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A near run thing

The Hill says the Dems had a health insurance reform deal just before Coakley lost, then Obama walked it all back in the SOTU.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

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Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

they're just waiting for the hoopla to die down before trying again:

Senate sources said that Democratic leaders would wait for political consternation caused by the Massachusetts special election to settle down before making a renewed push.

It's impossible to tell whether this article is just straight propaganda or market research or posturing-by-habit, but if we have to depend on progressive members of the Senate or House to hold out for anything that isn't an insurance company fantasy-come-true, we're doomed.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

What did Obama "walk back" in the SOTU? He said he wanted Congress to keep trying on the Health Whatever bill. Sounded like he rallied the troops; to my ears, there was nothing but encouragement for a deal, if such could be made.

Also, I have to laugh at the stupid zombie idea that the Dems can't pass the bill without 60 votes. That was never the case, as we all know. Clearly if the Dems can get more than 51 votes in the Senate, they can get the monstrosity passed, so why wouldn't they keep trying? It's just a matter of who will vote for it post-Brown.

In my opinion, this means we have to keep talking about single-payer and doing anything we can to keep the Health Whatever bill from becoming a reality. Kill the bill, because it's not dead yet.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

if you read the Hill article, Harkin says that the deal was done, and that they had submitted the latest proposal to the CBO for rating. Then, after Brown won in MA, they didn't hear back from the CBO. It seems like they were planning to use the CBO numbers to persuade the House to sign off on the proposal. I'm not sure where Obama's speech comes into that.

I agree he left the Health Whatever Bill near the end, but he did spend quite a bit of time on urging the legislators to reach a deal. Compare and contrast the amount of time he spent on women's rights, or DADT.

The Hill article is so vague, I'm not sure what the future of the bill is going to be. It does seem like they are going to try reconciliation and some kind of side deal for something, but since there are no specifics at all, it all looks like it's up in the air.

In any case, I'm not sure Obama can be blamed for Harkin's deal (if it existed) going south. Don't get me wrong, the Health Whatever fail is certainly on Obama's shoulders. I'm just saying I don't think what he did, or didn't, say in the SOTU has much to do with it.

YMMV.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

before Nov. What happens after that depends on election results, I imagine.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

That's what this little bit of propaganda sounds like. The next electione we *have* to vote Dem to prevent something bad from happening. Of course, if you look at this from a permanent campaign/fundraiser view then it benefits the GOP as well. If they can win the next election they can continue to be obstructionists.

I have an eternal youth elixir to sell anyone who believes that article.

dblhelix's picture
Submitted by dblhelix on

I have an eternal youth elixir to sell anyone who believes that article.

Yeah, they always send out Harkin w/ this stunt, probably because he was just re-elected and probably won't run again in 2014.

"Gen-U-Wine Public Option by Christmas!"
"Starter Home"

nycweboy's picture
Submitted by nycweboy on

I think they had the outline of a deal - and no guarantee, I suspect, that it could pass quite settled - and assumed that, with Coakley, they could repeat the 60 sledgehammer in the Senate. My most insider Dem party friend says they were really caught short by her loss, that it all happened quickly and a lot of assumptions about the Mass machine getting it done. (I figured as much). With Coakley out though, the deal is irrelevant; they can't find even one vote extra with the compromise they made, and restarting a negotiation with, say, Snowe is doomed without massive rethinking.

Obama's speech was a walkback, in the sense that a) they clearly moved it down the to-do list and b) he and the advisor/spokespeople ade clear they'd take some "half a loaf" reduction in order to get something if they can't have everything. That's an opening to find out what Snowe can accept. The problem there is what the House will agree to in scaled back terms. I'm guessing that there's not a lot of common ground, but if you could get something in terms of Medicaid reform, and some other insurance reforms they all like (preexisting conditions, clearly, and probably lifetime caps)... that would probably serve as a fig leaf compromise and give a sense of doing something.

The larger, longer point is that we're here because of a number of poor decisions long ago that can't be undone - decisions to craft a bill in private, cobbled together from existing bills, the decision to capitalize on the 60 vote supermajority - and limit the options to rework what's already there. I think Obama may have signaled some attempt at a bipartisan reworking with that meeting in Baltimore on Friday... but we'll have to see if Republicans bite. If they don't... I'm hard pressed to see how you get a bill both houses like and that can pass.