The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Health Care

Baucus (and Obama) Warn GOP Attacks Bad for Bipartisanship

By Shailagh Murray

Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the intensifying attacks against health-care reform by Republicans and their grassroots allies are threatening to pollute his committee's ongoing effort to craft a bipartisan bill.

"It's hard, when you have people like John Boehner saying, 'You've got to shred the president's health care plan over August,' and you get these very shrill partisan statements from the other side," Baucus said, referring to comments last week by the House Minority Leader. "And you have to be a realist, too, in life and when you serve here."

Baucus said a bipartisan bill remains Obama's "predilection," but he said that at a White House lunch today with Democratic senators the president expressed concerns about whether the goal was attainable. A coalition of six Finance senators -- three from each party -- are seeking a deal that would produce the consensus version of health-care reform. Baucus has set a Sept. 15 deadline for the group to complete its work.

"There may come a time after some time later this year, we may have to make other decisions," Baucus said. He said Obama "wants results." "He's not going to just keep negotiating something that's not getting anywhere," Baucus said. "But that's a judgment call."

He added, "I think we're getting somewhere. I've got faith... we've all said we want to give him a bill he can sign by the end of the year, and that's our goal. This is only August."

But the chairman predicted: "I think this is going to turn the end of August, the end of September, when people start to understand, hey, yeah, maybe this is the right thing to do, after they've heard all the small band of shrill criticism against it. That's going to wear out over time and be met with the firm convictions of senators that this is what we're trying to do here. And I think that will start to take hold."

Posted at 5:52 PM ET on Aug 4, 2009  | Category:  Health Care
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It'll be easier dealing with North Korea, than getting cooperation from Republicans.

The Dems. need to develop their agenda, their bill and pursue 'reconciliation'. maybe after they see that they don't have a choice, the party of wealthy will join in talks. If not, then let's stop wasting time!

Posted by: stodayxx | August 6, 2009 4:30 PM

Democrats,you are in charge, just do it your way.

Posted by: truth1 | August 5, 2009 7:27 PM


Bi-partisanship ? Once again, look at the party line voting records. There are facts you can check before stating lies. For the 110th Congress, the top 31 Senators - yes 31 out of the top 32! - with the highest percentage of party-line votes are ALL Democrats. (the 32nd is an Independent) Now, how can you say the it's the Republicans that tow the party line and haven't reached across the aisle? Well, you could say it, but again you would be telling lies that can be checked - but that might hurt your argument and your feelings. And remember Obama's record ties him for 10th place. Now that is what I call Bi-Partianship-NOT ! Posted by: YouAREkiddingright"

So, because the Democrats work up legislation that is to their liking and vote for it, that isn't bipartisan?

No, one oedinarily expects a party's adherents to go with the party. True, that isn't bipartisan, because to be bipartisan, it needs both parties to work on the project.

The Republicans, (with a few notable exceptions) make only one contribution: "You CAN'T do THAT, Either!!"

Thus no bipartisan effort.

We will get a bill passed and signed. It will have little Republican support because the republicans are already planning on running against anything that gets passed, for the next seventy, eighty, ninety years, just like the Republicans and Social Security. And for all of the next century of Republican objection, the national health care system will grow, mature, and prosper, and America will prosper with it.

A century from now a shrivelled cabal of shrivelled old men will sit in their cramped clubhouses and decry socialized medicine, while the Democratic party, and the presumed American Reform Party continue to tinker with a century old health care system for all Americans.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 5, 2009 6:59 PM

"We won - we write the bills". That's what's bad for bipartisanship. And how would this author characterize ACORN'S efforts on behalf of Democrats in general and Obama in particular? Probably not "polluters". The vox populi(?) will not be silenced.

Posted by: ddnfla | August 5, 2009 6:53 PM

It is becoming more and more obvious daily that bipartisanship with the Republicans will be impossible. It seems that the Congressional leadership and the President, as much as they did try, are publicly admitting this fact.

