After All That…No Bipartisan Support?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Bipartisan, Democrats, Health Care, Legislation, Republicans

The bill that Baucus passed today didn’t have a public option in it. Let me repeat that…Baucus’ bill had NO PUBLIC OPTION in it.

Yes, there are decentralized not-for-profit co-ops, but that’s definitely not a public option as had been proposed.

Here’s more about what’s in the bill, from Politico:

The bill requires individuals to buy insurance, or else face a penalty of between $750 and $950 annually, depending on income level, and a maximum of $3,800 for families with incomes 300 percent of the poverty line. The Senate HELP bill sets the fine at $750 per year, while the House bill levies a two percent tax on the adjusted gross income of an individual who does buy insurance.

The Finance Committee bill would not mandate businesses to provide coverage for their employees – as the House and Senate HELP bill does – but it would require them to defray the cost of any government subsidies for which their employees would qualify.

To pay for the overhaul, the legislation calls for raising $214 billion through a 35 percent excise tax on high-end insurance plans, assessing $93 billion in fees on industry players, including device manufacturers, insurers and clinical laboratories, and making a series of tax code changes.

And yet no Republicans will support it? Not even moderate Republicans like Olympia Snowe? What gives?

Personally, I think this says a lot about the GOP and their sincerity. It seems to me that all they really want to do is block health care reform because it’s good politics. Sure, there are big costs involved, but they’re paid for with new revenue generation and cuts in Medicare and CHIP. So Snowe’s explanation that she won’t support it due to costs are, well, pretty thin.

And to that point about Medicare…how many Republicans do you hear talking about cutting this program or crying foul about being able to pay for it? Answer: all of them.

Well, their tune changes when Dems actually propose cutting funding and/or paying for it…

“This partisan proposal cuts Medicare by nearly a half-trillion dollars, and puts massive new tax burdens on families and small businesses, to create yet another thousand-page, trillion-dollar government program,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “Only in Washington would anyone think that makes sense, especially in this economy.

Isn’t it a conservative principle to not give people everything for free and make sure folks pay for things so you can balance the books?

I’m getting so tired of this, and it’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been posting lately. Nobody on the right seems to want to actually compromise on this stuff and it’s beyond frustrating.

However, Republicans beware…if you don’t accept something that you’ve had a say in you might be presented with an option that you really don’t like.

But hey, maybe that’s what they want. Let the Dems pass something with a robust public option so they can just complain about it, call it fiscally irresponsible, cry socialism, etc. Perhaps smart politics, but they can’t say they didn’t have a seat at the table. Baucus’ bill is not a kabuki dance and he has compromised on a lot. Too bad Republicans haven’t held up their end of the bipartisan bargain.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 and is filed under Bipartisan, Democrats, Health Care, Legislation, Republicans. 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.

23 Responses to “After All That…No Bipartisan Support?”

  1. Tweets that mention Donklephant » Blog Archive » After All That…No Bipartisan Support? -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mr. Meta. Mr. Meta said: DONKLEPHANT: After All That No Bipartisan Support? http://ow.ly/15PjAA [...]

  2. kranky kritter Says:

    To pay for the overhaul, the legislation calls for raising $214 billion through a 35 percent excise tax on high-end insurance plans, assessing $93 billion in fees on industry players, including device manufacturers, insurers and clinical laboratories, and making a series of tax code changes.

    Anyone know who the people with high-end health insurance are? If they are disproportionately republicans, there’s your answer.

    It’s pretty clear to me that the GOP plans to mount a back-to-basics effort to restore its lost appeal. They simply do not gain any voter support by approving taxes on wealthy individuals, the medical industry, and whoever is going to get poned by “tax code changes.” [Hint: if the changes result in increased revenue, then the changes will be tax hikes from the PoV of whoever pays them].

    In 2010 and 2012, the GOP is going to run on their old time religion:
    •no new taxes
    •lower spending
    •democrats spend too much
    •did I mention no new taxes
    •more tax credits for working families to pay for private health insurance
    •hey, did I mention no new taxes

    This is as plain as the nose on my face. So the lack of GOP support here is no surprise, because this plan is going to be financed via higher taxes.

