Silence Is Sometimes Golden

‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt’ ~ Abraham Lincoln



Jonathan Cohn: Bill Clinton’s Obamacare Comments Are Wrong

in a new interview already getting attention and sure to get more, Clinton didn’t explain things very well. He made a statement that’s likely to create some misimpressions about the possibilities of health care reform, while giving the administration and its allies yet another political headache.

He said that some young people facing higher premiums under the new system should have the right to keep their old plans, even if it requires a change in the law. Clinton framed it carefully: He said specifically he had in mind only those young people whose incomes were higher than four times the poverty line, making them ineligible for subsidies. (That’s about $45,000 for a single adult.) But he also suggested it was a matter of principle, because those people had heard the vow that they could keep their plans: “I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got.”

Clinton’s statement makes it seem as if there is some simple way to let people keep their current plans—to avoid any disruption in the existing non-group market while still delivering the law’s benefits. As readers of this space know, no such magic solution exists.

Broadly speaking, the Affordable Care Act seeks to make two sets of changes to what’s called the “non-group” market. It establishes a minimum set of benefits, which means everything from covering “essential” services to eliminating annual or lifetime limits on payments. At the same time, the law prohibits insurers from discriminating among customers: They can’t charge higher prices, withhold benefits, or deny coverage altogether to people who represent medical risks. They have to take everybody, varying price only for age (within a three-to-one ratio) and for tobacco use.

More here



119 Responses to “Silence Is Sometimes Golden”

  1. 1 vcprezofan2
    November 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm


  2. 13 Linda
    November 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Big Ed is going after the media againg today………..go Ed go !

  3. 14 Roberta in MN
    November 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Hi UT, been working all day, just trying to get caught up. Will start here and work my way back.
    Hi everyone. I hope you all had a great day.

  4. 15 jackiegrumbacher
    November 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    UT, you have been an unrelenting champion and truth teller for ObamaCare and I, for one, am very grateful to you. We are blessed to have you, but I think you are destined for truly great things in life and I’m looking forward to the day when I can vote for you.

    • 16 vcprezofan2
      November 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      ‘UT, you have been an unrelenting champion and truth teller for ObamaCare’

      Hear! Hear!!

      Hmmmm. Or is it, Here! Here! …………. 😉 😉

    • 17 utaustinliberal
      November 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback Jackie. It’s been my honor and pleasure. I’m grateful that my contributions have been well received.

      Thank you.

    • 18 nathkatun7
      November 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Amen, Jackie G! I agree 100% with everything you said about UT! With her combination of intellect and fearlessness she is indeed “destined for truly great things in life….” I would be right behind you in line waiting to vote for her for any position she choses.

  5. 19 utaustinliberal
    November 12, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    • November 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      • 21 99ts
        November 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

        an inconvenient truth

      • 22 hopefruit2
        November 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

        Bill Clinton is no smarter or better at ‘splaining stuff than the current President. If he were THAT good, he would have gotten his health care law passed in the ’90s by just ‘splaining it to congress and to the American people.

        • 23 ERICFIVE
          November 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

          It’s like that scene in the movie “Airplane” where the who Black guys who spoke “jive” needed an interpreter so white folks could understand them. I find the “explainer in chief” nonsense to be insulting. I have always clearly understood what PBO in talking about. The MSM is sending the message (or reflecting the reality) that PBO’s “message” would be more palatable if coming from a white man.

        • 27 carolyn
          November 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm


      • 28 jacquelineoboomer
        November 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      • 29 Obama Grandmama
        November 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        I agree with David’s sentiments concerning not getting healthcare done in the past.

        I have really been proud of PBO getting it done, but am sorry that now that we are closer to midterms again we have Dems chickening out and GOP trying to get elected again with their lies about healthcare. In the past Congress reacts to public outcries or drummed up so called scandals by passing some little bill that is so narrow in scope that it does not address the entire problem. So Bill Clinton also being old school is reacting politically and not aware or not caring about the real outcome of how changing the ACA to let people keep their old crappy program will put at risk the gains made by getting this comprehensive well thought out plan in place.

  6. 30 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    What’s up with CBS?

