The Senator Henceforth to Be Known as Jay Rock

I’ve been threatening to do this for a while: ditching the moniker "Jello Jay." And while I was going to hold out until we actually got a public option through the Senate, I gotta say that nothing seems to have gotten under MaxTax Baucus’ skin so much as Jay Rock picking apart, detail by detail, the many ways in which the MaxTax is a big giveaway to the health care industry. Here’s Jay Rock echoing Wendell Potter.  And here he is noting how impotent Congress has been at trying to reign in the helath care industry with measly little laws. 

Update, via Digby: Jonathan Cohn explains why Jay Rock showed up to champion health care.

Over the last few weeks Jay Rockefeller has emerged as the Senate’s most visible spokesman for a public insurance option. And, purely from a public relations standpoint, this is something of a mixed blessing. He comes from West Virginia and is pretty popular there, so that certainly helps bring non-coastal credibility to the cause. But Rockefeller speaks in a plodding, rambling style that doesn’t always make for great television. He’s also pretty stubborn, which makes him a loud advocate but not necessarily an effective one, at least given the way the U.S. Senate works.

But Rockefeller gets something better than almost anybody I’ve seen–something he’s expressed in interviews and, most recently, during this weeks hearings of the Senate Finance Committee. It’s how everyday people, particularly those without a lot of money, interact with the health care system. It’s easy to treat health care as an abstraction–to make it all about economic theories and Congressional Budget Office projections. (I’m surely guilty of this myself.) Rockefeller sees it through the eyes of West Virginians making $30,000 a year–people who just want to know they can pay their premiums and that, if they do, the insurance they get will protect them when they get sick. 

Rockefeller’s ability to channel these feelings may seem odd, given his privileged pedigree. But it makes sense given what he’s done with his career. Remember, West Virginia didn’t choose him. He chose West Virginia, starting with his service as a VISTA volunteer. He knows his constituents very well. And he acts that way.

It’s a great piece, but I’d add one thing. I actually think Jay Rock’s stubbornness may be effective, partly because others in the Senate can explain it in terms they understand. A bunch of them–MaxTax Baucus, perhaps–will just attribute it to pique over MaxTax’s bypassing Jay Rock’s Sub-Committee. It seems to me that boorishness is forgiveable in the Senate when motivated by defense of privilege and protocol. That may not be why Jay Rock is doing this–Cohn makes a good case it’s not. But I think Jay Rock will be excused for being stubborn here, which will give him license to be as stubborn as he needs to be to be effective. 

110 replies
  1. JimWhite says:

    Yeah, but I still hate him for his FSIA shit. This was good behavior today, but he still is owned by the Telcos. I guess the health insurance companies just wouldn’t come up with as much cash for him.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      JimWhite, I generally agree with you, but I do believe this comes from Rockefeller’s deepest beliefs. Plus, after what’s gone on the last 8 years, and with the TARP mess, it almost looks as if he’s kind of ‘liberated’ and ready to go full steam ahead.

      Jane Hamsher has the inside scoop no doubt, but from where I sit it appears that Jay Rock dug in his heels a week or two ago, and like a big rock in a river, has forced events to flow around him. Good to see.

      • Teddy Partridge says:

        Old Standard Oil’s namesake saw all that netroots action during FISA and thought, “How can I get myself some of that nasty love they threw down for Dodd and Feingold?”

        Never underestimate politicians’ capacity for ego-stroking.

    • NelsonAlgren says:

      You are right. He’s still Jello Jay on national security matters but is coming up huge on health care. Go figure!! I think he can be called both depending on which issue is being discussed.

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Emptywheel, this strikes me as one more sign of your integrity.

    Rockefeller has earned it, and it’s heartwarming to watch him demonstrate mastery and a willingness to get down in the weeds of such a complex set of issues as those involving health care policy.

    “Jay Rock” might take a bit of getting used to after several years of “Jello Jay”, but it’s a rare pleasure when someone comes through and surprises with decency, commitment, and determination.

    I’m going to savor the moment and relish typing “Jay Rock”.

    • freepatriot says:

      Emptywheel, this strikes me as one more sign of your integrity

      could be

      but if she starts praising scrapple next week, we’ll know it was a cry for help

      (duckin & runnin)

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        FOTFLMAO ;-)))))))))

        That is something that I don’t ever expect to see!
        Damn, you have one hell of a sense of humor sometimes ;-))

      • bmaz says:

        Hey Houston, we got ourselves a problem then. She has already backed off of Haggis. Next thing ya know, she will be calling him “the distinguished senior senator from Pennsylvania”. I’m tellin ya, she’s going all wishy washy on us. Then it will be all lovey dovey with Rape Gurney Joe….

        • bobschacht says:

          Did you see the clips of Sen. Haggis at his August town hall meetings? In the clips I saw, he sounded like a decent Democrat, supporting health care reform.

          As he approaches a primary contest with Sestak(?), we may hear him singing a different tune than he has sung in recent years.

          Bob in AZ

        • emptywheel says:

          Dood!! I know you don’t get back to the civilization of the East Coast much. But you obviously know shit-all about Scrapple if you think that that amounts to backing off Haggis.

          I mean jeebus. I’ve eaten Haggis in fancy $100/plate restaurants. But there’s just one place you get scrapple and that’s off the ass end of a pig.

    • Hmmm says:

      Jay Rock…sounds like … maybe even a porn stage name

      Eeeeee-eeeeeeeewwwwwww!!!!! Geez, pass the ol’ brain bleach, wouldja?

      The wrinkles… the wrinkles…


  3. MadDog says:

    Perhaps the change seen in Jello Jay to that of Jay Rock was influenced by word of this:

    EFF Wins Release of Telecom Lobbying Records
    Government Must Provide More Information on Campaign to Give Telecoms Retroactive Immunity

    San Francisco – A judge ordered the government Thursday to release more records about the lobbying campaign to provide immunity to the telecommunications giants that participated in the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White ordered the records be provided to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) by October 9, 2009.

