Because People Should Have To Choose Between Eating and the ER

Via TPM, here’s why the unemployed must go without:

Just as a bipartisan deal was coming together, Senate negotiations on extending jobless benefits for 11 months mysteriously broke down Thursday over obscure procedural disagreements….

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was pushing hard to offer an amendment that pays for a revival of emergency jobless benefits by delaying Obamacare’s unpopular individual mandate for one year (which is projected to save money by reducing Obamacare subsidies and Medicaid outlays, as well as raise insurance premiums).

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Giving the benefit of the doubt to the Republicans (I know…wait for it), assuming that McConnell doesn’t actually take pleasure in the sufferings of others, what could lie behind tying unemployment benefits to an attempt to undermine delivering health care to millions?

The usual:

The move was aimed at whipping up fodder for GOP Senate candidates to attack Democrats in the November congressional elections, where the Republicans hope to take back the majority.

In the very best construction of GOP motives here, it could be that some of them actually think that the damage done by Democratic control of the Senate is so threatening to the Republic that some collateral damage — actually, the misery and perhaps even deaths of Americans, incurred through the ills of poverty or gaps in the health care system — is just the price to be paid.  The tree of liberty and all that.

Except the “patriots” sacrificed in this case are not volunteers for the cause; they’re pawns, objects and not agents, to be sacrificed to advance McConnell and his buddies towards power.

Factio Grandaeva Delenda Est.

Image: U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division. Advertising Section. You Are Lucky…c. 1917-1919.

71 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Tom, I’m not sure how to respond to this post. I’m not anywhere close to a “both sides” kind of person, but there can be no doubt that these individuals are unwitting pawns being sacrificed by both the D’s and the R’s.

  2. 2
    KG says:

    Except the “patriots” sacrificed in this case are not volunteers for the cause; they’re pawns, objects and not agents, to be sacrificed to advance McConnell and his buddies towards power.

    When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die

  3. 3
    Aimai says:

    @Corner Stone: how are the d’s “sacrificing” anyone or treating anyone as a pawn?

  4. 4
    Ben Franklin says:

    Relatively, OT.

    I am hopeful that ACA also means affordable Quality Care, because there is little difference between no care and incompetent physicians, office staff and medical device clinics.

    If the plan is designed to morph into single-payer I ask that the concierge plans for the richest bitches be gutted. The failure of the NHS system is linked to the brain-drain of the best and brightest, leaving the dregs for the masses.

    Let’s learn from that.

  5. 5
    Belafon says:

    @Ben Franklin: well, I hope it is as well, because it is obvious you need help for your constant need to be petty.

  6. 6
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Corner Stone: You know, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. D’s are saying: keep health care, extend unemployment benefits. R’s are saying choose. Not quite sure how you find the equivalence there, moral or political. YMMV.

    And now, I’m running out of the house (an actual date with my wife!) so will be unable to extend the conversation. Not intended as a pick-up-my-marbles-and-run move.

  7. 7
    efgoldman says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    The failure of the NHS system is linked to the brain-drain of the best and brightest, leaving the dregs for the masses.

    On what do you base this absolutist statement?

  8. 8
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Belafon:

    Petty to you perhaps. Important to many.

  9. 9
    🎉 Martin says:

    Can’t we just sell all of our long-term unemployed to North Korea? Lord knows they could use the food over there.

  10. 10
    efgoldman says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    And now, I’m running out of the house (an actual date with my wife!)

    Wait a minute You have a life? Outside this blog? Weirdo!

  11. 11
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @🎉 Martin:

    Can’t we just sell all of our long-term unemployed to North Korea? Lord knows they could use the food over there.

    If North Korea could afford to buy our long-term unemployed, they could afford to buy regular food. The only way North Korea is going to be able to eat our long-term unemployed is if we provide them as foreign aid. And the only government spending that polls worse with Americans than extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed is providing aid to foreign countries.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tom Levenson: And I have made the consistent argument that the D’s gave up on these people pre-budget deal.
    IMO, they had the opportunity to draw a stark comparison between themselves and the R’s. Force the R’s to explicitly shut down the govt again over UI, if that’s what they chose.
    Instead, the D’s took a bad budget deal, one there was no reason to agree to, and left these people out to dry so they could engage in an after action “narrative battle”. Now the D’s want to make the argument. But these families are already damaged beyond belief. How do you stick someone back into their home? How do you go back in time and put food on the table for a child?
    In the past people kept trotting out mitigating aspects of bad deals – DADT, START, UI for everyone but the 99’ers, etc.
    But there was nothing like that in this budget deal. The only aspects I can determine are the D’s agreed to sequester level funding, a doc fix, and an expansion in funding for the DoD.
    Now, all leverage is gone. The only argument left is how much we’re going to cut SNAP.

