Breaking: "A stunning reversal of fortune" - Prominent liberals reject Senate's gutted healthcare bill

dean, stern, olbermann, healthcare, obama, sellout, abortion.png

I was surprised a little while ago to hear Fox News Democrat and liberal political analyst Kirsten Powers describe the emerging chopped-and-pasted Obamacare legislation as "crappy."...

Powers said that a White House desperate for a political win has wheeled and dealed away the guts of the bill.

For 3 days former Democrat Party chairman Howard Dean has been saying the same thing, but I thought, "Who listens to him?"

A lot of people, apparently. Also, Andy Stern, powerful president of the SEIU, and this WH's most frequent visitor, is expressing his discontent.

Now this afternoon comes this Politico article indicating Obama and the Dems have a real problem on their hands:

In a stunning reversal of fortune for President Barack Obama, top progressives are attacking the health-reform plan moving through the Senate as "hollow," "unsupportable" and a sellout to corporate interests.

Republicans, after plotting for months to sink the signature legislation of Obama's first year, suddenly think that Democrats might wind up doing it for them....

Most dangerously for WH chances of assembling 60 Senate votes, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean launched a 3rd day of attacks on the emerging bill, arguing in a Washington Post op-ed that it meets none of his benchmarks for "real reform."

"[A]s it stands, this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America," Dean wrote, then took to the airwaves to amplify his case.

Ed Schultz, an influential liberal radio host, declared on his "Ed Show" on MSNBC: "The base is restless. They are wandering in the wilderness, Mr. President.... They want to know, where are you?... Right now, Mr. President, your base thinks you're nothing but a sellout - a corporate sellout, out that.... The only people who like this current bill right now, Mr. President, is the insurance industry - they get a bunch of new customers."

Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, wrote on his Twitter feed: "Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate." And "Kos" blogged: "You pass a s-----y program now that further bankrupts our nation, and we won't be talking about 'fixing' it in a few years, but whether it should even exist."

With polls showing erosion in both Obama's popularity and in support for health reform, the WH mobilized to try to tamp down the rebellion from such essential allies....

Liberals contend that the bill has been watered down so much that Congress should kill it and start over. The WH warns that health reform could be doomed for the rest of this presidency, and probably beyond, if it falters now.

The attack from the left comes at a delicate juncture when a delay of more than a couple of days could sink any remaining chance that the Senate can pass it by Christmas. Senate Democrats are circulating a possible schedule that would have them taking the final vote on Christmas Day.

Right now, Democrats are at least 2 votes shy of the 60 they need to pass the bill....

But Obama's problem now is on the left. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann told viewers Wednesday night that the Senate version has become "unsupportable... a hollow shell of a bill": "This is not health, this is not care, this is certainly not reform."

Pulling back the curtain on WH efforts to rein in Dean, [senior adviser David] Axelrod said the former governor "got on the phone with Nancy-Ann DeParle, our point person on the health care issue, [who] went through point by point.

"She explained why he was wrong," Axelrod continued. "And he simply didn't want to hear that critique. I saw his piece in The Post this morning, and it is predicated on a bunch of erroneous conclusions."

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, said on "Morning Joe" that business lobbyists "are winning" on a host of Washington issues, including health reform....

Asked if she would enthusiastically support Obama for reelection, Huffington replied: "This is not really the question.... Depends on the alternative.... The American middle class was let down.... Can you really say this WH is on the side of the American people?"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) accused the Democrats Thursday of abandoning the goal of true reform to the political imperative of simply passing any bill they can label health reform.

"It's now an effort by a political party to protect itself. They're in a political panic, quite frankly," Graham told reporters. "Nobody really cares what it is anymore as long as they can get it passed, signed, and claim a political victory. That is going to do a lot of damage to long-term health care reform efforts. And I would urge them not to do this. They're walking off a cliff."

Peggy Noonan, the columnist and former Reagan speechwriter, told Axelrod on "Morning Joe": "On the issue of health care, you are losing the left, you are losing the right, you are losing the center. That looks to me like a political disaster."


Comments:

"That looks to me like a political disaster"

Amen, Sister Peggy, AMEN!


