Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The political dangers of passing a health care bill

The White House -- as we wrote yesterday -- is dead set on passing the health care bill and will stop at nothing politically to get it done.

But, new data in the NBC/WSJ poll suggests that simply passing a bill -- whatever is in it -- won't solve Democrats' political problems on health care.

Two data points stand out:

* Just 32 percent of of the sample said that President Obama's plan is a good idea while 47 percent said is a bad idea. Public opinion on that question had eroded even since October when 38 percent thought passing some sort of health care bill was a good idea while 42 percent said it was a bad one.

* More people now believe that it would be better to not pass the plan and maintain the status quo (44 percent) than think passing the plan and changing the system is the right course (41 percent). In October, those numbers were reversed with 45 percent agreeing with the idea that passing the Obama plan was the right thing to do while 39 percent preferred to keep the status quo in place.

What that data tells us is that the White House is pushing to passage a piece of legislation that large swaths of the American people neither want nor think will work.

The White House -- well aware of what the polls say -- is basing the necessity of passing the bill (and doing it as quickly as possible) on a belief that the alternative of giving up or starting over is politically untenable because so much political capital has already been poured into the effort. (It's sort of like waiting in a REALLY long line at Disneyworld -- sure you've been in line for hours on end but getting out of line is way worse than waiting another hour.)

They also believe -- as senior adviser David Axelrod's unsolicited call to "Morning Joe" this morning indicates -- that the legislation, once implemented, will succeed and in doing so will change the American public's perception of it. "We're on the verge of doing something that would make an enormously positive difference for people," Axelrod said in a sentiment he has undoubtedly repeated to any number of wavering Democratic lawmakers in recent days.

Accepting the premise that the legislation will ultimately make changes for the better in the way in which health care is delivered in the country, it's not clear that those changes will be felt in a real way before next November's midterm elections.

It's equally plausible to think that the confusion created by the changes instituted in the bill could turn perception -- at least in the short term -- against the legislation and the party who conceived of it.

Steve Bouchard, a Democratic consultant, called health care a "huge problem" for Democrats in 2010. "It will be much easier to vilify this bill in the short run than it will be to show its effectiveness in the short run," he said. "A health care solution by nature is a long-term fix -- not easily boiled down to sound-bites, bumper stickers and rally signs."

If Bouchard's scenario came to pass, Democrats would be in an electoral trap: not only would they get blamed for the bill by a significant segment of Republican and independent voters, they would also run the risk of having further de-energized their liberal base heading into the midterm elections.

Again, the NBC/WSJ survey paints a dire picture. Fifty six percent of Republicans call themselves highly interested in the 2010 election while 46 percent of Democrats say the same. Among that highly interested group, Republicans hold a 47 percent to 39 percent edge on the generic ballot question. That sort of base energy disparity should worry any Democrat with even a passing interest in the 2010 election.

The numbers make clear that simply passing the bill isn't the panacea to Democrats' political problems on health care. In fact, there's a very real possibility it could make things worse.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 17, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Creigh Deeds: The worst campaign of 2009
Next: Obama to make 'robust effort' on climate change in 2010

Comments

For the record, the last telephone poll I was called on was focused on the Middle East via my cell number.

Posted by: JakeD | December 21, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

An Open Letter to President Obama and the Democratic Senators:

I'm a physician, a Columbia University graduate, and I supported you for President. However, this watered-down "healthcare" bill is TRAGIC!! Not only is this a gift to the insurance companies but I will now have to pay triple premiums because I have a "pre-existing condition." I'm extremely disappointed in you! Our congressional leaders had more courage than all of you.

You've heard the horror stories of American people held hostage by insurance companies. As a public health physician, I've witnessed it first-hand. I can't order a diagnostic test without first providing an ICD Code and the name of the patient's insurance company. It's all about getting paid.

I have to fight for the dignity and health of my patients on a daily basis. I had a pregnant patient with uncontrolled Diabetes denied a hospital admission because she had Medicaid. This is NOT change that we can believe in. I'm sitting at my computer wailing with grief. You've given the insurance companies everything that they wanted. Regretfully, I will NOT be voting for you or any other Democrat in the next election. I will sit home instead and pray for the day when compassion outweighs money, egos and politics.

The Democratic Senators are nothing but a pack of dealmakers dedicated to vested self-interests. You have made me ashamed to be a Democrat. You have failed the American people.

May God have mercy on your misguided souls.

Posted by: LindaBurke-GallowayMD | December 20, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

"Just 32 percent of of the sample said that President Obama's plan is a good idea while 47 percent said is a bad idea."

They will come around right about the time they realize that they can get insurance even if they have been sick in the past, and that they cannot be dropped for becoming ill and actually needing the insurance, and that there are limits to annual out-of-pocket.

This may not be ideal legislation but it's well worth passing as a first step. There is nothing preventing us from going back to improve and augment it later.

Posted by: ExperimentalTheologian | December 19, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@Jake: These poll results reflect 500 calls to landphones in the middle of the workday in a country of 300 million so I am not surprised these "polls" show the "teabaggers" outpoll Dems and GOPers.
We've seen this before.

In the 30s it was the Klan, the 50s the Dixiecrats, and the 60s the George Wallace-ites. Same pitch, same sad pathology. Here's an excerpt from an article on respected social commentator Janeane Garofalo's take on the baggers:

"“Actress/activist” Janeane Garofalo...[insisted] “it's obvious to anybody who has eyes in this country that tea-baggers, the 9-12ers” are “clearly white power movements” led “by the Glenn Becks, the Michelle Bachmans, the Rush Limbaughs.”

She fretted that “so few people are willing to say that yes it is racism, straight up racism,”...stating ""The Republican Party has been willing to carry water for racists in this country since about the 1950s.” Garofalo proceeded to repeat a charge she's made often: “Fox News is happy to feed into this; AM radio is happy to feed into this,” including “this tacit nudging towards violence.”"

[Editorializations omitted]
_______

What more needs to be said. Thanks, Janeane.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 19, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

37, you'll remember this "Malis" post. It's the one that blew you out of the blogosphere, well at least temporarily. Happy holidays, 37, and enjoy...
________

"Update: A Study on Motivation and Societal Impact of the Extremist-Obsessive Blog Poster
Subject: “37th” (shortname for subject using approximately 20 different variations of a userID containing the root phrase “37thandO”)

Subject’s postings (through Jan 2, 4:56pET) to the string “Best House Campaigns of 2008” were previously collected and classified in four defined categories. This entry appends subject’s additional posting.

As of Jan 3 10:17aET, 37th owned 14 (+3) of 64 (+6) total entries, raising the subject’s percentage of total postings to this string from 19% to 22%.

Number and percentage of on-topic postings: 0 and 0%

1) Simplistic insult of individuals and groups: 22 (+2)
2) Paranoiac accusations: 6 (+1)
3) Rote repetition of fantasy scenarios 19 (+4)
4) Projection (accusing others of behavior exhibited by the subject) 9 (+2)

Subject has initiated posting to two additional strings. Data currently being collected and analyzed. When sufficient data has been collected results will be posted to those strings.

Posted by: malis | January 3, 2009 2:30 PM"

35, 36, __, 38, 39...New math.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 18, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

maybe you ought to consider treaing the right as shabbily as you have the left.

==
co-sign

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The political problem is that under the current bill the majority of Americans will be forced to just about double pay the insurance companies to provide more of less adequate insurance to 30 million uninsured.

Even when fully implemented people will be just as aware of the increased cost to them and their families as they are to the 30 million now insured.

The cowardice of President Obama has created a situation for fellow Democrats where it could well be a bloodbath for Dems in 2010, and where a one term presidency is becoming a more prominent possibility.

One piece of advice to President Barak "Neville Chamberlain" Obama - maybe you ought to consider treaing the right as shabbily as you have the left. And maybe you ought to take a leadership seminar.

Posted by: lithium452 | December 18, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

How about a column about the despicable follies of Republicans, abandoning any pretense of principle or responsibility to get some egg on Obama's face?

Latest stunt: filibuster attempt on war funding, denying armor and ammunition to troops in combat to delay a vote on healthcare. Sec'y Gates was livid.

Not even Russ Feingold, adamantly opposed to the vanity wars, would go along with this contemptible stunt.

But we'll NEVER read anything deprecating about Republicans here, now, will we.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Every time I read Mr Czilla (godzilla), oh, Cillizza, I wonder how much the Insurance Companies and Big Business in general are paying him to mouth all these hypocrisies.

==

Republican supporters don't need to be paid money, they get their gratification from a coin a lot dirtier than cash: the satisfaction of seeing their country destroyed by right-wing ideology.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

We have been saying this all along the democrats just havn't been hearing us. Don't get me wrong I would love to have everyone covered. But the crap they have been writing in these bills are just plain crazy. Did you know they have a section on biofuels and another on vending machine labeling? What does that have to do with affordable healthcare? First they say we need to cover everyone who can't afford it and then turn around and say those who don't buy coverage will be fined. How does that help people who can't afford it in the first place. I'm also not saying the republicans have the right answers ether. What I am saying is its not right to pass a bill just to pass something. It needs to be right for america and something like this can be done in stages. Like first opening up coverage in all states to so insurance companys have to compete for business, then move on to the next stage, then the next. I keep hearing if we don't do something it will make our country go broke. But what I see them trying to pass will just speed up the proccess. By doing it in stages at least something is getting done and if it doesn't work it is not as hard to fix as doing it all at once and making mistakes.

