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Obamacare And The Threat Of Government Shutdown

Inching closer to the Republican threat to shut down the government if Obamacare is not repealed. We get inside the backstage wrestling match.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, is cheered as Republican members of the House of Representatives rally after passing a bill that would prevent a government shutdown while crippling the health care law that was the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama's first term, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (AP)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, is cheered as Republican members of the House of Representatives rally after passing a bill that would prevent a government shutdown while crippling the health care law that was the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama’s first term, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. (AP)

We know political polarization in this country.  But spread the wings of polarization far enough, and maybe the great bird falls.  Are we close to that?  Maybe, this fall.  Maybe, this week.

A week from today, the federal government shuts down unless Congress votes the money to keep it going.  Hardcore Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in the House and Senate have set up a cliff.  A potential crisis.  And it’s only the first in a season of last stands.

This hour, On Point:  We’ll get inside the tick-tock politics and big struggle over the shutdown threat in Washington.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

E.J. Dionne, columnist for the Washington Post. Senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Government professor at Georgetown University. (@ejdionne)

Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report.(@amyewalter)

Robert Costa, Washington editor for National Review. (@robertcostanro)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post (E.J. Dionne): Why Republicans are desperate for a shutdown – The coming battles over budgets, the debt ceiling, a government shutdown and Obamacare are not elements of a large political game. They involve a fundamental showdown over the role of government in stemming rising inequality and making our country a fairer and more decent place.

National Review (Robert Costa): Ted Cruz punches back — “Cruz’s acknowledgement of the near-impossibility of passing a defunding bill through the Democratic-controlled Senate is an accurate reading of political reality. But House Republicans didn’t care; they were apoplectic with Cruz not only for laying the responsibility for defunding on them, but for making them seem weak. ‘If Cruz doesn’t help us in the Senate to pass a defunding bill, we’ll end up having to pass a normal CR,’ complains a veteran House Republican. ‘It’ll be pathetic, but I expect him to slam us for it.’”

The Washington Post: Shutdown countdown: What the next eight days could bring – ”On Friday, the House passed a measure that would keep the government running through mid-December. But it came with what Democrats consider a poison pill: It defunds President Obama’s signature health-care law, known as Obamacare. There is no way whatsoever — think pigs flying — that the Senate will agree to the House plan.”

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  • edrea

    Cruz’s aide, Chip Roy:
    “He promised to do everything he can to stop Obamacare before it begins hurting real people and further harms our economy.”

    The thing is, they never say how it is that people are going to be hurt by the ACA — or how it will hurt the economy. We hear this rhetoric over and over — but no actual explanation of how that might be the case.

    I just want to hear something other than rhetoric and politically-motivated accusations by Obamacare opponents in Congress. I’m just not hearing anything but that, at all. Nothing to go on — so, what else can I conclude other than the GOP is acting on animosity and nothing more? What better approach on healthcare are they proposing? Nothing — nada — zip.

    Eric,
    Brattleboro, VT

    • margbi

      I keep hearing that “the American people hate the ACA so who are we to stand in their way.” Why didn’t this work during the debate about gun control when something like 90-95% of the public wanted stricter background checks and changes in the law were voted down? Besides, most of the provisions of the ACA were first proposed by Republicans. Now they want to deep six them.

      • TFRX

        Actually, defunding Obamacare is less popular than Obamacare. People have sussed out the hissy fit the right wing have ruined everyone’s trip to the movies with because they’re not ready to act like grownups made their M.O. since election night 2008.

        But that’s not gonna make headlines.

      • fun bobby

        that was never a real statistic. since you brought it up, which of the recent mass shootings would have been prevented by expanding background checks?

        • margbi

          That was not my point. I was talking about the hypocrisy of saying you are representing a majority of the public views, but apparently only in certain cases.

          • fun bobby

            I agree with the point as you just stated it. the hypocrisy is easy to understand if one follows the money.
            my point was that polls of the public are fickle and easy to manipulate thus unreliable. that’s why we have representative government. I also wanted to make the point that the background checks thing is a farce, especially in relation to mass shootings.

    • OnPointComments

      Have you heard about: Increased insurance premiums? Companies cutting employees’ hours? Employers cancelling health insurance? Companies firing or not hiring to keep the number of employees below Obamacare limits? Insurance companies pulling out of markets? Taxes on medical devices? New taxes on capital gains, including the sale of your home? Higher medicare taxes? Penalties for not buying health insurance? The predicted doctor shortage? Companies dropping spousal and child coverage from health plans? Higher premiums for younger workers? You can’t keep the doctor you currently have? And on and on. The list is long.

      The ACA is a poorly designed partisan plan that was rammed down the throat of the country without being read. “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” It penalizes the 270 million who had health insurance to pay for the 45 million who didn’t.

      • sickofthechit

        Some of the spouses being dropped have other coverage available. At least with the ACA the Insurance companies are limited to 20% for their overhead. Quite a bit higher than Medicares 10-11% overhead figures, but hey, you know how important sales commissions are for improving a patients health! not! We currently spend more than enough on health care to cover everybody yet 30,000,000 or more are uncovered, why continue this madness? Single-payer now! charles a. bowsher

      • edrea

        I’m suspicious that all companies cutting hours are doing for the reason that they claim. I believe a lot of these companies are doing so because they believe they jilt Obamacare out of anti- or small government ideology. This was laid bare to me when a relative of mine who works part time at Kroger said that the company was lowering part time workers’ hours and claiming it was because of Obamacare — yet the company already offered health insurance to their part time workers (working less than the amount of hours being cut).

        I dispute that the 270 million insured (I’m one of them) are being penalized for the 45 million without healthcare policies — in that, our healthcare costs are wildly out of control, compared to the rest of the world. Keeping these uninsured out of the ERs lowers prices. Keeping young people (who are healthy but more reckless) insured, lowers prices. There has already been a modest decrease in health care costs since the age limit on parents carrying children on their health plans. As more of the ACA becomes active, we will see more decreases. Perhaps (or not), not at first — but more people paying in lowers cost of policies, and thus, cost of care will have to go down. Very little of Obamacare is actually people “sponging” off the rest of the citizenry. And I, for one, believe it is important to society and the economy to make sure they are covered. If the GOtP came up with a working economic model that lowered costs and got more people covered, I’d be open to hearing about it. (Oh, that’s right — they did that already: What Obamacare was based on). The meme about the mandate being terrible doesn’t make sense — we have car insurance mandates for decades, and THAT didn’t turn us into a Marxist state. So, you don’t have to choose to drive — true, but how many conservatives (or anyone) choose not to do that, based on insurance mandate?

    • Don_B1

      REQUIRED READING:

      The Senator Ted Cruz profile in GQ Magazine:

      http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201310/ted-cruz-republican-senator-october-2013

    • fun bobby

      take a look at how many jobs have been changed from full time to part time to avoid paying benefits. what effect do you think that has on working people?

    • HonestDebate1

      The cost has tripled and it is not deficit neutral so it’s a massive debt, insurance premiums are going through the roof, businesses are cutting back to part-time to escape compliance at time when we desperately need jobs, doctors are retiring early, you can’t keep your plan, death panels, onerous regulations that invade privacy, the IRS is enforcing it and they cannot be trusted, 19 different aspects have been delayed so it’s not ready, quality of care will go down, waiting times will go up and 30 million will remain uninsured. Other that that, and much more, it’s peachy.

  • RolloMartins

    If we are lucky this will be the death knell for the GOP. There will be so few of them left they will all live in a cave in coal country supported by the Koch brothers and Heartland.

    • 2Gary2

      I predict that bush will be remembered as the last republican president ever. we will never have another republican president.

      • RolloMartins

        From your keyboard to God’s ear.

      • thequietkid10

        That’s fantastic, eventually Republicans will no longer be blamed for everything under the sun. It will all be on you guys. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up, accept “the new normal” as opposed to what we used to have, even six years ago.

      • fun bobby

        in your fantasy does hillery dissolve congress and declare herself the fuhrer?

        • TFRX

          No more calls, please, we have a Godwin winner loser.

      • fun bobby

        are you saying that obama is so popular that he has clenched the presidency for all time for his party?

        • 2Gary2

          no its just that republicans are so grossly out of touch with reality that they will never be able to win the presidency.

          With Obama being a moderate republican and the tea party being crazy even the dumbest americans are realizing just how destructive the GOP (Grand Old Plotocrates) are.

          Demographics are also going to kill republicans.

          • fun bobby

            what do you base your assessment on?

          • 2Gary2

            simply looking at their words and actions–cutting food stamps…really…

          • fun bobby

            only if the group of people who get the stamps becomes larger than the group who pays for them and/or votes in larger numbers. what do you think would happen if tomorrow there were no food stamps?

    • J__o__h__n

      Sadly, it won’t. Too many Democrats are too stupid to vote in elections other than the presidential and then the GOP wins at the state level and gerrymanders the congressional districts. Then the GOP primaries determine the winner of those seats and more right wing nuts set the agenda.

    • fun bobby

      that would be great then we could have one party rule! like china or texas or MA

  • Mike_Card

    They’ve already spent the money; now they don’t want to pay the bill. How do these dicks get elected?

    • 2Gary2

      The real mystery is why red-staters, largely hard-working people who are closer to the poverty line themselves than most blue-staters (and whose states already accept more federal tax dollars, as a rule) have been convinced — purely on the basis of social issues — to vote Republican. They are putting in office the thieves who are taking away their safety net, taking away their school lunches, taking away their
      kids’ college educations and would like to take away their comfort in old age and their access to inexpensive health care, all because they believe the narrative that “lib-tards” are brown-skinned baby-killers who want to burn down their church and take away their guns. None of
      which is true. It’s quite a magic act, and one keeps wondering when these poor dupes will wake up and see that their pocket is being picked.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Stupid is as stupid votes?

      • pete18

        You might be able to understand it if you made an honest effort to understand conservative philosophy instead of indulging in broad brush, ignorant cliches’ and invented straw-men to vilify ideas that you disagree with. Then you could have an informed disagreement rather than a feckless one.

        • TFRX

          When those values state fiscal conservatives stop being net tax receivers from Washington, let us know.

          • fun bobby

            so you only want to help poor people if they agree with your politics?

          • TFRX

            Uh, no. It’s about the hypocracy, dumbass. That blindness your lot needs to pretend you’re self-sufficient with one hand while taking my tax dollars with the other.

            Like the conservative celebrity Craig Nelson, the actor who said “I was poor, I was on food stamps. Did the government help me? No! I did it all myself!”

          • fun bobby

            so you are upset at the hypocrisy of poor people because they accept the handouts but do not like them?
            it seems you have a habit of being insulting and attributing all sorts of attributes you perceive in others to me. That’s called projection. Are you unable to get your point across in a healthy way?

          • TFRX

            I’m giving up on your reading comprehension, jackass.

            And if you call that insulting, you really are in for a rude awakening at some point.

          • fun bobby

            you could have just said “no”

        • 2Gary2

          everyone knows the conservative plan–its cut taxes on the rich regardless of the problem.

          Your girlfriend left you–cut taxes on the rich. Your kid is sick-cut taxes on the rich.

          I need to go and drop another job creator in the toilet.

          • pete18

            So you figure the best way to prove that you’re not ignorant and full of empty cliche’s about conservative thinking is
            to provide us with even more ignorant and empty cliche’s about conservative thinking?

          • 2Gary2

            what did I say that was not 100% true? Even some conservatives are saying this about their party.

            I stand by what I said.

          • pete18

            Well, if you knew anything about supply side economics, which is what drives conservatives push for lower tax rates in many situations, then you would know that
            what you said is absolutely not true. But of course, you know nothing about conservative thinking, so it is understandable that tired cliches and
            caricatures are all you can fight with.

          • 2Gary2

            supply side or voodoo economics has been proven in real life to not work. If tax cuts for the rich worked to create jobs then we would be in hog heaven with jobs as the rich have never had it this good with such low taxes.

            To put the words “conservative” and “thinking” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

          • pete18

            So you’re saying JFK was unthinking dolt who was practicing voodoo economics when he proposed cutting taxes on the rich by 26% in 1963?

          • 2Gary2

            yes-trickle down does not work period. We have real world evidence of its failure.

          • pete18

            So when the US economies turned around in the 1920s, 60s and 80s after large tax cuts that was considered a failure because..?

          • 2Gary2

            you neglect to mention the depression/recessions that followed these tax cuts.

          • 2Gary2

            BTW–there is no such thing as conservative thinking. Maybe foaming at the mouth but definitely not anything remotely resembling thinking.

          • pete18

            Since your attempt at political conversation here has displayed no command of facts, intellect, logic or an honest engagement of ideas it’s hard to see how you would be much of a judge
            on anything resembling “thinking.”
            The Sesame Street icon seems fitting for your level of discourse.

        • 2Gary2

          I paint with a broad brush as what I said is broadly true.

      • fun bobby

        just because those people are poor does not mean they want your handouts. its called pride

        • TFRX

          If the working class whites in red states don’t want govt assistance, TANF, etc, why do they end up getting so much?

          I’d like to say you’ve been fooled by the media framing (until I realized you’re a troll).

          Used to be the Reagan-led “conversation” differentiated “hard working poor people down on their luck” (i.e. white) who were deserving of help in hard times, and “welfare queens and strapping young bucks driving their Cadillacs to the store to buy t-bone steaks” (i.e. the other).

          Now, poor white people have been thrown under the bus. All those folks have been disappeared in the Beltway calculations. The right wing is telling large swaths of their base, “If you’re poor, it’s your own damned fault. If only rich people got another tax cut…”

          The only thing to offer that demograpic is “fear of the other”. And boy, the racism and misogyny and gay hating has proved that the right has that message in spades.

          • fun bobby

            does or should anyone want to be on government assistance?

          • TFRX

            Ask your fiscal conservative friends that. Plenty of red states are getting my tax dollars while bragging “we’re fiscally responsible”.

            Trollbot.

          • fun bobby

            I think I know what their answers will be.
            I like your new valediction, perhaps you should change your handle.

          • TFRX

            You think you know?

            Keep making an ass out of you and you, trollbot.

          • fun bobby

            so the T stands for trollbot what does the FRX stand for?

          • TFRX

            You bore me. I’m tired of whipping up on you.

          • fun bobby

            feel free to not have the last word

          • geraldfnord

            But those are good people.

            Good people, the Elect, deserve all they get—so do the bad people, the Preterite, who are really but chaff for the fire. Bonus: observation of the suffering of the Damned is one of the pleasures of the Saved!

          • TFRX

            (Preterite? Do tell.

            I guess I’m not up on my Bible, or my Tolkein, or my Hitchhiker’s Guide.)

        • 2Gary2

          they can try eating their pride or filling their gas tank with their pride.

          No my friend they are simply low information dolts.

          • fun bobby

            what information do they lack?

          • 2Gary2

            if you have to ask this question there is no way you will be able to understand the answer.

            go back to walmart.

          • fun bobby

            oh, its like jazz then? where do you shop?

    • fun bobby

      corporations are people

  • Michiganjf

    The media keeps trying to spin this “showdown” as “which side get’s the blame?”

    Except for the immutable 15-20% of America perpetually opposed to anything Obama, few Americans will see this fight as anything but the persistent stupidity and obstructionism of the Republican party.

    … everyone seems to understand this well, save for that dogged 15-20%.

    Even big media players regularly betray their spin, frequently admitting the obvious fact that Republicans are burying themselves… the media just can’t resist a little simultaneous ratings chase, by spinning the “show” for dramatic effect.

    Poor Boehner and his few politically saavy, realist cohorts… and they ARE few these days.

    • TFRX

      You forgot to use the new term for “opposing anything Obama proposes”: Blacktracking.

      • Don_B1

        The term was originated by Bill Maher on his Friday 13 September program.

        I wonder if he thought about the coincidence of the date.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Obamacare is a good thing for those who can’t get insurance but it is a bad thing for the poorest among us. A simple, modified single payer plan is the correct thing to do. Modeled after Medicare but not a generous and as far reaching. A plan that you pay into ONLY when you are working. A plan that is in some proportion to what you have paid in. A plan that is entirely mobile, even across international borders. Creating a complicated bureaucracy of paper shufflers, and complex rules are the stuff of which nightmares are made. One more trip to a government office, tens of calls to phone routers, millions of millions of wasted hours, a give-a-way to big Pharma, and Billion Dollar Insurance Companies. Someone else will tell you that, “you can’t do this or that” because “We” know best. Obama is one of “them”. Apparently, “we will get fooled again” !

    When it comes to the US debt level issue, we need to trace this concept of creating ever increasing debt to Alexander Hamilton and the start of this Nation. It was necessary then, IT IS NOT necessary now.

    http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/01/how-alexander-hamilton-would-view-the-debt-ceiling/

    The people need EQUITY, NOT DEBT. Poverty is by definition, the lack of equity and the income it can generate. International corporations are constantly redirecting the wealth created by the American people to their private interests and agendas. They use politicians such as Obama, and Bush to manipulate and “sell” the populace on issues that benefit corporate coffers. For some 40 years now, the average American has seen a continuous slide in purchasing power, wages and benefits despite the fact that both Republicans and Democrats have been in office. We have been flim-flamed long enough! We must accept the evidence of the last 40 years, and accept that a “spade” is a “spade” and that we have been given a rigged deck composed entirely of spades !

    The people need EQUITY, NOT DEBT. Poverty is by definition, the lack of equity and the income it can generate. International corporations are constantly redirecting the wealth created by the American people to their private interests and agendas. They use politicians such as Obama, and Bush to manipulate and “sell” the populace on issues that benefit corporate coffers. For some 40 years now, the average American has seen a continuous slide in purchasing power, wages and benefits despite the fact that both Republicans and Democrats have been in office. We have been flim-flamed long enough! We must accept the evidence of the last 40 years, and accept that a “spade” is a “spade” and that we have been given a rigged deck composed entirely of spades !

    • Shag_Wevera

      Well I’m sorry. You just can’t have single payer. And no, I have no idea why not.

      • fun bobby

        because Americans are so fat. are there any other nations that have single payer and so many fatties?

      • Don_B1

        While not simple, a public option is not that hard to add to the current PPACA (Obamacare) through the Exchanges that each state (or the Federal Government) has to set up.

        When that public option outperforms the private health insurance offerings, the public option will draw the preponderance of insureds, resulting in an effective single payer system.

        This path from a public option to a single-payer system is the reason the health insurance industry so strongly opposed the public option, as demonstrated by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D, CT).

        • TFRX

          Hey, Blowmentum is gone but not forgiven. However, don’t forget every other conservadem in the tent who managed to piss in the tent.

          I’m looking at you, Max Baucus.

  • LinRP

    I for one am grateful that House Republicans are willing to take government over the cliff to protect us from yet another program that could improve our quality of life.

    As a country we are already hooked on the public school system, regular garbage collection, pothole repair, and clean water. We no longer put out our own fires, and we can give up law enforcement as soon as we age out of the Safety Patrol. Those who have worked all their lives and are close collecting to Social Security and Medicare benefits will be forced to fill their time time pursuing interests rather than fighting for survival. The last thing we need is guaranteed and affordable health care. What about all those people who enjoy the spontaneity of unplanned visits to the emergency room? What will they do for the thrill of living on the edge? Thank you House Republicans for taking a bullet on our behalf.

    But wait….I just heard that told that in the event of a government shutdown, Congress still gets paid and keeps their government-funded, gold-plated health care plan. Oh well, never mind….

  • Shag_Wevera

    All I ask is that congress be the first to go without pay.

    • fun bobby

      I am sure that will make some of their gulfstream payments late

    • Don_B1

      Good luck with that one!

  • John Cedar

    The Republican threat to shut down the government? Ha! The Republicans have approved spending for everything our government wants but for one little thing. Obamacare. So if the government shuts down, it is all on the extremist democrats in the senate and the extremist radical sleeper cell president in the White House.

    How funny is it that we were in dire need of passing ANYTHING because our nation spent the most money on healthcare and millions were uninsured…and what passed requires still MORE MONEY and still FEWER PEOPLE WILL BE INSURED.

    How funny is it that Teddy and company passed a healthcare bill that requires a perpetual spendthrift congress to shovel billions into the “affordable care act”? If he is not held up at the river Styxe due to secretary problems he surly must be looking up at congress with clenched fist, from his eternal inferno home, in frustration of his parties incompetence..

    You have to wonder how people in blue states can be so obtuse? I mean they got mostly A’s in their teaching courses and abnormal psychology elective classes yet cannot recognize when they are supporting such a destructive democratic party. Did watching too many years of Ellen, render them hypertensive to the single issue of gay marriage? Is that why they reject the party of KNOW?

    • Don_B1

      Great try, but it is only the Republicans in the House of Representatives that have passed bills for spending that cover the what Republicans think the government wants, but that includes making the sequestration cuts permanent and doubling down on them.

      But passing a bill in just one Chamber of Congress does not make that bill “law” and there is no requirement that the other Chamber and the President have to accede to that Chamber. The whole premise of the Constitution is that both chambers and the president agree as to spending, but there is no reason for any one of them to be able to blackmail the other parties into doing something demonstrably damaging to the country to satisfy some extremist demands.

      As for the cost of PPACA, you conveniently ignore the fact that health insurance costs have been going dramatically up for the last few decades and now, for the first time that rate of increase has shown significant slowing over the last couple years.

      It seems clear for your overheated diatribe that you are a subscriber to the Republican conspiracy to kill Obamacare. You might want to read a considered essay on the likelihood of success of your conspiracy:

      http://nymag.com/news/features/gop-obamacare-plot-2013-9/#

      • John Cedar

        Good choice of inflammatory words. “Conspiracy” as in vast right wing…the one that got Billary in trouble for being too stupid not to lie to congress when he was being investigated for his sexual harassment offenses. But to be clear, there is no crime being committed and everything is overt by the good intentioned representatives attempting to carry out the will of the people and kill the unaffordable care act.

        Thanks for the lesson on how a bill becomes a law. But what you ignorantly neglect to mention, is that a nay in the upper house or lower house, or even in the White House, is supposed to carry more weight than yay…by design! To refer to exercising that power as “black mail” is to demonstrate willful ignorance of the concept of limited government.

        Due due due tell us about the “not rising as fast as they used to” health care premiums? Perhaps a factchequedotcommie link?
        No sooner did Obamacare pass and every healthcare stock skyrocketed and so did my premiums at a record 30% along with them. Not only that, but my deductible is now as much as an entire annual policy would cost just ten years ago. Or perhaps you wil be citing one of those percent of GDP adjusted for Krugman charts?

        The fact is that healthcare was costing too much in our country and prices were rising too fast and not enough people had coverage. And now with Obamcare, all of those things are worse…and worse than they would have otherwise of been if left alone, but Fluke has her free no co-pay birth control pills and now can afford her daily five dollar cups of expresso, so its all good…

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Regardless of your position on the health care proposal, the government is simply not ready to roll this out. There are too many unresolved technical issues (computer systems, verification of income, etc. etc.) to roll it out this year. As anyone who has ever put in a new computer system knows, you get one chance to roll it out properly. If you don’t dot all of your i’s and cross all of your t’s, you will have a disaster on your hands. If the only answer is to delay the implementation so that you can get it right the first time, then that is what most companies will do. The Democrats, on the other hand, would rather throw caution to the wind and turn the system on regardless of what happens. There was be billions and billions of dollars of waste, fraud, and abuse that could have been avoided by waiting until they were ready. When 60 Minutes does their stories on what a disaster the initial implementation was, no one should be surprised.

    • fun bobby

      I think those billions are a feature rather than a bug

    • geraldfnord

      Yes, this why the waterfall model of software development has absolutely crushed the agile.

      Now excuse me while I vet the new TuneIn update for obnoxious new permissions.

  • William

    After 3 years we still don’t have a budget. It is time to start shutting down non-essential agencies and force the people in Congress and the President to get a budget passed.

    • fun bobby

      lets start with whoever cleans the congressional gym and the white house chef

  • edrea

    ‘ Those are a couple of key findings from the Commonwealth Fund’s first Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, released this month.

    In 2010 and 2011, Vermont had the lowest rate of uninsured, low-income children, at 5 percent. In 2011 and 2012, it boasted the highest percentage of low-income children with a regular physician, at 60 percent. Vermont also had the highest rate of low-income children who had received preventive medical and dental services within the past year, at 79 percent.

    “There are measures where the low-income population in the best performing states — like Vermont, for example — is better than the rate for high-income people in other states,” said David Radley, a senior scientist with the Commonwealth Fund and a lead author of the final report on the scorecard. ‘

    http://vtdigger.org/2013/09/23/vermont-ranks-high-health-care-low-income-residents/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vermont-ranks-high-health-care-low-income-residents

    • fun bobby

      it must be because of their almost complete lack of gun control. its like a chilly Shangri La up there.

      or maybe because this guy was the govener. he is a Doctor you know.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDwODbl3muE

  • HonestDebate1

    “Inching closer to the Republican threat to shut down the government if Obamacare is not repealed. We get inside the backstage wrestling match.”

    Repeal is not on the table, it’s not some wrestling match and it’s certainly not a Republican threat. That’s shoddy as hell.

    • fun bobby

      it seems as if whoever wrote that forgot it takes two to tango

  • MsAbila

    We need a SINGLE-PAYER health care system in the US! It’s been long overdue.

    The first thing I want to see cut is the paycheck of these Congressmen. Their health care and other privileges also should be discontinued as well.

    Let them and their families live with no income and no health insurance for years…. during their unemployment they also should be sent back to school and get a 2nd or third degree in the field of technology or other key employment markets… Let’s see what the ‘market’ does for them and mostly what they can do in the ‘market’ of today’s world

    • fun bobby

      yeah I am sure if they lose that congress paycheck the millionaires in congress will really suffer. as Americans we have the power to fire any or all of them. feel free to vote

    • Don_B1

      Please read my post response to John Cedar’s earlier post on the prospects of transforming the PPACA into a single-payer system.

      People with what they consider adequate health care are reluctant to make big changes; one of the main reasons that the PPACA passed in the first place was that those people could correctly be assured that their coverage would not change.

      While it is true that the Democrats, particularly President Obama, have not done a good job in demonstrating the advantages of the PPACA, it is also true that doing that is a herculean task, as it affects different people differently, so a simple straightforward explanation does not cover everyone’s issues.

      I do not know of people who are claiming that this one law will do everything that will be necessary; changes will be required to improve the “business model” of healthcare delivery to further reduce the costs.

      But every other advanced country has a system that provides equal or better care for the average patient at around half the price. So there is no reason other than intransigence for the United States not copying or creating such a system here.

  • creaker

    Imagine the number of people hours and dollars the House has wasted on this one issue.

    You have to wonder, though – if Obamacare is a complete failure in the making, they could let it happen and sweep elections in 2016 under the promise to “fix” it. Instead they have relentlessly done almost nothing else other than trying to stop it. Why is that?

    • MrNutso

      The hysteria is because they know the ACA will not be a failure. Perfect? Probably not. Needs some revisions? Certainly.

      What Republicans fear is that by the time they have a chance for real repeal by capturing the House, Senate and the White House, the program will be working well enough that it will become one more part of the third rail of politics along with social security and medicare.

      • fun bobby

        yeah lets wait an see. what do we have to lose? it not like millions of jobs have been changed from full time to part time. what harm could a few more years of giveaways to insurance companies and drug companies do?

        • geraldfnord

          How many millions? And ‘What colour were his eyes?,’ as Gowron asked another clone who knew nowt but his particular Scripture.

  • Coastghost

    “Shutdown hysteria”: is this what Jeff Bezos is paying E. J. Dionne to foment?

    • fun bobby

      just reading her little blurb above I was pretty shocked that anyone could actually believe that. I guess some people still believe the two party thing is real

  • John_in_Amherst

    for an editorial on GOP resistance to “Obamacare”, and a link to a series of Toles cartoons on the topic that are priceless, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-obamacare-the-gop-nightmare/2013/09/23/fd29187a-246a-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html?hpid=z3

  • John_in_Amherst

    the GOP rationale:

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Again, false narrative.
      Obama is willing to shut down the government to FUND Obamacare.

      • jefe68

        Your assessment is a$$ backwards.

        • MrNutso

          Yeah, it’s not me it’s you.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Obama won the fight for the ACA. It passed, and in passing, won funding. It is the GOP, especially the House GOP who have continued trying to defund the program. In the case of the House, the GOP has voted 40 times to defund, and 40 times it has lost. The House GOP and the Teabagger fanatics are not just trying to defund the ACA, they are trying to rewrite the the rules that govern the country to permit them to have their way. Their tactics are more reminiscent of juvenile sore losers than national leaders. Their methods include lying copiously about how the ACA works. They are abetted by FOX news, which is a conservative tool to foment division in public opinion that furthers the interests of the big money backers who believe their wealth trumps the public’s best interests. Their allies include the likes of the Koch brothers, who seek political dominance through buying propaganda and funding organizations like ALEC, that corrupt the political process. Throw these bums OUT! They are engaged in sedition, not governance.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Does it bother you that Obama is selectively delaying parts of the ACA and gives waivers to Obamacare to select groups? There is nothing in the law that allows him to do this. Therefore, it is Obama that is breaking the law.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Owing to your lack of specifics, I cannot make a specific response as to President Obama might – or might not be- breaking the law. And that is not the point here. The point is that the GOP, and particularly the Teapartiers, do not want to just throw out the ACA, they want to rewrite how the government works. They are being aided by various groups and interests on the right who have succeeded in misinforming the public as to what the ACA does and then whipping the ill-informed into a frenzy. And now they are willing to jeopardize the economy of the US, indeed the world, for the sake of winning. Despicable is too mild a word.

