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‘Crazy Liberal’ Health Care


Most of the trouble the Democratic health-care agenda has encountered so far has been in the Senate, where the immense cost of the plan, the government insurance program, the new tax on employment, and the nervousness of the doctor, hospital, and employer groups have been leaving their mark. The general assumption has been that anything could pass in the House, given the size of the Democratic majority and the strong-arm tactics of the leadership there. But as House Democrats prepare to release their version of health-care reform legislation today, The Hill reports some signs of serious strain, as more centrist House Democrats are getting nervous about having to vote for an Obama-style reform. The two centrist Democratic caucuses—the Blue Dogs and the New Democrats—are trying to agree on some proposals of their own:

The two groups, which combined have 131 members — more than half the House Democratic Caucus — have been holding meetings to see where they can agree on a healthcare plan…There is concern among centrists in the caucus that the draft bill, to be released Friday, will reflect some of the more liberal ideas in the caucus, although leadership has already rejected the idea of a single-payer system. It is being put together by the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees.

“You have a bunch of crazy liberal chairs and their crazy liberal staffers, and they want to lay down a marker,” said a senior Democratic aide.

You have to wonder where this “senior Democratic aide” has been the last few months.


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