thanks missoula, i think max heard us today….



by problembear

i am proud of missoula montana today….

our senior senator’s staff got an earful today in missoula about how angry people are about the health care insurance industry. we told max that we are tired of the games, the lies, the cheating and the complicated rules designed to keep us from getting health care when we need it. they just want the premiums- not the liability- and that is what we are to them- liabilities.

as far as the politics goes- i get that too. i read the democratic platform and i listened to obama say what he was going to propose during the election campaign. i voted democrat as a registered independent because compared to bush2 mcsame and his bimbo vp it was an easy pick. i also know why democrats are afraid of going too far. even though they probably have enough votes to push single payer universal health care through- they won’t. we will be handed some type of hybrid that offers a component of public health care.

it will still leave us with a thousand or so private insurers and hundreds of other health plans – each with it’s own rules and paperwork. it will still be a maze of choices that we will need to navigate, but i have one question for montanans- remember when we used to have a great utility in this state called Montana Power? remember when the argument for breaking it up was that more choices will drive prices down? competition will be good for the consumer? remember that?

do you really think that anyone believes that garbage anymore?

the democratic party leadership is going to do what it will do and it has nothing to do whatsoever with the will of the people. it has nothing to do with government of the people and for the people … is all about building the base of support for the democratic party and to do this they fear handing the republicans any ammunition to stage a comeback. it is not enough to win now. the democrats want to grind the republicans into dust  for infinity and to do it they are more than happy to throw  decent health care reform under the bus. i have no love for the republican party after what bush/cheney did to us but i am sorry- i cannot support what the democratic leadership wants over the will of the great majority of americans regarding health care. i am an american first. i believe that the will of the majority should be at least consulted if not adhered to. that is my bottom line. single payer univeral health care is the choice of most americans. we’re fed up with insurance rip-offs.

i guess it remains to be seen what is the choice of the democratic leadership. there are many more hearings to go and this drumbeat of single payer will not quit.  but if i were a betting bear i would say at least we have shamed them into pledging to throw over 60% of americans a tiny scrap  called public health insurance. let’s hope it works and let’s also hope it devours the private insurance parasites. because if we don’t devour them. the health insurers will surely devour us.

oh and while we are hating on the parasites, let’s remember the carriers that want to keep us suffering without even a little reform….good lord, are the republicans trying to make everyone hate them??? matt does a nice post on this here at litw…

update: here’s a good post on the baucus 13 that should settle who is really interested in providing affordable and good quality health care in this country today…it sure as hell isn’t the government or the insurance industry…

  1. Big Swede

    Looking at the linked vid I got the impression that at least half of the crowd were currently on Medicare.

    Does any else see the irony?

    People looking for health care solutions from the authors of their current plan.

    • JC

      Irony? That most of the people who could make it to the 10am meeting were retired? And those who weren’t retired were either unemployed (and uninsured) or worked in the health care field, and hence had a work-related reason to be there?

      Irony? That grandparents on Medicare would show up to voice their support for a single-payer system for their kids and grandkids? Because they’ve found that Medicare is a much more rational system than the private insurance industry they’ve just escaped in their retirement?

      No, the irony, BS, is that people like you fail to see the real story. In today’s Missoulian, an exchange at the listening tour went like this:

      Discussing why a single-payer system of health insurance wasn’t viable, Selib [Baucus’ Chief of Staff] made reference to the more than 150 million Americans who are covered by some sort of employer-provided health care.

      “A lot of people like that,” Selib said.

      When the time came for questions, McArthur stood up and asked a simple question. Looking across a standing-room-only crowd of about 275, he asked how many were happy with their employer-based health insurance.

      Fewer than 10 people raised their hands.

      “The number is bogus,” McArthur said. “It’s not working for 95 percent of us.”

      McArthur drew resounding applause.

      People like you and Baucus, BS, just hear what you want. Not what people are really saying.

      • Big Swede

        Selib (see lib?) certainly stopped one question short.

        He should’ve followed up with, “Who’s happy with Medicare”?

        Or better yet, “Who wants someone else to pay for it”?


        • JC

          I’ll be plenty happy with Medicare when I turn 65. At least I’ll have insurance–something the private insurance industry keeps denying me.

          What do you think people who are denied private insurance do, BS? Should they all just up and move to Canada? Or just endure medical bankruptcy as the need arises?

          Got any solutions, BS? Or are you just another naysayer from the party of “No?”

