Democrats running from Obamacare

With November’s election rapidly approaching, Families USA recently presented a “messaging” conference for Democrats.  The message they delivered sounds much like what the American public and this blog said about Obamacare from the beginning…it’s a lousy bill.

But first a bit of background on Families USA.  It has been a major proponent of anything that sounds like Obamacare for two decades.  It was one of Obamacare’s biggest cheerleaders last year and into this year. Before summoning Democrats to it’s conference, it had Herndon Alliance (a lobbist for national health care) do some polling.  Apparently, what they found was not pretty. 

So, here’s the new marching orders for Democrats in this year’s elections.  They have been instructed to say:

The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it.

I’m guessing that sentence will be coming soon to a campaign near you. 

Along with being told what to say, Democrats were also told, based on polling data, what not to say.

 “Keep claims small and credible; don’t overpromise or ‘spin’ what the law delivers,” it advised. Its “to don’t” items include offering “a long list of benefits” or claims that “the law will reduce costs and the deficit,” even as “Voters are concerned about rising health care costs and believe that costs will continue to rise.”

Let me suggest a few more “to don’ts”. 

Don’t tell people that the $500 billion cuts to Medicare will extend the life of Medicare by ___ years (feel free to fill in that blank with the most recent proclamation from the White House), while at the same time claiming to use that “savings” to cover the cost of insurance for the uninsured.  People seem to be on to that shell game.

Don’t tell people that they can keep their own insurance if they like it.  They now know they can’t. (See this post.)

Don’t tell people that they can keep their own doctor if they like it.  They now know they can’t.  (See this post.)

And, as for you, should you be “lucky” enough to be at a town hall meeting where you are told:

The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it,

ask the following questions. 

If you knew it wasn’t perfect, why did you vote for it?  Why didn’t you wait until you had dealt with the imperfections?  Or didn’t you know about the imperfections, because you hadn’t read the bill?

I will be most interested in learning the answers you receive.

Posted in


The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Dimsdale on August 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    That's the good news.  The bad news is: there's no where to run.  Well, maybe Costa Rica….


    "The law is not perfect, but it does good things and helps many people. Now we’ll work to improve it."  The time to perfect it and the time to improve it was before the thing was rammed through Congress when nobody had a chance to read it, debate it, and make it something they wouldn't have to run away from.


    As Jeremiah Wright said, "The chickens are coming home to roost", and they aren't happy about this chickensh*t bill.

  2. scottm on August 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Has anyone here actually read up on the healthcare bill from a non partisan perspective?  It's more likely you've probably read just the cherry picked propaganda coming from the right, death panels and other nonsence.  And Dims, Costa Rica has government run health care.

  3. sammy22 on August 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    SOS has been posting against a health care bill for a long time. No surprise that she keeps hammering at it, hoping?? that what was passed will go away. Fat chance!

  4. Dimsdale on August 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Shouldn't the real question be "why didn't they give any of the representatives time to read, discuss and debate the bill?"  Was it even written in a "non partisan" manner?


    Perhaps you (samnmy) should read it in a "non partisan" way (or even a partisan way) and rebut SOS's claims and criticisms.  Or perhaps you have some objective source we could look at?


    And I have downloaded and have been working my way through the parts of it that aren't too "party of the first part" and trying to make heads or tails of it.


    And yes, scott, I am aware of Costa Rica's health care system.  It almost stands alone in making single payer work.  I am also aware of how it differs from Øbamacare, which makes it inherently better in many aspects.


    From "International Living" ( "Costa Rica has universal health care, one of the best health systems in Latin America. As always with nationalized health care, expect red tape and long waits, but the quality of Costa Rica’s health care is excellent. Private health care is also available, which is affordable and high quality."  But don't forget the differences in cost of living and the fact that the Costa Ricans have been refining this for 60 years.


