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Thread: Dems cave utterly on healthcare: no public option is on the table, no reform, zero.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    I agree that Obama's coming under the same pressure that Clinton did with liberals & progressives. But that's moreso due to the fact that liberals forget that the Democratic Party is made up of liberals, moderates and conservatives. That's why the Dems regained power. The GOP shifted to the far-right while the Dems stayed more to the center. If the Dems were to shift to the far-left, they would be in the same boat as the GOP.

    I'm more of a moderate, and I agree that Obama has managed to get a lot done with all that he has on his plate. I'm still an Obama supporter and I'm not jumping on the 'failbama' train. But what's pissing me off is that when it comes to massive domestic policy (stimulus & healthcare) he seems to want to compromise with the GOP. But when it comes to other forms of domestic policy (cash for clunkers & the auto industry) and foreign policy he's more decisive and could care less about the GOP.
    I think our feelings are fairly close. I'd like to see Obama be more in control of the message and be less willing to go for bipartisanship for bipartisanship sake. The GOP has decided to be the party of Limbaugh and wants Obama to fail.

    At the same time, we on the progressive side (moderates and liberals) need to be more supportive of each other and the President.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    When the President is more supportive of his own agenda, progressives will fall into line behind him. If he isn't going to do that, why support him? That seems mindless.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visitor42 View Post
    I think our feelings are fairly close. I'd like to see Obama be more in control of the message and be less willing to go for bipartisanship for bipartisanship sake. The GOP has decided to be the party of Limbaugh and wants Obama to fail.

    At the same time, we on the progressive side (moderates and liberals) need to be more supportive of each other and the President.
    Oh, I agree that people on the progessive side (moderates & liberals) need to be more supportive of each other. But moderates and liberals are always going to disagree on certain policy issues. And both moderates & liberals should support Obama, but he is going to do things that we disagree with.

    Obama said it himself during his victory speech on Election Night that he would make decisions that people wouldn't agree with. I mean, that's just part of being president.

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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    I truly believe that this health bill will be passed. Obama wants it to be bipartisan, but if he can't get it that way he will shove it through. If he says that now though how will that help? People will jump all over him and his brutal tactics. When he has tried everything and nothing works he will strong arm who he needs to.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

  5. #65
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    More on the split bill strategy:
    • AUGUST 20, 2009
    New Rx for Health Plan: Split Bill

    By JONATHAN WEISMAN and NAFTALI BENDAVID

    The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions solely with Democratic votes.

    The idea is the latest effort by Democrats to escape the morass caused by delays in Congress, as well as voter discontent crystallized in angry town-hall meetings. Polls suggest the overhaul plans are losing public support, giving Republicans less incentive to go along.

    Getty Images Greeley, Colo., citizens line up to attend a health-care town-hall meeting with Rep. Betsy Markey, (D., Colo.), on Wednesday. Rep. Markey had planned to speak to small groups, but so many people turned out that she ultimately had to hold a meeting in a college auditorium. Audience members, both for and against health-care reform, calmly questioned her on the issues.



    Democrats hope a split-the-bill plan would speed up a vote and help President Barack Obama meet his goal of getting a final measure by year's end.

    Senators on the Finance Committee are pushing ahead with talks on a bipartisan bill. Democratic leaders say they hope those talks succeed but increasingly are preparing for the possibility that they do not.

    Most legislation in the Senate requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but certain budget-related measures can pass with 51 votes through a parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation.

    In recent days, Democratic leaders have concluded they can pack more of their health overhaul plans under this procedure, congressional aides said. They might even be able to include a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, a key demand of the party's liberal wing, but that remains uncertain.

    Other parts of the Democratic plan would be put to a separate vote in the Senate, including most of the insurance regulations that have been central to Mr. Obama's health-care message.

    That bill would likely set new rules for insurers, such as requiring they accept anyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. This portion of the health-care overhaul has already drawn some Republican support and wouldn't involve new spending, leading Democratic leaders to believe they could clear the 60-vote hurdle.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the key decision-maker on whether to use the tactic, but several congressional aides said White House officials are being kept abreast of the talks.

    "We will not make a decision to pursue reconciliation until we have exhausted efforts to produce a bipartisan bill," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid. "However, patience is not unlimited, and we are determined to get something done this year by any legislative means necessary."

