Health care ‘reform’ is Obama’s Waterloo

President Barack Obama may regret making health care “reform” the benchmark of his Presidency.

If the bastard child of the Senate legislative morass that passed on a 60-40 party line vote becomes law it will stand in history as the benchmark of failure for Obama’s over-promised, under-performing, one-term Presidency.

Crafted by lobbyists, gutted by compromise and bloated with pork to win support, the 2,000-pages-plus bill scheduled for a vote on Christmas Eve benefits insurance companies and leaves Americans facing higher heath care costs under a system even worse than the one it is designed to replace.

The bill is a failure of the Obama Presidency, a failure of the lackluster Democratic leadership of Congress and a failure of a legislative and political system that has destroyed any chance of reform or progressive change in Washington.

A smart President would have cut his losses and walked away but Barack Obama does not appear to be smart. His performance as a President is becoming a study in indecision, inability and ineffectiveness.

The man who entered the White House just 11 months ago is a duck out of water, a deer caught in the headlights, an inexperienced political hack in over his head.

But the failure of health care “reform” is not his alone. Democrats caved to the special interests and forgot the original intent of the process: To change the system and provide affordable health care to all Americans.

The bill is legislative diarhhea, a feces-infested mess that resolves nothing, accomplishes even less and makes an already-bad system worse.

Obama says he is proud of the Senate’s efforts on the bill.

Polls show a majority of Americans don’t share his pride. A majority of Americans no longer buy the Obama sales pitch and they are also fed up with a Congress that is owned and controlled by health care industry.

In its madlog rush towards a bill — any bill — the White House and Senate has joined the insurance companies and the health care industry in a violent gang-rape of the American people.

And thanks to the efforts of the rapists, the victims will not be able to afford treatment for their injuries.


  1. griff

    Unfortunately this is the kind of scenario that makes otherwise self-reliant people dependent on government to either fix the problem or subsidize it. The former won’t happen, but the latter will. We can look forward to higher premiums and taxes to pay for it.

    But hey, if you’re looking for a bright side to all of this, Social Security will become solvent again since very few of us will live long enough to collect under this system.

    All those carbon footprints, so little time.

    I switched to a hybrid insurance/health savings account this year. It’s actually $80.00 cheaper per month and seems to be a better way to go if you’re reasonably healthy.

  2. Lillibet

    Just got the premium informaiton for 2010.

    I don’t know whether to kill myself of commit suicide.

    Either way, the result is the same.  I cannot afford insurance and health care.  I cannot afford food and medicine.  And, I am not even sick, just have a couple of problems related to injuries that I couldn’t get fixed because I couldn’t afford the doctor and the health insurance a year ago, but goes double now, because the premiums doubled.


    If this is reform, …

  3. Warren

    The Poster Child for our totally broken federal legislative process. That’s what this senate bill is. Is our federal government beyond repair? What’s next?


  4. Carl Nemo

    Since there’s no longer a blogpost function, the only way I can wish my fellow site members the seasons greetings is via this article.


    Here’s wishing our site host Doug Thompson and my fellow site members a Merry Christmas 2009 and a Happy and Successful New Year…! : )

    Note: If you drink, don’t drive or have a designated driver so your holiday season isn’t ruined by personal tragedy.  Such an occurrence has been close to me in my time.

    Carl Nemo **==


  5. griff

    Excellent analysis. I see a widening of the gap between those with the resources to seek care outside the system and those forced into the rationing system. Indeed, one can fly to India or Europe and receive the kind of care deemed unaffordable, unnecessary, or “unconventional” by the medical bureaucracy. At a fraction of the cost.

    Right here in the U.S. you can be treated for cancer and greatly increase your chance of surviving it if you have the financial resources, using such unconventional (read: unapproved for the lowly commoner) methods like nutritional therapy and other proven treatments that are used elsewhere with great success. But I guess we’re just special. 

  6. Senegoid

    Health care costs in America compared to GDP are the highest on the Planet, yet child mortality is slightly higher than Poland’s which spends less than half the amount on health care (as a % of GDP) than America does.

    There is something radically wrong with these numbers and it appears many countries can provide universal health care for a lot less than the US.

    Somehow it appears that those who have much to gain are having a little giggle at the way that average Americans are at each others throats over this issue – which is exactly what they planned.

    Obama is a socialist, Obama is a fascist, we win you lose. In fact Obama is desparetly trying to do something, anything and by doing so has only added to the winter of America’s discontent, or is it disconnect?

    While Americans argue amongst themselves the plebs are getting their pockets picked – which is precisely the name of the political/corporate game.

    To me Obama appears to be a very articulate (which makes him dangerous) Inspector Clouseau bumbling along way out of his depth. If he achieves anything it at all it will not be through his “skills”, rather, serendipity.

    They say if a committe had to design a horse it would end up with a camel – unfortunately this health care bill does not even have the functionality of a bloody camel.

    Americans in general, whether red or blue, lose; figure for yourselves who the winners are.

