At this very moment the president is hosting a summit in an effort to pass some type of health care reform. In attendance: the usual collection of Republicans and Democrats. The president made an opening statement and talked about the passionate emails he had received from folks who were in dire and desperate straits for want of affordable health care. Several of his fellow Democrats followed suit:

In their opening statements, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid focused largely on the why of health care reform instead of the how. They told the stories of people struggling with their health insurance and didn’t do much to tie it back to how their proposals would make life better for those folks.

When it came to the Republicans there was no mention of human life or suffering. Instead there was the cold-blooded discussion of money, and twisted statistics, carefully couched in seemingly sympathetic tones. Here is an example of an exchange between the president and Lamar Alexander:

President Obama said it’s untrue that the Congressional Budget Office says that Democratic reforms will raise premiums, as Republican Sen. Alexander said. Alexander interrupted Obama to cite the CBO report’s findings. And Obama refuted Lamar’s reading of the report insisting that it didn’t say premiums would go up, but that people would choose to buy better, more expensive insurance.

The president is well intentioned but he should know by now that the Republicans don’t give a rat’s red rump about the suffering of people. Their only care is the potential suffering this reform may cause to the insurance industry. When Harry Reid speaks of dying mothers and anguished fathers the republicans are thinking about angry CEO’s and campaign coffers:

The Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry…..Anthony Weiner

This is a sham. It is an embarrassment to the nation as are the Republicans who take us all as fools by subverting the facts in a continuing effort to cloud the real issue, which is America’s health care system is broken and people are dying.

Almost immediately following Barack Obama’s inauguration the Republicans began their campaign of obstruction, obfuscation, and prevarication. The Republican National Committee and the insurance industry poured over $263 million dollars into a nationwide televised effort to convince the American people that reformed health care was very, very bad. They managed to persuade everyday rational folk that reform would mean death panels, back breaking taxes, government takeovers, and other nonsense. They painted the democrats and the president as fascists, socialists, and murderers. It worked.

The majority of the American people are now opposed to health care reform, not because it is bad for them and the country but because the republicans have convinced them that it is bad for them and the country. It appears that the Democrats will lose seats, possibly a lot of seats, rivaling even the 1994 congressional upset, partly as a result of the Republican campaign, but also because of the dithering of Democrats who can’t even keep their own majority together.

I am hoping the President and his men have called this summit for two reasons. One of course is a final, sincere, and very public effort to demonstrate to the American people that every effort is being made to work with the Republicans, despite their obstructionism. The other, more importantly, is to lay the groundwork for reconciliation:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that Democrats haven’t suggested that reconciliation is the only way to pass reform. While that may be technically true, Democrats and the White House have said that they’re prepared to go the reconciliation route if they don’t get Republican support. And if the first 45 minutes of the summit is any indication, Dems will be using reconciliation.

In conclusion the only real losers in this debate are the American people. The politicians will keep their Grade A health care and their cushy jobs, at least for the most part. The Republicans will luxuriate in the praise heaped upon them by the Tea Baggers and the Democrats will continue to wring their hands and blame everyone but themselves. If reconciliation doesn’t work, or if the Democrats don’t have the courage to pursue it and do so quickly, the bill will die and so will the hopes of millions of Americans…..

Michael (MadMike) Scott

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Posted by on February 25, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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18 Responses to THE HEALTH CARE OLYMPICS 2010

  1. SJ

    February 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Well said Mad Mike.

    I’d add something but Mr. Olbermann said it all last night:

    part 1:

  2. SJ

    February 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Part 2:


  3. Hill

    February 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm


    Watching Keith so raw with emotion tore my heart out.

    MM, no politician gives a fuck about us. The only ones who care are We The People.

    We The People embrace each other and somehow, despite being on the verge of extermination by the politicos, we find the strength and courage to get up and face the world one more day.

    One more day.

    • SJ

      February 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      @Hill, how right you are. It reminds me of Al Brooks in Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver” when he argues with a vendor over the phone.

