Author Topic: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?  (Read 5216 times)

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Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #75 on: November 14, 2012, 01:51:16 PM »

Offline D.o.s.

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I think Howard Zinn put it perfectly when he said the problem with the health care debacle was that Obama approached the House with a compromise already in hand. He started negotiating from the middle.

Because he's a ponce.
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Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #76 on: November 14, 2012, 03:04:44 PM »

Offline BballTim

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Obama may not need their campaign contributions but I'm sure that some of the senators do and Obama needed their votes. If the insurance industry can influence the process and Obama wants/needs them to influence the process in his direction then he'd need to make concessions to appease them, that's called compromise. You're the one trying to play games with words.
Uhh, no. Obama himself is a better fundraiser than the insurance companies, if it comes to money. Their "influence" on the process is basically to make this argument:

1) if you're going to force us to accept people with pre-existing conditions, then
2) you need to handle the "free-rider" problem", otherwise
3) health care reform will bankrupt us and/or costs will skyrocket.

It happens that the administration agreed with this, hence the individual mandate, which solves the free rider problem by requiring the young invincibles to subsidize the sick. This wasn't a case where an organization with leverage put the squeeze on Obama, this is a case where they made a reasonable argument, aka lobbying.

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We both know this isn't true. Obama courted Snowe because she's to the left of many of the democrats that he was trying to bargain with, her vote wouldn't have come with a real price. I don't recall Obama adding anything to the bill or taking anything out where the democrats were almost all opposed to it because the right would have preferred it, I don't remember any offers to do so either.
Obama courted Snowe because unlike the insurance companies, Snowe actually had a vote in the Senate. This process is called "negotiation", from which "compromise" can result. If Snowe is to the left of the moderate Democrats, why did she vote for the ACA in conference and then vote against it on the floor? Spoiler alert: because she's a Republican.

Obama didn't actually add or remove anything, because he left it to Congress as much as possible, but his fingerprints are in the places he didn't push for: public option, Medicare expansion, etc.

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Again, not true. Obama lost support of the far left because he compromised too much with moderate democrats, not with republicans.
The "moderate Democrats" supported the Republican orthodoxy. They are the ones who killed the public option, the one who insisted on an inefficient free-market solution to the problem, the ones who supported the "personal responsibility" part of the legislation which we call the "individual mandate".

You are confusing political opposition with "disinclination to compromise".

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Yes, there was compromise, all of it within the democratic party. The fact that Obama didn't compromise at all with the right is what led to the democrats getting killed in the mid-term elections, when Obama left the republican party out of the process he left a large segment of the population out of the process as well.
Obama did not leave the Republican part out of the process: the Republican party refused to cooperate. Grassley played "Lucy with the football" for an entire year. Republicans never came up with any sort of credible competing health care plan whatsoever.

There is plenty of evidence that Obama and the Democrats were seeking -- desperate for, even -- Republican buy-in for the ACA. There is next to nothing to suggest that the Republicans were even interested in compromising. That the ACA has conservative ideas in it at all, is the result of those outreach attempts.

As I said: rolling on the floor laughing.

  To sum up your first point, while you claim that Obama didn't "compromise" with insurance companies, but he agreed with their argument that the mandate needed to be in the bill. In your third point, you point out that the "moderate Democrats" are the ones that "insisted on an inefficient free-market solution to the problem" and Nsupported the "personal responsibility" part of the legislation which we call the "individual mandate".

  For a quick refresher, this discussion began when I stated that Obama/Pelosi/Reid had no interest in compromising with the right, and you replied

  "Flat-out wrong. They included two huge Republican ideas in the bill: the individual mandate (personal responsibility!), and the insurance exchanges (market-based solution!)."

  It took a while, but you finally seem to have admitted the obvious, that both items were in the bill for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with compromising with republicans.

  I can see that you're rolling on the floor laughing, you might want to contain yourself until you make some points that support your argument rather than refute it.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #77 on: November 14, 2012, 03:40:21 PM »

Offline Interceptor

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For a quick refresher, this discussion began when I stated that Obama/Pelosi/Reid had no interest in compromising with the right, and you replied

  "Flat-out wrong. They included two huge Republican ideas in the bill: the individual mandate (personal responsibility!), and the insurance exchanges (market-based solution!)."