    The decision is part of EFF’s long-running battle to gather information about telecommunications lobbying conducted as Congress considered granting immunity to companies that participated in illegal government electronic surveillance. Telecom immunity was eventually passed as part of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008, but a bill that would repeal the immunity — called the JUSTICE Act — was introduced in the Senate last week…

    …The DOJ and ODNI argued that the records requested by EFF were protected by FOIA exemptions covering agency deliberations and other privileged communications. But in today’s order, the judge ruled that as the communications were with Congress and lobbyists, the exemptions did not apply. The judge also found that the identities of telecom representatives who lobbied for immunity could not be kept from the public on privacy grounds…

    The order is here (10 page PDF).

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Whoo HOO! That may well be part of Jay Rock’s source of strength, but I’m wondering if he wasn’t really slammed by Kennedy’s illness and death.

      Maybe he really does care about his legacy at this point in his life too.

      It was so nice to hear Jay Rock speak so wonderfully today.

      Nice to see Jello turning to Rock.

      • PaulaT says:

        I have also wondered if Kennedy’s death has had an impact. It almost seems as if he is stepping up to fill the son of privilege looking out for the little guy role. Maybe he could get away with more waffling when Kennedy was that guy and he was just another guy but now he feels the need to lead. Or maybe he’s just liberal on health care and not on national security. Or maybe the outcry and polls for the public option influence him as much as the everyone must be a patriot fervor did, but we just like this influence better. Whatever the reason, I’m glad he’s standing up and I love that he is telling it like it is to Baucus’ face on C-SPAN. No Harry Reid helping to hide the culprits, he’s calling them out and stirring the pot.

  4. emptywheel says:

    Well, he’s also no longer Chair on SSCI. SO we have the luxury of beating up DiFi (who is, it should be said, apparently conducting a real investigation of torture) when she screws up.

    Not much chance we’ll lose the DiFi moniker, though I’d love to be wrong.

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Feinstein is also in favor of having gitmo types come to California in order to close down the place.

      “So you’re okay with these detainees going to California?” Wallace asked.

      “Yes,” Feinstein replied. “In a maximum security prison — I don’t worry about it, provided the prison is set up to accommodate it and I believe we have facilities that are.”

      Maybe she’s doing penance for the Mukasey enthusiasm.

      • PJEvans says:

        Possibly, but I think there are a lot of empty cells at Pelican Bay. No one wants to be sent there: it’s remotely-controlled everything.

        • Loo Hoo. says:

          It’s my understanding that the serious gangsters see it as a badge of honor to spend time at Pelican Bay.

          If any serious Al-Qaeda types go there, they would need be separated from the gangsters if they have anything less than life without parole.

          • PJEvans says:

            The thing is, they wouldn’t have any contact. It’s really high-security: they can let one cell door open at a time, one prisoner exercise at a time, and he wouldn’t have any idea how many others were in the building, because the doors aren’t barred, they’re solid, with just a little window at most.

            That’s why the gangsters think it’s a mark of honor: it’s really a bad place to be in. (It’s way the hell in the middle of the North Woods, too, not close to anywhere that’s easy to get to. Or from.)

  5. DaveLatchaw says:

    If you leave Jello sitting out long enough, it gets pretty darn hard. I think Jay is still at the rubbery stage.

  6. cregan says:

    Here is a point we can agree on: Rockefeller did a great job pointing out the problems with the Max Tax. I don’t think he went far enough, but he went pretty far.

  7. barrelofmonkeys says:

    Did anyone see the C-span coverage of J. Rock’s speech, where he pounds on the desk and Grassley starts mocking the pounding motion to the Republican side? My eyeballs almost popped out.

  8. prostratedragon says:

    OT: Reports: Mysterious, unregistered security firm policing Montana town

    According to a local media report, APF [”American Police Force”] representatives were recently seen in the tiny town of Hardin, Montana, driving black SUV’s with a peculiar logo and, inexplicably, “City of Hardin Police Department” stamped on the door.

    However, Hardin does not have a police force.

    The APF logo which appears on its patrol cars appears to have been ripped off from an obscure Serbian coat-of-arms recorded in Burke’s Peerage. The company, which is based in Santa Ana, CA, has an attorney handling public inquiries, one Mr. Mafi, whose normal specialties are in personal injury and malpractice, presumably medical, law. Though declining to provide details of the identity of APF’s parent firm or their financing, Mr. Malfi had these remarks about APF:

    It will gradually be more clear as things go along. The nature of this entity is private security and for security purposes, as well as for the interest of their clientele, that’s why they prefer not to be upfront.

    Well all right then!

    Maybe the good folks of Hardin can use this for a town anthem.

    To a Familiar Tune

    We’d better find out who they are.
    We’d better find out where they came
    Things are
    Very weird …

    (Apologies to Mr. Badalamenti.)

    • Garrett says:

      The appeals court ruled Rather failed to sufficiently support his claim that he lost business opportunities due to CBS’s failure to release him to seek other employment.

      Without context, this comes across as insane. Newspapers should provide links to the opinions.

      • JohnJ says:

        It popped up on Google news and I just grabbed the Reuters since they seem to be closer to the raw press releases.

        There’s a bunch of MSM links out there, I can’t seem to get links working in my responses.

      • Hmmm says:

        If I understood correctly, even though they didn’t put him on the air, they continued to pay him the promised $6MM. So not necessarily quite as loopy as it at first may seem.

  9. melior says:

    Quite cheeky of APF to list ”Kidknapping & Ransom” so openly in their list of services right along with ”Military Advisors”, ”Special Forces Training”, and ”Convoy Security (Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan & more)”!

    Guess the euphemism ”extraordinary rendition” is, like, so yesterday now…

  10. warrenterrah says:

    I am probably not going to make a popular comment on this site right now but…. it’s harder to explain to people what you are asking for in FISA when you have had a terrah attack and you have an admin that’s bound and determined to call anybody and everybody the friend of terrahrists, anti-American etc. etc. than it is to talk about healthcare. I am not thrilled about Jello Jay’s actions regarding FISA but I understand where he’s coming from and at the end of the day Rocky is no DINO unlike Baucus, Lincoln and Ben Nelson.

  11. prostratedragon says:

    Blind Spots R Us:

    This reporter from the region goes to Hardin to check out a few rumors, including one I hadn’t run into yet about a gate being built around the town; apparently no such activity is taking place. The reporter tells us that if we’re starting to think this whole story sounds like a movie, we could be wrong.

