Patterico's Pontifications


ObamaCare: Counting on the “Public Option”

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:39 am

[Posted by Karl]

Given all the talk about the fate of Democrats’ government-run health insurance proposal, it is worth taking a moment to look at where vote counts stand in Congress.

In the House, Democrats need the support of at least 15 of 52 Blue Dogs. An IBD survey, combined with news reports, turns up four Blue Dog supporters of the current House bill, and at least 13 Blue Dogs opposed to it. IBD’s list includes Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), who says he cannot support the current House bill, even though he was re-elected last year with 62% of the vote in his district. But it also includes nine Representatives who have supported the “public option,” if not the full bill. Given that the “public plan” is one of the most contentious points of the debate, that sounds like 13 of the necessary 15 votes (unless it gets tripped up on tax and budgeting issues, which seems unlikely in the House).

As for the Senate, Open Left’s Chris Bowers and FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver both try to get to 50 votes for the “public option,” but neither can quite get there… yet. Strangely, Silver at one point suggests that it is “far from clear” that 50 is the magic number, but ultimately concludes that the “public option” needs at least 50 votes worth of support overall. Indeed, for procedural reasons, Silver thinks a government-run plan needs the support of a majority of the Senate Finance Committee, but so far seems to have only seven of the 12 votes it will need.

That is not a shock. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the Budget Committee chairman and a key Finance Committee member, reiterated the point over the weekend, much to the chagrin of the HuffPo’s Ryan Grim and at least one peeved (but anonymous) Democratic leadership aide. They may wonder where he is getting his whip count, but they forget that Conrad’s co-op trial balloon was launched in June on behalf of the G-11 — the key Senate powerbrokers on health care. Accordingly, Silver may be right to infer that Conrad’s comments mean that Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus is lukewarm at best on the “public option,” and that swing Senators have said privately that they would prefer a bill without it.

Given the current state of play, the Right may feel encouraged, but those numbers are still too close for comfort. It is no time to take the heat off Congress opposing a government-run insurance plan.


57 Responses to “ObamaCare: Counting on the “Public Option””

  1. So, instead we will get government-funded “co-ops” running under strict government rules, with so much federal oversight and control that they will quickly become the “public option.” Same stalking horse, just starting a bit further back.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  2. So long as there is an entity that accepts all the worst-case insurance risks at healthy-adult prices, the burden on the taxpayer will be enormous.

    Is some level of health care a civil right? Obama’s folks think so. And if so, what level is that, how is the subsidy paid, by whom, etc?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  3. In many ways, there is a virtuous cycle operating here. The left is determined to have the option and may not be willing to support the bill without it. The blue dogs, much more concerned with public opinion since many come from districts and states that voted for McCain, may not be willing to walk the plank. They already are hoping people will forget the cap and trade votes they cast last spring. The longer this goes on the better since I think this bill is a poisoned chalice no matter what compromises may be floated. The bureaucratic structure that is established in incomprehensible and these people cannot be trusted for one instant. For example, the “stimulus bill” contained a billion dollars for the effectiveness research program.

    I’m all for effectiveness research in a neutral climate like at AHCPR. I don’t want Rahm Emmanuel or his eugenics obsessed brother anywhere near this. More here.

    in the Lancet last January, Dr. Emanuel said age was one of several factors that could be considered in deciding who receives scarce organs or vaccines. “Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination,” he wrote. “Every person lives through different life stages.”

    What else won’t they get ?

    Once again, I have mixed feelings about euthanasia and effectiveness research. I have previously posted my thoughts but this should not be linked to rationing and I think the bill does just that.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. If tylenol, stitches, and abortions are a human right that the state must provide to the people, then I would think blue-jeans, milk, electricity, and sneakers must also be a human right.

    I need food, clothing, and shelter more than I need a doctor’s care. Millions of people go without any medical care for decades with minimal effect on their lives. I have to wonder what government entitlement the democrats will promise once they get this one out there. Until every man NEEDS government spending and taxation to survive, the Democratic party will fight onward for its own job security.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  5. Mike K quotes the Lancet. Of course, we all should know by now that everything from the Lancet is probably riddled with lies.

