The CBO said immediately that the Baucus bill would leave 25 million uninsured even in 2019, ten years on, and his coops probably won’t establish a significant market share and will have very little effect on total enrolment. His state-level coops don’t let big businesses enroll, so the coop can’t grow and keep costs down, nor can they have the same negotiating leverage as the federal government so they can’t cust costs that way either; so no one will join the coops. Some House Blue Dogs like the plan but House liberals are already condemning it; in the Senate Burris, Feingold, Klobuchar, Franken, Bayh and Brown expressed dismay at the Baucus bill, and Nelson may vote against it if the Medicare Advantage cut isn’t removed. Conrad is trying to game the CBO system to help Baucus, but liberals have already busted him publicly.
The coming carnage on the Baucus bill shows the wisdom of Obama’s decision not to put forward his own detailed plan – it would have been a target for months, ripped apart. Obama’s unstated message on the Baucus bill is “if I’m going to own the bill, I’m not going to own a piece of crap like that.”
Obama will be helped and encouraged by three things:
1. He has the votes for the public option.
As the link shows, Obama already has 47 votes in the Senate for the public option. He only needs 3 more out of the 14 fence-sitters, and he’s got the 50 he needs to get through the budget reconciliation process. And as you look at the statements of the fence-sitters, the votes are there. Begich, Bayh, Tester, Pryor and Carper will vote for it. Some folks are making bold statements about public-option packages that were never going to be proposed: Lincoln insists she won’t vote for a public option that is solely government-funded, and McCaskill said she won’t vote for a public option that becomes a mandate. They’re talking tough while setting themselves up to vote for the real public option bill. Baucus and Conrad, proponents of the doomed Gang Of Six package, have said the public option can’t pass the Senate, which isn’t the same as rejecting the idea.
So that’s 56. Unless we’re dead wrong on more than 6 of them, Obama has the 50. And it is just as clear that it would be hard to get to 60, which is why we need the 50-vote threshold in the reconciliation process.
2. His popularity is rising. Obama’s job approval ratings are bouncing back all over the place: On Message has the approval/disapproval at 55/43, Anzalone-Liszt 56/41, ABC/Washington Post 54/43, USA Today/Gallup 54/43, CNN/ORC 58/40, Bloomberg (9/11-9/14) 56/37.
3. The GOP scare tactics are backfiring.
According to a new Bloomberg poll, the American people finally woke up and realized that the GOP was using a strategy of dishonesty: that the crap they were spewing was not only dishonest, but a deliberate scare tactic. 63 percent said the claim that “death panels of government officials would decide how much medical care ailing individuals will receive” is a scare tactic. “Health care would be rationed” is a scare tactic: 53 percent. “Health care would become socialized medicine” is a scare tactic 52 percent. “Government money would be used to pay for abortions”: 61 percent. “Government money would pay for health care for illegal immigrants”: 58 percent.
4. And for dessert:
U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land whomped the leader of the birther movement, Orly Taitz, throwing out her latest frivolous lawsuit claiming Obama isn’t really president, threatening her with sanctions if she tries this crap again, and comparing her to Alice in Wonderland. Taitz then screeched to the media that the judge was a puppet of the Obama regime and should be tried for treason, and compared herself to Nelson Mandela.