Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now

I love how the wingers glom on to Sweet Pappa Willie Dear when they think he is stabbing Obama in the back:

bigbadbill

I find this whole “Obama lied” about keeping your plan nonsense to be quite distressing. The only reason people are not able to keep their plans is that insurance companies no longer offer them. This may because the companies have decided they needed to alter the plans to be more competitive with other plans, or if the plan was so shitty that it covered nothing and the ACA requires the plan to actually do something. That’s it. Obama isn’t running around kicking people off their insurance for shits and giggles, it’s that people can’t keep their insurance plan because the companies ARE NO LONGER OFFERING IT.

There are a ton of things that used to exist that I would love to have back. The original Boomslang Razer, for example. But it doesn’t exist, because the company NO LONGER MAKES IT, so I can’t have what I believe was the best feeling mouse ever. I’m not blaming Obama for that, either.






164 replies
  1. 1
    Citizen Alan says:

    I’m just amazed that so many people are butthurt over the fact that insurance companies can’t bilk unwary customers out of thousands of dollars every year in exchange for policies that would be worthless if the insured actually got injured or seriously ill. It is astonishing that so many people will actually fight for the right of corporations to rob their own customers.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    or if the plan was so shitty that it covered nothing and the ACA requires the plan to actually do something.

    Even that isn’t an excuse. Shitty plans were grandfathered in and if the insurance company wanted to continue offering the shitty plans, they could. They don’t see a big enough market for shitty plans when better plans are available often with a subsidy.

  3. 3
    chopper says:

    but i want my shitty, shitty health plan back! you know, the one that don’t cover shit.

  4. 4
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    How come our side hasn’t just kept beating the drum on this? I realize that The Mighty Wurlitzer has a story it wants to tell, and an agenda to push, but why get sucked into their discussion?

  5. 5
    lamh36 says:

    Personally, I think the Big Dawg shoulda just kept it to himself and keep it moving.

    But I fully expect, more of the “distancing” from Obama from the Clintonista crowd whenever they feel they can do so, especially in prep for a HRC…

    This type of thing will continue. Now of course we can look forward to more stories of how Bill C has such great political instincts and so Obama should be begging Bill C for his input.

    You can also see HRC puffing in the whole VA Terry McCulliffe narrative. Let anyone tell it, it’s HRC that made the difference for TMac. But the case is actually that is wasn’t the “HRC” factor, it was Black voters who pushed TMac over the top.

    Anyhoo, I expect to hear much more like this from the Clinton group

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    You know what I miss the most of all?
    “The Equal Time Rule!!!!!”

    And that, out of all of their idiocy and nonsense, was the Conservatives greatest idea – and success!

    There’d be no Rush “The Blob,” without having Thom Hartmann on afterwards – to make psycho-and socio-paths at least be exposed to some reason , if they stayed tuned-in.

    “Public Airwaves,” my ass!
    They’re now all controlled by 5 or 6 Conservative-leaning wealthy corporations and/or individuals!
    And they don’t exactly want people to get any new ideas.

  7. 7
    Anya says:

    Memo to Bill Clinton: You’re not helping so STFU.

  8. 8
    Rhoda says:

    That said, he did stab the President in the back with this, revived the story, and gave more juice to house republicans efforts to join with the Sen. Landrieu’s of the world to fuck up health care and allow insurance companies to fuck people over.

    Good job, Bill.

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    “They think” he is stabbing Obama in the back? Is there any other way to look at this? (That’s a sincere question: there could very well be a good political reason I simply haven’t thought of, that’s just not what leaps to my mind when I see this).

    @Citizen Alan:

    Oh, but you don’t understand, we can trust those corporations, the Invisible Hand will keep them honest…

    It’s delightful how these people who are fully prepared to believe the worst of every (non-military) government department, including things as harmless as the EPA, as useful as FEMA, or as underfunded and anemic as the ATF, because you just can’t ever be too careful, Momma didn’t raise no fool! … are so blissfully happy to form up like lemmings and jump off every cliff that a private corporation points them at. Because these people are wonderful warm and trustworthy human beings who would never do anything to hurt us, only government bureaucrats do that…

  10. 10
    KG says:

    The only reason people are not able to keep their plans is that insurance companies no longer offer them. This may because the companies have decided they needed to alter the plans to be more competitive with other plans, or if the plan was so shitty that it covered nothing and the ACA requires the plan to actually do something

    I thought they lurved them some free market capitalism! That might be the funniest part of the right wing’s freak out… They are opposing a private sector, free market solution. And they don’t seem to get that they are doing it

  11. 11
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @Anya: @Rhoda: Ayup. Somebody tell Hills that the first test of her “Leadership” is to muzzle Bubba

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @lamh36:

    it was Black voters who pushed TMac over the top.

    And Bill Clinton was the first black president, so he gets the credit. Ignore that guy on the other side of the Roosevelt bridge that built the turnout machine.

  13. 13
    taylormattd says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    How come our side hasn’t just kept beating the drum on this?

    Answer, Part I: Because “our side” is too busy vacillating between: (1) “Watch me be allegedly intellectually honest, so now I will shout about ZOMG BAD WEBSITE ROLLOUT IS INEXCUSABLE”; (2) “Why didn’t Obama simply bullypulpit leeeedership explain this better with proper messaging bullypulpit leeedership?”; (3) “Let me link (in the exact same manner as teabaggers) stories that prove how terrible Obamacare is because we should have Killed The Bill and public optioned this whole thing”.

    Answer, Part II: Because are you kidding? Have you seen *any* media coverage of *anything* in the last 30 years?

  14. 14
    Gene108 says:

    Clinton mostly praised Obamacare, but offered one critique of the law so that is what makes headlines.

  15. 15

    I’m not blaming Obama for that, either.

    Somebody needs to get with the program. I blame Obama for your failure to do so.

  16. 16
    askew says:

    I wish Bill Clinton would shut the fuck up. He causes Obama more problems than he is worth and clearly the Clintons are gearing up to run in 2016 by critiquing Obama. Just wait until 2017 and Hillary tries to revise history to say that she is responsible for ACA. Nothing Hillary likes more than taking credit for someone else’s hard work.

  17. 17
    boatboy_srq says:

    Obama isn’t running around kicking people off their insurance for shits and giggles, it’s that people can’t keep their insurance plan because the companies ARE NO LONGER OFFERING IT.

    Free Markets: the ideal of the GOTea – except when it isn’t.

  18. 18
    boatboy_srq says:

    @taylormattd: Progressive Response. Nutshell. ‘Nuff said.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist:

    Between Clinton and Carville this is going well so far, don’t you think? Jesus. Stop talking.

  20. 20
    Aunt Kathy says:

    I have always hated Bill so hard! Never voted for him at any opportunity because it was easy to see right from the start that Bill would never have your back, but he’d make sure his a** was covered pretty good. Hopefully Hil won’t be the last dem standing in 2016, cuz with Hil you get Bill, and I don’t want any part of it.

  21. 21
    The Other Chuck says:

    Logitech doesn’t make the MX518 anymore either. I blame Obama.

    I have to imagine #IBlameObama is a thing?

  22. 22
    boatboy_srq says:

    @askew: It doesn’t help much that BHO managed to get through some semblance of what HRC championed 20 years ago – without success. And it REALLY doesn’t help that BHO bought (in the ACA) what Heritage was pushing those same 20 years ago.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @Citizen Alan: But those people might have to pay a marginal amount more per month for the significantly improved insurance policy that would actually cover things if they needed to use it. It’s the “more money per month” part that has them screaming.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    @askew:

    I wish Bill Clinton would shut the fuck up. He causes Obama more problems than he is worth and clearly the Clintons are gearing up to run in 2016 by critiquing Obama.

    Ah Christ. Please tell me Hillary isn’t gearing up for another round of Gore’s 2000 campaign. You’d think the fucking Clintons of all people would know better.

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @Kay: Good heavens. Are we going to have Carville back in the White House if Hillary wins? Ugh.

  26. 26
    Kay says:

    @Gene108:

    Clinton mostly praised Obamacare, but offered one critique of the law so that is what makes headlines.

    That’s a huge surprise to Bill Clinton? How did he think that was gonna go?

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    @Aunt Kathy:

    Never really had beef with either of them, but yeah, unless there’s a really good reason for him to be doing this (which is why I asked about that in my earlier post), I’m starting to feel the dislike.

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    I have to imagine #IBlameObama is a thing?

    Thanks, Obama! is the meme you’re looking for.

  29. 29
    aimai says:

    How the fuck can President Obama force Insurance companies to keep customers on their books who they don’t want to keep on their books? Can someone point towards a mechanism for the enforcement of this hypotheical presidential order? Can they indicate the private business which wouldn’t sue over it?

  30. 30
    Anya says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    And it REALLY doesn’t help that BHO bought (in the ACA) what Heritage was pushing those same 20 years ago.

    OMG! I am really sick of this meme. The only part of the ACA that heritage pushed was the mandate. Can we please stop giving these fuckers a credit they don’t deserve.

  31. 31
    Jewish Steel says:

    Every time Bill shot his mouth off I’d make sure to give Martin O’ Malley a pat on the back some bullshit thing he did in Maryland.

  32. 32
    askew says:

    @Chris:

    I’ve yet to see any evidence that the Clintons learn from their mistakes. Even now, you hear Clintonites blaming Hillary’s loss on in the primaries on the biased media and the bad staff with zero admittance that there were problems with both Clintons themselves during the primaries. They have a real inability to see their weaknesses and to minimize them.

