House Republicans, And Some Fraidy Cat Democrats, Vote To Allow Insurance Companies To Keep Selling Crappy Insurance Forever And Ever. Yippee!

From the AP:

The Republican-controlled House has passed legislation letting insurance companies sell individual coverage to all comers, even if it falls short of standards set in “Obamacare.”

Next up for this group of lawmakers: Allowing companies to sell contaminated food to Americans who—because they are Americans, dammit!—might want it.

Sadly, 39 Democrats joined with 222 Republicans to make this reactionary mania somewhat bipartisan. Wow. Fortunately, the bill will never become law, as President Obama has said he will veto it.


  1. A little late now for me to mouth off, but I think this shows how this President boxes himself in by making overly broad promises. I think he never really meant to say or believed that “every person” could keep their current insurance if so inclined. He tends to write checks with his mouth that he can’t honor later, and to be clear I don’t call it lying. He needs to manage expectations better than he does.


    • Sedate Me

       /  November 17, 2013

      Maybe. But at the same time, this is America in 2013. Anything remotely political is completely ignored by half the population and most of the other half’s knowledge exists of “Tonight on Action News 6: Linsday Lohan has a nip slip and Washington introduces Death Panels. Now back to Baking With The B List.”

      Fish flies have longer attention spans than the general public. They don’t even know what the word “nuance” means, let only understand anything nuanced. Anything that can’t be rammed into a Tweet for the Twits might as well be written in Latin. The reason the Republicans snag more than 10-15% of voters is because they know how to communicate to simpletons. They communicate with one liners that stick in your mind, even if they are unmitigated bullshit. (What do you mean “if”?) Democrats are trying desperately to go against their nature and dumb it down. However, it’s unnatural to them that they struggle badly. They also have a sense of shame, which just translates into weakness…which they are. Even after winning, Democrats find ways to lose.

      Ever since Obama won the Presidency and both houses of Congress with “Yes We Can” (Sorry, almost peed my pants laughing there.) he’s been telling everyone not to expect much of anything. I, for one, no longer expect anything good from this guy. As such, he hasn’t failed to meet my non-existent expectations.


  2. ansonburlingame

     /  November 16, 2013

    For sure, Bruce. But on to Duane.

    Now we equate government attempts to make our air clean, water clean, no one exposed to radiation, etc. to having “clean insurance”. Such is the ever increasing attempt by progressives to institute the nanny state. Americans are simply too dumb to keep themselves clean and the federal government must do it for us, all.

    This whole cancellation of insurance policies flap is all about money, again. That is the fundamental flaw in Obamacare, in my view, who will ultimately have to pay for good insurance benefits.

    The gauntlet was laid down in 2009 when Joe Wilson screamed “liar” from the floor during the infamous SOTU address by the President. Now we all know full well that the President misspoke, for sure. He oversold his program and the chickens are flocking back to the roost, 4 years later.

    The essential conflict in American politics today is all about who pays for good “whatevers” coming from government, the federal government. It is also about federal government overreaching, trying to control many things in America today that the Constitution never said the federal government should even attempt to control. How many times must progressives fall back on the preamble to the Constitution, or the Interstate Commerce clause to justify federal intrusion into American choices and completely ignore the ennuciated clauses of the Constitution, to justify overrreach? Hell they even read the 14th Amendment only to support their particular ideas and ignore how Affirmative action discriminates against majorities in school admissions as only one example.

    The current attempt by the President and his administration is to once again put the burden on private insurance companies. A new postponment of new requirements in HC insurance policies is now being considered. Duane calls that “bad insurance”. But what it really becomes is another attempt to let people pay only for insurance they want to pay for and let those with pre-existing conditions (as just an example but an expensive one) pay more for such insurance.

    Any HC insurance company can write a policy covering just about anything. But they in turn will charge for such policies, ones with higher risk for the insurance companies. Obama, et al, do not like that and ask others to pay for such higher risk on the part of sick people.

    Now progressives are once again caught on the horns of that dilemma, asking healthy people to pay insurance costs for sick people, in this incidence, or having high wage earners pay for living costs of low wage earners, etc. in more general terms.

    Traditionally, Americans have now long agreed that the really rich people pay “a little bit more” to support the really poor people. But now the “takers” are not only really poor, hell they consist of about half the country, demanding the “rich” to pay more and more for their cost of living. No wonder there is a strong reaction against such expanding encroachment on the part of the federal government.



    • I will only address one thing you said here, for brevity’s sake:

      How many times must progressives fall back on the preamble to the Constitution, or the Interstate Commerce clause to justify federal intrusion into American choices…

      Answer: as many times as it takes.

      The truth is, Anson, that conservatives don’t own the Constitution, nor do they get to always have the final say as to what it means for our modern society. From the beginning, there has been at least two views of what the document means in its various provisions, and it is not wrong for one side to emphasize one provision over another to support its preferences.

      But, dammit, it’s hard for you conservatives to overcome that majestic language in the Preamble:

      We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


  3. Sedate Me

     /  November 17, 2013

    Americans are simply too dumb to keep themselves clean and the federal government must do it for us, all.

