Will Reconciliation Make A Comeback On The Health Bill?

d-day writes:

You may think that House Democrats warning that the health care bill is in a lot of trouble reflects nothing more than posturing. Why is Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) saying in the above clip that the bill might go down on the first pass and then return to the House before it passes? Consider the math. [. . .] Maybe Nancy Pelosi can flip some of the no votes, especially with the more conservative Senate bill being the base, and the public option likely dead. [. . . But] there will not be more than a small handful of no-to-yes flips available. [. . .] But there’s a HUGE universe of yes-to-no flips that are at least possible. [. . .] Virtually everyone in the Democratic caucus has some problem or other with the bill.

The problem is that the Obama Administration and the Senate Dems acted with too much hubris. They have produced a bill that virtually no one likes and many detest. There is, as d-day notes, little political upside for anyone in this bill. The Ben Nelsons and Blanche Lincolns never wanted to vote for a health bill in any form. Accomodating them has created a situation where they may still be Nos and a whole bunch of progressives in the House may be nos. This is looking like a debacle. Reconciliation may be the only way to save it.

Speaking for me only

< The NFL Antitrust Case SCOTUS Argument Transcript | Morphine Found to Help PTSD Victims >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I'm sorry (5.00 / 11) (#2)
    by kmblue on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:11:13 PM EST
    but at this point I hope it doesn't pass.
    I think it's a reality check badly needed by Obama and the Democratic party.

    Unfortunately, I agree with you. (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:21:08 PM EST
    And I am someone that believes we BADLY need health care reform.

    It would go along way towards (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:02:37 PM EST
    restoring my faith in government if this mess did not pass. It really is just too atrocious. I know they want to use that old adage that if people from all sides hate it, it must be good, but sometimes it just means it is c**pola.

    A reality check would be fine (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:40:48 PM EST
    But is it really possible at this point to come back after a defeat and get another bill passed?

    This is it, really....If the bill is worse than no bill, then defeat it....

    Perhaps a new bill can pass via reconciliation from the ashes of the old bill, but it is really late in the game for that kind of change in tactics....If Coakley loses, then that is all that will be left as an option....

    I don't think a defeat on health care will result in a more progressive Congress on that or any other issue....A defeat will be spun as a win for conservatives....In fact, Beck et. al. will say it was a miracle from God intervening at the eleventh hour (the constitution was hanging by a thread) just as the "election" of George Bush was a miracle....

    A chorus of progressives saying it was because the bill was not a good bill will not be heard....  


    I don't care what Beck says (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:46:48 PM EST
    I don't care that "a defeat will be spun as a win for conservatives." If this POS bill passes, THAT will be a win for conservatives. I can live with spin. With this POS bill? Not so much.

    If that is how you view it, (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:52:02 PM EST
    then of course a defeat would be a good thing....

    A defeat to teach the Democrats a lesson that would result in a better bill does seem a far reach....Somehow you would have to motivate a demoralized party to start over via reconciliation--which would could end the filibuster for all time.  I don't see many having the stomach for that kind of fight....

    Defeat breeds defeat....


    heck (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:07:09 PM EST
    they didnt even have the stomach to fight for the right bill the first time. this whole thing has been a debacle from beginning to end but get used to it. With Obama who can't make a decision or stand firm on a principal the inmates are now goign to be running the assylum and if the GOP takes over in the fall, he might as well resign because he is going to be bulldozed and he's cluesless enough to even be encouraging the crap with his bipartisan namby pambyism.

    Yoiks! (none / 0) (#43)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:06:08 PM EST
    I thought you would have had the stomach for it Ga6thDem. But, if you are ready to turn it all in within a year, that is not much of a political fight. The political sphere and the change that it can bring is not immediate gratification by any means. Come on now...take a breather if need be...and come back into the arena of governance refreshed and ready to keep on plugging ahead.

    I'm willing (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:29:31 AM EST
    to fight for issues but not much else. Obama is not a fighter. he is a wimp who runs when there's a fight to be had. He will cave on anything in order to avoid a fight. There's no point in wasting time trying to get him to do something. If you want a fighter then Obama needs to step down.

    How can you fight for issues (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:19:37 PM EST
    without supporting individual candidates?

    I suppose one can contribute to issue groups--but those groups ultimately support a candidate....

    Except in those states that have an initiative process, supporting issues means deciding which candidate to support....


    I didn't say anything (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:19:56 PM EST
    about "teaching the Democrats a lesson that would result in a better bill." Please do not presume to speak for me.