    The movie he has in mind is Blazing Saddles.

    [But the truth will bubble up on one, won’t it: the local waterway governing body is the Two Rivers Authority, not the Twin Rivers Authority.]

    • prostratedragon says:

      Gawker adds this:

      Muckraker Kevin Flaherty, however, discovered that APF’s website shares an IP address with Defense Product Solutions, which was founded in 2004, has contracts in the Middle East and works with a man named Edward Angelino, who in turn has worked with the militarily-inclined Allied Defense Systems, Inc. and Defense Consulting Group, Inc. A tangled web, indeed.

      And on the side, a little New Jack City tango from Rahm, danced in true Argentine style:

      15 Minutes,

      because thus passes the shinola of the “tango” dancer who is ’bout out of tricks.

  12. JamesJoyce says:

    This is no longer a country where “we the people” control our destiny. It is “US THE CORPORATIONS!” This country as Jefferson feared, would have basic constitutional law usurped under the color of procedural law, by corporations hellbent on enslavement of the American people. The uncanny similarity between for profit and tax exempt insurance health corporations, which operate at the state level to a slave owners and segregationist who clearly usurped “civil rights” at the state level is glaring! Corporations and monied interests are undermining the constitutional rights of Americans everyday. The restrictions placed on government by our founders have been slowly eviscerated, while corporations prey on aspects of life usually beyond one’s control, which determine the Liberty you may never enjoy!

    Understand this, our lives are to be taxed to protect corporations who control your access to health care via discrimination hence your Life! Mandated Health Insurance is the new “American Life Tax.” Now to address the disgusting behavior of “corporations” some in Congress want Americans enslaved corporations, ie Corporate Servitude aided by corpo-aristocrats we saw yesterday!

    Servitude to Corporations enabled by the color of law? The enemy from within! This is quite frankly “unfricking believable!” You will pay a tax penalty for failing to enter into a contract with a corporation merely because you have a life! Corporate Sodomy!

  13. NAVDOC3rdMAR says:

    baucus, conrad, carper, lincoln and nelson – These criminally corrupt “DINO blue dogs” need primary challengers who will replace them next election.

    Senators Rockefeller, Schumer, Stabenow and Widen did a great job pointing out that the Medical Industrial Complex’s contribution to the Health Care Reform is $20 Billion and in return they will get $500 Billion in TAX-PAYER FUNDED SUBSIDIES. Nice deal if you can get it. Oh, yeah the Medical Industrial Complex has bought and paid for baucus, conrad, carper, lincoln, nelson and all of the republicans. The worst Congress money can buy.

    Criminally corrupt politicians are the reason the U.S. is ranked near the bottom of every catagory when ranked next to other modern, industrialized nations. Time for publically funded elections.

    The Congress is back in session and doing the dirty work for the Medical Industrial Complex.

    mcconnell $3.3M, hatch $2.9M, baucus $2.8M, grassley $2.7M,
    lieberman $2.6M, burr $2.4M, ensign $2.4M, cornyn $2.2M, kyl $2.1M,
    conrad $2.1M, cantor $1.8M, boehner $1.7M, coburn $1.2M, j wilson 800K
    were paid by the Medical Industrial Complex to kill Health Care Reform.

    Co-Author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler of a Recent Harvard Study on Annual Deaths of America’s Uninsured, says the lack of coverage can be tied to about 45,000 deaths a year in the United States. The only way to affordably cover all Americans is through a Medicare-for-All, Single-Payer System. A Single-Payer System would generate $300-$400 billion in administrative savings annually, enough to cover all of the uninsured, and to plug the gaps in coverage for Americans with only partial coverage. Obviously, Medicare-for-all is anathema to the insurance industry. What politicians are doing is saving insurance industry profits, by sacrificing American lives.

    12 Million Americans were denied health care coverage by the Medical Industrial Complex because they had a pre-existing medical condition. 12K Americans are denied insurance coverage everyday by a for-profit Insurance bureaucrat. (Source: WaPo Article 05′ by Harvard Prof. E. Warren)

    Medical malpractice lawsuits are a hot topic but, are they? Tort Reform is such a “Red Herring” and is easily disproved. A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office said medical malpractice makes up only 2 percent of U.S. health spending. Even “significant reductions” would do little to curb health-care expenses, it concluded.

    bush(43) economic speech writer david frum, at least, is willing to admit the idea about selling insurance across state lines is a crock:

    New Jersey health policies cost more in large part because New Jersey hospitals and doctors charge more. If I buy a cheaper Kentucky policy that reimburses my providers at Kentucky rates, leaving me to pay the balance, how much good does that do me? And if the Kentucky policy is made to pay New Jersey rates, there vanishes my low Kentucky price.

    These are some of the easily refuted arguments bought and paid for by the Medical Industrial Complex to derail any chance of their criminally massive profits being reduced.

    Follow the Money: Link

    Call Congress and demand, Single-Payer Health Care for All!

    (Toll Free # House and Senate)
    1-866-338-1015 _____ 1-866-220-0044
    1-800-473-6711 _____ 1-866-311-3405

    Sign Single-Payer Petition: Link

    Don’t let the Medical Industrial Complex steal your Health Care from you and your family by donating huge sums of money to Crooked Politicians in order to maintain the Status Quo. Keep up the good fight.


    • JamesJoyce says:

      To Life and Liberty. Not corporate servitude enabled by corrupt politicians undermining individual’s life and liberty while protecting corporate profit at life’s expense.

  14. klynn says:

    About two weeks ago, Christy posted a nice long comment to a point I made about Jay in one of her healthcare posts. Christy’s comment focused on the “why” Jay was a champion on healthcare and addressed his history as a VISTA volunteer in WV. I’ll try to find it.

  15. Leen says:

    Really like it when Rockin Jello Jay repeated Wendell Potter’s title for any legislation that does not include the Public option “Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act”. Just says it all.

    Still pissed off that there was Phase I and Phase II of the SSCI into false pre war intelligence and not one warmongering thug has been held accountable. What is the point of all that investigating? Show boating?

    Now the Rethuglicans are on to Acorn. False pre war intelligence is not as juicy as investigaing blowjobs and poor people.

    Rockin Jello Jay has lots of constituents in W Virginia working for around 30,ooo in those eco tourism spots like Snoeshoe W Virg. Intrawest owns that area as well as many other ski areas out west. Last time I was down there was around five years ago. Several times I was riding the lift with folks who were working there. One guy had worked the lifts for 25 years. He did not seem to mind when I was asking (either did other people) what he was making and did he have insurance. He was making 12.oo bucks an hour after working 25 years and no insurance because he was marked up as 3/4 time. He did maintenance when snow season was over.

    When I asked him and other workers about union organizing in the area. He and the others said you get slapped down as soon as they smell union organizing in the area


    profits for Intrawest…..E1998.html

    • emptywheel says:

      Actually, one of my biggest complaints about Cohn’s piece is he pegged it at $30,000 rather than $20,000, which is more realistic for many WVians. Hell, he and I both live in AA, and our poverty rate just went up 5% this year (it is admittedly skewed by the number of students, but nevertheless such an increase is fairly shocking). If, living in MI, you’re not attuned to how people who are making $30,000 or less are struggling, then you’ve got issues.

      • Leen says:

        EW “If, living in MI, you’re not attuned to how people who are making $30,000 or less are struggling, then you’ve got issues”

        If living in any state in the U.S.

        You are exactly right about the 30 down to 20 figure. Many people making 20 and less, trying to fill it in with under the table work.

  16. gerryphillyesq says:

    Jay Rockefeller is the latest example in a long line of individuals from privileged families who connect to those who have less. Teddy and Bobby Kennedy, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt also come to mind. As to Jay’s position on FISA, I would point out that none of us are perfect in our lives. Let’s recognize his integrity and his humanity and cheer on his effort to bring forward a decent health care bill.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Guess it require “responsible aristocrats” to check, counter, skin alive aristocrats less concerned with protecting rights and law, more concerned with manipulation of law for power and profit. The Origin of Good Government? Kennedy compared to Cheney?

      “Let’s recognize his integrity and his humanity and cheer on his effort to bring forward a decent health care bill.”

      Yes, Jello Jay must have mixed some “calcium” into his “concrete mix” to expedite his “curing” into hard concrete!

        • JamesJoyce says:

          I agree with you. In this instance Senator Rockefeller arguably an aristocrat is responsible and is looking out for the “rights” of his constituents, good governance! Yes! Give him credit, like you stated. However like Norske said, “…end of story.”

          I do not view Cheney as a responsible politician/aristocrat!
          I view EMK even with his personal flaws a more responsible pol/aristocrat than the later. I believe the corporate interest in America is at odds with the interests of the governed and the republic and that the agent of change, government continues to be hijacked by corporations made rich by American consumerism. Now corporations consume the remains of the consumers?

          • gerryphillyesq says:

            I agree with you regarding the danger of corporate wealth. I think that a case can be made that the corporate culture acted to warp Cheney’s values into the unacceptable mess they are. Or perhaps that his values were already askew – his history of deferments during Vietnam coupled with his warmongering once in government point to a lack of recognition of the human cost of war both in combatants and in civilians. Returning to the topic, I think we need now more than ever to stand up and be counted so that a public option (at the least, if not single payer) along with the revocation of health insurers antitrust exemption is adopted.

  17. SmileySam says:

    Back to the diary topic…
    Jello Jay is the name I will continue to use. JJ knows about this nickname and has decided he needs to try and shake it. All the damage he help make happen to our civil rights we may never be able to repair or regain. HCR is a easy thing for him to stand up for because it cost him nothing in the eyes of the Defense Industry where most if not all his money and power comes from.
    Let us wait and see how he votes on the Bill to make it possible to finally go after the Telecoms and try to repair the damage done by the Patriot Acts before we start giving credit where it is not yet due.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      Citizen SmileySam:

      Careful, Brother Sam, thatchu don’t deflect responsibility for all the damage to our civil rights with regard to FISA and illegal surrveillance onto one Senator who may in fact have been the least responsible for the criminal acts perpertrated through the intelligence committees and actually may have been the only one involved who had the integrity to leave a record of opposition. As for integrity and standing up for something, I give you our Senator Finegold who when facin’ a re-election fight next year is usin’ his subcommittee chairmanship to investigate Obama’s “czars”…now THAT is some bullshit courage!!

      Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, Rockefeller’s stand for his constituency on healthcare is to be supported, period end of story…don’t cut off your leg because you have a sore toe (or anger at rich politicians) there Citizen.

  18. cbl2 says:

    Good Morning Marcy, Emptywheelers and Firedogs,

    But Rockefeller speaks in a plodding, rambling style that doesn’t always make for great television

    it was my first clue of Jay’s to come several weeks back – there was nothing rambling or indirect in his appearances. when asked about Conrad’s co-ops, he shot back that they were “phony” I snarked at the time that this was the closest to gangsta a guy like him could get – and he stayed true – so J Rock works

  19. Leen says:

    ot but not

    did anyone see Rachel whack Ben Nelson upside the head (for voting against public option) on her program last night?

    Rachel Maddow took on the “conservadems” last night. She hits Ben Nelson up side the head

    Ben Nelson “any health reform would need 65 votes in the senate”

    Ben “anything less than that would challenge its legitimacy”

    Then Rachel has Howard Dean on to say “you vote with your leadership”

    Senators set bar higher than necessary

  20. radiofreewill says:

    We’re having a ‘Debate’ about Healthcare…

    But, everyone ‘knows’ this is about Influence: Corporations and their Lobbyists (30%) vs. US (70%).

    For that reason, each and every Politician involved in this vote – Ostensibly on Healthcare – will be signalling to whom their allegiance belongs.

    Healthcare is a Proxy to see Who’s Been Bought.