Posted by: rainman2 | December 18, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The idea that the health care bill will fix the fiscal health of the federal budget is simply wrong - instead it will only make the problem much, much worse. You do not solve a problem by making it bigger.


The rhetoric has been unbelievable.


Take a look at the numbers.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The idea that the health care bill will fix the fiscal health of the federal budget is simply wrong - instead it will only make the problem much, much worse. You do not solve a problem by making it bigger.


The rhetoric has been unbelievable.


Take a look at the numbers.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 18, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

THE MENACE AND HYPOCRISY OF POLITICAL RELIGIOSITY IN TODAY’S AMERICA
The greater danger is the increasing intrusion of religious interference in political discourse and government affairs. And there are politicians who pretend that they are holier than thou--and that they must impose their particular religious prescriptions and attitudes on all of us. Through studied effort, many of today’s most divisive politicians also would like to be revered as “God fearing.” They may include Joe Lieberman, Sarah Palin, Tom Coburn and a few other loud companions. Most Americans, I bet, would beg to differ—and here is why. Though they arrogantly like to denounce other people’s action as “evil,” they seem the very opposite of what Jesus stood for. Christ represents love, not hate; many in this group seem to mingle comfortably with the “birthers,” crazies and Glenn Becks of this world that shout insult and profanity at authority figures. Christ exemplified honesty and truthfulness and told us not to judge others. This crowd loudly judges while they ignore the “planks” in their own eyes. Jesus came as the “prince of peace.” They are vindictive, manipulative and focus on payback politics. Christ was humble; they are egotistical and attention-getters. Jesus lived a life of moderation and worked in the interest of the poor, the neglected, the down-trodden and dispossessed; they tend to work against their interests. Christ focused on selfless service; this crowd focuses on their self-interest. As in the Middle East and Central Asia they want to impose their religious beliefs on others by force, even violence. Surely, if Christ would come back to earth today, they would call him a “socialist” for trying to help the poor. Indeed, "the cull does not make the monk." Hypocrites?

Posted by: drsam8 | December 18, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

It is utter non-sense to rely on polls to decide an issue that involves thousands of people dead every year because of lack of health insurance. And we are talking about the richest country in the world. But the problem is that the richest country in the world is living in a moral swamp where daily looting by corrupt corporations is preferred and legally protected than the basic needs for its citizens.

Posted by: kevin1231 | December 18, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

"Sorry, broadwayjoe, please see our gracious host's post at 6:11 PM.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 8:57 PM"
________
@JakeD: Apology accepted, JD. BTW, good news. There has been a new BHO long form birth certificate sighting in...Compton, CA. Ask around there for a dude named Lerone. If you can't find him, well, uh, he'll find you. Good luck.

@webmaker02: it seems the chain was yanked pretty hard after an earlier pro-health care reform post here. Let's hope there was no physical injury. The corporate interests holding the chain are as afraid of health care reform as they were of civil rights, clean air, chlorinated water, and Social Security. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 18, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

webmaker02:

I would be shocked if our gracious host is paid from any other source than The Washington Post Company. Are you referring to some small percentage of his paycheck coming from total advertisers, or are you actually claiming that he is secretly accepting money directly from insurance companies?! That's a serious allegation.

Posted by: JakeD | December 18, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Every time I read Mr Czilla (godzilla), oh, Cillizza, I wonder how much the Insurance Companies and Big Business in general are paying him to mouth all these hypocrisies.

As far as the health care bill, it HAS to be passed, or America itself is dead in the water. The present health care situation is fiscally untenable and unsustainable, and anyone with a brain knows it. Unfortunately, I don't think any Republican has a working brain, and I have serious doubts about Ben Nelson, as well as Senator Aetna (should be called Senator Betrayal).

Conservatives who oppose healthcare reform are evil enough, but progressives who oppose are virtually insane. Once the bill is passed, it can be amended later, but if it isn't passed, it may never be, and the U.S. will be basically bankrupt in 20 years or less.

Posted by: webmaker02 | December 18, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Continuing my Reagan era retread screed...

Besides self interest, what do liberals believe? What do they stand for? Lets look at what was very important a few years ago, just last year in fact.

The anti-war stance: What happened to that? poof! The anti-war movement is no more when their guy is in office. Even Cindy Sheehan is a little dismayed by this. Not a peep of protest.

Cuts in programs to the elderly: I always heard that republicans wanted to kill Grandma. Force her to eat dog food. etc. Seems the proposal is 500B in cuts to medicare and guess who is doing it? Not a peep.

The deficit: Ah, fiscal responsibility doesn't mean too much right now does it. Growing the deficit to astronomical heights is no big deal. Just legislate a higher ceiling and spend, spend, spend. I remember the shreiking about Bush's 600b deficit and our children's burden and all that. Blah, blah... 600 billion doesn't sound so bad right now. Once again, crickets.

Jobs: That silly talk ended on Jan. 20th once the dems had full power. I mean jobs is something democrats talk about to get elected. Not really important when you have another agenda to push though. We were shedding 500k jobs a month and the silence was deafening. I remember the month only 90k jobs were added during the Bush administration and you would have thought we were headed into a second great depression. Obama presided over a month that lost 16k jobs and it was like he won World war 2.

Corruption: Remember how the dems took over in 2006 on this platform only to turn around and show how its really done. Too many instances to mention but now all I hear is about how both parties are corrupt. First item on Obamas checklist is to pass out billions to special interests and call it Stimulis. Not a peep from the rank and file libs. Business as usual.

Feel free to add to this list and discuss.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 18, 2009 6:38 AM | Report abuse

"'You'd think they'd at least have some sense of their own self-interest, but no, they line up and demand to be fleeced.'"


Thank you for posting this. You have typlified and encapsulated the essence of what drives every liberal. SELF INTEREST.

This you all have in common. Ah, divide up the treasury. My rightful piece of the pie. What can the government do for me? I have heard this many times from the left. Why conservatives want to live free and make their own way in life is completely perplexing isn't it. You just can't understand that nothing is free, especially if you receive it from the government. You give up more freedom with everything you receive. Do you think Federal healthcare administered from a central government is going to offer you more freedom and choice? Lower costs? If you do then sadly, you are a fool. I work in the health field and Medicare is robbed blind everyday. Never an audit, no cost containment, just blantant cashing in on a never ending boondoggle.

Concerning self interest, what about the national interest? Strangely, I never hear liberals refer to the national interest for some reason. Just ME ME ME. Shouldn't we end these wars, get out of debt, and get back to responsibility? After Bush the spender and not to be outdone, Obama the drunken sailor I hardly think its a good time to fire up the entitlement train.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 18, 2009 5:26 AM | Report abuse

The very fact that Comrade Obama and the Democrap Socialists would even pass a bill that the overwhelming number of Americans are against, proves that they have become the new US Socialist/Communist Party.
In a Representative Republicican form of government that we've had ( pre-Obama ) we elect Senators and Representatives to do the will of the majority that that representative is supposed to do in congress. He/she is SUPPOSED to represent us, and not rule us. They are not supposed to do what they think should be done, or what they think should be the laws of the land. As the American peoples REPRESENTATIVES, their job is to do the will of the people. Since the vast majority of the American people are against Comrade Obama's and the Democrap Socialist Party's health care bill, and they are still trying to shove it down their throat anyway--which is the way it's done in the Communist dictatorships around the world--we now have government control of the people, rather than a people-controlled government.
Welcome to Communism folks, you voted for it.

Posted by: armpeg | December 18, 2009 4:48 AM | Report abuse

"And what does Snookums know about Socialism? Ever been to a Socialist country? Ever been to a Communist country?

In the one I know well you don't see people looking around nervously before voicing an opinion, but people do that here since 9/11 and the "Department of Homeland Security" and the "Patriot Act" and "free speech zones."

As for the rest of your Reagan-era retread screed, it's simply stunning that someone could have gotten through eight years of Republican "leadership" and have learned so astronishingly little."

I have never been to a Communist country but my best friends Dad is Cuban and snuck out in the dead of the night and risked his life to get here. He is also very conservative having lived under your utopian dream system. Once was thrown in prison for fishing. Yes, I said fishing! You see, fish is very expensive and in short supply in Cuba and only the government is allowed to procure and sell it. Citizens doing so are labeled as profiteers and are punished. This is on an island surrounded by waters that are TEEMING WITH FISH.

Great place huh? You should go to South Florida sometime and talk to a Cuban expat. Explain to them your flowery theories and see how it goes.

You also mention the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act. Tell me something, why hasn't your boy king abolished these evils? Actually this is the first time since the election I have heard a liberal even refer to them. Mentioned ad-nauseum then went right down the memory hole after Nov 2008.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 18, 2009 4:38 AM | Report abuse

There is one other point too, if this bill passes, Mr. Obama will put his presidency in the hands of the insurance industry.

Just before 2012, they can raise rates and Obama will take the blame.

Posted by: magic3400 | December 18, 2009 3:46 AM | Report abuse

@leaonardpa: may as well try to teach a dog to read as get through to these uh people.

You'd think they'd at least have some sense of their own self-interest, but no, they line up and demand to be fleeced.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 3:40 AM | Report abuse

Thats beautiful man. True poetry. Too bad real socialism comes with such accessories as guard towers and mine fields just to make sure you stay connective and positive.

==

And what does Snookums know about Socialism? Ever been to a Socialist country? Ever been to a Communist country?

In the one I know well you don't see people looking around nervously before voicing an opinion, but people do that here since 9/11 and the "Department of Homeland Security" and the "Patriot Act" and "free speech zones."

