Monday, August 15, 2011

A Call To Arms Once More

 You have to hand it to the Republicans.  They are devious and will spare no amount of thought or money to destroy the Obama presidency.  And, to my great disappointment, the president is letting them win.  Obama has not learned a thing from the past.   He still seems to have his head in the clouds believing that reason and gentlemanly conduct will win in the end.  They snicker and stick it to him again and again.

We warned Obama that he needed to start with the Single Payer health care system and hold out for nothing less.  Instead he even  'caved' on the public option.  So now the whole health care reform is unraveling. 
Obama let the Republicans frame the message and now 60% of the people oppose the mandate that everyone has to buy into the system.  Without that, the medical reform act will fail. 

Since Obama is more concerned with being re-elected than in fighting it is up to us to get down in the mud with the dirty fighters and try to salvage his program.  

Will you please find out the facts by going to this site Health reform

The only way to keep what little reform we have is by educating our family and friends and then enlisting their help in writing  and/or calling their representatives letting them know that they are in favor of health insurance for everyone.  

Robert Reich wrote the following article.  I have highlighted the important parts.

Two appellate judges in Atlanta -- one appointed by President Bill Clinton and one by George H.W. Bush -- have just decided the Constitution doesn't allow the federal government to require individuals to buy health insurance.
The decision is a major defeat for the White House. The so-called "individual mandate" is a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's 2010 health care reform law, scheduled to go into effect in 2014.
The whole idea of the law is to pool heath risks. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.
The issue is now headed for the Supreme Court (another appellate court has upheld the law's constitutionality) where the prognosis isn't good. The Court's Republican-appointed majority has not exactly distinguished itself by its progressive views.  

Chalk up another one for the GOP, outwitting and outflanking the president and the Democrats.
Remember the health-care debate? Congressional Republicans refused to consider a single-payer system that would automatically pool risks. They wouldn't even consider giving people the option of buying into it.
The president and the Democrats caved, as they have on almost everything. They came up with a compromise that kept health care in the hands of private insurance companies.
The only way to spread the risk in such a system is to require everyone buy insurance.
Which is exactly what the two appellate judges in Atlanta object to. The Constitution, in their view, doesn't allow the federal government to compel citizens to buy something. "Congress may regulate commercial actors," they write. "But what Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die."
Most Americans seem to agree. According to polls
, 60 percent of the public opposes the individual mandate. Many on the right believe it a threat to individual liberty. Many on the left object to being required to buy something from a private company.
Had the president and the Democrats stuck to their guns during the health-care debate and insisted on Medicare for all, or at least a public option, they wouldn't now be facing the possible unraveling of the new health care law.
After all, Social Security and Medicare -- the nation's two most popular safety nets -- require every working American to "buy" them. The purchase happens automatically in the form of a deduction from everyone's paychecks. 
But because Social Security and Medicare are government programs they don't feel like mandatory purchases. They're more like tax payments, which is what they are -- payroll taxes.
There's no question payroll taxes are constitutional, because there's no doubt that the federal government can tax people in order to finance particular public benefits.
Americans don't mind mandates in the form of payroll taxes for Social Security or Medicare. In fact, both programs are so popular even conservative Republicans were heard to shout "don't take away my Medicare!" at rallies opposed to the new health care law.
Requiring citizens to buy something from a private company is entirely different. If Congress can require citizens to buy health insurance from the private sector, reasoned the two appellate judges in Atlanta, what's to stop it from requiring citizens to buy anything else? If the law were to stand, "a future Congress similarly would be able to articulate a unique problem ... compelling Americans to purchase a certain product from a private company."
Other federal judges in district courts -- one in Virginia and another in Florida -- have struck down the law on similar grounds. They said the federal government has no more constitutional authority requiring citizens to buy insurance than requiring them to buy broccoli or asparagus. (The Florida judge referred to broccoli; the Virginia judge to asparagus.)
Social Security and Medicare aren't broccoli or asparagus. They're as American as hot dogs and apple pie.
The Republican strategy should now be clear: Privatize anything that might otherwise be a public program financed by tax dollars. Then argue in the courts that any mandatory purchase of it is unconstitutional because it exceeds the government's authority. And rally the public against the requirement.
Remember this next time you hear Republican candidates touting Paul Ryan's plan for turning Medicare into vouchers for seniors to buy private health insurance.
So what do Obama and the Democrats do if the individual mandate in the new health care law gets struck down by the Supreme Court?
Immediately propose what they should have proposed right from the start -- universal health care based on Medicare for all, financed by payroll taxes. The public will be behind them, as will the courts


Rain said...

