Lots of people have been telling Republican Party leaders that simply opposing Obamacare isn’t enough—that they need to develop an alternative. But few can offer such advice with the authority, or the insight, of Clint Murphy.
Republicans are in high dudgeon over the recess appointment of Don Berwick to run Medicare and Medicaid. Here, for example, is what Representative Tom Price had to say on Wednesday: “Democrats held no hearing, allowed no public testimony, and called no votes on this nomination. ... [They] made absolutely no effort to follow the regular, established process for confirming a presidential nomination." You know what? He’s right.
Here's what Representative Tom Price, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said after the summit: Today’s summit should have been used to start anew because Americans simply don’t agree with the Democrats’ approach. Instead, President Obama and Democrat leaders completely ignored the public’s call to start over with a blank sheet of paper. But Democrats came to the table unwilling to let go of their thousands of pages of big government. Amidst all the talk, one contrast stood out with crystal clarity.
The closest thing Congress has to its own Tea Party takes place every Wednesday afternoon, in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office building.
When the Democrats announced that they would be forgoing conference committee proceedings and negotiating a final health care reform bill informally, critics pounced on President Barack Obama for violating his promise of greater transparency in government. And I, for one, had no great urge to defend him. As a presidential candidate, Obama had not merely promised to introduce more transparency to government.
From the moment the the Republican leadership released its alternative approach to health care reform, critics (including me) pointed out that it was unlikely to make a dent in the number of people without insurance. On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office came out with its preliminary estimates of what the bill will do. And, sure enough, the critics were right. Overall, ten years into implementation, the plan would not significantly change the number of people with health insurance.
Republicans seem to think they’ve found a liberal equivalent to Joe Wilson in Alan Grayson, whom I profiled in our last issue for his brazenly bloggy temperament. Here he is last night on the House floor saying that the Republican health care plan is to “die quickly.” (Skip to1:52): Jonathan Allen has the goods on the fallout: Republicans called on Grayson last night to apologize, and on Wednesday morning, Rep.