I Agree With Senator Feingold On Health Reform Ideas

This is what I want to hear from members of Congress.  This is also why 99% of the time I am darn proud of Senator Russ Feingold.

Wisconsin Democrat Feingold says he wants any bill to include a public health insurance option to compete with private insurers and cover those without insurance.

 

Feingold says he hopes any reform is passed with bipartisan support so that it’s more acceptable to constituents. At the same time, he says he won’t support a watered-down bill that “is just a label.”

P.S.  I am in agreement that a watered-down and toothless bill must be rejected.

Sarah Palin Trying To Make Money

Trying to cash in while there is an interest in her name and quirks, Sarah Palin may be hustling for a radio show.  What America needs is another right-wing rant on the AM dial.

Alaska’s now former Governor is coy about her future political plans, but radio is at least one option she’s leaving on the table.  While not exactly shopping the GOP’s 2008 vice presidential candidate, sources say Palin representatives have been quietly testing the waters to see how much interest radio syndicators have for her.

Sources say Palin hasn’t committed to radio either, but rather it could be a possible next step for her.  It isn’t unusual for a defeated national candidate to turn to radio.  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s short-form commentaries air on more than 400 stations via Citadel Media.  He remains among the names circulated for a potential presidential run in 2012.

Coming to radio would be an ironic twist for Palin, whose position on the media is pretty clear.  “Quick making things up,” she told reporters in her final speech as Governor last week

Congressional Health Reform Bill Bound To Disappoint Liberals

Recall what Democratic leaders like LBJ would have said and done to get wayward and timid Democrats in Congress to line up and walk straight on a needed national policy goal.  He would have told the conservative Democrats that they could expect a primary challenger, and no national monies coming their way to help in the next election unless they saw the light.  And soon!  He might even have threatened their privates on a platter.  The point was that ‘we were elected to govern and by-god we are going to do the people’s business.’ 

Speed ahead to 2009. 

It is appalling what is happening to the health care package that is taking shape in Congress.  Republicans abhor the idea that everyone should be covered, or a public option be placed in the bill, or that business should help pay for coverage in that outcome.  What did they have to do to previal with these views?   The GOP did not have to do more than shave the legs off the Democratic plan in order to prevail.  Democrats in the Senate even provided the saws for the cutting.  With allies like this, take cover.  The crap is about to fall from the skies in the form of a ‘health reform bill’ that will not meet the needs of the nation, but in the eyes of Congress will provide enough cover come the mid-term elections.

Where are my boots?

An emerging consensus among a bipartisan group of senators is poised to shift the dynamic in the congressional debate over health-care reform and could lead to a final product that sheds many of the priorities that President Obama has emphasized and that have drawn GOP attacks.

Three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are expected to wrap up their arduous multi-week talks in the coming days, and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he expects a panel vote before the Senate recess, which will begin Aug. 7.

Assuming the fragile committee coalition holds, the legislation it produces would scramble the reform landscape by introducing policy ideas that have their origins in the political center. The bill is bound to disappoint liberals. But with prominent GOP backing, it also could prove more difficult for Republicans to reject out of hand — the approach they have taken to the House bill and a second Senate version, written by the health committee.

The finance panel’s legislation is expected to include incentives for employers to provide health insurance for their workers, rather than a more punitive coverage mandate. The committee is also likely to endorse narrowly targeted tax increases, rejecting a controversial tax surcharge on wealthy households that the House adopted and limits on deductions for upper-income taxpayers that Obama is seeking.

GOP negotiators rejected from the outset the kind of government-run insurance plan that Obama and most Democrats are pushing for in an attempt to inject the health-insurance market with pricing competition. Instead, the committee would create coverage cooperatives modeled after rural electricity providers.

As House negotiators continued to work late Tuesday evening on breaking an impasse on their version of the bill, the bipartisan Finance Committee negotiators emerged from another meeting insisting that no final decisions had been made about the contents of the legislation. But as details trickled out, none of the components appeared ready-made for GOP opposition. Negotiators are scrubbing every provision for unintended consequences that could negatively affect small businesses or middle-class families, both of which Republicans say could be harmed by the other bills moving through Congress.

“What we do obviously would be important to our Republican conference,” said Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), a member of the GOP team, along with Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the finance panel, and Mike Enzi (Wyo.), the senior Republican on the health committee. Snowe said the primary goal of the negotiations is a bill that can draw Republican votes.

“I think it might resonate, frankly, with our colleagues,” Snowe said of the emerging compromise measure. “We want the basis for a bipartisan agreement, and I think that could be the launching pad for that resolution.”

Reid told reporters Tuesday that he might be willing to compromise on points of policy if it meant getting the 60 votes needed to turn back GOP procedural objections. The Senate Democratic caucus now stands at 60 members, but two members — Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.) and Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.) — have battled serious illness, requiring Reid to win support from at least two Republicans to make up for their absence.

“I have a responsibility to get a bill on the Senate floor that will get 60 votes,” Reid said. “That’s my number one responsibility, and there are times when I have to set aside my personal preferences for the good of the Senate and I think the country.”