Obama Ain't Kickin' the Can Down The Road

"The President (said), 'I'm not going to kick the can down the road.' And he said that and I said, 'Well, that's something I'm kind of used to from southern Iowa, you know.  I know about kicking the can down the road.' And he said, 'No, if it makes me a one-term president, I'm going to, we're going to take it on because the country is in need of us taking this on.' I respected that very much."

That's Congressman Leonard Boswell speaking to reporters during a brief question-and-answer session after a town hall meeting in Sigourney, Iowa. The full report on the event is at Radio Iowa. You can listen to the audio here.

It's reassuring to hear that the President is willing to stake his political future on passing a comprehensive health care reform. Frankly, I tend to believe that if a health care package through this session, his future and the Democrats' future is, well, rather rosy.

Tags: Congressman Leonard Boswell, President Barack Obama, US Health Care Reform (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Charles, this is funny

I JUST got an e-mail from one of my buddies on the Hill about this same exact thing.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Charles, this is funny

It's such colorful language, how can one not write about it?

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 08:26PM | 0 recs
not so sure

Pulling a Palin on an underrated Medicare benefit...

She twitts and we cower, are back to the cowering 2002-04 Democrats?  Part of me just wishes we throw her off Atigun Pass.

What I'm concerned is thing somehow passes and Obama is a one-termer anyway.

by esconded 2009-08-13 08:12PM | 0 recs
Well then that's what the country wants

that's what they get.

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: not so sure

That's sort of what the president was alluding to.

by lojasmo 2009-08-13 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: not so sure

It will be worth it.  Getting real healthcare reform will be more than worth it.  He will have done something that had helped millions of people and that is what counts.  

by Kent 2009-08-13 08:38PM | 0 recs
hard to square this

with this:

Drug industry lobbyists said they negotiated a deal to contribute $80 billion over 10 years toward the cost of an overhaul with Mr. Baucus, under White House supervision, before taking it to the president for final approval. House lawmakers have said they were caught by surprise when it was announced.

Hospital industry lobbyists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House, say they negotiated their $155 billion in concessions with Mr. Baucus and the administration in tandem. House staff members were present, including for at least one White House meeting, but their role was peripheral, the lobbyists said.

Several hospital lobbyists involved in the White House deals said it was understood as a condition of their support that the final legislation would not include a government-run health plan paying Medicare rates -- generally 80 percent of private sector rates -- or controlled by the secretary of health and human services.

"We have an agreement with the White House that I'm very confident will be seen all the way through conference," one of the industry lobbyists, Chip Kahn, director of the Federation of American Hospitals, told a Capitol Hill newsletter.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-13 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: hard to square this

It's very disturbing really. I just look past everything and keep focus on having a public option because in the end I do think that will lead to a single-payer system. It just has to. 16% of GDP is just too much to spend on health care when other OECD countries are spending 9-10% of GDP AND covering everyone AND getting better results.

Trace back just about every political problem we face and narrow it down to its core and you get the same crux - corporate power needs to be broken.

I've been meaning to read So Much Damn Money by Robert Kaiser but I keep on getting sidetracked by other projects.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 09:30PM | 0 recs
I have another campaign story

about that. One of the candidates (I'm not going to say who, but it was one of the major ones), was asked "what will you do to end corporate dominance over the country"

and the candidate responded "There's nothing I can do, only you can do that"

Candidate X then suggested that the only way corporate dominance would end is a "storming of the Bastille."

by DTOzone 2009-08-13 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I have another campaign story

I think Candidate X is likely to be right but which of the many Bastilles do we storm? The other possibility is that the system collapses of its own inherent contradiction. The system is unsustainable. To a degree, and I may regret saying this, but I've been bemoaning that our recent brush with financial collapse wasn't deeper so as to flush the system out but then on the other hand I honestly hope that I don't live long enough to see it because who wants to endure a systemic crash?

We are living in a world where nation states have ceded sovereignty to corporations. Look at what is going on in the Sudan, Peru and Nigeria. You've got open rebellion against development and rightly so. Those are the most extreme examples but there are other on-going simmering battles.

by Charles Lemos 2009-08-13 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: hard to square this

His rhectoric depends on faith, which is in great abundance for Democrats now that the President is not named Bush.  I think faith is always a mistake regardless of who is in office, and, therefore, I prefer to cold water of your post in response.

For example, not only is the drug bill hard to reconcile with the rhectoric. So is going behind closed doors to cave on end of life counseling for people who wanted simply because the GOP calls it death panels.

This behavior is really not all that confusing. It's PR marketing. Say one thing. Do another. Assume people won't know that what you said is different from what you do.

A large part of me now left hoping that what he says he will actually do, but these instances of rhectoric do not inspire me to believe (nor do rhectoric of some of the more ardent supporters) that when push comes to shove we will see a public option, drug price negotiation etc out of reconcilliation.

by bruh3 2009-08-13 10:28PM | 0 recs
Re: hard to square this

By ardent- I mean people liek Ezra Klein who seem to change position daily.

by bruh3 2009-08-13 10:30PM | 0 recs
Re: hard to square this

Like I said before and say it again, you cannot square of a deal like that and expect to have a viable public option that will keep costs down. For all intents and purposes we will have some sort of reform but it will not be a comprehensive health care reform that will keep costs down but more like an insurance reform with some more regulation, mandates for personal coverage, maybe an exchange and a co-op. How strong the exchange will be or the co-op is anybody's guess. Will it lower premiums for a few years? Maybe. Will it lower overall costs of health care over the next 10 years? Without further concessions from drug companies and hospitals I do not foresee how.

by tarheel74 2009-08-14 05:26AM | 0 recs
moreover

As a constituent of Leonard Boswell, I am hard-pressed to think of any time when he stuck his neck out for a progressive policy that was controversial. He was one of the Blue Dogs who voted with Republicans way too many times. Although he has voiced support for a public option, I have no doubt that he would vote for a sham reform like whatever the Senate Finance Committee produces in the end.

by desmoinesdem 2009-08-13 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Ain't Kickin' the Can Down The Road

It's like Joe Biden (TT quoting Biden, big surprise) says: what are you willing to lose over? What's worth not getting that second term?

by Nathan Empsall 2009-08-13 10:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Ain't Kickin' the Can Down The Road

It's an odd formulation because I think the only way he's a one-termer is if NO bill passes.  Now he wants to kill old people, AND he's ineffectual.

by Jess81 2009-08-13 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama Ain't Kickin' the Can Down The Road

It's a rhetorical flourish, and I hope he means it, but I think Bill Clinton sort of nailed it:

Of course you don't. I'm telling you no matter how low they drive support for this with misinformation, the minute the president signs a health care reform bill his approval will go up. Secondly, within a year, when all those bad things they say will happen don't happen, and all the good things happen, approval will explode.

...

I'm pleading with you, try to keep this thing in the lane of getting something done. We need to pass a bill.

by Jess81 2009-08-13 11:02PM | 0 recs
implementation

There's more time for the GOP to try to lie and distort after a bill passes but before it takes effect.  The provisions of the current drafts don't even start taking effect until 2013, right?  

I agree, though, that passing a public option will be a huge Democratic win, short and long term.

by chiefscribe 2009-08-15 07:50AM | 0 recs

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