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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

March 19, 2010


-- Sad, sad, sad. Those people actually on Medicare know that there were no excesses that needed elimination. Actually Medicare is woefully inadequate as anyone actually on it can tell you. Cutting it back as part of "fixing" healthcare is nothing short of hateful and will lead to thousands of deaths which Congress and the President will be personally responsible for.

-- Translation of your latest disgusting coward's gibberish on this pure-poison healthcare bill: let's provide proof positive to the wealth-power giants and those who carry their water for them that there is no line in the sand they cannot cross with our bovine acquiescence ensured.

And to think i used to respect you. What a fool I was! What kind of brain looks at a bill that prevents states from pursuing single-payer and concludes we can pass this bill then pursue single-payer at the state level?

-- We know that Obama made many statements on his campaign website and throughout the campaign favoring the public option, and also that he made a back-room deal after his election to dump the public option. So what now? Smith/Kucinich argue to get the current terribly deficient bill passed and fight on from there. There is much to be said for this strategy, and surely some of the immediate measures, such as prohibiting refusal of insurance because of pre-existing conditions, will help some people. But Howard Dean pointed out on MSNBC that this provision only applies to young people (mostly healthy) and a few other groups, but not to older people.

Other provisions of the bill won't take effect until 2014 or later, but congressional elections are coming up in less than a year. How will the public view this bill once (or if) it is passed? Private insurance rates are already taking quantum jumps - I can attest to that. Will these jumps and a seemingly business-as-usual approach convince the public that Obamacare is an expenditure of public funds without any concrete results? If so, the Reps get the House and the longer-range strategy that Smith and Kucinich hope for will be stopped in its tracks.

If Obamacare can't make it through the Congress, then what? Are he and fellow Dems viewed as incompetent or will the Reps take it on the chin in November? Hard to say. I for one don't know, but I suspect that the only way the Smith/Kucinich hopes can be realized is if there are enough immediate improvements in health care/insurance to keep the public interested in continuing with it in November. - Frank Munley

- Sorry, but I can't possibly support an idea like this until they go back and "fix" the Medicare prescription program that was passed with this same argument. Since it passed, there has been no attempt to correct the problems in that bill despite the statements from both legislators and AARP telling us that we had to pass "something" right then and the flaws that were being left in could be fixed later.

It won't matter how many people complain about a bad health care bill. The response from Congress will be that we already spent too much time on the issue, we passed a bill, and there are more important things we need to do now.


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