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Why Democrats Will, at the End of the Day, Pass Health-Care Reform


"Democrats should, but almost certainly won't, listen to Jon Chait," writes Matt Yglesias. He's referring to this post Chait wrote on the way Americans will judge health-care reform:

People do not pay close attention to details...[I]f health care reform will have a Rose Garden ceremony, lots of commentary about the historical import, liberal celebrations and conservative apoplexy. If it fails, then the plan will be described as a "failure" -- a designation intended to describe the political prospects but which is certain to bleed into the public's estimation of the plan's substantive merits -- and produce endless commentary about liberal overreach, all of which will make people more prone to believe that the plan was a disaster.

Democrats simply have to accept that health care reform is going to be polling badly when they vote on it. There's no mechanism in the current media configuration that would allow them to convey the details of the plan in a positive way without getting overrun by negative process stories. It's just not possible. What they have to focus on is which alternative is likely to make them better off: reform passing or reform failing. It's an easy call, which is why I think reform will pass.

First, a word on the bad "process stories" afflicting health-care reform right now: This sort of thing is inevitable. The final stage of a legislative fight is a bit confusing: It is very hard to tell a legislator who is voting against a bill apart from a legislator who is trying to maximize his influence over a bill. The two of them do the same thing, after all: Express concerns, point out a couple areas of disagreement, admit to overall ambivalence. But one of them doesn't want to vote for the bill and the other is positioning himself to vote for the bill. Reporters, however, can't read minds, so they take the statements at face value. That makes things look a lot grimmer than they are. As they say, it always looks darkest before the deal.

But there will be a deal. This is, in part, for the reasons Jon outlines. Importantly, however, the argument in his post is not some brilliant insight point he thought up during a particularly productive hour on the treadmill. It's just what happens. With all major pieces of legislation. And everyone knows it. Medicare Part D, for instance, barely survived the legislative process. It had a one-vote margin in the House of Representatives. Republicans almost broke the Congress securing the bill's passage. If it had failed, the ethics violations and angry Republicans and huge price tag would have launched a thousand editorials explaining the bill's failures and the deep inadequacies they demonstrated in the administration's policy process. But the bill didn't fail. Now it's law, and pretty popular law, at that.

Democrats know full well that there are two plausible outcomes to the health-care reform process. Health-care reform will fail, dealing a huge blow to the Democratic Party and giving Republicans tremendous momentum as we enter the 2010 campaign season. Or health-care reform will pass, and Democrats will criss-cross the country touting the largest legislative accomplishment in decades. Republicans may still attack them on the plan. But attacking a historic legislative success is a whole lot harder than attacking a historic legislative failure. Republicans know that, which is why they want to kill the bill. Democrats know it too, which is why they won't let them.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 24, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: 500 Days of Summer


By the way, I notice my home district Congresswoman, Rosa DeLauro, in the picture. Two cheers for that.

Anyways, there is something important I'll be watching in comparison Medicare Part D and the current health care reform legislation. Republicans might have done down to the wire to get it passed, but the bill contained basically everything they wanted. Were there any major concessions Republicans made to conservatives/moderates in their caucus (the ideological opposition lines to that bill blur a little)?

Meanwhile, Democrats are still bobbing back and forth about giving away the farm. They might follow the same path as the GOP did in the Medicare Part D expansion, but we'll just have to see.

Posted by: smhjr1 | July 24, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

President Obama and others have said that people will still be able to keep their current plan under HB 3200, but details in the pending bill would work against that actually happening.
After 2013, no new individual health insurance policies could be purchased under the bill now being considered, and no new procedures could be added to existing policies that continue in force.
Sooner or later people will be forced to change to the "public option," which would remain available and covers new procedures.

Posted by: dirty_ed | July 24, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

From your lips to God's ears, as they say.

BTW, if you get tired of this health care/policy gig, that's not a bad movie review.

Posted by: retr2327 | July 24, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with all this, but it doesn't explain why Baucus and the blue dogs are being so unproductive. If it's going to happen anyway why bother concern trolling it so much? Why not get out there and be proud of passing health care?

