OFA Liveblog

I moved it from the diary on Kos since people seem to think I was trying to use it to get recs. My original diary is back as I had it. Here's the liveblog for those who wanted it:

Liveblog starts here:

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Just started, Gov. Tim Kaine speaking now.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Gov. Kaine basically gave a "health care is necssary" pep talk. Mitch Stewart is talking now.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Over 64,000 people went to visit their congresspeople to show support for health insurance reform. Also, Pro-Reformers have been outnumbering the Anti-Reformers. You can go to the website to find events happening in the next 19 days and sign up to attend. Now introducing Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: DWS: We all worked hard to elect Obama to bring real change, but we have to work hard to change a bad system and ensure that every American has quality health care. Some say this is the wrong time, but she disagrees, now it's the right time. Many of the same critics said we weren't ready for a Black President, they were wrong then, and they are wrong now. Real reform won't be easy, but we know that change worth having doesn't come easy. When Congress returns there will be hard bargaining and hard choices, but nothing is more important than making sure every American has quality health care that can't be taken away from them. There are many people working hard to build support for Obama's plan, and we need you to keep working. The most sweeping reform of our generation is within our grasp, we must seize it. We've done this before, and we can do it again. Together we will pass health insurance reform THIS YEAR. Introduces a volunteer from Virginia.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Obama on now

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Talking about the work that was done during the election. Calls this our toughest fight and tells us to recall what we've already done. Talking about the Stimulus and SCHIP and other things passed earlier this year now.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: it's on CSPAN if you're at home

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: For all those saying the public option isn't essential, it's STILL on the OFA website:

Guarantee choice — Every American must have the freedom to choose their plan and doctor – including the choice of a public insurance option

Now Obama is joking about the campaign.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: We are going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense about things that are/aren't in the health care reform proposals. "We can have a real debate because health care's hard and there are some legitimate issues that need to be worked through" but we need to cut through the BS, and we all need to do it because we have more credibility than the people on TV.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: 1. No matter what you heard if you like what you have now, you can keep it
2. if you don't have health insurance, we will provide you "high quality, affordable options" this doesn't just include poor people. We want to give them a menu of options and help
3. We want to provide them with a public option. "I think a public option is important" because we are going to have a marketplace. An overwhelming majority in the exchange will be private, but having a public option in there will keep insurers honest and show them what the plan should look like.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: The public option is just one option, it will be voluntary, no one will be forced to be in in. But it will be a choice.

We also want to stop insurance companies from covering you for pre-existing conditions. If you get sick you should be able to keep your insurance or if you lose your job. We have to make sure that's against the law.

Medicare will be more efficient for seniors.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: taking questions now

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Only taking three questions from outside the room.

First question: The volunteers have gotten support from over 26,000 people. The debate is heating up, what's the most compelling argument we can make for health reform?

Answer: The status quo is unsustainable. Even if you have private insurance, you may end up losing it because costs are going to continue to inflate and your employer may decide to drop it or you may start getting more taken out of your check.

There will be an exchange, and it will be the individual's choice. One of the options WILL be a public option (more confusion for me!) in the marketplace.

Insurance companies won't be able to deny people coverage under fine print for pre-existing coverage or because they are sick.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Second question: Retired health care administrator from DWS's district, was a team leader during the campaign. Are we winning support from members of Congress? Are we making a difference?

Answer: Yes. (starts answering question that wasn't asked about Medicare, remind Seniors that we aren't trying to take Medicare away, we want to expand it)

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Third question: What do we do about the misconceptions (lies) being spread?

Answer: The best offense against lies is the truth, so all we can do is keep pushing the truth. There is no plan to cover illegal immigrants, despite what people believe. There are no plans to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal tax-payer dollars on abortions. Nobody has proposed anything remotely close to a government takeover of health care, even the most liberal proposal has stated that if you like your insurance, you can keep it. We don't want government insurance bureaucrats interfering, we also don't want insurance company bureaucrats interfering. No one is going to kill Grandma, and people should stop using the death panel lies to promote LIES (I said lies, not him).

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Fourth Question: Man from North Carolina thanks for turning NC Blue. It's unconscionable that there are people who don't have health insurance. You've been good at trying to get a bi-partisan bill and got 3 republicans to stand with you. Where are we going to go from here?

Answer: We don't know about Republican support, but Grassly, Ensin, and Snowe have been working "diligently" to get a bill out. I give them a lot of credit for negotiating because they are under pressure not to negotiate. But they are showing tremendous resolve. We want the bill to include Republican ideas, but we have no control over their strategy. We're going to get this done one way or another.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Fourth Question: How are we going to pay for this? How do we know employers won't force people into public plan.

Answer: We are spending 8-9 BILLION dollars a MONTH on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's enough to pay for health care reform. We are going to reallocate tax-payer money that's being wasted and use it to make people healthy. The way we reimburse hospitals, we don't incentivise them to get their patients the best treatment the first time so people have to keep going back. We need to come up with 30-40 billion dollars a year, and we are not going to tax middle and lower class families.

Also, employers who are providing insurance can't force their employees into a public option.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Fifth Question: Man from Durham, why aren't you pushing a public option if you think it's the best way to lower costs? If you don't think it's the best way, what are the other options?

Answer: He supports a public option and thinks it's important. The only thnk we've said is that the public option is just one component of a broader plan. We are also doing insurance reforms that regulate the behaviors of insurance companies. If we regulate them and have a public option then the insurance companies have a model to follow. All of these things are "important" and if the debate ends up being focused on one aspect of it then we are missing the boat because if all we talk about is the public option, the people who have insurance will think the health reform won't help them. We're just trying to not twist the debate to give opponents another tool to use against us. We need to focus on all of the elements of reform so we can build the largest coalition possible to get it done.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Sixth question: what about personal responsibility?

Answer: If the obesity rate went down, the cost of health care would go down. We also need to make sure people are getting regular checkups and eating healthy food.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]::

Last question:

What about the young people who are off of their parent's insurance and aren't getting paid enough to afford health insurance?

Answer: We want to extend the length they can stay on their parents health care plan until they get a more stable job. (Muz- Personally, I could have used this) Also, it doesn't cost much to insure young people so it should be more affordable. There will be some who decide to opt out, but they'll be able to afford it. Also, we want to give hardship exemptions.

Update [2009-8-20 15:58:31 by Muzikal203]:: Closing: it's easy to do nothing and see your poll numbers go up and get away with that for years, but I came here to get stuff done and you got me here to get stuff done. Washington is trying to steal your "can do" spirit, and we aren't going to let them. Thanks, and goodnight ~drops mic~ (okay, he didn't really drop the mic :o) )

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