Happy Birthday Healthcare Reform! Looks Like We Made It!

We ain’t dead yet!

To commemorate the birthday of healthcare reform, Ron Johnson (Asshole-Wisconsin) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that is so fraught with bullshit, it compelled me to use the word “fraught” in this very blog post.

To put it another way, it’s a crock. It’s a crock of shit with a shit demi-glacé; that’s what I’m sayin’, y’all.

Calling the Affordable Healthcare Act the “single greatest assault on our freedom in his lifetime,”1 Senator Johnson went on to spin some yarn about how his daughter who had a heart condition (she’s alive and well having been treated under her father’s private insurance) would have been murdered by Obama’s Death (Panel) Eaters, and how sad is that?

I don’t even want to think what might have happened if she had been born at a time and place where government defined the limits for most insurance policies and set precedents on what would be covered. Would the life-saving procedures that saved her have been deemed cost-effective by policy makers deciding where to spend increasingly scarce tax dollars?

Carey’s story sounds like a miracle, but America has always been a place where medical miracles happen.

Nice try, dipshit.  The ACA doesn’t set precedents on what will be covered; it sets minimum limits on what private insurers must cover.  I mean, if health insurance companies are going to take your money, shouldn’t they spend it on health care?  I know.  It’s crazy talk.  I must be out of my mind.

From Jonathan Chait over at The New Republic:

That’s the argument. Johnson implies that procedures like this don’t happen elsewhere. Does he have any data? No. Does he have any reason to believe that the Affordable Care Act would prevent private insurance from covering procedures like this? No. That doesn’t happen in countries like Switzerland that have systems like the Affordable Care Act, and it doesn’t happen in the socialist hell of Massachusetts.

Indeed, one of the reasons for the law is that private health insurance often contains lifetime caps on coverage, or arbitrarily throws people who develop expensive conditions off their plans, and therefore keeps people from getting procedures like the one Johnson’s daughter received. But asking someone like him to actually take into consideration the actual needs of the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, as against the completely imaginary threat to his only family, is asking far too much of Johnson’s intellect or moral reasoning.

Pretty much.

But enough talk about Teabilly assholes.

It’s a celebration, bitches! Let’s look back on what Obama said one year ago today:

Don’t you just love snarky Obama?

1 I wish you could go back in time and be a minority or a woman, Senator Jackhole.

[cross-posted here at Angry Black Lady Chronicles. Stop by and take my really stupid poll.]






202 replies
  1. 1
    virag says:

    it wasn’t health care reform. it was health insurance reform. not the same thing. reading comprehension, bitches! i’d rather have some real health care reform than snarky obama.

  2. 2
    mr. whipple says:

    Yeah, yeah, celebrate away.

    Obama still has my public option penis/pony/rainbow unicorn.

  3. 3
    Tim, Interrupted says:

    I completely agree with everything in this post, and find it to be exceedingly well written as well.

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    In a conversation with a Republican, truth and facts are about as useful as a hockey stick at a lacrosse game.

  5. 5
    Zam says:

    He often used the “Obama wants to kill my daughter” line in the campaign.

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    @virag:

    Tell ya what. You go tell the Wilhite family and the Walters family that you don’t give a shit that their children are going to live and their families are not going to be thrown into bankruptcy because the ACA did not align perfectly with your specifications.

    I’m sure they’ll be very interested to hear your perspective that their child should have died since you couldn’t get your healthcare pony.

  7. 7
    WyldPirate says:

    Yeah, that Health care act is doing such a great job reining in costs (highest rate of premium increase in 5 years in 2011). It’s been so helpful in getting my diabetic, post-triple bypass ass health care since my Cobra subsidy went kaput and left me with the choice of $560/MONTH Cobra premiums on the last legs of my unemployment insurance or eating and keeping a roof over my head.

    Yeah, us poor unemployed sick folk not eliegible for Medicare or Medcaid are just thriving in Obama’s Hopey-Changey world, ABL

  8. 8
    MattR says:

    @Mnemosyne: The ACA was definitely an improvement over the status quo, but virag is correct that it was essentially health insurance reform as opposed to true health care reform.

  9. 9
    virag says:

    ‘today…health insurance reform becomes law of the united states of america–today.’

    not a big enough fucking deal.

    video at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03.....ealth.html

    he says it: health insurance reform.

  10. 10
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    Seems to me that virag’s (and WyldPirate’s) point was that if they personally were not helped by the ACA in the past year, it shouldn’t have passed at all.

  11. 11
    virag says:

    and there’s the link. anyway.

  12. 12
    eemom says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Are you being your typical asshole self by ignoring the fact that most of the law doesn’t go into effect until 2014?

    Nah. You’re probably being your typical asshole self by asserting that the 2014 effective date makes the whole thing worthless.

  13. 13
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    that’s umm…inane. reading comprehension! please?

  14. 14

    @Tim, Interrupted: i have to hat tip your name, dear tim. funny.

  15. 15

    healthcare reform, health insurance reform, smealth shminsurance smeform.

    let’s call the whole thing off.

  16. 16
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @WyldPirate:

    It’s been so helpful in getting my diabetic, post-triple bypass ass health care since my Cobra subsidy went kaput and left me with the choice of $560/MONTH Cobra premiums on the last legs of my unemployment insurance or eating and keeping a roof over my head.

    $560/month is hardly an outrageous monthly premium in this country. Especially for a fat ass like yourself.

    It sounds to me like you have a joblessness problem more than a health insurance problem.

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m sure they’ll be very interested to hear your perspective that their child should have died since you couldn’t get your healthcare pony.

    Oh wow, dying cancer kids and ponies. That’s clever and original. Groundbreaking really. Although, I suppose an anniversary is an appropriate venue to bust out the old classics.

    Quick, somebody talk about the perfect being the enemy of the good and then get sexually aroused by Nancy Pelosi’s gavel! And then somebody else can start yelling about corporate whores and we can all just laugh and laugh and laugh and then die a little inside…

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    teehee. This made me laugh out loud

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    Really? Pointing out that two little girls are going to be able to continue cancer treatment thanks to the ACA is “inane”?

    Yes, silly me thinking about the families that have been helped already instead of nitpicking over whether ABL should call it “healthcare reform” or “health insurance reform.”. Sorry to waste your time talking about actual people instead of terminology.

  19. 19
    eemom says:

    The nomenclature too is vastly important. The fact that some idiot on a blog can argue that well, technically, it’s reeealllly “health insurance reform” and not “health care reform,” makes a huge difference to what the law will actually accomplish.

  20. 20
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    really, good for them. i love cuddly kids. and ponies. and lobbyist produced videos. really, i do! but the health insurance reform–there it is again!–is a pretty piss poor outcome in the face of the health care coverage, funding and delivery crisis–not health insurance crisis; health insurance is doing just fucking peachy these days!–in our freedom bomb loving united states.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @burnspbesq: Can’t let your head get too big :-)

    The Blue Jays’ all-time record is now 904-293-15 (.752) … that’s 611 games over .500. To put this in perspective: JHU has played an average of just over 15 games per season under head coach Dave Pietramala. Using a 15-game season as a reference, if the Blue Jays posted a 5-10 record for 120 straight seasons, they would still be 11 games over .500.

  22. 22
    JWL says:

    ABL: Obviously, the president has experienced the emotion. But can you recall a single instance in which Obama has expressed (in political terms) a genuine anger about anything?

  23. 23
    Caz says:

    Clearly, you don’t have the slightest clue what this law does. And I don’t just mean the personal mandate, which is unconstitutional. The whole thing is sham, designed to trick ignoramuses like you into thinking that their motivation is to provide health care to all Americans.

    What are you going to say when your dollar is virtually worthless and the government is forcing you to buy health foods with part of your paycheck and any new car you buy has to be either a GM or a Chrysler?

    So clueless.

    Again, I won’t be back to see any responses to this post, but I will fantasize about all the “troll” comments that somehow validate your idiocy.

  24. 24
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    yeah, the response was inane. the president very carefully called it health insurance reform. words matter. elections have outcomes. or not.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    Seriously, Bobbo, you’re complaining about bringing up the old classics in a “looking back” post? You must have been a laugh riot at your high school reunion as you demanded that no one talk about high school.

  26. 26
    WyldPirate says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    Oh horseshit, Mnemosyne. The point is, it is a drop in the fucking bucket. It always will be until you get rid of the vultures in private insurance adding 30%+ to the costs of everything that they rake off for profit while contributing nothing to anyone’s health care.

  27. 27
    eemom says:

    @JWL:

    Heeelllll NO!

    Yer right. For genuine political anger, the black dude ain’t got nothing on that orange guy.

  28. 28
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JWL: I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille!

    Emotion isn’t performance, and neither one is presidentin’. Pointless question, uninteresting answer.

