California House Speaker decides to table Senate-passed single-payer bill for the foreseeable future. Why? Possibly because California Democrats (who run everything in Cali, and thus can't use Republican obstruction as an excuse) would rather give lip service to things people want than do things people want, though the latter would ensure their majorities as much as all the money they raise. Of course they say TEH SINGLE PAYERZ COSTZ TOO MUCHZ!!!!, which is bunk -- corporations pay too much to insure their workers now, and I can't imagine they wouldn't welcome paying less.
Speaking of which, Massachusetts state legislators introduce bills that would create a single-payer health insurance system there -- but also introduce bills that would assess the cost of single-payer, and mandate the legislature to act on findings about that cost. Of course it's cheaper pretty much everywhere on the planet you look, but making the state's nonpartisan Health Policy Commission do the counting gives us our best shot at making a convincing argument. I bet even that state's Republican Governor would think twice before vetoing a single-payer bill coming out of this process, since it would put him in the position of being fiscally irresponsible.
We talked yesterday about Mr. McConnell's flogging of lower-premiums-that-actually-aren't-lower-premiums, but the Center for American Progress reminds us of another reason you should be skeptical when you hear about lower premiums: lower premiums might well be a result of lousier plans covering fewer health conditions -- and if your lousy plan is cheaper, you won't feel like it's cheaper when you're paying more out of your own pocket. Just so happens the Senate bill would allow health insurers to cover less, which is pretty much the easiest way of making you pay more. "You pay more" really should be the backbone of a Democratic ad campaign, but I think I just hinted why that won't happen.
Mark this under "Profiles in Courage": Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) comes out against the Senate's health care bill after the Senate Republican leadership postpones the vote on the bill. I really wish the Toledo Blade, which I'm sure is a fine paper doing the best it can in a sick, immoral, and decadent society, had mentioned that Mr. Portman was one of the 13 Republican Senators who worked on this bill behind closed doors to begin with, so that we could discover that he basically opposes his own bill.
Finally, Janine Jackson at FAIR interviews Institute for Local Self-Reliance co-director Stacy Mitchell on the real consequences of Amazon's proposed assimilation of Whole Foods. Chief among them: with one out of every two dollars spent online coursing through Amazon's veins, Amazon essentially has "monopoly power in online commerce," and it's well past time we re-embraced the notion that monopoly power is dangerous no matter how great the selection or how fast the package gets to you. (Also, too, the "liberal" media covers the proposed merger like it's a sporting match, not like it's your damn life.)