Back From the Dead- the “Up or Down Vote”

This is exactly what they should be saying, over and over and over again:

n the course of unveiling Obama’s new health reform proposal on a conference call with reporters this morning, White House advisers made it clearer than ever before: If the GOP filibusters health reform, Dems will move forward on their own and pass it via reconciliation.

The assertion, which is likely to spark an angry response from GOP leaders, ups the stakes in advance of the summit by essentially daring Republicans to try to block reform.

“The President expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health reform,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said on the call.

Pfeiffer said no decision had been made how to proceed, pending the outcome of the summit. But he added that Obama’s proposal is designed to have “maximum flexibility to ensure that we can get an up or down vote if the opposition decides to take the extraordinary step of filibustering health reform.”

Translation: If the GOP doesn’t cooperate with us in any meaningful sense, we’re moving forward on our own.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Say it over and over and over again. The first thing out of every Democrat’s mouth in the morning shoujld be “up or down vote” and the last thing they should utter before drifting off to sleep is “up or down vote.”

And all they have to do is ask, and I bet there are quite a few folks out there who would be willing to scour the arhives and splice together a one hour video of nothing but Republicans saying “up or down vote” when Bush was President.

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82 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    The Republicans will say, and probably are already saying, that “upperdown vote” was about judges and that actual bills are Completely Different and Why Does Obama Hate Democracy.

    And tools like Tweety will rub their chins and say “yeah, you’ve got a point” and nonsense like that.

    Sorry, feeling a bit cynical this morning.

    -dms

  2. 2
    gypsy howell says:

    Knowing the democrats, having finally achieved an up-or-down vote, the vote will be “down” not “up.”

  3. 3
    Neutron Flux says:

    Translation: If the GOP doesn’t cooperate with us in any meaningful sense, we’re moving forward on our own.

    It is the cooperation aspect that worries me. Cooperation means even more dumbing down of this thing.

    Hopefully the Republicans will refuse to cooperate.

  4. 4
    Cain says:

    Yeah, considering the wankers we have in congress, the democrats will be doing the down vote. Bastards. I called up both Jeff Merkeley and Wyden. Merkeley supports the public option through reconciliation. Wyden was more mealy mouthed, I wasn’t quite sure what his stand was. I think was along the lines of “he can’t comment on something that is not on the table yet.” Uh.. whatever buddy. I did say I supported his amendment for states public option. Which he took my note down on that.

    Not that such an amendment would help out Oregon with our budget crunch. Maybe it’s time to visit the democratic party headquarters and tell them to get their shit together otherwise I’m not planning on giving any money. I also know one of my reps personally.

  5. 5
    Bret says:

    And all they have to do is ask, and I bet there are quite a few folks out there who would be willing to scour the arhives and splice together a one hour video of nothing but Republicans saying “up or down vote” when Bush was President.

    Gee. If only there was a website on the Intertubes where hundreds of liberalish-minded people gathered, with a siterunner who could ask for such a thing from his readers. If only.

  6. 6
    jrg says:

    Given that our collective memory is about five minutes, who’s going to remember that the last people to use the “up or down vote” line were Republicans?

    The mushy, low-information middle won’t consider it to be GOP hypocrisy, they will consider lack of progress to be a “bipartisan” problem.

  7. 7
    Fulcanelli says:

    Both my Senators, Whitehouse and Reed, signed on to Harry Reid’s letter in support of the public option. I called ’em both and gave them a full-throated “Attaboy!”

    Christ, I can’t believe both my Senators are on the right side of this. I don’t know how to act, but I could get used to it.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    @jrg:

    Given that our collective memory is about five minutes, who’s going to remember that the last people to use the “up or down vote” line were Republicans?

    That’s what the video is for.

    And besides, I remember hearing Frist’s nuclear option back in 2005 quite vividly. I also remember the Democratic minority leadership getting together with a bunch of “centrist” Republicans to break the filibuster, while making a bunch of noise about “keeping the powder dry” and “not letting this be the hill we die on” and other such nonsense.

    It doesn’t matter if the general public recalls the exact details of the “Upperdown Vote” chant, just that they’ll get to see Democrats taking the offensive on the filibuster issue and watch the Republicans backpeddle when confronted with their own rhetoric.

    The bottom line needs to be that the Democrats are fighting for HCR and that the Republicans are obstructionist partisan corporate tools. “Upperdown vote!” is just a rhetorical strategy for framing the issue.

  9. 9
    SpotWeld says:

    Say it over and over and over again. The first thing out of every Democrat’s mouth in the morning shoujld be “up or down vote” and the last thing they should utter before drifting off to sleep is “up or down vote.”

    Can we also hire an intern to smack them across the face if they ever pause to waver and ask “But… but what if the the GOP..”

    *smack* No… bad Democrat, no bicsuit.

  10. 10
    Bender says:

    a few folks out there who would be willing to scour the arhives and splice together a one hour video of nothing but Republicans saying “up or down vote” when Bush was President.

    And more than a few folks would splice together Democrats denying the Republicans their “up or down votes.”

    Hypocrisy cuts both ways, and enough exposure to the voters will make them very anti-incumbent. Is that what the Democrats want this cycle?

  11. 11
    Sentient Puddle says:

    @Bender: There’s more Republican senators up for reelection this year than Democrats. So if it’s all about anti-incumbency, our side wins!