    As for the matter at hand, isn’t Ron Johnson a mega-millionaire? Even if there were limits on how much insurance could cover, that’s not the same thing as stopping a doctor from doing work that you then pay for out of pocket, is it? Even in Ron Johnson’s dystopian vision, people like Ron Fucking Johnson could still pay for medical treatments for their daughters. What an embarrassment. I hope this class of senators is a punchline forever, like those bewhiskered 19th-century presidents on either side of Lincoln. “Who was that? What did he do? What was he promising? Restriction on what? You have to be making this up.”

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    but the health insurance reform—there it is again!—is a pretty piss poor outcome in the face of the health care coverage, funding and delivery crisis

    And doing absolutely nothing would have magically fixed that crisis? Because, frankly, those were our two choices last year: do nothing or make some needed changes. Magic ponies were not going to appear if the ACA failed.

  30. 30
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @eemom:

    Insuring 8-10% of the country at negative net expense to the federal government while leaving the overwhelming majority of the insured largely unaffected?

    I agree, a successful, economical, moderate reform is a pretty silly thing to waste such passion and acrimony over. For or against, really. It really says a lot about the fucked-upedness of the political system that what is ultimately a pretty lazy short term fix is somehow the Biggest Most Controversial Bill in Recent History.

  31. 31
    MattR says:

    @eemom: Nomenclature makes no difference to what the law will accomplish. But it does make a difference in what people’s expectations for the law are. I don’t think you are going to argue that managing expectations and messaging are politically unimportant.

    PS. I hope you never complained about any Bush era messaging since you don’t think it matters mock those who point it out. (EDITED) (ie. Clean Skies Act, No Child Left Behind, death tax, etc)

  32. 32
    Allan says:

    @WyldPirate: Well, to be fair, the entire point of the legislation was to kill you. Which is why so many millions of people lobbied Congress on its behalf.

  33. 33
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: If we can’t stop energy companies from just spewing obvious toxins everywhere, sad to say, you’re in for a long wait expecting the extinction of insurance companies.

  34. 34
    virag says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    rather than light a candle and blow off fireworks celebrating what is essentially one health-insurance-reform step forward from utter failure in addressing the real and continuing health care crisis, we’d all be better off noting the anniversary, discussing what happened and moving ahead. getting carried away over such a sorry state of affairs is pathetic.

  35. 35
    WyldPirate says:

    @Bob Loblaw: @Bob Loblaw:

    $560/month is hardly an outrageous monthly premium in this country. Especially for a fat ass like yourself.

    Fuck you, Bob. I’m not a fat ass, you sorry motherfucker. Probably can both outrun and whip your sorry ass right now.

    It sounds to me like you have a joblessness problem more than a health insurance problem.

    Goddamned skippy I do you stupid fuck. So do 16% of the rest of America. But it appears the President–who’s cock all you Obots are lined up to suck all the time–thinks shit like starting a third war in the middle east can be paid for with a little “belt-tightening” and a few fired teachers.

    Now run the fuck along and pick some short-n-curlies out of your teeth, dickhead.

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): Those contradictions just don’t heighten themselves, ducks.

  37. 37
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): Also, women should not have rallied to be able to vote until black people could do it un-harassed. Sorry, ladies, we’re still working on that one. But let there never be halfway measures that let the system off the hook!

  38. 38
    burnspbesq says:

    @MattR:

    Tradition is great, but it’s no substitute for players. The Hop is in danger of becoming irrelevant outside Baltimore, and you can no longer win championships with a roster made up entirely of Baltimore kids. There are too many superior athletes taking up the game in places outside its traditional home. Duke won the championship last year without a single Baltimore-area player on its roster.

    A superior athlete who’s a lax-playing sophomore in high school was in fourth grade when Kyle Harrison graduated, and in seventh when Rabil graduated. That kid has no idea who Kyle Harrison is, but he sure as hell knows who the Brattons are. And that’s what Pietramala is up against in recruiting.

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Even in Ron Johnson’s dystopian vision, people like Ron Fucking Johnson could still pay for medical treatments for their daughters.

    I had no idea he was related to Bucky Dent…

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: Take your pill, WP, you’ve got that Tourette’s variant kicking in where all you can talk about is pen1ses.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    One year later and health care reform is still the wedge issue for Liberals that it always was. I too, long for the special days last winter where liberaldom almost completely fell apart attacking itself because it almost had a chance a modest reform.

  42. 42
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    And miss an opportunity to make fun of this blog’s botox granny hammer fetish?

    I wonder what Jane Hamsher’s BFF Grover would have to say about that?

    @JWL:

    But can you recall a single instance in which Obama has expressed (in political terms) a genuine anger about anything?

    When the sanctimonious lefties got all snide about his non-stimulative but totally bipartisan and compromis-o-rific tax cut extension. Also, he might have gotten pissed during the oil spill thing. I don’t even remember.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    @virag:

    Dude, it wasn’t the ideal, but it was THE FIRST serious regulation of the health care insurance industry at the national level in this country. And I don’t know where you get off parsing out health care insurance, from health care reform. The folks who will benefit, and are now from the new regs, I think would quibble that their health care is now better, that it is mobile from job to job, and the worry of their kids uninsured during their college years is alleviated, and those in a few years who couldn’t get health care, or insurance, other than the emergency room, will certainly say their health care has been reformed, from not having any, to now having some. health care insurance is the means in this country to entry into primary care, and stable health care, and that is most certainly health care reform.

  44. 44
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    and health care reform is not going to happen without the political will to make it happen. it’s just not in my nature to celebrate failure.

    certain provisions will be beneficial to some americans. nothing wrong with that. not a big fucking deal, though, considering the enormity of the problem.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    The point is, it is a drop in the fucking bucket

    Again, the choice we had last year was the ACA or nothing. This wasn’t 1992, when most health insurance companies were nonprofit. Almost all I’d them are for-profit now, and we have to deal with that reality that we didn’t have 20 years ago.

    It always will be until you get rid of the vultures in private insurance adding 30%+ to the costs of everything that they rake off for profit while contributing nothing to anyone’s health care.

    Healthcare is currently about 1/3rd of our economy. How do you propose shutting it all down immediately without throwing millions of people out of work and making our economic situation even worse than it is now?

    And, of course, there’s the fact that the insurance companies are only the most obvious part of the problem. Do you really think that hospitals would stop charging $10 for a Tylenol if all of the insurance companies were shuttered tomorrow?

  46. 46

    @eemom: but the real question is: are there gonna be boots onna ground™?

  47. 47
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag:

    it’s just not in my nature to celebrate failure.

    On the contrary, you seem pretty pleased with “failure,” in that it gives you the opportunity to boast about how hardcore you are not to celebrate it.

  48. 48
    MattR says:

    @burnspbesq: Nah. Hopkins still does fine recruiting throughout the eastern seaboard. (Heck, we even have a goalie from Arizona) IMO, the real problem is that Pietramala is too defensive minded as a coach and as a result he can’t consistently recruit elite offensive talent. This year’s team is holding teams to about 5.5 goals per game but only scored 3 and 4 goals in the two games against top opponents. OTOH, you’ll be rooting for us as we face UVA, UNC and UMD over the next 4 Saturdays.

  49. 49
    Mark S. says:

    That is truly the sleaziest op-ed I’ve ever read. “Obama would have let my daughter die!” followed by a bunch of lies about what the law actually does and more lies about other countries’ health care systems.

    @Caz:

    What are you going to say when your dollar is virtually worthless and the government is forcing you to buy health foods with part of your paycheck and any new car you buy has to be either a GM or a Chrysler?

    Doug, you’re a genius! (It’s gotta be Doug, because no one could possibly be that fucking stupid in real life)

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    @virag:

    it wasn’t health care reform. it was health insurance reform. not the same thing. reading comprehension, bitches! i’d rather have some real health care reform than snarky obama.

    You’re making me miss matoko-chan. At least her incoherence came with a cute factor attached.

  51. 51
    Allan says:

    @virag: Because real progressives don’t celebrate progress, amirite? No cake and candles for you until the big bad insurance companies are all shuttered for good, and their employees are all on UI!

  52. 52
    General Stuck says:

    And it is always precious, that folks out of one side of their mouth, complain that dems and Obama have failed to sell the HCR to the voters, and out of the other side of their mouth rail about what a shitty bill it was and trash it with every breath.

  53. 53

    you people are the biggest pains in the ass on the entire internet.

    i’m taking my six-pack and going back home where it’s fun and people don’t whinge over every fucking little thing.

    i’m too old drunk [insert emotion that is exactly 180 degrees from the misery in this comment section] for this shit.