  • Coastghost

    Of course, NPR (and affiliates) has its own leveraged “free-speech” rights to assert and protect: with or without the sequester (with or without poor institutional management, that is), c. 10% cuts are coming with the new management team (following acquisition of the nice new NPR real estate purchase In DC). Any further threats of staff furloughs and production-funding cuts are deemed offensive and worth squawking about.
    Positively dire: let us all keep our violins in tune.

    • geraldfnord

      Yes, this is extremely significant because so much of NPR’s and CPB’ s funding comes from the federal government.

      • Coastghost

        Funny: I listen to NPR most days, and I NEVER hear the newsflash that CPB has REFUSED its annual Federal stipend of over $445 million. And I never hear that NPR refuses its tens and dozens and scores of millions in generous gifts from CPB, from state and local governments, et al. . . .

  • tbphkm33

    What we are really seeing is the death throws of the Republican Party. A Party that has not been on a sustainable path for some 30 years now. It has been unravelling to the point that now the fringe nut cases are seen as the mainstays of the Party.

    Bottom line, the public will quickly and rightfully blame any government shut down on the Republican’s. It will be another nail in the Republican coffin – think not, just wait until the 2014 and 2016 elections.

    We might be seeing the end game of the demise of the Republican Party. As conservative moderates are starting to distance themselves from the radical fringe elements of the Party. Question is, will these moderates unify under a new mantra and a new party. Either a completely new name or successfully take back the Republican name.

    Political parties have come and gone in U.S. political history. Every indication is that the Republican Party is in disarray and civil infighting, a state that is unsustainable. The Republican Party cannot continue to operate like this… and the U.S. public, The People, will demand change as it become increasingly evident that the disfunction in one Party is inflicting real harm to U.S. economy and society.

    • TFRX

      “Throw”, as in that last tantrum a baby has before it tires itself to sleep, or “throe”?

    • fun bobby

      Obama is sooo popular I bet people will take to the streets to call for a repeal of the 22nd amendment!

      • tbphkm33

        Not for Obama… but polls have shown that a majority would easily reelect President Clinton.

        • fun bobby

          I have been asking for a Clinton/bush runoff for years.

          • tbphkm33

            I have been promoting a Presidential cross-over ticket for years – one Democrat and one Republican, running on the same ticket as independents. Maybe Governor Christie and Vice President Biden.

            Such a ticket would appeal to the centralists of both political parties. I believe insuring electoral victory, with a public mandate. The extremists of both parties would be forced to work with an Administration that at its core is based on compromise.

            Of course, the biggest loser would be the far rightwing of the Republican party. A fringe element that is over represented in todays political landscape.

          • fun bobby

            I think radical fringe liberals have quite a strong representation given the president and congress

    • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

      Indeed, Here in the Northeast, the Republican Party is bleeding members faster than a severed artery. In Maine, nearly 20 prominent Republicans — including a former governor — have bolted the party, accusing the national GOP of plunging headlong into right-wing fanaticism.

      In New York, former state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate for Congress in 2010 abruptly dropped out of the race and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens after her own campaign was sabotaged by Tea Party zealots. She has since switched her party affilation to the Democrats — as has Rhode Island Governor (and former U.S. Senator) Lincoln Chafee.

      In California, the GOP is virtually extinct, having lost all nine statewide elected offices and reduced to a rump caucus in both hosues of the legislature and congressional delegation. WHY? Because the California GOP went too far to the right, alienating the state’s fast-growing Latino voters — as well as women and LGBTs — by taking rigidly right-wing positions on immigration, abortion and gay marriage.

      We are indeed witnessing the beginning of the end of the Republican Party. The party of Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon — and even Ronald Reagan and George W.Bush — already has ceased to exist, transformed into a right-wing extremist party that more closely resembles France’s National Front, Austria’s Freedom Party, and Britain’s UK Independence Party.

  • TFRX

    Please, if we’re going to dig into politics, let’s have more talk about the Gang Who Can’t Govern Straight (the Tea Party) primarying some of the most Obama-hating, obstructionist right-wingers ever.

    Mitch McConnell getting primaried? That’s rich.

  • MrNutso

    Now how can I listen to the show?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      7pm?
      itunes later?

    • TFRX

      Try wnpr.org for streaming.

  • J__o__h__n

    WBUR don’t cut away from On Point unless there is an emergency. wnpr.org is still airing it.

  • MrNutso

    Got it on WPKT using Tunein.com.

  • MrNutso

    Amy, Republicans aren’t highlighting the sequester because they hate it as well.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    GOP winning on cutting spending?
    What they’ve managed to cut is barely a rounding error. I wouldn’t call that ‘winning’.

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    Senator Ted Cruz and other hard-line “Teapublicans” in the House and Senate are living in a fantasy world.

    Even if they mustered enough votes to defund the Affordable Care Act, they have nowhere near the two-thirds majorities in both houses required to override would would be President Obama’s certain veto.

    If these “Teapublicans” believe that the president is going to sign into law the dismantling of his signature piece of domestic legislation, then they’re totally out of touch with reality and are high on hallucinogens, as far as I’m concerned. They are so blinded by their ideological puritanism that they are incapable of seeing that they are destroying their own party.

    If there is a government shutdown — and unlike 1995, no one who is on the federal payroll, including members of Congress themselves, will get paid, because Congress has yet to pass ANY approproations bills at all — The Republicans will be utterly destroyed in 2014 and will have foreclosed any hope of retaking the White House in 2016 and beyond.

    • fun bobby

      so a government shutdown will be seen as a big win for the dems?

      • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

        Absolutely. Indeed, a growing number of Republicans are speaking out against the Tea-Party fanatics, bluntly warning that a shutdown will destroy their party politically.

        There is also the not-so-small matter of repeating history. What is happening to the Republican Party now is a mirror image of what happened to the Democratic Party 40 years ago then the hard-line left-wing McGovernites seized control of the party.

        That resulted in the Democrats getting cast out into the political wilderness in 1972 and staying in the wilderness for 20 years until the rise of Bill Clinton in 1992. The same thing is destined to happen to the Republicans.

        The one difference is that the left-wing McGovernites never got elected to Congress – in fact, they failed to get elected to anything. The right-wing Teapublicans not only got elected to Congress, but they have effectively siezed control of the GOP in Congress. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        • tbphkm33

          I concur. I did start wonder if Republican’s are not already over represented in Congress. What percentage of Republican held seats are clearly Republican due to gerrymandering? Both parties do it, but Republican’s have been hyper aggressive in drawing artificial political boundaries.

        • fun bobby

          a lot of people do not like Obama. they will probably blame him and the dems. nowadays people see everything through the lens of their ideology despite whatever reality may be

  • TFRX

    Cruz is the next Churchill???

    I could not ask for a bigger idiot to make a worse self-comparison! Please, normal GOP and Teabaggers, don’t stop fighting anytime soon!

    Oh, and as our host asks, “What do I think about defunding Obamacare…”. All I ask is: Is this like the debt ceiling crap, i.e. only something which serious people think isn’t crazy because the right wing is threatening it?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t even know what to tell my elected congresspeople anymore. I’d like them to be less dependent on tax-loophole-seeking lobbyists, but it seems to me that is more up to the Supreme Court than anything legislative. Where in the United States are the next primaries coming up? Who’s been gerrymandering more districts to be pocket districts where this or that party can “fix” things.

    • J__o__h__n

      The Supreme Court already ruled. All states have primaries. Both parties engage in gerrymandering but the Republicans control the House due to gerrymandering as they control more state legislatures which draw the congressional districts.

      • Ellen Dibble

        So what is the answer to our embarrassing and disabling national gridlock?

        • J__o__h__n

          Constitutional amendment that money is not speech and corporations are not people. Nonpartisan districting. Replacing Thomas, Alito, Scalia, Robert, or Kennedy with two moderates or liberals.

          • fun bobby

            yeah more partisans is what we need. who better to solve a problem than those who created it

        • TFRX

          Oh, I wish I knew.

          The first thing is to start getting the Rolodex in order, and anyone who says “bothsides” or “if Obama only visited tiny red states who haven’t given their EVs to a Dem since FDR” is not invited back.

        • sickofthechit

          Move to a gerrymandered district in large numbers.

      • tbphkm33

        I started thinking along this same line of thought this morning. It would not be surprising if 20% to 30% of Republican seats in Congress are directly linked to the Party’s hyper vigilance in gerrymandering.

        The Republican Party is in fact a minority party that is controlled by minority factions within their own ranks. It is unsustainable and the Republican intra-Party disintegration is having real world negative effects.

  • Markus6

    I think the guy that said that what we’re seeing is the death throes of the Republican party, may be right.

    We’re either at or close to the point where the number of people who directly or indirectly are dependent on government (city, county, federal) vote in enough numbers to vote more for themselves.

    Now, both Republicans and Democrats have caved into this a long time ago – it’s just the Republicans have been a lot slower to go along with this. Many of them still hold on to the politically non-viable theory that being 16 ot 17 Trillion in debt is a big problem. And then they make it worse by aligning themselves with really dumb ideas like anti-environment, pro-gun, another stupid war and all the rest.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if they’re entirely in the minority in another election or two and this will continue til we turn into a really really big greece.

  • sickofthechit

    The Repugnicans (Republicans in name only) in congress are nothing more than bullies whose fall back position is to act like spoiled brats. charles a. bowsher

  • sickofthechit

    Don’t let Boehner off the hook. His intransigence on only bringing up what his majority support is no less bullyish and spoiled bratish than the likes of Ted Cruz. charles a. bowsher

    • TFRX

      The Great Pumpkin (seasonal joke–too much pumpkin beers around now) just isn’t very good at his job.

      That idea won’t get traction in the press until about five years from now.

      • fun bobby

        even though they are seasonal perhaps you should not drink so many in the morning

  • Coastghost

    The most significant leadership that Republicans and conservatives and libertarians could exercise in opposing the Affordable Care Tax Act would be to let Americans watch its implementation in slow motion.

    Further to Tyler Cowen’s appearance here last week, on his “Marginal Revolution” blog today appears this cautionary tale:

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/09/from-the-comments-why-are-the-aca-exchanges-behind-schedule.html#comments

    • jimino

      For once we agree: It is much more difficult to implement a nationwide system when so many states will do anything they can to prevent it from being implemented.

      That’s the plan, isn’t it?

      • Coastghost

        Well, why not? Republican governorships outnumber Democratic governorships 3 to 2 these days.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I totally agree with your first paragraph. Howzat!!!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    EJ thought Ronald Reagan would lose in 1980 and 1984.

    • sickofthechit

      He should have lost, but he was willing to manipulate the Iran hostage crisis to get himself elected. Some hero! The ends don’t justify the means. charles a. bowsher

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You are confusing RR with Teddie Kennedy.

        • sickofthechit

          I believe it was 21 minutes after Regan’s Inaugural that they were released. Then shortly thereafter the U.S. began selling arms to Iran, etc., etc.,etc.

      • pete18

        Had much more to do with Carter’s misery index than the Iranian hostages.

  • sickofthechit

    It is time to change things at the state level where maybe we can get some viable third party candidates elected. The present iteration of the two party system is destroying our country. It is more damaging than the deficit. charles a. bowsher

  • Yar

    Folks, it is about age! The schism in the Republican party is age related. The old conservatives against the young crazies. Everyone else is independent or a Democrat.

    • TFRX

      Yar, your forgetting the “third girl the GOP invited to the one dance”: The astroturf fakirs. Crossroads, Kochs, AFP, and more others than I can remember.

      • Yar

        They are the drum majors of hate.

        • TFRX

          What, they’re neither athletic enough to make the football team nor musical enough to make marching band?

          (I keed. Drum majors need to set the tempo without looking at someone else, and be entertaining and charismatic for big crowds, while dressed in heavy costumes. But that doesn’t sound like the charisma-less Rove or Kochs, come to think of it.)

  • thequietkid10

    It feels like “compromise” today means increasing the size of government and the debt less then what the Democrats wants. And the “moderate Republican” mantra is “lets increase the size the size of government less then the Democrats”

  • truegangsteroflove

    Rhetorical question: Wasn’t Ted Cruz born in Canada? Let’s see his birth certificate! He may not be here legally. Fraudulently acquired citizenship can be easily revoked. Indeed, if his parents entered Canada illegally, shouldn’t he be shipped back to Cuba?

    • TFRX

      Goddamn frostbacks. I think it’s a plot to put more NHL teams in the South.

      • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

        While I can laugh at TFRX’s comment about the NHL, I have to say, as a “puckhead” for 40 years, that there is little chance of the NHL adding teams to the warm-weather cities any time soon.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Birther.

      • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

        Believe it or not, some of the birthers are indeed going after Ted Cruz, for the same racist reasons that they’ve gone after President Obama (Cruz is, after all, half-Latino).

        If Cruz does seek the GOP presidential nomination, I’ll be surprised if the racist birthers don’t go totally ballistic against him.

  • Coastghost

    “Law of the land”: Tom, it’s not a once-and-for-all arrangement, and you know it.
    I mean: Dred Scott was once the law the land, and you well know how that worked out . . . .

    • Shag_Wevera

      You are right, of course. Problem is the normal course would be to take control of the government through elections, then repeal/dismantle the affordable care act.

      • pete18

        If it is acceptable to use hard negotiations, and congressional bribery to force through an unpopular law, then surely it’s acceptable to use hard negotiating tactics and the legal process to defund an unpopular law.

  • MrNutso

    Tom, the bottom line is that Republicans unable to enact or de-enact legislation in the way that was done for over 200 years are resorting to Blazing Saddle tactics to get their ideology through.

    • TFRX

      “Did you realize the new sheriff is a n…?”

      • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

        Actually, the “Blazing Saddles” analogy reveals the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to acknowledge publicly.

        According to a 2010 demographic study of the Tea Party movement, nearly all of them are white, 69 percent of them are male, 75 percent of them are over age 55 and 80 percent of them are deeply conservative.

