It looks like we have health care reform, what now?

    Well, it looks like Obama has done what several Presidents since Harry Truman have tried to do and failed at, and passed comprehensive health care reform legislation. Actually, I don’t believe it’s passed yet, but, according to the New York Times, Obama has been able to line up 224 votes in the House, which is 8 more than he needs to pass the bill. So, when push came to shove, it looks as though reason won out over the lies and fear-mongering of Republicans. As someone who very much likes to see truth prevail, I couldn’t be happier.

    As I’ve said in the past, it’s not a perfect bill, but it’s a lot better than what we have today. 32 million more Americans will be insured. Insurance companies won’t be able to deny coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions, and, just as importantly, they won’t be able to drop policy holders once they become ill. Here, for those of you who are interested, is a breakdown showing what specific changes we’ll see year by year, as the program rolls out. And, here are details on how the new law will impact businesses.

    One wonders what’s going to happen once the criminally misinformed masses on the right realize that, contrary to what they’ve been told, there aren’t government “death panels” handing down edicts on who lives and who dies. I said it a long time ago, but I really think that Republicans are going to rue the day that they stuck the “Obamacare” monicker on this. Once people start seeing the benefits of the legislation, I think there’s going to be a monumental, positive shift in public opinion. Of course, it may not come fast enough to help save Democratic seats in the upcoming midterm election. Sometimes, though, that’s the price you pay for standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing.

    photo-tea-bagger-signRepublican David Frum thinks that this is the Republican’s Waterloo – the worst setback the party has seen since the 1960s. And I can only hope that he’s right. Not only do I hope that the party violently implodes, but I hope the damage is done from within, by the rightwing fringe element we’ve come to know as the Teabaggers – those individuals, cultivated by the right, who stood outside the Capitol today, calling our elected officials who want to insure them “faggots” and “niggers,” and chanting things like, “Kill the bill, and then the nigger,” referring, I’m assuming, to our President. (More disgusting yet is the fact that Republican leaders are excusing this behavior.)

    So, where are we now, and what have we learned?

    Personally, I love the irony. This bill is very much a conservative bill. As Frum notes, it has a lot in common with Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. And it mandates that people buy insurance through private insurers. What could be more pro-business than that? But, Republicans, instead of sharing credit for the plan, and working with the administration, chose to gamble everything on an Obama failure. They chose to put politics ahead of their constituents, and it looks as though they failed on all counts. Not only did Obama beat them, but he’ll increasingly be credited for their contributions. And, they’ll go down in history as the party of “no,” that fought him at every step, and offered nothing but lies and hostility.

    But the fight on health care isn’t over yet. There’s still a chance that the public option could be introduced as an amendment, and Congressman Alan Grayson has drafted legislation to do just that. So, let’s keep this momentum going tonight, and help him This entry was posted in Health, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

      55 Comments

      1. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully it will happen. It will be so interesting to see what happens in the next year or two as it comes to true fruition.

      2. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

        The legislation has now apparently passed.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/health/policy/22health.html?hp

      3. Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

        So this means no public option but it could still happen? However people will be able to less expensively buy insurance if they want it but don’t get it through their job? Do I have this correct?

        Ya know I heard on NPR that when Canada passed their health care bill it was 8 pages long. How many pages is our reform bill?

      4. Mr.SwettyBallz
        Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Mark wrote, “I love the irony. This bill is very much a conservative bill.”
        You mean the irony that you like this very conservative bill? That is pretty ironic.
        Ralph Nader said of the bill, “This is a disaster.”

        Christine M. wrote, “So this means no public option but it could still happen?”
        No, I think this means that the entire electorate and all public officials have completely soured on that idea. It is a defeat of the public option.
        I don’t know if the bill is eight pages long, Christine, but the “highlights” in a news article I read were at least a page long.
        Not the next year or two Christine, but 2014 will be the year to reflect back on it.
        Mark wrote, “And then let’s get some of that Wall Street bonus money back, and put a few folks in jail.”
        You mean like Obama and Bush who gave them the money. There they were in the Rose Graden, walking arm in arm, saving the world with all our money. They could be cell mates.

