In a press release yesterday, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia gives an excellent overview of how the health care reform bill effort reached its current state.
Over the past year, the process of debating this issue often overwhelmed the substance of fixing the problem. The Obama Administration declared health care reform to be a major domestic objective, but they did not offer the Congress a bill. Nor did they propose a specific set of objectives from which legislation could be derived. Consequently, legislation was developed independently through five different Congressional committees, three in the House and two in the Senate. This resulted in a large amount of contradictory information and a great deal of confusion among our public.
So while we can point fingers for stalling, flip-flopping, boorish behavior, imprecatory prayers, outright lies and holding out for whatever reason, as Senator Webb points out, the blame for the part good and part bad health care reform bill passed by the Senate can be spread all around.
No public option. No expansion of Medicare. And to reduce the cost, some parts don't take effect for a couple of years. Last week Glenn Greenwald offered a plausible explanation of how the Obama administration pretty much got what it wanted.
Even though it's not over yet, I'm pretty disappointed.