Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday in Baltimore--The Way to Actually Accomplish Something

Intentionally or unintentionally, my sense is that the White House came out of Baltimore thinking they are now on to something, and I hope the Republicans took the same lesson away.Constructive good faith political engagement in Washington actually works.It is just incredible that House Minority Leader John Boehner has had not direct contact with the White House for about a year. A pox on both

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The State of the Union--The President Came to a Fork in the Road and He Took It

As Yogi Berra said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."The President came to a fork in the road tonight on health care reform. Would he do what many liberals have demanded--push harder to pass the Democratic health care bills? Or, do as many moderate Dems and some Republicans have called for--work to get a smaller but bipartisan health care bill?Listening to his speech he seems to be

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Plan B—There Isn’t One—But There Could Be

As the State of the Union approaches Democrats are considering their health care policy options. There are lots of reports about “Plan B”—pushing through the Senate bill with a parallel corrections bill that could be passed in the Senate using reconciliation rules.That’s as dead as the original House and Senate health care bills. Moderate Democrats have no stomach for such a legislative stunt in

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Smaller Bipartisan Health Bill? What It Could Look Like

In the wake of the Massachusetts vote, Democrats are scrambling to find a way out of the health care political mess they are in.Right now they are in a daze standing by waiting to see if any of the "trial balloons" they have launched gain any traction. So far, ideas to ram though the now toxic Senate bill in the House in one parliamentary form or another are falling flat.Last night, the President

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stick a Fork in It! The Democratic Effort to Pass a Health Bill is Dead

Tuesday’s Republican victory in Massachusetts means the current Democratic health care bills will not be on the President’s desk in 2010.Forget the crazy talk of ramming something through—including just having the House pass the pending Senate bill.I’ve talked to lots of people in the past few months that didn’t like the Democratic effort but conceded that the Dems won the 2008 election on a

The Silver Lining in the Massachusetts Vote

The Silver Liningby Brian Klepper and David C. KibbeMassachusetts voters' stunning rejection of Democrat Martha Coakley, in favor of a not-very-impressive Scott Brown, should be exactly the splash of cold water that the Democratic party - and Congress as a whole - needed. The defeat can be understood in two ways: one large and one fairly small.First, the large one. This will probably send reform

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Union “Cadillac” Tax Sweetheart Deal

Just when you thought you couldn’t be more cynical about the health care bill.As I have said before, there wasn’t a lot of hope the same administration that ignored the rule of law in granting unions priority over Chrysler bondholders was going to offend them on the “Cadillac” tax.We’ve seen the “Louisiana purchase” giving Senator Landrieu hundreds of millions for her vote, only to be upstaged by

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Great Summary of Where We Are

Good friend Brian Klepper has an excellent round-up of recent blog reactions to the health care bill's progress in a "Special Edition of Health Wonk Review."It is posted on The Health Care Blog.It is really worth your time.