Obama chooses which campaign promises to break
by Jerome Armstrong, Sun Oct 18, 2009 at 09:54:22 AM EDT
Jon Walker on FDL:
* A new national health exchange open to all Americans
* A new public plan available to all Americans to compete with private insurance
* An employer mandate to provide health insurance
* A minimum medical loss ratio for insurance companies
* To allow people to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe
* To repeal the ban that prevents the government from directly negotiating with drug companies
Note none of these promise are part of the Senate Finance Committee bill. Obama has made no effort to fight for the inclusion of some of these (public option, employer mandate, minimum medical loss ratio) and months ago even made secret deals vowing to actively work to kill drug re-importation and direct drug price negotiation.
During the election Obama actively campaigned against two policies. One was the individual mandate favored by Hillary Clinton (and the health insurance industry) and the other was a tax on employer-provided health insurance which was also supported by John McCain. These two issues are now part of the Baucus bill. Since taking office, Obama has spent dramatically more time and political capital fighting hard to include these two provisions that he opposed than he has spent trying to include top progressive/labor union priorities that he supported, like the public option.
Not unrelated, there are very few people whom are actually pleased with what the Obama administration has done to date, as the latest Harris poll points out. The percentage of those ranking Obama as "Excellent" has dropped from 18 percent to 10 percent (here on MyDD that may equate to a drop below 50%). The Obama negatives have risen across the board, with Independents at 60-40 negative over positive now.
These numbers are more bleak for Congress. The negative ranking of 84% is only surpassed in one month (Oct '08) of their four years of tracking. There was a bit of a rise this summer in the "right track" numbers, peaking in August at 46% saying "right direction" but that is now just 39% again.
Simply put, the Democrats are not fulfilling the agenda they promised. Its important to point out this failure too, as otherwise, you'll have revisionists make up stuff like this: