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"White House Floating 'Snowe' Trigger"???

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:31 PM
Original message
"White House Floating 'Snowe' Trigger"???
Edited on Wed Sep-02-09 06:36 PM by ProSense
by Marc Ambinder

White House Floating "Snowe" Trigger

Senior White House officials, in conversations with reporters today, are floating the idea that President Obama is secretly negotiating with Sen. Olympia Snowe over a health care compromise that would phase in a government-funded health care alternative if private insurance companies fail to meet quality and cost benchmarks over a certain period of the time. The public discussion of the Snowe "compromise" is meant to test the reaction of House Democrats, who will pass a bill that includes an immediate public option added to a new health insurance exchange. The White House hopes that, having voted for a public option, House Dems would accept a "trigger" as part of a conference committee compromise rather than putting the kibosh on the entire health care reform project. In some ways, this strategy is old, and in some ways it's new. For months, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been pushing the idea of a "trigger" internally, and he and Snowe regularly trade legislative and political intelligence. When President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress next week, he will present an outline of a comprehensive health care bill -- one that will be universal in character. Privately, the White House is signaling that Obama is willing to sign a bill that is less than universal in its coverage ambitions, though the President will not say so publicly.

Liberal/progressive proponents of a "robust" public option are skeptical of claims by reporters that Obama won't threaten to veto a bill without a public option Unfortunately, the skepticism, accompanied by harranguing over anonymous sources, is misplaced -- Obama hasn't ever threatened to veto a bill without a public option and won't. For a while now, Obama's aides have believed that the 50-odd progressives in the House who are demanding a public option will get their jollies if they can pass a bill out of the House, and that they will be too afraid to oppose a bill that makes it out of a subsequent conference committee -- a bill that President Obama would specifically endorse. For now, the administration will proceed as if both the House and Senate would pass health care legislation via the normal process. The threat of passing a bill through reconciliation is "real," but it still isn't the "go" option because it is, as of yet, politically unsalable, at least in the opinion of White House aides. The politics of health care have been distorted, they believe, to the point where Obama needs to make the case that the regular (even a-historical) congressional procedure is being used by obstructionists to prevent the passage of the bill. This may be self-evident to some Democrats, but the American people aren't there yet, and until they're there, the White House will do whatever it can to build its 60 vote supermajority.

(emphasis added)

On edit: "politically unsalable"? To whom? Obama and other Democrats, including Reid, have floated this option.

These stories are utter bullshit.

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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. 80% of Americans Want A Public Option, Period
We voted for change, and we voted in a Democratic President and strong majorities in both houses of Congress. If we can't get change then, as Dr. Dean says, we'll make more change.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. And when will the "individual mandate" go into effect?
If an individual mandate goes into effect before the public option, those of us on the left will be furious. No bail-out of the corrupt health insurance cabal until a roust public option goes into effect!

:dem:

-Laelth
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. Even if it was true.........
it has that Rahm stink to it. Everyone needs to flood the white house and respective congressional offices with calls and mail. No true public option = we sit and the let the party self immolate. A better democratic party will arise from the ashes. I really don't think they have a clue that the people who put them in power are not bluffing.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. How will the govt know if the trigger should be pulled? Bush wouldn't
Edited on Wed Sep-02-09 06:46 PM by Ilsa
pull the trigger if the insurance companies failed to live up to the agreement. Dick Cheney only pulls triggers when the gun is pointed at his friends.

How are we going to be certain that the govt will report honestly on when "the jig is up" and a public choice becomes mandatory?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. A trigger in a Senate bill doesn't mean that it will be in the final bill
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Don't they vote again after conference?
Are we assuming the trigger lover(s) will change their mind and still vote for the bill without the trigger?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. it won't matter as long as they don't sustain a filibuster
we will only need 51 votes.



But it may be a shadow play - start with a trigger agreement and exchange it for stronger insurance that it will be deficit neutral.


I think that for many the question of being deficit neutral is more important than the public option.


