Dec 16 2009
10:05 am

What we saw yesterday was the enormous power health insurance and pharmaceutical companies have over Congress in their desperate attempt to protect business as usual.

As it stands, there won't be a public option and what's left in the bill is weak. In fact, Consumer Watchdog says "the legislation will fail even to provide basic consumer protections of cost containment, access to necessary care, and protection against bankruptcy when patients get sick and need coverage the most."

The group recommends three major fixes needed to shore up what few consumer protections remain in the bill to prevent a "full insurance company takeover of the health care system:"

1. Remove Provisions that Would Pre-Empt More Protective State Laws

2. Bar Insurers From Placing Annual Limits on Medical Payments
3. Make Health Insurance Rate Regulation Real

Read more details at the website.

bill young's picture

The Bill

I was wrong..I thought we would get a health care reform bill passed this fall.

But with just a few short days till fall ends & winter begins..thats not going to happen.

I'm hopeful that the Senate will pass a health care reform bill before the holiday break.

That means both Houses of congress have passed a reform bill & the bill will go to conference in January.

My question is,if this bill fails,when will we be this close to passing a heath care reform bill that the the President can sign into law?

Senator Edward M.Kennedy said:

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

My question is,if we do not support the bill & the bill does not pass will we be guilty of allowing "the perfect to be the enemy of the good." on the issue of health care reform.

R. Neal's picture

There likely won't be any

There won't likely be any sweeping reform such as HR676 in my lifetime and I'm all for incremental changes to improve what we have.

The way this bill started out weak and is now being made even weaker in the Senate, however, may be worse than what we have now. The insurance companies appear to be the only winners, with the government forcing you or your employer to buy their product. It will guarantee their stranglehold on health care for another generation, and make any future incremental reforms impossible.

If progressives can't get it done with a Dem in the White House and a majority in the House and Senate I suppose the inertia is too great and it's just not going to happen.

Sven's picture

I suppose the inertia is too

I suppose the inertia is too great and it's just not going to happen.

Yes, I think inertia is the perfect word. We can point to particular political actors, ideological movements, structural deficiencies in our electoral system, etc., etc., but there seems to be a kind of insidious lethargy that pervades and connects all of these symptoms.

Somewhat ironically and apropos, the best summation I've seen of this phenomenon wasn't made by a contemporary philosopher or sage pundit in a Fall of the Empire treatise. It was made by a TV producer as a blog comment.

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

We live in a failed state

After 8 years of the Cheney-Bush fiasco, I thought anything calling itself a Democrat was worth voting for. Obama, Reid, and Pelosi and company have proven me wrong once again.

This isn't a case of the perfect vs. the good. The good (single payer) was carefully kept off the table, and now the awful has prevailed in the Senate. The Senate plan should be scrapped, and whatever pieces of the House version that can be salvaged should be pushed through the Senate via reconciliation.

Of course, that won't happen. The Dems will pass this monstrosity, providing a huge benefit to their insurance-company benefactors, and the public will suffer trying to afford the payments to profit-driven insurance, which was the root of the problem to begin with.

Meanwhile, Obama commits even more American lives and treasure to build Chevron a pipeline through Afghanistan.

We live in a failed state; there's no other logical conclusion.


"I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems scary and weird. It'll happen to you." —Abraham Simpson

Sven's picture

Tbogg on Twitter: We're

Tbogg on Twitter:

We're were promised a date with a health care supermodel and now we are asked to settle for a handjob from her doorman.

sugarfatpie's picture

Kill it, take it to reconcilliation, pass something decent

Don’t buy Democrats’ lame excuses for not doing everything they can to get the best bill possible. Just because they don’t want to pass a good health care reform bill using reconciliation doesn’t mean they couldn’t.


Drop the fatalism and put on the pressure to do something that would clearly work.

-Sugarfatpie (AKA Alex Pulsipher) "X-Rays are a hoax."-Lord Kelvin

R. Neal's picture

Bernie Sanders heroically

Bernie Sanders heroically attempted to include an amendment that is essentially HR676 (Universal National Health Insurance via Medicare for all and abolishing private insurance) into the Senate bill for a symbolic vote. Republicans wouldn't even allow that.

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