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Saturday, September 20, 2008

John McCain on Health Insurance

posted by on September 20 at 10:03 AM

Sounds like a plan:

“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

Says Josh Marshall at TPM:

If the Obama folks are smart—and they are—they’ll ride this one all the way to the election.

Man, I hope so.

But I think we should take McCain’s advice. Washington should do for the health care industry just what it did for the banking industry. We’ve pretty much got ourselves socialized banking, credit, and mortgage industries in the US now, thanks to “innovative products” and all that freedom from “state-based regulation.” (Faith-based regulation is soooo much more effective.) So let’s deregulate the fuck out of the health insurance market, run the whole thing off the cliff, and then nationalize the whole shebang when the inevitable crisis comes!

Socialized medicine, here we come!

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"Welcome to the Mayo Junk Bond Clinic. We can rollover your IRAs while we triage you."

Posted by Y.F. | September 20, 2008 10:42 AM

Why yes, very glad to see concordance on the ideas I recently expressed.

But why so defensive and reactive? We're always starting off with how McCain leads to failure then never quite get to how we, the OBama side, lead to success.

Obama and Dems and all of us should be saying if we support the takeover of the finance sector we INSIST on nationalized health care and everything else in OBama's program. I mean come on. Our Democratic senators and representatives and Obama and Clinton are all going to approve a ONE TRILLION dollar pickup for failed loans to help the finance industry -- shouldn't they all be saying look here, if we do this for the rich finance sector capitalists, they gotta let us go forward with health care for all immediately upon election of Obama, which only costs about $58 billion?

This connection shouldn't just be a little snarky rhetorical swipe on a blog here or there.

Obama needs to use this entire financial crisis as leverage and a chance to totally reframe everything for Middle America that the "free market-smaller govt." frame doesn't work and if we're going to fucking bail out the rich folks who blew it on wall street we're surely going to bail our and guarantee all of us from medical costs.

Not to mention the other 300 billion Obama wants for

-tax credits of $1000 each
-invest in green jobs, infra and r and d
--college aid

This is our huge chance to explode the Reagan word view and dominant GOP frame of "govt. is the problem, the market is God"....we will have the sweeping change we need only if Obama totally turn this around to frame it for everyon as "when markets don't work the national interest demands govt. steps in-- just like we guaranteed the finance sector from failure, we will have doom for all of us if we don't have the govt. guaranteeing health and education for all, and leading the growth of research and infrastructure investments to lead us to a new green economy that is competitive globally."

This is how we can get the sweeping change we need. We shouldn't settle just for thinking, "oh goody! Now there is a total economic meltdwon ObBama's 3 point lead looks good enough to get him into office."

We've had 40 years of the "lower taxes, small government leads to a better future" nonsense. Now is our chance to reframe the whole debate. "We're for smart government, prospering together as a nation and leaving a legacy of opportunity to our kis. Our opponents say put greed and ocrruption in charge of your economy, your health and our investment future, they only can lead us to a subprime future."

OK, need to shorten it down to ten words or so but you get the idea.

Seize the debate, pivot, reframe, that's what we gotta do tpo have those sweeping changes we need.

Unity y'all,

Posted by PC | September 20, 2008 10:46 AM


PC, nobody agreed with your hope for Obama to turn into classic wimp Democrat afraid to hit back hard. You said Obama was too weak when you wanted us to pick Hillary, then you said he was being too aggressive now that you want McCain to win. You suck.

I do like the idea of shorter posts, though. How about zero words, and anyone who wants to hear your shit can read Larry Johnson's white supremacist blog?

Posted by elenchos | September 20, 2008 10:51 AM

Sorry, nationalized healthcare would benefit working class people and the US does not act on the behalf of the majority population.

The Dems and the Reps will collude only to protect the interests of the wealthy / powerful by bailing out financial institutions and funding occupations of oil rich nations.

They are willing to work together on off shore drilling, nation building and corporate welfare.

Don't kid yourself - the insurance industry is not going to allow any politician to reduce their profit margin and no politician - no matter how brimming with hope or boasting of reform - is going to allow us to improve our own lives with our own taxes.

We pay to help them and Obama is the vessel to get our adherence this time around. If he can't do it, Palin will.

You can't fight City Hall by participating in their game.

Posted by patrick | September 20, 2008 11:12 AM

Your wish came true.

"My opponent actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine -- the current issue -- quote -- 'Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.' So let me get this straight -- he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street. Well, senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren't going to think that's a good idea."