  33. 33
    Felonius Monk says:

    Bill Clinton — Just can’t keep his fly or his lip buttoned.

  34. 34
    askew says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    That would be awesome though I can’t see Obama weighing into the 2016 primaries and unfortunately too many of the top Obama staffers are already working for Hillary’s PAC.

    Martin O’Malley is my #1 choice for 2016.

  35. 35
    Anya says:

    @aimai: Your expectation of logic and reason is so endearing.

  36. 36
    John Revolta says:

    I’m just trying to imagine the response on the Right if the govt. FORCED the insurance companies to continue to offer policies that they didn’t want to offer anymore…………………………..

  37. 37
    MomSense says:

    @lamh36:

    Ditto.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @askew: The only thing I know of him is his appearances at the DNC in 2012. Put his foot in his mouth on something–can’t remember what now–and then his speech, which I’d been highly anticipating due to people talking him up, was lackluster at best. Yawn.

  39. 39

    Bill is the reason I don’t want Hillolry in the White House.

  40. 40
    David Koch says:

    Is this the same Bill Clinton who just last year said Obama shouldn’t attack Bain Capital, that Romney had a “stellar career”, that the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be extended, and called Obama a wimp for not intervening in Syria.

    Warren 2016

  41. 41

    But it doesn’t exist, because the company NO LONGER MAKES IT

    You can have my Jarts when you can pry them from my cold, dead, neighbors kids skull.

  42. 42
    Yatsuno says:

    @Anya: Heritage wouldn’t even back Willard’s reform in Massachusetts even though he tried to make it as right-wing friendly as he could. People get rich denying Americans healthcare, and that is all Heritage is interested in.

  43. 43
    RSR says:

    yup. This is what Atrios has been saying for a while. Obama owns all of it, even things with which Obamacare has little or nothing to do. Even if a particular product or service was going to be shelved for numerous other reasons.

    Not that anything that would have been better could have passed. But for better or for worse, it’s all in the ‘O’ column now. At least to the media and a significant portion of the electorate.

    Keep making it better is the best option now.

  44. 44
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Anya: I’m all for giving them credit – especially as now they’re running as far away from it as they can. It’s the best No True Scotsman moment the Teahad has had in a decade. The mandate, the private industry engagement, the state-level management; it’s textbook Federalist Wingnut. And because it got accepted – never mind promoted – by a Blah President, suddenly it’s Teh Tyranny. It’d be too delicious if it weren’t so frustrating – and it deserves to get shoved in every Teahadist face at every opportunity.

  45. 45
    Hal says:

    I like HRC and will vote for her if she runs and wins in the primary, but the thought of seeing James Carville in any active role again is about as appealing as a shit sandwich.

    Also, it is way too early to be distancing yourself from the President over something that may not even be an issue in 6 months or a year. If HRC runs and is asked in 2012 about some folks losing their health insurance they all know doubt love more then life, then you say something.

  46. 46

    OT, since I is tired of politics, Trekkie Kitteh for your pleasure.

  47. 47
    Patrick says:

    @John Revolta:

    I’m just trying to imagine the response on the Right if the govt. FORCED the insurance companies to continue to offer policies that they didn’t want to offer anymore…

    They would accuse Obama of tyranny, socialism etc. That’s why this entire non-issue is just one big laughable joke. The funny thing is that once again the media is bending over backwards trying to create a fake scandal.

    Furthermore, these are crap insurance polices barely worth the paper they are written on. So,why is anybody getting upset???

  48. 48
    askew says:

    @Violet:

    He’s pretty much a dream progressive candidate with a long list of accomplishments, has charisma (even if his convention speech was a dud) and an interesting life story. He’s a great contrast to Hillary “all talk zero real accomplishments” Clinton.

  49. 49
    David Koch says:

    Is this the same Bill Clinton who advised John Kerry in 2004 to embrace the state initiatives banning gay marriage and advised Senate Democrats in 2005 to vote with the Republicans regarding Terry Schiavo

  50. 50
    MomSense says:

    Also, too these insurance companies have had almost three years to make their policies compliant but they failed to do so. I appreciate that people are paying attention to the insurance co. shenanigans but for years now insurance companies were canceling plans, raising rates, excluding services, etc. Before the ACA individuals and small businesses had no leverage to negotiate for decent plans.

    The ACA is essentially a mechanism by which individuals and small businesses can access group insurance plans with some additional benefits and protections for everyone.

    The Heritage Foundation plan did not include patient protections nor did it include the medical loss ratio. They may drum up the hatred in the base with the individual mandate but the real reason they hate ObamaCare is because it puts limits on what health insurance companies can spend that isn’t actual health care.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @aimai: Exactly! And if he did, the idiots who have been yammering about government takeover of the healthcare (insurance) industry might actually have a point. For the first time ever.

  52. 52
    hoodie says:

    I may be stretching, but this could be ruse on Clinton’s part. Who wants to cancel those old policies? The insurance industry, of course, because these policies screw up the design in combination with guaranteed issue and no recission. As with everything ACA, there’s a bunch of obfuscation by the opponents here, and a lot of the people bitching about this don’t understand why these policies are being canceled. The insurance companies changed them between 2010 and now so they could maximize their value in the interim and ensure that the ACA would eventually kill them under the grandfathering rules, which were put in place to prevent a bunch of shitty policies from being grandfathered in. Clinton’s idea to “honor the commitment” casts it as a minor flaw in the ACA, and might get the mob to chase after a modification of the ACA that lets folks keep those policies for some limited period as an apparent solution to the problem, a solution that I imagine the insurers don’t want. It could help establish a narrative of fixing the ACA (e.g., something for Hillary to run on), not killing it.

  53. 53
    fuckwit says:

    I’m not blaming Obama for that, either.

    AND WHY NOT??? Everyone is doing it! Dude… what’s wrong with you?

  54. 54
    boatboy_srq says:

    @aimai: I think that’s what they want: intimidate the WH into demanding that all those sh!tty, expensive, don’t-even-cover-a-Band-Aid pre-ACA policies be maintained, and the moment that happens shriek “TYRANNY! SEE!? The Kenyan IslamoFascoSoshulist Usurper is engaging in an unConstitutional power grab!!!!11!1!”

  55. 55
    MomSense says:

    @askew:

    I like O’Malley a great deal and he can run on his record of progressive accomplishments. He spoke at our state convention and was fantastic.

  56. 56
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I like Clinton, but let’s apply the same critique to his healthcare b– oh.

    I even understand the politics, and I’ve said that before — it’s not a good visual to take away people’s shitty policies that they’ve never claimed on, even if they’re getting non-shitty policies in exchange. But the way to sell that is to start talking about people who got themselves some bargain-basement health insurance and then got themselves sick and kicked off their plans and bankrupt.

    The insurance companies haven’t shown any gratitude towards their new policyholders, so fuck ’em.

  57. 57
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Patrick: I see you beat me to it.

  58. 58
    Svensker says:

    @chopper:

    but i want my shitty, shitty health plan back! you know, the one that don’t cover shit.

    My brother “Obama Lied He’s a Liar!” is all butthurt because his wife has to give up her insurance that came with a $10K deductible and cost $400/month. Instead, she’ll get good coverage that with the subsidy will cost her $50/month.

    BUT….this is turning them into MOOCHERS who are forced to use the “jack booted thugs” from the IRS to steal money from their neighbors to pay for their insurance! This is the worst possible thing that could ever happen!

    He ignored my comment about my feelings about the jack-booted IRS thugs who take my money for wars he wanted but I didn’t.

  59. 59
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Patrick:

    Furthermore, these are crap insurance polices barely worth the paper they are written on. So,why is anybody getting upset???

    The people who are upset are the people who’ve never needed them, so they don’t know that when they need them, they’d be nickled and dimed and told that their premiums will go up 500% the next year or sorry, you’re not eligible any more. They paid for their cans of tiger repellant and didn’t get mauled by a tiger.

  60. 60
    mk3872 says:

    All sides Left, Right and Center are attacking Obama now and the media hates him.

    The ACA and his entire 2nd term agenda is completely DOA and has no chance.

  61. 61
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @mk3872: VICTORY!1!!ONE!1!ELEVENTY!

  62. 62
    MomSense says:

    @David Koch:

    Also the same Bill Clinton who gave us DADT, DOMA and Graham-Leach-Bliley.

  63. 63
    kc says:

    @hoodie:

    Well, there is this:

    “The answer is yes,” White House spokesman Jay Carney responded when asked if the president agrees with Mr. Clinton’s comments, adding, “The president has tasked his team with looking at a range of options, as he said, to make sure nobody is put in a position where their plans are canceled” and their new options are too costly. Carney continued, “He’s very interested in trying to address this problem.”

  64. 64
    fuckwit says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist: One of the things I admired about Hillary is that when she was SecState, she just fell in line behind the President and did an outstanding job, even though we know there were some foreign policy differences between them during the primary (she was way more hawkish). I found her self-discipline impressive. I don’t remember her ever uttering a word or taking any action to undermine him. She was a team player. I can easily imagine Obama having done the same if she’d won and given him a role in her administration. But I don’t know if Bill would have the same self-discipline to similarly fall in line behind her if she ran or won.

    Gawd, the more I think about this, the more I realize that we shouldn’t allow dynasties. Shrub, Hillary, etc. There are 300 million people in this country, surely there must be qualified people around who aren’t closely related to the previous officeholders.

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    @aimai:

    Can someone point towards a mechanism for the enforcement of this hypotheical presidential order?

    Not only is there no such mechanism, there is a Federal statute (the McCarran-Ferguson Act) that explicitly leaves regulation of the business of insurance to the states. Whether you think that’s sound policy or not (and in true lawyerly fashion, I could argue it either way), it’s not going away any time soon.

