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Rock and a hard place

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Grinch
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0 posted 03-25-2010 08:10 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Before the dogs dinner of a health care bill was passed I mentioned the fact that the Republicans may have painted themselves into a political corner by totally vilifying every part of the health care bill and leaving themselves little room for manoeuvre if, or when, they find themselves back in the driving seat. For the past few days I’ve been reading numerous articles and opinion pieces suggesting that the GOP will fight on a platform of repeal of the health care bill, which seems to make sense given that they were apparently against every part of it.

Is that such a good idea?

Would it be better to repeal or amend some parts of the bill or is tinkering around with something you were dead set against an admission that it wasn’t that bad in the first place?

Which way should they go?

.
Denise
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1 posted 03-25-2010 08:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think they plan on running for "repeal and replace". There's too much big government in the current one. They'll try to replace it with the suggestions that they had all along, but were ignored for the most part. I think that the high-risk pool was one of the Republican ideas that did make it into the bill, for instance.
JenniferMaxwell
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2 posted 03-25-2010 08:49 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Either way, I think when, if, things settle down a little, it’s going to be a little too late and very hard for the Republicans to try and justify why they want to take away coverage from seriously ill children who couldn’t get it before, why they don’t want to close the doughnut hole that makes it impossible for seniors to buy all their expensive life saving meds, etc.

Did  Republicans really come to the table, discuss/debate pros and cons in a constructive way? What we saw in most instances was obstructionism, inflammatory, fear-mongering language and cries of tort reform, as if that would give the tin man a heart.
Grinch
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3 posted 03-25-2010 08:53 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I read about the repeal and replace idea Denise but I’m not quite sure what it actually means, will they try to hack out the parts they don’t like and replace them with alternatives in a piecemeal fashion while leaving the bits they do like in place? Or will they repeal the whole bill and create a completely new bill to replace it?

I see some major issues either way. If they don’t remove everything they argued against they run the risk of looking like hypocrites and will face opposition from within their own ranks. Not to mention the fact that they’ll need to provide a workable replacement in most instances, which so far they’ve failed to do. Removing the whole thing is just as risky, anyone who was set to gain, including the insurance companies, are likely to be alienated if the replacement doesn’t offer the equvilant of what they were set to gain.

.
Denise
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4 posted 03-25-2010 08:57 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

From the little I've heard so far, it will be a complete repeal and then replace it with completely new legislation using the good parts that both sides of the aisle were able to agree on, and then build from there. It would be too messy a process to do it any other way.
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5 posted 03-25-2010 09:01 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think it would be best to keep the insurance companies, AARP, the AMA, SEIU, etc., and all the other lobbyists out of it as much as possible. We've witnessed too many back door deals this time around to stomach it again.
Grinch
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6 posted 03-26-2010 05:18 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Jen,

I agree, I can’t see the Republicans campaigning to take away the health care benefits from the people who are set to gain from this bill – especially the insurance companies - who won’t be happy losing 32 million potential customers. That leaves the alternative, to remove the parts they don’t like but that isn’t as easy as it sounds, as Denise pointed out it’ll be very messy. For example what parts do they actually target to remove and how do they disentangle those parts from the other, good parts, to which they seem inextricably linked.

Denise,

Lets say for a second that the Republicans do go down the road of complete repeal and replace, what are they going to replace it with?

.
Bob K
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7 posted 03-26-2010 01:57 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The current bill is pretty much the 1994 Bob Dole alternative to the Clinton health care bill, as I understand it, Mr. G.  It already is  a Republican bill.  The Republicans have put themselves in a position where any acceptance of any piece of the current bill, even after setting the whole thing aside, puts them in a politically vulnerable position, and further indebts them to folks further and further to the right.  This means they have to find some method to distance themselves from their recent actions, or face a consistantly shrinking base of very far right voters and people with scads of dough who think they can buy the good offices of the party.  It's a sort opf death spiral, politically.

