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Better to pass a bad bill than no bill?

2009 December 18
by Ian Welsh

Mandos says yes, at his place.

12 Responses
  1. December 18, 2009

    Danke schön for the link! I’m going to be AFK the whole day in case I happen to catch any comments, but late tonight I might be able to tussle it out with any detractors. At my place, though 🙂

  2. December 18, 2009

    From Mandos’ post:

    A bad bill has a chance of defeating at least one pernicious meme: that no Congress or administration can alter US health care delivery systems, which are wholly broken.

    Since when did passing bad legislation make it easier to pass good legislation?

    So when this clusterf*ck takes effect and people conclude that they are worse off than they were before, do you really think they will conclude that more government involvement in health care is the answer?

    This bill seems tailor-made to support Ronnie Raygun’s claim that government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. Newt Gingrinch is already salivating over a new Contract on America with repealing Obamacare as its centerpiece.

    OTOH – If the Democrats passed single-payer or a real public option it would be enormously popular once it actually took effect. There was opposition to Social Security back in the Thirties, but once it got going it became the “third-rail of electoral politics – touch it and die.”

    Kill the bill and start over.

  3. marcopolo permalink
    December 18, 2009

    The NY Time’s coverage of this labels opposition from the left ‘ideological’. The opposite is true. The so-called Center (which, until Reagan, would have been the right) is playing to the ideologically driven free-market crowd. The left is just insisting on proven policy, a system that is cheaper and works better than anything else on the table. Again, Europe (and Canada) are way out ahead of us on this.

  4. jo6pac permalink
    December 18, 2009

    No, kill this bill. A bad bill will only be made worse down the road, not better.

  5. December 18, 2009

    Sure, pass it and force people to buy crappy insurance. You think they won’t know it’s crappy? You think they won’t resent having to buy it? You think the right wingers won’t pounce on that resentment every single day of every single year as long as Obama is in office?

    Go ahead Democrats, kill your party. I’m sick of you.

    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

  6. December 19, 2009

    Highly suggest the following article about employment, and why stimulus plans don’t work.

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2009/12/17/the-mystery-of-unemployment/

  7. December 19, 2009

    Back. Most of you responded here rather than there (and I responded to Paul who wrote over there). However, I notice some common threads in the responses so I’ll break my promise and post a second post on the strange phenomenon where progressives seem very astute at perceiving absolute risk but seem rather poor at perceiving relative risk.

  8. S Brennan permalink
    December 19, 2009

    Yes, Mandos “the superior intellect” will explain why the people who know most about this insurance bailout bill…are really stupid morons…and how the same group people who have benen discredited for being wrong on just about anything…time after time…are now/once again the superior intellect playing 11th dimension chess whilst mere mortals struggle why stepping backwards is really going forwards. Spare me dude.

    “…on the strange phenomenon where progressives seem very astute at perceiving absolute risk but seem rather poor at perceiving relative risk.” – Mandos

    Mandos, after reading your last comment, I have absolutely no interest in going to your site. Please make a note of it.

  9. Scott R. permalink
    December 19, 2009

    Bill Moyers with Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner…,

    BILL MOYERS: Yes or no. If you were a senator, would you vote for this Senate health care bill?

    MATT TAIBBI: No.

    BILL MOYERS: Bob?

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Yes.

    BILL MOYERS: Why? You just said it’s designed to enhance the fortunes of the industry.

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Well, it’s so far from what I think is necessary that I don’t think it’s a it’s a good bill. But I think if it goes down, just because of the optics of the situation and the way the Republicans have framed this as a make or break moment for President Obama, it will make it easier for the Republicans to take control of Congress in 2010. It will make Obama even more gun-shy about promoting reform. It will create even more political paralysis. It will embolden the republicans to block what this President is trying to do, some of which is good, at every turn. So I would hold my nose and vote for it.

    MATT TAIBBI: My feeling on it is just looking more concretely at the health care problem, this is a bill that to me doesn’t address the two biggest problems with the health care crisis. One is the inefficiency and the bureaucracy and the paperwork which it doesn’t address at all. It doesn’t standardize anything. The other is price, which has now fallen by the wayside because there’s no going to be no public option that’s going to drive down prices. So, if a health care bill that doesn’t address those two problems, to me, is- and additionally is a big give-away to the insurance companies because it provides, you know- it creates this new customer base, it’s something I personally couldn’t vote for.

    BILL MOYERS: Aren’t you saying that in order to save the Democratic President and the Democratic Party in 2010 and 2012 you have to have a really rotten health insurance bill?

    ROBERT KUTTNER: Well, when you come down to one pivotal moment where a bill is before Congress and the administration has staked the entire presidency on this bill and you’re a progressive Democrat are you going to vote for it or not? Let me put it this way, if I were literally in the position that Joe Lieberman is in and it was up to me to determine whether this bill live or die, I would hold my nose and vote for it even though I have been a fierce critic of the path this administration has taken.

    BILL MOYERS: But doesn’t that further the dysfunction and corruption of the system that you write so often about? I mean, you said a few weeks ago that our failed health care system won’t get fixed because it exists entirely within the confines of yet another failed system, the political entity known as the United States of America. You said we have a government that is not equipped to fix actual crisis. So if Bob votes for a bill that in his heart and in his mind he does not believe really helps the situation, isn’t he furthering a government that can’t solve the actual crisis?

    READ the rest:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12182009/transcript4.html

  10. December 19, 2009

    “A bad bill has a chance of defeating at least one pernicious meme: that no Congress or administration can alter US health care delivery systems, which are wholly broken.”

    Why is the meme that no Congress or administration can alter the US health care delivery system pernicious? It happens to be accurate. At least now we know where we stand.

  11. December 19, 2009

    Don’t have time to read Mandos’ blog or the Bill Moyers site now, but have made a note to return to them later. This point may have been brought up in either place, but I don’t think there is a precedent for the government taxing people and turning the receipts directly over to private entities. That’s feudalism. The grants of land to the railway companies in the nineteenth century come to mind, but at least we got some railways out of the deal.

    One thing I agree with the American right is on how pernicious the Kelso decision is, and this is sort of the same as Kelso in that the government is using its legal powers directly to transfer property from the middle class to the wealthy and well connected. It will create a huge backlash. And the Republican Party is coming very close to being a sort of neofascist party. The next few elections the Republicans win may well be the last elections we will have in a while.

  12. December 21, 2009

    I respond to most of the major classes of objections to my original post here:

    http://politblogo.typepad.com/politblogo/2009/12/a-bad-bill-as-laxative.html

    S Brennan: No skin off my back as I rarely update it.

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