    • JamesJoyce says:

      “Rockefeller’s stand for his constituency on healthcare is to be supported, period end of story…”


  21. JamesJoyce says:

    Yesterday Sen. Kerry displayed a national map indicating the percentage of health insurers by market share, per state. He mentioned that only one or two insurers monopolized health insurance markets at the state level in many states in America. Does anybody have a link to this document? Who the health insurance corporations “are” by name and their market shares, is this information available via that document? The next question is, What is the “corporate tax status” of these health insurers at the state level? Are these corporations tax exempt 501 (c)(3) like BCBS and Kaiser or “For Profit” like US Healthcare? What percentage (%) of corporations in the health services industry is tax exempt in the USA? What is Wellpoints relationship to BCBS? The list of questions is long? Any links or info folks? Thanks…

  22. Knoxville says:

    Ha HA!

    Rep. Alan Grayson tells the truth!

    On the floor of the House, Grayson revealed the truth about the Republicans’ health care plan:

    If you get sick, ‘Die Quickly.’

  23. Leen says:

    The Diane Rehm show on this topic. Now… 10 est
    Send in your questions comments, tweet etc
    [email protected]

    10:00Healthcare Overhaul: A Public Option
    Five Democrats join with ten Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee to kill two proposals for a government-run heath-care option. Proponents of a public plan vow to keep up the fight: The latest on heath-care overhaul efforts

    Susan Dentzer, Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, and an on-air analyst on health issues with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

    Julie Rovner, health policy correspondent for National Public Radio, author of “Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z,” and contributing editor for National Journal’s CongressDaily.

    Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News. She most recently served as associate editor for CQ HealthBeat, a daily report on health care policy. She has also served as Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for CQ.

    • Leen says:

      Folks we are basically speaking to the choir here at FDL.

      Send in your questions comments. Lots of folks listen to Diane one of the most fair MSMer’s out there

      • Leen says:

        Hey folks you can plug FDL and the conversations here if you get through on the Rehm show 2o minutes left for your questions and comments on what took place yesterday with health care
        [email protected]
        1-800-433-8850 tweet, facebook etc

  24. barrelofmonkeys says:

    Two comments:

    Dems like to point out that the goal of insurance companies is to make a profit. It is not. As any finance MBA will tell you, the goal of a company is to MAXIMIZE SHAREHOLDER WEALTH. There is no nice and fuzzy win-win scenario to dream about.

    Take a look at Grassley mocking Rockefeller here
    About 57:45 into clip.

    • gerryphillyesq says:

      Maximizing shareholder wealth requires that the company operates at a profit. Is healthcare a commodity that we believe should be governed by the profit motive?

    • emptywheel says:

      Well, and that’s not even true. When you look at the amounts CEOs are making, with no apparent ability from shareholders to reel that in, it becomes clear that that formula is breaking down.

      • JamesJoyce says:

        Now imagine being a Executive Director/CFO of a tax exempt insurer like BCBS, considered a public charity for tax law purposes, with no shareholders, a limp IRS auditing division for exempt organizations, and state AG’s unwilling to investigate complaints or enforce rules on the books?

        Emptywheel, what is the percentage of corporations in the entire American health service industry, that operate as tax exempt corporations vs taxable for profit corporations? Yes the system is broken and getting worse from the looks of it! Thanks Max!

      • barrelofmonkeys says:

        Well, sociopath CEOs don’t come cheap–and they do require hazardous duty pay, witness Skilling, Bernie E., ad nauseum.

  25. cbl2 says:

    this morning’s topic is closely tied to something I’ve been chewing on for a while – and it’s only my first cup of coffee so I’m thinking it through as I type.

    a basic lesson to learn if we are to mature and evolve as a movement and a force – and it goes back to something Jane said just before election night.

    she suggested we stick with principles and not rely on personalities (being Jane it was much clearer)

    Rockefeller more than earned the Jello Jay tag, but he has been an authentic fierce advocate on such a vital issue

    Schumer has acquitted himself well in this fight and we’re all well aware he’s been less than than reliable in the past

    Byron Dorgan is about to crash Rahm’s PHRma party, but this was the same guy who voted against cramdowns no doubt something to do with his bankster lobbyist wife – and he’s still sitting on tons of Abramoff e mails we’d all like to see

    there are myriad examples of this – but clear any one of them (w/maybe 2 notable exceptions)can show up and do the right thing or just as easily cave to caucus machinations or lobbyists and piss on us

    so I guess I’m really asking a question – how do we reconcile ourselves to this, go forward and work with them when we can – I sure as hell don’t know. if I could properly ask the question, I’d know the answer – I’m sure Ms Wheeler is gonna give me a C- on this but it is something we are gonna have to work through, even if I’m presently struggling with definition

    • gerryphillyesq says:

      Your question contains the answer – work with them when we agree with them, oppose them on issues where we disagree, always remembering that they -like we- are human and therefore imperfect and deserving of the respect that all humans are entitled to as a matter of right.

      • cbl2 says:

        thanks for the response.

        I’m thinking the issue of contributions may bring it in to sharper focus. the other night, folks were willing send Senator Dorgan money to reward his good behavior. that means their money went in to the re election coffers of a guy who voted against struggling american families and might do it again when Cramdowns II, Bankster’s Bugaloo comes up in a few weeks.

        certainly, in this case we can’t go forward thinking in broad strokes, with us or against us kind of deal . public financing would greatly diminish this problem – but that aint happenin’ – so we have to work with what we’ve got and I’ve yet to reconcile that for myself

    • emptywheel says:

      No C-, sorry.

      I think it just need to be issue by issue. There are clearly people we have the ability to get rid of and out to: Jim Cooper being one. But there are others–and JayRock and Schumer are definitely among those–who can be good and Schumer, especially, can respond to pressure.

      Others–starting with Ben Nelson–are hopeless. What we need to do to reel them back in is enforce some party discipline. Or keep just enough senate seats such that he and Holy Joe can’t flip the SEnate by flipping parties.

      • cbl2 says:

        thanks Ms Wheeler

        I really get the issue by issue thing. despite my muddled scratchings, I am looking at a larger, overall point – oooh boy, more coffee

  26. phred says:

    Dang, who knew jello came in “granite” flavor ; )

    Go Jay Rock! At some level, I don’t particularly care what his motivation is, genuine concern for his constituents or pique with the WH railroading due process in the Senate. As long as it motivates him to fight, I’ll take what I can get. Still I’ll miss the moniker, Jello Jay was one of my favorites…

    Rock on Senator!

