Democrats Could Win With a Truly Bi-Partisan Health Care Reform Strategy

Hopefully the cottage industry in health care reform paranoia can calm down now. No one in Washington is talking about strategies to short circuit the election results in Massachusetts this week in which state Senator Scott Brown, soon to be the Republican’s “41st vote,” upset the Democratic candidate in a special election. While some dismayed Democrats did consider ways of passing legislation before Senator Brown is sworn into office, there was never really a chance that would happen.

One reason Senator Brown won was a reaction to the hubris Democrats in Congress displayed over the past 12 months concerning health care reform. Favors were dealt out to key lawmakers party favors at a kid’s birthday if that’s what it took to secure their votes. A temporary exemption from an excise tax on expensive health insurance policies was crafted for unions to get their support. Deals were brokered with large pharmaceutical companies and others to get them on-board. This is politics as usual, practiced by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Engaging in politics as usual, however, was the problem: voters in 2008 expressed their desire for change. Politics as usual is exactly what the public did not want.

Given this reality, Democrats passing a health care reform bill by jamming something through would be political malpractice of the highest order. Besides, there were never enough rank-and-file lawmakers in the caucus willing to go along with such silliness. So, not surprisingly, instead of passing health care reform by manipulating the rules, Democrats are now taking a breather, gathering their thoughts and developing a strategy for moving forward.

After some reflection, Democratic leaders will realize the scope of health care reform they can pass is extremely limited. Expensive, intrusive reforms are no longer an option. This doesn’t mean they can’t pass some version of reform. It just means that the reform they can pass will need to be less expensive, less comprehensive, and less intrusive than they had hoped.

What health care reform can be passed, and how long it will take, will depend in large part on which of two strategies the White House and Congressional Leaders choose to take.

President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can either pursue health care reform that gains the vote of the fewest number of Republican lawmakers necessary or legislation that can earns support from a meaningful percentage of Congressional Republicans. Following the former strategy would see them negotiate almost exclusively with Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Seeking truly bi-partisan reform would require negotiating with a far larger group.

The bare minimum strategy will be tempting. It requires the least amount of compromise. As I wrote the other day, they could bare the current legislation down to its cost containment provisions, health insurance reforms, and some of the less expensive ideas to expand coverage to more Americans. Such a scaled-back bill might get the support of either Senator Snowe or Senator Collins – or both. (Who knows, even Senator Brown might be supportive. He does have to run for re-election in Massachusetts in 2012. He won the special election by positioning himself as an independent and downplaying his Republican affiliation. Showing his independence from hard-line Republicans is a reasonable political strategy for him.)

The problem with the bare minimum strategy is its what got Democrats into their current mess. By pursuing health care reform that never had a chance of gaining broad support, President Obama, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi assured a long, politically ugly legislative process – one that required the kind of deal making that voters, especially independent voters, had voted to change in 2008.

Instead, Democrats could take the advice of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who observed, “Medicare wasn’t done in one fell swoop. You lay a foundation and you get this thing done over time.” If Democrats had taken this approach from the beginning health care reform might have been enacted already. Instead months were spent battling over issues like a government-run health plan that neither Republicans nor enough moderate Democrats could support. While hanging tough for a liberal wish list pleased their base (for awhile), it was inevitable moderate Democrats would determine the final health care reform package.

To gain sufficient Republican votes, Democrats will have to be willing to accept fairly limited reforms for now. They will need to include some meaningful malpractice reform. Democrats needs not include every and any provision Republican demand. Their goal is not to pass a bill by unanimous consent. Democrats just need to offer enough to peel off a significant number of Republicans – say 12 in the Senate and 35 or so in the House. Legislation with meaningful malpractice reform and a low sticker price could do that. Is this realistic? Well, there are a number of Republicans running in moderate seats, too. Running for re-election as a candidate who “opposed President Obama at every turn” is not a recipe for job security in such seats.

If Democrats succeed in passing bi-partisan reform they’ll have laid the foundation for future health care reform efforts. But what if Republicans unify behind a strategy of blocking reform of any kind, regardless of how moderate that reform might be? Such a strategy would just confirm that the GOP is the party of politics as usual. And in 2010 that’s not an image voters are likely to reward.

