• on a comment on The Goal of Health Care Reform over 4 years ago

    Regulatory enforcement actions involve the courts as well, most of the time, so I'm not sure the distinction you're drawing is actually all that clear.  

    The goal, obviously, is to create a deterrent for abusive conduct, so that no one has to address improper action after the fact; since once you get to that point, something is already lost.  Making these practices a violation of federal law is a big deal.  My impression is that the DOJ can, and likely will, police this conduct in at least some circumstances.  If insurance companies continue these practices, they're also going to be facing pretty serious civil liability through individual law suits.  That combination, along with the ability of the HHS Secretary to block companies from the exchanges for this kind of BS, will help.  Again, is it sufficient?  Probably not.  But it's clearly a step in the right direction.  

  • on a comment on The Goal of Health Care Reform over 4 years ago

    I understand you don't think the regulations will be enforced.  What I'm trying to understand is (a) whether the Department of Justice could prosecute violations and (b) whether individuals have a private right of action.

    I suppose it would be nice if a separate regulatory scheme was created, but I'm not sure what that would look like, and that's not how these things usually work.  And frankly, a regulatory scheme based upon a combination of state enforcement supplemented by federal criminal enforcement and private civil suits is actually pretty darn useful.  Sufficient?  Who knows.  But much better than what we have now.

  • on a comment on The Goal of Health Care Reform over 4 years ago

    I've seen you make this argument several times.  If an insurance company violates one of these federal regulations, are you saying the Department of Justice wouldn't have jurisdiction to pursue the violation?  Also, does the bill provide for a private right of action for these violations?

    Any info you can provide would be appreciated.  Thanks.

  • on a comment on Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    I didn't see any other responses to me, so apologies if I missed something . . .

    I understand that things are different today than under LBJ, but I don't think people vote on issues like earmarks or horse trading.  If they did, John McCain would be President and we would have gotten slaughtered in any number of races last cycle.  Out and out corruption matters, certainly, but someone like Nelson  holding out for goodies isn't going to hurt him or anyone else, in my opinion.  If you can point to a race where that kind of action mattered, I'm certainly open to changing my mind, but I can't think of one.  

  • on a comment on Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    That will be one of the best investments the government has made in a long time.  God bless that corrupt Bernie Sanders is all I can say!

  • on a comment on Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    Amen.  If we could have traded more pork for fewer substantive concessions, I for one would have been extremely supportive.  As I think Matt Yglesias suggested, perhaps we should have suggested some Lobster subsidies to Senator Snowe, instead of dropping the public option.  

  • comment on a post Red State Swindlers over 4 years ago

    How exactly is this any different than LBJ handing out judgships or other appointments to get votes?  Or the pork that is constantly handed out to secure passage of essentially every major piece of legislation?  

    Is this how things should work?  No, not ideally.  But it's not new and, candidly, I don't think its the same thing as Duke Cunningham or Bob Ney taking kick-backs that lined their own pockets.  Most significantly, since there's nothing against the law with what Nelson did.  

    I know you guys don't love this bill, and I respect that.  But arguing that this process has been any worse than the norm, let alone that voters will actually care about it, strikes me as quite the exaggeration.    

  • on a comment on Healthcare looks done this year over 4 years ago

    . . . and then he says to pass the Senate bill.

    Seriously, stop distorting what Krugman has said.  It's obnoxious.

  • on a comment on Healthcare looks done this year over 4 years ago

    I'm starting to think the bill may be dead too, but I have no illusions that anything gets done on health care this Congress if the Senate bill dies.  And I don't say that as a threat- I just think the leadership will move on to jobs, financial regulation, and climate change, with the latter two issues probably a repeat of the health care debate.  Since we're going to loss seats in 2010 no matter what happens at this point, I don't see health care back on the agenda till 2013 at the earliest.  And more realistically, probably 2016 or later.  

    Really, the best thing we can do at this point--assuming this bill really is dead--is to try and reach an agreement to change/eliminate the filibuster at some set future point.  Then, if we happen to get a majority thereafter, it might just be possible to pass something meaningful.  

    I need a drink.    

  • Wait, you've lived and worked in DC for a long time?  Wow, I guess you MUST be right then . . .

    As I recall, your track record as far as predictions goes wasn't very good when you had a few different handles.  Time will tell whether you're right this time.  But thanks again for your oh so constructive contributions.  

  • Yes, I know you disagree with Krugman and think that his statements are factually inaccurate.  Since you and I have gone back and forth on the merits of the Senate bill before, I don't intend to rehash those arguments.  

    Rather, my point was simply to note that Krugman did clearly state, contrary to the authors intimation, that he thinks the Bill is still worth passing.  Perhaps I misunderstood one of your previous posts, but you seemed to similarly be suggesting that Krugman doesn't "really" think the Bill is worthwhile; which, obviously, isn't true.    

  • It sounds like you have no interest in discussing anything other than your dislike for Obama.  That's your business, but personally I'm more interested in whether it's still possible to pass something that will help tens of millions of people.  

    Contrary to your suggestion, that's certainly what Paul Krugman is focused on.  Since you don't seem to have any interest in discussing issues honestly, I will remember not to engage you going forward.    

  • There's really no ambiguity regarding whether Krugman thinks the Senate Bill is better than the status quo.  

    In his most recent post, he said:

    "A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you're disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable.

    But meanwhile, pass the health care bill."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/opinio n/18krugman.html?_r=1&hp

    His reasoning is essentially that:

    "With all its flaws, the Senate health bill would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, greatly improving the lives of millions. Getting this bill would be much, much better than watching health care reform fail."

    You're under no obligation to agree with Krugman, of course, but it's clear that he has reached a different judgment than you on this issue.  

  • Really?  That's why your lead sentence says "If you really want to understand why Howard Dean now feels forced to oppose the White House's health care strategy - I suggest you watch this short concise statement from yesterdays Morning Joe and another short vid at the end of this diary taped back during the summer where he explains that health care reform without a strong public option - is no kind of reform at all."

    It's also disengenous for you to suggest Paul Krugman thinks this bill "is no kind of reform at all," since he thinks it's worth passing.  Indeed, in his most recent post on the topic he says the following:

    "A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you're disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable.

    But meanwhile, pass the health care bill."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/18/opinio n/18krugman.html?_r=1&hp

    Does Krugman like Obama?  No, not particularly.  Is he frustrated this bill isn't everything it could be?  Absolutely.  But at the end of the day, he thinks it's worth passing because:

    "With all its flaws, the Senate health bill would be the biggest expansion of the social safety net since Medicare, greatly improving the lives of millions. Getting this bill would be much, much better than watching health care reform fail."

    I have no problem at all with you explaining why you oppose this bill.  But don't misrepresent others views.  It's intellectually dishonest.

  • Paul Krugman says he supports the bill in the exact same post you selectively quoted from. It is disengenous for you to imply otherwise.  

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