“I’m a blue dog. I want fiscal restraint and order.” -President Barack Obama
The year was 2008, and after 8 years of the rogue, war mongering, illegitimate reign of terror brought on by the George W. Bush Administration, the Democratic Party could have run a ham sandwich for president and won. George W. Bush and his right wing neocon Republicans couldn’t have accomplished any of their agenda without the assistance of the Blue Dog Democrats also known as Reagan Democrats. As a matter of fact, there would have been no George W. Bush Administration without the aid and comfort given Bush by the Blue Dog Democrats and Al Gore’s running mate Joe Lieberman; Gore was sabotaged.
When William Jefferson Clinton was elected in 1992, he had not only defeated George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, but he had defeated the Democratic establishment or the Blue Dog Democrats. The Blue Dog Democrats were hell bent on the total destruction of FDR’s New Deal and believed any government department, whose purpose was to serve the needs of the American people should be privatized for maximum private profits.
Bill and Hillary Clinton started their service in the White House with the plan of offering a conservative universal healthcare plan that they believed could garner support from Republicans as well as Democrats. The need for universal healthcare was great after Ronald Reagan, with the help of the Blue Dog Democrats, had completely destroyed the healthcare system in America. So let’s take a look at a brief history of the fight for universal healthcare in America. From Becker’sHospital Review:
The Truman Administration (1945-1953)
The first attempt at healthcare reform in the post-war era occurred during the administration of President Harry S. Truman… President Truman recommended to Congress a proposal for universal health insurance coverage, administered and paid for by a National Health Insurance Board. Opponents of the proposal, including the American Medical Association, decried it as "socialized medicine," and the bill died in Congress.
The Eisenhower Administration (1953-1961)
With its focus on the emerging Cold War, the Eisenhower administration supported only limited healthcare reform proposals. In 1956 the "Military Medicare" program was enacted, providing payment for healthcare services for military dependents.
The Kennedy Administration (1961-1963)
The Kennedy administration pursued a more modest form of healthcare coverage than that proposed by President Truman. The Kennedy administration supported the King-Anderson bill, under which health insurance coverage would be limited to those 65 years of age and older and be part of the Social Security benefits package… President Kennedy took his case on the road directly to the public. On May 20, 1962, a series of 33 public rallies were simultaneously held in various parts of the country…
President Kennedy confidently predicted the King-Anderson bill would pass Congress "this year, or as inevitably as the tide comes in, next year." President Kennedy was wrong. Opposed by the powerful AMA and with help from conservative Democrat Wilbur Mills, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the bill was defeated in Committee.
The Johnson Administration (1963-1969)
Lyndon B. Johnson won a landslide victory to be elected to a full term as president in November, 1964. With a Democratic super-majority in both houses, President Johnson had a receptive body for the extensive social reforms he dubbed the Great Society. Despite continued vocal opposition from the AMA and some conservative Republicans, legislation establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs steam-rolled through Congress…
As originally enacted, the Social Security Amendments of 1965 provided healthcare coverage to those 65 years of age and older, and to the poor, blind and disabled.
The Nixon Administration (1969-1974)
In 1971, the Nixon administration proposed the National Health Insurance Standard Act… While the NHISA did not pass, Nixon was successful in gaining passage of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, which laid some of the ground work for managed care.
HMO’s are privately owned for profit Health Maintenance Organizations which provided the spring board for Reagan’s expansion of HMO’s.
The Carter Administration (1977-1981)
Jimmy Carter campaigned for president calling for national healthcare insurance with universal coverage, and as president he went to work to prepare a legislative proposal for the same. The American Hospital Association endorsed the concept in principle, but had reservations about any system that took a universal, "one-size-fits-all" approach…
President Carter later maintained he had strong support from the chairmen of the House and Senate committees with responsibility for healthcare legislation and could have succeeded in passing his proposal had it not been for the abrupt withdrawal of support by one of those chairmen. Ironically, the vacillating Senate committee chairman was none other than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
The Reagan Administration (1981-1989)
In his inaugural address, after lamenting the consequences of excessive government borrowing and deficit spending, President Reagan declared: "In this current crisis, government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem."
But the Reagan Administration also advanced through Congress the first major expansion of Medicare benefits: the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988… The program was to be funded entirely by Medicare beneficiaries through increased premiums and a surtax on wealthier beneficiaries based on income.
The George H.W. Bush Administration (1989-1993)
President George H.W. Bush inherited a political catastrophe in the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. Among the elderly there was wide-spread disappointment over the level of expanded benefits and strong resentment over having to pay higher premiums and taxes to fund it.
The Clinton Administration (1993-2001)
Bill Clinton was the first Democrat elected president in 12 years, and his administration wasted little time in proposing major health care reforms. After the release of a report by a highly controversial task force headed by First Lady Hillary Clinton, President Clinton sent the American Health Security Act of 1993 to Congress. It proposed to provide affordable health insurance for all through a concept called "managed competition."
