This Just In: Democrats Want To Be Re-Elected

1 comment October 26th, 2009at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Apparently they’ve realized that they’re going to be judged on healthcare in the 2010 elections, and want to actually have something to show for their efforts before then:

Democrats are pushing Senate leaders and the White House to speed up key benefits in the health reform bill to 2010, eager to give the party something to show taxpayers for their $900 billion investment in an election year.

The most significant changes to the health care system wouldn’t kick in until 2013 – two election cycles away. With Republicans expected to make next year a referendum on health care reform, Democrats are quietly lobbying to push up the effective dates on popular programs, so they’ll have something to run on in the congressional midterms.

Democrats are anxious to mix the good with the bad since some of the pain would be phased in early, including more than $100 billion in industry fees that critics say could be passed on to consumers.

“We want to be able, within the cost framework and the implementation framework, to have as much start as early as possible, even though we know all of it can’t,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a Finance Committee member who is working with other senators on the effort. “And the White House wants to have as much as possible to start.”

Under the Democratic wish-list, senior citizens would receive discounts on brand-name drugs next year. Small businesses that provide insurance would see tax credits. And a $5 billion high-risk pool would cover people with preexisting conditions.

Democratic strategists expect the 2010 election to present a stark contrast between the parties, particularly if the health care bill receives minimal Republicans support. The front-load strategy could help blunt GOP attacks on the bill as a toxic mix of higher taxes, rising premiums and cuts to Medicare.

The strategy also could ease some of the disappointment among voters who expect more immediate reforms than the bill can deliver, including on the much-debated public insurance option. Democrats in both the House and Senate are closing in on finding the votes to include some form of a public option in the bill, but a government-run insurance plan would likely be one of the last pieces to kick in fully, if it passes.

This is in contrast to Obama, who continues to offer unconvincingly tepid lip-service support for the public option, and then gets annoyed when anyone suggests that he might actually be working against it.

Better Democratic presidents, please.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics

1 Comment

  • 1. exvi  |  October 26th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    “The most significant changes to the health care system wouldn’t kick in until 2013”

    They’re already giving the expectation of failure :D


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