I say that the Dems should then push for the best healthcare reform option, single-payer, public option, or nationalized care. Screw the GOP and let's move forward.

Posted by: VAreader | August 5, 2009 6:50 PM

Posted by: DEMOCRATZoORG | August 5, 2009 6:00 PM

Bi-partisanship ? Once again, look at the party line voting records. There are facts you can check before stating lies. For the 110th Congress, the top 31 Senators - yes 31 out of the top 32! - with the highest percentage of party-line votes are ALL Democrats. (the 32nd is an Independent) Now, how can you say the it's the Republicans that tow the party line and haven't reached across the aisle? Well, you could say it, but again you would be telling lies that can be checked - but that might hurt your argument and your feelings. And remember Obama's record ties him for 10th place. Now that is what I call Bi-Partianship-NOT !

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 5:35 PM

"Bipartisanship?" With republicans? There is no such thing, everybody knows that and Obama made a grave mistake trying. The way to deal with the filthy, fascist republicans is to simply override them - better still, lock them out of the conference rooms just like they did to the Dems when the republican sh!ts ruled. The republican party is the closest anybody has come to a real American nazi party full of uneducated, racist bozos, er, I mean patriotic Murkans, witness the "birther" brouhaha. What a miserable collection of fascist sh!t-birds, the republicans.

Posted by: RichardKefalos | August 5, 2009 4:45 PM

Yes,yes,yes, you are right. Iraq was a "lie". Just ask Bush,Cheney, B. Clinton, H. Clinton, Albright, Reid,Kerry, Blair and the members of the U.N. who all said that there were weapons of M.D., that Iraq has used them before in combat and even on their own people and he would do so again. That's right they all said it. The current lousy state of economic affairs can be all blamed on Bush, but let's also not fail to look at who was to blame for the housing crisis that started the blocks falling. Even the NYTimes told Clinton that disaster could loom if the Community Reinvestment Act went through. Or how Chris Dodd defended Fannie Mae all the while being the #1 recipient of their lobbying money.(Obama, in his short Senate tenure made it to #2 on the list, Kerry was 3rd.) And lastly, yes the U. S. Health system seems to be a mess. Even while delivering the best medical care in the world, though indeed not everyone has health insurance. Which country is Senator Dodd going to have his cancer treated ? I would much rather pay the doctor directly for his services - at my rate, than have him bill the insurance companies at theirs. It is a mess. And now that I am thinking about it, how about that awful mess that the Veterans came back to after the war - what was it called ? Oh yes, Walter Reed. Wasn't that a disgusting bit of medical care all delivered by a branch of the Federal Governmental. Thank goodness for that investigative journalism. By the way, where have all the investigative journalist gone ? Oh Mr. President, please check your back pocket.

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 4:18 PM

43: The Bush Presidency
Republicans; Democrat Attacks Bad for Bipartisanship

Posted by: geo82170 | August 5, 2009 3:29 PM

The sad truth is that Republicans are conducting their affairs at home the same they conducted them abroad. They have no diplomatic skills, and they show it. One reason for Obama being elected was that Obama was clearly not afraid to talk to people. When one is afraid to talk, then one must try something else. Republicans have chosen to shout and be distruptive. Now, how adult is this behavior? Sounds like a two-year-old child to me.

Posted by: EarlC | August 5, 2009 3:23 PM

The truth is: Republicans don’t care about Healthcare reform. They don’t care about the 47 million Americans without Healthcare. They don’t want bipartisanship. Republicans only care about keeping their seats, and playing politics with the lives of the middle-class and the poor. We can either deal with that, or ignore them!

Posted by: BasicInstinct | August 5, 2009 3:18 PM

We would have had health care reform already if the Democrats could agree with themselves. The disagreements that are preventing that are not Republican-inspired, they are all Democrat fighting with Democrat - and that is a good thing.

It is inspiring to see that there are Democrats who will not go along with turning this country into the Pelosi vision of a Marxist state. Thank God (capital G) for the Blue Dogs.

