John Taylor
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Oh snap!
 
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Shorter GOP:

"We could show up at a summit and say all the bullshit we just said, but then you'd get a chance to respond on the spot and we can't have that, mostly because we're dumbasses."
 
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Also, I particularly liked this piece from Ezra Klein today:

Ezra Klein wrote:
At this point, I don't think it's well understood how many of the GOP's central health-care policy ideas have already been included as compromises in the health-care bill. But one good way is to look at the GOP's "Solutions for America" homepage, which lays out its health-care plan in some detail. It has four planks. All of them -- yes, you read that right -- are in the Senate health-care bill.

(1) "Let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines." This is a long-running debate between liberals and conservatives. Currently, states regulate insurers. Liberals feel that's too weak and allows for too much variation, and they want federal regulation of insurers. Conservatives feel that states over-regulate insurers, and they want insurers to be able to cluster in the state with the least regulation and offer policies nationwide, much as credit card companies do today.

To the surprise and dismay of many liberals, the Senate health-care bill included a compromise with the conservative vision for insurance regulation. The relevant policy is in Section 1333, which allows the formation of interstate compacts. Under this provision, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Idaho (for instance) could agree to allow insurers based in any of those states to sell plans in all of them. This prevents a race to the bottom, as Idaho has to be comfortable with Arizona's regulations, and the policies have to have a minimum level of benefits (something that even Rep. Paul Ryan believes), but it's a lot closer to the conservative ideal.

(2) "Allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do." This is the very purpose of the exchanges, as defined in Section 1312. Insurers are required to pool the risk of all the small businesses and individuals in the new markets rather than treating them as small, single units. That gives the newly pooled consumers bargaining power akin to that of a massive corporation or labor union, just as conservatives want. It also gives insurers reason to compete aggressively for their business, which is key to the conservative vision. Finally, empowering the exchanges to use prudential purchasing maximizes the power and leverage that consumers will now enjoy.

(3) "Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs." Section 1302 of the Senate bill does this directly. The provision is entitled "the Waiver for State Innovation," and it gives states the power to junk the whole of the health-care plan -- that means the individual mandate, the Medicaid expansion, all of it -- if they can do it better and cheaper.

(4) "End junk lawsuits." It's not entirely clear what this means, as most malpractice lawsuits actually aren't junk lawsuits. The evidence on this is pretty clear: The malpractice problem is on operating tables, not in court rooms. Which isn't to deny that our current system is broken for patients and doctors alike. The Senate bill proposes to deal with this in Section 6801, which encourages states to develop new malpractice systems and suggests that Congress fund the most promising experiments. This compromise makes a lot of sense given the GOP's already-expressed preference for letting states "create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs," but since what the Republicans actually want is a national system capping damages, I can see how this compromise wouldn't be to their liking.

(5) To stop there, however, does the conservative vision a disservice. The solutions the GOP has on its Web site are not solutions at all, because Republicans don't want to be in the position of offering an alternative bill. But when Republicans are feeling bolder -- as they were in Bush's 2007 State of the Union, or John McCain's plan -- they generally take aim at one of the worst distortions in the health-care market: The tax break for employer-sponsored insurance. Bush capped it. McCain repealed it altogether. Democrats usually reject, and attack, both approaches.

Not this year, though. Senate Democrats initially attempted to cap the exclusion, which is what Bush proposed in 2007. There was no Republican support for the move, and Democrats backed off from the proposal. They quickly replaced it, however, with the excise tax, which does virtually the same thing. The excise tax only applies to employer-sponsored insurance above a certain price point, and it essentially erases the preferential tax treatment for every dollar above its threshold.

(6) And finally, we shouldn't forget the compromises that have been the most painful for Democrats, and the most substantive. This is a private-market plan. Not only is single-payer off the table, but at this point, so too is the public option. The thing that liberals want most in the world has been compromised away.

On Sunday, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell responded to Barack Obama's summit invitation by demanding Obama scrap the health-care reform bill entirely. This is the context for that demand. What they want isn't a bill that incorporates their ideas. They've already got that. What they want is no bill at all. And that's a hard position for the White House to compromise with.
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Drew1365 wrote:
My posts are like Pavlov's bell, aren't they?


