:42 AM
Beth Browde from Upper West Side

Age adjusted insurance rates are completely unfair. The only way insurance makes any sense is when it's community rated. If we're going toward public spending based on use of services, then people without children should not pay anything toward school taxes and people without cars should not pay for infrastructure they don't use.

Dec. 16 2009 10:42 AM
anna

THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT.
In 2007, CEO of United "made" 1.6 BILLION. In 2005, by beloved Oxford, first sent me for basic checking up, then refused (100%) to pay for basic stuff forcing me to us politely: "Are you nuts?" which encouraged them to correct "mistakes."

Dec. 16 2009 10:42 AM
Mike from Washington Heights

I'm opposed to the filibuster, but actually, this country was not founded on majority rule. Just the opposite, in fact. Our constitution is designed to guarantee a voice to the minority. In the most simplistic analysis, one might say that majority rules because the majority wins the final vote, but that's not the way our system works.

Dec. 16 2009 10:38 AM
Christina from Manhattan

Please stop calling it a 'compromise'. There's no compromise. Only Progressives gave anything away - Joe Lieberman gave nothing. He got his demands met.
This bill is worthless. All that's left in it benefits insurance companies. There's nothing left for the benefit of people. Not even 3 million between 55 and 64.

Dec. 16 2009 10:36 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

#88 Jay F. -- Simply NOT true. Look at the raft of legislation passed in the Bush years. Don't make stuff up that is easily proved false.

Dec. 16 2009 10:35 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

#68... And the Democrats oppose anything the republicans bring to the table. Where is the bi-partisanship Obama promised? Change my a**.

Dec. 16 2009 10:32 AM
Jose from Queens

Shred it!
This bill is a joke. The idea was to cut cost and this will turn out to be more expensive because now the insurance companies get to force us to spend our money the way they determine.
Since when are as proud citizens supposed to talk to our government hat-in-hand? Forced to pick between 2 false choices? Is that the way we buy houses? Cars?
This is bull#$%&!

Dec. 16 2009 10:32 AM
Tash from manhattan

I agree with david. It's interesting that we don't have the similar debates about our defense budgets....that money goes to killing people too, right?

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE -- Big advertiser on Roll Call!

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Mike from Washington Heights

I studied Health Care Economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. What always boggles my mind in this debate is that no one mentions that the whole point of insurance is to spread risk amongst a dissimilar population. Everyone in an insurance populations should pay the same premium if this assumption is taken seriously. The only consideration to make premiums differ is to increase profits for insurance companies.

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

To Gabrielle from Brooklyn [1], The Nation has been saying (Editorial, December 14, 2009 issue) that this whole 60 votes business is a result of a filibuster RULE in the Senate -- its just a Senate rule that could be changed, not anything in the Constitution. This Senate rule permits "two-fifths of the chamber's members (as few as forty-one senators) to prevent passage" of a bill.

I suggest that we put the pressure on our Senators to change the filibuster rule and reinstitute majority rule (which is, after all, the basis of democracy).

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

Collecting money for health Insurance throught primium payment does not work.

once you get sick and loose income you loose your policy (the insurance companies love that - helps them make bigger profits)

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
Sam from Queens

Correction: Obama is failing the Americans by NOT living up to his promises.

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
James Gary from Brooklyn

I have no idea who David Drucker is, but, judging by this piece, I suppose he's bought and paid for by the insurance industry. It would be great if you actually got someone next time who wasn't a corporate-friendly Village insider.

Dec. 16 2009 10:31 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

But where are the rallies for health reform? Especially now. Since the process started, the media has been almost toally focused on the anti side -- Republican opposition and the Tea Party insanity. The public voices PRO health reform have been nearly invisible. The discussion throughout the process has been completely distorted.

Dec. 16 2009 10:30 AM
Edward from NJ

There is no "starting over". There is no single payer. It's this or nothing and no one will try it again for another 16 years.

Dec. 16 2009 10:30 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Where is Drucker getting this nonsense? Health insurers _don't_ pay out claims. The percentages are astonishing.

And there is a way to do it that is fair to everybody - SINGLE PAYER.

Has Drucker never heard of single payer, or is he just being paid by insurers? (And if we check on advertisers and donors of Roll Call, any bets that insurers are there?)