    Here’s the thing: Obama’s softening on the public option can EASILY be attributed to a lack of support from moderates and independents. So I think that (what can only be) your feigned surprise shows how much you are buying into and selling Obama’s bipartisan tone. Topne aside, it seems to me that no real concessions have been made here to the GOP’s core issues, taxes and spending, So they haven’t budged.

    So if the lack of GOP support here surprises any of you, then you don’t get it. The GOP’s message is “don’t raise taxes, and decrease spending.” Now anyone can quarrel about whether that approach is sufficient in these times. Fine. I’m with you in wondering. But you can set your watch by the GOP sticking to their script. “No new taxes” and “Decrease Federal Spending” are the first 2 songs in the f$^#^cking hymnal.

  3. Dok Says:

    “To pay for the overhaul, the legislation calls for raising $214 billion through a 35 percent excise tax on high-end insurance plans, assessing $93 billion in fees on industry players, including device manufacturers, insurers and clinical laboratories, and making a series of tax code changes.”

    don’t you think this will still get passed down to your average citizen? it will be a “round-about” tax that still affects us.

  4. PatHMV Says:

    Alternatively, you could ask with horror: “you mean the Democrats couldn’t even budge enough to get support from Olympia Snowe???” How much of their principle beliefs, in your mind, must Republicans give up to satisfy you, Justin? You might try analyzing whether the resultant bill is good, not just whether it’s good politics.

  5. Trescml Says:

    Republicans have traditionally not supported changes to health care and have even less reason to want and support it now and give Obama a much needed victory. To go along with KK’s comment on “No new taxes” will be the “Smaller government” verse and health care doesn’t fit in that either. The only way this is going to change is if there is a populist uprising that pushes Republicans to support it (Guns don’t kill people, Republican Health Care kills people” anyone?). I don’t see that happening.

    Insuring people who aren’t insured is going to be expensive. You can make argument that it is too expensive and you can say that it is ridiculous that so many people don’t have insurance. The biggest crime here is that the partisan bickering is going to prevent any meaningful changes that can try and limit health care costs. In the end that is the bigger problem and it needs to be solved soon before all the Baby Boomers get Medicare or the only people with health insurance are going to be millionaires.

  6. Nancy Hanks Says:

    Justin,

    RE: “I’m getting so tired of this, and it’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been posting lately. Nobody on the right seems to want to actually compromise on this stuff and it’s beyond frustrating….” (I still haven’t figured out how to do that cool quotation thing, but that’s my bad….)

    I appreciate your frustration, and feel similarly. History is very frustrating! We (us folks) do things and then things happen. And then history happens. People in China do something, people in Germany, Peru, Arkansas, California, etc. do things and this is what we “end up” with.

    One of my motivations to keep going is that I believe that the “last man standing” wins. I’m out to win. I will be there until the end, count on it!

    In the meantime, keep up the great work!
    NH

  7. The Pajama Pundit Says:

    Nancy,

    It’s called block quoting. You insert your quoted text between blockquote tags:

    blah blah blah sample quote here

    (except you should remove the ‘ marks).

    So, a block of quoted text will look like this:

    blah blah blah sample quote here

    I hope this helps! Happy coding!

  8. PoliGazette » Debate That Never Started Ends Says:

    [...] Justin Gardner at Donklephant is depressed that prospects for bipartisanship on health care reform h…. Gardner lays the entire blame on “the right”: Nobody on the right seems to want to actually compromise on this stuff and it’s beyond frustrating. [...]

  9. michael reynolds Says:

    Justin:

    You didn’t actually expect Republicans to support anything, did you?

    The core belief inherent in Donklephant, that we have two well-meaning parties of different ideologies but of a shared interest in solving the nation’s problems, is no longer operative.

    We have one political party. And then we have a collection of racist loons and their enablers.

