By Jonathan Alter

Barney Frank Makes A Misdiagnosis On Obamacare

April 20, 2012 2:35 pm Category: Bloomberg View, Memo Pad 60 Comments A+ / A-
Barney Frank Makes A Misdiagnosis On Obamacare

Representative Barney Frank, who is not seeking re-election, gave a memorable exit interview this week to New York magazine suggesting that President Barack Obama “underestimated, as did Clinton, the sensitivity of people to what they see as an effort to make them share the health care with poor people.”

The Democratic Party “paid a terrible price for health care,” Frank said. “I would not have pushed it as hard.”

Frank’s take is self-serving. He argued that Obama should have proposed financial reform first, which is convenient considering that he was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee at the time and would have loved all eyes on his bill.

But the question remains: Is Frank right? We know what Republicans unanimously think. What’s surprising is how many Democrats, with the benefit of hindsight and speaking sotto voce, agree with Frank. Although they support the substance of the law, they are appalled by its political fallout and wish they had a do-over. Their thinking was summarized this week in the National Journal by Michael Hirsh, who wrote that by embracing health care reform amid the economic crisis, Obama confused his priorities and took his eye off the ball, much as President George W. Bush did when he invaded Iraq instead of worrying more about al-Qaeda.

This analysis has new resonance because of the recent Supreme Court oral arguments over Obamacare (a term, by the way, that the Obama campaign now embraces). Democrats are wondering if it was worth it to lose the House in 2010 and perhaps the White House in 2012 over a bill that may be declared unconstitutional, anyway.

The answer is yes. To understand why, we need to be clear about the purpose of politics.

It’s not to win elections — hard as that may be to believe in the middle of a campaign. Public approval as expressed in elections is the means to change the country, not the end in itself.

Insuring 30 million Americans and ending the shameful era when an illness in the family meant selling the house or declaring personal bankruptcy? Nothing to sneeze at, whatever the cost to one’s political career.

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Barney Frank Makes A Misdiagnosis On Obamacare Reviewed by on . Representative Barney Frank, who is not seeking re-election, gave a memorable exit interview this week to New York magazine suggesting that President Barack Oba Representative Barney Frank, who is not seeking re-election, gave a memorable exit interview this week to New York magazine suggesting that President Barack Oba Rating:

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    ‘Personal Responsibility. Finally, the element of the Massachusetts bill that has attracted the most attention and dispute is the ‘personal responsibility’ provision, also known as the ‘individual mandate.’

    From the outset, Gov Rommey stated that requiring individuals to buy health insurance in the current framented and overly expensive insurance market would be wrong and counterproductive. But he also argued that if the market could be reorganized to make coverage universally available and portable, deregulated at least enough to make in affordable for the middle class, and subsidized enough to make it affordable for the low-income, then there would be no reasonable excuse for anyone to forgo health insurance.

    Rommey, also pointed out that to allow people to go without health insurance when they can expect someone else to pay the tab for their treatment is a ‘de facto’ mandate on providers and taxpayers. Rommey’s plan was to take that option off the table, leaving only two choices: either buy insurance or pay for your own care. He proposed that those who want to go without coverage could place $10,000 in an interest-bearing escrow account, which providers could claim against if the individual did not pay medical bills. Unfortunately, the state legislature changed that idea into a mandate:either buy coverage or pay a fine….This provision is more onerous and philosophically objectionable, but it is unlikely to prove onerous in practice.’

    The above is from an article written by Edmund Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation back on April 11, 2006. The ending is very telling. ‘Other governors and legislators would be well advised to consider this basic model as a framework for health care in their states.’

    I can’t help but wonder why the Constitutional issue never came up until Obama’s administration and the Congress embraced Rommey’s Massachusetts solution?

    • crazyjack

      “forced to buy insurance”. Wow, how dragonian. Like being forced to buy auto insurance, home owners insurance, workers compensation insurance, etc. Uninsured drivers cost insured drivers a high percentage of their premiums. Uninsured sick people do the same to insured persons. Has no one noted that the “penalty” is collected via the Internal Revenue Service? That means that if you don’t file a return you don’t have to pay because there is no mechanics for collection.
      The Republicans scream “get the government out of my life” and then force women to pay to have a 12″ medical dildo shove in them. They “require” Doctors to advise only the negative possibilities of abortion. They force the poor to buy photo id’s if they want to excercise their Constitutionally guaranted right to vote. Yet, nearly half the voters seem ok with this. I must live in a different world. Perhaps if we built fewer Billion dollar war planes we might actually help the middle class exist in today’s economy.