As for the rest of your Reagan-era retread screed, it's simply stunning that someone could have gotten through eight years of Republican "leadership" and have learned so astronishingly little.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 18, 2009 3:35 AM | Report abuse

To vlad335 | December 18, 2009 12:44 AM:
One more thing...
You said “Thats a great idea! Why not have Obama play a little game and tell the us, "if you keep us in power, we will show you our real plan... After the elections.'”..... in response to my previous post.
You missed my point I think. I am not saying that Obama should play games. We don;t need games, we need real leadership and solutions. I’m saying to do this thing “straight up”. Lay the plan choices out plain and clear going into the elections with every candidate stating his position. You cons always say that the majority of the people don’t want the liberal solution. If you are correct then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Let Obama pledge to pick it back up a week after the 2010 midterms, make it a litmus test for each candidate either way and let the American people vote in who-ever they agree with. Sounds fair enough and diplomatic. What are you afraid of?

Posted by: leonardpa06 | December 18, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

This whole idea that Congress is going to review a health care bill - and then hide the bill - and keep on switching it around is highly suspect.

These are games that just should not be.


The Senate is supposed to be debating the health care bill, but no one really knows what they are debating.


Same thing with all the committee deliberations - the committees are supposed to have a much greater voice in legislation - "not let's decide later."


This Harry Reid stunt really takes the cake - when will he tell the American people what the Senate is voting on - after the vote ???

The idea that they should "pass anything and fix it later" is another shoddy way to deal with the American people - and their responsibility with the federal budget.

The bottom line is the American people DO NOT WANT ANOTHER MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. They want jobs - and leaner government.


They could pass regulation of the health care insurance companies - AND clean up the worst abuses - including some that are listed in these commments.


I wonder why the democrats never wanted to take that approach - could it be that if they cleaned up the worst problems through regulation, they would never have a chance at a single-payer program?

Medicare is a single-payer program - it is going bankrupt - it needs to be fixed.


Somehow the idea is afloat that health care reform will save Medicare from bankruptcy - but they are taking money OUT of Medicare.


This health care bill does not SOLVE the Medicare problem - it only makes it bigger.

Obama and the Congress HAS TO BE HONEST on this central point.

If one looks at the numbers, this health care bill can never last without MASSIVE TAX INCREASES.


It will either die now, which would be the best for all involved, or it will run a massive deficit and end up getting repealed.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 18, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

To vlad335 | December 18, 2009 12:44 AM
You said: “ Liberals just don't get it. This country is in danger of REAL economic collapse.”
Yes we liberals get it, we know we are in real economic danger. And we also know who put us in this position. And why.
You repugs just don’t get it. If we don’t actually fix this thing (Health Care)(among other things), we are doomed to an economic collapse. Remember, this is one sixth of our entire economy and “insurance co profit” (along with unnecessary administrative costs) are almost 30% of that. What part of all that money is wasted unnecessarily in the name of a flawed theory (full steam ahead capitalism)? Actually all of it. I’m not saying that capitalism is not a good tool. It is. So is a 5000 Hp engine. But it's not the one tool to fix "everything" and you don’t let that engine run unchecked and think only good will ever come of it. You need to understand that unregulated capitalism is not the tool to fix EVERYTHING. And some things need fixed, NOW. Capitalism is NOT the answer to all of man-kinds problems. We tried your way. (So did the southern cone of America, ask them how it turned out, or read “The Shock Doctrine”.)
And that “entity” I was talking about standing in the way of real health care reform is NOT the American People. It is the hard core Capitalists, who are doing all in their power to confuse and manipulate “We the People” to continue the status quo. IMO, they are wealthy liars and cheats. Sure they think they are right and they have the true cause. Don’t we all. But they are wrong on this one and eventually history will prove them wrong. I guess every other industrialized country in the world are retarded fools and using the wrong system and ours is the right way. Yeah, right.
I agree we need leadership.

Posted by: leonardpa06 | December 18, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Dean and Kos oppose it for different reasons... It's not communist enough.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 18, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

leonardpa06.

Thats a great idea! Why not have Obama play a little game and tell the us, "if you keep us in power, we will show you our real plan... After the elections.'

Liberals just don't get it. This country is in danger of REAL economic collapse. Businesses' are not hiring and do not plan to hire anyone. Millions are set to run out of unemployment benefits and the government's tax revenues are drying up. More and bigger mortgage defaults are around the corner, including huge commercial accounts. We are racked with historic debt and the democrats are requesting even higher debt ceilings and more spending. Meanwhile, our SOS is over in Copenhagen pledging billions to a global warming scam while we are in record hock to China.

Leonard, you mention an enitity standing in the way of this so called reform. You are correct but its not who you think it is. the opposition is the AMERICAN PEOPLE! We do not trust the democrats who would blindly push their long awaited agenda while ignoring the 600lb gorilla in the room. Who could believe this administration or congress is even capable of running this country, much less manage an unexpected complex crisis. Kinda hard to vote present or lay blame elsewhere in that situation.

We need leadership, not games.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 18, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

leonardpa06:

So you think Obama naming Lieberman and Nelson will shock and awe the American public? You are aware that Kos and Dr. Dean have come out against Obamacare now too, right?

Posted by: JakeD | December 18, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

To Chris Cillizza: Thanks for another great piece. Love your work. Please keep it up.

To benjaminsp | December 17, 2009 6:02 PM:
You said “IMO if the bill does not get to the president's desk, the 2010 elections will be very bad for the Democrats.”
I completely disagree with that part of your comment.
IMO, the best thing the Democrats can do is let this bill die. But 80% of US want real reform. Obama should let it die and make it known who is standing in the way and why. (Most people already know, but many need to hear it from him, many “need” that true bold leader.) Put the truth out there to the American people, (they would be happily shocked, literally, they are not used to hearing a so called leader take a stand for the straight truth), make a Specific Health Care Plan(s) the litmus test for the 2010 midterms and promise to start over one week after the elections. See if any repugs get elected then. Hard times call for BOLD action.
The Dems are going to blow this chance for real change and hand control back to the “right”. That is a mistake that will cost us all. “Universal medicare for all” as a basic minimum plan, paid for by the existing premiums being paid now (on private plans) and existing Medicare tax structure (slight tweaks). In other words single payer is the only way that will actually work, costs no more than is being spent cumulatively now, and is not so freaking complicated that we’ll need a degree in how it works. And it is fair to EVERYONE. This bill is BS and a total cave in to the hard core Capitalists. They still run our country don’t they? When are they going to go away so someone can fix something????? Are we to follow them off a cliff?

Posted by: leonardpa06 | December 17, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

"that socialism is NOT a political "system" (neither is capitalism) but a way for setting up a societal arrangement that values people and connective and positive relationships between said people over the relationships people have with things and ephemera (money being one of those ephemera.)"

Thats beautiful man. True poetry. Too bad real socialism comes with such accessories as guard towers and mine fields just to make sure you stay connective and positive.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 17, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

radnichole


To clarify, I was only referring to the deficit in the health care portion of the budget.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Geeez.. lot's of misinformation around here.
Am I the only one that pays over $750 for a healthy family of 3 plus co-pays and still don't think I'm covered if something bad happens? Am I the only one around HERE that thinks greedy corporations and deregulation has destroyed the middle class? What is wrong with you folks... is it just a right vs left thing to you? To me.. it's all SO OBVIOUS!

Posted by: freeform | December 17, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is STILL keeping the details of the health care bill secret -


Is this the TRANSPARENCY that Obama promised?


Obama has been breaking so many campaign promises - it really is unbelievable.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

"Do you really think the democrats are going to be able to escape the blame when there is a GIANT DEFICIT THAT OPENS UP ???"

Wait a sec there, busta. You're attempting to fly some stuff that there is currently no "giant deficit" and that somehow or other "giant" began in Jan 2009? LOL!!

Now, busta, how about commercial, financial and individual debt in USA? Isn't that somewhere about 4 times the Feds deficit? Besides, whaddya think all those buds of yours down on Wall Street were selling for the past 10 years?

Umm, debt. Debt sauteed, rolled in cornmeal, fried, creamed, baked, bar-b-qued and cold with milk. Any way they could package debt (the less reliable the better) sold to any and all.

That's why your IRAs and 401Ks are currently worthless -- they bought debt and paid no attention to the "too good to be true" caveats that have been around since the australopithecines!

It'd be nice to think that people would finally see what is plainer than the nose of your face -- that socialism is NOT a political "system" (neither is capitalism) but a way for setting up a societal arrangement that values people and connective and positive relationships between said people over the relationships people have with things and ephemera (money being one of those ephemera.)

Posted by: radnichole | December 17, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

As a middle class citizen, paying premiums of $1150 per month, for BC/BS coverage that basically covers nothing, I hope this bill doesn't get passed. The health care system is pretty near collapse, and when the unemployment extension benifits expire next month, it will take a huge hit with the number of people going uninsured. We just had the yearly meeting about premiums going up another 11% in 2010. If a few million more drop out due to unemployment, I'm sure we'll be priced right out of insurance. Better for the system to fall to complete failure and build it from the ground up the right way. It's criminal that 100% of our citizens do not have health care. It needs to be bought and sold like all other insurances.

Posted by: Fembot40 | December 17, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

When Obama was in Shanghai, he preached about government leaders should heed the wishes of the people. Obviously he intends for this to be the way the political system should be in China, not the United States.

