Someone Is Off Message

He’s absolutely right, but this is kind of astonishing coming from a Republican:

That’s Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) advocating for single payer.






51 replies
  1. 1
    psycholinguist says:

    How long before he apologizes to Rush?

  2. 2
    David Koch says:

    But if you OK single-payer then the government can force you to buy broccoli.

    do you really want to live in a tyranny run by broccoli?

  3. 3
    JoyfulA says:

    How can we get him out of Baton Rouge and into the U.S. Senate as fast as possible?

  4. 4
    m. Carey says:

    Its a gaffe all right- Actually telling the truth !

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    He’ll be walking that populist ‘gaffe’ back by the next news cycle.

  6. 6
    trollhattan says:

    Aw, what business does a politician from Louisiana have opining on hurricanes?

    Expecting a retraction in 3…2…1…. (after The Phone Call)

  7. 7
    bemused says:

    There’s gotta be a catch. He sounds too much like a more rational Republican that used to exist decades ago. I can’t believe there is such an animal anymore.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    Maybe if Obama makes a point of constantly telling the public that Single Payer is the worst thing in the world, the Republicans will pass a decent single payer law.

  9. 9
    Loneoak says:

    You gotta love the reasonableness followed by the blaming the Democrats for being too arrogant and working too fast on health care. Yeah, that’s why the compromise bill sucks. Liberals just made up their mind in 2009 to make a health care law and came up with some shitty cobbled together legislation that they passed because of ‘arrogance.’

  10. 10
    David M says:

    I’m not sure it means anything other than “Obamacare bad”. If single payer had been passed, I would expect to be hearing non-stop about needing to involve private health insurance companies so the market could solve all our problems.

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    @beltane:

    Its so stupid it would probably work.

    When I guessed last week that the USSC would uphold ACA I based it on two things – first it will be a huge money maker in the long run for the insurance industry & the teeny 4 are nothing if not corporate first whores. But the second reason was that if they shoot down the mandate single payer becomes the most likely option & that would be a huge money loser for the insurance companies and the GOP.

    I sort of hope they do trash it but don’t think they will

  12. 12
    Schlemizel says:

    To be clear “hope they do” is ignoring the pain it will cause to millions of uninsured. I really hope they don’t but in an ideal world they would & the result would be an immediate SPO.

    Hope I made myself clear – I don’t doubt for a minute that killing ACA would be harmful to millions.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    Holy cow! That’s amazing. I don’t see any insurance companies donating to any political campaign he might run in the future.

  14. 14
    kindness says:

    He’d support Single Payer until it was put up for a vote by Democrats. Then he’d vote against it.

  15. 15
    wasabi gasp says:

    Each of our black presidents has been progressively more arrogant than the last. Deal with it.

  16. 16

    Perfect timing. I just finished reading this piece by a Canadian doctor working in the US.

    http://drjengunter.wordpress.c.....stitution/

    How many more people are going to have to needlessly die in this country before something gets done?

  17. 17

    If you have a hurricane come up the east coast, the first one that’s going to leave you when they gotta pay too many claims is an insurance company.

    Imagine that, an insurance company that doesn’t want to pay claims. No one could have predicted that outcome, could they?

  18. 18
    Loneoak says:

    @Schlemizel:

    But the second reason was that if they shoot down the mandate single payer becomes the most likely option & that would be a huge money loser for the insurance companies and the GOP.

    I’m starting to see this kind of claim from my progressive/radical friends on FB, too. But in what universe will this happen? With which House and Senate? The individual mandate is the worst possible way to solve a terribly pressing problem. When the mandate goes away, the problem will still be with us, or more specifically since I’ll be fine either way, will still be with the people who cannot afford desperately needed access to health care.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    He is totally off the reservation. Right about a lot of it but off the reservation. Someone is going to be taken to the woodshed.

  20. 20
    Vodkamuppet says:

    I’m wondering who “they” are. I’ll rush to judgement after the furious series of retractions.

  21. 21

    Did I just see Satan shopping at REI for a new parka?

  22. 22
    ChrisNYC says:

    Geez, Cole, the guy’s not off the reservation. He’s in the anti HCR case for Christ sake. What he’s saying was argued by Clement in the arguments this week. They all love single payer now. Just good luck getting it passed. And Obama’s the naive one, right? Let’s all say how awesome the GOP AGs are because wowsie! they’re FOR single payer now!

  23. 23
    Jon Rockoford says:

    I can’t be the only liberal who’s appalled by the individual mandate. I was appalled when it was a Republican idea, and I remain appalled now that it’s supposed to be our policy.

    Is it unconstitutional to force me to buy a service from a private company under penalty of a fine? I don’t know. But I’d rather pay a tax to the government so it can provide the same service to everybody. Is it all semantics and is the end result the same? Not really. I don’t want private insurance companies involved in what should be a public good.