    ~MurtaughABL out~

  54. 54
    virag says:

    @eemom:

    if you don’t think that the obama administration and the speech writers aren’t reeeeeeeeaaaly careful with their choice of words, then you are the idiot who doesn’t see the difference between what health insurance reform and health care reform are _intended_ to accomplish. if they had achieved or wanted health _care_ reform, then they would have been shouting the phrase health care reform during that signing speech.

  55. 55

    Fine. Affordable Care Act. That’s what I’ll call it, and I will celebrate it as a step towards health care reform because that’s what it fusilli is. Good lord. It has helped young people stay on their parents’ plans longer than they would have been able to in the past. That’s a big Fu Schnicken deal. Both Al Franken and Keith Ellison commented on it.

    And, here is a video of a real person telling how it helped him–in his own words.

    It’s NOT small potatoes.

  56. 56
    Allan says:

    @Caz:

    Again, I won’t be back to see any responses to this post, but I will fantasize about all the “troll” comments that somehow validate your idiocy.

    Wow, you lead a full, rich life.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    @MattR:

    OTOH, you’ll be rooting for us as we face UVA, UNC and UMD over the next 4 Saturdays.

    Naah (well, maybe a little against Carolina). Our focus is kinda elsewhere for the next two weekends.

  58. 58

    @burnspbesq: Well, drop by ABL’s place and see if you can spot her.

  59. 59
    Suffern ACE says:

    One year later, and the anger is still directed in the right direction and away from the supporters of the status quo in our corrupt and VERY EXPENSIVE medical system. Only country OECD who hasn’t been able to solve the problem of cost containment while giving its citizens adequate care.

    If we ever get “Single Player” or a “Public Option,” I’m sure liberal rage will reach a point that they will just go burn down the White House in contempt. That’s strategy for long term success if there is one.

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    it’s just not in my nature to celebrate failure.

    My co-worker can now keep his son on his work insurance. I’ll ask him tomorrow if he thinks it’s a total failure that his son can go to the doctor if he needs to rather than staying uninsured.

    Oh, but you’ve already said that you’re completely uninterested in whether or not the legislation actually helps people since it did not take your preferred form, so I’m guessing you won’t care what someone who was helped by it thinks about it. As far as you’re concerned, it’s a failure no matter how many people it helps.

  61. 61
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Ah, I see. You were one of those skinny diabetics with heart problems.

    Also, I would like the greater Balloon Juice community at large to notice my induction into the Obot organization. Is there cake and punch or do I just get some shitty welcome email?

    @Angry Black Lady:

    you people are the biggest pains in the ass on the entire internet.

    Who are apparently all up in your head now, wreaking havoc. Even Kain showed more toughness. And he was a libertarian.

  62. 62
    leo says:

    Jan Shakowsky spoke at an event organized this evening by Citizen Action-IL in Chicago. She main the point that someday people are going to be running around saying how much they love Obamacare. ‘I heart Obamacase’ she said.

    http://i68.photobucket.com/alb.....00x200.png
    http://i68.photobucket.com/alb.....00x200.png

  63. 63
    MattR says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Did you not hang out here before agreeing to post on the front page?

    @burnspbesq: Huh? Is something going on I should be aware of?

  64. 64
    virag says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    it’s an issue because of the predilection for undue celebration and puffing up of snarky obama.

    i’m all for a discussion of our current health care issues and what we should be doing going forward, but this aint it.

  65. 65
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    read what i wrote, for christ’s sake! there are benefits–good!–but it’s a shitty law and i’m not getting all weepy about it!

  66. 66

    ::pops head back in::

    oh one more thing just to make this little comment funeral complete:

    .

    .

    whargarbbleballoonbaggersblarghity

    .

    .

    ::closes door::

  67. 67
    Allan says:

    @virag:

    i’m all for a discussion of our current health care issues and what we should be doing going forward, but this aint it.

    Hmm, well, people are typing and posting comments, and the topic is the Affordable Care Act anniversary, so if you have something important to say about how it should be improved, I don’t see anyone stopping you.

    Be a dear and include the legislative path toward achieving the improvements you advise.

  68. 68
    WyldPirate says:

    @Allan:

    No, my entire point was that the health care act is not slowing the rate of growth of health care costs in the least. I don’t believe it will at all. If the growth in costs are not slowed, it will wreck the economy.

    Doing things after the fact—and avoiding taking care of oneself (like I did)–is the biggest part of the problem. The development of chronic diseases along with the ability to keep people alive for long periods of time while they live with those chronic diseases and the complications of those chronic illnesses is what will sink the health care system. Costs will not be reined in until there is a sea-change in life style made by Americans.

    I didn’t have the discipline or the genetics to prevent what happened to me health-wise prior to suffering a very nearly fatal consequence. I’ve developed the discipline and have the knowledge to take care of myself and get back into the best shape I possibly can and hopefully maintain a good quality of life for as long as possible. It’s going to cost me a few extra grand a year for the rest of my life and no matter how diligent I am at monitoring my health, my life span will be shortened because of it.

    There is a tidal wave of people in America that are walking the path I walked. Most of them will not have the discipline to take care of themselves as I have so far. Not even close. those are the ones that are fgoing to tank the health care system.

  69. 69
    Redshift says:

    @Allan: I was finding it hilarious that it wasn’t even good enough to get called a troll, and had to fantasize about being called one.

  70. 70
    virag says:

    @General Stuck:

    and that’s pretty fucking sad.

  71. 71

    @Bob Loblaw: in your fucking dreams, champ.

    YOU PEOPLE ARE BORING.

    same shit from the same people.

    i try to have a real discussion about real issues earlier today?

    same shit from the same people.

    i likes my internet likes i like my men: JEWISH FUN.

    so, high five yourself for being awesome if you must. or think fondly of all the verbal beatdowns you suffered at my hand. or come hang out at ABLC and show me what ya got. i’ll leave the light on for ya.

    smooches.

    ::locks and barricades door::

    ABL

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    it’s an issue because of the predilection for undue celebration and puffing up of snarky obama.

    You must be a hoot at parties. You and Caz should get together and write us up a little charter so we know when we’re allowed to celebrate and how enthusiastic we’re permitted to be at the celebration.

  73. 73
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    damn, that’s philosophical.

  74. 74
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    I’ll ask him tomorrow if he thinks it’s a total failure that his son can go to the doctor if he needs to rather than staying uninsured.

    That’s always seemed the weakest sister of comments in support of the bill. In what way is it not a complete market failure that an adult in their mid-to-late twenties should need to be handcuffed to their parents’ insurance? That’s something to be rather embarrassed about I’d think, rather than celebrate. Clearly a lot is still fundamentally wrong with the confluence of employment and insurability and affordability in this country.

    @virag:

    What’s the deal with this ‘snarky Obama’ crap exactly? Why are you demanding reasoned discussion when you seem to be taking things irrationally personal?

    Should Presidents and Congresses who show an occasional capacity to pass complex, wide-ranging legislation not be celebrated for the sake of competence alone? It was a genuinely distinctive effort.

  75. 75
    Allan says:

    @WyldPirate: Sounds like you’re arguing for a greater emphasis on preventative care and better chronic illness management. Both of which are addressed in the ACA by bringing millions of more Americans under insurance. And I’m sure you cheer the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign and focus on healthy eating.

  76. 76
    Razorwhite says:

    …Is that why America will, so they say, never get single-payer healthcare? Because of the whole mean-spirited “rar fuck you for not having a virtuous disease” business? “Ah, I see you have health problems. But, since it was diabetes and heart problems, you must obviously be fat, so you deserve to suffer! Bwa ha ha ha ha fat people.”

    I’m a big fat guy myself, so my heart’s in it. But my cousin, who’s one year older than me (which makes him approximately mayfly-old – less than thirty, anyway) is a well-built and cut package of athletic and muscular might. He got the heart attack last year. Not a little blip, either. The hospital told his father that they could keep him going long enough for his father to say goodbye, and that would be about it.

    In mid February I had the pleasure of seeing him at his brother’s wedding, mostly recovered, walking and talking unassisted, fully in control of himself, and with the full potential to give me a full hug at the end, which (naturally) made me all sniffly. This was in Australia, where we’re all covered by Medicare (a different Medicare; there’s just only so many abbreviations for this kind of thing) and can, if we so desire, buy private insurance. My cousin didn’t have private insurance and they flew him from state to state to get the attentions of some of the best cardiologists in the world anyway. So, in this nightmare world of socialised medicine, someone who was definitely going to die got treated back to health at the government’s expense, but you keep talking about how Obama’s gonna kill your daughter, Mr. Johnson, because that makes perfect sense.

    (And my anecdote is fuckin’ data. That’s how factual my anecdote is. It’s not just a datum, it’s fuckin’ data. It’s eight points of data.)

    From what I can see over here the ACA certainly ain’t perfect. But I think it’s much more likely to be a step on the way than it is to be a stopping point. And I think it’s a step in a good way. I think America’s health system will keep treadin’ the helpful path, even if it might take a while.