  12. 12
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    It is amazing how long that took, and how oddly relieved I was when I read that Obama had used the phrase.

    The rules:

    breaking the filibuster = Up or down vote. Or even just “a vote”.

    Reconciliation = Majority vote. Or “letting the damn majority actually decide” if you like.

    Bipartisanship = Ship of fools

  13. 13
    JenJen says:

    It pained me to hear Mark Halperin, of all people, making sense on “Morning Joe” earlier today. He told Joe, who of course was bitching that the Dems were going to attempt to “ram HCR down the throats of Americans”, that the House and Senate already passed HCR, with 60 votes to boot. And that were it not for a special election in Massachusetts, “We’d all be sitting here praising the amazing, historic legislative accomplishment of President Obama and Majority Leader Reid.”

    He went on to say “The job of a President is to get the legislative agenda he campaigned on and believes in passed. The job of a President is not to win the next election.”

    Halperin was right. Just like a broken clock is, twice a day.

  14. 14
    28 Percent says:

    John Cole this is not DEMOCRACY this is breaking the rules all votes are up or down one way or the other you just do not have the sixty so now you are ramming it through with only a majority and sneaking it in so that Republicans can not vote on it you may say that they can still vote in this special process but it is not a real vote because there is no way for Republicans to win so this is a puppet shadow dictatorship it is not democracy if the foregone conclusioin is already known before the vote and not everybody is represented because there votes dont matter.

  15. 15
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @JenJen:

    The job of a President is to get the legislative agenda he campaigned on and believes in passed. The job of a President is not to win the next election.

    Heretic! Burn the unbeliever! May St. Reagan have mercy on your soul!

  16. 16
    danimal says:

    The important part of this post is that the flimsiest tool in the Dems toolbox is the one labelled “repetition.” It takes a certain discipline to Keep It Simple, Stupid. The GOP is good at it, the Dems aren’t, and the resulting communications disaster continues. Fortunately, this is fixable if the Dems could just stick to the script.

  17. 17
    Fulcanelli says:

    @28 Percent: A post like this from a person in the same party as Tom Tancredo, the asshole who claims we should have literacy tests to be able to vote.

    FTW.

  18. 18
    kay says:

    @danimal:

    I’m just glad they stopped whining about the filibuster.

    That was riveting television.

    I think people hear “filibuster” and immediately change channels. I know I do.

  19. 19
    Cain says:

    @28 Percent:

    There is not enough CAPS in this post. You need to practice more on talkeft/openleft/sadlyno!

    cain :)

  20. 20
    Mike Kay says:

    @JenJen:

    I surprised morning ho did talk about ramming dead married interns down our throat.

    http://www.google.com/search?h.....gh+intern+

  21. 21
    DBrown says:

    @28 Percent: “because there is no way for Republicans to win” Great post! You nailed it.

  22. 22
    kay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    No one cares how they pass it. Seriously. How long is anyone going to talk about how many votes there were at passage? One day? There’s just nowhere to go with that.
    That Halperin realized it only means it’s incredibly obvious.

  23. 23
    danimal says:

    @kay: Yep. The Medicare Part D expansion was an egregious example of legislative shenanigans, and very few normal Americans know or care about it. Political junkies need to remember that apolitical Americans could care less about process. Make the GOP explain filibusters while Dems go about doing the public’s business.

  24. 24
    Mike Kay says:

    @kay: exactly. no one talks about the vote count on social security.

  25. 25
    Island in Alabama says:

    @28 Percent

    this is not DEMOCRACY…now you are ramming it through with only a majority

    That’s funny! Here I was thinking majority rule is how Democracy is supposed to work.

    Thanks for straightening me out.

  26. 26
    Redshirt says:

    You know, given that these issues should be rather one sided, in the Democrats favor, and yet, it feels like they can barely hold on to their lunch money, the crazy conspiracy theorist in me is asking: Perhaps this is the just the Dem’s role in a big game: they play one side (ineffectually), the Repugs play another (more effectively), the braintrusts of each side get what they want in the end, the people be damned.

    Prove me wrong Senate!

  27. 27
    Fergus Wooster says:

    @Redshirt:
    That’s been my sneaking suspicion for years. At least it certainly applies to the Blue Dogs.

  28. 28
    kay says:

    @Mike Kay:

    “Health care reform” is just so completely identified with the Democrats.

    Republicans have to do only one thing to win: kill any reform.
    They can tell their rabid partisans that they blocked all those horrible things they claimed were going to happen, and at the same time tell potential mainstream voters that they fully intend to reform health care should they gain a majority from the ineffective Democrats.

    Any reform is a loss for Republicans. We know that much, right?

  29. 29
    Tax Analyst says:

    @28 Percent:

    I love that you do that all in one sentence. That’s Spooftacular.

  30. 30
    Thoughtcrime says:

    It’s Up Or Down If Your Bill Is Republican.

  31. 31
    licensed to kill time says:

    @28 Percent:

    What a friend you have in your Jesus key – use it more and your posts will be spot on wingnut spoof, 28%. I enjoy them, thanks!

  32. 32
    Island in Alabama says:

    @Redshirt

    Perhaps this is the just the Dem’s role in a big game

    Washington Generals?