     Over the past 50 years or so, though, they seemed to have found a way of making this increasingly unstable alliance work by trying to fragment the opposition.

     Therefore, I'd suggest to you that while rationality would suggest that they are in an untenable position, were we to look at their history, what we'd see as a response is a savage attack on some of the opposition, the more savage, the more irrational the better, in the hopes of fragmenting the opposition further.  This will inevitably run the risk of getting closer and closer to insurrection, which may be the condition that's more and more the optimal condition for Republican Party government.

     A decent solution to this grim possibility would be the emergence of the Independant party not so much as a party that essentially works as the party you might check off on a list instead of a Party named "Other," but as a party that has authentic roots and values in the center of the political spectrum.  Right now, though, it doesn't have that sort of identity.

     It's a pity, because The U.S. right now is basically a country slightly left and possibly slightly right of center for most  of us, that's governed by two parties that are clumped very far to the right and somewhat further to the left of the majority of the citizenry.  The folks in the center are ill served by this situation.
Grinch
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8 posted 03-27-2010 08:11 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
The Republicans have put themselves in a position where any acceptance of any piece of the current bill, even after setting the whole thing aside, puts them in a politically vulnerable position,


I’d categorise the problem as being the exact opposite Bob. They won’t have an issue with the good things in the bill, the issue will be the bad things – or to be more precise the lack of them. For the past year we’ve heard about what’s bad in the bill - the death panels and rationing and the like – all those things are now set in law and the Republicans are honour bound to wheedle them out.

But here’s the rub.

The bad things they’ve been hyping don’t actually exist, they never did. The republicans have painted themselves into a corner from which they’re forced to fight on a platform of removing parts of the bill that don’t exist – how’s that going to work?

Ask them what they’re going to remove and all you get is silence, ask them what they’ll replace it with and the silence deepens.

The savage attacks?

The reality is Bob they haven’t been all that savage. A couple of people falling over, a wingnut abusing a guy with Parkinson’s and a few union bruisers scuffling with guys in tinfoil hats does not an insurrection make. To be honest I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and quite impressed to be honest, regarding the lack of savagery.

I n the league table of violent protesting Americans are, at this point, somewhere between Eskimos and Tibetans.


.
Balladeer
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9 posted 03-27-2010 09:03 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you for that rational observation, grinch.
JenniferMaxwell
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10 posted 03-27-2010 09:56 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I think that was the most annoying part about the whole HCR debate, right wing pundits kept saying there were really scary things in the bill that weren’t there at all, like the death panels. That put the Dems on the defensive. Instead of pushing what was good about the bill they had to spend time refuting ridiculous claims.
You’re right Grinch, other than bricks through windows, there’s been more intimidation than actual violence - death threats, cutting gas lines, sending “white powder” to a member of Congress, etc.  Unfortunately the rhetoric that fuels the right wing fringe element continues. Sooner or later someone’s bound to snap.
Grinch
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11 posted 03-27-2010 11:21 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
That put the Dems on the defensive. Instead of pushing what was good about the bill they had to spend time refuting ridiculous claims


That wouldn’t have been a problem Jen if it wasn’t for the fact that a large proportion of the folk they had to convince were their own party members.

One thing you have to admit is that when it came to keeping their own politicians in order with regard to this bill the Republicans beat the Dems hands down.

Take the abortion non-issue, as soon as a group of Democrat politicians stepped up to say they were against the government funding abortions, either because they or their constituents believed the lies, it just added legitimacy to the false claims that were being made. The Republicans simply had to point to the dissenting Dems to prove that the claims were true. It became a perfect example of a self-confirmed illusion.

“Hey, if those guys believe it and are against it then it must be true”

You could almost see the kings clothes forming as they spoke.



If you want to blame anyone for the evisceration of this bill a good place to start looking would be the Democratic party.

