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Do I detect a whiff of Jimmy Carter...? - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Do I detect a whiff of Jimmy Carter...? [Sep. 2nd, 2009|11:52 pm]
Zoethe
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It's a yahoo news story, so the link will evaporate in a couple weeks. And really, the title says it all, so you get no link.

But this is what I saw on my yahoo front page this morning:

Obama may get more specific about health overhaul


Whoa there, big fella! Don't be overcommitting or anything!

Now, whether you think that Obama's plan is the holy grail or the work of Satan, pretty much everyone agrees that there is a problem with health care in this country that needs attention. The method of handling that problem is hotly debated, with a giant heap of vitriol stirred into the mix.

And here we have a President who's stumping for a plan that he himself can't get behind. He's all excited when someone in the audience tells a horror story of health care gone wrong, but as soon as someone questions him on how he's paying for this or just plain calls it un-American, he goes all soft and reconciliatory. We need to consider all the options, he says, and whether or not there will be a public option.

Excuse me, what? Mr. President, you have a 1,400 page bill rambling around Capitol Hill. I'm not sure now if you are actually in favor of it.

I am not married to the currently-proposed health care plan. Quite frankly, I don't actually know enough about it to have a firm opinion.

But our President needs to decide whether he actually has a dog in this race. Either he needs to get behind the current bill, start pointing out the massive cost of the status quo, and actually campaign for it, or he needs to call it scrapped and push for a summit of the best minds on the subject to get together and hammer out something workable.

Otherwise, this administration is just a Rose Garden campaign taken on the road.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-03 06:38 am (UTC)
well. . . don't blame Obama if the yahoo page says "he may get more specific." That's their wording, and may not reflect exactly what O plans. Maybe he's hellbent on being totally specific! ;-P

"Either he needs to get behind the current bill, start pointing out the massive cost of the status quo, and actually campaign for it,"

I think the massive cost is pretty evident. Every pundit I watch points that out. (You may guess I'm not watching O'Reilly, Limbaugh, or the paranoid crybaby whose name I've blanked on now to protect what's left of my sanity after watching olbermann and Maddow point out in gruesome detail just how stupid it is out there.)

I'm not sure that the details of the current bill can be boiled down for the layperson to grok. They don't understand what they've got NOW as it is: having to learn something new, when they haven't learned the old, is just too much for a lot of people to contemplate. And even if the Dems did try to explain, they'd be shouted down and it would be chaos. Perhaps instead they should be dropping leaflets with charts and arrows and color glossies from airplanes.

Not that that would do any good: facts don't persuade people who have small minds that are already made up. For my part, just knowing that The Stupids hate this reform bill make me want it all the more: it must be good if they don't like it!

Some of the media have tried to explain what it's all about. (There are tons of others, I'm just too lazy to link them here at 2:30 am, sorry.)

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:03 pm (UTC)
I *do* blame President Obama if the yahoo page says that. Headline writers love definitive statements and action words. The waffling is direct from the White House.

And he is the one going into town halls and failing to rebut the statements of people disagreeing with his ideas. That's losing high school debate.

Nothing in this debate is evident. The cost of the plan is paraded about as if it would be an additional layer of cost rather than replacing existing costs.

At this point, the Republicans are winning the debate, and that is in no small part because of the lack of a focused message on the president's part.
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[User Picture]From: shadeofnight
2009-09-03 03:28 pm (UTC)
Actually some of the FACTS under that link you gave are wrong, and that page looks as politically motivated as the "myths" they are trying to dispel.

Now a lot of these FACTS are also right, but do not disprove the myth they are under, but are put there to miss-lead or confuse the issues.

"Health care reform will hurt Medicare." ... while the concept of health care reform will not hurt medicare, at least 1 of the current bills on the floor WILL take 100 billion out of Medicare, under the theory that by building other medical tools medicare will not need that money for what it is currently using.

While that is a nice justification, it has also not been proven, and could (read this is government red tape, which is beyond incompetent) actually take benefits AWAY from medicare.