        • ” the peasants are so tiresome; they never seem to have any money.”- Louis XlV.

          this quote always reminds me of right wing nuts like swede…i imagine them in their powdered wigs and their frilly coats, snuff in one hand, a cognac in the other ( or a cigar as in rush’s case) and those shiny satin tights, typing out their message of hatred for those of us who haven’t the good sense to be wealthy like they are….

          what’s the matter swede? checking the gold room to make sure some poor peasant hasn’t snuck in and taxed you for their basic human right of getting decent health care?

          you like things just the way they are because you are oblivious to how most people live, swede. your posts are the most arrogant and selfish next to rusty’s.

          we are all paying way too much for too little under the current system. health care will be reformed with you or without you. if it is single payer the cost will be less than any complicated mechanism baucus dreams up…but yes i am willing to pay plenty for my health care and even help out a few unfortunate folks if it is actually guaranteed to cover me, unlike the snake in the grass private insurers who try to slither out of paying…..the attitude of the far right when it comes to universal health care is beyond selfish and purile. it smacks of aristocracy and dandyism.

  2. most of us were working swede….you remember work don’t you?….but your arrogant dismissal of seniors should serve to further alienate the right wing of the aristo-republicant party from the rest of us americans who must work for a living and who know first hand the difficulties of dealing with private for profit insurance companies for our health care. but don’t let me interrupt your snide and sarcastic reaction to middle class folks trying to find a solution for survival after your party stole everything that wasn’t nailed down before blowing town….by all means do take the side of the health insurers swede…against the will of the people.

  3. Charles

    Max’s program is horrible and all of you Progressives need to start screaming. I am for a single payer system and am not buying into Max’s promise to create a Public Pool. Montana has a Public Pool for businesses called Insure Montana. THE WAITING LIST IS OVER 600 small businesses or owner operators and the insurance premiums are not affordable. I have been on the waiting list for 6 years….six frikkin years MAX! The staff over there told me 2 years ago that I would never be able to enroll. This Public Pool is a fraud as Max’s program will be.

    • Insure Montana isn’t a public pool. It’s a subsidized private insurance program for small businesses.

      The public health insurance option as proposed would be structured one of several different ways, but in all of them it would be a public health insurance program like Medicare.

      Much of Medicare, by the way, is privately administered and I’m not talking about Medicare Advantage, which is, like Insure Montana, publicly subsidized private insurance. Medicare is public insurance with much administration handled privately. FYI.

  4. Pogo Possum

    …i voted democrat as a registered independent…

    “registered independent”???????????

    I think your fingers slipped on the key board PBear. Want to rephrase that statement before someone pounces on it?

    • pounce away pp – i try to leave a few details for you to edit…starting to feel sorry for the far right and the republican party….they seem so oblivious to what middle class americans face every day in terms of survival that they are becoming pariahs in america….need to throw you guys a win every now and then.

  5. Charles

    I’ll give the Bear a break ,as he must be into his third oxy of the day and I too voted Dem although as an unregistered codependent.
    So what say we all tell Baucus and the insurance industry to go fuck themselves and we Independents start our own Health care plan in Missoula? For what I pay now , I and just 9 others can hire a PA and pay them $120,000 per year to treat our runny noses and dispense prescriptions. Anybody wanna join?

  6. Jim Lang

    Why pretend that Baucus cares what anyone said at this bogus dog and pony show?

    Why are you enabling his cynical political manipulations?

    • To pressure him into doing the right thing. It is working jim. Folks are fired up.

      This is gonna take awhile jim. If you’re not feeling up to it find some shade and a cool glass of your favorite beverage.
      You seem dehydrated and a little cranky.

      I’m not in the habit of explainin’ myself jim. If you disagree with my tactic fine then disagree.

      What’s your tactic?

  7. Tobie

    You’re all crazy if you think that a single payer/government run system is going to solve your problems.

    • yeah the private insurers system is just working dandy there tobie.

      and we’re crazy?

      • Tobie

        Just because people haven’t prioritized health care in their lives, doesn’t mean I should pick up the bill. Somehow I’ve managed to stay covered since I was 18 by making responsible choices. I’m not weathy; that priority caused me to make many sacrifices, but I also am able to choose the best doctors and treatments.

