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The Silver Lining

Brian Klepper Massachusett’s voters’ stunning rejection of Democrat Martha Coakley, in favor of a not-very-impressive Scott Brown, should be exactly the splash of cold water that the Democratic party – and Congress as a whole – needed. The defeat can be understood in two ways: one large and one fairly small.

First, the large one. This will probably send reform back to the drawing board. Health care is too much in crisis and too pressing to be pushed completely off the table until certain issues – including both access AND cost – are addressed.

Second, this election marks the loss of a single critical Senate seat, but it is also very loud warning shot. The mandate received at the end of 2008 was a resounding call to throw out the Republicans who for more than a decade had ridden roughshod over American values. Yesterday, the Democrats, in one of their most secure strongholds, received the same message. Whatever people in DC think, rank-and-file Americans – not those on the right or left, but the swing voters in the middle who actually determine election results – are very unhappy with the gaming that’s been vividly displayed over the last year under the guise of health care reform.

The distaste expressed yesterday probably has little to do with the specific provisions of the bills, except for the largest generalities: that they expand coverage while avoiding a commitment to changes that could significantly reduce cost. But along the way, voters have witnessed — with an immediacy and transparency that has only been available as a result of the Web — lawmaking in its worst tradition. There was the White House’s deal making with powerful corporate interests like the drug manufacturers even before the proceedings began. And the tremendous lobbying contributions by health care and non-health care special interests in exchange for access to the policy-shaping process. Or the outright bribery of specific Senators and Representatives in exchange for votes. Last week’s White House deal with the unions that exempted them from the tax on “Cadillac” health plans until 2018 must have seemed like a perfectly OK arrangement to the people in the center of all this activity, but to normal people who read the paper, it was emblematic of the current modus operandi: If you have power and support the party in power’s muddled agenda, you get a special deal.

The most tempting mistake now for the Democrats would be to dig in. President Obama’s most appealing characteristic — the one that got him elected — was his embrace, his embodiment even, of approaches that would revise the traditional kinds of politics we’ve seen for the last year throughout the health care reform process. Of late, the most telling complaint about this Presidency so far has been disappointment that, once in office, he seemed to cave in so easily.

Undoubtedly, many Republicans are now rejoicing over the Democrats’ loss and the possible defeat of any health care reform legislation. That’s unfortunate. The health care crisis is real and remains unaddressed. The pressures it creates, particularly for powerful interests like business, will force Congress to return to it and develop meaningful solutions. Hopefully (though probably unlikely), Congress and particularly the Democrats, will be chastened and wiser. There’s a big opportunity here to make lemonade.

There is a new, bipartisan movement in Congress, highlighted on NPR two weeks ago, that would revisit the rules around the relationships between special interests and lawmakers. This is an issue that trumps and is more important than all others, because if every policy is ultimately shaped by those with enough money to buy Congress’ favor, then our democracy will be unable to hold.

The silver lining in yesterday’s election was that it was a mild, if critical, reminder that, whatever DC thinks, America’s center is just as displeased with the current governance as it was with its predecessors. Faced with a much larger rejection in the 1994 elections, President Clinton went on TV, took full responsibility, and then spent his time rebuilding. The good news is that today is a new day, and that, if they’re interested in what’s good for America over the long term rather than simply themselves over the short term, Congress has the ability to start again in ways that could please the American people and actually work to our collective advantage.

Brian Klepper and David C. Kibbe write together about health care technology, market dynamics and reform.

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  2. The Health Care market is not a free market it is a controlled Market. Since Ronald Reagan began his trickle down economics in the 1980’s, the entire American system has been relaxing government controls which enforce financial integrity and stimulate competition thereby reducing competition to create higher profit margins for our corporate stakeholders.
    Corporate malfeasance combined with poor government oversight in the laste decade created economic bubbles in IT, Energy, Banking & Finance and now Health Care. The whole economic pot is boiling.
    The main cost driver in the health care bubble is fee-for-use (The doctors, hospitals and drug companies get paid for our use of their provisions). Fee-for-use causes a mismatch between actions which generate revenue and actions which generate health. The associated corporate malfeasance will expand the health care bubble until it bursts.
    Martha was a defacto incumbent who got beat because the nation is upset with the failures in our legislature to get anything done. Universal health care and a single-payer system will cool things down, but we will be left with a system that will be slow to change so much so that it will become frozen in places.
    In order to keep our system alive and vibrant we need a new system. A free-market system with integrity and accountability.
    It must be introduced slowly as an alternative not a direct replacement for the current system.

