Barack Obama

E.J. Dionne: Pass The Health Care Plan So We Can Figure Out What's In It


It was Sunday, so it was Meet The Press (one more reason to sleep in). And Wash Post columnist E.J. Dionne dished about flagging support for the health care plan among us rubes what's actually going to pay for it. His advice to a weary, wary nation?:

The whole plan got discredited in the, in the minds of some people because the legislative process looks really awful.  And the more the focus was on the legislative process, the more people said, "What's going on here?" Once they pass a plan, you can actually talk about a plan.

That worked so well for, what, TARP? The Patriot Act? Curiously, the public pushback against ObamaCare has generally fallen into two categories: First, a fear that as the government gets more involved in something, the quality of service goes in the crapper. This is a lesson learned not via ideological indoctrination, but by everyday reality. Second, nobody really knows what the hell is in the plan or how it will work in terms of dollars and sense. Both immediately and down the road a bit. Hence, apprehension. The legislative process in this case "looks really awful" because it is really awful, filled with special deals, obfuscatory language, shady cost estimates, and worse. Barack Obama, fer chrissakes, gave a whole big talk about the need for reform a few months back, where he resolutely refused to make anything clear other than whatever happens will both taste great and be less filling.

But fear not, ObamaCare supporters. You've got all the right viziers in your corner, such as celebrity plagiarist and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who chimed in on MTP in support of Dionne.

They have to put out a campaign to tell everybody what's in this bill… They [voters] don't know what's in this bill.  They're afraid of this bill, but there's so many good things in it.  If they can run a campaign like they did to get the election, to tell people what's in this bill, it's going to be hugely popular.  That's my prediction as a historian going backwards.

More comforting thoughts, to be sure. Run a campaign explaining what's in a great historic bill after it has been passed.

Whole transcript here.

If past (or Medicare) is prologue, we know that any government health care reform will end up costing bazillions more than anticipated. And we can rest assured it will suffer mission creep up the yin-yang too.

NEXT: Democrats Cut Out Republicans, Public From Health Care Negotiations

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  1. [chomping cigar]
    “Just sign here kid. I’ll handle everything and you’ll be a star!”

  2. Will we get enough information to prove the law that’s officially put in the books is totally unchanged from both what the House voted on and what the Senate voted on, and both the House and Senate voted on the exact same bill?

    1. The information you get will be unprecedented.

    2. Heck, that didn’t happen with the farm bill last year, which was kind of hilarious. The House Clerk accidentally left out an entire section, Title III, when “enrolling” the official version on parchment that was sent to GWB.

  3. “That’s my prediction as a historian going backwards.”

    The only thing going backwards is her credibilty as a historian – if it’s possible to move any further to the rear than she already has.

    1. Doris (well, plus Tom Friedman)was the reason I had to stop watching Imus. Couldn’t take her ramblings any more..

  4. E.J. Dionne = retarded fetus.

    I look forward to a certain health care procedure for him.

    1. Great idea!

    2. Everyone who wants to be on E.J. Dionne’s death panel, please stand up!

      1. Shit, open that up to other selections as well, commence bidding, and we might have found a way to close even this deficit.

  5. Once they pass a plan, you can actually talk about a plan.

    I admit it: I screamed at the TV upon hearing this utterance.

    How this “plan-passing” process plays out is an indicator of the future of the country.

    1. Take a bottle of these random pills, then read the label.

      1. Oh, so you’ve tried that, too? Shit is fun! There are so many good things in those bottles of pills.

    2. Exactly, and right now it is playing out as if a soviet style politburo is running the country.

  6. I hereby pledge to donate $$ to any politician who dares to use the word ‘illegitimate’, in public, to describe a govt that acts this way.

  7. Shoot first. Ask questions later.

    So glad the usual suspects have enshrined that as official gummint policy.

  8. Once we pass a bill, we can talk about what’s in it. Well said.

    E.J. Dionne and this lady must hang out a lot.

    1. I just got this urge to watch “Plan 9 from Outer Space” again.

      1. That video was awesome. Anybody with any knowledge of physics would truly weep.

        1. I dunno about weeping. I thought it was hilarious.

          A bowling ball, really? And “Stephen Hawkings

        1. You would think that, with your stupid, stupid mind!

          1. Between “The Room” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, I’ve never seen such clumsy dialogue become so classic. I think Tommy Wiseau’s the closest thing to a living, breathing Ed Wood.

            1. You don’t get it, do you?

              Ed Wood could put together a better health care plan than this Administration. His WORST draft of “Plan 9” was better than anything this Congress has yet produced.

