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Health care winners and losers

The Senate's early morning vote to bring the health care bill to the floor marks the beginning of the end -- or is it the end of the beginning? -- of a legislative fight that encompassed the majority of President Barack Obama's first year in office.

So, who won and who lost in this epic struggle? The Fix spoke with a number of political operatives over the past few days about that very question and solicited ideas from Fixistas as well. The results are below.

Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits.

Winners

* President Obama: Did the White House underestimate the challenge of reforming the health-care system? Absolutely. And, the months of process-based stories on the warring Democratic factions and declining poll numbers were the price they paid for that miscalculation. But ultimately Obama -- once he persuades the House to go along -- will get a health-care reform package through Congress, a legislative feat of epic proportions.

* Harry Reid: Reid may not be a terribly impressive politician in front of the camera, but behind closed doors he is without peer. Reid managed to divine what each of the 60 members of his fractious caucus needed to be a "yes" and give it to them without permanently hobbling the bill. Hard to argue with that kind of result.

* John McCain: The Mac was back during the health-care debate, a feisty presence on the Senate floor and in front of the television cameras, leading the GOP opposition to the bill. McCain's performance over the past several weeks proved that he is and will continue to be a major force in the chamber. His stalwart opposition to the plan is also good politics, making it harder for former representative J.D. Hayworth to challenge him from the ideological right in a primary next year.

* Ben Nelson: The Nebraska senator played the legislative process like a virtuoso, not only getting stricter language about abortion funding included in the final bill but also scoring another huge plum -- the promise of full federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid in the Cornhusker State. Of Nelson's bargaining, one Senate Democratic operative said: "A one-man study on how the Senate works -- they should teach this in civics class."

* The National Republican Senatorial Committee: Strategists at the Senate GOP campaign arm were rejoicing over the weekend with the news that targeted Democrats including Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Michael Bennet (Colo.) were going to vote for the measure. Unlike Nelson or even Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), who is up for reelection in 2014, neither Lincoln nor Bennet got anything major in exchange for their vote -- meaning they could face the blowback from those unhappy with the legislation in their respective states without an accompanying sweetener to make the bill more palatable. And, will the vote of Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) for the package be just the leverage the NRSC needs to get Gov. John Hoeven (R) into the race?

* Tom Coburn: The Oklahoma Republican's procedural maneuvering -- including demanding the bill be read aloud -- had his Democratic colleagues living in fear of what he might pull out of his bag of tricks next. And, despite his hard work to kill the bill, Coburn's upfront attitude about his opposition kept him from attracting too much ire from his Democratic colleagues.

* C-SPAN: Not since the "nuclear option" debate on federal judges have so many people tuned in to the Fix's favorite network to get a close-up look at the arcana of Senate procedure. They are reading the manager's amendment! They are reading the manager's amendment!

* Local TV stations in Nebraska/Arkansas/North Dakota/Nevada/Louisiana/Montana/Maine: The heath care fight served as an economic stimulus package of its own for TV stations in states with targeted Senators. Millions upon millions of dollars were poured into these states to try to convince people like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln that a "yes" or a "no" vote was what their constituents wanted -- and needed. While most people are debating whether the bill is, ultimately, a good or a bad thing for the country, the owners of these stations are counting their cash. Ah, capitalism.

Losers

* Harry Reid: Yes, the majority leader got the bill through -- a major victory for Democrats at the national level. But, back home in Nevada, the legislation remains a mixed bag (at best) politically and Reid now owns it. Reid has to hope public perception of the bill shifts in a positive direction in the coming months, as his numbers in the state are dismal and he has little margin for error.

* Joe Lieberman: Lieberman's high-profile opposition to the Medicare buy-in effectively killed the public option. Lieberman allies insist that the Connecticut independent was protecting moderate Democrats such as Lincoln by putting himself on the firing line, but the practical political effect of his maneuvering has been to further anger and energize the party's liberal base against him. Beating Lieberman in 2012 -- if he chooses to run -- will be a cause cèlébre among the liberal left.

* Cap and trade: No matter what Obama and his advisers said last week in Copenhagen, there is now no chance that the Administration's climate-change proposal will come up for a vote in the Senate prior to the 2010 election. Politicians never like casting controversial votes, but they like doing so even less in an election year.

* Liberals: Progressives both in and outside the Senate watched as their dream bill slowly but surely lost the elements -- including the public option -- they longed for. Compromise is the name of the game when it comes to passing legislation as complex and sweeping as health-care reform, but that's not likely to be much consolation for a Democratic base already aggrieved about Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 21, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

Ben Nelson will likely be re-elected in Nebraska, but he has zero chance of ever running for a national office or getting a cabinet level appointment.

Posted by: mike_midwest | December 24, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

The biggest loser in the idea that you need 60 votes to pass a law in the Senate. It will be interesting to see if that finally changes.

Posted by: mike_midwest | December 24, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama lost his remaining credibility with intelligent, civilized people. It is as if he thinks we don't remember or that his plan wasn't still on the internet.
The media and many blogger-journalists have lost some credibility as well with the "eat your spinach" narrative that says a bad bill is better than a good bill or nothing, as if they prefer a bad bill simply to fit their narrative.
Conservative lunatics have also demonstrated that they are submissive to bull fruit looneys and con men like Limbaugh, Beck, and Matalin.
I hope this atrocity does eventually work out, but I fear that the Reid senate has created a monster, alienated their base, and spawned a new set of problems by confirming the worst thoughts of cynics. Obama is trying to be the well-spoken Bush. I suspect this country is in for interesting times.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | December 23, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"And Dudh, I also hope Coburn has a safe trip home. Merry Christmas, Senator Byrd!
Posted by: margaretmeyers"

It was just a bit dramatic, especially after the Senator from Oklahoma gave him that build up, for the Senator to enter the Senate Chamber in a wheel chair to cast his vote. Sort of a rousing crescendo to a long and dramatic career. I wish him long life and great success, but he already has those in surfeit. Still, I am open to hearing just a bit more fiddling from the Senator.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 22, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no way, really regardless of party affiliation, that you can believe that Harry Reid is both a winner and loser, but that the NRSC is a winner and no entity of the Republican party is a loser. Legislators have been trying to pass healthcare reform for a century; clearly there are ways of riling up the public enough to kill the bill. The Republicans, despite tea parties and death panels, weren't able to do that. I submit that even though the party got their legislators in line, the GOP did NOT achieve it's actual goal! They did not gain any political capital from this, though they depleted a lot of Obama's and a lot of their own.

I also think the case for McCain being a winner is equally weak or, at best, a real stretch. This was straight party line, nothing "mavericky" here. He still sounds sore about losing the election, frankly.

Posted by: emk1567 | December 22, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Great post, Ceflynline. And Dudh, I also hope Coburn has a safe trip home.

