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http://www.businessinsider.com/senate-health-care-single-payer-vote-daines-amendment-2017-7

Single payer amendment overwhelmingly failed, with 57 votes against, and 43 voting "present." No one voted yes.

This is okay, because it always was a Republican trap. I think Democrats understand the most they can aim for right now is some kind of public option.

Bernie Sanders himself applauded the result, given it was a sham to begin with.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-guarantees-house-to-meet-with-senate-on-skinny-obamacare-repeal/article/2629907

Meanwhile, the Freedom Caucus is rearing its head again. They're saying they will not approve a skinny repeal bill.

Given a skinny repeal bill is all the Senate is likely to pass, healthcare reform is likely to die as a result of the GOP's internal splits.

Democrats honestly should consider trying to initiate their own reform with the moderate Republicans behind it. It's not as crazy as it sounds. Moderate Republicans are constantly spurning Ryan and McConnell, and that means a moderate plan from the Democrats is possible.

For those Democrats who voted no, they're all from red-leaning states: Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Jon Tester (Montana) while Angus King is technically an Independent from Maine. 

https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/cortez-masto-most-senate-democrats-refuse-to-take-sides-in-vote-on-single-payer

To run home how much of a troll amendment it was, the GOP Senator who introduced it said that single payer represents the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and what Obamacare ultimately strives for, so of course Democrats should vote yes for it.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-time-for-single-payer-is-now_us_597a7869e4b06b305561cf3b

Opinion pieces like this highlight everything wrong with progressives.

There's a lot of seething anger that the Democrats didn't vote yes in large numbers on the single payer amendment. While it is strange that the safest of seats (say, Feinstein's in California) wouldn't say yes to spite the GOP, we need to remember some cold, hard realities on passing single payer.

Under Senate rules, you need 60 votes to pass most legislation. While nuking it sounds fantastic, consider that a majority can always turn against you, rendering you helpless. This is why McConnell and his friends aren't nuking it, even though they will likely keep the Senate until 2021.

Democrats have 48 seats. Still with me?

GVS2016120801-map1.png

Here's the Senate map for 2018. Democrats must defend 23 seats. Now while they have the benefits of incumbency and a midterm year (which tends to go against the President), that's still concerning, because it means a lot of money needs to be raised and spent.

A lot of these seats are in states Trump won, and others that are consistently Republican; you'll notice the "no" Democrats are from reliably red states and have their seats up for grabs next year: ND, MT, WV, and IN. They're playing defense to avoid possibly being declared socialists or whatever.

Sure, taking a stand sounds great, but people "taking a stand" is what gave us Trump in the first place. Forget that. In first past the post politics, you win or you lose. To Hell with "stands."

Assume they all took a stand. It's quite possible a lot more seats would be lost next year, all for the "moral victory" of a stand on single payer. Bravo.

Now, with a cautious approach on single payer, let's assume Democrats keep all 23 seats. They are likely to flip Nevada, and can possibly pick up 1 or 2 seats in Arizona, depending on what happens with McCain's seat before November 2018. So, best case scenario, the Democrats come out of 2018 with 51 seats. They won't nuke the filibuster for the reasons given; the next election is 2020, and if Trump ends up winning again, Republicans are likely to win via his coattails and retake the majority.

320px-2020_Senate_election_map.png

So here's 2020's map. Let's assume for a moment that the Democrat wins the Presidential race, crushing Trump in a way similar to Obama and McCain, and he or she has long coattails. Democrats pick up Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Maine, possibly even Georgia. An amazing victory! ...except Democrats only have 56 seats. With 60 Democrats in 2009, Obama had trouble pushing the public option. Single payer probably isn't happening.

2022_US_Senate_map.png

What's more, this is the 2022 map. Midterms go against the President's Party, meaning Republicans are likely to keep the Senate. The Democrat who took McCain's seat will now be on the defensive, too. The GOP have reliable turnout in midterm years, so it's not crazy they might end up taking some Democratic seats and knock the majority down. Single payer stays dead in the water.

Now let's revisit the earlier scenario. Let's assume Trump - or another Republican - wins 2020. As all 2020 Democratic seats are in blue states, the Dems are unlikely to lose anything (only the Michigan seat is at risk, and I presume Dems would defend it heavily); they're more likely to pick up Colorado, perhaps Maine. 53 seats.