    (If it doesn’t, and the Republicans get everything they want… um, I can lend people couch-space for a while if they want.)

  77. 77
    General Stuck says:

    @virag:

    Thirty million more people are going to have access to health care in this country, where before they were shut out. That is progress, and significant progress, ergo – progressive. If you think that is “pretty fucking sad”, then that is your personal problem.

  78. 78
    virag says:

    @burnspbesq:

    reading…comprehension.

    try it. you need it. you want it. you can do it!

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    Goddamned skippy I do you stupid fuck. So do 16% of the rest of America. But it appears the President—who’s cock all you Obots are lined up to suck all the time—thinks shit like starting a third war in the middle east can be paid for with a little “belt-tightening” and a few fired teachers.

    Earlier today Wyld was bitching because ABL didn’t have comments on her post. Real fucking mystery why, ehh?

  80. 80
    WyldPirate says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Ah, I see. You were one of those skinny diabetics with heart problems.

    No, you dumbass, non-reading motherfucker, I said no such thing. I simply said that I’m not overweight now.

    But, just for your edification–if you can remove your head from your ass long enough to pay attention and can read well enough to comprehend–there are people who develop diabetes who are not overweight and never were.

  81. 81
    virag says:

    @Allan:

    you just have a lower bar for celebration. not a sin, i guess.

  82. 82
    Joel says:

    The ACA was an exercise in sausage making. In this case, it was an Oscar Meyer. Nothing ideal, but certainly tastier than the ground up rat meat the Republicans had been planning to serve up.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Pleading for page hits to your blog? That’s Sad Black Lady behavior.

  85. 85
    hhex65 says:

    It’s also the 0th anniversary of a parade of morons marking each successive anniversary of ACA with an Op-Ed in the WSJ.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    virag says:

    @Allan:

    i thought the topic was the self-satisfied celebration of pres. obama’s glorious triumph?

    thanks for your input, though.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    No, my entire point was that the health care act is not slowing the rate of growth of health care costs in the least.

    That’s true but, frankly, no one said the ACA would solve that problem — and all of the other myriad problems with our system — in the first year. Thanks to Blue Dog deficit fever, it wasn’t set up to do that. It was set up to roll out slowly over the next few years.

    There are pilot programs built into ACA that will look at moving our system away from fee for service, which is one of the big things driving our costs up right now. Insurance companies will be limited in the amount of profit they can make, which means they’ll probably start getting out of the healthcare business over the next decade or so.

    Like it or not, we have a giant, ungainly behemoth of a system right now and no legislation on earth was going to fix that in a single year. It took South Korea about 15 years to transition from a for-profit system to universal healthcare, and that’s considered lightning speed.

    There are no quick fixes to this problem. Period.

    (There is no scroll bar on the new mobile version. Grr.)

  89. 89
    WyldPirate says:

    @John Cole:

    Me and a whole lot of other people, JC.

    Funny, but you don’t seem to impressed with Obama’s foreign policy either. Though I will admit you did seem interested in listening to some esoteric, historical argument in order to justify Obama’s foreign policy.

    I saw ABL’s argument from earlier today much like I do this one on the ACA; a bunch of lame-assed partisan cheerleading about ineffectual–to borderline destructive policy.

  90. 90
    Allan says:

    @virag: Whew, that’s a relief. I was afraid I was going straight to Hell for pausing a moment and reflecting on the favorable aspects of a piece of legislation and the positive impact it will have on some Americans’ lives.

  91. 91
  92. 92
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @John Cole:

    To be fair, I did countertroll like a motherfucker.

    Enough so to make an Australian question the relative viciousness and inhumanity of American society. Job well done, me.

  93. 93
    Allan says:

    @virag: Well, I guess we all celebrate in our own way, but after what you did to the punchbowl, I’m switching to gin.

  94. 94
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    i’ll write it if you’ll _actually_ _read_ it.

  95. 95
    WyldPirate says:

    @Allan:

    I am arguing for exactly that, allan. Thank you for recognizing that.

    I think what the Michelle Obama is doing is beyond awesome. I think far more emphasis should be put on it in the ACA. Whatever the money is being put into developing programs to educate people about preventive care—isn’t nearly enough.

    I think the ball will get dropped though. Our system is geared to be a procedure based, after the fact, system. There is no big money for the cardiologists or surgeons to make without lots of chronically ill people who spend 2-3 decades in a chronically ill state that requires loads of treatment.

    Sort of like banking reform–to much money to be made by keeping a shitty system intact.

  96. 96
    Jethro Troll says:

    So, Mr WyldPirate, would you have preferred that Obama not given you that COBRA subsidy at all in the first place?

  97. 97
    virag says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    bob loblaw?

    the ‘snarky obama’ came from abl herself, atmo. she just _luuved_ herself the hollow triumphalism of ‘snarky obama’. i’m not taking anything personally, just having some fun with the locals. and no i’m not going to get all wet and sticky over a president who over promised and under delivered on something this important, atmo. sorry, atmo.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    In what way is it not a complete market failure that an adult in their mid-to-late twenties should need to be handcuffed to their parents’ insurance?

    I’m not sure why you think it’s a point against the ACA that people can keep their adult children on their insurance. It’s pretty clearly an interim solution to another problem, namely that a lot of businesses were being priced out of the insurance market, making it hard for young adults to find jobs that offer insurance. It’s a stopgap solution to ease a crisis, not a permanent policy.

  99. 99
    virag says:

    @General Stuck:

    i guess we’ll disagree over ‘significant’ given what was promised and what was necessary. fwiw, i believe the outcome we have is pretty close to the actual objective all along.

  100. 100
    General Stuck says:

    @virag:

    and no i’m not going to get all wet and sticky over a president who over promised and under delivered on something this important, atmo. sorry, atmo

    And a very special flower you are, all concerned and disappointed. The locals couldn’t care less.

  101. 101
    JWL says:

    I asked an honest question about Obama and anger. It was then assaulted, by projection.

    I submit that anger is an essential component of any president (or politician, for that matter). What angers them, reveals who they are. FDR welcomed the hatred of malefactors of great wealth. LBJ overturned the cultural status quo, citing the wickedness of entrenched bigotry as a domestic evil.

    So, I ask again. For the life of me, I can’t recall a single instance in which the President Obama has revealed a sense of anger about any issue confronting the American people.

    Can you?

  102. 102
    Allan says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): If Bob Loblaw’s boat was sinking, he would refuse to stick a cork in the hole because it was, at best, a temporary fix and not a permanent solution to water intake.

  103. 103
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    no quick fixes? no quick fixes.

    i agree with that.

  104. 104
    General Stuck says:

    @virag:

    i guess we’ll disagree over ‘significant’ given what was promised and what was necessary.

    What was promised that wasn’t delivered? The only thing Obama promised was to do HCR, and achieve something like universal coverage.

  105. 105
    Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel) says:

    Sorry I’m late. Did some one here call for a Jewish man?

    Oh, wait. Shit. Wrong handle.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    Also, too, like every other country we’re going to have higher healthcare costs for a while as the Baby Boom generation works it’s way through the system. That’s just a demographic fact. But we could be spending those same healthcare dollars a hell of a lot smarter than we are now, and ACA moves us in that direction and away from, say, Medicare Advantage type of bullshit.

  107. 107
    virag says:

    @Allan:

    i’m truly happy for you.

  108. 108
    GregB says:

    @JWL:

    I think that he’s pushed the public display of anger so far out of sight for fear that is the one thing that would actually frighten off too many white folks.

    He’d rather be mocked than feared.

  109. 109
    Allan says:

    @JWL: Perhaps some of us simply reject your premise, and don’t share your yearning for the president as a stern father figure.

  110. 110
    General Stuck says:

    @JWL:

    No one cares about your stupid litmus tests. But of course you.

  111. 111
    virag says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    you are some kind of superhero, atmo.

  112. 112
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    So then you’re agreeing that an “interim stopgap solution” isn’t a premium selling point for the bill? Um, exactly.

  113. 113
    virag says:

    @Allan:

    probably a good idea, considering.

  114. 114
    JW says:

    @JWL: I’m glad he’s not an angry person. Come on, you want an angry President? Me? Not so much.

  115. 115
    WyldPirate says:

    @Jethro Troll:

    Goddamned, but do you people like building strawmen and tossing out red herrings everywhere.

    Of course I appreciated the subsidy. That doesn’t eliminate the fact that the ACA is going to do little to rein in the destructive effect of the unsustainable rate of growth in health care costs.

    I threw in the stuff about my personal situation to illustrate what a pinch people are in. People who don’t have health insurance—and who are required to buy “insurance” under the ACA, subsidized or not–are going to be stretched to the limit even if they are not sick. If they get sick, and have to pay copays comparable to today’s policies, They will be hurting financially. That’s the sort of shit that happens when one lives pay check to pay check like about half this country does.