    Not that the quote is wrong. I actually think it’s perfectly reasonable to ration organs to the young first. To an extent. But Emmanuel wants to take away choices by combining his eugenic approach with a system that destroys competition. If an older person can get health insurance that does what he wants, I really don’t care if there’s a cheaper plan for young people. That’s normal rationing. But all these interferences will take away our freedom, and our quality of life will suffer badly.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  6. What happens when a majority in Congress passes something the majority of the American people do not want? If you cede to the government control of heathcare the freedoms lost are enormous. Practically every activity in life has health implications. Look what has happened to our educational system since the feds got their foot in the door. This is plainly unconstitutional.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  7. At what point will Barack have been dicking around trying to whap our little country upside the head with his dirty socialist health care scheme when he should have been working on creating jobs?

    It feels like we’re getting really close.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  8. I don’t get his point in the PuffHo article, including the populations of the states represented by the various Senators. I know the left despises the Constitution, I guess his point is that the entire concept of each state having 2 Senators and an equal seat at the table is unfair or or despicable or wrong, and they should defer to the Senators to more populous states.

    Of course, that doesn’t apply to Republican Texan or Floridian Senators who might oppose Senator Dodd from Delaware (783,600) or New Hampshire (1,235,786) or Hawaii (1,211,537) or Rhode Island (1,048,319) Democrat Senators who support it. The entire construct if idiotic, but par for a democrat logician/demagogue.

    docweasel (3d20d9)

  9. I agree with Juan that Lancet has lost the cachet it once had as, for example, being the first to publish Lister’s paper on antisepsis. That was 1867 and they held up well until the past 20 years when the lefties got control, just like New England Journal.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. I am not understanding these conzerns you peoples haff. Der health care ko-operatif zounds sehr gut to me. Ve heff die ko-op farms bek in Ukraine where mine family come from, und is big sucksess!

    Prezident Obama vill pring Amerika into the 20th century mit ko-operatif health kare. Chust as our ko-op farms, many Ukrainians no longer cried out for food. Komplaints (or komplainers) disappeared overnight. You will like it to be assimilate into the kollective.

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

  11. I think the game plan here is to dragoon all these healthy, strapling, presently uninsured youngsters into subsidizing the “pre-existing condition” unfortunates.

    Flint (6fdd8d)

  12. They will try every double-speak disingenuous tactic that they can think of to get the nose of the government underneath the tent. Single-payer will ultimately follow.

    JD (b86ae5)

  13. Juan you make excellent points that the Left will ignore. Everything that someone else pays for is a human right to them as yourightly point out.

    To oppose them is to be greedy, racist and facist.

    Its amusing to see the lemmings here worshiping their jackal who would pull the plug on his own granny.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  14. I really do hate supercache.

    JD (b86ae5)

  15. I want to know, specifically, who TJ thinks are the lemmings worshipping the jackal, and his basis for that conclusion.

    JD (b86ae5)

  16. There are two things that the Obama administration needs to be doing:

    Short term: righting the ecomony, preferably by strengthening the free market.

    Long term: providing the leadership framework for the free-market economy to transition away from fossil fuels over the next few decades.

    Instead, we have universal health care front and center, the top-down cap-and-trade regime instead of long-term planning, and nationalization of industry.

    It’s not that I want to see Obama fail, it’s more like how can he not with this crap?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  17. The reason for the new coop plan being flouted by the Democrats is a way to create giant money losing bureaucracies. These new coops will be highly regulated and will be forced to accept people with pre-existing conditions. At some point, these coops will need rescuing and the Democrats will again declare the system is broken and unsustainable. The only way to “fix” this
    problem will be some form of a nationalized public health system. Thats the way the Democrats do business, they light a fire and then create a bureaucracy to put it out.

    Daniel (88c038)

  18. (Obama, waving a Romper Room Magic Hopey Mirror.)

