Health Care Reform

Monday, March 22, 2010

With last night's passage of the health care bill, Luke Mitchell, Senior Editor of Harper’s Magazine, explains what the next steps are as the legislation becomes law.


Luke Mitchell

Comments [20]

JP from London, UK

This is Pelosi's quote explaining why she believes being a woman is a "pre-existing condition" (according to insurance companies), from her interview on the Rachel Maddow show:

"If you are a woman, if you are in child-bearing age and you have children, it‘s a preexisting condition. If you can‘t have children, it‘s a preexisting condition. If you have a C-section, it‘s a preexisting condition. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is a preexisting condition."

She was in fact describing the unfairly inflated charges that women pay for insurance compared to their male counterparts of similar age and health. If this discrepancy has been solved by the health care bill, I am both thrilled (as a woman), and disappointed that it has gotten so little press.

I'm also pretty disappointed that your otherwise progressive guest had no grasp of this issue whatsoever. The fact that he weakly volunteered "um... abortion?" shows how completely even otherwise liberal people have swallowed the Republican talking points on women's reproductive health. You're from Harper's?? You can do better.

Mar. 22 2010 08:01 PM
Ed H. from Larchmont, NY

This could have been done without a government takeover and we're not even sure if the unborn have protection.

Mar. 22 2010 01:30 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

There is concern that Obama's executive order on the abortion and the health insurance legislation may impact funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.

I'm assuming the rulemaking is what will make that a problem...or not.

Does the guest know anything about that issue?

Mar. 22 2010 12:39 PM
Marie from NY

If Luke Mitchell of Harper's is openly ignorant about the ways the heath insurance industry discriminates against women he should at least have the class and decency not to snicker and joke when asked about Speaker's Pelosi's statement last night about what women may gain from this landmark legislation. How disgraceful, Luke.

Mar. 22 2010 12:39 PM
Chris from Brooklyn NY

Mitchell is full of opinion and sadly short on facts. He admits he doesn't know whether the so-called 'Cornhusker Kickback', 'Louisiana Purchase' etc were included in the final health care bill but opines that 'they probably were.' When asked whether Republicans tacitly support racists and bigots on the far right, he smugly answers the same way - they *probably* do. FYI Michael Steele was on TV yesterday loudly and clearly denouncing far right nutjobs.

Sadly Luke Mitchell falls way short in terms of actual facts. When you don't know the facts Luke, don't just fill the void with your cynical opinions.

Mar. 22 2010 12:33 PM
rj from brooklyn

Women "not being a preexisting condition" refers to women frequently paying higher premiums because, esp in child-bearing age, being charged higher premiums, ostensibly because we use health care services more.

Mar. 22 2010 12:31 PM
Bryan from Mahwah, NJ

I'm a moderate that generally supports this bill, but this discussion is pretty one sided Ragging on GOP doesn't really keep me informed.

Mar. 22 2010 12:24 PM

From Jane Hamsher at firedoglake:
Never before has the government mandated that its citizens pay directly to private corporations almost as much as they do in federal taxes, especially when those corporations have been granted unregulated monopolies.

Yep, big rise in 'taxes' on people earning less than $250,000.

Mar. 22 2010 12:24 PM
florion from NYC

Can you ask your guest "how good is this bill" because he keeps refering to it as this was the bill that we could pass.

Second how he can explain the people's support for this bill when Mr. Brown, an open HC bill oponent got elected replacing one of the biggest supporters of HC bill the late sen. Kennedy..., in Mass. a dem. state?

Mar. 22 2010 12:23 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

And, from Harper's, an article titled "The Vaninshing Liberal: How the left learned to be helpless." Please ask your guest about it.

"Obama—like most Democratic leaders—concedes that the way of the world is wrong but tells us why it must stay that way because, some time in the past, powerful interests decreed it so.


