Thursday, December 17, 2009

One more Health Care post and then I'm done. Maybe.

Nate Silver over at argues why this health care bill needs to be supported even if it's not ideal. Way too much information to quote there, so hop on over and read it yourself.

I'm not a huge fan of the bill as it stands right now. I thought the whole point was to control costs, and I just don't see it doing that. Instead, we are just going to subsidize those costs, which the deficit hawks will have a field day with. A mandate without a public option that forces prices down is a train wreck. It's a big win for health insurance companies though, millions of new customers forced to purchase their insurance for the small exchange of not denying people based on pre-existing conditions (although that's not a huge concern anymore being that they will still be able to put an annual cap on their coverage).

With that said, I do think we have have little option but to support the bill. It's really a no win situation at this point, Democrats can either pass a crappy bill and get blamed for the crappy, or they can sink the bill and get blamed for the survival of the status quo. Republicans are probably laughing their asses off at us right now, have you noticed how they kind of faded into the background when the liberal circular firing squad began? After screaming and tea bagging for months... silence. It's the smartest thing they've done in years. They are perfectly content to let the Democrats fall on their swords.

Some have suggested reconciliation or just starting over. I don't think there's a starting over point now. Obama, unique enough in that he did have a great level of support in the beginning, has wasted his political capital. Unpopular presidents don't pass huge reforms. It just doesn't happen. So we aren't going to get another opportunity to pass any sort of health care reform in the next decade or longer if it doesn't happen now. And I'm not sure I trust reconciliation in light of some of the Democratic leadership's decisions. Allowing annual caps came from Senator Reid. The deal that protects the pharmaceutical companies came from the White House. And there was really no way around all the obstructionism coming up with the "moderates". Congress isn't going to be any less in the pockets of the insurance companies the next time around.

I never had any illusions that the perfect plan would be passed. I just feel like we could have taken it a little bit further. And I throw that failure completely on Obama, and still can't figure out what the White House was thinking. It's almost painful to watch them stand by while King Joe Lieberman tanks the last, tiny compromise liberals asked for, but they can intervene instantly and press Senators to vote down the amendment that would have violated their little sweetheart deal with the Pharmaceutical industry. People are going to remember this in 2010 and 2012.

I'd love to tell the Democrats to fuck off and sit out some elections. But sadly, we have no credible opposition party, as the Republican party, lest some forget, is insane right now. But I'm a strategic voter, I'll look at the larger picture like that. Many other voters will not. And that the White House couldn't see that coming is a massive failure on their part.

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