    It certainly isn’t hard to draw that conclusion sometimes.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    robertdsc says:

    I hope the package passes.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    My vote: “28 percent” is delicious snark. Agree with Cain that more random capitalization would be a help, but the misspelled and misused woids and absence of punctuation are puuuurrrfect.

  36. 36
    D-Chance. says:

    Amazing how things progressed once Obama’s Brain got back on the scene. Just remember who’s running the show now… and it ain’t the Empty-Suited One.

  37. 37
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @D-Chance.: Right. We had an election and he is retired in Dallas trying to figure out which books to add to his library at SMU.

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @robertdsc:

    I hope the package passes.

    Me too. Personally, Obama’s political fortunes aside. I think the one and only reason they might succeed is that Congressional Democrats are between a rock and a hard place.
    They can’t really ask voters to return them so they can get less done, which is what they’ll be arguing, since Republicans are going to pick up seats, even in a best case scenario.
    I don’t know what they run on. If I were them, I’d figure out a compromise. If they don’t, they’re all going down together.

  39. 39
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    A knowitall commenter on Balloon Juice told me health care reform can’t be passed with reconciliation so obviously someone is lying.

  40. 40
    liberal says:

    @danimal:

    Political junkies need to remember that apolitical Americans could care less about process.

    I thought there was a poll recently, and by and large Americans were found not to give a shit about the filibuster.

  41. 41
    Emerald says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Bingo. “Majority vote” ought to be the phrase.

    People believe that in a democracy, the majority wins. If the focus is on “majority,” it becomes more clear that the Rs are the minority.

  42. 42
    mcc says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hi,

    The health care reform bill can’t be passed with reconciliation. What is being discussed at this point is passing the Senate bill and simultaneously passing a smaller set of patches in a reconciliation bill. (The bill with the patches would be tailored to contain only things that could be passed with reconciliation.) This process is often described lately as “reconciliation” for brevity.

  43. 43
    geg6 says:

    Johnson (D-SD) just signed on for the public option.

    I think this is now 21 or 22.

  44. 44
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @mcc: It won’t do any good to explain. Fuckhead is just way too dumb to get it.

  45. 45

    […] } John Cole agrees. Say it over and over and over again. The first thing out of every Democrat’s mouth in the […]

  46. 46
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @mcc: Actually, it is my understanding after reading the Reich piece someone linked to above that what can be passed via reconciliation is whatever a majority agrees can be passed through reconciliation. What do you think?

  47. 47
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck: Stuck, for someone that exists here for the sole purpose of playing John’s retarded little brother, you sure do run yer mouth a lot.

  48. 48
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    hey dumbass, you better shut yer mouth, or I’ll send my faggy little purse dog over to bite off your angry inch. Unless your whackjob fangirls are busy with it.

  49. 49
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    And BTW. I’m not the one who whines like a little baby when his proggy feelings get hurt and has to be soothed by John Cole with live chat.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @geg6:

    Johnson (D-SD) just signed on for the public option.

    I think this is now 21 or 22.

    Right. Great. But I don’t want to get off on the count again. This debacle has gone on so long we’re counting a net loss of Senators as a gain.

    They had 30 in October of 2009:

    “Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and 29 of his colleagues have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid supporting a public option.

    “Support for the public option runs deep in the Senate,” Brown said. “Health insurance reform is all about lowering costs, improving care, and increasing choice for consumers. In too many parts of the country, one or two insurance companies control the majority of the market. This isn’t good for consumers, businesses, or taxpayers. As we finalize health reform legislation, we shouldn’t forget that a majority of Americans, doctors, and Members of Congress support a public option.”

  51. 51
    kay says:

    Here’s the current twenty: Sens. Bernie Sanders (VT), Al Franken (MN), Patrick Leahy (VT), John Kerry (MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Michael Bennet (CO), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Jeff Merkley (OR), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Roland Burris (IL), Barbara Boxer (CA), Jack Reed (RI), Tom Udall (NM), Barbara Mikulski (MD) and Frank Lautenberg (NJ).

    And here’s the 2009 thirty:

    Sherrod Brown (D-OH) John D. Rockefeller (D-WV)

    Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)

    Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) Tom Udall (D-NM)

    Kristen E. Gillibrand (D-NY) Roland W. Burris (D-IL)

    Ron Wyden (D-OR) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

    Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

    Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

    Jack Reed (D-RI) Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

    Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)

    Al Franken (D-MN) Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)

    Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI)

    Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE) Arlen Specter (D-PA)

    Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

    Bernard Sanders (I-VT) John F. Kerry (D-MA)

    Herb Kohl (D-WI) Paul Kirk (D-MA)

  52. 52
    Proton says:

    @28 Percent:

    That’s some great satire, there 28%. Or does that refer to your blood alcohol level?

  53. 53
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck: No, yer the idiot that rides the refresh button all day every day so you can regale everyone with yer appalachian wisdom.

    Pearls of cloying, clowns syndrome sucktitude like this:

    “I wouldn’t worry too much. Cole is a true blue Obot unless Obama starts invading countries willy nilly. He sometimes throws up little somethings like this to calm the resident disappointed progressive natives with this obligatory Obama love punch. The special ones need it to not light matches indoors.”

    WTF is wrong with you other than being a worthless toadying kissass of the first order? Did you step on a landmine in ‘Nam with yer head? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  54. 54
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Stoopid shit. You haven’t understood a single word anyone has said on the HC debate or any thing else of substance. All you have to offer is dumb jokes and whining, that’s it. Other than when you are calling females commenters “stupid cows” and “bitches” and the like, when they point out your rank ignorance.

