The Morning After

You know what I forgot last night? The dancing banana.

Righties are certain that America is doomed. They are more certain that the “Democrat” party is doomed in November. All they have to do is run against Obamacare, they say, and The People will flock to the polls to vote for Republicans.

Here are the terrible hardships that health care reform will place on the American people in the next six months, or between now and the November elections.

For people who already are in group insurance plans through their employers:

  • They are protected from being dumped by their insurers if they get sick.
  • Lifetime limits on coverage are suspended.
  • People can keep their children on their policies through the age of 26.
  • Insurers cannot refuse to insure children because of “pre-existing conditions.”
  • Policy premiums will not change on account of HCR.

Medicare recipients:

  • Get a free annual checkup.
  • Can skip co-pays and deductibles on many preventive care services.
  • Seniors who have fallen into the Medicare D “doughnut hole” will get a $250 rebate check in a few weeks.

The above are what Republicans will be running against. They’re going to continue to raise the alarm about provisions going into effect down the road, but the way they’ve been going on one might have expected tanks in the street today.

I’ve been reading reactions on comment threads here and there, and lots of people expect their health care premiums to double or triple right away and their taxes to go up to pay for the “entitlement.” Will they notice when these things don’t happen? Some of them won’t, of course, like the tea baggers who keep screaming about phantom tax increases. But a substantial percentage of people who are queasy about what’s going to happen next will be reassured when the sky doesn’t fall.

I also saw comments from people who claimed to be small business owners who believed the bill requires them to insure their employees and feared this would put them out of business. But the law has no such requirement. All they will get are dreadful tax credits to insure their employees if they choose to.

On top of that, there will be some immediate help for people who don’t have insurance now. Medicaid is expanded, some small business owners will get a tax credit to offset the cost of insuring employees, and some state high-risk pools will receive subsidies that should enable them to offer coverage to the “pre-existing condtion” crowd at lower rates. Combined with all the young folks who will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance awhile longer, by November there should be more insured people in America. How many I can’t say, but more.

One never went broke betting on the ignorance of the American public, but there’s one other dynamic you can count on — the “Greater Asshole” rule of public demonstrations. The rule is that in the eternal struggle between public demonstrators and The Establishment, public sympathy turns against whichever side is the Greater Asshole. Well, all this past weekend the Right pretty much went off the asshole scale. I doubt they’re going to let up.

It’s too early to make predictions about November, but in the near future I expect some movement upward in public support for President Obama, Democrats in Congress and health care reform.

26 thoughts on “The Morning After

    • Jennifer — in 2014 a provision kicks in that no one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. For now, though, it’s just children.

  1. When I was growing up in a poor, rural community, all us kids declared ourselves Republicans. Reason being, we associated that party with wealth and power, and even though we had neither wealth nor power ourselves, at least we could bask in a little reflected glory by declaring membership in that exaulted tribe.

    The Tea Party antics and behavior of some Republican politicians this past week blew the mercury off the top of the “Greater Asshole” meter. It was ugly. There was nothing one could admire about it, but a great deal to make decent people ashamed of being associated with such incivility, bigotry and ignorance.

    Frankly, if I were still a Republican, I wouldn’t just walk away from the party, I’d gallop. There’s nothing to admire about that tribe anymore.

  2. Hi folks – I think its a great day! I’m happy to think that for once it seems like the country isn’t owned by mega rich corporations. I used to think of myself as a Republican because I was ignorant of the world outside the U.S.; once I travelled a little bit I realized how out of line America is – mostly because of Republicans and my life has been happy ever since. Its a good day to be an American citizen!

  3. Good one and thanks for it. That is all conservatives, whose interest is not in helping make healthcare affordable to all, have in their arsenal…hysteria. They know that a certain portion of the population is more susceptible to it.

    However, programs like social security, medicare and now healthcare reform are like ratchets they move into place with some resistance b ut cannot be backed out. When we elect someone like Bush and progressives in Congress are either asleep at the wheel or fall under the influence of corporate lobbyists the legislation that protects us will get diluted by conservatives or die a death by a thousands paper cuts, so to speak. But try as they will, like Bush did with social security and they will meet stiff resistance and loss of their coveted office and power if they push it too hard….as it should be.

