Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Mesmerized by Discussion Everything But Mandated Health Insurance

It's not buried in the health care insurance legislation, not at all. The mandate is the foundation of whatever is determined to be the details in Senate and House versions of a bill.

Ed Shultz on the Ed Show on MSNBC railed against the rumors of the Senate doing just this, creating a private-sector option with public oversight, but his guest, Jonathan Alter, was on board with whatever the Senate did and the House did to get the most "historical" effort ever towards the ultimate goal universal health care...

The transcript ends the segment with Crosstalk, but Alter's point is not to be missed.

Alter wants to see any legislation passed, no matter the details, no matter what is in it. "...don't destroy history..."

Dec. 8, 2009 Transcript Ed Schultz Show

Senate may drop public option
Reid says he is optimistic about bill after deal

...Under the deal, the government plan preferred by liberals would be replaced with a program that would create several national insurance policies administered by private companies but negotiated by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees health policies for federal workers. If private firms were unable to deliver acceptable national policies, a government plan would be created.

In addition, people as young as 55 would be permitted to buy into Medicare, the popular federal health program for retirees. And private insurance companies would face stringent new regulations, including a requirement that they spend at least 90 cents of every dollar they collect in premiums on medical services for their customers...

Shultz wants the full public or government-run option and nothing less.

We believe all of the hysterics not only on his part but others is just for show.

Think about it. If congress can mandate individuals purchase health care insurance, no matter what the details, when Congress is not empowered anywhere in the Constitution to do this, there is nothing to stop Congress from returning in a few years and creating exactly what Shultz and others want.


Unfortunately, the people truly have been put in a state of confusion when the arguments focus on those everything else but the foundation of the proposal - and a "mandate" on individuals is the foundation of the so-called health care (insurance) reform effort.

Net the Truth Online

Transcript excerpt

THE ED SHOW for December 8, 2009

...Let me bring in Jonathan Alter, senior editor and columnist at "Newsweek" magazine.

What are we seeing unfolding here, Jonathan, tonight? Are we seeing just total compromise and the White House and the Democrats are going to be the political pragmatists here and take whatever they can get?

JONATHAN ALTER, SR. EDITOR, "NEWSWEEK": Yes, that`s about it. But what they can get ain`t bad, Ed. And I think you`re misrepresenting the totality of the bill.

Look, I am strongly for a public option, but it doesn`t look like it is in the cards. That`s the nature of politics. You have to deal with the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.

This is sausage-making time. That`s what they compare passing legislation to. Nowadays, we get a camera right into the sausage factory. We`re seeing it unfold. It has never been a pretty process.

When Social Security went through, the liberals were so angry at Franklin Roosevelt because less than half of senior citizens were going to be eligible for Social Security. They said Roosevelt`s a sellout. How could he do this?

Roosevelt understood that politics is the art of the possible. The same thing is true on this bill, Ed.

It`s a 2,000-page bill. Republicans have been complaining about that. In that 2,000 pages is a tremendous amount of fantastically important stuff -- ending discrimination against sick people, which has Harry Reid quite rightly says, is a civil rights issue of the first order; insuring more than 30 million additional Americans; adding all kind of preventive care.

We don`t have time on this broadcast to list all of the important things that are in this bill.

SCHULTZ: Well, that`s why I...

ALTER: Because you`re making it sound...

SCHULTZ: Now, now, wait a minute now.

ALTER: You`re making it sound like the whole bill is the public option. That`s preposterous, Ed. Preposterous.

SCHULTZ: No, wait a second here. No, this is why I didn`t interrupt you, because I let you go and tell me what`s so good about it.

Just so I`m not misrepresenting the sausage-making here, this is nothing but a handout to the insurance industry...

ALTER: Oh, please. That`s preposterous.

SCHULTZ: No, it is not preposterous. It is not preposterous.

What you`ve got is tax dollars that are going to be subsidizing lower- income people, they`re going to be mandated to go over to the insurance industry and purchase insurance. If there is going to be 40 million new customers, Jonathan, 40 million new customers to the insurance industry, why the heck wouldn`t they take that on?

They love it. It`s new customers.

ALTER: Well, that`s how they got the buy-in from the...


SCHULTZ: There is -- my friend, there is no mechanism in place...

ALTER: That`s why at a minimum -- and this is what they`re behind closed doors talking about. They`re talking about -- now, I don`t favor a trigger. I`m for a public option. But just to explain what it is...

SCHULTZ: I know what it is and our audience knows what it is. It`s a watered-down -- there is no mechanism in place.

ALTER: Well, we don`t mow what the trigger is yet.


SCHULTZ: Jonathan, there is no mechanism in place on the table that is going to give private industry any competition to force down rates. That`s the way it is.

ALTER: Well, that`s not true.

SCHULTZ: It is true!

ALTER: No, there`s a lot of insurance regulation that`s in the bill.

SCHULTZ: Jonathan, don`t tell me I don`t know what I`m talking about. It is true.

ALTER: There`s a lot of insurance regulation in the bill, Ed.

SCHULTZ: OK. Well, we will continue this discussion. I`m up against the clock, as you well know.

I appreciate your opinion, but this sausage-making is not being misrepresented on this program. I can guarantee you that.

ALTER: Got to take the world as it is.

SCHULTZ: No, no, no.


ALTER: Voting against the bill would be historic...

SCHULTZ: You need to fight politically for what`s right for the people.

ALTER: Yes. Fight for it, but at the end, don`t destroy history...


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