Obama has been sooooo disappointing to me. He might be our only choice in 2012, but right now I told a caller who wanted me to donate that unless I saw more of his progressive values coming out, I was sitting this one out financially! We can't convince him to get some guts unless we also withhold his support and give him some motivation. It's disappointing that it would take that!

Darlene said...

*Rain - I think all progressives are very disappointed in him. Did you hear what he said today about Union members having to share the sacrifice? As if they havn't been. Obama will lose his base if he keeps this up. God help us if he lets someone like Perry win by default.

Anonymous said...

If only we had a third party! ( would probably end up as corrupt as the two that we have now.)
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

Well...yes, I know that there are other parties. What I needed to write was "...a third party that is a major player."

Tabor said...

I tend to agree that his moderate negotiating attitude is not getting anything done. When Cantor is allowed to be such a lose cannon, it is up to the White House to point out the lack of leadership on the other side and to demand to only negotiate with whomever is the LEADER! The conservatives are using all their manipulative skills and lock-step attitude to move things in their direction and we are weak to not be able to do something about this.

Leslie Parsley said...

All very disturbing - especially with the current Supreme Court. I'm still going to vote for Obama. The fascists on the right are far more dangerous. Bachmann? Perry? And maybe on the same ticket?

There has never been a successful third party in the history of our country. The only thing they do is take votes away from the base party. Remember Nader and Gore.

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - Eventually they all seem to become corrupt. So frustrating !!!

*Tabor - Irritating as it is, the Republicans are way better at framing the message. Why don't the Democrats ever learn?

*Leslie Parsley - I remember all too well.

This is the worst Supreme Court in memory and they will undo every good thing that they can. Watch out for pro choice being declared unconstitutional when a test case comes up.

Anonymous said...

Maybe what we need to do is to challenge our need to be governed at all. The Supreme Court would surely support us. Anarchy could reign. It feels pretty close to anarcy right now!
Cop Car

Anonymous said...

It feels pretty close to anarchy, too!

RONW said...

With the "everybody has to buy healthcare insurance" provision .... that's nothing but ransom money in response to a threat by the powerful healthcare insurance lobby that unless Obama acquiescent to their notion of universal coverage, the lobby would bombard the American public non-stop with negative ads spending a billion in the process if needed. This was not the Obama administration's idea, and wouldn't have existed as a constitutional question under the original Obama version. Besides, in most nations with universal coverage, the federal gov't runs the program, not a fox in the hen house. The gov't is the single payer pooling and distributing the funds and private vendors aren't in the picture whose primary motive would be profit anyways.

Just which is to blame is better left up to future historians .... was national health care too big an issue for Obama to take on in the midst of a financial meltdown, and two ongoing wars .... or was it due to the President's penchant to cave in. To throw the American public, er, the vital provisions of a major legislation, under the bus for the sake of political expediency. Moreso, with a historic national healthcare bill which other presidents before had tried and failed to pass in their terms.

in regards to the non-existent "gov't option" .... that debacle arose at the midnight hour of the bill's passage. Namely, through the handiwork of Joe Liberman, who threatened to withhold his "60th vote" if the gov't option wasn't tossed out from the bill at his bequest. The same Joseph Lieberman, Independent-CT, but formerly Gore's vice president running mate, no less. Had Gore been elected president, this bozo might have succeeded Gore and been our Democratic President.

At least with the "everybody has to buy healthcare insurance," it made sense, if not dollars and cents, for healthcare insurers to have a way to offset and recoup the cost to their industry from having to cover sick people whom they weren't mandated to cover prior to the bill. From the health care industry's stand point, universal coverage seems even a reasonable demand, since the lightest malady seems to be an granted an official disease status nowadays. However, in the absence of a "gov't option," the bill grants the healthcare industry a monopoly with impunity to set rates at their pleasure.

Elizabeth aka E2 said...

Seems to me the best way to provide health insurance for every U.S. citizen is to enroll everyone in Medicare....including all Govt. employees. That the Congress members are provided with a free Health policy (at the expense of The People) is just not acceptable, unless of course Medicare is their only health insurance.

Kay Dennison said...

What Rain said. I can't support someone who can't stand up for me.

Darlene said...

*Cop Car - It does, doesn't it? Britain is a prime example of what could be coming next.

*RonW - I couldn't agree more. Good summation of the problems.

*Elizabeth aka E2 - The beauty of your proposal is that it's all set up and ready to go. No waiting for years to put in place.

*Kay Dennison - I think he is beginning to get that message.