So, how's the plan? Well, Sen. Conrad's happy - so happy, in fact, he's even agreed to side with his caucus on a procedural vote on the Senate bill. Amazing. The CBO's happy. President Obama's happy. AHIP's totally not happy. And it outlaws using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, along with some other goodies. I haven't seen a lot of analysis on it yet, but the fact that AHIP's screaming makes me feel rather good about the results.
Yes, I'm that not nice.
There's still some hangups regarding abortion. Here's something those anti-choice fucktards who are ready to derail health care reform because they don't understand how this stuff works should consider carefully:
Time's Amy Sullivan had an item yesterday, unrelated to Stupak's specific argument, which addressed the larger issue nicely.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fungibility argument that many pro-life groups and politicians have employed to oppose health reform. The problem, they say, is that if any insurance plan that covers abortion is allowed to participate in a public exchange, then premiums paid to that plan in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies help support that abortion coverage even if individual abortion procedures are paid for out of a separate pool of privately-paid premium dollars. You can debate about whether it makes sense to use this strict standard, but that's the argument.
But are those pro-life organizations holding themselves to the same strict standard? As it happens, Focus on the Family provides its employees health insurance through Principal, an insurance company that covers "abortion services." A Focus spokeswoman confirmed the fact that the organization pays premiums to Principal, but declined to comment on whether that amounts to an indirect funding of abortion.
Even if the specific plan Focus uses for its employees doesn't include abortion coverage -- and I'm assuming it doesn't -- the organization and its employees still pay premiums to a company that funds abortions. If health reform proposals have a fungibility problem, then Focus does as well. And if they don't think they do have a fungibility problem, then it would be interesting to hear why they think the set-up proposed in health reform legislation is so untenable.
Might I just suggest to the anti-choicers that they shut the fuck up before they make themselves look even dumber? I know they won't take that advice, but then at least I can say "I told you so, you ginormous fucktards."
The Party of No is busy whining about how horrible, awful, no good and terrible the Dems' bill is, but when pressed, still can't tell us what their own ideas are, and what's more, probably won't have them up on the intertoobz for public consideration when they finally do come up with some, as they've so often demanded of the Dems. Typical, innit?
Finally, the GOP Stunt o' the Day: Mitch McConnell jumps a veritable school of sharks:
In an interview on Dennis Miller’s radio show yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the public option “may cost you your life”:
MCCONNELL: Well, it doesn’t make any difference frankly whether you opt-in or you opt-out, it’s still a government plan. You know, Medicaid, the program for the poor now, states can opt-out of that, but none of them have. I think if you have any kind of government insurance program, you’re going to be stuck with it and it will lead us in the direction of the European style, you know, sort of British-style, single payer, government run system. And those systems are known for delays, denial of care and, you know, if your particular malady doesn’t fit the government regulation, you don’t get the medication.
MCCONNELL: And it may cost you your life. I mean, we don’t want to go down that path.
Color me shocked.[snip]
Unsurprisingly, McConnell has gotten his facts wrong when he’s described other health care systems.
We'll see how many sharks the Cons jump as reform draws closer to passage. I hear they've been practicing for a record-breaker...