Holy crap, the man says what I want someone to say, and says it better than I could. He's saying it every day, forcefully. It's

Posted by Andy James | September 20, 2008 11:12 AM

Kill yourself, patrick.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | September 20, 2008 11:14 AM

I'll just wait until after the election and see which of our great political parties will do it for me, Chris.

Hold your breath for change...

Posted by patrick | September 20, 2008 11:22 AM

Patrick, first, I think the government just bought out the all powerful insurance industry. How can they tell us what's what when we hold all their paper.

Second, one reason our medical bills are so high is that we have to cover the losses from so many uninsured getting primary care at the emergency room. Giving everyone access to preventative care will save us from that waste, and give us a healthier, more productive workforce.

You really should kill yourself though.

Posted by elenchos | September 20, 2008 11:23 AM

"Sen. Obama, meanwhile, met with economic advisers on Friday before a campaign rally in Coral Gables, Fla. The Democratic nominee offered no specific details on a plan, instead urging bipartisan support to give "broad authority" to the proposal by Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke."

Frankly I'd rather see him step forward and offer a plan, a better plan, and say "if we can bail out bankers who made disastrous loans through their own fault, we must bail out everyone in America who's found out that their insurance didn't [pay all their costs, or everyone who has an illness that is not covered. In fact, just as the banking system has failed us as a nation, so has our heatlh care "insurance" system. That's why to make sure our economy is strong for all us, banks and people, I'm saying we must tie the bank bailout to my plan to allowe every American to join the US Senator's health care plan with a premium based on ability to pay.

"If bankers get taxpayer funded protection from their own self made disasters, surely we must give protection to all Americans from the financial disaster of sickness they didn't even choose."

Rzther than sitting back and not having a plan.

It seems like the Pres. suckered him, telling him both candidates should shut up and let the admin. plan go through, but then only McCain said he had a plan, while Obama is saying he doesn't have a plan.

"It's critical at this point that the markets and the public have confidence that their work will be unimpeded by partisan wrangling," Sen. Obama told reporters.

Posted by PC | September 20, 2008 11:45 AM

Well, at present, for those American workers fortunate enough to have a partially employer-paid health insurance plan, McCain's health insurance rubric would place those employer contributions into the column of taxable income for the employee. (And employee contributions would no longer come out of pre-tax income.) Additionally, should the employee actually receive health care from a medical professional, those benefits reimbursing the caregiver for the medical attention would also be considered income. Both the employer contribution and the insurance company compensation would now be taxable. Accordingly, net income would fluctuate with each pay period, whether the worker was paid by the hour, or by weekly/bi-weekly/monthly salary.

No thank you.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | September 20, 2008 11:48 AM

Oh my buddy elenchos, nice to hear your wise words.

First ifyou don't want to read it don't read it. Duh.

Second, notice how you never responsd to the content opf what I say? Here the point was the socialization of the finance sector gives us a chance to change the overall frame and move towards national health care coverage.

So you disagree? You think Obama should sit back and just not sezie this opportunity? I don't think so. So if you agree with me, just shut the fuck up in stirring up contretemps and fake disagreement.

Do you or do you not agree this is a chance to move the debate?

Third, as to what you say, in an effort to distract and hijack the discussion.

"PC, nobody agreed with your hope for Obama to turn into classic wimp Democrat"

Elenchos you lie. I didn't hope for Obama to be weak I always said he's a strong leader.

"afraid to hit back hard."

Elenchos you lie like a rug. For many days now I've been saying he needs to hit harder and focus on the economy and he's been being too vague and wussy.

"You said Obama was too weak when you wanted us to pick Hillary,"
Actually what I said was he has flaws and limiations like any pol; and he's not going to be Vastly More Electable; and his stock would decline in a general election, and you can't conclude he's so strong based on Dem. primaries in Utah and places like that.

And every single thing I said was true.

And in point of fact, when HRC conceded she did better than Obama in all electoral map calculations based on poll averages.

"then you said he was being too aggressive"

Nope, another lie.

"now that you want McCain to win."

ha ha ha ha ha that's rich. You don't have any arguments with which to respond so you reach for the tar brush in fear and weakness. You might try to realize that Obama is not a God, many folks have constructive criticism to offer and when we do it doesn't make us republicans.

"You suck." Owie wowie by that hurts coming from you.

What can I say? I'll just have to suffer with the knowledge that the vast majority of everything I've said has been right on, and you've totally failed to point out anythign significant that wasn't, and you are reduced to childish name calling.

