Posts filed under 'Healthcare'

Defining Victory Down


President Obama says “every American will finally be guaranteed affordable, high quality health care coverage.”  The DSCC says “insurance companies won’t be able to drop people who get sick.”  And MoveOn calls it “a major progressive victory.”  But what did we actually get?

We got mandates that deliver a huge captive market to the insurance companies whose callousness and greed caused the healthcare crisis in the first place, and no public option to provide an honest alternative.  We got government subsidies for low-income families who will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford to use.  And worst of all, we got the biggest giveaway ever on women’s reproductive rights, and an executive order enshrining the Hyde Amendment into official government policy… issued by a president who once pledged to repeal it.

We didn’t get legalization of drug reimportation from other countries, or permission for Medicare to use its bargaining power to get better drug prices.  And we sure as hell didn’t get the public option that Obama claimed to be such a huge supporter of, but never raised a finger for – even when it was attainable through reconciliation.  I am also not entirely convinced that the anti-rescission language is all that much stronger than current law, nor that the bill provides for any effective means to enforce it.

This was not a triumphant victory for anyone but the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and the enemies of a woman’s right to choose.  It was a monstrous, multi-directional sellout, and Obama and the Democrats will reap the electoral whirlwind in November and 2012 for passing a bill that most Americans hate.

If this is victory, then why do I feel so defeated?

March 22nd, 2010 at 07:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Dear Congress: We Hate ALL Of You.

Love, 50% Of The American People:

In fact, when it comes to Congress, many voters would like to start anew. Asked if they would “replace every single member of Congress, including your own representative” if they could, 50% said “yes” while 47% said “no.”

50% is an incredibly huge number for such an extreme position, and suggests that a sizable majority of Americans would be happy to replace a sizable majority of Congress.

Most striking of all:

Those that said yes were asked if they would still be game if the Democrats kept the majority in Congress, and 72% said they would, while 22% said they wouldn’t. Asked if they would go along if replacing all lawmakers would put the Republicans in control, 73% said yes and 24% said no.

The disgust with both parties is so deep that it doesn’t even matter which party is nominally in control.  And quite frankly, the more the healthcare reform debacle unfolds, the more I agree.

March 20th, 2010 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Wankers

Okay, Now Healthcare Reform Is Complete.

Welcome to the under-the-bus club!

The House Rules Committee releases the reconciliation bill through which it will vote on the measure that passed the Senate in December. As expected, the LGBT- and HIV-specific provisions that passed by the House in November will not be included in the final bill, reports HRC Backstory.


Expanding the Early Treatment for HIV Act would allow states to cover early HIV treatment under Medicaid instead of withholding treatment and funding until patients develop full-blown AIDS. That’s very important for black and Latino gay men, who are disproportionately without insurance and often learn they are HIV positive in later stages. Rod 2.0 reported in December and February the Senate and the Administration were likely to kill those provisions.

Can’t wait until the White House and Congress start “working on ENDA” once they’re “done” with health care …

I reckon that by the time they finish making bipartisan “compromises” on ENDA, the only minority group it will protect from discrimination will be rich white men.

March 19th, 2010 at 06:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Teh Gay,Wankers


Scarecrow draws parallels between the lack of a public option in the healthcare reform bill and the lack of a public pool in the California energy market… which helped lead directly to Enron’s profiteering and CA’s rolling blackouts.  Very encouraging.  This bit in particular really pisses me off:

And we see the middlemen and their political supporters in Congress deliberately hobbling the public plan, raising its costs, and restricting access to that public option, on the theory that we shouldn’t do anything to undermine the current private insurance industry. After all, they argue, private markets are always more efficient than a government operation.

Riiiight.  Just like the insurance industry is more efficient than Medicare.  This is a completely bullshit argument which is used to obscure the real calculation, which is that healthcare “reform” must enrich rather than enfeeble the healthcare industry which donates so generously to congressmembers of both parties.

Our campaign finance system is so corrupt and fucked up that this is now the way of all reform: That it must be structured to benefit, or at least not harm, the very industries whose irresponsible greed and malfeasance created the need for reform in the first place.