    The GOP is the party of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Joe the Plumber, MIchele Malkin, Ann Coulter and Joe Wilson. You thought what, exactly? That they would set aside the crazy for long enough to do something for the country?

    Wake up and smell the coffee. There’s only one political goal for the GOP: destroy Obama. Period.

  10. mw Says:

    Once again: Filibuster proof majority in the Senate. 80 vote plurality in the House. Democratic President.

    The only relevant question: When will the Democrats stop obstructing Health Care reform? The primary objections to this bill are coming from the left.

    The Republicans are under no obligation to provide political cover to the Democrats for a bad bill. I know it is a lot more fun for you guys to bash Republicans, and I want you all to have fun, but someday you might want to (as MR suggests) “smell the coffee” and do the math.

  11. Nick Benjamin Says:

    I’m not surprised nobody on the right is supporting Baucus bill. It won’t get any support from the Left, either, because it imposes too many burdens on poor folks.

    Snowe is always going to be a problem. She represents a high-cost state, so she thinks the tax on expensive health plans will hit Maine hard. There is a fix (the threshold for the tax scales based on costs in a state), but she doesn’t think it’ll work well enough.

    Additionally she has a soul, but hates government spending. As a person with a soul she wants subsidies for people up to 400% of poverty. Without those subsidies a lot of hard-working folks will still have to pay 20-30% of their incomes to get covered.

    But the extra subsidies won’t be cheap. And she really hates voting for bills that cost more than $800 Billion, even if they’re paid for with new taxes.

    I’m guessing Harry Reid will bring the HELP Committee bill up for a vote in the Senate, possibly dividing it into two bills. Things Snowe hates go in the second bill, which is passed via reconciliation.

    kk,
    If there were Republicans interested in compromise there’d be a few on-board. Fiscal Conservative is supposed to mean deficit hawk, the deficit will eat us alive if we don’t fix health care, and opportunities to fix it only come once every decade or two. In this case the right strategy for a fiscal conservative is pretty clear: negotiate a deal that cuts the deficit.

    The fact that only Olympia Snowe is taking advantage of the opportunity seems to indicate that a) the GOP caucus is opposing the bill for political gain, and b) they’ve made it clear they’ll destroy the career of anyone who bucks the party line on this one.

    I’ll agree that it’s irrational to expect much GOP support on this issue. They are simply not rational when it comes to taxes.

  12. Nick Benjamin Says:

    Once again: Filibuster proof majority in the Senate. 80 vote plurality in the House. Democratic President.

    You do realize that Ted Kennedy died? And that Franken only took office in July? And that the Senate took a month long recess in August? From July 7 – August 7 the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the US Senate.

    And if they’d tried to ram something through in that month they’d have caught hell for rushing it.

  13. Derrick Gaskin Says:

    Ok, This site is supposed to represent a moderate point of view. I am finding it harder and harder to find the middle ground here. You may consider changing the name of your site and the focus of your blog. If this site is intended to support government control of our lives, it is in no way moderate. I visit here frequently looking for a moderate point of view and recently I have found none. The (R)’s Suck and the (D)’s Suck. This healthcare debate has brought the truth to your website. Your are not a Donklephant, but a true Donkey.

  14. Reaganite Republican Says:

    Note that whenever Obama, Emanuel, or Gibbs are asked about why polls show SO many people oppose their misguided Cap-n-Trade and Obamacare proposals, they ALWAYS segue-right-into “we need to educate the public…”.

    LOL- save your breath- Constitutionally-aware patriots don’t take lectures from Marxists.

    http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com

  15. Paul Says:

    Baucus’ bill won’t make it !

  16. blackoutyears Says:

    @Justin, if anything I’d expect the immoderation on both sides of this issue to provide ample fodder for commentary rather than dishearten you. If anything I’d be commenting on the manner in which the Baucus bill does seem to be a sop to moderates, whether in general terms or specifically the more moderate elements of the Democratic Party mw mentions.

