Why we love Dems (cont.)
Because they try so hard to “keep the stakeholders in the room”—even when they deserve a stake in the heart!
Tom Daschle tells Wonk Room about how the public option—weak tea in the first place—was too much for the industry, so they snuffed it:
I don’t think it was taken off the table completely. It was taken off the table as a result of the understanding that people had with the hospital association, with the insurance (AHIP), and others. I mean I think that part of the whole effort was based on a premise. That premise was, you had to have the stakeholders in the room and at the table. Lessons learned in past efforts is that without the stakeholders’ active support rather than active opposition, it’s almost impossible to get this job done. They wanted to keep those stakeholders in the room and this was the price some thought they had to pay. Now, it’s debatable about whether all of these assertions and promises are accurate, but that was the calculation. I think there is probably a good deal of truth to it. You look at past efforts and the doctors and the hospitals, and the insurance companies all opposed health care reform. This time, in various degrees of enthusiasm, they supported it. And if I had to point out some of the key differences between then and now, it would be the most important examples of the difference.
If the “stakeholders” supported it, that’s all the proof you need that it sucked. But this is the essence of the Democrats: pretend to be “progressive” while serving as stooges for capital. To outside observers, this sometimes seems weak and indecisive, but in fact this is what they’re all about.
but imagine how much worse it could be!
Maybe I’m not cynical enough, but one thing stands out as surprising to me from the insider accounts of the health insurance bailout and the aborted “Cap’n Trade” bill…
I’m used to the scenario where a lobbyist comes in and sells a congresscritter on a bill. “Senator Leghorn, we’ll do X for you if you agree to support this bill.” Sure, fine. Happens every day. Wouldn’t expect anything different.
It doesn’t even phase me that lobbyists write the bills.
“Lobbyist Sanders, we’ll do Y for you if you agree to support this bill.” Seriously? No, seriously. This is how healthcare reform got passed. Rahm & Daschle and whoever worked out a deal with Pharma and AHIP and the AMA, then they counted the votes and everything.
If you’ve had a chance to look over the New Yorker pice on Cap’n Trade, it says that while the bill was being drafted by Kerry, Graham and Lieberman, the senators and their staff aggressively courted lobbyists to get the thing passed.
The senators. Were courting. The lobbyists. Huh?
I mean I KNOW Marxistically that’s how it happens on a deep-structure level anyways, but for real? And they say it openly to reporters?
That’s the beauty of American life – it all happens pretty much in the open. Which is another reason that conspiracy thinking is such a waste of time.
Yeah, that’s what they always say.
Pingback: Why we love Dems (cont.) (via LBO News from Doug Henwood) « OntheWilderSide
sadly the stakeholders missing from many government meetings is the public.