To me this just goes to show why no one is "telling us how it is", because they are afraid we might fully see just how bad all the options really are, and no one is willing to make the changes that might actually help.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-03 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'm thrilled SOMEONE apparently knows the facts enogh to make this judgment, and can dispute other claims that are erroneous. As I always say to my financial advisor about what to do with my investments, "I'd have to know as much as you do about investing to know if your advice is right on or a bunch of b.s. But I don't." Which is exactly why I don't think ANYONE could explain it all succinctly to the layperson: WHO can we trust to be telling it right?

Do you know of any sources that actually ARE spelling it all out, and correctly, for the layperson, like me, to really know what it's about? Because I have no way of knowing if AARP or any other place is actually making sense.

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[User Picture]From: shadeofnight
2009-09-03 07:05 pm (UTC)
I have found none, but here are a few interesting links that seem to not be trying to bust myths or distort facts all that much:

http://www.slideshare.net/danroam/healthcare-napkins-all

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/16/whats_scary_about_health_care_reform_97901.html

or I could post some right wing crazy web sites, but I figure I would try with the middle of the road first (that seem to have a better than average understanding, and do not try to mislead that much).

I really kind of liked the health care reform explained in 4 napkins......
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:36 am (UTC)
Perhaps instead they should be dropping leaflets with charts and arrows and color glossies from airplanes.

LOL! Perhaps that would help.

Even when they're not getting shouted down, the stuff they're saying is nothing but talking points. No specifics. They're getting shouted down because people are calling them liars. "You'll get to keep your current insurance," they say. People don't believe it. There's nothing in the bill that guarantees this. If we get a public option, what's to prevent our employers from shoving us into it? "It won't increase taxes on the middle class." Uh, exactly how is this going to be accomplished? Magic?

Et cetera.

So yea, drop leaflets. But put something on them besides talking points. We can all agree it would be awesome if we insured everybody without increasing taxes and without sacrificing anything of the great care most of us take for granted. Tell us how exactly that is going to happen. Because I, for one, don't see how it's possible.

And as I pointed out earlier, the proposals do nothing to reform malpractice torts, one of the biggests costs of all, and one that does nothing to improve care.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-04 02:44 am (UTC)
If most of congress hasn't read the entire bill -- everyone complains about how LONG and THICK it is -- do you think the average layperson will sit still for something other than boiled down talking points? I wish it were so! I'd like some specifics myself (I don't mean I'd like you to provide specifics, but that more specifics might be a good thing. IF people would sit still for them.)

But as you say, "People don't believe it." So does it matter what they say? Would more details be believed?

I keep being very embarrassed to be an American right now. Was all during the Bush administration. Nearly imploded when he got elected, allegedly, a second time. I'm feeling exceedingly hopeless about it all. I'd move to Canada - except they don't want us, and there is that baby seal bashing thang they do that would probably drive me even more batshiite.

Edited at 2009-09-04 02:44 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 02:50 am (UTC)
I live in Canada at the moment. Don't come here if you want good health care OR sane politics. :-)
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-04 02:53 am (UTC)
Oh, jeez, another naive dream crushed! You mean there are places as bad or worse than what we've got now? I guess that makes me feel a bit "better." Ah well, if I can't take the winters here in Taxachusetts, I'd not make it in Canada either.
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[User Picture]From: midnightsjane
2009-09-04 05:57 am (UTC)
Umm, Canadian here. Our health care is good, thanks very much, and no one has to worry about not being covered by insurance.
Politics is politics...we have our own way of doing things up here that's not the way you do it in the USA, but we think we're quite sane.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-04 06:04 am (UTC)
Please note, I wasn't the one who said your politics weren't sane: another Canadian did. It's not for me to argue either way with either of you, I have no clue what it's like there. Talk amongst yourselves. :-)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-04 12:38 pm (UTC)
Technically, she's an American now living in Canada. Make of that what you will.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-04 07:16 pm (UTC)
Which one? The first, or the second? What I make of that is that either she has a more objective perspective than someone with more patriotic emotions. . . or not. :-) I do believe that Anais Nin was right that we (that includes me) don't see things as they are, we see them as WE are. Anyone can be "blindly" patriotic about their country or their family or their political party or their choice or preferred dinner entree, despite any "evidence" to the contrary. Or not. Hard to tell without knowing the person enough.

