Patterico's Pontifications

2/22/2010

ObamaCare: The White House proposal

Filed under: General — Karl @ 6:25 pm



[Posted by Karl]

Although Patterico and DRJ have covered the basics, Pat asked me for additional comment.  Substantively, I would add that the White House version of ObamaCare hikes the mandate penalty and bulldozes existing health insurance policies more that the versions passed by each chamber of Congress.  However, it is not clear that the substance of the White House draft matters (yet).

It is obvious to anyone paying attention that the White House draft, like the Potemkin “health summit” Pres. Obama is staging this week, is primarily about setting the stage for Congressional Democrats to push ObamaCare through in a partisan fashi0n via budget reconciliation.  The latest draft is: (a) a convenient document for Obama to use in his attempt to set up the GOP as the bad guys at the meeting; (b) Obama’s suggested compromise to House and Senate Dems; or (c) both of the above.  Thus, the question is how well it serves those purposes, especially (b), as the point of the exercise is to get Congress moving.

By that measure, the success of the White House draft seems mixed.  Earlier today, ABC News reported:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., believes passing the bill is “possibly doable,” a senior White House official said. “But she may ultimately decide the math is impossible.”

If that does not work, the next plan is to push a more modest bill — a smaller expansion of health insurance reform, some tax breaks for small businesses to help provide insurance for employees, a more modest expansion of Medicaid and the creation of the health insurance exchanges.

On the other hand, House Maj. Whip James Clyburn came out a few hours later to claim that the Dems would pass a new healthcare reform bill with a larger majority than it did on its first bill.  Is that claim backed by the reaction of members, as Clyburn claimed — or was it damage control for Pelosi’s comments?  No one really knows.

What we do know is that the White House draft mostly reflects the negotiations that occurred between House and Senate Dems before the election of Scott Brown denied Dems a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.  And we were told that Dems were close to a final deal at that point.  But if such a deal was in place then — and the House is on board now — the House would be geared up to pass the Senate bill and “fix” it with a reconciliation bill.  Yet there is little sign that is the case… for now.  The White House draft — and the “summit” — do not seem to have changed the underlying fundamentals, i.e., that the House is not keen to pass the Senate bill, which makes reconciliation procedurally difficult.  That’s why the White House needs the “summit.” The Democrats have continually their members further down the plank, based on the need to “keep the process moving.” Now they are inventing new steps in the process.

–Karl

14 Responses to “ObamaCare: The White House proposal”

  1. Without the CBO, they are dead in the water. I hope the GOP is smart enough to take advantage of Thursday and pose some basic points about reform. The big one for Medicare would allow balance billing and freeze the reimbursements. That would turn Medicare into vouchers. That would be the best reform.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. The whole thing makes no sense. It does not seem to actually match any kind of “compromise” between House and Senate versions.

    And what is this doing out now from the White House more than a year late?

    Keystone Kops.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. Mike K, I am sad to say that I don’t think the GOP is smart enough to put forward anything like your sensible suggestions.

    The Obami are counting on the MSM spinning whatever happens at the “summit” as a major victory for our glorious leader. They hope to cause a swing in public opinion toward any of the Democratic proposals that would cause nervous House and Senate Democrats to get on board with the reconciliation maneuver.

    Stu707 (0981d5)

  4. “The Obami are counting on the MSM spinning whatever happens at the “summit” as a major victory for our glorious leader.”

    Chances are it will be like the House GOP retreat.

    imdw (00bfab)

  5. In the two years barry spent in the Senate he failed to craft any legislation of substance.

    Now he wants a do over? I am the president, this is my bill, when do we vote?

    Once he is defeated in 2012 perhaps he will go back to college and get grades this time.

    highpockets (40ce09)

  6. Chances are it will be like the House GOP retreat.

    Perhaps. My point is that the media will report whatever happens there as a triumph for Obama whether or not that is objectively true.

    Stu707 (0981d5)

  7. So this is just an exercise in getting their base all sweaty and aroused? That’s so gross.

    But even their base is sick to death of hearing about this crap.

    Hope and change wasn’t supposed to be so damn tedious I don’t think.

    happyfeet (713679)

  8. I would add that the White House version of ObamaCare hikes the mandate penalty

    And certainly one more way the IRS is going to snoop on, nitpick and nag at, and harrass the American taxpayer.

    Mark (411533)

  9. Still, any kind of win on health care would be good for Obama right now. For a president, victory often begets victory, defeat spawns defeat. A modest achievement would allow Obama to move on to other pressing issues, claiming credit for getting something done despite the harshest partisan environment in years.

    Do Associated Press propaganda whores Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Erica Werner really think today’s partisan environment is “harsher” than when dirty socialists and their media were viciously politicizing a hurricane in 2005? Or would they just have us believe that the situation today is “unprecedented?”

    Could it be maybe that everything the little president man encounters is unprecedented just cause of he’s unprecedentedly not cut out for the job?

    Yes. It could be that I think.

    happyfeet (713679)

  10. Amen, happyfeet

    JD (f56a68)

  11. The CBO score is in. CBO said, in essence, you cannot divide by zero so the score is unattainable. What CBO said, in actuality, was they could not score Obama’s plan because it was too short on specifics. I can’t remember which blog I saw the quote from CBO on, but they put out that message Monday sometime.

    John Hitchcock (09c20b)

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