Merry Christmas, Senator Byrd!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 22, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Breaking News:

Washington Redskins Make Federal Government Look Like Model of Competence

Posted by: douglaslbarber | December 21, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Your Winners and Losers list, while amusing, deserves more thought:

Winner: millions of Americans who will get health insurance;

Winner, not Loser: Joe Lieberman, proving that you can be two-faced about everything, suffer rebuke from only one Senator (winner), and still collect your insurance compensation;

Loser, not Winner: McCain. Hurls himself into the breech when it's too late, shrieking like Winston Churchill ("we will nevah shurrendah"... etc.) Embarrassing performance.

Loser, not Winner: Sen. Tom Coburn. Hope he gets home safe for Christmas...

Posted by: dudh | December 21, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain a winner? He had little enough credibility after getting trounced in the General election, and now, having steadfastly done everything he could to poison the atmosphere to bipartisanship, he complains that the republicans were never given any chance to have input to the bill.

He must think that America is particularly stupid, since the biggest thing affecting Obama's popularity is his perceived willingness to keep giving republicans a chance to buy into the negotiations, and hes general failure to get them to do so. It is quite obvious to the vast majority of Americans that the republicans refused to come to the table entirely in the hopes of being able to deny Obama the chance to say he got a health care Bill.

They face an electorate that wants jobs and they tell the voters that the Democrats were wrong for trying to do something, anything, to get more jobs. They face a country that would like to get out of two wars we don't need and say Obama isn't acting manly enough.

You might expect they could hear the discontent, but since they never listen to anyone but a true believer, they will never hear the calls for help.

Their platform to win friends and influence people, "Don't Worry, Be happy, Cut Taxes, Go shopping!" Lost its currency about 2005. The slugs they now offer, debased monetarism and rigged free markets don't entice enthusiasm from any but the 20% ers.

McCain a winner, your spell checker needs to know when you got close but used the wrong word.

McCain, a big whiner.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 21, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Other losers:
Olympia Snowe - she lost popularity among Democrats and Republicans for wavering. Democrats are angry because Snowe retreated on her willingness to compromise. Republicans Snowe angry because she cooperated with Democrats in the first place. In the end she won nothing and lost some of her influence as a compromiser.

The Republican Party - they refused to negotiate at any point during the debate. They were dedicated to opposing the bill, any bill. Maybe they will gain some seats in the 2010 midterm elections but their losses in the long term will be massive. People will remember that when Republicans could have made the health care bill better or cooperated, they instead dedicated themselves to destroying the bill.

Posted by: fable104 | December 21, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

CC is his usual astute self, but there is an easy way to tell who are the biggest losers: The Republicans. I say that because -- well, just take a look at the posts. The right-wingers are in ALL CAPS mode, blathering about Marxism, how awful Obama is, and so on. They are purple-faced with rage. They wouldn't be, if they hadn't lost, and lost pretty definitively.

Posted by: chuckbarb23 | December 21, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris, please tell me how Tom Coburn "won" the health care debate when he wished a Democratic Senator would not make it for the vote (hint: he was hoping Robert Byrd dies).

Neither John McCain, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Tom Coburn are winners here. John McCain was going to win his primary challenge anyway. And Tom Coburn's efforts during the health care debate have made Democrats hate him even more. The NRSC did not win either as Blache Lincoln and Michael Bennet were already vulnerable going into 2010. Lincoln doesn't sound that popular in Arkansas already and Arkansas is trending more Republican. Bennet was going to have trouble anyway because he was a appointed and did not win an election, no one knows who he is, he seems to lack conviction on most issues like the Employee Free Choice Act, and he lacks charisma.

Posted by: fable104 | December 21, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Civil Rights, first bill passed: 1867
Women's right to vote, first brought to a vote: 1850's
Social Security, first major bill passed: 1936
Medicare, first bill passed: 1966
Labor organization, first bill passed: 1903

These are all social policies that should have been dealt with on the first time they came up before Congress but these dates were not the last time Congress had to deal with them in over to get meaningful legislation passed as well as for it to make a difference:

Civil Rights, effective bill passed: 1964
Women's right to vote: 1919--with the 19th Amendment.
Social Security, upgraded: 1995-1996
Medicare, upgraded: 1995-1996
Labor organization, upgrades: 1950s, 1990s

When each of these issues first gained national attention, they were not dealt with effectively but they were DEALT WITH!!!! We have to start somewhere! Plus, understand one thing...everything in U.S. Senate is about process and numbers. If you don't understand the process, you will not get the numbers you need to pass legislation. This is the way its been since the beginning with some update every now and again.

Some may say we could have done recogsiliation(sp.) and just gotten 50 plus 1 and made it about a simple majority. The problem with that is you end up cutting the Democratic Caucus and then, you won't get anything else done for the last year.
And as much as that may not happen anyway because its a major election year, it is very important to have them on board as a whole caucus because like I said, it is about PROCESS AND NUMBERS!!!!!!!

Posted by: wcellerbe | December 21, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

NO MENTION ABOUT THE COSTS OF THIS BILL.

This bill is an outrage.


The EXTENT OF THE FINANCIAL IRRESPONSIBILITY IS COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE.

This is what you get when someone is elected with no economic or business experience except for buying cocaine.

You get a binge.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 21, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

The proper agenda of the country - the economy and jobs has been hyjacked by Obama's quest for an ego trip to "make history."


Well well well.

The American people are going to have a massive bill here -

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Antonio is full of Right Wing Fairy Tales. He must have been read to as a child.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 21, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Hill Marty @1:27, if you are surprised that Nelson was offered perks for his votes you should consider what 40 nay-saying Republican Senators were certainly threatened with.
The GOP knows how to enforce party unity. Republican Senators weren't even allowed to participate or contribute to the bill. Several that had expressed support for reform in the past fell silent once the bill was under way -- Snowe dropped from sight.

Politics lives on the carrot and the stick. If you think the Democrats were using carrots, you should also realize that the GOP had its sticks out. Anyone from the Republican side who contributed to the bill or VOTED for it would have been ostracized, they would have received no national campaign support, they would have received no endorsements and they would have had someone running against them in the primary, and that candidate would have had everything at their disposal. The GOP should save their pious hand-wringing for themselves.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 21, 2009 6:36 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 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey AntonioSosa, you are scary for two reasons. #1, you have the right to vote. #2, you have the right to bring children into the world, which is also very sad as they will enter with obvious mental disadvantages. TFL, Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | December 21, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This is way-too-simple. The winners are the the health insurance monopoly and the drug industry in the United States of Arrogance. And!!!, the jerk politicians that are bought and paid for by these industries. The losers?; the electorate of this country, and their families and children. Not much is really gonna change. TFL, Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | December 21, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Antonio Sosa, are the Republicans really any less socialist. They oppose ANY attempt to restrain the growth of Medicare. Medicare taxes everyone to give health care to the elderly, that's as close to socialism as you'll ever get. Are the Republicans really any different?