    Privately, those involved in the talks now say there is a 60% chance the split-bill tactic will be used. Mr. Obama is huddling with aides next week, and Senate leaders are likely to review their options when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.

    The likelihood of a strategy shift has grown after the negative response of Republicans to overtures of compromise.

    On Sunday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a public plan, strongly opposed by Republicans, wasn't the "essential element" of a comprehensive bill.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs continued to insist Wednesday that Ms. Sebelius didn't mean to signal the White House was abandoning the public plan. A senior Democratic congressional leadership aide said weekend statements were calculated to test Republican responses.

    Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona said Tuesday nonprofit insurance cooperatives, which centrist Democrats have suggested as an alternative to a public plan, were nothing but a "Trojan horse" that would lead to excessive government control of health care.

    "It's fair to say the steam is going out of these bipartisan negotiations," the Democratic aide said.

    House committees have passed bills that include a public option and new programs that would make insurance available to most Americans who lack it. If the Senate passes its own bill, the two chambers must hash out a compromise that could go to the president for signing. The public option could be the biggest point of contention between House and Senate.

    Senate Finance Committee members working on a bipartisan bill are scheduled to talk Thursday on a conference call. "The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health-care reform that can pass the Senate," Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a statement.

    But other senators noted privately that several factors are working against any deal. Many Democrats now believe it's a long shot. Mr. Baucus has set a deadline of Sept. 15 to reach agreement.

    Several softer deadlines have already come and gone without a deal. One Republican senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah, has dropped out of the talks. The remaining Republicans have suggested they would only support something that had the backing of many GOP colleagues.

    Still, the three Republicans negotiating with Sen. Baucus said Wednesday they believed a deal could be reached. "I'm hopeful," Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) said. "It's not without challenges, because of the complexity and the costs associated with it. We recognize that. And that's why it has consumed the amount of time that it has."

    Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) said the Democrats would be making a mistake by forging ahead on their own. "We need to get a bill that 75 or 80 senators can support," he said. "If the Democrats choose to shut out Republicans and moderate Democrats, their plan will fail because the American people will have no confidence in it."

    Democrats also must deal with intraparty differences. They can't agree whether a public-insurance option is essential, as liberals say, a "preferred option" -- the White House stance -- or a bad idea, as some on the Finance Committee believe.

    If a deal is not reached by mid-September, Mr. Baucus plans to present a bill that is likely to have little if any Republican support. At that point, Democrats will have to decide whether to proceed under the reconciliation process, which allows legislation to pass with a filibuster-proof 51 votes.

    The idea of using reconciliation angers even such moderate Republicans as Ms. Snowe. "At a time when we need to bolster the public's confidence in whatever we do with health care, I don't think the reconciliation process will serve the purpose of providing affordable health security for all Americans," she said.
    New Rx for Health Plan: Split Bill - WSJ.com

  6. #66
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    wtf ever, the "public option" was already a compromise from single payer, and they could ram it through on their own if they wanted anyway.

    Obama is going to sacrifice all his capital on this bipartisan bullshit when the opposition has NO interest in decent legislation to begin with.

    Fucktard.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Oh, I agree that people on the progessive side (moderates & liberals) need to be more supportive of each other. But moderates and liberals are always going to disagree on certain policy issues. And both moderates & liberals should support Obama, but he is going to do things that we disagree with.
    I think we should remember that the disagreements between moderates and liberals and between each of those groups and Obama are very small in comparison with those between us (mods and libs) and the teabaggers (and the party of no) and between Obama and the teabaggers.

    Obama said it himself during his victory speech on Election Night that he would make decisions that people wouldn't agree with. I mean, that's just part of being president.
    It is.

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    I've always thought they should split the bill into smaller pieces anyway. Over 1000 pages with all the different provisions is a lot for the public to swallow. You have to break it into smaller pieces before you shove it down their throats

    Let me make sure I have this right - single payer is like Medicare and public option is where Obama was talking about being able to buy group insurance by being in a pool with government employees?

