Thursday :: Mar 18, 2010

The Last Piece Towards Victory?

by Deacon Blues

Perhaps the final piece leading to passage of a landmark health reform bill fell into place today when the long-awaited Congressional Budget Office scoring was released of a consensus Democratic health reform bill. The CBO analysis finds that although the bill costs $940 billion over the first decade, (or a fraction of the cost of the Iraq war and occupation) the bill shaves $130 billion in deficit spending in its first decade, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in its second decade. And the bill does this while extending health care coverage to 95 percent of Americans, eliminating a large part of the nearly 45,000 deaths a year in this country from our current GOP-mandated health care system.

House and Senate Democratic leaders are almost “giddy” today at the news, and are using the data from the nonpartisan CBO to tout the deficit reduction benefits of the consensus Democratic measure. It is now assumed that the CBO estimate will help sway holdout Democrats who were concerned about costs into voting for the measure, while Republicans continue to oppose it even though their cost issue has been now obliterated. In fact, with the cost issue now off the table, Democrats and the White House are free to slam the GOP as being supportive of a costly, deadly status quo that enriches their campaign contributors while the country goes broke and their constituents face financial ruin, and worse.

The bill is not perfect, and may not be a solid policy bill, but it saves money, cuts our projected deficits, and covers millions more Americans and allows them to avoid financial ruin caused by the GOP-mandated dysfunctional system that corporate money has cemented into place. Yes, it forces Americans to buy insurance from the same bad actors who bought the current travesty, but if the GOP wants to attempt to unravel this after the 2010 elections, Democrats can simply threaten to match their effort with a renewed effort at a public option or Medicare-for-all.

In fact, with the cost issue settled as well as possible at this point in time, Democrats should pivot from a defensive posture to an aggressive posture and take credit for this bill's coverage and cost-cutting benefits. Democrats should ask voters why every single congressional Republican is against deficit reduction, and favors unimpeded profits for the industry and continued misery for Main Street.

Deacon Blues :: 12:11 PM :: Comments (9) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!