In a story about upcoming partisan battles, the L.A. Times says of the stimulus bill:
Most Republicans took no hand in crafting the enormous bill, brushing aside Democratic concessions such as including more tax cuts than Obama wanted, cutting back expansion of access to Medicaid to help the jobless, and other bows to GOP priorities.
What a bunch of jerks those Republicans were, taking no hand in drafting the bill despite allll those Democrat concessions!
The few concessions that were made were hardly a lovely gesture towards the concept of bipartisanship, as the paper suggests. They were a necessary compromise to obtain the bare minimum of GOP votes to overcome a Senate filibuster. But don’t look for the article to explain this fact. Instead, it portrays Democrats as interested in bipartisanship but unable to achieve it:
Democrats, meantime, displayed an unwonted level of unity with a calculation of their own: that voters would credit them with championing the idea of bipartisanship and not hold it against them if they did not produce it.
History is being rewritten in front of our eyes, friends. Nancy Pelosi wrote this bill behind closed doors and shut Republicans out of the process — and now, the L.A. Times is blaming Republicans for not participating in the crafting of the legislation and portraying Congressional Democrats as unsuccessfully trying to achieve bipartisanship.
By the way . . . good news! The argument for Obama’s health-care program? It’s relatively cheap! Hey, at least it isn’t a trillion dollars!
On the other hand, having visited the $1-trillion threshold, the $100-billion-plus cost of Obama’s healthcare plan may look like a rounding error.
The article also revisits the paper’s comical notion that there is a “consensus” on governmental intervention in health care. Recall that I recently mocked the paper for referring to an alleged “emerging consensus that the federal government must act decisively to help cover the roughly 46 million people in America who lack health insurance.” I noted that there is something short of a consensus about what to do about health care in this country.
The L.A. Times is just now starting to figure this out:
The stimulus debate gave important hints about how difficult the push for comprehensive healthcare legislation will be. Fights erupted over health provisions in the stimulus bill that had been considered consensus items: creating a nationwide system of electronic medical records, and comparative research about which medical treatments work best.
Hmm. Exactly who had considered these to be “consensus items”? Democrats in Congress? The guys at the water cooler at the L.A. Times?
I hate to say I told you so . . . ah, who am I kidding? I love saying that. I told you so. I told you there was no “consensus” on these issues! I told you so!
There also was tension — even among Democrats — about efforts to expand Medicaid, which critics said was a step toward creating government-run healthcare.
“The lesson here is that in healthcare nothing is easy, simple or widely agreed,” said Robert Laszewski, a health policy consultant.
Really? You don’t say!
So to sum up: those Republicans really should have taken a hand in crafting the stimulus; the Democrats tried to be bipartisan but were rebuffed. Also, it’s a shock that expanding government’s role in health care is controversial — we thought these were consensus items!
But hey, no liberal spin here . . .