Coal in Your Christmas Stocking?

Is there anyone left, on either side of the political spectrum, who wants the Senate health care bill to pass?

Republican Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour had this to say about the Senate bill last week, “This health care plan is like mackerel in the moonlight. Longer that it's out there, the more that it stinks.”

And yesterday, MoveOn said this about the Senate Democratic health care bill in an email to its members, "America needs real health care reform—not a massive giveaway to the insurance companies. Senator Bernie Sanders and other progressives should block this bill until it's fixed."

When Haley Barbour and MoveOn are saying about the same things—this bill should be stopped in its current form albeit for very different reasons—that says a lot.

I haven’t seen a poll the last month that has found an approval rating for the Democratic efforts that was any better than the high 30s or low 40s.

Then came what has to be the most bizarre health care poll finding I have ever seen. In this week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll, 54% of those who are uninsured said they thought Democratic efforts to change the health care system would mean their health insurance would cost more if it were passed—35% said it would cost less.

The uninsured aren’t even buying this!

In a recent post, I pointed out that the Democrats would face four health insurance renewal cycles and two elections between 2010 and 2014 when the benefits of the health care bill would finally become effective. That’s four years of new taxes and continuing big health insurance rate increases before voters see any big benefits from what looks like it will be a very unpopular bill.

This debate isn’t coming down to the “Harry and Louise” moment we might have expected.

It does look like it could be more like a “Thelma and Louise” moment with the Democrats seemingly intent on driving this health care express off a political cliff.

7 replies »

  1. The only reason it has such low approval is the PR power engine of the republicans and others like move on that continually distort the facts for their own purpose.

  2. The right and the left did not want a solution to the policy issues, they want power arranged in ways that fit their ideological strictures.
    The goals of lower costs, higher quality and universal access do not require a public option. They are not even achievable under the pure consumer driven model.
    So yeah, the Senate bill stinks as much as every piece of legislation. Yes, our politicians and political system suck. But there is a lot of meat in there, and the commentary of the ideologists is totally unproductive.

  3. No JD. Not sure what happened but we didn’t kill your opus. Are you sure it went up? You also may want to check other threads to see if you inadvertently posted somewhere else. The only comments we snip are those which are a). spam or blatantly commercial or b). totally off topic — John Irvine

  4. Certainly no rational person would claim that the Senate version of the health insurance reform bill addresses the fundamental issues of policy that either the right or the left would have liked to have seen — and which may even be necessary in some form to really solve the health care cost problems we face as a nation. [“as a nation;” that’s an interesting phrase, isn’t it?]
    One might remember, however, that when both the left and the right are shooting at you, you’ve probably found an appropriate middle road. At the end of the day, the job of our legislators is to get things done. Granted, it would be better if they could accomplish that looking through a national, rather than a state or district lens [whihc would mean legislation would be policy driven rather than financially driven], but that would take a Constitutional Amendment.
    If you thought election reform or health care reform was tough…

  5. I just spend 30 minutes typing an extended comment and got it posted, and now I come back to the site an hour later and it is deleted. Is there censorship of comments happening here?