Hello Papamoka Bloggers - I think Governor Howard Dean and Democratic Party strategist James Carville have it right when they suggest that we Democrats should be willing to go it alone on health care/insurance reform, and if the Republicans succeed in defeating it by whatever means, then we should go after them at the ballot box where real issues get sorted out.
I don't think President Obama is right to fight for just any bill. Who cares if the Republicans will call it a loss, or the "end of his presidency." That is all crap and we know it. The kind of reform bill we get is more important.
Dean has been saying it for a while, but Carville is now agreeing with the strategy. Carville's sharp political mind is usually right, and I think Democratic leaders need to listen. Compromising with the Blue Dogs and the Republicans could hurt us more than help us. Half-ass health care reform will not win votes. If anything, it could hurt the party by repressing future Democratic voter turnout.
When Americans are told the truth, a public option (or even single-payer) is the reform most sought-after. The lies and propaganda are effective, but over time the truth will win over voters. Carville is right. Democrats need to stand firm for what is right. Republicans may see defeating health care reform as a victory, but politically it could also be their Waterloo. It's a fact the truth usually wins in the end.
If we lose while trying to pass real reform, the debate will continue since the issue won't just go away. In the meantime, the party of NO will pay the price. They will need a hell of a lot of dirty industry money to keep fighting the fight, and that will come with a high price. If Democrats pass a bad bill that does very little to control costs, or worse increase costs, it could mean a victory for Republicans in the future.
Think about it, if we fight very hard yet lose, it will go a long way to motivate the base for the upcoming mid-term elections. At least that sounds right to me.
I'm no expert, but half-ass reform requiring insurance companies to absorb more risk (by requiring them to take pre-existing conditions and sick people) will probably encourage them to raise rates. Regulations without real reform (controlling costs by reforming the whole system) will probably only add to our problems.
One of my favorite progressive talk radio hosts and political/sociological thinkers is Thom Hartmann, and he thinks we should simplify things by allowing Americans to buy into the Medicare/Medicaid system. The result would be a public option that is already popular with the American people. Republicans and health industry lobbyists would have a tough time fighting against that kind of option. I think that's an idea that deserves more study.
No matter what, I am no longer that angry with our Democratic leaders. I now see just how much they're up against. I see the propaganda, the lies being told every day. I see the amount of money being thrown at the opposition. If anything, I'm angry with the rank-and-file Republicans and their lack of moral fiber.
It's true. Instead of debating the issue logically and trying to learn more about how the health insurance industry is bankrupting America, and how millions of people are dying for no good reason, ordinary Republicans are foolishly buying all the crap that's being thrown at them. They seem so willing to swallow horrible, shocking lies.
Rank-and-file Republicans must think very little of Democrats to think we would want to kill old people or deny people care. They all seem too willing to believe the lies.
Where was their passion in the past? They allowed themselves to swallow billions and trillions in debt-spending when it came to wars and half-ass government reforms (prescription drug benefits) benefiting big pharm under Bush/Cheney, but have practically risen in armed revolt at the prospect of saving AMERICAN lives under real health care reform.
Let's face it, Republican unwillingness to consider any kind health care reform could be considered both immoral and unAmerican, because millions of Americans are suffering and dying every day. When you boil it all down, it's simply about saving lives. That is a moral issue, no matter how you spin it.
I hope our Democratic leaders continue to fight for what is right. I agree more with Howard Dean than Bill Clinton. Clinton and Obama think any reform is good, while Dean says that real reform is the only way to go - win or lose. Sometimes you just have to fight for what is right. Go Dean!!!
Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog