The End of the Shutdown of the Federal Government

By John Garamendi

After 16 days of government paralysis, with our country hours away from economic freefall, the House and Senate have passed a bill that is almost identical to what we could have passed 16 days ago. Yes, we have reopened government and avoided default, but real damage has already been done to our economy, millions of Americans’ livelihoods, and investor confidence.

This was a pointless, destructive, and preventable crisis orchestrated by the 80-person tea party faction in the House and a handful of tea party Senators – a minority of their Conference. To make matters worse, the final outcome has been clear almost from the beginning.

With this compromise, we’ve once again kicked the can down the road, although at least this time we will have a Budget Conference Committee where hopefully Members of Congress actually interested in governance can negotiate, hash out our differences, and pass a lasting budget. That’s a process I’ve been calling for since April. If it is once again derailed by extremists inside and outside of Congress, we’ll face another manufactured crisis in January.

From the beginnings of our Republic to the present day, there have always been fierce disagreements between parties and within parties. Reasonable and sincere people can disagree. Every law can be improved. That’s the foundation of a healthy democracy.

However, the reckless hostage taking of the American economy, which has been pursued by the tea party over the past three years, is unprecedented in modern times. It is harming our economic recovery, destroying jobs, and making international investors wonder if the United States is as safe a place to invest as it once was. So long as the tea party faction in Congress is willing to hold our government and economy for ransom every time a deadline looms to extract demands they can’t achieve through our democracy’s normal legislative process, our economy will be stunted and our reputation diminished. There are reasonable voices on both sides of the aisle. Let’s listen to them.

What was this shutdown even about? The tea party originally told us they shut down the government because they couldn’t use normal democratic means to take away the health benefits in the Affordable Care Act – which is the law of the land. After a few days, the tea party decided it wasn’t about health care; it was about “respect.” Some have labeled this the Seinfeld Shutdown because it isn’t about anything.

What we do here in the halls of Congress has an impact across the country and around the world. We need to be working to create jobs and build opportunities for hardworking Americans – not tearing them down. We need to be promoting research and educational advancement – not disrupting them. We need to be working to make sure a financial crash never happens again – not creating conditions that make it more likely.

To those who say Congressional Democrats have been unwilling to compromise, I encourage you to take a closer look. The bill Democrats voted for today includes steep sequester cuts to Meals-on-Wheels, Head Start, groundbreaking research, and other services we value dearly. It also imposes harmful furloughs on our dedicated civilian military employees. We didn’t want to do that. The bill we voted on today slashes services for struggling families at a rate below the original Paul Ryan budget.

Those are not the values of our party. But as stewards of the most important country and economy on the planet, we know that we have a higher calling. We know that sometimes a tough vote is needed to prevent catastrophic harm. We know we can’t say “no” to every bill that isn’t exactly what we want.

As a direct result of the government shutdown, in my district: over a thousand civilian employees at Travis and Beale Air Force bases were furloughed; services were reduced at the Lake County Family Center, which provides support for victims of child abuse, domestic abuse, and rape; over 200 workers at USDA’s headquarters in Davis were furloughed and service centers were closed, meaning farmers couldn’t get loans and other services;  companies that needed a license from the Department of Commerce to export advanced technology put their orders on hold; the Sacramento, Colusa, and Sutter National Wildlife Refuges were closed; and the Dixon Stand Down for struggling veterans had to scramble for money when a Department of Labor loan was delayed. What was gained by the shutdown? Nothing! And a lot was lost.

We can stop this madness and prevent another crisis in the future, but it’s going to take the House Republican leadership to once and for all stop catering to what the Wall Street Journal has labeled the Kamikaze Caucus. It means they’ll have to fear the lasting damage they’re doing to our economy more than they fear radical Members and outside groups. It means they’ll have to start listening to the vast majority of Republicans who don’t want to careen from crisis to crisis.

It is my hope that the Budget Conference Committee will form a rational, bipartisan framework for funding the government. We can use this process to develop budgets that responsibly manage the long-term challenge of our deficit while also protecting our most vulnerable and making sure the government invests in priorities like education, infrastructure, research, and setting the stage for American manufacturing. These are the building blocks of a healthier economy capable of creating good jobs.  Let’s work together to bring back the American Dream and never again give extremists the power to take our economy to the brink.

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145 thoughts on “The End of the Shutdown of the Federal Government”

  1. Growth Izzue

    [quote]It is my hope that the Budget Conference Committee will form a rational, bipartisan framework for funding the government. [/quote]

    Anyone remember the Simpson/Bowles budget deal that Obama chose to ignore. Why is it going to be any different this time?

  2. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t think it will be. I think until the consequence of these showdowns is the actual collapse of the US economy or government, we will see a series of escalating moves by both parties bringing us closer and closer to the brink. I have no optimism.

  3. Mr.Toad

    As long as tax increases are off the table no compromise is possible, if anything is off the table no grand bargain is possible. That is what killed Simpson/Bowles and that is what will continue the stalemate. You can blame Obama and I can blame Grover Norquist it doesn’t matter. As long as we have divided government that refuses to bargain in good faith nothing will happen. For a deal to get done all sacred cows must be gored otherwise the can gets kicked once again past the next election.

  4. David M. Greenwald

    Mr. Toad: I think your missing the point here. It’s not a failure to bargain, it’s actually the willingness to go to the brink that punctuates this crisis.

  5. Mr.Toad

    “I think until the consequence of these showdowns is the actual collapse of the US economy or government, we will see a series of escalating moves by both parties bringing us closer and closer to the brink.”

    What are you smoking David? We were never near a default. If we were near default the markets would have fell out of bed instead of the occasional 200 point daily dow drop it would have been 2000 points. The consequences of a default are unimaginable and our leaders know it. At the end not only did the Republicans capitulate, the vote was completely lopsided and even Ted Cruz shut up like he found a horse head in his bed. Now in the aftermath we can see even the brinkmanship has caused serious people to talk about the need to change the design of the world’s reserve currency system, a change that if done incorrectly would damage the the US economy in ways that you obviously can’t imagine. Come January there will be no repeat of either the debt ceiling debacle or closing the government for lack of a budget. There is a good chance a deal funding the government through fiscal 2014 gets done before Christmas. Why? Because Fitch said it would decide whether to downgrade U.S. debt after the end of the quarter. Your statement above shows a complete lack of understanding of macroeconomics and global finance. It puts you on a fringe where even Fox news knows better, even the Koch brothers understand this. That is why they all turned on the Tea Party towards the end, that is why John Boehner always said he would not let the government default and guess what, he didn’t.

    Makes me wonder if your analysis of local government economic conditions is any better. As the contracts have been renegotiated and the day of imposition for the remaining bargaining groups draws near and with the real estate and stock markets in recovery our local budget may not be in nearly as bad a condition as you constantly suggest.

  6. Rob White

    Toad – the City budget is as bad as suggested. And potentially worse. Costs continue to outstrip revenues in even the most rosy scenarios. Biggest problem is that there are too few inputs to revenue to make a large enough dent in the mandatory costs. In order to fix this, we need to grow the revenue pie size, not just get better performing pie pieces. Luckily, we have a superior opportunity with the university as a catalyst for growth in potential revenue inputs from research and tech companies. These sectors can spend big and make a huge impact in just a few short years. But we have to get started soon.

  7. B. Nice

    “This was a pointless, destructive, and preventable crisis orchestrated by the 80-person tea party faction in the House and a handful of tea party Senators.”

    If the tea parties hold on the Republican Party weakens over this at least something good would come from it.

  8. Mr.Toad

    You are wrong. 2011 was as close as we will ever come and the markets know it. The real danger isn’t default its that continued brinkmanship will cause the world to lose confidence that the U.S. dollar should be the world’s reserve currency. If you were listening you heard it from the Chinese, the IMF and others. The congress isn’t going to play this game again, not in your lifetime. Its over for the Tea Party. Their big money backers are done. Even Heritage made a statement that Obamacare is here until at least 2017. Of course when Hillary, a white woman with roots in Arkansas, becomes President, Obamacare will be here until at least 2021. In fact by the time 2017 gets here there will be millions of people insured and there will be no going back.

    Its over. Forgetaboutit. A default by failure to raise the debt ceiling of the US Government is less likely than the chance I will win the lottery and be struck by lightening on the same day a combination with a probability made even lower by the fact that I don’t buy lotto tickets.

  9. B. Nice

    “Its over for the Tea Party. Their big money backers are done.”

    I am concerned that this will galvanize their more extreme factions, the tea party members who “stood their ground” now appear more heroic to their supporters.

  10. Mr.Toad

    I don’t doubt you Rob but you don’t go around predicting the sky is falling and you also know the way out of the woods. David on the other hand …

    GI, I feel great. I’m all fired up and i don’t even need coffee.

  11. Jim Frame

    [quote]We were never near a default. [/quote]

    I disagree — I think we were very close. The purveyors of conventional wisdom nervously assured us that cooler heads would prevail and prevent a default, but conventional wisdom works great until it encounters transformational change. After the quantum break, a new convention pertains and the world adjusts to accommodate it.

    I think there are enough loose cannons in the House, and a few in the Senate (cf Ted Cruz), to pose a real threat of extreme my-way-or-the-highway disruption to the U.S. political and financial system. The Wall Street crowd may rule the roost under more genteel circumstances, but unless they’re prepared to engineer the imposition of martial law, or possibly contrive some sort of intervention by the Supreme Court, they’d be helpless in the face of a default brought about by Tea Party nut cases successfully exercising the arcane rules of Congress.

    I think we were a lot closer than anyone thought we’d ever get. Including the Chinese, who are trying even harder now to leverage the situation toward replacement of the dollar as the international reserve currency.

  12. Mr.Toad

    “Debt clock is ticking, $17 trillion will be coming up soon.”

    So what? Janet Yellen will print whatever the country needs. Yes it will cause inflation through the slow dilution of the US dollar but it will be manageable and also continue to help the US economy recover from the debacle of the Bush years. Joe Biden said it best when he debated Paul Ryan he said “If you would just get out of the way it would be alright.” The people who have been willing to undermine the US economy for political advantage have been swept aside by political and economic reality. The hostage takers have been vanquished. Today is a great day for both the US economy and the american people.

  13. Mr.Toad

    “The purveyors of conventional wisdom nervously assured us that cooler heads would prevail and prevent a default, but conventional wisdom works great until it encounters transformational change.”

    Whatever dude. The markets never bought it and as they say, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter.

    “The Wall Street crowd may rule the roost under more genteel circumstances, but unless they’re prepared to engineer the imposition of martial law, or possibly contrive some sort of intervention by the Supreme Court, they’d be helpless in the face of a default brought about by Tea Party nut cases successfully exercising the arcane rules of Congress.”

    Ever heard of Citizens Untied? They just need to change to whom they write the checks . You are already seeing “mainstream Republicans” getting funded for primary challenges of Tea Party Republicans. Martial Law? Obama didn’t even need to use the 14th amendment. Time to turn off Rush and smell the coffee.