Come 2022, the Democrats are in a strong position to oppose the GOP and gain a supermajority. They can keep their seat in Arizona, while also picking up Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, and perhaps recreate earlier victories in North Carolina, North Dakota and Missouri to reach 60 seats at last. Georgia will most certainly be in play by this point, as well. Maybe even Kansas, based on how swingy it is for Governor races.

So what's all this thought experimentation for?

Well, to illustrate how much of a headache passing single payer will be, unless you take the extremely risky move to nuke the legislative filibuster. Let's not forget the heavily-gerrymandered House, and how hard it will be for Democrats to not only take it, but keep it without a GOP President to provide a midterm edge to the Democrats.

All told, we are probably not getting single payer until 2023 at the earliest, and that's assuming Democrats have all the stars aligned to give them both the House and a 60-seat supermajority in the Senate... and them agreeing to pass such a broad proposal.

In short, it's better to push for the public option. The public option allows for the expansion of government insurance without the unpopular specter of raised taxes. Letting people buy plans off Medicaid or Medicare lets more people realize that government insurance does not equate to the USA becoming the Soviet Union. While all this is going on, Democrats can expand Medicaid and Medicare eligibility slowly, bringing us closer to single payer without doing a single, massive, risky reform.

If Democrats can get a public option passed at some point in the next decade, they will soon be in a position to push for full single payer, as it becomes apparent the private insurance industry simply cannot keep up with Obamacare's requirements, nor does government insurance equate to autocracy.

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9 minutes ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

Sure, taking a stand sounds great, but people "taking a stand" is what gave us Trump in the first place. Forget that. In first past the post politics, you win or you lose. To Hell with "stands."

It's kinda fucked up that in this era now, doing the right thing is a bad move even to those wanting the right thing to happen. I mean taking stands used to be an empowering thing that won over people, but now...it's a career suicide. You /have/ to be cynical and ignore what you feel is right. And while I agree dems shouldn't take stands if they wanna win, that really shouldn't be what we have to say. We shouldn't be saying doing the right thing leads to loosing and bad things(I mean heaven help you if you're in government and have kids and the precedent you set for them). It's just a moral dilemma I feel sick to witness.

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4 minutes ago, KHCast said:

It's kinda fucked up that in this era now, doing the right thing is a bad move even to those wanting the right thing to happen. I mean taking stands used to be an empowering thing that won over people, but now...it's a career suicide. You /have/ to be cynical and ignore what you feel is right. And while I agree dems shouldn't take stands if they wanna win, that really shouldn't be what we have to say. We shouldn't be saying doing the right thing leads to loosing and bad things(I mean heaven help you if you're in government and have kids and the precedent you set for them). It's just a moral dilemma I feel sick to witness.

It wouldn't be so bad if we had compulsory suffrage.

Unfortunately, we don't. We have suffrage that allows the "angry customer" principle to reign. Your enemies will turn out much more reliably than your supporters.

It's why we're locked in this constant cycle of back and forth GOP and Democrat rule as opposed to parties being forced to do serious policy changes to stay in power.

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Everyone who was spitting venom at McCain a few nights ago sure is eating their hat now, huh?

The man opened the debate, but he also just settled it for the time being. It's parliamentary decorum at its finest.

Screw McConnell saying Democrats wanted no part of this process. He's the one who made 52 people try to come up with a plan over 100.

Hopefully Democrats push several public option proposals next.

11 minutes ago, CD Sanic said:

Honestly what's the point in voting anymore, seems both in and out of office, the odds are against Democrats

The odds are against them because people don't turn out, usually.

If Democrats turned out more reliably, plenty of seats would be swept by them. There are far more Democrats than Republicans in this country.

Democrats are ultimately just reeling from a two-term Presidency that gave the GOP lots of opportunities to expand its power at the state level.

The one perk to Trump's term is it provides an opportunity to regain much of what was lost.

We just need to make a point to turn out every single election year, whether in person or absentee, and also keep tabs on whether we've been purged from the voter rolls.

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I do not regret "spitting venom" at McCain.