Posted by: hill_marty | August 5, 2009 3:04 PM

artglo: Man oh man, how right right right you are. I am SOOOOO tired of Obama's attempts to be bipartisan. He extends the hand, and the Repukeliscum bite off finger after finger. NOT ONCE have I seen even the merest attempt at bipartisanship from them.


I say pass single-payer and grind the Repukeliscum into the mud with it.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 3:01 PM

I admit to being a very nasty poster. Yep, very nasty. I used to try to be reasonable, but nothing works with the Repukeliscum. For them, there is no compromise. So, honestly, 'em. The American people are done with Repukeliscum morons like the posters here. You're all racist scum, strutting around humming "tomorrow belongs to me."

If I met, just once, a Repukeliscum who admitted that Iraq was a lie, that the financial crisis is Bush's fault and the fault of the Repukeliscum Party, and who admitted that our health denial system was a horrible mess, I might change my opinion. But, today, I'd rather spit on a Repukeliscum than talk to one. They're all a bunch of fascist morons.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 2:59 PM

Actually the GOP could be doing the admin a favor. A lot of Obama supporters are fed up with bipartisanship on health care and would rather see the Dems push through the program Obama ran on. Or go to basic single-payer similar to Medicare for all, and let those who want more carry supplemental insurance. Companies large and small would be better off, and so would the public.

Posted by: artglo | August 5, 2009 2:57 PM

dems want to be bipartison when it suits them but speak with foul mouths when the press stops by...
what a bunch of crybabies and losers...
2009 and 2010...
take America back from the dems...

Posted by: DwightCollins | August 5, 2009 2:50 PM

Island1 wrote:
Anyone ever notice that the conservatives here typically have well reasoned intellectual arguments, while the Lib's usually spout mindless emotional dribble, like "Republicans are all evil, greedy, moronic criminals who eat children".

No, I've never noticed that. In fact, the reverse is normally true. Had any tasty children lately?

Posted by: JimZ1 | August 5, 2009 2:38 PM

Don't expect much help from Republicans on implementing a health care bill. Most Republicans are still trying to eliminate Social Security. They really don't care whether or not people live or die. To them, we are all just slaves to be exploited. The best you can do is work with the few moderate Republicans that are left.

Posted by: JimZ1 | August 5, 2009 2:33 PM

Anyone ever notice that the conservatives here typically have well reasoned intellectual arguments, while the Lib's usually spout mindless emotional dribble, like "Republicans are all evil, greedy, moronic criminals who eat children".

I have someone in my office like that -- she admits to having done hard drugs in the 60's and is on anti-depressants.

Posted by: island1 | August 5, 2009 2:03 PM

How did you know I was wearing a brown shirt ?

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 2:01 PM

Dear "snortz"
Apparently you can not restrain from name calling. (and you said I was at1st grade level) And, once again you have offered nothing to this blog about legislative bi-partisanship or health care. Whether it be a bill, an approach, a pending piece of legislation or mere fairy dust wishes of the Democrats. I would suggest that you take your useless hatefulness elsewhere.

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 1:46 PM

WHAT BIpartisan effort??? The socialist leftist have all but locked the committee room doors and turned back any Republican motions!
- healthcare based on age...the older give way to the younger...babies are not as important as one of 50 new committee's will decide....READ THE BILL!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | August 5, 2009 1:19 PM

You have no idea what is going on in Washington. Your understanding of civics, the legislative process, and really much of anything is pretty much at the 1st grade level.

There is no "approach". There are about 10, and they are all competing. To be a Repukeliscum conservaturd today, you must believe in fairy dust, that cutting taxes increases revenue, that evolution is not true, that stem cells are the tool of the devil, and a whole variety of moronic that makes me amazed. Repukeliscum morons today are invariably stupid. You have shown not the merest scintilla of intellect, merely the reflexive negativism of conservaturdism.

Conservatism used to be a serious approach to government. Today, it is exclusively the province of idiots. If you don't want to be called an idiot, demonstrate that you have even the most basic understanding of the process, which you do not.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 1:04 PM

Ouch. please don't resort to name calling ....again. I didn't. Perhaps I should have said "this approach to health care reform" rather than "this bill" . My thought and point is the same. You unfortunately didn't express any real point other than you believe me to be a moron. Please look at who is making reasoned arguments and those who are are once again shooting the messenger - not the message.

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 12:59 PM

One problem with today's conservaturd, like youareKIDDINGright. They are remarkably, unashamably, irredemably stupid.

"No one knows yet what is in it, no one can answer questions about it, so why pass THIS bill ? "


GOD, you are a stupid person.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 12:42 PM

Dear "strictly_liberal",
Please look at the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC New poll. Or the latest Rasmussen poll and revise your facts/thinking. Most people agree that health care reform is a good idea - but most agree that THIS proposed Health Care bill should not be passed. No one knows yet what is in it, no one can answer questions about it, so why pass THIS bill ? That is what us "pig" Republicans are mad about. All of this rushing by the White House is not the right way to reform anything.

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 12:37 PM

I see the nazi brownshirts are out in force. Seig heil, folks! Remember, "Arbeit macht frei".

We liberals are no longer interested in being intimidated by nazi brownshirts. We will no longer take this intimidation cr.ap sitting down. Stuff is going to come down on the heads of the nazis.

If you are a nazi, think twice about your attempts at treason, insurrection, and war against the sovereign nation of the US. You will be charged with insurrection, and there will be treason charges as well.

Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 12:36 PM

imZandor LOOKS angry !
Sorry, but my anger is real not FAKE.
How could there be so much crying about privacy rights being stripped away by the Bush White House after 911, but the largest grab by the Federal government into private businesses and my health care is seen by liberals as "their right"? Believe me imZandor, that anger you see is not fake, there are real people who don't like this administration and the Federal take-over of private industry and privacy rights. What's next after my health care? is my house too big ? is it bigger than yours ? Gores ? is my car too new ? do my children go to the wrong school? are my vacations "wasteful"? Do I give too much to Catholic charities ? You seem to think that the Federal government knows what is best for me - so let me hear how you want me to live. But enough about me - let me understand your statement about the angry crowds "stopping Democracy in action". It appears to me that YOU are the one that wants to silence these people. Isn't that their right ? Actually isn't debate what makes Democracy? Not blind sheep sitting by and letting the government make decisions for them. So what if it's organized anger? Obama was an "organizer" -wasn't that his qualification for running for President?

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 12:29 PM

LarryG62 you are flat out wrong. The majority of citizens do want health-care reform. 70% is the figure mostly used.
Only pig republicans don't want health-care reform. I say pig republicans because I know republicans that do want reform. They understand that the health insurance companies are screwing us. Pig republicans, (like yourself) have no answers or solutions. All you can do is cry NOOOOOOO.
Oh yeah when you become qualified for Medicare be sure to tell the government no thanks.

Posted by: strictly_liberal | August 5, 2009 12:26 PM

We are going to defeat the "Tea Hall Putsch" tactics of the Repukeliscum Nazis. We will not allow our elected representatives to be destroyed and killed by brown shirt fascists. If it takes physical discussions with nazis, it will.


Posted by: snortz_the_cat | August 5, 2009 12:21 PM

Most of the country doesn't want the incompetent in the White House and his dishonest, corrupt party to take over our health care.
Those who say most people want to have our health care looking like the postal service or Amtrak are lying through their teeth.
As for bipartisanship, all the turd head democrats are looking for is someone to share the blame when people find out just how bad the democrats are screwing them.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 5, 2009 12:10 PM

Man the democrats are babies. I forgot their outrage when they and their grassroots attacked Bush on a daily basis.

This explains why Obama throws a baseball like a little girl.