    @Kranky, I expect that the Republicans will plow that terrain in the upcoming elections. I’m interested to see how short the country’s collective memory is. And I very much agree with Nick’s response that if conservatives are truly interested in fiscal concerns that they’d at least be acknowledging as a group that health care reform is crucial. In fact, many of them are denying that there’s a problem at all, a point I trust their Democrat opponents will at least attempt to raise come election time.

  17. kranky kritter Says:

    I very much agree with Nick’s response that if conservatives are truly interested in fiscal concerns that they’d at least be acknowledging as a group that health care reform is crucial. In fact, many of them are denying that there’s a problem at all, a point I trust their Democrat opponents will at least attempt to raise come election time.

    Virtually all current GOP congress folk don’t want to share the blame for whatever reform passes, because they believe in a fundamentally different approach. The belief that the GOP must compromise in the name of bipartisanship rests on the notion that “something must be done.” The pretty simply answer to that contention by the GOP is “not is it makes things worse, which we think it will.”

    So you guys position sort of shows where YOU GUYS think moderation lies. But what we are looking at on this issue is very fundamental disagreement about the correct approach. Remaining Republican legislators fundamentally disagree with “reform” that means higher taxes and more government involvement .Just like democrats disagreed with most recent past republican reform that meant lower taxes and less government involvement.

    The GOP has shrunk in congressional numbers. The successfully re-elected GOP congressfolk are redder than usual because they largely represent districts that are staunch GOP places. So along with this development, the vast majority of pragmatic moderates that are in congress these days are democratic blue dogs.

    There’s just no reason to think that any GOP congressfolk will come out early as supporters of moderate proposals backed and shopped by democrats. Not at this stage. When and if we reach a point where one proposal has gotten some legs and is starting to be hammered out for a real vote, THEN you might see a handful of GOP folks come on board with that.

    IOW, it will unfold in a fashion similar to the Sotamayor confirmation. Republicans did not go out of their way to say nice things about her during the run up to confirmation, but when the vote was held, a handful of GOP folk were on board. Right?

    Here’s the thing. Due to the numbers, the democrats are about as in charge as it gets. Under such circumstances, minimal party loyalty dictates that it just aint the GOP’s job to get the ball of any democratic initiative rolling.

  18. Justin Gardner - Political Pulse – Who’s Responsible For The Ton Of The Health Care Debate? - True/Slant Says:

    [...] my point in a previous post is that if Repubs don’t want to come to the table for legislation that’s a genuine [...]

  19. Justin Gardner - Political Pulse – Who’s Responsible For The Tone Of The Health Care Debate? - True/Slant Says:

    [...] my point in a previous post is that if Repubs don’t want to come to the table for legislation that’s a genuine [...]

  20. blackoutyears Says:

    I’m not placing the burden of getting something done on the GOP. And *we need to slow down* is only one conservative message, and it’s obscuring the fact that many cons are claiming that there is no problem. They’re not debating what type of reform they prefer, they’re not debating timing, they’re debating the need for reform at all. Mod cons have no problem admitting there’s a problem, so my distinction is perfectly valid and has no bearing on where I fall on the definitions of moderate or bi-partisan. Does anyone think it’s reasonable to claim that there is no need to reform healthcare in this country?

  21. blackoutyears Says:

    Point of my last being, no con who campaigns on fiscal concerns who denied that helathcare needed some kind, any kind, of reform should be allowed to get away with it. We’ll see. As MR rightly pointed out, constituencies up and down the spectrum routinely vote on the basis of fear, disgust, lust and other reptile brain emotions rather than on policy or logic.

  22. Justin Gardner - Political Pulse – It’s Smart Politics For Republicans To Compromise On Health Care Reform - True/Slant Says:

    [...] write one, Jason writes one, I write another, and Jason writes [...]

  23. Donklephant » Blog Archive » Bipartisanship, Health Care Reform & The Benefits Of Compromise Says:

    […] write one, Jason writes one, I write another, and Jason writes […]

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