    • emptywheel says:

      Hey! It’s phred!! Long lost hidden in the stratosphere or whatever the experts call it.

      We’ve been missing you in the Trash threads. What–you hoarding your hubcaps and living on past glory? Or just in some kind of shock to see Favray in purple?

        • phred says:

          SCARED OF FREEP?!?!? Now that sirah is an insult! Why I can duck and run as well as he can (well, duck anyway, my runnin’ has never been all that speedy ; )

        • JimWhite says:

          My apologies for missing the trash thread last weekend, as well. I was stuck in the Republic of Texas and had too little time online to join in. I’m still following the Tebow concussion story, but I’m betting he will play at LSU. Good thing this is an off week.

            • Loo Hoo. says:

              Lots of dementia in former NFL types.

              A study commissioned by the National Football League reports that Alzheimer’s disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league’s former players vastly more often than in the national population — including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.

              • cbl2 says:

                haven’t clicked on your dementia link yet –

                but about 15 years ago, there was an emerging story on the anedotal connection btw ALS-type symptoms and the greening chemicals used on grass fields. of course a bunch of NFL docs showed up poo-pooing it away, but now I’ll have to go look it up

                thx for the link

              • bobschacht says:

                EW @74:
                I did a diary on The Seminal in August, The Senate’s Blue Dogs, based on Glenn Greenwald’s dirty dozen examples of “bipartisanship” on Jan. 30, 2008, IIRC. In the dozen important test cases, Ben Nelson voted all 12 times with the Republicans, along with Spector, who was still a Republican at the time. Next, voting with the Republicans 11/12 times, were Carper, Landrieu and Lieberman. Next were Pryor (D-AR), 10-1 with the Republicans, Nelson, Bill (D-FL), 10-2, and the surprising Johnson (D-SD), 9-1 with the Republicans. Since his stroke, Johnson has suddenly turned into a DINO. Others who voted more often with the Republicans than with most Democrats were Dorgan (D-ND), 8-3; Salazar (D-CO), 8-3, Bayh (D-IN), 8-4, Conrad (D-ND), 8-4, Lincoln (D-AR), 8-4, Feinstein (D-CA), 7-4, Baucus (D-MT), 7-5, and Mikulski (D-MD), 7-5. We should find good Democratic challengers for the top 6, at least. Jello aka Rocky Jay was 6-6.

                Loo Hoo @95:
                “Lots of dementia in former NFL types.”
                Yeah, like Mohammed Ali isn’t really punch drunk from getting hit in the head thousands of times by large strong angry men, he’s just got some neurological disorder with a fancy name. Football players use their heads in lots of ways, many of them injurious to mental health.

                I have a nephew who played linebacker for Cornell for a year before figuring out that he was getting concussions from action on the field to the point where he could not remember some of the plays that he participated in. At that point, I think he switched to tennis. Now he’s an assistant coach for one of the best high school football teams in Illinois. I should ask him if his experience with concussions has affected the way he coaches his players.

                Bob in AZ

      • phred says:

        Hiya EW! I’ve been pining for the threads (especially TRASH TALK!) but travel and work have been keeping me to the bare minimum of reading the posts (with very occasional drive-bys, sigh, the world is not a perfect place ; )

        Speaking of which, Favre looks peaked in purple dontcha think? Although that last minute TD pass pretty much ripped the heart right out of my chest (and may have crushed my hopes for Top Dog of the Week in my football pool). Just wait ’til Monday night…

        P.S. It’s the troposphere that distracts me, the stratosphere I leave to others (usually).

        • emptywheel says:

          Monday will be an event, I think.

          And I’ve been rooting for the Singletary Niners this year, so that Favray stunt really pissed me off too.

          But I love the way Singletary responded to it: “Two good teams, one had to win. Better this happened early in the season. This gives us a chance to taste it, chew on it, and get better because of it.”

          That, plus the dude he threw out of practice last year turning into a rock star.

          Troposphere, btw, sounds like something for a CompLit PhD. Paul DeMan, maybe.

          • phred says:

            Yep. I’ve had a soft spot for the Niners ever since Joe Montana and my fervent hope is that Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Steve Young : ) And like you, I wish Singletary every success (excepting of course an NFC Championship at the expense of my Packers ; )

            Paul DeMan huh? I’ll admit I had to google him. I trust the comparison was to general obscurity as opposed anti-semitic skeletons in the closet ; ) Mercifully, Ph.D.s related to the troposphere about about as far removed from CompLit as one can get (no disrespect to you of course, but I am quite confident that I would be a dismal failure at literary pursuits ; )

            • emptywheel says:

              No, DeMan made a career off of riffing on literary tropes. And one of my friends wrote a book on the literary tropes at the center of the myths underlying Israeli nationhood.

              We’re all about the troposhere, we lit hacks, you see.

          • Petrocelli says:

            I met Mike Singletary at a Conference, many moons ago. The man is endowed with a great deal of character and poise, he must be an amazing leader to play for.

  27. radiofreewill says:

    If there are any free-lance Blogger Journalists out there who’d like to Stroll Through a Gold Field of Stories of Spectacular Greed, then just dive-in to the Healthcare Debate.

    Based on the Wall Street Bail-Out, the Healthcare Industry with its Lobbyists will Spare No Effort to Buy Their Legislation.

    We should all *expect* to see the same Dem Senators *inexplicably* veering away from the Public Option at critical moments and on critical votes.

    Even if Buying Their Legislation *No Matter What* causes the Entire Corporate/Lobbyist Greed Machine to Collapse in a Publicly Investigated Scandal of Immense Racketeering and Influence – Putting At-Risk All of the Special Interests Involved – They’ll Still Do It!

    They are eaten-up with Greed. They can’t stop themselves.

    They will Cut-Off Their Noses to Spite Their Faces.

    It will make for reams of redeeming stories of the Consequences of Immoral Action in Order to Obtain self-Interest. Hell, there’s a future Mark Twain in those stories!

    This should be an Exemplar of What it Means to ‘Drive the Bus Off the Cliff.’

    It’s going to be Obvious Who Got Bought and Who Stayed Bought.