  3. Nate- you wanted name of free markets that collapsed so here they are- Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia. They all collapsed at some point and what went with that was free exchange convertibility to help them recover.

  4. Well Nate, it’s all semantics isn’t it? It depends what “free market” really means and what “collapse” really means and to whom…. I agree with Peter.
    When you have large numbers of people thrown out of their homes (2008), or jumping out of windows (1929), or crowding debtor prisons (1819), something surely collapsed somewhere…..

  5. Nate- if you don’t provide insurance someone else will. Although if you have built up your portals where your high deductible consumers can compare doctors cost, you have made arrangement to pay based on outcomes, built model to pay for telemedicine, you pay for alternative therapy, you provide premium incentives for being healthier, you encourage your patients to maintain electronic health records, you set example of maintaining physical and mental health in your organization, you shifted to vegeterian food and are not ashamed of espousing same to members despite the risk of lawsuit and being branded weak…. hey then count me as your fan..I appreciate your candor with respect to others

  6. “The private insurance system will not collapse.”
    Probably not as the financial system did not collapse – due to massive taxpayer bailouts. No, the insuranace industry will just lobby congress to get those health insurance subsidies out to people who increasingly can’t afford coverage. Who’s going to cry, “get government out of my life” then.
    Unfortunately (or maybe not) the federal system of printing money to cover deficits may collapse, especially if our foreign lenders decide to up the interest rate or stop lending altogether. Good times are not ahead.

  7. Thanks, Nate. Now I get it. Anyone who challenges your infinite wisdom and bluster is an idiot. I’m delighted to be in that category since it clearly includes most intelligent people!

  8. Name a market that has collapsed, if you can then I was wrong and they can but I can’t think of one. I can think of a ton of heavily regulated markets that collapse, some multiple times, but never a free market.
    I will throw you the bone that markets for specific goods collapse when the good is outdated and no longer needed.
    Merle your still an idiot and FYI I am the person in position to do something. Unlike worthless people such as yourself sitting on blogs talking I go out in the world every day and do. Thousands of people have insurance specifically becuase of me and thousands more have more affordable insurance becuase of me. What have you contributed?
    When I say something will work or wont it is almost always becuase I have actually done it and proven that it does. Keep on rantin buddy

  9. Another silver lining will be the emergence of complementary and alternative medicines- accupuncture, homeopathy, meditation, nutrition, yoga etc.
    The side effect of insurance has been consumers yielding the turf to physicians and industry and let them decide what’s best for us.
    Industry and high deductible peddlers such as Nate have already let those people loose.In words of Nate, the only way to prepare them is to throw them into it. So now here we are gleaning the mother earth for herbs and fellow people for knowledge on how to keep ourselves healthy. You just might discover, poor garlic in your fridge is all you needed to control cholestrol or allergies. Or meditation is all that was needed to control stress and it costs nothing.
    If a Quackwatch comes quacking, saying it’s all unproven, send them the premium bill.
    Maybe cheap can be good. Too bad, it will prove the ‘do nothing’ group right.

  10. “my cleint’s average deductible to the employee is around $500.”
    After the company has purchased a HD plan? “Average” can be a huge gap and not represenative of anything.

  11. Would appreciate response from the authors, Margalit, maggiemahar, or anyone else —
    Why wouldn’t something that the CBO says will save $54 billion and certainly not cause more uninsured be left out of an alleged “reform” bill?
    What is that something, you ask — Tort Reform.
    Pelosi, Reid, Obama spend all their energy ripping on insurers (3% profit margin) while making a deal with Pharma (12% profit margin) and keeping quiet about runaway malpractice costs(John Edwards and his ilk).
    I guess some “special interests” are more “special” than others.

