Rouge Times

Who knew that Reid could go rouge too?

President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan "triggered" into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks.
Ah, who knows. All I can tell you is that when it's becoming a intra-Democratic debate over arcane things like Triggers and Opt-Outs, that there's a reason that Republicans are playing silent.


What I want to know is, what happened to the Obama pledge to air what went down around the table over the debate over healthcare reform?  Remember, "on C-SPAN" he said? Instead, the only power-play he's done is to do a round of blanket TV a few weeks ago. Obama lost the "Movement" for change of the process with healthcare reform.

I agree with the commenter that said this is the road to cloture:


We need President Obama to FIGHT for the public health insurance option. Getting the vote of one Republican is not worth a bad reform bill.Can you help us air this new ad 100 200 times in Maine? Every four donations of $50 helps buy another ad. UPDATE: In less than a day, we've funded over 168 airings of this ad! Can you help us get to 200?

As for the Republicans, their lack of voice in the debate is more likely do to having their intra-party war that's ongoing in the NY 23rd. I gotta blog more about that one, we Dems (am talking about the team here and not the progressive agenda) might actually win that one.

Tags: ny23, Public Option (all tags)

Comments

101 Comments

Re: Rouge Times

I think the Republicans' silence has more to do with the fact that, other than Olympia Snowe, they have taken themselves out of the game.  They oppose anything the Democrats will come up with, everyone gets that, so what more is there to say?

It's not like the Republicans are sitting around saying "bwahaha, the Democrats are beating themselves up with anonymous leaks, so no need to release our secret plan!" They have nothing aside from betting the ranch on opposing everything.

by Steve M 2009-10-25 08:09AM | 0 recs
You can't fight ambiguity

Well, if the GOP were smart they could.

The GOP attack would be that Obama doesn't know what he wants, which would force him to come out in the open and state his position. Watch for this attack.

But Obama knows the GOP is so consumed with hatred and so intent on making this his waterloo, that he is their target more than his policies; if he remains publicly ambiguous, the GOP can't attack any policy.

Also, the GOP is saddled with no reform being their intention, which is as favorable as cancer.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Meanwhile, in the land of cheerleaders, they are arguing through people like Booman that this is part of the super secret plan to pass the public option.

It is interesting how much like fundamentalism this is. "What do you say to evidence that shows the world began before 7000 years ago?" "It is just God trying to test our faith that the world began 7000 years ago."

"What do you say to evidence that President Obama is fighting the public option opt out?" "His fighting against public option is proof that he favors it."

by bruh3 2009-10-25 08:39AM | 0 recs
It makes sense

Those afflicted with Obama Derangement Syndrome on the right and the "left" hate Obama per se.

I believe it would be folly to underestimate the backlash against the public option that would arise if Obama cheerleaded for it now, out in the open.

I do agree that I find a more pronounced absence mysterious, and from my armchair, the timing seems to be off. But once again, he knows better than you or I do.

You are using HuffPo nonsense. Obama has always been in favor of it. There is no reason to believe that he is secretly against it. I also think it is very convenient that right before the vote, there is an "article" that has the net effect of ginning up support.

The only thing more unreliable than "unnamed sources" is "multiple unnamed sources".

To the HuffPo and others, name a source of STFU.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: It makes sense

I suppose this afflicted with the faux disease now include 3 sitting Democratic Senator. The problem ultimately is that you are a fundamentalist. So you will twist everything to reinforce the faith. If Obama comes out as for the trigger, what will you say then?

by bruh3 2009-10-25 10:47AM | 0 recs
There you go again...

...using words you don't understand to label people; Neoliberal this, fundamentalist that.

Explain (in 500 words or less) how I am a fundamentalist.

I only believe that Obama is smarter than you. And me.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: There you go again...

I also believe that President Obama is smarter than you and bruh3

by captain dan 2009-10-26 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: It makes sense

HuffPo nonsense.

That about sums it up.  Let's all not get our knickers in a twist over "unnamed sources."

by mjshep 2009-10-25 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: It makes sense

Oh, and that's a pretty good ad about Snowe.

by mjshep 2009-10-25 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

The fact is, the President to date has shown little no no leadership on anything. He cant decide on troops in Afghanistan, he has led nothing and proposed nothing on healthcare, he has proposed and led nothing on energy or transportation. His administration continues to do things behind closed doors. Fact is, he is looking more confused by the day. We needed a President who didnt just talk and act macho, we needed someone who was bold and decisive. He has been neither. Utterly disappointing thus far.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-25 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

That means a whole lot coming from you.

by KLRinLA 2009-10-25 10:31AM | 0 recs
Blah blah Obama Derangement Syndrome blah blah.

Oh, he didn't just find a clever way to avoid sending more troops by using the unscrupulous  Afghan election.

Healthcare reform will be the biggest legislative accomplishment since the time of the New Deal, and Afghanistan is the most complicated military decision in the past 50 years.

Would you prefer W's rash actions?
Or willd you keep falling for "multiple unnamed sources" meant to gin up progressive support for the PO at Obama's expense?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 10:50AM | 0 recs
Huh?

Well when you have the military telling the commander in chief he needs to act now and he can get make up his mind, thats bad. And when the President who campaigned on healthcare reform really isnt out front on it and seems to continually compromise, thats a problem

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-25 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Huh?

Sorry, but when you have the military telling the commander in chief he needs to act now and the commander carefully reviews all his options and takes time to decide whether what the general is asking for is really the best course in view of the overall strategy then that's GOOD.