  14. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Janet Yellen will print whatever the country needs.[/quote]

    If it was that simple Toad then why not just have Yellen print up $17 trillion and pay off the debt? I hope you didn’t teach economics.

  15. Growth Izzue

    Toad’s right about one thing, we were never close to default or the apocalypse that Obama, Reid, Pelosi and MSNBC were throwing out to try and incite their troops. Obama tried to make the situation as dire as possible through the unneeded closing of the monuments, closing off views of Mt. Rushmore, not paying death benefits to military spouses, etc….
    Obviously it worked for many of the koolaid drinkers.

  16. Mr.Toad

    Too much dilution too fast and she doesn’t need 17 billion. Obviously you don’t understand that to be the reserve currency you need to carry debt so that here are safe bonds for people to store their wealth. any real economists out there?

  17. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Too much dilution too fast and she doesn’t need 17 billion. [/quote]

    No sheeet, I was being sarcastic. She can just keep printing that $85 billion monthly to keep the markets propped up until it collaspses. In fact word has it that she might even print more than the $85 billion, why do you think Obama picked her. He needs to keep the fake propped up markets going or it’s curtains for him. Why do you think everytime they talk of tapering the markets go down hard? Infusing all this printed money into the markets is going to make the crash much worse than it had to be.

  18. Mr.Toad

    “why do you think Obama picked her.”

    Obama didn’t pick her. He picked Summers but was blocked by Liz Warren and other Dems. Yellen is the second choice of Wall Street. The same people who gave us Bernanke and Greenspan, Pauson and Geitner. Lew is the most independent pick he has made. Of course Lew is a consummate Washington insider. You really have no idea how it works. For a primer go watch Network again. Not the “Mad as hell” part. Watch the part at the end when they talk about money and how the money rules the world. It goes something like: Its not U.S money or Japanese money or Saudi money or German money. Its just money.

  19. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Summers but was blocked by Liz Warren [/quote]

    Yeah, I hear Liz Warren feels personally slighted about the Washington Redskins not changing their team’s name.

  20. Mr.Toad

    “Infusing all this printed money into the markets is going to make the crash much worse than it had to be.”

    Really you need to find some new sources. Printing all that money is what is keeping things from being worse. Why do crashes happen? Lack of liquidity. What is money printing? Liquidity. If any thing it will cause inflation and if you want to complain about something look at how they have been manipulating the inflation numbers since Reagan’s economic advisor Glenn Hubbard came up with the idea. What do you think chained CPI is all about? Its about understating inflation even more to rob people on social security even more than current calculations of CPI do. Of course who wants chained CP?I Republicans do and Obama and the Dems will wring their hands and go along while Simpson and Bowles will cheer along claiming bipartisanship while being funded by Ex-Nixon Treasury Secretary and Wall St. Billionaire Pete Peterson. The only thing non-partisan in Washington is the money and the Tea Party just pissed off the money people so they were singing “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie…”

  21. Davis Progressive

    ny times editorial: ” The Republican Party slunk away on Wednesday from its failed, ruinous strategy to get its way through the use of havoc. Hours away from an inevitable market crash, it approved a deal that could have been achieved months ago had a few more lawmakers set aside their animus. After President Obama signs the bill, the government will reopen after more than two weeks of shutdown, and the threat of a default will be lifted.

    The health care reform law will not be defunded or delayed. No taxes will be cut, and the deal calls for no new cuts to federal spending or limits to social welfare programs. The only things Republicans achieved were billions of dollars in damage to the economy, harm to the nation’s reputation and a rock-bottom public approval rating.”

    i guess you know more than them too, eh toad?

  22. Growth Izzue

    I felt the GOP made a tactical error in trying to defund or delay Obamacare. Just let it roll out and once the people relise what a nightmare it is the Republicans are going to look better than ever. It’s already off to a terrible start.

  23. Frankly

    [i]What was this shutdown even about?[/i]

    The looming destruction of the country from complete and utter fiscal mismanagement which is a symptom of a broken political system and which can be understood at a micro level looking at Davis politics.

    However, with Davis politics, it appears that we are learning what unsustainable means and there are rays of hope that politicians and the voters are finally pushing for real remedies. That is not happening at the national level as Democrats are firmly committed to their Saul Alinsky strategy to divide and conquer.

    Britt Hume explains it succinctly:
    [quote] “In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy. They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they’ll try anything to bring that about.[/quote]
    What most conservatives are pissed off about is not the position of the Tea Party, but their tactics (or lack of strategy). They see the Obama-led Democrats as complicit in the final and utter destruction of the great experiment. They see us heading toward the exact proven unsustainable European model of cradle-to-grave social welfare.

    There are basically two camps of conservatives:

    One – The reactionary. This is the Tea Party. It is the ying to the liberal activist yang. They are both comprised of actors lacking the ability to think strategically, but prone to throwing tantrums to get noticed and so the public gets to understand what their complaints are. Both are are truly upset. The difference is that the mainstream media narrative is completely sympathetic to the average liberal activist cause, and completely hostile to the average Tea Party cause. So, the Tea Party loses by default using the same tactic. Even though conservative talk radio and conservative cable news dominate the ratings, they still have not superseded the liberal media industrial complex reach to program the opinions of the seething ignorant masses.

    Two – The Shruggers. This is the less reactionary and more strategic group of leading conservatives. This group includes most of the private producers and job creators in the country. Their strategy game is basically to stop helping the Democrats destroy the country while they do just enough to try and take care of their family and friends. Their effort is all about defense , and education. Their defense is to block what they can to prevent the Democrats from doing irreparable harm… while educating the population on the value of traditional American principles, and helping them recognize the destructive nature of social welfare codependency contrasted with the societal uplifting and prosperity-growing engine of free enterprise and self-determination.

    I think there is some good that has come out of this from a political perspective. First, in the game of chicken, the Democrats now know how far they have succeeded in dividing the country. And they know we have reached a point where there are those willing to cause immediate economic destruction as a result of their disenfranchisement from the direction the country is going. Basically, they feel like Obama does not feel rejected by their own country… and most of us know what that feeling does to a person.

    But the most valuable gain by the right from this crappy event in our history is that more of the seething ignorant masses now know more about our national debt.

  24. Davis Progressive

    frankly: that’s a long answer to a much more simple question. the right has had an obsession with killing the aca. they didn’t have the votes to do it through conventional means, so they attempted to hijack the process and threaten to implode the government and economy believing the democrats would blink first. the democrats held firm and the republicans capitulated. end of story.

  25. Mr.Toad

    “Hours away from an inevitable market crash,”

    Yeah they stalled until the last minute but the polls decided who lost. it was game over last Thursday when the Wall Street Journal poll came out showing the Republicans with a 24% approval rating. The rest was Kabuki. By the way if that poll had gone the other way the Dems would have capitulated.

    So, the NYT and Mr. Toad are not in disagreement.

  26. SouthofDavis

    B. Nice wrote:

    > I am concerned that this will galvanize their more
    > extreme factions, the tea party members who “stood
    > their ground” now appear more heroic to their supporters.

    It was not that long ago that Obama and Democrats were doing the same thing and “standing their ground” against raising the debt ceiling (to F with President Bush in the same way the GOP is F’ing with President Obama).

    Last week the GOP was telling us what a bad idea it is to raise the debt ceiling just like a few years back Senator Obama was telling us: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.”

    This is just a big game for “both sides” to make the “other side” look bad so they can get more of “their own party” in power to get “more money” to “their BIG contributors”.

    The media loves this and gets quite a few people to believe this is real (“we might default in 24 hours and we will be doomed…”) political theatre. In reality all the GOP (including the “tea party”) cares about is getting money to the people that fund their campaigns just like the Dems (including those on the “far left”) only care about getting money to the people that fund their campaigns.

    Every now and then a Dem will work to do something like spending a couple grand to look at the teeth of poor kids but do nothing to stop the MILLIONS of farm subsidies that are given out in just little Yolo County (and BILLIONS to rich farmers per year nationwide) just like every now and then a GOP rep will work to stop a ban on a type of gun while working to get BILLIONS more to big defense contractors.

    The best quote I heard last week was “If your house was full of useless crap would you clean the house or raise the ceiling?”

  27. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Wall Street Journal poll came out showing the Republicans with a 24% approval rating.[/quote]

    Pollingreport.com shows the Democrats approval rating at 31% and that’s with the lamestream media beating up the GOP daily. Some victory, huh Toad?

  28. SouthofDavis

    Toad wrote:

    > We were never near a default.

    Then Jim wrote:

    > I disagree — I think we were very close.

    The Government brings in about $2.5 Trillion a year and tax revenue and has about $400 Billion a year in interest expense.

    I’m wondering if Jim thinks that a guy making $250K a year with a $40K a year mortgage will be “very close” to default if he can’t borrow more money.

    Just like a regular guy would stop paying for the kids cell phones and cars before he defaults the government will take away the “Obamaphones” and not make the new order of Hummers and tanks for the Army before they default (and they will probably turn off the Panda cam again):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/national-zoo-panda-cam-_n_4115299.html

  29. Davis Progressive

    i don’t know what pollingreport.com is, but it’s hard to spin this: WSJ ([url]http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303382004579127571975912810[/url])

    that said, i think you’re messed in the head on this because the victory is that the country survived. you think it’s a political game.

  30. Growth Izzue

    Like I said, just let Obamacare roll out, the GOP ratings will take care of themselves:

    [quote]Tirge Caps, a blogger at Daily Kos, says that in 2013, pre-Obamacare, he pays $150 a month for a health insurance plan from Kaiser. His wife pays $168. However, under Obamacare, their rates will nearly double, to $284 and $302, respectively:

    My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

    Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

    I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

    [/quote]

  31. Growth Izzue

    DP
    [quote]that said, i think you’re messed in the head on this because the victory is that the country survived. you think it’s a political game. [/quote]

    The country was always going to survive, you listen to Obama and MSNBC too much.

  32. SouthofDavis

    Davis Progressive wrote:

    > the right has had an obsession with killing the aca.

    The “right” does not want to “kill the aca”, but “some” on the right need to “pretend” to try and kill it.

    If the GOP really wanted to “kill the aca” they would just need to send a bill to the senate funding the government with everything but the aca in it.

    > so they attempted to hijack the process and threaten
    > to implode the government and economy believing the
    > democrats would blink first. the democrats held firm
    > and the republicans capitulated. end of story.

    That is what they want you to believe, BOTH parties (with a very small number of exceptions) in Washington want to keep raising the debt limit since it is easier to plow borrowed money back to you contributors than actual tax revenue.

    It is important for people on both sides of the aisle to realize that borrowing trillions a year TODAY is great for the stock market and the programs and companies getting the cash TODAY but down the road things will not be as great unless we cut back on the borrowing.

  33. Davis Progressive

    i don’t watch tv, so it’s a little hard for me to listen to obama or msnbc too much. but i do read quite a bit, and i think you’re completely wrong in terms of the country’s ability to reasonably survive another economic collapse, this one self-induced.

  34. Frankly

    [i]frankly: that’s a long answer to a much more simple question. the right has had an obsession with killing the aca. they didn’t have the votes to do it through conventional means, so they attempted to hijack the process and threaten to implode the government and economy believing the democrats would blink first. the democrats held firm and the republicans capitulated. end of story.[/i]

    Not the end of story.

    Constituents across the country are screaming at their representatives to kill Obamacare because of the real and actual damage being caused, and the projected continued damage it will inflict.

    But going back to your point about how Obamacare was passed. It was never supported by the majority of the voters.

    The GOP was completely cut out of the discussion and design.

    The Democrats own it lock stock and barrel.

    The shruggers want it to go forward so we can rub Democrat’s noses in it for ever and ever.

    The Tea Party activists want to stop it because their reactionary constituents are demanding it.

    And here is the final point being glossed over by the left and the left media.

    Obama and the Dems are gleeful that they continue to succeed in their divide and conquer strategy. I think you and other Davis liberals probably feel the same. It feels good to win doesn’t it? But the means being used are having long-term negative consequences. The country is more politically polarized than at any time before. And the blame for this sits squarely on Obama and the Democrat political apparatus. We elected the perfect untouchable icon to lead the Democrats to this state of power. The cost is that the country has been torn apart… probably never to be healed again. The cutting words from our Democrat leaders sends a clear message that they don’t like or don’t support a large percentage of the population. “Those Republicans sure cling to their guns and religion.” Those Tea Party people “are just like Nazis.” The list goes on. There is no modern precedent for politicians rejecting and demonizing the very people they are elected and sworn to lead. This is a new tactic. It is right out of the Saul Alinkey playbook. It is a “win at all costs” method of taking and retaining political power. The left politicians are in it for the money no different than the right politicians. However, it is the left constituents that enable it with their insatiable need to feel valid and righteous in their ideological fervor… which by the way is 80% rooted in their emotional and psychological needs of a personality types or unresolved childhood issues.

    Time to grow up and get real. The country is heading in a completely unsustainable direction. It is unfortunate that the left finally figured out how to win at a time that we had already spent the country into a massive fiscal hole. What Dems should have done was to focus on growing the economy so that money would flow that they could then distribute to their pet causes and projects. Instead, they went on a wild-ass spending spree using debt. Now the debt is four times what it was when Bush left office. And the CBO projections for 2015 and on is trillion dollar deficits primarily caused by Obama care.

    Have you been reading about how big of a mess Obamacare is? The projections of all those that opposed it are coming true. But then again, a good lefty does not care… because the means justifies the end. It is better to feel good about what we are doing than for it to have any basis in real feasibility.

  35. Growth Izzue

    All of you Democrats should be so proud of this Obama administration that let Occupy take over buildings, public areas and parks but denied vets access to their own memorials.

  36. B. Nice

    ” The country is more politically polarized than at any time before. And the blame for this sits squarely on Obama and the Democrat political apparatus. We elected the perfect untouchable icon to lead the Democrats to this state of power. The cost is that the country has been torn apart… probably never to be healed again.”

    You don’t think the republicans are at all responsible for the political polarization that exists in this country?

  37. Frankly

    [i]You don’t think the republicans are at all responsible for the political polarization that exists in this country?[/i]

    I absolutely do.

    But do you believe that any minority is to be held to the same level of accountability as the majority in power?

    When you play king of the hill, and you reach the top of the hill, at that very moment you become responsible as a leader. You are looked up to. As a leader, everything you say and do is amplified orders of magnitude. If you communicate any dislike for those below you, it will foment feelings of rejection orders of magnitude greater than any peer-to-peer feelings of rejection.

    Our congressional representatives are responding to their constituents.

    How did it feel when Bush said “you are either with us or against us.”? Even though this comment was intended for foreign leaders and the liberal media and Democrats disingenuously made re-framed it as a some type of slap against Democrat voters, it had the effect of making those Democrat voters feel rejected by their leader. What about Romney’s 47% comment? That had the same impact.

    You just cannot do that as a leader without causing a lot of resentment and anger in the constituents you made feel rejected.

    Those people will then stop at nothing to kick you off the top of the hill to replace you with someone that does not reject them.

    The President of this country, and our top leaders in Congress, have to represent ALL the people. They cannot exclude one or more groups on ideological reasons or other reasons without causing a great divide between those people and the leaders and the people that support the leader to keep him in power.

    Obama is causing a Sunni Shia type divide in a country that used to be much more united. Say what you will about Reagan, but he was a uniter. He made many more Americans feel like they belonged. Obama is a divider. Reid, Pelosi and other Dem leaders are following the same playbook because it is working to keep them in power.

    The cost will be more and more resentment and anger from those rejected.

    And it also leads to demands for retribution if and when they can put their guy back on top of the hill.

    We should immediately reject any leader that uses these tactics. I think we would be very critical of them if we had a white male as President.

  38. Davis Progressive

    “But do you believe that any minority is to be held to the same level of accountability as the majority in power?”

    you’re not taking into account institutions and the ability of a majority in one branch to block the will of a majority in another branch

  39. Frankly

    GI – That is part of the divide and conquer strategy… make the little people feel the pain of big government unable to take care of them. Then count on the liberal media to carry your water in laying blame at your conservative opponent.

    I don’t know if you read the foreign press, but Obama is reported on as a weak and ineffective American president. That media is shaping the mindset of their readers just as the American media shapes the mindset of the American readers.

    Foreign readers are not afflicted with American white guilt and hyper racial sensitivity. So they evaluate Obama the man and the American President, not Obama the minority American icon.

  40. Frankly

    [i]you’re not taking into account institutions and the ability of a majority in one branch to block the will of a majority in another branch[/i]

    Democrats only control the White House and the Senate… and barely the Senate. The mid-term elections and the last election clearly put the House in GOP hands. The primary reason the House is in GOP hands in Obamacare.

    This “will-of-the-majority” canard from the left is bullshit (sorry, but I can’t think of a better word at this point). Obamacare has never been popular. We have a lot of politicians getting reamed by their constituents over it. Moderates are getting replaced by GOP extremists because of it. This is the divide and conquer strategy. Cause a split in the GOP party. This has been done before. But it was Teddy Roosevelt doing it to his own GOP party… not the opposition doing it.

    Obama gets away with it in this country because the nobody can criticize him without being called a racist.

    The moochers just want their stuff and they believe everything the media tells them.

  41. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, did you read that article from the Daily Kos writer? This guy is a hardcore lefty as all the writers on Daily Kos are. He’s realizing that he got jobbed by Obama on ACA. This is just the start. I’m getting my healthcare bill soon for next year and I’m going to be afraid to open it. These letters are just now showing up in homes across America.

    Here’s the rest of the Daily Kos article:

    [url]http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Tirge Caps#[/url]

  42. Growth Izzue

    Sorry, it won’t take the url, you can find the article here:

    [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/361321/daily-kos-blogger-obamacare-will-double-my-premiums-avik-roy#![/url]

  43. Frankly

    Here is the funny and sad situation.

    Our sweet and life-inexperienced idealistic youth love that new law that forces insurers to include them on their parents health insurance until they are 26. They are against “the man” for taking too much wealth and leaving them with less. They are the ones that came out in record numbers to vote for Obama and the Democrats in the last three elections.

    And what did they get in return?

    A jobless recovery…. one where youth have taken the brunt of the unemployment burden. Where there are far fewer opportunities for them to have anything close to the type of good life their parents enjoyed.

    Crappy and over-priced education… the education establishment unions continue as benefactors of the Democrat politicians they pay to keep in power. Obama honors them by doing things like dismantling the voucher lottery in DC that allowed so many intercity poor kids to escape the worst public school system in the country to be able to have a good life.

    Much higher taxes… The funding of Obamacare is primarily on the backs of youth. I don’t think our dear, sweet, idealistic kids even get this. The $98/mth policy that they used to get because they were young and healthy will not cost them over $300 and force them to have coverage they don’t want and cannot use. Then assuming they are able to find work, their federal and state taxes have been increased. They will take home much less thanks to their vote to put Obama and the Dems in charge.

    It will be interesting to see if and how the opinions of youth change over the coming months and years. They are the only hope for the GOP. The Dems are doing a great job teeing up the great migration. Too bad the GOP is also doing a great job wiffing their swings at the ball.

  44. Mr.Toad

    “It is important for people on both sides of the aisle to realize that borrowing trillions a year TODAY is great for the stock market and the programs and companies getting the cash TODAY but down the road things will not be as great unless we cut back on the borrowing.”

    The deficit is way down from the crash level and falling. Its currently in the half trillion a year range. Its down because the economy is improving, government spending is down, and tax receipts are up. Of course there is more we can do. We could tax capital gains at higher rates, we could not count carried interest as a capital gain and means test entitlements. The fact of the matter is that our financial situation is much improved and manageable. Our problems are solvable. Sadly it seems the biggest impediment to solving our problem is coming from the same people who seem to be complaining the most.

  45. Frankly

    GI – Thanks for that Daily Kos link. This part is telling…
    [quote]I realize I will probably get screamed at for posting this, but I can’t imagine I am the only Californian who just received a rate increase from Kaiser based on these new laws.[/quote]
    That is indication of identity politics. He is worried about his peers calling him out for daring to be critical of the policies of their ideological Messiah. It is this that causes me to think that the Democrats are really in trouble and the GOP is missing their opportunity. Instead of the Ted Cruz Tea Party reactionaries providing the Dems and the media fodder to continue and destroy the GOP brand. The rest of us need to get to our youth and explain how they are being screwed by the Democrats.

    Here is the analogy.

    There are two ships racing. The Democrat ship is gargantuan and well in the lead. It is the cool and fun ship. It has parties and drinking and everyone is feeling good. But its engines and hull have fallen in disrepair. There is constant advertising that the Dem ship is better. Because of all the partying and lack of effort to maintain the vessel and the maintenance budget, they have increased the fees that the young people have to pay. They have also made their rooms smaller and put more limits on how much partying and eating goes on. But the perception is still that the Democrat ship is the hip and cool one.

    The GOP ship is smaller and more sparse. It lacks the level of partying and fun. It requires the people on board to be part of the crew and help with the maintenance. The ship is ship-shape. The engines are running sooth after having their consistent regular maintenance. Everyone onboard is comfortable with a good-sized room, plenty to eat and drink, and a great confidence that they are part of a team that can effectively take care of their ship.

    The Dem ship continues to increase its lead. But it will eventually fail and sink of its own increasing weight and lack of attention to its infrastructural maintenance.

    We are just waiting for more of those partying young people to recognize that they should jump from the Dem ship before it sinks and invest themselves in the GOP ship.