He and most Democrats in Congress are seeking to pass a long, complicated bill, opposed by a majority of people in this country. Had Obama shown real leadership, he could have persuaded most people to support a simpler, real health care reform bill.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 17, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

37thand0street

Bill Clinton had incredible political acumen. He knew which way the wind was blowing and eventually did the business of the people. He also didn't incessantly blame his difficulties on his predecessor. He could run an executive and led in front of ideas. Obama is no Bill Clinton.

You know, Americans probably would be behind the democrats on healthcare if they were not so insistant on deception and doublespeak. No one has spelled out a clear plan and sold it to the American people. Up to five different bills at one time and no one even knew what was in them.
Wasn't long ago that we were hoodwinked into the so called Stimulis and we don't forget easily. Remember how that had to be passed ASAP or the country would come to an end? Turned out it was mostly just a political payoff list and a majority of the money is timed to be spent before the elections in 2010. Immediate crisis huh? The most political capital by one party in a generation squandered on lies and corruption.

WE DO NOT FORGET.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 17, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. Gibbons brachiate, and gibbons aren't "lower primates."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

I just like thinking about some lowbrow squeezing in a crease wondering what "brachiate" means

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"Brachiate" (from "brachium", Latin for "arm") is a form of arboreal locomotion in which lower primates swing from tree limb to tree limb. 

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

give up gat and leave the sewer. the rats aren't worth your attention.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey DOC we want to see that birth certificate...why does Obama have a bevy of lawyers preventing the courts from demanding that we see it?? Why the hangup if it's legitimate?

==

Why don't you brachiate back over to redstate and brag to the swamp-maidens with the swastika tats what a bang-up job you did annoying the liberals?

We already get this crap from our sanctioned troll.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe, just Maybe, Bill Clinton was smart to withdraw the health care plan in 1994 -
actually limiting the political damage.


Clinton stopped talking about a massive government program, and he got re-elected.


Remember they never really had a solid financial plan to pay for HillaryCare either - they were talking about a $300 Billion a YEAR deficit.

How do you think Bill Clinton would have done if he was successful in creating a MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM THAT THE COUNTRY DID NOT WANT ???


This program does not have a credible financial plan as yet.

Do you really think the democrats are going to be able to escape the blame when there is a GIANT DEFICIT THAT OPENS UP ???

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey DOC we want to see that birth certificate...why does Obama have a bevy of lawyers preventing the courts from demanding that we see it?? Why the hangup if it's legitimate? And how did he get into Pakistan when there was a sanction against all who held American passports preventing them from entering that country???For that matter how did he get into Harvard with lousy grades and no money??

Posted by: sheila36619 | December 17, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

benjaminsp, you wrote "let's hope for the best"?!!!

How can we expect "the best" from a Marxist scam like Obamacare?

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

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.”

As per Creamer’s book, their main objective is NOT improving health care. It’s to advance 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 17, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Please remember the democrats have put into the health care bill a "Bracket Creep" tax - they are saying that they will tax health plans which are cadillacs - however what the bill really says is that plans which cost over a certain amount will be taxed -

So, as inflation and health care costs increase, more and more Americans will be SLAMMED into the tax bracket - which is NOT indexed for inflation.


You just wait, this health care bill HAS A MASSIVE BUILT-IN DEFICIT which has to be paid for somehow.

Just imagine how it will happen.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Here I vomit into my shoes.


"I don't "hate" women. They have agile hands, a strong work ethic, and can be traded for potable water, ammunition or gold.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse"

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The polls are going to continue to be bad for both Democrats and Republicans. Americans had held out hope that this time it would be different, but it's not.

Our country is overrun with gangsters.

These gangsters are enabled by our government by lack of regulation and oversight.

They are enabled by our broken system of government created by the use of the Senate fillibuster rule.

They are enabled by some weak or selfish politicians with various motives.

Health care gangsters, that for years, have had record premium increases with no abatement. Health care gangsters that refuse to give insurance to someone with preexisting conditions. Health care gangsters that have no competition and are protected by our government with no antitrust provisions.

Banking gangsters that charge usury rates for credit cards, overdraft fees, and bounced checks. Banking gangsters that were bailed out by US taxpayer dollars and they still refuse to loan money or redo loans.

Wall Street gangsters that pursued very risky investments for untold profits and bonuses. Wall Street gangsters that nearly destroyed the global financial markets. Wall Street gangsters that damaged everyone's hard earned contributions to their 401k's or IRAs.

Right now politicians are hearing a dull roar from Americans, however, if this piece of slop of a bill passes, they will be hearing full blown outrage from middle class Americans soon enough. Taxing working people's health care plan and mandates without a robust public option is outrageous.

Things just cannot continue on as business as usual.

Pass meaningful health care and financial/banking reform through reconciliation or changing the fillibuster rule.

The politicians in D.C. better wake up. All in my opinion.

Posted by: vjones223 | December 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

The polls are going to continue to be bad for both Democrats and Republicans. Americans had held out hope that this time it would be different, but it's not.

Our country is overrun with gangsters.

These gangsters are enabled by our government by lack of regulation and oversight.

They are enabled by our broken system of government created by the use of the Senate fillibuster rule.

They are enabled by some weak or selfish politicians with various motives.

Health care gangsters, that for years, have had record premium increases with no abatement. Health care gangsters that refuse to give insurance to someone with preexisting conditions. Health care gangsters that have no competition and are protected by our government with no antitrust provisions.

Banking gangsters that charge usury rates for credit cards, overdraft fees, and bounced checks. Banking gangsters that were bailed out by US taxpayer dollars and they still refuse to loan money or redo loans.

Wall Street gangsters that pursued very risky investments for untold profits and bonuses. Wall Street gangsters that nearly destroyed the global financial markets. Wall Street gangsters that damaged everyone's hard earned contributions to their 401k's or IRAs.

Right now politicians are hearing a dull roar from Americans, however, if this piece of slop of a bill passes, they will be hearing full blown outrage from middle class Americans soon enough. Taxing working people's health care plan and mandates without a robust public option is outrageous.

Things just cannot continue on as business as usual.

Pass meaningful health care and financial/banking reform through reconciliation or changing the fillibuster rule.

The politicians in D.C. better wake up. All in my opinion.

Posted by: vjones223 | December 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

How is it - this Congress and Obama have decided that they do not have the political will to present a Finance Plan to pay for the health care bill,

But somehow, they want some future Congress to have the political will to pass the taxes and cuts to FINANCE A MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM ???

Do they honestly believe that if they create a sense of crisis, then they can get the country to accept the massive tax increases ???


After all this, the democrats ALSO APPEAR to believe that they will be able to escape any future blame for those taxes, after they have pushed and pushed for this MASSIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.

If this health care bill passes, it will hurt the democrats in ELECTION AFTER ELECTION FOR YEARS TO COME.


The 1994 analogy really does not hold - OR was Clinton really smart to pull the bill and limit his losses, which may have been even worse if they had passed HillaryCare with a massive $300 BILLION a year deficit ???

Think about it.

I don't think Obama has ANY IDEA what he is doing - if he did, he would have put health care aside a long, long time ago and concentrated on jobs.


Instead, we have a FAILED STIMULUS bill -


AND we have a website which we were promised that would track the number of jobs created - but they have ADMITTED has so many errors they are not even going to try to fix it.

Let me quote Kenny Rogers: You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, you got to know when to walk away and know when to run .....

It is time to run.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

It is bizarre.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that the democrats are creating more problems for themselves by jamming health care down the throats of the American people - than they would have if the health care bill just died right now.


That is the point.


Do you all just not get that point or do you prefer to talk about all this other stuff ?


Bizzaro


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't "hate" women. They have agile hands, a strong work ethic, and can be traded for potable water, ammunition or gold.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, broadwayjoe, please see our gracious host's post at 6:11 PM.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

And herein lies the real problem: health care in this country is politicized and all politicians play games. This time with our health. Federal gov't. should put together five feasible programs and let the people vote on them. We can't trust the politicians to represent the people, only themselves.

Posted by: boleson02 | December 17, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good example of why the wingnut right hates health reform--because they hate women:

On Feb. 23, Public Policy Polling released a survey showing that many fewer women held a favorable opinion of hate radio host Rush Limbaugh than men. Limbaugh was baffled by these results and decided to hold a “female summit” to find out why women dislike him. Maybe, Limbaugh should just listen to his own show. Today, for example, Limbaugh griped that health insurance premiums will be going up if reform legislation is passed, in large part because private insurers will have to provide “women’s issues coverage”:

LIMBAUGH: About the premiums going up, and my brilliant dissertation on why prices will go up in the private sector, even if the public option is not there, and even if the Medicare buy-in is not there. It’s not just preconditions that are mandated to be covered in the health care bills in either the House or the Senate.

There was a recent amendment that was mandating private insurers to provide mammogram and other women’s issues coverage, including spousal abuse! Insurance for spousal abuse! And mammograms! You think of all the mandates that will be added onto private insurance, and this is just the tip of the iceberg."

Any of you Democrats who are still against this bill, think of the creatures you are crawling into bed with.


Right now, many insurers treat domestic violence as a pre-existing condition and deny women health insurance coverage if they have been a victim. Women are also denied coverage — or face significantly higher premiums — if they are pregnant or have had a C-Section pregnancy in the past; the health care reform legislation would ban this discrimination. Additionally, an amendment by Sen. Barbara Milkulski’s (D-MD) amendment would make sure that insurers often women free mammograms and other preventive services.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

We do feel an obligation to protect the 44th President of the United States from frivolous, idiotic off-topic birther attacks from posters.