      5. dragon
        Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        Benefits which come online within six months of the President’s signature on the health care bill:

        1.Adult children may remain as dependents on their parents’ policy until their 27th birthday
        2.Children under age 19 may not be excluded for pre-existing conditions
        3.No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage
        4.Free preventative care for all
        5.Adults with pre-existing conditions may buy into a national high-risk pool until the exchanges come online. While these will not be cheap, they’re still better than total exclusion and get some benefit from a wider pool of insureds.
        6.Small businesses will be entitled to a tax credit for 2009 and 2010, which could be as much as 50% of what they pay for employees’ health insurance.
        7.The “donut hole” closes for Medicare patients, making prescription medications more affordable for seniors.
        8.Requirement that all insurers must post their balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages, and benefit payments.
        9.Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders’ amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay.

      6. Hot Knuckle Lover
        Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        Is it too late to discuss the social ramifications of being on your mom’s insurance until you’re 26? I love my momma, but thank god I didn’t have to choose between buying my own insurance and my body art/girlfriends. I think Obama’s got some big balls to get this passed, but he just made 26 the new 18.

      7. Peter Larson
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        I am allowed to keep my son on my insurance until he’s 25. This is nothing new.

        Germany and Japan both require citizens to buy into health plans, which are nearly 100% private. This is also not odd nor unreasonable. The difference of course, is that insurers are barred from making profits.

        It’s not the bill I would have wanted but I’m glad it’s passed.

      8. What?!?
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        Awesome! When do I get to start paying my new tax on my cadillac healthcare plan that I earned, working for 15 years in shitty jobs? Do we need national healthcare badly? Yes! Do we need this poorly crafted plan? No! Enjoy it now, Washington, because in the next election, if it says incumbent under your name, then I’m choosing the other guy on my ballot.

      9. Al
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        There’s another assassination threat in the news today.

        http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/the-secret-service-is-investigating-a-conservative-bloggers-oba/19408303/

      10. Stephen
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        From Michael Moore:

        The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore)

        Monday, March 22nd, 2010

        To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:

        Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

        Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

        Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

        Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you.

        But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.

        So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you’ll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

        If it’s any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They’ll also get to cap an individual’s annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they’ll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren’t poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It’s truly a banner day for these corporations.

        So don’t feel too bad. We’re a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered — and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won’t be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that’s ok with you.

        If you don’t mind, we’re now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business — because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, “How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?”

        Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We’re doing better. And we’re doing it for you, too.

        Yours,
        Michael Moore

      11. Meta
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Obama: “This is what change looks like.”

        Video:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/22/obama-on-health-care-pass_n_507964.html

      12. Ester Felix
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Does this mean that Rush Limbaugh is leaving the country? Didn’t he swear to leave if this passed?

      13. Posted March 22, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        “Republican David Frum thinks that this is the Republican’s Waterloo – the worst setback the party has seen since the 1960s.” …

        The all-Democrats-all-the-time approval of this healthcare bill will be as good for the Republican Party as was the defeat of John McCain in 2008. It taints every Democrat candidate (state and federal) with the stain of Pelosi and Reid’s big government, big spending, and unethical backroom dealing ways.

        Most importantly, no Democrat candidate will be able to claim to be either fiscally conservative or pro-life. The voters simply will not believe them after this. Republican candidates’ chances of winning tight races in November just increased significantly.

        “This bill is very much a conservative bill.” …

        Nice try.

        “And it mandates that people buy insurance through private insurers. What could be more pro-business than that??

        The phrase “mandates that people buy” and “pro-business” cannot legitimately be used in the same sentence by anyone with any comprehension of America’s free enterprise system.

      14. kjc
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        The phrase “mandates that people buy” and “pro-business” cannot legitimately be used in the same sentence by anyone with any comprehension of America’s free enterprise system.

        the sick ironies of our “free enterprise” system are old news. what America do you live in?

      15. kjc
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        italic oops. Only the first paragraph quotes DR.

      16. Posted March 22, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        I live in a country and a state where the majority of voting Americans will remember in this election year the Democrat’s failures of leadership in Lansing AND Washington, D.C. It’s time for a clean sweep this November (http://dcon2012.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/2010-clean-sweep-congress/)….

        If there is an “incumbent” or a (D) by the candidate’s name on the ballot – vote them out! Even if we cause a few “friendly fire” casualties, the “clean sweep” approach to voting in 2010 offers the best chance of getting the worst of the rascals out of office!

      17. Kim
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        You, my friend, are an anachronism. Look it up. The Republitard boat is sinking.