23 thoughts on “Democrats Could Win With a Truly Bi-Partisan Health Care Reform Strategy

  1. I respectfully disagree with the idea that “bi-partisanship” is required to “fix anything”….I submit what is required is “Statemanship”….
    In our Democracy, we elect “leaders” to “represent” our interests and focus on satisfying our needs and desires.
    The “things we want”….health care reform….education…equality of opportunity…protection are all delivered via a system or process….and to optimize any and all systems or processes, we must first have an “end result” in mind…What are we trying to achieve? What is our GOAL?….this will then allow us to begin to assemble the resources and plan, then prioritize the actions necessary to achieve our objectives….
    This implies, our “Leaders” have to employ ways and means of building a focussed, shared objective of where we want to go as a people, a country, as a civilisation…they must cajole, inspire, motivate and otherwise make us aspire to a greater good…this is a self-less act; one that we have seen few, if any in Congress or “the White House” do without a “veil of self interest” clouding their motivations and belittling their sincerity.
    To apply this concept to Health Care…I suggest we must be clear with both our objectives and the problems facing us….
    GOAL: People should have access to quality care….PROBLEM: but they should also share in the responsibility of “taking care” of themselves…they must be aware of the fact that life style choices have a tremendous impact on the both the quality of life and the lifetime cost of healthcare.
    GOAL: People are living longer and they are doing so because of better diet, better medicines and treatments….PROBLEM: but we still all die! As a society, we are going to have to come to grips with this reality….today, the numbers indicate that over 30% of what an individual spends on healthcare in their lifetime is spent in the last few months….we need to think about that…what does this mean? How is this spending making an individual live a “better life”? Where does “quality of life” come in to play? Drug research, Cancer research, new surgical procedures and equipment take a lot of resources…cost a lot of money….
    Where is this money going to come from? If it is from investments made by “people” in businesses, because they expect a potential for a “profitable return”, then why do we get so upset with the profits that are actually earned?
    Does this mean that perhaps “society” should fund the research….but wouldn’t that mean higher taxes for everyone? (If we limit “profits”, there won’t be as many “rich people” to tax, so EVERYONE will have to pay more). And isn’t part of Taxes going back to the birth of our nation the fact that we often have “little say” in how are taxes are spent? (taxation without representation?)…
    President Obama came on the stage as “an agent for change”…and his rhetoric inspired many to believe he was truly going to LEAD our nation to greater civility and prosperity….but the echoes of his words have diminished in the past year, drowned out by the voices of self-interest.
    We have had leaders who have inspired…some overtly…some more quietly…
    President Eisenhower warned us of the military Industrial Complex and inspired us to build the Interstate Highway system.
    President Kenedy challenged us to ask whet we could do for our Country, not what our Country could do for us.
    Martin Luther King shared his “dream” with us…
    Where are the leaders and stateman we need today?

  2. Bipartisanship is definitely a thing to strive for as it keeps both parties honest. I think there are three main problems with the entire healthcare reform debate in general:

    1) These Congressman and Senators have no idea what the fundamental problems are, how the intricate inner-workings of the healthcare system work, and do not have the slightest background in finance or economics necessary to make a logical decision.

    2) The back-room deals such as with the Medicaid Nebraska deal and the Union Excise Tax deal are ruining the solid foundation of the bill.

    3) A main reason why it costs so much to insure our health is because our health is in terrible condition. Ban trans fat, raise taxes on cigarettes and reform some illogical FDA guidelines, and we will be on a better path towards good health and health insurance.

  3. The bipartisan route is certainly attractive to the majority of citizens; we’ll see if Congress can make it happen. It’s true that reform can be passed as a work-in-progress bill, and both sides should be fairly amendable to that, assuming revisions are handled on a bipartisan basis as well. Either way, if the bill is ever going to pass, both sides will need to make some concessions.

  4. Two problems with your scenario.
    1. Piecemeal Legislation sounds good, but will be difficult. Each piece has something important attached to it. One example, everyone agrees that insurance companies need to stop denying applicants due to pre-ex. conditions. How do you do that without mandates? And once you talk about that, we’re down th same road as before.
    2. Republicans have zero incentive to play nice. Let’s not be naive. They do not care about what’s best for the country. They see dem’s HCR as their salvation to taking back Congress, and perhaps the WH. That is th sole motivation for them

    • Allen: You may be right. But, there are ways around these problems. For example, as I wrote the other day, if someone goes without health insurance for a period of time (say six months) then carriers should be allowed to rate them up by 10% and exclude pre-existing conditions for 12 months. That provides an incentive for folks to participate in the system until they need it, while preventing these who don’t from gaming the system. Would this approach (or something like it) completely avoid adverse selection? No, but it would mitigate it substantially.