    We need to explain that GOP ship to these sweet and idealistic young people. They really don’t get it at this point.

  46. Davis Progressive

    ” The primary reason the House is in GOP hands in Obamacare.”

    the primary reason is that in 2010 the democrats decided they didn’t need to movilize their voters and ignored most of the state houses in the country allowing the republicans to draw district in such a way, that even a four percent democratic vote advatnage in the house in 2012 led to a solid republican control.

  47. Frankly

    [quote]The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Obamacare will reduce the deficit, by coupling a multi-trillion-dollar expansion of federal health spending with cuts to Medicare and higher taxes. Now, a new study by a Medicare trustee suggests that the law will actually increase deficits, over the next ten years, by between $346 and $527 billion. Why do the trustee’s numbers differ from those of the CBO, and who’s right? Let’s take a look.[/quote]

    [url]http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/04/10/medicare-trustee-obamacare-will-increase-the-deficit-by-as-much-as-527-billion/[/url]

    The problem here is the double-counting of Medicare cuts, and the fact that the CBO has not factored the probability that our aging population will put political pressure on politicians to restore and increase these cut benefits.

    The other problem is our accumulated debt. And if we look at it from the perspective of debt as a percentage of GDP, it is clear that the Obama era is an economic bust. Just try to find another era where the US has posted this type of trend. Basically, our debt has reached our level of gross domestic product. China and other countries plus a few domestic institutional investors are paying 100% to fund our lifestyle.
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/debtgdp.jpg[/img]

    This useless point that the deficit is going down is like a family with $1.7 million dollars of consumer debt and a history of spending $100,000 more per year than they make, getting excited that they are only spending $80,000 more. They are still increasing their debt. They would need to have a net positive $100,000 per year before anyone should be getting excited. Under Obama we are still increasing our debt. And real unemployment is still well into double digits.

  48. Frankly

    [i]the primary reason is that in 2010 the democrats decided they didn’t need to movilize their voters and ignored most of the state houses in the country allowing the republicans to draw district in such a way, that even a four percent democratic vote advatnage in the house in 2012 led to a solid republican control. [/i]

    You are just making stuff up as you go. That is not the explanation. We have a GOP House for the same reason that we have primarily Republican governors. Half the country is pissed at what the Dems are doing.

  49. Jim Frame

    [quote]. I’m getting my healthcare bill soon for next year and I’m going to be afraid to open it.[/quote]

    Don’t open it, you’ll be devastated! I just got mine, and my bill went up 7%! Can you imagine! Oh my God, the sky is falling!

  50. K.Smith

    [quote]When you play king of the hill, and you reach the top of the hill, at that very moment you become responsible as a leader. You are looked up to. As a leader, everything you say and do is amplified orders of magnitude. If you communicate any dislike for those below you, it will foment feelings of rejection orders of magnitude greater than any peer-to-peer feelings of rejection. [/quote]
    In many other contexts, you speak in terms of the liberal left needing to accept rejection and hurt feelings, because this doesn’t cause “material harm.”

    Why are you presenting this case so differently? Shouldn’t these people who feel “rejected” just pull on their big boy/big girl panties and develop a thicker skin, since there’s no material harm being done to them?

  51. Frankly

    K. Smith – that is a fair questions. I don’t care personally that Obama does not like me or my Party or my ideas. I am very used to that as a leader myself. But I know how the average person lacking that experience responds. As a leader you have to reach out to your constituents to at least hear them out. Obama has shut out half the country from dialog. He will not compromise. It is not just that his policies are disliked, he had caused unprecedented resentment to build because of his words and actions clearly say that he does not like a large percentage of voters and he does not like to listen to them.

    My point is that the media and political narrative is that all these Tea Party reactionaries are responsible for blocking. But it is what their constituents are demanding because of the sticks and pokes and jabs and insults and demonizations and dismissals, etc., etc., etc.,… both nuanced and direct… that they keep getting from Obama, Reid, Pelosi and their minions. AND… because there is real fear about America heading toward the same Greek tragedy we see in old Europe.

    The bar for this type of sensitive response from conservatives tends to be much higher than for liberals. Bush says “you are for us or against us.” Romney says “47% will never vote for him.” and the left falls apart. You would have to do much more than that and do it more consistently than one time to get the average conservative person riled up.

    Do I need to publish the list of what has been said by Obama, Reid and Pelosi about members of the Republican Party?

  52. Frankly

    [i]Don’t open it, you’ll be devastated! I just got mine, and my bill went up 7%! Can you imagine! Oh my God, the sky is falling[/i]

    Jim Frame – If I am not mistaken, you have posted before that you are retired. It is true that older Americans will likely see a smaller increase in their insurance premiums… at least at first. It is the youth that will get tagged. Obamacare basically leverages the good health of youthful people with means to pay, to supplement the cost of older people and people who do not make enough money by circumstance or choice.

    However, one other thing that is happening across the country. People are losing their plans and their doctors due to Obamacare.

    Obama lied.

  53. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Don’t open it, you’ll be devastated! I just got mine, and my bill went up 7%! Can you imagine! Oh my God, the sky is falling
    [/quote]

    Hey Jim, you probably have a low deductible plan already and they’re getting hit the least. All with high deductible plans, mostly younger people because they don’t healthcare as much, are getting getting hammered on their bills. But Jim, you admit that your’s went up 7% when Obama went around the country promising:
    [quote]Barack Obama sold his signature universal health care plan with the promise that it would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.”[/quote]
    So where’s your savings Jim? Obama lied to you.

  54. biddlin

    I realised this morning,that the GOP has spent its genetic vitality.[img]http://i.huffpost.com/gen/915553/thumbs/o-FISCAL-CLIFF-JOHN-BOEHNER-facebook.jpg[/img] Now we are suffering they try to take as many of us with them as they can.
    Biddlin ;>)/

  55. Growth Izzue

    [quote]An Overview of the United States National Debt

    The Current Outstanding Public Debt of the United States is:

    $16,747,370,534,090.62

    Last Updated: Thursday, October 17th, 2013

    Every man, woman and child in the United States currently owes $55,122 for their share of the U.S. public debt

    [/quote]

  56. Frankly

    May the real Obama please show himself…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/obamahate.jpg[/img]

    The trained Chicago-thug politician with hate for all people that challenge him and don’t think as he does.

  57. Jim Frame

    For the record, I don’t uphold the ACA as a model of health care reform; it was badly compromised in the negotiations. I consider is merely a good start.

    Lest anyone think that a 7% increase in the premiums for my family of 3 is the direct result of the ACA, consider this: in 2008 our premiums went up 10%; in 2009 15%; in 2010 9%; in 2011 7%; in 2012 10%; and in 2013 11%. So 7% looks like a pretty modest jump to me.

    With regard to the increase for younger folks, my son’s premium increase for next year is 5%, which is equal to or lower than every increase since 2008.

  58. Growth Izzue

    [quote]With regard to the increase for younger folks, my son’s premium increase for next year is 5%, which is equal to or lower than every increase since 2008. [/quote]

    What type of plan does your son have? Low deductible?

  59. SouthofDavis

    Frankly wrote:

    > This is why conservatives are up in arms
    > about the national debt…

    Some conservative “voters” may be up in arms about the national debt, but the only reason that conservative “politicians” pretend to care about the national debt is that they want to cut the amount of free stuff that Obama and the Democrats give away in the hope that it reduces their votes in the next election.

    The Dems borrow to pay for EBT cards to make young lazy Dem voters happy like the GOP borrows to fund prescription drug cards to make older sick GOP voters happy. If we get a GOP Senate we will have a few less “Obamaphones” for gang members and a few more “Lifeline” phones for old people.

    The sooner we get people on the right AND left to realize that we are getting ripped off by BOTH parties the sooner we (might) get some change…

  60. jrberg

    [quote]
    The trained Chicago-thug politician with hate for all people that challenge him and don’t think as he does. [/quote]

    Do you really want California Statewide associated with this statement?

  61. Growth Izzue

    [quote]No deductible. Kaiser. [/quote]

    You just reinforced what I said, the high deductible plans are the ones getting hit with the biggest increases. Those ar usually the type of plans that young people gravitate to because they tend to go to the doctor less. They’re finding that their rates are near doubling.

  62. Jim Frame

    [quote] They’re finding that their rates are near doubling. [/quote]

    That’s because they’re getting usable health insurance, not a hail-Mary policy. We already know that the ACA removes the ability to choose not to be insured, under penalty of fines.

    Think doubling is bad? Folks who’ve gone without insurance entirely will now see an infinite increase in their premiums. Except for the many who qualify for subsidies, of course.

    The ACA is far from perfect, but I’m finding the claims of horrendous financial burdens a bit hyperbolic.

  63. Frankly

    Kaiser is an outlier in this healthcare insurance cost debate. In fact, if we had looked at Kaiser’s model and produced incentives for more providers to adopt it, that would have been 1000000 times better than Obamacare.

    Kaiser is a unique model.

    And Kaiser does have high deductible plans. It would be interesting to see how much those premiums have increased.

  64. SouthofDavis

    Frankly wrote:

    > And Kaiser does have high deductible plans.
    > It would be interesting to see how much those
    > premiums have increased

    I read in SF Gate last week:

    “For John Lonergan, of San Francisco, those changes mean his current Kaiser individual plan will no longer be available to him. And if he wants a similar Kaiser policy, those added benefits will bump his costs 39 percent higher, from $625 a month to $931 in 2014.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Health-insurance-shoppers-suffer-sticker-shock-4872701.php

    P.S. It is funny that everyone had been calling it a Government “shutdown” for the oast two weeks. If Davis High just laid off the PE teachers, closed the library, shutdown a webcam and put out cones blocking the parking lots whould anyone say the school was “shutdown”?

  65. Frankly

    SOD:[i]Some conservative “voters” may be up in arms about the national debt, but the only reason that conservative “politicians” pretend to care about the national debt is that they want to cut the amount of free stuff that Obama and the Democrats give away in the hope that it reduces their votes in the next election.[/i]

    There is certainly some truth to that.

    But there are learning crucibles in our country’s history. The Great Depression was one. WWII was one. Vietnam was one. 9-11 and the Great Recession are two recent ones.

    Those on the political right and left seem to have taken away 80-90% of the same lessons post 9-11. There is debate on what the correct approach is for keeping us safe, but most agree on what the source of the problems is.

    However, the Democrats are proceeding along as if the country has not changed economically as the result of the Great Recession. It is like they were so longing and eager to take control of the national government to launch their new great society project that they forgot to check the bank account first.

    The Republicans are certainly complicit in the over-spending that got us here. There is no debate about that. But conservatives are demanding it stop at the same time Democrats are spending like drunken sailors. That is the essence of the Tea Party. Democrats are justifying their spending making the disingenuous wage gap crap classism arguments.