(If it works this way expect every bridge in Maine to be rebuilt!) The President has tremendous power and Snowe is getting ready to cash in on the political jackpot of a decade - especially if she gets an agreement not to run somebody against her.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Right, if there is no filibuster, 51 votes passes it, no need for reconciliation. Still,
if reconciliation is what it takes to keep the public option intact, use it.

Either way, Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu can go to hell. They're to the right of Snowe on this issue.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. True, but look at the bolded line.
These shill and the media are trying to create the impression that it will.

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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Can I be the first to suggest this might be a "Snowe Job"?
Or am I too late?? :shrug:
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quantass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. But a trigger leaves open for Repubs to Repeal it if they regain power
They can repeal this whole thing before it takes affect if they get power. If it is initiated right away it gives time for public to like it and harder to repeal in the future. like medicare.
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. Swap a trigger....
....which will be activated, because the insurance companies can't and won't hold costs down or make needed reforms, for a shorter delay of a HR 3200 clone, with a more speedy implementation of the post-trigger legislation, say 2011.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page said on Olbermann unnamed WH source talking 2-year trigger
Edited on Wed Sep-02-09 07:50 PM by flpoljunkie
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. More anonymous sources. n/t
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. More Kool-Aid drinking on your part
Ask yourself, why is the White House floating so many trial balloons?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. At least I'm not drinking the media's Kool-Aid, like you apparently prefer to do.
Anonymous sources are BS, and the line about reconciliation is pure nonsense.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I suppose you also discounted Seymour Hersh reporting on plans to bomb Iran
Edited on Wed Sep-02-09 09:32 PM by IndianaGreen
Or do you only accept anonymous sources when they put the other guy in a bad light?
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Isn't that about when the health Care reform package is supposed to take effect anyways?
Around 2011-12?
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uberblonde Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. Oh, come on.
Everyone knows the "unnamed" aide is Rahm Emanuel - who's always wanted a trigger to make insurance companies happy.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
16. Why is the White House floating trial balloons about triggers and 2-year delay?
How can we sit still on our collective asses when we see the games being played in the Beltway at our expense?

The Divisions in the White House Over Health-Care Reform

This is health-care reform's endgame, or close to it. Next Wednesday, Barack Obama will give a prime-time address before both houses of Congress. But that's not all he's giving Congress. The administration is going to put a plan down on paper. The question is what it will say.

Conversations with a number of White House officials make it clear that, at this point, even they don't know. The argument was raging as recently as last night, and appears to have hardened into two main camps. Both camps agree that the cost of the bill has to come down. The question is how much, and what can be sacrificed.

The first camp could be called "universal-lite." They're focused on preserving the basic shape of the bill. They think a universal plan is necessary for a number of reasons: For one thing, the insurance market regulations don't work without universality, as you can't really ask insurers to offer standard prices if the healthy and the young don't have to enter the system. For another, it will be easier to change subsidies or improve the benefit package down the road if the initial offerings prove inadequate. New numbers are easier than new features. Creating a robust structure is the most important thing. This camp seems to be largely headed by the policy people.

The second camp is not universal at all. This camp believes the bill needs to be scaled back sharply in order to ensure passage. Covering 20 million people isn't as good as covering 40 million people, but it's a whole lot better than letting the bill fall apart and covering no one at all. It's also a success of some sort, and it gives you something to build on. What that sacrifices in terms of structure it gains in terms of political appeal. This camp is largely headed by members of the political team.

Both camps accept that the administration's proposal will be less generous than what has emerged from either the HELP or House Committees. The question, it seems, is how much less generous.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/the...
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. I know- how about a trigger for the trigger! No- a trigger for the trigger for the trigger!
Will that give them enough time to deny more coverage & rip off everybody some more before they cash in? Or better yet- more time for the Blue Dogs/Republicans to repeal any of these "triggers"?

I mean, I'd hate to rush anything.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Trigger was Roy Rogers' horse, and he is long dead
Blue Dogs should be euthanized!
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brooklynite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-02-09 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. I was thinking about this as a strategy...
I know it won't go over well here, but it allows us to impose the policy elements (transportability, no pre-existing condition exclusions, etc.) and places the burden on the Republicans to prove the "miracle of the private sector" can bring down costs or face Government intervention.
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