    “Proggy, boggy, foggy blue. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Hopey Mirror, tell me today, did all my friends support me in every way?



    “And you know, friends, I see you…. all of you …”

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  19. Interestingly enough, the Dutch who have been pointed to as an example by Obama, have reversed course and now have gone to an all private insurance model. I have a discussion here. They changed the law in 2006. I wonder if Obama even knows ? God knows he knows little about a lot of his statements.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  20. You teabaggers are all just racist hatemongers attacking The Messiah. And according to a totally unbiased journalism professor, the conservative-fearing MSM has been unhealthily silent about it.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R. (a18ddc)

  21. JD

    Gee it must be really hard to guess the answer for this. How about those who argue that imposing government control of the medical system isn’t socialist. Or how about that this huge expansion is something to be welcomed based on the governments incredible delivery of performance in Scoial Security, Medicare, Medicaid, every great society prohgram under the sun, AMTRAK, the Congress’s inability to produce a balanced budget in 40 odd years. Its amazing VA and Insdian reservation management and healthcare delivery.

    How did I reach this conclusion. One does learn from others mistakes and its so much fun to watch liberals babble and waste trillions and tell us how if we only spend more.

    Now I’d like to know why JD thinks such people aren’t lemmings and the basis for his conclusion.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  22. TJ has the potential to drown in a bowl of Cheerios. Specifically, what individuals are you referring to, TJ? You have used that exact phrase to refer to all sorts. I am curious as to who you are calling that, not the group of people, but the actual people, and why.

    Why are you so angry and hatey?

    JD (741133)

  23. #21 Thomas Jackson:

    Now I’d like to know why JD thinks such people aren’t lemmings and the basis for his conclusion.

    I would conjecture that the use of the word “here” in your original comment led him to believe that you were referring to readers of this blog.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  24. Fortunately, Mike K’s use of the Lancet does not depend upon the credibility of the Lancet – which as Mike K alludes to has gone to the toilet after the Lancet’s publication of several overtly faked papers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. Capitalizing on the success of Palin’s ‘death panels’ to scare people, it’s time for opponents to move on to the next set of images.

    Next to bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies, I believe there’s a huge public resistance to setting up yet another government bureaucracy. And while we might smile at the inefficiency of the post office or the local DMV, it isn’t a laughing matter when it comes to our health.

    Thus, I propose something along the lines of ‘who you gonna call?‘.. where a patient and his doctor, trying to get approval for a desperately needed procedure, run into the hell of government inefficiency, incompetence and apathy. (yes, government workers will hate it and accuse critics of demonizing them, but if the opposition is going to mobilize the public against Obamacare, they’ve got to break a few eggs…)

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  26. JD why are you so angry? Why do you project your own failings so frequently? I’ve noted this habbit of yours. Do you really think you can use it as a substitute for thought and evidence?

    Why not try to rebut my arguments raher than resort to such cheap smears.

    By the way how often do you beat your wife?

    I’m still waiting for a response rather than your recitation of your obvious personal failings.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  27. #23

    Are there people here how cheer on the government control of the medical sector in the comment section? Are there people here who believe a man who slimes the medical profession as one that would cut off someone’s feet for an extra profit can be trusted not to pull the plug on granny depsite his own statements readers here. Are there comments here that aren’t out of place when a union member beats up someone who doesn’t support a government takeover of 16% of the economy?

    I believe the casual observer realizes what the truth is.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  28. Ah, unable or unwilling. Either way, you are tiring, and boring. You have repeatedly accused people of being socialists and worship of the jackal because they disagree with you. When asked for clarification of who, specifically, you are referring to, and what leads you to believe that said individuals worship the jackal. The saddest part of your angry hatey tirades is that from time to time you make a good point. But you seem to enjoy friendly fire. Whatever is missing in your life, I hope you find it.

    JD (3086d2)

  29. Anyone got a better way to insure that the indigent and feckless get the same quality medical care as those who are presently well-insured? Or force medical and nursing schools to adopt broader affirmative action policies? It’s all about spreading it around.

