Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Getting Hot In Here

The voices on the left arguing that the Senate health care "compromise" should be burned down are getting louder and more boisterous and are turning on President Obama.

Today they spread to include progressive congressmen:

Here's Russ Feingold:

This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth.
And Anthony Weiner:
Snowe? Stupak? Lieberman? Who left these people in charge? It’s time for the President to get his hands dirty. Some of us have compromised our compromised compromise. We need the President to stand up for the values our party shares. We must stop letting the tail wag the dog of this debate.
What's more the individual mandate, which is the clause in the Senate bill that allows the claim that it will insure 30 million more Americans is coming under fire as well.

Here's Digby with a scathing takedown:
And Obama can say that you're getting a lot, but also saying that it "covers everyone," as if there's a big new benefit is a big stretch. Nothing will have changed on that count except changing the law to force people to buy private insurance if they don't get it from their employer. I guess you can call that progressive, but that doesn't make it so. In fact, mandating that all people pay money to a private interest isn't even conservative, free market or otherwise. It's some kind of weird corporatism that's very hard to square with the common good philosophy that Democrats supposedly espouse.

Nobody's "getting covered" here. After all, people are already "free" to buy private insurance and one must assume they have reasons for not doing it already. Whether those reasons are good or bad won't make a difference when they are suddenly forced to write big checks to Aetna or Blue Cross that they previously had decided they couldn't or didn't want to write. Indeed, it actually looks like the worst caricature of liberals: taking people's money against their will, saying it's for their own good. --- and doing it without even the cover that FDR wisely insisted upon with social security, by having it withdrawn from paychecks. People don't miss the money as much when they never see it.
I'd really like to make the rejoinder that it probably is worth continuing to fight to make this bill stronger in conference, and that passing it is a concrete first step and that the public option could be revisited via reconciliation in the future. But none of that actually counters what Digby has to say, her point is too simple and clear. Besides she's probably right.

Glenn Greenwald
, not surprisingly, has a post up taking a look at the White House's role, or lack thereof, in the health care battle which is worth a look as well. He pretty much points out that Obama supporters can't have it both ways; either he's got it all figured out and we should trust him to get it done - which means this is his bill, Obama owns it lock, stock, and barrel. Or he doesn't hold any sway over what congress or the senate does and he can't be blamed for the outcome - which means we never should have trusted him in the first place.

All of it makes me a little sick to my stomach. I would feel better if the proposal that's floating around out there somewhere came to fruition and Reid cut a deal with Snowe for her support of the now public option and medicare buy in -less bill, and then burned Lieberman, stripped him of his chairmanship and left him by the side of the road.

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