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Health care, health care and even more health care!!

We chatted with Fixistas for an hour earlier today -- fielding questions on the issue du jour: health care.

A few of our favorite exchanges are below. You can -- and should ;) -- read the whole thing here.

Health care and the NFL: Is the health care reform bill (and other large pieces of legislation) like the NFL in that winning (or passing a bill) makes it all good?

Chris Cillizza: I think the White House is hoping so.

Yesterday on a slew of talk shows, White House senior adviser David Axelrod kept arguing that the public opposition to the bill would fade once it began to be implemented and all of the boogeymen about the legislation turned out to not materialize.

That's clearly a real possibility. But, remember that public perception is not typically subject to wild swings -- barring some sort of huge event.

The public has been souring on this bill for several months. Is a signing ceremony at the White House a big enough event to force people to take a second look at their concerns about the bill?

Not totally sure.

St. Paul : Hi Chris -- Thanks for taking questions today. What do you think made vulnerable Democratic senators (Blanche Lincoln, for example) go along with the rest of the majority despite the risk to their seats come 2010?

Chris Cillizza: Good question.

I think the White House made the case to people like Lincoln and Michael Bennet of Colorado that whether they voted for the bill or not, Republicans would bash them as handmaidens of the White House.

So, the argument went, why not be part of voting FOR something, of producing action that can be taken back and sold to an electorate skeptical about Washington's ability to get anything done.

As I noted in an answer above, I think the counter argument -- Lincoln and Bennet (and other Democrats) voted for a bill that the American people neither wants nor thinks will affect positive change -- is equally strong.

Which argument wins out? That will be what the next 11 months or so will tell us. Expect this vote to be a major point of contention between the two parties in next year's midterms.

Austin, Tex.: 'Fess up. Looking at your picture, I think you're really Craig Finn from The Hold Steady.

Skipping past the (admittedly more interesting) primaries, does Kinky Friedman's withdrawal from the Governor's race have any impact at all?

FYI, what's particularly interesting is that the position he's now running for, Agriculture Commissioner, actually has legal requirements for the job...unlike Governor. Irony alert!

Chris Cillizza: WHOAH. That is awesome. People always tell me I look like Chris Klein, which, of course, makes me think of the character he played in "Election" -- dumb, popular jock.

I may be dumb but I have never been mistaken for popular or a jock.

As for the Kinkster, I was somewhat disappointed that he decided not to run for governor again. Ag Commissioner????

Seriously though, I think him not being in the race probably only matters if Gov. Rick Perry wins the Republican primary on March 2. If Perry is the GOP nominee, then Houston mayor Bill White will be able to consolidate the anti-Perry vote behind his candidacy instead of seeing it fractured in a million different directions ala Texas 2006.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 21, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Health care winners and losers
Next: How a political wave builds

Comments

Good one, leapin (I'm reading your posts and so are lurkers).

Posted by: JakeD | December 23, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The huge savings in Medicare in this legislation will enable it to improve quality and availability of health care for all, yet significantly reduce costs. How is this possible? Simple - they're going to eliminate waste and fraud! This is an exciting new concept introduced by the current administration. That they're the first to have conceived it is yet more evidence that they are simply smarter and better people than any who have come before. Barack Hussein Obama 2008, 2012, and forever!

Posted by: leapin | December 22, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Chris

Would you please check Obama's address to Congress

- on the abortion issue

- on the illegal immigration issue

- on the deficit issue


Maybe Obama is guilty of Lying To Congress.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 22, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Just curious, does anyone read leapin posts?

===

No. Once I read the word Democrap, my eyes glaze over. Same goes for armpeg.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 22, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Zero, obviously, otherwise we'd be treated to some aboriginal taunting-dance

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Jake, we're breathlessly waiting! How many of your questions did Chris take today?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 21, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Everybody - everybody - is telling the democrats that their health care plan is going to create a FINANCIAL DISASTER.


They have convinced themselves they are right - and all they do is talk to themselves.


How much money is this going to cost before they realize?


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 21, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Where in the constitution does it say the federal government must provide government run healthcare?

==

If a government doesn't look after the general welfare, what good is it?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The Obamacare bill is just a way for the Democrats to get a large number of new big government addicts to vote for their next fix, which means the Democratic party. Where in the constitution does it say the federal government must provide government run healthcare? Where in the constituition does it allow the government to fine people who don't have healthcare? Where in the constitution does it allow the government to tell private citizens what type of healthcare they have to carry?

Posted by: RobT1 | December 21, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

A complete government takeover or even an expansion of the nation’s healthcare system is certainly historic change—it will impact every aspect of society for generations. Such monumental change should be afforded a lengthy, open debate. Instead, the public is told healthcare must pass immediately in order to save the country.

==

Ah, no, it must be passed because it has been debated and discussed for months.

Republicans didn't seek to improve the bill, they only sought to delay it, or block it outright. Their own offerings weren't serious, would not have extended coverage or reduced costs, save by reducing services.

It has to pass SOMETIME .. nothing wrong with setting a passage goal, now, is there? Should we "debate" it for another eight or nine months, and end up passing just another tax cut for the wealthy isstead of healthcare reform?

I think that if debate continued you would be taking the tact that "Democrats are ineffectual, look at 'em, debating the same bill for over a year."

