Listening To The Serious People
Mike Lux says what needs to be said about Tom Daschle's el foldo move against the public option, and it has weight because Lux worked for Daschle for many years. Caving to Republicans and the insurance industry in the name of getting "health reform" passed just won't work, particularly because you will lose every ally on the left and end up with absolutely nothing. And taking out the most popular part of the bill and the most tangible expression of reform that people can touch, feel and see would have the effect of turning it into dust.
It doesn't surprise me that a man who essentially is an industry lobbyist would side with industry over the people. But the other element here is this irrational fear of Republicans, who have lost almost all of their support in the country, are actually less popular than Dick Cheney, and yet must be placated in the good name of bipartisanship. I believe the metaphor that the President uses is "we will extend a hand if you unclench your fist."
Behold the unclenched fist of the leader of the Republican Party.
"Day to day, there is no health care crisis in this country"
And if you don't think Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP, here's the leader of the RNC, with his opinion of what health care reform would necessarily mean:
STEELE: Well you’ll get issued, Doc, you’re gonna issue, to your patients, a health care card that’s gonna be part of a national ID system that, you know, every time I charge something or use that card, it’s going to show up on a grid what I’ve done and what I have failed to do, according to the government plan. So the government will know whether or not I’ve had my physical at the appropriate time and then probably some health police will come knocking on my door telling me I’m now costing the system money because I haven’t, you know, gone and done my preventive care.
He thinks there's going to be a health care police. And the 76% of Americans who support a public option have to be pushed aside, because Michael Steele is just more serious.
It's important to recognize the undemocratic nature of the Senate, where Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer represent 36 million people and have the same amount of votes as Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, who represent 500,000. That absolutely has a bearing on how the Senate does not listen to its constituents. But In this case, Democrats have the votes; they only need 50 to pass health reform. But they think they have to listen to clowns instead of the people.
...Ezra Klein has an interview up with Daschle where he tries to walk back his opposition to a public plan.
You made headlines the other day for dismissing the need for a public plan. Want to talk a bit more on that?
I don't know where that came from. We've been pushing back on that all day. I didn't say that. I have said emphatically I support a public plan. A Medicare-for-all public plan. Any federal plan. For all the reasons that have been made for years. It's important for cost, for choice, for competition, for popularity. I strongly support it.
What I did say is that I'm willing to compromise on most things to bring the package across the line. The plan we agreed to yesterday was that states could offer public plans with a federal fall back. That's not my first, second, or third choice. But given the concessions my colleagues made on universal coverage and an employer mandate and everything else, that's the essence of compromise.
To focus on that for a moment, for all the controversy around this issue, I think a lot of liberals don't understand why they should have to sacrifice it. After all, private insurers aren't exactly covered in glory, and a Wall Street Journal poll just today showed that three-fourths of Americans support the policy.
This is one time when it makes good politics and good policy. There are two groups primarily opposed to it. Many of the stakeholders view it as real cost cutting. As a result, they're worried about that competition. A lot of other stakeholders are concerned about feeling the effects of a cost constraint. I've said this, and no one has ever disputed it, that I've never seen a study that didn't say the public plan would reduce costs. And we hear so much about costs, and here we are taking it off the table.
The other group is this ideological group of Republicans and conservatives who see it as government intrusion they simply can't support. It's an ideological basis that I will never understand but that that's what it is.
Oh well! It is what it is!
...I can get behind this: Go Away, Tom Daschle