    We know that globalism, technology and immigration are the primary reasons that our low wage brothers have seen their wages fall even further. They have had this happen while business owners and top-end professional knowledge workers have seen their income grow.

    If any entity is responsible for this wage gap it is government. Yet it is the Democrat and media template that have demonized successful people for somehow having “stolen” money from these low wager workers.

    It plays great in the heads of those struggling… but it is absolutely false and it is destructive to set up this class war for political gain.

    Conservatives have absolutely learned their lesson, and they would have been fine negotiating with Obama to raise taxes as a temporary measure to eliminate our debt. But Obama and the Dems wanted to spend more AND raise taxes. That is what they have done.

  66. Mr.Toad

    “Conservatives have absolutely learned their lesson, and they would have been fine negotiating with Obama to raise taxes as a temporary measure to eliminate our debt. But Obama and the Dems wanted to spend more AND raise taxes. That is what they have done.”

    Tell that to Grover Norquist.

  67. jrberg

    [quote]Conservatives have absolutely learned their lesson, and they would have been fine negotiating with Obama to raise taxes as a temporary measure to eliminate our debt. But Obama and the Dems wanted to spend more AND raise taxes. That is what they have done. [/quote]

    Complete unmitigated BS. And Toad beat me to it.

  68. Jim Frame

    [quote]Kaiser is an outlier in this healthcare insurance cost debate. In fact, if we had looked at Kaiser’s model and produced incentives for more providers to adopt it, that would have been 1000000 times better than Obamacare.[/quote]

    Kaiser *is* Obamacare. The Kaiser Platinum plan (I think that’s what they call the highest tier) under the ACA is essentially what I’ve got now, and the price is just about the same.

  69. Matt Williams

    Jim Frame

    [i]”For the record, I don’t uphold the ACA as a model of health care reform; it was badly compromised in the negotiations. I consider is merely a good start.”[/i]

    Spot on Jim. You nailed it.

  70. wdf1

    Proof of the existence of parallel universes:
    [quote]Tom DeLay: ‘Real’ Americans Think Ted Cruz ‘Is A Hero’ ([url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/tom-delay_n_4117429.html[/url])

    The Republican Party’s approval ratings hit a record low this week, and Sen. Ted Cruz’s hometown newspaper slapped down the Texas Republican. But former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) insisted on Thursday that most people in the “real world” consider Cruz and the House Republicans to be heroes.[/quote]

  71. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Here is the funny and sad situation.

    Our sweet and life-inexperienced idealistic youth love that new law that forces insurers to include them on their parents health insurance until they are 26.[/quote]

    Well since we have shared anecdotes from KOS about one individuals concern about their rising premium,
    let’s share another anecdote from very close to home. Without the much reviled ACA, my sweet and inexperienced 24 year old daughter would be one hospitalization away from being dead. Why ? Because of what you do not mention in your relentless desire to demolish Obamacare ( and much of the government) and that is the reason behind the need for such programs in the first place. This goes back to the end of WWll when the decision was made to tie health care to employment. Never mind that unemployed people need health care too. The decision was made and ever since then health care access in this country has been tied to one’s ability to maintain a job, regardless of personal circumstance unless one is independently wealthy.

    Where my daughter comes in is that it was at age 22 that she was diagnosed with a chronic, relapsing, life threatening condition which is manageable….but only if one can afford the $150,000 per week of hospitalization and subsequent intensive outpatient management. If you can’t, in our pre ACA health care
    “system” you are simply out of luck. What these people face is making it from one stabilization in the ER to the next until they either die ( 1 in 5), or go in to spontaneous remission. Without the provision that you seem to abhor, to allow her to remain on my health care, I would now be bankrupt, since of course I would have paid any amount to keep her alive, and she would be one more crisis away from dying. As it is, the ACA bought us enough time to likely get and keep her stabilized.

    Now my daughter isn’t lazy. She is working….for free. She is an unpaid research associate ( read intern) and is doing a job that certainly could be paying her a salary. Why aren’t they ? Because in our current “dog eat dog”
    climate, they don’t have to. They know that either my daughter, or someone’s will do this for free in the hopes of starting a resume that will eventually lead to a good paying job in their field….. if they live long enough.
    Here is a prime example of your belief that those who “produce the wealth” are the good guys.

    Now I realize that this is just one person’s story and that some hold the philosophy that this is good for our society. I do not share that point of view. I believe that our society will be strongest when we support the
    “common good” just as it says in our very own constitution and strive to provide the best health care available for our entire population. The ACA is not that. However, it is an improvement over what we had, and I will accept small steps forward.

  72. Frankly

    medwoman – here is the problem with your story.

    Humans evolved similarly as other animals having to hunt and gather to survive. Then we had to tend our crops and livestock to survive. Then we discovered commerce and we could exchange our labor for money to trade for the things we needed to survive.

    In all cases we had to work to earn our privilege of surviving.

    Your daughter is not working for free as an intern because of competition.

    Your daughter is working for free for two reasons:

    1 – She does not yet possess the skills that could be traded for money in our system of commerce. And working as an intern helps her develop those skills so she can effectively trade the increased value of her labor for a salary.

    2 – In a more robust job market, her skills may trade for money because of the laws of supply and demand. But today, because of the crappy economic policies of the people you tend to elect to lead us, there are too many people at the entry level of skills development and too few jobs.

    In a more robust economy where we had not flooded the nation with millions of uneducated immigrants, we would have a greater demand for lower-skilled labor… including labor for the still developing skills of you daughter. And some of the companies competing to hire skilled lab research associates would have to include health care benefits.

    So if you want to blame someone for your daughter’s predicament, look in the mirror and consider how you have voted.

    You also generally against any meaningful economic development in Davis; preferring instead to protect your valued village lifestyle at the expense of young people like your daughter who would otherwise have a better chance of finding a paying intern job due to the greater demands for her skills.

    With all due respect, you are your own worst problem for many of the things you complain about. You want your cake and you want to eat it to. You envision some softer existence without competition… a less stressful and more collectivist form of society where we perpetually and constantly reach down and provide care for anyone that asks for it. You see a few people having tremendous monetary success, and feel that if only we could level the playing field of monetary reward; we would have enough money to fund your worldview of equality, peace, caring and stress-relief. That model has been tried over and over and over again… and always fails after having caused copious human suffering. Yet, you and others owning that worldview will never give up… thinking “this time we know better and we will make it work.”

    I was talking to a good friend a couple of days ago about the dynamics of my industry. I am speaking at a panel session next week at our trade association. There will be government employees on the panel. When developing my talking points with one of my employees that used to work for the government arm of our industry, she was red-lining several of my points saying that it would not go over well with the government employees. That caused an epiphany. In the government, the people that rise to the top are generally those that learn how to maneuver without saying or doing anything that embarrasses anyone or hits some nerve of sensitivity (hypersensitivity?) In the private sector, those that tend to rise to the top are those that get things done… and often those are the people that ignore sensitivities and don’t care if someone gets embarrassed if it is justified.

    Multiply this “walking on eggshells” tendency by all the government agencies and employees.

    This is the reason that we should NEVER migrate any business that can be done in the private sector to the government. The politicization of the business means that it will grow bloated and inefficient with all the CYA energy expended, and not enough people willing to take risks to make things happen and get things done. You can see this problem manifesting already with the all the problem with the technology developed to support the Obamacare insurance exchanges.

    The bottom line is that we screwed up big time. Obamacare needs to be killed and we need to get back to a true public-private partnership with healthcare. The private sector can do all of it much better.

  73. Davis Progressive

    some believe the timing of the shutdown was meant to reduce the number of folks signing up for the ACA. if you want criticism of obama, he has sold his program extremely poorly, he has not explained it well to the public and has allowed the republicans to frame the issues. those are all big no-no’s in politics.

    however, the republicans got their butts handed to them again on this shutdown, so it will be interesting to see what they decide to do next time.

  74. Frankly

    [i]however, the republicans got their butts handed to them again on this shutdown, so it will be interesting to see what they decide to do next time[/i]

    What do you based that on?

    The next election will tell. I think it is just as likely that the GOP will benefit from Obamacare anger as it will suffer moocher/looter wrath.

    Many of those surveyed were unhappy with the GOP tactics, not in disagreement that Obamacare must go.

    I think you rub your hands in leftist ideological glee prematurely.

  75. Davis Progressive

    “What do you based that on?”

    polling

    “The next election will tell. “

    the next election will likely be far more complex.

    “I think you rub your hands in leftist ideological glee prematurely. “

    you haven’t been reading my other posts obviously. i have no glee. i think we are headed for mutually assured destruction. we were fortunate that it didn’t happen this time.

  76. Growth Izzue

    [quote]some believe the timing of the shutdown was meant to reduce the number of folks signing up for the ACA.[/quote]

    LOL, blame it on the GOP and there’s no possible way the fact that the $300,000,000 website is krap or that what ACA is offering is less than what was being sold by Obama has anything to do with it.

  77. Frankly

    My comment was based on the “butts handed to them”. That sounded like a gleeful comment to me. But it implies some material damage. What they lost was negotiating leverage because the public did not like:

    1. Their free stuff being taken away
    2. Their services stopping
    3. The chicken game tactics

    Only those in #1 will vote against the GOP in the election, but they would anyway.

    Those in #2… some will likely agree with the GOP that Obamacare is a disaster.

    Those in #3 include a majority of people that hate Obamacare and agree with the GOP about the out of control debt and spending.

    So in the end, I don’t think the GOP was really harmed by this. In fact, it might have been what was required for the ignorant seething masses to pay attention to the problem. I bet a lot more people now know that we have $17 trillion in debt and we are still growing it with no end in sight. Even the CBO projects debt increase through 2030 (as far as they have projected at this point).

    This is different than the last government shutdown where Clinton came ahead for similar reasons. In that case we were still happy in tech stock equity growth heaven and heading toward a surplus. The tactics by Newt and the boys were seen as arrogant. This time is is seen as desperate but for a real problem.

    I could be wrong of course. There are a lot of people on my side of politics that believe that the country has changed for the worst due to demographic changes and the corrupting force of a biased and greedy media, and will become more like California but lacking the good weather. My concern is that we will have red states start voting to secede starting with counties voting to secede from their states.

    Obama will be recognized as the catalyst to an exploding republic. That will be his legacy.

  78. Davis Progressive

    “My comment was based on the “butts handed to them”. That sounded like a gleeful comment to me.”

    it’s not gleeful, it’s accurate. the political miscalculations by the republicans here is farcical. you let you ideology get in the way of your analysis. that’s why you and growth were wrong last year.

  79. Davis Progressive

    “Obama will be recognized as the catalyst to an exploding republic. That will be his legacy.”

    actually it’s been in play much longer. the republicans never accepted clinton’s election in 1992 and tried to undermine it for eight years and failed. the democrats in 2000 did the same to bush. the republicans in 2008 did the same to obama. all the efforts failed, but the result has been escalating tactics. if the trend holds, and a republican manages to beat hilary in 2016, the pattern will hold. it’s mutually assured self-destruction. obama’s not the instigator of it, he’s just the latest bit actor.