Real good.

Has there ever been a general who has asked for less troops or said that given more resources he couldn't win? Ever? How often have the generals been wrong?

Have you ever noticed that a President doesn't write the laws? Or that we have a Congress made up of competing interests and a Senate full of corrupt idiots and fools who need to be cajoled, bartered with, bought off, pandered to and both gently and roughly pushed (all out of sight, natch) to accomplish anything?  Somehow you seem to think that some sort of bully pulpit grandstanding by a President can accomplish all that. I think Obama may tend to disagree.  Let's wait and see what actually gets done before we declare a problem.

And let's keep pushing for what we want as well.

by mjshep 2009-10-25 08:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times
If the President were tofight on the public option, would the Blog Birchers recognize it and show that ehy have his back?
Why am I tempted to answer "no"?
by spirowasright 2009-10-25 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times
When did we start trusting "multiple [unnamed] Democratic sources" for anything?  Especially when the only person in the article actually willing to put his name behind his statement contradicts them?  
I respect the value of rumor in informing us of a community's opinions and creating expectations, but it is not fact--even in the absence of credible fact rumor is not a legitimate replacement.
by Endymion 2009-10-25 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

We only believe unnamed sources if it serves our interest, while ignoring named sources that contradict the above.

It was Obama afterall who brought the PO and HC back from the dead with his speech to Congress which fired up the pro-reform people and put the Repubs on the back-foot.

That said I suspect the WH can count votes as well as anyone. Are there 60 votes? Nelson (NE) was on TV today saying he can't support Opt-out but might support Opt-In. Snowe will certainly be out and remember that Snowe is considerably to the left of Nelson and Bayh. And the dealine for bringing this to the floor is tomorrow (the 26th). And this is not the final vote - there still has to be one more vote after the House merge. We all hope Reid knows what he is doing.

by vecky 2009-10-25 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Were you this against unnamed sources when they were used against the Bush Administration or is this a sudden aversion? Did you consider all those statements to be rumor too?

Two Senators, Brown and Harkin, have said that throughout the process that the White House has been "lukewarm in supporting the public option", what is your response to their statement?

Finally, do you hold this standard that you are now applying to President Obama to other politicians, including other Democrats? What about non-Democrats?

If you feel there is a reason why we should treat Obama as different, what your principled explanation for this other than we should trust him? Why should we trust him more than any other pol?

by bruh3 2009-10-25 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

So you are quoting both Brown and Harkin as having said Obama is "'lukewarm in supporting the public option'"

Please cite a source.  I find it very interesting that they both said that exact same thing.

Again, a source, please.

by lojasmo 2009-10-25 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times


Were you this against unnamed sources when they were used against the Bush Administration or is this a sudden aversion? Did you consider all those statements to be rumor too?

In that case, the NAMED sources who were contradicting the leaks, were known liars.

by lojasmo 2009-10-25 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

lojasmo, I thank you for that. Really. I mean it.

by QTG 2009-10-25 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

HEre's that statement you requested:

"The public option trigger has nevertheless retained currency because of Obama's strong desire to bring Snowe, and possibly other centrist Republicans, to his side. Snowe has spurned the opt-out proposal and indicated she could vote to sustain a filibuster of a healthcare bill that included such language.

After Obama met with Pelosi, Reid and other Democratic leaders Thursday, the White House repeated its message that Obama supports the public option but will not rule out the trigger or any other compromise.

That is not good enough, Harkin said. "I've not been very happy with the White House's lukewarm support of the public option," he said, articulating a gripe liberals have been making for months.

"I would hope the president would speak out more forcefully in favor of the public option," Brown said, adding "I expect he will."

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/64581 -liberals-confident-that-public-healthca re-option-will-come-through

The Brown statement is basically the same as Harkin except he adds as the end a statement of hope.

The interesting thing about many of you is that you don't research at all. These statements are fairly easy to fine.

Let me ask you this question:

How will you know if the Obama White House is lying?

How did we know the Bush White House was lying?

The other more fundamental question is this:

Do you think President Obama is not a politician?

I asked the question I did to get you to think outside of the President Obama frame, but honestly , the question is true of any presidency.  How are we to know they are telling the truth? You seem to take it as a given that Pres Obama is. Do you think this inquiry is  inappropriate even where we do not think the president is lying, but maybe he or is just spinning?  

I dealt with this in canvassing for Kerry against Bush. When I first mentioned to someone else , they said yeah they know that logic. I was talking to this woman who said Bush supported the troops, and that's why she was voting for him. When I said, how could that be when he's not buying them proper body armor. She resorted like you do to how there was something unique or special about Bush.

So, here's my question: Let's say Obama comes out in favor of the trigger, do you think then that the unnamed sources were still wrong?  Do you think that means he supports health care reform for Americans?

Frankly , I don't expect you to answer this. I expect to see the same behavior I have seen for months now.  The same little rants followed by back slapping because you "got me." Yeap you certainly did.

It was no different with Bush supporters because it is about supporting the candidate. I don't think Obama is Bush. But I sure think you are like Bush supporters.  It does not matter what the facts say.  You will contort them with that supporters logic.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Well said......heck I still cant believe Kerry lost to Bush....had he not, we would be in much better shape today.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-25 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

I am not surprised. Kerry failed to fight, had poor organization and Bush was a more charismatic candidate. Modern American politics really is about who is more charismatic, has the best organization and most money than anything else. I am not sure we would have been in a better place. The point I was making is that they are all politicians. I think there are a lot systemic issues with our country that goes beyond them. The problem I have with the cheerleaders is that they really don't give a shit about this country or what's happening to it. They are hear to support Obama. It really is unhealthy, but it is what it is. I just wanted to see what they would do when asked questions. They responded as expected. With supporter logic, which is the chief reason I posted the story. Someone actually linked me to a more interesting example during Katrina called "If the Czar Knew"

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/200 5/09/08/if_only_the_czar_knew/

These posters here are the same mindset. And will attack anyone who points it out to them just like the bush extremist did. It's a cult o fpersonality. So, when I ask questions like "Why should this politician (Obama) be treated any differently than other politicians?" I knew the response would be nasty. They can never afford to go there with the double standards of logic they use to rationalize their support. Now, it is Reid is wrong for going for the public option. It's nuts because it is sustained through pure belief.

Notice how they don't skip a beat when first implying the quotes were wrong, and now, that I linked to the source article, continuing the assault on me. Rove would be proud.

So while  it is nuts, it is no more nuts than the Bush people. I got used to this sort of behavor then. I know thankfully they are not the majority of even Obama supporters. Just the more unhealthy element of his support.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 05:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

I agree completely with everything you just said. And getting back to Kerry for a moment, he lost it for sure when he refused to fight back against the swift boat garbage. If he had discredited it quickly the way Bush did so with the national guard stuff, he could have won. Kerry was a victim of his own boorish personality. The problem (in part) with Obama, is he seems to almost think that is he talks the talk, carries on with a swagger that his personality will overcome all. But when Americans are out of work, wages are declining and there is no end in sight, he will be faced with a potential problem come 2012.....right now those on the left think the GOP is in such disarray it unthinkable they could win.....but that mistake has been made before

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-25 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

a) It remains to be seen what Americans will do. I would like to think they will respond to policy, but that's an open ended question. I made the point about charisma because that's really modern American presidential politics in a nutshell.

b) There is the reality gap for President Obama, but I am not sure if that will matter. He gives good speeches, and people (many of them along this thread) will cite them as "proof" despite the policies, strategies and acts being out of sink with the speeches. I am not sure how people overtime will respond to that gap. They ignored the gap between President Bush's rhetoric and his actions for a long time. Obama is not on that level of being bad so he may be able to get away with more.  To some extent cynicism protects all Presidents because people expect presidents to lie. The problem is right now we may not be in a place to continue down the road of punting problems anymore. Economically the issues that will lead to our decline from being a super power will probably increase at an exponential pace in the coming years.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:29PM | 0 recs
Counting to 60 is fundamental here.

You do realize that what you posted is completely contrary to your stated opinion that Obama is out to undermine the healthcare reform, according to multiple unnamed sources.

After Obama met with Pelosi, Reid and other Democratic leaders Thursday, the White House repeated its message that Obama supports the public option but will not rule out the trigger or any other compromise.

Also, you were canvassing for Kerry?!?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

I've often thought rumor was fascinating, but I've always known the limit of its value.

by Endymion 2009-10-25 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Oh, we've been doing that for many months here...if by "we" you mean Jerome and Bruh.

by lojasmo 2009-10-25 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

And there's a plan in the works.

by QTG 2009-10-25 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

I have not counted OBAMA out on this yet...
If he were to step up before the Senate actually sticks in a public option the right would come unglued even more.

He is a saavy politician, waiting out some time, When it actually gets to committee then we should see and hear from him.  He actually is waiting and making Congress actually work!!!

by lja 2009-10-25 09:19AM | 0 recs
He's also okay letting Jerome hate him

After all, what does it matter if those on the left become unglued? Any progressive anger furthers support for... the public option :)

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: He's also okay letting Jerome hate him

If President Obama comes out for the trigger, what will you say then?

by bruh3 2009-10-25 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: He's also okay letting Jerome hate him

His math is better than Reids?

The only reason the trigger will be included in the senate bill is if the Opt-Out fails to get to 60. When Nelson and Bayh stamp their little feet and say this trigger/opt-in is better what will you say?

by vecky 2009-10-25 12:48PM | 0 recs
Re: He's also okay letting Jerome hate him


His math is better than Reids?

That says it all.  But Reid's math is in his own destiny.  Time for legislators to stand and deliver, 2010 is just around the corner.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 05:09PM | 0 recs
If all the ifs and buts were candy and nuts...

...what a wonderful Christmas it would be.

I think you're beginning to realize that Obama may know what he's doing.

He's not going to open his mouth at this point. Anything beyond he's already said and done will only undermine the effort.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: If all the ifs and buts were candy and nuts...

Short answer: None of the three of us gives a shit about the policy.

I am sure Shaun and the other back slappers will write more diaries about the importance of the public option. I will be cutting and pasting the replies here into this diaries.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 05:41PM | 0 recs
No

Don't accuse us of not caring about the policy.

We care very much about the policy, and we want a strong public option. We also want the reform to pass the House and Senate.

So the correct (shorter) answer is: we have faith in success.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: No

Once again, I am sure you do abstractly consider yourselves progressives who care about policy, but that's again not your priority. You post here to protect President Obama. The policy is incidental. So you go from diary to diary arguing absurdities, contradicting yourselves, making non factual arguments that I can disprove in minutes of googling, claiming that statements are not actually statements by Senators, petting each other on the back for striking down the evil "Obama haters."

The Bush supporters I met were truly into issues too. That did not change their priority being  Bush. The woman who supported the troops did think she was supporting the troops. She wasn't  lying. It does not change the fact that her priority in practice was not the troops when she responded "Bush is a good man" to my pointing out that the "troops did not have proper body armor."

