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Chairman Tussauds' Debate: Henry Waxman And The Blue Dogs

They are burning the house down over in the Democratic Congress over ObamaCare:

House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were "lied" to by their Democratic leaders.

The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.

"I've been lied to," Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. "We have not had legitimate negotiations.

How shocking! Henry Waxman (no man has ever been so well named) has apparently been telling the Blue Dogs something in one room and negotiating for something else in another room. But wait, there's more. After a few hours, and some apparently rapturous reconciliation meetings, there is again love between Chairman Tussaud and the Blue Dogs:

Hours after calling their chairman a liar, Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stood by that chairman's side and announced together that the once-collapsed healthcare negotiations are back on track.

"The chairman and I would like to retract some of the things that we said earlier today," Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the chairman of the Blue Dog healthcare task force said while standing beside Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) after the two emerged from an emergency meeting of the Democrats on the committee.

"Nothing is irreconcilable," Waxman added, "unless you decide it's irreconcilable."

In other words, everyone has their price. The market for Blue Dog Democrat votes on ObamaCare is simply being reset to reflect current realities, which are that an August vote is not going to happen. The present political market Mr. Waxman and his Blue Dog Democrats are negotiating is the price of poker in the 2010 mid term elections. The Blue Dogs are offering a vote sometime, for something regarding ObamaCare in exchange for the only thing Waxman has to offer: money. The price extracted from Mr. Waxman by the Blue Dogs serves as a barometer of the risk perceived by the Democratic National Party (Obama) going into the 2010 midterms.From the sound of things, the price is going up. I do like Allah's description that this whole drama is Awesomely awesome to watch.

As mentioned before, this is a Liberal Democrat Party problem that President Obama can't run with or against. An Executive that wielded real leadership might prevent this sort of self immolation. But when the election is all about a cult of personality it makes caucus building an impossible task. Henry Waxman should know that because he came to Congress running against a cult of personality (of different sorts) made famous by his freshman class of 1974: Richard Nixon. As they say, everything that goes around comes around.


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Comments (28)

I imagine that the 'reconci... (Below threshold)

I imagine that the 'reconciliation' occurred after dear Henry went to Nancy and told her how much the BD votes would cost. Nancy's already gotten direction from Barry to just write the damned checks. Checks none of their asses can cover. Standby for PORK II, the sequel.

Just out of curiosity, how much does a House vote go for these days? Billion apparently being considered 'chump change' by the current administration when it comes to their 'friends'.

This is getting to be like ... (Below threshold)

This is getting to be like watching really bad sausage being made.

With road kill.

This healthcare bill is dea... (Below threshold)

This healthcare bill is dead. Blue dog Dims are not going to risk their seats for a bill that has lost public support and for a President who polls are plummeting. It is as simple as that.

Speaker Pelosi and Rep Waxm... (Below threshold)

Speaker Pelosi and Rep Waxman made "threats against Blue Dog Democrats" today.

This is in violation of the 2008 House Ethics Manual. See Page 16:

"...threatening to retaliate against a fellow Member because of the Member's vote on particular legislation..."

This should/could/must be reported to the House Ethics Committee. The People have a right to know just how many Threats against members of the House (or even in the Senate) have been made during the Obama Administration.

The People have a right to know!

Michael, I hope you're righ... (Below threshold)

Michael, I hope you're right.

Dynahog; Yeah, Nancy will get to that complaint right after Jefferson's, Rangel's, Murtha's, etc etc. When she spoke of "the most ethical congress evah", she was talking about the investigation and prosecution of REPUBLICANS.

It's too bad. I was thinki... (Below threshold)

It's too bad. I was thinking of sending Mike Ross (D) Ark. a donation and suggesting he run for senate, but now, not so much.

-Democrats pushing for heal... (Below threshold)

-Democrats pushing for health care reform got serious jolts last week from critics who warned that their proposed legislation would 'do little to slow spiraling health care costs'. A group of conservative Democrats vowed that they would join Republicans-

Blue Dogs Rake in the Dollars from the Health Care Industry ... The 20 Blue Dogs have taken a combined $6,849,273 from various segments of the health care industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics

Thank You !

