Left disintegrating!

Howard Dean, Keith Olbermann, and other figures of the Democratic left have launched a full-scale war against Reidcare/Obamacare. Some of their complaints cover the same ground as questions I’ve repeatedly raised about the bill’s fundamental logic. As one of these leftists put it (I don’t remember who, and I don’t have a link), this bill that was supposed to insure the uninsured now requires the uninsured to pay 17 percent of their income to private medical insurance companies—the same evil people, say the left, who caused this mess.

What has apparently busted the deal was Majority Leader Reid’s abandonment this week of the public option and its latest attempted replacement, the Medicare buy-in, in order to placate Sen. Lieberman. While the left was willing to go along with the mandate on individuals to buy insurance so long as there was a public option competing with the private insurers and lowering fees, the mandate in the absence of the public option makes the bill seem like the biggest windfall for private insurers in history. Imagine selling a product that everyone in the country is required to purchase, under penalty of fines and prison!

In fact, sounding like a leftist myself, I have to say that the bill sounds like a fascist partnership of government and insurance companies.

Here’s an article by Mike Allen at Politico that covers similar ground:

In a stunning reversal of fortune for President Barack Obama, top progressives are attacking the health-reform plan moving through the Senate as “hollow,” “unsupportable” and a sellout to corporate interests.

Republicans, after plotting for months to sink the signature legislation of Obama’s first year, suddenly think that Democrats might wind up doing it for them.

Most dangerously for White House chances of assembling 60 Senate votes, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean launched a third day of attacks on the emerging bill, arguing in a Washington Post op-ed that it meets none of his benchmarks for “real reform.”

“[A]s it stands, this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America,” Dean wrote, then took to the airwaves to amplify his case.

Ed Schultz, an influential liberal radio host, declared on his “Ed Show” on MSNBC: “The base is restless. They are wandering in the wilderness, Mr. President. … They want to know, where are you? … Right now, Mr. President, your base thinks you’re nothing but a sellout—a corporate sellout, out that. … The only people who like this current bill right now, Mr. President, is the insurance industry—they get a bunch of new customers.”

Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, wrote on his Twitter feed: “Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.” And “Kos” blogged: “You pass a s——-y program now that further bankrupts our nation, and we won’t be talking about ‘fixing’ it in a few years, but whether it should even exist.”

With polls showing erosion in both Obama’s popularity and in support for health reform, the White House mobilized to try to tamp down the rebellion from such essential allies.

Senior adviser David Axelrod called in to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to argue that Dean’s criticisms are “predicated on a bunch of erroneous conclusions.”

“To defeat a bill that will bend the curve on this inexorable rise in health-care costs is insane,” Axelrod said. “I think that would be a tragic, tragic outcome. I don’t think that you want this moment to pass. It will not come back.”

Liberals contend that the bill has been watered down so much that Congress should kill it and start over. The White House warns that health reform could be doomed for the rest of this presidency, and probably beyond, if it falters now.

The attack from the left comes at a delicate juncture when a delay of more than a couple of days could sink any remaining chance that the Senate can pass it by Christmas. Senate Democrats are circulating a possible schedule that would have them taking the final vote on Christmas Day.

Right now, Democrats are at least two votes shy of the 60 they need to pass the bill, with liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) saying he has not committed to vote for the bill in its current form.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 17, 2009 06:56 PM | Send

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