However, you don't prioritize policy when you keep lowering the policy outcome goals regarding the public option not because of the vote count but because right now you think that may adversely affect President Obama. it is a question of priorities.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: No

People who rile themselves up reading a Senate vote on the PO which still has to be squared with the House bill are not interested in policy, they are interested in bashing.

There is a lot of noxious stuff in the Senate Health Bill - individual mandate, no employer mandate, new taxes, insufficient subsides, medicare adv. cuts. In the meantime the PO is not scheduled to kick in till 2013. Trigger/no-trigger, opt-out/opt-in what does it matter if HC costs aren't bought under control by 2012 the democrats and HC reform will be dead. If it's unpopular enough repeal may even be on the cards.

As Obama has kept saying, repeatedly, there is a lot more to HC reform than just the PO. A version of the PO will be in the final bill, of that we are assured. However the PO will only come into being after 3 years - concentrating on minor details about it is a huge gift to the opposition.

by vecky 2009-10-25 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: He's also okay letting Jerome hate him

No response? Interesting.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 11:25AM | 0 recs
Do you think you're clever?

The site was down for quite a while, you know.

At least it was for me.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 04:22PM | 0 recs
Do you think you're clever?

The site was down for quite a while, you know.

At least it was for me.

Did I strike a nerve there?
You know, they say nothing hurts like the truth.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Do you think you're clever?

If you going to be catty, at least throw a barb at me so that I can be touchy about it. I re-asked the question to get an answer, which not one, but three of you gave. The short of it is that you don't give a shit about policy. You are here for Obama. I think many lurkers are happy to find that out rather than continue to assume you care about issues. So, thank you for responding.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 05:43PM | 0 recs
Oh now come on

Who says we don't care about policy?

You're darn right we care a lot about Obama. we like him. A lot. Our guy won the primary. And he won the Presidency. And you've got him too for 7 more years.

If you don't have faith in him, that's you're problem.

The problem is, you're jumping on a completely illogical leak from "multiple unnamed sources", when Obama has stated repeatedly, by your own words, that he supports a strong public option, but will settle for a trigger.

What do you want him to say, that he won't settle for a trigger?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh now come on

 I am sure abstractly you do care about policy, but it is clearly not your priority.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh now come on

Clearly you don't care about it either because without process you can't have policy. Witness HCR circa 1993.

by vecky 2009-10-25 09:36PM | 0 recs
What policy do you care about?

Please explain.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: He's also okay letting Jerome hate him

If Obama comes out and says HRC was all just a big joke from the beginning and he wanted it to fail like when (you know who) 'tried' but things kinda got out of hand and now we need to dial it back for his friends in the oligarchy of neo-liberal capitalism DC mindset lobbyists who actually run the show as everyone ought to know.

What will you say then? Huh? WHAT?

by QTG 2009-10-25 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times...or Rogue Times?

Uh, I think Jerome meant going rogue, not going rouge, but then it could be a sly reference to the Nation book.

On the substance, "we'll see" said the Zen master..

by Cohee 2009-10-25 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times...or Rogue Times?

I thought the book was pure genius.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-10-25 06:27PM | 0 recs
Despite the fact...

...that the only thing countering Obama's routine support for a public option are a bunch of "multiple unnamed democratic sources".

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 10:51AM | 0 recs
Seemingly...

We finally have a President who understands the powers and responsibilities of the respective branches of government.  If that's '11th-dimensional chess' in the popular idiom then so be it.

As far as leading the party, my understanding is the Obama administration has always intended that the outcome of significant health care reform in some form or another is their objective.  For them to have guided this perilous process to the point we are at today seems a more sincere fulfilment of their campaign promise than the heroic failure of a reform attempt with specific features that appeal to progressives but are apparently out of reach of the current Democratic legislative majority, such as it is.

If that positions me outside of the 'progressive' spectrum, with it's combative loyalty to ideologically sound but unattainable objectives, I guess I can live with that.  My only concern is that the Obama folks have wrung every last bit of goodness from the opportunities presented.  From the heated debate over the specifics of health care policy at this critical juncture and the hair-splitting going on in both houses of Congress I am fairly confident they have gauged their positions carefully but for maximum effect.

And if there is daylight for our Democratic legislators to get out in front of the executive on the public option all the better.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

We finally have a President who understands the powers and responsibilities of the respective branches of government.

That may be true but abdicating to Congress is in effect abdicating to corporations. We have a government by lobbyists that thwarts the popular will.

Look at the brou-ha-ha over the Anna Eshoo proposed 12 year "data exemption" for biologic drugs. At the moment, the law allows for 5 years but Eshoo whose biggest campaign contributor is the biotech industry succeeded in upping to 12 over Henry Waxman's objections. The President is now pushing for a 7 year compromise. Eshoo, mind you, is a liberal Democrat but still beholden to corporate interests.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-25 04:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

And this is new, in way shape or form, how?  We have been in the throes of BUILDING the Lobbyinst culture in DC since, at least, Eisenhower.  He warned us and "we" patted him on the head and thanked him, and promptly ignored him.

It took us YEARS to screw ourselves this far intot he ground.  EVERYONE has their hands dirty in some fashion, that is how you play the game right now.  We have been shown a new direction...but it is going to take a lot of time to just get out of the hole.  Unlike the video games of our culture, there is no reset button when we find we made a mistake.  SO put the progressive Democrats feet to the fire when they act not-progressively.