  13. 13
    Aimai says:

    @Corner Stone: the budget deal was not a forgone conclusion. There is no evidence that the republicans were any more amenable to a ui extension in the budget deal. If they had blown up the budget deal lots of people would have suffered even more and the “lines” that you want drawn would be the same ones that are being drawn now.

  14. 14
    Ben Franklin says:

    @efgoldman:

    Have you misinterpreted, again?

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: No, he asked you to support your statement. You can do that, can’t you?

  16. 16
    srv says:

    Assuming these Republicans have the worst of intentions for their own voters, if we have them the nukular keys, could we assume they’d nuke a few Red States and blame Obama?

    Maybe even nihilism can be exploited.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @srv: They might try, but can we trust them not to fuck it up?

  18. 18
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, I took some of my own time to answer his queries earlier today.
    When I did that he said ‘never mind’

    I don’t do circus acts for clowns.

  19. 19
    Lurking Canadian says:

    So the Republican strategy is to tell the Dems they can have UI only at the cost of the ACA, intending to run “Denocrats refused to compromise even if it made the poor starve”?

    I’d say it might work, except the republican base is in favour of letting the poor starve, so they might not see the down side.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    I don’t do circus acts for clowns.

    Just for your own pleasure then?

  21. 21
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Are you actually Hulk Hogan? Because I recognize the ringside style.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: You’ve gone to non-sequitur -land pretty early tonight.

  23. 23
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You recognize the geography. Home sweet home.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    Why would anyone care if the R’s were or were not “amenable” to extending UI in the budget deal?
    We didn’t get UI anyway did we?
    Please tell us why we are any closer to getting a UI extension now, post-budget deal.

  25. 25
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Considering the average member of congress is a millionaire, I guess we peasants should be happy they even considered the poor lumpen unemployed. Madam DeFarge call on the White Courtesy Phone.

  26. 26
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Considering the average member of congress is a millionaire, I guess we peasants should be happy they even considered the poor lumpen unemployed. Madam DeFarge call on the White Courtesy Phone.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    The failure of the NHS system

    Out of curiosity, does a system currently exist that doesn’t have some parts that don’t work well, where people don’t fall through the cracks, where the physicians are always excellent and problems with equipment, front-line office staff, nursing staff and so forth don’t happen? Could you give some examples of which systems that exist in the real world work best?

    By “NHS system” do you mean the British National Health Service? I’ve got English family and am well acquainted with the advantages and disadvantages of the NHS. Some things work well and some don’t. Happy to discuss that if it would be helpful to the discussion.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, it’s come to this. Mitch McConnell needs to be flayed alive, as an example for others.

  29. 29
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Violet:

    One of the immediate benefits of ACA my wife and I recently experienced.

    She needed a Cat-scan to determine whether she had a kidney stone obstruction in left ureter. It was speculative by the primary so he couldn’t declare emergency. I was told at the clinic that it would take 3-5 business days to get approval from our ins. I called insurer to verify and asked if I signed off and got post approval would it be covered. answer: No.

    That meant the contracted pmt for CAT approved at $500 would probably be 1750 and be denied. When I returned the money guy was incredulous, but told me the electronic request was immediately returned as approved. It had never happened before so quickly, according to him. Such admin efficiencies are the key to quality care thanks to ACA, but the NHS has not seen to this electronic efficiency.

    There are many things we can learn from the NHS and it’s mistakes. Another key takeaway is that the criticisms of NHS within the culture were not treated with respect or credibility. Anyone who raised questions got bullshit from crones like Omnes, a hack DNC contracted lawyer or worse. Then, there is the threat from private-payment direct to physicians, which, as I said, takes the best Drs and techs and puts them out of the reach of average citizens.

  30. 30
    RepubAnon says:

    @Lurking Canadian: After the Democrats agreed to sacrifice health care to extend unemployment, the Republicans would welch on the deal. They’d then run TV ads claiming the Democrats cut both unemployment benefits and sacrificed health care.

    My question for Democrats in the Senate – why negotiate with folks that you can’t trust to honor their commitments?

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Then, there is the threat from private-payment direct to physicians, which, as I said, takes the best Drs and techs and puts them out of the reach of average citizens.

    But that isn’t what you said. What you said was:

    The failure of the NHS system is linked to the brain-drain of the best and brightest, leaving the dregs for the masses.

