Is The Public Option Back?

The public option was dead and had a stake through its heart but now, like Jason, it appears to be back. The Democrats have passed a shell bill and will insert items into it. Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs reports that this language is now part of the bill:

Subtitle B—Public Health Insurance Option

SEC. 221. ESTABLISHMENT AND ADMINISTRATION OF A PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION AS AN EXCHANGE-QUALIFIED HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—For years beginning with Y1, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) shall provide for the offering of an Exchange-participating health benefits plan (in this subdivision referred to as the ‘‘public health insurance option’’) that ensures choice, competition, and stability of affordable, high quality coverage throughout the United States in accordance with this subtitle. In designing the option, the Secretary’s primary responsibility is to create a low-cost plan without compromising quality or access to care.

I have no idea if this was ever in the Senate Bill but I am pretty sure the title of Public Health Insurance Option and the the last sentence that states it is the Secretary’s PRIMARY responsibility to create a low-cost plan pretty much means that this is a public option.

The Democrats are using unconstitutional methods to pass the bill, are using sleight of hand to get things in the bill and are lying to the American public. This is how they roll and we cannot trust them. We cannot trust anyone who would usurp the Constitution in order to impose his will on us.

This bill must be defeated and it must be defeated badly.

I am not sure about all of this but I think tomorrow at 10 am we might have a better idea. Dennis Kucinich is scheduled to announce how he will vote on the bill. He has been a firm NO vote all along because there was NO public option. He has been courted and, at the same time, shamed by Obama and now the once adamant Congressman is silent about his plan.

If he announces that he will vote YES then we will know for sure that the public option is back in play.

Never, ever, trust a Democrat.

Big Dog Salute to Jasmine

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32 Responses to “Is The Public Option Back?”

  1. Darrel says:

    BIgd: “Democrats are using unconstitutional methods to pass the bill,… and are lying to the American public.”>>

    DAR
    Tough talk but not backed up with anything.

    I think Mr. Kuttner has it right here:

    “With all the bill’s deficiencies, winning its passage would be a triumph, not just for expansion of health coverage, but for Obama’s capacity to learn and grow in office and defeat Republican obstruction.

    Should he succeed, there will be little public sympathy for Republican caviling about the use of the reconciliation progress to, well, reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills. Technical parliamentary complaints will seem more like the bleating of sore losers. Obama can seize the high ground of majority rule.”

    So you’re sort of “pre-bleating” right now.

    I think Kucinich did the right thing in holding out until the very end and now will do the right thing and support the bill.

    D.

  2. Big Dog says:

    Of course the reconciliation process of which they speak is not the process of reconciling the House and Senate bills. A simple knowledge of our process would be helpful.

    The reconciliation they will use is reserved for budgetary items and is not part of the process.

    Plenty of examples have been shown as to how they things are unconstitutional. The Constitution says that EACH bill must be passed by both chambers, then they are merged into one bill and when it is exactly the same it is sent to the president for signing or veto. This has not happened. The bills were never merged. They took up the Senate bill to avoid having to work through the process.

    As for the moral high ground? Doubtful since the process was immoral.

    And majority rule is not the process. We rule by representation and many of these Congress critters are voting against the wishes of the wishes of their constituents, whom they represent.

    The issue here is whether the Constitution has been followed. It has not. I wonder how that moral high ground will look should it be overturned (if it even passes). I also wonder how you and the rest of the liberals (and face it, you are one) will feel if this process is used when the Democrats are in the majority.

    I think if this goes through and Republicans use it in the future and any lib complains about it a punch in the mouth might be in order.

    Of course, if Republicans do this I would be against it as well.

    It is about the rule of law. Our Founders set things up to keep this from happening.

    But who knows, it might fail and then Obama can whine for the next year.

    And if you think there will be little sympathy you have not been paying attention. People are very upset.

    Kucinich will show that he, like most Democrats, does not have the courage of his convictions. He will show himself to be like the rest of the spineless weasels.

    • Darrel says:

      I recommend the above be read with really really sad violin music played in the back ground.

      And if you could have a crocodile near by, squeezing out big, slow, tears, one at a time preferably. That would be helpful too.

      D.
      —————–
      The debunk:

      “…that’s wrong. House Democrats aren’t doing that.