    2. Hey, that woman looks familiar….. oh ya, she was working at happy ending day spa a couple of years back.

  9. I don’t know what’s more painful: the stupid shit these people say, or the fact that they get paid big bucks to say it.

  10. Nick deserves special credit for using “vizier” in a post. 🙂

  11. If Mr. Obama supports the bill, I am for it no matter what. Mr. Obama is far more infallible than the pope in my opinion. He is on a mission to purify America and to save it from itself. Just get out of his way.

    1. Strange…I didn’t know my wife even read H&R, much less post here.

      1. Mine too–strange.

  12. among us rubes what’s actually going to pay for it


    will suffer mission creep up the yin-yang


    Looking like the Grinch — priceless.

    1. Typo … that should read missionary creep.

      1. Those ten year old kids needed extra… holy time.

      2. Missionary creep? Is that when a southward slip during missionary leads to an “oh, what the hell, why not” acceptance of anal?

        1. It is now. Thanks Ska!

        2. Please. Let’s not talk about David Brooks behind his back.

  13. It’s bizarre. For the first time in years and years, I used “grand vizier” in a phone conversation this morning (its the title for the doc who will be heading up our electronic medical record project). Then I check back at H & R, and there it is again!

    I need to lie down.

    1. Plate o’ shrimp.

  14. You may just be tuned in to the zeitgeist, RC. Either that or The Jacket is flexing its powers again. I mean, The Jacket is made from the hide of a beast whose very shape is abhorrent to terrestrial notions of sense and proportion, tanned to leather by an eldritch process brought to earth by the Great Old Ones from beyond the stars countless aeons ago, so you can expect certain… effects.

    1. Hideous non-Euclidean geometries actually make The Jacket a 1000 times larger on the inside than the out. A legion of Nickiodian monstrosities could be in its cold, dark reaches..

      1. Nah. It’s just dimensionally transcendental.

        1. You know what The Jacket’s favorite movie is? The Jacket.

        2. You shall know many eternities of agonies deep in the folds and pockets of The Jacket.

          1. I thought the Jacket’s favorite movie was Blue Velvet

          2. If The Jacket in a body of water, The Jacket will not become wet. Water will become The Jacket.

    2. Tremble before The Jacket’s +2 CHR bonus.

      1. What about saving throws against will?

        1. In the presence of The Jacket, all SAN checks fail.

  15. not via ideological indoctrination, but by everyday reality.

    The a priori existence of any unideological “everyday reality” from which (a magazine called) reason can deductively proceed is the very heart of Ideology, mister bitter clinger.

    1. Drink? Absinthe, perhaps?

  16. Grand Viziers were frequently strangulated if they didn’t perform in the Ottoman Empire. If that penalty goes with the job I’m all for Grand Viziers. Let’s have more, for every department of state, starting with Homeland Security through to Treasury and the Fed.

    1. How were they strangled? With piano wire?

      1. Or were they strangled by horrifically strong hands?

      2. Catgut.

        That way, when they try to speak through the choking, we can say, “Whatsamatter? Catgut yer tongue?”

        Forgive me, I’m having a shitty year.

  17. I’ve heard this argument a few times recently, among the Chatterati; you can’t talk about specific ideas, because we can’t say for certain they will actually make it into the bill.

    What we need to do is just wait until the thing becomes law; then you will be free to complain about it to your withered little heart’s content.

    1. Sure, and they’d be fine with that if the bill was, say, something about “The Abortion Reform Act.”

  18. I keep predicting weird shit in this bill to people. Who can disagree? The few who’ve seen it know it will be changed again into a more evil and twisted form. But the Obama is for it so of course it must be a double-good thing.

    Todays prediction: The bill requires the execution of the first born in every family (becuase they use too much health care) and mandates a glass of orange juice be drunk by every American every fucking morning (to get the florida senators’ votes).

  19. One sort of gets the idea that the bill will be vague and/or impossible to understand, and then the bureaucracy and the courts will decide what the government real health policies will be, based largely on which groups of activists are the noisiest.

    1. One sort of gets the idea that the bill will be vague and/or impossible to understand, and then the bureaucracy and the courts will decide what the government real health policies will be, based largely on which groups of activists are the noisiest.


    2. Well, the noisiest activists in the reform process so far have been health care reform opponents, and that hasn’t done any good. Since the bureaucrats and the courts are heavily liberal/statist, we can presume that the bill will be interpreted in the most leftist way possible.

    3. Exactly. If it passes, in five years some judge will determine that illegal immigrants have a Constitutional right to free sex change operations.

        1. Damn trannies took our jaerbs!

          1. “At least she’s white.”