  It took a while, but you finally seem to have admitted the obvious, that both items were in the bill for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with compromising with republicans.
First of all, the insurance exchanges have nothing to do with the insurance companies, who would like nothing better than to not have to compete with each other. This is the "free market" approach to reform. If you don't know what an insurance exchange is, the MA Health Connector (thanks, Republican Governor Mitt Romney) is basically what I'm talking about.

Secondly, the individual mandate, is just a good idea. There are other ways to do it. Remember, we just have to handle the cost to insurance companies of forcing them to cover sick people. This could easily be done with government subsidies paid for by taxes, for example. But no: the ACA very specifically adopted the Republican idea of personal responsibility - requiring that every American be responsible for their own health insurance -- as the way to solve the problem.

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I can see that you're rolling on the floor laughing, you might want to contain yourself until you make some points that support your argument rather than refute it.
The problem appears to be that you perhaps don't understand my argument. Those two items are undeniably Republican ideas. The fact that the Republicans ran away from them, doesn't indicate that the Dems were unwilling to compromise. It just means that the Republicans ran away from them... for political reasons, naturally.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #78 on: November 14, 2012, 03:57:22 PM »

Offline angryguy77

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For a quick refresher, this discussion began when I stated that Obama/Pelosi/Reid had no interest in compromising with the right, and you replied

  "Flat-out wrong. They included two huge Republican ideas in the bill: the individual mandate (personal responsibility!), and the insurance exchanges (market-based solution!)."

  It took a while, but you finally seem to have admitted the obvious, that both items were in the bill for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with compromising with republicans.
First of all, the insurance exchanges have nothing to do with the insurance companies, who would like nothing better than to not have to compete with each other. This is the "free market" approach to reform. If you don't know what an insurance exchange is, the MA Health Connector (thanks, Republican Governor Mitt Romney) is basically what I'm talking about.

Secondly, the individual mandate, is just a good idea. There are other ways to do it. Remember, we just have to handle the cost to insurance companies of forcing them to cover sick people. This could easily be done with government subsidies paid for by taxes, for example. But no: the ACA very specifically adopted the Republican idea of personal responsibility - requiring that every American be responsible for their own health insurance -- as the way to solve the problem.

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I can see that you're rolling on the floor laughing, you might want to contain yourself until you make some points that support your argument rather than refute it.
The problem appears to be that you perhaps don't understand my argument. Those two items are undeniably Republican ideas. The fact that the Republicans ran away from them, doesn't indicate that the Dems were unwilling to compromise. It just means that the Republicans ran away from them... for political reasons, naturally.

So what if a few republicans talked about having a mandate. A handful of people who advocate a position doesn't mean they speak for the whole party, nor do they speak for every conservative. Besides, if Obama is allowed to "evolve" on certain issues, why can't republicans.



The mandate idea was also a reaction to the push fore universal care in the 90's, which at the time seemed inevitable. Since then, a few republicans talked about it, but it didn't gain much traction with republican voters and the party as a whole. This is like saying because Biden thought the Alaska Pipeline was a bad idea, all democrats think it's a bad idea.

There is no such thing as personal responsibility when the government is holding a gun to your head to make the choice it wants you to make. I don't think you understand what it really means to be responsible for yourself, or your reaching to strengthen your argument.


Btw, there is an estimated 6 million people who can't afford insurance and don't qualify for assistance, but they will be taxed for not complying taking personal responsibility.


Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #79 on: November 14, 2012, 04:07:31 PM »

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So what if a few republicans talked about having a mandate. A handful of people who advocate a position doesn't mean they speak for the whole party, nor do they speak for every conservative. Besides, if Obama is allowed to "evolve" on certain issues, why can't republicans.
Because it wasn't just a few Republicans, it was 1) the Heritage Foundation's idea, and 2) part of the Republican answer to Hillarycare, introduced by a Republican, co-sponsored by eighteen other Republicans (including the Senate Minority leader, Bob Dole).

They can certainly "evolve" on issues. Just as I this poster can point out that it was a convenient, cynical evolution. In other words... politics. Which means, can't blame it on the Dems.

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There is no such thing as personal responsibility when the government is holding a gun to your head to make the choice it wants you to make. I don't think you understand what it really means to be responsible for yourself, or your reaching to strengthen your argument.
There is no place for hyperbole in this discussion. There is no "gun" to anyone's head. Not only is your life not threatened, but ignoring the mandate is not even illegal.

