Will the Blue Dogs kill Heath Care reform or can Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and the President prevail?
Here is a blog entry by Christopher Hayes from July 28 titled “What the Hell Is Max Baucus thinking!?!”
The following comes from a reader and frequent correspondent. This is not someone with particularly progressive politics. In fact, he only very recently has come to identify as a Democrat. No radical lefty, he.
I don’t get the democrats on this one. Even if Charles Grassley and Olympia Snowe vote for this deal, the Republicans will still run against it as the Obama/Pelosi plan. Why not stick to your guns, treat the problem from a parliamentary perspective, and put through a plan that you actually think is optimal. The current attempt won’t protect their downside at all and may limit the upside. Very frustrating.
More than frustrating. Enraging.
That’s it, the entire entry. A lot of us are asking the same question.
Then there is my health care guy, Howard Dean.
Howard Dean guest hosted Countdown with Keith Olbermann at an opportune time last night, following reports that the Senate Finance Committee–helmed by Montana Democrat Max Baucus–is preparing to exclude a public option from its long-awaited healthcare bill.
“What if the Senate Finance Committee has already done the Republicans’ dirty work for them?” Dean asked rhetorically at the beginning of show.
Dean has just authored a book on healthcare reform–detailing why America needs a public option–and knows quite a bit about the subject from his years as a doctor and governor of Vermont. He called Baucus’s reported bill the “so-called compromise.”
Dean asked Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, why Baucus would “give away something something so fundamental to healthcare reform as a public option?”
“We‘ve got to have a public option in the plan that we send to the president‘s desk,” Van Hollen responded. “We‘re all still hoping that the Senate Finance Committee bill will have a public option.”
Dean noted that 72 percent of Americans, according to a New York Times poll, support a public option. “Is what Americans want already dead in the Senate?” Dean asked.
“No,” Van Hollen answered. “I certainly hope not. It‘s certainly not dead with respect to the bill that we‘ll send to the president‘s desk.” But it isn’t clear what kind of leverage House Democrats have with the likes of Baucus, nor do we know yet whether they’ll be able to keep their own Blue Dog conservatives in line.
“Voters were promised change they can believe in,” Dean told Van Hollen. “Are you concerned about what may happen to our party in 2010 or 2012 if we don‘t get any change at all?”
I’m not quite sure why the Blue Dogs and the Republicans are so afraid of the public option. Health care for veterans which works pretty well is public as is Medicare. So back to Chris Hayes and his post from today.
This has got me thinking: Republicans opposed Medicare when it was created. They hate socialized medicine, government-run health care and the public option now. So why don’t they put their money with their mouths are and propose scrapping Medicare? Any bills like this been introduced? If not, why not? I seriously think every single conservative and Republican caught railing against government run healthcare needs to be asked if they support disbanding Medicare.