  116. 116
    virag says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    and as a purely practical matter, this provision is one thing the kids are loving. it’s a stunt, as well as a sign of failure to provide actual universal coverage or something like it, but the kids love the idea of getting that money back in their checks as long as they can. good for them. children are god’s gift to the world!

  117. 117
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JW: I think I voted for poise. If I wanted angry, I would have voted for Grumpy and Palin.

  118. 118
    virag says:

    @General Stuck:

    you’re a great american. thanks for coming in!

  119. 119
    WyldPirate says:

    @JWL:

    You must be new around here, JWL. Don’t you know that Obama is a black man and can’t be angry? He can be President, but anger isn’t allowed.

    Damn, one of you Obots need to codify some of these excuses ya’ll come up with for President Immaculate Perfection.

  120. 120
    virag says:

    @General Stuck:

    and he did a damn fine job of it, sir. another glorious victory. and we can’t forget your role in it, general!

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    For the life of me, I can’t recall a single instance in which the President Obama has revealed a sense of anger about any issue confronting the American people.

    I can think of several instances, including after the BP spill and when the Repugs were blocking the end of the Bush tax cuts.

    But this is where we get into a cultural difference. No, I don’t mean between black and white, but between different regions.

    See, I’m originally from the Midwest — just outside of Chicago, actually — and we don’t get all screamy/pointy/hysterical lime the rest of you do. We get very intense and quiet and precise.

    So yes, there have been multiple times over the past two years where I’ve watched the president and thought, “Oh, man, he is pissed right now!” Because that’s how we do pissed off in the Midwest.

  122. 122
    General Stuck says:

    Threads like these have gotten very creepy for me. It’s like getting stuck, again, after many other times, in some weird space/time loopety loop. Whereas, life on planet blog cannot commence until liberal disappointment is given some CPR and a pat on the behind for reassurance, or something.

    Someday, I hope for an occurrence where Obama does something right, then we can celebrate without training wheels for the children among us.

    I am off to sleep, and dreams that may bring some sense of reality. with any luck

  123. 123
    Mark S. says:

    @virag:

    Why do you keep calling Loblow atmo? What does it mean?

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne (iPod Touch) says:

    Editing on an iPod Touch sucks ass, and my thumbs are tired, so I’m off to sleep. ‘Night, all.

  125. 125
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch):

    So yes, there have been multiple times over the past two years where I’ve watched the president and thought, “Oh, man, he is pissed right now!” Because that’s how we do pissed off in the Midwest.

    Hmm, yes, I’ve never seen you write that before. Never.

    Geez, you’re more derivative than WyldPirate. And nobody should be more derivative than WyldPirate.

  126. 126
    virag says:

    @Mark S.:

    according to my opinion. it’s an inside joke from another realm that bob loblaw haunts. unless it’s a different guy, and then he has no idea what the hell it’s about!

  127. 127
    virag says:

    @General Stuck:

    do they have lollipops in your dreamland? does nice president obama tuck you in and tell you all is good and right and anyone who says otherwise is a childish bully? that sounds like a very nice place. i can see why you love it so. everything is perfect. sleep tight. obama’s here. tomorrow you’ll have cupcakes. awww.

  128. 128
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Ooh, this is fun!

    If you’re in the desert, thirsty, and you see a few drops of water on a leaf. Naturally, you get pissed of and demand a daiquiri, not just a drop of water. I mean, what the fuck good is a drop or two of water?

  129. 129
    J. Michael Neal says:

    OT: It looks very much like this is it. I’m going to be taking Eddie in to the hospital in the morning, and unless the vet comes up with something very convincing as an alternative, I’ll be having them put him to sleep. He’s barely eating and I can’t get him to take his meds. It started over the weekend and hasn’t gotten better. It doesn’t even look like lymphoma will ever beat the tough little SOB. Hepatitis is going to get him first.

    As of right now, he’s still alert and at least moderately active. He’s as ridiculously affectionate as ever, and purring up a storm. I want to end this before any of that changes. I’ve locked the others up in the back of the house, and tonight it’s just going to be he and I sharing a bed. And then, he’ll be gone.

  130. 130
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): We’re lucky he’s still speaking to us.

  131. 131
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    If that isn’t Balloon Juice to a fucking tee, I don’t know what is.

    A cesspool of combativeness and perpetual argument, occasionally broken up by pet euthanasia.

  132. 132
    MattR says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I am so sorry. As a defense mechanism, my brain won’t let me truly comprehend what you are facing so I will just say best wishes and good luck.

  133. 133
    Suck It Up! says:

    For the life of me, I can’t recall a single instance in which the President Obama has revealed a sense of anger about any issue confronting the American people.

    This is one of the most absurd talking points/criticisms/made up nonsense about the president. Stop looking for meaningless optics. EVERYONE has something that they care passionately about. NOT everyone is going to be pounding the podium over it.

  134. 134
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I’m so sorry to hear.

  135. 135
    JWL says:

    @GregB: I think your take is a fairly accurate one.

    Beyond all that, it’s fairly obvious that the president is a moderate republican at heart (circa 1975).

    Mine was a rhetorical question.

  136. 136
    ruemara says:

    @WyldPirate:
    Wow. Fuck you, you ignorant, self righteous bigoted prick. I’m sorry you’re unemployed, I sympathize; I’m right there with the cost of premiums, but your fucking bullshit day dreams about blowing Obama are tiresome and say a lot about you. And fuck your constant drone about Obots.

    @virag:
    And double fuck you to you too.

  137. 137
    jaleh says:

    Great read by Nicholas Kristof:

    “Hugs From Libyans”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03.....of.html?hp

  138. 138
    Valdivia says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    So sorry about this.

  139. 139
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Dammit, JMN, a friend of mine just lost his cat. This day did not get any better than it started. I’m sorry for you, and, in Eddie’s honor, I’m not going to get into another round of nonsense over old news and purity tests, I’m going to adopt a cat-like inscrutable Zen.

  140. 140
    Ailuridae says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Sorry to hear about Eddie.

  141. 141
    Valdivia says:

    @jaleh:

    But he is worse than Cheney! /snark
    Good read thanks for the link.

    And happy bday ACA. It has to be good given it is an Aries.

  142. 142
    virag says:

    @ruemara:

    why thank you. your wonderful and timely contribution to the struggle has ensured that you will be remembered in song and story for a thousand generations! huzzah!

  143. 143
    piratedan says:

    @Caz: well that is timely, obviously using the same prank pattern as lighting a pile a crap on the front porch and doing a runner, pretty much sums up the Republican process for the last 30 years.

    ACA is a step forward and perhaps a foundation to build upon that is business friendly but it appears that any attempt to placate the business powers that does not involve the general population grabbing their ankles and pursing their lips simply won’t do for those folks. I’m happy to have seen it pass because it means I can cover my 22 year old college student with no worries, without it, YIKES. Yeah the program is somewhat less than, after all it was a Republican program floated 15 years ago, its still a lot better than nothing at all. I’d rather see someone, anyone, attempting to tackle the problem rather than just sitting on their hands and being helpless about it.

    Lovely how the equation of federal mandates are bad, i.e. health care, yet other federal mandates like paying taxes, having a social security number and signing up for selective service are somehow never mentioned. What about those mandates at the state level, like having insurance for a vehicle, or valid ID before you can buy a gun? I guess those are bad too?

  144. 144
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @WyldPirate:
    .
    .
    Hi Wyld –
    I do not think you will find any sympathy, or ameliorative ideas, from the balloonbaggers. Instead, they will no doubt wish that you die in a fire, or the equivalent. That’s the kind of good folks and righteous thinkers they are. It is a never-ending celebration of mediocrity and self-congratulation.

    I, however, feel for you, and recognize that anything other than single-payer, universal health care for all is wholly inadequate, and always will be.
    .
    .

  145. 145
    Ailuridae says:

    This is my brief entry into the thread re: health care to point out the same things as always. While Insurance Companies are indeed unnecessary middlemen they are not driving cost increases. Unnecessary middlemen can’t drive costs – that is a supplier problem and in the case of health care it is a supply constraint by design to enrich doctors, hospitals and the ilk. And, yes, it is bankrupting the country and suppressing wages.

    Frankly there was not nearly enough cost control in the bill and, no, the public option wouldn’t have helped much there either. But is it a win for the millions of people who will have health care in the form of Medicaid for the first time ever? Yes, indeed. Is it a win in the form of the people in the individual market, like myself, that have been unable to buy actual health insurance of any quality for ten plus years? Indeed.

