With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama’s top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them. – Democrats Slam Brakes on Health Care Overhaul
The headline has now been changed to Democrats Put Lower Priority on Health Bill. “Slam breaks,” lower priority, it all amounts to a retreat.
Can you just read the refrain from the right on this one. Democrats send up white flag on health care. … Democrats surrender.
(–update–) But never fear, the House is here? Ryan Grimm is reporting that House progressives are pushing Reid on the public option. Are they nuts, stupid or just a fan of wasting more time?
House progressives organizing to rescue health care reform are pressuring their Senate counterparts to go back to the provision that has most energized the party and a majority of Americans throughout the debate: The public option. …
This is as close as you can get to political malpractice. I’m all for pushing health care, but some in the House seem to want to play the fly to the Senate’s screen door, trying to find another way through a point that is blocked by millions of voters, because Democrats blew the message. Besides, the goal should be for Dems to move on from health care, while finding a way to salvage some portion of progress, i.e. offering a package of goodies for people that is easily explainable, which will put pressure on Senate members if they don’t pass them; things like portability, pre-existing exemptions, etc., things we’ve talking about before. But using precious time on the public option? It’s just nuts. (–/update–)
As this drama keeps spinning, already well out of progressive control, Steny Hoyer offers his two cents on what won’t be in Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight.
“I would be surprised if he says specifically exactly how he hopes to get health care done”…
Pres. Obama hasn’t a clue what to do on health care and never has, which is just one reason why we are where we are today, though the entire Democratic majority shares the blame. No one could have imagined they’d be in the fall back position one year into Mr. Obama’s presidency.
Meanwhile, Blanche L. Lincoln of Arkansas and Evan Bayh have said they won’t buy reconciliation. Diane Feinstein say it’s a “time out” for everyone.
So, the political party in charge of everything, which people worked so hard to make happen, are having a time out on health care. The single most draining issue on the economic futures of corporations, small business, job creation, but also the American family’s health. A time out, like children get when they’ve acted up. It’s all just too precious.
This is the setting on the day of Pres. Obama’s first State of the Union speech. A year after coming into office health care is in limbo, with Americans mad, but not at Pres. Obama, with Afghanistan raging, Baghdad exploding, and Netanyahu feeling cozy again.
According to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Obama’s at 50% approval, with the public fed up with “Washington,” but not blaming him, which is what the White House has to bet on right now.
Only 27 percent say they blame him for not being able to find solutions to the country’s problems. By contrast, 48 percent blame Republicans in Congress and 41 percent blame congressional Democrats.
As for the report about Senate Democrats slamming the breaks on health care, I guess Trumka got his answer. Via Sam Stein:
“I don’t think there are the votes in the House to pass the Senate bill,” Trumka said. “I don’t think they exist. I think the ball is in the Senate’s court. The Senate has to come up with 51 votes for a bill that the American public can accept and that the House can get the votes to pass. So I think it is up to the Senate right now.”
In Republican speak, if the Democrats don’t get health care done or put it on the back burner, however you want to frame it, it’s what they will call a win.
The title to this post has been changed; updates added where marked.