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Health Care Public Option 2009

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#1 Palisades

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:47 AM

There's not enough votes for it even in the House. And that's according to Pelosi by way of Politico.

Edited by Palisade, 23 October 2009 - 08:48 AM.

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#2 Nick

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:06 AM

From the last whip tallies, the strongest of the public options being considered--"Medicare +5" is still only 12-15 votes short.  It very well might not make it, but I think it's premature to declare it dead.  As pressure increases on the holdouts and more polls get commissioned . . . I think some votes will change.

#3 cade

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:02 AM

The media long ago declared even the weak public option dead, with "liberals" like Chris Matthews lyingjust a week ago that "only 30 Democrats of the 60 Democrats in Senate support it" when in fact 51 were on record as supporting it. And that's one more vote than Democrats will need unless one them supports a filibuster. Thus far no Senate Democrat has said they will filibuster if the bill includes a public option, but you won't hear that from the "liberal media" either.

As Nick says, there are conflicting reports, but it was always going to be tough to pass a Medicare+5% public option in the House, especially with Obama sitting on the sidelines (as opposed to one year ago when he was whipping House Dems to pass the trickle-down bailout), but at the very least the negotiated rates public option will pass. Whatever P.O. the House passes will then be eliminated or severely watered down by the Senate.

#4 cade

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:48 AM

Politico has already retracted:
http://www.openleft....litico-retracts

#5 Nick

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 10:54 AM

View Postcade, on Oct 23 2009, 11:48 AM, said:

Politico has already retracted:
http://www.openleft....litico-retracts

Yeah, Valerie Jarrett was on Morning Joe this morning and basically called this article horsesh*t.

#6 Spectacles

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:09 PM

^And then the reports have been mixed, as usual. Obama's opinion on the public option is like the weather in most places: if you don't like it, just wait a few minutes and it'll change.


http://www.talkingpo...usand_leaks.php

Quote


Death By A Thousand Leaks?

David Kurtz | October 23, 2009, 8:56AM

A lot of conflicting reports out this morning on where public option stands. The White House meeting late yesterday between President Obama and Senate Democratic leaders has yielded its own flurry of accounts of what went down.

Let's try to sort it all out:

The biggest splash has been Mike Allen's Politico story which reports that the President said in the meeting that he is leaning toward a triggered public option along the lines of what Sen. Olympia Snowe favors:

    Obama told Democratic leadership at the White House Thursday evening that his preference is for the trigger championed by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) - a plan that would allow a public plan to kick in if private insurers don't expand coverage fast enough, a top administration official told POLITICO. It's also sign Obama is interested in maintaining a sense of bipartisanship around the health reform plan.

    At that meeting, Obama did not sign on to a plan being floated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include a different variation of the public option in the Senate bill - a plan that would create a national public plan but allow states to "opt-out." Reid now believes he can get 60 votes to bring a bill with that plan to the floor by breaking an expected GOP filibuster - and then secure the 51 votes needed to pass it.


Contrast that with the New York Times overnight account, which says the President took no position either way:

    Mr. Reid met with President Obama at the White House Thursday to inform him of his inclination to add the public option to the bill, but did not specifically ask the president to endorse that approach, a Democratic aide said. Mr. Obama asked questions, but did not express a preference at the meeting, a White House official said.

Reacting to these reports, the White House is acknowledging to Greg Sargent this morning that Obama took no position either way, but emphasizing that no one should read too much into it:

   But the senior White House official points out that the discussion was not about the public option in general. Rather, Reid was specifically raising the possibility of a public option with an opt-out clause as one potential route. On this specific policy option, the official says, "the White House did not state a position either way."

Similarly, the White House is knocking down the Politico report in conversations with TPMDC:

    Senators are "still working through the substance and talking to their members about it," the source said. "They didn't ask for the president's endorsement since no decision has been made."

Separately the Politico story lead with the apparent news that Speaker Nancy Pelosi discovered after a whip count yesterday that she does not have the votes for the most "robust" form of public option:

   Speaker Nancy Pelosi counted votes Thursday night and determined she could not pass a "robust public option" -- the most aggressive of the three forms of a public option House Democrats have been considering as part of a national overhaul of health care.

