Why Edwards Won't Endorse Obama

By Big Tent Democrat

Paul Krugman puts his finger on it:

. . . [M]any health care experts like Mr. Gruber strongly support mandates. . . . [T]here is, indeed, no guarantee that Mrs. Clinton would, if elected, be able to pass anything like her current health care plan.

But while it’s easy to see how the Clinton plan could end up being eviscerated, it’s hard to see how the hole in the Obama plan can be repaired. Why? Because Mr. Obama’s campaigning on the health care issue has sabotaged his own prospects.

. . . If Mr. Obama gets to the White House and tries to achieve universal coverage, he’ll find that it can’t be done without mandates — but if he tries to institute mandates, the enemies of reform will use his own words against him. . . .

John Edwards has expressed the same view of this as Krugman did. It seems impossible for me to see Edwards endorsing Obama's approach to health care, given his expressed views.

< Just Win, Baby | Hillary Hate In The Blogs: Krugman Notices >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    hate talk (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by tek on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:19:07 PM EST
    I have followed all the campaigning and it's still a mystery to me where the notion comes from that Hillary is playing dirty tricks and attacking Obama. The Clintons' benign remarks have been twisted into negative attacks so vociferously, and with no media giants to debunk them, that they are now routinely sited as if they really happened.

    This is the same phenomenon I witnessed in 2000 with Dubya. It's demagoguery and I cannot support it. The problem with that kind of manipulation and propaganda is that we don't know what it's covering up, but because Obama has never stepped forward and said, wait a minute, that's just a lie and I reject it, we know there's something he's hiding.

    I guess I feel comfortable with Hillary because I know she's competent and will work hard for a democratic America. I know all the libel and slander against the Clintons. I also know, they are the most investigated people in the history of our country and no evidence of any criminal activity ever surfaced against Hillary. Bill did commit a moral offense, good thing the other presidents weren't investigated on moral grounds.

    Obama scares me, so I'm going with HIll.

    scares you? (none / 0) (#50)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:01:24 PM EST
    Is that a reference to Maria Shriver's speech yesterday? She said she has the words of Eleanor Roosevelt above her computer at home saying "Do one thing every day that scares you".

    that doesn't include doing something that (none / 0) (#72)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:32:49 PM EST
    works against your own best interest!

    Sigh (none / 0) (#1)
    by Steve M on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:36:31 PM EST
    It's hard for me to imagine a Clinton-Obama ticket at this point, since Obama's over-the-top ads would be used to undermine Clinton's health care plan.  I guess it's possible, because Reagan ran with Bush even after the "voodoo economics" line, but it's still hard to imagine.

    I hate attacks from the right during primaries.  I hated Hillary's "trillion-dollar tax increase" line, even though I agreed with her that Obama's proposal was bad policy.  There's a way to make arguments without handing ammunition to the other side.

    A triviality. (none / 0) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:37:19 PM EST
    I'm not saying Edwards will endorse Obama, but if he doesn't it won't be primarily because of this fairly trivial difference in campaign plank (which may or may not -- probably doesn't) reflect Obama's personal position on the subject.

    You are the last person I expected to (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:38:58 PM EST
    opine on "what Obama meant."

    Why so? (none / 0) (#5)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:43:46 PM EST
    Obviously, I don't know exactly what Obama thinks, but his current campaign rhetoric is, in fact, different than his historic position on this issue (which favored universal single-payer), at least as reported.

    But regardless of what he really believes, my points are that endorsements are rarely decided based on such minute differences and also that campaign planks run 100% in line with the candidates actual beliefs or intentions.


    Active candidates. . . (none / 0) (#12)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:53:53 PM EST
    act to highlight even trivial differences, especially when the real differences aren't that great.

    If you want to argue that Edwards won't endorse Obama because doing so after drawing a strong distinction on such a minor difference would make him look silly, you might have a point.


    I repeat (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:30:09 PM EST

    Go read Krugman's article:

    Here is just one small part:
    "Over all, the Obama-type plan would cost $4,400 per newly insured person, the Clinton-type plan only $2,700.
    That doesn't look like a trivial difference to me."
    (emphasis added)

    Also read his post on his blog
    (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/) titled "Health Care Thoughts". (It is about halfway down the page.)