From USA Today:

"In an attempt to quash persistent rumors that President Obama was not born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, Hawaii's health director reiterated Monday afternoon that she has personally seen Obama's birth certificate in the Health Department's archives:

"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago....""

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-07-27-obama-hawaii_N.htm


Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 17, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

The sliming of Howard Dean by Rahm and his mouthpieces as "irrational" and "insane" is the lowest thing the Obama White House has done yet. Obama needs to be challenged by some REAL progressives in 2012: DEAN / FRANKEN IN 2012!

Posted by: gutterdandy | December 17, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

No, Jake, and you can stop whining about "personal attacks" every time someone disagrees with you.

You say there are no "unwanted children?" Tell that to my friends from college who were never adopted and spent their whole waking lives trying to compensate for their sense of isolation.

You don't care if what you say is true or not, apparently.

Boo hoo hoo, "personal attacks." Man up, would you?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Since few polled have a clue as to what's in the bill, the polling results are meaningless. I doubt anyone on the Main Street of Akron or Wheeling has given it a second thought. And wasn't it a month a so ago a national poll showed 77 percent support health care reform with a public option. Do you seriously believe that the average non-Palinite, non-BroderWorld American doesn't want universal health care coverage? We are the only industrialized country that doesn't have universal health care coverage. The difficulties in passing the bill are all about opposition from the extremist Von Brunn wing of the GOP, big Pharma, and big Insurance. Tell the truth, por favor.
________

BTW. 35, 36, __, 38, 39, 40...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 17, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

So much for "No personal attacks. (again)". What use would it be to ban you (again); you would just come back under a new name (again) spewing your name-calling and personal attacks.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

...same as the dangers of legislation on clean air, clean water, global warming, civil rights, and Social Security. Just sayin'. Sounds a lot like the illogical Fox News "Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is bad" narrative. A little Bizarro world, no?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | December 17, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hello libs.

The economy is cratering and all the democrats can think of doing is putting in place the biggest entitlement program in history. We are broke and going under fast. BTW, you have 60 votes in the senate and can't get this done. When was the last time the republicans had 60 votes? Oh, but the republicans are the ones obstructing.

Don't blame the media either. They are running out of lipstick to put on this pig.

All I heard for the last 8 years was how big the deficit was and how we had a "crisis in leadership." Jobs, jobs, jobs, BLAH BLAH BLAH. Now the economy is really going in the toilet and the only thing that matters is your pet issues. Cap and trade, the global warming scam, free healthcare for all.

The democrats had a chance to actually lead this nation but are proving that they should be no where near the levers of power.

Posted by: vlad335 | December 17, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

What OBAMA plan, the administration has put nothing at all on the table as a plan. They have simply suggested that there should be something and that all hands should be off Pharmaceuticals, Insurance, Hospitals and Doctors, period.

So in those pollquestions exactly WHAT were people answering the questions about? Perhaps in your "Washington savvy" you could make that plain. Or is everyone supposed to be as blindly sycophantic and disingenuous as someone who lives his life among the playahs in the district?

Puh-leez. Were the responders asked about the single-payer option, the public-opstion, the Medicare-expansion, Ben Nelson's lil anit-abortion clause or the Lieberman Hope-For-A-Bigger-Retirement-Fund-For Lieberman bill? With so much "savvy," you're bound to be able to distinguish one "plan" from another.

Posted by: radnichole | December 17, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

P.s. Insurance companies denying coverage ain't "murder" either.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as an "unwanted" child

==

Says the guy who takes charity baskets from a church, assuring that somewhere a genuinely hungry child remains hungry.

I've known people who grew up in orphanages, you don't know what the hell you're babbling about, as usual.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as an "unwanted" child, and fifty million unaborted babies would mean productive citizens paying into support Social Security, etc. rather than having to import cheap labor via illegal immigrants. As for "several million dead women" had elective abortions been outlawed, there's no statistic to prove such an assertion. Even if there were, several million grown women already into their reproductive prime vs. more than 25 million young women (statistically, more than HALF of aborted children are female) is fine by me.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

abortion isn't murder, and fifty million unaborted fetuses would mean about another 45 million squalling mouths to feed, several million dead women, and a hell of a lot of unwanted and unloved children growing up to be criminals and miserable people.

Abort away, says I.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

verna2:

Democratic Politicians Ignore 50+ MILLION Deaths

Since Roe v. Wade, over 50 million elective abortions have taken place. Why are YOU ignoring those deaths several orders of magnitude greater than uninsured? Brave Senators like Ben Nelson are trying to stand up to their Party of Death but just see what thanks they get here on this very thread. You are aware that more than 122 Americans die every day from automobile crashes, right? Go try to save all of them instead.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Now we know. The 2008 campaign was a bunch of lies from a sellout called Obama. The Democrats have blundered badly with this travesty they are trying to pass off as reform. The only ones to do better by it are insurance companies (ironic no?). Don't worry Republicans you'll be in charge in no time, back to screwing up the country in your own special way. How dumb are the Democrats to alienate their base? Its unbelievable arrogance. Obama enjoy your one term.

Posted by: motodude | December 17, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

(in case you haven't heard enough from lying Democratic Presidents):

Statement from President Bill Clinton on Health Care Reform
December 17, 2009

New York, NY – "America stands at a historic crossroads. At last, we are close to making real health insurance reform a reality. We face one critical, final choice, between action and inaction. We know where the path of inaction leads to: more uninsured Americans, more families struggling to keep up with skyrocketing premiums, higher federal budget deficits, and health costs so much higher than any other country's they will cripple us economically.

Our only responsible choice is the path of action. Does this bill read exactly how I would write it? No. Does it contain everything everyone wants? Of course not. But America can't afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
And this is a good bill: it increases the security of those who already have insurance and gives every American access to affordable coverage; and contains comprehensive efforts to control costs and improve quality, with more information on best practices, and comparative costs and results. The bill will shift the power away from the insurance companies and into the hands of consumers.
Take it from someone who knows: these chances don't come around every day. Allowing this effort to fall short now would be a colossal blunder - both politically for our party and, far more important, for the physical, fiscal, and economic health of our country."

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Health Insurers and Politicians Ignore 17,000+ Deaths
Our elected officials started work on the proposed health insurance reform bill on July 30, 2009. Harvard researchers estimate that 122 Americans die every day as a result of not having health insurance. So, the estimated number of uninsured Americans who have died while our elected officials in the Senate and Congress have been playing politics has now passed 17,000.
The health insurance industry is winning out against the wishes of the electorate to have affordable, fair and guaranteed health coverage. They have fought a very successful campaign, spending hundreds of millions of Dollars on advertising and throwing money to politicians. They’ve succeeded in watering down the House bill and turning the Senate bill into something that is almost worthless to everyone but themselves. Their shills in Washington have removed just about every important provision from the Senate bill. Most consumer protections have [...]

http://silverbuzzcafe.com/?p=6180

Posted by: verna2 | December 17, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Back ON TOPIC:

Will the "Draft Dean for President!" movement take off?

http://www.petitiononline.com/drafthbd/petition.html

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Once more the West Coast: Yes, passage of a flawed bill does NOT help Obama and the Dems, because the politics of capitulation is an anathema to those among the base who voted for "change," not "small change."

***

OBAMA PASSION DEFICIT COULD ENCOURAGE DEAN TO CHALLENGE

Does Howard Dean's 11th hour thumbs-down on the Senate health care reform bill presage a possible presidential primary challenge to Barack Obama?

WaPo political pundit Chris Cillizza calls such a gambit "extremely unlikely." But in the eyes of those who have disappointed by Mr. Obama's failure to prevent he bill's watering down by the likes of the petulant and toadying Joe Lieberman, it becomes more likely with each passing day.

President Obama recently has exhibited a peculiar and troubling regression from past displays of moral resolve and courage. Something seems not right with President Obama. He appears to be detached, aloof, dispassionate. He laughs at inappropriate moments, as evidenced in his two "60 Minutes" interviews with Steve Kroft of CBS News. Kroft invited POTUS to emote by asking about the personal agony involved in his decision to send 30,000 more troops into harm's way in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama's response might be characterized as a "Dukakis Moment," more cerebral than empathetic.

It's almost as if President Obama has fallen under the influence of a physical force that has altered his persona, blunted his emotions -- a passionate advocate of hope and change transformed, downsized, into just another calculating and cautious political automaton.

As far-fetched as it may sound, it got me to thinking about this question:

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

To find out why I raise this question, please read this article and the accompanying "comments" section:

http://nowpublic.com/world/obama-wrong-unaware-u-s-does-torture-its-own-citizens OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 17, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware that you were in charge of this blog. Once Mr. Cillizza posts to stop ask said questions, I will certainly comply (unlike you with "personal attacks").

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

On topic or not is beside the point, it's flooding. Nobody wants to read the exact same sentence over and over and over. If you can't come up with new material then find someplace less intellectually demanding to post.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

e.g. "run the risk of having further de-energized their liberal base heading into the midterm elections."

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I believe that Obama voters pledging to not vote for said Congressmen or women next year (or, more importantly, Obama himself in 2012) qualifies as a discussion point as to "The political dangers of passing a health care bill". As always, YMMV : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

afgail:

Will you agree to NOT vote for any Congressman or woman who passes this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

SarahBB:

Will you agree to NOT vote for any Congressman or woman who passes this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:13

ram_lopez:

Will you agree to NOT vote for any Congressman or woman who passes this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:11

Thank you, klondike2. Will you agree to not vote for any Congressman or woman who pass this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:53 PM

==

Quit it

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Just wait til the public understands that the individual mandate is for those who do not currently have health insurance. And if they don't buy private insurance they will be fined by the federal government. If you think Americans are unhappy about the Wall Street bailout, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Democrats are sealing their own doom and Obama's Waterloo.