  66. 66

    @fuckwit: During the 2008 primaries Bubba was definitely more of a liability for Hillary. If she becomes President, how is he going to behave?

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @kc: there were ways to say this without saying what Clinton said, that Obama needs to “honor his promise”, the necessary implication being that Barack Obama– That One Who Stole Hillary Presidency Away From Bill– dishonorably broke his promise. How about “President Obama has said he wanted to fix this problem, and he’s willing to listen to everyone’s ideas, trouble is, I haven’t heard any ideas from the other side”. Also, too, something about “a solution that doesn’t put at risk the goal of getting good quality affordable healthcare to every American” and cut the Landrieu types off.

  68. 68
    Alex says:

    The White House is probably going to come out with a plan to use short-term subsidies to help out people who are buying a more expensive plan and are not currently getting subsidies.

    Using executive action of course, because nothing can pass the House. So tyranny or something..

  69. 69
    agrippa says:

    Clinton, like many people, talks too much. He seems to think that he is very smart ( much smarter than most people or politicians); he is so smart that he tends to out smart himself. This is one of those times. He should done more thinking; and, then, said nothing.

  70. 70
    srv says:

    Sometimes first tries don’t work out. I’m sure HillaryCare will fix the problems with Obamacare.

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    @MomSense:

    Also the same Bill Clinton who gave us DADT, DOMA and Graham-Leach-Bliley.

    Not to mention the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000.

  72. 72
    Cervantes says:

    @agrippa: He should done more thinking; and, then, said nothing.

    I think this may be right.

    I also think Obama should not have apologized.

  73. 73
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Forget the pony I was promised when I voted for you…where’s my goddamn Doo Dads, Barry?!!

  74. 74
    agrippa says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    The same with me.
    I do not want Hillary in the WH because I do not want Bill in the WH.
    He is no where near as brilliant as he thinks that he is.
    And, he can not keep his pants on.

  75. 75
    kc says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist:

    I agree; it wasn’t helpful.

    Apparently, though, it was said in an interview in which he was generally defending the ACA. Here’s a link: http://www.ozy.com/c-notes/ass.....39.article (haven’t listened to it yet myself).

    It figures that everyone, wingnuts and media alike, would seize on that “honor his commitment” language and make that the headline. I wish Clinton hadn’t chosen to put it that way. He ought to know better.

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    @fuckwit: Don’t forget Jeb!

  77. 77
    Patrick says:

    @Svensker:

    BUT….this is turning them into MOOCHERS who are forced to use the “jack booted thugs” from the IRS to steal money from their neighbors to pay for their insurance! This is the worst possible thing that could ever happen! He ignored my comment about my feelings about the jack-booted IRS thugs who take my money for wars he wanted but I didn’t.

    That’s just it. Your brother already was a MOOCHER. I had to pay with my hard-earned money to finance his idiotic war in Iraq. As he himself put it; he “stole” my money to pay for his frivolous war in Iraq.

  78. 78
    lamh36 says:

    @ThePlumLineGS 11s
    @CitizenCohn Good post on Bill Clinton. Ds are angry at him for not clarifying http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....-and-fast/

  79. 79

    @agrippa: If she runs we are going to find out about the post Presidency bimbo eruptions.

  80. 80
    agrippa says:

    @Cervantes:

    It may be good politics for Obama to apologize; but, I do not think that he should have either.

    The funny thing about it is: When everything is going well with the website and implementation of the law, the media will be completely silent relative to both.

  81. 81
    Montysano says:

    Let me get this straight: Let’s say I have garbage auto insurance that, in the event you get into an accident with me and it’s my fault, will pay you zip/nada/zilch. I should be able to keep that plan because FREEDOM!/TYRANNY!/SLAVERY! It that about it?

  82. 82
    Violet says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Do Hil and Bill even live together anymore? We’re going to find out.

  83. 83
    askew says:

    @kc:

    He ought to know better.

    He does know better. This is exactly what happened during the primaries. He’d let his temper and poor sportsmanship get the better of him and he’d say horrible things about Obama than ended up being politically hurtful to Hillary. He just can’t help himself. From all accounts, he still isn’t over the fact that Obama beat Hillary and that Obama doesn’t kiss his ass 24/7.

  84. 84
    agrippa says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Bimbo eruptions is a concern, what with his record and all.

  85. 85

    @agrippa: The righties will be partying like its the 1990s again!

  86. 86
    agrippa says:

    @Montysano:

    yes.
    That is about it.

  87. 87
    Yatsuno says:

    @Svensker: OI! I do not wear jack boots!

  88. 88
    Violet says:

    @Montysano: You forgot the part about how you shouldn’t have to pay more for any plan because you’re not female/black/brown, but even if you are fat, old and/or a smoker, you shouldn’t have to pay more.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    Even the mega-drug lord, serial murderer, Satan himself incarnated Bill Clinton says…! Big deal. A lot of Democrats have wimped out, or didn’t understand the economics, and said similar things. Bill Clinton is the big name wingnuts and GOPers can advertise.

    I think Dean Baker has it right. Did Obama promise to nationalize the health insurance industry and dictate to them exactly what they would do, and when they could fart, or put out an ad, or pick their noses, how they would wipe themselves, or did he not? Answer: he did not.

    Why has no one asked why so many insurance companies decided to offer delicate policies that were not robust to the ACA requirements after the ACA was law? Why has everyone seem to have forgotten that premiums were raised and policy lines discontinued way before the ACA was even a gleam in that demonic Obama’s demonic beady eyes?

    So, the health insurance companies decided to jack some people around. Why? Maybe to try to capture customers on some (on average short lived) individual policies so they had a better chance of snagging their business rather than losing them to more competitive policies on the exchanges? Maybe.

    I do not know why this is supposed to be such a huge explosive issue, except that is a cheap gotcha item that puts health care advocates on the defensive.

    The whole issue is BS. But when it comes to economics, Bill Clinton can issue great BS from time to time, so I am sure he will make some headlines.

    Did People Think That President Obama Had Pledged to Nationalize the Insurance Industry?
    Dean Baker
    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/.....e-industry

  90. 90
    askew says:

    @lamh36:

    Dems are going to start remembering why so many of backed Obama instead of Hillary in 2008. The Clintons have a habit of stabbing fellow Dems in the back in order to get ahead.

  91. 91
    Patrick says:

    @Montysano:

    That’s exactly it. I just want to scream at the media. Where’s the facts in their reporting? After all, it is unusual for them not to perform outstanding journalism…

  92. 92

    @fuckwit:

    Gawd, the more I think about this, the more I realize that we shouldn’t allow dynasties.

    That’s my biggest objection to Hillary; I don’t like political dynasties. Part of it is also about the qualifications. I think somebody with Hillary’s qualifications- 1+ term as senator and 4 years as SecState- would be a plausible presidential candidate, but I don’t think they’d be the presumptive candidate if she weren’t from a dynasty. I certainly don’t think somebody with Hillary’s 2008 qualifications would have seen herself as the presumptive candidate without the political dynasty aspect, and I have trouble thinking that a carpetbagger with no previous experience in elected office would have sailed through the Senatorial election in 2000 without coming from a political dynasty. I get that Hillary deserves some credit for Bill’s accomplishments, but not, IMO, enough to explain her subsequent political success.

  93. 93
    Anya says:

    @MomSense: @burnspbesq: Welfare Reform, Three Strikes, You’re Out. He also signed the legislation that created the faith-based initiative program.

  94. 94
    lamh36 says:

    Oh for F*** sake,

    @jbendery 14s
    ! MT @DavidMDrucker: Sen Feinstein announces she’s cosponsoring Landrieu bill to let people keep health plans.

  95. 95
    Hal says:

    Let’s say there is a bill that passes that allows people to keep their insurance. My understanding of these plans is that the average purchaser only stays with them for two years, then moves on, so why bother? Wouldn’t most people have moved on by now or the coming year anyway? If so they are just going to end up with the plan they would have had under the ACA now. Also, why would you want a shit plan with less coverage unless it is significantly less money?

  96. 96
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Roger Moore: What it boils down to for me is judgment, and HRC’s judgment can be impeached with two words: Mark Penn

  97. 97
    Patrick says:

    @lamh36:

    Sen Feinstein announces she’s cosponsoring Landrieu bill to let people keep health plans.

    Hell, why not also cosponsor a bill to make drunk driving legal, or a bill to eliminate the FDA or other things that make our country go backwards rather than forward. The stupidity…

  98. 98
    Patrick says:

    @Hal:

    Also, why would you want a shit plan with less coverage unless it is significantly less money?

    Ask Dianne Feinstein. She apparently thinks it is extremely important for people to have worthless plans.

  99. 99
    Jim, Foolish LIteralist says:

    @lamh36: Bush-War and Bush-Tax-Cut supporter Dianne Antoinette Feinstein throwing ObamaCare under the bus? I am not shocked.

  100. 100
    lamh36 says:

    Ugh. I know Dems are not lemmings, but wow. I guess the whole message discipline from the whole shut down bidness is over and Dems are back to eating their own damn faces!!

    CNN’s Dana Bash: Friday ‘De Facto Deadline’ Before Dems ‘Defy’ Obama, Back GOP’s Obamacare Fixes
    by Noah Rothman

  101. 101
    Svensker says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Not even fashionable ones? :)

  102. 102
    JustRuss says:

    @Hal:

    My understanding of these plans is that the average purchaser only stays with them for two years, then moves on, so why bother?

