Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Good News / Bad News (UPDATED)

with 5 comments

I’m glad to see the Stupak Amendment language tabled in the Senate health care bill, but all this talk of a “broad agreement” to cut the public option fills me with dread. I imagine the final bill will combine the worst possible compromise alongside an untabled Stupak amendment—at which time Lieberman and Nelson will filibuster anyway. From the AP:

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa told reporters he didn’t like the agreement but would support it to the hilt in an attempt to pass health care legislation.

Sounds fantastic.

It’s the unnecessary insistence on beating a filibuster that keeps leading us to this bad result. Reid voluntarily handcuffed himself when he decided not to pursue reconciliation at any price; now look where we are.

UPDATE: On the other hand, if this is true I owe Reid a Coke:

Tonight, though, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested that might not be the case. “All the things you’ve read in the newspapers…’the public option is gone,’–it’s not true,” Reid said at an impromptu press conference after tonight’s meeting broke.

Reid wouldn’t elaborate further–and it’s worth noting that in recent days, aides and members have tried to characterize some of the ideas on the table as a form of “public option” when in fact none of them are.

UPDATE 2: Kos has links to some additional details.

But Democratic aides said that the group had tentatively agreed on a proposal that would replace a government-run health care plan with a menu of new national, privately-run insurance plans modeled after the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which covers more than eight million federal workers, including members of Congress, and their dependents.

A government-run plan would be retained as a fall-back option, the aides said, and would be triggered only if the new proposal failed to meet targets for providing affordable insurance coverage to a specified number of people.

The agreement would also allow Americans between age 55 and 64 to buy coverage through Medicare, beginning in 2011.

UPDATE 3: Just a little bit more from TPM. Ezra Klein says the deal is surprisingly good.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Unfortunately, this may be the most important line in Ezra’s post: “Now, will the deal hold when Joe Lieberman and Olympia Snowe get a look at it? Stay tuned for more on that…”

    After all this nonsense, it’s hard to see 60 votes coming together for an even halfway decent compromise on the public option.

    Shankar D

    December 9, 2009 at 1:08 am

  2. In theory we only need one of the two, right? I figured the switch to a trigger was the concession to Snowe to get her on board.


    December 9, 2009 at 1:10 am

  3. Yeah, but I thought she was opposed to the Medicare buy-in?

    Shankar D

    December 9, 2009 at 1:35 am

  4. She was using weaker language than opposed. I think she called it “problematic.”


    December 9, 2009 at 1:37 am

  5. Yeah, problematic and “not inclined.” Sadly, that’s progress.


    December 9, 2009 at 1:48 am

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