09 November 2009

Half a loaf

In response to some of the criticism of the House bill that I'm seeing around the net:

Yes, it is far from perfect. It won't extend coverage to all citizens (though getting from 85% to 96% is important). It puts hurdles in the way of covering abortion. It restricts only some, not all, of the abusive practices of the insurance industry. It doesn't do enough, directly, to control costs. Mandates will funnel even more money to insurance companies, at least for a while. Only a small fraction of the population will be eligible to choose the public option.

But what's the alternative? The closeness of the vote on Saturday shows that reformists couldn't have pushed things much further. A lot of seats in both Houses are held by people who, whether due to ideology or due to money from the insurance industry, want no reform or only very limited reform. This is a fact and we are stuck with it. The House bill is the best we could realistically get.

If we can't get this finally enacted (and the Senate fight will be tougher), that won't mean Congress goes back to the drawing board and comes up with something better, any more than the defeat of reform under President Clinton meant that. It will mean we're stuck with the lethal and unsustainable status quo.

If it passes, we'll have achieved something. Fewer people will be dying. The public option will be a reality. People will have the real system in front of them, to compare with the scare stories the right has been using to whip up fear, and the lies will be exposed. If the public option does a better job than private insurance, then political pressure will grow to make more people eligible for it, and competition will start to drive costs (and insurance-industry profits) down. A limited but successful reform will change the political climate to make further reform possible later.

You can't always get everything you want right away. You have to get what you can and build on it. If you insist on all or nothing, you're likely to get nothing. All-or-nothing thinking is how the Republicans managed to lose a safe Congressional seat in NY-23.

The fact that the insurance industry has spent so much money trying to stop this is the best evidence that it is worth doing. They aren't stupid. They're looking several moves ahead. If they didn't know that this reform has the potential to curb their abuses and their power eventually, they wouldn't be so concerned about it.

Update (10 Nov.): Read this too.


Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Ranch Greeting's Mr.Infidel!

Good posting ...the last paragraph you have here is also something that folk's should see.This has been one of the biggest scam's in line's of BS going on for year's in this nation.And as you said the fact that these folk's spent so much ...show's you what this is all about...as far as evidence.

Glad you brought it up though...because I havent even read anything about this latest draft they had for this last weekend....as far as benefit's vs. disadvantage's. Perfection? The blessing is we never achieve it...and it is motivation for us to continue to move and evolve ... you dont want anything to become too stagnant or too comfortable... we seen the result's of that! Yep ...I expect the Senate sale will be tough here, but still...none of us should have expected a cakewalk... and I knew anyway we slice this loaf is going to be uneven anyway's, but as you said...get what you can ... at least while the "gettin" is good...and build. Because once this flame burn's out...it will be a long time and many more bitch fight's before it pop's up again...because of all the other crap we are spoon fed to deal with, we seen how long this took since it fell apart under the Clinton Administration day's. Money "make's" money. And importantly as you pointed out, with even "some" public option, political pressure will gain for more eligibility to other's, and it will be a major factor in future cost's as far as this acceleration has been going. All this crap has been nothing but "organized crime" at it's finest.

Many year's from now...folk's who thought of this reform as "evil" will embrace it to the point to where if you try to take it away them ...they will fight,that it is a move to tear down our system. fascinating how the generation's change...heh? :)

Thanx ...........

09 November, 2009 06:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am torn on this, Infidel. Yes, I agree that there was no viable alternative, so, in this respect, it is perhaps better than nothing.

But the insurance people were intensely involved in preparing this bill -- they actually like it, save the public option (which will kick in ten years from now, cover about 2 percent of people, and have higher premiums than private coverage, as estimated by many).

We are already paying through the roof for our coverage. If our premiums go even higher, I cannot imagine how we can manage it.

09 November, 2009 11:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Where did you hear that the public option won't kick in for ten years? Even Snowe's "trigger" would have worked faster than that.

09 November, 2009 12:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The budget office estimated that about 6 million people would sign up for the public option in 2019, when the House bill is fully phased in. That represents about 2 percent of a total of 282 million Americans under age 65. (Older people are covered through Medicare.)

09 November, 2009 12:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It's not obvious to me that the public option won't be available before that point (if it won't be, it will obviously be useless for cost containment). Also, the 2% figure is an estimate of how many people would actually choose it, not of how many people it would be available to, which would be 10%.

09 November, 2009 13:21  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

The ugliest piece of sausage since that joke was first told; but I agree with you, Infidel. It was this or nothing.

09 November, 2009 18:17  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Well ...I want to thank Ms.Elizabeth as well here, this is apparently getting more interesting by the minute.You know me and how I been whining about the scam's over and over,I slacked up on them...but my skeptical instinct's about some of these folk's are alway's trying to be alert.I do know that I still watch Snowe...and still for a "trigger" when this hit's the Senate to try to be slipped in some how through some back door, NO .. I dont care how she will say that she is doing this and that for patriotism,truth,justice in the American Way or any of the other "Super Girl" talk of her's, I dont trust her as far as I could throw her ...period...and I DONT think her influence is out.But at the same time I am so happy that this is at least getting on the road,and grateful to them hardline liberal's who pressed so hard on this.

Thanx ..............

09 November, 2009 19:34  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

We need to remember, too, that the House bill is not the final form the legislation will take. It will need to be merged with whatever the Senate comes up with.

And even a weak reform that does some good, remember, will serve as a basis for public pressure to do more.

If the reform truly is worthless -- if it's passed with great fanfare and then November 2010 comes around and nothing has changed and we're still seeing skyrocketing premiums and ridiculous abuses and 45 million uninsured and no public option in place -- then the Democrats will pay for it in the election. And will deserve to.

10 November, 2009 02:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

More here on which parts of the House bill would go into effect when, although the public option isn't mentioned.

Again, anything you see at this point is provisional and likely to be different in the final legislation.

10 November, 2009 03:54  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx for the TPM link Mr.Infidel. The last paragraph or "latest update" made another scam watch point about ...the prospect that insurance companies will start to pull various price shenanigan's in advance of 2013,in hope's of creating political climate for repeal,before those part's of legislation come into effect.Cause you know these SOB's will pull every trick in the book ...and I know there is enough folk's at least that are the hardline liberal type's up there who will see this coming and challenge it if they can,at least try to obstruct their effort's in some way ...hopefully.

Another thing you pointed out also...is about the effect's"if the reform truely is worthless" because that can help ... and I am concerned as well where you brought up about how the House Bill will need to "merge" with "whatever" the Senate come's up with....boy oh boy ...what kind of treat will that be I wonder?


10 November, 2009 05:54  
Anonymous 高級チェリー said...


03 December, 2009 07:45  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

高級チェリー: Well, that's very easy for you to say.

03 December, 2009 07:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO, Infidel!

03 December, 2009 11:07  
Anonymous 救援部 said...


15 December, 2009 07:30  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

救援部: Well, sure, everybody knows that.

15 December, 2009 07:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I didn't. It's all news to me.

15 December, 2009 07:36  

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