    Does it do enough to inform the rest of America that doctors and health care providers have organized themselves into a cartel that is essentially stealing money from the rest of us through uncompetitive practices? No. And nobody here or anywhere else is going to talk about that either for a while. Yes single payer gets at that pretty quickly as does single provider but nothing resembling either of them is was or likely will be on the table until the issue driving costs – the rapacious greed of those providing care – can be talked about honestly and openly. As long as there are ass holes on leftist blogs making crazy statements like doctors who accept Medicaid or Medicare lose money on providing those services or anything similar the battle is, effectively lost.

  146. 146
    eemom says:

    you know, the whole fucking world is falling apart; the plutocrats and teatards are ten seconds from hurtling this country back into a Dickensian dystopia of factory fires, coat hanger abortions and children working in mines…..and you assholes want to complain that the ONE positive, tangible step away from the inferno that we, as a society, managed, in spite of our terminal fucked-upedness, to take — and which is itself clinging for its life according to the Supreme Court prognosticators amongst your moronic ranks — isn’t fucking good enough??

    Fuck. you. And fuck you again. You are beneath contempt.

  147. 147
    eemom says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I, however, feel for you, and recognize that anything other than single-payer, universal health care for all is wholly inadequate, and always will be.

    Good. So fucking move somewhere where they have that, you moronic one-trick troll.

  148. 148
    Valdivia says:

    @eemom:

    Golf clap.
    Co-sign.

  149. 149
    Valdivia says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Also, too. What you said.

  150. 150
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @eemom:

    you know, the whole fucking world is falling apart

    Yeah, yeah, isn’t it always?

    Kind of a bummer about only one positive, tangible step away from the abyss though, huh? Seems like a bit of a lowball estimate there.

    But what am I saying? In a thread that’s all about this site’s greatest hits, we were due for some doomerism.

  151. 151
    Yutsano says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I, however, feel for you, and recognize that anything other than single-payer, universal health care for all is wholly inadequate, and always will be.

    Oddsfish. The Swiss, Dutch, and Japanese seem to be doing just fine without it.

    @Ailuridae: ACA is not the endgame. ACA is a start. Just like Social Security was a start in the beginning. Just like Medicare and Medicaid were a start in the beginning. The ball finally got rolled, and as in the past our social programs will improve as we go along. It’s just how we do things. But we got the ball to move.

  152. 152
    piratedan says:

    @Ailuridae: I would offer the fact that they attach “overhead” to the process means that that yes indeedy, they are part of the problem. Were you not paying attention to when the TRMS did the number crunching that the head honcho of United Health Care was making something in the neighborhood of 124,000 a day? Who was loading up their employees into buses to show up and protest at those Town Hall hootenannies? I’m pretty sure that was the Health Care insurance industry too. I’m not saying that there isn’t an entrenched group of docs and other medical professionals that bear some of the blame, but to give the insurance industry a pass is shortsighted imho. Why else would the ACA law mandate that every .80 to .85 of premium dollars be spent on actual health care if the industry wasn’t using it to gouge the public?

  153. 153
    MattR says:

    @eemom: you know, the whole fucking world is falling apart; the plutocrats and teatards are ten seconds from hurtling this country back into a Dickensian dystopia of factory fires, coat hanger abortions and children working in mines…..and you assholes want to complain that a group of people who would stand with you against the plutocrats and teatards have the temerity to not walk in lockstep with you??

    Fuck. you. And fuck you again. You are beneath contempt.

  154. 154
    Ailuridae says:

    @piratedan:

    Sorry they can’t be driving costs because unnecessary middleman never, ever drive cost increases. They may exacerbate them but they can’t drive them. If unit X of healthcare X used to cost 100$ but insurance made it cost 105$ or 110$ and now it should cost 200$ but is now costing 210$ or 220$ their five or ten percent over the top isn’t driving costs – its the other 100 fucking dollars. Blaming insurance companies for the cost of health care is almost the left wing (and I am a proud unapologetic leftist) equivalent of right wing idiots blaming cost increases on malpractice insurance. In each case it is a convenient boogeyman oft used by either side (trial lawyer or corporations) that ignores the far greater demon in the room – doctors and provider networks. Either introduce actual competition to doctoring (i.e remove the artificial supply constraint) or they have to accept some minimal cost constraints. Pretty simple – two possible solutions one a freer market and one more concerned with societal welfare but the status quo is flat out going to bankrupt the country while enriching a privileged class of people who aren’t even particularly good at their jobs relative to the much more reasonably compensated Western peers.

    The facts are what they are. The US deficit and debt problems are almost solely a health care cost issue. That cost issue is being driven not by insurance or malpratice costs but by doctors and provider networks working together as a cartel to artificially inflate their own wages and profits. Ignore the facts at your own peril – God knows their are plenty of people who are equally unwilling to admit the obvious truth.

  155. 155
    Ailuridae says:

    @Yutsano:

    Sorry, to be clear I support ACA and am not at all fatalistic about it. I think the likely end game is something like the “Maryland solution” and it will likely be put forward by O’Malley in 2016. Details, of a sort, here

  156. 156
    J. Michael Neal says:

    I may have spoken too soon. After posting, I had the idea to run out to the grocery and buy a different flavor of cat food to get gravy from. Mixing Eddie’s drugs with gravy is the only way to get meds into him. I was out of town over the weekend, and the friend who was feeding him had trouble starting Saturday. The friend tried more and more active ways to get them into the little guy. Given Eddie’s history and stubbornness, it really should have occurred to me hours ago that the problem might be that he now associated the flavors of gravy on hand with the struggles of the weekend. I bought several different flavors and found one he’d lick up. Then I did it again, with meds in it this time. Down it went. Unfortunately, I’m out of buprenorphine, so he didn’t get any of his pain med, but hopefully I can fix that in the morning.

    Maybe this isn’t over.

  157. 157
    Ailuridae says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Woot! That is certainly good news

  158. 158
    Yutsano says:

    @Ailuridae: I call that a great next step, and a perfect example of how the states can really be the incubators of innovation on all this. In fact, it will be very interesting to compare this to the states that go full out single payer just to see if there is another adaptable model that can work. Not every country with universal health care has a single payer system. We just need something that will work better.

    BTW I didn’t interpret your comment as anti-ACA. If anything, I was backing you up. Damn blog communication. :)

    @J. Michael Neal: Happy news is always welcome.

  159. 159
    Mnemosyne says:

    I just want to say that acid reflux sucks, especially when it’s 1 am and you’re running around trying to find antacids and chewing gum.

    But good news about Eddie is always good. It’s always tricky to have someone else do the medical care for your pet while you’re away.

  160. 160
    Starfish says:

    The trollery in the early comments on this post made me queasy. How has healthcare reform fixed that for me?

  161. 161
    Ruckus says:

    @Mark S.:
    It’s gotta be Doug, because no one could possibly be that fucking stupid in real life
    Oh sure they can.
    Senator Richass Johnson for one. Stupid. And evil. And an asshole. The trifecta.
    And you have a few right here on this post.

  162. 162
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: Oh I don;t doubt we’re being trolled. And more than likely it’s a Balko idiot trying to foul things up here. You think they’d send better players though. Leaving shit on the doorstep and running got old in the fourth grade. Of course not bothering to defend your positions means you can’t back your shit up anyway. Shorter me: I can haz betr trollz plz? Kthxbai!

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @Suck It Up!:
    Is the shoe on the podium the litmus test for a politician?

  164. 164
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    You’d think if they are going to leave shit in a bag on the doorstep they could at least fire it off to get the gag correct. Otherwise they are just posers.

    I see piratedan got there ahead of me.

  165. 165
    Starfish says:

    @Yutsano: Is it because no one has bothered to denounce broccoli yet? I will denounce broccoli if it makes them go away.

  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    @Starfish:
    It isn’t broccoli.
    People who are used to getting their way by holding their breath till they turn blue always act like that.

  167. 167
    Yutsano says:

    @Starfish: I refuse to denounce broccoli, as it is one of my favorite brasicas. I will, however, deny and denounce the broccoli mandate. NAOW can I haz betr trollz plz?

    @Ruckus: Lazy trolling is the worst. At least makoto-chan had some oomph and soul.

  168. 168

    Lazy humorless trolling is the greatest sin of all.

    Celebrating the fact that teh armugeddenz hasn’t happened called for a cheesy Barry Manilow nod.

    Then again, I misplaced my Balloonbagger Semantic Decoder ring

    .
    .
    .
    !!

  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    No kidding.
    Instead of better trolls how about a few more better informed humans? OK, I know that was harsh but damn even my dog knows better than most of this crap.

  170. 170

    you know, if we give people medicare for all, what is next, are people going to want medicare for their pets? /santorum

  171. 171
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: Horses and water dude, horses and water. If I have to live with the cognitive dissonance of working with people at the IRS who want to eliminate the IRS, then I guess we gotta deal with the ignorant for at least a while longer.

