Saturday, January 8, 2011

Proof that selling out the public option killed the Democrats.

When Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts senate race, the knee jerk reaction from Obama and many oxymoronic Democratic "strategists" was that it signaled a shift to the right and that people were opposed to healthcare reform. Obama, showing his true colors ( which are anything but black) was actually going to drop healthcare reform completely and it was only because of a shouting match between Al Franken and Axelrod in a closed door Democratic senate meeting where Franken accused Obama of having no convictions, that healthcare reform remained an issue.


But anyone who paid attention to the post election interviews heard people say that yes, they voted for Brown because he said he would vote against Obama's healthcare plan, but not because it was too liberal, not because it was socialism, but because it was weaker and  less liberal than the Massachusetts healthcare law they already had ( and which Brown had voted for) and didn't want to lose it.

All through the healthcare debate, polls kept reflecting that a majority was opposed to Obama's healthcare bill and a substantial majority disapproved of Obama's "handling" of healthcare. That was the cryptic, vague and truly idiotic way the pollsters framed the question, because it did not reveal the true sentiments of people when it came to the public option. The majority that disapproved of Obama's handling of healthcare included people who wanted the public option and were unhappy with how Obama was handling the entire issue and that it had not yet passed.

Republicans chose to spin it (and they still do) as America rejecting healthcare reform, but that was far from the truth. America was rejecting Obama's handling of healthcare and his proposed bill ( which was a bait and switch bill that dropped the public option -- check out the photo above and notice how it says health insurance reform, not healthcare reform, a not so subtle change that Obama tried to sneak past people)  not a public option. But the trained seals in the news media simply clapped their fins and swallowed the fish the Republicans threw and kept reporting only on the aggregate numbers of people unhappy with Obama and his bill, clearly still too afraid (as they had been in the Democratic primaries)  to directly criticize Obama and the mantel of "the first black president".

Now a new Gallup poll, taken on the eve of a Republican attempt to repeal Obama's health care bill confirms what the Democrats should have known and seen for more a year -- that the problem with Obama's bill wasn't that it was too liberal, but without the public option wasn't liberal enough.

According to the Gallup poll 46% favor repeal of the healthcare bill the Republicans call "Obamacare) while 40% support keeping the bill.

But of those who favor getting rid of it, only 37% said they wanted it repealed because its too liberal. That is a staggering number. It shows that 63% of those who don't like the bill don't like it NOT because they think its too liberal but want it repealed l on other grounds, the most mentioned being the mandate that uninsured buy insurance, a windfall for the insurance companies.

That mandate wouldn't exist if there had been a public option. A public option would have covered the 32 million people who didn't have insurance and would have been an option for tens if not hundreds of millions more who chose a government run plan that would have meant inexpensive to free healthcare coverage for all.

Most in the poll approved of and want to keep provisions that prevent insurance companies from dropping people, putting a cap on benefits, or rejecting people with pre-existing conditions. But those provisions would never have been necessary had the public option been passed.

Obama's Rube Goldberg-ish type healthcare law became a 2700 page monstrosity when a bill that included the public option would have been 20 pages. The reason of course is that it would have been unnecessary to mandate that insurance companies do anything or write laws pertaining to anything an insurance company could or could not do.  Insurance companeis would either compete with a government run plan which was inexpensive and didn't discriminate against anyone for anything or suffer the consequences, which is exactly what the Republicans wanted to prevent. And Obama gave in. The other aspect of the public option is that it would have eleminated all the waste that the healthcare industry has been famous for. A government run plan would not have simply paid for tests that were deemed repetitive or unneccessary. It would have forced the paperwork reduction which drives up costs. It would have done a lot of things that Obama's plan won't.

That Obama didn't have the oratory skills to be able to frame the health care argument in this way and make an open and shut case for the public option and harness the tremendous support it had and the benefits that a large majority so obviously still want, is another example of Obama having no convictions, no backbone, and as a speaker essentially being an overly verbose fraud with no powers of persuasion or the ability to frame an argument.

It also must leave the Democratic leadership looking for excuses as to why they didn't take matters into their own hands, take the issue away from Obama and pass the public option since as I had written a year ago, and wrote constantly, all the signs were there that if they didn't pass it, they would get wiped out in the fall election. And they did.

Had they passed the public option, it would have been impossible for Obama to have vetoed the bill no matter what backroom deal he made. Now the Democratic minority in Congress is left with nothing but ":what if's" and proof of what happens when they don't go to the mat for what they believe in.

1 comment:

Igor said...

Obama qualifications to reform health care:

Influential in hiring policies of the University of Chicago Medical Center

Can not stop smoking

Difficulty telling the truth.

Narcissistic personality disorder

No birth certificate

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