Progressive Democrats of America calls House Healthcare Bill a Very Bad Bill

In an email to members this morning, Progressive Democrats of America calls HR 3962, "a very bad bill."

This bill is, so far, a very bad bill that will further enmesh corporations into our government and our daily lives without addressing the problem. It diminishes all of our rights, not just reproductive ones, by failing to recognize healthcare as a human right, not a commodity to be traded on Wall Street.

And, it does next to nothing to help Americans who are now being gouged by healthcare corporations. “if you like your insurance--you get to keep it” has morphed into “if you have insurance, you have to keep it whether you like it or not, and if you don’t have it--you have to buy it.”


Just because a massive bill manages to include a few sensible measures that should have been enacted years ago, a mandate that we all buy a defective product to swell the profit margins of the very corporations who created this crisis in the first place does not make it reform, or acceptable. It certainly does not make it the much-ballyhooed achievement of the 21st century.

That's not all. They take it one step further and criticize other liberal groups for using the passage of this flawed bill to raise money.

With the passage of HR3962, fundraising emails from Democratic groups cheering the passage of the House healthcare bill have been issued faster than denials for service from healthcare corporations. Disappointingly, MoveOn, True Majority and Democracy for America are among them. They’re not just cheering, they’re exalting the bill’s public option as the best thing since sliced bread, despite the further degradation of women’s reproductive rights.

There is no doubt that these organizations have done great work on progressive issues, but on this legislation they are wrong. [emphasis PDA's]

Wait! So this isn't the "much-ballyhooed achievement of the 21st century?"


It's soooo confusing

Obviously there are things that have to be changed before it will be acceptable but where do we draw the lines? If the whole Progressive Caucus can't have more influence than one damned Stupak, we're sunk. On the other hand we have to keep working at it to make it the best it can be while we have the chance.

PDA has been/still is for single payer but the only way we can get there from here (as far as I can tell) is to get a strong public option with access for anyone who chooses it. That's what I'm working for now.

I'm not prepared to throw the baby out with the bathwater yet.

Healthcare is NOT a human right

In order to ensure heathcare as a human right for all, you must forcibly take resources (money from taxpayers, or in the case of providers, their time)in order to provide it. SHOULD everyone have healthcare and will it benefit us all in the end? Yes, but healthcare is not one of those "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" kinds of rights.


"Life" meaning you have the right to live without others taking it from you. It does not mean you have the right to force others to provide heathcare for you.

Mere definitions - just a turn of a phrase

right to live without others taking it from you

You say potato, I say potato.

You say "not a right," I say "deny coverage."

You say take money from something else, I say artificially inflated pharma costs.

It's just about values, that's all.

I completely understand that health care is not a core value for you.

Why do we worry about sewage treatment, the environment or biological weapons in the first place?

Silly us.


So you get your legs crushed by a dump truck

... not your fault ... and then you stay on the street and die because you don't have enough money to pay the for-profit insurance company to cover the for-profit ambulance to take you to the for-profit hospital. And once you're dead, your body just lays there and rots because no one says you have the right to be buried, and besides, your body really isn't a very big public health hazard, and isn't that what buzzards are for anyway.

Is that what you have in mind?

I suppose you're also against the government giving free flu shots in order to help fight a global pandemic?

Oh come on

You're better than that!

We've had this discussion before.

I believe fixing our healthcare system is VERY important. I believe in the possiblity of healthcare reform. I believe the government can MAKE healthcare a right for all citizens. I also believe the House bill is flawed because it completely fails the address the huge problem of insurance being tied to one's place of employment. That STILL does not make healthcare one of those intrinsic rights of all humans (life, liberty, etc.)

That said, I'll address your crazy examples:
-This country already ensures a RIGHT to emergency care. The ambulance will take you to the hospital and they WILL treat you there.
-If you die on the road, the government will scoop you up and bury you even if you don't have money. I suppose that is a government-given RIGHT you have as a person in this country.
-If the government provides you with a flu shot to fight a pandemic, it is not because it believes you have an individual human right to be vaccinated at no personal expense. They take action for the protection of society as a whole.

I believe human rights are those rights which can be taken away by others and sometimes must be protected by others, but are not PROVIDED by others. Healthcare, if a right, is one made so and provided by the government/society not one "endowed by our creator."

I'm not better than that


I know we did have this discussion before, and the question of what's a right and what's not seems like a red herring to me. The important issue is what public policy do we want, where do we want to spend our collective resources. Call it a right or call it a government program or call it Bob ... it doesn't really matter. It's what we do that matters, and right now what we as a nation are doing is exploiting poor, sick people so that others can get rich. That's pretty simple, no?

But is it a red herring?

Could part of the disconnect on healthcare reform be in how it is being framed? When you have some people calling guaranteed health coverage a "human right" and others looking at it as some kind of big-government power grab/tax scheme, we're not even on the same page as to what the issue is.