      18. kjc
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I’m remembering the decade of failed leadership by the Republicans that came just before.

        I’m no fan of the Democrats. Not at all. But I hate all these Republicans claiming the majority of the American people want the status quo. That’s bullshit.

      19. Posted March 22, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        I live in a country and a state where the majority of voting Americans will remember in this election year the Democrat’s failures of leadership in Lansing AND Washington, D.C. It’s time for a clean sweep this November (visit http://dcon2012.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/2010-clean-sweep-congress/ for more on this)….

        If there is an “incumbent” or a (D) by the candidate’s name on the ballot – vote them out! Even if we cause a few “friendly fire” casualties, the “clean sweep” approach to voting in 2010 offers the best chance of getting the worst of the rascals out of office!

      20. Posted March 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        The “status quo” is reckless public spending, trillion dollar deficits, ever increasing taxes, and a toxic business climate that has left Michigan red-lined against new business development and entrepreneurship.

        Yes, I believe that new fiscally conservative voices in Lansing and Washington, D.C. are a very attractive prospect in 2010, even for all of the “left of center independents” I keep meeting who no longer wish to be associated with the Democrat Party label.

      21. Independent Jones
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        You, Kim, are a snarky shitbird. Look up.

      22. dragon
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        DR
        Please give us an example of this mythical fiscally conservative republican in Washington? Or are you saying, even though we have totally screwed up everytime we have been given the chance, just trust us now and give us another opportunity?

      23. Edward Little Hand
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        From an article in the Texas Observer-

        Clyburn had the single smartest analysis of what the opposition’s fury boiled down to: “A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this is not about health care at all. And I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care… it is about trying to extend a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful.”

        http://www.texasobserver.org/purpletexas/demons-n-words-and-baby-killers-right-wingnuts-health-care-meltdown

      24. Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Here is an outline of what takes effect by year from Reuters:
        http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1914020220100319

      25. Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        dragon,

        Did I refer to any of the current elected officials (republican or otherwise) as “fiscally conservative”? No. In fact, I suggested above that the best strategy for voters in 2010 may be a “clean sweep” – that is, to vote out all incumbents regardless of party, and all those candidates that carry the now scarlet “D” after their name on the ballot.

        The “fiscally conservative” folks I was referring to are the growing crop of conservative independent and republican candidates running for state legislative positions and the US House of Representatives this year. For the first time in many years, Michigan voters (especially in Washtenaw Co.) will likely have strong fiscally conservative choices on the ballot come November.

        It is true that more left-of-center but fiscally conservative independents are moving into the republican column, which bodes well for the future of the party. However, the reason for their move has more to do with the radicalization of the Democrat Party under Obama, Pelosi & Reid (and Granholm).

        More folks I talk with these days express frustration and disappointment with the Democrats, saying they haven’t moved but the party has moved away from them – and that they no longer recognize the party as holding to their beliefs and principles.

        A “clean sweep” would toss the worst of the current leadership failures out of office, giving us the opportunity to elect a new crop of citizen-legislators to clean up the mess in Lansing and Washington, stop the reckless spending, and fix the toxic business climate we suffer from in Michigan.

        For more on this, visit http://xr.com/clean-sweep

      26. jfs
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Excuse me, Mr. DesignatedRepublican – America does not have a “free enterprise system”.

        If you can’t tell the difference between a political economy where markets are routinely rigged on behalf of capitalists who loathe genuine competition and a truly freed market, then you have no business speaking for the non-existent latter. Even the supposedly “laissez-faire” 19th century was rife with tariffs, land grants, and many other coercive interventions resulting in the rise of corporations and a ruling class benefiting from such profound market distortions.

      27. dragon
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        So you can’t or won’t name them?

        Some of us don’t have to run away from our party, we remember a balanced budget with our last president. And if they didn’t have to clean up a huge steaming pile republican shit evertime they were elected they might have a chance to do it sooner.
        Are predicting a republican take over of either the house or senate this year?

      28. Camera Girl
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Back to the bill, here’s what it will do, broken down by year. Mark has a link to it, but I thought that it was worth cutting and pasting here, as some people don’t follow links. I’m curious to know which items, specifically, people find so objectionable.

        WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR OF ENACTMENT

        *Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.

        *Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

        *Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.

        *Uninsured adults with a pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.

        *A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.

        *Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the “doughnut hole” coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.