No matter his long term plan, coming right out of hospitalization to vote to continue with repeal debate with a party that wants to slash the CBO funding out of petty spite, and jeopardize the status of millions in an instant, is not a good impression to give.

You jangle the key to the lock to free someone from the train tracks until the last minute, people will just get pissed off and ask why you didn't help them the first chance you got.

 

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And yet, that's how the Senate works. Despite being a political body, there's generally a lot of consensus and decorum that is followed outside of actual votes.

Murkowski let DeVos get a vote on the Senate floor despite her personal reservations against her. She could have easily blocked De Vos' consideration entirely.

McCain did the same thing here.

There's cries to just shut stuff down from the start, but that's how you get primaried. Politicians need to balance party loyalty, state loyalty, and their own personal values. Sure, Murkowski can vote down people in committee, McCain can block procedure from the start, but this is how you risk being thrown out in the primaries by Republicans who will never break from the party line at all. McCain signaled a willingness to work on healthcare changes, but not full repeal.

In McCain's case, he's dying. I guess he just wants to try and bring back what made the Senate great, before Reid and McConnell just got in a cagematch with each other and ruined everything. Honestly, I can't fault him for that.

We agree to let Republicans run for office, even though it would be more convenient for a liberal agenda to just ban them from running altogether. Same principle here. There's a free exchange of ideas, good and bad. Contrary to what many of us on the left would think, not every Republican politician eats babies. A lot of them are sane, reasonable people who maintain that great balance of party loyalty with state loyalty and national well-being.

McCain has changed the debate with his votes, as well. He voted yes on discussing the BCRA, but no on both flat repeals. The message is clear: replacing and improving upon Obamacare is acceptable, just tearing it down is not. The floor has yielded to Democrats to try and provide alternatives.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

Everyone who was spitting venom at McCain a few nights ago sure is eating their hat now, huh?

At best he's being almost comically naive, and what does he care about reelection right now?  He could have stayed in the hospital bed and risked nothing.  

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I don't think people here understand the gravity of what McCain did.

They've been hammering the healthcare bill so many times because of budget reconciliation where you basically get a toss-up on a bill and get to vote on it for 50 Senate votes instead of 60. If it doesn't go to a vote at all, as what has been happening, you get to start it over with reconciliation rules still in play.

Instead of doing the Merry-Go-Round yet again, they allowed it to come to a vote in the Senate because they presumed that they finally had the votes to pass it through McCain.

However, he said no, against everyone's expectations.

That means it's dead for the entire fiscal year (they don't have 60 votes) and McConnell, Ryan, and the rest of their objectivist, obstructionist ilk can thoroughly go fuck themselves. Letting it come to this point was ultimately the best case scenario for at-risk Americans and Democrats, especially since McCain is probably not long for this world anyway. Republicans are now stuck between a rock and a hard place-- They've got nothing to show for all of the theater they've done, and they've further opened the course for a blue sweep in midterms should they try this shit again next year (and they probably will, because campaign promises and their inherent general assholery).

So, cater to your deplorable constituents and remind the rest of America that you tried to kill them last year, or actually do the right thing at the risk of your seat in deep red counties?

Decisions, decisions.

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Honestly, I think the floor's open for Democrats to make a sales pitch for the public option through a Medicare and/or Medicaid buy-in.

Simple enough: start by where they agree with Republicans. Obamacare isn't a perfect bill. Obamacare's regulations have made it hard for insurance companies to stay in business, causing them to shrivel up in less lucrative areas, namely the countryside. Rural counties are where many conservative voters are gathered. They're the ones hurt most by Obamacare with this in mind, but the good news is you don't need a repeal to help them.

Now that it's apparent full repeal of Obama's regulations just isn't happening, they really do only have two options. The bailout of insurance companies that McConnell abhorred yesterday, or a low-cost option: allowing people to buy plans from Medicaid and Medicare right in their own town. Medicare and Medicaid are proven programs that work, are popular, and their existence has not equated to a government takeover of all medicine. If it becomes possible for them to sell not-for-profit plans, then every American, no matter where they are, has at least one option now. Private insurance can continue to exist in the more profitable areas like the cities, but public insurance will be an option everywhere. The best part is this avoids the unpopular decision to raise taxes or government spending, as people are opting in and paying for their own insurance as they go.

