February 9, 2010

Health care summit update: Boehner & Cantor respond to Obama and Gibbs to Boehner & Cantor.

Boehner (and Cantor) said:
[L]ast May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats....

Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people?...

Will the President include in this discussion congressional Democrats who have opposed the House and Senate health care bills?...

Will the President be inviting officials and lawmakers from the states to participate in this discussion?...

Will the President require that any and all future health care discussions, including those held on Capitol Hill, meet this common-sense standard of openness and transparency?

Your answers to these critical questions will help determine whether this will be a truly open, bipartisan discussion or merely an intramural exercise before Democrats attempt to jam through a job-killing health care bill that the American people can’t afford and don’t support.  ‘Bipartisanship’ is not writing proposals of your own behind closed doors, then unveiling them and demanding Republican support.  Bipartisan ends require bipartisan means....

Gibbs responded:
...
That wasn't meant to be a joke. It just turned out that way. I edited the Boehner/Cantor letter down as I read it and saw that it was a series of questions, so I started reading Gibbs's letter with the idea of editing it down to the parts that responded to the questions. You see what happened.

58 comments:

rdkraus said...

This is obviously a political trick by BO. The Repub's need to be careful they handle this in a way that they don't end up looking like the bad guys.

BO will portray it that way in any event.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Medicare costs around $500 billion annually for 42 million folks. Now we want to add another 30 million or so uninsured to a government program that they say will cost $1 trillion over 10 years.

Somehow I think that $1 trillion over ten year figure was pulled from someone's ass. But hey, its only money.

AprilApple said...

Obama is still saying "it's my way or the highway." It's graft, tax increases (with exception to unions) kick-backs, and buy-offs.

Never mind that the American people - by over 60%, don't want the democrat's horrid plan.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Oh, snap.

"Mr. Bush has reacted by railing against Democrats for obstruction -- as if Democrats are duty-bound to breathe life into his agenda and, even sillier, as if opposing a plan that the people do not want is an illegitimate tactic for an opposition party. " --NYT editorial, 6/23/05

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama's agenda for Republicans- just say yes.

He is not serious about bipartisanship. He never was. It is not his health care plan, it is the Democrat Party's and the unions health care plan. Rather health insurance- the health care part is a big lie.

Does anyone believe Obama actually read the two thousand plus page bill? He will sign anything put in front of him. So just say yes.

People? What cares Obama for the people.

Robin said...

Gibbs answers with: The president looks forward to reviewing Republican proposals that meet the president's goals.

Original Mike said...

Nothing Obama has done to date leads me to believe he is sincere. Nothing.

michaele said...

I would love the detail minded Paul Ryan to quiz Obama on the specific points of the House and Senate bills. In fact, I would pay to see that. I'll bet Obama only knows generalities and doesn't have a clue about the morass that would be created if either of those several thousand page monstrosities were to pass. The one things guaranteed is that there would be LOTS more government workers who themselves had damn good health care insurance.

Robert Cook said...

"The Repub's need to be careful they handle this in a way that they don't end up looking like the bad guys."

Uh, news flash: the Repubs are the bad guys, and they already look that way!

But they're not alone; the Dems are bad guys too! (Because they're copying the Repubs.)

There will be no "health reform, " so-called, because none of the plans bandied about involve amputating the insurance companies from the process. The only real health care reform will require the elimination of private insurers. Anything else, anything that involves the continued participation of the insurers, will be a fraud.

As for the expense--which has been projected to be less than what we currently spend on health care, based on studies of single payer plans in other countries, but that is speculative until we put it into practice here--we can easily cover it by slashing our cancerous war budget, bloated by corruption, graft, waste, and misplaced priorities, (i.e., weapons over people).

Paul Zrimsek said...

I see no reason to doubt the sincerity of "the President will deign to listen to you provided you give him what he wants".

Jim B said...