    • lexi001

      $10,000.00? That’s all? Gee, what a great idea! All of those who can’t afford health insurance should certainly have $10,000.00 laying around. Come on, how ridiculous can one be? This is America guys. We have poor people in this country. Worse, we now have a “new poor”. Most of the “new poor” were once called middle-class. The attitude of those who do not seem to have any problems making ends meet, is unconscionable. There is a mean-spirited, and often even hateful group of people living in this country. Everyone talks about too-big government, but as someone above noted, if the Republicans think the government should step in, that is somehow different? Who among us is not the receipient of some form of big government? We ALL use government to get through each and every day. There are just those who choose to talk trash about it only if it refers to people who they assume, whenever they hear talk from anyone for the needy, that they of course must be on welfare! Has it never occurred to these same people that there are those of us who actually care about other’s? I for one have no problem giving more taxes from my meager paycheck to keep this country from falling into the hands of the Oligarchy. It seems many have lost the understanding, if they ever had it, of the word “equitable”. A country, nor capitalism cannot sustain itself without equitable distribution. That simply does not exist. These candidates are not talking about equity! They don’t believe in equity for all. If you’re not as smart as them, or as rich as them, or don’t have the patronage they are privy to, you should be poor!! This country has become the greediest bunch of nasty, self-centered, foul-mouthed people I have ever seen. I mean that particularly of the political parties, but it applies to a host of folks out there. No one is going to come to your barn-building! Those days are gone. What folks don’t seem to realize is that by keeping the poor on their knees, i.e., lack of education for starters, the entire country pays the price. What, are we afraid of an educated public? Do you think ANY child, no matter where he/she comes from does not deserve the same education as EVERY other child? Evidently. Just take a look at where we are in education. Number 39. Are you all proud? Countries with less going for them than we have do better. Why? Because they are evidently smarter than us. Keep it up. I cry for what we have become.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

        The $10,000 suggested does indeed point to how out of touch Rommey has always been. He is apparently even more so today.

  • RAP77

    I agree with Mr. Frank. I think the President had a plan that he formulated before the economic crash and stuck with it through the extraordinary circumstances that gave him an opportunity to really create the change he talked about to much during the campaign.

    But, I don’t think his health care plan caused the Democrats to lose the 2010 elections. Obama and the Democrats failed to respond to continuous Republican bashing during the first two years of the administration.

    Like dumb mutes they allowed the most ridiculous slander by idiots on the right, and were unable to articulate any kind of rebuttal to the most unintelligent talking points thrown out by right wing activists we’ve ever seen.

    And it continues. Obama can’t seem to make a forceful statement that gets repeated in the media. I think there’s a good possibility he will lose to Mitt Romney, another idiotic buffoon who seems to be able to say anything, no matter how inaccurate, without an effective response from Democrats.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643949387 William A Cunningham

      You Do?

      • RAP77

        Your replies are incoherent.

      • RAP77

        Your replies are incoherent.

  • Gladys5215G

    I believe there should be Universal Healthcare for all just as all government employees have which include all in the Senate, Congress and White House who can afford the high premiums to begin with are getting it for free! This should be a one time fee out of our taxes. Our taxes currently pay for theirs and anyone who cannot afford it or who is of retirement age. Why can’t it pay for ours too? Because healthcare is too expensive and because insurance companies want a slice of that too? Then make healthcare equally as inexpensive here as in all other industrialized countries in the world. We are the only nation on the planet hellbent on insurance. Ins. for auto, home, life, workman’s comp, liability, healthcare, flood. COME ON. How much is that taking from our salaries? Add to that taxes we have to pay and then wonder why your paycheck has diminished in size? Plus, skip a premium and it is as if you never paid into the system in the first place. Why would you skip a premium? Too many of them, too expensive, your salary’s not large enough or perhaps the worst one, you got sick and now you cannot generate enough income to pay for them….so you get canceled. This system sucks and unless we change it, do not expect more than to continually decline as a country in the manner we are doing right now.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643949387 William A Cunningham

      It’s not quite time yet. Look at the word as it is today. All of Europe that has what you are speaking of is now becoming to exspensive not because it’s bad but the creators of it sisn’t make safe from bad times. When the word grows up and works togeather and all economies are stable,then it is possiblr. For now we have to tweek the current medical law to make it work as intended.

    • dalnb

      The “public option” that was in the early part of the Health Care Bill was the same insurance program federal employees have. I spent 20 years in federal service and when I retired I kept my family Health Insurance. It was not the best and it had significant co-pays but we only paid $162.00 a month for the plan. We had options for much better programs at higher premiums but in my 20 years of government employment and 56 years on this earth I had only used medical insurance 7 times (other than my wife’s pregnancies, dental and vision) so a better plan was not necessary.

      The worst thing that happened to the Health Care law was taking the Public Option out. It was affordable, gave a broad choice and had the strength of membership to keep prices reasonable and pressure on the insurance companies to do the right thing.

      • Gladys5215G

        That is too bad that the public option was removed however, we shouldn’t have OK healthcare and good healthcare for those who can afford better. I’m just as important as anyone else. I would like to not compare people’s healthcare with buying a cheap pair of shoes or an expensive pair. And I don’t want choices. For the sake of argument….my right arm vs my left. No, I want my entire body to be included in the policy and the policy should not be canceled because you cannot or couldn’t make your poayments on time. One time from our taxes would take care of the year no matter if you happen to get sick and are not able to generate the income to pay for the premiums. This is when we need our healthcare to be there more than ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/phill3 Patricia Hill

    If you are 48 years old and have 4 cerebral aneurysms and can not longer work, was working but had no insurance you now face life with a quarter of a million in medical bills.
    What are you supposed to due? We need health care now.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/COEQM7CPBPCLB4TEG7KG75JHLQ Robert Ribeiro

    there’s time till November, & thank u on final sentence with the word “guts” relate to Obamacare.

  • howa4x

    Your analysis lacks a few points, namely why were democrats not forceful in standing up to the tea party and harping on the benefits that the bill could have for the public, instead of running and hiding and allowing the republicans to have the PR advantage. The 2nd point is why did the democrats allow Max Baucas to shelve the public option before the senate could get the votes? The democrats have no one to blame but themselves for what happened. They acted like whimps, afraid of the insurance companies the tea party and the republicans.