        (See http://my.firedoglake.com/skeetervt/2010/04/20/poll-confirms-tea-party-movement-a-greater-threat-to-republicans-than-to-democrats/).

        This movement has demonstrated now for five years that they simply cannot stomach the nation being led by an African-American.

        To ignore the race factor in the Tea Party’s intense animosity toward President Obama — an animosity that far exceeds anything directed toward any previous president — is foolish.

        • OnPointComments

          The racial demographic that you cite looks like it mirrors the US census racial demographics.

          Is the Congressional Black Caucus a racist organization? Is it racist when African-Americans vote in lockstep for African-American candidates?

        • Gatortrapper

          That racist in and of itself. Fact is that Tea Party members are probably more open to minorities than the Democrat Party and certainly less judgmental. Never seen a single racially biased act at a Tea Party meeting or rally. What you can’t fathom is we don’t like Obama, not because he’s black, but because he lacks character; is a demonstrated liar and agitator; and is singularly ill prepared for the office even after 4 years on the job. We mistook narcissism for leadership and we got Obama.

          • tbphkm33

            Oh yes, honkey white old men are well known to be extremely open minded to minorities of all sorts… stop sniffing the glue. What alternate reality do you exist in?

          • Gatortrapper

            Funny, those very same ones you condemn were the one’s supporting civil rights for blacks in the 60′s. Hmmmm… Have you been to the meetings? No…. Yet you speak with such authority. Must be hard to be so all knowing.

          • pete18

            It’s amazing how often people who pose as progressives are the first to use racist, stereotyped, broad brushed attacks, which would otherwise be an anathema, against groups that they don’t like or disagree with.

            Not really much of an core value is it?

          • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

            Baloney. All those blatantly racist charicatures of Mr. Obama carried by the almost all-white crowds at the Tea Party rallies across the country in 1009 and 2010 — photos of which are all over the Internet — exposes the Tea Party movement for what it is. And let’s not forget the fact that two black congressmen were SPAT UPON by Tea Party protesters during a protest against the Affordable Care Act on Capitol Hill in 2010. TAKE OFF YOUR BLINDERS!

          • Gatortrapper

            And I’d agree with you if you knew WTF you were talking about but as you don’t then I’ll just say that you are misguided in your views.

            First, having attended scores of Tea Party meetings, participated in perhaps 5 parades as part of a Tea Party group; attended numerous rallies and leadership forums of Tea Party members I have never seen or heard the first racial comment about blacks (or other ethnic groups for that matter) generally or Obama in particular. Does that mean that no person who supports the Tea Party is a racist or has never uttered racially offensive comments? No, that would be an invalid syllogism. I think that runs against all notions of common sense and logic, just as it would be specious to suggest that all liberals are free from racial bias and prejudice. But I stand behind my personal observations that I have never seen it or heard it but cannot easily prove a negative, just as you cannot. (In fact the only reported case of a racially inflammatory sign that I’ve seen was shown to have been made and displayed by a socialist organizer who admitted that she brought it in order to create the impression of racial enmity.)

            And frankly your comments actually are an indictment of your own racial, cultural and ethnic bias and prejudice. Your very words are compelling evidence that you are prejudiced and to the extent that you view “almost all-white crowds” as proof of your supposition then it shows that you are the one harboring prejudice and are merely projecting your racially based hostility onto a group with whom you have apparently no personal knowledge about beyond photos on the Internet. You desperately want them to not like blacks and Obama because he is black. No, we don’t like Obama because he’s a confirmed serial liar who will say anything to advance his hidden agenda and is destroying America in the process. We don’t need racial animus to not like him, that’s enough by itself.

            As for the allegation about black Congressman being spat upon by Tea Party people at the Capital, I note that you don’t provide a citation to it. Why is that? Is it better to make a false allegation that no one can easily check for validation? Or is it because you never have actually seen it, but heard about it and now are repeating it here. The Ten Commandments have something about being a false witness my friend. But it doesn’t matter, because unlike small minded people who can’t handle the facts I can. Here is the cite: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/28/congressman-spit-on-by-te_n_516300.html

            The video is interesting. I note the police officer at the Congressman’s elbow the whole time. She never flinches or reacts at all to the alleged “spitting” because it was, if anything, merely saliva emitted when the man was screaming in protest and obviously not the degrading act that you want your fellow travelers to believe. That’s why I cite it. So they can see for themselves that it was not being spat upon like you suggest. I give the cite so they have evidence that you are simply not credible.

            It was like a football coach screaming at a player for a bonehead play, which passing Obamacare was. So an apt analogy if I say so myself. Don’t you feel the least bit bad for being so intellectually dishonest and now being exposed for the dishonesty? Or are you like Bill Clinton who can lie straight to your face and then act as if nothing is wrong when the truth of the matter is revealed? Doesn’t that say something about the character of a person? That they feel no remorse or guilt? I think that’s what they say about sociopaths. Are you a sociopath? Or did you merely make an error and report something that you didn’t know about and now are going to admit that you were wrong about? A real man would admit the error and move on. Are you a real man?

            I don’t wear blinders. When I approach things I accept the “warts” as well as the positives as being a condition of all things in this world. There is no perfect set of facts that exists outside a work of fiction, and most of those are less than perfect too.

            I await you reply.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Sharp witted my friend. Take $5 from petty cash!

    • sickofthechit

      Are you talking about the camp-fire technique?

  • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

    If
    there had been “Teapublicans” during the Gworge W. Bush administration
    – or even better, during FDR’s presidency — and had arttempted to
    defund the war effort back then as they’re trying to do to “Obamacare”
    now, they would have been charged with sedition, if not out-and-out
    treason.

    • fun bobby

      so who is obomacare a war against?

      • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

        It’s a war against a system in which millions of Americans are going bankrupt because they cannot afford to bear astronomical medical bills.

      • Shag_Wevera

        “obomocare”. Is that a typo or some new limbaugh style insult I haven’t caught onto yet?

        • fun bobby

          lol I was calling it rombamnycare for a while

  • Coastghost

    No, E. J. Dionne: the Republicans control the House of Representatives. Where funding bills originate, last I heard.

    • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

      The onl;y reason the Republicans control the House — deespite losing the nationwide popular vote for the House of Representatives by 2 million in the 2012 election — is the fact that the vast majority of GOP House members represent gerrymandered districts in which the voters in those districts are overwhelmingly white, predominantly male and deeply conservative. They also happen to be predominantly rural — and sparsely populated — districts.

      • Coastghost

        Hmm: I’d hazard the guesses of Peter King and Darrell Issa.

        • northeaster17

          Not really. Staten Island is but a subarb of NY. California is but a suburb of China.

  • mkbrinkman

    Why does no one pin down Sen. Cruz re his allegations of the harm Obama Care does? Examples of the harm??

    • TFRX

      It’s a charge that sounds too good to check out, so it isn’t.

      Cruz doesn’t have to. Fox, Drudge, (therefore Politico) and others are on the job turning this into something which will become “As everyone knows…” fodder on Meet The Press.

    • Gatortrapper

      Can’t read? Must not be able to as if you just read the paper, even the NYT or other liberal rags have the news about layoffs due to Obamacare costs; reduction in working hours to drop below the 30 hour trigger; companies dropping coverage and shifting workers into exchanges because paying a penalty (which Obama delayed a year….ha ha ha ) was cheaper than keeping coverage; coverage gaps that are forcing companies who do maintain coverage to cut family coverage sending the families into the exchanges; a huge shift of funding from Medicare to support subsidies.

      Then we get to the delivery of care: curtailed access and increased delays in availability of care; physicians leaving the practice or opting to not participate in any insurance at all but only cash for service practices; increased consolidation of practices as part of huge hospital networks who are buying up individual practices left and right; degrade patient records and privacy concerns as your medical and financial information is digitized and put into databases that have been shown to be subject to large scale compromises and the list goes on.

      You really can’t have been so obtuse as to not of known of any of this right?

      • anamaria23

        Consolidation of practices and huge hospital networks have been going on for twenty years as physicians tired of the hassle with insurance companies and billing. I work in the field. The overhead for MD offices is huge.
        Medicare, though it pays less, has been a source of steady income for physicians as it is the elderly that frequent hospitals and offices. Younger people see doctors much less often and less regularly. Cash only is an option for the very few.
        Without Medicare , the rising cost of insurance would prohibit large segments of the population from seeking appropriate medical care.
        What is your solution?

        • Gatortrapper

          Remove third party payors from the equation. I’ve long held that insurance companies have a conflict of interest the moment the contract is signed as, excepting for mutual companies, they have a duty to maximize profits for shareholders.

          Prior to WWII health insurance was a blip on the market. Wage caps due to the war had employers scrambling to find ways to compete for employees. It is appealing but it removes the patient from the economic considerations and they are more inclined to consume when they have limited financial exposure.

          But moving to a single payor system or national health care is not the solution, nor is this middle ground.

          • anamaria23

            Why is single payer not the solution? it works for most other civilized countries.
            It is impossible to put aside enough cash to pay for cancer care or heart surgery except for the very rich.
            Physicians do not make as much money, but neither do they have several employees sorting through forms.

          • Gatortrapper

            The problem with single payor systems is that there is no incentive for the service provider to provide quality care beyond personal satisfaction, and as much as we all would like to believe that this would suffice experience shows a different outcome. It also tends to pervert the delivery of care as the manner of compensation drives the delivery. For example, if I am paid based on the number of patients seen, then to maximize income I have to maintain an assembly line approach which destroys the traditional (and highly valued) approach of spending whatever time is necessary to know and understand the patient and their unique situation, as part of the larger health delivery issue. In fact in many of the single payor systems they have a time limit on the length of exams and consults and the medical profession is penalized for too much time. There’s more to it but that’s a sample of that aspect.

            Then there is fact that the patient has no financial incentive to be mindful of their own health and behavior because there is no substantial financial cost to them for their own neglect. Nor are they inclined to question the various treatment and diagnostic options that are available because they are not paying for them. Who wouldn’t insist on Mercedes treatment if they could get it, even if VW care would be cheaper and just as effective?

            When you examine single payor systems the reports seem to be in agreement: Yes, you can get quality care but you have to wait for anything other than the routine. There may only be a single MRI machine in an expanded geographical area in Canada (and example I read about) while over the border in a nearby American town there are a dozen. So the wait time to get scheduled and be seen is far longer and delays can have health consequences.

            And although they don’t call it “rationing” of care, the fact of the matter is that when you have a limited amount of anything the one’s in most dire need get bumped to the head of the line and the result is largely the same.

            In short although competitive, free market approaches have very real problems, the overall result in terms of allocation of resources, quality improves as professionals compete for business (which also reduces cost as most everyone will concede) and have to differentiate their practice versus the one next door; just like the dry cleaners and the gas station all try and find the edge that generates more traffic or allows them to charge a premium for lower volume.

            Complex but overall pretty straight forward. Ask yourself this question: is there anything that you would want to not have people competing for you business on, or are you satisfied that all deliver the same quality and support services for the goods and services you buy?

            Read about the systems in UK and Canada. You’ll see that while they’re decent, that a lot of people self pay for care elsewhere. That says a lot.

  • J__o__h__n

    Incentives and consequences. She left out tantrums.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Oh boy, I just looked and Obama is still rambling on.

    • OnPointComments

      Nothing thrills President Obama more than the sound of his own voice.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Blahblahblah.

        • OnPointComments

          Yes, that is what he sounds like.

    • J__o__h__n

      No lame teleprompter jokes?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        OK.
        This has the potential to be an important speech given all that is going on in the world — so no jokes.

        Can he prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons? I doubt it but I hope he is successful.

        • fun bobby

          I doubt he can but lucky for us the Iranians don’t want to develop them

        • sickofthechit

          If you want some real hope I suggest you watch Charlie Rose’s recent interview with Ehud Barak. Purposely or not, President Obama/John Kerry may have gotten us to a point where a stable future for the Midddle East is a reality. charles a. bowsher

  • sickofthechit

    Boehner is forced to go along with the madness because he is under constant threat from Cantor who is always right there ready to take over. charles a. bowsher

  • thequietkid10

    I do agree with Ms. Walker.

    • northeaster17

      One cannot revive what never was

  • John_in_Amherst

    Obama won the fight for the ACA. It passed, and in passing, won
    funding. It is the GOP, especially the House GOP who have continued
    trying to de-fund the program. In the case of the House, the GOP has
    voted 40 times to de-fund, and 40+ times it has lost. The House GOP and the Teabagger fanatics are not just trying to de-fund the ACA, they are trying to rewrite the
    the rules that govern the country to permit them to have their way.
    Their tactics are more reminiscent of juvenile sore losers than national
    leaders. Their methods include lying copiously about how the ACA
    works. They are abetted by FOX news, which is a conservative tool to
    foment division in public opinion that furthers the interests of the big
    money backers who believe their wealth trumps the public’s best
    interests. Their allies include the likes of the Koch brothers, who
    seek political dominance through buying propaganda and funding
    organizations like ALEC, that corrupt the political process. Throw
    these bums OUT! They are engaged in sedition, not governance.

    • sickofthechit

      Write more widely. Spread it around. charles a. bowsher

    • tbphkm33

      I agree, throw them out… but, at what point does it become the responsibility of the U.S. Attorney General to arrest them for treason? Because, let us not mix words, many Republican “leaders” are actively engaging in treason.

      • John_in_Amherst

        I have maintained that contention for some time now, and the dictionary definition of treason backs it up.

      • Gatortrapper

        Oh, about a month after they arrest and convict the AG for perjury and obstruction of justice.

    • Gatortrapper

      Show that you know something other than talking points and give us specific examples of the lies.

      Also, grab a dictionary before using “big words” like sedition and use them in the proper context. It means the “incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.” There’s a subtle difference between arguing contrary policy priorities and discontent that might arise when people are informed of facts as a result of that argument. If you had something more than a liberal education you would have been taught critical thinking skills and understand the difference. But if you use the big words at least try and know what they mean.

      • John_in_Amherst

        You seem mighty comfortable making sweeping generalizations about my “liberal education” without knowing ANYTHING about my educational background, or personal history. Funny you should critique me for sticking to “talking points”.

        Macho gatortrappers like you may regard “liberal” as a disparaging word; I do not. And while on the subject, “critical thinking skills” are not often associated with a “conservative education”, though I would assert critical thinking is what any education should teach, first and foremost. If our public schools did a better job, tabloid journalism of the FOXey sort would shrivel and die.