    • 31 ERICFIVE
      November 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      CBS is acting just like one would expect the communications arm of the GOP to act. CBS is destroying it’s reputation to push a partisan GOP agenda.

    • November 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I am really disappointed in Scott Pelley.

      He seemed objective before, but now he’s cheerleading the likes of Attkisson.

      “On the November 11 edition of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported on supposed ‘security risks’ surrounding the law’s exchange website, HealthCare.gov. Host Scott Pelley alleged that the project manager in charge of building the site ‘was apparently kept in the dark about serious failures in the website’s security.’ Pelley speculated that this could eventually lead to ‘identity theft among people buying insurance.'” …

      / snip

      “As MSNBC’s Steve Benen pointed out, the CBS report leaves out ‘pretty much every relevant detail that points in a more accurate direction,’ most importantly that the supposed security risk relates to a part of the website that won’t be active until Spring 2014 and has nothing to do with the parts of the website that are currently in use. The Hill reported…”

      Attkisson is a primadonna who thinks the govt has nothing better to do that spy on her computer. CBS really promoted that story a couple of months ago.

      Take BobFR’s advice CBS = CLICK OFF.

    • 33 dotster3
      November 12, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      It seems like every discredited leak has come from Issa. He’s a real slimy piece of work.

  7. 34 vcprezofan2
    November 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    LadyHawke reminded me of my old philosopher ‘friend’ recently (might have been last night) – Kahlil Gibran – so I went and laid my hand on my old copy of ‘The Prophet’ to renew our friendship. He actually has something to say to Bill C about his loose lips……

    “You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;

    And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart
    you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

    And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.”

  8. 38 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

  9. November 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    The Philippines is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change for two main reasons: geography and development. As my colleague Brad Plumer points out in an excellent piece on what the Philippines’ experience with Typhoon Haiyan tells us about global efforts to adapt to climate change, a recent United Nations report identified the country as the third-most at-risk from climate change in the world, ranked behind the South Pacific island nations of Vanuatu and Tonga.

    But the Philippines isn’t just susceptible to climate change because it’s an island nation located in a part of the world that gets a lot of big tropical storms. This map, from a report by the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, shows how other specific geographical factors contribute to its particular vulnerability. Regional wind patterns, for example, can worsen the risk posed by extreme rainfall events……

  10. 40 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

  11. 42 Vicki
    November 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Jay Carney saying PBO is looking for a fix for those who lost their junk insurance is NOT the same thing Bill Clinton is talking about.
    A fix is more likely to be price support for the people who would be hard pressed to pay for decent insurance. This group, who is now Outside the federal price support income limits would most likely see an expansion of eligibility that would include them.

    • 43 ERICFIVE
      November 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      That is the way I interpret the situation. Price supports make more sense than allowing junk insurance policies to be exempt from ACA’s minimum requirements.

  12. 44 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Great point by BWD.

    • 45 criquet
      November 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      What is so dishonest about the MSM is that they have spent the last 5 years bashing PBO and being negative. With the ACA roll-out, nothing has been positive just spin and outright lies.Then they poll to really see how their lies and often ill-informed dishonest criticism with few ,if any, balanced and/or positive stories about ACA stories have worked. It is a wonder that PBO is at 39%.
      That is if you even believe any of their bogus polls.
      Let them think it’s working…. we see them.
      Jokers with an agenda so obvious that I think they are just speaking to the already converted.

      • 46 ERICFIVE
        November 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        Well stated. I would also wait to see the internals of the polls the MSM are peddling. Over sampling the South, elderly white men and under representing minorities are just a few of the tricks these devils use to obtain desired results.

        • 47 hopefruit2
          November 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          Yes. And another trick is to frame the question in a leading, emotionally laden way so as to produce a desired answer…..

    • 48 hopefruit2
      November 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      That’s why, poll numbers in the Obama presidency do NOT really say much about him as they say about the people doing the polling, and the samples responding to those pollsters.

      • 49 dotster3
        November 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        I don’t trust any polls, as I think you can get any results you want by the framing of the questions. But I would not be surprised by Obama’s drop because it has been a constant coordinated attack on him, day after day, by every news outlet. I have never seen anything like it. As I have stated, you would think he was the biggest criminal in the world instead of a president who is trying to bring decent health care coverage to all. It’s been mind-boggling.

