Obama already walked away from health insurance reform
Please read this set of quotes from President Obama the other day compiled by The Washington Monthly's blogger, Steve Benen.
Obama thinks if we don't pass this health insurance monstrosity out of the Senate or House, we get nothing. He's wrong. Passing either the House or Senate plan means we ensure ourselves we get nothing for this year, next year, the year after that, and even the year after that. And Blue Cross knows it.
Obama sets up a straw man: Pass one of the two health insurance monstrosities euphemistically called "reform," or "walk away." Sorry, Mr. President, there is another option. And that is to renegotiate without the whores for health insurance companies in the Senate in the room (the Rule of 51) and have Pelosi enforce the type of discipline in the House the Republicans have used against their own members (the Republicans have another ingredient to their mix--they lie about anything Democrats seek to do).
But let's note something else in Obama's comments the other day. I love the subtlety that Obama employs when he says if we don't pass the monstrosity:
...(w)e know that premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will skyrocket this decade and the decade after that and a decade after that just as they did in the past decade. More small businesses will be priced out of coverage. More big businesses will be unable to compete internationally. More workers will take home less pay and fewer raises. We know that millions more Americans will lose their coverage. We know that our deficits will inexorably continue to grow -- because health care costs are the single biggest driver. (Bold added)
The bolded language shows Obama knows I am right about the failure of this reform to do anything now, and how it leaves us vulnerable to the rapacious behavior of the health insurance companies--now and for the next several years (and three election cycles).
Mr. President, you already walked away from reform. You are now operating under a cynical belief that if you pass something, that is better than nothing. The majority of our voting population is not stupid, no matter what the DC Villager political advisers think. The majority of people know "nothing" when they see it. And if they get "nothing," in a binary politics, then the least informed of those people will more likely vote for the other party in open seat races in Congress...and for president in 2012. That is how the Republicans are gaining traction, and that is their plan--and you continue to enable it. Does anyone think the Republicans would not have already dumped the filibuster or gone to reconciliation to pass a bill they wanted to pass on any number of subjects?
Let me put it bluntly: I have no interest in helping tone deaf politicians like you, Reid and Pelosi pass legislation that strengthens the power of health insurers in the short run on a mere promise that something will change for the better in the long run. The long run crisis is here already, and Obama, Reid and Pelosi have abdicated their responsibilities to the Commonweal. It is time for a true political spine, and if Reid and Pelosi can't deliver, they should get the hell out of the way and let Al Franken, Anthony Weiner and Alan Grayson barnstorm this nation, debate the dumb right wingers and shallow libertarians head on. That's not running away, that's standing up and fighting.