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View Diary: ALL Hands On Deck: CALL Congress Today On Health Bill! (280 comments)

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  •  I've called before and I'd be happy to call again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, Cure7802

    but I need to understand your political strategy here.  What exactly are we supposedly pushing for, that leads to our enacting actual legislation, and how does that work?

    I'm open to being convinced -- but all I see here is our telling people to vote no.  Voting no on things does not enact legislation.  Please explain your theory here.

    •  as in what happens after we kill the bill? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      those theories?

      the ones about how this congress will somehow see the light and come up with something better if this bill gets shot down?

      stuff like that?

      The problem with people who need to follow leaders is that they need to follow leaders.

      by Cedwyn on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:52:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're forcing it down to the path of (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MD patriot, krikkit4, louavul, elwior, DFH, CMYK

      reconciliation if there's a bloc of opposition to the Senate bill in the House.

      I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

      by slinkerwink on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 09:58:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some questions, then (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What provisions do we think that we can get into reconciliation?

        What provisions do we think that we can get out of reconciliation (with 50 votes)?

        Why do we assume that reconciliation will be easier if we haven't sent this bill to conference -- I still do not want it to be ping-ponged and don't believe that it will be -- than if we have?

        If this bill goes to conference right now, it's going to sit there until there are 60 Senate votes and 218 House votes for passage.  We may never get there.  I see absolutely no reason to kill it now.  All we need is pledges from people not to support it until a separate reconciliation tack has been tried.

        Then, if reconciliation works, we're free to put the things we want into the bill.  In that case -- if there's a public option passed through reconciliation, among some other possibilities -- we can let the insurers know that they still have the carrot of mandates (in exchange for very needed -- though still improvable -- insurance reforms.)

        Right now, you say you want reconciliation -- but there are other possible proposals, such as passing the bill, taking out the unpopular mandates, and holding them hostage for real improvements.  Your path seems to foreclose on that possibility.  This wouldn't bother me so much if I thought that it would work -- but, although I'm willing to work and call for it, I don't think it will.

        In that case, your proposal ends up cutting off the other possible path we have to real reform.  I therefore can't support it.  Get the bill into conference, let it sit in the freezer while we pursue a parallel track of reconciliation, and I'm entirely on board.  We do not have to kill this bill right now.  But I do want a bill this year, while we are probably at our height of political power.

        I accept that reasonable people can disagree about strategy here.  Do you?

    •  Here is what I see happening (6+ / 0-)

      The Senate has been forced into the position of letting the Lieberman for Lieberman (i.e. not a Democrat) Senator dictate what is not in the Senate bill.  Specifically, the Senate bill will have individual mandates with little affordability and no mechanism (like a public option or Medicare expansion or stringent regulation) to make insurance companies not gouge--which is one of the problems reform was supposed to fix.  So to your Senator, you ask them to vote to strip individual mandates from the bill.

      If the bill as it is passes the Senate (more likely than not), it goes to conference.  The fact that some members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have said they will join Republicans to filibuster if they don't get what they want automatically puts pressure on the House side to capitulate on any affordability measures (in the case of the House bill, a public option).

      So you should call members of the House Progressive Caucus and ask them to stand firm on their decision, in a letter to the Speaker before the House passed its bill, to not vote for any bill that lacks a public option.  And by stand firm, I mean outlast Lieberman, Conrad, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, and any others when push comes to shove on the final vote.  The leadership of the House needs to know that they cannot be rolled this time.

      That will make the conference more likely to not deliver shitty legislation.  But if it does, the House Progressives need to deliver their No votes and stop the bill completely.  And express openness to considering modified legislation.  Then Obama has a choice.  How badly does he want his bill? Will he go to the mat for a bill supported by progressives or will he twist the arms of progressives to let a poor bill through.

      Because, if the bill that Obama signs has individual mandates and no cost controls, the public will reject it, vote against Democrats in 2010, and Republicans will try to get it repealed before any of the benefits take effect.

      Does that help?

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Thu Dec 17, 2009 at 11:23:28 AM PST

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