I hate to bring up the subject, but it reminds me of the abortion debate. You have one group talking about the rights of the unborn and whether or not abortion is murder while another group framing it as a women's rights issue. Yes, I know the courts have settled the legal argument, but the two sides aren't even arguing about the same thing.

Reformers are doing a piss-poor job of making the case for reform benefitting EVERYONE. Maybe it can't and that's the problem, but I am not willing to give up just yet. Most of the talk has been about those who can't afford coverage. Call me crazy, but if healthcare reform can benefit those who have no real problem getting coverage, wouldn't it be useful to do a better job of telling them how much better they will have it too? Lower premiums, a stronger and more productive economy, etc? Maybe then it wouldn't look so threatening to those who have the money and power. Maybe they'll get even richer if healthcare costs less and society is more productive overall!

I agree with you that the framing

of the case for health care reform has been awful. Maybe it is just too much to ask that Congress needs to be able to craft a bill and sell it while combating teabagging and nagging no-sayer Republicants. For one thing, the single-payer voice was never even given a chance. That's where some of the best arguments could have come from.

It's been a hell of a bad framing job, but we're this far along so have to make the best of it now. It doesn't matter if we call it a right or not...we just need it to happen.

We're "expoliting poor, sick,

We're "expoliting poor, sick, people so that others can get rich. That's pretty simple, no?

Ummm, no that's not pretty simple, James because all that you just uttered is bull. Typical "guilt-mongering" from a leftist point of view which is absurd. How much do you contribute, James?

My take is that people such as yourself don't produce enough and therefore don't provide enough revenue to support your c'mon, James get up off your ass, get a real job (i.e.not with the govt) and then I'll listen to your whining rants about those of us who pay a disproportionate amount for your "programs" not wanting to pay even more.

Yes, I trust private businesses more than government because they are NOT a is!

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose

You don't know jack shit about me

and your "take" is so wildly off base as to be comical.

But since you have my attention, Mr. Goldwater, you might want to know that I've started three very successful businesses and could have comfortably retired at the age of 40. At 59, I still work full time as a writer and business strategist for several of the world's leading technology companies. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if I paid more in taxes last year than your entire personal income.

If ignorance is bliss, you must be one happy son of a gun.

Without health insurance you die

earlier than those with insurance.

So yea, insurance is a a right to life.

You can't have life, liberty or pursue happiness if...

you are unable to get healthcare.

We, as a society, agree that we all should collectively pay for military defense and fire and police and roads, etc...

Those are rights we are granted as humans. The right to healthcare should be on the same level. Healthcare should not be denied for any reason, just like the expectation of safety should not be denied for any reason, or the expectation that someone will come put out a fire if my house flames up. It's a social contract we make as citizens and humans.


Of course it's a bad bill, but the final bill might be different

or at least we hope so. It did serve a purpose of getting motion going, and flushing out the 'corporate' Dems. These are the ones who are well bribed, and have no excuses. The problem being that all these whores don't really want to vote on anything, (like the Repukes)because it will be a record of standing against the people. And now we're really going to get into the slime, as we wait for the Senate, who are the real champs of accepting bribe money, and love to wallow in their bullshit. I don't see any settlement before the next elections in 2010, because they can't afford not to pass something, and they took too much money from the corporations not to pay back.

All that is needed a bill that can be later amended without as much political heavy lifting. Having the House version of the public option and an implementation date of 2013 allows that to happen. It will be much easier to amend and simplify than to re-introduce or try to introduce new legislation.

In addition, some immediate benefits, such as ending pre-existing condition exclusions, annual and lifetime caps, and rescissions will benefit those who currently can afford insurance, and the mandate to rebate funds to policyholders when the medical loss ratio drops under 85%, will provide immediate benefits to all plans. And will make 2010 a little better year for Democrats.

And it seems that Goldman Sachs disagrees with it not doing anything. They are forecasting that the House bill as it stands will reduce the earnings-per-share and stock prices of the major insurance companies by 2019 some 36% as compared to current levels. The status quo would increase earnings-per-share and stock prices by 49% cumulative over that same 10-year period.

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

Strange PDA reasoning

In most cases federal subsidies under the House bill will keep premiums under 10 percent of income. There are caps on lifetime limits and out of pocket expenses. There is a public option that will not be as affordable as I would like, but it will still likely be more affordable than private insurance.

If employer-sponsored insurance is unaffordable then people will get help purchasing an individual policy on the exchange.

This all seems to do quite a bit to "help Americans who are being gouged by healthcare corporations".

TMI may be the problem here

Ironically, the amount of information available to us is not uniform, but it is massive. I am beginning to think that because the process (of necessity) now narrows down to face-to-face discussions in Congress that we become yet more seriously out of touch with what at any given moment is being proposed and what has already been tweaked before we are aware of it.

Before we get disgruntled or excited, perhaps we need to wait to see the text of what is proposed from the Senate in its final form before the debate. This current chaotic feeling is due to not knowing and truly, the inability to know, the facts on the current actual bill in progress. Due to the status of the legislation, we are no longer virtually there. This is as it should be, but since we are accustomed to immediate access this "wall" does not give us a feeling of being a *part* of what is happening.

