Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Deal...or No Deal

**Updated to include audio links!
Click to listen to my interview with John Nichols of The Nation, and Brent Budowsky of The Hill***

I've been doing my best to follow the progress, or lack thereof, of the fight toward meaningful health care reform. Last night, a new wrench was thrown into the political machine. Apparently, the "gang of 10" senators -- 5 progressive and 5 "moderate" members of the Democratic caucus were charged with coming up with a solution to the public option impasse.

And compromise, they did. Although we still don't have the details, and won't until the Congressional Budget Office scores the new idea, bits and pieces have been trickling out.

While some of the components sound intriguing (a Medicare buy in for people ages 55-64), the devil is definitely in the details. And the more details I can find, the more evil they appear.

It seems that the buy-in wouldn't be open to all people in the specified age group, but only those who are unable to otherwise buy insurance from the for-profit leeches. Just as the watered-down public option that was last on the table was set up to fail, so too is this Medicare buy-in.

While Medicare For All is the gold standard for what it would take to fix our seriously broken health care system, a limited Medicare buy-in for only the sickest of an already limited population would be prohibitively expensive and a solution for no one.

As Brent Budowsky writes in a column for The Hill, the Democrats are indeed doing what they seem to do best... blowing a golden opportunity for real change. Budowsky will join me tonight on Air America, but will provide a bit of hope in this seemingly hopeless world... He wrote another column just days ago that pointed to JFK, one of our country's greatest leaders, and the fact that his presidency survived a major screw-up with the Bay of Pigs. But he was able to come back from that and even save us from nuclear annihilation with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Today, Quinnipiac University released their latest polling data, which shows President Obama's approval ratings at an all-time low. In fact, his numbers are the lowest for any president at 11 months into their first term!

Perhaps President Obama will take a hard look at how he got where he is tomorrow, while he's in Oslo collecting his Nobel Peace Prize, and realize what it'll take to win back the support of those of us who put him there.


John said...

Hi Nicole,
Keep up the good work.
The scalawags in DC need to remove
the cap on the Medicare/SS tax.
Then the rich would have to pay their fair share.
Also, what do you think of getting AARP
on your show to help the cause.
It's a big lobby & I hope they are progressive
on health care.
Your Pal, elkojohn