Who’s That Guy?

That’s my friend Marc on the right. The reasonable one. The one not screaming.

The photo’s from the NYT’s Magazine and an article about older voters and Obama. Marc’s the HCAN lead organizer in Pennsylvania.

NYT: Majority Rules

I tried to snag a little quiet time on Friday – still reachable but generally offline compared to my usual incessant connectivity.

The calls didn’t slow, and it wasn’t much of a break, but it is why I haven’t posted here since Thursday.

In case you missed it, you should check out this great editorial from the NYT that explains why reconciliation may be the only way to go now. Referring to the bipartisan gang of six Senators that represent less than 3% of the country:

Even if the group reaches an agreement, which is by no means certain, its compromise is unlikely to win support from a Republican Party that seems bent on delay. Leading Senate Republicans have seen little in the emerging compromise that they are willing to support.

Two of the Republicans working on the compromise — Charles Grassley of Iowa and Michael Enzi of Wyoming — have said they would not vote for a bill that could not win broad support, which Mr. Enzi defined as 75 to 80 senators, implying that roughly half of the Senate’s Republicans must sign on. That is unlikely — no matter how good or bipartisan or middle-of-the-road any bill may be.

I don’t think leading Republicans could be more transparent about their intentions to do and say anything to stop reform. When Congress gets back next week, it’s time to put the charade of bipartisanship to bed once and for all. Let’s have less focus on the improbable act of getting political opponents to agree and more focus on the possible – getting everyone access to quality, affordable health care. That’s what passing a good bill should be about.

Survey Says: X

How do Steele and his cohorts sleep at night? Any self-respecting Republican should be ashamed of the RNC’s latest.

Click through to The Washington Independent to see the whole survey and cover letter.

Facebook Fail

I’m sure he’s a lovely guy, but I’m also pretty sure I don’t know him, and Facebook shouldn’t be suggesting I add him as a friend:

Restating the Obvious

As far as I’m concerned, Senator Max Baucus, wavering Democrats, and the White House all need to have a good long chat with Wendell Potter. Kristof today:

Opponents suggest that a “government takeover” of health care will be a milestone on the road to “socialized medicine,” and when he hears those terms, Wendell Potter cringes. He’s embarrassed that opponents are using a playbook that he helped devise.

“Over the years I helped craft this messaging and deliver it,” he noted.

Mr. Potter was an executive in the health insurance industry for nearly 20 years before his conscience got the better of him.


The insurers are open to one kind of reform — universal coverage through mandates and subsidies, so as to give them more customers and more profits. But they don’t want the reforms that will most help patients, such as a public insurance option, enforced competition and tighter regulation.


What’s un-American isn’t a greater government role in health care but an existing system in which Americans without insurance get health care, if at all, in livestock pens.

Read the whole thing here.

When Good Bills Go Bad

Bob Cesca:

If they’re going to name the final healthcare reform bill after Senator Kennedy, we ought to be demanding with voices as powerful and booming as the late senator’s…

The bill must not suck.

But if it does, they should perhaps name it after Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. The Blame Baucus and Grassley for This Sucky Act bill.

He goes on to explain what a lousy bill looks like:

Without a public plan, mandates would transform what would otherwise be a landmark reform bill into a massive and perpetual handout to the healthcare industry. You and I would have no choice but to pay a monthly tribute to the worthless bastards at UnitedHealth, CIGNA, Aetna and Blue Cross every month until we died, went broke or reached the age of 65.

Read the whole thing here.

On Kennedy

Chez says it well so for thoughts close to my own, I’ll steer you his direction for the time being.

This is HCAN’s official statement:

Health Care for America Now joins the nation in mourning the passing of Senator Kennedy, for whom our mission – winning a guarantee of good health care for all – was his life¹s work. We dedicate ourselves in the next few weeks to realizing the vision, passion, and hopes of this great American, firmly in the knowledge that enacting health care reform will rightly be seen as Ted Kennedy’s legacy.

Say Anything II

Today’s hatemail suggests we pay more attention to points farthest north and south:

Related: Say Anything

Chart The Course

CAF‘s got the latest health care reform-related chart, and it rocks:

In The News


Faced with a souring public mood on health care reform, Democrats and their supporters are launching a national grassroots push Wednesday to show lawmakers that the majority of Americans still support overhauling the system.

Reform supporters are planning to hold more than 500 events between Wednesday and when lawmakers return to Washington Sept. 8, ranging from neighborhood organized phone banks to professionally staffed rallies with hundreds of people.


“We want members of Congress to get back to work and pass reform that means something. We need affordable care. We need real insurance regulation. And we need a strong public health insurance option,” said HCAN spokeswoman Jacki Schechner. “It’s doable and we expect it to get done now.”


Supporters of President Barack Obama’s health care agenda are ramping up their efforts with rallies and bus tours starting this week, aiming to counter increasing public skepticism leading up to Congress’ post-Labor Day return to Washington.

“We want to send members of Congress back to D.C. with the real message, which is that the majority of the public want comprehensive health care reform and we want it now,” said Jacki Schechner, spokeswoman for Health Care for America Now, an umbrella organization of groups pushing for a comprehensive health care overhaul.

“We want to make sure members of Congress understand the last couple of weeks is not where the majority of the public is,” said Schechner, referring to rowdy town hall meetings dominated by critics of the Democrats’ plans.