Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

How will we win the Congressional votes to pass universal healthcare?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:32 AM
Original message
How will we win the Congressional votes to pass universal healthcare?
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/04/08/the_pol... /

It is time, I think, to face the realpolitik of health care reform. This means asking a question few reformers dare to discuss: How will we win the Congressional votes needed to pass universal care?

The American Prospects Ezra Klein put this question on the table at Take Back Americas conference three weeks ago: There are so many people in this town who do such smart policy thinking, he observed, but what we dont give enough thought to is the politics of reform. Yet this is a political problem. Without the votes, Klein told his audience, you dont have a plan; you have a position.

Some reformers seem to assume that if we elect a progressive president, he will put the votes together to achieve reform. But the fact is that even an optimistic, charismatic JFK wasnt able to persuade Congress to unite behind healthcare for the elderly in the early 1960sat a time when seniors were the poorest group in America. It was only after Kennedy was assassinated that a wily LBJ (who had grown up in Congress, knew where the bodies were buried on the Hill, and had won by a landslide) was able to leverage a martyred presidents last wishes to push Medicare legislation through Congress.

This time around, nailing the votes that would secure something like Medicare for Everyone Who Wants It will be much, much tougher. I see three major obstacles to reform:

--A Lack of Social Solidarity
--The High Cost of Care
--Lobbyists Who Will Resist Any Efforts to Control Costs

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. To Quote John Adams:
"By physical force, if necessary!"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. Obama should expose those who won't vote for it and then we vote the bastards out and get others...
that will vote for it. I'm not sure but I think people could do a recall on them to get them out as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. My partner had the same idea....
Use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to expose anyone who won't go along with it. Hold regular updates at press conferences. Keep the pressure on those who won't go along.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. That's what they all think going in, but it doesn't work that way.
The problem is that the insurance companies have experience at this, even if Obama doesn't. Their normal mode of operation is to go along with the plan until it reaches the legislation phase--that way the president thinks they are on his side, and the people stay someone hopeful on it. Once the legislation is formed, though, the PR firms go to work. They launch national ads raising questions about key elements of the plan. Usually they lie about those key elements in a way that makes it hard to counter, and questions begin to be raised. In 93, their meme was "We need healthcare reform, but not this plan."

So while some doubts are being raised nationally, the insurance companies get their pollsters to work. They find the swing districts--districts where voters are on the fence, or against the plan to start with. And they target senators up for reelection. They go to work on these local voters, running ads, doing mailers, whatever they have to. They turn these voters against the plan, and these voters push their representatives against it. They make it look like community activism if they can.

A president has to able to convince Congresscritters to vote against their own futures, to give up their political careers for good. LBJ was able to do this with Civil Rights. Clinton did it with his contraversial early spending bills. And he or she has to know how to bribe, threaten, cajol, and extort every single vote. It takes giving away stuff you don't want to give away, usually. For all the good stuff Clinton did, he gave away a lot to accomplish it, and the reward he got was his own core turning on him for doing what he had to do to get anything done.

Recall elections won't happen. No one will make a speech that sways all the voters. The American people will not rise up and demand it, or at least they won't rise up and demand the passage of specific legislation. Doubts are easy to raise, and once raised, they begin to kill people's enthusiasm. Better the evil you know than the evil you don't, people will say.

I don't believe Obama has the ability or even the awareness of what will happen to handle this. If he wins, I hope I'm wrong, but I've watched him closely and listened to his words, and I don't see it. Klein's comment is exactly right--without a strategy to pass legislation through a hostile Congress, a candidate doesn't have a plan, they only have a position. It's a mistake Democrats make over and over, misunderstanding the real battle.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. And ignoring the will of the people.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-10-08 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Which will?
The people change their will at will. A candidate wins with 52% of the vote, and that expresses the will of the people. If those 2% change their minds, the will has changed. Except when you get an 80 - 90 % backing for something, like our invasion of Iraq. Was that the will of the people? If so, was Bush right to follow it?

