I didn’t blog this over the weekend because it should’ve been a foregone conclusion, and I really couldn’t get excited over it, but Dems managed to stick together just enough to ensure that the Senate health care reform bill could be debated. Of course, now, Conservadems are posturing against the public option, and making sure we all know they’re still perfectly willing to fuck us over in favor of the insurance companies. Joyous.
Joe Lieberman has a new excuse as to why he hates the public option. This month, he’s against it because he says we’ve never done anything like this before. I somehow doubt that, what with all the public/private competition we’ve got in this country.
The most important thing to remember about these dumbshit Dems (and the idiot Independent who pretends to caucus with Dems) is not Lieberman’s lengthy history of piss-poor excuses. No, it’s the fact that Blanche Lincoln was for the public option before she was against it. In fact, she was for the public option while she was against it:
But as Igor Volsky noted
, as recently as yesterday
, Lincoln’s own website argued, “Individuals should be able to choose from a range of quality health insurance plans. Options should include private plans as well as a quality, affordable public plan or non-profit plan that can accomplish the same goals of a public plan.”
That was the senator’s official position a day after Lincoln stood on the floor of the Senate, “promising” to join a Republican filibuster of health care reform “as long as a government-run public option is included” in the bill.
After Volsky’s post, Lincoln’s office changed the senator’s official position
, scrubbing the page of any references to allowing consumers to choose among competing plans.
Can’t cover your tracks that easily, Blanche. You are so very, very fucked. Paging Mike Stark…
Greg Sargent thinks Conservadems will realize the urgency of passing health care reform, and will, possibly, ultimately do the right thing. Color me skeptical. But perhaps polls showing that not passing reform murders Dem electoral chances will help clarify things for them. Perhaps not. They’re cunning, but they’re not exactly smart.
They’re certainly not willing to do the right thing. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is. And he doesn’t care jack diddly shit about the political cost. I hope he sits the Conservadems down for a long talk.
Let’s hope Sebelius’s state-by-state impact assessment of health care reform will help a few Dems see the light as well.
But enough about Dems. Let’s talk about Con fuckery. There’s plenty of it. In fact, the sheer volume of lies pouring from Cons’ lips is overwhelming:
Looking over the rapid-response list
, the efficiency of the DNC operation is impressive, but the key takeaway is more important: Good lord, Republicans sure do lie a lot about health care.
I mean, GOP lawmakers weren’t even close to the truth. Watching the debate as it unfolded, one got the sense that reform’s opponents either know literally nothing about the issue at hand, prefer almost pathological levels of dishonesty, or perhaps both.
Over the weekend, Josh Marshall noted
in passing that the congressional GOP lied quite a bit during the 1994 reform debate, but Republicans are now “upping their game … lying even more shamelessly than in round 1.”
That’s because they’ve discovered there are no consequences for endless lying. Teabaggers love it, and most Americans are too fucking clueless to realize they’re being lied and lied and lied to.
In fact, the GOP has become so shameless that they feel perfectly comfortable claiming a number they just made up as gospel truth. They’re now saying health care reform will cost $2.5 trillion. Where did this number come from? Apparently, Sen. Gregg’s ass:
It appears as if the number comes from a press release from Budget Committee ranking member Judd Gregg (R-NH), written the morning after the CBO released its analysis, which reads “American taxpayers are about to see an unprecedented expansion of the federal government that will cost a staggering $2.5 trillion when fully implemented.”
The underlying critique has a tiny bit of merit to it. Democrats did indeed diminish the 10 year cost by delaying the tax-and-benefit provisions for a few years after the bill becomes law–they felt they needed to push some key reforms down the road a year to keep the bill’s 10 year cost from exceeding Obama’s $900 billion top line. Hence the caveat “when fully implemented.” But even if you were to start the clock in 2014, and stop it in 2024, the number $2.5 trillion seems to have been made entirely out whole cloth. Perhaps a projection line drawn arbitrarily on a graph cooked up by a Republican Budget Committee staffer.
And, of course, the critique elides the fact that, whatever the federal responsibility for health care becomes as a result of this bill, it’s projected to dramatically reduce the deficit in both the near and long term.
Of course it does, because that’s the truth, which is something Cons seem deathly allergic to.
Here’s something even more outrageous: Gov. Barbour touting Mississippi as a model of health care reform when it “rates 51 (out of 50 states plus DC) in health care ranking.” Yup. Sure is a perfect example – of what not to do.
So what are the Cons’ allies up to? Well, the Chamber of Commerce wants to kill health care reform so they have a better chance at killing climate change legislation later on. The gun lobby’s trying to kill health care reform because they have some paranoid fantasy that health care reform means all their guns will be taken away. And Teabaggers are busy laughing at families who have suffered a tragedy:
From Chicago journalist Kristen McQueary, this deplorable story:
As a journalist covering Chicago politics, verifying information is like climbing a mountain of sand. With each step you take, the deeper you sink.
Last week while researching claims from a local Tea Party activist, I found myself asking a family for proof that they had lost an unborn grandchild.
The family, Dan and Midge Hough, of Chicago, spoke in favor of health care reform and in support of U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) at a Nov. 14 town hall meeting in Oak Lawn.
Their daughter-in-law, Jenny, and an unborn grandchild died recently due in part, they believe, to a lack of health insurance. They said Jenny was not receiving regular prenatal care and ended up in an emergency room with double pneumonia that developed into septic shock. Her baby died in the womb, and Jenny died a few weeks later, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter.
Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who “go from event to event and (cry) the same story.”
When the Houghs spoke at the Lipinski event, some Tea Partiers ridiculed them. They moaned and rolled their eyes and interrupted. Midge Hough began to cry.
Such a credit to their cause, aren’t they? Despicable dipshits.
In case anyone else needed any more proof we need reform, check out the results of the free clinic Keith Olbermann helped sponsor. You know, the one where people with diabetes, heart failure, and breast cancer haven’t been able to get any sort of health care until now.
With all of the Con fuckery eagerly aided and abetted by Conservadem fuckery, I haven’t been too hopeful about reform. But here’s news that makes me hope that something good will come out of this bill: it appears the Senate version strips Congress of its health insurance and throws them into the exchanges. Kevin Drum reports it was a dirty trick by Grassley that went horribly awry, since Max Baucus decided it was a great idea and happily threw it into the mix.
I haven’t had any inclination to congratulate Grassley or Baucus, but I have to offer them a heartfelt muchos gracias, even though in Grassley’s case the good was unintentional. Because if this resolution stays in, that means Congress is going to have to ensure that health care reform works, as they’ll be suffering right along with the rest of it.
It’s about fucking time.