Needless to say, this perverse constraint is not exactly a great foundation for effective reform legislation.  Unless you’re the healthcare industry, or the financial industry, or the energy industry, or…

March 19th, 2010 at 07:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Great Moments In Democratic Strategery

First it looked like the Democrats might use reconciliation to restore the very popular public option.  Then it looked like they were going to use it to pass a grab-bag of minor fixes.  Now it looks like they’re going to use it to make sure that the voters hate them even more:

We’ve been waiting for days to see the CBO score to see how much the final health care bill will cost, with the goals being to both reduce the deficit and to fit under the arbitrary $900 billion cap posed by Obama.

It seems they’ve been unable to do so, as Ben Smith now reports that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is on his way to the White House to discuss plans by Democrats to actually raise the tax on middle class health care plans in order to pay for the bill.


Jon Walker notes that adding a public option would save at least $25 billion in the bill.  The House paid for its bill by taxing the richest Americans.

And yet, faced will trying to contain the costs of this bill, Democrats’ first instinct is to raise taxes on the middle class even further. Brilliant!

Wow.  Just wow.  Has any political party ever displayed this kind of electoral death wish before?  And this isn’t LBJ writing off the South because it was important to do the right thing on civil rights; this is a prolonged pattern of promoting predatory corporate interests.

At this point I have to believe that Obama has decided that it’s in his best interest to have a Republican Congress, but I’m not sure what’s in it for all the Democrats who are going to be losing their seats.  Cushy healthcare lobbying gigs, I guess.

March 18th, 2010 at 11:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers


Perhaps I’m just imagining it, but the enemies of womens’ choice seem to be a lot more universally opposed to the Nelson “compromise” in the Senate bill than liberal healthcare advocates are to its lack of a public option.  Despite the fact that Nelson is a lot closer to Stupak than No Public Option is to Public Option, and the fact that reconciliation could be used to pass the public option, but not to pass Stupak.

At any rate, I certainly don’t see a whole lot of bishops or Blue Dogs saying, “Come on!  This is a historic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to roll back women’s rights!  Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!”

I really really hated having to choose between choice and the public option, but choosing between choice and forcing people to buy crappy private insurance policies they probably can’t afford to use isn’t very difficult at all.  But one that, amazingly, Obama and the Democrats are still on the brink of getting wrong.

It’s a double epic fail.  Like saying that everyone has to give up their bathroom privileges in exchange for mandatory shit sandwich lunches every day (“But look! Now everyone gets a lunch! Isn’t that awesome?”).

March 18th, 2010 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Religion,Wankers

Why I’m Fed Up

As Gregg very effectively points out, it’s funny how Obama and the Democrats couldn’t be bothered to make an effort on behalf of the public option, much less single payer, dithering endlessly and fruitlessly with Republicans and immediately capitulating when conservative wankers like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson say they’ll vote no… yet now that the healthcare reform bill has transformed into a huge windfall for the insurance industry (and antichoice fanatics), they’ve pulled out all the stops to push for its passage and aggressively (and apparently effectively) attack any Democrats who hold out.  They’re even getting creative with arcane procedural workarounds.

So, to sum up: Public option/single payer?  Not worth the slightest effort to defend.  Gutting abortion rights and forcing people to buy insurance from the private companies who made healthcare suck in the first place?  The most important bill ever, and woe unto any Democrat who votes against it.

I guess it’s all just a matter of priorities, and Obama and the Democrats clearly have the wrong ones.

March 17th, 2010 at 07:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers


That Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen could write so many words about how healthcare reform is doomed and everybody hates it because they hate Big Government without ever once mentioning the public option and how overwhelmingly popular it is.

I’m sure it’s just an oversight; so many people seem to have forgotten all about the public option lately.

March 12th, 2010 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Media,Politics,Wankers

Wankers Of The Day

Harry Reid and Dick Durbin.

After all their pro-public-option posturing, now they’re urging Senate Democrats to vote against any amendments to the woefully inadequate and public-optionless reconciliation bill, even if they’re popular and/or they personally support them.

Great plan, make Democrats vote against popular healthcare policies that they support… in an election year.  They must be worried that the base isn’t depressed enough.