            1. Thank Heavens! For a second I thought things were going to get weird.

              1. I work with a woman who was formerly a man. She got married to a female who is pre-operational to becoming a man.

                So I’m wondering if they’re actually heterosexual.

                1. That’s some pretty freaky (but symmetrical) shit. They probably could have saved time by swapping bodies…if only we had the technology.

                    1. “It’s not that I’m ashamed of you. I’m ashamed of myself!”

                      Later: “Well, it’s over. I don’t know what I did, but it’s over.”

                  1. Swapping bodies wouldn’t work, they’re both going to be men in the end according to BP’s description.

                    1. Sorry nevermind, i got it mixed up. (can you blame me?)

      1. PapayaSF, “Constitutional right to free sex change operations”. I have noticed you (or one of your ilk )have posted this at least once before and I’m starting to think you are an illegal immigrant. OTHH, you may just be obsessed with sex change operations.

  20. Tim Russert would never have stood for this crap. David Gregory, thou hast been weighed against Russert and found wanting.

    1. Russert truely was one of the only great reporters… hes about the only guy I actually made a point to watch

      1. I actually liked Russert a lot, too.

  21. I almost hope Obama takes Doris Kearns Goodwin’s advice and goes on a whistle stop tour of the country promoting this bill, and winds up like Wilson did after pushing the Versailles treaty back in 1918.

    1. Nice bit of history. Well done.

  22. Do you ever worry when quoting Doris Kearns Goodwin if you’re actually quoting Doris Kearns Goodwin?

  23. Truth transcends actual facts.

  24. Forget about E.J. Dionne. I want to know what R.J. Dio thinks.

  25. A truly “progressive” healthcare bill would be a blank piece of paper, to be filled in later. We’ll probably reach that point before the next decade is out.

    1. And it would be titled simply “Law.”

  26. Actually, it would be more like 1500 pieces of paper, each one saying “This page intentionally left blank.”

    1. LOL, hats off for that one!

  27. Nothing tells me more about the Leftist mindset than their implacable belief that the people will “love it” once they get it. They persist with this belief because they’re convinced middle america are moronic rubes who just don’t “get” what the Left is trying to do, and once the Left’s policies are in place, the rubes will just LUV it. Like Medicare. Here’s a new flash for the Left; the elderly don’t “love” Medicare, the elderly are dependent on it and terrified of what might happen if they lose it. This is NOT the same as “loving” it.

  28. Under the heading “The Shape of Things to Come,” see how the Mayo Clinic is starting to handle Medicare patients in Arizona.

    There’s always a chance that congressmen of good conscience will derail the runaway train that is Obamacare, though “congressmen of good conscience” may be too oxymoronic for reality.

    We’ll see.

  29. The bill can’t be all wrong. Why can’t people have a discussion starting at the point we all agree? If you don’t know then READ THE BILL. It’s not everything yet it’s a start.

    I’m so hopeful CSpan gets to broadcast the whole committee process.

  30. We elected Obama without knowing what we’d get and that’s been a disaster! And now the Obama worshippers want us to do the same with Obamacare! Elections have consquences and this disaster is one of them!

  31. If they can run a campaign like they did to get the election, to tell people what’s in this bill, it’s going to be hugely popular.

    So they would spend a fuckton of money to speak in generalizations that are broader than my ass and pretty platitudes and all sorts of feel good bullshit and we would love the bill while still not knowing a damned thing bout it? Well alrighty then.

    1. Also bash George W. Bush at every turn and talk about how amazing your own life story is.

    2. Impressive new monetary term: a fuckton. If the fed adopts its use, then at least we’ll know when we are getting eff’ed.

  32. Anyone that voted for these guys, based on these promises, unfortunately for us, got the government they deserve. We can talk about the plan after they pass the plan? Isn’t that the reverse of how it is supposed to work??? The arrogance they display is astonishing. November 2nd cannot get here quick enough!

  33. Actually, Robert Gibbs just said the following in his daily press briefing when asked about putting the reconciliation process on C-Span: “I do not believe the American people have lacked for information on what’s in these bills – the political and policy arguments around different people’s positions – I think that’s been well documented”. So evidently reconciliation doesn’t need to be open to the public because the public already understands what’s in the bill, but people don’t like the bill because they don’t know what’s in the bill. But after the bill is passed they will like the bill because they will know what’s in the bill. Obamanomics – it’s fantastic!!

  34. It’s almost like the old comic routine about a contract: “Just sign it, I’ll fill in the details later!”

    I am noticing a pattern here which began with the first TARP last fall. There’s a crisis, we must act now, no time for details. Then the same thing with the 2nd half of TARP money (although NONE of it has been used to “purchase toxic assets” as we were told in the first place), the “stimulus” bill, and now ObamaCare. No time to talk about details, must pass it fast, fast, fast!