    So I suppose that all the rightees are going to renounce, rather than partake of, their new benefits. Maybe they’ll push for healthcare vouchers but I doubt the vouchers would go as far when presented to an insurance or drug company as they will under government-regulated programs.

    The litany of whining from the right will go on and on but their situation pales in comparison to those that healthcare reform will help.

  4. This just in from my neck of the woods:

    OMAHA — Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said Monday the federal health care reform bill violates the U.S. Constitution and his state will join others in challenging it.

    “It tramples on individual liberty and dumps on the states the burden of an unfunded mandate that taxpayers cannot afford,” Bruning said.

    Bruning, a Republican, is president of the National Association of Attorneys General. His statement did not explain why he believes the reform bill is unconstitutional.

    Jon Bruning is a piece of work; he once described same-sex marriage as paving the way for “a man to marry his favorite armchair.” In other words, our state AG equates human beings with furniture.

    These state challenges to the HCR bill could be worrisome; I mean, it isn’t like the POTUS is a Constitutional Law professor or anything…. Oh. Wait. He is.

  5. If all the provisions of the plan kicked in immediately, the democrats would be in a much more secure position to allow “reality” to rebut the Republican’s screeching. But given that most of the really important stuff doesn’t kick in until 2014, that gives the Republicans 4 more years of lying, screeching, dissembling, exaggerating, fearmongering and whipping the American public into a frenzy over what’s “going to happen” once the rest of the bill kicks in. And all the democrats can do is stand by and feebly say “no, no it won’t.” I’m not as confident as many others out there (including David Frum) who say Congress can’t be fearmongered into repealing or watering down the stuff the goes into effect in 2014 before we get there. Bad strategic move on the democrats part.

    Lying has worked for Republicans and the media corporations pretty well so far. No reason for it to stop now.

  6. Those lies impact that percentage which doesn’t automatically doubly believe every single lie about “the enemy”. The former must be learned that the liars are the “bigger assholes”.

  7. I thought it was interesting that the stock market rose today when some of the right wing crowd was predicting a massive sell off if HCR passed. As far as the November election goes it is all about unemployment. If it is falling, the Dems will do okay: if not it is going to be ugly. HCR will be forgotten by then.

  8. Ok I have to comment on randy”baby killer!” neugebauer and all the little shouting outbursts on the right….If I as a person who is suppose to have congressmen and senators working for me went to those people and had an outburst like that I would land in the county jail no matter have valid the reason(my representative did something STUPID again!). But forget all that…How dare that sub human piece of crap call anyone a baby killer after the wake of infant death in Iraq since the Bush years??? Do “those” babies count less? As SNL weekend update asks “Really???!!!???” Babies with no faces and no choice in the hands of people who LIED to invade the nation in the first place who didn’t give a shit about the lives taken there over the past decade yelling baby killer because a poor woman might have a choice OVER HER OWN BODY AND UNBORN CHILD here in America???? REALLY????!!!??? Isn’t there a bathroom floor he should be tapping on someplace or a page he can be playing grab ass with? A man who doesn’t want women to have health care while she is pregnant wants to yell baby killer? Really??!!??And what has this man, soooooo concerned about “baby killers” done to increase the number of healthy babies born in his state? If he can’t produce numbers proving the live birth rate has improved in his state since he took office he better recognize not being a baby killer STARTS AT HOME! Stop yelling bullshit and go home and do something about it asshole!!!!!!!!!REALLY!!!!