As I've said elsewhere, if I were the Republicans in Congress I would get in front of the cameras 3 times a day, every day, demanding that Obama agree to kill the bills which have passed the House and Senate as a precondition to giving him the "bipartisan" photo-op he is so desperate for.

70% of the public either wants Congress to start over or to stop working on the subject all together. There's absolutely zero downside risk to Republicans forcing Obama/Pelosi/Reid to have to defend their monstrosities every day in front of the camera.

Besides, if he's not willing to scrap those bills, then it proves that he's not serious. And Republicans can bang on him and the Democratic leadership every day between now and November - freezing the debate at the bills which are currently on the table.

Obama is the one who needs this meeting. No one else. If I were the Republicans, I would make him pay dearly for it after he's spent the last year lying over and over about how the Republicans have never put an idea on the table.

What comes around goes around, and Obama's about to find out how Washington really works. The Chicago way only works if you can inspire fear in your opponent, and Obama's turned into a gimpy old nag politically.

sydney said...

From Gibbs: What he will not do, however, is walk away from reform and the millions of American families and small business counting on it. The recent news that a major insurer plans to raise premiums for some customers by as much as 39 percent is a stark reminder of the consequences of doing nothing.


I think he is referring to California's Anthem Blue Cross:

On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that many of Anthem's "approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage" could see the price of their plans go up starting on March 1 -- some by as much as 39 percent. People with group coverage aren't affected.

Could be because California has 48 mandated health benefits that insurers must cover. The people who get screwed by this are the small companies and self-employed who have to purchase individual coverage and aren't provided the protection of politically connected groups like unions.

The problem is, there isn't anything in the Obamacare proposals to address this. Their proposals, from what has been made public, seem to follow the California/Massachussetts path - which would mean higher premiums for the self-employed and self-insured. I thought the Democrats were supposed to be "for the little guy." That's what my mother always told me.

Chip Ahoy said...

I found Gibb's letter to be very moving ...

☑ seize
☑ historic moment
☑ continue to work with both parties
☑ has been very clear
☑ for American people
☑ insurance company abuses
☑ extending coverage to millions
☑ out of control rising premiums
☑ open to Republican proposals
☑ refuses to walk away

... yes, very moving indeed, genuinely moved to pour another cupper.

Original Mike said...

Could be because California has 48 mandated health benefits that insurers must cover.

Yup. Health insurance will never be affordable until it returns to the insurance model: coverage of catastrophic events that are beyond the ability of the insured to pay for on their own.

Peano said...

Ann said, Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way,...

When Bambi is sincere about anything bipartisan, you'll see an elephant fly.

Joaquin said...

Exactly Mike!
Car insurance is affordable because it covers 'catastrophes' not oil changes, tires, batteries, mufflers, windshield-wipers etc etc etc.

Quayle said...

Obama's latest move is like a coach calling out from his own dugout to ask if the other team will bat for him.

His own batters whiffed at every pitch.

Big Mike said...

@Peano, I've seen flies on an elephant. Is that close enough?

BTW, I did some work with Peano curves several years ago. You any relation?

downtownlad said...

[L]ast May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrat.

Oh bullshit. Obama and the Democrats wasted about 4 months negotiating with the Gang of Six, which included three Republicans.

So here's my question. Is Ann Althouse just retarded or a liar?

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

This health care summit is a risk, but also a huge opportunity, for the Republicans. I think Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and a host of supporters and enablers, have bought deeply into the notion that all Republicans are stupid. This is an opportunity, in full view of the public, to show them that the Republicans are the party for grown-ups. I think they should carefully select their delegates to the summit, and go for it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

we can easily cover it by slashing our cancerous war budget, bloated by corruption, graft, waste, and misplaced priorities,

Yes because God knows none of that stuff (corruption, graft and waste) can be found in Medicare and Medicaid.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So here's my question. Is Ann Althouse just retarded or a liar?

I'm not sure but I do know that you're still a grade A asshole.

edutcher said...

Ann said...

...That wasn't meant to be a joke.

