Saturday, August 01, 2009

Friday night

Came home and took nap and then went to the gym, store and Starbucks with a new magazine I got in the mail today. Wasn't nice out, though. Hot and muggy. The hot tea didn't help.

Then spent a lot of time on Facebook. I've gotten back in touch with quite a few people from way back.

Tomorrow I have some items to post here, but I might also want to start on my non-fiction project. Or just chill. Looking forward to my vacation next month. Just thinking about it keeps me on an even keel.

I would just like to share this.

I hate to disagree with my friend Deacon Blues, and I hate to disrupt the "failing president" narrative that Adam Nagourney and other bigfoot national political reporters are peddling, but Barack Obama is actually pretty close to getting a damn good health care reform package. He won't get it by his original desired August deadline, but he will be getting it in September or October at the latest.

The Times reported last night that the White House has brokered a deal between Henry Waxman and four of the seven Blue Dog holdouts on his committee. Waxman's committee will soon be ready to vote on a package that:

1. Is better for rural states and small businesses;
2. Allows for a largely federal-paid Medicaid expansion; and
3. Preserves the public option.

That's right, behind closed doors the White House was able to save the public option and got key Blue Dog support for it.

Both the House and Senate feel their packages will cover 90-95% of the currently uninsured. In fact, things are moving so fast in the Senate that the GOP wants to slow things down by any means possible. And after months of bashing Obama's plan for health care reform, what is the GOP alternative plan? To let people buy health insurance across state lines through the Internet. Seriously.

Yes, his polls are down and he has, until today, lost control of the message. But by letting the centrists have their say and then doing the hard work behind closed doors out of camera range, Obama may get a bill that meets his objectives by October.

And if he gets health care reform done this fall in the midst of a stabilizing economy, with our troops coming home from Iraq on an accelerated schedule, today's poll numbers will be short-term bad news.

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