Monday, February 22, 2010

So Now There's a Plan!

Ten months into the debate, the White House releases their plan for health care reform:
President Obama took the Senate health care bill and stripped special deals and added his preferred compromise for taxing high-end insurance plans, detailing for the first time his preferred approach for finishing the long battle for reform.

The White House just released the Obama plan in advance of Thursday's health care summit, framing it as an improvement to the Senate bill and an ultimate compromise.

The administration is signaling they are prepared to push the plan through reconciliation, talking about the need for an "up or down" vote, and wants the American people to see the negotiations play out on television among Democrats and Republicans.

Obama aides described what they are posting today at as the president's "take" on bridging the differences between the House and Senate bills passed last year. It's largely been crafted based on negotiations Democratic leaders had with Obama in the Cabinet room before the Jan. 19 election in Massachusetts.
I gotta say, I'm still not entirely sure what is accomplished by releasing this to the public. It seems like it will only piss people off (no public option and an increase in the mandate penalty... succeeded!), which is worth it so that you tell the Republicans that you posted the bill online before the summit?

The summit later this week is another move that I just don't understand. The Sunday shows kept replaying a clip of Obama reiterating that this summit was not a political stunt. It better be a fucking political stunt! If it's not then that means you're reinventing the wheel 10 months in, this time with more Republican advice!

If this were 10 months ago, then great! But showing that the Republicans don't have any ideas on health care isn't going to change anything. They're not in power, and I continue to wonder why the Obama administration doesn't understand that Obama will be blamed/praised for whatever is created here. Saying that we have good ideas but the the other side won't play nice is about as weak sauce as reelection arguments get, and if they haven't figured that out yet then the upcoming slaughter in November might change their minds.

It also seems odd to hold the summit to jump start the debate when lots of real activism is currently taking place in support of the public option, something ditched in Obama's proposal. You'd think you'd want the your base's organizing efforts backing up your plan rather than organizing parallel to it, but grassroots organizing is probably too partisan or something. And a reminder:
A batch of state polls by the non-partisan Research 2000 shows that in multiple states represented by key Dem Senators who will have to decide whether to support reconciliation, the public option polls far better than the Senate bill does, often by lopsided margins.

Here’s a rundown, sent over by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which commissioned the polls:

* In Nevada, only 34% support the Senate bill, while 56% support the public option.

* In Illinois, only 37% support the Senate bill, while 68% support the public option.

* In Washington State, only 38% support the Senate bill, while 65% support the public option.

* In Missouri, only 33% support the Senate bill, while 57% support the public option.

* In Virginia, only 36% support the Senate bill, while 61% support the public option.

* In Iowa, only 35% support the Senate bill, while 62% support the public option.

*In Minnesota, only 35% support the Senate bill, while 62% support the public option.

* In Colorado, only 32% support the Senate bill, while 58% support the public option.
Keep calling your Senators and help save them from themselves...

1 comment:

  1. Well, this needed to happen. Obama made that promise about having this stuff shown on TV and he has been called out on it. No one likes a liar even when it is understandable why the health care debate has not been open to the public.

    I for one am excited to see this summit. And, I would hope this isn't a republican bashing like it was the last time. I am hopeful that the Republicans will come to the table with some actually ideas since they have had time to prepare and if they don't it really will be a trap for them politically. I think like most Americans I just want this petty back & forth to stop and for something to be accomplished. I mean it's February again, all our premiums have gone up by a substantial amount. We are all feeling it more then ever that this cost inflation is not sustainable.