        • November 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm

          Don’t worry. They’ll keep trying until they get his numbers down to that of Congress. It’s their goal, after all, ever since 2007. How dare that man run for president !!!

  13. November 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    How could you change the law to do this? It would be really, really hard. The main rationale for Obamacare is that the individual-health-care market is dysfunctional. Most people who can’t get group insurance — either through their job or through a government-financed plan, like Medicare — can’t get any insurance at all. Insurers have to make sure they don’t attract sick customers, so they either attach hidden conditions to their insurance to protect against covering expensive care, or else limit their policies to very healthy people. That’s why people with individual insurance are much less satisfied than people with group-based insurance.

  14. November 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Oh for F*** sake,

    @jbendery 14s
    ! MT @DavidMDrucker: Sen Feinstein announces she’s cosponsoring Landrieu bill to let people keep health plans.

  15. November 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    57andFemale posted a link to this article at the end of the previous thread, a tweet that said Lara Logan’s husband worked as a Bush propogandist in Iraq, as a liaison between US PsychOps and Iraq media.

    To the tune of $100 million (not her husband, but the contractor he worked for). Such appalling waste and greed.

    The GWBush adm, who suffered barely a ripple in the media when they lied about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.

    CBS, fire Logan now.

    • 59 dotster3
      November 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      I don’t get why this significant tidbit is not more widespread. I’ve noticed that other media who have commented/criticized the 60 Minutes story/apology have tiptoed around the name Lara Logan, so softly that they never mention her name. Protecting their own, or because she’s cute? It is obvious that she came into that story with an agenda. Would anyone trust any story she reports from now on? Answer: No. CBS needs to release her to spend more time with her family, or current love interest.

  16. 60 hopefruit2
    November 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Here is an example of what I talked about earlier – the media doing its level best to protect the GOP at all costs. This focus on “congress” and not the GOP is to try to hurt the Democrats for 2014.

  17. 61 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    • November 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      I really doubt Warren has any broad strength in this for several reasons but whatever.

      • 63 jacquelineoboomer
        November 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        With you totally but whatever.

        • 64 hopefruit2
          November 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm

          I agree with you and meta. It’s not an either or scenario between Hillary and Warren. There are many other qualified Dems who will announce their candidacy when the time is right. The fact that they’re not trying to rain on the current President reflects their good judgment.

          • 65 jacquelineoboomer
            November 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm

            There ya go!

          • 66 theo67
            November 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

            Bravo – this is an important point. We’re not even a year into the current President’s second term. He’s got a full agenda, and plenty of initiatives that need public support. These people are clueless to the fact that we need a strong Democratic 4 years in order to propel Dems to take over the House, and leave President Obama’s second term with lots of strength. That’s what will ensure strong Democratic victory in 2016 – for any candidates! Spending precious time (including precious air time) being “ready for Hillary” or other such nonsense is counter productive, and almost as good as sabotage. There will be an onslaught of dark money, toxic propaganda and 24-hour “faux news” coverage to contend with in 2014 and 2016 – being “ready for Hillary” won’t counter that. Having an electorate that is educated, realizes what Dems have fought for and achieved – that will be what’s important.

  18. 68 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    • 69 criquet
      November 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      The same media that salivated over the failure of Clinton’s health care failure and every Monica revelation is now holding Clinton up as an Oracle.

      OK, then.

  19. 70 hopefruit2
    November 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I thought Jeff was a strong Hillary supporter. I guess when you cross PBO, that’s a no-go for him.

    • November 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, this is surprising because he’s tweeted pro HRC in the recent past. I think he’s figuring out not much has changed.

      • 72 criquet
        November 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        Maybe this is why.

      • November 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        Wow, he’s really going off the rails! Check out his TL!

      • 74 carolyn
        November 12, 2013 at 7:12 pm

        Maybe he has learned from experience…..HRC and WJC will always be out for themselves. Their interest is themselves, and that’s it.
        I can hardly stand the idea of Bill roaming around the East Wing with little to do…..!!!
        I’m counting on someone like Gov O’Malley or someone else announcing in 2015…..I’m not conceding anything to Hillary.