    The comment you quoted from a while back, which is kind of amazing that you are collecting my comments apparently, was done mostly in jest. Mild snark, just to annoy precious little progs like you. I am glad to see that it worked on your hapless ass.

    And I am not the only one here that mostly agrees with Cole on stoopid wanking from pea brains like yourself who claim they are THE “base” of the party. And your idiotic musings were on full display in this thread on passing HCR with budget reconciliation. Another commenter pointed out the complexity involved., and you still couldn’t grasp it.

    Now what, you going to insult another small helpless animal with your razor whit. I piss on you fuckhead, you are a cowardly worthless bigoted sumbitch. And are the only one on this site I would say that about.

    You have a nice day now.

  55. 55
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck: The comment I quoted is from three days ago, fool. Please explain it to me, starting with how you take it upon yourself to speak for sentient beings, up to and including inventing reasons they may no longer cling to the positions you imagine they hold.

    And tell me what the fuck is wrong with you. I want to feel sorry for you. Help me do that.

  56. 56
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Please explain it to me,

    I did. and your dumbass still doesn’t get it. I trolled you with that remark. And like the lab rat you are, you fell for it hook, line, and sinker. And responded with expected poutrage of hurt feelings. Clown.

    eta,. Now maybe you should live chat Cole and he can explain it to you, and talk you off that idiot bridge you’re dangling from.

  57. 57
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck:

    I trolled you with that remark.

    I think yer problems are a lot deeper than being a troll but I’ll take yer word for it.

  58. 58
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I think yer problems are a lot deeper than being a troll

    Yea, right, I’m the one with the problem. There is help for flaming bigots like you. Though, unfortunately, not for being dumb as dirt. You will just have to live with that. Embalming fluid is the only sure cure.

  59. 59
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @General Egal Tarian Stuck: Durt is spelled with a U.

  60. 60
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Durt is spelled with a U.

    Don’t worry son. The Stoopid only burns when you say something.

  61. 61
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What the fuck are you even saying? Do I have to learn Eastern Kentuckianese to communicate with you? I bet yer the smart one in yer hill tribe, huh? Prolly went all the way up to eighth grade, didn’t ya?

  62. 62
    mclaren says:

    Get a clue. HCR is going nowhere. Isn’t it entirely and pellucidly clear that this is all a dog and pony show to excite gullible dupes (like you people) and keep your hopes up juuuuuuuuuuuuuust long enough to get to the next election?

    Then, once November rolls around, the Demos will pull sad faces and look at you with big sad puppy-dog eyes and solemnly intone, “Oh, but we need to get re-elected in order to finish our important work for our precious masters, the electorate. Because this is, after all, a Government Of the People, By the People and For the People.”

    Then the instant you pull the lever for these jackholes all the smoke and mirrors will mysteriously vanish, there’ll be a 30-second procedural vote, HCR gets shelved “for study” (for another 30 years) and it’s back to f#&*ing business as usual.

    Follow the money, people.

    Don’t you realize health “care” (AKA unnecessary insanely overpriced tests and unnecessary insanely overpriced surgeries) are a 2.2 TRILLION dollar industry in this country?

    What on earth makes you delude yourselves into fantasizing that any congressman or senator will ever willingly dismantle a 2.2 TRILLION dollar American industry???

    Wake the f#%k up!

    Don’t you people get it? That exact same CT scan that costs $1400 in America costs $40 in France. That exact same doctor’s visit that costs $150 in America costs $30 in Germany. You think that money just vanishes?

    DO THE MATH.

    That money is a huge huge huge RIVER OF GOLD flowing into the pockets of every nurse and every overpaid radiological technician and every insanely overpaid doctor and RN in America. DO THE ARITHMETIC.

    3 doctors get together and buy a CT machine. Total cost: $250,000. Now they rent a storefront, cost $1200 a month + another $800 per month for insurance, billing, electric, whatever. They staff that storefront with an orderly ($10/hr) and a radiological technician ($25/hr). A CT scan takes 10-20 seconds, so figure, worst case, 15 minutes per scan. Now you’re running 30 scans per day but instead of billing $1400 per scan like the hospital, you bill only $1300, so the insurance companies choose your imaging service instead of the hospital.

    Total cost: 250K depreciated (’cause it’s a business) over 5 years, which lowers your taxes and your effective cost by 25%. So $700K over 5 years in staff costs, figure on a loan at 10% interest for the CT scanner so you pay back (effectively) 2.5 times the cost of the CT scanner = $675K, add in insurance and benefits for the staff, liability insurance, etc. at $5K per month, total costs for the scanner + storefront imaging office + everything else = 5*$24K/year to run the office = $120K over 5 years, $700K in staff costs, $500K in loan + interest – capital eqpt depreciation for the scanner, you’re looking at 1.32 million dollars over 5 years total costs for that CT scan business and $1300/scan * 4 scans/hr * 2200 working hours = 10.2 million dollars per year coming in.

    Do the math, people.

    DO THE F*%KING MATH.

    That’s 9 million dollars profit over 5 years JUST FROM ONE CT SCANNER. ONE (1) CT SCANNER. ONE!

