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Democratic representatives Jane Harmon and Loretta Sanchez, both of California, and both self-labeled Blue Dog Democrats, have come out strongly in favor of a public option insurance provision in the final health care reform bill. Good for them.
If you've noticed, Blue Dogs are the darlings of corrupt mainstream media,...oddly though,.... only when Democratics hold power in Congress. Often the media gasbags, themselves pawns of big corporate interests, refer to the opposition of the Mighty Blue Dogs as the Genuinely-Serious concern of great patriots who serve only to resolutely stand watch over our tax dollars.
But, just like with so-called Republican fiscal conservatives, the fiscal scolding by Blue Dogs is mostly all done for political perception purposes. In other words, the rhetoric of the Blue Dogs, like that from Republicans, can't be taken seriously.
From The Nation.....
The Blue Dogs parade as "fiscal conservatives" and "moderates," false advertising that the mainstream press mindlessly echoes. In fact, they are the epitome of a Washington captured by moneyed interests. They aren't working to ensure that healthcare reforms are paid for; they are laboring on behalf of insurance companies to protect their obscene profits. The Blue Dogs are maneuvering on behalf of Big Pharma to make sure the government won't negotiate reasonable drug prices. They're doing their best to derail reasonable tax hikes on the affluent, hikes that would make insurance affordable for working- and middle-class families. Even on the Blue Dogs' signature issue--the "pay-go" rules, which they insist must be passed into law--they exempt reductions in the estate tax on the wealthiest Americans and, of course, the cost of any military adventure whatsoever.
Are Blue Dog Democrats really fiscal conservatives? Of course not. Take a look....
In a bid to wrangle concessions from the Blue Dog Coalition on healthcare reform, House leaders Thursday (Sept. 24) released CBO estimates for liberals' preferred version of the public option that show $85 billion more in savings than for the version the Blue Dogs prefer.
The original House bill required the public plan to pay providers 5 percent more than Medicare reimbursement rates. But as part of a package of concessions to Blue Dogs, the House Energy and Commerce Committee accepted an amendment that requires the HHS Secretary to negotiate rates with providers. That version of the plan will save only $25 billion.
Including a public health care option tagged to Medicare reimbursement rates would save $85 billion additional dollars, many of them tax subsidy dollars.
Newsweek's Ezra Klein puts it this way....
In other words, the conservatives want to spend $85 billion more than the liberals do. Moreover, the CBO is estimating savings to the government. That is to say, the $85 billion reflects reduced federal spending on subsidies because premiums in the public plan will be lower. Savings to individuals and businesses paying lower premiums will be much larger than $85 billion, and politically, much more important.
But I thought the Blue Dogs' primary obsession was with saving federal tax dollars. So what's up here?
Mike Ross (D-AR), is the Blue Dog Democrat leading the charge against health care reform. In the health care "debate", Blue Dog Ross is standing sentry over America's tax dollars. It's why he exists.
Or not. Check out the first five minutes here....
It's no wonder that Ross liked the health insurance windfall bill (without public option) that just passed out of Mad Max Baucus' Senate Finace Committee...
Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) proposed healthcare compromise is "an idea worth serious consideration," a key centrist Blue Dog Democrat said Monday.
Having got his Blue Dog way by INCREASING the cost to tax payers by some $85 billion in the House Energy and Commerce Committe version of pending health reform bills....he quickly books over to a different justification for his fiscally non-conservative insistence....
If it (public option) had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they’re negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that. And so we would have at the end of the day ended up with single payer.
That is what moving the goalposts looks like.....but is Ross' new sleight of hand excuse for INCREASING federal spending.....the public option must be resisted because it's a Trojan Horse trick which will result in single payer for all while destroying private inusrers ...is that even true?
The Lewin Group estimates that a public plan option that is limited to individuals and small businesses and must negotiate with doctors and hospitals will attract only 10 million Americans, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has made a similar estimate.
The Lewin Group is a wholly owned public relations arm of United Health Care, hardly an objective source....and even they disagree with what Change-up Mike Ross uses for his excuse to RAISE costs to American consumers and the federal government.
What was it that the Blue Dogs stood for again?