Posted by: chrismealy | July 24, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

>>>After 2013, no new individual health insurance policies could be purchased under the bill now being considered, and no new procedures could be added to existing policies that continue in force.>>>

How many times does this nonsense have to be debunked. That's *not* what the bill says.

Posted by: fuse | July 24, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh fuse, he knows that that's not what the bill says. He's been debunked here several times, if not in any number of other places where he's spreading this nonsense. Some people just have a problem with the truth.

Posted by: MosBen | July 24, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Debunking dirty_ed's lie:

Posted by: KCinDC1 | July 24, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Will Congress be covered by the new health care bill - or will they still have their "special" coverage? If they are covered, I'm for it. If it isn't good enough for them, it probably isn't good enough for the rest of us either.

Posted by: rcgorman | July 24, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein,

Do you understand the difference between journalism and marketing? On second thought, is there any?

Posted by: jglassman | July 24, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse


You need to get out more and talk to some seniors.

Medicare Part D is not popular.
It's not just the donut hole. It's the
co-pays-- huge co-pays on drugs that very sick people need (or, at least, are told by their doctors, that they need.)

Meanwhile, the legislation that includes Part D prohibits Medicare from negotiating for discounts on drugs--something that the VA has done very successfully.

Under reform, Medicare will probably offer its own prescription drug plan, which is what should have happened in the first place--and begin bringing down drug prices.

I'm glad you believe heatlhcare reform will pass--and I agree.

But what matters is what type of reform passes. I believe the White House will hold out for a "vigorous" public sector plan. If they don't, healthcare remains "the biggest threat to the U.S. economy" (Orszag.)

To do that, they may well have to use reconciliation. (Republicans, by the way, passed the Medicare Modernization Act --the legislation that contains part D-- by buying a Congressmen's vote. (A Congressional Ethics committee later confirmed this.)

Posted by: mahar1 | July 24, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If they're so confident in the wisdom of the bill then why are they structuring it so that none of the really signifcant and stupid changes take place until after the 2010 elections? You'd think they'd want everything to change quickly so that everyone could see the profound wisdom of their great policy ideas. They could implement it all quickly with their ruthlessly efficient unionized bureaucracy right? That shouldn't be a problem since the Government is sooooo much more efficient than the private sector.

The reality is that the smart Democrats know that their economic populism is hogwash in reality and their desperate for someone to insert enough sense into the bill so that they don't look stupid later when the whole thing breaks down like an East German car. They just need to pass something called Healthcare Reform that appears to pander to the economic populism they exploit during campaigns, but they don't really want it to conform to those principles because they know that would be a disaster.

And I know you'll make some reference to our status quo free market system being a disaster but the status quo is a half nationalized system. It is not a free market system. The real question they should be considering right now is which half of our system is screwing everything up?

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | July 24, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I just want to send what mahar1 said. I had part D from the getgo, but cancelled it this year (not so easy to do) when one of my physicians pointed out that I could get my drugs cheaper out of the country. He gave me a URL whose prices were about 40% cheaper than my cost under part D if I did not fall into the doughnut hole. Since I did fall into the Dhole last year my savings will probably be even greater this year.

Ezra, we constantly hear how partD is costing less than projected. Is this because many are leaving it as I did? What is the percentage of those who are eleigible who are covered?

Posted by: lensch | July 24, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This is silly. Klein is arguing that it doesn't matter what the bill actually says, just so long as any bill named "healthcare reform" passes. What the actually legislation does matters!

Posted by: SpanishInquisition | July 24, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's see... Unemployment at 10%+, record defict for 2009 and most likely in 2010 even without this legislation, 2010 elections right around the corner, being delayed the legislation will start getting the light of day. Adds up to a non-starter to me.

Posted by: mmourges | July 24, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

2010 we will hopefully see the likes of Pelosi, Dodds, Franks, Reid, Waxman and other Spendocrats handed their walking papers.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 24, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

LOL. Everything nobody likes about healthcare today is the result of government. If government still can't take over the whole thing in one fell swoop, then just make another one of those wonderful incremental "improvements" that got us to where we are today.