  28. Prairie Sunshine says:

    Jay Rock rules. Christy must be so proud of her Senator!

    One slight editing suggestion, EW. instead of “health care industry” maybe it’s past time to start calling it the “whealth care industry”

    Back to catch up on comments….

  29. BoxTurtle says:

    Remember this: Jello Jay EARNED the name Jello Jay. He’s on our side currently, because it’s the side that best benefits him. If Rahm were to promise something as simple as a federal payroll processing center for Huntington, Jay would switch his vote.

    Boxturtle (The Voice in the Wilderness)

  30. ChuckinDenton says:

    Why would Rock be “owned” by anybody? He’s a Rockefeller. I haven’t paid any attention to where he gets campaign donations. I was thinking this morning that maybe it would be nice if Congress was full of filthy rich Democrats like Kennedy and J. Rock who didn’t need to be bought.

  31. Leen says:

    Rockinfeller sure ripped

    Rock “how much is spent on medical care”
    Yvette “result in a reduction of 7-8% ofadministrative cost the remainder will be spent on medical care versus administrative overhead”

    Rock “is that your opinion or is that in the mark”
    Yvette “that is not in the mark that is just CBO’s opnion”
    Rock ” right right”

    a few minutes later

    Rock “it seems to me that we have significant government give away to private insurers on Wall Street with no requirement that a significant portion of that half trillion dollars in premium subsidies actually goes to coverage. Which is what my people in West Virginia need and care about!

    Can you describe the houses provisions on medical loss ratio and tell me why that proposal is not included in this mark?”

    That sure set them all to scrambling and falling over each other

    • JamesJoyce says:

      Rock “it seems to me that we have significant government give away to private insurers on Wall Street with no requirement that a significant portion of that half trillion dollars in premium subsidies actually goes to coverage. Which is what my people in West Virginia need and care about!”

      I’d be interested to know who the major Health Insurers are in WV. This is a listing of health care tax exempt corps in WV per: There are more!

      2008 – 4th District Ibew Health Fund (316068797)
      2008 – Appalachian Community Health Center (550483699)
      2002 – Appalachian Health Cooperative Inc (310958799)
      2007 – Association of Community Mental Health Mental Retardation Prog (550691983)
      2008 – Beckley Health Right Inc (550774466)
      2008 – Behavioral Health Foundation Inc Dba Christian Fellowship Foundation (550719264)
      2006 – Bluefield Health Systems Inc (311101717)
      2008 – Bluestone Health Association Inc (310889730)
      2008 – Cabin Creek Health Center Inc (550709223)
      2007 – Camc Health Education and Research Inst (550753754)
      2007 – Camc Health System Inc (650664138)
      2008 – Cameron Community Health Center Inc (550597803)
      2008 – Center for Rural Health Development Inc (550729764)
      2008 – Charles Town Health Right Inc (550778553)
      2005 – Citizens for Quality Health Care LLC (201763352)
      2008 – Clay Battelle Health Services Association Inc (550541649)
      2007 – Community Health Association Jackson General Hospital (550462730)
      2008 – Community Health Foundation of Man West Virginia Inc (550488036)
      2008 – Community Health Systems Inc (550490878)
      2008 – Davis Health System Foundation Inc (320185772)
      2007 – Davis Health System Inc (550737655)
      2005 – Dr Thomas Walker Memorial Health Foundation Inc (550477723)
      2008 – E A Hawse Health Center Inc (550591799)
      2008 – Eastern Area Health Education Center Inc (352174239)
      2008 – Eastern Panhandle Mental Health Center Inc Dba Eastridge Health Sy (237116164)
      2007 – Employer Teamsters Joint Council 84 Health and Welfare Fund (550422384)
      2007 – Evergreen Behavioral Health Center Inc (550719891)
      2008 – Fmrs Health Systems Inc (550520303)
      2005 – Food for Health Inc (550691055)
      2008 – Fort Gay Primary Health Care Inc (310962004)
      2007 – Francis DE Sales Health Foundationinc (205272919)
      2007 – Gateway Health Services Inc (311118076)
      2005 – Gateway Regional Health System Inc (311118077)
      2003 – Genesis Affiliated Health Services Inc (550756818)
      2008 – Hardy County Health and Wellness Center (311621185)
      2008 – Harts Health Clinic Inc (310961926)
      2008 – Health Access Inc (550715066)
      2007 – Health Occupations Students of America West Virginia Hosa (550745408)
      2007 – Health Occupations Students of America West Virginia Hosa (550745408)
      2008 – Highland Behavioral Health Services Inc (550777789)
      2008 – Highland Health Center Inc (205948175)
      2008 – Ibew Local 317 Supplemental Health Benefit and Trust Fund (550751125)
      2003 – Jefferson Regional Health System Inc (550768900)
      2007 – Kanawha County Dental Health Council Inc (550582056)
      2007 – Laird Health Care Foundation Inc (550632743)
      2008 – Liability Insurance Trust for Monongalia Health System Inc and (550689535)
      2004 – Little Kanawha Area Rural Health Initiative Inc (550735828)
      2004 – Logan Health Right Inc (550750942)
      2008 – Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health Inc (550523103)
      2007 – Long Branch Energy Retiree Health Benefits Reserve (171733550)
      2007 – Madison Health Care Inc (550730627)
      2008 – Marion Health Care Foundation Inc (550649722)
      2007 – Mcdowell Advisory Council on Health Inc (311493024)
      2004 – Mcdowell Rural Health Advisory Council Inc (550779331)
      2005 – Media Group Health Benefits Plan Tr (550740541)
      2007 – Mental Health Association in Monongalia County Inc (550476814)
      2007 – Mental Health Association in the Greater Kanawha Valley Inc (550462816)
      2006 – Mercer Health Right Inc (550702719)
      2006 – Mercer Health Right Inc (550702719)
      2008 – Mid Ohio Valley Rural Health Alliance (550766114)
      2008 – Milan Puskar Health Right Inc (311118673)
      2007 – Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center Inc (550629032)
      2008 – Monongahela Valley Assoc of Health Centers (550419191)
      2008 – Monongalia Health System Inc (550621551)
      2007 – Montgomery General Health Care System Inc Care System Inc (550632601)
      2008 – Morgantown Health Care Corp (621018945)
      2008 – Mountaineer Community Health Center Inc (550743036)
      2005 – Mountaineer Health Foundation (550777327)
      2008 – New River Health Association Inc (550581968)
      2008 – Northern Greenbrier Health Clinic Inc (550593134)
      2004 – Northern Pocahontas Health Clinic Inc (550727239)
      2004 – Northern West Virginia Rural Health Education Center Inc (320099870)
      2008 – Northwood Health Systems Inc (550540374)
      2008 – Office Managers Association of Health Care Providers Inc (550723693)
      2007 – Ohio Valley Health Services and Education (550357044)
      2007 – Pallottine Health Services (550688201)
      2008 – Panhandle Home Health Inc (550559408)
      2008 – Partners in Health Network Inc (550746643)
      2007 – Patiala Health Foundation Inc (300278439)
      2004 – Pickhelczar Community Health Services (550567049)
      2007 – Pleasant Valley Hospital Health Foundation Inc (550649849)
      2008 – Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 521 Supplemental Health Fund (261357279)
      2008 – Plumbers Local 521 Health and Welfare Fund (556035214)
      2008 – Potomac Highlands Mental Health Guild Inc (550580866)
      2008 – Prestera Center for Mental Health (550492369)
      2008 – Prestera Foundation for Behavioral Health Services Inc (621317504)
      2008 – Preston Taylor Comm Health Centers (550665614)
      2007 – Putnam County Dental Health Council Inc (550682755)
      2008 – Roane County Family Health Care Inc (550627933)
      2008 – Seneca Health Services Inc (550563106)
      2008 – Shenandoah Community Health Foundation (300300989)
      2003 – Sisters of St Joseph Health and Wellness Foundation (550785474)
      2003 – Sisters of St Joseph Health System Inc (550650800)
      2003 – St Francis Health Care System (311072029)
      2008 – St Joseph Health Initiative Inc (550357048)
      2008 – State Health Education Council of WV (311079812)
      2008 – Tri-County Health Clinic Inc (550599096)
      2008 – Tug River Health Association (310889458)
      2008 – United Food and Commercial Workers and Employers Health and Welfare Fd (550393244)
      2007 – United Health Foundation Inc (550621706)
      2008 – Upper Kanawha Health Association Inc (510146615)
      2008 – Valley Health Care Inc (550695143)
      2008 – Valley Health Systems Inc (550554001)
      2008 – Wayne Health Services Inc (510175364)
      2007 – Weirton Health Care Inc (550615410)
      2006 – West Virginia Building Trades Health and Welfare (556025848)
      2008 – West Virginia Council of Home Health (550638099)
      2003 – West Virginia Family of Home Health Agencies Inc (550692456)
      2008 – West Virginia Health Care Association Inc (550569085)
      2008 – West Virginia Health Right Inc (311066881)
      2008 – West Virginia Home Health Services Inc (061687784)
      2007 – West Virginia Local Health Incorporated (550745648)
      2008 – West Virginia Medical Professionals Health Program Inc (743226821) – New image: Coming soon.
      2007 – West Virginia Mental Health Consumers Association Inc (550676843)
      2008 – West Virginia Pipe Trades Health and Welfare Fund (556030152)
      2008 – West Virginia Public Health Association (550709806)
      2007 – West Virginia United Health System Inc (550754713)
      2008 – Westbrook Health Services Inc (550484662)
      2008 – Wheeling Health Right Inc (311149085)
      2004 – Wheeling Teamsters Health and Welfare Fund (550374050)
      2008 – Wirt County Health Services Assoc Inc (310942184)
      2008 – Womens Health Center of West Virginia Inc (550559874)
      2008 – Worthington Mental Health Services Inc (202326930)
      2007 – WV OH Supplemental Health Plan (300002072)
      2008 – Youth Health Services Inc (550665150)

