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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ezra Klein Likes Senate Health Care Bill

Yesterday, I posted a link to Firedoglake's assessment of the Senate health care bill, providing ten reason why it should be killed. It's the work of public option advocate Jane Hamsher, who concludes this legislation is little more than a "con job." Naturally, she's been subjected to all sorts of sexually degrading remarks at DailyKos for walking off the reservation.

I thought it interesting that a public option advocate would embrace many of the arguments I've heard from the right, and that's why I linked to her. But blogging buddy Rylock has suggested that if I were really interested in being fair, I'd also link to Ezra Klein's piece, putting out the fire in Firedoglake. Ezra does answer her, point by point, and then lets his readers kick the shit out of her.

Good on him.


Ryan O'Donnell said...

Thanks for linking!

Anonymous said...

Who is the young lady who operates Daily Kos? Has she no decency?

Bernie O'Hare said...

DailyKos is a cooperative blog and I have no idea whether Markos Moulitsas - a guy - still runs the show. Too many disgusting slams like the one I mention. That wouldn't bother me so much if there were some intelligence behind the ad hominemes, but now that is lacking, too.

Anonymous said...

There are hundreds of diaries posted daily - and most of them do not contain the type of attacks you are referring to.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Kos is still a cooperative blog run by Moulitsas. It must be difficult to run a blog where everybody can post, because you obviously don't have the ability to crosscheck every post before it goes out.

But it's also weird that you're talking about the DailyKos as if it's anti-Hamsher, but when the lines got drawn on the liberal side, FDL and Kos were on the same "kill the bill" side.

Since then, DailyKos (Moulitsas) has backed down a little bit. Hoping to fix it while in conference, but will openly still talk about how this bill needs to be fixed and is not perfect. Pretty much the same as what happened to Howard Dean in the past week or so.

FDL seems to actually be one of the few now shouting to kill this bill. PCCC and MoveOn were initially on the bandwagon too after the public option got dropped, but I think they've backed off of their threats mostly now as well and are just trying to get the most progressive bill they can out of conference while demanding that some senators come back before 2014 and push the public option through reconciliation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rylock & Anon 9:48,

Actually, there was quite a bit of Hamsher bashing going on at KOS. the week before that, it was Howard Dean. Basically, both are getting beat up, not for any substantive reason, but because they stray from the party line.

Here's a piece written by one of the Kossaks, reflecting on this temdemcy to dwell on the ad hominem as opposed to substance.


Bernie O'Hare said...

I might also add that Exra Klein has himself been taken to task at FDL, but on the sustance of his arguments.


Jacob said...

Hardcore Obama supporters are acting like hardcore Bush supporters in the run up to the Iraq war.

Partisan politics at its finest.

Anonymous said...

When will you be doing the workers and slackers column? I suggest you do both Lehigh and Northampton councils.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Yep ad yep. I plan on doing a post about both counties this year.

Jacob said...

State Senator Barack Obama - 2003

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.” (applause) “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Senator Barack Obama Democratic Candidate for President - 2008

"I mean, if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house. The reason they don’t buy a house is they don’t have the money."

President Barack Obama July 2009

“That’s why any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange — a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, costs and track records of a variety of plans, including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest, and choose what’s best for your family.”

President Barack Obama - September 2009

"I think one of the options should be a public insurance option. Let me clear. It would only be an option, nobody would be forced to choose it. No one with insurance affected by it. But what it would do is provide more choice and more competition. It would keep pressure on private insurers to keep the policies affordable, to treat their customers better. I mean think about it. It's the same way the public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students. That doesn't inhibit private colleges and universities from thriving out there. The same should be true on the health care front. Minnesota I have said I'm open to different ideas on how to set this up we're going to set this up but I'm not going to back down on the basic principle that if Americans can't find affordable coverage we're going to provide you a choice."

President Barack Obama - December 2009

"As a practical matter, this is not the most important aspect of this bill — the House bill or the Senate bill."

Just for giggles on the President's evolution over 5 years.

Anonymous said...


Ryan O'Donnell said...

"I might also add that Exra Klein has himself been taken to task at FDL, but on the sustance of his arguments.


Thanks! Didn't see this.

However, I'd like to point out that it's not attack Klein's arguments, it's attacking his argument. Solely about the excise tax. None of the other seven things he took Hamsher to task on.

The excise tax is an extremely controversial issue, where Ezra lists both the upsides and the downsides of it, where the upsides are if the tax does what it's supposed to do and the downsides are if the tax doesn't do what it's supposed to do. So, it might be optimistic, but Ezra feels that the good potential of the tax doing what it's supposed to outweighs the bad potential of the tax not doing what it's supposed to do. I'm inclined to agree with him on that, because it is one of the more effective cost-control measures in the bill.

However, I don't think it's unreasonable that people like Moulitsas ask that the tax remain, but solely be placed on people making more than $100K/year. I would be ok with that also, pending a CBO/CMS score saying that it would still serve as a measurement of controlling costs.


Ryan O'Donnell said...

"Hardcore Obama supporters are acting like hardcore Bush supporters in the run up to the Iraq war."

If John McCain or George Bush pushed a bill that covered 31 million more people, expanded Medicaid, gave $150 billion in subsidies to the poor, stopped insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions and from dropping their customers when they get too sick, forced insurance companies to charge women the same as men (instead of 48% higher), reduced the deficit by over $770 billion in 20 years, stopped medicare from going bankrupt in 2017 to increase medicare solvency until 2026 -- and gave the potential to stop some of the 26,000 deaths coming in 2010 due to lack of health coverage, I would, without hesitation, be the first one to say, "sign me up."