    And a few choice words about the doom we all face when this passes..Are you bleeping kidding me? Let me tell you what someone floated a bunch of bullshit and the general public is taking it hook line and sinker. If this was the road to ruins the gop and their tiny minions claim they would sit back and let it happen without a WORD.There would be no need for tea baggin and states pretending to want to leave the union(I still say we give that damn state BACK to mexico they are dragging us down in unwed teen moms alone…) that is all BULLSHIT…yum!
    Do you really believe that the gop is trying to save anyone? LOL ..cute…

    This is the same party who for the past decade has been in support of giving every Iraqi health care coverage for OUR money,, but if we have it … road to socialism! And hmmmm how interesting at a time when states struggle to balance the budget and maintain services then can afford to sue over a bill that isn’t passed yet. You are gonna get the money for that from where in your state budget? Or do you have free legal services and access? Must be nice.. we the people sure as hell don’t.You can’t provide basic services in your counties but you can scrape up the cash to fight this? Do the taxpayers have any say in how the taxes they pay are spent? Fix the damn potholes before we lose taxpayers in them BEFORE you get all sue happy! Take a drive around your state and see the people who pay YOUR salary who need the funds alot more than those trial lawyers the right claims to hate so much. Fed up I tell you! Fed up!

  9. “Righties are certain America is doomed”. – Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh said on his show this morning that America is now “hanging by a thread” and that “our freedom has been assaulted.”

    We’ve been hanging by that thread since Reagan was put in office and his administrations goals were furthered by Bush I and later two terms of Bush II. The right wing noise machine is ready with scissors and anxious to cut the thread.

  10. To the extent that they run against the actual bill, they will run against the mandate and the “Cadillac” tax. They will also run against things not in the bill. Given the recent state of the media, they will be given much latitude. Do not underestimate them.

  11. Off Topic: Coming off the back burner: Immigration Reform – Now with evil liberal socialist mimes

    Yesterday, approximately 200,000 people gathered at the National Mall to show their support of comprehensive immigration reform. Roy Beck, director of the immigration restrictionist group, NumbersUSA, decided to add himself to the mix and report on the event via a live stream that was available on the group’s website. According to Anne Manetas of NumbersUSA, a group of female mimes threatened Beck and his bodyguards with “constant efforts at crushing physical intimidation” instigated by “blowing hateful whistles” and waving balloons. Watch NumbersUSA’s video of the hateful mimes:

    However, that doesn’t explain why Beck’s bodyguard is the one who ended up being arrested and charged with assault yesterday. Lena Graber, one of the three mimes who pressed charges against Beck’s bodyguard, talked with Wonk Room this morning. Graber explains that she and four other mimes followed Beck and his crew around for four hours in an effort to prevent Beck from picking a fight with demonstrators. According to Graber, Beck’s bodyguard pulled out a pocket knife and started popping the mimes’ balloons

  12. The sea of wet crotches today was a stinky sea, as the “teabaggers” all pissed themselves at the audacity of that Kenyan.

    The present-day Rushpubliscums are the stupidest group of Americans ever to inhabit the country. Thankfully, the demographics are aligned against them, and they’ll soon enough prevail only in places where ignorant racists continue to be the majority.

  13. Bob K, the visual picture you just painted — “blowing hateful whistles” and waving balloons … and then, “Beck’s bodyguard pulled out a pocket knife and started popping the mimes’ balloons” — is pure comedic gold, the like of which I haven’t seen since the days of Monty Python.

    Thank you for reminding us that laughter is a great cleansing agent. And we are all the better for it.

  14. Crazy about Urban planning: You say U.S. isn’t controlled by corporate interests. If you weren’t being sarcastic, did you see what happened to Health Insurance stock today????
    Maha, I am a Medicare for all supporter and MY banana doesn’t dance. Do other people’s banana dance? Am I being punished?

    • Maha, I am a Medicare for all supporter and MY banana doesn’t dance. Do other people’s banana dance? Am I being punished?

      Here’s an analogy: Let’s say you have a loved one who has been completely paralyzed for years. One day the doctors come up with a new treatment, and after several months of applying this treatment your loved one has regained feeling in his extremities and can actually wiggle his toes and fingers. This shows us that the treatment is working, and with more work your loved one might actually walk again.

      Do you rejoice? Or do you complain that he’s still not ready to compete on Dancing With the Stars?

  15. Muldoon, I thought the best line was “Lena Graber, one of the three mimes who pressed charges against Beck’s bodyguard, talked with Wonk Room this morning.” Something’s terribly wrong with that picture.

