In this weekly feature, we follow the national healthcare debate, for fun. (Note: it is emphatically not fun.)
Yesterday I was all set to pull the trigger and say that the president was trying to kill you this week, for his administration softening their support of the public option in order to salvage a debate that appears to be spinning out of their control. Things have, however, changed — liberal blowback from that decision has apparently strengthened the Democrats’ resolve to pass their own damn bill like they should have all along. (Another thing that has strengthened the resolve of Democrats: Town Hall-hijacking bitterz comparing Obama to Hitler.)
Who do we have to thank for this? Why, Iowa Republican and crazed twitterer Chuck Grassley, of course.
Grassley was involved the Senate Finance Committee negotiations that were likely to produce a compromise bill with co-ops instead of public health insurance, a very bad idea. But following Grassley’s grandstanding behavior re: death panels, and his admission that he probably wouldn’t actually vote for a bill that he himself coauthored, it seems that enough rope has, finally, been given.
The public option could, of course, still be jettisoned to win the support of conservative Democrat senators like the Senate Finance Committee’s Max Baucus and Kent Conrad — or maybe not, provided that they vote to block a filibuster and then vote against the final bill (they may or may not have the votes), or, better yet, make the Republicans actually filibuster, like Strom Thurmond did that time he opposed that civil rights law, what a hero. Or it might still be jettisoned to win the support of the American people, who still need to be convinced that they actually like socialized medicine: you know, the kind of socialized medicine that benefits seniors via medicare, veterans via the VA, and, yes, Chuck Grassley himself, via the government (you should actually read that linked-to article, he makes fun of John Boehner and it’s kind of priceless).