The public shows no signs of wising up. I'm sure that in a year or two -- after the latest "improvements" have mysteriously made things even worse -- even more reality-TV watching sheeple will want the free-lunch caucus to "fix" it once and for all. Eventually you'll have enough votes to completely enslave the healthy to the sickly --behold: "Socialtopia."

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 24, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The Health Reform Bill should really be a "REFORMED" bill and not just a bill to extend the existing dysfunctional system to all (“The Baucus-Grassley Health Insurance Companies Preservation Act”). A SINGLE PAYER, NON-FEE FOR SERVICE FIXED PAYMENT, INCOME TAX FUNDED SYSTEM IS THE IDEAL SOLUTION. Short of such a system the following is an absolute minimum:

1. A robust PUBLIC PLAN which explicitly specifies coverage and is standard for all states – no “enhanced” or “premium” plans (this is not cable TV service). The emphasis should be on Primary Care with referral needed to see Specialists.
2. This Public Plan should be funded by additional Medicare taxes imposed on all taxpayers.
4. THE Public Plan SHOULD NOT BE A FEE FOR SERVICE PLAN but a FIXED PAYMENT PLAN - based on a schedule determined by the diagnosis and treatment recommended by a new Public Plan Medical Board (based on current medical knowledge and practice). With a fee for service payment system the provider costs will not be controlled ultimately increasing unaffordable co-pays for employees when the employers shift their ever increasing costs.
5. To solve the overtreatment problem the Public Plan should fully assume the malpractice payment responsibility for individual physicians only - not hospitals. This is because THE PHYSICIAN IS THE PRIMARY GENERATOR OF COST – it is the physician’s prescription or “order” which initiates the tests and treatment provided by hospitals and other providers.
6. Increase payments to Primary Care Physicians and reduce payments to Specialists, and for specialized tests (e.g. MRI, Heart CT Scans). Do not pay for “cosmetic” procedures. Only pay for procedures with a track record for improving the quality of life substantially (humans cannot aspire to immortality). Cover only generic drugs wherever possible. To get extra treatment, procedures, brand name drugs the subscriber should purchase supplementary insurance from the private sector.
7. Provide hefty education subsidies to medical students who wish to train as Primary Care physicians. Similarly for nurses.

That's all! Then medical costs will fall and coverage will increase. It is not rocket science.

Posted by: psur | July 24, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Please Mr. Babooma (The Organ Grinder's Monkey), tell us all about how your "Monkey Care" plan is going to cover your nigglets and the "First' Hoe, and how their coverage is going to differ from the coverage the average American will receive.

Posted by: panielsen | July 24, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The problem with this man's analysis is that the members of Congress have NEVER READ THE BILL. Of course they can't "convey the details" not because -- as the Leftist media (along with Obama, Kerry, et al) implies -- because the American people are stupid but because the Democrats DON'T KNOW THE DETAILS to try and "sell" their constituents on them.

Posted by: evan3 | July 24, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Current Health Insurance is a Biblical Harlot riding on Americans. Only few can afford it, then you have to buy Afflac (all from Harlot), and when you get sick they(Harlot) cancel Insurance and about 1,600,000 Americans get bancrupted by Harlot. And behind Harlot is Republican party.

So now is a time for Insurance for All Americans.

Posted by: sabelbon | July 24, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"Or health-care reform will pass, and Democrats will criss-cross the country touting the largest legislative accomplishment in decades. Republicans may still attack them on the plan. But attacking a historic legislative success is a whole lot harder than attacking a historic legislative failure."

Interesting analysis of how polarizing an unpopular piece of legislation can be regardless of which party is touting how great it is.

However, it may have been better to use the add space to detail the contents of the legislation as it stands.

What exactly does 'health care reform' mean, anyway?

If you think the legislation working its way through Congress answers
that question to your satisfaction, do nothing. Don't even read it.
Trust, I know it is hard to read. I did it.

That is why I took the liberty of removing most of the legalese.
Even if you don't read every word; I suspect you won't. Take the time to
review the section headings, carefully.
House version:
Senate version:

I know, in neither case did I finish rewriting them. Seriously, they are
huge. The process is time consuming. I may never finish.

If, after review, the proposed legislation is to any degree offensive, contact your
representatives and tell them.

