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Title: Money Talks
Description: Bullshit walks. (The health thread.)


White Meteo - September 19, 2009 03:57 PM (GMT)
http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/con...em=N&cycle=2010

Who is this dapper gentleman, you may find yourself asking, who receives over 4 million dollars in contributions from insurance companies? Why, its none other than Max Baucus. The Max Baucus who is the head man in writing up this countries insurance reform bill. The Max Baucus who is making it illegal in america to have no health insurance, thereby guaranteeing that insurance companies gain something like 50 million new customers and 700 BILLION in guaranteed profit.

A few facts for you about Healthcare. Did you know that in Austrailia each citizen pays 2% annually in taxes for their Universal health care, while in america its closer to somewhere around 10%. Did you know that Iraq and Afghanistan have Universal Health Care in the countries constitution that was approved by and funded by the Bush administration? Did you know that America is the only nation with an auto industry that does not provide health care for its citizens? Even Mexico offers better health care, and they are trying for Universal Health Care themselves.

user posted image

This map is a little off, China should be in the green category, and Technically in North K. The People are taken care of by the will of the great leader, but it illustrates my point well. Out of all the countries of the world, America ranks somewhere between Kazakhstan and Somalia when it comes to its citizens health.

The Baucus Bill that was recently announced will not give you health care. It only deals with Reform of private insurance sectors and a requirement for every American to purchase health care with no price regulations in place. Spread the word. Democrat or Republican, this bill is no good for anyone.

I just want to spread the word. This is bad news for everybody except the super rich.

Alphawolf55 - September 20, 2009 01:16 AM (GMT)
Actually it's literally no good for anyone not even the super rich. Since it takes so much money it actually hurts all the other sectors of government significantly (taking 1 trillion dollars from the economy and wastefully spending every single year can do that)

Grandmaster Jogurt - September 20, 2009 03:50 AM (GMT)
I'm assuming Red meant that it's good for the super rich in that they aren't affected by it, while it hurts the poor. So it's a matter of relativity.

Really, it is good for the death panel companies and their stockholders. With the Baucus bill, people would be now be required to buy their stuff, no matter how horrible it is. Sure, they'd be required to make plans cheap enough for most people to buy, but welcome to 99% copays on everything except the stuff they don't pay for at all.

White Meteo - September 20, 2009 02:30 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Grandmaster Jogurt @ Sep 19 2009, 08:50 PM)
I'm assuming Red meant that it's good for the super rich in that they aren't affected by it, while it hurts the poor. So it's a matter of relativity.

Really, it is good for the death panel companies and their stockholders. With the Baucus bill, people would be now be required to buy their stuff, no matter how horrible it is. Sure, they'd be required to make plans cheap enough for most people to buy, but welcome to 99% copays on everything except the stuff they don't pay for at all.

Pretty much this. Another fact, This bill is enacts almost all the proposals the insurance and pharma companies suggested for "Reform" they put forth last december.

http://www.ahip.org/content/pressrelease.aspx?docid=25126 Insurance and Phara suggestions for reform.

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LE..._Future_Act.pdf A link to the actual bill itself if your curious about it. Or need a sleeping aid. Seriously, I dig this politics stuff and I can't get through two pages. Its very dry.

Its a good time to be working for the insurance and pharm companies right about now.

edit: and because you either laugh or you cry, have a picture from Matt Groening
user posted image

Grandmaster Jogurt - September 20, 2009 02:53 PM (GMT)
Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight did a correlation chart between how much money a congressperson was getting from the death panel companies and how likely they were to support the public option, with four lines ranging from Liberal Democrat to, IIRC, Blue Dog. Anyway, entirely unsurprisingly, there was a very strong correlation, with something as low as $100k making all but the most liberal 0-20% likely to support it and the liberals somwhere between 60-80% likely to support it. And just in case it's not clear, only a small minority of Democrats count as Liberal Democrats.

And people say we don't need campaign finance reform. Including most of our Supreme Court...

White Meteo - September 21, 2009 07:27 AM (GMT)
We should have tackled campaign finance reform before we ever started on health. we can't expect our government to look out for us when they are in the pockets of the corporations.

Spriteless Girl - September 21, 2009 08:06 AM (GMT)
To whose benefit is campaign finance reform? Us taxpayers can't exactly go on strike, and politicians don't come into office without stupid amounts of money.

Grandmaster Jogurt - September 21, 2009 02:42 PM (GMT)
Then it should be the job of appointed officials with life appointments so they don't have to care how many politicians they piss off! Too bad it seems most of the court is all "hey yeah corporations are people too and you can't curtail their free speech rights to give hundreds of thousands in bribes to politicians that would be COMMUNISM".

Spriteless Girl - September 21, 2009 02:59 PM (GMT)
Just wondering, how do you curtail the 'speech rights' of a corporation to any effect without curtailing the rights of the employees and owners of said corporation?