      In fact, they ARE taking an up or down vote on the Senate health care bill. They’re just doing it AT THE SAME TIME as they’re passing the reconciliation language, which countermands several controversial provisions.”

      Rest of the debunk here, from the headline on Huff Po.

      Sorry you got duped by your media again Bigd.

  3. Big Dog says:

    Sorry D, your HuffPo buddies are wrong. Several legal folks have already chimed in. They cannot vote on the reconciled part at the same time or as they call it, the deemed to have passed.

    They are never actually voting on the Senate bill. They will vote on the reconciled part and if it passes say that the other bill is deemed to have passed.

    But to educate you and the HuffPo crowd, the Constitution says EACH BILL. This means bills have to be voted on separately. Each being singular which means not two bills at the same time. A bill must be voted on before it can go to the President. This bill will not be voted on. The other will and they will deem the health care to have passed. Since the bill was not voted on it cannot legally go to the president.

    I think I will take the legal folks over the HuffPo blowhards.

    • Darrel says:

      This thread really needs some accompanyment.

      And a big box of these.

      Maybe rent “Terms of Endearment” this weekend?

      D.
      —————
      More debunk:

      “But if Democrats do end up using the Slaughter method, it would not be the unprecedented, unconstitutional event that Bachmann describes. In fact, as Time’s Karen Tumulty points out, another name for the “Slaughter Solution” could be the “Dreier Doctrine,” named after former Republican Rules Committee Chairman Rep. David Dreier (R-CA). Tumulty writes that self-executing rules are “something that House members tend to complain about when they are in the minority — and use at will when they are in the majority.” As Don Wolfensberger, the former staff director of the House Rules Committee, wrote in 2006, “When Republicans took power in 1995, they soon lost their aversion to self-executing rules and proceeded to set new records under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA).”

      LINK.

      • Big Dog says:

        Darrel needs a tampon to stick in that face of his because it doubles as the place where tampons go.

        Learn what the Constitution says Darrel. Clinton vs. New York.

        The bills are not the same. I also think that the Republicans can chop out a bunch of things introduced under reconciliation. They have the numbers to do so under the rules of reconciliation. They have already told House Dems they will take out all they can and the House will end up with just the Senate bill, just what the House does not want.

        If they proceed with this I hope the House gets screwed by the Senate. The destruction of the Democrats would be great to watch.

      • Darrel says:

        Bigd: “Darrel needs a tampon to stick in that face of his because it doubles as the place where tampons go.”>>

        DAR
        That’s not quite intelligible. My wife asks if your are perhaps fantasizing about my face?

        At least you made Quote of the Day!

  4. It hardly matters whether the current bill authorizes a “public option.” When premiums soar because of the current bill, a follow-on, including a “public option,” will be proposed as a “badly needed fix.”

    Several prominent Democrats have declared openly that they favor single-payer, government-only medical insurance. Indeed, government-only medical insurance is the Holy Grail of socialism. You can bet your bottom dollar that all the maneuvering in process today points in that direction and no other.

    • Big Dog says:

      You are absolutely correct. Government causes the problems and then needs to enact more laws to fix them, thus creating more problems.

      Then they run for reelection claiming that they had nothing to do with it.

    • Darrel says:

      FRAN: Several prominent Democrats have declared openly that they favor single-payer, government-only medical insurance.”>>

      DAR
      Well then they agree with about half of the doctors in the US, who also favor this.

      D.
      —————
      “When polled, “nearly three-quarters of physicians supported some form of a public option, either alone or in combination with private insurance options,” says Dr. Salomeh Keyhani…

      Most doctors — 63 percent — say they favor giving patients a choice that would include both public and private insurance. That’s the position of President Obama and of many congressional Democrats. In addition, another 10 percent of doctors say they favor a public option only; they’d like to see a single-payer health care system. Together, the two groups add up to 73 percent.”

      Link.

      See also:

      “…a poll published recently [2008] in the Annals of Internal Medicine showing that 59 percent of U.S. doctors support a “single payer” plan that essentially eliminates the central role of private insurers.” Link.

      We’ll get there yet. Watch for it.

    • Darrel says:

      FRAN: “When premiums soar because of the current bill,…”>>

      DAR
      Mere assertion, rebutted by actual research:

      “Actually, the CBO estimated that under the Senate bill, premiums in the group market would remain unchanged and could decrease, and that most individual market enrollees would receive enough subsidies so the premiums that they pay would decrease by “56 percent to 59 percent” on average.”

