2010: How Democrats lost the Battle, but won the War

A lot of people are blaming the health care law for playing a role in the Democrat’s defeat at the polls. I don’t think that it cost them the election (the public seems to be evenly divided on this issue). But even if that were true, and the Democrats lost specifically because they rammed the health care law through, I’d still say it was worth it. This author from Slate agrees with me:

The chances of this law being repealed are very very slim. A cogent analysis from Wendell Potter, a former insurance executive who helped defeat the Clinton plan in 1993 but converted to the side of health reform, on why health reform will survive:

The health care law is a weak version of the platform the Democrats were elected on. The “rammed/jammed/slammed” is a marketing phrase taught to you by Fox news and talk radio.

Weak version?

The HCR that was passed is essentially Romenycare that was pushed by Republicans and the Heritage Foundation in the 90’s.

Pretty much the Dems passed the Republican plan.

I agree. Bush was elected with control of congress and maintained them for 6 years (minus the few months the Senate flipped) by not really doing anything to advance Conservative domestic legislative goals. Obama blew through his larger majoritiy in two years, but did more to advance his parties legislation agenda in two years then either party has managed to do since LBJ.

At the end of the day. I vote Democratic because I want to see Democratic legislation pass through Congress, not because I particularily care if Russ Feingold has a job or not. A Dem majority that didn’t get the Stimulus bill, financial Regulation bill and the Health Care bill through but won the 2010 election would be worthless to me.


Or, let me put this question to our GOP brethren here:

Would you have given up the GOP majorities in, say, 2002 (or hell, the presidency in 2004) if it meant passage of privatization of Social Security? What about a flat tax? An abortion ban (if you’re a social-conservative type)?

That’s what convinced me that the GOP was full of it. They had the Presidency, both houses of congress, and a majority on the Supreme Court for 6 years - and they did not pass legislation on their core wedge issues.

I think deep down inside the GOP headquarters, there are certain issues they don’t want to actually address; they’d rather keep them unaddressed so they can keep railing against those issues and keep voters showing up at the polls.

If they actually managed to outlaw abortion, they’d lose much of the evangelical christian right, who might see that the mission is accomplished and begin to start looking at economic justice as a christian concern.

I don’t consider myself to be a partisan. Keeping Democratic asses in Congressional seats is not my main concern. I don’t believe in electing Democrats in order to keep electing Democrats. They are simply a means to an end, not an end in itself.

This isn’t Universal Health Care. It is, as Bill Maher called it, a giant blow job for the insurance industry.

I agree with you here, at least partially. What we will have by 2014 is Universal Access to health care, which is a step below true Universal Health Care. Anybody who wants health insurance can get it, though a non trivial number of people will foolishly choose to shrug it off and suffer some negative consequences from that. I sincerely hope that this law will be improved upon, and that it will merely be the foundation for a much more substantial reform in the future. But the thing that I consider most important here is that this law will save lives.

I’m a heterosexual man, and I think the for-profit health insurance industry shouldn’t even exist. But if sucking an insurance executive’s dick on national television meant that thousands of lives would be saved, it would be worth it for me to do it.

A recent Associated Press poll (Warning: PDF file! It’s on page 45) seems to show that 58% of the public wants to either keep the law is is (20%), or improve it so that it does MORE to change the health care system (38%).

A total of 39% want to either repeal it completely (31% favor complete repeal) or change it so that it does LESS to change the health care system (8%).

Its a law that seeks to ensure everyone has Health Insurance, it is a Universal Health Care bill. It uses the same basic system as is used in several other countries such as Switzerland, and no one questions whether or not they have UHC.

To paraphrase a commenter whose much funnier then Bill Maher, some liberals seem like they’d much prefer to pass a bill that sent a Secret Service agent to the house of every Health Insurance exec to kick them as hard as possible in the nuts rather then a bill that helped insure Americans that couldn’t afford coverage.

Your hackneyed, non-partisan, centrist, “can’t we all just get along, you guys?” sentiment is not only annoying and unconvincing, but completely false.

Well, yeah, but…it’d be pretty frickin’ awesome if insurance-exec nut-kicking was an option. :smiley:

“Today, President Obama announced his pick for the newly created Cabinet position, Secretary of Nut-kicking.”

That’s available in my cafeteria plan. $17/mo.

I agree that it doesn’t have a good chance of being repealed. However, I disagree that it was a huge deal. It is only a good piece of legislation in that it is a baby step on the way to socialized medicine. Standing by itself, it is neutral. It has some good parts and some bad parts.

oh, and…

Ohhhh. Black Betty…

You question the phrase “Weak version”.
Would you have preferred the phrase I’d use: “Wrong version” ?

The 111th Congress was the first time in 30 years that Demos approached non-filibusterable control. That they have so little to show for it (Republican-style, insurance-company-friendly healthcare reform is their “great achievement” :smack:) is a tragedy.

Can we do both? :stuck_out_tongue:

I think different subsets of liberals have different priorities. Some have cheaper health care costs as their main priority, with universal coverage being a secondary and incidental benefit of that. I can see why those liberals so pissed off about this, and are looking at this achievement in a “glass is half empty” kind of way.

My main priority is extending coverage to everyone. Lowering costs is secondary. So I say the glass is half full.

Lowering costs for individual consumers, or for the country as a whole? I’d argue the new legislation will do both in a substantial way, so I’m not sure why you’d think the glass is half empty even if that was your primary concern. It provides multiple mechanism to lower the total cost of health care in the country (here’s a partial list) and massively subsidizes health care plans for the lower income uninsured, making those plans far more affordable then they would be otherwise (and of course, lowering the total cost of healthcare also lowers premiums for individual consumers, albeit slowly).