From Lawrence O'Donnell's Rewrite segment this Wednesday evening, as we await the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, O'Donnell points out that no matter how the Supreme Court rules, it still won't help the 26 million Americans that won't be covered from this highly compromised law. As he noted as well, that would not be the case had the public option not been thrown out in the beginning of negotiations and we'd gotten Medicare for all.
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I hope Anthony Weiner is right here and that if our overly partisan Supreme Court does strike down the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act that it does lead to the return of the public option. Here's more from TPM where Weiner expressed some similar sentiments to the ones made here with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell.
This is more in the spirit of partypooping than of celebration. But on the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, one of the law's most dogged defenders, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), admitted he thinks the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate. It's not that he thinks the mandate is unconstitutional, but that the court has become so partisan, that its conservative justices will rule against President Obama in a 5-4 decision. He wasn't glum about it, though -- if the mandate goes he said it will pave the way for Congress to pass the public option.
"If lightning strikes, and it turns out that as many of us believe, the Supreme Court turns out to be a third political branch of government and they strike down the mandate -- big deal," Weiner said, expressing a 'so what?!' sentiment. "Big deal!" Read on...
I think potentially a bigger story our media and our politicians are ignoring is what's happening in Vermont, where they're poised to pass a single-payer health care plan for their state. If they can make this work there, you could see it spread to other states and eventually, hopefully, the rest of the country. If memory serves, this is the same type of scenario that brought Canada their health care program. It started in one province and eventually spread to the rest of the country. It's a huge uphill battle with lots of special interests poised to fight against it, but who knows. Maybe we win one there and move towards not allowing the insurance companies continuing to rob us blind so they can take care of their stock holders and their CEO's instead of the people they're supposed to be bringing a service to.
Fox News' Washington managing editor has been caught red-handed.
As the health care debate was reaching a high point last year, a leaked e-mail shows Bill Sammon asked his news department to refer to the public option as the "government run option."
Later that evening, Fox News flagship news program, Special Report with Bret Baier, used the very phrase Sammon had requested.
The e-mail, obtained by the liberal watchdog Media Matters, indicates that Sammon sent the request after Republican pollster Frank Luntz said that polls show the "government option" was opposed by the public.
According to the report at Media Matters, in August of 2009 after Fox News' Sean Hannity used the term "public option," Luntz encouraged him to say "government option" instead.
"If you call it a 'public option,' the American people are split," Luntz said. "If you call it the 'government option,' the public is overwhelmingly against it."
"It's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option," Hannity replied.
Looks like Dennis is everywhere the last couple of days. He visited the set of Real Time to discuss his reasons for deciding to vote for the health care bill.
Bill Maher feels the same way I do about how the Democrats negotiated on the health care bill. Even if it was not what they ever thought they were going to get in the end, they should have started with single payer and negotiated down from there.
Transcript via MSNBC from the March 10th edition of Countdown.
O‘DONNELL: We‘re back with Bill Maher here on COUNTDOWN. Bill, after my tickle fight last Friday night, as I always do, I watched your show, and new rules, you turned into a prude, suddenly. You want the president to quit smoking. You became Mayor Bloomberg on Obama. What‘s the quit smoking bit with Obama?
MAHER: Well, it was tongue in cheek, Lawrence, as you know. Come on, do I have to tickle you to get you to laugh at this one? No, what I was— you know, the point of the rule was that when people quit smoking, they get angry.
And I like my president angry, because, you know, considering how much in this country people are poisoned, ripped off and lied to, we all should be angry, but especially that guy, who has to deal with Congress every day, and trying to get this health care bill through and all that. And you know, I like him when he‘s out on the stump in sort of a partisan mode.
I think his biggest mistake that he has made in his first year was to put bipartisanship ahead of fixing the country. He spent all his political capital on getting three damned votes for that stimulus bill, instead of coming in with all the energy from the election and saying, you know what, we‘re in a crisis mode; I won this election by a sizable mandate; here‘s what we‘re going to do; if you don‘t like it, Republicans, you can suck on it.
Chris Hayes filling in for Rachel Maddow talks to Howard Dean about the protests held outside of the Ritz-Carlton "where the insurance companies were having their conference and plotting to kill health reform". Dean also weighed in on what he thinks should happen if the bill does pass -- the Senate should either include a Medicare buy-in or restore the House version which has a public option. He also thinks they should get rid of the individual mandate and that might make it a decent bill. I guess we'll find out if anyone's listening to Dean shortly if the bill does make it through the House.
I know there has to be a lot of pressure on Dennis Kucinich to change his vote on the health care bill. So far he's standing firm and still says he's not going to vote for it. The other day I watched an interview with him on Fox and it sounded like he was considering changing his vote. He was asked at least five times if he would vote no and he refused to answer. After meeting with the administration, not so much. He just gave a pretty firm "no" here.
Sadly they look like they might be more willing to make sure abortion is illegal for poor women who can't self-insure than not have this mess pass. I'm about as disgusted as Susie is right now about this whole process. They should have just found out what they had the votes for in the Democratic caucus and got it passed and quit pussy-footing around with Republicans pretending like they're honest brokers when it comes to anything months ago and explained to the public why they thought it was better than what we have now and lived with the consequences if the public didn't like it. Instead all they've done is demoralize their base. And worse yet, they appear completely tone deaf about what they've done or they just don't care.
At this point I'm torn about whether it should pass or not. I think it's terrible for the Democrats politically if it doesn't. I don't know if the House can trust the Senate to make the fixes and the Republicans are going to try to stop the ones they're willing to make. And I'm not sure if the additional people being covered is worth the mandates and the lack of price controls. Dennis is absolutely right with his concerns on what the final product might be.
From Speaker Pelosi's press release -- Pelosi Closing Remarks at Bipartisan Meeting at Blair House on Health Insurance Reform:
“Thank you very much, Mr. President. As one who has abided by the three and a half minute, I’m going to take a few seconds more now in closing to extend thanks to Mr. President for bringing us together, for your great leadership and without it, we would not be so very close to affordability, accountability for the insurance companies, and accessibility for so many more Americans to improve their health care, to lower their cost.
“Mr. President, I hearken back to that meeting a year ago. At that time, Senator Grassley questioned you about the public option and you said: ‘The public option is one way to keep the insurance companies honest and to increase competition.’ If you have a better way, put it on the table. Well, I bring that up, because we have come such a long way — we’re talking about how close we are on this, how far apart we are in here.
“But as a representative of the House of Representatives, I want you to know that we were there that day in support of a public option which would save $120 billion, keep the insurance companies honest, and increase competition. We've come a long way to agreeing to a Republican idea. The exchanges — Senator Enzi has been a leader in that, Senator Snowe along with Senator Durbin had legislation to that effect and bipartisan, because insurance companies opposed the public option. They couldn't take the competition.
From The Daily Show Feb. 24, 2010:
President Obama can't win with the Republicans on health care, so the Democrats should push through whatever reform they want.
Rachel talks to Sen. Bernie Sanders about whether there is any chance of the public option being included in the health care bill after having it negotiated away as Susie already noted Group of Senators Throw Hail Mary Pass for the Public Option. Rachel reports that the number of Senators who have signed the letter is now up to eleven total.