Clearly as disappointed in the resulting Senate healthcare bill as many progressives are today, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann gave a preview of his ‘Special Comment’ that aired on Countdown Wednesday evening in a diary at Daily Kos, ” There could not be a finer line between the words compromise and compromised and tonight, with the greatest possible reluctance, I believe I have to go on the air and state my opinion that the Senate bill in its current form has clearly crossed that line and, as currently constituted, cannot be passed.”
Taking the same stance as former Gov. Howard Dean, that the current version of the Senate healthcare bill should be scrapped, Olbermann slams Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) for the resulting version of health care reform, “Seeking the least common denominator, Sen. Reid has found it, especially the “least” part. This is not health, this is not care, this is certainly not reform.”
The liberal host’s wrath doesn’t spare anyone as he continues with a slam for the entire Senate, “They must now not make the defeat worse by passing a hollow shell of a bill just for the sake of a big-stage signing ceremony. This bill, slowly bled to death by the political equivalent of the leeches that were once thought state-of-the-art-medicine, is now little more than a series of microscopically minor tweaks of a system which is the real-life, here-and-now version, of the malarkey of the Town Hallers. The American Insurance Cartel is the Death Panel, and this Senate bill does nothing to destroy it. Nor even to satiate it.”
“It merely decrees that our underprivileged, our sick, our elderly, our middle class, can be fed into it, as human sacrifices to the great maw of corporate voraciousness, at a profit per victim of 10 cents on the dollar instead of the current 20. Even before the support columns of reform were knocked down, one by one, with the kind of passive defense that would embarrass a touch-football player – single-payer, the public option, the Medicare Buy-In – before they vanished, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the part of this bill that would require you to buy insurance unless you could prove you could not afford it, would cost a family of four with a household income of 54-thousand dollars a year, 17 percent of that income. Nine thousand dollars a year. Just for the insurance,” he exclaims.
“That was with a public option,” Olbermann continues. “That was with some kind of check on the insurance companies. That was before — as Howard Dean pointed out — the revelation that the cartel will still be able to charge older people more than others; will — at the least — now be able to charge much more, maybe 50 percent more, for people with pre-existing conditions — pre-existing conditions; you know, like being alive.”
Then after calling out Senators Lieberman, Grassley, DeMint, Baucus, and Nelson for their roles in the healthcare bill, Mr. Olbermann then speaks directly to President Obama, “Sir, your hands-off approach, while nobly intended and perhaps yet some day applicable to the reality of an improved version of our nation, enabled the national humiliation that was the Town Halls and the insufferable Neanderthalian stupidity of Congressman Wilson and the street-walking of Mr. Lieberman.”
“Instead of continuing this snipe-hunt for the endangered and possibly extinct creature “bipartisanship,” you need to push the Republicans around or cut them out or both,” Olbermann advises. “You need to threaten Democrats like Baucus and the others with the ends of their careers in the party. Instead, those Democrats have threatened you, and the Republicans have pushed you and cut you out.”
Mr. Olbermann continues to speak directly to President Obama, and includes a few notes for Senator Reid, as well. “This provision must go,” he says speaking of the mandate that requires the purchase of insurance. “It is, above all else, immoral and a betrayal of the people who elected you, Sir. You must now announce that you will veto any bill lacking an option or buy-in, but containing a mandate.”
“And Sen. Reid, put the public option back in, or the Medicare Buy-In, or both. Or single-payer,” he pleads. “Let Lieberman and Ben Nelson and Baucus and the Republicans vote their lack-of-conscience and preclude 60 “ayes.” Let them commit political suicide instead of you.”
“Let Mr. Lieberman kill the bill — then turn to his Republican friends only to find out they hate him more than the Democrats do. Let him stagger off the public stage, to go work for the insurance industry. As if he is not doing that now,” says Olbermann taking one last jab at Senator Lieberman of Connecticut.
You can read the entire transcript at MSNBC.
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Dec. 16, 2009.