Posted by: FelipeV | December 21, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse


'Bribery isn’t even the worst of the shameful behavior in Congress. Last week it was reported that the White House had blackmailed Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson into voting for the healthcare bill by threatening to close his state’s Offutt Air Force Base. The base, which employs 10,000 people, is home of the U.S. Strategic Command. Chicago politics have now reached the highest office in the land.'

uhh... except this rightwing meme turned out to be a complete fabrication.

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you for your insults, drindl! Coming from Obama’s ACORN operatives or lemmings, any insults are welcome and further demonstrate that Obamacare is part of the Orwellian future that Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov warned us about.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1"

more totally wacky sh*t from the delusional pitchfork mob on the far, far, lunatic conspiracy fringe...

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Instead of the hallmarks of honorable legislation that will genuinely improve America, the healthcare legislation and the process by which it is being passed are characterized by the sorts of behavior consistent with crime, bribery and blackmail.


Bribery isn’t even the worst of the shameful behavior in Congress. Last week it was reported that the White House had blackmailed Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson into voting for the healthcare bill by threatening to close his state’s Offutt Air Force Base. The base, which employs 10,000 people, is home of the U.S. Strategic Command. Chicago politics have now reached the highest office in the land.

It is beyond disgraceful to use the nation’s security as a bargaining chip to pass a healthcare bill many Americans will never benefit from, but will certainly pay for. In the end, Nelson’s vote was purchased on the promise that his state would be exempt from paying for Medicare expansion in Nebraska—shifting the burden to the other 49 states.

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

Chris --

Before trying to impress everyone with fancy French words, you should put the accents in the right places.

Posted by: crm1951 | December 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your insults, drindl! Coming from Obama’s ACORN operatives or lemmings, any insults are welcome and further demonstrate that Obamacare is part of the Orwellian future that Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov warned us about.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwlBt1

The more we see how Obama and his comrades use Saul Alinsky's rules to vilify and demonize the opposition, the more we realize that they used those tactics to destroy Bush and, indirectly, harm all of us. That’s how they convinced the dumbed down Americans to vote for a U.S. hating Marxist like Obama. That’s how they are trying to convince them that they must support a Marxist scam like Obamacare, which will destroy our health care, our economy, our freedoms and our country.

At this point, however, their Alinsky's tactics are backfiring. If they vilify and demonize someone, that’s an indication that someone must be an honest and patriotic American who deserves our respect and support.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 21, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations again to the courageous, patriotic and HONEST Republicans, ALL of whom voted against the criminal Obamacare scam. They did NOT cave in!

Republicans are certainly not perfect (no human being is perfect), but they are not controlled by Marxists and U.S. enemies as the Democrats are.

The differences between Republicans and Democrats have never been greater, mainly because now the Democrat party is currently controlled by “progressives” (Marxists) like Obama and his comrades. The differences have NEVER been greater:

-- Controlled by “progressives” (Marxists), Democrats have lied, manipulated, intimidated, coerced and BRIBED (at our expense) everyone who can be bribed to force us to swallow prosperity-killing, job-killing, freedom-killing scams like Obamacare and cap and trade.

-- Democrats are ashamed of the U.S. and try to lower the U.S. to the level of failed socialist countries.

-- Democrats increase the deficit, tax us more and more, destroy the economy, destroy jobs, and pretend to create mythical jobs in districts that don't even exist.

-- Democrats protect terrorists and other U.S. enemies and endanger our soldiers and Americans in general.

-- Democrats are destroying the U.S., our economy, our freedoms, and our future, and apologizing to the world for not doing it fast enough!

* Republicans, on the other hand, try to defend us from prosperity-killing, job-killing, freedom-killing scams like Obamacare and cap and trade. They just did that in the Senate.

* Republicans are PROUD of the U.S. and want to restore democracy, freedom and prosperity to the U.S.

* Republicans endeavor to achieve fiscal responsibility, improve the economy, create REAL jobs, help the U.S. become energy independent.

* Republicans help our soldiers protect Americans from terrorists and other U.S. enemies.

* Republicans endeavor to defend the U.S. and our future.

As we could see in the Senate, Republicans did NOT cave in to the lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion and BRIBERY of Obama and his comrades. They deserve our gratitude and support.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 21, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

As one who supported McCain in 2000, I will say that the man was the same as 2008. What changed was the candidate he ran against. He has below average integrity, but in 2000 his opponent's was worse.

Posted by: Gator-ron | December 21, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The real issue is not that a travesty of a health care bill got shoved down the throats of the American voting public, it's the shameless soul selling that happened on the way to getting that bill through.
This Senate is as disreputable as they come and the pact with the devil ("who cares what is best for the USA - pay me and I'll vote it in") is one of the most egregious I've ever seen.
What happened to the promise for transparency and accountability Obama kept talking about during the campaign? Does it not apply to deals he needs to make? This was nothing but secrets and deal makings cloaked under the farcical facade of this entire administration.

Posted by: Lynne5 | December 21, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

BIGGEST LOSER OF ALL TIME IN THIS HEALTHCARE DEBATE:

Olympia Snowe (R)


This bill is no way fundamentally different than Baucus bill which voted just few weeks ago.

She will join The-Slow-Down-Tea-Party crowd.

There is no need to repeat what Harry Reid said on the floor about slow down party.

Posted by: kat7 | December 21, 2009 5:10 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 5:10 PM | Report abuse

50Eagle,

When you distort the truth you are very thorough, keep up your exemplary work. Herr Beck would love it, Herr Goebells too!

Posted by: Gator-ron | December 21, 2009 5:04 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 5:01 PM | Report abuse

ProCounsel? Looks like zouky's got a new handle. Did he get booted again?

Posted by: jasperanselm | December 21, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite:

There won't be a shootup from a nut job Left-wing Racist Socalist folks like Von Brunn, smart guy. In case you didn't notice it was the Liberal LEFT that gave birth to things like National Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism. We will handle this by educating those US citizens left that want to live in a free society and vote for the principals and concepts of this country's foundings, not false prohpets false hopes, false societies. We will replace this band of National Socialist/Marxist dictators in Washington, and we'll do it in November 2010. Enjoy your victory over individuality while it lasts.

Posted by: 50Eagle | December 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

obama to taste the lash from the chinese whip--so obama is the LOSER

see, the chinese have VETOED obamacare

obama has SURRENDERED the economic sovereignty of the united states of america with his drunken deficit "stimulus"

here is the Shanghai Daily explaining capitalism to obama the socialist:

"In a discussion on the global role of the dollar, Zhu told an academic audience that it was inevitable that the dollar would continue to fall in value because Washington continued to issue more Treasuries to finance its deficit spending.

He then addressed where demand for that debt would come from.

"The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries," Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. "Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible."

"The US current account deficit is falling as residents' savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the US is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world," he added. "The world does not have so much money to buy more US Treasuries."

China continues to see its foreign exchange reserves grow, albeit at a slower pace than in past years, due to a large trade surplus and inflows of foreign investment. They stood at US$2.3 trillion at the end of September."

source:http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/print.asp?id=423054 Shanghai Daily 12-18-2009

obama-- he really does not know just how stupid he is.........

but the chinese do

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 21, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

God, you are such an immature tool. "The Mac?" That's as bad as Tpaw and Hizzoner and all the other fruity nicknames you give to your favorite Republicans.