The art of politics involves crafting and using the will of the people to accomplish your goals. Obama's goal is health care, and he'll have to craft the will of the people to back him. If the insurance companies convince the people that they should oppose the plan, then that's the will of the people, too.

It takes skill, not will.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. Elect enough Dems to get the majority! With a Dem President &
a majority in Congress is the onloy way I can imagine!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. We had a substantial Majority when clinton proposed Health Care
Democrats folded under pressure....sound familiar. :shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Yes, but I think there was a completely different public opinion then.
I remember Hillary saying that US health care was in trouble and was going to get much worse, but a lot of people hadn't felt the impact yet, so they didn't believe her. NOW health care change is even supported by almost ALL businesses except hospitals and Big Pharma, and way more than a majority of Americans have been hurt by HC costs in one way or another. They've either lost their job because of increased costs, jobs being outsourced, loss of coverage because of job loss, and actual reduced pay because their portion of co-pays and their share of the monthly costs have increased so rapidly. MYO it will be much easier to pass this time around.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Clinton ran on the Health Care issue
Edited on Wed Apr-09-08 10:57 AM by Winterblues
It was his Major issue during the campaign and the first order of business after being elected was to set up a committee headed by his wife to put something together. America knew about it and it was indeed a huge issue.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. On purpose?
Look we tried!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Remind them that it was the mandate of the 2006 election.
By dismissing it and starting yet again with other plans is just out right treasonous. They go against the will of the people.

Here is Illinois they want a bill to dismiss any member of the government for whatever reason. It passed the House and is on it's way to the State Senate. Of-course the Republicans want our Democratic Governor gone. They can't do it in an election. They bash him almost everyday on RW radio. We do have in place such a procedure to remove a government official but hey why bring that up?

These Republicans are becoming darn right nasty and dangerous. Power above all else. They are nuts...and Fascists.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. So far the plan seems to be to HOPE we get the votes.
If people actually answered that question with some understanding of it, the polls would shift.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. and "hope" they will bring us national health care and
Edited on Wed Apr-09-08 10:45 AM by mac2
cheaper/safe drugs, more medical professionals, control over our own health care decisions, etc. "Hope" we will no longer be 35th down the list in the world for health care.

That "hope" so far does not promise any of it. You are looking for a "miracle".

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
8. As long as corporations, especially pharmaceutical and insurance corporations
Keep buying Congress members, we will never get universal health care. Doesn't matter if they're Democrat or Republican, their first allegiance will be to those who paid their bills, not we the people.

Just one more reason that we need publicly financed elections.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Publicly financed elections could help address the third obstacle presented
Edited on Wed Apr-09-08 10:45 AM by antigop
Lobbyists Who Will Resist Any Efforts to Control Costs
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Making the primaries shorter and having publicly financed
Edited on Wed Apr-09-08 10:52 AM by mac2
elections would cut the costs but not the greed and corruption. We have to do that first. The British did that and they still ended up with Blair.

Instead run off elections and the primary on the same day everywhere would end this state by state race. I am really sick of it all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. PLEASE read the article...there are three major obstacles presented...n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Post number for that article please.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. It's in the OP.
Edited on Wed Apr-09-08 01:07 PM by antigop
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Globalists even regarding health care.
http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/04/08/the_pol... /

I've always said we can't get good health care because the top elite (and our so called representatives in DC) are no longer just Americans but globalists (and self interested).

The mandate of the 2006 election was National Health Care for all...is that a hard medical plan to figure out?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Fireweed247 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. HR 676 has over 80 Cosponsors
It has a very real possibility of passing if we DEMAND our Congress do what is right by the people, and throw out anyone who will not.
www.peacecandidates.com
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. Simple: bribe the lobbyists.
as long as the drug corps and the health insurance corps keep pumping copious amounts of money into lobbying and give heavily to the congressional and presidential races, we will never ever get national health-care.

And if by some slim chance we do, the devil will certainly be in the details.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Our representatives are being bribed with good jobs at the
end of their terms, book deals, etc. They move in and out of govenment to collect it. They never become just plain citizens again. They the elite few. Arrogant and corrupt.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Dec 20th 2014, 03:20 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC