Why are Democrats willing to walk the plank over health care?

The most amazing thing about the health care reform comedy in Washington D.C. is the utter amazement that congressional Democrats are willing to self-destruct in 2010 by forcing through the biggest bill in two generations via a party-line vote amid public revulsion for the legislation.

And the way they are doing it — through political bribes — underscores everything the American public hate about politicians. The Democrats are justifying the most crass games of politics to pass this mess onto the American public. Providing Nebraska a waiver on Medicaid fees is just the price we pay to get Sen. Ben Nelson on board. How do residents of the other states feel about this? If this bill is so great, why does it retain the anti-trust exemptions for health insurance agencies? If this bill is so great, why is there no provision to import cheaper drugs. If this bill is so great, why are heath insurance stocks at an all-time high?

The bill is a joke. Democrats are deluding themselves in an elaborate lemmings political death march. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi compares ObamaCare to a Christmas gift for the American people. Has she and other Democrats seen the NBC/WSJ poll putting support for ObamaCare at 32 percent? I imagine most of us have a good idea where Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats can stick their gift to the American people.

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14 Responses to Why are Democrats willing to walk the plank over health care?

  1. Al says:

    Yawn. Another day, another \this is great news for Republicans!/Woe are the democrats!\ burp from One-Track Doug.

  2. Nancy says:

    Some people choose to ignore the fact of 32% approval rating isn’t exactly a big support for the bill. Guess some people think politicians ignoring the voice of the people is a big yawn. I really don’t know about some people.

  3. Al says:

    Then let’s talk numbers, Nancy, and consider who’s really out of touch. All throughout this long, drawn-out process, public opinion has been consistently high and in favor of health insurance reform; the GOP has consistently stonewalled any actual legislation. Does that strike you as fair service to constituents?

    Current polls show that among democrats, 60+ percent favor the current legislation. So what Doug thinks is walking the plank seems more like democratic legislators serving their constituents. The public option has held majority support among reform advocates for months, and the medicare buy-in still has majority support even from Republican constituencies! (From Quinnipiac poll Dec 22) Yet the Republicans in the Senate continue to insist that they are doing the peoples’ business by FILIBUSTERING DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS in the face of insurance reform.

    Only in a climate where Republicans have normalized the filibuster is passing legislation by a slim 2/3 majority [!] seen as a failure of the democratic process.

  4. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Sure, the Democrats might get crucified by the voters in the 2010 and 2012 elections for the bill. As far as I can tell so far, it’s a Dr. Frankenstein creation that’s far from the initially envisioned ideal.

    What will be lost in the fusilade of Republican and End-of-the-World Party ads is that the Democrats at least had the guts to try to fix the utterly broken health care system we have. It seems they’ve done a less-than-passable job of enacting true reforms. No thanks to the cynical, self-absorbed GOP Congress and the slobbering “death panel” lunatics.

  5. Richard says:

    Al, let’s really look at the numbers. what you quote from the Quinnipiac University poll [taken Dec 15 - 20, but reported on the 22nd] indicates that 53% oppose plans to make-over health care. A majority may have favored a public option, but as that was dropped from the senate version, it’s a mute point. And if this was such a good idea, why was it conducted behind closed doors, and filled with perks for the fence-sitting Dems who eventually caved? All when Obama promised the debate would be televised on CSPAN.

  6. laytonian says:

    Nancy, your “32% approval” comes from the survey that also told us that progressives believe the bill doesn’t go far enough.

    Do you realize how many people disapprove of how the Democrats kowtowed to the right-wing, just to get a bill through for the first time in 100 years?

    What kind of health care do you have, Nancy?
    If you have Medicare, VA, Medicaid, FEHBP (civil service)…..you have choice, you have government-sponsored health care….and what? You don’t believe anyone else deserves it?

    If you don’t have one of those, please. Refuse Medicare or other benefits. It’s only right if you do, since you oppose such things.

  7. laytonian says:

    AL, what “closed doors” are you talking about?

    The ones that Bennett and Hatch walked out from, like other Republicans, who refused to participate because all they care about is their own backside?

    How come Bennett and Hatch are soaking up government-sponsored healthcare for themselves, which is more broadly-based than anything else that was considered (and that they voted down)?

    Shouldn’t they drop out of government-sponsored health care?

  8. Al says:

    Richard, you misstate the 53% figure in two ways: One, it doesn’t represent opposition to health care reform — only to specifics in the current legislation. Two, it includes some liberals and democrats who wanted *more* benefits than the current legislation (as laytonian pointed out). But my core point to Doug is that the majority of self-identified constituents of the governing party (elected to represent the nation) do in fact support the legislation; somehow doug wants us all to believe that it represents historic failure, but I don’t think that’s clear at all. To be sure, there are compromises in the legislation that I think are disgraceful; I think the Republicans should be ashamed of their conduct throughout; and I think the obsequious deference on the part of media and opportunistic Republicans to phony sixty-vote “bipartisanship” is just one more nail in the coffin. This legislation? I hope it gets improved via future work. But a massive failure? Only because the Republicans keep insisting that it has to be.

    laytonian, did you mean to direct that at Richard (who was responding to me)?

  9. Gregory Renfroe says:

    Please tell me who is going to to be hurt by a universal health care system that cuts out the profits of the insurance companies besides the insurance companies and all of their employees. Please, take my current premiums that I pay and apply them to a government run program that is service oriented instead of being focused on profit and witholding payment and services.
    The purpose of government is to serve and protect the general populace. I think that it’s about time they take the reins of responsibility on this massive endeavor and steer us toward what is good for the people instead of continuing to enrich lawyers, lobbyists and insurance companies.

  10. rick stewart says:

    This bill could have been a lot better than it is, but for obstructionist republicans who put politics ahead of the well-being of our country. I’ll start believing hatch about health care when he first gives up his own government-sponsored health benefits.

  11. Smith says:

    It’s not about walking a plank. The Democrats know that once they get this in place they will virtually control all medical care and most important, the MONEY which is all they really want. To take money out of our pockets and distribute it to their cronies.

    They are also smart enough to know that it won’t be repealed because there is too much stake in making sure it survives so the power remains with them.

    Democrats the party of thievery, bribery, and enslavement.

  12. Danno says:

    You wouldn’t see any corporation launching a new product or program without doing extensive testing and piloting prior to a national rollout. Even a change in brand name is typically tested before it’s rolled out. Why should we not expect the same for a program where so much more is at stake? What other bill has represented a government takeover of almost one sixth of the economy?

    Everyone remembers when adequate testing hasn’t been done with some new product ideas. Remember the “New” Coke? That was an example of a failure caused by inadequate testing. Are we being forced to drink the “New” Coke, whether we like it or not, under the terms of this bill? Is that the difference between representative democracy and fascism?

  13. Al says:

    “Are we being forced to drink the “New” Coke, whether we like it or not, under the terms of this bill? Is that the difference between representative democracy and fascism?”

    What on earth are you talking about?

  14. Readam first says:

    Doug – Talk to the BIshop. Tell him about your feelings. I’m not sure he intended to shunt the birth of Christ.

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