Did Blue Dogs roll over on health care reform?

As you’ve probably already heard by now, House Blue Dogs and the Democratic leadership have hammered out a compromise on healthcare reform that includes a public option, and according to McJoan and others, very few major concessions to the conservative wing of the party:

In addition to postponing the vote on the full bill until after recess, Waxman and the Blue Dogs negotiated a basic outline including raising the small business exemption raised to payrolls of $500,000 or over. It keeps the public option intact, and allows for HHS to negotiate rates for the public option. It keeps consumer protections currently in the bill intact.

Like everyone else I’ve been nagging my contacts trying to get details and reactions, but apparently, non-Blue Dogs haven’t been told what’s exactly in the compromise yet, so there hasn’t been much detail or reaction to share. That said, Rep. Jay Inslee is holding a telephone town hall tonight at 7:10 PM PT, and perhaps he’ll have more information by then. The public is invited to call in at 877-229-8493 or 877-269-7289; conference code is 13634.

It seems apparent that reimbursement rates are at the heart of negotiations on the public option, a fact that Rep. Inslee emphasized throughout his press conference Sunday on last week’s compromise agreement on Medicare reimbursements:


I specifically asked Inslee if we’d get a real public option out of the House, and he emphatically said that we would, while noting that the Blue Dogs have “balked” at tying the reimbursement system to Medicare. This new compromise apparently takes care of this objection by allowing HHS to negotiate rates. (And, in so doing, options the opportunity to move away from fee for service.)

So while Inslee and other non-Blue Dogs apparently haven’t seen the compromise yet, he sure did have some insight into what was coming.


  1. 1

    Carl Thurman spews:

    Dear Mr. Merkley,
    Please do not vote for this health care package. We regular Americans cannot offord anymore of the irresponsible Pres. Obama programs. He is truly trying to turn America into a socialist state that should make enery America cringe.
    Please step back and take good look at what is going on in Washington.
    If you vote for this health care package I will do everything I can to convince my friends and associates not to vote for you if you should decide to run for political office again.
    Carl Thurman

  2. 2

    Blue John spews:

    Dear Mr. Merkley,
    Please vote for this health care package. We regular Americans cannot afford anymore of the broken health care system. Obama is truly trying to turn America into a better country for everyone, not just richest 2%.
    Please step back and take good look at what is going on in Washington from the corporate lobbying.
    If you vote for this health care package I will do everything I can to convince my friends and associates to vote for you if you should decide to run for political office again.
    Blue John

  3. 3

    proud leftist spews:

    Don’t be deceptive. You did not vote for Obama and would never vote for him, even if he promoted every one of your policy positions. This country desperately needs healthcare reform, and now that we have adults in charge of the federal government, it looks like that’s what we’re going to get.

  4. 4

    ArtFart spews:

    Anyone else listen to “Fresh Air” on NPR last night? The two guests were Paul Krugman and Stuart Butler, the VP for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Some, particularly whoever posted #1 above, might be surprised at how many things those two agreed about, including that our present health care system is a mess and if left unattended to will soon be a disgrace. So much for the screech monkeys’ mantra about how we have “the best health care in the world”. Their differences appeared to be mainly over single-payer versus a predominantly private system which would eventually be completely separated from employment–and likely highly subsidized.

  5. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 What we can’t afford is any more private health insurance ripoffs, 47 million uninsured using ER care (the cost of which is passed on to us), lousy care, escalating premiums, ever-rising copays and deductibles, and arbitrary claim denials. So, go FUCK yourself, health care reform is going to HAPPEN with or without you troglodyte motherfuckers.

  6. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 ” … we have ‘the best health care in the world’.”

    They should try telling that to the WW2 vet’s widow I met last year who lost her home and savings because of her late husband’s medical bills and now has to live in a travel trailer and work minimum wage jobs to survive at age 78. If they tried to feed their bullshit to her, she’d probably take a shotgun to ‘em, and it’d serve ‘em right.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey GW deniers! How d’ya like this fucking ICE AGE we’re having?! A cold wind from space must’ve got through the Ozone Hole! Hope ya don’t FREEZE yer asses off by turning up the air conditioner too high!! HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR !!!

  8. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    My colleague from Korea reminded me today that when she arrived in this country, she expected it to be considerably advanced from her homeland in terms of technology and social programs.

    She was surprised to find that the U.S. is about equal in technological sophistication with S. Korea, considerably behind in public education, and very, very far behind in health care.

    She shakes her head in amazement at the difficulty she has in scheduleing a simple proceedure and trying to confirm if everyone is “in network” (doctors, anesthesiologists, labs, doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, labs, etc.). Even after spending hours on the phone, the insurance company warns her that any information they give her is “unofficial”, and she should check with each provider to determine if they are in-network, and each provider also says the same thing, but refers her back to the insurance company. In other words, the doctor’s office and the insurance company can both say that they are in-network, but later the insurance company can deny in-network coverage, and blame it on her for not confirming it sufficiently in advance (this happened to me once).

    In Korea, she says, she just goes to the doctor’s office, and has the proceedure done. No bill, no hassle, minimal paperwork. Most doctor’s offices have a doctor, a nurse, and one scheduler/secretary. No staff who’s task is solely to deal with billing issues.

    People who continue to insist that we have the best health-care system in the world are still comparing the rest of the world to as it was in 1955. They really don’t know what’s going on out in the rest of the world, and rely upon O’Reily and Hannity make up whatever they want to believe.

  9. 10

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Way to unload the New Age Atheist Progressive spin on this “compromise”.
    Are you serious??
    Inslee hasn’t actually seen the compromise yet./…but the Blue Dogs rolled over??