      As for Republicans having no incentive to play ball. There’s a danger to that strategy. If Democrats put forward modest but useful reforms Republicans will have a hard time explaining their opposition as anything other than trying to defeat President Obama. And while that argument will play well with tea baggers and their base, it won’t help very much with the independent voters who decide elections.

      So while you may be right, Democrats certainly have nothing to lose by giving this moderate approach a try. And they have a lot to lose by just giving up.

      • These posts are 2 Democrats talking at each other, each agreeing that Republicans are bad and obstructionist….the Democrats don’t want to “play nice” either, but you don’t mention that, do you? You don’t mention that they hosed the Republicans for the last 12 months at every turn, excluding Republicans from the table and dissing them every time…you are incredibly biased and wrong…this piecemeal legislation: why does it “sound good”?…so that you can get your camel’s nose under the tent and sneak creeping govt. run plans into place? Do you know the multi-trillion dollar CLIFF that your vaunted Medicare is about to go over? It is YOU who “do not care for the country”, how dare YOU presume to con us into thinking Democrrats care for the country, when all they care about is their condescending tyranny? And by the way Mr. Katz thanks for your objectivity to that post!

        • Umm, well actually, I don’t think you’ve read the whole dialogue npg. That Democrats acted with arrogance and ineptitude concerning health care reform was already pretty much established. The discussion was focused on IF Democrats introduced a smaller, more moderate bill that contained components Republicans have historically called for (malpractice reforms, for example) would Republicans still vote no or not. And if they did prevent the passage of a more modest bill would Republicans be punished at the polls by independents as obstructionists. I think they would; you apparently think they wouldn’t. The only way we’ll ever know is if Democrats move forward with a modest health care reform package. And that’s certainly no sure thing.

        • NPG-Relax. This is not a political discussion board, but HCR board.
          Actually, I find Alan’s posts completely political neutral. My references to politicis have been confined to how it impacts the passage of HCR. If you read some of my previous posts, you would have read how utterly incompent and corrupt I feel the dems have been during HCR and how I felt their bill was horrible in achieving the most important thing-controlling costs. I also feel that the repubs sole goal is to defeat Obama’s agenda and attempt to take back Congress and the WH. Defeating Obama is more important to them than the welfare of the country.
          Lastly, NPG, I will not be engaged in political discourse with you-I will not respond again to any of your posts.

  5. Alan, another significant political event happened today–the Supreme Court’s reversal, after 100 years of precedent, that now allows corporations and unions to throw open their coffers and spend ad libertam on political campaigns.

    I am of the opinion that special interests have been the ventriloquists behind this, and pretty much any other, substantive political debate from the get go.

    They spend money to make much, much more money.

    To me, the most brilliant manipulation has been to get millions of people to vote against their own economic self interest via a classic bait and switch.

    The anger of “independents” (why do these guys even pretend this at this point? everyone knows it’s just code for Glenn Beck/Sean Hannity/Rush Limbaugh ventriloquist dummies) usually has very little to do with the actual issue at hand. The classic line here: Get Your Government Hands Off My Medicare!

    Bertrand Russell put it thusly: If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.

    I am convinced that the current crop of Republicans–and their “independent” clones–are much more motivated by a desire to see other people miserable–the poor, the unemployed, the alien, the disenfranchised.

    If given a chance to make $100 for themselves if it would mean paying $50 of it to some despised group, these guys would scream, NO!

    Anyhow, Tony Auth of the Philadephia Inquirer had a great cartoon today, which I think shows the ease with which the Big Money has always been able to bamboozle the legions of American lunkheads.

    It’s good for a laugh. A bitter, bitter laugh.

    http://media.philly.com/storage/inquirer/covers/auth.jpg

    • James

      I had to give you a thumbs down on this one. Although I agree with you on the Supreme Court decision and much of everything else you wrote, your assumption that “independent” voters are Beck/Hannity/Limbaugh dummies was insulting.

    • This comment is directly offered in response to James post. James, JmK is correct:

      The Republicans “NO” reaction is to the Democrats’ “We’ll tell you what we’re gonna do and if you don’t like it, tough!” arrogant attitude. You get what you give. The Democrats’ arrogance has exceeded fears, and succeeded in driving a wedge through the thought of any bi-partisanship. As a result, the Republican, and the Independents’ anger is palpable. Chose to ignore it, and not understand it, at your peril, as are so many arrogant Democrats. That will result in an even greater movement by independents toward more conservative thought and demonstrate that reaction in November 2010.

