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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

No One Could Have Predicted

Matthew Yglesias reports that Ezra Klein reports that key Republican senators claim to be willing to compromise on health care reform. They demand that the bill not be forced through via budget reconciliation (they know no filibuster and they are irrelevant). On substance they have one line in the sand “Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition,” that is, they suggest a deal.

No medicare for all public option and they will hold their nose and accept universal health insurance.

Why didn't anyone think of using the public option as a bargaining chip ? Let's google
"public insurance option" "bargaining chip"

I'm not dumping on Yglesias. I'm sure he would have made the list if I had googled slightly different strings.

The weird thing is that it is all going according to script. The health insurance companies are begging for a mandate. Did Obama realize that universality was good for the insurance companies so he could make them pay for it ? The public option would bankrupt them. Klein reports what he and many others predicted, that it would be abandoned as a bargaining concession.

I love Obama, but the political skill of the Obama team almost scares me. They are geniuses or they are very very lucky.

One quibble. Yglesias quotes without comment a false claim from Regina Herzlinger from the Manhattan Institute "Switzerland, which enables universal coverage without any governmental insurance through this system, benefits from costs 40 percent lower than the U.S. and, unlike the single-payer systems in the U.K. or Canada, excellent results for the sick." If you look at health outcomes, the U.K. and Canada have excellent results for the sick too. Yglesias is reporting on the weakness of conservative opposition to universal care, but I don't think a false claim about single payer systems should be allowed to become a consensus, because conservatives keep repeating it and non-conservatives are tired of pointing to the same evidence again and again.


Anonymous said...

What scares me, really scares me, is the worship of a political leadership, and the stifling of any questioning of the leadership by supposed liberals who are impossible tyrannical. But, that is just me.

Anonymous said...

March 10, 2009

State of Change: Talking About Health Reform, But Not About A Cure
By John Nichols - The Nation

Health care reform is a vital and engaging concern for America--and for Americans. But you would not know it from Thursday's White House Forum on Health Reform, which was so narrowly focused and uninspiring that it almost made Hillary Clinton's bumbling efforts of the 1990s look good.

[The political wonder children will save us all because they are wonder children, are they not?]

Anonymous said...

March 10, 2009

Biden Warns of Worsening Afghan Security

BRUSSELS - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged NATO allies on Tuesday to help the United States tackle worsening security conditions in Afghanistan, warning that the situation posed a threat to the West as a whole.

"The deteriorating situation in the region poses a security threat not just to the United States but to every single nation round this table," Biden told representatives of the 26-nation military pact during a visit to Brussels....

[There are times when the political skills of the Obama folks are just plain scary, but not in the way we might wish.]