    This. Insurance companies are constantly rearranging the deck chairs, usually to save themselves a few more bucks, so the notion that someone has this awesome plan that they’ll keep forever is a joke.

  103. 103
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Hal: There’s so little information out there, and insurers have had near-monopolies on statewide markets for so long, that it’s likely most people wouldn’t have the least clue if they weren’t being faced with the decision RIGHT THIS SECOND (as if they didn’t have until February to sign up). And it’s a new experience for the insurers to face [gasp] competition, so of course fear-mongering from them is to be expected. The US is far too used to going to their friendly neighborhood insurance agent (who’s never steered them wrong before [/snark]) and not asking any questions; getting all this additional information upfront is shocking enough.

    It’s the same way friends in FL just do NOT believe – even with the policy language waved in front of them – that my auto insurance in VA has quadruple the coverage of my old FL policy at half the price (and yes, that’s half the premium $s for four times the coverage, so improved by a factor of eight). “But-but-but-it’s-the-COMMONWEALTH-of-VIRGINIA!” seems to be the best they can come up with for reasons I’m wrong, even with the paperwork – and the cold hard numbers – staring them in the face. FL is cheaper because Everyone Knows That.

    @Patrick: IIRC Anthem, Blue Shield, Kaiser, Aetna, Transamerica et al contribute heavily to DiFi’s campaign coffers. She knows where her bread is buttered. And whatever it means to SFO/Berkeley/WeHo, she still has to win Bakersfield/Fresno/Visalia/Redding too, and they don’t need no stinkin’ ACA.

  104. 104
    Chris says:

    @jl:

    I do not know why this is supposed to be such a huge explosive issue

    The media will always interpret economics in a way that begins and ends with the assumption that the MOTU of the private sector are gentlemen of unimpeachable credentials. And that anything that’s gone wrong is because of 1) the government (especially with a Democrat at the helm), 2) unions, 3) a lazy and greedy public that’s not willing to put in the hard work that the Chinese are, etc etc etc.

    (As a last resort, you can always blame the government for not regulating enough, even though you give them hell every time they try).

  105. 105
  106. 106
    MomSense says:

    @burnspbesq: @Anya:

    I blame Obama!

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    It makes a kind of political sense- Obama can afford to “own” the problems with Obamacare because he’s not running again (and it’s not like he doesn’t ‘get” these machinations and this purely political positioning completely) BUT I still think it’s a dumb strategy and it won’t work.

    One of the things I hated about the Clintons was the endless positioning they did and do. It’s just tiresome.

  108. 108
    Hal says:

    From DKOS, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party have a plan too…

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....e-question

    So when Matt Lauer badgers Sarah Palin in a vain and pointless televised attempt to tease out whether or not Sarah Palin and her “tea party” have any suggestions for health care reform that do not revolve around the obsessive need to hurt Barack Obama, it should be no surprise that Sarah Palin launches into the usual word salad:

    “The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases? And those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care!”

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    I wish I could say I’m surprised, but health insurers here in California have been doing their best to bollix things up. Among other things, the insurers were the ones who insisted on canceling everyone’s policies at the end of the year even though state regulators wanted them to keep them in force through March.

  110. 110
    Ben Cisco says:

    @taylormattd: Rainbow-colored unicorns with gold horns could get handed out and some motherfuckers would bitch because the stripes were out of sequence..

  111. 111

    @Mnemosyne: Well, it was a mutual agreement in the larger sense. Let’s be blunt here: the state has single payer in its crosshairs, it wants the shit policies gone, not grandfathered, and so the state was more than happy to make a deal with the insurers to help dump everyone onto the exchanges in order to make the exchange plans better. The CA couple that was profiled are EXACTLY the people that both the state and the insurers want to see on the exchanges. Now, they’re getting fucked over for the statistical good, but they’re still being fucked over.

    The bottom line in all of this is that the status quo system was fucking over 40% of the US population, and nobody gave a shit about profiling them individually, until they show up at a Remote Area Medical clinic. The new system is inevitably going to fuck over some new people – mostly middle class white folks that previously benefitted at the expense of the other 40%. I think California decided to stop fucking around and just get it over with. Eventually everyone is going to have to get there.

    I’m of mixed feelings about the approach here. On the one hand, I’m happy to see us rushing toward the better state. On the other hand, I don’t like seeing the people getting steamrolled on the path there. For the zillionth time, I’ll mention that the solution to all of these problems is leveling the income disparity and raising base wages. It would have minimized that 40% before and it would have made the transition much easier. Everything we’re talking about here is again just duct tape and bailing wire around that fundamental problem. We’ve fucked this up for so long, fixing it for that 40% isn’t going to come without a cost for the rest of us.

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My wingnut uncle has it all worked out that Obama knew all this would happen and that they’re deliberately destroying the health insurance market to set the stage for Total Government Takeover.

    To which I can only say, if only. Businessmen have been fucking people over health insurance for long enough.

  113. 113
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I loved the track ball on my Dell laptop that weighed _5lbs in 2000. Why can’t I have it now?

  114. 114
    hoodie says:

    @Kay: I don’t have a problem with positioning, that’s part of being a pol, and it’s fine if you get results. The problem with the Clinton’s positioning in the past is that they never advanced the ball, which is how they differ from Obama. DOMA and the Iraq War are good examples of Clinton positioning that didn’t advance the ball and bit the Clintons in the ass. I’m not sure that’s the case here, however, because the context is different with Obama involved. Clinton can be kind of a useful source of trial balloons to help Obama outmaneuver the congressional GOP. Looks to be happening here, as now we have Dems introducing legislation to improve the ACA, which could fuck up the GOP narrative.

  115. 115
    mclaren says:

    People should blame Obama for deceiving the public. Obama didn’t lie but he was guilty at the very least of absurdly wishful thinking. The plain fact of the matter is that unless the government steps in and forces insurance companies out of the business of offering health care, market forces are going to distort and twist and warp the way health care gets distributed in America to the point where, for all practical purposes, only healthy young people have decent health insurance and everyone else gets fucked.

    Obama was in effect telling the American people “We can get the benefits of a nationalized single-payer public health care system while letting greedy corrupt self-dealing for-profit medical devicemakers and doctors and hospitals and private for-profit insurance companies run our health care system.” That’s stupid. It’s just not true. It’s obviously not true. It’s absurdly and flagrantly false.

    No other developed nation in the world tries to offer to its people an insane for-profit Rube Goldberg health care system like the one America has. Obama seems to have deluded himself into fantasizing that there wasn’t a good solid reason for that. But there is.

    The reason no other developed nation in the world tries to offer to its people an insane for-profit greed-controlled health care system like America’s, where there are no cost controls and the sky’s the limit on the prices of medical procedures, is that it doesn’t work.

    Cue the Obots to scream insults and empty threats irrelevant to the main issue (namely, how to provide decent European-style health care to every American regardless of income) in…3…2…1…

  116. 116
    Mnemosyne says:

    @👾 Martin:

    Now, they’re getting fucked over for the statistical good, but they’re still being fucked over.

    Only if you, too, are working on the assumption that they were never, ever going to get sick and be kicked off that policy by Kaiser. Because, according to ProPublica, they were only able to get that rate by being totally healthy and could have seen their rate go way up if, say, one of them was diagnosed with cancer.

    So even their “good” was a provisional good that assumed that they would never be unlucky enough to get sick, ever, because if they did, they wouldn’t get that “good” rate anymore.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    (namely, how to provide decent European-style health care to every American regardless of income)

    Well, the minimal amount of change would be to do it like the Swiss do it, keep our private healthcare companies and regulate the shit out of them. But I guess it’s Obama’s fault that there’s no political will to do that.

    And I realize that health insurance companies are the Great Satan in your eyes, but it’s the private for-profit healthcare providers that are killing us: the hospitals, medical centers, and medical groups. Even if we cut out the middleman, we still wouldn’t save much, because Tenet and other for-profit hospitals would continue ripping everyone off.

  118. 118
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I wish I could say I’m surprised, but health insurers here in California have been doing their best to bollix things up. Among other things, the insurers were the ones who insisted on canceling everyone’s policies at the end of the year even though state regulators wanted them to keep them in force through March.

    Quelle surprise. A for-profit company does what makes a for-profit company the most money.

    This is about as amazing as putting a rattlesnake in a cage with a mouse and admonishing the rattlesnake “Now, don’t eat that mouse! Don’t you do it! Don’t!” and then discovering that, oohhh, how horrible, how terrible, the rattlesnake ate the mouse.

    Shorter Mnemosyne: “No one could possibly have predicted…”

    Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

    You want decent health care?

    You want affordable health care?

    You want health care that’s available to every American?

    We know the solution. Every other first-world country uses it. Nationalized single-payer health care. The government sets the prices for medical procedures, any company that can’t meet ’em goes out of business. That’s way Japan did it. That’s the way France does it. That’s the way Germany does it.

    We now pause for corporate whore Mnemosyne to explain to us in tones of acid contempt why “the political realities” require that Obama set up a national health care system which he mercilessly mocked as absurd and unworkable during his 2008 campaign.

    OBAMA: Let’s break down what [Hillary] really means by a mandate. What’s meant by a mandate is that the government is forcing people to buy health insurance and so she’s suggesting a parent is not going to buy health insurance for themselves if they can afford it. Now, my belief is that most parents will choose to get health care for themselves and we make it affordable.

    Here’s the concern. If you haven’t made it affordable, how are you going to enforce a mandate. I mean, if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house. The reason they don’t buy a house is they don’t have the money.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    The government sets the prices for medical procedures, any company that can’t meet ‘em goes out of business.

