Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Liebergrinch who Stole Health Care Savings

I remember when Air America's Sam Seder used to really annoy me when he constantly mispronounced Joe Lieberman's name as "LIE-berman." How right he was.

What is the only way Lieberman can escapes the brand as the most hated man in America? That would depend on a whole bunch of people never hearing how he alone destroyed what could have been affordable and effective health care that reform. Americans would have seen more money in their pockets, preventive care, life saving treatments and do away with the possibility of losing everything do to a serious illness.

Yes, health care reform will take a huge step forward, but premiums will be unaffected and increases will continue. As premiums sky rocket, Republicans will declare victory calling reform a failure. They will be right. For cost conscience conservatives and Blue Dog Democrats, they will have accomplished just the opposite of saving people money. That would mean the irrational theory of free market capitalism lives on to destroy American families another day.

Bottom line: What else can you say about a requirement to have health insurance, all the while not being able to afford it?

Bowing to Lieberman: As Joe Lieberman has now proved in this health-care debate, any U.S. senator can be a king. The question is whether that power is used in good faith to make the legislation better, or whether it’s used for another reason. Bottom line: It appears Lieberman is acting a bit out of character on this issue, given his history of being a rank-and-file Democrat (leaning liberal/progressive) on domestic issues. This is why the charge of playing politics with the left is looking so believable to some.
But reform is still necessary, leaving cost containment for some future congress.

Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas, Tweeted: "Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate." What's left besides the mandate, he and others argue, if public option and a Medicare buy-in are both gone. Of course, the White House and others would argue that expanded health-care coverage for millions of Americans, as well as new restrictions on health insurers, is significant reform.


  1. John, I think we have to absolutely KILL the health care reform bill coming from the current congress, and instead expand Medicare to the unemployed. And THEN fight for a Medicare-for-all system.

    But unfortunately, our politicians are too in-the-pocket of the insurance industry, and however they can leave the industry in the loop going forward will ensure their getting a piece of the healthcare dollar in the future. I don't know whether calling that bribery or kickbacks or payola is more accurate, but none are very pretty.

  2. I would normally agree with you on this Jack, and stand our ground, but a defeat will also weaken the Obama administration and lose Democratic control (or major majorities) in congress. That would mean nothing happens ever.

    This will force congress to address the cost element later, making for another difficult fight, but leaving it up to the Republicans to dramatically expand the disfunctional private sector would be a killer (literally for many).

  3. One more thing. Since I too am a believer in a Medicare part E, I would like to see a CBO estimate of either a single payer system or expanded Medicare.

    That would put a fork in this idiotic debate.

  4. I don't think so, John. The R's are so disjointed with the Teabaggers running against the conservatives, I think Obama is a shoo-in.