  32. Leen says:

    Listening to Amy Goodmans interview with Wendell Potter about the health care reform dance yesterday

    WENDELL POTTER: You know, I think it could happen in a number of different ways. The House legislation, I think, that is ultimately passed by the House will include a strong public option. And I know from talking to many members of Congress that there is very strong support in both the House and the Senate. And the bill that came out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which had been led by Senator Kennedy and now is being led by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, has a very strong public option.

    This is the only committee, the Senate Finance Committee, that has rejected it at this point, and it’s the most conservative of the committees. I hope that Senator Baucus will come to realize that he is one of sixty Democrats who can get this bill through Congress and get it through the Senate and that he understands that his responsibility should be to persuade those other members of his party in the Senate that they should vote for this and the reasons why he gave, himself, why it’s important.…..ter_blasts

    Amy interviewed Scott Ritter about the Iran “hype” yesterday…..ott_ritter

  33. Leen says:

    Wendell Potter on Democracy Now today
    Potter to Amy
    ” I’ve been contacted by a lot of members of Congress, senators and members of the House, and I’ve had a chance to sit down and talk with them about some of the things that I know as a former insider, someone who’s worked twenty years in the industry. Not once have I heard from anyone on Senator Baucus’s team.”

    Says volumes

  34. constantweader says:

    What a tragi-comedy that we must turn to a man who’s never had to wonder where his next dime is coming from (his grandfather used to stand on street corners giving dimes to kids) to protect the public from preening “populists” whose favorite constituency resides of K Street, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

    Thanks to Marcy for recognizing Jay Rock. Let’s hope he does stay stubborn.

    The Constant Weader at

  35. tbau says:

    LOL! jay could see the signs on the wall–this is kabuki to earn jay some cred.

    get them stars out of your eyes, you’re embarrassing yourself: once jello, ALWAYS jello.

  36. freepatriot says:

    jebus, what a thread

    who ARE all of these folks, an how’d they get in ???

    has bmaz been passing out memberships in the bus station again (I’m convinced that’s how all the Candians ended up here, it was a Grand Canyon tour group)

    welcome aboard newbs, and the old guys I don’t recognize …


    and somebody tell phred that steroids ampersands really help with the duckin & runnin

Comments are closed.