  7. griff

    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” – Milton

  8. almandine

    This is another case of liars, damn liars, and statisticians analyzing and reporting data without fully describing its basis. What they publish are data-bites.         

    The healthcare system – at all levels – is too expensive, we all agree when time to pay the bill is at hand.

    The healthcare system – at the highest level – based on sound funding (read private insurance) – provides the finest healthcare in the world… babies included.

    The healthcare system – at the lowest level – based on govt funding (read state government (university) hospitals, or hospitals supported mainly through state  government dollars) – provides the limited healthcare that can be afforded on such support.

    Infant mortality rates are driven by welfare babies… those without access to the health insurance system, which typically means those babies are born in the state govt based healthcare system.

    While this unequal circumstance is deplorable, it is instructive for the “reformed” future. Either enough tax dollars will be added to the universal healthcare system being put it in place to support all babies equally well, or many of the currently well-treated babies will receive less care. While mortality rates will probably go down some in either case, the actual level of care will likely do the same. Other measures of infant wellness will be avoided, so as to warrant the new system.

    And so it will be for all of us, with the most expensive – but most effective – care being denied or rationed to pay for those babies… and the rest of the limited healthcare system customers being brought into the healthcare mainstream.

    The question will be asked many times… was the new approach worth all the sacrifice to bring that last 10% of Americans into mainstream healthcare? Could it have been done better and cheaper? Did we have to throw the proverbial “baby” out with the bath water?

  9. woody188

    I have to agree with you Senegoid. This bill has been a distraction from real issues since it’s inception.  It’s been used to divide us even further from one another to the benefit of our corporate masters.

  10. griff

    I just hope that this plan will cover rectum transplants – we’re gonna need some 300 million in short order.

  11. Warren

    Firedoglake, a noted liberal blog, has launched a last-ditch effort to *kill* the senate bill via an online petition. Find it [here]. Even Rawstory (another very liberal blog) is linking to this petition. What? The liberals hate this bill, too? The petition reads, in part:

    1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations — whether you want to or not (#)

    2. If you refuse to buy the insurance, you’ll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS (#)

    3. After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses (#)

    4. Massive restriction on a woman’s right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court (#)

    5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays (#)

    6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won’t see any benefits — like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions — until 2014 when the program begins (#)

    7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others (#)

    8. Grants monopolies to to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market (#)

    9. No reimportation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years (#)

    10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of 4 will rise an average of $1000 a year — meaning in 10 years, you family’s insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now (#)

    We desperately need health care reform. But we can’t pass the Senate’s bill.

  12. griff

    Thanks for the link and the info.

    I’m not sure how much weight an on-line petition carries in Washington. My guess would be very little, but it couldn’t hurt. It’s still best to call or use your senator’s website.

    It’s good to see the two-party machinery grinding to a halt on this issue – outside the beltway anyway. 

  13. DejaVuAllOver

    Ok, enough already.   We all know this bill sucks for everyone, especially those who are poor and or self-employed.  But what galls me most is the usual pissing match this blog exemplifies so well:   The GOP ‘big govt. is evil’ diatribe vs. the Democrats’ ‘no, stupid, big BUSINESS is evil’ pathology.   THEY’RE THE SAME, for all intents and purposes.   They’ve ALWAYS BEEN the same, to a large degree.   But the more the ‘two’ parties keep pissing into the wind and / or at each other, the more the banksters, CEOs, insurance industry slimeballs, Max Baucus, Joe Lieberman, Barack Obama and the corporate thugs who REALLY run this country must be laughing their hemahroids off.


    To put it simply, can we PLEASE grow up and realize we’ve got a fascist big government / big business / big religion / big banking MOB running the country, who have everything to gain by keeping us lowly worker-bees fighting each other???


    I’ve said it before, but if you’re not terrified already, read or re-read Mussolini’s paper on the definition of fascism.


    Happy New Decade….. to all you working schmucks (like me) out there…..!

  14. Lillibet

    I have that plan.  Had one for over a decade.  Self paying me.

    The problem is this.  When W did Part D, the meds went up 300%.  When Obama did the Pharma Plan, the meds went up another 60% on top of the 300% of W’s doing.

    Premiums doubled in 2003, again in 2006, again in 2008, and again in 2009.

    Mention “reform” and premiums doubled.  I expect another two doublings again in 2010 and 2012.  Right before that “end of the world” thing in December 2012, that I don’t believe in, but it is there.

    Which, when you consider it, is poetic justice at its most macabre.  Just when the calander runs out, and a new one is forced into place, we will double down and get less health care.




  15. Warren

    National Nurses United, the new nation-wide nurses union, has just issued a blistering statement on the Senate bill. Find it [here]. Partial quote:

    “It is tragic to see the promise from Washington this year for genuine, comprehensive reform ground down to a seriously flawed bill that could actually exacerbate the healthcare crisis and financial insecurity for American families, and that cedes far too much additional power to the tyranny of a callous insurance industry,” said NNU co-president Karen Higgins, RN.

    The Senate might just listen to these folks.