Rep. Anthony Weiner has been a uniquely valuable voice on health care over the last few months--pushing for the best possible bill, complete with a public option, but also embracing a compromise when it was the only available option. That makes his performance tonight all the more mystifying--and disappointing. The future of health care reform rests entirely on the sentiments of rank-in-file Democrats.
The Wall Street Journal runs through the options. It suggests hurrying through a new vote in both houses will be difficult: One liberal Democrat, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.), said many lawmakers have decided that, if she loses, the party would have no choice but to cram a plan through as quickly as possible, while working to delay Mr. Brown's arrival to the Senate. "We're going to have to finish this bill and then stall the swearing-in as long as possible," Mr. Weiner said.
One of the most revealing moments in Saturday's debate over health care reform was when Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York took the floor. Weiner is a rising star in the Democratic Party, having quickly established himself as an unusually engaging speaker. But, in this case, it was Weiner's effective use of a prop that stood apart. The prop was the handbook for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, or FEHBP--which is, very roughly speaking, a model for how a reformed health care system might work.
How One of America’s Best Journalist-Historians Became Little More Than Bill Clinton’s Stenographer, by Michael Tomasky Ron Wyden, Anthony Weiner, and Nancy-Ann Deparle Debate the Prospects of Reform at TNR's Health Care Conference by Jonathan Cohn and Suzy Khimm What to Think About the Obamas’ Taste in Art, by James Gardener Joe Lieberman Would Probably Jump at the Chance to Kill Health Reform by Jonathan Chait What Is Hank Greenberg Trying to Do to AIG Anyway? by Noam Scheiber The Owner of ‘Politico’ Is Trying to Damage the ‘Post.’ Again.
Click here to read Jonathan Cohn's take on the comments made by Nancy-Ann Deparle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, about the public option at today's TNR health care conference. What good can the public option do if not enough people can access it? That’s the question that Senator Ron Wyden has been raising a lot lately. And he did it again this morning, at TNR's health care reform event.
Alan Grayson, the Democratic Congressman from Florida who's rapidly making a name for himself as the sort of liberal analogue to Michelle Bachman, is in some more hot water for calling Linda Robertson, an adviser to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, a “K Street whore.” Anthony Weiner probably had the best line among the various Congressional Democrats rushing to distance themselves from Grayson: “Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?" But I think what may be more troubling than Grayson's "K Street whore" comment is the venue in which he made it: Alex Jones's radio show.
Sometime shortly after this item goes up, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is supposed consider an amendment that would replace the public insurance option with a full, single-payer plan. The amendment comes from Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat and leading single-payer proponent. It is merely symbolic: It has no chances of passing, unless Republicans decide to support it in an effort to drag down the whole piece of legislation (in which case they may not hold the vote at all). But Weiner and his colleagues did win another victory of sorts, according to Hill staffers.