    Anyway, why would these Democrats produce a better bill? They have shown what they are made of.

    At this point, I just want them to bury this POS and do what they can, with pressure from the left and the remnants of the progressive bloc in the House, on individual health care issues, through reconciliation or other means.

    I don't give a flying f^ck about these "new Democrats," and the feeling is clearly mutual.

    And I don't give a flying f^ck if Obama can't crow about passing health insurance (sic) reform (sic) at the SOTU. That's his problem now.


    But is passing this really a win? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:37:30 PM EST
    A bill that rewards the insurance industry and attacks union workers and the middle class isn't going to give Democrats any bragging rights.

    People are very upset at both parties and their sell out to corporate America. Most people I've talked with, feel this bill is a total sell out.

    Passing this bill (as it is right now) will severely damage the party in 2010 and 2012.


    That may be... (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:09:48 PM EST
    but, in American politics it is much more likely that failure to pass a bill after this period of time and this much emphasis will show a weak party that cannot be listened to for anything and should be jettisoned. Think about the other party governing for a while, before exclaiming "A pox on both their houses." There is a difference. Sometimes we might feel manipulated; yet, there really is a difference in a number of areas of law and day-to-day living.

    Other things voters won't forget (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:32:57 PM EST
    The differences in the parties is becoming very gray. Would you really have imagined Democrats introducing legislation to further limit womans rights? Or abandoning unions? Or a stimulus bill that rewarded the very people that created the crisis, while allowing millions of working Americans to lose their homes? Somewhere along the way, our big tent has gotten a bit too big.

    It seems that the Democratic platform that was introduced at the convention was nothing more than for show. As much as I disagree with the Republican Party, they adhere to their party principles.


    Precisely (none / 0) (#51)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:17:19 PM EST
    failure to pass a bill after this period of time and this much emphasis will show a weak party that cannot be listened to for anything and should be jettisoned

    So, are you endorsing Repub rule (none / 0) (#53)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:54:56 PM EST
    and, along with it, maybe an even more conservative court structure (as the district, appellate, and supreme court level?) Thats a lot of years to throw away for political vendetta, hmmm.

    Why didn't the Dems filibuster Alito and Roberts? (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Ellie on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 09:44:39 AM EST
    Hmmmmm? The nominees didn't answer direct questions, stonewalled the process, and the Republicans didn't have a 60-seat majority that the Dems assured the voters the party needed to fight the movement conservatives.

    The Senate got that, and bowed en masse to Snowe, Grassley, Nelson and Emperor Lieberman.

    Your scaremongering Jedi mind tricks need work.


    I'm not sure what you are talking about (none / 0) (#68)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:53:09 PM EST
    with the reference to "Jedi mind tricks." I say what I believe--and, assume that you do the same. I'm not disrespecting you; and, would ask for the same courtesy. Guess what? I disagreed with the non-filibuster of those Supreme Ct nominees (and, as I recall, people like Feingold even voted for Justice Roberts?) The way I view this all: The vast majority of decisions made by Democrats I prefer to the Republicans or any other viable candidate. I have low tolerance for Republicans who have been one or two issue voters on the inflammatory social or scare issues; and, I do not want the Democratic Party to be dominated by that same and ultimately self-defeating bent.  

    No (none / 0) (#54)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:03:04 PM EST
    Defeat has been breeding defeat (none / 0) (#65)
    by kmblue on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:24:23 PM EST
    from the start.

    The Dems started from a position of defeat, not strength.  At least, that's the way they behaved.


    The meaning of a defeat (none / 0) (#42)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:00:38 PM EST
    The meaning of defeat, unfortunately, is defeat--all the way around. My dad used to tell me "Christy, don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Well...it really is something like that. My career involved/involves negotiation (that is what I primarily did for most of 30 years.) In both career and in personal life, there have been numerous times when I just wanted to walk. Yep, it would have felt good in a way or it would have felt pure or would have felt like the only thing to do.  But.... In the long run, the political philosopher Alinsky was correct. Go for it all; take what you can; compromise; come back and build on it later. Incremental change. The alternative: Fleeting feelings of being right followed by loss for a long time. Sorry, I do understand Spamlet. But, healthcare change--even incrementally--is too important to too many people to walk away now. I could not forgive myself.

    Here's the part Rahm and Obama missed (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Spamlet on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:20:10 PM EST
    Go for it all

    They BEGAN by compromising away most of what could have been valuable in this POS bill.

    Maybe you could not forgive yourself. I would forgive you--my prerogative, since I would stand to benefit more than many from a few of the crumbs (temporarily?) thrown our way.


