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Why the Gang of 6 Is Deciding Health Care for 300 Million of Us by Robert Reich

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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:31 PM
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Why the Gang of 6 Is Deciding Health Care for 300 Million of Us by Robert Reich

Why the Gang of Six Is Deciding Health Care for Three Hundred Million of Us
by Robert Reich
Huffington Post
August 21, 2009


Last night, the so-called "gang of six" -- three Republican and three Democratic senators on the Senate Finance Committee -- met by conference call and, according to Senator Max Baucus, the committee's chair, reaffirmed their commitment "toward a bipartisan health-care reform bill" (read: less coverage and no public insurance option). The Washington Post reports that the senators shared tales from their home states, where some have been besieged by protesters angry about a potential government takeover of the nation's health care system.

It's come down to these six senators. The House has reported a bill as has another Senate committee, but all eyes are fixed on Senate Finance -- and on these three Dems and three Republicans, in particular. But who, exactly, anointed these six to decide the fate of the nation's health care?

I really don't get it. We have a Democratic president in the White House. Democrats control sixty votes in the Senate, enough to overcome a filibuster. It is possible to pass health care legislation through the Senate with 51 votes (that's what George W. Bush did with his tax cut plan). Democrats control the House. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is a tough lady. She has said there will be no health care reform bill without a public option.

It's not even as if the gang represents America. The three Dems on the gang are from Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota -- states that together account for just over 1 percent of Americans. The three Republicans are from Maine, Wyoming, and Iowa, which together account for 1.6 percent of the American population.

So, I repeat: Why has it come down to these six? Who anointed them? Apparently, the White House. At least that's what I'm repeatedly being told by sources both on the Hill and in the administration. "The Finance Committee is where the action is. They'll tee-up the final bill," says someone who should know.

Please read the complete article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/why-the-gang...
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Hawkeye-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Whatever the Finance committee comes out with this useless bill
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 03:36 PM by Hawkeye-X
Will be tossed away in conference, because the Gang of Six are wasting Amercian's time and they're all idiots.

Assuming that the full Senate even passes this crap (which I highly doubt it does).

Hawkeye-X
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, I guess we'll get another Contract On America congress in the mid-terms.
They'll finish us off by pulling social security and medicare. I envisioned a future of us stooped over dry earth, scratching for worms. It may come to that.
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targetpractice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Seems silly to expect anything from 3 Dems and 3 Republicans...
It's like playing tic-tac-toe... Neither side will win.

Maybe the gang of six should be seven (4 dems and 3 republicans) to reflect the make-up of the senate.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. And why choose the least progressive Dems?
Kerry, Rockefeller and Stabenow are on that committee too.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I've already been calling and emailing Stabenow..
me and many of my friends and family to tell her where we stand.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. That's good - I wish she was part of the gang of six! nt
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. She doesn't have to be she was suppose to be..
in the gang of 12 with Evan Bayh. She jumps all around trying to fit in as always.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I thought she was pretty progressive - isn't she? nt
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I think that she thinks she is but..
she seems to try to fit in.I don't agree with Bayh and his committee and I believe she is on it.
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yikes - I don't like Bayh's group either. nt
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is the part I wonder about...
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 04:59 PM by polichick
"Who anointed them? Apparently, the White House. At least that's what I'm repeatedly being told by sources both on the Hill and in the administration."


Why would the WH do the choosing, and why choose these six when they very obviously do not represent the country as a whole or the vote for change that took place in November??


k&r

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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. Also, to top it off..
the so called Dems are really republiCONS..
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Offering a public insurance OPTION
is NOT the same as a "government takeover" of health care in this country and it seems like that *should* be obvious to everybody. If people want to stick with their same crappy private insurance, I haven't heard anything proposed so far that's going to change THAT or force everybody to CHOOSE the public OPTION.
:banghead:

Now if the *poor* multimillion (billion?) dollar private health insurance industry can't compete with an OPTIONAL public insurance program, well, I guess that would mean that there is something horribly wrong with it. The only "choice" anybody has about health insurance right now is which corporation we want to have steal our money and deny us benefits as far as I'm concerned.
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