    And yet that has nothing to do with insurance companies. If all of the insurance company executives were lined up against the wall tomorrow and shot, you would still have to deal with the fact that our hospitals, medical centers, and medical groups are for-profit.

    Getting rid of the insurance companies does jack squat. You have to regulate the providers.

  120. 120
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Some ignorant incompetent asshole always brings up the Swiss system, which is totally different from the ACA.

    Time to educate the assholes:

    Q: What is the chief difference twixt the Swiss system and the ACA?

    A: In the Swiss system, if the insurance and the underlying cost of the medical procedures offered by the private companies falls outside the cost range mandated by the Swiss government, the Swiss government requires that the insurance companies and/or the Swiss health care providers reduce their cost to the limit dictated by the Swiss government.

    This is a “for profit” system in the same sense that the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is “democratic” and a “people’s republic.” The Swiss system forces ironclad cost controls on its health care providers, and if they can’t meet the prices ceilings dictated by the Swiss government, then the private for-profit Swiss company goes out of business.

    This is no different in terms of the reality on the ground than the Japanese system, in which the Japanese government mandates a maximum cost of $150 for an MRI. When the Japanese companies and hospitals and doctors clamored that this was an impossible cost and they’d go out of business, the Japanese govenrment said: “Fine. Go out of business. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of the health care market.”

    And as a result the Japanese get affordable national health care today.

    The Swiss system works exactly the same way, except with the minor fig leaf of calling it “for-profit” even though the Swiss government determines the maximum cost of health insurance, the maximum cost of health care procedures, and the amount of so-called “profit” the Swiss insurance companies are allowed to make.

    Nice try, Mnemosyne, but your lying skills just aren’t up to the job. Give Karl Rove a call and ask him for pointers. You need to improve your mendacity techniques.

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    This is a “for profit” system in the same sense that the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is “democratic” and a “people’s republic.” The Swiss system forces ironclad cost controls on its health care providers, and if they can’t meet the prices ceilings dictated by the Swiss government, then the private for-profit Swiss company goes out of business.

    Insurance companies =/= providers. Do you understand the difference between an insurance company and a for-profit hospital? So far, the evidence is “no,” because you keep conflating the two and insisting that Tenet = Cigna. They are not the same thing, you fucking moron.

    Here are the 50 top-grossing for-profit hospitals in the United States. Let us know which of them is owned by an insurance company.

  122. 122
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Getting rid of the insurance companies does jack squat. You have to regulate theproviders.

    A partial truth which amounts to a lie by omission.

    Oh, too bad, Mnemosyne, your lying skills still aren’t up to the job. You need to give Ann Coulter another call and sharpen up your smear tactics. You haven’t succeeded in distracting us from the fundamental issue — namely, more people in America lack health care today in 2013 than lacked health care in 2008 when Obama was running for president and before the Democrats put into effect their grand so-called “health care reform.”

    For-profit insurance companies represent part of the problem. A for-profit insurance company that can raise its premiums without limit and exclude anyone it like from the insurance pool is part of the problem with the American health care system.

    It’s not the entire problem, but it’s part of the problem. The ACA tinkers around the edges to prohibit for-profit insurance companies from making limitless increases in insurance premiums, the ACA prevents for-profit insurance companies from making boundless amounts of profit (they can only charge 20% more than the underlying medical procedures cost) and the ACA tinkers around the edges to ban grossly abusive scams like recission — but the ACA does not require for-profit insurance companies from dropping very sick people from the insurance rolls.

    This dumps the sickest of the sick onto state Medicaid rolls. And the sickest of the sick cost so much money that the states are going broke even though the federal government promised to kick in additional funds to cover the difference. And the obvious reason for this is that 3% of the people who get sick cost 95% of the money paid out in Medicaid…it’s a typical power-law situation. But none of the geniuses who set up the ACA seem to recognize this basic reality.

    Incidentally, Mnemosyne, now that you’ve decided to attack me by agreeing with what I’ve been saying for the last 5 years (“Getting rid of the insurance companies does jack squat. You have to regulate theproviders.“) what happened to your other all-purpose lie?

    Namely: “mclaren is mentally ill and in need of meds because he doesn’t realize that changing the way our health care providers charge money for medical procedures is politically impossible!”

    So which of your lies do you want us to believe, Mnemosyne?

    That I’m stupid and ignorant and wrong and mentally ill and in need of psychiatric meds because I don’t realize that it’s the cost of the medical care providers that’s mostly (but not entirely) responsible for America’s sky-high medical costs?

    (Notice that Mnemosyne conveniently leaves out of the equation the blunt fact that the ACA limits admissions to medical shcools to jack up the salaries of U.S. doctors to $230,000 per year median cost, compared to a median cost for general practitioners of $80,000 in France or Canada or Germany. There are fewer medical schools today in America in 2013 than there were in 1965, thanks to the AMA. But I notice Mnemosyne doesn’t say a word about that corrupt thieving restraint-of-trade cartel misnamed the American Medical Association, but which should actually be called the American Murder-sick-people-who-can’t-afford-overpriced-health-care-to-sate-our-greed Association.)

    Or do you want us to believe the lie that I’m stupid and ignorant and wrong and mentally ill and in need of psychiatric meds because I don’t realize that it’s politically impossible to restrain America’s sky-high medical costs?

    Tell us, Mnemosyne. Explain to us. Let us know once and for all.

    Which of your lies do you want us to believe?

  123. 123
    Singular says:

    @mclaren: I don’t really understand American healthcare much, but don’t you guys set maximum costs for procedures too? For Medicare?

    The US already has single-payer healthcare, but just only for a fraction of the population. And it seems to work well for them…

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mclaren:

    namely, more people in America lack health care today in 2013 than lacked health care in 2008 when Obama was running for president and before the Democrats put into effect their grand so-called “health care reform.”

    It’s so weird — it’s almost like we had a major recession that caused millions of people to lose their jobs and their health insurance.

    But I’m sure you would have heard about that if it happened, right? I mean, it would have been in the news or something. So the reason must be Obamacare, not the recession.

    Incidentally, Mnemosyne, now that you’ve decided to attack me by agreeing with what I’ve been saying for the last 5 years (“Getting rid of the insurance companies does jack squat. You have to regulate theproviders.“) what happened to your other all-purpose lie?

    I’ve been saying the exact same thing since at least 2009. So if we’ve both been saying the same thing for the past 5 years, which one of us is the liar?

    the ACA limits admissions to medical shcools to jack up the salaries of U.S. doctors to $230,000 per year median cost

    Citation, please. Show the actual wording from the actual law, with a link. Otherwise, I call bullshit.

  125. 125
    taylormattd says:

    @mclaren: Amazing. The dumb cunt who alleges he is super progressive is trashing Obama on grounds that Obama’s private-insurer based health insurance bill doesn’t let people keep their current deeply terrible private health care plans that cover essentially nothing.

    It’s almost like mclaren is a disingenous nutbag who has literally no political positions other than “OBAMA DOES IT, THEN IT’S WRONG”.

  126. 126
    hoodie says:

    @Mnemosyne:He’s pulling a lot of that out of his ass. The ACA actually provides funding for expanded training of primary care physicians. It’s one of his many factual errors, e.g., Germany is not single payer and has cost control problems, just not as bad as ours. You’re wasting your energy arguing with him.

  127. 127
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Do you understand the difference between an insurance company and a for-profit hospital? So far, the evidence is “no,” because you keep conflating the two and insisting that Tenet = Cigna. They are not the same thing, you fucking moron.

    Thank you for revealing your ignorance and incompetence, as well as your Ann-Coulteresque penchant for crass smear campaigns.

    I’m a “moron” because I point out that the insurance company and the health care provider are both codependent parts of a pathological American health care system whose end result is to price medical care out of reach for Americans, and whose solution to that problem is to continually reduce the availability of medical care to fewer and fewer people as the years pass.

    Let’s go over this plainly and simply, so you grasp it:

    [1] As long as medical care gets paid for by for-profit insurance in America, the for-profit insurers will have little interest in reining in costs and will instead simply pass along the infinitely increasing cost of medical care in America to the person who pays insurance premiums. The ACA does nothing about this.

    [2] As long as medical care gets paid for by for-profit insurance in America, the medical devicemakers and doctors and hospitals and big pharmaceutical companies and imaging clinics have zero incentive to reduce their costs, since they can simply pass their costs along to the for-profit insurers.

    [3] As long as non-disclosure agreements and sweetheart contracts prevent the real cost of medical procedures from being widely known, and prevent competing medical devicemakers and competing doctors and competing hospitals and competing imaging clinics and competing pharmaceutical companies from lowering the costs of U.S. medical procedures and medicines, there is zero incentive anywhere along the line for medical devicemakers or doctors or hospitals or imaging clinics or pharmaceutical companies to lower their costs.

    Net result?

    A pathological American health care system in which all parts act in synergy to limitlessly increase costs and then solve that problem by constantly reducing the availability of care.

    Insurers, who strike deals with providers, pass the bills on to patients, businesses and governments. The nation is fast being bankrupted by a medical money machine that costs $2.5 trillion a year and takes more than $1 of every $6 that Americans earn.

    “It’s an insider’s game in health care,” said Jeffrey Lerner, president and chief executive of the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit that researches medical practices.

    Each sector of the health industry points fingers at the other for driving up prices, and all are raking in money.

    Insurers blame hospitals and doctors, doctors blame insurers, and hospitals blame doctors and medical devicemakers in what academics call an inscrutable medical-industrial complex that rivals anything the defense industry ever invented. All these groups are combining into what many experts describe as cartels.