    Without any explanation or context. It implies that you think the entire NHS system is a failure. That implication is what caused people to inquire as to your reasoning or evidence.

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    @Ben Franklin: I don’t think you answered my question re: the best system that currently exists, however I’m glad you have experienced some benefits from the ACA. That’s good!

    In the experience of my English relatives the doctors are not so much leaving the NHS as much as paying via private insurance or out of pocket means you get bumped up the list. Example: Older family member needed hip surgery. She could wait on the NHS until she was unable to walk–that was their criteria–or she could go private and get the surgery whenever she wanted. By getting the surgery earlier she got it while she was still in better shape, which meant she would be able to recover faster. Had she waited until she was unable to walk her recovery would definitely have taken longer and she would have had a much longer time in pain.

    The doctor for the surgery was the same one she would have had with the NHS. He was the one who advised her of the difference in when to get the surgery, recovery times, etc.

  33. 33
    Craig M. says:

    Am I wrong in thinking the Democrats are too afraid of meaningless Republican trap votes? It’s not as if if they don’t allow this amendment to come to the floor, the Republicans won’t run a metric ton of attack ads saying “Senator [Hagan|Pryor|Landrieu] supported Obamacare, vote ’em out to save America.”

    Let them offer the amendment. Vote it down. Then go out and win the elections. At least then maybe McDonnell will stop whining about the comity of Senate being forever sullied by those dastardly Democrats.

  34. 34
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Violet:

    She could wait on the NHS until she was unable to walk–that was their criteria–or she could go private and get the surgery whenever she wanted.

    I am not critical of those who need immediate attention and can pay for the privilege. But you have to consider the downside; someone was bumped. We currently allow concierge plans under ACA. The NHS mistake shouldn’t be repeated here.

  35. 35
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Violet: Also, i don’t know when i said “never mind’ to anyone. I misread a comment by Watergirl that was totally unrelated to this subject, so I nuked my reply.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Forget it, Jake. It’s Ben Franklin Town.

  37. 37
    Ben Franklin says:

    @efgoldman:

    Well, you asked a question, which I answered. So maybe you’re just a rude asshole.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    @Ben Franklin: I think you are going to have a very hard time getting that passed through Congress. The ability of rich people to have what they want when they want it is unfortunately built into our current system.

    A better way of dealing with it from my relative’s point of view would be for the doctor to have more autonomy. In her case, the doctor was forced to abide by the NHS rules, which were counterproductive to her as the patient. And honestly, to most people. Why wait until someone is an invalid before offering surgery if the doctor can determine that becoming an invalid is the path they are on and getting the surgery sooner will allow them to continue their quality of life? It’s a dumb decision by the NHS and both my relative and her doctor were frustrated with it.

    If my relative had been told she could have the surgery right away under the NHS, or that she could have it but the wait would be between one and four months (as the mother of another friend was told about her heart surgery), she would have waited and got it under the NHS and been in the queue like everyone else.

    However, she’s a very active person and the prospect of having to become an invalid before she was eligible for the surgery was discouraging to her. And to her doctor. He recommended she get it earlier so she could rehab from a stronger position and continue her quality of life. Had she been able to do that under the NHS she would have, no doubt.

    So one of the lessons we need to take is making smarter decisions and letting the doctors have more local control rather than having a cookie cutter approach that actively harms some people.

  39. 39
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Violet:

    I think you are going to have a very hard time getting that passed through Congress.

    ACA was no picnic, but it got through. Single-payer is the natural follow-through, yet that survived the MP’s. Having a trial-period with ACA may lay the ground for avoiding pitfalls. But, then hope in one hand…..

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    @efgoldman: ? Not sure that was meant to be directed at me. If so, I’m not sure what you mean.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @Ben Franklin: ACA got through in Obama’s first two years when there were a lot more Democrats in Congress. Controlled by the House and Senate. Don’t think it would get through now.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: The House keeps voting to repeal it.

  43. 43
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They do indeed.

  44. 44
    🎉 Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    And the only government spending that polls worse with Americans than extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed is providing aid to foreign countries.

    Damn. Can’t sell the looters, can’t eat them.

  45. 45
    gwangung says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Well, you asked a question, which I answered.

    That’s not the impression of a lot of people.

    That’s why they think you’re a rude asshole.

  46. 46
    Ben Franklin says:

    @gwangung:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-4811125

    OK, wang chung. We all see what portion of the horse most resembles your studied comments.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Wang chung? Really?