Maybe not, but it is.

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama's agenda for Republicans- just say yes.

He is not serious about bipartisanship.


The Demos define bipartisanship the way the Soviets defined peace - give us everything we demand with no complaints.

Probably where they got the idea.

PS Anybody else think Robert Cook hasn't defined anyone as the good guys since Doc Spock went off to Valhalla?

Hoosier Daddy said...

PS Anybody else think Robert Cook hasn't defined anyone as the good guys since Doc Spock went off to Valhalla?

I'm pretty sure Cookie is a Chomskey fan so there are no good guys in the United States.

Fen said...

The Repub's need to be careful they handle this in a way that they don't end up looking like the bad guys.

Lemme see.

Work our tails off to get the GOP control of Congress. Watched as they pissed it all away. Couldn't keep their hand out of the till. Couldn't keep their zipper closed. Wacthed as they grew enamoured of the Beltway Life and became Dem-lite.

Odds that they will screw this up?

I'll be happy if they don't sell us down the river for Bipartisan Points. Where the hell do they redeem those anyway?

Although this is a good start:

Boehner: Last May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats

former law student said...

Assuming the President is sincere about moving forward on health care in a bipartisan way, does that mean he will agree to start over so that we can develop a bill that is truly worthy of the support and confidence of the American people?

Why would Obama give up a year's worth of progress, when all that the Republicans offer is two half-baked ideas? One would free doctors to maim patients with impunity, the other would allow insurers to deny coverage in violation of state law. I don't see how either would be health care "reform."

To the "oil change" folks: My new car comes with free oil changes as part of the manufacturer's warranty. My dental plan comes with free teeth cleaning, but I must pay a good chunk of any major procedures, because maintaining oral hygiene saves them (and me) money.

former law student said...

Last May, Republicans asked President Obama to hold bipartisan discussions on health care in an attempt to find common ground, but he declined and instead chose to work with only Democrats

NARAL and Operation Rescue would have an easier time finding common ground on abortion rights, than the Republicans and Democrats would have on health care reform.

Original Mike said...

Yeah, sure as hell the Republicans will eff it up.

Here's a little thing. They're insisting that the bill be available for 72 hours. 72 hours??? 72 hours is (almost) business as usual. How about 2 months? Something this big and important should be put out there for people to digest. 72 hours is just enough that the two sides can look at each other's pork, but is not nearly long enough to provide considered review and discussion by the people.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The day FLS becomes worth trying to reason with on any economic issue is the day he realizes that that new car warranty came with expensive oil changes.

Original Mike said...

To the "oil change" folks: My new car comes with free oil changes as part of the manufacturer's warranty. My dental plan comes with free teeth cleaning, but I must pay a good chunk of any major procedures, because maintaining oral hygiene saves them (and me) money.

Not the preventitive care saves money tripe again. Preventitive care is good, but it costs money. It doesn't save it.

FLS, I've got nothing against you paying for free health care oil changes for yourself, if that's what you want. And I've got nothing against paying for it for the poor, who's health care we do need to pay for. But for the majority, they should be making their own decisions and paying for it themselves.

If you don't get that, maybe you'll understand if you ask yourself this question. Do you really, really think those oil changes are FREE? If you do, you're a dope.

Original Mike said...

Extendeding my remark from above:

FLS, I've got nothing against you paying for free health care oil changes for yourself, if that's what you want. And I've got nothing against paying for it for the poor, who's health care we do need to pay for. But for the majority, they should be making their own decisions and paying for it themselves. Not because it's right (though it is) but because it is the only economically viable approach. Your route necessarily leads to rationing.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

FLS: Why would Obama give up a year's worth of progress,

*snicker*


when all that the Republicans offer is two half-baked ideas?

You are SO ignorant. You've been using the NYTs as you information broker again, haven't you?

One day, you'll recognize that you are only as good as your information.

Robert Cook said...

"When Bambi is sincere about anything bipartisan, you'll see an elephant fly."