Posted by: afgail | December 17, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

@SarahBB: you were doing so well until that last line.

Third parties are a panacea.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

SarahBB:

Will you agree to NOT vote for any Congressman or woman who passes this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

ram_lopez:

Will you agree to NOT vote for any Congressman or woman who passes this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

A mandate to buy a product that stinks is not my idea of reforming the product. Let the bill fail and let prices skyrocket and maybe single payer will have a lot more appeal next time around. This could be the birth of a truly meaningful third party.

Posted by: SarahBB | December 17, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

@monroeeskew,

Yes you can blame Harry Reid. He is gutless, ineffectual, and maybe the dumbest Majority Leader ever. This summer when he declared that the reconciliation option was off the table he gave away almost all of his leverage. With reconciliation he could have told any one of those Senators to go to hell, and then passed a REAL health care reform via a simple majority.

Or, he could have threatened retaliation, behind closed doors, of course. Take away Joe Lieberman's chairmanship. Take away pork that those other Senators want. To put it plainly, he could have wielded power, and led.

Instead he is being embarrassed by Joe Lieberman and the other intransigent Senators who are hijacking this whole process. It almost makes me wish I lived in Nevada so I could vote against him.

This loyal Democrat is fed up with Obama and Reid, and tired of their excuses!

Posted by: ram_lopez | December 17, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

pmhebert:

From every version I've read of the actual bills, there's an IRS enforcement mechanism and corresponding "fine" for anyone who does not purchase qualifying healthcare insurance. Why don't you think that Americans should FEAR that?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"I heard somewhere that Gibbs was personally involved in negative ads against Dr. Dean as well. "

You heard 'somewhere.' Radio messages from space to your tinfoil hat perhaps?

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

It's gut-wrenching to watch the Democrats pander to the special interests over the common interest with both Health care and financial "reform". It's nothing short of astounding that the troglodytes on the right label this a "take over" of the health care sector by the "libruls" and Obama a "socialist". Wow, some people will believe ANYTHING!

Yes, this bill could be a disaster for the Democrats. They've already compromised so much by not even ASKING for a single-payer system, dealing away the public option, the Medicare buy-in, negotiation on or import of pharmaceuticals, and, generally, most anything that could contain the unremitting growth of the health care industry. That industry is in line to get a giant windfall, the poor smucks at the bottom are in line to get a mandate requiring them to buy health insurance, and all of us are in line to get a continuation of and possible increase in the costs of what is already the most expensive per capita health care in the world. As many are pointing out, the health care insurance companies look like the only winners in this.

But, what do you expect when you're watching the best government money can buy at work??? If there is ANY hope (remember that word?), it's a complete reform of the influence that money has on this system from top to bottom. Until then, the little guy/gal will always lose.

Living in the USA!! Somebody bring me a cheeseburger!

Posted by: Johnbo | December 17, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

You asked on the other thread for a cite to the Obama snub of Dr. Dean.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17254.html

I heard somewhere that Gibbs was personally involved in negative ads against Dr. Dean as well. Looks like a great fight on the cards.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

good posts by pm and monroe.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry monroe but you might have a point had Reid not so distinguished himself as a weakling.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe in a democracy (representative democracy), but most Americans are clueless. They have no idea what is / is not in the health care bill, and how the provisions of the bill will impact their lives. They're operating strictly on fear (known vs. unknown). The Media (which likes to generate controversy because it tends to generate ratings) has allowed everyone to have their say. And they have NEVER bothered to correct people who were blatantly wrong or to set the record straight. So what do we expect? A lot of people are scared.

Posted by: pmhebert | December 17, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Fools! It's the conservative dems who are the problem. You can't blame Harry Reid for the machinations of Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, etc. Kick THEM out. There used to be a time when people were praised for bravely supporting legislation even when it failed. Now we blame people for the failings of others.

Posted by: monroeeskew | December 17, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Unless you get rid of this guy, he's going to be on about this birther crap for hours every single day and disrupt every single discussion and waste everyone's time who is trying to have a reality-based conversation.

Your choice.

==

How about it, Jake? You going to stop?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Cillizza:

YOU were the one who claimed that Obama is "President" (third full sentence above), and I was also addressing benjaminsp's post of 6:02 PM.

Posted by: JakeD"

Unless you get rid of this guy, he's going to be on about this birther crap for hours every single day and disrupt every single discussion and waste everyone's time who is trying to have a reality-based conversation.

Your choice.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I hope so, ram_lopez.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@ram_lopez: why wait for his re-election? Replace Reid now.

Hoping against hope that Obama will find some spine, not even daydreaming about Reid doing the same

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite (6:12) I was actually visualizing a similar scenario. Remember in the movie, The American President (Michael Douglas) when the Commander-in-Chief realizes he took a not-so-hot path...compromising himself and his values? And gets on TV during a press conference, speaks truthfully to the American people about what he'd done, what had been going on...and says, no more? Then reverses himself and goes for it? Changed everything. (And not such a "fictional" scenario, either.)
Great post, G&T. Thanks.

Posted by: barbyrahmirfluor | December 17, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite (6:12) I was actually visualizing a similar scenario. Remember in the movie, The American President (Michael Douglas) when the Commander-in-Chief realizes he took a not-so-hot path...compromising himself and his values? And gets on TV during a press conference, speaks truthfully to the American people about what he'd done, what had been going on...and says, no more? Then reverses himself and goes for it? Changed everything. (And not such a "fictional" scenario, either.)
Great post, G&T. Thanks.

Posted by: barbyrahmirfluor | December 17, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a sellout. He deserves to be a one term President for selling out his base to appease Joe Lieberman. (May the weakling majority leader from Nevada, Harry Reid, suffer defeat in is next election too.)

Personal mandate, no public option = Epic Fail


Posted by: ram_lopez | December 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Are the objections by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) "on-topic" to a discussion about political dangers of passing a health care bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

YOU were the one who claimed that Obama is "President" (third full sentence above)

==

That's his title. Naming the president by his title is not an excuse to hijack yet another thread with phony birther conspiracies. You can claim this as license all you like but FINALLY nobody buys it, this is just your personal hobbyhorse and now, finally, praise to Bog in his merciful heaven, you've been told to stop.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Jaked -- stop with the birther stuff. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with the post.

==

Why did this take over a thousand repetitions?

Adding a new dimension to "better late than never."

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

YOU were the one who claimed that Obama is "President" (third full sentence above), and I was also addressing benjaminsp's post of 6:02 PM.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

klondike -- you see how you are being played by the wingers? Don't be a fool.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The way I would like to see it played out:

(1) The bill reaches Obama's desk loaded with compromises with Republicans

(2) Obama vetoes it

(3) He goes on television and gives the speech of his career: the party's over. No more compromises, no more phony bipartisanship, no more filibuster threats. If Republicans want to have any say in policy and in doing their part to solve the country's problems, they know the 800 number and the guy to ask for is named "Barack Hussein Obama."

(4) Approval rating jumps to 83%, the bill goes back, it's hammered out in 48 hours as McConnell and Boehner go red-faced in apoplexy about death panels, killing grandma, abortion, illegal aliens ...

(5) Bill is signed WITH public option, WITHOUT mandate, effectively giving insurance companies the choice of playing ball or going out of biz.

(6) Lieberman is stripped of chairmanships and kicked out of the caucus, announces early retirement after being told the same by Republicans, moves to Israel

I can dream, can't I?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

As of the time I left practice, it was not regulated. But my offer still stands, as I donate / have contacts with various adoption agencies.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Jaked -- stop with the birther stuff. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with the post.

Goldandtanzanite -- No personal attacks. (again)

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | December 17, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Jake, does CA permit other than agency adoptions?
E.G., are voluntary placements or intra-family or "doctor-lawyer" adoptions permitted? Does the state social service or child protective service investigate the placement in every case?

While I never did "family law" work in general, I did some adoption work early in my career and I thought ut very rewarding. But I remember how difficult it was to place some children.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 17, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

benjaminsp:

Barack Hussein Obama is NOT the President of the United States if he wasn't born in Hawai'i.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"If you live long enough all things can happen," Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said today. "I now find myself in complete agreement with Dr. Howard Dean, who says that we should stop this bill in its tracks, we should go back to the beginning and have an overall bipartisan agreement. Dr. Dean, I am with you."

Bickering in the healthcare debate is taking its toll. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published on Thursday found Americans turning against an overhaul. It said 44 percent said it is better to pass no plan at all, compared with 41 percent who want passage.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes. The public is leery about the HC Bill. This is b because they really don't know what the bill will contain when it reaches the desk of the President of the United States. (And Barack Hussein Obama is the President of all the people of the US not just one party or class of people)

Until the bill is finalized I don't blame anyone from being scared of what it may contain. The House, Senate and President are unsure what final deals must be made to get the bills through Congress. People are afraid of "catch phrases" - government takover. killing grandma, death panels. Even "public option" is not really explained well nor has the pros and cons of buying into Medicare at age 55, or "Exchanges".

I don't know what the bill would like, the people being polled don't understand, Congress doesn't understand it and the President doesn't either. We just have to hope that whatever deals have to be made to pass the bill won't doom it to failure and give the every American better coverage at lower expense without costing the Government too much.

