Kinda Sorta, Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press.

I was unable to catch the morning airing of Meet the Press, so I’ll just jot down the takeaways from the show.

David Gregory is trying to press David Axelrod on whether the bill that will undoubtedly pass the Senate is a compromise or a thorough abandonment of the principles Obama laid down.  (I think, along with Eliot Spitzer, that what the Senate is trying to pass is more extending or  broadening coverage than real reform of health care in the United States.)

David Axelrod has been doubling back on everything that Obama had insisted upon as a candidate.  For instance, the public option is not the only way to get competition, says Axelrod.  That is to say, the public option is only a small part of a program of health care reform.

David Gregory challenged Axelrod on the argument that this legislation will bend the cost curve.  Axelrod is saying that the cost of the bill would be lower than had the bill never passed: the rate of increase is lowered.  The rate of increase of health care costs, nevertheless, remains positive.

Howard Dean came by to have a chat, and though he seems supportive he had strong words to say about what went on over the weekend.  Essentially his argument is the smart argument that good liberals are making.  This piece of legislation is far from perfect and is, quite possibly, far removed from Obama’s principles.  Nevertheless, it may not be a good idea to kill it altogether.  Luck does not strike often, if even more than once.

(The issue now that the Senate has flexed its muscles, is that Sen. Ben Nelson gets almost everything he wants; Medicare is not being extended; instead Medicaid is; taxes have now attached to union workers, not millionaires; anti-trust exemptions are still in.   It’s too malportioned now, though it is just a start.  Is it a good start?  That remains to be seen.  Perhaps the most important consequence of this legislation is the strenght of the minority to force the majority to stumble through the filibuster.  This legislation points out that minority meddling has its costs and its consequence is that the 60th senator, Ben Nelson from Nebraska and Joe Lieberman from Connecticut killed extension of Medicare.  The implication of these proceedings is that perhaps this legislation is not a piece of compromised bargaining but is rather, an electioneering tool: anything will do as long as it moves along the argument for re-instatement into office.  This of course requires that the gods smile upon the consequences that will follow the this legislation.)

~ by Faheem Haider on December 22, 2009.

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