Political Bargaining And The Opt Out

Jane Hamsher rails against those of us who support the opt out provision for the public option. It is amusing to me in the sense that single payer advocates rail against Hamsher and the rest of us for selling out single payer.

Just goes to show you, there is always someone more outraged than you are. Now, on the substance, Hamsher is wrong. Harry Reid went with a public option, in part, BECAUSE of the opt out. I believe that without it, he never would have put a public option in. I could be wrong, but that is my judgment. Now the question is where are we with regard to future political bargaining. I think there are two main questions in the health care reform process - the public option and the financing mechanisms. The question now is how do you move forward? Without forcing reconciliation, the public option is dead. (Could be that the health care bill is dead as well. Not sure I see how this needle gets threaded without using reconciliation.) More . . .

The most important outside player in all of this remains the unions. At this point, I think their highest priority is to eliminate the excise tax. I think they would sacrifice the public option for its elimination. Given their role and obligations, I certainly do not blame them.

So who will fight for the public option? I am not sure, but Hamsher seems more interested in shooting at people like me, who supported the Opt Out, than dealing with the Obama Adinsitration and its allies, who are advocating for dropping the public option in its entirety.

The evolution seems complete. Hamsher now stands as the purist of sorts. The single payer advocates must be chortling somewhere. I think the question must be raised - do you believe in the nose under the tent or not? Jane has to ask herself that question and decide whether she wants to oppose the health care bill or not. If the Opt Out Public Option is not worth fighting for in her opinion, then time to say so. Then it becomes time to oppose the bill.

I support the Opt Out Public Option and will continue to support it. Others have to decide now where they stand on it.

Speaking for me only

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    For (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:02:00 PM EST
    some reason Hamsher can't aim her anger at where it belongs: Obama. You're just another blogger with an opinion IMO and I don't know why blogger bother with aiming fire at other bloggers.

    Overall this is a bad bill. I agree with you that it has zero chance of being passed outside of reconcilliation but I'm not sure there's even the 50 votes for that.

    Jane and others (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Makarov on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:14:16 PM EST
    don't want to get cut out of their pipeline:



    Surely you jest? (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:24:46 PM EST
    I don't know why blogger bother with aiming fire at other bloggers.

    Can you imagine... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:58:11 AM EST
    ...what this healthcare debate could've been if Obama had acted as even a half-assed progressive organizer? For all his camp counselor b.s., his attempts to woo one or two republicans, and the effort he put out, imagine what could've been accomplished if he had just marginally acted with PASSION in the interests of those WHO ACTUALLY PHUCKING ELECTED HIM?

    I know, I know, OT and silly, but still...

    He believes (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:03:42 PM EST
    that he is acting in the interest of those who elected him. The reigning wisdom in Versailles is whoever gets the most campaign donations wins the election. So he's just doing what the donors want him to do and people like you are supposed to just go along for the ride.

    Woo Hoo, they're taking us for a ride. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Radix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 02:09:55 PM EST
    Or she could be just taking your advice. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Radix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:30:31 PM EST
    As I recall, BTD, you chastised, rightly I might add, the Democrats leadership negotiating tactics, as being weak at best. Perhaps Jane is just holding the line, standing strong in order to get the best possible out come. Also, she does have a point, how many votes did the "opt-out" get us?

    Hmm (none / 0) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:43:14 PM EST
    Seems as if she is criticizing the line.

    You've never crumbled about a settlement (none / 0) (#8)
    by Radix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:58:44 PM EST
    you've worked on, even when you thought it was reasonable, or the best it that could be gotten? As it stands, the pol's are looking to deal this, weakened version, away anyway. Plus the opt out clause in the senates' version allows for opting out before the fact.

    Too bad we can't opt out of the taxes... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by lambert on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 03:21:56 PM EST
    ... we pay right away, and get the benefits for in 2014.



    Maybe after (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:04:24 PM EST
    Not during the negotiation.

    OK let's try this then. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Radix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:15:47 PM EST
    No matter where progressives draw the line, said line will then be considered the "wacky liberal commie" position. It doesn't matter where that line is, pol's are going to move to the right of it, in order to appear moderate. There needs to be a vocal progressive position deemed even further left, making this version seem moderate, if we expect to see that camels nose under the tent. Otherwise, they're just going to shoot the camel in the head and leave it to rot.

    That the single payer windmill (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:20:21 PM EST
    If only single payer was where the (none / 0) (#12)
    by Radix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:40:26 PM EST
    left most line was. It isn't though, not in any meaningful sense. There are very few in Washington or elsewhere bringing up single payer. Single payer was dealt away a long time ago. Now we have this compromise, which doesn't start for 5 years, leaves 14 million people without insurance, you'll recall that Reid said this bill would cover an additional 31 million people currently without insurance, we currently have some 44-45 million without insurance now. Then we have States being allowed to opt-out even before being in. I'm not sure this compromise shouldn't be challenged vigorously, if we expect to keep even these modest gains.