It's from all those years I worked on the farm. My natural reaction to bullshit is to get a shovel.
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I am going to have to separate you two!
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SpaceGhost wrote:
I am going to have to separate you two!


SpaceGhost: the Dave Hebner of RSP!
 
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OK, so the president makes a politically-motivated overture to have a national discussion with the opposition, following months of calling them obstructionists, and the opposition party accepts, using the occasion to drive home some of their own overstated talking points.

Which is the "new" or even "vaguely dramatic" part of the OP?
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Those of us who are truly skeptics understand that attempts at bipartisanship are largely mythological.
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The Republicans do have a point. This is not to say they're right and the Democrats are wrong nor vice-versa but to say that the rhetoric in the OP is good rhetoric if genuinely taken for what it says.

The current form of the health care bill is not workable and will not solve the problems it is intended to address, but nationalized health care is a good idea in the same way that a nationalized highway system is.
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I think we could muster sufficient support for a Constitutional amendment stating that any federal politician who has been in office for more than one complete term and who uses the phrase, "business as usual in Washington" will be shot in the leg unless said politician is admitting to engaging in it.
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mightygodking wrote:
Shorter GOP:

"We could show up at a summit and say all the bullshit we just said, but then you'd get a chance to respond on the spot and we can't have that, mostly because we're dumbasses."


What would be the fair compromise between one group saying "we want a Canadian/British Style Health Care System" and another saying "We don't want to change the current system"?
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Dispaminite wrote:
What would be the fair compromise between one group saying "we want a Canadian/British Style Health Care System" and another saying "We don't want to change the current system"?


As I pointed out with that second quote, the health care bill that stands a chance of still being passed doesn't give you a Canadian or British or indeed anything resembling an effective socialized healthcare system, so why even ask about that?

Single-payer got tossed out the window right at the start because it gives conservatives hives and they have to start fantasizing about Nazis marching up to their door and demanding blood type.
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mightygodking wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
What would be the fair compromise between one group saying "we want a Canadian/British Style Health Care System" and another saying "We don't want to change the current system"?


As I pointed out with that second quote, the health care bill that stands a chance of still being passed doesn't give you a Canadian or British or indeed anything resembling an effective socialized healthcare system, so why even ask about that?

Single-payer got tossed out the window right at the start because it gives conservatives hives and they have to start fantasizing about Nazis marching up to their door and demanding blood type.


I'm not talking about the current proposal. I'm just talking in general. If the president wants a bipartisan discussion, then in general what is the compromise between the two?
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Dispaminite wrote:
I'm not talking about the current proposal. I'm just talking in general. If the president wants a bipartisan discussion, then in general what is the compromise between the two?


It's pretty much around the levels of the House and Senate bills: an effort to meet near-universal coverage with some cost controls via a new set of regulations on the private insurance market and a user mandate.

Really, the House and Senate bills are both strikingly conservative (in the sense of "cautious" primarily, but also in the sense of "right-wing") in their attempts to address healthcare reform. That's why listening to people describe them as "socialist" is so irritating.
 
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mightygodking wrote:

Really, the House and Senate bills are both strikingly conservative (in the sense of "cautious" primarily, but also in the sense of "right-wing") in their attempts to address healthcare reform. That's why listening to people describe them as "socialist" is so irritating.


Well, perhaps the most universally bipartisan phobia in both the House and Senate is that of being labeled a socialist. It used to be the fear of being labeled a communist, but it got dialed down after the Cold War just a bit. In light of said phobia, it's no mystery why these pitiful bills have evolved as they have.
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mightygodking wrote:
Dispaminite wrote:
I'm not talking about the current proposal. I'm just talking in general. If the president wants a bipartisan discussion, then in general what is the compromise between the two?


It's pretty much around the levels of the House and Senate bills:


Another liberal showing his true colors. Compromise means doing it my way. laugh
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
I think we could muster sufficient support for a Constitutional amendment stating that any federal politician who has been in office for more than one complete term and who uses the phrase, "business as usual in Washington" will be shot in the leg unless said politician is admitting to engaging in it.