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Celebrating the fact that teh armugeddenz hasn’t happened called for a cheesy Barry Manilow nod.

    Let us never speak of this again.

  172. 172
    mai naem says:

    Having dealt with healthcareup close the past few weeks(a family member) I can tell you there is an incredible amount of waste in our healthcare delivery system. What really stood out to me ,though, was how much of a premium we seem to put in how pretty our medical facilities look. Seriously, does your doctor’s office really need one of those self playing mini grand pianos? Does it really need a gazillion gallon fish tank? And the number of high end vehicles around healthcare facilities. And it isn’t just physicians. This has got to be the only country in the world where healthcare is just a huge money making industry and not just an industry where you make a simple living getting people better.

  173. 173
  174. 174
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Exactly. ;)

    And now I must go temporarily unconscious. Which is funny considering I’m fucking exhausted that I’m still awake. Night y’all.

  175. 175
    Ruckus says:

    @Yutsano:
    We have to live with the ignorant. What a lovely thought. I know it’s true. I don’t like that it’s true but I know it is. I can’t tell if it’s getting harder to be an optimist because life right now sucks or if it’s because my cup is only 1/32 full.
    Anyway I have tossing and turning to do.
    I seem to recall that would be a musical reference to make up for ABL’s BM comment. If we don’t talk about it can we still/at least mock her for it?

  176. 176

    Just wait until I unveil my new series of posts: “What’s Obama Doin’ Now?” The first post — He So Crazy — will consist entirely of photos of Obama eating arugula while lolcats look on bemusedly sipping soy lattes.

    There’s a whole Inception feel to it.

    In any event, BobWyldLaw and that new pest — v-whatever — are going to love it.

    5 stars!

  177. 177
    slightly_peeved says:

    @eemom:

    Good. So fucking move somewhere where they have that, you moronic one-trick troll.

    Unfortunately, my country requires prospective citizens to pass a civics test, and considering he apparently believes Obama can pass whatever law he’d like, I can’t imagine he’ll do well working out how our system works either.

  178. 178
    honus says:

    @burnspbesq: Um, Hopkins has been in what, 17 title games? And Duke has won one championship with a bunch of players that should have graduated two years before.

  179. 179
    alwhite says:

    Do you suppose that after Roe v. Wade someone would have posted “Happy Birthday Right To Choose” and celebrated the victory of common sense over dogmatic blindness? Probably. But what is left after 30 years of unrelenting assault? A history of Republican victories based on fear and pandering on the issue, a patchwork of legal hoops and potholes and a mess unlike what was intended.

    Love or hate the insurance reform act it is nowhere near a finished product and recent history says the Republicans will use it for their own advantage. Not just as a whipping boy on election day. They will also hack at it and sew on hideous parts and squeeze and stretch it so that the Frankenstein monster that remains can be used as proof that everything the government does is a failure.

    There is nothing to celebrate yet.

  180. 180
    kay says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Oh horseshit, Mnemosyne. The point is, it is a drop in the fucking bucket. It always will be until you get rid of the vultures in private insurance adding 30%+ to the costs of everything that they rake off for profit while contributing nothing to anyone’s health care.

    You know better than to include a number in your factless rants. I look for those! “30% to everything”. I’ll expect you to clarify that.

    I have to work this morning, but I’ll check back later. I hope this isn’t like the tiered wage issue/UAW. We learned you don’t know anything about that, yet you weighed in there, too.

    I’m wondering why ABL can’t celebrate something without you becoming personally offended. You don’t have to celebrate. You’re a miserable human being, and we knew you wouldn’t. But why can’t she celebrate? Are you really so delusional that you believe she needs you to inform her of the shortcomings in the ACA? Is that your role? Why would you assume she doesn’t know what’s included in the law?

  181. 181
    kay says:

    @alwhite:

    Do you suppose that after Roe v. Wade someone would have posted “Happy Birthday Right To Choose” and celebrated the victory of common sense over dogmatic blindness?

    Well, I don’t know, but since ABL has probably written ten or more posts here on the intersection between federal law and state law on abortion, I think we can assume she’s aware of your concerns.

    Yesterday was also the anniversary of 18 year olds getting the franchise.
    I’ll check back later for your mournful response to that news.

  182. 182
    rickstersherpa says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPod Touch): When you look at the drivers of U.S. health costs, the insurance companies, bad as they are, are not the main culprits. Rather, it is the semi-monopolies of physicians (especially specialists), Drug Companies (a sector tha tis the most profitable in the health care industry even thoug, as Daniel Gross of Slate points out, they are runned by idiots) with current net profit margin of 21% http://biz.yahoo.com/p/5qpmd.html), and makers of medical equipment and devices (MRIs anyone?) These companies, as a sector, make more than twice the profit of those great malefactors of capitalism, the large, integrated oil companies. http://biz.yahoo.com/p/120qpmd.html.

    If we were ever to get Democratic majority in the House and 61 votes in the Senate or the forces of radical moderation reassert themselves in the Republican Party, I would like to see amendments to Affordable Health Care Act that would address these issues such as allowing Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices and allowing individuals to get reimbursed for medical in foreign countries, both under employer provided insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, opening up the phyisican monopolpy to Nurse Practioners and Physician Assistants, and allowing more qualified foreign doctors into the U.S. I would also slightly raise Medicare taxes and give folks over 50 a right to buy into Medicare.

    For liberals who loathe the AAHCA, and who prefer a single payer Candadian or British plan, all I can say is good luck with that idea if Obama is defeated in 2012 and Tea Party President and Congress takes over and repeals AAHCA. They will be replacing it with Emergency Room for all (if you can prove you are a U.S. citizen or legal alien) care. It will not be followed by a single payer system within the lifetime of anyone older than 30. Even after the GOP runs the country onto the rocks sometime before 2020 (because our Galtian elite, Grover Norquist types, are not only greedy, they have made themselves stupid), the lesson any Democrat who wins the White House with a Democratic Congress, after the Clinton and Obama experience, will be not to touch Health Care with a 50 foot pole. After all the correlation will be Clinton Care = 1994 Democratic rout; Obamacare = 2010 Democratic rout. Whether completely valid or not, that is how I expect politicians wanting reelection will think.

  183. 183
    Alwhite says:

    @kay:

    Since the Rs have not yet figured out how to use 18YO vote as a wedge or to make their voting more cumbersome I don’t find that an equivalent.

    All I was saying is that there is no reason to celebrate a victory in the middle of the war. Nothing has been won yet. It wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and I don’t think these battles will be over until they say its over.

  184. 184
    Alwhite says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    I’m afraid you are probably right.

    But I expect there will not be the political will to either fix nor entirely kill the insurance reform passed last year. What will happen is the law will be mutilated so that it is more expensive, less useful and a perennial campaign issue for the teabaggers.

  185. 185
    OzoneR says:

    @virag:

    not a big enough fucking deal.

    but a big one nontheless. “Not good enough” isn’t gonna get you anywhere in politics.

    @alwhite:

    Love or hate the insurance reform act it is nowhere near a finished product and recent history says the Republicans will use it for their own advantage. Not just as a whipping boy on election day. They will also hack at it and sew on hideous parts and squeeze and stretch it so that the Frankenstein monster that remains can be used as proof that everything the government does is a failure.

    Just like they did with pretty much everything else Democrats have done, especially Social Security. Should we not celebrate that?

  186. 186
    OzoneR says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    If we were ever to get Democratic majority in the House and 61 votes in the Senate or the forces of radical moderation reassert themselves in the Republican Party, I would like to see amendments to Affordable Health Care Act that would address these issues such as allowing Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices and allowing individuals to get reimbursed for medical in foreign countries, both under employer provided insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare, opening up the phyisican monopolpy to Nurse Practioners and Physician Assistants, and allowing more qualified foreign doctors into the U.S. I would also slightly raise Medicare taxes and give folks over 50 a right to buy into Medicare.

    the problem here is more urban vs. rural rather than liberal vs. conservative. Medicare/Medicaid patients get screwed in rural areas and that leads some more liberal members of Congress from rural areas to oppose allowing Medicare to negotiate prices or the public option tied to Medicare rates.

  187. 187
    OzoneR says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I, however, feel for you, and recognize that anything other than single-payer, universal health care for all is wholly inadequate, and always will be.

    Except, of course, if it’s Obama who signed the bill, then it’ll be a sellout or something

  188. 188
    OzoneR says:

    @JWL:

    FDR welcomed the hatred of malefactors of great wealth.

    Even while he sold out to them (or so said Huey Long and other progressive Democrats at the time)

    LBJ overturned the cultural status quo, citing the wickedness of entrenched bigotry as a domestic evil.

    Even while he allowed Republicans to rewrite the Civil Rights Act to weaken it and got no votes from on the fence Southern Dems.

