A Private Pat On The Head For Progressives; Capitulation To Stupak?

Via Chris Bowers, the progressives in the House cut their deal with President Obama on the health bill - they got a private pat on the head:

President Obama met with House Progressive leaders today on health reform. Apparently, he thanked them for their advocacy, saying it made the bill better. [. . .] [I]t feels good to hear President Obama acknowledge our efforts in a positive, rather than a derogatory way. And it is appreciated.

Meanwhile, Bart Stupak won't be so easily assuaged. D-Day writes:

Stupak is reportedly negotiating on something with House leaders, which may be the “third bill” strategy, a standalone vote on his amendment attached to the overall bill, which must pass as a condition of his bloc’s support.

I disagree with Stupak on the policy, but I think he provides lessons on political bargaining.

Speaking for me only

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    Of course Obama has positive (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:09:50 AM EST
    words for Progressives---they caved.
    Pavlov lives!

    Yes, as Bowers says (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:11:37 AM EST
    Obama took a little time out from using Progressives as a foil and a straw man to give them an 'atta boy'.  And it sure felt good!  

    If Progressives were my sister I would be backing up the uhaul at the house right now to drive her away from this abusive relationship.


    Obama entire strategy (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by david mizner on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:13:45 AM EST
    relied on the belief that progressives would buckle. Good strategy (if you want to pass a centrist bill).

    Obama's no progressive but he seems to understand progressives.

    Psst.. Obama's really a Progressive. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by observed on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:22:11 AM EST
    Don't tell anyone though, and don't make him show it by signing Progressive bills, because then he'd lose  his ability to be an effective Progressive, behind the scenes.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#8)
    by kidneystones on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:58:37 AM EST
    it's a problem of definitions. The people I respect haven't capitulated and aren't the slightest bit timid about expressing their contempt for this bundle o' crap.

    Time to face some unpleasant facts. Bowers, Matt, and Ezra et al aspire to join David Broder and the rest of the bobble-heads on the Sunday talk shows.


    I miss the strong voices of the Black Caucus (none / 0) (#29)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:52:55 AM EST
    on this issue. I wonder if what Obama "understands," and exploits, is the reluctance of minority members to harshly criticize him, and their higher-than-the-average-pol's investment in his personal success.

    "Mary, Mary could you come into the office (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by tigercourse on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:37:57 AM EST
    for a sec? I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am... we all are with the work you've been doing on this project for the past 14 months. Really great stuff. Now, I'm handing the rest of it over to Roger, he'll make a couple changes, don't worry, don't worry it's still your work, mostly. The theory of the project remains intact.

    And Mary, while we're really, really happy here at management, some of the shareholders are a little... they have a few reservations to tell you the truth. There a little mad at you to be totally blunt Mary. Sooooo, don't make any big purchases between now and November. Oh, that's probably Ben on the line... I have to take that, good job kid."

    I can't even talk about this (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:48:27 AM EST
    without needing to break something, so I won't do either.  I will go to my happy place.

    The best of both worlds :-) (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:50:32 AM EST
    The Senate health insurance bill with the only change being Stupak replacing Nelson.

    Well the Dems pols will have to accept the consequences either good or bad in 2010 and 2012.

    BTW the Progressive Caucus might as well disband as they have proven once again that they are completely irrelevant. Any progressive voter who thinks they have representation in Congress is completely delusional.

    and there will be consequences (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:08:42 PM EST
    If Stupak is included I will be voting against my Dem representative and no amount of calling me a "single issue voter" will change my mind.

    If I'm gonna be stuck with someone who wishes to assuage the health care lobby and curtail my daughter's and my reproductive rights then it might as well be a Republican.


    For (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:01:16 AM EST
    all the whining about blue dogs this is a classic example of how they get their way. Thank heavens I'm not a progressive, I'm a liberal. Progressive has become a joke.

    It seems they are determined to pass any piece of crap. Oh, well, like MO Blue says above the fall out is going be large and it's going to be felt for a couple of election cycles.

    The fall out will be significant (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:15:30 AM EST
    and not just because of health care.  The unions are just the latest group that feel they've been thrown under the bus, and unless some pretty miraculous things happen in the next few months, I don't see how the Dems have a good November.