  80. Growth Izzue

    A year from now nobody will care about the budget dealings of 2013. They’re going to be focusing on how f’ed up Obamacare is and how much it hurt their pocketbooks and Obama and the Democrats will take the blame.

  81. Davis Progressive

    “A year from now nobody will care about the budget dealings of 2013.”

    agree

    “They’re going to be focusing on how f’ed up Obamacare is and how much it hurt their pocketbooks and Obama and the Democrats will take the blame. “

    doubt. that’s been your delusion for the past six years. you’re as blind as the democrats were in 2004.

  82. Growth Izzue

    [quote]doubt. that’s been your delusion for the past six years. you’re as blind as the democrats were in 2004. [/quote]

    Wrong, Obamacare will finally be mostly implemented in 2014 and the Dems will suffer for it. The peole will be living the nightmare.

  83. Frankly

    [i] the republicans never accepted clinton’s election in 1992 and tried to undermine it for eight years and failed. [/i]

    How?

    You mean trying to impeach him because he told a baldfaced lie to the public on national television?

    The Clinton Whitehouse was amateur hour until he appointed a COS that actually was an adult and knew how to manage him.

    The difference here is that Obama’s hostility is against a large segment of the country and not just the politicians on the other side. No other President in modern times has used a divide and conquer strategy. Obama and the Dems can demonize the Tea Party… a grassroots group using leftist activism tactics that Obama himself was in charge of planning and fomenting for his side… just because they have different beliefs and values… and you and the liberal media never call him on it.

    If it had not been for Ross Perot, Clinton would have never even been president. He was an accident.

    And for those of you making the case that the Tea Party is new and racist only because Obama is half black, Ross Perot was the first major indication that conservatives wanted fiscal sense instilled into the Federal government. What keeps killing this attempt is the effing social, gender, sexual orientation and racial warfare that lefties and the media drum up out of that Saul Alinskey playbook. Destroy the GOP brand. Divide and conquer. The social conservatives are a miniscule bit of the total conservative population. But that is the media narrative. The majority of educated voters are fiscal conservatives. But these divide and conquer methods result in only actors and shysters gaining power, and then fiscal conservatism dies on the vine.

    And so yes, Obama is front and center to this because he has exploited these tactics like no other.

    By the way, the Clintons absolutely hate Obama.

  84. wdf1

    [quote]Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare ([url]http://www.salon.com/2013/10/18/inside_the_fox_news_lie_machine_i_fact_checked_sean_hannity_on_obamacare/[/url])

    I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.” Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them, like game show contestants.

    As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.

    “These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.

    But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and helped him deal with the new federal rules.

    I decided to hit the pavement. I tracked down Hannity’s guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.[/quote]

  85. Frankly

    No, it is just salon.com. That site makes my skin crawl. I am not a fan of Sean Hannity, but anything Salon.com publishes I think the opposite is probably true.

    There are plenty of accounts of Obamacare impacting people in negative ways. You did hear that IBM kicked all of their 110,000 retirees off the company plan to save money, didn’t you?

    [url]http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323893004579059393251153348[/url]

    But you get to keep your plan and your doctor.

    Right.

    It is clear that Obama lied.

    The remaining question is will people die?

  86. Growth Izzue

    Darn Frankly, I thought Obama promised that if you like what you have now you’ll be able to keep it. Just about every time he speaks up tells some lies.

  87. Don Shor

    Hey, guess what? It’ll all be fine. Some of us will have an easier time getting insurance now. Some people will pay more. Some will pay a lot less. A whole lot of people who didn’t have insurance before will have it, thanks to government subsidies. Some people will pay a little more in taxes. Some companies will drop insurance, others will offer it for the first time. The rates might go down, they might go up, nobody really knows. The current mix of private and single-payer that we already have, we’ll still have. Quality of care probably won’t change one bit. The sky won’t fall, the world won’t end, and everyone will get used to it.
    It ain’t the end of the world, it isn’t nirvana, and it sure isn’t socialism.

    [quote]“Already, the law has provided 54 million Americans free access to preventive services like check-ups and mammograms.
    More than six million seniors have saved more than six billion dollars on their prescriptions.
    Nearly 13 million consumers have received more than one billion dollars in rebates from insurance companies that had overcharged them. … more than three million … young adults … have been allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26.”[/quote]
    — Jon Favreau

    Individuals with pre-existing conditions will be able to get insurance.
    When the exchanges are fully operational, shopping for private insurance by individuals and small businesses (presently unable to readily buy in group plans) will be greatly simplified.
    An essential benefits package is mandated, eliminating the capricious coverage exclusions that insurance companies had been using to cut costs and increase profits.

    This is what conservatives are afraid of. The ACA benefits millions of Americans immediately and permanently. All they will have is ‘horror’ stories about a small number of businesses that will drop coverage, and employers who will supposedly refuse to increase employment because of the insurance costs. Most of those stories will be anecdotal, unprovable, and some will be implausible. What they are afraid of is that ACA will ‘work’ for a significant percentage of the population, will barely affect the overwhelming majority of Americans, and will become an established entitlement that they had nothing to do with enacting.

    So they have already started the drumbeat. It’s a failure, they say. There are already businesses cutting jobs because of it, they say. Employers are already claiming to be hurt by it. Because they need to ramp up the rhetoric now, before most of the benefits kick in.

    And it is clearly the policy of the Republican leadership in Washington to refuse to try to improve the bill, and of Republican governors to refuse to enact any portion over which they have control. They know they’ve only got a few months now to try to persuade Americans that the ACA is bad, bad, bad, and all they have is scare tactics and obstructionism.

    The fact is, there will never be a definition of ‘works’ for the ACA, because it was intended to do several things and the analysis of those outcomes will be murky and very partisan. Many people will consider it a success if it increases access to health care and reduces the hardships created by lack of insurance or under-insurance, conditions which were increasing dramatically over the last few years. If it reduces health care costs somewhat, so much the better. But nobody will ever be able to prove the impact on jobs or the economy, because there are too many other variables involved. So all you have left is ‘my brother-in-law says his company is making everyone part-time because of Obamacare’.

    Well, so what? Some employers will make stupid decisions about employment. Some will drop insurance, others will offer it for the first time. A lot of poor people will be able to get insurance with subsidies. There will be a lot of benefits to a lot of people, and the ACA isn’t going away. So serious lawmakers who actually want to do their job will propose fixes and work to make it better. And frivolous lawmakers will vote 37, 38, 39, 40 times to repeal it, knowing full well that their actions are pointless and look plain stupid at this point. Or they’ll try to shut down the government, even though they know they won’t succeed.

  88. Frankly

    [i]Hey, guess what? It’ll all be fine. [/i]

    I think that is called magical thinking or ostriching.

    With Obamacare, we are just trading one set of problems for another set of problems.

    What really ticks me off is that I am not callous enough to laugh at the people having supported it when they complain about their cost increases and their experienced declines in medical service access and quality.

  89. biddlin

    “knowing full well that their actions are pointless and look plain stupid at this point. “
    I think they’ve proven it’s more than just skin deep, Don.
    [img]http://guardianlv.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/MICHELE-BACHMANN-300×290.jpg[/img]

  90. Frankly

    [i]Pathetic that people have to hold spaghetti dinners and start Facebook donations pages to help cover the cost of medical bills for their loved ones[/i]

    I agree, but there are other ways to solve that problem. Obamacare is not it by a long shot.

    It will not solve that problem. It will help our poor immigrant population get better healthcare.

    Three are going to be as many sad stories about crappy healthcare outcomes in a post Obamacare world as there were prior to it. It will just be middle income working people instead of low income people.

    That is pretty much the standard scoop for the march of the left. The rich have it well enough to afford the best. But there are not enough of them to loot to distribute enough free stuff to the poor, so the left loots the middle income working people. That is where we will hear more sad stories. And many of them will be the very people that supported Obamacare. They will die waiting for that procedure because their existing plan got too expensive because of Obamacare and they had to reduce the benefits. Or because there will not be enough doctors and facilities because we added a huge new supply of patients demanding their government-paid health benefits.

    In any case, it will get ugly out there.

  91. Jim Frame

    [quote]What really ticks me off is that I am not callous enough to laugh at the people having supported it when they complain about their cost increases and their experienced declines in medical service access and quality. [/quote]

    In light of the unhinged venom-spitting tantrum we witnessed following Romney’s defeat at the polls, the above statement lacks credibility. However, I don’t think circumstances will provide the opportunity for any such laughter.

  92. Don Shor

    The ACA is a boon to me and to my employees. It provides ready access to health coverage for many people who didn’t have it. It subsidizes health care for many people who couldn’t afford it. That includes nearly all of the so-called “middle income working people” because the subsidies go up to cover nearly all of them to some degree.
    Not having health insurance is a pretty crappy outcome. Not getting care is a pretty crappy outcome. That was what was happening to a lot of us before the ACA, and the ACA makes a big dent in the numbers of people affected by lack of coverage or inadequate coverage.
    [quote]They will die waiting for that procedure[/quote]
    Sure they will.

  93. Frankly

    I have a question.

    How many Obamacare supporters are:

    1. Going to get more free stuff from the government as a result of Obamacare?

    2. Work for the government or are retired from the government and have their Cadillac plans contractually locked in, or otherwise exempted from Obamacare?

    3. Make so much money that they can afford the the increase costs of their Cadillac plan?

    My guess is that a very small minority of Obamacare supporters are going to get negatively impacted by it because of their circumstances, or they just have not had it hit them yet?

    It will impact my employees next year. And many of them voted for Obama and support Obamacare and I expect them to throw a major fit when they see what they will be paying.

  94. Frankly

    Here is what I absolutely expect.

    Obamacare costs will exceed projections. Primarily because government bloat and the fact that companies will drop more and more people onto the exchanges as Obamacare drives insurance costs higher and higher.

    Medicare costs will exceed projections (probably exacerbated by future Dem overturns of the cuts Obama pushed to trick the OMB and CBO to reporting lies that Obamacare would SAVE us money.)

    There will be an increasing number of cases of people losing their plans and struggling to afford their health insurance.

    Wait times will increase.

    Fewer people will become doctors given the high cost and lower reward.

    More old people will die younger due to a growing lack of access and lower quality care.

    Unemployment and underemployment will remain high and grow due to the increases in labor costs brought on by Obamacare.

    The left will slither away from accountability for the giant cluster F they caused and will start chanting “single payer”, “single payer”!

  95. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]will start chanting “single payer”, “single payer”![/quote]

    I can only hope so. My biggest disappointment with Obama in this particular area was that he did not start with single party payer on the table. The logic behind the thought that as a nation we should have “defense” provided by the central government when talking about the military, thus protecting our population from death by foreign hands, but leave the population without the inability to pay for their own health care vulnerable to death at the hands of illness totally escapes me.

