Just posted this diary at Kos.

I’m liking the fact that Markos is getting some exposure on Meet the Press today, because I like that political pressure is coming from the left in a way it never did before Markos began this site. ?However….

There’s a reason why Joe Scarborough had that smile on his face, laughing all the way to the Republican bank as he was surrounded by people happily bashing Barack Obama.

And if you can’t figure out the reason that Joe Scarborough was laughing and smiling and sitting with the smugness of a duplicitous game player watching his opponents join him in the game, well……can’t help ya.

I did like two things I saw today on MTP. ?First, both Markos and Howard Dean walked back this “kill the bill” nonsense. ?Second thing I liked was the notion of regulating the health insurance industry as a public utility, both from Howard Dean and from Markos. ?No public option? ?No public competition for the insurance industry? ?Fine. ?Regulate them like a public utility.

Everyone needs health care, just like everyone needs electricity, water, sewers, garbage pickup, you name it. ?I’d like to see if the reconciliation process will go in that route.

And I suspect you’ll find open ears. ?Dennis Kucinich might even be interested, and could even take a lead role. ?After all, Dennis cut his political teeth on public utility battles. ?Dennis was almost recalled as mayor of Cleveland, in fact, put Cleveland into default, over a fight with public utilities, in order to save Cleveland’s only municipal power company. ?Those of us in Cleveland know that battle still defines Dennis’ career, for better or worse.

Progressives get it. ?If you regulate the health insurance industry as a public utility, you can justify mandating everyone buy their product, because of that regulation. ?I haven’t seen that level of regulation in any of the previous bills, perhaps this can be a part of conference discussions.

For example, public utilities must go through open, transparent, and government approved processes before they raise their rates even one cent. ?Why shouldn’t this apply to health insurance? ?I’d just love to see Republicans defending against the notion. ?They’d twist themselves in knots.

At that point, I think Markos will be getting the last laugh on Joe Scarborough.

  • Won't happen, can't happen. If this bill passes, it will be recevied as a hugely emboldening victory by the insurance industry. Their accountability will drop to zero, as none of the “regulations” are enforceable. Many more people will die, because there will be NO penalties for the industry to break the law or their contracts.

    On the other hand, if the bill is defeated, they will be shocked and disoriented and that's the way I want them, because they will be cautious for a while. They will keep their heads down and try to pretend to be “good corporate citizens”. Until private “health “insurance”” is destroyed, that is the best we can attain.

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  • Won't happen, can't happen. If this bill passes, it will be recevied as a hugely emboldening victory by the insurance industry. Their accountability will drop to zero, as none of the “regulations” are enforceable. Many more people will die, because there will be NO penalties for the industry to break the law or their contracts.

    On the other hand, if the bill is defeated, they will be shocked and disoriented and that's the way I want them, because they will be cautious for a while. They will keep their heads down and try to pretend to be “good corporate citizens”. Until private “health “insurance”” is destroyed, that is the best we can attain.

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