Posted by: DevPts | July 24, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama is hoping to defray costs by rationing care for the old and helping them meet their demise and using taxpayers' money to abort the next generation.Then health care reform will work.

Posted by: tsapp77 | July 24, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

You know, I always wonder how anyone could possibly estimate the additional costs to our healthcare that are due to the fact that for a significant proportion of our population--the 45 MILLION uninsured--often delay--for economic reasons--early examination and treatment. It doesn't take many failures to get $5 worth of medicine or a $5000 procedure leading to $100,000s of additional hospitalization costs (or more, say,for a lifetime of dialysis) The amount must be truly massive, of course. How else can we spend TWICE per capita as a percent of GDP and be worse than 30th in life expendency and infant mortaliity?

Posted by: Phrank1 | July 24, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

When is Obama going to be truthful with the public about his plan. When will he tell them about his mandatory "end of life" counseling and the obvious drive toward senior euthanasia? When will he tell them about “Palliative” treatment, or more commonly known as we won’t give you the operation you need so take these pain pills instead? When will be tell them about the rationing that will ultimately deny them the care necessary to stay alive. When will he tell them that Democrats believe seniors are a drag on society and should be encouraged to die rather than get life saving care? When will he tell them that this plan has the same effect as gas chambers but it just isn’t as straight forward? This is a frightening and cold hearted piece of legislation and it is the anthesis of everything this country stands for. You better speak up people before you lose it all . . . and I mean that literally. Don’t let anybody deny these effects without proof. The prohibitive costs are only the tip of the iceberg. Poor and rationed care, loss of freedom and liberty and premature death are the really sad issues we will be forced to deal with. What’s next, “Soylent Green” factories?” Obama’s “Brave New World” makes “1984” look like the epitome of a participative democracy. And finally, do these idiot politicians even know or care what is in this aberration? The plan is on line in PDF format and everyone should download it, read it and keep it for reference.

Posted by: rplat | July 24, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Your full of great insight Klein. The democrats need to pass a bill because its better politics. I have news for the dems. Americans are going to hate all the health plans that are currently on the table. I think democrats will lose either way in the health care debate. The only problem is that america will lose if they socialize medicine, and it can't easily be reversed (except for very rich americans like the Clinton's, Gore's, Kennedy's, Pelosi, Emanuel's, Kerry's, Kohl, Feinstein, Lautenberg and very soon the Obama's). They will be able to spent some of their millions opting out but they will stick the rest of us with a low quality, socialist mess.

Posted by: jsnyder9 | July 24, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

A few months ago President Obama told us we were facing another Great Depression unless we passed his massive stimulus bill that would increase the national debt to levels we've never seen before. Congress didn't even read that bill and we know how that turned out. Now he's telling us we need to pass his health care bill quickly and bankrupt this country even more. Wake up America!

Posted by: Kyle44 | July 24, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

This clearly explains the Democratic dilemma. They are far better off passing reform than not. The mandate in 2008 was for reform and not business as usual.

Posted by: whilzinger | July 24, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Democrats will enact health care reform and the bill that goes to the President will be a good bill.

IF it is, as I expect, a good bill then Republicans down the road will not dare touch it. Only if the bill is a weak one or has weaknesses that the opposition can seem right in attacking can the GOP have any hope of changing it in any substantial way or undermining it should they take power.

The Democrats health care reform will be as untouchable as Social Security. The people, both liberal and conservative, have proved they will not stand for even a bit of tinkering here and there with Social Security let alone getting rid of it one way or another.

So it will be with Health Care Reform -- if the bill that goes to the President is a stand up measure as was Social Security. I have every confidence it will be just so when all is said and done.

Posted by: ram9478 | July 24, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I would agree that Obamacare could still pass despite the opposition of the public and the fact that it will destroy the U.S. economy for a generation or more! The reason is corruption. The Democrats with this bill have their hands on more trillions of dollars than anyone in the entire history of the Universe. They proved with the stimulous bill that they don't care what happens to the working people of this country when the can pass out tens of billions of dollars to their special interests, and the corrupt stimulous bill was small potatoes compared to the trillions and trillions in the Health Bill. By the way why does both the House and Senate bill specifically exempt the President, Congress, and all Federal Employees from Obamacare!!!Doesn't that tell the average working American all they need to know?