Our health care costs are almost a fifth of the budget as it is and we still have 50 million without health insurance. That's abhorrent, and I would think a true conservative would want to find a way to contain costs.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

A complete government takeover or even an expansion of the nation’s healthcare system is certainly historic change—it will impact every aspect of society for generations. Such monumental change should be afforded a lengthy, open debate. Instead, the public is told healthcare must pass immediately in order to save the country. President Obama even used fear-mongering rhetoric that the federal government would go bankrupt without healthcare legislation.

If the healthcare legislation is really so important and if it will truly benefit Americans, then why is it necessary to bribe the people’s representatives? The just and honorable vote never requires a pay-off, at least, not for a legislator who truly represents the best interests of his or her constituents.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

This is the problem - very clearly - the country and the federal government should be concentrating on the economy and jobs - and what are we doing?

Nothing but health care. Month after month. It is sad.


The ENTIRE AGENDA OF THE COUNTRY is on a quest to stroke Obama's ego at the expense of all else.

It doesn't matter how much it costs, or if there are other things more important.


If that isn't incompetence, I don't know what is.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 21, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Just curious, does anyone read leapin posts?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Corruption is the only way to describe the outrageous behavior on display in the United States Capitol. With seemingly no regard for the honor of their office or the responsibility owed to their constituents, Members of Congress have engaged in acts usually characteristic of banana republic governments. The venal elected officials have sold for pork the Constitution they swore to uphold. Is this the hope and change Americans thought they were getting when they placed their faith and the leadership of their country in Barack Obama?

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

The last few months of the healthcare debate have unfolded in a haze of backroom deals, taxpayer-funded bribes and outright arm-twisting. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn provided the best description of the Congressional goings-on: “This process is not legislation. This process is corruption.”

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Obama simultaneously believes (a) he can create a permanent loyal constituency of millions who either receive or disperse federal “stimulus,” in the fashion of the old Roman turba; (b ) he can borrow so much money that higher taxes will be seen as vital and therefore the original intent of income redistribution accomplished; (c) that, having had little experience in the private sector, but much financial success as a community or government employee, he can assume that money comes out of thin air and is to be dispersed non-stop through public benefaction; (d) the upper-middle class, which strives to be as rich as he is, is somehow culpable. A common theme throughout history is a paradoxical hatred of the equestrian, productive class, by both the idle aristocratic and entitlement constituents, who hand in glove need each other.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Vis-a-vis Kinky maybe running for Texas Ag Commissioner, I think Jim Hightower held that office. I guess being a character is one of the "legal requirements" for the job.

Posted by: tobetv | December 21, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This disastrous health care bill was negotiated behind closed doors and Republicans were never brought into the negotiations.

==

If you're determined to lie could you at least tell lies that have a snowball's chance of being believed, if only by a vanishingly small few?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have used Bernie Madoff-style accounting to assess the cost of health care reform. And when this bill becomes law, the reality of higher taxes and Medicare cuts for seniors will settle in on the American public.

President Obama made a promise when he campaigned for president to sit down and negotiate health care reform with Republicans and Democrats. He also promised C-SPAN cameras would be in the room. But, that was all campaign rhetoric. This disastrous health care bill was negotiated behind closed doors and Republicans were never brought into the negotiations.

The result is a health care bill supported by 60 Democratic Senators, but opposed by 60% of the American public.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Which one are you? The "Democrap Socialist" guy or the "NeoCom Statist" guy? It's hard to keep track because it really isn't worth the trouble.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Yeah telling whoppers with a straight face has to be qualification number one.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite
------------------------------------------
So if you have a bill that no one has seen,
touched, or read then how do you know what is a lie or not?

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The former VP candidate and former AK governor has been awarded the 'biggest political lie of the year' award for coining the term 'Death Panels'. Good luck with your political career, sister, you have now mastered the only requisite skill for winning a role in your party's leadership.

==

Yeah telling whoppers with a straight face has to be qualification number one.

But Palin is finished in politics. Now she's just a big mouth yammering for attention, and since there's not much there anyway and everyone has already seen it all, she can only stay in front of cameras by doing increasingly unhinged stunts to keep people talking about her.

If she tries to run as a Republican she'll find that all the GOP electoral types who worked for McCain didn't take too kindly to her insulting and attacking them for being mean to her.

If she tries to run as a third party, well, how can I help? She'll just sump the redneck racist small-town-bigot vote, the GOP core, away from the GOP.

And, as always, will see her defeat as just another reason for the faithful to continue to work hard and .. rally around a loser!

Gotta love it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

And in other award news, Human Events has awarded Dick Cheney "Conservative of the Year" with the dedication coming from John Bolton, the former UN Ambassador with the bone-white facial hair statement.

Damned good think irrelevance is massless otherwise we would all have collapsed into a black hole about a centimeter in diameter.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Not if Death Panels in fact kill people.

==

There are no "death panels," leave it to our sanctioned troll to repeat a known lie.

Stick to humping Palin's leg, Jake

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Not if Death Panels in fact kill people.

Posted by: JakeD | December 21, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Fix Pick:

And the winner for telling the biggest whopper of the year goes to....

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/dec/18/politifact-lie-year-death-panels/

That's right folks! The former VP candidate and former AK governor has been awarded the 'biggest political lie of the year' award for coining the term 'Death Panels'. Good luck with your political career, sister, you have now mastered the only requisite skill for winning a role in your party's leadership.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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