        *A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.

        *A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2011

        *Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.

        *Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.

        *A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.

        *Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.

        *Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.

        *An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies according to market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2012

        *Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” to improve quality and efficiency of care.

        *An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.

        *The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2013

        *A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.

        *The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.

        *The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income for that income group.

        *A 2.9 percent excise tax in imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2014

        *State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.

        *Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.

        *Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

        *Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren’t counted for the fine.

        *Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2015

        *Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.

        WHAT HAPPENS IN 2018

        *An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions. (Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by David Alexander and Eric Beech)

      29. Karl
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Best quote of the day goes to John McCain, who said, “There will be no cooperation (from Republicans) for the rest of the year. (The Democrats) have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.

        That’s right, folks, no more bipartisanship!

        http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/03/no_more_bipartisanship_for_you.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Talking-Points-Memo+%28Talking+Points+Memo%3A+by+Joshua+Micah+Marshall%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

      30. dragon
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        McStain has lived his entire life on the government dime. The last honest day’s work he did was filming propaganda for the VC against his own country.

        Which reminds me, I should watch “No Country for Old Men” again.

      31. Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Damn, you mean the Republicans are going to stop working with Democrats in good faith now, and become all partisan? I wonder what that’ll be like….

      32. Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Self Designated Republican, did you get to the part of the CBO report where it details how this bill will save trillions over the next few decades?

        Like you, I long for the fiscal responsibility of the Clinton era, before the Bush deficit machine kicked into high gear.

      33. Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        I like “26 is the new 18.”

      34. Lori Welchel
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I received this from Move On tonight and thought that it was worth sharing:

        10 THINGS EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HEALTH CARE REFORM

        1. Once reform is fully implemented, over 95% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured.

        2. Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions—or to drop coverage when people become sick.

        3. Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can’t afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums.

        4. Reform will cut the federal budget deficit by $138 billion over the next ten years, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in the following ten years.

        5. Health care will be more affordable for families and small businesses thanks to new tax credits, subsidies, and other assistance—paid for largely by taxing insurance companies, drug companies, and the very wealthiest Americans.

        6. Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the “donut hole” gap in existing coverage.

        7. By reducing health care costs for employers, reform will create or save more than 2.5 million jobs over the next decade.

        8. Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people.

        9. Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families’ insurance plans until age 26.

        10. Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.

      35. just wondering...
        Posted March 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        What does this all mean for self employed people?

      36. Mr.SwettyBallz
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        From Michael Moore, “But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.”

        So that is why we should mandate that healthy people who don’t want insurance buy into this ponzi scheme? And extend the “fundamental right” to people who don’t have it? I don’t get it.
        I may not be a Republican, but can I at least be retarded, Kim? In this case, it seems like the only sensible thing to be.
        Thank God this thing is “already paid for” according to Obama himself. (Not according to CBO really, but stretching the truth a little is part of that “breath of fresh air” charm that Obama brought to Washington.)
        This bill is just a very, very weak attempt to get a little tiny bit of control over insurance companies while actually giving the companies the sweetest deal of all. It seems to have nothing to do with the health of the people of the United States. So Obama himself goes out on the stump and badmouths the insurance companies while stumping for legislation that caters to them. Both sides of the mouth, people. Typical machine politics. Historical vote? Naah.
        Dragon wrote, “Which reminds me, I should watch “No Country for Old Men” again.”
        I din’t know John McCain was in that?
        Come on guys, laugh a little. It is the best cure.

      37. dragon
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        Swetty Nuts
        So your only complaint is that you will not be allowed to go uninsured? Can you at least save the scrotum tears until you cut your first check to the Obama stormtroopers. That will at least save us four more more years of “really, I’m not a republican” and “those of us not insured have the best health care in the world” cries.

      38. dragon
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 2:11 am | Permalink

        DesignatedRepublican
        Still eagerly awaiting all the names of our new fiscally conservative overlords. I suspect it is your brother-in-law ‘bob the builder’ running for the road commission, and that you know he’s fiscally conservative because he waits in the parking lot of Krogers until midnight , getting the plates of all the food stamp cheats buying organic celery when bananas were on sale. Save us some time and come back as DesignatedLibertarian, with blisters on your cock from reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and threaten to deprive us of your blogging.