    So, I ask again. For the life of me, I can’t recall a single instance in which the President Obama has revealed a sense of anger about any issue confronting the American people.

    Depends on your definition of angry? Anthony Weiner angry? no. But I live in Anthony Weiner’s district and can tell you Anthony Weiner angry doesn’t do anything for Anthony Weiner. He’s not really popular here. He won his lowest percentage in the last election with extremely low turnout among his own party. It didn’t excite anyone, change a thing, and may actually threaten his mayoral campaign.

  189. 189
    General Stuck says:

    @virag:

    do they have lollipops in your dreamland? does nice president obama tuck you in and tell you all is good and right and anyone who says otherwise is a childish bully? that sounds like a very nice place. i can see why you love it so. everything is perfect. sleep tight. obama’s here. tomorrow you’ll have cupcakes. awww.

    Well, this one is going to fit in nicely with all the other witless soul dead trolls that infest this site. And still hasn’t bothered to defend it’s assertion that Obama broke his promise on HCR, instead we get this hackneyed warmed over C grade snark, if you want to even call it snark.

  190. 190
    Alwhite says:

    @OzoneR:
    Actually their attack on Social Security really only started under St. Ronnie when they took a larger chunk out of paychecks to hide the true cost of the income tax cuts. Since then they have made small inroads into damaging SS but not with the success of some of the other issues.

    If SS had passed last year I would not be celebrating it yet either because they would have convinced retirees that it is the worst thing that ever happened to them. The fight is not over; while we celebrate they undermine.

  191. 191
    bayville says:

    After illustrating her FAIL with modern American history yesterday, ABL is back (proudly) illustrating her ignorance on health insurance legislation.

    And you guys call them Teabaggers stoopid?

    Hilarious.

  192. 192
    singfoom says:

    Unsatisfied progressives are unsatisfied. Late to this thread, but it’s not a binary choice, you idiots.

    I’m unsatisfied too, but it’s the best they could do at the moment. For everyone bitching and in a bad situation, I’m sorry. That sucks. I with you speedy recoveries happiness.

    But, come on people. It’s not ACA BAD or ACA GOOD. It’s ACA is a muddled mess that moves us forward a little bit, but doesn’t do enough.

    At the very least, the fact that people can’t be dropped for being sick is huge. It’s not the public option/single payer pony I wanted either.

    But just because it’s not the pony you wanted, doesn’t mean you want it turned into glue.

    I’m not celebrating, but given the lack of progress in the last 30 years on this, this little progress is good. I’m not going to celebrate and I wish it was better, but you guys need some Xanax or something.

  193. 193
    nancydarling says:

    O.K. folks, maybe ACA is two steps forward and one and a half steps back. I am grateful for that half step since my daughter wasn’t canceled after her first very serious hip surgery last year and was able to get the surgery on the other hip. Countless people here in Arkansas have been able to insure their previously uninsurable children because of ACA. Instead of pissing and moaning about it, let’s pressure our reps to make it better.

  194. 194
    nancydarling says:

    @alwhite: See my post above. I’m celebrating.

  195. 195
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @JWL:

    I asked an honest question about Obama and anger. It was then assaulted, by projection.

    I submit that anger is an essential component of any president (or politician, for that matter). What angers them, reveals who they are. FDR welcomed the hatred of malefactors of great wealth. LBJ overturned the cultural status quo, citing the wickedness of entrenched bigotry as a domestic evil.

    So, I ask again. For the life of me, I can’t recall a single instance in which the President Obama has revealed a sense of anger about any issue confronting the American people.

    Can you?

    Your comment deserved mocking. For at least two reasons:

    Reason 1: Whether or not the President appears angry seems a superficial concern, at best. I care more about him getting things done than how he looks or acts, and I would judge by the mocking you received that others here feel the same way.

    Reason 2: Not everyone expresses anger the same way. So how do you know if Obama’s angry or not, anyway?

    @eemom:
    I cosign this as well.

  196. 196
    nancydarling says:

    @eemom: Kudos!

  197. 197
    Wolfdaughter says:

    Caz:

    What are you going to say when your dollar is virtually worthless and the government is forcing you to buy health foods with part of your paycheck and any new car you buy has to be either a GM or a Chrysler?

    Wow. Talk about slippery slope. It’s a pattern I’ve noticed especially with trolls of the conservative persuasion, although liberals can also be guilty as well. What you are arguing against is some picture of some dystopian future in your head. You’re not discussing the reality of ACA. So your argument is invalid.

    Suffern ACE:

    If we ever get “Single Player” or a “Public Option,” I’m sure liberal rage will reach a point that they will just go burn down the White House in contempt. That’s strategy for long term success if there is one.

    What in the hell are you talking about?

    Wyldpirate:

    I saw ABL’s argument from earlier today much like I do this one on the ACA; a bunch of lame-assed partisan cheerleading about ineffectual—to borderline destructive policy.
    Damn, one of you Obots need to codify some of these excuses ya’ll come up with for President Immaculate Perfection.

    Another wow. Binary thinking to the max. I voted for Obama but it doesn’t mean that I think he’s perfect. For Gawdsake, if you paid attention at all to progressive blogs you’d see that there is plenty of criticism about Obama.

    I’m very disappointed that he hasn’t closed down Gitmo yet, but do recall the shitstorm that ensued when he tried to put the “terrorists” in jails in the U.S. I’m disappointed that he went into Libya, but I don’t see a lot of good alternatives with Libya. I’m disappointed that he hasn’t restored full habeas corpus. I’m disappointed that there’s no single payer in the current healthcare reform, except for the already-extant MEDICARE. But he really does have to deal with political realities here, and he’s also done a bunch of positive stuff (DOMA, anyone?) for which he gets little or no credit.

    Complexity. You should try it sometime.

    JWL:

    I submit that anger is an essential component of any president (or politician, for that matter). What angers them, reveals who they are. FDR welcomed the hatred of malefactors of great wealth. LBJ overturned the cultural status quo, citing the wickedness of entrenched bigotry as a domestic evil.

    As others have said, I didn’t vote for the guy to pound his shoe. And he really does have to walk a thin line that those of pale skin ethnicity don’t have to. Being perceived as an “angry black man” would undermine almost anything he’d like to accomplish.

  198. 198
    Mnemosyne says:

    @nancydarling:

    Instead of pissing and moaning about it, let’s pressure our reps to make it better.

    That’s what I don’t get. WTF is up with the people on the left going along with the right’s “repeal and replace” idea? If there are shortcomings with ACA — and there are A LOT — why are we not pushing to build on it instead of trying to kill it and come up with something completely new?

    As I have mentioned multiple times in this debate*, I don’t understand why the same people who sneer at “American exceptionalism” nonetheless expect the US to be able to switch from a for-profit healthcare system to a single-payer system with a single piece of legislation, which is something that not one country has managed to do. It took South Korea 15 years to make the transition, but I guess we think we’re better than they are since we should have been able to do it in 1 year and apparently it was only the fecklessness of the Democrats that held us back. USA! USA! USA!

    *That’s for you, Bob. Still not sure why you expect me to come up with a new answer every time the same question comes up again.

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Wolfdaughter:

    Don’t forget, for Caz, having the government subsidize people’s health insurance is an unforgivable breach of privacy, but having IRS agents demand a woman’s medical records so they can see if she had an abortion in the previous year is not intrusive at all.

  200. 200
    McJulie says:

    In my opinion, anger doesn’t work for the left in the current US sociopolitical environment. In branding terms the right “owns” anger, but anger itself is a little discredited. People see anger as a negative personal emotion disconnected from whatever it is you’re angry about.

    This might be a lingering effect of the systematic de-legitimizing of anger directed at the Bush administration. You know, “Bush Derangement Syndrome” and all that. Probably something about mimetic transmission and social psychology made it impossible to to defang left wing anger exclusively, even though the left bore the brunt of it.

    So, to those of you on the left who seem to want Obama to validate your own anger — not only is that not going to happen, but it wouldn’t accomplish anything positive, and might even be counterproductive.

  201. 201

    @bayville: awww… i’m so sorry that a factual error which i later corrected caused you to throw up your hands in outrage. did you not read my (corrected) libya post? it’s fantastic.

    you should go read it.

    it got 5 stars on rotten tomatoes!!

  202. 202
    Wolfdaughter says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    You’re probably right, although I haven’t seen Caz post before so don’t know for sure how he (OK, maybe she altho I’m betting on he) would feel about IRS and abortions.

    But yes, generally those who view the anemic ACA (better than nothing but anemic) as an unconscionable invasion of privacy probably don’t see the IRS meddling with women’s privacy as n issue. Or they see it as a positive thing. I don’t pretend to understand the thinking of the average conservative these days, except to realize that they are authoritarians with the ability to hold two contradictory ideas simultaneously, and inability to recognize the disconnect.

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