July 29, 2009

We need people like Senator Jeff Merkley fighting for us. Blue America still has our act-blue page alive and well for health care reform. Please pitch in if you can.

It's so frustrating watching the Max Baucus coalition try and dictate health care reform for America.

Not to just keep flogging a dead horse endlessly, but it does strike me as worth noting that when you read a puff piece in The New York Times about the Gang of Six bipartisan dealmakers in the Senate that vast power is being wielded by people who, in a democratic system of government, would have almost no power. We’re talking, after all, about Max Baucus of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Collectively those six states contain about 2.74 percent of the population, less than New Jersey, or about one fifth the population of California. The six largest states, by contrast, contain about 40 percent of Americans...read on

And Max Baucus was leaking out costs today to the media from the Holy CBO that he says gets their bill to cost under the magic 1 trillion mark. Of course the Holy Grail doesn't have all the figures yet, Max says, but he's trying to sell it to the media that way. If the plan doesn't cost anything then it won't do anything. Being obsessed by the Holy CBO has been a huge big mistake. Just to remind you, Max Baucus was instrumental in getting Bush's tax cuts passed back in 2001.

Baucus started his career as a relatively low-profile congressman from conservative Montana but, in recent years, has shown a willingness to stray from the Democratic lines, at times sparking intense fights with the congressional Democratic leadership. He supported President Bush’s trillion-dollar tax cut that mainly benefitted the wealthy in 2001, fought to add a prescription-drug benefit to Medicare (in language pushed by the Bush administration) and sought billions in aid for drought-plagued farmers in his home state.

And now he plans to kill health care.

Bill Clinton speaks up about the CBO:

Former President Bill Clinton, himself a victim of an errant Congressional Budget Office score or two, implied today that the agency wasn't connected enough to the real world to know whether programs would save money or not. Speaking a few days after the CBO estimated that the White House's latest "gamechanger," an independent Medicare Advisory Commission to set prices, would save little money over 10 years, Clinton urged policy-makers -- and here he means Democrats -- to not accept the CBO's scores without adding a dollop of common sense. " I recognize that if you're in that budget office, you've got to project the future," Clinton said. But certain programs would realize savings "regardless of whether the mathematical rules they are now up with will prove it or not." He said that those with a stake in changing the system "almost always get the short end of the stick" when it comes to budget projections.

And Digby explains:

n order to understand what this really means you you have to recall that there was no discussion, zero, when the last administration asserted without any debate that we were engaged in a war without end, for which costs could not be measured nor should they be. It was accepted by members of both parties as a simple imperative and no discussion of cost-benefit analyses were even on the table. But when it comes to directly benefiting Americans with a life and death threat of another sort, that's all we talk about. This is not an accident


This whole health care debate has been played very badly. Not getting into the game publicly for so long allowed the right wingers and Evan Bayh Democrats to corrupt the health care messaging. Now we hear that the Blue Dogs have corrupted the EC&C committee also. We'll see what actually happens a little later. People are usually very reluctant to change anything in life, even if it's going to help so it's not a shock that America is split over health care reform in the polls. It's a big deal and in the end people will be more hesitant to actually back change. That's why we need a strong leader to communicate it. That just means the Democratic Party must keep pushing forward. The Republicans went forward with the lunacy of the Terri Schiavo matter even when 79% of Americans were against government intervention in a family matter. That''s their core values. They are birthers. We want real health care reform that will help us all. We believe in America.

Howie Klein has more on Max and the Blue Dogs.

Yesterday we mentioned how duplicitous DLC warlord Max Baucus (MT) had worked out a plan with his GOP brother-in-arms, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to cut the public option out of the health care reform bill. The Medical-Industrial Complex and Insurance CEOs who invested so heavily in Baucus must feel those millions of dollars were a great investment. The House of Lords is a tragic, purposely anti-democratic anachronism that should never have been created to begin with and should have been abolished long ago.

I expect little in the way of push back from the more progressive HELP Committee against Baucus' and Grassley's all out battle to deprive Americans of health care. The bought-off corrupt corporate Democrats like Baucus, Lincoln, Bayh, Pryor, Nelson (plus, of course, Lieberman) have thrown in their lot with an utterly deranged and even more corrupt Republican Party seeking not just to destroy health care but to destroy Barack Obama's presidency...read on.

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