  12. Nate,
    Your posts takes the prize for arrogance and rudeness.
    Since you believe you have all the answers — and yes, your answers as to what you think will work are subjective, not fact — don’t you ever wonder why no one in the position to do something doesn’t ask your opinion?
    To paraphrase an old joke: Those that can, do. Those that can’t, rant on blogs!

  13. Nate, Medicare and Medicaid have not been fixed because they didn’t collapse….. yet. Spending too much on something is not an emergency unless you can’t afford it. Sometimes you need to go bankrupt in order to realize that you can’t afford it.
    Medicare will be fixed eventually. As crazy as it may sound, I think it would be easier to fix Medicare if everybody was on some form of Medicare (not necessarily single payor).
    And Nate, are you sure you want to make that statement that “free markets don’t collapse”? Maybe qualify it a bit, like free markets only rarely collapse, or something like that….

  14. why hasn’t Medicare been fixed Margalit? Why hasn’t Medicaid been fixed?
    Thanks for keeping it stupid Peter, my cleint’s average deductible to the employee is around $500. Every time you open your mouth you comment on stuff you don’t know, I’m curious, off line do you ever talk about anything you actually have a clue about?
    The private insurance system will not collapse. When cost reaches a point it is not affordable the system adjust, to date we have not reached the affordability plateu. What will collapse the system is unsustainable government programs. If you studied some history you would see this happen numerous times throughlut history. Transition from major medical to comprehensive, from indeminity to managed care, in and out of capitation. Free markets don’t collapse, the very existance of the market sustains it.

  15. As tempting as it may be, you can’t just “let the whole damn system collapse” and be socially responsible at the same time. It will not be a big bang sort of thing. It will take years for the current system to collapse and the collateral damage, in the form of an ever increasing number of working folks that will collapse with it, is unacceptable.
    On the other hand, if coverage is expanded and we find ourselves all in the same boat, letting some people pay the price, while others take their marbles and go home, will be impossible. We will be forced to fix the boat.

  16. “If reform does go back to the drawing board, here’s hoping it’s approached as a bipartisan piece of legislation meant to address the public’s needs, rather than the democratic agenda.”
    CHP, what is the public’s needs? The Medicare public who says, “don’t touch my entitlement unless you expand it”, the well insured subsidized and tax exempt company employee public, the I can’t afford insurance and neither do I get Medicaid public, the I have a pre-existing and either can’t get or afford coverage public, the medical specialist public that says don’t mess with my over-utilized and lucrative income stream, the increasing “I can’t afford any more unaffordable insurance rate increases” public, the “I have insurance but still go bankrupt” public or the “solve all my problems but don’t tax me” public?
    “The “far left” cannot be equated with the belief that we should expand access before reducing/controlling cost. They wanted single payer, in part because everywhere it exists it does a very good job at controlling costs.”
    Thank you jd, even though I don’t consider myself anywhere near “far left”. Single-pay would also expand coverage at the same time it cuts costs. But it is true that even to Nate single-pay would look like Attila the Hun conservative cost cutting, which of course would put him out of business. The worst case for Nate would be making affordable coverage available to everyone. He exists because of increasingly unaffordable insurance costs, then rides to the “rescue” with high deductible plans.
    Right now I’m in the “let the whole damn system collapse” group. Until congress stops being accountable to corporate lobbists and starts being accountable to voters we won’t get anything fixed. Put the “Public” back into Public Service.

  17. My heart is gladdened to learn we have the resources to fund for each and every American the quality of health care Ted Kennedy received. Just a matter of trimming “waste” and preventing insurers from misbehaving, right? Oh, happy day.
    Howard Dean expressed an interesting “take” on Brown’s election to Chrissy Matthews last night. See, “the people” were venting over the loss of the “public option.”