I was going to suggest the brain instead but why shoot them in something they don't use? I now suggest their ass.
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qzhdad wrote:
Another liberal showing his true colors. Compromise means doing it my way. laugh


If you think the House and Senate bills are anything near what I'd recommend for a revamp of the American healthcare system, you are on crack, and therefore need access to a revamped American healthcare system.
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I don't think the House and Senate bills had a tremendous amount of Republican input. You proposing that they are the appropriate point to compromise between the two sides seems to say, do it the Dem's way. Hence my amusement.
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DCAnderson wrote:

What do you think the Republicans/conservatives would be doing if they were in power?

If you seriously believe the answer would be: seek bipartisan compromise,

then I have some beach front property in Arizona you might be interested in buying.


Are you new here? I don't like Republicans either.

Under the Republicans the only health reform was to try to limit tort reform, which the Dems killed. So, no, not any more "bipartisanship" there.

Personally, I am not convinced that the health care system needs major rework. But any changes I'd make are not being discussed on either side of the aisle.




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qzhdad wrote:
I don't think the House and Senate bills had a tremendous amount of Republican input.


There really wasn't any point to Republican input, because the Republicans fundamentally do not want a bill. Which is understandable, given that the minority party in a government should be interested in electorally defeating the majority, and handing the majority successes isn't a good way to go about doing that. But the Republicans have at this point threatened destruction over elements of legislation in the bill that they themselves previously sponsored or supported for years. (To wit: Sen. Isaakson, who supported Medicare efficiency reviews - IE, "death panels" - before he decided they were a bad idea because Democrats included them in the bill. There are many other examples of this.)

Seriously, read that Ezra Klein piece up above if you haven't. Those are the major Republican healthcare policy planks, things they've advocated for years; every single one of them is present in the current bills in some form, albeit compromised in some cases (but given that they're the minority party, what did you expect?).

It's hard for Republicans to explain what more they want, other than "no bill." This is because they really don't have any policy positions left at this point they won't attack if the Democrats push for them. Fuck, a couple of weeks ago Obama put a small business tax cut into his budget and the Republicans attacked that. They attacked a small business tax cut, for crissake! How much more Republican can you get than a small business tax cut?
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I will certainly join with you to vote against all incumbents, Christopher. meeple

Pols are pols. If the Dems couldn't actually pass anything when they had 60 votes in the Senate, it's pretty clear that they also care more about politics than any positions they actually espouse. Or, they are too stupid to govern effectively. (or both, I guess.)

By contrast, the Republicans with well under 60 Senators and a smaller House majority managed to push through a lot of their ideas even without controlling the White House (although there is some truth to the canard that Clinton was a darn good Republican). Whether you like what they did or not, they showed how to get legislation passed.

Neither side wants to actually win any of their platform planks because then they'd lose support. For an example, see the effects of the previously "successful" legislating done by the Republicans.

Personally, since I think the less governing that happens, the better, I am not too upset.
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qzhdad wrote:
Pols are pols. If the Dems couldn't actually pass anything when they had 60 votes in the Senate, it's pretty clear that they also care more about politics than any positions they actually espouse. Or, they are too stupid to govern effectively. (or both, I guess.)


I think it's more of a "tent too big" thing. Evan Bayh and Russell Feingold would not be in the same party in any other country: ditto Ben Nelson/Al Franken or Blanche Lincoln/Patrick Leahy. As the Republicans have drifted further right, they've effectively ceded most of the centre and even the centre-right to Democrats. (Witness what happened with Joe Lieberman basically demanding healthcare bill amendments as per his whims.)

Quote:
Personally, since I think the less governing that happens, the better, I am not too upset.


Given that your country is in a massive debt spiral, you NEED some governing. This is the problem.
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mightygodking wrote:
qzhdad wrote:
Personally, since I think the less governing that happens, the better, I am not too upset.


Given that your country is in a massive debt spiral, you NEED some governing. This is the problem.


I thought that was because all the governing we've had in the last 150 years or so has been crappy.
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mightygodking wrote:

Quote:
Personally, since I think the less governing that happens, the better, I am not too upset.


Given that your country is in a massive debt spiral, you NEED some governing. This is the problem.


Since the debt has been incurred by spending money, it's self evident that less governing would mean less debt. (Given unchanged taxation.)
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