    The ire about the act was the idea that the government was going to force you to buy health insurance. This was actually a Republican idea conncocted by the Heritage Foundation, but as the democrats were in full retreat they failed to make that a talking point. Whenever democrats try to act like republicans they pay the price. If the Senate just expanded medicaid to cover a basic health plan with a catastropic component for the 32 million uninsured that would not created an uproar, but Baucas was on the insurance company payroll so he couldn’t.

    Also as the republicans developed their mantra of repeal and replace the democrats should have forcefully countered with replace with what and made that be specific to what was going to be taken out and what was going to be put in. Since the democrats never touted the benefits of what they passed they lost the moral high ground and again allowed the republicans to go unchallanged

    Democrats have to remember that they have a loyal base and they need to expand it and not go completely against it. So the next time there is a real fight they can reach into a well of support. We need to Democrats to stand up for what they believe and not run at the 1st sign of trouble.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000069706093 Rosemary Butt

    its too bad that it will be too many years for the people of this country to realize what Obama care will do for them. Yes he has made mistakes, what President has not. This country is NOT in a recession, it IS in a depression, and will not be out of it in 4 years no matter who is President, too bad American’s do not understand that, Romney will NOT get this country back to the way it was. It will be too late for the country to realize that if he is elected. NO man is good enough to solve our problems, many of which are also caused because of the one world govt we live in now, all of our economies are linked together. The difference between these 2 men is President Obama cares for people. The masses in this country, that is what we are to Romney…. just the masses.
    The Republicans and teapartiers keep telling us, GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR LIVES, and at the same time making laws that we can’t have abortions, birth control, smoking, can’t vote without a NEW kind of registration. and on and on, so it appears the only government control that is important to them is what they want the govt to be involved in.

    • Steve Dickheiser

      Well Rosemary, you very much hit the nail on the head when it comes to the Republicans. If we do not want all that they want we are all wrong. I do not want government so much in my life but I very much do now want the restrictions the GOP wants to impose. Romney will do all he can, in the name of “good business”, to defend and protect big business, the main GOP goal, and limit us all he can to achieve his goals at our expense. Once the GOP gets what votes from us they can we will be forgotten until the next time they need our votes. We know the GOP will not vote in our interest because we see and hear that all to often. God help us if the GOP wins in any ways.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643949387 William A Cunningham

        You need to stop thinking about yourself my friend.

        • Grandpa_In_The_East

          I can see you are not his friend. Of course, my greatest joy in life is looking down on others. I see alot from way up here.

          Grandpa

    • Gladys5215G

      I believe you are correct. They constantly contradict themselves and what really amazes me is that they actually have followers!

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OV4QAPY7WVGZ4HIBYE7IRS7WL4 Brian

        Contradiction?
        “cash for clunkers will only cost $1,000,000,000.00″ (3+ billion)
        “Asking for the USA to INCREASE it’s debt is a sign of bad leadership” (senate floor 2007) So obama’s done it TWICE
        I’ll close Gitmo, no I won’t.
        “NO-ONE making under $250,000.00 will have ANY tax increase WHATEVER” ( buy a can of non-chemically sweetened soda lately?)
        “If I don’t fix the economy in 4 years I don’t deserve a second term”

        So I say back to you, kind sir.

        “They constantly contradict themselves and what really amazes me is that they actually have followers!”

        • digoweli

          Haven’t seen how governments work much have you Brian.

        • Gladys5215G

          I didn;t say Obama was perfect, however the Republicans are completely out-of-control.

        • Grandpa_In_The_East

          Hey Brian,

          You know Romney contridicts himself all the time. But most republicans do not contradict themselves very much. They usually just parot the same ol’ lines over and over and over and over…..

          Grandpa

          They have followers because following Republicans requires no brains.

    • dalnb

      The Republicans did not want to win the 2008 Presidential campaign. They knew fixing the mess Bush was leaving behind would take a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of unpopular decisions. Their idea was to let the Democrats win, do everything they can do to see they (Democrats) do not get anything accomplished, and blame the entire mess on the, setting a stage for a 2010 win and a Republican White House in 2013.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OV4QAPY7WVGZ4HIBYE7IRS7WL4 Brian

        That is the funnest thing I have ever heard!
        Exactly when did obummer STOP blaming everything on President Bush?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000069706093 Rosemary Butt

          Brian I have a feeling you are between 25 and 45, have NO health Insurance, go to the ER when you need medical help and never pay for it. It is that kind of person that has caused the cost of medical costs to soar. and when are YOU going to stop blaming President Obama for your problems.

        • http://www.facebook.com/afalkenrath Amy Falkenrath

          “obummer” that’s cute. Grow up.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OV4QAPY7WVGZ4HIBYE7IRS7WL4 Brian

      I think this might be appropriate.
      Rose, How many sheets of tp did you use to wipe last time?
      Are you really going to let a government official TELL how many to use next time?
      That is what you are asking for.
      The GOVERNMENT to decide if you are eligible to GET medical care.
      Use two pieces of tp=YES you get your colon cancer fixed. Use three= NO!!!!! (probably because your tp wasn’t made by UNION labor and so they’ll picket the hospital union not to treat you)
      and obummer will let it happen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000069706093 Rosemary Butt

        a simple answer for a simple person, you have no clue about medical costs, I am 76 years old, have been on GOVERNMENT medicare for 11 years, if only both political parties had NOT raided the trust fund for crap, it would be fine. and it is stupid to say they will tell me what kind of tp to use, STOP WATCHING FOX NEWS. UNIONS ARE AWSOME, the problem is the leadership and like the group of investors who voted against a huge payout for the CEO of Citibank, members of the unions neglected their jobs of watching the leadership and thinking for themselves instead of being sheep like you are. Greed of ME has permeated this country and won’t leave till we decide to care about our brother.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ester-Daviston/1701654372 Ester Daviston

      You are telling it like is. I love it

    • rustacus21

      … & there is a solution: if voting the only way which is supportive of Constitutional principles, the ONLY option is ALL Liberal/Progressive candidates who are running this & all future election years. True, this is a depression, as the tru magnitude is reflected in the the inability of all efforts so far, to reverse the conditions we’ve been suffering thru, going on 10 years straight! There are greater imperatives to consider than ‘party’ affiliation. All Americans need to understand this, from the laziness of Liberal/Progressive voters during mid-term cycles, to conservative voters who are confused by facts, reality & ‘connective’ information. But it’s up 2 American citizens to ‘fix’ THIS! It’s no 1′s job but ours, after all…

  • SharonKa

    If the Supreme Court declares it unconstituional to have mandatory, low cost healthcare premiums, I guess that will set a precedent for the state governments that make automobile liability insurance mandatory.

  • phantomoftheopera

    I suggest that anyone elected to office be required to have NO MORE in insurance than the lowest person has. Gee, that would mean they’d have none. Wonder if universal health care would become a reality then?

    • Steve Dickheiser

      What you ask for is a very small part of what is needed. There needs to be Congressional Reform and that should include whatever they impose on us they too will be subjected to. After all, it is supposed to be a “Citizens Government” and never was it meant for OUR Government officials to have more than We The People do – especially at our expense when we wouldn’t benefit. You bet there would be National Health Care and the kind which will work for us all. So much of what our Government does is not for the benefit of the majority of us and with the GOP it never will be. We need government reform.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YPI4NVMAWGSK43SFUAL6OUISGA Bunny

    If Obamacare does not pass,I hope he will concentrate on the Economy alone . . . He does care about the little people. . . I do not feel the same about Mitt. . .

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FOUXJNN5TWYRNCHAIIFSI6KKEQ Lew

    I don’t mind socialized health care as long as I dont have to be the one paying for it. when I was younger the churches and other people like red cross and salvation army and others helped out if someone got sick and had no money to pay the Dr. also if people would stop sueing the Dr’s every time they go see one for stupid reasons and QUIT giving lawyers a reason to make money with these law suits.

    • rustacus21

      U & all the rest of US pay 4 what U call ‘socialized’ health care, the same way we pay for the ‘socialized’ military’, the ‘socialized’ police, the ‘socialized’ fire dept., the ‘socialized’ water treatment facilities, the ‘socialized’ food & drug administration to ensure we ALL aren’t being poisoned, the ‘socialized’ education system, to ensure ALL of our nations children will learn common-sense lessons from the last 11 years & ‘socialized’ government services, that ensure criminals don’t loot our savings, pensions, retirement funds & equitably (or as much as possible) stand ready to provide 4 families out of work, homes & YES – HEALTH CARE!!! Its ezy to trumpet proudly, what we WON’T pay for, while other benefit as well. But what about if U no longer have the ability to pay for those things U, ‘Lew’ take so 4 granted? It’s not a choice when a person is unable to afford a car, food for an entire week/month, or health care. Count U’r blessing & be glad U live in a country where if EVEN U fall on hard times, other Americans won’t view U as too heavy a burden to lift til U can get back on U’r feet. If U voted Conservative over the span of 2000-2008, U contributed to the crisis the nation has no business being in considering the Clinton admin left a pristine nation for whoever his successor may have been. Conservative legislators & their wealthy puppet masters mean to obliterate our peoples Democracy. This belongs to us, the common, ordinary, everyday citizen. If they don’t believe in it, they have no BUSINESS in positions of decision making, which HURTS ordinary citizens like U & me & close to the over 300 million Americans who aren’t rich – some of whom live in a fantasy world, assuming they 1 day will be, but refusing to see that they’re cutting their own throats by voting for a party determined to prohibit the currently non-wealthy even the slightest opportunity (thru education/increasing student loans & work/off-shoring jobs) to EVER be so! THIS is what ALL Americans need to consider approaching November…

  • Virginia51

    Oh pleeeze … The public in mass told Congress and the President they wanted single payer and they were ignored. The public is tired of a failing economy and the “wag the dog” politics, the cover up of the Wall Street frauds, the loss of homes, savings, investments and retirement funds. The reason Dems lost and will continue to lose is because those “chosen” (by the party leaders) Democrat politicians are more concerned about blindly following the party line than doing what is morally correct.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KL7PN5P3632TBOUFWJQY6HGJKI Maggie