    Pelosi's decision--coupled with a significant turn of events yesterday during a private White House meeting--points to an increasingly likely compromise for a "trigger" option for a government plan.


But House sources are telling TPMDC that report is premature and is nothing more than an effort from some quarters to pressure Pelosi to drop public option. Appearing on MSNBC this morning, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett said, "I don't know whether Mike Allen can actually count votes or not."

Late Update: Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami tells TPMDC:

    Speculation that a final decision has been made about the public option are not accurate. We continue to work with all the members of the caucus to build consensus.

And from insider Ezra Klein:

http://voices.washin...we_hope_yo.html

Quote

On Thursday night, Reid went over to the White House for a talk with the president. The conversation centered on Reid's desire to put Schumer's national opt-out plan into the base bill. White House officials were not necessarily pleased, and they made that known. Everyone agrees that they didn't embrace Reid's new strategy. Everyone agrees that the White House wants Snowe on the bill, feels the trigger offers a safer endgame, and isn't convinced by Reid's math. But whether officials expressed a clear preference for the trigger, or were just worried about the potential for 60 votes, is less clear. One staffer briefed on the conversation says "the White House basically told us, 'We hope you guys know what you're doing.'"

I am baffled by the White House's desire to please Olympia Snowe--AKA "President Snowe" on some blogs :D . Do they really think that having Snowe on board is going to matter to the people who think Obama is Stalin 2.0? Rush Limbaugh is gonna say "oh, well, if it's OK with Olympia Snowe...." No. To weaken the public option to get the support of Snowe and a few moderate Republicans makes absolutely no sense. They're choosing to squander an opportunity for real health care reform for a bizarre belief in some kind of political victory that simply won't happen. I am truly bewildered.
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#7 Spectacles

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:25 PM

Amazing....

http://tpmdc.talking...romise.php#more

Quote

Sources: White House Pushing Back Against Senate Public Option Opt Out Compromise
Brian Beutler | October 23, 2009, 3:11PM



Multiple sources tell TPMDC that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is very close to rounding up 60 members in support of a public option with an opt out clause, and are continuing to push skeptical members. But they also say that the White House is pushing back against the idea, in a bid to retain the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

"They're skeptical of opt out and are generally deferential to the Snowe strategy that involves the trigger," said one source close to negotiations between the Senate and the White House. "they're certainly not calming moderates' concerns on opt out."

This new development, which casts the White House as an opponent of all but the most watered down form of public option, is likely to yield backlash from progressives, especially those in the House who have been pushing for a more maximal version of reform.

Damned right. The Obama administration is apparently trying to woo Republicans by keeping Snow on board and watering down the PO to nothing. As a result, they will not win over any conservatives, who will continue to demonize this president as a commie, and they'll alienate many people across the spectrum who want health insurance reform that benefits taxpayers, not insurers. This is a really stupid strategy. What are they thinking?

Jay Rockefeller has been a consistent advocate for a strong public option. He said earlier this week that he has been "disappointed" in the White House's lack of leadership and bully-pulpitting on the public option. I agree with him. Obama is proving to be a pretty poor "fierce advocate."

Quote

It also suggests for perhaps the first time that the White House's supposed hands off approach that ostensibly allowed the two chambers in Congress to craft their own bill has been discarded.

High level White House officials have floated the trigger idea a number of times, and it seems they continue to do so, even at this, crucial stage of the health care reform process, when their involvement is greatest. That has senators who support the public option concerned.

"Historically, 'trigger' mechanisms have not been successful, and they are not a substitute for a strong public health insurance option," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in a curiously timed statement. "A 'trigger' simply delays price competition, which in turn will delay affordability for consumers and moves us farther away from the goals of health care reform. Already, we are seeing insurance companies threatening to game the system, by raising their prices in advance of reform. The only way to curb price-gouging by health insurance companies is with real competition on day one--that is the public option."