Posted by: robtr | August 5, 2009 12:10 PM

I can't believe what I am reading in the comments ! Oh my God ! How can people be so blind as to the damage that their own party has done ? Bi-partisanship by Democrats? All you have to do is look at the facts people. Unless the facts get in your way of criticizing Republicans. Some of us do, obviously you don't. Remember before the election - Obama's percentage of strict party line votes was 96 %, ranking him at number 12 in the Senate. That doesn’t exactly appear to be reaching across the aisle to me. By the way, Senator McCain’s ranking was 65th, with a party line vote percentage of 88.3%. So who is really bipartisan? Democrats please wake up and start doing some research. Or should I also give you the facts of which Senators took the most money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - while looking the other way. It's frightening - people who do one thing and say the opposite hoping people will believe what they hear only. You were sold a bill of goods that is not living up to the promise. It was all a false front with nothing of substance behind it. Sorry, fellows - in this case we all lose.

Posted by: YouAREkiddingright | August 5, 2009 12:01 PM

Now the scare tacts the Republicans use is managed and paid for by lobbyists. They send out fake letters of support from the ACLU, and many other legit groups even though they FAKE THE LETTER HEAD AND THE LETTERS COMMITING FRAUD!!!

Now they pay people to show up at town hall meetings to ACT like FAKE ANGER, Disrupt meetings and STOP DEMOCRACY IN ACTION!!!

100% of these tactics are from the REPUBLICAN PARTY.




Posted by: imZandor | August 5, 2009 11:54 AM

"Bipartisanship? Should the Republicans offer President Obama the same kind of bipartisanship that the Democrats offered President Bush on Social Security reform? Or is that somehow different?"

Just think where we'd be if the Democrats HADN'T opposed Bush's Social Security "reform!"

Posted by: thrh | August 5, 2009 11:10 AM

This is ridiculous. More than 70% of the country wants and needs health care reform. Yet the Republicans are only interested in their petty power plays and saying 'NO' to every suggestion that would fix any of the innumerable problems they caused while in power. Obama should take a leaf out of Bush's playbook and get his party organized and behind him, instead of trying to play 'bipartisan nice' with the liars and crooks who are only out to undermine him and keep America on the path to becoming a Third World nation.

Posted by: rurik | August 5, 2009 11:06 AM

Bipartisanship? Should the Republicans offer President Obama the same kind of bipartisanship that the Democrats offered President Bush on Social Security reform? Or is that somehow different? If the media likes the President, then the opposition party needs to be bipartisan? If the media dislikes the President, then the opposition party needs to trash him and his ideas? Am I understanding clearly?

Posted by: Buffal0Bill | August 5, 2009 10:57 AM

I give Obama credit for trying to be bipartisan but it should be fairly clear by now that there is no hope in the House. It may be possible to gain a few moderate Republicans in the Senate and Baucus should try for a little longer. However, if the GOP wants to trash reform to protect the interests of their contributors at the expense of the American people, Baucus and the Senate Democrats need to move on.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | August 5, 2009 10:40 AM

Linda Douglas needs to carry two signs around for the YouTube clips of her boss. One should read: "HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH....NOW!"

The second one should read: "HE IS JOKING...AGAIN!"

Posted by: wheeljc | August 5, 2009 10:21 AM

in re: boehner

a few years ago, i had the quaint idea that with the passing of delay and his toadie, hastert, the g.o.p. couldn't do worse.

damned if they haven't.

Posted by: jimfilyaw | August 5, 2009 8:53 AM






President Obama, AG Holder, SecHomeland Napolitano, SecDef Gates, DNI Blair must dismantle the nationwide, federal-local GPS-activated extrajudicial targeting and punishment matrix and remove from power the secretive executive branch officials who continue to oversee it.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

See "GESTAPO USA" at ("stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 5, 2009 8:20 AM

I remember since the 1940's my Grandparents & Parents were Republican. Very intellegent business people. What I see today in the Republican party would not fit them at all. Pout, slam, name calling like spoiled children. What has happened? I'm at a loss. ???

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | August 5, 2009 8:09 AM

Bipartisan??? Since when have the Democrats been bipartisan on ANYTHING???? To them, bipartisan means you MUST agree with them or you are a racist idiot!

