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rant

health insurance

So this is what happens when a swing Senator comes from a state whose principal industry is insurance. He can single-handedly stop any health-care reform that might actually lead to less profit for the insurance industry, which includes pretty much any health-care reform that might actually save money.

(For those who haven't heard, Lieberman has apparently convinced the D's to remove the "Medicare at 55" clause from last week's compromise, because if that clause goes in, he goes out. And once they've given him this, he'll find something else to demand, and he'll get that too. And something else, and something else, until the entire bill is just an insurance-industry bailout.)

I don't suppose there's any hope of getting a non-mouth-foaming Republican like Olympia Snowe to break ranks....

Comments

Snowe will only agree to a trigger with so many conditions as to be useless. I think Harry Reid should finally show some backbone and head straight to reconciliation.

As for Lieberman, he and his wife will have a lot of atoning to do next Yom Tov IMNSHO. To think that this man almost became our vice president - !
Lieberman is slime; but he can't be blamed for "single-handedly" stopping anything, he is only one of 100 US Senators... it takes many more than one to stop or start anything in that "august" body (full snark mode on).

Why is it that Republican solidarity is so tight on nearly every issue? It is a scary group of loons they are all beholden to... That is the real scary part of this.
Because they Republicans know the bill is doomed, so they can afford to build politcal capital by holding tight formation against something they KNOW will not pass. It makes the loonies in "the base" happy, and the realists in the center can see the handwriting on the wall. The Repubes got nothing to lose by voting against it, and everything to lose by voting for it.

OTOH, I think Lieberslime CAN be said to be "single-handedly" holding up progress - since the Dummycractic caucus can't bring any real pressure to bear, he weilds disproportionate power for a lone Senator from Connecticut. And he's in the postion of being the swing vote on other stuff that other Senators need to happen, so he's essentially bulletproof. As Charlie Wilson put it, "I'm a guy who gets to say "yes" a lot. Makes me a real popular man." Only in Joe's case, he gets to say "no" and collect favors from the Repubes while cashing checks from the insurance industry. And Joe can read the political winds - he know the Dummycrats' collective failure to ride remove their heads from their asses means the Repubes stand an excellent chance of gaining ground in the next election. Having the Repubes owe him a big fat one will be to his favor.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a Democratic true-believer. I just wish the party would grow a pair. There were a lot of things I didn't like about Bill Clinton, but he clanked when he walked, and he didn't take shit from his own party's leadership, and he was willing to stomp a mudhole in anyone who seriously screwed him.

Just once, I'd like to see Obama bitch-slap Pelosi, put Harry Reid over a barrel, and show a tenth the politcal ruthlessness that keeps the Repubes a serious threat. Cerebral and balanced was great, but now it's time to take a sledgehammer to his own party. My great hope lay in that Rahm Emmanuel is jsut as much an attack dog as Karl Rove, but Obama needs to let him off the leash a little.
Because they Republicans know the bill is doomed, so they can afford to build politcal capital by holding tight formation against something they KNOW will not pass. It makes the loonies in "the base" happy, and the realists in the center can see the handwriting on the wall. The Repubes got nothing to lose by voting against it, and everything to lose by voting for it.

"The bill is doomed" may be an overstatement -- something will probably be passed that calls itself health-care reform. But it's true that if something is passed that actually works, the D's will get most of the credit, so the R's have less to gain from passing a good health-care reform bill than from "standing firm"... and when the bill doesn't do any good, the R's can blame the D's who were "in control" at the time it was passed.

Of course, whatever is passed may never take effect anyway: they've been talking about most of it taking effect in 2014, by which time there have been two chances for the R's to take over Congress, and one chance for them to take over the White House; if they managed to get both of those things, whatever is passed would be repealed before it can ever take effect.