Thursday, February 25, 2010

Talking about health care is over

Now it's time to cram it down their throats.

Obama listened politely for six hours, with occasional flashes of temper, but in the end, the message was clear: It’s over. We’re moving forward without Republicans. ...

That was the subtle but unmistakable message of Obama’s closing argument. After hours of hearing Republicans repeat again and again that only an incremental approach to reform is acceptable to them, Obama rejected that out of hand.

Here’s the key bit from Obama:
I’d like Republicans to do a little soul searching to find out if there are some things that you’d be willling to embrace that get to this core problem of 30 million people without health insurance, and dealing seriously with the pre-existing conditions issue. I don’t know frankly whether we can close that gap.
And if we can’t close that gap, then I suspect Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are going to have a lot of arguments about procedures in Congress about moving forward.
Unless I’m misreading that, Obama is saying that unless Republicans support comprehensive reform as Obama and Dems have defined it — dealing with the problem of 30 million uninsured and, by extension, seriously tackling the preexisting condition problem — they will almost certainly move forward with reconciliation.

What’s more, Obama also essentially accused Republicans of approaching today’s summit in bad faith — after they had sat there with him for six hours. He said that even after the public option was taken off the table, Republicans continued to use the same “government takeover” slur.

“Even after the public option wasn’t available, we still hear the same rhetoric,” Obama said. “We have a concept of an exchange which previously has been an idea that was embraced by Republicans before I embraced it. Somehow, suddenly it became less of a good idea.”

I found the little bit that I watched of today's White House summit breathtaking at times, as Democrats spoke eloquently and from the heart about the state of healthcare in the greatest nation on Earth.

Louise Fletcher on domestic violence and female hormones as a pre-existing condition. Oh, and the quote of the day.

Dick Durbin destroying the Republican argument that medical malpractice and the associated tort reform will reduce insurance premiums (hint: that's bullshit). Durbin describing the woman whose face and throat were burned away because the oxygen she was given during anesthesia caught fire, and whose damages were capped at $250,000. Durbin challenging Republicans to drop their own government-run healthcare programs if they are so paranoid about "government-run healthcare".

Obama himself busting Wyoming Republican and Dr. John Barrasso, asking him if he would feel confident dropping his comprehensive healthcare coverage in favor of catastrophic care only. And when Barosso stepped in the trap, slamming it on his head: "Would you feel that way if you only made $40,000 a year?"

Henry Waxman and the "prudent shoppers" of California who saw their Anthem premiums go up 39%.

And all we heard from the the GOP was the same old shit.

Fine. Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads. And let's get the public option back in there while we're at it.

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