The AHSA was opposed by much of the healthcare industry and the health insurance industry… By September 1994, the proposal was declared dead by Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.
Other important healthcare reform measures were enacted during President Clinton's term of office. Among the notable reforms was The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a significant expansion of the Stark physician self-referral law (Stark II), and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
By the time 2008 rolled around, the catastrophic condition of for profit healthcare in America had reached a zenith. From The New York Times:
When Insurers Put Profits Between Doctor and Patient
Late in 2007 I found myself riveted by a case playing out at the University of California, Los Angeles, the medical center where I trained and had once worked as a transplant surgeon. A 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan was in desperate need of a transplant after receiving aggressive treatment that cured her recurrent leukemia but caused her liver to fail. Without a new organ, she would die in a matter of a days; with one, she had a 65 percent chance of surviving. Her doctors placed her on the liver transplant waiting list.
Nataline’s case was not all that different from the more than 200 liver patients I had seen successfully transplanted every year at that institution. She was critically ill, as close to death as one could possibly be while technically still alive, and her fate was inextricably linked to another’s. Somewhere, someone with a compatible organ had to die in time for Nataline to live.
But even when the perfect liver became available a few days after she was put on the list, doctors could not operate. What made Nataline different from most transplant patients, and what eventually brought her case to the attention of much of the country, was that her survival did not depend on the availability of an organ or her clinicians or even the quality of care she received. It rested on her health insurance company.
Cigna had denied the initial request to cover the costs of the liver transplant. And the insurer persisted in its refusal, claiming that the treatment was “experimental” and unproven, and despite numerous pleas from Nataline’s physicians to the contrary.
But as relatives and friends organized campaigns to draw public attention to Nataline’s plight, the insurance conglomerate found itself embroiled in a public relations nightmare, one that could jeopardize its very existence. The company reversed its decision. But the change came too late. Nataline died just a few hours after Cigna authorized the transplant.
And where did those massive profits end up that health insurance companies were making by denying expensive treatments to critically ill patients? From Time Magazine:
Biggest Golden Parachutes
During his 15-year tenure as CEO and chairman of UnitedHealth Group Inc., McGuire turned the regional health insurer into the second largest managed care company in the U.S. He received his thank yous in the form of stock options—$1.6 billion of them, to be exact—but he took some of them on the days the company's stock price hit yearly lows, profiting when the stocks went up again. McGuire was asked to leave in October 2006 after federal prosecutors and the IRS requested documents concerning his stock options and executive compensation. He later agreed to return $600 million in various payback agreements, including one with the SEC. But McGuire retained about $800 million in options.
The DNC in 2008 knew Hillary Clinton would win the primary and would fulfill her campaign promise to open Medicare for all. The Democrats are some of the largest recipients of campaign contributions from the Healthcare Industry, so vowing to ensure there would be no universal healthcare, Barack Obama was chosen and gifted the nomination through a corrupt caucus system controlled by the DNC. From Newsmax:
Hillary Backers Decry Massive Obama Vote Fraud
With accusations of voter registration fraud swirling as early voting begins in many states, some Hillary Clinton supporters are saying: “I told you so.”
Already in Iowa, the Obama campaign was breaking the rules, busing in supporters from neighboring states to vote illegally in the first contest in the primaries and physically intimidating Hillary supporters, they say. Obama’s surprisingly strong win in Iowa, which defied all the polls, propelled his upstart candidacy to front-runner status. But Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md., who has a long and respected academic career, believes Obama’s victory in Iowa and in 12 other caucus states was no miracle. “It was fraud,” she told Newsmax.
Long has spent several months studying the caucus and primary results. “After studying the procedures and results from all 14 caucus states, interviewing dozens of witnesses, and reviewing hundreds of personal stories, my conclusion is that the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process,” she said.
In Hawaii, for example, the caucus organizers ran out of ballots, so Obama operatives created more from Post-its and scraps of paper and dumped them into ice cream buckets. “The caucuses ended up with more ballots than participants, a sure sign of voter fraud,” Long said…
In Texas, more than 2,000 Clinton and Edwards supporters filed complaints with the state Democratic Party because of the massive fraud. The party acknowledged that the Obama campaign’s actions “amount to criminal violations” and ordered them to be reported to state and federal law enforcement, but nothing happened.
In caucus after caucus, Obama bused in supporters from out of state, intimidated elderly voters and women, and stole election packets so Hillary supporters couldn’t vote. Thanks to these and other strong-arm tactics, Obama won victories in all but one of the caucuses, even in states such as Maine where Hillary had been leading by double digits in the polls.
Obama’s win in the caucuses, which were smaller events than the primaries and were run by the party, not the states, gave him the margin of victory he needed to win a razor-thin majority in the delegate count going into the Democratic National Convention. Without these caucus wins, which Long and others claim were based on fraud, Clinton would be the Democrats’ nominee running against John McCain.