In the end, if Harry Reid, of all people, out-muscles the White House and gets a federalist public option (states can choose to opt in or out) into the final bill, this will look awful for Obama's leadership. I think the WH strategy to step back and let the Congress sort this bill out has backfired. The plan is apparently to step up when the bill is signed and take credit for whatever is in it--to celebrate any progress. And truly there will be some welcome changes: no more pre-existing condition denials of insurance, for one. But unless this bill makes insurance more affordable and more dependable, taking a big worry off our minds, it will not be much of a victory. Bush's Medicare prescription bill was a bad bill. No one is erecting statues to him for it, not with "doughnut holes" and a provision that protects PhRMA from competition and passes along the cost to future generations in the deficit.

Obama should have led on the public option. He could have had the impact of an FDR and given the middle class much-needed relief. Instead, he and his advisers have decided on some baroque, low-risk political strategy that will actually end up paying fewer dividends than they think. Most of us don't lie awake at night worrying about what Olympia Snowe wants.

Again, I am baffled. Anyone have any ideas about what's happening with Obama and the public option?
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:42 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Oct 23 2009, 03:25 PM, said:

Obama is proving to be a pretty poor "fierce advocate."

That about sums it up doesn't it.
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#9 cade

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 02:22 AM

Sure would be nice if instead of having to read the tea leaves on all these conflicting anonymous quotes, we actually got to see the meetings on C-Span like Obama promised. Maybe he gave up the public option as well in those secret deals he made with PhRMA and the insurance companies, or maybe he has a secret deal with someone even more powerful, Olympia Snowe, senator representing 0.3% of our population. I'm more inclined to think he just doesn't care that much about the public option, he's pretty certain that a trigger will pass and so he's once again taking the path of least resistance. That's perfectly reasonable if you don't think the PO is important. Obama's support for the PO has always been timid and questionable. His Chief of Staff has been pushing the trigger since January and Obama's health care reform principles released in February did not even contain a PO: http://www.brianbeut.../public_option/ However, it's so overwhelmingly popular that Obama needs to at least appear to have made an effort. At this point I'm just hoping he won't stand in the way, because this fight is still very winnable. Even Lieberman is saying he won't filibuster a PO.

Edited by cade, 24 October 2009 - 02:44 AM.


#10 Spectacles

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:25 PM

Quote

cade: Sure would be nice if instead of having to read the tea leaves on all these conflicting anonymous quotes, we actually got to see the meetings on C-Span like Obama promised. Maybe he gave up the public option as well in those secret deals he made with PhRMA and the insurance companies, or maybe he has a secret deal with someone even more powerful, Olympia Snowe, senator representing 0.3% of our population. I'm more inclined to think he just doesn't care that much about the public option, he's pretty certain that a trigger will pass and so he's once again taking the path of least resistance. That's perfectly reasonable if you don't think the PO is important. Obama's support for the PO has always been timid and questionable.

Yep, yep, and yep.

I'd sure love to know what has been going on behind the scenes, the real reason for Obama's lack of serious support for the public option. What is the real cost-benefit bottom line of a Medicare +5 to politicians, I wonder.  The WH seems to be convinced that there is more to gain (politically) from making sure that the PO doesn't really happen. I wonder why....Pelosi and now even Reid seem to disagree.

And, yeah, those C-SPAN meetings were something I looked forward to--a transparent government. Oh well.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#11 Vapor Trails

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:35 PM

In other words-same as it ever was.  :sarcasm:

As Cait said:

"I trust a politician to be a politician."

In the end, if you don't have the money for health care? Oh well. At least, your decomposing corpse will be good for the flowers.

Yeah, kind of an ugly thing to say, isn't it? It's also the hard-core truth.

I saw some special on TV about those who don't have insurance-and one of the folks profiled died. He left behind a wife and kids. :(

I know all too well how the indifference of people can REALLY grind you down. There ARE people who care, but they're truly like the needle in the proverbial haystack.

No, scratch that. Make that a FIELD of haystacks.