      Link

      D.
      ————–
      In Denial: Limbaugh… “complained that no one’s seen the bill and “the bill doesn’t exist,” an argument that Rush could no longer make by the end of the show.

      Rush concluded that it’s best “not to get caught up” with the CBO’s numbers… a plausible explanation for Rush’s misdirection could be that the bill is actually estimated to reduce the federal budget deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years and by $1.2 trillion in the decade after that.”
      Link.

  5. Big Dog says:

    Afraid not. Most doctors do not favor this legislation. Every doctor I know (and I imagine I know quite a few more than you) do not favor this legislation.

    That is the point. What whether they favor this legislation or not.

    And since nearly 50% say they will consider leaving private practice if this passes I think we can see how they feel.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “…nearly 50% [of doctors] say they will consider leaving private practice if this passes…”

      DAR
      That claim was debunked right after it came out.

      D.
      —————
      “Right-wing media have seized on a dubious, three-month old email “survey” that purports to show that physicians are concerned about health care reform and that 46 percent of the primary care doctors surveyed “indicated that they would leave medicine – or try to leave medicine – as a result of health reform.” Many media figures have falsely attributed this survey to the New England Journal of Medicine. For example, on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said: “The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report and did a survey, and they said the impact of reform on primary care physicians, 46 percent, they say, feel reform will force them out or make them want to leave medicine.”

      This is false.

      Media Matters for America contacted the New England Journal of Medicine, which confirmed it neither conducted nor published the “survey.” […]

      “So, in sum, the right-wing media has seized upon what appears to be essentially a promotional document from a physician recruitment firm in order to argue that health care reform will cause physician recruitment and retention problems in the future.” —Link

      Lot’s more detail at the link.

  6. Big Dog says:

    It was quite coherent. And as far as what your wife wonders, tell her no I have no desire for your face so her face has no competition.

  7. Big Dog says:

    I imagine you are only fearless when it comes to words.

  8. Big Dog says:

    The survey was conducted by Medicus. It is not a Gallup and was conducted to get a feeling inside the medical community.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “The survey was conducted by Medicus.”>>

      DAR
      It’s not scientific and worthless.

      Here’s an example of another such “survey”

      ***
      “When asked directly, doctors support a public insurance option

      # June 15, 2009

      # In a 48-hour survey this past weekend, 97% of physicians supported a well-crafted public insurance option.

      Following last week’s statements by the AMA about a public insurance option, the public was left questioning whether physicians would support such a measure in a health reform bill. Doctors for America asked physicians directly whether they believed a well crafted public insurance option could be a part of health reform solution. Within 48 hours, over 1,500 responded from 48 states – with an overwhelming 97% of respondents voting “Yes.”

      97%. Wow eh?

      Dozens more of these here.

      Today a Fox News guy, Marc Siegel, tried propping up the Medicus one by referring to an old IDB/TIPP “poll” (also not scientific) we talked about months ago. Those were the same guys who had “John McCain winning the youth vote 74-22.”

      Obama won it 66 – 32%.

      D.
      —————–
      If interested in counting physicians noses on these topics it might be useful to look at the support from the organizations they belong to:

      “Below are the largest physicians organization, in order, with estimated membership numbers based on their own websites (or other sources when the Web Site didn’t have them).

      All are YES on reform with Public Option and supporting the House Bill, with some points of contention, but generally have endorsed it.

      1. AMA 240,000
      2. ACP 126,ooo (Internists and many medical subspecialists)
      3. AAFP 94,000 (Family Practice)
      4. ACS 76,000 (surgeons)
      5. AAP 60,000 (pediatricians)
      6. ACOG 52,000 (ob-gyn)
      7. ASA 43,000 (Anesthesiology!)
      8. AOA 40,000 (osteopaths)
      9. APA 38,000 (psychiatry)
      10. ACC 37,000 (cardiology)”

      Organized Medicine on HCR Updated Again. (Tuesday, February 9, 2010)

      PS. Incidentally, just now, just before hitting the submit button, I was going through some mail and opened a “survey” from Hillsdale College. A rightwing extremist “college” that sends out a free newsletter (Imprimis). It’s (unintentionally) humorous and all rightwing all the time, no exceptions, so it’s hardly a real school in any sense. It’s full of funny far right loaded questions and considering the folks they are typically sending this too, I am sure they will with few exceptions get the answers they are looking for. Except for mine. Oops, just checked, needs a stamp (and the envelope says “survey and contribution enclosed.”

