Mitt Romney’s presentation on how the individual mandate should be called the Personal Responsibility Principle

Here’s a fascinating video of Mitt Romney’s Power Point presentation he made to the Heritage Foundation in 2006. Romney explains the conservative position that any individual mandate should be called the Personal Responsibility Principle.

This is yet another example of how Mitt Romney’s positions are mostly governed by political expediency. The man seems to have no principles whatsoever, except for his consistency when it comes to cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Health care high fives

Yesterday was a good day for those of us who want universal health care coverage. It was also a good day for those of us who think CNN and Fox both suck. The video below from Politico mashes up some of the funniest reactions to the Supreme Court decision and the massive fail by CNN and Fox News.

51 percent of Americans want to keep or expand health care law

The Democrats certainly took a beating in the Midterms, but soon reality will set in for the GOP as well.

As usual, the Republicans are going to over-interpret their “mandate.” This fact about the public’s opinion on the health care reform law in instructive.

A majority of Americans want Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll.

The post-election survey showed that 51 percent of registered voters want to keep the law or change it to do more, while 44 percent want to change it to do less or repeal it altogether.

Driving support for the law: Voters by margins of 2-1 or greater want to keep some of its best-known benefits, such as barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. One thing they don’t like: the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.

The fight over health care reform will be one of the defining battles over the next two years. Expect the Republicans to overplay their hand.

Victory


Photo from fOTOGLIF

It’s been a long year since President Obama and the Democrats began the process to reform our health care system and provide relief to the million of Americans, mostly working families, who didn’t have access to affordable health insurance. Last night, victory was finally achieved.

The process was brutal. Passing legislation is rarely an easy process. It’s usually messy, and with an initiative this big and controversial, it was bound to be a difficult process. But it was made even worse by the strategic decision by the GOP to do everything possible to kill the bill. Obama tried to strike a bipartisan deal, and the GOP happily strung him along while they whipped up opposition from the angry right and the Tea Party crazies. The process became the story, hurting the popularity of Obama and the Democrats.

Despite all these challenges, the Democrats were poised to pass health care when Scott Brown won a stunning win in Massachusetts. Most assumed that Obama would fold and that his presidency was permanently wounded. Pundits on the right and the left had a field day questioning Obama’s effectiveness and his toughness.

Yet Obama doubled down, and he had a tough ally in Nancy Pelosi. The right loves to hate her, and now they have another reason, as she pushed this through the House when most assumed she’d never pull it off.

There were many ups and downs in the process, but I think that Obama’s visit to the Republican House retreat will be remembered as one of the turning points. The GOP was feeling cocky after Brown’s victory, and they were believing their own talking points. Obama eviscerated one Republican congressman after another on live national television. It was like a professor schooling a bunch of obnoxious high school kids.

I think the White House realized that it was time to fight and take on the GOP. Obama was back on his game, and the overconfident GOP wasn’t up to the fight.

This is a huge victory for Obama, the Democrats and the country. Health care is the signature issue of this presidency, and failure here was not an option.

Howard Dean changes his tune

Howard Dean no longer wants to kill the health care bill. He finally figured out what every progressive should have known (unless they were so consumed with anger and emotion over the loss of the public option) – that this bill is a good start.

It appears that most Democrats in the House feel the same way. Now, will other hysterical lefties like Keith Olbermann come along? We’ll see.

Howard Dean softens his opposition to the health care bill

I just watched Howard Dean on Meet the Press, and while he’s not supporting the health care bill, he’s no longer arguing that we should “kill the bill.”

Dean acknowledged that a number of improvements have been made the the Senate version over the past week, and he insists more improvements need to be made in conference. Many of his points might be attainable, so we can expect more improvements as the conference gets underway.

He doesn’t support the bill, and he may not support the final compromise, but his arguments are now much more constructive in how the bill can keep improving. He didn’t mention the reconciliation process once, and he refused to repeat his suggestion that Democrats should kill the bill.

Dylan Ratigan is a douchebag

I stopped watching MSNBC in the mornings because Dylan Ratigan is incredibly annoying. He has some good points at times, but he’s only interested in repeating his own opinion . . . over and over again.

Here’s a clip of Ratigan at his worst with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Even Chris Matthews rarely gets this annoying.

