Healthcare looks done this year
by Jerome Armstrong, Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 01:27:53 PM EST
Too many intractable differences for it to move forward right now. The signs of of it ending are all around. Consider the source (Kristol), but the truth is probably close: (President Obama, in Copenhagen, reportedly just said, "If I've lost David Brooks, I've lost enlightened America.")
Jane has a post up on The Left/Right Populist Wrap-Around Vs. the Beltway Insiders that has a quote from some left-center blogger that channels Rahm:The trick is to put a package together that some visible element of "the left" is out there opposing, but that actually has the support of everyone who matters on the left. SEIU isn't opposing the bill. NAACP isn't opposing the bill. Important thought-leaders like Paul Krugman aren't opposing the bill. Surf over to MoveOn.org and you'll see they're highlighting some "f*** you Joe Lieberman" stuff, but not seriously trying to push liberal Senators to vote "no"...
Ah, edit that... MoveOn has come out against the privatized mandate bill.
And here, spot on:There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, "bailout" Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country's resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we've worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.
Glenn Greenwald echos it: As I've noted before, this growing opposition to corporatism -- to the virtually absolute domination of our political process by large corporations -- is one of the many issues that transcend the trite left/right drama endlessly used as a distraction. The anger among both the left and right towards the bank bailout, and towards lobbyist influence in general, illustrates that.
I got started in a post of wonks vs hacks, along the lines of what Jake lays out (w/o the pivot on the support of the Iraq invasion), because there is some general truth to the divide. I think of it more along the lines of the way that wonks tend to think of policy primarily with a reference to "how DC works" and and hacks tend to think of policy primarily within a reference of electoral ("this is what's wrong with DC") campaigns.
Update [2009-12-18 23:38:39 by Jerome Armstrong]:
Reid is going to offer his amendment to the bill Saturday morning to replace the language from the base bill that included the public-option. Some are saying it is going to contain a "non-profit plan" that will compete with Insurance companies (and that Reid almost called it a public option but corrected himself). Others that it is a "nameless plan" that is in essence has nothing to do with medicare or a public option. A few days of smoke and mirrors and then viola:Lawmakers must vote early Monday to cut off debate on Reids amendment if they are to stick to a timeline that would set a final vote on the healthcare bill after 7 pm on Christmas Eve.Sausage is made... commence the cheerleading for Aetna, and lets all cheer, for bringing in 2010 that: tables anything divisive (RE: progressive change) in favor of bipartisan commissions (RE: lurch right ahead)!
TNR spells it out for you:Here are my suggestions (Wiliam Galston).
* Get health care done as quickly as possible. The House should recognize that any Senate bill that can garner 60 votes is likely the only bill that can do so. Logic suggests that the best course would simply be for the House to pass the Senate bill, avoiding a useless and time wasting conference.
* Pivot hard toward the economy and jobs, and keep the focus there throughout 2010. That means keeping divisive issuessuch as immigration and cap-and-tradeoff next years legislative agenda. It also means more actionsuch as expanding the flow of credit to small businessto promote job creation in the private sector.
* Acknowledge that public concern about spending, deficits, and debt is high and rising. That doesnt mean turning toward fiscal restraint next year, while the economy remains fragile. It does mean endorsing the creation of a bipartisan fiscal commissionalong the lines of the Base Realignment and Closure Commissionwith the power to make recommendations after the mid-term elections to which Congress would be required to respond early in 2011.But not passing by the end of the year. Into Jan it will go (where maybe the House will show some fortitude).