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- The nation's union leaders said on Tuesday that they were "appalled" at remarks made by President Obama condoning the mass firing of teachers at a Rhode Island high school.

    Barack Obama appealed to union members in Evansville, Ind., while campaigning in 2008.
    Coming the day after union presidents sharply complained to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. over stubbornly high unemployment, stagnant wages and the administration's failure to do more to create jobs, the statement -- voicing a rare vehemence toward a Democratic president -- underlined the disillusionment of an important Democratic constituency.

    Because unions have been so crucial to the Democrats election after election, political experts say labor's ambivalence, or worse, toward the Democrats could greatly deepen that party's woes this fall.

    "Labor is very disappointed, whether it's about card check or the effort to tax Cadillac health plans," said Charles E. Cook Jr., publisher of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, referring to a bill that would have made it easier to unionize and to tax high-cost health plans that many union members have. "They're really disillusioned. I think one by one unions will start getting engaged and helping out the Democrats, but it could be half-hearted."

    Mr. Cook said that ever since the Republicans captured the House in 1994 (the Democrats regained it in 2006), labor has played an increasingly important political role every two years to lift the Democrats' fortunes. But he does not see that happening this fall.

    Labor leaders are disappointed over how little Mr. Obama has delivered and are angry over his support of the firings of the entire faculty at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island because of its poor graduation rate. Nevertheless, leaders attending the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s winter meeting here in Orlando said they would mobilize labor's base for this fall's elections. They hope to minimize widely anticipated Republican gains. But that might not be easy.

    "People aren't feeling so good about the president because the economy hasn't turned around," said Johnny Saunders, a steelworker in Martins Ferry, Ohio. "There are still massive layoffs, and people really believe that he bailed out Wall Street and forgot about Main Street. I think it's going to be a real challenge for organized labor to try to re-energize its base."


    Mr. Obama and the Democrats face problems among much of their base. Women's groups are angry that some Democrats are pushing new restrictions on abortion as part of the health care overhaul. Many Hispanic groups are upset that Mr. Obama has not pressed for immigration reform this year. And gay and lesbian groups are unhappy he has not ended "don't ask, don't tell" as a military policy.

    In light of these problems, not having the 15-million-member union movement fully engaged and enthusiastic this November could be a major blow for the Democrats.

    Obama (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:20:46 AM EST
    is apparently not very bright when it comes to the politics of things. He literally thinks that people have nowhere to go even after Scott Brown in MA. I'm sure that he thinks and has said as much.

    I can't believe that there's people that think Obama can't lose in 2012.


    Nowhere to go (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Coral on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:40:26 AM EST
    Those of us on the left don't have to go anywhere come November. We can just stay home.

    And many of us will do just that. (none / 0) (#39)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:05:36 AM EST
    okey dokey (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:37:22 PM EST
    But, what are the real options? Earlier, someone wisely focused on staying involved and continuing to organize--when Democrats are in power (not just out of power timeframes.) My comments clearly show my perspective as center-left. I've always belonged to the liberal wing of the party; but, when needed, tack to center. That is just my belief. That said: Consider what Manuel said on another thread when he urged us to keep fighting for what we believe. Don't cede the first term--it doesn't make any sense other than realizing a self-fulfilling prophecy like taking our marbles home and watching a nation elect another Bush-like person (maybe even his brother Jeb.) Come on; it hurts now...but, there remain a number of policies where concerted efforts can and will have the kind of impact you want. Take some time; redefine focus; and, stay with it.

    I intend to treat the Congressional seats (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:48:39 PM EST
    we have apportioned in our area like a revolving door until I get adequate representation. Then again I don't politically identify with either major party any longer.

    LOL. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:14:24 PM EST
    Well, shoephone, you are just going to loooooove this call to arms then.

    Jeez, that woman is an idjit (none / 0) (#71)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 07:09:17 PM EST
    Have you read through the comments she's getting over there? Looks to me like very few of the readers are buying what she's selling. The cave-ins are in denial about the intense anger and disgust created by the Obama Health Insurance Circus Act.

    More blah blah blah from the centrist crowd (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by shoephone on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:56:43 PM EST
    I'll vote for someone I believe in, rather than someone who pays lip service and then stabs me in the back. If my Dem rep no longer supports my interests and values, he no longer gets my vote. Scare tactics don't work with me. The Dems are proving themselves to be totally useless.