        It must be really distressing for folks like you to have a president with a keen intellect, a top notch education and a bit more melanin in his skin than previous presidents. And he’s not even liberal, maybe just a tad left of center. The ACA, after all, is a clone of Romneycare, which works well in MA, and was initially built around a framework put forward by a conservative think tank.

        Actually, I did grab a dictionary. Did you?
        Sedition fits, as does treason, when referring to elements of the GOP and what they have been doing relentlessly since losing the election in 2008. The GOP leadership stated almost immediately after Obama was elected that defeating him was their preeminent goal. And they have been willing to tie up federal appointments, bog down legislation, and otherwise do anything to prevent the smooth, efficient running of government just to get a political advantage. (see definition 2 under treason, below)

        sedition:
        1. incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.
        2. any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.

        treason:
        1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.
        2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.

        • Gatortrapper

          I’ve never seen anything that would lead me to conclude that Obama has a “keen intellect” and as for his “top notch education,” how do you reconcile the very public belittling of President Bush’s MBA from the same institution?

          I note that you offered none of the facts that I suggested were absent in your original post. So I ask again what supports your claim of lies about the implementation of Obamacare that you claim are being made.

          The only things have been to be shown untruthful about the bill is virtually everything that Obama said about it. From keeping your doctor, to keeping your policy, to having a decrease in cost and the list goes on and on.

          Fact is that every doctor I have spoken to is working on an exit strategy from acceptance of any insurance or the practice altogether. According to those who have spoken about it specifically, the only reason the AMA supported it was because they (the institution) benefited financially from it and only 14% of doctors belong to it.

          • John_in_Amherst

            I am a medical professional, and I and most of my colleagues would prefer a single-payer system to dealing with insurance companies and the uninsured. Medicine should NOT be a “free market” enterprise, as “free market” implies that consumers can make choices about their purchases, and in many cases, consumers (read patients) do not have the time, expertise or options to make actual choices. (Don’t believe that? Try shopping for the best deal next time you or a loved one is on the way to the ER with a heart attack or other emergency). Further, when hospitals and insurers are “free market enterprises” that are traded on stock exchanges, their primary responsibility is to make shareholders profits. These come at the expense of patients. That works if you are an investor, but not when you become a patient. Medicare delivers care with 4% administrative overhead. Insurance companies had to be limited by law, as they were charging 30% and more in administrative overhead. “Obamacare” is a first step in the right direction, and is not perfect. It needs to be coupled with torte reforms, among other things. But the GOP has yet to make any constructive suggestions on how to deal with the healthcare crisis that is dragging on the economy and leaving millions of uninsured people suffering.

            Are you, Mr. Gatortrapper, a Christian? I suspect so, as most chest thumping Republicans claim to be. News Flash: Christ charged his followers with caring for the sick and the poor. He did not suggest gouging them and ignoring their needs.

            As for facts about the myths and lies perpetrated by the GOP about the ACA, try these:

            http://www.politifact.com/florida/article/2013/sep/24/marco-rubios-top-5-attacks-obamacare/

            http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/sep/19/betsy-mccaughey/betsy-mccaughey-says-obamacare-will-question-your-/

            http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/08/claims.html

            http://www.factcheck.org/2013/08/obamacare-by-the-numbers/

            http://www.factcheck.org/2013/09/obamacare-myths/

            But then, for people dug in on an issue, acknowledging facts
            inconsistent with their position is difficult, so I suspect you will
            dismiss all evidence contrary to your position..

          • Gatortrapper

            You say medical professional but don’t say physician. Are you not a doctor? If you are then why not say so? If not, then why don’t you detail your exact role. Being obtuse undermines the balance of what you write, for obvious reasons.

            In terms of single payer versus free market, I’m sure everyone would like to be freed of the constrictions of having to deliver service with the knowledge that dissatisfied consumers could go elsewhere. Your tone betrays a lack of interest in the consumer as you are big on the financial end of it. Most medical professionals (e.g. doctors) are in it for the personal satisfaction more than the money. That said, I know of no single payer system for anything else in the US other than government services and we know how badly those are delivered. People don’t have the expertise in other major purchases and decisions, but somehow find a way to fill the gaps when it comes time to decide, and if they had skin in the game they might be more inclined to be even better informed. I would for certain.

            Every doctor I’ve spoken to is diametrically opposed to the PACA. The impacts they share are troubling and many are retiring early or going cash only.

            Since when is religion a basis for generalized policy? It seems that the left wants to exclude it in other contexts but resurrect it in this context? Hmm… AS for reliance upon Politifact and its ilk, I’ve learned that the outcomes and conclusions reached by those forums often are reflective of editorial bias and have to be weighted accordingly. Personally I trust my own experience and reasoning over that of the third party although I certainly incorporate their views and citations into my analysis.

      • tbphkm33

        Ah, another “conservative” splurging his propaganda out of the wrong end. Something smells rotten and putrid.

      • jefe68

        Might not his interpretation of sedition be valid in context to how he views the obstruction that the GOP has engaged in for years? I’m more inclined to view many tea party Republicans as regressive right wing extremist who are more interested in their own political gains than what’s good for the nation.
        As to critical thinking skills, well the right wing in this nation does seem to be lacking in that area, big time.

        • Sy2502

          There’s nothing seditious in lawful political opposition, and I can only shake my head that you’d have such pitiful understanding of democracy. Democracy is set up to allow rule of the majority but not dictatorship of the majority. There’s a group of people in this country who strongly oppose ACA and they have every right to be represented in the government just like everybody else. For this purpose they elected Congresspeople and gave them the mandate to do anything they could against ACA. Which is precisely what these Congresspeople are doing. Now if Obama and his sycophants were worth their salt, they’d be able to persuade us all of how wonderful ACA is, and they would negotiate an accord on the issue. But since they only know how to deal with sycophants like themselves, and are left bewildered and confused by anyone who doesn’t agree with them, this is the situation we are in.

          • John_in_Amherst

            The Congress was never intended to function in a way that requires a supermajority to pass any and all legislation. Furthermore, many of those who oppose the ACA do so based on the lies and propaganda spun out by the GOP/Teabaggers and echoed endlessly by talk radio and FOX.
            The GOP is bereft of ideas on how to address the crisis in healthcare. If they have constructive ideas for improving healthcare, they could enunciate them and debate them. But NO!!! They seek only to aggrandize their own political position.

          • Sy2502

            Your personal insults to people who think different from you are immaterial. Sooner or later we all end up in the minority, and at that point, we appreciate if our voice is still heard. I have no idea what you mean about Congress being intended to work in a different way. The rules haven’t changed as far as I am aware of, since its creation.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Funny, but I didn’t see your objection to name calling when gatortrapper was reaming me out for my “liberal education”.
            The rules haven’t changed but the way the GOP has applied them have. Check the figures on Judicial and other nominees put on hold, often for no stated reason. Check the number of filibusters and threats there of, up by 200-300% over historical precedents since Obama took office. The GOP failed to get a mandate to reduce the size of government, to be able to “drown it in a bathtub” to use Grover Norquist’s phrase, so instead they have sought to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of government and by extension Obama’s presidency, by totally bogging down its operation. Even mainstream Republicans are bemoaning what has happened to their party and institutions like the Heritage Foundation at the hands of the teabaggers. Read: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-fall-of-the-heritage-foundation-and-the-death-of-republican-ideas/279955/

          • Sy2502

            I don’t spend my day reading all the comments, I read yours because it was a response to mine. Given you yourself have a propension to throw around personal attacks, I don’t see why you now protest because others did it to you. Take your part of responsibility in raising the level of the discourse.

        • Gatortrapper

          To the contrary the Tea Party is all about sound public policy consistent with Constitution and pushing those regardless of the political consequences.

      • John_in_Amherst
        • Gatortrapper

          A short column extolling Bush’s statesmanship is useless.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    EJ isn’t good at math.

  • Yar

    The mandate for insurance is a mandate to pay a wage that covers health!

    • harverdphd

      wrong…it is a mandate for taxpayer subsidy

  • Yar

    Members of congress will have to use Obamacare.

    • OnPointComments

      Can a private company get the same benefit that Congress carved out for itself? No.

      • jimino

        What is the precise benefit carved out that you are referring to?

        • sickofthechit

          As Mitch McConnell reminds us all to frequently “We have the best health care in the world”. He of course is only speaking about his own congressional coverage. charles a. bowsher

        • OnPointComments

          “…Congress voted for the law without realizing that the final bill had no mention of the very generous premium contributions the government makes to federal employees as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Imagine the horror when these elected officials, who make $174,000 a year, realized that not only must they and their staffers be subject to inferior-quality health exchanges like the millions of ordinary Americans, but they might also have to shell out thousands of dollars for increased premiums if they exceed the subsidy income cutoff.

          “The White House, under heat from Congress, directed the Office of Personnel Management to carve out special rules so that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program can continue to contribute to the health plans used by Congress and congressional staff.”

          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324665604579080921594857770.html

    • Gatortrapper

      While getting the $11,000 subsidy that the common citizen does not receive and which you would not receive at all if you made as much as Congress and their staff make. Your subsidy would be zero yet they still get their very generous contribution from your tax dollars. But you go ahead and delude yourself if you wish. Ignorance abounds around here.

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    The mandate which seems to be the core issue was a REPUBLICAN idea to begin with!! They were looking at in Congress and the REPUBLICAN governor implemented it in Massachusetts.

    The Tea Party folks were the ones marching around with signs telling Obama to keep his hands off their Medicare i.e.THEIR government subsidy (yes, I know we pay into it – but most of us get way more out of Medicare and Social Security than ever put in – so it IS a subsidy).

    The Republicans keep arguing that Obama engages in class warfare, but in fact it it the Republicans that keep winning the battles and they are doing so with the very “soldiers” that typically lose the most.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      No Republican or right wing think tank signed on to this 2700 page disaster with 10s of thousands of pages of regulations and thousands of new IRS agents to implement.

      Romneycare was only 60 pages.

      • J__o__h__n

        Romneycare only applied to one state.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Exactly. Keep it in the states.
          If a state like CA wants single payer — let them have at it.

          • sickofthechit

            Problem with that is that after Citizen’s United People are Corporations, and as Corporations we engage in Interstate Commerce and as such we would need reciprocity agreements with each state we visit if we got sick. A real mess. Some things are just more efficient on a national scale. Do you really think we should have Airports at each state border were you disembark only to re-embark on another plane for the next leg of your journey to yet another transfer place? It’s the 21st century we are in. Try not to worry so much. charles a. bowsher

          • Gatortrapper

            That’s a contrived argument if I ever heard one. And efficiency on a “national” scale does equate to Constitutional authority regardless of the perceived benefit. In fact it was a considered concession that we would forgo certain efficiencies to be gained by centralized law maker in order to restrain that government in favor of stronger state government.

            Another example of poor education that fails to teach critical thinking and analysis resulting in someone with an opinion but no ability to articulate a defense beyond some platitude.

      • hennorama

        Romneycare was for one state. 50 states X 60 pages = 3000 pages, so by your measure, Obamacare is 10 percent simpler than Romneycare.

        And that excludes DC.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Weak effort.

          Not up to your usual standards.

          • hennorama

            WftC – thank your for your response and your backhandedly complimentary words.

            The intent of my post was to point to the silly simplicity of your point.

            In the battle of silly simplistic arguments, as mine was clearly 50 times better, I declare victory and thus retire undefeated.

        • sickofthechit

          Best comment of the day! in my opinion…

          • hennorama

            sickofthechit – thank your for your response and your very kind words.

        • OnPointComments

          Is there a different Obamacare law for each state?

          • hennorama

            OPC – Thank you for your question.

            No.

            However, per IRS.gov, “bona fide” residents of U.S. territories need take no action to comply with “the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision.” From an online Q&A:

            “[Question] 13. Are residents of the territories subject to the individual shared responsibility provision?

            “[Answer] All bona fide residents of the United States territories are treated by law as having minimum essential coverage. They are not required to take any action to comply with the individual shared responsibility provision.”

            See:
            http://www.irs.gov/uac/Questions-and-Answers-on-the-Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision

        • Shag_Wevera

          HA!

          • hennorama

            Shag_Wevera – thank your for your response and your very kind(?) word.

        • Gatortrapper

          Typical “gotcha” liberalism. First, the bill adopted in MA was proposed by the legislature and merely signed into law by Romney who supported it as an act of the people acting through their duly elected representatives. Second, given the plenary powers that a state has it has the ability under its police powers to enact such a law, a power that the federal government does not have. To say that it does is to take the position that there is no area of law that is not subject to superior federal jurisdiction because you cannot articulate a bright line that establishes what can and cannot be regulated by the feds. Libs can’t see the forest for the trees.

          • jefe68

            The mandate was Romney’s idea and it came from the Heritage Foundation.

          • Gatortrapper

            I guess if you want to believe that then you will but a review of the history does not show that his administration authored it, but rather that it was done by the legislature; that he vetoed some 8 major provisions in it and the legislature overrode his veto on some or all of those. So you can hold the opinion but the facts don’t seem to support it.

          • jefe68

            I’m well aware of the history and it’s funny how you seem to think by cherry picking legislative process that it somehow points to the bill being something formed by the Democrats. Which it was not. But as long as we are on about reviewing history you left out that the idea of the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation.

            By the way Mr. Romney was proud enough of his part in the Mass Health Care Bill that he had the bound bill put into his official portrait.

            Then there are the e-mails…

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303640104577436300587354714.html

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – Thank you for your response.

            As you are a relative “newbie” in this forum, you are forgiven for characterizing my words as both “Typical” and “liberalism.”

            As stated to the originator of the post to which I replied, the intent of my post was to point to the silly simplicity of the argument as to the relative number of pages involved in the two pieces of legislation.

            Perhaps your omniscient “forest” view missed that silly simplicity. If so, you may wish to adjust your binoculars.

            The remainder of your post was completely unrelated to mine, so it shall pass without further comment.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh hennie, with the “silly simplicity” to demand smaller laws we can expect our representatives to read the bills before voting and not having to wait until implementing the law to find out what is in it.

            You know — the Pelosi Doctrine.

          • hennorama

            WftC – Thank you for taking the time to reply.

            We can and do always “expect our representatives to read the bills before voting” regardless of their length.

            Your simple and silly point about the relative lengths of two pieces of legislation has no merit. The value of legislation cannot be measured by the number of pages taken up by its language.

            One could distill Obamasurance to one simple sentence:

            “Everyone shall obtain healthcare insurance coverage; details to follow.”

            Clearly, the details require significant amounts of language, as health care and health insurance costs are equal to between one-sixth and one-fifth of the US economy. But the basics are contained in that one simple sentence.