Any poll taken about the Health Care bill NOW when the deal making (or sausage making) is at its peak is IRRELEVANT as the facts are not yet known. Only when and if the bill is signed can we gage the public's acceptance or rejection of it.

IMO if the bill does not get to the president's desk, the 2010 elections will be very bad for the Democrats.

If the bill passes, then President Obama, his Cabinet and all Congressmen and Senators have to "sell" the contents of the final bill to all Americans. Of course the Republicans (according to the poll) have an upper hand in convincing the American people that the bill is "terrible."

The Republicans will argue that the bill is a government takeover, will ration care, will take money from Medicare to kill grandma, that citizen's money will be used to kill babies and give medical care to illegal aliens.

While the Republicans throw everything but the kitchen sink to convince Americans that the bill is very bad, the democrats can only speak in generalities about their goals because they DON'T KNOW the specific ways each problem will be addressed in the final bill.

When the bill is signed into law, the democrats are not out of the woods yet. They have to make the bill available for everyone to see, be able to explain the benefit of every component, refute all Republican and Tea Party objections, and hit hard with TV ads etc. about the major parts that will benefit people the most.

Let's hope for the best.


Posted by: benjaminsp | December 17, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, klondike2. Will you agree to not vote for any Congressman or woman who pass this bad bill?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I am most pissed off by the bull. the cover your a## bologna that Axelrod has done in the past 24 hrs.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 17, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

this is NOT the enemy of the perfect be the enemy of the good. I am so sick of people saying that.
This is the enemy of the good is the worse. Just because it has pre-existing conditions eliminated..and gets a smaller amount of people additionally covered is not enough to throw cost controls further into protected territory ...with forced insurance coverage being the bankinfg proponent of cost control...This bill is bad...not good.

Change does not mean... making a turkey ...a pig. And saying look he doesn't have that funky neck anymore so it's better.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 17, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

134.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

From the abortion dodge to the personal attack dodge. You are condemned by your own words, not by any "personal attack." I'm not the MSM, I have no reluctance to point out lies and hypocrisy. With you that's a full-time job.

How many orphans have you placed in loving homes, Jake?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

"We MUST create more work/jobs. Think stimulus, baby!"

I'll buy that. The health care capital, all the associated infrastructure stays put, the jobs do too, the profit...not so much, but this is the good reason left to support the current legislation, imo.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Careful with the "personal attacks". Don't ask questions if you don't want answers. I was simply trying to discuss the political dangers of passing a health care bill (See, TOPIC, above ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

As I have stated, repeatedly, get me ANY newborn baby here in the U.S. and I will get him/her adopted.

==

So you work with Planned Parenthood to help orphans find parents?

(shades eyes, rotates head)

Nope, you don't, but you do take charity from agencies with limited resources to help people in need.

Hypocrite. Pretentious, pompous, lying, posturing hypocrite.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

All of a sudden, writing health care profiteering into law is disgusting, but a generic (I guess mandated non-profit) "health care industry stimulus" wasn't for months and months? What finally changed your mind?!

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

As I have stated, repeatedly, get me ANY newborn baby here in the U.S. and I will get him/her adopted.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

folks. the time is right now. we MUST stake this claim. The stars(err)are lined up; fourth and inches. This is our moment to fight towards a very meaningful victory: we need to mark it - tag it - not have it delivered as a fait accompli.
Think of the lunar landing - the American flag stuck in the moon - that was just the beginning. Common. We MUST create more work/jobs. Think stimulus, baby!

Posted by: InsideAgitator | December 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"In my state there are non-profit alternatives to for-profit health insurance providers."

Thats nice. I hope they enjoyed their run.

How do they feel about facing companies backed by the capital of sovereign wealth funds who are only about market share until the competition is toast? Seriously, you can ask your local non profits how they plan to compete.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Elective abortion" patients can bloody well pay for it themselves too. I don't want any of my tax money going to those merchants of death.

==

It's not "your money," Jake, it's legitimately-collected revenue used to fund the government's operations and protect the public health. You can always move to Iran or Somalia if they are more to your liking.

I don't like "my money" going to pay for wars on behalf of Exxon either.

And if you were a citizen of the United States of America instead of a craven lying teabagger screaming about President Obama's middle name you would realize that it's in the public interest, and in children's interest, to not bring unwanted people into the world. The cost of an abortion is miniscule, the cost of an unwanted life incalculable.

As for your phony "immorality of abortion" screech, until you're willing to magnanimously fund the same baby's healthcare and education, you can go pound sand.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I just want to hold him to his word, that's all.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Jake:

I disagree with the president on abortion funding and coverage for illegal immigrants. However, I also understand that he's trying to actually get something through Congress, and those two concepts would have sunk any attempt whatsoever at health care reform.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 17, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

Is that not the name of your "President"? The very same name he purportedly took the oath of Office with?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Elective abortion" patients can bloody well pay for it themselves too. I don't want any of my tax money going to those merchants of death.

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

the Senate bill will be voted on prior to Christmas (you know, the holiday whereby most Americans celebrate the BIRTH -- not abortion -- of a baby boy?)

==

Gushing emotionalism

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Barack HUSSEIN Obama,"

What a complete arse.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Sen. Nelson (D-NE) is well within his rights to say: "I took the President at his word regarding abortion."

Keep in mind that Nelson has also said that abortion is not his only concern and he cannot see how the Senate bill will be voted on prior to Christmas (you know, the holiday whereby most Americans celebrate the BIRTH -- not abortion -- of a baby boy?)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091217/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_overhaul

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Breast implants are legal medical procedures in the United States (as they should be).

==

A dishonest dodge, as usual.

Refusing to fund a breast implant doesn't condemn a sick pregnant woman to an early death, nor does it pollute the future with an unwanted infant.

A breast implant is an elective surgery, people who want elective cosmetic surgery can bloody well pay for it themselves.

If you need to dodge into infantile hyperbole it would be better to just cede the point, but that would require honesty, something you rarely if ever exhibit here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to quote:

"There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false –-

[INTERRUPTION IN THE PROCEEDINGS]

-- no, it's false, the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up: under our plan, NO FEDERAL DOLLARE WILL BE USED TO FUND ABORTIONS, and federal conscience laws will remain in place."

(Emphasis Added)

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, September 9, 2009

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Breast implants are legal medical procedures in the United States (as they should be). Using your "logic" however, medical insurance should cover them and publicly-funded medical insurance should cover them. As if Tiger Woods doesn't have a big enough problem already ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Abortions are legal medical procedures in the United States (as they should be). Medical insurance should cover them and publicly-funded medical insurance should cover them.

G&T:

I share your frustration. However, if Obama had proposed and insisted on the kind of health care reform plan you and I would prefer, it would have gone nowhere in the Senate. Nowhere.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 17, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

For the record, it was Bondosan -- not me -- who brought up Sen. Nelson (D-NE). At least the Senator and I don't think it's a dead horse ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

This piece makes sense. The country is going to be upset when the realize that Obama should have spent the last year working on the economy and jobs instead of health care.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | December 17, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"The reason this bill is worse than "nothing" is that is sets up a national for profit mandate. It writes health care profit taking into federal law."


In my state there are non-profit alternatives to for-profit health insurance providers.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

All of a sudden, writing health care profiteering into law is disgusting, but a generic (I guess mandated non-profit) "health care industry stimulus" wasn't for months and months? What finally changed your mind?!

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is a distraction, Jake, a dead horse. Please stop using phony pretexts to change the subject to one of your little hobbyhorses.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to take this turd and drop it into the shirt pockets of the Republicans.

Then start over, don't miss a beat. The whole country would be amazed, leadership, it is about time. A scaled back, simply constructed effort would pass easily after that.

This thing he is doing now is like how he handled the Wall Street crisis, but far worse, because Congress is involved. You get with the industry and hook the tax base to rescue bankrupt parasites and things will work out.

But it is one thing to bail out investment banks (which seem to be able to print money) and quite another thing to write health care profiteering into law. This is disgusting.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO!!! Welcome aboard, LIBS!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

No, Bondosan, Obama is not a victim of his own success, he's reaping the rewards of his misguided and useless impulses to hew to the middle of the road. He has some brain-charred idea that justice can be found by compromising with Republicans and letting Senators from states with single-digit populations call the shots.

I was giving him the benefit of the doubt but the compromises with AIPAC Joe Lieberman are just too much. The bill as it now stands would, incredibly, make things even worse.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that Axelrod feels we are on the verge of doing something terrific or whatever it was he said. I think it's a big sell out to the insurance companies. How can you force someone like my grandson who makes $10 an hour which is $400 a week to pay 17% of that money, or $68 a week for health insurance? That's not insurance, that's highway robbery. I voted for this dumb guy hoping that he would make a difference. NEVER AGAIN will I vote for someone with so little experience. Nice speeches or not, NEVER AGAIN.I will say home instead

Posted by: Opa2 | December 17, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Can you remember back through the mists of the distant past...a few weeks ago...when we were thinking we could hold our noses and lose the national public option so long as states could opt in or out?

Then, we thought it would be ok to lose the public option altogether so long as something akin to the congressional basket of private options were offered in its place.

Well now we are seeing the states losing the ability to opt out of any for profit plan, so long as the feds have been lobbied to approve it as part of some arbitrary minimum standard.

A $5000 annual deductible for poor people? Is this a joke? Is this real?

The reason this bill is worse than "nothing" is that is sets up a national for profit mandate. It writes health care profit taking into federal law. Lets let the current crisis run until people understand the difference between health care reform and tax payers being forced to underwrite profiteers.