    If you’re that group of 3 doctors, you pay off that loan for that CT scanner and use the profits to set up 10 more imaging centers, then you branch out into insanely overpriced blood tests (charge $500 instead of the 25 cents it actually costs) and now you’ve got a gigantic Mississipi river of gold flowing into your bank account. Not just 9 millino dollar PROFIT over 5 years, but 100 million over 5 years, and you use those profits to set up more imaging center pumping more insanely overpriced CT scans ($1300 per scan compared to the $40 per scan it costs in France or Germany), more insanely overpriced blood tests ($500 per CBC and chem panel instead of the 25 cents it actually costs) and holy crap, looka here, people! You’ve got a hundred million dollars rolling in every 5 years. That’s 20 million in profits split 3 ways, for each of those 3 doctors.

    Do you have any idea how much profit rolls out of the health “care” (AKA wildly overpriced tests and scans) industry in America?

    You really think that now that America has shipped all its high-paying skilled jobs overseas, anyone in congress is eager to get rid of the few remaining good paying jobs left in this country by reforming health care?

    Get a clue!

    There’s just…too…much…money in health care. Too many overpaid radiological technicians (a 2 year A.S. degree plus an 18 month certification course) or nurses (once again, 2 year A.S. degree and 18 month cert course) are making $40K, $50K, $60K a year off this overpriced health care you’re complaining about. Doctors are raking in tens of millions a year from health care — not from their practices, but from those medical tests and scan companies they set up on the side, from those hospital wings they own jointly, from those doctor-owned specialty clinics they’ve set up, and it’s all just a giant river of gold that buys them millions in Cancun vacation homes and yachts and New York penthouses and Bel Aire mansions and Bugatti Veyron sportscars, and you really, seriously think they’re going to let you convince congress to make all that colossal river of gold just go away????

    Really?

    Serioiusly?

    Get a clue, people. Isn’t it painfully obvious that congress is treating you all like children? Remember when you were 4 years old and told your mommy you wanted some candy and she said, “We’ll talk about it”?

    And remember what happened? You never, ever got the candy, right?

    This is the grown-up version of “We’ll talk about it.”

    Those congressmen and senators are keeping you distracted and keeping your hopes up and dancing and spinning and whipping those plates up into the air and pirouetting and talking fast and using moske and mirrors, all to convince you that, yeah, something’s going to happen real soon now and boy howdy just you wait and see this marvellous health care reform and the only problem is…

    …Nothing’s happening.

    Nothing’s happened. Nothing’s going to happen.

    It’s all a scam, people. Wake the f$#k up.

    If you’re serious about health care reform, here’s what you do: today, right now, you start organizing charter flights to India for medical tourism. You negotiate hard with reputable clinics in India and ram down the charter flight cost and set up block hotel bookings in India so you slam down the cost to the absolute minimum. Then you set up mass drug importation from Canad using American pharmacies that specialize in ordering from Canada. You set up regular bookings to get your CT scans and blood work and everything else done in Mexico.

    That way you drop your costs down to something rational. That will get the attention of the people who matter. When the overpaid American doctors and the overpaid American radiological technicians and the overpaid American nurses start seeing their income plummet, then they’ll realize they have to do something about HCR.

    Until then, they don’t give a sh*t. They’ll gouge you for $1400 per CT scan, even the scan itself amortized out and account for all eqpt and staffing costs runs only about $12 per scan, until you keel over dead or your insurance company refuses to pay. Doctors don’t give a sh*t about HCR. That sweet sweet sweet river of gold is all that care about, and it’s richer and deeper and wider than you can possibly imagine.

    Millions per year per doctors in imaging fees and blood tests from all those imaging centers and clinics they set up on the side. You think they want that to end?

    I don’t think so.

    Begging and pleading and crawling and whimpering to a bunch of millionaires in the senate, that gets you nothing. That’s an admission of weakness, so of course the senate bitch-slapped you and said, “Hey, bitches, you want reform, we’ll give you reform so toxic you’ll be begging not to have it!” And they did.

    They gave you a reform bill so toxic, with such evil provisions, like a mandate that forces working poor people to pay a fine even though they can’t afford insurance, and an excise tax that crushes 1 out of 5 people making between $50K and $75K (according to the Congressional Budget Office) with unaffordable fines and fees for having ordinary normal health insurance, and they “expand” the rolls of medicare by conveniently ignoring the fact that most doctors and hospitals simply won’t accept medicare patients anymore, to the point where this “reform” bill that came out of the oozing anus of the senate is such a toxic turd, no sane person will accept it.

    You asked for that kind of treatment when you crawled and whined and pleaded. That’s a show of weakness. Show some strength. Start setting up mass charter flights for medical tourism to India, set up mass Canadian drug important businsses, kill the profits going to those greedy doctors and greedy overpaid medical technicians who are glorified candystripers making 60K a year for doing nothing more than button-pushing on automated blood tests and CT scan machines, and THEN you’ll see Washington get serious about HCR.

    Until then, what’s the advice DougJ gives you?

    What’s that?

    Saty what?

    Call your congressman and senator? Beg some more? Plead some more? Please please, pretty please mr. millionaire senator help me I’m broke I can’t afford my medical tests my drugs my doctor my surgery?

    Get a f*#king clue.

