My political thoughts while I was in India, away from the internet for a week, mostly were of the "Gee, I hope health care reform isn't collapsing right now" variety. I was relieved when I came back and things had moved smoothly forward. And now that Reid says reconciliation and Obama's introduced a plan and Republicans have little idea of how to handle the summit, I'm feeling good. You've all seen the graphic on the right before during the campaign. Remember Obama taking control and rendering a bunch of bad news cycles irrelevant? That's where we are today.
As for the public option, Jonathan Bernstein is right -- it's not passing this time, but the efforts of Jeff Merkley, Sherrod Brown, Kristen Gillibrand, and Michael Bennet to raise it from the dead will make it more viable in the future. Well done, freshmen, and we'll remember this.
At the moment I am actually kind hoping they don't include the public option. My feeling is that, in the house, the "more conservative" angle will be necessary get back the votes that will be lost by not having the Stupak Amendment. Basically, the coalition of blue dogs that bites the bullet and votes yes this time around are going to have to be vastly different.
However, I don't think that means the public option is necessarily dead. Once the base bill is signed into law, and that is the stance people are working from, it might be possible to get together a different coalition will to vote for it's passage, after including Stupak is no longer on the table. And even if that coalition doesn't exist now, I am hopeful that it will next congress.
Postponing the indirect tax on all people with expensive health insurance until 2018 does set a deadline of "some other administration deals with that problem".
So the price of getting something is that, no, President Obama is not the last President that has to tackle the problem of ensuring universal access to health care.
No one is ever going to be the last President to work to ensure that all Americans have access to health care. Making government work is an ongoing process.
The first health care system passed by the French legislature was terrible. The system they have now evolved later. Changes continue today.
One of the issues in last year's presidential election in Japan was a bureaucratic snafu that led to several thousand elderly patients being kicked off the national health.
There is no country that has developed a national health system that then continues unchanged for all time. Things don't work as planned or social conditions change.
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