As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama duked it out for the Democratic nomination, both promised Medicare for all. Even with the corruption and fraud perpetrated by the DNC in the caucuses in 2008, Barack Obama still lost the primary. So the DNC at their rules committee in June 2008 refused to count the votes cast by voters in the primaries in Florida and Michigan for Clinton and gifted the nomination to Barack Obama. Why would the DNC go to such extreme measures to keep Clinton from claiming the nomination? From Common Dreams:
Obama Received $20 Million from Healthcare Industry in 2008 Campaign
While some sunlight has been shed on the hefty sums shoveled into congressional campaign coffers in an effort to influence the Democrats' massive healthcare bill, little attention has been focused on the far larger sums received by President Barack Obama while he was a candidate in 2008.
A new figure, based on an exclusive analysis created for Raw Story by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in $7,758,289, the Center found…
"People want to be able to curry favor with those who are in power," he added. "And one way to do that is by making donations to candidates and officials who are represented by the party in power. Or who look like they're going to win."
The White House did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
And what did the health insurance industry get from Obama and the Blue Dog Democrats after “hefty sums were shoveled into congressional campaign coffers in an effort to influence the Democrats' massive healthcare bill?” From Black Agenda Report:
Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself?
The only obstacle to passage of the president's health care --- or health insurance legislation is the White House itself. By the summer of 2008, Democrats had stopped pretending there was much difference between them and Republicans on foreign policy... Where the Party of Change would deliver for sure, they told voters, would be health care. Voters listened, and delivered Democrats the White House, a crushing majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate…
Anyone who can add knows Republicans are not blocking universal health care. The performances of Republican teabaggers at a few town halls notwithstanding, there are just not enough Republicans in the House and Senate to block anything. The president and his party can roll over Republican opposition any time they want to…
The political careers of many House blue dogs are the creation of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dispensed them bags of corporate cash to win primary elections against left leaning Democrats…
… The Senate Democrats with their hands on the bill are all choices of the White House, and all dependent on the good will of that same White House for a percentage of their corporate campaign contributions. Senate Democrats are keenly aware that a sitting president of their own party has literally hundreds of ways to exert pressure on any single legislator. None of them is crossing the White House either…
The dozens of Democrats who have declared they will vote against any health care --- or health insurance --- bill that does not contain what they call a “public option,” are only trying to insulate themselves and protect President Obama from the worst consequences of his own treachery in selling out the vision of universal health care to big pharma and the insurance companies.
And universal healthcare wasn’t the only betrayal by Obama and the Blue Dog Democrats, Obama is the only president to slash benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Veterans. Cenk Yugur one of the biggest supporters of Obama over Clinton in 2008, had a rude awakening.
Cenk Uygur says President Obama will definitely cut the entitlements of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Cenk Uygur: According to Bob Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics”, President Obama once called himself a “blue dog Democrat”. In fact, according to Woodward, quote, President Obama said, “I’m a blue dog. I want fiscal restraint and order.” There is nothing wrong with the second half of that sentence…. But the fact that President Obama has called himself a blue dog is news: blue dog Democrats are conservative Democrats; they are not progressive Democrats…
“They were doing several little things talking about the negotiations, like increasing the Medicare age from 65, up to, eventually, 66 or 67.” -Bob Woodward…
Now that was not a Republican proposal; that was President Obama’s proposal. So there it is. He has already proposed it, he will propose it again to increase the retirement age for Medicare…
After the 2011 negotiations broke down, he said this, and I quote: “We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.” -President Barack Obama… “I am willing to move on entitlement reform – even if my own party is resisting, and I will bring them along.” -President Barack Obama
Fast forward to 2016, Obama and the Blue Dog Democrats were more than happy to turn over the reins of power to the next in line in the Republican Party, Jeb Bush. Funny thing happened, Donald Trump. No one in the Democratic or Republican party had prepared for Hurricane Donald. Donald Trump blew up the carefully crafted status quo engorged in campaign funds from special interests and spoke directly to the people. Trump vowed to protect Social Security and Medicare, vowed to work for the working person, vowed to protect Veterans.
The Democratic Party of FDR and the Republican Party of Theodore Roosevelt are no more, what is left is a fascistic, bought and paid for duopoly that cares nothing for the American People. If the Republican party believes they are the chosen ones, that the American people voted for them to slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, despoil the environment, pursue endless wars and flood the country with illegal immigrants and refugees from our bombing escapades in Middle Eastern countries, they are crazy.
While Chuck Schumer cries crocodile tears after President Trump declared a temporary ban on immigration from the 7 countries where America has invaded their lands, killed their leaders and bombed the shit out of them, where are the tears for the American people? Where were the tears for Nataline Sarkisyan? She was left to die a horrible death after Cigna put profits above life while filling the campaign coffers of Democrats and Republicans alike?
Now those same Democrats want us to believe that they are fighting for us, what a joke. Will Donald Trump turn this Titanic around? I don’t know, but I am willing to give him a chance. In the meantime we can all sing a Requiem for the Democratic Party because the Blue Dog Democrats Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden destroyed the Democratic Party forever.
By Patricia Baeten