    I still don't know who wrote the Øbamacare bill, what they based it on, or how well it has been thought through.  CR health care works well, but there are problems in Canada ( and Britain (  Sweden's system is undergoing serious strains ( etc., etc.

  5. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I just found out my healthcare cost is increasing 11% reasons given was the normal year to year increases that historically have been 4-6% the rest was blamed on obamacare. I so glad obamacare is reducing my costs for healthcare. 

  6. Plainvillian on August 31, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Isn't the real issue that once again this regime and its congresscritters lied to us?  Remember the transparency promised and how they would post all bills for public inspection prior to voting?  Instead we have bills passed in the dead of night without the congresscritters having read them.

    How can we have faith in leadership that states "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it"?  When the representatives loose the respect of the people in a democratic Republic, those representatives deserve to be replaced by more trustworthy ones.

  7. sammy22 on August 31, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Dims, I'm not interested to spar w/ SOS or anyone else on the subject. I merely point out that the bill was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. My choice is to live w/ it.

  8. SoundOffSister on August 31, 2010 at 5:43 am


    Just to bring you up to date, I have been posting on Obamacare since June, 2009 when the first bill became public.  All of my posts have included a link to each bill, the section number and page number of the bill so you could read it yourself.  My posts do not come from "cherry picked propoganda from the right".  They come from actually reading all of the incarnations of Obamacare…something that our members of Congress obviously did not do.  Now they are seeing the results of their handiwork as group after group realizes what a bad piece of legislation the final bill is.

    Back up your "drive by" opinions with facts and I will be happy to debate you about any provision of Obamacare you'd like.

  9. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 6:23 am

    scottm SOS has issued the challenge are you man enough to have a civil debate about healthcare?

  10. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 6:50 am

    So there is absolutely nothing in this bill that will benefit anybody in the country? 

  11. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Scott, Man Up present your points to SOS and debate.

  12. Steve M on August 31, 2010 at 8:03 am

    I guess if I was able to steal property out of the hands of others at will without repercussions or moral concerns, I would certainly benefit.

    Find anything in that legislation that provides a specific benefit without taking property from someone else. We documented details on this site. I actually had some time to read good portions of the bill and was able to provide direct links to sections thanks to SOS stepped up and spent the entire fall and winter reading page after page.

    Also, find one clause or paragraph that will actually reduce the cost of health care … nothing

    In this case, Scott showed up to a drag race on a pogo stick.

  13. Dimsdale on August 31, 2010 at 8:10 am

    scott: that was a non answer.  Of course there are a few things in there that are good.  If it were all bad, it would be hunting season on Democrats (well, it kind of will be this Nov!)


    YOU said the criticism were partisan and unfounded.  Now it is YOUR place to put your money where your keyboard is.


    I eagerly await your reply.

  14. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Scott, I hear crickets. like you don't look at things in a partisan way. I'm looking forward to your debate with SOS and or Dims, Man UP change my opinion on healthcare and I'll give you credit. Your cohort Sammy bailed when it came time to spar.

  15. sammy22 on August 31, 2010 at 9:44 am

    What's there to debate? The bill was passed, signed into law. Different groups of people do not like some provisions. And the point is??

  16. Lynn on August 31, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Sammy22, The debate will be after the Nov. election when many candidates for house of Representatives are hoping to deny funding for Obamacare. We will have to see who is elected and if there are enough to do this. I fervently hope so.

    Debate will also be in court. Virginia has a state bill that prohibits making their citizens buy any product and it has made it's first pass through the courts. The Supreme Court will probably have to decide the issue of (I think 19 states) that are fighting Obamacare because of the 10th amendment. Obviously, I'm not a legal expert so SOS, please chime in if I've made gross errors.