To sweeten the deal, they could even consider softening mandates. Mandates are unpopular, but also integral to private insurance's continued existence. Perhaps go with Susan Collins' proposal that people be required to get insurance by default, but can opt out. People go with defaults, so this will keep the insurance rolls expanded while also increasing personal choice.

Of course, what's hidden in this whole proposal is the fact that as more and more people get government insurance, single payer will suddenly become much, much more sellable years down the line. Call it "Medicaid for All" and suddenly it sounds fantastic to all those people currently on the public option who are being told they can pay nothing for premiums instead.

https://www.wsls.com/news/after-sanctions-russia-orders-us-to-cut-diplomatic-staff

In response to the Russia sanctions bill that Trump has not yet signed or vetoed, Russia has seized two US diplomatic properties and expelled American diplomats so that there are as many American diplomats in Russia as there are Russian diplomats in America.

Putin has promised that for every sanction, Russia will take a proportionate response.

This is most likely an attempt to make Congress get cold feet when the time comes for veto override.

https://mic.com/articles/182995/lindsey-graham-says-he-is-creating-legislation-to-block-trump-from-firing-mueller#.pO3t75FvF

Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is putting together bipartisan legislation to keep a President from firing special counsels. There was similar legislation in the past that expired during the Clinton administration.

Speaking of Clinton, the House Judiciary Committee has called for a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and Loretta Lynch. Good news: Trump's new FBI Director is already on the record for thinking the GOP's a bit bonkers, having said he doesn't think Mueller is conducting a witch hunt.

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14 hours ago, -Robin- said:

McCain, Murkowski, and Collins all voted No, so the Skinny Repeal is dead.

 

Again.

 

Tune in 20 hours from now to see what zany scheme McConnell cooks up next time.

I had to do a double take when I read the news this morning. I seriously thought he was going to vote yes after doing so to move forward with the debate.

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There's one true solution to improving Obamacare: replace it with a universal, single-payer, Medicare-for-All system. Even though Obamacare has done a lot of marvelous things, it still treats healthcare as a privilege than a right. Guaranteeing healthcare for ALL people means you won't have to buy insurance, worry about splitting medicine, worry about whether the insurance companies will make a profit or not ('cause the insurance companies will either go out of business or be nationalized), and so forth. We pay more on healthcare compared to those that guarantee healthcare, yet we DON'T have it as a right. In short, Medicare for All not only makes healthcare a right, but also lowers the overall healthcare cost.

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2 hours ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.wsls.com/news/after-sanctions-russia-orders-us-to-cut-diplomatic-staff

 

In response to the Russia sanctions bill that Trump has not yet signed or vetoed, Russia has seized two US diplomatic properties and expelled American diplomats so that there are as many American diplomats in Russia as there are Russian diplomats in America.

Putin has promised that for every sanction, Russia will take a proportionate response.

This is most likely an attempt to make Congress get cold feet when the time comes for veto override.

The bill is officially dead..

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Republicans are going to destroy this country and along with all the other authoritarian loons out in the world at large today the odds of the human race surviving to the end of the century become less & less.  I just hope we don't take all other life with us.  Just because the human race deserves to go extinct doesn't mean everything else does.

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22 minutes ago, SonicComicFanboy said:

Republicans are going to destroy this country and along with all the other authoritarian loons out in the world at large today the odds of the human race surviving to the end of the century become less & less.  I just hope we don't take all other life with us.  Just because the human race deserves to go extinct doesn't mean everything else does.

Eh, the planet will just adapt to us poisoning the world and once we're extinct it'll probably just right itself and things will go back to normal for it minus the human race. Despite our capabilities we're still pretty insignificant to the Earth in the grand scheme of things.

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8 hours ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

https://www.wsls.com/news/after-sanctions-russia-orders-us-to-cut-diplomatic-staff

In response to the Russia sanctions bill that Trump has not yet signed or vetoed, Russia has seized two US diplomatic properties and expelled American diplomats so that there are as many American diplomats in Russia as there are Russian diplomats in America.

Putin has promised that for every sanction, Russia will take a proportionate response.