:( :angry:
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#12 Rhea

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:19 PM

I think he's gone soft on the public option because it's been made very clear that if they want any kind of bill to pass, it better not have a public option as a major feature. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

I think all the hoo-ha about it at public meetings caused some people who might otherwise have voted for it to back off.

Edited by Rhea, 24 October 2009 - 08:21 PM.

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#13 Spectacles

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:42 AM

Curioser and curioser.

According to these sources, Obama is pushing against the opt-out public option that Reid is pushing for, favoring instead the trigger, which Snowe prefers. The trigger is pretty much a way to keep the PO from getting a toehold, unlike the opt-out. What's likely to happen under the opt-out is that some states will opt out on ideological grounds (or succumbing to their state's top insurance industry) but some will not. Eventually, people will see that the PO is a better deal for everyone except insurers and their wards and it will grow. Or if the PO can't compete with private insurance, it will fade away. (Insurers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians don't seem to think that's possible, though.)

http://www.talkleft....10/25/111152/39

Quote

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.

(The blogger BTD can be an a**hole, but he's often right and he's usually very good at keeping his focus on the policies, not getting enamored of politicians and believing that all will be well because he likes a politician. His motto is "pols are pols; they do what they do.")
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"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#14 QueenTiye

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 12:36 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Oct 23 2009, 06:25 PM, said:

Again, I am baffled. Anyone have any ideas about what's happening with Obama and the public option?


A couple of interesting blog posts I've come across may explain it:  

http://www.boomantri...9/28/142630/927
http://www.fivethirt...10/60-v-61.html

Quote

From a policy standpoint, Olympia Snowe is arguably to the left of at least two or three Democratic senators -- Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Mary Landireu -- on health care.

SNIP


Nevertheless, all of this isn't happening in isolation. Snowe is meeting with Nelson and Bayh and Landrieu and Max Baucus. That group of a half-dozen or so Senators -- maybe throw Susan Collins, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln in here too -- is liable to vote as a block. It's probably not a completely impenetrable block -- Politico is breathlessly reporting that Landrieu and Lieberman, for instance, may have been won over -- but it seems like an uphill climb for Harry Reid to pick off all other members of the block but not Olympia Snowe. Bayh and Nelson, in particular, appear to be problems. By the way, it may be significant that both Bayh and Nelson are the potential holdouts. If Reid can get down to the point where there's exactly one Democratic opposing the bill, that Democrat will be under a tremendous amount of pressure since he can no longer deflect responsibility.

SNIP

I'm just saying, however, that to castigate the White House for being willing to indefensible sacrifices to the altar of bipartianship is premature. They may not be worried about 61 versus 60 so much as 61 versus 58.

So that's one post (unquoted) predicting the entire strategy in which we go back and forth over and over until something passes, and another pointing out that realistically - 60 democratic votes are not a guarantee at all - even for cloture.  

For all that, here's the White House denial:

http://politics.thea...public_plan.php

Quote

White House Denies Report That It Wants To Weaken Public Plan

The White House is denying reports that officials are pressuring Sen. Harry Reid to scale back the scope of the "public option" that'll be attached to the Senate health insurance bill.  Talking Points Memo reported, based on unnamed sources close to the negotiations, that the White House is "skeptical" of a public option that includes a state opt-out choice, preferring -- and advocating for -- a public option that would kick in only if the private exchange failed to lower costs.

"The report is false. The White House continues to work with the Senate on the merging of the two  bills," said Dan Pfeiffer, a top White House aide whose portfolio includes health care. "We are making good progress toward enacting comprehensive health reform."

QT

Edited by QueenTiye, 25 October 2009 - 12:37 PM.

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#15 Spectacles

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 12:54 PM

And yet...

Quote

"The report is false," Dan Pfeiffer, a top White House aide whose portfolio includes health care, said of a story in Talking Points Memo. "The White House continues to work with the Senate on the merging of the two bills. We are making good progress toward enacting comprehensive health reform."

But the push-back, say sources with direct knowledge of deliberations between leadership and the administration, does not square with Obama's private indications to Senate leaders. The sources say that the president has left little doubt about his apprehension regarding an opt-out approach.