Take this post for example.

Dan makes a conncetion between the finance crisis and health care.

Well duh! It was just yesterday that I wrote the first post, if not the day before, where I said well look now if we have socialism for capitalists why the heck aren't we using this as a total opportunity to change the debate and get Middle America in a frame of mind to accept all the other sweeping changes we need?

Why not? Give me one reason. You can't. It's a good idea. It means playing offense, it means being positive, seizing opportunities, but apparently you can't stomach any statement at all no matter how true that in any way is anything less than 10000% juvenile adoration of Obama whatever he's saying.


Andif you don't like capital letters, don't read it douchebag.

Let me put it to you. You tell us what this economic crisis means and how we should solve it. I was on SLog calling for an RTC type solution about 3 days ago. Now I'm calling for Dems generally to pivot from this to their overall new frame which is needed for the sweepin change we need. I take it you disagree on both points. So what's your plan for the finance crisis and what's your plan for getting Obama not only elected but in a position to carry out sweeping fucking change in his first hundred days?

Got plan?
Thought not.
So shut the fuck up.

"I do like the idea of shorter posts, though. How about zero words, and anyone who wants to hear your shit can read Larry Johnson's white supremacist blog?"

Yes the authoritarian impulse to silence others comes through. As far as a reference to a shite supremacist blog, you are as dirty and foul as Joe McCarthy. There's little more that needs to be said about that. Go get taht tar bucket and yoru big old tar brush and sling it all around. Brilliant. Have fun. "Wow, someone said Obama has an opportunity to seize here -- how dare he critize -- I shall call him a racist, that'll teach him!"

Hmmm I used to spar like that, in second grade, too. As I recall the "I disagree with you so I call you names" approach was as lame and stupid then as it is now.

So, finis for today.

And if you're still mad go make a donation to Obama, ok?

Unity y'all--

Posted by PC | September 20, 2008 12:02 PM

Are you really finished for the day?

Posted by Chris in Tampa | September 20, 2008 12:09 PM

"If the Obama folks are smart—and they are—they’ll ride this one all the way to the election."

That sounds so hot.

Posted by squee | September 20, 2008 12:11 PM
Second, notice how you never responsd to the content opf what I say?
Your writing is fucking incoherent. You're a ranting lunatic. How many times have you been told that? It's true.

So I don't read your shit. Nobody reads your posts, you moron. Nobody. All I know is you haven't taken responsibility for spreading lies about Obama being a muslim, or the "whitey video" hoax, or any of that dirty shit you did.

Everything you post now is an attempt to discourage support for Obama. Why? Either insanity, racism, or trolling. Who cares which. Just fuck off and die, unPC.

Posted by elenchos | September 20, 2008 12:13 PM

@5 Thanks for the tip.

Posted by it'smarkmitchell | September 20, 2008 12:13 PM

I have enjoyed the comments from outsider PC.

PC makes this blog work better. Other, it is a stroke fest that wins no elections.

Go Obama. Remember the best reason to vote Obama - Mc Cain is a warmonger.

Posted by Adam | September 20, 2008 12:25 PM

If I was going to put in the effort to write long political essays I'd probably post them somewhere other than in the comments section of Dan's blog.

Posted by Captain Jack | September 20, 2008 12:40 PM

It's official- Barack Obama is The Chosen One of the political gods. Why else would They shower him with gifts like this? Listen, you can almost hear Republican heads hitting desks all over the country, followed by hysterical cries of "Is he TRYING to lose!?" McInsane must be losing his marbles and going senile, it's the only way any politician would say something this stupid.

Posted by east coaster | September 20, 2008 12:42 PM

PC, nobody buys into the idea that this random guy, who only comments to say how useful and insightful you are, is a real person.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | September 20, 2008 12:46 PM
those benefits reimbursing the caregiver for the medical attention would also be considered income.

What? Oh. My. God. That would pretty much convince me not to have insurance at all.


This is a platform position, not just something stupid he said once. McCain's problem is that he's not savvy enough to gloss over how evil he is.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 20, 2008 12:51 PM

Now that I've had a few minutes to think about it, Elenchos, I think the world - let alone this country - would be a much better and reasonable place if partisan hacks like you would fuck off and kill yourself.

Arguing about the shitty state of our affairs without hiding behind the false hopes of a political party is far more productive than what you and the pin headed pundits blather on about.

Instead of defending your stupid politician, why can't you see how the system has been failing all of us - no matter who wins elections?