Jacob said...

No Public Option No Sale
No Single Payer No Sale
No Medicare Buy-In No Sale

Rylock you can keep your insurance profit protection act of 2009

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"Rylock you can keep your insurance profit protection act of 2009"

This is what I like to call "no rebuttal."

And, like I've said before, even though I don't like it and would rather see them take a hit with this legislation, if we get all the things that I mentioned above and the insurance industry moves from 83rd most profitable to 50th, or something, I'll still take that deal.

Jacob said...

You take your deal, I will not vote for one person who gives public support to it, or votes for this monstrocity in any election.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"You take your deal, I will not vote for one person who gives public support to it, or votes for this monstrocity in any election."

You mean you won't work for me when I move to Connecticut and run against Lieberman?!

Jacob said...

Hmmm, can we get Derek to run instead, he'd be much meaner to Joe.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Good point!

I'm not so good with the meanness.

Jacob said...

I'd do it but campaign commercials consisting of four letter words and a fist shaking will only work if the economy is still collapsing in 2012.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

I would like to also take this opportunity to say that Rep. Charlie Dent never answered my question on funding the troops for the escalation in Afghanistan.

Still waiting on that one!

To tie it in, the final health care bill will likely reduce the deficit by over $130 billion in the first 10 years and over $650 billion in the second. Dent will vote against this bill and vote for an unfunded surge in Afghanistan.

Starting to think he doesn't care much about the deficit.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who truly believes this scam will reduce the deficit is a complete and utter retard. When's the last time our government told the truth re: fiscal matters. How stupid can people be? We seen this movie over and over and over and we still have imbeciles who buy the bullshit. And we have worse imbeciles who defend the lies. Neither side is to be believed. All things governmental cost far more than original estimates. Politicians lie to get votes. This bill is shit.

Anonymous said...

Anything that funds the accelerated extermination of the overbreeding classes is a good thing.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"Anyone who truly believes this scam will reduce the deficit is a complete and utter retard."

You should then direct your anger to the "retards" at every analysis-giving institution that has scored this legislation with regards to the deficit.

But I'm sure you know better than them.

Jacob said...


In all due respect, the CBO is a bunch of mental midgets.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

They're all we've got. It's ridiculous how much people tend to site parts of CBO scoring and ignore or say "they know better" than other parts.

I am in no position to score a health care bill. I feel they are. You are not either.

Find the people to start your own budget office, then. Once you gain the respect that the CBO has, then I'll listen to you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm late to this discussion, which propbably is a good thing.

Rylock, I've notied that you cnsistently rely on the CBO as a fountainhead of knwoledge. It is a nonpartisan group, and the Rs have relied on it when it suits their purposes.

Here's my problem.

The CBO is comparing 10 years of taxing with 6 years of spending. After those 6 years, will it still be deficit neutral?

Jacob said...

They are generally optimistic on things. Just as most government rating agencies. I mean, you don't bite the hand that feeds you too hard.

Government economist always end up being shills for the government, but you are correct in they are all we got. My favorite report to read are government reports because the truth is in them, they just are never the headline number.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"The CBO is comparing 10 years of taxing with 6 years of spending. After those 6 years, will it still be deficit neutral?"

When they're predicting in the second decade of this bill's passage that the deficit will be reduced by more than $650 billion dollars, I think so.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"They are generally optimistic on things. Just as most government rating agencies. I mean, you don't bite the hand that feeds you too hard."

True! But let's not forget that the first CBO scoring of the House's legislation said that it would increase the deficit by over $100 billion and the scoring of the Senate HELP Committee's bill would have increased the deficit by $597 billion.

Now they're saying that it's going to reduce the deficit by $132 billion in the first decade. Obviously something good happened.

I'd love to put this up against all the conservatives that voted for Medicare Part D.

Anonymous said...

What a laughing stock the whole heath care debacle really turned into.

It is absolutely priceless!

Keep on spouting off, guys, this is the kind of entertainment you can't put a price tag on.

More health care articles, please.


(Republicans are trying to kill everyone, don't ya know. Hurry, every minute we don't do this thousands of innocent children die horrible deaths!)

How much for Landrieu's vote?

How much for Nelson's vote?

How much for YOUR vote?

Hope and Change. Yes we can. Choice and Competition. Reduce the deficit.

Focus group, people.

The future of the already bankrupt nation is at stake.

The only real question is, will the Chinese Communists continue to buy our debt all the while lecturing the United States about capitalism?

Will the USA place a limit of one child per family, as is the case in Communist China, with government-run health care?

Santa needs a bailout.

Ho Ho Ho!

Anonymous said...

The CBO worship has clouded common sense here. "It's all we've got," is very shaky rationale for such a monumental change in direction. We should do better and not proceed until we do.

More people drawing from the same pool of services will drive up costs and create waiting, shortages, and rationing. The mammogram trial balloon is just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Shaky rationale?

The entire Democrat Party platform is based on shaky rationale.

How about shaky qualifications?

Or shaky college transcripts (has anybody ever seen any?)

Or other records which are "shaky"?

Ah yes, transparency.

Democrat style.

Has King Ed fixed his campaign records yet???