  48. 48
    Ben Franklin says:

    @gwangung:

    Another DNC lawyer chasing ambulances?

  49. 49
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I would challenge you to a battle of wits, kinda like linguistic speed-chess, but it would be wasted on you.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: So, basically, because efg didn’t respond to you in a previous thread entirely unrelated to this, you aren’t going to say why you think the NHS is a failure? And my questioning this makes me a DNC bagman? This is not even touching the racist aspect of your response to gwanggung.

  51. 51
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Ben Franklin: Jesus, Ben. Get a grip.

  52. 52
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    You’re scratching the ground for feed, Foghorn. You would do well not to address me because you don’t come away looking very well. That’s why you haunt old threads; better to operate in the dark, except for the rank bufoonery, that is. :)

  53. 53
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    Really? Any choice words for the Hack?

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Nice substantive response. Let me ask a straight out question: Do you, as suggested by your comment above, believe the NHS to be a failure and, if so, why?

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    Can we at least accept that whatever ridiculous notions some here have there is one fucking truth? The UI benefits were not extended.
    How can we accept that a “narrative battle” that the D’s are on your side, after the fact, has any resonance? The lines were not even close to the same.

  56. 56
    Corner Stone says:

    Put someone back in their house, put food retroactively on the table for their child and ask them where the lines that matter to them are.
    When will UI be extended, and at what cost to other programs? What about the budget deal makes any one believe getting UI extended is more likely? If you can’t answer that, then why not accept that the leverage of govt shut down was at least as powerful pre-budget, as the absolute nothing anyone has now.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @Violet: having a cookie cutter approach that actively harms some people.

    I just read a fascinating book, Death by Food Pyramid, that detailed the problems with one-size-fits-all eating advice.

    A lot of it has to do with our genetics. For instance, you can have a lot of starch enzymes, and you can turn starch into useful energy.

    Or, you can be like me, with hardly any, because starch just goes right into my bloodstream and turns to fat.

    I’m sure the implications extend to more aspects of medicine.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    Just so tired of the relentlessly feckless apologist in this thread.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    When will UI be extended, and at what cost to other programs? What about the budget deal makes any one believe getting UI extended is more likely?

    FWIW I think the logic behind the Dems’ position was the UI extension was not going to happen so it was better to take the deal that was out there and demagogue the issue to make the GOP look bad. I am not saying this was a good idea – just that it appears to be the thought process that was going on.

    Edited to add the word “not” where is was needed.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not a good idea? Some kind of bullshit narrative?
    If you think that was actually their narrative then you’re acknowledging them as sheer monsters.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: It was a utilitarian decision. Some suffer or everyone does. I am not going to get into an argument about it though. I am not sure there was a winning decision. And I don’t know that this was the best decision. “Fuck you, assholes. Shut down the government again and over UI benies right before Christmas. Go ahead.” has an appeal.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Why wouldn’t it? Every poll and measure tells us the R’s suffered as the most primary cause of a govt shutdown.
    They may want to shut it all down. That may inure to their goal of slowing the economy.
    But who the fuck are we if we can’t stick our fucking post in the ground and say, “Enough!”. You’re not going to hurt these people anymore! Bring your worst and we will endure it!
    What kind of cowards are we?

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: A lot of Congresscritters have come up in a Dems in the minority environment and are in a limit the damage mode. I think that post-2012 election was a good time to start pushing back and pushing back hard. Things like the debt ceiling and the filibuster change have been encouraging signs, but….

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    Bunch of fucking apologists. We hung them out because we’re cowards. We played right along with the Republican Playbook of splitting us against them.
    We get to hang on, for now, by our fingernails. As long as we can sell “them” down the fucking river.
    Explain that to us, you fucking apologist.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I disagree with you.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Fair enough.

    BTW is the “fucking apologist” thing at #64 aimed at me?

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No. It’s aimed at aimai.
    I’m tired of her trolling apologia.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Has bf ever answered anyone’s questions properly? Doesn’t he just show up, troll and yell obscenities at anyone who disagrees?

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Well, that is the MO.

  70. 70
    e.a. foster says:

    well you can’t confuse the U.S.A. of being a civilized country or a country which cares about its children. when you deny adults money to survive on, you usually are denying a parent of a child enough money to provide the child with food and health care. Nice country. Republicans like these make the countries they went to war with look good.

  71. 71
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Ruckus:

    I only do that for the special people like Omnes. If you will notice I attempted to answer Violet’s question, but I will not chase the verbose minutiae of the apologist clique. They ain’t worth the time or energy it takes.

Comments are closed.