    Honestly, it may be the best outcome for liberals for the Supremes to strike down the mandate, thereby creating a situation where the insurance companies will face ruin since they have to cover even those who have preexisting conditions but without the ability to spread the risk by collecting revenues from those who are healthy. Plus, the Republicans running for office won’t be able to run against Obamacare since the one element that inspires visceral animosity will be dead and thus it will be less likely that their teabaggers will be inspired to show up and take over the Senate. Then Obama will perhaps propose Medicare for all.

    P.S. Yes, yes, I know that’s the best Obama could get. I’m not blaming him. I just think it’s not good enough, and it was sold badly and we may indeed be better off trying again if we ever have the numbers.

  24. 24
    David Koch says:

    The problem with single payer is how do you get the supreme court to sign off on what amounts to eliminating an 1.8 trillion dollar health insurance industry.

    We also have to be realistic. An industry that rich can take 25 Billion dollars out of petty cash and flood our society with ads demonizing single-payer and freighting the low-info and non-cognitives into opposing it.

    If single payer is to succeed it will have to come surreptitiously, not through a frontal attack.

  25. 25
    ChrisNYC says:

    I don’t know. Do you think this guy is going to be giving townhalls, when single payer is up for debate, screaming about “government run healthcare” — I mean, when Congress is deliberating actual passing of “government run healthcare”? Nah, he says he’s for single payer. He’ll stick to that. No doubt.

  26. 26
    prtex says:

    Regarding the claim of arrogance, I don’t think so. I haven’t heard anyone in the administration say this, but: Obviously, the Democrats could and did lose control of Congress quickly. I’m sure the President wanted to use his opportunity while he still had it.

    I’ve read that Johnson pushed his Great Society programs through Congress as soon as he could for the same reason. Sorry I don’t remember where.

  27. 27
    David Koch says:

    If the government can take over the insurance industry, then what’s to stop it from taking over broccoli industry?

  28. 28
    prtex says:

    Regarding the claim of arrogance, I don’t think so. I haven’t heard anyone in the administration say this, but: Obviously, the Democrats could and did lose control of Congress quickly. I’m sure the President wanted to use his opportunity while he still had it.

    I’ve read that Johnson pushed his Great Society programs through Congress as soon as he could for the same reason. Sorry I don’t remember where.

  29. 29
    David M says:

    @Jon Rockoford: Of course it’s not good enough, but it’s better than nothing until the Dems have the numbers to pass single payer. I think the law being left in a state where it destroys insurance companies is the least likely outcome, and Congress won’t let that situation continue. A fix that shafts the everyone and benefits the insurance companies would be passed and we’d be worse off.

  30. 30
    David Koch says:

    If the government can take over the insurance industry, then what’s to stop it from taking over the broccoli industry?

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Loneoak:

    Yeah, I’m not getting the connection either. It seems like wishful thinking to assume that the same court that would strike down PPACA would somehow leave the door open to single payer.

    It seems more likely that they would basically kill the idea of the federal government being allowed to collect money from people for their future benefit and Medicare and Social Security would likewise be ruled unconstitutional on the same grounds.

    (I should say that I actually do think that the PPACA will squeak through the Supremes with a thumbs-up, because even Fat Tony doesn’t want to deal with the chaos that would result from deciding that 100 years of jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause should be thrown out.)

  32. 32
    JoeK says:

    @David Koch:

    The problem with single payer is how do you get the supreme court to sign off on what amounts to eliminating an 1.8 trillion dollar health insurance industry.

    Nationalize the insurance companies and convert them into a single-payer administration agency? I have no idea if that would actually work, but there would be a huge new program to administer, and a lot of insurance company employees out of work who’d be probably best qualified to administer it.

    Plus, added bonus, the right wing would have a collective stroke and we’d be rid of them altogether.

  33. 33
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @David Koch:

    do you really want to live in a tyranny run by broccoli?

    Do you mean Cubby Broccoli? We’d have nothing but James Bond movies to watch.

  34. 34
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @wasabi gasp:

    Each of our black presidents has been progressively more arrogant than the last.

    The latest one, infinitely so!

  35. 35
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    testin’

  36. 36
    dp says:

    Buddy ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer; he accidentally tells the truth because he doesn’t understand he’s giving the game away.

  37. 37
    Chris Stein says:

    My state is finally good for something!

  38. 38
    ChrisNYC says:

    There is no Constitutional issue with single payer. It is established by Medicare. Medicare is single payer. This was also argued by the lawyers for the ACA challengers this week — they say too bad if we can’t muster the political will for single payer, the Constitution doesn’t leave any other reform mechanism. The issue with single payer is political, not Constitutional.

    If the S Ct strikes the ACA, our choices are 1) the pre ACA status quo; or 2) single payer. Which do you think is going to happen?

  39. 39
    dww44 says:

    @Loneoak: Exactly!! Thank you for venting my blood pressure for me. Arrogance is mostly the sole provenance of the party on the right. Anyways, they are always accusing Democrats of displaying characteristics they are past masters at displaying.

