Health Care Updates

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

I’ve been watching commentary from Broder and other “centrist” 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 — 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, it’s not what they’re looking for.

And so the cost-saving measures under consideration now — which are the first real effort to tackle Medicare costs, ever — are pooh-poohed, because they’re part of a plan that would expand coverage, not contract it.

Finally, someone in media speaks truth about Broder.

4 thoughts on “Health Care Updates

  1. Why is it that Blue Dogs will act like Republicans but you never see Red Dogs acting like Democrats. Don’t they get it, the country has given the course of government over to the Democratic agenda,(much more so than Republicans ever had) and yet they still act like scared little boys. Grow a pair and get it done.

  2. Whoever got the idea that government was created to help people? Jesus, what an outmoded idea that is!
    Everyone know that those who govern are there to be helped along by their corporate allies. Those corporate allies pay for advertizing that make their elected official look like they care about the average citizen. When the propaganda is absorbed and the asshole is re-elected, this helps to forward whatever agenda the corporation has.
    And your friendly neighborhood MSM pundit? He/she is there to sugarcoat everything so that the bitter medicine (which is the only kind we can afford) is swallowed in a digestible form.

  3. I am worried. Everything I have heard indicates them delaying until after the break means they won’t get it done, or will not be working for the people when they do. This is just time to shore up commitments from the insurance companies and drug companies. I guess they want to make sure they will get the big bucks before ignoring the will of the people. If that happens, I will be looking for someone who will represent me, not their pocket.

  4. The WashingtonPost’s David Broder has been a Rovian concern troll for years.

    But it’s excellent to read Paul Krugman call out Broder on specifically torpedoing progressive legislation in a way that repudiates Broder’s concern trolling about costs: It’s a front for Broder to push right wing policies.

    As for the question: “Why is it that Blue Dogs will act like Republicans…”

    Answer: “Blue Dogs” are moderate to conservative Republicans that don’t fit in the current right wing extremist Republican Party.

    Some “Blue Dogs” are usually (a little) better than the Republican that might replace them and occasionally reflect the will of their constituencies (if not those constituencies best interests).

    Unfortunately, many (though not all) “Blue Dogs” are just corporate shills that make the larger Democratic Party look bad.

    There are a good number of good Progressive Democratic leaders in Congress, but they are still a minority within the Democratic Party. And while “Progressive” Dems might outnumber “Blue Dogs” there are still a good number of “middle Dems” to contend with.

    Until Progressive voters learn to distinguish good Progressive Democratic leaders from “Blue Dogs” Democrats and the middle Dems and stop blaming the larger “Democratic Party” for things done by those “Blue Dogs”, many middle Dems will not feel they have the support needed to stand up for Progressive causes.

    And in fact, because many Progressive’s are so quick to blame and attack and generalize about what constitutes the “Democratic Party”, even while there are excellent people in it doing good work, the feelings by the middle Dems that they aren’t being supported isn’t off the mark.

    If you want to be helpful, target the “Blue Dems”, celebrate the Progressive Dems, and work to support the “middle Dems” to feel confident that they can support Progressive legislation.

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