I’m up at Spot-On explaining the Ted Kennedy Medicare miracle to the masses and suggesting that there are some real long-term problems that won’t be so easy for the Dems to solve later. As ever come back here to comment.
Well, lookee there: Congressional Democrats actually won one. That’s right. After 14 years of ignoring core liberal principles – including the last 18 months when they actually had a majority – they took on the Republicans and won.
How did this happen? Well, it’s an election year, and by forcing an issue that Congress has been putting off for years — automatic cuts in Medicare physician payments — Democrats seized the chance to score a few points.
Essentially, the Democrats decided that, instead of agreeing to another fudged compromise to put off the decision to cut payments, they’d set the insurers against the doctors. So they found the money to put off those automatic cuts by taking some away from private Medicare insurers. Now, it was a bit of a surprise that so many House Republicans joined them and drop-kicked the insurers with whom they’ve been aligned for so long, although of course they’re all up for re-election. But once there was a veto-proof majority in the House, the Senate Democrats realized that they could force the issue and score a political win.