There are things about America, then and now, that deeply shame me. Canada has their own, I'm sure: when I think of Canada all I can see is bloodied baby seal pup faces with big pleading eyes: for me that continuing, protected by law barbarity erases any other good that surely is going on. (My best friend from college has lived in Winnipeg these past 30 years, longer than he lived in the U.S., married to a Canadian.(Canadien?) He very much likes his adopted country.) When I think of America right now all I see are the ugly mindless violent bigots at town hall meetings demanding their "rights" and "their America back" while denying them to others. And think could these really be the people that might shape public policy for everyone?

I miss the years past when I was a happy moron, paying no attention to politics whatsoever. My anxiety level was only at yellow.

Edited at 2009-09-04 07:17 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-04 08:23 pm (UTC)
The first is transplanted from the US.
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[User Picture]From: dana3
2009-09-03 10:38 am (UTC)
I would think that outlining expectations and then leaving it to the legislators to actually ~make laws~ would be a reasonable approach for adults. Since the slow-no party believes in concrete overshoes, maybe the 'adults' part was too much to hope for, so now he's got to actually tell them what he wants them to do. Sad development -- not incompetence on his part IMO, but passive-aggressive refusal to do the job on the part of the legislators.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:08 pm (UTC)
But you are missing the point. President Obama is out stumping for his plan in a way that can only be called damning with faint praise. His waffling is sending a message to the American people that this may not be all that hot an idea. That is not leadership.
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[User Picture]From: dana3
2009-09-03 09:12 pm (UTC)
There is a joint-session scheduled for Congress' return. Since they didn't get him a bill before their August recess, he's planning on saying a thing or six to all of them at once. For the first time since this started, we will be hearing from him what he wants in a plan -- leaving them to do it didn't work, now he's got to tell them specifics. I'm keeping an open mind until we hear what gets said and see what gets done (or not) as a result of that. Fair enough? :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 10:05 pm (UTC)
He should have been sketching what he wanted in a plan while he was out on the road. I'm disappointed but hopeful.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:42 am (UTC)
Except ... "Make me a bill that magically insures everybody while not changing anything for 80% of Americans that are happy with their current insurance, not reducing quality, not increasing wait times, and not increasing costs, and not raising taxes on the middle class," is like saying, "Make me a invisible pink unicorn." It can't be done.

The reason Obama doesn't want to step in and start hammering out details is because he knows his goals are impossible, and he doesn't want to get blamed when that finally becomes apparent to the other half of the country who still think he's The Messiah.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2009-09-03 10:52 am (UTC)
If he has a 1400 page bill then how much more detail do you need?

It looks very much, to me, like he's been letting the Right Wing make themselves look crazy during the recess, and he's now back to point out what idiots they're being, quash the stupidest rumours, and get on with actually getting a bill passed, which is tricky to do when Congress isn't actually there.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:11 pm (UTC)
Except he's not rebutting when people disagree with him. He's the one who is out there on the front lines and he's failing at creating any kind of confidence in the voters. Our good looking, well spoken president is stumping like crazy, and the Republican viewpoint is gaining ground.

That's doing a bad selling job.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:43 am (UTC)
No matter how good a salesman is, getting people to buy a pig in a poke is difficult.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-04 02:46 am (UTC)
We need more LIPSTICK on it! ;-P
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[User Picture]From: valarltd
2009-09-03 11:31 am (UTC)
I have a theory: Health Care reform is being deliberately sunk.

This is Obama! The man who managed to get elected despite being black and having a funny name.

Don't tell me he can't a put a message out. Don't tell me he gets muddled.

