There has been some disturbing developments on the healthcare battle. First we are seeing the normal GOP ploy when it comes to “bipartisanship” in that their definition of the word means they get everything they want and the Democrats pass it. Case in point – Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo):
“I also need commitments from Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the Administration, that the bipartisan agreements reached in the Finance Committee will survive in a final bill that goes to the President.”
The whole notion of “elections have consequences” just seems to fly over the heads of the GOP. Joe Sudbay has more on this.
Next we see a new battle brewing with Senate Democrats, and this is one battle I can get behind:
In an apparent warning to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), some liberal Democrats have suggested a secret-ballot vote every two years on whether or not to strip committee chairmen of their gavels.
Baucus, who is more conservative than most of the Democratic Conference, has frustrated many of his liberal colleagues by negotiating for weeks with Republicans over healthcare reform without producing a bill or even much detail about the policies he is considering.
“Every two years the caucus could have a secret ballot on whether a chairman should continue, yes or no,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “If the ‘no’s win, [the chairman’s] out.
The Blue Dogs are a problem, but an even bigger obstacle is getting past Max Baucus, who receives a load of money from the insurance industry.
We got to get this thing right. We can’t settle for some water downed bill being signed into law. The repercussions of that are severe. For one we wouldn’t see it improved upon for decades. The new argument would be “we just passed health care reform, lets give it time”. That is the best case scenario.
The most likely outcome of a bad bill will be it being revoked. Imaging a bill so messed up that lower income families are now paying more. They no longer receive the charitable help by some organizations or the financial assistance that some corporations offer. Then the GOP can say “see health care reform doesn’t work” and we end up scrapping it all. This could actually be a motive behind all the mess right now – make it the reform so hideous that it is bound to fail.
We need to totally drop the talk of bipartisanship and move forward. Three quarters of this country wants a public option and a good health plan. That is a sweeping majority so the tide is right. Not only would shutting the Republicans out insure we get a quality bill, it would also show the American people that the GOP doesn’t represent their views.
I would much rather have no bill than the crap the Republicans want. If we do end up with some Republican crap bill then I will no longer consider myself a Democrat, as I don’t want to be associated with such a cowardly party who was given a gift horse and ended up shooting it. That’s unacceptable given the Democrats total control over our government. Its also indicative of very weak leadership in the Democratic ranks.