            Please allow another quote:

            “With private insurance finally affordable, I proposed that everyone must either purchase a product of their choice or demonstrate that they can pay for their own health care. It’s a personal responsibility principle.

            “Some of my libertarian friends balk at what looks like an individual mandate. But remember, someone has to pay for the health care that must, by law, be provided: Either the individual pays or the taxpayers pay. A free ride on government is not libertarian.”

            That was part of an op-ed written by then-Governor Willard Mitt Romney, published on April 11, 2006, the day before he signed Romneycare into law.

            See:
            http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/05/12/what-mitt-romney-said-about-romneycare-when-he-signed-it-into-law/

      • jimino

        So you agree this is the implementation of a Republican idea, but uses too many pages to do so.

        What is it about the Republican idea being implemented that you are so opposed to?

        • Gatortrapper

          See my note above

          • jimino

            You didn’t answer my question beyond saying someone whose views you respect changed their mind about something for some unidentified reason that you apparently think is intellectually defensible, although you are unable to articulate it, substituting irrelevant pseudo-intellectual babble about the “Founders” instead.

            Care to try for some facts? What basic principles were suddenly found to be betrayed by the original proposal? Who had this “epiphany”, and when did they have it?

            Let’s start with those.

          • Gatortrapper

            First, your comment, to which my brief reference was made, was posted prior to any of my posts.

            To your question about what was found wanting about the plan that its proponents walked back from it, I believe that among other factors that it was the Constitutional concerns that there is no Constitutional authority for it. Which is correct, notwithstanding the tortured interpretation that it was a “tax” and therefore permissible that the Supreme Court reached. Other lawyers and I, along with students of the Constitution, have long seen the Court as not following the letter, nor spirit, of the Constitution. Space considerations prevent a full exposition of the issue, but suffice it to say that when the Court found that wheat grown and consumed on a farm, without ever having left the premises, could be regulated as impacting the stream of commerce sufficient to implicate the “commerce clause” of the Constitution that it lost most if not all credibility and has done little to redeem it since.

            The insurance concept of having mandatory participation was initially floated based on state level concepts where the plenary police power of the state is clear. When it was elevated to a national concept the consideration of the powers was not revisited until after it was floated and people who didn’t have “author’s blindness” raised the issue. But you’re asking me to deliver a degree of specificity and personal knowledge that I lack and have only gleaned from reading about it.

            If you want to have a more detailed exchange it would necessarily need to be in a different forum, but one I’m happy to engage in.

      • Gatortrapper

        The original idea may have been floated by conservative groups but as they worked thorough the nuts and bolts of it they had the epiphany that it ran contrary to more basic principles and they retreated from it because it offended those principles. That’s called having intellectual honesty and having the courage of conviction to examine and debate ideas and have them take more distinct form before reaching a final conclusion on their efficacy. The problem with Dims is you can only play the “gotcha” game as most of you lack the intellectual nimbleness it takes to go outside the box and float ideas knowing that they are controversial so as to be able to bring out the scrutiny that is essential for development of sound policy.

        Indeed a prohibition against using prior positions and votes was a rule during the Constitutional Convention because the Founders knew that full and complete debate and examination would be impossible if people were not able to take a position and then reconsider it because they would be condemned. So they banned it from use.

    • Gatortrapper

      Never seen a single such sign at any Tea Party rally so you are either delusional or lying. The Tea Party is as critical of poor Republican policy making, if not more so, than they are of bad Democrat rule.

      The fact is you don’t want to adhere to the Constitution beyond mere lip service while we see the truth that adherence to it was what created the opportunity that made the US great.

      And as for your criticizing SS and Medicare, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth at once. It wouldn’t be “subsidized” but for the expansion of benefits to gain electoral support, by both parties. The Tea Party is consistent about reducing all government, not just select programs.

      • nj_v2

        You’ve summed up the idiocy of the Teabaggers very well! Couldn’t have done it better myself.

        [[ The Tea Party is consistent about reducing all government, not just select programs. ]]

        • Gatortrapper

          That you can’t see the flaws in the course of action you prefer is your own problem. Big government is the cause of most of the problems we have today and you folks just want more of it. Einstein described a variant of that as being insanity.

  • sickofthechit

    So how much do you contribute to your local npr station? nothing? maybe you should change stations.

  • Bigtruck

    It’s so boring, The President will try to do something, anything, and the I got mine F-you Republicans will try to obstruct. Meanwhile the 1% is vacuuming up all the cash and power while we are chasing out tails.

    • myblusky

      Unfortunately you summed it up nicely.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Yup.

    • fun bobby

      it takes two to tango.

    • Bigtruck

      No, see you are chasing your stubby little tail. You are correct, it does take 2 to tango, but it only takes 1 to obstruct. The BIG point is it only takes 1% to destroy a democracy and the other 99% to let it happen.

      • pete18

        Your stats are off. Obama is only one in 313.9 million, that would make him less than 1%.

      • harverdphd

        the 99% are a myth

    • harverdphd

      the 1% is a myth

      • OnPointComments

        You’ll never convince the liberals who post here that there’s not a finite bucket of money in the US economy, and the 1% got to the bucket first and took more than their fair share. It’s one of their most enduring fantasies.

        • jimino

          So harv doesn’t believe in mathematics, and you don’t believe in the concept of a GDP. That helps explain your posts on this site.

          • OnPointComments

            There is a mathematically calculated 1%, and it’s never the same people year after year. There is an annual GDP, but it’s not predetermined at the beginning of each year, and it is not distributed on a first come, first serve basis.

  • hennorama

    Cuba has infiltrated the US government and is about to crash our economy.

    Cuban sleeper Sen. Ted Cruz, son of Castro revolutionary Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, is attempting to sabotage the economy in order to foment revolution.

    Blame Canada.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      No need for Cruz to sabotage the economy. Obama’s been at it for 4+ years — and been pretty successfully kneecapping the economy.

      Hey, did you see Obama’s new EPA rules that make it impossible to build a new economically viable coal plant in the US?

      • hennorama

        WftC – TY for your response.

        Please allow me to quote Vice President Joe Biden:

        “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey!”

        • Gatortrapper

          I’ll consider the source. But the EPA rules do make effectively impossible to construct a new coal fired plant.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – Thank you for your response.

            Given your omniscient “forest” view, you no doubt realize the following:

            1. The “EPA rules” to which you refer are only PROPOSED rules. From the Press Release:

            “The agency is seeking comment and information on today’s proposal, including holding a public hearing, and will take that input fully into account as it completes the rulemaking process. EPA’s comment period will be open for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. In a separate action, EPA is rescinding the April 2012 proposal.”

            See:
            http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/da9640577ceacd9f85257beb006cb2b6!OpenDocument

            2. The economics of coal fired power plants, new or not, have changed significantly due to falling natural gas prices, due to increased supply. In addition, construction costs have risen dramatically. According to a recent article in sciencemag.org, :

            “Although the United States has long generated the bulk of its electricity from coal, over the past 6 years that share has fallen from 50% to 38%. Plans for more than 150 new coal-fired power plants have been canceled since the mid-2000s, existing plants have been closed, and in 2012, just one new coal-fired power plant went online in the United States.”

            See:
            http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/02/coal-plants-are-victims-their-own-economics

            Thanks for playing.

          • HonestDebate1
          • Gatortrapper

            Your point being? That the proposed rule isn’t final. Fact is that air quality based restrictions have been becoming more and more onerous and while I agree with the need for clean air the stated purpose is not a major enhancement of air quality but to restrict the emission of carbon byproducts because of concerns over climate change.

            The cost of competing energy forms such as natural gas is certainly a factor, but coal still remains nominally cheaper, albeit by only a small amount at present. But that’s the issue: such parity may not always be there and retroactive imposition of more and more air quality standards solely for climate change is speeding the transition and narrowing the range of options available to those who make their living in power generation. I’d say this: I’ll abide their opinion if all things were equal and they didn’t face the hostile regulatory conditions that exist today, what would be their preference? As that doesn’t exist I can only read the tea leaves with you and my reading is they want the option to have both fuels available so that they can play one against the other on the price issue, if for no other reason. But consistency of supply and reliability in terms of what they can produce is also an issue.

            As for your final point about the number of operations that have been shut down and new construction, how is that even relevant? You can’t suggest that there has not been a hostile regulatory environment over coal fueled plants for more than 20 years, and it is accelerating. Insistence on the capture and retention of released carbon is nearly insane. Indeed the article you cite raises as many questions as it purports to answer. First, it’s basically a regurgitation of an expert who made a presentation to the parent of the publisher.

            The person quoted extensively in the article is the author of the cross referenced “paper” presented to the parent association that the article is about. The abstract of that paper lists 8 factors that may impact coal fired utilities. FIVE of those are directly related to regulatory issues and the cost recovery potential associated with the investment necessary to comply with those issues.

            “3. The significant environmental impacts of using coal and the
            potential for more stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
            (“EPA”) regulation of criteria air pollutants.

            4. The need for and potential economic and financial impact
            from potential EPA requirements concerning coal plant water usage and
            coal ash disposal.

            5. Uncertainty as to the costs of complying with EPA
            greenhouse gas regulations or a comprehensive legislative regime for the
            regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

            6. The need for and financial impact of large capital
            investments for scrubbers or other emissions control projects, cooling
            towers and/or the replacement or upgrading of major coal plant
            components.

            7. Uncertainty as to whether the regulated and merchant coal
            plant owners will be able to recover the costs of expensive plant
            investments from their customers/ratepayers.”

            I think it significant that power companies would have 120 coal fired plants being planned and designed and would pull them. That begs the question of why? Given that the parity in price of coal versus natural gas is a recent development (with a huge disparity between price in the US and elsewhere. 2011 Global Average LNG Price Stood at $8.77 per MMBtu versus $2.874 in the U.S. in early 2012. ) and with LNG selling for 1/3 of the international spot price it’s not hard to see why it would be a major factor in the change. But the issue is what happened BEFORE the sudden windfall was discovered in the late 2000′s? Those plants fell off the planning table before that. Why? EPA regulation is the most likely culprit.

            So I find it misleading to cite the fact that plants were closing, not being renovated and not proceeding with development with the implication that it was solely because of a cheaper fuel when the timing and facts are marginal at best, and when there exist compelling factors that is is regulatory overreach that is likely the cause.

            Regarding climate change: it’s properly “climate fluctuation” not “change.” The climate has fluctuated significantly over the life span of the planet and only the last 5,000 years have seen the lower temps that have dominated and form our understanding of normal. And the trend has been down, down, down until recently. The argument is that solar forces that are poorly understood and other factors are more influential than human activity and that we have no appreciable impact in comparison. Does that mean we do nothing? No, but it does mean that you should act rationally and it seems to me that embarking on a course of action that is likely to drive up end user cost for electricity, the principal source of energy used by the developed world, and disrupt economic systems is risky, and could have far more immediate adverse consequences.

            Your ball.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – TY for your response.

            Your original post said “But the EPA rules do make [it] effectively impossible to construct a new coal fired plant.”

            You have done nothing to prove this point, and your point completely omitted the economic factors involved.

            Talk about misleading.

            You also failed to acknowledge that “the EPA rules” referred to are not yet final.

            Talk about misleading.

            Again, perhaps your omniscient “forest” view missed these factors. If so, you may wish to adjust your blinders.

            Thanks again for playing.

          • Gatortrapper

            You want me to join you in a closed circle argument. I’m not going to play that game. Facts are facts: existing rules and the proposed rules have consequences and the actual report submitted with the proposed rule apparently concedes the point you argue. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303759604579095292685100308.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

            I pointed out that five of the eight factors listed in YOUR cited paper were environmentally related. I also detailed the price differential between foreign and domestic supplies. I assume you know that current US policy restricts exportation of LNG in any meaningful quantity.

            Face it, you have the short end of the argument and engaging in little asides of no significance can’t change that. You go ahead post the last word on the subject, I’ll stand on the overall argument I made without going to the length of generating a doctoral thesis for you.

            Restricting use of coal is short sighted and damaging to the US economy. But if you want to be relegated to cave dwelling it fits with the liberal mantras of the left.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – Thanks again for your reply. It was entertaining.

            That you are unable to prove your original point is your issue, not mine.

            It’s clear from the facts that building coal-burning power generation plants in the U.S. has had declining economic viability for quite some time, beginning before the current Presidential administration. It’s also clear from the facts that closing existing coal-burning power generation plants in the U.S. has had increasing viability.

            This is not a new phenomenon, and was not caused by the proposed rules.

          • Gatortrapper

            Whatever. Your own cited report and the fact that 120 units were being pursued undermines the efficacy of your assertion but some folks are immune to logic.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – Thank you again for your entertaining post. Your eloquent “Whatever” argument was particularly enjoyable.

            Thanks again for the comic relief.

          • jefe68

            There is the little issue that it’s cheaper to build and run gas fired plants. Somehow that’s not being mentioned here.

            Also the level of damage that older coal plants cause is well documented and proven. This guys arguments are more about right wing ideology than common sense.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Very good. LOL!!! — personally I would NEVER use the Joker to bolster my case but that’s just me.

      • sickofthechit

        Coal, the short-sighted energy play. Living in Kentucky for all of my 57 years I can tell you that no matter how many “Coal Keeps the Lights On” license plates I see they can not repair the damage done to our mountains and our poisoned and buried streams.

        The coal plants aren’t economically viable because the industry refuses to recognize this is the 21st century.

        • RobertLongView

          Got shale oil soil — we got frack juice for you too … API already bought your mineral rights, i bet.

    • Bruce94

      O Canada where, prior to inception of the ACA as Bill Clinton just disclosed at the Clinton Global Initiative, a major auto manufacturer decided to locate their factory rejecting the U.S. because, you guessed it, Canada had universal healthcare access while the U.S. had a mostly dysfunctional medical care market supported by blithering idiots like Sen. Ted Cruz, who interestingly enough was born in Canada and likely benefited from the kind of govt. financed and regulated healthcare that he is currently ranting against.

      Personally, I’m less concerned about his father’s ties to the Cuban Revolution than I am about his wife’s affiliation with Goldman Sachs and Cruz’s apparent affinity for the Wall St. Banksters who actually did crash our economy.

      According to their laissez-faire, libertarian philosophy, healthcare should be left to the vagaries and excesses of the “free” market. Such a perspective fails to recognize healthcare as a human right or public good–a principle that virtually every other advanced, civilized country on the face of the earth has adopted.

      Cruz, by threatening govt. shut-down or debt limit show-down over the ACA, is just following the extortionist Tea Party script attempting to cast Obamacare as the bogeyman and hoping to divert attention from the fiscal insanity and rank stupidity of the sequester cuts, which he and his fellow Tea Party cretins helped engineer back in 2011 when they held the country hostage over raising the debt ceiling.