  40. 40
    dww44 says:

    @Chris Stein: Actually, this guy is reminescent of the sort of Democrats that were common across the South not so terribly long ago. He’s actually more appealing that Mary Landrieu and he’s way ahead of Vitter on the sense and likeability scale.

  41. 41
    wobbly says:

    So maybe Huey Long did the nasty with this guy’s grandma?

    Blood will tell!

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    If the S Ct strikes the ACA, our choices are 1) the pre ACA status quo; or 2) single payer. Which do you think is going to happen?

    Pre-ACA status quo, without a doubt. Since conservatives have been chomping at the bit to kill Medicare and Social Security since they were established, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if an anti-ACA ruling also managed to do severe damage to those two programs.

    But the unicorn lovers will never believe that.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I would like to remind everyone here that Republicans love to talk about the other, mythical program that they would totally support if Democrats would drop their program, only to feign deafness when the Democratic program fails to get enough votes in Congress.

    It goes as far back as Nixon — talk a good game about your superior plan to fix healthcare, but never actually do anything to fix it.

  44. 44
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jon Rockoford: We’re not “going to have the numbers.”. Not when there are still Democrats getting elected to high office who are gravely skeptical of what The Government Can Do. This bill was a mash-up of liberal and conservative Democratic positions, aimed at capturing the votes of people like Nelson and Lieberman, who are either beholden to corporate money or ideologically opposed to extending the responsibilities of the government to include a generalized social-welfare program like national health care. It’d be nice to think that a finding that the mandate is unconstitutional would jar the corporatists in the direction of single-payer, but I’m not holding my breath.

  45. 45
    NR says:

    @Schlemizel:

    But the second reason was that if they shoot down the mandate single payer becomes the most likely option

    Not while the Democrats are in power, it doesn’t.

  46. 46
    NR says:

    @Jon Rockoford:

    I just think it’s not good enough, and it was sold badly and we may indeed be better off trying again if we ever have the numbers.

    The Democrats will never “have the numbers” to pass single-payer. Haven’t you figured out their game yet? No matter what kind of numbers they have, the number they need will always be higher than that. No matter how many Democrats are in office, there will always be just enough of them who go “off the reservation” on any particular vote to ensure that progressive policy doesn’t pass.

    But of course, the secret is that they aren’t really going off the reservation. They’re doing what the party leadership wants.

  47. 47
    slightly_peeved says:

    I can’t be the only liberal who’s appalled by the individual mandate. I was appalled when it was a Republican idea, and I remain appalled now that it’s supposed to be our policy.

    The individual mandate is really just a tax break for purchasing health insurance. Australia has the same thing with Medicare-for-all underneath. It’s no more a mandate than tax breaks on mortgage payments (speaking as a non-American, really?) are a mandate to buy a house. I think it’s worth vague disapproval, tops; hardly worth outrage.

  48. 48
    ChrisNYC says:

    I love that the lefty internet says ACA “was badly sold.” It was not badly sold. Its natural allies decided it was an evil to be exterminated. Kill the Bill ring a bell? And, in cahoots with Freedomworks and the freedom loving and anti-corporate Dick Armey, succeeded. (Hint: If you are aligned with raping GOPers, e.g., Norquist, you’re on the wrong side.) Have fun paying $800 for crappy coverage without the exchanges, … in bluest of blue NY… probably $1000 in LA. Oh, and weep about evil blue dogs. Dems are your enemies.

  49. 49
    ChrisNYC says:

    @slightly_peeved: It’s so so funny. And, as a lawyer, heartening, because this is (apparently) Justice Robert’s opinion. The penalty for the mandate is simply a tax. Pay it or buy insurance. Make your choice. If you prefer to pay the government (and go without insurance, since you say you don’t want it to begin with) feel free. It’s nice when they get to the real nitty gritty.

  50. 50
    NR says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    The penalty for the mandate is simply a tax.

    Um, no. The mandate penalty cannot possibly be a tax. A person does nothing, and they are taxed? That’s absolutely ridiculous. You cannot tax inactivity.

    No, the mandate penalty is a punitive fine–a punishment–for doing nothing, i.e., for not buying insurance.

  51. 51
    Lurker says:

    @Jon Rockoford:

    Is it unconstitutional to force me to buy a service from a private company under penalty of a fine? I don’t know.

    Gee, I’ll think about this the next time I pay a private company for my government-mandated car insurance.

    On a more serious note, if Obamacare gets struck down, I’ll be reconsidering where I work and where I live as I get older. I am a cancer survivor. I’ve been cancer-free for over 10 years, but I’ve still been rejected three times by three different insurers for private individual coverage. I had to form a general partnership with my own husband so that I could qualify as a business in the state of California, which in turn allowed me to purchase guaranteed-issue group coverage for my “business.” Under the current arrangement, we have the right to purchase health insurance as long as we both remain alive. If one of us dies, the survivor no longer qualifies as a “business” and thus loses his or her health insurance. Yay.

    I love my job. I love my city. But without Obamacare, it would be irrational for me to remain here as I get older. I’d have to look into moving to one of the five states that bans discrimination against preexisting conditions.

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