Dec. 16 2009 10:30 AM
antonio from park slope

Ed I am curious what would the ideal republican bill look like?

Dec. 16 2009 10:29 AM
Carlos Gonzalez

On the health care bill:

I favor a single payer system. But I also know how Congress functions.

On health care (and all other major policy issues) we progressives are not going to get the policies we want. Instead, we will get the policies favored by the median vote in the House and the 60th vote in the Senate.

People who are now saying kill the bill need to better understand how Congress works and where the political center is this nation stands.

The ideological composition of Congress (and also the electorate) is to the right of progressive preferences. Therefore, neither single payer nor a robust public option were ever a realistic possibility.

Dec. 16 2009 10:29 AM
dwood from New York, New York

This is all about egos. President Obama's ego and a myriad of egos in the Senate (see Sen. Joe Lieberman). President Obama only cares about being the first president to sign a "universal" healthcare bill (he says this over and over again in his speeches). He should have put his energy into getting this right! This bill will not "reform" anything. The President and Congress should have focused first on reducing costs--which would start with the insurance companies. Since the Obama Administration and the Congress are in bed with the insurance industry (see Sen. Joe Lieberman again), this bill was doomed from the start. I agree with Howard Dean--kill it and start all over.

Dec. 16 2009 10:29 AM
David from Manhattan

Why not allow a filibuster in the Senate and call the bluff of those who are on the payroll of for-profit insurance companies?

Dec. 16 2009 10:27 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Robert Reich, Paul Krugman and many others have done INFINITELY more and better than Drucker in explaining the facts on the Senate bill. Krugman and Reich substantially agree that the current bill is worse than doing nothing.

Dec. 16 2009 10:27 AM
matt from edison nj

I too resent getting muscled into giving my money to an institution that i greatly distrust.

Dec. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

I do not want my taxes going to support war, so Nelson should shut up and deal with it and Democrats STILL need to get a backbone and tell him so. The Republicans want the Democrats to pass an ineffectual bill so they can say it doesn't work and blame the Democrats. Dump the bill unless we get a public option, and the ability to purchase prescriptions overseas.

Dec. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Upper West Sider

I'm a psychotherapist and have plenty of dealings with insurance companies. This bill is a gift to insurance companies! They *always* find a way to get around laws. For instance, as of Jan. 2010, a new law mandating parity between mental health and physical health is to take effect. Already health insurance companies are finding ways to do an end run around this and deny treatment mandated by the law. We need single payer, European-style health insurance and nothing else will do.

Dec. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Hugh Sansom from Brooklyn NY

Oh, come on, David Drucker! The Republicans have made perfectly clear that they will oppose ANYTHING and EVERYTHING the Democrats propose. Olympia Snowe has gotten everything she has petulantly demanded and she STILL says she will oppose it.

The de facto Republican Lieberman is the archetypal example of this.

Dec. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Jemal from Jamaica

I'm so disappointed with myself that I was a Lieberman supporter at any time. He is so clearly in the pockets of the insurance companies that his state relies on. He is literally single-handedly holding health care hostage. If this bill gets through as passed, it will be 20 more years before the major reforms like the public option gets another serious look.

Dec. 16 2009 10:26 AM
Ed from Larchmont, NY

Republicans want health care reform, but this bill has things they can't accept, like so much government control.

Dec. 16 2009 10:25 AM
annie from Bronx

1) Hey Joe--How do I get the same health coverage you have? I'm not poor enough for Medicaid, too young for Medicare, but don't have enough income to buy health insurance. I am disgusted with you and all the other repugnants who want to kill health care.

2) I am no fan of abortion--I wish they didn't happen, but I don't want a bunch of rich white men (none of whom have ever been pregnant) dictating to me and other poor and low-income women what we should do with our bodies. Only now is there some talk of supporting women to keep their babies, but there is no existing support system.

Dec. 16 2009 10:25 AM
serena from manhattan

It is so simple but people still don't get it:

With a mandate and tighter regulations on the insurance companies,

but without a cap on premiums or viable competition (PUBLIC OPTION)

there is NO LIMIT on how high they can raise premiums.