    When your senator or congressperson sees that kind of show of weakness, that’s like a husband who sees his wife he’s been beating every night for 20 years crawling to him and begging him to stop. You know what that wife-beater does?

    He goes out and hires 3 of his friends to gang-rape his wife while he watches and then when they’ve beaten her and anally raped her and busted her skull with a baseball bat and left her weeping and naked on his bedroom floor in a pool of her own blood, that wife-beater kicks his wife in the face and screams, “NOW do you understand you don’t tell me what to do, you useless little c*nt?”

    That’s what the senate just did, bitches. You crawled and begged and pleaded to the senate and whipmered to them to please stop, pretty please, and the senate just hired a bunch of their friends from big pharma to gang-rape you. And DougJ’s brilliant plan here is to beg and crawl and plead some more.

    Get a clue.

  63. 63
    EthylEster says:

    Oh, look, penis fencing!
    Maybe someday it will get into the Olympics.

  64. 64
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    If you don’t say anything, then you won’t say anything stupid. Simple logic, and good advice for common idiots. Though common idiots being idiots, rarely take it./fuckhead

  65. 65
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @mclaren: Jeebus, Mclaren. That’s some kickass Loco Weed yer grazin’ on.

  66. 66
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    Oh, baloney. It does not force “working poor people” to buy health insurance or “pay a fine”.
    The excise tax doesn’t even apply to the insured person, so I have no idea how it’s “crushing” them. They’ll be “crushed” if they have a family policy worth 20k a year instead of 26k a year?
    It expands MEDICAID, you nitwit, not Medicare, and Medicaid is what “working poor people” rely on. It also massively expands community health centers, which is where “working poor people” go for care, if they’re lucky enough to have a community health center.
    If you don’t like the bill, fine, but you can’t just make shit up.
    Don’t pin your opposition on concern for ‘the poor”. It’s complete bullshit. You’re using them. They, more than anyone, benefit from this.
    Find some other group to pretend to care about.

  67. 67
    PartyLikeIts1990 says:

    mclaren has it dead-on. Thanks for the breath of sanity. the fact that General Winfield Dumbass thinks you’re crazy should confirm for everyone that you’ve nailed the truth.

  68. 68
    General Egal Tarian Stuck says:

    @PartyLikeIts1990:

    the fact that General Winfield Dumbass thinks you’re crazy

    That is my identical twin brother. I am more equal than he is though. And don’t bogart that joint motherfucker.

  69. 69
    mclaren says:

    @Kay: You’re an ignorant liar. Everything you’ve said about the senate health care bill is provably false.

    Piece of advice: when you tell these kinds of lies about the health care bill, make sure they’re plausible lies. Otherwise you look not only like a liar, but a stupid liar who pulls sh*t out of her ass in a failed and futile effort to defend an indefensible position.

    FACT: The HCR bill contained Medicare expansion…until the Democrats pulled it out a few weeks back in order to, you know, show that 2.2 trillion dollar a year health care industry how tough they were.

    Proof: Wall Street Journal article from December.

    FACT: the Congressional Budget Office has run the numbers and shows that 1 out of 5 families making between $50,000 and $75,000 per year will get hammered by the excise tax over the next 3 years as health care insurance premiums skyrocket. Oh, any by the way, that’s “skyrocket” as in Athem Blue Cross hitting up 800K people in California with a nice 39% premium increase. That’s 39% increase in one year. Do the math, jackhole. By the rule of 72, that means your health insurance premium more than doubles within 2 years. And 39% premium increase is low. Other insurance premiums have just been jacked up in California by 68%. Ya like apples? How ya like them apples, huh? Think a 68% annual premium increase is sustainable? Any idea how fast that pumps up your excise tax, Kay?

    Proof: Krugman’s latest column here, and proof that your claims about the excise tax are a lie straight from the Congressional Budget Office (try arguing with them, Kay) here.

    FACT: Expanding medicaid is a joke because most of the states are now broke. They’re shutting down medicaid because they can’t afford to pay it, it’s either shut down medcaid programs or close the fire departments. So expanding covering on a state program that’s disappearing is a neat scam. Sounds like something’s actually happening, but it’s all smoke and mirror, ’cause state medicaid is going away nationwide, the states just don’t have the money to pay for it, not in this massive fiscal catastrophe.

    “Facing relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care, virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid, even as Democrats push to add 15 million people to the rolls. “

    Source: New York Times.

    “Medicaid Cuts Hurt Calif. Dental Coverage, Drive Away Doctors in Okla.; Public Hospitals In NYC Fear Possible Reductions.

    Source: NPR.

    Kay, you’re an ignorant liar. Before you tell me I’m making stuff up, learn what’s actually in the f*#king senate bill and get your head out of your ass long enough to read what’s actually happening in the individual states with health care right now, today.

    I’ll let Harvard economist Umair Haque have the last word about this toxic scam misnamed “the senate health care reform” bill, which doesn’t reform health care and actually makes things worse:

    Why does Wall St love healthcare reform? Because the current bill has no healthcare reform in it. There are no changes to either market structure, industry structure, reporting, or incentive structures.

    In fact, it’s a de facto bailout of health insurers. Welcome back our old friends rescission, premium inflation, and price discrimination – all flavours of moral hazard. Say goodbye to, well, better health care.

