Blue Dog Democrats to Lift Their Legs on Healthcare Reform

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if the Blue Dogs are yellow, or just stupid.  The 98 pound weaklings of the Democratic Party51947543 are already signaling their willingnedd to roll over and play dead on a key aspect of healthcare reform:

These officials said drafters of the legislation will include a government-run insurance option as well as plans offered by private companies. The government option draws near-unanimous opposition from Republicans and provokes concerns among many Democrats, as well, although President Barack Obama has spoken out in favor of it.

For those of youwho don’t speak Democratese, “provokes concerns” means “causes fainting spells.”

What problem do the Republicans and their azure canine playmates have with the public option?

Equally troublesome politically is the issue of a government insurance option. Critics argue it would render private companies unable to compete, and it has emerged as a key sticking point in the Democratic search for a bipartisan plan in the Senate.

Wait, I thought a government-run plan would be a horrible disaster that would have patients lined up at clinics like Soviet bread lines, forcing them to see government-approved butchers instead of their own trusted physicians, and feature heartless bureaucrats denying lifesaving treatment.  Private insurance companies couldn’t compete with that?

I plan to write a whole lot more about healthcare this week, so I won’t go too deeply into it here, but a public option is key to achieving the best possible outcome, short of single-payer.

If house democrats are “concerned” about a public option, it means they either don’t lke the idea (meaning they’re morons), they don’t want to piss off insurance companies (warmer), or they don’t think they can get the votes (Bingo!).

These are people who refuse to show leadership, while simultaneously refusing to allow it.  They’re the little kid sitting on third base, crying, while the rest of us wait to resume the game.

Passing healthcare reform should be the easiest thing in the world.  The GOP playbook on this is written in crayon, and in large print.



  1. And the current state of healthcare is working so well??

    Insurance companies have damn near drained us all dry, and they have put themselves in a position to decide who gets what care…

    Figures, they would fuck (oops, are we allowed to say that here?) it up…I forget, we are still dealing with a congress full of self serving yeahwhos….

    They don’t want to have people waiting for months for procedures…and poor care… guess what…neither do we, but I bet there is a doable situation here, but again, they will allow special intrests and back room deals to set the tone for screwing over the public again…

    Well, at least we have the bright and vibrant Obama smile to look at while it happens…right???


  2. And Tommy,

    Im being fucking cheeky…I fuckin know I can say fuck here….


  3. The concerns from those of us on the right are as follows:

    1. The government run insurance option will enjoy the benefit of not having to operate like a real business. Like all government programs it will be able to initially run in the red and lose money. It will of course be subsidized by taxpayer dollars. This will put private insurers at a disadvantage and will eventually put them out of business.

    2. The government run insurance will initially run a deficit, but this early drain will be nothing when compared to the massive costs that will result when private insurers are no longer able to operate. At that point there will be 300+ million people under the government insurance program and it will not be able to sustain quality coverage. The costs will simply be too high, like they are for Europe and Canada, which will result in cost savings measures. These cost saving measures will include rationing of health care services.

    3. Once cost savings measures are required there will be increasing push to standardize universal care in order to reduce costs. This is dangerous in medicine, because health care is highly personal and runs contrary to cold impersonal touch of government run bureaucracy. With private insurers driven out of business, there will be no alternative to those who are victimized by the new system.

    4. The quality of care will decline, because the high cost of going to medical school will not be worthwhile if the doctor turns out to be no better than a civil servant. This system will insure that the only individuals who will want to be doctors in this nation are those who were educated in developing nations. There are talented doctors from overseas, but it is naive to think there wont be a noticeable difference in health care practices. This has been demonstrated in the UK where they increasingly rely on foreign doctors and nurses to provide health care services for their population.

    None of the above implies that the current insurance industry is functional. There is not enough competition in medicine and for too much overhead. There needs to be greater flexibility for insurance providers to operate in various states and significant pressure on the broader insurance industry to stop using government regulators to shut down competition.