    Thank you. so much for saying that politics is not about winning elections. It’s not baseball. It’s not about rooting for “our team.” Political movements are about moving people mind’s and hearts from where they are to where they could be. Politics is about leadership, even when the majority don’t immedidatley respond to that leadership. (We wouldn’t have had a civil rights movement if many leaders hand’t worked to push our thinking forward, until finally, there was a groundswell movement.
    When LBJ decided to back cvil rights Democrats “lost”the South. They “lost” many
    elections after that. Do we blame them? They were leading us in a direction that has made this a better country.
    As for what Obama did and didn’t do. . ..Few seem to understand that even if Obama had devoted his whole first term to the economy he could not have saved us. President’s just aren’t that powerful. There are economic forces beyond their control, baked into the cake in the decades before they come to office.
    We are now paying for roughly two decades of excess (the 80s and the 90s) followed by a few years of trying to paper over the problems (2000-2004).
    Our problems would not be solved by restructuring the banks. The banks are just a
    part of the problem.
    Many of us who are not bankers were complicit in the excesses of the last 25 years– compulsive consumption, not saving, electing politiicans who told us what we wanted to hear: There is no bubble. Just keep on shopping, we’ll be fine. . Since interest rates are at an all time low, this would be a good time to refinance your mortgage with an adjustsable rate mortgage. (Greenspan’s advice). Or trade up to a bigger, more expensive house. While you’re at it, buy a larger, gax-guzzling car. Don’t worry about the environment. Your only concern should be you and your family. Collective thinking is for socialists.)
    So here we are. Long booms that lead to bubbles are usually followed by long busts. And no president is going to be able to spare us the pain of working off the excesses– not in 4 years, not in 8 years.
    If we want to create jobs (and we must) the public sector will have to do it. The private sector doesn’t have enough customers to have an incentive to expand.
    But we do need pubic sector jobs– more teachers’ aides, more teachers; more nurses to visit elderlly patients in their homes, and help them manage their chronic diseases; people to clean up our parks and public spaces,;people to repair our infrastucture and our crumbling inner city schoools, people to engage in roof-top farming, growing nutritious foods in low-income neighborhoods, gym teachers in our schools, people exploring alternative sources of energy. . . . There is so much that we have neglected over the past 25-30 years–particuarly, our human capital, our chldren.
    The only way to pay for those jobs is to raise taxes on roughly 20% of all Americans. Raising taxes on the top 1% just won’t raise enough revenues to do what we need to do. Essentially, we need to redistribute income from the top 20% to the bottom 80%.
    By defnition, the top 20% is not the middle-class. Many people in the top 20% may think of themselves as midddle-class, but the middle-class is the band of people on on the 3rd rung of a 5-step ladder. They, and the folks below them, are in trouble.
    Why don’t more jouranlists say that? I’m afraid their editors and many of their readers live on the top step of that 5-step ladder.
    As for health reform, it has already done more good than any attempt to stimulate the private sector possible could. (The private sector will not create the jobs we need.)
    –Children suffering from pre-existing condititions are now getting care.
    –Community Health Centers are expanding. (The health reform bill provides funding to expand their capacity by 50%) These Health Centers are serviing as “medical homes” for low-income people. Instead of getting their healthcare in an exorbitantly expensive ER, they can get it in a center where the nurses and doctors know them and their families– continuitiy of care is key.
    –Small businesses have been taking advantage of tax credits, and more of their employees now have coverage
    – Medicare spending is slowing as hospitals tighten their belts and cut their costs. (This makes it less likely that Medicare premiums and deductibles will rise in the near future–IF progressives spread the news about Medicare spending.

    – As of Sept. 2010 all new insurance plans are covering preventive services without co-pays and deductibles including services that women need, such as contraception, screening and counseling for domestic violence.

    T

    his entire first term to the economy, he could not have turned things around.
    We’re paying for close to two decades of excess (the 80s and 90s) plus 5 or 6 years of
    trying to paper over the problem during the first years of this century.

    Whatever Obama had done, it will take more than 8 years to dig us out of this mess, and it
    will be painful. If we want to create jobs (and we must) taxes must climb.

    Restructuring the banks would not undo history. And it’s not just the bankers who are to blame. Many of us were complicit in the excess– compulsive consumption, failing to
    accept the fact that the wealthiest 20% should have been paying higher taxes, failing to save , electing politicians who told us what we wanted to hear. (There is no bubble. Just shop, and things will be okay.) Meanwhile, we lost interest in the poor.

    HealthCare reform is already saving lives. Children suffering from pre-existing condtitions have coverage.

  • Magee, Robert H.O

    I strongly believe that the Healthcare law is not unconstitutional. It does not support my own perspective because it forces me to purchases a product I am not willing to buy now. That only reduces it to a mere gamble for younger employees but it can also be seen as a saving that is right and useful in the future. But if this is what I may need in the future, should it not be called a tax so that it is protected from being squndered by the federal government IOUs?

    However, it is true that someday in my life I will consume healthcare if and when I get sick or in my old age. Which I will need as any other human being. For that reason the healthcare remains very much constitutional and a right every citizen ought to have. So then even if it is a tax or a premium it is a saving we ought to engage in.

    If some citizens cannot afford it should be afforded for them as a basic bill of right. Therefore, if I am working for a minimum wage I ought to afford it and employment ought to be a simple right that everyone in the working age ought to enjoy as they commit to national agenda of contributing into healthcare. Therefore, if I am not using the services right now, it does not mean it renders it unconstitutional.

    If the judges believe in God and they belive that healthcare is a service they have lived to need at their old age and wisdom it should be a necessity for all. If peace is to come, it must be within their own mind and heart to decide that which is a necessity to us all. If hatred is to die, you must scotch it within yourself. If intelligence is to triumph, you must be intelligent enough to declare a basic right for all even the poor in society because, there is no other pathway and no other salvation except for the comfort of dying less painfully because we have the medical profession which ought to be afforeded every citizen as a basic necessity.

    Now if we all believe that the world belongs to God we would see the world as a cooperative fellowship. We of the human race are also bound together and so interdependent that it behooves us all to live for the good of the whole. That alone ought to make the health care constitutional and necessary for this life.

    No nation has been able to find it with that completeness by asking for a contribution from every citizen that is able. If developing countries can do it I do not see why a developed country cannot go an extra mile to be able to challenge itself to providing this basic right to its citizens. What is money if it cannot help society live less painfully as we age?

    New extraordinary occasions as this need to teach us new duties; if I set myself on fire do you come to watch me burn or the instinct is to stop me from burning? If I have to die your effort may help another who might need my organ.

    Whether we wish to begin a program of job simplification, or to improve the economic outlook of our people we must first be sure that the environment and atmosphere is right . New ideas do not thrive in an environment of suspicion, jealousy, fear, bias or prejudice.

    When I came to the US in the late 1980s and went to work to support a family I earned $2.75 an hour. May I also remind you that output per person in the US has increased on the average about 2% per annual in the previous century. Such continuation of the trend into the 21st century means in good economic times a future full of better economic harvests for more people if we consider one another in a fruitful manner.

    It is however, imperative that we call for better ideas of utilizing the individual productively in the current technological advances which have made performance and efficiency a reality. In order to apportion and distribute income equitably we must allow everyone who works be able to make a meaningful contribution through payroll. This will cover healthcare but it is important to adjust wages downward which will help force prices adjust downward in the economy will become more robust.

    Learning to make better use of ourselves as a people must not be impeded by the laws we create to share income unequally and unfairly discriminating others. Therefore, I leave it to you all Americans to think that it is not impossible to find the healthcare law constitutional for it is very much a necessity we have never thought of; but it does cost others more out of their pockets than others to pay for the bills. If you are a foreign national living in the US legally you understand what I mean because your utilities are always higher than most citizens. That is what judges ought to find unconstitutional.

    It is only fair that every citizen meet their fair share of the healthcare bill. That strongly suggests that the judges will eventually find it reasonable to call the healthcare law very constitutional having covered 30 million people more it is not a laughing matter for this country. America needs this approach. Bipartisan politics aside. All we need is more employment and adjusted wages and inflation and the system will adapt and adopt the new system. It is what America needs and we all are hopeful and you should too be hopeful that the healthcare law is constitutional.
    By Magee, Robert H.O.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1643949387 William A Cunningham

    Who is it that we can use to not only set the Democrats straight on Obama Care and support it and prove what it wll do now and for our futre Generations. This is for Justice and healthy lives through good Health Care. Forget Politics and ram it down the Republicans throat. I am a Non-Partisun in California,because it is just that. I may vote for any one of any party. I became this because the Independant classifacation was changed to a party which took away my fredom to vote for whoever I choose. I believe that the democrats stand for the right things and did create the Health care law that is now Obama care. I thing they need to realize who they are again and stop crying like Barney frank did. If any one takes a selfish stand they should join the Republican Party.I stand for fairness,Honer in my word,and vote for what is best not just for me but for every one that has a heart and soul. I have a point that I use as a truth when I speek to members of my conservitive church. many may get upset with me or they push a conservitiv picture. Now dodn’t get me wrong,they our good and careing peiople that have been raised this way. I say this and we then are fine with each other. I ask what party or affiliation do you think Jesus Christ would concider supporting if he came here? They usually say not sure,he wouldn’t or look at me with an awaiting answer from me. This is what I say: It’s a no brainer,any christen or even non christen that belives in a loving heavenly father actually knows the answer,It’s a non-partison because christ care’s,loves and wants only the best for all of us not just one policical party,but wants all Human Beings to grow up now and understand their own faults and become as much as possible as him. It’s our future and it’s time we voted out those who only care about their own group and power. In this case,in this year it’s deffenitly the Republicans. I believe that there is this capacity of super love within us all,we just need to do what we do during tragity’s when that power comes to our surfice,ON A DAILY BASIS! Then we can heal our wonds with our Country and between ourselves. So how do I get this message to all Democrats and to the General public. (The NatonalMemo),TV,NT Times??. Thank you for this time to speak.

  • ckibbey80

    Look back over the years, the “accomplishments” the GOP HAS done for getting government out of lives and look at the consequences that have resulted. Deregulation of the the airlines–now only a handful of carriers still exist and if the merger of American and US Air goes through there will be only 3 left…the rest crashed and burned…deregulation of the trucking industry–more of the same, the phone company–used to you would call for phone service and a person would come to your house or business and “set up” the service for a charge, however your phone worked and life was good, now you do the installation yourself and hope it works. The GOP is all about money and the protection of it, it is the party of ME AND ME ONLY to Hell with every one else! I get so tired of the crap about the top 1% can’t be taxed, that “… they are the job creators…”, yeah, right we have heard that for years…where are these jobs they are creating or have created, in China? Truth of the matter is they did created jobs overseas for a fraction of the labor cost it would have been in this country. There the people work for around $1.00 to $2.50 per hour (US), have deplorable work conditions, no “benefits”, etc., and of course, who gets the “savings”? It sure isn’t me. They line their pockets and all I ge is the junk they put out that has lead paint on children’s toys, drywall that rots copper plumbing, makes our pets deathly ill from God knows what is in their food or chew toys. I could shake peopole until their theeth rattle for the stupidity that seems to run so rampant through the masses. I realize you can’t cram something down their throats with a potato masher, however I wish they would wake up and smell the cofffee burning. Maybe the whole thing HAS to fall apart (the economy and the health care system) with wide spread suffering, sickness, and pain to wake people up…after all, pain is a powerful teacher!

  • likelystory2

    I always enjoy reading Jonathan Alter, and once again I agree. If the Supreme Court dismantles Obamacare, it will be a shame on them far greater than any to date, and they’ve done some pretty shameful things lately. Citizens United. Need I say more? Health care reform was long overdue … families heading for bankruptcy due to an unforeseeable illness or accident. Horrible! And so unworthy of a great nation that holds itself up as a model for other lands. If I were a praying person, I’d be doing that because judging by those SCOTUS hearings last month, we’re going to need a miracle of conscience from a body that has lost theirs somewhere along the way.

  • Gladys5215G

    That is the one thing that has erked me about Obama and the Democrats, that they did not stand up to the Republicans. We wasted time trying to compromise. Forget compromising, veto or else. Just like Bush. Romney isn’t even worth talking about.

  • Gladys5215G

    We can only wish……

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F3AEVYAEPTF5EQAQBKY7B4IUSU EAT THE RICH

    the way the system works now if a person stays living in abject poverty, health care is taken care of after the problem becomes serious. if a person manages to find a part time or even a full time job. they loose all access to care. therefor if you have kids or health problems you must live in poverty to keep getting care for you or your kids. jobs with bennifits are not being created the rich have got it down to only part time no benny, Mc Jobs our recorse is the e.r . and no hope for preventive care. poor and disabled folks are just suposed to hurry up and die. single payer health care, like no fault insurance works, but doesn’t pay off the medical scammers, who prey on all medicare and welfare programs. thats why we don’t have it. no room for the thieves.

  • dalnb

    Research has shown that about 1 in 28,000 people have ready any part of the Health Care law and less than 1 in 37,000 have read more than one or two paragraphs. That suggests that the majority of people who talk about it are merely repeating what they have heard someone else say! That has been the strength behind the GOPs battle against the law; too many people are ready to repeat what they hear rather than study the issue to be personally aware and knowledgeable. Say it often enough and people will believe it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-J-Perea/1330247941 Angel J. Perea

    KEEP IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: This Robert’s S(t)up(id)reme Court historic “decision” could turn his court into the ultimate DEATH PANEL! Just ask one American! It was reported in a news interview that Dale Berman doesn’t just have a political rooting interest in the Supreme Court of over-turning the affordable Health Care reform law. One can say his life depends on it. As pointed out in new Commonwealth Fund survey of 2011, nearly 70 percent of adults ages 19 to 64 in the United States lacked health insurance or have been without coverage for more than a year This American like so many others are now at the mercy of the” California’s federally funded Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created by the Congress’s healthcare reform law as a temporary refuge for people awaiting establishment of so-called insurance exchanges in 2014 to have access to affordable health insurance with the prospect of insurers not being able to deny coverage to anyone!” So this Roberts and his right wing, activist Court needs to be publically shamed to be reminded that we’re a democracy, not a judicial dictatorship to over-turn this life and death coverage for thousands of American based upon on a ludicrous argument to “buy broccoli” to quote an insensitive statement by Mr. Scalia !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OV4QAPY7WVGZ4HIBYE7IRS7WL4 Brian

    obama sucks is the bottom line.
    I see the writer(?) states the obvious, that obama took his eye off the ball and then immediately follows up with the infamous redirect “blame bush”
    Funny really, I learned this in Journey 1.

  • tomngayle

    I have to agree in part with rep. Franks. The health care program that was fought for was not worth it. The only thing that will do any good for the health care of the citizens of this country, and the salvation of medicare is to open medicare to any who want to subscribe to it or use it as a single payer. This solution the congress came up with is nothing but a give-a-way to the corporations that control and abuse it now. The republican’s are still calling Obama a socialist(where is the socialism) for his attempt to get along and try to work with them, and the majority of the people are still ignorant of the better options. How many of you really think the insurance companies have your best interest in mind.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4JK5UTBYBW34I6QZZXYEBMSTT4 TEN-OF-WANDS

    We are in great danger of a scenario where the American Constitution, in the hands of a shamelessly Plutocratic judiciary, BECOMES YET ANOTHER TOOL OF THE ECONOMIC ELITE.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3EZLD65ZW2HPC5KWHR5BB5XITE Blue

    The Republicans have always wanted government to serve their interests when it comes to business, Wall Street, Big Banking, out-of-control military spending that benefits the Americans that through the centuries, have gotten rich, wealthy, because its huge profects, jobs it give certain American workers, and wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars to go to the corrupt leaders and presidents in enemy nations who feel great about taking weapons, military advice and expertise, building grand houses on American dollars in their nations and here in the USA.

    The Republicans also want to grow the prison system because it also benefits the private sector that loves the opprotunity to do two things: incarcerate primarily the people of color, the poor and to make money doing it!! They are not fooling anyone by their hateful policies that cater to Tea Party ideology. Get over the fact that you lost the War to the North and you were left with Jim Crow laws to rule and control the people who were set pgysically free but kept in economic chains!