      We independents already feel ignored enough by those kinds of views and attitudes. A continuation of that mind-set will help to insure massive Democratic losses in 2010. You would be better served to start thinking how you can gain back some trust from independents, not how to drive an even greater wedge between you and those who REALLY got Obama elected. Do you really think that we voted for McCain? Think again. You would do well to take your head out of the arrogant ether.

      I am one of those angry and disillusioned, ignored, independents. My posts are not only reflective of just my thoughts, they reflect the thoughts of those of us who will sway the 2010 elections in the direction of those we consider to be the candidates we feel are most “in tune” with our policy “wishes”. Potent food for thought. Think it through, carefully, before making snap comments.

    • James: I understand your concern, but respectfully disagree. There are independent voters who listen to and actually believe Beck/Hannity/Limbaugh just as there are independents who listen to and believe Olbermann and his friends on MSNBC (who is that Ed guy? I think I heard him claim that Senator Brown won in Massachusetts because Democrats abandoned a public option –sheesh). Most independents, however, are neither puppets nor dummies. They’re moderates who find the extremes of both parties unappealing and unsettling. They are the ones who swing elections not because of what the pedantic pundits say, but because of what they see elected leaders actually doing. They’re not paranoid nor gullible — at least not any more gullible than mainstream Democrats and Republicans.

      As for the Supreme Court ruling it is totally unbelievable. The irony of a court majority who decries judicial activism oveturning more than a century of established law and precedent is almost laughable. The good news is that the result will be far less than most fear. In California corporations can contribute directly to legislative candidates (not permitted for federal elections even after the Supreme Court decision). And California is dominated by Democrats who, in turn, are dominated by liberals. Corporations have been getting around much of the existing law by creating non-profit educational committees to buy-up air time on particular issues (thus all those pro- and con-health care reform and energy commercials that compete for air time with prescription drug and gold commercials on cable news channels). Yes the Supreme Court decision makes no sense. Ccorporations are not the legal equivalent of human beings (or even of Cylons for you Battlestar Galactica fans). Yes the decision does more harm than good. But it won’t be the end of democracy.

      • Alan, I simply wish to reinforce your analysis. I am one of those independents who voted for Obama and soon became disenchanted. We independents are not clones of the Republicans, or of Democrats. After being a registered member of each over the last 40 years I came to my own conclusion that each named Party had its own form of corruption, whether focused (republicans) or anarchistic (democrats) and began to vote as a “pure”independent, with a small “i”. We independents “walk to no one’s” drum beat except our own. Most of us are self-employed and our involvement in NAHU and our local AHUs has been as true Representatives of the Agent Community. Many of us are a combination of Fiscal Conservatives and believers in Market driven economies, and Socially Liberal and would deny no one Equal Rights under the law and constitution. I believe in Gay rights, for example, but never use that inflammatory and ill described phrase. I use the phrase “Equal Rights”, because that’s what it is.

        I voted for Obama, and became disillusioned after paying very close attention to his first few months, which disappointed me greatly. Thus far, I’ve only witnessed “Politics as usual”, and have not witnessed great leadership abilities, as I did witness under you Legislative Chair position, and your NAHU President position (and hope existed under my HITC Chairmanship, as well ad Senior Health Insurance Issues, Chairmanship).

        I won’t go on. Suffice it to say that your understanding of these differences is greatly appreciated. Lastly, it is refreshing to post here, as debate should always be civil and presented with respect for the opposing member’s philosophy. I rarely see that, but always do here.

        Thank you. Spence

      • “As for the Supreme Court ruling it is totally unbelievable”

        Oh that stubborn Constitution!

        “Overturning a century of established law”

        Oh that stubborn Constitution!

    • James, in researching this troubling decision among some constitutional scholars in appears that while the decision was split, there does exist, in law, the declaration that a corporation must be treated as an “individual person”, a lesson I learned both when starting my own company in 1978, and when becoming the head of our own family’s (parents) corporation, also a C Corp, begun in 1959. In no way can I, my former partner and close friend, or my brother and I treat our corporations as anything other than a third party, a “Person”. It is the law, Federal IRS Law, and the decision by the Supremes was based on that fact. It would be Unconstitutional to treat corporations in any other manner.