Grandmaster Jogurt - September 21, 2009 03:07 PM (GMT)
When you look at the campaign donations lists, they actually include stuff like corporations or other groups as well as individuals. So you could have Sam Walton donate 54k to a cause and have Wal-Mart donate 10m as a separate issue. Without getting into my pet ideas for financing reform, you could simply prevent the companies themselves from donating.

Edit: You'll also have stuff like Catholic dioceses donating to things, which obviously wouldn't work as well if the priests had to be donating all that money out of their own pockets.

Knight - September 21, 2009 03:43 PM (GMT)
Where's the line that stops companies from quietly donating through their employees? "Okay, everyone gets a 10k bonus this Christmas, but ONLY if 9k of that goes to [insert candidate here]!"

Grandmaster Jogurt - September 21, 2009 03:49 PM (GMT)
You'd give the employee 10k, they'd go buy a giant TV and lottery tickets and booze, and then what? You'd fire them? Hello wrongful dismissal suit.

Forever Zero - September 21, 2009 05:10 PM (GMT)
It would essentially be discrimination by political orientation. If I recall correctly, you can't officially ask them political orientation when hiring them, nor fire them based on it later (You can unofficially ask, or try and gauge them by talking about politics, but they have the right to not discuss it). As soon as they gave them the money, it would be their money. They couldn't attach qualifications like that, or technically they could, but the employees have the right to ignore it, and the media would have a field day with the story when some employee leaked it.

Knight - September 21, 2009 05:50 PM (GMT)
Actually, I think it's done by "employee organizations" that the company sets up, and then funnels money through, not every employee in the company.

White Meteo - October 2, 2009 02:29 AM (GMT)
$8.09

That is how much the insurance lobbies are paying to force you to spend a minimum of 13% of every penny you earn and unimaginable numbers of taxpayer dollars for the right to only have to pay 35% of your medical expenses.

You are worth exactly $8.09 to your congressman. That is the price they are selling your financial security and health. That is how much they are willing to sell you into slavery to greedy insurance companies for the rest of your life for. $8.09

mordain - October 7, 2009 05:40 AM (GMT)

Ou des - October 7, 2009 08:37 AM (GMT)

Alphawolf55 - October 7, 2009 02:27 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (White Meteo @ Oct 1 2009, 09:29 PM)
$8.09

That is how much the insurance lobbies are paying to force you to spend a minimum of 13% of every penny you earn and unimaginable numbers of taxpayer dollars for the right to only have to pay 35% of your medical expenses.

You are worth exactly $8.09 to your congressman. That is the price they are selling your financial security and health. That is how much they are willing to sell you into slavery to greedy insurance companies for the rest of your life for. $8.09

How did you get to 8.09?

White Meteo - October 9, 2009 06:16 AM (GMT)
That was the figure in one of the articles I've read. I can't find it again cause I literally read 4 or 5 articles a night on this subject. I thought it was in that link I posted but I guess not.

Grandmaster Jogurt - December 23, 2009 05:39 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (MFD)
And also? This is probably more for the serious discussion forum, but we didn't have the votes. The health care reform bill in the Senate is the best possible bill we could get at the moment. There will be time later to get the PUBLIC OPTION, remove the abortion language, whatever. This is landmark legislation, and it's always easier to change it later than can it and start over from scratch. Kennedy, who was a Senator for almost 50 years would have understood and respected that.

Depending what you meant by the first part, that's total garbage. We have enough votes to get as much done as you want in the Senate, assuming you can get the Democrats to work together. This issues are that the Democrats are bribed not to vote for anything useful and that Harry Reid is still the best senator the Republican party has. If you aren't talking about those issues being in there, then this is the worst bill we could get, basically. If you are talking about it with those issues considered, then, well, probably true, but it seems weird to talk about it like that.

And as for it being "landmark legislation", not only does it not add much at all, making it not really landmarky, but it still includes the horrendous protection-schemesque insurance requirement part. This thing started with a broken compromise, and has been compromised on every step until effectively nothing good remains. Unless you think Kennedy was another one of those who were bribed by the death panel industry, I don't think this is anything close to what he would want.

And as a side note, it's harder to change existing pseudo-bandage legislation than to make new stuff. In a few years with no work, people will be dying and going bankrupt and demand real reform even more; in a few years with this people will still be dying and going bankrupt but they'll be able to say "hey look we fixed it for now come back in thirty years".

MFD - December 23, 2009 06:13 PM (GMT)
I'm not really sure what you mean by all that. Harry Reid is doing the best he can to get the votes to pass this bill. That means making a bill that 60 Senators will vote for. And reconciliation, getting even 50 Senators to vote for this bill, likely would not have had the public option, either. At least, that's what political analyst Jonathan Bernstein claims. He reckons that the votes just are not there for a public option.

I can't really speak to the health insurance lobbyists, since I don't have data on that, but lobbyists aren't going to go away. And I mean, how dare Lieberman try to protect his state's number one industry. How dare he.