Posted by: valwayne | July 24, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

The current bill being proposed addresses coverage. This is only half the equation. The other half is cost. The cost of health care needs to be reduced or the cost will cripple the economy.

One easy way to reduce cost on prescription drug prices is to offer a modified patent arrangement to prescription drug vendors.

Drug manufacturers charge exhorbitant prices because patents only last 7 years and they need to make as much as possible during the patent period. However, the federal government should offer a new arrangement to the prescription drug companies. Drug manufactures should be allowed to retain patents for longer periods if they agree to reduced pricing during the length of the patent.

This option will result in lower cost and a better business model for prescription drug companies. It is a win-win for the manufacturers, insurance companies and the patient.

Posted by: aullman | July 24, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting to hear what Obama wants in the plan.

Blue pill, red pill was enlightening for a two year old but he has yet to champion any position. That is a big reason the House is floundering.

Posted by: mgochs | July 25, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

So far, at least in the Senate Bill, there has been an amendment to force all members of the congress to be included in whatever legislation is passed. It was passed in committee by one vote. The Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont voted against the amendment. If that isn't a prime example of political cowardice and hypocrisy, I don't know what is. So far there is no such amendment in the House Bill. We should all be watching these crooks to make certain that whatever legislation they pass prevents them from excluding themselves from what the rest of us will be forced into. When they retire with their fat government pensions (which includes medical insurance at no cost to them) and they become old and sick, I want their age versus cost to be considered before they get any expensive medical care. This is what they want for all of us and they should get the same.

Posted by: harryvederchi | July 25, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I an an American, in Canada, and therefore using Canadian provincial run, Universal healthcare system. Have lots of family, and three adult children in US, so have followed the heathcare debate.Americans voted Barack Obama into office. Americans voted in a Democratic controlled Congress. That tells me Americans want Universal government run healthcare. We will get just that. Once the government runs the healthcare system, as they do in Canada, you simply get used to the rules, there is nothing you can do about the rules. Universal healthcare is a great method of care for all. Just understand, to operate efectively, heathcare has to be rationed.

Posted by: dangreen3 | July 25, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Let's call it the Chait-Klein Political Power Perpetuation Principle.

When a President's political party holds a large majority in both houses of Congress, the party will never fail to enact laws that will smell sweetly in the Rose Garden and enable it to continue in power.

Things have always worked this way. Parties in power never lose elections. Right?

Posted by: hartlex | July 25, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"If it fails, then the plan will be described as a "failure""
You should have added "and the Democrats will blame the Republicans"

Posted by: ahartnack | July 25, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What really bothers me is in the end the people of America are the ones who get screwed. These politicians don't give a darn about us. All they care about is getting there bills passed no matter who is affected. They have their own healthcare plan which the taxpayers pay for and will not even be on this plan which they want us to be on.

Posted by: johncprincipe | July 25, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess all things are just process to Washington Post commentators. Wouldn't it be nice if the fool read both bills then gave us political insight? Maybe why certain measures like loosing your choice in healthcare, end of life counseling for those past 65, limiting care for chronic conditions etc... might be poison pills not just for blue dog dems but anyone foolish enough to vote for this legislation?

Reform could be real easy. All they have to do is mandate the reforms apply to everyone from the Prez right on down the line.

Posted by: danhanover1 | July 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"5 freedoms you'd lose in health care reform"

"4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have ventured.

The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most other big companies.

The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

But read on.

The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months."

Posted by: fredrickb | July 25, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, the article is correct. The cult of personality trumps the greater good. How sick!

Posted by: Steve851 | July 25, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

People, read the 7/24 article "Deadly Doctors" in the NYPost; eye opener about attitude of Emanuel brothers about the right to life & care you have. You don't, if you aren't useful. Rham's brother appointed to Health Board. Sort of like the Nazis. And these views from Jewish fellows who should know better. Shameful. Then read article on "Billions to Criminality" to see how this president gets elected... he was an ACORN lawyer & cummune organizer (intentional spelling).

