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Monday, September 14, 2009

There is No Plan

The President's defenders on health care play a very sneaky game. Accuse the president of doing anything on health care and there will be a defender reminding you that "there is no plan yet." In other words, if a conservative claims that the president's health care proposal will cover illegals, the president's defenders will proclaim that's not true and there is no plan. If there is no plan, how can you say that it will cover illegals?

In fact, this is what Bill O'Reilly has been doing in defense of the president, and he doesn't support the plan. Whenever a conservative is on his show and slamming some part of the plan, he reminds them that there is no plan. It's what he did to Ann Coulter on Friday. Coulter proclaimed that the president's plan would cover illegals, and O'Reilly reminded her that this charge is without merit since there is no plan.

Here's something I know. We are into our seventh month of this debate. After all this time, we don't know what the president's plan is. There is no debating that and that's pretty sad. After seven months, the president still can't decide whether or not it will have a public option. He still can't decide how it will be paid for. He still can't decide if there will be "advanced care planning". We don't know if there's going to be any tort reform in the plan. In fact, we still know nothing.

If the president's supporters want to counter every claim made against the bill that there is no bill, there must be a consequence to that. That consequence is that way late in the process there is no bill. After seven months, the president has still made no commitment on anything. After seven months, he continues to straddle the line on each and every issue. All the president will commit to is a set of principles. After seven months, the president still can't commit to any specific policy related to any of these principles. After seven months, we don't know if there will be government health insurance, how it will be paid for, or anything else.

That's a complete and total failure of leadership. After seven months he refuses to commit to anything but firm deadlines to pass the bill. Think about it. He won't tell anyone if the public option will or won't be in the bill, but he demands to sign the bill by Thanksgiving. Maybe before he makes timeline demands, he should make it clear what he wants. If the defense to every attack on the president's bill is that there is no bill, that's fine. Of course, my next question is what does it say about the president that there is still no bill to examine. How do you defend that?


lisa said...

They were hoping to ram through a government run system thinking they could do it without opposition and lo and behold there is opposition. Alto of it.
Imagine a president only has one vision and no backup plan?
I guess that's what happens when we put inexperienced people in charge.
Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so we have established that the President has refused to commit to giving his full backing to HR3200, and we know that Max Baucus has made it rather easy to question his commitment to health care reform at all, but he nonetheless has released, well, something.

To me, this is a result of a struggle going on inside the Obama White House. I don't know whether Obama himself supports a public option, but I'm absolutely sure Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers are opposed to one. Summers is a free market fundamentalist and Rahm Emanuel is single-handily responsible for most of the Blue Dogs' being elected in 2006 and 2008.

It has been alleged that Emanuel recruited them because he wanted to unseat Pelosi as speaker. I think Obama knew this and he had to get Emanuel out of Congress by kicking him upstairs. I also think Emanuel knew that he knew this and that's why he hesitated to accept.

This leaves me with two conclusions:

1. Emanuel is still trying to undermine Pelosi by driving a wedge between the Progressive Caucus and Obama.

2. Obama's not nearly as liberal as you think he is (economically anyway), and he really doesn't support a public option.

In any case, if Obama is serious about avoiding 1994, Rahm Emanuel is the last person he should be listening to. After all, Emanuel was one of Clinton's advisers in 1994.

lisa said...

Of course he believes in Universal Healthcare.

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's not Obama's plan, it's Congress'.

Secondly, that tactic can be turned around on supporter who claim "the plan" will do ____ (whatever). Everytime I discuss health INSURANCE reform with anyone and they start spouting off the advantages or the plan ... just say "What plan?"

The bottom line is they are going to vote on something which the public is not going to have had adequate time to review ... and that is criminal.

No matter what "the plan" ends up being ... its merits or its faults ... it should be rejected out of hand until we have time to review it in fine detail.

Anonymous said...

there's a plan... and it's bigger than just health care: