Sen. Hatch Jumps Ship On Health Care Negotiations

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Well, we have moved on step closer top getting a more rational policy out of the Senate today. Bloomberg News is reporting that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has decided to end his participation in bipartisan talks on the health care reform. Now of course the chattering classes on our TV machines are going to spin this as another reason the sky is falling on the Presidents (and our) health care reform initiative, but the Dog does not see it that way at all.

Originally posted at

While it would be nice to have a bill that some Republicans vote for the reality is the GOP has shown its true colors, they do not care about the 18% of American citizens who have no health care; they do not care about the 8% more who are underinsured. They see nothing wrong with a competitive system that allows the top 10 publicly  traded companies to have a 428% increase in profit over the last eight years, by having 94% of all health insurance markets controlled by one or two major players (over 15% of States have 90% or more of the market controlled by two companies). No, they only want to score points against the Democratic Congress and President Obama.

This is why having Sen. Hatch jump ship at this point is a good thing;  to get a bill that really does the things the people need it to do (recognizing it is not going to be perfect, just a hell of a lot better than the status quo) we were always going to have to dump any of the Republican plans. Just like trying to placate Dixicrats distorted the Democratic message for a long time, trying to bring the Republicans in on this major reform is going bend the process completely out of shape, and in the end have it die.

The other benefit is it makes it more likely we will get the bill in reasonable time, and will fewer problems to reconcile in the Conference Committee. This means we can have a bill ready to be voted on by budget reconciliation in October, which is the over all goal here in any case. The probability it was going to come down like this was known to everyone on Capital Hill is why the rules were made to so the bill could be passed by reconciliation in the first place. Remember when the Republican’s were squealing like a stuck pig about this very issue in the early spring?

The Dog thinks it is time for the Democrats to be the majority. Yes, we do have to do something about the Blue Dog’s concerns, but they are nothing compared to the Republicans who we are never, ever going to get to sign on to a bill with a real public option. We need to tell our Senators, not to just stand up for the public option but to stop engaging a group of people who have said, in public and in their own talking points memo’s that the goal here is not what is best for the people of the Untied States, but what is best for their party and the business interests that support it.

To this end the Dog is asking you all to call Sen. Baucus to call it is day on trying to appease Senators who fundamentally will not be appeased. It is time for him to take the best interest of the People ahead of the interest of comity. He has made more than enough effort to get these Senators meet him even a quarter of the way. He is on the verge of giving away our best shot in a generation at real reform that has been on the table since President Theodore Roosevelt proposed it nearly 100 years ago.  

If you are willing to make two calls, also express this point of view to the Majority Leader Reid. You can contact each of them at the following numbers.

Sen. Max Baucus – (202) 224-2651

Majority Leader Reid (202)-224-3542

Don’t let today go by without acting! This is not one persons fight, this is all citizens fight, even those uninformed and foolish enough to be resisting this. The Dog defines patriotism as being involved in the safety and welfare of your fellow citizens. Do the patriotic thing and call today!

The floor is yours.


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  1. it is a twofer, he gets a spine we get a public option.  

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