WE WILL ALL END UP PAYING MORE

Dec. 16 2009 10:25 AM
Sam from Queens

Kill the bill. No reform without public option. Every congress member should fill our shoes and they will realize how hard it is to live a real american live. Obama is failing the Americans by living up to his promises.

Dec. 16 2009 10:24 AM
Tony D from NJ

This bill does not address any of the real issues. It is a political boondoggle! Scrap it and do it right.

Dec. 16 2009 10:24 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

I for one will probably not vote next term for Democrats. I wish the Republicans all the best in the next elections as they march to bring this country to its knees.
The Republicans can hopefully bring forth wars forever, huge income divided and a collapsed economy.

Dec. 16 2009 10:24 AM
cwebba from Astoria

I loath Lieberman. My thought on Lieberman are not printable.

Yes. I say kill the bill. Start over. No compromise.

Yes. On this issue Obama needs to grow a pair.

Can't we find some dirt on these republican senators to cause them to resign?

Or something?

Dec. 16 2009 10:24 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

IMPEACH OBAMA !!!

The CNN poll found that 61% of the people don't want this bill (for whatever reason)...but the people don't matter to this arrogant President.

IMPEACH OBAMA NOW !!!

Dec. 16 2009 10:23 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

So, I have to pay for some alcoholics liver transplant, some smokers emphysema and cancer treatments, some old man’s rape pills, McDonald’s diabetes, and subsidize everyone who’s popping out more children than they can afford, but I can’t pay to end pregnancies that will lead to more of the above… What kind of sense does that make?

Dec. 16 2009 10:23 AM
Thomas from Bronx, NY

This is NO LONGER A REFORM BILL. This is a pro-insurance industry legislation. Without a public option, there is nothing in there for Democrats, and the innumerable concessions made have STILL not managed to bring any Republicans on-board. The democrats have given them exactly what they wanted in the first place. A bill that favors a huge and greedy industry. There is not one constituent in any district that this bill favors.

Dec. 16 2009 10:23 AM
Tash from manhattan

kill the filibuster! if a popular president and a strong congressional majority can't get anything done, then we're a bit stuck as a nation.

Dec. 16 2009 10:23 AM
Ed from Larchmont, NY

Don't be fooled, the compromise language won't be accepted by the House pro-life Democrats, it will be a smoke screen anyway.

Dec. 16 2009 10:22 AM
mumumu

Why are no lawyers sueing to disqualify ANY Senator or Representative who has taken insurance lobby money?

Thee is a clear conflict of interest! Oh..goodbye Joe if they could do it.

Dec. 16 2009 10:22 AM
anna

In #39 I meant of course
"Enough of this idiocy"
I just awkwardly replaced the original "idiotic criminality" to a softer "idiocy"

Dec. 16 2009 10:22 AM
david from brooklyn

they keep talking about federal dollars paying for abortion - how many millions of federal dollars have been wasted DISCUSSING and DEBATING abortion?

Dec. 16 2009 10:22 AM
hjs from 11211

how much is an abortion anyway?

cann't planned parenthood pay for them?

Dec. 16 2009 10:22 AM
Dorothy from Chelsea

I'm FURIOUS at the Dems. Let Lieberman filibuster -- let him and the Repubs take over C-Span 24/7 (and I've emailed Schumer) and let the country see them. Other than that, I'm with Howard Dean: let the Repubs kill the d@mn thing. Hillary was right -- The WH is not the place for on the job training. Obama ran too soon. This is a demonstration of the worst of our government. I can't even stand listening to the news so I usually listen to CDs (since I can't dependably get WQXR).

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
N from NYC

If, after the dark years of the Bush administration, and with a Dem president and majority in Congress, this is the best that the Dems can do - then the future looks bleak for the U.S. - and us. Apparently our system has been corrupted beyond repair, which is scary.

Just another in a series of total disappointments from this administration.

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
Ed from Larchmont, NY

There is no compromise for the pro-life Democrats in the House, they won't bend. It's not about a woman's own money, it's subsidized plans.

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
Pavel Gurvich from Norwalk, CT

I think the democrats should pass the bill despite the problems with it.

If bill failed most likely republicans will take one of both houses of congress and nothing will be done for long time.