    Why build on later when it could be improved NOW? (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Ellie on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 10:12:48 AM EST
    Forget the group therapy talk, health care "change" from bad to worse even before reconciliation is a non-starter.

    And don't even try tossing Alinsky into this after Obama's "infiltration" of WarCo and Wall St. turned out to be a mere trailer for the boondoggle he had in store for big Insurance and Big Pharma. (Rules for Radicals? Oh please.)


    Actually, Alinsky's approach is in this (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by christinep on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:40:50 PM EST
    Not talking group therapy or anything like it. I was fortunate enough to meet Alinsky in a dorm ask-questions setting when I was 18. Learned a lot. Especially memorable was a response to the question about knowing where you belong in a movement--first group of catalysts, second group moving over the backs of and forward from the original catalysts, those scaling the wall to the other side yet falling back, those climbing with the help of the previous group onto the top of the wall, and the negotiators on the wall trying to get everyone together to the other side. Message from him: All important--but, equally important, is to know where your personality fits in a movement. Perhaps, you and I are in different waves desiring the same end.  Not therapy talk; rather, strategically analytical assessment of how to move forward. Alinsky had a record of movement successes--and, members of the Administration clearly follow that community-organizing model. It does work in a very pragmatic way. Yep, Alinsky is quite relevant here.

    I will add (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by kmblue on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:12:31 PM EST
    I'm sick of people saying single payer isn't politically possible.
    It looks like this mess of a bill isn't politically possible either.

    I'd like to see a try for single payer (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Coral on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:18:55 PM EST
    even if it loses. I'd love to see a vote.

    The bill from the Senate is (5.00 / 8) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:25:54 PM EST
    politically toxic.

    I think they ought to start over and take this thing on in pieces - with better pieces than the ones they've come up with in this one.


    What are the current polls on the senate bill? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:24:44 PM EST
    Some polls show 25% support.  Others 30% - 35%?  The highest I have seen lately is 32%.  I will bet you could go out and get 25% to 30% support for single payer.

    Gallup shows majority and increasing (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:15:26 PM EST
    support for "a" health care bill this year, 49-46.  Link.

    But this one? (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:22:24 PM EST
    Ask about the particulars, see what they say then.

    Let them find out from their unions, see what they say then.

    Let them see what it means in taxes, see what they say then -- maybe not by 2010, maybe not until 2012.


    True, the poll doesn't address those points (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:46:30 PM EST
    But the poll was conducted in light of the current House and Senate versions.....so the poll does have relevance....

    Well, if the poll was on a health care bill (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 08:25:56 PM EST
    -- then it wasn't about either the Senate or House versions, since they are not about health care.  They are about health insurance. :-)

    Congress could get 32% of Americans to (none / 0) (#49)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:54:49 PM EST
    Support anything!  What about the 68% who do not want this bill?  As someone said, this is political suicide.  Why aren't our representatives representing us?  It makes voters very angry when they feel ignored.  

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#61)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:27:59 AM EST
    but my point, and the original poster's point, is that it is laughable for people to say a single payer is not feasible - there is not enough public support for that kind of an overhaul.  But...the bill they are currently craming down our throats only has 25%-30% support.  If we all agree a single payer could get at least THAT, then they have no excuse for not pushing for it if that is what they want (as they have claimed).

    but, but, Cedwyn says (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jes on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:07:29 PM EST
    if you are going to mention the word "reconciliation," you must, absolutely must, do the whip count and list your 50!

    Cedwyn needs to list her 218 (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:23:05 PM EST
    Cedwyn (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:29:56 PM EST
    I actually met her in person once.  Not worried about Cedwyn's "opinions" on any of this, and at this point in her maturity and life learning experience that is all anything she says is.  She is the leader of the Orange Obama Cult and nothing more credible than that.  

    What I find (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:22:33 PM EST
    hilarious is that that "cult" seems to be dying a rough death over there.  The tactics the Obamabots perfected in taking over Kos have now been turned into tools that just may destroy them.  Something about reaping and sowing I believe.  Too flipping funny.  Let's just say I don't shed tears for them.  Now maybe DK can go back to it's original mission instead of being a picture diary platform for fanboys.

    Mindless adoration does not bequeath good policy, it bequeahs George W. Bush.  I do not wish that upon us at all.




    I don't wish them ill most of the time (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:41:40 PM EST
    I noticed too that that rough death seems to be going down.  I wish I understood them, why do they think that it is productive to fight and scream down anyone who would make the President put in an honest day's work toward something that is part of the Democratic platform?  Then start talking about how Unions are pariah?  What do any of her crowd actually know about Unions or what Unions have done for the American middle class?  Because Unions didn't destroy the middle class and I don't know what we are going to do without one.

    "Rough Death" (5.00 / 6) (#27)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:00:31 PM EST
    was a metaphoriacal term, I wish them no ill will either.  But these people have done their fair share of bullying and game playing, so there is a certain satisfaction that I have in their discomfort.

    I guess these guys really think that College students, professors, and stock brokers are all they need, the "creative class" folks who have taken over the party.  In other words, they're fools.  They're trying to appeal to 10% of the people to win national elections because the other 41% have "nowhere to go."  Exactly, they'll stay home, they won't go to the polls.

    It's the certainty of youth and missionary zeal that fuels some of these people, others will just follow because there is a D after someone's name.  Yes, they have no use for Unions because they've never been in one.  The average person generally doesn't understand that hundreds, if not thousands, of people died securing all of these rights that they are willing to throw away.  The only reason kids aren't in coal mines ARE THE UNIONS!  The reason you have a minimum wage is because OF THE UNIONS.  You have a 40 hour work week because OF THE UNIONS.  I could go on and on but I won't.

    On a positive note, I nay join DK at this point, now that you don't have pray at the altar of Obama anymore and can actually work on, oh, what are those things, oh yeah, POLICIES!  :)

    Take care MT.



    If the Creative Class actually worked in the Arts (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by Ellie on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:40:41 PM EST
    ... they'd (a) come up with a better name for themselves and (b) wouldn't be p!ssing on unions, as you point out, cause they'd belong to one (or a guild) that would have saved their bacon enough times to give respect where respect is due.

    The unions are busting tale (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:43:20 PM EST
    to get Coakley elected....

    Negotiating is one thing--crashing the whole deal is another....


    Busting tail (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:44:54 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jackson Hunter on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:22:15 PM EST
    they are loyal and honest Dems, which means we should not screw with their benefits.  Of course, I think the excise tax as it was is likely gone.  If we have to sacrifice somebody, I vote for the stock brokers or millionaires personally.  The rich benefitted for the last 10 years, time for them to pay the piper and let us dance a rag for awhile.

    And yes, as the Senate Bill now stands, I'm willing to lose that, because it's a bad bill.  And I stand to benefit from it rather quickly if it passes, but there is more to the world than just me, or a "win" for Obama, I want a win for the majority of people.  I may be wrong, but this bill isn't that.

    Just my two little lincolns.



    I met her too. (none / 0) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:46:39 PM EST
    Where did you meet her?

    At a D.C. march (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:36:07 PM EST
    against the Iraq War.  Where did you meet her?

    In DC at an orange thing. (none / 0) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:41:05 PM EST
    I was trying to figure out how she manages to get to so many things.

    I honestly don't know (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:44:13 PM EST
    Work or kids don't seem to hinder her, and she's fairly young.  Not in what I would consider the retired crowd yet.  She says that she has studied something to do with biology I think :)

    She was very quiet in person :) (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:44:52 PM EST
    She was very warm and engaging with (none / 0) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:54:47 PM EST
    me.  I actually think she's okay.  I just don't know that I think she's always working from the best information available.  And, yes, she is young.

    You know what I'm beginning to (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:01:46 PM EST
    suspect that sux about politics?  That once you actually have a pretty good idea of what is really going on, there isn't much time left to use that information in :)  Without the blogosphere though I would still be completely clueless about too many things to count.  Yet I've barely scratched the surface.

    The invention of the blogosphere (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 07:50:35 PM EST
    gives me hope - most days anyway.  Having grown up here - mostly - in DC - I always knew a bunch of detail that very few others outside of this little world did about what was going on and why we should be paying attention.  The fact that people all over the country can have access to that detail gives me a lot of hope really.  Not that the information battle ground is going to be easy to manage, but the fact that information is no longer exclusively controlled by a media that is in decline and easily manipulated does offer a potential for democracy to prevail.

    When the Founders ratified the Declaration of Independence there were hundreds of copies made and those copies were distributed everywhere.  This is their vision - rough and tumble as it may be - the blogosphere is re-engaging people in our process and offering them an opportunity to make smarter and more informed decisions about how they participate in this democracy.  It will be interesting to see how the twenty-somethings evolve over the decades and how they use this portal.  Hopefully, they will be smart, inquisitive and discerning about how they process information.