    Krugman is one of the most knowledgable, respected economists in this country, so I urge you to take what he says seriously. He is not just playing politics, he cares deeply about the well-being of our country.


    i agree! (none / 0) (#67)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:17:03 PM EST
    At the least (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:57:29 PM EST
    perspectives (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Nasarius on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:54:41 PM EST
    For you, it may be a "minute difference". But it came up in nearly every debate, and Edwards repeatedly tore into Obama over the issue of mandates. In fact, I think it's a fundamental difference in views. Edwards, though he didn't use the exact words, seems to view health care as a human right. Obama does not (and no, I'm not about to engage in mind-reading about what he may privately believe). Honestly, can you name a single other serious policy dispute that would prevent Edwards from endorsing Obama? I know it's the deal-breaker for me. It's the combination of the bad policy and Obama's unfortunate rhetoric that is in fact the sole reason I'll be voting for Clinton tomorrow.

    it is the deal breaker for me (none / 0) (#18)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:58:54 PM EST
    as well...I have cancer and need treatment and my only hope is Clinton as the cost of Obama's "health care policy" is almost double Clintons...besides the fact that he has precious hope of getting it thru congress...right now I am in remission but I won't always be...

    My sister - in =law (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:20:53 PM EST
    has a preexisting genetic blood clotting disorder which, although completely under control for 10 years and not likely to ever be a problem again, makes her high risk. She was denied insurance after her divorce by all companies. Luckily she lives in a state that forces insurers to participate in a high risk program. She is put into a pool and some company has to insure her. The problem is that it costs her $9,000 a year with a $2,000 deductible. And that does not cover any medication which she needs to control her problem. Thankfully her children are covered under her ex's company plan because they have the same genetic problem. So does my husband and both kids. Luckily we are all currently covered under corporate plans, but my son wants to go into business for himself and this could be a big barrier for him.

    Both Hillary and Edwards had plans that demonstrated guts by refusing to kow tow to the forces of the right wing and proposing universal coverage. The Republicans are badly weakened, people are worried about their health care, and companies are tired of ever-rising costs that cut into their profits and make them less competitive internationally. Now is the time to be bold, but Obama, "Mr. Audacious", has caved before he even gets started.


    Yup. Back to basics. (none / 0) (#20)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:01:15 PM EST
    yeah, heath care! (none / 0) (#68)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    This is a HUGE difference (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:55:57 PM EST
    Universal health care is a passion of John Edwards and Hillary. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN WITHOUT MANDATES. That is a sine qua non for getting a system that has low individual costs.
    If Obama does not really believe what he says  then he should lose and lose big. As president he will start from a bargaining position that has relinquished this crucial element.  You never bargain and get more than your original proposal. Krugman is right. Obama's own words will be used against him. What he would get would be even weaker than what he has proposed. And this is the guy who talks about audacity! This is pandering and shows a clear lack of guts to fight for something which is extremely important for the American people.
    If Edwards does support Obama given how important this issue is and how he has insisted - rightly - that there must be a mandate, I will lose respect for him. It is one thing to overlook minor differences. This is anything but.

    mandates (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by tek on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:22:39 PM EST
    I wonder if Obama thinks he would be running for president now if equal opportunity had not been mandated. As a woman, a member of another recognized minority in our country, I know positively that I would never have had the opportunity to enter the profession of my choice if universities had not had mandates.

    Me too. (5.00 / 0) (#53)
    by derridog on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:18:45 PM EST
    there is no way edwards will endorse obama. (none / 0) (#66)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:16:21 PM EST
    hillary maybe, but he hasn't endorsed anyone so far and neither has gore.

    I dunno (4.50 / 2) (#7)
    by Steve M on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:48:33 PM EST
    It's one thing to seize upon a relatively small difference as a talking point in a debate or whatever.

    But if Obama personally favored mandates, or if he felt like gee, when I'm president I could see myself going either way on that issue, it's hard to imagine him getting behind the over-the-top Harry and Louise ad campaign.

    If you choose to paint mandates as the spawn of Satan, there's no going back from that position.


    Heh (none / 0) (#4)
    by phat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:39:23 PM EST

    Krugman is obsessed with mandates to the (none / 0) (#6)
    by Geekesque on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:46:11 PM EST
    point where he doesn't recognize that there are other ways candidates can disagree and agree.