  • montanabill

    There is a problem with credibility here. When the bill was proposed it was to cover 13 million uninsured. Then it went to 18, then 30, then 40. The biggest number thrown out lately is 45 million. This article is back to 30. Does anyone have a factual, documented number?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Cummings/1247165046 Sharon Cummings

    obama came in to office with a mess he can not undo in four what the two bushs did to make the ness the republicans need to leave obama alone and let him do his job. ithink another four years we will see every thing will be better

  • rustacus21

    Considering the fact that the health care industry “intermediaries” – the companies who basically ‘shuffle’ paper around between patients/physicians & patients/hospitals & who are quite unnecessary, are “EXACTING” a cost on society that is increasingly untenable. While most of these companies sit on several billions in profits – PROFITS, mind U, that could actually translate to lower premiums, they are constantly looking for avenues of which to escape making payments on treatments deemed ‘too expensive”. Another thing to consider, is the fact that, by virtue of the level of profits obtained, we can clearly assume that the premiums are far too high, if they’re able to secure such levels of profits along w/paying top executives 100′s of millions of dollars, for keeping costs low, we should assume (as ‘shuffling paper’ is 1 of the more mundane office tasks, even if done electronically…) it to be policy holders are being gouged, if the incidents of catastrophic illness occurs so infrequently, as a result of improved health & lifestyles, over the last several decades. The other reason to single out Mr. Frank is that desertions of the prez, by Bluedog, s’ern Dems, who actually made the difference between ‘Universal’ & a ‘ho-hum’ health care policy, that still caters to the health care (intermediaries) industry. I have no disagreement on the point that financial reform SHOULD have been #1 on the administrations agenda, but b/c Prez. Obama was being ‘directed’ by aides w/Rightist tendencies, what else should we have expected, but insider sabotage. Cleaning house & getting a solid core of Liberal/Progressives, who knew the ropes of how D.C. plays, is now forgone conclusion. But November’s almost here & the opportunities of 2morrow are never a bad time to correct the errors of yesterday…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IKULBIRJEIF6XLKQY7EZGEPIL4 Paul

    It is apparent the Democratic PArty of America showed their true authoritatarian colors with their forcing the anti-American atheistic healthcare legislation onto all Americans.

    Americans knew this bill was a power grab over the freedoms and liberty of all citizens and sought to bring all the people into slavery to the socialist state.

    Almost all Americans rejected this monster of servitude, and nobody enven knew the details of it.

    The Democratic Party of America politicians will have a lot to answer for, come judgement day.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IKULBIRJEIF6XLKQY7EZGEPIL4 Paul

    Obama will be a one term president on his own request. The economy is worse than what he inherited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.bauer.4 Wayne Bauer

    Obamacare was the right thing to do. It showed heart instead of self interest. Medical reform is badly needed. People should not lose their homes and file for bankruptcy because a family member gets cancer. Private for profit medical care is more dangerous to Americans than Al Qaeda.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ongubo Magee Robert H O

    I terribly disagree with Representative Barney Frank’s assessment. Why because the sensitivity he is talking about is selfish, which is uncharacteristic of the United states of America’s spirit. Individuals who think for ever they will enslave others to keep making same money they want and ignoring poor people are wrong. We ought to be happy we are able to work and we can share rewards to make this country greater. That is why we pay tax. Let everyone pay tax and give service to everyone who needs it. If I do not need it do not punish me allow me to continue contributing.

    This health-care does not benefit me, that is a fact and I do not think it will ever benefit me if employment is not a privilege or a basic right I can enjoy here in the US why would I think Health care is affordable to me? No it isn’t. On the contrary, blessed people like the USA needs to be proud it is able to share Health care. I see that it is what America needs and because other countries do copy what America does it is one way towards a better world.

    Americans work heard and including those who do not share or even benefit from their hard work. We help this nation anyway to make greater strides only to remain timid and fearful in providing basic service to the people who help it earn and remain a well developed country. It is silly politics that hinder self-leadership in a liberating manner. If America really believes in freedom, then it ought to step up its act because freedom and the responsibility of choice can also be frightening to many as well.

    As I see it Health-care was the right thing to do; It is only because Democrats failed to sell the product they had made with public money. Striving to make the health care affordable to Americans is noble; It does depend on those who are able to work and earn income.

    Therefore,Americans ought to strive to help one another. To have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, but to have the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It is poor leadership to down play the milestone Americans have achieved in Health Care law.

    Americans fight and die for freedom of self determination, self-leadership and purpose we have to manage up to get our needs met. Ultimately America becomes a better leader of others. Americans need to know that if you are not able to conquer self, self will definitely conquer Americans.

    The practice of Politicians making American residents live miserable life is not worth it, while they continue to collect from them tax. For years we have paid into health Care system without benefits where does the money go if we are not using it up? We ask? Why should any American who does not want to share health care need my hard earned dollars for themselves but those dollars are not good enough for the poor of this country? It is evil and it must stop and we need to be allowed to continue to contribute to help the poor of this country.

    Republicans ought to know there would be no blessings to this country if it were not for the presence of the poor in this country who are also consumers. Consumers help them control organizations they own for the bottom line, if it were not for the poor people who are the majority in this country then even the rich would not be rich by their own consumption. No one makes themselves rich by consuming from themselves.

    Therefore,sharing health care is just and deserving to American people. Because they work hard for their money and their money ought to give them basic social services without gripping at them especially when they pay premiums for insurance. The problem is Health care fraud that is eating up all funds.

    Republicans do not want to see even insurance companies doing the right thing to pay claims when people are hurt on the job. We spend time to make them more sick and here we complain of premiums are not enough while those premiums keep growing without stop. You will be surprised that we pay CEO millions dollars. A CEO will be paid over 3,500 times the salary of an employee who works for him. Such amount of greed will not stop and it may bring corrupt minds in society because eventually people will get tired of being used.

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