I agree; I'd love for him to stop promoting Republican policies and star moving away from the right. It won't happen.

Original Mike said...

One would free doctors to maim patients with impunity

Jesus.

former law student said...

Jesus.

Well, you want the full savings, right? Eliminating all malpractice awards and settlements shaves only0.5% off the cost of health care. A further 3.0% can be saved by eliminating the fear of malpractice suits.

Big Mike said...

So here's my question. Is Ann Althouse just retarded or a liar?

I think Meade can answer that one. Probably with the knuckles of his right hand.

(Or are you a southpaw, Meade?)

1jpb said...

Even Bill Kristol knows that this R* letter was stupid and not worthy of a response.



*R refers to 'Republican'. This is not a satirical (hence acceptable to Palin) reference to 'retarded'.

Pogo said...

It's simple. The Democrats want socialism, Chicago style, complete with graft, corruption, and huge new bureaucracies.

It will be 'projected to save loads of money, but in the end, as usual, will cost tens or hundreds of times what was intended (see also "Medicare, US, history" and "NHS, England" and "Medicare, Canada".

It's the usual economic perpetual motion machine, now with the new hope and change flavor!

Calypso Facto said...

What about the Paul Ryan proposal? I know it's probably ridiculous to think any new and/or Republican options would actually be considered, but still, I'd like to hear a discussion of the merits somewhere at some point.

The Ghost said...

once again the liberals complete lack of understanding of free market capitalism is leaving them unarmed in the health care debate.
They live under and perticipate in some form of it everyday yet they never seem to grasp its mechanics.
They think that if you get hit by a bus you won't be able to "shop around". They don't understand that you won't have to shop around because real free market competition will have lowered prices everywhere. That is why if you need something now going to Target or Kmart or Walmart really doesn't matter. By competing they all have lowered their prices. Yes, you may find on certain items Walmart beats Target and vice versa but the point is everyone benefited from prices going down, even people that never shop around.

John Stodder said...

Why would Obama give up a year's worth of progress

Somehow, this pleading line of FLS' reminded me of the punchline to that joke about the guy who was complaining about having to shovel elephant dung for the circus. After hearing his complaints, the guy's friend tells him he ought to find a new job. Shocked, the dung-shoveler replies, "What, and quit show business?"

There's progress? The bill's dead. The GOP has nothing to lose by saying "hell no" to Obama's proposed summit. That's not going to win Democrats any of the votes they need. Obama's only hope of having anything to show for all that "progress" is to do exactly what the GOP's admittedly disingenuous letter suggests: Start over. The one thing he has accomplished with the health care effort is to educate a lot more people about the complexity of the issue. Both parties can work off the expanded base of collective knowledge to begin a discussion of reforms that would actually make sense -- in pursuit of the truly worthy goal of reducing the importance of health insurers to our lives.

Here's a sketch of an idea. Transition out of the preferred tax treatment of health insurance premiums as compensation by temporarily allowing employees to take all the money allocated for that purpose as direct salary compensation at a lower tax rate. So, if your employer pays you $2000 a month plus $300 a month toward your health insurance premium, give you the choice of continuing to direct those funds to insurance, or to take those funds as compensation and only pay, say, a 10 percent income tax on it. It won't be added to the base for your overall income tax except at the state level. It wouldn't be included in calculation of your payroll tax. That preferred tax treatment would last for five years, say, after which point the preferred tax treatment of health insurance premiums would end along with this transitional tax benefit.

However, perhaps you would retain the tax exemption for catastrophic health coverage. And the self-employed could get a tax credit for it. So the insurance industry would no longer be in the business of paying part of the cost of routine doctor visits, just major surgery and major illnesses. You would be encouraged to buy such coverage for your kids the day they're born.

Without all the biases in the system toward health insurance premiums and coverage, I think you'd see medical prices go down. We would all have a big incentive for shopping around, and a medical industry equivalent of Wal-Mart would develop to meet the demand for lower-priced care.

wv: mintiums. The least acceptable amount of mint.