    Considering how much Edwards sounded off on lobbysists this, lobbyists that, one could argue that there's no way he would NOT endorse Clinton's opponent.

    I myself think he's not endorsing because he wants to be able to work with whomever becomes the President.

    Of course Krugman is obsessed with mandates (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:02:27 PM EST
    He knows what he is talking about! Giving up on a health care mandate is like making Social Security voluntary. It would destroy the system.
    It is right to be obsessed with a critical point like this. There is no way he would have injected himself into this race if he weren't 100% convinced by the evidence that it matters.

    Go back and reread Krugman's column in today's Times. He really is knowledgeable on this topic. I have never heard a health care expert with any credibility (i.e. not from a right wing or industry funded think tank) that does not agree that mandates are an absolute necessity if our system is going to be cost effective. It is long past time that our country stop acting like a third world country and enact universal health care.


    The problem is (2.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:56:40 PM EST
    that there are other progressive economists who know every bit as much as he does, and who disagree with him.

    That you have never heard of them, does not mean they dont exist. In fact, most progressive economists I have heard of think the mandate issue is way overblown.

    For a sane (as opposed to Krugmaniac) assesment of the issue, I would point you to Robert Reich's analysis:



    No, here's the problem from your own article (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:01:59 PM EST
    that you cite:

    "Mr. Obama thinks forcing people to buy health insurance before it's affordable isn't realistic."

    Does that really sound unbiased to you?

    If so, then I don't think we can have an intelligent discussion about this.  He is basically echoing the mailer sent out by Obama's campaign.


    sounds exactly right. (none / 0) (#75)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:35:44 PM EST
    That is the whole issue.

    I repeat the question I have asked here many times, without a good answer.

    What is wrong with rolling out the policy, without mandates, first. Then see if the subsidies are really well calibrated to the need. See if there really are people left out. If not, great. If so, then you have a chance to tweak the package.

    Then you can introduce mandates to pick up those who are freeloaders - and that is an appropriate term, because you will KNOW, not just guess, that the package is sufficient to make insurance affordable for everyone, so if someone doesnt sign up, they are gaming the system.

    Slao a mandate on 47 million people, and tens of millions more who fear they might lose their insurance some day, and that is politically difficult to sell. You will tell them, dont worry, the subsidies will cover you - and they will say - I dont trust you.

    Do the subsidies first, and they dont have to trust you, they will see for themselves.


    That would doom it to failure because (none / 0) (#90)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 05:50:19 PM EST
    of the cost differential.

    With mandates, estimated $2700 cost to each of us annually.

    Without mandates, estimated $4400.

    The $2700 figure is a great break for me, compared to what I pay now.  The $4400, a bit more -- and I'm in comparatively okay financial shape; it would be beyond many people, who thus would not sign up.  And the more that do not sign up, the higher the non-mandated payment has to go to cover them. . . .

    So what do you think?  Which one can a lot of people not afford?  Wouldn't that affect its success, possibly make it fail -- and then we never get a chance to try it with mandates?

    Put it this way:  Which amount do you want to pay?


    I believe Robert Reich is actually on (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:21:05 PM EST
    Obama's payroll

    well, thats a cogent refutation! (none / 0) (#74)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:31:03 PM EST

    speaking of third world countries (none / 0) (#25)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:11:10 PM EST
    Hey, folks, guess where our tax dollars are going to fund universal healthcare so that all citizens have access to doctors and hospitals?  



    Too bad all the doctors are leaving Iraq. (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:35:55 PM EST
    I think there is no way he endorses Clinton (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:48:44 PM EST
    My argument is about whether he will endorse Obama.

    Edwards was pretty obsessed with mandates too.


    Doubt it. (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:53:16 PM EST
    Edwards is waiting to make the deal for his political future with whomever he can push over the line to the nomination.

    He's a gambler.


    Agree (none / 0) (#52)
    by IndependantThinker on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:14:02 PM EST
    I find it funny the way Edwards is being remade into a Saint since he dropped out of the race. In truth Edwards never did much of anything except talk. He made his fortune representing folks but that was to make money. The 6 years he was in the Senate he did vitually nothing.

    If he was so passionate about the poor and downtrodden how come he only talked about it when he was running for President or VP. Seriously folks, Edwards, Obama and even Clinton are political animals.