Posted by: sandyinohio | July 25, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

So Dems should pass health care "reform" not because it will lower costs, or be good for America or the economy, but to NOT pass it will give the GOP a victory?

That's disgusting, mindless politics.

Posted by: onecaguy12345 | July 25, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Also, I have no idea what you're talking about "debunking" the IBD editorial. read the freakin' bill:"

It clearly states that grandfathered coverage is ok, but no new policies will be issued.

Grandfathered coverage is ALL private coverage when the bill takes effect.

SEC. 102 states that NO NEW coverage will be issued.

It also states:
"(1) IN GENERAL- Individual health insurance coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan."

Also, everyone will be TAXED as having no coverage unless you have the gov't. plan, Medicare, or a grandfathered plan.


Nothing has been "debunked", this bill kills any new private insurance from being issued.

Posted by: onecaguy12345 | July 25, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"How many times does this nonsense have to be debunked. That's *not* what the bill says."

Well according to the following article:

it *is* what the bill says.

This bill requires you to join the govt's plans in *one* year if you are a small business, or in 5 years if you belong to a large plan (GE, Boeing etc.).

It essentially wipes out HSA based plans.

So much for 'if you like the coverage you have, you keep it'.

This is one independent that will vote against *every* democrat on the ticket in 2010.

Posted by: chrispedersen | July 25, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

you can't seriously think passing the bill would be a legislative success for the Dems.. pure suicide in the next election. YES WE CAN bloat up old Uncle Sam! YES WE CAN dig the nation deeper into debt (read the latest CBO report). YES WE CAN tax, mandate rule and reg like never before! The Washington Knows Best mentality.. watch the polls. More Uncle Same in our lives - brilliant! a visit to the dr will beocme identical to a visit to DMV.. an example of the efficiency and effectiveness of gov't at it's best...

Posted by: patsyd | July 25, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Reporters, however, can't read minds, so they take the statements at face value."

I thought reporters were supposed to do more than simply report. I thought they were supposed to fact check.

If one person says it's raining outside, and the other that it's sunny. Shouldn't reporters look outside to see what the fact is and report it?

Perhaps part of the reason the people are so misinformed these days is because we have a bunch of incompetent journalists.

Posted by: Kelly14 | July 25, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Part D was adding something to what citizens already had and was done without a major tax increase. Healthcare "reform" (read 'takeover') threatens a healthcare system 89% of the country is pretty happy with and there the comparison breaks down. You could perhaps get buy-in on some wider programs to help uninsured folks (note 'uninsured does NOT mean 'unattended in their health care needs'--they get care--just uninsured), but existing programs are going unused as it is, even in these difficult economic times.
I also disagree that in this case Dems would suffer more for failure than success. Political success really only scores big inside the beltway. Profoundly messing with peoples' everyday lives is the far, far more risky route.

Posted by: WideMeadow | July 25, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Also... Regarding "The mandate in 2008 was for reform and not business as usual", the mandate was for a better economy, we've only gone south since then, and Obama's approval ratings have obviously followed. If this kind of reform was what we all wanted, his approval ratings ought to be climbing in anticipation.

Posted by: WideMeadow | July 25, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The passage of the bill will help to create a permanent democratic majority. Among other reasons, it will incentivize illegal immigration and create dependence upon, and fear of opposing, the democratic party. So while it might make life worse for most Americans, it still could be helpful for the party's maintenance of power.

Posted by: truck1 | July 25, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra, I want some of what our smoking. While possible something might get passed, it won't look anything like what Obama and the libs want.

Living in Austin, it was really weird watching the tea party protesters outnumber the pro-reform MoveOn and ACORN types by a 4:1 margin and seeing people who look like they stepped out the 60s knocking ObamaCare. It's happening all over America.

Add that to the latest CBO story and I think ObamaCare is toast.

Posted by: geraldmerits | July 25, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"2010 we will hopefully see the likes of Pelosi, Dodds, Franks, Reid, Waxman and other Spendocrats handed their walking papers."

Walking papers? You mean walking free? These rats deserve to be burnt at the stake , not walking free. Democrats always get away with their lies crimes and corruption. They are never held accountable and always deny wrongdoing.

