The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    CVille Dem's picture

    Bernie to Republicans, "You're Welcome"

    Monday on CNN, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will host a town hall on health care:

    Patty Murray, a Democrat who had been working on a bipartisan committee with Lamar Alexander, was not asked to participate.  She is well-regarded by most, and has had a clear head and a clear objective (fixing and expanding Obamacare) in order to serve more people.  

    Note in her wiki piece, her work on health care:

    Amy Klobuchar, who seems like a fine, upstanding Democrat does not have that history but is deemed a "rising star" and presumably that is why she was the only Democrat to be invited.

    ​Obviously, the two authors of the Graham/Cassidy bill were included.

    An Independent Party Senator who has a Medicare for All Bill, that has nothing to do with the current situation or options available.  Bernie will deliver exactly what the Republicans want him to, and what Sen. Graham put out last week, as the scariest of all scenarios--> SOCIALISM!

    At the most,there should be 3 sides to this debate: the GOP, the Dem, and the Independent Party sides.  What really should happen is that the two current available options should be debated.

    Bernie will deliver.  He will rant, rave, point his finger, lick his lips and scare anyone on the fence to the GOP side.

    if the GOP passes, they will own the misery that it causes, but once again, Bernie will have carried water for them.  Thanks, Obama!




    good news on this front

    ("McCain Rejects G.O.P. Health Bill, Likely Dooming It" @

    makes me wonder, though about

    • the real deal with the relationship of the two devoted amigos Graham & McCain, do they have an agree to disagree thing going on with health insurance?
    • is there some other non transparent or even cynical political reason that Graham sponsored this bill? something like to make it clear for 2018 where congresscritters stood or similar?

    Graham was just asked about this and CNN reported that it will in no way affect their friendship.  He said their relationship has nothing to do with how either of them votes; rather, he said he respects McCain for how he lives his life.

    Whew!  I hope this strengthens Collins, and others who surely know this bill is terrible.

    Some noted their donor base is pissed, so it can easily be a cynical ploy to pretend they're still trying. Why Graham tho? Idunno.

    Yes I am still confused by all of this, and it really bothers me, too. I thought the same thing with this article: cynically placating the donors?  But it is not clear, it doesn't make sense. It makes no sense unless Graham and McCain together plotted something that they planned to have fail.

    And why do these donors want so badly to return more Medicaid responsibility to the states, including paying for it? What possibly would be in it for them? The whole thing of giving more power to the states on health insurance to supposedly let them "experiment" with new things, that flies in the face of Trump's campaign promises to make insurance exchanges across state borders, and that promise was popular. It's going in the opposite direction.

    It can't be big health related industries that are lobbying for this, that much I know, they don't want this anymore, they see the light, it is not "the AMA against socialized medicine" anymore, they want to go in the other direction, a simpler more federal system for everything, one set of rules.

    What donors want this kind of localized mess and why? What could possibly be the reason? The motives are important to understand, and I can't figure it out.

    Up until now, it seemed to me that it was just a problem of trying to mollify the Fox-watching voting base after promising to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years, combined with the vehement passions of downsize the Fed government Freedom Caucus types.

    What kind of wealthy donors want to mess up 1/6 of the economy this way? It is childish and naive to want this and seems to have no benefit as well!

    McCain is so right on this, on the politics of it, this is too important, it should be done bipartisan by committee. Or they will all be sorry. It is a major project and must be done carefully. Despite all the ideologues like Bernie types pushing "single payer now" and Freedom Caucus types pushing "drop all the rules and let the market do it's magic", the reality of this huge part of our economy is that it's a long hard slog of legislative work and consultations with lobbyists for industries involved. With people's lives at stake, 1/6 of the economy involved, including all kinds of jobs, anything they do must be solid enough to last through changes in Congress! One can't just through some shit at the fan and not end up paying for it in the end. Without doing things carefully you end up with the mom of the kid with cerebal palsy  on the national news at night, Jimmy Kimmel as much power than any congressperson, and providers screaming bloody murder. Making an unregulated mess gets them: nothing.

    I am scratching my head, it boggles my mind.  Perhaps some of these donors are just really stupid enough about health care to think that deregulated competition will actually lower the premiums that employers have to pay. Perhaps they are the really big employers, they are the only ones who would end up with enough power in such a situation to be able to negotiate lower prices? Small business would have it much harder.

    Just can't imagine what donors would want this, what they are doing! It only makes sense as playing to the idiot base.

    Edit to add: screwing with Medicaid, as several screaming governors attest, is dangerous. It ends up with not a pretty picture concerning grannie in the nursing home and things like the opoid epidemic in Trump districts. The idiot base doesn't realize this, but donors should.

    This is from TPM:



    I'm going to a Joni Ernst town hall in about 2 hours. Here is what I want to say, although it is unlikely I will get the chance.

    I have two questions, one for you and one for Chuck Grassley. But he hasn't done a public meeting in this county in 6 years. What's he afraid of, that we'll give him the "Full Grassley?" Just yesterday, he described the new health care bill, "..I could give you ten reasons why this bill shouldn't be considered, but Republicans campaign on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That's pretty much, as much of a reason as the substance of the bill." He's more interested in party politics, more interested in Hillary Clinton's emails than a President that committed treason by collaborating with the Russians.

