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Beltway Dems selling us out on universal heatlh care?

Now I know why they fucking like Obama so much; peas in pod. The Hill:

Congressional Democrats are backing away from healthcare reform promises made by their two presidential candidates, saying that even if their party controls the White House and Congress, sweeping change will be difficult.

It is still seven months before Election Day, but already senior Democrats are maneuvering to lower public expectations on the key policy issue.

Here's the best part:

In the back of their minds is the damage done to President Bush’s second term by his failed attempts to change the nation’s Social Security policy.

Anybody remember the history on this? Any of it?

See, the voters were against privatizing Social Security. There was no constituency.

But the voters are for universal heatlh care; and a constituency can be created.

NOTE I think that the Dems think that 2004 was the aberration, and that Dasche's "nice 'em to death" strategy really should have worked. 2006, in their minds, is not the way to go at all. Daschle is, after all, an early and influential Obama supporter.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

than signaling to voters that one of the major reasons to vote for the Democratic candidate is bullshit. Why not vote for McCain, he won't get you you healthcare, but at least he won't lie and claim he will?

When I first read about this I was reminded of a post awhile ago by Steve Soto about how much fun Dick Cheney and George Bush must having kicking around little Chuckie Shumer and other democrats. Because who wouldn't enjoy kicking such weaklings who always comes back for more.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Bill Clinton tried to get UHC, integrate the military and passed his more progressive budget. He also passed the assault weapons ban. What happened to congressional dems who had a spine? Many lost their seats by taking a principled stand. Hillary will no doubt try some bold initiatives and Congress doesn't want to go along. Notice how some of the leisure class, er, "creative class" [cough] bloggers are getting thrills up their legs because some very conservative Dems have a shot in Mississippi?

There is no question that the leisure class bloggers and the Congressional Dem leadership, at Obama's behest (intentional or not) are pushing the Democratic Party to the right. When you ask for Unity, you get it. But we all know what Unity really means. There was a time when the leisure class bloggers did too.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

where everyone sits down and discusses how to fix the healthcare system is never going to work.

The only way to get UHC through Congress is by busting balls, not holding hands. Hey, perhaps that Hillary Nutcracker can be used for the good. She'll get you UHC even if it costs Chuck Schumer and Jay Rockefeller their itty bitty 'nads.*

* After FISA, I'm not sure Jay Rockefeller has any 'nads. I suspect if they ever existed, they are now the property of AT&T.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's the only way.

sitting down with HMOs and private insurers and the GOP will be futile, distracting nonsense--and Obama knows it.

Submitted by lambert on

And yes, I believe AT&T is "holding" them for him, in a glass jar in one of those sealed rooms we keep hearing so much about.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

space's picture
Submitted by space on

to post something worthwhile that isn't framed in terms of bashing Obama?

Everything you say about the illogic of Congressional Dems is true. Everything about the relative support for health care reform versus social security reform is accurate.

But is it really necessary to make this about the candidates? Not only devoid of evidence, but when your own quote contradicts you? How in any universe can Congressional Democrats "backing away from healthcare reform promises made by" Obama be construed as support for his plan? How is Obama responsible for failures of the U.S. Senate when he wasn't a member but Hillary was? Was Hillary leading some great anti-Daschle insurgency that I forgot about?

BOTH Obama and Hillary have decided that getting to single-payer health care is best accomplished by incrementalism. It is a multi-step process and both decided that it is better to take one step at a time. Obama and Hillary merely disagree on which foot to lead with. But both are incrementalists on the issue. Full stop.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

that includes Congressional Dems, doesn't it? Or just GOP and businesses?

If our own people in Congress is already saying they won't play, how can Obama's proposed and fundamental "changing the system" work for anything? (and that's ignoring the GOP's and big business and lobbyists, etc, happiness and success with the current system--they won't play either)

The collection of parties and powerbrokers and interests and money people are all absolutely essential to Obama doing or changing anything at all--from tiny incremental stuff to big stuff. According to him, the first and most important thing that has to happen before any issues get dealt with is this change. It's not possible.

