AP, Washington - Facing the need to maintain a tenuous 60-vote coalition in the Senate, House Democrats will probably have to give up on starting a new government insurance plan to compete with the private market, something that's a nonstarter with Senate moderates. In its place they hope for more generous subsidies for lower-income families to buy health insurance.
This was a few column inches down in a story about Obama calling a meeting between House and Senate leadership to push Health Care Reform away from the traditional committee to "reconcile" the two versions from the legislative bodies and instead have the House amend the Senate bill and send that one back to the Senate. Then, it would presumably be passed by the super-majority and go to Obama's desk.
Hey, moderate Dems. I know, you are worried about being ousted in the 2010 elections. I get that. Listen up. No health care bill = Republican weapon in election. Compromising with Republican leadership has only weakened this bill to the point where what came out of the Senate was a boon to only one group -- the insurance industry.
At least the House included some kind of a public option, something the Americans who are not on Fox News' Christmas Card list actually want. And while I realize that Fox is very vocal and that the Republicans are very noisy and numerous, there is something you need to remember. Yes, registered Republicans make up about 36% of the electorate. What you need to remember is that 100-36 = 64.
Reality Check: 64% of the vote will get you re-elected, you idiots.
So, if you really want to hang on to your precious job, quit dragging your feet. And damn it, do NOT take out the idea of a government business to compete with the insurance companies and replace it with "subsidies for taxpayers." Um, reality check time again.
Reality Check: A government plan, even if unprofitable, would at least be bringing in SOME of the revenue to support itself. "Subsidies," on the other hand, bring nothing back. Yes, the money goes into taxpayers checking accounts. But there it gets combined with some of their money and goes to the insurance company.
Ok, so who really gets the money, dumb-asses?
This whole process is already fuel for your opponents. What you need to have is the victory, no matter how Pyrrhic. Because a loss at this point is more fuel for the fires that the Republicans will use to light their torches and sterilize their pitchforks. (After all, none of us wants to piss off the FDA, even Fox News.)
Get it passed. Get it passed in as strong a form as possible. Quit being afraid of your own shadows(Seriously; it hasn't been the Repubs holding this back, its been other Dems.)
You have the majority, you idiots. Use it before you lose it.