Eshoo is working on the part of her constituents.  Makes sense.  Why is everyone ELSE going along with this?  Dig a little deeper...see what you find.

by Hammer1001 2009-10-25 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

Eshoo is not working on behalf of her constituents but on behalf of her contributors. There is a difference even in Palo Alto.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-25 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

We have been shown a new direction? By whom? By Obama?

Mind you, I think Obama is an improvement by a wide margin but it is still a far cry from we need. Ex out the differences over social issues and some foreign policy issues, and the difference between many of the Democrats and Republicans is all too often marginal. Eshoo, my new favorite bete noire, may stand up for reproductive rights and LGBT rights but she is also as much as a corporatist as any Republican. Indeed, on her amendment the whole of the GOP (and half the Democrats) on the Energy and Commerce committee voted with her to ensure corporate profits at the expense of the national interest.

Yesterday, Obama was touting "clean coal." That tells me he doesn't get it. Clean coal is oxymoron. But then again, this is a man who voted for the Bush Cheney Energy policies so my expectations on Obama and energy are near zero. I'm more hopeful on transportation issues, which ultimately may have more impact on climate. But that also tells me that the energy lobby has more power than the trucking lobbying.

Dig a little deeper? Seriously follow your own advice. Moreover follow the money. That will open your eyes. At least, I hope it will.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-25 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

I admire your tenacity. For a lot of us who were hoping for someone who would do what he says and not pay lip service, cynicism is setting in. The last thing Obama wants is a cynical base because if he betrays the base on health care (as all reports are suggesting) no number of pretty speeches will be able to re-energize the base like it did in 2008.

by tarheel74 2009-10-25 06:48PM | 0 recs
Well, That's a Good Point

But if your thesis is correct there are problems with our system of government which are more serious than a readjustment of power between the executive and legislative can be expected to resolve.  If we really can't trust our legislative branch, especially the House, in these matters than we are screwed.  My reading is that the whole arc of the health care debate this year has raised the awareness of the electorate, stimulated public debate, focused attention on the mechanisms of government and is a litmus test for any other major reforms which may follow.

But it also seems clear, mirable dictu, that Pelosi is just a whisker away from getting the House whipped into support for the Medicar-plus-five option.  And Reid's newly rediscovered backbone has us within a few votes of cloture on some form of public option in the Senate.

If it is the responsibility of the executive to lead the party through these legislative hoops by the nose, as the Republicans are wont to do, I think we have ceded the strengths of our party and are emulating the weaknesses of theirs.  We are a different kind of enterprise and in this instance it seems, in spite of the ebb and flow of public opinion and media narratives, that we have found some legislative bedrock on which we could leverage not only a public option health care reform bill, 'robust' or otherwise, but any number of other hotly contested but essentially progressive reforms which will need to be as strongly supported by our legislative assembly as by the executive branch.  Not least of which electoral finance reform and restrictions on lobbyist influences.

I doubt we will overturn a generation of Republican legacies by emulating their culture.  We have to invent something new and frankly it seems we are just beginning to see some daylight on that score.  If the Democratic party's strength is not vested in our legislature we are missing the whole point.  And if Obama's opening 'test case' is on a major legislative initiative on which his administration will be judged and he still insists on having Congress 'stand and deliver' or join him in defeat then I'm guessing we are off to a better start than we might otherwise have hoped for.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, That's a Good Point

Shorter answer: I am trying to find a way to justify Obama's behavior here.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 05:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, That's a Good Point

It's hard to say which is more stunning, your urgent insistence to put your words into someone else's mouth or your lack of basic reading comprehension skills.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, That's a Good Point

I love this post below by Glenn Greenwald. It gets beyond the President Obama is different talking points that you and others like to argue.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2 009/08/19/obama/index.html

a) "The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

"We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/12 /white-house-browbeats-dem_n_214870.html

He's different until he's not. It is about my "comprehension" of your argument rather than the weakness of the argument in light of President Obama's record of using his office thus far.

b) Of course, this is not the only time. There are others. The reason for example DADT could not be changed by executive orders was that we were told it would be inappropriate for the president to do so by unilaterally changing the law without Congressional approval. He's a different kind of president we were told. Do you know what the widow's penalty is? If you don't you should look it up. The point is not that this is about DADT. It is that apparently he acts like other politicians when it suits him.

c) There's no reason not to trust the White House on their word on this, right?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13 /internal-memo-confirms-bi_n_258285.html

But he's different. He's not interested in using presidential politics like other presidents. Except when he does.  

You are not here making excuses.  You aren't rationalizing. Indeed, if the president comes out supporting the trigger it will become "Reid can't count." That's the only possible interpretation of the event that makes sense.

It won't be because the White House has been trying to push out the public option and walk away from it for months but-for progressives:

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/109 26

(Discussing the various trial balloons and walk backs over the last few months)

It will be because the White House is unlike other administrations, except again when it suits them.  The bailouts comes to mind and FISA. But he was forced to advocate those things because of the limitations of his position. Not because he believes them.

If you don't get it yet, the point is that he's a politician acting like other politicians act. On some level, I would have no problem with that. We can pressure a politician. We can't pressure a myth.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 06:55PM | 0 recs
'Talking PointsThat You and Others Like to Argue

As convinced as I am that disagreeing with you is at least as honourable as a Boy Scout's 'Citizenship In The Nation' merit badge I am sure it's equally irrelevant to our collective political future.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: 'Talking PointsThat You and Others Like to Arg

Translation; You got nothing.