    Many industry insiders are afraid to speak on the record for fear of antagonizing the medical groups they rely on for their survival. Contracting practices are draped in secrecy. Prices are almost impossible to obtain because of “confidentiality agreements” among hospitals, physician groups, insurers and devicemakers who do not want their markups exposed to competition or public scrutiny. (..)

    What has received far less scrutiny is the collusion operating underneath this system. The regional “networks” that hospitals and their allied physicians form to negotiate with insurers often exclude competitors and lock in exorbitant prices that are passed on as premiums.

    Keith Smith, an anesthesiologist and co-founder of the Oklahoma Surgery Center in Oklahoma City, posts his surgery center’s prices online, a rarity in the industry. But he points to the “preferred provider organizations,” or PPOs, that he contends have morphed into medical cartels that make deals with insurers to monopolize care in their region.

    “My prices at my facility are most of the time 70 percent to 80 percent less than the same procedure across town at a not-for-profit hospital,” Smith said. “Yet Blue Cross and any number of insurance companies are not the least bit interested in contracting with me. And we’re not fly-by-night. We’ve been in business 13 years and have the top physicians in the city. All I know is something smells.”

    Source: “Experts warn of medical industry cartels’ power,” San Francisco Examiner, 21 February 2010.

    Keep screaming those insults, Mnemosyne. Keep up the name-calling. Keep using McCarthy-style smear tactics in a failed and futile effort to distract us from the underlying problem…

    …Namely, that the problem with America’s broken and collapsing health care system isn’t just insurers or medical devicemakers or greedy doctors or rapacious hospitals or greedy health insurers — it’s the entire corrupt collusive self-dealing system designed so that every part of the American health care system operates like a mini-Al-Capone, using any crooked scam they can dream up to rake in as much money as possible, the sky’s the limit, with no holds barred.

    That’s the problem, Mnemosyne. The problem with the broken collapsing U.S. health care system is the profit motive.

    And there’s only one solution. Eliminate it. Eliminate the profit motive.

    The ACA doesn’t do that.

    We now return to Mnemosyne’s regularly scheduled lies and name-calling in a frantically failed effort to distract us from the facts…

  128. 128

    @Mnemosyne:

    Citation, please. Show the actual wording from the actual law, with a link. Otherwise, I call bullshit.

    It is utter and complete bullshit. Medical schools are ungodly expensive to build, primarily because they’re shit unless connected to a teaching hospital, and nobody wants to build a public hospital with the current state of consumer insurance. We should have doubled the number of student seats in medical schools over the last decade, but the number has barely budged. Public universities have no money to expand because of the recession and the GOP convincing everyone that tax dollars are evil.

    The hope here is that with mandatory health insurance, that states will look to build new medical schools, but there really aren’t that many universities big enough to do it that don’t already have med schools. We’re pretty much talking about building dedicated medical universities here – like UCSF, which I believe is the only university of its kind in the nation. Maybe that will change.

  129. 129
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Violet:

    Maybe Mary Matalin, too. “Two for the price of one” is the mantra, after all.

  130. 130
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Hal: I don’t think Carville is coming back. Carville is spouting off on his own. Because spouting off is what he’s been doing for 20 years.

    His schtik is old and worn and as a bit of armchair quarterbacking for the presumed candidate, if she wants to be the nominee, she’d best find a few fresh faces for her loyal surrogates. The only one I can actually still like is Sidney Blumenthal, and that’s only because I never pay attention to him.

  131. 131
    mk3872 says:

    Didn’t Obama also say he would support changing the law to allow people to keep their crappy plans ? Why is it such a problem when Clinton says it ??

  132. 132
    Kay says:

    @hoodie:

    don’t have a problem with positioning, that’s part of being a pol, and it’s fine if you get results. The problem with the Clinton’s positioning

    The problem with the Clinton positioning is, it’s always crafted to benefit the Clintons.

    And half the time it doesn’t even advance “the Clintons” It just advances Bill Clinton.

    I’m just looking for a smidge of humility. A tiny shred. If I had failed to pass a health care law, I think I would be reluctant to start talking about someone else “honoring a commitment”. Someone has been spending too much time at the Aspen Institute or wherever they go to attend roundtables.

  133. 133
    nineone says:

    @Chris:

    “They think” he is stabbing Obama in the back? Is there any other way to look at this?

    Yeah, the Big Dog and O-Dawg are punking the hell out of those who buy into this “they don’t like each other” meme the Reichwing started so they could give the suckers hope. The better to fleece them, my dear. Personally I don’t think “like” enters into it, or really even matters in the big scheme of things. But the petty shit gets the baggers and naggers on both sides all het up and off their games which makes it easier for O-Dawg in the long run. Especially when the big blow up never comes and Hills goes to work for the President after a contentious Primary. Or when Bill knocks it out of the park at the DNC after praising the evil Mittens. The media is actually pretty easy to play, and O uses them to create frisson in his opposition. Now look at how all excited they are – we’ve got him now, this time for sure. Same shit the Obama Hate Cult has been saying for five fucking years and it will never fucking happen. But you hate fucks will still pony up just on the off chance that this is the time. And when it doesn’t you get the sad trombone. Face it, y’all, he really is that good.

  134. 134
    Jeremy says:

    @taylormattd: The teabaggers and brogressives are one in the same. Hatred for Obama is what unifies them and a number of them are openly racist.

  135. 135
    Heliopause says:

    I find this whole “Obama lied” about keeping your plan nonsense to be quite distressing. The only reason people are not able to keep their plans is that insurance companies no longer offer them.

    John, John, John. I know I commented on this back during 2009-10, maybe not here but on some blog or another, that I was nervous about the President making this claim repeatedly, because even the lowest-grade knuckle-dragger could see from a hundred miles away that if that statement was not 100%, absolutely, strictly true then the mother of all hissy-fits would be had by the right and centrist media. Furthermore, we here in Savvyland have no excuse for not seeing this coming, since we knew that the new law would establish higher minimum standards, inevitably leading to cancellation notices on some quantity of the shittier plans.

    Saying “no change, period” instead of “95% of you [or whatever percentage] will see no change” was not an own goal, it was ten own goals. It was stupid and completely predictable. So now you’ve got all this big PR problem for the Dems as the midterms approach all because a few simple words of truthful qualification weren’t added by the speechwriters.

  136. 136

    @mk3872:

    Didn’t Obama also say he would support changing the law to allow people to keep their crappy plans ? Why is it such a problem when Clinton says it ??

    The problem isn’t that Clinton said the same thing, it’s that Clinton stated it as though it was a problem that Obama created and refuses to fix. I’m curious how Bill thinks that Obama can get California to change the rules. I mean, okay, PPACA is a federal law, but health insurance regulation is still handled by the states. PPACA has no provision to take that authority away from the states. The law allows plans to be grandfathered from PPACA rules, but it doesn’t allow them to be grandfathered from state rules. If CA wants to bring the state rules in alignment with the federal ones and not grandfather any policies, we can do that and there’s fuckall that Obama can do about it. And I don’t think Congress wants to go there either.

  137. 137
    mclaren says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Citation, please. Show the actual wording from the actual law, with a link. Otherwise, I call bullshit.

    You’re the master of bullshit, Mnemosyne, so you’d know. As a word-class spewer of classic bullshit, you’re the person best qualified to discuss the subject.

    Alas, you asked for citations, which is always a fatal mistake for you. Prepare to get nuked.

    Greg Mankiw features the chart below on physicians’ salaries in the U.S. vs. various European countries and Canada, showing that MDs in the U.S. make about $200,000, which is between 2 and 5 times as much as doctors make in other countries. How do we explain the significantly higher physician salaries in the U.S.?

    One explanation is the restriction on the number of medical schools, and the subsequent restriction on the number of medical students, and ultimately the number of physicians. Consider the difference between law schools and medical schools.

    In 1963, there were only 135 law schools in the U.S. (data here), and now there are 200, which is almost a 50% increase over the last 45 years in the number of U.S. law schools. Unfortunately, we’ve witnessed exactly the opposite trend in the number of medical schools. There are 130 medical schools in the U.S. (data here), which is 22% fewer than the number of medical schools 100 years ago (166 medical schools, source), even though the U.S. population has increased by 300%. Consider also that the number of medical students in the U.S. has remained constant at 67,000 for at least the period between 1994 and 2005, according to this report, and perhaps much longer.

    The charts below tell an interesting story (data here):

    The number of applicants to medical school keeps going up, by more than 21% between 2003 (34,786) and 2008 (42,231), despite the fact that the number of students admitted has gone up by only about 9% (from 16,538 to 18,036) over that period.

    Source: “The medical cartel: Why are MD salaries so high?” 24 June 2009.

    It’s not just American doctors who make much much more than their European counterparts, with U.S. orthopedic surgeons making on average $442,000 per year, 200% what the typical orthopedic surgeon in Europe makes — no, the problem is that America suffers from sky-high medical costs across the board. Not only do American doctors make much more than doctors in Europe, American MRI scans cost much much more than MRI scan in Europe, American pharmaceuticals cost much much more than drugs manufactured in Europe, American routine doctor’s visits cost much much more than routine doctor’s visits in Europe, and everything else in the broken collapsing American health care system costs much much more than in Europe.

    There is a simple explanation for why American health care costs so much more than health care in any other country: because we pay so much more for each unit of care. As Halvorson explained, and academics and consultancies have repeatedly confirmed, if you leave everything else the same — the volume of procedures, the days we spend in the hospital, the number of surgeries we need — but plug in the prices Canadians pay, our health-care spending falls by about 50 percent.

    In other countries, governments set the rates that will be paid for different treatments and drugs, even when private insurers are doing the actual purchasing. In our country, the government doesn’t set those rates for private insurers, which is why the prices paid by Medicare, as you’ll see on some of these graphs, are much lower than those paid by private insurers. You’ll also notice that the bit showing American prices is separated into blue and yellow: That shows the spread between the average price (the top of the blue) and the 90th percentile (the top of the yellow). Other countries don’t have nearly that much variation, again because their pricing is standard.

    The health-care reform debate has done a good job avoiding the subject of prices.

    Source: Another Ezra Klein article about health care from 2009.

    We now pre-emptively debunk Mnemosyne’s failed and futile lies:

    LIE NUMBER ONE: “Those articles don’t prove that mclaren claims they do.”

    An obvious and flagrant lie. Read the articles. They prove exactly what I claim — the number of medical students increases by 21% per year in America while the number of available slots in medical schools only increases by 9%. That means a 9% shortfall compounded annually in medical school admissions, which equates to a 9% per annum annually compounded increase in doctor’s salaries. By the rule of 72, after 8 years, the cost of a doctor doubles. But with 3% annual inflation, that means that it takes 24 years for the average person’s income to double. So, in real terms, after accounting for inflation, these statistics prove a built-in 5% compounded annual increase in U.S. doctor’s salaries over and above inflation. After 14 years, that means that the real salary of a U.S. doctor after inflation will have doubled in real terms, not just in nominal dollar, but in inflation-adjusted dollars. That’s unsustainable, and explains a large amount of the reason why if America used Canadian prices for our health care procedures, our total annual expenditure on health care would drop by 50%, as specifed in the article.

    (Of course, Mnemosyne will claim that the article doesn’t say this, and she’s lying. All you have to do is read the article: “if you leave everything else the same — the volume of procedures, the days we spend in the hospital, the number of surgeries we need — but plug in the prices Canadians pay, our health-care spending falls by about 50 percent.” op. cit., read it yourself, ignore Mnemosyne’s lies.)

    LIE NUMBER TWO: “Okay, mclaren is correct about U.S. doctor’s salaries being much much higher than the salaries of doctors in Europe (example: U.S. orthopedic surgeons makes $442,000 on average compared to an average of $221,000 on average for the European orthopedic surgeon) and that’s due to the AMA restricting medical school admissions. But that doesn’t matter because mclaren is still insane and ignorant and a moron and off his meds because [fill in irrelevant issue meant to distract us: the cost of medical devices in the U.S., the cost of patented drugs in the U.S., the cost of medical school in the U.S., and so forth and so on.]”

    It’s simple and easy to debunk this lie because as the articles I’ve linked to prove so irrefutably, the entire American system of health care is the problem, not just one component part. Pointing that out, of course, does not suddenly mean that it’s incorrect to identify individual parts of the broken collapsing American health care system as problematic — it just means that pointing to individual parts of the system as problematic identifies part of the problem, but not the whole problem, with U.S. health care. The big problem with U.S. health care is the corrupt collusive crony-operated non-disclsure-agreement-shielded insider-dealing way the U.S. health care system works.

    LIE NUMBER THREE: “Ezra Klein and Greg Mankiw and Sarah Kliff and all the others so-called ‘authorities’ mclaren cites are also morons and mentally ill and in need of meds, so we can ignore everything mclaren says.”

    Trivial to debunk this lie. It’s the same foolish mistake Senator Joe McCarthy made in the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954: when you encounter confirming facts, smear the authorities who confirm ’em. This does not work because it quickly runs into basic arithmetic problems. In order to smear me successfully, Mnemsonye must smear the sources I cite — and then Mnemosyne has to smear each of their sources, and each of their sources, and on and on. Like Senator Joe McCarthy claiming that the U.S. army was a gigantic communist conspiracy, Mnemosyne’s claims that Ezra Klein and Greg Mankiw and all the other people I cite are all mentally ill and morons and off their meds and strapped in straitjackets in padded cells just fails the straight-face test. It’s simply not credible.

    Either I’m telling the truth and citing documented facts, or vast armies of people are engaged in an enormous conspiracy along with me to distort the facts about the American health care system — a vast conspiracy caused by an enormous worldwide epidemic of mental illness of which I’m just the tip of the iceberg. Welcome to Invasion of the Body Snatchers 2013, Mnemosyne-style.

    One last note: notice that Mnemosyne constantly demands evidence from me. More evidence and more evidence, no amount of citations is ever enough, no ream of statistics ever suffices.

    What is wrong with this picture?

    Why doesn’t Mnemosyne ever have to provide evidence for her vacuous assertions?

    Where is Mnemosyne’s evidence for the claim that I’m a moron? Let us see the court order showing that I’ve been judged mentally incompetent. Show it to us, or stand revealed as a pathological compulsive liar, Mnemosyne.

    Where is Mnemsyne’s evidence for her claim that “it’s politically impossible to change the underlying American health care system”? Things are only “politically impossible” until they’re not — in 2005 the pundits agreed sagely with one another that “it was not yet time for a black American president,” then by 2008, we had a black American president. In 1964 it was the received wisdom among the best pundits in America that “America will not go to war with Vietnam next year.” I watched a rebroadcast of the year-end roundtable of journalists and political exerts: all agreed, oh, no, no, never, American would never ever go to war in Vietnam, it would be futile and political suicide for LBJ.

    Show us the hard evidence that changing America’s medical system is “politically impossible,” or stand revealed as a liar using McCarthy-style smear tactics to support your corporate paymasters, Mnemosyne.

    Lastly, Mnemosyne is so reliably on the wrong side of these debates, supporting Republican positions (“Nothing can be changed,” “It’s politicaly impossible,” “anyone who disagrees with us is a moonbat and insane”) that it seems much more likely that Mnemosyne is not even a person but a corporate-funded astroturf scammer how gets cash payments for astroturfing popular politcal discussion sites like BJ in order to spread conservative disinformation and discredit people who speak out for progressive reform in America.

    So we should really call Mnemosyne “The Koch brothers’ paid astroturf mouthpiece” rather than by her deliberately obscure fake online name.

    See the Daily Kos article “EXPOSED: Astroturfed Teabaggers PAID TO TROLL liberals online to enforce corporate propaganda,” 29 December 2010.

  138. 138
    mclaren says:

    @👾 Martin:

    I’m curious how Bill thinks that Obama can get California to change the rules. I mean, okay, PPACA is a federal law, but health insurance regulation is still handled by the states. PPACA has no provision to take that authority away from the states.

    There’s this thing called “an executive order.” Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a power the president has.

    The strike was scheduled to begin on April 9, 1952, but President Harry S. Truman nationalized the American steel industry hours before the workers walked out.

    Martin will reply with the usual smear tactics and he’ll point out that the steelworkers’ union sued to get Truman’s executive order reversed, and eventually, the Supreme Court agreed and did reverse that executive order.

    That’s irrelevant because the point is that Truman was able to force the steel industry to continue to supply war materiel for the Korean War, and that was the entire point. By the time the Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of the striking steelworkers, it was a fait accompli because Truman has accomplished what he wanted — getting war materials for the Korean War.

    In the same way, Obama could issue an executive order tomorrow nationalizing all the state medical systems. The states would sue, and after some months or years, who knows? Maybe the Roberts Supreme Court would rule against Obama.

    Doesn’t matter, because by that time Obama would have accomplished what he wanted — namely, the states would be operating as nationalized medical care systems for so long that it would be effectively impossible to go back to the old system.

    Ronald Reagan did this all the time. He issued executive orders which got overtunred, but by that time it was too late and the damage was done. Obama and Democratic presidents could do exactly the same things — they just lack the courage and the tenacity.

  139. 139
    mk3872 says:

    @Citizen Alan: It has NOTHING to do with people getting better plans or better product. With our MSM, it is ALL about a politician “lying” and getting back at Obama.

  140. 140
    mclaren says:

    @👾 Martin:

    It is utter and complete bullshit. Medical schools are ungodly expensive to build, primarily because they’re shit unless connected to a teaching hospital, and nobody wants to build a public hospital with the current state of consumer insurance. We should have doubled the number of student seats in medical schools over the last decade, but the number has barely budged. Public universities have no money to expand because of the recession and the GOP convincing everyone that tax dollars are evil.

    Thank you for telling that particularly ignorant lie, Martin. You now stand revealed as not just a liar, but an ignorant liar. Take a look at this chart of average annual income for U.S. physicians compared to European physicians.

    The source is of course Ezra Klein — we now pause to allow Mnemosyne and Martin to smear Ezra Klein as “a moron” and “mentally ill” and “off his meds.” Finished now? Good. Let’s continue.

    In 1963, there were only 135 law schools in the U.S. (data here), and now there are 200, which is almost a 50% increase over the last 45 years in the number of U.S. law schools. Unfortunately, we’ve witnessed exactly the opposite trend in the number of medical schools. There are 130 medical schools in the U.S. (data here), which is 22% fewer than the number of medical schools 100 years ago (166 medical schools, source), even though the U.S. population has increased by 300%.

    Source: “The medical cartel: why are MD salaries so high?” 24 June 2009.

    Martin’s ignorant and foolish lie rests upon the ridiculous argument that America has fewer medical schools today than in 1963 because “medical schools are ungodly expensive to build.” In that case, America should have many fewer nuclear aircraft carriers than in 1963, because nuclear aircraft carriers are also “ungodly expensive to build.” And America should have many fewer nuclear ballistic submarines than in 1963, because nuclear ballistic submarines are also “ungodly expensive to build.” And America should no stealth B-2 bombers at all, because, after all, stealth B-2 bombers at 2 billion dollars a pop are “ungodly expensive to build.”