        I don’t expect benefits because i’m able to breath in and out. I’ve worked for them! Try it, it kinda feels good! :-)

        • tobie- i pay for insurance too, just like most of us do in tandem with our employers. so what is your point?

          are you saying you trust private insurers more than a government run system? if so, then you are a sucker.

          but it is and will certainly be your right to keep on being a sucker even if the rest of us opt for a government run system which would cover us without exclusion clauses and co-pays that send you into bankruptcy and foreclosure.

          by all means- keep paying the profit leeches. they will be glad to take your money. i want a choice that does not involve a profit motivated company that looks for ways to save money rather than provide good treatment for it’s clients.

          i am stuck with a private insurance plan for now but they have worn out their welcome with me.

          nobody is limiting your choice here. so what is your real gripe tobie? tell the bear…..

        • You have been picking up the bill, Tobie, for those without healthcare.

          What do you think the hospital accountants are doing to keep the books straight when there’s a whole bunch of people that don’t have any health policy at all? That can’t and don’t pay the bills?

          Gotta make up that loss somewhere. They do it just like Walmart does. Factor in a % of loss, and price the product accordingly.

          Accordingly, enough, to make sure that the lights stay on, paychecks get paid, and profit gets distributed to shareholders.

  8. Pogo Possum

    Gee PBear……..why so nasty. I was actually being polite. I could have heaped on a lot more snark if I wasn’t.

    I just don’t understand why you or anyone else insists on defying reality by claiming to be a “registered independent” (or registered anything else for that matter). There is no registration of political parties in Montana (at least in the reality most of us live in) yet you insist on deluding yourself and others by pretending otherwise. Just say you are Independent and continue to vote Democratic like you usually do and leave it at that.

    On another issue, you may have totally misread Big Swede’s commenets in the opening comments and your silly retort was uncalled for. He wasn’t criticizing or dismissing seniors for being on Medicare. The way I read it, he was criticizing the government and its ability to provide working solutions to their problems. Agree or disagree with that issue but don’t use a staw man argument to misrepresent what he was saying.

    Finally, what is with the continued misogynistic name calling (‘…mcsame and his bimbo vp…’ ) on VP candidate Sarah Palin? I am amazed that this type of immature BS name calling occurs unchallenged on a “progressive” blog. Republicans (and a few Obama Democrats) were wrong when they did it to Hillary. Republicans were wrong when they did it to Dorthy Bradley. And Democrats were wrong when they did it to Judy Martz and Palin. Show some mental aptitude and argue the issues instead of throwing around sexist remarks.

  9. Pogo Possum

    Oddly enough……..I find myself agreeing with Jim Lang’s comments for once.

  10. Pogo Possum

    New definition for the word “Troll” = A person offering a contrary opinion. Frequently used when the person using this term is either unable or too lazy to respond with an intelligent comment.

  11. i am not confused about why you are here pogo. but since you are here, what is your take on single payer universal vs the baucus plan? i am curous.

    • Pogo Possum

      Excellent question PBear. I have not spent as much time researching the Baucus Plan to date as you have and I am still formulating my opinion. I have not rejected the single payer concept and I am willing to listen to its proponents. I am also willing to listen to what Baucus has to say. That doesn’t mean in the end I will necessarily accept either plan.

      I have personnally seen enough waste, inefficiency and ineptitude in enough well intended government run programs to not naively believe a single payer system (or Baucus Plan) will be without flaws. There are tradeoffs to be made, each with its own pluses and minuses.

      I took care of two dying parents and know the difficulty and frustration of working with the insurance industry. My parents were not well off, but they worked hard, made wise decisions and sacrificed many luxuries to buy enough insurance to guarantee they received excellent health care and to insure their extensive medical bills were covered.

      I still remember the day my cousin in Canada explained to my mother that some of the medical proceedures my mother required and received in the US would not have been given to her under the provincial Canadian plan they had due to her age and a long waiting list. I know that what ever plan or changes in the health care system occur, some people with medical needs will not be happy and will feel unfairly treated.

      I do agree with you that you can’t have an open discussion and honestly tell your constituents you want to listen to their opinions by taking single payer off the table. That is saying I will only listen to you if you agree with me. Both Baucus and Obama share the blame for this.

      What I find unfortunate, though not suprising, about the majority of the comments in these forums, is that there is more posturing and name calling than intellectual analysis or any real discussion of specifics. I will have to go elsewhere for more informative comments.

      In conclusion, I will be doing more reading and listening. I will be curious to what you and others have to say. Just try to keep it civil.

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