Shanna said...

Why would Obama give up a year's worth of progress, when all that the Republicans offer is two half-baked ideas?

Dude, if he could have done it without the rep's he would have done it a year ago. He's going to the republicans because he has not been able to do it without them. They hold the cards, they can only lose if they give in on things the public doesn't want in the false name of "bipartisanship". Here's hoping the republicans stick to their guns and require a new bill, developed with real input. We'll see if they do.

If it were up to Obama, they would have shoved this thing through with no support whatsoever a year ago.

traditionalguy said...

Is it true that Boehner and Cantor agreed to attend a summit at a neutral location, provided that all attendees have to show their birth certificates for entry into the room.

mccullough said...

Obama said he could wring almost $50 billion a year of "waste, fraud, and abuse" from Medicare for the next 10 years.

The Republicans should tell him to send that bill to Congress right now while further discussions on health care take place because everyone can agree on that.

Call his bluff. Obama's full of shit. If he were even 1/10th as smart as he thinks he is (because everyone applauds his average accomplishments because he is a clean articulate Negro) he would not be in a shit load of trouble.

No one's applauding his average level of competence (for an educated person) anymore. The problem for Republicans, is almost all of them are of average competence as well.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Original Mike said...

...But for the majority, they should be making their own decisions and paying for it themselves. Not because it's right (though it is) but because it is the only economically viable approach. Your route necessarily leads to rationing.

This is what I keep coming back to. The only person qualified to make a decision based on the cost and benefits is someone who cares about both the costs and the benefits. Currently most decisions are made by individuals who don't care about the costs, because they don't pay them. That is why costs are rising so fast. Under the Democrat's plan, cost will continue to rise until the government decides to ration. That decision will be made by people who do not care about the benefits.

The real fix is to combine the roles of cost payer, benefit receiver, and decision maker into a single person, or single family unit. While this would not be practical for every case, the more we push toward that ideal the better off we would be. If we could get to that for the majority of healthcare spending I'd be in favor of a 'public option' catastrophic health insurance that would cover only the major, unexpected expenses such as cancer, major trauma, etc.

former law student said...

If it were up to Obama, they would have shoved this thing through with no support whatsoever a year ago.

Many people confuse President Obama with Bizzaro-President-Obama. But he am not what you think he am.

Real President Obama invited all possible stakeholders to his health care summit almost a year ago, because he sincerely wanted everyone's input:


From www.boston.com

Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor March 5, 2009 12:17 PM
Healthcare is the message of the day at the White House -- and if President Obama succeeds in an overhaul that helps many of the 47 million Americans without insurance -- could be one of his signature achievements.

Obama is convening a summit this afternoon with about 150 elected officials and representatives of groups that have much at stake in the outcome -- and that helped kill the last attempt at an overhaul during the Clinton administration 16 years ago.

"The Forum will bring together the people who have a stake in our health care system and the people who have the ability to change it; those who worked to pass health care reform a decade ago and those who worked to defeat it,"

While some skeptics say healthcare is too heavy a lift during a deepening recession, Obama argues that the skyrocketing medical costs make reform essential to the recovery.

Members of Congress Expected to Attend

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) – Assistant Majority Leader
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) – Chairman, HELP Committee
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) – Ranking Member, HELP Committee
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) – Chairman, Finance Committee
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) – Ranking Member, Finance Committee
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) – Chairman, Health Subcommittee of the Finance
Committee
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – Ranking Member, Health Subcommittee (Finance
Committee)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) – Chairman, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health Care
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) – Ranking Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health Care
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) – House Majority Leader
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) – Republican Whip
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) – Vice Chair of Democratic Caucus
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) – Chairman, Energy & Commerce Committee
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) – Ranking Member, Energy & Commerce Committee
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) – Chairman, Ways and Means Committee
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) – Ranking Member, Ways and Means Committee
Rep. George Miller (D-CA) – Chairman, Education and Labor Committee
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) – Ranking Member, Education and Labor Committee
Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) – Chairman Emeritus of Energy & Commerce Committee
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) – Chairman, Health Subcommittee for Energy &
Commerce
Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) – Ranking Member, Health Subcommittee for Energy & Commerce
Rep. Pete Stark (by phone) (D-CA) – Chairman, Health Subcommittee of Ways and Means
Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) – Ranking Member, Health Subcommittee, Ways and
Means
Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) – Chair, Education & Labor Subcommittee on Health, Labor, et al.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)
Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)
Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)