    Why does Wall St love healthcare reform? As the chart shows, money’s poured into health insurers over the past few days – hot money from hedge funds in search of, by the microsecond, fake, value-destructive alpha. Why? Because a massive transfer of wealth from society to pharma – hmo shareholders is written into the so-called reform bill.

    One so large, I’d wager it’s going to be, along with a broken financial sector, one of the final nails in the coffin of American economic competitiveness.

    Source: Umair Haque’s economics 2.0 blog.

    Yeah, Kay, c’mon, keep those lies coming, keep telling us how the Congressional Budget Office is wrong, wrong, wrong and how the Harvard economists are all wrong, wrong, wrong.

    You’re the one who’s making sh*t up Kay, you’re pulling false claims about the senate HCR bill out your ass and you’ve just been caught and outed and proven to be a liar.

  70. 70
    mclaren says:

    @Kay: You’re an ignorant liar. Everything you’ve said about the senate health care bill is provably false.

    Piece of advice: when you tell these kinds of lies about the health care bill, make sure they’re plausible lies. Otherwise you look not only like a liar, but a stupid liar who pulls sh*t out of her ass in a failed and futile effort to defend an indefensible position.

    FACT: The HCR bill contained Medicare expansion…until the Democrats pulled it out a few weeks back in order to, you know, show that 2.2 trillion dollar a year health care industry how tough they were.

    Proof: Wall Street Journal article from December.

    So yes, the senate HCR actually did contain medicare (not just medicaid) expansion. Until the Demos pulled it at the last minute in a futile effort to get Repubs to sign on, which of course they never did.

  71. 71
    mclaren says:

    @Kay: you’re not just an ignorant liar, you’re a stupid liar when you claim the excise tax magically won’t apply to working families.

    FACT: the Congressional Budget Office has run the numbers and shows that 1 out of 5 families making between $50,000 and $75,000 per year will get hammered by the excise tax over the next 3 years as health care insurance premiums skyrocket. Oh, any by the way, that’s “skyrocket” as in Athem Blue Cross hitting up 800K people in California with a nice 39% premium increase. That’s 39% increase in one year. Do the math, jackhole. By the rule of 72, that means your health insurance premium more than doubles within 2 years. And 39% premium increase is low. Other insurance premiums have just been jacked up in California by 68%. Ya like apples? How ya like them apples, huh? Think a 68% annual premium increase is sustainable? Any idea how fast that pumps up your excise tax, Kay?

    Proof: Krugman’s latest column here, and proof that your claims about the excise tax are a lie straight from the Congressional Budget Office (try arguing with them, Kay) here.

  72. 72
    mclaren says:

    @Kay: your not just an ignorant liar and a stupid liar, you’re a grossly incompetent liar when you claim that expanding medicaid programs represents any kind of “fix” for our broken health care system.

    Earth to Kay: expanding medicaid isn’t health care ‘reform” because the states are already slashing medicaid programs as fast as they can. It’s just a three-card-monte scam to shift health care costs from the federal government (which is too broke to pay for it) to states (which are too brooke to pay for it). Nobody pays. Everybody’s broke.

    It’s a scam, Kay. Expanding the medicaid rolls makes it superficiially “look* like something gets done, but nothing actually happens, ’cause those 15 million new people on medicaid don’t actually get any medical care. The states can’t afford it.

    FACT: Expanding medicaid is a joke because most of the states are now broke. They’re shutting down medicaid because they can’t afford to pay it, it’s either shut down medcaid programs or close the fire departments. So expanding covering on a state program that’s disappearing is a neat scam. Sounds like something’s actually happening, but it’s all smoke and mirror, ’cause state medicaid is going away nationwide, the states just don’t have the money to pay for it, not in this massive fiscal catastrophe.

    “Facing relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care, virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid, even as Democrats push to add 15 million people to the rolls. “

    Source: New York Times.

    “Medicaid Cuts Hurt Calif. Dental Coverage, Drive Away Doctors in Okla.; Public Hospitals In NYC Fear Possible Reductions.

    Source: NPR.

  73. 73
    mclaren says:

    @Kay: FACT: Expanding medicaid is a joke because most of the states are now broke. They’re shutting down medicaid because they can’t afford to pay it, it’s either shut down medcaid programs or close the fire departments. So expanding covering on a state program that’s disappearing is a neat scam. Sounds like something’s actually happening, but it’s all smoke and mirror, ’cause state medicaid is going away nationwide, the states just don’t have the money to pay for it, not in this massive fiscal catastrophe.

    “Facing relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care, virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid, even as Democrats push to add 15 million people to the rolls. “

    Source: New York Times.

  74. 74
    mclaren says:

    Kay, your lies about HCR are not just ignorant, they’re stupid and incompetent. You need a better class of lie if you want to scam us into believing the Senate bill contains any actual health care “reform.”

    Before you tell me I’m making stuff up, Kay, learn what’s actually in the f*#king senate bill and get your head out of your ass long enough to read what’s actually happening in the individual states with health care right now, today.

    I’ll let Harvard economist Umair Haque have the last word about this toxic scam misnamed “the senate health care reform” bill, which doesn’t reform health care and actually makes things worse:

    Why does Wall St love healthcare reform? Because the current bill has no healthcare reform in it. There are no changes to either market structure, industry structure, reporting, or incentive structures.

    In fact, it’s a de facto bailout of health insurers. Welcome back our old friends rescission, premium inflation, and price discrimination – all flavours of moral hazard. Say goodbye to, well, better health care.