Even when we know we don't know

The amount of basic misinformation and ignorance about everything political and legislative is astounding. Even when I think I know what I'm talking about, I probably don't. That would require being a line-by-line reader of the legislation and even then I wouldn't know.

Many, many professions thrive on this sheer complexity. Sarbanes-Oxley was a permanent employment act for accounting firms everywhere.

Maybe we should just go back to the stone age.

We stil have to the Seante Bill

to pass, then the Senate/House conference where the bill will be rewritten.

Right now Pelosi and Reid are focused on getting the HC bills passed, by what even means necessary.

Reading anything into this legislation now, is just an exercise in futility.

Abortion restrictions will not be in the final bill, nor will a lot of other compromises need for passage of the bill prior to reconciliation.

Frankly I feel a little used by the progressive blogs. They had to know what was going on legislatively, yet they chose to whip of the troops with more "action alerts" and pleading for donations.

I'm getting to the point where I just going to trust that Obama has this shit covered. Just maybe this administration knows what it's doing, they seem to be getting a lot done under the radar.

Has anyone on this blog been reading some of the new regulations coming out of the the various federal agencies and departments? With everyone's attention on Health Care and the Wars, a lot of progressive changes are taking place out side the glare of the press, which is easy since the MSM seems incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

I am opposed to the House's health care reform plan

as the sheer magnitude of the bill is staggering. There is just to great a chance for loop holes to be exploited.

The fact that it cannot be understood by the average individual makes it suspect.

"Right now Pelosi and Reid are focused on getting the HC bills passed, by what even means necessary.

Reading anything into this legislation now, is just an exercise in futility."

Is that really a smart thing? By what ever means indicates even doing it wrong would be acceptable. By not desiring to read and attempt to understand this bill in its current form puts us all behind when the Senate version comes out. In fact, I would venture that Palosi, Reid and Obama would very much like for us to NOT know what is in these proposals.

I'm getting to the point where I just going to trust that Obama has this shit covered. Just maybe this administration knows what it's doing, they seem to be getting a lot done under the radar.

Has anyone on this blog been reading some of the new regulations coming out of the the various federal agencies and departments? With everyone's attention on Health Care and the Wars, a lot of progressive changes are taking place out side the glare of the press, which is easy since the MSM seems incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time.

That really scares me. We must be prepared to hold our representatives accountable for their actions. Never should we blindly follow any politician. With the polarization of our country, our politicians are more interested in themselves, than they are in us.

I tried to read this House bill. My mind blew up. I went and read a few pages on the OLF to get my sanity back.

PDA's faulty base assumption

seems to be that killing limited reform will make "single payer" a politically viable option.

I rank that analysis right up there with the argument a couple of election cycles ago that voting for Nader would lead to a purge from the Democratic party of non-progressive elements and usher in a golden era of modern liberalism.

Dan Besse

I would rather this bill, and Congress as a whole

should address health care concerns, and not health care insurance.

I had a MRI recently. When I was doing the standard "whos your provider bla bla bla" questions, the person across from me had the pay scale open for this procedure. It had like 6 columns of figures for this procedure. Depending on the health INSURANCE a person had, determined how much the hospital would charge for the procedure. To me, that is a problem.

That is something that needs to be addressed. Is it in this bill?

If the hospitals would stop trying to put their kids through college on the backs of the people who come in maybe there would not be a health insurance availability problem.

$1500 for a MRI (that big tube looking x-ray machine) for basically 25 minutes of work is a bit excessive. How many other procedures are priced in that neighborhood.

We bitch about the $500 hammer, and $900 toilet seat, but Congress does not see a problem with the excessive costs of just about any medical procedure.

Fix that kind of problem and health care is affordable.

If the government desires to get involved with the health care industry, how about backing the R&D of the medical profession, but to think health INSURANCE is the fix all is silly. That is glossing over the problem in a big way. Forcing folks into getting insurance is just as bad. two bad things does not make it good, it just makes it really bad.

As a military dude, I was able to walk, or be carried into any military hospital and get looked at. It did not cost me a dime. The doc that looked at me did a great job, fixed me up, and actually checked up on me. His assistants, the Corpman where professionals as well. It did not cost zillions of dollars. They get the same training as civilian docs. So why the prohibitive costs? Reduce them costs.

Granted, everyone will need to visit a doc in their life. That is a given, but dang, that one or two visits should not wipe out an entire lives savings, or rely on insurance.

A paradigm shift needs to take place. Folks need to respect docs, to stop hoping they can sue them; hospitals need to stop milking us for every dime we have just to walk through their doors.

Everyone would rather that

but it won't happen.

You've just outlined a very progressive position on health care, Parmea, a position that couldn't get through a Congress that was 100% flaming liberals, let alone one hijacked by a minority in the Senate.