Purchasing health insurance is a matter of personal responsibility, because society bears the cost of your lack of it. If you get hit by a bus, you'll be treated by the ER even if you can't afford it.

Thank Saint Reagan for that one, by the way.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #80 on: November 14, 2012, 04:14:49 PM »

Offline BballTim

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For a quick refresher, this discussion began when I stated that Obama/Pelosi/Reid had no interest in compromising with the right, and you replied

  "Flat-out wrong. They included two huge Republican ideas in the bill: the individual mandate (personal responsibility!), and the insurance exchanges (market-based solution!)."

  It took a while, but you finally seem to have admitted the obvious, that both items were in the bill for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with compromising with republicans.
First of all, the insurance exchanges have nothing to do with the insurance companies, who would like nothing better than to not have to compete with each other. This is the "free market" approach to reform. If you don't know what an insurance exchange is, the MA Health Connector (thanks, Republican Governor Mitt Romney) is basically what I'm talking about.

Secondly, the individual mandate, is just a good idea. There are other ways to do it. Remember, we just have to handle the cost to insurance companies of forcing them to cover sick people. This could easily be done with government subsidies paid for by taxes, for example. But no: the ACA very specifically adopted the Republican idea of personal responsibility - requiring that every American be responsible for their own health insurance -- as the way to solve the problem.

Quote
I can see that you're rolling on the floor laughing, you might want to contain yourself until you make some points that support your argument rather than refute it.
The problem appears to be that you perhaps don't understand my argument. Those two items are undeniably Republican ideas. The fact that the Republicans ran away from them, doesn't indicate that the Dems were unwilling to compromise. It just means that the Republicans ran away from them... for political reasons, naturally.

  I understand your argument just fine. You have no evidence at all that Obama made any real attempt to compromise with republicans, just evidence that Obama was forced to compromise with other democrats in order to insure their votes. Obama made compromises that were necessary to get the dems to vote for the bill but you've provided no evidence that he'd have made enough of a compromise to get bipartisan support.

  EDIT: Imagine a republican tax proposal that raised taxes on everyone making less than $50k a year and cutting the top tax bracket, but raising the income level where you stop paying social security tax by $20k. Raising the income level that you pay SS taxes on is a democrat-supported idea. Does the fact that the SS tax provision was included serve as evidence that the republicans were trying to compromise with the democrats? Does the fact that no dems would vote for the proposal in spite of the SS tax inclusion mean that the dems are running away from that idea and unwilling to compromise for political reasons?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 04:26:50 PM by BballTim »

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #81 on: November 14, 2012, 04:45:35 PM »

Offline LooseCannon

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If your argument is that Republicans refusing to agree to anything is proof that Obama was unwilling to compromise, then there's no point in arguing.  But Democrats at least made proposals that can be interpreted as attempts to compromise by moving the bill to the right of where most Democrats wanted it to be.

On the other hand, I don't think Republicans did anything at all that could be interpreted as legitimate interest in compromise.  So, it would be a very reasonable interpretation of history to say that Democrats were more willing than Republicans to compromise on health care reform.

My guess is that we're going to reach a state of public opinion where a plurality wants to keep Obamacare mostly intact, perhaps with a little tweaking, and decent-sized minorities want to either expand it or repeal it, so that Obamacare represents a compromise tolerable to many but which leaves few people completely happy and some people on both extremes unhappy.
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Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #82 on: November 14, 2012, 04:53:25 PM »

Offline angryguy77

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So what if a few republicans talked about having a mandate. A handful of people who advocate a position doesn't mean they speak for the whole party, nor do they speak for every conservative. Besides, if Obama is allowed to "evolve" on certain issues, why can't republicans.
Because it wasn't just a few Republicans, it was 1) the Heritage Foundation's idea, and 2) part of the Republican answer to Hillarycare, introduced by a Republican, co-sponsored by eighteen other Republicans (including the Senate Minority leader, Bob Dole).

They can certainly "evolve" on issues. Just as I this poster can point out that it was a convenient, cynical evolution. In other words... politics. Which means, can't blame it on the Dems.

Quote
There is no such thing as personal responsibility when the government is holding a gun to your head to make the choice it wants you to make. I don't think you understand what it really means to be responsible for yourself, or your reaching to strengthen your argument.
There is no place for hyperbole in this discussion. There is no "gun" to anyone's head. Not only is your life not threatened, but ignoring the mandate is not even illegal.