(Gee, I guess Bernie didn’t get the memo…)

March 11th, 2010 at 08:41pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Wankers

Gang Of 14: Yer Doin It Wrong

Lindsey seems a little unclear on the concept:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wants to revive the bipartisan Gang of 14 — this time for health care reform, not judicial nominees.

But most of his moderate Democratic colleagues aren’t rushing to R.S.V.P.

Graham said Tuesday that a coalition of Republican and Democratic senators could rescue the Senate from an institutional disaster brought on by the use of the parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation to finish the health care bill.

“Many Republicans who were ready to pull the trigger on the nuclear option on judges are now glad they didn’t,” Graham said. “This place would have ceased to function as we know it. If they do health care through reconciliation, it will be the same consequence. So if you are a moderate Democrat out there looking for a way to deliver health care reforms and not pull the nuclear trigger, there is a model to look at.”

I wouldn’t mind seeing something like the original Gang Of 14 compromise, where the majority agreed not to eliminate the filibuster in exchange for the minority agreeing not to use it.  But this is more like the minority party agreeing not to use it in exchange for the majority party not making them want to.

What both “compromises” have in common, of course, is that the Democrats cede power to let the Republicans get their way.

March 11th, 2010 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Healthcare,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Massa:Beck::Al Capone’s Vault:Rivera?

Poor Glenn Beck.  Massa was serving up all kinds of juicy tidbits about groping and tickling and naked browbeating, but because he wouldn’t come out and say that Rahm or Obama did horrible corrupt illegal conspiracy things to force him out of office, the whole interview was a waste of time.

1 comment March 10th, 2010 at 11:36am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

That’s A Terrible Idea!

I am just not at all comfortable with the idea of making Medicare a government service…

March 10th, 2010 at 07:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics

Trying To Pull The Woolsey Over Our Eyes

Lynn Woolsey’s attempt to convince us that she’s not a total spineless weakling on the public option is quite remarkable.  She starts out with an excellent defense of the public option, then pledges to… push for a separate public option bill right after the current monstrosity passes.  Right, because that would totally happen.  The only chance to pass the public option is now, when the White House is desperate for a win on healthcare.

This is strongly reminiscent of Candidate Obama’s promise to fight to strip telecom immunity from the FISA reform bill… immediately after he voted for it.  And look how well that worked out.

Reading Woolsey’s op-ed was like watching Ron Carey in High Anxiety: “I get it… I get it… I get it… I don’t get it.”

(Side question: Has anyone in the Senate leadership yet given any kind of coherent explanation for why the public option isn’t in the reconciliation sidecar?  I know Gibbs – who is not in the Senate – said it didn’t have the votes, but otherwise it seems more like the public option simply hasn’t occurred to Harry, and all the Senators who have signed the public option are just a vague buzzing noise in his ear.)

1 comment March 9th, 2010 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Wankers

Great Moments In Sales

In their latest e-mail blast, apparently the DNC actually thinks this is a good thing:

On Fox News Sunday this morning Mitt Romney defended the individual mandate, which was in the health care plan he championed as Governor, as the “ultimate conservative plan”

See it HERE:

DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan offered the following response to Romney’s declaration:

“We know that ensuring everyone is covered and expanding the risk pool will lower costs, but it certainly speaks to the bipartisan nature of the President’s plan that Governor Romney calls the idea of an individual mandate the “ultimate conservative plan.”

Romney Defends Individual Mandate as “Conservative.” “What we did, I think, is the ultimate conservative plan. We said people have to take responsibility for getting insurance, if they can afford it, or paying their own way. No more free-riders.” [FOX News, 3/7/10, See it HERE:]

DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan offered the following response to Romney’s declaration:

“We know that ensuring everyone is covered and expanding the risk pool will lower costs, but it certainly speaks to the bipartisan nature of the President’s plan that Governor Romney calls the idea of an individual mandate the “ultimate conservative plan.”

Oh yeah, I am soooo stoked to run out and support the Senate’s healthcare plan now that I know that Mitt Romney has endorsed the individual mandate as “the ultimate conservative plan” – I’m gonna get on the phone to my congressman right away!

2 comments March 7th, 2010 at 03:27pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

So Now He’s In A Hurry?