Oh, that's right...I should kill myself because I won't agree with your idiocy...the idiocy that keeps taking us back to the same place of no improvement and further compromise at our own expense.

Bill Clinton started the deregulation ball rolling in 1999. That's certainly not a smoking gun, but it shows how the parties participate together at our expense...and YOU help them out.

Thanks for being such a good American. We need fewer people like you and more people that aren't afraid to criticize the bullshit that we are constantly fed.

Posted by patrick | September 20, 2008 1:18 PM

You should kill yourself because you believe that citizens can't effect change in government. This is a step beyond conventional nihilism, and a step away from being a braindead idiot rambling on about the New World Order.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | September 20, 2008 1:26 PM

Chris nailed it. Of course the system is a mess, and of course both parties are responsible. Of course Obama is not going to sprinkle magic fairy dust on the government and fix everything.

It's just that I've seen Green/Naderite/Libertarian/anarchist spoiled brats like Patrick throw tantrums for a half dozen electoral cycles and they accomplish nothing except occasionally helping a Republican win. The only steps forward have come from the basket case Democratic party.

Posted by elenchos | September 20, 2008 1:42 PM

Wow, I hope you guys don't take each other's advice and kill yourselves. That would make the slog pretty boring.

Posted by crazycatguy | September 20, 2008 1:44 PM


President Clinton did, in fact, sign the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. What your referenced NYT article fails to remind us all of is the additional fact that Clinton faced a Hobson's Choice. Republicans controlled Congress, remember, and the bill initially passed the Senate by a 54-44 vote and a 343-86 vote in the House. (Gutless wonders that they can be, several Democrats obviously voted in the affirmative--lest they be branded as "socialists" or against the "free market" in this conservative led run pell-mell into deregulation.) Conference committee differences were worked out between the two versions and the final bill passed 90-8-1 in the Senate and 362-57-15 in the House. The legislation was veto proof. It comes as no surprise Clinton signed the bill.

The rapacity the bill unleashed in the intervening 9 years has happened mostly on the Bush watch and with a Republican Congress. Current SEC Chairman Cox(R)-- nominated by Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, 'natch) served 10 of his 17 years in Congress in Majority Leadership roles--Chairman of the Task Force on Capital Markets in the House, among them.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | September 20, 2008 1:46 PM

@24 Not if they did it in public.

Posted by it'smarkmitchell | September 20, 2008 2:10 PM

I die just a little bit inside when I'm called a cry baby by Elenchos Limbaugh types that think inside the box at all times...kinda like those assimilationist homos that say we must change the system from within by adopting the guise of the establishment and convincing them to see things our way.

Yes, evolution like that happens all the time - just take a look at the Republican party as they morphed into the sock puppet party of the religionists.

The theory is that "we the people" will make the Democratic party behave like an opposition to the doing what for them repeatedly and then looking the other way when they act like Republicans? You don't make them do anything different when you give them free reign.

Withholding criticism and analysis of their participation in the way our democracy has deteriorated accomplishes nothing productive. That is the same kind of rigid adherence that the obstinate conservative republicans exhibit in middle america.

Don't look beneath the surface. Do what you are told. Defend the right of the opposition party to do it's best to imitate the party in power even if they act against your own best interest.

The problem isn't coming from the people that have woken up to the ongoing corruption of the two parties. It is coming from the people that continue to participate in a system that is set up to exclude them in a desperate attempt to feel like they belong.

Would someone please tell the girl from Tampa to wipe the drool from her chin?

Posted by patrick | September 20, 2008 3:17 PM

Do a little more research - deregulation has been a Republican mantra (and read disaster that we are now paying for) since Reagan.

Posted by Sad Comment | September 20, 2008 3:22 PM

patrick thinks that the overall health of civilization trends consistently downward.

Posted by Chris in Tampa | September 20, 2008 3:32 PM

I agree and do not argue with that fact, #28.

My point is that Reagan's ideology has succeeded without assistance from the party that is supposed to offer an alternative viewpoint.

Poor Bill Clinton. Every single piece of legislation that came from his administration was the result of outside forces under which he had no control.

DOMA DADT Abstinence Education NAFTA deregulation of savings banks all of it was done with a gun to his head. I suppose Monica made him out his cock in her mouth, too.

If things weren't trending downward, why would we even be having this conversation?

I am a life long registered Democrat that has found it possible to disagree with the direction his party has been headed for 28 years - not just the past 8 - and is tired of hearing the same old crap every 2/4 years.