    OR Rupert Murdoch could live forever and take over their brains turning them into pod people.  But we hope that that doesn't happen. lol


    The then infant blogosphere (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:07:48 PM EST
    saved my sanity during the 2000 Florida debacle, so I'm grateful to it.

    But I think your vision is, unfortunately, too optimistic.  The vast majority of the blogosphere doesn't do truth, they do agit-prop on one side or another.  It's just become another echo chamber, like Fox or Olbermann/Maddow/Schultz.


    Well, I don't disagree entirely, but (none / 0) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 07:59:45 AM EST
    unlike the rest of the media, if you have questions about something you are reading in this medium, you can go deeper and research answers.  That leaves a much greater door open to people finding factual information.

    In any case, I noted that this could be a great awakening or a means towards creating even more brain dead pod people than before.  Although, my friends in the twenty something category are so much more informed with facts than my friends were when we were in our 20's.  How they process the information and what they choose to do with it as always will make a difference - but having better information is a big part of the battle.


    at this point (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by pluege on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:13:45 PM EST
    reconciliation is also a debacle - at least a PR debacle. And to use it for garbage bill is doubly bad.

    Democrats have demonstrated clearly that they can not govern. They're better than republicans - at least the work on things most people want, but slightly better than complete utter worthless crap and stealing from tax payers is not saying much. Democrats have shown that they neither want to or can get the people's business done.

    They (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:16:00 PM EST
    need to just scrap this bill and start over. Like you said everybody hates it!! Only an idiot would pass a bill that has NO voting constituency.

    This, the definition of bipartisanship: (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by robotalk on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:33:20 PM EST
    They have produced a bill that virtually no one likes and many detest. There is, as d-day notes, little political upside for anyone in this bill. The Ben Nelsons and Blanche Lincolns never wanted to vote for a health bill in any form. Accomodating them has created a situation where they may still be Nos and a whole bunch of progressives in the House may be nos. This is looking like a debacle. Reconciliation may be the only way to save it.

    Perhaps bipartisanship, instead of being about compromising one's principles, should consist instead of convincing others of the reasonableness of your position.  And when people don't listen to reason, to convince with power politics.

    Is hubris synonymous with stupidity? (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:59:31 PM EST
    Because what the Democrats acted with was more stupidity than anything else; if there was any hubris, it was in thinking we were too stupid to notice how bad the whole thing was.

    And the Congressional Democrats could have put together a better bill, could have given the single-payer proponents a chance to be heard, to have considered ALL the options, but instead, they just rolled over for Obama, turned a blind eye to the back room deals, withheld important information, went along with the bamboozle.

    It's been a stunning and pathetic display of something, and hubris is certainly part of it, but there's also bben way more cowardice and fear than ought to have been part of the equation if what they really wanted was true reform.

    Update (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 07:40:31 AM EST
    Unions strike a deal:

    Unions tentatively struck a deal Tuesday to exempt collectively bargained healthcare plans from a tax on high-cost plans expected to be used to help raise revenue for the healthcare overhaul.

    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern and United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger met with House Speaker Pelosi Tuesday, a day after labor leaders met at the White House to express their opposition to the excise tax.

    House and Senate Democratic leaders are to meet with President Obama this morning at the White House to discuss health care. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel said he hopes there could be an agreement on the excise tax as early as today after the White House meeting, but then conceded: "That's stretching the word `hope.' "

    Exempting collectively bargained plans would appease unions that often offer expensive health plans in lieu of higher wages. The deal could also help Obama avoid breaking his promise not to tax those earning less than $200,000. Obama recently expressed a preference for the excise tax.

    The excise tax could further be tweaked to ensure Obama's promise is kept for non-union workers as well.

    Except, there's this potential problem:

    Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the deal was not enough to bring him on board to support the excise tax on high-cost plans.

    "It's setting up a divide-and-conquer situation here where some people are going to feel they're paying for other people, and they're all working," Grijalva said. "That politically is possibly the most dangerous thing Democrats can do is create that division."

    More details (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:24:55 PM EST
    It gets better and better.

    The deal would temporarily exempt union health plans from a significant surtax on unusually generous health policies plans, giving union leaders time to negotiate new contracts, according to sources familiar with the talks. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid affecting ongoing negotiations. Additional details of the deal were not immediately available.

