Republicans have a message for America’s senior citizens: President Barack Obama and the Democrats want to take away your health care. And if the polls are right, America’s seniors believe it. For a while now, people over 65 have been skeptical about Democratic reforms. Although the skepticism reflects some broader political feelings--seniors have always been a tough political audience for Obama--it also reflects a seemingly fair judgment about the policies Obama has put forward.
It looks like the White House's endgame may very well include a public option trigger, as a means of bringing Olympia Snowe and other key centrists on board. In fact, Obama met with Snowe today to talk about the bill, so there's no question that her ideas and concerns are being taken quite seriously. But what would a Snowe-endorsed trigger actually look like?
The plan Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus distributed to the Gang of Six is now available via various sources, including TNR.COM. And, generally speaking, it looks like the summaries that were circulating over the weekend. It's not as good as it could be, but better than it might have been, given earlier drafts. Off the bat, though, one section caught my attention--and not in a good way.
One question I had while reading Jonathan Cohn's excellent item about the legislative status of health care reform. It comes from this section of his account: But if Snowe signs on, according to nearly every person I consulted, it’s quite possible the legislation she supports would become the Senate’s bill with very little change--and that, in conference, the Senate bill would prevail. She’d hold the leverage, as long as the administration and Democratic leadership prefer to pass pass legislation with 60 votes. And that certainly seems to be the inclination of Obama and his advisors.
Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. Have you ever been in an alley fight with three muggers while your sanctimonious non-helping cousin berates your poor fighting skills from a nearby window? Me neither. I feel like I have, though, listening to the shadenfreude coming from some single-payer advocates on the sidelines of the current health reform debate. This morning’s New York Times provides a prime example, in a short interview with Dr.
The August recess began with critics attacking health care reform because of its high price tag. It ended with critics attacking health care reform because of how reformers proposed to reduce that high price tag. The intervening weeks were nightmarish: Instead of using August to showcase what reform could do for the average American, the White House spent most of its time knocking down rumors of death panels for the sick and elderly. And as the right became energized, the left grew disillusioned, as much by the administration’s backroom deals as by its ineffectual messaging.
It sounds like the insurers aren't too keen on the insurance company tax Max Baucus is now flirting with for his Finance Committee compromise: Insurers and many Republicans in Congress oppose the fees, saying they would be passed on to families and employers who buy insurance. Robert E.
Ever since we started hearing about the big health care speech Obama will give Wednesday, the media has been alluding to how Bill Clinton gave a similar speech before a joint session of Congress in September of 1993. And, of course, we all know how that turned out. The Post has such an allusion today, and last week the Times had one, too, which went so far as to suggest that even some Obama aides are unsettled by the parallels: He will deliver the address 16 years after President Bill Clinton outlined his plan for universal insurance coverage in a speech to Congress on Sept. 22, 1993.
Harold Pollack is a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Special Correspondent for The Treatment. I’m too square to really enjoy Senator Al Franken’s comedy routine, but I do enjoy his policy wonk routine when he is talking health reform. I really like that he can talk to skeptical older voters about this stuff. Democratic politicians from the President on down--watch this clip. Then go and do thou likewise.
Even before Ted Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer late last month, Republicans were suggesting that health care reform had suffered in his absence--not because Kennedy was so devoted to the cause, but because he would have cut a deal with the Republicans. “In every case, he fought as hard as he could . . .