Purchasing health insurance is a matter of personal responsibility, because society bears the cost of your lack of it. If you get hit by a bus, you'll be treated by the ER even if you can't afford it.

Thank Saint Reagan for that one, by the way.

You don't understand the concept, or analogies for that matter.

It's completely wrong to think of a government paying for your healthcare if you can't afford it somehow promotes the idea of personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is something you take when you and you alone suffer the consequences of your actions.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #83 on: November 14, 2012, 05:02:48 PM »

Offline Interceptor

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I understand your argument just fine. You have no evidence at all that Obama made any real attempt to compromise with republicans, just evidence that Obama was forced to compromise with other democrats in order to insure their votes. Obama made compromises that were necessary to get the dems to vote for the bill but you've provided no evidence that he'd have made enough of a compromise to get bipartisan support.
To be more precise, I've provided no evidence that you'll accept, which is something else entirely.

There is no Republican counter-proposal with which to compare to the ACA; all of their ideas were wildly insufficient to the scale of the problem. Meanwhile, we have evidence of formerly Republican ideas (remember: Democrats want single payer and an employer mandate, not insurance exchanges and an individual mandate) being included in the bill, and two high-profile Republicans walking back the barest of support (first Grassley, supporting the mandate before being against it, and then Snowe for voting for the bill before voting against it).

So how do we come to the conclusion that it was a lack of bipartisan outreach, rather than naked political opportunism? The ingredients for the former don't even exist. Obama didn't compromise with Democrats, he compromised with conservatives. The difference wasn't their values, it was party identification.

Which to get back to the point, is why it's hilarious to blame Republican intransigence on the Democrats.

Quote
EDIT: Imagine a republican tax proposal that raised taxes on everyone making less than $50k a year and cutting the top tax bracket, but raising the income level where you stop paying social security tax by $20k. Raising the income level that you pay SS taxes on is a democrat-supported idea. Does the fact that the SS tax provision was included serve as evidence that the republicans were trying to compromise with the democrats? Does the fact that no dems would vote for the proposal in spite of the SS tax inclusion mean that the dems are running away from that idea and unwilling to compromise for political reasons?
It's a mark of the inherent unrealistic nature of your position, that the best counterargument you can come up with is a hypothetical example of something that has never happened.

Let me know when the Republicans actually do something like this, and we can talk about what it means for compromise.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #84 on: November 14, 2012, 05:07:20 PM »

Offline BballTim

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If your argument is that Republicans refusing to agree to anything is proof that Obama was unwilling to compromise, then there's no point in arguing.  But Democrats at least made proposals that can be interpreted as attempts to compromise by moving the bill to the right of where most Democrats wanted it to be.

  Democrats made proposals that were necessary to get enough votes from democrats to pass the bill and nothing more. Slightly to the right of where most democrats want the bill is still well left of where most people wanted it to be.

On the other hand, I don't think Republicans did anything at all that could be interpreted as legitimate interest in compromise.  So, it would be a very reasonable interpretation of history to say that Democrats were more willing than Republicans to compromise on health care reform.

  I don't think that either side did anything that could be interpreted as a legitimate interest in compromise. The democrats (with the white house and numbers in the house and senate) saw a once in a generation chance to enact legislation that was too liberal to get any sort of bipartisan agreement on. The republicans saw no benefit in making the legislation appear to be anything other than the liberal plan being crammed down our throats that it was. 

My guess is that we're going to reach a state of public opinion where a plurality wants to keep Obamacare mostly intact, perhaps with a little tweaking, and decent-sized minorities want to either expand it or repeal it, so that Obamacare represents a compromise tolerable to many but which leaves few people completely happy and some people on both extremes unhappy.

  My guess is that people will eventually figure out that Obamacare is a budget-buster that will lower the quality of medical care that many/most people in the country now have.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #85 on: November 14, 2012, 05:11:43 PM »

Offline Interceptor

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You don't understand the concept, or analogies for that matter.

It's completely wrong to think of a government paying for your healthcare if you can't afford it somehow promotes the idea of personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is something you take when you and you alone suffer the consequences of your actions.
Personal responsibility means bleeding to death on the side of the street if you can't afford the treatment for being hit by a bus. We've decided, as a society, that this is not acceptable. Personal responsibility also means accepting that your actions impact those around you... like running around without insurance and shifting the cost of your treatment to everyone else.

