Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Democrats and Health Care Reform: A Tale of No Testicles.

Moments ago, Democratic Senators told reporters that the caucus yielded to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) demands and dropped the Medicare buy-in provision from the Senate health care bill, leaving only a network of nonprofits to stand in for the public health insurance option. While Senators stressed that a final decision would be made tomorrow, after the Democratic caucus meets with President Obama, most agreed that the fate of the Medicare buy-in was all but certain.

“The general consensus was that we shouldn’t make the perfect the enemy of the good and if we’re going to get all the insurance reforms accomplished and a number of other things [and] dropping the Medicare expansion was necessary, well then that’s what should be done and it appeared that would be necessary to get the 60 votes,” Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told the Hill. “At some point you have to switch from the sentiment, the emotion of the words, to the facts,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). “And then you’ve got to decide if I didn’t get what I want, in the form that I wanted it, am I willing to cashier 31 million Americans? I want a bill.”

Brilliant!  If we can't get the bill that we need, let's just force 31 million Americans to turn their hard earned cash over to the Health Insurance Industry so that we can say that we've done something.
Even Howard Dean who had already given up on the public option couldn't take this.
“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

Kinzel added that Dean essentially said that if Democratic leaders cave into Joe Lieberman right now they’ll be left with a bill that’s not worth supporting.

Remember just about a year ago, when we had just gotten a full of fire new president and total control of Congress?  Oh, the changes we were going to make.  Sure, we knew it wouldn't be easy, that we'd be fighting the Right Wing Propaganda Machine and special intrests all the way, but who'd have thought that it would be Joe Lieberman and a few Corporate Democrats that would make our brave new Democratic government tuck its tail and roll over.
Winston Churchill said it about the Anzio landing and I've been thinking it for months now, "I had hoped that we were hurling a wild cat on to the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale.".
Let's cut our donkey some slack and adopt a bloated, beached whale with his spine and testicles removed until we can come up with a better strategy than "Just cave in".
OK, say the bill passes and Senator Rockefeller gets what he wants.  No one is going to be happy with this bill, other than the Health Insurance Industry.  The Right is going use this less than half measure on health care reform to show that the Democrats can't govern effectively.  Democrats from the President down are opening themselves up to being shown as the party that can be rolled over.  This is just a lose/lose situation for the Democrats and the American people.  If they get their bill they will look incredibly lame in the process.  And they will look incredibly lame in the 2010 elections.
The party of fantasy over facts, money above the people, willful ignorance, Fox News and Sarah Palin has maneuvered the Democrats into engineering their own downfall.
I was really hoping for more than Bush Lite.
There is one effort, more of a "furlorn hope", actually.  It's what should have been done in the first place and should be done every time Congress meets until we get it right.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says he is "not naive" and expects to lose, but the Senate on Wednesday will debate for the first time in American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system, according to statements from the Vermont independent's office.

His amendment would provide health care and dental coverage for every American, save money, and improve health care results, Sanders says. Sanders his attempt to amend the current comprehensive healthcare legislation before the Senate to adopt the single-payer model.

Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Roland Burris of Illinois are co-sponsors of the amendment.

It shouldn't be that difficult to do the right thing.  Let's let Bernie keep our donkey for us until we can earn it back.

So, what if Howard Dean is right and we kill the bill?  Well, for starters, everyday we can get in the media our apologies to those 45,000 people who will die because the Republicans wouldn't let us get them health care.  We can explain how our plan is cheaper and more efficient than the current system.  We can explain that paying more than anyone else in the world for the 38th ranked health care system in the world is just stupid and that the people who oppose us are too.  Every day, beat them over the head with it and then just follow my simple one year plan

It's about time that the Democrats started acting like they have some priniples and some guts.


Update:  Sometimes it's just plain damned embarrassing to be from Oklahoma.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday withdrew his single-payer healthcare amendment after Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) initiated a procedural maneuver to shipwreck the measure.

Coburn earlier in the day forced the Senate clerk to read aloud Sanders’s 767-page amendment to the Senate healthcare bill in an effort to halt the healthcare debate.

Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” spoke on the Senate floor to announce the withdrawal of the measure.

"The day will come, although I recognize it’s not today, when the U.S. Congress will have to vote to stand up to … all those who profit every single year off of human sickness,” Sanders said. "That day will come."

1 comment:

I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)