      Is this a good thing. Of course, it is not! It has been incumbent on Congress, our current Congress and our Congress for decades, to change the language in the law to correctly reflect the “status” of a corporation. However, considering the vast sums of wealth acquired by many in Congress, both directly and indirectly, they’ve had little reason to alter the “status quo”, until now. It seems likely, given the intense attention now being paid to such ridiculous and clearly “wrong-headed” decisions as that just given, that change should be on its way through Congress well before November of 2010. Should that not happen I would imagine that not only a large number of Democrats should be bringing the resumes current, an equally large number of Republicans will need to do the same.

      A disgusting decision, but perhaps a “judicial one”.

    • A bit of research reveals that this decision affects corporations and Unions…unions are generally thought of as being Democratic Party in philosophical choice. Thus while corporations, thought of as being “business and conservative”, Unions are thought of as being “everyman, and liberal”.

      This isn’t a conservative versus liberal issue, it is an Individual person(Democrats and Republicans and independents) versus Big Power (any or no political persuasion).

      It reversed sections of McCain-Feingold, aka The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA, McCain–Feingold Act). Senator McCain is as disturbed as any of us for this clearly immoral (if not illegal) decision.

      It is very possible that this nonsense will be repealed and held to be retroactive, just as the current lack of any Estate tax (today) will likely also be repealed and may very well be held to be retroactive (Tax Attorneys are currently taking an abundance of classes and the “tax resolving” world is in a tither, as Congress refusal to address this issue has left all in a state of flux…idiots) .

  6. I totally agree with you, Alan. For a time I had thought that the U.S. was in need of a third political party, one with a more moderate position. Of course, the special interests generally do not support moderates, so a middle-ground party would likely have a difficult time surviving beyond isolated campaigns by independently wealthy candidates like a Mike Bloomberg or a Ross Perot. Perhaps we will witness more examples of what occurred in Massachusetts, with voters electing more RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) like Scott Brown or DINOs until partisan “politics as usual” becomes recognized as something that is no longer acceptable, with the overall makeup of Congress moving more toward the middle overall. In the meantime, I suggest that the public let their Senators and Congressmen know where they stand on health care reform, and that sacrificing the overall public good in order to ensure the “failure” of the President’s administration will not be tolerated.

  7. Alan, with all due respect, you said: “… what if Republicans unify behind a strategy of blocking reform of any kind, regardless of how moderate that reform might be? Such a strategy would just confirm that the GOP is the party of politics as usual. And in 2010 that’s not an image voters are likely to reward.”

    The American electorate has been witness to Obama, the Senate under Reid, and the House under Pelosi demonstrating that they had no intention of creating “Change” or “open government”, and instead used the tactics of Behind closed door deal-making, using threats (Reid, paraphrasing, “If any of you don’t vote as I order you to, I’ll strip away your committee chairmanships!”, incredible arrogance (all of them but most telling, Pelosi,again paraphrasing, “We’ll slow down, a bit, but WE WILL PASS HEALTH CARE REFORM, MIND YOU!” said all the while she was stabbing the air with her arrogant index finger).

    Americans already know pretty darn well how they’re going to vote in November, 2010. The Democrats have seen to that. Any and all losses they experience this year are squarely on their shoulders.

    It seems to me that it is a wee bit premature to be casting judgments on the Republicans (and I am not one…I am an independent) until the Democrats can prove that they can work at legislating without displaying the arrogance, “we’ll do what we want no matter how unbalanced it is!”, the lack of performing due diligence, trying to make law without bothering to read the proposed legislation (I got through the entire House bill, but screw that 2,000 page tome written by the Senate…few of those who voted on it read it either!), the lack of taking the temperature of their constituents (who cares about us…we only elect these bums and pay them a lot of money and give them benefits unseen by any except the heads of AIG, banks, and law firms)…in short, Alan, it is time for the Democrats to “put up or shut up”, and make sure they smile when they say “Ah’m sorry Ah dissed y’all, so badly!” when they perform that group apology to the electorate from whom they stole Hope.

    Then, let’s see how the Republicans do.

    • Spencer: I guess where we differ is that I don’t think “Americans already know pretty darn well how they’re going to vote in November 2010.” As Senator-elect Brown proved this week, a lot can happen in one week. In politics, 10 months is a very long time. What’s bothering voters a lot more than the political games people play in Washington is unemployment of 10% or more in their neighborhoods. If the economy begins to turn around, so could the political mood. As I mentioned in the post: Senator Brown wasn’t elected because he was a Republican. He was elected because he wasn’t a Democrat. Republicans can rejoice now, but political winds have a habit of shifting — very quickly.