    Hey (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:55:07 PM EST
    I consider myself a centrist and I think this bill is crap.  This isn't a "centrist" bill - it's a giveaway to corporations and a beat down into submission to the Republicans.

    Fair point (none / 0) (#65)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:31:11 PM EST
    Honestly, whose to say the Nader people weren't right in 2000- how do we really know that Gore would have been better than Bush.

    I think Gore would have (none / 0) (#73)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 09:43:50 PM EST
    had us on the road to energy independence two days after he was elected. That is a big difference between him and Bush.  Sure he would have attacked Afghanistan after 9/11.  But I know we would never have gone into Iraq.  We would be solvent today. Nothing can convince me otherwise.

    Excuse me but I think this is just B.S. (none / 0) (#48)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:12:17 PM EST
    The Dems are not going to buck the health industries and forgo their campaign contributions any more than the Republicans will. Not now and not in the foreseeable future. This process proved that in spades. Give aways to pharma, give aways to the insurance industry and the hospital complexes. This only shifts more costs to patients. Our drugs will still be 35% to 50% higher and our health care will still be 2 to 3 times than other countries.  

    Our Drug prices (none / 0) (#66)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:33:48 PM EST
    are higher because we subsidize the world.

    Our drug prices are higher (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 06:04:17 PM EST
    because our government refuses to negotiate the prices like every other country.

    The way I see it (none / 0) (#59)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:31:26 PM EST
    is unless the progressives offer up an alternative then I pretty much am going to get stuck with a schmuck. It might as well be a new schmuck as an entrenched incumbant. I won't reward bad behavior even if it means I concede a race to the other side every once in awhile to clean house.

    Not really bright (none / 0) (#63)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:24:01 PM EST
    when it comes to politics- seriously, I love the delusions you have about the man- its like somehow he magically won a Senate, the Nomination and the Presidency.  

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 06:10:55 PM EST
    considering the fact that a donkey could have won the election last year and he had no competition for the senate and had a safe D seat in the Il senate what does that show? You might have a case if the market hadn't collapsed but since it did you don't have much of an argument.

    And he didnt even win the most votes for the nomination only the most delegates but we all know that you and Obama have now adopted the Bush stance on that kind of thing.


    Didn't think that the labor leaders (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:18:47 AM EST
    were quite this stupid.

    Nevertheless, leaders attending the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s winter meeting here in Orlando said they would mobilize labor's base for this fall's elections. They hope to minimize widely anticipated Republican gains. But that might not be easy.

    No need to pass a reconciliation fix for the excise tax now since the labor leaders will support them no matter what. Of course in MA the labor leaders mobilized for Croakley and from what I've read the rank and file mobilized behind the scenes for Brown.


    Think MA large scale (none / 0) (#44)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:19:28 PM EST
    the people in the union are going to be most likely just like the progressives and not show up for these little mobilization seminars.

    Its funny if he did what (none / 0) (#64)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:28:24 PM EST
    all of these groups want (not that he can- after all DADT takes congressional action and he's started to move on this) his approval would hover around 40%- Immigration Reform would piss of Unions, and some moderates, giving more to unions would piss of moderates who already view the adminstration as too union friendly after the Auto-Bailout, Women's groups are apparently angry because Obama hasn't figured out a way to make Bart Stupak disappear and Ben Nelson Disappear, etc.

    He had absolutely no problem (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 06:08:06 PM EST
    doing what the health insurance industry, pharma, and the hospitals wanted. No problem doing what the savy guys in banking wanted or for that matter doing what the Republicans wanted. He just choses to piss off the people who normally vote Democratic.

    I so agree with anglachel on (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:25:16 AM EST
    today's "progressives":

    The "progressives" are a social class, not a political movement, and they are all about image.

    Not much more to add (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:28:14 AM EST
    Actions speak, words are cheap, and this is what being a Progressive seems to really be about now...a cool group identity to hide behind and nothing more substantial than that.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:30:20 AM EST
    That is the perfect description.

    No, they're not all about image (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lambert on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:47:16 AM EST
    They're all about FUNDING.

    yeah, the two are related I think. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:50:31 AM EST
    That is true among the general population, (none / 0) (#32)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:11:52 AM EST
    perhaps, but in the congress many of the most progressive members are members of minorities. With this president, they find themselves in a unique and difficult spot. He does not want to appear to catering to minorities. They want to help his presidency be seen as a success. But, they also want to serve the long term interests of their constituents. That, I think, creates some difficult conflicts for those member.

    Hmmm. Interesting, but I don't buy this. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:38:06 AM EST
    Some truth to it IMO (none / 0) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:44:40 AM EST
    My representative, a member of the CBC, was a consistent vote against funding the wars until the first request from Obama. He voted for the funding.  

    Oh. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:55:59 AM EST
    Yes, I guess I do buy the reality of that. What I should have said is that I don't buy that they are really progressives if they are basing these things on Obama being black, or worries about criticizing him, instead of what their constituents desperately need. That's pathetic.

    But this bill will likely be popular with (none / 0) (#40)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:44:50 AM EST
    minorities, many of whom are poor. Instead of waiting to get on free Medicaid, low income people will automatically receive coverage via this healthcare welfare. The problem is, instead of making health care less expensive, this faux reform simply reallocates medical costs and future insurance increases from the insurance companies and their investors to America's middle and working classes. It assures wealth redistribution, with silly commissions set up to limit policy cost increases. And like all welfare programs, it will hurt both the middle class and the poor it purports to serve.

    Wait (none / 0) (#62)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    Like all Welfare programs? So essentially you think that Medicaid, Uninsurance, Food Stamps, Pell Grants, etc hurt the poor?

    To: SocraticSilence (none / 0) (#72)
    by christinep on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:25:17 PM EST
    The amount of libertarianism in some of these threads is interesting, isn't it? OR maybe its the undifferentiated anger and frustration masked by humor. It is sad.

    More from Bower's post (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:06:59 AM EST
    Really worth a read, if you can stomach it.

    Obama sorta, kinda promised to work on the public option in the future, according to former Progressive Caucus co-chair Barbara Lee:

    But, she said, Obama said the current healthcare legislation is a "foundation," adding he "would work with us on the next effort."(...)
    Lee did say, however, that the president was "noncommittal" about pushing for a public option in the future.

    It is at least good to know that our fights are appreciated, but it is also clear to me that we have to wage them ourselves.  If there is ever going to be a public option, whether in this bill or in the future, we are going to have to round up the votes on our own.

    Well, that should go well.

    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:22:34 AM EST
    just give them a black eye and then send roses and everyone will be happy. Right? But then this is how Obama treats a lot of people. remember the abusive wife analogy during and after the primaries?

    Maddow had (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:19:23 AM EST
    a very interesting segment on Stupak last night and his connection to C Street and the Family and asking who subsidized his and others housing there.


    I'm tired of the (none / 0) (#51)
    by Emma on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 02:52:51 PM EST
    "progressives" with these conspiracy theories.  

    "Look! Stupak was led by the Bishops!" ~ Ms. Magazine

    "Look!  Stupak is in bed with the family!"  ~ Rachel Maddow

    I KNOW it's bad policy!  I KNOW the f-heads on the right are all for it!  I can deduce for MYSELF that right-wing f-heads worked on it!

    Start talking about how to STOP it from being done!  I'm already outraged!  Tell me how to f'ing FIX it!


    well (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:48:15 PM EST
    I would say the first step in stopping it would be talking about it.  
    but what do I know.  Im just a "progressive".

    Yes, (none / 0) (#56)
    by Emma on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:06:52 PM EST
    By all means.  Let's talk about how bad the Stupak amendment is.  The Stupak amendment is bad because it hacks away at women's constitutional rights.  I don't think it's somehow worse, or more worth opposition, because the religious right-wing wrote it or gives kickbacks to Stupak.

    I don't much care about the backstory at this point.  The overbearing message of these stories is that the assault on women's rights isn't bad enough by itself.  We have to find something else to justify opposition to it, something like the right wing paying for Stupak's house.


    I just (none / 0) (#57)
    by Emma on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:07:58 PM EST
    don't think the "revelation" that politicians take favors, graft, and kickbacks is more important than the assault on women's constitutional rights.  Obviously, your and Maddow's MMV.

    what (none / 0) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:13:39 PM EST

    wow... is this guy actually an adult? (5.00 / 8) (#15)
    by Nathan In Nola on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:21:24 AM EST
    "[I]t feels good to hear President Obama acknowledge our efforts in a positive, rather than a derogatory way..." Are you kidding me!?!?!?

