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July 28, 2009

One World Alliance

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What this NYT health care negotiator photo/diagram, and the accompanying story tells us, is that:

1. Slightly more than 6 months into his term, Obama is making clear headway in establishing a more collaborative environment on Capitol Hill. (Certainly, it’s a far cry from this.)

2. The comity of the 3-3 party split in the reportedly tight-knit Senate Finance working group suggests Obama’s goal is not just health care legislation, but a landmark consensus.

But then, with almost all eyes on minority member Grassley and one of the three Dems actually “out of the picture,” what price kumbaya?

(Edited/Revised 11:15 am PST. Removed point #3 for cluelessness.)

from: Health Policy Now Carved Out at a More Centrist Table (NYT)

(image: Stephen Crowley/NY Times)

  • jonst

    “..shifting republicans more the center.”???!!!! First off, are you serious? Is this some kind of put on? Second off….as far to the right as they have been how meaningful would a shift have to be to be meaningful in the first place?
    M

  • Polyblog

    The article also states that we will have no “public option” but instead coops. Obama, if he let’s these people have their way, has failed us.

  • Steve

    Bag, really? This committee has completely stripped any meaningful reform from the health care debate – the exclusion of the public option. From your previous post, isn’t it obvious that they all have business’ interests at heart, rather than the welfare of the American people? That seems to more closely align with Republican tenets than Democratic ones, in my opinion.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/bagnews Michael Shaw (The BAG)

    The BAG gracefully accepts all incoming fire on point #3 (which I’ve since removed but which suggested the photo reflected a GOP shift to the center … rather than, as pointed out, a Democratic congress and Administration lurching/caving to the right, aligning with corporate/special interests, bailing on the public option, etc.) One thing I need to far better keep straight is Obama’s ability to achieve buy-in with what he/we have to pay for it.

  • yg

    one of the pundits pointed out this committee is formed of senators from rural, sparsely populated states. that’s not representative. these senators don’t live with the reality of big cities with all the burdens of coping with a big population. it’s not rural states who are dumping indigent patients into skid row like so much trash. los angeles alone has 2 million people without healthcare. that’s enough people to qualify as a major city. that’s more people than live in some of these rural states.

  • Steve

    One thing that does stick out about the photograph above in a purely technical way, is that everything and everyone seems washed out – a lot like the legislation they’re crafting.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/michaeldg Michaeldg

    yg, you observed exactly what struck me- these are senators from Wyoming, Iowa, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and Maine. I would guess that collectively they represent less than 1% of the American population! Perhaps because they have no constituents to speak of, they are freed from interest group lobbying (how many drug companies or insurance companies are based in North Dakota or Monatana?). To think that this group of prairie dwellers will be writing the outline for the nations healthcare system is frightening. I don’t think an emergency room in North Dakota has ever seen a crowd!
    I also agree with other posters that without a public option, there will be no way to counterbalance the power and clout and greed of healthcare special interests (ie insurance companies, equipment manufactures, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals etc.).

  • Seitan Worshiper

    I dunno, Michael… according to the action alert I received from CREDO/Working Assets, these six are the very senators who take the most cheddar (about $3 mil total, according to opensecrets) from the large Pharmaceutical interests. So, as to their likely stripping out of the public option (and mandatory employer-based coverage), it seems a tad more than coincidental that there’s so much “comity.”
    Besides, who was it on the wingnut right who famously (& *oh-so* charmingly) said that bi-partisanship is just another word for date rape?

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