Time to grab the pitchforks? Are the torches ready? No. No. No. The monster is not at our gates. For the moment, it is but a rumor.
Once again, Keith Olbermann is touting the Public Option. Eleven, count ‘em, eleven US Senators want to put the Public Option back on the table and then pass it by reconciliation. Who are these eleven senators? Please, you already know.
Which US Senators make up the reliable left, the team that can always be counted on to see only one side of every issue? Let’s say them together in alphabetical order:
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Roland Burris (D-IL)
Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
To be fair, there are an equal number, or possibly even more, US Senators who are incapable of seeing anything but the other side of every issue. The reliable right is just as much a problem as the above group.
Mr. Olbermann and guests quickly delineated the problems with our current health care system. There are a large number of uninsured and underinsured Americans. All problems would be resolved with the Public Option. Can’t you just imagine it? As it is currently designed, the Public Option will lower the deficit, cover the masses, cure cancer, and guarantee that your home team will win the World Series.
Cue the movie clip. Details? We don’t need no stinking details. OK, enough fun, back to work.
There are no details, no real numbers, no real world plans. My past post provided a comprehensive explanation of the specific benefits of Medicare, a program designed to pay most, but nowhere near ALL, of the costs of medical care. A plan that does not cover prescriptions, a senior citizen with just Medicare is woefully underinsured. Yet with all of these holes, Medicare is still underfunded. Before we create a new Public Option, shouldn’t we first fix the current one?
The Rachel Maddow Show follows Count Down with Keith Olberman on MSNBC. Her thrust was that there was no reason to worry about the Republicans. The other party is simply not going to help. Unfortunately, she may be correct. One can spend all day listing the flip-flops of Senators as esteemed as Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley. The reconciliation issue doesn’t bother me.
I don’t mind the use of power. My concern is what the use of power gets us. Ms. Maddow’s guest last night was Senator Bernie Sanders. He was almost frothing at the mouth at the prospect of passing this massive change to our health care system by a simple majority. He was shouting out his wish list for other reforms that could be attached to the bill. Why stop at health care? In less than two minutes he offered education reform (more $), housing reform (more $), and, well you get the idea.
What was never discussed, two shows in a row, was a single detail about this mythical Public Option. Can such a plan really work? Who knows? But if it would guarantee an Indians World Series victory, I want to hear more.
I applaud the Reliable Left's initiative. The filibuster reminds me of that childish thing we used to do when we didn't want to listen where you stick your index fingers in both ears and make babbling noises.
It makes a mockery of the democratic process. Last I looked, the Democrats were in control of the Senate – elected by people who believed in the Democratic ideology – ostensibly. They need to do what they need to do to follow their principles, instead of letting a bunch of bullies in $1,000 suits put a spanner in the works.
Maybe, if the bullies see that there are leaders determined not to let democracy wither on the vine, they will take their fingers out of their ears and act like grownups. Then there might be room for reasonable negotiation.
How these people got as far in life as they did is really beyond me. Seriously.
There is something to be said for $1000 suits!
I hate the current filibuster rules. They don't make sense to me. Either stand up there and physically debate the issues and, if necessary, stop realy bad legislation from going forward, or get out of the way. These effortless threats are too painless.
Just because someone is an elected Dem doesn't mean they buy in on the whole agenda. Both the Rpublicans and the Democrats pretend that their party is a big tent right up to the moment of a polarizing vote.
This is one of those votes.