    This is the way our Congress legislates? We may be passing the time for “tea parties” and coming onto the time for “necktie parties” very soon . . .

  35. I feel like I am on the casting couch for a porn movie. You get screwed before the action starts – and don’t get any reward for your efforts.

  36. I feel like I am on the casting couch for a porn movie. You get screwed before the action starts – and don’t get any reward for your efforts.

  37. Truly, we’re cursed; we’re living in interesting times.

    On the serious side, gov’t health care may not be so horrible after all. I’ve been subject to it since I was WIA in Viet-Nam on 22 January 1970 & all-in-all it’s been decent, albeit on occasion a bureaucratic pain in the rear.

    But it’s not very comforting to realize I’m on Obama’s short list of those to be sent to euthanasia.

    1. But in ’70 weren’t you a youth-in-Asia?

  38. “Trust me.”

    That’s how they say “F**k you” in Washington.

  39. I’m pretty sure Barny Frank has a tax exemption for coffee colonics group therapy.

  40. if it is such a good bill wy wont congress or the senate use this plan?
    the people trying to put this mess on our backs dont want anything to do with it themselves

  41. The purpose of ObamaCare has nothing to do with health care in America or what is any detail in the bill save one: unrepealable entitlement spending to justify confiscatory taxation. Obama, Pelosi Reid mantra in 2010 will fiscal responsibility “all income above $200,000 is mine and half of the first 200,000 is also mine. 100,000 is all anyone needs”.
    The purpose of the bill is to gain control, nationalize the economy and prevent any citizen other then the super wealthy from being independent of government largess. Absolute control of the economy, society and culture: progressive totalitarianism is the goal of ObamaCare. Ben Nelson’s Nebraska deal with ObamaCare is the whole point of the bill. Reward those who follow and punish those who do not. The Progressive goal is China’s Maoist equality, gray, hopeless, arbitrary, cheapness of life (who needs grandma and babies are inconvenient), the Obama, Pelosi, Reid vision of American, except of course for themselves who will enjoy the benefits of the inner Party. Orwell, Obama and 1984: A Common Vision the purpose of ObamaCare.

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your clarity of thought. However, if you try and say that on “The Ed Show”, you will be accused of questioning liberals’ patriotism.

      So stop it!

  42. Hey, here is a novel thought………why don’t the repubs or independents run commercials on this god awful beast so that these fuckin jokers can be thrown out next year. Until the majority of people get it, this crap will continue. Until the majority of people who get it, vote, this crap will continue. Simple as that!!

  43. The Progressives are betting that if the ‘Mericans are told that they can get enough Free Stuff, they will suddenly fall in love with the DimmyCratic Party and become slaves to the State. Plus, Gillespie is dead right: the Left will mission creep this thing, like Social Security and Mediscare.

    We are in the middle chapters of Atlas Shrugged, sure as shinola. The only thing that needs to be established in this case is the location of Ellsworth Toohey’s office in the West Wing.

  44. From where I stand, bent over, with my insurer probing from behind, Medicare is looking really good. Right now I’m paying $9400 a year for insurance coverage after I pay the first $5000. That was a 20% bump from the year before. But hey, I live in Live Free and Die NH where no stinking government stands in the way of the insurers picking my pocket. And in NH, we pay more in Federal taxes than we get so the conservative Red States get lots of Federal welfare. But hey, we rich States pay high Federl taxes to help out the poor impoverished conservatives. Either that, or the conservatives are just real good a getting lots of Washington pork sent their way from the Blue States, especially to pay for the health care in the Red States.

    But hey, if you work for a drug company, you can thank Republicans for your bonuses and the Medicare Drug plans the Republicans wrote to boost drug company profits. I’m counting the months until I get the benefits the Republicans have used to buy the votes of the Medicare generation.

    1. No, NH state government couldn’t possibly be the reason why insurance rates are so high. So why do you think the average policy for a family in Florida is half as much as that in NH? The sunshine? http://healthinsurance.about.c…..Report.pdf

      And this is the second time I’ve heard that Red State/Blue State story. The facts are right, your conclusions are garbage.

      Smart people fact-check themselves.

  45. Why was Richard Nixon able to articulate his proposed health care reform — which was rejected by Congress — but Obama cannot? Read this and ask why Obama can’t do the same: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.or…..posal.aspx

  46. One shudders to think what is going on behind closed doors while they try to “negotiate” this thing. I see them sitting around, smoking cigars, trying to outdo each other on who can come up with a better plan to screw over the American public. CSPAN would really like to see what’s going on.

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