    Compared to the US, the UK and Canada are rather healthy. This is due to their lifestyles, which differ greatly from ours. If the UK and Canada, with largely healthy and homogeneous populations, cannot successfully operate a nationalized health care system then it is certain that the US, with our rather unhealthy and heterogeneous population, cannot.

  4. With all due respect, I do beleve we are trying to address some of the problems that those countries are experiencing…

    There is alot of waste in this industry, which gets past on to the consumer, because of care that people get, but do not pay for…its a big circle jerk…

    Preventitive care, making it easier for people to get blood pressure meds, birth control, etc..etc…thats just a start.

  5. StickeeNotes, if people are that worried about government-run healthcare, the option is going to exist for them to remain with their private services. Many people will. I doubt Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, etc. will go out of business if a government program exists to provide care to the uninsured and people who are already unhappy with their plan (I fall into category 1).

    People go to med school just to make big money as doctors? Oh, man. A friend of mine in pre-med actually wants to help people, so this’ll come as a nasty shock. :/ Anyway, maybe more people will go to nursing school instead of med school. We need more nurses in this country, since we’re running really low and many older nurses are retiring with fewer and fewer young people to replace them. That‘ll fuck up health care real good…probably worse than a government-run system.

    “No better than a civil servant”? What are you implying, sir? 😦 Civil service is a plenty high calling…yeah, the pay sucks, but you’re serving your country!

    That, and to make America healthier, we need to lay down our Cheetos.

  6. “With all due respect, I do beleve we are trying to address some of the problems that those countries are experiencing…”


    How do you know?

    45 Centrist Democrats Protest Secrecy of Health Care Talks

    WASHINGTON — Forty-five House Democrats in the party’s moderate-to-conservative wing have protested the secretive process by which party leaders in their chamber are developing legislation to remake the health care system.

    The lawmakers, members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, said they were “increasingly troubled” by their exclusion from the bill-writing process.

    I have to ask, why such an important piece of legislation that has the potential to affect each and everyone of us, why the secrecy? Are they afraid of the insurance company lobbyist? Why, they shouldn’t be if what they are doing will be so beneficial to us.

    Over the weekend a draft of the health care legislation was “leaked” and following the tradition begun with the “stimulus” bill back in February it was done in a format that the people cannot “search” in their home computers. I don’t get it. What are they hiding?

  7. we’re going o have to rely on foreign doctors because nobody in america is capable of becoming interested in medicine for its own sake?
    is that how gupta got his gig?
    I say, if you don’t like socialized medicine, pay for your own operations.
    it’s that simple.

  8. I’d be interested in what you guys think of this:

  9. Over the weekend a draft of the health care legislation was “leaked” and following the tradition begun with the “stimulus” bill back in February it was done in a format that the people cannot “search” in their home computers. I don’t get it. What are they hiding?

    …you do know there is a search bar in Adobe Acrobat right. 8| Just use ctrl-F if you can’t find it. They put it in PDF so people can’t edit the text of the bill and make it say crazy shit, what is so hard about this?

  10. alex,

  11. Alex,

    … you do know that when creating a .pdf document in Adobe Acrobat there is a “Print as Image” option? Use it and you can turn any document into an image file and presto, nobody can search it.

    Why would somebody do that? Well, here’s what I found on the blog “Acrobat for Legal Professionals“:

    Why would someone want to take a perfectly good, fully-searchable document and turn it into an image-only PDF which is just a picture of the page in a PDF wrapper?

    The answer is that in the course of vigorously defending a client, some firms desire to make using documents as difficult as possible for the other side.

    Imagine that…

    By the way, loved the condescending tone in your comment… keep it up, you might be the next Katie Couric…

  12. […] with Huffington Post, Sanders lays down the law, and delivers a great throwaway assessment of the azure canines’ modus operandi: “I think that with Al Franken coming on board, you have effectively 60 […]

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