"Perhaps part of the reason the people are so misinformed these days is because we have a bunch of incompetent journalists."

Don't forget the 85+% of the MSM are registered voting democrats. Obviously Dumbo thinks that's enough for him to get away with his Dictatorship. Everyday dictating his BS and lies. He is as fake as they come. He is a historic fake , a historic disgrace and a historic embarrassment to this Country. He deserves a historic day of shame in his name. The day so many around the world made fools of themselves over this HISTORIC FRAUD , BARRACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.

Posted by: RobLACa | July 25, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I have to disagree with the writer of this article.

There is too much damage for the citizens and structure of the U.S. for this bill to pass.

I've already written my Senator and Congressmen to let them know that they will be voted out of office if they vote for the House Health Care Bill or Cap and Trade.

Why would they pay attention to me? Because I live in NJ and we are in the process of voting out Jon Corzine as Governor. Corzine loves to tell everyone that he is just like Obama. Well, we have seen what Corzine has to offer and we do not like it.

Likewise, we have seen that Obama is just like Corzine with his policies.

We know that neither of them care anything about what voters want. We are taxed to death which is not what we want. We get nothing for it. Lost jobs, high cost of living, and they have taxed evey item in sight.

They ignore the voters wishes and do what they want to do because their allegiance is to Goldman Sachs and Soros, along with other big money schemes. Goldman Sachs and Soros didn't fund Obama to see him lose and he didn't. Now that he is in, it is payback time. They need "health insurance" and "cap and trade" to give them new ways of taking tax money from the people who work in the U.S.

Posted by: letscheck | July 26, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

In case I did not make it clear in the former post: We will fight and do our best to make sure Obama is not only one term and done...we want him to be a lame duck starting right now.

He has already done more damage to this country than any other president ever.

So sorry for his followers but you really should have checked him out before you voted for the man who would take away your money, home, health care, and your rights.

He will tell any lie to get what he wants and we have seen that enough to know that he has to be stopped.

Watch the two governor elections in 2009 if you have any doubt that the people of the U.S. have had enough of Obama already.

Posted by: letscheck | July 26, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Omama is rushing his plan 'cause he knows the more Americans learn about it the more horrified they'll be.

As for part 'D', it saves us over $200 a month. I'm sure it doesn't work as well for everyone, but it's been great for us and those we know.

Posted by: westcotran | July 26, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse

We are not talking about health care, it's medical care we are attempting to "reform". Health is a matter of luck, genetics, life style, accident avoidance, etc. It is beyond the province of Government to change health much, trying to improve life styles has not been very successful.
Medical Care is what the Docs do. We are not talking about adding Medical Care no more Docs, probably fewer. What we are up to is slicing and dicing the existing Medical Care, reallocation if you please.

I think that what really clinches the argument against Government intervention in health insurance or care, is the fact, that the people who have written and are trying to ram the idea down our throats, have exempted themselves from it !!!
Their system, based on private providers seems to be just fine thank you.
Do you really think, that a Ted Kennedy, to use a very apt example, given his age, and known personal habits would be allowed to spend the resources that he has to keep him alive, were he on the proposed Obama system.?
Not likely..."Take the red pill and go to Hospice" would be what I think he would be subject to.

Just remember, that the ultimate minority is the individual.

This is not about health care it is as those that militate for the right to chose say
"It is about my and your right to choose "no more no less.

Posted by: zrjh26 | July 26, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Upon those who would institute great change lies the burden of proof. Not upon those who resist. It is for your side to show that what you are doing is in the interest of most Americans, AND that your motivation is utterly pure. But in everything you write you demonstrate the opposite -- that it's all about a democratic victory. Or as Emanuel puts it -- all that matters is successs.

Posted by: truck1 | July 26, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein in so knowledgeable! Not! At the ripe old age of 25 he may have a great command of writing but maybe once he has lived a little, and perhaps outside the metro areas and the indoctrination camps known as colleges he will gain a little common sense. Too bad he is fostered on the public as an enlightened writer. Come back in twenty years.

Posted by: georgiarat | July 31, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

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