    Flint (6fdd8d)

  30. Well, frankly, I don’t, Flint. Because I don’t think that everyone is entitled to exactly the same quality of medical care.

    This forced equalization is not going to raise everyone to the highest level of care. It can’t. Especially not in conjunction with Obama’s goal of reducing total health care expenditure.

    Forced equalization means everyone will get some mediocre level of care. Well, except for the political elite. That’s the lesson of nationalized health care world wide.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. jd:

    You can’t seem to respond to any of the obersvations I have made. Try real hard. Try and force yourself to confront 4eality and respond with some evidence and reasoned argument. Think what a sense of accomplishment you’ll have.

    If you do it once maybe you can do it again. Then you won’t have you rely on your tired projections.

    By the way I do want fries with my order little man.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  32. Force medical schools to use broader affirmative action?

    Really, that’s what you want? People who have no earned the way to be doctors to become doctors? That’s what I want, some surgeon to operate on me who only got there because of affirmative action, not because he did well in biology or anatomy in undergrad. I’m sure there is some reason that those subjects are racist and people can’t do well lin them based on the color of their skin, but even so, I think I’ll avoid any AA doctors.

    Monkeytoe (93fd7a)

  33. Watch it Monkeytoe the ususal suspects will be calling you racist for opposing the admission of certain minorities into medical school regardless of their qualifications. Doesn’t everyone wish to be treated by a doctor who wouldn’t have ordinarily have been admitted but our society can now boast it has “leveled the playing field?”

    I can’t wait till the Left demands that all Tarzans are played by one legged men and the NBA must admit dwarfs to insure diversity.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  34. I think TJ’s midget Thai tranny hooker must be on vacation this week and he’s built up a lot of stress.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  35. Flint was obviously mocking the position of forcing AA or equal care.

    As he should. Both are really stupid ideas aimed at creating dependency on democrats winning elections.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  36. FYI, on the topic of health care, here’s today’s headline from the Great White North:

    Canada: Doctors’ debate opens door to private delivery of health care

    ras (20bd5b)

  37. No, really. I think a course of medical treatment should be a glorious fruition of affirmative-action “inclusiveness.”

    Looks to me like some of you who have it made would be a little more willing to take one for the team.

    Flint (6fdd8d)

  38. Bradley, that column and some of the comments were hilarious. I really think a lot of these people are serious and don’t understand how lame their thinking is.

    David Axelrod’s former PR firm is getting a ton of money from the health care ad campaign. That must be a coincidence. It will be in Politico tomorrow. Good thing it isn’t Karl Rove’s former firm because that would be wrong.

    The unions are starting to flex muscles with the blue dogs. I wonder why they want single payer ? Of course, from what I hear they are exempt. I do know they are opposed to taxing health plans. The reasoning seems to be pretty Machiavellian.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  39. #34


    I guess this is what passes for enlightened thought amongst the insane Chicago clown posse. It does so elevate the tone of the debate here. Good to see you are maintaining the standards and reputation of the Insane Clown posse. We expect nothing less.

    Daleys brillance-“I think TJ’s midget Thai tranny hooker must be on vacation this week and he’s built up a lot of stress”

    I look forward to more reviews on tranny hookers from a founding member of NAMBLA’s Chicago chapter. Keep up the good work.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  40. Thomas Jackson,

    I’ve mentioned before that constantly attacking others was unwise. You may wish to reconsider your chosen course. Quickly. Just sayin’

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  41. Stassi:

    I hope Patterico reviews these threads very carefully to see who is constantly attacking others and flinging feeces. I hope Patterico reviews the contend and substance of each comment to see who initiated these attacks and who repeatedly asked for a civil rebuttal and evidence to rebut his comments.

    I believe if he does so the tone of this blog will be elevated.

    Recently Patterico engaged in a lengthly post about those who twisted, lied and misquoted him.

    I find it amazing after having quoted Daleyrocks, one of your buds that you warn me about attacks.