    Obama to Bowers: Hey there, little buddy, you made me real proud what you did back there. Now go outside and play, I need to talk to the republicans for a little while.

    At least I can still laugh today (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:22:46 AM EST
    "Who's a good boy?" (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:29:32 AM EST
    (as one would say to a dog)

    I think you missed the money quote, BTD (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by lambert on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:46:02 AM EST
    Hearing President Obama thank House Progressives honestly made me feel good.

    Most pathetic post ever from Bowers, or most pathetic post in the history of the known universe? I'm going with door #2.

    sounds like a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:50:54 AM EST
    From David Herszenhorn, NYT. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:51:57 AM EST
    Perhaps the most overlooked section of President Obama's speech on health care Wednesday was his insistence that the Democratic bill would take sufficient steps to control the rise in costs. The president stated that .." we have now incorporated most of the serious ideas from across the political spectrum about how to contain the rising cost of health care--ideas that go after the waste and abuse in our system, especially in programs like Medicare."  However, Herszenhorn notes that, in truth, no one knows yet if the bills would reduce federal health care spending. The Congressional Budget Office and other experts have not yet seen details to help make projections. This is understandable, since there are no details to work with.  So, "savings without cuts in benefits"  (as with excise taxes) is becoming unmasked as an assertion by experts to be tested on the entire population, and then we will get back to you.  Medicare for all, no.  Medicare for none, in the horizon, in my view.

    Vouchers (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:00:56 AM EST
    Well, Paul Ryan is Obama's favorite Republican (according to Tweety) and Ryan supports the abolishment of both.  Abolishment can now be sold by the village as the pragmatic and centrist position.  Vouchers!!! Vouchers!! Obama's nothing if not pragmatic (center) and centrist (right.)

    Oh goody... I can't wait...

    Vouchers for religious charter schools
    Vouchers for Social Security investment (who cares what just happened to the markets.  Survival of the fittest baaaaby)
    Vouchers for purchasing private medical insurance after 65 (oh, hey, wait a minute.  That's wasn't the nose under the tent we were expecting)


    Republican ideas about reducing (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by esmense on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 11:03:01 AM EST
    health care cost (the kind of ideas Obama has embraced) are all based on reducing health care use -- giving people less of what they've paid for. This has been true, and various versions of these ideas have been tried (HMOs, etc,), since the Nixon era. Obviously, from the consumer viewpoint, it hasn't work. But for insurers and many for-profit hospitals, etc., it has worked very well.

    Perhaps Republicans' ideological assumptions are just honestly mistaken? Or, more likely, there is no mistake at all; more profit for providers,  not more care at lower cost for patients, has always been and still is the goal.

    There's a reason why wonky discussions of the issue always, mistakenly or dishonestly, insist the last major change to our health care system occurred in 1965, with Medicare, and completely ignore the dramatic changes made in 1973. The reason is this; our current state of affairs suggests the wonks were wrong about how discouraging use leads to cost containment then, and are most likely still wrong now.

    By the way, the mainstream media has mostly ignored this story, but members of HSAs (Health Saving Accounts coupled with high deductible plans), that Republicans now claim will be the cost savings savior (by forcing consumers to make "better choices") that HMOs were once promised to be, have seen their premiums rise this year by as 79% or more. The reason for this is simple, to attact customers from traditional accounts these insurers promise and initially offered significantly lower premiums. Now, insurers claim that when they set these lower premiums they did not have enough data to determine the true cost of these plans. Costs, it turns out, have greatly exceeded expectations and now they must raise rates dramatically to make up for their losses.

    Could it be that the high cost of health care has nothing to do with consumers "over-using" the system for "unneeded" primary care -- the kind of use HMAs are designed to discourage?

    The HMA experience seems to indicate that ignoring your kids' earaches and, when necessary, setting your own broken bones is just not going to be enough to bring down the cost of insurance. The American people are going may have to man up and stop dinging their insurers for things like major injuries, cancer and heart disease too.    


