In a rare show of sense, Sen. Coburn has decided not to be an absolute ass, and is no longer demanding the entire bill be read. I wonder if they slipped him some anti-psychotics.
So, what's in this bill that won't be read on the Senate floor? Steve Benen has a rundown - along with Hatch's promise that this will be "holy war." The Cons do love using terrorist lingo, don't they?
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the Senate and House bills.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities calls it an "enormous step forward."
That stupid state opt-out is in there, and it looks like states can opt out immediately. That means that one-third of the population of this country could be fucked over because Cons are too fucking stupid to allow them the choice of an anemic public option.
And abstinence-only funding oiled its way in there somehow. Heellloooo, teen pregnancies!
That brings us to the subject of abortion. The Senate's language on abortion is a lot less noxious than the Stupak Stupidity. And what does that mean, kids? Why, it means Sen. Ben Nelson will take the opportunity to play the grandstanding fucktard, and the Cons will lie and lie and lie about how the bill will force everybody to pay an abortion fee, and how a vote to proceed is a vote for abortions. To hear them tell it, the bill is a veritable mandatory abortion fest. Dems fought back fast and hard with, y'know, actual facts. Like, nothing the Cons have said is in any way connected to reality. Color me shocked.
At least Sen. Bayh's claiming he'll allow the bill to come to the floor. Look, people, if even Evan "Deficit Hock" Bayh can vote with his party for once, and Coburn's showing a sliver of sanity, perhaps the rest of you foot-dragging, tantrum-throwing, lying, cheating fuckwits can scrape around in the bottom of the barrel and come up with a shred of human decency? A thread? An atom, even?
Do we need more incentive? Yes? How about realizing that, under the status quo, health insurance companies are perfectly comfortable condemning a little girl to a lifetime of deafness:
One of the worst abuses of the private health insurance industry is its practice of denying claims to pay for necessary care for patients. This practice has become so rampant in the industry that a recent study by the California Nurses Association found that a whopping 21 percent of all insurance claims filed in the first half of 2009 in the state of California were denied by insurers.
As the story of six-year-old Madison Leuchtmann of Franklin County, MO, demonstrates, even children are victims of this insurance company abuse. Madison was born with bilateral atresia, which means she lacks ear canals in both ears. In order to hear, she wears a special device on a headband that allows her to make out sounds. Despite her disability, Madison is at the top of her kindergarten class and is slowly learning to read.
Yet Madison, due to her growth, will soon require a new hearing implant to be able to recognize sounds. Her hearing and speech therapist warns that “if she doesn’t get her implants by age seven, she’s not going to be able to blend her words. … She won’t be able to hear herself [talk].” Madison’s pediatrician, Dr. Randall Clary, also insists that without the implant, the girl may never be able to hear again.
Unfortunately, the Leuchtmann’s family insurer, Cigna, has issued “one denial after another,” flatly refusing to cover the $20,000 bill for the implant. In a written statement to the local news station Fox 2, Cigna explained, “It is not unusual for commercial benefit plans to exclude hearing assisted devices,” prompting Dr. Clary to angrily respond, “This is obviously medically necessary. You have a child that has no ear canals!” Dr. Clary also told Fox 2 that he sees these sort of denials “on a weekly basis.”
Let's have some reform before a six year-old loses her hearing for good, before others face a choice between bankruptcy or death because their insurance companies decided they didn't need treatment, or rescinded the insurance for some bullshit reason.
And let's hope Congressional Dems get the drug companies to explain why, exactly, they've decided to hike prices just enough to negate the savings they promised.
The moment of truth is coming. We'll see exactly which of our elected leaders have our best interests at heart, and which are telling us to go fuck off and die.