      Rather than try to fix those parts of the ACA that are in need of attention, Cruz and his cohorts would prefer to demagogue the issue and abdicate their responsibility to govern responsibly and to advance a rational legislative agenda on other important issues like job creation, immigration reform, gun control, tax reform and balanced deficit reduction — to name just a few items that are being neglected by these extremist elements within the GOP.

      We the People deserve better than this…even the yahoos he calls his constituents deserve better than the empty rhetoric, unsubstantiated claims and distortions that the junior Senator from Texas seems content spewing.

  • Damien & Phyllis Simeone

    Speaker Boehner, Do not shut down national government! Negociate a compromise. Do your job for the Public Good. My wife and I will not vote for any Republican candidate in 2014 and 2016. You risk losing Presidency again in 2016.

    • fun bobby

      did you vote for republicans last time?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      President Obama, delay and change Obamacare for the public good. Obamacare is an unpopular and unworkable monstrosity. You risk harming the nation. Do your job for the public good.

      “Obama selfish, stubborn on health care”
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/23/obamacare-gop-debt-ceiling-column/2850061/

    • Bruce94

      The kamikazis currently manipulating the GOP are not receptive to logic or reason. They are not swayed by political reality or common sense. They like to cite polls purporting to measure the ACA’s popularity, but ignore the most substantive polls on the subject taken to date:

      In 2012 the GOP failed to re-gain the White House despite a weak economy, and a vulnerable President who ran on his signature achievement, the ACA, managed to get re-elected by a substantial margin.

      In the meantime, the ACA’s constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court.

      And the GOP failed to re-gain the Senate even though far more Dem seats than GOP seats were contested.

      The GOP managed to hold onto the House only because of the perverse effects of gerrymandering and redistricting. House Dems actually won the popular ballot receiving 1.4 million more votes than the Republicans.

      Ignoring the political reality of the above election results and court rulings (the only polls that really matter), the fanatics now in control of the GOP (and their apologists on this forum) point to opinion surveys that allegedly show weak support for the ACA–surveys conducted after a massive GOP-sponsored campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering. Moreover, when the law is broken down into its constituent parts and the benefits are explained, those same polls show widespread support for the ACA.

      Cruz and his ilk are railing against the ACA not because they believe it will be a “train wreck” for most Americans, but because they fear it will become a success after implementation and the public begins to experiences more of its benefits. Cruz has been quoted saying he’s afraid that as more people sign up for plans offered in the exchanges, they will become “addicted” to another entitlement, and at some point it will become impossible to take it away from them. A similar argument was made against Social Security and Medicare.

      I liked your sentiment, but it’s a dicey proposition to expect Speaker Boehner to resist the nihilistic, Know-nothing members of his caucus and ultimately muster the will to do the right thing for the country. Thus far, his Speakership hasn’t exactly been a profile in courage.

      • RobertLongView

        A Republican SCOTUS at that! American politics has a history of these “know-nothing” nativists, i believe they are called. (Your choice of words: “muster” is so apropo. — Boehner is hanging on bare knuckled in the TEA party hijacked GOP.) Political hacks such as Norquist, Armey, and Koch… call the shots from behind the curtains like the Wizard of OZ.

        • Bruce94

          Exactly!

  • Shag_Wevera

    The affordable care act was lawfully passed by the elected government of the united states.

  • harverdphd

    can anyone in support of Obamacare please tell me what coverage (the plan) my 63 year old spouse will have and the cost to our household. I am retired.

    • hennorama

      It doesn’t matter if one supports Obamasurance or not– anyone can begin here:

      https://www.healthcare.gov/

      • RobertLongView

        but, but, Bill O Really on Faux news said, blah, blah… .

      • sickofthechit

        Well put!

        • hennorama

          sickofthechit — Thank you for your very kind words. Did you like “Obamasurance”? To me, that seems a far more accurate term.

    • RobertLongView

      …got a smart phone app for that — i smell opportunity here… got assets — what state or territory?

  • fun bobby

    you are correct. now back to watching the voice

  • RobertLongView

    Cruz – living out his Big Texas Presidential dream? This reminds me how Romney sat off stage in a Tampa Hotel at the 2012 RNC. VP candidate Ryan went on stage– lied and sold his soul to the delegates there. Meanwhile, the Plutocrat POTUS Candidate was safely off stage – deniability was the trump card hidden up his sleeve. Why would anyone vote for a partisan hack Snake Oil shill such as Cruz?

  • hennorama

    Senator Ted “I will renounce any Canadian citizenship” Cruz’s fauxlibuster has been entertaining, just not in a good way.

    Thus far he took less than a half hour to prove Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies, but also compared Congress to professional “wrestling,” and read from Dr. Suess’s ‘Green Eggs and Ham.”

    OK, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ IS entertaining.

    Is the Cruz family grocery list next?

    What a joke.

    See:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-defunding-obamacare-nazi-germany-filibuster-2013-9

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/09/81563-17-interesting-quotes-ted-cruzs-filibuster-defund-health-care-law/
    ==========
    “Twitter quickly dubbed his stand a “fauxlibuster” or — perfect for its invocation of vacuous, feel-good nonsense-speech — a “Ted Talk.”

    See:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-double-absurdity-of-ted-cruzs-filibuster/279959/

    Political theater and nothing more.

    • RobertLongView

      Funny you mention Green Eggs… because over in the House Boehner is on the record at least twice, over the years if memory serves me, as stating he likes Chicken Salad and making Chicken Salet there. Maybe Boehner will like Ham Salad with his warm beer now that it is endorsed by the good hon senator from Taxes?

    • pete18

      It’s been all policy talk and debate over the last hour (9:42pm), reasonably cordial and substantial too.

      • hennorama

        pete18 — regardless of what Sen. Ted “I’m showing my support for the House bill “defunding” Obamacare by blathering on and on and not allowing it to come to a vote” Cruz says, it’s ALL political theater and nothing more.

        • HonestDebate1

          Cruz may lose the battle. Technically, I don’t think this is even a filibuster. And it certainly is political theater. I thank him for it.

        • pete18

          Do you mean to say you’ve never supported a democrat filibuster ( a legitimate and constitutional senatorial tool) against a Republican law that you found to be an anathema to your beliefs?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your reply.

            My point is that Sen. Ted “Look at me – I’m faux-libustering!” Cruz’ performance is one of the stupidest things ever done in the Senate. He has gone out of his way to dare the House to send a bill “defunding Obamacare“ to the Senate, and when they stupidly fall for his idea, he makes it look as if he is trying to delay a Senate vote on it by faux-libustering. This is despite the fact that a vote was going to happen at a scheduled time, so his fake filibuster was nothing more than filling time.

            As stated, it was entertaining, but nothing more than political theater, AKA ‘Green Eggs and Sham.’

          • Gatortrapper

            Nah…that would be something that Reid did. We’ll find him in an unmarked grave someday when his mob friends tire of him. He does remind one of the Nevada Senator in the Godfather movies doesn’t he?

    • Gatortrapper

      And it bothers you given your comments. And that is worth the price of admission alone. To see you and other progressives wiggling like worms on a hook knowing their to fed to the fish. Great theater and the fish appreciate your cooperation. Give us more apoplexy please.

      • hennorama

        Gatortrapper — thank you for your comment.

        Sen. Cruz’ performance has been entertaining political theater, and not bothersome in any way.

        Thank you again for your (again) erroneous comment.

        • Gatortrapper

          Ahhh… the fits of apoplexy were unrelated to the subject at hand. Okay…. if you say so. But I do enjoy knowing that it does bother you that he got so much attention and that you are just besides yourself because you believe in your heart of hearts that it just sooooo undeserved and it’s really irritating to you and your friends.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – TY again for the comic relief.

            First, you may wish to consult a dictionary as to the meaning of “apoplexy.”

            Senator Rafael Edward Cruz’ performance was entertaining. That he feels it necessary to draw such attention to himself is his issue, and it is viewed with bemusement.

            FYI – “bemusement” here means “tolerant amusement.”

            Thanks again for playing.

      • jefe68

        You sure have a long winded way of saying nothing at all.

        • Gatortrapper

          You need to work on your comprehension skills then.

          • jefe68

            I have no problem comprehending your game. You’re just another regressive right wing ideologue with nothing much to say.

          • Gatortrapper

            Ouch. That was really insulting and struck me to my core. I’d lose so much sleep being labeled a “regressive right wing ideologue” except I am comforted by the knowledge that you are desperate for anything to say that you will say, well anything. You folks just fear the rise of rationale thought resuming its place in directing society.

    • jefe68

      He (Cruz) also got the meaning of the story wrong.

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — indeed, the theme of Green Eggs and Ham is “Don’t make up your mind about something without trying it.”

        The Senator’s concept also runs counter to the possibly apocryphal tale of the boss who rejects the job applicant for salting food without first tasting it.

        Maybe Senator Cruz and other PPACA opponents will be like Mikey (“he’s not gonna like it — he hates everything”) and his brothers (“I’m not gonna try it — YOU try it!) in the old commercials for Life cereal.

        See:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow5cHJx43i0&feature=youtu.be&t=10s

  • HonestDebate1

    The preliminary estimate of the 10 year cost for Obamacare was $940B, that assumption got it passed. The cost has risen with every subsequent estimate. 2010-2019 came in at $1.4T; 2011-2020 = $1.7T; 2012-2021 = $2T; 2013-2022 = $2.3T; 2014-2023 = $2.6.

    And now we want to raise the debt limit to include a blank check for whatever the real cost turns out to be. And that’s if without funding the 19 parts of Obamacare that have been delayed. It’s a no-brainer. God bless Ted Cruz.

  • OnPointComments

    OBAMA SELFISH, STUBBORN ON HEALTH CARE: COLUMN
    The majority of Americans don’t want the flawed ObamaCare, so why is the president pushing it?
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/23/obamacare-gop-debt-ceiling-column/2850061/

    Excerpt (emphasis added):
    “The House budget funds everything except for implementation of the Affordable Care Act better known as ObamaCare. In truth, by refusing even to negotiate with the House leadership and threatening to veto a budget that doesn’t fit his own specifications, it is Obama, not the House of Representatives, who is putting the country at risk of a government shutdown.

    “…Obama will negotiate with Iran or Syria, but not with the House Republicans. And if the Senate passes the House bill and sends it to him, Obama will presumably enforce this red line and veto the budget, plunging the nation into a government shutdown.”

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s such a great point. It makes perfect sense given the manner in which this hideous law was passed. Legislation this sweeping requires honest debate, careful consideration and a bi-partisan consensus. Usually the libs say they like that sort of thing, not here. This abomination was passed by one party with bribes, kickbacks and a meaningless signing statement… then they used reconciliation. Our Republic has built in heebie jeebies to this sort of imposition of party. You’re damn right we don’t like this.

      • jefe68

        You should note that when the idea of women being given the right to vote, the same kind of rhetoric you’re posting here was used against the 19th Amendment . The same kind of thing happened during the civil rights era when Jim Crow laws were thrown out and the Voting Rights act came into being.

        • HonestDebate1

          So Obamacare is as noble an effort a civil rights? Now i’ve heard it all.

          • jefe68

            No, that’s not my point oh inane one.
            My point is unpopular legislation does become the norm. The ACA with all it’s faults, is at least addressing some of the damaging aspects of our health care system. It does not go far enough nor does it deal with the fee for service system we now have. It does not deal with the rising costs, or the for profit aspect of the insurance market and how that is one of the major issues in costs. It does not deal with absurd way that hospitals, doctors and all the other costs associated with health care are levied. It does try to contain some of the costs, but the reality here is we Americans are paying way to much for everything form drugs to hip replacements.

            To your complaint about health care being a civil right, well In my view decent affordable health care should be a right. ?Civil or otherwise.

    • hennorama

      Opinion from a self-identified “libertarian transhumanist,” Glenn Reynolds.

      Alrighty then.

      • HonestDebate1

        Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

        • hennorama

          Inanity, thy name is you, man.

      • pete18

        Yes, and..?

    • sickofthechit

      Your name doesn’t jibe with your comments. charles a. bowsher

  • HonestDebate1

    I gotta say, I like it. The dynamic shifts as this thing stretches out. It’s sincere. It’s honest debate. I’m disappointed by the reaction I got from both of my Senators but I am happy to know somebody is holding true to his word.

    I’m not typically an enthusiastic anti-establishment Republican kind of guy. I like Newt. I voted for Dole. I like Rove. I get the political realities… yadda yadda. But this is awful, I’m glad Cruz is taking a stand.

    • fun bobby

      we would be well on our way to a moon base with newt at the helm

      • HonestDebate1

        Gotta love Newt!

        • fun bobby

          I wish Obama could have made the moon base by 2020 pledge. it could have been humanities and America’s salvation.

        • TFRX

          Newt?

          Sure, one loves him if one is a “coward, unAmerican, racist, homophobe, pansy, weak, traitor, Fascist, liar…”

          Just taking a page out of Newt’s playbook. So you gotta love it.

  • hennorama

    Senator Ted “All Chat And All Prattle” Cruz, The Mouth That Bored, finally shut up.

    He then immediately ran to the nearest media camera, and starting talking again, about his prior talking. The over/under for the elapsed time between his speeches to cameras was 60 seconds.

    Those who took the under were rewarded.

    • pete18

      I thought it was a great performance, based on principle, which may have some positive political consequences in ridding us of the horrid and destructive legislation known as Obamacare. If you are using the senate floor to make points and influence opinion the faster you make it to the
      cameras the better, that’s the whole point.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/25/double-down-obamacare-will-increase-avg-individual-market-insurance-premiums-by-99-for-men-62-for-women/

      • hennorama

        pete18 – TY again for your response, and for acknowledging that Senator Ted “A Canadian? – Who Me?” Cruz’ faux-libuster was indeed merely a performance.

        As to his yakathon being “based on principle” – I agree, but likely not in the way you meant. The principle Senator Ted “The Mouth That Bored” Cruz based his prattle on was “Look Out For Number One At All Times.” Sen. Cruz is about one thing and one thing only – Ted Cruz’ political future.

        Thanks again for your response.

        • pete18

          OK, so since you are allowing yourself an ad hominem opinion about what drives Cruz, what is your opinion about what drives Obama?

          • Gatortrapper

            He has no rationale basis beyond trying to absolve the white liberal guilt possessed by racist whites who feel guilty about their concealed animus toward blacks. He thinks this has been exorcised by electing an incompetent narcissus who happened to have good speaking skills and was a white black of questionable origin.