If bill passes then hopefully democrats will hold or even increase majority in the house of representative and senate and will be able to pass improvements to the bill.

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
Jennifer Hickey from Flushing, Queens

This is not reform. It will not make health care affordable for those that need it most, like my friend who is a chef and has never had health insurance. Without a public option, nothing will change except that health insurers will now have to ways to fill their coffers (since there will now be a mandate to buy in). So much for progressive politics. And those Democrats that have watered down this bill to a bucket of p*ss, payback will come next election.

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
Matthew from Brooklyn

Easy to blame the monstrously egocentric Senator from the Insurance Industry, but remember that the Dems supported him over Lamont, and kept him happy with a plum chair. The BS continues in a Senate that is by its nature a reactionary institution, anti-democratic in the extreme, long dominated by southern racists, now largely dominated by corporate power.

Vote this bill down. End the filibuster.

Dec. 16 2009 10:21 AM
BRADLEY HEBERLING from LONG ISLAND CITY

The sellout to the insurance corporations is disgracefull. Joe Lieberman must be completely
owned by them.
I agree with John Dean. Scrap it and start over. This "Thing" they are voting on is a mess.
I am sickened by the mess these 100 people have made.

Brad

Dec. 16 2009 10:20 AM
Bobby G from East Village

I would like to know how much money big pharma and the insurance companies spend on lobbying and marketing. How much of my premiums pay for that?

Dec. 16 2009 10:20 AM
Michael from Rockville Centre,

Kill this bill.I blame the President for not pushing the Public Option.Also blame Harry Reid for letting Liberman and the Insurance Companies controll the final outcome.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Michael from Long Island

The most important thing for the future of Health care in America is A National system of Medical Records. This trumps making health care free or available to all. Doctors give conflicting adviced because they have different bits of information. Concise medical record will improve quality and cut costs.
It's not about bringing the poor up to the leve lof the rich. It's about bringing the ignorant up to the level of the all knowledgeable.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

I’m fully on the Howard Dean side of this.
The mandate for the young and healthy uninsured is egregious. Millions of Americans will be forced to submit to price gouging. This legislation as a means of reform is a joke. Every insurer has already found loopholes around every so called reform. Signing this into law will be Obama’s political death knell.
Howard Dean’s words may not sway sitting senators and the president on this one, but you assume members of congress and the president will still hold their base in 2010 and 2012. They will not.
#4 (Mike), Lieberman is in business for no one but Joe Lieberman and keeping the United States in perpetual war in the Middle East.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Is Nelson going to adopt all these babies!

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
anna

NO.
Enough of this idioticy. It's time to break with 3/5 humans mentality and become civilized.
Single payer now.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Zach from UWS

I agree with Dean. This thing is too compromised. Better to let the situation get worse and worse until there is a real, grassroots, populist demand for real Universal single-payer coverage--when the majority of Americans are uninsured and hospitals have become akin to exclusive day-spas and resorts. Give the doctors and insurance providers just enough rope to hang themselves. This bill is just a giveaway to preserve a failed system. Also, the individual mandate will kill Obama's crucial support in the 20-something demographic.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Mike C. from Tribeca

To Suzanne the caller -- Single payer was never on the table.

Dec. 16 2009 10:19 AM
Greg Adamo from Metuchen, NJ

I gave money to the Democratic Party last year. I was in Pennsylvania on Election Day 2008 to volunteer for Obama. NO MORE. I am disgusted. This is a total sell out!

Dec. 16 2009 10:18 AM
hjs from 11211

the lobbyist won this round, but a vote yes doesnt mean we give in on the rest.

make it an issue in 2010 & 2012

Dec. 16 2009 10:18 AM
Michael Zullo from Upper Eastside, Manhattan

If I were in Congress, I would reluctantly vote for the bill because it's the best Congress can provide for Americans after an appalling debate and the sad cave in by Democrats to the Republicans that have the interests of the insurance industry at the top of their list.

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Gregg L from SoHo

You will find no more staunch advocate for helping people when the opportunity is given. I do not believe in destroying the hamlet in order to save it. Philosophical arguments don’t impress when forced to stand next to real suffering. I do not believe the revolution is just a kiss-off away. But if the final health care reform act resembles what I describe above (quite possibly with some not-quite-but-damn-near Stupak language further restricting access to abortion), I say: Kill the bill.