If he wanted a real discussion, he could have gotten an answer. Insurance stock went up after the public option was dropped for very obvious reasons – yes, the public option would have resulted in real competition. Fine. End of story. That does not mean, however, that the bill is a “giveway” to the insurance companies as he implied, because as the Congresswoman tried to explain, the bill does include robust regulation of the insurance companies.

Is this perfect? Of course not. Would a public option be better? Of course. But Ratigan just wanted to yell and scream about his simple point that the insurance companies are now better off than if the public option had stayed in the bill.

Of course, a child could probably figure that out as well, but Ratigan thought he was making a big point, so he acted like an ass.

Ezra Klein sums up why liberals should love this bill, even with its deficiencies

He also explains why conservatives naturally hate it. It will, over time, lead to more government as the notion of universal coverage becomes expected by Americans.

Ezra Klein has made a name for himself during this health care debate. He’s one of the most sensible writers out there, and he’s great with the details and the big picture.

Here’s the latest big picture argument as to why liberals should move the bill forward.

I still believe health care will look more similar than different when the day is done. A good bill will pass, if not a sufficient one. A sum of money will be appropriated, and a basic infrastructure constructed that will be, in the long-run, understood as a tremendous, even unlikely, political victory. The next steps will be easier, because $80 billion is easier to find than $900 billion, and because the argument over whether America has a universal health-care system and whether government provides some of the funding and scaffolding will be over. The money will be there. The scaffolding, too. The universal structure, built around the mandate and the exchanges and the subsidies, will be firmly in place.

At this point, an odd dynamic has developed, in which most all of the right, and some on the left, believe they’d be better served by the defeat of this bill. It is unlikely that they are both correct. But the right has had substantially more experience than the left opposing government initiatives before they can take root and grow into popular entitlements.

Look at the development of Medicare and Social Security, of Medicaid and S-CHIP, the Swedish and Canadian health-care systems, public education. Social Security was designed to exclude African Americans. Medicare didn’t cover prescription drugs. Medicaid was mainly for pregnant women and their young children. Canada’s system was limited to a single province. There was no University of California at Los Angeles.

It’s difficult to conclude that these things slip backward rather than marching forward. The $900 billion for people who need help, the regulations on insurers and the exchanges that will force them to compete, the structure that will make health care nearly universal and the trends that suggest more people — and more politically powerful people — will be entering the new system as employer-based health care erodes — it all makes this look even more like the sort of program that will take root and be made better, as opposed to the sort of common opportunity people should feel comfortable rejecting. It doesn’t feel like that now. But then, it rarely does.

Every liberal should read this. There’s a reason the Republicans are abusing every stall tactic they can muster in the Senate to delay this bill. They want to kill it all costs. It will lead to everything they despise, and everything liberals want. The details now really don’t matter. Once this is set in motion, they’ll never be able to turn back the clock.

In that context, it’s stunning to hear people like Howard Dean and Keith Olbermann play into the GOP’s hands by arguing that the bill should be scrapped. In one sense, as Kos pointed out, it’s healthy to have a real debate on the left. But Dean and Olbermann have taken it too far, risking everything.

Ezra Klein blasts Howard Dean and rebuts one of his objections

Ezra Klein has it right – Howard Dean has become a “hostage-taker” in the process, threatening to blow everything up on one or two points. How does this make Dean any different from Joe Lieberman?

Klein also goes on to explain the prudent purchasers language in the bill and why it should be sufficient. As Dean acknowledged, this was John Kerry’s issue, and Kerry is very happy with the language.

Krugman won’t side with the Bill Killers

Paul Krugman is asking progressives to take a deep breath.

There’s enormous disappointment among progressives about the emerging health care bill — and rightly so. That said, even as it stands it would take a big step toward greater security for Americans and greater social justice; it would also save many lives over the decade ahead. That’s why progressive health policy wonks — the people who have campaigned for health reform for years — are almost all in favor of voting for the thing.
*****
By all means denounce Obama for his failed bipartisan gestures. By all means criticize the administration. But don’t take it out on the tens of millions of Americans who will have health insurance if this bill passes, but will be out of luck — and, in some cases, dead — if it doesn’t.

The hysteria gripping the progressive movement is out of control, capped by Keith Olbermann’s melodramatic comment last night. Get a grip, keep negotiating, and pass a bill.

Related Posts