  20. 76 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm

  21. 80 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Oh boy, people are stirred up:

  22. November 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Hopefruit2 brought me around to be skeptical of anything the MSM says.

    I was reluctant at first, because it seems like such a cynical POV, but boy howdy, the MSM isn’t even bothering to cover their tracks in their unbashed treasonous views of this administration.

    While the MSM spins that PBO’s approval matches GWB’s at the height of Abu Ghraib, they fail to mention that Americans overwhelmingly approve his initiatives. Could it be their polling is based on white Southern men over 55?

    Shameful and despicable.

  23. November 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Call me kooky, but the evil part of me thinks Bill’s comments are a way to piss off the Obama coalition and scupper Hilary’s chances. I really think that marriage is War of the Roses lived out in real life.

  24. 88 Isack Gen 44
    November 12, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Hello everyone, some of you remember me from OFA as IsackGen44. Wanted to stop by and say how much I appreciate all you do to stay focused on the job ahead, and the fact that there is so much more left for President Obama to do for the people. Do not listen to the media that is suffering from ratings dip and is looking for gossips and made up stuff to remain relevant. President Obama will be fine, we need to support his agenda. Here is one idea I had for the people who are losing their Awful plans they apparently want to keep:

    Could we Pass the Public OPTION for these people? Thank you all.

    • November 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Isack, thanks for dropping in. The public option would be wonderful, but the notion that PBO could have got that through has always been ridiculous, the votes were never there. Have no clue why people refuse to see that.

      • 90 Isack Gen 44
        November 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm

        Good to stop by. My only point is this:

        Private insurers are playing politic and there is nothing to keep them in check. As they continue to cancel people’s catastrophic plans, If there was a Public Option, a TRUE govt offered insurance with prices very LOW in the exchange, that would force these Private insurers to now have to compete against the Low Prices of the Public Option, and their behaviors would change as they would want to do everything to keep their policy holders.

        COMPETITION! Isn’t that was faux republicans say?

        A public Option is a GREAT IDEA and solution to solving this “keep your plan” stuff. It is a progressive idea that will work, and is better idea than what Landrieu and ilks are concocting.

  25. November 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

  26. November 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Behind the scenes, people, behind the scenes:

  27. 100 desertflower
    November 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    As an educator, I found this quite right and fascinatingly spot on…

  28. November 12, 2013 at 7:21 pm

  29. 102 jacquelineoboomer
    November 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

  30. 106 hopefruit2
    November 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

  31. November 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

  32. 112 criquet
    November 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm


  33. 114 Don
    November 12, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I really hope Hillary takes the Whitehouse in 2016 just so I can sit back and watch Bill finally ruin the Clinton. His latest comments about Obamacare was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hillary lost to Barack in 2008 and you’re hurt and you lash out, hey, I can understand that. But after Barack takes the Whitehouse and names Hillary S.O.S, you were supposed to sit back, shut the fuck up, and be a good soldier. But not, you couldn’t stop running your mouth, even after Barack let you play in his sandbox. Any other President would have told you to get lost after the first time you came out your mouth sideways. But Barack being the type of man and leader that he is, he continued to let you sit at the table. I think that you’re taking this whole “chief of explaining shit” routine a bit too serious, the real reason Barack let you explain things is because some people are so stupid that they refuse to believe anything a black man says, and that’s where you come in. You are the “chief of explaining shit to stupid people.” And now you open up your mouth about health care, which by the way you and Hillary couldn’t get it passed the guard shack at the Whitehouse. Just go away, Bill.

  34. November 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    So combine the “accident” in the bathroom with getting my most needy, annoying customer on the phone, and yeah, I need a cocktail. But, on the up side, I’ll have a clean house to return to.

  35. 117 Claire
    November 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Since 1860 the Democrats have never put more than two consecutive presidents into the White House. The only times the Democrats have had two presidents in a row were when Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman served between 1933 and 1953, and when John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were in office from 1961 to 1969.

    The republicans best weapon for preventing that from happening again (other than Democrats turning on one another as usual) = Bill Clinton.

  36. 119 jacquelineoboomer
    November 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm

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