ObamaCare will kill us all.... (Below threshold)
Jeff Martin:

ObamaCare will kill us all.

"ObamaCare will kill us all... (Below threshold)

"ObamaCare will kill us all."

Well not "ALL". Congress will continue to have their own separate (but equal!) health care provider. Don't forget, "Some animals are more equal than others".

The House leaders reached a... (Below threshold)

The House leaders reached a deal on Medicare payments: A "Pay for Value" reimbursement system that rewards doctors and hospitals that achieve the best outcomes at the lowest cost.

As a result, The House gained a lot of votes, a lot of people who were withholding support.

The federal Medicare program insures some 44 million elderly and disabled Americans at an annual cost of $450 billion, almost one-fifth of total U.S. health care spending.

Supporters of the agreement say it could save the Medicare System more than $100 billion a year and improve care, that means $1trillian over a decade.

No one can disagree with this best outcome / evidence-based system, and private insurance, too, will be greatly influenced by this change with the focus on value over volume.


I smell sock puppets... (Below threshold)

I smell sock puppets

3. Michael: "This healthcar... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

3. Michael: "This healthcare bill is dead. Blue dog Dims are not going to risk their seats for a bill that has lost public support and for a President who polls are plummeting. It is as simple as that."

I wish I could agree with you, but I'm not convinced. Getting the House vote now, before the break, works to the Dems advantage.

Getting the House vote now costs them (costs us) whatever it takes to get the seven Blue Dogs. In the fall, on October 15, Senate rules change to simple majority. That means Harry can grant cover (a "No" vote) to up to nine Senators in tight races and still pass the Senate version of ObamaCare.

I think a lot hinges on the House Blue Dogs right now.

Time of the Democrats to un... (Below threshold)

Time of the Democrats to unite on healthcare and back Obama. The blue dogs need to get in line.

Pay for results will have t... (Below threshold)

Pay for results will have the easily foreseen "unintended" consequence of treating high risk patients and disease like hot potatoes. The quality of care for surgical specialties like neurosurgery will look better, but it will mean fewer if any high risk cases will be undertaken, leaving many out in the (or should I say down in the ______ ground) cold. How that translates for Primary Care will mean high risk patients, uncooperative patients, etc., will find it hard to keep a doctor - they'll be terminated from the practice to keep the provider's stats looking good enough for a bonus.

For those wondering the cos... (Below threshold)
retired military:

For those wondering the cost of the blue dog democrats consider this.

A member of the house get full retirement benefits after 6 years (that is 2 reelections).

FIgure $150k a year for life along with the pertinent benefits.

So if most representatives are in their 40s take 30 years X $150k per year and that means they start at about $4.5 million + bennies.

That is what the 1st and 2nd termers are looking at losing PERSONALLY if they dont get reelected.

I dont think $2k in a reelection fund is going to cover Obama's and Nancy's check on this one.

As I recall, Rep. Mark Kirk... (Below threshold)

As I recall, Rep. Mark Kirk (Occasional Republican - IL) sold his vote on the Crap and Trade bill for around $9,000 in "discretionary House funding". He was one of six Occasional Republicans who pushed the bill over the top and stuck us all with that particular piece of crap.

Two weeks later, he announces he's running for Roland Burris' barely warm seat in the Senate, vacating another Republican vote in the House when he leaves and gets replaced by Democrat. And if he loses, vacating BOTH seats. I wonder what pushover they promised to run against him for the Senate?

It doesn't take much. I wonder what the price tag will be for the Blue Dongs? Or will simple screaming, bug-eyed threats of slow political death from Obersturmbahnfuhrer Pelosi be sufficient?

Business as usual.

Carly -It's not ab... (Below threshold)

Carly -

It's not about the PARTY - it's about the COUNTRY and the effects the proposed crap will have on ALL of us.