==

Yeah affectionate belly-rubbing nicknames for boring nonentities like Pawlenty, doddering old liars like McCain, and batsh*t crazy cretins like Palin.

Awwww id't dey cute

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama is actually a loser here. He alienated his liberal base, and didn't win any friends across the isle in the process.

This progressive Democrat has written him off, just like he wrote us off.

Posted by: ram_lopez | December 21, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

God, you are such an immature tool. "The Mac?" That's as bad as Tpaw and Hizzoner and all the other fruity nicknames you give to your favorite Republicans.

Posted by: swallen1 | December 21, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

God, you are such an immature tool. "The Mac?" That's as bad as Tpaw and Hizzoner and all the other fruity nicknames you give to your favorite Republicans.

Posted by: swallen1 | December 21, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

One big loser is bipartisanship. Given that it appears that the Republicans used the months of attempts to get them to sign on to the bill only to delay it and to make Congress even less popular, I think it will be a long time before the Democrats reach out to the Republicans for help. They will not be offering them any deals, and will do what they can with their 60 votes -- which, I think, is a lot. Democrats will be doing whatever they can to make voters believe they are in charge and deserving of re-election this coming fall.

Posted by: jonawebb | December 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The McCain of today is nothing but an embarrassment to those of us who supported him in 2000. Dementia must have set in; sad, sad, sad.

==

Dementia doesn't cover the fact that the McCain of 2008 was a shameless and unrepentant liar.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The McCain of today is nothing but an embarrassment to those of us who supported him in 2000. Dementia must have set in; sad, sad, sad.

Posted by: jasperanselm | December 21, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

John McCain: The Mac was back during the health-care debate, a feisty presence on the Senate floor and in front of the television cameras, leading the GOP opposition to the bill. McCain's performance over the past several weeks proved that he is and will continue to be a major force in the chamber.

==

Yeah, a major force in advancing GOP irrelevance.

Same old Reagan-era GOP crap .. anything other than defense-ha-ha-ha or corporate subsidy that costs money is bad. Unbalanced by any other consideration.

For THIRTY YEARS now the GOP has operated on a single imperative: tax cuts favoring the wealthy. McCain is the standard-bearer for this failed one-dimenional "policy."

Yeah, "the Mac." (spits) A greasy cheeseburger.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If twice as many people are filing BK / dying due to the mandated insurance with no public option, then will you agree Obamacare was a failure?

==

Why don't you wait till that actually happens before making the announcement?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

NotWindy2:

If twice as many people are filing BK / dying due to the mandated insurance with no public option, then will you agree Obamacare was a failure?

Posted by: JakeD | December 21, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It is always hard to distinguish legislative accomplishments from legislative goals. We didn't get to this point without keeping our eye on the goal and we will have to keep doing so until the inequities are eliminated. As the GOP has demonstrated vividly, in the end it is always about the preservation of privilege, and that's a war that won't be won in our lifetimes.

Posted by: mcknight131 | December 21, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

pssssstttttt.........team obama

the chinese have VETOED obamacare

see you have SURRENDERED the economic soveregnty of the united states of america with your drunken deficits

so now its time for obama to taste the lash from the chinese whip,

the chinese fired a money warning shot against team obama's bow about paying for obamacare

here is the Shanghai Daily explaining capitalism to obama the socialist:

"In a discussion on the global role of the dollar, Zhu told an academic audience that it was inevitable that the dollar would continue to fall in value because Washington continued to issue more Treasuries to finance its deficit spending.

He then addressed where demand for that debt would come from.

"The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries," Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. "Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible."

"The US current account deficit is falling as residents' savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the US is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world," he added. "The world does not have so much money to buy more US Treasuries."

China continues to see its foreign exchange reserves grow, albeit at a slower pace than in past years, due to a large trade surplus and inflows of foreign investment. They stood at US$2.3 trillion at the end of September."

source:http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/print.asp?id=423054 Shanghai Daily 12-18-2009

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Obviously your idea of winners is totally different than mine.

Someone (Coburn) say he prays for something to happen to someone (Byrd being too sick and unable to vote) that person is a big time loser no ifs ands and buts about Coburn is a loser and his words were the lowest of the low.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 21, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Those of you complaining that Obama and the WH "refused to fight harder for the public option", where are your brains? What would it matter if Obama fought harder for a public option when Lieberman absolutely refused his vote?

You don't have to like it --I certainly don't-- but that's how the Senate works. Deal with it. It wouldn't have mattered one whit if Obama fought harder or not, it was Lieberman's vote that was needed and he could not be persuaded, certainly not by the WH. Obama knew this and cut his losses; it would be wise for progressives to grasp the reality of the situation and lay the blame exactly where it belongs: with Sorry Joe.

Posted by: Pupster | December 21, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

I'm loving Senator Whitehouse more and more every day.

Maybe 2016 will be the year we put Whitehouse in the White House?

Posted by: Bondosan | December 21, 2009 12:18 PM
-----------
He seems to be a well kept secret outside his state and the Beltway crowd. He has a strong progressive agenda with bipartisan appeal but, unlike BHO (who, sadly, is constrained by the Jackie Robinson factor), he loves to fight back. Can you imagine Sheldon allowing Faux News and hate broadcasting to attack him 24/7 without responding to their smears and fake controversies?

Check out Whitehouse's opening statement during the Sotomayor hearings--it was Ted Kennedyesque. Yes, 2016 will be his year.
Sheldon is perhaps the closest person we have to Josiah Barlett.

Excerpt from Whitehouse's statement:

"For all the talk of “modesty” and “restraint,” the right wing Justices of the Court have a striking record of ignoring precedent, overturning congressional statutes, limiting constitutional protections, and discovering new constitutional rights: the infamous Ledbetter decision, for instance; the Louisville and Seattle integration cases; the first limitation on Roe v. Wade that outright disregards the woman’s health and safety; and the DC Heller decision, discovering a constitutional right to own guns that the Court had not previously noticed in 220 years. Some “balls and strikes.” Over and over, news reporting discusses “fundamental changes in the law” wrought by the Roberts Court’s right wing flank. The Roberts Court has not kept the promises of modesty or humility made when President Bush nominated Justices Roberts and Alito."

http://www2.turnto10.com/jar/news/local/local_govtpolitics/article/sheldon_whitehouses_statement_at_sotomayor_hearing/19794/

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 21, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Reading the comments from the rightwingers lamenting the end of America and capitalism, I wonder where were they when Bush passed the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill back in 2003. This love letter to Big Pharma had not one penny of the $1.2 trillion/10 year bill paid for at the time of passage and signing, but nary a peep was heard then from so-called fiscal conservatives. Where were you?