    Not really. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Geekesque on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:56:59 PM EST
    He offered mandates, but it was Clinton who went after Obama on mandates first--at the big debate in LV.  Edwards had the same essential plan as Clinton, so he really had no choice but to side with her on the issue.

    He won't endorse Obama either--if he was going to do that he would have done it by now.


    I don't expect Edwards to endorse (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:57:55 PM EST
    Clinton, but, if he really cares about universal health care, he should. She may have shot herself in the foot speaking out about mandates and methods of collecting, but she isn't beating around the bush that she wants universal health care.

    I agree that if he endorses anyone it should be (none / 0) (#36)
    by Angel on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    HRC because of the health care issue.

    I think you nailed it Geekesque (none / 0) (#23)
    by Satya1 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:10:20 PM EST
    Lobbyist reforms and "cleaning up Washington" is part of Edwards being.  They're process issues that trump how all other issues get worked out.  So I also think there is some change that he could endorse but only after a very careful political calculation.

    However, there are more big endorsements for Obama ahead.


    change = chance (none / 0) (#24)
    by Satya1 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    why no endorsement? (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:53:19 PM EST
    If Edwards endorses Obama, it will backfire on Obama-the Clintonistas will have a field day going back to the "Edwards as attack dog" notion of the debates.  There are many issues other than health care in the world, and it was obvious from the debates who Edwards really supports, just as it is obvious, from his silence when he could aid his former boss's wife, what Al Gore thinks.  

    that is reading (none / 0) (#19)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:59:27 PM EST
    an awful lot into things.

    Perhaps both men are sending the message that they support the democratic party and not a single candidate.

    No, of course not.  The tea leaves tell me otherwise.

    Excuse me, I must go look at totally untouched and accurate photos of Hillary Clinton killing a cat and stealing someone's Bible at the same time!


    Some people (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by BernieO on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:05:21 PM EST
    value party unity over endorsements. It is likely that both Gore and Edwards are putting the health of the party over their personal choice. That way, whoever is the nominee, they will be credible in energizing the entire party to get behind the nominee.

    I hope you're right. It would be very (none / 0) (#55)
    by derridog on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:22:37 PM EST
    disappointing, even heartbreaking to me, if Gore, especially, took sides at this point.

    Ummm wha? (none / 0) (#28)
    by sterno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:40:46 PM EST
    John Edwards has expressed the same view of this as Krugman did. It seems impossible for me to see Edwards endorsing Obama's approach to health care, given his expressed views.

    Is that the only issue Edwards cares about?  I mean it seems to me that there are many grounds upon which Edwards could support Obama.  But in the end I suspect the reason Edwards isn't endorsing is because he's hoping to leverage his support to influence policy in both campaigns and, perhaps, land himself a high level cabinet post where can affect change.

    My thinking was that he'd endorse by Super Tuesday to give a bump to one of the candidates that made him the best deal.  But that would have happened this morning at the latest.  

    Edwards will have far more power (none / 0) (#30)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:44:31 PM EST
    if he stays out of government and becomes a lobbyist for the poor and uninsured.

    As for whether or not this is the only issue Edwards cares about, I think it is a CORE issue for him, just as it is for Clinton, that the democratic party has a moral mandate to pass universal healthcare.  EVERYTHING flows out of that.  All the medical bankruptcies, people losing their jobs because they become too sick to work and can't get adequate care, medical centers closing in rural areas, working poor trapped in a low-wage job for insurance benefits--ALL of that will be gone with universal healthcare.

    Healthy workers make productive taxpayers.


    Critical issue (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:50:01 PM EST
    and opne he agrees with Hillary on.

    Hard to ignore.


    "critical issue" (none / 0) (#81)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 10:50:16 AM EST
    Hillary made health care a "critical issue" to win votes in the primaries.  Her history (and Bill's) has been to go the way of the polls.  Why does everyone suddenly assume that on health care she is making an absolute, principled stand.  Her only stand is to do whatever it takes to get elected-and reelected.
    Also, you can't pass universal healthcare without persuading a supermajority of the people and congress.  Fifty percent plus one won't do it.

    So who is this Mr. Gruber (none / 0) (#29)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:42:30 PM EST
    Is he the guy who has worked on both Mitt Romney's and Hillary's mandated plans?

