Everyone Wants Health Care Reform. Industry Lobbying Won’t Let Them Have It.
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A proposal to add dental, vision, and hearing coverage to Medicare, for example, scored 84 percent in favor (89 percent among Democrats; 79 percent among Republicans). Even less resoundingly popular items like lowering the eligibility age of Medicare to sixty still boasted high levels of support (61 percent overall, with 49 percent of Republican voters in favor). In other words, there’s considerable buy-in for each proposal across the political spectrum. Why, then, does it seem so hard to imagine any actually passing into law?
At surface, the answer mostly has to do with the confusing and labyrinthine process now unfolding as the White House pursues a bipartisan infrastructure bill alongside another containing the few of things Democrats nominally promised to do if given a mandate. As is typically (and predictably) the case, proposals related to health care, education, and climate change have been relegated to the reconciliation bill even though many are quite popular. Almost by definition given the Democrats’ razor-thin majority and consistently demonstrated ambivalence about digging in around their own stated agenda, this means that measures like those recently polled by Morning Consult/Politico look vastly more precarious than those in the bipartisan infrastructure plan — ironic given their support among voters from both parties.
It’s a dynamic all too familiar to Washington, where the most popular and commonsensical policies tend to be given short shrift while things absolutely no one was asking for (see: “asset recycling”) are the basis for “consensus.” Indeed, whatever the received wisdom might be about politicians putting polls over principle, it’s breathtaking how out of step with majority opinion the leaderships of the two parties often are. The most obvious and topical example is Medicare For All, which has enjoyed widespread support for years but was near-universally opposed by candidates in the 2020 Democratic primaries and can barely even get a hearing in DC.
The lesson in all of this is that the inner workings of Beltway lawmaking often operate independently of public opinion: the interests which shape and control the legislative process being able to do so without having to worry much about what the majority wants or thinks. Here, the Medicare reforms currently slated to appear in the Democrats’ reconciliation bill are a good case in point.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
July 10, 2021 at 11:03 AM #434327gordyflParticipant
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Jeffrey St. Clair’s Roaming Charges:
Ralph Nader: “Bad news for single payer prospects. With Biden and Dems controlling Congress, liberals in the House are in retreat. Bernie Sanders hasn’t even introduced his bill this year. Corporate giants keep hiking premiums, co-pays, prices, and demanding huge govt subsidies and tax breaks. Worse, health insurance giants race to take over Medicare itself via ‘trojan horse’ Medicare (Dis)Advantage, with Congressional and AARP’s complicity.”
July 10, 2021 at 12:21 PM #434330djean111Participant
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Biden sure as fuck is not going to do anything but make campaign-fodder proposals.
America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)
Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.
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