      TOM: I think there’s a difference, I think there’s a very big difference between saying WE are the people and We ARE the people…

  4. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Wow! As Hill and I spoke yesterday I rarely listen to KO or RM anymore. Everything is so busy but also depressing. These, however, are good, very good. Thanks SJ!

  5. Tom

    February 25, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    The President has continually said, that he wants to talk about what they can agree on, not what they disagree on. That’s consistent with his bipartisan approach, but to make a compromise they must discuss what they disagree on.
    The Republicans continue to be negative, with allegations that are not true, or half true.
    The President will cite that in the following days, to say what he has said all along, the Republicans are unwilling to discuss health care reform with sincerity, because all they want to do is kill the bill.
    Nothing will come of today’s meeting. Hopefully the Democrats will have the guts to pass this bill on a simple majority.

  6. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Tom I think this “summit” is just shadow boxing. I expect the next, inevitable step, is reconciliation. At least I hope so. I am sick and tired of the Democrats tilting at windmills!

  7. Stimpson

    February 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    “When it came to the Repub­li­cans there was no men­tion of human life or suf­fer­ing.” That is the Republican (and Lieberman) character deficiency in a nutshell.

    About reconciliation, did everybody see Rachel Maddow and Barbara Boxer’s discussion last night of how the Repubs are misrepresenting it as “the nuclear option”? Worth checking out.

  8. Truth101

    February 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    President Obama is a cagey dude and he will expose much republican hypocrisy and lies. I just hope it’s used responsibly. You know. Bashing these republican sleazebags mercilessly come election time.

  9. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I will check that out Stimpson. Thanks.

  10. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Truth I agree with you completely and have actually mounted the proverbial soapbox from time to time and often to closed ears.

  11. Sue, Hello..Mr. President

    February 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    For those who took the time to watch today’s summit, I hope they came away with the reality that rethugs have no intentions of voting for any dem HC bill. They simply don’t give 2 shits about the American people and showed their true colors today! President Obama was strong and so were Reid and Pelosi, I was pleased how they handled the do-nothing GOP. Olbermanns analysis should be good tonight too.

  12. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    They did a damn good job wrangling the Righties Sue!! Don’t forget to become a fan of MMA on FaceBook!

  13. Sky Girl

    February 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I couldn’t get the whole thing at work, but I thought if I had to listen to Lamar Alexander say one more word about the majority not using pushing through legislation my head was going to explode or I was going to vomit blood or some other gruesome thing. Good Lord, man, do you think we’ve forgotten what you rethugs have done to us when you’ve had the majority? Do you?

  14. MadMike

    February 25, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    LOL Skye! We both shared that sentiment!!

  15. osori

    February 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    You guys all sound like the Raider fans who insist we’re gonna win the Super Bowl each year but we always suck.

    There’s not gonna be a public option-the only ones who want a PO are the American people and we don’t have lobbyists. Obama happily pocketed millions for his campaign from the health insurance industry, you can view the disparity with McCain at

    Obama cares about his legacy,he cares about the lobbyists. What Obama doesn’t care about are the working people who voted for him.

    With the exception of Weiner and Kucinich none of them will even talk about a PO anymore.

  16. osori

    February 26, 2010 at 12:31 am

    PO was a negotiating tool, just like the Volcker Rule that sounded good a couple weeks ago but which was quietly dropped after the photo-op of Tall Paul standing next to Obama or Obama distracting us with his cool SOTUS then calling his major lobbyists to apologize.

    Obama knows he doesn’t need to include it because Democrats are so focused on the assholishness of the Republicans they don’t notice their leader is quietly handing over to the finance and insurance industries the exact packages they paid him for and will instead blame the Republicans who are irrelevant at this point.

  17. TomCat

    February 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Mike, I said i’d find this post and I did. Sorry it took so long. I’ve been swamped. Very well put together, my friend. Now, if the Dems will just get off their jellied arses and do it.