After all, how could the White House pressuring freshman Congressmen possibly have anything to do with them pressuring Senators to obtain the public option.

It is not like an example of arm twisting  by the President's White House demonstrates the falsity of your talking points to Charles.

I know. I know. I am a hater.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:17PM | 0 recs
If The Shoe Fits?

What I am trying to point out, Bruh, is that it seems to me that Obama is trying to get Democrats to govern from their strengths, not attempt to use the tactics of the Republicans.  From where I sit it seems the Republicans are in crisis, the demographics will tend to keep a Democratic majority in the House, at least, for some time to come and that if we learn to govern with our legislative assembly we can undo more than the executive orders and signing statements of the Bush years.

We can make it hard for them to get their hands on the reins of power for a generation if we do this thing thoroughly and from the ground up.

I think we have learned the lessons of how Republicans govern quite well but perhaps have forgotten how Democrats are meant to do it.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: If The Shoe Fits?

a) Just because you believe what you are saying to be the case does not mean  this is what President Obama believes.  He has no problem using his political power to bully Congress when it suits him. That's the point of linking you to when he has done so in the past.  This is example of what I mean by supporter's logic. The gap between your stated belief, and the politician's actions. The speeches of politicians are meaningless in the equation.  It is window dressing meant to exploit the gap.

b)  FDR and LBJ were tough politicians who from all accounts were quite willing to ram through their goals in Congress. FDR threatened to pack the courts when they were threatening his legislative agenda. LBJ was more than willing to threaten members of Congress with their skeletons. The presidency did not begin with Bush. The options are not either be like Bush or be like what President Obama is doing now regarding healthcare.  There are other examples. The only lesson  you should take from the GOP is not to do the wrong policy for 40 years. The rest is just excuses to keep doing the wrong policies. This is true whether you intend that result or not because of the inertial impact of the status quo. If you really want to obtain new voters, do what FDR did.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 08:04PM | 0 recs
Yes, But...

FDR and LBJ were eighty and fifty some years ago respectively.  Things have changed.  Our immediate concerns are with the present.  I would be interested to know what examples you have of when Obama has 'bullied' Congress, though I'm not suggesting it hasn't happened.

You seem to think that because I have been an Obama supporter that I am incapable of independent thought, which I find a bit condescending.  I would have assumed that the argument I have tried to develop here would have disproven that thesis, hence my disparaging comment on your reading comprehension upthread.  In deference to your essential political virtue of a 'thick skin' in the interests of a good argument I am quite happy to continue to make this case.  Consider this, for example:


The bad news, of course, is that so much of the media still revolves around worshiping the presidency and glorifying presidents that it's more difficult these days to motivate the grassroots around pressuring the more diffuse concept of "Congress." Put another way, in today's celebrified culture, it's easier to motivate people against or behind a person than it is to motivate people against or behind an institution.

But that is the challenge. When a president looks at the biggest legislative fight in a generation and tells America it's time for him to take a "quiet period," he's making a Big Lebowskian declaration to Congress that the nation's "life is in your hands." And while I would certainly love to see Obama be more assertive for progressive causes, as I said at the beginning, his passivity could be bad, but it also could be great.

It could be bad if the country just holds out hope the White House will deliver positive results its own, when in fact, the White House is making clear it has no intention of doing that. It could be good, though, if, as I said in my In These Times article, progressive lawmakers fight the good fight and progressive institutions focus their resources on pressuring today's pliant Congress. It's a tough challenge in the celebrity mediascape -- but it is doable.

David Sirota - With an Incredible Shrinking President, It's the Congress, Stupid Huffington Post 24 Oct 09

David Sirota is hardly an Obama apologist but I think he gets it.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, But...

a) We are discussing President Obama persuading two moderate Senators to vote for cloture on health care reform that would help millions of Americans. As one article puts it, the moderates are looking for his guidance on this.

The rhetoric right now would make one think we were discussing  we are asking them to convince them to support a war of choice.  Your arguments also imply, once again, that President Obama has some problem using his power to bully people  when he clearly does not.  What ever motivates you or Sirota or whoever argues this position, at least factually, is not what motivates President Obama.

This is all I keep saying: He has already shown the willingness to arm twist. Therefore you argument is what you want. Not what he does.

b) My problem with your argument is that it is rationalization in context of what the president is doing. No one is asking him to do anything more than other presidents have done before him.

Saying that these things happened with just FDR and LBJ's eras is inaccurate.

When Clinton passed his budget bill, he barely passed it, and had to twist the arms of his own party to do it as I remember. It turned out the be a great move because the bill lead to decreasing budget deficits, and eventually surpluses in the 90s. It was one of his best decision to push for the increase in marginal tax rates. It was not easy.

He had to expend political capital to do it. The American people benefited from him doing so. So, the idea that this is some out of date view of the presidency is inaccurate.

What we are really  talking about here is not the argument you are making, but the reality that President Obama is unwilling to expend capital. You may deeply believe what you are saying. Obama, again, does not agree with you.  His prior arm twisting proves that he doesn't.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 08:39PM | 0 recs
Political Capital?

As far as political capital goes it's pretty safe to say that Obama's has staked a fair chunk of his, among other things, on the passage of health care reform which benefits most Americans.  Wouldn't you agree?  That he has placed this sacred trust, and his political future, in the hands of the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress strikes me as a courageous act of faith and wise political calculation beyond what we are accustomed to from our elected officials.