      39. Chelsea
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 2:23 am | Permalink

        Mark:

        Didn’t Republican Scott Brown support the bill? I seem to remember that he did, at least at some point, and, for his trouble, was branded a traitor to his party. Other Repubs have to have voted “yea,” as well. This as my way of cautioning against tarring all with the same brush. Maybe you meant to talk in terms of “opponents” and “proponents?”

        PS I hear that not all Dems are happy, either. Seems this new development is far f/ perfect.

      40. dragon
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 2:33 am | Permalink

        No republicans voted for the Health Care bill. Brown, along with four other republicans (Sen. Susan Collins and Olypia Snow(R-Maine),George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Kit Bond (R-Mo.)), did vote for the recently passed jobs bill.

      41. Mr.SwettyBallz
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 3:48 am | Permalink

        “So your only complaint is that you will not be allowed to go uninsured?”
        Actually, no. You can pay a fee and stay uninsured, right? Basically a tax.
        I don’t really pay much in the way of taxes. So that probably won’t set me back much.
        I am currently talking to a couple registered Democrats at work who might be considered part of “the base” about the health care bill, and they simply don’t like it. Anecdotal, of course, and really worth nothing, but when the base is sitting at home on election night, it is the Democrats who are in trouble. On the other hand, Obama and the boys seem to be in planning to sell the bill to the American people again. That is a little strange to sell the bill after it is law, but with the midterms in mind, I guess that is a decent strategy. We’ll just see what happens.
        Those of us not insured do not have the best health care in the world, Dragon. But don’t mistake health insurance for health.
        When Bush was elected, Republicans claimed they were going to turn the country “majority conservative.” Well, we see how that went. Now, we hear Democrats like Kim saying the “Republitard boat is sinking.” That is an illusion. Politics is a never ending blah, blah, blah. There have to be two opposing sides. Right?
        I just like to watch it go around in circles.

      42. Elf
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Sometimes, with Designated Republican, I feel like we’re the monkey, and sometimes I feel like we’re the dog.

        http://i.imgur.com/of2gN.gif

      43. Meta
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Here’s a brief clip from a Media Matters opinion piece:

        Let’s face facts. It’s never pleasant when activists are confronted with their own political impotence. (Not to mention their abysmal vote-counting skills.) But that’s exactly what happened over the weekend as Democratic members of Congress passed health care reform — reform that the radical right had already pronounced dead. In fact, the GOP Noise Machine had spent weeks dancing on reform’s grave and mocking Democrats’ inability to act. So how did it all go so terribly wrong for health care haters?

        My hunch is that over the past few months, the right-wing media, along with self-adoring Tea Party members, made the mistake of believing their own hype. They convinced themselves that not only did 2 million people take to the streets of the nation’s capital last September to protest Obama (a number that was off by 1.9 million), but that “millions” more had marched coast-to-coast over the past 12 months (a number that was completely fabricated). They fastidiously constructed their own parallel universe and convinced themselves that last summer’s mini-mobs at local town hall forums had defeated health care reform. They thought their rowdy show of force, complete with Nazi and Hitler posters, and even some protesters parading around with loaded guns, had changed the debate.

        Listening to Limbaugh, they thought they were dictating the agenda. Watching Fox News, they though they reflected the mainstream. And reading right-wing blogs, they thought they had killed health care reform.

        Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It was the sudden and rude realization that, instead, they’d spent the past few months trapped inside an echo chamber, I think, that created the volcanic and unhinged response we’ve seen play out in recent days. It’s the kind of childish and hysterical reaction I didn’t think we’d ever witness from a major political movement.

        You can read the rest here-
        http://mediamatters.org/columns/201003230001

      44. Chelsea
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        I’m surprised. But corrected.

      45. Brackinald Achery
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        I really don’t know shit about the bill. I’m reading we’ll be forced to buy health insurence from private insurence companies or face fines. Is that correct?

      46. Peter Larson
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        You will have to pay a tax which will go into a general fund of $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is bigger. It’s being called a “fine” but I’m still unclear as to where it exactly goes. Presumably it goes to offsetting the money that gets spent when you don’t pay your medical bills, since there’s nothing that goes to pay for it now, besides other folks’ good tax graces.

        Also, I am unclear as to whether medical savings plans and coops qualify as health insurance, which they arguably should, in my stupid opinion, thereby relieving you of any penalties.

        The buying from private companies is basically because there is no other option. People can’t buy into a public option, leaving tho only other one: private. Like I said, I am still unclear as to how medical savings plans figure into this.

        I will research and report back. This aspect has been rather unclear to me.

      47. Brackinald Achery
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        You can tell when I comment from a computer w/o spell check.

      48. John on Forest
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Designated Republican wrote:

        “The “status quo” is reckless public spending, trillion dollar deficits, ever increasing taxes, and a toxic business climate that has left Michigan red-lined against new business development and entrepreneurship.”

        DR, that is why we voted Obama into office, you know. So we no longer have that status quo, so much. Although, we certainly DO still have the status quo of the huge federal deficits that Bush set up for us. Bush started huge deficit spending and then handed us an economy so weak that we will continue to rack up deficits for some time to come.

        I too wish we had the Clinton years back.

      49. Brackinald Achery
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        According to the Constitution, it is Congress that is in charge of spending, not the President(s). Not that either gives a shit about the highest law of the land anymore… but I’m just sayin’.

      50. John on Forest
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Oh, by the way,

        Was there anything in the health care bill regarding people who don’t get insurance. Yes, I know they will be fined; but, is there also language requiring them to pay up front before they are treated at an ER (and not be treated if they refuse to pay up front?) Don’t you agree that’s the way it should be, Mr Swettybalz?

      51. Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        It is the Congress, specifically the US House of representatives, that is responsible for appropriations – that is, it’s is Pelosi’s crew that is spending the money we don’t have. However, I will agree that when the republicans led the Congress in Bush II’s second term, they became as drunk on earmarks as the Democrats had been. Worse yet, for reasons I still cannot understand Bush II simply refused to veto bad bills.

        President Obama and his First Mate Pelosi have already increased the country’s debt load (in one year) more than all of the Bush II years, and have expanded the federal budget more than all other presidents combined, if I recall correctly.

        One clarification: my comment about the redline around Michigan is related to the effects of two terms of that other flash-in-the-pan failed Democrat leader – Governor Granholm.

      52. dragon
        Posted March 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        From Designated Republican
        Yes, I believe that new fiscally conservative voices in Lansing and Washington, D.C. are a very attractive prospect in 2010,

        Who are these people?

        Again
        The “fiscally conservative” folks I was referring to are the growing crop of conservative independent and republican candidates running for state legislative positions and the US House of Representatives this year.

        Please, for the love of satan, tell us who these people are. Do these, tight fisted penny pinching assholes have names?

      53. BT
        Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Howard Dean is trying to whip up support for Alan Grayson and his Public Option amendment. I received the following last night:

        Alan Grayson is a healthcare hero. He called the Republicans out on their obstructionism. He told Americans that the Republicans health care plan was Don’t Get Sick, and if you do, Die Quickly. Grayson changed the debate and put the Republicans on the defensive right before the first House vote in November.

        There’s more. He built a movement around the public option that helped keep the public option debate alive to this day. In a matter of hours, his Public Option Act opening Medicare to all Americans received over 80 cosponsors in the House and over 50,000 citizen cosponsors at WeWantMedicare.com.

        Alan Grayson is standing up for us. Now, the progressive movement needs to stand up for him. Contribute $50 toward Alan Grayson’s March 27th Money Bomb at CongressmanWithGuts.com.

        Alan Grayson is the number #1 target of the Republican Party. They want to silence his voice. They want nothing more than to replace him with some shill who will do the bidding of insurance and Wall Street lobbyists.

        We can’t let that happen. Already, over 1,500 people have contributed over $45,000. I believe in the power of people. Join the cause. $50 from Americans who want Democrats with spines can turn into $500,000 overnight.

        Can you join thousands of others and chip in for a Congressman with Guts? Pledge $50 now.

        Thanks so much for your time and your support of this health care hero.

        Howard Dean

        https://www.graysonforcongress.com/pledge.asp?v=2&s=gdmail

      54. Ricker 76er
        Posted March 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Dragon,

        You wrote: “Save us some time and come back as DesignatedLibertarian, with blisters on your cock from reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’ and threaten to deprive us of your blogging.”

        I almost fell out of my chair laughing. DesignatedRepublican, you are a designated numbskull. Are you seriously pointing the finger at Democrats for for being fiscally irresponsible? My god, you voted for George W. Bush. How do you sleep at night?

      55. Posted March 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        You fucking Democrats, with your “facts.”

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