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #86 on: November 14, 2012, 05:31:34 PM »

Offline foulweatherfan

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It's completely wrong to think of a government paying for your healthcare if you can't afford it somehow promotes the idea of personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is something you take when you and you alone suffer the consequences of your actions.

Honest question - what would this look like for health care in your opinion?  Insurance always involves some people subsidizing others, including people with no coverage at all (since they drive up prices for everyone who does pay).

The only scenario I can think of that seems to fit under your definition is: no insurance whatsoever, everyone pays directly for their own medical costs as they arise, and if you can't afford the care, you don't get it.  Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think anybody really wants that - so what would an acceptable level of responsibility look like in the current framework?

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #87 on: November 14, 2012, 05:34:34 PM »

Offline BballTim

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I understand your argument just fine. You have no evidence at all that Obama made any real attempt to compromise with republicans, just evidence that Obama was forced to compromise with other democrats in order to insure their votes. Obama made compromises that were necessary to get the dems to vote for the bill but you've provided no evidence that he'd have made enough of a compromise to get bipartisan support.
To be more precise, I've provided no evidence that you'll accept, which is something else entirely.

  No, I was precise enough. Your evidence is that Obama was forced to compromise with members of his own party to get the legislation passed. Nothing more. You might claim that Obama would have made concessions large enough to garner republican support but you've obviously offered no evidence to back that up.

There is no Republican counter-proposal with which to compare to the ACA; all of their ideas were wildly insufficient to the scale of the problem. Meanwhile, we have evidence of formerly Republican ideas (remember: Democrats want single payer and an employer mandate, not insurance exchanges and an individual mandate) being included in the bill, and two high-profile Republicans walking back the barest of support (first Grassley, supporting the mandate before being against it, and then Snowe for voting for the bill before voting against it).

  The republican proposal was the more intelligent way to solve the problem, get the spending under control before you greatly expand the program. And you claim that "Democrats want single payer and an employer mandate". To be more precise, *some* democrats want that. If every democrat would have voted for single payer it would have been part of the bill. It's obviously not missing because of the republicans.

So how do we come to the conclusion that it was a lack of bipartisan outreach, rather than naked political opportunism? The ingredients for the former don't even exist. Obama didn't compromise with Democrats, he compromised with conservatives. The difference wasn't their values, it was party identification.

  That horse has left the barn, you've already admitted that moderate democrats were the ones that caused the compromises that you've brought up. Trying to label them as conservatives or claiming that they "supported the Republican orthodoxy" isn't going to get a lot of traction.

Quote
EDIT: Imagine a republican tax proposal that raised taxes on everyone making less than $50k a year and cutting the top tax bracket, but raising the income level where you stop paying social security tax by $20k. Raising the income level that you pay SS taxes on is a democrat-supported idea. Does the fact that the SS tax provision was included serve as evidence that the republicans were trying to compromise with the democrats? Does the fact that no dems would vote for the proposal in spite of the SS tax inclusion mean that the dems are running away from that idea and unwilling to compromise for political reasons?
It's a mark of the inherent unrealistic nature of your position, that the best counterargument you can come up with is a hypothetical example of something that has never happened.

Let me know when the Republicans actually do something like this, and we can talk about what it means for compromise.

  Actually it's a mark of the inherent unrealistic nature of your position that I had to come up with such an example. There's no way you'll convince anyone that the health care bill was close enough to a bipartisan idea that adding a few ideas that republicans might support would be enough to tip the scales to get them to support it. I have a hard time believing that Obama was stupid enough to think that adding something like the individual mandate would be sufficient to get republicans to ignore everything they disliked about the bill and support it. Clearly, if Obama knew that adding those provisions to the bill would not gain him a single vote then claiming that adding those provisions was some sort of bi-partisan compromise is silly.
 

Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #88 on: November 14, 2012, 05:38:02 PM »

Offline D.o.s.

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  Democrats made proposals that were necessary to get enough votes from democrats to pass the bill and nothing more. Slightly to the right of where most democrats want the bill is still well left of where most people wanted it to be.

I hope you're joking.
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Re: Will filibuster reform be the Senate's first big test?
« Reply #89 on: November 14, 2012, 05:46:41 PM »

Offline BballTim

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  Democrats made proposals that were necessary to get enough votes from democrats to pass the bill and nothing more. Slightly to the right of where most democrats want the bill is still well left of where most people wanted it to be.

I hope you're joking.

  About which part?

 

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