I say this with a heavy heart. Failure to pass health care legislation, even terrible legislation, will be a great loss for the Obama administration and for Democrats in Congress. But passing a bill as bad as the Senate’s eventual endpoint could be a bigger defeat for the Democratic majority we really want—one that takes progressive action on behalf of the voters.

Because, as I see it, a bill without the competitive force of a public option, or the opportunity for millions to buy into Medicare, without cheaper pharmaceuticals or meaningful controls on premiums, without bans on benefit caps or loophole-free safeguards against rescission, but with an individual mandate, will do nothing for the 30 million uninsured that advocates of the bill like to talk about helping—but it will do plenty for the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

For with a law something like what I’ve talked about here, insurance companies will be happy to sell plans of all stripes, from junk to Cadillac, to those who, for the most part, don’t need insurance—the young, well off, and healthy—while they will continue to victimize older, poorer, sicker Americans, either by handing them high-deductible, low-coverage, junk insurance, or by capping their benefits, or by finding ways to force them off their books altogether. This sort of “reform,” while technically insuring more Americans than the current system, won’t actually help many more of them.

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Obama needs to grow a pair.

Never mind twisting arms, break them.

We are being heals up by the insurance companies.

Business as usual.

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Domenic from NYC

Any "reform" that does not break the link between coverage and employment does not get to the heart of the problem. Costs are sinking the individual as well as the businesses that under the new bill will be forced to pay the high premiums. Without a public option there is no reform.

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
David H from Manhattan

The lack of ANY public option makes this legislation a bitter pill to swallow and is appalling. But, I would still vote in favor of it, as a starting point.

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
antonio from park slope

If Obama keeps this up, I am with you m. from inwood!

Dec. 16 2009 10:17 AM
Jay from Sunnyside

As it stands now, this bill provides no value to the uninsured aside from making them face bankruptcy sooner, incur tax penalties (or however they punish people that refuse to buy private insurance) and increased desperation. When are the Democrats going to stop backing down and push something through that the majority actually want (i.e., why we voted for a more progressive president)?

Dec. 16 2009 10:16 AM
Arthur Aptowitz from Forest Hills, NY

Has anyone noticed that the US Senate now resembles the dysfunctional NY State Senate? Joe Liberman is the new Pedro Espada; whatever he wants, he gets!
The President foolishly opened the healthcare can of worms and now we must, for politics stake, live with this terrible legislation.

Dec. 16 2009 10:16 AM
BrettG from Astoria

NO!
Dr. Dean is VERY correct !! Kill this bill before it kills another 135K people waiting for 2014.

The insurance mandate is absurd especially with no Medicare buy-in.

Let your Representative & Senators know that they should kill this bill.

They actually found a way to make a bill worse than doing nothing.

I previously worked in a hospital & this bill is BS !!

Dec. 16 2009 10:16 AM
antonio from park slope

I vote with Howard Dean. NOOOOOOOOOOO!
How about we take a factoid from his last book; Ok, ok, no public option, but we heavily regulate them like utility companies like some countries overseas!

Still a deaniac from 04'!!!

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
m. from inwood

I'm ready to start backing Howard Dean to run against Obama in 2012 primaries.

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Someone needs to take Droopy Dog out of office.

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
Brett from Williamsburg

Ask folks in Massachusetts how much they like the Romney reform (very similar to what the bill looks like now). Hurts the working class. A friend of mine in Boston, who is a bartender and does not receive health care through his employer, is now forced to shell out thousands a year on insurance or will face stiff fines. How does this help anyone?

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
licnyc

Unseat Lieberman in 2012. Its time to send that two faced liar packing. There is going to massive support for his opponent next election. This guy keeps stabbing us in the back and he has to go.

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
Jack Rabinowitz from Parsippany, NJ

Vote NO!

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
Lisa from NYC

What happens to this extremely compromised Senate bill when it goes to committee to be reconciled with the House bill? Is the Senate Bill the final bill? And what can the president do when it arrives at his desk? A simple yes or no? And what can he do before it gets to his desk?