      While we’re on the subject of political roller coasters: I heard a news program today (sorry, I don’t have the stats or even remember which channel), but it compared President Obama’s approval rating to President Reagan’s after his first year in office. Apparently, both began at roughly the same level and both fell the same distance.

      • Alan: I checked a few different sources (Green Bay Gazette, for one…it was at the top of the “google” list) and that statistic is correct. Joe Johns, CNN, researched the data.

        Certainly, you’re correct. I don’t have a crystal ball that can foretell the future. That said, Americans, angry with the Democrats’ performance and attitude today, aren’t likely to change their opinions unless a great many of the 15 Million now unemployed are back to work well before the end of the year, and Obama and the Democratic Congress can take measurable credit. That, in and of itself, seems an insurmountable goal at this juncture.

        I think it not inaccurate to suggest that our economy and numbers of unemployed’s should have dictated that the number one goal for anyone assuming the Office of the Presidency in 2009 had better be employment and correcting of the economy, not health care reform, which would have added dramatically to our national debt, and already has with respect to the not yet known costs of this far too grandiose experiment. And thus far, this experiment has yielded no tangible positive results. Expensive, costly, and unnecessary game, when far simpler “Insurance Reform” could have produced the desired effects at far less anticipated costs (savings to the taxpayers in the mega billions of dollars).

        Passing some needed Insurance Reform into law in 2010 would not be just applying some bandages to the ailing American Health Care system, it would represent a major step forward.

        We shall see. Perhaps, we will now experience a far less hypertensive 2010 than we were allowed to experience in the year just passed. And let’s hope a far more productive, bi-partisan representative (it wouldn’t hurt if the Democratic Leadership approached the Republicans and Independents with a heart felt apology and request to “work together”, or something approximating that, after their display of “I’ve got bigger muscles than you!” in 2009), next twelve months.

        • I am very frustrated. Everyone keeps saying “Realth Insurance Reform”, on this site also. We need health care reform. Health Care Costs reform. We can all scury around and tinker and try and experiment for the next 30 years with insurance and exchanges, but the bottom line, whom nobody in leadership has the guts to say is this:

          Bottom line… Capitalism equals profit. The reason we have the best health care in the world is because we have the best facilities, equipmentment, tests, doctors, medicines. The only reason those things continue to move forward and advance is due to profit. Everyone wants to find a “cure”, but we are outraged at those who want to profit from the cure. However, that is why all those “greedy” people and companies do the research and build the newest machines is to makea profit. Unfortunately or fortunately, that is what makes our country great and what it is. A decision HAS to be made by our citizens. It’s like a long balloon, you can squeeze any side you want to make it smaller, but tit’s gonna get larger somewhere else. Clients call my office all day long complaining about costs and I agree with them, but thne in the exact same conversation they complain that the insurance doesn’t cover everything. “Why isn’t In Vito covered?” Do they know what it costs? Costs will continue to rise as long as we want the best innovations, the cures to be found and that we have the ability to get tested for any possible mality as soon as we want and as often as we want and unfortunately someone has to pay for that. Costs go down if care is rationed or innovation stops in 2010. Neither will happen because I don’t think that Americans really want either of those things to happen.

        • I’m frustrated with the Democrats HCR effort, but they are at least trying. The Republicans NO with no ideas is even less appealing to us moderates.

        • This comment is directly offered in response to Jame’spost. James:

          The Republicans “NO” reaction is to the Democrats’ “We’ll tell you what we’re gonna do and if you don’t like it, tough!” arrogant attitude. You get what you give. The Democrats’ arrogance has exceeded fears, and succeeded in driving a wedge through the thought of any bi-partisanship. As a result, the Republican, and the Independents’ anger is palpable. Chose to ignore it, and not understand it, at your peril, as are so many arrogant Democrats. That will result in an even greater movement by independents toward more conservative thought and demonstrate that reaction in November 2010.

          We independents already feel ignored enough by those kinds of views and attitudes. A continuation of that mind-set will help to insure massive Democratic losses in 2010. You would be better served to start thinking how you can gain back some trust from independents, not how to drive an even greater wedge between you and those who REALLY got Obama elected. Do you really think that we voted for McCain? Think again. You would do well to take your head out of the arrogant ether.

          I am one of those angry and disillusioned, ignored, independents. My posts are not only reflective of just my thoughts, they reflect the thoughts of those of us who will sway the 2010 elections in the direction of those we consider to be the candidates we feel are most “in tune” with our policy “wishes”. Potent food for thought. Think it through, carefully, before making snap comments.

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