JasonK said...

Restarting is one option but calling for this is arrogant and wasteful because it assumes no value to what has been done when there are in fact many parts to the bills that neither side would argue against.

Instead, the Democrats must legitimately request that the Republicans identify the divisive sections of the bill and then work in a bipartisan manner to either remove or rework these sections. The American people would end up with something of value. Just because a bill is big, doesn't mean it is bad.

dick said...

fls,

And the administration response to anyone who complained about the items on the agenda was "We Won!!" which does not signal any sort of bipartisanship. I would not quote boston.com for any sort of unbiased source if I were you. I read them every day and I know just how unbiased they are - not at all.

Joe said...

A further 3.0% can be saved by eliminating the fear of malpractice suits.

So what is the threshold of savings that make something worthwhile?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

JasonK said...

Restarting is one option but calling for this is arrogant and wasteful because it assumes no value to what has been done when there are in fact many parts to the bills that neither side would argue against.

Could you give some examples of these many parts? To qualify, the part would have to:

1) Cost little or nothing.
2) Provide a positive benefit.
3) Produce no negative consequences, or at least the negative would be outweighed by the positive.

I'm not saying there aren't such parts, I'm just curious what you think they are.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

JasonK-

Of course you can disagree with my criteria, but I'm still interested in what parts you think everyone agrees with.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If Obama inviting a bunch of Republicans to a health summit last year proved he wasn't just dictating terms, didn't their accepting the invitation prove that they weren't just being obstructionist?

What's this new summit going to accomplish that the old one didn't?

c3 said...

fls;
One would free doctors to maim patients with impunity

Well researched that there's no relationship between medical errors and malpractice suits. Also little relationship between the number or size of suits and improvement in healthcare outcomes.

So, no there would not be massive maiming. but probably fewer dollars in lawyers' pockets.

AlphaLiberal said...

Rude guests, aren't they?

"Oh, here are all the other people you should invite."

NEWS FLASH: The Republicans lost the election. That means their policies are not implemented.

The voters spoke, they got the boot, but the Republicans refuse to respect the will of the voters.

Joe said...

The voters spoke, they got the boot, but the Republicans refuse to respect the will of the voters.

Members of congress answer to their constituencies. The Republicans are respecting the will of their voters. Apparently, so are the Democrats which is why the health bill went down in flames. That aside, the Democrats have a majority of both houses. Their inability to pass piece-meal legislation shows that they are either incompetent or, just possibly, want to get reelected.

John Stodder said...

NEWS FLASH: The Republicans lost the election. That means their policies are not implemented.

The voters spoke, they got the boot, but the Republicans refuse to respect the will of the voters.


Absolutely. And, in accord with this result, the Democrats devised a legislative strategy that depended on the availability of 60 Democratic votes in the Senate, and did not depend on any Republican votes. Hence there was no need to get entangled in horse-trading with Republicans, either philosophically or on a more basic level.

First, they were unable to execute this strategy -- hence all the feints and rumors that some moderate Republicans were going to jump on board Obamacare any day now.

And second, they unexpectedly lost one of the cherished 60 votes.

So, at best, they need a new strategy. You can't make a 60-vote strategy work if you have 59 votes. Close doesn't count.

Because, keep in mind, those 41 GOP senators also can say, "I won." The voters whose will they must respect are the ones who sent them there.