For him to engage in the kind of 'arm twisting' you are advocating may be tactically wise but my point is that it would be strategically foolish.  They don't call it '11th-dimensional chess' for nothing.

Did you actually read the Sirota citation I posted?  Watch the donut, Bruh, not the hole.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Political Capital?

a) He staked his capital on passing "any bill" as Rahm announced early in the process. There is a difference between any bill and one that will piss off entrenched interests like the insurance industry, which if I were to totally speculate this is really about.  

I don't blame him entirely for this. I blame him in the sense of being surrounded by the wrong advisors who as the Huffington Post reported this weekend have convinced him that he can not win the fight despite the realities that he can if he would just take a risk.

This is his tragic flaw by the way. He's cautious to the point of being the old lady driving 25 miles per hour in a 70 hour lane. She's going to get herself and everyone else kill because she thinks she's driving safely when everyone else is ready to move on.

b) Your term benefits all Americans is also one of those things that does not make sense in context. A bill that does not address cost containment but includes a mandate is a regressive private tax.

This is not theory. It is reality based on premiums going up from 12k per year to 23k.  Nor do subsidies address this.

Previous conservative estimates by the way in the prior decade that just happened underestimated increases rather than overestimating them.  An trigger would be a bad bill. This is where we are at.

The notion that he will be in office when the shit hits the fan is also inaccurate. The full impact of this bill will not be known into the middle of next decade.  Just like the Clinton financial industry deregulation did not reach its full impact until 2008. This is another gap between flowery rhetoric and fact.

OT: Like Clinton I don't believe this WHite House gives a rat's ass about democratic majorities outside the short term political interest of Obama. I don't think Obama necessarily thinks that way. But I sure as hell think his political people like Rahm do.  

c) Unless that citation specifically disproves that the president has a problem  twisting arms, I don't see your point.

d) I don't believe in 11 dimensional chess. He's not that smart. No one is.  He's a human. 11 dimensional chess comes from Star Trek which is a work of fiction.

I am not interested in assigning him some kind of reverence that simply strike me as another way of "trust him."

Screw trusting him. He needs to prove himself to us through action that match rhetoric or at least is not manipulating gaps in understanding his intended actions.  Trust comes through verification. Verification comes through action not words.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 09:14PM | 0 recs
It is an article

of faith among some that everything would be solved if Obama and the Democrats would just fight harder.

This faith collapses when subjected to any real analysis of the Senate.  McCain carried 22 states.   The simple truth of the math in the Senate is to get cloture you have to win Senators from states McCain won.  

Who are the holdouts at this point:?
Landrieu - McCain won 59-40
Ben Nelson - McCain won 57-42
Bayh - Obama won 50-49 in a state that went 60-40 in 2004.

The add mentions Obama carried Maine 58-40, but Snowe won 71% the last time she ran and Susan Collins won 61-39 against a well funded challenger.

These Senators are far more popular in their home state than Obama is.  How exactly is being tougher going to get them to do anything? If we assume that the politician's first rule is political survival, I fail ANY EVIDENCE that being tougher would make the sightest damn difference at all.

Really - tell me the get tough strategy that wins these votes.  

by fladem 2009-10-26 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: It is an article

If that were my argument, your statement might be of use. That's not my argument. There is a vast gap between inaction and expecting a certain outcome.  No one has argued that Obama is a miracle worker. They have argued he needs to put skin in the game.

Part of the issue here is that your calculus assumes he can not persuade them through whipping them. Whipping them is not simply a matter of threat. There are carrots he can use. How is Reid convincing people if the WSJ is correct? Between Reid and Obama who has the greater power of persuasion?

As an example, the Huffington Post as I mentioned wrote a recent article in which they pointed out that many moderates said that what they were looking for from the president was guidance.  Implicit in the statement is that they were not receiving any.  Another example, he could be inviting them to the White House as a way to say 'I am really behind this, and am willing to expend my political capital in anyway I can to help you if I can on other fronts, but I really want this particular item." Again, this is all off top my head and from the tea leaves we get from reporting , it is clear he's not doing that. It is not that he is above doing these things. He interferes when he wants in other ways, including telling people not to run in local primaries and twisting arms with bills. So, I am left to ask why the lac of effort here.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, I think

it's the ability to churn out miles of citation free blather.

by QTG 2009-10-25 06:56PM | 0 recs
Please...

Don't get him started on citations.  Ooops...  Too late.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Please...

You are right. It is far better to just use talking point with nothing to back it up like you and the rest of the herd does. Next you will quoting me some speech as a response.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:18PM | 0 recs
Talking Point?

I wish.  The truth is I am making most of this stuff up as I go.  You make it sound like a career when it is merely a hobby.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, That's a Good Point

I doubt we will overturn a generation of Republican legacies by emulating their culture.

Never mind their culture, too many Democrats have adopted their ideology.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-25 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Well, That's a Good Point

Well, the point of conflating the culture to policy is to avoid the policy discussion for which we could then hold them accountable. It is like conflating whether Obama should pre-compromise as he does on policy with "Well we don't want him to be President Bush" as if politics began in 2001.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:21PM | 0 recs
That...

Is definitely a problem.  Which is why I place such an emphasis on the determinant importance of the legislature for our future strategy.  Winning a national presidential campaign is a steeplechase of compromises and the current climate of media narratives and public awareness has been fermented in years of Republican dogma, even the Great Crunch of 2008 has done little to deter the 'free-market' memes which litter the health care debate.

