Free Markets, Free People

The Health Care “I Told You So” Post

When your political opposition is self-destructing (even while in the majority and in control of the legislative and executive branches), most political observers would advise stepping back and allowing them to do so.

But not the Republicans. They’re going to be the “significant other” that gives this president a win on his signature issue and help him maintain both his momentum and the viability of the rest of his agenda.

The “I told you so” part of this is, as I (and many others) have said, Democrats will eventually pass something they can call “health care reform” and save the viability of Obama’s presidency. What you didn’t figure is the Republicans would be both complicit and key to that:

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) confirmed that the three Republicans and three Democrats negotiating the Senate Finance bill are moving away from a broad-based mandate that would force employers to offer insurance. The senators instead are leaning toward a “free rider” provision that requires employers to pay for employees who receive coverage through Medicaid or who receive new government subsidies to purchase insurance through an exchange.

Snowe stressed the committee hasn’t reached a final agreement on any of the key provisions but said, “There is not a broad-based employer mandate. … There are approximately 170 million Americans that receive coverage through employers. That is a significant percentage of the population. We don’t want to undermine that or create a perverse incentive where employers drop the coverage because their employees could potentially get subsidies through the exchange.”

On the nonprofit insurance cooperative, Snowe also said no final decisions have been reached, but “it is safe to say it is probably one that will remain in the final document.”

This is what everyone who talks about it means when they say that Republicans “talk the talk but don’t walk the walk”. Here is a group, and I’d bet there are more that will sign on, who are involved in one of the biggest expansions of government undertaken since the “New Deal”. And when November of next year rolls around, this is the party that is going to want you to believe they are all for less government, less spending and less government intrusion.

And they’ll have this to point to as proof. [/sarc]

The reason the GOP is a shrinking party isn’t because it is the party of the Southern white male. It’s because no believes their nonsense any longer.  Sometimes being the party of “no” is the right thing to do.

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16 Responses to The Health Care “I Told You So” Post

  • Who are the 3? I know it can’t be Snowe because she’s really a dem /sarc

  • You almost get the feeling that the House bill is deliberately design be to awful, and then, with the delayed startup while they start to tax, it will either begin to fade from people’s memories or if there is a backlash and the Republicans manage to repeal it .. they will forever be able to say that they passed it by the “evil” Republicans took it away.   In the meanwhile, the taxes keep on coming for more spending.

  • I just friggin’ KNEW IT!

    I just knew that some idiot RINO’s (Snowe and that other pinhead from Maine were chief suspects) would reach a “compromise” with the dems that would (A)  lead eventually to de facto nationalized health care; (B) pull the dems’ fat out of the fire, and; (C) lead to national economic ruin.

    The root of the problem lies in the fact that our side surrendered on the key points long ago:

    (1) Everybody agrees that the health care system is “broken”.  O’ course, this is in spite of the facts that about 80% of Americans are happy with their health care; the WHO recently ranked our system as #1 in terms of timely respnse and patient choice, and; our”broken” system originates almost all the life-prolonging and life-saving drugs, techniques and technology in the world.


    (3) Only Uncle Sugar can do the job, and then ONLY by jumping in feet-first and becoming a de facto health insurance provider for the entire friggin’ country.  This completely ignores the government’s dismal track record at providing health care and indeed doing ANYTHING in an efficient, cost-effective manner.  It also ignores the various state programs that have tried to provide universal or near-universal coverage… and rapidly brought the various states to the point of bankruptcy. 

    Once you cede that a problem exists, “solving” it must inevitably follow.

    If our elected representatives are so sure that they can succeed where so many others have failed, why can’t we turn their energies toward something more useful, like trying to fly by flapping their wings while jumping off the Washington Monument or beating a hole through a brick wall with their heads?


    McQThe reason the GOP is a shrinking party isn’t because it is the party of the Southern white male. It’s because no believes their nonsense any longer. 

    I would like to say that the rest of the GOP in Congress isn’t a part of this, that it is being done solely by a handful of RINO’s.  Sadly, I don’t think that such is the case.  There may be a few GOP members who are adamantly against this foolishness in ANY FORM, but I suspect that most of them only disagree with their democrat comrades on the details.  A pox on all of them!

  • What you didn’t figure is the Republicans would be both complicit and key
    Maybe you didn’t figure that.
    Some of us have long realized it isn’t the democrats against the republicans but rather us against them.
    You are going to lose and they are going to win, if you keep playing along with them, just like you always have.

  • Only at the end of his east coast cruise was Verrazzano disappointed.  Natives bared their buttocks at sailors, and lowered trade goods onto “rocks where the breakers were most violent.”  Verrazzano called this the “Land of Bad People,” a name since changed to Maine. A Voyage Long and Strange, Tony Horwitz
    Collins, Snowe, Erb.  Seems like Maine hasn’t changed a whole lot since 1524.  Still flashing @$$ and trading in bad faith.

  • “What you didn’t figure is the Republicans would be both complicit and key to that:”

    Yes. I figured that the RINOs would make it easier for the Dems to get their circular firing squad formed up.