Now I don't mind taxpayers being forced to underwrite good health care for all, but I won't stand for this same crappy disaster ballooning up on tax dollar steroids.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan:

Unlike blood being on Nelson's hands if he votes for Obamacare that provides coverage for abortion? You do remember that Obama himself promised that no federal dollars wwould be used to fund abortions, and that federal conscience laws would remain in place, right?

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Blood is already on their hands, Bondosan.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

5. Invests in Keeping People Healthy: The bill creates a Prevention and Public Health Fund to expand and sustain funding for public prevention programs that prevent disease and promote wellness.

6. Insurers Can’t Offer Subprime Health Care: Insurers operating in the individual and small group markets will no longer sell subprime policies that deny coverage when illness strikes and you need it most. Everyone will be offered an essential benefits package of comprehensive benefits.

7. Helps Businesses Afford Coverage: Small employers can take advantage of large risk pools by purchasing coverage through the bill’s state-based exchanges. Employers with no more than 25 employees would receive a tax credit to help them provide coverage to their employees. The bill also establishes a temporary reinsurance program for employers providing coverage to retirees over the age of 55 who are not eligible for Medicare.

8. Improves Medicare: The bill eliminates the waste and fraud in the Medicare system, gets rid of the special subsidy to private insurers participating in Medicare Advantage and extends the life of the Medicare trust fund by 9 years. It also closes the doughnut hole that affected 3.4 seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D in 2008.'

Could it be better? Sure. WOULD it have been better, without total lockstep opposition to it by all Republicans including Lieberman, and some Democrats?

You betcha. So direct your anger where it belongs, not at the Democrats who have been working for months in a very uphill battle against entrenched and very monied interests. The whole Republican party, the entire gigantic insurance industry complex, all arrayed against a small core group of Dems who really tried. If you followed the proceedings it was heartbreaking.

If my fellow Dems who are complaining realized how happy they are making the very same vile wingnuts and harpies who actually did all the damage to this bill, perhaps they would shut up.

This is politics. Understand who your real enemies are.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

The other night, when Chris was making one of his sporadic pleas for civility here in the comments section, I mentioned that quite a few of his posts don't really merit serious discussion (I mean really, who gives a rat's a** what Evan Bayh is going to do with the rest of his life?).

I then suggested that he do a post about the political ramifications of the health care debate going on in the Senate. I'm sure he had been planning these posts for some time, but nonetheless, I'm glad that we're actually exploring the topic here.

I am very sympathetic to the president on all of this: Clinton submitted a detailed plan and it got picked apart. Obama went the other way and what's shaping up in the Senate is pretty unbearable (if it even ends up passing at all).

Ironically, the president is a bit of a victim of his own success in preventing a full-blown depression. FDR was able to pass most of his far-reaching agenda only because the country had suffered so much, they were willing to try anything.

LBJ was able to move JFK's agenda through congress after the assassination, with the help of some liberal Republicans (pretty much an oxymoron today).

It would be a real shame if Republican obstructionists and a few idiots like Lieberman and Nelson set back reform for a generation. Blood will literally be on their hands.

Posted by: Bondosan | December 17, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Is this now a sports blog or something?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! The "Senate bill could" bring about world peace and a chicken in every pot too -- fact is that no one outside of Harry Reid's office has even seen the FINAL Senate bill -- rumor is that there won't even be a Medicare buy-in at 55 and older. I won't hold my breath just yet, but it is encouraging to see even far-left liberals shooting whatever gets passed down. GO KEITH OLBERMANN!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Sirota is brilliant.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

It has some good points and some bad points. I wish before passing judgment people would actually get to know what's in it.

1. Largest Expansion Of Coverage Since Medicare’s Creation: Thirty-one million previously uninsured Americans will have insurance.

2. Low/Middle Income Americans Will Not Go Without Coverage: For low-income Americans struggling near the poverty line, the bill represents the largest single expansion of Medicaid since its inception. Combined with subsidies for middle income families, the bill’s provisions will ensure that working class Americans will no longer go without basic health care coverage.

3. Insurance Companies Will Never Be Able to Drop or Deny You Coverage Because You Are Sick: Insurers can no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition. They can’t rescind coverage or impose lifetime or annual limits on care. Significantly, the bill also ends insurer discrimination against women — who currently pay as much as 48% more for coverage than men — and gives them access preventive services with no cost sharing.

4. Lowers Premiums For Families: The Senate bill could lower premiums for the overall population by 8.4%. For the subsidized population, premiums would decrease even more dramatically. According to the CBO, “the amount that subsidized enrollees would pay for non-group coverage would be roughly 56 percent to 59 percent lower, on average than the nongroup premiums charged under current law.”

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

David Sirota came to my house a few years ago to interview me about Microsoft and the widespread belief that there were mass layoffs ahead as the company followed the pyrite glint of cheap Indian labor.

I had no idea who he was, or what a distinction it was to have him sitting in my living room taking notes from my experience.

My impression of the guy, unbiased by knowledge of his notoriety, was very high.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

BrotherTim:

I think it was David Sirota who called Cillizza "one of the most perfectly calibrated barometers of Beltway conventional wisdom" -- trust me, it was not a compliment -- time to far and feather the MSM along with Democrats!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 17, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Reporters need to spend more time reporting and less time gabbling about polls, just as legislators need to think more about their constituents and less about being reelected.

==

Reporters need to stop shriveling up at the suggestion of "taking sides" and go back to their core responsibility, which, astounding though it may sound, is NOT to deliver an audience to advertisers, but rather to let us know when we're being LIED TO.

I'll never forgive the MSM for enabling Bush to lie us into Iraq, and now there is a lot more to damn them for.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Reporters need to spend more time reporting and less time gabbling about polls, just as legislators need to think more about their constituents and less about being reelected.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | December 17, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

It's a lot worse than you and your poll-reading cronies think it is. Try going out and talking to the average people, Chris, instead of all the 'politically connected' Beltway folks. I think you'd be astounded.

Posted by: BrotherTim | December 17, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

If the bill that reaches Obama's desk still has the buyin mandate and lacks a public option then Obama had damned well better veto it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

and by the way my other half is a civilian doctor who is volunteering taking care of the vets coming home with devastating injuries at Ft. Hood now. Infuriated by what Axelrod and Obama has flipflopped on that we went door to door explaining to people about his plans for just an option. Like I say we know what he promised, what he planned , what he said to the detail. This is not what was in the sales pitch.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 17, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"If you're making money in that status quo, that is a resounding success. "

Yes, the usual suspects will continue to rake it in the expense of public health.

All I have heard from the media -- with the exception of perhaps two policy pieces -- is a steady drumbeat of misinformation and the reporting of the lies of healthcare opponents, with no attempt at debunking, or even pointing out that these are lies.

All we have heard is the entire MSM being the magnifier and echo chamber for the propanda of the industry and shady ultraright teabagger groups like the John Birch Society.

Posted by: drindl | December 17, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

chris

The fact is Obama pitched over and over again how he was going to address healthcare. There is no cost containment option at all (he said it needed that..in one form or another...over and over and over and over again on the campaign trail) ..The legal lobby has kept their butts away from any kind of tort reform correcting defensive medicine.

Obama has shown no conviction to correct the problem. He threw his hands up in a CYA manner and did not lead. We elected a man who said he would lead.

The public option was the moderate position... this bill as it stands will actually HURT us more than help. (I spent with my other half almost 3 years pitching Obama's words and plans and promises on this for him all over NH...I know exactly what he said and what he didn't say) This bill is not reform on a road to better healthcare for all Americans...it is quite likely (as much bologna infuriating me that came out of Axelrod's lying mouth this morning) a road to make everything worse...flashing a cracker to starving people and saying look we start with a cracker... not mentioning the salt will probably make life unbearable and chances are pushing us to a worse situation of hunger.

They played CYA politics. That is not whgat they ran on in the slightest. Blow up the old politics...now we see it was all bull. One hand they show what they achieved while on the other hand they hand big companies everything they wanted.

disgusting...no heroes here. too bad. someone call the cops and VP Biden someone stole that spine of steel the president supposedly had.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 17, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"What that data tells us is that the White House is pushing to passage a piece of legislation that large swaths of the American people neither want nor think will work."


What the poll didn't ask & perhaps should have: do people actually know what's in the bill?

Short answer: no, based on this, from the report: Date: December 11-14, 2009

Given that between Dec 11 & Dec 14th, we hadn't yet heard about Sen Lieberman's flip-flop on the Medicare option, or a host of other changes, it it incredible that anyone thinks even asking the question is relevant.

To whom is it reasonable to ask the question of "do you like the bill" without knowing whether the respondent actually knows what's in the bill?

Perhaps the media should spend more time debunking some the various myths floating around about the bill and less time asking irrelevant questions in useless polls.


What the bill really tells us is: the opponents of health care reform have run a very effective campaign against the proponents of reform. While they haven't outright killed the bill, they have managed to both strip most of the meaningful reform measures from the legislation & managed to turn public opinion against what's left of it. If you're making money in that status quo, that is a resounding success.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 17, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"The White House is pushing to passage a piece of legislation that large swaths of the American people neither want nor think will work."

You have gotten that 1/2 right Chris.
We want reform, but this piece of stinky sausage won't float.

That said, no one thinks Republicans have answers. Because they don't. Republicans are still the same old disaster, maybe worse.

Real health care reform...still waiting.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 17, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company