Politico reports that House Democrats say they will not be steamrolled by the Senate on the health care reform proposal when it gets to committee negotiations.
Nonetheless, with Senator Ben Nelson, the 60th vote for the proposal in the Senate, saying he will vote against any reform bill that replaces the excise tax on employer-provided health care plans with a surtax on people making over a millionaire dollars a year and with even more Dems in the Senate saying they vote no if the public option winds up in the bill, it seems to me House Democrats have already been steamrolled.
House Dems do want to raise the "threshold" on the excise tax on employer-provided health care plans so that only really high end plans get hit with the tax. But the Obama administration wants the level to stay where the Senate put it because that offsets other costs in the reform proposal.
Wanna bet the House gives Obama and Ben Nelson what they want and caves on the excise tax on employer-provided health care plans?
Obama wants this done before January 20th so he can take a victory lap during the State of the Union address.
These negotiations are going to happen fast and Obama will get what he wants.
I maintain that if this "reform" is as big a giveaway to the insurance industry as it seems to be - and there are quite a few people who say this is going to exacerbate the problem with health care, raise costs for everybody and reinforce the power of the already powerful health insurance industry (see here, here, and here) -Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are going to be reviled for a long, long time.
As Arianna Huffington wrote, "as we approach the end of Obama's first year in office, this public subsidizing of private profit is becoming something of a habit" - and it's Obama and the Dem's doing all of it.
Democrats own these bailouts now, they own this 1% vs. 99% economy where the connected and the powerful get paid off and everybody else gets robbed, and when they take a drubbing in the next election, they are going to deserve it.
We need to stop the sell-outs.