At least this Health Care Reform bill is paid for. It's not perfect, not for anyone, but it's an improvement and paid for. It's a meaningful first step in overhauling a broken system. Republicans had 12 years of Congressional control to enact some sort of reform and refused. They've given up their right to protest now.

Posted by: Pupster | December 21, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Biggest winner: Insurance stock holders. Their holdings shot up to a 52 week high upon the death of the public option.

Biggest Loser: The American People, who will now pay taxes directly to insurance companies.

Other losers: (1) Obama for splitting his party by failing to fight for the public option; (2) Republicans for doing nothing but saying no; (3) Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate for prostituting themselves to insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and the Catholic Church; (4) The United States Senate for revealing itself to be the most corrupt and dysfunctional legislative house in the world – not even the House of Lords retains the ability to stop any and all legislation until its members are sufficiently bribed.

Posted by: codexjust1 | December 21, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The real winners are people who will now be able to get and keep health insurance.


No more policies canceled after you get sick.
Fewer people thrown into bankruptcy because of health care bills.

People will have access to medical care they can afford. Fewer will suffer. Fewer will die. Who cares which politician gained or lost. It is time our government took care of the people.

Until they do, "Of the people, by the people and for the people" is just a sad joke.

Posted by: NotWindy2 | December 21, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Brainwashed by years of indoctrination by "progressives" and U.S. enemies and now by the state-controlled media (80% of the U.S. media), some Americans actually believed the objective of Obamacare is to improve and expand health care!"

omigod. the actual braindead brainwashed zombies and thier wacked out conspiracy theories...

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Brainwashed by years of indoctrination by "progressives" and U.S. enemies and now by the state-controlled media (80% of the U.S. media), some Americans actually believed the objective of Obamacare is to improve and expand health care!

The brainwashed have not heard that Robert Creamer, the CONVICTED FELON and Obama’s ACORN associate, who outlined the guidelines for the Obamacare SCAM in his 2007 book, “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win.”

As per Creamer’s book, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to increase their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

Creamer wrote in his 2007 book:

* “We must create a national consensus that health care is a right, not a commodity; and that government must guarantee that right.”
* “We must create a national consensus that the health care system is in crisis.”
* “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health insurance industry and focusing on the failure of private health insurance.”
* “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”

Creamer -- who worked for Obama in ACORN-related activities after he got out of jail -- is now among “distinguished” guests at White House functions. As per Creamer, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to increase their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

http://the-classic-liberal.com/progressive-agenda-for-structural-change-stand-up-straight/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 21, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Brainwashed by years of indoctrination by "progressives" and U.S. enemies and now by the state-controlled media (80% of the U.S. media), some Americans actually believed the objective of Obamacare is to improve and expand health care!

The brainwashed have not heard that Robert Creamer, the CONVICTED FELON and Obama’s ACORN associate, who outlined the guidelines for the Obamacare SCAM in his 2007 book, “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win.”

As per Creamer’s book, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to increase their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

Creamer wrote in his 2007 book:

* “We must create a national consensus that health care is a right, not a commodity; and that government must guarantee that right.”
* “We must create a national consensus that the health care system is in crisis.”
* “Our messaging program over the next two years should focus heavily on reducing the credibility of the health insurance industry and focusing on the failure of private health insurance.”
* “We need not agree in advance on the components of a plan, but we must foster a process that can ultimately yield consensus.”

Creamer -- who worked for Obama in ACORN-related activities after he got out of jail -- is now among “distinguished” guests at White House functions. As per Creamer, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to increase their power through the “democratization of wealth” (socialism/Marxim) as per the teachings of Saul Alinsky.

http://the-classic-liberal.com/progressive-agenda-for-structural-change-stand-up-straight/

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 21, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the gomers in meltdown mode today.

Expect a schoolyard shootup or two today from the von Brunn wing.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 21, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Yes -- why isn't Palin listed among the losers -- along with TPaw' and the other vociferous propagandists against this bill?

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

first you exclude Sarah Palin from the discussion though she clearly lost and now you don't even list the Republican minority in both houses of Congress, they of the vociferous and false rhetoric, the party of "the only way back to power is to defeat Obama"... strange, very strange...

Posted by: mbfdl | December 21, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals are winners in this story. Unless you think the late Ted Kennedy wasn't a liberal?
Health care reform has been one of the great dreams of Democratic liberals truly interested in social reform for more than six decades.
Let go of the details and look at the huge stride made toward universal coverage, tens of millions of Americans who will not be crippled financially and in some cases literally due to lack of healthcare security.
Anybody who thinks Ted Kennedy would be feeling like a "loser" after this (pending) outcome is not really getting the big picture of what liberals have worked so hard for in this arena.
Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse"

if passed and this legislation goes into effect and you find that it effected you in ways you did not imagine...
do us all a favor and live with it...
since you are just as responsible as those bozos that passed it...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

sheldon whitehouse gets it right:

On the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) slammed Republicans for their "desperate, no-holds-barred mission of propaganda, falsehood, obstruction and fear," which he said will result in a "day of judgment" by the American people.

Whitehouse began his monologue by quoting 1950s intellectual Richard Hofstadter, warning that a right-wing minority could create "a political environment in which the rational pursuit of our well-being and safety would become impossible."

"The malignant and vindictive passions that have descended on the Senate are busily creating just such a political climate," said Whitehouse.

Whitehouse attributed these "desperate acts" to the Democrats' "momentum," which is
working toward passing health care reform legislation, and "when we do, the lying time is over. The American public will see what actually comes to pass when we pass this bill as our new law. The American public will see firsthand the difference between what is, and what they were told."

When it turns out there are no death panels, when there is no bureaucrat between you and your doctor, when the ways your health care changes seem like a good deal to you, and a pretty smart idea, when the American public sees the discrepancy between what really is, and what they were told by the Republicans, there will be a reckoning. There will come a day of judgment about who was telling the truth.

He concluded: "There will come a day of judgment, and our Republican friends know that. That Mr. President, is why they are terrified."

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you forgot who the biggest loser when this bill passes. EVERY SINGLE LEGAL UNITED STATES CITIZEN. Everyone is going to made worse off, there will be less opportunity, worse care, more lines, more waiting, worse service, etc. It's a good thing Harry Reid thinks that government is a Humanitarian effort. When your grandchildren tell you that they can't come see you because they are too busy working 100 hour work weeks, you can thank the Democrats of 2009 for being a big help.

Posted by: 50Eagle | December 21, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

As Obama and his comrades "win" through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion and BRIBES (at our expense) and as they continue to advance their Marxist Obamacare scam, the U.S. and Americans see their freedoms and prosperity further destroyed.

However, it's now more obvious than ever the great differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans are certainly not perfect (no human being is perfect), but they are not controlled by Marxists and U.S. enemies as the Democrats are.

The differences have NEVER been greater:

-- Controlled by “progressives” (Marxists), Democrats have lied, manipulated, intimidated, coerced and BRIBED (at our expense) everyone who can be bribed to force us to swallow prosperity-killing, job-killing, freedom-killing scams like Obamacare and cap and trade.