And I really do think that Kennedy would want this bill passed. It wouldn't be the end of the fight, and maybe Kennedy could have talked down the abortion clause, but I think this is the beginning.

It's much easier to use reconciliation to amend a bill after it's passed than to pass the bill in the first place. And we may have a Congress that can get the votes, but we do not have them now.

You can argue about the whys and the hows (which would be about who's paying whom to sink this bill), but either way, we don't have the votes. That's all I was trying to say.

I don't think the Congress will pass this bill and let the issue slide. I think people aren't going to just let this go. But passing this bill is an important first step.

As for it not being landmark, it's the most significant piece of health care reform in the past something or other years (read it somewhere, and cannot cite it, sorry), and it's close to actually being voted on, since the Senate voted for cloture the other night.

Grandmaster Jogurt - December 23, 2009 06:26 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (MFD @ Dec 23 2009, 01:13 PM)
I'm not really sure what you mean by all that.  Harry Reid is doing the best he can to get the votes to pass this bill.

Harry Reid is the physical manifestation of the Democratic party's spinelessness. He's the backbone (haha irony) of the entire current DNC Senate plan:

1: We need Republican votes to appear non-partisan for some reason. COMPROMISE WITH REPUBLICANS
2: No Republicans join with us.
3: COMPROMISE HARDER
4: Repeat step 3 until we pass something the Republicans would've wanted in the first place.

Note the similarity to the plan when they didn't have majorities.

QUOTE
That means making a bill that 60 Senators will vote for.

Fun fact: The Senate only needs 51 votes to pass most legislation. And with a Democratic VP for the ties, that means...

Every single article and speech on the subject would make you believe you need 60, but 50 votes and a filibuster would've solved this a lot quicker and more cleanly than the endless "hunt for 60" that's more than likely just a smokescreen so they can pretend to do stuff while not harming their bribe companies.

QUOTE
And I mean, how dare Lieberman try to protect his state's number one industry. How dare he.

You're actually...

People actually...

user posted image

45 thousand people die each year in this country to lack of insurance. How dare he indeed continue that just for what is at best glorified pork-barrel spending?

MFD - December 23, 2009 06:47 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
arry Reid is the physical manifestation of the Democratic party's spinelessness. He's the backbone (haha irony) of the entire current DNC Senate plan:

1: We need Republican votes to appear non-partisan for some reason. COMPROMISE WITH REPUBLICANS
2: No Republicans join with us.
3: COMPROMISE HARDER
4: Repeat step 3 until we pass something the Republicans would've wanted in the first place.

Note the similarity to the plan when they didn't have majorities.


I'm pretty sure we need Independents, moderate Democrats and conservative Democrats more than we need Republicans, and the Senate compromises have been trying to attract anyone.

QUOTE
Fun fact: The Senate only needs 51 votes to pass most legislation. And with a Democratic VP for the ties, that means...

Every single article and speech on the subject would make you believe you need 60, but 50 votes and a filibuster would've solved this a lot quicker and more cleanly than the endless "hunt for 60" that's more than likely just a smokescreen so they can pretend to do stuff while not harming their bribe companies.


Dude, I know how the Senate works. I understand that you need only 51 votes to pass something, and Biden can break a 50-50 vote. I'm not dense! ...Completely dense!

As in the blog I linked to, I'm saying we didn't have fifty votes for a strong public option. We would have ended up with a very similar bill AND would have had to put up with about the same amount of time of filibusters. I'm not really sure how effective filibusters are, but basically business grinds to a stand still until the Senator cedes his speaking time.

And I'm not sure we had 50 votes in the first place, so the filibusters might have made Senators switch sides to kill the bill.

I'm just saying that Lieberman is looking out for his constituents, who happen to work for health insurance companies. That's why we freaking have Congressfolk from each state, so the national body of Congress will be comprised of members protecting their own state interests as well as national interest.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't rather Congressfolk vote to protect every American, but I am saying that I can understand why Lieberman is dragging his feet.

Either way, the Senate already passed cloture. So now they really do need 50 votes.

Grandmaster Jogurt - December 23, 2009 07:28 PM (GMT)
Every analysis I've seen has said that issues like the public option and Medicare expansion and all those things that could bring noticable improvement would have trouble getting 60 votes, but not "not even close" trouble, just "can't quite get there". As to the effects of a filibuster, well, Congress certainly seems to have ground to a halt already for the past several months.

As for Lieberman, him throwing tens of thousands of lives under the bus to prop up unnecessary institutions in his home state is the most charitable interpretation. I honestly think he's just trying to appear important and conservative so he can successfully switch parties next cycle. He admitted that his biggest concern with Medicare expansion was that progressive congressmans liked the idea, then later justified that by saying that that obviously meant it leads to communism. I mean, he's "the swing vote" that "killed healthcare reform". That's a real hero position to be in from some perspectives.




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