    I agree completely. However, to be fair, most just have their mental hard drive filled with more important stuff like the number of interceptions the backup Free Safety of the Alabama Crimson Tide had in 1994 and what Skinnybitch43 said about them yesterday on Loserbook.

    But now the “takers” are not only really poor, hell they consist of about half the country, demanding the “rich” to pay more and more for their cost of living. No wonder there is a strong reaction against such expanding encroachment on the part of the federal government.

    Yeah, a reaction orchestrated by the rich “takers” and their boot-licking worshippers who want themselves to have even more and everyone else to have less. Expanding the Federal government is fine when it comes to spending on bank bailouts, wars and spying (Because who do you think owns those private contractors?) but money on The Poors? Which way to the Caymens?

    Not to beat a dead racehorse, but we live in an era when born-rich douches like Mitt Romney pay, not just lower real tax rates than their fathers who actually earned the money (and were far better human beings), but lower rates than their maids. It’s really hard to make the argument that the rich are paying more than before. Yes, the calls for them to pay more are louder than they’ve been in decades. But that’s because they’re actually putting much less of their income into the kitty and because everyone else has less income to put in the kitty. Cart vs Horse.

    Let’s face it, 100% of Americans are “takers” now. Just look at the deficit and debt. As a group, Americans are putting in far less than they are “taking” and they’re leaving the bill for future Americans to pay with interest. Or, look at America’s foreign policy. It’s all about what it can get out of others. The truth is that the average modern American is primarily motivated with getting more for themselves and damn the consequences. (bankruptcy, climate change, suffering of others, etc.) From top to bottom, everyone would rather blow money they don’t have on shit they don’t need.

    That’s why there’s so much resistance to the Nanny State coming in and telling them what’s in the best interests of themselves and/or the nation. “Mom, you’re ruining my fun!” Rich & poor, left & right; they’re all a bunch of spoiled rotten children who need to go to bed without supper.


    • Yeah, well, a lot of the “poor” you are essentially condemning as “a bunch of spoiled rotten children” do, literally, “go to bed without supper.” How that makes them the moral equivalent of spoiled rich people is a logic with which I am not familiar.


      • Sedate Me

         /  November 21, 2013

        I didn’t say there was any moral equivalency between those groups, just some behavioural similarities. Nor am I the one condemning them to going to bed hungry. The American economic/political system does that every night and does so with increasing ease.

        At most, I was suggesting a form of “collective punishment”. I was (somewhat ironically) treating America as a collective enterprise. Because a collective enterprise is about the last thing Americans see themselves as. It’s literally every man for himself on this sinking ship. And that’s why the ship is sinking in the first place, everybody has been ripping off pieces of the hull to sell as scrap metal for money to buy the latest DumbPhone.

        There’s more than enough in this world to meet everyone’s basic needs. But while a billion go hungry, nations like America hog far more than their share. Similarly, within America’s borders there’s far more than required for all Americans to live very comfortably. (You know; full bellies, decent shelter, quality medicare & education for all) But while many slide toward 3rd World status, others live like demi-gods while demanding an even bigger cut.

        The one thing America and most Americans within it have in common is a lust for irresponsible spending on things that are of minimal long term value. Much of the common purse is wasted on credit-fueled spending sprees of little value to the citizenry. (ie the Military Industrial Spy Complex) Many of the individual purses are squandered on credit-fueled, consumerist, idiocy of little real value.

        There are a lot of Ghetto Fabulous folks out there these days; people who are actually broke as hell but act like they won the lottery. I’m not just talking about The Poors, some of whom take the lemons life gives them and make, not lemonade, but lemon flavoured insecticide and drink it. It also includes people who appear to be rich but find ways to piss it away. There are a lot of millionaires out there who, if added up, should be living in their car right right next to the family of 5 with an HDTV in the trunk. But nobody makes moral judgments about their irresponsible behaviour. If anything, they are enabled.


        • The way your original comment was written, I interpreted it as moral equivalency. Read that last sentence again:

          Rich & poor, left & right; they’re all a bunch of spoiled rotten children who need to go to bed without supper.

          I’m glad to hear that you were referencing only “behavioral similarities.”

          And I didn’t say you, personally, were condemning the poor to go to bed hungry. I was merely pointing out the irony in your saying that the “rich & poor” are “all a bunch of spoiled rotten children who need to go to bed without supper,” when there are, in fact, people who go to bed without supper and they most certainly aren’t rich. In fact, in some parts of the world, going to bed only without supper would be an improvement.

          I do admit to some stubbornness on some issues and you have touched upon a couple. You wrote:

          There’s more than enough in this world to meet everyone’s basic needs. But while a billion go hungry, nations like America hog far more than their share.

          First, as we all do from time to time out of necessity and for rhetorical convenience, you have reified America as if it were a single person acting in real time. You are claiming our country is acting as one entity, hogging “far more than” its share. We both know that America” doesn’t “hog” anything because America, in the sense you are trying to portray it, doesn’t have the capacity to act as an individual. So, the way you constructed your sentence condemns all Americans equally and I object to it.

