December 22, 2009

Ezra Klein responds to Jane Hamsher's 10 reasons to kill the health care bill.

The liberals are fighting amongst themselves, forcing out some useful points.

33 comments:

MikeR said...

I thought Keith Hennessey's comment was interesting: Why are leftists so angry at Joe Lieberman? They should be putting pressure on Barbara Boxer. If they really believe that the current bill should be killed to force the Senate to try reconciliation, any one Senator can kill it. We Republicans got 40 out of 40 to vote against. Can't progressives find even one out of 60 that agrees with them?

AllenS said...

Hamsher: 3) "Many will be forced to buy poor-quality insurance they can't afford to use, with $11,900 in annual out-of-pocket expenses over and above their annual premiums".

Klein: "How many is 'many'?"

If she would have given an approximate number. Would Klein then question, "Oh yeah, give me some names."

SteveR said...

Really none of this matters, the house and senate will cobble together a bill, that will pass with no republican support and a few democrat no-es and the President will sign it.

MayBee said...

Agreed, SteveR.

The President will sign whatever comes to his desk. Then we will commence the era of President Deficit Hawk.

Roger J. said...

Second what SteveR said--moreover no one knows what the final bill will look like until it comes out of conference. My guess is that it will be more "progressive" than whatever ends up coming out of the Senate.

MadisonMan said...

MikeR, I liken it to Republicans trying to pass an anti-Abortion bill. Sure, some liberal Republicans *could* vote against a cloture vote, but then they'd likely lose in a subsequent primary when all the farther right-wing voters came out to vote their ire. Boxer would have to face down all the irked Liberals.

Lieberman is serving a very useful scapegoaty purpose for the Democrats.

As it is, I think the bill will be very hard to run for in the next election, and very easy to run against, especially given that Congress has exempted itself from it.

AprilApple said...

It's over. Party-line vote-- They own it. Will the Democrats make a final attempt to re-insert a "public option"? Will they do it in secret, in the dead of night?

Tax-payer funded health care is here. Then there's the ad-blitz on the TV. Will it help garner support? Who is paying for the ads? The 2700+ pages
can be melted down into a few sweet talking points that exclude the truth about taxes, cost increases, medicare cuts, and premium hikes.
Insulting.

New York said...

This is truly amazing:

http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/12/representative-democracy-thrown-away-in.html

Though I doubt it's really enforceable.

But any liberal who supports it is obviously opposed to democracy, due process, consent of the governed, all men created equal etc. etc. etc.

AprilApple said...

Here's what Ezra is saying: 'It's not going to be "YOU" who pays - some other sucker will pay. So stop worrying and learn to love it.'

Lockestep said...

I would expect the final bill to stick quite closely to the Senate version. IIRC, a Senator could move to reject the conference report, and the vote on acceptance would then be subject to filibuster.
Undoing any of the various payoffs...er ,deals... might be enough to get someone off the bus (or at least the threat might be enough to keep the bill intact).

John said...

There has always been a salon theory among small government activists that the best thing for the country in the long term would be for the Dems to own the government and run completely amuck. Such a disaster it is thought would finally cure people of their tolerance of big government and either replace the Republican Party with a third party or scare them so badly at the fate of the Democrats that they would have to give up their big government ways.

I think we are about to find out whether that theory is correct. It is a rare piece of fortune that the Dems have exactly 60 votes. This allows them to get this monstrosity without a single Republican vote. That means they own it. No bi-partisian bullshit here.

The reason why the country hasn't done a big "healthcare fix" in the past is because people get very emotional and angry over healthcare and you can never get a majority to agree on a big fix. Instead, since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid the government has done lots of smaller things. Those smaller things have of course created a lot of mischief. But they have generally passed below most people's radar. This bill won't. Everyone knows and will be affected by this bill. It is wildly unpopular and horrifically bad. The backlash against this bill is going to be like nothing anyone has ever seen. Phil Graham once said that if the Dems had passed Hillarycare, people would be hunting Democrats with dogs. Once this kind of populist backlash gets started, there is no telling where it will go and who it will destroy. It won't be pretty, that is for sure.