-- Democrats are ashamed of the U.S. and try to lower the U.S. to the level of failed socialist countries.

-- Democrats increase the deficit, tax us more and more, destroy the economy, destroy jobs, and pretend to create mythical jobs in districts that don't even exist.

-- Democrats protect terrorists and other U.S. enemies and endanger our soldiers and Americans in general.

-- Democrats are destroying the U.S., our economy, our freedoms, and our future, and apologizing to the world for not doing it fast enough!

* Republicans, on the other hand, try to defend us from prosperity-killing, job-killing, freedom-killing scams like Obamacare and cap and trade. They just did that in the Senate.

* Republicans are PROUD of the U.S. and want to restore democracy, freedom and prosperity to the U.S.

* Republicans endeavor to achieve fiscal responsibility, improve the economy, create REAL jobs, help the U.S. become energy independent.

* Republicans help our soldiers protect Americans from terrorists and other U.S. enemies.

* Republicans endeavor to defend the U.S. and our future.

Congratulations again to the courageous, patriotic and HONEST Republicans, ALL of whom voted against the criminal Obamacare scam. They did NOT cave in!

Posted by: AntonioSosa | December 21, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Winners: Pharma, insurance companies-witness the huge rise in their values on the stock market in the last week.

Losers: Once again, the American public. We foot the bill.

Posted by: fgshul | December 21, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

indy474 asks
"What good is it to guarantee coverage if the price is so astronomically high there's no way a person can afford it? Maybe I missed something here."


Perhaps someone else will chime in. My understanding is that they cannot charge you more for preexisting conditions, but can charge you more based on age bracket. i.e. young insurance buyers won't pay much, but premiums will go up as you age. But, a 50 yr old with prostate cancer will pay the same as a 50 yr old without.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

'LOSERS - The LEFT WING. Utilizing all of their scare tactics and dirty tricks – '

LOL. 'scare tactics' -- like 'pulling the plug on granny'? the lack of self awareness on the right would be hilarious, if they had a capacity for irony, which they lack.

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Liberals are winners in this story. Unless you think the late Ted Kennedy wasn't a liberal?

Health care reform has been one of the great dreams of Democratic liberals truly interested in social reform for more than six decades.

Let go of the details and look at the huge stride made toward universal coverage, tens of millions of Americans who will not be crippled financially and in some cases literally due to lack of healthcare security.

Anybody who thinks Ted Kennedy would be feeling like a "loser" after this (pending) outcome is not really getting the big picture of what liberals have worked so hard for in this arena.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 21, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I like that John McCain is a "winner," because he he had to stick his neck out in order to deter a challenge from within his own party. That's not much of a winning position for the 7th ranking Republican in the US Senate to find himself in.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 21, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

One loser is my faith in our system of Government. Ben Nelson sold his vote, blatantly sold out beliefs he espoused, for a $100M tax break for his home state. Prostitution is against the law, unless you're a Senator whose vote is needed to pass legislation that stinks so badly, the Democratic Majority Leader will give you anything you want to buy your vote.

I've never been active in politics before, but I'm energized now, and will be working hard for Republican candidates across the board for years to come. Good job, liberal Democrats - rarely have you let us see you for the craven maggots you really are.

Posted by: hill_marty | December 21, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Dumb question, I know. But now that supposedly insurers are prohibited from using pre-existing conditions and health status from excluding people from health insurance coverage, what does this plan do/help with what they have to pay for it? Auto insurers have been covering everyone and anyone for years (I'll admit to being one of the highest risks EVER 20 years ago due to a DWI conviction with a .22 BAC) but the premiums for coverage were so high there was no way I could ever afford them. What good is it to guarantee coverage if the price is so astronomically high there's no way a person can afford it? Maybe I missed something here. I think very low income people can get some sort of subsidy but what about the average person making say $40K a year with huge health problems?

Posted by: indy474 | December 21, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Dumb question, I know. But now that supposedly insurers are prohibited from using pre-existing conditions and health status from excluding people from health insurance coverage, what does this plan do/help with what they have to pay for it? Auto insurers have been covering everyone and anyone for years (I'll admit to being one of the highest risks EVER 20 years ago due to a DWI conviction with a .22 BAC) but the premiums for coverage were so high there was no way I could ever afford them. What good is it to guarantee coverage if the price is so astronomically high there's no way a person can afford it? Maybe I missed something here. I think very low income people can get some sort of subsidy but what about the average person making say $40K a year with huge health problems?

Posted by: indy474 | December 21, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse


I thought J.D. Hayworth did a better job as a sportscaster at the old WPTF-TV in Raleigh back in the 80's, palomino.

I am convinced that most "hard core" conservatives are playing Pepsi to everyone else's Coke. It's a business decision first and foremost. A way of getting attention and campaign dollars. But do I think conservatives actually believe in what they're saying? No.

I think the economy is the winner. If people quit lousy jobs they only held onto for insurance coverage and could work at what they wanted to, you will see increased productivity.


Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | December 21, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

LOSERS - The LEFT WING. Utilizing all of their scare tactics and dirty tricks – hiding out at midnight, open bribery, etc., the Dems are going to pass a major element of their program. The left wingers aren't really scared about the deficit (witness their own record on the issue) or reduced Medicare benefits (a major part of their own platform until this debate).
What the conservatives know is that this bill will succeed and become very popular with the public. After all it is a “free lunch” a hallmark of the left . The left understands that the reforms will actually lead to a rebirth of the Soviet Union on American soil or and that death panels won't really send grandma to the gas chamber but de facto rationing will.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

really, is there ANYTHING rightwing as*holes like Mary Matalin won't say in an effort to benefit their corporate masters? this is cartoonish -- of course, the audience she is speaking too is cartoonishly simpleminded, as we see all the time with this
'Democrap Social Statist' infantile gibberish:

Yesterday on CNN, Republican strategist and CNN contributor Mary Matalin railed against Democrats for pushing forward with health reform efforts. “They’ve been on this jihad for 70 years, and they’re going to throw over all their competitive seats to do it,” she said, adding:

And I don’t know what kind of party that is. That leaves left in the Democratic Party the urban centers, this is tyranny of the minority. Two-thirds of the country don’t want this. And one-third of these jihadists, these health care jihadists do. I guess that’s how democracy in the Obama era works.

Moments later, she smeared the prior efforts to establish Social Security and Medicare as “entitlement jihads” as well. "

yes, old people with medicare are definitely on a jihad. how much lower than this sh*t sink?

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think you have to count the American people as losers, simply because so much time and effort have gone into a bill that should have passed months ago have prevented the Senate from dealing with other important matters -- such as jobs.

Whatever else you can say about them, the Republicans are masters of gumming up the process and preventing progress. I'm not sure why they would be proud of that, but apparently they are.

Posted by: js_edit | December 21, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

The biggest winners will be the Dems, because once this comes into effect and people realize that, much like Medicare, this is a program that will give them more security, they will embrace it.

and they will see what a transparent farce republican opposition has been.