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

We are talking about politicians, aren't we?

BTW - Daschle's former chief of staff is (guess who) Obama's COS.

------------------------------------------------
Real Democrats aren't afraid of democracy

48 + 2 = legitimacy

space's picture
Submitted by space on

How is doing nothing and maintaining the status quo the same as "change"?

The cowardice, stupidity, short-sightedness of Congressional Democrats knows no bounds. It will be a problem regardless of who is President. But the spinelessness of Congressional Dems is no more of an indictment of Obama's "hope" rhetoric than it is an indictment of Hillary's "hard work" rhetoric.

In fact, one could argue that the unwillingess of Congressional Democrats to rock the boat whatsoever is an indication that Obama's less ambitious, if less comprehensive, plan is more likely to succeed.

Submitted by lambert on

perhaps. If President Daschle manages to muster the strength to pass anything.

Succeed in the sense of doing anything other than make the present situation worse for us, and even better for the corps? Undoubtedly.

I'm not sure that the remedy for Democratic spinelessness is sharing their spinelessness.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

jeqal's picture
Submitted by jeqal on

DNC's new themsong
Jellyfish in a Glass Bowl
sung to the tune of I'm a little teapot

I am a jellyfish
I like to swim
I swim here
I swim there
I swim just about everywhere
I don't know if I'll sink or swim,
as long as my legs don't tarry.
I'll simply swim
to here
and swim to there
as fast as my legs will carry.

Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other,they'd be Republicans -- Will Rogers

space's picture
Submitted by space on

Both Obama and Hillary have plans that are significantly better than what we have now. But both, purely for pragmatic reasons, refuse to cut out the cost-bloating "insurance" middle-man. (I believe that Edwards' plan had the best back-door approach to this).

There are three approaches to moving to a single-payer system:

(A) Attempt to immediately move to a single-payer system.
Pros: Objectively the most cost-effective system. Minimizes the total number of Congressional fights. Difficult to roll back.
Cons: Politically difficult to achieve. Failure to achieve will undermine less bold plans.

(B) Edwards' and Hillary's Plans: Move to a comprehensive, but less cost-efficient system that "mandates" coverage.
Pros: Universal coverage.
Cons: Failure to kick out middle-men eliminates cost-savings. "Mandates" vulnerable to demogoguery. Moderately difficult to achieve.

(C) Obama's plan: Move to a nearly-comprehensive, but less cost-efficient system that does not "mandate" coverage.
Pros: Most politically achievable. Congressional battles least contentious. Public free to "opt-out".
Cons: Most vulnerable to underfunding. Requires most number of Congressional battles.

Health care reform is one of those areas where intelligent arguments can be made for backing option A, B, or C. Lacking advance knowledge of the outcome of the Congressional races in 2008 and the exact numbers of Democratic Senators and Congresspersons, not to mention the identities of key appointees in a Obama or Hillary administration, it is virtually to intelligently decide whether option B or C makes more sense. You are talking about making a complex game theory analysis lacking substantial information.

I completely fail to see how Congressional Democrats getting wobbly, including key Clinton allies whom she would presumably need in order to pass her plan, disproportionately discredits either the merits of Obama's plan or his likelihood of enacting it.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Senator Clinton has a long history of good working relationships with Republicans, and has the legislative record to back it up. She has eight years experience watching the inner workings of the executive branch. She knows how to get something accomplished. Will she have to compromise her plan? Will it probably look more like Obama's? Probably to both. But the money people will require changes to the program, regardless of who is President. And Clinton's plan has more to give away than Obama's which means more will survive changes intact. Everyone knows(except Obama, apparently) that you start negotiating from a position of strength.

So yes, any story about Health Care, including Congress' intent to hinder the process, is tied to the campaign(although we all know you just want it over, space, dammit, right now!). Who is nominated is going to have to deal with this BS, and it had better be someone familiar with the legislature and the executive. And that person is not Obama.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!