It is not philosophical, one White House aide explained, but is a matter of political practicality. If the votes were there to pass a robust public option through the Senate, the president would be leading the charge, the aide said. But after six months of concern that it would be filibustered, the bet among Obama's aides is that Reid is now simply being too optimistic in his whip count.
The trigger proposal, said Democratic aides, has long been associated with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

"He's been so convinced by his political people from the beginning that we can't get a bill with a public option, he's internalized it. Even though it's now become obvious we can get a bill without selling out the public option, he's still on that path," said a top Democratic source. The White House, he said, continues to assure progressives it'll improve the bill in conference negotiations between the Senate and House, but advocates are unconvinced.

"If we're this close in the Senate and they're not helping us, I have a feeling they could screw us in the conference," said one.

Advocates of a public option largely consider a "trigger" the equivalent of no public option at all. A trigger would implement a public option only if insurance companies failed to meet certain benchmarks over time and it would only be implemented in the regions of the country where those benchmarks weren't met. The Medicare prescription drug proposal passed in 2003 includes a "trigger," but the public provision has never been activated despite soaring drug costs. The industry can help craft the trigger language and can game its stats to prevent it from becoming reality.

"The current state of our health system should be trigger enough for anyone who's paying attention," said a congressional aide in the middle of the health care battle. "The American people pulled the 'trigger' in November."

The intellectual father of the public option, Yale Professor Jacob Hacker, told HuffPost that the trigger proposal is a betrayal.

"The trigger is an inside-the-beltway sleight of hand that would protect private insurers from the real competition that a strong public health insurance option would create," he said in an e-mail. "It is unworkable in the current Senate bills, unwise as public policy, and unwanted by the substantial majority of Americans who say they want a straight-up public option."


Read more at: http://www.huffingto...s_n_332844.html

If we do not have a public option when all is said and done, but only a "trigger" that is sure to be meaningless, no one will be to blame except Obama. If he wanted the public option, he should have been out front selling it, not sending these orchestrated mixed messages from the WH: "He's really, really for it! He's for passing ANY bill!"  

I've said this since the primaries: at some point, Obama is going to have to commit to something specific and fight for it. Otherwise, he is going to become President Weathervane. It's smart to go with the flow only up to a point. Leaders create the flow; they don't follow it. His presidency is going to suffer if he does not soon look like he has a backbone. (This is why the right's "OMG! Obama's overreaching--in a commie/totalitarian dictator kinda way!" is absolutely bizarre to me.)

P.S. And if it turns out that Harry Reid, of all people, has more backbone than Obama, we're all in bizarroland anyway.

Edited by Spectacles, 25 October 2009 - 12:58 PM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#16 Spectacles

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Schumer must have been on one of the "sabbath gasbag" shows and said that the Senate is close to 60 votes on a package that includes the opt-out public option.

http://www.huffingto...a_n_332994.html
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#17 Nick

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 04:33 PM

And it's entirely Reid's spinelessness that's causing there to be a 60 vote threshold . . .  Grrrr . . .

#18 Spectacles

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 05:05 PM

:D Yep. It's one helluva tangled web.

Given that Feingold is now saying he won't vote for a bill that contains a trigger, BTD asks an interesting question: what if there aren't enough votes in the Senate for the Snowe trigger?

http://www.talkleft....10/25/165123/77

Quote

Obama is reported to have said to Harry Reid that he hopes Reid knows what he is doing. Forget the bad policy, on the politics and the vote counting, does Obama know what he is doing? Pelosi will have a very difficult task to pass triggers in the House and Senators Feingold, Burris and Rockefeller look like No votes on the trigger. 30 Senators are strongly for a robust public option. How many of these will vote No on a trigger? Are there 50 votes for a trigger in the Senate? Does Obama know what he is doing?

IF it's true that Obama is pushing for the trigger even though there is more support for the opt-out PO, one has to wonder why. In that case, he's not going with the flow. In that case, he's trying to lead his party in a direction that perhaps a significant number find objectionable. There has been much talk about the need to moderate to please the Blue Dog Dems, and the presumption has been that progressives will just be tickled to pass anything. Maybe not. Maybe more will listen to their constituents rather than the insurers and the rightwing and they will not want to face the wrath of voters who wonder what the hell happened to real health care reform, why the hell reform means mandates to give a private insurer our money, why it couldn't have meant Medicare for all.

