Berkeley’s Markos Moulitsas, founder and publisher of the wildly political blog Daily Kos, is making a convincing argument for why the Senate health-care bill should be killed now that Joe Lieberman has gutted its most important reforms. Moulitsas argues that the bill should only go forward if the individual insurance mandates are removed.
As it currently stands, the Senate bill will be disastrous for most Americans because it will force everyone to buy private medical insurance, while allowing insurers to charge whatever they want without fear of competition. They’ll also be free to raise insurance rates on everyone as high as they want in order to pay for insuring people they don’t want to insure. In other words, everyone’s costs will go through the roof, thereby providing a huge gift to the insurance industry.
President Obama and leading Democrats are urging passage of the deeply flawed bill in apparent hopes of salvaging a political victory. But when voters realize how bad this bill really is — that they’ll be forced under the law to buy private insurance policies at astronomical prices, then the damage to the Democrats and to the country will be devastating.
And Obama and the Democrats need to finally stand up to Lieberman for threatening to stand with Republicans and block health-care reform, thereby killing the public option, which would have provided competition to private insurers, and the Medicare Buy-In compromise, which would have given people aged 55 to 64 access to Medicare. In other words, Lieberman, who is beholden to the insurance industry and is still angry about progressive Democrats running a candidate against him in the 2006 primary, single-handedly wrecked health-care reform and deserves to pay the price.