          Second, we agree that there is “more than enough” to go around even though it’s not going around like it should. But that’s not just the fault of greedy Americans or other citizens from relatively affluent nations. There are lots of reasons that folks around the world are poor and capitalistic greed is only one of them. Internal corruption in post-colonial Africa, for instance, has hampered the best intentions of lots of nations, capitalist nations, that have sent aid there to help. Just another example is how some fundamentalist fanatics refuse to allow women to get an education, which keeps them poor. There are also other historical and cultural and geographic reasons.

          Inside America itself, I would submit to you, and perhaps you might agree, that there are forces within our capitalist economic system that, just by the nature of the system itself, allow those who own the wealth-producing tools—the various forms of capital—to manipulate the system, as well as the players in the system, largely for their own benefit. This is responsible for the substantially one-sided distribution of wealth. And among the capitalists themselves there is always competition, which in a never-ending quest for more efficiency and thus more profit, keeps wages and benefits low, as well as creates working conditions that Americans feel they have to tolerate because so much rides on their having these jobs, things like, say, health insurance.

          But what I want to say, as a liberal, is that capitalism doesn’t have to be a force for ill in the world. It has proven that it can contribute to the well-being of any society. Just look around you at the innovations brought to us by our capitalist system. Look no further than the healthcare industry and all the pharmaceuticals and technology available. A lot of these things exist because there is an economic incentive to create them. We take that incentive away at our peril. What we need to do is put into place effective mechanisms, like tax policy, to better distribute the wealth that capitalist economies create. And we have to do that without destroying capitalism itself, which when properly regulated can do some of the things you and I obviously want done.

          Finally, you talk about the “lust for irresponsible spending on things that are of minimal long term value.” Is there a lot of that kind of spending? Yes. And to the extent we can curb irresponsible spending on what you call “the Military Industrial Spy Complex,” I’m with you to a point. I am one liberal who supports a strong military so that, among other things, America can be a force for good in the world. But I recognize that a lot of the money we spend ends up in the pockets of fat capitalists who don’t get taxed enough. We should fix that.

          Also, you mention the “credit-fueled, consumerist, idiocy,” in terms of the way folks spend their own money. Again, there is such a thing. I marvel at it myself. But the freedom to spend your money the way you want is part of what makes folks get up in the morning and go to work in the first place. And “consumerist” spending supports a lot of those jobs those folks get up and go to. It’s just the way it works, as messy at it looks to you and me. But it ain’t all bad, my friend. There is some good in it.



  4. ansonburlingame

     /  November 18, 2013

    Leaving aside calling Romney a douche bag, there is some room for agreement, again, between the two of us, Sedate Me.

    No one in America should have to go to bed without supper. But most should pay for their own supper as well and most can in fact do so. BUT, they cannot pay for supper and three big screen TVs a car for every driver in the house, a house they cannot afford to buy or rent, etc, etc. It becomes a challenge to prioritize spending, for indiviudals and the federal government and both do a lousy job of such, period.

    I would also add that there are a significant number of Americans that choose to drink a 12 pack and NOT eat supper, or fix one for their kids, each night as well. But so what, that is only some 10% of the population, right!! Just like only some 5% of the population, so far, has gotten cancellation notices for “good insurance” policies that are no longer affordable to write by insurance companines. Let’s just worry about the other 95%, right???



  5. Anson, talk about controlling people’s lives and the “nanny state.” Your statements above are, in my opinion, as controlling as any I’ve ever heard.

    Most conservatives I know usually make the argument you made above about prioritizing how people spend – “why would anyone with a shred of sense spend money on a large screen TV before buying shoes for your children, or food for the family?” I have heard this argument since I was old enough to understand it from my Bible-pounding, Republican grandfather and other family members.

    Even then, my internal thought was that different people have different ideas about what’s important, and should be allowed to have those different ideas.

    Here’s the important part: being happy and enjoying life doesn’t mean living life like you do or I do. It means finding your own way, and if that way is not accumulating wealth and living Anson’s version of the American Dream, then so be it. Are people susceptible to addiction, alcoholism, and other diseases, foibles, and behaviors that put them in a position to require assistance? Hell, yes. And we should help them when and where we can, because, as I have learned in my almost seven score and ten, “There, but for the grace of god, (or the roll of the dice, or the capriciousness of fate) go I! Most conservatives are not even aware that they received assistance and will steadfastly maintain that they never did receive any (I was on food stamps for a while, but I never took any government hand-outs!) and don’t want to give any assistance to anyone else. Liberals, in my observation, appreciate the assistance they received and are willing to pass it on.

    You never know when you will fail and need help, so I think you should be kind enough to give it when you don’t need it. In the words of a Vice-President of the old Texas Utilities company, “It’s what you do now, when you don’t need to do anything, that makes you what you need to be when it’s too late to do anything about it.”

    Is it too late? Only you know.


  6. Sorry, that should have been “three score and ten” not seven. I’m not the world’s oldest living human. Yet.



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