Funny how Obama’s patience was nearly infinite when the public option was in the Senate healthcare bill with Republicans and conservadems trying to take it out, but now that the public option is out with liberals and moderates trying to put it back in, he can’t get it passed soon enough.

If it weren’t for his solemn promise to “revisit” the public option at some unspecified future time (just like his promise to “revisit” NAFTA!), I might think that he really really doesn’t want it.

March 5th, 2010 at 07:02am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Wankers Of The Day

Shorter Tom Harkin and Debbie Wasserman Schultz: We really like the public option, but it is necessary to destroy healthcare reform in order to save it.  Or something.

Democratic support for the public option looks more and more phony and insincere every day.  Like Obama, they want it dead, but they know it’s popular and don’t want to take the blame for killing it, so they play Reluctant Pragmatist Acceding To Reality.  Pathetic.

March 2nd, 2010 at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Wankers

Ignoring The Obvious

Al Gore and Michael Hiltzik speak the unspeakable truths about global warming and the healthcare industry industry.

But since they’re both advocating change that would not be profitable, Congress – especially the Senate – will continue to hide their heads in the sand until it’s too late.  Assuming it isn’t already.

March 1st, 2010 at 07:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Environment,Gore,Healthcare,Politics

This Is What Happens

When you don’t deliver on your campaign promises.  Or actively work to sabotage them.

A year after supporting Barack Obama for president by an overwhelming 2-to-1 ratio, young adults are cooling quickly toward his Democrats amid dissatisfaction over the lack of change in Washington and an escalating war in Afghanistan.

A study by the Pew Research Center, being released Wednesday, highlights the eroding support from 18- to 29-year- olds whose strong turnout in November 2008 was read by some demographers as the start of a new Democratic movement.

The findings are significant because they offer further proof that the diverse coalition of voters Obama cobbled together in 2008 — including high numbers of first-timers, young minorities and youths — are not Democratic Party voters who can necessarily be counted on.

While young adults remain decidedly more liberal, the survey found the Democratic advantage among 18- to 29-year-olds has substantially narrowed, from a record 62 percent identifying as Democrat vs. 30 percent for the Republicans in 2008, down to 54 percent vs. 40 percent last December. It was the largest percentage point jump in those who identified or leaned Republican among all the voting age groups.

Young adults’ voting enthusiasm also crumbled.

During the presidential election, turnout among 18- to 29-year-olds was the highest in years, comprising roughly 20 percent of the voters in many states including Virginia and New Jersey, due in part to high participation from young blacks and Hispanics.

That percentage, however, dropped by half for the governors’ races in those states last November, where Republicans celebrated wins as black groups pushed Obama to do more to soften the economic blow from mortgage foreclosures and Latinos saw little progress on immigration reform. Young adults also were the least likely of any age group to identify themselves as regular voters.

They could have been “the start of a new Democratic movement”, but Obama chose to turn his back on them the second his election was secure.  Apparently he either thinks he can win without them, that he can turn on the charm and the uplifting hopey talk when he needs it, or that they’ll just have to vote for him because the alternative is so much worse.  Personally, I wouldn’t bet my presidency on any of those outcomes.  Maybe he thinks grateful PhRMA and Wall Street dollars will be enough to buy the 2012 election, but I kinda doubt that too.

And it won’t be just the youth vote Obama will be losing; he’s going to lose a big chunk of the Democratic base too.  Contempt and betrayal are not really great drivers for turnout.

February 26th, 2010 at 07:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Polls

Obama Vs. Progressives

Despite Obama’s desperate desire to see the public option finally curl up and die, progressive congressmembers are still trying to keep the dream alive at today’s healthcare summit.  In addition to the use-reconciliation-to-pass-PO letter that’s circulating around the Senate, we also have:

  • Bernie Sanders saying the Senate does have the 50 votes needed to pass the PO through reconciliation, and that he’s baffled why Obama keeps trying to bury it.
  • Nancy Pelosi reminding Obama that he himself said that the PO would “keep the insurance companies honest and… increase competition” and challenging him to produce a better alternative.  She also pointed out that the public option saves money, which is a very important point that is too often forgotten.
  • The Congressional Progressive Caucus objected to their exclusion from the summit, pointed out that the PO is mad popular, and suggested that perhaps the savings from the PO which everybody likes could be used to offset the excise tax which everybody hates.