  18. jd can you comment on this, does single payor cost less or just take the money out of a different pocket and limit how much we can consume? We can put Ted Kennedy’s HMO back in place and cap consumption just like single payor and still be further ahead.
    “Residents in countries with single-payer systems pay significantly higher taxes. Canada implemented their
    nationalized healthcare system in 1967. Prior to that, Canada’s and America’s taxes were very similar.
    Almost immediately, Canada’s taxes rose drastically, & for 35 years they have paid significantly more of
    their gross income in taxes. Canadians are currently paying 40 percent more taxes than Americans, and
    Europeans are paying 60 percent more than we are!”

  19. in case you forgot jd, Margalit, and Matt we tried access first with Medicare, 45 years later we still haven’t tackeled cost. We tried access first with Medicaid, still ahven’t tackled cost. MA tried access first and, give them credit only been a few years, but still don’t have a grasp on cost. Sorry but I am a little skeptical when you once again claims that giving access first will allow us to address cost later, it has never happened!
    If you fix cost first then your access is a fraction of the problem it is otherwise. I have never seen a sound argument for access first reform.
    jd I would disagree with your claim that single payor does a good job controlling cost, in case you haven’t noticed every major system in the world is in some stage of financial crisis. Name me 2-3 single payor systems that have controlled cost.
    Soros day trades and I’m not going to call him moderate. Where does student loan take over rank on the Stalin/Moderate scale of liberalism? Auto takeovers where moderate socialism? I thought they always claimed to be taking it over for just a short period of time to sell the public and its not until 30 years later when they still have it that you realize they aren’t giving it back? Are we getting the banks and autos back? And was that really a one time thing or do we “take them over” every time their abusive owners bk them and bail them out?

  20. I do love Nate characterizing me, an entrepreneur who has a background in daytrading stocks and who voted for Maggie Thatcher, as the far left.
    Nate, you really need to understand what real leftists like Stalin, and Chavez did. Took over huge swathes of the economy, and not in a way designed to keep them alive and hand them back to their corporate owners (see Citibank, Goldman Sachs et al). Even FDR did something similar with the WPA.
    I remain a wishy washy moderate social democrat.

  21. I agree with jd’s argument. Expanding coverage first will greatly increase the urgency of cost management. Not to mention that if you leave an ever increasing portion of the “market” out of the market, how are you ever going to know that you cut costs just enough to allow them back in? Or are we going to cut costs just enough to keep the insiders from falling out?
    And then of course there is the unfashionable moral issue of asking a significant portion of our society to patiently suffer and sometimes die without appropriate care, while the we sort out our cost issues.

  22. Nate wrote:
    “seems the left, middle, right, and far right all agree we should fix the cost before we go spending trillions on increasing access and trying out questionable promises. That leaves the far left, the Matts and Maggies of the world, who insist on forcing their idea of a solution on the majority of the country.”
    Four things:
    1. Whether we need to “fix” the cost before expanding access is precisely what is at issue here.
    2. The “far left” cannot be equated with the belief that we should expand access before reducing/controlling cost. They wanted single payer, in part because everywhere it exists it does a very good job at controlling costs.
    3. The view that increasing access could/should come before fixing the cost is a moderate view…and not moderate Democrat, but moderate Republican as well. It is the pragmatic, perhaps wishy-washy approach. It was the attitude behind Medicare Part D. For all the tough talk about controlling costs, the reality is that the lobbies for whom health care expenses are revenues can crush any such reform that would reduce their revenue. And that is exactly what your approach would try to do. If you try the Nate or self-styled “deficit hawk” approach, you will be left with trinkets.
    4. I’m definitely not far left, and I have come to accept, even argue for, the strategy of expanding access first and using that as a lever to accelerate the harder job of controlling per capita costs.

  23. All experts, now that there is no bill – Please tell me a simple citizen, what to expect in the next to 5-10 year? will my premiums go up? Can I afford health care as a small business person and over 50 yr?