Three more years of this, folks...

Posted by: carder at December 17, 2009 2:41 PM


I agree, if Obama doesn't pull the plug now and start over, he's in big trouble with the left.

Me included.

Posted by: Hal at December 17, 2009 2:49 PM


If Obama were to follow your advice, and he does pull the plug, what would you have him do the second time around?

Put another way, what is he doing wrong now?

Posted by: carder at December 17, 2009 2:54 PM


he's mandating that people buy insurance but doing nothing to make it affordable. Thus, they could set the rates at $14,000 per month and people would have to buy it. No wonder the insurance companies are getting behind this. Just do Medicare for all, or if that's too much, just pass a two page bill prohibiting discrimination for pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: Hal at December 17, 2009 2:57 PM


He's insisting that if we don't pass this, we face national bankruptcy.

What say you?

Posted by: carder at December 17, 2009 3:27 PM


I do wonder why the reform has to be set as "all or nothing." I understand the goal of universal health care. The practicality of the system in the United States on top of the health system currently constructed leaves me doubtful that a manageable, affordable program could ever be developed.

However, instead of trying to do it all, why not pass some basic reforms that will help? For example, I don't think many people would complain about insurance that can be sold across state borders. Encourage and even help facilitate guilds/groups of independent contractors who can negotiate a group benefit plan instead of buying individual plans. Tort reform that allows real malpractice to be punished while reducing CYA medical tests. Allow the government to negotiate on prescription meds (I know this one is controversial, and I would not want the government to go to a strict formulary like some insurance companies. But to force the government to accept list price and get no volume discount is ridiculous).

Simple incremental steps can make a real difference in the current health care trajectory. Pass these first, see the results, and then evaluate the need for more substantial overhaul.

Posted by: Michael at December 17, 2009 3:27 PM


Um. Hal. My family doesn't have $14,000 to pay a month. My hubs will go to jail. Good times.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 17, 2009 3:41 PM


not too many families do Carla. It's a bad bill. It should be stopped. (see, something else we agree on)

Posted by: Hal at December 17, 2009 3:53 PM


Very good. If the big bad bill does pass, will you help my family pay for insurance? You, being a rich lawyer and all....:)

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 17, 2009 3:58 PM


Michael: "Simple incremental steps can make a real difference in the current health care trajectory. Pass these first, see the results, and then evaluate the need for more substantial overhaul."

This, to me, is the smartest solution. There are two things that Congress is attempting to do; curb the cost inflation within the medical sector and to provide medical coverage for those who do not have it, either through fines or subsidy.

The first really would have no problems coming to fruition, if it were merely that. It is the second goal of the bill that is causing the partisan hiccups and scaring a good portion of the public.

Posted by: Oliver at December 17, 2009 4:10 PM


Oh and I am so glad that Obama is making abortion "rare" by promoting abortion!!!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 17, 2009 5:08 PM



Just look at those liberals rage. Isn't it just the most heartwarming sight??

Hey, did you see on Drudge that a blizzard hit Copenhagen during that farce they call the "global-warming crisis conference"?
Ya gotta hand it to Mother Nature! What a sense of humor!

Our fearless leader leaves a "carbon footprint" as he flies over to Copenhagen in his private jet I believe it is tomorrow.

If you didn't laugh you'd cry.

Posted by: Mary at December 17, 2009 5:16 PM


Totally agree with Michael. This should have been the year to pass reforms on the private sector, prohibiting firms from dropping people's coverage after they have been accepted into the plan (or in the case of Blue Shield in California, dropping people from the plan for being late on a single payment).

But the 'reform' bill that is on the Senate floor is a total mess. It is a bloated version of what Massachusetts has. The government points a gun at people's heads, demanding that they buy poor private insurance, or else face fines that meet or exceed the cost of that private insurance. That's madness.

Why be forced to buy a poor product? But that's exactly what this bill does.

Posted by: Dhalgren at December 17, 2009 6:29 PM


The liberals are right. The healthcare bill is a sellout. Obama like other politicians is a professional at graft. He just wants a cut. Healthcare is so lucrative that the pols want a bigger piece of the action. The Medicare chief actuary already said it would make healthcare and insurance more expensive than doing nothing. Obama/Pelosi/Reid cooked it up with the insurance execs. Duh. The guarantee insurers more customers and get donations from insurers. It is corrupt.

