Archive for November 5th, 2009|Daily archive page

Nothing’s Going To Make Health Care Reform Uncontroversial

Politico says “Red-state Dems worried, rethink agenda

“I should be nervous,” said Rep. Parker Griffith, a freshman Democrat from Huntsville, Ala.

Griffith said the Democratic rank and file is “very, very sensitive” to the fact that issues being pushed by party leaders “have the potential to cost some of our front-line members their seats.”

House Democrats, forced to take a tough vote on a controversial cap-and-trade climate change bill in June, may have to vote as earlier as this weekend on the even more controversial health care bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team have struggled to get moderates on board for that vote, and Tuesday’s results won’t make the task any easier.

There are all sorts of causal and chronological missteps in this formulation. Conservative Democrats have been complaining about the cap and trade vote all year long. They cite everything short of weather patterns as a reason they can’t vote with Pelosi, of course they think these elections are another reason. Nobody thinks environmental issues had anything to do with the New Jersey or Virginia outcomes. It’s similarly implausible New Jersey or Virginia voters cast their votes because they thought Pelosi needed to ditch the public option. I could on for a while…

But the biggest issue is that any Democrat is complaining about a Health Care Reform vote. Democrats have been trying to and in a few cases succeeding in passing Health Care Reform since the Truman Administration. It’s been a constantly recurring goal and it was clearly a central part of the platform that Obama and the Democrats ran on in 2008. Additionally the proximate reason Health Care is so controversial is that Republicans have decided that defeating Health Care Reform is the key to victory. When you combine the histories of the Democratic and Republican parties you see it’s absurd to think Pelosi or Obama is out of line to pursue Health Care Reform and nothing they could have done in that pursuit would kept the bill from being controversial.


P.S. Regarding Democratic Health Care Reform efforts, Rep. Dingell has in fact been proposing to reform the health care system annually since the 50s. Issues simply don’t come more ingrained in the party ethos, then health care does in the Democratic party.