  17. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I don't intend to read the entire health care bill and then debate with sos, and I don't have a law degree so I can't match any spin she can put on the legalese involved in the bill.  My point is that I am sure there is some good in this bill but all you hear is the rhetoric from the right which started even before it was read.  SOS I commend you for having read the bill, but I am sure there is something about it that you feel will do some people some good.  That being said, Steve you asked me a question earlier about tax revenues after the Bush tax cuts.  You then proceeded to throw a hissy fit and block any further comments.  I went to and found out that revenue dropped to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 1950.  Revenues were decreased by 276 billion which increased the deficit to 4.2 % of gdp.  Without the tax cuts the deficit would have been 1.6% of gdp.  Also many democrats and republicans voted for invading Iraq based on a web of lies from the Bush administration.  If you are going to trash me at least let me respond.  And borrowing money from China for the tax "rebate" was idiotic.  And Tom are you going to hold SOS's coat while she takes on the dissenter?  Seems like a chickenhawk thing to do. 

    [Edited by Admin] I in no way thew a "hissy fit". There are specific Terms of Use at this site and you seem to ignore all of them. First and foremost, comments sections are for comments on a specific post, the Sharpton thread degraded so much it went from Al Sharpton (the actual topic) to Glen Beck's selling gold "scam". Then the Walter Williams thread got way off topic too – closed.

    On top of that – after I asked my "three questions" you replied 90 minutes later or so spinning about "invading" Iraq and ignoring the actual questions. I closed the thread 15 minutes later – again since it was totally off topic.

    Then you try to answer them here with quotes from a left-wing think tank that estimated (cough, cough) what revenues would have been without the tax cuts. Are you frigging kidding me?

    <del datetime="2010-09-01T23:02:52+00:00">One more shot … I'm not spending any more time on you. Please follow the terms of use, stop with the comment drive-bys and contribute like a normal person.</del>

    Nah, forget it. You're banned. You're officially not welcome here anymore. I won't miss you since you've contributed nothing. When I say not welcome here, I assume that you know what that means.

  18. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Another thing Steve, the C.I.A. determined there was no connection between Saddam and AL-Queda as you suggested before you blocked the comments.

    [Added by Admin]: One of the reasons I closed that thread was due to your lack of reading comprehension. So you come over here and post in a totally different post to muck this up, and at the same time reinforce your inability to read what I wrote? I never even suggested (in that post) there was a connection between Saddam and al-Qaida. It's a know fact he was paying boatloads of cash to family members of homicide bombers in Israel and the Middle East.

    Interested in informal/operational links between Iraq and al-Qaida read my post from March of 2008.

  19. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    SOS, if I may make a suggestion, why not have you or Jim Vicevich invite Colin Mcenroe on the radio program and debate with him?  He's a much more worthy adversary than I am and he probably has a lot of knowledge concerning the bill.

  20. SoundOffSister on August 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm


    I don't expect you to read all 2700+ pages of Obamacare.  Waterboarding would be a far less punishment.  But, what I do expect you to do before you comment on my veracity, is to read my posts on Obamacare.  They are written in "people", not "legalese", as are the sections of the bill that I cite.  Please read them, not the Obamacare "talking points.  Then, we can have an intelligent discussion.

  21. Dimsdale on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Hmmm.  So SOS can "put spin on the legalese involved in the bill", but our vaunted "representatives" can do no wrong?  Maybe there wouldn't be so much "rhetoric from the right" if it had actually been read, or was able to be read by people that don't speak legalese.  Sadly, that includes our so called "representatives", who just blindly followed orders and voted for the bill without even having read it.  Even if they wanted to, they didn't have time.  Good parts or not, what was the point?  As I remarked before, if they didn't read it, and don't know what is in it, then who actually wrote it?  Why was it "fast tracked" before anyone could possibly digest it?  That has all the earmarks of a scam, and a royal one at that.


    The bottom line: if you are going to make accusations, you better have some facts.  SOS read it, and has the facts.  Her posts tell you where to look so you don't have to digest the whole thing.  Dispute the criticisms if you can, but don't snipe until you have your own.  Very few, if any, of the lefties praising the bill have bothered to read it as their remarks indicate, being more talking points than facts.


    If McEnroe has read the bill, he can call in like anyone else and make his remarks.  Or he could post here.  Nothing I read in his "To Wit" posts have been particularly informative.

  22. scottm on September 1, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Dims, I post something and you respond to my post rather than leaving a comment about the original post, thus the tit for tat comments.  This was between me and the sound off sister, so go back to agreeing with every story that is ever posted on this blog and enjoy the kool-aid. 

  23. TomL on September 1, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Scott I haven't read the bill but as I got old I realized that if you want info you can go to people that have actual knowledge and get help. SOS is one of the few people who has actually read the bill and can understand the legalese. So I defer to her. But you really need a better insult than chickenhawk I got real thickskin and laugh at your hateful rhetoric. We are having a healthcare debate on this blog and you bring in Bush and the war. Your like the barry you can't stay on topic.

  24. Dimsdale on September 1, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I guess your non answer is your answer, scott.   If you didn't read the bill, don't criticize those that did it for you.


    Thank you, SOS, for your service!

  25. Lynn on September 1, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I sold health and life insurance for 5 years prior to Obamacare. Thank God, I am lucky enough to retire. The original reason to pass healthcare was to reduce the price of healthcare. I fully agreed with this concept. I even read the fist 5-6 versions of the bill. However, this bill did nothing to reduce costs. Congress rammed through a bill that repaid all their cronies who supported them. The Republicans particularly Rep. Ryan offered concrete ways to keep the costs down. President Obama kept saying he didn't want to listen to their same old tired suggestions. Healthcare is too important to be decided by one party, their should have been experts driving this discussion.

  26. Lynn on September 1, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Also, I went to a Courtney Town Hall in Montville. I asked him since the Healthcare version he promoted did not have a single payor system, what would he do when the House and Senate bills were morphed. What would he do when Madame Pelosi demanded he vote for the single payor system? No answer, he actually stumbled and reiterated that the plan he backed had no single payor system, which my question already stated. In 2012, we will all have to have a plan decided by Congress to be adequate or we pay a penalty. That sounds like a single-payor plan to me. There were other questions asked that made him look silly. This bill is an abomination.

  27. scottm on September 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

    A health care bill HR676 was first introduced in 2003 to congress and reintroduced in each congress since.  The current health care bill was debated for a year before being signed into law.  Any of the politicians who claim they had no time to study its merits or lack of is being less than honest.

  28. TomL on September 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Scott the bill started out at a 1000 pages or so then kept growing and growing till it hit 2700 pages when it's  2700 pages it takes a long time to connect the dots and some of the nitwits in DC are smarter than others but with something that size maybe you should take the time to read it. After all Pelosi said we need to pass it to see whats in it. That says it all leadership never read it. I think the only one in DC that read it was Paul Ryan.  Holder and Napolitano never read Arizona's law and it was 16 pages yet they were experts. The progressives haven't read The Constitution and its only 5 pages. Ted Kennedy tried forever to get some form of healthcare and I don't think he'd like what has been passed.

  29. Lynn on September 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

    TomL, I agree with everything you said except that Ted Kennedy was a sponsor of the Senate Healthcare Bill.

  30. TomL on September 1, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Lynn he was a sponsor but don't forget for the last 1.5 yrs he was in office he wasn't really there, he would have been a proponet of a more partisan bill.

  31. Dimsdale on September 1, 2010 at 11:18 am

    "A" health care bill is not "the" health care bill, as Tom so sagely noted.


    I am still waiting for one of our so called "representatives" to stand up and say they actually wrote this, and take questions to prove it.

  32. TomL on September 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Dims I'm afraid that Dodd took over for Ted and we all know how he can screw things up.

  33. Steve M on September 1, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    As you may have noticed, scottm is no longer welcome here. Tired of dealing with his drive-by comments that took a post totally off topic.


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