      That’s a little optimistic isn’t it?

      They probably wouldn’t have liked my answers anyway and just tossed it. Hence the complete uselessness of such “surveys” whether from the left or right.

  9. Big Dog says:

    The survey was unscientific but does give us an insight into how some of them feel. The surveys are not useless, they just do not give us as accurate results as a scientific one (and even those are wrong sometimes). Even if it is half right then 22% would consider leaving and that would hurt.

    And you need to look at something with these organizations. First of all the leadership of them supports the bill, not the rank and file membership. Many doctors left the AMA over the endorsement. Also, the AMA accounts for about 17% of all doctors in the country so it is not that big.

    And the last thing, what were they promised? Big Pharma is on board because Obama cut a deal with them even though he said they were part of the problem.

    I know a lot of doctors and have not heard one say he supported the bill in its current form. The problem people have is that the question is asked and people agree that we need reform. Then the argument is framed as though that answer supports this particular bill.

    That is like saying that 4 out of 5 dentists prefer sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum and then saying it means they prefer Trident…

  10. Big Dog says:

    Yes, keep in mind that if all the scientific polls were right then Scott Brown would not be a Senator and Dewey would have defeated Truman…

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “…keep in mind that if all the scientific polls were right then Scott Brown would not be a Senator…”>>

      DAR
      Science based polling consistently showed Scott Brown leading before the election:

      “Brown has continued to build on the momentum that we saw last week in the SuffolkUniversity statewide poll,… the latest bellwether polls suggest a solid lead for Brown.”

      SuffolkUniversity released a statewide poll Thursday, Jan. 14, that showed Brown (50 percent) leading Coakley (46 percent) by 4 points. The results showed a race within a margin of error of 4.38.”

      Link.

  11. Big Dog says:

    Once again, the CBO can only estimate based on what it is given. Organizations that can grade the entire thing say that it will cost much much more and that premiums will go up.

    The problem is that if this passes and the costs skyrocket like those in Medicare then we will have no way of going back. We will not be able to pay for it or taxes will go up even more than this will cause.

    And when taxes go up it is the same as premiums going up because it is for health care.

    How long will people go for this before they revolt and say NO you can’t have any more money? How long before they change everything through any means necessary? The Dems have shown us that it is OK no matter how it is done and they might not like how things turn out if this continues.

    If everyone decided to stop paying in then they could do nothing about it.

    They can’t put everyone in jail and those that go get free housing and meals…

    Which might be how we should handle health care. Make the people join the military and earn it or go to jail and suffer for it.

    Bingo…

    As for me, I don’t plan to change anything no matter what.

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “We will not be able to pay for it or taxes will go up even more than this will cause.”>>

      DAR
      That’s the undesirable future this bill is going to address.

      I think they should change the name of the bill. It should now be called:

      “The deficit reduction act which also happens to extend health insurance coverage to 32 million people.”

      A little long, but kinda catchy in it’s own way.

      D.
      —————-
      “CBO estimates that Medicare spending will drop by 1.4% per year, an estimated 32 million people will be covered, and would extend Medicare’s solvency by an additional 10 years.

      Republicans are in a bit of a bind now. Democrats can rightly characterize this legislation as a landmark “deficit reduction act” which also happens to extend health insurance coverage to 32 million people. That leaves Republicans having to argue against extending coverage to 32 million uninsured while strongly regulating private insurers, and saving money at the same time.”

      Link.

      And check out this guy who just won a $10 million ruling for being on the receiving end of a “reccision.”

      Another policy that will end with the health care reform bill.

      You coming to my lecture Monday Bigd? I’ll buy you lunch. If this thing passes Sunday, talk about perfect timing eh?

  12. Big Dog says:

    Without the games there is no reduction:

    The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that rolling back a programmed cut in Medicare fees to doctors would cost $208 billion over 10 years. If added back to the health care overhaul bill, it would wipe out all the deficit reduction, leaving the legislation $59 billion in the red.

    The so-called doc fix was part of the original House bill. Because of its high cost, Democrats decided to pursue it separately. Republicans say the cost should not be ignored. Congress has usually waived the cuts to doctors year by year.

