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Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Thursday, December 17.

1. Jon Walker discusses “The Unholy Trilogy For Insurance Profits: Individual Mandate, Broad Age Rating, And Hardship Exemption.” According to Walker, “Forcing the young to buy coverage with huge government subsidies, but having a way to price the old out of the market, is in fact the health insurance companies’ dream.” Is that the way to keep them from running a 2009 version of “Harry and Louise,” to make their “dream” come true? Hmmmm.

2. Jane Hamsher reports on her MSNBC appearance this morning with Dylan Ratigan, at which time he made her argument for her, that “40 million new customers forced to buy your product with no competition and no regulatory body to oversee it is a pretty sweet deal.” For more, see item #1, above, on the “health insurance companies’ dream.”

3. Jon Walker continues his back-and-forth on whether or not to “kill the bill” with Nate Silver of 538.com. In this installment, Walker accuses Silver of responding to his answers, “but only to a straw man, crib notes version of my answers.” Who knew that dueling, wonky, blogger diaries on the intricate details of health care reform legislation could be so enthralling? 🙂

4. Speaking of exciting, I definitely recommend that you check out the heated exchange between Mary Landrieu and Howard Dean last night on Hardball. Jane Hamsher transcribes it, which is particularly cool given that it’s not easy to transcribe spittle flying around a TV studio. Heh.

5. Jon Walker responds to an article by Jonathan Cohn, which tries to “defend the individual mandate in this bill by claiming the Netherlands also has an individual mandate.” According to Walker, “The problem is the health care system produced by the Senate bill would be nothing at all like the health system in the Netherlands,” and he lays out exactly why that is the case.

6. Jon Walker reports that Ben Nelson “has rejected Harry Reid’s latest compromise on the abortion language,” and that Nelson “is trying to go for the full Stupak amendment.” Walker adds that “[w]e wouldn’t need to be worrying about Ben Nelson’s mountain of demands right now if they would just go with reconciliation.” So true.

7. Jon Walker rebuts one of the “better-sounding arguments for passing the Senate bill”, that “we can fix it later.” The problem with that argument, of course, is that Walker “can’t imagine there being a time anytime soon where the Democrats have more power.” Neither can anyone else, which is why they need to get as much done now as possible, on health care reform and on a whole host of other issues.  But they won’t get those things done if they keep letting John McCain’s Best Friend Forever pull a “Liebercare” on everything. Once again, if this hasn’t been stressed enough, it’s time to go to reconciliation and pass strong, progressive health care reform legislation now, not “later.”

8. Last but not least, do NOT miss Scarecrow’s post on the confrontation between Lanny Davis and Jane Hamsher on the Ed Show this evening. According to Scarecrow, “After just one round with Jane on the Ed Show, Lanny’s credibility was in need of a waaaambulance. He was last seen being wheeled out on Joe Lieberman’s gurney, on the way to the emergency ward.”  Ouch!