    But somehow, America manages to afford all the B2 Stealth bombers and nuclear ballistic submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers it wants, even more ungodly expensive weapons than the Pentagon itself wants, despite the fact that all these Buck Rogers superweapons are “ungodly expensive to build.”

    Yet when it comes to saving the lives of sick Americans, somehow, medical schools become impossible to build. Why? Because “medical schools are ungodly expensive to build.”

    Nice try, far-right troll Martin. But no one is buying it. Try again with a better grade of lie. Maybe you’ll actually convince someone of your conservative scam that “American can afford endless numbers of superexpensive 2-billion-dollar stealth bombers and ballistic missile submarines and nuclear aircraft carriers, but American certainly cannot afford to build teaching hospitals!”

  141. 141
    Yatsuno says:

    @👾 Martin: When Washington and Washington State were trying to decide who was going to be the medical school, Washington won because Wazzu had a strong veterinary med program. Wazzu also has a very strong nursing program, but they would literally bend over backwards to open a teaching hospital in Spokane. The state keeps turning them down however because UW enjoys their monopoly on that in the state. Of course UW also has a law school and such, so ignoring the land grant university willing to open a med school is idiotic in this day and age.

  142. 142
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Only if you, too, are working on the assumption that they were never, ever going to get sick and be kicked off that policy by Kaiser.

    Genuine question here: we hear a lot of people whining about how their $50/month catastrophic policy worked for them because they don’t get sick, but we don’t seem to hear from people who say “I had catastrophic insurance and got cancer and yay, all was well and I got my hospital bills paid — oh, and I still get to pay $50/month.”

    Are there such people? Perhaps Richard Mayhew can fill us in on that — people with catastrophic policies who have had medical catastrophes and remain insurable at the same rate.

  143. 143

    @mclaren:

    There’s this thing called “an executive order.” Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s a power the president has.

    It’s a power the president has over federal jurisdiction. This is state jurisdiction. No part of PPACA takes away a state’s authority to regulate insurance. It may add a federal standard that exceeds the state standard, but in no way does it force a state to lower its standards. Congress actually hasn’t invoked the authority to do that – that’s sort of what the 10th Amendment is all about. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

    So if CA wants to adopt a standard for health insurance which exceeds the federal standard, we can do that. And the reason why so many Californian’s aren’t able to keep their policies is that while those policies are cool by PPACA rules, they aren’t cool by CA rules, so consumers get dumped. Obama didn’t break his promise there as PPACA didn’t force any of these people off of their plan. CA forced them off their plan and CA will continue to force them off their plan. That may be a shitty thing to do, but blame it on our insurance commissioner and our legislature and our governor. Obama can’t fix it.

    Edit: Oh, and we’ve been down this path once before. Bush tried to block the state’s authority to regulate fuel standards by such an order, and we sued the federal government. We set higher standards and the feds said we couldn’t. Well, turns out we could, executive order or not.

  144. 144
    trizzlor says:

    Oh, John Cole is distressed, so surely this issue will just go away now.

    Let’s say I wanted to pass some stricter fuel efficiency standards that would regulate out the smoggy Hummers on the market. I could explain to people that most cars will not be effected by this regulation and those that will are basically free-riding on our air quality. Or I could just tell people that if they like their cars they can keep ’em *period* and that their car won’t be affected by the law. Would the latter be a wise long-term strategy or would it just be a sloppy, short-sighted exaggeration? Would it make any freaking sense whatsoever to draw comparison to private sales that did not go a giant regulatory overhaul, like the Boomslang Razor?

  145. 145

    @mclaren: You linked to two things that predate PPACA and provided not one connection between PPACA and medical school admissions. Have you been involved in opening a professional school like that? I have – twice. I know the politics behind it very well. There is not a single federal obstacle to a university opening a medical school or to expanding one. In fact, there are quite a few federal incentives to expand – and even more since 2009. But the incentives aren’t nearly high enough to cover the cost of doing it. So the states are saying no.

  146. 146

    @mclaren:

    Alas, you asked for citations, which is always a fatal mistake for you. Prepare to get nuked.

    You do realize that you didn’t answer the question, right?

    This was your claim:

    ACA limits admissions to medical shcools

    You need to show me the actual language in the actual law that limits admissions to medical schools, because that’s what your claim is — PPACA by law limits admissions to medical schools.

    Here’s a link to the actual law.  Go to it.  Show us the actual language in the law that does what you claim by part and subtitle. Not someone else’s claims about what the law says — quote the ACTUAL LAW.

  147. 147
    mclaren says:

    @👾 Martin:

    It’s a power the president has over federal jurisdiction. This is state jurisdiction.

    That’s your claim. Show us your law degree, Martin. Do you have a license to practice law? Show it to us — post it online so we can see it.

    Any claim of jurisdiction is just that, a claim, empty and vacuous until a court rules. In the meantime, Obama can get something done. If the courts reverse him, so what? The California (and other state medical systems) will have been effectively nationalized, and it will be too late to go back.

    Of course, the Republican loons will scream for Obama’s impeachment, but they’ve been screaming for his impeachment since day one, so what does that matter?

    As for your claim that ” No part of PPACA takes away a state’s authority to regulate insurance,” that’s subject to interpretation. The legislature passes laws like the ACA, and it becomes the job of the executive branch to put that legislation into practice — a job which requires interpretation of the law. If Obama chooses to interpret the ACA in such a way that the governors of the Republican states refusing medicaid expansion get arrested by federal troops and their state medicaid systems nationalized, that’s an interpretation of the law to which the executive is entitled until a court reverses him.

  148. 148
    Cassidy says:

    @mclaren: So what you’re really saying is you want a dictator. Daddy issues much?

  149. 149
    The Art of Compromise says:

    @Anya: righteous. It’s Obamacare(s) for good reason. Heritage, Hillary nor Bill were President when the …ACA passed. Nancy Pelosi may have taken impeachment off the table but she “whipped” up votes to pass ..ACA. So yes we should be giving credit to President Obama and Madame Speaker for making it happen.

  150. 150
    Elie says:

    @Jim, Foolish LIteralist:

    Somebody tell Hills that the first test of her “Leadership” is to muzzle Bubba

    Aint gonna happen and he is gonna sink her. Not now. Later. He cannot help himself and unless she can make his stfu– which she cannot — he will be her frienemy — he can’t quite stop fucking Obama and struggles with the possibility of his wife being President. He just NEEDS to stop that deep in his soul.

    I like big bill but he is not a healthy, in control advocate. He is fraught for us and huge for his wife. She should not run unless she can shut him up — which she can’t. I elected, he would do his own White House staff and they would be fighting constantly over control of message and goals.

    For this reason, I do not support Hillary. As long as big dawg is alive, her Presidency is only an opportunity for chaos and destruction of hard won progressive achievements. I hope that she is unselfish enough to recognize that and stays out of it as long as big bill is around

  151. 151
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Cassidy: Control issues. The men in the nice white coats refuse to let him believe he’s Napoleon the Twentieth, but they do give him free time on the internet.

  152. 152
    dww44 says:

    @Kay: Thank you so much. You verbalized what I didn’t even realize I was thinking about Clinton’s behavior. You really are more than worth your weight in gold.

  153. 153
    chopper says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    that’s lying fascist talk, partner. now with your lying lies you’ve revealed to everyone that you’re a fascist!

  154. 154
    DTOzone says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    And it REALLY doesn’t help that BHO bought (in the ACA) what Heritage was pushing those same 20 years ago.

    And liberals want what Nixon wanted 40 years ago, yeah, guess what, when the left fails, the overton window moves right.

  155. 155
    nastybrutishntall says:

    I’mma let you finish Bill, but first,
    shut the fuck up.

    Then apologize for repealing Glass-Steagall, and oh yeah, hide yourself among your wealthy donors till, shit, i dunno…2016 maybe?

    Yeah, then please, tell us all about it all, it’s cool.

  156. 156
    Kropadope says:

    @Elie: Isn’t it worth not supporting Hillary on her own merits?

  157. 157
    It's Not The Fall, It's The Landing says:

    @BruceFromOhio: They still make a type of Jarts; they’re just a lot less potentially stabby now. Kind of disappointing for those of us who grew up with the old version.

  158. 158

    […] John Cole at Balloon Juice: […]

  159. 159

    @taylormattd: It’s because, for the most part we don’t really have a media machine. Just a handful of commentators and media personalities. Nothing compared to the tidal wave of AM radio right jocks. Yes, it’s outdated, but way larger than ours by at least a factor of ten.

  160. 160
    Quiddity says:

    @Heliopause: You are 100% correct.

  161. 161
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @mclaren: You’re an idiot. Republican governors would just refuse to comply with those executive orders, so the “slow wheels of justice” wouldn’t result in a de facto nationalization of exchanges. Truman got away with his executive order because the companies making steel were only to happy to continue cranking out steel for a willing buyer.

    Look how long it took to desegregate schools after the Brown decision, or even after the CRA of 64 was passed. When political opposition is entrenched, it takes law, time, and moral persuasion to change things.

  162. 162
    DTOzone says:

    @mclaren:

    If the courts reverse him, so what?

    Seriously? Then everyone who signs up for Medicaid gets tossed off it, idiot.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    Cain says:

    I think I still have the boomslang razor. I’ve hardly used it. I did get a new Razor though. Not sure what I did with teh old one.

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