    Yahoo News

    • Darrel says:

      Bigd: “Without the games there is no reduction:”>>

      DAR
      You’re the one doing the game. There’s no reason the “doc-fix” problem has to be addressed in this bill. None at all.

      [Yahoo quote] “Congress has usually waived the cuts to doctors year by year.”>>

      DAR
      Right, and your arbitrary assertion that this particular problem needs to be fixed in this bill, is a game. Remove your game, and there’s a reduction. (actually, there’s still a reduction, over 20 years, even with your game).

      D.

      • Big Dog says:

        There cannot be a reduction when independent studies show it will cost 2.5 trillion dollars.

        They do the doc fix each year because they do not have the courage to put it in the medical bills and make that part of the medical cost.

        The doc fix is a cost associated with health care and was to be included until it made the numbers bad. They are playing the game and you cannot see that because you are either foolish or blinded. It is a health care cost and should be included in health care, not the defense budget which is one of the places they put it.

        Is there any reason for student loans to be addressed in this bill? The doc-fix is part of health care and student loans are not so you tell me, is there any reason for them to be in the bill?

        And it is not my arbitrary assertion. This is something they were going to do so they would not have to address it each year. They decided not to do it because of the cost and the reality that they are wrong. Not my arbitrary, their original plan.

        And we need to tax for ten years to pay for six so there is no way the next ten will reduce the cost. The minor things that take effect sooner are minor and the major provisions will not happen for 4 years. All the sob stories told would have ended exactly the same way even if this passed because it does not happen right away.

        And the subjects of the sob stories actually received care or refused it so the bill would make no difference.

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “And we need to tax for ten years to pay for six so there is no way the next ten will reduce the cost.”>>

          DAR
          Sure does. Reduces the ten year cost within the ten years in question. It doesn’t matter when you pay for it. Doesn’t matter at all. Sooner is actually better. Fiscally responsible people know it is better to pay for things in advance. This goes double for government endeavors don’t ya think?

          Bigd: “The minor things that take effect sooner are minor…”>>

          DAR
          Only a wealthy republican sitting fat and happy with coverage would consider the following provisions, which take effect year one, “minor.”

          ***
          * Tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage

          * Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans

          * Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool

          * Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans

          * End lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans

          * Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26

          * Relief on the Donut Hole

          Link.

          And I heard it just passed the House.

          D.

      • Big Dog says:

        My arbitrary assessment?

        From the article:
        The so-called doc fix was part of the original House bill.

        Which part of was part of the original House bill is my arbitrary assessment??

        • Darrel says:

          Bigd: “My arbitrary assessment?>>

          DAR
          No, I said, your “arbitrary assertion.”

          There is no reason the Doc-fix has to be addressed in this bill. You made that up.

          It would be nice. But if it makes the bill unpassable, or not deficit neutral (and thus not passable), then out it goes.

          Bigd: “The so-called doc fix was part of the original House bill.”>>

          DAR
          That’s nice. And now it’s not. You’re bothered that it’s not because you would like to crow that this particular bill costs money. They needed to craft a bill that doesn’t cost money. And they have. Doc-fix will have to be kicked down the road when we have recovered further from the past excesses.

          Bigd: “perhaps they removed it because it did not give the numbers they wanted”>>

          DAR
          Close enough. They don’t want numbers that make the bill unpassable. This is because their goal is to make a bill that is passable. Your goal is to construct a bill that is not passable, so Obama can fail. Different goals.

          D.

      • Big Dog says:

        And more about my arbitrary assessment:

        Q: Madam Speaker, on the Medicare question, the so-called doctor fix, can you speak to why that was not included in this legislation?

        Speaker Pelosi. Well, we have been including it in legislation for a long time, because it’s not about a doctor fix, it’s about our seniors or anyone who relies upon Medicare to have access to physicians, that they be in their region and in their program.
        So this is again, you call it the doctor fix, but it is really about access to health care for Americans. It’s not in this bill, but we will have it soon. And we have made a commitment to do this. This is very important. Link[emphasis mine]

        So it seems to me that they thought it should be there because it was about seniors’ access to health care. It is really about health care access for Americans. It must have been their arbitrary assessment.

        Or perhaps they removed it because it did not give the numbers they wanted so they have to hide the cost somewhere else…