    Do we have a link to his actual study? Or a title for it? Has it been published, or reviewed?

    Are there any economists or health care experts who arrive at different numbers?

    Has Krugman done anything recently to help us really understand the nature of the debate, or has he been simply shilling for one side of the debate? OK, the answer to that question in obvious.

    The guy has an obvious right to bloviate, like the rest of us, but it is so disappointing that he doesnt see his role as someone who can help us all learn the complexities of the issue, and the nature of the honest disagreement between equally credible experts.

    I certainly no longer feel that I can trust his opinion.

    Shilling (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:49:13 PM EST
    Heh. Obamanauts in force.

    Me, I have no idea who is right.

    MY point is that Edwards strongly agreed with Krugman and thus is unlikely to endorse Obama.


    so... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:47:34 PM EST
    Your starting premise is, "I don't know him, so I don't believe a thing he says, and he must be a shill."

    You could say the same thing for any number of us whom you don't know/trust, etc.  Doesn't it seem a little pointless to try to have a discussion in light of this?  


    huh? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:07:15 PM EST
    I am not sure I understand what you mean about my "starting premise".

    I know Krugman's writings. I have enjoyed them and learned from the since before he was at the NYT. I recognize him as a brilliant and insightful economist.

    But he aint the only one.

    Here we have an issue on which equally bright, and eqully progressive economists disagree. I could use a little help, especially from professorial types, in sorting it all out.

    But Krugman has decided not to serve such a purpose in this debate. That is his right, but I think it a shame. We need someone to play that role.

    He has taken his stand, and he does nothing but marshall the arguments on one side, declare them authoritative, and belittle the candidate who disagrees.

    I dont find that particularly helpful, since I've heard those arguments many times now.


    What does Edwards think (none / 0) (#31)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:46:43 PM EST
    about garnishing wages to pay for mandated health care? Hillary is ok with it but it doesn't seem to fit with Edwards populist, for the little people stance.

    I think HRC said she would consider it, not that (none / 0) (#37)
    by Angel on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:54:54 PM EST
    it was okay with her.  I may be wrong, but...

    not sure that's much of a difference (none / 0) (#41)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:04:37 PM EST
    and I didn't see the interview I just was going off this from the AP "Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to garnish the wages of workers who refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans."

    She sd. garnishment was a possible means, (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:37:57 PM EST
    along with other methods, of enforcing mandated coverage.  

    i think she (none / 0) (#76)
    by english teacher on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 03:58:59 AM EST
    said payroll deduction, not wage garnishment.

    i don't think she ever used the term "wage garnishment".

    i think you are being dishonest here.  the term you mean is "payroll deduction", but that makes it sound to much like social security, which people support.  

    so you go with the much more ominous sounding "wage garnishment".

    i may be wrong.  she may have used that phrase.  but that's not the main one she used, which was "payroll deduction".  two entirely different things.


    Please (none / 0) (#83)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 02:16:16 PM EST
    explain the difference between "wage garnishment" and "payroll deduction"

    Garnishment requires a court order. (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 02:56:36 PM EST
    Payroll deduction is imposed by employer or voluntary on the part of the employee.

    social security is a mandate and (none / 0) (#86)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 02:58:40 PM EST
    is a payroll deduction....

    True. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 03:14:40 PM EST
    I voted for HRC. I think the term (none / 0) (#84)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 02:55:31 PM EST
    "garnishment" was in the question, not her response, however, she did say something along the lines of that is one possible method.  

    It Would Be Mandatory (none / 0) (#88)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 04:34:53 PM EST
    When Mr. Stephanopoulos asked a third time whether she would garnish people's wages, Mrs. Clinton responded, "George, we will have an enforcement mechanism, whether it's that or it's some other mechanism through the tax system or automatic enrollments."

    loaded question. Garnish is not a popular word in this context, but
    whatever method is used garnish would be a synonym.


    Mandate=mandatory. No quarrel (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 04:44:11 PM EST
    there.  Yes, "guarnishment" has a bad ring to it.  Unpd. child support, court order, poor dad can't make his truck payment.  

    I remember Edwards (none / 0) (#43)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:10:38 PM EST
    saying that that would be necessary.

    It would, of course, An unenforced mandate isnt a mandate. If you don't force people to make the system universal, then it aint gonna be universal.

