In the Near Future: A Groundswell To Insert The Public Option

This is what the next month or six weeks holds. It’s a guess, but from someone who has consistently said that health care would be passed by reconciliation and that it would include a public option.

How this will happen is that there will be such a groundswell for the public option that it will be seen as the most popular element of reform and one that no Republican or Democrat will be willing to reject on pain of losing in 2010.

It will be included on the reconciliation portion of the bill.

The Republicans will be further boxed in and this could mean that some of them will actually break ranks and vote for the final bill.

The result will be to discount the Republican strategy of NO and to give the Democrats the experience and backbone to start getting the Obama agenda done.

There is much more to the Obama agenda. It is a thoughtful and largely centrist program of needed changes. Its underlying element is education and a comprehensive upgrading of all gpvernmental functions to create a leaner and more effective and more admirable national performance.


Reconciliation May Well Happen After All

UPDATE: I lost all manner of Twitter followers for posting this. I guess the bilious anger out there is real. Blend of media mindlessness, false narrative and where is David Plouffe when you need him?

Back in August, 2009, I wrote the following:

When all is said and done, if we have to go to reconciliation, we will do so to get the public option. But then people will have a very good idea why. And they will reward the perps who try to defeat it accordingly.

In 2010 the laws of the past may well change. The voters will reward those who hung in with the man they elected in 2008.

I still believe that this is a possible scenario. The Republicans were never going to do anything but obstruct. And through an amazingly inept Democratic performance in Massachusetts, this truth has been underlined.

I have always believed that we needed David Plouffe at the very helm of the Obama political operation and I believe that still. But this has gone unheeded.

So here is how this goes down. We do not do the onerous things in the Senate bill. We do what the House says we do and we pass it in the Senate with a simple majority.

I used to think that the Obama folk realized that this was the likely outcome and were playing a highly sophisticated political game. Now I am not so sure.

Regardless, any effort to allow the Senate Bill with its deleterious compromises and special interest side deals to somehow sneak through before Mr. New Massachusetts Senator arrives, will merely stoke up anger for the midterm elections.

Let the Senate pass what the House decides with a simple majority. And let the committees that must fall in line do so.

I do NOT concede that the President is wrong to seek bipartisan support, but I do concede that without Plouffe we have operated at half strength. And this has been close to intolerable. History should note it.

It is time for the right reconciliation. It is not far from what is in the House bill.

obama, politics

COMMENT ON: The Senate Health Care Bill: Leave No Special Interest Behind

Neither this approach nor the celebration-approach it criticizes is on the mark.

1. Summary judgments before the process is complete.

2. Health care reform IS a continuing legislative process.

3. Instant historical judgments do not stand the test of time. No one knows whether history will judge this process as a victory for the people or for the special interests. Likely both. Likely historians will disagree.

A better approach is — What can those who would like an improved bill do now? I take it this is why the White House is encouraging some additions as the final version gets hammered out.

Who knows what the coming days will bring?

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


My Letter To President Obama & How You Can Do The Same

Dear Mr. President — While the Senate Bill is not without merit, the preponderance of sentiment is still for a public option. I must assume your actions have been aimed in this direction, despite appearances. And that you will ultimately champion a bill that will not be marked a failure by both sides. At the moment this end is in view and the only thing that can alter it is a final push to do the will if the people even if that means reconciliation and a straight majority vote.


Tell President You Support PO, Medicare expansion and other things he spoke for to Congress. http://bit.ly/vlOX (White House Contact Link)


COMMENT ON: Senate Democrats Consider Nightmare Scenario On Health Care

Nightmare? All this would mean is that the House Bill dominates the final run and is passed by a simple majority in the Senate minus the Stupak Amendment. This is still a tempest in a teapot. Breathe and you get a headline.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Health Care: A Parliamentary Dance Is Underway

GANG OF SIX: Bingaman says he could support passing reform via budget reconciliation http://ow.ly/lnlf


Reconciliation is a special process through which the Senate deals with budget issues. Only 51 votes are needed to pass a budget reconciliation bill on the floor of the Senate, whereas all other bills are susceptible to a filibuster which requires 60 votes to overcome.

“We made a provision in the budget resolution [earlier this year] that it [the reconciliation bill] could be used to try to enact health care provisions related to health care reform,” Bingaman said. “There are restrictions to what you can include in that… but I would support it if that’s the only way.”


It is looking more and more that a parliamentary dance is underway. Best case might be a 60 vote agreement to suspend rules that would prevent a final resolution. Then there would be a 51 vote passage of elements that opponents do not want and a 60 vote approval of the popular reforms that do have bipartisan support.