Guilty of Practicing Good Government
March 17, 2010
Why is the CBO Taking So Long to Score the Health Bill?
Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Special Correspondent for The Treatment. The New Deal was famously described as an arrangement whereby the South was forced against its will to accept billions of dollars every year. Something similar might be said of the current health reform. Washington is on pins and needles waiting to discern the votes of Blue Dog Representatives whose constituents have the most to gain from health reform. I was reminded of this fact by Michael Tomasky's recent column.
This Is Why You're Here
March 16, 2010
Slate's Will Saletan responds to pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen--and everybody else telling the Democrats not to support health care reform because it might not play well in November: Losing your job is a scary idea. It's natural to look for a way out. It's also natural to rationalize your self-preservation. You aren't really caving; you're just serving the public by heeding the polls. Isn't that a legislator's job? No. It isn't. Your job description is in the nation's founding documents. The Constitution specifies representative democracy, not direct democracy.
Nancy Pelosi’s Theory of Change
March 16, 2010
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a longtime advocate for universal health care. She’s also demonstrated that she has a good feel for the politics of her chamber and her party, simply by passing so many major pieces of legislation this year.
Pelosi Explains the Way Forward
March 15, 2010
It looks like the coming House vote on health care reform will be the decisive one after all. As of this weekend, sources including House leadership aides indicated that the House might pass health care reform under a special procedure, effectively making enactment of the legislation contingent upon the Senate passing amendments to its original bill. Some House members favor this approach because they don't trust the Senate and don't like the Senate bill.
What's Been Taking So Long?
March 15, 2010
From Politico's Pulse: The weekend included high drama for the drug industry as lobbyists huddled with Democratic staffers to work out a fee structure and donut-hole fix that wouldn’t bust the $90-billion commitment they made to pay for reform, industry sources said. Drug makers were asked to sign off on multiple solutions so that backup options were available should any of the fixes run into problems passing muster with the Senate parliamentarian.
Down to the Wire
March 14, 2010
The roll call was less than twenty-four hours away. And the votes still weren’t there. It was more than eight months ago--June 25, 2009--and the White House was hosting a luau on the South Lawn for members of Congress and their families. But with the House set to vote on cap-and-trade the next day, key members of the president’s staff and House leaders were huddling about how to proceed. There was even some talk of postponing the vote, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation. In the end, the administration and House leadership decided to go ahead.
Avoid This Contingency Plan
March 13, 2010
If all goes as planned, next weekend the House of Representatives will vote on health care reform. That much we know. But on what actual bill or bills will the House vote? And what's likely to happen next? Those are critical questions and, on Saturday, several sources said that no final decision had been made. Broadly speaking, the House has to do two things next weekend.
The Best Way Forward
March 13, 2010
Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and a Special Correspondent for The Treatment. More in sorrow than in anger, Washington Times editorialists are concerned that President Obama doesn't do enough to control costs. The Times particularly chides the President for delaying the proposed "Cadillac tax" on costly insurance plans. One original cost-control measure was to impose a tax on high-quality insurance, dubbed Cadillac plans….
'We Will Likely Vote Friday or Saturday'
March 12, 2010
Somewhere in the White House or Capitol Hill, I imagine, is a whiteboard that looks like this: August recess September Columbus Day Thanksgiving Christmas New Year's State of the Union Valentine's Day St. Patrick's Day And now passing health care reform by St. Patrick's Day, which is next Wednesday, seems impossible.