Coming to power when he did, with the political skills and the majorities he possesses, Barack Obama squandered an almost unprecedented opportunity. But it is increasingly clear that he never intended to challenge the power structure he had so skillfully penetrated. With the recent Supreme Court ruling that corporations are, once more, people, American democracy has snapped shut again—the great, forced opening of the past 130 years has ended. There is no longer any meaningful reformist impulse left in our politics. The idea of modern American liberalism has vanished among our elite, and simply voting for one man or supporting one of the two major parties will not restore it. The work will have to be done from the ground up, and it will have to be done by us."

Mar. 22 2010 12:22 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

Obama's harranging of the Big Health Insurance Parasites was pure kabuki (or is it bunratu?) -- it was part of his sell job for this Corporate Bailout of the BHIPs.

Obama chose to work with Baucus in the Senate. He brought Baucus's former chief of staff, Jim Messina, into the WH as an asst chief of staff--with empahsis on health INSURANCE. Not CARE. When Obama was careful, he spoke about health INSURANCE reform; he used the term "health care" when he was out selling his plan and tyring to bamboozle the rubes.

The Senate bill was written by a Baucus aide who had returned to his staff after a well-paid two year sabbatical as a VP of...Wellpoint. Wellpoint took the point man role in rolling out huge rate scare the public and the recalcitrant Dem voters. Kabuki. Well, for Wellpoint, even the kabuki means higher revenues for them....

HCR? HCR means High Corporate Revenues. (From Chris Floyd).

Obama's bill mandates are Corporate Shakedowns enforced by Government Muscle.

Mar. 22 2010 12:22 PM

Oh my god, someone on the show who is actually talking straight about what creeps the Republicans are -- am I dreaming?

Mar. 22 2010 12:22 PM

This is NOT reform. It is a bailout for PhRMA & medical insurance corps.

Remember how the lefties criticized Cheney for secret deals with oil? Where is the lefty criticism for O's secret deals the PhRMA & insurance?

Heh. Guest just said regulated monopolies. Who's gonna do the regulation? Dontcha know that the qualification for being appointed to that post in D.C. these days is that you promise not to do any regulating.

Mar. 22 2010 12:16 PM
Michael from Long Island

The most important thing we our goverment could do for the citizens of this great country in Electronic Medical Records. It would imporove quality and cut cost. Do that first then see how many uninsured people need health care.

Mar. 22 2010 12:16 PM
Callie from Downtown

The individual mandate still sounds outrageous.

It seemed like at least part of the original idea was to make sure everybody was covered, not force them to be covered.

Mar. 22 2010 12:14 PM
sophia canellos from new rochelle

This bill does not deserve to be compared to Medicare, Social Security, or any other comparable liberal legislation.

It's a bail-out for the insurance companies. It entrcnches their power, and makes real reform even more difficult.

Giving the "stakeholders" a guaranteed tithe, and using the IRS as their collection agency is a triumph for them, and a sell-out by the Obama administration, not a victory for citizens.

Mar. 22 2010 12:13 PM
Jason from Brooklyn

The health care overhaul does NOT end the domestic partner tax, as previously promised. That was $1,432.00 that came out of mine and my partner's pockets this tax season.

Mar. 22 2010 12:12 PM
Diane from Intervale NH

I was appalled to see health care reform opponents spit on and curse Black congresspeople and use a slur on openly gay congressman Barney Frank.

Will Republicans repudiate these actions or use them to further fire up its base?

Intervale NH

Mar. 22 2010 12:10 PM
Pedro from Bronx

This bill is a reworking of the worst things about health care in this country, climbing rates and huge profits! Rates will continue to climb and huge profits will continue thanks to the backdoor negotiations, successful lobbying by the industry and the real fact that our Congress regardless of party affiliation, including the President was bought! Name your price.

Without a public option, this bill is a total win for the health care industry and a total failure for the American people!

I will not vote for ever again!

Welcome to the United States of Companies!

Mar. 22 2010 12:09 PM
bob from huntington


at some point, would you please address with your guest the issue of john boehner's relationship with student-loan companies who've been among his biggest campaign contributors?

given the inclusion of student loan reform as part of the reconciliation process, it's an important aspect of whose interests boehner speaks for that is often overlooked.

thank you.

Mar. 22 2010 12:09 PM

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