The larger problem is that any significant changes to the Senate bill will kick in the Lieberman/Nelson problem, where one or the other will threaten to join a filibuster. There will be no significant changes to the Senate bill, period. This is the price we pay for the White House dropping the ball months ago. And actually, it's the price every American pays for the White House's lack of spine.Howie P.S.: There may be some quibbling over what constitutes "significant changes" as the House leadership seeks some face-saving fixes before approving the final bill. The photo (above) is from Ben Smith's story "Chuck and Ben go hunting" about the November Nelson-Schumer hunting expedition in Nebraska.
The White House likes to disseminate talking points about how anyone who is upset about the Senate bill clearly doesn't appreciate the needs of the 30 million Americans who will get (be forced to buy) insurance via the bill. One could just as easily note that the White House doesn't appreciate the needs of the 300 million Americans who now won't have access to a much better and much cheaper public option because the President refused to put up a fight.
There is simply no way to fix the bill at this point. Lieberman and Nelson own the president and the Congress. This is why Joe and I have been complaining for a good half a year about the President not being sufficiently involved in this process. Once you screw it up, it can't be fixed. Hopefully a lesson has been learned for coming debates on climate change, immigration, gay rights and beyond.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Aravosis: : "There will be no significant changes to the Senate bill, period."
John Aravosis (AMERICAblog):