I think this conflict between Hamsher and Klein is just the smarter liberals preparing themselves for this disaster. Hamsher is smarter than Klein (most sentient beings are). She understands that this bill is going to be the Democrats' doom. So she is getting a head start in damage control. If liberals were against the bill, they can plausibly claim that it isn't their fault when the Dems get kicked out of power for the next twenty years. Hamsher and other liberals will blame Reid and Obama and claim they would still be in power if only they had used the historic moment for real liberal health reform like single payer or a public option that the public wanted. Klein in contrast is too stupid to see the train coming and is still selling the idea that this bill is going to save the Democrats.

Matt Eckert said...

I think Ezra Klein is in the wrong post. He should be in the one right below.

With Wally Cox and Arnold Strang.

Henry said...

More chilling is what they agree on -- the evil of those dastardly pharmaceutical companies.

The big criticism that Hamsher doesn't make and Klein doesn't answer is the cost of the bill to medical innovation.

As they blather on about pharma IP and drug re-importation they expose themselves for the narrow-minded fools they are. They refuse to see healthcare as a dynamic, research-driven industry in which more and more people are living longer and better lives because of amazing innovations. Instead, they see the healthcare industry as a rotting carcas to carve up.

When they are so blind to the dynamics of reality, it is little wonder that they are equally blind to the fearsome consequences of their advocacy.

edutcher said...

New York said...

This is truly amazing:

http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/2009/12/representative-democracy-thrown-away-in.html

Though I doubt it's really enforceable.

But any liberal who supports it is obviously opposed to democracy, due process, consent of the governed, all men created equal etc. etc. etc.


What was your first clue? The Lefties have always been about coercion, or do you really believe the IRS is about "voluntary compliance"?

12/22/09 10:09 AM
Blogger AprilApple said...

Here's what Ezra is saying: 'It's not going to be "YOU" who pays - some other sucker will pay. So stop worrying and learn to love it.'

Until, of course, they realize 'they' also includes them. This is why so many Lefties from Taxachusetts now live in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

John said...

There has always been a salon theory among small government activists that the best thing for the country in the long term would be for the Dems to own the government and run completely amuck. Such a disaster it is thought would finally cure people of their tolerance of big government and either replace the Republican Party with a third party or scare them so badly at the fate of the Democrats that they would have to give up their big government ways.

Unfortunately, the phrase "Weimar Republic" has often been used in this context as the optimum tipping point. As Glenn Reynolds noted, that didn't work out so well

garage mahal said...

Worse than the Holocaust.

Fen said...

"We Republicans got 40 out of 40 to vote against. Can't progressives find even one out of 60 that agrees with them?"

Just bribe one of the 60 to cahnge their vote to no. We already know they're for sale.

John said...

"Instead, they see the healthcare industry as a rotting carcas to carve up."

That is how they see every industry. Liberals think everything is a zero sum game. People like Klein and Hamsher have no understanding whatsoever how the economy works or how the human race progresses. They are smart people without any humility or wisdom. Fools is a good term for them.

John said...

"Unfortunately, the phrase "Weimar Republic" has often been used in this context as the optimum tipping point. As Glenn Reynolds noted, that didn't work out so well"

Like I said, once the populist rage starts, there is no telling where it ends or who it destroys. Fortuneately the US is not Germany. Our populism is likely to produce another Jackson or maybe Sarah Palin. I have a great belief in the judgment of the American people. Worse case, populism will just make douschbags like Klein cry. But there is always a danger that I am wrong and we really will get a populist strong man. Let's hope not.

ricpic said...

Rich lefties debating amongst themselves as to how to most effectively batter the middle class into total submission.

TosaGuy said...

On the bright side, if the economy shrinks as significantly as the worst-case scenarios suggest, then we as a nation will no longer have the luxury to afford parasites like Hamsher and Klein (all political pundits regardless of side). They may have to go and get jobs where they actually produce something instead of being paid to engage in mental masturbation.

Joe said...

Like many from both sides over the years, Klein accepts CBO's claims. Except when has the CBO ever been right? Even if they've been more or less right a few times, all too often they've been disastrously wrong. (In this case, I know they are wrong because they assume that Congress isn't lying through their teeth about what they will do in the future. For one, they won't cut Medicare.)

Joe said...

One other thing, I've became very annoyed that the CBO is always referred to as a "non-partisan" organization. Hogwash. The CBO believes the government will do what it says and can do what it claims. That makes it fundamentally liberal.

Henry said...