    What would be the point of having a mandate if you dont enforce it? Thats the worst of both worlds. The political problem of selling a program that forces people to participate, without the benefit of actually doing so.


    man (none / 0) (#33)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    This used to be where the adults came out to play.

    huh? (none / 0) (#39)
    by dwightkschrute on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:01:08 PM EST
    Was there something childlike in that? Edwards ran on a very populist agenda. I know his health plan was similar to Hillary's but never saw his proposal. When pressed on details about her plan this weekend she said "going after people's wages" to pay for mandated care was possible. I don't see how that would fit with Edwards protect the little guy rhetoric. Which would make the notion that his non endorsement is over health care seem unlikely.  

    I would (none / 0) (#40)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:02:06 PM EST
    love someone to point out where in Constitution it says the federal gov't even has authority to be involved in health care.  

    promote the general welfare (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:12:49 PM EST
    its a core responsibility.

    Incorrect, (none / 0) (#79)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 05:35:07 AM EST
    see below

    Constitution and health care (none / 0) (#47)
    by tek on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:25:56 PM EST
    General Welfare Clause, for one.

    You are incorrect. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 05:34:36 AM EST
    It is a mere "synonym" for the enumeration of particular powers already in the Constitution.

    Madison clearly stated it here:

    After all, if the phrase covered every power the federal government might choose to claim under it, the "general welfare" might be invoked to justify government control of the press for the sake of national security in time of war. For that matter, press control might be justified under "common defense." Come to think of it, the broad reading of "general welfare" would logically include "common defense," and to speak of "the common defense and general welfare of the United States" would be superfluous, since defense is presumably essential to the general welfare.

    So Madison, Hamilton, and -- more important -- the people they were trying to persuade agreed: the Constitution conferred only a few specific powers on the federal government, all others being denied to it (as the Tenth Amendment would make plain).


    Scares you? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Tano on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:30:39 PM EST
    What about him scares you?

    Obama is scary (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by IndependantThinker on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:23:01 PM EST
    He will be so easy to manipulate, and his spin masters will forever try to prop up this ridiculous image of Obama as GodKing, walk on water, second coming of Christ or whatever.

    Obama is a elitist egomaniac and egomaniacs are the easiest people on the planet to manipulate. Have you read his answer to Russert question over his reasoning for wanting to be president now? Geez. Heaven help us if he is elected.


    fact check on the health plan (none / 0) (#49)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:56:06 PM EST
    Sweet deal (none / 0) (#54)
    by zyx on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:22:29 PM EST
    I have become so pro-Clinton of late that tomorrow I will be a nervous (non-voting, my state votes in May) wreck.

    I must say that I can see no downside for the Obama plan--for my healthy, twenty-something sons.  If they do not buy insurance because they "cannot afford it", and remain healthy, they will have saved thousands of dollars.  If they become ill, and have no money (because they have spent any money they may have had on twenty-something toys!), how can the past premium charge be levied against them?  Indeed, if they develop a dreadfully expensive disease such as leukemia or, well, name one!--paying one-and-a-half times the regular premium, or whatever this plan calls for, is a walk in the park.

    It's wrong to see it as such, but it's great deal for kids like these.  

    In your worst-case scenario, will they (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:40:10 PM EST
    be insurable if they are not in an employer group plan?

    worst case? (none / 0) (#62)
    by zyx on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:28:56 PM EST
    Do you mean now?  Now, if they become uninsured, they'll be turned down for enrollment by most companies if they get an ingrown toenail--much less a dire illness.

    Under ObamaCare, if they become ill, they can enroll, I believe.  They pay a "penalty", but they get to enroll!  Welcome to healthcare, boys!


    this is such a roll of the dice (none / 0) (#63)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:48:01 PM EST
    My God, I just cannot get over that mailer.  All that sexist bullsh*t.  When you think of all the minorities who have advanced leaps and bounds, and all the social agendas that have come to the forefront...and we still have the MSM getting away with blatant misogyny, and we've got the left blogs attacking a devoted dem like she is a five dollar hooker...when is it going to be our turn?  When do we get a chance?

    It just sickens me.

    (that being said, why, yes, I am going to tivo Hillary's townhall so I can watch the Sarah Connor Chronicles live.  Why do you ask?)


