expanded and cross-posted at Huffington Post
No wonder insurance company stocks are soaring this fine spring Monday.
Megan McArdle’s “tyranny of the majority” is one of the more humorous responses to Speaker Pelosi’s win, though I concur on her assessment of America’s “toxic politics.”
EJ Dionne, one of the biggest insider Dems, but also one of the only ones honest enough to write it, said it through a title on Friday: Why Democrats Are Fighting for a Republican Health Plan. A snippet is below:
Yes, Democrats have rallied behind a bill that Republicans-or at least large numbers of them-should love. It is built on a series of principles that Republicans espoused for years.
Republicans have said that they do not want to destroy the private insurance market. This bill not only preserves that market but strengthens it by bringing in millions of new customers. The plan before Congress does not call for a government “takeover” of health care. It provides subsidies so more people can buy private insurance.
Republicans always say they are against “socialized medicine.” Not only is this bill nothing like a “single-payer” health system along Canadian or British lines. It doesn’t even include the “public option” that would have allowed people voluntarily to buy their insurance from the government.
… […] You could argue that Democrats have learned from Republicans. Some might say that Democrats have been less than true to their principles.
But there is a simpler conclusion: Democrats, including President Obama, are so anxious to get everyone health insurance that they are more than willing to try a market-based system and hope it works. It’s a shame the Republicans can no longer take “yes” for an answer.
When you have Speaker Pelosi’s office inviting only the boys, so called “progressives” who are insider Democrats whose only goal it is to prop up the presidency instead of focusing on strong policy, last night is what you get. Going well beyond the issue that Democrats willingly dismantled women’s rights, the fact that Democrats didn’t even try to push for a public option reveals the fundamental failure of the progressive message.
The minority was able to beat them by simply sticking together. The larger block of progressives who wanted a public option simply folded, as did the pro-choice caucus. Relegating the progressive brand to that of wimps, there is simply no way these people and their enablers in new media will ever best the likes of Rahm Emanuel, or the political oratory power of Pres. Obama. If you’re a movement progressive it’s time to face up to reality. You were rolled.
I really cannot think of anything more ludicrous after the passage of the historic health care bill last night than what Matthew Yglesias wrote afterward.
Now that it’s done, Barack Obama will go down in history as one of America’s finest presidents. It’s always possible of course that, like LBJ, he’ll get involved in some unrelated fiasco that mars his reputation. But fundamentally, he’s reshaped the policy landscape in a way that no progressive politician has done in decades. – Matthew Yglesias
Mr. Yglesias needs to expand his exposure to strong feminists.
Big Tent Democrat quotes Chris Bowers, then opines:
This is what progressive failure looks like under a Dem Administration and Congress. The health bills reject the progressive vision of health care reform and embrace market based view of health reform. Reproductive rights were sacrificed as were health coverage for undocumented aliens. All for someone else’s vision of health reform. Let’s hope that the progressive vision is wrong and that the President and the Village Dems are right.
From throwing the American people into a system without any choice, providing private insurance companies with new customers, to using women’s rights to get it done while progressive Democrats enabled it to happen, what Democrats have done is produce a Republican health care bill that Richard Nixon would have loved.
From Steve Pearlstein back in August 2009:
It was back in 1971 and President Nixon was concerned that he would once again have to face a Kennedy in the next year’s election — in this case a Kennedy with a proposal to extend health care to all Americans. Feeling the need to offer an alternative, Nixon asked Congress to require for the first time that all companies provide a health plan for their employees, with federal subsidies for low-income workers. Nixon was particularly intrigued by a new idea called health maintenance organizations, which held the promise of providing high-quality care at lower prices by relying on salaried physicians to manage and coordinate patient care.
At first, Kennedy rejected Nixon’s proposal as nothing more than a bonanza for the insurance industry that would create a two-class system of health care in America. But after Nixon won reelection, Kennedy began a series of secret negotiations with the White House that almost led to a public agreement. In the end, Nixon backed out after receiving pressure from small-business owners and the American Medical Association. And Kennedy himself decided to back off after receiving heavy pressure from labor leaders, who urged him to hold out for a single-payer system once Democrats recaptured the White House in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
But it should tell you how far the country has moved to the right that the various proposals put forward by a Democratic president and Congress bear an eerie resemblance to the deal cooked up between Kennedy and Nixon, while Nixon’s political heirs vilify it as nothing less than a socialist plot. […]
Yes, Nixon would have loved Obama’s Republican health care bill. Well, except maybe for the taxes.
… “even socialists like myself know you don’t raise taxes in a recession.” – Lawrence O’Donnell, via Joe Scarborough on Twitter
I now return Democrats and progressives to cheerleading.