Today Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.; head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) said that Senate leaders may need to “pull the plug” on bipartisan negotiations and get the bleeping health care reform package out of committee. In particular, Van Hollen was critical of Max Baucus’s Finance Committee (no surprise).
“What concerns me about what’s happened in the Senate Finance Committee is that they’ve had a whole lot of time to work these things out, and just don’t seem to be able to break the impasse,” Van Hollen said in an interview on the liberal Bill Press Radio Show. “It doesn’t seem to be as much about a disagreement over policy issues, and it seems more to be just the lack of the political will on behalf of some to get it done.”
Van Hollen blamed the committee’s slow work on Republicans, who he asserted were unwilling to make the needed “tough decisions” to craft a healthcare bill.
Of course, a lot of the blame goes to Senator Baucus, who is heavily dependent on the health care industry for campaign contributions.
See also Paul Krugman, “An Incoherent Truth.”
Update: More Krugman —
Iâ€™ve been watching commentary from Broder and other â€œcentristâ€ pundits like Robert Samuelson, and I think I see a pattern. They complain a lot about rising public spending, but confronted with any actual proposal to control spending, they reject it â€” unless it has one crucial attribute: it must weaken the social safety net. Unless you end up slashing benefits, or denying health care to more people, itâ€™s not what theyâ€™re looking for.
And so the cost-saving measures under consideration now â€” which are the first real effort to tackle Medicare costs, ever â€” are pooh-poohed, because theyâ€™re part of a plan that would expand coverage, not contract it.
Finally, someone in media speaks truth about Broder.