    You guys are going to love this:

    YouTube - Hardball-Specter Town Hall guest Katy Abram not political until "Obama Socialism" appeared

  9. #69
    Elite Member Mivvi21's Avatar
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    ^^That woman is such an idiot. She doesn't have a clue about politics,and clearly didn't even think this healthcare bill through before she went on tv and humiliated herself. Laurence chewed her up and spit her out without even breaking a sweat. She was completely out of her league.

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    I love the part where she bitches about how much they pay in taxes but when asked about specifics she admits she has no idea about the family's finances and her husband handles all that stuff.

    And the best part is when he grills her about Medicare and Social Security.

  11. #71
    Elite Member Mivvi21's Avatar
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    Another thing that struck me is how she said that war is so commonplace today that she just doesn't even notice it anymore. And she never could explain how she sat back and just watched 9/11 go by and didn't give a shit,but the government trying to help it's own people get healthcare coverage gets her to finally pull her head out of her ass.

    The real reason she's against healthcare reform is because she's just another rich bitch who lives a comfy life in her safe litte bubble,and just cannot stand the idea of her tax dollars going to help people she sees as beneath her. All these Repubs tout the same bullshit "pull yourself up from your bootstraps" mentallity no matter how ridiculous it is.

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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    The Baucus Caucus: PhRMA, Insurance, Hospitals and Rahm

    By: Jane Hamsher Wednesday August 19, 2009 12:01 pm

    We started this whip count effort on June 23 because it became clear that in the course of making their deals with stakeholders, the Baucus Caucus (who were negotiating on behalf of the White House, with the participation of the White House) had very likely already dealt the public plan away. On May 11, "stakeholders" including the AMA, PhRMA, the hospitals and the device manufacturers delivered proposals to the White House promising to "voluntarily" reduce cost increases over the next 10 years. In an effort to keep them "at the table," Baucus's Chief of Staff Jon Selib and Finance Committee staffer Russell Sullivan told stakeholders at a May 20 meeting that their participation in the process of crafting a health care bill was contingent on them "holding their fire":
    Sources familiar with the lobbyist meeting described it as collegial, but they said Baucus’ aides made clear that any public opposition to the proposed financing of a reform package would be at their clients’ peril. The staffers’ message to K Street was clear: Tell your clients to let the process work and don’t torpedo it with advertisements, press releases and Web sites.
    The goal of keeping stakeholders at the table was threefold:
    1. Keep them from advertising against the White House plan
    2. Keep them from torpedoing vulnerable Democrats in 2010 so there isn't a repeat of 1994
    3. Keep their money out of GOP coffers
    You can see the fingerprints in the deals that they made: the $150 million PhRMA was spending on ads for health care reform, the $2.5 million they spent helping vulnerable freshmen, and the total fury that Boehner has unleashed on PhRMA and other stakeholders for making deals with the White House.

    People make a mistake when they think the battle for health care reform is about ideology, because it's not. It's about who controls K Street and the cash that flows from it, which could fund a 2010 GOP resurgenece -- or not.

    On June 9, a lobbyist who worked for the insurance companies, hospitals, and other stakeholders said that these groups were "considering joining their Republican allies and mounting a public relations offensive to put the brakes on President Barack Obama’s overhaul plans."

    In response, on June 11 Sullivan and Selib fired a warning shot:
    “They said, ‘Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who attended the meeting.

    “Going to the Republican meeting will say, ‘I’m interested in working with Republicans to stop health care reform,’” the lobbyist added.

    Republican leaders have been meeting with health care stakeholders for months, with those sessions occurring “more frequently than once a month,” according to a senior Senate GOP aide.
    On June 17, Roll Call ran an editorial crying foul, called "intimidation":
    Now, as the health care debate heats up, lobbyists representing stakeholders in the debate are being frozen out of meetings and — even worse — intimidated from speaking out in their clients’ interest.
    []
    Democratic leaders have health care on a fast track to passage in the House and the Senate by August. And, intimidation or no, objections are beginning to be heard to various proposals, notably a Medicare-like “public plan” and taxes on sugar to help pay for health reform.
    And that's right at the time that Kent Conrad unveiled his faux "public plan," the "co-op" plan (June 15). It was the time I started getting really nervous. There could only be one purpose served by such a plan: pull a bait-and-switch on a public plan. Which was why when we started the whip count effort on June 23, our goal was to define a public plan as not a co-op.

