Kill the mandate, save the bill

(originally posted to Daily Kos)

Well, after yesterday’s epic rumination that did…nothing, I’m trying for something a little more straightforward. What’s wrong with the bill as-is?

Well, it’s missing quite a few things, like the public option, the Medicare buy-in, and a death panel for Lieberman’s career. It still does a lot of good stuff…but the one really BAD thing it does, as of now, is too big and bad for the current bill to be acceptable to those of us who oppose it: the mandate is a disaster that will destroy families and devastate a fragile economy. I’ll let Digby take it from here:

A mandate as part of comprehensive reform that includes real competition, generous subsidies and a strong regulatory structure is not inherently bad. I could have made the argument if people had a choice in the exchange to pay into Medicare or into a public plan over which they had some control as a citizen rather than an expendable consumer. But without that or much more generous subsidies and/or strong mechanisms to control costs and keep the medical industry from gaming the system, it is very hard to see how most people will see this as a “benefit they’re getting” in the end, although some surely will. And in the current political environment, it is very, very hard to see how that improves any time soon.

Sure, it could be the centrist thing, but maybe the administration is more willing to take things out than put things in. So allow me to echo the “Fix this” post and say we need to draw a line here. No real public option? No mandate. Pure and simple. The rest of it can pass, but the government MUST be in the game. Americans don’t get fined for refusing to buy crap from people who gouge and screw them.

So I propose no more “kill the bill” cries that panic the Obama Administration and thrill Republicans. No, the mandate needs to be in our crosshairs. It’s a pathetically weak bill stripped down that far, but as Mr. Olbermann put it the other night, it at least takes the important first step in healing: “First, do no harm.”

(/) Roland X
Hope is a phoenix

One Response to “Kill the mandate, save the bill”

  • Avatar Morgan:

    The Daily Kos post included a poll, the results of which were:

    Kill what?
    The mandate – 53% – 22 votes
    The bill – 17% – 7 votes
    The career of “Killer Joe” Lieberman – 24% – 10 votes
    pie – 4% – 2 votes

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