At this point, I fear the fix is in, that Obama has made up his mind that he would rather piss off the voters than piss off the healthcare industry, but I’m glad to see that the progressives aren’t letting him off the hook.  This should also help them when they all have to run against Obama in the midterms.

February 25th, 2010 at 08:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics

Which Would You Rather Have?

We can haz healthcare!

A medal lasts four years, but universal healthcare is forever.

February 24th, 2010 at 11:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Healthcare,Sports

It Certainly Does Explain A Lot…

No wonder Gibbs is trying to throw cold water on passing the public option through reconciliation.  Obama really is playing for the other team. Jebus, what a dishonest scumbag.

I’m still hopeful that Congress will pass the public option simply to save their own skins in November, but it’s going to be a lot harder with the president actively working against them.  I assume even Obama wouldn’t be stupid enough to actually veto the public option if it somehow passed, but if he did I’m sure his explanation would be fascinating.

1 comment February 24th, 2010 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

This Just In…

Earth to Obama and Democrats: How many times do we have to tell you that the reason everyone hates the Senate healthcare bill is because it doesn’t have a public option?

I know this is hard and painful for you to hear, but you would actually improve your re-election chances by moving left, not right.  But perhaps you’re less worried about staying in office than you are about your employment after office.

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

February 22nd, 2010 at 07:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Polls,Wankers

Breakthrough, Or The Great Punkin’?


On the one hand, Harry Reid has announced his… non-opposition to passing the public option via reconciliation:

With more and more Senators signing on to the letter urging Reid to hold an up or down vote on the public option under reconciliation rules, Reid spokesman Rodell Mollineau sends over a statement signaling Reid’s qualified support for the move:

Senator Reid has always and continues to support the public option as a way to drive down costs and create competition. That is why he included the measure in his original health care proposal.

If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and secure enough votes.

Woohoo.  But here’s what scares me:

To be sure, public option supporters still face a steep climb. It’s far from decided whether reconciliation will ultimately be used to pass reform. What’s more, senior Senate aides still think there’s a procedural obstacle in their path: They insist that in order for them to pass a fix to their bill via reconciliation, the House must pass it first — something House leaders oppose.

While I do believe that most of the Senators who have signed the PO letter are sincere, I can’t help but think that Reid (and probably Obama) are trying to make the reconciliation sidecar’s chances look as strong as possible to con the House into voting on the current Senate bill without it.  I’m glad the House leadership still isn’t buying it, but the Senate’s continued insistence that the House must pass the crappy bill first looks like a big ol’ red flag to me.

February 20th, 2010 at 11:37am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics

Obama Will Lead If Someone Else Leads First

I suppose it’s a good thing that Obama will push for the public option that he promised and repeatedly claimed he wanted… if Harry Reid will:

Maddow: “The private insurance company writ large hasn’t done a great job. That’s why we want a public option to compete with them. These 18 Democratic senators want to bring that back into the fold. If that happened, would the administration fight for it?”

Sebelius: “Well, I think if it’s…Certainly. If it’s part of the decision of the Senate leadership to move forward, absolutely.”

Especially since both Chuck Schumer and most of Nevada are in favor of it (and against healthcare reform without it), which puts extra pressure on Harry to support it.

But how pitiful is it that Obama is only willing to fight for the public option if one of the weakest Majority Leaders ever fights for it first?  Isn’t the President supposed to be a leader, not a follower?  He’s been in the White House for over a year now, and I’m having a hard time thinking of a time where he’s demonstrated anything remotely resembling leadership or courage.

February 19th, 2010 at 07:14am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics

Fingers Crossed

Possible hopeful signs?  Is it possible that congressional Democrats are finally starting to look at self-preservation despite Obama’s insistence that they all commit electoral suicide by backing the Senate bill as is?  For one thing, it looks like they’ve finally realized that the excise tax is hideously unpopular, and for another, it looks like the House letter asking for the Senate to use reconciliation to restore the popular public option has finally crossed over to the Senate.  Only 8 Senate signatures so far, but hopefully more are coming.

Thanks for nothing, Barack.

