Washington’s buzzing with excitement after news broke that Rep. Henry Waxman rolled the Blue Puppy Democrats with a few minor trinkets and Mike Ross agreed to a compromise on health care reform. This proves, to me at least, that the Blue Dogs as conservative Democrats are more fiction than reality. Here’s details of the compromise:

As a result of the deal, party leaders have agreed to put off a House vote until the fall, giving members more time to digest the legislation, and opponents more time to attack it.

The Blue Dogs also succeeded in cutting $100 billion from the overall cost of the bill, bringing the total price tag under $1 trillion. The legislation will now exempt small businesses with a payroll less than $500,000 from paying for any government-sponsored health coverage, double the $250,000 in the initial draft. Doctors and other health care providers would also be allowed to negotiate their payment rates with the government-sponsored health care arm.

The new version of the bill also has a breakthrough on the concept of health care “co-ops,” seen by some as an alternative to a public plan. States would be allowed to create co-ops for residents to buy private insurance. But the Waxman-Ross deal will also keeps the “public option” of government-sponsored health care.

The most appalling thing in this compromise is that Waxman and Pelosi kept the public option intact. As long as that provision is in health care reform, the legislation should be thought of as rat poison, albeit in this case watered down rat poison. Trimming $100,000,000,000 off the legislation sounds significant but it isn’t.

It isn’t because there still aren’t provisions in this bill that deal with health care costs. There still aren’t provisions in this bill that prevent rationing of care for seniors, which will happen with the public option.

Here’s what conservatives need to focus on through this development:

1. Any plan that includes a public ‘option’ guarantees rationing for seniors.
2. This bill does nothing to slow down health care cost inflation. Price controls aren’t the same as cutting the cost of health care.
3. This bill does nothing to introduce ‘level-playing-field’ competition. The only ‘competition’ included is the slanted battlefield competition of government-takeover health insurance and private sector competition.
4. The only thing that Chairman Waxman cared about throughout these negotiations was keeping the public option intact. He got that so he won this fight.
5. Blue Dog Democrats’ priorities in this fight weren’t about real reform based on competition, quality and improved access. The Blue Dog Democrats’ highest priority was in negotiating a lower sticker price to sell to their constituents. Everything else was unimportant to these Democrats.

What’s essentially happened is that Blue Dog Democrats admittee that they’re liberals who are concerned with image more than they’re concerned with putting legislation together that reforms the health insurance system.

After the Blue Dogs got rolled on Waxman-Markey, aka the National Energy Tax, I called them the “Thirty Pieces of Silver Democrats.” I admit that that’s a little undeserved but today’s deal proves yet again that the words Blue Dog Democrats and conservatives don’t belong together. Blue Dog Democrats are still liberals. They just aren’t as liberal as people like Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, John Conyers and Speaker Pelosi.

It’s time that the NRCC started targeting Blue Dogs with ads highlighting their conservative talk when they’re in their district vs. their votes in THE DISTRICT.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

4 Responses to “Rat Poison Masquerading As Reform”

  • G G Wing says:

    It would seem to me that after 8 long years of Conservative views and ways forced down our gullet we would learn. We don’t have to take it that crap anymore. And if those conservative folk want to get to out of hand. Well we could start a draft and send them and there kids on the next plane to Iraq!

  • L. Gibson says:

    Blue-dog democrats are behind-the-time-Democrats. Congressmen have Govt. paid health insurance. I only want the same options to health care that they are offered and I want it paid for by the same people. Lets seek to remove their insurance until all Americans have health care insurance and a good plan like Congress enjoys. A plan at least as good as the one currently in place for the insidious and potentially devastating Republicans and Democrats alike are more interested in avoiding any viable health care for the citizens they ‘claim’ to represent. Lets fly the our symbol, Old Glory, upside down to let all who see the flag realize this country is in distress. Distress at the lack of a viable health care reform for a symphony of reasons tied up by Democrats and Republicans who are insidious and potentially devastating the public health of their voters.

  • C. Stockstill says:

    I work in healthcare. The damned insurance companies already ration healtcare. How do you think their profits are made? By paying claims? Get real! They don’t want a public option. They don’t want any competition. How much are you paid by them to spread your fabrications and lies?

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