  24. Merle these are not subjective issues by any means. Legislation has very real and very predictive consiquences. i.e. outlawing pre-existing will lead to people gaming the system as long as the penalty is less then the premium. This is a fact and indisputable. Giving 30 million people an open check book to consume care will increase demand where we already have a shortage of providers this also is indisputable.
    What is offensive is people like you that obviously don’t know the difference between a fact and opinion yet insist on interjecting yourself in the debate.
    If we where arguing general concepts like single payor or medicare for all that would be subjective. The regualar readers of this blog are years pass such simple arguments. If you read the blog you will see details being debated, often in more detail then anyone in Washington would understand. This isn’t intro to healthcare 101 held after your nap time, if you don’t have the stomach for grown up arguments maybe you should stick to the AP or evening news.
    As bad as the sausage making is in here it still wouldn’t compare to the gross factory in DC. No one claimed democracy was pretty.

  25. The comments to this particular blog are among the least informed and most childish I have read. And the name calling is offensive at least to me and I suspect to many others. These posts remind me of children arguing in a playground!
    These are subjective issues with no right or wrong answers. Accordingly, can’t we each respect the fact that the other guy believes just as strongly in his/her position as we do in ours? Are we so intolerant and full of ourselves that we can’t respect these differences and conduct a civil dialog?

  26. Let’s cut to the chase, if you want cost control, there is one sure way to do it. And just think, along the way could you kill more than one bird with one stone? Could shrinking healthcare costs expand healthcare in itself? Could shrinking healthcare costs put more money in people’s pocket? Could shrinking healthcare costs put more money in circulation to mitigate the recession and keep people in jobs. The answer is “yes” if you do it right. Since the insurance companies work for the insurers and not their policy holders, who can step in and protect the policy holders? I say a state Medical PSC, a.k.a. state Medical Price Commission.
    A state price commission would set fair and reasonable medical services prices. All insurers in the state would pay the PSC rates. This would eliminate provider service contracts and provider networks. Elimination of these major insurer costs would cut premiums. The PSC rates would bring healthcare costs closer to Medicare rates. This would further bring down premiums. If you want fair and reasonable healthcare costs, then a state Medical PSC is the way to go. It’s as simple as that. I’m pushing for a Medical PSC in my state. What are you doing besides talking about the health care weather.

  27. seems the left, middle, right, and far right all agree we should fix the cost before we go spending trillions on increasing access and trying out questionable promises. That leaves the far left, the Matts and Maggies of the world, who insist on forcing their idea of a solution on the majority of the country.
    Then again the rest of us aren’t the academic elite so what do we know, we should all know our place and follow what we are told right Maggie and Matt?

  28. Sorry Maggie, but those of us living in Massachusetts know that passing no bill is better than passing a bad bill; as was done here with Chapter 58. At this point, I say let the whole damn system collapse and then we can get serious about fixing it. And before you go thinking I’m one of Nate’s compadres, know that I’m a Democrat who has been a health care provider for the past thirty years. If costs aren’t controlled first expanding coverage is meaningless.

  29. Before Medicare 13% of seniors needed financial help paying their medical bills.
    After Medicare we are now at 19%.
    If the intent was truly about helping those that can not afford it, it never has been, then it is much cheaper to directly fund Health Care for the minority of American’s that can’t afford insurance then it is to redesign the entire system. Why in 104 years of proposing nationalized health care have the democrats never once proposed a bill that actually helped the poor by providing healthcare? Instead their goal has always been to control the funding of the entire system to ramp up their political patronage.
    For the first time in 45 years are you really going to be honest or in the words of Rep. Albert Ullman (D., Ore.) are you just trying to Hoodwink them again?
    Many times I have read Ted Kennedy’s “honest” debate on HMOs and we all know how that turned out. Democrats have not been honest about healthcare since 1906 when they first pushed for it.
    Maggies trying humor this year, progressives cut waste LOL…and cut spending !!! LOL lets all hold our breath for that one.If they had lead with that then tried to pass access a couple years later it would have breezed through.