Dec. 16 2009 10:15 AM
Lance from Miami

I agree with Howard Dean.
Kill it.
The refusniks on the right have gutted this bill. It would just be another giveaway of tax funds to the insurance industry.

I'm a doctor, and I am for true universal coverage (basic Medicare-for-All).

Dec. 16 2009 10:14 AM
Maryann Loiacono from Highland, NY

NO NO NO
We voted for Obama to change this country. We have the majority and still the Republicans are strangling us. Be a MAN/WOMAN/HUMAN and make this country better.
Public option is a must.
Taxpayers are paying anyway - why not make it equal and fair.

Dec. 16 2009 10:14 AM
Susan from Kingston

It is clear that many of the politicians in Washington are no better than the warlords in Afghanistan, lining their pockets and coffers with monies that they receive from the pharmaceutical companies and healthcare industry at the expense of regular hardworking people. I have to say that I am more disgusted than ever..... I think that Howard Dean probably telling the truth. Lawmaking?????

Dec. 16 2009 10:14 AM
Anne from Merrick

I am so frustrated and confused.

I want a public option! Considering the unemployment stats, how is the public option not part of the current bill? Americans should not be allowed to die due to lack of health coverage. It's so sad we had a chance to provide care for all Americans, and our government failed us.

Dec. 16 2009 10:14 AM
hjs from 11211

for me this is now a hard vote.

but i say take the deal and the fight continues.

the dems should run on health care and the people will choose.

Dec. 16 2009 10:13 AM
Mike

They have to pass this now. There's other stuff that needs to be done.

Dec. 16 2009 10:13 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This bill is a tragic joke.

Dec. 16 2009 10:13 AM
HC from Brooklyn

It is so obvious that the compromise is in favor of the insurance companies. Joe Lieberman is doing a vain and terrible thing. I wonder if he knows anybody at all that does not have insurance. We the people after all pay for his great insurance plan. We should revoke health insurance from all congress member who vote against the public option. THEY should have NO public option!

Dec. 16 2009 10:12 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

the people of this country NEED the press to shed more light on the details of the proposed mandate and how/why that portion of the bill could still be in? we all know why but why, but can't the press call them on it?
this is very reminiscent of the lack of real jounalism leading up to the war in iraq.
i'm uninsured and things are bad for me right now but it seems my situation will actually get worse! if i hear "pre-existing conditions" one more time my head will explode.
there is nothing productive in this bill-scrap it.

Dec. 16 2009 10:12 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

Let's take away the government provided health coverage that all these senators enjoy.

Let's see how they would feel then.

F them.

Dec. 16 2009 10:12 AM
hjs from 11211

how many people, who will have gone deaf from loud earphone music, will have no health insurance in 2020?

40,000 people die without ins every year. shame!
http://namesofthedead.com/

Dec. 16 2009 10:11 AM
Matt from Brooklyn

If there's no public option, no expanded Medicare, is the only real reform that the uninsured are going to have to pay a penalty?

Dec. 16 2009 10:11 AM
Sara

I hope Connecticut votes Joe out of office as a result of his appalling behavior. Sad puppet for the insurance agency.

Dec. 16 2009 10:10 AM
Mike

Lieberman is a liar and a flip-flopper. I haven't seen anyone sell out so obviously since McCain sold out on his anti-torture bill.

Dec. 16 2009 10:07 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Government of the pharmaceutical companies, by the lobbyists, for the insurance companies.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I've lived in Europe and seen health systems that cost less and work better. Certain of our senators have been bought.

Dec. 16 2009 10:01 AM
Alex from Brooklyn

Health Care Reform? or do you mean the next giveaway.

No one in government has the you know what or the desire to make real change. They are spineless and clueless just like our "Change" president or they are self serving like the health insurance shill Grassley.

Look at the success they had handling bankrupt banks.. you think they will do better against cash rich (aka big donations) Health insurance co, drugs co and doctors..

Dec. 16 2009 09:51 AM
Gabrielle from Brooklyn

What's up with the 60 votes? Why not just a simple majority? Does this only have to do with the filibuster or is there something I'm missing in our legislative process?

Thanks!

Dec. 16 2009 09:05 AM

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