Larry Kissell's line in the shifting sand

For those who don't already understand the so-called logic of Congressman Kissell, the Dome today delivers the money quote:

Kissell, a Biscoe Democrat, has said he opposes proposals to pay for the bill in part by cutting Medicare, which he has called his "line in the sand."

This the equivalent of a person claiming he won't go on a diet because he's trying to lose weight. With all due respect, Mr. Kissell is either (1) in active denial about the actuarial reality of Medicare or (2) prepared to support dramatic tax increases. Whatever his motivation, Kissell would do well to remember this timeless quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

  • A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.


What a real Congressman looks like

Yesterday, I was on the "floor" of the House, where the House members vote. We now have over 80 for the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act, HR 4789. This three-and-a-half page bill says that anyone can buy Medicare at cost. It's the simplest public option you can imagine. You want it, you buy it, you got it.

Alan Grayson

This is what a freshman Congressman can and should be doing if he wants to make a difference, but the truth is, Larry is doing nothing of importance. Not a damned thing.

Sure he is

Lackluster Larry is collecting a very nice little taxpayer-paid paycheck, realizing a very nice health care package, has his own parking spot at the airport both in D.C. and back home, gets all kinds of perks from lobbyists and so forth...etc.

That is not "nothing of importance" to HIM. It is all in the perspective :)

Brad Miller lays it out

Via email:

In America, we have the best health care in the world: the best doctors, the best hospitals, and the most sophisticated technology. Despite this, we spend twice as much on health care as other prosperous nations, and Americans don’t live as long and aren’t as healthy. Currently 47 million Americans are uninsured and most Americans are at risk of losing their insurance if they get sick, lose their job, or get sick and lose their job. Health insurance reform is essential to ensuring coverage and controlling health care costs, now and in the future.

Congress has been debating health care for more than a year. I have traveled throughout the Triangle and Triad, received and read thousands of letter and emails, talked and listened to people with many different views on healthcare reform before deciding to vote “yes” on the final health care bill.

The cornerstone of the health care bill is reforming the health insurance industry. This reform would require new regulation of health insurance that is no stricter than what most states require of car insurance. Regulation would include requiring insurance companies to cover anyone who applies, regardless of their medical history. It would prohibit companies from charging more if someone has a preexisting condition and ensure that basic benefits are included in every insurance policy so you don’t find that you aren’t covered once you get sick. The bill will also expand Medicaid to the lowest income people as well as help low wage workers buy basic health insurance. The goal of the bill is to ensure affordable insurance coverage to all Americans.

Here are just some of the benefits North Carolinians in the 13th District will see from health care reform:

· 451,000 residents will see improvements in their current health care coverage.

· 14,700 residents who can’t buy health insurance now because of a pre-existing condition will be able to obtain coverage.

· Up to 189,000 families will get tax credits to help make health insurance more affordable.

· Up to 16,800 small businesses will get tax credits to help make health insurance more affordable for their employees.

· 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries will see better care and will pay less for prescription drugs because the Medicare Part D donut hole will be closed.

· 64,000 young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until their 26th birthday.

· 72,000 uninsured residents will have access to health care coverage.

· 900 families won’t have to file for bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.

· 12 community health centers will receive millions of dollars in new funding to see thousands of new patients.

This analysis is based upon the following sources: the U.S. Census (data on insurance rates, small businesses, and young adult population); the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (data on Medicare and Part D enrollment); the Department of Health and Human Services (data on health care related bankruptcies, uncompensated care, and pre-existing conditions); the Health Resources and Services Administration (data on community health centers); and the Congressional Budget Office (estimates of the percentage of citizens with health insurance coverage under health care reform legislation).

And none of that's good enough for "head in the sand" Kissell. Mind-boggling.

Brad Miller represents my district

For you people that have Kissell..Eat Your Hearts Out !! :) The only sand on my guy is on his feet when he goes to the beach vs. Kissell having his head stuck firmly in it.

He just HAS to think that he is going to be voted out of office if he supports the HCR effort.

There is a word for that: Chickenshit

Next issue.

Am I going to be sued for that?


Larry Kissell is my congressman

and Brad Miller is my brother. If I had to choose, I would choose to keep it the way it is. I trust my brother to tell the truth and do what is right. I am proud he is my brother. I am not proud of my congressman. He betrayed us all and he didn't even tell us why. In fact he runs from explaining.


A Third Possibility

Kissell is clueless about politics and policy. He doesn't understand what he is reading, and his staff is not bothering to inform him. And he believes that politicians should not change their minds.

If you look at his campaign contributions, he was elected with the help of ActBlue, IBEW and other unions, and only had minor contributions from the healthcare or insurance industry. That is why his position is infuriating. What's the sentiment in his supposed R+2 district?

50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts


I understand the concern about Larry's vote on this important legislation, but I have seen too many comments on this site implying that Larry should vote our way at least partly because of the contributions we gave him. This flies in the face of what progressive democrats stand for. I've read about James' regret and irritation with the fundraisers he threw for him and I've read about people's angst that they gave him money and now he's turning on us. I even read that we gave him more money than the health insurance industry, implying that this should cause him to vote our way! Geeez!Think about it, guys. He should vote based a combination of his conscience and his belief about the best interest of his district, not on campaign contributions.

It's not about the money

While there's plenty of pay to play in politics, I don't expect any return for my contributions whatsoever. I don't even expect a phone call or a thank you.

What I do expect is for people to do what they said they would do ... especially when they personally tell me ... in my house ... about all the commitments they have.

The reason to bring up money is because so many people gave because they believed what Kissell said about his intentions if elected.

Give until it hurts?

This flies in the face of what progressive democrats stand for. I've read about James' regret and irritation with the fundraisers he threw for him and I've read about people's angst that they gave him money and now he's turning on us. I even read that we gave him more money than the health insurance industry, implying that this should cause him to vote our way! Geeez!Think about it, guys. He should vote based a combination of his conscience and his belief about the best interest of his district, not on campaign contributions* Troo Dem

Do you really believe that Progressives are loaded like the Corporate establishment and expect no return on their money?

does this mean...

...kissell supports not cutting medicare advantage, because as i understand it, that's the part of medicare that is being targeted for cutting, in addition to the usual "waste, fraud, and abuse", which i assume kissell also supports cutting.

by the way...did y'all find the interesting use of the exact same words and the unusual "style" in the previous two comments more than a little...coincidental?

"...i feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up." --tom lehrer, january 1965

Medicare Advantage

A rep for BCBS of NC told me that the government pays BCBS almost $1,000 per month for everybody who is on their Medicare Advantage program. This is in addition to the premiums the customers pay to BCBS. This is a huge money maker for BCBS. I think that what they are trying to cut is the monthly amount they pay to the insurance companies. That is a lot of money and BCBS saw it coming and increased everybody's premiums 40% and doubled all their co-pays. If health care passes this will probably be fixed, but who knows when.


5 Votes Down

is the name of a West Wing episode that I imagine is reflecting real life a lot right now.

Five Votes Down

Josh: Forgive my bluntness, and I say this with all due respect, Congressman, but vote yes, or you're not even going to be on the ballot two years from now.

Katzenmoyer: How do you figure?

Josh: You're going to lose in the primary.

Katzenmoyer: There's no Democrat running against me.

Josh: Sure there is.

Katzenmoyer: Who?

Josh: Whomever we pick.

Katzenmoyer: You're bluffing.

Josh: Okay.

Katzenmoyer: I'm in your own party!

Josh: Doesn't seem to be doing us much good now, does it?

Katzenmoyer: Against an incumbent Democrat. You'll go to the press and endorse a challenger?

Josh: No sir. We're going to do it in person. See, you won with fifty-two percent, but the President took your district with fifty-nine. And I think it's high time we come back and say thanks. Do you have any idea how much noise Air Force One makes when it lands in Eau Claire, Wisconsin? We're going to have a party, Congressman. You should come, it's gonna be great. And when the watermelon's done, right in town square, right in the band gazebo... You guys got a band gazebo?

Katzenmoyer: Josh...

Josh: Doesn't matter, we'll build one. Right in the band gazebo, that's where the President is going to drape his arm around the shoulder of some assistant DA we like. And you should have your camera with you. You should get a picture of that. 'Cause that's gonna be the moment you're finished in Democratic politics. President Bartlet's a good man. He's got a good heart. He doesn't hold a grudge. That's what he pays me for.

And just for kicks:

Seems ohers are pretty unhappy with Mr Kissell too!

Rep. Kissell in hot seat over health care

Labor unions were a key force in Democrat Larry Kissell's successful ouster of Republican incumbent Robin Hayes in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District two years ago. But union members say their support of Kissell now depends entirely on how he votes when the health care overhaul bill comes up this weekend.

"Return on their money"???

So, MadameJusticeWatch, it seems you are saying that because we are not "loaded like the corporate establishment" that we should expect more "return on our money". That's exactly the problem I am having with this and other threads about Kissell. We should work to get good people elected and give to their campaigns. We should also lobby them hard to vote our way. But I have a real problem with saying that money should equal a vote, regardless of the amount.

Focus on Kissell Keep Calling Keep calling Emailing

Can you all get your friends to call Kissell? Email him?

Get your friends in fayetteville, cabarrus, union, meck, to call call call?

I wrote to Kissell and said that I admired his courage to stand up to those who supported him. That is important Courage to have. I agree with those we can not expect him to vote because we "Bought' him.

HOWEVER, I think he is seriously misguided on this stand perhaps by his staff- he has this one wrong- and therefor we can with remind him that we thought highly enough of him to go to bat for him, with our time and dollars. He has to know by now that this vote against the President will haunt him - that Democrats will turn against him, that he will have a competitor in the election, that it will cause him no end of trouble.

He represented himself as a voice for the people. That he would vote for the little guy. And this vote on health care, as Kucinich as said, is one we have to vote yes on.

I hope everyone who writes here is also emailing and phoning Kissell. Apparently Rep Price is getting many more calls from the opponents, so the same must be true for Rep. Kissell.
And staff can be intimidated by the sheer volume of calls opposing the reform.


Heath Care

Larry, You're an elephant dressed in donkey clothing. You do not represent the people who elected you. You'll be back in NC full time soon; no one who elected you will ever believe you again.