    'Mandate' This! (none / 0) (#60)
    by BloggerRadio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:01:54 PM EST
    Krugman is using his notoriety and bully pulpit to play "Homer" and back the home team.

    The argument about whether anything can be accomplished with or without a mandate is simply ridiculous at this stage of the game. More precisely, it is a desperate attempt by the Clinton camp to stem the tide that is lifting Obama into the lead.

    The thing that Krugman and his homers are missing are the LOADS of voters who do not want to be 'mandated'-to UNTIL the gov't first responds to the 'mandate' that WE THE PEOPLE sent to them in Nov. '06!!!

    Don't even THINK about passing legislation which 'mandates' WE THE PEOPLE to do even one more thing the way politicians, along with their corporate handlers MANDATE to us we should, UNTIL AFTER we see the Congress and the President act on behalf of WE THE PEOPLE, based upon the 'mandate' we sent them in Nov. 0f '06!

    So you see, we are a very long way out from the REAL debates over whether a Healthcare program can or should be mandated.

    Obama is correct to not commit to 'mandates' at this stage of the game.

    Clinton's past association with Wal_Mart and Clinton's current coziness with Rupert Murdoch and
    Clinton's FREE-TRADE over FAIR-TRADE stance make it impossible for me to opt for her over Obama. Clinton is simply too much of a Republican.  

    I am (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:28:36 PM EST
    THE PEOPLE, too. I want mandates.  I want to follow the ideals of the democratic party and give every American universal healthcare.  This is an issue of morality, not politics.

    When you (none / 0) (#80)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 10:48:14 AM EST
    force people to pay at threat of arrest for your mandates, that is morale?

    speak for yourself and stop throwing we (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:25:41 PM EST
    the people around. got it!

    Heh (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:06:31 PM EST
    You of course are INCREDIBLY impartial.

    Me? Impartial? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Kathy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:00:33 PM EST
    Heck no.  I am Hillary all the way, 100%.  A true blue dem through and through, and a woman who never thought in my lifetime that I'd see a viable female presidential candidate whose passions and social agendas and ability to govern and lead absolutely blow me away.

    I am ecstatically un-impartial!  I am the Poobah of Un-impartial!! Nay, I am Empress Un-Impartial!!! ("Imp" to my closer friends...you know who you are...)


    When wondering (none / 0) (#82)
    by Lena on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 11:37:09 AM EST
    what caused universal health care to fail in the 1990's, it's because of Democrats (I assume you're a Democrat?) like you. The 1990s is being repeated vis a vis healthcare, and this is thanks to Obama (despite his promise not to repeat the fights of the 90's. I guess those who refuse to remember history are doomed to repeat it).

    People always want to blame the loss of universal healthcare on HRC, but they forget that the Democrats in Congress caved.

    For the tens of thousands of people who have no healthcare and are currently suffering because of it, Obama's refusal to push mandates leaves them out of the loop (remember, the mandates also apply to the insurers/govt., who must insure everyone, regardless of pre-existing condition).

    Obama is weak on healthcare, and Paul Krugman recognizes this. Don't shoot the messenger.


    I dont know about anyone (none / 0) (#64)
    by athyrio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:53:24 PM EST
    else, but endorsements dont impress me in the least as most of his endorsements are kinda sucking up to him as far as I am concerned...Hell Kennedys endorsement didnt even move his own state that much....so way too much is being made of these endorsements, I prefer the issues being discussed....at this point, I doubt an endorsement would get my vote but a certain position on issues sure would...

    endorsements (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by english teacher on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 04:07:45 AM EST
    are a glaring example of the insider game obama supposedly does not play.

    yet throughout the past few weeks, everyone of the endorsements is - in the old style politics - a favor obama will be expected to repay.

    so his campaign, which is supposed to be some outsider insurgency against how the game is played, is now on life supporter provided by favors being granted to him that he will be expected to repay.

    he is able to continue campaigning and making the claim that he is about bringing some new kind of politics to washington, solely by trading for favors and getting neck deep into the old style politics he says he is against.

    and his supporters cheer each endorsement.  they are breathless that more - maybe even the big one from gore, might be coming.

    it's comical, really.  


    endorsements? nada, zip, zero, no way! (none / 0) (#71)
    by hellothere on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:26:25 PM EST
    suckups is about right!