Saturday, January 23, 2010

Plouffe: Pass the Healthcare Bill Now

David Plouffe wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post:
Pass a meaningful health insurance reform package without delay. Americans' health and our nation's long-term fiscal health depend on it. I know that the short-term politics are bad. It's a good plan that's become a demonized caricature. But politically speaking, if we do not pass it, the GOP will continue attacking the plan as if we did anyway, and voters will have no ability to measure its upside. If we do pass it, dozens of protections and benefits take effect this year. Parents won't have to worry their children will be denied coverage just because they have a preexisting condition. Workers won't have to worry that their coverage will be dropped because they get sick. Seniors will feel relief from prescription costs. Only if the plan becomes law will the American people see that all the scary things Sarah Palin and others have predicted -- such as the so-called death panels -- were baseless. We own the bill and the health-care votes. We need to get some of the upside. (P.S.: Health care is a jobs creator.) WaPo
The democrats are mulling over health care:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the leadership team, said deciding on the process should not take long. “That doesn't mean we're going to sit here and twiddle our thumbs for weeks and weeks and weeks, but it'll take a few days to figure out what the best solution is,” he said. The Hill.
Plouffe also says republicans shouldn't be lecturing on spending. I'm convinced that Americans could care less who drove up the nation's debt. They simply don't want to see the deficit any higher, which is why healthcare scares the wits out of them. But if anyone doubts what will happen if GOP is back in power, consider John Boehner's reaction to the recent SCOTUS decision on giving corporations people power:
"I think the Supreme Court decisions today are a big win for the First Amendment and a step in the right direction," said House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio. In his view, the Constitution's protection of free speech extends to campaign contributions. No organization — business, union, whatever — should be limited by the government, Boehner said. NPR
Don't accept any lectures on spending. The GOP took us from a $236 billion surplus when President Bush took office to a $1.3 trillion deficit, with unpaid-for tax cuts for the wealthy, two wars and the Medicare prescription drug program. Republicans' fiscal irresponsibility has never been matched in our country's history. We have potent talking points on health care, honest budgeting and cuts in previously sacrosanct programs. Republicans will try to win disingenuously by running as outsiders. We must make them own their record of disastrous economic policies, exploding deficits, and a failure to even attempt to solve our health care and energy challenges.

During the campaign, who will be whispering in Republican ears? Watching GOP leaders talking about health care the past few days, it was easy to imagine lobbyists and big health insurance executives leaning over their shoulders, urging death to health insurance reform. When it comes to cracking down on the banks and passing tough financial regulatory reform, GOP leaders will be dancing to the tune of Wall Street lobbyists and opposing tougher oversight, as if the financial crisis never happened. We need to lay it out plainly: If you put the GOP back in charge, lobbyists and huge corporate special interests will be back in the driver's seat. Workers and families will get run over, just like they did in the past decade.
CBS' Mark Knoller says Obama will be seeking Plouffe's advice more often, but not as an official paid government employee:
In the wake of the GOP Senate win in Mass., Pres. Obama will be looking to his former campaign mgr David Ploufe for more political advice.