Same Old Song

You can always count on the Ben Nelsons in Congress to try and destroy any chance we have of health-care reform. He and his five buds sent a letter

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You can always count on the Ben Nelsons in Congress to try and destroy any chance we have of health-care reform. He and his five buds sent a letter to President Obama and are asking for a delay in crafting health-care legislation.

What's up with all these gangs and letters?

A bipartisan group of centrist and conservative senators sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders on Friday urging delay in consideration of health care reform.

The letter, obtained by the Huffington Post, was drafted by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and is also signed by Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.). Independent Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who caucuses with Democrats, signed on, as did Maine Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- moderates heavily courted by President Obama.

The organized effort to slow down the process is a blow to the reform effort. Obama has pushed hard for a final vote before the August recess, arguing that delaying until September could slow momentum and risk missing a historic opportunity.

It's the same old song being played over and over again by these creeps. And it's the same old tired song we heard back in 1994

Greg Sargent:

If today’s demand by “centrist” Dem Senators that we slow health care reform sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Almost exactly the same thing happened in 1994, courtesy of then-centrist-Senator Bob Kerrey versus Hillarycare.

This is one of the major reasons why our health-care system has remained in shambles for decades. They use the same tactics over and over again because they work. Corporate shills and elitist views trump the hurt that the American family is feeling. President Obama needs to stop issuing orders about deficits and actually get in there and tell these people what he wants.

It's infuriating that suddenly "deficits" are more important than actual reform. Obama is planting the seeds to their own demise by talking up the deficit like it's the Holy Grail. That's just what the teabaggers and conservatives want to focus on in 2010. If you asked most people in America how a large federal deficit hurts them specifically, they couldn't tell you, but just "know that it's bad."


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The deficit is obviously a sacred totem in Washington and nobody's going to challenge it. And by reinforcing the deficit fetish, the Democrats are actually sowing the seeds of their own demise. I'm sure that will be a big relief to the privileged wealthy who have successfully created a bizarre, abstract fear of a federal budget deficit among average people for whom it has no real meaning at all. What a triumph of propaganda that is.

Matt Yglesias:

A delay of, say, seventy days is the amount of time it takes for as many people as live in Omaha to lose their health insurance. And one doubts that if the whole city were facing that fate Nelson would be so cavalier about the consequences of delay. More generally, this is an issue America has been debating for decades, it’s not as if Barack Obama just inserted health reform into his budget as a big surprise. Even just limiting consideration to the current reform drive in the United States Senate, Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy (and then Chris Dodd when Kennedy fell ill) have been doing steady work on this issue since well before the 2008 presidential election. And the topic of health reform was extensively debating in both the presidential primaries and the general election. For anyone who’s interested, there’s been plenty of time to look at the questions.

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