You can be stupid and vindictive as hell if you like - but you need to be aware that the entire country is dependent on everyone working together (more or less) - and that people are quite capable of making their own choices. What are needed are easily accessable, affordable (by the individual) GOOD alternatives.

And dismantling our current mostly-working health care system and mandating a half-assed, poorly thought out, hideously expensive grab-bag sort of program by the government just doesn't cut it.

Maybe that's what the blue-dogs are seeing, either that or they're playing CYA - either way, that's providing some BADLY needed delay while this crap is examined.

And the more it's examined, the worse it smells.

I'd put my bet on the CYA t... (Below threshold)

I'd put my bet on the CYA thingie, Mr. Lawson.

No one can disagre... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
No one can disagree with this best outcome / evidence-based system, and private insurance, too, will be greatly influenced by this change with the focus on value over volume.

You always know when someone is drinking the Kool-Aid when they start their argument with "No one can disagree. . ." What this amounts to is paying for results rather then effort. The effect is to ration end of life care because no doctor will want to teat people when the prognosis shows a low probability of success. This makes sense in light of Obama's push to make people live healthier life styles because studies show that people with healthy life styles have a higher lifetime healthcare cost than people who are obese or who smoke. Of course, if end of life care is rationed, then yes, you can bend the cost curve down.

Bottom line is that Obamacare may well provide low cost basic care to everyone, but as a person gets older the available care becomes less and less. In the end I think we'll see a system like Medicare, and as with Medicare, there will be a market for supplemental insurance to cover things Obamacare doesn't. As is the case now, some people will have that insurance and some won't. Those without such insurance will still show up at emergency rooms hoping to get care on the public dime. The difference is that it will be the elderly showing up at ER's rather then single moms with their kids.

The nine worst words you'll... (Below threshold)

The nine worst words you'll ever hear. "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

The Associated Press refers... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

The Associated Press refers to the "blue dogs" as conservative Democrats. They aren't. There are no conservative Democrats. There are no moderate Democrats. There are liberal Democrats and extremely liberal Democrats. And corrupt Democrats who have no philosophy except buying votes with tax money.

The blue dogs are Pelosi's lapdogs who are willing to yap a bit every once in a while so she'll throw them a bone.

The political reality that ... (Below threshold)

The political reality that this bill is that in this form it is dead. Moderate Dims are not going to sacrifice their careers on the alter of Obama. The bill is unpopular and Obama is becoming unpopular. He is losing his clout.

Bobdog -I'd put my... (Below threshold)

Bobdog -

I'd put my bet on the CYA thingie, Mr. Lawson.

As long as the brakes are applied to slow this runaway train down, I don't much care as far as their motivation goes. As I said, the more this pile of shit is examined, the worse it smells - and the worse it smells, the less likely it is to pass.

Couldn't agree more.<... (Below threshold)

Couldn't agree more.

The reason Obama and the Democrats are humping America's leg so hard is because the mid-term election sprints start in January or even before. There's no political cover in an election year, and that includes everybody in the House.

This is good news: "For the... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

This is good news: "For the second time this month, congressional budget analysts have dealt a blow to the Democrat's health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years." Chris Frates, POLITICO

Here's the url: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25415.html#ixzz0MJQs29Sd"

This probably won't make the Blue Dogs happy. San Fran Nan and her loyal spear carriers will probably be telling us tomorrow why the CBO is wrong.

Testing...... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:


Wacky henery Waxman this do... (Below threshold)

Wacky henery Waxman this dork shouldnt be allowed in live anymore in america he is a total wacko

Do as I say, not as I do. I... (Below threshold)

Do as I say, not as I do. I don't know any other way to explain the sheer arrogance of Henry Waxman.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman says Congress does not have to join the government health care. You, maybe. But not them.

So he's fine foisting this health care monstrosity on us, just not Congress. Waxman says members of Congress do not have to join the public option government health plan.

That's sort of like the short order cook at a diner saying, "I wouldn't eat this slop I'm making."

Common Sense: by Neil Cavuto






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