  30. John & Margait-
    John writes: “live in MA and saw firsthand what led to the fall of Martha and it is not about some big repudiation of Obama and his policies, it is the end result of local issues, needs and a compelling voice to address them.”
    I agree. The vote in Mass was NOT a referendum on health care reform. I would guess it was mainly about the eocnomy (JOBS) and other local issues.
    Margait, I agree that the legislaiton is teh unfortunate result of Democrats negotiating with themsleves . . .
    But it is worth passing a bill (even the Senate bill as currently written) in order to establish this principle: This country has decided that all Americans deserve high quality, affordable care–including the working poor (see Matthew)
    We will do what is necessary to make this happen.
    Conservatives and others have been so upset about the Democratic legislation because they understand that this is what it says. And that if passed, there might well be no turning back–just as there was no turning back after civil rights legislation is passed.
    Over the next three years, a progressive government can find ways to cut waste, and lift quality while cutting spending. I still think Medicare can lead the way in that project; and that if the administratoin shows spine, it will find ways to go around Congress (and lobbyists) as necessary, to do this.

  31. The current reform bill is a most unfortunate compromise brought about by Democrats negotiating with themselves. The only reason I would like it to pass is because it will shake things up and force further reform.
    However, now that the magic number of 60, which should have been irrelevant to start with, is all gone, maybe there’s no need to compromise with the Senator from Aetna and a few others as well.
    I would agree with Vikram, let’s have an honest referendum on the original health reform notions, including a solid public option and with the addition of cost control and without all the “special” arrangements. Bypass the corporate lobby and their acquired representatives on both sides.
    Probably won’t happen. If by any miracle health care reform doesn’t ride away into the sunset, it will become some inconsequential lip service to reform.

  32. I wish instead of beating around the bush there could be a straight national referendum on the existing bill.

  33. “corporate interests vs. individual Americans.”
    If only the Democrats would do that;
    “Several high-profile Democrats, including North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (Neb.), are said to be in the running to fill former Oklahoma Republican Gov. Frank Keating’s post as CEO and president of the American Council of Life Insurers,” Roll Call (subscription) reports.”
    “And guess who also works at ACLI? Kim Dorgan — the wife of the retiring Senator. My, my … isn’t that cozy? North Dakota politics is often called insular, but this looks like a political version of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.”
    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/01/20/pomeroy-looking-for-a-golden-parachute-into-the-insurance-industry/
    Margalit who’s interest are we suppose to think your current reform bill served?

  34. If reform does go back to the drawing board, here’s hoping it’s approached as a bipartisan piece of legislation meant to address the public’s needs, rather than the democratic agenda.

  35. Margalit please be serious.
    “having our nation provide affordable health care services”
    Affordable like Medicare affordable? Maybe you weren’t aware but Medicare is the most expensive health insurance in the world. I won’t claim universe becuase you never know but on earth our government plan is number one in unaffordableness. Get your adjetives correct and suddenly it’s not so appealing;
    “having our nation provide the most expensive health care services”
    Now when you force me to buy this by law under threat of imprisonment you have in fact breached my protected freedoms. Like Individual Americans did not want Medicare as it was passed, American’s don’t want your latest health care montrosity. Take your election loss and your crappy bill and go home. If you don’t take the polite suggestion come Nov we can gladly make it much more clear and send a couple dozen of you packing. America is tired of your political interest infringing on our individual interest.

  36. Boy do I feel that this discussion, including the original post has gone way off the rails. I live in MA and saw firsthand what led to the fall of Martha and it is not about some big repudiation of Obama and his policies, it is the end result of local issues, needs and a compelling voice to address them.
    Please folks, try not to read more into this then is actually there. Just to clear the air and attempt to exorcise all the inflated hype over this election, did a a rare, political post on the subject: http://chilmarkresearch.com/2010/01/20/marthas-mistakes/

  37. Regarding the Silver Lining, Mr. Clinton was indeed able to salvage his presidency in 1994, but he never touched health care reform again. It also helped that the economy cooperated rather nicely.
    I’m sure Mr. Obama can do the same, in which case the health care debate will be adjourned until 2026, or a complete national disaster, whichever comes first.
    Regarding Nate, Freedom and the Constitution, having our nation provide affordable health care services to all its citizens is not diminishing their Freedom and is not offending the Constitution and the great values it stands for. Quite the contrary.
    So maybe we should stop this ridiculous game of pitting health care against the Constitution, and see the contest for what it really is: corporate interests vs. individual Americans.