This is most likely an attempt to make Congress get cold feet when the time comes for veto override.

https://mic.com/articles/182995/lindsey-graham-says-he-is-creating-legislation-to-block-trump-from-firing-mueller#.pO3t75FvF

Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is putting together bipartisan legislation to keep a President from firing special counsels. There was similar legislation in the past that expired during the Clinton administration.

Speaking of Clinton, the House Judiciary Committee has called for a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, James Comey, and Loretta Lynch. Good news: Trump's new FBI Director is already on the record for thinking the GOP's a bit bonkers, having said he doesn't think Mueller is conducting a witch hunt.

Does anyone outside of trump's cronies care about sucking up to Russia?

Maybe, that second special counsel is some classic Soviet Whataboutism.  

6 hours ago, Nepenthe said:

So Priebus got fired/resigned and it was announced on Twitter.

You can never tell what's gonna happen in a day in Trump's America™.

 

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52 minutes ago, SonicComicFanboy said:

Republicans are going to destroy this country and along with all the other authoritarian loons out in the world at large today the odds of the human race surviving to the end of the century become less & less.  I just hope we don't take all other life with us.  Just because the human race deserves to go extinct doesn't mean everything else does.

None of this talk, please.  I can understand that there are plenty of things to be upset over in the news, but this kind of overreactionary, misanthropic outburst is not only extremely unhelpful but also hardly contributive to the actual conversation at hand.

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10 hours ago, CD Sanic said:

The bill is officially dead..

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/28/politics/white-house-russia-sanctions/index.html

No, Trump's going to sign it into law. He claims he "negotiated," but he's just trying to save face about the fact the Congress he hoped would rally around him is putting aside partisan bickering to curtail what power he has.

11 hours ago, Nepenthe said:

So Priebus got fired/resigned and it was announced on Twitter.

You can never tell what's gonna happen in a day in Trump's America™.

...is it too early to start taking bets on when Bannon will be forced out?

Increasingly it seems like Trump thinks that if he just forces out all the people he started with, all his issues will go away.

The story gets better, though, given how shittily Trump carried it out. Priebus and several other staffers got off Air Force One, filed into a SUV... and then suddenly, all the other staffers left and got in another SUV, and Priebus' SUV was forced to leave the Presidential motorcade.

Something tells me Trump planned this, honestly. It fits his style to humiliate somebody. Given how closely it parallels Comey's timing of being fired, I'm inclined to think he does this intentionally. He can't just quietly let people go. He has to embarrass them in front of colleagues.

11 hours ago, Dark Qiviut said:

There's one true solution to improving Obamacare: replace it with a universal, single-payer, Medicare-for-All system. Even though Obamacare has done a lot of marvelous things, it still treats healthcare as a privilege than a right. Guaranteeing healthcare for ALL people means you won't have to buy insurance, worry about splitting medicine, worry about whether the insurance companies will make a profit or not ('cause the insurance companies will either go out of business or be nationalized), and so forth. We pay more on healthcare compared to those that guarantee healthcare, yet we DON'T have it as a right. In short, Medicare for All not only makes healthcare a right, but also lowers the overall healthcare cost.

Most in this thread seem to be in agreement on this subject, but for reasons I highlighted a few posts back, it's not going to happen for a while short of a crazy realignment.

Even at the state level, it has poor prospects. California, one of the most liberal of them all, suddenly got nervous the moment the taxes and spending involved became known. New York state's single payer bill, meanwhile, is screwed over because they (like geniuses) draw their Senate to benefit the Republican parts of the state, and the Democrats there are spineless and caucus with Republicans for personal gain.

It will likely be passed by ballot initiative, because a lot of politicians are scared to risk it. Failing that, it will be implemented piecemeal. Clinton's campaign was understandably pursuing more modest goals: a public option and lowering Medicare eligibility.

Of course, the Medicaid buy-in's near success in Nevada leads me to think other states might consider that. As more and more states pick up a Medicaid buy-in, the public option will become ingrained in American society, and single payer will seem more and more feasible.

We'll really see where healthcare goes after the midterms, though. If Democrats don't make solid gains... well, expect repeal efforts to be turned up to 11. On the other hand, if Democrats seize a lot of Governorships, if not legislatures, we're going to see radical changes. Obamacare will be expanded and vetoes against healthcare expansion will disappear.

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