    Why does Wall St love healthcare reform? As the chart shows, money’s poured into health insurers over the past few days – hot money from hedge funds in search of, by the microsecond, fake, value-destructive alpha. Why? Because a massive transfer of wealth from society to pharma – hmo shareholders is written into the so-called reform bill.

    One so large, I’d wager it’s going to be, along with a broken financial sector, one of the final nails in the coffin of American economic competitiveness.

    Source: Umair Haque’s economics 2.0 blog.

  75. 75
    mclaren says:

    Oh, and Kay? Those claims you made about how the senate HCR bill’s expansion of medicaid is so wonderful and constitutes such magnificant reform?

    Facing relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care, virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid, even as Democrats push to add 15 million people to the rolls.

    Expanding enrollment in state medicaid programs whose funding is getting catastrophically slashed is not “reform,” Kay, it just makes the states go bankrupt faster.

    Source: New York Times story, 18 February 2010.

  76. 76
    Paul says:

    mclaren, you are a pathetic windbag.

  77. 77
    The Raven says:

    Eskow’s analysis: a bit of improvement from the Senate Bill, no real change on the excise tax (which looks worse & worse the more it is studied), and inadequate cost containment.

    The House will no doubt push back on the excise tax and several other points – and it should. But if you believe that this is our only chance to enact health reform, and that a flawed bill can be fixed after it has been passed, then the President’s Proposal will look pretty good to you. With the introduction of its proposal, which will probably be used as a discussion draft on Capitol Hill, the White House has clearly increased the likelihood that a bill will be passed this year.

  78. 78
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    the Congressional Budget Office has run the numbers and shows that 1 out of 5 families making between $50,000 and $75,000 per year will get hammered by the excise tax over the next 3 years as health care insurance premiums skyrocket. O

    Liberals got played on the excise tax. You’re battling a tax on insurance companies.
    What you should be asking is why people are taking 20% of wages in the form of a really expensive insurance policy, and who that benefits?
    It benefits insurance companies, mclaren.
    No one in their right mind trades wages in their hand for an insurance policy that may never pay off. 26k in wages is 26k. 26k worth of insurance costs the employer maybe 6k. You traded 26k for 6k.
    These policies don’t have a “value” of 26k. They’re loaded up with cheap “freebies” like eyeglasses and low co-pays. Yet people traded them for actual wages in their hand.
    It’s the scam of the century, and liberals are battling to preserve it. You’re battling to preserve the status quo.
    Congratulations. You have saved private insurers cash cow.

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    I can’t really start from scratch with you. Your initial compliant was that providers were overpaid and you took special exception to medical technicians who make 60k a year.
    You went on to describe people who make 50 to 75k a year as “the working poor”, which is ridiculous. “The working poor” make 9 dollars an hour. I know why you did it. Because no one can say with a straight face that this health care bill harms poor people, so all you did was change the definition of “poor people”.
    mclaren, if they expand medicaid by 15 million, they’re going to need more technicians and allied health professionals. This idea that supply stays static when they add 15 million people on the demand side is a teabagger concept, and it’s just silly.
    You should be cheering. Skilled jobs in health care are middle class jobs. Jobs in health care that require a two year community college degree are middle class jobs. The bill adds 15 million consumers. They’ll add jobs in health care.
    For all the keening and wailing that liberals have done over unemployment, it is flat-out amazing that this didn’t occur to any of you.

  80. 80
    kay says:

    @mclaren:

    mclaren, what did they spend 900 billion on? That’s how much it costs. What did they spend all that money on? Why was there all that fuss about the Cornhusker Kickback?

    I am sorry for calling you a “nitwit”, but I have to say, liberal’s analysis of the health care bill and health care problem has given me pause.
    It’s sloppy and incoherent. It doesn’t hang together in even the most ordinary ways.
    On the one hand, you’re insisting on a public option that will enroll maybe 3 million people, while you’re rejecting expansion of the existing public option, Medicaid, that will enroll 15 million.
    On the one hand you’re screaming that insurance companies are reaming us, all the while you’re fighting like hell to preserve a HUGE TAX BREAK for insurance companies, by opposing the excise tax.
    On the one hand you’re worried about the middle class, and in the next breath you’re insisting that a allied health professional or technician who makes 60k a year is overpaid.
    I have to say, this debate has made me doubt some of the other things liberals have told me, and that I may have accepted too easily. Because I gotta tell you, you’re incoherent on health care. You have no cohesive opinion or plan. You pull out individual elements and give no thought to how the thing might work as a whole. It shows, mclaren. If I think it through, I can’t make your complaints and demands hang together, or work. Whatever else you can say about the House or Senate bill, they’re crafted. They make sense. They may not play out as intended, but they’re better than a series of complaints and demands, that actually contradict or conflict when I put them together, which seems to be the “liberal plan”.

  81. 81
    Paul says:

    @kay:

    mclaren is not a liberal. Judging by his dishonest and largely incoherent ramblings, I’d peg him as a libertarian concern troll at best.

    This whole thread was truly out of character for this blog! I thought I was at a frat party.

  82. 82

    […] up on reading Balloon Juice, I saw that John Cole was thinking what I’ve been thinking: Democrats need to be saying the phrase “up or down vote” until they’re blue in […]

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