    I find this informative. I would like to speak with Patterico directly and perhaps you’ll provide his email so I can contact him directly about this matter. I am sure the readers here will appreciate it.


    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  42. who’s the new moonbat, and why isn’t someone checking ID’s at the door?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  43. If you read the front page, or any comment page, you see:

    About Patterico

    Pronounced “Patter-EE-koh”

    E-mail: Just use my moniker Patterico, followed by the @ symbol, followed by

    Does that make it easy enough for you? Be my guest.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  44. Thomas, his e-mail is on the web site. You do seem a bit strident at times. More light and less heat is always good.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  45. I find this informative. I would like to speak with Patterico directly and perhaps you’ll provide his email so I can contact him directly about this matter. I am sure the readers here will appreciate it.

    If you’re unable to find something posted on every page on this blog, you really shouldn’t be writing him.

    He’s a busy guy, and I would hate for him to get a headache reading your idiocy.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  46. hey TJ: why don’t you stretch that giant, economy size intellect you are so inordinately proud of and find out Pat’s email all by your lonesome?

    since you’re so much smarter than all the rest of us, you should have no problem figuring it out, just like we all managed to do…..

    in the mean time, may i be the first to suggest that you GPS?

    no love,

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  47. Never get into an online argument with someone who has far more spare time than you do.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  48. Let the market decide.
    Don’t let the government bureaucrat get between you and your doctor, or between you and your insurance company, which is between you and your doctor but has your best interests in mind. They say so in their ads.
    Let the insurance companies decide whether grandma lives or dies. Those companies want to and have to make profits, sure, but they’ll do right by granny. That’s how it works. Look at their ads.
    Don’t let the government intrude. Let the free market decide. If people at the shallow end of the gene pool happen to drown in low water, that’s The Big Market in The Sky at work. Everything has been just fine for decades, especially these several decades during which I’ve had a great employer-paid insurance plan. I think the market works.

    Larry Reilly (45c8f2)

  49. Larry Reilly, your streak of never contributing a substantive comment is unbroken.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  50. I have to say that “flinging feeces” is right up there with “I work here is done.”

    Angry, angry man, huh? And on more than one thread!

    Eric Blair (76bb2a)

  51. #47 Kevin Murphy:

    Never get into an online argument with someone who has far more spare time than you do.

    LOL! Very wise advice, and not just online.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  52. Who has a lot of spare time are aging Canadian models what may or may not be skanky. Models like Liskula Cohen, for example.

    happyfeet (d8cd81)

  53. #49 SPQR: Were I a betting man (okay, I do…but my statistics prof doesn’t call it “betting”), I would wager that Mary’s string will remain unbroken during my lifetime.

    #50 Eric Blair:

    Angry, angry man, huh?

    Very strident, nu? And right on par with “I work…”

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  54. Did TJ finally pass out or was he put in moderation?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  55. No one new is in moderation so I assume we’re all practicing self-control.

    DRJ (d8773e)

  56. It’s easy to practice self-control when you’re gone for a few hours.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  57. Hell yes, were against coop. Have you ever heard of collective farming that is one of the tenants of communism. Health care is good as it is right now. Of course portability and the ability to buy health care in another state at a lower rate are good option. Also a tax credit for those who work isn’t a bad idea.

    what was possibly good about barac’s plan with a little tweaking of course was the death panels Why?

    1. Do not pick on WWII seniors they are intelligent and bright and contributed far more to society than any acorn worker. They need the best health care.

    2. Military members need the best health care.

    3. People with normal or above IQs need the best healthcare.

    4. Business owners need the best health care.

    Okay here is the list of those who need barac’s blue pill:

    1. Acorn workers
    2. Subsistent welfare recipients.
    3. Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Walters, etc.
    4. code pink
    5. al gore and his global warming flat earth unevolusionists.
    6. gang bangers
    7. UAW workers
    8. social workers
    9. north korea, venezuela, and cuban leaders.

    So barac blue pill plan wasn’t all bad.

    Angelia (12d7e6)

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