    I noted also that you were quick to reply to the portion of my post regarding my daughter’s employment situation, but had nothing substantive to say about the reason that she is now alive, and has a good chance of remaining so since she cannot not be refused insurance on the basis of her pre existing condition. Or do you just consider those “unnecessary goodies” ?

  96. wdf1

    [quote]NYTimes, 10/10/2013: Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P. ([url]http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/10/us/business-groups-see-loss-of-sway-over-house-gop.html[/url])

    “There clearly are people in the Republican Party at the moment for whom the business community and the interests of the business community — the jobs and members they represent — don’t seem to be their top priority,” said Dan Danner, the head of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which spearheaded opposition to President Obama’s health care law among small businesses. “They don’t really care what the N.F.I.B. thinks, and don’t care what the Chamber thinks, and probably don’t care what the Business Roundtable thinks.”[/quote][quote]WaPo, 10/17/13: Business groups stand by Boehner, plot against tea party ([url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/business-groups-stand-by-boehner-plot-against-tea-party/2013/10/17/ed951f0c-350a-11e3-be86-6aeaa439845b_story.html[/url])

    “I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who has known Boehner since the lawmaker’s first election.[/quote]

  97. Frankly

    We have a high deductible HSA Blue Shield plan. They gave me the option to extend through next year by accelerating my plan start date (actually meaning I am only extending 9 months). The premium increase was only 4% with this option including some minor reductions in benefits. But I was warned by my insurance broker to expect double-digit increases the year after. Maybe close to 20%. It will mean that my employees have to start paying for premiums as well as paying part of their deductible for high utilization. If we go to a low deductible style plan like those that all those Obama-exempted union members get, my employees are going to get hit even harder with cost increases. Luckily I don’t have to lay anyone off… yet.

    Obamacare took specific aim at high deductible HSA plans because they are the enemy of the the single-payer dreamer. HSA style plans push financial incentives for managed utilization onto the employee. Most of my employees try to stay healthy and limit their doctor visits to only necessities so the bank their HSA money that we put in their account for elective procedures or saving for their retirement.

  98. Frankly

    I stopped reading wdf1’s post at NYTimes. I’m sure Dan Danner and Dirk Van Dongen are registered Democrats and probably tools of the Democrat socialist party propaganda apparatus.

    If the business community cannot count on the Republican Party, then they are surely screwed.

    The other probability is that these two want cheap immigrant labor… including that real cheap illegal type.

  99. Frankly

    Meds, I have said consistently… as well as the GOP has said consistently… that I/we are in agreement that we have to solve the problem with coverage being denied for preexisting conditions. That was a point of agreement to build on, but you party took off on a unilateral decision binge. And the rest of us will use every negative story resulting from that unilateral decision binge to remind everyone that it was caused 100% by Democrats.

  100. wdf1

    Frankly: “Dan Danner, the head of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, [u]which spearheaded opposition to President Obama’s health care law among small businesses[/u].”

    Doesn’t strike me as someone who particularly likes Obama.

    [quote]source ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Federation_of_Independent_Business[/url])

    The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a conservative lobbying organization with its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee and offices in Washington, D.C. USA, and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB’s lobbying efforts are focused on the impact of current and proposed legislation on businesses (primarily small businesses) and professional practices at all levels of government, but primarily at the federal and state levels. Its political action committee is called Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust. The federation calls itself nonpartisan but historically has contributed more to business-friendly Republican candidates for office. NFIB claims a membership base of about 350,000.[/quote]

  101. B. Nice

    “There are plenty of accounts of Obamacare impacting people in negative ways. You did hear that IBM kicked all of their 110,000 retirees off the company plan to save money, didn’t you? “

    That’s IBM impacting people in negative ways, not Obamacare.

  102. Growth Izzue

    [quote]That’s IBM impacting people in negative ways, not Obamacare. [/quote]

    If Obamacare was never enacted those 110,000 IBM retirees would still have their medical insurance.

  103. Don Shor

    [quote]IBM’s Decision
    IBM (IBM) said last week it will shift about 110,000 Medicare-eligible retirees to Tower Watson’s Extend Health, the largest private Medicare exchange. Former workers will find more options than the business could provide through its own plan, IBM, the third-largest U.S. employer according to data compiled by Bloomberg, said in a statement e-mailed Sept. 7. Caterpillar Inc. and DuPont Co. also have moved Medicare-age retirees onto the Extend exchange.
    For most, coverage will come “at the same or lower cost” than they pay now. The Armonk, New York-based company will still make contributions to a tax-free health retirement account for the workers.
    IBM capped its subsidies to retirees in the 1990s and “didn’t make this change to save money,” Doug Shelton, a spokesman, said in an e-mail. “It does not reduce our costs.” Rather, the company is making the change to help former workers, whose premiums and out-of-pocket charges are projected to triple by 2020 under the current plan, Shelton said.[/quote]
    [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-09/ge-to-ibm-ending-retiree-health-plans-in-historic-shift.html[/url]
    Hm. I guess Frankly and GI are only telling part of the story. I wonder why?
    [quote]If Obamacare was never enacted those 110,000 IBM retirees would still have their medical insurance. [/quote]
    They do.

  104. Don Shor

    [quote]We have a high deductible HSA Blue Shield plan.[/quote]
    Why don’t you just let your employees go to the exchanges, choose the plan they want, and adjust their pay to cover some portion of it? I can’t imagine all your employees want a high deductible HSA. You’d probably save money, even if you have to pay the fine. (I’m assuming you have 50+ employees).

  105. wdf1

    David Brooks, 10/18/13, NPR: “If this government shutdown hadn’t happened, we’d be talking about how badly the Obamacare rollout was going on the website, and the Republicans walked all over that story line, which was their best way to defeat Obamacare and they ruined that.”

  106. Frankly

    [i]I’m assuming you have 50+ employees[/i]

    Don, I have 22 employees. Individual plan is $2500 deductable and I put $2500 in their HSA account and pay 100% of premiums. The cost of that is significantly less than a low deductable plan with equivalent coverage. That is why we can afford it. If premiums go up as my broker has warned me, we will either cut the HSA contribution or require employees to pay part of their premium. That will sting my employees.

    wdf1, I agree with David Brooks. There are lot of conservatives and Republicans that were disgusted with the GOP for these reasons.

    The problem is that the radicals in the GOP are not experienced enough. They need a community organizer.

  107. Don Shor

    It would probably be cheaper to have your employees go to the exchange, continue to give them the $2500 into their HSA (or just outright), and then offer to pay the unsubsidized difference for a bronze plan. If they wanted a silver or gold plan, they could use the 2500 for that. You wouldn’t pay any fine, since you don’t actually have to be providing insurance for less than 50 employees. And if they are young and healthy and don’t want a silver or gold plan, they get to pocket the $2500.
    You’d probably save money in the long run, and they’d have greater choice of what insurance they get. Unless you pay them more than I’m thinking, they’ll probably find they get a high rate of subsidy on the exchange.

  108. gvpn

    Frankly: “The Gop has said consistently… that I/we are in agreement that we have to solve the problem with coverage being denied for preexisting conditions.”

    This from the same commenter who says in this thread that the president is a liar. The party that contains the “let them die” contingent did nothing from 2000-2008 to solve the problem of preexisting conditions. Did not lift a finger. In its years long quest starting in 2009 to actively deny coverage to tens of millions of Americans, the GOP for a time kept up a marketing slogan (but no plan) of “repeal and replace.” Now there is not even the pretense of “replace,” and as anyone who has been paying attention knows they never intended to follow through on the replace part. As the New York Times reports this morning, in their state level attacks of Obamacare the GOP is relying on a dubious study to claim people are better off with no health insurance rather than Medicaid. This is the same party running a campaign right now trying to convince young people not to buy health insurance. And the same guys who just risked putting us through another recession over the principle that we should remain the one wealthy country that leaves a significant percentage of its population out in the cold with no access to health insurance.

  109. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]The remaining question is will people die?[/quote]

    My question is will more people die than are dying now due to their inability to pay for needed care?

    [quote]The waits will increase[/quote]

    Not if medical professionals and insurers do the right thing. We have known that Obamacare was coming at Kaiser just as the rest of the health care community has since 2010. Instead of wait times increasing, we have dropped contact to appointment time dramatically by adopting a policy affectionately referred to as “today’s work today” which is made possible by ensuring that there is a surplus of appointments daily. This wouldn’t make sense in a “fee for service” model, but makes all the sense in the world if you accept that office visits are not the only, and many times not the best way to take care of a patient’s needs.

  110. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Meds, I have said consistently… as well as the GOP has said consistently… that I/we are in agreement that we have to solve the problem with coverage being denied for preexisting conditions.[/quote]

    It is certainly laudable that you and the GOP have [u]said[/u] this consistently. I cannot help but note that
    Obama actually got it done. So now he is being vilified for doing what the GOP has only talked about.
    How does this make sense to you ?

    What do either you, or the GOP, say about the situations below ?
    1) How about cancellation of policy one cancer is diagnosed based on such issues as forgetting to mention on
    initial application years before that you were diagnosed with acne in your teens ?
    2) How about cost limits on coverage ?
    3) How about variable costs or limitation of services by age or gender ?
    4) How about the completely arbitrary linkage of insurance to employment ?
    5) What about the fact that fee for service medicine is the most inefficient and costly way that care could
    possibly be provided given that it focuses on cure rather than prevention when it is apparent that
    prevention is always more cost effective ?

  111. medwoman

    Frankly

    Part two of my mini rant :

    You, yourself frequently state that what is needed is to look at the root cause. The root cause here is not whether or not Obamacare is an ideal solution. We both agree, for different reasons, that it is not. The root cause is that unlike virtually all other developed countries, we do not have a health care delivery system. We have left this to the market with the predictable outcome that each of the involved powerful groups, hospitals, doctors, insurers, medical equipment manufacturers, pharmaceuticals have acted consistently in their own perceived short term best interests which frequently have not coincided with the need of the consumers, in this case patients. I have no problem with asking people to pay as much as you want for luxury goods. I have a great deal of problem with pricing your goods and services above the ability of many to pay when what is at stake is their health, and many times their lives.

    I chose to work with Kaiser precisely because, outside of the military with which I had a less than optimal experience, it was as close as I could come to a prevention based, pre paid, patient focused system. I built my career with Kaiser long before there existed different types of plans. You site Kaiser as the exception. It doesn’t have to be. Others could have chosen long ago to adopt this model, they didn’t, and now are hustling to catch up in many ways. It is certainly not Obama’s fault that the medical profession and all the other groups named above chose not to use the slightest bit of self restraint when there was big money to be made off people’s suffering. Let’s not pretend that selling a drug for 10-50 times what it sells for in another country is based on anything but greed, or making the patient come in for a $100.00 appointment for a birth control pill prescription when you could look at the chart and see that the only relevant parameter, her blood pressure was normal at a previous visit one month ago. Or how about medical teaching aid manufacturers who charge
    $150-$275 for a 1/2 pound piece of molded plastic with some beads embedded called a “breast model” when the same amount of embedded plastic would cost under $5.00 at a novelty store.

