October 15, 2009
Never Thought I’d Say It

As much as I’ve ragged on Nancy, it’s incumbent on me to praise her when she takes on the villains as directly as this: “…it is well known to the public that the health insurance companies are the problem”. Of course, the drug companies are a big part of the problem too, and Obama’s already folded his hand in that game. But this is something.

The insurance industry may find that it has made a mistake in attempting to rig the debate like it did the last around.

“There is tremendous interest in our caucus, and, in fact, the Judiciary Committee has had a hearing on ending the exemption to McCarran-Ferguson, the antitrust bill,” Pelosi said, unprompted, at her weekly press conference.

The insurance industry gained the exemption in 1945; in most parts of the country, a single insurer has monopolistic dominance and the ability to set prices.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave rare testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, speaking in favor of ending the anti-trust exemption. Reid is considering removing the exemption in the merged health care bill he is currently writing with other Senate leaders.

I don’t often cheer on Reid or Pelosi, but in this case I’m making a loud exception. Right on, Madame Speaker and Mr. Majority Leader! Take away their antitrust exemption and make them act like the capitalists they claim to be.

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Posted by Chuck Dupree at October 15, 2009 09:41 PM
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I went to a small meeting this morning, with Senator Spector speaking, who the Democratic Establishment is pushing here. I got invited because supposedly I'm an activist or mover and shaker but I don't know where they got that from. Maybe 80 people were invited so it was a pretty intimate setting. I asked the Senator about what his position on this issue was and he said he's for placing all insurance companies under the antitrust regulations, not just the health insurance folks. So that was a surprising answer. I suspect that's the democratic position. Should help the malpractice premiums for doctors by quite a bit as the insurance companies eat the doctors alive with those costs because they know doctors can come up with it.

Although it's a toss up right now if Spector is going to get the nomination. Or if he'll win having switched parties. I'm undecided at this point because I'm going to watch the polls and vote for who I think can beat the Republican candidate. The last poll in a match up with the Republican candidate Toomey had Spector's Democratic challenger Sestak ahead but Spector trailing Toomey. But Sestak loses in a matchup against Spector.

I'll keep an eye on these numbers because it would be great to have two real Democrats in the Senate. Although there's a primal fear that Senator Spector would cross over to his old party. On the other hand Sestak is a retired Admiral and I'm not sure whether he's devoted to keeping the military industrial complex fully funded which I'm against.

I noticed that he'd kept all his aides from his Republican days and unless he hires more Democratic aides, that won't bode well for him. Often the aides are the real ideologues and I don't want Karl Rove knowing in advance every Democratic move. If he keeps all those aides you can probably count on that happening unless Specter is kept in the dark on a lot of things. I think one of Spector's aide was the one that snuck in some legislative language in a bill that wasn't supposed to be there and I think it absolved Bush and Cheney or somebody from their misdeeds but I may be remembering that slightly incorrectly. But something was snuck in by a Spector aide. I'd rather he see the existing aides get other jobs and start fresh with real Democrats. But it won't matter if he loses.

Posted by: Buck on October 16, 2009 10:55 AM
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