Who needs Log Cabin Republicans to pick on when we have Democrats with blinders on?

Back to the topic - it will be a cold day in hell when the insurance industry allows any administration in charge of this country to create a truly successful socialized version of medicine. Capitalism is only applicable to the working class (families earning under $100K).

Posted by patrick | September 20, 2008 4:17 PM

@27: I pretty much agree with a lot of your points about the parties working in collusion and the lack of real choices. However, in your statements I also hear the echoes of many of my smart friends throughout my lifetime who have lectured me as to why I shouldn't vote because it's just a waste of time and "it only encourages them" (to quote, I think, George Carlin.)

Isn't it possible that voting is just the most minimal, first baby step a responsible citizen can take towards improvement? Seriously, it doesn't take much effort. I spend maybe a half hour filling out an absentee ballot once a year. So it means something, but isn't enough on its own to bring about much change.

I don't kid myself that it's going to make everything all better, but neither do I buy into the argument that just disengaging from the political process completely will lead anywhere but down the path of least resistance, which is always a fast train to hell. It's funny you mention the hijacking of the GOP by the religionists, because the evangelical vote in this country is an excellent example of how a long-term commitment by a lot of people with a shared agenda can bring a fringe political point to the center of political debate. If people who believed in making things better for working class people, or in addressing environmental concerns, or ending corporate welfare or a hundred other legitimate causes exhibited the same relentless patience and unwillingness to give up or back down as fundamentalist Christians have, politicians would slowly but surely be forced to "pander" to them by addressing their concerns and showing some progress towards those goals.

Perhaps it's because they're always thinking about a reward in the next life, but evangelicals are really good at working towards their goals with an eye to long-term gains. They also seem to share a positive outlook on Fighting the Good Fight whether or not they win every battle. The left would do well to take inspiration from this approach. Throwing up your hands and giving up is not a novel approach -- cynical, fed-up people on the left have been doing it for decades and it has yielded little in the way of positive results.

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 20, 2008 4:24 PM

Patrick, you are a huge fucking crybaby. At least admit that. I mean, my God, you see every glass as half empty and the other half is full of nothing but tears.

Posted by elenchos | September 20, 2008 4:25 PM

@30: Hmm. Upon reading this, we appear to be on more or less the same page. Please disregard previous windy post.

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 20, 2008 4:30 PM

We have socialized medicine in Canada, Dan. Come join us. You passed the the immigration test, right? And we looooooove you!
You are a saint to stay there and try to make it better for everyone. Really.

Posted by moonknee | September 20, 2008 8:44 PM

your wind was appreciated, flaming. I guess we both understand that acquiescing to the Party and hoping they do the right thing isn't effective.

I don't know what the solution is, but I certainly know that cheerleading for the latest batch of puppets isn't going to do anything...except make elenchos get a hard on. I'm a crybaby and elenchos is a cock-eyed optimist.

Posted by patrick | September 21, 2008 11:11 AM

It is an undisputed fact that Candadians and Europeans wait a lot longer for medical procedures than we do. No to socialized medicne. Case closed.

Posted by raindrop | September 21, 2008 1:23 PM

Raindrop, care to tell us how long is "a lot?" are you talking days? Months? Years? Are these people refused urgent care if it's required?

And how does that contrast to the people in the US who simply can't have these medical procedures because they are unable to afford them?

When you say no to socialized medicine, do you also mean no medicare? No medicaid? No prescription drug benefit? No Surgeon General? No FDA either? If you're okay with these then, just how do you define "socialized?"

Posted by Donolectic | September 21, 2008 4:22 PM

I think that the the Feds could stimulate the markets by putting $3,000.00 in every individual HSA (Health Savings Account) now open or opened soon. It would be a big injection (on the order of $10-$30 Billion?) of funds into bank deposits, and the money would find its way into the economy through spending on health care and health related consumables. It wouldn't require any new programs and would bolster bank accounts and domestic spending. Current liquidity injections from the Fed into banks ends up getting hoarded as T-bills by the institutions and doesn't course through the economy quickly enough.

Posted by Curmudgeon | September 21, 2008 6:04 PM

@36 - bull.

Most of the time they get what they need faster and with less paperwork.

It's only a small fraction of the time that they wait.

While in America we don't wait, because our health care plan doesn't cover it so we don't get treated unless we have a few million sitting around.

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 21, 2008 11:03 PM

income, sure, but taxable? thats absolutely ridiculous. unless this is some scheme to get us to use flex spending accounts.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 21, 2008 11:13 PM

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