.
JenniferMaxwell
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12 posted 03-27-2010 11:53 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

You're one up on me Grinch, I don't recall any Dem saying coverage for abortion was part of the bill, was more a case of proving it wasn't/wouldn't be. But I do get your point. Yep, the Dems disappointed many of us for different reasons. Still, getting a foot in the door was more than I ever expected would happen.  
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13 posted 03-27-2010 12:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0421749120100304
JenniferMaxwell
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14 posted 03-27-2010 12:41 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Are you reading that as they thought coverage for abortion would be included? My impression was that they wanted stronger language, confirmation that the Hyde amendment would apply to the bill.

Another point, since we’ll be able to choose our policy, who’s going to check that those who qualify for assistance in whatever form, haven’t chosen a policy that does include abortion? Will insurance providers have any way of knowing who's receiving assistance?

I read somewhere, haven't had time to check it out thoroughly, that some of the plans members of Congress have access to, cover abortion.
Grinch
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15 posted 03-27-2010 01:24 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Jen,

The original bill and all amended versions didn’t deviate from the existing abortion laws relating to government funding – in fact the bill was explicit that it wouldn’t affect laws such as the Hyde Amendment.

What it did state was that at least one insurance plan should be available that didn’t include abortion cover to ensure that anyone who had an issue with abortion would have the option of not joining such a scheme. That wasn’t good enough for the anti-abortion Republicans, they claimed that if the government gave a subsidy payment to someone who consequently purchased a policy that included abortion cover then that amounted to government funding of abortion.

That's a really stupid argument, easily shown to be such – if a postal worker pays for a legal abortion with money from her salary paid by the government is that government funding of abortion?

Nevertheless some Democrats bought into it. They managed to get an inane amendment whereby any abortion cover had to be paid by through a different account.

Even that wasn’t enough.

Enter the executive order stage left.

The bill still doesn't change any abortion laws - the Democrats have an executive order that simply confirms that.

quote:
who’s going to check that those who qualify for assistance in whatever form, haven’t chosen a policy that does include abortion


You can choose a policy with abortion cover Jen, you always have been able to even if the government gave you the money to do it, only now you’ll have to pay for it separately from an account that doesn’t contain any money that came from a government source. Nobody needs to check anything Jen because everyone will be forced to jump through the same hoops.

The bad news is that the extra overhead to maintain this extra process is likely to push the cost of your policy up -  that is if the insurance companies even bother offering the option - which is doubtful.

.
JenniferMaxwell
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16 posted 03-27-2010 01:29 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks very much Grinch. I still need to think about that last part, not quite getting it through my head yet.
Later,thanks again.
Bob K
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17 posted 03-27-2010 04:02 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Should I have said "savage rhetoric," or "savage language" to give a more accurate description.  I was clear that it was language I was talking about, and that the problem was that as the bill passed it was becoming clear that the Republicans and their commentators were trying to ratchet  beyond language into action.  Once the Bill passed, exactly how violent the language was became clear, and the level of rage that language had generated among the folks of the Radical Right had become clear.

     From the English perspective things appear more orderly because you are, forgive me, English.  This means that you don't have people walking around some areas of your country packing legal pistols in their boots and in their pocket books, and having muptiple semi-automatic rifles in gun safes at home and on frequent occasions hanging in gun racks in the rear windows of their trucks.

     Nor do you have a fair number of people who have been able to convert these semi-automatic rifles to fully automatic assault rifles by kits that can be bought at many of the legal gun shows that crop up all over the country.

     Admittedly, you do have a rough and ready yeomanry who will take to the streets with clothyard shafts and longbows at the drop of a hat, and take down the occasional King's deer. . . no, no, no, what am I thinking.  A rough and ready army of Pikemen, ready to take to the streets. . . well, a large, surly group of aging mods and rockers that will generally be easily containable by bobbies to deal with, and the occasional large group of basically unarmed protesters that will need a brisk dispersal by a flying squad.