The money from the lobbyisrs was too good. It's going into Dem warchests for 2012. And as a result, health care reform is going to be a nightmare of mandated coverage, no public option and no caps on premiums. And when we complain, the repubs will laugh in our faces saying "you wanted reform. Enjoy it."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 01:13 pm (UTC)
This is Obama! The man who managed to get elected despite being black and having a funny name. Don't tell me he can't a put a message out. Don't tell me he gets muddled.

Except we are not hearing a clear message from him. So unless you are saying that he is in on the conspiracy to sink reform, you are ignoring the simple fact of what's happening.
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2009-09-03 03:19 pm (UTC)
Except we are not hearing a clear message from him. So unless you are saying that he is in on the conspiracy to sink reform, you are ignoring the simple fact of what's happening.

I think that's exactly what she's saying. I don't buy it, but stranger things have happened I guess.
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[User Picture]From: infowidget
2009-09-03 02:40 pm (UTC)
I am not married to the currently-proposed health care plan.

Of course, you're not! You're married to Ferrett. :P
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 02:47 pm (UTC)
Ba-dum CHING!!!!
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[User Picture]From: shadeofnight
2009-09-03 03:16 pm (UTC)
I happen to agree with your view that details and exact info is just not there. Even the "fact vs myth" pages are also miss leading, and do not really tell the truth (as I have read many of them, and while some of the myths they kill are the same, the fact sections do not match).

The one think I have figured out, and NO ONE disagrees with me, is that as a working adult with health insurance, I am going to pay a LOT MORE for the same coverage I have now, but no one knows HOW MUCH more I will have to pay. It could even double in price for me.

Then people wonder why I am against health reform... well.. yea..

The problem with all of the purposed solutions is they cement in place a broke system. The current system of insurance and having other people pay for all medical bills is driving health care costs up. There are many detailed articles on this. So the little bit of "heath insurance reform" they are trying to pass in congress, is more or less putting a band aid on the current broke system, and pouring a lot more money into it, such that it will never change in the way needed.

What really needs to happy is scrap the entire current system and start over, but that will never happen as there is just too much money supporting it (it is about 20% of all spending in the country).

I got yelled at as well for stating that no one can see to explain the current plans in a simple way, and that is why health care reform is failing. The truth is they are trying to pass it as fast as possible before anyone can really understand it.

I still fail to see why this has to be done in a rush, and without more research.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-09-03 07:25 pm (UTC)
Does anyone really understand the current system either? It's har to know where the pitfalls are until one falls into them with a particular test or procedure being denied, or the copay for that being worse than something else one has experienced. So even learning about what we have now is trial and error. Mostly error.

I'm sorry I forget the name of the guy (and don'thave time this moment to look it up), but some Obama dude in charge of helping push this plan through was on Daily Show last month: Jon Steart asked him how this would be paid for, and the guy claimed that just by saving the money that is MISmanaged or goes directly to absurd profits now, there will be more than enough money found to bankroll the new system without making the financial burden worse for anyone. He could just be blowing smoke, or it could be real. One can't prove or disprove something that hasn't happened yet. But I hope he's right: because no one seems to dispute that there IS mismanagement, and far too much outrageous profit for the companies at the expense of real care.
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[User Picture]From: shadeofnight
2009-09-03 07:41 pm (UTC)
I do agree that for profit health care insurance should be removed from the world.

There are non-profit health care options, where if there is a profit, it goes back to the policies holder (just like with credit unions being better than banks).

what everyone is missing is the problem with the entire medical industry right now IS INSURANCE itself.

The whole concept that everything is payed for by someone else, means we as consumers seem to not shop around, and the doctors are forced to do things counter intuitive to make a profit because of current insurance regulations. Putting more regulations on top of that seems strange.

We keep trying to answer a question on how to solve a by product of a broken system.

The real question is why does health care costs keep going up even if our level of care remains relative constant. After researching it a bit, Insurance it to blame for most of it. You could say people did not need insurance for health care, until insurance messed up the entire system to the point where now just to have ANY health care, you need insurance (that is just bad).