    C’mon Goldy, do you really think Americans will buy your clever spin? I suppose if they were naive enough to vote for Obama based on his feelgood rhetoric, some will believe your spin on this too.

    Bad try Goldy==No Sale!

  10. 11

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    My Left Foot–
    Good to see you posting again my friend.
    As you know, my job here is to keep you from falling off the left-side of the earth.

    I have always found you to be the most reasoned thinker….although sometimes you do drop into the KLOWNhole.
    But all in all, you are a good man.
    The kind of guy I would enjoy havin’ a beer with. Frankly, the only other guy I find reasonable is Seattle Jew.
    The rest are in it for some immature ideological fight….which they will ultimately lose.
    America is still quite Conservative.
    We are now finding that Blue Dog Democrats and many Senators are also quite Conservative.

    Obamunism is a failure from the getgo.
    It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few decent ideas…but the Porkulous and Obamacare are ridiculous. Anyone can get votes promising folks lots of “free stuff” and taxing the rich.

  11. 13

    Steve spews:

    @10 “Bad try Goldy==No Sale!”

    I doubt very much that selling a wingnut freakizoid such as yourself on healthcare was the point of Goldy’s post.

    @11 Hey, Klynical KLOWN, got any more racist jokes to tell us?

    5. Mr. Cynical spews:
    Barack Obama got out of the shower and was drying off
    when he looked in the mirror and noticed he was white from the neck up to
    the top of his head.
    In sheer panic and fearing he was turning white and might have to start
    working for a living, he called his doctor and told him of his problem.
    The doctor advised him to come to his office immediately. After an
    examination, the doctor mixed a concoction of brown liquid, gave it to
    Barack, and told him to drink it all.
    Barack drank the concoction and replied, ‘That tasted like bullshit!’
    The doctor replied, ‘It was, you were a quart low.’
    07/08/2009 at 9:11 pm

    So you think blacks abhor the thought of ever working like a white man, huh? Did you come up with that notion after getting to know Puddy?

  12. 14

    Haywood Jablome spews:

    @9….must be nice to have such wonderful social programs when someone else(US!) is paying for their defense…

    I wonder how she would feel if South Korea had to defend themselves against the North…think they would have money for all the social programs then? Hell, they wouldnt even have a country,..

  13. 15

    Blue John spews:

    I found an interesting way of framing the spending on health care, it’s an investment on the potential return in human capital of the country.
    By the conservatives actions and positions, they don’t think that investing in their fellow Americans is worth their money.

  14. 17

    Erich von Lustbader spews:

    Maybe the DNC should create some TV ad ‘previews’ for these blue dog guys that they are going to show in their districts this summer.

    Money talks — especially when it does.

    ‘Satisfied with your health insurance? Here’s one of your neighbors who isn’t…’

  15. 18

    ArtFart spews:

    @7 Unfortunately, a lot of military veterans have had such bad experiences dealing with the VA and/or the old USPHS that they’ll gladly give you a screaming diatribe about how horrible it was, and that they’re convinced any involvement of the government in medicine is certain to be just as bad.

  16. 19

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Barrack Hussein Obama….SUCKS!

    From +32 to -12…in 6 months…same polling methodology!!

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -12. That’s the lowest rating yet recorded for President Obama

  17. 21

    Daddy Love spews:

    19 CYn

    Oh, cripes. Yet another edition of the useless, meaningless Approval Index.

    Tell me, Cynical, what each of those polled think it means to Strongly Approve as opposed to Somewhat Approve? And I mean each and every one of them. And the reason I ask is because YOU DON’T KNOW. Which of course, means taht you have no idea what they’re even measuring.

    But how about WHO they are measuring? What is the percentage of registered Republicans in the sample he (Scott Rasmussen) used, and how does that number compare to the broad measurements of party self-identification in which Republicans are at a record low? Do you know? Because I am guessing that you don’t.

    Which means that you have no idea what they’re measuring OR who they’re asking. In case you haven’t thought this one through yet, that means that your numbers mean bupkis.

  18. 22

    Daddy Love spews:

    TPM on Rasmussen’s Approval Index:

    Mark Blumenthal of Pollster.com said he didn’t know of anyone who had previously given this as a prominent “index.” “If Obama now has more strong detractors than strong supporters, that is politically meaningful (though contrary to the results of the recent ABC/Washington Post polls, to pick one example),” said Blumenthal. “But to report only those who strongly approve or strongly disapprove of Obama while neglecting mention of the aggregate numbers strikes me as more political spin than analysis.”

    Charles Franklin of Pollster.com, who is also my former poli-sci professor, said that it “seems misguided” to write off the moderate approvers and disapprovers. And Prof. Alan Abramowitz of Emory University was quite tough on it: “In my opinion, it makes no sense. It assumes that there’s no difference between those who just approve and disapprove, that the only opinions that count are strong approval and disapproval, but there’ s no evidence to support that claim.”

  19. 23

    Daddy Love spews:

    Aggregated polling page showing that Rasmussen’s numbers are REAL outliers. For example, Rasmussen is the ONLY pollster showing Obama’s net job disapproval higher than net job approval.

    Of course, for electoral purposes, everything depends on stuff like who the eedjits run against him, how much money they can raise (Obama doesn’t have to go through a primary), and so on.

    But even in 2010, Republicans have 8 Senators who are retiring, and one who switched parties. The only Democrat in any hint of trouble is Chris Dodd.

    And if the Republicans think they’re going to take back the House, I’ve got some waterfront property in Bangladesh to sell them.

    Doesn’t look good, eedjits.