    But I am going to assume you won't put party politics over the interests of your constituents. And here in Iowa, we have already seen how party politics changed health care. When Gov. Branstad was elected, his #1 goal was to tear down IowaCare. Over 150k people were kicked off IowaCare and told to reapply for Medicaid or go on the ACA exchange. He called it "Medicaid Expansion" but it was really Medicaid Contraction. He did this deliberately as revenge, to destroy the IowaCare system created by Tom Vilsack, who beat him in the 1998 election.

    I was poor enough that I was right at the borderline of coverage, so both Medicaid and the Exchange refused to cover me. I fought with them for 6 months, during which time I had no access to medications or any health care. One of the Iowa Medicaid agents said, "oh you're a 'Looper,' you're getting kicked back and forth and neither system will cover you." Finally I got the Exchange to cover me. I got an ACA subsidy and bought health insurance, which made me poorer than ever. Then, 6 months later, Medicaid sent me a letter, oh you were right, you were covered all along, we retroactively covered you so now you can apply to get your insurance payments back!"

    So now I'm on Medicaid. But Iowans already have experience on how this Republican system works. Brandstad subcontracted the perfectly adequate Medicaid system out to private insurance companies like Anthem. Now I am getting letters from THEIR sub-subcontractors, refusing to refill prescriptions that I've had covered for years. And I can't see one of my providers, her group practice was covered by my Anthem/Amerigroup MCO but she moved to a private practice. She submitted the paperwork a year ago, but can't get approved by Amerigroup, so I haven't had an office visit in a YEAR. I'll have to find a new provider, or switch MCOs.

    Iowans know how this Republican health plan is going to work. They'll give states a block grant, the governors will call it "health care expansion" and use it to reduce services. People with preexisting conditions like me will have no coverage, because the Federal Government won't require it. Everyone's coverage will be reduced because they can't afford it. People will die. And you'll blame "Obamacare." You already wrecked the ACA because the insurance companies don't know what's going to happen. I'm asking you to commit to FIXING the ACA. That's what people want. It's not what the Republican Party wants, but you are responsible to your constituents, not Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell. Please help us save our health care.


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    I'm going to a Joni Ernst town hall in about 2 hours.

    Let us know how it goes...




    I'm going to a Joni Ernst town hall in about 2 hours. Here is what I want to say, although it is unlikely I will get the chance.

    Bring a couple bread bags and put them on your feet when she starts shoveling it. It would help if over half there would do the same. I'm sure she would get the meaning. You would not have to say anything. I'm sure the local press would be 



    In case you see this, good luck and I'm glad you're going. You've probably already edited this, but if you want your point to come across clearly and just as importantly to be heard by other constituents as well as your Senator, you'll need to rework it so they don't shut down on the third sentence.

    Something like,

    I have two questions, one for you and one for Chuck Grassley. But he hasn't done a public meeting in this county in 6 years. Thank you for giving your constituents this opportunity to discuss this issue with you, one many of our lives depend on.

    I wrote a lot of letters for Amnesty International in my younger years. I'd almost always write two drafts, the "what I think and feel" version and the "getting results" version, lol. Basically I'd edit out anything that I thought would shut them down and replace it with an appeal to their better nature, whether or not I privately thought it existed. Lot's of "I'm sure that now that you know this prisoner that was arrested in your jurisdiction is missing, you will do everything you can to locate him and facilitate contact with his lawyers and his family", knowing full well that this dude was almost certainly responsible for the disappearance. Amazingly, this kind of thing can work.

    I'm not saying don't be angry, I'm saying that sometimes it's more effective to direct the anger just sideways of the actual target so they don't just


    It's simply pure suicidal lunacy if this bill is a genuine attempt. Simple easy proof of that:

    A Sept. 23 joint letter saying thumbs down on the bill from: the American Medical Association, the American Association of Family Physicians,  America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (With all the Republican bills they've had to object to, looks like they just went out and had joint letterhead created! cheeky) Click on the pic link in the  tweet to see both pages of the letter.

    New: Doctors, hospitals and insurers release a joint statement condemning Graham-Cassidy. "The Senate should reject it," they say.

    — Thomas Kaplan (@thomaskaplan) September 23, 2017



    I tried to watch the big shew but I just couldn't pay attention for more than ten minutes, don't really know why.

    I think we are out of danger, though because of this in particular

    She (Senator Collins) said the fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy bill was “as deeply flawed as the previous iterations.”

    Deeply flawed means that tweaking with amendments for certain Senators is not going to be a successful option.

    Politico says the question for GOP Senators now is "How to Fail"

    Prokop @ Vox warns of zombie reiterations for eternity as long as we have a GOP Congress (and the donors that pay for them?) All the more reason to thank god for Senators like Collins who care about what actually happens to her constituents over pure re-election pandering concerns.

    I did watch it, and to my relief, Bernie did his best to keep to the subject at hand.  When he did bring up Medicare-For-All it was only to make the legitimate point of its financial superiority to market-based insurances.  Overall, I do think that anyone watching the debate could see that the Graham/Cassidy Bill is not a good. One.

    Looks like it's moot anyway, but I just got a message that it will not be voted on.  I hope this will move things into a  realm where some actual work gets done, and health care improves.  

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