Posted by: hippie at December 17, 2009 7:24 PM


"Congress is attempting to do; curb the cost inflation within the medical sector"


There is no inflation in the medical sector. There are expensive new technologies which cost more than old tech. There is also enormous cost shifting to the groups that actually pay. There is a growing number of non paying consumers.

Total costs go up when there are more consumers consuming more expensive things.

Insurers add to the cost when they cover every single little thing because then there is paperwork that has to be processed for every single thing and that adds cost to providers and insurers. Also, insurance companies may not have huge profits but that is because the upper management keeps a huge amount in the form of salaries. The CEO of United, just one man, got 1.4 billion in compensation in 13 years. I don't know total annual profit for United Health when he was CEO, but it would have been at least $100 million more per year if he had only been paid single digit millions instead of double and triple digit millions per year. Wouldn't you love to see his 1040 ?

Posted by: hippie at December 17, 2009 7:38 PM


Hey!

How about all of us conservatives who have called our senators a million times already call them again to kill the bill.

And then all of you libs call the poor saps and DEMAND the same thing.

Those hapless senators simply won't know what to do!


Posted by: carder at December 17, 2009 8:38 PM


"And then all of you libs call the poor saps and DEMAND the same thing."

Done.

Posted by: hal at December 17, 2009 8:43 PM


He's insisting that if we don't pass this, we face national bankruptcy.

What say you?

Posted by: carder at December 17, 2009 3:27 PM

Oh my gosh. That's the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. They must think we are all idiots because we didn't go to Haaavad.

*********

"Tort reform that allows real malpractice to be punished while reducing CYA medical tests."

Obama has said he won't go for malpractice reform. Besides the obvious of helping the lawyers make money, maybe he wants private doctors to be forced to go out of business because of high malpractice rates so he can organize them as government employees.

Posted by: Janet at December 17, 2009 9:58 PM


"I agree, if Obama doesn't pull the plug now and start over, he's in big trouble with the left."

"Me included".

Posted by: Hal at December 17, 2009 2:49 PM

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Obama is in way over his head.

Posted by: Janet at December 17, 2009 10:06 PM


Hey, did you see on Drudge that a blizzard hit Copenhagen during that farce they call the "global-warming crisis conference"?
Ya gotta hand it to Mother Nature! What a sense of humor!
Posted by: Mary at December 17, 2009 5:16 PM


Did you know that Copenhagen hasn't had a white Christmas in 14 years and they only had 7 in all of the last century?! What a joke that summit has become.

Posted by: Kristen at December 17, 2009 10:55 PM


Kristen,

Very funny. I believe they are still calling us "deniers".
I heard today that the state of California will have a net loss of jobs with the green jobs added to those that will be lost in the California economy. Snow is forecast For Washington, DC on Saturday. Sleighbells ring... are ya listening....

Posted by: Janet at December 17, 2009 11:01 PM



Well certainly if Obama can stop the sea levels from rising he can turn off a blizzard!

Posted by: Mary at December 18, 2009 3:49 PM


Good Heavens,

I just read on Drudge that dictators Castro and Chavez have both expressed their seething contempt for Obama.

Does this mean what I think it does, that kissing the backsides of dictators doesn't earn their respect? I'm aghast.

Posted by: Mary at December 18, 2009 4:04 PM


Too funny,

Global warming strikes again. Now our fearless leader must race back to DC before a major blizzard strikes there as well.

I hope Mother Nature can stop her hysterical laughter long enough to catch her breath.

Posted by: Mary at December 18, 2009 9:44 PM


Mary,
Mother Nature or God, there are times when neither is subtle.
I heard that Al Gore is placing the blame for the snow on "Christmas", not any lack of global warming. (Just kidding)

Posted by: Janet at December 19, 2009 1:07 AM


Janet 1:07am

Global warming or Christmas, either "reason" would make the same amount of sense! :)

Posted by: Mary at December 19, 2009 8:06 AM