    The Democrats have embraced the same (none / 0) (#41)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:06:59 PM EST
    principle with the excise tax, promoting bundling payments for medical care for Medicare patients and offering 70%, 60% and catastrophic coverage on the exchanges.

    Yes, the excise tax idea (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 01:54:21 PM EST
    is based on the assumption that it will result in less usage of health care, and, hence, reduce health care costs.  And, this outcome brings better health care outcomes not even, the same ones.  The less care brings better care is befitting of Alice-in-Wonderland unless you subscribe to the likes of Gruber and the Dartmouth Atlas. And/or believe that health care is subject to the same economies and efficiencies of progress--not unlike any widget.  Similarly, the Medicare "savings/cut without reduction of benefits" has been a slippery piece of the bills. At this late stage, the CBO still can't get the details to make projections.  It is difficult to  put a sharp pencil to this good idea when the only "details" are anecdotal--too many lab tests, old timers using the program for companionship, and, of course, fraud (a good idea of McCains's for undercover old timers is to be included).   The idea, rather, was to capture the funds for the expanded program so as to limit  new taxes,  cut the benefits and hope Gruber et al were right.

    Nowhere to go (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 04:47:20 PM EST
    Those of us on the left don't have to go anywhere come November. We can just stay home.

    In my dreams, all disillusioned Dems and liberals and union voters join me in voting Green. Then I wake up, realizing that too many of them will still go ahead and vote for the Democrats because they are the lesser of two evils.

    I've already joined you in "Green" land (none / 0) (#61)
    by nycstray on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:10:14 PM EST
    at least I don't have to compromise most of my beliefs (they're a tad too animal rights for me, but I can deal)

    That may very well be my strategy (none / 0) (#67)
    by cawaltz on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 05:47:44 PM EST
    I'll be looking at the numbers when I decide how to vote. One thing I know for sure is I will be voting, no sitting on my hands for me.

    Hoyer (none / 0) (#5)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 08:44:41 AM EST
    suggests Stupak could get a separate vote

    Stupak has re-entered negotiations with Democratic leadership, and this evening, emerging from a meeting with Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer indicated one possible way forward.

    "Separate pieces of legislation could be passed that would relate to that," Hoyer said in response to a question from TPMDC. "That's a possibility. I talked to Mr. Stupak today, and I'm going to be talking to him next week and he indicated he wanted to have some discussions with people. And I will do that."


    Stupak has resisted this solution in the past. There aren't sixty votes in the Senate on just about any abortion related question. But things have changed--because of the political math in the Senate, House Democrats simply can not change the Senate bill's language. Nor does abortion meet muster under the strict rules of the budget reconciliation process. So Stupak is left with a choice between (potentially? likely?) killing the bill, or figuring out a way to deal with the issue outside of the health care process. And with the Democrats' signature agenda item--and a year's worth of work--on the line, everything's very fluid.

    It'll pass (none / 0) (#30)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:55:03 AM EST
    Stupak just needs a few more seats in the House and Senate and he can get the Repubs and the Conservadems to pass this.

    Re: Bowers... (none / 0) (#22)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 09:37:26 AM EST
    It actually sounds like a child wrote that piece. How old is this guy...  twelve?

    "Obama sorta, kinda promised to work on the public option in the future..."

    There may not be much daylight (none / 0) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 10:47:33 AM EST
    between the bargaining lessons of Stupak and Obama.  They just have different outcomes in their sights: Stupak wants his position on federal funding of abortion and is committed to it for his reasons, and Obama wants a bill with health or insurance reform language in it,  any bill will do, and that is his commitment for his reasons.  And, the strategies go from there.

    Private pat on the head. (none / 0) (#43)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 12:09:25 PM EST
    Obama just told them what they'd get out of this if they cooperate and don't raise a stink.

    The reason Obama wants the house to vote on the Senate bill first is because once it's passed, progressives CAN'T demand the public option.

    We need to prevent this sneaky end run trying to force the House to accept the Senate bill.

    Stupak just got more power (none / 0) (#53)
    by waldenpond on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:21:43 PM EST
    Massa is resigning as of Monday.

    Not sure that is accurate (none / 0) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 03:39:29 PM EST
    Massa was a no vote last time. Hold out for single payer and might well have been a no this time around also.