We are the 99%

November 23, 2009

Rep. Jason Altmire does not want to cover the uninsured


You pay for my family's health insurance.
Suckers!

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"The goal of this bill and the selling point for it when they were trying to round up the votes was, 'Isn't it wonderful that we're going to cover 30 million uninsured people?' That shouldn't be the goal. The goal is, we want to bring down the cost of health care for families and small businesses and especially the government," Altmire said.
Shorter Altmire: If you don't have health insurance now shut up and die.
.

13 comments:

Clyde Wynant said...

Certainly cost containment is important, but for this Blue Dog to use that single issue as a way to scuttle this bill is just flat out wrong -- and it flies in the face of the voters who elected him to be the "anti-Melissa Hart."

Had we wanted this vote, why did we vote for him?

My guess is that Jason wants to make sure that a private sector health care job will be waiting for him when the voters finally catch on and boot his ass out....which might not be too long from now.

Bram Reichbaum said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: in order to be consistent with his explanations, Jason Altmire should relinquish his own health coverage and let himself and his family go medically insured. Otherwise he's only perpetuating the current costly system -- just like those 30 million Americans he valiantly attempted to prevent from being covered in order to starve the beast.

Come on, Jason. Let's see your principled boycott.

Blue Number 2 said...

Let me take a different view of this. If we make the goal of the bill to bring down costs for everyone, we can then cover those without insurance. If we make the goal to cover those without insurance, it doesn't then directly lead to bringing down the costs for everyone.

With a bill this historic, we need to do it right...in a way that makes sense for everyone. I have no problem with his approach on this as long as it eventually leads to a good bill. By his own account, the Senate bill is much better than the House bill in these regards.

Maria said...

"If we make the goal of the bill to bring down costs for everyone, we can then cover those without insurance."

So you want a two-step process. Bring costs down and then come up with a plan to cover the uninsured.

In the meantime, those without insurance get sicker/die.

More than 44,000 Americans die every year – 122 every day – due to lack of health insurance.

How much longer to do you propose they wait?

Sorry, UNACCEPTABLE.

Blue Number 2 said...

Not a two-step process Maria. We're talking about the same bill. We're arguing over semantics here. What is the "goal" of the bill?

The process we are witnessing is the bill-making process. Congressman Altmire's objection is to the House bill. Just because he voted against the House bill doesn't mean he doesn't want a healthcare bill or that he doesn't want to insure the un-insured.

Remember that he actually campaigned on the idea of extending Medicare to everyone. Does that sound like someone who isn't in favor of healthcare reform, covering the uninsured or even the "public" option?

Maria said...

What he campaigned on and what he does are two different thing -- just like what he told R's and what he told D's when running.

Let's see what Altmire said last week:

When Congress set out to accomplish health-care reform earlier this year, I had two main goals in mind: slowing the growth of health-care spending over the long term and building a system that focuses on quality of care, rather than simply quantity of care. Achieving these goals would allow us to greatly reduce the number of Americans without health-insurance coverage and improve the quality and affordability of our health-care system overall.


"[G]reatly reduce", not eliminate.

If he's so strongly in favor of a Medicare for all type plan, please explain what HE DID exactly to produce that?

If he's so strongly in favor of a Medicare for all type plan, why wasn't that his goal???

Blue Number 2 said...

So now you're splitting hairs that he said greatly reduce and not eliminate? I think your outrage is a bit misplaced on that one.

I don't work for him; I'm only a constituent. So I don't know exactly the machinations that he's been involved with behind the scenes.

But I ran into him at Lowes in Cranberry on Saturday and talked with him specifically about the House bill versus the Senate bill. He wants to pass a good healthcare bill. Just because he voted against the House bill doesn't mean he won't vote for a final bill.

Do you leave open the posssiblity that the House bill wasn't good? That maybe it missed the mark of good legislation.

Look, I'll be upset with him too if he doesn't vote for the final bill. And by all means we should talk to him, pressure him, cajole him to make sure he's pushing for the things we want in this bill (and the things we don't...like the Stepak amendment). But I don't think inferring that he wants those without coverage to "shut up and die" moves the debate forward.

Maria said...

Not splitting hairs if you are or know one of the DEAD.

The House bill passed by two votes -- NO THANKS TO ALTMIRE.

He wants to pass a good healthcare bill. Just because he voted against the House bill doesn't mean he won't vote for a final bill.

There would be bo bill period if it hadn't passed in the House.

Again, people are DYING.

Right now.
Today.
Dead.

His vote was purely POLITICAL.

And, even now your're telling me that this big champion of "extending Medicare to everyone" doesn't even know if he'll vote for a final bill at all?

Again, please explain what HE DID exactly to produce that ("extending Medicare to everyone")?

Again, if he's so strongly in favor of a Medicare for all type plan, why wasn't that his goal???

He was and IS and lobbyist for the health care industry.

No more and no less.

Blue Number 2 said...

Maria, you use a quote by him in your own comment that "Achieving these goals would allow us to greatly reduce the number of Americans without health-insurance coverage and improve the quality and affordability of our health-care system overall." What is wrong with that? How is that contrary to the principles that you are espousing?

He's doing the work of a legislator. And most of that work isn't reported on. I've attended a meeting with him where he discusses the work he's doing behind the scenes. Can I enumerate to you preciesly what those steps are...no. I didn't take notes.

But, as a constituent, I am currently satisfied that he is representing my interests as someone who is in favor of the same things you are and that he is doing the work to further the progress of good healthcare reform.

My opinion would change if he doesn't vote for a final bill (for the record, I didn't say that "he doesn't know if he'd vote for the final bill).

Blue Number 2 said...

Qualifier...except that I'm not in favor of his vote on the Stepak amendment.

Maria said...

I wasn't even going to bring Stupak up, but now that you mentioned it: it takes some nerve to both vote for Stupak and against the HCR.

Altmire raked in over $100,000 in campaing contributions from the health care industry in this cycle alone.

Moreover, he seems far more concerned about the wealthy than the sick:

Maybe the rich comprise a better percentage of the Democratic base than I thought, because that’s who Altmire seems to be fighting for:

•July 17: Altmire voted “no” as a member of the Health & Labor Committee against 3200 because of wealth surtax.
•September 11: Altmire: “I – I’m speaking for myself, I think that the public option may, if it’s done correctly may be a part of the package and could play a role. As Congresswoman Woolsey described, it would have to [be] airtight, completely self-sustaining, not funded through taxpayer subsidies, and have to meet all the same insurance regulations. So, I don’t think that is the sticking point for the Blue Dogs and the moderate members. I think what we are most concerned about is we have to do this in a fiscally responsible way.”
•September 22: “Altmire’s chief complaint about his own chamber’s bill was the inclusion of a surtax on the wealthy. But he said he didn’t expect that provision to make it through, and he signaled that excluding it would allow him to vote for the final bill.”

Blue Number 2 said...

As for the surtax, he's explained that he's not in favor of that particular provision because it is not consistent with the overall bill.

In no way is he "fighting for the wealthy".

Maybe I'm in the minority here but I just don't believe hyperbole like this helps. Why can't we discuss the facts without resorting to grand conspiracies and gross generalizations?

I guess that wouldn't be nearly as entertaining.

Maria said...

This is not about some obsure provision in some bill.

This is about life and death.

Mr. Pro Life voted against life.

You can call that hyperbole, but there 122 people who will die TODAY because they don't have health insurance.

I don't find that entertaining.