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Winners:

Those of us who have existing condition
(if we live long enough that will be ALL of Us)

As bad as this bill is we are all winners.

Why? Simple,we all will have some form of preexisting condition (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, skin cancer, previous "injury", car accident). So unless you are a god (and you are not, but if you think you are then you already have a preexisting condition)this applies to you.

Many of us who now have insurance do not realize how much easier it has gotten for anyone to lose it and not be able to get insurance at ANY price.
While this may not be the universal health care some people were hoping for, it puts us in a better position now than before.

It is also ironic that all of those seniors who were scared of this bill are the ones who stand the most to gain from it.

Posted by: mcfield | December 21, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Yet two-thirds of the nation is too ignorant to understand this fact."

LOL. Yes, 2/3 of the nation doesn't 'understand' the rightwing propaganda that you fall for, so they must be 'ignorant."

It must be tragic going through life thinking like a Nazi. Too bad you were born too late to join the Fuhrer.. you would have fit right in.

" It could possibly reduce the amount of hateful spawn from these families who continue to plague our newly formed neocom statist takeover."

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Exept for the American people, there are no losers YET, but I suspect that all the Democrap Socialists gleefully high-fiving each other now, including Chris Cillizza, won't be come the mid term elections of 2010. Like the old saying goes, he who laughs last, laughs loudest.
The winners in this will be the Republican Party. Reason? Not one Republican voted for this turkey, which means the Democrap Socialists own it totally and completely when the do-do hit's the fan, as it surely will. It will be fun to watch.

Posted by: armpeg | December 21, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse


LOSERS -- the Republican party, for exposing themselves, once again, as the mortal enemy of the middle class and working poor, and the sock puppet of the insurance industry.

Posted by: drindl | December 21, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@leapin

Nice flip on the context of who's who, though an agnostic, I opposed the public option and much of the community did as well. This bill is Obama's push to give health care to the lower classes, not to lower health care costs for the rest of us working folks: and you can't do both at the same time anyway...

It's a bit of a stretch when you want to compared the religious fanatics to the atheists: they are complete opposite, such that I can care less on what religion you practice, just don't impose on me (and to most can respect your practice, but likely not your religion...).

Posted by: recharged95 | December 21, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

LOSERS - The RIGHT WING. Despite all of their scare tactics and dirty tricks, the Dems are going to pass a major element of their program. The right wingers aren't really scared about the deficit (witness their own record on the issue) or reduced Medicare benefits (a major part of their own platform until this debate).

What the conservatives fear is that this bill will succeed and become very popular with the public after they understand that the reforms won't actually lead to a rebirth of the Soviet Union on American soil or that death panels won't really send grandma to the gas chamber.

Posted by: jbentley4 | December 21, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Losers...The Democratic Party and its robots are the losers here just as they were when they opposed integration and opening the school house doors. Liberal programs - Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—losers. All bankrupt or near bankruptcy.
What is distressing is that every family in America has benefited form medical innovation and technology, not government run programs. Yet two-thirds of the nation is too ignorant to understand this fact.
The Democratic Party has now completely taken on the mantle of the liberal, tyrannical East—people full of hate, most of it directed at the American People --the very product of our democracy which didn't permit them to establish a segregated nation, which forced lifetime government dependence on its black citizens, which even now forces tyranny to educate their children in revisionist history and liberal indoctrination. .
Many are the atheist fanatics that are only wayfarers residing in this democracy. They are really anxiously waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of Obama where they can be told what to do with their lives minute by minute—Rham and Axelrod willing.
Tens of thousands of Americans will die prematurely because of lack of health care until 2014. --huge losers. I think there should have been a special provision that these "Statist" proponents to the bill are prevented from benefiting from it. It could possibly reduce the amount of hateful spawn from these families who continue to plague our newly formed neocom statist takeover.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

So liberals, cap and trade (a Democratic administration initiative) and two Democrats are the losers here? Maybe I'm missing something, but didn't the Republicans/conservatives (almost indistinguishable at this point) just...lose?

These people are frothing at the mouth - they're sure not happy about SOMETHING, and I suspect it's because they lost. They sure know they lost, but how is it that a savvy political observer like Chris Cilizza has somehow missed the bottom line here?

He's going to be off for two weeks...here's hoping Santa gives him his perspective back.

Posted by: achilli | December 21, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"Well, the point of this blog is to look at everything through a political lens, which is what Chris C is doing in naming these winners and losers."


Agreed, but shouldn't the context be for future political successes, which presumably hinge on 1) furthering one's legislative agenda and 2) getting reelected?

For instance: first two 'winners' are the President & Harry Reid. Do we anticipate their approval ratings changing due to the passage of this bill? Certainly not in the short term. Perhaps the President's will begin moving in the new year, if the WH gets a compromised bill passed & starts winning the marketing campaign once we know what's in the final bill. But Reid? He's in dire straits for next year's election. Will NV voters look at this as a reason to keep him around, or will they kick him to the curb?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Losers...The Republican Party and its robots are the losers here just as they were when they opposed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid--losers.

What is distressing is that every family in America has benefited to some extent by these measures to the extent that actual life expectancy has risen and the rest of the industrialized nations have copied and improved upon them over time, and yet a third of the nation is too ignorant to understand this fact.

The Republican Party has now completely taken on the mantle of the angry, oligarchic South--old white men full of hate, most of it directed at American Government--the very product of our democracy which didn't permit them to establish a slave nation, which forced them not to discriminate or lynch its black citizens, which even now forces them to educate their children in something other than football or preparation to become cannon fodder.

Many are the religious fanatics that are only wayfarers residing in this democracy. They are really anxiously waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven where they can be told what to do with their lives minute by minute--God willing.

Tens of thousands of Americans will not die prematurely because of lack of health care in the years to come--huge winners. I think there should have been a special provision that these "Christian" opponents to the bill are prevented from benefiting from it. It could possibly reduce the amount of hateful spawn from these families who continue to plague our democracy.

Posted by: explorers100 | December 21, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

I'm loving Senator Whitehouse more and more every day.

Maybe 2016 will be the year we put Whitehouse in the White House?

Posted by: Bondosan | December 21, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Cillizza's list reflects the beltway narrative, which focuses on the politics of today only. There is neither time nor inclination to consider how this may play out in the future.

For instance: McCain as 'winning' because he's (allegedly) less vulnerable to attack from the right. If we accept that analysis at face value, what is the impact in the general election? If McCain has to tack right to win the primary, will he be able to convince swing voters he's their best bet in the general, or is he opening himself to criticism for being too partisan?

Posted by: bsimon1"

Well, the point of this blog is to look at everything through a political lens, which is what Chris C is doing in naming these winners and losers.

And I have a REALLY hard time seeing McCain losing if he makes it to the general.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Losers – America and the American People

The end of representative government and the age of open bribery brought to you by today’s NeoCom Statist Destructionist Party.