Without scraping the entire system and starting over.. THE ONLY new regulation I want to see is a fair business practice law and new government organization to over see insurance.

Now if they start to talk about changes that will actually do something useful, then I am willing to be at the able supporting change again.

I am also always worried when people try to push something that will effect 20 to 30$ of the economy supper fast without good debate on the subject and clear worded plans on how this will fix it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-03 08:25 pm (UTC)
You could say people did not need insurance for health care, until insurance messed up the entire system to the point where now just to have ANY health care, you need insurance (that is just bad).

This is oversimplification. Huge but expensive advances in the care and treatment of illnesses have developed in the years since health care was instituted. If there was no insurance system, that would not equate cancer treatment or bypass surgery being cheap enough for Joe Average to afford.

Plus, even when there wasn't insurance, there were charity hospitals where people who couldn't afford medical care went.

And, people just died.

Some form of nonpersonal payment for health care is necessary. What form it takes is the debate.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:48 am (UTC)
Another point to be made, since you bring up trial and error, is this: Massachusetts has put in a plan similar to what the Dems say they want. It's already massively unpopular and way over budget.

Why should we rush to pass something without testing it first? Why not let the states draft their own bills, and see how it goes? Why the rush?

I believe they're desperately trying to cram through reform because they don't want people to have time to debate the specifics. They KNOW the vast majority of Americans won't like the details, so they bury it in thousands of pages of legalese and hope they can get enough votes to force it into law before it can be deciphered by the people.
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[User Picture]From: dana3
2009-09-03 09:09 pm (UTC)
The one think I have figured out, and NO ONE disagrees with me, is that as a working adult with health insurance, I am going to pay a LOT MORE for the same coverage I have now, but no one knows HOW MUCH more I will have to pay. It could even double in price for me.

Your premiums go up every year now, don't they? Or your coverage goes down, co-payments go up, corners get cut. Your total costs now if you needed a hip replacement or a pacemaker -- total out of pocket costs -- have probably doubled over the past ten years. That's with our current system, and that's only part of why it's broken.

I agree that the system needs a total overhaul and won't get it due to the entrenched interests. Did you hear about today's judgment -- oh excuse me, 'consent agreement' -- against Pfizer? Bribing docs to prescribe Pfizer drugs for off-label uses. Part of why meds cost so much, to be sure.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-09-04 12:29 am (UTC)
THIS.

I actually like almost all of Obama's goals. What I want to see is the specifics of exactly how we're going to accomplish them.

For instance, he says if we like our current health care, we'll get to keep it. Great! How is that going to work in the real world? How is he going to force my employer to keep offering the plan I like, rather than shunt me off to the public plan (if, God forbid, we have one)? And exactly HOW LONG do I get to keep it? A year? Five years? The truth is, there's no provisions in the bill to address this, so his making promises about it is just so much hot air.

He says the bill will be budget-neutral, and pay for itself through cost savings and taxes on the richest sliver of society. Huzzah! How exactly is that going to work? Because frankly, I don't see how it's possible. Until some neutral bureaucratic accounting dudes examines some actual numbers and tell us that yes, this will work, I don't believe it.

He says taxes won't go up for the middle class. But when you look at the numbers, if you tax everyone who makes $250,000 or more at 100% (clearly not feasible, but even so ...) the added income won't be enough to offset the projected costs. Unless there is going to be some sort of magic fairy wealth machine generating cash, this promise will be broken. So, again, hot air.

It's as if Obama cobbled together a wish list of everything Americans could possibly want and then promised it to us, regardless of its complete impossibility.

I believe the reason he's not stumping for any of the bills out there is that he KNOWS none of them will accomplish his goals, and he doesn't want to take responsibility. As long as he doesn't get behind anything, he can point the finger of blame at Congress later, once everything goes to hell.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-09-04 02:41 am (UTC)
The goal of reducing the cost of health care is laudable, but there has to be some way to translate that reduced cost into paying for the plan, or somehow that cost doesn't really go away.

They have a lot of work to do to make a real plan. I hope they settle in and do it.
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