Joe, it's worse than that. Megan McArdle writes today about how the Democrats gamed the CBO:

...the Congressional Democrats started out with a CBO score they wanted, and worked backward to the bill. They've been pretty explicit about the fact that no one wants this actual bill; rather, the plan is to pass basically anything, and then go and totally rewrite it when the budget spotlight is off. I'm not aware of any other piece of legislation that was passed this way.

edutcher said...

John said...

"Unfortunately, the phrase "Weimar Republic" has often been used in this context as the optimum tipping point. As Glenn Reynolds noted, that didn't work out so well"

Like I said, once the populist rage starts, there is no telling where it ends or who it destroys. Fortuneately the US is not Germany. Our populism is likely to produce another Jackson or maybe Sarah Palin. I have a great belief in the judgment of the American people. Worse case, populism will just make douschbags like Klein cry. But there is always a danger that I am wrong and we really will get a populist strong man. Let's hope not.


Your lips to God's ears, compadre

AprilApple said...

The president is out there saying:

"I just want to be clear, for all those who are continually carping about how this is somehow a big spending government bill, this cuts our deficit by $132 billion the first 10 years, and by over a trillion in the second. That argument that opponents are making against this bill does not hold water."

No, Obama - you're argument doesn't hold water. In fact, it's insulting.

Stephen said...

Let me see if I understand...

Premiums will go down and 30 million more people get coverage, w/approximatley no net increase in spending and you guys are mad because premiums will go up, there will be less coverage and an increase in spending? And Sochulizm!

I think there is a circuit disconnected somewhere.

Oh by the way, New York, that is one epic hyperventilation of a post you linked to. Thankfully one of the commenters on that blog puts it into perspective nicely:

"Don't we have to distinguish between what that section purports to do and what it actually does? It was already a well-worn axiom by the time of Fletcher v. Peck that one Congress can't bind a future Congress, and it remains true today...to the extent this section could be called a rules change, doesn't DeMint's colloquy with the presiding officer establish that it is not a rules change, allowing a future (Republican) presiding officer to rule that no, it wasn't a rules change, and the usual rules still apply?"

Another writes "If the parliamentarian ruled that this was a "procedure change" that did not require a 2/3 majority to approve it, then revoking this procedure change would likewise not require a 2/3 majority to remove it."

Now please, take a deep breath and just calm down.

AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

It's a huge tax increase. Pure and simple. When democrats promise "savings" - you can be assured they mean "because we are going to raise your taxes."


The difference between spending and deficits: "If I withdraw $10,000 from the bank and spend $9,000 of it, I have $1,000 more in my pocket than I had before, even though I’ve just spent a lot of money. That doesn’t mean I earned or saved $1,000. Similarly, if you make the ludicrous assumption that all the budget trickery in Democare actually reflects reality, the bill amounts to a massive tax increase (direct and indirect), coupled with a slightly less massive spending increase. But it’s still a "big spending government bill" — or, more properly, a "big spending and even bigger taxing government bill."



Yet the real situation is even worse, because all the budget trickery in Democare doesn't reflect reality. ... Not only are many of its projections bogus, but it relies heavily on the "doc fix," which President Obama and everyone else in the United States knows will never happen. So in this case it's like withdrawing $10,000, spending $12,000, but saying that you’ll save $3,000 next year by quitting smoking — and this time you really, really mean it. One thousand bucks clear profit, baby!"

Stephen said...

@AprilApple

A little more perspective: I dunno how it works where you live, but in NY we spend $2 billion a year in taxes alone on heathcare provided to the uninsured. Yes, there's going to be taxes included in health care reform, but we're already paying them today. We could flush this money down the toilet providing health care to folks w/o insurance who have to go to the emergency room instead of getting preventative care, or it could actually go to keeping these people healthy so they don't drive up our taxes by going to the ER when they don't get healthy on their own and they've been sick for weeks.

As for spending vs. savings, I'm not sure what I could say to convince you the CBO hasn't been "gamed". It would seem there isn't enough common ground for a debate there. However, what I would like to mention is similar to what I said above. Look at what we're already spending. The uninsured cost us money. Insuring them will cost us money too, but things like the excise tax on providers bringing premiums down will help us in the long run. Not to mention that healtier people cost the heath care system less than sick ones.

But maybe we should just keep paying tax dollars into a system that helps less people and has costs that continue to rise. What do I know?

Skookum John said...

Maybe Jane Hamsher and Charles Johnson should swap blogs.

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