February 17th, 2010 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics

So Much For “Dreams Of My FDR”

I partially agree with this…

President Barack Obama’s dream of being a historically transformational figure like Franklin D. Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan may be slipping from his grasp.


Obama’s quest to usher in a new liberal era — one with major new policies and a growing Democratic voter majority punctuating a shift away from the conservative era that Reagan ushered in — is in trouble and may be disintegrating.

That is to say, I agree with the disintegrating/slipping from his grasp part, but not with the dream/quest part.  I just do not see any evidence that this kind of transformation was ever Obama’s goal.  Sure, during the campaign he said it was his goal because that was what everyone wanted to hear, but his lukewarm words and actions since then have been those of a man determined to work within the status quo.

If transformation really is Obama’s dream, then he’s been remarkably half-assed about fighting for it.

February 13th, 2010 at 04:56pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Healthcare,Obama,Politics


Obama can’t be bothered to involve himself in the healthcare reform process, but he wants to be all hands-on with THIS???

Glad to see that he’s got his priorities and signature issues straight and everything…

February 13th, 2010 at 02:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Terrorism,Wankers

Remind Me Who The Kill-Grandma Party Is Again?

I mean, after months and months of “death panels” and NOOOO THEY BE TAKIN YOUR MEDICARES, it’s pretty funny that the Republicans are already trying to kill Medicare again so soon.

Not that I’m surprised, of course.   The whole time they’re ranting about how those evil Democrats want to kill Granny, they’re easing her wheelchair over to the top of the stairs.

February 9th, 2010 at 11:40am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Healthcare,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


Obama Fail:

Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.

Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.


“There was a lot of frustration in there,” said a Democratic senator who declined to be identified.

“People were hot,” another Democratic senator said.

Democratic senators are frustrated that the White House hasn’t done more to win over the public on health care reform and other aspects of its ambitious agenda — and angry that, in the wake of Scott Brown’s win in the Massachusetts Senate race, the White House hasn’t done more to chart a course for getting a health care bill to the president’s desk.

In his public session with the senators Wednesday, Obama urged them to “finish the job” on health care but did not lay out a path for doing so. That uncertainty appeared to trigger Franken’s anger, and the sources in the room said he laid out his concerns much more directly than any senator did in the earlier public session.

Maybe I’m just picky and demanding, but Obama’s “leadership” style sounds an awful lot like “make a vague hand gesture and then wander off.”

This doesn’t exactly put my mind at ease either.

6 comments February 5th, 2010 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Harry Wants Nancy To Kick The Football


He has no idea how the Senate can pass a reconciliation sidecar fix before the House passes their first healthcare bill – no really – so the House will just have to pass it and hope for the best:

As for reconciliation, the Senate won’t go first.

“We can’t go first,” Reid said . “I don’t know how procedurally we can start reconciliation.”

But Reid acknowledged “that there is consideration of the House passing the reconciliation bill first, followed by the Senate.”  At that point, the House would pass the Senate health bill.

Sure, it’s not like there’s any kind of uncertainty about whether or not the Senate still has 51 votes for the public option, after all.

Fortunately, Nancy wasn’t born yesterday, and appears to be sick of being told what to vote for:

On the call, Pelosi was asked by a reporter whether the Senate would have to go first. “Yes,” she replied, twice, saying her members had repeatedly said they wouldn’t pass the Senate bill if it weren’t fixed before they were asked to vote on it.

Senate aides have privately expressed concern about this course of action being workable. “This is a whole bill that would amend another bill that hasn’t become law,” a senior Dem Senate aide told me yesterday. “How do we do reconciliation before the House passes the Senate bill?”

Some have dismissed the idea that this is a procedural obstacle, and on the call, Pelosi reiterated that she didn’t think it was a problem, saying it’s “not an obstacle,” though she didn’t elaborate. And she repeatedly stressed that the bill would get done.

I’m really really glad that Nancy is not falling for this, as I don’t think there’s anyone who believes that the reconciliation vote won’t encounter some kind of snag if the Senate bill gets passed without it.  I’d be even more glad if she were explicitly demanding that the reconciliation sidecar include the public option and remove the excise tax.

February 3rd, 2010 at 07:12am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Wankers

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