     When you've got gun-totting loonies who get together to practice  fighting the black-hellicopter riding forces of the UN which they confidently expect will come momentarily swooping down from their New York lairs to round them all up and ship them to concentration camps, let me know.  We've got more firearms that people over here, smartie pants, and the Republicans and their little friends are stoking the paranoia of their owners as swiftly as their buddies at Fox News can manage to do so.

     The rhetoric directed at the President includes stuff that's fully capable of getting somebody to take a shot — literally — at assasinating him.

     The estimate you're making, I repeat, is an English estimate, not an American estimate.  

     I cannot tell you how very sorry I am to disagree with you on this very important point.
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18 posted 03-27-2010 04:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It is an important point, for sure, and grinch is exactly right. Viewing our events from another country clearly shows that it is much ado about very little. I don't expect you to agree, Bob, but this is all planned by the democrats, and to fit their own agenda, not the good of the country. They, with the news media, have pounced on the small isolated incidents and blown them out of proportion and given them much more importance than they deserve. Had the press shown any responsibility, they would have given little or no air time to them and it would have all disappeared. However, their trumpeting of every incident helps to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. The democrats in congress jumping on that bandwagon to blame republican congressmen simply adds fuel, as well as Obama, stating, "Bring it on. I'm ready to fight!" None of these people have the interests of the country at heart. The press sees it as a way to grab headlines and sell papers, the democrats see it as a way of condemning republicans and the tea party movement and Obama sees it as a way of shifting thoughts from the negative response of his health care bill to another direction. Should the glorification of events that do not warrant even attention, much less glorification, lead to further acts of civil and even uncivil disobedience, they will have it on their shoulders and the sad part is that they won't even care.
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19 posted 03-27-2010 04:47 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

"I'm begging lie-beral defeato-crats to behave themselves and don't make us hit you again cuz we don't wanna do it."
- BillyBobNeck  
Grinch
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20 posted 03-27-2010 06:21 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Bob,

I actually own two longbows so you were almost spot on there for a while.



I don’t mind disagreeing with you because frankly I believe that we disagree less than you think.

Despite not living in the US I’m fully aware of the access to firearms you have over there and the tendency for some of your citizenry to believe they’re in training for a remake of First Blood or Mad Max. The potential for violence that this presents is real, I accept that, I even accept that what’s happening could convince Rambo and Max that it’d be a good idea to pop an auto sear into their AR15’s and to start cutting loose but my point is that we (you) aren’t there yet. Not only that but as I said given the accepted potential for violence don’t you think that it’s a testament to something other than luck that so far everything hasn’t exploded into a gunfight at the OK corral? I think you’ve done exceptionally well, you can see that by the pathetic examples that people are offering to prove that there’s real violence out there. You can spend hours searching the interweb and all you end up with is a couple of guys falling over and a bloke tossing epithets at someone with Parkinson’s.

I can tell you now if the UK were going through the same thing you’d have been knee high in video nasties around nine months ago – the dipsticks over here can’t even discuss soccer without needing serious health care.



Granted guns aren’t as available over here as they are over there but they’re a whole lot more common than you’d think especially among our versions of Rambo and Max.

Again that’s not to say that it couldn’t suddenly go pear shaped over there, I simply believe that, as Mike pointed out, screaming insurrection at the top of your voice isn’t a good idea when you’ve got Rambo and Max sitting in the wings waiting for the call.

Personally I think the Republicans, as you’ve said, should modify their language and ease back on the rhetoric but at the same time so should the Democrats.

.
Bob K
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21 posted 03-27-2010 06:48 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Ah, sense!

      And with longbows, yet!  The modern kind with pulleys or the old fashioned kind?

     I used to enjoy shooting the old fashioned kind with a strip of tape on the bowface and a push-pin with a colored head to use to estimate windage.  Man, they were fun.
Grinch
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22 posted 03-27-2010 07:02 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mine are true Longbows Bob, self-bows made of yew, the kind they used at Agincourt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Longbow

.
Bob K
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23 posted 03-27-2010 07:34 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Truly impressive.
 
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