Maine needs to do something about these two idiots. We have Sen. Collins proclaiming from on high that there shalt be no public and private competition in health care evah, and Sen. Snowe's still demanding the death of the public option. She says taking it off the table will "give real momentum to building consensus." Riiigghhttt. Meanwhile, other Cons are still yammering about scrapping everything and starting from scratch, which I believe shows just how serious they are about accomplishing reform. They're dead serious - about killing it dead.
President Obama, meanwhile, doesn't seem terribly willing to do any of the above. He came out strongly in favor of the public option at a rally in Missouri, and got in his digs at Cons to boot:
Good on yer, Mr. President. Keep it up.
Although Obama said he favored a bipartisan plan, he cautioned that he would not negotiate with Republicans who displayed bad faith. That may have been a reference to Republican negotiators in the Senate.
The White House has made plain its annoyance with Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who was part of a bipartisan group negotiating a health care compromise. During that effort, Grassley put out a fundraising letter pledging to defeat "Obama-care." "I will not waste time," the president said, "with those who think it's just good politics to kill health care."
Elsewhere, Tim Pawlenty ended up getting his ass kicked by George Stephanopoulos on the whole "but if we have reform, the illegals will get it, too!" claim. Facts hurt, don't they just? George also forced him to babble incoherently about his Tenther proclivities. Good on yer, George.
Drug companies are sending in their shills to spew lies about review panels that would provide docs and hospitals with peer-reviewed info on what drugs work and what don't. Their proposal: let the companies themselves be the review panels! Give me a fucking break.
For those in the audience who don't give a shit about reform because you've got yours, worry.
On the good news front, Howard Dean takes on other industry shill and right-wing lies about health care, this time knocking down the claim that cutting waste from Medicare means cutting health care for seniors. Hint: 'tis not the seniors, but the bloated insurance companies that prey on them, that will end up with less.
And, finally, Rep. Raul Grijalva makes me proud to be from Arizona:
Amy Goodman asked Rep. Raul Grijalva, leader of the Progressive Resistance, what he thought about the Max Baucus bill crafted by former health insurance lobbyists:
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA: I think the product that has come out from his committee and himself, I really believe that it has no legitimacy in this debate. It’s an insider product. It’s there to protect the industry. It is not there to try to look for that middle ground. He is key in holding up deliberations, has been key in trying to work on a consensus, but everything you see in his legislation had to be approved by the industry before it became part of the plan. So I don’t think it’s legitimate. I think we’re struggling with real issues in some of the other pieces of legislation from the House and even from the Health Committee. And that’s where the focus of the attention should be. I consider Senator Baucus’s proposal to be essentially an insider trader move to protect an industry and really doesn’t have validity at all, both political validity or content validity.
Good on yer, Rep. Grijalva. I don't know how Arizona managed to elect an actual progressive, but I hope they know a pearl beyond price when they see one.