    You have been very critical of the firefighter’s union for holding out for what you see as unacceptably high salaries and benefits. And yet, because they are private entities, you seem to hold all of the groups that I named above blameless for their egregiously high pricing of goods and services that if they did not carry that
    magic modifier, ” medical ” would cost far, far less. You seem to feel that if a company is “private” they should be exempt from any kind of responsibility for the completely unacceptable cost of their goods and services.
    What you do not seem to realize is that just because you do not see the bill arrive at your office, we are all still paying for this completely unnecessary cost every time a hospital “eats” the bill for an preventable emergency room visit. We pay in the form of higher premiums every time a patient needs a preventable hospitalization.
    Every time a surgery could have been prevented had the condition been detected earlier.

    You say that fewer people will be going into medicine because it will be less lucrative. I say good. We have artificially restricted the number of slots in medical schools in order to artificially boost physician compensation. Maybe the wrong people have been going into medicine in the first place. Maybe we need to train many, many more doctors whose prime goal in life is not to make a small fortune but to actually improve health. And maybe we should focus on training even more mid level providers who will provide preventive health before the patient actually needs the more specialized services of a doctor. Maybe we should actually be looking at what is working in the health care systems of other countries ( much as you were willing to do when fluoride was the issue) and adopt their best practices.

    I would be perfectly happy to scrap Obamacare altogether as you want. But only if in its place were a universal single party payer system. In the meantime, I think it is up to those who would block and obstruct to do what you have often said…”lead, follow, or get out of the way”. Since they have chosen not to lead, I would suggest that, according to your own paradigm, there are only two options left.

  112. gvpn

    Medwoman,

    If you don’t mind an anonymous internet commenter suggesting this, you should really submit an op-ed of your story to some national publication with wide readership, like the New York Times, where more people could benefit from it, assuming you’re OK with not being anonymous and the loss of family privacy (not a small thing I know). The facts of your daughter’s situation, the reasons for your choice of type of employer, and the intersection of both with the ACA make for a compelling story. In any event, thanks for sharing your story here and I hope your daughter’s health situation continues to improve.

  113. medwoman

    gvpn

    Thank you so much for the kind words. I have been working on the assumption that my daughter would prefer that I preserve at least the semblance of privacy maintained by only posting publicly here. Perhaps a better idea would be to ask her.

  114. Jim Frame

    [quote]Most of my employees try to stay healthy and limit their doctor visits to only necessities so the bank their HSA money that we put in their account for elective procedures or saving for their retirement.[/quote]

    Some years ago I looked into an HSA because my family is generally healthy and the retirement savings aspect was intriguing. However, a Consumer Reports article concluded that over the long haul HSA versus conventional is a wash, so I never switched over. I don’t know if that’s still true; I suppose I should check into it again just to find out, though we’re pretty happy with our Kaiser coverage (except, of course the cost).

  115. Ginger

    Those who rally about a single-payer system ought to do some research into why other countries are doing away with that model. A good place to start might be to look at the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision in the 2005 Chaoulli v. Quebec case.

    When Jon Stewart asked Kathleen Sebelius why Obama didn’t push for single payer, she answered that as 85% of the people in the country are (soon to be were IMO) happy with their healthcare, he didn’t want to change things for them. But we all know that in the interest of “fairness” many would rather have 100% of people [i]unhappy[/i] with with their health care delivery system as long as it means everyone is “equal.”

    As to the notion that everyone should have Kaiser…my family had Kaiser for a while and it was a nightmare. When we first signed up my husband was told that he could no longer have the medication he’d been taking for many years because, “it wasn’t on their formulary” (aka Kaiser didn’t have a contract with that particular pharmaceutical company). He was given an alternative that his doctor told him was, “basically the same thing.”

    Other than being the same class of medications, they weren’t even remotely the same thing. We tried to fight but ultimately paid cash to go outside of the Kaiser network to have a physician prescribe the correct medication…and then paid cash for the prescription.

    I had my own bad experiences…the worst might be when I was given absolutely incorrect statistics regarding a particular procedure I was considering. I suspect that the reason I was misled was because the procedure is pricy and, like any closed system, keeping costs down is the name of the game.

    Fortunately we had a choice at the next benefits enrollment period and we hightailed it out of Kaiser. CHOICE being the operative word there. Centrally planned, single payer models don’t allow the masses the luxury of choice.

    Like with Obamacare…a single man in his 80’s doesn’t have the choice to to not have maternity care and well baby visits on his plan. That wouldn’t be “fair” to the 20 year old woman who does want it- being a female is no longer a pre-exisiting condition. Yay!

  116. Jim Frame

    [quote]my family had Kaiser for a while and it was a nightmare[/quote]

    You family’s experience appears to be an outlier:

    [quote]March 18, 2013 OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente announced today that its members in four geographic regions — which serve 8 million of Kaiser Permanente 9 million members — again ranked the organization’s health plans highest in satisfaction in the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Member Health Plan Study.

    It is the sixth successive year that Kaiser Permanente members in California and Colorado ranked the organization’s health plan highest. This is the fifth year Kaiser Permanente has ranked highest in the Mid-Atlantic Region, and it is the fourth consecutive year Kaiser Permanente has ranked highest in the South Atlantic Region.[/quote]

  117. Ginger

    [quote]You family’s experience appears to be an outlier: [/quote] Could certainly be. But then I know several people who have Kaiser because it is less expensive…they don’t particularly love it.

    And I know physicians work there who enjoy the freedom of not having to be business-people, but do feel stifled at times by the lack of control.

    BTW…in my case? If I didn’t have the background that I do I’d have just accepted what I was told as gospel. It is also possible that things might have changed as this was several years ago. I don’t know.

    My overarching points are that having CHOICE was a great thing for my family, and a single payer doesn’t offer that. A centrally controlled system that encompasses everything from physician to pharmacy to hospital is going to dictate how patient care is managed. It takes away from the art of medicine…perhaps my husband’s physician, for example, KNEW that the drug he HAD to prescribe wasn’t in fact “basically the same.” But that wasn’t his call…it was dictated from above.

    BTW, this is a very well known drug that every single person here has heard of. Nothing obscure. Kaiser just had a contract with the competitor.

  118. medwoman

    Ginger

    As a Kaiser doctor for 25 years, I am surprised to hear the particular problems you encountered.
    I have never had the situation where I was not able to order a non formulary drug for a patient. I first ask if the person has tried a generic previously. If they have not, I ask that they try it to see if they do as well as with the
    brand name. If they do as well, it is more cost effective and makes more sense to use the less expensive formulation. If they do not do as well, I classify it as a treatment failure ( or intolerance as the case may be) and switch them back to their original. I have not once been so much as questioned about my choice. So I have no idea why this occurred since our choice of drugs is absolutely not “dictated from above”.

    Neither is the choice of procedure or preceding tests. Unlike private practitioners I know, I have only twice in my career had to get pre approval for any procedure or operation. Both entirely justifiable in my opinion since the first involved what at the time 22 years ago was an experimental procedure. The second was when I needed a procedure done in the UCD vet scanner. Both involved only phone calls with no paper work to complete.

    So I am sorry that you had these difficulties, but perplexed about how they came about since this is definitely not top down policy.

  119. Ginger

    Medwoman- perhaps we just had bad doctors and attribute that to Kaiser in general.

    As a clarification…for my husband’s situation, it was NOT the case of a generic over a brand name. It was a different brand name. He wasn’t allowed to get the brand name he’d been on for years because, as he was told, it wasn’t “on their formulary.” In fact he was told the pharmacy didn’t even carry it and wouldn’t be able order it.

    (I do know one other person who had this experience at Kaiser. I also know that this particular medication is NOW routinely prescribed by Kaiser docs…so it at some point got ONTO the formulary.)

    For my case…all I know is the doctor completely misled me regarding statistics. I asked about a particular (very common) elective procedure, and she told me all of the risks (essentially the risks for ANY surgery) but neglected to mention the risks of [b]not[/b] doing it. When I asked her about that, she said there weren’t any. Except I knew that there were and I rattled off them off including statistics (which, BTW, outweighed the risks of not doing it). She got flustered and left the room.

    When I went to a non-Kaiser doctor and asked the same question, I was given ALL of the information…including what I told the Kaiser doc.

  120. medwoman

    Ginger

    [quote]perhaps we just had bad doctors and attribute that to Kaiser in general. [/quote]

    I think this is the accurate interpretation. We are a huge system. My department alone has over 70 doctors and a large number of nurse practitioners. Practice styles do vary.

    However, regardless of brand or generic status, I have never had a problem prescribing the drug that worked best and with fewest side effects for the patient. If it is non formulary, I provide the appropriate exception code and they dispense it, no questions asked. The only restriction of which I am aware is specialty specific drugs such as chemotherapeutic agents which can only be prescribed for obvious safety reasons by specialists in that area.

  121. Ginger

    I do know others in Kaiser who, like us, weren’t allowed to get non-formulary exceptions per their request…and others who, when they did, they were forced to pay full retail for the medication (i.e., not a copay).

    I looked it up on the Kaiser website (link: [url]http://providers.kaiserpermanente.org/mas/nonformularyexceptions.html[/url]), and found this:

    [quote]Patients can also have a non-formulary drug without invoking the exception process anytime by paying full price for the drug if the prescribing provider deems the non-formulary drug not medically necessary, but agrees to prescribe the drug due to patient demand […]

    If the member insists on the non-formulary product but an appropriate formulary alternative is available, the physician may prescribe the non-formulary drug. In this case:

    *The physician will document the non-formulary prescription a patient request/demand.
    *The drug will not be covered under the pharmacy benefit.
    *The patient will pay full price for the drug.[/quote]

    So according to that, the physician was within his rights to NOT agree to prescribe the drug due to my husband’s demand. And my friends’ experiences having to pay full out of pocket for non-formulary drugs are in fact Kaiser policy.

    Why I am I beating this horse? CHOICE.

    My original point was that those who argue in favor of a federally centralized, single-payer are arguing against choice. Thankfully my family was able to exercise choice and we voted with our dollars…we left Kaiser and enrolled in an insurance plan we love.

    Take the Kaiser model and extrapolate nationally. The medication my husband wasn’t able to get from Kaiser wouldn’t have been available to him at all…no going to the competition if there IS no competition.

    Even worse, unlike Kaiser which eventually accepted that particular medication into their formulary, without competition what impetus would a single payer system have to do so?

    That’s one of the limitations of socialist health care systems. You can’t necessarily get the replacement hip your surgeon knows would be best for your particular situation. You get the replacement hip from the manufacturer with whom your system has a contract.

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