    Steve Brusk of CNN tweets this:

    Under tent. deal, health care policies for state, local workers, ones negotiated by labor unions would not be taxed until 2017.


    about 1 hour ago from web Still fluid, but involves raising the threshold for tax on insurance plans above Senate bill (tax on plans costing $23,000+ for families.)
    about 1 hour ago from web

    And this is a fun quote (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:08:21 PM EST
    From TPM:

    "As I look back it was a waste of time dealing with [Snowe]," Reid is quoted as saying in a forthcoming New York Times Magazine piece, "because she had no intention of ever working anything out."

    Although the real problem seems to have been Lieberman you would hope some lesson will be learned from dealing with her.

    I also think it didn't help that the opt-out public option got no support from anybody.

    Snowe was plenty of trouble both (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 05:22:05 PM EST
    in terms of delays and in terms of content.  I don't think she even voted for the bill in the end, but her insistence that a public option not be part of the Senate bill was still heeded by the leadership still pursuing that elusive bipartisan unicorn.

    You are incorrect about Nelson. (none / 0) (#6)
    by phat on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 04:26:18 PM EST
    He did and does want to vote for a bill. It just has to be the right type of bill.

    I don't know about Lincoln.

    Karma (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 06:40:01 AM EST
    Well, it seems no matter how unhappy we are with Ben Nelson, his own constiuents aren't happy with him either, even though he "brought home the bacon."

    To: pluege (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:19:08 PM EST
    Then, who do you think can govern? Who--realistically, not theoretically--would you say can and should govern?

    Dems not as strong as we thought (none / 0) (#47)
    by good grief on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:28:39 PM EST
    It is repeatedly proclaimed that Dems are politically strong because they hold both houses and the presidency. However, those two houses are Swiss cheese in terms of sustained support for the public interest (once at the heart of Dem principles) while the WH stands with arms folded in passive smugness, playing strategy rather than policy. What the HCR bill really shows is that it's not just the GOP we're up against, it's the corruptive effects of AHIP and the rest of the corporate lobbyists. They don't run for office. They don't have to. They run our Congress and (apparently) our president by paying their campaign bills which we let them do, persuaded by conservatives that corporations are better trusted than government. But when it comes to healthcare and policies like it affecting the public interest - heck, the human interest - this is the wrong approach and needs to be rethought.

    I say let this thing die and use what power Dems have remaining to regroup our party to decorrupt itself and get straight who the enemy really is at least as much as GOP -- the lobbyists and their bosses. We should consider (among other things) the cost of media buys for campaign commercials for which candidates have to raise campaign contributions nearly constantly. That air time should be free, and we need to find other ways to pay for other campaign expenses (travel etc) to break the cycle of corruption between candidates and media -- and the corporations who now finance the whole thing. We've had campaign finance reform before but candidates tend to ignore it (as Obama did) because they want to use their biggest financial guns unimpeded. Those financial guns turn out to be corporate guns under this scheme. We should revisit the campaign finance process and find ways to make it work because currently our elected leaders work for corporations instead of us. The HCR bill is living proof of that fact and it's essentially anti-democratic. Until we tackle campaign finance reform (and media reform as they intertwine in elections) -- and make them mandatory -- we'll never achieve successful reform in other spheres like healthcare.

    If we had gotten this done before Obama was elected, I daresay we might well have a strong single payer bill by now.

    PS: Supremes (none / 0) (#56)
    by good grief on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57:02 PM EST
    are about to issue a ruling on Citizens United v FEC that might allow direct corporate funding of elections without limitations. We don't know how it will be structured but if anything like this we'll really be in trouble. Expect few changes, however, never mind "reform," because it looks like America is comfortable with corporate corruption, even if it results in crappy HCR bills that expose us to financial disaster or the joys of a healthcare welfare state (for corporations -- while subsidies pretend to benefit us, they pay for private insurance premiums -- what a set-up!). After several decades of political brainwashing, as I mentioned in my comment above, esp since Reagan we seem to trust in corporations more than government.

    We need reform of Reagan's brainwashing.


    Why would we want reconcilation (none / 0) (#50)
    by BrassTacks on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 10:01:58 PM EST
    To pass a bad bill?  I don't support this bill, regardless of how many votes it gets.  I'm not understanding why you want a bad bill passed, with 60 or 51 votes.

    Every progressive that votes against this bill (none / 0) (#62)
    by Bornagaindem on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:31:59 AM EST
    should get a contribution to their campaign. And if it is defeated that is even better. It does not mean they will not pass a healthcare bill. That is believing their propaganda. It means starting over and doing it right. I don't think dems can face 2010 without healthcare reform and we will get a better bill once they understand they must do it via reconciliation.