Thursday :: Mar 25, 2010

A Lonely Place For The GOP

by Deacon Blues

While the Washington Post prematurely claims that Democrats will see little if any gain from getting more of the uninsured covered through health care reform, the White House and congressional Democrats will have unusual allies between now and the 2010 elections in selling the virtues of the reform bill.

The health-insurance industry, which spent months campaigning against Democratic health reform, has shifted focus in the wake of its passage, pivoting from opposition to making sure the new law succeeds beyond most expectations.
America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry trade group, has agreed to sign on to a new, 50-state health care reform implementation effort, provisionally called Enroll America, which is being organized by Ron Pollack of the pro-reform group Families USA.
And they are not alone.
Other parts of the health industry, including drug companies and hospitals, are also expected to join the effort, which will focus on making sure as many uninsured Americans as possible get insurance under the law President Obama signed Tuesday.

The health plans, the drug companies, the hospitals, and progressive reformers will now be selling the virtues of a reform program that no Republican voted for. How exactly do Mitch McConnell and John Boehner plan to raise money from these industries to sell their "repeal it" message between now and November? Without corporate checkwriters, it's going to be interesting to see the GOP find itself alone with the tea party crazies in pushing this repeal message.

No wonder the president was poking Republicans in the eye today on their threats to repeal the bill.

Look. we can rue the fact that the public option didn't come about, and that the industry is now open-arms towards the Democrats over the millions of new customers. Until we get corporate money out of politics, there will be no single payer in this country, or even perhaps a public option. At it's most cynical interpretation, what just happened is this: what the GOP did for years with the military-industrial complex was just replicated by the Democrats with the health care industry. All that was needed was for the GOP to marginalize itself into extremism with the tea party crazies. Once that happened, the Democrats had the industry to itself, and Rahm capitalized.

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