The Uber-Liberal blog FireDogLake Action is seething about the “compromises” on the Health Care Bill that are about to be made, and are calling the Obama Administration on it:
That’s interesting because the progressive community thinks Obama’s broken promises and secret deals are the real gratuitous slaps. Having a top progressive reform priority, allowing Medicare to save billions by directly negotiating drug prices, sacrificed in a backroom deal for campaign ads from PhRMA is beyond the pale.
Looking back at Obama’s campaign health care plan, it is shocking how many promises he broke without a fight. Obama promised:
- A new national health exchange open to all Americans
- A new public plan available to all Americans to compete with private insurance
- An employer mandate to provide health insurance
- A minimum medical loss ratio for insurance companies
- To allow people to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe
- To repeal the ban that prevents the government from directly negotiating with drug companies
Note none of these promise are part of the Senate Finance Committee bill. Obama has made no effort to fight for the inclusion of some of these (public option, employer mandate, minimum medical loss ratio) and months ago even made secret deals vowing to actively work to kill drug re-importation and direct drug price negotiation.
Broken promises are, apparently, a surprise to Leftoids. Conservatives expect them from Liberal politicians. Go Figure.
The veteran president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has crossed lines that few labor leaders – even those who quietly agree with him – would go near.
McEntee led workers in chanting a barnyard epithet to describe Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus’s health care bill, which would levy a new tax on expensive health care plans. He published an op-ed in U.S.A. Today warning, in terms that could be used against Democrats in the midterms, that the plan could tax the middle class and cost workers their health care. And he blew off a plea from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and published an open letter promising to “oppose” legislation that contained the tax – published over the objections, several labor officials said, of other union presidents whose names appeared on the letter.
Scorched Earth, here we come! General AFSCME’s riding across Georgia to the sea!
“We have had just about enough of his gratuitous slaps,” said a senior White House official Friday, calling the politically charged language “outrageous and unacceptable” from an ally — even from one that had, the official noted, devoted substantial resources to health care efforts.
“He’s doing his members a real disservice,” said the official, who said that while all other labor leaders had been careful to keep their opposition to elements of health care proposals modulated and largely inside the tent, McEntee was “beyond the pale.”
But a spokesman for AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka stood by McEntee. “We work closely with the White House and count ourselves among their strongest supporters,” said the spokesman, Eddie Vale. “Sometimes being supportive means staking out a tough position, and nobody understands that better than President McEntee.”
From labor to civil libertarians to anti-war activists, progressive organizers have had to choose between biting their tongues and losing the access and power that comes with friends in the White House. McEntee is among the most prominent leaders who has been willing to challenge the administration.
That last paragraph means there’s more opposition on the left than just the Unions — we’re just not hearing about them in the Media.
The real reason the Unions are so desperate about this is thst they can no longer afford to fund their own pension and Health Care funds for their retirees. For years various unions has skimmed and plundered their own member’s funds, and there just isn’t enough left to pay for the costs now that the Baby Boomers are beginning to retire. (Look it up yourself: I just looked up “Union Health Care Fund Indictments” and got 2,780,000 results on Google.)
If a “Public Option” Health Care Plan were to be enacted, the Unions could dump their retirees on the Government and not have to worry about their impending bankruptcy anymore. But if the government enacts the surtax to charge “Cadillac Plans” (like the unions currently offer), their members ill be up in arms, and probably demand the Union pic up this cost (which they can hardly afford either.)
Catch-22 for the Unions. Heh. Watching this closely. . .