BAM! Prez Takes on All Comers

Posted on 25. Oct, 2009 by in Uncategorized

The public option, which just several weeks ago was down for the count, is back up and swinging with a new vigor and sureness – frankly we just didn’t think he had it in him. Now leaders of both chambers of congress are working on bills that include some version of a government healthcare plan, in various strengths and flavors. The debate, literally overnight, has shifted to more granular details like, how will prices be negotiated, and away from whether the government ought to be in the health care biz at all.

And meanwhile Obama seems suddenly ready to take on all comers. Fox News, insurance lobbyists, and even the Chamber of Commerce have all been taking a lumping from our previously pacifist chief. What is happening to that emasculated party? Why are they suddenly acting like they have the right to govern?

What we are seeing in each case is that these powerful groups were so use to having Democrats lay down and play dead that they allowed themselves the privilege of that last gratuitous kick. And it proved to much. Because even a party that likes playing dead rather than deal with vicious confrontation doesn’t want to get kicked endlessly.

Up until now the insurers have played the game of saying that it was, in fact, they that wanted reform most of all. Hey we’re all on your side guys. We just are looking for the best way to do this.

And the Democrats wanted to believe that a solution existed that wouldn’t hurt insurers profits while also improving access to care. They just didn’t want to acknowledge that insurance companies make money by limiting coverage to people who are unlikely to get sick and finding ways of not paying when they do. But Democrats did not want to believe that they were in a zero sum game with one of America’s most powerful industries.

The insurance industry helped clarify the relationship by funding a report attacking even the bill that Bauchus had worked so hard to make pleasing to them. This was when Obama and Democrats started naming names and incredibly taking shots at the insurance racket. Senators even went so far as to raise the specter of lifting the anti-trust exemption that allows just one or two insurers to operate in many markets.

The report said that costs for insurance premiums would go up 111 percent. Meaning insurers would raise premiums 111 percent. Which if true (Price Water Cooper that wrote the report even said it was based on incomplete information) shows that the insurance industry is committed to profit equation remaining the same in any regardless of the reform.

This was more than even Democrats could take and now they are standing up.

Even more shocking, Obama’s fight with Chamber of Commerce, which has always been a DC untouchable, the lobby of lobbies. Obama has said he will go around the lobbying group, which has historically served a pipeline to business, and talk with corporate chieftains directly.

Chamber of Commerce also tried to kick a Democratic party that was all to happy to play dead, once to many times. After a slew of opposition to new financial regulations and cap and trade policies, the lobbying group launched nationwide ads against the creation of a federal consumer protection agency to prevent credit card abuses.

Some suspect that the administration might have encouraged recent defections, and are trying neuter, the Chamber. Apple (AAPL) PG&E (PCG) have left the Chamber already and Nike (NKE) has resigned from the board. A true a divide an conquer strategy could really diminish the hitherto unchecked power that important lobbies believe is their entitlement.

The administration and the Dems now seems to realize that the important battles it is fighting are being fought for keeps by the opposition. And just maybe they are ready to take the fight back.

Below is a fairly amusing clip of the 3 wounded comrades, bewildered and a bit hurt that their cowardly opponent has finally punched back.

One Response to “BAM! Prez Takes on All Comers”

  1. Joe Walker

    26. Oct, 2009

    great blog post title.