It looks like Reid, who is facing a serious challenge in a state that increasingly sees him as a wuss, has snapped to and discovered the will to push for the opt-out PO. How many others will feel a similar pressure to be responsive to the average voter as opposed to special interests?  

Anyway, it's a fascinating parlor game. :) Who's for the PO, who isn't, and why?

But if Reid and Schumer are right and the votes are there in the Senate for the opt-out PO, we should see Obama push for it publicly this week--unless he has some agenda that is more concerned with insurers and a pathetic "bipartisanship" centered on the dubious triumph of getting ONE Republican Senator on board. It's strange. I have no idea why the White House would not push for the strongest PO possible, especially if it's within reach.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#19 Cait

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 02:30 AM

View PostSpectacles, on Oct 25 2009, 03:05 PM, said:

It looks like Reid, who is facing a serious challenge in a state that increasingly sees him as a wuss, has snapped to and discovered the will to push for the opt-out PO. How many others will feel a similar pressure to be responsive to the average voter as opposed to special interests?

It's an interesting time for Democrats in the Senate in particular.  Democrats don't have the kind of tight leash on their members that the GOP has always had.  Love them or hate them, the GOP has always run a better organization when it came to keeping members in line for key votes.

Democrats on the other hand are seen and are loose canons for the most part.  Perhaps Reid has finally figured out that Obama isn't going to lead them or share in the fall out.  Obama is turning out to be the real deal when it comes to being Teflon.  He doesn't want anything to stick to him and has cut Democrats in Congress loose to rise on fall all on their own.

Obama is not going to give Democrats any cover for the 2010 elections.  Wait and see, I'll bet he doesn't campaign for anyone either.  This is another case where his inexperience is showing.  The Dems have a 60 seat majority and they don't get any help from the President.  Dems in Congress are looking to maintain their majority and working with the President to achieve his agenda would look like the thing to do for any Party.  But, no.  Obama wants Congress to do it all on their own.  Which would be fine I suppose, I'm  all for more separation between the branches to be honest.  But, it's beginning to look like Obama is shuffling it off to Congress because he hasn't a clue what to do or how to write a good program into law.  So, he's just faking it.

Obama won't be able to play this game for much longer.  Unruly democrats aren't as married to their elected officials as Republicans are.  If this kind of thing continues, Obama will get primary challengers.



Quote

But if Reid and Schumer are right and the votes are there in the Senate for the opt-out PO, we should see Obama push for it publicly this week--unless he has some agenda that is more concerned with insurers and a pathetic "bipartisanship" centered on the dubious triumph of getting ONE Republican Senator on board. It's strange. I have no idea why the White House would not push for the strongest PO possible, especially if it's within reach.

It will be interesting to watch won't it.  If he doesn't know how or just won't push for his own agenda, the platform that got him elected--he's useless.  Absolutely useless.  I'm beginning to think he believed the job was titular more than real.  All those civil servants who know what they are doing.  All those lifers who know what they are doing.  Maybe he even bought into liberal blogs that said Bush was just the front man for Cheney.  Maybe he figured he could smile and make speeches and everyone else would do the job.  Who knows.  But whatever his reasons, he just doens't get how to govern.  He's relying on every one else and it SHOWS.  The man has a 60 seat majority for crying out loud, and he's smiling and making speeches, letting Congress "have a go at it".  

What a waste of political capital.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#20 Omega

Omega

    Maktel shcree lotak meta setak Oz!

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:19 AM

The thing is, even if Obama himself were inexperienced enough to behave in this fashion, there are people around him who certainly know how to get things done.  So either he's not listening to his advisers, his advisers won't help him, or there's some larger political goal.  My personal estimation of Obama would eliminate the first, and the second seems unlikely.  I think Obama actually thinks he stands to gain something from behaving the way he is.



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