  38. figured it would be over your head inchoate. Brown doesn’t represent me, I didn’t vote for Brown, so Brown’s beliefs are not material to mine. What do you have against freedom and our constitution? Stop projecting beliefs and get a point.

  39. Nate, Brown is practically a living refutation of everything you believe in.
    Clumsy attempts at insult from a pipsqueak like you are worth only pity.

  40. Nate – The Republicans are as serious as the deficit as the Democrats on a whole. Not a single Republican is talking about letting any of the Bush tax cuts (2001 and 2003) expire and in fact they want additional tax cuts across the board including lower corporate taxes, repeal of the estate tax, etc.
    There is also no rational approach to defensive spending either including how to fund the current wars while procuring new defensive weapons that are designed to replace their counterparts form the 70s/80s.
    Neither party is serious about financial reform either and this is probably the saddest thing. Democrats cowtail to the financial industry and pass gimmicky stuff to appease the voters (e.g., banker’s tax). The few Republicans who have clamored for this have been hammered hard (e.g., Lindsey Graham on the Senate Finance committe) and crazily enough there are plenty of Republicans who less regulation including doing away with much of Sarbannes-Oxley.
    Both parties have been tossed to the curb in the past 4 years and voters aren’t liking what they hear/see from either party on the whole.

  41. inchoate but earnest new year still an idiot. You do know we have these things called states correct? The US is made up of 50 of them. We also have this old peice of paper that says except for a few matters states are to run themselves. I doubt you are keeping up but let me proceed. What Romney did in MA I could care less. I don’t live in MA so it is not my place to say how they run their healthcare. Unlike simple minded morons like yourself I don’t want to inflicy my opinions on the rest of the country. I have zero problem with people being liberal as long as they are liberal with their money and freedom and don’t infring on mine. If MA, CA, WA or other states want to pass single payor or any other form of healthcare they feel will best serve their residents I support them 100% no matter the form.
    That should shut you up for a few weeks.

  42. Nate, you delusional stooge; you are aware of course that Brown voted for Romney’s universal health law – a measure more liberal than any current federal-level legislation under consideration?
    You can’t have it both ways, but fortunately for you, you can’t even recognize when you’re asserting the desire to do so.

  43. Could you please link the transcript from NPR about rules regulating the relationships between Congressmen and special interests groups? Or at least a link to some website discussing the issue? I’d very much like to read what rules are being “revisited.”

  44. and the deficit which is more of a crisis then another huge spending spree. And that little issue of being at war with terrorist. And Immigration. I can think of many things are constitution specifically calls on Congress to handle that are a bigger crisis then Health Care which they insist on wasting all their time on. If I am unhappy with my health insurance that can be handled at the state level where it belongs. MA has proven states can pass their view of an ideal HC system, we don’t need Washington forcing their view on the entire nation.

  45. The election was not as stunning when considered alongside all the polls which show a majority of voters against the health care bills in congress.
    Also, let’s not forget the high unemployment rate that people believe is more of a crisis than health care.

  46. “not-very-impressive Scott Brown”…. As opposed the oh so impressive Coakley?
    By the way, who’s resume was more impressive when they were elected to the US Senate, Brown or President Obama?

  47. Sadly this election will probably do far more to save the Democrats then it hurts them. If they had continued for another 10 months subverting the public like they had it would have been a massacre. Now the public has vented, liberals can moderate a little and the upcoming elections while bad for Dems won’t be nearly as bad as it would have been.
    In all this talk of dirty politics and lessons to learn it would be nice for Brian and David to heed their own advise.
    “many Republicans are now rejoicing over the Democrats’ loss and the possible defeat of any health care reform legislation. That’s unfortunate. The health care crisis is real and remains unaddressed.”
    Pure partisan BS. Republicans have been pushing HC reform for 15 years, logical reform that will actually fix things. No one is celebrating the defeat of reform, they are celebrating the defeat of a terrible bill that would have made things worse. Would a little honesty to start this new era kill you?

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