'Slowly, slowly catchee monkey,' as the old Malay aphorism goes.  But to begin by liberating the legislature from the 'rubber stamp' notions we have endured since 1994 seems a good start.  Frankly I wonder that progressives don't see that an independent and empowered House is our biggest asset.  Look at what someone like our freshman Grayson can accomplish with virtually nothing but a wit and cajones, it's at least the equal of the $7M-a-week health industry lobby when the winds are favourable.  We have had a majority in the House since 2006 and only now are we beginning to see some real power devolving into the legislative branch of government.  The Republicans thrive on a cowed and disempowered legislature.  Not us.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: That...

 You repeat the talking point while ignoring the citation that illustrates the falsity of your talking point.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 07:31PM | 0 recs
Which...

Talking point?  And which citation?  Briefly.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Which...

What you describe you want has nothing to do with what President Obama has done since being in office. Nor is what you describe necessary toward accomplishing a better democracy. This democracy existed for a long time before Bush. The idea that we should use his presidency as the bench marks is insane. There are multiple other strong president's who nevertheless acted with the scope of the democracy. So, if Obama is making the choices he is making it is not because he has no other model from which draw than Bush and the Republicans.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 08:08PM | 0 recs
That...

Is an interesting thought but I'm having trouble relating it to anything I actually said.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: That...

 I am saying your comments has nothing to with what the president is doing. If you still don't understand, I am not sure what to tell you.

by bruh3 2009-10-25 08:46PM | 0 recs
Well...

Then we've landed on the same square.  I'm lost as well.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 09:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Well...

Sure you try to obfuscate with 'words'.

Why do you hate puppies?

by January 20 2009-10-26 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: That...

is prezackly correct. Well articulated.

by QTG 2009-10-25 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: That...

Grayson is a godsend.

We need someone to call the GOP on their bullshit.

Franken is another. Best additions to the Congress in a long, long time.

by Charles Lemos 2009-10-25 08:47PM | 0 recs
Totally Agreed

Would it be too much of a stretch for me to suggest that the 'aloofness' of the Obama administration in the health care debate, among other things, has generated a teensy-weensy bit of the oxygen they have found?

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-25 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Totally Agreed

Yes, indeed, it would.

by orestes 2009-10-26 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Totally Agreed

Aw, shucks...

by Shaun Appleby 2009-10-26 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Totally Agreed

That gave me a laugh.

by orestes 2009-10-27 10:49AM | 0 recs
I do empathize with your point of view...

That may be true but abdicating to Congress is in effect abdicating to corporations.
And that may be true.

I just feel that it is very easy to vilify the democratic process in a time of exigency. And the last time the need for the Legislative Branch was belittled due to the urgency of OMFGTerror!, the country paid a terrible price in blood and tre.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 09:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I do empathize with your point of view...

Exactly... this is Congresses responsibility to get right.

I have doubts whether they are capable though. The House may be salvageable, but in the senate there is little chance. Maybe if the Dems had a 64 vote majority.... think of it, all we would need is another liberal senator from Iowa, one from NH, two from Maine and we could tell Bayh, Nelson et al to get stuffed.

by vecky 2009-10-25 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Seemingly...

That may be the case, but where was the citizen outcry over the Eshoo vote?

There wasn't any, or there was very little. If we want to make a stand on this we have to organize and make that change. We in fact, have to lobby our reps - and make them know whose reps they are.

by vecky 2009-10-25 09:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Has Jerome made a post yet supporting Obama?

It seems like he is really grasping at straws to attack him for anything.

by Bobby Obama 2009-10-25 07:47PM | 0 recs
That's a very good question

I have tried to go back and find something. I came up with nothing. I wonder if he would like to share it with us?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

Just wait...coming soon!

by lja 2009-10-26 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times
Just playing devils advocate some facts from Associated press: WASHINGTON - In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making "immoral" and "obscene" returns while "the bodies pile up." But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground. Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones. Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans. Insurers are an expedient target for leaders who want a government-run plan in the marketplace. Such a public option would force private insurers to trim profits and restrain premiums to compete, the argument goes. This would "keep insurance companies honest," says President Barack Obama. The debate is loaded with intimations that insurers are less than straight, when they are not flatly accused of malfeasance. The insurers may not have helped their case by commissioning a report that looked primarily at the elements of health care legislation that might drive consumer costs up while ignoring elements aimed at bringing costs down. Few in the debate seem interested in a true balance sheet. A look at some claims, and the numbers: THE CLAIMS _"I'm very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers' "obscene profits." _"Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants. Their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed." Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership. _"Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe." A MoveOn.org ad. THE NUMBERS: Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th of 53 industries on the Fortune 500 list. As is typical, other health sectors did much better -- drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10. The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent. HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That's a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers. The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin. UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue. Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase. But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers? Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry's overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent. The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent. ___ Associated Press writer Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.
by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-26 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

That's true enough. Health insurance is not a driver of costs - it's a driver of access. Higher insurance prices mean less people can afford HC, but higher insurance prices stems from higher medical costs in general.

Thus the Public Option - which is a useful tool to increase the number of people with insurance, will not do a whole lot to reduce actual medical expenses. Indeed it's affect in this case will probably be close to neutral - a small reduction in prices owing to increased efficiencies and competition countered by a rise in prices owing to more people using the system.

If we want health care COSTS to come down we have to look at other reforms. As Obama has said repeatedly, the PO is only one sliver.

by vecky 2009-10-26 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Rouge Times

agreed...well stated

by BuckeyeBlogger 2009-10-26 03:02PM | 0 recs

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