Here is some light reading for you..from april of this year... link to full article at the bottom"They got what they wanted. But blaming Republican intransigence for this outcome is myth-making, pure and simple. The blame goes to left-wing Democrats, who refused to entertain a more balanced approach to health reform."
..............................................................................................There was a path to bipartisan reform, but Democrats rejected it
Hence, a bipartisan health-care agenda at the federal level will necessarily look quite different than one at the state level. If liberals had bothered to ask, they could easily have elicited bipartisan support for a proposal that did the following: (1) set up the Obamacare exchanges for those under 400% of FPL; (2) applied the Ryan reforms to Medicare and Medicaid (or, alternatively, folded in Medicare and Medicaid acute-care into the PPACA exchanges); (3) equalized the tax treatment of employer-sponsored and individually-purchased insurance; and (4) not increase taxes or the deficit.
But they didn’t. The Democratically-controlled House passed its plan in 2009 with nearly zero Republican input. In the Senate, the Gang of Six—Democratic Sens. Baucus (Mont.), Conrad (N.D.), and Bingaman (N.M.), and Republican Sens. Grassley (Iowa), Snowe (Maine), and Enzi (Wyo.)—failed to come to an agreement because the Republicans were concerned about the bill’s dramatic increase in taxes and spending.
Indeed, Democrats wouldn’t even have needed to do everything I listed above. Simply expanding coverage without raising taxes would have been enough, as contemporaneous reporting makes clear. But the Democratic leadership had no interest in a bipartisan deal.
Universal-coverage activist John McDonough
, in his book Inside National Health Reform
, recounts that Max Baucus’ original November 2008 blueprint
for health reform “had made known [Baucus’] intention to use changes in the tax treatment of health insurance as his major financing source to pay for reform.” As Baucus put it in his blueprint, “It is time to explore ways in which tax incentives can be modified to distribute benefits more fairly and effectively…This could be done by limiting or capping the tax exclusion based on the value of health benefits, or as an alternative, based on a person’s income—or both.” A salutary idea.
But the President, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) were having none of that. As Roll Call reported at the time
, “According to Democratic sources, Reid told Baucus that taxing health benefits and failing to include a strong government-run insurance option of some sort in his bill would cost 10 to 15 Democratic votes; Reid told Baucus it wasn’t worth securing [Republican] support.” McDonough, who was on the inside during these discussions, notes that Democratic leaders felt that it was unnecessary to solicit Republican support because Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate. “Reid’s directive, backed by the White House and supported by the House, was motivated in part by the seating of Minnesota’s Al Franken, the Democrats’ elusive sixtieth vote, meaning that Republicans were no longer needed to pass a bill. This directive, though, left Baucus’s plan with a gaping financial hole
Democrats, unwilling to budge on broader reform, then tried to ram through a partisan expansion of coverage, with substantial tax increases and an individual mandate, and zero structural reform to Medicare, Medicaid, and the employer tax exclusion. They got what they wanted. But blaming Republican
intransigence for this outcome is myth-making, pure and simple. The blame goes to left-wing Democrats, who refused to entertain a more balanced approach to health reform.
Put simply, liberals’ principal goal was and is universal coverage, and conservatives’ principal goal was and is entitlement reform. These two goals could have been simultaneously accomplished in a bipartisan bill, but liberals had no desire to reform entitlements.Would Democrats Block a Republican Plan for Universal Coverage, Out of Spite?http://www.forbes.co...e-out-of-spite/