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | August 5, 2009 7:53 AM

The Republican Party continues down the road of political rhetoric to distance themselves from the American people. We want responsible government, not a bunch of one minute sound bites to get noticed for next election and believe me, come next election the Republican Party is going to get another sound dose of what they deserve! They have done nothing to contribute to President Obama's agenda other than to cause confusion for a people and nation in dire straights! We want Health Care, NOW!

Posted by: rolcan | August 5, 2009 7:35 AM

Yes we do want the Govt to be in charge of health care. The current system doesn't work. A large majority of Americans want this change to occur. Lies and fear will not move us from the need for reform. The Republicans will soon be a regional party with no support whatsoever unless they find some leaders with positive ideas. The same old, same old won't fly anymore.

Posted by: Falmouth1 | August 5, 2009 5:49 AM

Democrats and Obama have already done too much reaching out to republicans. The republicans don't have any solutions, they only tear down. Its like they think if they can make life miserable enough for America people will finally give in, say uncle, and return to their rule? LOL The thing that is most amusing is that they keep lying like they did after 911 when people were vulnerable to their deception and they exploited it. Oh well.

Posted by: fishingriver | August 5, 2009 1:07 AM

Wow. I am interested that there is any mention of a Bipartisan solution to the Healthcare problem. The Obama Administration has not been reaching out to the other side, he has whined that "HE WON, SO THEY SHOULD DO WHAT HE SAYS".

DO YOU PEOPLE REALLY WANT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTHCARE? The same Federal government that paid $600 for toilet seats and $400 for hammers. The same Federal govt that has bankrupted Social Security and is unable or unwilling to control the costs of Medicare and Medicaid. Do you really think they are capable to overseeing such a monstrous entitlement program in any fiscally sound manner. Are you unaware of the real cost of this new Entitlement program. Or do you just want to see what you can get for free from the govt.

There is no "Right" to Healthcare!

Posted by: nancyrene3038 | August 4, 2009 11:59 PM


This we thhe people, and a true majority of the rest of the country disagree with you and your Republican friends. We realize that it isn't "the best health care on earth" or anything close, and after all these years of you Republicans standing in the way have decided that we will have it, with your asseent or without. Staging puerile brawls to prevent people from actually discussing their health care needs with the people who will have to address them, threatening to harass any Congressman who dares consider providing health care for all, posting the idiocy you just posted will only slightly delay it.

The plan will be bipartisan should the other party choose to try to be bipartisan, but we can get the thing passed with or without Boehner, Kyl, McCain, and the rest of the neanderthals who think that they can derail the plan this time, as they did fifteen years ago.

WE the PEOPLE. The ones who voted for change we believe in, AND WON'T BE DENIED this time around.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 4, 2009 11:24 PM

The GOP's not exactly the home party of rational government to say the least...

Posted by: timscanlon | August 4, 2009 11:23 PM

The Majority of Americans want Health Care Reform. They don't want Agent from the Insurance Company that will water down the Bill. Sen. Max Baucus is a "HIGH PAID HOOKER" for the Insurance Lobby.

The Public deserves better and those "DEAD HEAD REPUBLICANS" are not going to stop it from happening.

All these 'MORONS', from the "LUNATIC FRINGE", from the Party of 'NO', will no stand in the way of Progress.(HYPOCRITES)

Posted by: austininc4 | August 4, 2009 9:25 PM

This is not about Republicans opposing the bill. This is about a large percentage of Americans not wanting the change you are trying to make in our healthcare system. Stop putting the blame where it isn't. We, the People, oppose this and we are letting our representatives know what we are thinking. We have questions. No one will give us honest answers. We have a right to see this bill before a vote is taken. We should not be dismissed. I believe everyone in DC has forgotten that they work for us, The People. We have each decided individually that we don't like the bills being passed when the only people for them are the people in Washington. We no longer feel represented. The sad thing is the smartest people in this country have chosen not to be in government.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen2009 | August 4, 2009 6:54 PM

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