    Graber had a good point in the piece I read: the body guard was upset that he’d gotten white makeup on his elbow. Since they had this makeup on their faces, and they’re weren’t exactly head-butting people, this seems pretty incriminating.

  16. Newtons First Law of Motion :

    I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

    This means an object at rest tends to stay there, and an object in motion tend to keep going the same way.

    So it is with politics. HCR – before it was passed – was the object at rest. It became unpopular, particulary when uninformed people were bombarded with lies. People were not sure what was true, so they were persuaded to do nothing. Doing nothing requires little energy.

    HCR has been passed. It’s an ‘object in motion’. The people who could be pesuaded to do nothing in the face of uncertainty, are now being asked to be certain and to take action – expend energy. The certainty they are being asked to assume is based on falsehoods, a tough sell. I don’t think it will happen.

    There are two critical forces. President Obama is IMO the best communicator of my lifetime. He’s going on the road for democrats and for healthcare.

    The other critical factor Barbara identified years ago with the ‘bigger asshole’ theorem. The teabaggers could do more to ‘unsell’ the conservative candidates than Barak Obama can do to ‘sell’ the democratic candidates. The combination MAY work to reverse what would otherwise be a midterm bloodbath.

    The GOP candidates are convinced that the teabaggers are the road to power and moderation isn’t allowed with that mob. It’s entirely possible that these venues will spiral out of control in the summer and I’m praying for a media frenzy. I meet these nuts on forums at Hubpages, and I will play picadore to these bulls from now ’til November. I want them as deranged as possible.

  17. Congratulations to all Americans from Canada.

    Health care has been a long time coming for you folks. It may not be as good as ours but it’s light years ahead of what you had.


  18. > programs like social security … cannot be backed out.

    I hope you knocked wood, because they’re about to try it again.

    Despite the fact that there is no Social Security funding crisis, the Obama Administration’s deficits commission is heavily stacked with ideologues who fervently believe that the very existence of Social Security is a crisis.

    Get ready to fight just to hold onto the status quo.

  19. watching Boehner bellow
    was soothing to the soul
    he is such an evil person
    a nasty republican troll

    could this be a death knell
    echoing through the halls
    time to topple the dragon
    if we only had the balls

    why not take the initiative
    push hard for more reform
    conservative aberrations
    exceptions not the norm

    squeeze financial institutions
    let us reregulate them all
    straighten out the economy
    help prevent another fall

    how about some stimulus
    that really packs a punch
    it is not all that impossible
    remember FDR did it once

    how about embracing history
    we can recreate the past
    undo the republican madness
    maybe then we might just last

  20. Maha, I so hope you are right about health care reform’s toes wiggling and that all it will take is more time and more work and my loved one will walk again. In my hopeful moments I can agree. At other moments, I simply fear that since we let one opportunity to submit to a real cure and walk today, we’ll be dead before the gradual treatment works. We have a republican ‘cure’ and it is being demonized as Nazism. How are we going to get from here to there? I see no road ahead. That said, we in Texas are developing new presentations doing the best we can to sell further treatment. Oh, that we can live so long as to actually walk. After Roosevelt, we have been struggling to walk and we just now wiggle toes. What is WRONG with us? Has any other developed country tried to emulate us? No way no how. They just shake their heads and try to keep from laughing at the arrogant Americans. Sorry, back to preparing my presentation on how to improve this wonderful start.

  21. Hi Dyed in the Wool Liberal,

    Upon further reflection I fear you may be right – it is disappointing that HCR puts more people on the roles of the Insurance Companies that are partially responsible for this mess. The crazy thing about every American Citizens’ life is every day is a gamble. Are you conservative with your life and worry about falling and breaking your leg due to the bills? Are you going to climb mountains all the time and not worry about your potential broken leg and bills because climbing mountains is fun? We are essentially forced to make these calculated risks – pay money ever month for something you may not use (if your young and healthy like me) – or not pay money and hope you never fall and break your leg because the bills kill you faster than the broken leg. I am cheering because the risk in our lives is now smaller, however, it is hideous to think the Federal Government is going to force us to pay the blood suckers – at least we don’t have to risk catastrophic bills every time we walk down the street!

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