H.R. 4789

by jhwygirl

Florida Representative Alan Grayson introduced HR4789 Tuesday. It’s pretty simple. In introducing the bill, he speaks to the very issue we here in Montana face – just like dozens of others: Lack of true competition in the market place. Here in Montana, Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana controls 75% of the market.

  1. This is too typical of party progressives, and emblematic of the problem with Democrats. Introduction of a feel-good bill that will be easily defeated is nothing more than a symbolic gesture.

    Without ground-level organizing, nothing happens at the t top. Democrats showed us that they in fact are very good aground-level organizing when in 2008 they mobilized forces from all over the country and in every demographic to elect Obama.

    They have since refused to use this organized structure to advance any progressive legislation. In fact, they have jettisoned one such organizing force, ACORN, with venom, and much the same with those who wanted single payer, going so far as to arrest protesters, a deliberate slap in the face.

    You must leave this party. You cannot be effective within it. Grayson caught a wave, he’s a camera hound, but he is not doing anything worthwhile.

    • JC

      So let’s get this straight. You think the Medicare for All movement is just a “feel-good…symbolic gesture?”

      And when a politician tries to drive the narrative and lead, you think it is just “not doing anything worthwhile?”

      You really have gone off the political nihilist deep end. Good luck with your grassroots organizing. How are you going to implement any policy without a vehicle in Congress to do so? Mob rule?

    • JC

      Oh, and Grayson’s already got 50 cosponsors.

      I guess all that ground level organizing really turned out some support, quick. Good work Mark!

    • A bunch of senators -maybe 40, ahve signed on to the public option letter in the Senate. They are free to do so as they know they are simply demonstrating that there are not 51 votes in the senate to pass it. They know this, and if in fact there was a danger that it might actually gain 51 votes, several who signed it, even Bennet who initiated it would drop off.

      50 co-sponsors means nothing. Introducing bills is not leading. Advocating Medicare for all is not leading because, JC, it is all done at the top for show. I don’t doubt the sincerity of many of the participants, but you do not force change by electing good people and then hoping they do the right thing. You organize bottom-up.

      The Democratic Party is the organizing force, and all of our effort, as should be plain to you, went into electing Obama. Then you had to hope he would change things. As is apparent now, he will not, has no intention of changing anything. So, we’re fucked.

      Organize outside of politics. I am not a nihilist. I am a realist. It is far too easy for politicians to lie about their intentions when running for office. Therefore, it is wasted effort to try to accomplish change by channeling through the Party,


      • JC

        By all means organize outside of politics, Mark. I’m still fighting battles I helped to organize 25 years ago. Fighting battles from the outside takes a lifetime of commitment and a strong support base from which to proceed.

        But organizing on the outside can only be helped when people like Grayson make public the plight of the uninsured, and the options easily available to us.

        His campaign is far different than a sign-on letter about a reconciliation bill that doesn’t even exist yet. And yes, sign-on letters are pretty tepid showings of support, and can easily be revoked or ignored.

        Co-sponsoring Msdicare for All legislation, on the other hand, is a direct showing of support for actual legislation, and for a true single payer plan that already exists, and that easily can be extended to the uninsured.

        Instead of fighting the process, can you support the policy of Grayson’s legislation? If so get out there and beat on your friends and neighbor’s doors and get them to support the policy.

        Waiting for a wholesale reinvention of the American two-party/uniparty system in order to help people get access to health care via a Medicare buy in is just not going to happen.

        That’s what I mean by political nihilism. You may offer solutions on the process, but they are unrealistic as long as 95% of the country doesn’t want to change the status quo. Revolution is never easy, and comes once every few centuries, if at all.

        In the meantime, our country has a policy that allows tens of thousands to die each year because they do not have access to health insurance.

        Grayson and many others want to change that. You may hate the process, but support the policy, or invent something new that is better and popularize it. Otherwise you’re just preaching political nihilism.

      • We ar talking past one another. IO have pointed out and you did not respond to the simple fact that Democrats only need lie about their intentions when running for office. Many, if not most, do.

        A realist looks that situation, and knows that it is impossible to know a person’s mind, but also that there is every incentive for Democratic politicians to lie, as they still reap the financial rewards of corporate support on the one and, and on the other, the party faithful do not hold them accountable. It is win win.

        Therefore, the system as it exists is incentive to defeat you. Realistic people look at this situation and try to come up with ways to work around the perverse incentives. I am not the most creative guy on the block, and I can only think of one way: When Democrats misbehave, you have to punish them by voting them out of office. Yes, this causes the election of Republicans, but that is not so bad as it sounds, as false flag Democrats, as Clinton showed us and Obama is showing us, can do more damage than Republicans.

        I have seen no willingness within the ranks of Democrats to bite the bullet, to vote the bad actors out of office. Therefore, we are at an impasse. There is no solution to our problem immediately apparent.

  2. JC

    So let’s get this straight. You think the Medicare for All movement is just a “feel-good…symbolic gesture?”

    And when a politician tries to drive the narrative and lead, you think it is just “not doing anything worthwhile?”

    You really have gone off the political nihilist deep end. Good luck with your grassroots organizing. How are you going to implement any policy without a vehicle in Congress to do so? Mob rule?

  3. Bob Greene

    Despite Mark’s cynicism, that is not always equivalent to “realism”, or even the practicality Mark implies. Even if we grant Obama has been a disappointment in many areas, the window is open wider than in 30 years for truly progressive ideas.

    If this were not a moment ripe for reform, the national mood would not be so edgy. The GOP would be content merely to snipe with sound bites and talking heads, and not to cry on-camera, rabble-rouse in the streets and orchestrate crowds on Faux News. Clearly, as proxies for the GOP and even Democratic patronage blocs, these “independent” street protestors prove many in high places are worried real reform is menacingly close at hand.

    In a sweeping, Anaheim-shot of the nation after Obama’s election– a smoking Wall Street-run-amok, two wars and a developing black-hole of an economy– Americans are deeply worried, and skeptical of anything but action. And this is an incendiary mix the GOP would love to control.

    But control, if that is the word, requires only an honest dialogue with the American people about how power is distributed in Washington. It requires only the approach both GOP and the Democratic National Committee
    fear most– a direct pressure appeal to congress.


    PS– Old-time Democratic patronage politics is dead, and reform is the only way forward. The hoary Clinton patronage machine still feeds delusions at the Democratic National Committee (and its senatorial campaign committee), but is completely inept.

    DNC morale and donations are down because, unlike the party’s progressive core, the DNC never understood Howard Dean’s 50-state grassroots approach delivered victories in 2006 and 2008, but Terry McAuliffe’s corporate patronage insider approach left only defeats.

    In the main, we elected Obama for reform. But to get the party nomination in the first place, Obama made a Faustian pre-convention deal– and was brokered by the DNC into compliance with its old patronage system.

    Yet this much is already clear– for Obama to win in 2012 requires a complete abandonment of his DNC status quo patronage base and a full, public embrace of reform in word and deed. A skeptical public– far more skeptical than even Mark– awaits his decision.

    • I think you power of observation is a 10 on a scale of one to 100. You’ve mostly got it wrong.

      The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. (George Bernard Shaw)

      • Bob Greene

        Your self-estimate does not recommend solipcism as a way of life.

        Despite missing your vote, reform remains the unspeakable, unmanageable element in American politics that will not die– whether from its open enemies or its cynical “friends”.

        And I’ll upgrade your Shaw with a Wilde, who said, “A cynic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

        That just about describes the Democratic National Committee, and its heartbeat, the Democratic Leadership Committee.

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