          • pete18

            Maybe, that is certainly a reasonable theory for much of the liberal angst about race but I never presume people’s motives since one can never really know in this kind of setting. This is exactly why Hen’s critique of Cruz is so empty. He’s perfectly free to dislike and disagree with Cruz but to presume he has some sort of insight on his motives is delusional and irrelevant. If he has some sort of discernible metric besides his dislike for conservatives to find Cruz’s motives lacking and Obama’s pure, I’d sure like to hear it.

            I’m with you with the incompetent narcissus label, but I’m not sure what you mean by a “white black of questionable origin?”

          • Gatortrapper

            The “white black” is a hold over from the “white Hispanic” Zimmerman deal where a new designation was adopted for those of mixed ethnicity. Of questionable origin makes a jest toward those concerned about his place of birth, which is interesting only because there is so much out there its hard to dismiss out of hand, although I accept the newspaper clippings as being pretty definitive.

            As for Hen and his diatribes about Cruz, I quickly figured out that he is out to provoke reactions and nothing more, so I try to give him a little of his own medicine. You’re correct of course, you cannot know “what lies in the hearts of man” but given the knee jerk sensitivity about race, particularly Obama’s, and it is hard to fashion a different explanation.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY once again for the favor of your reply.

            I disagree that my statement about Senator Rafael Edward Cruz’ principle is “an ad hominem opinion.” It was based on observation and the large number of accounts from those who have interacted with Sen. Cruz over the years. He may have other principles, but that is difficult to discern. Certainly his actions and words during his brief Senate career have been contradictory a number of times, making it appear that he is more like a highly skilled attorney making argument, which of course does not require belief in the argument.

            President Obama’s motivations, in marked contrast to Senator “Just Be Sure To Spell My Name Correctly When You Write The Article About The Crazy Thing I Just Said” Cruz, are obviously not about Pres. Obama’s political future. The President has taken the old-fashioned track, and has tried to build things and improve people’s lives. You might recall what this is called – governing.

            Again, this is in marked contrast to Sen. Cruz, who seems determined only to sabotage the achievements of others, and to tear things down.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            If press accounts about what someone is like to work with, as well as the presence of political opportunity are your measuring sticks, then I guess you should be equally critical of President Obama’s motives before the 2012 election. His ambition regarding his political future was in play from the first day he hit the senate floor and there have been ubiquitous press stories about how poorly he works with others, his narcissism, and his partisan maneuvering. Of course vanity and ego don’t disappear after the final election, legacy can still drive a president’s actions in a less than pure way.

            By the way, I think it’s quite possible that Cruz has a big ego and ambition, which partially explains his actions, he’s a politician after all, but to think he’s got some sort of exclusive monopoly on this that makes him worse than Obama or any democrat member of the senate is pure partisan pondering.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — TY for your thoughtful response.

            Indeed, an oversized ego and enormous ambition are practically job requirements for national elective office. I made and make no claim whatsoever that Senator Cruz has any monopoly on those traits.

            Still, as stated, it’s difficult to discern whether Senator Cruz has any principles beyond Principle Number One, or any motivations other than to further his own future political prospects.

          • pete18

            But you don’t seem to have any problems speculating that about Obama. How come?

          • hennorama

            pete18 — please rephrase your question, as it is not understood.

          • pete18

            But you don’t seem to have any problems discerning that Obama has principles beyond “Principle Number One.” How come?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for the clarification.

            The answer is simple – President Obama has actual accomplishments.

            OTOH, President Obama has also implemented (and failed to implement) policies that seem completely contrary to any political advantage:

            Failed to close Guantanamo
            Afghan War surge
            Various national security policies, especially the recently revealed NSA programs
            Increased deportations

            Etc.

            In other words, he’s made difficult choices, many of which were politically detrimental, both to his own political future and that of his party.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s a hoot!

        • HonestDebate1

          He was actually engaging in honest debate over weighty issues with historical perspective. We could use some more of that.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Harry Reid immediately ran to the nearest camera to bloviate. Harry Reid is a known liar and an embarrassment to the American people and especially to the Dems since THEY voted him as leader. Harry Reid is a waste of time.

      • StilllHere

        He’s an uncanny real estate investor though.

      • OnPointComments

        Harry Reid is one of the most despicable persons in the Congress, and that’s saying something because the competition is fierce.

      • Gatortrapper

        Hennorama isn’t interested in rational or objective discussion. He’s out for entertainment at your expense. He’ll poke around trying to find some button to push, ignore the inconsistency or flaws of his own arguments and return to push some more. Not that he has any basis for it other than getting a chuckle as you try and respond. He’s a child with access to a computer who can’t stand on his own intellectually so I’d let him bloviate as he is really no different than Harry Reid of whom you complain: and is a waste of time.

        • hennorama

          Gatortrapper — Thank you for your bravely indirect comment. Your true colors show through. Well done.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Hey Hennie, when Wendy Davis went to the cameras and became a media darling was she a heroine or a grand stander?

      • hennorama

        WftC – TY for your replies

        Senator Reid went to the floor of the Senate, not to “the nearest [media] camera.”

        As to Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and her ACTUAL filibuster, it had an actual effect, in marked contrast to Senator Ted “I’m A Faux-libusterer” Cruz.

        All standing filibusters are, virtually by definition, “grandstanding” in one form or another. Of course, what Senator Cruz engaged in was not an actual filibuster — it was just Ted Cruz talking, for the benefit of Ted Cruz.

        Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ recent filibuster on proposed abortion legislation was not her first rodeo. In 2011, she also successfully filibustered Texas legislation that reduced school funding by $4 Billion.

        In both instances, Gov. Rick “Oops” Perry had to call a special legislative session to overcome Sen. Davis’ efforts. Senator Cruz’s efforts were overcome in advance, by the fact of the scheduled Senate vote. His yakattack was just so much hot air.

        See:
        http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/jun/03/wendy-davis/wendy-davis-says-texas-not-funding-enrollment-grow/

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Sorry you can’t see the benefit but anytime the deficiencies of Obamacare get aired — and they did get significant national coverage due to the efforts of Senator Cruz — the sooner this monstrosity can be purged. It is early in the game to remove this bad law. Without Cruz and Mike Lee the House never would have voted to defund Obamacare so they have already had a positive effect.

          Regarding Wendy Davis, as you noted her efforts only delayed the reforms by a week or so. And what we she fighting for anyhow — to allow substandard medical facilities to be used for abortions like in the Goznell case? Boy, that is something we should all get behind? /sarc off.

          See ya.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – Thank you again for your response.

            If any benefits accrue from Sen. Rafael Edward “Look Ma, I’m Still Talking!” Cruz’ stunt, they will accrue solely to Sen. Rafael Edward Cruz, and eventually to the media conglomerates that will air his future political advertising.

            His stunt has deepened the already deep fractures inside the Republican Party.

            His stunt will change nothing at all about the PPACA.

            His stunt will serve only as a fundraising vehicle, and to further his own political aims.

            Your mischaracterization of what Texas Senator Wendy Davis was fighting for is unsurprising. The Texas bill that eventually became law, after a SECOND special legislative session, appears to be unconstitutional on a number of levels. That of course seldom prevents fanatics from taking actions that will likely be overturned. When that happens, they will simply blamed “unelected judges” and try again.

            No doubt Senator Rafael Edward Cruz could tell the Republican Texas legislators and The Republican Texas governor that, based on his Supreme Court experience.

          • Gatortrapper

            Must really be frightening that he has probably cemented his front runner status for the 2016 GOP nomination with this display. I’ll be happy to have to agonize over the choice between him and Rand Paul. The long term implications to the Democrat house of cards and all the freeloaders dragging down society are not good. In the meantime he has galvanized and provided a standard bearer for the Tea Party, a key component that has held them back from being the real power that the left fears like Voldemort feared in Harry Potter.

            It must have you folks really just crawling the walls right now. Enjoy the sensation as it may be with you for a while. ROFL

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper — TY for your fanatical response. Both Senator Rafael Edward Cruz and Senator Rand Paul have no serious prospects to be elected as POTUS.

            Enjoy your delusions while you can.

          • Gatortrapper

            And you’re pleased with being a clown. I find you amusing but not very interesting because one trick ponies are just that, capable of only a single trick. You’ve expended your ammunition and are just a been there, done that afterthought.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper – TY for your mixed metaphorical response.

            Pray tell — how does a pony expend ammunition? Just curious.

            One notes that you do not dispute anything in any of my posts in this thread, most especially the original post. As such, my statements about Senators Cruz and Paul stand, as do those about your errors and delusions.

            Thank you for your tacit agreement.

          • Gatortrapper

            You’d have to convey a thought that dignified a response to warrant a response. You haven’t and thus I didn’t.

          • hennorama

            Gatortrapper — TY for the favor of your reply.

            I see. Your three prior direct responses were not responses. Got it.

            One is unsurprised that you enjoy Senator Cruz’ self-contradictory words and actions.

          • HonestDebate1

            Dude, America elected a race-baiting, Alinski radical with zero executive experience. Obama is the most unqualified debacle ever to hold office.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, He — thank you for sharing your rant. I disagree.

          • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

            Are you sure that Ted Cruz is the front-runner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination? For one thing, there’s those pesky “birthers” he’s going to have to deal with, since he was born in Canada. And then there’s those other Republicans — particularly John McCain and Karl Rove — who have made no secret of their contempt for Cruz — and will stop at nothing to stop him.

          • Gatortrapper

            I think I wrote “probably” but you can read more into it if you choose. On thing is for certain and that is that he will have strong Tea Party support and that’s not a bad place to start.

            As for birther types I have a couple of observations: 1) it will be interesting to see the Dims who assert it reconcile their comments when the shoe is on the other foot; 2) the question of the place of his birth is not disputed; 3) McCain suffered from the same disability in that he was born in Panama, if recollection serves; and finally the legal aspect of it seems to be fairly well established although I have not myself pulled and read the reported decisions that supposedly have been cited thus far.

            Regarding the opposition of the “establishment” Republicans, they have their own issues in terms of their polarizing effect. Frankly though, they have demonstrated such a lack of principle and willingness to compromise their souls in desperate attempts to retain their hands on the levers of power I suspect that they will be forced to mend any fences they break, with egg dripping on their faces. In other words they lack sincerity and resolve about anything. Why should this be any different?

          • TFRX

            Davis was trying to stop a law being passed under shady circumstances while Cruz is trying to backdoor invalidate a law passed by both houses, signed by the President, and deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court.

            See ya.

          • pete18

            And is and has always been completely unpopular with the voters.

          • http://www.skeeterbitesreport.com SkeeterVT

            YOU DON’T HAVE THE VOTES — DEAL WITH IT!

    • Gatortrapper

      And every one of those minutes that he curried attention had you stewing in your own juices. Pure schadenfreude to see progressives becoming apoplectic before our very eyes.

      • hennorama

        Gatortrapper – TY for your fanatical and erroneous response.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I am now convinced that the quickest way to kill Obamacare is force a vote on the Vitter Amendment — everyone in Congress and their staff must use the same exchanges with the same rules (ie, no special subsidies) as the American people. The Dems will not be able to defend the special treatment that they currently receive. The American people will be outraged.

    Want to kill it even faster? Extend the Vitter amendment to include all Federal employees (excluding the military).

    • OnPointComments

      Unfortunately for us, whatever the members of Congress say they are for, they are first and foremost for themselves. They will never force themselves to live under the same laws they mandate for us.

  • Mike_Card

    Ted Cruz and his fellow T-party dipshits deserve to be sliced and diced. What a total asshole-rama he put on!

    • TFRX

      I wish we had a mediascape where that was just reported on squarely.

      The BothSides Brigade is ginned up about “who’s to blame for the shutdown”.

      • Mike_Card

        As if anyone who’s paying attention has any doubt.

    • hennorama

      Mike_Card — in the future, please be more careful when using the -rama suffix . I don’t care to be painted with the same brush as Senator Rafael Edward “I’m A Faux-libusterer!” Cruz in any way, shape, or form.

      Thank you in advance for your consideration.

      • Mike_Card

        Duly noted.

  • OnPointComments

    President Obama’s standing with Americans has slumped significantly, as the public remains skeptical about his health care law and unsure about the economy…Forty-nine percent of the public disapproves of Mr. Obama’s job performance, and 43 percent approves, matching his worst measures in two years…Across the board — on foreign policy, including Syria and Iran; the economy; health care; and the federal budget deficit — more Americans disapprove than approve of the president’s performance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/us/politics/obamas-approval-rating-matches-two-year-low-poll-shows.html?google_editors_picks=true&_r=1&

    Keep up the good work Ted Cruz!

  • gslouch

    C’mon! Really! A health care bill that will finally include millions unable to access health care and you oppose it. Even if it doesn’t work perfectly it’s worth a try. Hasn’t everyone heard the true stories about families who have a child with a chronic disease who are dropped unceremoniously by their insurance company? I don’t even have to think twice. I don’t know what America the Republicans are talking about when they claim the House vote as a victory for America, but they’re not talking about the ordinary middle class working America! Their reasoning about this bill and their scare tactics are pathetic.

    • Gatortrapper

      You’re free to give your money to any charity you want. The Constitution is not a license to take from one taxpayer to provide for another just because it makes you feel better. That’s the basic proposition and it gets worse as the specifics are examined.

      Remember this same majority imposed economic redistribution stuff you support right now might be coming for you next, and I expect you will be wanting us to man up for you then. That’s a little bit of future hypocrisy for you.

      • jefe68

        Article I, Section. 8 of the Constitution does indeed give Congress the power to tax.
        Weather you or I like it or not is neither here nor there.

        The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

        To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

        To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

        To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

        To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

        To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

        To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

        To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

        • HonestDebate1

          So?

        • Gatortrapper

          Unencumbered by principle you can rationalize anything my friend. That’s the ignominy that half wits would shoulder if they had enough self awareness to realize how stupid they sound. You’re apparently blessed with abundant ignorance. That’s your problem, not one that I must struggle with.

          • Cutler Hamilton

            Ok so you’re really good and making your fellow citizens feel lowly. You’re also very comfortable with spreading fear. Question: Do you work for the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, or other co-horts of theirs?

          • Gatortrapper

            Your comment makes me feel bad but I was provoked. I try to have fact based policy discussions and find it irritating when less than serious people choose to play games. At which point I tend to remove the gloves, although I try to shy away from cruel attacks, curse words or pejoratives.

            But as to your question, no. I’m just a concerned citizen trying to offset the flood of misinformed or misguided representations made as absolute fact. Especially when people are basing their opinions on what they read and are being reinforced with a false narrative.

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