    In short order, a series of deals were announced by Baucus and the White House. On Monday, July 6, the deal with the hospitals, whereby they'd commit to reduce projected cost increases by $150 billion over the next decade. On Tuesday, July 7, PhRMA's Billy Tauzin and 5 CEO's went to the White House to seal their deal with Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina and Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform. On July 8, Rahm tried to float the idea of triggers -- and it went over like a lead balloon. On June 10 Obama spoke to the AMA. There was a huge push to keep these groups happy during this period, and more importantly -- keep them from aligning with the Republicans.

    And it seems to have worked. John Boehner recently wrote a scathing letter to Billy Tauzin saying that he had "betrayed" the drugmakers by failing to align himself with the Republicans. The GOP needs the money of PhRMA and other disgruntled businesses to fund its 2010 war chest. Just as it was during the bank bailout, the goal of the White House was clear: more important than saving the financial system was keeping the financial institutions happy and stop them from financing Republicans.

    Who would think that way? Whose primary objective would be to keep anyone from funding a GOP ascendancy, to sell out health care reform worth billions for a hundred fifty million in pro-reform advertising? Who would think to ask PhRMA to run ads in the districts of vulnerable freshmen, as well as Blue Dog Mike Ross, who is anything BUT vulnerable? Certainly not some policy wonk.

    But ask yourself -- would consider it a victory to use the "public plan" as little more than a political pawn with which to threaten stakeholders and force them to stay at the table, with no thought as to the emotional and moral consequences suffered by the people who had pinned their hope on having one?

    Someone who had worked as the head of the DCCC. Who remembered the 54 seat swing to the GOP in 1994 after the failure to pass health care reform. Someone whose sole goal was a "political victory," so the White House could be 14-0 not "13-1."

    Someone like Rahm Emanuel, who works through the Blue Dogs in the House to make the House bill conform to the deals he sets up in the Senate. Rahm wanted a public plan with "triggers" and had been pushing for it since January. Lo and behold, who is insisting that any public plan in the House have triggers -- Mike Ross and the Blue Dogs.

    The PhRMA deal on July 8 says that there won't be any drug price controls, and the next day, Blue Dogs Heath Shuler and Debbie Halvorson author a letter demanding -- no drug price controls:
    Instead, they are asking Waxman, Rangel and Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) to support the drug industry’s offer to spend $30 billion help cover those costs – a deal that is backed by the White House and the Senate Finance Committee.
    The American Hospitals Association deal was signed on July 8. The hosptals want higher medicare reimbursement rates for rural providers. On July 15, the Blue Dogs threaten to block health care reform -- if it doesn't increase reimbursement rates to rural providers.

    And suddenly, the hospitals are spending $12 million running positive ads about health care reform with PhRMA and the AMA.

    Mike Allen said earlier this week that "this weekend’s comments by White House officials simply acknowledged the long-obvious reality that the idea of a government-run insurance plan was partly a bargaining chip."

    If you look at the cat-and-mouse game played between the Democrats and the Republicans, support expressed by the President for a "public plan" meant "don't you dare." A commitment that the bill will be "bipartisan" (since the GOP would never agree to one) was a signal that there would be no public plan.

    The White House never cared about getting Republican votes -- it cared about keeping the Republicans from peeling off the dollars of stakeholders like PhRMA. Giving in to "Republican" demands was cover for writing shitty things into the bill that would keep the stakeholders happy. They didn't need Republican votes, they never did, and they never truly cared. As long as the money stayed out of their campaign coffers, it was all good.

    If a public plan gets into a final health care bill, it's going to be because of public pressure, because people who put Obama in office demand one. Because in the grand scheme of White House priorities, it was something that could acceptably be dealt away in pursuit of a higher political objective by the guy who was calling the plays: Rahm Emanuel.

    Campaign Silo » The Baucus Caucus: PhRMA, Insurance, Hospitals and Rahm

  13. #73
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    what a shock: a political party more interested in keeping power than passing good legislation
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    OMG you guys are being so cynical. Obama will fix it, the Dems really do have your best interests at heart and aren't corrupt.....They're the party of the people and not business. You just have to support them.

    The only difference left between the dems and the repubs is that the dems believe in evolution.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I believe in 83rd dimensional Kabuki chess!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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