Quote Of The Day – Bipartisanship

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Health Care, Quotes

“The test of bipartisanship is not just how many Republican votes you have.”
- Rahm Emanuel talking about healthcare legislation & bipartisanship

I tend to agree in theory, but there are still a whole host of poison pills legislators can put into a bill that means they’d vote against something that included one or two of their own ideas. Still, no bill is perfect and politics has always been about the art of the possible, not the perfect.

Here’s more…

“That is a test the president laid out, and he has said it repeatedly: This will be bipartisan. There will be ideas from both parties and individuals from both parties in the final product,” Emanuel said. “Whether Republicans decide to vote for things that they’ve promoted will be up to them. So one test of bipartisanship is, did you include ideas advocated by the other side.”

Listen, with something as contentious as health care, it’s unlikely that Obama will get a lot of Republican votes. If he does, great, but if the bill includes some Republican ideas, but is mostly a Democratic approach to universal health care, who will really fault him for that except Republicans?

Personally, I don’t think Republicans are doing themselves any favors by saying no to literally everything, and that applies even more when you’re talking about universal health care. Because, in all likelihood, the quality of care won’t change much and everybody will be covered. Because that’s what happened with Medicare and SCHIP. Do Republicans want to be on the other side of this issue yet again?

Long story short, if Obama extends a couple olive branches on this one, the Republicans better take them and claim some amount of ownership. Otherwise they’ll be hard pressed to argue anything other than deficits in 2012 and 2016.


This entry was posted on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 and is filed under Health Care, Quotes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Quote Of The Day – Bipartisanship”

  1. ffbull Says:

    I don’t believe your analogy about Medicare is correct. No, the inclusion of the Medicare system did not reduce the quality of care, but the cost was redirected to private insurers and individuals. With a single payer system, who absorbs the difference? Taxpayers. The dollar will plummet with the continued deficit spending and we won’t be able to afford good healthcare.

  2. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Justin, you’re a smart guy; are you honestly telling me that you believe that the government will be able to execute a plan that gives everyone the quality of care comparable to today’s “typical” medical insurance? If so, what do you see happening to the overall tax situation?

  3. Tully Says:

    What ffbull and EI said, but more so.

    The government already has the perfect laboratories to test reforms in Medicare/Medicaid. Over the last twenty years these programs have “controlled costs” by cutting reimbursements, offloading those costs onto the private sector and (MCD) state & local government. In turn that drives up the cost of non-MCR/MCD health care even faster, while driving providers out of MCR/MCD. Right now roughly half of all doctors refuse to take MCD patients and 30% or so are refusing new MCR patients. Those trends are getting worse. That’s not surprising, as MCR/MCD are already almost half of all heath care spending in America. (Yes, folks, we’re already halfway to single-payer.)

    The refusal to participate in MCR/MCD is understandable — it often costs doctors more just to file the paperwork than they get paid for providing the service. I know doctors who will willingly treat new MCD patients, but only for free. They WANT to serve their patients, they WANT to help the indigent and are willing to work them into their practice schedules, but the payment rates of MCD are so abysmal they lose LESS money by not filing for reimubursement at all.

    (I even know one GP who doesn’t take insurance at all. Because he doesn’t have to file all that paperwork, he can work with half as much staff, charge half as much, spend MORE time with each patient, and still make as much money.)

    It took decades to reach the current situation. The idea that we can improve the system in any meaningful fashion with grab-bag legislation hastily rammed through Congress is past naive, and approaches completely idiotic. We badly need an extensive national health care review and debate. What we will get instead from hurried shoved-down-the-throat “reforms” is costly special-interest-feeding programs that do not even begin to solve the problems we need to address, could quite likely make them much worse, and do all that at great added expense.

    Snake-oil and used car salesmen insist you must close the deal NOW.

  4. kranky kritter Says:

    The idea that we can improve the system in any meaningful fashion with grab-bag legislation hastily rammed through Congress is past naive, and approaches completely idiotic. We badly need an extensive national health care review and debate. What we will get instead from hurried shoved-down-the-throat “reforms” is costly special-interest-feeding programs that do not even begin to solve the problems we need to address, could quite likely make them much worse, and do all that at great added expense.

    Snake-oil and used car salesmen insist you must close the deal NOW.

    If I agreed any more than I do, I would actually BE you, Tully. Nothing I have heard about the current reforms suggests comprehensive improvements based on substantial reforms. It all sounds like props and jury-rigging and nibbling cosmetically at the edges… .

    “we don’t really need to replace this rotted beam, we can nail another to it, and it should hold OK for a few more years. And this door here is still good, is just needs a coat of paint. Oh, and a new knob. And it gets stuck because the frame is out of plumb, but we can plane a little off this top corner. The roofer said the roof really needs to be stripped and replaced, but screw him he’s just trying to pork us, we’ll find someone shingle a 3rd layer over it…it will look a little bit funky and it won’t last as long, but I’m sure it will be fine.

    **sigh**

  5. Tully Says:

    The same commentary applies to the “climate change” legislation they’re going to shove through the House this morning, without having read it and without the public having had time to read it. Mega-barrels of pork and a trillion-dollar price tag (minimum) with no real effect on the purported goal.

  6. Brett Says:

    And we can just look at (very recent) history to learn that these “ACT NOW FOR SPECIAL DEAL THAT WILL SAVE THE NATION” bills that were horribly rushed through Congress don’t work. Currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is 9.1%. But if one looks at the scary graphs released before the Recovery Act was conceived and passed in lightning speed, we’ll see that the HIGHEST projected unemployment rate WITHOUT the recovery plan was 9%. (Sourced here)

    Moral of the story: don’t trust any statistics the politicians throw at you when they are trying to sell their so-called “healthcare reform”.

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