    “The reason the GOP is a shrinking party isn’t because it is the party of the Southern white male. It’s because no believes their nonsense any longer.”

    I still believe the “nonsense”, and if you have any intelligence you’d better too. It’s that the Republicans inside the beltway don’t believe it that’s the issue.

    Our elected representative’s job is to make themselves less relevant at every opportunity to do it. No Democrat believes that to any great extent, but a good half of the Republicans do…they don’t have any reason to think they’ll survive acting like it, but they believe it. They need cover, protests are that cover, and ballots later next year.

    What I wonder is, why do you think the whole, or even the major part of the GOP, is inside the beltway?

    Who’s drawing approving crowds? Whose getting the raspberries?

    Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

  • I think we are going way overboard on what these Senators are doing. From my perspective, they are all showing that Republicans are not just trying block anything that comes up, but, instead, working for a better bill. At the same time, it appears they are moving Senate away from many of the most radical elements observed in the House bill (public option, employer taxes, etc…). Everyone agrees that some form of bill will get through. Whatever it is, Obama is going to say that it was some kind of victory. However, if Republicans can cause the final bill to be radically different from what has been presented so far. The minority party can say that they brought about the healthcare reform that the majority of us want, but without going to radical extremes to put government in every aspect of our lives. That is a winnable strategy for the mid-term elections coming up. “This country needs a conservative anchor to check President Obama’s agenda. We have shown that we can bring about results, while, at the same time, not giving-in to liberal fantasies and greater governmental authority.” I think that such a message would resonate with a lot of moderates and independents that originally voted for President Obama.

    • James – “I think we are going way overboard on what these Senators are doing. From my perspective, they are all showing that Republicans are not just trying block anything that comes up, but, instead, working for a better bill.”

      To a certain extent, I agree: the senators in question probably believe that they really are “working for a better bill”. They may even be motivated by the idea that you suggest, i.e. demonstrating that the GOP is more than the party of “no”. However, as McQ says, there’s a time when saying “no” is the best policy. As I see it, there is NO “better” bill. If I may indulge in a little hyperbole, the dems plan is beat Uncle Sam to death. The RINO’s plan to make this “better” is to beat him into a coma now and finish him off later.

  • docjim505 hit the nail on the head: SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!  It’s a DC disease for which there is no cure. 

    The Deal becomes the thing.  Once they start down that road, there’s no going back.  The repubs are like a reluctant but weak buyer at a car dealership.  The salesman may not get them to buy the $50K Lexus, but he can get them to buy that used one over there for 25. 

  • I’m not opposed to Republicans supporting an Obama bill as long as the bill:

    1. Does not put forces in place that will lead to Single Payer; thus…NO Public Option.
    2. Addresses major cost reductions; we spend 3 times what europe/canada spend and have $30 Trillion in unfunded Medicare/Medicaid liabilites.

    The current bills being debated don’t come close to doing #2 and they will not pass. But…if major compromise is made and I’m convinced costs will come down (even if it means aggressive rationing), then I’m for it.

    • What sort of aggressive rationing?  People talk around that all the time.  What does it really mean?  In practice, in other countries, it usually means bad things.

  • 1. Does not put forces in place that will lead to Single Payer; thus…NO Public Option.

    Big problem: Single payer is where Obama wants to go. If it can’t be done at the outset, then count on stealth measures by his Democratic minions in Congress to get us going in that direction. Saying no outright, and refusing to move even one inch towards nationalized healthcare is the right thing to do.

  • Now if only there were really an honset to God ‘crisis’ to be dealt with kids.
    The Crisis is in the headlines, the Legislature, and in the White House and it has a hell of a lot more to do with controlling the herd than it does anything else.

  • Okay, I’m with most of you, but I am a little confused so please forgive the stupid questions.  A lot of right wing bloggers – myself included – were excited to hear of this developement.  Apparently, there are many here who are unahppy with this news.  I understand the Obama gets his signature issue statements, but I don’t necessarily agree that it will help him or the Dems in 2010.  As goes the economy, so goes the vote.  I don’t believe we will be out of the recession in 2010 and unemployement will still be in the double digits.  The House and Senate swing toward the Repulicans, but it is unclear if they can retake either chamber.
    Other than this, what is bad about this plan?  That is what I am trying to understand.  One of the commentors above states this is de facto nationalization.  That word terrifies me as I am from Canada and know exactly the implications of such a system.  I am also 42 years old with 25 stents in three major heart arteries.  I don’t want to imagine a socialized health care system in this great country.
    Nobody trusts a politician.  However, I would ask that any answers not be of the form, “They will find a way to change it in the future”.  In other words, even if the slippery slope argument has merits – and I actually believe it does – assume for a moment that it does not.  Is there anything wrong with this current deal that kills the public option and mitigates the employer mandate?
    I am also still interested if there is a provision in this bill that would allow for employees to sue their employers as in the House bill.  This would defacto lead to employers dumping the private option for the public option.  One of your readers commented on stealth options to force Obama’s agenda down our throats.  It would be interesting to see what else is in the Senate Finance Committee bill.
    Again, I am not disagreeing with anybody here.  I am just trying to get more details as to your conclusions.