Winners –

Ho of the year Mary Landreaux and Man-Ho of the year – Ben Wilson.

Posted by: leapin | December 21, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

CC: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over... From Earlier Thread, But More Relevant Here:

DEM HEALTH CARE STRATEGY A 'SUN TZU' FEINT?

The progressives and liberals are angry and disillusioned now... but patience is required of the resolute warrior.

What if feigning capitulation in response to the extortionate demands of Senators Lieberman and Nelson is a calculated chess move to advance the bill...

...setting up the opportunity to champion the HOUSE bill in reconciliation -- requiring only 51 votes to secure final passage?

What better way to reinvigorate disillusioned liberals and progressives and to show Republicans what "majority rule" -- and political savvy -- is all about?

***

Health Care Reform a Cruel Joke to Unconstitutionally "Targeted" and Electromagnetically Tortured Americans...

IS PRESIDENT OBAMA UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SILENT MICROWAVE/LASER 'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' ENTRAINMENT?

See article, comments, "Obama Wrong; U.S. DOES Torture -- Its Own Citizens" in "Reporting and Writing" blog at:

http://Poynter.org

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 21, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

LOSERS: The American People. We, the people, were denied a serious and sober debate about the merits of extending health care as a *right* of all citizens, instead, getting screeds, smears and fear mongering by the special interests about bogus claims of death panels and rationing. A further loss was inflicted on the American People by the Senate Democrats, who bargained away our dollars and handed us all over to the very insurance companies who have profited from denying coverage in the past, increasing premiums, fighting competition and obstructing reform. In the process, the fact that we stand as the only western industrial nation who does not offer universal health coverage, and the sad commentary that says about how we value the lives of our citizens was nowhere spoken by the people who purport to believe so passionately about this issue. Instead, it became all about cost control, fiscal responsibility and all the other hokum that people have come to expect from Washington.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | December 21, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

On second thought, it may be too early to call out winners and losers.

Most don't know what's in the bill. Given that insurance stocks went through the roof after the Senate vote, this bill may not represent health care reform. No public option. Some say it's just a tweaking of the current broken private health insurance system. DailyKos hates it. When the bad guys are cheering, that's not good. Hard to intelligently opinionate/Broder-ate before you know what you're opinionating/Broder-ating about.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 21, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

How typical of a male-dominated media mentality to overlook how women were losers in this "health care reform" bill.

And you're only looking at the picture from a political angling perspective.

Once implemented, the winners of this bill will be health insurance companies (as people are forced by federal law now to buy their private products), Big Pharma (as they now enjoy a captive market free from over-the-border competitive price shopping), and anti-abortion Democrats as they now have established that they can prioritize their social anti-woman cause above any public policy agenda.

With Democrats declaring victory over this horrible bill, and with Obama declaring victory over the meaningless accord in Copenhagen, I'm done with the Democrats.

At least the Republicans don't lie to me about what they are doing for progressive causes and womens' rights.

Posted by: ephemerella | December 21, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

What about Senator Sheldon Whitehouse as a major winner for boldly calling out the obstructionists, birthers, and haters?

"Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today took shots at those who are not supporting the health care legislation. During a floor speech, he excoriated Senate GOP members for up holding the pending health care bill and accused their supporters of being birthers and fanatics in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups. He started off by citing an editorial from the Manchester Journal Inquirer, which used insults like "lunatic fringe.":


After explaining why absent GOP members who did not vote for the Department of Defense spending bill was tantamount to a "no" vote, he went on to say that Republicans and their supporters just want to "break" the momentum of President Obama.:

"Voting 'no' and hiding from the vote are the same result. Those of us on the floor see it. It was clear the three of them who did not cast their yes votes until all 60 Senate votes had been tallied and it was clear that the result was a foregone conclusion. And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president.

They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.""

http://washingtontimes.com/weblogs/watercooler/2009/dec/20/sen-whitehouse-foes-health-care-bill-are-birthers-/

Merry Xmas, Senator Whitehouse.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 21, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Great article! The real losers are the American people. Some of whom actually believe if this passes in 2010 they will automatically receive health insurance benefits. Most don't realize they will have to wait until 2014 to purchase their own insurance or receive a subsidy. Didn't the Democrats kept saying thousands of people are dying each day without health care coverage? Aren't those people still going to die each day until 2014? The Democrats are the Losers!

Posted by: dpunty | December 21, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

It's hard for me not to think that Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers are the biggest winner. They got mandatory coverage without any real cost containment element.

I wish I could mandate that everyone must participate in my business without any offset.

Don't get me wrong, I support mandated universal coverage, but only if there also a public means to ensure (not insure) that the companies can't run away with even MORE cash from America's middle class.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | December 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

corbinb writes
"You have very peculiar sense of who won and lost Mr. Cilizza."


Cillizza's list reflects the beltway narrative, which focuses on the politics of today only. There is neither time nor inclination to consider how this may play out in the future.

For instance: McCain as 'winning' because he's (allegedly) less vulnerable to attack from the right. If we accept that analysis at face value, what is the impact in the general election? If McCain has to tack right to win the primary, will he be able to convince swing voters he's their best bet in the general, or is he opening himself to criticism for being too partisan?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 21, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It looks like I, personally, get to be in the "Winners" column. I'm losing my job, but thanks to Congress, it appears I will qualify for the COBRA subsidy, after all.

Is it really possible to win for losing?

Posted by: dognabbit | December 21, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Tom Coburn, a winner? The man who actually prayed for Senator Byrd to keel over and die before he could get to the floor and vote? Ben Nelson, a winner? The man who finally, just wanted some money to be bought off? The National Republican Senatorial Committee?? They are the only reason Reid had to do his strange bob and weave dance with Nelson, Lieberman et al? Not a single one of them (save for Snowe) had anything positive to contribute.

And the main loser? The American people who got to witness their totally dysfunctional and undemocratic Senate in action. They paid the highest price of all.

You have very peculiar sense of who won and lost Mr. Cilizza.

Posted by: corbinb | December 21, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

obama, ben nelson (d. neb) reid and pelosi
WINNERS for the forces of evil

can gather around the obama "holiday tree" on christmas eve

and read their favorite part of the christmas story

"Matthew 2:16 (New International Version)

16 “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”

and congratulate themselves over THEIR Mandatory Government Abortion Coverage

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 21, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

obama, ben nelson (d. neb) reid and pelosi
WINNERS for the forces of evil

can gather around the obama "holiday tree" on christmas eve

and read their favorite part of the christmas story

"Matthew 2:16 (New International Version)

16 “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”

and congratulate themselves over THEIR Mandatory Government Abortion Coverage

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 21, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The State of Illinois is a loser. The State of Illinois will be required to fund the new mandates relating to Medicaid, which means that the taxpayers of Illinois will be required to pay higher state taxes.

Senators Durbin and Burris are losers because they failed to obtain anything akin to the bailouts that the Senators from Louisiana and Nebraska obtained.

Posted by: mwhoke | December 21, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

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